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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1303 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

When GiffGaff falls over, is it even news any more?

Paul Shirley
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O2 are a bigger problem

Worrying about giffgaffs far from stellar reliability seems redundant while they live on O2's appalling network. Only place I can rely on O2 coverage is at home, where I don't need it. Head to the city and even where I find a full signal there's no data throughput and barely intelligible voice quality, too much time there's just no signal. Head to the county and I might as well leave the phone at home.

giffgaff are amateurs but O2 are professional screwups. Great combination unless you need your phone.

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Surface sales 'modest' so far, Ballmer modestly admits

Paul Shirley
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is there SEC reporting event due?

...'cause I can't imagine Ballmer saying this without a 'going to prison/mass shareholder lawsuit' scale legal threat in the background... though either would only hasten his sacking by a few months.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The great unknown

I believe the ad perfectly captures the essence of both Metro and Surface - all style, no substance.

A market Apple already own ;)

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EU mobe warning system for imminent disasters won't work on iPhone

Paul Shirley
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sms notifications can be silenced

In night mode my mobile kills sms notifications. Presumably emergencies only happen in daylight hours if you have an sms service to sell.

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Apple-v-Samsung $1bn iPhone fine: 'Jury foreman was biased'

Paul Shirley
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Re: Oooooh

@dotdavid:

They have no choice but to add every possible currently known issue *now* or lose the right to ever raise them. That's the way the US system works. While I suspect the Seagate issue is imaginary only 1 man knows for sure. His real reasons for corrupting the jury process may never be known.

What's important to remember is today's report is only about Koh responding to recent filings, over this specific issue and the more dangerous 'when did Apple know' question. Hogan's reported behaviour in the jury room is already part of the proceedings and will be handled in the same Dec6 hearing.

If Koh doesn't void the result there are so many procedural errors in the jury verdict it's unlikely to stand anyway. In fact if Apple cared about collecting the $1bil they would be trying to rehear the case, the verdict wording prevents them collecting triple damages! They don't because they actually only want the bad Samsung PR and to prolong the legal harassment, a 2nd trial with a fair jury, with Samsung allowed to present all the evidence, with so many opposing precedents accumulated round the globe isn't likely to go well for Apple.

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Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review

Paul Shirley
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re: Do these companies not factor in...

They factor in that every time they've offered a bigger screen the phones fly off the shelves...

Don't like a big phone? Buy a smaller one. It's not hard.

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Smartphone biz shocker: Nokia sells fewer devices than Lenovo

Paul Shirley
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Re: I am not surprised

The reason Sony have such a poor rep for updating Android is they consistently cut corners on hardware - mainly shipping the bare minimum memory needed for the shipped OS+extensive Sony bloatware. If shipping an upgrade means removing the crapware, you don't get upgraded.

My Play came with 3 different Sony app stores and I believe I removed 11 different FaceBook support apks. No-one needs that much crap but Sony insist on it.

End result is you install a dozen apps and the phone starts falling over with low memory warnings and because they pick terrible partitioning splits forcing apps to SD doesn't help for long either.

So yes, not having the latest OS update isn't necessarily a bad thing but I'd like the choice... experimental Jelly Bean on my Xperia *is* a hell of a lot better than the Android versions Sony provided.

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Google's UK grip slips a bit, brutal dominance basically unshaken

Paul Shirley
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Re: Google's search results have gone downhill

Google search quality went bad years, not months ago. They're losing the fight against SEO, drowning in a tidal wave of manipulation .

It's one reason I'm so skeptical of scum like fairsearch. SEO is failing them but not because Google are filtering well, instead they're drowning in a flood of shitty competitors all trying the same abuses.

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Apple's anti-Googorola patent lawsuit tossed by US court

Paul Shirley
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Re: BEFORE you sell the device you contact the patent holder

AC:"BEFORE you sell the device you contact the patent holder (or consortium covering all holders) and negotiate the price - or find out what the agreed rate is"

FRAND is a guarantee that won't be refused a licence and you won't be penalised *provided* you negotiate in good faith. One of the implications is you don't need to get the licence up front, you can wait till you actually need it, which is when you're ready to ship product.

Apple got themselves into massive trouble here on that 'good faith' aspect. With the case about to get tossed because they failed to even attempt negotiation, they fabricated an illusory negotiation - and got caught. If their next offer is in bad faith, by refusing to backdate, insisting on a maximum, insisting on cross licences Motorola don't need, they risk losing their rights under FRAND.

My guess is Apple are now on their last chance to pay up and stop complaining to courts, next step is injunctions and triple damages for wilful infringement, all things FRAND would have protected them from. Apple want to abuse the FRAND process to escape infringement charges but knowing they have nothing to throw in the cross licence pot can't afford to actually accept FRAND. Couldn't have happened to more deserving scumbags.

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Paul Shirley
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@Sirius

Further to Davids post: Florian has posted non-stop about this case for quite some time now, almost exclusively just cheerleading for Apple with precious little accurate factual content. The bias has been unmissable and extreme. He's firmly stuck in a Jobsian reality field (which looks remarkably like the Ellison distortion field in Oracle v Google and the astonishing SCO v anyone with a pulse affair).

Along the way he made a lot of predictions and analysis, *all* of which turned out to be wrong. Posting a bare summary is unusual for him though, in previous defeats for his patrons (SCO,Oracle and who knows how many he hasn't been outed working for) Florian has 'explained' why the loss wasn't actually a loss OR that the judge was simply wrong OR some other bullshit.

Put simply, Florian is no expert at anything but feeding PR to lazy journalists and remarkably good at finding rich clients to 'consult' for in the middle of PR wars.

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Windows Phone 8 has a secret feature which may activate at any time

Paul Shirley
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Re: One small issue...

I still occasionally manage to collect email before logging into free WiFi in a number of places. Doesn't always work in the same places, must be a bug. Welcome though.

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Microsoft's 32GB Surface RT has 16GB of free storage

Paul Shirley
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Re: 5GB for recovery partition

...yet a full Win8 64 install DVD contains just 3.3Gb (before magically expanding to closer to 16Gb installed). Office must be impressively fat. Or they just forgot to compress any of it.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: And where did they get their figure of 32 decimal gigabytes?

While the flash blocks are indeed binary sizes and there may be a 'binary' total, some are reserved for wear and bad sectors and 32GiB of raw cells never ships as a 32GiB drive.

That 7% difference is very convenient for covering that hidden space without having to list 'odd' capacities though.

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'I'd buy that for a dollar': Apple on Moto phone patents

Paul Shirley
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Re: @a_been

I suspect you neither understand FRAND or the games Apple are playing. Motorola made the same opening offer to Apple as everyone else. That's pretty fair and non-discriminatory by any standards.

What's supposed to happen then is Apple try to negotiate it down, both sides negotiate, if that fails it goes to binding arbitration and someone else decides what a fair price is. Apple skipped EVERY step of that process. Motorola completely lack any ability to force their choice of pricing under that procedure, they supply a starting price and negotiation skills but can't refuse to licence. But Apple didn't enter the FRAND process and arguably should gain no benefit from it now.

Motorola *look* like they're in trouble because Apple and Microsoft have influence and have whispered lies into the right ears. When it reaches impartial judges (which hasn't happened yet) the opinion of bought politicians and bureaucrats tends to lose effect.

Apple are playing a dirty and dangerous game and they're doing it because they have no negotiating power in SEP, owning bugger all essential patents. They aren't going to lower Motorola's initial offer much because they have very little to cross licence. That doesn't make the offer unfair, it simply reflects the value in the deal. Apple are in a weak negotiating position and desperate to bypass the process completely, was going to say 'by fair means or foul' but they seem to only be trying 'foul'.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Apple to court

What you need to remember is Apple only made this offer to avoid an instant loss for wilfully ignoring the FRAND licensing procedure, which *requires* them to negotiate, then go to arbitration. Only then do they get to whine to a court.

Apple refused to negotiate at all and found a judge willing to just ignore all that but they need to cover their arses, by pretending to open negotiations.

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Microsoft building its own Phone hardware: Not 'If', but 'When'

Paul Shirley
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it's all about the app store

3.6mil licences probably doesn't cover the launch costs for WP7. See that repeated with WP8 and losing the license income really doesn't seem important.

It's also pretty clear MS have bet the future on a steady income stream from their app store. Sacrificing the license stream would hurt but with unlimited riches just an app store away they'll do it just to get the store into wider use.

It's a little weird though: Win8 has been butchered to prop up the lacklustre WP biz but if Google are to be believed delivering apps on mobile isn't a source of riches. So in a way wider WP distribution would then become a way to prop up the app store on the desktop! On the desktop bandwidth is cheap -> costs low = profit!

...but first they have to get some sales and only Nokia seems remotely interested in pushing the phones.

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Fans' loyalty questioned as iPhone popularity plummets

Paul Shirley
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maybe tired seeing others getting real innovation quicker

At some point even the frothiest of fanbois have to notice that this years new innovations are increasingly things Apple previously swore they would not do. Things they took the time to publicly claim were mistakes when their competition did them, hard to not notice that the competition did them 1st since Apple pointed that out to all that would listen.

Cool is a poor substitute for functionality. When iPhone started it was ahead on both. Now its not and even the deliberately blind can't continue lying to themselves about that.

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Ballmer claims Win 8 sales strong, WinPhone to follow

Paul Shirley
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Re: No Doubt Huge Customer Base But...

Getting used to it won't bring back the hundreds of small but destructive changes they made to discourage desktop use. So maybe people will get used to it - but they'll be getting used to an inferior desktop experience.

I personally don't like Win7 but even I can't imagine why a desktop user would downgrade to the gimped Win8 desktop. XP and to some extent Win7 were very customisable and didn't go out of their way to block 3rd parties providing that customisation. Win8 does.

FFS Win8 will actually let you customise a fair amount of window decoration. But only in high contrast mode and that gratuitously disables a different set of customisation. So you can't actually make the damn thing look any better, can't reconstruct the visual clues to gui elements without further gimping other things. It's deliberate, cynical and abusive.

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Stone shatters kid Rock: Gamers not as flush as they used to be

Paul Shirley
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More top the point, what serious gamer would play on a laptop. And no-one else would pay so much for one.

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Granny upstages Microsoft, storms stage at Surface launch

Paul Shirley
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Re: It gets worse

How convenient the queuing happened in quiet time on Internet forums, leaving shills free to take a break from carpet bombing PR bullshit everywhere ;)

Still, they got back in time to organise a spirited defence in that articles comments...

This 'real user' is finding more broken stuff every day in the release build. I'm eyeing my spare parts pile, if I can cobble together a MythTV box from it Win8 might not survive the week. It broke so much of my software and hardware (*) I might as well switch to 'any other' OS and just duel boot for gaming.

(*) apparently hardware is "supported" if drivers don't crash Win8 - whether the device works they don't seem to check. It remains easy to load bad drivers and watch Win8 burn. A lot.

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4G: Bad coverage, crap battery life - but at least it's really expensive

Paul Shirley
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Re: 3 for good data? Really?

"Fallen off the edge of a cliff"

Meaningless without comparison to other operators in the same locations. My adventures with "3" showed a patchy and extremely variable coverage that rapidly got better. O2 and Orange however had slightly less blackholes, slighly less variable rates but rarely beat "3" 4 years ago and haven't much improved since.

Right now "3" arguably have better coverage than O2 and certainly better data speeds. They even have better prices if you eat lots of data and don't want to go down the giffgaff rabbit hole.

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Microsoft: Just swallow this tablet ... the rest will take care of itself

Paul Shirley
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Re: "that deer-in-headlights look, that anger over the realization that they don't know jack"

Yes, but you have to admit their adaptable.

They have to be with the endless churn of new execution enviromnents/programming frameworks/languages MS throws at them. Barely enough time to learn this years replacement for Silverlight or .NET for normal mortals, before it's unceremoniously dumped...

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Why is 4G so expensive? Answer: The Post-Voice Era is coming

Paul Shirley
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By the time the other operators get 4G, EE will have raised the acceptable price point

"By the time the other operators get 4G, EE will have raised the acceptable price point"

More likely they'll have established that people just won't pay it and won't be able to tell if its because the price is too high OR the coverage is to restricted, since either of them is a deal killer for many.

I don't think we'll know what users are really prepared to pay till the network covers a lot more than 10 cities and actual competition is likely to start well before coverage stops being an issue. Till then it's a distress purchase if the alternative is congested 3G. TBH if 3G congestion's the problem smart users should just switch to "3" for an instant boost and wait till 4G becomes widespread and cheaper.

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Judge GIVES APPLE THE FINGER in multitouch iDevice patent case

Paul Shirley
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Re: multiple collision detection in any computer game

...but have you done it where inputs may crosstalk and/or alias each other, on inherently noisy input?

Game collision detection is a very different problem because you have perfect knowledge, not just a best guess at what provoked the inputs you're seeing.

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Windows 8: Is Microsoft's new OS too odd to handle?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Program Manager

Personally I never heard anyone say a good thing about the old Program Manager, it was a clunky abomination everyone hated. And of course MS didn't actually remove it in Win95, if you were clinically insane enough to want to carry one using it.

Nice strawman for the apologists though.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: expect techies to neuter the Win8 experience

The techies will quickly apply every available hack and revert Win8 back to something they like. In effect they won't be using Win8 as MS reimagined it and won't need to complain.

MS will make their usual mistake of assuming folk are still using the bad features and must love them to not complain.

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Paul Shirley
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Website resizes window to fill screen. I try to grab right edge to shrink it. Charm bar grabs my focus. Shit.

Five attempts later I managed to drag it before the charmless bar got in the way.

Not pleased. There's a good reason good ui's don't hide interface elements behind invisible trigger zones. Unless your mission is driving users away from the desktop...

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Apple slips bomb into ITC filing: Samsung being PROBED by US gov

Paul Shirley
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It's worse than that: Apple *refused* to take part in any negotiation at all under FRAND rules. They simply said NO at the 1st offer and took the IP without paying, then lied to every authority they could when it was convenient.

They have a little problem: FRAND rules have clear arbitration procedures that Apple didn't bother with. Procedures that make it impossible for Samsung to unfairly charge anyone unless they volunteer. Whatever protectionist authorities can be bribed to do, they can't overcome the fact that Apple voluntarily removed themselves from FRAND's guarantees, the best they should expect is being ordered to take part in FRAND arbitration *before* being allowed to hit the courts again.

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Windows RT OEMs unveil pricing for Surface wannabes

Paul Shirley
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@n4blue sexy hardware

With a design spec so locked down there wasn't much scope to differentiate devices anyway. Changing the casing was about as much as ms allowed for wp7.

After being burnt by that design limit, screwed by favouring Nokia, I doubt many had any enthusiasm for any new ms platform.

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Paul Shirley
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'contractual obligation release'

...it's almost like no-one actually wants to *sell* RT devices.

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I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now

Paul Shirley
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Re: Agree largely, but...

My next monitor will get me back up to a 3 display setup. It really doesn't matter if it's touch enabled, the 2 existing ones aren't. Touch isn't going to work well in that mix and those monitors have many years life left in them.

...and I also can't imagine actually reaching out to touch my displays - all need leaning to reach all edges. Microsoft can expect class action suits when the 1st RSI cases go public.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The first rule of Windows is...

Wrong. 32bit x86 machines are perfectly capable of handling >4Gb. What they cant do is hand linear address spaces >4Gb to a single process. The initial release of XP32 and SP2 both supported up to 128Gb RAM with PAE, SP2 dropped that to 4Gb. Those builds would hand as many blocks of 2Gb to different processes as you had RAM.

Even SP3 actually supports 36/37 bit memory ranges. Mine is using RAM mapped above the 4Gb line for it's temp folder right now. I've resisted trying the hacks to reenable proper 4Gb+ support so can't comment on how risky they are.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The first rule of Windows is...

...you mean I just imagined XP32 losing support for >4Gb RAM with a service pack?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: @Sir Wiggum: appliances

1st: other peoples use patterns has nothing to do with *my* usage and is no justification for reducing my choices and experience.

2nd: this use of computing devise as appliances explains why users *can* switch to devices with simpler form factors, lower prices and lower capabilities. It's *why* a simpler UI/OS is acceptable but that UI/OS is *not* why they're switching. Forcing the extremely tablet configured Metro on the desktop won't stem the switch to tablet or phones, it's a 2nd rate experience on highly capable hardware that lacks the convenient form factor and any price saving.

If Microsoft cared at all about end users they would configure Metro apps to fit the desktop, not just clone the tablet/phone experience on a bigger screen. This whole misadventure is about what Microsoft needs to avoid irrelevance in a post-PC world and PC users really don't matter to them - other than as potential future MS tablet/phone users to be hooked.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Installing Linux

Technically not.

The OEM license requires that Secure Boot be present and enabled, so all new devices will come locked. But Win8 x86 licensing requires secure boot be user disableable - but IMHO that's only to avoid the anticompetitve hammer still held over Microsoft.

It's a certainty MS will insist Secure Boot is shipped enabled or yank licences, it's a fair bet they'll do nothing if OEMs forget to give the user disable rights or a buggy setup that cannot be disabled. Or worse, one that somehow fails to accept 3rd party licence keys.

The end result will be ordinary consumers in a world of pain if they try replacing Win8 on new devices, even where that's as simple as turning off Secure Boot that will stop most even trying.

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Windows 8 versions will confuse the punters, say OEMs

Paul Shirley
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"won't even carry the RT version as a normal stock item"

That won't be hard, It's not for sale to the public. Only OEMs can even buy/license it.

...now if they decide to not stock RT devices that will be fun. I believe Win8 tablets don't launch till next year when MS get's the software finished.

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Windows 8: Microsoft will declare victory, but will anyone believe it?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Please excuse the rant...

Tablets are also rapidly approaching 'good enough' status. Inevitably they are taking some of the replacement market as old PCs physically die (and often unrepairable thanks to planned obsolescence). That proportion can only grow. It's a double hit for the trad PC market - long product life and an eroding like for like replacement market.

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Nokia puts Symbian out to pasture ... why not release it into the wild?

Paul Shirley
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Re: @ShelLuser

" I did see a Nokia commercial coming around every now and then; but nothing from the competition."

I'll say it again: 'contractual obligation releases'. Every other producer of WP phones has succumbed to a patent shakedown from Microsoft, all with strictly secret terms. But obviously the phrase 'must vigorously market' wasn't part of the deal ;)

On a less speculative tack, given the astonishing amount US carriers, MS and Nokia have spent promoting Lumia for so little reward, it makes sense to just not bother pushing their own WP7/8 devices. The extraordinarily complete design lock down on WP7 devices means they cant have cost much to design and the Nokia brand is pretty diluted in the Lumia promotion - effectively it's just generic WP advertising in fact. Just hedge their bets and waste as little money as possible, only Nokia and MS are relying on success.

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Windows 8 'bad' analyst says Store is a weakness

Paul Shirley
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...but that was 500 more than their competition combined.

Unless you consider WinCE and Symbian actually compete in the same market, something the market doesn't seem to believe ;)

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Paul Shirley
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@h4rm0ny: Office RT edition licence restrictions

"You can run Office on WindowsRT"

True, you can run Office *RT* on RT. But have you read the EULA on that version? You can't use it for work or anything that generates income. Official word from Microsoft is you'll need to subscribe to Office 365 if you want to actually work with these devices. While casual users won't fall foul of this they aren't exactly in need of Office either.

For business use RT just doesn't make a lot of sense once you add in the extra licence costs for a version of Office they can actually use. That wipes out any price advantage RT might have over just buying laptops with Win8 Pro or Enterprise. It also gets them a full, uncompromised version of Office to use...

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AMD posts $157m loss, will lay off 15% of workers this quarter

Paul Shirley
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Re: The AMD quandary

This years new CPU lines basically just caught up with the 2010 Phenom II performance. That's nearly 2 years of stagnation in high end CPU scalar performance, starting from a level below Intel, the tradional profitable business. The heterogeneous computing cores seem to have attracted little actual use or interest and low prices.

So yes, you could easily say current AMD CPU's are indeed piss poor efforts, only competitive on price - not good for AMD's profits.

I'm glad I grabbed an 1100T hex core before they dropped that entire line.

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IE10 coming to Windows 7 sometime, maybe

Paul Shirley
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it's an OS component, not a normal app

"But if Internet Explorer is any indication, writing a modern application for Windows 8 that still runs on older platforms is a lot harder"

The problem is IE is NOT a userland app, it's source is embedded in the OS and reused all over the place in the GUI. MS have never presented a believable justification for embedding IE this way and pretty obviously only did it for anticompetive reasons - it conveniently became impossible to remove the steaming POS just at the time regulators were starting to ask questions about monopoly abuse.

Once embedded this way, changing the OS layer is guaranteed to bork portability. Perhaps the biggest question is why MS are even trying to backport to Win7, they don't normally miss any chance to drive migration to the new shiny or care if customers get screwed over for not migrating.

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Fukushima operator feared shutdown if risks revealed

Paul Shirley
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Re: During the meanwhile ...

@Voland: "major disaster protection that goes into the design of a nuclear plant"

...unless they choose to spend the cash on evading regulation and detection instead of disaster protection.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The question facing all users: What to do with the waste?

"could sit on a few dozen yards of industrial shelving"

...but the large military encampment to protect it, the aircrash proof dome and air defences might take a little more space. Suddenly spending billions burying it out of reach underground seems slightly more credible...

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Windows 8 ads hit US screens: Death Metal, exploding laptops

Paul Shirley
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Re: Win8 FAIL - touch screen PC's will FAIL

My primary monitor is at fingertip distance - as close as it's comfortable to view all edges without too much effort and eyeballing the entire screen is also relatively comfortable. As is focussing now my eyes are getting old. Or more accurately the centre of the monitor is at fingertip distance, the edges require leaning slightly forward.

The 2ndary monitor is also at fingertip distance, fingertip for the right hand side of it, again have to lean to reach the left side.

Touch is a total non starter, I'm not leaning forward every time I need to control anything, not prepared to hold my arms out all day anyway, not prepared to put my monitors anywhere but where it's most comfortable to *LOOK* at.

The fans keep forgetting touch is a solution to the 'where the hell can we fit a controller' problem, not something inherently advantageous, desirable or effective. It's a channel poor, low resolution input device with few unique features to balance that poverty and resolution. On the desktop I can live without multitouch better than I can do without precise control.

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How Nokia managed to drive its in-house Linux train off the rails

Paul Shirley
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"activity theory"-based UI

"activity theory"-based UI sounds remarkably like 'task based UI', one thread in the Metro design. I just fail to see how the randomly ordered words forming the 'activity theory' could tell anyone how to build a UI and apparently no-one at Nokia could work it out either!

I also fail to understand how anyone could think it would lead anywhere but to a similar task based UI every smartphone has today. With so little screen estate it's inevitable, whatever the starting point. Restarting TWICE because they refused to accept that reality is insanity.

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Amazon UK leaks Windows 8 retail box, TV ads

Paul Shirley
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Re: shades of crack dealer

"This could be why they have a $40 download upgrade - in the fashion of Lion > Mountain Lion."

It's more "the 1st hit's free" thinking. You're supposed to pour a steady torrent of pennies directly into MS pockets via the new app store and they need to grow that herd of customers fast.

And let's face it, the only people buying Win8 otherwise will be getting it for even less bundled with new PC's. That's the downside of a monopoly, eventually you might own all the customers but they already own your product and don't need another copy!

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Report: Google offers to 'brand' search results in Euro antitrust probe

Paul Shirley
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"if it was found to have violated competition rules"

...and that's still the most important phrase in the affair.

What the commissioner wants comes 2nd to what the law says, Google clearly don't believe they have a problem with the *law* given the piss taking nature of their offer. Google seem very good at working right on the limit of what law allows (even if their downstream partners keep getting themselves into trouble), presumably they pay the lawyers *before* doing anything.

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Microsoft spruces up crap apps in early Win8 update

Paul Shirley
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Re: All these apps for news, sport, weather, video etc..........

Will anyone be surprised if only the Metro versions see regular updates. Gotta nudge users onto it somehow ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Is it just a cunning plan...

...to ensure users get exposed to the app store (and hopefully get addicted).

Got to get the herd used to using Microsofts new cash cow somehow ;)

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