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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2575 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Charlie Clark
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Re: "Elderly"?

She's gotten fat, so I think we can forget the sexy bikini version of her, unless she REALLY takes up some Hollywood miracle diet

You know I can't help but find that quite sad. I've always found her to be very pretty - she has a beautiful face and eyes and well curves - and is in her mid-fifties so not much older than Harrison Ford back then, if my back of the wank-mag calculations are anything to go by, certainly not past it. I'm sure the Lithium doesn't help with the weight but it doesn't matter that much, surely?

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Samsung grabs Sharp shard, brings pain to Apple supply chain

Charlie Clark
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Stop

Maths

If ¥10.4bn is $111m, how come ¥9.9bn is $121m?

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Reg readers brew up the ultimate cuppa

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bunch of pretentious snobs!

Got to have your five-a-day trace elements: arsenic, nickel, cobalt, lead, cadmium…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No Fanboi war?

The topic is not erudite or libertian enough for Eadon who, of course, only drinks an infusion made from free range penguin droppings.

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: To confuse things, masala chai

I believe this is yours.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It all depends on the water!

True. I have to filter the water here because it has so much bloody chalk in it (Rhine filtration method) that you just get a cup of scum if you don't. PG is my preferred - nice notes of Assam but not as strong as others and I much prefer using a pot for optimal taste. Don't have a fancy pot just steel with a wooden handle that's done about 50 years service. Metal pots don't really need warming but need tea cosies. Avoid "tea lights" at all costs which are the devil's work designed to sour the blessed beverage.

For Lester's test - a good strong cuppa goes great with a bacon sandwich on a cold. You might also want to see what goes well with your favourite biscuit - Rich Tea for me, I won't let Digestives in the house - or cucumber sandwiches if you're expecting company.

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Europe tickles Microsoft with €561m fine for browser choice gaffe

Charlie Clark
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Re: Fine, but......

Where does the money from fines normally go?

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Germans Joyn in the operator-backed rival to Skype

Charlie Clark
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Deutsche Telekom reckons the more-paranoid should stick to encrypted wi-fi networks

These are the norm in Germany because of the risks associated with running open networks - you might be held liable for any misdeeds carried out by someone using your network. Doesn't stop man-in-the-middle attacks on hotspots such as those provided by Deutsche Telekom on the trains.

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Torvalds asks 'Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?'

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: Chromebook is doing what Surface was supposed to do...

It's normally only worth checking whether he's taken his medication or not. And maybe to remind him to attend therapy, you never know: there may be hope.

On a related note it seems we're likely to be spared Matt Asay's dribbling. Wondering who El Reg will get to replace him. Personally I'd welcome a return of Ashlee Vance's column. Didn't always agree with him but could usually follow his arguments.

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ZTE to build smartphones with Intel's new 'Clover Trail+' Atom

Charlie Clark
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Intel in China

Although it's highly unlikely that Intel's chips will find their way into phones from those two market leaders, The "design win" with ZTE might help it get some traction in the fast-growing Chinese smartphone market.

Yeah, so a a premium price chip like the Atom is really going to help ZTE take on all-comers in a market defined by price?

Despite the fact that some of the Intel-based phones, particularly the Motorola, seem quite good, Intel is starting to look like quite a slut touting all these co-operations. No doubt they'll be touting their 100 % market share on Mars next.

Intel's silicon is not in doubt, but their licensing terms are: how can manufacturers who adopt Intel and pay the normal rate hope to compete against the legions of the ARMy who chips are, well, cheap as chips?

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First C compiler pops up on Github

Charlie Clark
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PDP-8 any good?

Used to have one in the garage but I think it's now gone to a better (less damp) home.

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WE CAN still be BETTER than Germany on broadband, says Ofcom

Charlie Clark
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Re: Always look on the...

I'm English but I still find it offensive the way you refer to "Gross Germany".

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Charlie Clark
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Investment and deregulation required

In Germany the telco's big bang wasn't until the mid-1990s but it was followed by huge investments in infrastructure around the county with companies keen to compete with Deutsche Telekom on providing full service (telephone, mobile and internet) to customers. This meant not only leasing capacity from Telekom but also putting cables in the ground to the DSLASM at least and occasionally to the kerb of the house so that only the twisted pair cable in a house is still owned by Telekom. Together with fairly extensive cable coverage, at least in metropolitan areas, this has led to a competitive environment which competes on both service and price. So I've gone from a 2 MB/s a connection ten years ago to 50 MB/s today for roughly the same price. Service quality is important and will drive customers away if it is not maintained and as it will be plastered all over the press.

AFAIK the UK has invested less and competes mainly on price and I wouldn't expect that to improve until the investment climate improves. Several El Reg hacks have suggested that there is no money in providing capacity but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

At the end of the day, however, broadband speeds seem to be a rainbow and I'm not sure if the idea that faster broadband will somehow automatically increase productivity and drive growth. I think for most of us having a connection of say > 256 kB/s would be sufficient for the vast majority of what we do and I've yet to OECD or similar figures painting a different picture. Higher speeds seem simply to favour media consumption which leads to a diversion from, say, CD and VHS rentals to streaming.

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Don't believe the IT hype: Ye cannae change the laws of physics

Charlie Clark
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Spatial indices on MySQL?

Must have missed it. PostGIS is the way to go if you want to do this sort of thing with open source. I'm getting increasingly sick of comparisons of MySQL (in whichever flavour) with real RDBMS's. The hacks and kludges are just too painful to endure for anything other than toy projects.

By all means get a support contract and pay for DBAs and programmers who know their shit.

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FoundationDB uncloaks ACID-compliant NoSQL beta

Charlie Clark
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PR replaces journalism

Paraphrasing a PR release is not news but I did note that "ACME releases revolutionary new wheel…"

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Router crash downs CloudFlare services

Charlie Clark
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Commendable

While it is certainly embarrassing for both CloudFlare and Juniper I agree with the article that the best way to handle this kind of SNAFU is to open about it. CDNs are, despite the marketing blurb, a very technical product and with preventing DoS attacks one of their key reasons for existing. You're dealing not only with customers but also other networks and possibly, depending on the size of an attack, with the IETF. While exploits like these that depend on discovering esoteric bugs can be developed silently, fixes need to be public and pushed out across networks as quickly as possible.

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MWC 2013: The Chinese are coming - and you ain't seen nothing yet

Charlie Clark
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Re: Trend and intellectual honesty

Yes, it's simply disingenuous to suggest that Samsung just reacts to customer fashions: OLED screens, CPUs, etc. are all the result of a ten year plan at Samsung. Medical technology is the target of the next ten.

The role of the Communist party and the People's Liberation Army in many of the larger Chinese companies should not be discounted.

As for the "intellectual property giveaway". This is just another strawman to try and shore up the idea of Windows Phone as the pinnacle of innovation. Operating systems were commodified some time ago. Google understands this and the value of selling services just as well as the free-to-play game entrepreneurs throughout Asia.

As for eschewing Western approaches: Huawei in particular has been very busy setting up real R&D labs around Europe. Like Lenvovo, it seems to understand that despite the huge domestic market, really successful companies have to compete globally.

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Euro watchdog bares teeth at Microsoft over browser gaffe

Charlie Clark
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Re: Win8 EULA

If it is as you describe then you don't need to worry as it contravenes EU legislation and can be safely ignored.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: EU lost the plot

People reported Microsoft to the courts

No, they reported the matter to the Competition Commissioner. Anti-trust complaints rarely go straight to the courts and I don't even think it's possible for the whole of the EU.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Whoops!"

All we learn is that the two sides are equally incompetent.

Please explain how the European Commission has been incompetent.

Anyway ignorance or incompetence have never been valid defences before the law. Sounds like someone is going to have to do some explaining to the shareholders.

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So much noise on WinMob, but Microsoft's silent on lovely WinPhone

Charlie Clark
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Re: Embarassingly naive

I do remember reading it but I chose the word clusterfuck specifically because of the fallout of the very poor handling of what could have a been a nice update for Windows 7. The phones were collateral damage in the Surface debacle that did nothing to Apple or Android sales but seriously undermined Microsoft's reputation, well, across the board (consumers, manufacturers, enterprises and software developers) really.

The bottom line: Andrew likes his Lumia, I like my Samsung Wave (Bada still sells more than WinPhone) but neither bring enough to the game to change it.

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Charlie Clark
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Embarassingly naive

Andrew, I'm shocked that you are only now waking up to the clusterfuck of the Windows 8 release, or Vista 2.0 as it might be better known as. Fucking up the desktop with pretend tablet integration really damaged the brand: enterprises won't touch and everyone is now worried about losing their investment and inverse lockout- "I have Office, will it work on this device?" The phones got hit in the fallout. You might think it's a wonderful OS but I've read very few other positive reviews.

By all means release Metro as the default GUI for the mobile devices, make it optional and release IE 10 for Windows 7 at the same time as for Windows 8. It's not that hard but it's the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Mac OS is looking more and more like IOS but it isn't IOS. I-Tunes (the IE of the Mac world) is released simultaneously for all platforms, and mobile and desktop product releases are deliberately separate.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Nokia wasn't grumbling"

Yeah, playing for better stock options when they get bought.

What chuffing differentiation? WinPhone == Nokia to me and no doubt many others.

Oh my, the camera on the Nokia telephone is so much better than… a good camera on a phone is now taken as a given but if I want a really good camera then I buy a camera. The phone stuff and apps are more important.

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EU web chief: Europe's slow on 4G, but 5G GLORY WILL BE OURS

Charlie Clark
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Re: Smokescreen and mirrors

Classic Tory Trolling:

In the coming months the EU will be much more concerned with ailing car manufacturer

Only inasmuch as it will be limiting the amount of subsidies that national governments are able to make. That'll be the same national governments who because they can't make sensible decisions allow the EU budget to rise simply with inflation. Maybe it would help if Cameron borrowed Maggie's handbag the next time he goes to Brussels?

The EU, and in particular the European Commission, continues to rollback the barriers to competition including incompatible technical standards. It was the EU that mandated the use of GSM for mobile networks to guarantee services working across borders and, thus, lay the foundation for the investment that led to GSM becoming most common standard in the world. We're not even lagging behind on 4G seeing as the SoC's aren't yet available there aren't that many devices available. 4G is supposed to be evolutionary which is exactly how it's being made available: data only first and primarily in regions with poor fixed-line or 3G coverage (yes, I know the cities will grab the headlines but look at the terms of the licences) with interoperability an absolute must (and this means phones supporting a load of different bands of radio standards).

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Microsoft finally ships Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7

Charlie Clark
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He actually provides the stats. IE 10 on Windows 8 is a minnow at the moment so 0.8 % sounds absolutely right. The stats I have access to (international corporate site) have a similar breakdown - Chrome edging ahead of Firefox and Firefox now ahead of IE (combined) for the first time ever. MS really dropped the ball with the IE 10 release strategy. This coupled with the serious vulnerabilities that went for weeks unpatched (September and January) forced corporate IT departments to look for alternatives. FF 10 had been under evaluation from the start of last year, it was pushed out worldwide as standard before the end of December. The decision was taken to skip IE 9 so IE 8 is still on the install disk. My guess is that over the next quarter we'll switch to IE 10 but only if the intranet apps work in it. Other companies I know of that are just starting Windows 7 migrations will be sticking with whatever they have until the migration has been completed but I would expect IE 10 to replace and IE 9 and IE 8 by the end of the year but it'll be the biggest fish in a shrinking pond. Safari mobile is already about 15 % because of the all the managers with I-Pads.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

tsk, tsk

ect ect.

Can't stand that. "et cetera" -> "etc". "ect" is short for some kind of brain scan and they're wasted here! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Only Microsoft...

You mean like how IE9/10 run on Windows desktop, phone and tablet which are essentially 3 separate OS?

Yes, how separate are they actually? Didn't Microsoft make a lot of noise about them all now having the same kernel? For a userland application the API, which for Windows >= Vista is defined in .NET should be all that matters. And other browser manufacturers have managed it on those three operating systems and more.

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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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