* Posts by ratfox

3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Even Google is abandoning Google+

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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??

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?

ratfox Silver badge

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!

Apple yanks international travel plugs over shock worries

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Round thin pins slightly slanted inward

Oh, so it's on purpose that the pins for continental Europe are slanted inward? I always thought it was a fabrication defect. Anybody know why this is?

Investors furious that Amazon only made $482m last quarter

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Well tough luck for them. Bezos doesn't give a shit what they think, and he's very much in charge of the thing...

Google and HMRC face Parliamentary grilling over £130m tax deal

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Re: "Based on UK-based advertisers"

The only proper way to do it is to calculate the value of the advertising shown to people inside the UK.

It might well be easy for Google to compute this; but it's definitely not what the law says they should be paying. That depends of where Google is selling from, or where the salesman is seeing the customer, but certainly not where the user seeing the ad happens to be.

How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

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Well actually no, that wouldn't work. Because countries that do not play nicely and make corporations pay a reasonable amount are not invited in the EU. It's taken a little while, but Ireland is actually getting in trouble for the generous tax deals it has offered big corporations. It is considered an illegal subsidy. The rules kind of work, it just takes a while.

Apple CEO visits EU regulator to discuss tax bill

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It feels to me that there are two issues.

On one hand, big businesses like Apple pay very little tax to the UK because they claim to sell everything out of Ireland. From what I've read, this is a perfectly straightforward application of the free trade agreements, possibly morally dubious but absolutely and completely legal!

On the other hand, big businesses like Apple pay very little tax to Ireland because of accounting and tax loopholes that would make a knot theory expert pale with envy.

The EU here is examining whether Apple shouldn't pay more tax in Ireland. Even if they achieve their goal, this does not necessarily mean that they will start paying tax in the UK.

That one weird trick fails: Google binned 780 million ads last year

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Re: 780 million?

That's probably a small number compared to the total number of ads they have. If they make it harder for the scammers, they make it harder for all the other customers too… And you don't want to lose good customers now do you?

Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

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Paris Hilton


Is Skype really the top messaging app? I would have thought that WhatsApp was way in front…

Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

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Paris Hilton

How could those pictures be controversial in the 19th century, considering renaissance artists had been drawing nudes way before that?

It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

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Re: Er, I like Wikipedia

For most movies or actors, I find the Wikipedia article as informative and vastly better presented than IMDB. Though if I'm looking for trivia, goofs or quotes, only IMDB will have it…

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple

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Re: The cash

It's tax money. Ireland normally gets around €40bn each year, so that would be a cool +20%. Ask your politicians what they do with the money!

Yahoo dumps 13.5TB of users' news interaction data for machine eating

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The Yahoo finance website is excellent; I believe it is far more popular than the Google one.

EFF wants Cisco in front of a judge over tech for China's 'Great Firewall'

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…Are they also suing Smith & Wesson?

Turkish carder scores record 332-year jail term

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It sure is good to know that seeing such sentences are handed, people will stop hacking and become honest citizens! I mean, once your crimes are already good a hundred years in jail, anybody would immediately stop doing illegal acts, in order to avoid risking further prison sentences!

Google's head in the clouds: Cut, cut as fast as you can. You can't match us, AWS plan

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Pricing isn't everything

A lot of businesses also compare the available support.

As a general rule, Amazon's is considered excellent, while Google typically elicits the question: "What support?"

Google used to be "one of the big three" cloud offering; it is now often considered below "the big two". My understanding is that support is one of the main reasons.

Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

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There is no safe level…

…of radioactivity

…of crossing the street

…of eating chocolate

…of doing sports

…of not doing sports

…of staying in the sun

…of staying in the shade

…of listening to inane politicians

Having a beer right now.

Invite-only bug bounty criticised for turning up the heat on Tor

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Let me get this straight

“All they have done is turn up the heat for these black hats to get some bugs in Tor sooner rather than later. The shelf life of any bug they may have found or will find might become a lot shorter.”

His argument is that, because maybe vulnerabilities are going to disappear soon, bug hunters have an incentive to find vulnerabilities now, before it's too late? So the diminishing value of the vulnerability increases the interest of hackers?

Australia's smut-shocked senators seek net censorship (again)

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"The motion claims pornography is easy to get online"


Curiosity Rover eyes Mars' creeping dunes

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Alu Alu! Nokia gobbles French rival Alcatel-Lucent in €15.6bn deal

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Re: I Don't Think This Will End Well

I do think Paris waiters act somewhat less than polite, but I think Americans have especially high expectations, coming from a country where the staff constantly engages in ass-licking to get their tip.

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Nokia moving into the mobile business again

The first time want enough?

Remembering those who logged off in 2015

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There is somewhere a huge life-timer carried by four elephants on the back of a turtle, and the sand has settled in the shape of a landscape with a tall mountain in the center. A man wearing a hat emblazoned with the word WIZZARD is sitting on the edge, and an Orangutan is climbing up the sand clock using three hands, the fourth one is holding a book.


Apple coughs up $350m – 2.3 days of annual profit – to make Italy's taxmen go away

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I'm impressed

Apple is usually known to play hardball; and the Reg's very own Tim Worstall repeatedly claimed that Italy didn't have a leg to stand on.

Facebook must face furious shareholders in class action over IPO

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Re: Is this the new trend?

Considering they could have doubled their money if they had only waited for a few years, I'd say the "overvalued" part is not going to hold…

Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

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According to some kind of silly Star Wars fanfiction I've seen, your auto-replicating robots are no match for an army of Gungans led by a stupid general.

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