* Posts by Paul Shirley

1893 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Pray for AMD

Paul Shirley
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There's no point bewailing the nonsensical naming conventions and near total lack of clues about performance. AMD don't advertise to the public, Intel does. A lot.

When most people think 'Intel good' they don't have a clue why, it's simply the only brand they can remember that has something to do with the 'stuff' powering their PC.

AMD do throw money at promoting the graphics products but it's little more than maintaining brand awareness, those enthusiast customers understand the products. They're currently mightily annoyed that AMD rebranded last years product then pretended it was something new.

AMD are now the budget brand, not valued by end users, not chosen by them, just the default when they buy something cheap and low margin. Even the fans stopped caring after the misguided Bulldozer shared core fiasco.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Paul Shirley
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The 'shrieking hysterics' are fully justified and history has shown it's the only way to get Microsoft to even consider changing policy. It's sad that Microsoft only hear feedback that agrees with them unless you shout but that's the way it is, shouting is not optional when they screw up :(

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Paul Shirley
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Re: THE SKY IS FALLING!

@Mad Mike: "their computer may get problems without them even being aware an update has been applied"

My thankfully short list of update exclusions was compiled by watching my PC fail immediately after applying bad updates, so I had a fighting chance of guessing which one(s) were responsible. If they take the next logical step and force reboot your system that's going to get much harder.

Not well pleased that crapware like the 'important' Win10 update app will now not be refusable, how many other apps I'll never use will they decide I need? Even Google lets me refuse updates for it's stuff (and I can even disable them simply).

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ZOMBIE Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a FONDLESLAB

Paul Shirley
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Re: designed for games

"WTF?? Every Amiga I ever used had fast ram as well as chip ram."

So you never used the best selling A500 512K version, all of it ChipRam?

The one game devs had to build against because it was A: more popular, B: so much slower due to RAM contention. And it's wonderfull (NOT!) RAM expansion slot that combined the bus contention of ChipRam with the inaccessibility to the chipset of FastRam! The Amiga where we used the CPU for some graphics tasks because otherwise the clock cycles would just be lost.

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Paul Shirley
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designed for games

The Amiga hardware was in reality designed to be a games super console and some arcade machines shipped based on it. I remember eagerly waiting to get hold of one when first announced. Then Commodore bought the company and (I believe) Jack Tramiel decided to repackage it as a PC, aimed at business use. Because it was now a business device the idiots removed the 'fast ram' that make the design so fast at graphics and seriously harmed it's future as a gaming machine :(

It never really recovered from that downgrade, you could add the missing ram back but it made an already expensive machine too expensive for many before IBM killed the business niche for everyone else.

Might have to dig mine out and fire up some old games.

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Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Paul Shirley
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Re: Ha

"Win10 requirements are the same as Win7"

The difference is Win8.1 was the first time Microsoft made an effort to actually reduce Windows footprint, turning a laughable min spec that only applied to a bare install into one that works if you install things and use it in anger. A usable Win7 min spec should have been higher, as my brother discovered the hard way with his unusable Win7 laptop - even after we cleaned all the crapware off it.

So far Win10 looks like it inherited the 8.1 slimline footprint. And the same lack of drivers I was hit by in Win8 ;(

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Paul Shirley
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well I downloaded mine from Microsoft...

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US govt now says 21.5 million people exposed by OPM hack – here's what you need to know

Paul Shirley
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Re: We can only hope it was the Chinese government that got it

Dropping a few million extracts in hacking forms would cause chaos and the US is not going to go to war with China even if they could prove it. Repeat for a couple of years. Watch the US government make increasingly stupid and freedom destroying choices.

If a government has this and is not one of your allies, you're screwed. You're less screwed of an ally has it... they might use lube.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Paul Shirley
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Re: That's in in a nut shell

Remember though, windows started as just a gui loaded in DOS. Then it acquired DOS extender features and device drivers but still over DOS. It didn't subsume the OS layer till 95. A better complaint is why the hell an OS needs to be part of a GUI ;)

Or why an internet browser should be hooked so intimately into an OS,

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I can't wait!

An OS exists to support it's users NOT CONTROL THEM.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: So...

The good news is MS seem to having given up breaking Classic Start Menu, which sorts out a good chunk of the vandalism. Haven't tried installing UXStyler on Win10 yet, it fixes some of the missing window chrome (like coloured title bars;), I suspect they will try to block that but fail.

Won't be installing the shipped Win10 till long after both are working, but again I'm forced to rely on 3rd parties to fix Windows problems because MS simply chose different ways to break the UI while lying about fixing it.

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Paul Shirley
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I don't believe Microsoft can afford to break games, part of the ongoing strategy is to migrate gamers on to Win10 as soon as possible, by restricting DX12 to Win10 so they have no choice. Killing existing gaming along the way wrecks that plan. Without it they can forget about tying the XBox, phone and PC ecosystem together and that's why everyone including Microsoft is going through the pain of Win8 then 10.

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The END of WINDOWS EVERYWHERE! Is that really what Nadella wants?

Paul Shirley
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" At least Ballmer tried to get MS to go forward in the right direction, Nadella has just put MS in reverse gear."

You assume reverse isn't the 'right direction' and confuse Ballmer 'trying to go forward' with Ballmer 'succeeding in going forward'. Quite a lot of us would welcome some genuine reversing, instead of the pretending MS have been doing.

This isn't reversing, it's MS skipping the temporary sideways excursion into WP. If the end goal was Win10 everywhere then WP had no long term future, it would be just another view of Win10. Given the state WP is in heading straight for the unified endgame is almost no risk. What damage can they do to a failed product they have to give away for free?

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Smart Meter biz case still there, insists tragically optimistic UK govt

Paul Shirley
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Re: I had a cider last week

"Anybody looking to emulate this should satisfy themselves with a 2 litre bottle of Old Rosie...."

I still remember the morning ritual of upending trade jars of Old Rosie to stir the artificial clouding agent back in. I'd advise anyone that actually likes cider to avoid the stuff and order a 20l box of something real, take out a shelf and it will fit comfortably in even a small fridge. It's also a lot more thermal inertia.

Of course you'll have to pre pour to let the heavenly juice warm up to proper 12deg drinking temp ;)

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Chinese takeaway, hold the Google: Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android

Paul Shirley
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Not so much fanbois as a demonstration of what Google haters try to forget, most western Android users want the Google experience enough to jump through hoops if deprived of it. The few that don't want it just root and remove Google. That and some blatant ignoring this is a grey import from a region that doesn't feel any need for more than the G Play Store on their phones.

For the professional haters it's probably best to keep quiet, reminding the world that Google has no control over large parts of the Android market doesn't fit the fiction they want to spin ;)

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150,000 angry Redditors demand Chairman Pao's head on a spike

Paul Shirley
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"so they could find someone who would do what they wanted with the AMA"

Half the issue is whether the mods will cooperate with that. It's not just about the vital organisational aspect, she was what stopped AMA degenerating into a pure PR and/or advertising opportunity. Simple things like making sure the celeb being questioned was the one actually answering the questions.

Redditors are crusty folk not likely to put up with that, readers or mods.

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Windows 10 is due in one month: Will it be ready?

Paul Shirley
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Re: "for the supported lifetime of the device" £50 tablet?

The network PVR I built last week on top of Win8.1 with Bing seems to think it's authorised for the upgrade... it's also imaged so I can revert if it all goes horribly wrong ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Had the fun (not) updating a cheap Win8.1 with Bing box last weekend. Took a couple of hours before I received *any* progress feedback from update. Then far too long when it started actually installing. And another huge delay when I asked it to clean up after the install.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: "for the supported lifetime of the device"

@dogged: completely ignoring the observation that they remembered to add 'supported' this time. Not 'lifetime' but 'supported lifetime' - they don't have the same meaning.

More honest but most of us assumed they had no intention of Win10 actually having perpetual support on anything or even guaranteed support for the actual life of your OEM licensed device.

Still nothing there guaranteeing all support will be covered by my prepaid licence, not hidden in the store as a paid option.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

Paul Shirley
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very old news, deliberately ignored for too long

FFS we knew research was the best investment 25yrs ago. Even economists finally worked out a decade ago it was more cost effective than what's actually happened if started early.

Unfortunately state level investment was one of the things the obstructionists have managed to block for those years. Unsurprisingly with no pressure to change the energy industry also sat on their arses till belatedly forced into pointless crap like smart meters.

Looking at the tiny number of PV panels in my city, if we're getting 5.8% from that few of them now, that's pretty spectacular. And a real pity we don't have the benefit of 20yrs focussed research on cost and solving the storage&network problem, from people who don't have old industries to defend. The subsidy has been a damn expensive way to achieve cost reduction.

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Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Paul Shirley
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Re: Translation

Drivers on Win updates servers are usually written by chipset providers not OEMs, OEMs just wrap them lightly if at all. Even if the OEM provides a working copy to Microsoft, update is prone to supplying a different version that matches the chipset signature.

That in itself would be just annoying if the drivers work, the real problem is piss poor testing from Microsoft. I have a DVBT card with working drivers that update persistently tries to 'update' to broken versions. A WiFi dongle that has no known working drivers but Windows still tries to install them - causing an instant kernel crash and making Windows unbootable. Both driver are WHQL certified.

Win update is quite capable of breaking PC's and leaving no clue about how it happened if you let it run automatically. At least they allow me to hide specific updates or the backup image would get more use.

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Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones

Paul Shirley
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Re: "30 OEMs to get them preloaded"

Even worse, if they put it in system space, that's 500meg of flash that could have been allocated to the user partition and after an update it will gobble another 500meg of userspace for the new apks.

Let's hope they have the sense to not install in system space. And why would anyone want software of typical Microsoft quality running with system privileges anyway?

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Farewell then, Mr Elop: It wasn't actually your fault

Paul Shirley
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"If he couldn't work out that it'd leak..."

...or that quite a few employees would realise they wouldn't have a job much longer or any reason not to leak it...

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Paul Shirley
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hard to believe

Hard to believe Elop had no awareness of the true state of Windows Phone at the time (or the related internal feedback about all things Metro - which we now know was overwhelmingly negative).

But let's pretend all he had was what his ex-employer told Nokia. Why the hell did he believe it? He had to know how MS operates, how they promise but deliver late or not at all, how they have no scruples about wrecking partners business. So why walk the company off a cliff on a Microsoft promise? That's not 'pretty good' by any reckoning.

I also fail to understand how putting out Android devices is a one way abandonment of control. Every other major phone producer is happy to ship with multiple OSes, including WP even if the Winphone offerings are more about appeasing Microsofts lawyers than sales. Dropping everything for a single bought in OS was never necessary, although I'll agree they would never have finished an OS competitive with Android given how they got into this mess.

When faced with an 'impossible choice' it helps to pick the least worst option, not the worst as Elop did.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Paul Shirley
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It continues to mightily piss me off that both sides are so loud in their ranting and obstruction that things we should be doing don't happen if it looks remotely like climate change mitigation overlaps in purpose. That research is constantly under attack - very much like neither believers or deniers want to know the truth.

That no evidence is too large to ignore or too small not to shout about, depending on the needs of your argument.

And I'm still surprised Page didn't throw a frothing fit over the recent 'warming pause was a measurement error' stories...

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Google on Google: The carefully collated anti-trust truth

Paul Shirley
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WTF?

There's a simple explanation for an unmistakably bad service like Google Shopping beating the incumbents, it wasn't quite as crap as them. I quit using Kelkoo long before Google joined the game, a straight search often gave better results than so called specialists. And Kelkoo was one of the better ones!

Comparison sites are in trouble because they don't offer anything to distinguish their product from everyone else's. Favourable page placement has a disproportionate effect *because* it's hard to care which poor quality service you end up on. They got caught badly by the SEO hammer because they did what every poor business on the internet does, spent their money on sleazy SEO. I for one will never miss finding entire search pages full of bad comparison sites instead of the product information I actually wanted.

By all means stop Google favouring it's own offering but try not to pretend those sites deserved success. Or that they've improved more than was needed to escape the ban hammer.

...and the idea that Foundem was lauded anywhere outside it's own PR dept is laughable. They sank without trace after the launch announcement, long before the period they're whining about.

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Microsoft finally finishes its PowerPC emulator

Paul Shirley
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Re: @Paul

Yep, my mistake after a year+ dealing with legacy 32bit crappiness all through a 360 port, because they could assume pointers never needed to be >32bit.

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Paul Shirley
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Rumour is when you put the disk in it just downloads a ported copy, the disc just validate ownership. That makes sense, emulating PowerPC is hard with endian & 32 v 64bit issues, extensive use of vector ops that don't easily translate to deal with before even stating on the different hardware topology.

The xb1 CPU was described pretty accurately by a colleague as a mobile CPU, under clocked, under cached. Great memory bandwidth but that doesn't help when the problem is lack of MIPS.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Paul Shirley
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Re: What the...?

Or did England vote to avoid ukip replacing the libs in another coalition after believing all the black publicity? An absolute masterpiece of manipulation, blame the libs for everything then threaten the country with something much worse if they don't just vote Tory.

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Microsoft says its latest, dodgy Windows 10 build is good for (almost) everyone

Paul Shirley
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10130 does look subtly better than my previous version, seem to have restored some some visual cues to ui elements (scroll bars are easier to see for example). Still too subtle for me and high contrast is too fugly to use. Still going to be 3rd party theming if it doesn't improve much more.

This version doesn't hijack and kill my local network so it might actually get some testing.

Icons really do stink on it.

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Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

Paul Shirley
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I tried using my tablet first but echo cancellation was terrible in Skype on it... then I went straight to desktop Skype. The morning conference call works much better if you can access work windows while using it.

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

Paul Shirley
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"That's a bit silly, having a euro coin that isn't legal tender across the whole of the Eurozone."

Not silly at all, it's why the French can't veto it.

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

Paul Shirley
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Re: Pretend hippies?

A friend in his 70's will be there. I think he'll probably avoid Judas Priest in favour of something a little newer ;)

Going to be fun hearing his opinions next week.

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Microsoft spunks $500m to reinvent the wheel. Why?

Paul Shirley
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Re: Odd...

Skype under MS failed to fail because they kept it free of established MS management and engineering culture. The relative success of XBox was similar, fenced off from the parent company right up till the XB1 fiasco, the moment MS management thinking arrived it all started going sour.

Why does MS need to buy in product? It's the quickest way to change corporate culture and lost it's toxic effect on the products. The alternative is an unpredictable number of years waiting for organic change to actually take hold, longer than they can afford to wait.

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Gamers! Yes, gamers – they'll rescue our streaming Fire TV box, hopes Amazon

Paul Shirley
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Re: What changed - the network

Amazons server farms are still too far from the endpoints for low latency and it's unlikely they're equipped with suitable hardware for even casual gaming. Building out more distributed server infrastructure runs counter to their current concentration in datacentres but Amazon could afford it.

My personal belief is the shear crapness of the Onlive experience was only part of why it failed, the market it worked best on (mobile) just wasn't interested in more than native gaming. Actual gamers didn't accept the performance. If you overlook the rented aspect, the passes were pretty good value, yet few bought in.

I'm struggling to see this as a sales driver. More of nice freebie that most will ignore, while passively consuming video.

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It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

Paul Shirley
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Re: New install upgrade vs "in place"

@dogged: I can see the 'clean install' bit (completely expected since every paid upgrade has allowed this). I don't see mention of downgrading however.

One new thing he let's slip is a Windows Store account is now mandatory for the upgrade - even with a clean install. So a step back from Win8, though we were compelled to have the otherwise useless account to get Win8.1.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Signed up!

"Windows Key + first few characters of program name, enter. Boom."

Window Key + "readme" + expand the files results + try to guess without the help of a folder path which of the 28 files is the one I want. Yes, really helpful.

That hierarchical menu Microsoft are so determined to take away is there for when search isn't good enough or when I can't even remember what the thing I'm looking for is called. An option you apparently don't need but that's NO REASON to deprive me of it.

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Paul Shirley
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It was possible to capture the Win8 upgrade folder between download and install. You'll probably need to clone the old OS to pass the licence check though. Don't be surprised if your Win7 then becomes unlicensed. Might get away with killing network access on the trial and running in trial mode.

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Paul Shirley
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@dogged

Unless there's no downgrade right and you've just surrendered the Win7/8 licence for the upgrade. Restoring an image may not be an option.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: How many of you Windows user will be...

"We'll be installing it and getting on with our lives, just like when people got/get Lollipop"

The Lollipop upgrade has seriously borked battery life and UI responsiveness for many. Are you hinting Win10 will be that bad?

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So, EE. Who IS this app on your HTC M9s sneakily texting, hmm?

Paul Shirley
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SMS not so stupid a choice

SMS is harder to block than using data, that could be enough to justify use in a genuine security app. Would increase the chance of stolen devices managing to dial out before being wiped.

Whether this is a genuine helpful app is the problem. Certainly looks incompetently programmed if it's leaving copies of messages around.

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Long, sticky summer ahead: Win 10 will be with OEMs by 31 August

Paul Shirley
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Re: system requirements:

"You don't have to buy it."

... but won't be setting much support for win8.x after it launches. Win7 is trickier for them to kill but you can expect neglect. With an endless flood of security patches hitting my win8.1 box not buying won't be an option for long.

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Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Paul Shirley
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Re: Bit of love for BlackBerry?

I miss my HTC G1, sadly the market voted for touch screen slabs and slider keyboards vanished on Android. Completely agree the onscreen keyboard can be an unusable PIA.

However I don't miss it enough to use a BB style small screen+small keyboard solution (or regularly plug in the keyboard I bought more than a year ago) and suspect BB is the uncontested owner of a shrinking niche format.

The market continue to care more about the case the phone is in than the phone in the case ;)

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

Paul Shirley
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Re: Java's only impact.

The workarounds for Java's many failings largely seem to involve reflection hackery or delegating to someone else's hackery in a lib.

Patterns are something else, any Java connection accidental. 'Patterns' are useful as documentation and shared naming of techniques and philosophy, describing things that previously had a myriad of different names (if named at all) with few programmers knowing more than a few of them - mostly invented on demand rather than learned.

But I agree that languages now being capable of directly representing them is a mixed blessing ;)

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AMD promises 100 gigabyte/second memory

Paul Shirley
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@AC Bulldozer speed bump?

Bulldozer gave approximately zero average improvement over Phenom 2 in typical workloads. The SSE improvements are still going unused because SSE is so fragmented devs don't bother. The fx8370 I'm running is faster than the Phenom 2 it replaced... The clock hike and 2 more 'cores' explain almost all that increase, IPC is barely changed.

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Paul Shirley
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It's initially going into devices that stream to/from memory so latency isn't much of an issue. However 'latency = clocks*clock period' and lower clock rates don't guarantee higher latency, though rounding usually will, latency is a constant the clocks*period simply has to match or exceed.

In normal CPU's it's going to hit streaming modes less often and that might be a problem, increasing the average latency. We'll just have to wait and see.

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Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Paul Shirley
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Re: RT was essential.

@PleebSmash

Intel have indeed been very good at burning less power than AMD's efforts (and delivering more performance).

They've been rather less successful against ARM unless you believe Intels own propaganda and it's ARM they were fighting for Microsofts business.

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World of the strange: There will be NINE KINDS of Windows 10

Paul Shirley
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Re: @dogged

"If MS had removed the "theming code", Start 8 could not exist."

They didn't remove all of it, just the bits Metro didn't need and the code to read many preferences. In prerelease builds much of it was just a regedit away from resurrection, then they excised the code they didn't want anyone using.

Through subclassing pretty much anything can manipulate the UI. Having to install a 3rd party theming driver to actually do that is a security hole waiting to be exploited.

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Paul Shirley
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@Michael Habel

"lord only knows how many Vulns Start8 brought / brings with it?"

With Win8 onwards Microsoft created the *need* for products like Start8, they share responsibility for any resulting issues.

MS didn't need to actually remove the theming code from Win8 that would have let dissenters safely revert the hideous new look&feel - they deliberately chose to take that choice away permanently, they share responsibility for issues hacking it back in cause.

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Paul Shirley
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Re: keen for a pay for you watch.

...and what was your plan when the viewers that do watch only popular TV like Strictly and Eastenders decide they're no longer prepared to subsidise your viewing?

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