* Posts by ratfox

3441 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

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

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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

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

German minister seeks facial recognition at airports, train stations

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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

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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!

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How many Messengers?

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

YouTube now 97% secure

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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Wonderful pic choice

Thanks for the laugh

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

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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

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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

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

Pints on a plane!

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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

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Re: According to the BBC...

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

Is Pokemon Go leaky?

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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

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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

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I take objection to "Shooty McBangbang"

It should obviously be Shooty McShootFace

Judge gives Zuck a US$6 million Brazilian

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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...

Google Spain raided by Agencia Tributaria in latest European crackdown

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I suspect that UK in particular hoped that their low (for EU) corporation tax rate would have lots of companies selling stuff in France and Germany and paying taxes in UK. They thought they were gaming the system.

They never saw Ireland coming.

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It's normal that there would be no fine if Google can convincingly claim that the way they paid taxes looked fair. When the additional tax paid is, as you said, so small, it's not unreasonable (and presumably the amount also looked fair to the tax service before politicians insisted they take another look).

What is unreasonable is the law that makes it possible for Google to book all their sales in Ireland, when they have such a massive presence in UK.

Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

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I still don't understand why the British legal system cannot sentence hackers themselves. Surely the crime itself happened in UK. As a simple matter of jurisdiction, the prosecution should happen in UK.

US, EU agree Privacy Shield

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The funny part is that it's pretty clear that nothing has changed at all, but millions have been spent.

Privacy on the Internet is now a rearguard fight.

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

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Re: Do the Maths!

$9,000 per licensee. From which I deduct that licensees have on average about three cables and a half each.

PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

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I am a bit saddened to see that the young voted in majority to stay, while older and especially retired people voted to leave. It's understandable, as the old people are more likely to remember the "good old times" before the EU. Also, maybe, they are less likely to be impacted by the turmoil, not needing to look for a job anymore. For the young who will have to live in the future, it's a bit of a slap in the face.

That said, I'm not sure that things will change as much as anybody predicts, considering the UK was already outside of many EU agreements like the Euro and Schengen, and it's probably going to keep close ties to the EU in any case. When most of your trade partners have the same standards, it's generally a good idea to follow the standards.

One thing that is likely to change is that Facebook et al. will find it a lot more difficult not to pay taxes on the revenue they make in UK. That's good, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. Also, who knows what will change for the worse?

I am personally disappointed that Nigel Farage is currently happy. Man's an asshole.

Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

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"an area of about 10m"


Musk's Tesla to buy Musk's SolarCity for US$2.8 billion

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Thanks for this addition to my vocabulary.

Apple pollutes data about you to protect your privacy. But it might not be enough

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I'm mostly pessimistic

I believe privacy and anonymity are dying. It is going to be harder and harder to keep them, until the effort will be so disproportionate that the vast majority of people will just give up. Sometimes it feels most of them already did.

You lucky creatures! Mammals only JUUUST survived asteroid that killed dinosaurs

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Watch as SpaceX's latest Falcon rocket burns then crashes

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Have they reused an engine yet? That's when the big savings will come.

Austrians are most likely to bare all on beaches

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I feel attitudes have turned more prude since my youth. I recall a girl saying around 1990 that all her friends suntanned topless at the swimming pool, and she was feeling peer pressure. In most places, it's rare to see any topless woman nowadays.

This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

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Black Helicopters

"Pirated stuff can be found easily on the internet"

...I bet the MPAA is coming for me...

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Re: I don't fully understand...

If the images are actually secure, they are in the locked box and only the family members are able to get at them. Of course, it wouldn't stop those family members copying the images and putting them somewhere public but, without that, no one without the key can get at them even if they know where they are.

Sometimes, the URL itself is the key. For instance, one of the security settings of Google Docs is "anybody with the link can access", which essentially means "everybody can access it, but good luck guessing the 64-digit hash in the URL if somebody doesn't give it to you". When you think of it, having an additional 10-character password to protect the document really seems superfluous.

US plans intervention in EU vs Facebook case caused by NSA snooping

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Re: The jist of this U.S. government intervention will be...

All is takes is the IRS auditing the companies properly for all sorts of problems to appear

Yeah right. The companies have better accountants than the IRS and are quite safe from audits. The US isn't some dictatorship where the government can shake down companies for more tax money whenever they feel like it.

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Re: The jist of this U.S. government intervention will be...

To the best of my knowledge, the US government doesn't really have a say on how much is invested by US companies in Ireland. It could of course create laws against doing so, but that would probably break every treaty in the book.

It's nice that governments are finally getting involved. It's a bit silly that companies (which are not all the size of Facebook) have to bear the brunt of what is essentially a political dispute.

Your new Android Smartwatch? Dead!

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Gone down the route.

Google bows to Dutch

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What is "personal data"?

Everybody speaks of personal data, but I haven't found a single, useful, definition. I suspect Google and the regulators might not be using the same.

Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

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Sounds risky

Google is already in the crosshairs of the EU antitrust commissioner for Android — and that's with Android being open source. If they make Android proprietary, they might just as well spare the lawyers and just send a cheque for $Billions fine to the EU.

Google snubs 'dark money' questions at AGM. Shareholder power? Yeah, right

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You were warned

To be fair, the Google founders have said openly from the beginning that they would always keep control of the company. I remember around the time of the IPO a finance guy unhappy about this and saying that Google stock would get punished by the market. They seem to have been doing fine.

Bin Apple's $500m patent judgment, US DoJ tells Supreme Court

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I actually agree with the opinion; it's just surprising that the US government would side with a foreign company against an American one. You have to wonder what's their motivation.

Get ready for Google's proprietary Android. It's coming – analyst

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Brexit: UK gov would probably lay out tax plans in post-'leave' vote emergency budget

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Re: equivalent terms

I believe the UK is in a relatively good position in Europe, having low corporate tax rates to attract companies to London. I would guess they even congratulated themselves on that fact when the rules were drawn (though they probably didn't see coming the Facebooks and Apples choosing Ireland with an even lower tax rate).

All in all, my guess is that it would be a net loss to leave the EU, because London would lose a lot of business from companies currently selling in Europe, which wouldn't be recovered from companies in Europe selling to the UK.

Facebook: 'We don't listen'

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Not that Facebook is the only one to do this but:

We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission

Which most users accept without blinking (and not long ago couldn't even refuse if they wanted to use the app at all).

and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.

Note how these explanations, here and in T&C's, always say "This might include…"; they never contain an exhaustive list. Because that would mean they cannot add anything in the future without making an announcement about changing their T&C's, which they want to avoid because it just attracts attention to the matter, and gets them in trouble with regulators.

So they leave all options open. They say what they might do, they give examples, but they never say "we will not do this", because that's painting themselves in a corner.

For the record, I don't even think that Facebook is really listening. I'm just pointing out that their statement is completely vacuous, out of abundance of care.

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