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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2801 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Charlie Clark
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Re: Complexity....

Lisp is also noticeable by its absence.

The inclusion of TypeScript and CoffeeScript initially threw me, and I do think they shouldn't be included in the assessment, partly because they're both too new, but mainly because they produce Javascript. However, a head-to-head of the three for solving common well-understood problems might be interesting.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Real Programmers

I think you're missing an adjective in your last clause.

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Charlie Clark
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Interesting but no cigar

The analysis of defects is heavily dependent upon the bug tracker and the quality of that is heavily dependent upon the users.

Additional information could be achieved through static code analysis, test coverage and penetration testing where possible. Tests can serve as the formal expression of the contract that code is supposed to implement. I'd wager that there is a significant negative correlation between (unit) test coverage and errors regardless of the language. There might be a correlation between language and test coverage, though this might be less necessary for purely functional programming.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Erlang and more

C and C++ programmers have at least potential to have worked longer with their language than Erlang, TypeScript and Haskell programmers

Erlang and Haskell have both been around for quite a while and are well-established in certain domains. TypeScript is so new that it doesn't really count.

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Former Apple chief John Sculley says Steve Jobs 'never forgave him'

Charlie Clark
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Tax

The problem with the tax situation is two-fold:

  • race to the bottom
  • cross-border tax-avoidance in free trade zones

Tax-breaks alone are generally not worth it as they do not encourage long term investments and, therefore, often cost more than they generate. Companies often leave as soon as the deal runs out or someone makes them a better offer.

To keep companies long-term you need a well-educated workforce with good productivity.

If it was only the tax-breaks in Ireland then it wouldn't be such an issue. But the ability to combine them with other loopholes in other countries in the EU, while perfectly legal, unfairly benefits the corporations. I say unfair but it is usually perfectly legal.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: John Who??

PowerPC was definitely the right choice at the time: the better architecture meant that especially the mobile products were significantly better than their Intel counterparts. It was only later with Motorola struggling that problems occurred - IBM wasn't interested or equipped for the volume. And, of course, it was things like Altivec in the PowerPC that made Intel raise its game. Just like AMD's 64-bit extensions instead of Itanium inside.

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Spaceplane fan sips sweet nectar from LOHAN's copious cup

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Congratulations

Your camel is pregnant!

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The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

Charlie Clark
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Re: Smartphones are the new featurephones

Production costs may be little different, but development, sales, marketing and distribution should cost a lot less.

Of those only development could really be moved entirely to China (or elsewhere). Hardware development is already moving to China which had produced good engineers. Software development seems more of a problem but is even more fungible.

Not sure about the cost of Apple's new building. I suspect it's tiny compared to that of the share buybacks. But as a one-off expense I don't think it's relevant.

Land in the US is still comparatively cheap and shale oil and gas have made energy cheap. This certainly matters in some industries but less so in software. The access to international capital means that there is always money to pay for people to work in Silicon Valley as opposed to Detroit or Xianjing and good developers are still a scarce commodity.

It's going to take something very special to compete against that. China is, of course, developing its own software power houses such as AliBaba, Baidu and TenCent but it will need further opening of markets and travel to become a more attractive place to work in.

As Mr Orlowski cogently argued several years ago: the software has become key. This is why power shifted from Ericsson and Nokia to Apple and Google. Will Xiaomi or Huawei create software development departments good enough to build their own Android or IOS? Google is obviously increasingly worried about this which is why it's putting more stuff into Play Store services and mandating more Google apps be installed on devices. This may be a prelude to starving AOSP as a platform in order, say, to prevent Xiaomi partnering with Baidu in international phones.

I don't know how things will turn out. We've seen HTC, Asus and Samsung pour resources into software development with somewhat mixed results.

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Charlie Clark
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Smartphones are the new featurephones

A couple of thoughts strike me about the article.

  • A phone is a commodity. Welcome to 2007. Companies were making money then, they will now have to learn how to do it again
  • Some people will pay more for certain kinds of hardware: huge screen, screen types and resolutions, SD-card, waterproof, battery life, etc.
  • Who says the Chinese will do any better? Production is increasingly automated. What advantages do the Chinese have?
  • How long can Apple defy gravity? Yes, it makes great products and has fantastic margins but as the recent sales in tablets have shown it's not immune to general trends in the market. And, as the 5c has shown, it sometimes gets things wrong. I'm personally not convinced that the Apple upgrade cycle won't start to look a lot like the Android (extended and increasingly focussed on value). Of course, there is a certain amount of lock-in but that might just encourage people to stick with what they've got.

So, in a nutshell, I don't agree with this black and white analysis.

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Apple OSX Yosemite infested by nasty 'Rootpipe' vuln

Charlie Clark
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Headline could be better

Since it affects probably all versions of MacOS X. Hopefully Apple will have a fix in place before January because if this is remotely exploitable I can't see how they can hope to avoid liability when people are exploited. Though I suspect the attack vector will be some kind of payload where a user has to be active.

I really don't like sudo. I usually run a separate shell as root to avoid the hassle. Yes, I know that's no safer I would really prefer being able to run su. Do you get su if you set up an account without admin privileges?

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Microsoft: How to run Internet Explorer 11 on ANDROID, iOS, OS X

Charlie Clark
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Saucelabs

Run VMs for you which can access firewalled sites. With Selenium integration.

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'National roaming' law: Stubborn UK operators to be FORCED to share

Charlie Clark
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Re: Excellent if it happens...

So, having spent quite literally tens of billions for licenses and more to build phone networks with those licenses

I think you'll find that those licences were accounted for in a very tax-efficient way.

Roaming for voice can be done within the existing framework. O2 Germany used it extensively during its buildout. The key is to set the fee high enough to encourage all parties to continue building: networks using roaming should have an incentive to improve their own infrastructure; networks providing roaming should be rewarded for the infrastructure they've built and given incentive to do more. Equilibrium would be reached at some point.

Data, as ever, is a different matter because it can be a much scarcer resource.

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IPv6 web starts to look like the internet we know

Charlie Clark
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Economic incentives

While the early adopters will probably have to deal with all the teething troubles, they'll also be the ones most likely to benefit from the change. Germany had an IPv6 plan and has more or less stuck to it.

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Drupalgeddon megaflaw raises questions over CMS bods' crisis mgmt

Charlie Clark
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Re: That's what you get for not using

Yes, as if Typo 3 doesn't have its own set of problems.

All software has bugs.

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Windows XP market share FELL OFF A CLIFF in October

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sounds like a flaw in their data collection @DougS

A simple explanation for this sudden drop in XP…

is that there isn't one because it is only visible on of the reported surveys.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Sounds like a flaw in their data collection

We've been complaining about these numbers since El Reg started using them. The articles are little more than clickbait.

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Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Charlie Clark
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@big_D

Not sure what things work differently on the two OSes in Powerpoint but if it's anything like Excel then a new version won't fix it. An example: charts and images in Excel are positioned using pixels but cells are dependent upon font sizes. The two are not consistent across operating systems and, as the details are part of the ECMA Office OpenXML specification, that has to be changed first.

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Charlie Clark
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before that release ships, however, justifiably impatient users

I don't think you'll find many of those: Office 2011 for Mac is perfectly okay and the ribbon interface less of a problem than on Windows. Why would we want to "upgrade" to some kind of cloudy lock-in?

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Samsung launches 'perfect pair' of skinny mid-range phones

Charlie Clark
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Screens

A5 runs at 720 x 1280 pixels to give a 294 ppi pixel density

Fuck that kind of willy-waving! Is OLED or just LCD?

Over 2000mAH should easily give you more than a day's use with those screens.

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Samsung's flagging phone fortunes hit profits hard

Charlie Clark
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Re: Costs....

It's not for me but the Notes seem to pack a lot of functionality into a device. Let's face it, it's the note that convinced Apple of the need for a super-sized phone. I expect Note sales will continue to be good, because most users of them seem to love them. It's other parts of the portfolio which need looking at, where the perceived advantage over cheaper phones doesn't seem to be worth the money.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Analysts

No, the market is getting saturated and, therefore, more competitive. I would be surprised if we don't start to similar quarter-for-quarter comparisons for Apple starting with this quarter (Q4 2013 was the first time Apple released its products around the world at the same time) with tablet sales already following the general trend: many of those who've already got one don't feel the urge to buy a newer one.

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This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO

Charlie Clark
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I don't understand this article

Did anyone proofread it? It seems like some clickbait about open source.

There is only one real advantage of open source: peer review. For some of us, for some projects this is a killer feature. The rest is hype.

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This is why we CAN have nice things: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Charlie Clark
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Re: Aesthetics me arse

No, you're not. But I do think the absence of support SD cards is a bit unusual.

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The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Charlie Clark
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Alert

Re: Am I the only one who doesn't have wget installed?

I guess it depends on your server. I thought it was installed by most distros by default but I don't know how many people routinely use it for mirroring stuff. I tend to use wget over curl because the incantation is easier. But I might just install fetch for remote downloads.

Your point about code that isn't there can't be attacked still stands but in that case why even have an SFTPd running. Surely, the really safe thing is to be able to read the files from a remote file system under your control? Even then, can you be sure the files aren't corrupt?

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Swedish 'Future minister' doesn't do social media

Charlie Clark
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Re: tax raising monkeys in charge

Yes, democracy's such a shitty thing whenever your lot don't win!

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Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC

Charlie Clark
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The European Commission is charged with removing barriers to trade within the EU. Hence, the way it weighed in about roaming charges and it can most probably use the same arguments as it did then about this: such a tax cannot be applied to citizens visiting Hungary and using data on their mobile devices. It can do the same with companies wanting to offer internet-based services in Hungary.

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IP Freely? ECJ to rule on privacy rules for dynamic IP addresses

Charlie Clark
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Re: "if expressly needed to provide the service requested"

It's not just the ISP. It affects all service providers, especially aggregate ones like the advertisers, who can and do associate an IP address with a specific individual rather than using one-way hashes for the value of a session.

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Microsoft has Windows Server running on ARM: report

Charlie Clark
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The main problem is the x86 model. Turns out that context switching is very slow so you put things (networking, printer, etc.) in the kernel to make them run faster. The kernel is architecture-specific. This is why NT 3.5.1 was more stable and secure but slower than NT 4 and later. By then there weren't any customers interested in anything other than x86.

C# and .NET do dive a degree of insulation from the architecture when it comes to apps.

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Charlie Clark
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Most of the HAL was removed in NT 4 to improve speed on x86.

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Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

Charlie Clark
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Now it should be remembered that "sender pays" is a founding principle of internet video — video providers can’t use reciprocal free peering swaps to deliver low latency, high bandwidth traffic.

I don't agree with this. At some point NetFlix is attached to one of the big carriers (Level 3) and will be billed by them for the traffic based on the agreements they have with the other ISPs.

Net neutrality can only be about ISPs not privileging their own offerings over those of other companies. Customers should be prepared to may more for higher bandwidth, lower latency, better QoS, etc.

NetFlix and bandwidth costs are being used a strawman by vested interests when the main battle, as always, is about the price charged for content. Most countries in Europe have a pretty healthy VoD market with players like Watchever already well-established and the European Commission pushing to remove preferential, location-specific deals: content in Germany, France or the UK should not cost more (or less) than in Estonia.

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Feathers fly as Twitter squawks of record sales but slow user growth

Charlie Clark
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Re: I know that this sound hopelessly naive..

but where does the money go?

Capex, techies and, apparently, increasingly the salesforce.

They wouldn't by any chance be "licensing" that data to various government agencies, would they?

No, governments don't need to pay. The "licensed data" will be access to the sweet nectar miraculously distilled from the shitpipe full of insights like Twitter users between 30 and 40 in Baltimore like to look at cute pictures of…

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Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook

Charlie Clark
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North West slur

I do hope that Alun Taylor will take you outside and enlighten you some more.

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How to hit the top of Google's rankings: 'Use a new dot-thing gTLD'

Charlie Clark
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Stupid taxonomy

A bicycle shop, for example, is significantly more likely to buy a dot-bike domain than, say, a dot-spot domain.

Only in the self-fulfilling prophecies of domain resellers and SEO shops.

What if that bike shop is in Berlin, New York?

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Nokia France leak: Windows Phone DUMPED in Microsoft Lumia revamp

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: And with that a thousand smartphone backlights just went out...

FWIW OLEDs don't have backlights.

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Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Windows 10 versions

Full support for fingerprint recognition is being built into the stack, and there'll also be support for other biometrics

So there'll be the CIA version, one each for the FBI, NSA and FSB and also presumably one for the MPAA!

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DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides

Charlie Clark
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Should be though the related functionality might be missing. Then again OLE is such a fucked up implementation of applications as components that it probably won't be missed.

Then again LibreOffice has enough bugs of its own. I appreciate some of the things the devs are trying to do but I've binned it until it stops crashing so much. I find OpenOffice considerably more stable.

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In dot we trust: If you keep to this 124-page security rulebook, you can own yourname.trust

Charlie Clark
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Re: The rest of the story

I don't see what either .trust or .secure bring to the party and like you, I'm sceptical that the business model will ever fly.

NCC should stick to making security reviews and penetration testing so relevant that every site uses them.

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Charlie Clark
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.trust as a "gated community"?

Sounds just right for China or Saudi Arabia!

On a more serious note: all the new TLDs are a solution in search of a problem. The initial set and the countries providing enough of a taxonomy to work with.

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Hey Apple, we're gonna tailor Swift as open source – indie devs throw down gauntlet

Charlie Clark
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Re: not convinced

Apparently, it was pcc until BSD 4.4 when it was replaced by the gcc presumably as part of the whole AT&T process. Fast forward 25 years and they again start looking around for a new compiler because of problems with the licence.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: not convinced

Hasn't BSD always had its own compiler? As things stand llvm and clang seem to be doing a good job of displacing the gcc.

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Charlie Clark
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Open sourcing either the code or making the specification public are very good ideas for languages. Universities are then likely to pick them up and identify the nice and not so nice parts. I can see a reluctance to do this initially on Apple's behalf as they will want complete control over the first few versions to fit the MacOS / IOS world as good as possible.

Despite Apple's history of serious fuck ups when including open source stuff with the products they do have a reasonable track record with the open source projects they either steward or contribute to (CUPS, BSD, llvm). But WebKit has also shown how company priorities can scupper this: Apple actively resisted a lot of changes in WebKit which is why Google ended up forking it.

Putting a language under GPL is just posturing and helps no one.

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Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes

Charlie Clark
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5 steps to approval

Have they really thought this through? I would have thought 3 would be necessary at most:

build & test

security tests

beta group

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FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

Charlie Clark
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Why bother?

I don't have any I-toys and so far I've yet to see any reasons for upgrading to OS X 10.10. Are there any?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it faster?

If you look at the process manager you'll see that it's the browsers that are eating memory (blame the DOM), the rest should be insignificant.

I still get reasonable performance out of my 2009 MacBook Pro with 4GB memory even with a Windows VM.

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Post-PC era? PAH! Apple says Macs OUTSOLD iPads in Q4

Charlie Clark
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Re: Share repurchase

Apart from the fact that share repurchases almost never make sense for a company, the whole point is to buy them when they are the most expensive as this "returns" the most money in the most tax efficient form to shareholders: repurchases are taxed as capital gains, dividends would be taxed as income.

However, taxpayers should also note: the whole repurchase scheme is debt-funded. The loans used to do the buying can, therefore, also be offset against tax.

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Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?

Charlie Clark
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Return to the mean

With the arrival of the Xperia Z3, it’s now becoming clearer what Sony’s philosophy is regarding its flagship update programme: incremental changes every six months and evolution rather than revolution.

This is the traditional release cycle for consumer electronics, especially in Japan. Tells us a lot about how commodified the industry has become: caveat emptor, caveat vendor.

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Charlie Clark
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Samsung has been getting better but I got fed up of the data grab and went CM anyway.

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Charlie Clark
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Re: Some interesting possibilities here...

9) We tried to deliver it but some of the local scrotes nabbed the drone and parcel…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "The idea of Dronecode is for a common, Linux-based software platform"

It's more guff from the expensive but unproductive Linux Foundation talking shop.

Sure there will be drones out there running Linux and they will fly just fine. It's just the top-down stuff which, er, won't fly.

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Google offers sweet new SDK to let Android devs join 'Lollipop' guild

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not sure about this

Personally I'm looking forward to CM based on this. I think Android 5 has a lot going for it and I think Material Design is also very good. The move from Dalvik to ART should should improve battery life and performance by reducing the memory footprint. I've tried it a few times with CM and had not problems running any app but a couple, including the one from my mobile provider, had disappeared and seem to depend upon Dalvik.

If I had a spare device that was compatible I'd certainly be giving this a spin.

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