* Posts by Death_Ninja

166 posts • joined 5 Oct 2007


Amazon gets its tax excuses in early amid rising UK profits – but leaves El Reg off the press list. Can't think why


" if Amazon had absorbed the 2% tax like ebay did, they would have had made a few million less profit a year"

Do you mean reduced their published figures to offset the 2%? Because that's likely what they would have done.

One things for sure, that 2% was definitely not come out of Bozos pocket.


Transfer Pricing

Transfer Pricing is how these companies syphon taxes out of countries and into a low tax location.

That Mega Corp logo on the packaging? $5 per use payable to the IP owner of The Logo - Mega Corp Cayman Islands Ltd. The carboard box? Patent owned by Mega Corp Cayman Islands Ltd and it costs you $10 per time you make one..... and so on. Just so happens that $15 is most of the profit on each sale, funny that. UK branch of Mega Corp sadly reports each year it made hardly any profit. Meanwhile in the Cayman Islands, Mega Corp have agreed to build a school or some money into the civil service retirement fund in return for paying $1000 of tax - afterall, they only have a mailbox address there at an office of a law firm.

It has fully legit purpose, of course, its just they like to play the game and abuse it. It remains totally legal however.

It is possible to counter it, assuming of course the normal process of democratic government isn't subverted by lobbying or being lent on by a government of the country where the giants come from...


The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations


Re: Battle of Britian - some of the forgotten bits.

Yes, I believe they could determine speed in some way, but that assumes someone wasn't flying slowly like a bomber...


Re: Y Service

Dresden reprisal?

Hamburg maybe was a reprisal, Dresden was almost certainly a warning to Stalin.


Re: Y Service

What most often fail to understand is that WW1 and WW2 are continuation wars.... and I don't mean from just 1 to 2....think of all of this as continuation wars from the break up of the Holy Roman Empire.

And then look at the technical advances...

When you see things massively shift though is in line with the arrival of the industrial revolution. It increases technology both civillian and military from the late 19th century. Even the technology of the 1870 Franco Prussian war is not the same as the Napoleonic war in many many ways.


Re: Will you kindly stop with the "Britain alone" myth?

"distraction" for Normandy?

I'd argue quite the reverse actually. Go look at Operation Bagration.. The largest rolling counter offensive in military history.


Re: The war is over, the empire is gone

The wealth of the Old Empires of Europe had already ended up in the USA by 1918.

WW2 just finished off what had already started, but it was certainly *by design*.

American superpower post WW2 industrial and military dominance wasn't by accident and those behind it saw it as a continuation of the founding of the USA, to have come full circle and finally crushed the "enemy" of a free America - the old Empires - without having to fight them!


Re: Battle of Britian - some of the forgotten bits.

Radar could determine the difference between a bomber and a fighter in 1940?

I didn't think it could actually.

Actual enemy aircraft type identification was done by the Observer Corps - once it had come into sight.

And both the Spit and the Hurricane were interceptors.... big type difference there - as they were to learn when Allied bombers needed fighter escorts later. Interceptors need to climb fast and be agile but be short ranged.

"Fighter" is a generic term and not everything labelled such is useful for multiple air to air warfare types.

Me110's were lousy air surpremacy fighters for example, but excellent night fighters. Same with the Mossie.... or even the Ju88!


Re: Post-War mistakes...

"We should have made the Germans pay"

Oh that worked out so well previously didn't it.... or did you miss the compulsory school lesson on the origins of WW2?


Re: Most Secret War

Mr Jones was indeed the most legendary "British backroom Bofin".

Anyone who aspires to be a techno-geek should learn of his work.


Re: Will you kindly stop with the "Britain alone" myth?

True, but in summer 1940 the Common Wealth wasn't about to come under heavy air attack or stood waiting for a seaborne invasion.

At that critical moment, everything hinged on the island holding out and critically the very moment hung on what Downding described as "Our young men will have to shoot down their young men at the rate of five to one."

The power of the Empire would come to play later and ultimate wartime victory in Europe was only possible because of the weight, plus of course the industrial might of the USA and the sheer military muscle of the USSR.

Allied victory is what was achieved, not British, not British Empire, not USA, not Soviet.



Re: Fighter Control & raid plotting...

Yes, the Dowding System.

Churchill himself gave credit to this as the key to victory:

"All the ascendancy of the Hurricanes and Spitfires would have been fruitless but for this system which had been devised and built before the war. It had been shaped and refined in constant action, and all was now fused together into a most elaborate instrument of war, the like of which existed nowhere in the world"


Re: Y Service

I should have also mentioned Y's involvement in countering "Headache" - the Lorenz/Knickebein beam guidance for Luftwaffe night bombing.

And then later the X-Gerät and Y-Gerät systems which improved on Knickebein.

But its just another example of quite how high tech WW2 became vs WW1.


Y Service

You talk about BP, but not about the RAF's Y Service who actually provided the raw intel - plus did a lot of analysis themselves.

In fact German speakers in Y were really crucial during the Battle of Britain. They listened to German chit chat and were able to provide a lot of useful tactical intelligence as raids built - given the way that the Luftwaffe spent ages assembling these massive formations of bombers before heading across the channel.

Y also were the ones to report that the Germans were packing up their kit in France, Sealion was abandoned and the Battle of Britain was actually over.

So lets hear it for the boys and girls of Y!

ByteDance rebuffs Microsoft's TikTok purchase proposal


Re: @Death Ninja WARNING: This post is a RANT ... Backlash

Better candidate.... I believe under your system it is possible to write the name of any US (born) ciitizen on the ballot paper and cast a vote for them.

That's real genuine democracy, why don't you use it? I don't think any other nation has anything like that level of genuine citizen power.


Re: WARNING: This post is a RANT ... Backlash

Jeez... I hope you got your free (made in China) hat when you wrote that.

And, sure my nom de guerre wouldn't look great on a ballot paper, but guess what... El Reg ain't a ballot paper.

I'll say again, i have no interest in which of your two party state govern. I just think that for a country with a load of intelligent people past and present, that you surely to Christ could find some better candidates.


Re: Backlash

Lol yes of course, it's absolutely got nothing to do with a personal afront.

Just good infosec... Right.

Just to clarify, I'm not making any political statement on US politics, I'm just pointing out he's a child . I'd do the same if he wore a blue hat too.



Isn't all of this caused by the TikTok K-Pop mafia pulling that epic stunt on the Donald's rally the other week?

I'm really looking forward to when the world finally gets over the "petulant child leadership" phase - whenever that is, maybe the grown ups will be back in charge of the world.... by 2050 or something.

Microsoft to charge $200 for 32 GPU cores, sliver of CPU clockspeed, 6GB RAM, 512GB SSD... and a Blu-Ray player


Re: a question

No, i assumed that, On the xbone it's neither possible to run windows (despite the underlying os is a *version* of windows) nor any flavour of Linux to date. It's not like people haven't tried either.

These days there is little point either, you can achieve similar results with other hardware for home entertainment centre use.


Re: a question

Almost certainly not - the XBONE went to great lengths to stop you from running anything - loads of things about the hardware are non-standard - from drives that read backwards to hardware with utterly unique parameters.

Its partly copy protection for the games, partly because of the (sub cost) hardware pricing strategy to hook you onto subscriptions and digital content. Lessons learnt by Microsoft from the original Xbox (which could be re-purposed)


Another swing at CEX and friends

Interesting.... a $200 bribe to have another go at killing off resale of pre-owned games.

It's got to be that and I suspect it might well achieve that.

We all know that the game companies hate the second hand market and MS tried this before with the XBONE, only backing down after howls of rage.

I guess offering both with and without is their next strategy.

Forget Terminators, says US military, the next-gen AI battles will hinge upon net infrastructure, not killer robots


Re: They do have a point, though

"Amateurs study tactics. Professionals study logistics."

Things that go Splunk in the night: We're 2 years ahead of cloud mix sales forecasts thanks to pandemic, yells data cruncher


Re: Splunk is very pretty

Its very good but as you say the price tag exceeds the ROI value - its genuinely eye watering.

I'm fairly sure that some substantial repricing would mean better revenues overall - I've yet to find anyone who objected to it other than on the feeling they were being gouged.

I suspect MS Analytics is about to lay waste to Splunk too - its not as good, but the price is somewhat more acceptable.

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History


Re: Screenshot

MS DOS version.... EGA.... ick

Russia tested satellite-to-satellite shooter, say UK and USA


Re: Point of order

Yes, correct this:

"It's also worth noting it is widely believed that several nations posses missiles that could reach space to attack satellites"

As I stated above, 1985 the USAF proved to the world that it has an anti-satellite missile... its not a secret.


Weapons in space

The US's anti-satellite test mission is hardly secret - 13 September 1985.

Maj. Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson is the only fighter pilot to date to have chalked up a kill in space so far.

I heard someone say the other day though that both the Russians and the Chinese are stepping up these space warfare projects because.... Trump created Space Force... announcing to the world that the USA is officially taking war into space.

And PS the 1967 Outer Space Treaty doesn't prohibit conventional weapons in space, only "weapons of mass destruction" and you can't turn the moon or any other celestial body into a battle station (are you listening Darth?)

US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now


Re: launch from a British spaceport

When you hear yanks say it, I can only hear "KFC".... mmmmmm fried chicken


Re: launch from a British spaceport

And its already got the USAF's 45th Space Wing there.... they use it in conjunction with stuff lobbed from KSC...

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year


Re: Missiles are drones

S400 out-ranges Brimstone by just how much...I'll clue you in.... somewhere between 5 and 10 times.

S500 is next, even more capable (S400 already effectively being the most capable SAM platform in production). At 600km range they are probably capable of even taking down standoff assets like AWACS or refuelling aircraft.

And of course coming from the heritage their owners come from, its just part of a very complex IADS and not a standalone defence system.


Re: Missiles are drones

Doesn't that line of thought really suggest then that fighters are a waste of time in an actual shooting war?

I don't mean hassling off course Ukrainian transport aircraft, but actually doing the Tom Cruise thing.

Wouldn't something like S400's do the job better?


Re: Missiles are drones

Well I guess if you are just talking about missile carriers it does make sense and probably that is not too hard to achieve.

Cheap, unmanned missile carriers capable of high speeds carrying upwards of 6 BVR missiles, you might achieve better than a 1:1 kill ratio (which is assumed in a mass meeting of opponents both equipped with BVR weapons)

If you look at this chart, you'll see that 3 missiles per target probably ensures a kill:


I guess in a protracted war between two tier one players scenario the drone would enable you to win the attrition simply by being quicker to make than a pilot is to train.

And if you are just talking about being able to assemble a wave of them and steer them towards the incoming enemy, I can't actually see why nobody has done this yet?



How is this going to work though?

An actual close in dogfight? Are those even a thing any more? I appreciate the reason for Top Gun school was to relearn dogfighting when the USAF discovered guided missiles weren't very capable in Vietnam, but a log old amount of time has gone by since then.

If the two aircraft are going to lob beyond visual range missiles at each other its not so much a test of the pilot/AI but one of the missile manufacturer surely?

If both platforms are equipped with the same countermeasures (both being US platforms) that we can assume are effective against the stuff they know about (ie their own) then this too skews the result.

Maybe then the drone is really good at proper dogfighting gun combat?

Which leaves them with what result? The thing is useful assuming the Russian/Chinese radar, missiles and counter measures aren't better/unknown vs US made ones. Might have been true at one point, but suspect that's a big old bit of hubris today.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage


Re: Disappointing

I've heard people say exactly the same thing about Maersk too.

But I'm sure every company has a period during which they were considered to be a good employer with a caring sharing culture.... but those left with that these days are no doubt continually looking at their competitors and arguing that nasty and vicious produces more profits.

The nasty vicious world of business today is copied behaviour from witnessing others profit it from it and everyone is just a board member retirement away from the wolves moving in to their employer.

DXC's new boss has quite the cleanup ahead after frankenfirm exits Q2 nursing $2bn loss


Talk is cheap Mr Salvino

Talk is cheap, but on the other hand, the previous regime didn't even talk - that's how s0dding miserable and despotic they were. Not even at the beginning.

I've seen "Sal" already engage with employees in the areas that he has talked about selling and listen to them.

This is unheard of under Mikey...

There is a glimmer of hope...

Open wide, very wide: Xerox considers buying HP. Yes, the HP that is more than three times its market cap


Trashing the competition

Its a strategy some pursue, but buying a competitor three times your market cap only to trash it?

The pressure from Wall Street would break CEO after CEO thats for sure - the shares would surge on the merger and then expect to see the share price go up, not for you to basically dismantle it and throw it in the skip.

You'd be hard pushed to show that the drop in value was just due to merger turmoil while you seek "synergies" if you actually were simply removing a brand from the market - at that point, your own brand.

I see your blue passport and raise you a green number plate: UK mulls rewards scheme for zero-emission vehicles


Re: Go Dutch?

TBH the idea of vehicle weight being a major factor is something I've long wondered why nothing has been done about in the UK.

It goes without saying that the more the weight, the more the energy needed to propel it, therefore the more the pollution.

Why don't we simply set a 1 tonne limit for personal vehicles and everything else is commercial?

Why does a 2019 Vauxhall Astra weigh ~1.8 tonnes? The 1990's version weighed 900kg.

And that's only an Astra - not some monster peasant crusher 4x4.


Treasury revenue

There are a number of different ideas they are floating at the moment, but what is definitely true is that the current regime of subsidy on purchase, zero road tax and standard electricity prices will not remain in the coming years.

All of these things will be swept away "when the EV just becomes 'the car'" (as the government propaganda is telling us).

I'd guess we'll see these measures in place as soon as EV's reach 20% of the vehicles on the road - not too far away I'd guess.

Some of the different options being considered are outlined here:


The next thing after tailpipe emissions btw is particle emissions from tyres and brakes. Expect to see low pollution zones where electric vehicles are given a pollution rating and you pay a pollution charge to drive a 4.5 tonne electric peasant crusher vs a Renault Zoe. Probably also a significant scrappage charge on EOL battery packs.

One thing is for sure though - all those people that imagine they are escaping the endless tax war on motorists by buying an EV are wrong.

Another 3,900 staffers gone, 3 data centres to be closed, and yet DXC revenues keep falling


Re: Highest costs first

I'll tell you what L3/L4/L5 do - exactly what they are told by L1 and not a single extra thing.

In a properly functioning company with devolved powers to drive the various divisions along, these people are the key to success.

In DXC there is only one person allowed to make decisions.

Its this absolute dictatorship that is the root of all of DXC's problems - and I'm not using the word "dictatorship" just to be nasty about Mikey, its the actual case of that is how the company works.

Others won't believe me, but trust me, that is why its so chaotic and fails so hard - just like CSC did when Mikey took charge of that.

So yes, I agree that L3/L4/L5 have no purpose. Automation could replace them - an inbox rule in Exchange server.

Not-so-paltry towers: Vodafone gears up to flog off massive masts business


Re: Oh dear

Yup in a 5G world those masts are almost certainly "legacy" that will have little value into the future.

Offload and rent mast space back while the legacy goes away over time.

Maker of US border's license-plate scanning tech ransacked by hacker, blueprints and files dumped online


Re: snatch.....

Bent as the Soviet sickle and hard as the hammer that crosses it

How do you sing 'We're jamming and we hope you like jamming, too' in Russian? Kremlin's sat-nav spoofing revealed


Re: Just the Russians...

"Are they field testing it against Russian or Chinese military exercises though?"

I'd say very likely but "they" aren't releasing press statements about it and the Russians and Chinese won't be talking about it either.... so its impossible to say.

TBH testing jamming by jamming your potential opponents during peacetime is counter-productive. All you are doing is showing your hand and giving them a chance to measure your systems and develop counter-measures.


Just the Russians...

Yes, only the "bad guys" have the kit to jam/offset satellite location systems... just the same as only the Russians sail ships in international waters near other countries or fly bombers near others.

Yes of course, nobody else does any of that...

Only one Huawei? We pitted the P30 Pro against Samsung and Apple's best – and this is what we found


Re: It doesn't really matter anyway

x200 zoom? Assuming that you have a full frame sensor, that's ~2000mm... I've seen smaller anti-tank weapons!

DXC Security exec: Yes, I'd have thought we'd spend more on certs and laptop kit for staff, too


Re: Maintaining certifications

I'm with you on that...

Security perhaps more so than other domains, but really the purpose of those "qualifications" is more about getting another job than being able to do the one that you already have.

CISSP does suck though. Its hardly a true gauge of anything in the same way as my O level in Physics doesn't in itself suggest that I could be employed as a rocket scientist for NASA...

Ransomware drops the Lillehammer on Norsk Hydro: Aluminium giant forced into manual mode after systems scrambled


Not a worm...

LockerGoga is not a worm.

Norsk was hit by someone sh1t bombing their systems with it - possibly using AD logon scripts and/or their own patching system.

Unlikely to be mass emailing, but they were targeted by someone...

So its either an inside job or network penetration - both possible!

The gimlet gaze of Azure to be turned upon UK footpads thanks to cop-friendly analytics


Re: CPU type?

In an Intel lead operation?

Fancy Bear hacker crew Putin dirty RATs in Word documents emailed to govt orgs – report


Re: Here we go again

But the document will also tell you that you can't see the content unless you click "enable macros"...

Now obviously that would be a big red flag to switched on guys and gals, but you'd be surprised how many will accept the offered choice when they can't see what it is they are getting...

Yikes. UK military looking into building 'fully autonomous' killer drone tech – report


Re: Drone wars, not

There's another problem facing the military:


As the drones become cheaper, chucking highly advanced (aka "expensive") weapons at them as a counter measure is increasingly problematic. The price of the anti-aircraft weapons needs to come down or that swarm of $200 drones is going to bankrupt you and take you out of the war.

So everyone is rushing to create gun based systems to deal with the threat.


Re: Missiles, Torpedoes, Mines etc.

You are correct... I suppose the difference comes in so far as a "drone" deploys a weapon and (subject to enemy return of fire) comes back to rearm. A missile does deploy a weapon (its warhead) but is destroyed in the process.

In terms of the morality question, its pretty much the same, you unleash something which will seek and destroy the enemy within a set of parameters (usually a relatively small "target area" for missiles/torpedoes). I guess though the key is that a "drone" is probably seeking people in an area with a lot of potential collateral damage rather than a ship or aircraft in a 100% military target area, although those can go wrong in the same way (eg hitting an airliner not a warplane in the same area).

Its this piece where the computers are identifying legitimate targets in an area with plenty of illegitimate ones that is making this a bigger question.

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