* Posts by ratfox

3442 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing

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Re: Marrissa has worked pretty hard

> Now "I work at Yahoo!" is a euphemism for "I'm too too crap to get a job at Google/Apple/whatever.

That was the case since way before Marissa came...

On the other hand, Yahoo may be a worse employer than Google or Facebook, but it is still a better employer than 80% of the industry, so "too crap" is probably an overstatement. You might as well claim that going to Princeton means you are "too crap" to go to Harvard.

Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial

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God, common sense!

My secret wish is for Rockstar to appeal this decision all the way to the Supreme Court, and for the Supreme Court to rule that no trial should ever happen in the Eastern district of Texas except when all the parties involved have exclusively existed in that district for at least ten years.

If there is a worse thing than patent trolls, it is the court that legitimates half of patent trolls.

Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning

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Martian days now getting longer in Opportunity's time zone

The length of days depends on the latitude, not the time zone!

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

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Much better than any card game!

…The computer does all the calculus involved with figuring out what actually happens without forgetting all the modifiers! Oh sorry, was that a feature?

Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

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Re: So evil after all..

Don't forget who's the owner of the WP!

AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits

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Re: Who wants local/regional spectrum?

1) Nobody is going to charge roaming fees inside the country.

2) The goal of the FCC is not, in fact, to make the most amount of money on the auction.

3) AT&T is bluffing.

SpaceX Falcon tests hovercraft tech – despite ISS outage

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Soft landing on the ocean

Are they so unsure about ending in the right place? Otherwise, why not do it on the ground in the middle of the desert? Even if it ends up exploding, it seems a better simulation…

And if they are really unsure about controlling the rocket, it seems hardly worth it to add legs to it, considering the only thing they plan to do is to hover gently above the ocean before sinking it.

Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app

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Paris Hilton


> Facebook messaging works both online and on mobiles

Do you consider mobiles to be offline?

Chrome makes new password grab in version 34

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Re: @article author: reading comprehension FAIL

Thanks for the correction. Looks like the Reg has modified the article now.

Now, if that's what happening, then it makes a lit more sense. No objections from me.

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

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Re: Makes sense

> The US doesn't have a sales tax. That's assessed at the state level and depends on the state.

Ooooh no! Wow, it would be a dream if it were that simple! There are sales taxes which depend on the county, on the town, sometimes even on the part of the town, or the side of the street.

Witness the complexity of this booklet, enumerating the different sales tax rates for Kansas alone!

That is even without counting the different sales tax rates which apply to different types of products, or the special tax rates which only apply to certain seasons of the year.

ratfox Silver badge

Makes sense

And it will still be simpler to implement than the absolute clusterfuck that are US sales tax.

Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

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Prior art declaration

A system or apparatus for automatically detecting the user is running low on eggs, using weight detectors or optical sensors on the egg tray in the fridge. The system can be configured to automatically order eggs from Amazon or any grocery delivery service.

There. This post constitutes prior art, so this cannot be patented any more.

Google teases more modular smartphone details in run-up to dev meet-up

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It looks super cool…

I can't really imagine this really taking off though. When you think of it, there is less than 1% of people who even upgrade a laptop before buying a new one.


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I understand the balloons are supposed to communicate peer-to-peer, not use satellites. If you have enough balloons, you have complete coverage.

That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Microsoft: Let's be clear, WE won't read your email – but the cops will

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@Chris Miller

> the fact that the 3rd party in question is a member of staff is actually relevant

Read again. They accessed the emails of somebody who was not an employee, not a contractor, and who had no relationship at all with Microsoft. He just happened to have information sent to him by a Microsoft ex-employee.

YouTube follows Twitter onto Turkey's block list

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Block Twitter and YouTube just before elections

I will be watching the results of the elections with great anticipation.

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

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Thumb Down


My idea to use echolocation to warn the user of incoming lampposts is much better.

And by the way, unless somebody filed a patent for that already, this post will count as prior art. I'll stuff a few keywords to make it easier for the experts to find it: Cell phone echolocation radar sonar detection lamppost wall advance warning system bullshit.

Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

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Re: Colour?

The original request is quite correct: Unicode does not specify color, which nobody complains about.

What they complain about is that Apple had to choose for its font actual pictures of hundreds of faces; and these faces just happen to be all white. It's not so surprising people are complaining. Nowadays, it's pretty rare to see an illustration of a dozen "generic people" that are all white.

Many other fonts skipped the problem by choosing non-realist colors, which is acceptable because they don't represent any race better than any other...

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whachoo talking about, Willis?

® is part of the enclosed alphanumerics block of Unicode. Very far from being an emoji.

Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

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Re: Like the Blues Brothers reference

Now I have a vision of Princess Leia using Glass to aim a rocket launcher… nice!

SECRET Apple-Comcast CONFAB BLAB: Movies streamed to TV? – report

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Re: iRevisionism?

You may be talking of something different. While certainly there were other phones which had features which the iPhone lacked, the success of the iPhone was largely due to having a UI that was heads and shoulders above the competition. And yes, Apple managed to wrestle exceptional concessions from AT&T just because they wanted the exclusivity on the iPhone; e.g no carrier logo on the phone, no carrier software in the phone.

The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

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sorted alphabetically

If only we had some sort of contraption which would allow us to copy and paste in a text file, then run sort on it...

Proof Apple is GOING BACKWARDS: It's trying to patent a Newton-ish touchscreen stylus

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Re: How sensible can you not get?

That was my reaction too, but I admit your example is excellent. I have seen a stylus which acted as an eraser if you used the other end, and I guess that was fine; but actually having different tips you must manually change and take care not to lose has got to be more hassle than using a damn drop down menu.

Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

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Re: What's the Point of Encryption?

FYI, there is no indication from the NSA slides that any company, big or small, has willingly let the NSA read its data except under a court order or other legal requirement.

Facebook hacks out PHP alternative

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Re: Great

Haskell, Go, Scala, Dart come to mind...

Though to be fair some of those have met real needs. JavaScript in particular was necessary, as there was no other language running on the browser at the time.

ratfox Silver badge


Please let this replace PHP in the long term. There is no way this cannot be an improvement over the original.

Google, Microsoft tackle climate change as IBM seeks cancer cure

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Re: Keeping their priorities straight

Who says they are not also doing these things? IIRC, Google partly owns the biggest solar energy power plant of the world, and has announced a whacky scheme for giving connectivity to the third world using weather balloons.

So. Farewell then Steelie Neelie: You were WORSE than USELESS

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She was amazed at the stupidity of the situation

And she actually did quite a job fixing it. It is largely thanks to her that roaming bills are now capped.

Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

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Re: Being serious ..

Is there any chance whatsoever that another person would be allowed to have a representation equal to Her Majesty? I assume this would be considered distasteful…

Byzantine Generals co-boffin Lamport bags CompSci's 'Nobel prize'

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\section{Well done}

This was \emph{completely} deserved!

Previously stable Greenland glaciers now rushing to the sea

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Re: sooo.....

Speak for yourself. I live at a high altitude.

Samsung puts ultrasonic echolocation cover on a smartphone for the blind

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Hey guys, I was just kidding

When I said that phones should warn the user from incoming lampposts, it was a joke!

Brussels' antitrust boss not budging on planned Google competition deal

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It is rare to see such a confrontation between a bureaucrat and politicians. On one hand, the politicians are supposed to make the rules; on the other hand, what's the point of having an expert conduct an investigation for three years, if you're going to dictate him what his decision should be, after listening to the impassioned pleas of the opponents?

Anything that involves Google becomes a political affair these days…

Google encrypts Chinese search requests to subvert Great Firewall

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Complete block of Google's products in China in 3, 2, 1...

Google offers up its own flesh to the world's braying cloud hordes

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Seems like there is actual competition in this domain! Good for the users and all that.

Academic blames US for tech titans' tax dodge

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Re: Indeed

It does apply to corporations; this is why Apple & Co are not bringing the cash they earned overseas back in the United States: because they would need to pay tax on it again, even though they "paid taxes" on it in whichever country they earned it.

Of course, the last part is a bit theoretical, since in fact the profit is mostly declared in fiscal paradises where the tax is zero. But for the sake of the argument, assuming they paid UK taxes on the profit they do in UK, they would still need to pay more taxes on it when bringing the rest of the cash in the US.

ratfox Silver badge


I would claim on the contrary that the US government is far more aggressive in getting tax out of its corporations. I understand it is one of the few countries that taxes the income earned abroad on top of what it got taxed abroad.

Twin GEEKS: NASA studies identical brothers – one on Earth, one IN SPAAAACE

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So the one who goes to space will be younger, right?

At least, according to relativity, that's what should happen.

Pakistan's YouTube ban may end after Google removes anti-Muslim vid

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Paris Hilton

I don't get it

As I understand it, Google has blocked this very video in countries like India where local laws made it illegal. So why not remove it from Pakistan too?

Is it really that Google will not remove it if the government asks, but only if the government actually writes a law to force them?

Yes: You CAN use your phone as a satnav while driving – appeals court

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Well I hope it will still be legal to have a cell phone on a stand showing directions on Google maps.

Apple investors fall for CEO Cook's product-presentation prank

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Re: Thank You Tim Cook!

I like to quibble! You probably mean, "the most valuable". As for size, there are many companies that are bigger, like say Foxconn and their million or so employees.

But... you work in IT... Why aren't we RICH?

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Re: So easy for WhatsApp to lose all its value in a single stroke

Google has taken a step away from an existing standard (XMPP) because it could not support every single feature they wanted to put in Hangouts, which they would like everybody to use. Works on iPhones, on Desktops, etc. Unfortunately, for the moment, everybody is more interested in creating their own little app and inviting everybody to join than to try to interoperate. The one who becomes the default for talking to your friends will win.

We have a five-horse race: Apple with iMessage, who can boast with all its fanboys, but has the disadvantage of being strictly reserved to iThing users, so if you have other friends, you'll need another app anyway. Then Google with Hangouts, which comes with most Androids, and has also the advantage that all people with a Gmail account are signed in already, even if they don't know. Now Facebook with Whatsapp, who can integrate it and push it to all the Facebook users. There's also Wechat, which is everywhere in China, and that's a lot of people. And Viber ("They're big in Japan"). Oh, yeah, BBM; and Microsoft probably has something but few people care.

Battling with Blizzard's new WoW expansion and Diablo revamp

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Re: They exist because ....

A week and a half to level 90? That's fast indeed 0_o

On the first version, I think I reached level 60 after 12 days in game. And the record at the time was like 6 days in game.

Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

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"the only vessel in the world allowing […] long-term missions of the open sea and the abyss"

How about using a freaking boat?

I mean, yeah, the design looks cool, but it's hardly the first time humanity has tried to make an object float in the water…

Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills

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I understand this was especially a problem when iOS would "remember" your password for a while after using the App Store, and if you passed the phone to your kids during that time, they would be able to rack up in-app purchases. Though my impression was that this had been fixed.

If parents give to kids the password to the App Store account, then I would say they are at fault… Then again, many people have no clue that in-app purchases exist, so they simply don't know.

Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

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Thumb Up

Re: Seems like I'm alone here

I like it too! But I think art enthusiasts would deny that this is Modern Art. Far too conservative.

Mix-and-match mobiles: Google unveils Project Ara dev conference

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I don't see this idea going anywhere

As a geek, the idea of being able to build a cell phone like Lego is very nice... But I really doubt you can sell the idea to the general public. It's already fairly rare to see normal Joes upgrading their computer, rather than just buying a new one.

Of course, there are people who play with Raspberry Pis, so maybe I'm too negative.

Apple throws sueball at China's patent office over Siri clone

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Re: The term Quixotic comes to mind

"the differences should stand out on their own merit"

That would assume that a Chinese court is going to rule fairly between a Chinese company and an American company. Why would they?

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