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Submission + - EU new VAT regulation ends up helping Amazon->

Taco Cowboy writes: Last year the EU passed a new legislation which was supposed to punish entities such as Amazon (which has its EU base in Belgium and thus not paying appropriate taxes in other EU countries) but ironically the same legislation which comes into effect 1st Jan of this year ends up helping Amazon

Microbusinsses (small shops dotted around the EU countries) simply couldn't cope with the complication of having to comply with each and every kind of VAT regulation in each and every EU country (plus local version of VATs)

Most of the microbusinesses may end up shutting their digital businesses, and those who hang on, opted to sell their wares on sites such as E-Bay or Amazon — the very entities the new EU regulation tried to punish

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cold War, NSA, GCHQ and Encryption->

Taco Cowboy writes: In the 1980s, the historian James Bamford was researching his book The Puzzle Palace about the US National Security Agency (NSA) and came across references to the "Boris project" in papers written by William F Friedman, the founding father of code-breaking in America. The "Boris project' details a secret agreement between Boris Hagelin, the founder of Crypto AG, a Switzerland company which sold Enigma-like machines to nations and spy agencies around the world, and NSA

Upon learning of Mr. Bamford's discovery the NSA promptly had the papers locked up in a vault

In 1995, journalist Scott Shane, then at the Baltimore Sun, found indications of contacts between the company and the NSA in the 1970s, but the company said claims of a deal were "pure invention"

The new revelations of a deal do not come from a whistleblower or leaked reports, but are buried within 52,000 pages of documents declassified by the NSA itself this April and investigated by the BBC

The relationship was based on a deep personal friendship between Hagelin and Friedman, forged during the War. The central document is a once top-secret 22-page report of a 1955 visit by Friedman to Zug in Switzerland, where Crypto AG was based

Some elements of the memo have been redacted — or blacked out — by the NSA. But within the released material, are two versions of the same memo, as well as a draft

Each of the versions has different parts redacted. By placing them side by side and cross referencing with other documents, it is possible to learn many — but not all — details. The different versions of the report make clear Friedman — described as special assistant to the director of NSA — went with a proposal agreed not just by US, but also British intelligence

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/4...

Friedman offered Hagelin time to think his proposal over, but Hagelin accepted on the spot

The relationship, initially referred to as a "gentleman's agreement", included Hagelin keeping the NSA and GCHQ informed about the technical specifications of different machines and which countries were buying which ones. The provision of technical details "is a revelation of the first order," says Paul Reuvers, an engineer who runs the Crypto Museum website

"That's extremely valuable. It is something you would not normally do because the integrity and secrecy of your own customer is mandatory in this business"

The key to breaking mechanical encryption machines — such as Enigma or those produced by Hagelin — is to understand in detail how they work and how they are used. This knowledge can allow smart code breakers to look for weaknesses and use a combination of maths and computing to work through permutations to find a solution. In one document, Hagelin hints to Friedman he is going to be able "to supply certain customers" with a specific machine which, Friedman notes, is of course "easier to solve than the new models"

Previous reports of the deal suggested it may have involved some kind of backdoor in the machines, which would provide the NSA with the keys. But there is no evidence for this in the documents (although some parts remain redacted)

Rather, it seems the detailed knowledge of the machines and their operations may have allowed code-breakers to cut the time needed to decrypt messages from the impossible to the possible

The relationship also involved not selling machines such as the CX-52, a more advanced version of the C-52 — to certain countries. "The reason that CX-52 is so terrifying is because it can be customised," says Prof Richard Aldrich, of the University of Warwick. "So it's a bit like defeating Enigma and then moving to the next country and then you've got to defeat Enigma again and again and again"

Some countries — including Egypt and India — were not told of the more advanced models and so bought those easier for the US and UK to break

In some cases, customers appear to have been deceived. One memo indicates Crypto AG was providing different customers with encryption machines of different strengths at the behest of Nato and that "the different brochures are distinguishable only by 'secret marks' printed thereon"

Historian Stephen Budiansky says: "There was a certain degree of deception going on of the customers who were buying [machines] and thinking they were getting something the same as what Hagelin was selling everywhere when in fact it was a watered-down version"

Among the customers of Hagelin listed are Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, India, Jordan and others in the developing world

In the summer of 1958, army officers apparently sympathetic to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the regime in Iraq. Historian David Easter, of King's College, London, says intelligence from decrypted Egyptian communications was vital in Britain being able to rapidly deploy troops to neighbouring Jordan to forestall a potential follow-up coup against a British ally

The 1955 deal also appears to have involved the NSA itself writing "brochures", instruction manuals for the CX-52, to ensure "proper use". One interpretation is these were written so certain countries could use the machines securely — but in others, they were set up so the number of possible permutations was small enough for the NSA to crack

In a statement, a GCHQ spokesman said the agency "does not comment on its operational activities and neither confirms nor denies the accuracy of the specific inferences that have been drawn from the document you are discussing"

The NSA also declined to comment on the specific conclusions

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Mod Parent Up (Score 1) 72 72

Let us not forget that it was supposed to have fully working XBMC at release time (if not included, then downloadable) which still hadn't materialized over a month later. Did that ever really happen? Before I took my Ouya back to Gamestop, I tried numerous nightlies and none of them were ever anywhere close to stable, nor did any of them really work properly anyway.

Ouya really set Android gaming back substantially with their incompetence. It's good to see that some other manufacturers are now bringing devices to market, even if the most reputable are Mad Catz and Razer — both known for making cheap knockoff trash.

Comment Re:And another sign of privilege (Score 1) 259 259

As it happens, yes. I have Aspergers, I get shit scared by ignorant cunts abusing standard English terms

Oh my fucking god you just made my day. I mean, I rarely ROFL, and I'm not now, but I'm about as close as I ever get right now.

in order to avoid having to defend their agenda of hatred.

You're the one misusing the word "cunt" on something you don't like. Closet case much? I mean, it's OK to be gay, but you don't have to hate on vagina.

Happens that 'privilege' is an excellent example of just that.

It just so happens that if you find yourself getting angry about the concept of 'privilege' then you are yourself a privileged person. If you even have time and leisure to sit around thinking about how privileged you aren't, you are.

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 1) 72 72

I want the benefits of mass production commodities and be able to buy a good PC gaming machine off-the-shelf for a lower price.

The Steam Machine won't give you that, because it's small and because it has a brand stamped on it. It's going to come at a higher price.

Iâ(TM)m tired of spending so much time building my own custom PC and doing OS installations.

So buy one prebuilt.

Iâ(TM)m sick of Microsoft charging me many times more than everybody else for a Windows license because I didnâ(TM)t buy a pre-configured machine from an OEM.

So buy a pre-configured machine from an OEM, which is what you are proposing to do.

Iâ(TM)m sick of Windows blue screening and corrupting my EFI boot partitions so my dual boots wonâ(TM)t work.

So stop putting multiple OSes on one disk. Segregate onto different storage devices. Problem completely solved.

- Iâ(TM)m sick of Windows nagging me about turning on Secure Boot. I donâ(TM)t want it.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2902864

Iâ(TM)m sick of big giant PC towers that take up massive space and donâ(TM)t fit well in home theater cabinets (or anywhere else).

Buy a SFF PC.

- Iâ(TM)m sick of loud PC fans and the unnecessarily high power consumption and heat

Buy a low-power CPU and GPU

I want a gaming PC that is fully utilized for games, not loaded down with needless background processes sucking up CPU and RAM

So disable the indexing service etc.

- Hardware driver updates for Windows is such a chore.

It is? The only ones that see many updates are the GPU drivers, and geforce experience handles that for me with very few clicks. Perhaps you are currently "enjoying" the AMD experience.

Windows mostly broke DirectX/DirectInput compatibility. Iâ(TM)m so sick of having to get xce360 working and re-configured for every single game I buy now.

Shoulda stuck with win7 for gaming, boyo

- I hate it that Fraps doesnâ(TM)t work any more with non-fullscreen mode starting in Windows 8

See last. Also, fraps is over, what are you, new? Now you use your GPU recording tools.

- I donâ(TM)t want to be pushed to Windows Store

Not going to happen yet. Maybe later.

TL;DR: a Steam PC isn't going to solve any problems; you didn't list any problems which aren't already solved.

Comment Re:My Ouya (Score 1) 72 72

You shoulda got a used original Xbox. You can often pick one up for $20, if you can solder you don't need to buy anything to mod most of them, there's a ton of games and a ton of indie software including a crapload of emulators. You could have saved it from the landfill and saved eighty bucks at the same time

Comment Re:/system/lib/libstagefright* (Score 2) 153 153

I'm actually kind of hoping this is a viable option. I dread the idea of re-installing my phone from scratch, but a drop-in replacement for the affected files would certainly be welcome.

Probably not. libstagefright is, nominally, per-GPU. Every GPU vendor would have to roll their own. And then it would have to be tested... It's just not going to happen at all. Everyone is going to say "time to move on" and blame the vendors. The vendors will blame the GPU makers...

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 2) 72 72

They delivered the product as promised

Well, no. Not really. They promised an open and hackable platform. But they didn't deliver that. They released a shitty and broken platform. Many units overheat. All original controllers were shit, they had to do a second run. And the "recovery" is shit. It's implemented at the same level as the OS, so if you ruin your OS, your Ouya is really and truly bricked. Nobody has figured out how to get JTAG on it. USB keyboards become controller #1 so nothing works until you unpair them and the keypad (which will have become controller #2) and then re-pair the keypad. Pairing of PS3 controllers was never reliable. Etc etc. Ouya is a turd, they failed miserably, and it's not clear why anyone would bother to pick up the pieces.

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 259 259

if you're not going to enforce the rules, why bother going through the motions?

There are obviously a lot of steps between here and there, but that's no reason not to try to take them.

You can't give people everything they want. But you can enable people to create them, and you can stay out of their way.

Comment Re:Its 2015 people. (Score 1) 312 312

Because I can't stand living in cities as they are now. When they kick out all the cars, maybe I'll think about moving back. On the other hand, I like having a lot of personal space, and it's a lot cheaper in the sticks. I probably won't ever move back into the cities if I have a choice.

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.

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