* Posts by Paul Shirley

1957 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Paul Shirley
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listening with one ear

I'll concede Microsoft are listening a lot more than before. They still aren't hearing very much and mostly only acting on what they want to hear, compounded by the insider programme having a strong bias towards being a cheerleading camp. Whatever design damage insider is doing was and is being orchestrated by Microsoft.

Ordinary users are being constantly spied on, to find out how imposed changes are working but not actually being listened to. Not quite "take it or leave it", more working out how to discourage patterns Microsoft don't want. Ultimately this whole mess (and Win8 before it) is Microsoft putting their narrow business interests above customer needs and they still have the monopoly power to dictate to users.

Andrew is also somewhat wrong about the quality of Win10. I'm mightily pissed off with updates hijacking my file associations several times a year, with it installing known bad drivers, rebooting my network pvr server at will (and crashing doing it), still needing 3rd party hacks to its ui and the endless battle to find compatibility settings for so many apps. It's still a mess with fairly minor core improvements.

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How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Paul Shirley
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Re: Time Zones vs. Left Pad

...said library call would be compiled into your local image, not yanked in from a remote site in most languages. However I'm not aware of many languages supporting standard libs with a leftpad function so you'd actually write your own, inline that 1 liner function or embed it in higher level string formatting.

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Samsung Galaxy S7: Big brand Android flagship champ

Paul Shirley
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Re: "this year's model sees only positive improvements"

I refer you to the case of Microsoft Windows v the world. Improved to death ;)

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PC World's cloudy backup failed when exposed to ransomware

Paul Shirley
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Re: No! No! No!

A good restore process can't help you if the data's not there and it's only there if you've considered the backup process and strategy. I want to know if restore works, if it's fast and easy. I want to know that and a whole lot more about the backup side of it because it's ultimately about the data, not the software.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Tthose who forget history are doomed to repeat it

Which still wouldn't explain having just 2 restore points available. Either the laptop didn't have any changes for 30 odd days or the 'backups' didn't happen for that long. Or maybe the service is just broken.

Either way flushing older copies from the cloud is idiotic. I nominally keep about 3 weeks worth of daily snapshots but the software doesn't delete anything unless I'm adding a new image, they shouldn't just disappear even if your product has "30 days" in the name.

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Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden

Paul Shirley
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Re: A necessary evil?

"So, you only want democracy when it gives you the right answer?"

Well, it's a piss poor way to choose leaders but it would be nice to actually give it a try. What we have now isn't remotely democratic, with a choice of bad/worse/ignored and bugger all chance of actually having my views represented.

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Paul Shirley
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let's not pretend

"the security services will continue to exercise those powers without the safeguards the bill intends to introduce" and it's pretty certain they'll carry on whatever laws get passed.

Outlawing snooping might not stop it, it will make the security services a lot more circumspect about how they obtain and use the results and paranoid about who they share with. Anything that reduces gov access to surveillance has to be a win. Maybe the saner voices in the securiity services could even impose some needed restraint without constant pressure from power mad ministers. Maybe.

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7,800 people's biometric data held on police anti-terrorism database

Paul Shirley
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Only takes one observation to establish an alibi, 100% surveillance isn't always needed.

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Mozilla burns Firefox on old Androids

Paul Shirley
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old android

Does Firefox work acceptably on older android devices? I never saw it working usably till last year's G2, sluggish and nothing had enough ram to run long before crashing on the ones before it. Can't see this as a blow to 3rd world users, ff is too bloated for their devices.

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Google-backed British startup ‘stole our code’, says US marketing firm

Paul Shirley
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Re: Perhaps ...

..or cut&pasted from the same API documentation, then search&replaced renamed to make sense.

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Microsoft joins Eclipse Foundation. Odd thing for a competitor to do

Paul Shirley
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Meh

Re: Oh. Woo. Yay.

Diversifying into new niches, nothing new there. Being successful at it, very rare for Microsoft. With new management they're going to do it more and in surprising areas but I have trouble believing they'll have a higher success rate.

Monkey wrenching Eclipse... I doubt there's any damage they could do anyone would notice in the rest of the Eclipse car wreck and zero chance of any takeover succeeding.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Paul Shirley
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even linkedin rejected them

Yes, the home of panhandlers, opportunists, cruising sharks and the implausibly (and unbelievably) "positive" rejected these slandermongers decisively when they tried to defend the stupidity last year.

There's no plausible deniability about how this will work left, they couldn't convince one of the most business & business scam friendly places on the net. They know it's wrong and knowingly carry on. So wrong it's likely they'll never get sued because no one will use it to enable a suit.

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AMD to fix slippery hypervisor-busting bug in its CPU microcode

Paul Shirley
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Re: I'd have assumed that their test code suite would catch something like that...

"Test coverage should be a long string of '9's."

You're assuming it isn't. And as long as any 9's are in the test, bugs can get through.

The alternative is never shipping complex products.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Learnt something new today

Nowadays flashing a BIOS from Windows is common. You dont need physical access to hack the firmware in theory. Easier than trying to subvert the os boot. Image checksumming/signing shoild still be a problem.

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Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

Paul Shirley
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Re: Hang on...

One goal of UWP is to run the same apps everywhere. Run them at all. It's not to run them equally well everywhere and it can't do the impossible. Well it could slow down every platform to match the least capable one - that's the Metro solution BTW.

Unfortunately Microsofts real goal is maintaining and increasing Windows lock in, they'll grab as much control as we let them. It's not a time to be quiet while it happens.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Hang on...

No. And it doesn't make the system software "look the same" on any device any more than Win32/64 does either.

No. Because every pc out there has different hardware, no software can disguise that CPUs have different core counts or performance varying by 1000%. GPUs support different feature levels or with vastly different performance profiles.

Games devs like consoles because the hardware is constant. The OS is frequently a moving target.

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Paul Shirley
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Re: "Ad blockers are as much a "protection racket" as "cops" are."

Advertisers are paying for the service provider to vouch for the 'acceptability' of their adverts, buying use of the adblockers good reputation. They are perfectly free to rely on their own reputation and appeal directly to the users. After a few decades good behaviour they might earn enough trust for that to work (so really it's never going to happen).

That's not blackmail, it's a reputation repair service that costs money to deliver and no one else would ever pay for the work involved. If there's blackmail, it's entirely self inflicted.

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Ofcom should be the BBC's ultimate overlord, UK.gov told

Paul Shirley
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half the job

The BBC don't need a regulator just to protect themselves from themselves, they need one to protect them from unfair external interference as well. Particularly unwarranted political pressure and the nonstop lies spouted by some media rivals. OFCOM in that role makes no sense at all unless the aim is destroying any independence the BBC still has.

Enough people hate them for usually purely selfish reasons, OFCOM aren't the solution to ensuring honest and strong but fair and balanced independence in the face of so many wanting to cripple and control the BBC.

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More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey

Paul Shirley
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Re: Message to advertisers

Oh yes, I remember the first banners. And the first adblockers turned up within weeks...

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Very different from magazines

I'm pretty sure it could take 30sec finding the 1st real page in some of those 1000page monster magazines. I think it was Watford that had the genius idea of booking the pages before the real content AND having a smaller page size for their catalog and a natural bookmark, helping skip past the ads while still showing you theirs!

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Windows 10 claimed another point of desktop share in February

Paul Shirley
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Re: Whaaatt?

Can only work with the available data. If there an equivalent covering more of the world I'm sure the vulture want to know. I'd like to see a few more tends yanked out of it, like the Windows (all versions) share trend, currently only 52%.

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

Paul Shirley
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Re: I'll believe it when ...

That's a lesser error than the initial deal, where they intended to take part payment in SCO shares. The fixed fee arrangement was what it took to cancel that and SCO were the winner despite contingency fee clauses on winnings and sale of SCO.

It was an incredibly stupid arrangement to make that makes it clear the lawyers believed SCO have a good case at the start. Problem was, SCO lied to everyone including their lawyers. It also became obvious the whole suit was as much a stock scam as about the IP.

Taking a shareholding in such an obvious scam would have exposed them to serious legal risk. Just losing vast amounts of money is the lesser evil.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: unless .....

Unfortunately they 'bought' their way out of owning any part of the winnings early in the case, leaving no cause to go after them directly. That deal committed the lawyers to continue till the case was won or lost, even after the money ran out. BS&F got up to a lot of abusive and harassing behaviour but it's probably too late to deal with that and the courts allowed it to happen without acting, though it must have badly influenced both the judges and juries.

The good news is BS&F almost certainly lost a lot of money even though the individual lawyers got paid, burnt badly and it damaged the companies reputation. Darl's brother made money but arguably might as well have been working for IBM!

I would have liked to see harassment and libel/slander charges but pj isn't likely to bother and time has probably run out anyway. Maybe now the case is ending someone will leak what they found about funding and Microsoft involvement...

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Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap

Paul Shirley
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Re: Fanless GFX

Been there, done that, burnt my fingers. I had a highish end passive 7950GT that worked perfectly until I upgraded the CPU heatsink to a giant so effective the fan rarely ever started. Unfortunately the passive GPU needed the tiny backwash from the CPU cooler to be effective :(

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JavaScript daddy's Brave ad-blocker hits Android, Apple stores

Paul Shirley
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Re: Good luck with Bitcoin stuff

Serving adds on the content site would arguably be better in the long term, it ties legal liability directly to the site serving it. Won't take many lawsuits for them to magically do what's been impossible so far and sanitise the shit.

Only then can we have a debate with the shit slingers about what's acceptable and fair. Perhaps remind them workable add filters existed before ads were farmed out to external sites.

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Meet Barra's baby: Xiaomi arrives with a splash

Paul Shirley
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Re: Smooth

The bit I hate is when they slide off your hand unless grabbed by the edges, making shiny back large screen devices firmly 2 handed use only. Putting a grippy case or back cover on usually bloats them too much as well, with the notable exception of my G4's leather back (which isn't really gripping enough).

Why this obsession with shininess over ergonomics in phones?

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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

Paul Shirley
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Re: Satellites

Also be a little worried about where the backscatter from the sail goes. To survive that much beam energy it has to be reflective and I'm not sure they make sunglasses dark enough ;)

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'Leave' or 'Stay' in the referendum? UK has to implement GDPR either way

Paul Shirley
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Strangely the Tories seen happy to ignore eu rules when it concerns the rights of their uk serfs, all the while whining about other eu countries ignoring other less important rules, especially the idiotic ones originating in the uk!

Europe: the last non violent line of defence against our own state. Courts they cant easily override and ignore at great risk.

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LG’s modular G5 stunner shuns the Lego aesthetic

Paul Shirley
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Re: Standard, standard, standard

I would guess the physical design here rules out a useful open standard simply because it would require every compatible phone to have the same dimensions and remove a major differentiator between brands and individual phones in their ranges. The grip looks ugly enough on a phone it's designed to fit, imagine one it doesn't physical match.

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

Paul Shirley
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Re: Hard to take seriously

"Remember the Spitting Image scene"

I remember the frightened, blanched with fear face of the shop assistant forced to test his new delivery vehicle in Reading traffic ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Hard to take seriously

MyffyW :"C5 has since been eclipsed by a plethora of electrically-powered scooters taking the elderly and infirm to and from the shops"

And they drive on pavements. The C5 was a road vehicle Well, supposed to be, only the suicidal would actual take one on the road and few of them did it twice. Most of us checked the flimsy plastic construction, noticed your head is below window level in surrounding cars and refused.

An absolutely idiotic, dangerous product.

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Streetmap's lawyer: Google High Court win will have 'chilling effect’ on UK digital biz

Paul Shirley
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Re: Best of Breed

I think Streetmap brought the wrong case in the wrong courts. Instead of seeking some sort of protection or equal treatment, they asked for damages. Damages for an inferior product, that wouldn't generate significant income from the purportedly lost views anyway.

As a niche player in a global market, where the internet age expects global availability they weren't even offering a similar product. We protect competition, we don't stop innovation because one side can't or won't compete.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Best of Breed

The API side is what really killed Streetmap as a viable monetisation strategy. Their big problem was a poor quality service for end users BUT end users were primarily exposed to their product on 3rd party commercial sites. Sites that cant have been pleased to pay more for something that made their sites look worse than Google maps.

Streetmaps planned income didnt depend on incidental search portal visibility and its hard to believe that would have driven business to them given the limited consumer appeal of their product. Any business searching for a mapping service to embed would have seen them, along with their competition. Very hard to claim damage and be taken seriously if you aren't actually competing for the same thing.

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Backdoors are bad, Euro security wonks ENISA tell governments

Paul Shirley
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escrow taints all evidence

Availability of keys to investigators taints and devalues all evidence, even if no tampering or forgery happens. A horrible choice between courts having to trust law enforcement too much or let criminals escape by raising doubt over the evidence.

If escrow ever happens it could easily hamper investigations more than it helps by creating a need for strong safeguards to prevent and detect abuse. Let's just not go there.

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Review sites commit to address UK regulator's concerns

Paul Shirley
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new internet skill

Sad that an essential internet skill is knowing how to recognise paid ads everywhere an opinion is given.

Had yet another offer to supply as many fake reviews as I wanted to pay for just yesterday. Don't see how those services will be affected by disclosure requirements they'll simply ignore. At least in the old days you had to actually go to a pub in person with a journalist to buy a good review ;)

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Google wins High Court fight with StreetMap over search results self-pluggery

Paul Shirley
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Re: Since 2007?

As far as I remember Google captured maps before it started showing up in search results and you had to go to their maps site explicitly. The competitors had a couple of years to improve their products, don't remember any of them doing anything at all, while increasing numbers of us sought out Googles primitive but silky smooth version.

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Sick and tired of modern Windows? Upgrade to Windows 3.1 today – in your web browser

Paul Shirley
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in&out fast as possible

I remember that festering POS and the daily chore of firing it up every time I needed 1 specific tool, then trying to finish and exit back to DOS before it crashed and trashed anything. Every other tool worked better in any other DOS extender ;)

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Andreessen stokes the Facebook Free Basics ‘colonialism’ row

Paul Shirley
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Re: perhaps

Andrew is right about one thing, large chunks of the Indian state aren't working for the ordinary and poor people. They aren't necessarily a better gatekeeper than Facebook. That doesn't make Facebook any less creepy or untrustworthy.

Pure (ish) net neutrality potentially offers a way around that lack of trust, creating a much reduced attack surface to abuse. That's why Facebook's scheme has to die in its current form.

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Paul Shirley
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Can we assume Andrew now thinks Google giving away search, email, storage, Android and so many other freebies was a good thing? That he was wrong to complain about market distortion, people as the product and so much else? Or maybe agree the benefits outweigh the problems for many, many people?

Or does he just believe Facebook are nice guys with nothing but good intentions we can trust as unregulated gatekeepers to the worlds poor?

When choosing between shades of gray, FbGray is rarely the correct one.

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Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates

Paul Shirley
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Re: Winning back trust

It's not theirs if i completely replace it with my handcrafted version. Microsoft didn't invent the host file.

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SCO's last arguments in 'Who owns Linux?' case vs. IBM knocked out

Paul Shirley
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Re: Tortious interference claims ..

It's quite amazing how often SCO lied during the case, how inconsistent the lies were and how no court did anything about it. In fairness most of the case was fought with PR lies outside the courts but at heart the entire affair was high level blackmail and the legal system failed everyone but the blackmailers.

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Don't touch that PDF or webpage until your Windows PC is patched

Paul Shirley
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STOP STEALING MY SETTINGS!

Yet again the cnuts at ms took the opportunity to hijack my file associations and punt them back at Microsoft's own useless apps. Even more annoying this time after finally getting sound to work 99% correctly with my ancient AV system over optical. STOP STEALING MY SETTINGS!

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Why does the VR industry think 2016 is its year? It's the hardware, stupid

Paul Shirley
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Re: All I want from VR

Facebook is extremely likely to do something like that with Occulus, it's a better option for exposing you to their core product than gaming.

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Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Paul Shirley
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“Five years ago people said, why do you need another Linux distro?"

...and we pointed at Ubuntu and it's eagerness to dumb down in the name of convergence or pimp local search traffic to the highest bidder...

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Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink

Paul Shirley
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Re: If their US Pantry

I stick to bulk ordering long life stuff through Amazon, sacks of flour, pulses, rice etc. That's almost everything we used to need supermarkets for and massively cheaper. Almost everything else is cheaper at our local farm shop or the market and ready to eat today, not in a couple of weeks or likely to rot before ever ripening supermarket style.

The surprisingly large proportion of people that think the big supermarkets are actually cheap are a tempting target for Amazon because loss leaders aside, it will be trivially easy to crush them on both pricing and choice. For the few of us that live happily with minimal exposure to anything beyond Aldi, don't see any change coming we didn't already buy into, we're reverting to buying from the best supplier for each product, not the hell of the supermarket shopping expedition.

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Are Indians too stupid to be trusted with free Internet?

Paul Shirley
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meanwhile "wealthy white reactionists"

...loudly claim Indians can't decide their own future, deal with wealthy white activists or spot which of them might be telling porkies...

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

Paul Shirley
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Re: How many conclusions

" I guess he can't backtrack on the rest of the litigation's chances."

You forget SCO and their lawyers were caught telling different courts contradictory things. Sadly not caught by the courts though :(

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Wasted talent

They bought into a bigger cut of the bazillions in a sure fire case, can't remember how they were paying for it. About 6 months later they noticed the impropriety of being parties to the case was being discussed too much in public and bought their way out of the deal with a fixed fee cap - $30mil+external costs to finish the case. I doubt BS&F were aware how dodgy the case was till they were firmly stuck with it.

The case isn't finished, the money's long gone and they're still compelled to follow SCO's bidding, regardless of it's sanity. BS&F are believed to have burnt through the fixed fee before the case even went to trial.

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Paul Shirley
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Re: I Wonder....

We don't live in a deep enough gravity well to confine the atmosphere enough to sustain fusion. The rest of the planet is waste material from stellar explosions and massively harder to ignite. The iron won't fuse at any temperature. Pretty safe from a runaway reactor...

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NOTHING trumps extra pizza on IT projects. Not even more people

Paul Shirley
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Re: Teams that "can be fed with two pizzas"

And what happened to the draw full of takeaway menus and picking one at random? If you're stuck in the office at least go curry, with a side order of Chinese. Although my local does do a firey curry pizza...

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