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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2499 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

US court lifts ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Good for you and yours if you've got the cash and the inclination to spend it on Apple's admittedly wonderful kit. but what's all this "free to import your own" bollocks.?Please tell me how I can do this on an I-Phone via Bluetooth or WiFi? Or how about opening a file with a different program? Or do you mean the "free to lug your computer around with you just to copy something from a completely different device to your phone".

As for the technically challenged: my mum manages her several DVRs with not inconsiderable skill and they work fine with a telly from a completely different manufacturer. But otherwise she can't even operate the microwave.

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Microsoft releases JavaScript alternative

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can't watch the video

You've misunderstood how this works.

Possibly because, as I said, MS have made a video which I can't watch.

This actually compiles to Javascript

In this respect it is like CoffeeScript: you can't just ship it to the browser. Though I assume we can expect to release a version of IE that does support TypeScript and benefits from the kind of compiler optimisations that LLVM can't provide.

There's no reason to seek suggestions from the JS working group because this doesn't change anything in Javascript.

I was suggesting the other way round: JS is being actively developed and, therefore, open to suggestions.

It looks like Microsoft has come up with another niche language for its developer eco-system.

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Charlie Clark
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Can't watch the video

Not very diplomatic of Microsoft to wrap it in their proprietary format if they want the web developer community to look at what they have to offer.

Javascript has lots of problems but why didn't MS make the suggestions to the JS working group? As it is they have suggested something that, like Dart, requires an additional runtime in the browser or, like CoffeeScript, a pre-compile to JS.

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Sharp punches out über-retina phone screen

Charlie Clark
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Re: I would be rather more interested...

I think higher resolution "4k" TVs are in the pipeline built with this technology. Yields for phones are higher, margins probably better (they are notoriously shit for tellies) and there is a lack of 4k content so it's a bit of hard sell to punters at the moment who are already underwhelmed by the 3D bollocks the industry had unloaded on us over the last year, but there is still demand for higher pixel densities across a plethora of handheld devices. Tellies will get the panels are as part of the factory lifecycle. A bit too late for this year but we can expect announcement at next year's CES. Thinking about it I suppose 4k would be a reason for Apple to release its own TV.

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Satellite broadband rollout for all in US: But Europe just doesn't get it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Satellite

In terms of population density, Australia is like America only more so. Europe is much smaller and much more densely populated than either and can provide DSL from exchanges to well over 90 % of the population. In less densely populated areas, and considering how well even very rural France is covered, this is a very small slice of the population, there are a range of technologies available from UMTS to WiMAX and the like, depending on country and rules. There just isn't sufficient residual demand for it to be viable and you get more value from the subsidy by building out low frequency UMTS than satellite.

I've heard lots of complaints from Americans living not at all far from large metropolitan areas that they cannot get more than dialup because the deregulated operators are not obliged to install DSLASMs in the exchanges. This, and the existing base of Dish TV customers, makes broadband over satellite a nice additional service that Dish can offer and optimise use of its infrastructure.

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Vote now for the ULTIMATE BACON SARNIE

Charlie Clark
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Re: Do You Know The Muffin Man

Two oven-bottom muffins with bacon and a mug of builder's brew - heaven.

The guacomole thingy could be renamed the "Sybil Special" in honour of the adulterated sandwiches she forces on her husband, Commander Sam Vimes.

But bagels and baguettes? Begorah!

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Google, Microsoft butt heads in browser benchmark battle

Charlie Clark
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Capriotti or Cipriotti or separated at birth?

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Why Oracle must kiss goodbye to its database past

Charlie Clark
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Pic from twitter says it all

Matt Asay knows nothing about a subject and announces to his fellow twats that he's going to write about it anyway and if they have any opinions he'd love to roll them into his bog-post. Someone send him a wank sock.

El Reg is turning into the regurgitation of the idiots: Matt Asay, Florian Müller, Tim Worstall, et al. Pity Mr Orlowski isn't pointing out it's because real journalists want to be paid real money which they can't do because we all have ad-blockers. Think it's going to SPB only for me in future with the odd dip into anything not related to climate that Mr Page may have written.

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Polish Samsung Galaxy S IIIs first to scoff Jelly Bean update

Charlie Clark
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Re: can't resist

I've got a Samsung Galaxy 8.9 which is still officially on 3.2. I've tried CM builds of ICS and JB and recently went back partly because I like some of Samsung's apps better than the alternatives, partly because the differences either from 3.2 or between them aren't that great, and partly for stability (both OSMAND and Google Maps caused soft rebots). Staying rooted, of course.

While it would be nice to Samsung updated more quickly my biggest gripe is with Kies on Mac which routinely fails to recognise either the Galaxy or my Wave and MTP works for neither.

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Now Apple cuts back on Samsung displays

Charlie Clark
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Dropping phones

Thanks for the vid. I think I have dropped all of the phones (Hagenuk, Bosch Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung) I have ever owned generally from a breast or "napoleon" pocket, which is pretty common if your a cyclist. As a result all of them have scratches or nicks on the case but remain perfectly usable and none of the screens has ever broken. While it would be a criterium for me to avoid a particular manufacturer if I knew the devices were more brittle, it's interesting to see how little it matters to I-Phone owners who are obviously happy to pay to have screens repaired. This, along with the huge market for add-ons, is key to Apple's success of selling lifestyle over functionality.

@Peter Storm - someone from Corning posted that the problem with screens was something to do with not letting the adhesive dry properly and nothing to do with the stuff that Samsung makes. But, in any case, there is a world of difference between the quality of components that a particular manufacturer supplies and devices carrying the brand which are often outsourced to one of the few assembly behemoths.

Back to the article: LG's reputation for quality is no better than Samsung's. Apple's biggest problem is probably that it cannot find a supplier of AMOLED screens.

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Microsoft issues emergency IE bug patch

Charlie Clark
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Re: Suffering

Do you see people leaving windows in droves? No, then Microsoft is not suffering.

Even if people do leave in droves Microsoft's bottom line wouldn't suffer immediately as it's already sold the licences. However, given the amount of work that the IT departments have had this week, you can be sure that there will be consequences such as the accelerated roll out of alternative browsers just so that staff can actually use company sites.

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Charlie Clark
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@ Jordan

It's exactly that welding that is the risk that it's worth betting against. Microsoft has poured millions into IE 10 whereas they could have had a similar framework for a lot less by buying Palm. If a similar exploit turns up for IE 10 then they will have to look for an alternative: Ballmer and the whole IE team would have to go. No idea whether it's likely to happen but IE 9 was supposed to be a complete rewrite and we've seen where that led to.

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Charlie Clark
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Yes, credit to Microsoft for obviously pulling out all the stops to get the patch out so quickly.

This doesn't excuse the initial and repeated failure of welding the browser to the OS. If the experience at one of my customers is anything to go by, where the majority of the company's own websites didn't work properly because Javascript was disabled, is anything to go buy, then Microsoft has suffered massively as a result. I wouldn't mind betting that IE 10 may well be the last version of Microsoft's own browser.

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Apple iPhone 5 review

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

16:9

We all know that 16:9 is best for watching videos. However, despite the ads this is not what phones excel at because of the ergonomics: comfortable viewing puts the screen at around 60 cm away at which distance a phone is simply too small or does the phone have an HDMI output to a TV? Tablets, however, … oh the I-Pad is still 4:3.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: First sentence wound me up immediatly

@ Mr Gathercole. Got a Wacom Stylus. Works great with pretty much any capacitative screen. Personally I think 10" is too much to lug around and I love my Samsung Galaxy 8.9.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Huh?

It’s a matter of personal taste whether the 3.5mm headphone jack that’s been moved from the top to the bottom of the phone is good or bad. Me, I’m not mad about it, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Oh, the irony!

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W3C reveals plan to finish HTML5 and HTML 5.1

Charlie Clark
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W3C in plea for relevancy

WHATWG rules! NFT

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Apple's brilliant plan to fix iOS Maps: Get YOU to do it

Charlie Clark
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Re: For those whining that Google's Maps app was "better"...

... try living in the Italian countryside sometime

@ Sean

Stop press: Google doesn't take the photos but buys them in from agencies, which is Europe are generally government agencies who control zoom level, degree of detail and explain what cannot be shown. And in most countries those photographs are very up to date as they are basis for all kinds of agreements, bills and even fines (tree-felling). In Italy the images generally come from Cnes/Spot Image, to whom you can now address your complaint.

It would be good if Google were allowed to release an updated version of Google maps so that customers could choose which app they prefer but don't the I-tunes store statutes prohibit just such competition with Apple software?

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Charlie Clark
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Now get out of that...

I agree with you that this is exactly the sort of thing that Jobs abhorred and came down like a ton of bricks on people for. Not that there weren't problems with services under his watch but that was relatively unimportant stuff like @mac or "mobile me".

This is the sort of thing that, if it is allowed to rumble is very bad for a company's image. Be interesting to see how well Apple's PR swings into action to deal with disgruntled customers as well as they did with the antenna problems: bumper or shiny new phone. Will depend largely on the scale of the fuck up.

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Redmond promises emergency IE bug fix on Friday (zero day + 5)

Charlie Clark
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Re: Arghhh

So what you're saying is that a piece of software which has no patches is totally secure and bug free? Or maybe it's not well maintained?

No, I was only countering the assertion that recently there has been a "big rise" in exploits for browsers other than Internet Explorer. All my browsers have been patched as opposed to being updated.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Arghhh

we've seen a big rise in non-IE exploits recently

Source perhaps? We'd probably have to trawl with the release notes of the various patch releases, but as a user of Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer I'm pretty sure that I've had more patches of IE in the last 12 months than of the others.

All browsers suffer from exploits but the makes deal with them very differently. Google is currently pimping its security credentials by offering bounties for discovered vulnerabilities. More importantly, perhaps, is the system of silent delivery of patches that they have established. Like it or not, it's probably the most effective way to get patches out to the great unwashed masses out there.

But even if exploits are discovered for other browsers, it's a relatively simple and painless operation to replace one browser with another and deinstall if desired. This is not an option with Internet Explorer because it is part of the Windows operating systems. That has always been Microsoft's biggest mistake.

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Microsoft promises two-step IE fix

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just fix it quick please

Thanks for your totally list unqualified list: "best", "ugly"...

For the sake of completeness you left out Safari.

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Inside the guts of a fiendish Internet Explorer 0-day attack

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Ouch!

Against fiendishly clever hackers any browser is vulnerable. It's daft to move browser for that reason... at least MS take patching security seriously.

Did you actually read the article? It pointed out that the vulnerability could be exploited by pretty much everybody and not just "fiendishly clever hackers". The intelligence of hackers is routinely overrated.

And it's not daft to move browsers for that reason: if I had a car that was unsafe to drive because of some design error (say putting the windscreen wipers on at 30 mph and then indicating right) the car would be recalled and I would be provided with a safe replacement. Except that this is not really possible in Windows because Internet Explorer is part of the OS, including the file system browser. This just goes to show that we need to divorce these kind of components more from the OS so that they can be replaced or at least disabled if necessary.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ouch!

While it's true that microsoft takes patching more seriously then say adobe, they're not near the top of the list when it comes to patching browser security holes.

Who says Adobe doesn't take security as seriously as MS? That may have been true a few years ago but Adobe has had a clearly established patching system for Acrobat and Flash for several years now. Notable laggards in the consumer space are Apple and Oracle.

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Charlie Clark
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Ouch!

Guess this is why the German Office of IT Security has <a href="https://www.bsi.bund.de/ContentBSI/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/Presse2012/Internet%20Explorer%20Warnung%2017092012.html>recommended people to stop using Internet Explorer</a>, in German. Of course, Microsoft Germany is playing down the issue.

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Wobbly swipe reader Square gulps down another $200m

Charlie Clark
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Re: Valley Capitalism at its finest

Yep, the lack on EFT infrastructure in America makes this and it's distant, similarly ginger-haired distant cousin, PayPal, immensely appealing there while the rest of the civilised word looks on and wonders what all the fuss is about.

As discussed on <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/08/retail-payments-0>The Economist</a> Square might have some value above and beyond simply facilitating payments. I'm not holding my breath on that, but then I'm not a VC!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Err?

Do the investors not realise that it will be laughed out of any regulator's office in most of the rest of the world

They presumably expect they can be bribed just as usual.

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UK.gov squatting on £1bn IPv4 motherlode

Charlie Clark
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Re: The tip of the iceberg

Tis true: the vast majority of IPv4 addresses were issued to companies and institutions in the USA. Getting them released would make a difference whereas releasing the odd range in Europe is a bit like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, to stick with the iceberg metaphor.

Much better to have whichever government department or Quango is responsible for internet agree a timetable for the mandatory phasing in of IPv6 with ISPs. Pretty much all the equipment in all the networks can do IPv6 as can the vast majority of consumer's computers so the marginal cost would be minimal. You have to ask yourself that what, apart from complacency or ineptitude, is holding ISPs back?

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RIPE NCC handing out last European IPv4 addresses

Charlie Clark
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Re: An interesting write up of the issue....

Indeed, although the article seems to draw inspiration from Dilbert's the internet is full.

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Charlie Clark
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Go

Who cares?

Already on IPv6 here. Now, if only sites like The Register would switch to a dual stack service like Heise has done.

host www.theregister.co.uk

www.theregister.co.uk has address 92.52.96.89

host www.heise.de

www.heise.de has address 193.99.144.85

www.heise.de has IPv6 address 2a02:2e0:3fe:100::7

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Manchester is 'PIRATE CAPITAL of the UK'

Charlie Clark
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Joke

Re: Scousers only at number FOUR???

Internet requires some degree of literacy, lar!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid Canal

The Manchester Ship Canal was an amazing feat of engineering...

Well, yes but also almost slave labour to build it and, like most canals, it was pretty much obsolete by the time it was finished in 1894. It's major role has been as part of the city's flood defences, helping to keep the lowest lying places like "Little Ireland" (around Oxfod Road station) from flooding like they regularly did. The scousers' fate was largely sealed by the decline in the slave trade, especially after the loss of the colonies. Manchester's prosperity, which briefly in the middle of the century made it richer than London (though how you define richer is a bit difficult) was based on the services it provided to the industries in and around it. Hence, the importance of the Free Trade movement. Obviously, not having a city charter until late also favoured businesses who didn't want to worry about things like working conditions.

Still, nothing wrong in having a go at the scousers! ;-)

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Google to axe IE 8 support, cuts off Windows XP lifeline

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad news for companies

Not so sure about that. It's going to be increasingly difficult for IT departments to argue against installing alternative browsers when management pull out their I-pads and say: "look, it works on my pad, why not on my desktop?".

It's taken a while but Mozilla's ESR (Enterprise Service Release) is starting to gain traction in the corporate space and I'm sure Google would be prepared to provide something similar to corporates interested in Google Docs.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Translation

I think you need a new geek-user dictionary!

IE doesn't support SPDY and either SVG or Canvas and has a very slow JS engine.

Google is very interesting in having its websites seem fast as that encourages their use and, therefore, ad sales. Even if most of the support for IE has already been done, being able to drop it for future stuff will make the development and test cycle a lot shorter.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Incorrect conclusion

So, by your logic, if Google drops support for IE...

Even for users of Windows XP the sky doesn't fall in and the world doesn't end.

Google can afford to decide to drop support for whatever it wants. In theory the same is true for any website but due to Google's sheer size and prominence such a decision will make other people sit up.

Supporting IE 8 for a site is nothing like as difficult as supporting IE 7 and IE 6, indeed it will still be supported for a major site I work on after a relaunch. but there are still reasons why you might actively want to discourage site visitors from using it: lack of support for either SVG or Canvas and the very slow Javascript engine. Google has already explained how much faster Google Maps since they swtiched to Canvas as default. I suspect users of Google Mail. Docs and Maps will be most likely to notice any change. Presumably Google will nudge them in the direction of Chrome and Microsoft will only have itself to blame. Although MS might secretly be pleased if Google has succeeded where it has so far failed to dismally.

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Charlie Clark
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Incorrect conclusion

which also means it no longer gives a stuff about Windows XP hold-outs

Er, no that is the case. Google will continue to support XP as long as say Firefox, Opera and Chrome still run on it.

Given that Google's decision to drop support for IE 6 did indeed lead to a decline in its use then it can be hoped that this will also happen with IE 8 and that Google will be more successful at this game than Microsoft. Though by "dropping support" doesn't necessarily mean that Google's sites will no longer work with IE 8.

Well done, Google.

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iPhone 5 tops benchmark chart

Charlie Clark
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An extra 221 points with a new OS? Well, possibly.

Depends very much on the benchmarking but a change in the compiler which turned on bits of hardware could easily do that. This is why Intel is still in the compiler business.

But the comparison is spectacularly underwhelming given the predominance of FPU calculations. What do we use those for on hours (on a daily basis)?

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Why lock your digits to a phone? Telefonica to flog cloudy numbers

Charlie Clark
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False premise

If telcos are going to avoid becoming bit-pipes with razor-thin margins, they desperately need to innovate beyond outbidding each other for scant radio spectrum

The days of the UMTS spectrum auction are long gone as is thus the "outbidding each other". Infrastructure co-operation both between operators and manufacturers has become the norm in Europe in the last few years. And networks are continuing to make profits.

This doesn't mean that they don't have to change their business model. Obviously, LTE makes no distinction between voice and data, which is the big change from UMTS and GSM, so it becomes very hard to prevent OTT like VoIP, although the licence terms are probably the determining factor there. What networks want to be is a customer's preferred (VoIP) provider largely because this allows for the most efficient use of resources from within the network. This can easily be achieved through a different tariff structure that makes calls via the network as attractive as competing VoIP - networks. Messaging is probably more of a challenge because it has been 100% profit all this time, but it's still doable. Using the peering billing structure already in place networks can squeeze out non-networks or encourage them to partner with them for a revenue share. As the advantage of using VoIP / instant messaging instead of network services declines, so does the business model. This has already largely happened in fixed line services with countrywide flatrates, etc.

As it's all IP-based LTE also offers the networks plenty of scope for product differentiation with QoS: sell bandwidth instead of data volume, offer messaging only services, limited call minutes, etc. In fact it's possibly only the regulatory guaranteed revenues that have prevented these kinds offers: networks have been more or less obliged to avoid innovation offer extortionate tariffs to maximise returns for shareholders. Though quoted in the article as an apparently negative example. 3 is a good example of attracting people through its data tariff and still being able to charge them a premium for voice services.

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Dropbox drops JavaScript, brews CoffeeScript

Charlie Clark
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Re: week-long hackathon ?

I guess that depends largely on the quality of the cross-compiler from CoffeeScript to Javascript.

Having looked at the comparison I agree that CoffeeScript is much more readable. It is not unreasonable to hope this leads to fewer typos and better maintainability and possibly even better security, especially if the code is written by occasional JS programmers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: developers will be developers

Most of the Dropobox infrastructure is written in Python!

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VCs snaffle £200m of UK taxpayer gold ... to bet on high-risk biz

Charlie Clark
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Growing the state

Conservatives traditionally only support state intervention in cases of market failure.

If you only listen to party speeches you might think so but policy decisions would indicate otherwise. Railway privatisation springs to mind as a nice way of spending more money after privatisation than before it.

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New guide: Bake your own Raspberry Pi Lego-crust cluster

Charlie Clark
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Re: The IDEs of March.

I think I-Python (from the SciPy project) has support for MPI and I'm sure other environments do.

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Information is the UI in Windows 8, says design guru

Charlie Clark
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Re: "new interface tactic"

Or simply notifications like Growl, bouncing icons (Mac OS), icons with changing colours (Windows 7). All great as long as there is only one of them at a time and there are not too annoying or last too long.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Polluting software with buttons and icons?

There is current trend in UI design that considers buttons to be a hack I disagree most strongly with this but you can see some of the ideas in and around Metro. Too many icons are as bad as too few.

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Charlie Clark
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Works fine but there are limits to the amount of signs you can take in. Too many and you can't, er, see the wood for the trees. This is why there are some experiments (in the Netherlands) to reduce the number of signs on roads as an attempt to reduce accidents caused by people not able to read all the signs at speeds. And then there are good examples and bad examples. In general, you will not notice good signage, it needs route-planning (the routes you expect people to take) but you will sure as hell notice poor signage. Only yesterday I tripped up over redundant but conflicting language switching features on a intranet: I saw the first and duly pressed it and could not understand why the results of my search did not reflect this decision - the answer was that I had to set my language in the search as well. The film "Brazil" contains numerous examples of well-intended systems getting out of control and turning the user into victim/perpetrator.

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HTML5 still floundering in 'chicken and egg' era, says Intel

Charlie Clark
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Re: 2010

er, what do I see there? 2010? I meant 2014!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: IE benefits from the Windows update cycle

Indeed. Microsoft's brain-dead strategy of coupling browser versions to OS versions is a real roadblock:

Akamai has fairly representative (heavy US bias) figures of browser versions

http://www.akamai.com/html/io/io_dataset.html#stat=browser_ver&top=5&type=line&start=20120811&end=20120910&net=both

IE 8 still at around 20 %. One of my customers where IE 8 is corporate standard is mulling moving straight from IE 8 to IE 10 but not before 2010!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: HTML5 development

HTML 5 is the target to develop for because so many resources are being thrown at supporting it. At least we have better tools for coping with less "sophisticated" browsers than we used to have.

Two observations:

* we have to accept that it's a constantly moving target but also that this is not as bad as it sounds because degradability is built-in. The HTML 5 syntax alone is a huge leap forward.

* abuse such as using unprefixed css declarations for things which are only just in test have always happened and are an inevitable consequence not only of "lazy" or "stupid" developers but the pressure applied to them by customers with unrealistic expectations.

I would like to see a "development mode" switch in browsers which would default to off as a way to let people to try stuff out in the wild without force-feeding everyone with unfinished implementations

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iPhone 5 to boost US GDP says JP Morgan

Charlie Clark
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Logical fallacy

Assuming people have a limited amount of disposable income, then their contribution to GDP is dependent on the proportion of that income that they do not choose to save. Purchases of consumer goods like phones will generally displace other items (phones from other makers) or possibly defer purchasing from one period to another (the biggest argument brought forward recently was about people "waiting" for the I-phone 5). So even a nominal rise in GDP will be limited. More important is what happens to the profits that Apple makes on such sales: is it redistributed within the economy and thus possibly increasing the average disposable income? is it redistributed to shareholders, many of whom are not in the US, in the form of dividends? or does Apple continue to horde the cash (as many businesses have been doing the last few years)?

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Why is the iPhone so successful? 'Cause people love 'em

Charlie Clark
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Surprisingly close

As usual with these kinds of reports the axis has been shortened to emphasise the differences. A different interpretation is that, while Apple is clearly out in front the pack is fairly close together with a standard deviation of less than 10 % from the mean.

That Apple is out in front is to be expected: Apple produces high quality hardware and software and, occasional hiccup aside, has excellent quality assurance. But other manufacturers are close behind which presumably means that people are happy enough with their kit - Samsung has the same satisfaction ratings as the mean which should be expected for the largest market share. Ratings like that indicate that it is unlikely that owners will actively be looking around for a new supplier. Or, for that matter, a new device. Should they be on the lookout for a new device then, while they are unlikely to want a change, unless they discover a new thing they feel they need, if they consult their friends they are likely to feel okay about checking out what the competition has to offer.

Both hardware (battery lifetime, cameras, screens) and software (both the OS and the available Apps) have improved enormously for Android devices in the last couple of years. It would be interesting to see a historical comparison. My hunch would be Apple's lead has been eroded.

I'm sceptic and while I expect Apple to continue to sell devices in large numbers whatever they do or don't show next week, I also expect their growth in phones to slow.

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