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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1362 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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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Paul Shirley
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Facepalm

Re: That anybody could keep a straight face in the courtroom

The jury were too busy falling asleep to laugh. That's why judge Koh regularly asked if anyone needed caffeine throughout the jury days.

Don't know what to read into that but I really hope it's because they found Apples design patents so ludicrous they couldn't maintain any interest in the horse shit Apple were shovelling ;)

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Oracle: Google impurifying media's precious bodily fluids

Paul Shirley
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Re: or is it Boies getting revenge for SCO vs IBM?

It occurs to me that maybe Boies is actually behind this fiaSCO. It's just so familiar from the SCO case, where SCO via it's lawyers persistently insinuated there was an IBM funded PR conspiracy. This time BSF reached trial and I'd guess Boies&co actually pushed the court to look for the imagined conspiracy.

In SCO they went to great lengths (including sending private investigators after PJ) to implicate groklaw in particular and never tired of making threats that groklaw would be outed. Because the case collapsed they never managed to even try to interest the court in that. This time I suspect Boies expected to find groklaw on Googles list and finally get revenge.

They fought a PR war in SCO and lost, badly. They fought a PR war in Oracle and lost, badly. It must be hard to accept the other side weren't playing the same secret game and still won. Of course believing either SCO or Oracle had a strong case is a sign of delusional beliefs!

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Paul Shirley
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FAIL

channeling previous BSF client SCO

You'd think Boies would warn Oracle that talking up some vast Google organised conspiracy against them was a bad idea - he cant have forgotten how well it worked for previous Boies client SCO (where most of the legal strategy was copied from).

And just like SCO, the side doing the shouting seems to be the only side actually proved to be paying anyone posting favourable opinion.

I wonder if Boies will find another mug to hawk this failed legal attack too. Haven't the Oracle fees covered the £30mil loss they made creating it for SCO? Then again, $30mil is a lot...

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Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

Paul Shirley
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Re: I actually find Aero visually confusing

One tinfoil hat way to look at Aero is as the excuse MS needed to fundamentally change driver model and that's the excuse they needed to freeze XP at DX9. Gamers would then migrate rapidly to Vista/Win7 for DX10 and games would swiftly drop XP support forcing migration (which didn't happen).

Well the hardcore gamers have moved, the casual ones replaced their PCs and the diehard XP users aren't budging, there's no longer any need for the ploy. So it's dropped with no way back.

A more realistic theory: WP7/8 devices aren't really up to running something like Aero and Win8 has to be hoobled to that level to avoid making the phones and tabs look bad in comparison. It's the whole Win8 story, an OS downgraded to promote a different product few will ever own.

Wonder what would happen if Android took advantage of it's shiny new GPU accelerated 2D to add bling. A mad rush at MS to resurrect Aero?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Never thought of myself as "fearless torrenter" before...

"The big button thing"

Been wondering how it will handle my current Start menu, with its 76 nested folders organising several hundred things. In particular how using Win8 search will help me find the correct ReadMe among the 20 odd on there and other common named files.

I know they can be forced into a hierarchy under the Metro menu, but that's still a click for every nesting and a whole lot more scrolling in random directions than the simple click, zigzag right, click of the Start menu.

My phone needs to work that way because its a small screen with an inprecise pointing device and it's frustratingly inefficient compared to my PC. Microsoft, sharing the frustration with everyone.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

That 14 years taught me that hitting the Win key in a game can crash the game, sometimes taking Windows with it. Even recent games don't always recover from it. Since I only stick with Windows for gaming the muscle memory is strong and avoidance automatic ;)

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Paul Shirley
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"I do also like the suggestion above to just use the power button on the computer."

Sadly my wife and I keep our PC's well out of arm reach behind sound blocking pieces of furniture, so that's the least appealing option.

Anyone checked if the sleep buttons on many keyboards will do the trick on Win8? (A button I'd completely forgotten on mine!)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: a whole 8min where only MS fanbois seemed to care

Comical. The MS damage control team were 8min late to post and failed to consider that none of their supposed enemies could be arsed getting in ahead of them!

Sometimes a 10 to 1 disparity in comment/voting means more than a big astroturfing budget ;)

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Three extends data use with Sim-only tariff tweak

Paul Shirley
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@Afflicted.John

...giffgaff don't need to disconnect your account. They simply disable your data and string you along for up to 5 days waiting to get it back. And because they can't reliably detect tethering they guess and regularly cut off innocent users...

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Judge begs Apple, Samsung to get a room, or trial will end in tears

Paul Shirley
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Koh finally realising the appeal is unavoidable

You can almost see the panic setting in. She's pissed off both sides and their lawyers to the point they're making minimum effort to comply with her running of the trial and occasional seem to be deliberately trying to provoke her.

It's going to appeal, something most judges hate and the only way to stop it is to badger Apple&Samsung into a settlement - I could almost believe her treatment of Samsung was a heavy handed and misguided attempt to pressure them. Most judges try that right at the start of the case, before tempers rise.

The only available pressure she has left is on Apple, by threatening to lift the injunctions. Waiting 2 years for an appeal with injunctions still in place means Apple won't bother settling while Samsung are being hurt. Ready to provoke and anger Koh all over again...

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Tech hacks should admit taking corporate coin, but don't start a witch hunt

Paul Shirley
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Re: Florian

Yes, Florian has a longer history of being wrong than being listened to by a lazy bunch of journos. Florian didn't come into disrepute with many of us because of his associations, it was the consistent bullshit in his writing, dating back to when he was still pretending to be a friend of open source.

The accompanying bias was impossible to miss, be it for SCO, Microsoft or Oracle. Or the perpetual attack on Android. When he came clean about Oracle most were already certain he was working with them, based on what he was saying. Hardly coming clean, more covering his arse, probably remembering the savaging he got in the SCO affair where he was outed.

If he'd admitted the various relationships upfront journos would perhaps have been less willing to swallow any old crap he fed them. Instead he did the damage first.

Journalists are lazy, Florian is just the latest to benefit from that. At least Rob Enderle is nearly forgotten after playing the same game all the way through SCO, with his constant and pathetic anti-Apple chanting now falling on deaf ears.

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'$199' Surface tablets: So crazy it might work, or just crazy?

Paul Shirley
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Wrong. Anything using "the UI/API formerly known as Metro" should just run. Anything using the Windows API won't. Except heavyweight desktop class apps will likely struggle on rt class hardware and you'll end up only using lightweight versions!

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Windows 8: Download it, then speak YOUR brains

Paul Shirley
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@Spearchucker: sure you know which way the bias points?

"I suspect that the tech community (the source of the slamming, given that the silent majority has yet to see W8)"

For a change I sort of agree with you. The vast majority of unbiased observers have indeed not tried Win8 yet and we can only guess what will happen when they do.

Now convince me the biased minority that have bothered installing and trying Win8 are not mostly Microsoft fans, eager to try the latest shiny. Because I don't believe many with an anti MS agenda will have bothered unless their job demands it. Just too disruptive for most, even techies.

Comment on Win8 is indeed biased, with epic levels of very amateur astroturfing everywhere I look mixing with kneejerk anti-MS reactions. What I don't see *many of* are endorsements I actually believe read as genuine. It's a biased pool but I believe it's biased toward Win8 more than we'll see from the wider public.

Launch time is going to be interesting.

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Google may face grilling by MPs over 'immoral' tax avoidance

Paul Shirley
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Much easier for attention grabbing MPs to distract the public with show trials than pressure their parties to stop giving business (primarily finance) these tax dodges to stop them fleeing abroad.

These idiots collaborated in creating an 'immoral' tax system, they have no right to complain when companies actually use it. It's OK when these idiots are protecting our banking and finance industries by letting them avoid tax, it's much more immoral if anyone else does it.

These MPs need to quit attention grabbing show trials and get of their lazy arses and force real change. That or keep taking the bribes and just STFU.

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Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Paul Shirley
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Re: Oh lighten up

As a user it looks incredibly "jarring" to me and I don't care how much you like it as a developer.

The crucial error here is having no fucking choice as a USER what the is looks and feels like. Linux I can tweak. Xp I can tweak. Win7 I can tweak. Win8 I can just bend over and take it.

That forced change is why it's not just the usual crackpots screaming this time.

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Oracle won't pull plug on Java SE 6 until 2013

Paul Shirley
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Re: the jobs not done till Android won't run

The devkit does.

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Paul Shirley
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the jobs not done till Android won't run

Ummmm... I seem to be channelling Microsofts past. A hint of what's planned for Java 8?

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Microsoft: Gmail rival Outlook.com will 'look good on your iPad' 

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Andrew

...that looks better. Wonder why I never noticed that... was it the cryptic interface... ;)

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Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

Paul Shirley
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do I spy a Zombie in that company list?

Maybe time to run away (quite slowly) from any product listing SCO in it's contributers... the zombie corpse might try claiming to own it. Like a certain other product the Open Group also owns but SCO still claims to own the API for ;)

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Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims

Paul Shirley
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@Greg Bird

"from what I understand of US law if the patent owner doesn't vigorously defend a patent and it becomes ubiquitous then they essentially give up the right to the patent"

You're thinking of trademarks, not patents but these are aren't actually patent claims from Apple but something halfway between patent and trademark. But no, they don't need proactively defending to survive.

It's actually common practice to *not* assert patents while waiting for others to adopt them, so called submarine patents you only spring when enough people are infringing.

In fact it's usually a very bad idea in the US to actually reach court with patent disputes because it's the leading way to lose your patent. In software 90% or are lost and Apple's design patents are so weak they're unlikely to survive this trip to court. Lose the patent and you can't get anyone to volunteer licence fees.

So why did Apple go this far? Simple, if they backed down those injunctions would vanish in short order. Going to court hurts Samsung a lot, win or lose.

It also keeps alive the illusion of threat from Apple, something few in the industry seem to take seriously at all even with Apple on the warpath. It would vanish completely if they quit.

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Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

Paul Shirley
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how long has WinPhone been shipping with Metro?

...but haven't they had a Metro product out for a year or so? Or did I just imagine frequent use of Metro when discussing WP7 (possible since the actual phones seem pretty imaginary in real life ;)

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Will Samsung's patent court doc leak backfire spectacularly?

Paul Shirley
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re:What on earth was going on that they didn't think of it until so late in the day?

You're ignoring the possibility that Apple engineered the situation. The F700 was in Apples initial claims as an iPhone copy but voluntarily dismissed when Apple realised the claim was false and easily proved false.

It's not surprising that Samsung did not expect Apple to claim it as an example iPhone copy in the case, or have 'Perry Masoned' it on them so close to trial. And it really should have opened the door to Samsung over this evidence. Especially since it's pretty clear Apple are lying to the jury.

The puzzle is why Samsung hadn't already introduced the evidence in their planned defence anyway, it would seem to be a killer blow. I can only guess that the harsh time constraints of US trials force ruthless culling of weaker claims, that this wasn't considered strong enough. If true that should scare Apple. Except Apple are so disconnected from reality nothing seems to scare them. Not even lying in court.

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Paul Shirley
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worth reading Quinns declaration to the court

Just read John B. Quinns declaration to Koh and Koh is trussed up like a Xmas turkey, caught between her own court policy on public disclosure and legal rules. Quinn obviously either prepared for this or simply knows the rules better than the judge, it appears there's no basis for any sanction other than the judge being 'livid'. Which is a good basis for a mistrial but not much more.

This is getting interesting. I can see this trial not surviving into next week if Koh decides to fight.

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Paul Shirley
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Yes, I was starting to wonder if Samsung are now playing for a retrial, with a fairer judge. In principle they don't want any delay while injunctions are in place but it's looking like the whole case is heading straight for appeal, don't stop at justice. with the injunctions intact for the 2 years that's likely to take.

At this point provoking Koh may look like a quicker route to justice via retrial. Samsung seem to be doing slightly better fending off Apples sales injunctions in other courts as well, this might well remove Koh from future battles.

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Analyst says Surface could hurt Ultrabook, Windows 8 tablets

Paul Shirley
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Re: It's possible...

Why does no one remember the win app store when discussing win8? Metro apps are locked to the store, Surface gobbles cheap broadband bandwidth so MS get to keep most of their 20-30% cut without mobile carriers charging them. There's a huge pot of gold MS are chasing, enough to make them consider subsidies at least.

I don't believe tbeyll subsidize the less locked down pro version but I don't believe that's more than window dressing for the RT product anyway.

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Lords call for the end of TV transmissions

Paul Shirley
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great chance to tighlty control our TV feed

The TV networks are going to love this. Finally a way to grab control and force us to sit through the adverts, channel promo's and basically any other crap they want, as already implemented in the various internet catchup services.

You can bet they're already scheming in smoky backrooms, working out how to make the lockdown most intrusive, how much palm greasing needs to happen.

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