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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1376 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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

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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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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Samsung claims Apple jury foreman LIED to get REVENGE

Paul Shirley
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Re: Meanwhile Google are busy compiling the mother of all prior art databases...

"Don't they have some relationship with a search engine to help them?"

The most important thing is they went public with the project and invited anyone to join in. The world isn't all searchable online yet.

I'm still occasionally trying to track down a future pocket PC mockup printed in a UK computing mag around the early 90's that covers everything Apple are currently claiming to own. The slab shape, the rounded corners, grid of icons, apps, touch screen, *built in phone* etc. Only differences were zero hard buttons and a full surface display... both of which Apple will attempt to claim for it's own before long! Can't find it anywhere online and I'm gradually working through decades of paper in case I kept that issue.

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Paul Shirley
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Somewhere in one of the interviews Hogan gave he claims to have thought the jury were heading in Samsungs favour - implying that only changed when he had his 'a-ha' moment and led them over to Apples side.

That's very credible, while the jury ruled for Apple on the software patents, they ruled against Apples design patents - Hogan couldn't drown them in bullshit on something so simple.

Hogan is probably now #2 on Apples hit list after Google. He just sank their whole campaign. What they won won't survive the next trial, what they really needed to win (the design patents) they lost and in a retrial Koh will struggle to keep out prior art again - so they stay lost. And worst of all, there will be no product ban in place for the 2 years it takes getting to retrial and certainly no chance of a rolling ban with new products waved onto it by a protectionist judge.

Meanwhile Google are busy compiling the mother of all prior art databases...

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Microsoft sets date for Windows Phone 8 unveiling

Paul Shirley
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Re: Grumpy old codgers

More *good* choice is good for competition and customers. Weak products create no competitive pressure - no pressure on price, no pressure on features and thanks to a broken patent system even a failed competitor can hamstring an entire industry.

WP7 was exceedingly weak competition with warmed over obsolete core technology (WinCE), years behind on base OS features and with a UI many find repellent. Moreover a radically different UI based as much on a licence deal with Apple *requiring it to be different* as any genuine useful ideas.

WP8 may have a stronger kernel and some of the stupider UI choices fixed, it's still well behind on core OS features, still 'different for difference sake' and so desperate to succeed it's pinned everything on cross marketing from Win8. Sounds pretty damn weak to me.

Does anyone honestly believe anything in the WP8 UI is worth stealing (or not already present elsewhere)? That there's anything in the WP8 kernel any competitor needs? That Win8 cross device support (such as it is) is something Apple or Android could even try to compete with given the de facto MS desktop monopoly - and if they can't compete how does that drive customer benefit?

IMHO WP8 is weak competition, not really different enough from either IOS or Android to provoke competition and MS knows it, hence the willingness to wreck Win8 to prop it up. If weak competition somehow succeeds through the usual MS marketing dirty tricks it won't be good for end users.

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Mobe app makers doubt Windows 8 will be worth the hassle - poll

Paul Shirley
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Re: what a sorry attempt to distract

"What is this criticism that MS dare to spend money on marketing?"

Are you reading a different thread? The criticism is they spent a mountain of cash on marketing for a tiny amount of sales. That they either cocked up the promotion or are promoting the unsellable.

My criticism at launch time was that all the slick, expensive, saturation advertising steered well clear of telling viewers anything about the phones. All glamour, no substance. It's something that apparently works in the US when selling cars but isn't done here in EU.

Having seen what the product actually is I'm not sure content free promotion was actually a mistake... ;)

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Paul Shirley
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How are live tiles any different

The most obvious is you can't see them while running a Metro app or using desktop mode... which is why I prefer seeing my message counts on the the notification bar in Android or the start bar in Windows.

Never been able to understand why using a huge chunk of WP7/8 homescreen to show a simple count makes any sense at all. Its the homescreen - only visible while you're doing nothing and its a HUGE waste of space.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: so they can have the same app all over the place

Surely if they have an app on their phone they don't necessarily need it on the desktop since the phone will likely be sitting next to the keyboard functioning as a 2nd screen. Mine sits there showing me incoming email,gmail,tweets,IM etc while I'm doing other things on the desktop. It actually does that consumption pattern better than the PC does.

I switch to PC versions because there's a real keyboard attached OR they have much richer interfaces that make replying easier. Having the same UI on the desktop seems totally pointless. I need the same content and the same service but don't need to limit the interface to access that. I put up with an inferior UI away from the desktop because I have to, when I'm at my desktop why would I accept that?

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Apple: Blue-shirts can fix iOS Maps in their spare time

Paul Shirley
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i scent mischief

How unfortunate would it be if groups of "concerned citizens" started submitting the same false corrections. .

Though if it's anything like Google corrections will just be ignored.

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Googorola mysteriously pulls plug on ITC Apple patent probe

Paul Shirley
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Samsungs lost every case in Germany - wrong

Samsung have started winning cases in Germany in the single court they'd been losing in. Probably because that court noticed courts in the Netherlands, UK and *other parts of Germany* were all ruling for Samsung on the same claims!

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AMD launches Android app store for Windows PCs

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

just tested it on my PC

Well, it works. You could even say it works well... on my 3rd attempt to launch it.

But what it works best at is reminding us that a touch based interface just doesn't work well on a mouse+keyboard. Temple Run ran fast enough, looked pretty, but was no fun because the bloody mouse wasn't window captured and it was far too easy to get it out of sync in a way that doesn't happen with actual touch. Cue lots of other windows being selected, the player window getting dragged around at random and general unusability.

Something Win8 users will no doubt be facing all too soon ;)

Also a little surprised to see apps on there that Google would filter out based on lack of hardware support.

Anyway, having read the T&Cs it's getting yanked off my PC right away. Most customer information pillaging deals offer some token opt-out. If there's anything about my life they don't own under those T&Cs I can't think of it. Not that I'd allow a program with no quit option, that silently tried to install a 'start at boot' link, to stay on my PC anyway.

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Motorola, Samsung smash Apple's touchscreen patent claim

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Rob Dobs

Ahhh, but you missed the obvious. They aren't winning with those really obvious patents. Even the German courts have started ruling against Apple after a year of insanity rubber stamping everything. The Germans may have finally noticed that every other EU court has ruled against Apple on the same patents.

...and the Samsung rule 50 appeal should be scaring the jury from that case a LOT. The whole 1st section is redacted but unmistakably about jury corruption. What the foreman swore to do in court is exactly what he didn't do in the jury room. It's been pointed out if it was a UK court he could face jail time. The yanks will probably go easier on him, but the jury ruling will die. Maybe not in Koh's court but it's manifestly unsupportable.

There aren't going to be triple damages on $1bil whatever happens. If the award survives at all it was so badly constructed only a few percent of it is even eligible for tripling.

Apple got a lot of PR from their 'win' and got to perpetuate the import ban but that's about all they'll end up with. And the PR wasn't all good PR.

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Fans revolt over Amazon 'adware' in Ubuntu desktop search results

Paul Shirley
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Re: I trust Shuttleworth only as far as my backup can rescue me

Learned long ago to take a backup before letting any Ubuntu related updater run. That's a /home copy and a drive image for maximum recoverability.

It's been quite a shock the last 2 Kubuntu in place upgrades went smoothly... OK as smoothly as any upgrade involving Nvidia's shitty drivers can be (need Wine to run 3D well).

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Google 'dominance abuse' games may yet mean monster Euro smack

Paul Shirley
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Re: Google should tell Almunia to feck off

You may be right. AFAIK they've not actually done any investigation at all yet, just compiled that 400 page list of allegations, cherry picked a couple of them and asked for Google to bend over.

But we have good reason to believe most (if not all) those 400 pages were submitted by a coalition of Googles less honest competitors, led by whatever the group of scumbag search hijackers are calling themselves (Fairsearch? can't be arsed looking it up) we all hate and backed my Microsoft.

I doubt it will harm the eventually result if Google make them prove everything in court because it seems unlikely they'll manage to prove anything worthy of a painful fine or restraint. If they prove anything at all. Most likely outcome is pissing away millions on the process, then imposing face saving but empty restrictions. Google might as well just let them waste the time and money instead of volunteering more than the courts are likely to compel.

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How hard is 3D printing?

Paul Shirley
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Re: scale matters

Would anyone seriously consider ordering 1,2 or 3 pages online and having them delivered the next day to be preferable to printing them at home?

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HTC hawks fresh WinPho smartphones

Paul Shirley
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Re: HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

Thought I read it didn't have NFC. Anyway, overall the HTCs are more 'completely' featured.

And they exist today ;)

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Paul Shirley
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HTCs are the WP8 flagship devices

So no mention of MS announcing at the launch that these are officially the flagship WP8 phones?

Nokia must be spitting teeth, their 'special relationship' doesn't outweigh the missing features like NFC that HTC remembered to build in.

As expected, MS are shitting on Nokia at the 1st opportunity.

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Win8 tablets may cost MORE than iPads – AND LAPTOPS

Paul Shirley
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can I say 'contractual obligation' release?

...I think I can. MS fought hard to keep their super secret patent shakedown agreements out of the public record in recent court cases... harder than if they just wanted the numbers kept secret, redacting would achieve that.

I've suggested many times those deals oblige various OEMs to ship Microsoft product, be it WP7, WP8 or Win8. Obliged to ship if they want to keep the Android tax affordable... but apparently also free to price to *not sell* ;)

There is indeed piss taking going on but it's MS getting wet.

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Motorola Razr i hands-on review

Paul Shirley
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how did the ARM emulation perform?

Be nice to see some benchmarks on various apps, to see what sort of hit emulating native ARM code has. Don't believe many apps have ported to native x86 yet.

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PC share of DRAM biz falls below 50%

Paul Shirley
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sign of a mature proct with a long replacement cycle

Nice to see the 'death of the PC' mistake wasn't made here. Yes, they use more chips per device than the tablet/phone competition. We just don't replace PCs very often, they've been more than powerful enough for almost all tasks for 5+ years - the only reason most need replacing is actual catastrophic failure.

DDR3 in particular hasn't been around long enough to be in many PCs ready for replacement.

...and the RAM in PCs also comes in convenient DIMMs you just move over to the next machine/mboard, further reducing demand for new RAM (albeit not by much I'd guess - most probably ends up landfilled).

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Key evidence in Assange case dissolves

Paul Shirley
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Re: Very strange

...why, it's almost as if the case doesn't matter at all. Just the chance to get him into custody for the yanks...

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Google to axe IE 8 support, cuts off Windows XP lifeline

Paul Shirley
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yes, only IE will do. In some parallel universe

Oh dear. Forced to use 'some other browser'. Oh... not much of a disaster for us XP users after all.

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Windows Phone 8 stands a chance as Apple, Android dither

Paul Shirley
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re: When they appear on the shelves

Let's remember a major reason the WP7 Lumias failed is because by and large they never did appear on shelves. Even the shops that stocked them kept them all in the backroom out of sight. I've still never seen an actual Lumia in real life, despite trawling through shops looking around launch time.

Will it be any different this time? Seems pretty unlikely, apart from EE signing up not much has changed to make buyers want to stock them or shop staff want to sell them. Unless you believe Microsofts cynical Win8 scheme will work... I tend to believe not trashing all their existing apps will be more important to users than some imaginary Win8 bonus.

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Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

Paul Shirley
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Re: It's a thinner longer iPhone with patent infringement suit magnet LTE

...there, corrected your title.

I guess the Samsung paperworks already delivered to the ITC and various US courts and the ban hammer is swinging.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: weight they're prioritising, not thinness

Didn't they claim it would have a new touchscreen with sensors embedded, substantially reducing its thickness. IMHO they should have used that reduction to fit a fatter battery, not make the phone thinner.

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One more try: Metro apps are now 'Windows Store' apps

Paul Shirley
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The German Metro Group refused. With no dependency on Microsoft or Microsoft products, MS couldn't bully them into it or afford to buy them to get the rights. Just hope they threw money at the UK Metro newspaper before abandoning the trademark appropriation ;)

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Paul Shirley
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I think I'll just carry on calling it Metro. Might keep alive the memory of this whole sorry clusterfuck.

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Information is the UI in Windows 8, says design guru

Paul Shirley
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Signs give the information needed to let viewers navigate. ALL they need to do is present that information clearly and easily, they have no active involvement in navigation. A computer UI needs to present navigation information BUT it's also the navigation tool.

Those appear to me to be different requirements. It doesn't matter how space wasting, clumsy or whatever road signage is, it's a different system to navigation and once familiar with a route I don't use it. Once familiar with my UI I still need to use it constantly. I want signs optimised for legibility, my UI optimised for navigation.

Metro de-optimises my navigation to present information I won't need after the 1st few uses. Worse it doesn't even manage to show navigation information better, with hidden controls, acres of wasted space and the 1 size window fits all idiocy. The control elements in my UI are there FOR CONTROL not to show information. The navigation elements are there to let me NAVIGATE not tell me where I'm going.

This whole UI is backwards, designed by idiots so in love with an abstract idea they forgot what the fscking system is meant to do.

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Windows 8? Nah: Win Phone 8 should give Apple the fear

Paul Shirley
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Re: I hate Task Centric

While reading the description of WP's task centric behaviour I was more than a little puzzled at why Android is described as app centric. I click on an a link/document/launcher in a hub app OR anywhere else and Android goes off to find the correct app for me, which seems no different. It appears the difference between app and task centric is in the bias of the commenter!

You hate task centric *without user control*. Android embeds its task->app mapping in the OS, not the apps and it gives the user control of that mapping. I don't need to trust anyone else to choose what service my phone chooses, I tell it which to use, I decide if it should remember that choice or ask every time.

My biggest task centric problem has always been making sure all FaceBook tasks die a swift death. Maybe Android is app centric because I can remove the FB apps and the FB tasks die with them ;)

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