* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

We want Waymo money from you! Uber sued for 'stealing self-driving car' blueprints from Alphabet

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If that's all you've ever seen from Google, you must have made a serious effort to look elsewhere...?

$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!

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Re: Is this supposed to be a good deal for Yahoo! stockholders?

>What am I missing here?

That various shareholdings in Asia are not part of the sale and account for most of Yahoo's market cap

In fact, for quite a while, the shareholdings in Asia (Alibaba & Yahoo Japan) were worth more than Yahoo! 's market cap. Verizon is paying over $4bn for something which the market considers to have a negative value.

The only reason this makes sense is that there is a tax issue stopping Yahoo! from selling off all their Asian holdings and giving the cash straight to their shareholders. They wanted to do it, but the IRS warned they might be taxed, so they decided to sell Yahoo! proper instead.

Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

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I suppose we are to believe that Apple generates all of its wealth in the Cayman Islands.

SpaceX blasts back into the rocket trucking business

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Thumb Up

Landing again. And making it look easy.

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator

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Re: Come along commentards, pay your way!

Biting the hand that feeds IT since 1994!

Mystery deepens over Android spyware targeting Israeli soldiers

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Or, there's a lone hacker somewhere who is wondering how come just following best practices gets you labeled as an advanced state military organization.

Google claims ‘massive’ Stagefright Android bug had 'sod all effect'

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Another way to read this is that users are so easy to trick, it's not worth coding complicated intrusion techniques...

Totally not-crazy billionaire Elon Musk: All of us – yes, even you – must become cyborgs

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Re: I'm baffled.

Musk can already boast two successful ideas, which does seem to indicate it was not a fluke.

But he's still careful with some of the ideas he has. He gave out this Hyperloop idea, then said somebody else should do it, not him. Which in my opinion was a smart move, as I consider the idea near unworkable.

Oracle settles court spat with fired cloud 'sales inflation whistleblower'

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Re: All of the traditional (some would say legacy) companies...

In the beginning at least, Microsoft counted Office 365 licenses bundled with standard office licenses. Essentially, they told customers they were giving the Office 365 for free with the standard office (and you couldn't refuse), but then counted part of the sale for cloud services.

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

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Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

Microsoft must have really changed.

Dublin court to decide EU's future relationship with Trump's America

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Political theatre

- Can the US government be trusted not to look at user data? No.

- Can US companies guarantee user data is safe from the NSA? No.

- Is Europe going to ban US companies from handling user data? No.

- Are Europeans going to stop using the services of US companies? No.

Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

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Maybe the developers in Blighty should consider moving? No need to even learn a new language. Except if you move to Texas, that accent can be tricky.

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Would you rather make slightly less and have Google on your CV, or make a little more and have to explain why that coding job at Denver's...

You can have both; Google has an office in Denver. Also in Seattle. In fact, I think they do have one in Austin!

And by the way, Austin may be in Texas, but it's a blue town.

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

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Re: 15,000 feet-per-minute

I take it that 15,000 per minute is the top vertical speed reached, and 4,400 feet is the total altitude difference over 33 seconds.

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Re: Left handed?

That is indeed weird. But a quick image search does seem to indicate the pilot and the copilot use a different hand to pilot the plane. They have to learn to fly with either hand.

In fact, Boeing pilots also have the same problem, because the throttle is always in the center between the two seats, and so the pilot has to fly with the left hand.

Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes

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Re: "you don't expect them to give it away for free"

@Oh Homer:

It's irrelevant that they already got their money back. As long as the product is useful to you, it makes sense that you need to pay for it.

If you rent a house, there is no magical point in time after which you don't need to pay rent anymore. Once a movie has become profitable, you still need to pay to watch it in a theater.

People get rewarded in proportion to how useful their work is, not how hard they worked. If Adobe's products are useful for many years, they deserve to get paid for many years. This is in fact their incentive to do a good job. And if you think they're not doing a good job, feel free to use a competing product, or write one yourself.

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Re: Does not compute

Yeah well, you don't expect them to give it away for free after they recovered their investment costs, do you?

From their point of view, they set the price once and for all — and that price hasn't really gone up. It's the worth of the pieces of paper in your wallet that has gone down.

Comcast staffers join walkout over Trump's immigration crackdown

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I'm sure it feels great to protest

But I believe Trump followers feel empowered when they see the "liberals" protesting.

EU whacks first nail into mobile roaming charges' coffin

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Re: Shall I get my coat or ask a possibly silly question or two?

Well, it becomes zero, then of course negative; so you'll be paid for surfing the web.

Waymo robo autos way mo' primo at avoiding-o wreck-os (yeah, yeah, we ran out of rhymes)

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What's the difference with now? Carjacking is not exactly unheard of.

Fear not, Europe's Privacy Shield is Trump-proof – ex-FTC bigwig

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Sorry, but I can't bring myself to take any of this seriously. It's very well to say you can complain to US courts and whatnot, but I find it quite obvious that the US government is going to demand our private data, and get it, and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

This is just a smokescreen designed by politicians to claim everything is fine.

Trump's visa plan leaks: American techies first

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Re: "SV companies ... weren't willing to offer adequate compensation"

This is very unlike the UK. Compensations in Silicon Valley are way over the $100k limit — you can almost double the amount — so I doubt that the Googles and Facebooks are concerned about this new rule, or their employees.

It's the start-ups that are going to lose under this scheme.

Google: I know we promised not to mix our data silos buuuut...

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Paris Hilton


Oracle is doing advertising? Who knew?

Google hardwires its Android app store into new Chromebooks

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Hard to see why Microsoft wasn't allowed to bundle a browser, and Google would be allowed to bundle an app store... Though now that I think of it, it's hard to claim that Chromebooks represent a monopoly comparable to the grip Microsoft had (and largely still has) on the PC. And Apple has a similar market share of laptops, and they bundle their App Store on MacBooks.

Still, Google is already in multiple parallel trouble with the EU regulators, they'd better be careful. At this point, they practically are guilty until proven innocent.

Korean boffins vow 1,000km-an-hour supertrain

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There has been no shortage of maglev-in-vacuum projects. So far, none have been even close to being built. The speed increase over a normal train is only worth it over long distances, so the initial investment is huge. And then, the advantages are small over a plane.

I predict that the very first to be actually built will be a white elephant bleeding money.

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

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Re: ratfox

Sorry, I'm going to be a stickler. The lawsuit says:

G52: Google expressly commits to: "disclose clearly [...] what types of [...] information we collect, if any, and the purpose for which the information [...] is used or shared with third parties."

G53: Despite this [...] obligation, Google does not clearly disclose in a manner easy for parents to understand what types of information is [...] used, nor does it accurately disclose that it takes certain rights to which it is contractually prohibited from doing.

Hood says:

we want to know the extent of Google's data mining and marketing of student information to third parties

The article says:

the state believes Google has been collecting and selling information [...] to third parties

The lawsuit says: Google does not disclose what it does, and does "certain things" it's not allowed to, leaving it unspecified. It does not claim explicitly that Google is selling or even sharing the data to third parties. Hood says: we want to know how much Google is marketing to third parties; he does not explicitly state that Google is doing so. He also uses "marketing" rather than "selling", and I'm not sure that this means the same. The Reg article says: Google is claimed to sell the data.

The confusion between the first two might be on purpose from Hood in front of the press, but what the article claims is yet another thing.

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Re: veti

I believe the problem is here:

collecting and selling information on student activity [...] to third parties, who then use that data for targeted advertisements.

I can't find any other website claiming that Hood is accusing Google of selling data to third parties. Pretty much everybody else agrees that Google is accused of collecting data and using it for its own ads, no third party involved.

Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

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Paris Hilton

"United Kingdon"?

Is that a mafia thing?

Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

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a substance called theophylline found in tea and the compound theobromine found in chocolate also seem to help.


Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

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Re: Security on a lockable chip

If you patented your idea, maybe...

Otherwise, no.

Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

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I do think this case is different, since people really do mostly use their smartphone for other things than making a phone call... To the point that there are devices that are sold that are exactly like smartphones, minus the ability to make phone calls.

I don't think there's a major car manufacturer which sells car-like devices that cannot transport you from A to B.

Autocomplete a novel phishing hole for Chrome, Safari crims

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Autofill does give my address, but not the fake CC number (which I just added for the test).

Using Chrome. Could they have fixed it already?

BOOST! LEGO's computing future and its ground-breaking past

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Too late for me

We just bought a dash robot. You cannot build your own, but it's impressive how many features it has!

Apple's CEO Tim Cook declines invitation to discuss EU tax ruling with Irish parliament

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Let's just say I chose to use the broader definition of government as "the system by which a state or community is controlled" rather than the narrower Commonwealth definition, which is restricted to the executive branch...

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I'm a little bit surprised that the Irish government thinks that it's necessary or useful to invite the CEO himself. Surely Apple has accountants who are more knowledgeable about the fine details?

This feels like a dick-waving contest.

Cancel! that! yacht! order! Marissa! – Verizon's! still! cold! on! Yahoo! gobble!

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Re: Where's the value?

In fact, the Yahoo core business has indeed repeatedly been estimated to have a negative value. For a long time, if you added up the shares of Alibaba and (independent) Yahoo Japan owned by Yahoo, you would get more than Yahoo's market cap... Which meant that the core business (even though it was still profitable) had a negative value.

I don't feel like doing the computation, but I believe this is still the case today.

Swiss defence firm snaps up Brit security outfit Clearswift

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Terms not disclosed

I kind of wonder just how that is possible, considering RUAG is 100% owned by the Swiss government.

Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

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Re: I want one.

For the cooking and cleaning, it's probably cheaper to just hire a maid.

Uber's self-driving cars can't handle bike lanes, forcing drivers to kill autonomous mode

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"No, our cars are not self-driving, they are way more dangerous!"

Brussels cunning plan to save the EU: No more Cookie Popups

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When is it required, then?

circumstances in which consent is not required can be interpreted more broadly

When is it required? When do users actually want to be informed that cookies are used to track them? They say that the consent is not needed for analytics cookies, but I believe those are by far the most objectionable cookies, since they are used by Facebook et al to track you across the web. What's left?

UK Home Office slurps 1,500 schoolkids' records per month

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Beware of unintended consequences

If I remember correctly, it is explicitly forbidden for schools in Switzerland to give to the police the list of the students. From what I heard, the reason is that it is better to have children of illegals in school rather than roaming the streets. Maybe also, it is more important for all children to get a school education, than to catch all illegals.

Not OK Google: Tree-loving family turns down Page and pals' $7m

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I would retire

It's a boring answer, but with the current rates, I would get about the same income from the money as my current salary, and I'd get nearly three decades of freedom. These days, I lack time far more than money.

Tech titans tentatively trot toward Trump Tower to talk turkey today

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Re: Yeah. Nothing happened

I have to say, I agree with Twitter not being important enough to participate. It's not about size, it's about innovation.

Trump meets Google – exclusive transcript

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Sounds about right

I understand that there's going to be way more than just Google at the meeting, and by and large people who came out against Trump. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Look out, Brussels: Google's moving the goalposts, barks price comparison rival

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Re: Interesting idea

The problem comes when Google lists the ad at the top of the page, with a great big hyperlink, and has a very small [ad] tag listed at the start of the site description.

Which is why I started my post by If Google marks these results as ads and separates them clearly from search results. The point being that if those are clearly ads, it stops being a competition problem.

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Paris Hilton

Interesting idea

I'm not quite following Foundem's arguments, but from what I understand, Shopping results are just ads.

If Google marks these results as ads and separates them clearly from search results, doesn't that solve the competition problem? On one side, you would have organic results, where Google must not favour its own products in any way. And on the other side, you have ads, where Google has every incentive to favour the highest bidder. If they put ads for their own product, they lose the money from other advertisers; which is equivalent to Google outbidding other advertisers on its own ad network. Sounds fair?

Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube team to ID terror content

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"Google-shaped hole"

FYI: YouTube is part of Google, and that's where Google has most of its user-generated content.

Unless you're worried about the terrorists proselytizing on Google+? <snicker>

Apple Watch sales go over a cliff: Down 2.8 meellion per quarter in a year

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Looks like everybody who could be convinced to buy a smartwatch has already done so... And it's apparently not something people are willing to buy every year.

Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

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Done on purpose

Looks to me like there was a disagreement between the presenter and the camera operators. The recording started before he was ready, and the presenter wanted to restart the recording. The operators didn't want to do it again, so he deliberately said fucking hell to make the recording unusable, just so they would have to restart.

And then, the annoyed operators forgot to do their job of cutting the first part. Or maybe, possibly, they called his bluff... Because in the end, he's the one who ends up looking stupid.

Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

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Re: "Blackstone ... employs six times as many people as Google"

I'm not sure what this means: Wikipedia says (I know, I know) that Blackstone has about 2'000 employees.

Now it may be that companies bought/controlled by Blackstone have in total hundreds of thousands of employees. I'd hesitate to say that Blackstone created those jobs, though.

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