'Nobody owns 'ol Sol. Now gimme €10k to keep it that way, suckers'

Plus: Cisco sheds another three execs. Smooooth

QuoTW This week, the US government got hacked, while Microsoft lost a very big customer and venture capitalists took aim at patent trolls.

These were some of the best quotes of the week.

Spaniard Angeles Duran has staked a claim to ownership of ol' Sol, and now she's fighting eBay for the right to sell the big, burny thing in the sky.

Duran – who is clearly not at all crazy – said she'll give up the rights to the Sun for a mere €10,000. She claimed:

Owner of the Sun, type G2 star, which lies at the centre of the solar system, at an average distance from the Earth of 149,600,000 kilometres.

Good luck with that.

Speaking of people who are clearly still very much in their right minds, former security giant John McAfee worries that the seedy habits of government officials will soon catch up and possibly compromise national security as a result.

McAfee said at the 2015 Infosec show:

This is the problem we're having. We've attacked one half of the system, the technological side, but we have not given training to corporations or individuals to prevent the social engineering aspect of hacking.

The FBI, meanwhile, thinks we could all do with a little bit less security.

Michael Steinbach, assistant director of counter-terrorism for the feds, made the case for why Uncle Sam should be able to break your encryption?

Privacy above all other things, including safety and freedom from terrorism, is not where we want to go. We're not looking at going through a back door or being nefarious.

Got that? Good, now just hand those encryption keys over to the US government and everything will be hunky dory.

Elsewhere, Chinese giant Baidu was called out this week for cheating on image-recognition tests.

Dr Sean Holden from the University of Cambridge told El Reg just why it was so difficult for computers to pick up images:

The thing is, most AI research actually isn't really working on the entire field of AI. Human-like performance is too hard, it's too difficult to focus on.

If AI is too tough, why not try your hand at winning over the online tickets market?

That's what billionaire Matt Jones wants to do with Songkick.

His new service will apparently attempt to succeed where LiveNation has failed. Jones said:

Concert attendance rates are stagnant, with the same 40-50 per cent of tickets left unsold today as when I started CrowdSurge.

If that doesn't work out, there's always the chance of a job at Cisco.

The company that built a fortune on networking gear has just announced that yet another group of execs are on the way out.

We close this week with CEO Chuck Robbins' extremely diplomatic take on the departure of his chief globalisation officer, chief technology officer and senior vice president of services:

We are so fortunate that these leaders are able to remain with us in the near-term to finish key project and ensure a smooth transition.

Altogether now: awww. ®

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