nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

* Posts by ratfox

3365 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Google buddies up with Intel for this year's big Chromebook push

ratfox
Silver badge
Angel

Re: Linux please

Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel, what are you complaining about?

1
0

Google updates Maps app for iOS, Android, adds Uber support

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Offline functionality...

I did notice something like this on Google Maps. While abroad, I got driving directions for a different town from the hotel WiFi, and later on the road, I did get a different route after taking a wrong turn. I'm not sure how much leeway it had, though. It's not something I would be keen on experimenting with.

1
0

Report: Google's NSA dealings not as bad as you thought – THEY WERE WORSE

ratfox
Silver badge
Meh

Hang on

This was the time Google had announced the hacking attempts coming from the Chinese government, isn't it? I don't see what's surprising about American tech companies getting together with the US government to protect themselves from an outside threat. This is not news. I remember reading on The Reg itself that Sergey Brin was given a temporary clearance to attend a security briefing organized by the US government.

So the NSA got together with Google and other companies to defend US interests from hacking attempts. I fail to see what's nefarious about that. If you'll remember, this was a time where the most likely threat of hacking was China, not the NSA. In fact, this would explain the feeling of betrayal displayed by Google when it was announced that the NSA was spying on their internal fiber links…

13
2

Australian government apps access smartmobe cams but 'don't film you'

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: But?

I assume Maps wants wifi access to be able to find your position… Using wifi to do that uses much less batteries than using the GPS.

0
0

The verdict is in: Samsung to pay Apple $120m chump change, but gets tiny rebate

ratfox
Silver badge

legal obligation

Not quite. It may be a fiduciary responsibility to protect the investment of the shareholders, but this would have been achieved more sensibly by agreeing to a settlement with Samsung. Declaring a lawsuit holy war takes more time, costs more money, without necessary bringing more results. It also makes you more enemies.

You might be confusing this with trademark law, which forces a company to defend its trademarks or lose them. Patents don't work that way.

24
1

Apple tips Shiraz down all its techies' throats (that's the rumoured name for OS X 10.10)

ratfox
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: MMM!

Hipster? Just because he likes wine?

1
0

Ouch... right in the Androids! Google hit by another antitrust sueball

ratfox
Silver badge
Facepalm

Time to sue the Internet

The internet has become a monopoly for sending information over long distances. "It’s clear that [the Internet] has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better [system], but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement, and it doesn’t take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation".

You have to admit they have balls. Of all the products that Google is offering, Search has to be the one that is the most recognized to have become the first choice through its own merits. If anything, It is rather considered as the reason Google can push its other products down other people's throat…

It was so before Android existed, and is still more popular than Android…

But hey, don't let logic get in the way of your hope for $$$.

13
0

French software developers are all beautiful women

ratfox
Silver badge
Meh

I often find myself reacting adversely to this type of advertising. Ignoring the part about the way females will react to it, it also assumes males are easily duped morons who will be swayed by such tricks.

And, if I want porn, I know where to find it, thankyouverymuch.

12
0

DreamWorks CEO: Movie downloaders should pay by screen size

ratfox
Silver badge
Facepalm

Stupid

How about just charging differently for different resolutions? Wouldn't it be simpler? No need for tying the video to the device, or complicated system to check the size of the device?

Muppet.

14
0

Did Google order staff to 'steal' web ad cash from publishers? THE TRUTH

ratfox
Silver badge

Let me get this straight

Google receives money from advertisers and passes (some of) it to publisher web sites on which the ads run. And the claim is that Google banned publisher web sites so as not to have to pay them, and did not refund advertisers?

That I understand, the payment threshold is $100. Even with "thousands upon thousands of publishers" thus banned, this is surely pocket change for Google…

3
0

FBI floats $5 MEELLION bounty for alleged Chinese WMD purveyor

ratfox
Silver badge
Devil

Everytime you ask the Register to stop doing something

They do it twice just to annoy you.

6
0

AOL confirms security breach from spam attack

ratfox
Silver badge
Angel

Re: They're notifiying who?????

Try your spam folder …

0
0
ratfox
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Jeez...

I planned to post a mandatory "WTF AOL still exists" here, but I see it's been taken care of.

4
0

Comcast to dump 3.9 MEEELLION subscribers to quell Time Warner merger antitrust fears

ratfox
Silver badge
Facepalm

Competition

Competition means having more than one provider available to each customer, not having many providers who agree not to compete for each other's customers…

In other words, this move would only go in the right direction if Comcast immediately tried to poach the millions of customers it sold to Charter Communications.

0
0

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: I can't believe you guys are so gullible

That's an interesting idea… Rather than creating self-driving cars, let's create remote controlled cars, which is considerably easier, and outsource the driving to India.

There's already way more Indians than Americans and Europeans combined, so no problem there.

I'll insert here patent-busting keywords to make prior art discovery easier: remote controlled car long distance driving teledriving outsourcing automated bullshit.

3
0

Apple patents Wi-Fi access point location lookup

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Good that Google didn't illegally map all private Wifi access points in the EU.

Actually, though Google did do it, this isn't the part which caused them trouble. It was the fact that they recorded packets going through the WiFi while they were driving by which made governments unhappy.

That I know, mapping the WiFi access points has not been judged a violation of privacy, and it is perfectly known that Apples iPhones have been using a similar mapping for years.

5
0

Will Apple's $130bn cash infusion keep investors onboard?

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Conflicting information

I would check back the article which made the claim about half their money being in the US. That definitely does not fit what I read on the subject.

About the deferred taxes, I suspect Apple does not count this as money they have not yet paid taxes on, but as money they don't intend to pay taxes on, ever.

6
0

Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: 1:1 ???

Same question on my mind. I didn't know Minecraft bricks had an official size. What's the length of an edge in linguine?

2
0

Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

ratfox
Silver badge

No change

The investors who cannot yet invest because the share price is too high are barely worth a rounding error for a company with such a massive market cap. I'd be surprised to see any difference, even in volatility.

…Why divide by seven??

0
0

Whaddaya mean, No refund? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

ratfox
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Refunds

What's this silliness about demanding bitcoins back?? I'm pretty certain that all the places in UK that proclaim to accept Euros give back change in pennies; and if you return the next day to ask for a refund, they'll pay you back in Pounds, not Euros.

Even though Bitcoins are accepted, that just means you are provided a transparent Bitcoin-to-Pounds exchange at the current rate, and if you ask for a refund the next day, the store may choose to exchange again their Pounds to your Bitcoins, if they wish, and at the current rate again… Whatever that is.

I don't see how customers could complain about this. Otherwise, you are basically getting the store to buy from you a lottery ticket, which you will buy back the next day only if it is a winning ticket.

0
1

Github cofounder resigns after clearance in sex-harass probe

ratfox
Silver badge

The way I see it, the fact that he resigned indicates more than clearly that the allegations were not groundless.

I'm not worried about Horvath finding a job. Any company that is secure in their handling of employees would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate they have nothing to fear.

1
3

Google boffins beat own Captchas

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Surprise!!!

I would also add: without having the slightest effect. Unless you manage to have many people doing the same and enter the same wrong answer, your input is simply ignored…

3
0

Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Microsoft's Android patents ..

The reason the manufacturers are paying is likely that it is cheaper and simpler to pay a couple of dollars to Microsoft for licensing unknown patents, than to try and fight them in court, which takes a lot of time and money, for a result that is uncertain.

Now, if Microsoft had tried the same kind of deal with Google-owned Motorola Mobility, they would certainly have been rebuffed. Because it is actually worth it for Google to figure out exactly what those famous patents are about, even at the risk of losing an expensive lawsuit.

Now, the fact that Microsoft did not actually sue Motorola, even though they claim that Motorola infringes their patents (since it makes Android phones), indicates that they are not sure of winning, or they don't think it's worth the trouble of a lawsuit against Google, or maybe they simply prefer to keep quiet what the famous patents are. Probably a mix of the three.

3
1

Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Marrissa has worked pretty hard

> Now "I work at Yahoo!" is a euphemism for "I'm too too crap to get a job at Google/Apple/whatever.

That was the case since way before Marissa came...

On the other hand, Yahoo may be a worse employer than Google or Facebook, but it is still a better employer than 80% of the industry, so "too crap" is probably an overstatement. You might as well claim that going to Princeton means you are "too crap" to go to Harvard.

3
0

Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial

ratfox
Silver badge

God, common sense!

My secret wish is for Rockstar to appeal this decision all the way to the Supreme Court, and for the Supreme Court to rule that no trial should ever happen in the Eastern district of Texas except when all the parties involved have exclusively existed in that district for at least ten years.

If there is a worse thing than patent trolls, it is the court that legitimates half of patent trolls.

20
0

Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning

ratfox
Silver badge
Boffin

Martian days now getting longer in Opportunity's time zone

The length of days depends on the latitude, not the time zone!

12
0

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

ratfox
Silver badge

Much better than any card game!

…The computer does all the calculus involved with figuring out what actually happens without forgetting all the modifiers! Oh sorry, was that a feature?

0
0

Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

ratfox
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: So evil after all..

Don't forget who's the owner of the WP!

0
0

AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits

ratfox
Silver badge
Go

Re: Who wants local/regional spectrum?

1) Nobody is going to charge roaming fees inside the country.

2) The goal of the FCC is not, in fact, to make the most amount of money on the auction.

3) AT&T is bluffing.

5
0

SpaceX Falcon tests hovercraft tech – despite ISS outage

ratfox
Silver badge

Soft landing on the ocean

Are they so unsure about ending in the right place? Otherwise, why not do it on the ground in the middle of the desert? Even if it ends up exploding, it seems a better simulation…

And if they are really unsure about controlling the rocket, it seems hardly worth it to add legs to it, considering the only thing they plan to do is to hover gently above the ocean before sinking it.

0
4

Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app

ratfox
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Huh?

> Facebook messaging works both online and on mobiles

Do you consider mobiles to be offline?

1
1

Chrome makes new password grab in version 34

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: @article author: reading comprehension FAIL

Thanks for the correction. Looks like the Reg has modified the article now.

Now, if that's what happening, then it makes a lit more sense. No objections from me.

4
0

VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Makes sense

> The US doesn't have a sales tax. That's assessed at the state level and depends on the state.

Ooooh no! Wow, it would be a dream if it were that simple! There are sales taxes which depend on the county, on the town, sometimes even on the part of the town, or the side of the street.

Witness the complexity of this booklet, enumerating the different sales tax rates for Kansas alone!

That is even without counting the different sales tax rates which apply to different types of products, or the special tax rates which only apply to certain seasons of the year.

0
0
ratfox
Silver badge
Go

Makes sense

And it will still be simpler to implement than the absolute clusterfuck that are US sales tax.

1
0

Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

ratfox
Silver badge

Prior art declaration

A system or apparatus for automatically detecting the user is running low on eggs, using weight detectors or optical sensors on the egg tray in the fridge. The system can be configured to automatically order eggs from Amazon or any grocery delivery service.

There. This post constitutes prior art, so this cannot be patented any more.

4
0

Google teases more modular smartphone details in run-up to dev meet-up

ratfox
Silver badge

It looks super cool…

I can't really imagine this really taking off though. When you think of it, there is less than 1% of people who even upgrade a laptop before buying a new one.

0
0

Google's SWOLLEN WINDBAGS circle PLANET, dispensing INTERWEBS

ratfox
Silver badge

I understand the balloons are supposed to communicate peer-to-peer, not use satellites. If you have enough balloons, you have complete coverage.

0
0

That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Microsoft: Let's be clear, WE won't read your email – but the cops will

ratfox
Silver badge
Stop

@Chris Miller

> the fact that the 3rd party in question is a member of staff is actually relevant

Read again. They accessed the emails of somebody who was not an employee, not a contractor, and who had no relationship at all with Microsoft. He just happened to have information sent to him by a Microsoft ex-employee.

13
1

YouTube follows Twitter onto Turkey's block list

ratfox
Silver badge
Pint

Block Twitter and YouTube just before elections

I will be watching the results of the elections with great anticipation.

5
0

Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

ratfox
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Ridiculous

My idea to use echolocation to warn the user of incoming lampposts is much better.

And by the way, unless somebody filed a patent for that already, this post will count as prior art. I'll stuff a few keywords to make it easier for the experts to find it: Cell phone echolocation radar sonar detection lamppost wall advance warning system bullshit.

10
0

Apple vows to add racially diverse EMOJIS after MILEY CYRUS TWITTER outrage

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Colour?

The original request is quite correct: Unicode does not specify color, which nobody complains about.

What they complain about is that Apple had to choose for its font actual pictures of hundreds of faces; and these faces just happen to be all white. It's not so surprising people are complaining. Nowadays, it's pretty rare to see an illustration of a dozen "generic people" that are all white.

Many other fonts skipped the problem by choosing non-realist colors, which is acceptable because they don't represent any race better than any other...

2
0
ratfox
Silver badge

whachoo talking about, Willis?

® is part of the enclosed alphanumerics block of Unicode. Very far from being an emoji.

3
0

Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

ratfox
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Like the Blues Brothers reference

Now I have a vision of Princess Leia using Glass to aim a rocket launcher… nice!

2
0

SECRET Apple-Comcast CONFAB BLAB: Movies streamed to TV? – report

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: iRevisionism?

You may be talking of something different. While certainly there were other phones which had features which the iPhone lacked, the success of the iPhone was largely due to having a UI that was heads and shoulders above the competition. And yes, Apple managed to wrestle exceptional concessions from AT&T just because they wanted the exclusivity on the iPhone; e.g no carrier logo on the phone, no carrier software in the phone.

8
1

The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

ratfox
Silver badge
Windows

sorted alphabetically

If only we had some sort of contraption which would allow us to copy and paste in a text file, then run sort on it...

6
0

Proof Apple is GOING BACKWARDS: It's trying to patent a Newton-ish touchscreen stylus

ratfox
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: How sensible can you not get?

That was my reaction too, but I admit your example is excellent. I have seen a stylus which acted as an eraser if you used the other end, and I guess that was fine; but actually having different tips you must manually change and take care not to lose has got to be more hassle than using a damn drop down menu.

2
1

Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: What's the Point of Encryption?

FYI, there is no indication from the NSA slides that any company, big or small, has willingly let the NSA read its data except under a court order or other legal requirement.

3
3

Facebook hacks out PHP alternative

ratfox
Silver badge

Re: Great

Haskell, Go, Scala, Dart come to mind...

Though to be fair some of those have met real needs. JavaScript in particular was necessary, as there was no other language running on the browser at the time.

1
0
ratfox
Silver badge
Go

Good

Please let this replace PHP in the long term. There is no way this cannot be an improvement over the original.

0
4

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing