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* Posts by M Gale

3496 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Microsoft Surface Pro will land in UK in WEEKS*

M Gale
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Re: Price

But do you need a full PC in a tablet?

Well that might be nice, but you just told me that it's not a full PC in a tablet.

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M Gale
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Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

And I have a terabyte on this machine that's getting dangerously full after two years. Your point is what?

I also have laptops, and I'm constantly fighting with the Available Space issue. But then, I do think it appropriate that a hard drive is a good place to put, oh I don't know.. films, music, all that kind of stuff that you might want to use a media consumption device like the Surface for.

80GB? It might last me a few weeks. 80Gb? Probably a few minutes. I know plenty of less-technical people who also bought cheap computers with small (funnily enough, around the 120GB mark) drives, and they are also fighting for free space because these are people that actually use their computers for stuff. They don't just sit in the corner looking pretty and occasionally get switched on to edit a text file.

Now you as a software developer can probably make do on 80GB. It's not like a bunch of C++ source code for a project really takes up all that much space. However, saying "it's not meant for that" when Microsoft are trying to tell us all that the Surface is "everything at once" is disingenious at best.

The Surface Pro is sold as a premium product. Priced as a premium product.

And specced like a toy.

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M Gale
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Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

"You possibly don't realise how much space 80Gb is..."

I've worked with computers that have winchester hard drives. 10MB of double-height 5.25" fun with a worm gear powering the read/write head and separate ribbon cables for address and data. 10MB is an enormous amount if the only thing you work with is early 1980s software and text files.

And 80GB is a tiny amount if you are working with modern software and images.

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M Gale
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Re: Gosh

"The Surface Pro is custom moulded Magnesium and is incredibly strong."

Mixing flammable metal with lithium batteries. Sounds like a good idea to me.

And magnesium's less flammable relatives seem to be either poisonous, irritant, or laxative. Again, what could possibly go wrong?

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That Firefox OS mobe: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

M Gale
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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAALRIGHTY THEN!

Cracks me up how android users want to tout garbage things like that as a selling point...

Yep, real funny how I can plug my phone into someone's telly and be watching films and youtube with them all night.

Well, we were watching Jim Carrey.

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M Gale
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Re: Graph with *3* lines on it

"Not for any sane definition of "adequately".

I had a 600mhz ARM11-powered ZTE Racer that performed quite adequately as a smartphone. It had maps, it had youtube, it was responsive, and the phone quality was good. Angry Birds ran jerkily, it had a resistive screen and 320x240 resolution, but at the time it was about 10% of the price of the iPhone and a good deal cheaper than the high end droids.

You don't buy a Netbook to play Crysis then complain that it's inadequate.

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M Gale
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Re: Graph with *3* lines on it

So WP8 will run fluidly on a single core ARM11 then?

Because Android seems to manage that just fine these days, unless you're still on Eclair, Donut or Cupcake.

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M Gale
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Re: Graph with *3* lines on it

It'll run on a single core ARM11 well enough to use smoothly?

Funny, because I'm sure WP8 minimum specs are dual core plus all sorts of other rather not-budget restrictions.

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Router crash downs CloudFlare services

M Gale
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Re: I think someone meant to do that.

Well, IPv4 uses 16 bits to store the packet length. Basically, 65,536 combinations or 0-65,535. IPv6 has the same limit unless the "Jumbo Packet" option is turned on, in which case the packet can be up to 4GB in size.*

So basically, it was an IPv6 attack with the Jumbo Packet option turned on. Why routers will even process a ping that's a Jumbo Packet, I don't know.

*Wikipedia is your friend. Even if it isn't an academic source.

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Brit biz stops coked-up moist pocketstrokers ruining your pub lunch

M Gale
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Re: Been looking for a waterproof phone for a couple of years

I wouldn't call them ugly.

Maybe "well hung".

Well, if it had more than an 800mhz CPU. Okay.. maybe "built like a brick shithouse".

Yeah, that's more like it.

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M Gale
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"But at least your hydrophobic mobile will thank you the next time you spill your pint over it"

Apple are planning to rig the water sensors directly up to Siri's brain?

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Take that, freetards: First music sales uptick in over a decade

M Gale
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Re: Music Industry

"Without the 'biz, we would never have heard of Elvis, or Fleetwood Mac or even Haydn"

The question is, would we care?

"filmed on a mobile phone"

I think you're trying to imply that it's impossible for an amateur band to buy an hour or two of studio time and an engineer for the duration.

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M Gale
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Re: blip?

Of course there's value in ripping. Only the RIAA and MPAA want you to think that a backup copy means buying another copy. Or that removing DRM is inherently wrong.

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Euro watchdog bares teeth at Microsoft over browser gaffe

M Gale
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Re: EU lost the plot

If it was impossible for anybody except Google to make an Android compatible OS, then maybe they'd get hit.

The only vendor lock Google have is the Play Store. Not exactly insurmountable.

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Prepare for 'post-crypto world', warns godfather of encryption

M Gale
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Steganography

Because if you think you have the message, you probably won't bother digging any further.

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So much noise on WinMob, but Microsoft's silent on lovely WinPhone

M Gale
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Re: "This is a platform loved by reviewers and respected by analysts" - and yet...

My problem with the iPad wasn't that it was an iPad. It was that I was expecting something more like a Mac and less like a games console.

Maybe at £500 I was being optimistic about something like that coming from Apple.

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M Gale
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Re: I'm not suprised

It is an optimal communication device, not a dumb app launcher like iOS and Android.

I'd suggest you've never used Android's widgets. You know, those things that Microsoft ripped off, limited to blocky squares and called "tiles"?

You want the mail icon to show you how many unread mails? It does that.

You want your contacts all on a home page of their own complete with pictures? Not hard.

Perhaps a media player with its controls on the widget?

A flashlight app that works by tapping the widget rather than launching an app?

Social networking widgets? Device hardware toggle widgets? Calender widgets? Map widgets? Browser widgets? Widgets for things you'd never have even thought of?

All there, you just need to look for them. I suggest long-pressing the home screen and selecting "widgets". Or just selecting "widgets" from the top of the app drawer on an ICS or greater tablet. The phone manufacturer has likely included some. The Play Store has a load more.

And Beautiful Widgets is rather nice.

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Browser makers open local storage hole in HTML5

M Gale
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Re: Cookie Size

The article might say "cookie", but last time I tried writing a "cookie filler" page, the end result was that the cookie got as utterly huge as I had patience to wait for, but the web browser then failed at subsequent efforts to read any page from that site.

HTML5 local storage definitely ain't no 2kb text file.

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German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

M Gale
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Re: So..

Once you have a fuel cell with enough kilowattage, you'll find electric motors are damned potent things. More potent than internal combustion (even a big V8) for less weight, and torque all the way from 0RPM up to max. Problem is a 50kw+ PEM fuel cell is rather pricey right now.

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Colombian boffins reconstruct flight path of Russian meteor

M Gale
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Angel

Hi.

We see you, and you're still a psychopathic fuck.

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US insurer punts 'bestiality' to wide-eyed kiddies, gasp 'mums'

M Gale
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Meanwhile in the UK, we get Rebecca Loos wanking a pig. Yes, really.

Caution: Contains corkscrew dong. And bloody hell, that little bugger's productive.

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Ruby 2.0.0 adds syntax sparkle, boosts performance

M Gale
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It's probably fashionable to throw rotten tomatoes at me now, but I do quite like that little language. Simple to get to grips with, but with enough capacity to be brainbendingly wierd if you want it to be, and enough syntactic sugar to be oh awesomely sweet in places.

The only problem it ever had is it's not the fastest interpreted language in the world. Faster than BASIC but not by all that much. 1.9.x improved that. Let's see what 2.x does!

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Satanic Renault takes hapless French bloke on 200km/h joyride

M Gale
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Crash barriers have a nasty habit of coming apart and sending high speed girders through the windscreen.

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Review: Britain's 4G smartphones

M Gale
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Re: Not until the competition is out......

Friend of mine was trying to tell me how shit my phone is and how his contract is awesome because his iToy was "free" from EE and he'll be getting a "free" 4G upgrade soon.

I did the math and pointed out that buying a sim-free phone and going for a rolling monthly contract meant that after the first 12 months I have already spent less than him, and with each passing month I spend even less than he does, for more-or-less the same type of phone plan. In fact I could buy a new phone outright every couple of years and still pay less than he does.

He didn't like that.

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M Gale
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Re: Pathetic: 500MB for 31 pounds

"Why would you want to be watching a HD stream on a mobile device anyway? The screen needs to be bigger than 30 inches for you to notice any difference."

Maybe on a 30 inch screen sat across the living room from your eyeballs.

On a bus where the 10 inch screen is about a foot and a half from your face, you'll notice the difference.

As for whether it's worth me swapping from the unlimited-means-unlimited rolling monthly One plan from Three, and then forking out for an expensive new phone that has a battery-sucking 4G chipset in it.. nah.

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Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

M Gale
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Re: Nice

Thre's actually a whole load of "API crap" between the programmer and the hardware on a modern games console, too. In fact, consoles are historically a bugger to program for because they are a whole new bespoke architecture each time. Usually a horrible mash of intermingled subsystems that have changed a few times in development, too.

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M Gale
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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

"I remember a 166mhz Pentium PC being over £1000 when the original Playstation released. It was a lot longer than 6 months until the PC could do anything approaching decent Arcade racers, beat em ups and platformers"

PCs didn't get decent cheap 3D acceleration until 1996. However, I call bullshit on your examples. Only 2D sprite-based platformers used to suffer on the PC due to absolutely zero acceleration in those days. Anything 3D made the consoles look like the primitive last-years-tech that they really were, before they were even released.

You might have heard of this little game called Doom? Or Quake? Or any flight sim ever? Good luck attempting any of those on the Saturn or PS1.. in fact, Doom was ported, and on both machines it had a border around the edges and a crap resolution.

Then the 3DFX card came out and the rest was history.

These days, yes, console releases tend to follow the pattern of being decent for six months, then utterly humiliated in the polygons-per-second fight by cheap commodity PC hardware.

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M Gale
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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

Who cares? It's a games console. You know.. a toy.

Following the same pattern as every other games console release: Fairly beefy on release. Outdated within six months by £50 graphics cards on £100 computers.

Difference is, the games are usually designed around that less-than-optimal hardware so that they still run smoothly. I have a DS and 3DS here that probably have less poke than your average Android phone. The games are still awesome, though.

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Boffins use DVD burner to scale graphene supercapacitors

M Gale
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Could you get hold of a few for LOHAN tests?

See title. Wonder if a small prototype would hold a charge all the way up to however-many-ISS-lengths high, and dump enough current to start a rocket motor up?

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Bill Gates: 'Microsoft didn't MISS cell phone' bandwagon

M Gale
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Re: Abolish Software Patents

Unfortunately you can patent whatever you like when you control the guns. I think half the problem is there is a large number of people who are under the false assumption that everything needs to be owned.

But yes. Software and method patents are broken and are in danger of dragging the entire patent system down around them, if they haven't already.

Remove them.

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This 320-gigapixel snap of London is size of Buckingham Palace

M Gale
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Re: how long it would take to trawl through 320 giga-pixels.

Probably about five minutes given a decent machine and competent software?

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Quit the 2D internet, flee your cave, and GET LAID, barks rock star

M Gale
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I know someone who's like that.

Telling me about how I should go out and do stuff.. usually while I'm out and doing stuff with him.

He's suggested going out on some camping holiday at some point. Because being stuck in the middle of a field with a canvas rain-attraction device and having nothing except a transistor radio and a supply of marijuana is always preferable to sitting indoors with central heating and a roof that works.

Jack says I'm living life two-dimensionally? I say he doesn't know Jack. Now excuse me while I go out, in this case having fun with the Hubsan X4 quadcopter. Available on the Internet for about 35 quid.

Or you could, you know, buy it from a bricks and mortar Maplins store for £50. Your choice. I prefer living life hyperdimensionally, myself.

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Recipe for a bad day: 'State-backed hackers are attacking your PC'

M Gale
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Re: Linux is a strong solution

I would love to be able to go to the bank manager and say "here's my GPG signature, you can use it to ensure that communications from me are both encrypted and authenticated. I suggest you do the same."

...and have her understand me.

Unfortunately last time I used PGP (a while ago admittedly), it had no Joe Notageek Public mode. That and most institutions don't have a "please provide a cryptographic signature here"* (*optional) field.

Would be nice to see more widespread adoption of a decentralised system for sending 4KB-key-encrypted emails though.

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Nasuni fondles clouds, says Microsoft's is nicest...

M Gale
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"Microsoft is more than twice as fast at deleting files as its nearest competitor."

The jokes. They write themselves.

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iOS 6.x hack allows personal data export, free calls

M Gale
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Re: its not exactly very usable

Phones are often left out on coffee tables, desks and random bars (where they sometimes go missing, especially prototypes). Less so front doors.

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Micron glues DDR4 RAM to flash, animates the 256GB franken-DIMM

M Gale
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Re: Instant on computer

I hope the distinction between RAM and storage never goes away.

Might sound like heresy in a forum full of coders and hackers, but think about it: Right now you can solve 99% of OS hiccups by turning the machine off and on again.

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Cambridge White Space boffins cook up Weightless chips

M Gale
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10km point to point?

What, without a backbone tax or license fee in the way?

In the UK?

Madness.

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Register reader Ray revs radio-controlled Raspberry Pi race rover

M Gale
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I have to wonder

Separate servo controller when the Arduino has more servo channels than you can shake a stick at?

Nice car though. My own Arduino is still sat here waiting for me to think of something to do with it.

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Lewis Page: Space Marine

M Gale
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Lewis Page: Space Marine

See also this post.

So if by some miracle a slot on the ISS came up and could be paid for, what sorts of LOHAN-related and other experiments could you fit into a week of zero G?

Bear in mind it would be a once in a lifetime chance to fit something involving bulgaria and airbags on board a bazillion-dollar orbital research facility, as well as maybe do something useful.

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British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

M Gale
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Question to The Reg

How much to send Lewis Page up to the ISS on one of the tourist trips? If only so you can say you have a Space Marine on staff. He might even be able to do some LOHAN-related experiments.

Maybe crowdsourcing could come up with some of the cash?

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M Gale
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How much for a 4 inch high plastic model?

But, but, but.. it's a titan!

On top of the White Metal thing, this does not surprise me at all.

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Now UK must look out for crappy SPACE weather - engineers

M Gale
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I'm pretty sure that the GPS constellation isn't the only accurate time source out there, even if it is a handy one. Hell, you can buy your own 1-second-in-1,000-years atomic clock for about $6k USD. Not cheap, but you don't need many.

In fact, I have to wonder why the mobile operators haven't got into positioning systems? They know where the masts are, and radio navigation can be accurate enough even with the transmitters on the floor. Note, actual radio navigation, not the "you're somewhere within a mile or so of the mast" Google Maps thing. Make it work a bit like LORAN and offer it as a "get an extra-quick position fix" service to customers, who might be individual consumers who have it bundled onto a plan with a phone that can use it, or who might be TomTom, Garmin, etc.

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M Gale
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Why would a mobile network depend on satnav anyway? The base stations are somewhat fixed in place, and you don't need 1cm positional accuracy in order to fart out radio waves.

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Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

M Gale
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Re: And todays Microsoft rep on a comments thread is...

You guys should really try using Win 8, it'll be quicker than me trying to train you all up myself.

I have a free copy thanks to Dreamspark, but there's little to no chance of it escaping its virtual machine. Tried it, didn't like it. If I want a games console, I'll buy a games console.

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M Gale
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Re: 3D Design

What you're suggesting is basically strapping a touch screen/stylus combo to a computer and using it to twiddle about in 3DS Max. An interesting experiment, especially for Photoshoppers, but not one that requires TIFKAM.

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M Gale
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Re: "Ambitious" as synonym for "Awful"?

Also what happens when you minimise an application in TIFKAM?

Nothing. The application carries on flicking between running and suspended states in the background until such time as the OS decides it needs more memory. The program then gets a short time (5 seconds if I remember that lecture correctly) to save anything important before it is forcibly terminated.

See also here.

So in the future when everything's Modern, will I watch everything slow to a crawl if I enable power saving, because there's no close button on the million and one store apps open? Or will I end up with the system deciding what apps I get to have immediately available and what ones get extra added switch times and the uncertainty of whether they really did manage to save everything in the time required?

Someone really should apply a chair-end to Ballmer's cranium and tell him a PC isn't a games console or a phone.

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M Gale
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Re: call me stupid but...

"that's true, at first..."

Having to deal with icon^Wtile spam, single-window interfaces and trying to drag the screen with a mouse is not something that gets easier with time.

Having a reasonably intuitive interface suitable for a computer that may have hundreds of programs installed replaced by a Tomy interface that goes from bad to awful the more you install, also does not improve with age.

Seriously, the XP default colour scheme was awful and deserves the Fisher Price moniker, but at least it was functional and could be turned into something less garish with a few pokes at the right checkbox. This thing just has no redeeming features. There is nothing in TIFKAM that cannot be achieved with the same or less effort in Windows 7. It isn't as good. Sorry.

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M Gale
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Re: call me stupid but...

More difficult than Windows 7.

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M Gale
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Re: Touch interfaces are expensive

A full screen start menu with no folders, that spews icons from anything you install all over it, thus demanding reorganisation every single time you add something to your computer.

It does everything the old start menu does, but worse. Oh but hey, it's shiny.

I wouldn't say it's scary. More... crap.

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