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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1303 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Microsoft mum on leaked Phone OS plans

Paul Shirley
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@lone lurker

"the whole sentence in WP7 would be visible simply by scrolling sideways"

That is a DEFECT not an advantage. Reflowing to fit the screen width is a good usability feature, clipping it is a fashion statement. I'll choose the phone that gets the UI right before trying to look good.

That neatly sums up what's wrong with both WP7 *and* the mix of paid and genuine WP7 supporters praising every defective feature in it. Trying to pass defects off as selling points shows just how out of touch with reality the whole WP7 faction is.

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Paul Shirley
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@Jim Coleman: shiny&new != any good

WP7 may be fast but my dirt cheap Xperia is more than fast enough and my wife doesn't play enough demanding games to complain about her even cheaper OSF. When will you lot learn boasting about WP7's speed doesn't impress the rest of us!

In my opinion WP7 is fugly as hell and without monopoly control to force everyone to use it I'm never going to start liking it. I don't care how much other people like it, I don't. Unlike Android, as a user I can't replace or fix the things I hate and Microsoft won't rethink that fugly tiles UI unless WP7 then WP8 completely fails in the market.

Every time I see the list of selling points for WP7 it's a list of things I've already tried and either didn't like or didn't match the way I use my phone. And Microsoft won't let me fix those choices. A tired and old UI beats any shiny new UI *that doesn't do what I want or need*.

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Solicitors from hell website unplugged by libel judge

Paul Shirley
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WTF?

I'd expect: "If a free market is to work, consumers must be able to check that suppliers are offering their goods or services in good faith, and not deliberately misleading the public."

We've seen enough dishonest lawyers to know they're no better than any other trade. What's happened here is a disgrace though, the legal 'profession' taking advantage of an apparent idiots dishonesty to bend the law to give unjustified protections to their own cosy club. It's a blatant attempt to set precedent that will make it harder for the next honest whisteblower to fight his case.

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Lumia sales fail to set world alight

Paul Shirley
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Selecting just by tprice is blatant fiddling the figures. At a stroke it rules out devices with comparable hardware just because they're better value. The lumia is far from

High end hardware with premium street pricing.

Filter by comparable hardware and it will fall much further down the popularity list. Even this fiddled filtering shows it only limping into the premium niche, while every other producier targets the whole budget to premium range getting sales at all levels.

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Paul Shirley
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epic astroturfing

...but doing it on the Reg site is a complete waste of the Microsoft PR slushfund ;)

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Paul Shirley
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last weeks pr

Only a week since nokia tried to push it fir the people bored with iphone and android. Exactly the market sector covered by this survey!

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Five... friendly, free Android apps

Paul Shirley
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...because Netcounter's slow WiFi scan option isn't in system settings and AFAIK Netcounter won't stop scanning just because WiFi's disabled anyway.

To avoid any more confusion: Netcounter defaults to scanning the WiFi stats every 30sec becaise the driver stats get wiped by WiFi restarts and god knows what else so that's the only way to get accurate stats. Slow scan does it once an hour and your battery will love you for choosing it. It's not as if anyone needs accurate WiFi results. Or any WiFi count.

The cell data drivers don't need the same hack.

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Paul Shirley
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I see it now supports daily quota's (last time I looked only Netcounter did), essential for many PAYG users. Time to try it again.

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Paul Shirley
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netcounter

Make sure you switch to slow wifi scan or wave goodbye to your battery. Someday I'll compile myself a build without wifi support.

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Apple wins skirmish in HTC-Google patent war

Paul Shirley
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Your address book is safe. The bogus patent is for automagically creating hyperlinks in unstructured data. Your addrese book is structured data and no detection needed, the fields are explicit.

I doubt the linkify process actually covered will be easy or possible to work round but thats ususally a good sign the patent is invalid. If HTC now convince the ITC of that enforcement is likely to be stayed pending a patent reexamination. Expect this to go from Apple losing 9 claims to losing all the patents.

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Paul Shirley
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it may well be trivially easy to disable

There's a good chance just locking the 'linkify' UI support to off will disable it in most or all of the OS and most 3rd party apps as well. Any 3rd party app that still has it will then have to be targeted by Apple directly - not HTCs problem.

Odds are they've already toggled that in test builds and will spend the next 3 months checking its effective. Meanwhile a torrent of prior art looks about to fall on the ITC and there's not much chance the ban will survive long enough to actually start!

In 3 months time I believe this will look like a very bad day for Apple and not much better for their accomplices at the ITC.

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Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy

Paul Shirley
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On the occasions I bother stripping adverts rather than just skipping them during playback, a lot of programmes manage 42-43 minutes in an hour slot. Things like The Big Bang Theory clock in at 18min usually in a 30min slot.

There's a lot of self promotional padding but I'm struggling to believe that fully accounts for the extra 6 or 9 min required. Maybe we just don't see things if they repeat so often. (Hard to say since I don't see the ads anyway;)

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Nokia lightens Dark Knight with Batman blower

Paul Shirley
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Joke

So up to 40 geeks sorted out but still nothing for the fashionistas...

The post is required, and must contain letters.

;)

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York CompSci student pleads guilty to Facebook hack

Paul Shirley
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"nothing is more important to us than the security and integrity of our site"

Nothing, especially not our users, whose security just gets in the way of selling the data we gathered on them...

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Nokia exec: Young fashonistas 'fed up' with iPhone

Paul Shirley
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Apparently you can't even change the WP7 wallpaper without an unlocked developer phone.

It's a fashionista magnet - set to repel ;)

Makes Apple look positively customisable.

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Paul Shirley
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dont they already have Blackberry?

I thought the youngsters fed up with iPhone/Android already had rioter friendly Blackberrys?

Moving from phones with lots of little, cute icons and a touchscreen to one with less but bigger, uglier icons that don't quite fit on that same touchscreen... hardly appealing is it ;)

(Did enjoy Microsofts HTML5 WP7 demo on my phone - confirmed that it's just a fugly and limited in action as it looks in pictures of it)

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Why there's real hope for webOS - if HP is committed

Paul Shirley
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users don't care

What the TouchPad firesale tells us is end users don't really care what OS is running if the price is right and they don't really care how big the relevant app market is if the price is low enough.

It's fun arguing the dev side of the tablet wars but the public see a consumer device and as long as it has a working browser, passable email and some chance of running apps, don't look much further than the price. Its already a commodity item from their POV. Hardly news, the ongoing sales of piss poor chinese phones tells us the buying public will buy anything cheap that looks superficially good enough.

That's why WebOS is largely irrelevant even if its not dead, the entire appeal was the sale price, the OS isn't a selling point. WebOS can live or die and the buying public won't even notice.

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Is Microsoft brewing a Win8, WinPho code merge?

Paul Shirley
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unfixable due to Microsoft lockin attempts

Yes, it's a Windows problem that Win8 hasn't solved. iOS and to a lesser extent Android take a desktop (capable) OS and streamline it for different hardware. It's not a full PC OS only because it's not running on full PC hardware, rather than any artificial constraints.

The base OSes both are built on are modular enough that shrinking the OS is both easy and actually shrinks the OS footprint.

The Windows problem is the OS is so infested with dependencies that they dont know how to remove any component safely, Microsoft recently admitted spending months just trying to map them. They can remove function but can't actually remove much footprint and still trust the OS to work. This is more than just poor design, Microsoft policy of binding user space programs (Internet Explorer is the classic one) into the system layers just came back to bite them. A policy designed to encourage user lock in has just locked Microsoft into it's own messy past!

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2011's Best... Smartphones

Paul Shirley
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Pint

Xperia Play

Little surprised the Play didn't make the list at it's new £150-200 price point.

@£500, then £350 it was a lame duck, now it's reached a sane price there's not much to compete with it for gaming jollies, at least till we find out if there's a Play 2 sometime in March. The ludicrous number of free HD games SE keep throwing at it improves the value as well.

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Paul Shirley
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Adobe finally released ARM6 support a few months back

...actually, Flash is sluggish on the Monte Carlo *because it uses an ARM6 CPU*. It does less work per clk than ARM7 designs and worse yet, doesn't support features the programmers at Adobe relied on (unaligned memory access is the big one).

So the actual performance is closer to a 400Mhz ARM7 (I'm being generous) *and* the ARM5/6 optimised Flash build Adobe finally released about 2 months ago is inherently much slower. Despite that it actually is usable on a lot of sites and of course Flash can bring any mobile CPU to its knees on some.

It doesn't help that Adobe failed to tell anyone about the ARM6 release, presumably why so many commenters don't know about it ;)

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OnLive Game System cloud gaming console

Paul Shirley
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Lag a bigger problem than you think

It's important to remember the network lag here can't be directly compared to lag in client rendered multiplayer games. In a well built network game prediction hides the lag leaving just the rendering&frame swap time lag - 1-2 frames most of the time. The lag's still there but isn't as noticeable. Onlive renders remotely *then adds network lag - some of the rendering lag*.

It's not just adding more lag, it's adding it where it does the most damage, outside the games compensation loop. It's something I noticed both times I trialled it, the motion sickness set in almost immediately and didn't go away. Luckily for Onlive I'm in a minority but it's harming the experiencing for every player.

What's worse is even if games could get adjusted to compensate for that extra lag, single player games just don't need the prediction code so have no mechanism to adjust. Hard problem to work around.

Luckily casual gamers don't seem that bothered by this sort of problem but casual gamers aren't notorious for paying AAA prices for their games either. Be interesting seeing if they get any worthwhile outright sales at those prices, or just masses of £6.99 subscribers playing older stuff.

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Paul Shirley
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Maybe, for the bulk of low end factory boxes.

When I tried Onlive its rendering quality was massively below what I get locally on geriatric hardware - a 3.1Ghz dual core Phenom II/4770HD GPU combo, both low to mid range parts more than 2 years ago. While I do often need to reduce render quality to maintain frame rates, Onlive don't seem to be achieving much better quality, do it in a much smaller frame size (I play @2048x1152) and the compression wreaks havoc.

Unless I had particularly unlucky experiences most recent PC's wouldn't need upgrading and where needed wouldn't need high end hardware to equal what Online are offering. I think time has been unkind to Onlive, PC hardware improvement has wiped out their theoretical advantage for all but the most casual PC gamers.

I think the console is probably their most important component though. Much easier than hauling a PC to the main TV for casual gaming.

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Microsoft seeks to woo developers with Windows 8 store

Paul Shirley
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Windows 8-capable OS systems

Looks like I'll have to develop for Linux from now on, after all it can run on anything that can run Win8 (unless they manage to pull off the secure boot lockin) *and* almost everything that can't run Win8. Thanks for the hint Microsoft ;)

Or perhaps I should just ignore this steaming pile of over optimistic BS.

Given how long it took getting Win7 installs ahead of XP, we'll be dealing with whatever 'screw the devs' stunt M$ pull in Win10 before that installed base matches this bullshit. Faced with the dumbed down Win8 interface and the wholesale backwards compatibility breakage if you use Metro, it's going to be very easy to lose users to any other equally dumbed down OS along the way.

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Brussels' statement of objections against Google is MEATY

Paul Shirley
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will Foundem &co won't survive long enough to see the result?

OK the complaints are in. Now time to wait and see how much survives the actual investigation.

I look forward to their response if Google are found to have *correctly* marked Foundem as the sort of spam I don't need to see in my search results... ;)

It's inevitable the EU will find some way to increase regulation from this big pile of excuses, regardless of the merit of any of the complaints. It's near certain there's something in there that justifies some response, though maybe just an empty 'precautionary' one to give them the excuse to go much further.

It's also near certain that the whiney scum aren't getting what they want, a free pass to search millions by perverting the Google algorithms - eventually they'll have to put the effort in and run real business's offering real value. Or quit.

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Nokia is past its best-by date, warns analyst

Paul Shirley
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Indeed. They tried desperately hard to suggest Nokia would have some special advantage over other WP7 licensees (while Microsoft simultaneously tried not to spook them).

Now they've launched it's hard to see any insider advantage in the product, just another WP7 phone with the same software stack, the same battery life, the same everything. Mostly just a different casing you love or loath and a logo few still respect. Even the Nokia map app that was supposed to bring them huge licence fees is never even commented on!

Meanwhile all the others can throw out essentially the same phone in a different case and see how it sells, with Android and proprietary OS builds to fall back on. Even the ones doing 'contractual obligation' releases to keep the Microsoft attack dogs at bay aren't dependent on take up.

Nokia has no independent future.

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BUSTED TWO: Carrier IQ monitor-ware on iPhones too?

Paul Shirley
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Sony Ericsson appears to honour the opt-out

Haven't worked out who supplied the QC monitor on my SE Android phone but it does seem to be honouring my 'send anonymous usage stats' opt-out. No sign it's running at all. I don't normally trust anything with Sony in the name but the Ericsson guys seem to actually have a clue about doing things right.

Might just go ahead and delete it anyway, a bit more free space to move apps into ;)

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HTC Sensation XE

Paul Shirley
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HTC Watch?

I thought the stock Market now has movie rental and at the same price as HTC Watch? I'd check but uninstalled the bloated mess the Market app has become!

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Official: Lenovo adopts Windows Phone

Paul Shirley
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indicates Microsoft's OS is starting to gain ground?

Or maybe it means Microsofts patent shakedown campaign is starting to work?

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Barnes & Noble hires Microsoft’s legal nemesis

Paul Shirley
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will the FUD never end? Will Boies ever win?

Serial loser Boies and Microsoft funded gadfly Mueller in the same story? That has "lose" written all over it.

Sadly it also has "don't take seriously" all over it because yet again you've just parroted a known FUDmeister ;(

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European court advisor slams software copyrights

Paul Shirley
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Copyright covers expression. Patent covers ideas.

You can copyright your photograph. You cant copyright the idea of taking a photograph. You're way too late to patent the idea.

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Consumer interest in Windows 8 tablets slumps

Paul Shirley
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Win8 part of the problem?

Have to wonder if Win8 caused some of that slump, back in Jan people thought they'd be getting a Windows tablet, now they know they'll be getting the Fisher Price version... ;)

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Toshiba readies zero Watt standby mode telly

Paul Shirley
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auto light level

Another economy mode so annoying everyone just turns it off. Even on mobiles, where it makes a noticeable improvement to battery life there are endless complaints if it cant be disabled. Still, that's another tick that let's them pass efficiency certifications that mean nothing in the real world.

The capacitor wheeze may be more sensible than it seems. Yes, they're lying about zero energy but switching PSU's aren't very efficient at low drains. Completely turning the PSU off might save more than it costs charging the capacitor at higher efficiency. Might.

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Ebuyer knocked out by own £1 deals site

Paul Shirley
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Novatech good

Ummm.... some melons in there as well.

Scan: their ordering system makes no effort to reserve stock at any time and seems to be inaccurate in any case. Dropped them after the 3rd consecutive order got stuck in a deadlock, with different parts taking turns being out of stock holding the entire order up. In one case they discontinued a part, permanently stalling the delivery but never noticed, even after 2 sessions with customer support! Can't say I've ever been impressed by their customer service.

Aria: RMA'd a mboard to them and eventually received back a considerably lower spec version, covered in shit with a randomly chosen set of accessories, some rusty. Took weeks to get that far. 3 years on I'm still waiting for a real replacement or refund. Or even acknowledgement of the return.

...I trust ebay more than some of the others... ;)

Novatech became my automatic choice for most things, after the sad loss of Komplett. They just seem to get the job done without all the gimmicks, haven't let me down yet.

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Global warming much less serious than thought - new science

Paul Shirley
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Unhappy

Climate change has to be portrayed as 'catastrophic' because otherwise there would be NO mitigation effort at all. Hell, look around, 20 years on there's still bugger all real effort being made. At times it seems like there's more money being wasted on lobbying for inaction.

A bunch of vested interests and plain crackpots declared war on climate change and played dirty to derail any sensible, balanced response. Too late to complain now that the sides are polarised and infested by freeloading bureaucrats - that's what happens during long wars.

Shit, 20+ years to come up with new tech, to improve efficiencies and find better energy supplies wasted. If mitigation turns out to be necessary we're now screwed, if we'd done the work and it isn't needed we'd all be richer and safer - I'd quite like my energy not to be supplied by terrorist states.

An opportunity pissed away where only a rich minority could lose, the rest of us win whatever the truth of climate change is.

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T-Mobile boasts budget smartphone for less than £100

Paul Shirley
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Yep, looks identical in spec, just a new case and a different crapware infestation. Not too surprising though, Orange are the other half of Everything Everywhere.

I believe that means an 800MHz ARM6. The OSF was good value a year ago but the markets moved on and this is poor, ARM6 is just far too slow. ZTE have lost the plot. Unfortunately these will probably fly off the shelfs and give a lot of punters a very bad impression of Android.

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GiffGaff blames O2 gaffe for mobile outage

Paul Shirley
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giffgaff too close to O2 to stand up for users

1: O2 is shite. Not just for having these frequent outages but their general service (coverage and service quality) is trailing the pack and in too many places completely missing or unusable. It's something giffgaff and their fans ought to remember when crowing about using O2's network as a positive thing. Being an O2 execs plaything and that O2 ownership means they cant move to a better network however bad things get.

2: Despite being an O2 sister company and (ex?) O2 execs giffgaff appear to have close to zero ability to get O2 to do anything quickly. When O2 screw up, giffgaff users wait and suffer. When O2 screwup Tesco (also on their network), O2 jumps. O2 screw up a lot.

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WinPho sceptics cut Lumia 800 sales estimates in half

Paul Shirley
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which recent smartphone has better? lots of them?

Most of the recent SE Androids are claiming 6-7hours talk time ;)

I'm more impressed with the 4-5 hours game time on my Play. Even with some serious battery drain issues (experimental kernel) I was seeing 2 days between charges before I installed the HD games - impressive since the drain problem was causing 3-4 days standby, down from 9-10 days on stock firmware!

I think its fair to say Nokia have managed to reach the same battery life as everyone else, but dismally failed to beat it.

So much for the famed Nokia tech skills then. This is not looking good for the brand, no obvious technical superiority, no unique OS.

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Ubuntu savaged by rivals infected with fondleslab fever

Paul Shirley
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touchscreen has it's place and its not on a PC

Touchscreen on a tablet sitting under my fingers, works.

On a phone sitting in my hand, works.

On a laptop, better than the woeful touchpads most have - worse than the mouse I actually use on mine.

Touching a monitor sitting an arms length in front of me, hello RSI, muscle fatigue and buggered up eyes because I can't sit further away and still use it.

I'd also like to know how well touchscreen monitors deal with my multi-monitor setup. Dragging from 1 screen to the next would seem to be a challenge...

Touchscreen has it's place but that's not on the machines I actually do work or play games on. A UI that compromises my PC experience is a UI I won't use on it.

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Chromebooks: the flop of 2011?

Paul Shirley
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"turn it on from cold and you're away within 10 seconds"

That's the core of the problem: how much is losing 30-60sec of start up time worth?

For most of us, *much less* than the value lost through reduced hardware functionality and limited software capability. I might be prepared for a modest premium to add quick cloud start up to a laptop/tablet/PC, not interested in paying full price to get the speed and not much else.

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Bill Gates summoned in antitrust case that WILL NOT DIE

Paul Shirley
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More accurately the judge has decided this time to "go directly to appeal, do not even pretend to have a real trial". Lazy and in no way excusable by the certainty this will go to appeal whatever happens.

...worth pointing out that they're in court because the same judge pulled the same stunt at the original trial. Something the Novell lawyers seem happy to remind him off in open court. Suicidal, insane or corrupt? Can't even begin to guess.

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Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Paul Shirley
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WTF?

same business plan as Google, with even more lock in

<<Amazon are trying to force a wedge, to create space for themselves and other newcomers.>>

No. Amazon are creating a sales channel for Amazon services, one meant to be more tightly restricted than Googles similar Android business plan. This does fsck all for any other newcomer, unless you count giving sellers another choice of middleman to bend over for.

Frankly Amazon must be laughing at Googles no-compete restrictions, they *want* Google cut out of the deal and the Android licence requirement does exactly that! Laughing because they get the benefit of Googles investment but still get to lock them out of the sales channel.

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Kindle Fire gets root access

Paul Shirley
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Pint

2 days? far too long

We've got used to root being achieved 2 days pre-launch. Wonder why it took so long this time ;)

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Politicians call for Modern Warfare 3 censure

Paul Shirley
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The one that definitely escaped corruption charges through conveniently timed ill-health (strange how often this happens to politicians isn't it?) was not involved with Activision. I forget which local companies it actually was... very easily searchable though ;)

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Reg man the most-flamed recruiter in the UK?

Paul Shirley
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The best improvement most people can make to their CV is not having a recruiters mark anywhere on or near it. After sitting on both sides of the hiring process, direct write ins go straight to the top of the heap unless the CV is hopelessly bad. Keeping track of the few reliable recruiters isn't viable for small shops with low turnover.

Saw far too many CVs professionally massaged to the point they were fiction and we preferred applicants with the balls to take control of their own career and just apply direct.

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Paul Shirley
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@Dances with Sheep:mobile phone number

Sadly, refusing to give them a number doesn't stop the irritating pests calling at awkward times.

My 1st encounter with a recruiter was a 'stealth' head hunting call to the office I'd just started work in. Who told him where to call (or why they did it) I never pinned down. A call already suspicious enough, my manager actually recognised the voice, the recruiter having forgotten he'd got him the job! Great way to fsck up a new job ;(

Cue 15 years of occasional calls and email pushing their services, not one of them at a time I was free. Quite a trick given I choose to work only 50% of the time. When I finally did need to talk to them, no response at all.

That company at least don't have a rep for physical violence toward people that dispense with their services...

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LHC results may solve riddle of how universe can exist

Paul Shirley
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Or maybe they'll remember no-one actually knows if there is more matter than anti-matter in the entire universe and the current question is 'why can we see more matter'.

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JustPictures

Paul Shirley
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no video support?

Nice but doesn't handle video at all and it mounted my sdcard folders multiple times. Looks like stock Gallery isn't dead quite yet. Hopefully they can get video added with a bit of prompting.

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Hands on with the Sony PlayStation Vita

Paul Shirley
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The Sega Gamegear should have trounced the Gameboy but 3 hours battery life vs 15 and thtat horrid mono screen and rsi inducing controls seemed more acceptable.

The amount of effort put into stretching battery life on mobiles tells the same story. Battery life is vital to know.

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Is Apple nobbling iPhones to avoid more patent misery?

Paul Shirley
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Hiding features just stops you getting caught, you're still liable for patent infringement just fir shipping the feature.

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Nokia Lumia 800

This post has been deleted by a moderator