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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2258 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Developers get new IE10 for Windows 8 preview

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Still shit

IE 10 preview was useful when you could install it on a running system. Having to install a whole VM *just* to play with the browser is such a hurdle that I think that many like me just won't bother. And, lo, IE is becoming increasingly irrelevant: there's already so many things that not even IE 9 does well that people are moving to other browsers and from where they are unlikely to move back. Lots of corporate are Windows 7 + IE 8 + A.N.Other browser. Stats from a large site I know of are: IE 9 is about 10 % worldwide but has hardly grown since the spring; IE 8 is still king of the heap at around 25 % worldwide but down around 10 % since the spring, most of whom seem to have gone to Chrome.

Initially MS indicated a release of IE 10 in the autumn of this year but since they decided to roll it into Windows 8 the fail whale has definitely arrived. The hardware acceleration in IE 10 is impressive only until you realise it is currently of very little relevance outside demo-space: sites are not going to go back to "works best in IE", because it would seriously fuck off influential tablet strokers, so hardware accelerated games (and ads) will have to wait for broad browser support. By the time IE 10 is released, no doubt with the stupid rider "works best with Windows 8" - why else would they be tying the development of the two together? - it will be available and good enough for Opera, Firefox and Chrome and maybe even Safari (I think it already is for the I-toys).

In the meantime, and independent of their version numbering schemes, Opera, Firefox and Chrome continue to trailblaze with interesting new extensions for HTML, CSS (paged media, yay!) and JS and are available in the real world for developers to work with. This is the only way to make sure that future standards are any use. Pity that MS still hasn't understood this.

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Gone in a Flash: Adobe's long march to HTML5

Charlie Clark
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Adobe makes money with tools

Adobe can charge oodles for Photoshop because it gets the job done. The file format is an afterthought. I suppose they're a bit less open with PDF, but again it's the infrastructure rather than the runtime from which they make their money.

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Charlie Clark
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FWIW the easiest way to copy & paste large bits of text from a paste bin actually requires Flash.

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Consumer interest in Windows 8 tablets slumps

Charlie Clark
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They could already be too late. Now that corporates have figured out how to lock down and, if necessary remote wipe, the tablets they are ordering them in large numbers. Sales reps need SAP/Salesforce/etc. not Office.

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It's the ALL NEW FUTURISTIC WEAPONS Black Friday Roundup!

Charlie Clark
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Lovely article, Lewis: informative, well-written and amusing. You're wasted on us and should be writing the next James Bond or something.

PS. is that video about LCITS genuine? The Medusa thing looks too barmy to have been made up in a satire.

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Google bows before Europe for Motorola's hand in marriage

Charlie Clark
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Google is not full stack

What you suggest may suit Apple which wants complete control but not 100 % market share. They are simply not interested ARPU of less than USD 100 which is way above what you can expect from mobile phones at the moment - last check I made was about USD 30 and still falling.

Google wants to be on everyone's device all the time so one network just isn't enough. As it is they are on pretty much everyone's network for the relatively cheap investment of 4 years Android development. T-Mobile would cost around USD 30 thousand million just to purchase and requires extensive investment to remain competitive, which is why it's being sold in the first place.

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US Martian nuke-truck launches without a hitch, but...

Charlie Clark
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Standard units

What's with all this "feet, metres, pounds of thrust" malarky? No one on the Reg can understand a word of what you mean! Please rephrase using standard units, ta.

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Microsoft to offer dual upgrade path for Windows 8

Charlie Clark
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"Extra levels"

Sounds good. Do you get special ammo and stuff? And what do we do with all our XP?

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Russian diplomat caught driving while 15 TIMES over booze limit

Charlie Clark
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What limit? Or are you referring to the minimum required in order to be considered safe in charge of a vehicle.

As for the ISO designation - it has to be a Yeltsin memory of a toper of outstanding, er, qualities!

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Apple boots MacBook Air wannabes out of slim case fabs

Charlie Clark
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Why in China?

If the things are all made in machines then the cheapest source is that closes to the point of distribution. So, basically, I don't believe the assertion that all these factories are in China.

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Despite Android lead, iOS devs slurp scads more mazuma

Charlie Clark
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Totally misleading

Elsewhere El Reg has posted stats on needing to be in the Top 50 or 100 to make any cash. Quite a lot of those are developers for multiple platforms. Good luck to all those in niche markets able to make a buck!

Nevertheless, I think app pricing is an interesting example of the discovery of fair pricing in action. Quite obviously the fruitbats are extending their over spend on a physical device to its ornamentation much in the same way that people used to buy new covers or ringtones to, ahem, "personalise" their phone. I suspect that Android's sheer size and momentum will encourage a reversion to the mean.

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Groupon offer burns cupcake baker’s profits

Charlie Clark
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Trading Standards

I just wonder whether she is entitled to sue Groupon for advising her on something that was obviously against her own self-interest, particularly if they helped her come up with the sale price.

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Security takes a backseat on Android in update shambles

Charlie Clark
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That word

Don't trust anyone who says "incentivised".

The legal situation is fairly clear - the "supplier" is liable for any damages incurred as a result of failing to repair a known fault. It may take a couple of court cases to change attitudes. However, their is no onus on manufacturers to supply users with the latest and greatest version of their firmware.

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Breaking news: Man lands on Moon!

Charlie Clark
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Does anyone still care about Facebook?

El Reg seems have fallen to the same trick - so 2010.

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Spanish firemen grapple naked stairs sex Brit

Charlie Clark
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Sid James Voiceover

Or the laugh at least for the reconstruction!

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Kindle Fire demand hits iPad rivals not iPad

Charlie Clark
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America is not the world

Anecdotally speaking and having just equipped myself with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 I can say that in Germany Apple's court room strategy has definitely increased awareness of the Samsung brand, at least among the tech crowd with whom I frequent - "is that the one that is banned?" and it is getting very appreciative comments regarding the screen and weight - I can hold it using an "untrained" wrist for more than two minutes! ;-) Reading books is about the only thing that doesn't work too well give the lack of height, everything else is very funky. Oh, and it has a file system! Having seen the hoops that fanbois have to go through to swap pictures and audio between devices I can see that becoming *the* stick with which to beat them.

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Punctured Google+ leaks bored users

Charlie Clark
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Signal to noise ratio

Is pretty good on Google and that might be what it needs for the long term. I think I log on a couple of times a week, mainly to check what some close friends have been up to. My home page is usually spammed by one or two people who I'd like to have as opt-in. I mainly read only friends and family which doesn't take long.

I suspect that treating the whole thing as a neural network as opposed to a data mine, where the distance between nodes and the frequency of communication, may be the way to monetise things, albeit indirectly. Let's not forget that Google's cash flow is extremely positive so unlike "the social network" it doesn't need to worry about ROI for a while*. Filling the site full of ads would be a instant turn-off and I like to flatter myself to think that I belong to a desirable target group for advertisers, well if the ads in The Economist are anything to go by.

* There is, of course, a whole industry with invested interest in a successful IPO for Facebook - journalists, ad execs, etc.

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Samsung v iPhone 4S French entrenchment: 'TOTAL WAR'

Charlie Clark
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Firewire

IIRC Apple used to collect 1% or USD 1 for every Firewire chip sold.

As others have noted "fair" in this context is "about what the (cross-licencing) competition is paying". If Apple doesn't like it they should cross-licence. OTOH they can just stick another 10 % on the price and get the fanboys to pay for it - Iphone 4S = Iphone for Samsung.

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Galaxy Tab case tweaked to evade Germany ban

Charlie Clark
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No loophole required

Just picked up my Galaxy 8.9 from the post office bought legally as "EU goods" - anything imported anywhere in the EU can be (re)sold in any other member state. Noticeably lighter than the Ipad which is important to me, though I do think Apple probably has it right on the aspect ratio. Looks like accessories are going to be a bit of a faff.

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Mozilla promises more speed with Firefox 9 beta

Charlie Clark
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LTS

Where's the LTS in Chrome's stealth auto-updating? FWIW Opera provides paid support and doesn't quite release at such breakneck speeds, though 11.6 beta includes a heap of new features and some UI changes in preparation for hardware acceleration in 12.

As for what the enterprise wants - we're rapidly entering the age of bring your own equipment and the migration to browser-based services (depends heavily on which your country you're in) so companies are going to have to come up with a better strategy than FF 3.6 and IE 8 as at one large company I know.

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Apple applies to patent a SIM you can't remove

Charlie Clark
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On-off switch?

The next version of the Iphone is probably named HAL - "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you do that".

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Charlie Clark
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Wot he said!

GSM communications have remained remarkably secure since their introduction when you consider just how many of us are rabbiting on the things and the physical aspect of the security model - the SIM card - has played no small part in this. Giving Apple the secrets is tantamount to giving them to all government agencies and the mafia/triads/yakuza.

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Mm, Silverlight, what's that smell? Yes, it's death

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Simply not true

"leaner, quicker, more energy-efficient HTML5"

Apart from Steve Jobs doing some smoke and mirrors no one involved in HTML 5 has ever claimed that it is leaner, quicker or more energy-efficient than Flash or Silverlight. In fact, Flash is arguably quicker and more efficient than many nascent HTML 5 / Javascript implementations because it has had the advantage of many iterations of optimisations, something that simply cannot be said of HTML Canvas and I'm waiting see announcements of hardware acceleration for WebM.

HTML 5 is based on a deep-rooted desire for openness and level playing fields. By promoting audio and video to the DOM, developers and users have more control over what's happening. CSS transitions, HTML Canvas and SVG animations bring to the mainstream effects that are commonly seen but not transferable. And putting everything in the browser makes security testing easier but then it also increases the risk of a single point of failure.

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Cheap gas is a 'crisis' for Greens, but not for us

Charlie Clark
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Pricing

The impact of shale gas on the gas price is not directly determined by its price of extraction* - gas from non-war-torn Libya was pretty cheap to extract - but because it is sold on the spot market and, thus, not coupled to the oil price as most large gas deposits are. This applies to any non-conventional sources like shale and bio-gas or gas manufactured by catalysis on windy, sunny days.

IIRC gas exploration and discovery has not yet hit the same kind of problems that oil has - tar sand extraction or those incredibly deep wells of Brazil - which drive up the price of exploration and extraction and, thus price. The gas price was historically tied to the oil price which kind of made sense when there were few suppliers and gas was less fungible. That arrangement makes less sense today when the price of extraction is so much lower in comparison and there are sufficient suppliers to guarantee a market even if the price falls.

Fundamentally the problem remains that, until we understand that the cheapest energy is the energy we don't use, we're making ourselves dependent on one supplier or another.

* I've yet to see anything covering the full costs of shale gas extraction over time - insuring against groundwater pollution and subsidence claims.

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Wi-Fi hotspots to skyrocket over next five years

Charlie Clark
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Terminator

Sounds a lot, isn't really

1.3 million worldwide? So, one for every 5,500 people. Even going up by a factor of five that's not impressive.

WiFi is cheap but it is also technologically challenged with the spectral efficiency of a "top Whitehall department" and the energy efficiency of Rusatom as anyone will know who's ever run one in a block of flats with a lot of geeks around.

Bill seems have to avoided it but I guess the reason for network operators wanting to offer WiFi hotspots for data is because they can save money on infrastructure bay having less of it and by not having to worry so much about QoS or by having signal towers close enough to provide a signal in people's homes. Any numbers on what will happen to signals in the 2.4 GHz band as unmanaged contention continues to rise? I think I'm going to apply for a job writing excuses "the reason you can't get a connection is because it was the wrong kind of website", "you're holding it wrong", "they told us home entertainment systems in the same band wouldn't be a problem", etc.

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Upcoming EU data law will make Europe tricky for Facebook

Charlie Clark
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Pint

Precedent

The key is the reference to "doing business in the single market". This is where the EU is the 800lb gorilla and why it took on Microsoft and won and why Paypal had to set up a subsidiary in Luxemburg and apply for a banking licence.

The law only seems to be uniting the disparate privacy and data protection laws of the various member states. It is already the legal position in Germany. It should also be noted "click through" notices do not count as providing informed consent which is why Microsoft and Apple EULAs are not valid in Germany.

Aigner seems to be on a personal vendetta against Facebook but Reding has a good track record of taking on the mobile industry and forcing through max charges for mobile roaming. Cheers, Viviane.

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Only Samsung will challenge Apple's iPad in 2012

Charlie Clark
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Tea leaves?

Where do they come up with these numbers?

Given Apple's corporate encroachment I suspect that might well be the new battleground. I guess that is what Microsoft is betting on but where niche solutions such as Citrix might be key. Apple's AppStore is a heap of pain for any corporate with a lot of inhouse application development or data.

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Greens threaten to sue over solar 'leccy cash slash

Charlie Clark
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Guilty by omission

Hi Andrew,

as noted above whether the FiT for solar makes great deal of sense for most of Britain should be considered separately to the level at which it is set. That aside, it is disingenuous to assert that it is a wealth redistribution tax from the poor to the rich (such as VAT) because you omit the cost of capital investment required - manufacturers and installers stand to benefit initially, owners possibly over time. If you're against that then you must be against any investment that can be set off against tax. There may be a price rise as a result of the tariff but this is also because of increased generating capacity and can be offset by subsidies to the less well-off, though grants to house-owners for improved insulations (paying for "negawatts") is probably the most efficient way of dealing any imbalance and probably the best way for Britain to reduce its energy bill quickly.

Returning to the level of tariff - salutary lessons from Germany and elsewhere do apply. In Germany it was the solar energy lobby itself that pressed for a faster than planned reduction in tariffs due to excessive demand. Again the suitability of FiT for solar in Germany is debatable, South of the Main is deemed to suitable, but the aim of this kind of cross-subsidy was to kick-start investment in the technology and it has been an undoubted success in this area with jobs being spread across Germany and China - boosting capacity, reducing prices and transferring skills; if anywhere needs a leg up with environmentally friendly energy it is China.

Solar is still a small player in the energy market but Germany is already ahead of target in reducing emissions and the share of energy provided by renewable sources. At the same time I think we're onto the third round of subsidies for building insulation. Having just moved from a poorly insulated flat into a modern one I can confirm that my heating bill is on a downward trend. The rise in renewables is generating renewed interest in the spot market and escaping the clutches of Gazprom which supplies the vast majority of Germany's gas.

If you want to go kicking a country for its energy policy then Spain is worth a look: it keeps energy prices artificially low with the state paying for any shortfall (usually of Oliver Reed proportions), exports dirty energy to the Maghreb (distorting the market and reducing the incentives for efficiency) and has horrifically high FiT in a country destined to be as covered in photovoltaic cells as it is in polytunnels which seek to make economic value from the same abundant source of solar energy.

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German website offers custom cow killing

Charlie Clark
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Reasonably priced

Depending on the cut beef in Germany is always > € 20 per kilo. Double that for the organic stuff. As for stress and taste I thought was established or was it just for rodents? Stress releases some hormone that makes the meat bitter? Maybe just another urban myth I'm unwittingly perpetuating.

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Groupon shares soar, adds $2.7bn in two hours

Charlie Clark
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Pump and dump on an epic scale?

I guess this is what you get when the fed prints oodles of dollars and gives them to banks who could be lending them to people and businesses instead. Nothing like a post-launch rally to drag the suckers in. P/E on this one, anyone? My calculator broke down trying to do it. Maybe this is just sour grapes because I didn't "get in" on this one. I'm just very worried that my bank might have done so for me. :-/

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Hands on with the Motorola Xoom 2 10.1in Android tablet

Charlie Clark
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Target audience

Who buys the Ipad? Business or consumer? AFAIK it's both so why is only a problem for Motorola?

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Brit boffins print blinking booze bottle labels

Charlie Clark
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Megaphone

Are you listening Stockholm?

This is what the Nobel Prize was invented for! Sod fundamental research and jeanomes and all that, blinking lights is where it's at

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Charlie Clark
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"Carlos Roca drinks White Lightning!"...

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UN set to dump GMT for tech-friendly Atomic Time

Charlie Clark
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Not true. Accidents spike around the changeover but particularly in the spring as lots of sleep deprived people and children converge. Article on the BBC about a couple of years ago but I'm too lazy to Google for it.

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Charlie Clark
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They are, that's where UTC comes from. But there's a catch - that should be TUC but they came up with UTC as a nice Franglais fudge.

Ditch clocks "springing" forward in the spring and "falling" back in the autumn. Only a proper Victorian bureaucrat could have come up with such well-meant bollocks.

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iPad 3 to debut Q3 2012 as iPad 4

Charlie Clark
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The next generation AMOLEDs should be available then - 10" and larger so I think you may be right. Can't see Samsung selling them in great numbers to competitors, especially the bendy ones.

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Airbus brews Scandium smackdown for carbon Dreamliner

Charlie Clark
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Dubai in particular

It seems you can fly to anywhere in the world in an A380 from Dubai. That offers pretty compelling economics for the hub & spoke system for the majority of long haul flights. Some wag has also coined "pilgrim class", standing room only, for stripped down A380s bringing the masses to Mecca for the Haj or to Europe for a football match.

Point to point connections between second tier airports still have a part to play which is why Airbus is playing catch up on the Dreamliner just like Boeing is planning a composite version of the 747 to match Airbus.

Back to the technology - additive seems to be the future with Airbus investing in those Bristol boffins who've already made a bike frame. Mix of materials always required as you want to blend stiffness with elasticity. For my money steel alloys still provide the best ride though the bamboo bike sounds worth a try.

@Mr Worstall - the sham French spelling behoves you not and worse than that adds nothing to the article. Airbus is a truly global company and you even refer to the a wing under test somewhere Germany. Save the Euro-bashing for the Torygraph.

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Groupon sues ex-sales heads for defection to Google

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Non-competitve clause

If there isn't one in the contract then, oh dear.

Waiting the GroupOn Fail Whale to open the season whilst at the same time worrying about the possible deals banks and insurance companies have got going on something that at least at some point promised to be a nice little earner.

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Zuckerberg's HTML5 Trojan horse play

Charlie Clark
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It does indeed read a bit like that, doesn't it.

I can't really say much about Facebook as I've never used it but it did strike me recently that most of my contacts on Google+ are a marketer's wet dream. Will be interesting to see how Google makes that kind of information available to advertisers and what they propose to subject us to to make it pay. I suspect that if they get it right the advertising stream currently flowing into Facebook may dry up quickly. Network effects aside it's not all about the numbers - you need customers with sufficient disposable income - surely that was the lesson of the dot.com bubble?

Amazon looks like it is going to have a head start milking the sheeple in its walled garden. As with Apple who cares about the technology once they have the source of instant gratification in their hand.

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0.5mm2 ARM chip offers 5X energy efficiency, jacks up performance

Charlie Clark
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Power

Using the radios (wifi or UMTS) will give the screen a run for its money when it comes to running down the battery. And, while there is hope that screens may be at some point be able to use ambient light to reduce their power draw, I think it's pretty nigh impossible to reduce the power consumption of the radios. Isn't there some direct relationship between data transfer rates and power consumption? There is definitely a direct (square) relationship between the distance the signal has to travel and power required to send it. Unless it turns out that CERNs neutrinos have something to teach us on this!

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Are IP addresses personal data?

Charlie Clark
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Accepted interpretation?

FWIW it seems you are catching up with what is the Accepted interpretation in Germany: IP addresses are personal information. AFAIK there is not yet a uniform position across the EU but it is likely possible that this will become consensus which puts not just statistics* but more importantly ISP logs into the spotlight - EU law requires that ISPs log user accounts for six months - as a potential breach of data protection law, one of the reasons why the EU law is not in force in Germany because it is unconstitutional. A round of legal beggar thy neighbour is probably due.

* For the purpose of statistics it seems reasonable to randomise non-reversibly the last octet of the IP address which is exactly what Google is rolling into the German service of Google Analytics.

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Robot resolves Rubik's Cube in record time

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Eat that fanbois!

Finally, an application demonstrating how superior Samsung phones are in comparison with fruity ones.

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1m iPad 3s being built this quarter, says analyst

Charlie Clark
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Willy waving

I had a screen comparison with a Phoney the other week. Whilst I agree that pixel density is important for text it hardly matters for anything else. I recently watched VHS video on my 2500 x 1600 screen and at more than a metre away it really didn't matter that much. The human cares much more about contrast and movement and while the Iphone's IPS does give better colours than my Super AMOLED (the Samsung has a notable blue shift when viewed obliquely), it's black is shit in comparison. Plus I can actually use my phone in bright sunlight. I prefer pictures on my phone. As you might imagine the discussion was inconclusive - many people seem to have bought into pixel density as the Holy Grail of screens. Great marketing but poor science.

I would expect Apple to be addressing the daylight usability of their slabs in a next release. Or maybe just launch law suits against the Kindle Fire which is going to define at least price expectations from now on.

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Dell signals Windows 8 fondleslab range

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Hot News: Dell touting to be Microsoft's and Intel's bitch

You rush out some ill-thought models built by Quanta or Kopal or Foxconn against the Ipad find they don't sell and you blame the OS? Well failed Mr Dell. Samsung and HTC are showing what can be done with Android if you are prepared to spend your own money on hardware and software development. You can't expect Google to give you it al, can you?

Run off to Microsoft and Intel for a big marketing budget incentive and everything will be better. Don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave.

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OccupySF BOFH runs protest network on pedal power

Charlie Clark
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Go Slacktivists! Go!

With you all the way. Send me a tweet when you've won and we can have a virtual meetup to congratulate each other...

On a serious note, nice to see America developing any form of political culture and a reasonable counterpoint to the Tea Party Luddites. This feels a bit like some of the enthusiasm that Obama was able to conjure up that soon led to disillusionment.

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Opera brings fondleslab-style reading to bog-standard web

Charlie Clark
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Deliciously simple.

Looking forward to seeing this in a labs build or even Opera Next.

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Microsoft flags Firefox and Chrome for security failings

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Their own worst enemy

I guess the site is mainly trying to encourage IE 6, 7 and 8 users to "upgrade" to the latest and greatest version of IE, seeing as that has been such an utter fail so far (stats on international sites are approx 5% IE 6, 10% IE 7, 15% IE 9. 30% IE 8). Well, no shit Sherlock! By not providing a reasonable upgrade path for IE users, ie. forcing them to change their operating systems in order to change their browser, Microsoft has caused this fragmentation.

Solution: backport IE 9 to XP and Windows 2000 or get out of the browser game.

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Charlie Clark
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I like the idea of OS protection being necessary because of the piece of brain crap that is ActiveX, you know the way IE runs plugins.

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Gartner: Social media biz to rake in $10.3bn in 2011

Charlie Clark
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Gartner again

Take this with the usual pinch of salt. People I talk to generally think that the social media hype has peaked and that companies are looking for other ways to "engage" customers. Anecdotal, small sample so not worth taking seriously unlike Gartner's extremely well-researched stuff, of course.

The Economist's Special Report on "post-PC" stuff is worth reading despite it being full of Gartner crystal-gazing.

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Meltemi is real – Nokia’s skunkworks Linux

Charlie Clark
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Nice typo

Have the batteries run out on yours? ;-)

Ulm as centre of software development? Can't get my head around that except that Nokia is always good for a new surprise.

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