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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2502 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Charlie Clark
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Remarks

Numbers - I thought the IDC report had scotched the notion that Nokia was anywhere near 10 % in Europe. Apparently not. To recap: the 10 % comes from Kantar's survey of people on the streets, IDC counts real shipments/sails.

There is no doubt that Nokia is still producing some fantastic hardware but you've hit the nail on the head about the "app gap". A colleague is a proud owner of the "one with the good camera" - I can never remember Nokia's numbering schemes - but even she is disappointed by the lack of apps. And to add insult to injury the power socket is broken. Getting away from the anecdote - it's difficult to see how any kind of universal API makes Windows Phone more attractive as Windows Phone. In fact, it makes me thinks: what would things look like if Nokia stuck Android on the high-end phones? That certainly would give Samsung food for thought.

Regarding pricing: does anyone in Europe who doesn't have Apple's latest and greatest pay £ 40 a month for a phone + services? Due to the lack of effective competition things are different stateside but Nokia has never really been an established brand there. Not even in its heyday.

Meanwhile the trend worldwide is towards ever cheaper phones with ever thinner margins: Wiko, ZTE, et al. are moving in. As you note Android 4.4 offers better performance than previous versions, but as hardware continues to improve, that point is possibly moot.

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Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Charlie Clark
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El Reg's continues to fail to corroborate sources…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Lots of last-minuters out there.

I suspect you're not alone but what will people be upgrading to?

You can still get Windows 7 for "professional" machines - HP is selling them. Large companies are mainly already on 7 or are getting extended support for XP. Consumers, I think, are likely to continue replacing their PCs and notebooks with the media consumption devices they've always wanted.

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Samsung's thumb-achingly ENORMO Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Charlie Clark
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Happy

Re: re. use in portrait orientation

Buying a windows tablet with one note built in would be half the price. (Never thought I'd be saying something like that, I need a shower.)

You can't get a Windows tablet that size for that price. In any case, Samsung's devotion to the high-end has created its own niche: people know what to expect from the Pro / Note devices whereas Windows 8 has just created confusion. The magazine UI is more than a tip of the hat to Microsoft but it is application specific rather than being force-fed it for everything.

Devices like this, especially if they get docking stations, are going to sell well. I personally like a smaller 8"-9" which is very good to go.

Well done Samsung and others for working hard at usable form factors and thoughtful additions. This is how competition is supposed to work.

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Microsoft spells out new rules for exiling .EXEs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Translation: Coming soon, no side-loading.

Yes, the certification stuff is supposed to make people play nice.

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Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

Charlie Clark
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Coffee/keyboard

Enterprise

It's astonishing that Windows Phone has made the strides it has in enterprise …

What strides are those exactly? All I can hear on that front are the crickets chirping. Microsoft has a huge advantage here given the number of companies who've chained themselves to Exchange and Office.

Some of the GUI changes sound like they could soon be the subject of litigation. We know what Apple thinks of the sincerest form of flattery but some of the Android cribs could give Google some interesting ammo should they choose to follow that path.

Not charging for licences is an old strategy for Microsoft trying to break into new markets. While relevant, the support for more diverse hardware (Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, TI, etc.) is probably more important to manufacturers. Did you hear anything on that front? Or just the crickets again?

Manufacturers of Android handsets routinely get lambasted for the slowness with which they rollout updates, even when it often really doesn't make a great deal of difference (my tablet is 4.1, one of my phones 4.2). Yet with Windows Phone where Microsoft has dictated the hardware from the start, you're still looking at 3 month plus update times. How come Apple manages it so much faster?

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Tamil Nadu's XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

Charlie Clark
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Joke

Re: I should think

Speaking English they can hardly understand because of the strong Hindi accent! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They already do for ELA customers.

A couple of million is still cheaper than new machines or a migration.

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Microsoft in OPEN-SOURCE .Net love-in with new foundation

Charlie Clark
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Meh

Call me cynical but…

… doesn't this smell a bit like Microsoft looking to dispose of code it no longer wants to maintain itself? Happy to be proved wrong on this.

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Charlie Clark
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Move on, nothing to see

Stallman hasn't been relevant for years except to small group who think software is politics.

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'Hello, is that the space station? NASA here. Can you put us through to Moscow?'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Political Posturing

The cooperation with Roscosmos has historically been about keeping some excellent rocket engineers in a job. It's always been more political than scientific.

There has been no conflict in Crimea but whether its low key or not may depend upon your geography and history. The annexation is certainly a dangerous political precedent. Europe is only more cautious because it trades more with Russia and has a land border with it: any fallout is likely to fall on both sides.

If you want an example of politics interfering with science: the recent Swiss referendum on quotas for foreigners is freezing Switzerland out of the next round of EU research projects.

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Nokia: ALL our Windows Phone 8 Lumias will get a cool 8.1 boost

Charlie Clark
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Re: $599

To be honest I think that HTC's stance on SD cards has been their biggest hindrance. It has always seemed to me a big omission in their One series. Yes, I know lots of builtin is better but it's still a real tickbox. We'll see how they fare now they've embraced it.

Android users are almost by definition a fickle bunch where being able to switch easily to a different handset but keep the apps, etc. is important and a real hurdle for another OS. Nokia's X strategy is a not very convincing attempt to address this because it's focussed on the low end.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: $599

To be fair, the price is comparable with similar hardware running other OS.

It's nice hardware. Would it sell better running Android? That is the $ 10 billion question.

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What took you so long Apple? 26 remote exec bugs die in OS X Safari

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yet no updates for many working apples

It was announced a long time ago that support for PPC was being dropped.

Not supporting Snow Leopard and Lion on Intel, especially as Lion is the end of the line for many MacMinis because Apple can't be bothered recompiling the graphics driver, is more alarming.

OTOH Safari users obviously don't need to worry about security. Presumably because they're too cool? Can't remember the last time I fired Safari up.

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Is this photo PROOF a Windows 7 Start Menu is coming back?

Charlie Clark
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Re: LOL

They need to drop the price of Win 8.x Home to $50 USD or less, I'd personally say $35-$40 USD. this would get more users to try it, might even get some of those later XP machines to switch, but all they are doing by keeping the price high is getting those people whose XP is about to go EOL a reason to be looking at Chrometops and Android tablets, dumb move MSFT.

It's true that the migration path from XP seems unnecessarily complicated and expensive.

I think that upgrade licences for Vista, 7 and 8 have to bought. Obviously, there's not a lot of hardware running XP that will actually run Windows 8 but still a single upgrade licence (and software that would actually upgrade inplace) would be an encouragement.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini tech specs REVEALED

Charlie Clark
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Works for me

It's a similar strategy to Apple's: the latest and greatest (and biggest); the scaled down (in features and size) version; the outdoor; and the camera version. I like the "second" device strategy this encourages, whether it's the outdoor one for the "action" holiday or the smaller one for the less technologically obsessed partner. It's classic marketing, nicely done.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Charlie Clark
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Re: So does OSX and Linux...

Also, the upgrade process for any mainstream distro isn't hard, or breaking. It's a single command, or a few clicks.

I remember chatting at conference last year with a hardcore developer (his day job is helping OEMs port Android to their ever-changing hardware). He's used Ubuntu for years but had swapped it for MacOS because the updates continually broke stuff. It's not that he couldn't patch it or even fix it himself but that he couldn't stand the time it was taking him to do this all the time.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: WHY because Why waste that old Hardware, its bad for Planet Earth.

@frank ly - that will be assessed - would allow Linux to have a Windows XP for the couple of programs that are needed - Basecamp for a Garmin GPS, or even Windows 7, which I think is a fine OS even if I prefer Mac OS. It's currently dog slow because of swapping stuff in and out of memory. It's not my machine so it won't be my decision.

In any case, forcing Windows 8 down people's throats is the best opportunity that Microsoft's competitors have had for years. But rather than a surge in Linux users (thanks to volume licensing most computers will have a paid for Windows 8 licence so MS won't really care what OS they run), I suspect it's just driving consumers towards (non-MS) tablets.

This somehow has a Android (x86) notebook with Windows VM opportunity written all over it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: WHY because Why waste that old Hardware, its bad for Planet Earth.

Its the worlds most popular free OS

I think that would actually be Android… (Linux kernel I know).

I think people will try some of the Linuxes simply because Windows 8 is such a change that they might as well try something completely different. Going to help a friend evaluate at the weekend: 6 year old laptop with XP and only 256 MB. Bankix + browser + mailer + OpenOffice might be sufficient.

But you still get downvoted for spouting.

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Samsung unveils fourth-generation Galaxy Tabs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Underwhelming

Hold your horses, these are just the baseline (free with contract…) tablets getting their annual updates.

AMOLED updates for the TabPro versions (8.4" and 10.5") are apparently in the works (source http://sammobile.com)

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Charlie Clark
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@Lusty - yes, two actually: Tab Pro and Notes.

In practice 1280 x 800 is fine for most things - I use my 3-year old Tab 8.9 (closer to the Pro spec) with it on a daily basis. Waiting for a comparable one with an OLED screen.

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Don't look at Maria's SQL, look at MY SQL, pleads Oracle

Charlie Clark
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Re: Cheap swipe

@Mark #255 - it took me a while to get used to. It's not as good for schema management as the old one but for queries it's much better and a lot more stable. But it has taken a while to get there.

Unfortunately, somethings require an update to the server (using EXPLAIN for example). MySQL still provides little real information about the query plan but you do get pretty pictures! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cheap swipe

@Sir Allen: http://www.postgresql.org/message-id/20140401134036.GC32171@fetter.org but don't forget the hint about yesterday.

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Charlie Clark
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Happy

Cheap swipe

It's easy to improve the performance over the last version based on fixing bugs introduced in the last version!

But on the whole I think Oracle is doing a reasonable job with MySQL: making InnoDB standard storage engine and promoting proper ACID practices; the workbench is a huge improvement over previous tools.

But I'm sticking with Postgres as my RDBMS of choice. Especially after yesterday's announcement about Postgres 10:

This release includes built-in, tradeoff-free multi-master replication, full integration with all other data stores, and a broad choice of SQL query dialects including Cassandra, Hadoop, Oracle, MS-SQL Server, MySQL, and mSQL.

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

Charlie Clark
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Sounds like an April Fools to me

Apart from the fact that Apple is reasonably (and cleverly) immune to form factor discussions IOS doesn't really have the mechanics to deal with varying pixel densities and sizes. Hence, the head-scratching still going on about how to deal with the I-Pad Mini which by simply shrinking the pixels breaks Apple's own UI guidelines on the physical size of UI controls.

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HTC One M8: Reg man takes spin in Alfa Romeo of smartphone world

Charlie Clark
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SD card? Finally

That (and for me personally using LCD instead of OLED screens) has been the biggest problem with their phones.

I also like the trend towards smarter screens - these phone with their huge screens need protecting but in a way that minimises the impact on usability. There's a way to go on this but it's nice to see work is being done: differentiation is possible.

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OkCupid falls out of love with 'anti-gay' Firefox, tells people to see other browsers

Charlie Clark
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Check the date

Is "activism" the latest form of PR? The only way to get heard in cacophonie of social media? Are they doing this only as an April 1st stunt to get headlines and clicks?

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BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Charlie Clark
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Nevertheless, Prime Minister Cameron hailed the 3D printed BT Tower as a symbol of "the second industrial revolution, in which the UK is proudly leading the way".

That probably isn't even made up! Except it's missing the bit about the printers being used weren't developed in Britain!

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Newsnight goes sour on Tech City miracle

Charlie Clark
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Re: Silicon Valley just IS...

Hollywood is a good comparison: the initial reason to move from New York to there was the cheap land (and lax labour and heath and safety regulations). Of course, the area soon proved to offer other advantages.

In a sense it's an even more globalised industry than electronics but at least the money is still very much focussed in Hollywood, despite the billions in subsidies (Louisiana currently leads the list, I believe) available around the world - and just like the many wannabe Silicon Valleys, very little of the money stays in the area providing the subsidies.

Bollywood and the Lagos film industry are perhaps testimony both to the success of model (critical mass of talent and money) and to the need for differentiation in order to be able to compete.

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Charlie Clark
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The emperor's new offices?

So, it looks like the world has discovered that Tech City doesn't work. I most recently read about this in a Guardian piece which pointed out some of the flaws in the model, especially the role of ever-increasing rents play in destroying the informal "economies" (for want of a better term) that post-industrial creative destruction seems to require.

Silicon Valley is waved as the poster-child for start-up creation when it is, in fact, a difficult to repeat combination of lots and lots of venture capital and a flexible and highly educated labour pool.

Urban regeneration (in East London) seems to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Viz. this rather prescient, pre-Nathan Barley article about Hoxton from 2000.

PS. quibble: is the lady called Burbridge or Burbank

PPS. posting something on Twitter and thinking it won't get made public? tsk ;-)

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Facebook Oculus VR buyout: IT WANTS your EYEBALLS

Charlie Clark
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Integration

This commentary complete ignores the idea of integrating Oculus with the rest of the stuff. The other purchases extend Facebook's offering. If I was an investor in Facebook I'd want a more convincing justification for the purchase than that offered so far. The deal might work or it might just be another AQuantive.

In any case, I wonder when Facebook is going to get around to writing down (let's be charitable) these investments.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Re: Fahrenheit .... in space?

I thought it was some oblique reference to a hitherto unknown sequel to Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451".

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Microsoft frisks yet another Android gear maker for patent dosh

Charlie Clark
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Re: Microsoft's influence within a private Dell?

The settlements are mainly PR - any money changing hands is likely to be related to discounts for Windows licences - so that Microsoft can distract attention from its dismal performance in mobile space.

It would be nice to see one of these agreements challenged in the courts. Google might have done it had it held onto Motorola. Lenovo is still in bed with Microsoft, though I wouldn't expect any of the Chinese makers to bother much. No, it'll have to be a larger company that has little other business dealings with Microsoft. Might take a while for anyone to take that risk.

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Amazon HALVES cloud storage prices after Google's shock slash

Charlie Clark
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Shaky analysis

Reader and Wave were never part of Google's core business so closing them didn't affect it. In terms of money spent the work on Android dwarves all the side projects.

Amazon's marketplace business has margins so low it's been desperately looking for alternative uses of its expensive hardware - thus AWS. As for commitment the customer I've never seen any evidence for that.

Nevertheless, we'll now start to see whether there really is a functioning market for computer services. It's been touted for years but yet to really develop. The competition so far has been inhouse or dedicated hosting. If it becomes possible for companies to move their services quickly and easily between providers and there are provisions for failures (not just technical) then the market may well have arrived.

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Facebook swallows Oculus VR goggle-geeks. Did that really happen?

Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: @bazza

@DougS

Google has made a few boners…

I'm slightly worried where you're going with that!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: MONEY

Interestingly it was a stock deal - most of the cash was spunked on WhatsApp. Still, it's OPM - other people's money, quite possibly yours and mine via the usual vehicles such as pension funds.

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

Re: I'm boycotting FF too

This doesn't happen very often…

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Turkey's farcical Twitter ban leads to SPIKE in tweets

Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

If only they'd done it properly…

I might consider moving there just to get away from the "join the conversation" shit that seems to infect modern life.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Charlie Clark
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Re: Enter the metric pole?

I remember being in a French market and people were asking for a livre of whatevers, and they've been metric for a couple of centuries.

It's common in Germany and the Netherlands to ask for fruit and veg in multiples of Pfund/Pond rather than fractions of a kilo. Everyone knows it's 500g so there's no problem. But somehow I just can't see it working in Tunbridge Wells…

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Move over Microsoft: RealNetworks has a GOOGLE problem

Charlie Clark
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To be fair: back at the end of the 1990s RealPlayer was the only way to do video on the web and it was pretty good at that - it took better hardware for Flash video to be able to take off. But if Real hadn't taken Microsoft to court and Adobe not had the money to improve Flash then we'd probably all be using WMP / Silverlight. Shudder.

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Nokia gobble: Microsoft can't get free of red-tape bondage 'til April

Charlie Clark
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While it's easy to sneer, that, and similar services, could be a significant advantage.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why not just Borg the android runtimes?

Windows Phone could probably do it - there are already Android emulators on Windows - but it would mean beefing up the hardware requirements (RAM mainly) which would mitigate any putative advantage Windows Phone is supposed to have over Android.

Of course, it would be possible to do a BlackBerry and have a different kernel underneath Android. Microsoft does apparently have suitable OSes lying around but QNX has the not inconsiderable advantage of being tried and tested. And even then look at how long it's taken BlackBerry to get BBOS and Android running on QNX.

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Charlie Clark
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They'd better hurry up while there's still something left to buy!

Had a chat on Friday with the only person* I know who actively went out and bought a Nokia (the one with the good camera) who was pretty disappointed by the lack of apps. She's happy with with the phone, particularly with the camera, of course. But there was still that sense of possibly rueing the purchase.

Maybe MS should drop the OS side of things and pursue the MS services on Android approach. There's a nice irony to this as it would mirror the countless number of companies who tried to compete with Microsoft on Windows with their apps. Still, if MS can demonstrate it has better services than Google, this might work.

* So this is purely anecdotal.

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: More cruelty to the English language.

What criteria do you have to meet in order to be able to adopt a market?

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

Charlie Clark
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Happy

Alternative solution

Just get on with it and adopt the Euro. Think of all the money saved by being able to use second hand equipment from the continent!

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: "it has 15 faces (12 bevels, obverse, reverse, outer edge)"

More importantly, where's the free model in order to be able to print your own?

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Intel reinvents the PC as giant 'Black Brook' fondleslab

Charlie Clark
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It's quite funny watching the actors carefully passing the demonstration object to each other.

I do suspect we're going to get connected screens on a range of devices as prices come down for embedding them - adding an electronic recipe book to a kitchen work surface for example - you certainly won't be lugging something big and heavy and not waterproof really doesn't appeal. Having screens in situ would mirror existing patterns of having radios around the place or more recently wifi connected sound systems. Intel will only be part of this if it is prepared to sell the components for a couple of cents.

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So. Farewell then Steelie Neelie: You were WORSE than USELESS

Charlie Clark
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@Steve Todd

I don't think Kroes has much to do with roaming. Most of the work was done by Viviane Reding when she was Telecoms and Media Commissioner. At least she kept a good position in the reshuffle and became Justice Commissioner.

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Charlie Clark
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Insert Commissioner here

I'm not if it's really fair to criticise Mrs Kroes in this way. The remit "digital agenda" is a bit stupid anyway and comes from the need to have as many commissioners as member states seeing as no one, not even the apparently so efficiency-minded Brits, is prepared to sacrifice one in the name of efficiency. So, in addition to some of the good commissioners and the usual fluff, we got some "job-fors". She was quite good as competition commissioner but got moved sideways to make way for Almuña - Spain being bigger than the Netherlands.

Then again, this is a bit of a storm in a teacup - she doesn't have much of a budget. You'll find more guff and waste in any quango. And criticising any policy "statements" made via Twitter seems a bit like scraping the barrel to me. Does anyone take anything posted on it, seriously?

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Charlie Clark
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Legal redress

I think the core issue is the way these things are handled. Isn't abuse a criminal offence in the UK and elsewhere in Europe? whereas it usually leads to civil suits in the USA?

When abuse is illegal then it's a cut and dried affair and you don't need code of conducts and workshops to enforce it; of course, you'll still have to work hard in general to get it accepted. When it's only a civil matter it leads to them and people treading on egg shells trying not to offend anyone and still likely to be sued for harassment. As usual, only the lawyers win.

PyCon has had a fairly meaningless (no legal relevance) code of conduct the last few years. Of possibly greater import will be the decision to have approximately 50 % of the talks being given by women in Montreal next month and the chairman is woman. In general, I'm not a fan of positive discrimination but it will be interesting to see how it works out: they'll ructions if the quality suffers but otherwise I expect it to be welcomed. From admittedly limited experience I'd say that women worry more about things like childcare and being able to combine family and work than the amount of swearing. Not sure how much "ethical code" is going to help there.

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