* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Look who just joined Salesforce... it's former European commish Neelie Kroes

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"anti-competition commissioner"

Oh? Well, that explain things.

French publishers join Swedish 'Block Party' to pester ad refuseniks

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Let's see how it plays out, shall we?

If I remember correctly, the German publishers had a big campaign at some point asking their readers not to use ad blockers.

The campaign caused a huge rise in the use of ad blockers.

Brit teen bags $250,000 in first World Drone Prix

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43 members in the team?? Drone races are more complex than I thought.

R you ready? Open source stats come to Visual Studio

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Good move

This is one of the case where the open source version is on par with, and possibly superior to commercial products.

... Moderated comments? This seems like a benign and uncontroversial subject, though.

Google-backed British startup ‘stole our code’, says US marketing firm

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Re: Woah there

What I mean is that the first word of the title was "Google", not because it was the most relevant thing about the story, but because people click more on any title containing the word Google.

And John went one step further, and apparently deduced that it was Google's fault. Maybe he's thinking about the Oracle lawsuit.

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Woah there

"British startup backed by Google stole code" ≠ "Google and its partners in copyright theft"

Using Google in the title of the article was clickbait. No need to rise to it.

Google gives ringing endorsement to US VPN providers with 'right to be forgotten' expansion

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Re: Google and copyright laws

US copyright laws are probably the world's most restrictive so it is the 'safest' choice as they don't have to worry about someone from Ghana coming along and claiming something that is public domain in the US is copyrighted there.

That's a terrible argument. By that argument, Google should follow the most restrictive censorship laws on the planet, so that "they don't have to worry about someone from Ghana coming along and claiming something that is [free speech] in the US is [illegal speech] there."

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Re: unacceptable!

We all find it funny that it is forbidden in Thailand to insult the king, and we wouldn't dream of censoring our internet to follow that law. From what I can gather, Americans have the same feelings about Europe's right to be forgotten.

Machismo is ruining the tech industry for all of us. Equally

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Re: Oh look

I *never* click to view the second page of an short article, and I only address the issues on the page I read.

That paragraph was on the first page.

Hack the planet, er, Pentagon: US Dept of Defense puts bounties on bugs

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So what are the requirements?

I suppose you need to be natural-born American, have a security clearance, and have worked for the government for ten years?

McDonald's Sweden adds fries to VR

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Always wanted to put on my face something greasy and smelling of fries.

Zuck gets a Brazilian whack: Top Facebook VP cuffed in WhatsApp privacy kerfuffle

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I'd be happy to see more executives being held responsible for the misdeeds of companies!

I just wish this would happen for, say, companies that caused ecological disasters leading to the death of thousands rather than companies who defend the privacy rights of their users.

Irate IT distributors chase Amazon over unpaid bills

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Embarrassing for Amazon, but…

I understand it's not at all rare for large corporations to have an embarrassingly complex reimbursement system, which are not at all optimized because you optimize very hard things for users, and you don't care about optimizing paying money to suppliers.

I remember a story about a similar company in which for anything over a couple of hundreds of dollars, a supplier needed to first get introduced into the payment database which was maintained by a third-party contractor in Poland, which meant that first-time suppliers needed to wait months until they saw a dime.

If I remember correctly, there was a story on this very web site about Google being sued by a supplier over a ridiculous amount of money, because after months of waiting, they still saw nothing coming, and that was the only way they could see of speeding things up.

ISS 'nauts Kelly and Kornienko homeward bound

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Ooh ooh, and because the twin was in space, he's going to be younger than the one who stayed on Earth, right? Despite being twins, one is going to look like the father of the other one, and then some really interesting things is going to happen and…

Staying 340 days at the ISS, which does 7667 m/s, he's going to be younger by… (compute compute) a hundredth of a second. Hmpf…

…Never mind, then.

Windows Phone devs earn double what poor Android devs pocket

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Sounds reasonable, but sampling is everything

I assume that all the amateurs and hobbyists who are coding an app or two for fun are mostly coding it for Android, since they are more likely to have an Android in the first place. On the other hand, people who develop anything for Windows are more likely to be professionals who fully intend to make real money out of it.

You would probably get similar results comparing say Python vs. Cobol developers. People who code in Python are dime-a-dozen and go from professional to high-schoolers, but nobody codes in Cobol unless they have somebody paying them good money for it.

Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

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So went the horses and carts

Innovation regularly makes whole industries redundant. That's a fact of life.

People in those industries can have trouble adapting. We may be able to help some of them.

For all the rest: This is why we need a good social security system.

The one mistake we should not commit is to refrain from innovating in order to protect existing industries.

MapR acquires Geneva Lake to embiggen its worldwide reach

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Re: Confusion?

Mind if we call you 'Bruce' to keep it clear?

Sick burn, brah: SpaceX test fires rockets for SES bird launch this week

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Another water landing

Icon says it all...?

Black Monday: Office 365 down and out in Europe

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I'm getting bored of these useless outage reports

What I would like is a web site reporting clear metrics, displaying a graph of how much of the time during the past year there was a good service for 90%, 99%, and 99.9% of users.

This would be much more informative than irregular articles stating "there's an issue affecting some users today".

There’s a module for that: LG launches G5 smartphone complete with 'friends'

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Paris Hilton

Re: Phone Plea..

Just buy a RAZR on eBay?

Solution to tech bros' disgust of SF homeless people launched

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You don't want to see homeless people in the street? Have you tried living in a country with proper social security?

To be honest, income inequality is one of the reasons I have moved back from the US to Europe.

Even Google is abandoning Google+

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To be honest, I find that YouTube comments being broken is a clear upgrade on what YouTube comments used to be. (see https://xkcd.com/202/ & https://xkcd.com/481/)

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Paris Hilton

Re: Didn't everbody with a clue ...

This made me think. Google didn't exist 20 years ago. How did we ever manage??

Helpdesk? I have a software problem. And a GRIZZLY BEAR problem

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Re: Talons and towels

If it was like any warehouse I've been, it stuffed itself to death with mice

Google opens Cloud Vision API beta, world + dog asked to try it

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Does it detect gorillas?

IBM Watson offers $5m for an AI to save the world

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It's an imperial short scale billion.

Google to snatch control of Android updates from mobe makers – analyst

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Another analyst living in cloud-cuckoo land

So Google is going to push updates to all Android phones? Who's going to check for compatibility issues? Because Google's sure as hell not going to do that.

This analyst knows less about phones than most reg readers.

Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view

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This is wishful thinking

or it is possible to read the data off the flash chips and attack it in a VM until the password is brute-forced.

I don't see how it could be possible to stop this from happening. If a system exists that allows to enter a 4-digit code and decrypt the device, then surely, it is possible to reconstruct that system so that it does not erase the memory after N attempts.

The only way I can see to prevent this from happening is to protect the device not with a 4-digit PIN, but with a decryption key that is so long that trying all solutions would take centuries. But I frankly doubt anybody would want to type something that long every time they want to check their email.

Project Loon ready for Sri Lanka test

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Re: I'm puzzled...

... Like Facebook.

Samsung S7 tease suggests phone likes it hot and wet

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If your Bahasa's better than hours, feel free to get in touch with the details.

Alas, my knowledge of Bahasa is minute.

India's ‘Facebook ruling’ is another nail in the coffin of the MNO model

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MNO is Mobile Network Operator

In case somebody was wondering.

Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

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Something that Google could have done is offering links to multiple services. They actually do that when you look up stock quotes like https://www.google.com/search?q=amzn; you get a box showing the data, but if you want more detail, you need to click on one of the small links below, choosing between Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and MSN Money.

It's interesting that they do that for stock market data but not for maps. I'd be curious to know why. Maybe it's because Yahoo Finance has more users than Google Finance, while Google Maps was probably #1 by an overwhelming margin for a long time.

Bomb hoax server hoster reportedly cuffed in France

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It's because of puerile jokes of this kind that anonymity will soon be a thing of the past on the Internet.

Earthquake-sensing smartphone app fires off early alerts of disaster

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Can't believe I'm the first to quote...


De-anonymising data should be a criminal offence, says MPs report

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Does that include doxing?

Google after six-year tax foot-drag: No they're fine about the fine. We're fine. No fine

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The ten years do not mean that Google has ten years to pay; they mean that Google did not pay enough tax for the past ten years, and they have to pay the total amount now, or at least very soon.

Actually, they certainly have to pay interest on that sum, so it would actually benefit the government if Google took a long time to pay.

Andreessen stokes the Facebook Free Basics ‘colonialism’ row

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Leap of net neutrality from "carriers shall not charge some content more" to "poor people shall not get free partial Internet" = astounding

With all due respect to Andreessen, there's very little difference between "charging some content more" and "offering some content free". Whether people who get it are poor or rich.

Now, whether the benefits outweigh the issues in this case is disputable. But the leap is not astounding, and it is in fact not a leap.

Flash flushed as Google orders almost all ads to adopt HTML5

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Re: Flash Web sites Hall of Shame

Google finance still uses flash for its scrollable and zoomable graphs.

Yahoo finance offer the same features without flash.

Amazon launches Lumberyard beta, a free gaming engine, but there is a catch

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I tend to dislike arbitrary constraints on the use of products. For instance, it took many years for the whole industry to settle on USB, and it's hard enough to reach such a result, but then Apple specifically made sure that only iPods could connect to iTunes, and not the competing MP3 players…

Also coming to mind: HP selling printers cheap and ink for an arm and a leg, and using cryptography techniques to make it difficult for others to build compatible ink cartridges.

That said, I wonder how they plan on enforcing it. How would they notice if somebody modifies the product to run on Google hardware?

SCO's last arguments in 'Who owns Linux?' case vs. IBM knocked out

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Re: "The end [..] looks to be near"

This UserFriendly strip already predicted the end was near: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20070812

Nine. Years. Ago.

SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

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It's been so long, I would have sworn that this had died already. I wonder how much was spent in total on this train wreck? By the parties, and by the justice system?

Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

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Gates Horns

Re: Oh FFS !


EDIT: Well, well… Seems to work.

Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

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I'm not clear on what the decision of the UN panel was taken? Considering that nobody is forcing him to stay there… Having breached his bail, it seems pretty normal that he would be arrested if caught, without even mentioning the Sweden thing.

One way or another, I doubt the UK cares about that UN ruling…

Masked men 'steal' £250k of smartphones from Exertis

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Re: Joke: Sometimes it sucks to use a Screen Reader...

Screen Readers suck: they turn what's supposed to be funny into stuff that's not & vice versa. =-j

Sometimes, this can be a feature!

Bill for half a billion quid lands on Apple's desk in Facetime patent scrap

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Paris Hilton

I wonder how it is to be in the jury in the Eastern District of Texas. What do they do to get that kind of record? Is it judges that are giving biased instructions? Do local newspapers defend the place as the last bastion where patent holders can have their rights recognized? Or does everybody simply know that the lawsuit industry is bringing money into a region which would otherwise be bare and desolate?

Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

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Paris Hilton


See title.

Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

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Re: Really?

How many of that age group are giving you money?

I suspect that's not relevant. What he means is: "plenty of people watch our ads"

The YouTube ads business is tiny compared to the TV ads business, and he's trying to convince people this should change.

'International tax' needs reform. Google's chicken bill makes me chuckle – comms guy

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That's rubbish. Google is an advertising company, so the 'economic activity' he talks about is selling advertisements, which happens in the UK (and France, Germany, US,etc.).

Are you the type of person who thinks that Sales is making the real money, and the company would be so much better off if only you could get rid of cost centers like Engineering and data centers?

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Re: Get rid of corporation tax...

It might work fine for massive companies, but what about a small business in say Germany making just a few sales into the UK, would they register for, and pay for an accountant who understood, UK taxes? Or just say 'lets not bother with the UK' (in German).

This is of course the reason why the single market was created: it allows small companies to sell anywhere without incurring the massive fixed cost of declaring tax in every country where they sell.

It was not, or at least not openly, created so that global corporations can shop around for the smallest tax rates and sell everything "from that country", even though they also have operations in every country to which they sell to.

A solution would be: if a corporation owns operations in the country of the customer, it must declare its income there. I believe there are precedents for similar rules about Controlled Foreign Corporations.

Loons in balloons: Google asks FCC to approve Net plan

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Re: Blow, blow thou winter wind

Exactly. It's a swarm network!

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