* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

DougS Silver badge

Re: Apple have been quite clever here...

How was Apple clever? They were ordered to pay this money into escrow, they didn't have a choice. I guess it helps them, to the extent that the interest they were being charged was more than the money they'd make on it. If so, they should have insisted on paying into escrow the moment the case came up!

And it may well cost Ireland millions per year to hold the money, depending on what form the escrow takes.

DougS Silver badge

Foreign taxes paid are a credit against US taxes

When Apple pays $15 billion to Ireland, they can take that as a credit against the US taxes they owe (or at least that was the law, I don't know if the corporate tax rate reduction congress passed removed this credit as the price for no longer taxing overseas profit but somehow I doubt it)

Not sure if paying them to an escrow account while appeals continue counts as having "paid" them, but assuming so then Apple will pay $15 billion less in US taxes for 2018 than they otherwise would have.

DougS Silver badge

Why would you pay that much negative interest?

They might want to consider converting it into cash and putting it in a vault then. Sure you can rent a suitable vault including round the clock security and insurance against theft (in case Oceans 14 comes calling) for a lot less than 65 million euro a year!

Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

DougS Silver badge

Re: Conductive paint

Anywhere that will care about this particular attack will have already cared about general signal leakage and already RF sealed any important rooms/buildings.

DougS Silver badge

Even houses with meter thick stone walls typically don't have meter thick stone interior walls. They were testing from an adjoining room, not outside the structure - and they were doing it through not just wood but also plaster and concrete walls. I'm sure their concrete walls weren't a meter thick, but still.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

DougS Silver badge

Re: Being Blonde

interest in "cars"

Seriously? Why would a taxi driver be any more likely to be interested in cars than anyone else? Heck, if I drove 40 hours a week cars would be the last thing I'd be interested in during my time off. If you work an office job, do you have an interest in cubicles and coffee machines?

Nevermind that you are greatly limiting yourself if you target only those who are currently or formerly listed as a "driver". It isn't like being a taxi driver takes a lot of skill, so there is a huge pool of potential drivers out there who would need very minimal training and passing a test to get the proper type of driver's license.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Advertising is different from hiring

Advertising in newspapers could be considered reverse age discrimination. How many people in their 20s do you know that subscribe to a local newspaper - either print or electronically? Their demographics are tilted heavily toward older people, who have subscribed to their local paper for decades. When the baby boomers die, 98% of the newspaper industry will die with them.

DougS Silver badge

Targeting peopel who are already truck drivers

Well that's fine if you are looking to fill a position that requires experience and you don't want to train them. What about entry level jobs. Let's say cooks and servers in a diner. If the diner has been around a decade and only had one female cook and one male server and dozens of the other sex, an owner on a tight budget probably considers it a waste of money to advertise both positions to both sexes.

If there was a way to target "people who would consider working as a cook" and "people who would consider working as a server" obviously you'd MUCH rather target that way than by male or female. But that's not the reality, you can only target those who already have those jobs, which greatly limits your reach (and is a zero sum game if everyone does it)

Plus, it isn't like Facebook would be your ONLY job posting. Maybe you advertise on a community website that offers flat rate help wanted ads, which are open to anyone to see. Maybe you post a sign on your door that you need a cook or a server. Maybe you take out a classified ad in the local paper or on Craigslist.

Is it so terrible to discriminate (without any intention to restrict the positions by sex) in ONE avenue of advertising, when others are equal?

DougS Silver badge

Re: Companies probably aren't doing this to discriminate

They can't remove the cost difference, they can only remove the option, because the cost difference is merely because Facebook charges by the reach (i.e. number of people who see an ad) which is why it is in the best interests of an employer to maximize the percentage of people who see the job posting that might be interested in it.

One could argue that advertising an oil industry job in Men's Health, or a nursing job in Cosmo would be almost equally discriminatory given the gender disparity in the readership of each. Heck, just advertising on the internet could be seen as age discrimination, given that the older people are the less time they spend on the internet.

DougS Silver badge

Companies probably aren't doing this to discriminate

They are doing it to maximize their advertising dollar. If you are advertising for an oil field worker, you are getting far less of your money's worth by advertising to women, or to men over say 50 years old. Likewise you wouldn't want to advertise a wildcatter job to people with a college degree, people who live in NYC, or single parents. Your advertising dollar goes a lot further advertising towards those more likely to be interested.

Maybe Facebook should turn it around and let people register their interest in certain types of jobs, and everyone who registers themselves as interested in oil industry jobs will be the only ones who see such jobs. Of course they wouldn't want to do that - they'd rather you have to spend 100x as much to hit the 1 in 100 people who are interested. If you aren't allowed to discriminate then you'd have to spend 200x as much to hit the 1 person who interested - so forcing Facebook to do this is only going to make them more money!

US State Department confirms: Unclassified staff email boxes hacked

DougS Silver badge

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

I tried making that point here once, that given the compromises in US government email elsewhere that the State Department would probably get compromised eventually so the idea that Hillary's insecure server was somehow less secure than the official server was misplaced faith.

The problem I had with what Hillary did was not the smattering of inconsequential classified stuff that ended up leaking out. That's nothing compared to the state department cables Manning released, or the stuff Trump is busy randomly declassifying piecemeal (only the stuff he thinks will make him look good, but not the stuff that will make him look bad)

My problem with Hillary's use of a private email server was WHY she did it. It was quite obviously calculated to prevent her political opponents from trawling through it, looking for any little detail that could make her look bad. Well, that plan kind of blew up in her face, huh! Ironic how all the republicans who were so upset about her are looking the other way at Trump staffers doing exactly the same.

DougS Silver badge

Re: I don't buy this....

Having held a Top Secret clearance at one time, and seeing some of the things that are classified (IP addresses and hostnames of internal machines in the DoD are either Secret or Top Secret, I can't remember) it is pretty ridiculous.

Anything that really really needs to be classified is SCI. Or at least I assume so, having never had codeword access I never saw any of those secrets.

DougS Silver badge

Always? Of course not, the only people who would believe that are partisans who think only democrats use private email servers or otherwise mishandle classified information in email.

The reasons why people skirt the law using private email servers (to hide what they did from future investigations, or try to) or send classified info on the unclassified system (because the classified system is a pain to use) are the same regardless of what party one belongs to.

Breaking into the whole unclassified system probably revealed more classified info than Hillary's email leaks did, but you'll never the see the republicans launch any investigation intended to find that, and if they do they'll keep that conclusion classified. Just as democrats would have whitewashed the Hillary investigation had they been in charge.

Trump pulls trigger in US-China tit-for-tat tariff tiff: 10% slapped on $200bn of imported kit

DougS Silver badge

This is a battle the US can't win

If the two countries get into a trade war, where the one has regular elections that can "throw the bums out" if they are blamed for the problems caused by the trade war, and the other is a dictatorship that is able to limit discussion of the problems, and those who manage to discuss the problems can't do anything to change the decision makers minds, it is pretty obvious who is going to blink first.

Trump will be forced to back down, but will undoubtedly come up with some sort of excuse for why he won, or that democrats were to blame for the US losing. Or both, somehow.

DougS Silver badge

Apparently hurting the market for canes, but not walkers?

Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

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Re: Bollocks

A lot of places will be sending out absentee ballots before the end of the month. US elections don't work like UK elections, so don't assume Americans are just stupid and should simply do things like you do.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Scanning?

Not just the number of candidates that might stand for a particular position, but the number of different positions, measures, etc. on the ballot. It isn't practical to hand count when you have several dozen different things on the ballot, and individual precincts in some places may have tens of thousands of voters (which is another problem for another time)

People who say "hand counted paper ballots work where I live and will in the US too" don't understand US elections. As I keep saying every time someone brings this up as if to say "stupid Americans just do things like us" when your ballots and precincts are nothing like ours.

DNSSEC in a click: Cloudflare tries to crack uptake inertia

DougS Silver badge

I have a few domains

At both register.com & godaddy. If they had a simple and fully supported one click "make your domain DNSSEC" I'd do it. But I'm not going to mess around for hours trying to figure out some complicated process to do it for domains no one is ever going to try to hijack, and risk that maybe things will change and my domain will break because it isn't really supported. I certainly won't pay more for it.

Hopefully Cloudflare will start a trend.

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

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The Japanese guy ought to take the head of the Flat Earth society

Just to see what cockamamie explanation he has for how he goes several orbits around the Earth on the way around the Moon and back again.

Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears

DougS Silver badge

IPv6 user tracking

One overlooked advantage for companies is user tracking

And there you have one of the big reasons I see no rush to adopt IPv6 until I have no choice!

Check out this link! It's not like it'll crash your iPhone or anything (Hint: Of course it will)

DougS Silver badge

Then its the fault of the author for not updating it, when Apple started telling devs of the need to do over three years ago.

DougS Silver badge

Re: And here's the reason it's not good there are are so few browser engines

So you'd rather there were a dozen browser engines, of which 8 were vulnerable, than three browser engines of which 2 were vulnerable? Or are you just assuming if there were a dozen browser engines we'd still have only 2 vulnerable ones and the other nine new ones would all be fortunate enough to not be vulnerable?

DougS Silver badge

Given that Apple released iOS 12.0 today, and 12.0.1 would inevitably follow to clean up any lingering issues, the timing of this means the exploit window will be very short indeed. Since 12.x is available on everything that supported 11.x, and results in performance increases over 11.x as well, there's zero reason why anyone should be unwilling to upgrade and get that fix when it is available, either.

NUUO, do not want! CCTV webcams can be hacked to spy on you

DougS Silver badge


I'll bet it is a compromise inside a network (email malware or whatever) that scans your LAN for vulnerable CCTV devices and p0wns them. Most NVRs support a form of 'P2P' connection that doesn't require opening any ports, enabling uPnP or whatever.

FCC boss slams new Californian net neutrality law, brands it illegal

DougS Silver badge

That's irony for you

Speaking at the right-wing think tank Heritage Policy Center, [Pai said] "It's a useful reminder that we’re not as divided as cable news and Twitter suggest". I suppose speaking to an audience of yes-men would tend to make you think "hey we aren't as divided as I thought".

I guess that must be what Trump likes about his rallies, where henchmen will eject anyone who isn't cheering with the rest!

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

DougS Silver badge


Or is your name is a misprint, and it should be "cokejunky"? Because I don't otherwise see how you can possibly blame remainers for the EU's refusal to negotiate! Anyone with half a brain should have known it was obvious that the EU would make leaving as difficult as possible for the UK, as an object lesson to any other country who even considers leaving.

Likely the EU hopes to make things suck so badly for the UK that you'll come crawling back, to be told they'll only let you in if you go full EU, including adopting the euro. I'm sure the large majority in the UK would be against that, even most remainers, so you are going to have to deal with the fact that the EU is not going to make ANYTHING easy on the UK going forward. They will in fact be going out of their way to make things as difficult for you as they possibly can.

This was all obvious to any outside observer, the fact that brexiters were dumb enough to believe the EU would be eager to negotiate trade and other deals with the UK to gain access to their markets shows brexiteer ignorance and how overly important they believe their country to be in the grand scheme of Europe. As well as how eager the EU would be to insure that no other country sees the UK getting out easily and cleanly and think "hey, we could do that too".

Salesforce supremo Benioff buys Time magazine for $190m

DougS Silver badge

Re: Fire Sale?

Its gotta be hard to sell magazines when the delay from the stories being written, to printing the issues, to mailing them to subscribers is so much longer than putting the story directly onto the internet.

It almost sounds like he bought it to keep it around as an American icon. Even if he loses money operating it, he's got billions more where that came from so it won't matter to him.

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

DougS Silver badge


The DSL filters don't affect the ability of an analog landline to work exactly like it always has, and given that your 32K modem worked fine I'm assuming you still have a traditional landline to go with your DSL.

What he was talking about was VOIP technologies, most of which won't pass a fax. Some can recognize a fax/modem connection and change to a different format that will allow it, others can be set to a higher bit rate with less/no compression.

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

DougS Silver badge

No one thought of hardwiring the pump so it couldn't be unplugged???

DougS Silver badge

Gandalf box

My local university used a "Gandalf box" (the company name was Gandalf) back in the late 80s for serial connections back to various computers (HP2000, Pr1me, Encore, I'm sure other stuff too) There were a couple rotary selectors on the front that you'd set to the number of whatever computer you wanted to connect your terminal to. There used to be hundreds if not thousands of Gandalf boxes all over campus. Can't remember if they were 2400 or 9600 bps, but it was faster than you could read to be sure which was all that really mattered back when everything was text.

Once twisted pair ethernet became a thing, Gandalf went out of business and probably all those blue boxes ended up landfills.

DougS Silver badge

This should have been an easy problem to solve

I cannot recall if it was possible to restrict access to sub-sets of members of a single VAXcluster

So you set up the system "login" script (whatever the VMS equivalent of /etc/profile is) to print out "this system is used for university payroll / administration, authorized users only" which would have been sufficient to stop this guy from trying to use it. Better yet, have it check against a list of users authorized for that payroll system and log off those who are not. I'm sure there's probably a way around that, but we're not trying to keep hackers out, we're just trying to make sure people don't accidentally do something they shouldn't.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Oh, that's just the sound of compromised logins waiting to ruin your day

DougS Silver badge

Changing your passwords often is STUPID

That encourages people to either use less complex passwords, use "complex1234" -> "complex2345" games (I know, because that's what I always use to get around stupid mandatory change policies) and/or write down their passwords.

No way should you ever be required to change more often than once a year, and even that is questionable.

New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

DougS Silver badge

What environmental costs for mercury?

It isn't like the mercury used to float instruments / rooms / etc. leaks out into the environment, or is difficult to capture down the road when the facility is demo'ed.

Besides, if you want to worry about mercury getting into the environment you first need to shut down all coal burning power plants operating in the region, and clean up every fly ash dump. Before those are taken care of, worrying about "environment costs" from using mercury to float a telescope is ludicrous!

DougS Silver badge

Re: You left out a few words...

If that were true, we'd be in darkness, as Mike Pence's head would be in the way.

How could Pence's head possibly fit in there, when Trump's own head was there first? And Trump has a big head, the biggest head there is...just ask him!

DougS Silver badge

Because this is the only place in the US that has a lot of mercury in one place? Hardly. Hell, my high school science teacher had a big flask filled with the stuff. I'll bet a lot of older high schools have pounds of mercury sitting in a forgotten closet somewhere.

If you want some, and live in the US, buy it by the half pound and they'll ship it to your house:


DougS Silver badge

There are plenty of 'isolated' spaces that float on mercury, and while it is poisonous it is hardly a major public threat or difficult for the average person to acquire.

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

DougS Silver badge

Re: I agree

Wrong. 3GPP standards require that ANY operator be selectable. The operators basically own 3GPP, do you really think they'd approve a standard that would make them beholden to Apple and Google? Dream on.

DougS Silver badge

The nice thing about eSIMs is they support holding one more than one "SIM", so you could have dual SIM, triple SIM pretty much whatever the phone's software wants to deal with (I'm sure there's some limit, but it is more than 2)

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Chinese variant of the XS will take two physical SIMs.

3GPP rules around eSIM require devices provide a way to access any operator. Apple may not have a clickable icon for every 2 bit operator in the whole world, but you'll be able to enter the necessary info manually. I can't remember what the operator ID is, but I think it is something like 7 digits so hardly an insurmountable obstacle for operators who don't get an icon.

DougS Silver badge

The physical SIM slot can only go away if eSIM is pretty much universally supported by carriers. There needs to be devices out there that implement eSIM (in greater numbers than iPads with built in cellular) to push that along.

Eventually all operators will have to support eSIM, as the reason 3GPP finally ended up approving it after years of operator resistance wasn't because Apple was championing it. It is because makers of IOT devices wanted a way to go without a physical SIM for ease of deployment, or future devices where even a nanoSIM's size might be a problem.

As for the great firewall being a problem, encrypted traffic can pass through it just requires approval from the government. I wouldn't think profile updates for Chinese carriers would be a problem. You wouldn't need profile updates for non-Chinese carriers while inside China, you can get those once outside the firewall. I doubt that's the reason for two physical SIMs in China. Probably more that eSIM isn't an option yet and people are using multiple SIMs today - if they only support one physical SIM there they have to wait for eSIM support before they can win those two SIM customers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: eSIM sucks

Networks don't have to engage with Apple, they might not be on a convenient list but there's a way to enter the information anyway. That's required by the 3GPP standard that was approved for eSIM - and is necessary for the main reason eSIM was eventually approved against some operator's wishes, IOT devices where even the size of a nanoSIM might be unwieldy.

Some people always ascribe evil intent to everything Apple does. I remember the whining and moaning when Apple introduced nanoSIM and everyone was worried about the fact Apple had patents around it and thought their promises of a royalty free license would have a hidden gotcha they'd use against Android. Still waiting for that to happen.

DougS Silver badge

I agree

But there seem to be a lot of people who are quite resistant to the idea, believing it will somehow allow Apple to limit their carrier choices or is part of an evil Apple plan to cut the carriers out and operate their own mandatory MVNO.

Obviously eSIM isn't all that great if only Apple uses it, because even if every carrier supported it, it wouldn't be portable to non-Apple phones the way current SIMs are. By finally putting the eSIM in a phone it will encourage carriers to support it, and if enough do then other phones will adopt eSIM as well. Before people worry about the mention of "Apple patents" around eSIM and think this is a money grab, they've offered a royalty free license to anyone who adopts the technology. They just want it used.

DougS Silver badge

Their real plan is to build support for eSIM

Hoping to eventually drop a physical SIM if/when most operators eventually support eSIM. I wonder if the Chinese version actually supports three SIMs, or if the eSIM is disabled in those models that have two physical SIMs?

It is interesting that eSIM wasn't deemed good enough for the Chinese market. I wonder if that has something to do with China's unique mobile standards (TD-LTE etc.) or if Apple believes their operators will be particularly resistant to eSIM? Maybe the Chinese government won't allow eSIM for some reason?

DougS Silver badge


Having a hard time seeing the logic in that, is it because 'Max' is (usually) a male name?

Or is it because of size, since the XS is very slightly larger than the 8? I guess that the XS Max is very slightly smaller than the 8 plus doesn't count for anything? Or is it because they dropped the SE?

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

DougS Silver badge

Re: I had a sort of similar experience

Well regardless of whether there are issues of hidden sex/race discrimination in firings for stuff like ponytails, firing someone for unproven suspicion of theft is 100% legal in an at-will state, even if it was proven not to be theft before the firing.

Though if AC was black I imagine he could pretty easily find a lawyer willing to take the case, and the business would be willing to settle to avoid the publicity of the accusation even if that had nothing to do with the firing, so it can work both ways....

DougS Silver badge

Re: I had a sort of similar experience

Unless AC is from the US in an "at will" employment state. The only way you can get sue over firing under "at will" is if it is being done for discriminatory reasons against a protected class - i.e. you can't legally fire someone because they're black, but you can legally fire someone because they wear their hair in a ponytail.

DougS Silver badge

Re: What budget?

Even worse, when I was in a management position at a university if I didn't spend all the money in my budget it would be CUT the following year - since I obviously didn't need that much money! So what I was told to do by my superiors was to make sure I spent all the money in my budget no matter what, then try to push through a PO with two weeks to go that would put me 5-10% over the limit at the end of the fiscal year. It would be rejected, but it would increase my chances of getting a larger budget in the following fiscal year.


What's worse, since IT equipment was going down in price and up in performance so rapidly (this was in the late 90s) the difference between buying something in the first month and last month of the fiscal year was often quite significant. And since the fiscal year started on July 1st, it made sense to buy in May and make changes over the summer breaks since you didn't want to try doing it during the very busy fall/spring semesters (and you didn't want to do it over the holidays for obvious reasons)

So on more than one occasion I'd have like 20% of my budget spent with two months left, and then spend 80% of it all at once. I got called to the carpet by the finance people for this on more than one occasion, but after the first tongue lashing I made sure to get quotes at the beginning of the fiscal year and end of the fiscal year for my needs - showing them I could upgrade 50% more workstations by waiting shut them up.

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

DougS Silver badge

Why do I get a sinking feeling

That the pettiness on both sides of the Brexit split is going to lead to another war on European soil within my lifetime?

Kernel sanders: Webroot vuln creates route to root Macs

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There seems to be an epidemic lately

Of "security" software on Apple platforms that is a bigger threat than the malware they claim to protect you from.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

DougS Silver badge

"Brit only navigation system"

They can't be serious, can they? Duplicating that and the other stuff that came as part of the EU would wipe out the "savings" projected by even the most ardent Brexiteers.

Though I guess they won't care, Brexit was sold to the masses on the basis of saving money, but the motivation of its real supporters was always getting out from under the EU's thumb - damn the consequences to the UK economy!

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