* Posts by Charlie Clark

3338 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft's patchwork falls apart … AGAIN!

Charlie Clark
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Re: What do you mean "some?"

I guess it depends upon the nature of the patch. If the patch has security relevance then it needs applying as quickly as possible. Of course, more testing is required but the closed nature of Microsoft's software development makes this difficult.

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Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie "unfixable on Server 2003."

@big_D: all clickthrough EULAs are unenforceable. It has to be informed consent and whether this has been given or not can be contested in court.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie "unfixable on Server 2003."

Read the EULA, it absolves MS of any liability. It also states in weasel words that MS do not guarantee that their software will work in the way expected or indeed at all.

The EULA is only what MS thinks matters and this can always be contested in a court. For example, the clickthrough EULAs have been declared void in Germany. As, indeed, have labels on packaging informing people that by opening the package they agree to be bound by the licence agreement contained within.

IANAL but, based on other unlimited liability cases in the US, I reckon there's good grounds for a case.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "unfixable on Server 2003."

You think an unsupported EOL 12 year old OS is worthy of class action?

Yes, because it's not EOL yet and not when the error was discovered.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "unfixable on Server 2003."

Can anyone spell class action? If the flaw has been known about for more than a year and Microsoft is unable to provide a fix for some customers, then they are within their legal rights in many jurisdictions to seek redress in the courts.

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Still using the Google Talk app? You've got ONE WEEK to move on

Charlie Clark
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Re: Breaking news

@Dan Skype for me on MacOS and Android no longer work without a MS account so they've been removed.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Remember when you could load up all your IM accounts in one program?

FWIW Hangouts uses WebRTC in order to be able to run in a browser meaning no additional software required, assuming the browser supports WebRTC.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Breaking news

Along with how many others? Google does, in general, give plenty of advance warning when a service is being switched off. As this article makes clear Google started the migration two years ago.

But let's compare the switch-off with Microsoft's handling of Skype which required not only a new bit of software but a completely new id.

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Sitting on one's ARSE is the new CANCER, says Tim Cook - and an Apple watch will save you

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it subsidised?

Solar in the UK and EU is heavily subsidised by the taxpayer

Yes, the investment will benefit from tax breaks, though nothing like as much as the issuance of bonds and share buybacks that Apple is currently engaged in.

As to who pays the subsidy: well, it's taxpayers and and energy consumers. But this is just as true for the new nuclear power station being built in the UK which will sell energy at a guaranteed price to the grid.

Subsidies for anything but the briefest of period are generally bad.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: $848M could have been spent more effectively

By removing the demand for bulk load it is already stimulating the demand for gas which is better at intermittent supply.

But it is not the job of a private company to effect CO2 reductions out of the goodness of its heart. This is a tax-efficient way of guaranteeing supply over a long-term. That said, solar in California is pretty efficient even without tax-breaks.

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Charlie Clark
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Your point about tax incentives as the reason for the deal is perfectly valid. Your swipe at solar as a legacy technology is nonsense. Ideological issues aside, long-term, guaranteed capacity deals like this do make a lot of sense for companies and they are risk-free.

The reason why private nuclear power has never really taken off is also financial: no one will insure the potential risks, which in a country as litigious as America include court cases.

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MongoDB's feline brains trust sink their claws into NoSQL

Charlie Clark
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MongoDB had been a slave to locking – make a change to one field or object and the entire database was locked while changes were replicated.

Just like MySQL's MyASM table type and how much fun that is!

This PR piece reads a bit like: "The last version was shit. The new version is less shit". Actually, the whole thing reads a bit like replacing MongoDB with a BerkeleyDB backend, which begs the question why this wasn't done in the first place?

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RIP SPDY, we hardly knew ye: Google to retire next-gen web protocol

Charlie Clark
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Google's decision to kill SPDY in Chrome will go unnoticed by most users.

Which is as it should be

Both the web browser and the server must support the protocol for it to have any effect, and few web servers enabled it – Google being a notable exception, naturally.

Quite a lot of high-traffic sites use SPDY and credit to Google for doing enough work to get a serious debate about HTTP2 which hadn't been going anywhere.

Google's work on open source and within standards bodies is generally pretty good and in stark contrast to Apple or how Microsoft used to work.

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Microsoft: Even cheapo Lumias to get slimmed down Windows 10

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wait,,,,What?

Microsoft sold 10.5 million Lumias last quarter alone

No, they shipped 10.5 million of them.

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Legalese and coding? Yup, it's the open-source FOSDEM shindig

Charlie Clark
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Re: Here's a question for your lawyers

Seriously WTF but possible loss of income isn't potential loss of income. If it were possible then you could also be sued for not winning a Nobel Prize.

Seeing as how the US legal system is now as much about forcing people into out-of-court settlements just in order to get their life back (and stop paying lawyer's fees). It's quite likely that's what's going on. Wish you luck.

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Charlie Clark
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RMS

I also saw photos of RMS (Richard Stallman) at large a few paces away, though I didn't get to meet him in person and buy one of his badges, alas...

I did meet him, although I didn't know who he was. He was handing out flyers and moaning about the proposed dropping of the "F" from FOSDEM. I disagreed with him and gave him his flyer back. Faced with my disagreement he said I hadn't thought very much about the issue. This is arrogant and condescending (I wrote some, and use lots of, open source software and couldn't give a toss whether it's Free with a capital F). But fair play to him for trying to get his opinion heard – that's free speech, something which I am very much in favour of.

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Has the world reached PEAK TWIT? Supplies of new Twitter users are drying up

Charlie Clark
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Re: Have a cigar

The story sounds an awful lot like lowering the lights and putting on soft music prior to selling yourself: Twitter is looking for a buyer that might want to plug-in its admittedly attentive if vacuous user base into something bigger.

I'll guess we know more once Facebook starts competing with What's App: How will Stephen Fry, Lady Gaga, etc. be able to resist a bigger audience?

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Get off Twitter – and onto Google if you want to find TWITS and tweets

Charlie Clark
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Re: ehhh

It's not just "is it down". It's "what happened". Site owners will take to Twitter to explain downtime.

Only when it doesn't matter.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: get instant reactions to live events

@sabroni - that's known as PR and will use whatever medium is currently available. Once the media fall out of love with Twitter we'll see things like What's App being used for the same thing.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: ehhh

Knock it if you want, but real time tweets are a pretty good or at least a possible way to gauge public opinion, get instant reactions to live events, see if/when websites have stopped working etc.

Nope, self-selection rules that out.

As for server monitoring. Did that with SMS (much more reliable) over 10 years ago.

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Charlie Clark
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Re: hmm

If Windows on ARM fails (again) it won't be down to Windows itself but the handling of existing x86-based applications. This is perfectly doable in software but hardware support would make it better. When Apple made the change it had Intel's support. Unfortunately, Microsoft has made it even more complex with the different 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Even with Apple's aggressive support of x86 it took years before developers switched to cross-compiling their applications (almost always new versions). The Windows environment is even more diverse.

The Windows on ARM initiative, however, may end up bypassing the tricky world of end-user software entirely and focus on the enterprise market where new kit with new applications is more plausible. The new ARM chips are going to be perfect quite a lot of workloads, even on Windows.

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Silicene takes on graphene as next transistor wonder-stuff

Charlie Clark
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This is not my field at all, but…

I'm not sure how that "buckled honeycomb lattice" will work on in practical applications in case the form is ever relevant for the properties.

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LOOK OUT - it's a GOOBER! Google's über-Uber robo apptaxi ploy

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'd be more shocked

And planes - pilots are expensive and unreliable.

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Twin Adam Sandlers shake El Reg's movie unwatchablathon team

Charlie Clark
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Stop

in defense of Jack and Jill

Stop right there! There can be no defence of the indefensible! It was obvious from the trailer that the film would be utter garbage. Mind you I can't remember finding anything with Adam Sandler in it good.

As you can remember trivia about this film I suggest you seek professional help!

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Microsoft blunts hooks of nasty Internet Explorer phishing flaw

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German 700MHz auction signals start of Euro spectrum flogoffs

Charlie Clark
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Germany phased out broadcast analogue TV later and much faster than the UK. I think the switchover was 5 years max and people were forced to buy new TVs or set-top boxes. You might expect some of the windfall from the spectrum auction to go to those who were forced to buy extra equipment to be able to exercise their constitutional rights…

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Germany's BND muscles in on metadata mass surveillance

Charlie Clark
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Re: Great so its kinda like we'll scratch your Back if you scratch ours?

FWIW the proletariat rarely seems to care as long as there is food and drink on the table and "Dschungelcamp" on the telly.

All this data slurping doesn't make anyone safer (as tools like Bosbach will admit). While it might be useful in a subsequent investigation (great help to any victims) there's rarely nothing that in it that the authorities can't get with a court order obtained after routine police work. Data centres are expensive to build and run and require skilled employees who can't be do anything more useful while they're spying on teenage text messaging.

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Watt the CHIP!? ARM pops out THE most powerful 64-bit Cortex for mobes'n'slabs

Charlie Clark
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Re: The difference

ARM is the British tech success version of Apple

Hardly when you consider both the collaboration based business practices and the money earned.

Still great to see the good ideas still coming. Chips based on this design really could give Intel something to worry about in its still disgustingly profitable server sector.

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Samsung gets KINKY with new Galaxy in 50 SHADES OF GREY

Charlie Clark
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You're obviously wasted on this site. El Reg speculating on unfounded rumours? Who'd thunk it?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It looks like a fork

Introducing Galaxy Cutlery – collect the set

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Trouble comes in threes: Yet ANOTHER Flash 0-day vuln patch looming

Charlie Clark
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Re: bbc.co.uk

It's not so much iPlayer, it's all of the videos on their website. They all seem to "require" flash for some very annoying reason.

And that reason is called DRM and is required by the licence holders. For many things it's that or no video.

For some platforms there is something called the BBC Media Player which presumably handles the DRM instead of Flash or Silverlight.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark

That must be why the iPhone wasn't one of the first to support HTML5 video.

It's arguable that the Apple's products still don't properly support HTML5 as they only support one codec and container format. When writing the HTML you have to take Apple's idiosyncrasies into account and put its favoured formats first otherwise it won't work. The support in the browser was a side-effect of the implementation in I-Tunes. I'm not saying that browsers aren't better off without plugins like Flash, and I'm pretty glad Apple used its muscle to encourage others to change, but their motivation was mainly anti-competitive.

Remember the trailer for some product launch or other a couple of years ago that Apple implemented as a series of JPEGs controlled by Javascript? And have you seen how few other HTML5 bits have been adopted by Apple? Especially since Google forked WebKit? Now that it has its walled garden* Apple is no longer interested in developing the web.

* Something that millions are people are happy with.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Flash be gone!

Jobs used security as excuse. The ban was all about making sure people would only rent videos from the app store using Apple's DRM system.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Charlie Clark
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Re: My Windows/Linux hosts files

Why do those with presumed integrity eventually sell out?

You were wrong to presume the integrity in the first place, this has always been the model of the company.

I'm currently using Ghostery because its runs in all my browsers (don't count IE as one as I only use it for testing) on all my devices. They, apparently, have a different business model which tells ad-firms where there products are failing. Time will tell if this is sustainable. If a site has to close because it runs too many invasive ads that annoy too many people then it closes because it has been trying to sell users to the wrong ad companies.

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AWS Go-ing Google's way

Charlie Clark
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Re: Context please

Yep, the fact that Go compiles to machine code is certainly an advantage but the people I've spoken with say the built in parallelism is what makes it particularly attractive. Although I'm a Python fan I've got to say "Go Go!" here.

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PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Netmarketshare also has Windows XP at 13.57 per cent, then 18.26 percent before a rise to 18.93 per cent, a step up for which your correspondent can't make a convincing argument.

Well, the easiest answer is probably correct: it's shit data. A slightly more nuanced data would be that some of the sites where Netmarketshare is used are seeing visitors move from desktop to mobile. This will lead to a shift in market share in the desktop that cannot be explained by looking at those numbers alone. Incomplete data is, of course, shit data.

As El Reg never controls the reports with its own data these articles only benefit is letting us commentards point out the elementary errors in them.

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

Charlie Clark
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Re: Video playback

Will what be okay? The 2π? Or some Atom-based mini-PC with Windows? Video will be great on a system with the right video hardware. My π manages 1080p MKV without a hitch. Intel's more recent hardware does as well.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Some performance figures

re. downvotes: welcome to the internet!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Damn

It's actually just clever marketing: they're offering a risk-free entry into nerddom. Any of us who have ever thought about any kind of computer-based project reckon that we can now do this with one of these ridiculously cheap devices as opposed to possibly repurposing existing hardware. Selling it as a barebones kit is just as clever: you still need a power supply, SD-Card, screen, keyboard and mouse to use it but you think you can just use existing equipment for this. This is pretty much the same as "low-cost" airlines. I'm not saying this to have a go at the Raspberry Pi, just trying to explain why we find them so irresistible. And why, while some people go on to make amazing projects with them, others have them lingering around along with foreign language courses or gym memberships.

So, of course, I've got one (running XBMC/Kodi and not entirely without problems). To get an idea of the power of the device I also ran some CI testing of some software on the device and was surprised to see it running 10% as fast as my 2009 MacBook Pro, which is impressive at the price. Configured correctly, a couple 2πs could make local CI a reality for me.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Charlie Clark
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Good review

Covered a range of topics, asked good questions and didn't pretend to know all the answers. I agree that Windows 10 is a gamble that MS has to get at least mainly right.

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SamSUNK! Korean giant's electronics biz takes punch to the smartphone profits

Charlie Clark
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Re: Didn't learn from HTC

The S3 was the last non Note device that was actually different, great little phone.

I really like my S4 Mini (with CM12 battery life is noticeably improved). The S2 and S3 were Samsung's boom devices. I think many people are happy to stick with them and go PAYG so they have more cash to spend on other things: lots of people are now spending more in a month on their phone than I do in a year.

Wouldn't surprise me to see people sticking with Samsung on but stretching the replacement cycle.

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Spartan on Windows 7? Microsoft is 'watching demand'

Charlie Clark
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There was no word on whether Spartan would back-track to work with ActiveX controls, thereby bringing in support for legions of legacy applications. Microsoft has said there will be no ActiveX support in Spartan.

They never will: it's been going nowhere as a technology for years and is one of the biggest attack vectors in IE.

Unfortunately, even keeping it around in IE 11 doesn't even solve all the legacy (read crap) applications that enterprises have lying around. One place I know reckons that around 10 % of such apps won't run in anything more modern than IE 8. Virtual machines spinning up to run IE 8 are probably the best solution in such situations.

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Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yes. The critics were right

I disagree on the MySQL bit. I don't like it much as a database but I have one project which is dependent upon it and there's no doubt in my mind that Oracle's stewardship of MySQL is better by far than MySQL's own where being fast seemed to trump being reliable.

Of course, the big winner out of the takeover has been Postgres with companies like EnterpriseDB picking up lucrative contracts from those fleeing Big Red.

Picking a fight with Google over Java was stupid. Android finally gave Java the mass market of developers it had been craving. And now that market will go wherever Google leads it.

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Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser

Charlie Clark
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Re: Tab handling makes it almost unusable

On MacOS that seems to work with CMD + click. Anyone know how the keyboard shortcuts for speed dial? This and bookmark management is what I miss most from the new Opera.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It's Opera

And what's wrong with that? The reasons for Opera switching to the Blink engine were solid, the rest of the crap they did with Opera 15 was stupid.

I love the rss/mail client and bookmark management.

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Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Invest more?

@DougS I get we both get to mark this day in our diary: I'm entirely in agreement with you. Microsoft has a long history of pissing R&D money up the wall chasing rainbows. Apple has had a much more effective product and, therefore, research strategy (as for that matter has Google), though I'd argue it's started to flounder recently.

Microsoft has been making a phone OS for over ten years and is now losing market share; Windows 8 is the kind of stain that even Jobs at his best would have difficulty spinning (Scott Forstall's maps was nothing in comparison); Office 365 numbers are touted like a big red ink start-up in a funding round; there is now Windows on ARM strategy for the data centre. The list goes on.

The saving grace for the board at Microsoft is that margins are still fantastic and the shareholder structure favours them.

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What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

Charlie Clark
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Re: Bizzarrely..

Well, done. Now, see if you can work out the profit on the device for MS and Intel.

This is why MS is reporting the number of phones shipped rather than any profit accruing. I'm not dissing the Surface Pros as I think they might be good notebook replacements, but that does sort of make a farce of them as tablets. Pretty much any of the cheaper devices are better for field work.

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Some Androids can be HOSED by WiFi Direct vuln

Charlie Clark
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Whereas I've been in a situation with an Android handset where the manufacturer were now selling it on a later version, but there was no update ever offered for the ones they'd already sold on the previous one.

Depending on the timescale that's where your statutory rights come into play. In the EU, for example, all devices have a 2-year warranty which certainly covers software updates for known vulnerabilities. In such cases it's not uncommon for companies simply to swap devices. But sometimes they may need a little, er, encouragement to do so. However, nothing to do with Google.

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Microsoft brings SUNSHINE – but it's a CLOUDY DAY

Charlie Clark
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Re: Isn't it a good thing...

They could then squeeze their corporate customers until their pips squeak, and really rake in the cash, to all be paid out in dividends.

Nah, currently it's still far more tax-efficient to load-up on debt and do a share buyback. But I think you're generally right: the pressure do some kind of spin-off will increase. However, MS shareholder structure is unusual with Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and others still holding huge numbers of shares making it a lot harder for the activists. There are other companies out there that are easier to bully.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: On a positive note...

The XBox outsold the Sony PS

Numbers and source, please.

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