* Posts by Charlie Clark

2871 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Apple's new iPhones dope-slap Samsung in US

Charlie Clark
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Re: shocker

It's a different market but it is interesting to see how Samsung has created its own very loyal base for the Note.

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Bad for Bezos: Amazon's German workers threaten pre-Christmas strike

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Actually, German Labour laws mean the companies usually cave in and make a deal to cut their losses before it gets this far.

What a load of crap!

The foundation of so-called Rhinish Capitalism is paying workers slightly more to get even more from them and guarantee the social peace. Companies that get rich solely by exploiting their employees as far as possible do not contribute to society and endanger the social peace. And Bismarck, not known for socialist sympathies, was one of the key drivers of this.

Regarding the car industry: the Germans have simply been better at batting for their jobs. Though, when it comes to Vauxhall/Opel the years of underinvestment by GM and global overcapacity means that much of the German Opel workforce are now facing the sack. This is cultural, though I think the British strategy of shutting everything down and leaving people to find new jobs in the 1980s was an example to many of how not to do things.

This is, however, not really related to the Amazon case, which seeks to exploit loopholes to drive wages lower. Still not as low as the ones the church likes to pay (for playgroups, schools, hospitals, etc.), but not enough to live off.

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Charlie Clark
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German labour legislation is stacked against strikes. More importantly, the presence of works councils means that employees are apprised early of how a company is doing and able to negotiate with management before it comes to strikes. Everyone knows that strikes are not good for business so everyone tries hard to avoid them, or restrict them to "warning strikes" of a couple of hours.

The reason for the problems is that Amazon is only prepared to pay people in accordance with the logistics branch, which is a lower wage than the catalogue shopping branch. In addition a lot of the employees are agency staff from other countries in an attempt to drive wages even lower. Germany has a growing problem with its working poor being paid too little to live on.

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Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2

Charlie Clark
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@LDS Germany is even less MS friendly than America. Firefox has been the most popular browser for years, even in most companies. Windows Phones are almost the proverbial hen's teeth - my count this year is now up to three.

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Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Lawsuit

Whoever posted that tweet could be in real trouble.

Microsoft may not have noticed it but the SEC this year authorised the use of Twitter for relevant information. The flipside of being able to spurt "we're doing really great" is that the SEC takes a very dim view of "forward looking statements" that can be conceived as misleading. Without further, detailed information such as might be expected at investors' call it's difficult to see how that claim about a publicly traded company can be considered as anything other than misleading.

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TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

Charlie Clark
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Re: 106? Shurely Shome Mishtake

The main reason being that if you're negotiating to buy old Doctor Who film, you don't want other Collectors getting wind and offering a price you can't match.

I think it's a different matter if you have the copyright which the BBC does.

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Microsoft: Oh PLEASE, HTC. Who says Windows Phone can't go on an Android mobe? – report

Charlie Clark
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Just rumours

Unless Microsoft is prepared either to do the work and port Windows Phone to whatever hardware revisions of a particular model a manufacturer is working on, or, provide the manufacturer with the necessary source code for the drivers then this simply isn't practicable.

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The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Charlie Clark
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Re: A big magenta cock would look great soaring through the skies.

I think we have a winner.

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You're either mighty brave or mighty stupid. So which is it, Twitter?

Charlie Clark
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Re: I don't care

It's just so depressing when local TV stations gush about coming up with hashtags.

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You put up with CRAPPY iOS 7. You can put up with Obamacare too, says prez

Charlie Clark
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Re: USA Delusions of Superiority

In fact it's not just parts of the US looking enviously at universal healthcare but also places like Singapore. Universal healthcare is not without its problems, chiefly balancing funding issues and what to spend it on, but it has an enviable track record.

However, as the politics about this in America are so intractable I suspect there is little to be gained by carrying them on here. I would actually like to know more about the computer system that has been set up and seems to be struggling so much. You know: budget, timescale, unrealistic and ever-changing requirements meet unscrupulous vendors.

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Screen grab by Google, Amazon could delay Retina iPad mini – report

Charlie Clark
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Re: Your words coming back to haunt you Stevie & Timmy?

Jobs was right about the problems of scaling and the I-Pad mini breaks his rules. More info on the problems caused by the I-Pad mini in an article on ALA last year: Apple just shrank everything by 40 %.

Google has a more sophisticated way of dealing with screen sizes and pixel density which means that UI controls stay usable on virtually all the devices.

Personally, I'm not a great fan of the 7" form factor but it is undeniably more portable than 10": significantly lighter and fits in handbags or rucksack side compartments.

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Apple wins patent for entrance to retail store

Charlie Clark
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Re: Erm...

With you on this. Patenting buildings is silly. You normally patent the means of fabrication. But then this is the USPTO we're talking about, proof that the spirit of Monty Python is alive and well.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Apple Hajj

a pilgrimage at least once in their lives

Only once in their lives? I'm sure that in the Book of Jobs it actually says "once a year, otherwise ye will just not be cool".

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Windows Phone market share hits double digits in UK and France

Charlie Clark
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Re: 1020

Let me get this straight: you basically advocate Nokia marketing the 1020 as the best compact digital camera? Even Orlowski, who has been cheerleading Windows Phone for some time now, stopped short of an unequivocal recommendation.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie

@Prof. Hans Asperger

I think we're pretty much in agreement on why Microsoft bought. But I don't think Elop joined Nokia to run the company into the ground prior to a sale. Given its cash pile Microsoft could have bought the business at any time, and time really has been of the essence. Bringing hardware and software development closer together was highlighted by the Nokia CEO as a requirement for the project to succeed. Microsoft now has to demonstrate the skills necessary to facilitate this and do it quickly.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Here we go again

@anonymous coward aka Winpho Fanbro

"Akamai is by far the world's largest content delivery network"

Bu not to Windows Phone handsets, which don't run Flash on which the majority of the websites you mention base their content on...

Flash doesn't run on I-Phones or a lot of Androids either. Doesn't seem to be doing their figures a lot o harm.

Nokia sold because it was still losing cash and Microsoft bought because it is betting on the product line and realised tighter integration of hardware and software is required. Plus it needed to do something with it's offshore cash pile.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Here we go again

You must have missed all the IDC regional survey results.

Ah, that bastion of impartiality IDC. The company that repeatedly does reports commissioned by Microsoft on how well Microsoft is doing!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Here we go again

Anecdotal is anecdotal

All surveys are anecdotal if they aren't weighted. This is a fundamental principle of sample-based statistics.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You know what's weird?

I've always mainly used my phone for calls, messages, games (Sudoku) and audio. There are a couple of apps that I do use occasionally when I need them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Here we go again

@Darryl

not quite but anecdotal surveys can be useful in testing the reliability of such reports: there should be at least some degree of correlation, assuming you weight your own observations. I think I've seen maybe two people using Nokia Windows Phones in about six months here in Germany. They're even starting to disappear from the shops.

As a proxy for market share the mobile browser usage as tracked by Akamai has Windows Phone consistently at less than 1 %. Akamai is by far the world's largest content delivery network (146 of the web's top 1000 websites, some 54 % of those using CDNs) so a reasonable proxy.

The failure to increase sales is, after all, why Microsoft is buying the Nokia handset business.

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BitTorrent trialling P2P secure messaging

Charlie Clark
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BitMessage

BitMessage has been also around for a while. Needs some work on the UX but seems to do job well enough.

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Multipath TCP: Siri's new toy isn't a game-changer

Charlie Clark
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Re: And what about the...

Well, while the rule of thumb is power = x * data rate * time, I'm not sure if that will be the limiting factor here.

A worst case scenario might be watching HD video which is using wifi + 3/4G. Simply keeping the screen lit might well be the limiter here.

It sounds to me like the approach is an attempt to anticipate the long anticipated merge of mobile phone technology and ethernet where everything becomes IP. This might make it easier for applications to switch between the two without restarting connections. Applications for this would be things like OTT voice and video communication where the latency of restarting the connection would be noticeable. But I'm not sure if they aren't already quite good at this: I've had a video call with someone on Hangout moving from their wifi to mobile data.

From what I know of 3G I don't see this really happening a lot as there's just too much going on in the carriers' networks. In 4G it's a no-brainer and there are probably already attempts to manage it in silicon - I'm not sure application should be getting the choice - where the phone presents a single interface to a device which might in reality be two or more physical interfaces. Isn't this how MIMO works?

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Wireless-charging power struggle latest: Qualcomm invades rival to kill upstart

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: JPF

It's par for the course: develop some kind of technology, get it to the market, create a "standards" body as a way to reinforce your market position. In the meantime the competition will create a rival "standards" body to confuse the market. The technologies are often extremely similar but vary in slight details. Whichever wins usually gets to charge licence fees for any patents involved.

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EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

Charlie Clark
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Re: Surprising

The absolutely maddest connector was the one used by Ericsson, the best, used by Nokia

Have to disagree, all the Ericsson's I had used a connector that did not use a pin.

As a result the pin could never be bent or damaged if it was moved against the phone; it would simply pop out.

This is the big drawback with the USB connections: if the phone falls awkwardly when connected then there is a chance that the cable and possibly even the socket will damaged. So, an idiot-proof USB pop or magnetic connector would be the best solution.

But having a standard connection, in whatever form, is great. Samsung now just supplies a micro-USB cable with a USB mains adapter. I can use the same cable for all my phones and my Kobo. I still have a dedicated charger in one room because it can deliver 2A instead of 1A but basically just being able to carry one cable for >= 3 devices instead of a separate charge for each is a godsend.

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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

You just answered it yourself, IP abuse.

That is not an issue for the competition authorities.

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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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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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