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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2498 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft finally ships Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7

Charlie Clark
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Re: What’s the point?

The point is two-fold:

* it will allow companies that for whatever reason, are tied into the IE system to upgrade to a more usable browser

* upgrades mean less support for older versions of IE which Microsoft is obliged to supply.

Of course, it's basically too little, too late. I think any website statistic will show a continuing downturn in IE's market share and those users are not coming back, not for Minesweeper and not for Angry Birds. IE 10 should have been released for Windows 7 last summer before Windows 8 puked all over everyone's breakfast. This will be the last major version of Internet Explorer. A collector's item if you will.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Do not track?

When you hear "Do Not Track" just think of Neville Chamberlain waving the signed armistice and proclaimed "peace in our time" at Munich in 1938.

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That Firefox OS mobe: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

Charlie Clark
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Re: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

"Dad, what's a Lumia?"

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad advice!

The operators hate Microsoft because, like Apple, it doesn't let them customise the phones as their business intelligence advisers insists they must. Oh, and they've all also seen how much fun it is to be locked into Windows/Office/Internet Explorer.

But I think it's just a strawman argument. I don't think operators have much to fear from Google services. They own the network and know exactly what kinds of packets are going where: premium services at a premium price at the flick of a switch: "watch the Champions League final on YouTube on your mobile exclusively with XYZ." Google will get into bed with anyone as will the operators (Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, Alcatel…) so it's a match made in heaven.

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Ruby 2.0.0 adds syntax sparkle, boosts performance

Charlie Clark
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All good

Not a Ruby programmer myself but it's good to see it thriving: competition is good. The syntactic sugar looks like it could have come from Python. This is good as it shows how the developers of the various languages are not to proud to see what the others are doing. The only thing I really don't like is the ternary operator as you can quickly write fairly impenetrable code with it. I find Straight boolean evaluation (even chained) preferable but better still is using dispatching.

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Firefox to spit out third-party cookies

Charlie Clark
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Re: Use 'Request Policy'

I do the same with my cookie settings in Opera. Doesn't that make us the clever ones? But, even with getting close to 20 years experience of the WWW, there are times when I'm not sure which cookies to accept and for how long and there are many times when I have to go back and adjust settings or when, like El Reg, they don't work as they should. It's entirely understandable that most people have no idea what any of this is about: when I drive a car I don't sweep it for GPS trackers.

Third-party, cookie-based advertising on the internet is, I suspect, doomed because it has been so badly handled and abused by the industry. Of course, almost all of what the industry does can be achieved by slightly less intrusive means: they just need to provide decent APIs for an exchange between website owner and advertiser.

As an immediate improvement I'd love to see cookies must come with a manifest explaining what they do and how long they need to be valid for, and we need to come up with a sensible expiry option for never-ending sessions.

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US woman cuffed for 'booking strippers for 16th birthday bash'

Charlie Clark
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Re: History will...

hm, can we do some kind of n-gram research to work out which books he's reading and maybe send a letter to the librarian that he be given some more up to date material? "pot" was antiquated back when I wasn't inhaling.

OTOH I might just get into the "writing adventure books for the OSS keyboard warriors" lark. I can see plenty money in "Linux the Brave in the Land of Suits" and self-help books like "It's not my lack of social skills or personal hygiene, it's them". What do you think?

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Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Re: History will...

Wot!? You meant this isn't all Microsoft's fault? Could it be that the medication is finally working? Let's see…

and pot-smokers fall under the definition of "terrorist"

ah, apparently not. Where do you get all this crap? From your "Jumbo Book of International Conspiracies"?

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Bundestag holds 'unusual' hearing on German Copyright Act

Charlie Clark
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re. John Lilburne

Can't seem to reply to or download the drivel.

I for one welcome any democratic government's attempts to curtail the thieving, tax avoiding, and criminal activitoes of Google.

Typo's aside, tax avoidance is not illegal. It can be argued that the UK's synthetically low corporate tax is in fact an invitation to it, okay the EU tentacle of Google is registered in even more accountant friendly Ireland but for the same reasons. Google does not engage in theft. Be interesting to know what other "criminals activities" you think it's involved in, bear in mind that this would leave you open to charges of slander in the "any democratic government".

Not that I'm whitewashing Google - the collection of WiFi data certainly does not fall into the category "do no evil" but it wasn't necessary illegal either hence no criminal charges.

No, the problem for the newspapers is that they have for years failed to come up with a viable model for the internet. Laws like this or the DMCA are only sticking plasters that will invite abuse whilst at the same time fail to protect the underlying business.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: robots.txt is bollocks

I've never double-checked to see if Google actually scans but doesn't publicly list contents "protected" by robots.txt but from the sites I have seen Google does respect robots.txt. There are, however, plenty of search engines out there that don't.

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New blow for Microsoft Surface: Touch Chromebooks 'on sale in 2013'

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Can someone please call

Eadon's carer? It looks he missed today's session.

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Perfect sex minx calculated from 'deep' probe of X-rated flicks

Charlie Clark
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Re: "...men get a third of the pay women get for the same films."

@GrantB, not really. They kept pumped full of Viagra so they can keep the wood. Of course, there is also the compulsory insurance against the gush (NSFW).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bit surprised on the bra size.

It's based on the mean and while there are all shapes and sizes out there, there's a reason why the result is close to the mean for young American women. Interestingly, it's probably closer to the norm than a similar comparison of fashion models. What does that tell us? Men who watch porn are less likely to be surprised by the real bodies of women if they ever meet them but girls reading Vogue are doomed to eternal disappointment?

Anyway, who ever really bothers to look at the faces? And where's the bukake icon?

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Linaro Linux-on-ARM effort sets sights on network gear

Charlie Clark
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Re: Deliberately disingenuous?

No conspiracy here: it's just a poor comparison. Companies are happy to pay ARM's relatively low fees for chip designs just like they are apparently happy to provide developers for a better basis for their own Linux. "The give back to the community" is the usual sop to fools like our own dear Eadon.

The ARM ecosystem is so varied that one size definitely does not fit all (whether to have networking in the kernel or userland is a good example) but there are plenty of common problems. Linaro performs a similar function as any good industry body where it makes sense to pool resources but none of the companies are in it for the philanthropy, it is purely "enlightened self-interest" in an area where the benefits of co-operation are greater than risks of competition.

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Charlie Clark
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As well as Linaro and Linux guys we also have RMS to thank for this utopia, for creating the GNU licences.

Yeah, like there were never any patches passed back into BSD.

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I used to be an Oracle DBA ... but now I'm a Big Data guru

Charlie Clark
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Good piece

I guess it's largely prejudice but I am struggling with DBA and VB in the same context.

Otherwise bang on - if you all ready know what you are looking for then you're likely to best-served by a relational system with the right collection of analytical and statistical tools and skills (eg. knowing what normalisation of both data and distributions are). Otherwise, say you're looking at the background radiation of space, the big data tools have some interesting approaches to finding out what might be interesting.

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Charlie Clark
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Alien

I, for one, can't wait for the transaction tax to put an end to this particular branch of "finance".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mann from heaven for Empty Suits

Amen to that, brother. One of the keynotes from PyCon a few years back was from Bitly's Chief Data Scientist and I've viewed the term with disdain ever since. I saw Mr Matt "Buzzword" Asay was banging on about data scientists the other day* which I guess is further evidence of the meaningless of the term.

* I've long given up on reading the badly thought-out, poorly written pieces I just them to prime my internal spam filter.

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Survey: Bosses are DESPERATE and GAGGING for Linux skills

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sigh

It does beg the question as to what exactly Linux skills are. From my perspective it is the ability to install and manage preferred distro only and a good example of how the IT industry continues to sell deskilling as desirable.

I guess it's broadly to be welcomed that Linux is being accepted as a standard server OS and licences aren't just being paid for pretty logos but any companies running anything important on those servers should be prepared to pay for proper sys admins who can install from source, including patching if necessary.

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BBC: Monster cargo ship delivers '863 million tins of baked beans'

Charlie Clark
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Me like

A can of beans is a handy proxy for both size and weight. Anyone know the appropriate conversion ratio for SI Jubs? Also, how many Chuck Norrises are required to move these chuffing ships?

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Microsoft holds off on shooting Windows Live Messenger

Charlie Clark
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Migratory Problems

On Mac OS X I'm still using the unbowdlerised (pre-Ebay) version of Skype which has a sensible interface and does all I need. A few years ago I install Messenger for Mac and found it also usable even if I didn't use it much because most of my contacts were already on Skype. One thing I did discover about Messenger that I liked is that it can connect to Lync and, as I have customers on Lync, find this pretty good. So, I was sort of looking forward to great convergence. However, the new Skype client is a huge disappointment: firstly, it keeps trying to promote calls with it to me - I've got a phone flatrate and find phones easier to use so no thanks - but what is really the crowning turd in the waterpipe is the need to switch between Skype and Microsoft accounts and even then still not be able to talk to Lync. Oh, and Microsoft logins are exclusive so logon on one device and you're logged out of others. This is so much fail in one product that I think we've found the team that was previously working on IE. And that was after spunking, what was it, USD 8 billion? on the company. Way to go, Stevie B!

Fortunately, I did my tests in a Windows VM so my Skype 2.x is still pristinely usable. I guess it's only a matter of time before Microsoft starts trying to wind down the old Skype logins (makes sense for them). In which case I think I will move to Wickr assuming it ever becomes available for anything other than the I-Phone.

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Apple and world HACKED by Facebook plunderers

Charlie Clark
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Alert

DARPA wants more money

With the sequester looming the goons over at DARPA are making sure that the Nation knows just how important it is to invest in cyber-espionage. Just imagine what the PLA could do with all those LoLCats pictures, or, heaven forfend, actually bring down the LoLCats servers!

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Python-lovers sling 'death threats' at UK ISP in trademark row

Charlie Clark
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Re: Nasty, very very nasty

It was weeks before I could suffer a moment of sobriety after that.

What's sobriety and is it contagious?

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

The people responsible for this threatening behaviour are possibly the saddest people I have EVER come across. This is beyond ridiculous.

I agree, maybe they'll reconsider and withdraw the trademark application. Oh, you mean the script kiddies who seemingly took down an ISP without much effort? Not very impressive on both sides I'd say but if it was my company I'd be doing my damnedest to make sure there couldn't be a repetition otherwise who is going to want to do business with me?

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Charlie Clark
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monolithic organisation

Please provide evidence for this incorrect and unsubstantiated claim. The PSF is possibly not a model of democracy but it is democratic and Van is the elected chairman.

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Amazon ditches 'neo-Nazi' security firm over alleged harassment of workers

Charlie Clark
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Is anyone really surprised?

As usual we all seem to love cheap as chips prices just as long as we don't know what makes them cheap as chips.

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Bill Gates: Windows Phone strategy was 'a mistake'

Charlie Clark
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Re: wow

All they had to do was roll out a slightly faster/better version of Win7 and they would have sold as much or more than Windows 8 has. Perhaps even had a version of Windows optimised for touch or an option built in for defaulting to Touch/TIFKAM or Classic styles, but forcing TIFKAM on buyers has not really gone down well has it?

Spot on. Windows 8 with its clusterfuck of Metro, Secure Boot and a new version of Internet Explorer has probably done more than anything to damage Microsoft's reputation with the CTO's of the world.

Adding the bells and whistles as a service pack or even a paid for Windows 7 R2 would have reassured users that they weren't about to be thrown under the bus of the next fashion wave. Instead people actively want to avoid Windows 8 on the desktop with the result that they will be avoiding Windows 8 tablets.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

Hold on there! Palm is really the genesis of the smartphone, especially once handspring came long.

Hold your horses young fellow me lad! Psion/EPOC/Symbian were in there at the beginning with Nokia's Communicator the first integration of a PDA like the Palm with a phone. What Palm did do very well was concentrate on a task and touch centric GUI.

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Firm moves to trademark 'Python' name out from under the language

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad idea

You forgot to add that Python is also used to write a lot of penetration testing software.

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Ready or not: Microsoft preps early delivery of IE10 for Windows 7

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

The trouble is…

A lot of the companies that are still on XP and are planning to move to Windows 7 (and there are quite a few) this year already have their software distributions sorted and that includes IE 8 / 9 plus either Firefox or Chrome on Windows 7 with no plans on changing that before rollout is complete.

Not releasing IE 10 for Windows 7 at the same as it was released for Windows 8 was a total fuckup. I can imagine some companies might bring forward migrations, assuming IE 10 can still be used on their fucked app "web apps" that require IE 6, but for the rest even Stevie B on his knees in a gimp suit isn't going to move them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @JDX

HTML 5 support in IE 10 is okay but they're still playing catch up. I was looking at our stats today: for the first time ever IE (all versions) was behind both Chrome and Firefox on a 60 day average.

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Nokia's Elopocalypse two years on: Has Microsoft kept its side of the bargain?

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Welcome to the Muppet Show

Does anyone else think that Eadon & Dogged are the Waldorf & Stadler of Vulture Central?

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Apple: iOS 6.1 network overload caused by our Exchange SYNC OF DOOM

Charlie Clark
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The solution is obvious…

… they're all holding it wrong!

Time for Apple to bring out a new model or accessory to distract everyone.

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Apple refreshes MacBook Pro range

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Not tempted

Yes, because the OS performance on the same disk deteriorated significantly I should buy new hardware?

To clarify - the problem doesn't seem to be performance of the disk at all but down to scheduling: as soon as two apps want the disk then I can go and make a cup of tea. This is particularly noticeable with virtual machines. Under Leopard I used to run two VMs quite happily while I was working in Mac OS. Not been possible since and I have a faster machine, more RAM and a bigger disk.

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Charlie Clark
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Not tempted

Well, I'm still not tempted to "upgrade" my 2009 MacBook Pro. Disk performance post-Leopard is still dismal and while a higher pixel density is always "nice to have" that's all it is.

Probably going to need a replacement this year of next but at the moment it won't be a Mac. With all the inconvenience of moving to a different OS (probably PC-BSD in my case) I'm going to stick with what I've got as long as possible.

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Android? Like Marvin the robot? Samsung eclipses Google OS - Gartner

Charlie Clark
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Re: Welcome back, Eadon

No, we weren't. Everyone knows Wednesday is therapy day.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Google gives out Android licences almost at a loss

That struck me too as odd.

Since 3.0 (Honeycomb) and definitely 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) I don't think Google has had to commit too many developers to Android. Google more or less understands how open source works and plays very nicely on a lot of projects. You can have the OS for nowt with no support if you want or you can buy a licence, get some spangly apps and support.

What does cost money is the account infrastructure and the app store (fucking sue me, Apple) but that is probably now breaking even due to paid apps.

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Coming soon: Open source JavaFX for iOS, Android

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Java FX is a niche product

God, what a load of ill-informed crap. Even for you, Eadon, this is impressive.

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Register reader Ray revs radio-controlled Raspberry Pi race rover

Charlie Clark
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Great idea but…

node.js for the control system, seriously? Whatever works for you, I guess and it really is a most impressive project.

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Is social networking good for anything more than cat pics?

Charlie Clark
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The real value in these services

Is the metadata. Some of these companies really have got the art of working out who is connected to who down to a fine art. Frankly it scares me who I find suggested given how I little I have entered into my profile. So, while recruiters will remain the primary scavengers of the site I think they are all tooling up for "added value services" such as credit rating (article on The Economist). The maths behind it are quite interesting because they can even work out quite a lot out about people who think they are off-grid. For all of us who think we are being careful with quite what we put online we have many acquaintances who are busy uploading their address books with our names and addresses.

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Every single Internet Explorer at risk of drive-by hacks until Patch Tuesday

Charlie Clark
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The key's in the name

Berkeley Software Distribution. Had separate ways to update the OS and applications pretty much from the word go, though they have changed over time.

Typical system upgrades might look a bit like this:

1) sign up to the relevant mailing lists, e.g BSD security

2) have a backup strategy and only update when you have to

3) freebsd-update fetch install

Depending upon your environment you can also run this in jail to see whether your system will be adversely affected - this rarely happens with system updates but applications can and so step on each other's toes.

Applications are managed separately from the OS and updates can be run much more frequently:

1) portsnap fetch update

2) portmaster -ad <- this will compile from source but also allow you to create packages for distribution if you have several machines

Separating the OS from applications might explain why applications on BSD are not frozen in lockstep with a version of the OS as they are on RedHat and Linux. Though to be fair that has something to do with the attitude of the package maintainers on Linux systems. BSD's ports are only metafiles which will allow apps to build but you are responsible for them running properly. Nobody's managed to explain to me why this means RedHat still ships with Python 2.4 (or at least it did the last time I was on a RedHat system), a version that has not been maintained by the PSF for over 5 years.

This might explain why BSD systems have notoriously long uptimes.

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Speedy MySQL 5.6 takes aim at NoSQL, MariaDB

Charlie Clark
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Re: Rehashed press release

@stanimir - thanks for the correction.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Backups?

Yes but Because a consistent read is not isolated from those statements, using them on a table being dumped can cause the underlying SELECT statement of mysqldump to return incorrect contents or fail.

No the most encouraging thing to read about a backup program,

Anyway mysqldump still sucks huge balls. There is no binary format and copy support is limited to physical access to the server and doesn't support pipes so no compression is possible.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Rehashed press release

Considering that Oracle bought InnoDB back in 2005 progress has been remarkably slow: <a href="http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.6/en/innodb-file-defragmenting.html>you still <b>can't</b> recover unused space from at table</a>. There's probably more but I try and spend as little time with it as possible especially now that I can migrate data to Postgres pretty easily.

MySQL basically is a NoSQL system which supports SQL statements often more in name only. Yes, InnoDB is sort of ACID but it will also support Foreign Keys on non-unique columns. As changing indices imposes a table copy penalty they are definitely discouraged.

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City sugar daddies mulling £10bn bid for EE, say sources

Charlie Clark
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Perverse incentives

Thanks to the money printing quantitative easing of the last few years, debt is ridiculously cheap and this kind of thing is bound to happen, especially given the recent poor returns that private equity has been offering.

Note to Ms Parnell:

The gossip is that the companies will stick around £3bn of their own dosh in the deals

It's not their own money, it funds under management.

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Windows Phone 8 hasn't slowed Microsoft's mobile freefall

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: What if the current Android manufacturers offered a choie on Linux Phones?

And who would provide the support?

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Review: Living with Microsoft's new Surface Pro

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple, it's your move

@Lusty

Why would Apple do anything?

I obviously expressed myself poorly. I agree that at the moment they have no need to do so. Apple can continue to "do nothing" (in reality continuing to update and expand their product lines) and still earn more cash than you and I can comfortably imagine.

However, innovation is about doing things when they don't appear necessary or obvious. Devices like the Transformer Prime are pointing the way and if Android gets proper mouse support then I can see people like myself abandoning notebooks for convertibles in droves: an extremely lightweight and portable device that is usable on the move with a sensible docking station solution.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple, it's your move

And I can't stand companies trying to force unconventional spellings (of their brands) into copy: proper names including brands are capitalised in English.

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Charlie Clark
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Apple, it's your move

Even though I don't expect MS to sell many of these - the problems of using the keyboard while sitting will be a significant problem for many prospective buyers - it will raise expectations by continuing to blur the difference between tablets and laptops/notebooks.

Many of us have been expecting to release an I-Pad Pro for a while which would be an I-Pad running Mac OS. Extremely good sales of both I-Pads and MacBook Airs have meant that they haven't needed to yet. Whether this has been for fear that ARMs don't have enough oomph, the problems of fat binaries/translation for existing apps, or Intel chippery needing too much power. Those problems are all likely to be resolved this year: the new ARMs are getting beefier all the time; OpenCL is encouraging use of the ubiquitous GPUs for calculations; and Intel and Apple have successfully demoed just how efficient x86 can be made to run. Much as I'd love to see all ARM-based hardware in this area I imagine that the inertia of getting software companies to recompile for ARM or adding a new version of Rosetta favour Apple continuing with their current strategy until they have enough "killer" I-Pad apps to warrant an I-Pad based notebook.

All things considered it's a bold move from Microsoft which I think will continue to ginger the market which should be good for customers.

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Facebook burnout: 61% of users have needed a break

Charlie Clark
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Re: Social(ist) Networking?

re, the Stasi - indeed as a recent suspension of firemen in Düsseldorf for quoting disparaging remarks about the mayor on Facebook illustrates.

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