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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2797 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug

Charlie Clark
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Trollface

Re: Not possible

NFT

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

Charlie Clark
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Re: If prices go up, we'll know who to blame.

You seem to forget the Act of Union was between Scotland and England. The United Kingdom is not the UK without Scotland, so who says you will be allowed to stay on the EU.

The mere fact that Scotland is voting to leave. England and Wales don't have a vote. This is known as secession so the the international treaties signed by Her Majesties Government will remain in force.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: duh

Well, here's the solution...Scotland votes "yes" and stays in the EU and England et al can do what they want and leave the EU.

There is fairly compelling political logic for thinking that Scotland, as a new country, will have to apply to join the EU: France, Spain and Italy will be loathe for the secession to set a precedent and everyone else has other things on their mind (recession, Russian belligerence). Some kind of fudge (free trade agreement but no financial transfers) will no doubt be available but an independent Scotland should not expect many sympathetic ears.

It's not clear whether the Commission's view on the matter (new application required) is subject to legal challenge and if so, by whom.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: If they say yes...

ie more costs is a load of bullshit... the reason???

Not true in this case. Mobile network coverage is part of the licence and universal coverage benefits significantly from scale. Networks already complain about having to provide service in sparsely populated areas but can partly offset the additional costs by also serving densely populated areas. Apart from the Clyde/Forth corridor, Scotland is very sparsely populated and this will significantly affect any services to aspire to universal coverage. So the postal service will also be affected. It's also to see how the cost of groceries will rise as rUK distribution is reorganised. Any such changes will provide new opportunities, but it's naive to think they will not be disruptive.

Of course, the Scandinavian countries demonstrate that some services can be provided despite low population density and tricky terrain but they operate significantly different models with notably higher tax rates to fund the necessary financial transfers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You know all this talk of things being more expensive

I'm hoping for a decisive vote either way, the polling companies are hopefully more inaccurate than normal having never had to predict this sort of result in this political climate within the UK.

I think your wish may be granted. The Economist ran a piece on how difficult referenda are to predict.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21616996-referendums-are-hard-predict-polls-taxed

A close vote is also likely to be subject to legal challenge because non-native residents can vote whereas Scottish ex-pats can't.

If the vote is for, how long before Orkney and Shetland ask for their own?

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Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach

Charlie Clark
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Re: IRC Still around?

It's the tool of choice for quick answers to lots of software questions. #python #postgresql

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: Political more than commercial

By your logic they should also be working on Symbian, Tizen and Sailfish phones.

The argument is less directly financial as resources: good phone engineers are in limited supply; and, as Nokia showed, differing product focuses make it much harder for an overall strategy. What would make those phones, whichever OS, distinctively Huawei?

Your conspiracy theory is even less convincing.

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What's an Ultrabook? Now Intel touts 2-in-1 typoslabs to save PC biz

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's the price, stupid

@P0l0nium

Yes, I did think it through but I admit it might be slightly misleading: Intel is artificially segmenting the notebook market; Apple isn't as you can't get a cheap Apple notebook. That doesn't mean it won't do something like an I-Pad Pro or a MacBook Air with a detachable keyboard or find some other way to bridge the categories. It's already downsized the tablet and upsized the phone to satisfy market demand.

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Charlie Clark
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It's the price, stupid

Intel's attempt to artificially segment the market in order to preserve higher margins on certain chips is really hurting the market and shows how important real competition is.

Those of us that use notebooks will always want them lighter and with better battery life. I'm pretty meh about wireless docking – cables add security – but I would like to see a docking standard so I can use anybody's desk and not worry about whether my model (not just make) of notebook will fit the docking station.

Notebooks with detachable keyboards that can work as tablets are pretty good. But, again, the price has to be right. I think Apple still has the edge with developers with the Air. Rather than an Apple Watch I'd like to see Apple's take on bridging the tablet / notebook divide. But until they decided it's worth doing I think the small Air does a great job in combining portability and power.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Charlie Clark
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But based on its latest devices, the prime reason to buy an Apple product is to tell the world that you own an Apple product.

Hasn't that been the case since the I-Phone 4?

I won't be buying them but I don't see any reason why they won't continue to sell I-Phones and I-Pads in droves. And, if the watch doesn't sell, then it'll be buried quickly and quietly like other failures. If it succeeds, a year from now we'll be falling over ourselves to point it out why it's so much better.

But, Apple is no longer leading but following. It wouldn't surprise me to see it the victim of some of the patent trolling it practised itself.

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Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US

Charlie Clark
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Re: Slightly confused history

As I remember it the Orange deal caught most people unaware and pushed Vodafone to react because Mannesmann was suddenly a competitor in the home market, where Vodafone was ironically weakest. It was highly leveraged which left Mannesmann vulnerable but it was a great brand and Mannesmann had the better strategy (integration of fixed line, mobile and internet) that Vodafone rediscovered a few years ago but only after burning through the goodwill. Without the deal I'm not sure if Vodafone would have been able to offer such an eye-watering premium to the institutional shareholders who decided to sell: apart from Airtel's investments it had virtually no experience outside the UK or in integrated services.

But the main thing you are missing is that DT is committed to selling T-Mobile US

Telekom has expressed interest in selling, yes. It has also set a floor on the price. Whether it would be interested in selling, to what it continues to consider as a direct competitor, I'm not so sure.

Otherwise I think the guys in Bonn are probably quite happy with hot T-Mobile US is doing at the moment. Let's face it: there is plenty of fat to cut away in the US market and further consolidation should not be ruled out, especially if the FCC ever discovers the concepts of unbundling and number portability.

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Charlie Clark
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Slightly confused history

T-Mobile's purchase of One2One (and another networks in other countries) was fuelled by the privatisation and IPO of Deutsche Telekom, along with the general goldrush of telecoms and internet companies at the turn of the millennium. Telekom's Ron Sommer was just as odious as Vodafone's Chris Gent.

It was also Mannesmann's purchase of Orange that spurred Vodafone to take it over (at ruinous expense to Vodafone's shareholders but at great profit to Mannesmann's shareholders like Deutsche Bank and Hutchison Whampoa who saw a 400 % return within a year). Mannesmann also came with dowry of a part of AirTouch making the sale of Verizon over ten years later less impressive than portrayed in the article.

One has to question the value of buying into the US market at the moment. Money-printing has inflated shareprices and profits seem to have reached their maximum. The market is much less competitive than anywhere else which suggests that margins, and thus profits, will decline. Furthermore, T-Mobile needs a lot of money spending on building out the infrastructure in order to compete with AT&T, Verizon and Softbank.

T-Mobile meanwhile is doing a reasonable job on its own of raising its profile and growing its customer base. Being number 3 does make it a possible target but I suspect the price will still be too much for many. Make take a real outsider such as say Google or China Mobile with pockets deep enough to pay for the infrastructure and keen on disrupting the status quo.

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OpenSSL promises devs advance notice of future bugs, slaps if they blab

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just hope it doesn't end up as lowest common denomiantor

I'm pretty sure that the BSD's will go with LibreSSL and a rapid rollout.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple Watch. Oh well.

The oblong Apple case looks rather odd actually.

I don't know if that isn't the point. I'm not sure who's going to be buying these things but the supersized watches that are fashion accessories often have distinctive shapes. I'm pleasantly surprised by the designs but I wonder if the attraction isn't in the ability to change the screen. If so, mightn't we soon see a bundle of cheap unsmart watches with lots of screen designs? There might even be a market for them like there once was for dial tones.

My big worry for Apple is how are they going to manage the inventory? The range looks a bit more difficult to manage than the I-Pods in different colours.

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NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine

Charlie Clark
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Re: No SQL?

Agreed, though from the admittedly fuzzy description, it sounds like it's a simple document store rather than a database. That would explain having Tornado and RabbitMQ in the mix.

If things do start to go wrong, it should be easy enough to move to Postgres hstore or jsonb and get some of the reliability back.

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TV techies proudly display their MIGHTY BENDERS in Berlin

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bendy, why?

Yes, that's why I asked about bendy screens, not curved screens.

Quite simple: adjust the experience at the touch of a button. For some things like films or presumably games you'll want to be in the middle of the action but you'll also a want a flat screens if any friends every come round. Also, making it bendy will allow you to get it "just right" depending on how close you are to the screen. Given the amount of time, effort and money people spunk on home cinema installations, it's not surprising to see it offered for the screens.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mighty benders ?

Yep, it's ridiculously expensive. While I guess the super rich might be buying one it's basically a technology demonstration. It might find a use at in the display world where a single one can replace a bank of smaller panels. Or simply used in groups to create an immersive wall – think IMAX only more so. In fact it might even be the shape of cinema screens to come: once printable OLEDs become available you'll be able to get one of these made to measure.

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5.5in iPhone 6, iWatch hypegasm: What will Apple reveal - BE the rumour

Charlie Clark
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Should be a choice for

Unicorns, world peace, cure for cancer and aids…

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Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

Charlie Clark
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Re: They call $1920.99 a "fire sale"??

Pah, I see your € 9,99 a month and raise you my € 5 a month for data and about a € 10 a year for calls.

After I discovered a positive correlation between the number of friends and phone charges, it was a simple decision to reduce the number of my friends! Mine's the one with "How to lose friends and piss people off".

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Charlie Clark
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Meh

I would like to be underwhelmed but don't find any of these devices inspiring even that kind of a reaction. To reach the kind of prices with Intel hardware and running Windows means using bargain bucket components like screens. The result looks like very disappointing customer experiences.

The margins must be tiny so I guess manufacturers won't be that disappointed if these turkeys don't sell.

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Oracle's MySQL buy a 'fiasco' says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oracle's acquisition of MySQL???

I think the Gent's real gripe is the development and release cycle has taken somewhat of a nose dive and they are not playing nice with others, fact is MySQL is no longer innovative, instead they are playing catch up with forks such as MariaDB.

I wonder why he was even asked about the deal. Does Dovecot use MySQL in a large way?

I disagree that MySQL isn't faring well under Oracle. Then again I would disagree that MySQL itself was ever innovative. It seems to me that Oracle is actually working quite hard at making MySQL a reliable product by squashing bugs, while admittedly introducing new ones, improving the tools and making it something businesses will be prepared to pay for support for. Sun never really had a plan to monetise it. Yes, Oracle isn't playing nice with some of the forks but they're anything like as unreliable and unpredictable as MySQL was in the past then I'm not really surprised.

Where Oracle did do a disservice to itself was with Hudson and OpenOffice.org. But the world recovered and moved on.

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Google could be a great partner for Iliad in its quest for T-Mobile

Charlie Clark
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What a load of crap

its potential to support Wi-Fi-first and Wi-Fi-only models that reduce the importance of cellular networks and spectrum

The reason for spectrum is because you need to be able to manage it in order to provide any kind of reliable service. While you can use WiFi in isolated areas, it's impossible to do so anywhere with reasonable population density as you need to do in order provide QoS on phone calls. This is why companies still pay as much as they do for spectrum. Iliad may indeed make extensive use of WiFi but the main key to its success has been the rigorous unbundling of connections in France, something that isn't on the cards for the US.

And how you do manage the WiFi networks? Cellular networks are as much about managing users as they are about spectrum. Obviously not a problem for Faultline which has already mapped out how this can be done…

It's certainly possible that Google might, very much like Softbank in the past, get into the network business. Not sure if it would bother with a single national carrier, though. Buying the mobile part of Deutsche Telekom might be more interesting. It could certainly afford to do so. There might be regulation national security concerns but the biggest issue would probably having to do deal with lots of employees.

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Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

Charlie Clark
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Re: Italy?

First of all you have to take Kantar's figures with a large bucket of salt: the numbers comparison allows you to compare over time and between countries. Worth giving the numbers a spin as market share often moves 1 % a month in either direction. IIRC this is because Kantar isn't actually assessing market share but customer preferences at any one time. This is probably why the numbers differ so strongly from those of IDC.

That said: Nokia did some hard work to get their phones onto some networks such as Orange in France and the UK and presumably TIM in Italy.

The numbers are still not credible for Germany where I reckon IOS has > 20 % share (based on anecdotal observation in public transport) and Windows is a rounding error: I can still count on the fingers of one hand the Lumias I've seen here in the wild.

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Charlie Clark
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Holmes

There is plenty of competition, some of it pretty cut-throat, between vendors of Android phones. That's what keeps driving the prices down and the specs up.

Android is open source so we're also reasonably well-insulated from anything happening to Google. Yes, most manufacturers pay to have access to the Google apps but there are drop-in replacements for nearly all of them. I think Maps and Hangouts and, of course, the Play Store, are the only ones I use.

The biggest risk to consumers is the age-old problem of a monoculture. If it goes too far this can stifle innovation. It can also magnify any security risks. Having the OS open source does go some way to mitigating this as the source code is available for research. But as the OpenSSL debacle demonstrated there's no guarantee of that.

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie

all male eyes were drawn to Nicola Bryant's cleavage floating just over his head at the time

I think she appealed only to the younger or more lecherous men (of which I was one :-)) to be honest. She wasn't as good as Tegan but the Calamity Jane stuff worked quite well at times with Peter Davison. The costumes and the slightly too blatant sexing it up was an attempt to disguise shit stories and ever wobblier sets. And that was long before Satan's spawn, Greg Dyke, got to the beeb.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie

@Peter

What "New Series" are you talking about? If it's Series 8 of the New Era, then that's not surprising, it was the first episode.

I mean all of the New Era - if it's available here in Germany then it's dubbed and I don't do well with that. I've seen a couple of the Eccleston's and a couple of the Tenant's. I appreciate the vastly improved production values (mainly the sets and effects). Dr Who was always a bit hammy and I was never the greatest fan. I guess it could only take the pseudo-science seriously for so long but when I always preferred the thought-provoking episodes over the action ones. The older doctors perhaps had it easier playing the boffin.

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Charlie Clark
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I've seen very little of the series since it was restarted but it seems to me that eye-candy has almost always been there albeit in different forms: from the earnest but still nubile assistants to the more explicitly erotic. Something for everybody's fantasy.

The episodes I have seen have singularly failed to capture the sense of reaching for the stars that seemed to drive the original series: yes, it was science fiction but it also attempted at times to explain the science of the time. Maybe because you can't keep that up forever and because it gets cheesy at times.

I guess the real challenge will come when the Doctor returns as a woman. Could be interesting.

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Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

Charlie Clark
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Battery life

which is pretty measly considering that real watches last months

Yes, but how many of them have screens and radios? In that case 2 days is pretty damn good assuming the screen is always on. Might be nice to have one that supports motion-based charging (like my Seiko does) but you probably need some serious wrist action for enough charge!

Down the road I can see solar cells embedded in the screen being used to boost battery life.

Of all of the watches like this I've seen so far this looks by far the best. Still don't think I'll be getting one, though.

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Rejoice, Windows fans: Stable 64-bit Chromium drops for Win 7 and 8

Charlie Clark
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They've then topped it off by responding to any complaints about the issues by saying that they (now!) follow the spec, and all those libraries written and tested against how chrome worked for years don't, so people must bitch at those other developers to 'fix' their bugs and not the chromium team.

It's always best (and easiest to maintain) to implement the spec and add workarounds for variants. Libraries that don't do this should be considered buggy. Chromium's release system allows plenty of scope for testing.

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Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't shoot the messenger!

I get it, it doesn't suit you, fair enough.

You obviously don't get it: the two propositions are not comparable and I listed some of the reasons why.

FWIW I've been using VoIP for getting on twenty years and have always preferred using a phone over cabling myself to my computer. Call quality on Skype and its ilk has always been less than perfect. Customer has a Lync setup that is unusable through the VPN so we always use the phone then as well.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't shoot the messenger!

OneDrive is also very easy to use. With no added benefits I see no reason to use Drop Box.

Does it work offline? Can you mount it as a file system and, therefore, encrypt it yourself?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't shoot the messenger!

The comparison is heavily flawed. Dropbox's model is different: files are inherently available offline; there is less lock-in and cross-selling.

Of course, an annual subscription works out cheaper but what if you want to change after 6 months?

Dropbox prices also apply for business, Microsoft's doesn't

I don't want Skype since Microsoft broke it, and already have the bits of Office or their equivalents that I want. Nearly all my international (EU + US) calls are already covered in my phone plan.

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Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Charlie Clark
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Just don't do it

Without an additional thing like hardware encryption just don't do banking with your phone. Even if the code is good, and this is unlikely, the device and the communication channels are too easily compromised.

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Comcast-Time Warner merger: CloudFlare's fare flare fair warning

Charlie Clark
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It's a CDN so whether it hosts or not is a bit moot, especially as it's using other companies servers to host its caching infrastructure. I'm not surprised you get a knockback from the abuse team. What particular problem do you want them to solve?

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Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome

Charlie Clark
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Google or Apple?

was out of the ordinary for Cupertino

Google is normally referred to as being from Mountain View while Cupertino is reserved for Apple…

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Google kicks PowerPoint in the fondleslab

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's less about utility...

…round trip fidelity …

Given the complexity of the MS Office formats it's almost impossible to get real fidelity but you can usually get close enough. There's no doubt that for the next couple of years Microsoft has got the corporate market for the reasons you give. But long term I think ODF might just win out as a file format. Microsoft still has a chance because a lot of people like its products, but it will have to work hard to compete as the playing field levels.

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Charlie Clark
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Holmes

The web is the new hotness

Young programmers prefer to tinker with the phones or develop for the web. That's where their interest and the money is. Nothing really to do with Github at all.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Charlie Clark
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could result in some sort of HR violation…

Sexual harassment is a criminal offence. Sod the HR department: get down to the cops with the name and address – I assume the fuckers are only to happy to provide them.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Charlie Clark
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Re: the devil is in the detail

Other courts have already decided that streaming is not distributing.

But this isn't about the law but shameful PR of the met. It is a fundamental principle of the British legal system that the police don't get to interpret the law and, thus, decide what is legal and what is illegal.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Obscene publications

What would be worse? The blood? How about film of the wounded or dead? What about staging a similar scene in a film? It's damn difficult to define these things legally.

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Charlie Clark
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Obscene publications

Don't need terrorist legislation to go after the consumption of images/videos/text. Existing legislation, such as that used in child porn cases, criminalises the download (damn difficult to prove someone was actually watching something) of whatever is deemed to be offensive (historically and culturally specific). Pornography can, and in some countries is, defined as including violence as well as sex. We've seen elsewhere how much the police would like to be able to define what is unacceptable.

Course that makes for slightly confusing headlines. And, if were any cases brought, might lead to a change in the law if the judges decided the police were overstepping their bounds and swamping the courts with trivial misdemeanours. I also reckon you'd have a damn hard-time proving the beheading was more obscene that now routine pictures of drone strikes and bombs we get to see.

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ARM64 gets better GPU support in CUDA release

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yet Another Ridiculous Comparison on the way

There's no comparison: the Pi has a very weak ARM CPU and relies on the Broadcom media + graphics chip to do the heavy lifting.

The 64-bit ARMs from AMD will be very different beasts. But there will be comparisons between them and nVidia's 64-bit ARMs. For HPC the attraction of both will be the ability to tune the hardware if required. Support for such hardware extensions in CUDA and OpenCL will make them even more attractive.

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Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why the different standards?

What we're seeing here is the expectation that electronics be held to a higher standard than what it is replacing.

Actually we've yet to see that anywhere. Think of all the recall actions of cars due to defective tyres, etc. and then point out something comparable in the software industry.

The US has the concept of unlimited liability which is now coffee containers warn you that hot liquids are dangerous and kitchen knives come with safety warnings. So far the software industry has been able to weasel its way out of similar cases by releasing updates that fix whatever problems. But, unless the law is changed to prevent unlimited liability, that state of grace is bound to end sometime.

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Stand clear! Will HTC's One act as a defibrillator for Windows Phone?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not sure I agree with the author

but the overwhelming majority of users will be content with what's on the market

You may very well be right but consumers don't seem to agree with you. Other companies have folded after spending as much on failing to get market share as Microsoft has done with Nokia. At some point shareholders, other than Mr Ballmer, will get impatient and require Microsoft to get out of the hardware game.

Glossing over the bugs in 8.1 is a mistake. Mr Orlowski wrote several glowing reviews of Windows Phone and of devices running it. His criticism of 8.1 is indicative of his disappointment of Microsoft's failure to correct bugs and quickly and judiciously add new features. Yes, Android users bitch about the lack of speed with which their particular device gets an update but that's only because Google keeps on pushing out new releases for vanilla Android devices.

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Charlie Clark
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As long as Microsoft is paying…

This is quite obviously something which Microsoft is paying for – both HTC and Verizon and I'm sure both are happy as long as Microsoft pays them to do stuff. The biggest problem will be when reviews of the device with Windows goes up against the same device with Android. Verizon better have a good returns / boot-to-Android policy as this device is just begging to be sold as an Android flagship (the sales reps neglecting to inform users that it's actually got Windows phone) only for angry customers to return it when they can't get whatever apps they consider to be essential for it.

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Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'll miss him.... and Steve

You've obviously missed the guy at T-Mobile USA then? Corporate America is currently too awash in cash to actually worry about anything more than their golf handicap.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: P.S.

Don't know anything about the Trailblazers. Who does own them? I am a fan of the Portland Thinkers…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @AC: (was: 2 billion US dollars?)

Gut feeling is that Steve could pour another 3 billion into the franchise (staff, new arena, advertising, etc.), and still not make a profit. On a vanity project.

Even if he does have to put another USD 3 bn in he can still afford it. The key word is vanity: some people buy islands, other sports teams. Though I think that those that manage to stick around over time do end up making more than cost and with a good accountant it is an excellent tax sink.

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Charlie Clark
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The one good thing here is that Satya Nadella will not have Ballmer looking over his shoulder all the time

Are you sure? As the largest individual shareholder whatever he says will carry weight whether he's on the board or not and he can have himself put on the board whenever he wants.

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Charlie Clark
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The "hardware gross margins" worries me. Maybe he never bothered to speak to Sony, Dell, etc. about the pitiful margins on their products. Margins like Apple's are very much the exception rather than the rule in consumer electronics. For Microsoft the margins on selling software like Office are likely to remain crucial for the future. SaaS sounds so good until customers find ways to migrate to alternative providers.

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