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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1366 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

Paul Shirley
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@LDS

The reality is for almost all windows users the ui is the OS, a view Microsoft reinforce by packaging the whole thing as one monolithic blob and their take it or leave it choice of ui. Few are aware of improvement in the core post win7, few need those improvements enough to care. And crucially the businesses that should care know win7 is good enough already for their users needs.

By tying the os to their ui so tightly Microsoft have tied their future to the ui. And the win 8 ui stinks.

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Paul Shirley
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how long...

...till we find out what theorem the worlds bitcoin miners have been tricked into proving?

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Paul Shirley
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Re: Get a grip

If you dont understand the problem try not to comment.

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Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

Paul Shirley
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I think it would be more accurate to say they were trying to unify the look&feel of the 3 OS products in the Ballmer era, letting the poor app developers paper over the total lack of API convergence and the users suffer utterly inappropriate interfaces.

Of late they're trying to look more serious about actual convergence but it's too late, Win8/WP showed users the 'one UI everywhere' idea is just stupid, a plan born of MS marketing needs rather than sense. Even using the same core OS everywhere is questionable, I like my mobile devices tuned very differently to my desktop.

Win9 is coming too soon to show real progress on backing out the idiotic choices, if only because MS didn't take the problem seriously till more than a year after Win8 launched.

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SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD – courting speed freaks and gamers

Paul Shirley
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Re: An important question : SSD failure modes?

http://techreport.com/review/26523/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-casualties-on-the-way-to-a-petabyte

Provided the controller doesn't die prematurely (used to be a problem) looks like you get sufficient warning from SMART to retire an SSD. I still won't be storing anything that cant be reconstructed or pulled from my system backup on one though.

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Micron cackles as it unveils its chameleonic FLYING DISK KILLER

Paul Shirley
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Re: Changing to SSD is a one-way street!

My problem is I started by adding 32Gb RAM to Win8, which needed it - was hitting 24Gb RAM use during builds. With Win8.1 it now never reaches 16Gb and hardly hits the drives after stuffing 16Gb+ of ram with cached loads.

By the time the SSD went in there wasn't much left for it to do. If I done it in the other order it would look like the SSD made more difference. More and faster RAM remains the best investment in Windows systems, especially now it's catching up with Linux on memory management ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Changing to SSD is a one-way street!

It depends a great deal on your use pattern and hardware. I rarely reboot, so boot time doesn't interest me and Win8.1 greatly improved caching and memory use so most of my tools are sitting in RAM whenever I need them - I don't actually feel much difference after switching to SSD!

More surprising, I added one primarily to help with massive compile jobs, able to max out 6 cores continuously with 100k's of files being processed. Again it's hard to tell if it's helping, The 12 core office build machine wasn't noticeably drive bound either on the same job.

For my work load its obvious throwing 32Gb RAM at it is more effective than a fast 500Gb SSD. Nice things to have but I'm not seeing the magical improvements many claim. Probably much more effective on the low end systems most use though.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Paul Shirley
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"there's no GUI way of creating one"

...until you install Link Shell Extension

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html

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Paul Shirley
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Not so sure about that upgrade. It looks suspiciously like they've made a deliberate effort to inject little annoyances designed to nudge users away from using the menu. There was more scrolling in that 2 min video than I've had in all the years I've used the Start Menu, far too much crap injected into it's top level. And it looks just as fugly as everything Win8.

And WTF is the point of putting live tiles in the start menu? Either put them on the desktop where they can be some use or drop them. And that won't happen because they'll have to address the ongoing inability of any version of Windows to leave desktop furniture where the user puts it.

They haven't given up trying to foist the Metro crappery on us, just got about 1% more subtle in enforcement.

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Microsoft splurges 2½ INSTAGRAMS buying Minecraft maker Mojang

Paul Shirley
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Well... Mojang made $139mil *profit* in 2013. They also paid Notch's licensing shell another $130mil that year. If MS bought out the IP as well as the company they get both chunks as profit - $269mil annual profit starts to make this look more like a typical purchase, albeit with a tonne more risk than most.

Luckily I never saw the appeal of Minecraft, too much like the day job, so my interest ends there ;)

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Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water

Paul Shirley
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Re: Locked phones

This is much of the problem specialist mobile middlemen have: the supermarkets have taken too much of their market through lower prices, not pissing off the customers with hard sell and the certain knowledge that getting support will involve many less hours shouting at people.

With most phones now 'good enough' even the (dubious) sales advice isn't adding more value than the annoyance listening to BS merchants causes.

It seriously worrying that competition is now in the hands of supermarkets though, even if they're the only groups large enough to force carriers to the table.

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Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

Paul Shirley
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It seems their analyst somehow completely forgot Apple are the ones late to this market. Admittedly a market so unappealing to buyers (Samsung & Sony cant even give them away) Apple might just kickstart it but it's not theirs yet and the underlying sentiment that others will be stealing Apples market is misplaced.

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Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

Paul Shirley
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Re: I have yet...

And I've yet to have any response or correction from reporting errors. Don't know why they bothered having the button if they were just going to ignore it but it is typical of Google, a company that listens to users even less than Microsoft!

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iPhone 6, Watch: Hate it or really hate it, Apple's now a $604.77bn biz

Paul Shirley
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Re: The fandroid doth protest too much, methinks!

That 'simple' ui is most of what puts me off ios, simple to the point I don't find it 'pleasant'. Win8 is similarly afflicted (along with some misguided android skins).

... And the quality of the camera will be the major decider on my next phone along with its gaming credentials because that's about all I've used my smartphone for!

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Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?

Paul Shirley
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Re: OnePlus One

"Presumably they make a profit out of that price"

No and with no mass production yet to lower costs and all current 'sales' being promotional they may be making a loss on the few devices shipped so far.

They're trying to build Apple style frothing fanbois attention while they wait for component costs to drop, hoping none notice the value for money eroding away as the phone ages. Obsolete before launch still seems the most likely outcome.

Apple could get away with this sort of manipulation because they ship on time and ship at prices that always make them a hefty profit.

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Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

Paul Shirley
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Re: They call $1920.99 a "fire sale"??

The idea is amerkins are so used to getting shafted on mobile rates they know there's no escape.

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Look, ma, FOUR HANDS! Microsoft bigs up pixeltastic TWO-USER mega-screen

Paul Shirley
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Re: "Most mainstream touch-technology, like that on an Apple or Windows tablet, is single touch."

There's nothing new about multiple user touch either, games on phones/tablets have been doing it all along, either tracking fingers independently or in some cases tracking 2 users sharing a screen with independent controls.

What's new is bothering to apply that to a work UI. As so often, where gaming leads, the workplace follows.

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Oracle's MySQL buy a 'fiasco' says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

Paul Shirley
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Re: Oracle's acquisition of MySQL???

Charlie Clark: " It seems to me that Oracle is actually working quite hard at making MySQL a reliable product by squashing bugs"

...yet the biggest improvement in uptime,memory use and speed in my MediaPortal setup was the result of swapping in MariaDB. Working hard perhaps, not achieving much for the effort.

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Six of the best gaming keyboard and mouse combos

Paul Shirley
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Over here in PC land we get to use both hands independently for different things. Its' not 'play on keyboard' but kbd+mouse or kbd+flightstick etc. What's rarely usable is kbd+console controller, even on badly ported console games because the damn things require 2 hands and|or have pathetic degrees of freedom and|or low responsiveness and|or piss poor accuracy.

And badly ported console games are best just avoided even with a suitable controller available.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: citóg

I'm right handed but started using left handed keyboards >10 years ago to deal with mouse RSI. Having the number pad on the left moves the mouse closer to the centre line and that killed the RSI almost overnight. It surprises me so few gaming keyboards move the keypad out of the way of the mouse, apart from lowering fatigue&physical stress it must give some performance advantage as well.

Given the shocking cost of normal left handed keyboards, when my small stock of spares all die that STRIKE7 (or some descendant with a detachable pad) will be very tempting.

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Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

Paul Shirley
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Re: WIndows 8, SP2?

"it's clear that Microsoft" took "the interface right for the" previous/current "generation of" Android&IOS users, dumbed it down some more then slapped it on devices it didn't belong on. Hardly the interface of the future, this is MS trying what it used to be expert at - stealing other peoples bandwaggons.

But because they slept right through the rise of tablets and smartphones then persistently ignored customers as they tried to catch up, this time they dressed up the product as something new but forgot to steal what makes it work!

Worst of all it's not hard to improved on IOS or Android. I spent this week struggling with an Android TV box and its absolutely inept UI using remote controls, there's plenty of scope to do better. MS chose not to even bother.

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Creaky PC? SanDisk gives users a NAND with speedy '3-bitter' SSD

Paul Shirley
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Re: Differences?

There's still some fast shrinking value comparing the IOPs but yes, they're all coming up against SATA6 performance limits. However those comparisons are what tell me I can have power loss protection for little or no premium or performance tradeoff.

So still useful even if the typical review focusses to much on irrelevant speed comparisons instead of features. There'll be a time when all SSDs have similar feature sets but we're not there yet.

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Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all

Paul Shirley
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"devices with batteries that are half the size but deliver double the run times"

My tablet is telling me it burnt 77% of it's battery on the screen. Presumably Intel tablets don't have backlit screens or perhaps they don't have screens at all!

Then I remembered: my tab has an ARM CPU, not a power gobbling Intel room heater and Intel is still playing catchup ;)

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On test: Samsung 845DC EVO 3-bit Toggle MLC and 845DC PRO 3D V-NAND SSDs

Paul Shirley
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Re: Awesome drives..

It does help that larger drives have higher bandwidth - roughly doubling till you hit SATA saturation at 500Gb! 128->256 should make a massive difference.

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Clock ticking for Surface 3 as Microsoft preps for globo-launch

Paul Shirley
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Re: I'd love one, but

@AC you win the prize for noticing MS are again targeting the ultrabook market. Now explain how that's going to be different the 3rd time, it didn't work before and the real ultrabook market has it's own sales problems.

...and 12" is still too small a screen for the bulk of that market. MS seem persistently a few years behind what the market wants, legacy of so many years just telling users what they would get.

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Cut price Android on steroids: OnePlus One – should we look gift horse in the gob?

Paul Shirley
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obsolete by the time they deliver in volume

When they launched the pre-publicity there was no attempt to hide it being Oppo, I suppose the ongoing lack of availability is just too hard to explain if anyone remembers this isn't really a struggling startup.

As the days pass this phone becomes less enticing because it's become obvious by the time they get it into mass production at this price, their competition will have moved on to better phones, competitive prices, with local product support. The backlash over teasingly small supply has been underway on the social media channels they've used to promote themselves for weeks now.

Seemed so tempting but it now just looks like a cynical marketing ploy.

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Paul Shirley
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A common UI between such dissimilar devices never made much sense. Either they aren't in fact the same or you just propagated the lowest common denominator to every device. Similar interfaces properly adapted to the strengths of each platform, great idea. It's not what ms did, instead they dumbed down the input options to the lowest capability of touch on a small screen, giving an impoverished toolkit of ui elements everywhere and a design language meant for small screens that just fills our desktops with bland wasted space instead of information.

It was blindingly obvious what was wrong with the whole concept before launch and even the astroturfing has finally been abandoned. It seems that when the paid posts are gone win8 doesn't have any friends.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Obvious answer to obvious stupidity is obvious

@1st AC: while completely true it's somewhat misses the real cockup. Microsoft must understand the business upgrade cycle enough to understand the relatively sluggish adoption of win8 by business so far. Wasn't going to happen for a couple of years whatever 8 was. Has allowed them to kill xp.

Their mission was to make win8 popular with consumers ready for next years business upgrades, to establish how a cross device OS could be useful to business as their employees started bringing them to work and most important to bludgeon their way into the consumer led mobile device market. The utter failure to deliver that consumer adoption or any of the device integration the bigger plan relies on really is massively more important than the supposedly bigger failure in business. It foreshadows future failure in the corporate markets when the upgrade cycle should be happening soon.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Paul Shirley
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Re: The TV I want...

The Dialog mode button on my AV amp seems to do a passable job of what you're asking for...

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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

Paul Shirley
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Re: Yay!

"piss off the very people who have helped them build an empire"

Well, they seem to have turned the Regs resident MS evangelist from raving fanbois to lukewarm ambivalence. If MS can do that to Orlowski the jobs half done!

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Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months

Paul Shirley
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Re: Microsoft bought Nokia because ...

"promptly fired the 18,000 people who know how to" not finish software on time and in a usable state. Nokia got themselves into this mess, MS just turned off life support then looted the corpse.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Paul Shirley
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Even if we accepted the 'no more distracting' (presumably you have some wonder phone and carrier with perfect voice reproduction and no extra cognitive load just trying to decipher randomly garbled speech) *talking to a passenger is also a dangerous distraction*.

The only reason it's not barred is because there's no possible way that could be enforced.

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So whither Microsoft? If Nadella knows, he is keeping it well hidden

Paul Shirley
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media aspirations

The XBox TV thing is still going on, they've just realised there's no point building a studio to deliver content they could farm out to people better able to deliver. Especially if that studio has failed to deliver much of anything and your only promised shows with any public traction (the Halo ones) are fully owned IP already.

MS need content to tax on their XBox portal, it's nice if they own it, possibly nice if they can recycle the production costs internally but in the big picture they're 100% reliant on other peoples content to make the service worth using. Right now that service is marginally useful to users in the US and completely pointless for the rest of us.

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Say goodbye to landfill Android: Top 10 cheap 'n' cheerful smartphones

Paul Shirley
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Re: Only buy stock Android phones

You make the crucial mistake of believing the ordinary folk that buy these things actually care about updates.

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X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Paul Shirley
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It makes sense if you believe Nokia launched the X devices to 'encourage' MS to buy the company sooner, rather than waiting for the price to drop more. They could afford to wait to buy a Winphone business no-one else was likely to want but an Android business couldn't be allowed any chance of reviving Nokia.

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Microsoft wants to lure biz users with fondleable Windows 8.1 'Apportals'

Paul Shirley
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still the user gets no control

Wonder if this will be the first windows desktop that actually stays how your it dept sets it, instead of randomly rearranging itself at will. Even if it works users still won't have control of their own environment though the power crazed alien responsible will be a little easier to hunt down and smack!

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Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

Paul Shirley
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Re: Sahara etc

>>Err that lot of oak came from the British Isles (well mostly)

...just one of the reasons the british were so keen on Ireland being one of those british isles.

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O2 and 'leccy firm's MNVO bid flops as £25m glugs down the drain

Paul Shirley
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O2 hardly an appealing choice of network

Or maybe they belatedly noticed just how crap O2's network is...

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Microsoft gets the hang of funky devices: Xbox magic for enterprise

Paul Shirley
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is that the stench of a smokescreen I smell?

...on the day the BBC reports on Nokias X2 Android phone, the Reg throws up a distracting, WTF advertorial like this and avoids using the 'usual suspect' to lend it credibility?

No, can't be anything but a coincidence...

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Backup bods Acronis extend disk-imaging support to Macs at last

Paul Shirley
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Re: Fifty quid?

If they follow the PC pricing policy expect a 'buy a completely new copy' upgrade policy, like they did for Win8 3 months after I last upgraded.

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Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts

Paul Shirley
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"the tablet that can replace your laptop" - missed the boat

'can replace your laptop': yes... but isn't the problem Surface was created to address that too many laptop owners already replaced their laptops?

MS should have launched Surface 1 with this message while there was still a good rump of non business laptop users looking to change, instead they promoted it as a dance accessory. That exploitable rump is near gone now, meanwhile other's have quietly exploited the business market while MS chased the disinterested public market. Late to the party yet again.

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

Paul Shirley
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Re: Quite frankly

Xbox & XB360 success wasn't just handed to MS by Sony, MS had a very hands off approach to the XBox division. They staffed it with gaming folk and let them get on with trying not to be Microsoft. It was always faintly disturbing the way they sent the 'men in suit's' to visit developers but by and large they avoided MS dickheadery.

...until XBOne and it's mediaplayer focus dragged in the corporate Microsoft thinking and it all went downhill fast. Still digging themselves out of that fiasco. It's a potent reminder that MS no longer have the power to tell users what they want, instead of asking and more importantly listening to what they're told. Though it's hard to believe anyone out there actually asked for anything on Android or IOS - perhaps Office and Outlook but nothing else.

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Waiting gamer slams no-show show: E3 – was that it?

Paul Shirley
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Re: On-line Multiplayer Frustrations

After finding a server full of adults with a zero tolerance policy to idiots, I spent 2+ years playing Wolf ET every day against the same 20(ish) people. There really is something magical about online play with the right people.

It's just really hard finding the 'right people' and why all the social crap is actually useful on gaming platforms, more so than random matchmaking can ever be. Very easy to assume none of it's interesting if you've never found the right clan (or informal version) to actually fire up the magic though.

And yes, going pub with an organised bunch of team players is fun. Not so much fun for the cannon-fodder but they only have themselves to blame ;)

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

Paul Shirley
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Re: Lower CO2 emissions maybe

Suricou Raven:"Methane doesn't last long in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide hangs around until a plant gets rid of it"

...but that methane degrades into CO2 + water vapour. So you get the direct methane hit then the long lasting CO2 *as well*. And water vapour is itself a potent greenhouse gas, especially high in the atmosphere.

Flooding is so damaging because it converts carbon to methane instead of CO2, trickles it out over a long time and doesn't convert just the surface vegetation you could have burnt straight to CO2 but also the trapped carbon in waterlogged soils.

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Paul Shirley
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is that Lewis's knee jerking?

It's just so easy to jump on Greenpeace appropriating credit that a man with Lewis's beliefs couldn't really resist it. They've never been afraid to claim victory on behalf of others.

Perhaps now we can have a proper report on why 60% of the Chilean population opposed and eventually killed this project, which seems to be a combination of national pride in their national parks/landscape, well founded distrust of their government, a genuine lack of belief that this project made any sense and the refusal of their government to consider alternatives.

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FIGHT! Intel disputes ARM's claims of Android superiority

Paul Shirley
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Re: that fps test is worthless

..or nearly worthless. Measuring frame locked rates tells you the game runs fast enough (or not) and nothing more about actual performance. No-one serious about benchmarking ever does it because it hides how much time the system is idling waiting on the next frame time.

The first few entries tell you the translated version was struggling to hit 16ms/frame but don't tell you how much faster the native version was. The 60 v 60 runs could have been an unlocked 60fps v 120fps but we have no way of telling.

I wonder why they chose such a poor comparison? (No, I know why they did it;)

And totally missing is any comparison of native ARM v native x86.

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AMD tops processor evolution with new mobile Kaveri chippery

Paul Shirley
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CPU short summary

they could have just said: "every time we revert one of those 'improvements' we made after Phenon II, it goes faster"

Who couldn't see that coming. So many years wasted trying and failing to make less transistors do more. Hard to see how they can get back in the performance PC game and I won't be surprised if their ARM efforts also kill the low end x64 APU line before then. Sad to think I'm probably using my last every AMD desktop CPU.

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WIN your FREE Nokia Lumia 630 smartphone HERE!

Paul Shirley
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diving downmarket

It says something about Microsofts focus that they're giving away budget phones instead of something that might temp typical vulture readers.

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The British are coming! The British are coming! And they're buying Surface fondleslabs

Paul Shirley
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Re: blackberry playbook anyone?

Everyone but Google and Apple are heavily discounting tablets. Nexus devices are being discounted but without Google support they aren't 'heavily discounted', must have some effect on sales. The discounting is so deep right now it's a miracle anyone can leave a shop without a new tablet ;)

Still not convinced actual customers are buying Surface yet, needs to go much cheaper. Todays £49 Lumia 520 price is a more realistic level of discount. I think they'll bury Surface excess stock in the desert rather than go that cheap.

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LG G3 fights off screen-res war rival Samsung with quad-HD cutie: In pictures

Paul Shirley
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Re: 2560 x 1440 on a 5.5" phone

I'm sitting about 75cm from a 2560x1440 27" screen and while it squeezes a lot more text on screen it's not quite high enough res to completely hide pixelation. Better than 1080 but not by much.

The real reason monitors are still stuck at 1920x1080 is price, 2560 doesn't give enough improvement for a 4x price hike. 4k monitors are probably where the quality starts looking sufficient but still priced out of reach for most users. High pixel density on a small screen is affordable where it isn't on large screens.

When the panel factories gear up for the 4k TV market push prices will drop and we will all move to higher resolutions on the desktop, to match our phones. It will still look better on the phone ;)

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