* Posts by auburnman

1234 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Australia to reveal tech giants' tax tricks


Transfer tax

It appears to me that the multiple transfers from jurisdiction to jurisdiction are the key element behind the avoidance loopholes. Perhaps the key would be to apply a tax to corporate revenue whenever it leaves a jurisdiction? It could scale up based on the number of transfers, so the first time a company moves revenue in a year it is either free or 0%, but to move the same money again would incur a 2% charge, then 4% to move it again etc. Companies bouncing money around Ireland/Holland/Bermuda would stop getting to do this for free.

Another option would be to allow money to leave the country tax free on the condition the company declares that this is the final destination for the funds in this financial year, however if it's going to be bounced around at least one more haven, then there is a charge.

Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1


Number by Year

They should have kept numbering by year. If XP had been called Windows 2001 those of us still using it would get a daily reminder it's more than a decade old (And still quite stable and fit for purpose, but it might nudge some folk into upgrading)

Animal Liberation drone surveillance plan draws fire


Re: This Drone

I think the legality of civilian aerial surveillance has yet to be tested, and I'm just guessing but I doubt it would stop a number of farmers anyway.

Being observed on private land by specialist equipment will piss them off whether it is declared lawful or not. Unless the drone has multiple cameras it can't see everywhere - the smart farmers will just down it from behind.


This Drone

If it's really as hard to see/hear as they suggest, they will probably be banned or restricted as stealthy surveillance equipment. If it's covert capabilities were exaggerated and it's actually fairly visible then we're back to the farmers shotgunning them down.

Tim Cook eats necessary crow, apologizes to China


That's an interesting one - If Jobs had still been around and in charge does anyone think he would have made a grovelling apology?

I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working


Re: offensive








I have a new favourite phrase nowadays...

..."Oh it's an [iPad/iPhone/Mac] is it? I'm really sorry, I don't know anything about them. They're a lot different to most computers."

Shuts down a fair number of requests these days.

Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you


Re: Do not want, and in fact this kind of thing is a fucking 'orrible idea.

On a slight tangent, as a frequent pedestrian I bloody hate it when you're trying to cross a road and THE ONLY CAR ON THE ROAD stops to let you cross; thanks for slowing both of us down instead of just getting out of my way by continuing your journey. I love crossing in front of a multi-ton death machine driven by someone who has just demonstrated a lack of situational awareness.

Voda: Brit kids will drown in TIDAL WAVE of FILTH - it's all Ofcom's fault


Re: buying phones offline

Pretty sure you can just buy handset only in most of the non-network shops. My last 2 phones were SIM only unlocked to any network, brand new. Admittedly this was from Play.com so not much use if you're committed to an in store buy - I presume you want to have a tester model in your hand before buying?


While I'm glad that Ofcom are looking into contracts where the payment can be varied, I think we have to admit that some of the blame lies with the lazy public accepting these 'deals'. Nowadays it's fairly easy to buy a sim free handset and get a rolling contract that leaves you free to walk away on short notice.

The networks will grumble for a bit because they don't want to go to the effort of changing their ways, but eventually one of them will do their legwork and offer a tarriff that is 'guaranteed for the life of the contract' (with some legalese caveats protecting their backs) and the rest will follow like an avalanche.

South Korea data-wipe malware spread by patching system


Somewhere in the West, in a dimly lit government bunker...

"Shit! Guys, the orders were to launch cyberattacks on NORTH Korea!"

Japan's rare earth discovery bad news for China's monopoly plans

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Having a Flashback...

This story reminded me of one of the random events in Masters of Orion 2, when the Galactic News Network reported that one of the Empires had suddenly found a rich Mineral seam. Fingers crossed the Japanese find enough (relatively) easily mined elements, they could use a break.

Maybe don't install that groovy pirated Android keyboard


Did this guy ask SwiftKey's permission to fiddle with their product? The last thing a decent company needs is a keylogger out there with their brand all over it.

New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083


Re: Recycling of ideas

That's what's confusing me: exactly what is new here? I'm all for nuke power from safe reactors and would love for this to take off, but I'm not seeing what the magic is in this new announcement. I thought our current nuclear 'waste' was only wasted because political constraints prevented it from being reprocessed?

Boeing outlines fix for 787 batteries


Re: I put my money on...

I don't think Boeing would point the finger at anyone else whether or not they can. Right now they will be mega focussed on trying to twist the facts to their world-view where "no fire occurred" and the 'smoke' was a planned safety release. They need everyone to believe this message so they can recertify the planes and get them back in the air before the airlines start cancelling orders/demanding refunds/suing.

AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

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Re: Dammit

It is a big deal, because it means the slumbering giant has finally woken up and noticed AdBlock. Ergo there is a good chance that there will be further moves to make it more and more of a faff to find and install in the pipeline.



With any luck they will rebrand AdBlock as a firewall/NetNanny style extension (that just so happens to blacklist ad sites by default). I hope they don't go after the PC version as well.


Black Helicopters

Re: Novel Base Information Operations Scenarios ..... with Mega MetaDataBase Staged Plays

I have a theory that Mars is either a spook delivering coded messages via el Reg or a program that's been coded to fool the Turing Test by spouting so much random stuff that no-one engages with it at the level of detail that catches out the subroutines.

Oops, they did it again? Britney Spears, Paris Hilton 'LAID BARE ALL OVER THE WEB'


Re: Not cool

A nasty part of me is kind of intrigued about what would happen to a guy who tries to send unwanted taxis and pizzas to the Vice President's door though...

Tech fest 'net activists offer free 'Super Wi-Fi': Now go tell the FCC


Taking spectrum back...

...public resources should only ever have been sold off on a use it or lose it contract, with purchasers being obliged to resell spectrum unused after X years. If they can't sell it within Y years of that then it returns to the regulator automatically. Another option could have been a rental model - ongoing payments would certainly have focused profit making companies onto only paying for what they needed and sorted out unwanted spectrum returning to the regulator.

Still, 20/20 hindsight and all that.

Throttled customers rage over Virgin Mobile UK's tight cap


Re: About now

I'm in the Orange boat too, and I've been promising myself I'd jump ship for months. Unfortunately I want to get an itemised bill before I go so I can stick them for overcharging, so I keep putting off cutting the cord.

Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII


But you won't see them for Lens Flare.


Google in the dock over elephant ivory ads


Anti hunting hypothesis

What would happen if someone could flood the market with cheap imitation ivory? Would it be possible to devalue ivory to the point that it wouldn't be worth the hunter's time?

Groupon CEO Mason sent packing as shares continue to plummet


Re: I have to admire his honesty

We were talking about this the other day at work - what incentive is there in today's era of golden parachutes for CxO's to give a toss whether they succeed or fail? Paid if they do well, paid off with enough money to retire on if they don't, and no-one dare say a word against them in case it reflects badly on share prices. I'm honestly starting to suspect the likes of Gates and Ballmer know that they don't have a clue how to revitalise their cash cow businesses and don't care because they already have more money than they know what to do with.

Nominet tosses plan for shorter .uk domains in the bin (for now)


Domain levels

The only modern purpose I can see in domain levels would be for legal jusrisdiction e.g. purchases agreed to on a .uk site would be subject to UK law and taxes etc. Beyond that nowadays they are just that bit at the end you always forget and Google / your browser fills in for you.

MasterCard tries to zap PayPal with own-brand mobe wallet


Re: Flat broke

I'd be more interested in knowing how Apple plan to differentiate between punters with a genuine receipt and fraudsters trying to walk out with an iMac and a doctored photo of proof of purchase showing on their screen?

It begins: Six-strikes copyright smackdown starts in US


Re: So how long before

You joke, but if it's not out there already the black hats are working on it. If victims actually find a downloaded movie on their PC around the same time as the 'ransom' the thought of accidental guilt might just be enough to stress them into caving and paying the 'fine' without thinking it through.

BBC World Service in a jam as China blocks broadcasts


Wouldn't like to be

Those journalists detained by China after trying to film a PLA compound - I raise a glass to the balls of steel.

France tries again, with EU20 billion broadband fund


Re: Why the...?

I don't know...you have to remember to hold Ctrl AND Alt.... :)

WTF is... Miracast?


I want to go the other way...

I'd much prefer a quick and easy way to stream my TV feed to my tab so I can make dinner / wash up / shop online without pausing The Shield.

Jerry Yang hired as fly on the wall at Lenovo


Re: Very Special

Maybe they're going to try seeing what he recommends and then doing the exact opposite. It's the only reason I can think of for sane people to hire someone with his track record.

Ad-titan Google blocks Adblock Plus in Android security tweak


Re: No matter

Android is the one platform where I go to Firefox before Chrome. Partially because of Adblock and partly because they list tabbed pages down the side. Seems to be a much easier interface on a tablet.

Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard


Re: Not typing. Fondling.

Depends how long you've used it, it seems to learn your commonly used words & phrases quite quickly.

"Are you coming out for a pint tonight?" can be done in nanoseconds.


Good time for a retraction...

I slagged off Swiftkey last time it was discussed on here... Something must have gone wrong the first time I installed it because I recently tried it again and I couldn't have been more wrong to dismiss it. Psychic is the word - it is so much better than anything else I've tried. Definitely worth a couple of quid.

Amazon ditches 'neo-Nazi' security firm over alleged harassment of workers


Re: There's something

I don't know the facts myself, but I sort of assumed the "documentary" people would "document" some evidence before making any allegations?

Facebook is off the IPOcalypse hook... for NOW

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I don't much care one way or the other what happens to Facebook, but it's nice to see some lawsuit trolls being promptly put in their place. If only the little guy/company could do it as easily as this multinational corporation just did...

Soak up CO2 with sponges, says CSIRO


Weren't there some other boffins who recently discovered a process for turning carbon + energy into biofuel? I'm sure el Reg had a recent article on it. If so, someone needs to put these two groups together.

Every single Internet Explorer at risk of drive-by hacks until Patch Tuesday


Re: moving to a system that DOESN'T need it.

Is there any actual point to Sharepoint beyond an attempt to drum up some cash for Microsoft? Beyond a few little bells and whistles it just seems to me to be a poor man's much slower shared drive.

Space station 'naut supplies Reg with overhead snap of Vulture Central


First ever space album?

Sounds like a nice idea, but I hope he takes his other expedition members into account and doesn't overdo it. cooped up in a cramped space station with a wannabe crooner for several months? There's definite potential for his guitar to 'fall' and break.*

*Yes, even in zero g. Call it a spatial anomaly if you want to.

Jammy b*stards: Admen flog chocolate bars with 'Wi-Fi-free' zones


Re: Even a Portable Faraday Cage?

"The use of any apparatus ... for the purpose of interfering with any wireless telegraphy, is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006"

Assuming AC's quote above is correct, it could be feasible to interpret the rules with focus on the 'interfering' part, i.e. if you're deliberately dicking around with someone else's wireless then you are breaking the law but nullifying your own connection doesn't qualify as interfering as it's your connection to do as you wish. If that's the case you could extend that to a not-spot with the disclaimer that users of the not-spot understand and consent that blocking will occur and hence no 'interference.'

UK cookies cop changes own policy to ‘implied consent’


At least they've backed down now, even if they didn't have the stones to admit it was pointless ineffective fiddling in the first place. If they're still determined now could be the time to politely ask them to consider a less intrusive cookie control strategy, like sponsoring Chrome/Firefox extensions that make it easy for the average user.

Wii-U boat torpedoes Nintendo's '¥20bn profit' into ¥20bn loss


Re: Novelty

"Something New" is just another name for novelty unless it gains a track record of being a worthwhile improvement. As you say Sony and Microsoft soon copied the movement bit leaving Nintendo with an underpowered console that didn't have a unique selling point.

Many people did indeed take a punt on the Wii at launch due to it's price (myself included) but the lack of interesting titles after the launch fuss died down is the main reason that Wii's accross the world gather dust in cupboards and no-one has any interest in the new one.

Ofcom anoints broadcaster: Local TV is nearly here


Aside from the obvious trainwreck of obsolete pointlessness this is going to be, has anyone ever heard their local accent on telly? Without immediately cringing and changing the channel?

Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 into booze


Re: Efficiently on par with real plants

Much easier to handle it as an industrial process. If you have a box that you can fill with liquid semiconductor and later drain the organic sludge that can be turned into fuel, you can scale up to huge boxes and handle the process with tanker lorries and one or two drivers. Getting the equivalent biomass ouput from plants would require manual planting, possibly watering and digging up etc.


Re: V8

But surely if the price reduction/increased demand came about from the sequestration/conversion process, economic pressure would push more and more towards sequestration? Barring a total shift in the way oil is sucked out of the ground, it keeps getting more and more expensive to get at.

There will definitely be unexpected consequences, but if it becomes realistically possible to close the loop and turn our waste fuel products back into fuel with sunlight, then it could be a massive leap forward. Unfortunately this all sounds too good to be true to my ears, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Microsoft acknowledges the long and winding road ahead


Re: Touch Screens in the office? Forget it.

Maybe instead of touch screens, the next big thing in Hardware should be No-Touch screens: screens that are configured to deliver a nasty electric shock to anyone putting their greasy sausages on your display area.

Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV


Re: plenty of bush

The beauty of that post is that it could be a pun OR a euphemism. For what, I don't (want to) know.

'End of passwords' predictions are premature - Cambridge boffin


Re: Biometrics?

Out of curiousity, is there a backup way in if the scanner packs up?

You're not cool enough for some malware


I don't know, I've been seeing some really well formatted and worded phishing emails of late pretending to be Paypal; the only clues were the lack of use of my name and the attempt to get me to click on a link in the email. It was worryingly convincing enough that I thought I could have fallen for it if I'd been sleepy or having an off day. It makes me concerned that the amount of less aware tech users amongst us being scammed could increase.

RIM gets thumbs up from Visa for pay-by-bonk security tech


You may be the only person to think bonk in any context other than sexual is an Americanism...

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