* Posts by Charlie Clark

3290 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Smartphones set fair to OUTNUMBER HUMANS - Ericsson

Charlie Clark
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Re: Maybe right, but probably not yet

Video calls never took off for two reasons: they are prohibitively expensive; it's inconvenient and uncomfortable to stay still and stare at a camera. This was never going to drive data use. 3G also had to compete with the usual problems of needing handsets powerful enough to use it and prices that could compete with the increasingly ubiquitous WiFi. To do that they had to swallow their pride and write down the

value of the spectrum licences they'd paid stupid money more.

Now, all new networks deployments can take advantage of a much more homogenous (IP-based) environment, making it much easier to offer data at marketable prices. So, even in developing countries, there is a huge market for mobile data but it won't be at 2003 European or 2013 American prices. Value-added OTT services are probably the key enablers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Well that is going to be a headache using IPv4

I want to keep this simple: IPv4 does not have a large enough address space to dish out IP addresses to 4.5 billion devices.

Well, yes but IP addresses are not distributed evenly, are there. I suspect that Canada, like the US has more than enough IPv4 addresses for the for near future. Meanwhile, Asia has run out several times over and Europe technically now has as well.

Of course, the longer providers drag their feet on the implementation of IPv6, the less well able they will be to deal with it when they have to and the less influence they will have on its future development. Hm, given the recent performance of the NSA that might not be such a bad thing! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Proofreading required

Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis contends out that…

What does "contending out" mean?

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Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Charlie Clark
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Re: IE?

Choice is important.

Personally, I only use IE when I have to for customers. As Windows hasn't been my primary OS for over 10 years I'm more comfortable with Opera and Firefox. But i do know people who got used to IE in the early 2000s when it was the best browser for Windows. I won't bash MS for MS sake and, for all their sins, it is worth pointing out that the IE dev team has worked hard to try and make a browser that at least renders as well as the others. It must be galling for those same people to see their work crippled by management.

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'Burning platform' Elop: I'd SLASH and BURN stuff at Microsoft, TOO

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bing is the reason for buying the entry level phone business

Is it still worth a loss of $ 1 bn a year? And Nokia's marketshare was down in some of the emerging markets like Mexico in the most recent figures, IIRC.

While it is important to stick with some things (technology, market) in the face of advice to ditch them, you also need to define criteria for success and cut your losses if you can't meet them. Both Lou Gerstner and Steve Jobs were able to do this. Microsoft's biggest mistake has been to lose focus and try and take both Google and Apple on at their own game, at the same time. It is the business market which has been the most loyal to MS and which has the best margins. Yes, there are threats from the competition but also the opportunity for Microsoft to grab the largest slice of the new markets: what price would businesses be prepared for Office on IOS or Android? And ancillary services to make it play nicely with existing infrastructure.

If Microsoft ditch Bing then regulating Google becomes a matter of paramount importance for anti-trust regulators around the world, a situation which is likely to provide more opportunities than continuing to pour money into it.

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REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11 ... soon they'll have NO choice

Charlie Clark
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Re: I wish MS would abandon IE versions and disassociate it with Windows

Nail on head, hit.

That said, I think that MS is doing the right thing to force Win 7 onto IE 11. A lot of corporates migrated to Win 7 but haven't updated the browser since then because MS have such a confusing update policy, so this means still lots of IE 8 where it shouldn't be. They should, of course, make at least IE 9 available for XP. But they won't of course.

Pet peeve: I have a perfectly valid Win 7 VM but MS won't let me install IE 10 on it because despite having a serial number I haven't "phoned home" to legitimate it… Wonder how that VM will fare once they start forcing IE 11 on everyone.

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Groupon splurges $260m on Korean deals firm as cash bleed continues

Charlie Clark
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Tarnished image

Starting this summer I've noticed more and more people associating Groupon offers with poor quality from desperate or shady companies. So far this is merely anecdotal and probably due as much to knowing fussy people as anything else.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Groupon model

What shocks me most is that Groupon manage to make so little money on this parasitic model!

It has high acquisition costs - it generally requires real people to go out to those small businesses to setup the deals. And, as companies keep on getting burned by the experience it keeps on doing the same thing.

The key flaw in the business model, as your rightly point out, is that it is parasitic, ie. businesses suffer over time from it. I think there is some underlying sense in trying to improve yields of capacity but think this is limited to services with low customer retention such as restaurants, hotels and taxis. So, services like opentable, the endless hotel services and the new taxi services are likely to do well. But they will do so by improving the yield, which benefits both customer and service provider, and not by promising unsustainable discounts.

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Twitter #blabbergasm explodes as shares soar close to $50 on NYSE

Charlie Clark
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Re: You are all fucking insane!

The sad thing is that plenty of people are making plenty of money on this. But those of us trying to keep our distance from the whole thing are likely to find that our banks and insurance companies have "joined the game" for us. So we're likely to get just as shafted as the chumps who end up holding massively overvalued shares. Great. Can't wait.

The US recently changed the rules to make this kind of IPO even easier and the central banks keep up their easy money policy to stimulate demand because it is supposed to make us all feel more positive about the economy.

Mine's the one "This Time it's Different" in the pocket, ta.

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Samsung: Get ready to BEND OVER – foldable fondleslabs 'by 2016'...

Charlie Clark
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re. rolling it up: this is possible with PlasticLogic's printed organic circuits and maybe Samsung are using some of that technology in the screen. I think larger formats like newspapers and magazines get rolled up for transport, but you're right about the form factor - the eye finds it much easier to orientate on a fixed layout like a physical page rather than on something infinite. Roll-on paged media extensions for CSS!

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Charlie Clark
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Impressive

There's no doubt about it: Samsung is continuing to impress by doing real R&D and coming up with new things. Some of the time you go: just what am I supposed to be doing with this, which is just as it should be and the way it was when Xerox and co. also did real research.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "rather terrible advert"

I thought it was a reasonable piss-take of San Francisco hipsters.

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Inside Intel's secret super-chips: If you've got the millions, it's got the magic

Charlie Clark
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Lack of value proposition

If this is about competing with ARM, while it's a start it's also flawed. ARM chips are cheaper and the designs come with the licence to tinker so companies can go to different ARM fabs with the specs and shop for the best deal, or do an Apple and make their own designs and then get a fab to make them. With Intel you pay more for the chips in the first place and then pay even more to be able to ask for modifications. At the volumes needed to make a difference and, assuming you need chip engineers to be able to spec any changes, it's better just to become an ARM licensee.

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Cash-blackhole Twitter will shower itself in gold by 2015, investors told

Charlie Clark
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Nah, EBITDA still in use by a lot of companies who try and use it to smooth out kinks and show "underlying" performance.

The Economist reckons that even $ 17 is probably too expensive. I wouldn't mind but I know that somewhere down the line one of the companies I expect financial probity from (my bank, insurance company, pension fund, etc.) is bound to be sinking some of my savings into this IPO. :-(

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Western Digital 'fesses up to Mavericks data loss mess

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: My Book Live 3TB

Mac osx being a labotimised (sic) rehash of it (Linux)

Obviously you need to brush up on operating systems 101 as well as your spelling…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Standard "no problems here" comment

I tried the WD software when I bought my drive a few years ago and ditched for being slow as hell and not seeming to provide anything over Time Machine.

Still, I was impressed to receive e-mails from WD advising of possible problems and against upgrading to Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks).

Having been burned by Apple's releases in the past I'm more than happy to wait for the biggest bugs to be fixed first, though I've given up hope that they'll ever fix the Firewire bug they introduced in Snow Leopard which causes my system to stall every time Time Machine starts talking to external drives.

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Microsoft buys all electricity from Texas wind farm

Charlie Clark
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Re: Backup capacity

Who pays? Microsoft, of course. But it's a silly question. Arguments about CO2 and subsidies aside this kind of arrangement makes a lot of sense: the price of the energy produced by the the plant is fixed for pretty much forever. Yes, that includes some hedging for purchasing from the grid should supply not meet demand, but less so than buying entirely from the grid.

Assuming planned demand is close to expected output this makes the data centre independent of the utilities and avoids possible conflicts with other customers. Wind and solar make small, local power plants financially viable: who would build a coal, gas or nuclear power station with just 55 MW capacity?

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Is it TRUE what they say about the 'Moto G'? We FIND OUT on the 13th

Charlie Clark
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Low end?

Google-owned Motorola’s rumoured lower-cost alternative to the top-of-the-range …

That's a pretty impressive spec for something now considered low-end!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't get it

It looks very much like Google is letting Motorola get on with the job of making phones. There are lots of reasons why Google doesn't make the Nexus devices with its own subsidiary, chief among is most likely not wanting to piss off your partners by competing directly with them.

But, you also need to factor in the lead time for new hardware projects: at least 18 months. So we are unlikely to see any really Googley Motorolas before next year. Google may continue to use Motorola as a quick technology test bed for new kinds of hardware.

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Digital deviants: The many MAD COMPUTERS of Doctor Who

Charlie Clark
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Happy

I know it doesn't count but…

Orac from Blake's 7 has to be the best TV computer: infallible but cranky and fortunately with an off-switch!

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Do dishwashers really blunt knives

Charlie Clark
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Re: corrosion

The dishwasher powder, and especially the softening salt, promote corrosion. How heavy the corrosion is will depend to some extent on the hardness of the water: harder water needs more softening and more softening will mean more corrosion. There are tabs that you can buy that are designed for use with steel and silver (even more susceptible to corrosion) that I find really* do make a difference and now I only use them when washing knifes or pans.

In general, however, knives are easiest washed by hand. If you do wash them in the dishwasher then use the special tabs, use the shortest, gentlest cycle and take them out and dry them as soon as the cycle has ended.

* I recently bought a pH-meter to help identify the best water filter for the very heavy calcium content in the water here, so I do take these things perhaps a little too seriously.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ceramic knives?

1) Yes

2) No

Ceramic blades hardly ever get blunt but they are very brittle so it depends what use them for and especially what the chopping surface is like. If you chop quickly, say your slicing carrots, on a hard surface you'll quickly splinter it; on a softer surface you'll get years of use.

If a ceramic knife does need sharpening you can do it with an electric device but much better to take it to a knife shop and let them do it.

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Win XP? Your PLAGUE risk is SIX times that of Win 8 - NOW

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Interesting

The figures for Vista, which has the same underlying improved security system found in Windows 7 and Windows 8, are nearly as bad as those for XP. Now, obviously the chart is supposed to be telling users that the more modern versions of Windows are inherently safer but it can also be read as, the longer an OS is out there the riskier it is and that infection rates like those of XP are only a matter of time for Windows 8.

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'Tablet' no longer means 'iPad': Apple share PLUMMETS below 30%

Charlie Clark
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Re: Isn't this exactly the way Blackberry crashed and burned?

@ Andy Prough

Apple makes its money from hardware not software. With Google able to provide Android to vendors for minimal fees (free for some) Apple would need to come up with a different business model to be able to charge significantly for the OS.

The experience with the clones of the 1990s was a salutary one, though I suspect that if it had gone to doing software only things might have been different.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Isn't this exactly the way Blackberry crashed and burned?

Additionally, I'd be willing to bet that the profit margin per device is much higher, for Apple, so they can sustain a loss in market share, especially since the market is growing, without effecting their bottom line.

It is affecting the bottom line, it was in the latest earnings call. The price adjustments for the I-Pad have been most marked over the last 12 months:

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Niche Product

Apple's sales are not increasing - < 1 % growth in volume.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: But how many of the Android tablets are landfill?

The figures quite clearly point to substantial growth at the premium end with Samsung's and Lenovo's sales. Apple is still holding its own, but as SuccessCase points outs, these sales include the less-than-premium I-Pad-Mini.

Weird thing for IDC figures no mention of stellar MS' performance is.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Peak Apple

Mount Everest has also peaked, but I don't see many signs of it being broken up for crazy paving just yet

Not sure about that - isn't India still moving north?

Mount McKinley, however, definitely has peaked losing about 20 m since the 1950s!

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

Charlie Clark
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Have to agree that Hangout has become the best OTT messaging application out there and it runs on everything.

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Nokia emerges smothered in red ink, manages to flog cheapo Windows Phones

Charlie Clark
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Oh dear

To put that into perspective, Apple's "flop" iPhone 5C phone, which borrows its design aesthetic from Nokia's distinctive Lumias…

Andrew, you're better than this. It's not my taste but the 5c is very much in the mould of the I-Pods which have been in garish colours for a decade.

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Samsung is officially the WORLD'S BIGGEST smartphone maker

Charlie Clark
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Re: How many of these are nasty Galaxy mini landfill phones?

I don't like their attitude to updates or the changes they've made from stock Android.

The update policy, along with that of other manufacturers, has got a lot better. I think this has had as much to do with having the right people managing the software and its distribution as official policy. Kies used to be the biggest pile of shit out there, and on MacOS it pretty much still is. But now that OTA is working well that hardly matters.

I find the UI fine but wish it would be easier to uninstall some of the apps that come preinstalled and that don't interest me at all. Then again rooting is hardly a problem, Samsung have never really tried to stop users doing it.

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Charlie Clark
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S4 Mini vs HTC Mini - very much a matter of choice. I prefer AMOLED screens and the ability of using an SD card. The S4 Mini has some interesting options hidden in there - press home button to answer a call and gives me 2 days of use with the right settings.

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Apple 'happy ending': BULGING iPhone WAD - but can it ever be enough?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

@AC

The evidence is in the figures: revenue up slightly for the same quarter as last year, earnings down slightly.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting

Well, you're essentially restating what I said: 8 million a month is impressive whichever way you look at it. However, Apple is now available on all US networks and in most countries and its year-on-year sales show little growth, similar IIRC to Samsung's summer figures. This indicative of the Smartphone market reaching maturity which is why there are all kinds of questions as to "where is the growth going to come from?". Personally, if it was my company I'd be more than happy for things to stay like that, as long as I got a nice dividend to reflect it. But that's not necessarily the way Wall St thinks. The recent hires indicate that Apple is going to move towards being brand first and foremost, I'd argue that it has traditionally been both brand, quality and technology.

I guess we'll see.

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Charlie Clark
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Interesting

After reporting that it had sold nine million of the new iPhones in their first weekend of sales ...

So that's 9 million of 34 million in one weekend. That's very impressive business but does seem to cast the rest of the quarter in a not so brilliant light. Well, at least in terms of growth. I'm sure there are plenty of companies out there who'd like to be selling 8 million phones a month, especially with Apple's margins. However, it does seem to confirm that growth in that market has come / is coming to an end.

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Why did Nokia bosses wait so long to pop THAT Lumia tab?

Charlie Clark
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Relatively specific use case, sure, but there was usefulness in RT long before Nokia was around, you just had to look for it.

Did you pay the original price? I think the point is that the original RT was too expensive for consumers and too weak (no Excel macros, no Outlook) for professionals.

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Cameron on EU data protection rules rewrite: 'Hold it so we get it right'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just to put this in perspective....

Yep, the way the suggestion sailed through parliament (the number of amendments is not as important as the substance remained largely untouched) indicates that and the recent disclosures of spying have probably pushed Germany and France into supporting it. The best Cameron can hope for would be an opt-out but even that is unlikely as it's about the single market, so even if some kind of compromise is available the courts might choose to ignore it.

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

Charlie Clark
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Re: IPV4 best for the general public

Depending on what country, and in Europe that's everywhere apart from Germany, you're in that doesn't matter. Your ISP will happily inform the relevant parties upon request who was assigned a particular IP address. IPv6 has privacy extensions which give you more control of your addresses.

IPv6 isn't perfect and definitely needs more testing. Pity El Reg hasn't taken part in any of the IP6 days over the last few years or bother to run a dual-stack server like, say, Heise does.

My ISP finally got round to offering IPv6 last year and it is slowly becoming the standard for new connections. My router, my phones, my computers have no problems with it and it's faster when supported at both ends.

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In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake DON'T READ THIS

Charlie Clark
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@Greg - you can't, you only think you can. There are a very, very few number of people in the world who can do multiple cognitive tasks at once, you are most likely not one of them. And, even if you are, your fiddling is almost certainly distracting people around you who might not be quite so, er, "gifted" as yourself.

The police have been investigating the affect of technical distractions such as using the phone on drivers: it seems to affect reaction time in a similar way to alcohol, texting is even worse.

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Obama to Merkel: No Americans are listening to you on this call

Charlie Clark
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Re: half-hearted outrage

Ah, there's the rub. They're more than happy to have their citizens spied upon by the NSA (as long as they get to read the reports); they're less happy when it's them being spied upon.

On the plus side, this SNAFU is going to increase the chances of the suspending the agreement on SWIFT snooping which would be a huge bargaining chip for the EU in future negotiations.

The recent spate of revelations are looking increasingly like leaks. Is it possible that someone in the current US administration is taking advantage of the Snowden situation to take the NSA, et al. down a peg or two? Would be a nice way to cut the budget a bit.

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Charlie Clark
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Happy

Is Andrew back

Having become increasingly disillusioned by Mr Orlowski's PR pieces for Nokia & Windows Phone it's nice to read something a little more critical.

I'm not sure if cheap Androids really will dominate this christmas: the cheap MP3 players did little to loosen Apple's grip on the market. Apple probably has no chance in the 7" segment and is giving it a wide berth but there is still a market for premium devices. But here they are right to be more worried by high-end Androids like the Samsung Note 10 than by Microsoft's ginger-headed Surface RT. Office with Outlook will no doubt persuade more buyers than the original Surface but I'm not sure if Outlook is really that appealing to consumers who are either Gmail, Facebook or WhatsApp addicts.

Skydrive is irrelevant to consumers - deals with Watchever, Netflix, et al. will be more important. I expect a lot of devices may be offered as part of 4-play deals from telephone and cable operators. Imagine a media tablet plus all-you-can-eat films and series for say £ 20 a month on top of existing subscription.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

Indeed. This could be a real problem for Microsoft. What exactly is stopping Apple from replacing the ARM with x86 and installing OSX on it? And, oh look, it supports Office...

A question many of us have been asking for a while. My guess is probably that they want devices with comparable oomph to x86 machines. The A7 is getting close but you might need more cores to be okay. But MS Office wouldn't run out of the box on such a machine, it would still need compiling for ARM and it's not certain that Microsoft would be keen to do that.

Oh, and you shouldn't discount the incentives Apple still get from Intel not to ditch x86 entirely.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You are comparing apples with oranges.

I agree that the Surface Pro is competing with MacBook Air devices and losing. Adding a keyboard adds another 255 g to the Microsoft bundle.

I've previously used "Ipad Pro" to refer to the same kind of device you're referring to whether it will be ARM or x86 will probably be the decider for the name. Touch is not really a requirement for a fully-fledged machine, especially when you're likely to have a high-end smartphone for use on the go. At least that's my take as someone who is looking to for such a device.

I can still see a market for high-end Windows tablets as notebook replacements but these need to be compatible with docking stations and Microsoft won't have any of those until 2014.

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Locked into fixed-term mobile contract with variable prices? Not on our watch – Ofcom

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

The operators also argued that fixed prices would lead to higher telecommunication costs - which is probably true, as operators will have to fund the risk they're taking in fixing the price.

This is very poor economics. Firstly, why was the RPI chosen as the bench? What is the relation between the RPI and the costs incurred by the operators? Secondly, by passing on the notional additional costs to consumers the operators are under no pressure to minimise them. This is reversed when they cannot simply pass on the costs: yes, they can adjust the bill to include the cost of hedging but market pressure should prevent excessive hedging and even it out over time. Exceptions, of course, for statutorily imposed charges such as VAT, but they should be covered by properly written contracts.

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Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

Charlie Clark
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Good PR

Apple's recent updates have been so cheap that they probably just about cover the release and distribution costs, so making Mavericks free is not much of a cost but a great headline grabber. And since 10.6 the new versions have not really added value or changed much for many users. I'm sure I'm not alone in not having rushed to install Lion (done only for the Bluetooth fix) or Mountain Lion (new API required for BusyCal). This isn't very good if you want to encourage the uptake of new APIs and possible convergence of MacOS and IOS, which is probably what is driving this release.

I'll see if this will run on the Mac Mini but give it at least a month for MacPorts to update and the first inevitable bugs to be found and fixed before I run it on my main machine.

Apple's own apps have always been a bit of a mixed bag for Apple. Some of them seem just mere technology demonstrations but others have great attention to detail. I still occasionally use IMovie to create DVDs but I think I have a version that does not do hardware encoding. Off the rest only Keynote really stands out as something worth having as it certainly benefits from being Apple's own inhouse presentation software.

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Google stays tight-lipped on IE9 Gmail, Apps death sentence

Charlie Clark
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When is a version a new version?

The key issue will be if and when IE 11 becomes available for Windows 7. Just as they did with IE 10 initially only being for Windows 8, Microsoft has again not done itself any favours in tying the browser to a particular version of the operating system. Until Windows 8 has reasonable takeup the stock MS browser on it will remain largely irrelevant to Google. They can even consider moving to not support Internet Explorer at all, which is largely what the extended support of Chrome for XP is about.

Technically, IE 9, 10 and 11 are all pretty close. Microsoft committed itself to a faster, more standards-compliant release strategy with IE 9. I'm sure the browser developers would themselves have loved to been able to backport the various versions to Windows XP but management scotched any such attempts.

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Charlie Clark
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Paid support still available

The ISS runs a special version of Windows XP (Service Pack 6) which Microsoft will continue to support. Same is true for any company prepared to pay the associated costs.

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BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

Charlie Clark
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fact check

It's worth remembering that Oliver Postgate was always quite open in his support of social themes. This is glaringly obvious in series like Noggin the Nog, albeit in a postwar consensus tradition.

A lot of the remakes are bollocks but this is usually due to the style and a desire to be "modern"rather than the subjects they cover. Lebowski practising writing for the Daily Mail again.

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EasyJet website crashes and burns

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Spare me a dime

@covenanted

They demand the highest service for the lowest price.

No, they have a right to demand the service as advertised and legally required.

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Jawohl! Vodafone gets nod for £6.5bn Kabel Deutschland slurp

Charlie Clark
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ahem

the German market is highly competitive...

Which particular market do you have in mind? Mobile, fixed line, internet, or (cable) television? They are different things with differing degrees of competitiveness. Cable is most certainly not the most competitive with the country essentially carved up among the different operators and many people more or less obliged to pay the connection fee (€ 18 per month) once they house has been passed. This gives cable network owners quite an advantage when offering service bundles.

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