* Posts by ThomH

2079 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Microsoft: Profit DECIMATED because you people aren't buying PCs

ThomH
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The OED states that decimate can mean simply "[t]o destroy or remove a large proportion of; to subject to severe loss, slaughter, or mortality"; the pedants that complain about decimate when used not to mean 10% seem to have invented the cause of their distress in their own minds.

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Apple Watch: Exactly how many vids does it take to teach a fanboi to tell the time?

ThomH
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Re: Look like Tag Heuer

I fear we'll be back in the iTunes land, of: you know that song, the one you already own and didn't buy from Apple? Sure, you can use it as a ringtone, for the low low price of 79p.

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Fancy a wristjob from Tim Cook? TOUGH LUCK, you CAN'T HAVE ONE

ThomH
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Re: I suppose @eSeM

Battery life is dreadful across the entire range of smartwatches. As is usefulness...

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ThomH
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I had a sports watch that needed charging every four days so I say this with certainty that I mean it: a huge battery life improvement is what would be required for me even to consider a smart watch. Probably of several weeks. I don't need one more thing to think about, one more cable to take on holiday, etc, for such a fringe usage device.

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Xiaomi's birthday present to itself: Flogging 2m phones in 12 hours

ThomH
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Re: What has Xiaomi got in common with Apple?

Yeah, Apple's phone strategy is more like their iMac-onwards computer strategy: even just 3% of the market would do for profitability.

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Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

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Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

"Slip up? If he's talking about breaking laws then he can cry me a river."

One of the laws he has broken since being released is being drunk in public. I'd dare imagine there's a high amount of police discretion in enforcement of that. Have you ever had a drink or two too many in a pub and then gone home?

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ThomH
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Re: Strike 1 of three? @chriswakey

Jerry Dewayne Williams, the pizza thief, got his sentence reduced to five years — after the Supreme Court ruled that judges could apply discretion in application of the three-strikes law — and left prison over fifteen years ago. He moved to a different city, cut his ties to his old friends and has had only two minor incidents with the police since, making a criminal threat and being drunk in public, obtaining him just 17 further days in jail.

I'd say that keeping somebody in prison for twenty additional years in order to save the community from one criminal threat and one incident of being drunk in public was not a proportionate response.

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ThomH
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Re: flash

It worked correctly without Flash in Safari on OS X. Dodgy user-agent sniffing, perhaps?

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

ThomH
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Re: Low res? @DrXym

Most Mac software takes full advantage of the extra pixels. It's been a couple of years since the devices started shipping and even having just one Apple device with a high-DPI screen creates a substantial audience relative to the Mac whole.

Text remains the main improvement. Even if I were buying only a Chromebook, I'd be more comfortable on the high DPI than the regular.

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Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

ThomH
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So that's two reasons

... two reasons why I won't be strolling into an Apple shop and buying a watch.

And for El Reg's audience I think that still leaves me on the low side.

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

ThomH
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My favourite shortcut is command+shift+forward slash which takes you to the pull-down menu search box in any app. Then type to find the option you wanted. The text search eliminates the need manually to hunt amongst the pull-downs; the shortcut eliminates the need even to move the cursor in order to do that.

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ThomH
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@jason 7

I don't think most people upgrade their laptops every year or so.

However I think most laptop manufacturers update their lineup at least every year or so.

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ThomH
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Re: Looks ok but...

Per the reviews, one of the things the force touch trackpad attempts to achieve is haptic feedback that fools your brain into thinking you've pushed the thing down when in fact it hasn't moved. It seems to me like that plus Apple's obsession with thinness strongly implies a screen-as-a-keyboard within the next few years.

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Becoming Steve Jobs biography: ‘Much of it was chutzpah and self delusion’

ThomH
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Re: Perfectionist @AlBailey

Certainly they will have been historically but I doubt that's true any more. When's the last time you connected your phone — whatever variety — to any computer?

(and, separately, who's idiot idea was it to graft application, calendar, email account management, etc, into the music player?)

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ThomH
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Re: Perfectionist

iTunes is reviled, and rightly so, only on Windows. Do you imagine Jobs using Windows all that often?

QuickTime also ended up saving the company: when Adobe, Microsoft et al said that either Apple could give them an easy way to port Classic OS software to OS X or they wouldn't bother, the Windows port of QuickTime conveniently had a clean independent implementation of enough of the old framework that they could quickly retrofit it to NextStep.

Which also speaks to the problems with QuickTime and iTunes on Windows, I guess — do you really want every app trying to glue alien widgets and messaging patterns onto your OS?

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

ThomH
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Based on my experience of school children, 20% will have "self" destructed within a couple of months.

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ThomH
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Re: Pedantic point of order @petur

The only humour I can find in Top Gear is in the manner that their material seems simultaneously both over- and under-rehearsed.

However I dislike the people who think Clarkson should be fired just because they don't find him funny. Dear BBC, even if it were just me watching TV, please don't make only programmes that I already know that I currently enjoy.

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Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

ThomH
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Re: available for phone AND Tables?

Someone in Microsoft PR is still using the 2008 Surface.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

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Re: Not quite like the BBC Micro

Right on commander!

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LaCie snuggles up to Apple’s slim 12-inch MacBook with fat HDD

ThomH
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Re: Just a blockhead here

Every directly attached block device is Time Machine compatible. Apple puts one of its arbitrary obstacles in the way only of network-attached storage. Not sure if it works with NTFS-formatted devices though; maybe they're just trying to communicate that the drive is HFS formatted out of the box? You know, very poorly.

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FREAKing hell: ALL Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop

ThomH
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This article is about a security issue affecting web browsers. The linked article contains the text "When it comes to applications, it is little wonder that web browsers topped the list, with Microsoft's Internet Explorer up at the top with a total of 242 reported vulnerabilities".

I would therefore not recommend it for the purpose advocated.

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

ThomH
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Re: Just goes to show....

There shouldn't be any shame in responding to how consumers receive a competitor's product.

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ThomH
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Re: I don't really like Apple/iOs

On malware/viruses: I don't believe Android has a significant security problem, it just doesn't have a gatekeeper. The benefit is your freedom to download a greater diversity of apps, the detriment is that you have to look out for yourself. Nowhere near every app with a problem has been some dodgy hack from a Russian warez site but you can be confident that Dropbox, Facebook, Desert Golfing, etc, when downloaded from Google or Amazon or equivalent, are safe.

On disk encryption: if all we're arguing about is on-by-default then if it's something you care about just for you it's no big deal.

So I think that just leaves those who think non-technical people should be able to assume protection. I think they should. But is that Google's responsibility to police or should it be left to the market to decide?

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

ThomH
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Re: The adverts are getting more intrusive @AC

It looks like they're user targeted; transporting an example from one browser to another resulted in different advertisements. They're also likely campaign dependent.

Right now if you happen to match the same criteria as I do then look for: at the start of the video, a woman complaining about TSA and other security aparatus or a man whose video starts in a garage with some car or other and with his promise that he's about to let me in on the secret of how he made his wealth; most persistent mid-video interruptions lately have been on behalf of Wayfair, which is a US online furniture retailer that I have recently used so there's likely some DoubleClick-or-whatever cookie involvement in advert selection.

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ThomH
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The adverts are getting more intrusive

For sufficiently popular videos we now seem to be at unskippable multi-minute adverts as a preroll plus interruptions every seven minutes or so with a ten- or twenty-second insert. That makes a lot more sense as a roll of the dice: if they don't make the site profitable then killing it off is no bad thing.

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ThomH
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Yeah, I absolutely hate abstract bodies of people that learn from their mistakes. People with humility and the ability for self reflection should be run out of town!

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STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

ThomH
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Re: "back-lit color e-paper"?

Yes, like I said, Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper contrasts it with back-lit displays. Normal terminology considers any sort of LCD to be an entirely different thing from electronic paper. A functional difference being that electronic paper benefits from increased external light, back-lit LCDs suffer from it, outdoors daylight usually subtracting significantly from the perceived contrast and gamut of the latter.

So I guess they're just playing fast and loose with the terminology.

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ThomH
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"back-lit color e-paper"?

Eink itself, the trademarked thing from the specific company, is explicitly opaque and reflective. A back light wouldn't be visible because the screen is in the way, like putting a back light behind a piece of cardboard. Readers like the Kindle Paperwhite are front-lit. Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper (yes, yes, I know) explicitly contrasts it with back-lit displays.

So does anybody have an educated guess as to what sort of display we're talking about here?

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Apple: 100,000 lucky people can test our flaky iOS 8.3 code – report

ThomH
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I don't see what Microsoft has to do with it: to my mind it's more "a shock falling-in-line-with-industry-practice move". But I'm very impressionable.

If you asked me to give the name of the company I most immediately associate with public betas, it'd be Google. But Google products can famously remain in beta for years after becoming freely accessible, production services.

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This one weird script continually crashes Android email

ThomH
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Re: Fragmentation

I think Apple goes the wrong way on this too often: by preventing downgrades and trying to back port too much it often leaves older devices with a poor overall user experience.

I type this on an iPad 1 running iOS 5; I type this from experience.

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ThomH
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Doing well is a statistical thing. One counter-example is insufficient.

Google generally writes excellent software and Android is a first-rate piece of engineering. But... "recent phone, all available updates installed and a maliciously crafted email can still crash the client repeatedly without even being opened. So please don't tell me they do well." — see how silly that sounds?

Apple does a million things very poorly. I just don't think yours is a good example of one of them because you've ignored the age of the machine in question.

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Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'

ThomH
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Re: People will still buy them

My understanding is that the watch is barely more than a thin client for the phone. So the proprietary functionality part is more severe here than usual.

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ThomH
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Re: "failed to meet standards ... arising from hairy arms or dry skin"

They were wearing it fine; they were oxidating their blood wrongly.

Cheap shots having been taken, if the story is accurate — developed feature pulled late in the cycle for not working — then it's neither reprehensible nor particularly uncommon.

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Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

ThomH
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Tempest with beer

Who could resist?

It's in the Midway Arcade collection and iCade compatible so I most recently played it probably a week or two ago. I doubt I'll ever get to the third bar, let lone the fourth.

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Now Samsung's spying smart TVs insert ADS in YOUR OWN movies

ThomH
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Re: WTF!

The only meaningful solution seems to be to buy an HDMI dongle — Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, whatever. But that's based on the premise that surely Samsung wouldn't interrupt content without knowing what it is? Surely?

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

ThomH
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Re: Ubuntu is using flash sales, announced via Twitter, as a marketing tool to create buzz

If Apple is artificially stifling supply then the latest model's first quarter is even more impressive.

Apple's PR trick is burying its failures so well that it looks invincible and declining to discuss what it plans to attack next. It's a very different approach from Canonical's over this, the next step in a long-public plan.

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'Ruskie' malware pwns iOS 7

ThomH
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It's an enterprise-signed application, per Ars Technica

If so then distribution can be halted just by Apple revoking the certificate. Ars also believes that the malware is explicitly tap-to-install (with the usual UAC-style "do you trust corporation X?" prompts), with no sort of drive-by installation or remote injection. So it's a trojan.

The security flaws are whatever under iOS 7 allows this application to hide and to block its own deletion. It doesn't manage those things under iOS 8 but it's not necessarily that security is better, it could just be that the similarly insecure components have shuffled around a bit and the detected version of the malware is out of date.

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

ThomH
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I'm a little more optimistic than I've historically been — I wouldn't have believed in 2005 that 2010 would produce a coalition, and I wouldn't have believed in 2010 that in 2015 we'd be talking about four unambiguously major parties and five-party television debates. It's the sort of changing environment that could lead to a more diverse range of political voices. But we'll see.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

ThomH
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Re: (2); Jobs' letter came two months before Adobe finally managed to launch a preview version of Flash for Android — three years of bickering, when doing so would have been a major PR coup, and Adobe still hadn't managed to produce anything. That says as much about the death of Flash as anything. It clearly wasn't ready when mobile devices came of age. Jobs couldn't have had it if he'd wanted it.

The letter was score settling for the atrocious Mac implementation though, I'm sure.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

ThomH
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Re: It's true @Preston Munchensonton

I think the poster is more referring to stuff like being able to take an ordinary mobile phone call and answer regular, non-proprietary texts via your Mac if it and an iPhone are on the same wifi network.

Photos, contacts, etc automatically sync between your phone and iPhoto if you want (via Apple's servers), and Apple will sell you a music locker, but I think that sort of stuff is fairly normal now across all the handsets?

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

ThomH
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Re: ...the only fix being a reboot.

The browser choice is already ended. It wasn't a requirement for selling an OS, it was a time-limited attempt to redress Microsoft's specific errant behaviour. IE no longer having hegemony for a variety of reasons, I doubt anybody discussed extending it let alone figured out whether legally they could.

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

ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad @Kristian Walsh

That works perfectly, thanks! I have been completely lost because a long press on an image in both Messaging and Internet Explorer brings up an appropriate context menu: 'share picture' in IE, 'forward' in Messaging (which is just for texting onward, but that hasn't proven to be an issue for my use cases and the list of issues was explicitly personal). A long press in any of my inboxes reveals only 'save'. It's very inconsistent.

Factor in that I am possibly an idiot. It took about a week to realise that the icon of a building with a door at the bottom is meant to be a floppy disk because, ummm, that means 'save'. I'm old enough to be very familiar with floppy disks, it's just that in the ten-or-fifteen years since I last saw one the mind has dulled.

Having posted my negative comments about Windows Phone, intended to query its maturity, I'll balance with the positive: at the budget end of the market its a better choice than Android for many ordinary consumers because Microsoft doesn't allow the addition of uninstallable network or vendor additions. El Reg types might like that they generally still come with SD card slots. But I guess it depends on how app-obsessed you are. Now that DropBox is here I've no problems; prior to that using it as a handy video camera was almost unbearable. After doing some sterling work pushing over all my music when I first got the device, the Windows Phone desktop client simply no longer works and the phone's otherwise intelligent policy of shrinking video down to 6mb for email attachment isn't always all that helpful.

In an ideal world, Google and Apple would heavily lift Battery Saver (starts aggressively killing background processes and throttles or disables timed things like email pulls automatically when the battery dips below 20% charged) and Data Sense (when supplied with your contract date and data limit, blocks background fetches and uses a web proxy to download lower quality images if you approach your data limit). Apple could do with broken-out email accounts right in the launcher.

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ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad @AC

If it's an Android device then it has a very unusual skin.

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ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad

I have the Lumia 635 and impressions include: it's seemingly impossible to forward an image from email by text or any other medium; while listening to voicemail the phone frequently gets into a state whereby any tap to the screen acts the same as the sleep button, so I can never stop whichever message I'm listening to; if you hit the 'take photo' button really quickly when trying to add one to a text, the camera will crash, will then remain unusable across all applications and upon a reboot will appear to work but ignore any photos taken for a couple of minutes; an update released shortly after I got the phone broke my music library and left it entirely inaccessible for several months, a subsequent update has restored it but everything in my recent listens list is connected to the wrong music underneath so I'll tap one thing, hear another; standard instinctual practice when an app shows the 'resuming' animation is to switch back to the launcher and try again as whatever Windows Phone does to resume applications that have presumably been turfed from memory appears rarely to work.

Also sometimes the OS just crashes of its own volition while doing nothing. I've had the phone for about five months now and that's happened only twice though. So I don't think it's common.

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Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

ThomH
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Re: Queue this side @boltar

I feel like I also see Android zealots, Linux zealots, Liberal Democrat zealots, anti-US zealots, Doctor Who zealots, GoPro zealots, north-of-the-river zealots, Sunderland FC zealots, vinyl record zealots, and a million other kinds, all the time. I guess what we observe is not nature herself, etc, etc, etc.

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Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now

ThomH
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Is this incompetence or vigilance?

Like most people my instinctive feeling about anything from Adobe is that it's probably a kludge of twenty-year old source code and some flimsy hacked-together OS abstraction layer that is guaranteed to be at least ten times slower than the native alternatives. But is that just prejudice?

Not that it matters. Now that Netflix streams without plugins to both IE and Safari I'm sans-Flash. That was the last thing.

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FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

ThomH
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I think this is the wrong sort of burden

The suggested neutrality rules for carriers prohibit what they can do. Packets are inherently have equal priority; the primary offense is taking action to perform market-restricting traffic shaping.

Chen wants not to prohibit something but to force it; he wants to put a positive burden on Apple, Netflix, etc to develop software they weren't otherwise planning to.

I don't foresee that leap being widely supported.

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

ThomH
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Re: Why should Apple be worried?

I don't think Apple should be worried: the difference in Samsung's release schedule and Apple's routinely means that one manages to launch a newer/faster/shinier flagship than the other. It's business as usual. It's expected.

It's now been, what, four years since Android became number one? And eight years since the original iPhone came out? Apple is doing fine and Samsung is still doing spectacularly by any fixed measure, even if less spectacularly than for the last few years. But that's Android diversification and ever-ongoing phone commoditisation for you.

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Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

ThomH
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Re: Not too sure

At my most recent publishing role, now five years ago but out in the real world and completely unconnected to anything in tech, every desk was kitted out with a thin terminal that presented a Windows desktop from a server upstairs. It was running Server 2008, I think; for me to know that it was likely in the 'winver' box so I'm not clear whether it was virtualisation or just headless multi-user on a single OS instance — nothing ever happened that would make it clear. Not that it matters so much when it's all in-house anyway.

Being run on a sufficiently fast internal network, the only thing that felt odd was that everything was rendered at 8bpp, but this was the sort of publisher where we spent our days just poring over text so it was no real impediment.

The terminals were very cheap (but not in the shoddy sense); certainly a lot dumber than a Chromebook.

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'Yeah, I'm like, SO backing Microsoft over Google, YAH'

ThomH
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Re: #JeSuisLeRameau @theodore

There's a difference because there are a huge number of people that find the depiction of Mohammed offensive but there's no significant group that considers the depiction of Jesus offensive. So if you make any evaluation of potential offence then the outcome will differ.

Thought of a really funny joke but are sensitive to people's feelings? The joke will probably have to be funnier if it's about Mohammed to make the one consideration outweigh the other.

Just aiming to offend? Then don't bother with Jesus.

Would prefer above all else not to offend? Then stick with Jesus.

However there's absolutely no difference in my mind as to the protection that each cartoon should be given. Both should be equally protected in a secular state.

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