* Posts by ratfox

3346 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Renegade 3D-printing gunsmith Cody Wilson on the run in Taipei from child sex allegations

ratfox
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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy theories coming in 3... 2... 1...

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Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

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4.77M in the Republic, 6.58M on the entire island.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

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Re: I think some people might have missed something...

Equality is primarily about opportunity.

Yes... But I'm going to follow attentively the case, because I think it's a bit tricky.

The law probably says that you cannot discriminate by gender at hiring, but I'm not sure this extends to how to spend ad dollars.

It's a fact that for multiple reasons, from social pressure to harassment, there are far fewer women looking for IT jobs than men. It doesn't need to be so, and it may well change in the future, but at this moment, it is so. Which means that advertising to women has a smaller ROI (and marketing is all about optimizing the ROI).

To make a comparison, it's probably illegal to discriminate by origin when hiring. That doesn't mean that when putting an ad for a job in the local newspaper, you need to also place an ad in every local newspaper in the country, even the most remote, just in case there's someone there who would want to move.

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ratfox
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WTF?

Re: In the current environment, women are too much of a business risk..

Given that women

* Are the overwhelming majority of sexual harassment complainants

Yeah, how dare women complain more than men about sexual harassment.

I also noticed, it's always the Jews who complain about antisemitism.

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Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

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Re: What's that sound ? Brexiteers expoding.

being a member of the EU does not stop the UK permitting immigration from the Commonwealth, or anywhere else, on whatever terms the UK wants.

They might be thinking of Schengen, which UK has never been part of, but which does have the feature that employers should prefer any Schengen resident to any non-Schengen resident.

I don't know what common agreements currently exist between the UK and Schengen, but maybe they do contain such a clause.

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What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

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Devil

IBM, meanwhile, denies the charges it is discriminating against older employees. Rather, it claims the moves are the result of shifting its focus from legacy tech to emerging fields.

I guess the problem when you want to hire emerging fields is that you have to fire a few legacy technologies first.

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Biz! Formerly! Known! As! Yahoo! Settles! Data! Breach! Cases! To! The! Tune! Of! $47m!

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Boffin

Re: Altaba?

This is actually not Yahoo. This is a company to which Yahoo used to belong, before it was sold to Verizon. Yahoo.com is still up, but is independent from Altaba.

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Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

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Paris Hilton

Amazon should be able to do this easily, since they famously already consider every branch of the company as a different independent business decoupled from the rest.

I'm not sure that it would help Amazon on the competition side, though, considering the online store business is generating by itself all the regulatory interest. Maybe the advantage is that it would isolate AWS from the regulations affecting the online store?

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Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

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Re: pathetic

From the point of view of Elon Musk, the survival of humanity and its eventual escape from the solar system is more important than the ecological system of a planet which will anyway be burnt to a crisp sooner or later when it is engulfed by the sun.

It's a very long-term thing, but when you think of it, it's absolutely factual and there's nothing theoretical about it.

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UK.gov tells companies to draft contracts for data flows just in case they screw up Brexit

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Headmaster

Whose indeed.

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Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

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Re: Not going to make a lot of difference?

Yeah, I was thinking it's almost a decade since I accessed a file share. But then, I guess that a lot of companies and governments have been using file shares since forever, so those are probably not going away any time soon.

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When is a patch not a patch? When it's for this McAfee password bug

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Re: It's 2018...

Yeah, that was my reaction as well. I can't remember the last time I saw it installed anywhere.

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

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Actually, in the case of databases, I don't find they fit the relation particularly well. I think "replica" works much better than "slave". After all, slaves don't generally do the same work or act identically as their master.

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ratfox
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Happy

Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

Master / Minion !

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Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

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Re: What's the alleged point?

So what exactly is the alleged effect/benefit of the delisting?

It's not always the person you think that requested the story to be delisted for their name. Sometimes, it has been people who just commented on the article.

That said, it could be that people were not thorough when they did their request; if I understand correctly, they need to list every single url that they want removed, so they might have forgotten a few or dismissed them as not worth the trouble.

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Paris Hilton

I don't think any country has ever required Google to return specific search results?

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ratfox
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Actually, it's easy. The influence countries can exert on Google depends on their ability to fine Google. If Google makes a ton of money in a country, and has offices there, the country has leverage. A country might also be able, to some extent, to prevent Google from making money there even if they have no office, by blocking ads or taxing to death contracts with foreign ad services. Vatican has no office, and Google makes hardly any money there, so no problem.

As long as the countries where Google does most of its money agree on what search results are acceptable or not, Google will just do whatever they all want. If these countries start to disagree, it might well be that at some point, Google will decide by themselves to separate into multiple smaller companies by countries of influence, so that each company can follow the local rules without being sued by other countries. If I remember correctly, Yahoo Japan is already powered by Google, so they could build on that model to avoid issues with inconsistent laws across countries.

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No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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FAIL

Re: 'misinformation' and 'divisive content'

You can clearly see! It's impossible!!

Except that people have already found the exact place in Gatwick where the photos were taken.

Long story short, there's multiple corridors looking exactly the same.

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Re: Sheryl Sandberg was/is considering a run for President

What makes Sheryl Sandberg qualified to be President? She's COO of Facebook?

To reiterate the point above, the current President has made it abundantly clear that no qualifications are required to be President.

That said, it seems various executives have run for President recently without having ever held office. They generally fail: The last one who actually managed it was Eisenhower, and before that, Hoover. Except, again, the current one.

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Paris Hilton

"stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms."

That's a reference to Alex Jones, I presume?

... But is Alex Jones authentic?

... What about Paris Hilton, is she authentic?

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Not so much changing their tune as enabling autotune: Facebook, Twitter bigwigs nod and smile to US senators

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Paris Hilton

Why always the insistence on CEOs?

Larry Page is really not a great talker. Didn't he already show up in front of Congress, and could hardly answer any question? Zuck was about the same, and in fact he didn't come this time either – Not sure why the Senators were fine with that.

It all gives me the feeling that the politicians are more interested in ordering around people more famous than them than in having any meaningful discussion.

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Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

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Coffee/keyboard

Skype?

What year is it?

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Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

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Re: Hmmm...

I don't think the article is particularly taking sides for either Facebook or Blackberry.

That said, I generally oppose software patents. If you want to know why, I believe the entire point of the patent system was to foster innovation; and that rewarding inventors was only ever a means to that end. These days, I feel that innovation is plentiful and cutthroat, and that software patents are generally hurting that innovation rather than fostering it. Therefore, I would suggest we get rid of them.

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European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

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Alert

Re: Tax the Turnover

This will make high-margin businesses very happy (banks, the luxury industry, and incidentally Apple and Google), and will bankrupt low-margins industries, like retail.

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ratfox
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Paris Hilton

I'm pretty sure that UK will act unilaterally about this pretty soon. Once they're out of the EU, there's no reason for them not to tax the UK profits of EU companies, is there?

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Brit teen pleads guilty to Minecraft-linked bomb and airline hoaxes

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Meh

He's going to be so much more l33t after spending a couple of month in jail. That's street cred, that is!

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Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

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Re: I have no respect for sting operations

Policing content, whether it's ads or a social network, is not quite the same thing as stamping out security flaws.

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Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

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Trollface

I think it was more Google splashing marketing call-to-actions all over their search home and results pages that brought about the rise of Chrome among the general populace than anything else.

If that was enough, Google Plus would have been a success...

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Excuse me, but your website's source code appears to be showing

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Happy

Expect the mounties to show up in Czechia any time now!

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If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

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Devil

Why US only?

I suspect this would be because outside of the US, it is illegal to charge such interest rates.

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Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

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Re: How is it Google's fault ?

I think you are mistaken about this being Google's "fault". This is less about being Google's fault, than forcing Google to do something they don't want to do.

This is like you wanting your neighbour to cut down his tree that is encroaching on your garden. First, you ask the neighbour directly (like ABC probably asked Google through a RTBF request), and when they say no, you call your lawyer, get in front of the court, and try to force them to cut down the tree.

Your neighbour did not break the law, and neither did Google; but both can still be targeted by a lawsuit.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

ratfox
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Stop

"privacy is not absolute"

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,

sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.

Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger sie schießen

mit Pulver und Blei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

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Oracle trying hard to make sure Pentagon knows Amazon ain't the only cloud around

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Re: Oh! Oh! A Star Wars reference!

I think Jabba the Hutt is a better fit.

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A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

ratfox
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Trollface

Re: Microsoft ?

They used to take 30% everywhere, but they have recently reduced it to 15% or 5%... Except for games: Announcement here.

This probably reflects how desperate Microsoft is to attract developers. As to why the article did not mention it, I can only assume they thought it was irrelevant.

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ratfox
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What's the situation in China?

Seeing as Google is blocked out, there should be a lot more competition between app stores. How many are there? What percentage do they take?

I heard there's more malware in China, which might be a reason for the rise of super-apps like WeChat: the app becomes the app store.

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ratfox
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Re: But we're taking about games here

I don't know about proportions, but games have a special place. This year, Microsoft have reduced their cut on apps from 30% to 15%... Except for games.

To foster app store competition, maybe the EU could just force Android to include as first-class citizens a couple of other app stores, like Amazon's and Samsung's. The tricky part is that for them to be successful, they need to give incentives to developers and users. Meaning, the developers need to take a bigger cut, and yet the apps themselves need to be sold cheaper; which would mean the app stores would have to massively reduce their own cut.

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US watchdog OKs robo-doc AI that spies eye disease all on its own

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The device has up to to 87 percent sensitivity – patients who did have the mild diabetic retinopathy were correctly identified; 90 per cent specificity – patients who did not have the disease and were correctly identified as having no eye damage

Meaning that 13% of patients with the disease are not detected. That's not great, and I'm surprised they are proposing to remove the doctors entirely. Could it be that the doctors are even worse?

I think that typically, these detection systems err on the safe side – reduce false negatives as much as possible, even if that raises the false positives – and then all those detected as positive go through a more precise and more expensive screening with a human doctor. Maybe here the 10% false positives are already so numerous that they don't want to be more aggressive.

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No do-overs! Appeals court won’t hear $8.8bn Oracle v Google rehash

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8 billion dollars?

Holy shit. This doesn't touch the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement at $206 billions (yes), but as a payment of one company to another, it might be a record. Yet it is only 1% of Google's market cap, and about 4% of Oracle's.

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Huawei elbows aside Apple to claim number-two phone maker spot

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Re: Semi-Captive Chinese Market

The people who spend that much aren't looking for a six-fold increase in utility, they're looking for a six-fold increase in self-image.

Indeed. Sports cars are also sold for double or triple the price of a bog-standard car. They are not bigger or more comfortable, and you can't even drive them faster because of speed limits. They do give you a faster acceleration, but considering most driving is done either in the traffic waiting to move or on the highway waiting to arrive, this hardly seems rational.

And note that the sums involved are two or three orders of magnitude higher than mere cell phones. Whenever El Reg describes the price of the iPhone X as "eye-watering", car businessmen have a long and hearty laugh.

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None too chuffed with your A levels? Hey, why not bludgeon the exam boards with GDPR?

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

What about HR records?

There are countries, like Germany, where employees can request their complete file from HR, including interview results and peer feedback. Does GDPR mean anybody in Europe can do that now?

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Ah, um, let's see. Yup... Fortnite CEO is still mad at Google for revealing security hole early

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Boffin

Re: I learned something

Where have you been? All the big app stores take 30%, Apple and Amazon included. Apple has set the pace by taking 30% since the beginning of the App Store; the others have just followed. It's slowly changing though: Microsoft also takes 30% for games, but starting from this year, they only take 15% for other apps. Google has also reduced some of their fees to 15%.

I've heard the argument that it would also cost developers a lot to maintain their own website and payment systems. And in a sense, it's because the app stores exist that users are not just copying every single app under the sky without paying. That said, it does seem that the percentages are going down, so the app stores might have realized they are charging too much.

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ratfox
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It was a one week delay from the moment the patch was released, not from the moment the exploit was reported. Google claims they publish after 90 days or a patch is available, whichever comes sooner.

The 90 days period is well-known, because so many companies fail to release a patch. It's the first time I hear the second part though. Apparently, Epic didn't know either. It might be in their guidelines and all, but it seems to me that next time, Epic will simply fail to tell them the exploit was fixed until the very last of the 90 days.

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Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case

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Paris Hilton

If he doesn't have an account, it might be difficult for Facebook to identify his data, though. They might well have a complete history of what AnonymousUser142857 has done the web, but I'm not sure how they could connect that with Joe Bloggs from Ipswich. Google certainly also creates a profile of users that have no account, but the My Activity website only works if you are logged in to a Google account.

Which leads to the depressing idea that you have to create an account with them so that they can tell you exactly what they know about you. On the other hand, depending on what the law says, that might mean that they are not allowed to create a profile of you if you don't have an account with them. Hmmmmm...?

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Muslim American woman sues US border cops: Gimme back my seized iPhone's data!

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Trollface

Can I also have my drawing of a spider back please?

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That's the way the cookies crumble: Consent banners up 16% since GDPR

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Paris Hilton

Some sites simply refuse to work if you don't accept their cookies

"Our sites need to collect and process data to deliver a compelling user experience and to support our business. Since you’ve withheld your consent for those activities, we can't provide you the full Healthline experience."

In my understanding, this is completely illegal under the GDPR, but if they don't have an office in the EU, I guess they don't have to care?

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ratfox
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Oh, and if I understand correctly "opt-out" of data gathering is a no-no under the GDPR as well, it has to be "opt-in"

I think that websites get around this by putting one big OK button for opt-in, and otherwise present you with the list of thousand cookies they intend to give you, all checked. Basically, you cannot access the website until you tell them which cookies you want to accept, but since they are all prechecked on the form it takes you an hour to say you don't accept any.

I'm sure this will eventually ruled to be illegal (at least it should), but in the meantime they get to keep tracking you.

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ratfox
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Windows

As far as I can tell from my experience, the net result is a massive increase in "We use cookies [blah blah blah] OK" popups that users click on without reading. I think the one time I decided to check what choices I had, I found a list of hundreds of tracking options which I was supposed to turn off one by one.

I think a lot of the websites are probably illegal because they bar access to people who don't accept the tracking, but there's so little chance of people complaining that they do it all the same. Maybe we'll eventually get to a more private internet, one lawsuit at a time, but it's going to get decades if we ever get there before the laws are changed,

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Bloke hurls sueball over Google's 'is it off yet?' location data slurping

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Napoleon Patacsil is a pretty awesome name. I wish him luck.

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DeepMind AI bots tell Google to literally chill out: Software takes control of server cooling

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Terminator

Are the controllers able to escape the building, say if the AI decided to get rid of the meatbags?

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Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

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Paris Hilton

Google is creating a highly personal virtual profile of you accessible to advertisers

Does "accessible to advertisers" mean that Google uses the highly personal profile to choose which ads to show to the users, or does that mean that advertisers can read the highly personal profile of the users?

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