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* Posts by ratfox

3297 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Google is creating a highly personal virtual profile of you accessible to advertisers

Does "accessible to advertisers" mean that Google uses the highly personal profile to choose which ads to show to the users, or does that mean that advertisers can read the highly personal profile of the users?

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If you drop a tablet in a forest of smartphones, will anyone hear it fall?

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Huh?

"As the market has become increasingly dominated by Apple and Microsoft, and consequently more premium-focused..."

Really? I know Windows is doing rather well on tablets, but I wouldn't have thought they were even above Android, let alone dominating the market...

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Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

ratfox
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Re: Haven't updated G Maps for more than a year

There's an option in Google maps to automatically share your location with somebody else (e.g your wife).

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Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

ratfox
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My, my... Cats and dogs living together!

I wonder whether they are trying to convince people who need windows applications, or if it's a competition thing.

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Well, this makes scents: Kotlin code quality smells better than Java

ratfox
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Is it that Kotlin is a better programming language, or is it that people who suck at programming don't use recent programming languages?

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Amnesty slaps Google amid crippled censored China search claims

ratfox
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Don't be evil

But... Money...

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

ratfox
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It's quite funny

In all of Europe, the British are arguably living under the most intrusive surveillance by their own government, even though they're the only country in Europe not to have ID cards.

I would argue that by this point, people are in so many database systems already that you have all the lack of privacy of an ID card system, without any of the advantages...

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The internet's very own Muslim ban continues: DNS overlord insists it can freeze dot-words

ratfox
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Meh

"We want more money"

I don't think there is any process issue that icann cannot address, given enough brown envelopes.

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This is the contract you've been looking for: Pentagon releases JEDI bids

ratfox
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Trollface

Re: Didn't DARPA already do this?

// TODO: Add some kind of security

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2FA? We've heard of it: White hats weirded out by lack of account security in enterprise

ratfox
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Re: Extortionate costs

YubiKey fobs are around $50, I find that a pretty reasonable cost to pay.

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On Android, US antitrust can go where nervous EU fears to tread

ratfox
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Optimistic

It seems you can hardly expect US federal regulators to do anything about big corporations these days. If anything, they seem to be concentrating on preventing state regulators from acting on their own.

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Google Chrome: HTTPS or bust. Insecure HTTP D-Day is tomorrow, folks

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Yay... maybe?

On one hand, yeah security is good.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if the people at Google were completely living in a bubble and did not understand multiple valid reasons for which websites have not switched to HTTPS. I can't even even figure out a dark ulterior motive for Google to do this, but it might simply be out of touch with reality.

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Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

ratfox
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Re: Another Appstore?

Actually, one of the explicit points of the ruling is that manufacturers should be allowed to have the Google Play store on their phone without Google telling them what they're allowed and not allowed to do.

So yeah, the Google Play store is a must on Android phones, but that shouldn't give Google the right to dictate anything.

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ratfox
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Re: competing products and services beyond Google Maps, Google Play Store and Google Search

Google search and Google Maps are not quasi monopolies everywhere. In some countries, like Japan, South Korea and Russia, they are second fiddles.

One of the point is the ruling is that manufacturers should be allowed to make phones with, say, the Google Play store, Here maps (or Open Street maps), and Yandex. Without Google maps, without Chrome, without Google search. Up to now, they couldn't, Because in order to have the Play store, they had to include Chrome and Google search (and possibly Google Maps).

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ratfox
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Re: Some change is inevitable

If I understand correctly, the correct argument as to why Apple hasn't been bothered is: Apple only limits choices on their own products.

Apparently, you can put as many restrictions on your own products, even if this theoretically makes it more difficult for your products to be competitive. On the other hand, it's not allowed if you (Google) put restrictions on other people's (phone manufacturers) products (phones).

Because Apple creates both the software and the hardware of the iPhone, there is no third party who is limited to what they can do.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

ratfox
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Boffin

Re: Apple

It's not about forcing users to buy Android phones. It's about forcing phone makers who want to sell Android phones to include Google apps.

You might say: Nobody would buy Android phones if they didn't contain Google apps! But if so, why does Google force phone makers to include them?

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ratfox
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Re: Where does the fine go?

Users benefit from more competition generating better products. The point of the fine is not to compensate anybody for anything, it's just to force Google to pay attention.

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ratfox
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Re: Choice on Apple?

Apple do their own phones, they can apparently do what they like there. The issue with Google is that they are forcing other companies to do what they want.

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Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

ratfox
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Re: How many repeaters?

Undersea cable was about $7 per meter for the deep sea stuff a few years ago. The real cost is the repeaters that are every 100 to 200 km along the line and used to cost about $1,000,000 each.

If your numbers are correct, the cable costs as much as the repeaters. Since $7 per meter for 100 to 200 km means $700,000 to $1,400,000 of cable between each repeater.

Speaking of which, it got me interested in where repeaters get their power from (the undersea cable includes a power cable, apparently), and how the repeaters work at all (I got as far as "Solid-state amplifiers" and gave up on understanding the rest).

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

ratfox
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Devil

Ignorantia juris non excusat

But you have to pay to know it.

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

ratfox
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Re: Same in Canada

They advertise fiber, but actually that's a fib.

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Tim? Larry? We need to talk about smartphones and privacy

ratfox
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Facepalm

Hanlon razor applies

The reason Apple appears in that reference is that somebody did a search-and-replace on the letter for Google to create the letter for Apple. They even botched the job because the quoted title does not correspond to the URL...

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FBI for the Apple guy: Bloke accused of stealing robo-car tech

ratfox
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Happy

Xiaolang is said to be looking to wash its hands of the matter, denying all knowledge of Zhang's plans

That would be quite an accomplishment, considering Xiaolang is his first name, and Zhang his last name.

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Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

ratfox
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a couple of people I know, including my girlfriend, have no caller ID for good reason.

I'm curious; what's the good reason? Why would you call someone if you're not willing to let them know who you are?

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iPhone 8 now outsells X, and every other phone

ratfox
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Luxury vs volume

The iPhone X is a super expensive luxury item people buy to show how much money they have. It is not surprising it is not the best-selling item; but that doesn't make it a failure.

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ICANN't get no respect: Europe throws Whois privacy plan in the trash

ratfox
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Pint

Good for regulators

Couldn't happen to a nicer ineffective and corrupt organization.

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European Parliament balks at copyright law reform vote

ratfox
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Does this only cover the article 13 about filtering user content, or also the article 11 about press ancillary rights?

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Uh-oh. Boffins say most Android apps can slurp your screen – and you wouldn't even know it

ratfox
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Angel

Re: Purism (real linux based) phones cannot come soon enough

Just saying, Android is Linux-based, too.

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Call your MEP! Wikipedia blacks out for European YouTube vote

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

I'm confused

On one hand, the article says that this would finally stop YouTube from ripping off artists. On the other hand, a lot of people are calling this "Content ID for the web", meaning that everybody would need to have a system similar what YouTube already has. Which would mean that YouTube would just carry on exactly as before.

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Not API: Third parties scrape your Gmail for marketing insights

ratfox
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What's "private email" (unless you're running your own mail server)?

Not sure if serious, but: Private email as opposed to work email.

Many people have an email account provided by their employer, and only use it for work. They have a separate "private" account, which they use for their communicating with friends and family.

Some people even have a "work" mobile phone, and a "private" mobile phone.

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New Android P beta is 'very close', 'near-final' but also just 'early'

ratfox
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Happy

What we do know is that Android P's features were frozen

Android Popsicle it is, then

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

ratfox
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@Charles 9: That's precisely why this law was passed in record time, in order to avoid the same rules being forced through a ballot initiative. They can amend the law much more easily.

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ratfox
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Re: 49 to go

Texas does not have ballot initiatives. About half of US states do not.

Though I'm actually surprised that about half of US states do have ballot initiatives. Based on the ballots I heard about, I assumed only California had them.

It does seem an interesting system! In this case, it was really efficient.

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So... where's the rest? Xiaomi walks away from IPO with less than hoped

ratfox
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Megaphone

Xiaomi the money!!

Honestly, that was such an easy one.

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Go forth and break it: Google pushes NASty Cloud Filestore to beta

ratfox
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Trying to work out comparative costs between AWS, Azure and GCP file storage will require a data scientist/spreadsheet warrior type

I never went for dual class. Is a L9 cleric enough?

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Amazon’s Snowball snowballs as Google's clone gets real and IBM's comes to Europe

ratfox
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Go

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway"

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GitLab's move off Azure to Google cloud totally unrelated to Microsoft's GitHub acquisition. Yep

ratfox
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: How?

"Azure and to a lesser degree AWS"

Sure.

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

ratfox
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One in twenty users?

According to StatCounter, 3.4% of Macs still run Mavericks, and 1.6% are even on Snow Leopard (link).

Then again, StatCounter data has been known to be highly questionable. For instance, they claim Google owns 66% of the search engine market share in Korea (link), and that's... dubious... to say the least.

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So you're doing an IoT project. Cute. Let's start with the basics: Security

ratfox
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Gimp

Nice guys finish last

The problem is that if you take the time to solve the security issues and make sure that you don't access too much data, your project is one generation late to the market. Then you are fighting an uphill battle to grab customers who are all looking for the latest shiny and don't know – or care – about security issues.

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Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

ratfox
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Unhappy

It is unsightly that politicians are trying to shore up their self-esteem by insisting they should talk to a famous person rather than a competent one.

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US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

ratfox
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Angel

Re: Death and Taxes

The American solution is that companies will offer an online service to figure out what is exactly the tax rate for any item sold, depending on the positions of the customer and the store, the type of item, the day of the year, the phase of the moon, etc.

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ratfox
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Megaphone

Re: Er ....

The US sales tax system is a real mess. It would be completely fine if states charged different sales tax, but you have tons of local taxes, city taxes, weird taxes that apply to this side of the street and not the other, and even: Tax holidays, which are periods of a few days during which a certain sales tax is reduced or eliminated... But only for certain items.

For instance, in Connecticut, you don't have to pay the state sales tax if you buy clothes during the third week of August.

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JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

ratfox
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Re: News sites should pay the aggregators.

Overall, aggregators appear to cost content providers significantly.

Then make the aggregators illegal, or force them to pay like Spain did. When Google shut down their news service in Spain, I suspect it was good for the largest media, where people would naturally turn to if they have no aggregator available. On the other hand, it was probably bad for smaller sites.

However, one thing I am certain is: If Google and providers would negotiate a price for showing articles in Google news, the providers would end up paying money for it.

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Microsoft Azure Europe embraced the other GDPR: Generally Down, Possibly Recovering

ratfox
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Re: Title

Some employers know that their employees are posting on the Reg. The employees would like to freely comment, even when they disagree with their employer.

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Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

ratfox
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Happy

Re: Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Precisely! The Chinese cannot get the Google experience, so that's where there is an opening!

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Apple hauled into US Supreme Court over, no, not ebooks, patents, staff wages, keyboards... but its App Store

ratfox
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Really? You are on the App store, owned and controlled by Apple, and there is no way you can buy anything from the app-maker except through Apple. When I am buying on the Playstore, I certainly feel I am buying from Google.

In fact, I am not entirely sure that app makers even know my name. Most of the time, I expect they just receive their percentage payment from Apple and they have no idea who has installed their apps.

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'No, we are not rewriting Office in JavaScript' and other Microsoft tales

ratfox
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Angel

Re: Emacs

Shame there's no good text editor though!

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DeepMind Health told to explain business model, relationship to Google

ratfox
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Wow

That's a pretty tall order, coming from an independent panel appointed by the company itself.

For the health data, it might be enough to just store it in AWS instead of Google? I doubt it's a significant amount of money, and at least, it would calm down the people who think Google will covertly use it for advertising.

I wonder if Oracle could appoint an independent panel that would ask them not to lock customers in!

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Swiss cops will 'tolerate' World Cup rabble-rousers – for 60 minutes

ratfox
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Happy

Re: Sensible

The very end of the document shows that they do have some sense of humour.

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ratfox
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Devil

You should probably see a doctor.

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