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* Posts by Arion

51 posts • joined 15 Jun 2010

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AWS hell no: Can Microsoft Azure sales beat Amazon's cloud?

Arion

Re: Loong term view

You know, capitalising 'is', and putting an American cliche at the end of your sentence, doesn't make it any more persuasive.

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London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

Arion

i would split the cabbies into two categories; Those who got their licences before GPS became mainstream circa 2005, and idiots.

Before GPS the cabbies knowledge was a much stronger actual advantage than it is today.

Anyone who got their licence since, has been depending mostly on regulation to keep competitors off the road.

We're living in an age of technological advancement, and throughout history advancement does make certain jobs obselete, and cabbies might just be the most recent example. It also creates new ones.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2013/10/11/will-technology-make-us-all-jobless/

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Arion

Re: Or they could consider joining the first part of the 21st century...

> I find it surprising that most merchants don't run a £10 minimum card transaction rule. (some

> do £5, but the vast majority happily allow customers to clock charges under a quid, which is

> just plain silly)

You're entitled to your opinion. You're also wrong.

The retailer who turns away my card when I want to buy something, becomes the bastard ( or bitch ), who wouldn't take my card last time, when the time comes that I want to buy something more expensive, and go to a competing supplier.

If it costs you 30p to take a pound of my card, then why don't you just charge me the 30p, or 30% ( for transactions under a fiver or a tenner or whatever ). If I want a coke and I'm out of cash, I don't really care if you take an extra 30p from my a/c. I just want my coke, and by just charging the 30%, I get my coke, you get your sale, and the bank ( or credit card company) gets their commission.

Even if I do have cash, your willingness to accommodate me( even if it does involve extra charges) will make my more amenable to doing business with you again.

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Cambridge Assessment exams CHAOS: Computing students' work may be BINNED

Arion

> Closed-book too, as it should be. Continuous assessment is a total joke.

Can you please introduce me to your drug dealer. I want to try whatever it is you're smoking.

I'm all in favour of a final exam, AS WELL AS continuous assessment, but skills learned for one particular point in time, are soon forgotten after that time has passed. Continuous assessment means that skills have to be both learned well at the start, and either remembered or re-learned for the exam. The need to know the material at two particular points in time, makes it much more likely to be retained in the longer term.

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Teen buys WikiLeaks server for $33,000 – with dad's eBay account

Arion

Re: You Sure?

I wonder what legal jurisdiction would be in play here. It's a German seller to a Portuguese (attempted) buyer, hosted by a United States company.

I would doubt if it's legal everywhere to refer to another party by name without their consent. If it were, then why would washing powder adverts blur out the products they're comparing against, and simply refer to them as "the leading brand"?

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Google says it paid TOO MUCH tax, wants $83.5m refund

Arion

Re: Unbelievable!

That would only be the case if Google's accounting practices were something to be ashamed of.

Nobody's yet explained to me what moral right the government has to take Google's money, so I therefore fully support their efforts to recoup any money that was coerced out of them. I don't see that the coercing is being done by the Government, or that it's being called "tax" as making any difference. I'll take moral arguments, once someone shows me a credible argument that paying tax is a moral responsibility, and not purely a legal one.

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Critical Java SE update due Tuesday fixes 40 flaws

Arion

Re: Plugin or runtime vulnerabilities?

I'm not sure if 'djb-ware' would count as an ecosystem, but while there might have been the occasional security issue, it doesn't have a 'history of security bugs'. He has developed some libraries to assist in this task that are not as susceptible to security bugs as the standard C library.

As for why people don't use it?

1: People are idiots.

2: DJB's original licencing was incompatible with software distributions, so his software wasn't included.

3: Some people have a negative opinion of DJB.

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Arion

Re: @DryBones

I disagree.

With modern Linux systems it's not unreasonable to not know every package on your system. My current ubuntu system has 2436 packages.

Unless you're specifically using Java systems, then Java's little different from any other dependency, such as .so/.dll library or something like that. In other words it's no different from the 2435 other packages.

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MPs demand UK rates revamp after Google's 'extraordinary tax mismatch'

Arion

Re: What about an import tax then

> Therefore create an import good class of 'dodgy sibling company purchase'

Before you pitch this lead balloon any further, you might want to check up on The EU single market, and its laws regarding excise duties.

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Amazon faces its third strike in Germany

Arion

I don't have to read a book on what its like working for Amazon. I have almost 3 years first hand experience there, and nothing to complain about.

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Arion

I forgot; disclosure: I used to work for, and still have shares in Amazon ( not in a management, or HR capacity ).

My experience was a stark contrast to "tentimes". I did see some political crap at Amazon, but all in all, I'd have no hesitation recommending Amazon to competent candidates who can pass their hiring bar.

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Arion

OK; there's one of two scenarios here; either the employees are being paid at least what they're worth, or they're not.

If they're not, and they think they're worth more than they're being paid, why don't they simply find someone else who will pay them what they're worth. If they can't find someone else to pay them more, then maybe they're just not worth any more.

I think it's a disgrace that labour laws are so one-sided. If the employees aren't willing to do their job in exchange for a compensation that they agreed to, then they shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place, and going back on such an agreement should be a sackable offence.

Unless I'm greatly mistaken, nobody held a gun to the workers heads forcing them to stay at Amazon, and I've seen no evidence that Amazon reneged on any agreements made. By going on strike however, the employees have. If the employees refuse to do their job, Amazon should be within their rights to offer that job to someone else.

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Stop the Microsoft, Skype wedding, screams enraged Cisco in court

Arion

Re: Anything with 80+% market share

> When you are in charge, I, for one, will keep all of my devices as trade secrets.

And that's fine. If you come up with some new revolutionary product, you can keep the necessary details(except those needed for interoperability) secret. On the contrary if you come up with an obvious extension of existing art, someone else can independently come up with the same thing without having to worry about your salami patent.

When we reach the stage of engineers not understanding their own patents, the original benign goals of sharing knowledge et al go out the window.

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Arion

Re: Anything with 80+% market share

> Why should they be required to do that?

I assume he means because once they've reached 80% market share, it's a de-facto standard, and as such should be documented, and available for others to implement.

The motivations for such a requirement would share the same roots as the motivation for competition/antitrust law. Actually if such a requirement were to be set, it would probably be as part of competition law.

> if something has achieved 80% market share with a closed system it seems to argue against open

How so? Competition law isn't there to protect people with monopolies. It's there to protect everyone else.

Personally I agree with the fully documented part, but I think that the patents should be forceably licenced under FRAND terms, and that such FRAND terms including that a royalty shall not exceed the price of the product ( so £0 for free / open source software ).

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Cook: Apple has 'no current plan' to pull profits out of Ireland

Arion
WTF?

Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates

@gary27

It's a pity that when you got that PhD in economics, you didn't pick up a few grammar lessons along the way. A few well placed capital letters and full stops would make your post much clearer. I will however persevere to decipher some of the less subtle aspects of your post.

California and the dollar are very different situations. California is a single state within the United States of America. Ireland is a sovereign country with the right and responsibility to set our own tax rates. We've had the Euro for little over 10 years, 14 if you include the time between 1999 and 2002 when exchange rates between eurozone currencies were fixed. This recession is one of the first challenges it's ever faced. California has had the dollar since the formation of the United States, over 200 years ago. The dollar could be considered a little more established, and considerably more stable than the Euro.

How do you figure that "the profits are mainly earned in the UK"? Are you somehow of the impression that Google hired thousands of staff, and bought the tallest commercial building in Dublin to house them, just to have them twiddle their thumbs?

Ireland is an attractive location for multi-nationals for several reasons besides our corporation tax rate, including our combination of the English Language, the Euro, and superior education.

Irelands definition of tax residence is different from that of other countries. It's based on where the company is actually managed, as opposed to where it's registered. Surely this is a better definition of the tax residence of a company than based on some arbitrary choice of registration venues.

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Arion

Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates

The Irish people are quite passionate about our 12.5% corporation tax. It's almost hard-wired into our DNA, a sacred point that no politician who wants to be elected again is going to touch. No politician will down in history as the one who lost the 12.5% rate.

The EU/IMF might have had some luck ( if they tried; I'm not sure if they did) in having Ireland close the Double-Irish loophole, but when it comes to protecting our 12.5% corporation tax, we weren't bluffing.

Ireland is no more a culprit here than Asda are with their predatory 10% price promises. It's called competition, and is one of the fundamental pillars of healthy economics. Granting this loan wasn't some altruistic gesture on the British/EU's behalf. The British had to decide if they wanted to maintain the economic ties they share with Ireland ( and profit in the process by charging a rate 0.18% higher than their borrowing rate[1]), and as for France and Germany, Irelands falling would have had disastrous consequences for the Euro.

1: http://www.rte.ie/news/special-reports/2009/0512/117297-eulisbon/

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Arion
Meh

Re: eu imf should not have allowed Ireland to keep predatory rates

> I was surprised when eu and uk us (indirectly via imf) bailed out the Irish without demanding

> an increase in their ct rate

They did demand Corporation Tax increases.

- http://www.dailyedge.ie/irelands-corporate-tax-rate-could-be-at-risk-from-german-demands-118575-Apr2011/

- http://www.irishliquidations.ie/news/2011/5/11/france-want-increase-in-irish-corporate-tax-rate.html

They were told where to go.

- http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/european-demands-for-hike-in-corporation-tax-unfair-taoiseach-26740586.html

- http://www.thejournal.ie/president-says-french-and-german-demands-over-corporation-tax-are-a-nonsense-128348-Apr2011/

As part of the carrot to approve the Lisbon Treaty the Irish People was given legally binding guarantees that we would not be forced to increase our Corporation Tax.

With corporation tax off the table, the main remaining issue was whether or not it was in the EU's interest for an EU eurozone country ( with the Euro as its currency ) to go bankrupt, and what effect that would have on the Euro.

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Irish deputy PM: You want more tax from Apple? Your problem, not ours

Arion

Re: What precisely was this guy responding to?

So that would be Montenegro then at 9%, or perhaps you were refering to Albania, Bosnia, Cyprus, Macedonia, or Serbia, each of whom at 10% have a lower corporation tax than Ireland.

Why would they go to Romania or Luxembourg? They have 16% and 28.59% rates respectively.

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Microsoft leads charge against Google's Android in EU antitrust complaint

Arion

Re: Microsoft's Operating System Tie-in

You're comparing apple's and gas giants there.

Google bundle android with their phone, but they don't prevent other OEMs fro installing other OSs. (samsung provide both android and windows pho

Also its unlikely that their keyboard supplier gave them an ultimatiun not to have keyboards from alternate suppliers.

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Arion

Re: Hang On

OK, I'll bite.

I guess the issues are "almost exactly the same", in so far as chalk and cheese are "almost exactly the same", or in other words, completely different. Promoting your own products is called Business. Preventing the us of competitors products is called anti-competitive in Europe, and Antitrust in the United States. Google did the former, while Microsoft did the latter.

Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft ) points out the following complaints against Microsoft:

1: Microsoft restricted the market for competing web browsers. [ which had to be downloaded via slow modem, or purchased in a store ]

Android on the contrary has a Google Play store readily available, which facilitate users to easily download an alternative browser. When Microsoft bundled Internet exploder first, downloading another browser was infeasible.

2: Microsoft modified its [proprietory and confidential] API to favour Internet Explorer, and kept these secret from other browser makers.

The source code to Android is openly available, as is the code for the browsers rendering engine ( at least it was when they used WebKit - not sure about Blink ).

3: Through a rebate mechanism, Microsoft effectively prevented OEM's from bundling Non-Microsoft operating systems.

OEM's which sell Android Phones, also sell phones with other Operating Systems, including Samsung which sell both Android and Windows Phones.

So how exactly is this "almost exactly the same"?

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Microsoft legal beagle calls for patent reform cooperation

Arion

Two things I would like to see.

1: For it to be an offence ( libel ) for one party to state or imply that another party is guilty of patent violation without stating clearly which patents they believe to be in violation.

2: The royalty for a particular patent, by law not to exceed 100% of the price of the product. Therefore if the price is $100 the royalty cannot exceed $100. If the price ( as is the case with Free / Open Source Software ) is $0, then the royalty is $0. Suitable anti-avoidance procedures would need to be in place though.

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Naked Scarlett Johansson pic snatch bloke gets 10 YEARS

Arion

This takes ridicules to a whole new level, even beyond prison time for copyright infringement. 100 hrs community service would have been more like it on a first conviction, followed by 6 months on a second conviction.

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Vodafone India appoints SECRET SNITCHES

Arion

I'm pretty clear how I feel about it.

Vodafone spying on their staff during working hours in distasteful. Doing so outside of working hours is unacceptable.

If vodafone had a way of detecting whether or not employees were using phones while driving, other than by spying on them, and sanctioning them based on that, then I'd commend them. Anything that violates the employees right to privacy, without probable cause, is unacceptable.

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Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

Arion

This is an unmitigated disgrace. Let's give the situation a scientific basis by examining and interpreting some data.

Probability of electronic devices causing incident: Low

Consequence of electronic device related incident: Catastrophic

Effect of electronic ban on passengers: minor inconvenience

I interpret risk as a product of probability and consequence, and that low probability times catastrophic consequence evaluates to a risk greater than or equal to moderate ( I'm thinking high, but saying >= moderate to allow for scientific error/bias ).

I think an authority responsible for millions of lives, when balancing moderate risk with minor effect, has the professional duty to err on the side of caution.

Also echoing the earlier poster on the world of difference between allowing 3 certified devices that the pilots have direct control over, compared with 100 random devices scattered throughout an aircraft.

It seems that making laws is something that should not be trusted to politicians.

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So you broke our encrypted files? Ha! They were DOUBLY encrypted

Arion

Re: If you encrypt something more than once...

I wouldn't think that re-encrypting (with different keys) would weaken the crypto in any way. If it did then the first thing a cryptanalyst would do with ciphertext would be to encrypt it again to introduce that weakness.

The main benefit of repeating the encryption is that if for example you do it twice, then you have two keys, and therefore double the total key length.

DES is algorithmically secure. There are no known attacks faster than brute force. Unfortunatly DESs 56 bit key size (64 - 8 checksum bits), makes it computationally feesible to brute force the key. 3des makes the key 3 times longer, so its currently safe, but slow.

I dont see any benefit in encrypting twice using AES-128 both times over using AES-256 once. In this example(situation described in article), I dont see the benefit in what is effectively them having half the key, and you having the other half. Having that said, from a defence in depth perspective, Its a good strategy to defend against both known, and unknown/imaginary threats. Googling for "This was fixed six months ago in OpenBSD" should illustrate my point.

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Apple-v-Samsung $1bn iPhone fine: 'Jury foreman was biased'

Arion

So what now

Its often been argued that in a jury trial, you're depending ln the wisdom of a group of people too stupid to get out of jury duty. This case shows both that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that having juries deliberate behind closed doors, opens the way to a huge miscarrage of justice.

Whether or not the result should have been different in this case is immaterial. What matters was that it looks very likely ( assuming this retard is telling the truth in interviews, and that other jurers followed his lead ) case of a ridiculously unfair trial. Even if Samsung should have had that verdect returned, it shouldn't be from an unfair trial.

What is the way forward? What are the advantages of the current jury system that we want to maintain, and what are the problems with it. How would you address those problems, while maintaining the advantages, and indeed requirements?

Personally I think a court official should observe all deliberations, and intervene if the jury are misbehaving. This court official would be a few feet away from the deliberators, and communicate only in writing. He/she would be able to nip trivial transgressions in the bud, with a reminder of the jurys obligation/judges orders, would refer more serious cases to the judge, and would report at the end on whether or not the jury followed correct procedure.

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Swiss photographer sues Apple for pilfering her eyeball

Arion

"get Apple to cough up a check for"

I thought the Reg was a .co.uk site. Don't we know how to spell "cheque" this side of the Atlantic? Next we'll be visiting Prague in the Check republic.

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UK kids' charity lobbies hard for 'opt-in' web smut access

Arion

Re: The problem with this thread.

Bullshit!

The validity of someones opinion isn't related to whether or not someone has children, or if so what their relationship is with aforementioned children. Perhaps people in different circumstances would have different preferences, but I don't think this dilutes their validity. This law presumably would affect both parents and non-parents, male and female equally.

I note that you didn't actually disclose your own family status, but for the record, I'm male, single, and I've got no children.

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Arion

In theory I'm ok with this....

.... but in practice it's not that simple.

I think that protecting children, should be as simple as possible ( but no simpler ), but also that a free open internet be equally simple.

I'm unequivocally opposed to anything that hinders a free ( as in speech ) open internet to anyone over 16 who wants it, and I don't think that a free open internet should be an 'extra feature' that you need to wade through any extra red tape ( not even the clicking of an extra box ) to get to.

I don't think it should be opt-in ( where filtered by default ), or opt-out ( where open by default ) - I think people should have to explicitly choose whether they want filtered or unfiltered ( perhaps by checking a radio button, or a drop-down menu ( that doesn't default to either ).

On the other hand, that all makes far too much sense, and isn't something that simpletons ( like Esther, or Politicians ) are capable of bringing around to pass. In practice they'd make a mess of it, so my preference is for them to keep their noses out of it, and leave it to the parents.

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Motorola Mobility loses to Microsoft in German patent battle

Arion

Re: Breaking up something large is PATENTED?

+1 on the TCP front. It just seemed so obvious as prior art, it was the first thing to spring to mind on reading the article, I can't believe they got anywhere here.

I wonder if TCP was brought up in court about this.

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Facebook co-founder renounces US citizenship pre-IPO

Arion

Re: Time is money

Not so. The "time-is-money" argument only makes sense when applied to income tax, and even then it fails.

In most countries income tax rate is graduated depending on how much you earn. For example a CEO ( in Ireland ) may be paying 52% income tax, while the min-wage guy pays 20%.

That would mean that the high earning CEO works for the government up to about 27 weeks per year, while the min-wage guy only works 10.

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ASA upholds customer complaint against eBuyer

Arion

The ASA typically aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, but I think they had a point here.

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MySQL.com breach leaves visitors exposed to malware

Arion

One word; MariaDB.

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Plods to get dot-uk takedown powers - without court order

Arion

blah

What would you guys think if (a) they couldn't shut down a site, but only suspend it for 2 hours ( and that to retain the suspension, they'd need an injunction ), and (b), nominet operated a certified contact register, which busineesses could register themselves on to prevent such takedowns ( ie they couldn't take down domains whose certified contact details they had on file , withut a court order).

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Celebrity Google+rs do need steenkin' badges

Arion

cacert

I wonder if they'll use cacert as one of the ways that people can prove themselves.

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Microsoft vs Google patent ding dong gets stuck on repeat

Arion

Bmw patenting the airlines inventions

Based on your analogy, I'd consider that BMW's car shape, should be protected by copyright, rather than patents. If the controls are obvious, then yes, they should be unpatentable

I can't believe you're implying that prior art, the inventions of the airline industry, should be patentable by BMW.

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Google sees 15% speed boost with HTTP tweak

Arion

Why Google should be treated differently to Microsoft

If Microsoft done this a couple of years ago to push the performance of Internet Explorer and hotmail, they'd have done so in a way that would have made it purposefully difficult for others to implement.

Google have on the other hand, made a reasonable effort to make it reasonably easy for others to re-use the work it has done for SPDY, and if you don't want to use SPDY, then the SPDY enabled part you're communicating with can just fall back to regular HTTP.

I think that they've published specs, a whitepaper, sample implementations ( in the form of chromium, and mod_spdy ), earn them the right to be treated differently from Microsoft.

Also, I'm not sure if google have a patent on this protocol, but if so, then the fact that it's less likely then Googles track record regarding Patents, if nothing else should earn them the right to be treated differently to Microsoft.

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San Francisco BOFH must cough up $1.5m

Arion

Miscarrage of Justice

Perhaps there's something I'm unaware of here, but from what I've heard, I think that any technologist, who sides against Terry Childs, is guilty of Professional Treason. I think this particularly applies to the Network Administrator who was on the Jury on that trial.

As a systems administrator it is his professional responsibilty to secure access, and to err on the side of the networks security. It should be fairly obvious to anyone who has an IQ with two or more digits, that such access should not be given to anyone who asks for it without the proper authority.

Stevie is right about one thing - I fail to grasp what is unethical about protecting access to the network, from people who in his professional opinion should not have had access to the network. If I recall correctly, he did hand the passwords over to the city mayor upon request. Can you please clarify, what exactly is unethical about refusing to hand passwords over to anyone other than the proper authority? I shouldn't have to ask a Professional that.

This case should have been the beacon of hope, that despite the burocrats, that if you stick to your professional, and ethical responsibilities, then with a little help from the courts, the truth will set you free. Unfortunatly, it seems that when burocrats, overestimate their own importance and worth, then truth and justice get packed up, and thrown out the window, leaving behind a cloud of despair.

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Operators to get new SMS 999 obligation

Arion

Number Portability - a double edged sword

Here in ireland, it used to be that each operator had their own prefix, and you could easily tell which operator a person used by the prefix their number had.

The main reason this is useful is cheaper calls within operators ( voda to voda, or o2 to o2 is cheaper than voda to o2 or o2 to voda ). For this reason many people carry two handsets. Also previously someone could have a pbx, with gateways to the various operators, and decide which one to use based on the number. This doesn't work if the person has changed network.

I personally perfered the previous situation where if you changed provider, then you kept most of your number, but the prefix changed.

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Google plugins force-feed open codec to IE and Safari

Arion

Pretentious Gits

It looks like there are a lot of pretentious gits out there who want to slate Google, and aren't going to let reason or logic get in the way.

Other than being part of the MPEG LA Patent Pool, which licences H.264, I can't see any logical reason to object to Flash without objecting to H.264. From the other perspective, if you're OK with H.264 ( and aren't a H.264 patent holder ), then there's no reason to object to Flash.

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US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Arion

Excellent idea ( for a brainstorming session )

This is an excellent idea to come up in a brainstorming session. Unfortunatly ideas like this are supposed to evolve into something sane reasonable and rational, before you leave the brainstoriming session. They aren't meant to be taken outside of the brainstorming session.

Such technology would render the phones useless not matter regardless; regardless of whether the phone was held to the persons ear, or used via a hands-free kit ( which is legal ), regardless of whether the driver or a passenger is using the phone, and regardless if it's in the case of an emergency or not.

The only effect this will have is drivers being even more distracted while they watch out for cops, while they're talking on their phones.

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Oracle spreads blame for MySQL 'misperceptions'

Arion

This is great news...

... for postgres or Maria backers.

Unless I've missed something significant, I can't see mysql being a viable long tern business for oracle, other than removing competition.

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Google open sources Apache server speed mod

Arion

Erm back to you

> And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL

> software must also be released under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.

He was wrong on this ( technically ), but he wasn't wrong by a long shot. He was wrong in that modifications to GPL software don't have to be distributed, which paved the way for the ASP loophole.

He was kinda right though, in that any releases, or redistribution made can only be done under the terms of the GPL.

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Czechs stop Google Street View

Arion

This is stupid.

If you want to maintain privacy then you don't expose it to the street. If you can see it from the street then it's fair game.

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Ryanair plumps for Dell EqualLogic

Arion

Yes

Yes - he does.

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Arion

Customer Service?

I wonder if the author is refering to Ryanairs best on-time record, and fewest lost bags, etc, or if he's being ironic, and refering to Ryanairs refusal to pay for things that should be covered by travel insurance.

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