* Posts by Paul Shirley

1378 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

Paul Shirley
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Re: Good gawd/ess.

From the SCO lawyers POV the case was a catastrophe. Early on BS&F were so dazzled by the amount SCO told the world it was going to win and so confident the world would pay them to go away at worst, they took a share of the case. Later they escaped and that became a fixed cap on chargeable costs, however long the case took.

Last time I saw a figure they were already estimating a $30mil loss. That was several years ago and the case was almost at a standstill by then so it wasn't likely to get much worse. But it's a big loss and along with the shockingly unprofessional work they did, it's done their reputation no good.

The IBM/Novel etc. lawyers did well though ;)

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Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Paul Shirley
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Re: VLC

I dislike the ui enough to not use vlc as my default player but it's essential for the the times mpc decides it can't play a file. In my experience mpc is at least 10x more bug ridden than vlc and has extremely poor handling of file errors and sucks more cpu. I really need to man up and drop it.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Paul Shirley
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Re: The irony is

The move to simpler devices has nothing to do with Microsoft, although their complete failure to spread their OS monopoly into mobile/tablet removed one obstacle to adoption. Few ordinary people need the power of a PC for the 'work' they do on them or a huge bloated OS stack to do it. The moment tablets and phones became good enough they stopped needing an overpowered PC.

Microsoft created the whole Win8 fiasco because they realised too late they had no presence in the post-PC world and no monopoly leverage because of that. So the Windows monopoly was abused to bludgeon us into accepting the crap they threw together for mobile. Hasn't worked so well, the users they targeted had already jumped ship to IOS and Android and have no problem using multiple OSes - the right one for each device.

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Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Paul Shirley
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Re: Windows 10 who cares?

"Also often the main cause of infection isn't necessarily Windows"

But sometimes it's the anticompetitive business strategies MS so love overriding the slightest bit of common sense - like embedding crapware like IE in the OS where it could do maximum damage and gain maximum exposure. Until MS genuinely value my security above their business skullduggery Windows will remain infested.

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Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author

Paul Shirley
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Elop would not be anyones *choice* of trojan horse

He's hardly the a high achieving MS loyalist MS would have chosen to send. He was what they were faced with dealing with after the fact.

Make no mistake, MS would have paid a lot to buy a successful Nokia WP business and it's easy to believe they'd hope for Elop to facilitate that. They clearly aren't so keen on the train wreck he actually created (with plenty of help from MS's WP mismanagement), suggesting any 'conspiracy' didn't work as expected and you have to wonder just what leverage Elop had to get re-employed at MS now.

Elop does appear to have outwitted Microsoft though, despite all the other failures.

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'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

Paul Shirley
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Also a right pia to enter on touch services, the combination of inaccurate input, non availability of fast swipe input in any password box I've seen and being unable to see the result for error correction mean this makes no sense for the fastest growing password protected sector (mobile)

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Google hauls Java-on-Android spat into US Supreme Court

Paul Shirley
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apis can be protected, sometimes

Remember: the first decision DID NOT SAY APIs were not copyrightable in general, it specifically limited itself to that case. It's something that seemed to get overlooked in the initial celebration.

My personal opinion is the appeals court completely screed up here but the first hearing didn't do much better at establishing why in this specific instance copyright didn't apply.

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'Cops and public bodies BUNGLE snooping powers by spying on 3,000 law-abiding Brits'

Paul Shirley
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Re: But...

No, don't think of the children, that's all the excuse they need to legitimately invoke RIPA and spy on you for the rest of your life.

TBH though it's hard to imagine how RIPA could be abused, it's basically designed as abuse when used as intended :(

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Paul Shirley
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Re: fragmentation - astroturf script needs change

You can specify which build specific Android devices will receive, based on all sorts of filters. With so many devices out there it's generally easier to dump support for all into one apk though and let the runtime sort it out.

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Paul Shirley
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fragmentation - astroturf script needs change

A Windows 'universal app' is surely just what Android apps have always been, adapting at runtime to the platform they happen to be run on, with perhaps some help from the app store picking the right build? Apps that largely run everywhere there's an Android runtime available, just like the story of Win apps running everywhere the runtime is available.

Till now MS ground troops (and their Apple equivalents) have banged on endlessly about Android fragmentation... but MS just brought the same 'fragmentation' problem to 'new Windows'

So how long till the bs script changes? Because from now on the astroturfers will be on orders to paint fragmentation as a good thing!

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Paul Shirley
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So all that's changed...

..is there's a new Visual Studio build target? It's still just Metro everywhere and no more likely to be useful than it is today.

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Paul Shirley
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" Complain when they don't give you that option."

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Complain NOW before they try taking it away.

Apparently already forgotten how willing MS are to remove features then drag their feet waiting for users to give up complaining... it's like Win8 never happened. Still annoyed that XP SP2 reduced access to all the RAM on a 4Gb+ system.

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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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Flame

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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