* Posts by ratfox

3466 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

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Interesting

I am curious to see if we will end up in the slightly insane situation where most governments make virtual currencies illegal, which should not be enough to stop the underground trade.

I look forward to explaining my children why it's illegal to exchange messages consisting in large numbers.

CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

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Re: Why not space?

Not to mention the barely-above-zero temperatures.

Google's tax returns are trop petite says Hollande

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Boffin

obviously

Netherlands manages with low taxes by taxing the many rich companies that are attracted by its low tax rate. If everybody had such low rates, Netherlands would not be competitive any more, and wouldn't manage.

Nevertheless, the reason Google does not pay much taxes in France is not related to licensing deals. The reason is that Google France does not do much business in France. It is Google Ireland which does a lot of business in France, and has no reason whatsoever to pay taxes in France, since it is an Irish company.

If Europe does not want to abolish the rules which make it possible to earn money in the whole continent and pay income taxes in a single country, they should consider having country to country payments to cover transborder earnings. Thus, companies still pay taxes in a single country, France gets some money from Ireland, and countries like Ireland and Netherlands have less incentive to undercut other countries on income taxes.

Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

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Trollface

Well, if he isn't happy with how much he's earning…

Maybe he should find a proper job then!

Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

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Trollface

So why didn't you buy an iPhone?

Or more seriously, why not keep your old contract and buy an unlocked Moto G? I understand it's reasonably good and costs less than $200... Far from this "added $1300" you are talking about.

Schmidt gets $100m in Google stock on top of his $6m bonus

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Re: Bistromathics

Just look at the news today about Google and the European Union, and I think you will have a pretty good idea of what he did for the company. He seems to be the one who has been in contact with Almunia.

When you think of it, Schmidt fits quite well in the role of diplomatic envoy to bureaucrats and politicians.

Apple's STILL trying to shake off court-imposed antitrust monitor

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Strange strategy

Apple may be trying to garner points with their fans with these complaints, but I can hardly imagine anything more likely to raise the hackles of a judge.

All in all, I would think it more clever to handle the whole monitorship as discreetly as possible.

Rivals attack Google's antitrust search settlement deal with EC

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Almunia's comments

"I know what you said last time, I know you're going to say the same thing again, and I'm not impressed"

Google and Cisco sheath swords in patent-war deal

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WTF?

Has Google ever asked for royalties?

"The firm is still wedded to extracting royalties"

Wait, what? Are you confusing them with Microsoft or what? Google did continue the lawsuits started by Motorola, but you can hardly say they make it a business model...

By and large, Google is on the receiving end of those suits.

Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook

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It's all shades of grey

Obviously, the only way for the data to be completely anonymous is to contain no data at all. This is why these rules contain sentences like "by exercising reasonable effort" and "disproportionate amount of time, expense and effort".

Ultimately, the limits are blurry, and you can fully expect people to get too close, get sued, and receive a half-random decision from the courts.

But it's good that governments are getting in the business of deciding what is privacy, and what companies can do. Currently, T&Cs are designed to be as vague as possible, in order to protect companies from lawsuits. The only way to get sane limits is to have them be set by the law. (Though obviously, this is not going to stop governments from spying on us…)

Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

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Go

Re: My quality of life has improved

Having a smartphone allows me to read the Reg during my commute. I used to hate public transportation because I would be forced to wait at the stop, then wait in the bus; to the point I would drive just to be less bored. Now, commuting is actually enjoyable free time.

Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

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I don't believe it

Almunia is an accomplished politician, and knows how to play both sides. Last time there was also a claim that there would be no market test, and there was one in the end. He is playing a brinkmanship game, if only to avoid complaints from politics that he is not trying hard enough.

But in the end, his goal is to extract a settlement; and he will leave office soon…

I'm really curious what the new propositions are. I really wonder how they can be "much better" than the previous ones…

Lenovo reveals convertible Chromebook

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Headmaster

Laptop, tablet, tent and stand

If I understand correctly, in stand mode, the keyboard is facing the table?

If so, the sideways picture on the Lenovo page are totally misleading, and show the laptop almost-closed and useless instead of in proper stand mode.

Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

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How about dashboard mounts for cell phones?

Are those allowed? If anything, they'd be more distracting...

Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

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Re: Obligatory adblock comment.

I don't think even Adblock can save you from having an ad play before you see the video you want.

Apple blows past (most) Wall Street moneymen's expectations

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Re: On the contrary; you are the one expecting too much from the stock price

The fact that their bank balance has climbed was expected. The stock market is not a place where you can buy today for $1 something which everybody knows will be worth $2 tomorrow.

In other words, the value of Apple in September was already taking into account the fact that their bank balance was going to grow. If this was not the case, the market cap of companies would always be exactly the sum of their bank balance and what you could get by selling everything it owns.

ratfox Silver badge

On the contrary; you are the one expecting too much from the stock price

AAPL is at the same level as last September, just before the new iPhones were announced. At that time, the stock went down on uncertainty whether people would like the new phones. Then, investors realized the new phones were selling well, and the stock came back up. There was some exuberance which brought the stock higher, and when the numbers got released, the stock went back to its September level.

Fact is, there is nothing at this point which makes Apple a more valuable company than in September. They had a record-breaking quarter as expected, but since it was expected, there is no reason for the stock to be higher than September.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Peak apple?

I'm not desperate; I'm just showing numbers and explaining that people find them disappointing. If anything, your post shows a lot more angst than mine.

If you have Apple stock, don't worry and wait for summer; it will go back up. However, I wouldn't expect Apple to double next year like it did so often in the past decade (to my personal benefit, I might add).

ratfox Silver badge
Alert

Re: Peak apple?

A peak happens when the numbers are at their highest, not when they are going down. Consider the evolution of the number of iPhones sold in Q1 of the past years:

2011 Q1: +82% YoY

2012 Q1: +128% YoY

2013 Q1: +29% YoY

2014 Q1: +5% YoY

No matter how you cut it, investors are disappointed that Apple beat its own record by so little.

Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

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"Whatever happened to the ethos that only the strong survive?"

Mandatory ethos quote:

Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos!

And once more, Godwin was proven right.

Google requests hush-hush radar tests

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Coat

obvious application is obvious

It's a radar to be integrated into cell phones, so that your phone can warn you of incoming lamp posts!

Android holds steady as iOS and Windows Phone slip in Kantar reports

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Re: Just wondering

I saw an old beggar woman in India pull out a feature phone from her purse. We're practically there already.

Microsoft slices Azure prices just days after Amazon's cloud shave

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"far more expensive than on-premises kit maintained by a knowledgeable sysadmin."

...does that include the salary of the knowledgeable sysadmin?

HP Chromebook 11 quietly slips back on Google Play shelves... but where's the FIRE?

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Happy

^ this

Schools apparently enjoy very much the idea that they don't need to worry about viruses in whatever the student downloaded. Lack of features as a feature!

Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

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"without contributing to its upkeep"

That is unfair. I think you'll find they do contribute by providing jobs, which contributes not only to tax revenue but also to the economy.

Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

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Paris Hilton

How about two sizes?

Should Apple only ever sell one iPhones size at the time?

Some people have small hands…

Spam drops as legit biz dumps mass email ads: Only the dodgy remain

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Solved problem as far as I am concerned

Spam filters have become quite good.

Eight EXCELLENT languages for the fondleslab-friendly Intranet of Thingies

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Paris Hilton

I actually know about Go…

First time I heard of this D thing though.

Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

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Devil

Good, good

Here's to hope the sports car drivers become outdated has-beens!

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

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Stop

Consumers not realizing Netflix is blocked

Surely, they would realize that; but what if it is occasionally throttled? Suppose AT&T throttled Netflix, five minutes at a time? How many customers would realize the glitches in their movie are the fault of AT&T, and not assume Netflix is to blame? Realistically, it would be difficult even for an expert to know what is going on.

And really, even though I'm a Reg reader, sometimes I have no idea if the video is slow because of my WiFi network, my provider, or YouTube. If this only happened with YouTube videos, I might well blame YouTube... Though it might just be a clever strategy of my provider.

Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

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Happy

Why can't it be both?

Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

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Paris Hilton

What about mounted cell phones?

You can buy mounts for holding your cell phone on the dashboard. Of course, you're supposed to use them as GPS and not to watch YouTube while driving. But I wonder whether this law applies to them.

Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

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Priorities?

Maybe GCHQ has better things to do than looking into proof against a guy who is already serving time? Though you could argue that this is could have been info allowing to find other terrorists…

Let Google's tentacles fondle your mobile's web downloads and Chrome will put the data on a diet

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Re: It's a nice idea, but...

Hardly more than if you were already using Chrome, I would guess...

Wells Fargo gathers bank 'n' gov bigwigs to discuss Bitcoin 'rules'

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Unhappy

Re: No, what is REALLY funny to me is the WFB logo, which is kinda appropos...

I suspect you might be thinking of an older logo… The current one (since 2008) is not that funny:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_Fargo

Google appeals against French data watchdog over privacy policy fine

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Re: Question time,

On way or another, the sum is insignificant; they want to save face and make sure that other countries don't start piling up the fines. I wonder if they really hope to overturn it or if it is just a delaying tactic. I'm not sure what is the court they can appeal to.

Possibly they really believe they have a chance, though personally I would bet against it. The whole thing is more political than logical, and the current climate in Europe is not propitious to large American corporations, especially since the Snowden revelations.

Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

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@Evil Auditor

The way the system is set, if fifty people invent the exact same thing at the same time, there is only one of them who is allowed to use it. And that is the one who runs fastest to the patent office. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why this guy has more merit or should have more rights than all the others. He does not bring anything to society, since society would have lost nothing if he had slept that day. On the contrary, he takes something from society, as he prevents all the others to exploit the idea in various and possibly more interesting ways. I don't see why society rewards this guy.

The patent system is not an end in itself. It was created to foster innovation, and ultimately to benefit society; not to recognize some moral rights of inventors. If society does not benefit from granting exclusivity to first inventors, it should not be done.

ratfox Silver badge

"In return for making the details of his invention public, the inventor is given protection for a specific time period in which he can exploit his invention."

This feels at odds with the apparently prevalent habit to patent random crap with the hope that sometimes in the future somebody will infringe it unintentionally.

Personally, I feel the main problem of the system is that people who invent something on their own should be allowed to use it, even if somebody else happens to have had the same idea before. In other words, the worth of a patent should be proportional to its inventiveness. As it is, every patent is accorded the same protection, whether the invention is incremental or ground-breaking…

EU gives Google JUST WEEKS to submit stronger search biz concessions

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Missing the point

The complaints are not about how the results are ranked. They are about adding to these results boxes which display information obtained from other Google products, like Maps, Finance, Shopping.

When you google for "London", you get a box on the right which contains a map showing London, linking to Google Maps.

When you google for "nikon d3200", you get a box titled "Shop for nikon d3200 on Google", linking to Google Shopping.

This is the part that competitors are complaining about. It is not part of the organic search results.

Apple fails to shake antitrust watchdog loose, receives judge slapdown

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Re: Judges usually don't like to be played for fools

It does seem strange to whine about this. I would have thought it was best to keep the whole episode as private as possible, instead of shouting to the world you have a court-appointed watchdog who is there just to make sure you toe the line.

Especially complaining about the salary. Are they trying to get points with the general public by painting the guy as a one percenter? Even if the guy was a complete workaholic, they could save maybe 1 million a year if his salary was reduced. That's got to be irrelevant to Apple…

Sniff, sniff, what's that burning smell? Oh, it's Google's patent-filing office working flat out

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Patent everything in sight

In case you haven't noticed, Google's nice principles of not patenting things and hoping not to get sued by other corporations has worked a bit like a country saying peace is better than war, choosing not to have an army, and hoping not to get attacked: not really well.

At least, Google has not initiated a patent fight with anyone so far (though it has kept alive the lawsuits started by Motorola before its acquisition).

Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride

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Happy

circumventing the heavily regulated systems

They are certainly doing that. You could argue it is a feature!

...but yeah, the regulations exist for a reason. Why don't they apply to these companies? In what way is their business model different?

Ex-Oracle manager claims he was fired for asking to give Indian staff equal pay

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Oooh boy

This doesn't look good for Oracle. They're gonna have a lot of trouble convincing people they are clean on this one.

That said, does the sentence "He knows everyone on the team, and will of course, know what they earn within days of arriving" reflect reality? People are pretty tight lipped at my company on the subject. I believe that technically, a company is not allowed to forbid workers to tell each other their salaries, but guidelines are often respected that I understand.

Google gobbles Wi-Fi thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 BEEELLION IN CASH

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Coat

I should create a company

I don't know why people bother buying lottery tickets when the odds of getting rich are so much better creating a company and getting bought by Google. Just make sure to play to the personal tastes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Still, they just bought a company that makes thermostats for $3.200.000.000, which is about 500 times what I expect to earn during my whole life. Please excuse my loser self while I go cry in a corner.

Google stabs Wikipedia in the front

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Angel

"Google has not been able to dredge up anything really useful for a long time now"

And there was no unemployment before, and we had proper money, and young people were polite to their elders, and winters were less cold, and stairs were less steep?

ratfox Silver badge

Is it a real problem for Wikipedia?

After all, in contrast to most of the web, Wikipedia does not rely on advertising. So a comparative decrease in views is not as important for it as it is for others.

Anyway, Wikipedia's real value is not on the blurbs that may appear in Google's Knowledge Graph, but in the more detailed information it provides. Until there is a drop in contributors, I would say they have no reason to worry...

Google kicks 'bucket-list' service

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Never heard of it

Funny they discontinued Google Reader before that one... I can only assume they had completely forgotten about it

ANYONE on Google+ can now email you, with or without your Gmail addy

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Many people will want to jump on their settings

Though I have to say it matters little to me: Anyway, my email address is easy to find on the web for anybody who knows my name. So for me, this makes about no difference at all.

Didn't get a Nook for Xmas? That's OK, hardly anyone else did, either

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Holmes

Well yeah

You axe the product line, you make less sales.

It's not like they can do much about it. It was a good effort, and they reportedly told Microsoft to stuff it when it threatened a patent lawsuit, so they will always have a place in my heart for that. But realistically, going up against Apple, Google and Amazon was a tough proposition.

UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement

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Trollface

Well done!

Getting hired by a large IT corp in 3, 2, 1…

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