* Posts by Paul Shirley

1957 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Physics uses warp theory to look beyond relativity

Paul Shirley
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Re: No theory

Science is speculation, backed by sanity checking.

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

Paul Shirley
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Yes, trying to think of any reason last weeks updates should have set desktop icons to LARGE and reset every damn explorer view preference to MS defaults. It's a PIA getting the steaming POS to remember *my choices* between reboots without MS deliberately wiping them.

And I've noticed doubled up drive entries in the navigation pane again, after fixing that last week.

Leave my settings alone Microsoft.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: They're not helping themselves here.

@Charles 9: "Download it once and install it to a USB stick"

Completely missing the way it silently downloads the install image to C: before offering the upgrade prompt, without bothering to check if you downloaded the media install or copied it to anywhere else. Or it's fscking outrageous habit of redownloading it till you give up deleting the files.

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Lower video resolution can deliver better quality, says Netflix

Paul Shirley
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Re: CRF?

The catch is you can't assume unlimited buffering capacity, so the encoding rate may still be constrained by a relatively short moving window. On something like a smart TV that could be a low limit, far too little for a 10min action sequence for instance. At that point only reducing resolution or framerate will fulfil the buffering, encoding bandwidth & artefact constraints.

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Paul Shirley
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@tony72

The Reg does seem to be cherry picking what it wants to report. No mention of the offline re-encoding project that aims to drop storage by 20% for those master copies or any guesswork about what that recoding actually does (I'd guess they're just turning on constant Q and generating variable bitrate but that's just a guess). That recoding will be powered by their cloud instances in spare time.

The Reg concentrated exclusively on the lowered resolution scheme and guesswork about some improbable and unnecessary real time transcoding.

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Paul Shirley
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They don't use enough bandwidth to support simultaneous high res and high detail or motion video. They've taken the cheap option of trading reduced spatial resolution for enhanced motion resolution (and simply thrown away detail), cheap because it saves them money on bandwidth, storage and processing, 20% storage reduction has been suggested. Now they need to convince punters it's all for their benefit, not just Netflix profits.

Unfortunately they can't really rely on increasing bandwidth, the US infrastructure isn't good enough, so customers just get a different bandwidth caused problem to suffer. Given how many seem unable to spot upscaled video it's probably the best choice.

Can't be as bad as iPlayer's dynamic resolution scaling, which is extremely noticeable and highly irritating. More accurately it can't be if they want to stay in business.

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Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

Paul Shirley
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but who eats lettuce?

I thought most of it was consumed by meat eaters in the form of BLT's and hamburgers and the rest by skinny rich folk trying to avoid eating anything tasty or nutritious.

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Kids' TV show Rainbow in homosexual agenda shocker

Paul Shirley
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Re: TBH this is claptrap

You have to wonder whether management and regulators were fully aware that children wouldn't understand any of it, or so detached from reality they couldn't understand the innuendo either ;)

Both are believable.

I remember not liking Rainbow as a youngster and refusing to watch it. Eternally grateful to the mates that reintroduced me to it as a student when i was old enough to understand.

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Paul Shirley
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Rainbow = 20min of blatant, hilarious innuendo

Many fond memories of the daily Rainbow session at university, 100% spill your beer quality innuendo with a little bit of campness slipped in ;)

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Microsoft beats Apple's tablet sales, apologises for Surface 4 flaws

Paul Shirley
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Re: Peak Apple

Not long since the tablet market was reported to be saturated and in a serious slowdown. In 6 months we'll know if this is just a new product launch temporary increase or not, how many (or few) devices were actually sold and whether everyone that wanted a surface bought one early and sales grind to a halt.

With the current crop of win10 tablets almost at giveaway prices and still barely selling I'm suspicious about this being more than a launch blip.

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Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage

Paul Shirley
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Re: Uh...Why?

Reliable 128Gb USB3 sticks are as little as £24 right now. Despite Microsoft's best efforts to bloat my C drive with visual studio etc. I can still squeeze a couple of full drive images on mine.

The data drives are more of a problem and the cloud is far too slow to ever upload them to even if i had enough tb's available. Big backup drives and a firesafe are here for some more years.

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GCHQ Christmas Card asks YOU the questions

Paul Shirley
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Re: Whole GCHQ site is not loading

They just engineered a pretend DDOS on their server, now Cameron has an excuse to authorise whatever slurp they had planned ;)

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Google says its quantum computer is 100 million times faster than PC

Paul Shirley
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Re: sorry, not a geek but

It's only ever been claimed to be a quantum annealing device. The debate has been whether it's actually performing the quantum part or just performing "unsimulated" annealling on an analogue computer. Both should be faster than simulated annealling, maybe this confirms the quantum part, which i believe refers only to quantum tunneling effects.

It still doesnt answer the question: is it faster than the best classical algorithm because the test the picked was a guaranteed win if it works at all.

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Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

Paul Shirley
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Re: "Meanwhile on the shelf at Best Buy is still one choice of laptop OS"

@Naseus: "There's some incredible Windows laptops available if you go to an actual PC retailer as opposed to the same shop which sells junk DVDs for three quid a go."

PC's are commodity items, even the supposed 'actual PC retailers' are selling the same crap as Walmart, just charging more for it and offering a few different cosmetic options. And it's not really a problem for buyers because they get the job done, at the cost of further supporting the Windows monopoly. Just grabbing a new laptop of a supermarket shelf is the normal way to buy now.

After counting ordinary buyers, direct corporate bulk orders (for even lower spec Windows machines) and Apple feeding off the rich few %, the few of us actually dealing with specialist suppliers or caring about the spec or OS are just noise in the stats.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I could be a future Microsoft phone customer too

@Ledswinger it's not so long since ms liked the idea of a desktop dumbed down to act like a phone, which would have made it much easier for them running the same abbreviated apps everywhere. They're pushing full fat to phones only because that plan didn't work! I'll be sticking with the right os for each device for the foreseeable future, not whatcsuits the os writers plans.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Does anyone think this is a good thing?

Useful as competition is, you can't force users to accept 2nd rate products based on it. Yes competition would be nice but Microsoft don't have a competitive product and apple aren't even trying to compete for the mass market.

Time to look elsewhere, probably to internal competition in the Android market and that's likely to need a hefty nudge from regulators. Luckily it's now close enough to a monopoly to get that, but regulation still can't force users to say no to Google's desirable products, just open the door to alternatives on Android.

This argument is over, the world chose Android, that's where competition needs to work from now on.

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Brits leave 138,000 gadgets in the pub

Paul Shirley
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it's in your pocket, of course is going to get lost

Been saying for years the only safe mobile device is one with nothing worth losing on it. They're physically insecure and you can't guarantee they won't be snatched while unlocked even if normally secured. Very few people will accept the disruptive level of lockdown needed to fix that so it's not going to change, convenience over safety seems to be the norm.

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Microsoft wants to be your phone company, at least for voice

Paul Shirley
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Skype “a verb synonymous with...”

Failed connections

Dropped connections

Crosstalk with other calls (how the fsck is that even possible, yet it happens)

Weekly app improvements that improve ad delivery but rarely anything else.

...and top of range pricing for pstn calling!

If the question was "how do we make calling buggier" Skype is the answer ;)

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Google says it tried to preempt EU antitrust probe. That worked well

Paul Shirley
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Or are they pointing out the facts and remedial actions have very little connection to a case driven by political ambition and lobbying competitors?

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Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

Paul Shirley
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Even on the PC some had been using GEM for 9 months, many more using it on Atari ST and I believe the Amiga was shipping as well. I'd already grown to hate the original Macintosh GUI before any of that.

As usual Microsoft were last to the party but somehow manage to get fans believing they were first.

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Microsoft makes Raspberry Pi its preferred IoT dev board

Paul Shirley
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Re: Display

They were still playing hide&seek with them last time I looked, been a bit busy elsewhere this year. It's a fun chip to code for.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Display

The Videocore is a powerful SIMD cpu with plenty of uses beyond rendering. Running headless, if you can find a use for it a Pi has more raw processing power than Intels effort.

(If you can squeeze the manuals out of Broadcom)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: No comprende

While Linux is far from lightweight compared to a traditional microcontroller rtos it can be stripped down aggressively, still largely monolithic but recompiling isn't hard. Can Win10 be stripped as far. Or at all?

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Google extends search tendrils to cover data in apps

Paul Shirley
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I don't remember the NSA presenting it as an opt-in. Or any sort of option.

Waiting to find out if this is a developer only option. There had better be a user override for it.

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BlackBerry Priv: After two weeks on test, looks like this is a keeper

Paul Shirley
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Re: what about the camera?

Damn, you slipped it out just as I was knocking off for a well earned weekend drinking session. Let's say several days were lost that weekend...

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Paul Shirley
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what about the camera?

I suppose we'll have to wait for Orlowski's inevitable review to find out if the camera's any good.

Sad that I think of mobiles as a camera with 'other bits' but that's how mine get's used ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Yes!

@Voyna

If BB are making security claims, I'm going to assume there won't be any 3rd party ROMS, the bootloader will be locked so hard installing them will be impossible!

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Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

Paul Shirley
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G+ still tied to too much

When Google finally listened and let me delete my unloved G+ account they forgot to point out i was also removing the ability to comment in the app store. Something that should be bound to my store account and only it.

If Google are listening they are learning from Microsoft how to mishear what's being said and misrepresent the response. Seems whatever it mutated into G+ is still being forced on users who want other unrelated services.

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

Paul Shirley
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Re: Wonderful :\

Is that another 3Gb Win7&8 machines will download whether they need it or not?

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IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Paul Shirley
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Re: I'm sure I'm missing something but...

...you missed the bit where the contractor is his own agent, hiding behind a company. The whole scheme is about NOT paying wages so nothing would change, said company owning contractor would carry on relabelling his earnings as lower taxed company dividends.

To work there has to be a new employer-employee relationship somewhere that can be taxed and that has to be your end client as the employer because your agent (youselft) has no reason to pay you more than minimum wage as an employee.

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TalkTalk boss: 'Customers think we're doing right thing after attack'

Paul Shirley
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take security considerably more seriously

Is it even possible to take it less seriously? Low hanging fruit and the site is reportedly still wide open to multiple attacks.

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ARM's new Cortex-A35: How to fine-tune a CPU for web browsing on bargain smartphones

Paul Shirley
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Re: Ok... How exactly will this work?

Claiiming it can't work because browser code is branch heavy? To me that suggests frequent queue flushes and more memory bandwidth wasted on abandonned op fetches. Reducing the waste with shorter prefetch seems worth trying and i doubt they bothered licencing till benchmarking showed a real improvement.

However counterintuitive it seems to you, trying to second guess the complex interactions at this level is more magic than science and you'll always be surprised, however long you do it.

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E.ON fined £7m for smart meter fail

Paul Shirley
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Re: would I want such a digital readout on the wall

Yep, it's been repeatedly reported that most of them get shoved in a draw and forgotten.

When I'm boiling water I know how many mugs of coffee I'm making and fill appropriately. My PVR's are left in standby because I'd prefer them to record things and so on. We're good at killing lights. I can't think of a single device in my home a meter would help put in a lower power state while still being worth using. Completely pointless.

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LG picks up US smartphone crumbs, gains on Apple and Samsung

Paul Shirley
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Re: Everyone knows they pop out new phones in the fall

...but so does everyone else.

I'm looking forward to how much LG G4 prices get hit by the V10 launch, purchase permission already agreed with the wife - when the price falls enough ;)

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Microsoft Windows Mobile 10: Uphill battle with 'work in progress'

Paul Shirley
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Re: Oh dear

I thought it was obvious: they ignored everyone not named Ballmer. Including their own staff.

Now they're mostly ignoring anyone not named Nadella.

Someday they'll give up delivering what Microsoft needs and build what customers want. We're still a few years and another CEO away from that.

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Here's the little-known legal loophole that permitted mass surveillance in the UK

Paul Shirley
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Re: Far too late to worry

We've been *lawfully* spied on since 1984. It may or not have been lawful before that but it's guaranteed it was happening anyway.

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Windows 10: Major update on the Threshold as build 10586 hits Insiders

Paul Shirley
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Re: "All your files are exactly where you left them"

I knew there was a reason i put my files somewhere windows doesn't expect them. Can't move what it doesn't know about!

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Paul Shirley
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is he an uniformed buyer?

Seems unlikely anyone would buy an fx9590 without knowing more than an average buyer. Beyond checking it fire his mboard this co has insane power and cooling requirement's, far beyond what many board can support. Beyond the PSU in typical consumer PCs. He admits visiting amd.com presumably for research. His case will likely fail on the basis he should have known exactly what he was buying having done research. It's not much of a secret how the fx series use core pairs or the performance problems that causes.

There's something very fishy going on. Is he really just suffering buyers remorse after *not* properly researching the purchase?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Reread the Article

If you want to go down that rabbit hole things will get very messy. AMD did mightily screw up it's design and modules typically perform like 1.5 real cores but do manage to issue multiple instructions per clock. The problem is more that those ops then get stalled waiting on the shared execution units.

If his argument is 8 simulations ops case over and no cpu guarantees to always achieve it anyway.

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BlackBerry makes Android security patch promises

Paul Shirley
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Re: PC, which has highly standardised hardware

Not really. PC's have extremely diverse hardware, rampant competition for component use and from day1 had user accessible expansion support. Of necessity PC's evolved to have decoupled subsystems in both hardware and software that make fine grained patching a required feature and long term interface stability expected. Windows got most of it's early start by supporting more of those variants than other OSs.

Mobile started as black boxes and largely remain that way today, with precious little cooperation beyond the SIM interface and comms standards and proprietary driver support locked behind NDAs. Enough of the driver support is locked away in opaque blobs that we're utterly dependent on OEMs to support them, made worse by Google persistently breaking kernel API compatibility.

There's simply not enough evolutionary pressure on suppliers to support their black box devices. Even non stop security scares haven't managed it.

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GCHQ's CESG team's crypto proposal isn't dumb, it's malicious... and I didn't notice

Paul Shirley
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Re: @ King Tut

"I have. And it was locked, so I didn't lose anything."

...presumably you also had a SIM lock set so they couldn't just put it in an unlocked phone? The lock no smartphone user ever bothers with?

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Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

Paul Shirley
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Re: "how much more energy it could store"

It's about reducing weight rather than increasing total storage. Removing metals from one electrode shouldn't make much difference to volume but shave off a lot of weight.

This is unlikely to end up in your phone where volume is the constraint, for a car that's a lot of mass not being hauled around. The battery efficiency may be no better than Li-ion but it's energy will be used more efficiently.

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Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Paul Shirley
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Re: The recommended update will still require the user to accept or decline before installing

"Firefox has telemetry"

...that actually turns off when you tell it to. Unlike the hour I wasted last night trying to find out why Win10 was burning an entire core (and keeping the rest of the CPU turbo clocked) handling CEIP related crap, on a machine with CEIP disabled and I'm fairly certain uninstalled. Win10 had magically 'forgotten' to uninstall InvAgent.dll and left more triggers to launch it than I could find.

And if this happens to you: what finally killed it was taking ownership of system32\invagent.dll and renaming it. You can kill the obvious Task Scheduler hooks but it wasn't enough to kill this bastard.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: The recommended update will still require the user to accept or decline before installing

I want aware of firefox even being able to monitor my desktop searches, application launches, system settings, used data or much of anything I don't volunteer, let alone report then to the mothership. Neither does my mail software. The malware known as win10 however...

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Paul Shirley
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"perfectly legitimate advertising" bollox

I didn't buy copies of windows sold as subsidised by advertising and at no point have i willingly opted into receiving it (more accurately I've not knowingly failed to opt out of it). There is no possible interpretation of my deal with Microsoft where this is "legitimate advertising" even if they stuck to just letting me know the upgrade is available.

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Windows 10 is an antique (and you might be too) says Google man

Paul Shirley
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Re: For Ed.

My major problem is how many of the Android changes are capricious, cryptic change for changes sake. I don't need navigation buttons that change radically with every major release, button layouts that swap order, ui features suddenly hidden behind swiping gestures or behind dodgy icons that mean nothing to me. Yet that's what this idiot did with every release.

Worst of all he's inspired ms to believe they can just ignore customers and do whatever they like with no thought of maintaining consistency. It seems Microsoft are never done trying to copy Google's mistakes.

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Star Trek to go boldly back onto telly, then beam down in streams

Paul Shirley
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Re: Tar Dreck: On borrowed time

Series are so regularly different from their pilot (and pilot's so often remade several times) that 'reboot' seems totally inappropriate.

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Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store

Paul Shirley
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Re: Way t o go...

Indeed, how stupid of MS putting less frequently used controls where everyone else puts more used nav buttons and the launch dock.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Existing feature

My lg's allow alphabetic, install date and manual ordering but not by usage. But that makes sense because you pin frequent apps to the home screens in Android instead of launching from the app draw.

Trying to find things in a randomised sort order seems like a poor idea anyway, much like most of Microsoft ui thinking of late.

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Paul Shirley
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halfway to mediocre

A little surprised there are relatively few obvious fake reviews on the store page, not what i expect from Microsoft. Even more surprised people actually want a feature list inferior to most devices default launcher. But I'm still perpetually surprised that people like ios ripoff launchers, with all the apps dumped on the home screen and bugger all organisation options so what do i know!

Left wondering why ms bothered making such an unambitious launcher, with a promised feature list that would degrade the quality of any of my current devices.

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