* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fair share?

Allowing a company to loan people money and consider the amount loaned as an "expense" against taxes was the loophole. If it was truly a loan, at arms length and therefore intended to be paid back, then it was a loophole that may have had a purpose. Allowing a "loan" that was not arms length and not truly a loan since there was never any intention whatsoever to ever pay it back was not "using a loophole" it was a tax evasion scam, nothing more.

You are trying to change the issue by complaining "what is a fair share"? A fair share is what you would have owed if you used this loophole as intended, and actually paid back the loan at some point. Given that you did not, your fair share is what you would have owed if this loophole did not exist at all.

DougS Silver badge

Look up tax law in the US

The IRS can go back an unlimited number of years for tax evasion. They can only go back seven years for mistakes/corrections or whatever, but if you aren't paying your taxes or are doing something illegal to reduce the amount of taxes you owe, they could go back 50 years if they wish.

An interest free "loan" that you never had any intention of paying is so utterly clearly a scam I can't believe the author of this article was defending it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 99% of you are missing the point

No, they're not missing the point. You're missing the fact that this scam involved an interest-free "loan" that they NEVER had any intention of paying back. I'm utterly shocked anything like this was ever allowed in the first place, but I can say with certainty had it been allowed in the US and someone I knew was using this dodge the first question I'd ask would be "so what happens when you retire, and you owe your offshore scam company several million dollars?" Forgiven debt is taxable income, so I guess the goal was to die still owing the money and arranging things so that their heirs somehow weren't liable for the debt?

Don't want pranksters 'bricking' your Android? Just stop using the internet, duh – Google

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Degooglized Android

I'm sure this is one of Google's biggest fears - what if Microsoft decides to go all-in with Android, and builds a version that replaces Google Search with Bing, GMail with Outlook 365, and so forth? If Windows 10 Mobile flops, and Microsoft gives up on Windows on phones, they might go this route.

Microsoft would probably not care if they made any money on this, as it would hurt one of their biggest competitors. Might also hurt Apple as far as getting iOS in the enterprise, since this Microsoft Android OS would likely work better with Windows services and have better enterprise manageability.

This isn't going to fix the problem with Android updates (which really isn't Google's fault, no one but Apple and maybe Samsung has enough clout with carriers to keep full software control) but a major security incident on Google Android could really hurt its image and help Microsoft's version.

Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

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They wouldn't have a buck to pass

If they support DNT, given that some browsers make it the default, they'd lose a lot of revenue being unable to identify users. They will never support DNT. The most they'll do is support something that requires a lot of work for users to enable, and can't be done via default, so few will do it.

Peering closer at 3D XPoint memory: What are Intel, Micron up to?

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Missed one mystery

Is it bit/word addressable like DRAM or block addressable like NAND?

A third of workers admit they'd leak sensitive biz data for peanuts

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How do they poll people for something like this?

If I had a random survey person call me up and ask me this question (I actually don't answer unknown numbers, and if I did and heard the word "survey" or "poll" I'd hang up immediately, but let's say I didn't) I would never answer this honestly.

How do these people know the "pollster" isn't a third party hired by their employer to see who the untrustworthy employees are? The fact people are so willing to answer questions like this leads me to believe at least some companies have done exactly this, and use the employee's stated answers as justification for firing them. Heck, just make a list of employees you want to fire but don't have grounds to fire without paying unemployment, and "poll" them. If they admit they'd break strict company privacy/security policy for a day's pay, that sounds like a firing offense to me.

To be clear: the "list of employees" I'm talking about isn't necessarily about discrimination - though it could be used like that. I'm thinking more in terms of employers who wish to cull the herd. If you need to lay off some people but want to minimize your costs, find reasons to fire some first. Or maybe you believe in decimation, and want to try to get rid of the 10% lowest performing employees every year.

Sue us for Safari ad tracking? You'll be lucky, peons, cackles Google

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Re: Money

Are you saying things were not all about money in the 1950s? I wasn't around then, but I think you need to defend such an extreme position with some evidence.

Windows 10: A sysadmin speaks his brains – and says MEH

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Linux desktop uptake

The "gratuitous breakage" for drivers with kernel updates is irrelevant to Linux's desktop success, because vendors like Redhat hide that detail from you. A typical user is not going to download a new kernel from kernel.org and compile it and run into this. They'll get updates from Redhat, which maintain the same APIs within a major version precisely to avoid this problem.

Linux hasn't been successful on the desktop because it doesn't run Windows programs, which is important when Windows is starting with desktop monopoly of 95% (now down closer to 90% due to OS X growing share) Where Linux is seeing some slight uptake on the desktop (Chrome laptops) is where the customer base has no legacy Windows programs they want to run. The typical Chrome customer uses it like a tablet with a keyboard - it is used for content consumption, not content creation.

DougS Silver badge

Let's sum it up

Thusly: If you're on Windows 7, unless you need one of the few new things added to Windows 10 like DirectX 12 or somewhat improved but still not working HiDPI support, you should stick with Windows 7. If you're on Windows 8, you should upgrade tomorrow because anything is better than Windows 8.

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

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Re: @OliverJ -- 512 apps ought to be enough for anybody...!

People who don't understand irony or sarcasm are the leading cause of internet discussion derailment.

OK, second leading, after people who can't spell and/or have poor grammar and those who feel a unquenchable need to correct those people.

Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

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Trump, bombing and front runner

Trump may be a nutcase, but I haven't ever heard him say anything that makes him sound like a warmonger. I'd be more worried about some of the other republicans in that respect.

While Trump leads in polling in a field of 16, he is far and away the leader in negatives - over half of republicans polled say they definitely would not support him. It doesn't matter what he does, he can't win the nomination, but he can sure stir things up and distract the republicans into talking about him instead of talking about Obama and Clinton as they'd prefer.

DougS Silver badge

@cyke1 "Forgot to tell Obama"

Ignoring your political rant, if anything republicans would take an even harder line on Snowden. Who knows, might even try to send a rendition team into Moscow and spark an international incident.

There are only two guys running for President who would may not pursue charges against Snowden: Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders. Even then they'd probably have to pardon him as I'm sure a successor could come up with charges for which there is no statute of limitations.

Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

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@Steve Knox - using it to replace DRAM

It will only work as a replacement for DRAM if it is addressable in a similar manner. We'll have to learn more about it to see if it is bit addressable. If it is block addressable like flash the block size must be no larger than your L3 cache line size or it can't replace DRAM.

DougS Silver badge


Why would this be embedded in phones? Phones aren't limited by flash's speed or lifetime, so there is no reason to add something more expensive to get better performance on either metric.

Until it can be produced in large enough quantities to allow its price to drop to where it replaces flash entirely, I think its usefulness will mainly to be to replace flash in applications where flash is either too slow or its lifetime is too short - basically meaning enterprise SSDs will be replaced by these. Consumer laptops don't need this, nor do phones, nor wireless routers, nor USB sticks, nor the BIOS on your PC's motherboard or many other places where flash is currently used.

Those products won't switch from flash until this Micron thing is cheaper - which may not take that long since flash is running into some limitations for density increase this technology won't face. They've worked around it with "3D" NAND but the ability to add layers in that fashion is quite limited so it won't help for long.

SDN hits rock bottom and FCoE is obsolete, say Gartner mages

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2.5/5 Gb ethernet?

Never heard of it. What's the point, with 10 Gb ethernet so affordable, especially 10 GbaseT?

Bug hunter reveals Apple iTunes, Mac app store receipt deceit

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If you can get physical access to someone's iPhone and change the device name, there are plenty of bad things you could do. This seems like a pretty roundabout way of doing something that would no doubt be simpler if you did it directly when you had access.

Record-breaking $502m in sales, BIG LOSSES – OF COURSE IT'S TWITTER

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Twitter is the next Amazon

No profit, but a ridiculous share price that continues to defy gravity because the revenue keeps growing.

Are smart safes secure? Not after we've USB'd them, say infosec bods

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A safe with a USB port?

What could possibly go wrong? What moron thought up this idea!

Intel tests definition of insanity with (leaked) typoslab Skylake CPUs

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They aren't sell these for tablets

They'll selling them for Surface Pro. You can call that a tablet if you want, but it is really a laptop with a really poor keyboard since I've never seen one used in any other way.

I doubt Intel will continue with their giveaways of these chips trying to get them into the Android tablet market, especially as the Android tablet market is shrinking.

Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

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Whatever the case, he's determined

Climbed a tree to disable the lights? I guess he probably tried to visit one night, was surprised by the lights when they came on, and then stopped by the next day during daylight hours to check out the surroundings and come up with a plan to evade it.

They'll need to catch him in the act, so to speak, to stop him I'll bet. I hope El Reg follows up on this, I'd hate to be left dangling!

DougS Silver badge

Fill out an application for a survellience camera?

WTF weird laws do they have there that a private business can't put up a security camera on its own property?

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

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Re: Yay!

That's a bug with your phone or the cell tower you are connected to. I'm with AT&T and get MMS messages on my iPhone all the time, never had a problem like that except in a handful of times when I was at a football game or concert where the local cell towers were completely overloaded.

DougS Silver badge

How long before the first malware that infects a billion people?

Maybe it doesn't happen this time, depends on how easy this bug is to find. At any rate there are surely plenty of other bugs lurking in Android that can be remotely triggered in a similar manner. Find one and have it text a random assortment of the infected phone's contacts, and it would spread across the world in a matter of hours. What is done with a billion phone botnet, who knows, but it probably won't be good.

You don't even need Android's famously crappy updating for this. It would spread so fast that if you found a zero day that infected iOS 7 & 8 in a similar manner you'd own 95% of all iPhones in the world even if Apple turned around a patch in 24 hours.

Someday we're going to wake up and know what the Morris Worm would have been like if it had infected five orders of magnitude more devices.

Microsoft ought to immediately start a black project researching for bugs like this in both Android and iOS. Brick a billion phones and a lot of people won't buy the same kind they had before - this may be Microsoft's only hope to get any market share in the mobile market :)

Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market

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Re: Suggests

Not user replaceable at least. My girlfriend has a four year old iPad that is still going strong. It had such ridiculously long battery life when new that it is still going strong even though the battery has surely lost some pep in middle age (haven't we all) Someday it will reach a state battery life is a problem for her, and at that point it might be worth getting a new one. Probably about the same 6-7 year replacement cycle as a typical consumer laptop, in other words.

Don't suit up: Microsoft drops dress code for Android visitors

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With Blackberry following this path also

The market really will be Android vs iOS, with that pesky 3% 'other' now willingly surrendered to Google.

Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

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Re: A complete and utter failure of the 911 Caller ID technology

Pretty sure 911 uses ANI rather than ordinary caller ID, which can't be forged so easily.

The problem is the proliferation of cell and IP phones, making it a lot harder to verify the location of the caller. Sign up for a Google Phone or Skype number, and call claiming to be next door to OJ's house while he's murdering his wife. Your number could have any sort of area code or even country code, and ANI is useless. Maybe it is suspicious if someone with a Skype number registered to London calls claiming to be next door to a murder in the US, but they can't ignore the call or there will be hell to pay if the call was legit.

After the fact they can subpeona Google or Microsoft and find out the IP address you connected from, but if you were in a Starbucks parking lot connected to their wifi how are they going to find you? And it would be too late, as after the fact your target may be dead if he was holding an offensive weapon in his hand, like a remote control or a burrito, when the cops busted down the door.

Secretive trade pact the TTIP: Death of the web – or a brave new horizon?

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"That means you can ignore anything in the paper you don't personally agree with"

Thank you for giving me a reason to do so Kieran, but it was unnecessary. This is the internet, we ignore anything we don't agree with and don't need a good reason for it!

NSA: We'll move your metadata into /dev/null when you stop suing us

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Since they have the power to keep some lawsuits secret

Even if all the lawsuits were dropped they'd probably claim there are still some out there, so they don't have to delete that data. They never will, regardless of what Congress orders them to do, because they think they're above the law.

Ahem, FCC, who do you think you are? The FTC?

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It was Dish, not Directv

Who used shill bidders in the form of small companies to save $3 billion. It looks like the FCC has told them they can't do that, so Dish will have to pay the extra $3 billion after all.

So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Rescue the banks or the bankers

If you were illiquid in the fall of 2008 you were bankrupt, because if you needed cash and tried to sell assets back then you'd be lucky to get more than a few pennies on the pound for anything connected with mortgages! Any judge with an ounce of financial and economic knowledge would know that and throw the case out of court on its ear. The government was the "investor" of last resort, the only one willing and able to buy up such assets for a price that didn't doom the seller to bankruptcy court.

Well, other than a few crafty guys like Warren Buffett who have been around long enough to know that you make the best deals when fear is running rampant, and earned Berkshire Hathaway a few billion more dollars.

DougS Silver badge

Re: https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/

What you're talkijng about with "save it until there's a recession" is what the US called "stimulus", with money going to the "shovel ready projects". Basically projects that states had been wanting to do but didn't have the money for.

Like you say, that's great during a recession, it is enforcing the other end of it during a boom that's hard. That's where there must be some sort of automatic mechanism to tamp down the economy, using statistics that can't be gamed by politicians and even more importantly where politicians have no say. Either automatic tax increases, automatic interest rate increases, automatic spending cuts, something. Yes, the data we get is in arrears, and it is not always accurate, but it is "close enough" for us to know the difference between bust, boom, and sort of blundering along in between. And that's really the only three conditions we need worry about - meaning policies for stimulate, discourage or neutral.

We just have to be under no illusion that we will eliminate the business cycle. All we want to do is reduce the damage from a bust, and take advantage of a boom to make up for the additional costs we incur during a bust. In an ideal world you'd run deficits during a bust, a surplus during a boom, and generally break even when the economy is muddling along. The US had reached that point in the late 90s, until the politicians stuck their noses in it and messed up the careful balance we'd achieved by complete and utter accident.

DougS Silver badge

Re: https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/

The problem with the cyclical deficits - raising government spending to stimulate the economy and reduce the negative effect of a recession - is that you need to do the opposite during good times. No one ever does that, because during growth there's plenty of money for the government to spend, and "investing in the future" by building new roads and so forth sounds good as parts of the infrastructure become stressed during the boom (i.e. widening oads to land that is slated to be developed in a year or two sounds good during a housing boom, but is wasted when there's a bust and that development never happens)

It might be better to manage it by adjusting tax rates downward during a recession, and upward during booms. This would obviously have to be done via preset triggers, because you sure couldn't and shouldn't rely on politicians to manage it. I'm not aware of that ever having been tried though, so it may have some issues. Maybe another idea for Tim to throw into his (probably quite large) pile of ideas for future articles.

DougS Silver badge

As far as the US goes

TARP was profitable for the US taxpayer, in the sense that of the money disbursed, all of it plus about 10% was repaid, or earned via the sale of shares/warrants. That's for everything cumulative, so it wasn't necessarily profitable in every facet - I think the auto bailouts lost a few billion but that was made up by being more profitable in other areas.

If you add in the taxes collected and unemployment payments not made by not doing TARP and thus allowing the economy become much worse with a far greater shrinkage in GDP and far higher unemployment then it was the most massively profitable thing any government has ever done in history.

If you were a shareholder or debtholder in the bailed out banks/companies the answer of whether it was profitable for you is a little more complicated. While you may have had your shares diluted or taken a debt haircut in some cases, if the company had been allowed to go bust you'd almost certainly be worse off unless you had insured against a debt default, and your insurer was actually able to pay.

Quantitative Easing in US has also been profitable on paper, since the Fed returns its 'excess revenue' beyond its operational needs (it had excess revenue before, QE just caused more of it) Though in this case basically the US was paying interest to itself, so that's not really making money, but at least means there was no actual cost to the government. If you believe as Tim and I do that this was necessary to prevent a 30s like Depression then obviously the increased tax collection and reduced unemployment etc. mean it was "profitable" in the sense of avoiding a lot of additional debt the government would have been forced take on.

DougS Silver badge

The taxpayers didn't "burn squillions" - TARP paid for itself and made a profit

What the cost would have been of letting multiple large banks go bust, all the layoffs that would have caused, letting the entire US auto industry go under and all those layoffs, etc. we can't know the number but it would easily have been greater than the whole $700 billion TARP even if that was all handouts and nothing was ever paid back.


DougS Silver badge

Re: Money supply

Agreed, deflation isn't caused by people paying off debt. If that is all that was happening it would be a good thing for the economy in general, as it would free up credit for future purchases (unless you argue it happens because the population all decides having debt is a bad thing, and will never change that viewpoint)

The problem with deflation is that it makes existing debt HARDER to pay off, just as inflation makes existing debt easier to pay off.

If you have a business that has $1 million in debt payments each year and revenue of $2 million and other expenses of $900K, you have $100K a year left over in profit. If deflation causes your revenue to drop by 10% (you have to drop prices because everyone else's prices are falling) and it also drops your other expenses 10% (we'll assume you are able to drop your wages by 10% without your employees complaining) your $1 million debt payment remains the same and suddenly you are losing $20K a year. It is yet another slap in the face that the $20K a year you lose is worth 10% more than it used to be, being equivalent to a loss of $22K a year pre-deflation.

If the opposite happened and inflation went up 10% you'd be making $210K a year - which even when every dollar is worth 10% less than it was before is still a terrific deal any of us would be quite happy with.

DougS Silver badge


and banks that are "too big to fail" need to have their boardrooms lined up against an adobe wall and shot.

Wouldn't that be likely to cause the very failure you're worried about? :)

Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

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Re: Ballmer Worst CEO Ever

Ron Johnson had the ultimate halo effect. He was in charge of Apple's stores, so of course he must be a mega genius. The thing is, they were opened only in really rich areas, selling products that were in high demand. He had little or nothing to do with that success, it is like being the realtor who answers the phone when a Russian billionaire calls looking to buy the most expensive apartment in Manhattan for his daughter. You're going to make a multi million dollar commission, but for being in the right place at the right time, not because you are amazing at your job.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Ballmer Worst CEO Ever

Why is going from 97% to 3% >$1K PCs bad for Microsoft? It isn't like they charge as a percentage of PC sales price. The cheaper they are, the more PCs that will be sold -> the more Windows licenses that will be sold, all things being equal. This is more of an issue for Intel than Microsoft - or to be honest, really a problem for Dell, HP, etc. than Microsoft or Intel (since Intel's CPU ASPs have not dropped all that much)

DougS Silver badge

Dangers of big cash piles

This is something to concerns me as an Apple shareholder. Having $200 billion and counting of cash laying around means they could get a really stupid idea and blow $50 billion buying Uber or something equally ridiculous. Bad enough they spent $3 billion on Beats, which seems like it can't ever be recouped, but I fear if this first "large" acquisition comes to be viewed as a success, it opens the floodgates to dip into that cash pile.

While I despise Icahn, I agree with his idea that Apple should return substantially all its cash to shareholders (I know much is overseas, so they'd need to sell debt in the US) to eliminate this temptation. You don't need to worry about saving for a rainy day when you're piling on nearly a billion a week. Pretty sure they don't have to worry about funding new initiatives like driverless cars or a working model of a Death Star.

Had Microsoft done the same, Ballmer wouldn't have had that big pile of cash he started thinking he should do something with other than roll around in Scrooge McDuck style.

IT in Iran: Servers sold on the grey market, and the rule of FOSS

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Re: Tragic

We'll probably live to see the day when Iran is considered a friend of the west and whatever Saudi Arabia is called post-revolution considers the US and UK a mortal enemy, much like the Iranians did after their revolution. Can't say I really blame them, we in the US after all held a bit of a grudge against the English for a couple generations after our own.

If you consider the relative freedoms people in Iran enjoy compared to Saudi Arabia, especially where women are concerned, most of us who live in the west would probably find a lot more common ground with people from Iran on an individual level than people in Saudi Arabia.

Google: Hey startups, want in on our patent gang? First hit's free

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Re: How is this protection against patent trolls?

While Unisys trying to make a money grab for use of GIFs was stupid, how did that "prevent innovation"? If anything it caused innovation, because it directly led to the creation of the PNG format, and motivated web developers to move to JPEG more quickly than they otherwise would have.

In fact that's the case with your Apple example too. Apple didn't patent all ways of letting people know they'd reach the end of the scrollable range, but only the one way they used. There are many other possible ways, like flashing the screen, making a sound, animating the edge of the page scrunching up and so forth. Your Microsoft example is more problematic, since the only reason anyone ever wanted to use FAT with long names was for compatibility with Microsoft's products. That's really more of a situation created by their desktop monopoly than a patent issue, IMHO.

DougS Silver badge

Re: How is this protection against patent trolls?

Microsoft isn't a patent troll, not by the true definition, because they make products. Therefore having patents of your own is protection against them.

Having patents of your own is useless against a patent troll - a company that owns patents, employs only lawyers, and produces no products.

DougS Silver badge

How is this protection against patent trolls?

The whole point of being a patent troll is that you own patents and can extort companies who use them (or are worried that an East Texas jury will think use) with zero worries about your target coming back at you with patents you use - since you make no products.

It doesn't matter if you are using a company that has 100 patents or a company that is part of a network that contains 100,000 patents. The only "protection" offered here is if someone else in the network goes belly up and their patents get in the hands of a troll they can't use those particular patents to troll you. Unfortunately there's a near endless supply of patents for trolls to get their hands on, so it is like going to the store and buying up all the bullets, hoping that means I can't shoot you but ignoring the fact there's a store the next town over, and the next one after that...

Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

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That allows any sort of control via a "convenient smartphone app" should be avoided like the plague by any buyer with an ounce of sense.

Choc Factory research shows users just don't get security

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Re: Rubberhose Cryptanalysis

Ignore rubber hoses, let's just think practical. Security experts may be able to remember a couple dozen different passwords, and claim that's a good security practice, but it is impractical for the average person. Maybe the average person could do that if it was their job/life (like it is for a security expert) but they won't. So how about the security experts give recommendations an average person can actually be expected to follow?

I'm glad at least "change your passwords every 90 days" wasn't on the list, that's the bane of good security once you are enforcing strong passwords - you basically force everyone to either 1) write down their passwords 2) use simple variation schemes on the same password or 3) use a password manager and hope it isn't compromised and they have more than a simple "Android squiggle pattern" or fingerprint unlock protecting it.

Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

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Tivo should act like Apple

Don't let the cable companies have any control over the software. My Tivo has none of these problems, because I bought it so I am getting TIvo's software. It isn't perfect, a couple years ago it would restart randomly about once a month until the next software update (typically they have two major updates a year) but I'd be livid if mine was restarting every 60 seconds. I have just the Tivo and one TV, so I'd be unable to watch or record anything if this was happening!

I know, I know, Tivo doesn't have Apple's market power so they need to appease the cable companies by giving them control of the software for branding, etc. The problem is this will damage Tivo's brand as a lot of Virgin subscribers who have this problem on their Tivo but not on other non-Tivo STBs will blame Tivo and have a permanently bad opinion of them when it is Virgin's fault.

Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

DougS Silver badge

Re: Who said that about Android?

AC, there are always a few Luddites who prefer things the way they were before. You can still find a few Android phones with a keyboard and smaller screen if that's your preference, but you're a complete fool if you think it is all "marketing" what the public really wants is a Windows Mobile & Blackberry experience in 2015.

The sales figures don't lie, the general public had zero interest in smartphones previously. They certainly don't want "small screens for single handed operation" or the Galaxy S and Note would have flopped and Apple would still be selling phones with the crazy large (for 2007 it most certainly was) 3.5" screen.

NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

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Re: Jinxed

You could get used to twice the gravity - with a thicker atmosphere you'd get more oxygen in each breath (assuming a similar ~19% oxygen like Earth)

Though they'd need to solve the problems with losing bone & muscle mass on a long space trip even if you could get there at 3000x light speed, because it is hard for astronauts when they first return to Earth as it is!

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

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Lots of reasons to cross the ocean

If you're pushed out from your home via famine or a stronger group, the long journey across the ocean with long odds is better than the even longer odds of staying. It isn't like they knew how far it was, they just knew it was further than they'd ever been in that direction. They may not have even tried to go that, an unexpected storm may have taken them off their intended travel path. Once they were at the mercy of the currents they would have no choice but to cross the ocean.

So long as they were able to fish and catch rainwater, and were lucky enough to avoid the worst storms, they could stay in their boats for months and easily cross the Pacific (for some value of 'easy' that few of us will ever experience in our modern comfy lives)

I'll bet there were hundreds of crossings, though most probably didn't survive when they got to the other side and found themselves confronted with unfamiliar terrain and unknown dangers from North America's megafauna.

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