* Posts by Charlie Clark

3615 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: On what merit will they be trying to convice the users ?

How about simply being able to buy a phone and reload it with an entirely open-source ecosystem?

Don't really give a toss about the open source bit but already done this with Cyanogenmod, 'cos I hate the crap that comes on a Samsung, too. I have lots of Google apps on it because Google works very hard to make them good but, for example, I've never used GMail and use OSMAnd for maps.

The manufacturers don't really care: they'd rather sell you a new phone than provide you with updates. But the market for "anything just as long as it's open source" is pretty damn small.

1
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

haha

I don't think people really care about the OS on their phone. They just want "the damn thing to work" (for their own definition of work) and this will include their favourite apps. Microsoft poured millions into making popular apps available for Windows Phone and look how far that got them. Is Canonical planning to do the same? Or are they planning to provide an Android runtime? Because that's worked so well for Blackberry.

The manufacturers originally went with Google because it was the pass of least resistance to get a smartphone OS quickly and this is what they need to sell devices. They might make noises about selling services but that's half-hearted at best. What they like is selling a new device to someone every two years.

The Chinese have demonstrated that it is possible to have Android without Google's services but that was initially down to government intervention. The services is where the market is. What does Canonical have to offer?

4
2

Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I think we may see any future launches taken down, possibly even by the Chinese. But they are stuck between a rock and a hard place: crackdown on Kim Jong Eun and the country might collapse, leading either to war with South Korea and America or straight to US troops on the border. Of course, if they do nothing then it's increasingly likely that South Korea or Japan will take a pop shot at any future launch leading to war…

The best thing might be to pursue some kind of rapprochement with South Korea leading either to full unification, with a huge demilitarised zone, or a Hong Kong: one country, to systems solution. Strategically Korea isn't that important to China any more: it's far more concerned with the nine-dash line in the South China Sea.

1
0

Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Activist investor?

The world’s wealthiest activist shareholder?

Has Ballmer suddenly become like Carl Icahn or Elliott Fund Management? Is he demanding a seat on the board of the company he stepped down from?

0
0

Reports of Twitter's death greatly exaggerated, says CEO

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Do you really believe they wouldn't be replaced?

If Twitter and Facebook went under, one or more something else would take their place.

We know. Still, even if only for a few days, I can't help thinking that the world would be better place without Twitter & co.

Of course, what really worries me is whether of my savings schemes has been investing in this shit. The German banks seem to have talent for it, as the sub-prime mortgage disaster showed.

1
0

So. Are Europeans just a whining bunch of data protection hypocrites?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: I spy with my little eye...

This explains why millions upon millions of migrants are pushing into Europe. They have the automatic right not to be kept out.

No, it doesn't. It's the Geneva Convention that guarantees the right of asylum (though not where). As for the reasons people are seeking asylum. Well, they're mainly due to the West's fucking around and stirring up trouble.

5
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I spy with my little eye...

US is a privacy-free zone

That might be debatable – the legal positions are on it are starkly different – but what isn't at issue is the fact that the US treats US citizens very differently to aliens. "Aliens", and this includes EU citizens, have very few rights in US law.

26
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
FAIL

Very partial piece

Europe’s robo-Commissioner…

The opinion of one prof and one unnamed security expert and no mention at all of the current complete revamp of EU data protection and privacy legislation currently working its way through the institutions which will provide minimum standards throughout Europe.

It's laughable to suggest that existing US law provides adequate protection of EU citizens' data. It'a also laughable to suggest that this is somehow some kind of trade war: the European Commission and the member states were caught as much off-guard by the ECJ's decision as anyone else.

It's perfectly reasonable for Prof Walden to criticise the judgement but is disrespectful to imply that the judges didn't do their job properly. The ECJ has thus far had a commendable record in its judgements, particularly those instances where it instructs referring courts in EU law.

29
1

FaceTime, WhatsApp UDP streams AWOL on iOS 9 beta with T-Mo US

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Why NAT64?

Most people don't want their phone to have a globally-unique and addressable address.

There are privacy extensions for that. And it's certainly not the reason for NAT64. This is presumably for 6to4 traffic in the network because most clients don't do 6to4.

1
0

OpenSSL fixes bug, gets dissed by German gov: That's so random ... not

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Hopefully more money will be forthcoming?

The OpenSSL team now has more than enough money. But it still has a codebase that is unnecessarily complicated due to some weird decisions. Code complexity is anathema to security.

If money is forthcoming, I'd rather see it split between OpenSSL, LibreSSL and research. For server work, LibreSSL already makes more sense unless you have hard dependencies on OpenSSL.

6
0

Google licks its lips at sight of Qualcomm's 64-bit server ARM chips

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: memory architecture

That's where AMD has the advantage.

Of course, Qualcomm's chip designers are no mugs and presumably Google will be able to give them targets and real performance data.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Unfortunately, the A72 occupies the same living space as the A57

Apart from "a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush" the point about ARM chips not being beefy is not just about their power drawer what else they bring to the party. The AMD Seattle is not just a 64-bit chip but something designed explicitly for the data centre with excellent network and memory performance.

Just because we haven't heard anything doesn't mean that Google isn't already sampling the AMD chips. With the volumes its buying it can easily afford to have different chips for web servers, database servers, caches, etc. This also suits the Compute Engine model where Google manages the scalability completely.

3
0

German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: re.Mutti

It's a bit of both: "mother knows best" and "mother hen" come to mind when thinking of her consensus-driven style of politics.

Her premiership has been characterised by her reassuring Germans that they were doing well while everywhere else was going to hell. Until recently she has studiously avoided adopting a position on any issue until the prevailing opinion in the country became clear. She has also demonstrated considerable skill in removing opponents, particularly putative alpha-males, within her own party and out-flanking the others by shamelessly adopting their positions and reversing policy if necessary. For this she has been rewarded by a population worried by change.

The wheels have started to come off recently ever since she surprisingly adopted a position on refugees and proceeded to break EU law (Dublin II). This initially suited the "mother hen" image and was wildly popular for a couple of months.

As for her record on nuclear power: once, when referring to nuclear accidents she made a comparison with baking noting that when you bake a cake not everything stays in the bowl… Of course, this was long before Fukushima…

4
0

It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Well, I suspect the angle will be whether the website can be seen to be aiding and abetting the abuse of copyright. There are already plenty of instances of links being taken down for all kinds of reasons, with DMCA abuse probably being the most common.

However, the ECJ can only really rule on a point of law and not really on the case in point. Freedom of speech is enshrined in the EU treaties, which the ECJ is required to uphold, so I can't see any judgement that would restrict this. Most likely is clarification of what's at stake and a referral back to the Dutch courts: can a case be made that Geenstijl was complicit in the repeated publication of copyright material? This, of course, needs to be balanced against the defence of free speech in cases like Snowden.

There is precedent in cases like the repeated publication of pictures of Kate Middleton's breasts where the courts had no problem coming down hard on publishers.

1
0

Uber rebrands to the sound of whalesong confusion

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

I'm beginning to wonder if Twitter is actually for this kind of clickbait.

Anyway, a pint for Lester for calling out this pathetic trend!

5
0

Google ninjas go public with security holes in Malwarebytes antivirus

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Testing can't be rushed, particularly given the radical changes it sounds like they've been forced to make.

Testing should be part of the development process. If it was it might have helped pick up these failures: no package hash, no secure distribution channel a lot earlier.

1
1

Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Why is it always terrorism?

Anonymous transfers are used for money laundering by organised crime. That alone should be sufficient justification.

The EC should also be after the ECB to phase out the € 500 note for much the same reason.

0
2

Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: All very well talking tough

I'm not sure where Ofcom actually sit in all of this and whether or when they may be asked to present to the EU investigation.

Neither do I. Then again, I don't really know what they do anyway. This sounds like an attempt to be relevant.

0
0

Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: It's a tradeoff, just like with IOS

I don't watch anything on a small screen except the occasional youtube clip.

Neither do I but my phones does MHL so it's easy to connect to a large screen.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

The idea of rooting, installing Cyanogenmod, and then choosing Google as a payments service seems to be totally implausible

Not to me. I root because I want to dump the crapware installed on my phones and to get security fixes faster and for longer.

As for the service provider: I'll use whoever I think offers the best service in a free market.

16
0

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile back in the UK

We should not be afraid of that; we should welcome it, even if it means replying to 300 or 400 e-mails at a time.

Until you do a time and motion study of replying to e-mails.

5
8
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I'm with Morozov

Slacktivists use technology to assuage their technology-addled and coddled consciences. They play into the hands of the PR brigades who can identify which topics need some well-meaning massaging while the general fuckery is unabated. As long as people are twittering about transgender toilets for sheep, they're not protesting in the streets about the price of food, schools or hospitals.

Taking slackivists seriously is a waste of time and resources. This was cleverly satirised in The News Room which took on the "Occupy Wall Street" protests.

And if you do take slacktivists seriously they won't thank you for it because their goldfish minds will have moved on to the next thing they don't really care about.

14
8

Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Glad i've not got an Android device

You've left me speechless, time for the pub now I think....

Indeed, here's one to get you started.

1
1

Investors furious that Amazon only made $482m last quarter

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The man Wall Street loves to hate

Many of them still don't "get it".

Sigh. I bet you also believe that "this time it's different"?

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Looking at it another way

iAmazon is in an industry that is ever changing.

Which is industry would that be? And the industry that Apple is in isn't always changing?

Both companies have traditionally fobbed off investors demands for money by pointing at the share price instead of the dividend. This has largely been self-fulfilling. However, at some point the P/E ratio becomes so high that people don't want to play any more and demand cash either as dividends or share buybacks. Amazon is still cheap enough for an activist to get on the board.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I've been arguing for years that the digital services are far more valuable than the no-margin warehousing and delivery shit. The sooner it's split the better.

0
1

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
WTF?

Will the madness never end?

Are we allowed to include database schemas in this?

httparchive.org is a great resource but I disagreed so fundamentally with nearly all the coding and db decisions that I forked it. One that sticks in the mind is adding an extra column with the hash of a URL instead of adding an index! Dates are also all stored as strings and nothing is normalised.

When people write crap like this is it any wonder they run straight into the arms of snake oil (big data) vendors promising to solve their problems?

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

I'd be tempted to say that about all PHP code…

8
7
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Pint

Re: The risks of cut&paste...

Have a BOFH award!

(Don't understand the downvotes)

15
0

Can't upgrade, won't upgrade: Windows Mobile's user problem

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Numbers

Windows Phone’s market share peaked at 12 per cent in August 2013, a month before Microsoft’s acquisition of the phones unit was announced.

That 12 % is cherry-picked from sales in particular markets. Worldwide and Windows Phone has never been above 5 %, which is why Nokia thew the towel in.

The numbers quoted about the most popular Lumias would appear to back this up: people are either sticking with what they've got or are moving to Android or IOS. You might expect the typical two-year contract and phone renewal to work in Microsoft's favour: switch to new phone with new OS (Windows 10). But it obviously isn't. Here the lack of compelling new phones, no doubt due to pink slips and lack of investment since the takeover, is going to cause problems.

3
1

Former tech PR Jeremy Hunt MP ordered by judge to delete tweet

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Jeremy Hunt

Well, we've always known he was a cunt. Now we have proof that he's also a twat.

This is so close to contempt of court that he should actually resign.

4
3

Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Fàilte gu na Dúnrath etc

It's in Caithness which, along with Sutherland, was for a long time part of Norway. That's why the local dialect sounds more like Scandiwegian than Scots.

1
0

Uber driver 'pulls handgun' on passenger

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Interesting

Redneck logic – you've got to love it. Or run from it!

4
7

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: posturing aside

After all, if Cletus J Shitkicker the 3rd can't have those rights why would they give them to any dodgy foreigners?

You forget: the US does give extra rights to US citizens which makes spying on them technically illegal and is one of the main reasons why GCHQ is so damned big: it is effectively outsourced spying.

Foreigners (let's not bother to call them citizens because in US law they don't have any rights) are fair game all the time.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Well, what will happen when the deadline is reached and no new agreement has been made?

It's likely the floodgates for civil suits will open because precedent has been established. The ECJ has declared the agreement void and the DPAs will have little choice but to enforce it. Otherwise, as Schrems has demonstrated, the courts can be used to enforce it.

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

It won't happen on time

Any new agreement will have to be ratified by every member state and that certainly can't happen in time.

So any noises from the negotiators are just PR showing us how hard they are working. Until the fundamental problem is resolve – the EU requires judicial oversight, which the US rejects – then this is going nowhere.

7
0

Twitter boss ‘personally’ grateful as five Twitter execs walk

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Flawed Business Model

However if you can get something trending it might force a company to do something rather than endure the negative publicity.

So, you're stuck at airport-in-the-middle-of-nowhere venting your spleen about the delay on the interwebs. And this helps how exactly? The vague hope that company X, for reasons of PR, will notice and try and placate you by giving the local staff a kick up the backside? Dream on. Me, I prefer to speak softly to local representatives with the firm threat of legal action if statutory obligations are not fulfilled.

As long as customer service can be considered optional, companies will try to avoid it.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Flawed Business Model @charlie Clark

The public nature of social media along with the ratings and medals awarded by the platforms for speed of response make it something companies endevour to act on more quickly than something like email.

When my flight is delayed I don't give a flying fuck about ratings and medals on <insert-platform-here/>, I want to be looked after properly at the airport. It's a fundamental error to confuse PR on social media with customer service.

Thank god we have obligatory minimum standards for delayed flights in Europe!

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Flawed Business Model

Twitter has its uses. Once when my flight was delayed it was the fastest and easiest way to get a hold of customer services.

Doesn't that read like an indictment of the airlines customer services? What about those who hadn't shared their flight details with Twitter or didn't have a data connection or even a phone?

Twitter gets lots of praise for its scalability but it's really quite pathetic when put up against what the Telco's SMS-Cs pump 24/7.

3
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I wonder what the severance terms were? Don't normal employees just get a damp handshake and asked to clear their desks? But I'm sure it's a bit more if you make it to exec. Suggestions, please.

1
0

How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Very partial piece

If I understand the logic correctly, the argument is that there should be no tax on corporates because it acts as a drag on investment, payroll taxes should be enough. And Amazon is held up as a shining example?

So, let's look at Amazon: up to every legal trick in the book to its tax exposure. It's also up to every trick in the book to squeeze suppliers and employees. Minimum wage, we've heard of it. How does this encourage investment exactly. And then there is the not inconsiderable issue of preferential treatment of capital gains over income (share buybacks over dividends).

Now, I'm actually a big fan of Bezos' digital stuff but that does not mean I endorse his business practices.

Different forms of tax exist because no one form is particularly efficient.

4
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Anyone actually heralding this a "success"?

And there are those that suggest it undermines the OECD's attempt to sort out international tax arrangements.

It's just not trying very hard, is it? ;-)

Deals like this, which are driven as much by the US FATCA legislation, as anything else will probably help establish any OECD policy.

0
0

MariaDB hires new CEO with code daddy Monty in as CTO

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I have no love for Oracle but they have managed to get red of many of the bugs that have festered in MySQL for years.

Sure, they want an upgrade path from MySQL cheapskates to juicy Oracle customers ready to be milked but that's business.

In the meantime Monty and his friends can continue to make a shitty database worse. I don't think they even figure on Oracle's radar any more.

0
2

Which tech stocks are suffering and – crucially – why?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: The VC's will never learn

Au contraire: all of the companies are post-IPO so the VCs have already trousered enormous profits, even on Square which didn't quite make its 4 bn valuation on IPO.

As long as these companies can stop themselves from becoming penny stocks then they should be okay. The companies who really need to worry are those who are looking for more funding or were planning to IPO any time soon.

But the VCs have learned from 2000 and very few of them will feel any pain. If <insert-dorky-name-of-dodgy-service-here/> doesn't look like it's going to make much on IPO then it will either be sold to a) the competition; b) a tech behemoth still looking for a digital strategy like Microsoft, for example c) a clueless pension fund (and, trust me, there are enough of those around). The only ones who need to worry are employees who took stock options instead of pay. The VCs will be laughing all the way to their Porsche dealers!

2
0

Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Red Herring

Microsoft hasn’t exactly helped by giving Windows 10 away for free to download

We keep reading this without any numbers to back it up, Windows 10 is free because Microsoft is desperate to be able to drop support for legacy IE and the nightmares of ActiveX. It's free because Windows 8 annoyed people even more than Vista did (and that took some work) and it's free because Microsoft knows that people aren't going to buy new hardware just to run it.

Meanwhile Android and IOS continue to eat more and more of the shrinking IT budget. And Intel still isn't get much of that pie (sorry for the mixed metaphor). Hint for Intel: license ARM and release machines that will happily run x86 and ARM code in whichever way the user wants.

12
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Yep, just been through one. It will depend upon the accounting but in some places once the hardware has been written off it costs more to keep it than replace it.

1
0

Twitter goes titsup

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Mushroom

PIty it won't be permanent!

NFT

4
1

Devs complain GitHub's become slow to fix bugs, is easily gamed

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I sometimes wonder what goes on in the heads of people using VC-funded services. Where does the sense of entitlement come from?

Github is currently making a very successful land grab (and gathering lots of valuable personal data at the same time). It will continue to do so as long as there is no real pushback with people prepared to switch to alternative vendors. It's not as if they're aren't alternatives.

2
1

Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Les Toits de Paris...

Where's the icon for dodgy puns? Normally I'd want to put you on the naughty step for the but in this case…

1
0

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

MS trying to boost PC sales?

That's certainly how I read this. Windows 10 was supposed to boost PC sales. But we all know how well that has worked.

So maybe introducing hardware incompatibilities is a way of helping both MS and the makers? Can't see enterprise customers being terribly keen on this and home users are switching in droves to cheap but perfectly functional tablets.

I wonder whether we'll start to see companies moving to Citrix on Android for legacy stuff? Again, MS is shooting itself in the foot by not making the Edge browser available for Windows 7 and 8. Windows 11 is pretty good but, with development now frozen, companies have even more reasons to install a second browser such as Firefox ESR.

2
0

Forums