* Posts by ratfox

3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results

ratfox Silver badge

[...] will result in his name being plastered everywhere again

Does it? I'm not sure it means that. The injunction could pretty well keep going after the lawsuit is over, even in case of a loss, couldn't it? I'm sure that there are open-ended injunctions.

The loss only means that you will be able to find those websites on Google by looking for his name, whatever that name is, just like you are able to do it now.

Tech giants should take the rap for enabling fake news, boffins tell EU

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Holmes

Re: Too big

they had a duty to build such safeguards into their systems, before they got big

Well actually, the thing is, there is no law forcing those companies to build safeguards. If there was such a law, they'd be getting sued already. What's under discussion is whether they will police themselves, or whether governments will have to write ham-fisted laws forcing them to.

That said, I don't recall big tech ever openly claiming they were too big to be regulated. They might play with the notion, hinting that they'll just leave the country and drop services if regulators attempt to control them; but I've never seen an example where they just go out and use that as an argument. In fact, it'd be pretty stupid of them to do that, because that's precisely the kind of behavior that means regulators should intervene.

ratfox Silver badge
Meh

Thank god for tech giants

Imagine the Internet consisted of small independent services; who would be to blame then?

Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

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Meh

Probably their next paper will be about extracting data from an air-gapped PC by training a camera at the screen while it displays information.

FCC levies largest ever fine: $614m on Verizon (that's about three days of profit for telco giant)

ratfox Silver badge

Broken clock

I was going to say the same.

Note the complete lack of mention of Ajit Pai in the article. Not that I like the guy or his policies, but it would be fair to mention him whenever the FCC happens to be doing the right thing.

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

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Stop

Re: RE: Crossrail

If NASA had had 3GHz onboard computers for Apollo and the shuttles they'd have been able to land a rocket upright too. Fact is, it's still just cheaper to ditch them in the ocean.

Now here you are almost certainly wrong. The computers cost nothing compared to the engines.

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

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Angel

Justice is not always as blind as it should be

I believe that if he had not been such a controversial person, publicly making unpopular business decisions, he might have been treated differently by the legal system, and spent less time in prison.

And it couldn't have happened to a nice guy!

Slack cuts ties to IRC and XMPP, cos they don't speak Emoji

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Angel

There you go

Face Vomiting was approved as part of Unicode 10.0 in 2017 under the name “Face With Open Mouth Vomiting” and added to Emoji 5.0 in 2017.

You're welcome!

Ex-stream action: YouTube slays Zombie horde in AdSense battle

ratfox Silver badge

Looks like there's an opportunity for alternate video hosting websites, by just being a bit more permissive than YouTube...

Though... Everybody who can stay on YouTube will remain on YouTube, because that's where most users are... So you'll end up with all the "edgy" stuff. Why not?

Will the stock market drop Dropbox like it's hot? Numbers say no

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Paris Hilton

such as Apple making iCloud a worthwhile competitor.

I'm not sure how that would make a difference? Dropbox already has plenty of competition from Google and Microsoft, and their products are reasonably worthwhile. Were Apple to somehow decide to wake up from their slumber, I doubt they'd go for the people who would otherwise choose Dropbox.

Google assisting the Pentagon in developing AI for its drones

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Angel

Re: What a disaster

I'm confused. Do you mean that's a good thing they're involved in this project, or a bad thing?

'Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!', says Google as it reveals 72-qubit quantum chip

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Mushroom

@Justthefacts

Relatively few problems have known efficient solutions with a quantum computer, but that isn’t the same at all.

The key point is that a QC can execute at least one NP-hard problem in polynomial time.

No! NO! NO!!1!

There is not, I repeat, not a single NP-hard problem for which we have found an algorithm solving it in polynomial time. Even with a quantum computer.

To quote the Wikipedia article on Quantum Computing: "There is a common misconception that quantum computers can solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time. That is not known to be true, and is generally suspected to be false."

The proof is not constructive, it just says it can be done

The proof is constructive, just impractical.

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Angel

@Destroy All Monsters

No! The class of algorithms efficiently computable by Quantum Computers (i.e. BQP) does NOT include NP-hard or even NP-complete problems.

To be pedantic: If you can prove your statement, you have a million dollars waiting for you.

I think what you mean is that BQP is not known to include NP-complete problems.

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What's the application?

As I understand it, there's terribly few problems whose known complexity is smaller with a quantum computer. In fact, the only that I know is factorizing large numbers. Which sounds very useful to destroy cryptography, until you remember that elliptic-curve cryptography is not affected, so we can just change algorithms and carry on...

So really, what's the use of quantum computers?

Swiss see Telly Tax as a Big Plus, vote against scrapping it

ratfox Silver badge

Media and information

is not a domain where I would be happy to see a cutthroat free-for-all looking for consumer money. That's how you end up with fragmented networks showing a nice mirror of what their viewers think.

Europe plans special tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon

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Paris Hilton

What companies are forced to sign up?

I mean, the tech giants are all — technically — following the rules as it is. Why would they sign up for an additional tax? Are governments simply going to decide case by case who should pay that tax?

Apart from that, I'm thinking that Apple, Google and Facebook might be fine with a tax on turnover, because they have massive margins. That's probably going to hurt Amazon a lot more, though.

US watchdog just gave up trying to get Google to explain YouTube's huge financial figures

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Its easy enough to explain actually...

I cannot think that storing and serving an exabyte of cat videos comes cheap. Maybe they consider YouTube as a loss leader?

Full disclosh: Facebook to pay shareholders $35m over IPO non-disclosure claims

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The lawsuit probably lost a lot of its bite now that the stock price is four times that of the IPO.

Ohhhh-klahoma! Where Verizon's sweeping legacy down the drain

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Paris Hilton

I need a translation

I read the article, and I knew some of those words, but it's like I'm reading a foreign language. Is this about software-defined networking? I usually get this reaction from articles about software-defined networking.

Apple: Er, yes. Your iCloud stuff is now on Google's servers, too

ratfox Silver badge

I'm not really buying that Google would spy on the data, but in any case I'm pretty sure that Apple is indeed encrypting the data...

Of course, you never know who has the key, and accidents/bug happen. But then again if you worry a lot about your data, you don't use any cloud.

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

ratfox Silver badge
Stop

First, we need the assistants to be able to distinguish what's real and what's TV. I bet the plods won't be too happy to be called from 100'000 different homes at the same time during Dexter reruns.

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

ratfox Silver badge
Meh

Cool

Let's all use a messaging system which charges you by the message!

Jokes aside, I wonder how many people still use SMS by default and don't use or even know about WhatsApp/Messenger. I suspect it's not much. Facebook claimed in 2016 that Messenger and Whatsapp together had three times as much traffic as SMS worldwide. And I'm pretty sure SMS has lost ground since then...

And how many of these are sent from an iPhone to an Android, since that's what iMessage does in this situation?

Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

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Paris Hilton

Incidentally, I've regularly been getting ads on the Reg about Blockchain being the future of the apartment rental industry. Huh?

James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

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Paris Hilton

No, Damore's memo didn't say discrimination isn't a problem.

Oh really? Then why all the biological argument to explain disparities in engineering? What would be the point, if anyway he agreed that women and black people are discriminated against, and that it is a problem?

He was trying to show that the anti-discrimination training at Google was unnecessary, and to support this assertion, he claimed that the differences where due to biological differences rather than discrimination.

The whole biological argument that made people scream so much is irrelevant unless it implies that discrimination is not a problem.

ratfox Silver badge

The issue is that it IS science. It's backed by good quality research, even if you prefer some other supposedly better research.

If your good quality research is contradicted by other good quality research, you're not doing science. Ahem.

That said, no matter how good the science is, it doesn't support Damore's own conclusion that discrimination doesn't exist.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Political correctness

Whatever science he was using did very little to support his conclusion that Google should stop giving their employees training against discrimination.

To begin with, the biology argument he uses, even assuming it helps explaining the disparity between men and women in engineering, does not magically mean that discrimination does not exist. And then, it does absolutely nothing to explain why black people are so rare in engineering.

ratfox Silver badge

Yeah, it's rather that he said their brains make them prefer other jobs. To be clear, that's still controversial, and in my opinion deeply unconvincing, but still, a bit different.

Roses are red, Facebook is blue. Think private means private? More fool you

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Paris Hilton

This reminds me of a student colleague of mine who requested more disk quota, arguing he needed it for his project.

He discovered that "chmod 700 project_data/" doesn't prevent sysadmins from finding the project_data/p0rn/ directory.

Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

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Facepalm

What a time to be alive

Never have governments been so eager to abdicate their responsibilities and push them on private corporations.

No yolking matter: Google Translate cock-up gives Norwegians more than un œuf eggs

ratfox Silver badge
Boffin

Typical confusion when dealing with CJK languages. They group decimals by four instead of three. They have a word for ten thousand, and 15 thousand would be that, and a half...

Tech giants' payouts go to everyone but affected citizens. US Supremes now urged to sort it out

ratfox Silver badge
Boffin

Re: here's a crazy idea...

every victim will have had an hour of their time wasted by whoever bought the list

This particular settlement is not about Google "selling the list of queries" of users. It is about the fact that when requesting a web page, browsers would typically provide as referer the URL of the page the user was coming from. When coming from Google results, that URL used to contain the query.

So website would be able to get, not the list of queries of the user, but the single query which had brought the user to their own web site.

There's a reason the settlement was so low.

Basket case lawsuit: Fancy fruit florists flail Google over rotten ads, demand $200m damages

ratfox Silver badge

At least the Edible Arrangements® Company is getting some publicity that way

I'm not sure they get anything from Google, but they certainly will become a bit more famous.

Rubrik swallows Datos IO, shuffles in distributed DB backup

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Headmaster

FYI: you're thinking of Rubik, not Rubrik

The post is required, and must contain letters.

2017 tablet market trended towards torpor

ratfox Silver badge
WTF?

fine for streaming Netflix [...] I cannot imagine it being used for serious email, social media viewing

When did email and social media become more resource intensive than streaming video??

Here's why online social networks are bad for humanity, the nerds who helped build them tut-tut

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Devil

Nice

They get to have a good conscience — and keep the money!

Why is Bitcoin fscked? Here are three reasons: South Korea, India... and now China clamps down on cryptocurrencies

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Trollface

Re: I am confused

SO IS THE DOLLAR!!1! etc. etc.

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

ratfox Silver badge

Good

I do not trust any of the claims about his physical or mental health, but I am revolted at the idea he should be extradited to the legal equivalent of a banana republic when he can perfectly stand trial here. Which he should, though the UK legal system might decide it's not even worth it.

Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

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Angel

It's funny that the mostly Republican Congress just recently voted to extend FISA. And that news of the memo came out just a few hours after. It's rather comedic... a bit like a people dying seconds after signing a life insurance contract.

Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars

ratfox Silver badge
Paris Hilton

While the above data shows that driverless tech is indeed still a while away from being fully reliable, none of the autonomous vehicle makers that we can think of are claiming to be so, and certainly don't intend to be any time before 2020-ish.

I thought that Waymo was going to start a fully-automated service in Phoenix this year?

Suspicion of villainy leads Facebook to ban cryptocoin ads

ratfox Silver badge
Angel

I've seen a few ads on El Reg about blockchain being the future of the apartment rental industry...

California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

ratfox Silver badge

Still, if you're able to read this article then it's not all bad.

I can report that Internet is still working. Over this side of the pond, that is.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

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Happy

I remember that movie

Somebody call Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones!

Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

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WTF?

Re: What do you mean competitive portfolio?

Now... for the next killer feature for phones

Identity

Apple and Google should work together to standardize a secure method of identifying yourself legally

What the hell are you talking about? The vast majority of countries have an ID card or some other official document which serves this exact purpose. Why would you need a phone for that??

It's like you're claiming we need an app to finally enable us to unlock the door of our home. Killer feature indeed.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: A lesson learnt?

Actually, it should also be noted that Google did not sell all of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91bn. They had already sold another part of the business for $2.6bn; they kept some of the research team; they kept most of the patents and the cash. What's more, by "acquiring" the previous losses of Motorola, they were able to reduce their own taxes for a few years.

As you can read on this most excellent website: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/30/google_motorola_mobility_lenovo_sale/

Trump White House mulls nationalizing 5G... an idea going down like 'a balloon made out of a Ford Pinto'

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Paris Hilton

Wow

The cry of fake news has become somewhat of a knee-jerk reflex, hasn't it?

Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

ratfox Silver badge

The "funny" part is that he's far more likely to get extradited from the UK to the US than if he had gone to Sweden. Maybe it's karma?

Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Does Google really not get it?

The surprising thing is, Google only makes money when people click on ads... And Google makes a shitload of money. So yeah, somewhere, somehow, there must be a lot of people clicking on ads. I don't know who they are either.

As for why people are paying for ads... Well, maybe it's working for them. Or they're stupid. Who knows? In any case, Google is definitely getting it. The money, I mean.

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

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Angel

Re: Reality is Harsh. Milking the Cow is Over

They are honestly subpar anyway

I suppose that's why the CEOs of Google and Microsoft are both Indian immigrants.

Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

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Headmaster

having failed to understand the risk that a private social media rant might become public

Not quite: "having mistakenly posted to his public account a rant that was intended for his corp account"

You want wires with that? Burger King backs, er, net neutrality

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Such a pile of drivel

It should be a job for Congress... Unfortunately, Congress is so dysfunctional nowadays that it can barely manage to keep the lights on.

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