* Posts by Charlie Clark

2868 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Europe's shock Google privacy ruling: The end of history? Don't be daft

Charlie Clark
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A practical example

On a related note Google has already acted.

The wife of the former president of Germany, Bettina Wulff, has been alleged to have worked as a prostitute in the past. As far as I know the allegations have never been proven correct and in fact have been proven in correct. However, the interest in the subject was so great that Google promoted some of the terms to "search as you type". It was argued that this continued to spread unproven and possibly defaming allegations without qualification. Just imagine something similar with your own name and something like "child sex offender".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Actually I'm quite impressed

Indeed. Apparently, it is becoming not unusual in America for employers to demand access to potential employees online accounts. Asserting the right to privacy certainly puts an end to anything like that in Europe.

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Tick-tock, Jock: Dock schlock for mock-stock in ad-hoc shop squawk

Charlie Clark
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The Bitcoin economy is tiny. Were Scotland to adopt it, in some bizarre fantasy world, Scotland would take control of it, and marginalise all other users. Were Scotland to create the ScotCoin, then it wouldn't be valued as some bitcoin wannabe, it would be treated as a national currency and traded as such.

I doubt that very much. Having your own currency includes having the right to print more of it and then play the game of whether you can convince people to accept debts denominated in it. The great attraction of the digital currencies for nerds is that money printing is essentially impossible. This makes it very unattractive for any central bank.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Debate worthy of a playground

I seem to remember that the Tories used to depend upon the rural Scottish seats (smaller number of constituents) for a majority up to an including Maggie's first government which is why pricks like Rifkind and Younger got into cabinet.

If Scotland does vote for independence then it's reasonable to expect newly emergent tensions within England and Wales to be reflected in different voting patterns. This is already happening with the North of England becoming more solidly Labour while the South becomes more solidly Tory as regional allegiance expressed through party preference replaces the outdated class warfare model.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Taking a leaf out of the Thatcher playbook CeX?

north of Watford

There, fixed it for you.

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Teardowns confirm $1,500 Google Glass hardware is DIRT CHEAP

Charlie Clark
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Re: BOM

Sure, the BOM is, of course, relevant when working out whether to go with the production of something but this is just another case of clickbait trying to provoke nowtrage that Google is going for even bigger margins than Apple, ignoring that it already has these in many parts of its business due to lower capex. It also completely ignores how expensive glasses can be, especially if you want to be fashionable.

When it comes to fantastic profit margins it's still hard to beat coffee with a BOM of about € 0.10.

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Australia targets software maintenance costs with Drupal plan

Charlie Clark
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Re: Makes a lot of sense

Most of the PHP-based CMS (you have to use the term very loosely to include Joomla with them) have a very long list of CVEs. Sure, you can build secure sites with them but you're the one who'll be doing the security. Furthermore, for government sites there's something to be said for security through diversity: crack one site and you've cracked them all and they might have data you don't want leaking.

Drupal is in vogue especially since whitehouse,gov went on it but that doesn't make it good. And it isn't cheap once the SIs get involved. So, while the licensing will be cheap, what about the customisations? And what is the performance when you have 50 or so editors working on the same site (not unusual for government departments)?

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Microsoft blinks, extends Windows 8.1 Update deadline for consumers

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'm not Eadon

At least Apple notifies you of the update whether you're logged in or not.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Windows 8.1 - the secret update

The 8.1 update in the app store* is designed to get you to use the app store.

That has class action lawsuit written all over it. Time for the popcorn.

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Archos ArcBook: An Android netbook for a measly hundred-and-seventy clams

Charlie Clark
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Re: Quite tempting - but I won't be buying one.

With you regarding this machine. Never had any Archos kit but it's good to see them trying stuff out. Will be interesting to see if the OEM actually making the things has other models in store. There are PC makers out there desperate to sell to a market that has voted against Windows 8.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This is not the netbook you're looking for

It's a cheap tablet with a keyboard. That will work fine for some.

For others, it's a first toe in the water to see how the additional hardware works and what the demand is.

If Google gets its arse in gear and does a notebook suitable version of Android then I can see demand picking up pretty quickly for better-specc'd machines (what kind of screen could we get for $ 300?)

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NO, Microsoft hasn't given up on .Net, and YES it's all about cloud

Charlie Clark
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The catch

How much of the fluff do you actually expect to work?

So, they've finally improved packaging, though I'm not sure if I like dependency injection being handled by the runtime.

And what is designed for the cloud supposed to mean? Is everything suddenly massively parallel?

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Boffins say hot air makes Antarctica COLDER

Charlie Clark
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Re: there's a lot....

Yes, sorry, I meant 1953. :-/

I know about the ability to flood polders because of the rain. The real point is that higher sea levels can lead to tides bigger than the defences can cope with. In an ideal world you don't massive runoff and exceptionally high tides and West winds but climate change theory suggests that such combinations are more likely.

However, the Netherlands is less likely to be affected than other places (such as the east coast of America) due to the way any rise in sea level is spread unevenly around the world.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: there's a lot....

@Grikath

What about 1956? I've been to the delta works and impressive as they are, there are limits to them. The rise in sea level itself isn't so much a problem for them as would be a combination of lots of meltwater / rain in the alps and strong winds and high tides in the Channel, similar to the conditions of the coast of Schleswig-Holstein a few months ago.

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'A proper British BOFFIN': Famous Martian prof Pillinger dies aged 70

Charlie Clark
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Re: Top Bloke

All the enthusiasm and fun should not detract from the fact that Beagle 2 was a very poorly managed project and showed just how much the years of underinvestment and disinterest in space by successive governments undermined space research in the UK.

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Bill Gates: Sell off Bing? Nah. Xbox? Maybe...

Charlie Clark
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Re: double wait a sec

Plenty of companies make money from hardware.

Microsoft has made decent money of XBox. It's not just in the marketing but the eco-system and having the right product at the right price but also exclusivity: no one else makes Apple products. The eco-system provides enough glue for consumers to scratch most of their (content) itches. Microsoft competes with its partners with both Surface and now phones. It has a confusing eco-system: "why won't my desktop version of Word run on them? They've both got Windows after all…"

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Charlie Clark
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Re: double wait a sec

Last time I looked (most recent results) Microsoft still had higher margins than Apple.

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Twitter jitters: Investors turn into quitters as shares hit the sh...

Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

I feel like Marvin

Depressed. BBC News 24 runs adverts gushing about being the most popular news service on Twitter. All this massive free publicity from hacks using social networks to paper over the cracks of their lack of engagement and commitment to real journalism. And they still make a loss.

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AMD beds ARM in 'Project SkyBridge' and home-grown 'K12' ARM architecture chips

Charlie Clark
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Go

It almost certainly does but probably using the hybrid x86/ARM/GPU architecture it's promoting. x86 gives extra oomph for single-threaded tasks and provides compatibility for x86 applications, ARM can provide encryption and other things in hardware or even compatibility for native ARM applications (take that Intel!) and the GPU for graphics and parallel processing.

The mix can be adjusted over time or according to market demand. Of course, getting it all to work nicely is going to require the help of the compiler / software stack but I think it's a very attractive proposition.

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You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

Charlie Clark
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Not new

This has been in Opera for several years and is configurable. The default used to be to dumb the URL down completely but this was reversed as to hard to work with. Subdomains and paths in grey with the domain black which works fine for me.

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ARM tests: Intel flops on Android compatibility, Windows power

Charlie Clark
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Re: Update! Update!

To be honest I think the performance is quite impressive when you think of how binary emulation used to be. But I also think it is very ironic for Intel to be promoting exactly the kind of technology they lambasted Transmeta for!

When it comes to native vs. native: well, x86 clearly wins on single-core tasks. But ARM can give you more cores for the money which makes task-switching seem so much faster.

But the bottom line seems to be: Intel stop shouting about the hardware, get busy dishing out the software so that cross-compiling is automatic.

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Evidence-based Tweets will SAVE the WORLD - and your waistline

Charlie Clark
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Geek Pie

I don't like Nathan Barley's new haircut

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Microsoft: You know we said NO MORE XP PATCHES? Well ...

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are SIS still around?

Leaving it as is for the moment. 1280 x something even if some text looks a bit weird. See how it goes. Had to fork out € 80 for 2GB DDR-1 RAM but still the cheapest option so far. My local Chinese dealer says he's got newish notebooks complete with Windows 7 for € 150 but we hope the system stays up for another couple of years. I suspect it's unlikely but if my experience is replicated in any scale, then OEMs will be trying to renegotiate licence terms with Microsoft. You can still get Win 7 on "professional" notebooks, whatever the definition of "professional" is.

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Charlie Clark
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Luckily unaffected

I've just stuck Windows 7 on a friend's machine because we both decided that Windows 8 was undesirable but she felt (understandably) queasy about sticking with Windows XP. Good news is that because there is no hardware acceleration for the shitty SiS graphics, IE is borked! :-)

Had a go installing Kubuntu on a second partition but it, too, seemed to struggle with the graphics. Might have another with that or Mint or PC-BSD tomorrow.

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Tablet boom quiets down a bit as growth slows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Looks like we are seeing slowdowns across the board...

What do you expect since the Federal Reserve reduced the rate at which it was printing money?

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French software developers are all beautiful women

Charlie Clark
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Slow news day?

The shots included on Delafargue's website do make the whole thing look a bit like a lad's mag. In which case I think the whole brochure is doomed to failure as totally off the mark. I suspect most people wouldn't care if the brochure was full of pictures of the usual beautiful people as long as it made the right kind of claims about productivity and world domination in "three easy steps".

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T-Mobile US added more subscribers in last quarter than top three competitors combined

Charlie Clark
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ARPU still around $50

Means there is still plenty of scope for further price cuts!

(ARPU in Europe is < € 20 / $ 25)

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Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Re: I know it is his personal Twitter account

He is speaking very much on behalf of the company and knows it. But, seriously, "shit" is considered a problem?

Maybe the moral minority should organise a boycott and switch to ATT or Verizon. They can press for self-censoring phones that automatically cut out any possibly offensive words!

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Early! Do! Not! Track! Adopter! Yahoo! Says! It's! Rubbish, Bins! It!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Call me cynical...

It's pretty easy to read log files to see whether DNT has been set or not. As with most browser settings it requires a lot of energy to find, understand and set. And, it only sets a header. It doesn't get the browser to enforce any kind of white or blacklist so isn't much use anyway. So, I suspect that most people don't set it.

Much better to use something like Ghostery that does as much as possible to enforce my preference not too be tracked across the interwebs.

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Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

Charlie Clark
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Easier not just not eating

I remember going without food for a couple of weeks (I drank juice and tea) and still being able to cycle 7 miles two and from university and attend classes without any problems. Once the initial hunger is over it was pretty easy and I think most of us could do this for about a month without any problems. The body just uses up all the energy stored as fat.

Going on a crash diet of reduced calories confuses the body as it doesn't know what to do. This often leads to the body trying to store the energy from the food consumed and leads to weight loss. The body needs some time to adjust to the new regime.

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

Charlie Clark
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Good infographics can be really good additions to a story and I'm a fan of them in general. http://gapminder.org has some great examples.

Of course, like the currency cat, they can also be completely crap.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Populism and the Licence

Why have public service broadcasting? Because it is the only place you can really try hard to have something that is independent of both government and commercial interests.

Their liberal metropolitan attitudes are alien to about 95% of people.

I doubt that very much. It's probably true to say that not all of their attitudes are shared by a majority of the population. But that is actually fine if there is space for other reasonably held views - it's a mistake to think that giving equal time to everyone's point of view is balanced. Focussing more on professional journalism and less on fluff would automatically redress the balance.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: ignored because the preoccupations of the BBC

News on German public TV isn't too bad to be honest and it get's very local: from 19:00 to 20:15 I have regional, local and national news. I know my mum would love the 30 minutes given over to local news.

Channel 4 News is still a good attempt and informing and educating. Yes, the presenters still have obligatory Twitter handles but the fluff stops there.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tabloid

Fucking Greg Dyke is to blame for dumbing the news down in order to try and get more audience. And hasn't that worked well?

Good journalism will always find an audience.™

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Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: What is Windows Phone market?

As opposed to Google, who have an abysmal history with privacy and dodgy dealings?

So Microsoft is currently the champion of our rights? When did that happen because I must have missed it. Secure boot, DRM, etc. And, of course, Bing, Maps, etc. don't phone home to tell Microsoft what the users are doing,

Besides if you don't like the security settings on Android, stick on Cyanogenmod which allows you to manage permissions per app including disabling them by default.

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Charlie Clark
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Usual pinch of salt

IDC are still keeping their monthly market share figures (based on shipments) behind a a paywall but they have been consistently below Kantar's finger in the wind numbers. I posted the figures for Germany from February which had Windows Phone below 5 %. Based on anecdotal evidence when I'm out and about I'd go for 2 - 3 % as I can still keep a count in my head of the people with Lumias.

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Twitter investors squawk as user growth, income disappoint again

Charlie Clark
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#WhoCares

Except, I'm sure my bank or pension fund probably managed to sink some money into this turkey.

On the positive side: my Twitter-bot, inactive the last three years, still has some 300 followers.

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Voice-babble-over-Wi-Fi lands in Europe – take that, mobe masties

Charlie Clark
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Blah, blah, blah

This has to be one of the worst written articles I've read for a while. Breathless, stream of consciousness style doesn't work very well for analysis.

Wifi is indeed pretty widespread in the Netherlands including free to use on most trains. But that still doesn't make it universally available.

Meanwhile, elsewhere the telcos are finally implementing real cuts in roaming charges. For example, it's now free for me to receive calls anywhere in the EU and other charges are approaching the same as when in Germany. Interestingly, these changes were introduced before the start of the holidays.

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AMD adds ARM security core to new, low-cost x86 mobile processors

Charlie Clark
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Getting more done with less

The integration of GPU and ARM with an x86 is the way to go. You need less silicon and less power to get things done. Cheaper to make and run.

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Apple patents Wi-Fi access point location lookup

Charlie Clark
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Re: Good that Google didn't illegally map all private Wifi access points in the EU.

Plenty of companies map access points and provide the data on a commercial data to Google and Apple… who've been busy improving their own databases thanks to their users. Not sure how the commercial providers will react to this silly landgrab. But whoever okayed the patent needs a good talking to!

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Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer – advice from US, UK, EU

Charlie Clark
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Active X is the root of all evil

At least if I read this correctly and the only way the exploit can work across all versions. Unbelievable really that, despite all the good work put into developing IE 9 and beyond, Microsoft has still left the abscess that is Active X essentially untouched. A bit like how they've resurrected the Silverlight walled garden as Metroland.

They really ought to be sued for not taking Active X out back and replacing it with a proper sandbox system.

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No longer a 'hobby', Apple TV rakes in ONE BEEELLION DOLLARS

Charlie Clark
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Who's making the money?

So, in stark contrast to most Apple products, Apple TV is sold at slightly above cost to encourage people to buy content from the store. It fits in neatly to an existing Apple ecosystem and, even if it ignores standard NAS (DNLA), people are generally happy with it providing a better interface than most builtins.

But of that USD 1 billion sold via the Apple store, how much is Apple raking in? 33 % isn't bad but there's still a lot of infrastructure to pay for (whereas as content owners can just count the cash) and the recent noises from the FCC about dropping net neutrality is as likely to hurt Apple as much as Netflix. What Netflix, and Amazon and to a lesser extent Google have, are increasing amounts of their own content. That might be decisive over the next couple of years.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Instead

There's nothing wrong with Chromecast, it's a similar approach to a different problem. If it gains traction, and this is likely because it's a damn sight easier to use than most SmartTV interfaces, then it's likely to be able to offer the same kind of content that Apple TV does.

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Microsoft beats cloud drum as revenues remain solid but flat

Charlie Clark
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With margins like that…

… you can see why they've still changed so little and are still resistant to any real change.

There's a chance of an inflexion point if someone comes up with an alternative to Windows that is so popular with OEMs that they drop volume licensing deals (cheaper but you pay for a licence on every machine). Can't see anything like that just yet but who knows what may be round the corner?

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OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork

Charlie Clark
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Re: Right, so ...

@Chris Wareham - you're right, of course. Thanks for the correction. The underlying point stands: forking is part and parcel of open source.

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Bevy of tech behemoths aim to plug the next Heartbleed with DOLLARS

Charlie Clark
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Talking shop

Only code counts. NFT

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Apple's strong iPhone sales crush Wall Street moneymen's tepid expectations

Charlie Clark
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I'm inclined not to agree (here in Germany tablets are being bundled with internet access plans) with you but whatever the reason it's not really good news for Apple's growth-based business model.

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Charlie Clark
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The iPhone and especially the iPad remain excellent products at the top end of the market. I think they don't really have an edge in phones any more except in marketing, but the iPad is just so slick.

If that's the case, then why are I-Phone sales so strong and I-Pad ones weakening?

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No longer Square: Pear-shaped payments biz seeks buyer - report

Charlie Clark
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Re: I would disagree

When square launched a chip and pin card reader for mobile didnt exist… er, yes it did. Just maybe not where you live.

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Charlie Clark
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Move along, please. Nothing to see here.

Still no chip and pin? Even in the US the writing is on the wall for swiping: end of 2015.

Almost everywhere in the US already has terminals for reading credit cards (high transaction costs) and the debit card terminals in Europe have much lower transaction fees. The only market for Square was niche and ad hoc (conferences, concerts and the like). It now has to compete with the Bitcoin hype for the hipsters' attention

The comparison with Paypal is flawed because Paypal could exploit the lack of countrywide banking services in the US which have hampered the kind of EFT (electronic funds transfers) that are standard elsewhere. Paypal makes little or no financial sense in Europe, especially since SEPA except for those markets that don't understand how much easier it is just to use standard banking services for money transfer and international trades of where the SWIFT charges are higher than Paypal's.

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