* Posts by Charlie Clark

3284 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Charlie Clark
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When do they do the decent thing with VBA?

And take it out the back and shoot it? Horrible language designed for shooting yourself in the foot.

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The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid

Charlie Clark
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Torrent site and online copyright infringement poster child…

The Pirate Bay doesn't infringe copyright so please stop peddling this myth. Only the uploading copyrighted material is breach of copyright, the rest is made up by those desiring a police state. They should do some more research because the police states of Russia and China notoriously turn a blind eye to copyright infringement, seeing it as a useful tactic in their war against freedom of expression.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Disappointing

The database itself is resilient but there is always a single point of failure regarding the domain name.

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It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: Accountability

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

That, I'm afraid, is just a fig-leaf: courts not vendors decide liability. The software industry has been allowed by the courts to resolve flaws through new releases of their software.

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A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

Charlie Clark
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Eclipse seems to suffer from the usual designed by committee problems: nice ideas but no ruthless weeding out of the bad stuff. I never got into it and have preferred simple text editors and the shell for most things.

At a recent sprint we gave up on it because we couldn't figure out how to use Tidy on some XML (there are some plugins out there, somewhere over the rainbow apparently) and switched to IDEA. While it also comes with far too many options for a new user, it also gets the basics right from the start.

I'm sure there a great many people happy with Eclipse and the relevant plugins for their requirements. Editors and IDEs are very personal things: choose one, learn how it works and be happy.

FWIW I do most of my Python development in WingIDE (which has no Tidy support FWIW) but gets the introspection just right.

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Zombie POODLE wanders in, cocks leg on TLS

Charlie Clark
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What protocols are safe?

That's easy: none.

The question should be: What protocols are not known to have been broken yet?

The IETF is probably best placed to manage this assuming sufficient funding is around. We also need to improve the funding for public security research and the development (and intelligent review) of open source stacks. What a pity that the spooks don't realise that this makes things safer for everyone: a smidgen of the NSA's or GCHQ's budget would do wonders.

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Portland lobs fair-trade gluten-free artisan SUEBALL at Uber

Charlie Clark
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Re: Uber : the new 4 letter word

The blanket ban in Germany, which is likely to come through the courts, will probably be the deathknell but I guess investors are hoping to have IPO'd (sell the shares to unsuspecting schmucks directly or through their savings accounts) before then.

The innovation of most of these OTT services is using location technology to improve efficiency. Unfortunately for them this can be replicated easily so they add casual, unlicensed labour to it to improve margins. This would be financial suicide if the business model was anything than an inverted pass the parcel: no one wants to be left holding the shares when the business fails.

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Google pushes 'go' on Android Studio

Charlie Clark
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Re: Eh?

I think you missed the attempt at irony in the piece.

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Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

Charlie Clark
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Security

It's not just Flash that's insecure: the whole practice of allowing third party scripting to be injected into a website is insecure. Not least because it exposes users to third-party trackers without their explicit consent.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Money speaks, as usual

I use Ghostery. It too deals with the ad brokers by selling them anonymised data of where ads are being blocked. Anyone developing software like this is going to need to pay some full-time developers. Let's see how things develop.

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Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

Charlie Clark
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Re: "Sadly, WebM never really caught on"

... because of patents?

Not really, because of the lack of hardware support: H264 was already supported in most hardware configurations so there was no battle to fight. Google has indemnified all users and paid the MPEG patent pool what they wanted.

WebM did play a role in keeping H264 free (as in beer) and Google is able to mandate hardware support for it for the next generations (On9 has already been released) for Android. For most of us free to use (both to create and play) is all that really matters but there are also some benefits in competing technologies: H265 and On9 do do some things differently.

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Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

thanks for nothing

If you want proof of how pointless tweets are this article is it. An illegible selection of inanities and links does not make an article. If it did my twitterbot is going to have a great career.

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Meet Jack and Jill: Google’s new Android compilers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Perhaps if Android used native binaries rather than a VM...

They are native binaries but that's not quite the same as what you might get with entirely native code – it depends on how good the ART compiler is – this is the sort of thing that Intel has to deal with for apps that won't run on Android x86.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "bypassing Oracle’s compiler"

That's be the case for a while. There's a tombstone with "ART STANTON" written on it.

Wouldn't it be funny if Google now embraced .NET as well!

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An alleged 27GB Sony Pictures data dump. 65 PlayStation web servers. One baffling mystery

Charlie Clark
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Re: Legal

In most countries downloading is legal but uploading isn't.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Which bittorrent client are the pictures from?

It looks very much like Transmission on Mac OS

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Charlie Clark
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Re: What about the debt

Fuck off, Worstall

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Charlie Clark
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Accept no substitute!

A real pie is so much more satisfying. The fake ones are like mogadon next to heroin!

Trainspotting icon?

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One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: So much hate???

Wow. I can't believe there are so many tech people hating Win 8, while loving Win 7.

Newsflash: little things matter. I'm returning this very fast Alfafa Romero car because I can only get into it with a coat hanger…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: XP popular in Asia on ATMs and Cash Registers

XP still rulez (and is supported) on lots of PoS and embedded devices where Win8 might arguable more suited if only the hardware requirements weren't so high.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Real argument backed by some actual facts

know Microsoft despises the GPL and would rather juggle porcupines than release software under that license. They keep telling me that BSD is 'business friendly', so when they release Windows with a BSD license I will take a look at it.

Well, I do write and contribute to open source software and I also despise the GPL but fortunately it looks to have served any usefulness it ever had (if it ever had any) and on the way out.

It was only ever FUD at Microsoft about open source and the retards who fulminated against interoperability and open source seem to have left with Ballmer. The .NET stuff is Apache licensed and could be very interesting and useful. It's certainly bound to annoy that other software cancer: Oracle.

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: LOL ... Yet more biased anti M$ bull.

Also, those of you complaining you got a windows install "forced upon you" ... you really aren't that smart are you?

Oh, how we laughed! Thanks to MS volume licensing deals (trade secret so we can't give you the details) you get to pay for the licence anyway… Microsoft has used the same deals to forbid manufacturers from offering anything other than Windows 8 to consumers. That's what I call real market power! Just not in a free market.

Can someone hit this fool with a clue?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Andy Prough

All this bullshit about interface is just stupid when you can install Classic Shell on a system in about 1 minute for free to get your start menu back.

It's not bullshit and it's not just the start menu, which I've personally never liked. I've given Windows 8 a spin and swapping between classic and metro is incredibly jarring and disorientating. I've been using GUIs of all types since Windows 2 but I still hate Ribbon and Metro the most.

Given the clusterfuck of Vista and WPF there's plenty to optimise and improve on so I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 8 isn't a bit snappier (the way Windows loads drivers is still fucking retarded though) and more secure, though we do notice those patches being issued for exploits on it all the same. But the real problem is that Microsoft still hasn't decided what the UI toolkit should be and that after XML, Silverlight, etc. is starting to unnerve developers as Tim Anderson recently pointed out.

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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just popping over to Calais ...

So why exactly hasn't that already happened yet?

Because the operators fought it tooth and nail. It was the Parliament's and Commission's initial proposal back but the national governments successfully fought for the interests of the industry over those of the consumer. You know how it is…

It's all change from 2016 assuming the technology can be made to work (routing, billing, emergency services). But we'll still need a business model that will encourage further investment.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just popping over to Calais ...

The operators have thought of that. On the SIM-only deals I've looked at there's always some small print to the effect of "if you mainly use this abroad we reserve the right to cancel it:".

They can cancel any contract for any reason as long as they respect duration and return any positive balance. They generally make money when you roam so there's little incentive for them to stop. I've had an Orange PAYG for nearly ten years here which I use for SMS with the folks. Never had any hint of a cancellation and it only gets around £10 a year.

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Charlie Clark
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Personally, I think almost everything should be nationalised again because there's nothing a government can't supply at the same price as these companies are doing so

Not sure about that. In any monopoly situation where there is no competition the incentives for efficiency and innovation are removed and political meddling becomes only too easy (no economic penalty for daft decisions) as does the desire for national standards and champions: for every Mini there was also an Austin Allegro or a Triumph Acclaim.

IMHO the best solutions are often mixed where the government pays for and owns long-term and capital-intensive resources, which might include the cables, mast sites and even masts, but contracts the build and leases the use to private companies. The analogy would be the railways (country owns the track and stations) in any country except the UK: Sweden and Switzerland spring to mind.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just popping over to Calais ...

Yea, but if they using the same operator or you could make calls to anyone in the EU like it was a national call

FWIW my network (E-Plus in Germany) has been offering this since the spring even on PAYG. Surprise, surprise I now use my phone more when I'm abroad.

Otherwise SIM cards from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands seem to be the best choice.

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Charlie Clark
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Technical arguments

Given how well roaming works internationally I think it's safe to say that all technical arguments against national roaming are bunk. The article does highlight the two key points: spectrum without conditions; and decommissioning of sites.

The networks and suppliers are moving towards a classic separation of responsibilities with the suppliers taking over more and more of the business of actually building the physical network – the incentive here is scale and knowhow – which they can then rent to the networks in much the same way that wired telephone exchanges are.

But even with the scale of one physical network for all four operators there are still plenty of sites which are unprofitable. Arguably the consolidation has made the situation even more acute because networks are no longer competing through coverage differentiation. The simple solution is to mandate better geographical coverage to encourage build out and discourage decommissioning. Difficult to do once the spectrum has been awarded but still possible through financial incentives: tax breaks might be best here rather than handouts. The costs associated with the additional cells are pretty easy to calculate so a formula can be derived that works for everyone. This could be augmented with community cells for isolated villages that might want more bandwidth or granular coverage than the networks are willing to provide and you might need to grease BT's palm to lay some fibre here and there for the backhaul.

Long term, however, I suspect that national roaming will come in through the backdoor: 2016 will allow separate contracts for roaming and the rollout of wholesale telephony and data roaming which will make OTT services including VoIP accessible to everyone and will put further downward pressure on margins. But it won't improve coverage unless someone legislates for it.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why?

just timed my lowly notebook (1.66 atom) - 20 seconds to login prompt and after logging in, 10 seconds for X to start manually. What is a few seconds saving off of that? My raspberry Pi running Slack* boots even quicker - maybe 15 seconds. My amd64 server takes about 30 seconds. So what advantage there?

Not disagreeing with you, but imagine the potential difference when regularly starting thousands of VM where time literally is money. Certainly an incentive to have things go moar faster there.

Pretty certain another boot manager isn't the solution in that case which possibly why Docker is getting so much interest.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Production ready?

RHEL, arguably the only distro that actually matters.

ROFL

Or this is evidence of RedHat's long term game plan to own, and I mean this literally, the Linux eco-system?

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Shin avoids boot: Samsung hangs onto mobile chief despite crappy Galaxy S5 sales

Charlie Clark
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I don't mind the UI of Touchwiz too much but I do wish to be able to install the stuff I don't use. Fortunately, getting Cyanogenmod on any Samsung is pretty easy with the flagships all well-supported.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The S2 S3 & S4 are too good and well made

@ledswinger

we're not really disagreeing. If many did act as you did (and I suggest) then the price premium of the new version is possible too high. This means that either the S5 was too expensive (it probably was) or the discounts on the S4 and S3 were too high.

On the plus side it probably means that S5s will become pretty cheap when they need to shift volume next year.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The S2 S3 & S4 are too good and well made

Arguably the S5 is the replacement model for S3 users (based on the 2-year contract model). But the S5 did seem to arrive pretty shortly after the S5 because Samsung have been speeding up the development cycle. Maybe people with S2s and S3s decided that a cheaper S4 or S4 mini was a bargain in comparison. If so, Samsung should be looking at keeping up their prices like Apple do.

The lack of sales in China will certainly hurt but the competition there is particularly fierce.

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Docker: Sorry, you're just going to have to learn about it. Today we begin

Charlie Clark
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Nice succinct history of containers but it seems to be missing some of the excellent work that Sun did with its containers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: FreeBSD for servers

FreeBSD is already in use for a lot of servers. But it's never had the mindshare of the me-too crowd so it's traditionally been less appealing to the outsourcers who are looking to deskill, and thus reduce wages, wherever possible. Maybe the systemd mess will encourage a few more frustrated sysadmins to give it a go.

Similar story is Postgres vs. MySQL.

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Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

Charlie Clark
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OMG WinForms

However painful it may be in the short term, admitting you went down a dead end is best done sooner rather than later. Communicate an end to WinForms wef XXXX and get on with the replacement.

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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: iPad sales CRASH incoming ... Win 8 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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Thumb Up

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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