* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

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

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Mushroom

And a <i>special</i> mention to web sites…

That send you back the password by e-mail so that you don't forget it. After insisting you should choose your password carefully.

Tech titans lose our loyalty: Are fanbois a dying breed?

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Go

Good, good

I look forward to the moment where people will use a computer without even noticing what brand it is, or what kind of OS it has.

Clap Google, Amazon in irons to end tax shenanigans - MPs

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FAIL

They seem to have finally realized

That under the current system, what these companies do is perfectly legal, and that they must change the law if they want things to change.

Of course, they would not go out and say it that way. They will claim that "companies do not report their tax practices transparently", when in fact those tax practices are completely transparent, it is just that they do not approve of these practices. They will even accuse the HMRC of not doing their job of "policing the tax system", when in fact the HMRC can only apply the laws that have been given to them.

However, I assume that the law was written the way it is for a reason, and that this reason will crop up when they attempt to rewrite the law to make it impossible to do what the companies are currently doing…

EU joins Google, hippies, Uncle T Cobbleigh in fight against ITU

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Paris Hilton

So what is the purpose of the ITU?

I still have not managed to find out what problems the ITU is supposed to solve, considering it has allegedly no powers and is criticized by so many… They do claim to have some kind of mandate, though.

Don't worry, Apple: iPad still dominant in China

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WTF?

"pared-down, cheaper version of its iconic smartphone"

I fail to find words to describe the level of ignorance required to think that Apple would do that.

Apple plants flag on wireless power-supply map

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Devil

the charging unit will only work with identified devices

Technically, I understand their desire to make money, but I want to scream at the fact that, in this day and age, one would purposefully design a system to be incompatible. I may be wrong, but it seems that Apple is particularly prone to do this, like when they expressly stopped Palm devices to connect to iTunes.

NY Museum of Modern Art embraces 14 video games

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Alert

Nothing from Blizzard?

Hmm. Maybe not so surprising. However good they are, they might not contain anything you would call art. But then, why Street Fighter II?

Nice that they are considering Grim Fandango, though.

ITU to EU: We don't want to control the internet... honest

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The problem is not what the ITU is doing

…even though this is not quite as transparent as the article claims. The problem is what it could do. The mere idea that anybody – anybody – is claiming to have a mandate to regulate the Internet is anathema to many.

Google+ exec declares Facebook 'social network of the past'

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Trollface

Ballmer sounds the same

when he talks about Android and the iPhone.

The Lord of the Rings saga lies hidden deep in your Mac

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See also

.freebsd, and .history, and .birthday

Twitter forced to cough raw feed after PeopleBrowsr wins temporary order

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WTF?

Why?

Why would twitter limit its data to a handful of resellers? Do they get more for exclusivity? Surely it is their own interest that the market for their own data be as transparent as possible…?

Assange needs to get some sunlight and fresh air, say Ecuadoreans

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Meh

Hi health "could get worse at any moment"?

Well, yeah, obviously… Everybody's health could get worse at any moment. I have a cold, for instance.

Amazon makes BEELLIONS from British customers, pays pennies in tax

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Happy

Worse than sociologists? How about literary critics?

http://xkcd.com/451/

Apple sticks finger in dyke, cuts off Dutch flood of Galaxy S, SII, Ace

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WTF?

I thought Europe did not do software patents?

Or is it a design patent?

Iran's Photoshop FAIL: 'New drone' actually Japanese university bird

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Happy

Surprising it took so long to find out

Just searching for the Iranian picture on Google search returns the Japanese picture among the results.

Microsoft applies for patent for 'Google Goggles'-type AR specs

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WTF?

I am not sure I get this

Does that mean, if that patent is granted, that it will be forbidden for Google Glasses to display information about a live event that the wearer is attending?

Google, Apple, and Microsoft downed in Pakistan

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Happy

Yeah, I was going to ask too…

Being able to hack Google, Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft web sites at the same time would rather stretch credibility.

APPLE goes on crazy, price-SLASHER Black Friday RAMPAGE

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WTF?

Celebrate a holiday?

When there are sales after Christmas, do you also attribute this to stores celebrating Christmas by offering cheaper prizes as gift to their customers?

Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

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Devil

demanded that to avoid prosecution he fork over €600…

…and sign a non-disclosure agreement promising to keep mum about the settlement.

My, my, what a pretty business model they have. Do they even declare that money?

Google avoids tax with ‘Double Irish Dutch Sandwich’

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Devil

It is not naive

It is not naive. This is exactly what Apple and Google are doing with their Bermuda/wherever offices. Most of the income they make in countries outside of the United States is declared in there, because royalties paid by their subsidiaries all over the world ultimately end up there. Most of that money never comes in the United States, and they don't pay tax on it in the United States. And the US government knows it, and does not say much about it, because it is in fact legal for a US company to do that (Finland might be different, though).

A slightly perverse effect of this is that companies now have an disincentive to invest that money inside of the United States, because if they did, they would first have to bring the money in the country and pay tax on it. And so, they lobby the US government for a tax holiday, which would allow them to bring the money with lower or no tax, arguing it is better for the United States if the money is invested there rather than just growing in an offshore account. This article gives some details.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: two types of avoidance - or is it three

There are very good reasons for a company making most of its money – possibly all of its money – overseas. Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, probably makes comparatively very little money in Finland. In fact, it is probable that if you did not count the income from outside of Finland, the company would be losing money. So which country gets to tax them? Finland, which probably paid for the education of the employees, and created the society where their talent for innovation was nurtured? United States, where are based most of the companies who actually charge the users (Apple, Google, Microsoft)? The countries of the users, who are managing economies that allow citizens to buy unessential products like games for smart phones? If Google bought Rovio, what would change, and why?

Heck, for all I know, Rovio has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands which is "managing" Rovio's intellectual property for the whole world, and Rovio is not paying tax anywhere because that subsidiary is their only profitable company anywhere in the world.

ratfox Silver badge
Alert

Chalk this up to disruptions of the internet

If a foreign company sells stuff in a country, the country used not to care. This was such a small part of the economy that it mattered little. Now that large parts of an economy is transborder commerce, it becomes feasible for companies to shop around and earn money where income is taxed less.

Fixing is going to be "fun". I would just tax the transactions, but to take a variation of an old example, if an Australian resident on a British website clicks an ad for a German company brokered by an American company, where is the transaction happening?

I wonder in particular what this $AUD1bn means (note that this is of course revenue, not income). Is this money that were paid by Australian companies to Google because somebody clicked on their ads? Or is it money Google earned because Australians clicked on the ad? And how much of it goes in fact directly to the probably Australian website which was publishing the ad?

UK.gov to upgrade buying tool after mega cockup downs £1bn deal

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Trollface

"The sourcing tool is widely used across the public and private sectors"

That'll be a Word document, then?

APPLE reveals complete updated blueprints of SPACESHIP JOBS

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Not easy to tell the scale

But unless I am completely off, the walk around it is a bit over one kilometer. This IS huge.

Plan your BLACK FRIDAY CHARGE: Google shop maps go desktop

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They might be getting the data

Still not perfect at showing it. It does not seem possible to display anything else than the ground floor. Hm. Let's hope it will come…

YARR! Library Wi-Fi PIRATES can't be touched by Queen's men!

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There goes the connectivity

They better install fiber.

Republicans deny Hollywood pressure to pull copyright proposal

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Devil

Sure

The luggage full of money had nothing to do with it.

Facebook offers $10 to each of its Sponsored Stories victims

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Holmes

EULA are worth little more than the paper they are not written on

Strangely, even if the EULA contained the terms "you agree to give us all your money", it would not mean Facebook can take all the money of their users.

This is not South Park; there are laws.

Easy to use, virus free, secure: Aaah, how I miss my MAINFRAME

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Happy

Reads like an advertisement for the cloud to me

Don't need to care where the computer is, it could be on the other side of the country…

Don't need to worry about drivers…

Have other people taking care of maintenance…

Don't lose your data when your PC dies…

For the user, what's the difference between the cloud and a mainframe?

Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

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Boffin

Get your names right

It's Alice and Bob, not April.

Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

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Re: For me, Apple has a significant advantage

I do have a desktop running on Linux, running a version of Ubuntu 10. I regularly have problems with pop-up menus which refuse to disappear unless I quit the application, and people more knowledgeable than me say that this is a problem with nVidia drivers (I think Linus Torvalds had something to say about nVidia and their drivers).

Admittedly, my last laptop running on Linux was back in 2008.

ratfox Silver badge
Gimp

For me, Apple has a significant advantage

Which is that its laptops do not come with a crap OS.

…To elaborate a bit: Mac OS X is a Unix-based OS which does not suffer from driver problems. The first point eliminates Windows, and the second eliminates Linux.

Of course, other people have different criteria.

Google stats show government net spying on the rise

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Facepalm

Way to miss the point

It does not matter whether Google changed their privacy policy or not; they have to give the information to the government. The fact that Bing, Amazon or Facebook do not publish transparency reports does not mean they are not giving information to the government.

Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

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Happy

"Crash in much less time"

Perhaps you meant "Crash much less often"?

Apple, HTC kiss and make up

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WTF?

Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

Logarithmic? This word, I don't think it means what you think it means…

Groupon redundancy special offer tips, shares plunge

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Devil

Sometimes I feel bad when a company heads towards failure…

Sometimes I don't.

Firm-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's tax dodge profit shift? Totally legit

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Joke

Disgusting

I shall immediately stop paying for Google!

iPhone 5 unlocked US prices placed on Apple website by accident

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Mystery robot-bringing UFOs sighted by Indian troops on Tibet border

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FAIL

Huh??

"not manned or unmanned aircraft"… What does that mean? It flies but it is not an aircraft? An aircraft is then defined as being "something that can be picked up on a radar"? Which means a balloon is not an aircraft, then? What about stealth jets?

Also, they dispatched a scientific expedition which sighted the UFOs. What about pictures?

Slideshow: A History of First-person Shooters in 20 Games

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Rise of the triad!!1!

How could you have forgotten it? Also, yes, Heretic and hexen.

Facebook Phone rumours are back: And probably true this time

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Re: laughable

Good point. Amazon may have the content required to make their Android fork attractive. Facebook, in itself, hardly justifies a separate OS. At best, this can be a standard Android phone with a handful Facebook apps…

Businessweek: 'It's Global Warming, Stupid'

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Flame

"virtually no explanation other than climate change"

Not that I disagree with the basic conclusion, but you don't make science by saying "no other explanation". This is not a Sherlock Holmes novel, where you can eliminate all possibilities but one. Otherwise, you could take any unexplained phenomenon, and say there is for it "virtually no explanation other than it was aliens".

Grumble grumble.

Meet the photographer who brings Google Street View INDOORS

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Clever

Instead of doing the job themselves, Google seems to teach photographers the tools and let them do the door-to-door to convince shops. Actually makes sense.

El Reg acquires wildly dangerous laser cannon (with lightsabre option)

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Coat

Nice lightsabres

But do they make the NOISE?

Nobody knows what to call Microsoft's ex-Metro UI

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Re: Duplo8

Good idea, but I think you will find that Duplo is very much a trademark…

Why don't they just call it the Tile interface?

iPhone owners sue Apple for locking Jesus mobe to AT&T

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Mushroom

Re: Could you actually buy an unlocked iPhone?

More to the point, this is a class-action lawsuit. Lawyers can make money out of this, but the people technically bringing the lawsuit can earn at most a dozen bucks out of it.

First, there were those lottery-type lawsuits where one guy could earn millions, not because that was the extent of his damages, but because that was how much the company had to be made to pay in order to stop screwing with consumers. E.g. Ford wouldn't even notice offering a new car to every guy who bothered to complain, they would only fix the problems with their cars under threat of multi-million lawsuits.

Then the class-action lawsuits were invented, so that individual consumers would hardly have an incentive of suing big corporations for a return of just $50 each. But the lawyers still had incentives, because they still earned millions out of such lawsuits.

So now, companies remove the right to class-action lawsuits from their customers in T&Cs. They can now act however they want, and it is not the worth the trouble for any single individual to sue them.

Forgetting Microsoft: How Steve Ballmer's Surface could win

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Devil

Ok ok, since you want to know, I'll tell you.

Microsoft 8 will be a failure.

Steve Ballmer will eventually get kicked out, but only after a long drop of market share.

Microsoft will never have so much influence as it did, though it will keep a niche business for corporate solutions.

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.

You will also meet a dark stranger under the influence of Saturn.

US Copyright Office approves phone jailbreaking and video remixes

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Go

Deal

Don't let the door hit your back on the way out.

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Go

"...jailbreaking broke the current business model of operators subsidizing handsets"

That would be a feature, not a bug!

Apple CEO: Microsoft Surface 'compromised, confusing'

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Alert

Product doing two things at the same time

I remember, after buying my first smartphone (a Palm Treo) being told by somebody that if you tried to have a single device do the job of both a PDA and a phone, you ended up with a bad PDA and a bad phone (the guy bought a Treo for himself later). I wonder what he would have said to a device doing the job of a phone, PDA, GPS, web browser and game console… he's an iPhone freak now, of course.

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