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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1338 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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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Paul Shirley
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Re: Just a thought

"it solves a non-existent problem."

Didn't people say that about the whole tablet platform?

Many failed attempts to sell PCs in tablet form blinded most in IT to the possibilities of swapping full functionality for convenience. If you're expecting a PC of course this looks like a loser but normal folk don't use PCs the way we do. In any case tabs solve a real problem, convenience and do it *by being different* to PCs.

Metro/Win8/WP8 tries to make disparate devices used in different ways look,feel&behave the same and does it by compromising/limiting the PC experience. That is not a solution to any problem I have.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: the point I wanted to make was that there are WP7 handsets available for less than £300

"the point I wanted to make was that there are WP7 handsets available for less than £300"

Yes, the Lumia's were swiftly discounted. It's what happens to phones that aren't selling. That's why you could buy the £549 Xperia Play for £129-149 6 months and 2 official price cuts after launch. It's also why you'll struggle to find a cheap iPhone or Samsung S3 - they're selling well full price.

Being able to buy a cheap Lumia does not say good things about the brand or inspire confidence in it's future.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Just a thought

That's certainly the MS plan, there's no other credible reason they need Metro as the new Windows on the desktop.

But I find no problem switching between XP on the desktop and Android on my phone. XP or anything like it wouldn't work on the phone and Android is equally wrong on the desktop. I'm middle age and presumably less adaptable than youngsters but simply don't need a cross platform UI - it solves a non-existent problem.

So is the underlying assumption that familiarity with Win8 on the desktop will drive WP8 adoption at all credible?

Metro is the solution to a Microsoft market share problem, not it's users problems and it's not for the benefit of it's users. My opinion is they've borked the Win8 experience for nothing.

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Paul Shirley
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customers choose the winner, not suppliers

It may well be tempting for vendors to play safe with whatever MS throws at the wall but ultimately the public chooses which phone it buys, not the vendor, not the carrier.

They can influence our choices but even then the carriers have more power. But guess what - the carriers offer a pretty wide choice of phones at all service tiers. So they'll happily stock WP8 devices for those that want to buy them, iPhone if Apple will let them, Android for the bulk of smartphone sales and a whole raft of lesser phones as well.

What's convenient for the phone manufacturers is largely irrelevant to the people that actually buy the phones or the sales figures.

And BTW: outside of the US Apple aren't doing too well damaging Android, MS are taxing it but haven't managed to drive it anywhere near unprofitability. It looks like the Android side is beginning to fight back so the best days in the war (from Apple+MS POV) may be over now.

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Firefox support extended to older Android mobiles

Paul Shirley
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Tried a lot of ff Android builds and none of them can manage the simple task of opening pages at a readable zoom level or focussed at the main content pane. Something every other Android browser has little trouble with.

The useless POS even resets its zoom level with every link followed making me manually zoom over and over.

If they can't be bothered getting a simple STANDARD usability feature implemented why bother building it at all?

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Listen up, Nokia: Get Lumia show-offs in pubs or it's game over

Paul Shirley
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Apparently you slept through Microsoft announcing the ui would no longer be called Metro... or noticing Not Metro shortens to Notro. Microsoft fanboism taken to a new low to whine about this!

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Paul Shirley
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won't have it to themselves long enough to win

One slight problem for that USP. How long do you think it will remain unique?

Samsung have a camera division that's been building optically stabilised cameras for years. If this really is a killer feature how long till Samsung phones have it grafted on? For a yardstick, a few weeks back Apple told a court it takes Samsung 3 months to catch up with 5 years Apple effort. And there are rumours Samsung were preparing this before the Nokia announcement anyway!

Sony also have the tech, acquired from Konica Minolta 4-5 years ago and have some pretty good sensor tech of their own.

Even if you're right Nokia won't have long to milk this USP. With the likely launch dates still far off maybe zero time if Samsung are galvanised into action.

Another case of announcing 1st in an industry full of early and premature announcements. iPhone5 panic.

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Nokia apologizes for faking Lumia 920 ad

Paul Shirley
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Looking forward to when people manage to properly dissect how the new 'it's nothing to do with what we used to call' Pureview works. My guess is, with no supersampling available and nowhere to put the optics for a supersize sensor it really is that optical stabilisation *and nothing more*.

I say that partly because my beloved Konica Minolta Z6 features the same optical stabilisation and claims an effective 3 stop exposure advantage by allowing longer shake free exposures. It does indeed improve low light performance but not without cost, long exposure bring motion blur to the party.

With 7 years advances since the Z6 they should do better but this tech seems much less revolutionary than Nokia would like us to believe and with caveats they want us not to notice.

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New Nokia Lumia mobes fail to inspire investors

Paul Shirley
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Re: FacePalm.

It's not even the 1st that does image stabilisation by moving the sensor - Konica Minolta were doing that in 2004 in the DiMage Z series.

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WinPhone 8 preview SDK limited to established developers

Paul Shirley
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Re: Way to go.....

Seems you forgot MS plan to transcompile the existing WP7 apps in their store to run on WP8... you just won't be seeing any magical new WP8 features used for a looooooonnnnnnngggggggggg time.

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Nokia tears wraps off new Windows Phone Lumias on steroids

Paul Shirley
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Re: the other apps are just gimmicks

It's worse. All of them are things IOS,Android,Blackberry (and probably Symbian and Java feature phone) users have been able to download of their respective app stores for a long time. Free downloads apart from offline maps.

Seems the only innovation in the phone is from Nokia hardware and it's not enough to survive today's market. Or maybe Nokia will pre-emptively sue Samsung before they can drown Nokia in similarly featured phones ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Wait a minute...

In reality if you care at all about taking photos you carry a camera and just use a cameraphone for fun. Any improvement is welcome but honestly, how many people choose a phone based on it's camera (*) and haven't all of them already bought an 808?

(*) I'll confess the presence of a front facing camera does sway my choice but that's a whole different thing! ...and rapidly swaying me less since confirming just how poor video calls over 3G are ;)

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Android spat loser Oracle ordered to toss Google some change

Paul Shirley
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Oracles amazing mutating claims caused the $1mil bill

You didn't report my favourite bit of the ruling:

"A close follower of this case will know that Oracle did not place great importance on its copyright claims until after its asserted patents started disappearing upon PTO reexamination"

Some of us commented on exactly that when they finally reached court with SCO's 2nd hand legal case standing in for a real one. That it's also why Alsup refused to reduce that part of the costs claim just adds to the fun.

Still, David Boies's PR campaign to suggest Google bought public opinion is over and I doubt the judge is well pleased with being led on a wild goose chase by it. Maybe he checked past Boies cases and read recent interviews with the man and notice the repeating MO. Can't have helped with the costs award ;)

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Sony: Our Xperia S tab COPIED Samsung's slab ... on price

Paul Shirley
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Ericsson

Buying their way out of SE may have been needed to consolidate all their products but it's bad news for their reputation and customer trust. Ericsson always offered some reassurance that Sony's natural 'shaft the customer' tendencies would be controlled and that moderation might leak across to the tablet division.

Now we just have the same serial customer abusers in control everywhere and I for one don't trust them an inch.

...and yes, still pissed that they dropped my Xperia Play the second the sale was agreed, then invented technical problems as cover. Bunch of shits.

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Internet Explorer needs fresh dev infusion for a full recovery

Paul Shirley
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Re: Tired of MS playing politics

WebGL... I hear echoes of MS trying to kill OpenGL on Windows. The market overruled them back then, it will this again if WebGL takes off.

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Torvalds bellows: 'The GNOME PEOPLE are in TOTAL DENIAL'

Paul Shirley
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"on anything vaguely modern, it "just works" and always has"

Yet I have 4 supposedly supported DVT-T tuners here and over the years (all the way back to having just 2 tuners 5+ years ago) I've not found a distro+kernel combo that supports all of them simultaneously, rarely found one that actually works for more than of the tuners.

Every update just shuffles the pack. Open source drivers stop compiling when they change the video API, closed source blobs just break, drivers compile install and load but just don't work or in 1 case the driver maintainer gets so pissed with the endless changes and intransigent attitudes that he quits and no-one takes his place. OEM maintainers generally try once or twice then give up chasing the runaway driver model.

Step even slightly off the common path and Linux hardware support goes MIA and a lot of it is due to the shitty attitude the (equally shitty) GNOME devs point out.

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Jury awards Apple $1bn damages in Samsung patent case

Paul Shirley
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It's not just the product cycles are much shorter, for software the time to independent (re)discovery is so short patent protection serves no purpose.

That's partly because the ideas being patented right now are so ludicrously primitive they would inevitably be 'discovered' by average programmers as soon as they needed to solve that problem. Patent protection is about scarcity of innovation, encouraging sharing for the good of all. But the patents being issued aren't for innovation with any sort of scarcity to it.

More important: software is the 1st example of the 'infinite monkeys typing' concept. We have so many people writing software, sufficient of them being creative doing it that invention is a tidal flood, not a scarce trickle.

What's wrong with software patents is the failure to properly account for both those aspects, that without scarcity there's no need to protect trivial discoveries. Instead the patent offices have stampeded the other way and allowed everything, however trivial or obvious to get protection.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: So what happens if Apple is banned from the US Market

To paraphrase Apple:"It will take us 5 years to redesign the iPhone but Samsung will manage it in 3 months"

;)

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Paul Shirley
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Apple just proved that Samsung is as good as Apple but half the price

I really hope this is 1:true, 2:spreads because its absolutely hilarious. From https://plus.google.com/u/0/114476892281222708332/posts/246srfbqg6G

"Guy: "Wait, so what they're saying is, Samsung is the same as Apple?"

Friend: "I know, right? Makes me think twice about how much I paid for my Mac Book"

Yes, Apple just proved that Samsung is as good as Apple but half the price... and the public noticed ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: What the Foreman said...

Don't be too upset. Normally a jury decision is pretty appeal proof. That quote establishes they didn't follow their instructions, the time the took suggests they didn't take the job seriously at all. This particular jury looks very challengeable and the next one will see more of the evidence on prior art.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Appeal, here we come

'Exhaustion' doesn't mean what you think. The patent holder only gets to charge once for each *use* of their patent. Intel paid to cover the CPU, Samsung have no right to charge again for that CPU, whatever happens to it.

Note: nothing stops Samsung *trying* to sell Apple a general licence for the same patent but only actual infringement could force Apple to buy... and exhaustion == no infringement. I really don't understand why Samsung even bothered taking it to trial, it was obvious exhaustion applied the moment they revealed the patent use was embedded in an Intel component.

The rest of the case is simply a disgrace though and it's hard to believe it won't go to retrial. Meanwhile Apple have won because the injunctions will stay in place.

The only glimmer of hope is the case shone light on the collusion between Apple & Microsoft, the result of that threat 2-3 years ago to pool patents to destroy Google&Android. I see some anti-trust attention coming their way soon.

Still, any backroom deal that forces Microsoft to cripple their own software (Metro is the direct result of agreeing not to copy Apple) isn't all bad ;)

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Ten 15in notebooks for under 400 quid

Paul Shirley
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Re: A little harsh

All the variants I can see that specify it say Win7 Home Premium 64... TBH I wouldn't expect anything new to ship with a 32bit OS.

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Windows Phone 8: Microsoft quite literally can't lose

Paul Shirley
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MS Kin

I won't be taking bets on MS repeating the Kin One experience. Killed about 3 months after launch when it failed to sell more than 500 units. This time they can't afford to give up so easily, however poor sales are.

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Apple and Google in talks to end patent war?

Paul Shirley
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Japan result in: there's a pattern even Apple can't ignore

I wonder if Apples new found willingness to talk relates to the rapidly growing list of patent cases they've LOST against Android/Android users. Outside of some local German courts and that mockery of a jury in America they're losing everywhere.

Latest result: Japan just ruled against Apple in another attack on Samsung. No patent infringement in yet another country.

At some point reality catches up with most and Jobs is no longer around to blind his followers to reality. Google can just take it's time because time doesn't seem to be working for Apple. The real fun will be trying to deconstruct the 'not so' secret pact with Microsoft before MS can turn on Apple. MS have much more experience screwing their partners than Apple.

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Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese

Paul Shirley
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You were spoilt. Modula 2? We dreamed of that when I was learning. Cheeky lecturers even let us read the white papers then went back to forcing us to use standard Pascal - a language designed to prevent anything but toy programs being written in it!

The most productive programmers in my entire years in university used BASIC or machine code. Both ran faster than Pascal did on the mainframe and imposed much less insane limits on what was expressable.

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IDC: Trying to flog PCs? It's not going to happen

Paul Shirley
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Yes, we all know all MS really did was remove that pesky start button, nothing else changed at all...

The quality of fanbois comment has declined far below 'pathetically out of touch with reality' well before Win8 even launches.

Power users are going to just bypass all the new crap while subconsciously downgrading support for MS products. Ordinary and new users are going to wonder WTF just happened when Win8 switches UI modes, wonder WTF the controls are hidden in Metro. The missing Start menu will be the least of their worries.

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Samsung fights to stay on US shelves as Apple calls for ban

Paul Shirley
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Re: Of course the fact that they had just spent

Steve Todd:"Unfortunately for Samsung the test is "no reasonable jury" would have made the decision that they did"

The juries own statements establish this was not a 'reasonable jury' as jury's are meant to be formed and act and everything they decided is open to challenge.

Unfortunately for Apple and Apple fanbois the problem here is the jury justified their decisions based on the lack of prior art, prior art the court withheld from them. If they'd just shut their mouths it would probably end with 'no reasonable jury' but they A: established prior art is too important to be excluded the way it was, B: raised enough questions about jury corruption that A will get considered as a side effect.

So the question becomes: if all the prior art was seen what would a 'reasonable jury' decide. And this jury is no guide to that because they don't look remotely like a 'reasonable jury'.

This is going to retrial. That's not that interesting though, the real issue here is whether this threatens the rest of the Android world. As the days pass, as I consider it more, it seems less important. Samsung aren't innocent and certainly aren't as skilled at surfing right on the edge of what's legally permissable as Google showed in Oracle vs Google.

Android was created by an entity more aware of what they could get away with and with more ability to fight the nonsense patents Apple are using. The real battle hasn't begun and it will be brutal and hopefully put us back 30 years to a world where innovation has to be real to survive the market, not imposed by a parasitic legal system.

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Office 2013 to offer one-off apps on demand

Paul Shirley
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Re: Just what we need

...or if you remember to delete the cache and have no data cap... no need to run at all but all the bandwidth costs for Microsoft, over and over again.

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Disable Java NOW, users told, as 0-day exploit hits web

Paul Shirley
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WTF? Java stopped being malware?

It's disturbing that however hard I try to disable Java updates or Java browser plugins they just keep coming back like zombies. Java behaves like malware before malware tries to use it as a malware vector ;(

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Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue!

Paul Shirley
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Re: why?!

"this had been done for years before by other companies"

True but no-one else managed to create a critical mass of installs. Probably more copies of GEM shipped on the Atari ST than sold to PC users. The best selling apps ST just dumped GEM and used their own UI ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: why?!

"why do people have such an obsessive requirement for old technology?"

You have it backwards. I remember when all applications ran fullscreen, however simple they were. Breaking the PC out of its single screen DOS beginning is how Microsoft got so rich and powerful. I have no intention of being dragged back to the fullscreen computing stone age by Metro just because Microsoft need to bludgeon potential tablet & phone buyers into submission.

I welcome useful change. My PC is not a low capability device and doesn't need dumbing down.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Well

@drxym

Supposedly you can use classic start menu to impose some structure on the Metro abomination or use the old trick of directly building the underlying folder structure.

...until MS find an excuse to rewrite it to ignore the folder layout ;)

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Microsoft's new retro-flavoured logo channels Channel 4

Paul Shirley
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giffgaff, not C4

Bloody hell, they've stolen giffgaffs corporate look and colours. Same colours, same little blocks of them.

Microsoft emulating the Poundland of the mobile world... must be preparing us for the inevitable price drop to free for Win8 ;)

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Ubisoft: 'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

Paul Shirley
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piracy: traditionally starts with the publisher

If Ubisoft and the other dinosaurs want to really hurt piracy they need to start by crucifying a few of their own employees along with some journalists. That's traditionally been the primary source of pirate software for as long as I've played or worked on games.

Do that and the cracks will go back to appearing after launch, after they've picked the pockets of casual pirates.

Won't happen though. Too much danger sales won't magically improve because the prices won't go down and they're too fscking stupid to remove the DRM that pisses us all off. Then how would they get away with bitching about pirates?

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Paul Shirley
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"What about all the people who pirate and then go and buy the full game?"

Bollocks.

However... what about all the people that bought the full game then installed a pirated copy to avoid the DRM? I have a large pile of games behind me and a matching folder of cracks for most of them. 1st thing I do after installing is apply a crack, before even running the games. Sometimes before installing ;)

Wonder how they count those installs. Pirate or paid? (Hint: it's piracy;)

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Apple, Samsung brass hats' patent spat chitchat falls flat

Paul Shirley
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Re: So in other words

The system is rigged to make patents diabolically hard to invalidate.

They decide *if* there's infringement 1st because if there isn't they don't have to even try to decide validity. So shitty, invalid patents get a 2nd chance to enrich a bunch of lawyers and they get paid to show invalidity both times!

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Sympathy for the Jury

Quickest path through:

1 Apples patents invalid

2 Samsungs exhausted

3 damages on what's left $1. they can swap the a note

Wonder if they'll have the balls to do it. It wouldn't even be a wrong result.

2 would cause severe panic in the industry and might just provoke real pressure for reform, since it would decapitate a lot of the lawyers charging opportunities as well as hitting patent holders in the wallet.

1 would just leave the world laughing.

The worst possible thing that could happen is the jury not deciding all claims. Decide and it's nearly appeal proof, deadlock and the whole charade starts over again.

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Apple accuses Samsung of abusing its 3G power

Paul Shirley
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jury instructions crucial

Today could be the most important, the jury instructions control what the jury can do to the squabbling litigants and they're unlikely to go outside them. Koh would simply ignore them if they did in any case. Expect a tooth&claw fight between the lawyers.

What I want to see is the jury having the opportunity to rule that both sides lose. If there's no option to rule Apples design patents invalid the entire affair was just a waste. Samsung losing on FRAND just leaves Apple forced to pay up a smaller amount... actually forced to hand over real money with no more delay. TBH though I expect them to rule Apple is covered by Intel's licences.

Still, both sides losing would be great news for Samsung. The injunction lifts and they don't collect excessive fees they never expected to get and asked for in retaliation. For Apple it's game over, they'll lose their ludicrous patents. That's got to be good for almost everyone.

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