Feeds

* Posts by Charlie Clark

2564 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Why Zuck will go soft for Facebook Phone - and rebrand Android

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

I'm not sure anyone is making money on Facebook stock beyond the initial IPO. It's just dipped below $30 for the first time.

You can be sure that someone is making money on that. It's what short-selling is all about. And any employees that were given shares before the IPO and are allowed to sell them might be cashing in as well. Even at $30 a share they're still getting a pretty good deal.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

Aside from the issues of encouraging users to invalidate the warranties of their devices by installing a different OS, they'd also have to support any idiots facebookers willing to try.

Easier to partner with an existing manufacturer such as HTC and get them to do the software changes. Buying RIM would give them the possibly poisoned chalice of a hardware department but more attractively the messaging suite.

Time for those with inside knowledge to make some money from the stockmarket.

0
0

Dell Windows 8 tablet, hybrid details leak

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

What's the exta depth for?

I assume it (the pad) comes with a fan just in case the cores actually have to do some work? 710g is just about acceptable.

The "meccano" one is too heavy for an Air clone: 1.1 kg max. And, as others have said, Asus' approach to mixing an matching tablets and notebooks seems better: the keyboard not only comes with keys, duh, but an extra battery pack.

1
0

MySQL's growing NoSQL problem

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I'm intrigued

Another predictably poor piece of OpEd from Mr Asay.

I am, however, intrigued by the silence around the third category in the soothsayer's diagram: NewSQL. Is this an attempt to remedy the inherent deficiencies in the language? Or perhaps a set of engines that successfully distinguish between the logical and implementation layers?

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Yes, but..

Why would people pick MySQL in the first place? Because "everybody else does it", and they don't know any better. As the M in LAMP it sees a lot of automatic deployment even if a different approach might've been a better idea. It happens.

10 to 15 years ago MySQL was also available for Windows users which meant that many new developers chose it as they could run it on their own computers. As with so many other things at the time this meant that impressionable people chose tools because they were easy to use rather than their suitability for the job. That was bad enough, but it was compounded by the abundance of poor advice and hacks to compensate for deficiencies of said tools. SQL injection would never have been a problem if code examples and libraries demonstrated the use of pararmeterised queries.

Much as I personally detest the MyASM backend it was developed for a reason. I just wish this wasn't the default behaviour as errors in your application are likely to be exposed after deployment. Data integrity is fucking difficult to impose in the application layer which makes it one of the main reasons for using a data management system. You can get the pretty much the same performance using an ACID system if you selectively switch off or defer constraint checking but this is like two consenting adults agreeing to have sex without a condom - they are aware of the risks.

Of course, MyASM is supposed to be a great funnel for customers to upgrade their applications to Oracle once the failures inherent in a non-ACID data-based application start to appear.

0
0

Hackers threaten fresh wave of anti-capitalist web rioting

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: How come

a) because the software is easy to install on windows

OR

b) because that's all they need to do to make the high and mighty quake in their boots

0
0

SpaceX does what it HASN'T done before: Dragon in close ISS flyby

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Economics of reusability

Dragon would essentially re-use just the capsule, which is hardly equivalent to the shuttle cockpit. All the rest - the heavy bits of machinery - still gets dumped. But for the moment, this is the realistic way to do it, like it or not. The advantage is, at least in theory, where the shuttle needed to be essentially remanufactured after each flight, this time they may actually keep most of the thing in working condition.

That's pretty much my thinking and a useful clarification of the situation. I think it's why ESA doesn't bother about trying to reuse the ATV. I suspect real reuse won't really be possible until we have an easy way of getting in and out of orbit and can employ modified ship containers.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Economics of reusability

I thought the Space Shuttle demonstrated that the nice idea of reusable rockets being cheaper didn't really work with space vehicles. I can imagine it being made to do so but would like to see more information as to how this would work. Especially the idea of sending the thing up with more fuel than it needs to get to where its going.

It's an admirable in achievement in terms of time and materials used.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Well done.

It's not *their* money. NASA is paying for everything except on a fixed-price instead of cost-plus basis.

0
0

LG pitches £7k 55in OLED TV, again

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Sure. Horses for courses: projectors are loud, use more energy, have lower contrast and bend the picture. The higher contrast of OLED is similar to glossy LCD screens in adding depth of field but without the reflections.

You really need to see the same images using the different technologies in like-for-like settings. Sales of these TVs will pick up once people can see the difference though at the prospective prices you can see their initial use limited to people with loads of money or special display environments. Power consumption might be a consideration for anywhere that runs displays for more than a couple of hours a day.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Wider gamut

OLED has already has far wider gamut than LCD because it is not filter-based. As the materials for different colours age differently, blue faster, software must adapt the brightness of pixels over time to cope with this. The additional white pixel in LG's panels is mainly for this.

3
0

Special Projects Burro pops his hooves

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Skulduggery

Are you sure it wasn't sabotage by a rival team possibly hoping to hijack any future asstronautical escapades.

4
0

WTF is... Li-Fi?

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

4
1

Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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!

0
0

Facebook underwriters accused of hiding forecast

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

1
0

Chrome spends a week at the top of the browser charts

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

5
0

Ouch! Facebook slumps below IPO value on day 2

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

1
0

Twitter signs up for Do Not Track

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Samsung and SK Hynix shares slide on Apple snub

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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.

0
0

BBC deletes Blue Peter from BBC One

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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!

3
0

Google+ dying on its arse – shock new poll

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

5
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

IBM smashes Flash out of Wimbledon, serves up HTML5 app

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

1
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

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.

1
1

AMD: New Trinity laptop chips out-juice Intel graphics

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Free Sottware

Is that Free Sottware™ or what?

0
0

Next-gen MacBook Pro, iMac make benchmark site debut

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

3
0

Vote now for the worst movie NEVER made

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Casting error

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

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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?

1
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

2
0

Intel CEO predicts DOOM for fab industry and competitors

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Apple OS X update puts elderly Flash out of its misery

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Come on Apple

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

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

5
1

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

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

1
3

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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.

0
0

Mozilla and Google blast IE-only Windows on ARM

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Google Calling the Kettle Black

Opera Mobile is my default but Maxthon is surprisingly good.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0

WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

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.

0
5

Jolly rogered

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Up

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!

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: "Dick recognition software, perhaps?"

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

1
0

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S III

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

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,

2
0

Samsung shows 'designed for humans' handset

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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.

5
0

Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
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?

9
2