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* Posts by ratfox

3346 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

ratfox
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Meanwhile, governments are explicitly asking Google (among others) to police the internet, hide content encouraging terrorism/hate speech/copyright violations.

We're on a very thin path, and we don't know where it's going.

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Oi, force Microsoft to cough up emails on Irish servers to the Feds, US states urge Supremes

ratfox
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Black Helicopters

Looks like a market opportunity...

for mail servers owned and operated by companies outside the US.

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Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

ratfox
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Re: Prefer authentication on the front of the phone

The iPhone sensor is a little bit too low for me to reach with my thumb (If I hold the phone by the bottom half, I always feel it's going to fall from my hand). So when I'm reaching for the phone in my pocket, I prefer the back sensor. But yeah, the front sensor is more convenient if the phone is lying on the table.

If the sensor can be under the screen, then they can put it in the middle of the screen, where it is easiest to reach. Or maybe they could put it on the side.

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US authorities issue strongly worded warnings about crypto-investments

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Re: Bitcoin fees

I refer @ratfox to previous posts on the subject, listing a long history of global gullibility, including black tulips, south sea bubbles, the Wall Street Crash and Welsh silver and lead mines.

For all of these, there was at least a claim that these things had intrinsic worth, or eventually were going to have one. The claim was wrong, but it existed.

To answer the incoming choir of voices about fiat money: Even for fiat money, there is an implicit assumption that the country issuing the money has an interest in having a semi-stable currency. For instance, the US government could technically pay their debts in one day by printing a single bill of $5 trillions and giving it to the Chinese. They're not doing it, because it would crash their economy into the stone age (along with most of the world). That's why people keep US instead of Zimbabwean dollars.

For Bitcoin, there is nothing of the sort. Under all the complex cryptography algorithm ensuring various interesting features, you are literally buying a number in a finite list. It is very much like fiat money, except that the country is only made of people who happen to be currently working with bitcoin, and any of them can leave that country at any time without losing anything. As long as everybody does not leave at once, Bitcoin keeps existing.

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ratfox
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I find the whole thing fascinating. Whether Bitcoin goes even higher, manages to keep its value or crashes back, history is being made. As a social experiment, it's almost unbelievable.

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Archive of 1.4 billion credentials in clear text found in dark web archive

ratfox
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Meh

The issue for me is that "correct horse battery staple" is too long. I already type my current 9-character password wrong roughly 10% of the time; with 28 characters it'd become a real pain.

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UK lacks engineering and tech skills to make government's industrial strategy work – report

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Paris Hilton

How about raising salaries? They're kind of low in UK, especially compared to the price of living in London...

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Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat

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Headmaster

Once more, I'd like to point out that what Google copied was not code, but the standard Java API — without the implementation.

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European Commission intervenes in Microsoft Irish data centre spat

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Mushroom

So so. First, relocating the data to a US server does not violate privacy, because they're not showing the data to anybody yet. Then, revealing data on a US server to the US government happens outside of Europe, so Europe law does not apply? Hmm. I wonder if there should be some kind of contempt of court for claiming such bullshit.

Maybe Europe should simply forbid private data to be stored outside of the EU?

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Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

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The EU needs to have some way of forcing its institutions to behave. This is ridiculous. From what I understand, there's even a committee that does have the power to remove Battistelli, and they're doing nothing, probably because they want to preserve the independence of the patent office. I guess they're just going to wait until his ten is over...

Thankfully, there's little chance that the next guy will be quite as bad as this one. Knock on wood.

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Europe Commission thunders: Tech firms must do more to remove extremist content

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Do they realize that they are outsourcing censorship to private companies? AI-powered censorship, no less. This is going to end well.

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Apple looks forward to wiping $47bn off its overseas profit tax bill – thanks to US shakeup

ratfox
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Re: Or...

If I read correctly, one change is that there would be now a permanent tax on offshore assets. So yes, it still costs some money to bring money back in the US, but if it costs money each year to keep it offshore, it's suddenly much more interesting to bring it back...

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Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time

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Re: Obligatory...

And here's the Follow-up.

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EU data protection groups: Fix Privacy Shield or face lawsuit

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The king's clothes

Except everybody knows the king is naked, even himself. Nobody wants to admit they're powerless to fix the situation.

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Facebook, Twitter, Google cleared in Dallas shooting lawsuit

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Trollface

Google?

Does Google have a social network?

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French activists storm Paris Apple Store over EU tax dispute

ratfox
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Re: Theft or not

I presume that Apple products are priced locally with local taxes in mind ?

If they are escaping paying local taxes by paying less elsewhere should this not be considered as actually stealing from the customer?

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Apple can charge whatever they want in whatever country they want. They of course have to also charge VAT of the local country, and they certainly do that. The VAT gets paid back in complex ways to and by different countries, but there's little doubt that they're doing that correctly.

But if Apple decides, say, to charge twice the price in UK than in Ireland for the same phone, it's their right. They don't have to connect the price to the local tax, whether VAT or corporate.

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Want a new HDMI cable? No? Bad luck. You'll need one for HDMI 2.1

ratfox
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Angel

It's aspirational

You buy the cable dreaming for the moment you'll actually have a TV that needs it.

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What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

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Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

Fusion!

Just kidding. Plain old fission, probably.

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Apple and Qualcomm become best pals... lol jk the sueballs keep flying

ratfox
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Angel

NO U

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The six simple questions Facebook refused to answer about its creepy suicide-detection AI

ratfox
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Angel

Next step: experiments in inducing thoughts of suicide in Facebook users.

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'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Re: woefully misinformed

Hardly any software ever is innovative. It's just tedious hard work!

Well from that point of view, software companies clearly can't innovate much no matter how hard they try! However...

PageRank concept isn't a Google idea!

I really have wonder how you came to this conclusion. PageRank was first described in an article from 1998 co-authored by the Google founders and two other people. Are you insinuating that they stole the idea from somebody else? Or that anyway PageRank was not innovative, it was "just tedious hard work"?

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IBM does what IBM does best: Raises the chopper again

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Paris Hilton

How is IBM making money these days?

I'm kind of wondering. These days, you feel that anybody would get fired for choosing IBM.

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Watch how Google's AI catches shoulder surfers spying on your phone

ratfox
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Yeah, sounds academic. In the first place, you don't want the battery drain. And then, this only works for people actually caught by the camera. On my phone, the angle under which the screen can be viewed is much wider than what the camera sees. Very interesting work and all that, but pretty much useless.

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Net neutrality nonsense: Can we, please, just not all lose our minds?

ratfox
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Re: Actually, Google and Facebook win either way

Indeed. It seems that repealing net neutrality rules would benefit all big companies, whether they're telcos or content providers.

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AT&T, Comcast trash, kill Nashville's Googley broadband cable rules

ratfox
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What's that about FCC rules aiming to facilitate one touch make ready policies? Does Ajit Pai know about this?

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Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

ratfox
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Everything has big effects when on that scale

When Google put a pacman game on their home page, it reportedly cost $120 million in productivity...

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Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

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Devil

I was under the impression that in order to be considered a different species, the most important factor was cross-fertility, not mating habits.

There are certain groups of humans who only mate within the group; but I'd hardly say that Tories and Labour are different species.

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Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market

ratfox
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Finally

With a bit of luck, it means that the telcos will lose some of the power they had to force crapware on users. Maybe now they'll work harder to provide upgrades... Though to be honest, I haven't bought a telco-controlled phone in ten years, and I doubt I'll ever do it again.

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iPhone X: Bargain! You've just bagged yourself a cheap AR device

ratfox
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Go

I'm looking forward to the day AR is a thing you can have without attracting weird looks. And I'm not talking about looking at your phone which happens to display what's behind it with an overlay; I'm thinking of having transparent glasses which act as heads-up displays. I think that there are a lot of very interesting and useful applications, people just need to get used to the idea first.

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Google says broader right to be forgotten is 'serious assault' on freedom

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About what is lawful or not: The awkward thing about the right to be forgotten is that it prevents Google to display certain results for certain search queries, even though it's perfectly legal to publish the content on a website.

So for instance, it's legal to have a website stating that Mr. Mario Costeja went bankrupt in 1998. It's fine for Google to show that website as result for "la vanguardia 19 January 1998", but they're not allowed to show the same result if you search for "Mario Costeja".

The website is legal, Google is allowed to index it, they're allowed to show it, just not for this particular search.

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Google aims disrupto-tronic ray at intercoms. Yes, intercoms

ratfox
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Devil

the domestic intercom industry

Man, that's another thousand-dollar industry that Google is destroying.

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You, Google. Get in here and explain all this personal data slurping – Missouri AG subpoena

ratfox
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Re: Missouri GDP ~$230B - Google market cap ~$720B.

Careful: the Missouri GDP is the total yearly revenue of the state, while the market cap is a measure of what Google is worth. For comparison, Google's revenue is about $100B a year. It's growing fast, but it will take 4-5 years until it catches up with Missouri. So no, Google cannot buy Missouri.

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ratfox
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What happened to the fight with the AG in the neighboring Mississippi? If I remember correctly, Google managed to convinced some judge that the AG's subpoena was too broad, and a fishing expedition. I'm not sure it's over yet though.

Since the FTC decided to give Google a pass, the state AG are apparently taking things into their own hands.

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Uber loses appeal against UK employment rights for workers

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However If they were a decent company and had plenty of competition then the actual business seems legitimate.

To be honest, even though the legal system is supposed to blindly apply the law, I think people underestimate how much the reputation and general behavior of a company can influence rulings. I wouldn't be surprised if the ruling had been different, were Uber indeed a decent company with plenty of competition.

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ratfox
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Re: How far

It is the skimping on this which makes Uber "competitive".

That, and the fact that they are pretty much subsidizing all the rides with the billions they have raised with VCs.

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Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

ratfox
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The good thing is that no matter how dominant Windows was in 2003, and though it is still pretty important today, it is far from being as unavoidable as it used to be. MacOsX is a fairly acceptable alternative, and depending on your needs, so are Linux or ChromeOS. So Android will probably not keep its crown forever. And I would argue that Windows was far more dominant in 2003 than Android is now, considering the most famous flagship phone is an iPhone.

In fact, there is pretty much no major app or game which only runs on Android and not on iPhones, while there are even now tons of software, in particular games, that run on Windows and have no MacOsX version.

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The NAKED truth: Why flashing us your nude pics is a good idea – by Facebook's safety boss

ratfox
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viewed by a "specially trained representative from our community operations team," to check the photos are actually legit nude snaps

I'm surprised that in this day and age, a major tech company would actually claim it's necessary to have a human in the loop. Surely that's what machine learning is for? Seriously, even without going to machine learning, Google and others have had porn filters for ages, and they're pretty reliable most of the time.

In the very least, I'd suggest a two-tier system: A first check is done with an automated detector, and if the image is not detected as a nude, then the user is asked for permission for an actual human to look at it and check the actual nakedness. This way, most pics can be submitted without anybody having to see them, and Facebook even saves money on the manual work.

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Harry Potter to get the Pokémon GO treatment

ratfox
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Megaphone

I hope it's done a lot better than Pokémon Go. I was really disappointed by the gameplay. When the most interesting part of the game is the grinding to find more Pokémons, you know something went wrong.

It's a pity when you consider that their first game Ingress had way more interesting mechanics, whether for playing solo or in a team.

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Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

ratfox
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I really wonder why these videos have to be so weird. I mean, that videos for children don't need to be high quality and can be churned out at low cost, fine. But why do they need to be disturbing?

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Seven years on, Spain rattles tin cup at Google over Street View slurp

ratfox
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The privacy row first arose in 2010, when people realised that Google's then-kinda-new StreetView photo-collection-mobiles were collecting the names, MAC addresses and locations of WiFi access points in homes and businesses.

I might be wrong, but I think that the big problem was not collecting the MAC addresses and locations of WiFi routers. It was that they were also recording whatever data was being sent over the networks.

Google was recording the locations of routers to make it easier for Android phones to find out where they are when they detect the same WiFi network, and this is something relatively uncontroversial which iPhones also do.

But they had no particular reason to record the data sent over the network, they didn't even know what to do with it, and it seems that they recorded it just because why not. That's the part that got them in trouble.

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Look, ma! No hands! Waymo to test true self-driving cars in US with Uber-style hailing app

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Who told you that self-driving cars are based on deep learning? From what I understand, the technology is far more boring than that, all rule-based and algorithms...

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You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

ratfox
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Pity they don't say what type of phone it is. I assume it's an iPhone, but maybe there's other phones that are hard to unlock.

Or maybe they tried both 1234 and 2580, so now they're stumped.

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Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

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"Splitting not a solution"

First, I'm thinking that there are still price comparison engines in Europe, which unlike FoundEm managed to survive these past years, and some of them are trying the solution offered by Google. FoundEm, however, has no interest whatsoever in Google's solution being successful. They want it to fail, to augment their chances in a future lawsuit based on the EC decision. They're not really an impartial observer.

Second, I might be wrong, but if Google does split off the shopping property and considers it as a separate company, that means they stop doing anything anticompetitive. FoundEm's argument is that it would still be a crap product, but Google is allowed to make a crap product. Like putting ads on any website makes the website worse, but most websites have ads.

I read somewhere that if the EC does not accept Google's solution after six months, they will fine them retroactively €15M per day since September. That would more than double the original fine of €2.4B. I can only assume Google is feeling confident?

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Google, Twitter gleefully spew Texas shooter fake news into netizens' eyes

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I never see it either. Maybe the Twitter thing might only show in the US?

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

ratfox
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Windows

History repeating itself

"This is a characteristic of OLED and is normal behavior"

"Horizontal lines: The vertically striped Aperture Grille is stabilized by wires. The Aperture Grille allows more light to pass through the screen giving the Trinitron CRT more color and brightness. The resulting horizontal lines are a trademark of genuine Sony Trinitrons."

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Jeff Bezos sells one million Amazon shares, makes one billion dollars

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Paris Hilton

*Insert standard joke about overcompensating*

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Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban

ratfox
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Re: Just follow the law, Google, why won't you?

Actually, no. The only thing Equustek wants is for Google to follow the ruling of the Canadian court, and stop presenting links to fake copies of their products when searched for in Canada. Nothing more - but also nothing less.

You are mistaken. The decision of the Canadian court was that Google should stop showing these links, in all countries, to all users.

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Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

ratfox
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Pint

Because General Motors believes in an all-electric future…

Wow. Things sure have changed!

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First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

ratfox
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The sad thing is that the only reason they went with face ID is that they wanted to have a full-face screen, they didn't manage to integrate the fingerprint sensor within the screen, and they balked at copying from Android the quite convenient fingerprint sensor on the back of the device.

If anybody needs a proof of how much they were willing to compromise to have an full-face screen, you only have to look at the ridiculous notches at the top of the screen. In my opinion, the fact that they went with face ID is a second proof.

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Crisis? What crisis? Samsung is raking in $109m profit a day

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

third-quarter record profits of $12.81bn ... $109m profit a day

Which means a quarter of 117 days. Is that an imperial quarter?

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