* Posts by ratfox

3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Bits of Google's dead Project Ara modular mobe live on in Linux 4.9

ratfox Silver badge

ARA isn't dead

It's pining for the fjords!

Pound falling, Marmite off the shelves – what the UK needs right now is ... an AI ethics board

ratfox Silver badge

Pure comedy

methods are required to verify that AI systems are operating in a transparent manner, to make sure that their behaviour is not unpredictable, and that any decisions made can be explained

Wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder!

Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route

ratfox Silver badge

As noted, there are efficient algorithms for doing this fast. I can only assume that the reason this is news is because no algorithm was involved, just randomness.

Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

ratfox Silver badge

How is it happening now?

If a car driver decides to save his hide and run over pedestrians, do they get prosecuted? I doubt it. Egoism is usually a valid defense. Cowardice is only a crime when facing the enemy.

Until humans solve the problem themselves, I don't see how we can expect cars to do it for us.

'Facebook and eBay need to be subject to greater scrutiny' - Margaret Hodge

ratfox Silver badge

Well fix the law then

You're in luck, soon you won't have to convince the rest of Europe anymore.

In principle, I understand why having to pay tax in every single country where they do business would be a prohibitive cost for small companies, and I assume that's the (official) reason why the rules were written in this way.

I am not convinced that the politicians who wrote the rules could not predict global corporations taking advantages of those rules. In particular, I believe that the UK politicians thought this was going to be a boon for UK and its low corporate tax, and they just felt totally betrayed when corporations chose dirt-cheap Ireland instead of London.

Maybe the rules could be amended in some sensible way, forcing companies to pay taxes in countries where they have a sizable workforce?

Can Facebook influence an election result?

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Do the math(s)

There is related quote from Mark Twain:

"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist"

WikiLeaks claims 'significant' US election info release ... is yet to come

ratfox Silver badge

Re: "These are people who are tormented by their ambitions."

I'd say it takes one to know one...

Swansong for Rosetta as it lands on the duck-shaped comet

ratfox Silver badge


Do you think we deflected it?

EU turns screws on Android – report

ratfox Silver badge

Re: And Apple?

Neither is Android really. If you don't want an Android phone you don't need to have one. If you walk into any phone shop they'll sell you non Android phones.

I think the argument is that for phone manufacturers, Android is a monopoly. And if you're not Apple, it's rather correct that Android is the only way you can survive these days.

Though I'm not sure how it makes sense that 1) Google Search is a monopoly & 2) Google is leveraging their Android monopoly to force phone manufacturers to use Google Search. Surely if 1) is true, then 2) is unnecessary.

Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

ratfox Silver badge

Re: no micro-sd, no removable battery

Really? It seems to me removable battery and SD cards have become niche markets, really. I'd be surprised to learn that more than a few percents of users want them.

EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

ratfox Silver badge

Re: The future

I actually think that it's the small players who gain from the current situation. Look at what happened in Spain when Google closed Google News because they refused to pay for snippets. Traffic to news sites went down overall, but big sites saw an increase in market share, because people flock to them since they're famous brands. The small players got completely killed, though.

The big players would likely say this is a good thing, because they regard small players as cheap and low-quality. Springer essentially have that argument against news aggregator: it forces them to compete for eyeballs with two-bit outfits who cannot offer quality journalism. It might be partly correct, but that would mean we need to protect big news organizations, not small players.

Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

ratfox Silver badge

In 2016, the first signs of the war became noticeable...

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Could get interesting

The question is, will people want to use Oracle's software, no matter how good it is? They don't seem to have that many happy customers.

Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Only in US

Governments can have legal monopolies, have law enforcement and law making authority. They can also subsidize a service and undercut the prices of private business at the expense of the local taxpayers.

The situation here is rather that the government is the only entity willing to provide the infrastructure (and the local taxpayers are willing to pay for it), because private businesses do not want to provide it for such a low ROI.

iPhone 7's Qualcomm, Intel soap opera dumps a carrier lock-out on us

ratfox Silver badge

CDMA isn't dying

It's still more or less stable in the US, along with the Verizon market share, unfortunately. But it's nice that Intel is ignoring CDMA. Hopefully, this will bring down the price of other technologies, and help kill the abomination.

Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

ratfox Silver badge

"The conduct occurred in the United States"

Is that correct? Was Lauri Love physically in the US at the time? Or is it rather that "the computer was in the US"?

Audi works with Chinese technology companies to develop intelligent cars

ratfox Silver badge

The world is changing

Maybe at some point, people will stop thinking that innovation can only happen in Silicon Valley.

Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

ratfox Silver badge

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Mansfield bars

Actually, Mansfield bars are also mandatory on the sides of trucks in Europe.

Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

ratfox Silver badge

Re: I wouldn't worry

"Before criticising other peoples grammar, check your own."

Any post criticising another poster's spelling, grammar or punctuation is certain to contain a spelling, grammar or punctuation error of its own. It's like a law of physics or something.

Indeed. In this case: "peoples grammar".

Ericsson strikes partnerships with Intel and Google for pay TV

ratfox Silver badge

Android TV still exists? I've lost track. Or I'm confusing with Apple TV.

Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

ratfox Silver badge

Re: 1200+ for a ceramic???

I assume you put the scrotum in your ears?

I fart in your general direction! Comet 67P lets rip on Europe's Rosetta probe

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Did nobody notice...?

My assumption about the zoom not matching the larger picture: those are two pictures taken at different times, which means the lighting is different. The reason they didn't simply zoom the larger image is that it would mean crap resolution, so instead they used a different picture taken with different optics.

Or maybe they simply didn't have a larger picture showing where the zoom is, and they just put any old picture.

Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

ratfox Silver badge

I am reminded of Groupon

Groupon was also a fast growing business, and they seemed to be inevitably successful. But in the end, like Uber, they had two problems: 1) They relied on uninterruptible supply of people willing to offer something really cheap 2) there was not much barrier to enter the market.

Apart from their ventures in self-driving cars, there isn't much that Uber does that is very hard. The fact that they were so successful shows how complacent the taxi industry has been, rather than how intelligent their system is. Which means, it's eventually going to be harder to justify leeching a 20% cut, when the only thing they do is connect providers to customers.

Uber might think that self-driving cars are going to come soon enough that they can solve their problems, but it seems highly doubtful that they can convince regulators that self-driving cars are fine to have on the road, especially after pissing off half the local governments on the planet.

US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

ratfox Silver badge

Not sure what the Americans have to say about a matter between European countries...? Isn't Ireland big enough to appeal to the WTO?

Das ist empörend: Microsoft slams umlaut for email depth charge

ratfox Silver badge


It's "Küss meinen Arsch", not "Küss meinen arsch".

German minister seeks facial recognition at airports, train stations

ratfox Silver badge

Wow! In Germany?

The country where you're not even allowed to take pictures of people in public without asking for their authorization? This is gonna be interesting.

Oracle campaigns for third Android Java infringement trial

ratfox Silver badge

They just need a pretext to start again

I'm just surprised Oracle didn't simply appeal the ruling. They said they would do it, and It looks like the Circuit Court was sympathetic to their arguments the first time around.

Yahoo! is! not! killing! Messenger! today!, just! the! desktop! client!

ratfox Silver badge

How many Messengers?

There's Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Android Messenger... Can't these people have some imagination?

YouTube now 97% secure

ratfox Silver badge


What are those devices that don't support HTTP, and access YouTube? How do they even do that?

Google-backed Thread, OCF form alliance for Internet of Things sanity

ratfox Silver badge

It's the nice thing with standards...

... There's so many to choose from.

Nigerian cops cuff cybercrime suspect, reveal you don't need 419 to make $60m

ratfox Silver badge

Both are currently on bail?

For people who scammed millions, which I assume haven't been recovered?

Google and Microsoft are playing catchup with AWS's cloudy power

ratfox Silver badge

Re: "Google took 7.4 per cent of the market but grew 80 per cent." @Pascal

Maybe it would have been better to report what percentage each player had last year. The important thing is who will have enough critical mass that third parties will develop tools for their ecosystem.

AT&T fined for school gouge

ratfox Silver badge

Pocketful of change

Seriously, I'm not usually one to defend the evil empire^W^W^W AT&T, but the sums are so small here that I assume the minion simply didn't know the rules.

Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Time machine anyone?

You're in luck — the car has almost certainly complete recollection of everything that happened during the whole thing.

Clash of Kings hack: 1.8m hit

ratfox Silver badge

Clash of Kings?

Is that like Clash of Clans, or like Game of War? Or is that War of Thrones?

Juno's 1,300-pic Jupiter vid

ratfox Silver badge

That video would be so boring without the music

Seriously, I was a bit underwhelmed. Jupiter is so small on these images, you can't even see the big red spot.

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

ratfox Silver badge

The San Bernardino case meant them creating a new version of the phone software that would allow the feds to get inside. This case just means going through their own databases. That I understand, that's the reason why they could legally fight the order then and not now.

Google's Android Pay hits Australia

ratfox Silver badge

Re: CBA's absence may be conspicuous....

Android pay is probably going to work in other countries. Will CBA's app work in the US?

ratfox Silver badge

Why payments work better in China

There you go. Largest phone OS maker launches a payment system in a country, and the largest bank in the country refuses to participate, because they also have an app for that. Everybody wants to "own the experience".

Alleged Aussie plum plucker pleads guilty to motel tissue swipe

ratfox Silver badge

Wonderful pic choice

Thanks for the laugh

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

ratfox Silver badge

The reason China is more advanced in terms of online payments is by and large due to the dismal US banking industry, which still relies on cheques, and does not yet seem to have gotten the idea of account transfers.

It does not help that every player in the industry, from stores to credit card companies to phone makers to OS makers are hindering each other in the great race to a sliver of that sweet cash.

QR codes are nice, but in that particular case, they offer no particular advantage over NFC. The miracle is rather that the store and the bank simply accepted the use of Alipay without throwing a fit and attempting to create their own incompatible and buggy system.

Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

ratfox Silver badge

No you don't have to. You register for Content ID, you tell them to pull down any video that matches yours. From that point on YouTube stops showing any video that contains your IP.

Apple crumbles: Mac sales slump while Dell, HP Inc, Lenovo shift PCs

ratfox Silver badge

In b4 "Gartner always gets everything wrong, Apple will probably have a blockbuster year"

Pints on a plane!

ratfox Silver badge


I like beer, but I'd rather drink water than Heineken.

I've been to a music festival where Heineken had exclusivity. It was a sobering experience.

Teen thugs lure, rob Pokemon Go gamers

ratfox Silver badge

Re: According to the BBC...

If by that they meant gaming on mobile phones, then yes indeed.

Is Pokemon Go leaky?

ratfox Silver badge

The weird thing is that it probably largely uses the same code as Ingress, which has been operating since 2012, at the time when Niantic labs was part of Google. It would be a bit surprising if the holes had been there the whole time and nobody noticed.

Facebook US tax lawsuit

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

It's surprising to me that the IRS would ask questions about the money funneled through Ireland. I know that the US taxes corporations on the money they make abroad and bring back to the US, but I thought that the money they make abroad and keep abroad was off limits...?

Idiot brings gun-shaped iPhone to airport

ratfox Silver badge

I take objection to "Shooty McBangbang"

It should obviously be Shooty McShootFace

Judge gives Zuck a US$6 million Brazilian

ratfox Silver badge

The fine is still small at the moment. It's going to be interesting to see how long Facebook considers starting in the country is worth it. On one hand, WhatsApp is life and blood for many Brazilians; on the other hand, Brasil is one of the biggest emerging countries. It would really hurt Facebook to leave...

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019