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* Posts by ratfox

3346 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills

ratfox
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I understand this was especially a problem when iOS would "remember" your password for a while after using the App Store, and if you passed the phone to your kids during that time, they would be able to rack up in-app purchases. Though my impression was that this had been fixed.

If parents give to kids the password to the App Store account, then I would say they are at fault… Then again, many people have no clue that in-app purchases exist, so they simply don't know.

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

ratfox
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Thumb Up

Re: Seems like I'm alone here

I like it too! But I think art enthusiasts would deny that this is Modern Art. Far too conservative.

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Mix-and-match mobiles: Google unveils Project Ara dev conference

ratfox
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I don't see this idea going anywhere

As a geek, the idea of being able to build a cell phone like Lego is very nice... But I really doubt you can sell the idea to the general public. It's already fairly rare to see normal Joes upgrading their computer, rather than just buying a new one.

Of course, there are people who play with Raspberry Pis, so maybe I'm too negative.

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Apple throws sueball at China's patent office over Siri clone

ratfox
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Re: The term Quixotic comes to mind

"the differences should stand out on their own merit"

That would assume that a Chinese court is going to rule fairly between a Chinese company and an American company. Why would they?

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ratfox
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Re: The term Quixotic comes to mind

To which I reply: Bull. Not only do I severely doubt there is more than a cursory similarity between the two systems, but also this type of technology should not be patentable.

And I don't change my opinion depending on whether I like the company in question or not.

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ratfox
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The term Quixotic comes to mind

I wonder if they hope to have China telecoms get on their side... Without some Chinese help, I don't see how they can get rid of this one.

Then again, this might be just to earn time. The idea of having to stop selling iPhones must be driving them nuts. Or to pay the troll.

Now that I come to think of it, I wonder how much the troll is asking. What's the limit, when you are against Apple, and a rigged system on your side?

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Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese

ratfox
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WTF?

Law is a mystery to me

For instance, I never understood how it is possible to put in a contract a clause banning class actions. I would have thought that it was not possible to stop your customers from using the full power of the legal system against you… Otherwise, what's the point of a legal system?

It's a wonder they don't simply say "you agree not to sue us, ever".

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Update your Mac NOW: Apple fixes OS X 'goto fail' SSL spying vuln

ratfox
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Boffin

re:other browser

There was no issue with iPads and iPhones, since they got fixed first. And Chrome and Firefox on Mac OS X use their own library, so they were safe.

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ratfox
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Re: This is funny

Well there is the fact that internal documents of the NSA reveal they found a way to get any information they wanted from iPhones about a month after this bug was introduced. If the NSA had been monitoring changes in the published code (which would be the logical thing to do for them, considering this is a security library for a large target), it is quite likely they found the bug right away and have used it ever since.

Of course, "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"... Right?

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'G-WIZ like' object doing 40,000 MPH CRASHES on the MOON

ratfox
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Boffin

Re: Wow

Unless you remove the mouse cursor from the video, the play controls cover the interesting part. Maybe this is why you did not see anything interesting. I watched the whole video twice before figuring it out.

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Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

ratfox
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Windows

It looks like Europe is part of the poor countries emerging markets growth markets after all…

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Nokia launches Android range: X marks the growing low-cost spot

ratfox
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Re: Heh

^ Arguably, this is better than simply not knowing that Nokia exists. And don't forget that the X is not going to compete with Samsungs or iPhones, but with brands you have never even heard of, because they simply don't try to sell their crap products in rich countries.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

ratfox
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Good points

It's starting to be hard to add bells and whistles that are "must haves". And so, battery life and familiarity become the important part. The good news for alternate systems like Blackberry (how the world has changed) is that they can catch up to iPhones and Androids simply because there isn't much more that can be added to smartphones. Or at least, anything that users are actually interested in.

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Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

ratfox
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Coat

Re: The obvious flaw is someone in a changing room

Indeed. It seems like someone didn't get that the entire point of shopping is to try clothes in a changing room.

Believing that the point of shopping is to buy something is like believing that reinstalling a different Linux distro for the nth time is to actually have the computer working better, as opposed to simply mucking about for the fun of it.

Let's say, I'll try the coat with the big red buttons… And the small black one… And the one which really does not fit my style, but I want to see how I look inside… And this one just to check if the size is right… And… And…

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Apple to beef up its North Carolina megadatacenter – again

ratfox
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Strange

What's wrong with building bigger and planning for future needs? It's not like Apple lacks the cash to do that… And in general, they do plan for the future.

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Project Tango: Google's all-ringing, all-dancing 3D-sensing smartphone

ratfox
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Go

Finally!

A phone that can warn me of incoming lamp posts!

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Winklevoss twins flash their Winkdex at Bitcoin price-trackers

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Nudge nudge, wink wink

…say no more!

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MEPs demand answers from EU antitrust chief about planned Google search biz deal

ratfox
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Pint

Curious to see how it will go

Ramon Tremosa has urged Almunia in the past to promptly send a Statement of Objections to Google, so it's pretty much clear how he thinks this should go. On the other hand, Almunia is visibly quite convinced that this solution is just fine.

I'm not sure how much pressure Tremosa can apply on Almunia to change his mind. Technically, I guess that politics should not enter in such a debate, but considering the importance of Google, it's pretty inevitable…

Need a popcorn icon, so beer will have to do.

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Google gives Maps a lick of paint, smears it over screens worldwide

ratfox
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Happy

They have expanded the 3D maps too

Now most big cities are covered. I can waste a frightening amount of time flying around London.

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Google's paid link settlement plan will lead to fresh wave of abuses, claims Euro rival

ratfox
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Re: But the move has stirred up criticism among high-ranking EC officials

It's a better legacy than working four years on a solution you touted as better and more efficient than litigation, just to end up saying "Sorry, we do need ten years of litigation in the end; I have wasted four years without anything to show up for it."

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Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

ratfox
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I assume he means that the advantage of hydrogen is filling up is way faster than recharging a battery; and that the loss of energy efficiency is too small to be considered in regards of this advantage.

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Google slurps sound-powered security upstart SlickLogin

ratfox
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Happy

Voice based authentication

Or "how to make it impossible to log in while having a cold"

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

ratfox
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Memories

I remember seeing a presentation from an expert explaining how the Wii was the on the "next gaming curve" while the Xbox and Playstation were on the "previous gaming curve".

And now it seems like the Wii was just a one-off niche product… Goes to show that only hindsight is 20/20.

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

ratfox
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How is this "Android" lock-in?

Google puts constraints on phones that use the Google Play app store, and have Google apps like Google Maps or YouTube. Android has nothing to do with it. Amazon distributes Android phones with a different app store, and they can do whatever they want.

Call it Google Play lock-in, or Google Apps lock-in, but this is not Android lock-in.

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Apple pushes back release date for 'dustbin chic' Mac Pro

ratfox
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Angel

Nice

"The Mac Pro starts at about £2,500, but can be upgraded up until it costs more than £7,000."

...good to know it can be expensive enough, then?

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It's a scientific fact: Online comment trolls are sadists

ratfox
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Trollface

Love it

You all nerds living in your mom's basement keep trying to find reasons to feel good about the fact you never can win an argument on the web!

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DARPA wants to out-Google-Google

ratfox
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Devil

They're doing it for the children!

That's all right then, right? …Right?

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Apple investor Icahn backs down on share buyback plan

ratfox
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Tim Cook does not, in fact, have $145 billion in cash

Most of that cash is overseas… And so, to buy more, Apple would either have to pay US taxes on that money (when pigs fly), or borrow money (through bonds).

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iPhone maker Foxconn to pump $1bn into new Indonesian factory

ratfox
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Devil

Illuminating

Spend $40M in the US; spend $1B in Indonesia.

…I'm glad that they are serious about expanding in the US.

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NYPD dons Google tech specs: Part man. Part machine. All Glasshole

ratfox
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Re: Coming soon, privacy masks

Depending on the country, that's already forbidden. E.g in France, it has the amusing and completely unintended effect of banning Muslim-type face veils.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

ratfox
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Interesting

I am curious to see if we will end up in the slightly insane situation where most governments make virtual currencies illegal, which should not be enough to stop the underground trade.

I look forward to explaining my children why it's illegal to exchange messages consisting in large numbers.

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

ratfox
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Re: Why not space?

Not to mention the barely-above-zero temperatures.

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Google's tax returns are trop petite says Hollande

ratfox
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Boffin

obviously

Netherlands manages with low taxes by taxing the many rich companies that are attracted by its low tax rate. If everybody had such low rates, Netherlands would not be competitive any more, and wouldn't manage.

Nevertheless, the reason Google does not pay much taxes in France is not related to licensing deals. The reason is that Google France does not do much business in France. It is Google Ireland which does a lot of business in France, and has no reason whatsoever to pay taxes in France, since it is an Irish company.

If Europe does not want to abolish the rules which make it possible to earn money in the whole continent and pay income taxes in a single country, they should consider having country to country payments to cover transborder earnings. Thus, companies still pay taxes in a single country, France gets some money from Ireland, and countries like Ireland and Netherlands have less incentive to undercut other countries on income taxes.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

ratfox
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Trollface

Well, if he isn't happy with how much he's earning…

Maybe he should find a proper job then!

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

ratfox
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Trollface

So why didn't you buy an iPhone?

Or more seriously, why not keep your old contract and buy an unlocked Moto G? I understand it's reasonably good and costs less than $200... Far from this "added $1300" you are talking about.

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Schmidt gets $100m in Google stock on top of his $6m bonus

ratfox
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Re: Bistromathics

Just look at the news today about Google and the European Union, and I think you will have a pretty good idea of what he did for the company. He seems to be the one who has been in contact with Almunia.

When you think of it, Schmidt fits quite well in the role of diplomatic envoy to bureaucrats and politicians.

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Apple's STILL trying to shake off court-imposed antitrust monitor

ratfox
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Strange strategy

Apple may be trying to garner points with their fans with these complaints, but I can hardly imagine anything more likely to raise the hackles of a judge.

All in all, I would think it more clever to handle the whole monitorship as discreetly as possible.

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Rivals attack Google's antitrust search settlement deal with EC

ratfox
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Almunia's comments

"I know what you said last time, I know you're going to say the same thing again, and I'm not impressed"

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Google and Cisco sheath swords in patent-war deal

ratfox
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WTF?

Has Google ever asked for royalties?

"The firm is still wedded to extracting royalties"

Wait, what? Are you confusing them with Microsoft or what? Google did continue the lawsuits started by Motorola, but you can hardly say they make it a business model...

By and large, Google is on the receiving end of those suits.

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Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook

ratfox
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It's all shades of grey

Obviously, the only way for the data to be completely anonymous is to contain no data at all. This is why these rules contain sentences like "by exercising reasonable effort" and "disproportionate amount of time, expense and effort".

Ultimately, the limits are blurry, and you can fully expect people to get too close, get sued, and receive a half-random decision from the courts.

But it's good that governments are getting in the business of deciding what is privacy, and what companies can do. Currently, T&Cs are designed to be as vague as possible, in order to protect companies from lawsuits. The only way to get sane limits is to have them be set by the law. (Though obviously, this is not going to stop governments from spying on us…)

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

ratfox
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Go

Re: My quality of life has improved

Having a smartphone allows me to read the Reg during my commute. I used to hate public transportation because I would be forced to wait at the stop, then wait in the bus; to the point I would drive just to be less bored. Now, commuting is actually enjoyable free time.

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Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

ratfox
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I don't believe it

Almunia is an accomplished politician, and knows how to play both sides. Last time there was also a claim that there would be no market test, and there was one in the end. He is playing a brinkmanship game, if only to avoid complaints from politics that he is not trying hard enough.

But in the end, his goal is to extract a settlement; and he will leave office soon…

I'm really curious what the new propositions are. I really wonder how they can be "much better" than the previous ones…

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Lenovo reveals convertible Chromebook

ratfox
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Headmaster

Laptop, tablet, tent and stand

If I understand correctly, in stand mode, the keyboard is facing the table?

If so, the sideways picture on the Lenovo page are totally misleading, and show the laptop almost-closed and useless instead of in proper stand mode.

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Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

ratfox
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How about dashboard mounts for cell phones?

Are those allowed? If anything, they'd be more distracting...

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Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

ratfox
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Re: Obligatory adblock comment.

I don't think even Adblock can save you from having an ad play before you see the video you want.

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Apple blows past (most) Wall Street moneymen's expectations

ratfox
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Re: On the contrary; you are the one expecting too much from the stock price

The fact that their bank balance has climbed was expected. The stock market is not a place where you can buy today for $1 something which everybody knows will be worth $2 tomorrow.

In other words, the value of Apple in September was already taking into account the fact that their bank balance was going to grow. If this was not the case, the market cap of companies would always be exactly the sum of their bank balance and what you could get by selling everything it owns.

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ratfox
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On the contrary; you are the one expecting too much from the stock price

AAPL is at the same level as last September, just before the new iPhones were announced. At that time, the stock went down on uncertainty whether people would like the new phones. Then, investors realized the new phones were selling well, and the stock came back up. There was some exuberance which brought the stock higher, and when the numbers got released, the stock went back to its September level.

Fact is, there is nothing at this point which makes Apple a more valuable company than in September. They had a record-breaking quarter as expected, but since it was expected, there is no reason for the stock to be higher than September.

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Google close to inking search biz deal with Brussels: report

ratfox
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"Whatever happened to the ethos that only the strong survive?"

Mandatory ethos quote:

Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos!

And once more, Godwin was proven right.

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Google requests hush-hush radar tests

ratfox
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Coat

obvious application is obvious

It's a radar to be integrated into cell phones, so that your phone can warn you of incoming lamp posts!

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Android holds steady as iOS and Windows Phone slip in Kantar reports

ratfox
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Re: Just wondering

I saw an old beggar woman in India pull out a feature phone from her purse. We're practically there already.

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