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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1357 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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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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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Forget Ultrabooks and Win 8 - only fondleslabs can save us now

Paul Shirley
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@Zombie Womble

The games market is actually getting worse at generating PC sales.

We have the mass defection of casual gamers to phones and tablets completely removing the need for any sort of competent PC/laptop for many.

At the same time there's been an explosion of game download services fighting for customers. Unlike store shelves they can afford to keep older games 'in stock'. It's become trivially easy to find 2,5 or even 10 year old games worth playing, at ludicrously low prices. Literally thousands of games to choose from, more games than anyone has time to play. I have something like 20 AAA titles from the last 5 years I didn't have time to play at release, all waiting to be played.

Unless you're chasing brand new AAA titles no-one needs a new gaming PC. And of course the AAA chasers all moved to console 5 years ago anyway!

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

Paul Shirley
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Re: Better legislation to appear

ACTA was not poorly written. It was carefully crafted to hold as many flaws as possible that could be exploited later. They didn't need secrecy to smuggle in controversial policies, they needed it to preserve those built in exploits from detection and correction.

Presumably they thought that it wouldn't matter when they were exposed to late to correct, no-one would back out of signing. They got really unlucky with SOPA, though arguably there would still have been enough protest to stop this rights grab without a public primed by SOPA.

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YouView launches with pricey premium DVR

Paul Shirley
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Bob H:"Most people don't actually own a DVR"

True but the minority that do may be much larger than you imagine. Walk down the TV aisle in any supermarket and the shelves are infested with cheap PVRs, mostly dual tuner this year. Despite such low quality I wouldn't prop a door open with them, they do appear to be selling, Asda doesn't tend to waste so much shelf space on things that don't sell.

And that's the problem. Us early adopters have expensive hi end PVRs we're not so keen on replacing, or far more capable HTPCs. The mass market (such as there is) are already used to £60 dual tuner Freeview boxes. A £300 box is going to be a hard sell for those folk.

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What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Win7 cant even run all XP games

James 47:"Considering I can run Win95 games on Win7 MS are pretty good at maintaining backwards compatibility."

Considering how many XP games won't run on Win7 or run so badly it's not worth doing, MS aren't as good as you think.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Android apps have forward and backward compatibility

Spearchucker Jones: "Apps targeted at ICS or Jellybean don't run on 2.3 either!"

...there are vanishingly small numbers of apps targeting ICS (and surprisingly many that don't even require Android 2.x). And guess what, they will run perfectly happily until you try to actually call a specific ICS feature and its trivial to either catch the exception or check the platform before triggering one.

My app compiles against 1.6, targets 1.5+, modifies it's behaviour for changed OS behaviour on 4.03+. Because I'm lazy I simply removed the 1 code line not supported in 1.5 rather than handle it at runtime. I fully expect the same apk to carry on running on Jelly Bean and Android 5.

The WP7/WP8 compatibility is strictly one way and even that depends on recompilation, how well that works only Microsoft know.

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Google makes 'proposal' to Europe on antitrust concerns

Paul Shirley
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Re: The world's largest ad broker

One possible reply will be digging up earlier complaints that Google *weren't sufficiently differentiating* their own search results, which I believe involved some of the same 'Fairsearch' pond scum. It would seem the only acceptable result to Microsofts accomplices in Fairsearch is Google getting out of the search biz, except for when freeloaders can get a free ride!

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Paul Shirley
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Not yet but I can almost hear the outraged squealing the self serving alliance of Google enemies and shady search companies are about to emit ;)

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Web stat WTF: iOS beats Android 3 to 1, iOS and Android tied

Paul Shirley
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very believable, no-one would ever fake a user agent

I fully believe it, most of my & my wifes mobile access show an iPhone or iPad user agent, so it must be true.

Of course both active phones are actually Android and the spare phones with real user agents haven't been turned on for months ;)

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Sony grabs cloud-gaming group Gaikai

Paul Shirley
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Re: great buy

It does look impressive on a phone (well, the OnLive equivalent did when I tried it), the small screen hides the appalling compression artefacts, touch control is poor and disguises the latency problems and people still have lower expectations for a phone.

On a PC both OnLive and Gaikai were disappointing. Laggy, bad compression artefacts, low FPS on Gaikai, bad latency on both and low resolution.

Bandwidth is a bigger immediate problem. It sucked 5Mbit on my 10Mbit connection - thats 2Gb/hour. That triggered throttling on my Virgin cable, it would quickly hit the bandwidth cap on most UK accounts. That 5Mbit bought me just 720 line resolution and looked like shit. To properly support a HD TV 10Mbit+ and no cap is going to be needed. That's going to work well in a country that struggles to supply 5Mbit connections!

I agree, it's going to turn up on handheld devices first while they wait for the network to catch up with the scheme. Unlike you though, I've had OnLive on my phone for months and just don't bother to use it, it's failed to interest me at all. Firmly in the 'surprised it works at all usably' rather than impressed.

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Jaw-jaw no more-more as calls fall down tally of phone tasks

Paul Shirley
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seems I'm less extreme than I thought ;)

I'll carry on calling mine a mobile.

Mobile phone. Sometimes

Mobile game console. Every day.

Mobile browser. Oh yes.

It took 8 months to receive the 1st call on my first mobile, 11 before I made a call. Sent hundreds of texts along the way. It actually did more service as an alarm clock/watch than a phone. Current smartphone averages less than 5min/month. Sometimes zero. Email wiped out my phone use long before mobiles became popular and nothings really changed, don't even clock up more than 15min of the fixed line in a busy month.

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Nexus 7 and Surface: A bonanza for landfill miners

Paul Shirley
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Re: Surface - it's really a laptop

The fact that you apparently don't know bluetooth keyboards, cases with stands and combinations of the 2 have been available for iPad since weeks after launch, says a lot for how in demand the concept is. It's a little harder for Android simply because there are so many form factors to accommodate but they're also available and of course there are Android devices like the Transformer.

All so successful most people never noticed they exist or noticed their plain old tablet is missing anything. Even hard keyboards on phones are getting hard to find, it's such a popular feature!

The only thing new about Surface is it runs Windows. That's it. The only question is will it perform better in the market than all the other failed attempts at the same thing. All that Surface RT is likely to achieve is increased awareness that iPad and Android can work with keyboards as more effort is made to sell them. As you say, Surface Pro is just an ultrabook with a detachable keyboard, quite useful but it's an ultrabook, the form factor no-one can afford as a toy.

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Android Firefox: Screaming, awesome, you'll go blind etc

Paul Shirley
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no smart zoom or text reflow - Epic Fail

Another Android FF release that absolutely refuses to honour my zoom level between pages, is completely incapable of any sort of smart zoom, page fit or even text reflow. And it's been like that in every release so far - they're never going to do anything to improve it.

So I can have the browser adapt pages for most convenient viewing in Dolphin,Opera,android stock - *even* FF on the desktop. But not in this. Doesn't matter how fast it is, how many plugins, it fails at the simplest function of a browser - showing me the fscking page contents on a small screen device.

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Microsoft: no plans to make own phones

Paul Shirley
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did everyone forget the Microsoft Kin?

Microsoft have already tried launching a phone, the Kin. Remaindered 3 months after launch in the states with rumours of sales as low as 500 units.

Microsoft most certainly will remember that fiasco. Those responsible are unlikely to have any influence inside Microsoft. I doubt there's much stomach for trying again in the near future. In 18 months time when Win8/WP8 aren't shifting as fast as expected maybe, if only because there won't be any viable partner left to shaft.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Nokia

Oh Jim, so blindly optimistic.

Suppose Nokia do throw out a WP8 capable N9xx, that doesn't make the existing ones WP8 capable. Also the new multicore *requirement* means current WP7 devices could never perform to the specified level, even if Microsoft choose to build a suitable kernel for them. Make no mistake, Microsoft went multicore for a reason (the incessant complaints about poor multitasking) and aren't going to let 2million Lumia owners mess they're shiny new multitasking improvements up.

BTW with very few exceptions Android apps carry on working as you upgrade OS, carry on working on older OSes and don't need some magical cloud recompilation to achieve it. Looking at the deployed device stats I might drop Android 1.5 support soon. Or probably won't because I had to avoid just 1 non-essential feature to maintain backward compatibility across all those versions.

WP7 devices have been orphaned, the OS stack they were built on has been obsoleted because its convenient for Microsoft. Eventually you'll believe it.

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Huawei Ascend G300 budget Android

Paul Shirley
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Re: Sounds pretty amazing

"WinPho7 is very fast on mediocre hardware"

Isn't that because WP7 doesn't let the phone or individual apps get too busy?

Typical Android user ladles on sanity challenging numbers of background apps, never, ever closes apps and then cant understand why it might take a little longer to fire up the next app! That's not really possible on WP7, tasks are too restricted.

The real killer though is native code. VM's tend to be scheduler friendly. Native code shouldn't be able to stop preemptive task switching but somehow it always seems to manage it. The big advance dual core brought me on XP was the ability to still control the damn machine when some rogue app (or Win32 itself) grabbed 100% of a core.

WP8 brings more multitasking and native code. Multicore suddenly seems like a good safety net ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Sounds pretty amazing

"comparison of this phone and an identically priced WinPho"

Who right now is most angry, Android or WP fanbois? (After ruling out Xperia Play owners ;)

A fair few of the WP 'usual suspects' were made into liars by the 'no WP8 upgrade' admission, some seem conveniently MIA right now but I wouldn't be surprised if they're still voting.

I suppose some of the Android crew might forget that stock firmware is just where you start, it's very easy to criticise - and a good fallback when suppliers layer on too much, like the 10+ Facebook+Twitter integration apks Sony scatter on devices like manure on fields.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Looks amazing for the money

As I said above, in the unlikely event Huawei don't deliver, an independent ICS rom is being worked on right now. Contrary to popular chatter ICS can work very well in 512Mb.

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Paul Shirley
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The nice thing about this phone is even if Huawei don't come through with ICS (and I really don't expect them to pull a Sony), people are already at work on 3rd party ICS roms. Pretty much a no brainer really if the hardware's good enough for you.

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Acer big cheese: Microsoft Surface sales will be 'superficial'

Paul Shirley
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"Didn't you begin your post by stating that everyone you know who has a tablet also has a laptop? "

Yes, but they owned laptops to start with ;)

I'm commenting on the widely believed and ongoing decline in laptop sales, while tablet sales rise. I speculate people simply aren't replacing their tired old laptops as quickly or at all, presumably because all the media consumption has now switched to the new shiny and there's not much left for the laptops. I know when mine dies I won't bother replacing it. Hell, I'm not even going to replace its battery, my smartphone replaced it.

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Boffins program peripheral visions for ultra TV immersion

Paul Shirley
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DIY nightmare

Bugger. Now I have to remove all that shelving, CD racks and that fireplace to provide projection friendly walls to view TV properly. Good thing I'm not a goth with black walls ;)

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