* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Oh, those crazy Frenchies: Facebook faces family photo tax in France

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Re: Honest laws

Yes, but they say directly why they forbid it, i.e. because they want a secular and modern country. They don't make bullshit claims about it being a matter of security.

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Devil

Honest laws

I think that governments in general should state honestly what is the purpose of the laws. Creating a tax on data, and justifying it by saying the users are workers collecting valuable information for the company sounds more like insane troll logic than anything else. They might as well come out and say honestly, we are taxing you people because we need the money and you can afford it.

The French government seems adept at these disingenuous justifications. E.g: The law which forbids people from covering their face in public is claimed to be a matter of security, and not at all a way to push Muslim integration by stopping the practice of wearing a veil. Never mind that the same law prescribes especially harsh punishment for a person who forces other people to cover their face, like a Muslim husband might do to his wives and daughters. Relation to security: None.

Dotcom says German authors' society canned Mega launch vid

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Devil

Re: Not easy to like this guy

not so easy to pinpoint.

I don't find it so hard to pinpoint… He became very very rich, mostly by skirting the rules closer than most would be comfortable with. And the fact that he renamed himself "Dotcom" is not doing him any favors!

'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

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Devil

It's all about Psy these days

PSY curve on Wolfram alpha

Dead Steve Jobs' patent war threat to Palm over 'no-hire pact'

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Wasn't it around that time…

That Apple and Palm got into an update battle to stop/allow users from using iTunes to transfer songs to their Palm?

UK taxmen turn heat on tax-swerving big biz, hope to smoke out £1bn

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Stop

Re: Sellers paying the VAT

This actually seems more philosophical to me than anything else. In practice, the price of things is exactly how much consumers are willing to pay for it. The company ultimately receives an amount which is slightly smaller. Whether the difference between the two is VAT paid by the consumer, collected by the business and transferred to the state, or whether it is a turnover tax paid for by the business is hardly more than a matter of semantics. Just change the variables in the equations and give them a different name, but the effect on the economy, actors, business incentives etc. remains the same.

Oz library finds Lance Armstrong books a new home: The fiction section

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Coat

Re: @AC

I don't care if he cheated… He's still the best trumpet player I've ever heard!

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Devil

All but one tainted by doping…

Obviously, Miguel Indurain managed to retire just in time after his fifth consecutive victory in the Tour…

Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

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Big deal

Then again, the author made plenty of "make me" apps, but apparently no "make me black"…

Google files patent for eyewear that SHOOTS LASERS

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Re: Didn't think I'd ever say this - but why bother with lasers?

These are not augmented reality glasses (or at least, the current Google glasses are not). They only display an image on a small part of your vision.

Google sinks millions into plush new £1bn London HQ

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Angel

Look at the bright side, will ya?

These £650m are coming from outside the country and are being used to buy/build stuff inside the country. You'd prefer they do it in Ireland?

PR people 'put duty to the public ahead of employers' interests'

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Trollface

"I can't afford to lose my credibility ... As PR professionals, it's all we have"

Well, in that case I have bad news for you…

eBay's festive sales soar, but what's this? Profit DOWN 62%?

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Re: All that money so little profit

Or perhaps these servers and engineers actually cost money too. They have 27'000 employees, that must cost a little bit of cash.

Security audit finds dev outsourced his job to China to goof off at work

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White House raises the signature threshold for petitions to 100,000

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Devil

Heh

In Switzerland, with that many signature, you can force a referendum on any new law…

Privacy winds blow through Clouds towards Switzerland

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Happy

Switzerland does not cooperate when sources were acquired illegally

So, suppose just for instance that a rogue bank employee went to the German government with a CD full of Germans trying to hide their money in Swiss banks. Since revealing the name of bank customers is a crime in Switzerland, Switzerland will not help with the investigation.

This is of course a purely hypothetical example!

China's Android users warned of giant botnet

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FAIL

This is why

Android should let users block any apps they want from network access.

I hear you say: "yes but poor developers need ads revenue to survive and apps need network access to fetch ads". Fine. Provide an API which allows apps to fetch ads in a [i]controlled[/i] manner.

I mean, this is not paranoia. There [i]are[/i] people out to get you. It is now standard on non-mobile machines to get a warning whenever a program accesses the web for the first time, giving you the choice to block it. I see no reason why it should not be the case for phones.

Hey, open sourcers: Who's your code's daddy?

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Go

Yeah, fork it.

Create on github a separate project called vert.ks, inform contributors of the change. Let vert.x disappear for lack of maintenance. That is what Open Source is about…

Possibly, learn in the process that VMware is better than you at maintaining the project, and that contributors will not move.

EU antitrust chief growls at Google, hopes to avoid sanctions

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Boffin

Not the point

Google for an address like "17 baker street london": You will get a map on top of the page, created by Google Maps. As you would expect, clicking on that map brings you to Google Maps.

You might think this is obvious. But Google for "AAPL": You will get a chart on top of the page showing the evolution of the Apple stock; but clicking on that chart brings you nowhere. You actually have to choose between three (tiny and hard to see) options below the graph, which are Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and MSN Money. No assumption is made that since you are searching on Google, you necessarily want the Google product.

Note that this behavior could be argued to be worse for the user than just linking the graph to Google Finance. After all, the user who mostly does not care probably expects that he can click on the graph to get more information. He does not know that he has to click on one of the tiny links, he might indeed spend a few seconds figuring that out. This normally counts as bad user experience.

There might be many reasons why the assumption would be made that you want Google Maps, instead of Bing Maps or (god forbid) Mapquest. Probably, Google Maps is much more popular than its competitors, which might not be the case for Google Finance.

Of course, Bing and Yahoo do the "natural" thing and link to their own products…

Amazon puts up CD rack in the cloud, unearths your OLD stuff too

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Facepalm

Re: What about...

I doubt very much they are doing this without the approval of right holders… They are aggressive, not crazy.

Manning was 'illegally punished', will get 112 days lopped off any sentence

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Thumb Up

Re: Bull

And I agree with all of them.

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Thumb Down

Bull

No matter how you look at it, Manning though of leaking and contacted Wikileaks – not the reverse. Wikileaks did not know Manning existed. The most you can accuse Wikileaks is that they "gave him ideas".

Assange is still a dick, though.

Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

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Stop

There is no android in the rice cooker

You just control the rice cooker with an android app…

'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought

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Happy

Re: 2036

You forgot the 15-blades razor!

Google drops standards-essential patent claims in Xbox slap fight

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Go

Sure

How much do we get paid?

Apple may debut low-cost iPhone for emerging markets in 2013

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WTF?

Re: 'phenomenal' sales

There are less people in US and Europe than in China, yet they bought 2.5 times more phones. How could the penetration be lower?

UK Apple cart Square punched in the wallet as sales, profit fall

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Headmaster

Affected!

Affected! Affected! Affected!

Facebook snubs storage barons for cheapo Far East kit - insiders

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Is this news?

I thought it was common knowledge…

Minicam movie pirate gets record-breaking five years in prison

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Coat

Re: Was it worth it?

Well, once he has a rap sheet, he can finally become a true rapper.

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Devil

Doublespeak

"…helping to reassure consumers that the movies and TV shows they watch online are legitimate and secure, not stolen…"

This reminds me a lot of the Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage whose stated goal was to reassure users that their Windows software was not pirated. Completely ignoring the fact that mostly, end users and consumers don't give a shit about whether their copy is legitimate, they just don't want to be assumed guilty.

Google wriggles out of FTC search smackdown. Now to Europe!

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Alert

Subtleties

I noticed some time ago that googling for a stock market ticker like GOOG or AAPL, you get a graph of the stock price. However, clicking that graph has no effect: you need to choose from one of the three links below it, which bring to the finance products of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft respectively...

If you search for a place, you only get a map which links to Google Maps. No link to Bing maps.

Polaroid plans retail Fotobars to print out your pics

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Happy

Re: And next to Polaroid

Heh. It is not so often in these forums that the cloud is touted as the safest alternative.

Samsung confirms Tizen-based mobes to debut this year

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Angel

Nobody?

I would think that users are reasonably happy about having an alternative to iOS and cheap handsets… But of course users tend to get forgotten.

Hey, Apple and Google: Stop trying to wolf the whole mobile pie

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Unhappy

Interoperability

Ever since Apple started patching iTunes specifically to stop Palm devices from working with it, it has been going downhill.

Ideally, any piece of a system should be replaceable with that from a competitor... Fat chance of that happening, unless regulations are somehow put in place.

Dotcom titan funds 'Mark Cuban Chair To Eliminate Stupid Patents'

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I did

The "Dotcom" in the title was fairly confusing. Shurely they meant "Dot com"?

US patent office: Nice try Apple, but pinch-to-zoom is NOT a new invention

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Devil

Good

The only good patent is a dead patent

Euro Commission abandons ACTA court request

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Go

Woohoo

…And stay dead!

Google can't use finger-fumble patent to poke Apple - Trade panel

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Go

Good

The only good patent is a dead patent.

Nasdaq's RIM shot: BlackBerry maker ejected from top 100

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Unhappy

Alas, poor RIM

I feel between the bargaining and acceptance stage.

Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

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Unhappy

Beat me to it

Have an upvote

Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

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Maybe not

I wonder how many downloads are necessary to jump to the top of the charts. I suspect that a percentage in the single digits in a day would be plenty enough. I.e. you could probably have 80% rabid fanbois swearing never to install the maps app of the enemy, and still have the app get to the top if half of the remaining users download it.

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Go

Playing the long game

The problem with this is that Google has more users, and thus get more feedback and corrections. Especially since corrections are vastly easier to report using a desktop web site, which Apple does not have. It have to say I do not understand why Apple is not creating a web site for their maps, like Nokia has done with here.com. It should give their maps a lot more users at a comparatively small price.

EDIT: HOLY $#*! I CAN EDIT MY POST!!1! Adding GO icon!

Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

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Re: Love or hate Google...

Meh. Compared to Zuckerberg?

Punters rate Apple, Samsung more highly than ever

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WTF?

Sony rated higher than Apple?

Who would've thunk?

RIM is really in trouble when even Windows Phone 8 looks great

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Meh

I believe RIM is toast

It brings me no pleasure to say it, but I believe that the best thing they can hope for is to sell, whether the company or some of its IP.

Upvote if you agree, downvote if you don't…

Entire US Congress votes against ITU control of internet

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FAIL

ITU's role is […] not to act as a regulator? O RLY?

Lessee what Reuters says on the subject this week:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/04/us-un-internet-treaty-idUSBRE8B316I20121204

"A U.S. and Canadian proposal to protect the Internet from new international regulation has failed to win prompt backing from other countries, setting up potentially tough negotiations to rewrite a telecom treaty."

"The idea, also supported by Europe, would limit the International Telecommunication Union's rules to only telecom operators and not Internet-based companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc."

"That could reduce the prospective impact of efforts by other countries including Russia and some in the Middle East and Africa to obtain more powers to govern the Internet through the ITU, an arm of the United Nations. Those efforts, slated for discussion next week, could make Net anonymity - or the ability to remain anonymous online - more difficult to maintain and could bolster censorship, critics say."

This article implies rather clearly that the role of the summit is to write new regulations…

Court slaps down Verizon, upholds FCC data roaming rule

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Go

Go appeals court!

The sooner the telecoms market becomes commoditized the better!

Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone

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Unhappy

40+ years ago?

There's your problem… Just come back when you will be younger.

Xboxes stay on sale but may cost Microsoft money in Google case

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Go

Makes sense to me

Now, if only all patents were subject to the same rules, think how much better off we would all be!

Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

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Meh

Re-generating a password

When I am forced to re-generate a password because I forgot my old one, the web site invariably tells me that I cannot use this password, because it is the same as the old one.

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