3346 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
At least, emojis are restricted to the written word; they cannot be said aloud like "lol". If internet slang dies out, people will have to find proper words to express themselves.
Of course, we might find ourselves again in this kind of situation: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19991120.
Wall of text alert
I have a confession to make: I'm cynical about laws. I don't believe that laws are written to enforce what is right and just, or balance of crime and punishment, but merely to ensure a functioning society with a minimal amount of trouble.
One of the reasons for my position is that what is considered right and just varies considerably with time and place. Slavery, homosexuality are viewed in a very different light now from two centuries ago. Copyright law is no different.
Copyright law and the content industry are in my view evolving to protect artists in ways appropriate to the current technology. It used to be that possession of an official recording gave you the right to listen to the music it contained. Giving, selling or inheriting the physical object transferred that right. Copying was hard and caused loss of quality, so little needed to be done to stop people from doing it.
Nowadays, since copying without loss of quality has become trivial and widespread, the industry is moving to licensing. You buy the right to listen to the music, with eventual time restrictions. The right cannot be resold or given away. This is becoming both possible and necessary because of the Internet.
The key point is that when an old law is becoming increasingly difficult or impossible to enforce, the solution is not to introduce increasingly complex systems to enforce it. The law does not necessarily represent a moral absolute which must be enforced no matter the cost; it is often merely the most efficient means to an end. If it is not efficient any more, it is more reasonable to change the law in a way that attempts to achieve the same goals, than to turn society upside down to try to keep the statu quo.
Attempting to shame China and India about copyright law does not seem very efficient to me.
Wasn't there some kind of hugely successful campaign getting people to write to the FCC and ask it to introduce net neutrality rules? Could we start a similar campaign to write to Rand Paul and ask him to kindly shut the fuck up? Since he has an election coming up, perhaps he would pay attention to what the people think?
Apple's stratagems to "leak" prototypes of their upcoming devices are getting more and more complex.
As I understand it, German publishers had complete control on how much of their scraped data Google News would display. And they all eventually let Google News display as much as they wanted, because they would lose traffic otherwise.
Google News is just another platform to advertise your web site. Instead of paying money for it, you have to agree to let them display your data for free. But you can hardly complain that you're losing business because your competitors are advertising their product more aggressively than you.
Google News might be especially troublesome for big publishers, since it is not a platform where they can "outspend" their smaller competitors, who seem more willing than them to "pay" for Google News coverage.
That's pretty bad. I understand that Powershell is considered by its users as superior to bash, but at least that's a problem that bash does not have.
I can totally imagine the reasons for which MS would have developed its own rather than going with bash, between the fact bash was considered the competition, that it would have been losing face to adopt it, that they were intelligent enough to create something better, influential enough to get their solution accepted, and so on…
Feels a lot like something Google would do nowadays. MS seems to have grown humble in comparison.
What about Amazon?
Google themselves list Amazon as one of their biggest competitors for online shopping. I'm surprised they are not on the list.
Whenever biologists can't figure out something about an animal, they say it's for mating rituals.
And whenever archaeologists can't figure out something about a civilization, they say it's religious.
Probably because if that's the only explanation they can come up with, well then it must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes has a lot to answer for.
It is a service that will almost certainly upset telcos
> homeopathic store owner
Prison's too good for him.
De mortuis nil nisi bonum
Unless in a court of law, in which case, pile on 'em.
Google does a good job of filtering pornography uploads to YouTube but refuses to apply the much easier technical challenge of filtering unlicensed music or movie uploads to YouTube.
Wait, what? That is exactly what the ContentID system does.
And how is that a much easier technical challenge? Google can rely on users to report porn, because the average Joe knows it when he sees it. That's basically free. To filter unlicensed works, Google must scan and fingerprint every licensed music and movie in the universe and compare them to the the fingerprint of each uploaded video. And from what they claim, 5 hours of video are uploaded to the site every second.
Still don't understand
I still don't understand how the money could have disappeared, when every bitcoin fan claims that it's impossible to steal bitcoin because all transactions are recorded forever.
BWA HA HA HA HA HA
Sounds promising! I hope the newspapers will dig out whatever it is that Sony is trying to hide.
Google doing something altruistic or in the public interest?
That's silly. Google does a lot of stuff for speeding up the web, like this and SPDY, because that is both in its own interest and the public interest.
Re: How many of these are using Google as their address bar?
That's a good point. Maybe The Register can give us the breakdown of how many users coming from Google go to the home page, vs. to an article. Those going to the home page probably googled for "the register" and clicked on the first link.
The publishers in question found that their images and headlines were simply removed from its service, prompting them to accuse Google of blackmail.
It's a little bit hard to make the case that Google should be forced to display their snippets and pay for the privilege. Seems to me, giving the permission to Google should be considered as a cost of doing business, just like marketing. If your competitors pay more for advertising than you do, your sales will suffer from it. And if your competitors allow Google to display their snippets and you don't, your traffic will decrease.
Google News is a place where publishers have to compete for attention. They can refuse to participate, or dictate what Google is allowed to display of their own data, but they can hardly complain that other publishers are willing to go further than them; no more than they can complain about their competitor's bigger marketing budget.
Of course, big publishers might well consider that it's more advantageous for them to just make Google shut down the whole service like in Spain. Users probably then search for news on the biggest websites, to the detriment of smaller ones.
Re: I didn't know a court could compel a company to divulge a trade secret.
Not a court; a government. Though my understanding is that the French Senate is a bit of a joke, and has far less power than the Assemblée Nationale, the lower chamber.
It's a bit funny that they want the link to three competitors. I suppose the competitors will not be forced to the same.
But it's very funny that they want Google to reveal their algorithm. It's very clear that Google will close down their .fr website and their French offices before doing this. And keep selling ads on French websites from Ireland.
So Google, Apple and Microsoft are all agreeing to the same thing??
…On one hand, this might mean the apocalypse is at hand. On the other hand, it might mean it's a no brainer.
…Or that they're all trying to screw us. Hmmm…
Sites served over the initiative includes Bing, Accuweather, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia.
And Facebook, Times of India, BBC News…
Hm. There's no going around the fact it would greatly advantage these sites at the expense of all the other ones. India being an emerging market, it would probably pay to lose money now by subsidizing the Internet access of the country, shut out the competition by not allowing it on your free offer, then reap the benefits as the online population grows. I'm guessing that say Google has not been invited to participate to the program. I understand Google has a competing program, and it has not invited Bing to participate either.
So yeah, that sounds like a good call.
Re: There's a lot of bad to be said of Google
My point is that those shopping results are themselves a distortion. I didn't ask for them explicitly nor were they part of the natural page rankings.
Meh… If I search for an address, chances are I want to check it on Google Maps, even if I don't ask for it explicitly. I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to guess what the user really means. The only problem is displaying results that favor your inferior products rather than superior products from the competition.
The allegation here is specifically that they made their own product worse by showing results to their own products instead of superior alternatives from the competition.
Though I'll admit that their Shopping results are probably better than showing anything from Foundem, Google+ results are almost certainly worse than Yelp results. Thank God they seem to have cranked down the Google+ thing.
The fact they did not manage to kill competition does not mean it was okay to try…
Note that Google is claiming they are not doing it, but just showing the "most relevant results". So at least, they think it's not something they should be doing.
NCR picked Android, it said, because this offered the clearest roadmap in Linux with support from Google – it evaluated Red Hat, CentOS and building its own, too.
Not sure what this "clearest roadmap" means. What's a example of thing that would be easier on Android than Red Hat? Security updates?
do cloud users really want or need to know about every operational hiccup?
Is that a serious question? If something is not working, it is probably a godsend to users to know it's not on their end that the problem resides. And if they didn't notice anything, where's the harm with more information?
Re: Not A Lawyer
Wow. There are lawyers, scummy lawyers, and then there are lawyers that are so scummy they even get disbarred.
No merging of information about users between services
Ok, so Google Now shows me info about flights I have tickets for (which it knows from my emails), about my upcoming appointments (which it knows from Calendar), about the last train home (which it knows from Google Maps), about recent updates to websites I like (which it knows from my Chrome history), about the weather where I am (which it knows from the GPS in my Android phone).
How is it supposed to be doing any of this, if Google is not allowed to use information from one service in another service, even with my consent?
But oh, perish the thought Google could show me ads for flower shops because I have a dinner appointment on Valentine's day!
Re: Boycott BELL and send a clear message
Canada is almost even worse than the US when it comes to choice. You may have to stop using the Internet to follow this advice.
Australians have been told metadata retention is necessary to stop terrorism and sex crimes against children
Once it is possible to read the minds of people with a machine, will they also say that mandatory weekly brain checks are necessary to stop terrorism? Or will they decide that people's thoughts are their own?
Don't answer that.
Apple has lobbied for a tax amnesty.
Essentially, the argument is that there's no way they will bring the money back to the US if it is taxed at the usual rate. So it makes sense for the US to give them a "tax holiday", allowing them to repatriate the money at a lower tax rate! Because that way, the money can be invested in the US economy instead of sitting uselessly in an offshore bank account.
Re: What study?
If you read the article, you'll find that a lot of iPhone users do indeed try to use it at least once; it is once they've tried it that they stop liking the idea. So "just waiting for it to be launched over here" actually confirms what the study says.
Vivendi is a big content provider; it's a bit as if Viacom bought YouTube.
Independent security bod Wade Alcorn (@WadeAlcorn) says the findings render the app insecure.
You don't say?
Re: Must be my eyes
Can't say I see a difference between the two
Texas Eastern district-based patent licensing company Smartflash
And stopped reading there.
Re: Are we all doomed?
Mathematical consistency of the theory might exist (insofar as one can be sure about that), but it might be totally useless in physics, describing a world that is not this one (e.g. a 2D+1 spacetime).
I think you mean a 2D6+1 spacetime.
I want to be tracked
I want the Register to remember who I am so I don't need to login every time I write a comment. I want Facebook to remember which messages I read so it can only show me the small percentage I'm actually interested in. I want Amazon to remember my tastes in books so they can tell me which of my favorite authors just write a new book. I want Google Now to tell me that XKCD was updated recently.
That doesn't mean everybody else has to be tracked, though.
Re: Would The Reg please stop
Well, in order to stab it, they must first have your back, ain't it?
Re: Much ado?
A gedankenexperiment: Let's say Indiana affirmed the right of individual shops and restaurants to not serve kosher food
That is a silly comparison. One case is letting business arbitrarily decide what they sell, and the other is letting them arbitrarily decide who they sell to.
Re: Lazy facts
It seems to me that Apple is approaching the watch launch from a customer-focused perspective.
I'm pretty certain the customer would like to have their watch as soon as possible, and show it off on their wrist as they walk out of the store.
I rather assume that with all the possible options, between the size and band, they cannot provide enough stock to avoid having the light blue and pink models the only left in the store after two hours.
Apple doesn't usually have so many different versions of what they sell, and they are in general very careful about unintended consequences. The resulting atmosphere of unattainability surrounding the watch might well be considered an additional bonus.
Re: So... The Reg editorial line is in favour of geo-blocking? Didn't see that one coming.
Is a comment piece like an op-ed?
About the article, I don't think the intention of the author is to bash Europe; it is rather about protecting copyright holders, which is one of his recurrent themes.
Didn't get that part either
Do they assume that a single market will make it easier for foreign goods to swamp the local industry? And they're trying to keep a complicated system in the hope that nobody will bother to do the administrative work for Poland?
Re: This one's not about patents though is it?
The fact that there are similarities between the designs does not mean one was stolen from the other. I suspect Facebook has been building data centers for a while now; in fact they announced their Open Compute Project in April 2011, months before ever meeting with BRG. It might well be that Facebook came up with the same ideas independently.
They're not talking about patents either, so this seems to have been a trade secret. Unless they can somehow prove that Facebook filched their design, I think they're going to lose this.
Re: no use of "Chocolate Factory"
Thanks. I came here to ask "why the chocolate?"
…Great. Now I'm hungry.
You mean, it's thanks to Google that we got the reclassification under title II? Way cool, Google!
And the White House actually listens to acclaimed and respected experts like Vint Cerf, Turing Award recipient, president of the ACM, "father of the Internet", without whom we all wouldn't have a job? Thanks Obama!
Nor does the statement deny that there were a number of other concerns raised by the FTC's staff over Google's business practices that were resolved by Google agreeing to some voluntary changes to avoid an antitrust lawsuit.
Isn't this more or less what was supposed to happen in Europe as a result of the Almunia investigation? If I remember correctly, Google removed some clauses from its advertising contracts which stopped websites from using other ad networks, and they offered an easier way to export data about your advertising campaigns. And yes, they did it voluntarily (as in "do it or see you in court") without admitting having broken the law.
I get it that we're supposed to go "Oooh, they didn't deny it", but these types of "voluntary changes to avoid a lawsuit" are pretty standard and not an indication of a backdoor deal.
I suspect they still accept it better when it is done by professionals from other countries, instead of amateurs who're just gonna leak their secrets.
Re: So basically Assange's lawyers are asking for favoritism?
Which is one of the reasons for the rule of law
Sure. Yet even the law can be unclear, considering that whistleblower protection laws exist and sometimes apply, sometimes not. Quoting from the Wikipedia™ article about whistleblowers:
"Whistleblowing in the U.S. is affected by a complex patchwork of contradictory laws."
I wish it was possible to know whether someone's actions are legal or not, but very often, the answer costs a lot of money and time spent in front of a judge.
Spying is also particular in the fact that its illegality depends on the place. Spying in the US is illegal in the US. Spying on the US might be illegal in the UK. Spying on the US is probably not illegal in Iceland. In general, people don't get extradited to another country for acts that are not a crime in the country where they are (blasphemy laws come to mind).
So you can say that Assange will be judged according to the rule of law (assuming he is); but you cannot tell me that this truly determines whether what he did was wrong.
Re: So basically Assange's lawyers are asking for favoritism?
I'm not sure whether Assange really "assisted" Manning or merely offered a service for publishing leaks; but one way or another, I don't feel that these actions are ethically wrong. Suppose he had been an actual professional spy paid by Australia to spy on the US. The US would try to catch him and put him in jail, but spying is a game played between countries in which ethics do not enter; he would just be doing his job. The fact that he was working to inform the public rather than his country only makes it the more ethical from my viewpoint.
I actually find skipping bail more reprehensible, and I have no sympathy for him if the UK ever get him. And as a person, Assange does seem like a dick.