* Posts by ratfox

3466 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

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On a larger scale it's been repeatedly established in recent surveys that most people don't agree with the idea that climate change is mainly caused by human activities.

Because a population-wide survey is the proper way to know whether something is correct, as opposed to doing a scientific study, right? …Right?

I mean, I also harbour doubts on the question, but that's because I doubt the quality of scientific studies done so far, not because the majority of the population thinks this way or the other.

Why are all the visual special effects studios going bust?

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Paris Hilton

Re: there's plenty of people willing to see ads

The surprising thing is that considering Google mostly only makes money when somebody clicks on an ad, and since Google makes money hand over fist, then indeed there must be plenty of people willing, not only to see, but also to click on ads.

No, I don't know who these people are either.

Google patents DEVIL TOY which will BRAINWASH KIDS

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Thank you for making a simple door very happy!

VR rift OPENS UP: Total Recall Technologies hurls lawsuit at Facebook's Oculus

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Re: At last! The business use case for VR

You are eaten by a grue.

Amazon cloud to BEND TIME, exist in own time zone for 24 hours

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Sounds complicated

Wouldn't it be more practical to have a gyroscope turn really really fast to accelerate the rotation of Earth?

Robots.txt tells hackers the places you don't want them to look

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Google found the solution

They have a http://www.google.com/humans.txt file.

Sprint and Verizon to pay $158 MILLION over bogus 'cramming' fees

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Re: actually

It does matter if the same companies are bitterly fighting the new net neutrality guidelines. Sometimes, there is a price to be paid for being the least liked industry in the country.

Amazon creating 500 ‘fulfilling’ jobs in the UK

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"fun, past-paced warehouse environment"

Also required reading: I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave

(Though admittedly this particular story did not happen in an Amazon warehouse).

Google cloud: rubbish at updates, world-class at rapid rollbacks

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Re: Kharma...

Microsoft are over a 1$ billion a quarter ahead of AWS in cloud revenue

Yes, I'm sure their accountants would like us to believe that too. Not that revenue and market share are the same thing anyway.

So a year out of date then....

2015 is not over, so you can't have numbers for 2015. Anyway, do you seriously want us to believe that Microsoft could catch up on a lead of 28% to 10% in five months?


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Re: Kharma...

Google's cloud is currently a desert with rolling tumbleweed compared to #1 (Azure) and #2 (AWS) in the cloud space...

Bull. AWS is way in front of Azure.

Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

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Still looking forward to…

The day he's finally shipped off to Sweden, where he's sentenced to a month of community service.

FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

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Paris Hilton

Re: an unexpected situation

I assume the Aviation Authority must certify the machine before it is even allowed to execute test flights?

I'd certainly hate it if people were allowed to test their prototypes over my head without undergoing some kind of vetting process.

OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

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Do Australians customers deal mainly with Australian employees

Seems a loophole to me. It would be enough to outsource all sales people to India to avoid this new tax.

Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

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Larger size

Apple has caught the market’s changing tastes just in time

Er… Actually, it took them two years to catch up with that particular changing taste of the market. The larger size of the iPhone 5 was already considered at the time as a reaction move to the popularity of bigger phones; and the iPhone 6 came two years after that. Have a look at this article from two years ago:

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Here's Why We Don't Sell An iPhone With A Big Screen, Even Though Lots Of People Want One

Of course, they had many good reasons for that; in particular they wanted to simplify the life of developers and give them a small number of screen resolutions to work with. That particular condition is one they had to break with the iPhone 6 and the 6+, each having a new aspect ratio, and downsampling to display apps made for previous versions: The Ultimate Guide To iPhone Resolutions

One of the reasons the iPhone 6 has been so popular is that it finally has a larger size.

New Tizen phone leaked: Remember it's not all just Android and iOS

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Re: get the units right

Like everybody says 1.0 Mm instead of 1000 km?

Or like floppy disks were 1.44 MB instead of 720 KB, defining MB as 1024000 Bytes?

Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men

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So what now?

Skype must rename themselves, despite being more famous by far than the other party?

Zuck'ed up: Facebook opens up free internet in India – but bans HTTPS

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Videos and large images banned

No Instagram, then? Or does it get a free pass for being owned by Facebook?

Singapore's prime minister releases source code for his hand-coded Sudoku-solver

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Not bad

I wonder who taught him to declare loop variables at the beginning of the methods, though. That's a style I haven't seen in a long time.

Bridge, ship 'n' tunnel – the Brunels' hidden Thames trip

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Re: Don't Forget....

The Brunels are featured in no less than three videos of the Big, bigger, biggest series: Bridges, tunnels, and cruise ships.

OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

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At least, emojis are restricted to the written word; they cannot be said aloud like "lol". If internet slang dies out, people will have to find proper words to express themselves.

Of course, we might find ourselves again in this kind of situation: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19991120.

Intellectual property laws in China, India are flawed, claims US govt without irony

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Wall of text alert

I have a confession to make: I'm cynical about laws. I don't believe that laws are written to enforce what is right and just, or balance of crime and punishment, but merely to ensure a functioning society with a minimal amount of trouble.

One of the reasons for my position is that what is considered right and just varies considerably with time and place. Slavery, homosexuality are viewed in a very different light now from two centuries ago. Copyright law is no different.

Copyright law and the content industry are in my view evolving to protect artists in ways appropriate to the current technology. It used to be that possession of an official recording gave you the right to listen to the music it contained. Giving, selling or inheriting the physical object transferred that right. Copying was hard and caused loss of quality, so little needed to be done to stop people from doing it.

Nowadays, since copying without loss of quality has become trivial and widespread, the industry is moving to licensing. You buy the right to listen to the music, with eventual time restrictions. The right cannot be resold or given away. This is becoming both possible and necessary because of the Internet.

The key point is that when an old law is becoming increasingly difficult or impossible to enforce, the solution is not to introduce increasingly complex systems to enforce it. The law does not necessarily represent a moral absolute which must be enforced no matter the cost; it is often merely the most efficient means to an end. If it is not efficient any more, it is more reasonable to change the law in a way that attempts to achieve the same goals, than to turn society upside down to try to keep the statu quo.

Attempting to shame China and India about copyright law does not seem very efficient to me.

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

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Wasn't there some kind of hugely successful campaign getting people to write to the FCC and ask it to introduce net neutrality rules? Could we start a similar campaign to write to Rand Paul and ask him to kindly shut the fuck up? Since he has an election coming up, perhaps he would pay attention to what the people think?

SECRET PROTOTYPE iPAD 'stolen from RANDY Apple employee'

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Apple's stratagems to "leak" prototypes of their upcoming devices are getting more and more complex.

FT and Guardian eagerly grab Google's 30 pieces of silver

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Re: Scrapegoats

As I understand it, German publishers had complete control on how much of their scraped data Google News would display. And they all eventually let Google News display as much as they wanted, because they would lose traffic otherwise.

Google News is just another platform to advertise your web site. Instead of paying money for it, you have to agree to let them display your data for free. But you can hardly complain that you're losing business because your competitors are advertising their product more aggressively than you.

Google News might be especially troublesome for big publishers, since it is not a platform where they can "outspend" their smaller competitors, who seem more willing than them to "pay" for Google News coverage.

Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

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That's pretty bad. I understand that Powershell is considered by its users as superior to bash, but at least that's a problem that bash does not have.

I can totally imagine the reasons for which MS would have developed its own rather than going with bash, between the fact bash was considered the competition, that it would have been losing face to adopt it, that they were intelligent enough to create something better, influential enough to get their solution accepted, and so on…

Feels a lot like something Google would do nowadays. MS seems to have grown humble in comparison.

REVEALED: The 19 firms whose complaints form EU's antitrust case against Google

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What about Amazon?

Google themselves list Amazon as one of their biggest competitors for online shopping. I'm surprised they are not on the list.

SEX: Naughty female stegosauruses offered it on a PLATE

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Whenever biologists can't figure out something about an animal, they say it's for mating rituals.

And whenever archaeologists can't figure out something about a civilization, they say it's religious.

Probably because if that's the only explanation they can come up with, well then it must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes has a lot to answer for.

Chat app WhatsApp gift-wraps free yaps for Apple iPhone saps

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It is a service that will almost certainly upset telcos


Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

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> homeopathic store owner

Prison's too good for him.

Dead Steve Jobs' wage-fixing pact in Silicon Valley was news to us, claim Apple directors

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De mortuis nil nisi bonum

Unless in a court of law, in which case, pile on 'em.

'Leaked' EU digi wish list: Junkets for Eurocrats, sops to copyright and telcos

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Google does a good job of filtering pornography uploads to YouTube but refuses to apply the much easier technical challenge of filtering unlicensed music or movie uploads to YouTube.

Wait, what? That is exactly what the ContentID system does.

And how is that a much easier technical challenge? Google can rely on users to report porn, because the average Joe knows it when he sees it. That's basically free. To filter unlicensed works, Google must scan and fingerprint every licensed music and movie in the universe and compare them to the the fingerprint of each uploaded video. And from what they claim, 5 hours of video are uploaded to the site every second.

Mt Gox LEAKED Bitcoin for years before heist, says WizSec

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Paris Hilton

Still don't understand

I still don't understand how the money could have disappeared, when every bitcoin fan claims that it's impossible to steal bitcoin because all transactions are recorded forever.

AssangeTM ♥s dictator Kim Jong-un say Sony Pictures' lawyers

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Sounds promising! I hope the newspapers will dig out whatever it is that Sony is trying to hide.

Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

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Re: Nope

Google doing something altruistic or in the public interest?

That's silly. Google does a lot of stuff for speeding up the web, like this and SPDY, because that is both in its own interest and the public interest.

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

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Re: How many of these are using Google as their address bar?

That's a good point. Maybe The Register can give us the breakdown of how many users coming from Google go to the home page, vs. to an article. Those going to the home page probably googled for "the register" and clicked on the first link.

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The publishers in question found that their images and headlines were simply removed from its service, prompting them to accuse Google of blackmail.

It's a little bit hard to make the case that Google should be forced to display their snippets and pay for the privilege. Seems to me, giving the permission to Google should be considered as a cost of doing business, just like marketing. If your competitors pay more for advertising than you do, your sales will suffer from it. And if your competitors allow Google to display their snippets and you don't, your traffic will decrease.

Google News is a place where publishers have to compete for attention. They can refuse to participate, or dictate what Google is allowed to display of their own data, but they can hardly complain that other publishers are willing to go further than them; no more than they can complain about their competitor's bigger marketing budget.

Of course, big publishers might well consider that it's more advantageous for them to just make Google shut down the whole service like in Spain. Users probably then search for news on the biggest websites, to the detriment of smaller ones.

You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

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Re: I didn't know a court could compel a company to divulge a trade secret.

Not a court; a government. Though my understanding is that the French Senate is a bit of a joke, and has far less power than the Assemblée Nationale, the lower chamber.

It's a bit funny that they want the link to three competitors. I suppose the competitors will not be forced to the same.

But it's very funny that they want Google to reveal their algorithm. It's very clear that Google will close down their .fr website and their French offices before doing this. And keep selling ads on French websites from Ireland.

Someone PLEASE stop patent trolls' stroking their favorite tool, cries Google and friends

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So Google, Apple and Microsoft are all agreeing to the same thing??

…On one hand, this might mean the apocalypse is at hand. On the other hand, it might mean it's a no brainer.

…Or that they're all trying to screw us. Hmmm…

India tech firms flee from Facebook's 'freebie access' Internet.org

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Sites served over the initiative includes Bing, Accuweather, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia.

And Facebook, Times of India, BBC News…

Hm. There's no going around the fact it would greatly advantage these sites at the expense of all the other ones. India being an emerging market, it would probably pay to lose money now by subsidizing the Internet access of the country, shut out the competition by not allowing it on your free offer, then reap the benefits as the online population grows. I'm guessing that say Google has not been invited to participate to the program. I understand Google has a competing program, and it has not invited Bing to participate either.

So yeah, that sounds like a good call.

'We STRONGLY DISAGREE' that we done WRONG, says Google

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Re: There's a lot of bad to be said of Google

My point is that those shopping results are themselves a distortion. I didn't ask for them explicitly nor were they part of the natural page rankings.

Meh… If I search for an address, chances are I want to check it on Google Maps, even if I don't ask for it explicitly. I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to guess what the user really means. The only problem is displaying results that favor your inferior products rather than superior products from the competition.

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The allegation here is specifically that they made their own product worse by showing results to their own products instead of superior alternatives from the competition.

Though I'll admit that their Shopping results are probably better than showing anything from Foundem, Google+ results are almost certainly worse than Yelp results. Thank God they seem to have cranked down the Google+ thing.

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The fact they did not manage to kill competition does not mean it was okay to try…

EU says dominant Google ILLEGALLY FIDDLES search results

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Re: Eh?

Note that Google is claiming they are not doing it, but just showing the "most relevant results". So at least, they think it's not something they should be doing.

Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

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Paris Hilton

NCR picked Android, it said, because this offered the clearest roadmap in Linux with support from Google – it evaluated Red Hat, CentOS and building its own, too.

Not sure what this "clearest roadmap" means. What's a example of thing that would be easier on Android than Red Hat? Security updates?

Puny humans flub ANOTHER Google cloud patch

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do cloud users really want or need to know about every operational hiccup?

Is that a serious question? If something is not working, it is probably a godsend to users to know it's not on their end that the problem resides. And if they didn't notice anything, where's the harm with more information?

Daniel Radcliffe to feature in GTA biopic flick. Well, it's work at least

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Re: Not A Lawyer

Wow. There are lawyers, scummy lawyers, and then there are lawyers that are so scummy they even get disbarred.

Foreign firms must obey EU laws no matter where they're based, says EU. Hear that, Google?

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No merging of information about users between services

Ok, so Google Now shows me info about flights I have tickets for (which it knows from my emails), about my upcoming appointments (which it knows from Calendar), about the last train home (which it knows from Google Maps), about recent updates to websites I like (which it knows from my Chrome history), about the weather where I am (which it knows from the GPS in my Android phone).

How is it supposed to be doing any of this, if Google is not allowed to use information from one service in another service, even with my consent?

But oh, perish the thought Google could show me ads for flower shops because I have a dinner appointment on Valentine's day!

Bell Canada pulls U-turn on super-invasive web-stalking operation

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Re: Boycott BELL and send a clear message

Canada is almost even worse than the US when it comes to choice. You may have to stop using the Internet to follow this advice.

Liberal MP threatens journo with metadata probe

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Australians have been told metadata retention is necessary to stop terrorism and sex crimes against children

Once it is possible to read the minds of people with a machine, will they also say that mandatory weekly brain checks are necessary to stop terrorism? Or will they decide that people's thoughts are their own?

Don't answer that.

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