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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2596 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

Charlie Clark
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Opera Unite

Was probably the first server embedded in the browser. Was pretty interesting but there are all kinds of problems with putting a server in the browser.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Charlie Clark
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Windows

70s pop star?

Well, technically true I suppose but not really the era one associates with Kate Bush. She's long argued against the alienation through technology – there's a pretty cheesy text on The Sensual World to that effect.

Taking the odd picture as a memento at a concert is almost unavoidable but trying to record the whole event really does defeat the purpose. The recording quality of the devices is going up all the time but even the one of the little selfie-tripods you're still not going to get close to the quality of a good bootleg and you will be distracting yourself and others. But when has that ever bothered anyone?

Where's the grumpy old man icon?

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Its no Rasberry Pi

3. It comes with hardware support for a lot of codecs. Without this the Pi wouldn't be so interesting for so many. Of course, it's still tiny and dirt cheap and useful for all kinds of stuff but the codecs make it universal.

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e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Charlie Clark
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Re: Must be nice to fail to deliver and then sue to get paid.

You'd hope so but that isn't the way it works. The taxpayer always pays. Only once if we're lucky.

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Charlie Clark
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It's vague but you have to take the original order for £750m into account. The £100m is an estimate as to what it would have cost to get the stuff that was done until 2010 to actually do what it was supposed to do. By a long way not what was originally ordered. And largely preventing work on whatever other system they then decided they wanted (the priority now seems to be try and keep benefit seekers out). Omnishambles whichever way you look at it but given the size of overspend on previous disastrous (never finished, never working, etc.) projects maybe the right move in this case.

It would be nice if the NAO did get more power over future contracts but somehow I don't see that happening. I agree with others that a good civil service should be trained in the drawing up and oversight of these vast contracts with the politicians providing direction but not the detail. Accountability on all sides needs increasing and ministers should get trained in how not to get sucked into feature creep traps by vendors.

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Charlie Clark
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Cheap?

Imagine what the total bill might have been had the project continued with the usual feature creep and delays…

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Charlie Clark
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Re: 1800 jobs

When Microsoft moves to Munich, they will get the tax

As if Microsoft is stupid enough to let its revenue in Germany actually be taxed there…

There is office capacity in Munich and techies prefer to work in the city rather than in the suburbs.

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Charlie Clark
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Integrating a calendar with email is so obvious

That it was done long before Outlook… in Lotus Notes for example.

There's not much of a market for an open source clone. Unlike browsers, which get financed by searches via Google, there's no easy money so the choices are: paid only, or freemium. It's a big piece of software so you're going to need a hefty initial investment until you have something that people might pay for. All the time you'll be competing against entirely free products and the online solutions which are getting better all the time.

But there's nothing to stop Munich council commissioning some open source software development. The KDE platform is now sophisticated enough to allow development of a worthy product.

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Charlie Clark
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I have no idea what the Mozilla people have done to Thunderbird

Mozilla has publicly stated that Thunderbird isn't a priority. It gets bugfixes and updates of the HTML components in line with Firefox. The rest is upto the community.

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Charlie Clark
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Patch early and patch often is the advice of security professionals when it comes to software updates.

I certainly hope not: a variant on the old "measure twice, cut once" should be applied: "backup and test twice, patch once". I regularly get random failures with Microsoft's patches – but I'm lucky enough to be using them in a virtual machine. Not had a blue screen from the most recent round.

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Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Charlie Clark
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Re: Multi-core

Allow me to introduce you to my friends

Although the programs sound nice I'm not sure they were a suitable answer to the original post which was about encryption not compression.

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Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

Charlie Clark
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Re: And yet...

Speak for yourself. I don't feel like a second-class citizen because I have some Android devices. Given the size of the Android market, the premium segment is now big enough to sell to. Developers that don't think about the Android market are primarily punishing themselves.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No one believes IDC

No one believes IDC's figures.

I wouldn't go that far. They, along with all the other research companies, are often guilty of showing bias to those companies who pay for or even commission their reports – in the past IDC has done a lot of business with Microsoft. To find out more about how they collate the numbers you'll have to buy the report. However, in this field, the IDC numbers correlate more with what I see around me than, say, those of Kantar.

Getting real sales figures from companies isn't that easy as, apart from Apple, they don't control the chain from factory to store shelf.

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Charlie Clark
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It would possibly be less of a concern had Android been more open so that it would be as easy to create custom versions of android …

The source is open and Amazon's version living proof that custom versions can be made. Then there are all the mods out there.

Given that Google's own hardware has such a small market share I think it's difficult to talk of a monopoly. All the manufacturers have the chance and most seem to make use of it to customise the OS and the applications supplied with it. We might profit from regulation regarding the ability to remove software and control privacy settings without rooting devices (and thus potentially invalidating the warranty). But this might occur anyway through market pressure.

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Charlie Clark
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Aggressive caching when told not to cache and not obeying the W3C standard padding box model by default

Don't forget that the original specification for the box-model was the way IE did it. Nevertheless, I'm with you on counting the days till corporates stop clinging to IE 8.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: IE

Allegedly a lot of mobile web developers are using WebKit only (i.e. non-standard) meta tags

It's not really the meta-tags but prefixes in CSS. Prefixes were never really a good idea (because using them was laborious and error prone) though the idea behind was: provide working implementations of stuff under discussion. Prefixes are being replaced by allowing developers to switch support for experimental features on or off.

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One in 12 Tweeps are bots

Charlie Clark
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Re: A plague of bots

Anything wrong with RSS for anonymous subscriptions?

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Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

Sigh

I'd like to say I'm getting sick of stories about Twitter but I've always found them depressing. It's sort of proof of our decadence. That the media love it just confirms the sense of "dogs around vomit".

However, I do think that there is something in the underlying restriction on the length of messages. A great many people it seems have the need to spurt inanities, or to "emote" and Twitter makes this pretty easy. Still don't really see the business model beyond fairly spurious demographic information. Maybe if they raised the bar slightly they'd get more reliable information for marketeers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tweeps?

The collective for users of the service is quite clearly "twats".

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

Charlie Clark
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Re: Genius!

I use DNLA every day on my telly (Philips). Only problem has been the shitty WiFi.

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Charlie Clark
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Flame

Genius!

This'll certainly help Microsoft knock the Raspberry Pi off its perch!

How come it didn't come with DNLA built-in? File formats aside that seems like a glaring omission from something that only works when connected to the telly.

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NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bring on the Mandelbrots

It's ARM, if you need Mandelbrots then it's easy enough to add some more silicon that is optimised (only) for Mandelbrots. That's the ace in the ARM pack.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Microcode

Sounds like a hardware-based JIT, could make sense with Android. Every time I get a new version of Cyanogenmod all the apps are pre-compiled to make them snappier, having the JIT on the chip could lead to additional optimisations.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4: 4G Android tablet is easy to swallow

Charlie Clark
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Very Tempted

Good review.

I've got a three-year old Galaxy 8.9 which I bought at the time for the form factor – it's as wide as an I-pad so watching video on it is the same but without the black bars above and below but at 450g it was significantly lighter. At the time I was very tempted by the AMOLED 7.7 but decided to go with the 8.9 for the screen estate. I've been waiting for an AMOLED version since then. I think this might just have to be my Christmas present… though it will have to be rooted to remove all the crapware. Fortunately, rooting Samsung devices is pretty easy.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Let me at that battery

I think you should get that device looked at though persistent data connections will hammer any device: I seem to remember some law where data speeds correlate quadratically with power use.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Elephant in the room

If it's anything like my Galaxy 8.9 then no, the battery isn't replaceable. I'm sort of ambivalent on this for tablets as I can understand the design constraints. My 3 year old device still easily gives me 2 days use (as long as it's not being used as a hotspot). Methinks capacity is declining but it's still totally acceptable and I love the form factor.

In the nearly 20-odd years that I've had a mobile phone I've only ever once replaced the battery but I have had at least three phones where I had to do something to keep the battery connected - having to remove a battery in order to change a SIM card is a design fault in my view.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What's the point of the 4G?

I find I use my tablet both as a hotspot and for surfing especially when abroad. In such cases having one that takes a SIM is pretty useful. The bigger battery makes it more suitable for tethering than a phone.

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AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Charlie Clark
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Re: Charlie Clark Why compare it to a Xeon?

Webhosting datacenters maybe, but enterprise datacenters are about running business apps which tend to be a far sight more demanding.

In which case ARM might not be suitable for them at all… At least that's what I read from the article.

Oracle, of course, has the choice between x86 and its own Sparcs. ARM + custom hardware might become more interesting. It's already working with Intel on getting some hardware acceleration that would benefit its software.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Charlie Clark Why compare it to a Xeon?

Unless you are running software with a per-core charge (such as Oracle)…

Huh? Where did that come from?

Data centres are about cramming as many cores into as little space and using as little power as possible. Apart from the fact that Oracle for ARM doesn't exist yet, it's bound to have new licence models for any new architecture like the new Xeons that can be configured to run with different numbers of cores.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why compare it to a Xeon?

Intel has stripped the Atom down and ARM has beefed up its chips. For the same manufacturing process they're now very close: x86 is still better for single-threaded stuff but ARM is cheaper and more easily throw-in hardware optimisation.

Server boxes will have to be at a significant price discount and offer density / power benefits to be attractive. Intel has lots of cash and fat margins with which to respond but there is a difference between squeezing AMD out of the picture and taking on all the ARM licensees.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why compare it to a Xeon?

I agree the Atom is a fairer comparison and I'm sure we'll start seeing how the two match up as people start running them head-to-head. The SCP and hardware acceleration stuff will certainly come in useful, especially as you can basically have whatever acceleration you want – Netflix for example might want some video stuff in hardware. 112 is pretty good but I think we might be looking at twice that density for final systems.

I've heard that companies are sticking with 28nm and waiting for 14nm rather than going with 20nm because 20nm has more problems than it solves.

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Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just the job for a media centre

As detailed in a recent article in C'T (German computer magazine) a Raspberry Pi is pretty much all you need for one of those. Hardware acceleration for the codecs is the most important thing. Intel's chips are great for compiling and quite a lot of real work, media centres are just glorified file servers.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

2010 called

Why all the comparison with 2010? Is the competition from then? Didn't think so. A little less copy&paste from the press release and a little more reading between the lines, please.

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Can't touch this! Microsoft joins OpenGL 3D graphics group

Charlie Clark
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Re: Embrace ...

They're playing catchup: now that even mobile browsers have WebGL support (see Samsung's demo). You can have snappy cross-platform games on all mobiles, except for … WindowsPhone.

But the people working on IE >= 9 are a different bunch to those who worked on the earlier versions. The ones I've met know that they have to play nicely, even if they're sometimes restrained by corporate policy. In the browser field over the last couple of years Microsoft has contributed a hell of a lot more than Apple. They have virtually no footprint on mobiles and even desktop is in (near) terminal decline but they probably have enough corporate customers to make the improvements worth their while. That is if they want to keep those customers.

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Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Charlie Clark
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Fix the installer first

My perfectly legal Windows 7 VM is stuck on IE 9 because Microsoft wants to install some kind of spyware to let me use IE 10 or IE 11.

Fuckers still need to learn to separate the browser from the OS until they manage that properly they'll be liable.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: "support websites that are coded using the competition's nonstandard features"

Also, Chrome (which uses webkit)

No, Chrome has been using Blink for over a year now. While Blink started as a fork of Webkit it is not Webkit.

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Americans to be guinea pigs in vast chip-and-PIN security experiment

Charlie Clark
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Re: Unfounded concerns

Going for details at gun or knife point is a high risk strategy for a criminal: the offence is no longer just theft but assault (or worse); the likelihood of witnesses rises with every second and there is a much higher chance of being identified.

Online fraud is easier and safer for those practising it. The banks prefer online fraud too as the customer has all the risk.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: BOA/VISA Don't even think of it!

@poohbear and just how much you think you can scam like this? $100 - $200 at a restaurant? How far do you think you have to drive to "get away with it"? And how often do you think you can pull a scam like this? I don't think you have really thought this through.

There are much easier and safer ways for you to make a quick buck of the system than this.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Possible option:

Buying fuel is always chip and pin, buying groceries is often chip and sig.

They're actually two different types of payment - chip and pin is an immediate and incontestable deduction from your account (Electronic cash), the signature initiates a request from their bank to yours (Lastschriftverfahren). Read about all the exciting possibilities…

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HTTP-Yes! Google boosts SSL-encrypted sites in search results

Charlie Clark
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Re: Latency on mobile

I've not noticed https being noticeably slower over 3G. 3G is high latency for all connections. But if you use SDPY you should get TLS with lower latency.

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Charlie Clark
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Re: Win 8.x

I don't agree. For this kind of high-level comparison the version families can be compared and would demonstrate growth in market-share for Windows 8 due to 8.1.

Windows 8 seems to be replicating Windows Vista with businesses preferring to skip it and the majority of consumers put off by the UI despite undoubted technical improvements.

These desktop website visitor stats should be accompanied by the desktop vs. mobile trend, which I suspect will show desktop continuing to shrink.

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Nokia Networks: Don't hate us, broadcasters – we're testing LTE for TV

Charlie Clark
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Re: cue lots of rubbing hands with glee

Except for public service broadcasters who are obliged to provide free to air signals. In Germany there has been some controversy due to the decision of some private channels to stop using DVB-T because of the apparently negative cost/benefit ratio with most of their punters already using satellite.

DVB-T in Germany is nothing like as healthy as it is in the UK: fewer channels (though it still manages to have a load of shit) and no HD, so LTE might manage to fill a niche. However, the topography is against it: satellite is popular in rural areas where terrestrial propagation (UHF or phone) is poor and most cities have good cable coverage. TV over IP is already offered by all the large ISPs. So while TV over LTE might be an interesting technology it's got a lot of existing investment to compete with. DVB-H demonstrated a distinct lack of demand in being able to watch TV on the move.

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Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

Charlie Clark
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Re: I ain't buying

I agree that Kies is a piece of shit. Fortunately, however, as it conflicts with the Android MTP on MacOS I had to remove it.

Regarding TouchWiz - there are bits of it I like over stock Android and bits I don't.

Regarding the bundled apps - some of them have some good stuff in them like the camera and the music player, others are pretty meh

I tried CyanogenMod on my S4 mini the other month and have stuck with it. It is faster than without but the reason I'm keeping it is to be able to manage my privacy settings now that nearly all apps are trying to access everything.

The S5 continues the trend of incremental improvements: water resistance and an even better screen. Great if you need a new phone but not enough to tempt me from my current perfectly usable one.

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Charlie Clark
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Re: In my experience...

True, but PHP does also hand such developers a pre-loaded gun with an automatic foot sensor.

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Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Charlie Clark
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If Amazon is convinced that it's right…

… it can take the initiative by contracting and publishing authors directly. Anything else is just bluster.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Charlie Clark
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Faultline…

Less breathy than usual but still characterised by stating the bleeding obvious while leaving out important qualifiers.

The report cited refers to US households and these are not the same as the rest of the world: for one thing average broadband speeds in Europe are > 16 Mb/s

4k will succeed only if the programming becomes available. This will be possible for films, many of which have been produced digitally in similar resolutions for years now. But films aren't enough. In order to create significant consumer demand, sports programming will have to adopt the new format. AFAIK Sony was trialling 4k at the world cup. Presumably the results are being analysed to see whether studios are prepared to make the necessary kind of investment (cameras, studios, multiplexes, satellites, etc.) to offer it.

Inasmuch as the technology for the chain has not yet been finalised (HEVC and VP9 are both still in development) it's a little early to expect a major shift yet.

But the screens are a by-product of the ever higher pixel density of our handheld devices and as such will enter our homes in the replacement cycle as our current generation of tellies will probably need replacing sooner than the last - our first colour telly lasted around 25 years, the second around 10.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Quantity not quality

Or compare BBC on Freeview to the first days of OnDigital. I am sure BBC1 (in SD) looked better in 1999 than today.

I suspect you're looking at it on a better and larger telly than in 1999 so any artefacts introduced by compression are more obvious. I find the artefacts are more of a problem than the lower resolution when comparing SD and HD.

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SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud

Charlie Clark
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After spending twenty years applying a combination of price cuts, smart logistics, and ruthless efficiency

You forgot: underpaying workers, underpaying suppliers and using tax numerous dodging strategies.

Amazon's online shopping model is fundamentally flawed because individual delivery incurs very high costs. This is why margins have always been terrible.

To his credit Bezos has always been clear about his aims and impressive with innovation. AWS was an interesting development due to Amazon's need for massive computing power to cope with peaks such as Thanksgiving in America and Christmas around the world. Kindle and LoveFilm are both attempts to get out of the ruinous business of storing and shipping physical goods individually. Publishing and investing in video production are attempts to move up the value chain.

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White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Asia?

Well, in the Valley it will generally does mean all of Asia, though predominantly South Asia (India) and East Asia (China, Taiwan, Korea).

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Facebook haters, look away now: BABY SNAP site's profit is up 138%

Charlie Clark
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I'm surprised, too. What are people clicking on?

I do wonder whether some of this is driven by companies speculating that it's going to be effective allowing Facebook to keep rates high or whether it's simply selling the oodles of demographic data it has.

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