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* Posts by RyokuMas

1293 posts • joined 29 Oct 2009

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Google aims disrupto-tronic ray at intercoms. Yes, intercoms

RyokuMas
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Devil

Ok Google...

... here's all the data on our day-to-day routine at home, and when we're regularly out.

Over my cold dead corpse.

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Greenhouse gas-sniffing satellite to be built and tested in Britain

RyokuMas
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Joke

Awesome!

They can test that it works by having an MP talk at it.

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Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

RyokuMas
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Re: I am not at all sure Android is more "slurpy"

Microsoft are playing catch-up on the slurping game, so I think it's a pretty safe bet.

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RyokuMas
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Boffin

Re: Horsecrap

"Android security problems are pretty much non existent.."

In 2003, the vast majority of applications installed (legitimately) on a Windows PC were still installed from physical media. The "internet" was still a relatively new territory, and Microsoft - in their usual style - were completely wrong-footed when it came to the challenges that this might bring, namely the ability to piggy-back viruses and other nasties onto the back of emails, attachments etc that could then propagate themselves across networks and via email by plundering address books.

Fast-forward to 2017, and the benefit of over a decade of experience. Android was built with a connected world in mind, and as a result is fundamentally more secure to the attack vectors that plagued early 2000s Windows PCs. However, if you want to install any software on Android, your options are either to get it from the Play store, or turn on sideloading capabilities and download it from another source. This latter option is considered risky, to the point where the argument has been posed to remove the ability. And the former option? Well,

I'll just leave this here...

In short, the attack targets have moved on in accordance with direction technology has taken, based on profit and easy of access - and considering that it costs a mere $25 to submit as many apps as you want to the store of the highest-market-share mobile OS, coupled with said store's front-line policing being purely algorithmic, it is not surprising that, to quote, "It's 2017 and you can still pwn Android gear with [insert attack vector here]".

Security is, and always will be, a consistent predator-prey type chase - and anyone who claims that a system's security problems "are pretty much non existent" is either using something that is completely disconnected from everything, or has drunk the cool-aid of their vendor of choice.

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How do you like them Apples? Farewell sensible sized fones, forever

RyokuMas
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I miss my Nokia 1100 - fitted snugly in my pocket next to my wallet.

Recently, my phone took a swandive, forcing an "upgrade" to an iPhone 6. Sitting down has become an exercise in caution.

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Google's answer to the Pixel 2 XL CRT-style screen burn in: Lower the brightness

RyokuMas
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Copycat...

So not content with copying Microsoft, Google now feel that they have to copy Apple...

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KRACK whacked, media playback holes packed, other bugs go splat in Android patch pact

RyokuMas
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Trollface

Re: Close to driving me back to iOS.

"MS rolled out patches regardless of make of phone"

Oh, but rolling out updates without allowing the user to choose whether or not is bad - just look at any thread about Windows 10 updates...

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Transparent algorithms? Here's why that's a bad idea, Google tells MPs

RyokuMas
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Devil

There are few things I trust less that the UK government, and Google is right up there at the top of that list - at least we get to elect our government every 4-5 years.

So in this case, I have to go with the lesser of two evils...

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It's 2017 and you can still pwn Android gear with Wi-Fi packets – so get patching now

RyokuMas
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Joke

It's 2017...

... and El Reg have swapped "Windows" for "Android" in their "you can still pwn [placeholder]" title generator...

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Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

RyokuMas
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Devil

A Cease and Desist solution would mean that results from bona fide vertical search companies would appear in the search results. Foundem says Google is lobbying furiously to avoid this.

If what Foundem claim is true, then this proves beyond any doubt that Google has abandoned all pretences of being about providing the best search results in favour of showing what they want us to see ie: what will make them the most money.

... round we go again. Let's just hope that the courts have enough power and sense to stamp on this and bring Google to heel.

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Google, Twitter gleefully spew Texas shooter fake news into netizens' eyes

RyokuMas
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... the biz is still refusing to accept its responsibilities and obligations as a de facto publisher.

That's because Google is, was and always will be an advertising company. It doesn't care if what it shows is factually accurate, as long as it generates clicks that can be tracked and/or earn revenue.

The problem we now face is what can be done about this. Google's potential to control information is on a level where they can effectively ignore this responsibility, should they so desire - between lobbying power, friends in the right places and a legal team that can tie process up in knots for years, it will take someone with a huge level of clout - as in EU or US government - to bring them back under control.

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

RyokuMas
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Fine...

I'll have a tenner's worth of shopping and £250 cashback, please...

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RyokuMas
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Re: Also, in an increasing surveilance society

"If you can't scratch a window with it"

Great, if I ever owe you money, you're getting it in pennies... :P

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Holding it wrong...

"If you look at an OLED display off-angle..."

They're even bloody admitting to it!

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HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

RyokuMas
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FAIL

Re: "entitled fanboi."

"We know you have a beef with Google because, for you, IOS users are much more profitable.""

And therein lies the crunch - the assumption that because I have posted something against Android, I am by default an iOS user (an "entitled fanboi").

I have a beef with anyone who abuses a position of power for their own gain at the expense of the masses. If an article raises how Apple have done something stupid, for their own gain at the expense of their users, or out of sheer hubris, I'll slate Apple. Same with Microsoft, or anyone else.

Right now (and I'll be the first to admit it) Google are getting the lions share of such comments from me - simply because by their position as the defacto search provider, they have an unprecedented level of power over how people use their computers. Google put a link on their results page with wording "A faster way to browse the web" - and all of a sudden, their Chrome browser is #1 - coincidence? An entire industry - SEO - has grown up based on trying to make web pages more appealing to Google; similarly, there are divisions and dedicated agencies with SEO's mobile counterpart (user acquisition) dedicated to making things as favourable as possible to Play services.

At the same time, Google is trying to get us all to use their own proprietary extension of markup on webpages, having already effectively taken over what was originally an open source mobile operating system by closely coupling their services with it. And all the time, they are acting with more hubris ("don't be evil" is long gone) and trying to hide behind a mask of benevolence.

Of course, if you are happy going round the same cycle with Google as we did with Microsoft about 15-20 years ago - or worse, reaching a state where Google is actively controlling the content you see and thereby influencing the actions you take (remember - Chrome is now the #1 browser), then that's your bag.

(Ironically, upon trying to submit this, I was asked to complete a Capcha - the first time I have seen it on El Reg. You know, the one that by clicking the checkbox, you agree to a bunch of Google's T&Cs...)

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RyokuMas
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Paris Hilton

"entitled fanboi."

Ah, the ad hominem approach - first resort of those without a decent counter argument.

I never said anyone doesn't have the right to use the internet - even Donald Trump has the right to use the internet, more's the pity.

And I'm pretty sure Google does do lots of testing to make sure that approvedappropriate content is served for each region.

But say you were running a business and had the option of focusing your marketing effort either on individuals with a disposable income of (say) £100/month, or £1000/month (hypothetical figures to make a point here) - which would you choose to put the most effort into?

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RyokuMas
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Devil

"... but curiously Google has revived it, not for sub-$100 phones, but for mid-rangers in mature markets, like the HTC U11 Life, announced today..."

Makes perfect sense if you think about it - Google is first and foremost an advertising company, whose goal is to get you to buy stuff. If you're looking at the market that's buying landfill Android, the chances are that they won't have too much disposable cash to spend on the stuff that's being advertised.

Much more sensible to try and track/control an audience that is in a position to respond to those efforts.

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Google AMP supremo whinges at being called out on team's bulls***

RyokuMas
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Devil

AMP is basically the first step on the slippery slope that leads from SEO to content control. Now not only do you have to have all the Google-approved tags and trackers on your page in order to hit those the top spots on the results page (the only ones that 90-odd percent bother with), but now on mobile, you have to present your content in the way Google want, using their proprietary, non-standard markup.

Meantime you also have Google trying to dictate what ads you can and cannot see - again, another step on that slippery slope towards controlling and censoring what we can and can't see on the internet.

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Google emits tools to make cross-platform HTML apps less tragic

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

The UX angle...

"building, releasing, and maintaining native apps for both iOS and Android"

iOS users like their apps to looks like iOS apps. Android users like their apps to look like Android apps.

A web app is usually some nasty frankenstein thing that looks like neither and often requires a degree of "wtf?" to work out the differences between how it works and the native functionality of the device. And that's before needing some always-on connectivity.

Of course Google want us all using web apps instead of native - a few extra lines of javascript (the lack of which will probably have a negative impact on the web-app's discoverability) and presto! They can track the end user's every activity.

And as for separate native apps for each OS - have cross platform development tools been conveniently overlooked, or are we still in the dark ages here?

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How to make your HTML apps suck less, actually make some money

RyokuMas
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Devil

"... while outdoing them in terms of discovery and distribution"

... provided you bend over and take it from Google in order to feature anywhere near the top of their search rankings. Which probably involves adding their tracking and tagging, and hell, their proprietary, non-standard extension to the base set of HTML.

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Google slides text message 2FA a little closer to the door

RyokuMas
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Big Brother

Re: embrace... extend... bloat?

Because those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

As with Microsoft around 20 years ago, Google has achieved a massive land-grab in an area that has grown to an essential part of how we use computers - they are now using this position to try and leverage control is as many areas as possible, including astroturfing, FUD-spreading and all the other dubious tactics that we saw the best part of two decades ago.

The worrying part in this is that where Microsoft looked to control our PCs and the applications we ran, Google is wants to control the flow of information both too and from us - to know as much as possible about who we are and what we do, and let us see what they want us to see. I can see a time coming when nobody dare oppose Google, lest information on any of their past misdemeanours suddenly rise to prominence on web search results - or possibly a more public airing of their dirty laundry, as Google and Microsoft are currently doing to each other.

So yes, you have those that actively support Google (for whatever motivation), and another group who are just simply repeating history.

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RyokuMas
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WTF?

Hmmm....

This feels like yet another attempt from Google to switch people from something well established onto something the can control under the disguise of security and altruism, but given this is to log into a Google account, I cannot see what advantage this would give them...

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National Audit Office: We'll be in a world of pain with '90s border tech post-Brexit

RyokuMas
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Joke

Re: Brexit?

Yeah, the amount of FUD going on from both sides of the Brexit argument are making Google, Microsoft et al look lke rank amateurs!

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Google faces $10k-a-day fines if it defies court order to hand over folks' private overseas email

RyokuMas
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Joke

Re: How nice of them

"It's getting difficult to tell google and microsoft apart these days."

Simple - Google's software has been built with spying in mind from the get-go, Microsoft are trying to retrofit it and that's why we keep getting these updates.

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

RyokuMas
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Re: The Missing Elephant

Started my current job 16 days before my 41st birthday... :P

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Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

"no spyware"

... until you hit a website and those Google analytics kick in...

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RyokuMas
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Re: Start menu

You can lead a zealot to a decision but you can't make him think...

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So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

That's like Jeremy Corbyn saying he's won the election...

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Google isn't saying Microsoft security sucks but Chrome for Windows has its own antivirus

RyokuMas
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Trollface

Viruses... and what else?

Hmmm, so Google is adding something to Chrome that removes "unwanted software" - something that "scans for and cleans potentially harmful applications, specifically the types that negatively impact or target the Chrome browsing experience"

"Unwanted" - by whom, exactly? I know I don't want malware on my PC, but this doesn't specifically state "malware". I don't want software that enables Google (or anyone else) to track me on my PC - will it remove that? I somehow doubt it...

This is typical Google - the front is "we're helping! we're making things better for you!" - but it reality, they are merely tightening their grip over controlling what we see. Not to long ago, we had Google's adblocker, and before that blocking for sites that prompt app installation...

This creeping censorship needs to be stopped, right now. And the only way this will be achieved is to completely separate the various concerns that Google, sorry, Alphabet currently control - just as Microsoft before them were forced to display alternatives to Internet Explorer, so Google search should have to clearly label their own products in search results and present alternatives with the same prominence on the results page - no more "Upgrade your browsing experience!" calls to action at the head of the results page (probably the primary reason why Chrome now leads the browser market share).

Microsoft's control of the desktop is probably the greatest obstacle Google have right now, as when using a PC, the vast majority of people still have to go through a Microsoft product to use a Google one, hence Google's ongoing aggressive efforts to discredit Microsoft, (as opposed to getting their own house in order) - personally, I would not be surprised if the 90-day limit had its roots in anti-competition laws, and Google would be all too willing to disclose earlier if they thought they could get away with it.

They must be laughing their arses off at all the commentards in whose grudges are so deep-rooted that they cannot see what is going on right under their noses...

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Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Re: Fresh air won't fix pissing your Integrity away

"But you won't ever be Facebook or Google Microsoft!"

Thank goodness for that. At least Microsoft started out as a software business rather than an advertising/data collecting business...

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Kubernetes has won. Docker Enterprise Edition will support rival container-wrangling tech

RyokuMas
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Devil

Oh, what a surprise...

Go to Google and search for "docker container orchestration" - every single link above the fold is "kubernetes".

Go to bing or duckduckgo, and it's a mixture of docker, github and "what are containers" - basically, the same links that appear below the fold on Google...

Yet another example the ghoul abusing its dominant position in search to undermine the competition.

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

RyokuMas
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Devil

... and the more they can force you to talk, the more data they can gather...

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Android ransomware DoubleLocker encrypts data and changes PINs

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Better they are reported now than after it has been re-engineered in such a way that it can circumvent Play Store security.

It's very embarrassing how some people either have their heads stuck in the sand over potential security issues... or is this a case of attempted reputation damage limitation?

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It's Patch Blues-day: Bad October Windows updates trigger BSODs

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Deja vu...

Another week, another cocked-up patch...

Every time I read this sort of thing, I wonder just how much downtime it would take to find equivalent tools and get up to speed on a non-windows OS...

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Q. Why's Oracle so two-faced over open source? A. Moolah, wonga, dosh

RyokuMas
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Mushroom

Simples...

Oracle are doing this all wrong - they need to embrace open source...

... literally. Take what they need from open source, contribute to it and wrap it up in a bunch of proprietary support systems so tightly it's almost impossible to decouple without massive functionality loss.

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Hackers nick $60m from Taiwanese bank in tailored SWIFT attack

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Re: Patsy

I'd like to agree, but in my experience, people really are that stupid.

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How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Re: Microsoft is trying very hard to kill itself.

"You only have to look at a current Chromebook to see the future..."

... and yet these are exactly the same people who are bitching about Win10 telemetry. Google's entire business is based on spying on us, it has been pretty much since day one! And people are blindly accepting it! Not even Microsoft achieved that!

Wake up!

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Welcome to the race to the bottom!

"Of the top 30 games on Google Play, 27 apps contained ads and the same number contained in-app purchases. All were free to download and targeted casual gamers."

When faced with this sort of attitude, coupled with an ever-increasing demand for content, is it really such a surprise that game devs are turning to ads to get a return for their hard graft?

Ultimately, it's up to the consumers to reverse this situation - but when even the biggest names in game development get shot down for trying to use the free-trial-paid-full-game model, it does not bode well for the future.

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Lack of "cool"...

Ten years ago, in the pre-iPhone/Android days, Windows Mobile was "the most popular smartphone software in the US"... but it was still Microsoft; it wan't cool.

Had Microsoft done the same thing as they had in the console market and dropped the "Windows" branding, they might have had a better chance... but I guess that was far too sensible an idea.

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Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

RyokuMas
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Joke

Law of averages...

"Re-establishing the Council was a Trump policy."

Well, I guess with the sheer volume of shit policies, there had to be a decent one in there somewhere!

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FCC gives Google's broadband balloons 'experimental license' in Puerto Rico

RyokuMas
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Re: Uh oh

While I the only thing I trust Google to do is be dishonest, I can see a small amount of merit in this project, given the current environment...

(Yep, this link has "anti-adblocker" measures on it, but they're easy to disable).

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Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

You couldn't make it up...

2017 in review:

Microsoft: Hey, we didn't validate our update before rolling it out - top that!

Google: That's nothing - we released the latest version of our mobile OS with a bug that eats all your data - top that!

Apple: Hold my beer...

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DeepMind now has an ethics unit – which may have helped when it ate 1.6m NHS patient details

RyokuMas
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Stop

"At DeepMind, we start from the premise that all AI applications should remain under meaningful human Google's control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes gathering the greatest volume of data possible. We'll buy our way out of any trouble later."

TFTFY

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Man with 74 convictions refused permission to fling sueball at Google

RyokuMas
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Devil

Re: Google Uk does not blah blah

Of course Google UK does not own Google Search - otherwise they'd have to pay UK tax

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Patch your Android, peeps, it has up to 14 nasty flaws to flog

RyokuMas
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Big Brother

Re: And people mock me

"Maybe, just maybe, Apple is better at security?"

Oh no no no no no. You just can't say stuff round here. Repeat the mantra after me:

"Open - good, walled garden - bad. Open - good, walled garden - bad."

Ignore the fact that "Open" these days means "closely tied in with a suite of proprietary support systems that it is almost impossible to operate without."

Conform.

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Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

RyokuMas
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Joke

Wobbly table?

Nerf that - my insomnia's been playing up something rotten these last few weeks, this sounds like a cure!

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'Alexa, play Charlie Bit My Finger.' I can't do that, Dave. No, really

RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Re: Deja vu...

"For the video creator..."

If Youtube were an channel created by Google and contained exclusively content that Google had paid for the use of or commissioned themselves then yes, I would agree.

But it's not - anyone and their mother can load up a video to Youtube.

It would be like if a hosting company started making PCs, then turned round to everyone whose site was hosted on their servers and said "Oh, we're only going to be serving your sites to people using the PCs we've made from now on". Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

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RyokuMas
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Devil

Deja vu...

I'm sure we've seen this behaviour from Google before...

Not that Google would buy out the front-runner of a service, push it to the top of their search results, then once it has the lions share of the market, pull its availability from competitors in other arenas.

Feels a lot like tying to me...

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Google's pay-to-play 'remedy' is warming Eurocrats' hearts

RyokuMas
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Boffin

Re: How about..

"FoundEm & all the other price comparison sites develop their own search engine and make it better than Google"

That's like saying "How about Google develop their own desktop OS and make it better than Windows".

Whether or not Windows is better than Chrome OS is a matter of personal belief and irrelevant - Windows is deeply entrenched in enterprise by virtue of a massive land-grab early on, and to replace it will require changing the minds of those who are used to Windows (this probably explains Google's decision to target the education market - the "hook 'em while they're young" strategy).

Similarly, Google has made the same sort of landgrab in web search - having the best search engine at the time was vital, but ultimately by marketing themselves as the good guys ("Don't be evil") at a time when the dominant Microsoft were being torn a new one over bundling IE, they won the hearts and minds of the devs. Microsoft then missed the boat with the web as a whole, and now we have reached the point where we no longer "search the web" for something - we "google" it.

By controlling search, Google effectively control discoverability and marketing of pretty much anything on the web - their Chrome browser being a prime example. Do you think for one moment that Google will allow a competing service to make any kind of headway in winning over it audience?

Short of some kind of large-scale legal injunction, on a similar level as this one for price comparison, Google will maintain their stranglehold on web search, just as Microsoft continues to have dominance over the desktop OS market. And even then, the chances are if offered a choice of search engine in the same way Microsoft were forced to offer a choice of browser, most people would choose Google as it is what they are used to - just as they did with Internet Explorer post-browser-wars, until Google started splashing "upgrade your browser" links to Chrome all over their search pages.

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RyokuMas
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Facepalm

Meet the new evil, same as the old evil...

So basically, Google shopping - being a "separate entity" - can bid on the slots for Google search page.

... except that Alphabet, parent to the both of these, is one of the top five most profitable companies in the world, with several billion at its disposal to invest in any of its child companies.

Yeah, any competitor to Google shopping is really going to be able to outbid that. And - as previously pointed out - potentially another way to avoid tax.

Google's capacity for evil seems to be rivalled only by the EU admin's capacity to be really stupid.

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