* Posts by Greg 10

34 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009

CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Greg 10

Re: Stupid question

Propagation is not instantaneous. Each atom bears some pressure and passes it on to the closest one.

Pushing on a 100 million miles long rod would not move the other end instantaneously.

You can actually easily test this in reality.

Just take a 2 meters long spring (ok, hard to get by but you can engineer one much more easily than a 300 million miles long pole). Push on one end.

By now you are imagining what's happening and you don't need to actually test it. It probably is obvious to you that the spring will compress some on your end beforespringing on the other end (and that'd be true even without and friction).

Well, your pole is the same. It's way less compressible than a spring, but then you'd have to apply inifinitely more pressure to actually give it the same acceleration as the spring. So in the end, it'd would compress, that compression would propagate at some speed actually probably way below the speed of light, and your thought experiment problem is solved.

All along it was not a real problem but just the fact that it's not a real thought experiment but just assuming that because you don't see the delay at our scale, there isn't one. Even at our scale, there is.

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EU: We'll force power plants, Apple and pals to admit hack attacks

Greg 10

Re: Come back when the criminals are out of the parliaments!

Definitely the prize for the stupidest comment of the day.

Just the ideological title ensures we know from the beginning you're gonna say dumb things (not that there may not be criminals in the parliaments, but pray tell, what's the link?).

Then there's that random rant about monetizing debt, because of course, there is a clear angle about that here, and you should probably have mentionned gay marriage and social security, just to be sure it made no sense at all.

Then of course, now that we know you make no sense whatsoever, we have that stupid assumption that anyone actually said it would stop hackers. Of course it doesn't, but if a crime goes unreported, then for sure you CANNOT do anything about it.

So yeah, complain about taking a first step just because one step is not enough.

Governments shouldn't take that first step to battle chinese IP theft, because one step is not enough, so they better do nothing at all and keep their eyes closed.

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Asteroid belts could be key to finding intelligent life

Greg 10

Re: Spiral?

Uh, while I applaud your memories of two-bodies mechanics, isn't the whole point of the article about the fact that there actually are OTHER bodies in this? Other planets, other asteroids, that mess this up and can slowly disrupt trajectories?

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AT&T: 'Eat too much data and we'll strangle you'

Greg 10

5% of users at any one time

I'm suprised that noone except the last post mentioned the fact that from what's told to us, it's not at all 5%.

Even Old Handle is not seeing it as black as it may well be.

As soon as you reach those 5%, you're throttled for the rest of the month, even if you drop out of it.

Does that mean that if I heavily use my phone on the first day of the month, I'm throttled, and then i don't use it as much, sonce I can't, so the very next day, someone else is bound to replace me in the top 5%?

If so, it may very well in the end touch a huge proportion of people in any given month

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Schmidt preaches 'deep integration' desire with Facebook, Twitter

Greg 10

Room for everyone

@Justin Clements

Of course Schmidt is right.

There is room for hundreds of social networks, not just one.

First, there are lots of thriving small networks, specialized ones, who integrate with facebook. there is even room for at least two other large ones (LinkedIn, Twitter).

Second, Schmidt says he wants to integrate deeply with FB, Twitter. When he says there is room for lots of social networks, he presumably means "assuming we can force competition-friendly interoperability".

There is room for several phone operators no? In spite of the fact that obviously, phone is the biggest network effect in the world.

Now if the first big phone company had only accepted called passed to and from its own network, there would be space for only one phone company in the world.

But you can actually pass call to (and receive calls from) people suscribing to other phone companies, and it's illegal for phone companies to not allow this.

Hence, there is room for at least as many social networks in the world as there are phone companies (much more, actually, because of lower sunk and fixed costs).

You just need to have interoperability rules, and that's clearly what Schmidt wants the future to be: interoperability with FB, Twitter, and probably anyone else.

And if Google manages to obtain that, then hundreds of (small) networks will flourish in its wake: to each his preferred way of seeing and pushing content, but content goes to people you want, regardless of where those people actually choose to see that content and push their own.

(and BTW, yes, it'll be hard as hell that interoperability, but certainly wayyyyy simpler than the technical interoperability between phone carriers)

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Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Greg 10

@D.M

What new does it give me?

Exactly the reason why I stopped pirating initially: it's such a pain to tag, categorize, and organize the music I pirated.

Now, no need. I just listen to spotify and pirate full discographies and then they'll be nicely tagged and organized in iTunes, plus they'll all be in the same format.

What does it bring: no new title, but a huge amount of convenience.

Which is exactly what spotify trades in: I moved from piracy to spotify because it's convenient. Pirating is now more convenient thanks to icloud, for a paltry $24

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Greg 10

As usual, stupid dismissal by Andrew

I don't get why, with otherwise very clever analysis, Andrew always feels the need to look stupid by denying the existence of things altogether, instead of much more cleverly arguing that they don't matter that much.

Yes, it's true, iCloud encourages piracy.

3 out of the 14 friends I've spoken with about this seriously consider suscribing to iCloud and START pirating again.

I for one have absolutely decided that I would stop Spotify and will start pirating again, something I haven't done for the last 2 years.

I have started acting upon that, by DL and installing software to automatically store all played spotify songs.

The reason is obvious: Spotify was simpler than piracy. WAYYY simpler. So much simpler that it was better. iCloud lowers the barrier.

I stopped piracy because the encoding was never right, the songs were not correctly tagged, it was a pain to categorize them, and so on.

Now, I'm starting piracy again because it's all automated. In a few keystrokes I can get the full discography of a musician, and not care about whether it's correctly named and encoded. Apple will take care of that for me.

So yes, it's obvious and one has to be Andrew to deny it.

It may be marginal. It may not be important in the grand scheme of things. It may be important but still the way forward for lots of other good reasons.

But piracy will not decrease because of iCloud, it will increase in some measure.

(yes, I'm a freetard, bite me, I think it's not the point here, denying the behaviour of freetards and their use of iCloud will not reduce piracy)

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Baby Googles: The answer to the Chocolate Factory dominance?

Greg 10

Marginal cost

As usual when you talk about there-is-no-reason-this-or-that-should-be-free, you are ignoring , you are knowingly ignoring basic economics.

Why don't we EVER see you acknowledge marginal cost issues?

The very simple fact is that if something COSTS zero (or very near zero) to provide to one more user, like for instance an article written by A.Orlowski, then the economic pressure and natural behaviour is to price it at (or very near) zero.

Any other price risks being undercut by someone else who reasons that by going 20% cheaper, (for equivalent quality, which, yes, is not always meaningful) they'll get all the market share and thus much more money than by keeping the price high.

Of course, it does lead to the problem that A.Orlowski needs to eat, and that the fact that one more reader doesn't cost anything beyond a few kilobytes of data transmitted doesn't mean there's not a real cost for the overall readership.

But that's precisely the problem.

And just saying that things shouldn't be free and let Google make us pay is just like saying that houses shouldn't burn and let the government forbid houses from burning.

There has to be a way, but it's not just "yeah, the management at Google is so lame, it's so easy to just decide to make us pay".

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Greg 10

And having us pay would probably REINFORCE the monopoly

Plus, actually Google making us pay would probably reinforce the monopoly rather than weaken it, if done right.

They'd probably make us pay for the overall Google experience if they're clever. That means we'd just HAVE to pay, more money to them to forge ahead of competition, but no competition could undercut them, because frankly, once you pay £20 a year to get full access to all the Google property, do you seriously think that it allows the Next Grat Thing from a start-up to emerge and make money out of?

Like, imagine, you're paying that £20 for google mail, maps, earth, search, photo storing, chat, voice, phone, blog, sites, browser and more.

Now, I come with that bright idea that makes mail better. Will you stop paying Google? And because you can't, you probably won't be willing to pay me, so you'll be ok to switch to that new mail service, IF it's free, since you already pay for your mail in a package anyway.

(yes, of course, that would lead to lots of antitrust issues, but that'd still be the rational thing to do for Google. Let's go on crushing the competition, we've got 10 yeas before the competition authorities catch up and the problem will have changed by then anyway)

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Will Google have its chips?

Greg 10

The easy part of the discussion

I feel this article falls into the usual trap of dealing with a "Google will do this" rumor with a "after investigation, it makes sense, since they would benefit from the result".

Hell yes, and I would also benefit from building a more fuel efficient plane for my travels. But I don't.

Oh, and British Airways, as a buyer of planes, would REALLY benefit from creating a more fuel-efficient plane. But they don't.

Why is that already? Hmm, something like "they don't know how to do it/it's not their expertise/not their job" and "anything that can be done by BA can be done by Airbus and Boeing better, faster, cheaper" is coming to mind.

An article explaining to us that Google might do chips is pointless if it focuses on what it would gain from better chips.

The real question to address are OBVIOUSLY:

1- Does Google have the competences to do whatever part of the chipmaking this author wants to talk about?

2- IF they do, do they have either a need that the pros would not address (meaning probably that the market is too small to matter, ie only google would be interested), or a specific comparative advantage that makes them, non-pros, more efficient at doing this by themselves?

I'm not saying the answers aer necessarily "no".

I'm saying that by default, one has to think the answer would be "no", and that none of your readers has a clue.

And that it is precisely why that's the point the article should addres, rather than adopting the "they might do it, after all it would be useful" pose which brings absolutely nothing to the table.

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Astroboffin says 'black holes murder galaxies'

Greg 10

Error in the conclusion

The conclusion says that because stars do not renew themselves, the black hole itself brings its own doom.

NOT true.

Star renewal is completely irrelevant to the fate of the black hole.

Whether the particles and star dust are accreting into stars or not, the total amount of matter available to the black hole does not change.

There is neither more nor less matter to swallow for the black hole whether it prevents stars from forming or not (ok, there a tiny bit less as some dust will stray from the galaxy while stars would be less likely to, but that's negligible).

The black hole will still die some day because of Hawking radiation, but neither slower nor faster than if it swallowed a galaxy of aggregated dust (stars) instead of the same galaxy made of unaggregated dust.

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Google backtracks on cause of China search block

Greg 10

Lack of credibility

@Majid: when one starts a post by saying there are more than 2 billion people in China, all credibility is lost from the get go.

It means it doesn't worry you at all to talk about things you know nothing about, and that checking your facts is not part of what you consider important.

Well, the rest of the post matched the beginning, as it was simply irrelevant to the discussion: what KO?China will destroy Google? They will prevent you and me from using it?

It's not like Google is fighting China. quite the opposite, it's saying "I don't like what China does, and I can't fight it, so I'll just leave"

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Bringing P2P in from the cold

Greg 10

"rob people of performance rights"

Well, the sentence is absurd by definition: what is proposed is to change the "rights" and give people a 14-years exclusive right to something that he can't possibly "own" (no, you don't "own" the song you composed, you "own" the copyright onto it).

You "rob" someone of something when you take it illegally, not when you advocate a law that defines in one way or another what belong to whom.

That the first abusrdity, on the terms used.

But of course, AC, the most stupid part of your comment is not on the terms used. You should try and remember that copyright is NOT property. It is an EXCEPTION to the normal rule which is that ideas are not property.

It is an EXCEPTION that was created for the very clear and documented purpose of HELPING innovation. Creating an incentive to create.

IN NO WAY was copyright ever meant as a fundamental right (as opposed to what our interviewee pretends to believe) for anyone, but as a NECESSARY EVIL to push people into creating.

Read the Founding Fathers about this.

As a consequence, the question when considering a 14-years or life+50-years copyright should never be a question of interest of the artist, but of interest of the population: which copyright duration is best to encourage creation while putting as many things as possible in the public domain.

If we could experiment with the world, the way to go, the way the Founding Fathers would have gone, would be to try every possible copyright duration, see if creation is helped or hindered, and choose the SHORTEST possible duration that does not exceedingly impedes creation.

So the question here is: would there be significantly less creation if exclusive rights to the creation was assured for only 14 years?

This should never be a question of ideology, and anyone who transforms this issue into ideology misses the whole point of copyright.

This should be a question of simple efficiency.

For instance, do many people think drug patents should last "life" (say, even just 30 years) plus 70 years just like the copyright on Mickey Mouse?

That would be obviously completely stupid, drug companies don't need 100 years to make a return on investment, and consequently, the patent does not last that long.

Why do people who are not in the least passionate about the question of 14 or 100 years patent for drug companies get histerical when one talks about a 14 years copyright for music?

If I invent a drug, I'll be the only one to make it for only a few years, though I probably deserve rewards from society more than if I write a single, bad song. So why should an artist get life + 70 years?

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Google doppelgänger casts riddle over interwebs

Greg 10

@AC and about google being so much dumber than he is

I would venture an explanation, just to show there might be reasons you never stopped to think about. It may well be a stupid explanation, as I know nothing about the topic, but nonetheless it should remind you that if *I* am clueless on this, maybe if you stopped being full of it, you could start considering the fact google may have reasons you haven't thought of.

Home->DNS server-> main Google servers->modules.google.com servers

Home->DNS Server->gmodules.com servers

Do you see a difference? Yes, one less table to check to route the traffic, one less server to go through, possibly one less rerouting to the other side of the world to do.

Basically, ask yourself why the second one is good enough for google ads (which are not, I would guess, labeled googleads.anonymouscoward.com when they're seen on your website). Might it be because it would be pointless as you would then have to route the request to another completely different place in the world (google servers instead of your own) and wait for the reply (more traffic, more delay)?

Assuming google has sufficient traffic to locate parts of it to specific places in its portfolio of server farms (do you want to declare that you think they don't???), then targeting gmodules.com directly rather than google.com which then reroutes to some other server far, far, far away saves time and traffic.

What makes you think the data from gwhatever.com necessarily could be efficiently recovered from the address to which the DNS servers route basic google.com traffic?

Because you're not google, then you're technically justified having the information on your website sourced from two different physical locations (one for google's ads, one for your own content), but because google is a single legal entity, then they're not? Even though as a single company, they have to process data in tens of different server farms in different places in the world?

Excuse me, but it seems more likely to me that they know exactly what they're doing based on a very deep understanding of DNS and that you just didn't stop to think before posting.

I would guess that when the traffic is sent to different namedomains, then it's exactly because google may need to split the recovery of the information of the page between very different places and thus need the DNS servers to know that to avoid some back and forth across continents.

Disclaimer: part of my example of explanation may not be relevant since I don't know much about DNS. Still, I think you get the idea and can now apply it correctly with your own understanding of DNS, which is so much better than google's

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Greg 10

@AC and your "annoying DNS games"

I'm just wondering. Who exactly are you to utter something so arrogant as "supposedly tech-savvy company that completely fails to understand how DNS is structured"?

I'm no google fanboy, but clearly, one has to be both incredibly arrogant AND stupid to utter something like this.

I don't know how good google is and how much they understand of DNS, but clearly, they have combined experience in it that you couldn't get in ten thousand years, AND, as the almost only company who represents a large portion of all the web traffic in the world, have a very clear and immediate interest in having it work.

That would only be stupid if you had said this outside of any context, but as a post in an article clearly says that all types of google traffic use 1e100.net, that shows, in addition to stupidity, an inability to read (though, admittedly, you mention that your gripe is not about the topioc of the article, but about something else entirely).

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Amazon deletes a 6th of its catalogue in book price barney

Greg 10

Do your homework rather than just comment the price hike

Those of you above calling the price hike outrageous are completely off the mark.

What McMillan requests is not to jack the price up by 50% but to be able to have a range of prices and change those prices with time.

So basically, it'd be $15 for the first two months a book is out, and then go down to maybe $3 or $4 after some time for most books.

That's on average WAYYYY better than a flat $9.99 pricing.

Now, I'm all for saying even in this scheme of things, it'd still be too high, but my point is: you're criticizing without any notion of what the deal was.

It's not good guy versus bad guy, it's two kinds of bad guys one against the other, because they have a different view on how to milk you.

In this case, I think the least bad guy is clearly the publisher, not because he's nice, but because he suffers from more competition.

Amazon proposes a scheme where the ensure by contract that no competition can drive prices down: to get on the bandwagon and get 70% of the sales from Amazon, the publisher must sign a contract whereby they CAN'T let other resellers compete, since the price for every bookseller has to be the amazon price (or higher).

So with Amazon, you can be absolutely certain that prices will not go down.

In McMillan scheme, McMillan chooses the price over time. If McMillan wants to sell their book, they need to compete against other publishers, and this will push prices down: once the book is past its initial period of sale, do you think McMillan will keep it at a high price, when it will just ensure absolutely dismal sales because people go to buy the latest craze at another editor's?

The of course will be forced by competition to get the price very much lower.

And that's good for US.

When taking sides between two capitalists, choose the one who faces competition, as he HAS to be nice to you.

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SourceForge bars 5 nations from open source downloads

Greg 10
Thumb Down

"One" is wrong

"One person commenting on the SourceForge blog argued the restriction is a violation of Section 5 of the open source definition which states licenses must not discriminate "against any person or group of persons." "

"One" is obvisouly completely off mark.

Any provision in a contract or licence that is illegal is of course superseded by law.

If the Law in the US says you can't distribute to Iran, then you can write whatever you fucking want in your licence, the licencee can ignore whatever part of the licence would force you to do something illegal.

Example: I buy a yogurt. The yogurt company proposes a contract whereby I can get 10c off if I agree to kill my neighbour.

Well, tough luck yogurt company, one side of the contract is void, and the other is not. Hence not only do I not need to kill my neighbour, but I'm still entitled to the 10c, even if I agreed I could have them only as a counterpart to killing my neighbour.

I am convinced the law is the same for licences, and you can just ignore the parts that would make you do something illegal, and still keep the rights to using the licence, as long as you comply with every legal provision in it.

To sum it up: "Section 5 of a document written by a guy (even a genius guy) Vs The Law, The Law wins"

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Boffin calculates pi to 2.7 trillion digits

Greg 10

Of course the numbers ar ecorrect

>How can we check he got it right ? I mean right to the last digit, He might have just done the first few thousand and then stuck any old random stuff on the end ....

Simply by checking the code he's going to release, and by analysing it and seeing it is indeed equivalent to one of the many ways of computing Pi mathematically.

And of course, you can also match it against the 2.7 trillions decimals of the previous record-holder, and since the record will always be pushed further, it would be simply stupid to lie, since then your reputation would be destroyed once the next record comes in and the discrepancies force a check to see who was wrong, the previous or the new record holder.

So, to sum it up, no, he CAN'T make up the decimals without being spotted as a fool and cheater by scientists very quickly.

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Google demos image rec 'quantum computer'

Greg 10

@jubstatic

Yes, one can easily explain.

"All states at once" mean it's a% state A, b% state B, c% state C and so on.

With a, b, and c of your choosing, if all goes well.

I think you can see quite easily how it could prove superior to have the choice of either A, B or C Well, actually it's obviously much more complex, but the point is still that it's not just "it's everything at once".

It's like saying when someone says "you know, before, we had Red and Yellow dots, but now we can have both at once on the same dot". It may seem absurd at first, but then you realize it means you get access to all shades of Orange, which will clearly hold more information (as for computing algorithm, I'm completely unable to explain, but you get the idea anyway)

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Why probe Google for antitrust? It 'does no evil'

Greg 10
FAIL

@Homard

I think you completely failed to address the topic you were trying to address.

YOU have a choice to use Google or not. The antitrust discourse is not about YOU having a choice.

Google's customers are people for search, and companies for advertisting.

People have the choice to search somewhere else (and they don't). The antitrust topic was NOT about search.

Companies almost DO NOT have a choice to advertise (only) somewhere else. If they don't, they miss the majority of the consumers who will only see what's on Google.

Since COMPANIES mostly don't have a choice (though they can choose to advertise on google only or both on google and Microhoo), Google is a normal target for antitrust investigation, as far as Google's business in ADVERTISING is concerned.

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Google Books opens French front in war with publishers

Greg 10

Re: depends

I don't know. Is there a copyright of the page numbering and the character type?

I'm not convinced there is any copyright whatsoever attached to the actual layout of the book (unless there are some pictures, or an introduction by the editor, or whatever, but that can be removed).

Am I liable for copyright infringement if I scan a page of a given edition of the bible (assuming there's no art on it, just plain text) and put it online?

I'm far from convinced. And if not, then it means the form itself holds no copyright, and thus scanning even a copyrighted work creates no infringement beyond the infringement of the work itself.

I'm not saying there is no copyright for the layout of a book, just saying I'm really not sure about.

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Greg 10

Please read the google comments before commenting

3 comments, and 3 which miss the point completely.

The point is certainly not whether digitising removes the copyright, which is obviously absurd.

Gogle is not making that point at all.

Instead, it is fighting back on a narrow point, saying the PUBLISHER does not hold the right to the electronic distribution.

If *I* am an author and I give the rights to Editions du Seuil to publish me in paper, it doesn't mean Editions du Seuil can sue whoever they want because they publish it online. *I* am the one who still owns the publication rights to the online version, and thus if Google scans the book, then *I* am the one whose copyright is infringed upon.

Possibly, I am very happy with Google being my Master and Overlord. Or possibly, I'm too small to be able to fight back and thus Google can trample my rights freely which would not be the case against Editions du Seuil.

To sum it up, read the article again, Google doesn't say scanning removes the copyright, it just says the owners of the digital copyright is not the one who's suing them, probably hoping that the actual owners are small guys who won't be able to take over the suing.

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Microsoft's Office Web Apps - a long way from here

Greg 10

@AC: you don't get the big picture

>Everyone I know who uses Google Docs extensively complains about the latency issue. Why Microsoft feels it has to follow Google down this retched road is beyond me.

The reason why they feel they have to follow is simple: the benefits, which you cite, are huge in many cases (simultaneous editing is a must-have for the future in lots of situations), while the drawbacks you rightfully cite are big, but actually irrelevant.

GoogleDocs has Gears: with Gears, you can act locally, while synchronizing with the net whenever you can. This means the latency problem when you type (not when you read what the other guys around the earth type, but you can' treally complain that the ADDED features are not perfect, as long as the previously existing ones are not degraded) is basically something that can disappear anyday and forever.

Admittedly, last time I checked gears, it didn't yet have that functionnality, as it only synchronized after an offline period, not when you were online but were too fast for the file to sync, but that doesn't matter: it's doable and will clearly be done if GoogleDocs has a future, and since you're talking about going down the road, we need to look ... down the road, especially when that improvement is obvious.

As for why MICROSOFT is following down that not-retched-at-all road, it's even more obvious: Microsoft has the advantage of having the local app already pre-existing. That means it's easy to rpevent any problem of latency: once their app is decent, in four or five years according to our experience with M$, you'll just type in your Office suite and have no latency problem EVER, and it'll just synchronize online.

A last point is that you only get latency problems when you put your files in the cloud. And you probably didn't yet know that, as opposed to Google, M$ has said their collaborative suite could be hosted locally if you wanted: you can store this no your own servers, and collaborate companywide without latency (well, ok, if your collaborating with someone half-way across the world, yes, you will still have latency, but that's not the poitn you were complaining about I suppose). Hence an even bigger attractivity: no latency, no security problem, no risk of losing the data except by your own company's fault.

See why they're following Google down that nice road? The problem you cite is a very solvable one, which M$ doesn't even HAVE to solve in the first place (Google, once again, does have to, yes).

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Intel to EU watchdogs: 'It's AMD's fault'

Greg 10

The fine should definitely NOT go to AMD

Competition law does not work that way, nor should it.

Competition Law is meant to detect harm to the CONSUMER, not to competitors.

Preventing a competitor from doing business is bad for consumers if it raises the price, or decreases the quality, in the long run.

For this reason, the anti-competitive companies are fined and the money goes to the representatives of the consumers, that is, the states.

The competitor can also sue for damages, but that's a different point entirely, and you should not get confused between the two.

It would be of the utmost ultra-liberal stupidity to say that when customers are hurt, companies should get the money for it.

*I* ended up paying my processing cycles more because of the reduced competition, so *I* should get the money back, for instance by paying less taxes thanks to the billion the states get back (or to the billion less in deficit that I'll end up paying for because governments can't control spending, but at least, they'll borrow one less billion this year, and that's an other issue anyway).

I'm very happy if, in addition to that, AMD investors (through AMD itself) can also get some money from Intel investors (through reduced Intel earnings), but I fail to understand people here who would consider the harm to society should be ignored and only the harm to AMD investors should be considered.

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IE icon too familiar for Microsoft EU settlement?

Greg 10

@Vincent Himpe

" repeat afte rme : Microsoft does not have a monopoly since there are plenty of other os's out there that run on the same hardware."

Repeat after me: I will not venture an affirmation when I know nothing about a subject, lest I make a fool of myself. If it's too hard, I will at least not be condescendant to others who are actually knowledgeable while making a fool of myself. I'll still look a fool, but at least I'll be a nice fool.

And on the subject of your foolishness...

Repeat after me: A definition of a monopoly is: In economics, a monopoly (from Greek monos , alone or single + polein , to sell) exists when a specific individual or an enterprise has sufficient control over a particular product or service to determine significantly the terms on which other individuals shall have access to it.

(Note: that's wikipedia, but basically, it's the law's definition)

SUFFICIENT CONTROL. A monopoly is NOT defined by the fact it is alone (at least not for competition law, for advanced economics, for politics and evertyhing that deals with real life).

Sorry, you're patronizing people based on your own foolish definition of a term.

One example of monopoly power: being able to tell manufacturers "you install only us, or you don't install us at all" and be certain the manufacturers simply cannot avoid giving in (they'd like to install 10% other things, and maybe more as time passes, but they certainly CANNOT install competition on 100% of PCs and expect to avoid bankruptcy in a few months). Doesn't that ring a bell?

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Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

Greg 10

@AndrewG

I think it is a bit pretentious of you to display your opinion on kindle and magazines like you have an original and interesting idea, and that Amazon is dumb compared to you and that's why they'll fail, because they don't have the same sooo original and clever ideas.

It shows mainly that:

- You must be very proud of yourself to state something so obvious to everyone. Sorry, but the magazine subscription idea has been old news ever since day 1 of the Kindle (or even before)

- You talk about things you know very little about, because if you had followed a tiny weeny bit the kindle news reports, you couldn't have missed the buzz about the possibility of having magazine subscriptions

- Even when you copy idea and think you invented them, you actually make them worse: why ever would there be a reason to remove the previous issue of a magazine? It should be obvious they have to stay on the kindle so you can go back to previous issues if you want (and then it's only a matter of display that the newest issue is by default the one proposed to you on the screen).

In the end, you should try to remember that there are generally people thinking hard about the issue, and while there are often blunders or missed ideas, you generally shouldn't assume that's the case and you know better until you know the subject very, very well.

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Google profits climb 19% amid 'difficult environment'

Greg 10

@AC: clueless

AC says: "I can cite the value of the dollar in 1930 to make it look like my profits have grown millions of percentage points, so what?"

AC, you fail to understand even the basics of economics. What do you think "the value of the dollar" is? It's compared to other currencies.

And that's something almost all quoted companies rightfully do.

If you're doing 50% of your business in Europe, and 50% in the US, if you are based in the US and a given quarter, your earnings gros 20% in Europe, and as much in the US, what do you think is the growth of your earnings?

You'd think it would make sense to say that globally, the business has grown 20%.

But no, the official figure is not 20%. It depends on the Euro/Dollar parity. If the Euro is down 50% (or the dollar up 100%, that's the same), then in dollar terms, your european business brings you half as much as it would have done a quarter before (well, actually 60% of what it brought, taking the +20% into account). Does it mean youre european business is less profitable intrinsically? Of course not, it brings 20% more euros than it did.

So it does make sense to give both figures: the earnings in dollars (after all, that's what's really gained in the end), but also the earnings as they would have been if the exchange rates had been constant (because THAT measure is what gives you an idea of whether the business has improved or not).

Of course, one can also just be clueless, and fight to stay so. In that case, it's really a good comment to compare such a usual presentation with using 1930 dollar figures.

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Philips refutes EU LCD cartel charges

Greg 10

@AC

" The EU seem to spend so much time searching for groups fixing the price on a product. Hello? Have you heard of OPEC?!"

Actually, I fail to see the link. EU is looking for price fixing done in the EU by companies subject to EU laws.

Is Aramco, the biggest (or second biggest?) oil producer and property of Saudi Arabia doing any business in the EU? Is it subject to EU laws? Last I checked, it was subject to Saudi Arabia law, and that's it, and it didn't sell anything in the EU, it was just selling oil to other companies.

Yes, it's price fixing, but no, it has nothing to do (unfortunately, might you say, but that's not the point) with competition policy inside the EU.

Your complaining about the EU policing flat screens instead of oil is like complaining that though it runs foul of competition policies to discriminate between buyers, the EU is doing nothing to force the US to sell all their latest weapon systems to every country that wants it.

In both cases, it's country sovereignty and that's it. Much as it hurts us (or not), I fail to see why and how EU laws would or should force Saudi Arabia to extract oil it does not want to extract on a given day.

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Google Oompa-Loompas dream of virus-free OS

Greg 10

No security hole?

First:

@Louis Savain: blablabla. Your post leading to your own blog is just "everyone is stupid, but me, I can tell you, everything will change because I have an obvious idea that, described in 10 lines, will cahgen the world, if only anyone would be clever enough to just think and stop doing crap".

Yeah well, whatever. Everybody's wrong and you're right. Now can we go back to the real topic?

Ok, done with this.

Compare:

Wade Burchette

"It is very sad when someone working on an OS does not fully understand that these things are so complicated that it is next to impossible to close every security hole. When you add 3rd party applications, then being 100% secure is even more impossible."

with

Crazy Operations Guy:

"Every OS and every application always has and always will have security holes, ever since UNICS took its first breathes, and until the end of humanity. There is simply no way around it.."

Wade Burchette is right, Crazy Operations Guy is just wrong.

The difference? Yes, it's so difficult it borders on the impossible. No, it's not impossible for any piece of software to avoid any security hole (or for that matter, any bug).

It's actually quite possible to make a bug-free software, and even to mathematically prove a software does not have any possible failure (I'm not talking about hardware failure, obviously).

It's just so complex, lengthy and difficult a field of computer sciences (actually it's even more mathematics and logics than computer sciences) that it's never worth doing execpt for very, very tiny, very, very important applications, developped in very, very simplistic programming languages.

But nothing in theory prevents applying the concept of mathematical proof to software conception.

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Boffins guess social security numbers via public data

Greg 10

Completely absurd considerations

Of course the numbers can be guessed. They never were devised to be hard to compute.

Quite the contrary, it's completely official that the first numbers are just proxies for specific birth information.

Tell us something new.

These pseudo-"researchers" have researched nothing, anyone who spends 20 minutes on this obtains the same results.

The comprehensive stats they give is just the fact that yes, when you've got 10.000 combinations left (4 unknown digits), obviously a thousand try will yield a rate of success around the 10%.

Completely stupid!

And the real problem, as said by Slappy Frog, is certainly not the fact the SSN can be found out, but the fact that it's used as a private identification key.

THIS is ludicrous, and the non-work of these non-searchers provides nothing new under the sun.

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Notorious spammer Ralsky pleads guilty to stock scam

Greg 10

@Ian Michael Gumby: do your maths

First, it's not 2 millions, but 1. EACH faces a $1 million fine.

But even without that reading mistake, can you explain to me how placing 2 millions at 7% a year during the 3 years you said they'd spend in prison (or even 6, for that matter) makes 4 millions?

I would be really, really interested, as apparently the maths I've learned are not even remotely similar to yours, and yours seems much more profitable.

3 years compound interest at 7% nets ME $450,086. I'm glad some other people make more out of those same 7%.

Not that it has anything whatsoever to do with the subject, but if that can help you avoid conjuring up numbers out of thin air...

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Masked passwords must go

Greg 10

Doesn't the truth lie in the middle?

From what is said, the real problem is on the phones and small handheld devices where typing is not very easy.

Why then remove the blanking out from the computers?

And for the devices where it's a problem, it means the keyboard is very small; this usually means the screen is also very small, and that in turn means noone can look over your shoulder unless they're so close to you you can't help notice they're watching.

As a consequence, it is probably indeed useless to blank out the passwords on hand-held devices.

Conclusion should be clear: the blanking out should be browser-based and not site-based. The site should just indicate with a tag that this or that field is meant to receive sensitive information, and it is not the site's problem what YOU want to do it with.

Then, everyone could choose his own settings as they see fit: the dumbasses who can't type a password would un-blank it, and the security paranoids would blank it.

Of course, since most people wouldn't even understand what it's all about, a sensible default would be provided: on PC browsers, default would be to blank the sensitive info out, and on handheld devices' browsers, the default would be to display.

and that way, there's no need for a debate on whether one or the other is good: what's good is what people want, specifically adpated to each person and each usage.

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