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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2502 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

WTF is... Li-Fi?

Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

Quite a good rant: I'm not sure what your point is.

Data via light is no more inherently secure than any other electromagnetic transmission. What you suggest is the normal "security by obfuscation" approach which is known to be crap. Want security then add security.

The efficiency of electromagnetic transmissions is also largely independent of the frequency. Power is directly related to data rates and distance. Want efficiency then make it directional. Given the known heat losses still inherent to LED I doubt very much that it is more efficient than Bluetooth.

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Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth

Charlie Clark
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To paraphrase On The Hour*

Disgruntled and suspicious El Reg Forumista:

"Hypocrite sounds too mild a word"

Forthright and upstanding Daily Mail columnist:

"Hypocrite is not a word in my dictionary.

* Originally the use of "approximate" was ascribed to a Mrs Virginia Rumbelow when discussing care of the elderly. Along with the memorable quote: "We are giving the people the right to care. Now, personally I don't care but that is my choice...." obviously miles away from sainted columnist.

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Greedy LOHAN draining away mankind's vital fluid ... allegedly

Charlie Clark
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Devil

Won't somebody think of the children?

I mean, surely, all this irresponsible and possibly dangerous use of a GAS is likely to set a precedent for young and impressionable minds!

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Facebook underwriters accused of hiding forecast

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this legal

All perfectly legal. Of course, going public is such a messy way of stealing other people's money. Fortunately the new JOBS act means that future Facebooks can stay private for much longer, sucking up money without any tedious obligations to disclose things like earnings.

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Chrome spends a week at the top of the browser charts

Charlie Clark
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Re: Please can someone explain why Vista gets slated so much?

In many ways Windows Vista was a great step forward but it was hampered, hamstrung to many, in three important ways:

* Windows Presentation Foundation used for the GUI is a memory hog and when it was released only the best specced hardware (>=2 GB RAM, 4 if possible) were suitable. Many people who

upgraded instantly regretted it and companies baulked at the costs and forced XP to live longer. A couple of years later and machines were being released that were beefy enough for it which is probably why you have a good combination that you're happy with. I still know quite a few people with XP based systems still chugging along acceptably with less than 1 GB RAM.

* UAC - technically a much better approach to security but terrible usability so that users often felt obliged to press the "don't ask me about this again" button

* many legacy apps would no longer run. Even though the reason for this were okay - the new system needed new APIs to be safer and more stable - it was still another reason to think twice about spending money on a new OS, the new hardware necessary to run it and new apps to replace those that would no longer work. And, if you did spend the money, your new computer didn't really seem much faster unless you really needed all the 64-bit goodness. Even then, the hard break between 32-bit and 64-bit made getting good drivers a very hit and miss affair.

In addition the sheer variety of flavours of Vista (Ultimate, Spectacular, Home, Trailer Trash, etc.) confused the market in a way eerily reminiscent of OS/2 and in stark contrast to the Church of the One Fruit. This turned out to be even more important because, as companies simply refused to buy Vista, consumers became even more important to sales.

Windows 7 addressed many of the problems well and is a stable and usable system with considerable attention to detail. And I say this as someone who primarily uses a Mac.

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Ouch! Facebook slumps below IPO value on day 2

Charlie Clark
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Re: Predictions required for the price on Friday at noon

Back of an envelope calculation:

With a 15 billion class action on them and P/E about 5 times historical highs: IPO at around 100 billion. Divide by 5 and subtract 15 billion. Would put the total company at around 5 billion and shares at around $ 2.

That said, the data they have managed to amass should allow profits to grow significantly, assuming they know how and are legally allowed to monetise it. Facebook is a sort of credit check agency for people. Amazon has been successful despite being an utter failure for early investors.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: not normally looking for high risk

Yes, they're nothing like those fools who invested other people's money in sub-prime mortgage derivatives... anyway everyone knows that lightning doesn't strike twice...

Fact is that many pension funds are based on a calculation of 8 % returns from bonds, cash and equities. With "safe" US or German bonds paying less than 2 % this means piling into equities and derivatives in search of returns.

This is all going to end in tears. Our tears.

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Will UK.gov crack down on itself for missing Cookie Law deadline?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Same old, same old

I'm keeping GA cookies as it's essential I know what customers want from our website, it's a free way of keeping the site up to date with customer trends

It's only free to you. It's a third party cookie and unless you have an agreement with the third party that they will comply with your data protection policies that won't fly as you are effectively trading your users' personal data for an analytics services. Anonymising the data by stripping the last octet of the ip address is the way around that.

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Twitter signs up for Do Not Track

Charlie Clark
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Re: Let's hope for a snowball effect

The whole idea of "Do Not Track" is like letting the foxes look after hens after they've promise not to eat them. As Twitter is a login service, it's probably worked out that it has more than enough data willingly provided by users. It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of users aren't using websites anyway but dedicated apps.

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Samsung and SK Hynix shares slide on Apple snub

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Couple of things

to make sure ARM stays competitive

The article is about DRAM not CPUs. Utter Fail. Go straight back to school, do not pass go and do not collect shiny new gadget.

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BBC deletes Blue Peter from BBC One

Charlie Clark
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Re: In Germany

You forgot to lament the current dire crop of wall-to-wall talkshows on the public channels - for those who don't live here, it's sort of like Paxman and Humphries cloning themselves and their guests and invading the evening schedule.

The less said about private TV the better.

Interested in what you think of as gems because from where I sit stuff just seems to be getting worse and worse.

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Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: About bloody time

You can still call it a pint and should still get served. I think spirits and wine are already metric, no one crying for the gill? The important things is weights and measures but seeing how often you get fucked over there anyway, changing the units will hardly make a difference.

In Germany fruit and veg is often bought by the "Pfund" which is taken to mean 500g and the sky still hasn't fallen on our heads!

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Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not entirely a joke, I think.

Yes, but Google is even better placed than Facebook on mobile. Facebook isn't really doing very well at monetising all that personal data and it isn't doing it at all on mobile. Google Plus is a reasonable extension for Google to its existing services by providing a single sign-on. I noticed the other day that my Google Plus pictures are visible to my Android device.

The default of not posting publicly and actively advising against it is not only smart towards savvy users and the data protection crowd it also means that only Google really knows what people are doing.

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One in two punters don't mind cookie-spewing stalking ads

Charlie Clark
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What a mess

Thanks for the article but if the following statement is true then the courts are going to be busy: The ICO has left it up to individual operators to determine what methods to choose.

Informed consent is easy to define and, therefore, easy to set up a mechanism to implement. It is much easier for everyone to have a standard procedure for all ad and identity vendors which users quickly learn to recognise. Not doing invites interpretation and that is bound to lead to challenges in the courts who will, yet again, have to make up for parliament and the ICO not doing their job properly. I can forgive politicians a lot but not their apparently increasing propensity to draught laws poorly: write shit laws and get flogged in public.

Do not track is the useful wishy-washy crap that cannot solve the problem because it doesn't address it. Informed consent is not opt-out but opt-in only.

Advertising was successful enough without all the minutiae and, despite industry screams, will no doubt survive a total ban on cross-site tracking.

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IBM smashes Flash out of Wimbledon, serves up HTML5 app

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Beginning of the End for Flash (Rejoice)

I think you're right on streaming, although the protocols are in place for that. You can still encrypt h264 streams and the smart way to do it would be using a hardware device such as a CAM or a SIM. Like, webcams and Geo location this will require an API to allow the browser to talk to the OS. You can just guess who is best placed to offer this in its browser, technically for all platforms but practically limited to two.

The arguments from Mozilla and Opera about video have never been about encryption of the stream but about the codecs - the customer should be able to choose their player.

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: 2 platforms I own

Apple dropped support for PowerPC first and made multiarchitecture builds very difficult by dropping carbon. I don't know what version of Android is on your phone but that is certainly part of the problem. Product liability allows you to hold you vendor, admittedly tricky in your case (shop, Huawei, Google, Adobe) accountable for a defective or dangerous product.

Slashdot karma, seriously? I think this one is yours.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Another advantage

Not particularly fan of Firefox but one really sees how closed source has no chance compared to open source and standards.

Yeah, Mac OS 10.4 is a really huge opportunity being missed.

FWIW Closed-source Opera dropped support for 10.4 later than Firefox did.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: You say it like its normal

No, I still say it like I said it: it's no longer news and, therefore, disingenuous to portray it like it is. As others have noted Adobe still providing security updates to Flash players, even on mobile.

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Charlie Clark
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Disingenuous

Adobe's double fault: too snazzy and doesn't work on Apple kit

Adobe itself has said that it is dropping updates for Flash on mobile devices and is busy developing tools like Adobe Proto, which is well worth a look, for generating straight HTML. So the sub-headline isn't really news. You can get the eye-candy with HTML 5 & CSS but support across browsers isn't guaranteed.

And if IBM is in the business of selling SPSS then it helps to be able to do this without having to bundle or rely on other runtimes.

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AMD: New Trinity laptop chips out-juice Intel graphics

Charlie Clark
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Re: Free Sottware

Is that Free Sottware™ or what?

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Next-gen MacBook Pro, iMac make benchmark site debut

Charlie Clark
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USB 3 instead of ethernet?

I can see both USB and Ethernet ports being dropped in favour of Thunderbolt but if either is to be dropped then it should be USB and all hail the new breakout boxes also known as docking stations. USB 3 adds additional electronic and mechanical complexity to the build. Gigabit Ethernet is already an extremely commodified component which provides universal connectivity at a minimal price.

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Vote now for the worst movie NEVER made

Charlie Clark
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Re: Casting error

Exactly, except I think we'd better stop now. But I can't: Paris Hilton to play Lady Di?

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Charlie Clark
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Casting error

For me it's got to be Diana in 3D but it looks like someone made an error in the casting: Gary Oldman would be struggle in the role of the Duke of Edinburgh. Surely the role made in heaven for Tommy Weisau?

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Swarm of investors crave 'more shares than Facebook is selling'

Charlie Clark
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Re: I wonder if the mole has a financial stake in the success of the IPO?

Don't look now because you might see your bank and pension fund in the queue desperate to hand over *your* money on this *sure* thing.

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Intel CEO predicts DOOM for fab industry and competitors

Charlie Clark
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Re: intel builds a mean fab

Fabless is a great division both of labour and reward: licensees know that while ARM has a good margin it is delivering a good product at a fair price and gives them the chance to make chips for customers at a profit as opposed to Intel's winner takes all model, as PC makers know only too well. Should point out that AMD is no longer a chip maker - it outsourced that to Global Foundries and you missed TSMC from your list.

Nevertheless, at the same time as the commodification of chip design has significantly reduced the prices for such chips, the prices for the new processes and equipment sill continue to rise and there are fewer and fewer companies able to produce the kit (lithography, etc.) necessary to build the fantastically complex designs. It is a paradox that Intel's prowess in this area is driving up costs at the same time as chip costs are falling. Intel has made great progress even with the Atom. Reports suggest that the new phone chip really does come close to the TDP of comparable ARM designs and it has more oomph. But it costs a lot more to make and to put in a phone.

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Apple OS X update puts elderly Flash out of its misery

Charlie Clark
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Come on Apple

And stop fucking hiding my folders if I have chosen to display them!

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

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Carriers, prepare to bleed: EU pops a cap on data roaming

Charlie Clark
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Re: During 3 full days in France this weekend...

1) Nobody was forced to bid

2) Damage was limited as the costs incurred could and were offset against tax

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Keep out of the Olympics' way, earn a haircut from TfL app

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

No wonder they have problems with the routing

The Recyclebank website has geolocated me to America! I guess it's only the other side of the atlantic so and easy mistake to make.

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Mozilla and Google blast IE-only Windows on ARM

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google Calling the Kettle Black

Opera Mobile is my default but Maxthon is surprisingly good.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This is entirely different

It's one hell of a precedent and it applies to the Windows operating system, Microsoft would have the burden of proof to demonstrate otherwise. This move has preliminary injunction written all over it if they really go ahead with it. However, I think it's probably just a strawman from MS.

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WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Charlie Clark
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Re: No Ethernet or USB 3 ???

Several manufacturers including Western Digital produce Mac-specific versions of their products usually with a distinctive appearance and bundled software and the favoured interface and charge a premium for them. I have one with a FW-800 and USB 2 connection and while the bundled software is toss, it works great with Time Machine: high transfer rates and little impact on the CPU.

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.eu is a Euro domain, for Euro people - top legal bod

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sounds Like...

Should be, but isn't it's just plain ".gov". I do hope they can adopt ".usa" to make up for this. ".us" is the TLD but "USA" is what the citizens are used to shouting.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: will this mean

You should check up on your internet history before spouting such shit. DARPA paid for the development of the internet and, as such, got first dibs on the DNS when it was developed: .edu, .gov, .mil, and .com were reserved for US use when they were developed with everyone else supposed to use their country's TLD. Only ICANN and its precursors saw the financial advantage in selling to everyone on a first come, first served basis and the .us domain was effectively "surplus to requirements". Personally, I reckon that ".usa" would get the Yanks back on track.

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Jolly rogered

Charlie Clark
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Bring back Brian Redhead

and the time when the Today programme used to be worth listening to it because researchers had been paid to prepare topics. Now it's just sham nowtrage. Pity for John Humphrys who has elsewhere demonstrated that he is a reasonable journalist. When I am in England I find the only news programme I can bear is Channel 4 News which is now almost anachronistic in its attention to detail and attempts to let people speak.

Back to the whole kids and sexuality and I'm reminded by this misguided resurgence of Victorian mores by something J.K. Rowling said about a letter she received about one of the later Harry Potter books from an older woman concerned by the children going through puberty as they get older. The woman was quite obviously projecting a mythical "water baby" image of children who are supposed magically transform from being little darlings into responsible adults with families. Really quite sad if you think about it: Miss Havisham writ large.

It is precisely this repression of sexuality which causes confusion in children and adolescents whose bodies are being bombarded with hormones. Needless to say Ms Rowling didn't take the woman's advice and continued to make piles of money by playing, admittedly timidly, to the imaginations of her readership. Pity we never got to read the graffiti on the walls of the toilets!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Dick recognition software, perhaps?"

Really? That's my weekend sorted then. Just off to the chemists for some hand cream.

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Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S III

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple aren't a manufacturer and rely heavily on Samsung

Samsung and others, notably Foxconn. And, while Sony is still struggling in many departments I think you have a point that Apple's "asset-light" strategy carries its own risks. Apple designs, commissions and oversees the production of fantastic hardware and develops great software for it. But it is also dependent upon the market producing sufficient volume of tweaked commodity items (CPU, memory, screens, etc.). While that volume gives it pricing power - it has been able to produce phones for the same cost as other manufacturers but sell them at a higher margin - it can create resentment in the suppliers, though it would false be and disingenuous to think of Apple simply as a premium vendor of other people's kit.

Samsung, while seemingly happy enough for the last few years to make Apple's CPU and memory chips, it has at the same time been beefing up not only its production capacity but also R&D. Apple has so far managed to be there or thereabouts with technology: the GPUs in the I-phones are significantly better than the compettion, leading to smoother transitions, a slicker and "better" user experience. Suddenly Samsung appears with technology that Apple cannot currently match - quad-core CPUs and enormous OLED screens. Seeing as the G series SII actually contains CPUs from Texas Instruments it's reasonable to speculate that all Samsung's capacity has been given over to the new I-phone and more importantly the new Exynos. While Apple has been very good at convincing the market that the high resolution LCD screen is something special, good AMOLED screens are simply jaw-droppers because of the eye's preference for contrast and colour gamut over resolution.

Beyond the hardware I think the UX advances are possibly even more notable. They show the same kind of thoughtfulness and attention to detail that has so long been a hallmark of Apple's products. And being first to market in these litigious times gives it a considerable advantage,

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Samsung shows 'designed for humans' handset

Charlie Clark
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Gimp

re: Depending on battery life...

It's a chuffing huge battery. And the new ARM cores are more efficient than the old ones. Obviously running full-screen videos on it will still drain it. As that's not something I do a lot it should suit me fine.

It's my new precious.

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Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Well done...

If they can cut users down to tech-savvy geeks rather than the mainstream, that's a huge achievement for their purposes.

No, that would involve poisoning DNS and/or packet routing and would be a major step towards censorship and the end of the internet or do we all live in China now?

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Apple blocking Dropbox SDK over in-app buying

Charlie Clark
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re. Euro xfer rate

Your post doesn't make sense.

FWIW transfer charges within the SEPA (Single European Payment Area) are the same for cross-border as they are for domestic.

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Why embossed credit cards are here to stay

Charlie Clark
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Re: It doesn't fix the basic problem..

They make more money selling credit-card insurance than they do through fraud.

Recently. in America I noticed a few people had written "ask for id" on the signature strip. Staff never blinked so I assume they're used to it. I thought it was a pragmatic approach to the problem.

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CPU and RAM hogs overstaying their welcome? Here's a fix

Charlie Clark
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Re: I have a better idea

Does sound a lot like Solaris' resource management, doesn't it?

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America, China go ape for tablets

Charlie Clark
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Getting the numbers right

Europe has more than double the population of the US

I think that comes as quite a shock to statisticians around the globe. 150 %, if you use EFTA + the Balkans as a base, maybe but certainly not at purchasing power parity.

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Nympho hauled to loon-cooler after serial bonkathon brutality

Charlie Clark
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From the horse's mouth

The story's a couple of weeks old:

http://www.tz-online.de/aktuelles/muenchen/sex-sklave-dieter-fuenf-stunden-gefangen-2277597.html (in Jorman of course but includes the name of the pub where she picked the guy up).

What do you do in such a situation? In general, men are able to overpower women but lamp her if you attempt to escape...

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Moore's Law has ten years to run, predicts physicist

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sadly, Wirth's Law will keep on going

It seems to have escaped your notice how much work has been done on compilers in the last few years which do an increasingly good job of removing many of the inefficiencies. That and the ability to shift tasks to hardware implementations (encryption, signal processing, video compression and decompression).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They are already working on Silicon replacements

Yes, the materials and production processes will probably change. The economics of chip development have changed significantly in the last ten years due to the cost of making the machines that make the chips. There are fewer suppliers of the lithography machines than there were ten years ago which is driving up the cost of each new generation. At the same time even Intel's margins are starting to come under pressure as it's designer hardware struggles to differentiate itself from the commodity ARM clones.

The number of companies entering the nano-technology and additive manufacturing to address some of the same problems is increasing following the. If they can get it right printed OLED screens may be the first children of this revolution.

Worth noting that IBM and Samsung may well be right in not having an asset-light strategy in this area.

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Jury mulls verdict in Oracle-v-Google Java spat

Charlie Clark
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Re: If IBM acquired Sun instead of Oracle....

IBM likes showdowns as much as the next but it has become extremely adept at that which Oracle is aiming for: leveraging hardware, software and services of each other. That it has a long history of co-operation with open source from releasing its own software as open source (Apache, Postfix, etc.) to contributing actively to existing projects (most notably Linux and Java and OpenOffice), shouldn't distract from the fact that if IBM seems a $ 6 billion opportunity it will go for it. However, such lawsuits can adversely affect customer relationships. It may have been in weighing up the two - costs and benefits of litigation versus affect on sales - that decided IBM against the purchase of another hardware division with uncertain software licensing business attached.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: so if APIs are copyrightable...

Google is not attempting interoperability or a "workable implementation" of existing Java platforms

But does the use of the API necessitate that interoperability? The problem, of course, is that Java is both a language and a platform. If the language comes with no strings attached but the platform is encumbered then this is very much like having your cake and trying to eat it. I seem to remember similar discussions years ago when Sun was forced to open the development of the platform as IBM and others threatened to bless a clean room implementation and, thus, deny Sun any future say in matters.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: so if APIs are copyrightable...

I'm still not sure what the consequence of that copyright would be. On the face of it, it is legitimate to want to be able to assert the authorship of the API which is just a specification, i.e. no one else can claim to have come up with it. This puts them up there with technical specifications like the HTTP protocol. As only implementations can be patented, it is, er, patently obvious that you cannot patent the specification. Copyright would allow for licensing of the specification for derived works but this might be considered to apply only to extensions of the specification itself rather than implementations of it. As is noted elsewhere, the point of APIs is to guarantee interoperability.

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Half of UK smart TV owners don't know what the 'smart' bit is for

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: "internet TV" button

From the department of the bleeding obvious:

At approx 1Gb per hour watching BBC iplayer HD content it is very hungry and can cost if you are not on an unlimted deal

You don't say! I guess there will be those unable to join the dots: don't do online video without a real flatrate.

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Charlie Clark
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Forget the apps

TVs with network connections should not become e-mail clients and terminals. But they can be quite nice VoD clients* or film rental devices**. That such clients are written to use some form of HTML can be regarded as coincidental.

* avoid the need to have to program or even own a recorder for your favourite programs

** hope to have a decent selection of films in HD to watch and avoid having go the video shop. Lucky here that MaxDome has a good selection in HD and with English soundtracks. Probably only a matter of time until they scrap that luxury and forcefeed dreadful dubbing on us.

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