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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2576 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Samsung fights to stay on US shelves as Apple calls for ban

Charlie Clark
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Re: e.u

Someone needs to go learn about the World Trade Organisation. Should the EU try a stupid move like that they would be subject to economic sanctions. Enough with the school yard stuff.

Countering nonsense with nonsense. The EU is not going to go tit for tat on this because, unlike say Boeing versus Airbus which did go to the WTO and both were found culpable of unlawful subsidies, this is not about European companies.

There are several court cases between Apple and Samsung proceeding in different EU countries. As a result the European Commission has announced its intent to look at the abuse of patents in such court cases and indicated that sanctions are likely for all. Separately, it may take time for the cases to work through and a consensus to be achieved. Currently, we have conflicting judgements in the UK ("coolness" cannot be patented) and Germany ("whatever you say Mr Apple" and this in my local court which is really quite depressing) which are clearly affecting trade within the single market: I can buy a Galaxy Tab 7.7 in England or France but non in Germany? This distortion cannot be allowed to continue, but, because we don't allow hick courts to take decisions for the whole of the EU it's going to take a while for this to work through. At no stage will the WTO be involved.

Where the WTO might get involved would be between the US and Korea if Apple succeeds in getting a blanket ban on Samsung products. Don't hold your breath on that though as such cases take at least 5 years to work through. That could only be part of a broader international attack on America's patent and court system that could be considered to unfairly hinder free trade.

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Microsoft's new retro-flavoured logo channels Channel 4

Charlie Clark
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IT Angle

I had been holding out for

<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/af/Prince_logo.svg/170px-Prince_logo.svg.png">

Would fit in nicely with "the company formerly known as Microsoft that formerly made software..."

Where's the whalesong icon?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Yellow.

Obvious, isn't it?

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AT&T defends FaceTime price gouge

Charlie Clark
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False premise

AT&T customers are already paying for that bandwidth

They are almost certainly not paying for bandwidth but total data use and there is a big difference between the two. It's almost impossible to provision bandwidth on shared infrastructure such as mobile networks.

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LG making thin screens possibly FOR THE NEW iPHONE

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sharp?

That was certainly the rumour a while back with Sharp due to be supplying IGZO screens for the device.

Call me sceptical but I can't see screen production starting now for something that is going to be available in volume in just three weeks. And, given Apple's recent treatment other manufacturer's, I would imagine any member of the chaebol thinking twice before getting in bed with them.

Windows 8 devices including "Surface" would certainly also be a candidate.

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Apple TV: Rubbish, you don't like documentaries – I'll just flick to porn

Charlie Clark
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Re: I like to use my brain, and they just wont let me..

How will a clusterfuck of a channel-hopper help there? Several things I like might be on at once: even if it mimics my channel-hopping I'm still going to get fucked off by losing control. A telly I could shout at might be fun but not one run by HAL.

I have 12 channels on my favourites which is more than enough. After that you just get more of the same.

As for good use of technology: Google's self-driving cars are *infinitely* more impressive.

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ICO has yet to begin probing cookie violators

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark

this bobbins law over a text file recording some basic information for adsense even the site owner doesent realise its making.

Spelling and grammar errors aside, Ignorance is no defence before the law.

Maybe it's about time people educated themselves about the price that some of these services exact. If shopkeepers can be held liable, say for selling tobacco or alcohol to minors, why shouldn't website owners also be held responsible? Cast the whole thing in a slightly different light and dust it with "won't someone please think of the children" and the same Daily Mail readers will be baying for blood.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Snowballs chance in hell

El Reg is in the technology sphere, so its readers have some idea

Or maybe some of its readers have an idea as you clearly don't. Your example of a wedding site makes a nonsense of your assertion about people "hurting their competitors".

While the ICO is tardy in following up on the reports, it's approach is generally to be welcomed: the cookies that are the problem are those related to behavioural advertising and sites that employ them such as El Reg, The Economist and the BBC really are trying to follow the spirit of the law by informing users, probably for the first time, that they work with companies who "spy" on people. It would probably be best for all sites to have a common approach, I think the BBC with the granular opt-out options is probably best, but it is refreshing to see how many sites have adopted the right approach to the legislation.

Now all we need is the ICO to set some precedents by enforcing the law and fining some of the more egregious breaches.

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Google loads Moto Mobility cannon, fires patent shells at Apple

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google must be scared shitless

I suppose with a new iPhone 5, a much more affordable but still excellent 4S and maybe even a 3GS

Planning to buy the set are you?

Because patents are bargaining chips Google's tactics are clear: every time Apple launches a flimsy action based on patents of dubious value, Google can launch a counter-action. With enough court cases either Apple will get fed up of keeping lawyers in coke and whores or the legislative might intervene to prevent the courts from being bogged down with nothing but patent cases.

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Hard-up fondlers rejoice: Tablet PC prices plummet

Charlie Clark
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Extremely flawed

The stats were compiled using clickthrough guestimates?

The chart is misleading because the contracted y-axis suggests a disproportionate price difference between Apple and the rest and a weird average: if Apple is selling most devices then the mean should be closer to Apple's price.

The conclusion is at odds with the other's analysts: Samsung and Asus are picking up market share through higher value products. How long before Apple starts suing Asus?

Demand for high-end components is keeping prices high. Cheaper tablets are still only possible with lower spec. Apple has the first-mover advantage with a high-quality product. Wannabe's, at any price, have to have to be good enough in the criteria important to buyers, which are sadly missing from the "analysis".

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Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Charlie Clark
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Joke

Copyright Ronnie Corbett?

Disgraceful jumper? Check

Oversized glasses? Check

Funny voice? Check

Either the producers have a time machine which allows them to use a very young Mr Corbett in their shows or they will be hearing from his lawyer!

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Facebook shares hit all-time low

Charlie Clark
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Fair value

Firstly, a falling share price has little or no direct effect on a company as along as it is not preparing to raise equity or borrow. It is in no way a disaster even et 50 % of issue price Facebook is to big to be bought and the CEO still holds the majority of shares.

Secondly, $7 - $8 would be fair value in comparison with other US stocks at a 20:1 price-to-earnings ratio. So, much as I don't value the service, there is no need for anyone to worry. Apart, of course, for those who bought shares at over-inflated prices. More fool them.

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Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: a whole hour?

It's a good, honest review that hints at what many people will do anyway: wait for SP1 to include the things that didn't meet the deadline.

As for your post - please continue to mutter quietly to yourself. If you like, I'm sure some of us will club together to keep you in White Lightning.

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Ten apps to install on your Nexus 7 first

Charlie Clark
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Re: DLNA

I was happily using Skifta on my Samsung Galaxy to run stuff on the telly. Not really necessary because the telly has a DNLA client but the Samsung has the better interface.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Tunein Radio file size....

Size might be the database.

TuneIn is pretty good though I only use the free version to listen to the stations I know I want to - who gives a fuck about "related" or pictures. The one thing that the premium version has that is worth noting is the ability to record stuff.

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Samsung to fight iPad with stylus, windows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is a mid-size coming?

There's the 7.7 with an AMOLED screen (1024 x 768) and the Wacom Bamboo works fine with it, though the pressure sensitive drivers may only been available for the elect AMOLED means you can actually use it outside and it's less than 400g which means it can go anywhere.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Disappointing

What's wrong with the resolution? I've got a Samsung Galaxy 8.9 with the same resolution and a Wacom Bamboo stylus. There are very few things on a tablet where a higher resolution pays dividends, Apple's sub-pixel rendering is just smoke and mirrors for the distance at which you generally hold these things. A high resolution 2500 x 1600 is reserved for my desktop. Two windows next to each other, say e-mail and music player, perfect on lower resolution. Or shopping list and a map.

1280 x 800 with a Stylus is perfect for site engineers, etc. Handwriting recognition, of which I was long a fan is much less efficient than a keyboard but being able to sign off docs, say patient charts, contracts is worth its weight in gold.

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$1bn for Instagram? Knock yourself out, Facebook - UK watchdog

Charlie Clark
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A clear case of nothing to see here

Somebody must have referred it to them though the Office of Fair Trading is not the right department: it should be the Monopolies & Merger Commission. But as it's non-domestic the EU's Trade Commissioner is responsible. Note that jurisdictions are rather flexible as the recent fine of S&C by the New York bank regulator shows: Federal restriction so Federal regulator responsible (there basically isn't one and as S&C isn't listed in America the SEC can't investigate. But, if you're market is big enough, you make the rules as AOL, Honeywell-Bull, Microsoft and Oracle have demonstrated. Can't wait until the Chinese really catch on to the idea, ProView was just the beginning.

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Android spanks Apple iOS in sales as fanbois hold out for iPhone 5

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it really though?

Does it really matter? It's very good link-bait and that's increasingly all that matters.

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Hold onto your hats, world: Groupon actually made a PROFIT

Charlie Clark
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Re: Two problems with Groupon for me

I think you've inadvertently hit the nail on the head: the groups that Groupon are targeting are organised around the offers rather than common interests. I know a few people who are "into" the whole thing but it doesn't seem to be creating the desired networks. Anecdotally I have heard from some people that it seems a good way to kick start a business even of the less esoteric kind, but I can't help thinking that tapping into pre-existing groups with a more standard rebate scheme would be better. You can just see how Google's Circle's are predestined for this and at much lower commissions.

Of course, Groupon's business model is almost diametrically opposed to the business it is pretending to serve: they cannot be interested in continually buying new customers (at the expense of existing ones).

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Study shows half of all websites use jQuery

Charlie Clark
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Re: And a bloody good thing too!

@toadwarrior

I agree that these libraries generally do things that should be available directly anyway. But they are not available directly. In addition, the libraries allow people to try out different things that may become standardised in JS or HTML or CSS later, once best practice has been established.

Much I disdain the copycat practice of many developers it is very Canutish to expect it to change. We have to live in the world in the way it is and not the way it ideally should be. User experience matters and the web which is now commercially driven has got a lot nicer to use over the last 5 years or so thanks to libraries like these because it affects companies' bottom lines.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Maybe I'm an outlier....

You should check the licence to be sure but basically, yes, it is perfectly okay to rehost the library.

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Charlie Clark
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Colour me sceptical

but I don't quite believe those statistics. HTTPArchive doesn't quite go into such detail but has some interesting comparative statistics. I'll have to check the source code but I think that for statistical purposes JQuery counts as a "Google library" because it is often served from the Google CDN. This itself begs the question as to how do you identify which libraries are being used if you can't rely on the source domain. You'd almost certainly have to execute the code to test which W3Techs don't do.

JQuery certainly is popular and also supported by lots of CMSes but it is also monolithic being used for all kinds of different things. Used wisely with other libraries like Modernizr it makes cross-browser development a lot easier. I have long been sceptical of using JS in websites but it makes interactive websites so much easier both for users and developers as evinced in any kind of reporting.

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Vodafone and pals can't kick the habit of cheap mobe prices

Charlie Clark
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Flawed premise

The author never explains why telcos hate subsidies so much. Inasmuch as they bind the customers to longer contracts and guarantee higher cashflow and ARPU they seem to offer quite a lot. Complicating the price is like setting the odds at the casino: the house always wins as consumers are lousy at calculating value. Comments on this thread seem to agree. Good accounting and sale-or-return deals should be able to offset the cost of inventory, some of which will not be sold. So, what are the reasons for telcos wanting to unbundle contracts from phones must be elsewhere. Note, I'm not discounting the desire: the trend towards unbundling here in Germany started years ago and is becoming the norm.

The blanket classification of Europeans as a group of people who like to live on the never-never and then provide Spain as an example is completely flawed. Household debt in the EU is considerably less per person than in the US but is far from uniform. Countries with dysfunctional property markets such as Spain, Ireland and the UK have per person debt considerably higher than the EU average. Interestingly enough even as the number of delinquents (in the economic sense) rises, credit shifts from nominally low risk, low yield secured (houses) to high risk, high yield unsecured (phones). Just because someone can't pay their mortgage doesn't mean they won't buy mobile phones, power smartcards or fags.

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Google updates Chrome Flash plugin for security, stability

Charlie Clark
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Re: Opera and Firefox

Even with the new out of process plugins for Opera? I find it a bit slower to start but Flash can no longer crash the browser.

One of the differences, of course, is that Chrome builds its own plugins.

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Hiccups in Apple's iCloud after yesterday's hack of hapless hack

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Obligatory response

Typical user error - he's obviously holding it wrong.

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Apple patents shopping lists

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'm getting fed up with the volume of ignorant comments on patents

It's a patent on location based services. Going to be fucking pretty much unenforceable. Given the detail I guess it's going to be hard to call it a mere software patent as it sounds very much like an end-to-end logistics solution. That would be fine but it would also be a bit like patenting bus routes. Oh shit, probably given them another idea.

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Charlie Clark
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@wyatt

You can't patent ideas.

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W3C names four new editors of HTML5 spec

Charlie Clark
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That would only be true for a monolithic standard which HTML isn't. The WHATWG approach will allow parts of the spec to be signed off when they "are ready", an unfortunately nebulous term, but validated by events of the last few years: the shift from plug-in based video to the native tag is probably the best example of this in action.

Backwards compatibility will mean that this does not break the web and developers now have access to robust techniques and libraries for bridging the gap, although more often than not WHATWG standardises an existing approach rather invents something wholly new: the form extensions with robust client-side validation mimic but also standardise a slew of javascript libraries for the function.

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Oracle hurls MySQL at Microsoft database wobblers

Charlie Clark
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Re: I think..

Whichever way you look at it, it's a marriage made in hell but we wish the happy couple all the best...

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Apple's new Safari snubs older Macs, drops Windows version

Charlie Clark
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Re: There's a (Google) patent for that

They don't need to threaten but it might be admissible in the kind of court that accepts these ridiculous patents. Can you see where this going? Car manufacturers are going to be suing each other for including speedometers in dashboards or petrol gauges; people will start suing each other for driving the same route to work...

Oh, this is about a new version of Safari. I'm always surprised by how many Mac users actually use Safari. I think they are impressed by the lack of controls.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Am

No, I quite like it and, as Opera hasn't lost it, I don't miss it.

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Galaxy S III dumps universal search, tries to dodge Apple's sueballs

Charlie Clark
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When is a patent not a patent

entitled to the industry's best ideas for free

News just in: ideas are not patentable. You can only patent a design or a model that may implement the idea but the idea itself is not patentable.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Fuck you apple!

No, like most software patents it's not worth the paper it's written on.

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Apple CEO: Frothing fanboi iPhone 5 hype screwed our sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: its just common sense....

Weird logic. No one knows much about the I-Phone 5 so it counts as an unknown unknown. I think you can only safely assume that last year's model may be discounted somewhat. As for release date: the channel will probably know when inventory starts drying up.

Personally, I think splodging £ 35 a month on a phone means that you've got money to burn. This is not supposed to be a common trait amongst students what with the increased tuition fees. But, if she does has the cash, then let her do with it what she pleases.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Western Europe was the main culprit...

Germany seems to be doing okay except it seems to be starting to prefer Android, particularly the Samsung flavour, over IOS. I'm sure that can't have anything to do with the court cases and attendant bad publicity here. Obviously Merkins should stop buying fancy German cars in retaliation!

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Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

Charlie Clark
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No, and no news as to whether the long-standing Bluetooth bug has been fixed or changes in the POSIX libraries, which drivers have been broken, etc. I'm going to give this at least a three-month miss. Lion did at least bring standardisation on x86_64, this one sounds just like lipstick and nail polish.

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Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

Charlie Clark
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Re: I am reminded of Austin Powers...

I thought it was Jonatton Yeah?

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Apple wins EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban

Charlie Clark
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This will get fruity

According to Heise, http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Apple-vs-Samsung-Verkaufsverbot-fuer-Galaxy-Tab-7-7-nicht-fuer-10-1N-1650216.html, the court has indeed agreed to a ban of the 7.7 in the EU. That's going to be tricky to enforce, especially in the light of the UK judgement. Add to that the considerable different implementation details of the 7.7, not least that it's OLED. Court's not far from here I reckon the decision was taken so they can enjoy the few days of summer we're having.

I think this is going to be kicked upstairs pretty quickly and then all bets are of. A judgement like this has direct consequences on trade within the single market. It's not a knock-off handbag or wrist-watch. This could be a Pyrrhic victory for Apple.

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Skype: Nearly half of adults don't install software updates

Charlie Clark
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Re: The man from Adobe is a funny man

Wiebke is a woman's name.

Adobe's stuff has got a lot better behaved in the last few years but it's still far from perfect. Runtimes like Acrobat Reader and Flash are particularly susceptible to security breaches so regular updates are, unfortunately, a must.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Still on Skype 2.8

Same here. Also worried about backdoors installed for the NSA, etc. since was sold to E-Bay. Have only heard of problems with later versions. God knows what Microsoft has got planned: a drive-by install of Metro on all devices? Will keep using Skype until they change the protocol and switch off the super nodes.

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Samsung flogs 10 million Galaxy S IIIs in 7 weeks

Charlie Clark
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Re: S3 not for me

Did you buy it unseen and on spec only? And what size hands do you have? I've got small hands myself but I've seen the SIII and it's not too big to be held in one hand.

I have heard reports of the firmware being buggy. Unfortunately, this is not unusual for Samsung but they do normally get round to fixing it. But, you know what, if you don't like it, take it back or sell it to one of the many clamouring for one.

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Charlie Clark
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Only just started

It may be because I don't watch much commercial television but it seems to me that Samsung is only now really turning up the promotional knob as they have the exclusive deal with the Olympics and presumably wanted to ramp up quantity in advance. It was only in the last week that I noticed promos for the S III on Eurosport. I suspect we are all likely to be thoroughly sick of it in a month. Still, with the SIII, SII and the Galaxy Ace they have their segmentation right, just like Apple: premium, aspirational and make do.

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Google suspends 16GB Nexus 7 orders

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why not let people still order and wait for it?

It could be a simple matter of the price was for a limited quantity of devices. Ordering is a contract for both price and date of delivery. If either of those are uncertain it's best not to accept the order.

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HTML 5 gets forked up

Charlie Clark
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Re: Amicable my ass...

Not forgetting that it's not even CSS 2.1 but CSS 2 level 1 or some such. I haven't yet quite figured that the difference is supposed to be or more importantly how I declare it but Jigsaw will give me errors.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: If I'm reading this correctly.

Basically, yes. W3C stuff is what the suits like to hear. Unfortunately, for most of the last decade Microsoft abused the standardisation procedure to block progress on HTML and cement its position. This is why WHATWG was set up by developers in the first place.

HTML isn't code, it's markup; and while that might sound pedantic it is important. The rules have always told browsers that they cannot ignore anything they don't understand which means developers can get on trying things out without worrying too much. The main advantage of HTML 5 is that it specifies how to handle errors, something that was sorely missing from HTML < 5. The main deficit, in my view at least, is an equivalent for the browser-prefixes in CSS. But as even they are being largely ignored but the crowd of ignoramuses that, myself included, web developers, that point is probably moot. What I would like to see is users being given the control in browsers to decide whether they want to support experimental features rather than the current lottery. Oh, and I like <time> to survive the whole process.

The W3C will survive if only to rubberstamp what WHATWG comes up with. This is much same as other international bodies such as the IEEE which generally approves stuff that the industry is already pushing on consumers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Worst of both worls

It's actually just business as usual. People not familiar with what's going on are generally spooked by the fact that the process specification isn't due to finish for several years. This scares customers from adopting the perfectly reasonable approach of adopting what has been finalised: the DTD and the new tags.

WHATWG can go back to being the developers group of trying to work out what works and trying to work out how to get the bits that don't work to work. The current hottest potato is how to deal the apparent need to serve up different versions of the same image.

The W3C can go back to being the bloated body that adds a veneer of respectability to the whole thing. If it means that we get an "HTML 5 transitional" then I guess we'll have to live with it.

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Nokia woos networks with 'exclusive Windows 8 mobe deals'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bad for Nokia

Depends on the details. The Apple deal was unusual because carriers were initially so desperate that they agreed to the 30 % of ARPU to Apple. Usually, it comes with a nice big marketing assistance budget and juicy commissions if certain targets are met. Microsoft and Intel are past masters at that so who's to say we won't see a Nokia WP8 on Intel phone based on the reference design that Intel recently did for Android. The marketing subsidies are tax-deductible for MS and Intel so it's a win, win, fail for MS, Intel and customer.

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Intel, AMD financials: Bad news for Obama campaign

Charlie Clark
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Re: Economics and Politics on El Reg

Seeing as the cover story of last week's Economist was about the good prospects for the American economy, this article is, indeed, flawed. Apple and IBM continue to make money hand over fist and manufacturing is recovering thanks partly to lower energy costs. But gone are the days when the fate of one company was linked to the fate of the country: "What's good for GM is good for America".

The Clinton quote is trotted out routinely and while it's not untrue, it's overly simplistic. It's exactly that simplicity which made it appealing and important. Incumbent presidents have been re-elected with the economy in a bigger mess than it is at the moment. They don't tend to do very well when they talk down to the electorate.

With the US electoral system as it stands, elections are decided by relatively small groups of voters who can be bothered to vote in the swing states. The last time I checked neither AMD nor Intel were very big in the rust belt or Florida.

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Why British TV drama is crap – and why this matters to tech firms

Charlie Clark
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Re: Piffle

Actually, it's the formalist's description of a drama which is the strive to restore the equilibrium lost at the start. The mystery ties in nicely to the human penchant for hypothesis (an essential part of processing language, trying to work out what's coming next). But, basically, we all want to see "John Wayne coming to save America at the last minute". To this American productions add the magic dust that America, even if, or perhaps because, it's just small-town Kansas, is the world.

Of course, it's the subversions of such productions, exemplified by Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time In The West" which are so much more interesting. But people aren't interested in, er, interesting. They want fast-food in a fancy box.

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