* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Google launching its own navy?

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And they're applying for a patent?

On putting a data center on a boat?

...

I don't have the chutzpah to be a successful engineer, I guess. I could understand a patent on details of the idea, like the wave power generator. But I would have never thought of asking for a patent on "putting loads of computers on a boat".

Doesn't the Navy have a few computers on air carriers? Wouldn't that be prior art?

Wait until they apply for a patent on "data centers in the jungle" "data centers in snowy regions" "data centers in rainy regions" "data centers with solar panels on top" "data centers with a yellow ceiling"...

Homeland Security backs deportation with Wikipedia

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Paris Hilton

wikipedia.com??

"not condone or encourage the use of resources such as Wikipedia.com..."

Ahem. wikipedia.org, please. One more fine example of the quality of court rulings.

Paris, because she's another fine example... Of something.

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out

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Paris Hilton

Yet Another Crap EULA

Honestly, EULA are becoming closer and closer to scientology crap.

We need more EULAs like this one. The more stupid and obviously unenforceable they become, the quicker the world will realize that EULAs do not belong to the domain of law, but fiction, and should not be taken seriously.

Paris, because nobody takes her seriously either.

The Google-isation of all the net's access points

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Coat

I can't believe it!

Google is advertising Chrome (BETA) on its main page!

What was that about Larry Page not wanting a privacy link on that "beautiful clean home page"? (I know, there is one now)

Shit, how could they add an ugly download link for Chrome on the beautiful clean home page?? I almost can't find the search box anymore in all the clutter...

Google releases open source browser

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Competition for IE?

I'm afraid the only browser it will be competing with are Firefox, Safari, Opera and other stragglers. I don't see how people who are still using IE would make the change... Most of them don't even know they have a choice.

iGoogle personalises personal pages on other people's behalf

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Paris Hilton

I admit, this is the first time...

That I've seen a company so blatantly considering their users as guinea-pigs.

"Put this one in the labyrinth"

"This one seems more intelligent than average, test him"

"We should dissect this one... What? We can't? You sure?"

"Oooh good, they found out about the Javascript code, we can go to the next test phase"

"Let's yank their chain again"

Paris, because she's yanking my chain...

Vodafone says termination rate clampdown would hit the poor

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Unhappy

@Choice

"Heavy call maker? Pick an 03*** number and enjoy lower call rates when you call out, in return for paying to receive a call.

Heavy call receiver? Stay on the 07*** number and pay more when you call out."

This in turns means that the phone companies, seeing that calls are only ever made from 03*** numbers to 07*** numbers, will heavily augment prices for everything...

On a side note, my Canadian company, who does charge me for incoming calls, also charges 5$ a month for caller ID... Bastards.

Psychologist invents new uber-wiki

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Paris Hilton

I want to be professor in psychology too

Where do I sign? I've got plenty of crackpot ideas!

Paris, because she'll be teaching psychology anytime soon...

Hackintosh maker bites back at Apple

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@Alexis

Actually, if some terms of a license are illegal, you do not need to follow them...

For instance, if a joker added "by reading this, you agree to kill your neighbour in the next 24 hours" to one of these EULAs you click one without reading, you will not have to do it. Thankfully.

From what I've heard, half of the EULAs contain something which is very probably illegal. The problem is, only a court can decide whether it is legal or not. In that sense, EULAs are only "potentially" legal. Some people decide to obey the EULAs, some do not.

When the outcome of a lawsuit is uncertain, the company itself might even prefer not to sue transgressors, in order to be able to go on telling the sheep the conditions are legal and binding.

Hacker unearths young Chinese gymnast scam

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Paris Hilton

Hidden massacres in US and UK

Of course, there was no hidden massacre in US or UK like there was in China. That's not the democratic way.

Totalitarian governments say: "SHUT UP! It didn't happen!" (Tienanmen)

Democratic governments say: "Yeah, it happened. So?" (Kent)

Or, possibly, they claim the students had WMD...

Paris, because she's a WM(brain)D

Game sharer gets £16K fine

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The worth of pirated software

Each side has its own estimation of the damage of piracy:

- Copyright holders pretend that each person who pirated their product would have bought it if they hadn't been able to get it for free. So they estimate their loss by multiplying the number of downloads by the retail price.

- P2Pers pretend nobody who pirated the product would have bought it, even for a cent. So they estimate the damage as nothing.

Obviously, both sides are being dishonest about it.

For one thing, having net access to download is not free, and the price charged by ISPs is a function of how much people download. So people downloading for free are still paying money for that, just not to the copyright holder.

For another thing, many people might actually pay for the product if it wasn't often faster to download it than going through paying for it.

Federal judge halts Defcon talk on subway card hacking

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@smart - smarter - smartest

It would be a very unambitious MIT undergrad who would want to work for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority... Or whatever company is in charge of these cards.

Anthrax 'rogue scientist' also Wikipedia cult member

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Happy

Re: "a women's sorority"

Actually, it's not even a women's sorority, it's a women's fraternity... No, seriously, go check it up!

Apparently, Jimbo cannot read his own encyclopedia...

BT slams bandwidth brakes on all subscribers

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All-you-can-eat contracts soon to end

Really, it's just a matter of logic.

The ISP started offering unlimited contracts because everybody said they wanted it. But considering the quantity of comments here rejoicing that heavy users are getting throttled, some ISP should start offering contracts at 1p per Mb (and cheaper during low-use hours). Then we can start paying for internet like we are paying for water, electricity and telephone.

I believe the only reason unlimited contracts exist is that the heavy users are the only people voicing their opinion on the subject, and they are too happy to have everybody pay the same amount.

Yahoo! recounts! votes!

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Paris Hilton

Ok, hands up everyone

...who believe this was really a honest mistake?

Paris Hilton, because with honest mistakes like this, she WILL be president.

Paris Hilton - the compromised candidate

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Alien

In case Bush hadn't done it...

This would prove you don't need a brain to be a politician

...or a religious leader for that matter. All hail Xenu!

Dutch vacuum salesman pumps Google for €1m

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Dutch tax

1.2% ? That's quite high, considering many countries have no capital tax at all (like Belgium)

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

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Stop

Noisy babies

While I agree that parents should try to keep their children quiet, I also agree that this is not always possible.

If the parents are trying their best to calm down the child, then whoever complains is stupid. The parents probably want the child to be quiet more than anybody else, and yes, they are entitled to use a plane even with a noisy baby. If you don't think so, I'll complain you are a waste of oxygen, and should not be entitled to pollute the inside of the plane with the nasty CO2 you're emitting. And also, you stink, and you're ugly. Please take the boat, or put a paper bag on your face.

Anyway, the point of talking about noisy babies was that phones are by far not the most annoying thing in a plane. What's the US congress doing making laws about the amount of noise you can make in a plane?? I can't wait for Obama and McCain to give their opinion on this oh-so-important issue.

US customs: Yes, we can seize your laptop, iPod

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Paris Hilton

@Julian Garrett

That's a pretty good comment...

...huh?

Quantum porn engine foiled by strawberries and muffins

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Flame

And yet, the company stock will rise fast...

How could it fail to rise, with so much hot air?

Of course, there's 0.01% chance it will be the next facebook...

Microsoft to kill Windows with 'web-centric' Midori?

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Midori means green

in Japanese.

Could Microsoft be thinking of becoming ecologically-oriented?

Reg hack insults the Parachute Regiment

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Happy

Such conceit

When the red devils are a sexy all-female bikini team, maybe I'll watch their shows... I'm not interested in Xtreme sports jocks wannabes.

Anonymous. Wannabes can be vindicative.

Inquirer celebrates spammer murder-suicide

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I feel bad for the family...

But I must say, not for him.

I have often thought that if the light discontent felt by the millions of people who received one of his mail was concentrated on the spammer, he would be vaporized instantly.

I would maybe not cheer his death, but as for a Darwin award, I do feel the world is not missing much. The fact he killed his family makes him even more despicable. It may be that, as he knew the world would not regret his death, he took his family with him out of spite to make the world feel bad: "Look what you made me do".

Condolences to the still-living daughter.

Happy Sysadmin Day!

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Joke

What about users?

Is there a user appreciation day?

Without users, sysadmins wouldn't have a job, right?

SF's silent sysadmin pleads not guilty

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Paris Hilton

Stupid

No matter what he did, it is stupid if they cannot make it work unless he tells them how to. What about if he had a heart attack?

Paris because... well, it's in the title

DARPA plans soldier-tagging system for US troops

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How to make it work

There are two ways I can see to make it work:

- The tag sends a clear signal at least as long as it takes for goniometers to pick up the signal. The problem is that this signal can also be detected by the other faction. However, knowing in advance which frequency it will be gives you a significant advantage (we can assume the frequency will change every time). It is not possible for a goniometer to watch over every possible frequency at the same time, and though systems like ELTA's COMINT can explore thousands of frequencies per second, it is not fast enough to detect ultra-short emissions.

- The tag could send a signal using CDMA, which allows to transmit UNDER the noise level, and thus is undetectable by goniometers. I do not know if a goniometer knowing the proper code could detect the direction of the transmission. The problem with this is that CDMA emissions use a spread spectrum, and that different frequencies interact differently with obstacles - making it much less precise. It might be possible for the tag to react to emissions sent by multiple interrogators and send the result by CDMA, allowing it to be located by techniques similar to GPS - the interferences between the emissions of the interrogators give a clear idea of where the tag is.

Wall Street frowns on ginormous Google profits

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Stockbrokers

Are doing little more than playing a high-stakes game of poker...

And of course they have little idea of what's going on - in the company.

The stock value of a company has little to do with what it owns, or what it earns. It only depends on what stockbrokers think other stockbrokers are going to do. Those who guess in advance what the majority of their peers will do get rich.

Those who bet in advance that Google earnings would be disappointing got rich today... But this kind of bet could have been done on anything, including whether it will rain today.

Raptor and Eurofighter go head to head

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@DS

> The failures in theatres like Iraq and Afganistan are really quite easily solved.

The USSR also thought they could solve the problem, once... Spent many more times the budget in money in human lives, too.

The problem is not invading the country, the problem is holding it.

Icahn writes another bloody letter

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Icahn

Icahn believes that if the shareholders contract a life insurance on a company, the board members and the employees, then they should all suicide to maximize profit.

Green-loving California may dodge utility bill bullet

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Paris Hilton

@yeah, right

Actually, privatization worked well in... Finland, was it?

Maybe Finnish corporations have different morals than most?

Paris, because her morals are also significantly different than most...

Dog off the menu at Olympic restaurants

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Unhappy

@Ferguson

My biggest disappointment when visiting Beijing recently was that it was impossible to see at more than 100 yards. And to breathe properly.

Don't wait for any new records on the track this year!

Google and the End of Science

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Statistics... Meh

Then a guy observes that the births in northern France are related to the number of storks... Yeah, right.

Hawkeye technology turns tennis into a cartoon

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Stop

Weird

Are you actually trying to say it's a shame that Federer and Nadal have a rival at their level, because it makes it more difficult to beat records?

Would you prefer to have only one good player, and all the others worth crap, just so you could declare the guy "best player of all time" after ten years of one-sided matches?

About the Hawkeye issue, all systems are faillible. But at least, we can assume the computer treats both players the same (unless the program was hacked). Referees being human, they have a high risk of favoring a player, even unconsciously.

NXP sues to silence Oyster researchers

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Siding with the researchers here

The reason researchers publish papers is not to satisfy their egos. It is that otherwise they don't get jobs.

Thanks to their work, the guys involved apparently obtained funding for the next two years. Who would pay them if they didn't publish it?

They gave NXP only six months to fix it, but if this is a security flaw that cannot be fixed in six months, it probably means they can't fix it at all, no matter how much time they have. Trying to silence the researchers is like hiding your head in the sand.

Are the ice caps melting?

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Boffin

@Melting ice leads to falling sea level

Actually, melting ice leads to sea level not changing at all. Yes, the ice is slightly less dense than water, that's why it is floating, but the amount of ice which is over the sea level exactly compensates. An iceberg takes exactly the same amount of volume under the sea level as the water which weighs as much as the iceberg... So an iceberg melting does not change anything.

Now, of course, there's plenty of ice over Greenland and Antarctica...

Available to buy: your own frakkin' 7ft Cylon

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Happy

@Jeremy

English (and I mean REAL English) is still one of the official languages of India. 1 billion against. You lose.

Google plugs YouTube into Playstation 3

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Thumb Up

Nice stab at the networks

"Nowadays, all the stuff worth watching and listening to tends to be stored on or accessed through a computer."

TV has jumped the shark some time ago... ^^

easyJet warns Expedia: 'Hands off our flights'

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How can Easyjet stop that?

I'm clueless about this, but I'm a bit surprised that Easyjet can actually stop that... I thought that in a capitalistic country, you were allowed to buy cheap and sell expensive. I wasn't aware you have to ask permission first. I mean, what's the legal basis for that?

If I buy a car and I find somebody to sell to at a higher price, why shouldn't I?

Germany, Spain and Belgium get free mobile calls

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Paris Hilton

Aren't these phones smart?

Just find a way to filter the spam... And you have a free phone without any advertisement.

... It's kind of weird that companies are almost paying you to receive their ads. Maybe one day, I'll be able to watch ads all day, and stop working...

Paris, because she's not working either...

Microsoft says ‘hasta la vista XP’ - well, kinda

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Flame

@Wolf

Completely agree with you. Why do people want to keep older systems anyway?

On the same train of thought, starting of tomorrow, everybody in Great Britain will drive on the right side of the road. It will make it easier for car makers, because they will finally be able to make only cars with the driver on the left. Everything will be standard, which is of course better.

Speaking of standards, the metric system will now be standard in US. Americans will just have to get used to kilometers, liters, kilograms and Celsius. And forget those dumb "US letter" and "US legal" paper format. From now on, it's the world standard A4 for you.

How about plain realizing that Vista works DIFFERENTLY than XP, and people plain PREFER the way XP works? And that they see NO reason whatsoever to change their habits? And that it will cost MILLIONS to large companies to adapt their IT to Vista, because, yes, the applications they use do not work under Vista, and it is a nightmare to create a new version without having to upgrade every single computer they own?

"From tomorrow, we will stop selling paper. If you want to write on anything, buy our brand new plastic sheet. Only new markers can write on them, if you have pencils and paper in your stock, you can use them until you run out."

Devil dog laughs in the face of Taser

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Waiting for Webster...

To blame it on Steve Jobs...

Lesbians like straight men, researchers find

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@Pearson

"The idea that homosexuality is a "choice" is ludicrous."

Oh really? What do you think of the fashion statement among teenagers of declaring yourself gay, depending on who's the current pop icon? It's your actions which define who you are... And what about bisexuals? They have no choice to have the choice between men and women?

When someone will publish an article showing difference in the brain of tories and labour people, will you say that the idea of political orientation being a choice is ludicrous?

By the way, the article never implied anything was genetic. It might be a trait acquired in the womb.

Mother pleads not guilty in cyber-bullying suicide test case

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Unhappy

This is not the right law

It is ridiculous to link the usage of computers in any way to what she did. If she had used a car to go harass someone, would they have tried to get her on breaching the highway code?

I do feel she should be punished, but I hate it when the original intent of the law is twisted to achieve the means. I know this is standard practice, but that's why I hate lawyers.

What would have happened if she had done this in the old days, assuming a fake identity to start a pen pal relationship with that girl?

UK developer trio accused of game plagiarism

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Unhappy

I actually feel bad for them

It's not only the fact that they will have loads of problems with lawyers, it's also that they've been working so much without even hoping to make something original.

God, their life must suck.

God makes you stupid, researchers claim

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Belief and science

It's debatable whether you have to be stupid to believe in God...

But you do have to be stupid to believe such a scientist^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H statistician.

(for some reason, Firefox did not want to load this page... what is Firefox's IQ?)

Disgruntled admin gets 63 months for massive data deletion

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No sympathy

No sympathy for this guy. He knew he was doing something seriously wrong, to the point he tried to cover his tracks as much as he could. I'm glad they caught him.

Yahoo!'s latest letter warns of letters

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@Grundy

There are actually companies who issue non-voting shares. Google has issued shares which had a tenth of voting power of the original stock (the one owned by the founders). Many possibilities exist. For instance, preferred stock usually have no votes.

French court fines eBay for sale of counterfeit handbags

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Paris Hilton

@greg

"If China can make a luxury item copy for 10$ that looks so well as the original luxury item sold 1'000$, then the original is not worth much than 10$..."

Technically, you're not only paying for quality, but also for the design, which the counterfeiters are not allowed to copy. The fact that music can be found for free on the web does not mean it is worthless.

Also, you can feel good about the fact that the bag was made by correctly-paid people in Europe rather than by children in sweatshop.

But I agree that people buying such bags are buying a status symbol more than anything else. And in the end, it is just a game to keep up with the Joneses...

Paris, because she knows all about buying expensive stuff to hide your low self-worth...

Overstock and Patrick Byrne sue New York over Amazon Tax

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Agree with Amazon

Pretending that affiliates actually mean "presence in the state" is legal trickery, IMHO.

Also, the NY state is actually threatening them to retroactively ask for all the sales tax they should have collected in previous years - that is, when they already had affiliates in NY but when it was not yet considered "presence in the state".

Technically, the state should go after the buyers who didn't report their online purchase... But of course, those people vote.

HP biased against BIOS password security

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Security onion

Of course, if each layer-making company points out the holes in the other layers, so as to be able to claim that theirs is the most important, it does not help... >_>

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