* Posts by Charlie Clark

4096 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Microsoft sneaks onto Android while Android sneaks onto Windows

Charlie Clark
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Re: Kind of obvious

But as soon as they become an Android distributor, they are of necessity a Linux distributor

I reckon that's up for debate and I'm not sure whether the clause would stand up in court.

Google certainly doesn't seem view the patent stuff in that way.

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Raspberry Pi celebrates fourth birthday with fruity version 3

Charlie Clark
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Networking

Anyone know if 5Ghz is supported? That's been my biggest problem so far.

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Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

Charlie Clark
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Re: At the risk of 'banging on' again and again...

I dunno, me and t'missus have been using one quite merrily as our desktop for a year now.

The single core of RPi 1's make is unsuitable to run as a desktop but the RPi 2 is good enough for many things. I have CPU performance of about half that of my desktop for stuff that can make use of the four cores, though I/O is noticeably slow.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

The RPi was initially supposed to improve IT in schools. I don't know if anyone seriously expected it to have a major impact there, if so I suspect they're likely to have been disappointed but not because the device was underpowered.

Instead the RPi shipped in sufficient volumes to create a viable software and hardware ecosystem for hobbyists and developers. It makes a great media centre that you can just pug into any modern TV but is also the basis of many small projects that might otherwise never have happened because specialist hardware is required. For example, I've got a 3" touchscreen that sits nicely on the RPi's geek port. Not sure what I'm going to use it for but I can imaging all kinds of industrial machines using something like this for the next control panel. And I hope they do because the software stacks available for the RPi are light years ahead of most embedded devices, and are still likely to be supported for the life on any particular device.

Hence, the RPi has succeeded in establishing a hardware and software platform where none previously existed. Maybe it took a while to go from the RPi1 to RPi2 but it looks like things are picking up in which case we could soon be looking at some pretty beefy devices that still only cost around $ 35, but the market may focus on those with the lowest power draw: SATA in an embedded device isn't going to make much sense.

Now, if they'd include FreeBSD as part of NOOBS!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Missing the point

Prepared for the downvotes here

I gave you one just so you wouldn't be disappointed! :-)

Actually, your post is pretty much spot on.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Shame

Can you name another SoC vendor that could compete at this level?

Mediatek, can I have my five pounds, ta?

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Europe is spaffing €20bn on handouts for tech

Charlie Clark
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Auditors haven't signed off the EU accounts for almost 20 years. It's a very wasteful way of spending a pound. Or Mark. Or a Frank.

Facts, eh? Who needs them.

Remember the budget spent by the body of the EU is tiny compared to the money, mainly pork, handed out to member states.

As this is about the EIB it should be further noted that this is run by the member states and not the Commission. I'm not a fan of monetary policy being used for stimulus but it was Juncker's declared aim to use the EIB to finance projects in the absence of stimulus from member states. There was a fanciful plan of using EU money to encourage investment from private investors. I'm sure it will all end in tears. But this is more to do with the abrogation of responsibility by politicians in the hope that handouts from the ECB will mean they can continue to sit on their hands (France and Italy are particularly guilty here).

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Charlie Clark
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So the Commission is doing what the EU usually does when it doesn't get the answer it wants: it keeps asking the question, until EU citizens roll over and give in.

This is a gross misrepresentation and does the argument no good. Yes, there is the odd potty project but the audits always show that the Commission is much less wasteful than national governments who love to use the EU to distribute subsidies (set aside premiums for farmland in Bavaria springs to mind),

Its main job is ensuring the single market so this means keeping an eye on state aid, open skies, etc.

As for the money € 20 bn is less than a third of what the ECB is currently giving to the banks every month!

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BOFH: This laptop has ceased to be. And it's pub o'clock soon

Charlie Clark
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Pint

So, what you're saying is that jobsworths security guards don't need maiming? I think we know who's buying the next round…

Pint of Sammy Smiths for me, please.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Quibblage

Well, they're both quantum phenomena but this is closer to Schrödinger: the bomb will go off but the time cannot be known, ergo two quantum states until observed.

Heisinger's principle is that knowledge of some aspects is mutually exclusive. So you can know the laptop's speed but not where it is. You'll come across this in BOFH's labyrinth game…

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Canonical accused of violating GPL with ZFS-in-Ubuntu 16.04 plan

Charlie Clark
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Duh, can we finally stop getting Oracle involved into OpenZFS?

No, because everyone wants to vent their frustration on Larry's evil empire. Even, or perhaps, especially when they've got nothing to do with something.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

It's Oracle we're talking about: they created a private fork rather than try and get everyone to agree to changes.

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Charlie Clark
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Few points to clear the confusion

You're ruining it for everyone with all those facts!

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Charlie Clark
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IANAL either, but I don't think that statement is correct.

It is with the following proviso: any subsequent changes in the licence require the agreement of all contributors. Otherwise a fork is required. Oracle has wisely chosen to fork OracleZFS.

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Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

GPL is make work for lawyers

Kids - just say no!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Let Oracle sue

Not Oracle's beef. Fuckwit GPL zealots.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Well!

Just use FreeBSD.

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Awoogah – brown alert: OpenSSL preps 'high severity' security fixes

Charlie Clark
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Will Libressl also be affected

Be interesting to see if LibreSSL also releases a patch at the same time and, if so, what it contains: whether this is related to preserving the API or having a similar vulnerability.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Pisses me off...

... all these tards coming here moaning about how shit it is when it was written by a bunch of guys in their spare time as a hobby thing.

Be that as it may – yes, it was a dismal state of affairs – the project has now had money thrown at it and it still sucks. Version names like 0.9.8zg FFS

Still poor design is poor design. LibreSSL wasn't forked for fun but after a thorough code review which determined that a new start of a less ambitious project would be better.

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JavaScript daddy's Brave ad-blocker hits Android, Apple stores

Charlie Clark
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Good luck with Bitcoin stuff

Very hip and all that but will exclude about 99.9% of the world. Blockchains are interesting, crypto-currencies aren't.

hm, maybe a browser from PayPal would work for micropayments… Must rush off to get funding.

In any case the days of the ad networks are limited. They're annoying for users and inefficient for advertisers. Much better to sign up for a vertically integrated network with detailed information about the users. We're seeing this with Facebook and Apple's content offerings. No doubt Google, with all that YouTube experience, also has something in the works. And, if the ads are provided the OS then ad-blockers are going to have their work cut out for them.

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Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee

Charlie Clark
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Re: Funny, when I was her age. . . .

"income inequality" is a chimera.

Sure, but things are not helped by the different (mainly but not just tax) treatment of income and assets which is driving asset bubbles while restraining incomes.

The arguments against a wage floor are now empirically validated: it doesn't destroy jobs and can actually create them because of the increase in disposable income. If you can't afford to charge customers enough to pay it then the job (and presumably business) should go. Otherwise welfare payments start subsidising low wages. Not good.

We're starting to automate people out of jobs permanently, with the rise of industrial robots and follow-on technologies.

Just wait till this starts to hit non-menial jobs. The fear of this maybe one of the reasons behind people flocking to Trump or Sanders. Not that economic policy has ever really mattered in US elections.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Funny, when I was her age. . . .

The article made it pretty clear, to me at least, that Talia James isn't deserving of a lot of sympathy. However, the details of her case are symptomatic of real problems in San Francisco and Silicon Valley because of the recent boom and its attendant increase in income inequality.

To focus on one person is to fall into a trap that it's a unique situation. I might have little sympathy for the person named but, as detailed above, I do think that there is a problem.

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Charlie Clark
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The simple answer: she's not being paid too little but she is paying too much rent

Wages: $1,466 (after taxes)

Rent: $1,245

That's the problem. Rent should never be > 50% net income.

This is not the employer's fault. Though it does make you wonder how an employer can continue to find workers if that situation is replicated.

However, things are never really that simple. Rents in places like San Francisco tend to rise faster than wages. This is both the result of lack of supply, partly due to local restrictions (not enough housing where people want to live), but also monetary and fiscal policy favouring property and VC investment. Rents are stickier than wages: it's easy to sack people but they still lead somewhere to live; bad housing loans lead to bailouts. Furthermore, one of the main arguments used to get people to work for less than market rates is participation in equity through stock options, which everyone likes because of the preferential tax treatment. This is routinely abused by VC funded companies. They also prefer to offer perks like catering and stuff, because they are much easier to scale back than wages, they may also have preferential tax treatment. Rent controls of the European variety might to some degree mitigate against some of the excesses by limiting the amount rents can rise in any year. But San Francisco definitely needs more capacity if rents are to remain affordable.

Indeed, in places like London, you'll see government money being funnelled into the property market through things like "key-worker" schemes. A bit more free market realism wouldn't hurt there: employers will move elsewhere if they can't get employees at a rate they can afford to pay. Of course, this would mean boom then bust, but that's preferable to me than keeping the bubble going with more government money.

I believe Portland, Oregon is actually trying to limit its growth as a city because it's worried about the long term consequences of boom then bust: seeing places like Detroit as a salutary example.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Trump?

Blaming Trump when this is all happening on Obama's watch is a bit one-eyed surely?

I don't see Donald Trump being blamed personally anywhere. More some of the postures and attitudes he adopts.

The situation also has little or nothing to do with Obama's policies.

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Ker-ching! IBM paid 10 times Cleversafe’s funding for the startup

Charlie Clark
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Re: Silly money

It's ten times funding. That excludes assets and whether it has any revenue or not.

You want to see silly money: WhatsApp, OculusVR, et al.

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Charlie Clark
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Cheap at twice the price.

Given that valuations are often over 100 times funding, it looks like IBM got it cheap from someone wanting so sell.

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The other one. No, not WhatsApp. Telegram. It hit 100 million users

Charlie Clark
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Messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption such as WhatsApp

Really? I thought WhatsApp was only using encryption between devices and its servers. You can't do interoperability between platforms unless they all support end-to-end encryption.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No Love For Signal?

Signal, and its predecessor, have been mentioned in the past on The Register.

I use Signal as well but it's not perfect: the login is tied to the telephone number so you can use the same account on different devices and device support is limited.

But I think the main reason for its lack of popularity is that it simply (and deliberately) isn't "social" enough. The big feature of all the others is the ability to set up groups. They don't really care about security.

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Apple hasn't announced the new iPhone 5SE and pundits already hate it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Budget .....

There is an argument that, if Apple's sales of phones ever start to tail off, it should go in search of new markets.

It is probably well-equipped to do this in a similar way to Nokia managed in the past: produce cheap devices and still sell them at a nice margin. For this to work well without sales of the even higher margin phones being cannibalised the devices must be effectively crippled so that only the most basic things work: phone, messaging, radios, and presumably camera but limited storage. It could be argued that this is more or less what the I-Pod is doing and sales are still impressive for something that feels so obsolete. Maybe the offer could be more attractive with some kind of tailored storage and service subscription: people in the developing economies can't afford much upfront but are great for subscriptions or freemium services as the Chinese market has demonstrated. Think of Facebook's "basics" package only more.

However, this kind of switch comes with risks: possible damage of the brand (Coca Cola doesn't seem to mind being available to everyone) more complicated supply chain and inventory. And seeing as how easy Apple still finds it to make money at the moment, those risks don't really look acceptable at the moment. But I've no doubt that they've thought about how to get their slice of "the next billion".

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'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'

Charlie Clark
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Even just a shim layer over the database would allow the database code to be reviewed and of course makes it much easier to convert if you change databases.

Making db calls from all over your code is definitely the wrong approach.

Absolutely. As regards changing the DB, I'm not sure how much of a real issue this is. But it shouldn't be held back by DB specific calls in the application layer.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: PHP always makes me cringe

Can be useful where various sites using the same software may use a site-specific view in place of the Main Table. The XML would be site specific, but the code common to all sites....

This a bit short of context: the DB would be doing something with XML? How so?

In any case I still can't the need for the client code to parametrise the table name like this: that really ought to be done by the DB.

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Charlie Clark
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There's a lot to be said for insulating the DB but SPs bring their own problems, not least having a different code base.

As long as parameters are being passed correctly there's not much to be said against giving the client some access. If you don't you're likely to find client code filling up with stuff better done on the db where developers either don't know or don't know how to do it on the server.

The best approach I've seen here is the one suggested by Hannu Krosing of keeping the code on the client side but effectively shipping it to the DB to run there. YMMV but I think there's a lot to be said for this.

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Charlie Clark
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PHP always makes me cringe

"select MAIN_TABLE.`product_id` from `{$tableName}` as MAIN_TABLE where MAIN_TABLE.`request_path` in('{$path}')

So much not to like.

Why is the table name being parametrised? That's a recipe for disaster all in itself. But, FFS, any field in the DB that depends upon part of the request is suspect.

The SQL injection vector could be mitigated against in the method of the object returned by getDatabaseConnection() which could even check for incorrect use.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Argh

Yep, tests would sort out the confusion. Tests are the easiest way to document your code.

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Android users installed 2 BILLION data-stealing, backdooring apps

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sloppy

That's because most of the possible exploits require almost lab conditions to work.

MMS exploits are expensive to run. The rest require tricking people into side-loading apps.

I suspect standard phishing attacks offer a better return on investment.

Still, anything that forces the manufacturers to up their game when it comes to providing security updates is more than welcome.

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Charlie Clark
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Sloppy

Headline says installed, text says downloaded. World of difference. Unfortunately this is typical for Mr Pauli's writing.

Also, 2 bn sounds like a lot but apply some analysis to the numbers: how many Android phones are there?

The Kapersky numbers sound more credible 90k breaches from many hundreds of millions of phones. How does that compare with Windows?

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Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux

Charlie Clark
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Re: hmmm

Indeed.

I've already got an MHL adapter for my phone: big screen done even with some CEC support. I'm sure a USB keyboard could be made to work with the mix but a wireless/Bluetooth one would almost certainly make more sense.

Might be nice to see some performance numbers with any of the newer phones. My Raspi2 now runs my CI tests in about twice the time my 2010 Intel MacBook does. I reckon any post 2014 phone would probably run them faster.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Low-end == 2 Gb"

The belief that because of moores law, no care is taken regarding well optimised code as machines will just get quicker.

That's no longer really the case: compilers are producing pretty efficient code. We do demand more from our software in ways we don't think matter so much but most of the time the code is doing nothing waiting for us to stimulate it.

Programs use more memory because there is more of it and more memory is usually the easiest way to speed things up. Try opening up a modern spreadsheet on an older machine. RAM, storage and bandwidth now seem limitless so why not use them?

That said, it still amazes me quite how big some software updates turn out to be. Each part of an MS Office for Mac update weighs in at around 1GB. I'm sure MS could distribute smaller binary diffs if they really put their minds to it.

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Why bother with the Android part?

Oh, I don't know. All that fiddly stuff that handles the radios, who needs it?

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Hackers aren't so interested in your credit card data these days. That's bad news

Charlie Clark
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Re: Albert Spangler

Go and get me Mr Robinson's box.

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Become an Andre Previn in your time: DevOps for star conductors

Charlie Clark
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Re: Nice One

Well, I saw one in the title only to be disappointed by the text. Can I have my money back? ;-)

Would you go to an IT conference run by Eric & Ernie?

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Google goes over the top with RCS

Charlie Clark
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Might be worth waiting to see what's actually available. A universal service that doesn't require an internet connection could certainly have its uses. Not least for emergency notifications: the SMS-C infrastructure is about as reliable as anything we've got.

I'm sure we all have several different clients to talk to different people. For me it's Signal, Hangouts and Viber. I've had problems receiving SMS in England with Signal, sending SMS to US numbers (but still cheaper when you're in the States than any kind of data plan) which you need for the other services.

As for the ability to tap into the service – well that's no different than what's already the case. Want something secure: don't use a public network.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: Betting on VR with a dash of Vulkan

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Lee D

I was under the impression that non-user-replaceable batteries were usually soldered in place and non-trivial for a street-corner repairman to deal with

I'm sure it's an impression that the manufacturers would like you to keep. Many of the small shops are pretty well-tooled up by now but you can still expect to pay a premium for certain brands: Apple's approach is very much liked that of car dealerships.

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Charlie Clark
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Nope, marshmallow allows it to be used *instead* of system storage.

I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification.

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Charlie Clark
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Apple has demonstrated that battery packs are what people want and will pay a premium for, if they want to lug additional charge.

The SD card is very clever because Android 6 allows it to be formatted as part of the system storage. So you can get 200 GB extra storage much cheaper than you can for Apple. Not that Apple minds too much as it deliberately charges a premium for storage but that could make the difference in a couple of headlines.

There will also be the crowd that just appreciates removable SD together with a much better camera.

BTW. the report also seems to skip the fact that the S7 actually uses closed loop water-cooling when going at full throttle. Might be interesting to see what people start getting up to with these chips.

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FBI says it helped mess up that iPhone – the one it wants Apple to crack

Charlie Clark
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Re: Most downvotes...

Naaahhh.... I think that record belongs to Martin milan with his 200+ downvotes...

That's amazing! At least he didn't start moaning about the down votes (or did he, too lazy to check).

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Charlie Clark
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This goes beyond conscription into the realm of outright ~Slavery~.

No, compelling someone to do something does not count as slavery.

There are plenty of reasons why Apple should refuse to comply with the court order but preventing slavery isn't one.

There is a case to be had as to whether Apple is obstructing the course of justice or even acting as accessory – I personally don't think it is – and the courts will have to decide. There is also the idea that the FBI doesn't really care about this phone – it already has access to the backups and the metadata –but wants a precedent decision so that hardware encryption, for which no backdoor cannot be created post-hoc, can be declared illegal.

Let's hope the US Supreme Court is complete by the time this case eventually makes it there.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Speculation?

One thing I love about my fellow commentards is their ability to downvote because they have failed to comprehend my comment.

Have a downvote for being a self-righteous cock.

I'd like to give you another downvote for caring about the downvotes and another ten for complaining.

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SAP’s Byzantine licensing leaves its customers feeling exposed

Charlie Clark
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Re: Don't forget Oracle!

Wonder whether the guy kept his job!

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Facebook and Twitter back Apple's privacy stance

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Silicon Valley heavyweights Facebook and Twitter

Have we really fallen so low?

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