* Posts by kierenmccarthy

160 posts • joined 20 May 2010


Qualcomm has perfect 20-20 vision: Chip sales down 20%, shipments down 20%, licensing down 20%...


great story

Good job on this

Do you feel 'lucky', well, do you, punk? Google faces down magic button patent claim


Re: Yiddish?

Excellent, flawless point.


Re: Yiddish?

Sorry. Silly error on my part. Should have written Hebrew.

Point was to explain why this company had come up with such a system.


Supreme Court tells Big Cable to shut up for once: Net neutrality challenge shot down


Re: "and the more recent 2018 rules"

Yes but came into effect in 2018 - after some additional nonsense. Happy to be persuaded otherwise but it seems to make more sense to call them 2018 rules.

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't


Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article


Africa's internet body hit with sexual harassment cover-up claims


Re: Disclosure of interest

Sure. None whatsoever.


Did the FBI engineer its iPhone encryption court showdown with Apple to force a precedent? Yes and no, say DoJ auditors


Re: FBI had paid approximately $1m for the crack


That could have been a single payment for them to carry out a specific job - like flying to DC and demonstrating the hack.

It could have been a fee for preparing the paperwork for the court.

It could have been the fee for that single instance of Farook's phone.

$15,000 for hacking an operating system that even someone like the FBI can't get into is ridiculously low.


Nest reveals the first truly connected home


Re: Money for old rope...

Send me a product I can review and I'll be delighted to let readers know about it.

April Fool: FCC finally bothers with Puerto Rico as chairman visits


Re: Article is ridiculous

It would be ridiculous if the ACTUAL DATA didn't prove it to be true.

It's not even close to being a coincidence. And it happened no less than three times.

We can debate about why more frequent reporting resulted in faster recovery - my pet theory is that there are some very good folks at the FCC who use data to provide pressure - but not that it didn't happen. It did.


Re: not that 4.3%

Yes - that's correct.

This is recovering to where they were before the storm.

Also bear in mind this is SIX MONTHS after the storm. Texas, Florida etc was back up to 100 per cent within a few weeks.

I'll be clearer if I write another story about this.


FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons


Re: Not paying $5.99 for fast access to TheReg....everything as normal?!?!?!

There is a debate to be had about the extraordinary spying powers afforded the intelligence services.

Unfortunately the exact same people pushing this memo are the same ones that actively prevented that debate from happening. This month in fact.


Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

Good point.

I've never understood why we have people whose job it is to go find out information and then relay it to others. Especially since we all have infinite time and endless curiosity.

Now I must go: I need to send a message to a friend on the other side of the country and it's a hell of a drive.


Re: Why I quit reading your article

So after the FBI publicly condemns a memo outlining top-secret surveillance of a suspected foreign agent - a memo that targets the man overseeing an investigation into foreign interference in a presidential election, and a man that White House has been pressuring to step down - your response is: But the Clintons?!

Isn't that the equivalent of blaming Julian Assange's Swedish accusers for the NSA's mass surveillance as revealed by Snowden? i.e. ludicrous

FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds


Yes and no

It's a balance of course. The regulator has formal authority to force companies to act - or at least punish them for failing to act - and uses that push the issue.

It's never perfect but it broadly works. Except when the regulator gives up any pretence of applying pressure and defers to industry on every point. Then you end up with what we have now: slow, over priced internet access and an effective oligopoly.

Big Cable is making vast profits and failing to keep up with the rest of the world because all it sees is dollar signs. At that point, the regulator needs to step up.


Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders


Re: Distance

You're right of course.

This isn't a black and white issue (what is?) and the issue of getting people in rural areas online is affecting every country for exactly the reasons you outline.

In a lot of countries, the government has decided that a federal/national program paid for by the government is the best solution (and there has been a wide range of stories from success to failure - just ask Australia about its NGN program).

In the US, the pendulum falls, inevitably, toward private companies doing the digging and owning the lines. And that has created an uneasy situation because Big Cable simply hasn't bothered to expand networks to anywhere where it can't make a healthy profit.

The dark side to this - as someone has pointed out above - is that those same companies have gone to enormous lengths to block efforts by others to build out networks where they have failed or refused to do so.

And, as this article points out in some length, the other big problem is that the federal government is effectively doing what Big Cable wants rather than using its power to pressure it to look past short-term profits and look toward long-term national interests.

In short, it is a failing of federal government to do its job properly.

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology


Or, alternatively...

It could be that the response was poor. And continues to be poor.

Only one of us sees everything through partisan glasses (hint: it's you.)

Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist


Re: Hyperbole aplenty

Ah yes, the Segway and Project Ginger.

It also set off our BS alarms, as evidenced by:




Top Silicon Valley tech battle judge probed over sex pest claims


Re: Good article, except for what I hope a poor choice of words

Fair point. I think the context of the article makes it plain the intent, but it pays to be extremely clear in situations as complex as this.

5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing


Re: Fantasy land

I just wanted to take time out to thank you for this reasoned and rational response.

Thanks to your guidance I have seen the errors in my reporting and approach.

It's all too rare these days for someone to lay down a carefully constructed argument that through its sheer inventiveness can cause someone to reevaluate their previous assumptions and preconceptions. But you have done it in this case.

I thought your Shiite comment in particular was right on the money.

I take my hat off to you sir. And if you want a job reporting on the tech events of the day, you can rely on me to provide you with a glowing recommendation.

Best of luck to toy in future travails.



Re: Comment from the deceased

I don't agree, unsurprisingly.

My thought process with this was: Pai and the cable companies clearly have a wildly different perspective on this to everyone else. I wonder how they make sense of everyone constantly saying the opposite to what they believe to be true.

Then it occurred to me: why not write the article that they imagine everyone *should* be writing on the day this thing passes? And see how ludicrous it sounds.

I think there was some value in that.


Re: Admit it, Kieren . . .

Coming from you Bob, this is high praise.


Re: Admit it, Kieren . . .

I fully expect Bog Jiihn to agree with every word :)

So what happened with the patent judge and the Euro Patent Office?


Both sides to the story

It's very simple: there is no "both sides" when you abuse your power to target and discipline people that criticize you or oppose your position. Battistelli has literally ruined people's lives because he was in a position to do so.

That kind of behavior is unacceptable and is completely unrelated to the reforms that he has sought to impose, except perhaps in his head. The fact that a majority of the Administrative Council has been willing to turn a blind eye to such abuse as a matter of expediency is also a black mark on the EPO and demonstrates the dangers of insufficient accountability.

Now, if Battistelli hadn't gone this direction and the issue was simply about whether the EPO needed reforming (and there is no doubt that in some respects it did), then there would be plenty of space for back-and-forth arguments.

But that's not what this story is about. It's about abuse of power and a lack of accountability.

Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge


Re: Sources?

Thanks for your aggressive queries.

I had three separate sources confirming what happened earlier today.

I don't know whether you've been following events at the EPO, but for several years its management has been aggressively investigating and disciplining staff that criticize its president or his reform plans. As a result, people aren't all that keen on having their names published.

As for the ILO decisions, the organisation put out a news alert and a special announcement that it would be revealing the results of 8 cases a month earlier and in pubic. It said 5 of those 8 were about the EPO. It also live streamed the meeting on YouTube.

I found out about both these events because I am a journalist and that is what I do for a living.

Hope this helps.

Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home


True but

Yes, you are right and of course we discussed whether it was still worth writing up given that others have covered it.

And we decided it was. Plus, a critical detail - the actual logs of his machine - came later and was not in the vast majority of those stories.

So we did it. It's a fun, interesting story. Cheer up

Europe's one-patent-court-to-rule-them-all rocked by 'Brexit, EPO reforms, German laws'


Re: Brexit?

Yes, that's right, I don't like Brexit so I just make up the fact that one of the core arguments in front of the German constitutional court is that the UK leaving the EU makes the UPC invalid. Despite, you know, the actual complaint.

Next week: I will take on companies that don't fill their packaging (ground coffee and chips/crisps the worst offenders) by writing an article about net neutrality.

Is the FCC purposefully screwing up US school broadband projects?


Re: Timeline? What timeline...?

I appreciate your determination to find holes in every article I write, but have you considered the fact that those rejections happened in 2017? You know, when the new administration was in power.

Rob Scoble's lawyer told him to STFU about sex pest claims. He didn't


Re: This article = manginism, at its best

I am genuinely sorry that you were upset by my article about a man who sexually harassed women and then claimed he was the real victim. But not in the way you imagine.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury


"Google Home is ready for me."

You do realise how mad this sounds don't you?

European Patent Office's document churning snatches Germany's attention: 'We are concerned about quality'


Re: Property is Theft...

There were three staff reps that spoke at the closed meeting, representing three different parts of the organization.

Since they are representatives and were not speaking in a personal capacity, and given the EPO's clear intimidation and persecution of staff that have criticized management, I didn't think it appropriate to name them. Nor do I now.

The German government representative was Cornelia Rudloff-Schaffer. You can see the full list of govt reps here: https://www.epo.org/about-us/governance/administrative-council/representatives.html?update=epoorg#de

I didn't "use the argument" about the risk of patent quality - I explained why concerns over patent quality are so significant.

If you want to know about the EPO and ILO and ECHR, here are some links to previous articles:




German court reveals reason for Europe-wide patent system freeze


Re: So it seems the heat of the EPO is a autocratic Ahole of the first order

Re: the eagle. Yes, that's how it looks in court.

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full


Re: Just to clarify

I suppose I'd ask them why the reader felt the need to post a comment on a story they hadn't read.

Re: why include the Trump nuclear tweet? Actually I didn't. I included someone being attacked for referencing Trump's tweet. And I believe I wrote exactly why I included in the actual article.

Which I suppose links to the first point: you haven't read the article either.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I think you should read an actual article before posting a comment; you don't it. I'm not sure it's a gap we're going to be able to bridge.

Re: it was an opinion piece not hard news. I believe it has the word "Comment" at the front. That's what that word is there for.

In fact, here's an idea: may be all future all commenters that haven't felt the need to read the article before posting a comment could append "Non reader" in bold in front of their comment. Greater clarity all round.


Re: Just to clarify

As far as I'm aware, no way is making you read these articles. And if they are, you should tell them to stop.


Re: Just to clarify

You should relax. And maybe stop reading my articles if they're so upsetting to you.


Re: Reasonable Trolling

I see what you did there. Very clever. Also rubbish. But it sounded good so let's pretend otherwise.


Re: Casual Racism in The Register?

You missed the point of that paragraph.

I thought it was pretty clear tbh. I listed clearly racist claims and sought to justify them with claimed stats and then immediately insisted on freedom of speech. You know, like what happened with the Google memo.

If you think about it, that would be a very odd thing to do were it not making a different point. How many times do you see people having arguments with themselves in the middle of a sentence? Kinds of a giveaway.


Re: Reasonable Trolling

Well that wasn't the intent.

Hey America! Your internet is going to be so much better this January


Re: Dear Kieren

You're not serious?

You are entirely guilty of the one thing you accuse me of.

There are huge piles of surveys and studies show how much more we are using the internet and how much extra data we are using. And yet because you personally aren't, it's not happening?

What a week.

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork


Re: Have you actually read the article?

It was offensive.

But no, lots of people think firing him was the wrong call.


Re: I vote to add the clearly bigoted Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco.

Actually you can condemn people for holding objectionable, indefensible, hurtful and unpleasant beliefs. And you should.

Again, I'll note that the article is about highlighting five people's dreadful responses to this saga and I don't believe a single comment here has defended them because, of course, they are dreadful.


Re: Can't Believe I Read ALL these Comment's !

Poopy face


Re: No it didn't. It's garbage and you know it.

I found a link to a short article pointing out how the claimed accuracy of the manifesto is garbage: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/differences-between-men-women-vastly-exaggerated-adam-grant

As I pointed out at the start of the article, a little knowledge makes instant experts of us all. And we will be wrong. Well, here's a guy who's an expert.

So that would leave the offensive garbage in the rest of the manifesto to be defend. Anyone...?


Re: I almost feel like crying

I think this is the link you are looking for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_lioning


Re: Diversity for Diversity's sake?

Ok, here's the deal.

Everyone that gets through to a second round of interviews at Google is more than qualified to do the job.

And yet the people that actually get the jobs - having been interviewed by the people who they will work with - end up being disproportionately white men. And that is disproportionate according to the number of people that get to the second (or third, or fourth) round - not to the number of people in the world, or living in the Bay Area.

In short, for quite a long time now, tech companies have been concerned that the reason they remain dominated by white men is because white men are only hiring white men because they feel more comfortable with them.

There are a multitude of arguments put forward to justify this continued bias. The most common are that "you should just hire whoever is best for the job", and "we can't bring down our standards."

But here's the thing: Google wants and needs a broader group of people because its products and services are used by a broad group of people.

In the same way that many start-ups in Silicon Valley - especially apps - tend to cater for people exactly like themselves, so having mostly white male software engineers means that software will tend to cater for their needs because that's what and who they know.

This is not new or novel, it is basic business fact. Hence the long use of focus groups and so on.

But *despite* Google recognizing the need for more diverse engineers, despite it pointing out it needs these people, and despite those (highly qualified) people turning up for interviews, the company just can't stop its white male engineers from hiring white male engineers over and over again in preference to others.

The reason this "manifesto" created such a stink is because the very ugliest reason for this refusal to diversify was written down and justified: that some people are *inherently* not as good.

It is absolutely ridiculous to say that "women" "prefer social jobs" or that "women" are bad at asking for pay rises and then try to connect that to the precise issue of hiring someone for a specific job at your company.

It is also offensive to lump together and dismiss huge swathes of people. That's why people got so upset about this.

But, again, I will note two things:

1. My article is about the very ugly responses that some people had to the row that developed around this.

2. I don't agree that Google should have fired him. They should have seen it as an opportunity to learn and to teach on a topic that is clearly very difficult to handle and talk about. Google screwed up by not taking that opportunity.

That doesn't detract from how awful this memo was.


Re: I almost feel like crying

Lucas, the memo is garbage.

And the article was about the dreadful people that felt the need to defend it, and to attack people that were offended by it. Even though it is garbage.



You may not have noticed the headline of the piece. It is - "Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork" - and the bulk of the article is about people's appalling responses to the discussion around the document and what happened as a result.

Just as a quick reminder.

Now as to your point. I did indeed read the memo. You are misrepresenting its contents - or, charitably, you are viewing its contents in the best possible light - because you are upset about something that has nothing to do with my article. I'm not sure why. But it doesn't make you any less wrong.

The memo is garbage. As the entire start of the article went to some lengths to point out: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

If you are genuinely persuaded that this was a coherent, rational argument about Google's diversity issues then I'm afraid all that does is highlight that you have a terrible grasp of what makes a persuasive argument and/or evidence-based policy.


Always happy to receive news tips...

Btw, I write two to three articles a day. You can see them all here - https://www.theregister.co.uk/Author/2886.

Click bait they ain't.

Unless of course top-level domains, FCC policy debates and surveillance laws are your version of click-bait (I would be genuinely delighted if they were).


Re: creationists

How do you fit so much wrong into such a small space?

Godwin's Law is specifically about comparisons to Hitler.

And my comparison to creationists is completely valid because you asserted that if you believe something to be true that makes it true. Which is what creationists believe.

I almost look forward to seeing what mad word insult jumble you come up with in response to this. Almost. Not enough to read it.


Re: Screw the statistics. I'd use the best people I can find to do the job.

I'm not clear as to where you stand on Damore's argument but actually that's a good thing because one of the biggest problems is that you say about "not giving a shit so long as someone is good at the job" is both exactly correct and, unfortunately, one of the main problems.

Because despite what people *say* when it comes to hiring something that they have to work with, in reality they *do* chose the people that they most want. And that's where the problems kick in. Google has recognized that it needs to have a diverse group of people for its own welfare because - and it is incredibly simple when you think about it - its products are used by a diverse group of people.

The reason people grew so annoyed at Damore's "manifesto" is because here was someone justifying their biases by misrepresenting science and cherry-picking information. What's more, by taking the approach that there is something *inherently* different about others (i.e. not white men like himself) he is basically refusing to ever listen to people who want to explain why his bias is wrong and counter-productive. And, of course, he is massively offending everyone that isn't like him.

Just imagine if there was an article written by a female doctor explaining why men are, on average, worse doctors because they don't have the necessary listening skills and empathy. Everyone would, rightly, be furious.


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