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* Posts by ChrisB 2

40 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

ChrisB 2

Re: Square watches

Square/rectangular designs for watches have been around for a tad longer than any smart watch:-

Cartier Tank

Bell & Ross

Baume & Mercier

Richard Mille

Round vs. square is simply personal preference and sod all to do with tech fanboyism of any flavour.

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

ChrisB 2

Horses for courses

This machine is clearly aimed at home/education/light users. There won't, or shouldn't, be any 3D rendering use cases for this starterMac™

It's still a bit pricey though even if it is an all-in-one requiring no separate screen purchase, but having been a convert from Windows to Mac some years back, I've still got and use my original 2010 (I think) 24" iMac whereas and my similarly aged 13" MackBook still works without interruption/slowing/breaking, although it's now in the hands of the student offspring of a friend rather than mine. In the same time period I've "burned through" at least two Windows laptops, so total cost of ownership works out very well for Macs and me.

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Internet rejoices over Star Wars, um, clapboard pic

ChrisB 2

Re: hmm..

In fairness, STOS was designed to be a space opera. By Roddenberry.

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

ChrisB 2

Re: Animals

'Further, being CEO is rather different to most jobs - he has considerable scope to make hiring and advancement decisions and he is inherently the "face" of the company.' - bolccg

Precisely.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

ChrisB 2

Re: Few CIOs or VP ITs can code

This is so true. I do remember one place where I was contracting the PM took me aside after a month and asked me to slow down as the rest of the team (and him) were being made to look bad and that they relied on the weekend overtime payments being slow brought them! This was a financial institution where they were all on bloody good base salaries and some were also contractors.

However, I have to say that, as a (now) senior manager who used to code for a living, the number of times I've been given delivery estimates which I _knew_ to be ridiculously long and grossly "padded" is legion. The trick is to discuss properly with the developers, challenge where necessary, sign off what's agreed and then have solid change control to avoid the dreaded scope creep.

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DARPA hands IBM £3.4m to develop SELF DESTRUCTING CHIPS

ChrisB 2
Black Helicopters

The IMF team...

...should be consulted.

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New wonder slab slurps Wi-Fi, converts it into juice for gadgets, boast boffins

ChrisB 2

"Crystal radios have an antenna that can double as a washing line."

As a boy, my crystal radio antenna was strung up along my Mum's washing line :)

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Microsoft pulls Win 8.1 RT code which upgraded Surface 'slabs into BRICKS

ChrisB 2

Re: Bricked or somewhat confused.

"You can create a USB recovery drive using ANY Windows computer running XP or above. You could probably even do it on a Linux machine. You just need to be able to format the USB drive as FAT32 and extract .zip files"

To the vast majority of "normal" users, that's gobbledegook right there.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

ChrisB 2

Re: Non Retina

It looks pretty good. If you want slightly heavier text, then you can choose "bold" in the accessibility menu. I've done this for my 4S (age-induced eyesight deficiency) but not needed on my iPad mini.

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Apple ships new iPods in 'SPAAAAACE ... Gray'

ChrisB 2

The colour of political correctness?

Is space grey the new gunmetal?

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Peter Capaldi named as 12th Doctor Who

ChrisB 2

Inspired choice and should give saving the universe a little more clarity and direction

http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2013/08/04/malcolm-tucker-vs-the-daleks/

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Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever

ChrisB 2

Re: It's just a really bad equivalent of AirPlay / DLNA; what's the big deal?

"A bad equivalent" is possibly a bit harsh, but in fairness Apple TV does do all the things you say and does them extremely well.

I use Apple TV/Airplay extensively both at home for all the usual sources:- built-in to Apple TV itself and streaming/mirroring from any number of fruity goodness devices and at work for presentations from iPad or MacBooks &etc. It's so easy to use and so dependable that, for me at least, it is very much worth being inside the walled garden.

Now, if Apple were to respond to this by dropping the Apple TV price...

...however unlikely that may be.

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

ChrisB 2

Agreed

Far more likely that the markets reacted to the lack of announcements on new iDevice and other consumer hardware.

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Review: Livin' in the cloud with Google's new Chromebook Pixel

ChrisB 2

Re: Mmmm

True. And a £1000 paperweight when I'm out of range of WiFi or 3G. Which in some parts of the UK I visit isn't that uncommon:(

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ChrisB 2

Mmmm

I just quickly priced up a 13" Macbook Air

2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, 8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 512GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 2 x USB 3, Thunderbolt (ok, ok)

All for £1599 including VAT.

Apart from a better screen, just what am I getting in a Pixel that warrants not going for a a full blown OS with half-decent local storage such as a Macbook for OSX or a Samsung/Sony (or even a Macbook with Bootcamp) for Windows?

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Why is the iPhone so successful? 'Cause people love 'em

ChrisB 2

Oh good grief

Substitute ManU for iPhone and Arsenal for Android (or vice versa) and you have the level of the pseudo-debate we see all too often here.

I have one phone type but not the other, it suits me fine and I really DGAS what anyone else chooses to buy with their money. Until a phone manufacturer pays me to evangelise or criticise then I have no interest in doing so. And I'm really, really bored with those who do. Perhaps El Reg could consider locking all threads which descend (often very rapidly) into yah-boo-sucks mode?

BTW I have no axe to grind about football either,

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Early verdict on Intel Ultrabook™ push: FAIL

ChrisB 2

Here's the problem - El Reg's demographic are not the target market for Ultrabooks/Airs - those users aren't compiling code/video editing/playing CoD at 6 gazillion FPS.

The demographic these machines are aimed at is mostly management types and they're using Office, sending emails, reviewing spreadsheets and surfing the net for news/reports. They can afford the machines (or their employers can) and they place a premium on size and lightness and, yes, on the cool factor too. There's no point in serious techies slagging off these machines - it really is horses for courses.

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Vote now for the WORST movie EVER

ChrisB 2
Coffee/keyboard

Oh dear - icon says it all.

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TopWrite

ChrisB 2

Re: Perhaps.

Fairly simple -

Cross-border for no recipient charge (if data and roaming switched off the message doesn't go anyway)

Delivered/Read status

Some packages include 500 texts not unlimited

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Apple tells authors: All your books iBook files are belong to us

ChrisB 2

Mmm. Clearly you've mis-read or not understood the story.

Apple is in no way trying to stop you selling your work via any other channel, just saying you can't use their (free) assembly line to build for another channel.

BTW Home/Student Office has pretty much the same terms.

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iPhone baby clothes shop mauled by Apple

ChrisB 2

ROFL.

You'd think, but you'd be so very wrong. Some of the people I know who are the most susceptible to any advertsing/marketing are also the most intelligent and otherwise hard-nosed business people. Some of them work in IT.

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Pass the wine, dear. Yes, that papier-mache thing

ChrisB 2

Erm, unless the new bottles directly replace the old glass ones...

...the gazillions of £/€/$ about to be spent on re-fitting bottling plants and the concomitant gazuillions of kilos of CO2 thus generated will help how?

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iOS update woes prompt gnashing of teeth for Apple fans

ChrisB 2

Mine just worked

OS X 10.7.2 on two Macs

iOS 5 on an iPad and iPhone

No issues at all.

Sorry.

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Galaxy Tab remains illegal in Germany

ChrisB 2

I'm a big Apple user, I like its products and they work for me.

But this is crazy. Apple should (and will) protect it's IP but protecting the looks of something just because there's similar (not identical/fake) out there. Nuts. Besides anything else simple ergonomics would tend to move tablet design down the iPad-a-like route.

Wonder if Bang & Olufsen might consider suing Apple for use of snazzy glass and aluminium designs?

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Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

ChrisB 2

Strongly disagree

Dole claimants are in receipt of _my_ money, so why should I subsidise criminals?

Those not on the dole are in receipt of money they earn for themselves, and their punishment cannot therefore be to have that taken away and must take some other form.

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UBS tells IT contractors: Take a 10% pay cut ... or 100%

ChrisB 2

If you're going contracting...

...get the best advice you can from professional contractors. Start at www.pcg.org.uk with PCG's Guide to Freelancing.

But I would say that, wouldn't I.

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ChrisB 2

Contractors and Permies sometimes are in the same boat

OK, whilst I don't think that these tactics are particularly "gentlemanly", contractors are in business and sometimes business is just war without guns.

Not nice, not very palatable, but it's the real world, deal with it. Over the last 15 years two of the three times this has happened to my business (not at UBS), I accepted it, the third I chose not to and the agency/client backed down within hours. This course of action may not be appropriate for all contractors, but they can and should resist if possible - that's just good business practice. They should also consider demanding that their agency take a lesser margin and share the loss - after all the large proportion of an agency's work is paid for within the first few weeks of a contract and with a reasonable allowance for admin/factoring costs the remainder of the contract is at a healthy profit.

If ALL the banks/agencies do it simultaneously then that smacks of collusion/cartel and the MMC, DBERR (or whatever they're called this week) might get to hear of it from a bunch of contractors with good lawyers, but on a bank-by-bank basis, this is just business and you can bet your bottom dollar that other suppliers are getting similar sort of pain.

Bear in mind that most senior employees of UBS are pretty much in the same boat with ever-decreasing (and paid in shares) bonuses, salaries held frozen for years at a time (not even CPI/RPI increases &etc) and ever-decreasing levels of morale.

At some levels old-hand staff in many companies are line managing recent joiners who are on much, much higher base salaries because the old-timers have had years of frozen pay and the newbies join at market rate or better. Old-timers may be reluctant to move because their bonus funds are in shares which are not yet vested so they feel locked in to their current employer (the obvious intention of such schemes).

BTW whilst it's fashionable to beat the banking fat-cats about the head, remember that for every barrow-boy trader or investment rocket scientist there a dozens and dozens of staff on "normal" rates of pay.

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'Apple is not going to change,' new boss says

ChrisB 2
Thumb Up

SoftFox is spot on

That's exactly what this message is - messaging is all about audience.

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Actress meets feds investigating nude photo Gmail hack

ChrisB 2
Headmaster

Nah, you underestimate the intelligence of teenagers by some way

Teens simply have no concept of what t'Internet is. They think it's safe. Despite many, many warnings my teenage children still say/do/post stupid things on the Internet. I constantly have to remind them that anything they say do/say/post is effectively in the public domain.

Unfortunately they believe Zuckerberg and his chums that "we'll help you keep your stuff safe" a lot more than they believe me saying "Internet==not private."

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Apple iPad – the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of 2010

ChrisB 2

Buy a laptop

I have both an iPad and a laptop and, indeed, I have a desktop.

They're different tools for different jobs (pun intended) albeit with a degree of overlap in functionality. The iPad is surprisingly versatile and has replaced about 85% of my laptop use, but I still use my laptop when I need to do detailed/lengthy content creation, and my desktop when I need the power/speed for compex content creation (rarely - it''s more often just an excuse to get out of the living room and into the study).

IMO a notebook would be useless for me as it can't do the role of a laptop and has none of the advantages of an iPad.

So, all this fuss about "get a notebook/laptop" and "iPads can't do x, y or z" is actually pretty irrelevant and could more usefully be replaced by "choose the right tool for the job and if device x doesn't do the job you want it to do, don't buy it."

It's all a little bit like a having car and a motorbike - you wouldn't necessarily want to use the latter for a long journey with three passengers on a cold and wet day when a car is the clearly more suitable option, but you might want to use it for a quick, unencumbered country spin on a nice sunny day when you have no passengers.

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First true submarine captured from American drug smugglers

ChrisB 2
Happy

Indeed

The war on drugs is lost and continuing it is a complete waste of time and effort.

Much better to de-criminalise and put the soft stuff into off-licences and the hard stuff into pharmacies for non-prescription purchase. Pharma stocks, tax revenues and those who wish to all get high.

Simples.

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iPad, Kindle as readable as print... almost

ChrisB 2

A title is required

WHS.

FWIW I find the iPad easy to read in all the circumstances I've tried it - even in the recent bright sunlight. OK, the reflective screen is a bit of a pain but since I retain, even at my great age, the power of mobility then adjusting to suit isn't a problem.

If the aforementioned blighter on the Tube can't even use an iPad then presumably he won't be needing to ride the Tube to work for much longer?

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'iPhone 4G' loser outed

ChrisB 2

This is probably a set-up

Loads of free publicity for Apple. I really don't think this was a drunken mistake. By anyone.

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Apple bans Pulitzer Prize political cartoons from iPhone

ChrisB 2
Jobs Horns

No defence

I've got a few Apple toys and I quite like them, iMac better than Windoze for me, iPhone works for me, will likely buy an iPad v2 yadda, yadda, yadda.

This censorship, however, is monumentally stupid. Why don't Apple just get over themsleves and have an "adult themes" section of iTunes & App Store with a second level of access protection if they're that worried about it? This would likely be their most profitablke section:-)

Simples.

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Brown promises no change to basic tax rate

ChrisB 2

Oh, yes and...

No change to the basic rate. Cool. Thanks Gordon. However:-

For all wage earners

Allowances will, again, not be increased in line with inflation (stealth income tax)

For all except the very lowest wage earners

NI will go up (stealth income tax)

For those (quite a lot) earning over £37,400 and being taxed at 40% on pay above that limit

The limit will, again, not be increased in line with inflation (stealth income tax)

For those (relatively few) earning over £100,000 but below £150,000

Allowances will be reduced to, ultimately, 0 (stealth income tax)

For those (even fewer earning over £150,000 and being taxed at 50% on pay above that limit

I'll bet now that this band limit won't go up in line with inflation either (stealth income tax)

Y'see, there's lies, damned lies, and statistics...

...and there's the amazing inability of the UK electorate to understand percentages - 20% of quite a lot is quite a lot, whereas 20% of not a lot is not a lot

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Tories may scrap IR35 tax rules for contractors

ChrisB 2

PCG is still working on it...

...although Jones (PCG backed) win in the House of Lords largely did for it. The Chancellor refuses to finally kill off the family business tax (Google for that phrase!) so PCG hasn't given up campaigning against it.

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ChrisB 2

PCG won;t be sitting back and resting

Which is why PCG will be watching this very carefully.

We've worked long and hard to get sensible responses from all of the political parties and now the Tories have made a massive step in the right direction we won't be resting on our laurels.

PCG will continue to lobby vigorously to ensure that all nano-businesses, including IT contractors, get a fair deal for the risks they take.

And yes, I am that ChrisB and I make no apologies for sounding the PCG's horn on this occasion:-)

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Google buys app, removes from app store

ChrisB 2
Grenade

Indeed

FoxPro anyone?

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O2 takes a Christmas break

ChrisB 2

O2 milking their customers. Never!

Agreed - I've been working in Europe a lot this year and my O2 bills have been quite high at c£300 per month. They'll very kindly waive the one month ETF if I upgrade to a 3GS and sign a new two year contract. Generous in the extreme.

I'll be moving back to Vodafone in the New Year.

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IT contractors demand overhaul of company transfer visas

ChrisB 2

@AC on protectionism

Broadly I agree that protectionism is a bad thing, however we're talking about ICTs in this case. i.e. Those who are brought to the UK to carry out roles in the UK which would (and should IMO) have been carried out by locals, whether contract or permanent. It would appear that some companies are abusing the ICT system to bring in non-specialist workers (those workers who have generic IT skills such as C#, Java &etc rather than specific expertise, knowledge and skills which can _only_ apply to their employer's business and practices).

These generic IT skills are no longer on the MAC's Skills Shortage list due to successful evidence submission and lobbying by PCG and therefore visas are no longer granted to fill the non-existent IT skills shortage. Some companies are using the ICT route to get what effectively amounts to cheap labour into the UK - this is not what ICTs were originally intended for.

This is a very different kettle of fish to offshoring, which, although IMO potentially very short-sighted, cannot be described as abusing the system.

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