* Posts by ratfox

3441 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

ratfox Silver badge

Why are all posts centered??

I hope this is a bug, and not a redesign!

YouTube flushes Flash for future flicks

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Re: p0wned

Yes, that's why people write things like YEAH!!1!ONE!

it's because 'O', 'N' and 'E' are right next to '!'.

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Re: Flash Bash

game developers have catered for different shaped screens since games were invented.

I don't think the comparison is fair. There's like four aspect ratios PC games have to handle. 3:4 was the standard for many years, until we started having 12:10 and the like. Even now on cell phones, it's not all games that can handle both landscape and portrait.

'Boozed up' US drone spook CRASHED UFO into US White House

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Re: For the Nth time

What's the difference? When the US drops a bomb from a remote-controlled aircraft, people call it a drone strike. It's remote-controlled over thousands of kilometers, and it contains way more technology; but it's remote-controlled just like a quadcopter… What is a done, then? Does it need an AI?

Wikileaks: We DO NOT approve of OUR secret stuff being LEAKED

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Re: Didn't the google boys get lots of $s from the feds?

Companies who are ordered to give up information about users are allowed to charge the government for the effort. Considering the number of requests involved, the total they charge is probably impressive; but the amount per request is quite low.

Should Google play carriers at their own game? There's never been a better time

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I'm optimistic

I have the utmost respect for the trick Google pulled on the operators on 2008, forcing them to pay through the nose for spectrum under conditions which they had claimed were so unfavorable they would refuse to bid. That felt good.

Google reveals bug Microsoft says is mere gnat

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I'm reminded of zero-tolerance policies

And the silly decisions they lead to, e.g suspending school children for having a dangerous plastic spoon in their bag.

My bet is that Google will drop this plan sooner or later; and the sooner it is, the least they will cover themselves with ridicule.

Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

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They are talking about Nigeria or Pakistan, not you. People who start surfing the web for the first time on a cell phone. And this is no exaggeration: For some newcomers in "the next billion", Facebook is really how they discover the web.

Google: What this planet needs is INTERNET FROM SPAAACE

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I thought Google had already bought a satellite company

Skybox Imaging – Wasn't that last year?

Sorry, Qualcomm, Apple – your patents don't scare us

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Anything that can diminish the power of patents counts as a good thing in my book. The system is not working as intended, and is now an obstacle to innovation. At least in the IT world.

Microsoft wants LAMP for wireless mobe charger

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For a while…

I thought Microsoft was going to use Linux-Apache-MySql-Php stacks. That would have been scary.

Migration skills shortage looms as Server 2003 DEATH DATE approaches

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Time to ask for a raise!

Assuming you know how to do that job (not me).

Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

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After all, if government is powerless to stop a determined existential threat, what's the bloody point of civilization in the first place?

You are falling into the trap. Terrorism is not an existential threat. There are orders of magnitude more people who die of car accidents, cancer, or killed by their partners than because of terrorism. Terrorism is flashy; but as a threat, it barely registers.

CIA exonerates CIA of all wrongdoing in Senate hacking probe

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"It was a mistake to do it, but we did nothing wrong."

Doublespeak at its finest.

Google UK doubles London Kings X mega-office sprawl

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Re: (cough) Tax (cough)

The Irish VAT is higher than the UK VAT (and most other countries), so Google should be happy about the change. The change should have no implication whatsoever on where the income is, though. It's not because the VAT is now charged in the country of the buyer that the seller is going to suddenly change countries…

Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' slablet phones (in Puerto Rico)

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No way, no how

There's no way this can be made a success. Making the phones modular means it is easier to swap a part, but the total price of parts can only be more expensive than a standard phone containing the same pieces. So people who want a cheap phone will not buy this.

On the other hand, people who want a luxury phone will never go for a mix and match which does not show how cool they are for owning the right brand.

It's fun to play Lego™, and the technical problems are certainly very interesting; but I simply don't see why anybody would buy this.

Apple v Ericsson: Yet ANOTHER patent war bubbles over

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Grumble grumble All patents should be FRAND

Recall the colonization of the United States.

At the time, to encourage settlers to go populate the big empty West, the government decided that any settler building a house somewhere in a big empty place would automatically own the land around. As a result many people went for the big adventure, and the West ended up colonized.

Now, imagine that the settlers had decided that the land they wanted was a millimeter thin and a thousand kilometer long, along the South-North axis. Imagine further that each settler had decided that, in order to explore further at leisure, search for gold and the like, they would forbid anybody from crossing their property. Or charge a million dollars for passage. How fast do you think the West would have been colonized then, with every few meters a new guy with a gun shouting "you shall not pass"?

Of course, had they tried that, they would have got their arse kicked out by the same government who had given them property of their land; because it was very clear that the colonization was the goal, and the granting of property was only the means.

FRAND patents are the equivalent of settlers grouping to build a road going through their lands, agreeing to let anybody travel that road and not to charge extortionate prices for the right of passage. They typically do that to ensure it is their road that is used by travelers, and not another one which wouldn't bring them a cent.

Right now, in the patent world, there are settlers who have barricaded themselves across valleys leading to vast lands, and are refusing to let anybody through. Because hey, it's their property, they get to decide, and they damn well don't want anybody else reaching those lands, even if colonization is held back centuries. Fuck colonization. Fuck progress.

The sensible thing is for the government to build a road through their lands, and tell them to go fuck themselves. This has happened before, though only in time of crises: See the Wright brothers patent war

Checkmate, GoDaddy – Google starts flogging dot-word domain names

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Re: Where's Michael O'Leary when you need him?

.com domains are a lot more expensive, because they are prime real estate. Outside UK, half the people don't know what .uk is…

And that gives an idea how little those new .whatever TLDs are worth: Nobody would even recognize them as URLs.

2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

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Cry me a river

And pass the popcorn!

Most of the population would have trouble even realizing that anything not ending in .com .net .org .gov or one of the country two-letter codes is a URL. In the first place, people are hardly ever typing a URL, preferring to ask Google to bring them to Facebook.

SpaceX drone hovership ROCKET LANDER BURN: Musk to try again

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Paris Hilton


How useful is this really?? Can even the simplest of critical systems be closed orderly in an hour?

I'm guessing it's going to be a long time before such an alarm system is taken into account when designing new infrastructure…

What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

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Die Gedanke sind frei…

The government has not demanded to be allowed to search our minds and read our every thoughts.

The question is, is this because they don't think they should be allowed? Or is it merely because such a thing is not possible — yet?

Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

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Paris Hilton

Searching for local girls?

I note that the most searched term for most countries is… the demonym of that country. Either these people are looking for local girls, or they are actually paying attention to the dialog. The mind boggles.

Verizon says 40-hour outage was outage to end all outages

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Verizon has a cloud?

I wonder who would want to use it?

Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

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Thumb Down

They already had the info and did nothing

…I'm sure that getting three times more data is going to be so useful. They'll be even less able to find the needle if the haystack when the haystack is three times bigger.

MI5 boss: We NEED to break securo-tech, get 'assistance' from data-slurp firms

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So in all these years of snooping when phones were not encrypted…

How many terrorist plots did they actually foil?

What an ACE-HOLE! This super-software will whip you at poker, hands down

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Re: Numbers printed without challenge

Poker chip design, natch.

The website is not working for me. It must have overloaded…

Top senator blasts US Homeland Security for leaving cyber-drawbridge down

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Re: Bureaucratic ultra-pork lovers in "can't perform" moment. Film at 11.

Don't forget that the Department of Homeland Security is also in charge of enforcing copyright law! And, somehow, fighting money counterfeiters.

No one trusts Oracle, shrieks CCL as cloudy ball misses its goals

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The group published a survey in November claiming businesses view their relationship with Oracle as “hostile” and are “filled with deep-rooted mistrust.”

What a surprise!

SpaceX ROCKET HOVER-SHIP space station mission now on Friday

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Re: What's that in real money?

Is that the pre-1890 Olympic standard badger or the lighter, modern badger?

I… I don't know that! AAAAAAARGH

Siri, are you afraid of Facebook's new speech recognition tech?

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Paris Hilton


Isn't speech recognition something that belongs with the OS? Are Facebook going to create one?

Not sure I see the point.

Facebook privacy policy change leaves Dutch stomping feet

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Re: Facebook - a Ireland based company?

The big failure is that the European laws allows any business to declare its income in a single country. The goal was to allow small businesses to sell in the whole of Europe without having to declare its income in every single country, which would have been inefficient and prohibitive for most companies.

What should have been done instead is that the income can be declared in a single country unless there is another company controlled by the same entity in the country where the income was realized.

For Little Business Ltd., a company of five people in Ireland, it makes sense to let them declare in Ireland the few thousands £ they earn in UK; they could not otherwise afford to do business in the UK.

For Google, Facebook et al., who own large sales teams based in the UK that are already declaring in the UK incomes of a few millions, there is little reason to let them declare in Ireland the income from what they sell in the UK.

Of course, there are probably people, even UK politicians, who think that the current situation is working as intended, and that the goal is to force governments to compete on lower income taxes, leading to more business opportunities…

OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away

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why did A16Z-backed Cyanogen insist on territorial exclusivity for a platform, if it seriously wanted that platform to succeed?

If I had to guess, I'd say Cyanogen was offered a large sum of money by Micromax for exclusivity in India.

Or possibly, they absolutely wanted an Indian deal, and they proposed exclusivity to Micromax, who was afraid of getting its feet wet then finding a field crowded with competitors.

The more I think, the more I believe the second hypothesis. After all, even Apple offered exclusivity to AT&T in order to get the iPhone out the door.

This might show poor judgment from Cyanogen, but it's hard to believe in a nefarious plot from Google on this one.

T-Mobile US CEO on wearables: 'Apple Watch is the tipping point'

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Re: Relax and enjoy the ride

Well, I do consider myself to be a control freak for trying to keep my quartz watch within 5 seconds of the exact time… But I also snickered when Jonathan Ive boasted the accuracy of 50 milliseconds of the Apple watch. That's something even I don't need.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Relax and enjoy the ride

I carry a watch because it allows me to know how fast I need to walk to catch the train. Every morning, I check it at least three times while walking to the station.

That's my usual excuse. It now occurs to me that I was skiing the whole day, and that while in ski gear, it takes me two seconds to check my watch, and two minutes to fish my cell phone from whichever pocket it is in. Assuming I even have it on me.

Universal Pictures told off for scaring kids with nasty vid

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What about YouTube?

I'm not sure why YouTube is not responsible for this. They do check that adult content is not viewable unless you are signed in and have indicated an age above 18. They could do the same for 15-rated horror movies… I guess there's no legal obligation on their part, though. Did Universal mislabel the video? Or did Universal somehow choose the ads for the context?

Apple in 2007: Who wants a stylus? Apple in 2010: We want a stylus!

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"As soon as you have a stylus, you're dead."

Jobs passed away in 2011, one year after Apple filed for the patent.

I see what you did there…

Metrics house hails Apple DOMINANCE of X-Mas phone 'n' slab sales

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Re: Short memories

You laugh, but revolution it was nevertheless. Did you own a smartphone before the iPhone came out? I did. It was a Palm Tréo. And let me tell you, the iPhone UI was heads and shoulders above everything that existed at the time, and it took four years for the competition to catch up after that headstart.

Since you talk of short memories, let me remind you that hardly anybody owned a phone that could surf the web at the time, business types aside. If you had told people that seven years from now, more than half of the surfing would be done by cell phones, they wouldn't have believed you.

And I've owned android phones for the part three years.

Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

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Re: Secure?

That I know, the edit your own post button is mostly only available to people with a shiny silver or gold badge.

EDIT: like mine.

European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

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In order to safeguard that consent has been freely-given, consent should not provide a valid legal ground for the processing of personal data in a specific case where there is a clear imbalance between the data subject and the controller and this imbalance makes it unlikely that consent was given freely in all the circumstances of that specific situation,

Does this mean that it is impossible to ever freely give consent to Google, because of the imbalance of power between the user and the "gateway to the Internet"?

Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

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A taxi goes directly from point to point and tries to avoid running when empty, seeking out the likely places for fares. A bus has to run empty as part of providing the service.

I guess that taxis would magically avoid the problem that everybody wants to travel one way in the morning, and the other way in the evening…? This problem, which you used to demonstrate the inefficiency of buses, would of course not apply to taxis.

Brit thesp Kate Winslet eyes lead female role in Steve Jobs biopic – report

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It's unfair to reduce Kate Winslet to her role in Titanic. She's won an Oscar since.

Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

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Only in America

How can you sue an Attorney General for asking you too many questions? I obviously have no idea how the law works, because I wouldn't have thought this possible. I assume that Google's lawyers are competent, but consider my mind boggled.

Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

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Re: Hypocrites!

Google "aggregation" actually INCREASES the traffic on various European news websites. It's beneficial not adverserial.


As long as Google News exists, it is beneficial for news websites to appear on it; because many users go to Google News and are generally satisfied with what they find there. Not appearing on it means definitively losing traffic from these users.

If Google News disappears, however, these users will still look for news, in some other way. Some news sites will see less traffic (likely the small ones), and some will see more traffic (likely the big ones).

There are definitely websites that are getting more traffic now that Google News has closed.

ratfox Silver badge


In Spain, the more recent law has had an even more catastrophic effect

Why catastrophic? It means that instead of getting results from a wide array of sources, Spaniards have to go directly to the news sites they know to get their news. If you are a user, or a small, little-know website, this is bad. If you are one of the big news sites, this might be very very good.

The problem with Google News was that it forced the big news sites to compete with the rest of the planet. Now the problem has gone away. I'm guessing they have seen a bump in traffic and are celebrating. I doubt the law will change, and I doubt Google News will come back.

Forget Google's robot cars, now it's on to ANDROID cars

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Paris Hilton

Re: Another vote for QNX

Silly. The power consumption needed for such a system is nothing compared to the A/C or the headlights.

FCC to smack Sprint with $105m fine over 'cramming' – report

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Cramming is more precise

Like "murder" is more precise than "crime".

EU VAT law could kill thousands of online businesses

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…from claiming that all their European profit is made in Luxembourg…

Nitpick: this change is not at all about profits, which are still going to happen in Luxembourg. It's just that now the country of the customer will get VAT.

That said, I suspect the new rules will simply not be enforced for small businesses for a while. It seems impossible they will be ready any time soon.

Amazon workers in Germany stage Christmas strike

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Re: logistics?

The law is kind of weird. How can different industries have different rules? If there is a good reason for this, how come the industries can be defined so loosely as to invite confusion? It feels to me like studying the reasons the rules were written differently at the time they were written would make it clear whether they should apply to Amazon employees…

Anyway, since this is a legal matter, why isn't it decided once and for all by a judge?

French space agency teams with Google for broadband balloons

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Re: unclear on how this works

They claim your common sense is wrong; they plan to have new balloons coming up all the time to replace the ones leaving.

Well, Loon is the name of the project after all…

Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

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Re: Weird

Well okay, but people would still be looking for news. (Even without Google showing them the way!)

I assume the users would just Google for the name of one of the big newspapers, find their website, and get their news from there. If you're a big newspaper, this is a good thing — possibly much better than whatever traffic they received from Google News or Google results.

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