* Posts by ratfox

3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Mr Almunia, how many more times can Google rewrite Euro search 'dominance' settlement?

ratfox Silver badge

Isn't that the reverse?

The way it looks to me, it's not that Almunia finds Google's proposition insufficient and is giving to Google yet another chance. It's rather that every time he declares himself satisfied, and every time he faces a barrage of complaints through every channel asking him to demand more from Google, or if possible, drop the whole settlement idea.

What is happening now is not that Google gets another chance to revise its offer, it's that the competitors get another chance to complain. Almunia has not even asked Google to change anything at this moment.

And the fun part is that even though this has been four years, it is the fast process. If Almunia eventually decides to go with the flow and start an antitrust investigation of Google, we'll still be waiting for the end in ten years.

Report: Google back in Europe's crosshairs over web domination claims

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Feels like déjà vu

Seems like every few months, it is announced that Almunia, under pressure, will reexamine once more the complaints of the competitors. As if there was anything new to the debate. So far, he's always decided to go ahead, though. It's impressive he's still willing to fight for this settlement, considering the quantity of people, regulators and politicians, who dream of sticking it to the Google.

EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'

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"disrupt the process"

I think the only thing Google has to do to disrupt the process is to say: "We are looking forward to implement the rules exactly as you gentlemen will agree them to be." Chances of the countries agreeing on small details is practically nil.

Maybe we will end up with some links removed from google.de and google.fr, but not google.it and google.co.uk, because minority persons are granted an additional 3 points of forgettability, but only in countries where the minority group is officially recognized as such...

Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup

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Re: Verizon can STFU & FOAD, Kthxbai.

I sense much anger in you!

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

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Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

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Re: Now ? @Ratfox

Yeah, well, the law disagrees with your humble opinion there. Even criminals have rights. Their mugshots may be public, but their image is still their property to defend.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Now ?

Things like that can and have been done. One famous case is Roman Polanski suing in UK Vanity Fair (published in US), without ever leaving France. If Call Of Duty is sold in Germany or some other country with strong privacy laws, then it might well be possible for Noriega to sue them there and win.

Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

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+1 for numbers per manufacturer. Apple has very few models; in fact, it has only two new models, and the older ones serve as cheap options. Samsung has many different models, so it makes sense that none of them would be top seller.

But more importantly, it would be nice to have actual numbers, instead of just a ranking. As of now, the iPhone 5S could sell ten times more than all other phones combined, or 1% more from the second ranked… As it is, I find the report next to useless.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: slagging off the competition

I don't think Samsung invented this kind of ads… I remember a series of ads from last decade, comparing a cool young guy who was buying from a trendy company, and an boring old man who was buying the "standard". I think the second guy was a "PC", and I can't quit remember what the other one was…

Microsoft not good enough for you, eh? 'Next Steve Ballmer' drives to Google

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Google getting involved in car making is likely as popular in Detroit as the Chocolate firm’s decision among handset makers to buy Nokia’s phone business... which is to say, not.

You mean Microsoft, right? Or Google buying Motorola, maybe?

Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

ratfox Silver badge

Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

If I had to code that ping thing, I'd hack it in a scripting language like python, for minimum amount of coding time and risk. If you manage to write a ping program that crashes the machine, you have no business being a programmer anyway.

Now, trying to write a ping program in C so that it is the most efficient possible sounds to me like a waste of engineering time, make it more work to maintain, and in the end you are if anything more likely to have a memory leak.

Hamas hacks Israeli TV sat channel to broadcast pics of Gaza wounded

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"extended stay in shelters.”

The thing is, Israelis hardly need to stay in shelters. Whatever rockets the Hama's is throwing at them has a miserable effect. If you live in Israel, you have orders of magnitude more chance to die of cancer, in a car accident, or of old age than from terrorist attacks.

When they threaten Israel, Hamas really underscore how much they are powerless.

BMW i8 plug-in hybrid: It's a supercar, Jim, but not as we know it

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Re: Idiot's Solution

To top it all you can even charge the batteries using the internal combustion engine for maximum inefficiency!

As opposed to using your brakes to generate useless heat? You have to look a bit further than your nose to solve complex problems. E.g, band energy and peak energy don't have the same worth.

You think all the taxis are switching to hybrids because it looks cool? They looked at the average consumption of a Prius, and they know how much they are saving.

Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

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Will have to remove the bloat first

I'm afraid Microsoft has forgotten all how they managed to make us buy new computers in order to runcrawl their latest OS.

July 14, 2015. Tuesday. No more support for Windows Server 2003. Good luck

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Perfect opportunity

…to switch to Linux!

French telco takes on US rival Netflix... with whose dongle?

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I vaguely remember a time where there was basically one way to watch a movie, or perhaps two until Betamax died and VHS reigned supreme. Now, it seems like there are a dozen different options with attached trade-offs and lock-ins.

Why did we end up in this situation? Or maybe I am wrong in regretting the good old times? Were we getting fleeced by the monopoly offer?

FCC commish: We don't need no steenkin' net neutrality rules

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Good thing

That I don't live in the US, I mean.

Google went behind our backs and really hurt us, squeal upset porn kingpins

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"I’m baffled as to why you’d elect to take so moral a tack, which is, in and of itself, morally suspect. As the pornographer in this conversation, I should be the one surrounded by an air of moral turpitude."

Truly, this paragraph is full of win.

Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers

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There's no such thing as bad publicity. Thanks to this lawsuit, thousands of lawyers are going to know she exists. Few of them are above making a silly lawsuit for a big splash of fame.

Tech giants link arms with startups against patent trolls

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Notably missing from the "Tech Giants": Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung…

The next world war will be a patent war.

What's your game, Google? Giant collared by UK civil lib minister on 'right to be forgotten'

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Re: what's missing?

If data is not on Google, you can hope another search engine will find it. If nobody can find it, then the data might as well not exist…

Silicon Valley royalty royally slammed for 'persistent, troubling deficit' of diversity

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Mostly due to the disparity in job applicants, but can still do better.

Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

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Thumb Up

The Reg shan't reveal any details, in line with the BBC's plea to keep the scripts under wraps.

You guys rock!

Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

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Re: Just remember...

Luna 9 soft landed on the moon in 1966: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_9

Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

ratfox Silver badge

You've got to be kidding me

First, Google is told it is illegal to keep links that are irrelevant. And now, it is said to be illegal to remove links that are relevant?

This would mean that no matter what it shows, Google can be sued for showing or not showing what somebody does not like? And the right to decide what is correct belongs to the courts?

No wonder they are complaining like hell about it.

Google right to be forgotten 'looks odd and clumsy'

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Re: Asking for a court order

Given Google were specifically ordered by the ECJ to examine requests themselves first, asking every time for a court order would likely get them attacked for being deliberately obstructive, wasting taxpayer money and trying yet again to avoid following the law.

I'm not sure either why you get the idea that the courts would be able to handle the load of requests. The numbers quoted give 50'000 requests in a month. You think the ICO can handle that?

Normally, people complain that Google are ignoring regulators; but here, you are complaining Google are doing exactly as they were told.

Austrian Tor exit relay operator guilty of ferrying child porn

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Soon, people using Tor will automatically be suspected. A bit like any bit torrent activity is supposed to be pirating.

Japan makes Prius palatable with road map to hydrogen cars

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You don't produce breakthrough technology by only relying on what's already available, I guess…?

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Prius attracts ridicule?

Yes, it's especially great for taxis, which tend to get stuck in the traffic. Not sure what the spite is about? Must be an Australian thing.

London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

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The taxi industry is overregulated to protect the incumbents. If the cabbies think Uber is making too much money, they should join.

Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

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Just wait!

Coming soon: exciting new developments in wearable computing!

When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

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Re: To what end?

In the first place, this can only work if people are willing to forget. It is enough to have one enemy who writes every month about you, and you will never get rid of your past.

The right to be forgotten only works for people nobody cares about… Which sounds about right.

ratfox Silver badge

Damned if they do…

I really would like to point out that if Google bounced every request to the ICO, they would automatically get attacked for bogging down the system and trying yet again to worm their way out of obeying the ECJ's ruling. I'm sure the last thing Google wants is to piss off the European regulators some more.

Google BLOCKS access to Goldman client-leak email

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Ten says the user saw an incomprehensible email about banking stuff, and reported it as a phishing attempt!

Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

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Re: re: Because, yes, other people created better browsers.

Firefox has a market share that is comparable to IE, and they got there without using a monopoly position in anything.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Google in a nutshell.

You seem to imply that Google in effect steals its weather data from around the web… However, a bit of searching reveals that Google gets its data from Weather Underground: http://www.google.com/intl/en/help/features_list.html#weather

It is reasonable to assume that they do pay for it.

This is not the issue. The issue is, should Google show data on top of the page, or should it have the user click on one of the result links? The first is easier for the user, and the second is better for competition. But in the end, the reason competition is considered good is only to ensure the user gets good service. This is why Almunia said once "My mission is to protect competition to the benefit of consumers, not competitors."

Lords try shoehorning law against revenge porn into justice bill

ratfox Silver badge

Read the article

Actually, as explained in the article, this is not yet a crime. As opposed to murders, which are already a crime every day even though there are no specific laws for each day.

Amazon sues former employee who took Google cloud job

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Re: Can't see the gray area here

I understand that the laws of some States make such restrictions illegal… So, just because something was signed or agreed to does not means it is legally binding.

E.g many of the T&Cs of popular web services contain stuff that would not be upheld by a court.

'Disruptive innovation' is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually

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There wouldn't be many interesting analytical articles if they were only allowed to predict what happened in the past.

Google's Quickoffice taken behind shed ... 'Oh, what's the gun for?'

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Re: Eventual forced replacement?

"Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app"

I'd assume that installed apps stay installed after updates…? But let's say that in three-four years, it will simply stop working properly with Android Popsicle.

Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

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Re: More "management versus labor" mentality

I've never met an employee with kids that does more hours than an employee that doesn't have children

You might not have looked closely; it's called confirmation bias. In any case, as a different data point, the guy who works the longest hours in my team is a father.

OT, I can believe that having some leeway makes you more happy and productive. However, I'd say that working at home full-time (the way it was accepted at Yahoo before Marisa Meyer) only works well for very few people in a small number of positions.

Google chair Eric Schmidt reportedly visits Cuba

ratfox Silver badge

What about North Korea?

I'd have thought it was ranked even lower…

Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

ratfox Silver badge

I don't get it

I thought Aperture was a successful product. Why are they axing it? Isn't Apple's general strategy to offer quality software to get people to buy its hardware?

Facebook dumps AWS, moves Instagram's images to own bit barns

ratfox Silver badge

Yes. That why they wrote "it's not reasonable".

Also, Amazon is making a profit on this.

What is ex-NSA spyboss selling for $1m a month, asks US congressman

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Re: No particular knowledge

Wow. I sure hope I can keep my current job, because apparently if I lose it, I'll be back to getting paid $10 an hour since I can't possibly know anything about anything that's not confidential information about my current company which I'm not allowed to reveal.

It's hard on new CEOs poached from rival companies. They know nothing about their new jobs either.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a free speech issue

ratfox Silver badge

Re: the meatspace alternative?

I'm not sure how the app works, but the "auction off" part seems to imply the original parking place user chooses in exchange of money who is allowed to use it after they're gone.

I don't see any way this can be claimed to be an exchange of information. If somebody happens to be there waiting, they shpuld get the parking place. No one gets to say otherwise.

Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

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Re: Back the bus up

The right to be forgotten apparently means that, though archives of old embarrassing data may still exist and be available, they should not be too easy to find.

So the websites are allowed to keep showing the data, but Google is not allowed to display them in results.

It does seem strange! But I'd like to offer a parallel: Anybody who sees you in the street is allowed to recognize you and tweet your position. However, it would probably be illegal to build a countrywide network of cameras with facial recognition system that would allow anybody to query for your position. Unless the government does it.

US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Bad Decision

Well yes, DVRs are legal; but offering to everybody to use your DVR is not. Just like you can watch a DVD you own in your home, but you are not allowed to project it on a huge screen in public. That's what the "not for public performance" warning means. Or you can watch a football match at home, but not record it and put it on YouTube.

I'm actually surprised this had to go all the way to the Supreme Court. It feels perfectly logical to me.

REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

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Re: Content ID

Sorry, this is FUD.

Content ID is not just for the big 3 who have a special arrangement. If you'll remember, one of the famous cases of over-flagging was a NASA video removed because some outfit called Scripps Local News was claiming to own the copyright. They're not in the big 3 of anything.

Samsung loses again: Judge awards Apple, Nokia $2m in leak-investigation fees

ratfox Silver badge

Goddam, these people are petty

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