* Posts by Paul Shirley

1605 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Europe yawns at EU robo-commish Ansip's digital plans

Paul Shirley
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Re: Meaningless.....

Here in England I simply wouldn't believe a number that high, seems pretty encouraging even for the continent with lower language barriers. But that interpretation doesn't fit the tale Andrew wants to spin.

The reality is my wanting to watch Irish sport in England isn't helping Hollywood sell anything, it's helping keeping my local Irish bar funded though - they've jumped the hurdles to get it so I don't have to bother fighting geolocking.

The US has already flooded the whole of the EU with their 'product', they stand to be hurt just as much (or little) an locals.

Would be nice if the EU sorted out the inequalities that allow differential pricing to succeed *before* full scale harmonisation but that's never likely to happen so market forces will have to do the job.

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US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Paul Shirley
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Re: ITC seems to not care about discrimination

Those arguments are from Microsoft's suit against Interdigital, not the ITC.

If the decision is poorly worded that weakens it as a defence in ongoing or future lawsuits. Normally the courts would be inclined to rubberstamp an ITC decision. Microsoft's problems aren't necessarily over yet, this was the fast track process, now Interdigital will probably carry on in the courts.

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Google watchers react furiously to ad flinger’s competition case defence

Paul Shirley
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Re: Everything or nothing

I think they've committed suicide. The most likely outcome now, presaged by the creation of Alphabet, is Google splitting search from the problem services completely destroying leverage for Fairsearch & co.

More worrying for them is my most recent experience of their shopping service. I actually tried Googles travel insurance comparison partly because this whole shitstorm had kicked off again. It was a revelation, an absolutely minimal search, 100% relevant results, enough detail to narrow the choice upfront... and most astonishing, the prices quoted there matched the ones on each sellers site I tried! Easily deserving of a high rank in organic search in the 'level playing field' Fairsearch claim to want.

Comparison sites are so universally bad even Google can put together something better. The complaining competition should be very frightened and they'll go to their bankruptcy without ever considering building a better product. Still, it will be a "fair" bankruptcy for most of them ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Foundem launched early enough to get decent press coverage (which no launch today would), then failed to turned that into any happy, repeat customers. Today they're riding Microsofts coattails and again getting press coverage, coverage that will stop most even considering them.

The last thing Foundem needs is more exposure, the more the public hear their name, the worse things get. Yet they still cling to the belief that buying rank in search results (this time by paying for lawyers) will magically change their fortunes.

Wonder if they've ever considered just running a better business?

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D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'

Paul Shirley
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Re: D-Wave processors are like GPUs

We largely abandoned analogue computers because of noise problems, which limits accuracy AND slows them down as a side effect, plus we've thrown more research at miniaturising digital components which increases speed.

The quantum effects in annealing make it converge faster than a classical annealer. It's possible D-Wave made the reasonable assumption that miniaturising their device would increase speed, supercooling would improve noise and quantum annealing would be massively faster on top, making for a very fast device. What probably happened is, it's inherently a slow analogue computer, miniaturising made noise much worse, quantum effects are either being drowned in that noise OR prevented by it and the actual speedup is much lower than predicted. Result: an accelerated slow device that's just about able to compete with much cheaper digital devices.

Their best hope is that it's not yet doing anything quantum accelerated. Looks very like a dead end, hobbled by noise. Noise tolerance is why digital can be pushed so hard and why quantum computing is so hard to implement.

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Paul Shirley
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preparing to admit it's classical?

Reads like they've realised they have a device that performs classical annealing faster than a digital computer simulates it. Which has some interest but is hardly surprising.

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Paul Shirley
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Which means an essential part of any legislation may be compelling them to allow better monitoring, though not something we necessarily want to happen given the risks more surveillance brings.

Ultimately though 'today's tools cant do the job' means nothing more than it says, 'today's tools'. Arguably a signal of abuse must be detectable, otherwise no one is actually being abused. Once detected the tool of legal compulsion can be employed to dig out the truth. If the carriers are smart they'll not risk that anal probing level of investigation.

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Paul Shirley
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It's not about removing traffic management though, it's about preventing abuse of traffic management. What we're lacking is any credible definition of what abuse we're trying to stop, the cluelessness of the non technical on how abuse could be detected is pretty unimportant right now - but the idea that deliberate manipulation can't be detected in a torrent of randomness is astonishing and a lot of scientists have clearly wasted their lives doing exactly that in many fields of research.

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Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G: The Android smartie that can take its drink

Paul Shirley
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Re: No OTG?

Could be a deliberate differentiator, in the past Sony have shipped OTG capable chips with a connection omitted to disable it.

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

Paul Shirley
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Re: Sadly

You've made the mistake of assuming bull refers to the truth of the tales, not the nature of the truth.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: An how much ...

If Linux installers were pushed out to most of the planets PCs as fake 'important updates' that might be a fair comparison.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: not cause for celebration

GWX looks like it uses the old trick of running multiple tasks to reinitialize each other if you try killing it. Particularly nasty is adding a scheduler task even adminn users cannot edit. However I had no problem killing it by just uninstalling the 'important upgrade' that spreads the infection and marking it hidden. Now I just have the chore of carefully checking every new update in case the bastards give it a new name :(

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Paul Shirley
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Re: Spite

Really? Did the start of a long recession just before the smoking ban started have nothing to do with falling pub attendance, except for discount outlets like Wetherspoons. You also have to pretend JDW didn't start making *more* money months before the official ban when they banned smoking early, my favourite sight of the time was a builder being physically thrown out of a pub by his workmates as he tried lighting up at the bar.

We'll never be able to pin down what, if any, damage the smoking ban did. It did break the decades long fight by pubs&bars to do avoid doing anything meaningful about the problem. Offered a deal - provide a moderate number of smoke free rooms spread across geographical areas - and there would be no need for a ban. They got nowhere near and it became very clear from trade publications the belief was the gov would back down. That's how we got today's ban.

Apart from losing pub gardens to smokers it's been good. Just wish I had less other ways to spend my disposable income, the real reason pubs struggle to get us into them.

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Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?

Paul Shirley
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Re: A blogger did this ?

The overall design is a brazen Samsung knockoff, hard to conclude otherwise. The question is if it's so brazen it's infringing. There are no separate features so distinctive they deserve protection on an iPhone, only the combination. Yet the case Apple brought focussed overly on detail, instead of how the list of details adds up to 'passing off'. And they convinced a judge&jury to go along with them.

You can protect a collection of unprotectable parts if as a collection it's distinctive. Apple tried to scare off all competition by focussing almost exclusively on detail, both in court and LOUDLY in PR. They can't complain if the case then falls apart as the individual claims fall.

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Botched Google Stagefright fix won't be resolved until September

Paul Shirley
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standard Google behaviour, only hearing the echoes

Google has a long and disgraceful history of simply ignoring contact from outsiders, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that even critical bug reports get little or no response. They seem to have passed Microsoft now in doing whatever they want without caring how or who it affects.

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So unfair! Teachers know what’s happening on students' fondleslabs

Paul Shirley
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Re: What's' this pointy stick for?

Spell correction and predictive text are responsible for most of the gibberish posts I make here, they're not always a good thing. I can't spell or get grammar right without help most of the time yet it frequently does more damage than good!

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Rupert Murdoch rips up his own fondleslab foundry

Paul Shirley
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Re: Trying hard, could do better

At least Ballmer&co are incompetent with just a small dose of evil. It's not a small dose with Murdoch.

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Apple and Google are KILLING KIDS with encryption, whine lawyers

Paul Shirley
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The US police have repeatedly demonstrated they have no problem with killing suspects with little or no reason... don't tempt them.

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Paul Shirley
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Re: data treated as code

It's called the Harvard Architecture and it was designed to increase throughput to/from memory but does separate data from code. However we quite like to load programs into memory so they can be run, we like to JIT compile scripts and so on - so it could never offer any more security than write protecting pages in our Von Neumann machines.

The reason they died out is probably the slight problem of where you put the extra pins on a microprocessor to access 2 separate memory systems. Nowadays we could just multiplex them but it makes more sense to treat it just gobble the extra bandwidth directly.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

Paul Shirley
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Re: broken drivers

I'm looking forward to discovering if my hidden bad driver updates remain hidden after I finally allow Win10 to install (which sadly will be required for work sooner than I'm happy with). Let's just say I'm not optimistic.

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Paul Shirley
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also autoticking the upgrade button in Win Update

Caught the sneak bastards autoselecting 'upgrade to Win10' in the optional updates section of Win Update on both my PCs. Only takes one accident and your PC is infested prematurely. Hiding that update seems to have fixed the problem for now.

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Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?

Paul Shirley
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Re: why not save the £60 by going sim free?

...because for most people it will cost much more than £60 to actually use it for the contract duration.

Also why it's such a PIA working out whether a bargain really is a bargain for you. As a £5/year man I'll stick with last years remaindered flagships for the foreseeable future.

BTW O2's cunning stunt of splitting the bill into device+airtime payments so they could carry on hiking prices mid-contract has backfired, so many people worked out they can buy on contract then immediately pay off the device part and cancel the contract, their operators sometimes just ask up front if that's what you plan to do!

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Remember Impero, the school software biz that went ape over a vuln? Someone's got revenge

Paul Shirley
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Hacking is what you do with tools, not knowing how to use tools and most definitely not knowing how to use some obsolete tool someone else decides defines hacking.

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Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

Paul Shirley
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Re: Hm..

One huge change possible with very cheap ink is using enough of it to keep the heads very regularly flushed even if the printer is not being used, without annoying the users over cost. I print rarely and both my inkjets died prematurely with unrepairably blocked jets and replacements that cost more than a new printer. I switched to a colour laser printer when the last one died.

If they get the lifetime right or at least make replacement heads cheap this could kill laser printers for many workloads.

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Paul Shirley
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Re: has to be said

People continue to forget that the *HIERARCHICAL* start menu is there for the times pinning to the taskbar, desktop or using search doesn't do the job, not the primary way to launch things. And because it's hierarchical and easy to organise by drag'n'drop it's a hell of a lot better at those edge cases than the Start Screen or it's dumbed down menu replacement.

The new version makes those edge cases harder and more tedious without making anything any easier. Design driven by Microsofts desperate need to go mobile and touch over what works.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Windows 8 isn't a good comparison

Win8 was damn close to free at launch - $39.99/£24.99 - for the Pro version. Still didn't sell, hence actually free this time.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Hardly surprising

Using "OK Google" on my phone and tablet is surprisingly useful (and faster) compared to the chore of using the onscreen keyboard. It works remarkably well in noisy environments though I tend not to do it often in the pub.

I agree though, on a device with a good physical keyboard I can't see any point to it.

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OFFICIAL SCIENCE: Men are freezing women out of the workplace

Paul Shirley
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Re: Most AC can't hack it anyway

In one of my brief stints working on-site one of the senior devs knocked a hole in the outside wall of his private office to vent a portable evaporative cooler. Then ran it 24hrs/day but couldn't work out why his room was the hottest place in the building.

I can't remember how many days we waited before asking him if he'd ever filled the water tank ;)

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Paul Shirley
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varies by nation

We could always tell when the CEO made a visit to the UK office from his base in America when the thermostat went up to 25C+ and productivity dropped through the floor in the heat. Since he was usually there to meet visitors we were expected to smarten up to wearing shirts, why people sweating visibly was better than exposing arm flesh remains a mystery.

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HP insists 'we don't have a global dress code' – while deleting one from its website

Paul Shirley
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Re: wouldn't turn up to your sister's funeral in cowboy boots

If people turn up at my funeral in suit's they'll get turned away at the wake while I turn in my urn. Why make a bad day worse.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Really?

We recently heard from a reliable source (well, as reliable as anyone in banking can be) about a tech startup that reminds it's employees when potential investors are visiting. That gives them time to clutter the office with bikes, skateboards etc. and dress down with baseball hats/shorts/t-shirts. It's what the investors expect!

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Am I the only one thinking that HP *should* have a dress code?

When I was young&slim enough to fit in it, putting on my suit was the context switch to 'we're going out for the night, yippee!'. Gorgeous black velvet, far too good to waste on work.

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OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

Paul Shirley
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An important part of the scarcity and invitation system is the way it creates artificial loyalty. Imagine the storm of complaint over the problems the 1 had if people could make casual purchases. Instead we have muted, almost apologistic, posts mostly out of sight on their forums.

Just like the 1p1 by the time anyone can just buy one the hardware and price will struggle to compete with year old flagships at year old flagship prices. The service will still be bad.

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Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Paul Shirley
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Re: You know what

The reg and orlowski in particular are disappointed that 2+ years solid cheerleading for WinPhone and some other ms stuff harmed their reputation when ms started listening to the market (a very tiny amount) and backtracked on some of the mistakes.

Jilted lover syndrome ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I bet this is unpopular...

The copy running on my PC is MY software and needs to respect MY existing choices. Not Microsoft's.

On a virgin install they get some slack, user tracking isn't quite good enough to give them my preferences before I give some clues and it seems they might be respecting my preferences on upgrades anyway. Sure there are less visible things they are hijacking though!

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Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

Paul Shirley
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Last time they did it to me it reached the point of 'you're going to prison' before I handed them money I didn't owe. A year later they finally realised they'd cocked up mightily, handed the money back with interest, the fines back with interest but not the slightest sign they cared.

At least it was several % more interest than I could get anywhere else.

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Paul Shirley
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Avoidance usually involves interpreting the law in ways favourable to yourself (and HMRC does the same). Interpretations open to challenge and revision until a court picks one. This is retrospectively determining that law at the time was being broken, not retroactively changing law.

What's unfair here is the heavy hand of HMRC applying it's revised interpretation quick&hard to grab the money before a court can disagree.

That said this case looks like evasion rather than avoidance.

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Paul Shirley
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Re: the ads served are invariably total bollocks.

Invariably they're for something I've just bought and no longer need to buy.

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Paul Shirley
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Already happening http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/may/27/german-broadcasters-adblock-rtl-prosiebensat1-eyeo

So far the adslingers are losing. Unfortunately a US court will inevitably favour business over voters when the scum try it there :(

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

bug or exploit in waiting?

The big question: did they allocate a array[512] with checked bounds or is it a buffer overrun waiting for an exploit?

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Paul Shirley
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Facepalm

Re: wtf do you do with all the icons!

... Put them in some sort of hierarchical menu structure?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I have 600

As the fanbois keep telling us, no one has more than a dozen apps they use regularly. 512 is infinity in the Win10 world.

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Microsoft's Arrow brings pane to Androids

Paul Shirley
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Marmite experience

Way back at the dawn of WinPhone a small rash of clone home screen replacements appeared on Android. Tried a couple as well as some less directly inspired 'vertical launchers', didn't like any of them.

You either love it or loath it. And fanbois, it doesn't get better if you stick with it and we don't all dismiss these things without trying them. Even when the shortcomings seem unmistakable at first glance!

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Windows 10 in head-on crash with Nvidia drivers as world watches launch

Paul Shirley
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Last time I looked Win10 was still offering me the 64bit Pinnacle 7010ix driver that won't work on 4Gb+ machines and the WiFi stick driver that causes instant kernel panics. Windows should NEVER automatically update drivers, the quality control on Windows Update is pathetic and drivers can render machines unusable.

Nvidia are even more of a fustercluck. I abandoned their products long ago due to the regular removal of features or hardware acceleration in new driver updates. Last Nvidia GPU had 2+ year old drivers before I binned it, they were the most recent that worked properly with my hardware. But at least I could control which version was installed, which bugs I'd be living with.

Giving back control needs to be built in to Win10, not a badly publicised patch many/most users will never hear about.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Paul Shirley
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Re: Who intentionally sends MMS messages these days?

On some networks you can't received MMS without first sending one, a large number of users might quite accidentally be protected because only hackers are likely to voluntarily use MMS today. That's aiming their SMS use didn't trigger conversion of long texts to MMS though.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Workarounds

Wiping the MMSC,MMS proxy & MMS port APN fields *might* help, should stop it fetching any MMS body. No guarantees though and I'd bet on there being plenty of other ways to trigger stagefright badness.

There's simply no excuse for carriers and device manufactures not being able to quickly push a dll update and nailing this. Wont happen without heavy handed regulation - or at least the threat of huge fines.

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Paul Shirley
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what hierarchical menu?

A hierarchical menu has multi dimensional navigation as an aid to organisation and consequently navigation, that's it's whole point. How a linear list with dividers counts as more than tokenism is a mystery, I'm scrolling the whole damn list to find the grouping my app might be in, about as half assed an effort at organisation as you can imagine.

What I want to see in every Win10 review is whether the various 3rd party fixes for crap like that work.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Paul Shirley
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Re: your forgot a bit

EDF claim lifetime (construction,operation,fuel & decomission) CO2 emissions of 11gCO2e/kWh for wind power, 16gCO2e/kWh for nuclear, against a whopping 870 for coal. PV doesn't do so well at 72 but there's a lot more available roofs near the grid ;)

Focussing exclusively on construction cost is misguided if not actively mischievous.

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Paul Shirley
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Well, that's one of the things that R&D (we didn't bother spending money on for the whole denialist era) was meant to address. This is the problem with fundamentalists, since they already know the answer they see no point in having alternatives.

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If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

Paul Shirley
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Re: Screens

I spend much of my day with side by side documents, wide is good. 3 monitors wide is better...

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