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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2575 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

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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Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July

Charlie Clark
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Wait and see

Already had one report from a friend of the new version crashing hard. Assuming my hardware (2009) is still supported I'll probably wait until at least the first patch release. I don't have any IOS devices so I don't really expect much from this release.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark Description...

Charlie, do you mean that to exclude those with "extensive script-blocking" will reduce the target size?

No, I said and meant the opposite: most people don't run script-blockers and are thus easy to track using the standard methods.

Personally, I'm quite happy with Ghostery's blocking of the third party crap (all adslingers and trackers by default) but I'm under no illusion that I'm not trackable.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Description...

@Havin_It

Sure, but factor out all those who don't have extensive script-blocking and your target size is much, much smaller.

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Microsoft bags more CASH – but profit's flat as Nadella waves axe

Charlie Clark
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Don't forget switching XP support off was supposed to give a huge boost to OS and Office revenues.

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ARM: We've signed 41 new deals and we are IN to the Internet Of Stuff

Charlie Clark
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Re: 90% market share

Samsung could probably buy the whole company with the spare change in the couch in the office of their CEO

Quite possibly but if it did it would destroy what makes ARM so attractive to all those licence-holders: none is in an unassailable position and they all get to share the pie. This is essential to compete in the embedded market where only huge volumes bring in meaningful revenue but is getting even more interesting as the capabilities (and power draw) of ARM and x86 start to converge. Not a few of those manufacturers are eyeing that $50 bn Intel figure and wondering just how much of that they'll get if ARM continues to grow.

Also, none of the licence-holders needs to worry about ARM taking their business: it doesn't make chips, doesn't have the engineers, and probably more importantly, the billions lying around for fabs.

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Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

Charlie Clark
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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

Let's be honest -– dropping Android was always going to happen – so why didn't they just come out with it. While this may look like, and indeed very well may be, the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, it could all just be tied up in the financials: it was cheaper and easier for Microsoft to sack people than Nokia and this was reflected in the price of the deal, which was, by the way, paid for out of tax-shelter cash.

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So whither Microsoft? If Nadella knows, he is keeping it well hidden

Charlie Clark
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Re: the poorest version of Skype is the one Microsoft produces for its own Windows Phone.

I suspect it's in comparison with the other latest versions but seeing as they are all shite it's a dubious distinction, even as an insult.

On Mac OS I'm sticking with my pre-E-Bay version; I've removed from my droids and Windows and hardly use it nowadays. The last straw was when screensharing was removed - I can still do that with my version but unfortunately others can't.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Story behind Seattle layoffs

Sounds stupid enough to be true.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Charlie Clark
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Also sat nav

Along with the cognitive load of using and of these things there are simple mechanical considerations such as the effect on your steering as you lean over to touch or adjust anything.

The main problem, however, is enforcing much of this. Having a noisy family in the car is probably just as distracting and dangerous.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Tired admin

This is really a splatter-gun approach which fails to grasp the attack. Most of the points are reasonable, though I'd argue that a public server should only install and run the services that it needs. Coincidentally, this is OpenBSD approach.

As (some) others have noted the attack uses remote file inclusion on servers running PHP. There is a simple solution to that… ;-) If you do need PHP then configure it so that RFI is not possible. Relying on defaults and auto-updates in this case are not sufficient.

Using a CDN to soak up and scrub traffic is certainly a good start but your server will generally still be accessible via a sub-domain or via a port-scan.

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PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

Charlie Clark
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Re: the beginning of the end of WP

I think you may be right. The speed of delivery seems to indicate it's not getting the most love. Now that Microsoft and Intel seem to have come up with a reasonable device with the Surface 3 Pro – reasonable as in a lightweight replacement for corporate laptops – I suspect they will be concentrating on that segment and maybe scaling for some purely business devices.

I wonder if this is the last of Lumia's with the spankingly good camera technology which Mr O wryly notes, has been more written about that bought.

Playing devil's advocate here rather than simply bashing Microsoft. I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

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X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Charlie Clark
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Re: Translation

What I don't understand is how is competing in the "higher price tiers" the same as no to cheap Android but yes to cheap Windows Phone. I could understand something like "concentrate resources (and sack the rest…)" but that doesn't sound very much like a services first company. The decision, of course, was inevitable whether for brand or engineering reasons but how did Elop let it get so far?

And, as Mr Orlowski has pointed out elsewhere: where are the resources coming from to increase the speed of development? 8.1 has been a long-time in the making, breaks existing stuff and has been released buggy.

PS. you might think about enabling a spell-checker for your posts

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Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

Charlie Clark
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Re: slagging off the competition

as a result more existing Android users are switching to iOS than iOS users are switching to Android

I've not seen any stats outside the US to back that up. All-in-all the I-Phone is better hardware but the differences between the high-end devices are now minimal and I think the halo/lockin effect is diminishing: I know lots of people who have IOS and Android devices and are happy with that arrangement.

re. your other assertion about developers preferring IOS. I don't think that this is still the case. I recently read the first piece of an IOS developer praising Google for their support as his company starts to successfully sell to both platforms. Sure, the margins may be higher on IOS but the size of the Android market often more than makes up for that.

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Charlie Clark
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Actually, early on Samsung wasn't really part of the Android picture.

It's classical brand segmentation Brand X (leader) or Brand Y (challengers) or Aldi's own. Doing things worldwide fuzzes things up because Xiaomi is pretty much only available in China. Indeed Xiaomi's numbers suggest that these figures are heavily, and perhaps inevitably, skewed by the Chinese market. Other manufacturers may be doing well in smaller markets. Certainly HTC, Sony and Motorola have started to carve their own niches in the wake of Apple and Samsung.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Perhaps

Good for you that you're happy with that kind of aspirational advertising. Sounds like a load of bull (white not add "brings world peace" to the list?) to me but that just tells us we're different kinds of customers.

I like more specific uses that are relevant to me: phone, camera, mapping, e-mail, listen to music / audio books, battery life, cost, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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So Samsung has 5 models in the top 10 – we've no idea what the median or average sales are so the list is fairly meaningless (the 5c in the middle makes me suspicious) – and Apple 3. I If I was Samsung I'd be pretty happy with that, especially with the high margin phones doing so well.

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LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs

Charlie Clark
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Re: What is cruft, what is security, and can the LibreSSL programmers tell the difference?

The LibreSSL guys knew that throwing away tons of cruft was going to introduce bugs and problems…

Less code should mean fewer bugs. This looks like a test was missing: "untested code is broken code".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 5 seconds of fame

Yep, the release was exactly for this purpose. Whether the exploit is esoteric or not is by-the-by, it was something the developers hadn't thought of. It's been fixed and there is now a test for it.

Next!

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Charlie Clark
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Give them credit

The title of the paper is misleading but they do state quite clearly.

The target audience for our results is younger economists (graduate students, junior faculty) or researchers who have used the computer less often in the past for numerical analysis and who are searching for guideposts in their first incursions into computation.

The focus on different implementations and compilers is revealing as is the algorithm chosen. The aims to suggest what are the best tools for scientists/statisticians. These people are often not trained scientists and will use whatever tool they know to get a job done. In some situations this will be fine and dandy but in others it will have performance will be unacceptable and they will be open for solutions: using a specialised and optimised library; using a similar high-level language more suited to their task; or a different implementation of their current on; or faster hardware. Learning how to use a low-level language is usually not on the cards.

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Mozilla and Facebook snip a further five per cent from all JPEGs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Open sauciness

I wouldn't discount any minor gains for Facebook. A while ago they stated that they serve 600,000 images per second. That's 51.8bn images per day. If they manage to shave even half a kb off each, they save 24TB of bandwidth costs per day.

Sounds good but it's not that simple and the results of the compression are pretty disappointing in my view. Being able to server WebP where possible (ie. all Chrome users so about 40 %) will save a damn sight more without screwing the images much. But it may be something as simple as having a shitty library do the compressing (the tradeoff between speed and quality may actually be more important than bandwidth). Hence the interest in Mozilla's work.

But really, Mozilla, get with it and learn to love WebP.

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Can nothing trip up the runaway cash monster that is Intel? Well...

Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is getting a huge lift from mobile...

@Mage

They didn't flog ALL their ARM to Marvell either. They have an ARM based comms SoC.

AFAIK They did sell all the ARM to Marvell, the comms SoC was bought from Infineon and is a different beast to the pretty impressive StongARMs they had.

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