* Posts by Paul Shirley

1377 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

'$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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Paul Shirley
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I'm running with 'cosy' and around 10% of screen is empty. There's not much difference between all 3 display densities anyway, most visibly just more vertical spacing in text.

Unfortunately Gmail achieves that information density by using cryptic icons and dropdown selectors that frequently leave me wondering how to do even simple things. MS seem to have done better with clearer controls, at the cost of pissing away much more screen space. It just isn't empty screen space letting them tell porkies about use of space!

TBH neither of them are more than crippled ways to handle email, a single screen/window interface is too limiting.

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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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Beak explodes at Samsung's evidence leak in Apple patent spat

Paul Shirley
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Re: @I ain't Spartacus: "rules is rules"

Nope, in US civil cases the judge has a lot of freedom to ignore many rules and it appears to be normal to do so. Koh had the option of allowing the late submission, albeit with a possibility of creating delay if Apple fought hard enough. She chose not to, continuing the pattern of favouring Apple.

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Google+ mission creep continues with Hangouts slotted into Gmail

Paul Shirley
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Re: Gmail will eventually lock-in its users to Google+

...but every alias you set up in Gmail automatically gets another G+ account, which you then have to remember to delete. Luckily the arseholes at Google have started spamming G+ users with weekly emails - a useful reminder to delete the crap.

The dedicated feedback address for my app doesn't need a G+ account, just another unused one padding the G+ user number.

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Jury selection delays start of Apple/Samsung patent showdown

Paul Shirley
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Re: Lucy Koh just doesn't seem to understand WTF is going on

To be fair to her, much of Apples case is ludicrous, there's not much plot for her to lose ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Impartial?

You could ship in a jury of Apple employees and get a fairer result than leaving it to judge Koh!

Biased or not, once the jury ballot gets stripped down to a list of yes/no decisions juries seem to overcome bias. Separated from all the BS that 'rounded corners' patent is going to look very silly to most jurors.

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Sony Xperia Go waterproof Android phone review

Paul Shirley
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Re: Make sure it's network unlocked

The bootloader and SIM are *different* locks. CPW sell without the SIM lock, they will still have locked bootloaders. Luckily unlocking the bootloader is pretty easy, just visit the Sony website unlock page.

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Paul Shirley
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burnt by the Xperia Play fiasco

Debatable how good they are at updates. One thing is certain though, they're pretty incompetent at getting ICS to run on their 512Mb devices. Waiting for ICS/JB to actually be available is very good advice. As is waiting a couple of weeks to see if it's too broken to use!

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Apple, Samsung begin battle for billions in US patent smackdown

Paul Shirley
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Re: 10-person jury

You do have to wonder quite how much more legal error Koh can perpetrate, how badly she can bias the jury instructions.

Maybe she'll copy the Oracle vs Google case and tell the jury Samsung are guilty? But that was only tolerable because judge Alsup set it up so he could correct the jury decision if they didn't throw out Oracles claims. I assume he already knew he would rule against Oracle and it seemed like a sensible shortcut (didn't work out that way).

The normal explanation when US judges show bias like this is that they're favouring the side they think will lose to prevent them having any chance of appealing. Kohs behaviour just seems too far beyond that explanation, the damage is being done to Samsung NOW and an appeal can't undo that, a win won't pay enough either. She's made sure Samsung lose whatever the outcome of the case.

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Paul Shirley
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appeal is now guaranteed

Koh and the magistrate judge have now made so many legally unsupportable decisions Samsung are guaranteed to have their appeal heard and Koh has no power to stop them applying. Apple may have a harder job when/if the jury smacks them because Koh's decisions have been so transparently biased in Apples favour.

It's going to be a BIG bill for lost Samsung sales. Enough to put a dent in even Apples accounts.

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Japanese giant sorry for Kobo launch balls-up

Paul Shirley
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strangely familiar from the Android app disaster

This sounds disturbingly like the ongoing Android Kobo app trainwreck, where every new version just changes what's broken and feedback is completely ignored. The Play store comments section is also full of suspiciously enthusiastic reviews - they must be using a different app to the one I see, one that works, doesn't bombard them with spam or interrupt their reading regularly with spurious social features. Almost as if someone's being paid to spam endorsements to drown out the complaints...

I feel lucky now, didn't buy my father the Touch because it felt far too sluggish in the shop but I had assumed it wasn't as deliberately fscked up as the app. A narrow escape, they seem more interested in having an advertising opportunity than delivering a good ereader. FFS they even spam promotional crap into the Android notification bar.

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Surface slab WILL rub our PC-making pals the wrong way – Microsoft

Paul Shirley
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@h4rmony

"Windows 8 has probably been in planning, if not active development since before Windows 7 actually started being sold"

I'll agree something intended to be released as Windows 8 was probably in planning before Vista was launched. Some of the desktop core is probably actually implemented in Win8.

What's actually being released as Win8 only started after Apple started *selling significant numbers* of iPads. Not when they launched because as usual MS failed to believe there was a market. As usual MS are late to the party and as usual using dirty tricks to catch up - in this case screwing over the desktop to cross promote other, non-PC products.

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Paul Shirley
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...but that's the whole shell game being played. Too externally identical devices, both with identical start screens and mostly indistinguishable Metro modes. 2 wildly different prices. A recipe for hoodwinking customers if ever I saw one, talk up the pro device, sell the RT, hope the disappointed buyers don't make too much noise.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The SEC Filing Game

They are conservative 'cover our arses' statements *but* everything in the risk disclosure affects stock value, they don't just throw things in to be safe because that also gets them sued.

If something this damaging is in there they believe it's a real risk. This one is so damaging if anything they'll have understated it as far as they believe possible while avoiding a shareholder lawsuit.

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Samsung: 'Apple's proto-iPhone Jony is a Sony phone phoney'

Paul Shirley
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only so many shapes which can,,, fit in the pocket

You could argue that rounding off the corners is necessary to avoid causing damage to pockets. That leads to an argument that rounded corners on the shell are a functional requirement and hence not eligible for patent.

Not sure it would get far with legal pro's but might well work on a jury.

TBH I foresee Apple leaving court with less patents than they entered with and a very large bill for Samsungs lost sales.

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EU edges toward dropping Google 'abuse of dominance' charges

Paul Shirley
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who's really 'avoiding proceedings' though?

Still not obvious who's more interested in avoiding 'lengthy proceedings', Google or the commission. Have to wait and see how insipid the deal is.

Still 100% confident this won't please the vertical search engine failures driving this ;)

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Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

Paul Shirley
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"In Britain, it seems that common sense does prevail"

...and I expect it to break out in the jury room when the lawyers are done posturing. The jury can gut Apples case in many ways and have much less reason to prop up an obviously broken system than a legal system earning money from every dispute. The jury will decide the damages and decide if infringement happened.

I expect Apple dreams of a $30/tab 'tax' to be crushed by the jury even if they win on infringement. I can hope (but don't expect) they'll realise Apple are taking the piss, that Samsung's naughtiness is far outweighed by Apples.

Either way I believe this is where Steve's crusade hits the buffers, with the patents devalued enough to not be a credible threat.

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Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review

Paul Shirley
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Re: Fixed with a fracking start icon

I literally just drag the mouse to the farthest it will go in the bottom left and that puts it on my 2nd monitor. Having something to actually aim for bigger than 1 pixel seems like a damn good idea.

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WinPho to eke out 4% of US smartphone biz

Paul Shirley
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Re: The whole "can't upgrade to WP8" issue

Upgrading without WP source code access is near impossible, especially with locked loaders and whatever other protection MS used to prevent hacking. Android is only easy to modify because the boot loaders can be unlocked AND enough source is available to make it practical.

You can't even use the 2nd tier of mods, mix&matching components from different devices (which works on Android) because there are no different devices below the OEM UI tweaks. So no frankensteined OS replacements either.

And yes, the hardware has changed, the kernel has changed, parts of the stack above it have changed. The WP8 kernel wont run on WP7 hardware, the new stack won't run on the WP7 kernel. This is the downside of MS so tightly specifying the hardware, you end up with a kernel that can't adapt to anything else. Just the single->multi core change creates fundamentally incompatible kernels - no-one builds unified kernels that can handle both, it's too inefficient.

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Paul Shirley
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WTF?

USA:most valuable and influential smartphone market in the world

Somehow I doubt even flag waving patriotic Americans actually believe that! So far the US has been seen as followers, extremely tardy ones at that, not a good position to be influential from. Even with 4G they're only in the leading pack, nowhere near heading it.

Valuable: yes, to the carriers. They're adept at picking their customers pockets. The idea that WP8 will divert any of that wealth to MS or Nokia is laughable, Apple already took what extra margin the carriers were willing to give up.

IMHO calling the US market valuable and influential is just an admission they've already lost in the European market and aren't winning in Asia. All that's left is the US backwater! They don't seem to be winning that one either ;)

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Behold: First look at Office 2013, with screenshots

Paul Shirley
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...one reason is that Office has functionality that the others don't even come close on.

Yes. I vividly remember cut&pasting a carefully constructed diagram from 1 page to another and discovering the amazing 'Jumble' function. It made a better job of scattering the symbols randomly across the page while breaking most of the connections than I ever could.

Word. Not even compatible with its own functions.

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Paul Shirley
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Don't know why it's taken me so long to notice but *at first glance* those snapshots look like a typical Google web app. The same monochromatic colouring, the same bare straight lines, the same flat blocks of colour.

Are Microsoft really that frightened of Google they'll copy an interface design I find cryptic, confusing and often pointlessly inefficient? While keeping all the worst offenders in their own toolkit like the ribbon - a game of 'Where's Wally' played with app functions!

Are they all in a race to see who can simplify their UI the most, regardless of what that does to usability?

...and in case anyone wondered, I find Googles version slightly less fugly than Metro. So very fugly rather than extremely fugly...

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It costs $450 in marketing to make someone buy a $49 Nokia Lumia

Paul Shirley
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Re: No room for 3rd ecosystem.

No Barry, they understood if far too well. If Nokia had gone Android that would have been a devastating blow for every other OS (except IOS). WP would be dead within days *because* so many people would run full tilt towards Nokia-Android.

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Paul Shirley
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Thumb Down

It costs $200 in marketing to make someone buy a $39 Win8 install

Let's hope this knocks a few months off the time it takes MS to give up on Win8 as a WP8 promo platform, to start handing back control to the users. Sadly they'll wait till the inevitable highly successful launch (they are nearly giving Win8 away to guarantee it) to face reality, when bazillions of Win8 sales turn into zero WP8 sales.

Still, we'll have a nice 'MS have to pay customers $200 to buy Win8 story' soon enough ;)

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Paul Shirley
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WTF?

Re: extraordinary!

I believe you're thinking of Win8 and it's primary role as an WP8 advert on every new PC.

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Microsoft pops preview of 'biggest, most ambitious' Office yet

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Kirstian K Me Thinks :

...and that change foisted on users purely and only to promote some other product they neither need or want is rarely good and never wanted.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "The application suite has been rewritten from the ground up"

Ummm, raises the question of just how compatible with previous *documents* this steaming pile will be. Not that MS have shown any reluctance to short change users on legacy format support in previous

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Metro, that ribbon, shared mailboxes: Has Microsoft lost the plot?

Paul Shirley
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@AC:How about not wanting MS to fail, but wanting other companies to do better?

Why do we want MS to fail? Because until they do MS remain willing&able to *unfairly* prevent other companies benefiting from doing better.

I don't want other companies to just do better at creating products. I want other companies to do better AND survive to share the benefits with me. That's not happening right now in any meaningful way. MS defines an industry in a coercive and obstructive way, that's what needs to change.

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Fake sandwich shop's big fake Likes leave Facebook looking flaky

Paul Shirley
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"I certainly would not have a "like" button or page for it"

Didn't someone point out last week that 'like' really means 'yes please, feel free to spam me'?

What company could resist that sort of opt-in trick? (A company I'd admire admittedly;)

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Tablets, copycats and Weird Al Yankovic

Paul Shirley
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Mac System 7 and Windows 2.0 - by any chance related?

I thought it was obvious they're both visually improved copies of Win8 Metro?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Star Trek TNG (1987-1994)

Star Trek TNG (1987-1994) featured tablet devices heavily.

It was nowhere near the first to feature them.

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Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise

Paul Shirley
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How many will be developing for Surface in tablet mode? I'd guess somewhere in the low single digits if any. Surface Pro is just a convertible ultrabook, resisting the urge to write laptop mode apps will be difficult. Really can't see many bothering to resist.

Surface RT is simply crippled, by lower performance, by Metro. Don't expect 'enterprise grade' apps for it any more than you see them on IOS or Android.

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Watch out, Apple: HTC ruling could hurt your patent income

Paul Shirley
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@Charlie Clark

The judge took space in the ruling to comment on parallel cases in the EU over the same patents, which all roughly came to the same conclusion, though some for different reasons. Various European courts, including our own UK ones are definitely watching each others opinions if only as a check on whether they cocked up in their own court.

Which is very bad news for Apple ;)

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LCD to have killed all* other TV technologies by 2016

Paul Shirley
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Samsung&Sony recently made strong hints that they want to keep OLED as a premium niche product rather than take it mainstream. The future does indeed look LCD dominated. Just have to hope they continue researching some of the other new display tech.

At least LCD has started to look good at reasonable prices in the last couple of years, might be time to replace my CRTs.

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Paul Shirley
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Re: 85 percent?

'cept it doesn't lack app support, that's the author disengaging brain and typing nonsense. If it didn't support Android 1,2,3&4.0x apps out of the box you'd be seeing a 10% or lower review score.

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