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* Posts by ratfox

3346 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Trump meets Google – exclusive transcript

ratfox
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Sounds about right

I understand that there's going to be way more than just Google at the meeting, and by and large people who came out against Trump. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

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Look out, Brussels: Google's moving the goalposts, barks price comparison rival

ratfox
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Re: Interesting idea

The problem comes when Google lists the ad at the top of the page, with a great big hyperlink, and has a very small [ad] tag listed at the start of the site description.

Which is why I started my post by If Google marks these results as ads and separates them clearly from search results. The point being that if those are clearly ads, it stops being a competition problem.

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ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Interesting idea

I'm not quite following Foundem's arguments, but from what I understand, Shopping results are just ads.

If Google marks these results as ads and separates them clearly from search results, doesn't that solve the competition problem? On one side, you would have organic results, where Google must not favour its own products in any way. And on the other side, you have ads, where Google has every incentive to favour the highest bidder. If they put ads for their own product, they lose the money from other advertisers; which is equivalent to Google outbidding other advertisers on its own ad network. Sounds fair?

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Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube team to ID terror content

ratfox
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Happy

"Google-shaped hole"

FYI: YouTube is part of Google, and that's where Google has most of its user-generated content.

Unless you're worried about the terrorists proselytizing on Google+? <snicker>

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Apple Watch sales go over a cliff: Down 2.8 meellion per quarter in a year

ratfox
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Looks like everybody who could be convinced to buy a smartwatch has already done so... And it's apparently not something people are willing to buy every year.

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Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

ratfox
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Done on purpose

Looks to me like there was a disagreement between the presenter and the camera operators. The recording started before he was ready, and the presenter wanted to restart the recording. The operators didn't want to do it again, so he deliberately said fucking hell to make the recording unusable, just so they would have to restart.

And then, the annoyed operators forgot to do their job of cutting the first part. Or maybe, possibly, they called his bluff... Because in the end, he's the one who ends up looking stupid.

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Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

ratfox
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Devil

Re: "Blackstone ... employs six times as many people as Google"

I'm not sure what this means: Wikipedia says (I know, I know) that Blackstone has about 2'000 employees.

Now it may be that companies bought/controlled by Blackstone have in total hundreds of thousands of employees. I'd hesitate to say that Blackstone created those jobs, though.

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

ratfox
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Trollface

Power-crazed scientists create unnatural species!!1!

A group of so-called "scientists", in a futile attempt to deny the majesty of God's creation, have done the unthinkable. These individuals, whose funding should immediately be rescinded, have created in their unspeakable experiments a chimera-like living creature. Disturbingly, they are now claiming that their despoliation of the God's work was somehow the result of a "natural process".

Given that the perpetrators have admitted their crime against God's order, and have even published it in a scientific journal, the news of their arrest by the Spanish inquisition is unexpected any time soon.

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Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

ratfox
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Pint

Machine learning seems the tend of the year. I should start a drinking game.

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Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

ratfox
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Re: Consumer Watchdog?

Consumer Watchdog is a recent org based in California. So far, I mostly noticed them complaining about Google, but it seems they have expanded their field of activity to Tesla.

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No spoilers! Norway won't tell Snowden if US will snatch him on a visit

ratfox
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If I was Snowden, I wouldn't push my luck either...

Then again, if I was him, I'd still be working as a contractor for the NSA.

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Experts to Congress: You must act on IoT security. Congress: Encourage industry to develop best practices, you say?

ratfox
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Devil

The S in IoT is for security

There's many years of wild West to come.

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Google and Facebook pledge to stop their ads reaching fake news websites

ratfox
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Do people want to be lied to?

Sometimes I wonder. People are known to be irrational.

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Google: If you think we're bad, you should take a look at Apple

ratfox
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WTF?

Google is very hard-line anti-Muslim? Since when?

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The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?

ratfox
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Funny though how the same people consistently bought those items made in Mexico, and declined to buy items made in America, for even the tiniest price differences...

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Amazon guarantees bitterly contested Ohio wind farm project

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

I never understood why people oppose wind farms. They do not pollute or even smell bad, unlike practically any other rural development.

The only argument I've heard which I could technically accept is that they spoil the scenery. I personally disagree (I find them quite decorative), but it's a question of taste. I still don't think it justifies such acrimonious opposition.

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Uber, Lyft drivers shamed for 'racial bias' by uni eggheads

ratfox
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I always thought the incentives of taxi drivers were skewed. The longer the ride, the more they get paid.

Now, with technology, this can finally be fixed: given a trip and traffic condition, Uber can set in advance what is the price of the ride. You could even subtract a bit of it takes too long!

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

ratfox
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Cul-de-sac is the word that naturally comes to my mind for a dead end. It took me an effort to find synonyms like impasse and voie sans issue. Impasse is certainly the word which is used whenever naming a street, though. Voie sans issue is a description rather than a name.

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EU announces common corporate tax plan

ratfox
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Sounds good

In theory at least. It's going to be much less interesting to shop around for lower taxes when all the taxes are similar. The loopholes are not going to disappear though.

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Exit through the Gift Shop? US copyright chief was assigned to shop till, tweeting

ratfox
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Pallante had sought to modernise (PDF) the post, taking the Copyright office out of the orbit of the Librarian Congress, and making the post a direct Presidential appointee.

That would have made sense... Maybe? Offices that are controlled by Congress seem to get often threatened with losing their budget when their decisions displease the current majority.

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EU ruling restricts rights to resell back-up copies of software where originals are damaged, destroyed or lost

ratfox
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Easy

Request a backup copy as soon as you buy the software, and use it. Keep the original in a safe.

This is what soldiers do: they receive equipment, which they must prove on demand to be clean and well taken care of. They don't use it, buy their own which can be as dirty as they want.

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US DNC hackers blew through SIX zero-days vulns last year alone

ratfox
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Well, that certainly gives some credibility to the claim it's a state actor.

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Meanwhile, in America: Half of adults' faces are in police databases

ratfox
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Unhappy

I'm pessimistic

I believe that "technology cannot be stopped". It will eventually be so easy to scan and identify people that almost anybody will be able to build a fairly comprehensive database of everybody's face.

With internet, the world is becoming a global village — and like in any village, everybody knows who you are and what you are doing, you have no anonymity, and it's impossible to hide.

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Swisscom claims world's first G.fast broadband service

ratfox
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Windows

Re: What is G.fast?

Yeah sure, it's just I like articles to be somewhat self-contained.

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ratfox
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What is G.fast?

I was hoping the article would define the term, but...

Not that it concerns me. Swisscom already has fiber to my place.

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Who killed Cyanogen?

ratfox
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Headmaster

Re: "try to leverage its market power"

Rather than simply "use", the meaning of "leverage" is that you obtain much larger in return than what you exert. It is the standard expression used in sentences containing monopoly or market share.

It's the kind of words that makes lawyers go wobbly in the knees.

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ratfox
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Trollface

But in 2014, Google scaled back Google+, and Facebook snuffed out Graph Search.

Not sure there was a need for a secret deal for this to happen, seeing as Google+ and Graph Search were both resounding failures...

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Facebook is writing a Mercurial server in Rust. This is not a drill

ratfox
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Trollface

Git is great

I never had a problem using it since I found the man pages on the web.

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Spain's iPhone killer actually a rebranded Xiaomi – new claim

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Is that illegal?

Buying stuff cheap and selling them more expensive after a lick of paint is a well-established business practice... Maybe it comes into false advertising?

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Apple's car is driving nowhere

ratfox
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When it comes to the key factors that car buyers look for - reliability, performance and comfort

Citation needed, especially for performance. Despite what car advertising look like, most people don't give a shit about driving faster than 130 km/h, which is anyway illegal when not in Germany.

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Google has unleashed Factivism to smite the untruthy

ratfox
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I'm wondering how many people believe Trump when he says Obama created ISIS.

I'm aware that Trump meant that Obama's policies allowed or partly caused the rise of ISIS, but I'm wondering how many of his supporters believe that Obama directly created it.

I guess it's a version of Poe's law.

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Bits of Google's dead Project Ara modular mobe live on in Linux 4.9

ratfox
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ARA isn't dead

It's pining for the fjords!

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Pound falling, Marmite off the shelves – what the UK needs right now is ... an AI ethics board

ratfox
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Pure comedy

methods are required to verify that AI systems are operating in a transparent manner, to make sure that their behaviour is not unpredictable, and that any decisions made can be explained

Wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder!

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Google DeepMind 'learns' the London Underground map to find best route

ratfox
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As noted, there are efficient algorithms for doing this fast. I can only assume that the reason this is news is because no algorithm was involved, just randomness.

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Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

ratfox
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How is it happening now?

If a car driver decides to save his hide and run over pedestrians, do they get prosecuted? I doubt it. Egoism is usually a valid defense. Cowardice is only a crime when facing the enemy.

Until humans solve the problem themselves, I don't see how we can expect cars to do it for us.

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'Facebook and eBay need to be subject to greater scrutiny' - Margaret Hodge

ratfox
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Well fix the law then

You're in luck, soon you won't have to convince the rest of Europe anymore.

In principle, I understand why having to pay tax in every single country where they do business would be a prohibitive cost for small companies, and I assume that's the (official) reason why the rules were written in this way.

I am not convinced that the politicians who wrote the rules could not predict global corporations taking advantages of those rules. In particular, I believe that the UK politicians thought this was going to be a boon for UK and its low corporate tax, and they just felt totally betrayed when corporations chose dirt-cheap Ireland instead of London.

Maybe the rules could be amended in some sensible way, forcing companies to pay taxes in countries where they have a sizable workforce?

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Can Facebook influence an election result?

ratfox
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Re: Do the math(s)

There is related quote from Mark Twain:

"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist"

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WikiLeaks claims 'significant' US election info release ... is yet to come

ratfox
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Trollface

Re: "These are people who are tormented by their ambitions."

I'd say it takes one to know one...

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Swansong for Rosetta as it lands on the duck-shaped comet

ratfox
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Angel

So...

Do you think we deflected it?

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EU turns screws on Android – report

ratfox
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Re: And Apple?

Neither is Android really. If you don't want an Android phone you don't need to have one. If you walk into any phone shop they'll sell you non Android phones.

I think the argument is that for phone manufacturers, Android is a monopoly. And if you're not Apple, it's rather correct that Android is the only way you can survive these days.

Though I'm not sure how it makes sense that 1) Google Search is a monopoly & 2) Google is leveraging their Android monopoly to force phone manufacturers to use Google Search. Surely if 1) is true, then 2) is unnecessary.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

ratfox
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Re: no micro-sd, no removable battery

Really? It seems to me removable battery and SD cards have become niche markets, really. I'd be surprised to learn that more than a few percents of users want them.

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EU's YouTube filter plan was revised '37 times'

ratfox
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Re: The future

I actually think that it's the small players who gain from the current situation. Look at what happened in Spain when Google closed Google News because they refused to pay for snippets. Traffic to news sites went down overall, but big sites saw an increase in market share, because people flock to them since they're famous brands. The small players got completely killed, though.

The big players would likely say this is a good thing, because they regard small players as cheap and low-quality. Springer essentially have that argument against news aggregator: it forces them to compete for eyeballs with two-bit outfits who cannot offer quality journalism. It might be partly correct, but that would mean we need to protect big news organizations, not small players.

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Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

ratfox
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Terminator

In 2016, the first signs of the war became noticeable...

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Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

ratfox
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Re: Could get interesting

The question is, will people want to use Oracle's software, no matter how good it is? They don't seem to have that many happy customers.

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Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

ratfox
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Re: Only in US

Governments can have legal monopolies, have law enforcement and law making authority. They can also subsidize a service and undercut the prices of private business at the expense of the local taxpayers.

The situation here is rather that the government is the only entity willing to provide the infrastructure (and the local taxpayers are willing to pay for it), because private businesses do not want to provide it for such a low ROI.

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iPhone 7's Qualcomm, Intel soap opera dumps a carrier lock-out on us

ratfox
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CDMA isn't dying

It's still more or less stable in the US, along with the Verizon market share, unfortunately. But it's nice that Intel is ignoring CDMA. Hopefully, this will bring down the price of other technologies, and help kill the abomination.

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Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

ratfox
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"The conduct occurred in the United States"

Is that correct? Was Lauri Love physically in the US at the time? Or is it rather that "the computer was in the US"?

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Audi works with Chinese technology companies to develop intelligent cars

ratfox
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Devil

The world is changing

Maybe at some point, people will stop thinking that innovation can only happen in Silicon Valley.

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

ratfox
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Mushroom

Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

ratfox
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Re: Mansfield bars

Actually, Mansfield bars are also mandatory on the sides of trucks in Europe.

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