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* Posts by Paul Shirley

1366 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Bjarne Again: Hallelujah for C++

Paul Shirley
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"The most awesome thing about Delphi is that it is not C++"

Surely the most awesome thing about Delphi was that it wasn't classic Pascal and conceded you might want applications that talk to the messy outside world and run at decent speeds... all things missing from the language when I was forced to learn it at university ;(

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Nearly-transparent screen adds solar charge to phones

Paul Shirley
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Be worth testing cells on the phone casing but I'd guess the normal holding position, screen facing the main light source (the sky/house lights) and hand blocking the back would render it useless for too much time for most users. As a 2nd screen device it needs to face up for maximum convenience anyway.

A more subtle issue is physically protecting the cells. That comes free embedded in the screen but adds weight and bulk anywhere else.

TBH I can't see much point for this low a power contribution, especially with new Lithium/Sulphur battery tech on its way and more effective external solar chargers available where there's a real need.

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Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

Paul Shirley
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Re: What about standby power consumption?

While I'm surprised at this test (and frankly want proof before I believe), the power saving changes we already know about should have fixed standby performance, if it needed fixing.

Another aspect is how significant CPU power is in overall consumption. If you're gaming all day or playing video it's going to be important but the screen is still likely to top power use. My elderly and not too efficient phone with it's ancient Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon shows battery usage of 43% screen, 19% WiFi, 23% standby+idle. That's just 15% power used for the couple of hours it was actually working hard (gaming+browsing). As screens get bigger an efficient CPU becomes even less important.

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MPs demand UK rates revamp after Google's 'extraordinary tax mismatch'

Paul Shirley
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Re: point 2

point 2: if government after government had spent less time enticing internationals to set up shop in blighty by offering not to tax them, maybe those internationals wouldn't take them up on the offer.

Politicians have spent decades saying we'll liberally reward anyone that brings collateral benefits, set up taxation to do it, trained HMRC to implement the ensuing free for all. Too fscking late to dodge the blame, politician monkeys did it, politician monkeys need to fix it. Only then do they get to blame others.

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Microsoft announces $499 price tag, new games for Xbox One

Paul Shirley
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Re: 40 somethings

You're right about them having no loyalty. Couple of weeks back I chatted with 3 20something, XBox360 owning gamers and it turned into the 2 younger gamers convincing the other to get back into PC gaming!

Cost was a large part of what had been putting him off the PC based on the cost of building a gaming PC compared to XBox. Well, XBone and the inexorably march of progress on the PC wiped out that difference and the murky resale position just raised the expected cost of content on XBone.

It's a double hit and you're mistaken to think cost is not a problem. ATM console gamers reduce their costs by resale, where PC gamers don't really need to due to frequently lower content pricing. What my chat established is none of them feel any loyalty to their current console, they'll go where the gaming is good but not at any price. And the PC is back in the game after many years of decline.

(It also established that they all gamed on mobile as well, which probably is a bigger threat to traditional consoles and the insane XB policies)

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Paul Shirley
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@Colin Ritchie:$400 behemoths

Even those $400 behemoths are sitting on the wrong side of a PCIe bus. Unified memory doesn't just make programming simpler, it significantly improves performance on at least some tasks. The GPU might well be 'mediocre' in a PC architecture, it will work a lot better in the XBone/PS4 architecture - especially with DDR5 in the PS4.

Only the integrated GPUs in PC builds could compete but they truly are low end crap running with DDR3. It's just a matter of time till someone ships a similar APU in a real PC though. Maybe time left for Steam to rework the Steam Box ;)

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Microsoft to open Windows Stores inside 600 Best Buy locations

Paul Shirley
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Re: Training - oh yeah.

Didn't Microsoft already nail that by selling $20 add-on keyboards for $129...

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Cold, dead hands of Steve Jobs slip from iPhones: The Cult of Ive is upon us

Paul Shirley
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copying Googles mistakes?

I wonder how completely Apple will copy Google. Google kicked of the flat icon craze some years back and have gone way too far with it, creating icons so cryptic I struggle to use some apps.

Without Jobs to rein them in I wonder if Apple will out compete Google in incomprehensible UIs? Be funny to see because no Apple fan will ever admit they can't understand their Apple device ;)

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The fearful price of 4G data coverage: NO TELLY for 90,000 Brits

Paul Shirley
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Re: Fewer towers (masts) also means poorer capacity

In urban areas lower frequencies penetrate walls better allowing more of the mast bandwidth to actually be used. Where demand is being met, less towers at higher bandwidth efficiency can deliver the same capacity to users as more, low efficiency ones.

O2 massively increased service where I live but still can't get a 2 or 3G signal to me in many pubs I use. It's not the number of towers or their capacity, it's whether I can even connect to them to use the bandwidth!

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Google slides its soft finger-fondling into any willing Android doodad

Paul Shirley
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Re: 70% of Android users can get this

Still seeing 40%+ still on 2.x on my app stats page (and another 1% for 1.x and 3.x!). Seems enough to warrant reporting.

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YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Paul Shirley
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Re: Microsoft: "We're always listening to our customers"

Someone has to trade in every used game before it can be resold and many of those users factor that into the price of new games. By raising doubt about resale Microsoft are discouraging a large group of new game purchasers.

Unless this translates to much cheaper new sales there's no upside to this for anyone. Since figures of £35 have been suggested for minimum 2nd user prices that seems unlikely.

Sony already won this round by having a more game focussed and powerful console, if they react appropriately to the public response Microsoft are getting they could annihilate xbone.

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Intel unzips new Atom phone chip: Low power, fast - is that right, ARM?

Paul Shirley
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what better CPU power peformance gives, LTE takes away

How advanced is Intel's LTE development? There's a real risk that early LTE implementations on Atom will waste all the power improvements elsewhere, further delaying them reaching parity with ARM systems.

Intel are still chasing a moving target and don't seem to be attacking *all* the targets needed to succeed. It's not just about CPU/GPU performance and power consumption, it's about the rest of the system as well and getting it all onto the most compact SoC. Intel are still too focussed on just a few areas.

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Inside Intel's Haswell: What do 1.4 BEELLION transistors get you?

Paul Shirley
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Re: waste silicon

When your core is inherently tiny and a low performance version can dispense with many 'go faster' transistors by cutting back on cache, pipeline depth or fat register files, there's not much silicon being wasted. Even less waste if you can avoid complex power control logic and any extra logic needed to safely bring logic units up or down.

In exchange you get a much easier chip to design, test and get working. Something a small company without Intels resources can manage. You also get designs that better fit the ARM licensing model, of cut&pasted together modules that any chip foundry can successfully manufacture.

Intel have a harder problem because their cores are now so complex even extra, cut down cores will waste too much silicon. So they have no option but to deep dive into the architecture and try to tame its power sucking greed by adding even more complexity.

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Microsoft offers free keyboard covers for Surface RT

Paul Shirley
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Re: This is old news

The Reg has been very poor recently at seeking out news, apart from the endless desperate attempts to find dubious support for the editors non-IT related crusades.

Still, confirms that Microsoft didn't want this pushed through normal PR channels and the attention that would bring. With so many bargain reporting sites and a growing trend of companies spamming into them it's become easy to reach the public without the normal PR grind or the press even noticing.

Even the press that don't just sit on their arses waiting for stories to be handed to them...

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Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

Paul Shirley
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Re: hmm

...and this stock response from the Win8 marketing team is getting tired.

Been using since launch, still haven't learned to love Metro, the shitty driver support, the bugs in Explorer, the gratuitous and unneeded detheming of desktop mode, or any of the other annoyances. But apparently to merkins like you 'I haven't used it enough' to have an opinion!

In it's favour: I can finally use all the installed RAM and plugging my phone in doesn't crash it (like under XP). Pity I spent more replacing hardware it no longer supports than the sodding OS cost ;(

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Paul Shirley
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a conforting change list

Not one actual problem I have solved.

Not one hint of any change to the underlying OS.

Not one reason I need to install this at all... that's comforting ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: organising themwas to be quick and intuitive

Using drag'n'drop directly in the Start Menu seems about as 'quick and intuitive' as it's possible to get. A few seconds dragging after installers work their damage is hardly a burden. What bizarre and perverse other method did you try? Haven't worked out how to do anything useful to organise the Metro version (without directly hacking the underlying folder structures) and perhaps 25% of my installed applications even show up in it.

I'll admit the bloody Win8 UAC prompts can get annoying during multiple alterations. Also not a fan of the Win7 variant - luckily Classic Start Menu has better options. But there's not a chance in hell I'm dropping an n-dimension search structure for that 2.1D visually homogeneous sea of tiles (.1 for the utterly useless grouping).

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Anyone know why its fixed at three

...any less and there'd be no improvement to SHOUT about, any more and they'd train PC users to expect more than shitty resolution Win8 tablets and WP8 phones can deliver...

It's hard to actually improve your product when it's design exists just to advertise another, different product ;)

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Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Paul Shirley
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@AceRimmer - how do you use non-existent code?

"The third party start menu applications work by activating hidden/deactivated features of the the Windows GUI."

Please tell us how they invoke Start Menu code that Microsoft deleted from Win8 a week before RTM? It's simply not there to be used. They also tried deleting some of the OS hooks replacements use but that just wasted days of dev time working around the sabotage.

Why did they remove it so completely? Because people kept turning it back on all the way through the Win8 test period! A sane company would see that and conclude disabling it was a mistake. MS physically excised the option and it's rumoured Sinofsky ordered engineers to delete the history from revision control so it can't be brought back - insanity.

Microsoft are trying to use their desktop monopoly control to promote other products but when did it start making sense to piss off users trapped by the monopoly? Degrading my desktop will not endear me to WP8 or any incarnation of Metro on other devices.

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Paul Shirley
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@Roland6

"can they actually put the start button back without the third-party start button/menu vendors crying foul"

Does this half-arsed mockery *block* 3rd party replacements... call me cynical but I won't be even slightly surprised if this hijacks that bit of screen and deliberately breaks 3rd party replacements, at least till they hack around it.

So MS partially correct the misuse of invisible UI elements but it's just window dressing, not real change and certainly not what users are screaming for. How not surprised do I look?

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Microsoft caves to Google, pulls YouTube app from WinPhone Store

Paul Shirley
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the stunning power of Fairsearch searches

Took seconds to find the Youtube v3 API, in nice plain text. A little longer to read the licence terms. Another few secs to find the apparently automatic 'click this button, agree to this licence, we give you a client ID' sign up process.

I'm forced to conclude Microsoft used Bing for the search (or maybe their partner, Foundems woeful effort) and couldn't find it. Yet somehow Bing found enough info to hack together an app capable of violating the terms of service the Youtube API is only available under? MS just don't know when to stop fabricating stories...

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Is the next-gen console war already One?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Xbox One

That RAM latency has little effect on most functional units, either because they feed on streams (GPU) or have internal caches (CPU). That latency issue has been getting data from core to core and historically getting it into the right chunk of RAM. Unified RAM removes half the problem while fast core<->RAM streaming simplifies everything.

PS4 has an advantage here because it's simpler with no accelerated transfer systems to deal with. It's going to have less bottlenecks and more predictable behaviour. And it really doesn't hurt that not pissing away transistors on ESRAM let them build in more cores!

Given that both systems seem to have broadly comparable basic hardware, I'll expect better gaming performance on the one with more cores. The PS4 looks like it will outperform even high end PCs for most of it's life, not convinced the Xbone will.

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Open wide, Google: Here comes an advertising antitrust probe

Paul Shirley
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Re: "only links to other search engines"

I may be imagining it but the Fairsearch Jihad against Google seems remarkably coincident to Google making progress against the tidal wave of SEO, link farms and those fscking annoying recursive mazes of search engines pointing at search engines.

I'm 110% convinced Google has materially damaged the business of countless people. But it's a good thing, in the same way the police materially damage the business of criminals.

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More than half of Windows 8 users just treat it like Windows 7

Paul Shirley
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I wouldn't go so far. After XP->Win8 I'd describe it's stability as 'different', not better, not lower, just falls over on different things... although right now it's still showing lower uptimes than XP SP3 AND I deliberately detuned the hardware a while back to rule out hardware problems, with no improvement.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: How can that be?

Remember: the shiny new Start Screen is an app... ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "TIFKAM is perfectly usable, it just isn't the interface people are used to."

Metro is a UI designed down to the least common denominator, one designed for what a small screen touch only device is capable of (and I'd argue crap like magic corners is inherently bad design even there).

Not just different, it's an impoverished UI, hamstrung by it's assumptions:

1: that it has to look the same everywhere (a pure marketing requirement with no real reason to exist), where 'everywhere' leaks strongly into desktop mode (so even functional window chrome had to go)

2: that it has to behave identically everywhere, regardless of the quality or precision of your input devices

3: that fullscreen is always the 'right thing', whatever the hardware, whatever restrictions it causes

There's a more subtle assumption: that desktop=legacy mode. Legacy modes inevitably become 2nd class, with degraded support and allowed to rot before being dropped completely - at least in the minds of the managers and developers maintaining them... and Win8 desktop mode is showing signs of neglect, from the hastily crippled chrome and theming options to the astonishing bugginess of File Explorer to the almost random organisation of settings and on and on.

The real issue here remains the same, if I'm using an 'interface people (aren't) used to' there's no reason it should be a Microsoft interface. If users are increasingly using reduced function devices instead of PCs, Microsoft are screwed because traditional Windows doesn't work there.

Everything in Win8 has to train users to use the impoverished Metro UI that does work on new devices. Metro can't be allowed to work better on a PC than a tablet and desktop has to be subtly (and not so subtly) degraded to make Metro more attractive. It's cynical, desperate and failing.

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Happy 23rd birthday, Windows 3.0

Paul Shirley
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Michael Strorm:"the problem with the Amiga is that Commodore sat on their laurels"

The Amiga line was hamstrung by management that couldn't decide what they wanted it to be. Designed as the super console of its time, management stripped the chip RAM that delivers most of its performance, shrank the base RAM too far and gave out mixed messages about whether it was a gaming or office machine for its entire lifetime.

When I wrote for it, the OS used enough RAM to make life difficult porting from the Atari ST (so many of us just dumped it in the game boot loader) and multitasking was a fun demo but not much use in real office work.

Windows and the IBM PC proves you can survive bad products with the right management, the Amiga was mismanaged to death.

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Surface Pro to hit Blighty priced 25% up on top-o-the-range iPad

Paul Shirley
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the rt firesale kicked off yesterday

Meanwhile both Dell and Microsoft UK are heavily discounting rt devices to shift them.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Tom 13

" In short it's a win for everybody but the users."

Put more bluntly: 500mil users need to suffer so 1000 Microsoft engineers can be lazy.

Except the localisation work is incremental and mostly already done in any Windows iteration. It's happening now because marketing demands that all products in their plan be reduced to the lowest common factors, otherwise the Win8 everywhere message doesn't work. Somehow they overlooked that the resulting products don't work either.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Critique of Pure Animal Behavior - by MigMig-Johnson Kant

Stopped reading when he got to playing porn. As any fule kno, stock Win8 doesn't contain the pornographers favourite codecs.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Can't wait!

...but is that because it's better protected or just not worth pirating?

why pirate win8 if you can have 7 ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: ability to discern pictures more quickly than words

ThomH: "once you can rely on people's ability to discern pictures more quickly than words"

That's the mistaken thinking that got Microsoft so deep into trouble. I distinguish text faster and more accurately than icons, always have done and I don't see much chance that will change. Especially now the UI world is on a rampage to eliminate skeumorphism, in favour of increasingly cryptic symbols. Additionally I only have to learn the layout of a text UI compared to learning the symbols AND their layout.

In case you haven't guessed that's a large part of why I find the new Start Screen unusable, though the sheer bloated space wasting, extra mouse use nature of is a bigger problem. It's also a huge part of why I use the classic text based start Menu instead of trying to spot the right icon in a sea of them, a sea that Windows loves to rearrange before I can learn it.

I'm near the extreme spectrum on this but I'm not alone and it would be nice if Microsoft remembered we're all different and stopped trying to reduce our options.

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Paul Shirley
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don't need a Microsoft account

Someone tell me I'll be able to grab 8.1 without going through the Win8 store. Didn't sign up for an account, don't intend to.

And will I get an installer/updater I can burn to DVD and stash in my firesafe, for the inevitable day I need to repair some major failure. Already have to rebuild the BCD db every time Win8 tries to change its boot options, from the install DVD because of course Win8 won't boot!

Of course this all supposes I want to install this update. Have to wait and see what they screw up this time. Maybe I was right and this is the version of Windows with the shortest support period ever. Launch to EOL in 8 months ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Desktop 'dumped'?

Dumped no, degraded yes.

By removing too much chrome making the UI visually hard to navigate, installing a 3rd party theming hack didn't help my system stability but noticeably improved my performance and reduced the headaches.

By removing the native launcher in favour of the significantly less capable Metro launcher.

By creating doubt that desktop mode would be fully supported, that it would be left to bitrot.

By shipping standard apps like File Explorer riddled with bugs, many of them dating back to XP, others brand new.

By letting it be known new technologies would not be added to desktop mode.

MS didn't dare remove it yet but they tried desperately hard to make desktop mode unappealing and to give the impression it has no future to drive users towards Metro.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: “advance the bold vision”

There's no interpretation of “advance the bold vision” in English that means restoring excised code and the associated features. I conclude 8.1 is mostly about forcing the new stuff on us more effectively. Since I don't believe MS are past the denial stage yet I don't believe they're ready to actually fix the problems and 8.1 will just try to make them look less like mistakes.

The cynic in me suspects any restoration of dropped desktop features has more to do with blocking 3rd party work rounds than restoring the excised features. I wont be surprised if the rumoured return of the Start Button overrides replacements, dragging users kicking and screaming to the unwieldy Start Screen we're trying to avoid.

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Windows 8 'sales' barely half as good as Microsoft claims

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Danny 5 - "how is someone NOT using windows 8 a valid source"

Win8 fanbois started pushing this line long before Win8 launched. There's not a single thread anywhere about Win8 where complaints aren't casually dismissed 'because you haven't used it enough/at all'. Even now, 6 months after launch it's only slowed down, there's still always a trickle of denial.

Here's a clue: after using it since the launch day my opinion has changed very little and is *more negative*

Everything I expected to dislike before using it, I do indeed dislike, only tolerable because most of the worst offences can be avoided or patched around.

Summed, the performance and feature improvements are roughly balanced by the things they broke in the desktop mode. Some breakage sucking away most of the speed improvement.

My USB devices work better (or more accurately don't bring Win8 to a grinding halt like under XP) but less of my hardware works at all. Win8 driver support is fscking appalling, with a download service stocked with obsolete and/or broken drivers.

As time passes I continue to find more bugs and annoyances, Win8 suffers the usual gradual Windows slowdown and my opinion continues to slowly worsen. If I didn't want more than 4Gb RAM and plugging my phone in didn't crash XP, I'd switch back. (Being able to use more than 4Gb RAM means the one compelling Win8 feature of better use of RAM doesn't matter!)

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Foundem urges Brussels: REJECT Google's search biz offer

Paul Shirley
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re:"who's even heard of foundem?"

...enough to trigger the Streisand Effect ;)

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Report: AT&T dropping Facebook phone after dismal sales

Paul Shirley
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Re: yep

3 times more popular than Kin!

I really, really want to hear some Microsoft spin on that ;)

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New Ubuntu for phones due 'by end of May' – usable this time

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Ken Hagan

Ken, I've rarely found an available machine with 'person-sized interface' available in hard core hacker venues like pubs, public transport or outdoor. To be fair the urge to do some misguided command line hackery while sitting with a pint is best resisted, rarely needed however badly botched up the phone is.

But it's better to have but not use than need but not have ;)

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Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'

Paul Shirley
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Re: Where is Eadon when you need him?

As far as I can see Microsoft have said absolutely nothing about reverting anything meaningful at all. Its one interpretation they've let the press run riot with but vague hints about responding to feedback could easily cover new ways to change the ui.

Till it launches we won't know how cosmetic fixes are, how misguided this batch are, how much more education users can have forced on them.

The only one I feel confident will be there is a Start Button. Leading straight to the Metro Start screen not anything useful.

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Setanta, ESPN couldn't make UK footie TV work. How will BT Sport?

Paul Shirley
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Still seen no explanation of how pubs will continue to show matches after BT take over. Even if BT have a licence programme in place I can't see any paying yet another hefty fee on top of Sky or installing more equipment.

This deal looks like it kills some of the traditional 'day in the pub' watching sports. Yet they aren't going to charge anyone that stays at home to watch? Do they really believe locking away some minor matches on their service will get people buying BT Vision at home? It didn't work when ESPN and Sky was available on every imaginable delivery channel - Freeview, Satellite, Broadband & mobiles, not likely to work now.

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ZX Spectrum cassette player lost? There's an app for that

Paul Shirley
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Re: HOW DARE YOU!

"It was also easy to copy the tapes with my Dad's Amstrad tape-to-tape deck, not so the C64 tapes with their crappy turbo loaders"

Any difficulty in copying was completely intentional ;)

I think the reason it worked better at making copies fail on C64 is better hardware. A suitable hardware timer and nothing stealing CPU cycles meant we could use much tighter timing. I remember setting turbo speeds based on its effect on copying as much as the speed improvement. It's a miracle anything every loaded!

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Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Asok Asus

I think you're missing the big issue: with horizontal screens comfortably within reach, where would I put my coffee?

Come to think of it, where would the keyboard go? Or would I be swapping a cheap physical keyboard for wasting expensive screen estate on an inferior touch version...

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Paul Shirley
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WTF?

Re: @qwarty

Are you suggesting the addition of multitouch magically makes holding arms out easier to endure?

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Paul Shirley
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re:"Windows 8 boots up and is usable an order of magnitude faster than XP"

On my dual boot, Win8 v XP: boots to desktop in 45s v 60s. Then takes another minute or so before either actually responds to input. So a tiny (zero orders of magnitude) speed up and the same 'pretend to be ready' trickery we've got used to.

Of course you may have set XP up really badly or let it decay. Most people do ;)

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Paul Shirley
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telemetry - just stats and stats are what you lie with

The telemetry is arguably just a smokescreen they used to justify an existing plan. If they noticed the problems interpreting the data Sinovsky would have ignored the problems and ploughed on, because Win8 is about owning new markets, not making Windows better.

My stats would show that 90% of launches are double clicked documents in File Explorer. Should the entire UI just become a File Explorer... of course not. The next 7-9% are pinned apps on the start bar or desktop. Microsofts claim is the remaining 1-3% of launches from my Start Menu are insignificant. But in reality they're launching from my Menu because I might only run an app once a month (or even once a year), these are the 100+ tools so infrequently used pinning makes no sense, that would overflow any flat organisation on limited screen space - especially if every link is a tile. These are the tools that fit perfectly in a hierarchical menu tree like the Start Menu.

Apparently my substantial use of drag'n'drop is also wrong, bypassing Windows awful file selection dialogs. But full screen apps in the shiny Metro world makes it unusable so clearly I'm doing something wrong. Just can't quite work out why taking advantage of multiple large screens to improve my workflow is wrong...

MS choose to pretend that infrequent use means a feature has no value. They're completely wrong. But removing desktop features isn't about usability, it's about bludgeoning their way onto phones and tablets through monopoly abuse, not value to end users.

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Paul Shirley
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The Win8 internals are an improvement on XP in some respects, they finally got network and USB performance good, equalling where the house Linux PC and NAS servers have been for years. It uses RAM a lot better.

In other respects all that's changed is what triggers mysterious slowdowns and outright stalls and the File Explorer is more broken than ever. My install is riddled with compatibility problems, with apps, drivers and codecs, if they added a big 'run EVERYTHING in XP compatible mode' it would save me a lot of time. HyperV is broken on my AMD board, it looks like it works but subtly breaks BDA support.

After all these months tweaking problems Win8 is *near* the uptimes I had with XP. That's not something Microsoft should be proud of.

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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

Paul Shirley
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Re: oh dear AC, you forgot MS instrumentation...

The fact they've waited so damn long to pretend to offer concessions (Start *button* not the *menu* we actually want for example), all the while denying there's a problem, all go to demonstrate they weren't listening to 'shouty people' when it was hatched, weren't listening to them after it launched and aren't pandering to them now.

The underlying reality is: MS justified vandalising the XP then Win7 UIs based on instrumenting Windows installs and logging user usage patterns. If change is coming it will be driven by the same sort of feedback. Given the overarching 'by hook or by crook, Win8 everywhere' corporate plan, there must be a serious difference between actual usage and what was expected/planned to trigger any backpeddling.

Can't help MS that the 'shouty people' are so pissed off this time many deliberately opted in to the usage feedback to make sure the weasels at MS can't hide behind the same excuses. The majority of users may well be using a tiny fraction of the UI or OS and careless about what their PC reports back to MS, that's still not an excuse to take it away from those that use more.

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Next Xbox won't need always-on internet after all

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Homer 1

Though I hate to give the impression I'm defending them, the phrase that kicked off the shitstorm was 'always on', not 'online only'. The 2nd is a sensible extrapolation based on current industry practices that Microsoft chose not to deny.

My personal belief is Microsoft gave no serious consideration to whether misuse of online as DRM was an issue for customers and had no policy either way. It is however a serious issue for shitty developers Microsoft cannot ignore, like EA, so it will be allowed.

The social network features of Durango (video sharing, in game messaging etc.) clearly do require a permanent connection *for them to work*. Microsoft leak still doesn't clarify completely whether that will be used as camouflage for DRM or whether we can disable that and still play games.

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We've done it - we've gone and made LONG-LIFE BEER

Paul Shirley
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Re: Hops

The problem is *oxidisation* of lipids to form trans-2-nonelal, not bacterial action. You stop it by removing oxygen and live yeast does a good job of sucking it up in live beers - draught or bottled. The last thing commercial factory lager producers want is anything live in their 'product' and the near total absence of flavour makes faults easy to taste.

Hops are used less for preservation than flavour nowadays. However they react badly to UV light, officially the flavour is 'skunk', I normally describe it as cat's piss. Which probably helps explain why beers often drunk outdoors in a sunny country are notoriously devoid of hops ;)

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