* Posts by Charlie Clark

3339 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Google's 'stale pale males' to be replaced by crack black chick pack

Charlie Clark
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Re: Racism

I assumed there would be quotas limiting Asians and Jews because they are over represented in the techie workplace

Just such quotas are certainly starting to affect Asians trying to get into university in parts of America.

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Charlie Clark
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Positive discrimination is discrimination surely

And thus illegal in the EU. But the sanctions for discrimination are also arguably far higher. But not so in America where quotas still apply at some universities and schools see http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/11/affirmative-action with increasingly perverse consequences. In California and New York it is now people of Asian background who are suffering. They don't seem to have the knack of developing their own trailer park culture.

"Diversity" is a typical topic for American liberals to adopt as a cause. It's a lot easier to take these things up than try and come up with meaningful social and economic policies. And I say that as a liberal myself.

In America, as in the UK, reducing tuition fees is the best way to improve diversity in education but there will almost always be a bias towards the middle class (valuing education is one of the defining traits of the middle class).

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Running Google PageSpeed Service? Come August 3rd your site is knackered

Charlie Clark
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Unclear article

PageSpeed is actually two things: a web speed performance analysis tool and an add-on for an http server that applies some of the lessons learned from the analysis.

The analysis tool is built-in into things like Firebug and WPT and isn't going away. mod_pagespeed and the equivalent for other http servers (including IIS) are also not going away and many CDNs make use of them in their service.

So all that's happening is that Google is getting out of the business of providing free optimisation. This makes sense both for Google (lots learned in the process but expensive to maintain) and also for users (much better to install the add-on on their own servers or use a professional third-party).

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Pi based kid-nerdifier Kano buried under freak cash avalanche

Charlie Clark
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Re: so...

I'm sure they must know what they are doing, but why buy their kit, when you can buy the bits separately, and download the software for free?

The same question could be applied to almost anything you buy nowadays. Some products, notably perfume, but also coffee, are almost all packaging. And consumers love it.

Providing everything you need at once, including a keyboard and printed manuals reduces the number of decisions to be taken (which case?, which power supply, etc?) and the hurdles involved. Also, for the educational market both sales and after-sales support are likely to be important. Buy enough of them and have them customised: how about the physics department deciding to have the oscilloscope version? or the biology one with the microscope controller?

The Pi isn't the cheapest bit of ARM-hardware out there but it's a known commodity with an expanding software and hardware ecosystem.

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Microsoft discontinues Media Center with Windows 10

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dedicated boxes aside

Whilst that's a fun hobby a FireTV will do pretty much everything the average person needs and work straight out of the box.

Does it support local (DNLA) media? Think not. But there are similar devices out there that are not tied to the services of a single company and are optimised for the purpose (the RasPi spec was low when it was released and most of the Chinese sticks are already beefier than the RasPi 2).

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House of Cards UI central to Mozilla's plans for Firefox on tellies

Charlie Clark
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Dashboard confusion

The use of this metaphor in UI always confuses me as it does here. I take the first picture to be the dashboard: it shows me everything I can control. And yet, it itself has an item called "dashboard". WTF?

I'm not convinced about the growth of apps on tellies beyond content on demand / catchup.

Impossible to critique a UI from a couple of screens so I'll reserve judgement until I can give it a try out. Good integration with the remote has to be a priority. The Kodi/XBMC people seem to have done this pretty well, at least on the devices I've used it with.

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From Manchester to Microsoft – missing mum :-(

Charlie Clark
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Re: Weekend

There's a great waterfront and vibrant counter-culture and student scene. I saw Billy Bragg while I was over. But one thing the Pacific Northwest has over Britain and it's the scenery: rain forest, mountains, seaside, etc. That said, it's close enough to some pretty nasty tectonic boundaries, which helps explain the scenery, so a lot could get wiped out at pretty much any time.

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Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Same old flawed analysis

Simply by failing to corroborate the results with El Reg's own is a failing. Then there is the failure to take into consideration the fall in the share of web traffic on desktop devices. Then there is no analysis of how representative the services are. Certainly neither are used on sites that I visit. An analysis of the data from httparchive.org would helpful here.

Just some starting points.

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This is Sparta? No - it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer

Charlie Clark
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Re: Edge?

The answer is far more prosaic.

Edge is a setting you can put in your HTML to tell Internet Explorer to use standards mode as opposed to compatibility with a particular version such as IE8 or IE9

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The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

Charlie Clark
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Re: The box epitomises why I don't Apple

But give it 6 months and it will be -

Look at me!!!

Oh you've got one too!!

If that's the case we'll be going: bugger! I wish I'd bought Apple shares! ;-)

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Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap

Charlie Clark
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Re: Good deal on the mackerel

Who said anything about porridge? What's wrong with a nice bowl of gruel?

You should lower the budget even more so you'll have to do without such luxuries! ;-)

Where's the Oliver Twist icon when you need it? Or is there possibly now an emoji one?

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Charlie Clark
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Good deal on the mackerel

Lester, get rid of the bread and go with a better calorie/price ratio like oats. Standard white bread is probably one of the worst things to have on the list.

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'Use 1 capital' password prompts make them too predictable – study

Charlie Clark
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There's a reason for that: they'll be able to blame you when your account is inevitably hacked. Solution: use HBCI only.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Use a high-entropy password generator

And exactly how memorable are high entropy passwords?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What's the real issue?

The ones that really annoy me are those who won't let you use a password you have used previously.

Add a cycler, but yeah some restrictions are simply stupid.

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Charlie Clark
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What's the real issue?

A key part of the problem is with the websites themselves…

The key part of the problem is passwords themselves as they're so difficult to remember.

mnemonic + capitalisation + substitution + user/service salt will produce a strong password that you should in theory be able to remember but only if you're systematic about it and this always adds to the risk.

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Belgian minister set to legalise Uber

Charlie Clark
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Why the snide?

Taxi service regulation is left to member states to work out, not the usual Brussels bureaucrats.

Most regulation is national and managed by national bureaucrats. Brussels only becomes involved in questions of the single market. Hard to see that for taxis to be honest.

Uber is a fairly parasitic business that essentially relies on arbitrage between regulated and unregulated parts of the market. ie. insurance, minimum wage, quality of driving, criminal record, etc. That's not to say that some taxi markets aren't victims of restrictive practices: the synthetic distinction between taxis and private hire in the UK springs to mind.

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Hi, Fi: Google JOWL-SLAPS mobile bigguns with $20/mo wireless service

Charlie Clark
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This won't happen because it would mean either Google foots the data bill (YouTube videos) with carriers dictating the price; or Google would have to build its own network.

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Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Charlie Clark
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Flawed logic

The reason for the proposed change is because of suspected competition from things like .shit? Simple economics suggest it won't work, except for forcing existing .com.au users to buy an additional domain.

I've always like the two-tier, taxonomic approach as it removes ambiguity. National domain registries should essentially be administering a common resource, charging only administrative costs only. This lowers overall costs and increases trust. Oh, well.

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Microsoft absorbs open-source internal startup MS Open Technology

Charlie Clark
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Re: Spawn...

Yes, we all know what a clusterfuck the Office OpenXML specs are, but the good news is that those specs are open for revision. I know, I've the somewhat dubious honour of having submitted the most bug reports on them in the last year. This brings little immediate relief but as long as they remain the document formats of choice, I think it's important that we have some say in them.

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Choc Factory's king codec serves 25 BEELLION Tube hours

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google is wasting their time

Yes, there is a licensing cost for HEVC but it is quite reasonable and there's no guarantee that someone doesn't have patents against VP9.

Google has already indemnified the code and settled with patent holders. There will be no suits against VP9, though there won't really need to be any. H265 is better than VP9 but time to market is key and Google is aligning its codec strategy with the silicon strategy of the phone makers. It's also making hardware support for VP9 and the upcoming VP10 a requirement for some of its licences. With YouTube and its own video-on-demand services, both on mobile devices and increasingly on televisions, it is already one of the bigger players in the market. So, it's naive to bet against them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No comparison with H265 I see

VP8 probably paid for itself in foregone licence fees for H264 for Google, given how much video they actually encode. VP8 effectively put an end to the plans for charging us all to use H264. Google has also been true to its word in opening the source and indemnifying against patent suits.

Having competing codecs is good for us all in the long run. Google has several reasons for continuing to improve the format: the rise in high resolution content on YouTube preludes high resolution video on demand. Even if most of it is shit, the sheer volume of video that YouTube handles is staggering. Any efficiencies in file size and bitrate will be keenly felt. Google continues to push into our lives and wants to sell us paid for content: quality and perceived network speed will be differentiators on mobile devices. It is also continuing to improve user-generated video whether it's video-conferencing, selfies or gaming videos.

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Intel shows Google how to stick it real good

Charlie Clark
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Re: This should be compared to the Amazon FireTV Stick

Doesn't the FireTV Stick compete with the Chromecast? If so not quite the same thing as this but the price will be the same as there is no need for subsidy at this end of the market.

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Charlie Clark
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In one direction, Chromebit wins on WiFi, with 802.11 ac against Compute Stick's measly 802.11 b/g/n, while Intel has double the memory of Google's offering.

The table lists both as coming with 2GB RAM.

Intel certainly isn't giving up easily but one has to wonder about the wisdom of "Intel inside" for this kind of market. Google is pushing a completely Chinese kit with no OS licence fees, Intel chips cost more to make and then increases costs by having different models.

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South Korea to NUKE Microsoft ActiveX

Charlie Clark
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Microsoft not to blame for once

The fault lies squarely with the export restrictions that the US government placed in the 1990s which prohibited browsers being shipped to places like South Korea with strong encryption. Where encryption was required then plugins were the only way and Active X, for better or worse, was better integrated than most.

Yes, the export restrictions were lifted a few years ago but, as we all know, it takes a concerted effort to overcome the inertia of replacing existing systems. Often laws, accompanied by generous subsidies, are the only way to initiate change.

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Is this what Windows XP's death throes look like?

Charlie Clark
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"we" don't split anything, the various companies do it because it's attention grabbing. There is no good reason except for clickbait articles like this one.

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Facebook 'violates Euro data law' say Belgian data cops' researchers

Charlie Clark
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More than an advertising network

Both are leveraged to create a vast advertising network…

If that's all it was I could almost live with it: there's some mileage in the argument properly targeted advertising is less intrusive. But the truth is Facebook, et al. are collecting far more data than is useful for advertising purposes. They're also using it for purposes other than advertising just not being so vocal about selling it to credit rating agencies, employment agencies, insurance companies. And, of course, the NSA can have a look at it whenever they want. It's entirely possible that we won't be offered jobs, refused insurance or credit because of what the networks believe to know about us. Even if they have safeguards in place against this, the data collected is of almost incalculable value in the wrong hands; whether that's the spooks or the crooks is probably just a matter of opinion.

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Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

Charlie Clark
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Re: Mac vs Windows laptops?

Have you ever tried to develop software on a windows machine vs a Mac?

It depends very much on the kind of software you're trying to develop. For anything vaguely posixy then a unix environment is likely to be preferable as the command line in Windows is pretty awful due to the sabotaged keybindings. For GUI apps then native nearly always wins.

Never got into Eclipse myself, but Python isn't really its strong suit.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Low res?

Seriously? Laptops weigh less than a pint of beer these days. Man up!

Mine weighs about 2 kg and I sometimes have to carry two. If I was travelling a lot I'd definitely be looking for something lighter.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Low res?

The 1280x800 on my 2009 MacBook Pro is normally fine for me when travelling. 4GB is generally enough memory but I do have a lot of stuff on the disk. But it could be lighter...

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Charlie Clark
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Re: Very poor show

Why not go for a Note Edge? It has the removables and the design?

While I always get a phone that can take extra storage myself I don't reckon I've changed the SD card very often since buying it. Then again I wouldn't really want to watch films on a phone. I haven't changed the battery on any phone I've bought in the last 15 years.

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GitHub jammed by injected JavaScript, servers whacked by DDoS

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can GitHub take China to court in the WTO?

Only countries can initiate action at the WTO. In general states have immunity from court actions.

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Dutch Transport Inspectorate raid Uber's Amsterdam office

Charlie Clark
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Re: How does it work in the UK?

Germany, and AFAIK the Netherlands, doesn't differentiate between public taxis and private hire vehicles: they're all licensed under the same rules. Surprisingly I find it doesn't make journeys significantly more expensive in Germany. Though I haven't used a taxi here since the new national wage was introduced. There have been grumblings about this and it might affect availability in some places but casual labour is not a way to improve standards.

Like lots of OTT services Uber doesn't really make long term sense because it adds little or no value. It seems to make sense in the US because the markets there are dysfunctional.

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Get off Facebook if you value your privacy, EU commish tells court

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

therefore the value of the accumulation of additional data is greater to its benign self than to any malignant third party.

Something similar could have been said about Standard Oil's/Microsoft's business practices and it would have been just as wrong.

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Charlie Clark
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Sounds like whoever it is will soon be looking for a new job.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Andy ... Meh

As I mentioned above, being tracked by FB is probably the least of people's worries. Of greater concern is the risk of identity theft, fraud, bullies, stalkers and trouble makers who may go after you in real life.

What happens if you join up those two ideas? The risk of a data breach at Facebook and other data silos is very real. Whether it's merely to the FBI, NSA, CIA, MI5, etc. or to organised crime is why this case is before the court.

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GitHub ordered to hand over access logs to Uber

Charlie Clark
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Re: Time for GitHub Europe?

Somebody else had to tell me about it. Part of the problem with the current crop of VC funded stuff is the way the media gets co-opted to talk about the companies and products. There was a terrible article on El Reg in this vein a while back about Github being the essentially the only viable choice for repositories because of "the network effect".

Personally, apart from the fact that choice is good, I also prefer Mercurial over Git for VCS. But I also have a reasonably intense dislike of the GitHub UX. I also went as far as reading the T&C's and deciding I prefer the Bitbucket ones (Atlassian is clever enough to be selling technology not just a userbase).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Uber using github?

SaaS is all the rage in the states at the moment. I know lots of companies who have no infrastructure just lots of faith in "the cloud".

However, I'm not sure this is relevant here as the item in question may not have had anything to do with a repository. Gist's are Github's pastebins. Really quite worrying if someone did copy some access codes to a gist rather than a properly anonymised pastebin or hackers forum. Be that as it may, you'd really hope it wouldn't make much difference with 2FA for anything sensitive and virtually no straight online access to the database. Really trying hard to think when that would ever be needed. Then again, slick UIs are all you seem to need nowadays to hoover up the VC cash.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Time for GitHub Europe?

You mean something like Gitlab?

For anything really important you can't beat hosting your own stuff.

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Google throws a 180 on its plans for Dart language

Charlie Clark
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Re: Argh, another rickety language which compiles on top of JavaScript

I suspect the reason for the compiler/transliteration approach is because of the limits of what you can do in the IDE. If you look at how compact TypeScript transliterates to verbose Javascript you can see the limits of what you can reasonably expect in the IDE and still expect to keep developers on board. The verbose JS itself is replete with hints which are essentially for the JIT.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Argh, another rickety language which compiles on top of JavaScript

I think the problem is that many problems with Javascript can't be detected while writing it. Hence the preference for preprocessors that take the guess work out of writing reliable Javascript. The situation is very similar to using a compiler over writing machine or byte code. It's just that the output here is Javascript.

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ARM plans to win 20 per cent of the server market by the year 2020

Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel Broadwell-D

And the same is true of every <strikethrough>"ARM server"</strikethrough> Powerpoint I have ever seen.

Fixed it for you: the same could be said for Intel breaking into the mobile market. These things should be decided in the marketplace, assuming vendors are prevented from anti-competitive behaviour.

From the Anandtech article:

The 40nm X-Gene can compete with the 22nm Atom C2000 performance wise, and that is definitely an accomplishment on its own. But the 40nm process technology and the current "untuned" state of ARMv8 software does not allow it to compete in performance/watt.

Pretty stupid to compare 40nm geometries to 22nm ones as the article makes quite clear.

Nevertheless, according to Andreas Stiller at Heise, the CERN team reckons the X-Gene is getting close to Xeon:

CERN-Wissenschaftler haben allerdings vor ein paar Monaten mit dem hauseigenen ParFullCMS-Benchmark etwas bessere Er- gebnisse mit dem X-Gene 1 erzielt, jedenfalls im Vergleich zum nicht so energieoptimier- ten Xeon E5-2650.

So, the real test will be on standardised architecture with similar geometries.

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Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hmm...

@Steven Roper

It wasn't so long ago that US export regulations prevented browsers being shipped outside the US with strong encryption. The only way for many years to provide strong encryption was to use ActiveX which is why a whole industry grew up around it. Rolling that can kind of stuff back can take a while but most banks should have managed it by now. If I was faced with a bank that required IE for online banking I wouldn't do online banking with it. But that wouldn't be enough to want to change banks.

Never been the case with any of the banks I work with but then I don't use a browser for online banking anyway as it's setup for the user to carry the risk associated with stolen credentials. HBCI only here.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

Charlie Clark
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Re: Clickbait

What the fuck's wrong with you?

Nothing the least time I checked. I was annoyed that the OpEd wasn't properly marked for me to ignore. Worstal's economics are as off as his politics in my opinion. He's got a right to them, just as I have to mine. But I've read enough of them not to take them seriously any more and almost always avoid them.

FWIW UKIP is not just about being anti-Euro and anti-EU. Those are handy fig leaves for some fairly reactionary ideas which Worstal's articles typify. A pox on all populists. And a pox on the mainstream for giving them air to breathe.

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Charlie Clark
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Unhappy

Clickbait

from the Register's own Kipper not marked as such.

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Dutch telcos build data bonfire after judge nixes retention law

Charlie Clark
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The UK's new law will remain in force until is legally challenged, though the challenge might need to go all the way to the ECJ given the Supreme Court's current supine position.

In the meantime nation states, the Commission and the European Parliament are currently haggling over a new directive to replace the now disgraced one from 2005 and which will work with the proposed new data protection directive. The nation states are still demanding blanket data retention even though they have now admitted that this does not help prevent crime. Because the 2005 directive is no longer effective, pressure is on nation states to come up with something to stop more of their precious haystacks being blown away by further legal challenges.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Bronek

Oh, shit! I just agreed with DougS! Does that mean Armageddon is due to start?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Quite so

How very niche market?

Yes, that's why it's so expensive. But it's so light for the size and USB-C does provide enough power to charge. Shape of things to come, I reckon – not being able to increase memory or swap out the drive would be bigger annoyances for me.

It's not for me but I reckon these will sell like hot cakes.

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Intel SoCs it to 'em with new D: Tiny but powerful

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Down

When it comes to Silicon, Intel will be competing with Samsung, Qualcomm, TSMC, et al. who have higher volumes. This is why they've been catching up on the geometry so quickly. Intel's depends on high margins, they don't.

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Apple slips out security patches while world goes gaga over watches

Charlie Clark
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I'm no Apple fanboy but in my experience Apple stuff does generally "just work" and I certainly prefer it to Windows for work. I really dislike the way they handle the POSIX stuff and replace it with MacPorts. They have in the past been notoriously lax in updating the parts of it that they ship with the OS but they do generally get round to it. Microsoft's patching process is more difficult but that's largely their own fault in the way they mix applications and OS.

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