* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Microsoft secretly scoops up 15 companies

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One of the companies

will be Poly9:


That I know, it has not been announced officially.

Amazon one-upped in RIM tablet ebook duel

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Who and what is a Kobo?

Why did RIM install junk on my tablet? Delete!

Now to install Kindle. Wonder what that Kobo app was for anyway.

Prosecutor resigns over sexting spree to crime victim

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The prize

"I'm the attorney. I have the $350,000 house. I have the six-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize."

Well, not an attorney any more, and no six-figure career anymore. Still has the house, though...

Apple now world's second-largest company

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Revenue != market cap

The Fortune Global 500, according to which Apple was 197th last year, ranks companies according to REVENUE, which is the total amount of money people have paid this company. The first one on this list is Wal-mart, with 408G$, and Apple is 197th with 36G$.


It is very different from EARNINGS, which is revenue less expenses. Gazprom is first on that list, with 24G$, and Wal-mart only comes in 9th with 14G$, because it has smaller margins. Apple must be around 70th with 5.7G$, because it has high margins.

Then, you have the MARKET CAPITALIZATION, which is roughly how much the investor think the company is worth. It is rather abstract and depends not only from revenue and earnings, but also of where the company seems to be headed. For instance, Research in Motion has a relatively low market cap, despite the fact that it is still making a lot of money, because investors assume that in 2012, all the smartphones will be iPhones or Androids, and Blackberries will have disappeared. You do not buy a house if you think it will burn tomorrow. Apple has a huge market cap, because investors assume that everybody is going to buy iPhones in the near future.

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Not so bad

Companies like Google and Yahoo have a similar P/E.

Compare with Amazon (P/E: 66), or Baidu (P/E: 102)!!

Apple in 873-page legal claim to word 'Pod'

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Hope Apple loses this one

These lawyers are earning too bloody much money as it is.

I thought common words could not get protected?

Sex, lies, and botnets: the saga of Perverted Justice

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People who organize sting

This does nothing to raise my opinion of people who try to entrap others, whatever the crime is.

There is a fine line between trying to catch predators by posing as a victim, and encouraging people to break the law so you can snitch on them.

CIA used 'illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones'

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Let me see if I got the story straight:

- CIA wants a targeting software as precise as possible, but ended up accepting an imprecision of up to 13 meters, hoping it is precise enough in most case

- Netezza did whatever it could to make the CIA happy, including ripping imperfect code from IISi

- IISi... was not willing to deliver an imperfect solution? Is complaining about the code grab? They are also complaining that the CIA is using a solution that might kill innocents?

I would have thought that the ordinance is powerful enough that 13 meters is an insignificant error... And it is unlikely that the CIA is going to say "OMG we might kill innocent people with such an imprecision, we have to wait until the boffins get it down to 1 meter"

Google whacks Spanish TV station in court

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Good for Google, and for us, but....

"YouTube offers content owners tools to remove copyright infringing content and this means that it is the responsibility of the copyright owner – not YouTube – to identify and tell YouTube when infringing content is on its website"

This argument really is a blanket get-out-of-jail-free card for copyright infringement. The way it sounds, copyright owners apparently have to play whack-a-mole endlessly just to remove content that can be re-uploaded and re-indexed in seconds.

You could practically ignore copyright laws with your website as long as:

1) You offer a way for copyright owners to complain

2) You can claim you did not put it yourself

3) You have "too many users" to control what they upload

Good for us, but I can imagine copyright owners shaking their heads in disbelief.

World's first pedal-powered ornithopter takes flight in Canada

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Bird legs

First, I am not sure how much power bird legs really have... Second, it is their own legs. If they do the same thing with the guy pedaling to turn the wheels instead of being towed, I will have no more objections.

Ten... iPhone 4 accessories

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Mobile stand??

What is the point? Once it is on a stand, using it becomes awkward... Is it not more comfortable in your hands, even while sitting at a desk?

Google data center links shot down by 'bored' riflemen

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Jobs Horns

What will they say

When they find NINJA STARS embedded in the poles?

Police spent tens of thousands on failed BitTorrent probe

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Small potatoes

Really, £29,000 is not much. Compared to other misuses of taxpayers' money by the government, it hardly registers.

Good for him that he was acquitted, though.

Software re-sale restricted by US Court of Appeals

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Why so complicated?

"We hold today that a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions"

Considering (2) and (3) depend entirely on the copyright owner, why not stop at (1)? Does the copyright owner have to add (2) and (3) to the contract just so that (1) holds?

Is US prudishness ruining the internet?

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Yeah right

Because it is SO hard to find porn on the net, with these damn merkins censoring everything.

If you want a version of Facebook that lets you post nudie pics of yourself, you can find one in 5 seconds flat. Of course, it will not have as many users, but that is because most people do not want to see your nudie pics, and stay on Facebook. And that is true whether on the web or in real life.

You might as well complain that the supermarket wants you to wear clothes. If it let naked people in, they would lose most of their customers.

Netizens now Facebook more than they Google

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How about comparing web page downloads?

Staring at the same page for 5 minutes has less worth than clicking through 10 pages in two minutes, in my book...

Unity – iPhone code swap approved by Jobs (for now)

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letters and/or digits

If the web site is any indication, it does not work well... It's been a while since I saw anything so bad.

... And the "written in SQL" part seems to consist in writing:

SELECT '<html><head><title>Coded in SQL!!</title></head><body>Whole page written in HTML</body></html>'

New 'iPhoD' can 'adjust the speed of light by turning a knob'

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You phail physics phorever

Sorry, (2) was only ever true in space. Light is significantly slower in materials that are transparent but dense, such as water or glass. This is why light refracts when going from one medium to another.

That's how lenses work.

Ex-spook jailed for selling secrets

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Only 12 months??

I'm really surprised here. Ok, so he would not have hurt anybody directly, and anyway he failed. But still, I would have assumed that such a breach of trust would be punished more severely in these circles.

- M doesn't mind you earning a little money on the side, Dryden. She'd just prefer it if it wasn't selling secrets.

- You have the wrong man, Bond. If M was so sure that I was bent, she'd have sent a double-0. Your file shows no kills, and it takes...


Jobs moves to the heavens with Apple TV

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Jobs Halo

Eeeh... Now that I think of it, it does make sense in the long term

As the whole planet becomes wired, any logical observer would laugh at the idea of having millions of copies of the same movies stored all over the place in various formats, when it is much simpler to store them in data centers and stream them... If Apple's timing is correct, they will have a huge role in this. I feel awed, suddenly.

Sooner or later, people who want to have their own physical copy will sound out of touch. On the other hand, it will take a while. I'm not going to get rid of my 300+ books and replace them with eBooks anytime soon. Physical copies are here for at least 30 more years... But maybe not much more.

Cyber-jihadists deface home of teddy bears' picnic

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Welcome to planet earth! This is called catharsis... Recommended by all psychiatrists!

.XXX domain deal stripped bare

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Yeah, great idea

I propose the new TLD .usr, for all websites which have users.

I am the only one who can sell these domain names. Registration is $300, of which $100 will go to user protection organizations. I keep the rest, of course.

Game-addicted man scores rare win over software lawyers

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The judge's argument is IMHO completely valid. The fact that the lawsuit is frivolous is irrelevant. Hopefully, the lawsuit will fail due to hilarity, but the power of EULA will fade...

Microsoft wins wants right to appeal Word patent ruling

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Patent troll

No sympathy for Microsoft, but this patent is ridiculous.

LG touts 'surprisingly productive' iPad killer

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Useful... without a keyboard

I really doubt that a pad without a proper keyboard can ever be something people want to do serious work on.

The iPad was a SOMEWHAT logical move, after Apple noticed the way many people were using iPod Touches to surf the web or play games. Making it larger does make it better to surf, play, or watch videos.

But claims of a productive pad runs directly against all the comments found on this very web site: a laptop or a notebook is way more useful.

Short passwords 'hopelessly inadequate', say boffins

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My worst experience

I was lucky enough to use a web site of the French government that lets users choose a password. Considering this was a government web site, and for an important purpose, I chose carefully a rather high-level password.

The web site then happily sent me an email, with the line: "so that you do not forget it, this is the password you choose:" followed by the password, in clear, in a simple email.


Wikileaks double dares Pentagon hawks

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"they refused"

Assange seemed to have a very particular way of asking for help checking the documents. He says that the Pentagon is "trying to bankrupt Wikileaks" by refusing to help checking the documents.

What I understand from this is that he basically told them:

"We will release the documents, filtered or not filtered. You want them filtered? The filtering will cost Wikileaks a lot of money, so please kindly send $$$ to the following bank account..."

It would be difficult to get closer to blackmail than this

HP boffin claims million-dollar maths prize

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Pure mathematics? Not quite

The question of P vs. NP stands quite firmly in the domain of APPLIED mathematics, thankyouverymuch. Pure mathematicians do not deal with this kind of dirty Turing machines-type questions. Why, it is almost computer science!

'PatentGate' allegations denied by Apple

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I still don't get it

Isn't it that Apple is trying to get a patent on a certain type of apps, by giving as examples apps that ALREADY EXIST and have been created by OTHERS?

Is it not something called prior art? Supposedly not patentable?

Deadline for Germans to hide from Street View

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Do Germans really care that much?

I guess we are going to see... My hunch is that apart from a few vocal people, Germans give F... all, like the rest of the world.

Of course, the opposition already has an excuse ready: They all happened to be on holiday for the same exact month they were supposed to register.

Google experimenting with spy drones, says German maker

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Paris Hilton

Unfair competition

Shirley, this is unfair competition for the Reg's own PARIS?

Google, Verizon deny secret FCC end run

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Hair raising

I don't know if the New York Times story is true, but the idea of paying for giving priority to your data makes me really uncomfortable. This could easily lead to high-speed delivery for rich corporations web sites only, and 9600 baud modem speed for everybody else. Google can easily pay a million a week so as to offer a speedy youTube, but who else can? Especially among newcomers?

At least, Google is denying any such plans... for now. But I'm going to be jumping at shadows for a long while.

And I did see at least one article (Henry Blodget on Business Insider, may he rot) stating that "of course ISPs Should Be Able To Charge Higher Rates For Premium Traffic", on the lines that "pipe companies" have spent billions on infrastructure, they should be allowed to charge anyway they want. Lovely.

Feds admit storing pervscanner pics

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Funny how this keep happening

Google street, and now this...

Though in this case, they can at least plead incompetence and clicking the wrong option. Google would have more problems.

Want to use WD diagnostics? Buy Windows

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That is honest

I understand that a company would want to simplify drastically their support to windows only, it undoubtedly saves a lot of money. They also lose customers, but they probably decided it was not worth the investment and effort. AND they are honest and straightforward about it.

Hotmail upgrade finally reaches 350m users

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350 millions *accounts*

But how many are used?

As in, not just to register on web sites you don't want to give your real email to?

Or just to be able to use Microsoft Messenger?

I have two hotmail accounts that I use for these very purposes... And I never read the inbox.

I never could forgive hotmail for regularly sending me spam emails about its "features". The messages precised they were "part of the service", and that I could not turn them off (!)

Liberal Google, Yahoo!, Apple hurting America claims Reagan

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Paris Hilton


For everybody who prefers giving $34.95 to a true republican, rather than $0 to a pinko commie company like Google.

Wikileaks publishes encrypted 'insurance' file

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password is...


It always is SWORDFISH.

Street View spooked by 10 Rillington Place?

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Black Helicopters

Most probably...

The current owners asked that the picture be removed...

Ah, who I am kidding. OF COURSE there is an international conspiracy behind this!

'Death to browsers!' cries Apple mobile-app patent

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I want to scream

Yet, I like Apple.

This is an attempt to take something that has been done for years on the web, put an extra-thin layer of originality on it, and patent it as an app. Why not go ahead and patent "everything that has been done on the web, but not yet on a cell phone app" while they're at it?

Considering so many apps are a simple copy of a website, I really hope the patent office decides that processes that exist on the web cannot be patented as an app. But anyway, Apple will be able to scare off developers for years with the words "patent pending", even if the patent are ultimately rejected. And who knows, they might even be granted...

Insert long list of swear words.

US carrier tailors 3G jacket for iPod touch?

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Jobs Horns

Will that really work?

Without an app that would be automatically disallowed by Apple?

Apple fanbois not as data hungry as Big Phone says

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"My market research indicates that 50% of your customers are above the median age. But the shocking discovery was that 50% were below the median age."

This could be one for the tautology club...

Apple releases multi-touch 'magic' trackpad

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Might be nice

When I had a Dell laptop, I used to plug in a mouse whenever I could.

Now that I have a MacBook, I am happy using the multi-touch trackpad.

It does make a difference.

I am not sure the Bluetooth part is useful, though. How often do you need to recharge?

I already have too many gadgets to recharge.

US legalizes jailbroken iPhones

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telephone handsets?

So it is still forbidden to jailbreak the iPad, then?

But my thanks to the Librarian, may he receive a cartload of bananas!

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That made me blink for a while, too

Canadian flyboy prangs CF-18 Hornet

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Video blocked

Youtube says: This video contains content from CNN (Europe), who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

Huh. What is it exactly that makes CNN block a video in some countries, but not others?

London bike hire scheme suffers pre-launch wobbles

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Works fine in Montreal too

And they are expanding to Washington DC

In the beginning, they had trouble with chavs destroying the docking stations to get the bike, but that seems to have stopped. Either they got sturdier docking stations, or chavs got tired...

Possibly the world's most pointless review

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Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz

121 pages of reviews on Amazon so far.

Apple, Google, NASA, and the Rainbow connection

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"Nationalism is an Infantile Disease"

Good to know that we will soon get rid of egoism, since it is also a mere infantile disease... Will Apple start licensing its patents for free, too?

Always nice to see that people with so much money are so high-minded about the moral failings of others...

Zuckerberg admits working for man claiming Facebook ownership

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Who would imagine a contract with 50% plus 1% per day after due date?

The guy had Zuckerberg's signature, he figured he could just photocopy it on something else.

Phonemakers cry foul on Steve Jobs 'We're all alike' attack

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Jobs Halo

experts... pah

I would be extremely careful before saying Jobs is wrong on PR. Apple controls its PR to insane levels, and people usually beg for it (remember the iPad wait?)

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