* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Amid Trump-China tariff tiff, Cisco kit prices to resellers soar up to 25%

DougS Silver badge

Re: Tariffs have worked many times

Tariffs worked 200+ years ago so they will work in today's global economy? You're going to have to provide some more recent evidence.

China has every advantage to be able to outlast the US. They are a dictatorship, so little political pressure can be applied to the leaders by the citizens. Tariffs are against republican orthodoxy, so there will be little appetite among republican legislators to allow this to continue once they start hearing from their constituents (it is too soon to affect the upcoming election, but if they are still in force in 2020 tariffs will take down Trump and both houses of congress)

And finally, it is a lot more difficult for US companies to leave China than it is for China to find suppliers of what they import from the US. And doing so fits in with their plans to be self sufficient - they want to encourage farmers to modernize so they can grow more corn & soybeans themselves etc. They also don't have a $20 trillion deficit like the US, but instead have a surplus (sovereign fund like the Saudis) so they can toss out cash to help industries weather temporary difficulties caused by the trade war for as long as necessary. The US can't, especially next year with the deficit projected to exceed $1 trillion (during economic growth!) so there will be little appetite for continued handouts to farmers like Trump is making to keep them on his side.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Non USA residents and resellers should be excempt

Foxconn is a Taiwanese company but the factories that make iPhones and many many other products are in China. Apple's SoCs are fabbed by TSMC which is in Taiwan, but those chips are then exported from Taiwan to China to be assembled into iPhones. The tariffs thus capture the value of the SoC fabbed in Taiwan, the Samsung or LG OLED display made in South Korea, and even the Micron DRAM made in the USA! Tariffs are not a VAT.

The tariffs products like the iPhone would be subject to (I think they are currently excepted, but that won't last long since Trump will feel the need to retaliate again when China refuses to buckle) would be a fraction of the amount if they were assembled somewhere else because all that stuff made outside of China wouldn't be imported in then exported out. There are some iPhones made in Brazil, maybe Apple would switch things around and have the Brazil made ones go the US to get around most of the tariff.

As for why Cisco's price rise would affect say the UK even though the tariffs are only on the US, there are several potential reasons. One, to prevent gray market (i.e. buy in UK and ship to US to save 25%) Two, it is possible that because of the way they handle flow of inventory internally to reduce taxes everything is effectively 'imported to / exported from the US'. Three, because they believe while you might complain you'll still pay the higher price...

DougS Silver badge

Not "in effect", tariffs ARE taxes

Strange that the anti-tax coalition that was so strong in the republican party conveniently forgets one of their most strongly held beliefs while they excuse Trump's doomed trade war.

Hopefully all the companies that were so happy to jump aboard the Trump train after he handed them a massive corporate tax cut by announcing one-time $1000 bonuses and publicizing them as due to the tax cuts will be equally forthcoming about the reasons they are raising prices. The real problem, of course, is that while they will be quick to raise their prices in response to the tariffs, when Trump finally folds and the tariffs end they will be very slow to remove them.

Sort of like how gas prices shoot up the instant oil prices do, but take a lot longer to fall when oil prices sink.

While the UN laughed at Trump, hackers chortled at the UN's lousy web application security

DougS Silver badge

Trump never quotes his approval rating

Because it is so bad, even in rigged polls. He quotes his approval rating amongst republicans, which is at a record high above other republican presidents (even Reagan!) because Fox News has gone from being slanted to the right to being totally in the tank for Trump - it is like Pravda was back in the days of the USSR.

I think the reason why Trump was dumb enough to include his ridiculous claim about accomplishing so much at the UN is because he's used to getting applause from it. He really believes that his rallies reflect the general public, and not the most wild eyed Trump lovers. If he had to do a rally in front of a random cross section of America the boos for many of the things he says would be audible over the cheers, but his fragile snowflake ego couldn't handle that rejection. He prefers to live in a bubble where can believe he's loved by all.

Wouldn't be surprised if he never speaks at the UN again, but sends Pence or Pompeo.

DougS Silver badge

Re: They ain't laughing WITH you, Idiot in chief ...

Trump inherited unemployment under 5% and the boost is growth is being paid for by higher deficits due to the tax cuts - we're on pace to exceed $1 trillion deficit next year during a period of economic growth. So imagine how bad the deficits will be when this long expansion finally runs its course and we hit another recession.

The day of reckoning for that recession has been pulled in due to Trump's foolish trade war with China. They aren't going to blink, because they know political pressure will force the US to buckle first, so it won't even accomplish anything.

Google actually listens to users, hands back cookies and rethinks Chrome auto sign-in

DougS Silver badge

They got caught

With their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. They'll try again, and hope people aren't paying attention next time.

Oh, and another thing, Qualcomm tells court: Apple handed Intel our chipping source code

DougS Silver badge

They already tried and failed to make this claim

With the ITC court, which rejected their claim for lack of evidence. That's why Qualcomm wants to see Intel's source code - they want to go on a fishing expedition. Given the lengths that SCO and Oracle have gone to claim stolen code by similar header files I'm sure Qualcomm can find SOMETHING they'll claim is stolen, but seems unlikely either Apple or Intel would do this given the heavy penalties for copyright violation (far, far, far worse than patent violation)

Besides, tests indicate Intel modems don't perform as well as Qualcomm's in low signal areas, so if they stole code they didn't cut and paste correctly!

America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

DougS Silver badge

So basically nothing has changed in the past 20 years

We will still get a mailer once a year from credit card companies etc. detailing their privacy policy, and giving us a deliberately cumbersome process for "opting out" of sharing data with third parties (no way to opt out of them collecting the data in the first place, of course)

So now we'll get something like that from Facebook and Google too, while they continue to find newer and better ways to be even more evil and anti-consumer.

I'd love to blame this on Trump, but the same thing would have happened no matter who became president. I know the Bernie believers will say "it wouldn't have happened if he was president" but talking a good game about privacy doesn't get congresscritters of either party to go against the lobbyists financing their next run (and cushy "fact finding" junkets that bring the family along)

Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

DougS Silver badge

If he's an Android user

Then Google could figure out his identity if he's carried his phone with him to all court proceedings.

Likewise the courts could figure it out by London's ubiquitous CCTV cameras to track him to his car and/or residence.

I would be highly amused if either or both do it, and out the lunatic.

Secret IBM script could have prevented 11-hour US tax day outage

DougS Silver badge

How in the WORLD

Could the IRS tax filing system not be seen as qualifying for failover protection? Think of all the millions of systems across the world that are afforded this protection that don't require it - only getting it because they had "spent it or lose it" budget money to burn or because the PHB in charge of it wants it to seem more important to raise his profile in the corporation.

Turns out download speed isn't everything when streaming video on your smartphone

DougS Silver badge

Judging by the size of the bars

It doesn't look like the countries at the bottom are all that much worse off than those on the top. Seems like alarmist nonsense created by someone with an axe to grind.

Wireless coverage mapper OpenSignal's... Ah, there we go.

Linux kernel's 'seat warmer' drops 4.19-rc5 with – wow – little drama

DougS Silver badge

Going GPLv3

That would require getting confirmation from all contributors, including those you can't find and from the executors of those who no longer exist.

They aren't relevant if you are worried about a "kill switch revolt", since those you can't find probably won't even know what is going on that they may want to revolt again, and those who are dead aren't likely to have their executors revolt on their behalf.

Though I really question whether a kill switch revolt would be possible at all under GPLv2. Once you've given permission for a certain blob of code to be used and copied freely into other GPLv2 code I don't see how you can revoke that permission. Furthermore, if you were developing a GPLv2 application and found some code covered under GPLv2 on the net that you want to incorporate into it, how the heck are you supposed to know if one of its contributors has later revoked permission?

I just don't see what legal basis there could be for this - you hold the copyright, but by contributing and allowing its inclusion to a GPLv2 work you've granted a license to use that code under GPLv2. You still hold the copyright, and could turn around and sell the rights to use that code for $1 million to Microsoft or whoever for some closed source product, which is a second license. You can't later revoke the GPLv2 license any more than you could revoke the license you granted to Microsoft (even if you paid them back the $1 million)

Contractors slam UK taxman's 'aggressive' IR35 tax reforms

DougS Silver badge

Re: Loan Charge?

Of course it is tax evasion. You have income, but by choosing to call it a loan that you never had an intention of paying, you hope to recharacterize that income into something that's not taxable. If you had your employer bury cash in your backyard, then "find" it five minutes later, that's another way of trying to recharacterize your income as something else to avoid taxes, which would equally deserve to be called tax evasion.

In the US, a forgiven loan is taxable income, so this sort of thing would have never come up.

Some credential-stuffing botnets don't care about being noticed any more

DougS Silver badge

Re: Maybe sites need two factor authentication

Where did I say I talked with a human? These systems were all automated, and all just worked. You must just have terrible luck, because implementing a system for a simple email/text/automated call to send a code then require it as input would be pretty hard to mess up.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Maybe sites need two factor authentication

Hmmmm, I've never had similar problems using two factor with either text you or call type authentication. Though for sites like El Reg I was thinking emailing a code would be fine - if someone compromises both my generic web forum password AND my email, I likely have much bigger problems than someone impersonating me at The Register!

DougS Silver badge

Maybe sites need two factor authentication

It would be nice if I could use two factor auth at The Register and many other sites I don't care about my password enough to not re-use the same password for, so that if I logged in using a browser that didn't have an El Reg cookie set for a previous successful login it would send me an email with a code that I'd have to type in.

That's a LOT more likely to be accepted than the ridiculous idea that I should use a different and nicely complex password at every single site I have a login for. I just won't, because I don't care if someone gets my Reg credentials. Worst case, some miscreant uses it to post spam in the forums, which The Register will have to deal with, by locking my account and deleting all the crap.

If that happens with enough Reg accounts that they don't want to keep doing that, I hope their response is to enable two factor auth, rather than forcing everyone to set a new password (and prevent us from changing back to the old one, or a minor variant of it, which is what I'll do if they try to make me change it)

I've never seen spam here, so they either delete it VERY quickly or spammers don't care about compromising Reg logins.

Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook

DougS Silver badge

This is like taking a job as a nursing assistant in a retirement home

Then complaining you have to empty bedpans and other gross stuff. If there was a way to shield contractors from these horrors Facebook wouldn't need to pay people - they'd use whatever system they were using to block that stuff from the contractors and block it for everyone!

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

DougS Silver badge

I've never signed in to Chrome

I rarely use it - only if I run into problems on a site using Firefox to see if that's the problem (or more likely my adblocker is the problem) It still works fine.

If someone has been dumb enough to login to Chrome previously, surely there's a way to erase that info - if nothing else you could always remove it and reinstall from scratch.

Hardly surprised Google is being this sleazy. I'll bet a future version of Chrome will refuse to work if you don't login to it - which will be the point where I either stick with the older version forever or simply delete it and use something else as my "backup/test browser".

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

DougS Silver badge

Re: Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

The iFixit ratings are mainly concerned with replacement of the battery and display as those are pretty much the only serviceable parts in any modern smartphone. The Xs has a glass back which is very expensive to repair because you have to take apart the whole phone to do so - so expensive that I can't imagine anyone actually doing it. If I dropped my X and broke the back glass, I'd just get a case to hide the damage and call it good...

Sounds like the Xs glass stands up a lot better to drops, at least based on the two drop tests I've seen where it failed to break even when dropped a couple times from 10 feet in one test. Presumably they used Gorilla Glass 6, but I'd be surprised if that made much difference given that previous iterations of GG have been pretty minor. Maybe Apple tweaked some other elements of the design to reduce stress on corner drops etc. (it is very hard to reliably get a phone to land exactly flat so drop tests are basically corner impact tests, but if your phone lands exactly flat face first on concrete you are pretty hosed no matter who makes it)

DougS Silver badge

Actually getting slightly worse, they used to be 7/10

All but the first few models were 7/10, until the X went to 6/10. People like to slag on Apple for doing stuff like using weird screws, but drivers for them are available on eBay for a few bucks (and come with every battery/screen replacement you buy as well) so it isn't really a barrier unless "I want to be able to use only the tools I already own" is your benchmark.

Samsung used to have 6s and 7s too, but in recent years their flagships have all been 4/10.

Guilty: The Romanian ransomware mastermind who infected Trump inauguration CCTV cams

DougS Silver badge

Re: "ensured that the surveillance camera system was operational prior to the Inauguration"

They were taken within minutes of each other. Sorry that you believed the Trump administration's lies to protect his fragile snowflake ego from the reality that FAR more people went to Obama's inauguration than Trump's.

But hey, Trump did set a record by getting more than double the donations to the inaugural committee than anyone else ever had. Nevermind that no one can figure out how that money was spent, so when democrats take back the house hearings and subpeonas to figure out who ended up with all those millions of unaccounted for dollars will inevitably occur.

DougS Silver badge

Re: "ensured that the surveillance camera system was operational prior to the Inauguration"

Those white areas of the mall that were filled with people in the Obama inauguration and appeared to be devoid of people in the Trump inauguration weren't actually empty. The people there were wearing all white. With pointy hoods.

Twitter: Don't panic, but we may have leaked your DMs to rando devs

DougS Silver badge

Oh man, I sure hope Trump was one of them

Seeing what his public tweets are like, one can only imagine the DMs he must send!

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

DougS Silver badge

I would refuse to buy ANYTHING with built in Alexa

Most likely that Amazon chip will have built in wifi, so since they can't count on that from a typical blender etc., so it would be impossible to disable. Even if you don't program it with your SSID/password, it would be constantly trying to connect to something, so it would be only a matter of time before someone figured out a way to hack into it. Attacks against the wifi chips in Android & iOS phones were done a couple years ago, if you can p0wn a phone that takes security seriously you sure as well will be able to p0wn a microwave or blender.

I'm sure nothing bad would happen if someone was able to hack into my microwave and make it turn on and stay on with nothing in it. I'm sure nothing bad would happen if they were able to hack into my oven and do the same. Or cycle my blender on/off repeatedly, turn my refrigerator off, dryer on and so forth.

Unfortunately a lot of idiots are buying into this Alexa nonsense, so a lot more people would think of it as a feature than people like us who would see it as a negative, so appliance makers will probably be lining up to built Amazon's shit into their products.

Deliveroo to bike food to hungry fanbois queuing to buy iPhones

DougS Silver badge

Re: Sneering

Well I suppose it earns them some publicity (I'd never heard of them before) but iPhone queues are a fraction of their former size now that almost everyone orders online instead of waiting in line. The sneering is more at them being years late with an idea that could have been really big if it was done in 2012.

DougS Silver badge

They should have done it back in 2010 or so

Back when the queues were a real thing. With the online preordering working nearly flawlessly ever year, those lines are much smaller than they used to be. Why stand around for ages when you just need a few clicks at 12:01 PDT on the appropriate night and Fedex will deliver your phone to your door the following Friday? That's a better deal than Deliveroo is offering!

No, that Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens. It's far more grim

DougS Silver badge

It makes sense they didn't alert the local cops

This is a VERY small town, what if the janitor was friends with one of the local cops and was tipped off? Its a different matter in a big city, the chances of a random janitor happening to know someone on the police force who is involved with the FBI on a particular case are tiny. But the FBI still might not want to take the risk.

DougS Silver badge

The Register's link doesn't have the whole story

The stories I saw elsewhere said the guy made "veiled threats" against the facility, so if he suggested that maybe he was going to "blow the place the up" they would want to close it down to look for bombs. A janitor would have access to every nook and cranny, so they'd have to be pretty thorough.

They'd also probably want to make sure he didn't do anything that could potentially compromise the data being collected, as years of research could be ruined if that happens. Closing the facility so they can look for bombs, then once that's done check the integrity of data and verify he hasn't left behind any malware or other software nasties seems a wise precaution.

The one thing that doesn't make sense is why not just say that up front when it was closed? Was the janitor not arrested yet and they didn't want to alert him (if I was doing something that illegal I'd assume if the place I worked at unexpectedly closed they were on to me...)

For those who think this is all a cover story, why would they wait so long to come up with such a bland cover story? They could have made this up an hour after the facility was shut down. If their goal was to allay suspicion for whatever alien conspiracy they wanted to cover up, waiting so long to explain the cover story certainly didn't help!

Remember when Apple's FaceTime stopped working years ago? Yeah, that was deliberate

DougS Silver badge


The encryption is still peer to peer, so even going through an intermediary it isn't going to be any easier to snoop. They WOULD however, be able to tell which pairs of IP addresses are talking, which would otherwise be impossible - i.e. if I Facetime someone who lives in the same town and uses the same ISP, if I had true peer to peer communication it would stay pretty local and the spooks would need taps pretty much everywhere.

Going through Akamai's servers as an intermediary the way Apple is forced to do by the bogus patent, the spooks only need taps for the traffic going to/from them and they could tell who I'm talking to. That's not the same as listening in, but if they were trying to prove criminal conspiracy and had other evidence against us, just proving we talked would be worth almost as much as proving what we said.

DougS Silver badge


That "reworking" involves going through an intermediary - it is no longer directly peer to peer. So apparently the trolls do have a patent that prevents all true peer to peer communication for video conferencing. Hopefully the courts will eventually see reason and overturn it.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Don't hold your breath

Usually it isn't the defendant that makes that argument, but rather the plaintiffs - or more to the point the plaintiff's attorneys. The lawyers representing plaintiffs in a class action don't want to spend a lot of money and more importantly time trying to figure out who the class members are, contacting them, cutting them each a tiny check or whatever. That means waiting to buy your new Ferrari.

They want something quick and cheap, so the case can be closed and they can get tens of millions of dollars for doing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work, and move on to the next class action suit.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The real crime

Of course it is obvious. This had been done by more than one communication product that communicated via text or voice rather than video - VOIP phones in a VOIP to VOIP call for instance. The only difference between that older technology and what Apple was doing with Facetime was that Facetime was passing video instead of text/voice, and the endpoints were smartphones instead of PCs/desk phones.

I mean, are you seriously going to argue that if you were designing a video conferencing system where two people could see/talk to each other on their smartphones, that your first instinct wouldn't be "have phone A send IP packets directly to phone B, and vice versa". That such an innovation is worthy of a patent? If you do believe that, are you currently a patent attorney or patent examiner?

DougS Silver badge

The real crime

Was that a court actually upheld a patent for peer to peer networking of video conferencing between phones written in such a general way that the only choice Apple had to avoid ultimately paying billions in royalties was to route the communication through an intermediary!

They handled the transition in a crappy way, and should have been honest that the reason they were making the change was because of a patent troll - not a bug. Then some of that anger would have been directed in the right place.

Dead retailer's 'customer data' turns up on seized kit, unencrypted and very much for sale

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why?

The landlord wasn't responsible for putting the data on the servers, and never "takes possession" of said data - how would they even know what is on the drives? Comparing it with finding drugs is ridiculous - sale/possession of drugs is illegal. Sale/possession of servers is not.

If the business left dozens of filing cabinets, and had them hauled to the dump along with worn carpet, broken chairs etc., should they be held responsible if someone goes down to the dump, opens the filing cabinets, and finds people's personal data on the paper stored in them? I guess you think they should open the filing cabinets and shred/burn every scrap of paper just in case it contains something sensitive?

If you take the view that once the tenant is evicted that the servers as well as the data on them is now the responsibility of the landlord whether they like it or not, the tenant could deliberately bankrupt the landlord. Let's say the landlord has been threatening the tenant with eviction, and the tenant decides to get him back should that occur. The tenant includes a dead man's switch in their code which requires a daily deactivation.

The day the landlord comes and changes the locks, the servers are still running, but this time the tenant doesn't deactivate. With the dead man's switch activated, the servers now allow anyone to download the personal information of all customers in a convenient zip file (they can make it look like a bug, that was intended to only allow the company owner to download the data) Since in your world the landlord takes responsibility for said data when they evict the tenant, the landlord is now liable for a major violation of the GDPR!

DougS Silver badge


Why should the landlord be under an obligation to check what's on the drives and clean them off? The landlord almost certainly wasn't selling stuff directly, but had contracted with a third party for disposal of everything left behind, from servers to whiteboards in conference rooms, in exchange for a cut of the sale proceeds. The landlord already got screwed for back rent, should they be more screwed by adding additional burdens on them?

In a race to 5G, Trump has stuck a ball-and-chain on America's leg

DougS Silver badge

Re: THz broadband

AT&T's AirGig technology will solve a lot more broadband problems (in the US at least) than 5G ever will. The problem in rural areas of the US isn't getting faster technologies to the towers, or towers closer to where people live. It is getting bandwidth to the towers - many rural towers are connected by copper (T1, usually) and don't have fiber. It is prohibitively expensive to run fiber to them, and will never make economic sense to spend a half million dollars running fiber to a tower that will only be able to serve a handful of households.

AirGig solves that by running multi gigabit (up to 90 Gbps in testing so far) along power lines - not in the wires, they are merely waveguides, the actual signal is outside the wires. There are simple devices that clamp onto the outside of a power line, and "steal" power from it, and you need one about every three poles. They are quick and cheap to deploy. The biggest issue will be legal - AT&T will have to get permission to attach those to power lines, and the utility will probably want a cut of the action in exchange. Though a lot of rural users are served by small cooperatives, so their customers could vote to invite AT&T to set them up for free. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Experts

Microwave ovens don't use ionising radiation but would you stick your head in one?

Sure, as long as it is my microwave oven. I don't trust yours, you seem too eager to get me to stick my head in there so you've probably rigged it so it can turn on with the door open!

EU watchdog sniffing around Amazon's merchant data collection

DougS Silver badge

What is there to investigate

It is obvious they do this, Amazon will even admit it. The question is whether the EU putting a stop to it will have any effect at all that helps us out here in the US.

Amazon's obvious long term goal is to make third party retailers dependent on them by first processing orders for them (check) then handling inventory/shipping for them (check) and then they can cut out the middleman and simply add those products to their own stock at a lower price and free shipping covered by Prime and the third party retailer sinks without a trace. Once all the competition is gone other than Alibaba, Walmart, and a few also-rans they can start raising their prices because there won't be anyone left to undersell them.

Their ultimate goal is to own the planet, like Buy-N-Large did in Wall-E.

Flying to Mars will be so rad, dude: Year-long trip may dump 60% lifetime dose of radiation on you

DougS Silver badge

Only a handful of humans will ever make the round trip

After the first few missions to check things out, everyone else who goes there will be there to stay. Life on Mars will be so hard and risky that cancer you might get 30 years after you arrive will be the least of your concerns!

Big Cable tells US government: Now's not the time to talk about internet speeds – just give us the money

DougS Silver badge

What they really need to fix

Are the inaccurate (dare I say 'rigged'?) maps. If one household in an area (I've heard an entire zip code, but I can't believe it is that terrible?) can get broadband that meets the 25/3 qualification, the whole area is marked in the map as having broadband.

Same for the maps showing the number of providers, each provider only needs serve one house within an area to count for that whole area. There might be areas where a few houses get good cable broadband, and a few get good DSL, and a few get some third party fiber, with no overlap, but that gets counted as having great competition with three qualifying 25/3 broadband choices!

The reality in many areas is far different, with people across the street from each other having very different speeds and even pricing available to them. The way the maps are drawn make it look like the US has FAR better broadband availability than it really does, and makes it look like unserved and underserved areas aren't the problem they are.

This isn't Pai's fault, the FCC has been doing this since they started drawing the maps. I'm sure the industry said providing more detailed data wasn't feasible or was "too costly" and forced them to used this data that makes the situation look a lot better than it really is.

Renegade 3D-printing gunsmith Cody Wilson on the run in Taipei from child sex allegations

DougS Silver badge

I'm of two minds about this

Yeah, it is pretty easy for the Feds to make up fake charges like this - especially involving a minor whose name would be withheld, meaning there's no way to even know if she even exists. The timing is certainly suspicious.

On the other hand, if people automatically jump to that conclusion every time something like this happens, it would almost act as a free pass to actually commit such crimes since the conspiracy theorists will believe they are made up anyway!

I don't think the US REALLY cares about 3D printing of guns though, not enough to make up charges against this guy. Because one, with current methods they are more likely to kill the shooter than the target, and two even if they're successful in preventing US citizens from releasing such plans they account for less than 5% of the world's population so someone else will.

US State Department confirms: Unclassified staff email boxes hacked

DougS Silver badge

Re: Hillary's server *wasn't* hacked

The State Department server wouldn't necessarily have to be less secure than Hillary's server. Hillary's server was not well known until it became infamous, so there would be fewer attacks against it attempted. Sure, some state level actors might be among those if they knew about it, but they'd rather get into the State Department servers since it would have everyone's email (including Hillary's, except for emails that didn't include any other State Department senders or recipients) instead of just one person's.

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

DougS Silver badge

Re: Foreign taxes paid are a credit against US taxes

No, the reason they repatriated that nearly $40 billion is because Apple was smarter than other companies. They had been making entries in their books for deferred US taxes on their offshore money, and just happened to be doing so assuming a 15% rate (they got lucky on that part, since the actual rate ended up being 15.5%) When the law was passed that deferred tax entry was about $39 billion.

They brought that money in to balance the accounting entry and eventually pay the tax (they have eight years to do it, not sure if they did it up front or will pay over time) as they would now actually owed the tax instead of deferring it forever. Had nothing to do with Ireland - it would have been stupid to bring that money back. Why should they bring money back to the US, pay tax on it, then send it back out of the US to pay Ireland? They used overseas money that had never been taxed in the US (and never will be taxed in the US, since the liability for those Irish/EU taxes was incurred prior to the US tax law being changed) and thus saved about $2.3 billion they would have otherwise paid had they brought the money home and then sent it back out again.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Why would you pay that much negative interest?

Eh, just print one €14.3 billion note and call it a day and enjoy a well deserved beer! :)

The US used to print bills up to $100,000, which weren't circulated but used for transfers between federal reverse branches. So there is some precedent for printing larger notes. Maybe not €14.3 billion large, but I could see an argument for printing €1 million notes for stuff like this. Those would actually be worth less than the $100,000 bills were back when they were used.

Also makes them less likely to be stolen, since they'd be nearly valueless to a thief because who is going to launder those for him?

FCC's 5G masterstroke little more than big biz cash giveaway – expert

DougS Silver badge

Re: I'm shocked

I wasn't suggesting otherwise. That's rife throughout the executive branch, and not just limited to this administration, or the current party in charge. I just find it ironic when Trump was promising to "drain the swamp". He could have at least tried, instead of simply lying about it and filling the swamp to the brim with the usual creatures.

It was interesting though that the previous FCC commissioner, despite the sort of industry connections that would typically mean he's hopelessly compromised, was on the side of consumers instead of the industry. I was certainly not happy with his appointment given his background... I have to think that was an accident, I doubt Obama knew that going in. Probably just got lucky he evidently didn't plan on trying to get another cable industry job after his FCC tenure was up.

DougS Silver badge

I'm shocked

A corporate stooge running the FCC results in the FCC making policies that favor corporations? Who could have possibly foreseen such an outcome?

Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

DougS Silver badge

Re: What about degenerate matter quark stars?

Sure, pulsars fit the bill of neutron stars. They also fit the bill of quark stars. How do we tell them apart? I mean, basically a quark star would be a somewhat more massive neutron star that gets crunched a bit smaller, and therefore spins a bit faster...

DougS Silver badge

What about degenerate matter quark stars?

I know they're theoretical (though honestly so are neutron stars) but they'd be much more dense than neutron stars.

Michael Dell serves up stump speech to settle sceptical investors

DougS Silver badge

Wall Street has decided it likes recurring revenue more than outright purchase, because predicting how many Dell servers or iPhone X people buy is too hard for them.

Nevermind that if business changes and people buy fewer Dell servers, they might also stop subscribing to Dell services. I guess analysts haven't really had to deal with that, since the "subscription revenue" model as it applies to the IT/CE world has only gone up - that's one of the reasons Netflix is so overvalued.

They'll fall out of love with it once they figure out it is also possible for subscription revenue to decline.

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