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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2801 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Internet of Things? Hold my beer, I got this: ARM crafts OS to rule them all

Charlie Clark
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Re: Too many cooks

It's the usual marketing blurb. I'm sure most are happy that ARM is taking the lead but they get source code when then need it. More important will be reliable documentation and knowledgable support.

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Charlie Clark
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WTF?

The idea here is so that people who are handy with C++, JavaScript, HTML, Swift and other languages for phones, tablets and desktops can prototype and build applications for fiddly hardware ultimately hidden away under the mbed stack.

What? Both of them?

I'm not sure where this idea came from but it will take some work to convince me that the async patterns of the web-twiddlers will work well in the embedded world. But Erlang might see a renaissance!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So Raspian?

No, it's for the microcontroller stuff. You can imagine some of it might for the basis of a BIOS for ARM devices which would certainly help wider adoption, but above that things will stay much as they are.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: We all saw this coming...

We are talking about microcontrollers here. Even with the rise of open source hardware this is still a very different area from PCs. Manufacturers are already paying to licence ARM and are quite happy to do so.

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So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

Charlie Clark
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Its legacy lives on

In the deliberate date bug in Excel which treats 1900 as a leap year (it wasn't) in deference to an error in 1-2-3 and lots of legacy spreadsheets.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mistakes?

Notes turned into a huge money spinner ant, until Windows did the dirty with NT, OS/2 was the only PC platform capable of supporting enough memory for large spreadsheets. I can't program C++ but I'm bet the OS/2 API was better than then Windows one. The switch required a complete rewrite and, this was the days before pervasive VCS and backups, I'm not sure if all the original code was still around.

OS/2 was a far better system than Windows on DOS but was hamstrung by the presentation manager and later, ironically, by virtualising DOS and Windows so well that customers didn't need to migrate their software to it, just allocate DOS boxes more memory. While we all suffered long term as Microsoft learned how to program larger systems, customers benefitted at the time.

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AMD, Oracle sweep their glasses off the table, ARM wrestle Hadoop for the data center

Charlie Clark
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Re: Zen?

Just as the article says: ARM + specialised silicon, which in some workloads will be x86.

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Oracle will 'kill MySQL' and steal its users? Ha ha, haha, ha. Seriously, we won't – Oracle exec

Charlie Clark
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Re: Meaningless statistics

MySQL is only fast for queries that don't involve JOINs. The optimiser seems to have a love-hate relationship with foreign keys.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It's still Oracle

What's wrong with Oracle want to segment and make money? Lots of companies are happy to pay for support.

I much prefer Postgres over MySQL but that doesn't mean I don't want to see improvements in both. I'm very pleased that companies are also seriously evaluating Postgres / Enterprise DB as a possible replacement for Oracle. This should hopefully prompt Oracle to improve their product offerings.

MariaDB on the other hand looks like the continuation of the fast, poor quality bits of MySQL. But there are obviously people who want just that.

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Charlie Clark
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"Frankly, when MySQL came into Oracle, MySQL was a bit of a mess,"

Absolutely. It's still got some stupid bugs but has a got a lot better since it's been at Oracle.

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German data commish makes a Hamburger out of Google

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hamburg Uber Alles

They have an office in Munich too…

True but the ad sales are based in Hamburg.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Hamburg Uber Alles

Hopefully. After the German elections we had the European ones and now we're working on a new Commission… The TTIP stuff will no doubt also include all kinds of exemptions…

Same thing happened to the environmental legislation that Germany had previously agreed to.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Hamburg Uber Alles

Google's German office is based in Hamburg.

It's not the EU that's the brake on this but the German government: Merkel got the update on the EU rules postponed last year which would have given more force to Data Protection Officers.

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Apple finally patches Bash Shellshock vuln that WAS NOT A WORRY, OK?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this really relevant for OS X?

Executive summary: Mavericks DHCP client not vulnerable.

But is it vulnerable to other exploits?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why Bash at all?

Mac OS doesn't have a root user in the same way that BSD does so you run sudo -s with the same shell as your user. I agree root with the C-shell would be better but that's the way it is.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this really relevant for OS X?

Lots of stuff in OS X is run via the shell so the exposure is there. Anyone who has web sharing enabled is in danger so Apple is responsible for protecting them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not available

@Frankee

Sure, I could write a cronjob to run as root to do this but: will my machine be on when it's due to run? Do I get to tell it not to run because I'm on a shitty or expensive network?

Anyway the main point is Apple ships a load of Posix stuff, some of which is weirdly patched and or broken and doesn't maintain it. Not everyone is familiar with the command line and even those of us who are have better things to do. Taking the Posix stuff out of the OS and treating them as third party ports would make it a lot easier for Apple to integrate (and test) upstream fixes and include it in a user friendly GUI like Software Update.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not available

sudo port install bash

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not available

Or maybe they will grow up and bless MacPorts or Homebrew as the systems for managing their POSIX stuff and just integrate it with their software update GUI.

At the moment I have to do the following every day:

sudo port sync && port outdated

if there are any outdated packages

sudo port upgrade outdated && sudo port uninstall inactive

Don't wait for Apple: install MacPorts from http://www.macports.org

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ARMs head Moonshot bodies: HP pops Applied Micro, TI chips into carts

Charlie Clark
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Re: Really?

Seems to me the whole point of the moonshot. Though I'm pretty sure the idea of the TI DSP comes from an existing or prospective customer.

I'm sure the idea is to support the kind of architecture you're talking about with the standardisation of modules an attack on proprietary solutions. ARM can be a baseline for booting the rest of the kit which might be more ARM or other stuff. Good luck to them if it works.

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Charlie Clark
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Good way to get your foot in the door.

I can see telcos buying these boxes to replace existing proprietary ones. I can't imagine anywhere is using x86 for this kind of workload as it is suited to dedicated workloads. Buyers will have to weigh the potential extra costs of patching and deploying software themselves against any savings and independence from suppliers.

Intel doesn't need to worry, yet because it's not in those markets. But, of course, if the boxes turn out to deliver the right performance with low power draw and at an acceptable price then there will be appetite for more and it will presumably be easy enough to plugin whichever modules are required whether its multimedia or cryptography. At some point someone will try them as file or web servers.

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Internet of Stuff: Chip rivals try to stop Cortex-M7 from flexing ARM’s muscle

Charlie Clark
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Re: IPv6 ?

Not sure that's relevant here. In any case it might make more sense for IPv6 to get more roadtesting on devices which can update their code before it gets universal adoption.

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Charlie Clark
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All this means that Quark may be a strong challenger to some ARM-based embedded processors…

Where's the evidence for this assertion? Is the Quark being used anywhere in volume? And if, as the article goes on to argue, even cheaper open source hardware is starting to appear, how does Intel stack up there?

I thought Quark was supposed to be the gateway drug from Intel for embedded Its power consumption is still well above that of the M-series so it waves the x86 instruction set to attract attention. Personally, I think the ARM has an increasingly attractive argument about the same toolchain across devices.

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EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Re: Good

Fuck off you UKIP numpty!

The Commission only got involved in roaming charges because the case was made that operators were hindering the free market through price-fixing that wasn't covered by the terms of the national licences.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Data only?

No, data just needs to be dumped onto the local internet.

Sure, the difference is in the load carried by the cells. A football stadium of people chatting uses essentially the same kind of resources today as it did in the middle of the 1990s. A bit different when you think about the differences in the use of data from 9600 baud to 50 Mb/s.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I hate to stick up for mobile operators, but...

For voice you're wrong which is why the package has already been agreed to. We already don't pay anything like the real cost of making a call which is why a comparison based on costs is fundamentally flawed.

Roaming always involved charging the user for imaginary costs and splitting the profit between the user's network and the network where they were roaming. In a regulated market this might have been covered by termination fees based on actual costs but there were obvious reasons why the networks would never agree to that.

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Charlie Clark
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Data only?

My provider (E-Plus in Germany) has already got rid of roaming charges for incoming calls when I travel and the rest of the prices are largely in line with what I pay here. If the wholesale caps are inplace than I can't see anyone surviving the competition if they maintain roaming charges as we will be able to pick and choose our roaming partners.

I can see some leeway for data, which remains very expensive when abroad, as it doesn't scale the same way: as hard as we try we can't really hold multiple conversations at once so capacity is easier to plan for. Much more difficult to cater for the same users as they move from SMS to IM to VoIP to streaming video.

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Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights

Charlie Clark
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The catch, of course, is that passengers in a plane flying at 35,000 feet probably won't be able to connect to GSM towers on the ground, so it will be up to airlines to provide in-flight telecoms services if they're so inclined.

Oh, I don't know about that. Depends on what kind of power they have and how big the battery is. The problem at 35,000 feet isn't being able talk to a tower but to know which tower to talk to. The maths behind cells assume that most people are on or close to the ground.

The airlines have known for some years that there are phone radios on on nearly every flight, mostly because people forget to switch them off.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Charlie Clark
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Good article

Nice to see how you detail all the steps and their attendant pitfalls.

The key phrase, though, is whether you're listening attentively. If you are, and you know the track well, then you'll notice all kinds of things. If you're not, you're unlikely to notice anything. The reason for this is that the brain uses lots of lossy compression techniques for processing audio and visual data. This is why we're so susceptible to optical and aural illusions – there was a good Horizon program on it a while back. But you will almost certainly notice the difference in the EQ settings. I have music on quietly all day as it helps me concentrate. I can nearly always tell when I forgot to switch the EQ back to standard for music from

Speakers should be able to move enough air and well enough damped not to sound harsh or tinny. But if the acoustics of your room are poor like a car or a bathroom you're unlikely to notice even that.

Want to really know what your various sources sounds like? Get some monitoring headphones on and listen to the quiet bits. Other than that go with what works best for you.

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Latest Firefox and Thunderbird updates plug CRITICAL SSL vuln

Charlie Clark
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Which other software is affected?

I thought NSS was quite popular.

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IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'

Charlie Clark
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Re: They're not losing anything. At least not what the doomsdayers claim.

I don't understand either the analogy or the conclusion.

Amazon's profits are wafer-thin because it's in low-margin, high-volume, high-capex business. Any ROI for investors in stock-price only and that because of the expectations of future business because it certainly isn't justified by current profits. I personally like the way Bezos tries new stuff, though I do wish he'd get out of the business of owning warehouses and actually shipping physical products.

As someone else pointed out the other day: in hosting you don't pay for what you use but for what you provision and this is the achilles heel of the whole model. At some point vendors will have to drive up their yield in order to make money or go out of business. That will make the whole system much less flexible unless derivatives are introduced allowing resource trade between users.

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh $!#t.

bash -version

GNU bash, Version 4.3.25(1)-release (x86_64-apple-darwin13.2.0)

But then again I use MacPorts to manage most of my command line stuff as you can't rely on Apple to update the stuff.

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4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

Charlie Clark
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@logistix looks like a lot of very uptight people around today. I haven't seen any of the latest pictures but I'm not going to be so prudish as to say I wouldn't look, be unsurprised at how unspectacular they are and move on. I do remember the Paris Hilton grumble flick. Now that was funny!

In terms of being nasty to the people involved - yep, don't agree with it – but the tabloids are often a lot crueller. As you point out there are a few lessons for us all to learn about who we trust and with what.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just for my own piece of mind...

@Mycho for letting us see what all the fuss was about. I'm reminded of wontsomebodythinkofthechildren.com

Much ado about nothing. Let them pretend to have naked pictures of the woman and let's watch the internet dissolve in nowtrage. Maybe we need a new word for it? Suggestions please. I'll get the ball rolling with "nowtnet"

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Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why, oh why, in this the twenty-first century common era ...

Why, oh why,…

Equating technological progress with civilisation is at best naive, at worst stupid: it has also given us atomic bombs, nerve gas and a heap of other things the world would definitely be much better without.

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Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Charlie Clark
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Re: I say good for them

@MyBackDoor

I'm not a gamer – I generally play Freecell or Sudoku when I play anything – but I have played many of the Blizzard Warcraft and Starcraft games (from version 1) because of their attention to detail and their sense of fun. The MMOs never interested me so I never got into WoW but I know people who got a lot of fun out of it and praised the way Blizzard managed upgrades and add-ons. They had to get the $50m to spunk on development from somewhere.

While such games will continue to enjoy a loyal following, I think there's little doubt that the future will be games that also work on phones and pads where for various reasons such as screen size and input device, but also the ability to be done during the commute, the classic MMO doesn't work.

In-game purchases never interested me but they obviously stuck a chord with a lot of people. People collect cards, mod their cars, etc. Why shouldn't they do the same with computer games?

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Phones 4u demise: 1,700 employees laid off with redundo package

Charlie Clark
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If we're really lucky one of the central banks bought it in an attempt to "stimulate the economy" and will get fuck all for it. Yay! Taxpayers get fucked again!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Have to Agree

In some countries such "special payments" would count as embezzlement. Not in the UK, it seems, which is why the Glazers could do the same thing with United.

The banks know exactly what the PE companies are up to as they usually invest (other people's money) in their schemes. Financial engineering usually makes the often very odd deals seem to work. In the last few years it's not been uncommon for PE companies to play pass the parcel with acquisitions in order to meet their targets.

I think there probably is a place for buyouts – taking a company off an exchange can be very helpful if it needs restructuring – but the degree of leverage should be much more restricted. Unfortunately, however, the current loose monetary policy is encouraging more of these kind of deals.

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Will Europe's ISPs unmask anonymous IP infringers?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not rocket science

Pretty much all postal systems scan and store the metadata.

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Charlie Clark
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Going nowhere fast

Anything that involves the ISPs is likely to fall foul of existing ECJ judgements and technical restrictions are more likely to harm legitimate business than reduce privacy. You can already go after payment providers who work with criminals.

The Council of Ministers itself does not legislate. All it can do is ask the Commission to draft some legislation which then has to go through the European Parliament and national parliaments.

The big battle is going to be the upcoming renewal of data protection and privacy rules and how TTIP and CETA will try and scupper or work round them.

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Please, Please, Please

The Samsung last generation flagship minis are probably what you want: you should be able to get an S4 mini for a reasonable price. While I don't mind the TouchWiz stuff I'm getting fed up of the private data slurping so installed Cyanogenmod. It's worth learning to switch off wifi for better battery life.

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Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: A Samsung or Google paid analyst, uh?

I don't hold much store by analysts either. They're looking in the wrong place for a start: orders at Apple's suppliers (easier to identify now the product is out) would be a better place. But as a supplier itself Samsung probably already knows.

No, analysts and consultants are usually paid to put spin on company's own plans.

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

Charlie Clark
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What's missing

Is the suggestion that the market for high-end smartphones might be limited for everybody. Including Apple. Could fanbois ever get tired of the upgrade cycle?

This one of the reasons why the consumer electronics companies are trying the spraygun approach with new products like wearables but also media add-ons like Chromecast or home automation, POS devices, vertical industries. Apple is very coyly and stylishly playing me too here as well. If all goes well then they will be hailed for the getting the Apple Watch right. If it doesn't go well then Apple's PR will make sure that nobody's talking about it a year from now.

That manufacturers are still throwing so many resources at the market and iterating so quickly suggests they might be onto something. The next generation of Android is going to make their lives a lot easier. I hesitate to use the word "game-changer" but Android L certainly looks very impressive to me. Find the right market (and we should be looking beyond the customer markets for where the real added value is). What if someone gets a contract to supply tablets and associated services to hospitals?

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Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months

Charlie Clark
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Re: Probably Short Sighted ...

Mozilla has suffered from feature creep and lack of focus in the past. It's in a pretty privileged position because it doesn't have shareholders to please but it still has a job to do. A couple of years ago Mozilla was hoovering up all kinds of developers and gave them pretty free rein. But you've got to see what works.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Charlie Clark
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Puff piece

Did anyone think this was more than a puff piece for Dolby's tech?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 4K in 1993

Who do you think Silicon Graphics' customers were? There's a reason why commodity PC hardware still isn't used for post-production.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: On being slowly boiled alive with video standards

no-one 'replaces' their DVD collection unless something new/better comes along.

I think VHS to DVD was the last time people fell for this ruse. The main changes people notice are the improvements in the codecs: DVD looks shabby on a HD screen because the MPEG artefacts are sharpened. If pushed people can notice the difference between 720p (or lower) and 1080p but that requires concentration not usually associated with the living room.

You have already purchased the viewing rights to whatever it is so you shouldn't have to do so again for a different format. If Hollywood wants us to change formats something like an incentive to trade-in would do wonders.

Google and Apple already have the infrastructure for 4k but Google prefers (rightly in my opinion) WebM over HEVC which is why all new Android devices have to support it in hardware: the format wars aren't over.

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India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction

Charlie Clark
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Go

Congratulations

Let's hope the mission is a success. While this is partly bragging rights, it's also an indication of India's commitment to science. It's not just a land of IT-outsourcing and call centres.

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Charlie Clark
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There are plenty of places in any rich country where poverty is rife. The southern states of the USA are particularly galling.

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Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: Scottish Politicians warn Telcos that Hefty Bills could lead to Nationalization of Telcos.

Presumably this "nationalization" would take place when the Americans invade and insist we use their language?

Much as I prefer the "s" spelling myself the "z" spelling is known as the Oxford spelling because its used by the OED, though I think the reasons are different: the Oxford spelling is for classicists; the American is phonetic.

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