* Posts by ratfox

3698 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR

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Paris Hilton

GDPR?

I thought Brexit had happened?

'5G for Five Eyes!' US senator tells Parliamentarians the world would be better without Huawei

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Go

Do it! Chicken.

I'm betting that the proposition to restrict the sale of F35 is reaaally popular with the other part of the government which is trying to sell as many of the birds as possible... And that a lot of people in UK are hoping this will happen.

Watchdog slams Pentagon for failing – for a third time – to migrate US military to IPv6

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Angel

I appreciate the fact that all of these steps that the Pentagon were supposed to accomplish are preparatory. As in "scope the project". The hard part of actually doing it, ah well, miracles require a delay.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

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Happy

Re: Trumpetsters Trumpet Drumpfs Lumps

It's a spell to make you very small. You can also take a potion labeled "Drink me"

Paying Arizona: Google sued by state for location data revenues after tracking state's citizens via mobiles

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Re: UK Government

To be fair, the mobility data they showed is hardly different or more privacy invasive than the traffic jam warnings they display in Google maps... To the general indifference.

Switzerland 'first' country to roll out contact-tracing app using Apple-Google APIs to track coronavirus spread

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Boffin

Re: Switzerland as a model

One possible reason for the fast launch is that Swiss universities had a hand in the development of the DP-3T decentralized protocol. Newspapers in Switzerland act as if it was invented there, so national pride is involved.

And yet, even in Switzerland, polls seem to indicate nowhere near enough people will download the app...

Mulled Chrome API shines light on long-neglected privacy gap: Sites can snoop on your find-in-page searches

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The examples I know where the website reimplements the search functionality are when the page content is dynamically loaded. One such "website" is Google Sheets. You don't want the huge spreadsheet to be loaded in the browser, so only the part you see is downloaded. For the search functionality, the tool actually sends the search query to the server, which finds and sends back the relevant part of the page.

IBM's sacking spree reaches Australia – and as staff wait to exit, they're offered AU$4k to find new workers

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Paris Hilton

Re: Why anonymous?

Looks like Google or Microsoft to me. Microsoft has more employees in total, and I would assume older employees in general. Google has doubled in size in the last five years, and I think they do hire mostly right out of college...

Indonesia imposes 10% digital services tax

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Angel

The problem with a turnover tax is that it hits businesses so differently depending on their profit margin. If you take 10% of Google or Apple turnover, they'll hurt but still make money. If you take 10% of Amazon turnover, they'll have to close shop!... er... And that's a bad thing. Yeah.

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So this is a VAT, and therefore technically paid by the end user... Though in practice companies sell at whatever price point which gives them the most total revenue, so it's likely they will lower their theoretical VAT-less price to compensate. It's easier to tax digital services, because the marginal cost of selling more is near-zero; meaning once you've produced the thing, there's almost no chance you will decide not to sell in Indonesia because you make less money there.

It's an interesting move. Seems a lot fairer and more efficient than taxes on turnover proposed by various EU countries; maybe because EU rules would not allow them to raise the VAT in this way?

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

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Re: Chocolate teapot

"Playing the long game" — Not like they have a choice.

Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant

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Alert

There are some big holes in the logic though. The argument for diversity programs is that they right an "unjust" disparity in representation. He attempts to justify the disparity between the number of men and women in IT by claiming it is caused by women choosing not work in IT. He says that this is the natural order of things and we should not try to force it.

However, he notes himself that the diversity programs at Google also try to increase the number of black people hired in IT; yet he offers no explanation as to why black people would be underrepresented in IT. Is that the natural order of things that black people choose not to work in IT? And if there is no particular need to justify the disparity in the number of black people, why even offer a justification for women?

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Happy

Re: Hmmmm

Not sure what you mean by that zero sum comment? If I understand correctly the argument, there is limited charity money, and limited jobs. Charity money is only given to poor people, because they don't have enough money, and some jobs are given preferentially to women, because they don't have enough jobs. Both are unfair, and rich people and men are entitled to complain about discrimination.

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Re: Ran out of money...

Lawsuits against large companies are usually free, with the lawyers getting a big part of the settlement in case of victory. From what I understand, this particular lawyer is a politician treating similar cases as free campaigning opportunities, and is unlikely to insist on getting paid to keep going with a lawsuit.

Microsoft claims AWS has used new JEDI mind trick with secret contract objection filing

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Paris Hilton

Question: Were companies allowed to bid against each other during the call for bids? Or did each company give out a single bid in a sealed envelope that nobody but the customer was allowed to see? Or would the DoD come to one of the company and tell them y'know, your competitors are a lot cheaper...?

Not sure what would be best, there are probably hidden implications in every solution.

Uber, Lyft struck by sue-ball, no, sue-meteorite in California after insisting their apps' drivers aren't employees

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Angel

Re: Uber and Lyft have yet to show a cent of profit, right?

the venture capitalist mob who are underwriting these outfits to the tune of billions have left themselves with little option but to continue the money flow. If they don't, then it folds and the lose everything

That's the sunk cost fallacy! But actually, the VC mob got its money back when Uber went public. Now it's private investors who would be left holding the bag.

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Paris Hilton

Uber and Lyft have yet to show a cent of profit, right?

And last year, Uber lost 8 billion dollars. Ah well, with the current crisis and everybody staying at home, they should actually lose less money than usual, right?

Colombian tech minister quits, heads off to overseas job as aborted .co contract sale triggers in-depth probe

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Paris Hilton

How to fix this?

Arguably, the vast majority of users never even type a URL, so you could say that it doesn't even matter which TLD you are using. People Google for facebook instead of typing fb.com. On the other hand, I do know that El Reg's website ends with .co.uk, and I can therefore trust that I am on the right website... Though that logic is full of issues, starting with lookalike unicode characters used to write stuff like "tнеrеgɪѕtеr.сo.uk".

So, maybe the whole thing ought to get revisited, and companies should just register a domain name under the cheapest TLD available...?

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

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Meh

On the other hand, I use the same password for many websites because I couldn't give a rat's ass about people hacking into, say, my commentard account on The Register. Of course, I don't use that password for more important matters...

Google Australia says government pulled pin on content-for-cash talks, hands in its homework anyway

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Boffin

I recall that in Germany at least, publishers were able by law to choose whether to allow Google to display snippets; the intent was that Google would have to negotiate with them a fair price. Google offered them zero, and they all accepted sooner or later.

Of course, even though big publishers initially refused, you'd have cheap fly-by-night new sites that would accept it immediately, which meant their results were more attractive to users and received more traffic, which meant that the big publishers lost any leverage to force Google to accept their terms. Typically, bigger outfit would be able to out-advertise small operations, but since Google News is free for everybody, they can't. This makes Rupert Murdoch very unhappy.[citation needed]

The big problem of Google News is that it makes not much difference if you're a great outfit with carefully researched stories, or a one-man outfit copy/pasting stories with automated scripts; for a lot of news it makes no difference.

This makes it possible for Google to just say: "We'll let you decide exactly what you want to us to display on Google News, and we'll pay you nothing at all". And publishers all fall over themselves to allow Google to show everything it wants.

Spyware slinger NSO to Facebook: Pretty funny you're suing us in California when we have no US presence and use no American IT services...

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Re: Class action suit?

It looks like their argument is that they're building and selling a weapon, but not using that weapon. It's disputable whether using that weapon can ever be legal, but it's not their problem.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

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In China, they use red for profit and green for debt.

Family meeting! Chocolate Factory makes its business-like video-chat service free to anyone with a Google account

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Angel

The first hit is always free...

From attacked engineers to a crypto-loving preacher with a questionable CV: Yep, it's still very much 5G silly season

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Re: 5C 5G Coincidence?

And you have three upvotes now. Half-Life 3 confirmed!

Famously flawed, it is 30 years since the Hubble Space Telescope was launched

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Pretty incredible

This thing has been up there since I was in high school. Meanwhile, code that has not been touched for a couple of years probably does not work anymore. Heck, there are many programming languages that have been created and have become obsolete since that time.

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

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Paris Hilton

So how do "modern monitors" do it?

My understanding is that monitors can normally only represent a triangle in the horseshoe of the full color gamut, because they only have subpixels of three different colors (usually red, green and blue), and that by mixing them you can only represent the convex hull of these three colors (therefore triangle). You can choose colors that are as far apart as possible and as pure as possible, but you cannot represent the full gamut because you cannot have a subpixel in a color that does not exist outside of the horseshoe gamut (you'd need to find a way to activate only certain photoreceptor cones and not others, even though they normally both react to a different degree to the same lightwaves).

So how is it possible for "modern monitors" to display more colors? Are they using four subpixels?

House of Commons agrees to allow Zoom app in Parliament, British MPs will still have to dress smartly

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WTF?

Why Zoom? Aren't there any solutions that are not actually known to be unsafe? Doesn't the UK government have any professional system for video conferencing?

Google productises its own not-a-VPN secure remote access tool

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The article says they've been using it internally since 2011 though.

Google pre-pandemic: User-Agent strings are so 1990s. Time for a total makeover. Google mid-pandemic: Ah, we'll reschedule to 2021

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Re: User-Agent strings are kinda useless these days...

Which seems an odd choice to me, as won't that mean servers will need to keep track of browsers and version numbers, in order to know what standards they can utilise?

That's pretty much what they do now, isn't it? My user agent string looks like "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_3) AppleWebKit/XXX.XX (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/80.0.XXXX.XXX Safari/XXX.XX" good luck figuring out what standards that means...

Google calls a halt on Chrome 82, but the version 83 beta has arrived early – so it's coding and bug finding time ahead

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Version 83??

Though I'm not missing the days of "release 2.17.32b", I'm wondering when they are going to reset the version counter...

All your jobs are belong to us... Amazon is hiring 75,000 people but if you want US home groceries, tough luck

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Re: Bets on who will be the first company with 1M+ employees...

Foxconn aka iPhone makers has 800k employees. A number one should remember when reading stories on how they had "dozens of suicides".

What's a Google Play? Huawei talks up fledgling AppGallery store, shows off another voice assistant with a female name

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I wouldn't bet much on the new assistant (I suppose Samsung has an assistant hiding somewhere and nobody cares), but the app store is something more interesting. Considering the percentages demanded by Apple and Google, there is a need for more app stores, and some game companies are already taking steps...

That said, does somebody understand why these sanctions make it impossible for Huawei to put Google Play on their phones, but lets Microsoft put apps on Huawei's app store? Maybe Google should put Google Play in Huawei's app store?

Internet samurai says he'll sell 14,700,000 IPv4 addresses worth $300m-plus, plow it all into Asia-Pacific connectivity

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WTF?

Re: Old blocks that not abide to current rules should not be routed

Who would benefit from that? And I don't mean in a money sense. Literally, what good would it make to make these non-routable? It feels to me like you just discovered somebody has been hoarding a collection of rare stamps, so you decide to... burn it all.

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging

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Re: Yeahs, that's not gonna help...

Agreed. Amazon has everything if you know exactly what you're looking for, but it's pretty bad for shopping around. Though I guess in a sense, as long as they get the final sale, it's all that matters...

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88

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Happy

Re: I suppose...

Apparently not. It seems if anything, he enjoyed a moment of peace and quiet.

Google to appeal against €7m fine from Swedish watchdog for failing to remove search results under GDPR

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Re: legal basis

I think wanting Google to keep quiet about delistings to prevent the site owners from republishing it misses the point of the Right To Be Forgotten. First, if the site owners are determined to disseminate that information, not even Google can prevent them. Second, if the site owners are determined to disseminate that information, then that information is not irrelevant or obsolete.

If the goal was to prevent site owners from disseminating the information, then they would be ordered to take down the page; but that is not the case. If the goal was to prevent users to find the information if they look for it, then the page would be delisted for all search terms; but that is not the case either.

The point of the Right To Be Forgotten is only that Google should not display this information when nobody particularly wants to disseminate it and nobody is particularly looking for it.

As far as I know, in all those years, Google has informed site owners in every EU country, and though some people complained, no other country has forced them to stop.

California tech industry gets its first big coronavirus hit: RSA Conference attendee infected, in serious condition

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Devil

Re: Masks are not for stopping sneezes, they are to stop you touching your face

Here's a tip: Rub your hands with chili peppers! It does nothing against the virus, but you learn really quick not to touch your face.

Revolut-won: British banking app gets half a billion bucks in backing, seeks to subvert today's market incumbents

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Good

Online payments are ridiculously more complicated and/or expensive that they need to be. I'm not saying Revolut is going to be the one platform to rule them all, (and there doesn't need to be only one,) but there is a serious need to break the hold of companies like Visa and western Union on payments.

RIP Katherine Johnson: The extraordinary NASA mathematician astronauts trusted over computers

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Infinite respect

There are some people for whom the sky is not a limit.

Flat Earther and wannabe astronaut killed in homemade rocket

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Angel

Re: Stupid is as Stupid does

He is survived by two children.

What a shame, what a shame...

Oracle plays its Trump card: Blushing Big Red gushes over US govt support in Java API battle... just as Larry Ellison holds Donald fundraiser

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I'm rather annoyed that people supporting Oracle's side, keep calling it "code". It's not.

Forcing us to get consent before selling browser histories violates our free speech, US ISPs claim

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Re: "they have unique record of all sites visited that ad companies will not have"

Note that Google's DNS privacy policy surprisingly claims they don't use the DNS queries to track users. Though it looks like they might use it to analyse website popularity.

Google lives in an Orange submarine: Transatlantic cable will get by with a little help from some friends

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Re: The Repeater System

how do the repeater stations get power to do the job?

Boring: The cable contains an electric wire. Though if I remember correctly, only one; they just create a voltage with the ground at each end. And yeah, they generally pull the cable up, unless they're one of the special submarines used by the NSA to splice in-situ.

Google's second stab at preserving both privacy and ad revenue draws fire

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Re: "insisting that people do prefer targeted ads over untargeted ones"

It does seem logical that people would prefer ads that are relevant to the context, rather than targeted. On the other hand, I can't imagine that the Google guys would not experiment with that as well, and chase whatever brings more cash. As far as I know, the ad money is always split the same between Google and the website, targeted or not, so their interests ought to be aligned here.

It's the dark matter of the Internet: People who like targeted ads, click on all of them and make Google all its money.

Ever wondered how Google-less Android might look? Step right this Huawei: Mate 30 Pro arrives on British shores

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Paris Hilton

Re: Resistance is Unpopular

Indeed. By the way, how come the Amazon store is easier to install rhan the Google one? They are both US companies, you'd expect the same obstacles... No?

B-but it doesn't get viruses! Not so, Apple fanbois: Mac malware is growing faster than nasties going for Windows

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Trollface

"Growth"

Of course malware for PC is barely growing at all... The market has been saturated since 1996.

Whaddya mean, 'niche'?! Neo4j's chief scientist schools El Reg on graph databases

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Megaphone

the inertia of developers who stick with SQL no matter what

Amen! SQL is very nice for semi-competent people who are not into programming; but it's a tragedy that developers often query databases by concatenating strings to build "queries" in a 70s syntax which is about as evolved as COBOL, only to have it parsed back at the other end. Functionally and chronologically, it's the equivalent of communicating between computers using physical punch cards.

With all the energy spent into inventing new programming languages, I'm astonished nobody took the time to invent a declarative language based on theoretical concepts. Instead, I am stuck using nested queries four deep which look like a Proust novel rather than the equations that they should be.

The winners and losers of infrastructure clouds revealed: AWS, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba get fatter

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It's not so bad

There are few domains where you can choose between four big players. Sometimes, you're lucky to have two.

SF tech biz forks out $146m in fines, settlements after painkiller makers bribed it to design medical software that pushed opioids to patients

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Mushroom

Holy Fucking Shit. Jail would be too sweet for these bastards.

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program

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Angel

Re: Good, good.

Indeed, even though IT professionals themselves are rather underpaid in the UK... Good to know that Boris Johnson is working on making sure this remains the case.

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