* Posts by ratfox

3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone

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Re: Somehow I think the EU is going to reject this "remedy"

they've defined the business case for a competitor to come in and provide equivalent services (even down to the API level - fair use, right?). That competitor can say, "here's equivalent services, minus the data slurp, for $30"

The things that they are charging $40 for include YouTube and Google Maps. You can provide an equivalent API, but good luck providing equivalent data behind the API.

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Paris Hilton

What I find weird is that all of these apps are available for free, and yet Google thinks that phone makers are willing to pay them $40 to have them pre-installed. Which kind of implies that users will choose a phone that is $40 more expensive rather than just installing those apps themselves. Which takes like 5 minutes, tops.

Another interesting thing is that Google has been apparently sharing ad revenue with the phone manufacturers. I wonder if they do that with Apple, or if they just pay the reported $9B and keep the ad revenue?

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

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Apparently our six toed alleged rapist never learned that very important lesson

I feel myself compelled to correct you: Assange does not have six toes, or six fingers. The rumor may have been started by a heavily modified picture of him that was sometimes used by the reg.

Facebook names former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg head of global affairs

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I always knew he would make it big! /trollface

(Why can't I have an icon on mobile?? Even requesting for the desktop version doesn't work)

Anonymous Amazonian demands withdrawal of face-recog kit from sale

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Ha ha no

Employee activism might be a thing at Google and Facebook, but Amazon (or say Apple) are not that kind of companies.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

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Re: Ignore and continue as usual

According to reports, Google pays nine billion dollars to Apple, every year, just to be the default search engine on iPhones. If that is true, then a one-time fine for half that amount for whatever they did wrong with Android seems like something they would take in stride.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Or the fourth option...

I suspect that it would be very easy for regulators to do nothing. There's a billion Android phones in China that don't have Google, and it wouldn't take that much time to build replacements. Of course, users would complain and companies would lose money, but they would all blame Google. And then Google would lose the market.

Google apps are good; they're often the best. But the competition does exist, and is ready to take over if they stumble.

Tech hub blames tech: San Francisco fingers Uber, Lyft rides for its growing traffic headache

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Re: Just using Uber and Lyft as whipping boys

All these "TNC" trips would still be happening if the TNCs didn't exist. Except now, they would be in private cars or taxis.

Not quite... These trips are arguably easier to do now, and more attractive than in a taxi. Logic of supply and demand implies that people do more trips than before.

And I don't agree with the idea that mass transportation in San Francisco is that bad.

Depends what you compare it to, but it's getting worse. The whole region should be trying to solve the traffic problem, but by and large nothing is happening.

Azure goes quiet, Huawei Canada ban urged, US Senators are after Google, and more

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a colonel makes $78,000-$100,000 base pay a year

To be honest, I'm surprised by how low this is. Don't colonel have a rank just below general, and are supposed to lead about a thousand people?

GDPR stands for Google Doing Positively, Regardless. Webpage trackers down in Europe – except Big G's

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It's not so surprising. This kind of regulations are typically more expensive for the small guys than the huge incumbents.

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

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Re: “IBM knows what it takes to build a world-class cloud.”

At least Google had the decency to admit they were not able to do it, instead of whining it was not fair to award the contract to the most competent company...

Surprising no one, Google to appeal against European Commission's €4.34bn Android fine

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Re: "Google may reportedly pay Apple $9bn to ensure it is the default search engine in the iPhone"

When you compare the fine to the yearly bill they get from Apple, it starts to look as just the cost of doing business...

Pixel 3, 3XL, Slate tab launch: Google emits swanky iPad botherer while tarting up mobes

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Re: "no expansion" = more environmental damage

The problem is that this kind of modularity goes directly against consumers' luxury wishes for sleeker designs/no bezels/watertight. It's like asking Ferrari cars to have a trailer hook.

That said, there's a lot of Android models with expandable storage.

UK High Court blocks iPhone Safari privacy suit against Google

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Paris Hilton

Not suffered damage?

Did he just say that they couldn't get money from Google because they didn't really care about the loss of privacy?

Self-driving cars may not have steering wheels in future, dev preview for PyTorch 1.0 is here, etc

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Re: No wheel is one thing

This would be madness, as it's highly likely to exclude all other road users (motorcycles, bikes, horses, pedestrians, non-self driving cars, etc)

A lot of those are already forbidden on highways, so I'm not sure that's a great argument.

So aircraft regularly fly within a few feet of each other going in opposite directions do they or are in situations where literally being a few inches out could cause a crash?

You have to take into account the fact that aircrafts go ten times faster and can be fifty times larger.

Laser-sharp research sees three top boffins win the Nobel Prize in physics

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Re: Newspapers making big deal of 1st woman for over 50 years

Yeah, you give them a finger, and suddenly they want the whole arm, right? As if they had equal rights or something...

Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award

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Only $7200 for emotional distress? The way I see it, if I'm forced to sue to get what's mine from a previous employer, I should get at least a six-digits sum for emotional distress.

The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

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Re: I don't see how the feds win this

If only it was easy to know what's legal and what's not legal. It looks like they specifically tried to make the law immune to lawsuits from the federal government, but I suppose the Department of Justice wouldn't start such a lawsuit if they thought they have no way to win.

I find terribly annoying that it takes months if not years of legal posturing and appeals to get answers.

US JEDI military cloud network is so high-tech, bidders will have to submit their proposals by hand, on DVD

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Re: So... how is this old fashioned?

The proposal should also be hand-written, to allow our graphology experts to determine your profile.

Renegade 3D-printing gunsmith Cody Wilson on the run in Taipei from child sex allegations

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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy theories coming in 3... 2... 1...

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

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4.77M in the Republic, 6.58M on the entire island.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

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Re: I think some people might have missed something...

Equality is primarily about opportunity.

Yes... But I'm going to follow attentively the case, because I think it's a bit tricky.

The law probably says that you cannot discriminate by gender at hiring, but I'm not sure this extends to how to spend ad dollars.

It's a fact that for multiple reasons, from social pressure to harassment, there are far fewer women looking for IT jobs than men. It doesn't need to be so, and it may well change in the future, but at this moment, it is so. Which means that advertising to women has a smaller ROI (and marketing is all about optimizing the ROI).

To make a comparison, it's probably illegal to discriminate by origin when hiring. That doesn't mean that when putting an ad for a job in the local newspaper, you need to also place an ad in every local newspaper in the country, even the most remote, just in case there's someone there who would want to move.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: In the current environment, women are too much of a business risk..

Given that women

* Are the overwhelming majority of sexual harassment complainants

Yeah, how dare women complain more than men about sexual harassment.

I also noticed, it's always the Jews who complain about antisemitism.

Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

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Re: What's that sound ? Brexiteers expoding.

being a member of the EU does not stop the UK permitting immigration from the Commonwealth, or anywhere else, on whatever terms the UK wants.

They might be thinking of Schengen, which UK has never been part of, but which does have the feature that employers should prefer any Schengen resident to any non-Schengen resident.

I don't know what common agreements currently exist between the UK and Schengen, but maybe they do contain such a clause.

What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

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IBM, meanwhile, denies the charges it is discriminating against older employees. Rather, it claims the moves are the result of shifting its focus from legacy tech to emerging fields.

I guess the problem when you want to hire emerging fields is that you have to fire a few legacy technologies first.

Biz! Formerly! Known! As! Yahoo! Settles! Data! Breach! Cases! To! The! Tune! Of! $47m!

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Re: Altaba?

This is actually not Yahoo. This is a company to which Yahoo used to belong, before it was sold to Verizon. Yahoo.com is still up, but is independent from Altaba.

Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

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Paris Hilton

Amazon should be able to do this easily, since they famously already consider every branch of the company as a different independent business decoupled from the rest.

I'm not sure that it would help Amazon on the competition side, though, considering the online store business is generating by itself all the regulatory interest. Maybe the advantage is that it would isolate AWS from the regulations affecting the online store?

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

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Re: pathetic

From the point of view of Elon Musk, the survival of humanity and its eventual escape from the solar system is more important than the ecological system of a planet which will anyway be burnt to a crisp sooner or later when it is engulfed by the sun.

It's a very long-term thing, but when you think of it, it's absolutely factual and there's nothing theoretical about it.

UK.gov tells companies to draft contracts for data flows just in case they screw up Brexit

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Whose indeed.

Chromebooks gain faff-free access to Windows file shares via Samba

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Re: Not going to make a lot of difference?

Yeah, I was thinking it's almost a decade since I accessed a file share. But then, I guess that a lot of companies and governments have been using file shares since forever, so those are probably not going away any time soon.

When is a patch not a patch? When it's for this McAfee password bug

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Re: It's 2018...

Yeah, that was my reaction as well. I can't remember the last time I saw it installed anywhere.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

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Actually, in the case of databases, I don't find they fit the relation particularly well. I think "replica" works much better than "slave". After all, slaves don't generally do the same work or act identically as their master.

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Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

Master / Minion !

Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

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Re: What's the alleged point?

So what exactly is the alleged effect/benefit of the delisting?

It's not always the person you think that requested the story to be delisted for their name. Sometimes, it has been people who just commented on the article.

That said, it could be that people were not thorough when they did their request; if I understand correctly, they need to list every single url that they want removed, so they might have forgotten a few or dismissed them as not worth the trouble.

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Paris Hilton

I don't think any country has ever required Google to return specific search results?

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Actually, it's easy. The influence countries can exert on Google depends on their ability to fine Google. If Google makes a ton of money in a country, and has offices there, the country has leverage. A country might also be able, to some extent, to prevent Google from making money there even if they have no office, by blocking ads or taxing to death contracts with foreign ad services. Vatican has no office, and Google makes hardly any money there, so no problem.

As long as the countries where Google does most of its money agree on what search results are acceptable or not, Google will just do whatever they all want. If these countries start to disagree, it might well be that at some point, Google will decide by themselves to separate into multiple smaller companies by countries of influence, so that each company can follow the local rules without being sued by other countries. If I remember correctly, Yahoo Japan is already powered by Google, so they could build on that model to avoid issues with inconsistent laws across countries.

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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Re: 'misinformation' and 'divisive content'

You can clearly see! It's impossible!!

Except that people have already found the exact place in Gatwick where the photos were taken.

Long story short, there's multiple corridors looking exactly the same.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Sheryl Sandberg was/is considering a run for President

What makes Sheryl Sandberg qualified to be President? She's COO of Facebook?

To reiterate the point above, the current President has made it abundantly clear that no qualifications are required to be President.

That said, it seems various executives have run for President recently without having ever held office. They generally fail: The last one who actually managed it was Eisenhower, and before that, Hoover. Except, again, the current one.

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Paris Hilton

"stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms."

That's a reference to Alex Jones, I presume?

... But is Alex Jones authentic?

... What about Paris Hilton, is she authentic?

Not so much changing their tune as enabling autotune: Facebook, Twitter bigwigs nod and smile to US senators

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Paris Hilton

Why always the insistence on CEOs?

Larry Page is really not a great talker. Didn't he already show up in front of Congress, and could hardly answer any question? Zuck was about the same, and in fact he didn't come this time either – Not sure why the Senators were fine with that.

It all gives me the feeling that the politicians are more interested in ordering around people more famous than them than in having any meaningful discussion.

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

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What year is it?

Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

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Re: Hmmm...

I don't think the article is particularly taking sides for either Facebook or Blackberry.

That said, I generally oppose software patents. If you want to know why, I believe the entire point of the patent system was to foster innovation; and that rewarding inventors was only ever a means to that end. These days, I feel that innovation is plentiful and cutthroat, and that software patents are generally hurting that innovation rather than fostering it. Therefore, I would suggest we get rid of them.

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

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Re: Tax the Turnover

This will make high-margin businesses very happy (banks, the luxury industry, and incidentally Apple and Google), and will bankrupt low-margins industries, like retail.

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

I'm pretty sure that UK will act unilaterally about this pretty soon. Once they're out of the EU, there's no reason for them not to tax the UK profits of EU companies, is there?

Brit teen pleads guilty to Minecraft-linked bomb and airline hoaxes

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He's going to be so much more l33t after spending a couple of month in jail. That's street cred, that is!

Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

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Re: I have no respect for sting operations

Policing content, whether it's ads or a social network, is not quite the same thing as stamping out security flaws.

Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

ratfox Silver badge

I think it was more Google splashing marketing call-to-actions all over their search home and results pages that brought about the rise of Chrome among the general populace than anything else.

If that was enough, Google Plus would have been a success...

Excuse me, but your website's source code appears to be showing

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Expect the mounties to show up in Czechia any time now!

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

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Why US only?

I suspect this would be because outside of the US, it is illegal to charge such interest rates.

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

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Re: How is it Google's fault ?

I think you are mistaken about this being Google's "fault". This is less about being Google's fault, than forcing Google to do something they don't want to do.

This is like you wanting your neighbour to cut down his tree that is encroaching on your garden. First, you ask the neighbour directly (like ABC probably asked Google through a RTBF request), and when they say no, you call your lawyer, get in front of the court, and try to force them to cut down the tree.

Your neighbour did not break the law, and neither did Google; but both can still be targeted by a lawsuit.

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