* Posts by Drat

78 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Mar 2010


Europe bans Meta from using personal data to target ads


Re: And nothing was lost

Ads don't drive the economy. Ads either make people buy one brand over another, buy something for more than it is worth because it is branded, or encourage you to buy something useless. On rare occasions they might inform you of a new product, but that is very rare.

Content related Ads are an acceptable evil if we want to consume content for free, targeted Ads are an unnecessary evil designed to exploit the gullible IMO

Judge tosses Sonos's $32.5M patent win over Google with savage slam down


Re: This was a case of the industry leading with something new

Yes, apparently Venn diagrams were introduced in 1880, that seems like reasonable prior art

Gas supplier blames 'rogue' code for Channel Island outage


Re: Million to one chances ....

I will now keep a lookout for anything coming from Mars

Google Chrome pushes ahead with targeted ads based on your browser history


Re: What's an advertisement?

Congratulations for completely removing adverts from your online experience! I hope none manage to sneak through your defences.

I will celebrate your achievement by eating a delicious double decker, a crispy and chewy nougat chocolate bar, yum!

Microsoft cries foul over UK gaming deal blocker but it's hard to feel sorry for them


Re: Why was this even a thing?

The $68.7 billion goes to the stockholders of Activision Blizzard, not to the company itself.

Of course, it is possible that MS will invest more into Activision Blizzard to make new games than the company could have done on its own, but certainly the $68.7 billion makes some people very rich rather than going into games

Google CEO Pichai: We need to up productivity by a fifth


Re: Depressing

> Don't leave us guessing, what was the reaction?

Their reaction was probably: Let's have a meeting to discuss that

He called himself the King of Fraud. Now this bot lord will reign in prison for years


Re: Seems kind of complicated

Wouldn't it have been easier to just place ads that real humans could see?

And just as effective for the advertisers...

Beyond video to interactive, personalised content: BBC is experimenting with rebuilding its iPlayer in WebAssembly


Re: Fuck the BBC - fuck iPlayer

Don't worry about it. With the new object based broadcasting you will get a version of the news that fits your own political opinions so everyone will be happy :)

Third time's a harm? Microsoft tries to get twice-rejected encoding patent past skeptical examiners


Patents are used to create nation state commercial advantage but each states patent office granting generously to local companies/inventors, then due to the globalisation this can cause ripples in all other markets. It is a bit of a battle, why make your own patent authority more rigorous when your overseas competitors make theirs more lenient for their own local businesses.

Getting rid of the whole patent system might make people less willing to share ideas and breakthroughs. Perhaps a better solution would be to have one global patenting authority that can offer the required amount of rigour on examination (and thus reduce the number of spurious patents) and at the same time reduce drastically the costs of patenting?

Dev creeped out after he fired up Ubuntu VM on Azure, was immediately approached by Canonical sales rep


"As part of the deal, LinkedIn got to retain its independence and Weiner remained in charge. Weiner received a spot on Microsoft’s senior leadership team and started reporting directly to Nadella, while keeping his CEO title."

So MS didn't replace the CEO of Linkedin with one of their own, instead they turned the CEO of Linkedin into one of their own. Assimilation instead of usurpation....

Lenovo reveals smart specs that let you eyeball five virtual displays, with strings attached


Re: Mark can't see a use case so the tech is junk?

For me and several colleagues now working from home this would be useful (assuming it works well and image quality is good). Why? Well, my makeshift office space only has room enough for one monitor and a laptop, and even then it is squeezed in. A couple of my colleagues work on the dining room table and so can't add an external monitor (mealtimes, kids home schooling etc). So even just using it to display ONE virtual monitor becomes very useful, more would be heaven.

And also:

"Pesce also pointed out that it’s unclear how users will see their keyboards when wearing the glasses"

I thought these are AR glasses, so you still see the world through them?

No surprise: Britain ditches central database model for virus contact-tracing apps in favour of Apple-Google API


Had to happen

It was just a question of time. Why did they have to be so obstinate and waste so much time?


BBC voice assistant promises to summon streams even if you're just a little bit Brahms and Liszt


Re: Dear BBC

I agree. Let me paraphrase:

"Stop doing things you want to do, and start doing things your customers want"

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?


Re: One would have throught...

"Not if they are on the public footpath outside my office, and I am inside with the doors and windows on that side firmly shut."

Better to send a few people into 2 week isolation by error than keep the whole of the population in self isolation for months, which is the alternative (if you rule out letting the virus rip through the population)

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


Stupid Decisions

The most important thing is to get enough people to use the app such that the contact tracking works. Farting around with additional functionality that might subsequently reduce the number of installs is idiotic


It is not about picking up everybody who may have been infected, it is about picking up enough people who may have been infected to reduce the R0 below 1

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42



When I was a kid my parents sent off for a pack so I could join the Marvin Depreciation Society. It came with a badge with a sad Marvin face on, and a grey Marvin jumper. Except in my pack, they sent a too large jumper with little note saying something like "We are sorry to say we have run out of small jumpers, so have had to send you a large one instead. If you are unhappy please send it back for a full refund". My parents sent it back, but I have always wondered if the wrong size jumper and the note where part of the joke..

Is there anyone out there with inside information, I would love to know (it is something I ponder on once a year when the rotation of the earth makes my head spin)

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer



When banks subject their customers to shenanigans like this it is no wonder so many will later get tricked so easily.

Game over, LAN, game over! Windows software nasty Emotet spotted spreading via brute-forced Wi-Fi networks


Home WiFi

OK, so how good are home WiFi routers at detecting and preventing brute force attacks? So if you get x number of failed connection attempts from a particular MAC address will they then refuse anymore connections for a period of time and alert the user somehow?

Privacy activists beg Google to ban un-removable bloatware from Android


It would be great if...

... android phone manufactures took all the resources they use making bespoke Apps that not many people use and used those resources to role out faster android updates for their phones instead

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy


Re: Bloody Shambles

"In my experience exactly the same prevails (mutatis mutandis) in the world of business. Managers who believe that "management" is a sublime talent, and those who possess it can manage anything."

Managing is an art form for for sure. However the best managers know they have to take counsel from experts

With a warehouse of unsold AR goggles, Magic Leap has a brainwave… let’s rebadge ‘em and sell to business!


Re: Run for it

It is a question of focus. If you just stick a transparent screen on to some glasses, you will not be able to focus on the text, it will just be a blur (you can test this out for yourself if you hold something transparent with text on, such as a sweet wrapper, right in front of your eye).

Currently you need some form of optics to change the focal distance of the text/image. To remove the need of optics you would need to have light from the image travelling roughly parallel, I don't know, some form of hologram technology to collimate the light?

Watch Waymo's totally driverless self-driving car cruise around, how the US military wants to use AI ethically, etc


Re: The uniquenesses.

I have to say point "4" in the above made the most sense to me...

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months


Re: I got nailed by this

I find that shocking that Amazon have this giant security hole. How many other people have been hit by this and haven't noticed or just blame the kids? Of course Amazon will get a % of the sales...

Google: Read my lips. You cannot link up a G Suite account with Nest smart home gizmos


I couldn't agree more. I was on a free google apps account and was finding I was missing out on more and more functionality. So, about 2 years ago I took the drastic step of moving to a gmail account. It was a long hard process.

I managed to move all my emails over, but of course they all ended up in the inbox and not the nicely organised folders I had

I shared my photos with my new account, but I seem to have lost all the location info. I need to get round to exporting them all from the old account, recombining them with the exif data and then importing them into the new account

And of course I lost access to all my paid for apps and media

I am glad I made the change, but it has left a bad taste behind...

It all hinges on this: Huawei goes after Samsung with its own foldable hybrid Mate X


Re: How long before it breaks ?

Yes, havng a screen on both of the outside planes sounds a bit fragile, and putting a protective case on it would make it a pain to unfold.

Still exciting to see the development though, wonder what the ideal form factor is going to be?

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes


I was wrong

I always thought that as it was such a stupid idea, that they had a real and different plan: Get 20+ gullable people to sign up, build a fake rocket, put them to sleep for a few hours and then wake them up in a "Mars" habitat that is out in a desert somewhere, or in a studio (the story being they had been in months of suspended animation). Then you have a reality TV show of people who really think they are on mars and on their own for every, could have made interesting TV. Could have really messed with their minds (people dressed as martians in the distance, fake an airleak, pretend earth has been demolished) in case you needed to spice it up. Oh well, I was wrong then, but would have been a more sensible idea...

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito



What have density or colour to do with volume? Liter is a measure of volume. 500 ml of helium is the same volume as 500 ml of water, just the mass is different. So it doesn't matter if one beer has a higher density than the other. I suspect the staff of your craft beer bar consists of young hipsters who have no clue how to pour a beer properly from a tap.

The point was I believe, other properties may have an impact depending on the measurement method. I have a jug than can measure 500ml of water just fine, but I would really struggle to use it to measure 500ml of helium

Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo


Re: Hmm

"you're (too) harsh. The problem is, we don't have anything unique or attractive to offer to the world that can't be had elsewhere"

We do seem very good at putting ourselves down

Googlers revolt over AI military tech contract, brainiacs boycott killer robots, and more



"Humans, too busy squabbling amongst themselves, did not realise that the real threat did not come from other humans, but came from non-humans, until it was too late"

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory


Worse to come

I have to wonder what Lego's strategy is to cope with the time in the not too distant future when everyone has access to a 3D printer and can print their own bricks from downloadable designs. They need a plan to convert into a company that supplies said digital plans...

'Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!', says Google as it reveals 72-qubit quantum chip


Are they sure?

Yes and no..

iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles


Re: So Someone Learn me....

If the bill of goods is $370, who gets the other $629 ? Seems like a lot for distribution, marketing etc...

A large part of that is straight to profit (destined for a tax efficient territory)

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit


Re: Stupidity on a grand scale

Having an Amazon Prime subscription I am much much more likely to buy stuff through Amazon. I am also more likely to keep my Prime subscription if I can cast Prime Video through my chromecast (80% of our TV watching is through the chromecast). We did get a fire stick but the interface is so clunky compared to using a phone we can't be bothered to use it.

I _probably_ won't drop Amazon Prime due to no chromecast support, but it does annoy the hell out of me

Ad 'urgently' seeks company to build national e-ID system


Re: Enrolling children

"Why would a child that is only a few weeks old need a passport?"

They generally don't like you taking babies/children out of a country if you can't prove you are the parent or guardian

Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots


Re: Political Bots.

"Yep. Can't have Ordinary People diluting Murdoch's power now, can we?"

Totally agree that Murdoch et al have been playing us ordinary people, and it is good to see their power reduce. Sadly, this is about other powerful people/states/organisations at work, and as usual it is the ordinary people who get played once again.

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers


Jedi mind trick

"Let me turn my computer on. Whilst it is booting up I have a very special message for you from your god, who is extremely unhappy you have fallen in to a life of crime. You should go an tell the local police what has been happening, it is the only way of saving your soul..."

Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers


The rules people actually use..

This is the logic most people currently use

1) Does the news content conflict with your views? Then assume it is fake and produced by the global elite/revolutionary guard/evil puppets from the planet Zog

2) Does the news content support your views? Then assume it is the holy truth written by honest defenders of mankind who would help old ladies cross the road if they weren't too busy distributing blankets for small furry animals who have fallen on hard times

Royal Navy's newest ship formally named in Glasgow yard


How about..

.. taking a leaf from Ian M Banks and calling our warships something a bit more meaningful. Seeing as it comes from Glasgow how about "HMS Shut your geggie"?

New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count


Fairy Cake

If you thought you were insignificant before, you are now 10x as insignificant. Better eat that piece of fairy cake before you get some perspective

Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface


Re: VR

Yes the phone VR experience is not the full experience you get from high end PC with dedicated headsets, but don't forget the lesson of VHS v BETAMAX, price and accessibility can sometimes trump performance.

Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest password was 'dadada'


Re: Must be...

Funny, I just assumed he was trying to dodge a rocket...

Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi


Continuing the present day microsoft strategy of forcing its software on people, rather than the strategy in the 90's and early 00's of writing good (not great) software that people really wanted.

Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'


Two things I took from this:

1) Not many people are using (and paying for) music streaming services

2) The music industry + artists aren't earning much money from music streaming services

Well isn't the second point mainly caused by the first? Why would anyone expect to earn much from something that isn't been used much?

Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people


Re: Ever tried a rollercoaster?

Sounds like a success to me, real rollercoatsers also make people want to throw up!

Microsoft updates Band semi-smartwatch for fitness fanatics



I have to admit I like the look of this, just a shame the functionality is a bit lacking. Make something like this running android wear and I would be very interested. I like the idea of instant information on a wrist mounted device, a band like this seem to look less bulky than a watch styled device.

Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!


Re: Small, thick phone

The Moto E 2nd gen is close to that with a 4.5 screen and a 2390 mAh battery. Typically my battery drops to 50 to 40% by the end of the day (normal use for me is messaging, news, playing music to my BT headphones, selecting stuff for the chromecast, a bit of web browsing. NOT playing games however) Only downsides are just 1GB RAM (can be a bit sluggish switching apps), no Qi and a weak camera. Only cost £108 however, but would pay more to fix those three quibbles. Oh, I really want a USB-C port on my next phone too...

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android


And quicker updates

Typically there is much much more of interest in the latest vanilla Android updates then there is in the device specific modified Androids. Therefore it is a much better consumer proposition to be able to offer faster updates to the latest Android version than it is to offer some unique feature. This is one reason I have preferred a Nexus to a Samsung. I hope in the future my device choice is widened (fingers crossed)

Taylor Swift dumps Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you


Consumer or supplier

From a successful artists point of view this makes sense, I am sure she can get more money in the short term from album sales, and later on she can always add the albums back to Spotify for future income.

From a consumer’s point of view, Spotify is much better value, a fixed fee gives you access to a huge range of music, whereas buying albums costs more for less listening choice, and has the big chance of buying an album you listen to once or twice and then it sits idle.

So whose point of view is the most important, the multi-millionaire supplier or the average consumer, which in this case is probably a school kid saving up their pocket money.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED


I thought...

"But there’s no integer ratio between a pixel designed by the software developer and a pixel on your iPhone 6 Plus screen. That’s something the fragmented Android world has long tolerated, but it’s new to perfectionist Apple."

I thought android forced app developers to cater for all size/shape screens by changing the layout not by scaling anything? This was always seen as a major hurdle for programmers (have to consider multiple views), but the argument for is that all apps are rendered cripsly on any display?

The Apple solution seems clunky in comparison, seems Android got that one right IMO.