* Posts by Credas

402 posts • joined 23 Jan 2013

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Three to pleasure bumpkins with 800MHz

Credas
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Re: The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

Seems like a very fair analysis to me.

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Google forced to – gasp! – OBEY the LAW with privacy policy tweaks

Credas
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Re: I still think...

I agree. People who think Google is an evil data-slurping devil won't change their minds just because they know in more detail what Google are doing with their data. And people who couldn't be arsed to read all those disparate privacy policies in the past (and let's face it, how many of us do?) might, just might, have been inclined to read a single summarised version.

However in all probability those who like Google's services will continue to just click right through the "I agree" page without reading it, however much the ICO might think it's been improved. As has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past, real people don't read this stuff

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

Credas
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Re: Are we talking about a parallel universe I'd like to live in?

Not all the world's like your little universe, Dan.

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A docket, tweet and selfie can reveal your identity, boffins find

Credas
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Re: Stop the "big data scare" sensationalism.

It's also a bit of a stretch to describe some of this data as "metadata"; location and time attached to a photo may be, but credit card and purchase details on a receipt, or taxi ride details? That's real data describing the transaction. The problem here seems to be that some data controllers think that anonymisation just means removing names, and as a result are releasing datasets that are too easy to correlate.

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FCC will vote to cut off 41 million broadband users this Thursday*

Credas
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BT et al not so bad after all?

Every time I read one of these articles detailing how the US telcos are shafting their customers, I get this really weird feeling that the ISPs aren't so bad in Blighty after all. I think I'll have to give Sky's customer call centre a ring to reassure myself that our ISPs can be pretty crap as well...

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Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

Credas
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It's pretty obvious - your smartphone has 3/4G built in, your laptop doesn't. You want to work on the laptop rather than tap out emails etc on a small smartphone screen, so you set the smartphone up as a WiFi hotspot and connect the laptop to that. Simples.

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GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Credas
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"We hope it makes you laugh"

No chance of that. The humourless right-on petitioning hordes will be there to take offence at whatever you do.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

Credas
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Re: Does it turn

I guess that, like me, he didn't get the memo about "coloured" now being a grossly offensive term outside the US, and made a slip using that word while within it. Apparently it isn't the meaning of the language you use that matters any more, just how compliant you are with the Universal PC English Dictionary.

Somebody should also tell the NAACP about this, lest they inadvertently offend themselves.

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Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

Credas
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Re: Not using Chrome as the Android default browser...

So when core stuff like Webview was AOSP , updated by Google, but manufacturers didn't bother releasing patches - that was Google's fault for not being able to push updates.

When Google remove core stuff (equivalent to Webview) from AOSP so that they can push updates whether the manufacturer likes it or not, that's Google's fault for taking control of the platform.

The quantum of rational thinking in some of these comments when it comes to Google seems to be very, very small indeed.

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Credas
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Re: So let me get this right...

So that's ok then is it? We don't think many will push out the update, so we won't bother.

It's reality. If a manufacturer hasn't released a KitKat update, why do you imagine they will release a Jellybean patch, for an old (to them) phone? They won't.

This may be a shit attitude, but until the manufacturers behave as if they're selling small computers with a complex OS that needs regular patching, and not dumb phones with locked-down firmware, then this fiasco will continue. It's also the reason why Google has been pushing more and more core functionality into Play Services, which it can update independently of the manufacturers - something it's also been criticised for, incidentally, as being evil in "taking control of Android". Hey, ho.

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Credas
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Re: So let me get this right...

How many phones running Jellybean do you suppose would be updated by their manufacturers, if Google did release a patch? These would be the same manufacturers who couldn't be bothered to release an OTA update to KitKat for those phones. Don't worry, you won't need to take your shoes off to count them.

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Credas
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Jelousy from shakedown artists?

How do these euphemistically-named "domain investors" manage to convince themselves that they constitute "the community [ICANN] is supposed to be serving"? Buying hundreds of domain names cheaply in the hope of making a fat profit charging a fortune to the handful of poor saps who actually need and want to use a few of them is hardly a business model to make their kids proud of Mum or Dad, IMO.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Credas
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Still don't believe the Uber valuation

I still don't see how, for all its convenience, Uber is going to treble the amount of their hard-earned money that the inhabitants of San Francisco choose to spend on riding about in other peoples' cars. I can only assume that the idea is that if it's cheap and convenient enough then people will give up their own cars and rely on Uber instead, but I don't think that's realistic. Fortunately it won't be my money that Uber's investors lose if/when this turns out to be just a slightly more convenient boring taxi operator..

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Credas
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Re: Uber limits

Uber apparently doesn't like its drivers to tell insurance companies what they're using their cars for. That's not good.

Well if you look at their website for the UK, drivers explicitly have to have hire & reward insurance, and a Private Hire Licence too, for that matter. There's a lot of mixing up of the Uber X amateur "lift-sharing" set-up that attempts to dodge taxi/mini-cab regulations and provokes understandable fury, and the entirely legitimate fully licensed/insured private hire model they're using in the UK that just annoys hackney cab operators. And that's no bad thing, IMO.

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Credas
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Re: WTF.....

You tell me what "supported lifetime of the device" means and I'll stop ignoring the "at no cost" bit. Undefined words like that don't get added to statements by accident.

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Credas
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Re: Stop and think a bit, please...

The problem is that tricky phrase, "for the supported lifetime of the device". He could easily have said "for the lifetime of the device" if that's what he'd meant, but chose not to - and statements like that aren't made on the hoof, they're carefully prepared in advance. In the absence of any clarification there has to be a suspicion that at some point (when Windows 11 is launched, perhaps) the old hardware will be deemed inadequate to run the equivalent of a Windows 10 Service Pack, and that will be the end of upgrades for the "free" Windows 10.

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Tat bazaar eBay confirms: THOUSANDS of workers will be AXED

Credas
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Re: They have a licence to print money

Also I'm not sure how "revenues up nine per cent to $4.9bn, and net income rising ten per cent to $936m." amounts to a loss.

The $936m was for the last quarter, the loss was for the full year.

It is mystifying, though, how with an effective monopoly in their "auction" business, high charges in all their business sectors, and a business model that shoves virtually all the risk onto the punters, they still contrive to make a loss.

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Facebook worth more than Portugal? Hell, it's worth a LOT more than THAT

Credas
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How much would they pay?

I'm not sure why the question of how much Facebook users would pay to use it gets such short thrift - compared with the rest of the hand-waving measures, that seems like a pretty good one. Presumably hardly anyone in the US is going to pay $7.25 an hour, but they might pay $1 a day? $100 a year? Still makes quite a large total, however valueless Facebook might seem to me.

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Prosecutors have 'EVISCERATED' my defense, cries Silk Road lawyer

Credas
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Re: Imagine that...

They are supposed to take everything (real or unreal) that's presented as fact.

It's quite the opposite; a key role of the jury is to determine what is fact from the evidence that's presented.

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Oracle adds Osama Bin Laden's NEMESIS to board

Credas
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Alert

Says a lot about American democracy

Despite having no obvious business or technology knowledge/expertise/track record, Oracle think he's just the man for the job - so presumably it's his political connections and clout in Washington that matter. What a sad state of affairs when large corporations (not just Oracle, obviously) can and need to buy their way into government like this.

Mind you, the "fresh perspective [he brings] to our Board” will be a great help should they ever feel the need to debate how far and fast they lower their pants when the TLAs come knocking for access to data in their cloudy bits.

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Video nasty: Two big bugs in VLC media player's core library

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Snowden doc leak 'confirms' China stole F-35 data

Credas
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FAIL

Re: Let the Chinese have the data for our own good

I might be more persuaded by your analysis if you knew the difference between a B2 and an F117A.

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Jammin', we know you hate jammin' too: Marriott U-turns on guest Wi-Fi ban

Credas
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What will they try next?

Seal the windows and only allow branded Marriott-branded oxygen cylinders to be used inside their hotels? I mean, terrists could poison the guests if any old air was allowed in.

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Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

Credas
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Re: Linked Out?

Alas, this implies not:

Facebook will replicate the look and feel of Facebook on Facebook at Work for Facebookers at work, apparently,

So LinkedIn, but with less trust, and a really shitty interface? Can't wait.

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'F*** you', exclaims Google Translate app, politely

Credas
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Google playing catch-up again

That would be the same Skype Translate that's only available in "preview", only for English to Spanish, and doesn't translate until you stop talking, would it? A bit like Google Translate did a year and a half ago, except only between two particular languages? Jeez, these AC MS shills...

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Apple v Ericsson: Yet ANOTHER patent war bubbles over

Credas
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Re: Ericsson ???

Yes, and one with real, hard engineering IP - not slide-to-unlock, scroll bounce, and other frippery that Apple prides itself on.

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Bloke in Belgium tries to trademark Je Suis Charlie slogan

Credas
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FAIL

Brave, or stupid?

Has he really thought this through? That's one big target he's painting on his chest...

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DAMN YOU! Microsoft blasts Google over zero-day blabgasm

Credas
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Re: What's Google afraid of?

Meanwhile my Lumia 620 got the latest update, while my Samsung Galaxy isn't receiving any updated and is blocked in some old Android release. Maybe Google should start to make available fixes for its own OS first? It's too easy to put the blame just on handset makers... you're the OS supplier, you must make fixes available.

They have - that's why my Nexus tablet is on Android 5.0.2, whereas my Galaxy Note is stuck on 4.2.2 - and that only courtesy of CyanogenMod. Google have released the code, Samsung could have done the same if they wanted to - but they don't, because they want to sell me a new phone

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Google crashes supposedly secure Aviator browser

Credas
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Re: Own goal by Google...

You must be a fairly atypical Reg reader if you can't work out how to replicate the kind of blocking this product provides (what with the ready availability of extensions like Ghostery and Disconnect), and don't mind using a browser with likely known and unpatched vulnerabilities as a result of lagging behind the parent product.

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Speak your brains, Colombia – Facebook chief to walk among you soon

Credas
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"Different voices" - as long as they don't offend Middle American values?

We stood up for this because different voices – even if they're sometimes offensive – can make the world a better and more interesting place. Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas.

Being rude about Mohammed may be OK, but try posting a picture of a female breast and see how tolerant Facebook is of "different voices".

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SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

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It'll be interesting to see how reliable refurbished engines turn out to be compared with single use, and whether overall it's worth the cost/complexity/risk of a reusable first stage. Nice that somebody's able to take a chance and do the experiment to find out.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Credas
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He advocates instead a “move fast and break things” model

This, and an apparent aversion to unit testing, is fine if you're writing apps to edit cute cat videos, less so if it's something I'm counting on for my life or livelihood. I don't think the idea behind Agile was to shove bug-riddled shit out the door as fast as possible.

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NHS refused to pull 'unfit for purpose' Care.data leaflet

Credas
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Re: Same old arrogance

It's only your personal data if it has your personal details on it.

It doesn't and wouldn't have. Anonymised data is already used widely.

What rubbish. The digests they would supply included ample location, age, etc information to enable the subject to be de-anonymised quite easily in conjunction with other publicly available data.

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Credas
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Same old arrogance

This "Nanny knows best" arrogance and refusal to listen to any critical voices is what provoked the backlash against care.data in the first place. How is the public meant to place any trust in them to handle our most personal data responsibly, when their attitude to to being open and honest is basically "too difficult - who cares"?

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If Europe is against US's Irish email grab, it must pipe up now

Credas
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Re: Sloppy corporate structure. Sloppy security. Sloppy access rights

Microsoft does operate through a subsidiary in Ireland; however any subsidiary is still ultimately under Microsoft's corporate control, and so susceptible to this kind of order. Presumably Microsoft et al would have to come up with some kind of technical rather than managerial scheme whereby only the subsidiary could access the data; eg only the subsidiary held the encryption keys, under the control of Irish citizens.

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The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

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Don't see the point

I've yet to see a single use case for this garbage that's of any practical use other than looking a bit cool. In fact mostly these devices seem to increase the complexity of your life, having to think and make decisions and rules about that previously you'd have dealt with trivially by flipping a switch. What a waste of time and money!

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GoGo in-flight WiFi creates man-in-the-middle diddle

Credas
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What?

Gogo said at the time that an additional capability seemingly the use of CAPTCHA to prevent remote access was an apparent lone function that was not related to traffic monitoring.

Has anyone successfully decrypted this? I can normally have a stab at these Yoda-style sentences, but this one had me stumped!

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When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

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Re: Blame the messenger.

I understand that people don't want sad events from their lives waved in front of their faces but really, blaming Facebook for an end of year review that contains images they posted?

What kind of idiot comment is that? People are invited to post all kinds of details of their life on Facebook, not just happy-clappy ones. When people are then only offered the single option of "Like", rather than anything more subtle like "Sympathies", then basing a review of your year on "likes" is a disaster waiting to happen. The sun may always shine on Silicon Valley, but in the real world shitty things happen to people as well as nice things. Fasebook should put more thought into the features they offer, rather than blame the Gods of Algorithmic Stupidity when their own lack of foresight bites them in the arse.

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Microsoft patch mashes Office forms and macros

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Re: That picture

shouldn't it be on a Sony article ?

Don't worry, it will be. And a Target article, and....

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Apple's DIRTY SECRET isn't that secret, or that dirty

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Re: Reality Distortion Field

If you go trumpeting your high ethical standards, rigorous supplier auditing, maximum working hours requirements, and so on and on and on, then you can hardly whine when someone holds that up against the reality and points out where you're falling short. It also doesn't help if you refuse to engage with anyone making such a programme before it goes out, and then start complaining about its supposed inaccuracies afterwards. I'm sure Apple are no worse than any other major tech company with regard to ethical sourcing, and maybe better than most, but the way they go about dealing with questioning or criticism makes them look arrogant and hypocritical.

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Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack

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Card cloning? What's that?

Oh, I forgot - Chip & Pin is still not the norm in the US, because it's not perfect, or it's un-American, or something. Just get on with it, guys.

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Sony Pictures hack is Hollywood's 'Snowden moment' say infosec bods

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Re: Snowden Moment

Oh, come on - Execs don't mandate Admin access controls and policies, and putting effective controls in place wouldn't even register in the average IT budget. The truth is that all too often the people responsible for putting access controls in place don't want the hassle of having their own access constrained. That applies to Admins every bit as much as Execs - but you'd expect an IT pro to know better.

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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

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Nearly there

Just the ridiculously stupendously enormously pointlessly vast (and almost always irrelevant) image that occupies two thirds of the prime space at the top of each page to get rid of, or at least shrink to a third of the size, now!

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Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

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Re: Supply and Demand

If you say in effect "we have policies to ensure decent working conditions for employees in our supply chain", then it's perfectly reasonable for people to hold you to that standard and flag up if that's not happening. Apple's position in response to this programme seems to be that they know the standard isn't being met, but things would be worse if they weren't trying. Well, fair enough, but if you can't ensure they're met then don't trumpet your wonderful ethical policies, just work quietly to get there first. Other manufacturers are doubtless in the same boat, but they're not making grandiose claims and thus exposing themselves to accusations of hypocrisy.

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UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail

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Re: Failover not necessarily the answer

I would expect to see a five-ten year rolling replacement plan, due to the nature of the business I would expect this to be developed in house by three competing teams.

So at about the time you've got a reliable working system, and hopefully the worst of the bugs have been ironed out, you're going to bin it and start again? As for three independent systems/development teams - dream on, nobody's going to pay for that when the alternative is to fall back to a safe-but-limited mode of operation and accept some disruption for a day - which is what they did in this case.

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Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

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Makes your head spin

I can see the point if Google scrapes news pages, say, and reproduces several paragraphs on its own News site - but a line or maybe two in a search result? You could equally well make the case that Google is using its IP to compile lists of relevant search results, and they should be able to charge the same news organisation for displaying a link and sending it traffic; I wonder how these organisations would like a pay-to-be-indexed charge?

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Google swears no search leg up for new dot-word sites: We drill into claims

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SEO: Emperor's clothes

SEO companies like to talk up the supposed skill, knowledge and value of what they do, so pontificating about their "research" into gTLDs and the complexity of search algorithms fits right into this. The fact is that the best advice they could offer their clients (but won't, because then the flow of lucrative bucks for their fairy dust services would stop) is to make your website content relevant, original, and matching the metadata you put in the page. Do that and you get ranked highly. Publishing unoriginal crap and pissing about with strategies that attempt to game the search algorithms is an expensive waste of time.

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Scrooges rejoice! Beancounters find formula for perfect Xmas party

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Loser? Winner?

IME, when it comes to the contents of Christmas crackers "winners" and "losers" are pretty well indistinguishable.

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Beware of merging, telcos. CHEAPER SPECTRUM follows

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I rather think spectrum cost DOES affect consumer prices

We start with the idea that the firms are capitalist bastards. Whatever their cost base, they're going to charge us consumers the maximum they can get away with. So increasing the spectrum price doesn't change what we pay

Looking at this from the point of view of one of the telcos, I'd have no problem with the first two sentences. Nor, in the absence of competition, the third. But in fact the telcos do have competition. And in a business where their costs (network+spectrum) are more or less fixed, that means they end up having to compete on price to grab as many users as they can, while staying in business. The fixed costs effectively place a floor on how low they can go; if government charges more for spectrum that raises the consumer price floor (or one of them goes bust, their users have to move, and the floor gets reset).

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Microsoft whips out real-time translator for Skype calls

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How about getting written text translation right first?

When Bing (or the others) can translate something as basic as a newspaper website intelligibly, then maybe that would be the time to tackle the garbled mess that is normal human speech. Experience suggests that we're still quite some way from that point, particularly for languages that have quite different sentence structure and conjugation (English/Finnish for example).

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