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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2565 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Charlie Clark
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Just don't do it

Without an additional thing like hardware encryption just don't do banking with your phone. Even if the code is good, and this is unlikely, the device and the communication channels are too easily compromised.

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Comcast-Time Warner merger: CloudFlare's fare flare fair warning

Charlie Clark
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It's a CDN so whether it hosts or not is a bit moot, especially as it's using other companies servers to host its caching infrastructure. I'm not surprised you get a knockback from the abuse team. What particular problem do you want them to solve?

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Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome

Charlie Clark
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Google or Apple?

was out of the ordinary for Cupertino

Google is normally referred to as being from Mountain View while Cupertino is reserved for Apple…

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Google kicks PowerPoint in the fondleslab

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's less about utility...

…round trip fidelity …

Given the complexity of the MS Office formats it's almost impossible to get real fidelity but you can usually get close enough. There's no doubt that for the next couple of years Microsoft has got the corporate market for the reasons you give. But long term I think ODF might just win out as a file format. Microsoft still has a chance because a lot of people like its products, but it will have to work hard to compete as the playing field levels.

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

The web is the new hotness

Young programmers prefer to tinker with the phones or develop for the web. That's where their interest and the money is. Nothing really to do with Github at all.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Charlie Clark
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could result in some sort of HR violation…

Sexual harassment is a criminal offence. Sod the HR department: get down to the cops with the name and address – I assume the fuckers are only to happy to provide them.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Charlie Clark
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Re: the devil is in the detail

Other courts have already decided that streaming is not distributing.

But this isn't about the law but shameful PR of the met. It is a fundamental principle of the British legal system that the police don't get to interpret the law and, thus, decide what is legal and what is illegal.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Obscene publications

What would be worse? The blood? How about film of the wounded or dead? What about staging a similar scene in a film? It's damn difficult to define these things legally.

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Charlie Clark
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Obscene publications

Don't need terrorist legislation to go after the consumption of images/videos/text. Existing legislation, such as that used in child porn cases, criminalises the download (damn difficult to prove someone was actually watching something) of whatever is deemed to be offensive (historically and culturally specific). Pornography can, and in some countries is, defined as including violence as well as sex. We've seen elsewhere how much the police would like to be able to define what is unacceptable.

Course that makes for slightly confusing headlines. And, if were any cases brought, might lead to a change in the law if the judges decided the police were overstepping their bounds and swamping the courts with trivial misdemeanours. I also reckon you'd have a damn hard-time proving the beheading was more obscene that now routine pictures of drone strikes and bombs we get to see.

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ARM64 gets better GPU support in CUDA release

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yet Another Ridiculous Comparison on the way

There's no comparison: the Pi has a very weak ARM CPU and relies on the Broadcom media + graphics chip to do the heavy lifting.

The 64-bit ARMs from AMD will be very different beasts. But there will be comparisons between them and nVidia's 64-bit ARMs. For HPC the attraction of both will be the ability to tune the hardware if required. Support for such hardware extensions in CUDA and OpenCL will make them even more attractive.

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Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why the different standards?

What we're seeing here is the expectation that electronics be held to a higher standard than what it is replacing.

Actually we've yet to see that anywhere. Think of all the recall actions of cars due to defective tyres, etc. and then point out something comparable in the software industry.

The US has the concept of unlimited liability which is now coffee containers warn you that hot liquids are dangerous and kitchen knives come with safety warnings. So far the software industry has been able to weasel its way out of similar cases by releasing updates that fix whatever problems. But, unless the law is changed to prevent unlimited liability, that state of grace is bound to end sometime.

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not sure I agree with the author

but the overwhelming majority of users will be content with what's on the market

You may very well be right but consumers don't seem to agree with you. Other companies have folded after spending as much on failing to get market share as Microsoft has done with Nokia. At some point shareholders, other than Mr Ballmer, will get impatient and require Microsoft to get out of the hardware game.

Glossing over the bugs in 8.1 is a mistake. Mr Orlowski wrote several glowing reviews of Windows Phone and of devices running it. His criticism of 8.1 is indicative of his disappointment of Microsoft's failure to correct bugs and quickly and judiciously add new features. Yes, Android users bitch about the lack of speed with which their particular device gets an update but that's only because Google keeps on pushing out new releases for vanilla Android devices.

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Charlie Clark
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As long as Microsoft is paying…

This is quite obviously something which Microsoft is paying for – both HTC and Verizon and I'm sure both are happy as long as Microsoft pays them to do stuff. The biggest problem will be when reviews of the device with Windows goes up against the same device with Android. Verizon better have a good returns / boot-to-Android policy as this device is just begging to be sold as an Android flagship (the sales reps neglecting to inform users that it's actually got Windows phone) only for angry customers to return it when they can't get whatever apps they consider to be essential for it.

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Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'll miss him.... and Steve

You've obviously missed the guy at T-Mobile USA then? Corporate America is currently too awash in cash to actually worry about anything more than their golf handicap.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: P.S.

Don't know anything about the Trailblazers. Who does own them? I am a fan of the Portland Thinkers…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @AC: (was: 2 billion US dollars?)

Gut feeling is that Steve could pour another 3 billion into the franchise (staff, new arena, advertising, etc.), and still not make a profit. On a vanity project.

Even if he does have to put another USD 3 bn in he can still afford it. The key word is vanity: some people buy islands, other sports teams. Though I think that those that manage to stick around over time do end up making more than cost and with a good accountant it is an excellent tax sink.

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Charlie Clark
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The one good thing here is that Satya Nadella will not have Ballmer looking over his shoulder all the time

Are you sure? As the largest individual shareholder whatever he says will carry weight whether he's on the board or not and he can have himself put on the board whenever he wants.

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Charlie Clark
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The "hardware gross margins" worries me. Maybe he never bothered to speak to Sony, Dell, etc. about the pitiful margins on their products. Margins like Apple's are very much the exception rather than the rule in consumer electronics. For Microsoft the margins on selling software like Office are likely to remain crucial for the future. SaaS sounds so good until customers find ways to migrate to alternative providers.

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Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

Charlie Clark
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Re: Perl ... that actually is the sourcecode

it always did give you more than enough rope to hang yourself with in the readability stakes.

I always understood Perl to be write-only? ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Opera Unite

Was probably the first server embedded in the browser. Was pretty interesting but there are all kinds of problems with putting a server in the browser.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Charlie Clark
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Windows

70s pop star?

Well, technically true I suppose but not really the era one associates with Kate Bush. She's long argued against the alienation through technology – there's a pretty cheesy text on The Sensual World to that effect.

Taking the odd picture as a memento at a concert is almost unavoidable but trying to record the whole event really does defeat the purpose. The recording quality of the devices is going up all the time but even the one of the little selfie-tripods you're still not going to get close to the quality of a good bootleg and you will be distracting yourself and others. But when has that ever bothered anyone?

Where's the grumpy old man icon?

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Its no Rasberry Pi

3. It comes with hardware support for a lot of codecs. Without this the Pi wouldn't be so interesting for so many. Of course, it's still tiny and dirt cheap and useful for all kinds of stuff but the codecs make it universal.

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e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Charlie Clark
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Re: Must be nice to fail to deliver and then sue to get paid.

You'd hope so but that isn't the way it works. The taxpayer always pays. Only once if we're lucky.

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Charlie Clark
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It's vague but you have to take the original order for £750m into account. The £100m is an estimate as to what it would have cost to get the stuff that was done until 2010 to actually do what it was supposed to do. By a long way not what was originally ordered. And largely preventing work on whatever other system they then decided they wanted (the priority now seems to be try and keep benefit seekers out). Omnishambles whichever way you look at it but given the size of overspend on previous disastrous (never finished, never working, etc.) projects maybe the right move in this case.

It would be nice if the NAO did get more power over future contracts but somehow I don't see that happening. I agree with others that a good civil service should be trained in the drawing up and oversight of these vast contracts with the politicians providing direction but not the detail. Accountability on all sides needs increasing and ministers should get trained in how not to get sucked into feature creep traps by vendors.

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Charlie Clark
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Cheap?

Imagine what the total bill might have been had the project continued with the usual feature creep and delays…

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Charlie Clark
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Re: 1800 jobs

When Microsoft moves to Munich, they will get the tax

As if Microsoft is stupid enough to let its revenue in Germany actually be taxed there…

There is office capacity in Munich and techies prefer to work in the city rather than in the suburbs.

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Charlie Clark
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Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious

That it was done long before Outlook… in Lotus Notes for example.

There's not much of a market for an open source clone. Unlike browsers, which get financed by searches via Google, there's no easy money so the choices are: paid only, or freemium. It's a big piece of software so you're going to need a hefty initial investment until you have something that people might pay for. All the time you'll be competing against entirely free products and the online solutions which are getting better all the time.

But there's nothing to stop Munich council commissioning some open source software development. The KDE platform is now sophisticated enough to allow development of a worthy product.

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Charlie Clark
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I have no idea what the Mozilla people have done to Thunderbird

Mozilla has publicly stated that Thunderbird isn't a priority. It gets bugfixes and updates of the HTML components in line with Firefox. The rest is upto the community.

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Charlie Clark
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Patch early and patch often is the advice of security professionals when it comes to software updates.

I certainly hope not: a variant on the old "measure twice, cut once" should be applied: "backup and test twice, patch once". I regularly get random failures with Microsoft's patches – but I'm lucky enough to be using them in a virtual machine. Not had a blue screen from the most recent round.

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Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Charlie Clark
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Re: Multi-core

Allow me to introduce you to my friends

Although the programs sound nice I'm not sure they were a suitable answer to the original post which was about encryption not compression.

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Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

Charlie Clark
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Re: And yet...

Speak for yourself. I don't feel like a second-class citizen because I have some Android devices. Given the size of the Android market, the premium segment is now big enough to sell to. Developers that don't think about the Android market are primarily punishing themselves.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No one believes IDC

No one believes IDC's figures.

I wouldn't go that far. They, along with all the other research companies, are often guilty of showing bias to those companies who pay for or even commission their reports – in the past IDC has done a lot of business with Microsoft. To find out more about how they collate the numbers you'll have to buy the report. However, in this field, the IDC numbers correlate more with what I see around me than, say, those of Kantar.

Getting real sales figures from companies isn't that easy as, apart from Apple, they don't control the chain from factory to store shelf.

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Charlie Clark
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It would possibly be less of a concern had Android been more open so that it would be as easy to create custom versions of android …

The source is open and Amazon's version living proof that custom versions can be made. Then there are all the mods out there.

Given that Google's own hardware has such a small market share I think it's difficult to talk of a monopoly. All the manufacturers have the chance and most seem to make use of it to customise the OS and the applications supplied with it. We might profit from regulation regarding the ability to remove software and control privacy settings without rooting devices (and thus potentially invalidating the warranty). But this might occur anyway through market pressure.

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Charlie Clark
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Aggressive caching when told not to cache and not obeying the W3C standard padding box model by default

Don't forget that the original specification for the box-model was the way IE did it. Nevertheless, I'm with you on counting the days till corporates stop clinging to IE 8.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: IE

Allegedly a lot of mobile web developers are using WebKit only (i.e. non-standard) meta tags

It's not really the meta-tags but prefixes in CSS. Prefixes were never really a good idea (because using them was laborious and error prone) though the idea behind was: provide working implementations of stuff under discussion. Prefixes are being replaced by allowing developers to switch support for experimental features on or off.

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One in 12 Tweeps are bots

Charlie Clark
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Re: A plague of bots

Anything wrong with RSS for anonymous subscriptions?

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Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

Sigh

I'd like to say I'm getting sick of stories about Twitter but I've always found them depressing. It's sort of proof of our decadence. That the media love it just confirms the sense of "dogs around vomit".

However, I do think that there is something in the underlying restriction on the length of messages. A great many people it seems have the need to spurt inanities, or to "emote" and Twitter makes this pretty easy. Still don't really see the business model beyond fairly spurious demographic information. Maybe if they raised the bar slightly they'd get more reliable information for marketeers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tweeps?

The collective for users of the service is quite clearly "twats".

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Charlie Clark
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Re: Genius!

I use DNLA every day on my telly (Philips). Only problem has been the shitty WiFi.

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Charlie Clark
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Flame

Genius!

This'll certainly help Microsoft knock the Raspberry Pi off its perch!

How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in? File formats aside that seems like a glaring omission from something that only works when connected to the telly.

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NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bring on the Mandelbrots

It's ARM, if you need Mandelbrots then it's easy enough to add some more silicon that is optimised (only) for Mandelbrots. That's the ace in the ARM pack.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Microcode

Sounds like a hardware-based JIT, could make sense with Android. Every time I get a new version of Cyanogenmod all the apps are pre-compiled to make them snappier, having the JIT on the chip could lead to additional optimisations.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallow

Charlie Clark
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Very Tempted

Good review.

I've got a three-year old Galaxy 8.9 which I bought at the time for the form factor – it's as wide as an I-pad so watching video on it is the same but without the black bars above and below but at 450g it was significantly lighter. At the time I was very tempted by the AMOLED 7.7 but decided to go with the 8.9 for the screen estate. I've been waiting for an AMOLED version since then. I think this might just have to be my Christmas present… though it will have to be rooted to remove all the crapware. Fortunately, rooting Samsung devices is pretty easy.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Let me at that battery

I think you should get that device looked at though persistent data connections will hammer any device: I seem to remember some law where data speeds correlate quadratically with power use.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Elephant in the room

If it's anything like my Galaxy 8.9 then no, the battery isn't replaceable. I'm sort of ambivalent on this for tablets as I can understand the design constraints. My 3 year old device still easily gives me 2 days use (as long as it's not being used as a hotspot). Methinks capacity is declining but it's still totally acceptable and I love the form factor.

In the nearly 20-odd years that I've had a mobile phone I've only ever once replaced the battery but I have had at least three phones where I had to do something to keep the battery connected - having to remove a battery in order to change a SIM card is a design fault in my view.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What's the point of the 4G?

I find I use my tablet both as a hotspot and for surfing especially when abroad. In such cases having one that takes a SIM is pretty useful. The bigger battery makes it more suitable for tethering than a phone.

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AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Charlie Clark
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Re: Charlie Clark Why compare it to a Xeon?

Webhosting datacenters maybe, but enterprise datacenters are about running business apps which tend to be a far sight more demanding.

In which case ARM might not be suitable for them at all… At least that's what I read from the article.

Oracle, of course, has the choice between x86 and its own Sparcs. ARM + custom hardware might become more interesting. It's already working with Intel on getting some hardware acceleration that would benefit its software.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Charlie Clark Why compare it to a Xeon?

Unless you are running software with a per-core charge (such as Oracle)…

Huh? Where did that come from?

Data centres are about cramming as many cores into as little space and using as little power as possible. Apart from the fact that Oracle for ARM doesn't exist yet, it's bound to have new licence models for any new architecture like the new Xeons that can be configured to run with different numbers of cores.

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Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just the job for a media centre

As detailed in a recent article in C'T (German computer magazine) a Raspberry Pi is pretty much all you need for one of those. Hardware acceleration for the codecs is the most important thing. Intel's chips are great for compiling and quite a lot of real work, media centres are just glorified file servers.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

2010 called

Why all the comparison with 2010? Is the competition from then? Didn't think so. A little less copy&paste from the press release and a little more reading between the lines, please.

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