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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2631 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Samsung flogs 10 million Galaxy S IIIs in 7 weeks

Charlie Clark
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Only just started

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

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HTML 5 gets forked up

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

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

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Worst of both worls

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

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

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

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Intel, AMD financials: Bad news for Obama campaign

Charlie Clark
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Re: Economics and Politics on El Reg

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

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Piffle

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Irony

The best US drama is commissioned and produced by the cable networks such as HBO. The irony is that their long term contracts with their viewers work in a similar way to the much-maligned licence fee allowing shows to develop over time rather than being pulled as soon as ratings do not meet expectations. This is one of the reasons why good screenwriters now seem to prefer TV over Hollywood, with its continued obsessions of novelty for novelty's sake, sequels, SFX and merchandising.

The production values of such shows are aligned both with those of Hollywood but also with the attention to detail that has been the hallmark at least of British historical drama and documentaries, which is where the BBC has traditionally been so successful internationally and for which it can more easily secure the necessary co-funding in advance. More contemporary shows are occasionally elsewhere but much more likely to be bought as formats (Life on Mars, Shameless) and done for the mass market, which disdains too much non-local locality.

This does suggest that the BBC needs to move away from the me-too crap that it produces to be financially successful. But the charter forces it to try and cater for all. Personally, I agree with you that the Greg Dyke race to the bottom serves no one - the great unwashed reads The Sun and enjoys scandal and sport - and that public broadcasters should concentrate quality* and innovation over repetition quantity.

*It has to come up with its own definition of such and stick to it.

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Has Nokia bottomed out? El Reg drills into the detail

Charlie Clark
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Re: Actually Andrew I agree. That is a reasonable and realistic...........

Where is the room for "distinctiveness" on Windows 8 phones? Nokia needs to be doing more to convince the market that it plans on being more than just Microsoft's hardware division.

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Darth Vader is a pansy

Charlie Clark
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Colours

Black & red, the colours of sports cars sold to men looking to appear more potent. I think there is plenty of trick cyclist research on this but Ferrari's catalogue is probably all the evidence you need.

Personally, I like the idea expounded in "The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover" that black stuff should be more expensive because is symbolises "the mastery over death".

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Microsoft: Azure now holds FOUR TREELLION objects

Charlie Clark
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Smells decidedly fishy

What counts as an object and what services are using which, er, services?

I.e. is Azure underpinning Skydrive and Office 365?

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New! Yahoo! CEO! Mayer! awarded! mucho! mazuma!

Charlie Clark
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Sharpen your pencils

Thinking of applying for the perks are you?

I can see the headlines now: "Male Reg commentard impregnates self in attempt to secure comfy affirmative action CEO package."

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Google ordered to censor 'torrent', 'megaupload' and more words

Charlie Clark
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Re: Word of Mouth

You are suffering from observational bias. You are only likely to hear of such cases which involve American companies. In certain industries American companies predominate, largely due to the size of the domestic market, the importance of the English language and the US venture capital market.

Other examples demonstrating a more even-handed approach: fines on price-fixing in the DRAM market; denying additional subsidies to German state banks; forcing BAA to sell Gatwick; unbundling electricity transmission networks from production capacity...

France is a special case with a strong history of free speech, a very independent judiciary (recently sentenced an ex-president); and a strong ip rights lobby (musicians, artists, writers but also the fashion industry). Previous cases have also involved sales of knock-off handbags but also Nazi memorabilia. You could also include the recent law criminalising denial of acts of genocide (the holocaust but also the massacre of Armenians in Turkey).

Nevertheless, I can see the judgement could be overturned at European level as unfair interference. The politicians tend to drag the feet in such cases but the courts would be obliged to respect a judgement.

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Judge: Apple must run ads saying Samsung DIDN'T copy the iPad

Charlie Clark
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Re: How big is your fine judge?

Apple is going to want to keep this story out of the media at all costs. If they haven't already launched an appeal then they probably won't. The notice on the website doesn't have to be very big or noticeable and infinitely more acceptable than being done for contempt.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Timing is perfect!

Why do you think an appeal will be successful? Looks like the judge is merely backing up his judgement that Apple's actions were damaging and maybe even defamatory. Nice precedent.

Maybe Apple's motto will become: live by the court, die by the court.

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Java won the smartphone wars (and nobody noticed)

Charlie Clark
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Conclusion missing?

How does the post demonstrate Java winning in the end? Or is just an oblique reference to victory of the Java-like Dalvik on Android? Java doesn't run legally on IOS as far as I know.

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Chinese gov splurges £102 MILLION to replace pirated software

Charlie Clark
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They paid how much?

Given the figures that get bandied around about UK government licence fees the amount looks vaguely insulting and probably doesn't even cover the installs of a medium Chinese municipality. But it's probably the best Microsoft can expect for the next few years and cheaper than paying lawyers who've got no chance.

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PayPal is bleeding market share and it's all eBay's fault

Charlie Clark
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What's all the fuss about?

Bank giro transfers are easy, secure and cheap in the SEPA (Single European Payment Area).

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WinPho to eke out 4% of US smartphone biz

Charlie Clark
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Everthing's fine in the powerpoint

A company here is still toting Gartner's prediction from last year of 10 % market share for Windows Phone 7 in 2012. If it works for them, I'm sure it will work for Microsoft.

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Nearly 2 MILLION US Facebook users quit social network

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: Vatican City 0

Maybe need to switch to the rhythm method?

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iPhone 5 poised to trounce Android, devastate BlackBerry?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Korea

My own unrepresentative sample of a typical teen fashion victim today who was desperate for I-Phone a year ago and today plenty happy with her Samsung S3 with which she could show me the midday temperature in southern Italy: 46°C. A scorcher. Mammoth definitely a plus there.

The analysts can make more money from phones that can be treated as luxury goods than they can from commodity items. The nimbus of the App Store is fading and the Long Tail has been proven to be a false hope. ow that it's. No longer possible to be cool with the same toy that everyone else has, we're moving back to whichever phone case can be easily customised as a differentiator n. Seen a couple of retro C-90 cassette backplates for I-Phones recently. Should be a big chance for Nokia but they seem to have lost the plot in going for hand unfriendly forms.

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Charlie Clark
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Location

They don't actually mean Minnesota, just Minneapolis-St Paul. Or do you see these analysts actually driving out to Uncle Jurgen's farm to ask him? Likewise California will be the Valley or southern California, not Concord, and New York will be the city and not upstate, China will be Shanghai and Korea, Seoul.

There is now not an inconsiderable investment by pundits in the IOS eco-system. Android is far too anarchic for them to make easy sense (socio-economic) of. Plus, they don't tend to own one even though world+dog is busy putting one in their pocket or handbag.

@ El Reg size does matter but "form follows function". If people want to watch films and look at photos on their phone then they will want the biggest and best display that they can hold comfortably in one hand.

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Olympic Security cock-up was down to that DARN software

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dedication

Oh shit, just noticed that there is a real company and not just a Day Today parody... Life following art?

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Charlie Clark
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Dedication

I was phoned up on holiday...

What in a couple of weeks before the event? That's kind of dedication that gives people faith in a company SecuriCare... Guess that's no Christmas bonus for Mr Buckles then? Not unless he manages to screw over his under minimum wage employees even more.

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Microsoft 'didn't notice' it had removed Browser Choice for 17 months

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: So nobody noticed.....

Oi, wanker.

It was already known as the European Commission in 1993. The Commission's budget is tiny in comparison to GDP, national budgets or the multitude of subventions that member states push through to support their pet industries. But maybe you'd prefer price-fixing and higher mobile phone charges?

That's not to say that the Commission hasn't wasted money on pet projects but it does have a far better track record than most national governments.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: And at what point...

As soon as Apple makes Safari a requirement for particular tasks then you can imagine the lawyers penning their letters.

More surprising is the lack of action taken against the App Store and the whole walled-garden approach.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: lack of intent can be a mitigating factor.

Difficult to see that applying in this case. Burden of proof of complying with the judgement must lie with offending party, ie. Microsoft.

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More Steve Jobs iPad mini attacks from beyond the grave

Charlie Clark
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I-Book? I-Pod Max? They might certainly want to keep their toes in the pure consumer world that Amazon and now Google are going for.

I agree that 7" is too small for many productivity apps, my Samsung Galaxy 8.9 is about as good as it gets (size, weight and usability trade-off) in my view but perfectly good for media consumption which is why e-book-readers are generally 6" or 7".

Apple's happy as long as it means people are holding off buying from Amazon or Google.

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

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

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

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

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Eurozone crisis hits pay TV: Punters pick broadband over telly

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not surprising

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

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Who wrote this tripe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Microsoft to announce new Office version on Monday

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Ribbion

They could always try triangles!

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I like Ribbon

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

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

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

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

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US county named 'area of outstanding natural stupidity'

Charlie Clark
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Some errors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tablets, copycats and Weird Al Yankovic

Charlie Clark
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Missing the point

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

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Disable Gadgets NOW says Redmond

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Ijeets

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

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

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US mulls outlawing rival product bans using standards patents

Charlie Clark
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Oh please...

Did I read this right?

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

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

Yeah, right. Ain't gonna happen.

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hear, hear!

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

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

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

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Geek darling GitHub nabs $100m investment

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wait, what?

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

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

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Apple unveils tightened Mountain Lion requirements

Charlie Clark
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Re: WTF?

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: Looking for a new job methinks

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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No law required

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

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

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

Charlie Clark
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Stock prices

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

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

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

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Charlie Clark
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Computers

What terrible nightmares of the future!

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

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

Blinking lights and pedantic!

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Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Not 100% of apps running?

From Wikipedia:

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Does AnTuTu use JNI/NDK?

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

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

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

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

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

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

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

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

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

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Charlie Clark
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It's not the court...

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

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