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* Posts by Arctic fox

2226 posts • joined 6 Nov 2009

Microsoft Surface: Designed to win, priced to fail

Arctic fox
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Windows

@h4rm0ny "...using it mainly to make a......

........really good impression with Win8 and to beat the OEMs into raising their game."

Indeed, MS made it very clear that they were not going to play cut-throat with the OEMs and that they were looking to "bench-mark" the market at the mid-end with their Surface RT model and at the upper end with the Surface Pro version. As you point out Ballmer said explicitly that they had modest plans with regard to production and sale. People are surprised at these price-points? They are absolutely and predictably in line with Ballmer's remarks about price-point "sweet spots" in his most recent public interview - competitive but not "Tesco" pricing. Redmond are doing, currently, exactly what they said they were going to do. What the future may hold if a significant proportion of the OEMs continue to punt out overpriced, under-specced pisstakes is another matter. However, in those circumstances they would have nobody to blame but themselves if MS then responded by going in for expanded production in the medium term.

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Intel CEO: PC market slogging along at half speed

Arctic fox
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@Oninoshiko Re:"I think you are overly optimistic." Well I prefer to err on the side of........

........optimism. Must have something to do with my sunny disposition. ;)

I think however that my comments about the hardware are not without saliency here. With more powerful x86 devices (and ARM won't exactly be hanging around whistling either) that don't slaughter the battery coming in the course of 2013 we will begin to see mobile full productivity pcs that can easily run something like "Naturally Speaking" from Nuance, will be equipped with proper digitizer pens and software without costing blood, can readily be docked at home or in the office, connected to your choice of peripherals and of course are equipped with good quality touch screens (if I see another shiney 1366 x 768 screen I am going to scream and throw my toys out of the pram). In other words it is not unlikely that we are going to increasingly see on the mass market full-productivity mobile pcs that you can talk to, write on (handwriting to text anyone?), stroke and, yes, interact with by means of keyboard and mouse. In other words the punter will finally be "liberated" from the tyranny of having to use his/her device in the way the pc "wants" and will be able to use an eclectic mix that suits them personally, the task they are performing and where they are performing it whether at home, in the office, or on the road. Having that available mass market will IMHO have a considerable effect on the way a large number of people do their computing.

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Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Whether Intel's CEO is whistling in the dark or not with regard to other matters, on this score....

"I don't think that the tablet as we've seen it evolve over the last several years is the end-state of computing."

......he is certainly right. The reason in my opinion? Whatever one thinks of Win8 the coming year ushers in the real mass market in touch computing. Currently all the iPads and Android tablets taken together do not amount to more than a few percentage points of the total personal computing market on a global basis. The number of adults in the UK who own a tablet is about 6% or so of the total market and in virtually all cases it is an addendum to a "proper" pc in the house whether it is a Windows box, it's running a Linux distro or it's a Mac. Touch enabled computing as opposed smart mob use is still in it's infancy. Whether Win8 is a commercial failure, a success or something in-between does not change the fact that this is the first major industry wide attempt to make touch computing as ubiquitous and "mass-market" as the conventional box or laptop. Furthermore it is only in very recent years that the hardware has begun to catch up with the dream. With the coming developments in 2013 in chippery of all types from several manufacturers (not just Intel) it will likely finally overtake it. The initial devices we are going to see this autumn are just a beginning - the sort of devices we are likely to be seeing at the end of next year will give us a much better picture.

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Kaspersky Lab to create new OS 'to save the world'

Arctic fox
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Trollface

"is building an OS environment that will contain absolutely zero defects..............

...............or vulnerabilities in the OS kernel and that will make running unauthorized, outside code "a categorical impossibility.""

One assumes then that Kaspersky Labs will not be headhunting anyone from Redmond, Cupertino or Mountain View any time soon.

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Intel inches above Wall Street's earnings expectations

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

"Apparently the moneymen had hoped for a miracle"

How often and how many different financial contexts have we seen that? Rational markets anyone?

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McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, says Home Secretary

Arctic fox
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Re: Right decision for the wrong reason

"W" and his Prince of Darkness (Veep) wanted a sacrifice, a demonstration of commitment from the UK. The present regime has decided that the gain is not worth the noise - and of course, as usual the British government falls in with it's masters wishes. If this decision had not already been cleared with Washington it would not have happened regardless fo how deserving this guy's case might be. I wish him of course the best of luck and hope for his sake and his family that this business may finally be over.

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Planet hunters double down with FOUR-STAR SYSTEM

Arctic fox
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@TheOtherHobbes Re: "See: N-body problem"

Very interesting. Solutions for multi-body systems have clearly been occupying mathematicians and astronomers for a very long time. That it has been so challenging is clear from the fact that solutions for systems of four bodies or more had to wait until the 1990s. Thanks very much for that link - very informative and led me on to some more extensive googling in fact. :)

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Arctic fox
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Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

Two binaries - I'll bet the maths of that system is interesting. How do they model it in the mathematical sense? Do the first consider the relationships "within" each pair as if they were two independent binaries and then consider each pair as one object which is then in a binary relationship with the other pair? Or can they model/calculate all the relationships between each of the four simultaneously? Anyone in a position to contribute to my education?

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Windows 8 ads hit US screens: Death Metal, exploding laptops

Arctic fox
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Windows

@Chandy Re: "good showcase" The peripherals manufacturers are already way ahead of you.

Like Logitech for example:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2011471/logitech-debuts-three-touch-friendly-mice-designed-for-windows-8.html

Should take care of your back problem nicely. :P

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Win 8 ready for slate ... but biz customers can wait

Arctic fox
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@AC 17.48 GMT "Re: I also hope we'll hear..."

The arguments being deployed in your posting and others on this issue are tendentious to say the least. I note that at first (a little under a year ago) the claim was that MS was locking Linux out of x86/Windows 8 and had this been the case given that the x86 variant is the one that applies across the whole of pc space you might have had a point. However, it turned out that the usual suspects were talking the usual bollox and so you have had to shift your ground. The problem you have here with trotting out the same arguments with Win RT is of course that that os is confined solely to tablet space where the very last thing Redmond have is any kind of monopoly - in fact they barely register currently on the sales radar at all. There is a company that has a very dominant position in the tablet market who lock down their tablets and maintain a total monopoly on software access to their devices but their name is not Microsoft and I look forward to you and your compadres howling for the regulator to get involved there.

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Arctic fox
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Re: "Windows SlateFAIL" Incoherent and idiotic posting.

"In any case, Win 8 is not ready for tablets. Firstly it's a beta (all MS initial releases are beta). Secondly it has no apps. Thirrdly it is expensive and a closed, walled garden device."

Windows 8 will run all x86 programs and is by definition not a walled garden os. Were you perhaps talking about Windows RT and do you understand the difference?

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Fukushima operator feared shutdown if risks revealed

Arctic fox
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@HMB Re: "I see that Lewis hasn't filed this one." "Judging by the thumbs there are at least......."

Hello? My post very clearly was a gentle send up of Lewis' usual gung ho attitude to nuclear power. Going "nuclear" (if I may be permitted to use that pun without you going beserk) because of that appears, to me at any rate, a trifle over the top. I do not dispute with what you have posted in fact but FFS!

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Arctic fox
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Trollface

Re: "I see that Lewis hasn't filed this one." Judging by the thumbs there are at least.......

....two people with no sense of humour at all.

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Arctic fox
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Happy

I see that Lewis hasn't filed this one.

I wonder why? :P

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Australian boffins have a ball with lightning maths

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Re: "It's "math", singular." American usage ≠ British usage.

The term "math" is not commonly used in British English. The expression "maths" is used in the UK in either context, plural or singular. Hence "lightning maths" not "lightning math". Indeed my spell-checker (set for UK English) has just red-lined "math" as a spelling error. :P

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Samsung, not Nokia, fans' most favoured WinPho brand

Arctic fox
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@ratfox Re: "Asking in the US whether people will buy a Nokia…" Indeed, clearly.

When it comes to the alternatives to the ubiquitous iPhone it is a no-brainer that in the US market the brand that most US consumers know best is of course (for entirely understandable and, IHMO, wholly deserved reasons) Samsung. In Europe of course the situation is not quite so clear cut. Any attempt to draw any form of global conclusions from this survey is of course total bollox. It will however of course provide encouragement for those who wish the Finns ill. The gold card members of the Choral Howling Association will no doubt draw (or more accurately, pretend to draw) great comfort from this survey.

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Samsung shoots Galaxy S III with shrink ray, unveils 4in Mini

Arctic fox
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WTF?

"With the device clearly aimed at competing more directly with Apple's latest......"

"4in, 800 x 480 display plus a dual-core 1GHz ST-Ericsson Novathor U8420 chipset powering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean."

Clearly aimed at the iPhone5? The SGIII certainly is - a very fine phone. This however is clearly aimed at the mid-end market which not the case with either the iPhone5 or the SGIII. Just precisely what does the writer mean by that statement? If I have misunderstood something here (which is perfectly possible) I would be grateful if someone would enlighten me.

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How Nokia managed to drive its in-house Linux train off the rails

Arctic fox
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Very interesting Andrew, very interesting indeed.

A somewhat more complex, nuanced and ,ultimately, depressing story than the (wilful) adherents of the "Nokia's been borged and Elop is the sweaty, chair-throwing maniac's bum-boy" explanation of where the Finns are now. Cutting to the quick, Nokia did it to themselves. No, I do not say that in any hostile sense - rather in the despairing sense. I hope very much (given that I still have a certain degree of affection for the company) that they will pull themselves back from the brink. Apart from anything else the pleasure of seeing the various members of the Choral Howling Association explode in hysterical rage at Nokia managing to turn the corner would be a major bonus in itself.

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Six months under water and iPhone 4 STILL WORKS

Arctic fox
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Happy

@Ken Hagen RE: "Did you mean "shot" in a nice way?" I was thinking along the lines of a........

..........metaphorical firing squad after a fantasy court martial for indecent punnery!

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Arctic fox
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"Immersion, lake and palm 'er" Oh God. You ought to be shot for that one Caleb!

See title.

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Office for Android and iOS to ship by March 2013?

Arctic fox
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"Forgive us for being a little disappointed"

MS to release an ARM version for anything other than Windows RT? I am not saying that it is impossible that they will but I think that it is far more likely that they regard the Office package as a key selling point for Windows RT slabs given that they will be bundling it with those devices. It is of course possible that there is a bit of a turf war going on behind the curtains at Redmond between the Office and the Windows divisions over whether or not to release this to other devices/operating systems.

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ZTE slams Congress spying claims, doubles down on sales ban

Arctic fox
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@JaitcH RE "it's the U.S.doing an end run around WTO rules"

Indeed it is - highly ironic since the US was the prime driver for the establishment of the WTO and also spent the nineties and the early noughties ramming bilateral free-trade agreements down the throats of various trading partners. The issue of IP that is so often mentioned in relation to China in these debates today is an interesting one. Every country that has gone through industrialisation etc goes through a period of having zero interest in respecting patents and copyright (officially or unofficially) until they have caught up and their balance of interest is served by the protection of intellectual property. In the late nineteenth century/very early twentieth the US itself was a major offender in this area. Artists ranging from Charles Dickens via George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Conan-Doyle to Gilbert and Sullivan had monster sales in the US - much of it illicit copies of their work for which they did not see a penny piece. As far as patent law is concerned it was only when US tech had reached the "Edison stage" that US industry, commerce and the US Congress had the faintest real interest in protecting IP. One is already beginning to see the Chinese authorities on the cusp of the "ought we not to take IP seriously?" point in their industrial and commercial development. Why? Because increasing numbers of Chinese companies have IP of their own they want to protect - hardly surprising that some of them are now discovering the joys of respecting intellectual poperty!

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HP: PC industry has forgotten how to innovate

Arctic fox
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@b166er "Not made by Hitachi by any chance?"

No, actually I was referring to what we might ourselves regard as interesting tech - just not Apple's version or any of the lookalikes.

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Arctic fox
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Re: " I suppose I must be much shinier than you! ;-)"

I think that you would have to consult La Señora as far as that is concerned - modesty forbids that I respond, you understand. ;-).

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Arctic fox
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Re: Sigh

Funny you should say that. Madame Arctic Fox routinely ignores both iPads/MBAs and the current crop of Ultrabooks - no sign of "oooh aaaah shiney" rubbish from her at any time. Heads straight for the kit she considers to be genuinely worthwhile - strangely enough. Knew there was at least one good reason why I married her (well there were and are several others but this is a tech thread) - :P

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That horrendous iPhone empurplement - you're holding it wrong

Arctic fox
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Meh

@Rob Carriere "You're not supposed to do that; not with a phone, nor with a professional camera"

Indeed, of course, if that is in fact the sole reason for the problems that some Apple customers have had then no more needs to be said in that respect. However, my point stands with regard to what I posted. In terms of communicating with their enthusiastic user base Cupertino screwed up this time. I repeat, in the context anything that even sounded like "it's your fault" or "you're holding it wrong" was not exactly the smartest move they could have made. They are after all supposed to be (if I may be permitted the expression) marketing "geniuses"?

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Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@SuccessCase Re: "a perfectly acceptable trade-off to get such a good camera on a phone.."

Like you I have respect for DP Review and would not myself (since I do not IMO have the necessary expertise) dispute with their comments. The question then remains however, why did not Cupertino say something along those lines? In the aftermath of Job's famous comment during the so-called "Antenna-gate" affair anything that remotely resembled responding with "you're holding it wrong" was just begging for it. It would surely have been better if Apple had treated its customers as grown-ups and discussed the issue in the sort of terms DP Rev. used rather than giving the impression that their opinion is that their punters wouldn't have the problem if they were not "misusing" (so to speak) the camera.

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Rover spots 'possibly artificial' MYSTERY SHINY OBJECT on Mars

Arctic fox
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Re: In our dreams. :)

See icon.

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Arctic fox
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In our dreams. :)

Though it would be lovely. Now where's my tinfoil hat?

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AMD unveils 'sweet spot' processor for 'sexy' tablets

Arctic fox
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@P. Lee "Who cares about the OS?" Indeed - the point here is surely that one can run.......

....the x86 os of your choice. I think that it is very much to AMD's credit that we could be looking at 10 mill tablets that are "full-song-with-choruses" computers which can run a full productivity os.

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Pilfering sysadmin gets four years and $2.3m fine for kit theft

Arctic fox
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Just for a split second (I noticed the sub-heading first) I read that as............

.........."FBI nails Verizon over Cisco scam" and I got all excited - damn!

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Inside the real-world Double-O section of Her Majesty's Secret Service

Arctic fox
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@tkioz Re:"unlikely do anything more then knock people down"

That would depend on what type of ammo you were using. I am sure we can both think of "munitions" (supplied by Q perhaps?) that would have given even his original Baretta a kick like a mule!

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Apple: Blue-shirts can fix iOS Maps in their spare time

Arctic fox
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@LPF "Re: But how" You know it's a funny thing but I have for some reason........

..............rather old fashioned reservations about calling somebody a liar in the absence of any solid indication that they are, simply because I want it to be the case. How about you?

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Just how good is Nokia's PureView 41Mp camera tech?

Arctic fox
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Re: "Wait for the 920" I agree as far as that goes.

We have a fully updated N8 in the house (primarily my good lady's phone although she will sometimes allow me to take some snaps with it :)) and our view after living with it for about eighteen months is "lovely camphone, shame about the os". I know that Symbian has it's supporters/aficionados here at RegHardware but both La Señora and I find it (still after a year and a half) clunky and counter-intuitive. Whatever else one may opine about the "facilities" in the winphone os it is not in any sense difficult to use. If one is a digital photography enthusiast and needs/wants the best camera available (defined here as the one you always have with you) then taking a look at least at the 920 when it's released would certainly IMO be the way to go.

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'It is absolute b*ll*cks that contractors aren't committed'

Arctic fox
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Windows

Re: "Mercenary" I can see your point and in a market where............

..........there is a certain "balance of power" I can see that it would work well for the individual contractor. However, I would point out that in labour markets where the employers have to upper hand due to market conditions (it does not take very high rates of unemployment to make in an employers market) then life as a "temp" becomes a very different experience. I temped in the eighties - trust me, you would not have wanted that experience. The icon? That "down and out look" was pretty much how I felt at the time.

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Bone-bothering boffins pull TINY fanged dinosaur from drawers

Arctic fox
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That is one...

....nasty looking sucker!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Arctic fox
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@Dave Fox "Samsung don't have a one-size-fits-all mentality,"

Precisely the point - indeed it is a point that a particular section of Apple's fan-base miss (or at least pretend to). There are of course two different business strategies at work here. When it comes to phones Cupertino specialise (very successfully) in a very limited range - fine, it clearly works for them. Sammy's strategy is somewhat different, "imagine a niche and then fill it". It is fairly ridiculous to compare apples and oranges (no pun intended). People should by all means compare the SGIII and the iPhone5, they are after all direct competitor devices but the rest of Samsung's repertoire in this area has absolutely nothing to do with the f****** iPh******!

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Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@AC 3rd October 09:12 "Stylus = fail."

Please share with us which equipment you have used since 1995 which had a modern touch screen and a good quality digitizer pen, hmm? We're all agog to know why you think they are such a waste. Surprising as it may seem the equipment has improved quite a bit in the last seventeen years.

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Arctic fox
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"let’s stuff everything we can into a phone and ram it up Apple’s jacksie"

Now there's a thought. A modest suggestion for Sammy's next marketing campaign, "so good Apple want it banned".

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Top admen beg Microsoft to switch off 'Do Not Track' in IE 10

Arctic fox
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Megaphone

@The BigYin Re: "It won't help....The companies will just ignore it...."

Indeed, that is precisely what they will likely do. However, that will also result in them placing themselves right in the spotlight, hmm? I agree that Redmond's move will not in and of itself change the situation (in practice) but it does in fact put the cross-hairs in the political sense squarely on the backs of the companies concerned. No, I do not see MS as any big hero here but they have IMO, for whatever reason, made the right move. The reason why these companies are protesting like fuck despite the fact, as has been pointed out, it has no enforceability is precisely because this move by "The Great Satan" has in fact (no doubt for their own reasons) put those buggers right on the spot.

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Amazon UK: We're hiring 3,000 Xmas temps? Make that 10,000

Arctic fox
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Trollface

" fulfilment centres"

They're opening brothels now?

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Steve Jobs resurfaces in Hong Kong

Arctic fox
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Re: "Hmm..." Excellent - the only problem is that some people are satire-blind. :)

See title.

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Arctic fox
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"Steve Jobs resurfaces in Hong Kong"

Where is the expected Elvis-sighting joke then?

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EU, US edge closer to mega-transatlantic patent system

Arctic fox
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Unhappy

Re: "Well..." I am assuming that you were of course being ironic :)

What of course we have every reason to fear is that the influence of the large European and American corporations will tend to ensure that we get the worst of all possible worlds.

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Conroy wants telcos to wear undies on heads

Arctic fox
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Hubris much?

See title.

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Analysts slash Ultrabook sales estimate by over 50%

Arctic fox
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AC 2nd October 04:14 As far as conventional boxes are concerned...........

................I would agree with you - their margins are very thin because the vast majority of such kit is at the low-end and medium-low-end price points. However, the x86 tablets are most unlikely to turn up at those price points any time soon. It is not (from my point of view) first and foremost the price-points concerned, it is what they are willing to supply at those price points that is the question. Judging by what we have seen so far it has been, in relation to what they have been willing to offer, rather shabby. As far as Redmond's influence is concerned I think that can be exaggerated in this context. They do not remotely have the same influence that an original producer/designer like Apple, by definition, has and I do not think that they deserve being excused on those grounds. One of the reasons why Vista (in addition to it's own intrinsic failings which were considerable) ended up selling relatively poorly was word of mouth amongst the punters when they "experienced" the appalling kit that the OEMs released it on - 1Gb RAM anyone? A very large number of those boxes were in practice a fraud perpetrated on the punter given that they were in no way capable of doing very much more than get the os out of bed in the morning. That was most definitely not in Redmond's interests at the time and I do not see how the OEMs can escape their responsibilities for what they did. They are fully capable of being short-sighted and greedy without any help from MS.

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Arctic fox
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Well who would have thought it?

""So far, the PC industry has failed to create the kind of buzz and excitement among consumers that is required to propel ultrabooks into the mainstream" said Craig Stice, senior principal analyst".

Well one can certainly see why he is a senior principal analyst (yes, that was irony :)). Indeed, he is a veritable font of wisdom.

"When combined with other factors, including prohibitively high pricing, this means that ultrabook sales will not meet expectations in 2012."

Never mind of course the very mediocre specs that you get for the money. RegHardware's review of the HP Spectre XT for example - magisterially dismissed by the first poster with "1366x768.... next...".

Yet more wisdom.

"especially with fierce competition from new mobile computing gadgets such as the iPhone 5, Kindle Fire HD and forthcoming Microsoft Surface."

The only relevant device here in his list, if we are talking high-end computers (not phones), is the Win 8 Pro version of the "Surface". We note the fact that (according to all the reports at least) it has fine build quality, pretty highly specced and has a high-res screen. If however we look at the various tablet announcements from the OEMs it is not obvious to me that they are going to do any different with their tablet offerings than they have with their ultra-books. Over-priced, underspecced, and soon to be over here - no doubt raising the same kind of yawn that their "thinnies" have been raising. Common factor IMO? The OEMs won't contribute shit to growing a market. They've had two decades or more cruising on the back of Windows doing bugger all other than "banging out boxes" and they see no reason to change their habits now - and absolutely no reason to accept lower margins at the outset to establish a market. I am not surprised that Redmond decided to build "benchmarks" themselves with the two versions of the Surface, they must have strongly suspected what they and we are going to see on the market this Autumn.

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HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Re: "1366x768.... next" Yep, and not only that they appear to have misunderstood why our.......

I have just noticed that iSuppli have had to downgrade their estimate for ultrabook sales in 2012 by about 50% - I wonder why? Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the OEMs selling mediocre kit at premium prices by any chance?

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Arctic fox
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"1366x768.... next" Yep, and not only that they appear to have misunderstood why our.......

..........nick-name for such a device is a "shiny". It does not mean we want the screen like that! Matt and higher res or go screw is my personal message to the OEMs.

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Bloke jailed for being unable to use BlackBerry Messenger freed

Arctic fox
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Re: Hmm, should this have ever gone to court?

One does have to wonder what the DPP uses for brains these days. This guy, they alleged, deliberately sent this message to his girlfriend and his, mother-in-law, his ageing grandparents (of both genders), likely his father and his mother etc, etc. In other words to "world+plus+wife+dog" within his circle. They could not see that this could not possibly be anything other than a mistake? WTF? One also has to ask what the hell the judge in this case was doing.

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