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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2555 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Yahoo! Poaches! New! CEO! From! Google!

Charlie Clark
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Re: CEO Mayer is pregnant and due in October

That might suggest she has been given a kind of shepherding role to manage portfolio divestitures prior to Yahoo being rolled into another company. This is no slight on her ability or commitment but the board would be mad not to consider the risks involved in terms of her availability over the next few months. Credit must go to them for taking it into consideration and still going ahead. I sincerely hope it is successful.

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Microsoft pops preview of 'biggest, most ambitious' Office yet

Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

I hope you are aware that the vast majority of computers sold over the past few years have been laptops, not desktops

This is not true. For the last few years more notebooks than desktops have been sold but the split is close to 60:40, i.e. in no way "the vast majority".

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Eurozone crisis hits pay TV: Punters pick broadband over telly

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not surprising

The comparison is always with the US which is actually the odd one out in not having a licence fee, which was pioneered in Britain but quickly adopted elsewhere as a compromise between some notional degree of state control (no media free for all or digital tabloids) and limited state interference (the government doesn't make the programmes).

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Who wrote this tripe?

Ideally the Telenor and GET homes should be merged into a single viable cable operator, owning 878,000 pay TV homes, out of the 2.2 million total TV homes in Norway and the 1.6 million pay TV homes, but of course Norway's regulator could not agree a deal like that, which would cede over 50 per cent of the pay TV market to a single company.

What is ideal about such a merger? How would customers or content makers benefit?

And it is this impossibility of getting a solution to the Pay TV balance in Scandinavia that legislates...

What? Scandinavia is not a legal entity; Norway is not in the EU which complicates cross-border deals; oh, and how the fuck can an "impossibility" ever draught laws?

The company is just a few weeks away from completing on its deal to spend $4 billion on its second German cable operator Kabel BW, and although it has also sold its stake in Austar for $1.1 billion in Austra- lia, the company has a reputation for buying cheap rising assets and selling not expensive falling assets, not the other way around, and with the prevalent low ARPU in Poland, this would be buying more trouble, and we don‟t see it, not unless any particular cable assets be- comes extremely stressed, not unlikely with the current debt scarcity, and sell for almost nothing.

Let's ignore the lack of clarity about spending and debt ratio throughout the article, though Liberty Media's debt to cash ratio does sound alarming, and concentrate on this single, breathless stream of thoughtlessness, sentence. Do we think the author ever read it back to himself? If he did, he might have noticed the hyphens left in from the press release.

Back to the facts: the Polish economy is doing well and a low ARPU might be expected to rise. The German economy has been doing very well but is due to cool a bit. Not, that that the state of the economy has much to do with pay-tv subscriptions, which have held up pretty well in America and Italy. Sky has invested heavily in Germany, particularly in the rights for football and is gambling that Germans are as keen to pay to watch football as the Brits. A theory that has yet to be demonstrated in 20 odd years of practice. The ramifications of the EU ruling on showing matches licensed for one country in another must also be factored into this equation.

In fact Germany, like Scandinavia, has good broadband which is constantly getting better (50 MB/s will soon be entry-level in cities) which favours a more fragmented OTT pay-per-view model over the plethora of hard to distinguish me-too cable channels. Convenience and cost-control over choice.

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Microsoft to announce new Office version on Monday

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Ribbion

They could always try triangles!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What else? I'm exited about this release!

Points deducted for the typo or did you really want to "exit"?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I like Ribbon

I'm an intermittent user. It baffles the crap out of me. I had no problem with Word 2. It's only acquaintances who use it a lot who seem to like it.

One thing I have noticed is that it degrades disgracefully by hiding things behind arrows. Full screen 1600 x to half-screen (for document next to document comparison). Dreadful.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll follow the Windows 8 trend

You've got to find the fucking thing first! I'm still stuck in the "Start" menu/ribbon/dildo. I can do all kinds of things not related to "start" like format text, but save the damn stuff? No chance!

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US county named 'area of outstanding natural stupidity'

Charlie Clark
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Some errors

A friend of mine in Washington State asked me to set the record straight. Apparently not all this happened in Kitsap county The wrecking yard incident was actually in Belfair, Mason County and the order of the events is wrong. But on the positive side we can add the following to the Kitsap tally:

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/dec/27/murder-suicide-victims-were-brothers/

But his vote would also go to Florida for a LOONS award...

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Metro, that ribbon, shared mailboxes: Has Microsoft lost the plot?

Charlie Clark
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Re: When is Ballmer going to be put out to pasture?

I don't think he'll be given a year. The two quarterly reports following a Win 8 launch ought to be decisive. Given the lack of dramatic success with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is going to need some big, poster child success with Windows 8 tablets to convince investors that it has got the right strategy.

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Tablets, copycats and Weird Al Yankovic

Charlie Clark
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Missing the point

The judge's comment has pulled the rug out from under Apple or perhaps more accurately, the curtain from in front of the wizard. Apple may be "cool" but this is an entirely subjective judgement and no defence in court. It gave the judge his fifteen minutes of fame but it is the precedent set by his judgement that will be remembered years from now.

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Disable Gadgets NOW says Redmond

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Ijeets

Gadgets were just another "me too" feature that MS copied from Apple in Vista. While the basic idea making it easy to have customised and easy to install front-ends to web services has merits, it never made a great deal of sense as a programming paradigm for an operating system.

Things have changed since then with the move towards a lasting plurality of platforms making platform-independent programming more valuable. The web run times have come on in leaps and bounds, but the fundamental principle of putting these things in the best sandbox you can come up with has not changed and Microsoft's insistence on embedding the browser runtime into the OS is as misplaced now as it ever was.

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US mulls outlawing rival product bans using standards patents

Charlie Clark
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Oh please...

Did I read this right?

"Incorporating patented technologies into standards has the potential to distort competition by enabling SEP owners to negotiate high royalty rates and other favourable terms, after a standard is adopted, that they could not credibly demand beforehand,"

That would mean an end to the MPEG cartel which is all about filling standards full of patents.

Yeah, right. Ain't gonna happen.

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Watch out, Apple: HTC ruling could hurt your patent income

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hear, hear!

No, but it does allow companies to import via the UK to any other EU or EFTA member. Any attempt to prevent that would be seen as a barrier to trade within the internal market and likely to bring the Commission down on it like a ton of bricks.

The judgement can be appealed but is also likely to be read in other countries. Although, the courts are free from political intervention in most EU countries, they are generally bound to follow political imperatives when deciding which cases to accept. Having your case thrown out so clearly in one member state might be seen as a precedent and encourage courts in others to view the case somewhat sceptically, though it can never be ruled out that another court views the matter in another light. The chequered history of different interpretations of the law in England and Scotland has plenty examples of that.

If the judgement is appealed at a European level, of course, it might lead to a EU wide ruling. An appeal would have to have good grounds to overturn the initial judgement. Apple might prefer to leave the matter somewhat moot rather than have the patents invalidated at the European level as that would almost certainly count as precedent in other jurisdictions.

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Geek darling GitHub nabs $100m investment

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wait, what?

Maybe such features are just around the corner? Poke me, you know you want to.

Personally I much prefer Bitbucket's T&C's over GitHub's, especially about indemnification. And I don't have to use git there but I could if I wanted to.

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Apple unveils tightened Mountain Lion requirements

Charlie Clark
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Re: WTF?

I have a similar vintage Mac Mini which serves as my backup machine in case this MacBook Pro develops any of the heart-stopping hardware faults that its predecessor did. Fortunately, that has so far not been the case and at least the DVD reader in the Mini is showing those disturbing signs of imminent death that retirement might need to be considered.

As to Moutain Lion: will it address the terrible stalling whenever TimeMachine wants to do something that came with Snow Leopard? Will it fix the awful bugs introduced to the Bluetooth stack in Lion that mean lots of headsets don't work properly? Apple rightly has a reputation for quality and attention to detail but when they do have bugs they can be real stinkers!

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UK judge hands Samsung win for being 'not as cool' as iPad

Charlie Clark
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Re: Looking for a new job methinks

No, the point may have been: it's a great device and well-designed but there are limits as to how much a "simple design" can be protected.

The judge has come close to damning Apples "magical and revolutionary" device by faint praise and diplomatically thrown the case out.

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Charlie Clark
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No law required

The European Commission has already indicated that it views this kind of lawsuit and patent/trademark tourism as a possible barrier to trade in the single market. It's certainly possible that this might lead to only being allowed to make a single case in the whole of the EU with some safeguards to stop companies seeking out favourable courts as they apparently do in America.

I can see some of the silliness being moved to the WTO as has happened in the airline industry.

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Samsung: World LOVES our chips 'n' mobes – expect a record quarter

Charlie Clark
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Stock prices

Or maybe investors have started to have serious doubts...

Or maybe it's just a bad day at the exchange. Most indices are suffering today. Not that really matters to all the "analysts" and "investors" who are so often blithely referred to.

Long-term it has been demonstrated to be better to invest in a company that regularly pays dividends than in one whose stock tends to rise. Real jam now versus possibly more jam tomorrow.

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Charlie Clark
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Computers

What terrible nightmares of the future!

Any fule no that there is only one real supercomputer: the mighty Orac.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orac_(Blake's_7)

Blinking lights and pedantic!

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Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Not 100% of apps running?

From Wikipedia:

There have been a few reports of users having lag on the 3GS running iOS 5. However, general consensus has shown that the performance on the 3GS has not been hit with iOS 5

Anecdotally. a friend of mine confirmed this and complained bitterly at the speed of app updates being released that required IOS 5.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Does AnTuTu use JNI/NDK?

Yes. And this is the crux of the problem for Intel: in order to get into the market it has to come with emulation so that people can run existing apps at reasonable speeds but this itself is a disincentive for developers to port any ARM code to x86.

x86 is considerably better at rendering websites than ARM but it also uses more power to do so. The move in ICS to GPU for this significantly reduces this advantage, though I don't know how the power comparison shapes up.

All in all, the phone sounds like an impressive achievement and is competitively priced enough to get the kind of sales needed for more. But, without any real USP for manufacturers to switch from ARM to x86, it does beg the question as to how long Intel will be prepared to subsidise the market with development and marketing support and sweeteners.

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't celebrate just yet, folks

He's right, in that the Commission has the right and perhaps even the obligation to continue to try and get such international legislation passed. He also goes on to say:

Second, once we will have identified and discussed these possible clarifications, I would intend to make a second request for consent to the European Parliament. Whether the Parliament will consider it under this legislature or the subsequent one, will be for you to decide.

ie. the treaty would need amendment before being resubmitted to the European Parliament.

Of course, the rejection is also an instruction to the Commission to start renegotiating the treaty without waiting for the Court to publish its opinion.

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Charlie Clark
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It's not the court...

... .it's the European Parliament. But from your statement I assume you also think that the caps on mobile phone roaming charges were also a bad idea?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Dickhead

It's not just the UK that has adopted the European law into national law. Other countries were even faster. As for enforcement the ICO has made it pretty clear that it won't be targeting small websites.

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Charlie Clark
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Judicial Review

Was initially asked for by parts of the European Parliament many months ago but refused by the Commission which was confident it could railroad through the secret legislation. Secret legislation is intrinsically undemocratic. The treaty will be unbundled to handle trademark and copyright separately an be renegotiated, hopefully in public, and might have a chance of succeeding.

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Security boffins brew devilish Android rootkit

Charlie Clark
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Re: ... which is why...

there would be no greater risk in ebanking on a mobile than there is on a PC or a MAC.

If that is suppose to reassure people using PCs and Macs for online banking then it shouldn't. They are just as vulnerable to clickjacking as this attack.

100 % safe isn't possible with online banking but using hardware encryption like HBCI which separates authentication entirely from the OS, is reasonable.

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EC competition concerns stall UK's superfast broadband plans

Charlie Clark
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German example

Deutsche Telekom was given the incentive of a time-limited monopoly to exploit FTTH and, thus, recoup investment costs. This is essentially the same model as for toll roads and bridges and is, thus, perfectly okay in Europe as long as the tendering process is okay. Wholesale access is, as far as I know, available but not under same conditions as DSL connections are. This is fair enough as most of the cable-laying for the DSL infrastructure was done years ago and paid for by the state.

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Will Android, HTML5 tempt tabloid tablet tyrant Rupert Murdoch?

Charlie Clark
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er

Didn't El Reg recently cover how IBM is moving to HTML 5 for the Wimbledon stuff?

Certainly for publishing content HTML 5 is already the choice of many using things like Adobe's offerings. It might get embedded in a minimalist native app for controlling distribution and charging but the content is all HTML 5 as publishers have finally realised that mobile devices are less limited than desktop browsers. Add to this the commercial imperative of not paying for another billing system and the case is pretty clear.

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Google+ takes on a location element as it pushes deeper into iPhone

Charlie Clark
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In the future

If this sounds like a silly question then maybe it is. What happens to Google Maps once Apple has implemented it itself? Is is then banned from IOS because "it duplicates functionality already provided"? If so, and I have no idea whether this is the case, that would surely be an interesting case for the competition authorities.

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Second win for Apple as Galaxy Nexus sales banned in US

Charlie Clark
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Factual error

Google too aren't going to be happy with the ruling either. It had high hopes for the handset and handed out 6,000 of them at this week's I/O developer's conference as a platform for people to design applications around.

Google was handing out the Nexus 7, a different device produced by Asus and not Samsung, at the conference and not covered by this court case.

No one likes to be shut out of a market but historically the US market for mobile phones has been distinct. In the years where Nokia reigned supreme, it had only a paltry market share in the US. Initially, sales of the I-Phone in the US did allow Apple to kick start the app and content eco-system but now the US market is neither numerically nor financially as important as it was a few years ago as the effects of commodifying the hardware and focussing on software ripple through the industry.

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Nexus 7 and Surface: A bonanza for landfill miners

Charlie Clark
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Spot on.

My Samsung Galaxy (8.9) has a higher resolution and is noticeably lighter than an IPad 2. It has better connectivity - I use DNLA, SMB, HDMI and an SD card, though the last two require adapters. I can choose which apps can open which files, e.g. Adobe Acrobat or the E-Book reader for PDFs and I use Adobe Proto for work and it's become my main personal music player.

I've seen an I-Pad in action: yes, the display is silkier but notifications and widgets are better on mine as is the default e-mail client. There are more apps for IOS, though few that I really missed apart from The Economist. But even that changed last night, no surprise methinks. Google must have lobbied publishers pretty hard.

Lots of people love their I-Pads with good reason but I have friends who complain about the restrictions imposed and who are planning to make their next device an Android. Though, it would be just as much a mistake to extrapolate too much from their sentiment as Andrew is from his. And, Andrew famously got the emergency of the I-Phone wrong.

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Google claims Chrome is the world's most popular browser

Charlie Clark
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Re: There's still China

In continental Europe, and especially Germany, Firefox very much does hold sway. It's about 50 % for a large corporate site I know.

That said, SiteCounters' metrics are not reliable because they are very piecemeal. Aggregates coming from Google Analytics, Adobe or Webtrends or other large providers are likely to be more representative. The stats that I have access to have about a three-way split for Chrome (all versions), IE 8, IE 9 and Firefox (all versions) for the world. Chrome has gone up about 10 % in a year on those metrics.

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Panasonic chief says no to low-cost OLED TVs

Charlie Clark
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Been wrong before

Panasonic bet heavily on plasma, which while the pictures are arguably better than LCD, are the smaller player. Even though power consumption doesn't seem to sway many it's worth bearing in mind that 100 Watt difference is about € 70 per year, assuming an average of 4 hours daily use.

Just as with LCD, OLED will benefit from economies of scale but is set to benefit even more so from the "additive manufacturing" technique based on the work from Dupont and others that's already licensed. It's going to need to be as well because of the still unsolved problem of OLED ageing.

Regarding upgrading - OLED screens combine the beautiful blacks of plasma with LCDs low power. The colours tend to be slightly oversaturated but you can, of course, control that. Even though I've only recently bought a beautiful LCD screen I would definitely consider trading it for a comparable OLED under € 3000.

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Price Waterhouse Cooper: Only mobile comms can SAVE HUMANITY

Charlie Clark
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Re: Mobile?

He's from PWC so, of course, he knows nothing about things actually work, just how to charge companies large amounts of money for wasting their time.

As long as there is added value in any of these services, then there is a business model for the infrastructure as the networks in Africa, India and even Afghanistan demonstrate. In Ghana, the government has even started using the same model for collecting revenue. Governments sometimes have no choice but to take a backseat approach to such developments which risks encouraging monopolies. So, regulation and good governance are probably more important that investment programmes, though shared infrastructure (government-owned or contracted towers and backhaul with operator cells) will probably more common as the technology becomes more ubiquitous and standardised.

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Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

Charlie Clark
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+1 for Google

They really are coming on in leaps and bounds. I think the Nexus 7 is an attempt to kickstart the market for publishers on Android which has been very sluggish, especially for pads. Google, like Amazon, happy to be a loss-leader in the device market. It's small enough to leave room for other partners to release larger, added value versions and building it with Asus should put paid to the myth that Motorola Mobility is some kind of preferred partner.

Jelly Bean seems to be underlining on the software side what the hardware side has been showing for the last few months: technological superiority over IOS. The graphics rewrite is long overdue and the key area where IOS has been ahead of Android. Offline voice recognition is very impressive.

The Nexus Q looks like a vanity project, which is why they were also giving them away. Might be interesting to see what people come up with. I'm currently looking for some kind of home media system and have not yet seen anything that would really do. I can see a cut-down version of the Nexus Q being it.

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Charlie Clark
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You forgot to add that it isn't even a distro. Still, more likely to be the future of consumer-facing linux but one without stupid fucking penguins and silly licensing. Wouldn't surprise me to see them even swap the kernel for something else.

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Breaking: Megaupload seizures illegal says NZ High Court

Charlie Clark
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Re: Illegal or not... The raid had the "desired" effect...

Now that there is a precedent I think you'll find they're likely to spring back into action but might have some tougher T&Cs and use of GeoIP to restrict access from the US.

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Mensch pal Bozier defends Menshn security, dubs critics 'snippy geeks'

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Buy British!

A special thanks to the EU for another pointless piece of bureaucracy.

Yeah, that safe harbour thing, which prevents the FBI, the CIA, and pretty much anyone with letterhead paper from taking a peep without a warrant at your database is just "another point piece of bureaucracy".

I guess I wouldn't mind if this was just Silicon Roundabout but just like toast falls butter-side down, these fools might be involved in policy making at some point...

Meanwhile from the basement:

4.17 [#/sec] (mean)

The competition must be quaking in their boots.

Dear El Reg, is this going to be the article with the most fails ever?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: twucker.com

Pity it isn't a real service. :-( That would be my kind of network.

Might make a summer project out of it. You can't post anything unless you've got two ticks. Fortunately, for really important stuff you can simply leak the information.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: site down

I'm not sure that will even be necessary. It looks like it's PHP + MySQL so, unless there's connection pooling and a good DBA around, max connections will be an issue pretty quickly and someone will need to add a lot of indices by hand if they don't want queries to die the agonising death of file scans.

Ouch, and before anyone asks, this isn't hacking or DoS.

ab -n 1000 -c 10 http://www.menshn.com/

This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $>

Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/

Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/

Benchmarking www.menshn.com (be patient)

apr_socket_recv: Operation timed out (60)

Total of 33 requests completed

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: site down

14:43 it's down again.

I wonder if this hasn't been stolen from a future "In The Thick Of It" script? You can just imagine Malcolm Tucker and his adversary setting up rival social networks...

The icon is for the bozos who set this up.

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Google brings HD sneezing pandas to UK: But why?

Charlie Clark
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Yebbut, nobut...

You can also see it as a way for manufacturers to outsource the often terrible UIs and remote controls. Take the user part of the OS out of the telly and give it an API. Control all the house's telly with one device and incidentally make wireless streaming between devices even easier. After all this is what Apple TV does.

I can see people going for the remote alone on this. While I like my Philips remote control and DNLA works pretty well, it's useless for searching: while music has bands, albums and genres films are just one long list.

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Why the Windows Phone 8 digi-wallet is different to the others

Charlie Clark
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Damning by faint praise

Windows Phone 8 provides a consistent interface, not a competing service, and that could be as critical as any other feature Windows Phone can boast.

Nicely done, Bill, tucked down at the bottom you point out that Windows Phone 8 does little to suggest that it will be any more successful than Windows Phone 7. Plus, it's still vapourware, while Google is already out there gaining experience and signing up customers. Apple, meanwhile, is pressing ahead with its own NFC-free, gatekeeper system. Again, gaining experience, educating punters and acquiring customers.

While I'm a great fan of NFC for all kinds of things, I reckon that payment by NFC is a bit like the new videophone: touted by all kinds of vested interests but greeted with a shrug of the shoulders by consumers. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that, as soon as my wallet is my phone, it's even more likely to be stolen? I like paying the banks to provide reasonably secure infrastructure: cash machines, payment terminals, etc. It means I don't have to assume the responsibility for securing them myself.

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Renewables good for 80 per cent of US demand by 2050

Charlie Clark
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Re: ok - if you believe this

Apart from the smart meter - not available here but I'm not that convinced by them - I already do. My electricity is supposedly* 100 % renewable and costs the same as the other sort.

* Unless I'm directly connected only to renewable sources this isn't possible but my provider is obliged to buy and, more importantly, provision from renewable sources. We're already at nearly 20 % renewables here: http://www.swd-ag.de/privatkunden/strom/stromkennzeichnung.php (in German).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I am against "renewable" power.

if you actually THINK for a moment, actually impact the environment DIRECTLY.

You've got to love the power of fallacious appeals to common sense, it's what makes American political debate so utterly full of spurious shit. You, sir, are clown of the week.

Houses, office buildings, roads. bridges, dams, ships, ports, oil rigs, etc. all affect the local winds and tides. Then there's farming and forestry. Or didn't farming had anything to do with the 1930s dustbowl?

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No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it

Charlie Clark
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Re: When channels show ads

I've noticed that all channels seem to do adverts at the same time

Ever since there has been commercial television this has been known as "the chicken race": the first channel to launch the break is going to lose the greatest number of viewers. This behaviour is well-understood and measurable unlike most of what the article covers.

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El Reg official units of measurement: Linguine, Jubs, Hiltons and all

Charlie Clark
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Re: Units of Time

Bugger that! Time is obviously defined relative to the time it takes to down a pint of non-fizzy beer. This allows for relativity making Mondays very slow, lunchtimes too fast, and an excuse to knock-off early on a Friday so that you can "recalibrate your watch!"

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LinkedIn faces class action suit over password leak

Charlie Clark
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And your point is?

The main point of the legal case is to establish guilt, presumably of negligence.

"Injury" is a legal term and covers al manner of things including inconvenience. Whilst I agree that the case may indeed be opportunistic I do think it a perfectly reasonable use of the class action legislation so that once the legal points have been decided further individual cases are not required. I'm ambivalent as to whether I want the case to set a precedent in this. Technically, I think that LinkedIn is guilty of sloppy programming and basically negligence - a bit like a builder skimping on cement in the concrete. But I'm also aware that some of the sites I have worked on myself in the past don't have the best security. However, I suspect the case will spend most of its time worrying about how the data was obtained.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Definitions - are you sure?

Yes, I am sure, seeing as I said "salt or system [for generating a salt]". Because it's systematic it's never arbitrary.

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