* Posts by Paul Shirley

2024 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Was Android moving to OpenJDK really a Google gift to devs?

Paul Shirley
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oracle constrained by the GPL

Openjdk may not be quite so easy for Oracle to exploit because they're bound by the gpl on any external contributions. Without reimplementing everything themselves and somehow convincing the rest of the contributers to accept that, they can't simply force new licence terms without forking Java.

Any oem breaking the classpath licence deserves to be sued anyway but oracle probably have little scope to 'manufacture' infractions. Won't stop them trying. We're still pretty reliant on the courts deciding the fair use defence favourably and finally killing oracles case along with any future attacks they would inevitably make.

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Smartphone hard, dudes, like it’s the end of the world!

Paul Shirley
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how times change

£65? Just reminded my father that £20 on the even more disposable (but higher spec than [insert name here]) [insert other name] he was considering was a bit pointless without an internet connection or PC.

Could have bought 2 of them with some credit for double the party fun. Next year i fully expect usable phones will be given away with cereal.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Paul Shirley
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Re: "Aye, well, we had it tough -- had to compile from raw gravel"

You've not lived till you've built a new machine definition for gcc, built and debugged a cross compiler with it on DOS, written libc from scratch to avoid GPL issues and created a CD filesystem driver + tools to build the CD's, all with a few weeks experience with gcc or C... then finally got started on the actually porting PC C++ to a games console Sega abandoned shortly after!

You middle aged folk had it easy ;)

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AMD to nibble the ankles of Nvidia this summer with 14nm FinFET GPUs

Paul Shirley
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power consumption

Hard to believe 14nm finfet won't make a difference to power use but AMD have failed to deliver promised power improvements for so many years now I'm struggling to believe it will actually happen. I fear I'll be struggling on with my old GPU for a considerable time.

If forced to upgrade for work I'm likely to end up back on nVidia despite their shitty attitude to bug fixes (both hardware and drivers) and the many times they just disable broken features instead of fixing them. My power bill will thank me and i won't need AC to run the PC full speed next summer.

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Paul Shirley
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Re: Page and Worstall "moved on" in the Autumn, right?

The Dude: "Seeing the register bend over for this scam is a serious disappointment"

Remind me what the IT angle was on his sermons from the mount?

Or why, if there was some tech aspect to the sermon at all, it was acceptable for his beliefs to always override honest, accurate critical reporting? Although it was always entertaining tracking down real expert commentary when he used to spout BS about naval affairs ;)

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Microsoft in 2016: Is there any point asking SatNad what's coming?

Paul Shirley
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Re: I think Steve Ballmer should shut up

MS were never in a believable position to dominate mobile because at the time they needed to act they already had a successful smart mobile product with WinCE (albeit just a big fish in a tiny pond). They were incapable of reacting quickly enough, too much invested in CE and an ongoing unwillingness to break with Windows limiting their choices.

All these years on MS remain hobbled by their fixation on building devices that support Windows and it's ecosystem before making devices that support their customers needs.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: mad, really mad

Ballmer would seem ideally qualified to question the figures given how much massaging of them happening under his (mis)rule.

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Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

Paul Shirley
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@bobgameon

"Windows 10 enterprise adoption already stands at 11%"

I think you forget we know enterprise licences come with downgrade rights (usually used) or that we noticed Microsoft booking win8 upgrade options as actually sales for as long as the law allowed.

In Microsoft's version of Hollywood accounting license sales!=adoption. Or sales.

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Paul Shirley
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@kryptylomese:"Windows 7 was liked by gamers"

Win7 was loved by gamers for 2 reasons:

1: MS withheld DX10 from XP and DX10 brought significant improvements to game rendering, small improvements to rendering speed. Driver support was also focussed on it rather than XP so of course gamers flocked to where the new shinies were.

2: Finally we had a 64bit OS that didn't mean abandoning waste swathes of existing software, unlike the incompatible disaster XP64 was. Machines finally able to use more than 3.5Gb of installed RAM and very occasionally the performance bump of 64bit game builds.

The rest of it, not so much loved as damned with faint 'it's less buggy' praise.

If you've been paying attention MS are trying the same thing with DX12 on Win10 right now, to lure the gamers onto their unloved platform.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: @MikeHuk

I also signed onto the insider thing near the start. What quickly became obvious is insider is primarily about building a community of win 10 supporters first, debugging and improving it second. The pre Xmas emails from Gabe pretty much admitted it. It's succeeded in creating enough less than critical support to wonder just how much the echo chamber is still leading development astray.

It certainly caused enough eager cheerleaders to pop up and site confusion anywhere windows is discussed.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Squeeky Wheel

Meanwhile out there in the real "real world" ordinary folk find Win10 doesn't work on the phones and tablets they actually own and use and don't care what it's like on the PCs they are buying fewer of and using less often. Windows is slowly sliding into irrelevance outside the business world.

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Microsoft halts downloads of new PowerShell power-up

Paul Shirley
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Re: Too big to fail?

The code isn't necessarily unused, a frightening amount of it duplicates past ms errors that we poor devs had to code around or against. Bugs they can't remove without breaking an unknown number of apps.

Unix got it right by minimising the api surface into small testable chunks for small separated tools. Then Linus buggered it up into a monolithic kernel in Linux, just not quite as badly as windows.

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Paul Shirley
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windows as a service

Remind me why windows as a service makes any sense at all with this consistent record of borked updates?

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Windows 10: What's coming in 2016?

Paul Shirley
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Re: How long?

The file indexing service is already "rifling through your files" and the search service loves going to the net, it doesn't take much paranoia to see where this is going.

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Who would win a fight between Cortana and Android?

Paul Shirley
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Re:

@jjcoolaus "seamless voice activation between all your devices"

Sounds great. Until my tablet races my phone to answer "OK Google" requests, both speaking to me in different accents (given up trying to fix that), gibbering different answers because they misheard me in sightly different ways. Sometimes with the phone sitting in a different room because it's microphone is very good.

It gets annoying real fast ;)

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Windows 10 won't come to old WinPhones until some time in early 2016

Paul Shirley
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Re: All Win Phones or just all Nokia/Microsoft phones?

Nokia/MS devices are effectively *all shipped* WP phones, with negligible sales of anything else.

I've always believed tier 1 OEMs are building WP phones because their sealed Android patent agreements with MS either explicitly require it, or 'voluntarily' supporting WP reduces the licensing fees on Android. Without that carrot|stick I think they would all have abandonned it the moment MS got into bed with Nokia.

MS have mismanaged WP from day 1, simultaneously complacent about everyone loving whatever they threw out the door and equally complacent about their ability to force compliance on an industry they have little leverage in. Seems even with Ballmer gone the wishful (or should that be magical) thinking continues.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: > 1:50 ?!?

Seen 2 in the last month or so.

My only WP owning friend broke his and switched to Samsung Android, we now hear "I like this" instead of the "it's OK" comments. He can now use his companies app, not sure if thats a bonus though ;)

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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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