* Posts by Paul Shirley

1604 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

Paul Shirley
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Re: For once the news on the battery front may actually lead to something.

@Lee D: all true for portable uses but you ignore the mention of grid storage. High energy density is less important than not blowing up/burning easily, long lifetime and low cost. A stack of these sitting in garages or cupboards soaking up PV panel output would pretty much solve the intermittency problem. Could go a long way to fixing it in wind power, which aren't short of space to pile up batteries.

This isn't a replacement for lithium cells, more suitable for displacing lead acid. You wouldn't put them in your car but might put them in the garage to charge that car.

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Got an Android mobe with a virus? Congrats, you're The One Per Cent

Paul Shirley
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Re: Ouch

Can't disable those permissions (without rooting) but its not hard to take the hint and just not install any of that suspicious crapware, when the installer warns you. I can't remember any app that asked for blatantly unnecessary permissions so useful or tempting it was with worth ignoring that warning.

Unfortunately the world is full of stupid people that do ignore those warnings, do install complete crap and there's no good way to stop them doing it. Bit of a miracle infection rates aren't 50%+.

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Paul Shirley
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Re: " it is harder to spot in a car most of the time."

That's a huge part of the problem, a substantial fraction of shipped DAB are in cars or used in cars and high quality is pointless in most of them, most of the time. That's a powerful disincentive to bother upping bitrates or risking DAB+, the users with least alternatives are the ones least likely to notice an improvement.

Fixed locations are similarly affected, if your FM, DVB or IP is seriously bad there's no pressure for DAB to do much better. If it's not bad there's even less reason to use DAB at all.

DAB service providers got away with a barely tolerable service when they had no competition and still have too little competition in key market niches to improve their offer. Alternatives have now shut them out of most niches and that can only get worse. It's a dead tech.

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Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills

Paul Shirley
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Re: short term benefit @John 48

"You have a very good point, but that is not what Tezfair was talking about."

What he described was reducing what the *power meter read*. For the tubes it's unlikely there was a matching real power reduction and who needs a smart meter to tell them low power bulbs will reduce consumption?

Useful in the same way a placebo is, just there to remind you to actually replace and turn off powered stuff. But that means they might as well loan people cheap power meters for 3 months instead of mugging them for smart meters (and doing it every time they try to change suppliers).

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Paul Shirley
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Re: Poor Oisin

It looks very like the knobend might have got away with it if he'd kept his mouth shut. No sign the producer was going to report the incident, though it's hard to believe it wouldn't have hit the newspapers and forced the issue anyway, too many people witnessed it. I have to assume the knobend worked out he wasn't going to get a "jim'll fix it" free pass this time without heroic efforts, so he shopped himself.

Not heroic enough. Oh... Supposedly he did try the groveling apology... Didn't bother doing it publicly where it might have made him look less like a sacked dickhead.

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Hey, Microsoft, we can call Windows 10 apps anything we like – you're NOT OUR REAL MOM

Paul Shirley
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Re: Terminology

Wow, you're right, computers do indeed run programs. Some of those programs interpret scripts. Some of them were interpreting scripts long before the 80's.

I also remember using more descriptive terms like OS,game & application back in the 70's more often than 'program'. We were still arguing about the correct spelling of that one back then. 'Script' had to wait for the 80's... I wrote a lot of scripts building data for games back then. Didn't right many 'programs'...

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As H-dot Oettinger drafts Europe's new copyright laws – who's he been talking to?

Paul Shirley
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he's talking to the bad guys instead of creators :(

Let's try to remember: as a very rough&ready approximation, publisher!=content creator. Even where they fund creation it's often more like dealing with a loan shark than mutually beneficial.

It looks worryingly like he's spent more time with publishers than actual creators, yet those creators far too often need protection from publishers more than from pirates. Little chance of positive change then ;(

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Cyanogen finds $80m in collecting tin after busking session

Paul Shirley
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@dogged

..yet the majority of CM users first action is installing the Google software that so offends you! One of the earliest things CM had to do was negotiate with Google to ensure users could continue to get the Google core stuff.

Bloated and intrusive, yes. Still doesn't seem to worry normal users at all. The outrage has been manufactured and grossly exaggerated so far.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Meh

Quite a lot of us that have used CyanogenMod started trusting them a lot less when it went commercial. I moved away from pure CyanogenMod before that, device support was patchy and all the interesting things were happening in other forks.

With Murdoch onboard, think I'll be avoiding it from now on.

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Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

Paul Shirley
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Re: I don't get it at all.

"What on earth are these smart meters meant to achieve?"

They're meant to allow gas suppliers to sack all their meter readers, low paid workers so my small share of the wage reduction will never cover the cost of installing the meters. The companies involved will turn a profit though, so that's alright with politicians sucking at the corporate teat.

...and nothing I've seen to date convinces me they will achieve any useful reduction in energy use. I'll vote for keeping a few more folk employed.

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Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

Paul Shirley
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Re: API Contract is not just feature availability

I didn't read anything suggesting this is more than feature query support in the article.

Android supports runtime permission and api presence checks. The problem is few programmers use them or deal with unexpected errors gracefully, I cant see them doing any different on Windows. Unless 'API Contract' involves the user and becomes widespread in practice we'll continue assuming the permissions we asked for are what we have. It's a compatibility wrecking change - again, don't see any suggestion of that in the article. Be nice to have as a user but lazy programmers (or plain malicious ones) will carry on ignoring it.

Or maybe all it means is, when I call an API and it doesn't instantly crash, the call actually worked? Unlike the empty stub functions Microsoft so loved inserting without warning in my past encounters with Windows programming ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "The devil, however, is in the details."

Indeed. It's an ancient idea that dates right back to the first GUI's and I can't remember any layout manager that does does it particularly well without some programmed assistance.

Even if the MS effort works better than anything before it, they'll inevitably bind in the the look&feel choices their designers want to inflict on us. We could easily end up with apps that look equally ugly on all formats - great auto-layout but still the wrong result!

I doubt the days of supplying multiple layout files to help nudge layout in the right direction for formats are over, even with the woefully dull 'Modern' look&feel.

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Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

Paul Shirley
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Re: No SIP app required on modern Android hand sets

Unfortunately the native SIP support seems to be optional, it came and went at random as I replaced firmware. I don't remember it ever working with my sip provider on my last phone in any case and I can't find any sign of it on my LG G2.

Luckily CSipSimple has worked reliably and integrates with the normal dialer.

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US threatened Berlin with intel blackout over Snowden asylum: report

Paul Shirley
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@tom dial

You're assuming the us *believes it needs* German cooperation. They've shown no hesitation to spy on allies to date or lie about it in public.

In any case the overriding concern is to ensure no one else ever dares leak their misbehaviour. Only fleeing to a country able to obliterate the US and run by a leader that might actually do it stopped the chase this time.

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Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Paul Shirley
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Re: You'd be surprised, I certainly was

One thing we learned from the Win8 fiasco is how determined 10's Microsoft is to impose change on Windows look&feel. So desperate to become relevant on mobile, they ignored the sheer ugliness of the resulting desktop, ignored public feedback and we've recently heard insiders claim they ignored 80% unfavourable feedback from their own employees.

They tried so hard not to look like IOS or Android and succeeded. Like or loath it, Googles flat icons look good (but are so cryptic I struggle to use the apps), IOS at least looks well drawn (in a childs toy way). Microsoft just look amateur and lacking in visual cues.

While the functional parts of Win10 are still in flux, the UI is heading in only one direction. It remains to be seen if enough pressure can be applied to force change. My bet is they'll need catastrophic take up of Win10 upgrades before that happens. Which means I'll be risking the security of Win10 with even more 3rd party fixes, I'm already running multiple UI hacks to make 8.1 acceptable :(

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Paul Shirley
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Re: As far as this article is concerned I have no problems with the general tone........

Very wrong, it's pretty clear they're fuglyfying at least the icons and if we don't comment on that hard and often that's what will ship. I hope someone is saving the old icon resources right now ready to hack them back in over this eye bruising mistake.

I can live without pretty but nothing needs to be this pointlessly fugly and waiting won't magically make it look better. Some things need stomping on fast and vigorously, Microsoft still aren't good at listening.

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Apple's portable power podule patent promises paroxysms of fanboi joy

Paul Shirley
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Re: I don't get it

@Steve Todd:"AND communicates with the fuel cell pack at the same time"

Now explain why that's A: not obvious, B: not required to fulfil it's function (how else would you detect fuel level?). Both are grounds for invalidation.

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$30 Landfill Android mobes are proof that capitalism ROCKS

Paul Shirley
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Re: Have you had a closer look at that 'landfill' recently?

gotes:"A few years down the line you find that less and less apps are supported"

What actually happens is Google removes a permission or 2 with each release, borks up some other support (usually claiming 'it was never meant to work that way') and generally breaks existing apps. Some apps will be fixed, some won't. In some ways it's better to *not* upgrade Android devices, my old Xperia never performed properly after upgrading past Gingerbread.

But the poor manufacturer update support will be a massively more dangerous problem for this market. I can afford to store no sensitive information on my phone, I have a more secure PC for that. These devices are going to be the only computing device for many and handling sensitive data. And they won't be secure enough.

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Honey, I shrunk the Windows footprint

Paul Shirley
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Re: Don't stop there

@Big Ted

My wife's Linux box comes in and out of sleep mode in seconds and isn't tied to anyone's cloud. Think I'll skip crippling it with cloud based crapness. Oh, I turn my PC off when it crashes, start:stop time isn't something I work about, Microsoft's inability to have working sleep mode on so many desktops does Anjou me.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Windows Phone?

512mb ram was already a problem for universal apps, most of us aren't going to risk dealing with floods of complaints when resource heavy apps fail on under specced devices. We'll just continue writing for desktop mode and leave universal for toy apps.

Luckily for Microsoft most users only use toy apps on their low end devices, just a pity their strategy will create a further dumbed down PC experience. As if the metro fiasco wasn't enough damage.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

Paul Shirley
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Paying for sex?

So basically you're strapping an "I couldn't get laid without money" sign on your wrist?

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Paul Shirley
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re: "information propagation is limited by the speed of light"

Spooky action is what you have to assume if Bell's inequality is a correct description of reality and there's no hidden variable carrying the entangled state. But if this theory can supply that hidden variable then superluminal information transport is not needed, the state was always there waiting to be measured.

Got to say it's a hard sell, but not necessarily harder to believe than other interpretations of quantum behaviour.

Can I say 'pilot wave theory' and suggest this is not exactly new.

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Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

Paul Shirley
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Re: It is just an elevation

Surely the point is with write access to even a single arbitrary page table entrie you have unrestricted access to *physical ram*, then you could map any other processes ram into your address space and modify privilege bits at will.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Double the cost?

@paul Crawford

We live in a world's where Lenovo were prepared to ship malware on PCs because margins are too slim on the hardware. 20% on the ram really is a significant overhead for most of the devices shipped.

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Paul Shirley
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@thames

It probably can be fixed in firmware by adding the right guard pages around critical structures but knowing where those pages need to be will require ram manufacturers input, component databases in each os and probably won't happen.

What's more likely is they'll need to reduce power saving tweaks (like under volting and reduced refresh rates) and everyone gets lower battery life on their laptops. No idea why they think more than a tiny minority of desktop machine are using ECC.

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Microsoft: You'll get the next Windows 10 build when we're GOOD AND READY

Paul Shirley
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Re: "It was validated by our test automation."

Rival_product_A_doesn't_work_test. Passed

Rival_product_B_doesn't_work_test. Passed

Rival_product_C_doesn't_work_test. Passed

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Oi. APPLE fanboi! You with the $10k and pocket on fire! Fancy a WATCH?

Paul Shirley
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Re: So at least that answers the question..

I think you're on to something, the iWatch, a codpiece that tells time!

Fully consistent with rumours apple are entering the other penis extension market with cars ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Really?

@ac if you're smart enough you don't have to grow up... something Steve Jobs came close to demonstrating.

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Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!

Paul Shirley
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Re: We just

The 'new' Start menu isn't so much fugly as crippled by design.

Without hierarchical menus it's reliant on search on well populated systems and the users perfect memory of app names.

It wastes a large chunk of space on the tile interface - even if you remove ALL the tiles.

The actual menu part seems to totally lack any configurability - haven't found a way to add shortcuts to it yet and that's part of what I want a start menu for because many of my tools don't show up without it. Sure, you can do some rearranging of the tiled area but we said no to the start screen, sneaking it back in as the only working bit is not acceptable.

Microsoft need to give up playing bait&switch with this, just promise never to disable Classic Start Menu and stop wasting time on anti features.

As an upgrade, I doubt there'll be any advantage sticking with 8.1, if there is expect MS to update 8.1 till its removed! Win10 isn't very different to 8.1, a better backend with a different fugly, impoverished UI pasted on. Equally as in need of 3rd party UI fixes. 8.0 is already abandoned.

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Paul Shirley
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"lot less painful to jump to W10 " until they remember there's no free win10 upgrade from xp!

Though it remains possible that will change if xp numbers continue to hold up :;

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Paul Shirley
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Until Microsoft loosened it's grip on win7 install media last week it was probably easier to find an xp install disk lying around, probably also easier to find one online without hitting pirate sites.

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Paul Shirley
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cant see the BBC or terrestrial tv surviving this

The most likely outcome is the BBC abandoning terrestrial broadcasting for some or all of their output, as the only viable way to shift users to CA capable platforms. That puts them in a really bad bargaining position with the cable+sat platform owners, utterly incapable of coercing viewers to actually pay for their channels, let alone pay enough extra to cover the carriers profit margin. The idea this will increase BBC income is beyond optimistic.

Secondary effects are it becoming unsupportable to impose obligations more onerous than existing commercial channels have. Looking at some of the fckwits making stupid decisions inside the BBC today, that's a recipe for catastrophe. The many commenter claiming they don't watch BBC may actually stop watching.

Still, it's likely to happen, this is a key part of how the gov clear the airwaves ready to sell off TV bandwidth to the mobile industry.

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Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

Paul Shirley
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Re: Problems with XP?

To save everyone 20s searching ;)

https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/35.0.1/

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Have they stopped

The ui vandalism is up there with win 8. Tried a vanilla install yesterday while trying to fix the plugins 36 broke and it took a couple of minutes trying to guess where the About menu was hidden. They've evolved the ui past useless into wtfville. I dread the day they break the addons that restore sense to the madness.

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The Order: 1886 – Round Table gaming's all right on the knight

Paul Shirley
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"constantly changing depth of field"

One of my triggers for motion sickness ;(

QTEs make me feel sick a different way ;)

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Microsoft leaves the Rooms. How will Windows Phone OS users make to do lists?

Paul Shirley
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the Verge nailed it

I think the Verge has it right, being Winphone only is a fatal flaw for any social application. Not fitting the new MS vision of getting their cloudy offerings onto other platforms signed it's death warrant, why try to port it and it's unlovely interface when they have Skype already ported and plans to make it a jack of all trades trojan.

...just a pity my hate for Skype is increasing with every update Microsoft makes. I really didn't need the advertising, or it firing up the browser when it thinks I *really* need to see one.

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Comment isn't free

Free market advocates don't consider any of that as distortion. A perfect market simply makes choices that humans might decline. The rest of us impose regulation on free markets in response.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: @Tim99

"I think many people could achieve a similar standard of living with just a part time job"

But the downside of extreme labour specialisation is the masses condemned to unskilled work because the process requires nothing better, with pay driven too low to make life comfortable on part time hours. Their cheap labour undeniably makes me richer but it's not quite so clear it works well for them, that's not something economists tend to worry about.

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'Giving geo-engineering to this US govt is like giving a CHILD a LOADED GUN'

Paul Shirley
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block moderate, timely, precautionary action - WTF did you expect?

Some idiots never learn, let a crisis build and governments will eventually make excessive and dangerous responses... and rape your wallet with taxes along the way.

Obstructionism is not free of consequences.

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Cortana to form CIRCLE OF LIFE in Windows 10

Paul Shirley
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wow, Android support...

...so I can start the day talking to the android phone next to my bed in the morning?

I fear ms will be disappointed when I don't rush out and replace my phones and tablet with win10 devices, even if it works much better than the utterly incompetent google now ;)

Or allow Cortana to infest my PCs. Given their history deeply embedding unwanted and insecure apps in the core os that might become a problem :(

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BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Paul Shirley
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Re: I thought I'd never see the day...

Microsoft VC1 was evaluated on what the rest of the world had already patented. Didn't end well for Microsoft's wallet!

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Russian revolution: YotaPhone 2 double-screen JANUS MOBE

Paul Shirley
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Re: no sd slot, no removable battery, 550 quid

£550 buys a lot of external battery packs for a basically £300 phone. That's a high price for convenience.

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Microsoft explains Windows as a SERVICE – but one version remains a distant dream

Paul Shirley
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Re: Rolling releases

"Much of that software is seen as crucial by many of Microsoft's customers"

What worries me is how much software will be seen as crucial by *Microsoft*, so critical to Microsofts plans users aren't allowed to remove or control it. Or how much "as a service" really means enhanced "lockin" to Microsoft, their cloud and the MS products I have no need of.

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Ofcom can prise my telly spectrum from my COLD, DEAD... er, aerial

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Neil Barnes

That graph is deceptive. In large parts of the EU almost no one uses over the air broadcasts. The UK is pretty unusual in it's high use of aerials. Ofcom are rigging the numbers by using EU stats.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "Broadcast is efficient"

The massive problem with going to IP broadcasting is things like live sport that sometimes millions of viewers want to watch live and in real HD. Not timeshifted, not delayed by buffering and not breaking up at crucial moments because bandwidth goes MIA and not the piss poor resolution we normally see.

IP has miserably failed to deliver that quality of service to audiences that large so far and there's little sign of it improving in any short timescale.

I'll agree most of the DTT bandwidth is wasted on complete crap and many of those channels aren't any better than internet channels but if this sell off to profiteers goes ahead we'll lose them all, the good with the bad.

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Behold: The touchy-feely future of Office on Windows 10 fondleslabs

Paul Shirley
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Re: Windows 8 does not have the new APIs

It's another signal that 8.1 is going to join 8.0 in 'essential updates only' mode shortly after 10 ships. MS really want to forget Win8.x ever existed and this is just deliberate neglect.

They intend neglecting it to death, starved of updates, starved of killer apps.

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Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Paul Shirley
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Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

I have a bad feeling AMD & nVidia are too busy with DX12 right now. I'm sure Khronos announced a big change in approach for OGL as well last year that will also need their attention.

Also not seeing Qualcomm or ARM mentioned, it's pretty unthinkable launching a new graphics API without mobile support.

Oh well, new toys to play with whatever happens ;)

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GROUPTHINK HIVE MIND informs climate change believers

Paul Shirley
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what's most depressing

... Is the reality or not of agw hardly matters. The technology we could have started creating 25+ years ago to deal with the problem would have made us all better off *even if there's no problem*. Instead we ended with denial shortchanging us of investment and believers pushing through any desperate political fix they could as time ran down.

We know it's worth dumping carbon fuels, it's probably really worth bankrupting many of the suppliers along the way and taking out their corrupt states and terrorist support. None of it depends on agw. But we just have bickering aresholes delaying like it was an Olympic sport.

Sickening tribalism.

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Chipotle insider trading: Disproving the efficient markets hypothesis

Paul Shirley
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Re: Efficient Markets Hypothesis ...

"all the publicly available information"

If they claim that then they're based on a fiction to start with.

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Quantum of Suspicion: Despite another $29m, D-Wave doubts remain

Paul Shirley
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Re: "only faster for certain classes of algorithms"

... Of course D-Wave can't run Shor's algorithm. Search for quantum annealing or adiabatic computing... So cryptography's safe from it ;;

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