* Posts by ratfox

2305 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: So... The Reg editorial line is in favour of geo-blocking? Didn't see that one coming.

Is a comment piece like an op-ed?

About the article, I don't think the intention of the author is to bash Europe; it is rather about protecting copyright holders, which is one of his recurrent themes.

2
0
ratfox
Silver badge

Didn't get that part either

Do they assume that a single market will make it easier for foreign goods to swamp the local industry? And they're trying to keep a complicated system in the hope that nobody will bother to do the administrative work for Poland?

1
0

Facebook sued: Data center designs 'nicked' for Open Compute

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: This one's not about patents though is it?

The fact that there are similarities between the designs does not mean one was stolen from the other. I suspect Facebook has been building data centers for a while now; in fact they announced their Open Compute Project in April 2011, months before ever meeting with BRG. It might well be that Facebook came up with the same ideas independently.

They're not talking about patents either, so this seems to have been a trade secret. Unless they can somehow prove that Facebook filched their design, I think they're going to lose this.

0
0

Hedvig all set to Google-ise that enterprise storage

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: no use of "Chocolate Factory"

Thanks. I came here to ask "why the chocolate?"

…Great. Now I'm hungry.

0
0

EXPOSED: Google, Obama caught doing it once a week

ratfox
Silver badge
Go

You mean, it's thanks to Google that we got the reclassification under title II? Way cool, Google!

And the White House actually listens to acclaimed and respected experts like Vint Cerf, Turing Award recipient, president of the ACM, "father of the Internet", without whom we all wouldn't have a job? Thanks Obama!

3
4

Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

ratfox
Silver badge
Stop

Nor does the statement deny that there were a number of other concerns raised by the FTC's staff over Google's business practices that were resolved by Google agreeing to some voluntary changes to avoid an antitrust lawsuit.

Isn't this more or less what was supposed to happen in Europe as a result of the Almunia investigation? If I remember correctly, Google removed some clauses from its advertising contracts which stopped websites from using other ad networks, and they offered an easier way to export data about your advertising campaigns. And yes, they did it voluntarily (as in "do it or see you in court") without admitting having broken the law.

I get it that we're supposed to go "Oooh, they didn't deny it", but these types of "voluntary changes to avoid a lawsuit" are pretty standard and not an indication of a backdoor deal.

3
0

Spookception: US spied on Israel spying on US-Iran nuke talks

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Pot...kettle...etc...

I suspect they still accept it better when it is done by professionals from other countries, instead of amateurs who're just gonna leak their secrets.

0
0

Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: So basically Assange's lawyers are asking for favoritism?

Which is one of the reasons for the rule of law

Sure. Yet even the law can be unclear, considering that whistleblower protection laws exist and sometimes apply, sometimes not. Quoting from the Wikipedia™ article about whistleblowers:

"Whistleblowing in the U.S. is affected by a complex patchwork of contradictory laws."

I wish it was possible to know whether someone's actions are legal or not, but very often, the answer costs a lot of money and time spent in front of a judge.

Spying is also particular in the fact that its illegality depends on the place. Spying in the US is illegal in the US. Spying on the US might be illegal in the UK. Spying on the US is probably not illegal in Iceland. In general, people don't get extradited to another country for acts that are not a crime in the country where they are (blasphemy laws come to mind).

So you can say that Assange will be judged according to the rule of law (assuming he is); but you cannot tell me that this truly determines whether what he did was wrong.

4
1
ratfox
Silver badge

Re: So basically Assange's lawyers are asking for favoritism?

I'm not sure whether Assange really "assisted" Manning or merely offered a service for publishing leaks; but one way or another, I don't feel that these actions are ethically wrong. Suppose he had been an actual professional spy paid by Australia to spy on the US. The US would try to catch him and put him in jail, but spying is a game played between countries in which ethics do not enter; he would just be doing his job. The fact that he was working to inform the public rather than his country only makes it the more ethical from my viewpoint.

I actually find skipping bail more reprehensible, and I have no sympathy for him if the UK ever get him. And as a person, Assange does seem like a dick.

0
1

ROBOT INVASION has already STARTED in HIPSTERLAND

ratfox
Silver badge
Meh

Growth rates on tiny sales…

Are how Microsoft could claim to have the "fastest-growing" mobile phone platform.

0
1

EU creative collection agencies want YouTube et al to pay their wages

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Organised crime is in the wrong business

On one hand it does definitely feel self-serving from these societies to try to make it illegal to not use their services. Especially so considering they give back so little of the money they collect supposedly on the behalf of authors. At this point, they feel very much like a middleman that should be bypassed and made redundant as soon as possible.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for protecting people from exploitative conditions. This is why minimum wage laws exist.

8
0

AT&T, Verizon and telco pals file lawsuit to KILL net neutrality FOREVER

ratfox
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

I'm not sure on what ground they can claim that Internet is so different from phone lines that it can't be put under title II, like phone lines…

Oh sorry, I was expecting logic, silly me.

21
0

Massive DDoS racks up $30,000-a-day Amazon bill for China activists

ratfox
Silver badge

I'm surprised Amazon does not have built-in protections from DDoS attack… After all, it most certainly have such protections for its own websites, you'd think it would be trivial and cheap to offer that to the websites it hosts…

I'm pretty sure Google offers such a thing, though I might be confusing with yet another X-as-a-service.

0
0

FTC: All-powerful Google ABUSED rivals. So we did NOTHING

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Google dominance

Seems to be the FTC decided that what Google was doing was bad for the competitors — but not bad enough to kill competition. And in the US at least, Google does face significant competition in about everything they do. They have "only" 2/3 of the US search market, unlike in Europe. And yeah, they are the largest in advertising, but only at around 1/3 market share.

I can't think of any product where Google is able to get away with something that truly sucks. The competition is vicious in pretty much everything they do.

Apart for Google Reader, so they fixed the glitch.

0
2

Studying humans for science? Wrap your eyeballs around our fine print, says Apple

ratfox
Silver badge

I thought the data would simply be anonymized before it ever reaches the researchers?

Maybe that's not enough, and there is a risk to identify the Guinea pigs…

1
1

Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Good for him… maybe?

"He still will face the jumping bail charges."

For an international arrest warrant which no longer exists?

Yes, very much so. The UK justice system told him to stay put and not run away. When he failed to do so, he broke the law.

On the same line of thought, if he had stolen a car and killed three cops to escape, it would be held against him even if the original charges are dropped. It's common sense.

No matter what Hollywood movies say about it.

6
1
ratfox
Silver badge

Good for him… maybe?

If they decide they still want to him to go to trial, the situation is basically unchanged.

If they decide they don't want him any more, the investigation will be over… And he'll only have to address the little problem of skipping bail in the UK. That might actually be a bigger problem.

17
0

'Get your privacy policy down to one page': AVG CEO throws glove down

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: “Get your privacy policy down to one page in a language that everybody understands"

If you ask Google to do it in one page, they'd basically have to write: we do anything we want with your data.

Just the list of Google products is probably over one page by now…

0
0

I BEG YOU, mighty Jobs, TAKE MY LIVER, Cook told Apple's dying co-founder

ratfox
Silver badge
Trollface

Wrong way round

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

It's the disciples who eat the flesh and blood of the master, no the reverse.

5
1

Apple slips out security patches while world goes gaga over watches

ratfox
Silver badge
Windows

Is the wifi fixed?

We need a grumpy cat icon.

0
0

White-listed phish slip through Google Apps

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: "...and handed the duo US$500 by way of thanks."

I believe Google is actually among those who pay the biggest prizes; they were also in the firsts to do it at all. Until two years ago, finding a critical security bug in Windows earned you a heartfelt thank you.

I believe that in this case, the small sum indicates rather they don't consider the exploit (circumventing spam filters) to be critical.

2
1

Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Why the fuss?

See, that's what is strange to me. What with all the CCTV cameras, the UK look a lot more 1984 than any other country in Europe, even without the ID cards.

I'd like to add that even though people have ID cards over here, it is not mandatory to carry them around.

3
0
ratfox
Silver badge

Why the fuss?

Not being from a common law country, I only have a vague idea of the feelings of people about this. Surely in this age of computers, the government has a pretty good idea of who's living in the country anyway. What's the big deal with having a national ID register?

Again, I'm from the continent, where we all have ID cards; from my point of view, the complaining feels as strange as Americans fighting for their gun rights…

3
19

UK.gov in pre-election 'Google tax' blitz against internet firms

ratfox
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Any info on how the new tax will be legal under European laws? That I understand, there is no way the UK can tax Google Ireland, and the part where Google Ireland can declare all its profits in Ireland is one of the big features of the single market thing.

I mean, Google is most definitely taking advantage of the economy nurtured by the UK government without paying much in return; but at the moment, it seems like the UK government can do sweet FA about it…

4
0

Google wins fight to keep Adwords FBI drug sting docs secret

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Weak article

The point of an e-bike is not to go faster than a normal bike, it's to be less tiring.

11
1

EU: Competition Commissioner met Google chief Schmidt

ratfox
Silver badge
Windows

Relax

Whatever happens, it's going to take years. Almunia tried to solve this the quick way, and that ended up taking so long he couldn't manage to end it during his term.

And now, it's starting all over again from the beginning. In two years, maybe we'll know whether litigation will happen. And if it does, it will take ten years. And by the time it's over the whole thing will be irrelevant.

1
1

Tulsa woman bludgeons man mercilessly with laptop

ratfox
Silver badge
Pint

Ellis also faces a charge of domestic assault with a dangerous weapon – the brand of laptop is unknown –

Thanks for this one, I needed the laugh.

1
0

Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Built in battery, no SD slot, no waterproofing?

I'm curious, what do people need SD cards for? The lowest of the low phones comes with 16GB nowadays, and I only use 10. Are you keeping all your holidays videos from the past ten years on your phone?

4
10
ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Built in battery, no SD slot, no waterproofing?

It's the Sony phones that all have waterproofing, not the Samsung.

That said, I agree that removable batteries and SD slots are not important for the vast majority of users.

4
15

It's a Mega blast: PayPal drops Dotcom's Mega

ratfox
Silver badge

So A uploads legit copy as backup, B uploads pirated copy, deduplication takes over. RIAA want A's legit copy removed... :boggle

Pirated copies are not usually similar to legit copies, since they omit all the crap. It's rather than the same pirated copy was available under multiple addresses, and the RIAA wanted a complaint for one single address to take down all the others.

Allegedly, internal communication of Mega shows that they were deliberately not doing it. Also allegedly, you are not allowed to backup your legit copy…

3
4

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

ratfox
Silver badge
Angel

Re: Um, what?

I don't think Safari, Chrome, and Opera all using a version of WebKit is a good thing.

You can be happy then. Chrome has forked WebKit into something called Blink…

7
2

Dot-word sensation: Google forks out $25m for a fist of .app-y pills

ratfox
Silver badge

That's not so much

Maybe I'm jaded, but if the hottest competition between Google and Apple only yields $25M, then they probably don't believe all that much in the new TLDs either.

1
0

NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

ratfox
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

With a name like that for the event, how could it be about anything else than watches…?

2
0

Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

ratfox
Silver badge
Go

Yeah!

/celebratory dance/

Let the feathers fly.

0
0

NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

ratfox
Silver badge

Amazon is not making money either

So what? It's still useful. Should we complain?

1
1

And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Which begs the question

You descriptivist!

3
0

Money from apps? It's all about Apple iOS, says survey

ratfox
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

How much of that is porn?

0
0

$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

ratfox
Silver badge
Stop

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

Stopped reading right there.

12
0

Bloody TECH GIANTS... all they do is WASTE investors' MONEY

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Err ...

I suspect that when he writes "in a business sense", he means where Google makes it money. And that is indeed 90% coming from the ad business.

Obviously, Google does a lot of other things, some which directly support the ad business, some which only do so very tangentially.

11
0

Google's Softcard hookup: Never mind Apple Pay ... it's about beating the networks

ratfox
Silver badge
Go

It's also end of a dream which saw operators as custodians of the electronic wallet.

Good riddance.

6
0

Hawking thesp Eddie Redmayne and Snowden doc Citzenfour win Oscars

ratfox
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Everything is awesome is AWESOME!

It did not, however, "triumph in the Best Song category", unless by triumph you mean "happen to be at the top of the list in the linked page, just above the actual winner" which was "Glory" from Selma.

1
0

Google hatching YouTube Kiddie Vids – report

ratfox
Silver badge

They did sign a deal with Mattel…

But for a me version of the Viewmaster. I don't recall any mention of ads, but you never know…

0
0

Ads! People! love! ads! in! their! apps! Please! use! ours! cries! Yahoo!

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Fuck ads and all who serve them up

It's a weird thing… Companies like Google generally only make money if somebody actually clicks on their ads. Just displaying an ad does not earn them a cent. Yet they make a shitload of money, which must mean that somehow, there are people who click on a whole bunch of ads.

We must assume these people don't mind ads. And no, I don't know who they are either.

6
0

Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

ratfox
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: "Branch" line

And through justification of original purpose we can happily accept the removal of tax. Because it was designed as a way for the king to fund his lifestyle/wars by taking only from the rich

Taxes are now used to pay for necessities which make it possible to have a successful society: Roads, infrastructure, a functional justice system. The aim of the tax system is to fund all of these while hindering economic activity as least as possible. Declaring taxes in multiple countries is a bad idea for small businesses, because it would cost them a lot in accountants and return a pittance. Doing so for large companies would cost them a rounding error in accountants and have much higher returns.

Conflating the idea of stealing with nurture is both twisted but unfortunately popular (as it was with the various socialist paradises). To nurture success is to allow progress and not hinder (see above explanation). To generate wealth is to free the population (the people) to work, to earn, to spend freely (again the opposite to taking their money from them).

You need to invest to get returns. You need to pay salaries to have people work for you. You need to pay taxes to have a functioning country. You might claim that not investing, not paying salaries, and not paying taxes is the right thing to do in order to have more money, by simply spending less.

And that would be wrong.

As for a country that generates nothing it will struggle regardless of the tax level, although it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to get out of the situation with high tax levels.

What is exactly produced by Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, do you think? Do you believe these places to be struggling?

8
2
ratfox
Silver badge

Re: "Branch" line

There is an idea to that. The rule that companies are only taxed in their resident countries were written to help small companies and save them the hassle from declaring taxes to half a dozen country.

In the case of large multinational corporations, which do control a company in UK anyway, you might argue that such a helping hand is not necessary: They are already declaring taxes, just for a different activity.

Changing the current laws to insist that companies should pay tax in the country where they earn the money as long as they control a company there does not seem complex (though it might be hard to actually get politicians to do it).

One must only beware of the law of unintended consequences. Microsoft might decide that closing their UK offices could be more beneficial if it allows them to save enough tax.

About the "robbing" comment: Between the country which nurtures success and generates wealth, and the country which generates nothing but sets its corporate tax lower, I find it hard to think that the latter merits more money than the former.

15
0

Microsoft leaves the Rooms. How will Windows Phone OS users make to do lists?

ratfox
Silver badge
Windows

Funny how a feature which would be a very successful product for a start-up, worthy of being valued millions or billions, turns into an also-ran product faced to the global strategy of a big corporation.

Not that Microsoft is alone in doing these types of decision. Apple and Google have both been known to sacrifice products more successful than Rooms to make place for an upcoming great idea.

4
0

AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

ratfox
Silver badge

Mind-boggling

If you needed any more proof that more competition is necessary, you have it. AT&T is rolling out fiber in the only city where it is already available. How useful.

22
0

Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'

ratfox
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: People will still buy them

Don't be so negative, it's going to be accurate within 50 milliseconds!

When you miss your train because your Pebble was late by 500 milliseconds, you'll wish you had a real watch; an Apple watch.

3
0

Forums