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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2706 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Charlie Clark
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Re: Win 8.x

I don't agree. For this kind of high-level comparison the version families can be compared and would demonstrate growth in market-share for Windows 8 due to 8.1.

Windows 8 seems to be replicating Windows Vista with businesses preferring to skip it and the majority of consumers put off by the UI despite undoubted technical improvements.

These desktop website visitor stats should be accompanied by the desktop vs. mobile trend, which I suspect will show desktop continuing to shrink.

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Nokia Networks: Don't hate us, broadcasters – we're testing LTE for TV

Charlie Clark
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Re: cue lots of rubbing hands with glee

Except for public service broadcasters who are obliged to provide free to air signals. In Germany there has been some controversy due to the decision of some private channels to stop using DVB-T because of the apparently negative cost/benefit ratio with most of their punters already using satellite.

DVB-T in Germany is nothing like as healthy as it is in the UK: fewer channels (though it still manages to have a load of shit) and no HD, so LTE might manage to fill a niche. However, the topography is against it: satellite is popular in rural areas where terrestrial propagation (UHF or phone) is poor and most cities have good cable coverage. TV over IP is already offered by all the large ISPs. So while TV over LTE might be an interesting technology it's got a lot of existing investment to compete with. DVB-H demonstrated a distinct lack of demand in being able to watch TV on the move.

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Samsung faces down TAB and smartphone MOUNTAIN HORROR

Charlie Clark
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Re: I ain't buying

I agree that Kies is a piece of shit. Fortunately, however, as it conflicts with the Android MTP on MacOS I had to remove it.

Regarding TouchWiz - there are bits of it I like over stock Android and bits I don't.

Regarding the bundled apps - some of them have some good stuff in them like the camera and the music player, others are pretty meh

I tried CyanogenMod on my S4 mini the other month and have stuck with it. It is faster than without but the reason I'm keeping it is to be able to manage my privacy settings now that nearly all apps are trying to access everything.

The S5 continues the trend of incremental improvements: water resistance and an even better screen. Great if you need a new phone but not enough to tempt me from my current perfectly usable one.

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Charlie Clark
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Re: In my experience...

True, but PHP does also hand such developers a pre-loaded gun with an automatic foot sensor.

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Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more

Charlie Clark
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If Amazon is convinced that it's right…

… it can take the initiative by contracting and publishing authors directly. Anything else is just bluster.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Charlie Clark
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Faultline…

Less breathy than usual but still characterised by stating the bleeding obvious while leaving out important qualifiers.

The report cited refers to US households and these are not the same as the rest of the world: for one thing average broadband speeds in Europe are > 16 Mb/s

4k will succeed only if the programming becomes available. This will be possible for films, many of which have been produced digitally in similar resolutions for years now. But films aren't enough. In order to create significant consumer demand, sports programming will have to adopt the new format. AFAIK Sony was trialling 4k at the world cup. Presumably the results are being analysed to see whether studios are prepared to make the necessary kind of investment (cameras, studios, multiplexes, satellites, etc.) to offer it.

Inasmuch as the technology for the chain has not yet been finalised (HEVC and VP9 are both still in development) it's a little early to expect a major shift yet.

But the screens are a by-product of the ever higher pixel density of our handheld devices and as such will enter our homes in the replacement cycle as our current generation of tellies will probably need replacing sooner than the last - our first colour telly lasted around 25 years, the second around 10.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Quantity not quality

Or compare BBC on Freeview to the first days of OnDigital. I am sure BBC1 (in SD) looked better in 1999 than today.

I suspect you're looking at it on a better and larger telly than in 1999 so any artefacts introduced by compression are more obvious. I find the artefacts are more of a problem than the lower resolution when comparing SD and HD.

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SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud

Charlie Clark
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After spending twenty years applying a combination of price cuts, smart logistics, and ruthless efficiency

You forgot: underpaying workers, underpaying suppliers and using tax numerous dodging strategies.

Amazon's online shopping model is fundamentally flawed because individual delivery incurs very high costs. This is why margins have always been terrible.

To his credit Bezos has always been clear about his aims and impressive with innovation. AWS was an interesting development due to Amazon's need for massive computing power to cope with peaks such as Thanksgiving in America and Christmas around the world. Kindle and LoveFilm are both attempts to get out of the ruinous business of storing and shipping physical goods individually. Publishing and investing in video production are attempts to move up the value chain.

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White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Asia?

Well, in the Valley it will generally does mean all of Asia, though predominantly South Asia (India) and East Asia (China, Taiwan, Korea).

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Facebook haters, look away now: BABY SNAP site's profit is up 138%

Charlie Clark
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I'm surprised, too. What are people clicking on?

I do wonder whether some of this is driven by companies speculating that it's going to be effective allowing Facebook to keep rates high or whether it's simply selling the oodles of demographic data it has.

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Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July

Charlie Clark
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Wait and see

Already had one report from a friend of the new version crashing hard. Assuming my hardware (2009) is still supported I'll probably wait until at least the first patch release. I don't have any IOS devices so I don't really expect much from this release.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark Description...

Charlie, do you mean that to exclude those with "extensive script-blocking" will reduce the target size?

No, I said and meant the opposite: most people don't run script-blockers and are thus easy to track using the standard methods.

Personally, I'm quite happy with Ghostery's blocking of the third party crap (all adslingers and trackers by default) but I'm under no illusion that I'm not trackable.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Description...

@Havin_It

Sure, but factor out all those who don't have extensive script-blocking and your target size is much, much smaller.

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Microsoft bags more CASH – but profit's flat as Nadella waves axe

Charlie Clark
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Don't forget switching XP support off was supposed to give a huge boost to OS and Office revenues.

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ARM: We've signed 41 new deals and we are IN to the Internet Of Stuff

Charlie Clark
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Re: 90% market share

Samsung could probably buy the whole company with the spare change in the couch in the office of their CEO

Quite possibly but if it did it would destroy what makes ARM so attractive to all those licence-holders: none is in an unassailable position and they all get to share the pie. This is essential to compete in the embedded market where only huge volumes bring in meaningful revenue but is getting even more interesting as the capabilities (and power draw) of ARM and x86 start to converge. Not a few of those manufacturers are eyeing that $50 bn Intel figure and wondering just how much of that they'll get if ARM continues to grow.

Also, none of the licence-holders needs to worry about ARM taking their business: it doesn't make chips, doesn't have the engineers, and probably more importantly, the billions lying around for fabs.

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Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

Charlie Clark
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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

Let's be honest -– dropping Android was always going to happen – so why didn't they just come out with it. While this may look like, and indeed very well may be, the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, it could all just be tied up in the financials: it was cheaper and easier for Microsoft to sack people than Nokia and this was reflected in the price of the deal, which was, by the way, paid for out of tax-shelter cash.

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So whither Microsoft? If Nadella knows, he is keeping it well hidden

Charlie Clark
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Re: the poorest version of Skype is the one Microsoft produces for its own Windows Phone.

I suspect it's in comparison with the other latest versions but seeing as they are all shite it's a dubious distinction, even as an insult.

On Mac OS I'm sticking with my pre-E-Bay version; I've removed from my droids and Windows and hardly use it nowadays. The last straw was when screensharing was removed - I can still do that with my version but unfortunately others can't.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Story behind Seattle layoffs

Sounds stupid enough to be true.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Charlie Clark
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Also sat nav

Along with the cognitive load of using and of these things there are simple mechanical considerations such as the effect on your steering as you lean over to touch or adjust anything.

The main problem, however, is enforcing much of this. Having a noisy family in the car is probably just as distracting and dangerous.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Tired admin

This is really a splatter-gun approach which fails to grasp the attack. Most of the points are reasonable, though I'd argue that a public server should only install and run the services that it needs. Coincidentally, this is OpenBSD approach.

As (some) others have noted the attack uses remote file inclusion on servers running PHP. There is a simple solution to that… ;-) If you do need PHP then configure it so that RFI is not possible. Relying on defaults and auto-updates in this case are not sufficient.

Using a CDN to soak up and scrub traffic is certainly a good start but your server will generally still be accessible via a sub-domain or via a port-scan.

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PICS: Nokia Lumia 930 – We reveal its ONE unique selling point

Charlie Clark
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Re: the beginning of the end of WP

I think you may be right. The speed of delivery seems to indicate it's not getting the most love. Now that Microsoft and Intel seem to have come up with a reasonable device with the Surface 3 Pro – reasonable as in a lightweight replacement for corporate laptops – I suspect they will be concentrating on that segment and maybe scaling for some purely business devices.

I wonder if this is the last of Lumia's with the spankingly good camera technology which Mr O wryly notes, has been more written about that bought.

Playing devil's advocate here rather than simply bashing Microsoft. I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

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X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Charlie Clark
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Re: Translation

What I don't understand is how is competing in the "higher price tiers" the same as no to cheap Android but yes to cheap Windows Phone. I could understand something like "concentrate resources (and sack the rest…)" but that doesn't sound very much like a services first company. The decision, of course, was inevitable whether for brand or engineering reasons but how did Elop let it get so far?

And, as Mr Orlowski has pointed out elsewhere: where are the resources coming from to increase the speed of development? 8.1 has been a long-time in the making, breaks existing stuff and has been released buggy.

PS. you might think about enabling a spell-checker for your posts

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Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

Charlie Clark
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Re: slagging off the competition

as a result more existing Android users are switching to iOS than iOS users are switching to Android

I've not seen any stats outside the US to back that up. All-in-all the I-Phone is better hardware but the differences between the high-end devices are now minimal and I think the halo/lockin effect is diminishing: I know lots of people who have IOS and Android devices and are happy with that arrangement.

re. your other assertion about developers preferring IOS. I don't think that this is still the case. I recently read the first piece of an IOS developer praising Google for their support as his company starts to successfully sell to both platforms. Sure, the margins may be higher on IOS but the size of the Android market often more than makes up for that.

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Charlie Clark
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Actually, early on Samsung wasn't really part of the Android picture.

It's classical brand segmentation Brand X (leader) or Brand Y (challengers) or Aldi's own. Doing things worldwide fuzzes things up because Xiaomi is pretty much only available in China. Indeed Xiaomi's numbers suggest that these figures are heavily, and perhaps inevitably, skewed by the Chinese market. Other manufacturers may be doing well in smaller markets. Certainly HTC, Sony and Motorola have started to carve their own niches in the wake of Apple and Samsung.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Perhaps

Good for you that you're happy with that kind of aspirational advertising. Sounds like a load of bull (white not add "brings world peace" to the list?) to me but that just tells us we're different kinds of customers.

I like more specific uses that are relevant to me: phone, camera, mapping, e-mail, listen to music / audio books, battery life, cost, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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So Samsung has 5 models in the top 10 – we've no idea what the median or average sales are so the list is fairly meaningless (the 5c in the middle makes me suspicious) – and Apple 3. I If I was Samsung I'd be pretty happy with that, especially with the high margin phones doing so well.

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LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs

Charlie Clark
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Re: What is cruft, what is security, and can the LibreSSL programmers tell the difference?

The LibreSSL guys knew that throwing away tons of cruft was going to introduce bugs and problems…

Less code should mean fewer bugs. This looks like a test was missing: "untested code is broken code".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: 5 seconds of fame

Yep, the release was exactly for this purpose. Whether the exploit is esoteric or not is by-the-by, it was something the developers hadn't thought of. It's been fixed and there is now a test for it.

Next!

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Charlie Clark
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Give them credit

The title of the paper is misleading but they do state quite clearly.

The target audience for our results is younger economists (graduate students, junior faculty) or researchers who have used the computer less often in the past for numerical analysis and who are searching for guideposts in their first incursions into computation.

The focus on different implementations and compilers is revealing as is the algorithm chosen. The aims to suggest what are the best tools for scientists/statisticians. These people are often not trained scientists and will use whatever tool they know to get a job done. In some situations this will be fine and dandy but in others it will have performance will be unacceptable and they will be open for solutions: using a specialised and optimised library; using a similar high-level language more suited to their task; or a different implementation of their current on; or faster hardware. Learning how to use a low-level language is usually not on the cards.

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Mozilla and Facebook snip a further five per cent from all JPEGs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Open sauciness

I wouldn't discount any minor gains for Facebook. A while ago they stated that they serve 600,000 images per second. That's 51.8bn images per day. If they manage to shave even half a kb off each, they save 24TB of bandwidth costs per day.

Sounds good but it's not that simple and the results of the compression are pretty disappointing in my view. Being able to server WebP where possible (ie. all Chrome users so about 40 %) will save a damn sight more without screwing the images much. But it may be something as simple as having a shitty library do the compressing (the tradeoff between speed and quality may actually be more important than bandwidth). Hence the interest in Mozilla's work.

But really, Mozilla, get with it and learn to love WebP.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Open sauciness

Microsoft's JPEG-XR is not open source but it's also not worth bothering about. WebP via mod_pagespeed is probably the only sane thing to do (store a nice quality image and mod_pagespeed will handle compression and serve WebP if the browser can read it). HEVC is encumbered not sure about any restrictions on a spun-out bitmap format but I don't expect it to have legs over WebP.

As far as I can tell Facebook uses very high compression settings for relatively little gain.

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Can nothing trip up the runaway cash monster that is Intel? Well...

Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is getting a huge lift from mobile...

@Mage

They didn't flog ALL their ARM to Marvell either. They have an ARM based comms SoC.

AFAIK They did sell all the ARM to Marvell, the comms SoC was bought from Infineon and is a different beast to the pretty impressive StongARMs they had.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is getting a huge lift from mobile...

ARM trying to breakl into the server room is much like Intel trying to break into mobile space.

It will depend on the kind of servers being required: for some jobs x86 is just what you need, for others it's just too much silicon. Of course, there will only be any kind of take up if the migration between systems is easy enough and we may need a whole new metrics area which works out which services run best of which architectures. I think AMD's approach may work well here: x86 for grunt stuff, GPU for vectoring, custom (ARM) for encryption and standard ARM for simple stuff like http-serving.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: " we believe that over time we can make [mobility] a profitable business,"

As soon as we've got our pals Microsoft to drop all ARM support

Microsoft has pretty much done this already with the Surface 3 Pro being the only Surface 3 in town. Pretty much everyone else has given up making Windows Phone now that Microsoft makes them itself. But the world hasn't really noticed because, despite what the enthusiasts say, Windows Phone is very much a niche player.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Investors aren't counting on Intel to succeed in mobile

But Intel dominates in PC CPUs, and whatever decline there is in PCs will be made up for by increases in servers.

For how much longer? The current server boom coincides but doesn't correlate with the PC business.

ARM is continuing to expand up the food chain and we'll start seeing serious ARM servers over the next 12 months. If any of them deliver significant reductions in capital or operating expenditure we can expect to see the results in Intel's bottom line as it will be forced to reduce prices to maintain market share.

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Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

Charlie Clark
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Re: Minimum specifications for Windows...

Hey cowardly AC, Then Windows 7 and Office 2010 is it,

Not being facetious but what bits can't you do with OpenOffice? I find 4.1 pretty damn good. Otherwise Office 2011 on Mac is fine. Or do you need Outlook?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: a netbook by any other name would stink as much

Netbooks were/are amazingly awesome. Until Microsoft got/get their hands on them, that is.

It was only the ones with XP that sold in any volume but the concept was really hampered by the restrictions that Intel placed on them, limiting screen size, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: a netbook by any other name would stink as much

Actually, this looks like the Toshiba: http://www.toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/satellite/C50/C55-B5299.

Around 2kg, only 2GB RAM and poor resolution for the screen size and not very beefy (not removable) battery.

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Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

Charlie Clark
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Re: G+ as an "identity service"

It is an identity service, just not a named identity service. But it couldn't do that without some kind of formal backup such as id cards.

Google+ is the single-sign-on for the Googly services. Google+ serves some people well as communities and others continue to ignore it.

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Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

Charlie Clark
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Re: Manco

"Manko" means mistake or drawback in German so you can imagine all the fun they have when discussing the reasons for vehicle recall.

Then there's "mushi, mushi" to say hello on the phone. This is funny in German because "mushi" is "fanny".

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YES: Scotland declares independence ... from the dot co dot uk empire

Charlie Clark
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Re: "If Scotland get independance, I'll be the first one to move there."

Oil will be 10% of Scottish GDP. Salmond is talking of getting loans of 3% GDP to stimulate businesses and create unemployment

What more of it? ;-)

Salmond is a smooth talker and a canny (no irony intended) politician (he's still a shit like the rest of them). However, I do think that much like Arafat he may actually prefer remaining First Minister a Scotland within the UK than of an independent Scotland because it is electorally extremely advantageous to be able to blame England/The Tories/London for things.

I hope the referendum in September goes well and sees a large turnout. I also hope that the "better together" campaign finds better arguments than the financial ones. Devolution has been an undoubted success, more of it please including to the English regions. Tax raising powers (and concomitant responsibility).

I can also recommend the piece in this week's Economist that covers many of the practicalities of dealing with independence. Worth reading whatever side you take on the issue.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: how long before...

I refrained from .sssr (Scottish soviet socialist republic) because that would give the wee man even more delusions of grandeur

I don't know. I can imagine Mr Putin being only too happy to help him out: out go the Tridents in come the Russian subs…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Scotland using English tld?

Moot: the vast majority of Scots speak a descendant of Anglo-Saxon and not Gaelic (around 80,000 I believe).

The bigger problem is how all these vanity domains erode the underlying sense of the domain name system.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Subsidised?

I agree that El Reg got it wrong but my understanding is that it's currently even stevens re. North Sea oil and money from Whitehall.

London has its own collection of subsidised masses: bankers, TechCity and anyone benefitting from the various subsidised mortgage schemes.

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Female! ex-Yahoo! coder! says! female! boss! fired! her! for! refusing! sex!

Charlie Clark
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Broken law

This is another example of why American law is so fucked. Sexual harassment should be a criminal offence: report it to the cops and let the public prosecutor take over and not a feast for civil action lawyers fighting not for right or wrong but for the biggest payout.

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BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist

Charlie Clark
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Re: Add the 3d farce

I think you're the first Dutch person I've come across who dislikes subtitles. All my friends claim that they don't notice them, at least for English language films. Here in good old Jormany we get horribly dubbed films: Clouseau does not have a silly French accent in German versions of the Pink Panther!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cause or effect

So the implication is that studios should be paying the filesharers for the benefit they confer?

Not necessarily. The research does seem to back up the idea that file sharing can act as publicity: whether it's because people dislike screeners (I can't stand them myself) or subsequently decide to watch a film on the big screen or both.

However, one thing file sharing definitely does is displace activity: if you're watching something you've torrented you're not doing something else (such as watching the same item on DVD or TV or out down the pub with your mates). In fact, in many countries torrents of Hollywood films have displaced local films.

Hollywood has for years been griping about sales lost to piracy, and got some nice laws drafted for its efforts, but it has also been far more positive about digital downloads than the music industry. Both have suffered more from expected incomes from format shifts (remember all the CDs we bought for vinyl or DVDs of VHS we already had?) failing to materialise. In music this was coupled with some stupid contracts and artists rediscovering concerts (previously a means to publicise records, now highly lucrative events not least because the record companies were cut out). Hollywood has profited from the proliferation of TV channels as additional means of distribution in the digital age but failed to see those channels as potential threats: HBO, et al. have for years been producing better quality fare of their own and have become more interesting for artists.

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May: UK data slurp law is fine, but I still need EMERGENCY powers

Charlie Clark
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Re: "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

It doesn't matter anyway as although the taps were/are illegal there won't be any court cases as a result, partly because they'll be too much leaning on the relevant companies from other governments keen to join in and partly because the "national security" joker would be played preventing any evidence being admitted.

However, it is foolish in the extreme to change the law before a new EU directive has been crafted.

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Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...

Charlie Clark
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Missing tagline?

"Study sponsored by EMC"?

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Microsoft's Lumia 930... a real HANDFUL

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Is this the review of a camera or a phone?

Having an app that performs a service using the system API means that app may screw up.

And? How is that going to make the system unstable? If the system is not providing APIs for this then it's going to be tightly coupled and much more difficult to maintain than one using an API.

This would require that they shoe-horn every cloud service into the current API

No, alternative services would have to provide code that fulfils the API. That is the whole point of an API.

Alternatively, they would have to add to the API to cover the cases that could not be driven within the current API.

Nice oxymoron.

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