* Posts by ratfox

3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

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

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

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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

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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

ratfox Silver badge
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.

ratfox Silver badge
Meh

I'm not sure that returning people to places to which they've had no connection for decades can be regarded as anything other than xenophobic vindictiveness.

I don't think it's vindictiveness; it's just that the country prefers not to have to take care of these people.

Of course, that's a huge problem for the people involved, but the fact they are not citizens precisely means that, technically, the country does not have to care: "I fail to see how that is my problem. Goodbye."

ratfox Silver badge
Angel

i am wondering about unintended consequences

Countries often consider immigration as a source of cheap labor for doing jobs that the current citizens don't want to do.

If a country only lets in highly-educated immigrants, won't the locals become the second-class people who do all the crappy jobs and are looked down upon by the recent arrivals?

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.

Elon Musk offered no salary, $55bn bonus to run Tesla for a decade

ratfox Silver badge

Doesn't he hold so much stock in the company that he will make this much just by raising the market cap? Why the need for additional bonuses?

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec

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Boffin

Re: Maybe I missed something, but...

It's a unit in which various fractions of a second can be represented. If you want a unit in which both 1/24 and 1/25 seconds are integers, you need something that is 1/600 seconds or smaller. As you add more and more fractions you want to represent, your unit becomes smaller and smaller. At that point, you already need an int64 to store anything useful, so you might as well add a few zeroes just to be sure you'll never need more.

It's like amounts of money tend to be stored in micros of currency unit, not because you care about a micropound, but because you want to be sure never to need more precision than is available, and by the time you need that precision, you don't want to recode everything.

Sili-spurned Valley! No way, San Jose! Amazon snubs SF Bay Area in search for HQ2 city

ratfox Silver badge
WTF?

Some of them sound downright unlikely. Washington DC? How is that a good city for a tech company? It's a hellhole you only live close to because you're working for the federal government. I'd also bet against Newark, New-York, Miami or Boston, seeing as they want a lot of cheap space. I think cities like Denver stand a good chance.

Destroying the city to save the robocar

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Obviously the solution is....

Have you seen Wall-E?

UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

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Facepalm

Technology can solve more and more complicated problems, but...

Now that we have technology, we can demand that Just Eat provide temporary means of communications between restaurants, their delivery people and customers! The delivery person can carry a smartphone with a secure app sending properly authenticated messages to a web interface provided by Just Eat, who will then relay the messages securely to the customer. The delivery person never gets the contact information of the customer, and All Is Well.

Except that well, you know, the delivery person necessarily needs to receive the name and address of the customer. In order to deliver. Let's invent a complex system which ensures safe deliveries, protecting the anonymity of the customer through a complex system of go-betweens which shall have appropriate levels of authorizations separated by double-blind communication channels!

Or maybe we shouldn't be so anal about private data. Delivery people have had the name, address and phone number of customers for many years, and the privacy issues can mostly be solved by a simple rule that if you call the customers for anything unrelated to work you get fired. I am not convinced that this system is broken or needs fixing.

Q: How do you get YouTube to stop funneling ads to your vids? A: Make jokes next to a dead body

ratfox Silver badge
Meh

What I don't get is...

why did people ever watch this guy?

The fact that he was "punished" for going too far is actually encouraging; but I really can't understand why channels like this one and PewDiePie become popular.

US House reps green-light Fourth Amendment busting spy program

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Pint

It appears he posted his first tweet immediately after a Fox News analyst said that the vote was a bad idea.

For somebody who does not drink alcohol, Trump acts very much like a drunkard.

Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

ratfox Silver badge

I feel most of the criticism is short-sighted. People playing chicken with self-driving cars, for instance, could already do that. For some reason, they don't though. And self-driving cars could very well eventually learn how to go forward very slowly in gridlock situations in a way that solves the Holborn problem.

It seems to me all of these criticisms could have been said in the 1920s to explain how cars could never be used for transportation at scale.

Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

ratfox Silver badge

Well realistically, there's not much governments can do, short of banning Facebook et al. They could maybe offer an ultimatum and a limit date, like starting from 2020, no private information is allowed to leave the continent, or your service is banned. But I'm not sure that if push came to shove, they would have the balls to actually go through with it.

Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Oh how El Reg is fallen

It was well argued, moderate and does not contain any of the sentiments indicated in the El Reg article.

I could agree that it does not contain those sentiments, but I have to disagree with well-argued and moderate.

The thesis of the paper is that women make choices that are different from men, because they are on average biologically different from men. The conclusion is that Google should stop their diversity efforts, and not make their employees follow anti-bias training.

The paper does not claim that the biological differences are significant enough to explain all or even most of the difference in results between men and women. The paper does not give any argument that bias does not exist. The paper does not explain why the status quo is optimal and should be left as is. Without these arguments, all that's left of the paper is the conclusion that the author wanted to reach, and a single factoid that generally goes in the right direction.

This is in fact rather similar to what right-wing comments accuse the global warming argument from being: A single explanation (carbon pollution) is given for an effect (temperatures are going up); all other explanations are dismissed, and the conclusion is imposed.

Completely omitted: Diversity means racial diversity as well as gender diversity. It is well-documented that resumes wearing names that sound African-American are rejected more often than those wearing names that sound white. This is not only unfair, it reduces the pool of candidates to hire from, which means it is detrimental to businesses. Which is why businesses want their employees to follow anti-bias training. There is not a single word in the article that contradicts this; yet the article somehow concludes that Google should stop its efforts to raise diversity, and again that includes racial diversity just as much as gender diversity.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Where are the women in tech jobs?

However it does strike me that discriminating in *any* way when recruiting is just plain dumb -- "positive discrimination" just means you've a much smaller candidate list.

Depends who you are and how you do it, actually. Google is pretty much known to everybody, so their candidate list is everybody. But they also organize Anita Borg scholarships and participate to events encouraging women to work in tech in general and at Google in particular.

On the other hand, if your recruiters are calling 50 new graduates a day, that's how many candidates you get. What difference does it make if they call the women first?

ratfox Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Funny how...

Those hippies who take gender studies instead of real qualifications, end up unemployable...

...and work for Google.

Like the Schrödinger immigrants who never work and take our jobs.

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Translation

Yeah, it's like the men who complain about the women's rights movement, because the men's rights movement doesn't get nearly as much attention.

UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

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When I was 6, I received from the school an official reference textbook, whose very first illustration was full frontal nudity of a man and a woman.

Is UK generally more prude than the rest of Europe, or is it just a small fraction of vocal prudes pushing this through?

Long Island Iced Tea Corp renamed itself to Long Blockchain – and its shares went bananas

ratfox Silver badge

TIL that ice tea companies can be listed on NASDAQ. Being a tech company is not a requirement, it's just common.

Twitter's not dreaming of a white supremacist Xmas: Accounts nuked

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Angel

Well, it's apparently illegal for the US government to do it... So society at large must find other ways to separate themselves from people they don't like.

French gov files €10m complaint: Claims Amazon abused dominance

ratfox Silver badge
Meh

€10M is unlikely to impress Amazon. Should be a a couple of hours of revenue...

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

ratfox Silver badge

Meanwhile, governments are explicitly asking Google (among others) to police the internet, hide content encouraging terrorism/hate speech/copyright violations.

We're on a very thin path, and we don't know where it's going.

Oi, force Microsoft to cough up emails on Irish servers to the Feds, US states urge Supremes

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Black Helicopters

Looks like a market opportunity...

for mail servers owned and operated by companies outside the US.

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Prefer authentication on the front of the phone

The iPhone sensor is a little bit too low for me to reach with my thumb (If I hold the phone by the bottom half, I always feel it's going to fall from my hand). So when I'm reaching for the phone in my pocket, I prefer the back sensor. But yeah, the front sensor is more convenient if the phone is lying on the table.

If the sensor can be under the screen, then they can put it in the middle of the screen, where it is easiest to reach. Or maybe they could put it on the side.

US authorities issue strongly worded warnings about crypto-investments

ratfox Silver badge

Re: Bitcoin fees

I refer @ratfox to previous posts on the subject, listing a long history of global gullibility, including black tulips, south sea bubbles, the Wall Street Crash and Welsh silver and lead mines.

For all of these, there was at least a claim that these things had intrinsic worth, or eventually were going to have one. The claim was wrong, but it existed.

To answer the incoming choir of voices about fiat money: Even for fiat money, there is an implicit assumption that the country issuing the money has an interest in having a semi-stable currency. For instance, the US government could technically pay their debts in one day by printing a single bill of $5 trillions and giving it to the Chinese. They're not doing it, because it would crash their economy into the stone age (along with most of the world). That's why people keep US instead of Zimbabwean dollars.

For Bitcoin, there is nothing of the sort. Under all the complex cryptography algorithm ensuring various interesting features, you are literally buying a number in a finite list. It is very much like fiat money, except that the country is only made of people who happen to be currently working with bitcoin, and any of them can leave that country at any time without losing anything. As long as everybody does not leave at once, Bitcoin keeps existing.

ratfox Silver badge

I find the whole thing fascinating. Whether Bitcoin goes even higher, manages to keep its value or crashes back, history is being made. As a social experiment, it's almost unbelievable.

Archive of 1.4 billion credentials in clear text found in dark web archive

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Meh

The issue for me is that "correct horse battery staple" is too long. I already type my current 9-character password wrong roughly 10% of the time; with 28 characters it'd become a real pain.

UK lacks engineering and tech skills to make government's industrial strategy work – report

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Paris Hilton

How about raising salaries? They're kind of low in UK, especially compared to the price of living in London...

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