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* Posts by ratfox

3365 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

ratfox
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Trollface

Re: Mavericks!?!

Naah, everybody knows that a maverick is a wild cow

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Tim Cook: Android version fragmentation is 'terrible for developers'

ratfox
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Re: Something good coming out of this ...

On one hand, there are still 5% on iOS 5; this might be more than people want to ignore. On the other hand, a large chunk is going to move to iOS 7, so the statistics are already out of date.

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BadNews not so bad, says Google

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Meh

Really possible?

"users are simply ignoring messages inviting them to click on a link"…

Call me a cynic, but users click on everything without discrimination. If there are "low millions" of installs, then at least tens of thousands of users would have clicked the dodgy link.

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The only Waze is Google: Ad giant tipped to gobble map app 'for $1.3bn'

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Alert

Offensive or defensive move?

I.e. is Google trying to make its own product better, or just trying to keep others from making their product better?

I don't want to sound too cynical, but I am not sure what Google is hoping to get out of Waze (though Waze can undoubtedly benefit a lot from Google).

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Google's Schmidt calls climate-change deniers 'liars'

ratfox
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Boffin

@Nicho: not so simple

The tricky part is showing how much the effect is. Otherwise, you can replace CO2 with methane, and blame it all on farting pigs. In fact, a common way to "buy carbon offsets" consists in trapping the farts of pigs.

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Culture Sec: You - Google. Where's the off switch for all this filth?

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Mushroom

Re: other offensive material

In that matter, I always love it when child porn and copyright theft are mentioned in the same sentence… if you try to fight for fair use rights, it means you are "siding with pedophiles".

I wish people had not used this trick, but they have.

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Boffins build gesture recognition using WiFi

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Angel

Mandatory

... but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

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Report: IBM protests Amazon $600m CIA cloud contract

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Angel

Neither Amazon or IBM had responded…?

Yes, but what did the CIA say, then?

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Ecuador: Let's talk about not having Julian Assange on our sofa

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Trollface

I'm willing to bet…

That the US are laughing their ass off at all of it.

Seriously, it would be a significant problem for them to manage to extradite Assange; on the other hand, if he is willing to discredit himself on his own, what is there not to like?

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Oracle to lop off Java's least secure bits to save servers

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Trollface

Removing unnecessary libraries?

Was that not one of the sins Google committed when it wrote its own implementation of the java language, thus causing fragmentation of the language and irreparable harm to Oracle's IP?

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Groundbreaking Camino browser digs grave, jumps in

ratfox
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Pint

Great post

Do you mind if I call you aManFromMars?

Pour one for Camino.

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First Cook, now Intel bigwig pokes Google in the eye over Glass

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The reason it is not see-through

The way I understood it, the reason it is not see-through is that they wanted to have a general consumer product. It seems to me that while see-through might make you feel like the Terminator, there are simply very few people who actually want to walk around with a see-through device.

Though this might indeed be due to the fact that a see-through device would have to be way bigger than the "giant goggles sticking out strapped on your head" that is Glass.

I am not convinced about the graphics arguments, though. Don't jet fighter pilots already have heads-up displays in their helmets that overlay graphics across their vision?

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Tim Cook: Wearable tech's nice, but Google Glass will NEVER BE COOL

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Boffin

Re: He's grasping at straws.

I actually wear a watch, and though it is cool and slightly expensive, I do use it a lot to check the time. In comparison to getting my phone out of my pocket, checking my watch is much faster.

Though paying attention to a difference of a few seconds might indicate that I am slightly obsessional-compulsive about time. I even maintain it synchronized to the second. Then again, I live in a place where trains and buses run on time.

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ratfox
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Devil

@AC "People either wear glasses to see or glasses to reduce glare from the sun"

I really wish people would only wear sunglasses to reduce glare from the sun… Unfortunately, there are far too many who wear sunglasses after dark. One guy I knew even wore two pairs of sunglasses after dark: One on his eyes, and one on his hair, to hold in place his fashionably-ruffled hairdo.

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Stop the Microsoft, Skype wedding, screams enraged Cisco in court

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Good luck

There are a few big players who are not at all interested in sharing their users with the other guys. Without even saying that all these systems add subtly different features in order to differentiate their offer from the others, which makes it difficult to interoperate. For instance, the new Hangouts thing from Google had to mostly drop XMPP support, because it could not handle half of the extra features.

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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

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Devil

What about Internet?

Have you thought about all the opportunities of making money that got killed because of the advent of Internet? How many billions would people agree to pay for services that have become completely unnecessary because the Internet exists and has made them obsolete? Google even had the unmitigated gall to make Internet easy to use! All that money drained from the global economy!

And don't forget how the invention of the damn telephone killed the letter delivery business, and killed off so much tax revenue.

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World's richest hobo (Apple) has worked 'tax-free' in Ireland since '80s

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Devil

Re: Easy answer then

The problem is that laws need not follow the rules of logic. The US and a few other countries have so-called General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) that essentially state that it is illegal to game the system, even if you only use legal means.

This flies in the face of logic, but remember, lawmakers do not have a program to tell them that what they write does not compile…

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Googorola loses bid to ban US Xbox sales after ITC slapdown

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Happy

Good

The only good patent infringement claim is the lost patent infringement claim.

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'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

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Black Helicopters

Re: (Streisland Effect && Do NOT press ME!) {GOTO FAIL;}

Exactly my thoughts. I would bet that more than one was spurred to download the plans by just this announcement.

…Could it be that the police estimated that having exploding and imprecise guns in the hands of the populace would diminish the number of proper guns bought illegally?

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US Senator introduces 'Patent Abuse Reduction Act'

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Megaphone

Wait for opponents to the bill to come out of the wood

And write down their names. Carefully.

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Microsoft tweaks WinPhone YouTube app to fix Google gripes

ratfox
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YouTube must show ads

Note that Google's hands are rather tied on this point. The only reason they have not lost their lawsuit from Viacom and been sued into oblivion is that they provide with ContentID a way for copyright owners to automatically show ads against their videos uploaded by users. They are simply not allowed to show these videos without ads.

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Kim Dotcom claims invention of two-factor authentication

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Prior art

I'm fairly certain that Swiss banks were using two-factor systems such as a credit card-like object displaying a number since before 98, though it may be a close thing.

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FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

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Headmaster

Brave attempt to use logic!

What about LASER? It means Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The S of Stimulation is unvoiced, yet the S of LASER is voiced.

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Attention large Linux workloads

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Meh

Yeah, I was going to say the heading should be "IBM solution is the best, says IBM employee"

On subject of the message, I was under the impression that the reason most companies simply don't consider using anything else than Linux servers is that they are vastly cheaper and easier to manage. Proprietary solutions were always better, but stopped being used because the "power, security, administration licensing and management benefits" were not worth the trouble and lock-in. What percentage of IT workers can manage such a system, compared to a Linux server? How easy is it to find replacements?

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Chocolate Factory chucks out Checkout

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Angel

They did

This year's April fool announcing YouTube is shutting down in order to select the very best video of the web. Also, don't miss the 12-hours video announcement of the nominated videos!

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Schmidt: Don't like our tiny tax bills? Google this... 'Change the law'

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Holmes

"The law is what it says it is"

This, gentlemen, is the problem that scientists and technical people have with the legal system. They are so used to argue with pure logic that it is extremely hard for them to understand that there are grey areas in the way laws are interpreted and applied.

In the real world, you unfortunately sometimes need a lengthy trial and a lot of money spent on lawyers to figure out whether something is legal. And the outcome of the trial can actually depend on how good the lawyers are! From a scientist point of view, this is pure madness — they assume that the law is so clear that any intelligent person could determine infallibly whether something is legal after thinking for a few minutes. Would it be that simple…

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Nintendo throws flaming legal barrel at YouTubing fans

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Don't worry…

It's there. But as usual, the fact that there is a land grab of the rights of the user in the T&Cs does not mean the land grab is legal. It goes the other way too: the absence of a copyright line does not mean something is not copyrighted!

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Congress asks Google to explain Glass privacy policies

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Facepalm

Won't someone think of the children?

It is weird how everything Google Glass can do could be done years ago by smartphones, and even more discreetly if using hidden cameras, and yet it is today that people start wringing their hands…

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Amazon slashes DynamoDB cost to counter Google Datastore

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Unhappy

Scary

Having two competing giants who basically don't need the money slashing prices against each other is not what I would call healthy competition. What will happen once everybody else has been priced out?

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London Olympics site to become digital mega-hub

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Trollface

"digital and creative" workers who won't have needed to be "brilliant at school"

Is that the new euphemism after "correctional facility"?

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Google 'DOES DO EVIL', thunders British politician

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Facepalm

"Hodge said the point was not illegality, but immorality"

If that is the best thing she can say, then Google is safe from HMRC…

Seriously, what does she expect with lines like that? She is practically saying outright "don't worry, we are still not able to find anything illegal in what you did"

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Senators: You - Cook. Apple guy. Get in here and bring your tax books

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The US are special that way

Indeed, I believe that very few countries tax income earned abroad. They have the same thing for citizens: US citizens living in other countries do have to report their income and pay tax above a certain level. Practically no other country does that.

It used to be that the attraction of a nice US passport was great enough that people would not care, but I am personally glad my children were not born in the US, otherwise they would have been on the hook with the IRS their whole life.

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Google tells Microsoft to yank its new WinPhone YouTube app

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Google does not even have the choice

Many videos can be served by YouTube only if accompanied by advertisement, as part of the contentID thing. Even if they did not care about their own T&Cs, Viacom would soon sue them for not enforcing them. Or simply add the complaint to the current lawsuit.

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EU wants the Swiss and pals to cough up IT giants' hidden bank info

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Good luck with that

One of the reasons that Starbucks is inflating the price of its coffee in Switzerland is that the VAT there is 8% instead of being around 20% like in most countries in the EU. The reason Luxembourg has a VAT of 15% is because it is the minimum the EU allows.

This is not a small loophole; setting the VAT at the standard European level would augment the revenue of the Swiss government by almost 50%.

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Foundem urges Brussels: REJECT Google's search biz offer

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Devil

I think they found out

That they would not be one of the three top competitors to which Google would display a link.

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Who is Samsung trying to kid? There will NEVER be a 5G network

ratfox
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Trollface

Yes, but

If Samsung phones have 5G, they have to be better than the iPhone, which only has 4G… right?

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Google abruptly shuts down search-by-SMS portal

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Happy

So THAT is what they mean by "it's complicated"…!

Suppose one keeps several friends or contacts in the phone, one of whom has a permanent restraining order to stay away from another contact in my list. Now, if one of these apps, including google and facebook, start meta analyzing these people and determines we have not listed either on our friends list, but one or both of them has a fb or g+ account but has not told the other, and both set themselves up to be diffficult for the other to be found…

Sounds like it would make a good novel!

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Google pools cloud storage

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Makes sense I guess

With services becoming more integrated, it is probably a pain to figure out which quota files should count against…

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Rules, shmules: Fliers leaving devices switched on in droves

ratfox
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Angel

I admit I did not know

I had always assumed that putting my iPhone in airplane mode and pressing the power button to turn off the screen was enough to make them happy. I was really surprised on my latest trip when the stewardess asked me to hand her the phone and proceeded to shut it down completely by holding the two buttons for a few seconds.

Chances that I will remember to do that in the future are approximately zero.

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Yes! It's the NFC phone-bonk doorbell app AT LAST

ratfox
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Pint

Congrats

"Quaint tiny-screened models whose design has hardly changed for 5 years" is definitely a new and innovative way to describe iThings. It actually took me a while to understand.

...You should patent it!

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San Francisco caves over mobile radiation warnings

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WTF?

Free speech ground

Not that I care much about that ordinance, but how can you fight such an ordinance on free speech ground? "It's our right to decide not to disclose information to consumers"?

What's next, claiming that health warning on tobacco products violates the privacy of cigarettes? Or would reveal the "trade secret" that cigarettes contain tobacco and tar?

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German court: 'Nein' to Apple 'global consent' on fanbois' privacy

ratfox
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Happy

German law requires that consumers know exactly what their data is being used for

My bet is that just the explanation of how wireless data is used to enhance the detection of the location of the user would take a heavy book to explain "exactly" to the consumers...

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EC: Motorola abused its patents in Apple iPhone spat

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Go

Good

The less patents, especially standard-essential patents, can be used to shut down your competitors, the better.

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Samsung Galaxy chip confusion halts bonking plastered apps

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Re: Selling point

Yes, but do these Bluetooth apps know precisely which device you just bonked? Or do they display "we have scanned the surroundings for bluetooth devices and found three cell phones, two laptops, a television set, a pair of headphones and a sound system, which is it you wanted to bonk again?

NFC seems to have solved this particular problem tight. So far I have never been able to use Bluetooth without a device selection screen.

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ratfox
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Selling point

It seems good for instantaneous handshake between two devices. E.g telling a speaker system "play music from this phone" in a single bonk. Bluetooth can be set up using NFC and take over, but would be much more clumsy to set up by hand.

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Yahoo! scuppered! in! Dailymotion! buyout! attempt!

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"Realistically"

You seem to severely underestimate the power of a government. Regulators can easily find any number of reasons for blocking such a deal. Appealing is difficult; complaining to the WTO would take years, and is not a viable strategy.

Personally, I think the deal would have made sense. Competing with YouTube requires a heavy infrastructure, and Yahoo certainly has the means and the required knowledge.

I would add that I have never noticed Arnaud Montebourg say anything intelligent. Every time I hear about him, it is some chauvinistic populist statement about French exceptionalism.

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Climate change forces women into prostitution - US politicians

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WTF?

Wow

There is contrived legislation, à la "we need complete government control of the Internet to fight child porn. If you fight this, you are siding with pedophiles".

And then, there is really contrived legislation. Is there a contest somewhere? Perhaps this could qualify for the Ig Nobel awards.

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Continued lack of women in tech bemoaned by ex-techie lady MP

ratfox
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Trollface

You've got it all wrong!

Rather than changing the work environment so that it becomes attractive to women, we should teach women they should stop trying to interact socially, and get them to stare at the screen the whole day like the male engineers!

And please stop showering so often, I can't stand this lack of smell coming from you!

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Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

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FAIL

Click bait

Take any random model, put any random parameters, get a provocative result, publish. Watch as people click on the link and enjoy the free publicity.

I wonder how they explain that Android went up to 34%, taking from iOS, if iOS users had exhibited this staunch loyalty. If you apply your model to past data and it predicts the present wrong, maybe you should change the model…?

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How Google lost the trust of Europe’s data protection authorities

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Megaphone

Privacy is <i>complicated</i>

If you walk in the street, anybody who sees you can blog about it. There is at the moment no expectation of privacy about it. However, it is almost certainly illegal to set up a web site tracking the movements of people in the street. Where is the limit? I will quote in full this excellent paragraph from Simon Bell:

"Tax is too complex and too intimately tied up with subjective political ideas about the size and role of the state for it to be reasonable to expect people to be guided by their conscience. That is why we have law. If the government doesn't like the outcome of current tax law, then it should change it."

There is a corollary to this: Just replace the word "tax" by "privacy". Privacy is a very complex problem; it may never be solved, but a lot could be achieved by the government setting up a privacy code, akin to the tax code. Rather than leaving it to companies to write privacy policies that are supposedly understood and accepted by the users, the government should write the rules. You simply cannot trust a private company to even write a privacy policy that is easy to understand by everyone. As an example, this article from a company specialised in information law in an IT website just to explain the finer points of a single company's privacy policy and how it may not respect the law.

In fact, I fully expect the expression "privacy code" to become part of the political vocabulary — You saw it here first!

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