* Posts by The Islander

49 posts • joined 21 Dec 2009

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

The Islander

Re: Really ....

@ AMBxx ... "Employment up"

At a Bank of England Gov'nor press conference on 4th August (as reported in Guardian) "Following the Brexit vote, unemployment is expected to be higher than the Bank assumed in May. The unemployment rate is expected to have risen modestly in July (from 4.9% in the three months to May) and to continue rising to 5.4% next year and 5.6% in 2018.

At the press conference, the Bank governor said unemployment was likely to rise by 250,000 so it is right to take action now."

Statistics anyone?

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LinkedIn sues 100 information scrapers after technical safeguard fail

The Islander
Headmaster

Re: I dont have a Linkedin account

"BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You thought LinkedIn asked for permission before slurping your contacts"

"Next thing I know, I've logged in, and every single one of my email contacts comes up with LinkedIn asking me if I wanted to ask them to connect with me."

Am I being a piss-ant pedant or did you just say they do actually ask for permission ..? Annoying process to be sure, but at least they do ask beforehand rather than just slurp

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Rats revive phones-and-cancer scares

The Islander

They tested several groups of 90 animals as I understand it over a period of 90 weeks.

It would be terrible, indeed an appalling vista, if these devices were found to be injurious to our health over a long period.

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The ‘Vaping Crackdown’ starts today. This is what you need to know

The Islander
Unhappy

Re: That's quite a pro-vaping article.

Agreed. I smoked reasonably heavily in my aberrant youth, for over 3 years, was quite fond of the cigs, cigars, pipe. Quit overnight due to a combination of winter chest cold, jogging & doctor's warning. In other words I had an incentive to kick the habit. I still get an occasional minor longing for a cigar, after 30 years.

Looking back, I don't understand why I tolerated putting odd things in my lungs. I don't understand why today, with so much information to hand and so much history to reflect upon, people take such a short term view of potential influences on health. I don't want to experience passive / secondary vaping. I totally agree that people should give up tobacco products.

Substituting an unknown risk that has attached specific least worst negative impact(vaping) for a terrible risk with awful impact (smoking tobacco) is a short term relative improvement. Until those longer term data come in, we don't know for sure. We may reject the nanny state for molly coddling us, but should the great unwashed discover there has been a long term serious risk extant in widely used products, they want the state to intervene and protect and cocoon them from predatory suppliers, possibly arrange compensation too.

That such logic can be applied to many questionable products in use in the first world about which precious little restriction appears to occur (consumable alcohol, internal combustion emission, pesticide, growth hormone, etc) is not a defence for vaping.

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Storage array firmware bug caused Salesforce data loss

The Islander

What are the chances?

In my experience, I have observed 2 cases where an external event caused a storage array to stop processing. In the mid nineties, one related to failure of the power when the banking organisation used 3 phase rather than 1 phase and eventually the array went TITSUP - but gracefully which maintained integrity of data.

In a second case a few years later again in a banking organisation, an overly zealous security team targeted the processors in the array for vulnerability scanning. The array respectfully declined the attempts to poke it and again shut down while maintaining integrity.

Each occurred using a different tier 1 vendor of the day. Equally anxious reaction from client bank as it was several hours before the data could be validated. Interestingly in both cases, the pressure to "just move to D/R" was intense but it would have achieved nothing except possibly caused a catastrophe. In each case, the vendor was able to diagnose the problem and enable return to normal service within a few hours.

Picking up on the earlier Commentard, the overhead of formally analysing increasingly extended supply chains for weakness - indeed even for the much vaunted availability predictions of service organisations - is too great for many client organisations. They turn to the domino effect or the "one in a million" chance as their rationale for TD;JD (too difficult; just disregard)

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Ireland's hefty data industry demands equally big industry cop

The Islander
Facepalm

Here we go again

A lot of institutions in Ireland still adhere to the philosophy of the world operating to principles rather than rules. That really worked well by greasing the slope that led to the crisis. The country has gone into remission, but has not been cured. "Rules are made to be broken" and all that.

And Data Protection? Maybe the Government has the correct approach. If you invite an 800lb gorilla into your sitting room, you probably need manners to avoid being pulled limb from limb. Better to aspire to be the "best little country in the world to do business"

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Sayonara, Brits! The Irish tech sector could benefit from Brexit

The Islander
Unhappy

Disruption but not as we know it?

If the UK exits, I can see the EU striking policy (and rules as necessary) to ensure that the largely intact (for now) European hegemony treats the outsider in a uniform way. When it comes down to the wire, a small peripheral open economy will not be best served by euro-centric philosophy, as has been observed in the last few years.

I can't see the emerald isle faring well in trade or free movement of anything - at the very least, I'd expect UK border controls at the RoI / NI border to rise significantly to offset the phobia that such an access point could become a gateway to the UK for the "wrong sort of people".

Ireland has suffered from being an island at the most westerly point in Europe, necessitating greater logistics cost to exchange material, total erosion of manufacturing capacity of practical consumer goods, strength in agriculture that increasingly squeezes out the small farmer and adoption of the almighty service culture. Leaving it very exposed to external wobbles such as a decline in trade with its nearest neighbour - even if such trade is "only" 15%.

There have been winners & losers along this journey, and undoubtedly that story will continue - maybe different people - should there be a Brexit. But it seems to me that a minority government relying on "independent" parliamentarians - who hours before electing a prime minister were demanding their pound of flesh for localised pet projects - will not have the capacity to steer the country effectively through a Brexit.

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Prof squints at Google's mobile monopoly defence, shakes head

The Islander
Thumb Up

Nice to see

the Prof's unadorned academic articles relying on content rather than bling to tell a story

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Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece

The Islander

Post euphoric bliss

There's a rather significant aspect to the achievement for SpaceX as a private company rather than a government agency.

As Musk has shown in his accumulation of wealth, he is a businessman out to make a profit.

Will this most recent success yield shared knowledge that benefits large swathes of mankind, or concentrate that knowledge for (his) corporate profit? Will it be used to further science? Will it be used to cater for a very small elitist clientele? And so on.

Undoubtedly a great technological achievement but where does the road go now? There must be a more balanced way for billionaire czars to direct human endeavour, methinks.

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China's Great Firewall inventor forced to use VPN live on stage to dodge his own creation

The Islander
WTF?

Hold on ...

Why would he do this so publicly? I can claim no great insight to Chinese culture and apparatchik but I'd be amazed if one of the most basic of human concerns - for self preservation - simply went offline during his lecture.

I doff my hat to Occam, Hanlon, et al.

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Google tried to be funny, cocked it up, everyone thought it was a bug

The Islander

Re: I am angry

You get a hangover from Guinness, seriously? I've found it does that (to me) far far less than the ales & lagers out there.

Maybe it's just that marketing has sold me on the "purity" thing.

(Joke alert icon sorely lacking on mobile)

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When should you bin that old mainframe? Infrastructure 101

The Islander
Boffin

I think the headline ...

... does not reflect the content of the piece. In this day and age, I submit it is highly unlikely - but not impossible - that mainframes would run foul of this checklist. If anything, they would typically be to the fore in engineering terms and are very often the subject of extensive documentation.

All that said, I fully agree with the underlying points made.

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She's coming... the Chief Data Officer

The Islander

Re: Back in the day... @ Mark 85

I would respectfully submit Mainframe people - SysProgs - are just as much in real IT today.

Might be fewer in number of course

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Ever heard of 'multi-cloud'? Get with cool kids – it's the New Big Thing™

The Islander

Is it not destined that all clouds ...

... wash us in their goodness on their way to the gutter?

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Home Ebola testing with a Tricorder? There's an app for that

The Islander
Big Brother

Criteria for selection??

So today it may be appearance of a fever, who makes that call with the reasonable medical knowledge?

Will Joe or Josephine Bloggs be allowed to decline such a test at a country's port?

Tomorrow, it may just be your appearance that warrants selection. And as noted in earlier post ... all that lovely data just swirling around like glup in the beaker

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NSA boss reveals top 3 security nightmares that keep him awake at night

The Islander

Re: Strong crypto is the answer to his fears

No. 2 may occur based on foreign intent but executed from within.

The article's context may well suggest contamination on a grand / bulk scale and is valid. But I for one would be just as vexed over internal, subtle and directed attacks.

Eternally vigilant etc. What's not to like in our future utopia .. I like the flavour exemplified in Brazil myself.

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Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view

The Islander

Concerned? Just a bit

Is it not relevant that the outcome of this action, if successful, is exactly what privacy proponents want to avoid?

The semantics may be correct, it is not trying to break the encryption. But if it is possible to work around it, is the implementation not flawed?

What value the much vaunted pure maths / statistically small chance of "breaking" encryption when a means exists to subvert it?

How long will it take before this precedent in law becomes the norm? And how will it be restricted to vendor and law enforcement?

I concur that vendors peddling such goods need to be far more forthright in their claims.

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Scariest climate change prediction yet: More time to eat plane food

The Islander
Boffin

Curious ...

I felt compelled to look at the handle associated with comments on this article. My little thought experiment was driven by my perception that a lot of comments considered* "anti-AGW" are apparently posted anonymously. Here's my view at time of writing ...

Pro AGW - Handle: 28 Anonymous: 0

Anti AGW - Handle: 26 Anonymous: 24

Non AGW - Handle: 21 Anonymous: 10

Deleted - 3

I'm curious why so many anti-AGW posts are submitted under Anonymous Coward?

(* Yes, yes it's subjective, I probably am pro-AGW, YMMV, etc ...)

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Bitcoin's governance bungles stain the blockchain's reputation

The Islander
WTF?

And in the real world ...

If traditional financial institutions processed transactions with that service level in my jurisdiction, I'd expect to see mile-long queues of punters at banks' doors trying to withdraw their lucre immediately. There'd be major civil unrest, panic etc ...

Filthy specie ...perhaps today the fundamentals are unappreciated but the stuff is boring, reliable, tangible and fairly well understood the world over ... just as it has been for hundreds of years.

When Blockchain (and spawn exemplified by Bitcoin) grows up and can claim a fraction of that adoption, then maybe, just maybe, it'll be accepted as a fit for purpose tool

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No, HMG, bulk data surveillance is NOT inevitable

The Islander
Alien

Other point of view

I'm no apologist for this lady, and am fearful of where such legislation could bring society, I hate the whole concept of tracking and monitoring people with insidious intent.

However, as I get older, I realise that many people can be seduced by misplaced loyalty, or ego, or greed or any of a dozen venal reasons. They may become ensnared and obligated to behave in particular ways, yet want to break out of the conflicting mind set.

What would I do if caught like that? Well, maybe I'd go through the motions of what is expected of me but lack any real conviction, do the minimum expected of me but no more. Some people in positions of authority might hang in there, but this can only end badly and usually without plaudits.

So, maybe a veiled drama is occurring in front of us ...

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Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

The Islander

Inner Circle

Ah Master Dabbs, I see now where that stream of consciousness came from .. Ipsissimus R Corbett.

Well your apprenticeship has come on.

Plus one for the boatload of fond memories.

1
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US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

The Islander
Big Brother

Surprised ..

.. that no one has suggested:

a) it's deliberate misdirection to lull us into a sense of superiority

or

b) it was hamstrung from within by people who didn't like where this could lead.

No shortage of commentards here usually proclaiming conspiracy and dissemination of orchestrated disinformation ...

Or maybe Occam would call it just right

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Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

The Islander
Thumb Up

re: Monster Express

A not so forgotten minor gem, have an up-vote!

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'Paedo hunter' who made £40,000 from blackmail jailed for 9 years

The Islander
Pint

Re: At first it seems 'well, they were asking for it', but...

+ 1 Sir for the organic metaphor, I almost ruined my keyboard!

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It's Gartner Magic Graph of Wonder time! And Google won't be happy

The Islander
Headmaster

Re: unable to spell

"But so is the reporters spelling .."

"What is happenning to thereg .."

Mote, meet Beam :-)

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Big Blue's big iron daddy Gene Amdahl dies aged 92

The Islander

Why ..?

.. do the good ones die so young?

His company's products ensured that as a youngster working in Data Processing (as it was then), I became far more clued in about the harsh realities and interesting dynamics of commercial life in the real world. The impact of a real pioneer felt several orders of magnitude away from & below his level.

El Reg .. do we need a solemn obit icon?

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Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

The Islander

amanfromarse Real Culprits

I'm with amanfromarse on this.

Mr. Horn's reference to the "couple of engineers" surely both displays his wish to offload a problem and his true respect for those whose contribution is perceived to be purely technical.

Commentards have jumped to the understandable defence of their own, but as amanfrommarse indicates, this "couple" of engineers likely managed a significant number of engineers between them. And therefore helps to explain how the cheats got into production as people have noted the challenges to be overcome with that.

This can not detract from the wrongdoing of course, and seems to point to at least a rotten cultural / organisational system in parts of VW

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BILLION YEAR SECRETS of baking hellworld Mercury UNLOCKED by NASA probe crash

The Islander
Thumb Up

Re: Interpretation ..?

Argh, what a tera-ble mistake ... :

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The Islander
Happy

Interpretation ..?

"As The Register previously reported, NASA's Messenger spacecraft slammed into the alien world – which is Sol's closest neighbour – late last month."

I thought Venus was our closest, or is the article alluding to a specific point in time when this construction could be deduced?

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What's 'appening with WhatsApp? '800 MEEELLION LOSERS* actively use us', says boss

The Islander
Boffin

Re Zuck in an empty room

Surely he was trying to prove that uncertainty thingy but just couldn't bring himself to inflict another cat video on us

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Tape thrives at the margin as shipped capacity breaks record

The Islander
Thumb Up

Great picture of Tape Drive

I felt sorry for myself during my apprenticeship in 70's, handling ICL exchangeable 30MB discs and tape reels up my arm, in the wee hours. My female colleagues wouldn't lift the discs for fear of dropping the things.

But I wouldn't fancy carrying many of those Marconi reels - each circa 25lbs?

Those were manly days :-;

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NetApp: Don’t know about the hybrid cloud? Then you’re a dummy

The Islander
Alert

Re: The cloud... @ Steven Roper

I see your point, but remember that in large organisations the "real" users are typically operating under a chargeback / fixed cost / allocation for IT services provided by an internal group. They may not see quite as many challenges with a cloudy solution as you, yet definitely see $ signs.

I'm just reflecting on the (harsh) reality I see, that non-IT folks are bombarded with the hyper-vaunted benefits of Cloud, one of which is often a bypass for the IT group. How long can we keep a finger in the dyke?

Again I tend to concur with your sentiment, but I am also cursed with a dominant gene for scepticism.

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Pure: We've created the Everlasting Gobstopper of Storage – 'Forever Flash'

The Islander
Big Brother

Intriguing news item but colour me cynical, I have to wonder how “perpetual” storage will pan out in the real world. Is this perchance a marketing spin?

However, it is interesting to reflect on this from a personal end-user’s long term perspective, especially in comparison to storage of non-electronic data, e.g. in books, on stone, etc. The personal user is increasingly bound to the tyranny of technology advance and challenged to establish a lifelong – in human terms – storage medium for electronic / digital data. As I see it, users can:

* store on own medium & avoid upgrades, hoping the medium and/or access device will remain usable over coming decades

* store on own medium but refresh this and/or the access device over the decades

* store on vendor / cloudy service, hoping such service will not go titsup before an opportunity to retrieve & transfer all data to another medium / service.

Assessing any of these options – or others you care to mention - involves the usual array of factors - risk, cost, effort, etc. But do personal end-users really do that sort of thing?

I get a sinking feeling that the world is moving to the third paradigm. If virtualised & software defined storage continue unabated, ordinary users may yet truly become vassals to the emerging digital monarchs.

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Google takes on AWS, Azure virty servers with micro billing and fat disks

The Islander

One wonders

if the number crunchers may have found a model to maximise revenue? A boon for users, well maybe ...

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Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists over Sandy Hook protests

The Islander

Distraction?

While there may be people who genuinely adhere to this WBC insanity, it perversely distracts from the issue at hand.

The appearance of such a group acts conveniently like those odd persons from Porlock, no?

The WBC may illustrate some of the dangerous undercurrents that shape a society which witnesses frequent slaughter of the innocents. Otherwise they should be treated with the contempt they so clearly deserve

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Fukushima: Situation improving all the time

The Islander

I find it amazing ...

that on a site with so many erudite readers, a little common sense is often absent.

The industry of harnessing nuclear fission energy has been in existence for about 70 years by my reckoning, if the wartime efforts of the early 40's are counted. (It might be useful for a learned academic to explain the business / commercial rationale for this industry over it's lifespan.) That's a long time in which the environment could be effected - after all, a release of material might take seconds with very long lasting consequences. And any serious incident at a nuclear plant has the potential for massive effect on all life. That warrants unprecedented attention and questioning.

There also appears to be an overwhelming trend towards NIMBYism. How many of us would like to live within 30 Km of a reactor? Some contributors talked about dilution of contaminants in sea or air. Reminder folks: sea and air circulate on an enormous scale, toxic material within is borne around the planet. That means free delivery to you and me for added-value.

There has to better evaluation of long term risk and impact of endeavours that could effect life globally. And it has to be free from any interest group.

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Top secret payload fired into orbit aboard private rocket

The Islander
Alien

Ehhh ...

Perhaps Mr. Musk just intended to deliver an appetiser to our new overlords? So much tastier than brains after all

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Nokia latest to feel wrath of Jobs

The Islander
Troll

Think of the grey cells

So let me get this right, a handful of skin, muscle & bone - with some fluid thrown in - can affect device signal reception. Is that effectively saying the tissue absorbs some of that (mild) energy? Oh, no worry, countless tests have proved there's no harm to the brain from this, so it surely won't damage your hand.

Maybe I'll dig out my old tin foil hat just to be safe ..

0
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BBC nicely summarises Gordon Brown's legacy

The Islander
Thumb Down

Re: A Political Story 14:01

Simple majorities may work in the playground, but a PR system allows more voices to be heard, surely not a bad feature of a tiny community that controls the proles? The compromises, bickering and shameful deeds go on but are often more visible because of the many spotlights trained upon them

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Probe spots Pac-Man on Saturnian Death Star

The Islander
Alien

All these worlds are yours ...

... except Mimas?

0
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Teen's mobe loaded with X-rated smut

The Islander
WTF?

There's justice & then there's Justice ...

< When it came back, it boasted "ten videos ranging from five to ten minutes" featuring "saucy romps, group sex and women touching themselves". Also on offer were "images of women in sexy undies">

So, today we hear of a device that was in possession of the "traumatised" girl, at least 1 cpw employee - more? - and the outcome is what? A grovelling apology, a few quid exchanged, nasty publicity and everythings's ok?

Yesterday El Reg reported the case of someone (a man) facing a custodial sentence over "6 seconds of extreme pr0n". I'm sure there were different circumstances, but a lot must hinge on perception of offensive material?

Wow, now there's a justice system finely balanced with the niceities of judging pornography!

4
0

Home Office planning to brick version 1 ID cards in 2012?

The Islander
Thumb Down

Re Simplicity

Or combine it on credit / debit cards or ... make it mandatory for access Government buildings or ... make it a pre-req in doctor's surgeries or ...

Where could a regime go in it's efforts to make such a scheme widespread? Scary stuff. I'm glad I live in a jurisdiction that has not yet gone down this road but it's only a matter of time.

1
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Court bars charges against teen who posed semi-nude

The Islander
Unhappy

The wider issue

Have to agree. Surely the new('ish) media have changed the game. In the melting pot of today's services - social nitworking / ubiquitous hand held cameras / photo uploading et al and where supposed anonymity can be used - does society not have to offer some controls?

How many times have we seen reports of kids exploited and pressurised to extreme acts because of similar usage? Are we to expect youngsters to moderate their own activity?

1
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Drought effect on rainforests is negligible

The Islander
WTF?

Re: El-Reg up/down voting

Agreed - mechanics of voting slightly irritating. Another slight peeve is that some comments replying to earlier posts could benefit from improved visibility of that association. All this feedback on the story has been fascinating (& illuminating in some cases) but I had a bit of a struggle to detect where some responses diverged from a critque into personal pov ...

0
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Google says desktop PC is three years from 'irrelevance'

The Islander
Headmaster

Missing the boat, me thinks

"In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs."

Perhaps his comment could mean research conducted into the advancement of smart phones, not quite as the (only) working tools of the researchers?

Far be it from me to defend the Goosple according to this disciple, but I think people have jumped too fast to one interpretation of his comments when we could all have used a similar phrase.

I also believe we should be worried less about the hardware device - even if the Googleplex ponies up a contender - and more about the company's objectives for services, data aggregation, content control, privacy, etc.

0
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Google shakes empty YouTube piggy bank

The Islander

Valid point but

it does perhaps reflect their intent / investment choice, i.e. put $'s into such a system rather than develop "something" to check for abuse. Not an easy one to crack. I presume they would shy away from sampling as it would open the can o' worms even more.

I am reminded of gun / car / bow (& arrow) / other debates where manufacturers of potentially harmful products distance themselves from the use of those products. It often falls to society / legislatures to impose controls, on first sale or indeed general use. Such laws & conventions can take a painfully long time to arrive.

Denying any contribution towards abuse in a situation where - knowingly - no control is exerted is blinkered and raises questions over company philosophy.

0
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Ballmer: One day, Bing will actually make money

The Islander
Coat

Trust ...

... or the lack of it seems to be important to many folks here, perhaps reflecting experience of past corporate mistakes. Fair enough depending on your perspective.

When it comes to accessing our collective knowledge electronically, I would much rather the world had choice from aggressively competing outfits than reliance on a true monopolist - whoever it should be.

I abhor the ranking assigned to my search results, whatever engine I use. I fret over some genius in California weighting his algorithms such that information important to me is buried in a quagmire of "better" data, by his rule.

(Sigh) Could we just stop the clock and revert to paper repositories, where real choice existed?

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Google's Android code deleted from Linux kernel

The Islander
Headmaster

Does this reflect the "Open Google"?

Interesting to review Reg's December 23rd article - "Google 'open' memo betrays deep corporate delusion" - and the various comments following it. Seems to me, as an observer outside of the Linux community, that company deeds and staffers' words don't quite tie together ...

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Dan O’Bannon dies at 63

The Islander
Unhappy

Performance stealer ...

... in Dark Star when he feeds and eh ... reprimands the unfortunate adopted alien. And logs a report (to camera) of his personation of himself.

What a waste at only 63.

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