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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2798 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Apple’s $700 BEEELLION market cap makes it more valuable than Switzerland

Charlie Clark
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Re: So depressing

The reward actually goes to the shareholders and accountants who came up with the share buyback scheme. This is debt-financed (at nearly 0 %) and, therefore, can be offset against tax. The buybacks are, of course, tax as capital gains and not income. Oh, and let's not forget that low interest rates and money printing have caused an equities boom.

All said that, based on P/E, Apple is not as overvalued as say Amazon!

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IDC predicts iPad sales crash, says Win 8 is killing 2-in-1 Typoslabs

Charlie Clark
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No news

Courageous of IDC to forecast all the way out to 2018. Would be nice to see how their previous forecasts have held up.

I think anyone who's got a tablet should give themselves an award for predicting longer replacement cycles. But I'd also expect the market to continue growing not least because we're getting a generation of kids who are growing up with the tablet as their primary computing device. I suspect the main displacement is going to be gaming and media consumption devices but more may follow over time. They will use PCs only when absolutely necessary.

The Surface has failed as a device (RT was bizarrely crippled, the Pros are overpriced for the mass market) but may end up being the shape of things to come as tablets and notebooks converge and useful form factors made with commodity components emerge. Though it's still not clear as to which eco-system will profit most from this.

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Samsung to boot out Shin after Galaxy S5 tanks – report

Charlie Clark
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Re: S5.. .meh

FWIW I get the same battery life out of mine with Cyanogenmod as with Samsung's distro with energy saving options enabled. But the biggest difference is switching WiFi on only when needed.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Good hardware... but

Some of the software is pretty good but it should all be easily removable. Fortunately, rooting Samsungs is pretty easily done.

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Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September

Charlie Clark
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Re: AdBlocker?

No, it's a browser extension. Plugins are independent programs that just get called by the browser and just appear to run in it. Extensions run in the browser using an API.

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BT in talks to RE-SLURP O2 after spitting it out a decade ago

Charlie Clark
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Good news for the bankers

Who'll stand to earn yet again.

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Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking

Charlie Clark
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The shop hours have improved a lot over the last 15 years. In most cities you can now shop till 8 Monday to Saturday.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Londoner near Duesseldorf

We'll have to continue not meeting up! Successfully avoided fellow expats for about the same time as you.*

You can get quite a lot of stuff and the American and British store on Corneliusstr, but good cheese really is hard to get. Reasonable set of beers and ciders, though as I like Alt I'm happy to stick to Schlüssel.

The mentality of the people here in the west is pretty close to British so integrating isn't too hard: they'll generally laugh at the jokes, even if they don't tell too many themselves.

* I will admit to having a bit of a hankering for some carol singing (with some figgy pudding, of course).

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HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes

Charlie Clark
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As usual, an article by Matt Asay is more about the buzzword bingo than the given topic.

Nice work though, if you can get it. VP Mobile Ecstasy or whatever for Adobe.

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DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS

Charlie Clark
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Also - and again, please correct me if I am wrong - Plone

You are wrong. Particularly Plone, with which I'm most familiar, targets non-techies and there are lots of installs of it by people with minimal technical skills. There are also lots of plugins for it.

I remember well when I recommended Plone to a teacher looking for something for his school (this was 2002 or so). A couple of years later he asked me his first technical question and a few years ago told me it had been adopted for the state educational intranet.

Nowadays, I'm more a fan of Substance D, not least because it has the best name! ;-)

Back to the keypoint: lots of pen-testing kits are open source and so little excuse for not including them in the release cycle.

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Charlie Clark
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I know Plone does and I believe El Reg is running Bricolage.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

So the three major free PHP CMSes: Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress have flaws.

I'd take issue with describing either WordPress or Joomla really as content management systems, despite the fact that they are often used as such.

Security and secure development have never been high on the PHP agenda: ease of use and deployment have traditionally been far more important. Without a culture of security, you'll only get insecure code witness the heap of CVEs related to PHP and systems written in PHP. I'm not saying it's not possible to write good, safe code in PHP but it is harder than in most comparable languages. The recent exploit in Drupal highlighted this because it was down to parameters not being quoted properly. How that kind of code could be accepted by project leaders is beyond me.

The rest of your post is uses the strawman of homemade CMS to justify using the leading crapware. There are lots of CMSes and even ones that take security seriously and run their own pen-testing.

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Brit mobile firms in FOURPLAY TUSSLE – how very French of them

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

About 10 years ago, Faultline wrote a report on the economics of quad play. We hardly sold any

Given the quality of the research – mainly PR for one company or another – is that any surprise.

Convergence has a been an on-off buzzword for the telecommunications industry since the late 1990s. In the battle for Mannesmman it was was key concept: Mannesmann favoured convergence; Vodafone said the future would be mobile only.

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Windows Phone will snatch biz No 2 spot from Android – analyst

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just a guess

Either that, or a company chasing Microsoft's business.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: “As corporates buy apps and devices ...

Who says Microsoft won't play their usual games, and start adding features that are only available on Windows Phone to push people towards their solution?

Well, in the mobile world Microsoft resembles IBM in the OS/2 days: it might make more money from selling Office on Android and IOS than it ever will on Windows Phone. At some point the shareholders might get restless enough to force them to do so.

Where Microsoft will pick up sales is in tablets + docking stations as notebook replacements. Expect the number of "apps" to remain modest, though. It will be largely retooling internal systems for mobile and lots of cloudy, Salesforcey stuff. hm, there's a thought: Microsoft's next acquisition?

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Smartphone chip champ Qualcomm says it's ARMed for server wars

Charlie Clark
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Re: It would be good to see their weight thrown in

Then we need a desktop version with GPU

I'm pretty certain we don't need those before the server chips come out. Desktop machines need the OS and all the apps compiled for the architecture, data centres just need a compiler.

For large customers (say Facebook) it might make financial sense to do one-off SoC runs (up to a million units). But, your other point about UEFI and other low-level support is probably the biggest hurdle left for ARM to take. Once that falls then the price advantages of ARM will be very hard to ignore.

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GOTCHA: Google caught STRIPPING SSL from BT Wi-Fi users' searches

Charlie Clark
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Damn, a plausible explanation that isn't a conspiracy theory!

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Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Charlie Clark
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Do No Track is less than a fig leaf, a total waste of time and the mention of it in the article is a red herring. I suspect the dispute with Google was about money and only money.

Google is successful because its search is very, very good.

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Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

Charlie Clark
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Re: Humor me here

I just did the same and Windows Update only told me about the July update that I can't install for some reason. However, when I looked at the details the new one was there but just not selected. So, check the details of the available patches.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: MS, please help me understand

Thereby, instead of keeping on whining about MS…

No, it's perfectly correct to moan about MS's dreadful track record on this. The issue of liability is also important for software companies: think of the trillions that Microsoft has made over the years by selling shoddy software. Who pays for any lost time / overtime as a result of some of these serial fuck-ups? Will it really take a massive legal case to change fundamental development practices? Will companies start behaving differently if the same recall rights apply to their software as is the case in the car industry?

This doesn't mean the open source community doesn't need to improve either: openssl should make all us shudder and cringe. We need to work together to develop and follow better programming and testing practices. This doesn't mean we'll ever develop bug-free software but we can do a fuck of a lot more to reduce the number of bugs around.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: so much for...

That's a pupular misconception Sic.

The misconception could not have anything to do with the PR and marketing spin saying exactly that? Or is your typo in reality a cunning linguistic pun?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This is the castle of my master, Ballmère de Redmonde!

Did Ballmer fart in the general direction of the security team and fetchez la vache onto them and is Nadella resurrecting it?

I get the Monty Python allusion but I just can't make linguistic nor grammatical sense of this

Plus, it's actually Nadella who's done most of the sacking.

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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

Charlie Clark
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Intel's marketing money

But it also refers to the possibility that Nokia would license out the brand to other manufacturers

Looks like they're already doing it. This has generous Intel support written all over it. Must be some kind of bonus for the 1st 10,000 Intel mobile chips sold shipped.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: Some People

I just upvoted you but then I realised I didn't know whether there really are such things as porn apps. Does that make me a fuddy-duddy?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Will Nokia be properly supporting the N1 tablet?

Fingers crossed that it is not locked down and a Sailfish install is a breeze

Good luck with that: it's an Intel and the mobile devices traditionally come with secure boot.

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Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW

Charlie Clark
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Re: XScale

How did they manage to sell their industry leading ARM division the year before smart phones caught on?

I suspect that it's because the margins on the x86 kit were so much higher than management (and shareholders) didn't see the point in putting any more resources into it. The history of American companies is littered with those that died because they didn't innovate enough but also with those that innovated too much to the detriment of any money-making business.

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Charlie Clark
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Numbers

It will also draw some scrutiny away from the old Mobile and Communications division …which has been losing both cash and market share, despite the chipmaker's best efforts.

To be honest there have been a number of product launches recently (Hudl, Verizon, Dell, Lenovo, etc.) that might make the numbers look a bit better in the next report, though Intel must be practically giving the chips away. Time will tell whether these attempts to get back into the market at any cost are worth it.

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Why did men evolve map-reading skills? They were PAID BY BONK - study

Charlie Clark
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Re: Additional explanation?

Yeah, there's a good deal of correlation not necessarily being causation. Another study a few years back (cited in The Economist) of tribes in Central America correlated foraging with gender: men go further, find new places but are less efficient as a result; women systematically forage the local area (and like in the proverbial supermarket) know where everything is.

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Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

Charlie Clark
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Joke

Re: Of couser...

"I'm indignant that the contract didn't go to a mega corp along with exclusive media, mineral and tourism rights!"

Tim Worstall

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Amazon: DROP DATABASE Oracle; INSERT our new fast cheap MySQL clone

Charlie Clark
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What does scale mean?

That means it can process 6 million inserts per minute, he said, or 30 million selects per minute.

You can probably get any DB to do that if you know what you're doing. Easiest thing is to disable any checks and don't do transactions.

What some customers want from "cloud" services is that they themselves never have to think about scaling themselves: that even if it's 6 billion ACID inserts a minute the system can handle it. AFAIK only Google's big table will do this if you're prepared to live with the restrictions of the system.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: good luck to them

Always wondered why the Oracle compatibilty mode of Postgress was not used more to break the lock-in. Is Postgress performance too slow, because my limited experience suggests it performs very well.

Compatibility mode is only available in the Enterprise DB version and is obviously good enough for many: Enterprise DB costs money but the costs are trivial in comparison with Oracle.

Enterprise DB provides information on comparative performance and my understanding is, that for very large deployments (lots of core) there is still a way to go but there increasing customer base means there are more resources (both in terms of paid developers and code contributions) to make this happen.

Oracle's lock-in is, as is usually the case, little to do with the technology. It's cultural and based around the understanding that managers are more afraid of doing the wrong thing than they are interested in doing the right thing. For "no one every got sacked for buying IBM" read "no one ever got sacked for buying Oracle/SAP/Microsoft…". They have the packages and the eco-systems that meet customer's criteria and a veritable army of consultants and SIs only too happy to reassure managers that nothing can go wrong.

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729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build

Charlie Clark
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Re: I don'know, wha'd you wanna do tonight?

The genesis of AWS was just that: lots of capacity lying around that was required for a few very busy periods of the year (Thanksgiving, Christmas,…).

Businesses get to choose between operational and capital expenditure and pass the risk onto suppliers like Amazon. But don't worry: their risks are also limited as data centres are usually funded by substantial subsidies.

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ESA sends back PRE-LANDING COMET CLOSE-UPS

Charlie Clark
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Re: then touch down seven hours later at about 4pm

I was wondering that myself. And then even more about the schedule: we need El Reg Coordinated Timezones!

RLT – Reg standard lunchtime: 13:00

RTT – Reg standard tea time: 16:00 except on Fridays

RBT – Reg standard booze time: 18:00 except on Fridays when it's 13:00

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Scale.

@bleu

Irrelevant comment. The ESA is not an organ of the EU.

I never said it was. But when has that ever stopped the swivel-eyed loons? They also fulminate against the ECHR which also isn't part of the EU.

Anyway, you seem to be suffering from an irony deficit. The UK's contribution to the ESA is paltry largely because Maggie decided space research wasn't worth investing in.

The same arguments, of course, can also be heard over the water by UKIP's six-fingered, small government Tea Party cousins: guns are great, research is a waste of time.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Scale.

I'm waiting for UKIP to stand up and get all shouty, shouty about the waste of taxpayers' money. Just imagine how much better the UKSA's comet mission would be if it didn't have to kowtow to those bureaucratic fools at ESA headquarters!

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EU Ryanair 'screen-scraping' case could affect biz models

Charlie Clark
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No case

I'd be surprised if the court sees any case for protection as the use is quite clearly in the interest of a fair, free and open market: the data is already publicly available and the price comparison site is not presenting it as its own.

Another question would be the right for the site to charge a commission because Ryanair does have the right to choose intermediaries.

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Microsoft snorefest: For crying out loud, Nadella – just channel Ballmer!

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: BORING IS GOOD!!!

Emotional appeal can be had at the porn movies.

Really? Is this your mac by any chance? ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Simple maths

Our partner friend reckoned Nadella’s done no harm to the Microsoft business since February 2014…After nearly two years, it's time for Nadella to update his message and channel his inner Ballmer.

I just checked my calendar and I think it's November 2014 which according to my calculations is 9 months.

Everyone knows that Nadella was given the job when Microsoft couldn't recruit a "champion" CEO from outside. Still, sometimes boring CEOs are just what you need. Ballmer was responsible for some spectacularly expensive acquisitions that have yet to pay off: AQuantive, Skype, Nokia's handset business. Minecraft is small change next to those.

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German spies want millions of Euros to buy zero-day code holes

Charlie Clark
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The money could be better spent…

…funding research on security. Rather than snooping on its citizens, a free state is better served by devoting resources to securing their individual freedom, and making its own systems more secure and resilient to attack.

The few potential terrorists that are around will be caught using the traditional but boring methods: patience, observation, search and wire-tapping with a warrant.

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Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

Charlie Clark
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Unfortunately the Intel chipsets almost always enforce secure boot so rooting is not an option.

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MoD releases code to GitHub: Our Ideaworks... sort of

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Fecking GPL

So all the software (this is a Django application) they're using is permissvely licensed and they have to stick the GPL 3 on it? Can't see this getting much take up as a result. Still, I guess it's a start.

Peer review = no conditions

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Firefox decade: Microsoft's IE humbled by a dogged upstart. Native next?

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

WTF

Office’s lock on documents had been cracked by open-source and web-based alternatives like Google Docs in 2004, and latterly, LibreOffice in 2011.

Google Docs in 2004?

StarOffice which became OpenOffice which was forked by LibreOffice was around long before Google Docs.

The rest of the article isn't much better.

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Charlie Clark
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Have you just re-invented Glade?

Or QML?

XML isn't very good for layout, which is why HTML got CSS.

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Charlie Clark
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National roaming can work

If roaming charges are high enough to encourage continued development. This is how O2 in Germany used it while it was building on its network.

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Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

Charlie Clark
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Re: OLED is the future (or so they said in 2003)

I think OLED for Apple is wishful thinking.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Serious issue

OLED life is getting better all the time and is now good enough for most of us: we used to have tellies for > 10 years but I suspect that the norm is now about 5 years. You have to be prepared to tweak anything to get the colours okay.

RGB backlights and filters increase the complexity (massively so for 4k) and cost of LCD with the hope that scale will reduce this over time.

OLED scalability is based on the printable dream. If that ever happens then it will overnight become cheaper than LCD. Obviously, at the moment Samsung can't get good yields on large panels and is concentrating on screens for phones and tablets.

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Charlie Clark
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It's the usual Faultline guff. What's surprising is that there is any form of intelligence and even the odd coherent sentence in the rest of the article!

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Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Charlie Clark
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Re: Complexity....

Lisp is also noticeable by its absence.

The inclusion of TypeScript and CoffeeScript initially threw me, and I do think they shouldn't be included in the assessment, partly because they're both too new, but mainly because they produce Javascript. However, a head-to-head of the three for solving common well-understood problems might be interesting.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Real Programmers

I think you're missing an adjective in your last clause.

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Charlie Clark
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Interesting but no cigar

The analysis of defects is heavily dependent upon the bug tracker and the quality of that is heavily dependent upon the users.

Additional information could be achieved through static code analysis, test coverage and penetration testing where possible. Tests can serve as the formal expression of the contract that code is supposed to implement. I'd wager that there is a significant negative correlation between (unit) test coverage and errors regardless of the language. There might be a correlation between language and test coverage, though this might be less necessary for purely functional programming.

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