Software patents, the gift that keeps on giving!
Patenting code, patenting numbers, patenting basic geometric shapes...
What could possibly go wrong?
1639 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007
Patenting code, patenting numbers, patenting basic geometric shapes...
What could possibly go wrong?
Nice article, Mr. Mellor!
... I found in the Donkey Kong JR arcade machine.
In short, you could input some text in the high scores board after beating the game and then delete more characters (I think it was 10) than what you did input. The possible results included the main character's sprite inverted, random scan lines, inverted sprites movement and random colour blocks in the screen. All this suffered by the poor sod playing after me, of course! :-)
I usually did this only when the guys waiting waiting to play after me were a little too pushy. Some free education for them!
I checked a few years ago and the exploit works also when the game is run using the MAME emulator, so you can try this yourselves.
"If the ruling was available to any company / broad category of companies, it won't be a competition case at all"
The EU Competition Commission says that's not the case, and if it were, every company in the country would be paying a 0.0005 tax, and there would be money to pay (a minimum wage) only to one Minister, two Gardai and a nurse (to do the Irish NHS work).
Yeah, truly astonishing!
Multiply that amount by one hundred -for each of the companies listed- and they may start paying attention.
The fine is ridiculous and the two years investigation probably costed the taxpayers several times the amount fined.
" ...but why should US senators support Apple paying $14.5 billion less to the IRS?"
Though is not clear enough in the article (IMO), the speech the Competition Commissioner gave to the Copenhagen Business School says literally: "And it was their investigation into Apple - and US transparency rules - that tipped us off that the company might have received State aid."
So it's not that US senators contacted the EU Competition Commission and told them about the scam, just that the EU read the Senate investigation reports and used them as a base for their own investigation.
Regarding your first paragraph, I think the issue here is not those $14.5 billion not going to the US Treasury, but not a single $ reaching the US, unless the Government drops its pants and bends over by lowering the corporate tax to Third World levels, instead.
Of course, any honest Senator* could/should have called The EU Competition Commission and told them about this, but the Occam's Razor suggests that it's far more probable that the EU Commissioner read the reports and acted accordingly, without any need to include unicorns, fairies and honest Senators.;-)
A firm of TLA's toadies fighting a [patent troll/crony capitalist/IP thief] in the mud! What a great time to be alive!
Where's my popcorn?
...I would consider slashing my wrists too!*
Fuck! I'd probably do it for a third of that amount!**
*: With an emergency medical team by mi side, of course.
**: Yeah, I'm shit at bargaining.
"...add 'effect' to one's indoor games..."
"I prefer to call them front door games"
So one of these days we'll be able to purchase a fridge that:
a) Is connected to "the cloud"
b) Rats us out to anyone willing to pay MS for the data regarding things like the products and brands we consume, when we are or aren't at home, how long do we sleep, when we are away on holidays...
c) Rat us out also to anyone able to hack said cloud service, including dishonest employees, retarded script kiddies and even some secret service agencies ;-)
Sounds good to me!
"are secure devices and communications worth it?"
No, they aren't. If we lose them, we only need to sacrifice very minor things like security, privacy, e-commerce, free speech in the web, banking -including teller machines and credit cards-...
FYI, your debate was probably carried out more than two millennia ago, and there was a clear winner.
Seriously now, this stupid debate would also be a massive exercise in futility, as the bad guys won't give a flying fuck about the outcome. They'll simply keep using cryptography themselves and robbing blind anyone who doesn't.
I'd like to add that Eire also has laws against such "tax arrangements". Funny, the way politicians sometimes wipe they arses with their own countries laws and then shout bloody murder when they get caught.
Fuck'em all with a cactus!
To those who disagree with Mr. alain williams comment:
I'd be really surprised if the cost of services 'over the bundle' wasn't clearly specified in the original contracts. If this was the case, the contract would be saying, basically: "We will charge you whatever we want for services not included in the bundle", which would make the contract invalid in most (civilized) countries.
Terry Pratchett included a similar theory in several of his books.
I see what you did there.
"...then who cares if Google can read the "Hi Jim, here's the information you asked for" in plain text ?"
True, but if the email's title is "Vulnerability found in module XXX, please fix asap!" or "NSA backdoor found in function YYY!" then "bad things
The "Personal" version is free. The free trials are for the "Enterprise" paid versions. Not that this info is too easy to find on their site. ;-)
Crossing my fingers on that they'll keep the Personal version free, though.
Totally agreed, but what Iain probably meant was "Typical specimen is older than the USA". That would fit with the sharks "average lifespan of 272 years".* :-)
In a more serious note, I don't think that calling USA's citizens "Americans " is correct or admissible, even if mostly everybody does it.
*: Which was probably the point of your comment. ;-)
These guys will go bankrupt in three months at most!
You beat me to it!
" Consecutive: following one after the other in order : SUCCESSIVE *served four consecutive terms in office*"
"Never assume malice when a confusing interface will suffice", I guess.
...this sound like something from a state actor. It could be either an American tool -probably outsourced to Israel- or a FSB deployed tool that somehow broke free from its constraints and controls, up to the point that the FSB itself had to address the problem.
In a distant third position, China. :-)
That's true, but one would expect the managers or owners to perform some due diligence, find some geek consultant with good references and ask (and pay) for his/her advice. If you are unsatisfied with said advice, you can ask for a second opinion. To a different guy, of course! ;-)
Alas, even doing this would probably give them a 50-50 chance, as lots of the people who claim to be geek wizs shouldn't be left alone with any piece of machinery more complex than a baby rattle. ;-)
... I had a call from a company that had contracted one of these "external support services" for their smallish - ~25 seats - shop. After suffering some issues with their file servers, they called "support" and spent several hours on the phone, to no avail. After several days of tests and checks, the customer called me to be their "interface" with the support service, as the guy in charge of that was more of a power user than a professional IT guy, and paid accordingly (peanuts, monkeys, management cutting corners, ... you know the drill).
I went there, studied the issue for a while and told the customer I could fix it myself, but the customer insisted I call the support service, as that would supposedly save time.
To put it short, their setup included two servers, one of them a Windows 2003 server and the other a Debian file server. The support guy wasn't even aware of the existence of the Debian server (or the existence of Debian OS :-). To add insult to injury, all the bushwhacking with the Windows server had caused more issues. At that point, I told the support guy that I needed to leave the premises for several hours and would contact him later. I was lying through my teeth :-).
I went straight to the management and explained them the issue, i.e. that the "support service" they had hired was basically a bunch of noobs with scarce knowledge of Windows servers and no knowledge at all of anything else IT related. My Unix/Linux was a little bit rusty back then, so I had to google the fixes for the Debian server. It took me another three hours to fix everything.
After being profusely patted in the back by the customer, I advised them to drop the contract with the "remote support". To this day, I still use this as a cautionary tale against those
scams "remote support services".
More recently, I had another funny experience where the support service was trying to use Teamviewer to fix a problem with a raid array. I had to explain the poor sod at the phone that you can't access the system BIOS using Teamviewer. :-D
"It takes a real human to apologize."
Instead of drones, that are expensive, complex and prone to self-destruction machines, Amazon should use artillery shells, with containers of various sizes. With this method yo could send anything from a fresh egg to a small car. The cost savings could be spectacular, allowing Amazon to "Create Value For Our Shareholders" (TM).
And a great way of mailing brochures, as well!
But I can imagine the naysayers: ... insurance costs... civil unrest... true mail-bombs... yadda yadda...
Fucking Luddites! It's because of them we don't have flying cars!!!
... this article should be saved for posterity!
Kudos to you, Sir!
Post data: by the way, you owe me a new hernia.
What astonishes me is that CC is the default, instead of BCC. If you use BCC when you should have used CC, you only need to resend the email, perhaps with a small note of apology. If it's the other way round..."It's raining shit, Hallelujah...".
"No message from the Druids?"
Fuck the druids! I want to hear the FSM's Church opinion!
Have you tried updating the BIOS? I remember having read about a similar problem in some forum a few years ago, and the guy fixed it with a BIOS update.*
*Note: Unless it's one of those Chinese no-brand laptops they sell in the 'net, in which case you're probably screwed.
"Looks like our friends over at JAG have got their work cut out with this one."
Yes, they're sending a commando force to Germany! To investigate the matter, honest, Guv.!
'...why doesn't it have "cop bodycams"...?'
Because the robot keeps disabling them and claiming they're malfunctioning!
"After this, I wouldn't be surprised if they appointed Count Dracula as Health minister"*
*Or words to that effect, as this is a translation of a translation.
Seven million dollars? You fucking kidding me?
It'll be short, indeed!
" ...share where you got that info from."
God told him, obviously.
"...it's full of _____ and ________"
Yeah, the similarities with a brothel are just amazing!
"...has to be quite deflating to anyone..."
Kudos to you, Mr. Zanshin, for your extremely accurate use of the word 'deflating'!
HA HAHA HA HAHAHAHA etc. etc.
These feckers should leave advertising and go into comedy!.
He owned a VW Touareg, FFS!!!
Have you tried the Internet Archive?
Use the date when you read it and some text/names you remember from the article, and please post the link if you find something, and thank you.
... Trump and Murdoch would love to have control of this Ministry of Truth.
"@Mephistro: nice strategic use of cutoff points there"
Ehh... yes and no. The page only allows for fixed periods of time-day, week, month...- counting back from the present. If you use the sliding bar below the graphic to move/change the length of the time period, it doesn't show on the linked URL.
So I revisited the page and checked again for that time period and... the graph didn't even look like what I remember. :-(
Possibilities, in order of relevance, as perceived by me:
1- First and foremost, I screwed up! If this was the case, it was a honest mistake. Could be that I didn't press the chart refresh button. Actually I was a little bit surprised that the € had recovered so fast, but didn't bother to check the graph's data.
2- Being ~2 AM and in the weekend, the site could be using old data or test data. Next time I link one of these websites, I'll make an screen capture and store it, just in case.
3- The Illuminati did it!
I'll go and commit seppuku now.
Right now (2016/07/02), Euro/dollar exchange rate has recovered the levels it had before the Brexit referendum. It's even higher now!
"If you put her brain into a Jackdaw..."
That's a great idea for a Kickstarter project!
Perfectly doable, as long as you add some padding so as not to allow her brain to bounce too much inside the bird's skull.
"UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000
if teens watch porn vids full stop."