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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2796 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

WHY didn't Microsoft buy RIM? Us business blokes would have queued for THAT phone

Charlie Clark
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Re: MS will not buy RIM now

On what grounds? In the mobile OS / handset business both MS and BB are minnows.

MS has more than enough on its plate with the integration of the Nokia handset business. MS is nearly on a par with BB10 feature-wise so a buy would only make sense to stop the competition getting at the IP. Now Blackberry has been taken off the market the chance for a quick buy has passed. No doubt Fairfax will be offering part or all of Blackberry for sale at some point.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: BB10 is not a bad smart phone OS

In a sense they have as BB10 can run a lot of Android apps - if all you need is a Dalvik VM then the rest is pretty easy.

I think QNX is a better fit for mobile phones than Linux, though I suspect given the amount of customisation in Android the point maybe moot. But it wouldn't surprise me if Fairfax doesn't sell the OS onto Google, or maybe even Intel for just that kind of project.

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Google reveals its Hummingbird: Fly, my little algorithm - FLY!

Charlie Clark
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Me like

Google's recent improvements including the stuff that looks like it was inspired by the short-lived and terribly named but quite useful Cuil. And as long as Google continue to add stuff that works people will continue to use their services.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: C? Python? Oh god no

Apart from putting yourself in the hands of the semi-colon Mafia, you forgot

#include <notascleverasithinkiam.h>

#include <hugeloadofboilerplate..h>

void ThisIsGoingToBlowUpBecauseOfPointersAndPoorMemoryManagement();

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LOHAN twangs BRASTRAP to unfetter mighty orbs

Charlie Clark
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Black Helicopters

So let me get this right…

… you now have the ability to remotely detonate an explosive device using mobile communications and are planning to launch such a device into orbit from a remote mountain location?

I bet you're giving someone at the Pentagon an itchy trigger finger!

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: Reminds me of programmes for schools.

Luxury! In my day we didn't even have VHS but an unholy umatic monster. It failed so often that I think I only ever saw it once.

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Google's boffins branded 'unacceptably ineffective' at tackling web piracy

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ask one back

@Tom 7

I've scanned in banknotes before - maybe its just the (more expensive?) copiers that are the problem.

I think the problem comes when you try and print them. Some bright spark realised pretty early on how important it would be to keep the lid on fake notes and got everyone to sign up.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ask one back

Technical solutions are readily available for specific instances.

Yep, but copyright infringement is a collection of specific instances. To maintain due process you'd have to get a judge to sign off every website you wanted to switch off and this would be open to appeal.

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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Down

What's this got to do with the Note 3

So, having a go at Samsung for trying stuff out, sometimes just because it can, is now an excuse for writing an article?

Not sure if I want a curved phone but I certainly would like to see what a wall of 5° curved screens looks like: IMAX

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There's ONE country that really likes the iPhone 5c as well as the 5s

Charlie Clark
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All the reports are clickbait nonsense. But this, it has to be said, is one of the weakest.

Apple has been successful with brightly coloured devices before and will be again. The question will be whether over time sales of the 5c meet expectations - Apple is onto a winner whether people by the 5s or 5c or even the 4s - for continued growth.

The underlying arguments for and against having a low cost product will continue.

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New iPhone sells out, millions in hands of lucky fans, Cook cock a hoop ...

Charlie Clark
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Re: So much for the talk of failure

We're very happy for you.

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Nokia Lumia 1020: It's an imaging BEAST... and it makes calls too

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Maybe that precludes the 1020 being popular but the 5xx, 6xx, 7xx and even 8xx - all better value than anything but Landfill Android - all updated and looked after for reasonable periods and all with excellent Nokia call quality and build.

What a load of shit: semantically nonsense as you are actually saying that "landfill Android" are better than the Nokias. It's a clever pejorative but I'm not sure which phones actually count as such. As for updates (hello Microsoft when are you updating Windows Phone) or support for any period of time: remember Windows Phone 7 by any chance? We've yet to find out how long <strikethrough>Nokia</strikethrough> Microsoft will support any of these devices but I'd be willing to bet that not all of them are going to be getting OS updates and could landfill themselves soon enough.

When it comes to "value": no one needs any of the devices so in that sense they're all waste. Millions, sorry billions, of people could do pretty much everything they want with a normal phone. My 6-year old E65 is still a technological wonder though it could do with a new battery and there seems to be a problem with one of the speakers, yet I can watch videos on it, use it as a sat nav, oh, and of course, use it for calls and text.

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Charlie Clark
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I saw my first ever in Germany at the weekend. I was so impressed I posted about it on El Reg even if it was bought mainly for research purposes.

The sale of Nokia's handset business to Microsoft says volumes about how well phone sales are going. Even if they are up on a year ago they are not where they should be. Nokia has produced some great kit, Microsoft has failed to update the OS and it's a fast moving world.

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Microsoft: Surface a failure? No, it made us STRONGER

Charlie Clark
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Re: Still too expensive and not enough storage

Not if Intel and Microsoft have anything to say about it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel graphics - hahahahahahahaha, GMA = games my ass

Yes, by all accounts Intel now has integrated graphics comparable with AMD or nVidia. You're still paying a premium for the chips but they're much cheaper than the full-fat ones which is why Intel is working hard (partly by crippling the graphics) to keep the market segmented.

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BlackBerry BLOODBATH! Company warns of nearly $1bn quarterly loss

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: quiet in here

QNX-based BB10? You're kidding, right?

QNX is fantastic. BlackBerry have done all the hard work turning an embedded system in a user-facing one, with Android support. Might be interesting to see whether Google decides to pick them up for the enterprise customers (it would be a great way to cross-sell Google docs on company hardware) and an option to move from Linux to QNX.

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Google smacks Surface with free Quickoffice for Android, iOS

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Hey, we have another source of money

er, what about Google search? Last time I checked it was free to use. Then there is Google Mail, Google Drive, oh, and some free operating system called Android.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No good for me

Try Softmaker Office or Kingsoft

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Charlie Clark
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Trademarks, unlike patents have to be actively enforced. This hasn't happened against Borland Office, Star Office, QuickOffice, et al., so no case. See also legal action around the name "windows".

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Fanbois shun 'crappy plastic' iPhone 5C

Charlie Clark
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Re: Happy Clappy Crappy

Well, it's not really the company song. It's about motivating sales staff to do their job and it can be successful in that - that's one of the reasons for chants and huddles in some sports matches. The sense of purpose and togetherness - however fleeting - is infectious and good for sales. Be honest, wouldn't you rather buy something from an enthusiastic, helpful and happy sales person than from a surly, truculent, pimply-faced one.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

Charlie Clark
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Re: Small Text

Assuming you can actually see the controls in the first place…

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Charlie Clark
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Good review

Nice to see Apple taking inspiration from other systems to improve the UX.

And: Bluetooth file transfer! That is both revolutionary and magical! Oh, except everyone else has had it for over 10 years… Can assume it's I-Phone to I-Phone only? Or will it also worked with the devil's devices?

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Nokia Lumia 625: Quality budget 4G phone ... but where's UK's budget 4G?

Charlie Clark
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Battery life was outstanding, lasting into a third day on light use, even on 4G. It should see you through the best part of two days of normal use

What? That's about what I get out of my S4 Mini and I would hardly call that "outstanding". Outstanding would be a week.

Nice to see Nokia still trying to find their niche but I do worry that there are plenty of Android phones out there with comparable specs and prices (and battery life).

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Final preview of IE11 for Windows 7 uncanned

Charlie Clark
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Re: 30% more speed...

What about the benchmark MS created because SunSpider didn't suit them? Though, to be honest, I thought pretty much everyone had stopped referring to SunSpider results because they no longer reflect UX very much (all JS engines have got so fast that they are no longer the bottleneck).

Does it do SPDY or HTTP 2?

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Everyone's waving their 5-inchers: BlackBerry outs new supersized Z30

Charlie Clark
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Updates

The Z30 will arrive with version 10.2 of the QNX-based OS, which should also seep out to beleaguered Z10, Q5 and Q10 owners by the middle of next month via an over-the-air update. This brings a bunch of much-needed fixes and enhancements, including a new notification system that allows one to fire off message replies in an instant.

In other word BlackBerry are much better at getting updates for phones out than Microsoft.

Looks like a nice bit of kit.

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Official crackdown on Apple fanboi 'shanty town' ahead of London iPhone launch

Charlie Clark
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Re: Queuing already?

@JDX - you are going to be one of the first against the wall!

Do they even do I-Phones for uncovered pitches?

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DRAMA at 75,000 FEET: Our Playmonaut's TERROR PLUNGE from EDGE of SPACE

Charlie Clark
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Pint

Re: One can only hope...

pah! A night on the lash and he'll be right as rain and begging for more. This is one of Blighty's finest we're talking about! He's probably already plans on overtaking Voyager 1!

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Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Charlie Clark
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Gosh, thanks

but no thanks until they throw out the toy town stuff.

A non-metro version of Windows 8 might actually sell in volume. Are they going to have to have the Vista experience again before they relent? By all means use parts of metro such as simplified, two-tone icons within the UI but until they scrap the Jekyll & Hyde approach they will continue to piss people off.

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Redmond slips out temporary emergency fix for IE 0-day

Charlie Clark
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Re: Most people seem to insist on using Flash...

ActiveX is the plug-in architecture for IE, Flash is a plug-in.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: IE can be managed

The IT bods at out place seem to be able to manage Firefox okay. Just as well as we're otherwise stuck with IE 8 for the foreseeable future.

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Peak Apple: Has ANYONE at all ordered a new iPhone 5c?

Charlie Clark
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I don't like them but that doesn't mean they won't sell

They seem to complement the I-Pod Touches pretty well and, like the rest of that range, Apple still seems to be selling enough of them to keep them in stock. I guess we'll find out over the next month or so.

Meanwhile in other not really interesting news: I actually saw a Windows Phone in the flesh at the weekend. It was in the hands of an Android developer who'd bought one specifically because he has his hands in Android all the time. But still: a sale is a sale.

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Do you trust your waiter? Hacked bank-card reader TEXTS your info to crims

Charlie Clark
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Re: Captured PIN

re. fake keypad

you can't prevent that kind of abuse but the correctly set up system getting the PIN isn't much use. The whole transaction (amount, card info and PIN) are required. Magnetic stripes haven't been safe for years with or without PINs.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Captured PIN

The delay in rolling out chip'n'pin worldwide which has the protection you suggest is down to the usual arguments about who's going to pay for it. Remember that, for a while at least, sales of card insurance brought the banks in more money than they lost through the fraud.

The payment clearers, VISA et al., are liable for anyone the license to use their networks so they tend to close down direct abuse pretty quickly. The harvesting of full bank details for subsequent fraud is the nice twist on this scam as it becomes more of a whack-a-mole system. However, as the article notes, this kind of fraud is common in countries where the rule of law in terms of consumer protection is lax.

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Google cooks web dev teaching tool for Raspberry Pi

Charlie Clark
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Re: Pi still a miss.

Work was being done this weekend to get Haiku to run on ARM and, therefore, on the Raspberry Pi. Be interesting to see how responsive it is if we ever get the port finished.

But you're missing the point: the Pi is about making fully functional computers as cheap as possible so that they can be used for hobby or educational projects. Whether this means kids pick it up because of scratch or their dads make home automation or media servers with them is less important.

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Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

Charlie Clark
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Re: Great (<sarcasm>)

So our contract costs and any out-of-package costs are going to increase to offset the lost income from roaming then.

The licences were awarded independently of roaming so what you suggest is bunk. Roaming has always been "money for nothing" on top the national licences. It requires virtually no additional infrastructure and incurs negligible additional costs: at most termination fees must be shared with the network where roaming is happening. But seeing as those fees are paid for by the person calling and mean that a call gets routed through the network to another country but not along any own infrastructure to a base station, that's only fair.

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Hacker cracks Vodafone Germany, steals data of 2 million customers

Charlie Clark
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Re: "Hardly possible"?

Actually, "hardly" is a good translation of "kaum".

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Facebook stock-spaffers officially LOSERS: Stock hits all-time high of $45

Charlie Clark
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Re: How the hell

It's a combination of the policy of money-printing (dubbed "quantitative easing" to make it sound better), financial repression with artificially low interest rates and the wealth effect.

Freshly printed, or at least issued, money gets dumped onto a market where interest rates are held low to encourage investment in assets other than government bonds, which you can't buy anyway because the central banks are buying them up. This pushes hot money into speculative assets such as shares, currently even more so as money is returning from emerging markets in anticipation of an end to easy money. The rise in share prices, in much the same way as rising house prices do, makes people feel wealthier, thus more likely to spend money (they don't have, but, hey, at current interest rates it's better to spend it now than watch it depreciate, or if you're in debt snuggle up with the thought that your debts will be worth less tomorrow). It's the economic equivalent of perpetual motion and just as much a myth.

Oh, but don't worry about not getting a piece of the action: your savings bank and pension plan will make sure you do.

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European Commission plans net neutrality push

Charlie Clark
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Re: Of course it isn't explained

Actually, both Finland and Sweden demonstrate the importance of both in driving their own, different tech business clusters: cheap communications are very important in high-wage economies.

As for no startups in the telco market I suspect it may depend upon your definition but I think the plans to encourage wholesale and simplify market entry will favour expansion of companies like Iliad, which has successfully disrupted the French telco market. Communications are extremely fungible which should encourage new entrants to the market.

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Charlie Clark
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@HollyHopDrive

Who won't last long, exactly? Barroso? No, his term won't be renewed and a good thing to as he has been a very poor president of the European Commission. Neelie Kroes is continuing both her own relatively good work as Trade Commissioner before she moved to the current brief, and her predecessor's Viviane Reding who gave us the roaming caps.

The Commission continues to do a lot for pretty much everyone by rolling back subsidies (Olympic, Alitalia and more recently Renault), protecting consumer rights (even against arseholes like O'Leary) and making cross-border trade easier. But that's all boring stuff that doesn't make good headlines like: "Brussels wants all cows to be the same colour."

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You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's

Charlie Clark
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Looking forward to mine

Samsung ran a promotion at the end of last month with all new NFC phones: everyone gets a carkit, some covers and a "tec tile" - RFC sticker to do with as you please. Not sure if I move around enough to want a profile switch but I'm looking forward to seeing what is possible. Personally, I like the idea of an NFC and code -based lock system (something you have and something you know) for things like car-sharing.

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Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll be interesting to see how this is handled on Android when the time comes...

@IHateWearingATie

Okay, I'll bite - fragmentation has been a red herring for a while on Android. It was initially a big problem as new 1.x releases introduced extensive new APIs that often required hardware support which a lot of the first phones didn't provided. This was exacerbated by manufacturers and networks not having the right kind of resources to manage and distribute updates of the OS together with their own stuff.

The hardware API has been pretty stable since about Android 2.2 which is why you see stuff in the store saying that devices with less than 2.2 won't be supported. Over the last 18 months the major manufacturers have got much better (though there is still some way to go) at managing OS updates and taking advantage of the reference Nexus models to road-test the hardware / software combination.

So, I have a two-year old Galaxy 8.9 with Android 4.0, an X-Cover 2 with 4.1 an S4 Mini with 4.2 all happily running the same apps except for a couple that are tablet only. Interestingly the S4 Mini and X-Cover 2 are good examples of how well Android handles different screen resolutions: the screens are roughly the same size but the mini has significantly greater pixel density, obvious when comparing say map applications but icon sizes are physically almost identical which makes them both equally easy to operate. Compare and contrast with Apple's own rule-breaking I-Pad mini.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: iOS-based laptops?

Maybe not IOS-based but potentially ARM64-based MacBook Airs. There is a lot to be gained by consolidating the tool chain for the underlying OS which is what Apple has been doing in the last two releases of MacOS with Mavericks presumably due to go further.

Of course, for users the move to 64-bit is just another ratchet to buy a new handset as more and more apps require 64-bitted IOS 7.

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New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sorry apple, you are just too slow to innovate and lack imagination.

S versions never make massive changes, arguably this one does so more than other S versions have.

Remind us again of the major changes that the 5 made over the 4s? Oh, yes it was a bit longer.

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Sony unveils Tap 11, the world's SLIMMEST tablet PC (for now)

Charlie Clark
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A modest proposal

@Sony &Toshiba

Try making Android combos patents $200 cheaper (no windows tax and no Intel tax) and you might be surprised at how many you sell.

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The REAL winner of Microsoft's Nokia buy: GOOGLE

Charlie Clark
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Spare me a dime

re. money

The $15 is not real money but often part of licensing. I think we would see it challenged if it wasn't approaching expiry.

re. Nokia's patents

Microsoft only has 10 years access to them; the patents are staying with Nokia. another spectacular bit of negotiating from Microsoft.

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Charlie Clark
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re. But wait

IDC has a reputation for being very enthusiastic when it comes to Microsoft. with the right team and determination they might well pull off a surprise (personally I can't see that happening without breaking the company up, but what do I know?). But those recent stats for Mexico seemed to show feature phone to Android more than anything else. Android now has the eco-system around both hardware and software that Microsoft and Intel used to have: Samsung et al. now have even more reason to invest in it.

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Charlie Clark
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Bogus assertion

but mostly it’s the price we pay for the collapse in the cost of communications…

This is utter nonsense. Deregulation and accompanying drops in charges has happened across the EU without the same increase in calls.

Cold calls are an unsolicited invasion of privacy and as such illegal. The infrastructure is already in place to clamp down on the offenders whether they are based in the UK or not. The problem is a regulator lacking both the teeth and balls to enforce the law.

Ofcom should be working to make it easy for people to report offenders and lobbying for fines that will deter companies from risking being reported: not necessarily the company making the call but whichever network facilitates the call. This was the logic behind the changes in the law in Germany last year which drastically increased the fines for cold callers. They also made it illegal to charge customers on waiting to speak to an operator.

My advice to anyone receiving cold calls is to note the name of the company making the call and inform them that you will report them. If you are receiving a lot of abuse then contact your provider and get them to enable tracing (yes, it's already active for GCHQ but you have to pay for it) and get them to do their job in pursuing the offending network. Any costs incurred can probably be reclaimed in legal action and threatening small claims should probably end any discussion. A report to your MP and Ofcom at the end.

If people actually start doing something about the menace then there is a higher chance of the regulator taking notice and possibly even doing their job.

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Look out ARM, Intel, here comes MIPS – again

Charlie Clark
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Re: No publicly available PowerVR documentation

Talk about missing the point… has the lack of docs on the Power VR chips hindered the sales to Apple? Do the lockdowns on the Qualcomm and Broadcom chips stop them finding their way into our gadgets?

Anyway open source OS on MIPS does have a long and successful history and long may it continue.

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Do not adjust your eyes: This Kobo ten-incher has a 2560 x 1600 resolution

Charlie Clark
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I don't know that I agree with you. I love both my Kobo Glo (2012) and Galaxy 8.9 (2011). Both are small and light enough to be taken on longer trips, with the tablet rather effectively replacing my notebook when I don't expect to be able to do any more work than some research and e-mail but you can't use a tablet in the sunshine.

I would love something like the ill-fate Que for all my technical documentation. The Glo is fantastic for standard books but some tech stuff just seems to demand more space. The AuraHD is tempting is but not big enough.

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Three axes data-roaming fees in SEVEN countries

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yeah, it's surprising...

The EU Commission found them guilty of price fixing - the savings made by roaming on sister networks led to fatter profits not lower charges for customers - which led to the price caps set by the Commission.

It looks like Three is one of the first to take advantage of the new wholesale pricing that the Commission mandated. If the other networks don't follow then we can expect MVNOs to give it a shot. My money would be on companies like Free in France trying to come up with similar offers.

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