* Posts by DougS

12862 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Blimey! ANOTHER Bitcoin bleed brouhaha

DougS Silver badge

Perfect time for owners of an exchange to scam their customers

Not saying that's what happened here, but considering the recent news with several of these "hacks" it would be pretty easy to transfer bitcoins out of customer accounts to elsewhere (with however large of a chain as necessary to hide who you are if it is trackable) and then claim "we were hacked".

After apologies and the company goes bankrupt, the owner can cash out all the bitcoins, obtain a new identity, and retire happily to anywhere in the world he likes.

Since most of the owners of exchanges keep out of the public eye and wouldn't be recognized, this would be pretty easy to do. If it hasn't been done already, I'm sure some plans are being made as you read this.

Winklevoss twins say their Bitcoins will take them to SPAAAAACE

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Would it be wrong to hope

That all the real wanker "celebrities" like them who are of no redeeming value to the human race all end up on the same flight, and it blows up on the launch pad?

Apple 'hid AUD$9 BILLION' from Australia alone: Report

DougS Silver badge

One of two things would happen

One, Apple, Google, Microsoft and everyone else parking revenue in Ireland would move them somewhere else before that 40% tax became effective. Surely they all have a backup plan or two for all sorts of eventualities, including that.

Two, if they weren't able to do that - say if the government froze assets and prevent that move, Ireland would have to learn to live on that money for a few long time, because they'd never have another foreign business set up shop there again, and any Irish business that was able to move its offices overseas would do so, knowing that they could be next.

In spinning rust we TRUST: HGST slips out screamingly fast ... HDD

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Re: Am i the only one

Most people over 30 (or so) wouldn't hear anything at 15KHz. I used to be able to hear the flyback transformer in CRT TVs (15.something KHz) into my 20s, but now that I'm in my 40s I can't hear such high frequencies anymore.

Daimler hints at Android-powered telematics in future cars

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This is all a non-issue

All the major brands will support both iOS and Android in a few years, all the announcements now are just Apple and Google jockeying for mindshare and trying to make people think this support means much of anything. It isn't like the car is running the OS, the entertainment/nav system will have integration for the products.

Consider how long a car lasts. Does anyone expect iOS and Android to be around in anything like their current form in 2030? 16 years ago Windows 98 was new and shiny, and Linux was a hobbyist OS. A lot can change over the years, so I'm not sure I want a new car to support anything CE product beyond a simple interface to get info/sound/graphics in and sound.

Apple investors fall for CEO Cook's product-presentation prank

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"Cook is not the guy who will invent or design anything new"

Tim Cook isn't paid to invent or design stuff, but to be CEO.

The fact Apple previously had a CEO who had demonstrated an ability to look at the inventions/designs of others and figure out what was needed for a successful product doesn't mean that Apple cannot function without such a position. It is useful, but Steve Jobs didn't personally invent the iPhone, and didn't personally design the Macbook Air. Apple's employees did, and just because Apple is bigger doesn't mean they've suddenly become incompetent.

The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad revolutionized the markets they were in. Apple wasn't first in any of those markets, they just set a new standard in each that resulted in opening up a new profitable market for Apple.

You can't do that sort of thing on a schedule, or just because you want to. Apple has said they're working on new stuff. Maybe they revolutionize a new market, or maybe they release a dud. If they have a few duds you can worry about Apple "looking backwards", and think that they'll never be the same without Steve Jobs.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

If you look at the Fortune 100 / Fortune 500 list, you'll see that market cap is what that industry considers as the definition of "biggest".

The "most employees" is really stretching the definition of "biggest" to something that is not the normal definition. Why not "most square feet of office space" or "tallest office building" or "CEO that weighs the most".

DougS Silver badge

Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

Certainly you can take issue with "most important", but you can't quibble with "biggest", because Apple is.

Apple to maintain phone profit lead through years of 'enormous transition' – report

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Re: History says otherwise

Apple makes more profit selling desktops/laptops than anyone else in the world, so that strategy seems to have gone pretty well for them even if they don't dominate in market share, despite still selling at premium prices. Yes, they almost went bankrupt, but that was due to utter mismanagement that had nothing to do with their pricing scheme. When Jobs came back and rescued them, he binned their lower cost models and back to the premium price model they'd started to abandon, and increased Mac sales.

I do agree that Apple will lose more than 0.5% market share, because IDC seems to not understand the difference between the "smartphone" market and the "mobile" market, and how the two will be one in the same by 2018. All the feature phones that exist today will be smartphones in 2018. Maybe running Android, maybe running something else. Apple will sell 0% to the $50 smartphone market. What it'll amount to is that Apple's "smartphone" market share in 2018 will be about the same as today's mobile market share, with perhaps a bit of growth (because they do keep growing their phone sales every year, just not at the crazy rates they were growing them a few years ago) So maybe 10% market share in 2018.

Their prediction for a gentle fall in the ASP of Android phones is laughable, and will only happen if Android is completely muscled out of the feature phone replacement market by Firefox, Ubuntu or Tizen. If Android claims most of that market, having the size of their market doubled by devices which all sell for well under $100, along with more price competition and "good enough" specs in the midrange will cut Android's ASP at least in half by 2018. Android will dominate in market share but the OEMs (except maybe for Samsung) will all be fighting to stay in the black.

Apple beats off troll in German patent fracas

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"Not that a two-billion bite would have damaged Apple all that much"

Considering that's just what they were asking for in GERMANY, where AFAIK iPhones don't sell in particularly large numbers, the bite they'd take when they got around to suing for infringement in the US, Japan, China and other large iPhone markets would have pretty much drained Apple's cash pile down to zero.

I wonder how many iPhones have sold in Germany from 2007, and how that compares to the amount these guys were suing for. It sounds like they thought their technology was so valuable that they deserved every penny of profit from the sale of every iPhone! They must feel their technology is 100x more important than any patents Apple licenses, such as the multitude of 3G, LTE, MP3, h.264 and so on patents that go for less than a penny per phone per patent. Sounds like they're a bit full of themselves.

But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

DougS Silver badge

Re: So easy for WhatsApp to lose all its value in a single stroke

Facebook already had Messenger, now they've got two parallel systems, the one people only use inside Facebook which they've tried and failed to get them to use outside it, and the one they just purchased for a ludicrous sum that some people will eventually flee once Facebook tries to monetize it by slinging ads, or forcing people to use a Facebook login who don't have one and don't want one.

Apple has nothing to lose by trying to set up gateways to forward messages to non-iMessage users. After all, it does this anyway with SMS, so they lose nothing if they established a gateway between iMessage and Google Hangouts. The carriers lose, but if Apple cared about hurting the carriers feelings they never would have created iMessage - think how much potential revenue that has cost them already. Of course, had Apple not created it, some iPhone users would have ended up using something like Hangouts or WhatsApp.

I suppose that last may indicate that Apple isn't the reason such a gateway doesn't exist. There are surely some iPhone users using WhatsApp or Hangouts, because not all their friends have iPhones. If they worked with Apple to get their messages simply forwarded to those networks, iPhone owners would never open the Hangout or WhatsApp app, they'd just use the iOS Message app and not know/care how the message got there (unless maybe Apple would add a couple more colors to go with the green SMS and blue iMessage so you know how your text was transmitted)

DougS Silver badge

So easy for WhatsApp to lose all its value in a single stroke

Three things are needed:

1) Built-in iPhone messaging standard (iMessage - already in place)

2) Built-in Android messaging standard

3) Google and Apple deciding to route messages between them rather than having them go via SMS

Has Google tried to create an Android messaging standard? I wonder if the lack of it is due to the carriers still exercising some customization control over the Android load on many phones. Or maybe Samsung is trying to create SMessage, everyone is trying to follow, and Android messaging is a fragmented market as a result?

Booze and bacon sarnies: A recipe for immortality?

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20g of "processed meat"

What exactly is processed meat? Do they mean cooked? I can't imagine eating raw meat is going to do any favors for one's lifespan, unless you're super careful about preparing it to avoid catching nasty diseases. Damn those cavemen for discovering how to make fire!

Or do they take "processed" to mean something that is bought precooked, so somehow buying it raw and cooking it myself isn't bad for me? If so, there should be some list of preservatives that are bad for you, and could be avoided, similar to how we learned the evils of trans fats and as a result they've been mostly removed from processed foods.

Tesla wants $1.6bn to help fund $5bn top secret Gigafactory

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So they should wait until they have a better battery?

Let's say they invent a new battery that is 2x more efficient tomorrow. Should they built a plant to produce that, or continue to wait because they think they can do better....someday.

If you look at the curve of battery development over the years, it moves VERY slowly. It is very unlikely there will be a big breakthrough around the corner that will make them wish they hadn't built their factory to produce LiOn batteries.

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

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Re: Agenda

As others have pointed out, there are plenty of places in the media where you can read about any positive feedback mechanisms. If you read/watch mainstream media you'd be hard pressed to find anything remotely balanced in climate science.

If you think every single journalist must provide balanced views then there are many more who are failing in this by not providing news that goes against AGW than there are guys like Lewis who are failing in this by not providing news that goes for AGW.

Any individual source can have a bias, so the best way to avoid or minimize bias is to choose multiple sources. If you're in the UK, going to the BBC and the Reg would be a good way to get a more balanced view of global warming. Those sources may be identical in other stuff so perhaps you choose two different sources if you want a balanced view of politics in the UK and yet others if you want a balanced view of banking regulation.

Energy firms' security so POOR, insurers REFUSE to take their cash

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@Duncan Macdonald

Dedicated non-Windows system as a firewall? You think using an OpenVMS(!) system as a firewall would better than using a, you know, actual firewall product like one of Cisco's? That would only be true under a "security through obscurity" rationale thinking that there aren't many hackers familiar with OpenVMS.

MtGox accepted new customers JUST DAYS before collapse

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Bernie Madoff

Was accepting new investments up until the day before things fell apart.

I'll bet Mt Gox knew about this for a while, and only said something AFTER the friends of those in the know got their money out, and word starting escaping. But in the meantime, sure why not take other people's deposits so there is more for them to take out before it all falls apart.

Even in the US, the board of a bank couldn't get away with this without jail time. In a world populated by a lot of criminal types, I expect Bitcoin's CEO will just disappear one day and it won't be the "escaped with his cash" kind of disappear, but the "Jimmy Hoffa" type of disappear.

MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

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Re: and the money just flows in

Nothing stops them from converting each bitcoin to cash as it is found. It could even be automated.

A company might want to sell mining equipment rather than running it today, since a third large bitcoin exchange losing several percent of the outstanding total number of bitcoins down with it (yes, Mt Gox is the SECOND) will pretty much be the end of it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: And some didn't

There are always winners with any market speculation. For every person who made a million pounds like your friend, there will be a lot of losers who bought in when the press started really hyping it up and now have holdings worth half what they were before.

Just like all the people who jumped into gold a few years ago when it had its blow off top going from $1500 to $1800 in a month and won't see a new high for a couple decades.

His story only has meaning for you because he hit the jackpot with that one bet. If he's willing to take a flying leap on that, he's probably lost a few thousand pounds on multiple occasions with other speculations, but most people don't bother telling their friends about their losses, or even if they do most people don't listen in the same they do to the story of striking it rich.

DougS Silver badge


Proof that those making the mining equipment are once again the winners is easily found by the fact that they actually SELL these machines.

This isn't like the Old West, where mining is dirty back breaking work. You plug it in, provide cooling, and the money just flows in. The fact they sell these machines, rather than operate them themselves, demonstrates quite well to anyone with half a brain that they aren't worth the price paid for them.

US Senator lobbies feds to BAN BITCOIN

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Having criminals exchange cash that never enters the banking system works only so long as that cash can be used by them to buy mansions and Ferraris, and pay goons to protect them (who only want cash if they can spend it on coke and hookers)

If the governments of the world make it too difficult to put large amounts of cash to use, big bales of $100 bills are only useful for keeping score, but you'd never be able to spend them. I'm pretty sure that's how many in the government see the "war on drugs" being useful, because it gives them an excuse to put more and more constraints on cash transactions.

Slowly but surely they keep closing up ways to launder cash, and society is closing up holes on its own. Bars/restaurants used to be a great way to launder drug money, but more and more people use debit/credit now instead of cash. I'm sure there's still a lot of cash flowing through clubs frequented by criminals, but having 90% of your receipts in cash probably just acts like a red flag for the feds these days - even if the owner is 100% legit.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "the currency helps facilitate criminal activity"

Uh, I guess you guys aren't from the US, and haven't seen the erosion over the years of the ease of using cash. The government would dearly love to ban the use of cash, and I wouldn't be surprised if they manage to do so in my lifetime (if that happens I'll go elsewhere, providing there is somewhere else to go where the same sort of thing isn't also happening)

Any deposit (or withdrawal?) of more than $10K in cash must be reported to the government, but supposedly the threshold is actually lower, but they don't want to say exactly where to avoid the problems they used to have with multiple $9900 deposits. You're required to report transporting more than a certain amount of currency (from any country) to/from the US when traveling. I could have a bank account with a billion dollars in it, but if I tried to bring $5000 cash into the country without declaring it I'll have a lot of trouble in customs.

The "Patriot Act" requires verified owners of bank accounts, so when I opened a simple HSA outside my normal bank recently I had to make a copy of my driver's license, sign a form and HAVE IT NOTARIZED so the bank can report to the feds who owns the account.

They don't like bitcoins because they can't trace them like they can all non-cash transactions. If criminals had taken up trading Van Goghs for payment they'd be wanting to pass a law that fine art transactions have to be reported to the government.

Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

DougS Silver badge

"Encrypted them in a way he could not decrypt them"

Huh? How is that different from saying "he deleted them"?

What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK

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Makes it easier to steal someone's phone

And anyone who would buy that deserves to have their phone taken from them.

Hungarian eggheads unleash not-at-all-scary DRONE SWARM

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Monty Python

The video is worth a look, even though it is completely and utterly unimpressive as far as demonstrating what the article describes.

Boeing going ... GONE: Black phone will SELF-DESTRUCT in 30 secs

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Re: What would you do with a Boeing Black on your lab bench?

And it is impossible for anyone to modify USB drivers so the key exchange happens before anything else gets passed on it?

It wouldn't be compatible with "USB" any more, but I rather expect that would be desirable in this case...

DougS Silver badge

Re: What would you do with a Boeing Black on your lab bench?

Just because it has ports, doesn't mean they are enabled all the time, or are general purpose.

Perhaps the Wifi, Bluetooth and USB only connect to other device after a special key exchange to validate them as being secure. Just because you have the ports doesn't mean you can associate with Starbucks Wifi or plug it into a random laptop's USB port.

But of course, Reg readers always like to assume that they're way smarter than everyone else and Boeing doesn't realize they're leaving their phone open to attack by including BT and USB! Too bad they don't have you working for them so you could set them straight!

Woman claims she was assaulted in Google Glass 'HATE CRIME'

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No one under 35 can drive your car?

WTF kind of off brand discount insurance do you have??

Elon Musk plans GIGAFACTORY to feed his thirsty Tesla motors

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Re: Gearing up...?

Well, in my mind this makes the odds of an iCar go from 0.01% to 0.02%. It is still hugely unlikely, but this is the sort of thing that Apple would do if it was going to buy out Tesla and make an iCar.

Making your own batteries from scratch in a factory you pay for but is operated by a company that really knows how to make batteries is like making your own sapphire from scratch in a factory you pay for but is operated by a company that really knows how to make sapphire.

Apple throws sueball at China's patent office over Siri clone

DougS Silver badge

Re: invalid patent

If you pay any attention to patent fights, the party being sued always tries to get the patent(s) declared invalid, or if that fails narrow the claims to the point where the suit can no longer stand. Samsung did the same in the suits against Apple, Apple did the same when Samsung countersued, and so on.

This is similar to the defendant in a civil suit always asking for the suit to be dismissed. It is just part of the legal dance.

Samsung brandishes quad-core Galaxy S5, hopes nobody wants high specs

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@Lord Elpuss

What I think you're missing here is that THIS REQUIRES NO SPECIAL HARDWARE. Just about any smartphone can do this with a simple app. You hold your finger over the camera, in a well lit room (i.e. doesn't work dark/dim lighting) and it can see the pulse through your skin. The 3gs I bought 4 1/2 years ago could do this,and likewise any Android phone would be able to do the same.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Heart rate monitor

I meant the SOFTWARE is built in. At least I assume by mentioning the heart rate tracking ability they have an app for heart rate monitoring.

If anyone is trolling, Samsung is by claiming this as a feature of the GS5. They might as well have built in the software for it to act as a level and a studfinder and claim those as features too.

BlackBerry brings back call, end keys, touchpad to Q20 keyboard cutie

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Re: Defending its keyboard IP?

Buying an iPhone and putting a BB keyboard case/attachment or whatever it is to try to turn it into a Blackberry is just nuts, but I guess I underestimate how low the lowest common denominator can be.

Excuse me, I think I'm going to see if I can find some pedals for my Harley, so I can ride it like a bike!

DougS Silver badge

Defending its keyboard IP?

I don't think anyone is going to try to steal it, so they're safe!

China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

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Re: They advantage of an autocratic country

Probably not coming to a town near you, unless you live in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia or other countries where weak environmental laws can be exploited.

DougS Silver badge

They advantage of an autocratic country

Is that the President can decree that some factories must reduce pollution by x% or shut down entirely, as they did prior to/during the Beijing Olympics. If it really causes a problem for their agriculture, I'm sure that is what will be done.

Particulate pollution isn't really a terrible problem for the rest of the world since it doesn't stay aloft forever and most will end up washed out somewhere over the Pacific. I'm sure it is detectable when it reaches the US, but LA's smog is still mostly a local problem.

Facebook ditches TOP SECRET email service. Did YOU know it had one?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why redirect?

So long as you don't care about emails you get from Facebook (i.e. notifications or whatever) you could always open a free email account somewhere and change your Facebook settings to use that. Then all the spam is dumped into an account you never use. I assume Gmail allows setting up accounts that only collect email and never get used?

Hopefully this will either only be enabled for those who actually used their facebook.com email, or they'll provide a setting to block external email forwarding.

Samsung and Apple BEWARE: Huawei is coming to eat your lunch

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Re: Huawei

Huawei spends the same PERCENTAGE OF REVENUE on R&D as Apple. That means they don't spend anything even remotely close to what Apple spends. Apple spends more on R&D than Huawei makes in profit.

If I have a company that has $1000 in sales and I spend $500 on R&D, I'll outspend every big company on Earth by a mile, but it won't mean much.

I think the idea that they'll eat Apple's lunch is ridiculous. Do you think people who choose iPhones today are going to choose a Huawei phone tomorrow? Why? They could have bought an Android phone for a lot less than they paid for their iPhone, they didn't make cost their #1 objective then, so why will do so tomorrow?

Samsung arguably has a bit more to fear from Huawei, because Samsung doesn't compete only at the high end, but also at the mid-range and low end where people clearly ARE more price sensitive.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Wah-way

I don't see why difficulty pronouncing it would be an obstacle for market acceptance anyway. A few TV ads mentioning the name and people will figure it out.

Even if they had a name that couldn't be pronounced well by western speakers, they could brand themselves with stylized 'H' as a logo or something like that. Apple seems to do OK putting their logo their phones rather than the full name.

Surveillance, that's a hot topic right now. We'll make some disk drives for that – WD, Seagate

DougS Silver badge

DVRs are constantly recording on all tuners, so they have way more writes than reads. With my dual tuner Tivo, it is recording 48 hours of video a day. I don't watch 4.8 hours a day so I'm not even up to 10% read and some DVRs have as many as SIX tuners.

First 'production-ready' EUV scanner laser-fries its guts at TSMC. Intel seeks alternative tech

DougS Silver badge

It is still MANY years away

They are an order of magnitude away from a power source that would produce commercially viable quantities of wafers per hour. Yeah, if you look at the industry roadmaps they show a magic hockey-stick like growth in the power output in the next two years to get where we need to be.

Unfortunately that same hockey stick has been in such graphs dealing with EUV power sources since at least 1997.

Update your Mac NOW: Apple fixes OS X 'goto fail' SSL spying vuln

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Re: What about the beta

What about it? That's intended for developers, and they should be smart enough to know not to run beta code on their day to day phone if they're worried about stability or security.

MtGox has VANISHED. So where have all the Bitcoins gone?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Pronunciation question

I wish I could upvote this 100 times.

Imagination details mucho macho PowerVR GX6650 mobile GPU

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Apple is designing their own GPU

No telling if it will be ready for the upcoming product cycle or not, but they hired a ton of ex-ATI guys in 2012 so if not appearing this fall it will appear next fall.

China's web giants unite to defuse Windows XP bombshell

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Re: Progress?

You can. But it is the Chinese language version, so there may be a learning curve.

Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

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@Charles 9

I left unspoken the obvious fact the data would be encrypted before being XORed with random data.

So someone wanting to get your stuff would need to successfully hack into a US and Chinese cloud provider, and crack the encryption.

I think that makes it impractical for a "let's capture everything" type of attack. If you attract their interest, they won't bother with any of that. The fastest way to break encryption is with a rubber hose, after all.

MtGox MELTDOWN: Quits Bitcoin Foundation board, deletes Twitter

DougS Silver badge

744,408 BTC missing?

Supposedly internal MtGox documents:


If this is happening at one Bitcoin exchange, you can bet it is happening at others. The only question is whether it was an inside job or hackers.

What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

DougS Silver badge

No, that's not an answer

Facebook already has a billion users, and they could add voice calling capability to their platform for a lot less than $19 billion.

I'll bet the real plan is that since a lot of these people are overseas and are not Facebook users, they'll force everyone using WhatsApp to login via Facebook. That way they'll greatly increase the claimed number of daily users in Facebook, and fool investors into thinking they're still growing.

Wanna change the world but need cash? Fret not: Billionaire Eric Schmidt has some spare change

DougS Silver badge

Re: OOOhhhhh

I didn't know he got to keep every penny Google makes.

But, point taken, if he had the $8.3 billion invested at only 2% he'll have made enough to pay for this by Wednesday afternoon.

Moon flashes Earth after getting pounding from MASSIVE meteorite

DougS Silver badge

Question for the astronomers and rocket scientists out there

If this thing fell to Earth instead, how much of it would be left after the atmosphere did its best to burn it up? Would it hit intact, or would it blow up in the air like that one over Russia?

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