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  • Apple again rumored to goose iCloud security amid iPhone encryption flap

    Hell, let's forget pass phrases altogether. We know that Apple takes your fingerprint and stores a mathematical representation (a hash) of it in the secure enclave, in a format that makes it impossible to reverse back to the original print. What makes it so impressive is you can use a PORTION of your finger at different angles or orientations on the fingerprint sensor and Touch ID still somehow manages to "match" this with the stored hash of your fingerprint. So why not make a fingerprint as the pass phrase that encrypts your iCloud data? Now you can't forget it, and because of the complexity of your fingerprint you'd have the equivalent of a very long pass phrase (impossible to decrypt).
    I think one of the easiest exercises for a government is to get your fingerprint.
    Unless you remove you finger print (acid?) or die and get brutally mutilated the government will get access to your data.
    To my mind the only passkey that can give some security has to be in your mind only. As soon as you rely on physical object (your finger) you are hackable by organizations with enough money to spend.
    ration altenly
  • Apple, Google & others to face European Parliament hearing on tax deals

    entropys said:

    Under European Union regulations, extending tax breaks to one company but not others is considered illegal state aid.

    In in other words, all your money belongs to the state, and anything the state chooses to let you keep is its gift to you.

    Also on the specific, how do they know that the concessional tax rate wasn't available to others? How about it isn't really about the tax rate offered to the companies, but that the tax rate was lower than in other EU countries the aspect they don't like? If there is one thing Eurocrats hate, it's competitive federalism. Centralised control is clearly the goal. You know, the kind of thing the 20th century spent millions of lives working out didn't work.  

    if I was a Pom I know how I would be voting in the Brexit referendum.
    You are just ranting because your beloved company is under legal pressure and you don't try to take a deeper look.

    • Go ask the small and middle size companies in Ireland if they get the same tax breaks as Apple gets. They don't.
    • If these tax breaks are offered to all companies, why does the law say different? Why do they have to sign secret contracts, hidden from the European commission.
    • The EU has no problem with different tax rates in different countries, but with different tax rates for different companies in the same country
    • Ireland has a much lower tax rate than the US. The regular tax rate in Ireland is 12%, but Apple (and many other multi nationals) got off with less than 2%
    • If a company has to sign a secret tax agreement you can't tell me that the lawyers and management don't know that it is on shaky legal grounds
    • and if we want to meet at strictly political ground with "centralized control" take a look at what fbi and doj are doing in the us

  • Apple could owe over $8 billion in European taxes, new estimate indicates

    When you take your view over the edge of your plate you might start to question why, from all subsidiaries in Europe, it is just the HQ in Ireland that is making any profit.
    All other subsidiaries are working with very little profit although they sell the product to the consumer.
    So Apple Ireland is collecting imense rates for services, patents and products from all the other subsidiaries that they can hardly stay profitable at all.
    In the US you get sued if you increase the price for - lets say e-books? But in Europe it should be legal that Apple asks for massively inflated (to my mind) rates for basic services from its own subsidiaries. I think all companies that use this procedure are walking a very fine line.

  • Apple raises iPhone, iPad prices in Germany to account for copyright levy

    entropys said:
    if the German government actually wanted to do something about illegal downloads, it could perhaps consider something old fashioned such as basic police work and enforcing the law. I guess that wouldn't be popular. They should have done absolutely nothing if hans blogmeister ripped his cd so he can listen to Aha on his iPhone. In fact, copyingfrom something like a CD you have purchased To your owned devices should be legal, like it is in other jurisdictions.  Hans has after all already paid for it.
    I don't know if this is similar to Austria, but if it is, it is as old as tapes and VHS. In that time industry bullied their greedy hands into our cash (thanks to lobbying). Industry argued that with tapes and VHS people could make a copy of everything that was broadcasted over radio and TV and they don't get compensated.

    This was then extended to copiers (you could copy a book), then cd/dvd-recorders and blank cds/dvds (I don't know if we pay this levy on blank sheets of paper also :s).
    The same goes for hard disks and SSDs. What we see know is just and expansion of the ruling to popular devices that include some type of storage.

    This ruling wasn't thought out by the government, they just let the industry squeeze some more euros from the consumers for no service in return.