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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2720 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft Surface: Designed to win, priced to fail

Charlie Clark
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Re: What's wrong with Pages, Numbers and Keynote?

The Office market wants a full fat Office and is prepared to pay for it that's why they give IOS works such short shrift. Softmaker Office for Android got a very good review but is still not good enough. Office for IOS/Android is potentially a huge market for MS if only they could get their head out of their arse. Be interesting to know how many units they've pencilled in to sell this quarter.

Good analysis of the Surface and the market it's facing.

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Carphone Warehouse lauds Nexus 7 while eagerly eying iPad Mini

Charlie Clark
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Re: Never seen

I've never seen anyone use a non-iPad tablet. Literally never, I don't even know anyone who owns one or has thought of owning one.

Thanks for your input on this… This tells us lots about you and nothing about the market.

Google's similarly poor performance in the tablet market.

You mean the advertiser who also sells ads to people using I-pads?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 7inch Tablet Paah!!

OLED on a screen that big would cost a fortune.

The LTE version of the 7.7 here is € 260. Even € 500 for an OLED 8.9 would be fine for me. As I'm very happy with my 8.9 but currently thinking about replacing my Wave with an SIII mini and a Kobo Glo to replace the Sony I lost, a new tablet can wait till they refresh their lineup. My guess is a scaled-down version of the Note 10.1. If it has OLED then I'll be buying one.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 7inch Tablet Paah!!

Possibly, but it's also priced completely differently.

Me, I love the form factor of the my Samsung Tab 8.9 but would prefer it to be OLED, of course. Much as I like good all-in-ones I think there is room for phone + e-ink device + tablet.

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Gartner spells out magic behind quadrants

Charlie Clark
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Re: gartner...talking bollox for money

Maybe the monkeys only too happy to pay them to do so?

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft turns 15 while spying on Saturn

Charlie Clark
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Re: Scanned Signatures

Can you clever and responsible kindly leave this forum to us opinionated and ill-informed idiots? ;-)

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Ukraine navy to deploy DOLPHINS WITH GUNS ON THEIR HEADS

Charlie Clark
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Well, it's a start

But without frikkin' lasers this bid to take over the world is doomed!

I wonder if trying to train animals for this kind of job is akin to training children as soldiers?

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Sky support dubs Germany 'Hitler's country'

Charlie Clark
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Re: You'll fit right in

I once mortally offended a German airport official by hanging out too long in the Bakery…

You mean you arrived after the gate had closed? Then they don't have to let you on at all. And being punctual has as much to do with not paying fines on missing start times as it does with keeping business class customers sweet. My guess is that you were lucky being in Hannover which is a small and, therefore, more flexible airport.

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NURSES' natural DESIRES to be SATISFIED, by technology

Charlie Clark
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Technology for technology's sake

Who is it who makes them fill out the forms in the first place? One thing the Tories have consistently managed to do in meddling with the NHS is increase the bureaucracy. While some bureaucracy is essential for quality assurance, most of it has been about making it easier to make pretty charts in Whitehall.

They could put the money into more schemes like at Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham, couldn't they? Of course not! Silly me, where would be the kickbacks there? More digipens and machines that go ping!

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Apple to drop chip-baking partnership with Samsung?

Charlie Clark
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Anecdotal evidence

At least here in Germany the I-Phone 5 seems to be getting a lukewarm reception. In my local shopping centre the Telekom shop was empty while the S3-LTE toting Vodafone was quite busy; in Media Markt interest was reasonably well divided across all kinds of phones with the most important question I picked up - "do you have any other colours?" - this about an HTC One S. Previous releases, including the hardly spectacular 4S, have lead to much brisker business around the Apple products. Time will tell, and I suspect Apple is pushing direct, online sales over channel, but it wouldn't surprise me if I-Phone 5 sales outside America are down on expectations, though they may be up year-on-year as I-Phone 3 owners trade up.

However, QA is obviously a problem. The fanboi in my local fish shop complained about regular crashes on in 4S since the IOS 6 update and that he will be downgraded. He also confirmed that the maps app was much worse than Google maps. If Apple's extraordinarily good customer service acts promptly probably none of this will matter - solving Antennagate by giving people yet another way to customise their phones was a masterstroke that might be hard to repeat - but if they lasting damage may be done to Apple's image, at least in the eyes of their early adopters, the tech-savvy. Again, that might not matter as the vast majority of Apple's current customers are buying a lifestyle or fashion accessory. Expect more colours if that is the case.

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Charlie Clark
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re. faster

Fastest phone is the one with the most optimal software, OS and compiler software.

er, not quite. Hardware is still very important and Apple has very good hardware. The CPUs in the I-Phone 5 are pretty much on a par with other phones but it has 3 GPUs which puts it head and shoulders above the rest in graphics benchmarks.

But it also matters what you're testing for: web page rendering needs good single-thread performance which is why Apple again but also x86-based systems come out top.

The compiler is important but to pretend that Apple only use GCC when they have contributed heavily to LLVM, CLANG and OpenCL is worse than disingenuous. In fact being able to shift workloads so effectively onto the GPU is one of the things which makes Apple devices so impressive in the power/battery life comparisons. Microsoft is late to this particular party and Intel doesn't do GPUs that come anywhere close to PowerVR, Mali, nVidia, etc. in power/battery life.

The OS is important but also the amount of native versus managed code that apps are allowed to run. IIRC WinRT is all managed, presumably apart from MS only apps, so like pure Dalvik apps there will be a performance hit due to the VM, though mileage may vary depending on how good the JIT is. Apple does not allow other the browsers that use the Webkit engine to access hardware acceleration (GPU) for scrolling and stuff but javascript benchmarks should be comparable.

I don't own, and don't intend to own, an Apple phone or tablet but I'm prepared to recognise classy hardware for what it is. As it stands the I-Phone 5 is possibly 1 generation ahead of the competition (better GPU performance and power/weight ratio). I don't expect that advantage to last more than six months but that has never really matter to Apple's customers.

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Surprise! Microsoft patches latest IE10 Flash vulns on time

Charlie Clark
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Re: LOL

@JDX, or should we call you "Mr Orelly"?

If they didn't produce as many security holes then they wouldn't have to work so hard fixing them.

Wonder what the liability is on this kind of patch? Browser maker "bakes" plugin into the executable; vulnerability is discovered in the plugin and patched by the plugin maker… how long before browser maker can be held liable for exploits?

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HTC profits lobbed off a cliff by rivals Samsung and Apple

Charlie Clark
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Simples

I would like an HTC with Android 4, an AMOLED screen and removable SD. Oh, they don't do one. It'll have to be a Samsung then.

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10 million iPad minis to 'outshine' their big brother this quarter

Charlie Clark
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Flame

Samsung launch October 11th

Many reckon it's an SIII mini which I think would suit me and many others just fine.

In tablet news the Galaxy 8.9 with LTE is available for € 260. I have the 8.9 HSPA and can confirm that it is pleasantly light. The 16:10 screen is great for media consumption but also perfectly usable for other stuff.

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Assange chums must cough up £93,500 bail over embassy lurk

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hmm

They haven't got away with it, have they? Not paying a court bond is not as trivial as not paying a parking fine.

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Perth porkfest crowned ULTIMATE BACON SARNIE

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Heresy

let's all agree that the Church of Bacon is a liberal and accommodating faith, and its doors are always open to those who worship the divine sliced pork, however they choose to indulge their passion.

What including the bagel-munching heretics? Never! Death to them all.

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Not so fast, T-Mobile: Sprint may bid for MetroPCS

Charlie Clark
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Compatibility

As has been widely reported MetroPCS LTE is complementary to T-Mobile's technology: it gives T-Mobile a leg up in LTE in metropolitan areas and the CDMA switch in 2014/15 has already been announced when the spectrum can be repurposed.

Sprint has a large WiMax (also called 4G) user base and WiMax and LTE are less compatible than the various flavours of UMTS based on CDMA and GSM for which SoC already exist. In any case for the network the costs are largely related to upgrading base stations and not handsets as that costs is passed on to the customer. Does anyone know if Sprint still have any of Nextel's completely incompatible iDEN stuff in the network?

T-Mobile's deal is debt free and as the listing will be of MetroPCS lets Deutsche Telekom easily sell equity without losing control. The numbers are clearly on the side of the T-Mobile deal but when has that ever mattered to the telecoms or it-business? Sprint could pursue a bid strategy in an attempt to jack up the price and thus wound a competitor but that would only really benefit the AT&T and Verizon duopoly. If Sprint is looking for a partner it should be looking for one with a nice dowry to help pay down the debt and build out the network. How about tying up with Telmex?

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Social Bikes inks deal with AT&T to stalk pedal-pushers

Charlie Clark
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meh

The ones round here have normal locks and are a pain in the arse because they seem to use most of the available cycle racks. Maintenance (flat tyre, etc.) and redistribution of the bikes is the key not simply finding them.

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Mobe app makers doubt Windows 8 will be worth the hassle - poll

Charlie Clark
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Re: Android is the largest platform!

As with many such polls it suffers from the lack of "do what I do, not what I say" analysis. There's a nice technical term for this but basically it's easy to ask any group of people intelligent questions and get contradictory answers. Apple provided a good development platform with excellent support and provided a huge shop window of the apps to customers happy to spend lots of money: apps quickly replace dial tones and case mods as the way to personalise and flaunt.

Microsoft should surely be able to lever the large developer base if the tools and publishing are good. Fragmentation is far less of a problem on Android than many people make out which should be both encouraging for Microsoft: the same code should indeed be able to run on WinRT and WinX86 devices and different form factors. But, because fragmentation isn't such a problem, then it is just as much an opportunity for Android developers to move to new form factors as they become available: e.g. Softmaker already has a full office suite for Android and Adobe is busy covering all its bases. The real battle will be when the first full fat Android notebooks appear.

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Is Oracle squeezing the MySQL lemon too hard?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Fuck community, what about the bottom line?

Nothing has changed for Java which is as open source as never. Oracle has recognised the fact that Dalvik has cannibalised the consumer market and tried but failed to stop it. Corporate customers are stuck with Oracle's roadmap just as they were with Sun's.

Companies are making money of the back of Illumos and getting it to do really useful things for large data centres. There is no upsell there for Oracle.

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Charlie Clark
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Fuck community, what about the bottom line?

This article is so sanctimonious it's ridiculous. Oracle won't give much of a shit about losing market share if the people it loses were never paying anyway. MySQL always had a "freemium" model but as it was always a shitty DB most people with businesses to bet left it well alone. If Oracle is now providing additional but useful and reliable features at a price then there are likely to be businesses willing to pay for it. Those paying customers now, in theory at least, get more attention from the vendor who can look at ways of cross-selling and upselling to them; possibly even a win-win situation if you consider that Oracle got as big and profitable as it is by selling what people think they want.

Anyway, MySQL is a bit of a sideshow. Where Oracle really did drop the ball and may well live to regret it is the way it handled OpenSolaris.

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US court lifts ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

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

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

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Microsoft releases JavaScript alternative

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can't watch the video

You've misunderstood how this works.

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

This actually compiles to Javascript

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

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

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Can't watch the video

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

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

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Sharp punches out über-retina phone screen

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Satellite

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

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

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Vote now for the ULTIMATE BACON SARNIE

Charlie Clark
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Re: Do You Know The Muffin Man

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

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

But bagels and baguettes? Begorah!

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Google, Microsoft butt heads in browser benchmark battle

Charlie Clark
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Capriotti or Cipriotti or separated at birth?

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Why Oracle must kiss goodbye to its database past

Charlie Clark
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Pic from twitter says it all

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

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

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Polish Samsung Galaxy S IIIs first to scoff Jelly Bean update

Charlie Clark
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Re: can't resist

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

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

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Now Apple cuts back on Samsung displays

Charlie Clark
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Dropping phones

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

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

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

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Microsoft issues emergency IE bug patch

Charlie Clark
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Re: Suffering

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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@ Jordan

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

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

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

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Apple iPhone 5 review

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

16:9

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: First sentence wound me up immediatly

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

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Huh?

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

Oh, the irony!

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W3C reveals plan to finish HTML5 and HTML 5.1

Charlie Clark
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W3C in plea for relevancy

WHATWG rules! NFT

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

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

... try living in the Italian countryside sometime

@ Sean

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Now get out of that...

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Arghhh

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Arghhh

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

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

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

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

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Microsoft promises two-step IE fix

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just fix it quick please

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

For the sake of completeness you left out Safari.

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

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Ouch!

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

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ouch!

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Ouch!

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

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Wobbly swipe reader Square gulps down another $200m

Charlie Clark
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Re: Valley Capitalism at its finest

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Err?

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

They presumably expect they can be bribed just as usual.

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UK.gov squatting on £1bn IPv4 motherlode

Charlie Clark
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Re: The tip of the iceberg

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

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

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RIPE NCC handing out last European IPv4 addresses

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

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

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