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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1348 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Cellco execs lay into Nokia's Lumia

Paul Shirley
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Re: same hardware?

You miss the point. If the 900 used Android they wouldn't just put a physically larger screen on it, they'd bump the resolution to match and apps would just use the extra pixels.

What actually launched is little better than sticking a magnifying glass in front of a 710, "Brazil" style.

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Paul Shirley
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"copyfighters" appear to have paid little or no notice

Those of us following this case since the start understood what Oracle are up to the moment claims were filed. Many of us knew this attempt to extend copyright was coming the moment BS&F signed on to lawyer for Oracle - its exactly the same theory they pissed away 7 years and $30mil+ trying to put before a jury in the SCO vs IBM case. I posted about it here yesterday and many times before that.

The other side of it is, we sat through 7 years of analysis in the SCO case and are confident existing precedent rules out Oracle/BS&F's new legal theory, it's why no-one's panicking *yet*. Warning for the clueless but not panicking. Having been assigned a well informed judge there seems little chance Oracle will BS their way to a catastrophic result.

I suppose what really annoys Andrew is all that precedent in software copyright is the result of decades of *CORPORATE* copyright cases, not some shadowy conspiracy of 'copyfighters' fighting to undermine it. After all, FOSS relies on strong copyright to protect itself from both corporate and individual pirates but also understands there have to be limits or development becomes deadlocked.

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Paul Shirley
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@JDX

No. signed/unsigned is a programmers choice of what bundles of bits mean. I've found describing 8 bit bundles as unsigned values is usually pretty damn useful.

That a high level language imposes arbitrary limitations on how a programmer should be thinking is the Java disease. Simplified for idiots only sounds like a good idea.

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Moody's downgrades Nokia to near-junk status

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

Re: Nokia will come good

I've not been 'able to move for WP7 adverts' for quite some time now. Posters, stickers, giant window displays, C5 sponsorship and so on. So far only the blind can have missed the WP7 push in the UK.

But I've still not seen an actual phone. Not in a users hand and the shops plastered with the adverts don't have them on display anywhere. Hell, it's no so long since a trip to TheRegister revealed fawning reviews of Nokia's folly on a near weekly basis!

Somehow I don't imaging the latest ploy of turning Windows into a massive WP8 advertising billboard will change much, how do you go past saturation coverage ;)

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Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown

Paul Shirley
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Re: field of use restriction

Not only is Harmony not licensed as a Java implementation, Google have actively fulfilled the only restriction Sun actually made on non-licensed versions, that they don't call it Java. That's why there are no contractual infringement claims in the case, you can't hit non parties with contract claims.

Oracle have had to rewrite copyright law to make any sort of case (they really should have seen the patent suicide coming) and they've done it in a way that even if they were 100% correct and justified, the claims must fail or risk massive collateral damage to the entire software industry.

One reason US software copyright law seems so perverse and unfair is that the consequences of being more like traditional fields (literature, film etc) would be crippling to the industry. Google walked right on the edge of what's legal, don't expect massive penalties if they overstepped. Oracle need to redefine the law or they can't win enough to bother. If Oracle big we *all* lose.

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Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Paul Shirley
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Re: WP7 apps will run on WP8

...but will the WP7 support see any update after Win8/WP8 ships? Will the apps simply be trapped in legacy support hell, looking increasingly tired and outdated till some future WP8 update finally breaks them?

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Paul Shirley
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@l3v5y you can run a Windows 95 program on Windows 8

Yet I can't run some WinXP programmes on Win7, after wasting far too much time with the compatibility options. You sure Win8 will run everything? I'm pretty certain it won't...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Missed opportunity

Somehow I doubt 'a few iterations' will get WP7 or 8 up to parity with the moving targets of IOS and Android. If the Win8 reboot traps WP7 apps in a legacy support mode, that brings its own developer AND user hell.

The Win8 strategy is an open admission that WinPhone cannot compete on its own merits, even if it achieves parity with the competition. Or indeed even if it surpasses them, 1st mover advantage in a market they cannot easily manipulate is hard to overcome. Hence the attempt to manipulate it with Win8...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Plan B

...and if Microsoft are behaving as normal, there's a skunkworks team hard at work right now on reverting the Nokia map support and there are contract terms that let them just push the update that does it if Nokia jump ship. Microsoft didn't insist on the ability to push updates without carrier permission just for the benefit of users.

Anyway, didn't Nokia get into trouble by having too many competing smartphone 'not skunkworks' projects?

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El Reg posts dirty pics for old computer buffs

Paul Shirley
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so many memories

All of them so dann vague.

A reminder of much history we've already.lost and I only remember back to the 70s

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Amazon green-lights in-app purchasing for Android

Paul Shirley
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Re: What?

You simply missed the bitching, back when the store launched and the free app royalty rape was launched ;)

Since using Amazon is completely optional there's not much interest in rehashing it. Using Apples store is unavoidable so the bitching will continue, Amazon control too little to matter so far.

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Nokia shares fall as it drops first quarter forecast

Paul Shirley
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@jc: Google won't offer any help

Apparently you forget Nokias own admission that they wouldn't go with Android because they couldn't *replace* Google Maps with Nokias service and still have the apps package.

Was their map service really more important than having a phone business? Maybe they should just get out of mobile and move to services and software, instead of hooking up with the biggest shark in the pool.

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Paul Shirley
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@jc

2mil units *shipped* in 3 months vs 850K Android activations *per day* (end of Feb stat)... yes, "nobody wants our phones" seems pretty accurate.

Even by their own prelaunch forecasts of 2mil in the 1st quarter of release, they're several months behind schedule. With more markets covered, more devices shipping that's a disappointing 'momentum' for the product. Factor in Nokias claim to dominate WP7 sales, the apparent cannibalisation of HTC and others sales, that's not a healthy WP7 market.

Nokias bigger problem is pricing. No longer able to afford to build devices themselves and fighting a price war doesn't leave much room for profit and a lot of unemployed locals. Nokia didn't just sell their future to Microsoft, they hocked it to far east manufacturing as well.

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Man stabbed at BlackBerry bash

Paul Shirley
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give them a chance..

...they're trying to move up out of the rioter end of the market ;)

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Ice Cream Sandwich gives Android mobes brainfreeze – Sony

Paul Shirley
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Re: Maybe it's Sony's add-ons that are the problem?

The shear amount of crud they bundle can't help and needs root to remove most of it.

I'd finger the 512K RAM as the main cause though. It's just enough to keep Gingerbread going without too many stalls, I'd guess ICS pushes it just over the edge.

I'd also want to look at the Android memory priorities in their build and some of the kernel tuning. When memory gets tight I've seen massive performance changes from tweaking the memory thresholds, ICS may have reached that critical point on Sony phones.

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Nokia v Apple nanoSIM format war: Victor will be named next month

Paul Shirley
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Re: And the choice is between ...

If ETSI does not adopt Apples version then it won't be covered by FRAND terms and the patent hammer will fall. Unlike their current disputes, where FRAND guarantees they'll get a licence however long they drag out compliance, without FRAND they'll have no possibility of shipping at all if patent holders don't feel like licensing.

Annoying so many patent holders with dubious and sometimes frivolous and abusive patent threats leaves a lot of people willing to shut them down.

So it can't happen with any pretence of compatibility with existing SIM tech and without compatibility the carriers won't sign up.

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Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Paul Shirley
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Re: programmers use keyboard shortcuts

I've not yet adapted to losing the Alt key to Windows and the way it made classic Brief editor modes completely unusable. Luckily in JED I can choose and I choose to disable all the Windows UI features completely so I can keep the key bindings. In Microsofts software it's always the key bindings that make way for the GUI features I don't need. Keybindings my muscle memory has deeply ingrained :(

On a different angle, I'm happy to use different binds for different tasks, if only because there aren't enough key combinations to comfortably (or optimally) cover editing and debugging. Monolithic piles like VS always made that difficult to do well (or at all).

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Sony sends Xperia Play Android 4 beta dev-wards

Paul Shirley
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bugger

...just getting ready to start the weekends drinking and this turns up.

Must resist temptation to flash firmware drunk...

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China's budget handset makers facing mass cull

Paul Shirley
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writing was on the wall last year

It was pretty obvious their time was up when I noticed even the useless Java based, fake China phones cost more to import than buying genuine budget Android's here in the UK. Even the genuine Chinese Android ones were consistently much lower spec for the same cash. That was 6 months ago or so.

Economics is harsh, not even forgers are safe from the combination of competition shaving margins and scale shaving costs ;)

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Google offers Oracle slice of Android profits for patents

Paul Shirley
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Re: not just similar

The copyright theory BS&F are pushing is to all intents *identical* to the one they invented for SCO vs the world, analysed to shreds but not tested in court. BS&F spent 10s $mil of their own cash on that attack and are now recycling it on the cheap. Wonder if Oracle are paying full whack?

The massive analysis done in SCO vs IBM established that somewhere between 99 & 100% of it conflicts with established precedent. The danger is that as a whole its still a nearly (*) new legal theory and that always leaves some room for a court to do something stupid.

(* in reality their theory is essentially the same as the 'look&feel' cases of the 80/90s and we know how well that worked out. So old theory, recycled in new dressings, headed for the same fail)

Near the start of this affair I predicted any damages collected would be less than the costs. We're nearly there. But we really need this to get to court, until it gets squashed with prejudice it will just reappear every decade. If Oracle win this is a disaster for an entire industry - not just this case. Lets see it die now.

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Paul Shirley
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Florian, the voice of Microsoft

Ah, Florian, occasional sucker at the Microsoft teat... just been caught failing to report a pretty catastrophic loss for Microsoft at the ITC before Xmas.

When Linux Torvalds got deposed by Microsoft and proceeded to shred their often used VFAT patents with prior art in the deposition... you'd think an avid patent watcher, patent agitator and active follower of that case (possibly the only active one) might just notice and share the news. Instead it went unreported.

And unreported by the lazy news outlets relying on the Mueller dripfeed of biased news instead of actual journalism.

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EU mobile biz barons agree to slash roaming charges

Paul Shirley
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about to be cheaper to use PAYG abroad than at home!

That will make it cheaper to call a UK number on my spare "3" SIM than using it here. Appears that's still true even if I move to a newer (poorer value) tariff.

Mobile charges continue to take the piss ;)

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Bio student thrown in the clink for Muamba Twitter rant

Paul Shirley
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"That is not even racist, offensive and pathetic yes"

...you might want to track down the tweets he made AFTER other twits took him to task. Personally I'd prefer it if the target of his racist comment took him up on the offer to fight - and seriously hurt the pillock - jail will have to do instead.

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Size DOES matter: Nokia snubs Apple's royalty-free nano-SIM

Paul Shirley
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Re: Well I'll be damned.

Provided you notice that even Florians deliberately garbled report establishes Apple have not made a pure unilateral offer: Apple will make them royalty free *if* the others do the same. It's 110% guaranteed there will be some patent that could be used against Apple and wisely they want protection.

Yet again technical issues are inextricably mixed with jostling for advantage on the patent side. Or in Apples case making sure they aren't on the losing side.

With both suggestions so fundamentally uninspired maybe it's good there's some controversy to arouse interest!

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Smoked by Android: Microsoft coughs up free laptop

Paul Shirley
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Re: This isn't about MS but a moronic shopkeeper

Fair enough but I do sense that the dickhead in the shop genuinely believed they'd rigged this one so well it couldn't be lost without cheating. It's so obviously rigged its hard to believe anyone at MSFT HQ approved it.

Start with a rare and unusual task, preload a configuration that less than one in 10,000 might have on their phone by chance and you'd have to feel safe. A shop serf might even notice the stock Android News&Weather app has global settings and cannot display 2 cities at once and think they'd found something Android can only do with 3rd party addons.

Of course the fragmentary world of Android means few phones come without extra widgets... sometimes 3 weather widget alone! All of them better at showing weather than the stock version ;)

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iPhone 5 gets a 5in screen

Paul Shirley
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aspect ratio crucial

5" at iPhones 3:2 aspect will be a very wide phone, too wide to comfortably hold or use 1 handed. Androids 5:3 (480x800 res and above) would keep the width more manageable but raise squeals of outrage among IOS devs. My 480x854 Play is right at the limit of what I can comfortably use and it's as extreme an aspect as you'd want to see.

A 5" iPhone seems condemned to be too fat to use or annoyingly incompatible with previous versions.

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Windows 8 on ARM vs iPad: Has Microsoft lost already?

Paul Shirley
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Re: thoughtless sales pitch

I sincerely hope you fully and frankly explained the difference between WOA (what we're discussing) and Win8 on Intel (which we aren't). In particular the Metro vs Metro+traditional UI difference.

I think its a reasonable assumtion punters who *needed to be told* to wait for Win8 when asking for a Windows tablet were expecting more of the desktop experience than WOA will ever offer and don't know enough about Win8. Rejecting IOS or Android suggests the same.

I also hope you warned them that the Wintel solution able to run full Win8 is likely to be considerably more expensive than any ARM unit - both from Intels greed and the higher spec full Win8 support implies over just Metro. Or how long they'll wait for Intel to actually deliver on low power.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Zune hasn't failed yet

Still some time before we can say Zune totally failed, some would say WP7 is just the new name for Zune with some phone bits bolted on. And those square widgets ;)

More realistically Zune lives on in WP7 but it's not going to drive any sales.

Couldn't possibly agree that "Many people do like Microsoft's way of doing things", no, most people don't have an opinion on the software when choosing apart from familiarity with their previous system. Metro breaks that connection by behaving so differently, forcing Metro onto the desktop is a cynical plan to reestablish that familiarity. By the time they ship enough Win8 installs it will be far too late.

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Tiny pile of Windows 8 ARM slabs slated for October

Paul Shirley
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Re: the only weapons at their disposal are diversity and price

They also have the absolute firmware lock in designed into the WOA hardware spec.

MSFT probably think that's a compelling feature for potential clients like Amazon. Instead of playing whack-a-mole with exploits they could deploy a Win8 based Kindle and only have to fight Microsoft for control of users devices, not the users.

A 4-5 niche device launch could be aimed at getting incumbent suppliers to jump platform from Android to something more closed than directly influencing the public. It's a quicker way to mass deployments than fighting directly in the market and brings the chance of selling mutiple licences to each punter.

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Fragmentation bomb wounds Android in developer war

Paul Shirley
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Appcelerator must be shit

A cross platform tool that can't handle the relatively minor differences between Android devices?

Even the nastiest source of actual programming problems (3D - thanks to multiple chipsets and broken proprietary drivers...) is traditionally solved by using a middleware layer... so either devs aren't seeing this actual problem OR (and more likely) Appcelerator isn't being used for affected types of app. Or maybe it's just crap at that job.

In reality only game writers will experience these problems and game writers have faced 30+ years of dealing with exactly the same problems on most released platforms. I remember when Sony changed the RAM timing on the original Playstation and the relief that our game suffered no ill effects, even the supposedly 'locked down' consoles aren't immune.

Android is losing some dev interest because Android users don't throw their money at devs as easily as IOS users, other causes are just minor irritants - irritants middleware like Appcelerator are supposed to avoid!

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Free apps suck your power: researchers

Paul Shirley
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Re: Exsqueeze me???

Angry Birds doesn't need it at all and carried on working perfectly with location tracking turned off last time I played (and every other time ;)

However the adserver they use (and every other server I've seen so far) feels compelled to try to serve location aware advertising. Make it guess instead and save some power... or be really smart and yank the internet permission. On low end phones that makes most games run much better anyway.

Love to see some more detail on exactly *what* they tested, since Android 2.3+ mailed a lot of the GPS power drain issues. Figures for WM7 would be nice as well ;)

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Windows 8 for Kindle-like gear hinted by Microsoft bigwig

Paul Shirley
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suitable user interface for each application

Well, they're half way there...

Microsoft have noticed that trying to run a desktop UI on a phone or tablet is a disappointing experience.

Just need them to notice that trying to run a phone or tab UI on a desktop is a disappointing experience ;)

Maybe there is a UI able to straddle that divide - Metro isn't it. What's certain is they'll keep trying to impose Metro until its certain they own all OR none of the tab/phone market. Sense can only return to the PC versions when the PC stops being a trojan into the tab+phone market.

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Charge of the Metro brigade: Did Microsoft execs plan to take a hit?

Paul Shirley
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Microsoft are continuing their historic (and epic) attempts to lock all OUR data into their tools. But it's just data, with a little care it's not locked into specific tools and should never,ever be tied to an OS. There's no technical justification for having the same OS on diverse devices, I just need access to the same data in a useful platform relevant form.

This 'same OS everywhere' crap is just their abusive way to invade the tablet market, launched from the safety of their desktop monopoly.

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Paul Shirley
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WTF?

Re: March of the neophobes

1st?

I'm pretty sure UNIX was rather more device independent long before Windows stopped being just an app run over DOS. The cloud is more or less just a reimagining of the old mainframe+terminals days. Thanks to X UNIX has been rather good at decoupling display+input from execution for a very long time. And UNIX was a pretty late entrant in the computing world.

There are very few things any version of Windows has ever been 1st to introduce. Even fewer worthwhile ones.

Microsoft as usual are jumping on a bandwagon late and need to bludgeon users into submission.

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GiffGaff goes titsup again in 'leccy cable gaffe

Paul Shirley
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Users run nothing at giffgaff. Users do get to cut&paste mostly random 'help' in the support forums. giffgaff - delivering answers in seconds, CORRECT answers much later ;)

giffgaff seems to have no in house tech staff, basically just a marketting operation with everything else outsourced. Makes getting things fixed quickly difficult.

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Smartphone owners demand bigger screens

Paul Shirley
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My old G1s 3.3" was almost perfectly sized for one handed use, take away the largish borders and sheer thickness and 3.7" would feel as comfortable. Like you probably the sweet spot for my short fingers.

That said I wouldn't downgrade from my Plays 4" screen. That's despite dropping it several times trying to use it with 1 hand (before adding a rubberised shell). Trimming off the thickness and borders and that would make a tolerable 4.5 or pretty comfortable 4" device. Became obvious why 5" devices never took off though.

For me it either fits in the change pocket in my jeans or, apart from the 1 hand issue, the size and weight don't matter. Not found a smartphone that fits that pocket yet.

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EC: Apple claimed Motorola demanded ALL ITS PATENTS

Paul Shirley
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@aThingOrTwo

Maybe because Apple are (ab)using their patents to kill competition, not seeking licences. Its not about who's right or wrong but who's more wrong.

Makes Microsofts quest to tax Android look positively benign.

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Paul Shirley
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Apples unclean hands

Regardless of the naughtiness (or not) of this or any argument about balancing the offer for both sides...

When the EU analyses the anti-competitive complaint, Apples often stated aim of killing Android will be considered. Hard to see how it's not a mitigating factor in Motorola's approach (and Google post merger). FRAND neither forbids this sort of deal or compels Apple to accept it. FRAND simply gives Apple a route to getting a court to impose terms on Motorola and guidance on what those terms are.

Apples real complaint is that their plan to bully an industry isn't as easy to pull off as they'd like. Screw 'em.

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Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

Paul Shirley
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...and in a short post Microsofts success is explained

Bribe the right people.

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Everything Everywhere grabs UK 4G wheel, rivals thrown off bus

Paul Shirley
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enforced roaming agreements?

Maybe Ofcom could be persuaded to require EE to offer cost price roaming for the monopoly duration. Unfortunately I doubt they could force the other networks to take advantage... but silly me, thinking Ofcom is there to protect my interests ;)

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Windows 8: Thrown into a multi-tasking mosh pit

Paul Shirley
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Re: What to do?

After fighting Vista then Win7 on my brothers laptop, XP is the future. Just need to find a VM with acceptable DirectX acceleration for an XP client and I can continue gaming, the only thing I really need Windoze for.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Hmmm

I believe Microsoft have bought into their own post-PC meme. Faced with a world where the tablet dominates, Microsoft are trying to leverage their desktop OS monopoly to force their way into the tablet market. The only tool they have is acclimatising users to Metro on the desktop and so Metro must be forced onto their locked in users, who they hope will stick with what they know.

If that screws over some PC users they simply don't care, they have an effective monopoly and it doesn't matter how much they annoy us, they'll still have that monopoly. There's little hope they can convert existing iOS or Android users and Metro is so dumbed down even the majority market (media consumers) don't really have any compelling reason to use it on all their devices. Most of the apps they'll ever use come preinstalled in every OS already, run from the cloud and are platform agnostic.

With Win8 so late to the market it seems just a matter of time till MSFT have to acknowledge its a failed landgrab and revert out the collateral damage of Metro on the desktop. Maybe that collateral (from both imposing then reverting Metro) will remind 'consumers' that they really do have a choice.

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Paul Shirley
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...or the way completion alerts steal focus. Fire off a long job, start working in another window and some random time later, BANG, you're typing into a another app. Or worse, hitting a 'do it again' button before realising what's happening.

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Game Group shares slide under a penny

Paul Shirley
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@AC: 2nd hand sales

Most of the game publishers are mightily annoyed by Games 2nd hand sales and aggressive pushing of them. There's not the slightest chance of kickbags. Kicks in the nuts perhaps...

When Game claim *they* decided not to stock EA and Nintendo new releases, that's strictly accurate but deliberately misleading, in reality EA & N decided they didn't need to offer Game any special deals or marketing cooperation and Game had no real choice.

In the download age Game no longer has the power to blackmail the industry and the industry wants them dead.

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Workers can't escape Windows 8 Metro - Microsoft COO

Paul Shirley
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Wasn't one of the biggest features of Win3 that windows could overlap instead of tiling?

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Paul Shirley
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When I'm trying to blunder my way past some new programming challenge, having the browser window showing help visible at the same time as the source I'm mangling can be pretty damn productivity enhancing!

Apply the same to any app causing me a problem or to navigating the twisty maze of configuring Windows itself.

I like my maximise button. Let's me go fullscreen when I need to focus and windowed when I need it.

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Apple wins access to Google, Motorola documents

Paul Shirley
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Re: Not a hope

Motorola have access to documents that aren't otherwise visible, dating from the Xoom's use of Android 3 and very probably their other Android devices. Remember Android 3 remains closed source because of the dirty hacks done to make it work on the Xoom (and other tablets I assume). Motorola has documentation we will never see any other way. Further, *every* OEM that bundled Googles Android apps has a contractual relation with G and that won't be fully public either.

Now I'd agree that's a pretty slim excuse for this fishing trip, that the real point of interest is Apple jumping on the merger and this is just an excuse. However the US legal system seems to allow all sorts of outrageous behaviour designed to harass opponents or gain unfair advantage. So I'm not surprised they got a judge to order this.

What I'm waiting on is Googles response. They can move to block this as a non-party to the case. I have a suspicion they'll be happy to get dragged in now. It gives them leverage to attack Apple and the near demolition of Oracles attack must give them confidence.

Once involved the serious delaying tactics can start, designed to let the USPTO work on destroying Apples IP. It's working nicely against Oracle and Apples patents aren't much better than the crap Oracle bought with Sun.

Time to put the popcorn on. This is going to get messy.

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Google ups max Android app size to 4GB

Paul Shirley
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Games. Plenty of them download enormous amounts of data - over a GByte for quite a few I've installed in Android. As the quality gets closer to the PC versions that's going to go up, I'm regularly downloading 8GB installers on Steam/Amazon etc.

More commonly games pulling just 50MB can now use google instead of running there own servers. 50MB barely covers the soundtrack for many games.

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Paul Shirley
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There wouldn't be much point splitting it into separate apk and data files if they end up in the same place! The current way they download then split the apk into sdcard and internal chunks isn't scalable to these sort of sizes, not enough temp space and far too much work needed to encrypt that much data at install time.

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Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

Re: as touch-based systems become the standard

Touch control works really well for media consumption, often better than keyboard+mouse and the physical advantages of the form factor far outweigh the infrequent annoyance of virtual keyboards.

Most of the consumer purchased PCs and laptops are bought to consume media (that includes browsing the Internet) with negligible content creation. Updating your FB wall or answering email isn't exactly demanding. No wonder laptop sales are moving to pads, it's a better consumption device. Touch or gesture based systems will become standard for media consumption and Metro is just late to the party.

For anyone creating content (AKA working) touchscreens are between sub-optimal and completely fscking useless, depending on the task. And that's the point here, to satisfy the bulk of the consuming market Microsoft has screwed over those of us trying to *work* on our machines.

And BTW: Andrew has made it very clear he loves Metro on his WP7 phone, of course he's not going to say dump Metro. I personally find it fugly as hell and more about Microsoft's branding than any good design principle.

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