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* Posts by JC_

336 posts • joined 9 Mar 2011

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London officials declare cabbie-bothering Uber is legal – for now

JC_

Re: supply, demand, the need for humans...

Ultimately, the driving part of the job is only a bit. Taxi drivers also shift luggage. And possibly wheel chairs.

A driverless car could still be serviced, it'd just be another amenity to pay extra for, in the same way as a posh restaurant will have someone to take your coat while at Nando's you sort it out for yourself.

More than likely it'd be easier to order a serviced cab via an app than walking along the taxi rank to find a driver willing to leave his cab.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

JC_

Re: @AC GPS is shite ....

"Considering they spend their working life driving in the hellhole that is London traffic"

Taxis are the hellish traffic in London.

I'm a (saintly) cyclist in London and my defining encounter with a taxi driver was when one deliberately tried to left-hook me. More mini-cabs also means cleaner air, since they're not bound by the ridiculous turning circle regulation.

There are 60,000 or so mini-cabs in London and 12,000 Hackney-cabs, so despite having the advantages of roadside pickup and use of bus-lanes the black cabs are already the unfavoured choice.

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So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

JC_

Re: Volume Control

[WP8.1] is a developer preview with all the associated issues and risks

Not so much a preview as a way to get the update out to users who don't want to wait for operator approval. There's no need to be an actual developer or pay anything, just the mildest speed-bump of filling in an online form. I'd compare it to MSDN subscribers getting the latest Windows release a couple of months before OEMs actually ship PCs with it.

WP8.1 has been completely stable and a big improvement in my experience; keep in mind that phones are being released with 8.1 installed so it's not a beta.

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JC_

Re: When Nokia teaches Microsoft about phones

I'm sorry - no different volume for ringer and apps? On an OS that has been around for four years? That's falling on the first hurdle out of the gate and I would immediately return it to the shop being "not fit for purpose".

WP8.1 does have separate volume controls (finally!) but you're absolutely right: a single control was a poor decision* and keeping it for so long in the face of user-feedback was simply obtuse. Maybe the change is a sign of MS listening more in the post-Sinofsky and post-monopoly era.

*With my Lumia 800 I'd turn the volume up to watch videos on the tube; if I forgot to turn the ringer off then when the tube went above-ground any SMS alert would deafen me. A simple UI can be too simple.

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Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE

JC_
Pint

Oddly enough, doing this does add to science. We already have the Schmidt sting pain index which rates different insect stings by painfulness; the bullet ant resulting in a 4 and "quivering and screaming from these peristaltic waves of pain".

This is adding a second dimension of where the sting is most painful. If he takes a bullet ant sting to the balls in the name of science, I'll buy him a beer.

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Microsoft's battery-boosting Surface slab cover to ship soon

JC_

@ Hellcat

A spare battery for a Dell E7440 laptop, for example, is £100-£120 from Dell. Like you say, if it's important enough, people will pay it.

Compared to the RAM & SSD upgrade prices for the Surface Pro (and most other tablets & phones), the keyboard is not that much of a rip-off.

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Indonesia plans 10 Gbps FTTP as part of 20-million-premises broadband project

JC_

What's the bet that it'll be built on schedule and on budget, or that even a single home will get a "10Gbps down/2.5 Gbps" connection?

Good luck to them building it, but with this hype they're setting themselves up for over-promising, under-delivering.

Comparing it to Aussie, it's probably a lot easier to wire up homes when a rats nest of cables can be hung off every power & lamp pole the population live in much more dense cities.

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Update your Mac NOW: Apple fixes OS X 'goto fail' SSL spying vuln

JC_

I don't see what the big deal was.....I just used another browser until it got fixed.

And that other browser on iPads & iPhones would be?

If they would have rushed out a fix and screwed something up then everyone would have been complaining about that!

Guess Apple needed enough time to make sure the fix compiled, maybe even get around to writing their first unit tests for their freaking Security Library.

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IBM nearly HALVES its effective tax rate in 2013 - report

JC_

Re: The Bretton Woods agreement

Consider a MacDonalds Paper cup made in India, Printed in China, shipped to America under the direction of a Luxembourg HQ.

Where is the value added?? Where does the profit get booked??

If it cost 1¢ to manufacture and sells for $1 in the US, the 99¢ should be taxed in the US. But what really happens is that the logo on the cup is intellectual property which a McDonald's subsidiary in Switzerland 'owns' and charges McDonald's US a usurious rate for, reducing (on paper) the profit.

Substitute coffee beans, Starbucks and the UK for cups, McDonald's and the US.

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

JC_

Re: The small ironies of life.

We have chaos and selfishness in the UK with parking. Just go near a school at kicking out time. Your link won't fix that: The parents already think they've got a right to park as close to the school as they can get, just so they don't have to walk so far to fetch their kids

I couldn't agree with you more about the schools. I cycle past Pembridge Hall ("Preparatory School for Girls") in Notting Hill everyday and it's a nightmare; over-privileged parents thinking that £10,500 / year also gives them the right to park the 4x4 wherever they want, even if it causes accidents.

All it needs is enforcement - there is none. I guarantee that if every illegally parked car was being ticketed/towed/clamped then the bad behaviour would stop overnight and we'd all be better off for it.

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JC_

@ T. F. M. Reader

Right at the bottom of the Spiegel article you linked to it states this:

Now traffic is regulated by only two rules in Drachten: "Yield to the right" and "Get in someone's way and you'll be towed."

Which is exactly my point! There has to be enforcement or it's chaos; not friendly chaos, but the bedlam of cars & trucks blocking the road simply because they get away with it.

On Exhibition Road, the council says this: "Exhibition Road is a Restricted Zone with two way traffic along the whole length of the road. Parking is prohibited anywhere in the road except in marked parking bays. We do not need extra signs or ugly yellow lines to enforce a Restricted Zone."

The yellow lines don't do the enforcement, the threat of fines/towing/clamping do!

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JC_

Re: The small ironies of life.

A bloodsucker getting Lyme disease....

I've never understood the hatred toward parking-rule enforcement. Without enforcement, drivers take the piss and we end up with chaos and selfishness like in Rome or Bombay.

If it's wheel-clamping in particular that's hated, keep in mind that fines don't always work. A sheik double-parked outside Harrods won't give a damn about a fine, but he won't want to come back to an immobilised or towed Bentley.

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Microsoft slices Azure prices just days after Amazon's cloud shave

JC_

Re: Wobbly Wheel

I guess that's a too long way to say there is not, and never has been room for small infrastructure providers who are more than flashes in the pan. It simply costs too much money to make money in that game.

MS is the exact opposite of a small infrastructure provider; they host a search engine, Office 365, endless websites and all of the glue that make it work together. Amazon are much the same, but with a smaller cash pile. Why exactly would you be worried about MS disappearing?

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JC_

Re: Wobbly Wheel

You can screw around like this when you're flush with cash and sales are good.

Odd that this line of reasoning makes you worry about MS - $6.56bn in profit in the last quarter - rather than Amazon with its negative profit margin (-0.24%).

I'd be much more concerned about the ability of any of the smaller hosting providers to survive when competing against Amazon, MS & Google. All 3 of those require vast server farms for their own needs and benefit from economies of scale; they'll be creating and renting out extra capacity as long as they are around.

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

JC_

Re: Alternatives exist

Another alternative, and more power efficient than NiMH is LiFEPO4 which is inherently safer than more popular lithium based batteries (Li-Ion and Li-Po).

I had to look that one up, as the idea of Polonium-based anything being safe was amazing. Sadly disappointed to learn it stands for "polymer"!

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'F*** off, Google!' Protest blockades Google staff bus AGAIN – and Apple's

JC_

Re: bad side effect of a generally good thing

I saw a survey last week. 48% thought that the economy would be doing worse now, had Labour won the last election. 41% thought that if Labour had won, they would personally be doing better. Huh?!?! I guess that means they think that government cuts need to be made, but hopefully someone else will pay for them (or just bung it on credit).

I suppose the answers to these questions always lines up with party preferences, but if we'd had the policies that Labour campaigned on then the economy would have been better off.

Austerity - i.e. spending cuts - is exactly the wrong thing to do in a recession and the fact that Osborne and Cameron have insisted on making them (and are still making them) has damaged the economy and people's lives. Of course, to Osborne and Cameron, those are other people's lives.

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Windows Phone app developers: These games are made for you

JC_

There are other ways of connecting devices than a USB port that you seem fixated on.

Huh? I've mildly suggested that having a USB port is useful and given a real example; your Jobs-like insistance that they somehow make a tablet "less portable" is the fixation.

My camera (Panasonic) has WiFi (host or client) and can send photos to my tablet or phone (or other) while I take photos, and can also be remotely controlled from the phone - without a USB cable - use Lumix Link.

Swell. You'll also note that there are many more cameras and devices that don't have WiFi.

My partner's camera is a Nikon D90 with no WiFi but a mint body and a grand worth of lenses. When we were in Peru & Bolivia this year it was useful for me to take copies of her pictures with me when I left a week before her. Couldn't have done it if my tablet didn't have a USB port.

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JC_

external storage via WiFi

Not too many thumb drives have WiFi. It seems a bit daft to argue that having a USB port somehow makes a tablet less portable; do mini-HDMI / DP ports have the same effect?

Here's one use for the USB on the move: copying files from the camera SDHC card while on holiday.

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How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

JC_

"And Cameron and Osborne are right fucking Einsteins aren't they?"

Not genius, certainly not popular, but you can't deny the fact that they've gotten the country through a recession compounded by Labour ineptness without resorting to the usual socialist panic spend, spend, spend (regardless of whether you have the money) approach.

Remember - Labour bailed the banks out.

Osborne and Cameron have deepened and lengthened the recession because of their austerity policy. That's a fact. If this is the recovery it's taken longer and been weaker than the recovery from the Great Depression.

Their policies are madness, completely unsupported by economic theory or empirical evidence and have caused enormous human suffering.

Fortunately for them, they and their clique are completely sheltered from the consequences of their dreadful decisions; the poor and the unemployed are the ones who are suffering.

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Cryptolocker copycat ransomware emerges – but an antidote is possible

JC_

Re: carbonite...

Can't comment on Carbonite, but my CrashPlan backup never got over 4Mb/s on a connection which could easily do four times that.

I'm not sure if there's a difference to the user between throttling and the company having inadequate bandwidth. For many people, a fast 200GB upload then throttling would be better than a slow but unthrottled connection.

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MPs: Ancient UK Border Force systems let GANGSTERS into Blighty

JC_

Re: I blame the unions.

While we were waiting for someone to figure out which connecting flight was best I asked why this process hadn't been automated (i.e. flight is flagged up as being late, computer rebooks passengers on the next available flight in order of class then group-bookings then alphabetically. So you turn up, get told 'your flight's late, go over there' and with a swipe of your passport you're presented with a new ticket and a voucher for a free coffee).

Nice idea, but not everyone on your arriving flight is going where you are so it's not that simple. What are the loads on the next few flights - maybe they're overbooked already? Perhaps it's better to be rebooked onto a different airline and they must be consulted? Maybe the passenger won't want to go on the next flight - should the seat still be reserved? Are there medical or visa issues that give certain passengers higher priority even if they've got a cheap seat booked? Can the passenger get to the gate for the flight? Will groups accept being split up? Will they take compensation instead? Will they go down a class or pay extra for an upgrade? Who has the highest status? Can their luggage be loaded on the next flight if it's not certain they're going to board? ...

My guess is that there are so many variables that it's simply better dealt with manually. I daresay that you're a smart guy and could probably work things out for yourself in most situations, but not everyone can!

I was told that in order to get construction of the terminal approved they had to create x number of jobs.

Great! How many times have we all heard that constructing this new stadium / hosting the Olympics / building this mall will create X jobs and will totally be worth any negatives without any evidence that the benefits actually occur? If BA were held to the deal that they agreed to, then that's fine by me - they're big boys.

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TPP leak: US babies following bathwater down the drain

JC_

"Fiat Currency"? Really? Is this Slashdot?

The US used to have value backed money, they now only have worthless fiat currency

What would you propose instead of "fiat currency"? Would it make more sense to you to have the US money supply determined by the amount of yellow metal dug out of the ground in Africa?

So what will become of the US?

My best guess is that it'll be alright; demographics is on their side and occupying a large chunk of a continent full of resources is favourable, too. If HRC is elected to two terms then things might even get better than alright.

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Our Vulture strokes Dell's ROBUST 15 INCHER: Inspiron 15 Core i7

JC_

Re: Oh Dear

And I've spent many hours with two documents snapped left & right - for this a widescreen aspect is perfect. Apple still do 4:3 some screens if that's your preference, but I suspect there's something for you to moan about there, too.

Horses for courses, but god it gets tiresome to see the 4:3 trope dragged out on every review...

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One-minute Koch-blocking earns attacker two years, massive fine

JC_

Re: Equal Time

False equivalence. The Koch brothers are so much nastier and sneakier than Soros that the comparison is invalid; if you think that having a habitable planet and healthcare are worthwhile things, then Soros agrees with you while the Koch brothers think you're leeching, socialist scum.

Soros at least made his money - the Koch brothers inherited it, and want to make damned sure that noone else gets any.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

JC_

Re: Message to mobile operators

O2 Czech republic refused to pay the subsidize and remove the iPhone from their range. Their marketshare suffured dramatically.

The old joke that "we lose money on every sale but we make it up in quantity" comes to mind :)

now Russians customers buy their iPhone unlocked directly from reseller instead meaning the operators lost the iPhone margin

Sounds ideal. That way there's no hiding the price of the phone - if punters will pay £500 for an iPhone instead of £140 for a Moto G or £120 for a Lumia 620, then Apple deserves to get the extra. As a consumer, it's nice to have the handset price broken out.

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You have a Skype voicemail. PSYCHE! It's just some fiendish Trojan-flinging spam

JC_

I downloaded and extracted the zip just to see what was inside (super smart, I know...) and MS Security Essentials detected the trojan immediately.

The social engineering was pretty smart - lots of us use Skype and, as mentioned, it had a bunch of guff that looked believable and the links were all to the actual Skype domain. Stupidly that was all I checked, rather than the sender's email address which was clearly not from Skype.

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Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

JC_

Re: That's nothing

it's part of the game to upset your opponent and gain the psychological edge

That's over-analysing it; for the vast majority of the trash-talkers, it's a chance to try and wind up other people, safe in the knowledge that they're not going to get punched for it like they would in the real world.

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Romance is dead: Part-time model slings $1.5bn SUEBALL at Match.com

JC_

Part-time Model

You're so beautiful

You could be a part-time model

But you'd probably still have to keep your normal job

A part-time model

Spending part of your time modeling

And part of your time next to me

Flight of the Conchords :)

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Google underwrites Firefox another year, even as Chrome outpaces it

JC_

Re: Not at all surprised

Mrs Diogenes very nearly installed it with the latest Flash update (normally I don't bother but she wanted the nagging message to go away)

Understandable, but risky, considering all the vulnerabilities!

If the kids want their Chrome, how about one of the other Chromium-based browsers? Having used SWare Iron for a few weeks, it's worth a recommendation - all the Chromium goodness without the phoning home.

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

JC_

Re: So...

Can you do the same to Microsoft Windows, just for a start?

No, but the question was about Google.

So don't use Android, use iOS or WinPho.

As it happens, I don't use Android, but who cares but me? :)

This idea that everyone is forced to somehow use Google is complete guff, and I do wish people would stop going around posting such rubbish.

But it isn't complete rubbish. Why do you think that Samsung handsets have so many dual applications? They're forced by terms of the license agreement to bundle the Google services, which are not open source.

Google employees have themselves said that the license agreement is how they get manufacturers to do what Google wants, which is ensure that buyers are faced with Google services, first and foremost, and that has an enormous effect on consumer choice.

Regarding the scroogled campaign, it is, like almost all MS public relations, cringingly bad.

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JC_

Re: So...

Seriously, I along with many others am genuinely interested in why you can't opt out of Google.

To use the Android trademark, the closed-source Google applications must be included. But more than this, manufacturers are prohibited from releasing both Google-approved and non-Google approved devices, which is an enormous barrier to forking Android.

Amazon is of course having a go - and best of luck to them - but it's an uphill battle.

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My name is NOT Dread Pirate Roberts: Silk Road accused's fam'n'friends stump up $1m bail

JC_

Re: ...pointing to his history of charitable work....

But you have invoked Godwin's Law on this discussion anway so you lose.

Well, no, you're invoking it, not that it matters; I could have used Stalin or Mao, for example, who lived out their natural lives without ever going before a jury of their peers, but were no less cupable for it.

These are extreme examples, but there to show that the fact a person dies before being charged does not make them "innocent".

The evidence is that Savile was a child-molester.

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JC_

Re: ...pointing to his history of charitable work....

I believe in "innocent until proven guilty before a jury of his peers"

By that standard, Hitler was never found guilty by a jury of his peers and should be considered innocent.

On the basis of the evidence, it's entirely reasonable to state that Jimmy Savile was a child-molester.

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GAH: Now it's INSTAGRAM and Windows Phone 8

JC_

Re: Shame

Damn straight - I'm never buying HTC again thanks to my Desire being stuck on Gingerbread...

Face it, only Apple can claim to be doing OS updates properly for all users; Nexus users have it good, too, but they're a small minority.

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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

JC_

Re: You have to have a MS account to use it.

You have to have an MS account to use the MS services - just like you need a Google account to use their services - but you don't need one just to run the damn thing as a win8 tablet (which is what it is).

Technically true, but MS made it unnecessarily hard to find the option to create a local account rather than a MS account.

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New Internet Explorer chief is man behind Windows Phone reboot

JC_

Re: Good.

"absolutely awful" is a bit strong in my experience - what are the issues (apart from it being from evil M$)? The text-reflow is the only thing I find truly annoying.

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BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

JC_

Re: Nice timing

BT don't have a monopoly any longer - you can vote with your principles/wallet and go elsewhere.

Plusnet are good and as they're owned by BT they meet your "stick to providing a phone/broadband service" suggestion.

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Backup software for HDD and Cloud

JC_

Re: +1 for Crashplan

+1 for CrashPlan, too. The storage is 'unlimited' and for the 500GB we're using it's well worth the £45 / year, IMO. Very easy, proper versioning, no manual work required.

One thing is that uploads are somewhat slow; the FTTC connection we have should allow at least 16mb/s but it's never gone over 4.5mb/s. Apparently it was a lot worse earlier in the year, so at least they're improving.

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HP 100TB Memristor drives by 2018 – if you're lucky, admits tech titan

JC_

Re: How many tapes?

> that's 24,000TB

And how, exactly will you do an off-site backup of that?

rsync

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Do+ you+ use+ Google+? Seemingly+ you+ DO+

JC_

Our small but distributed workplace - which uses google apps for email and increasingly for collaborative documents - has now moved to using google+ for the Hangouts video & IM feature.

We'd used various IM clients and Skype - which all had their problems - before switching to google+; is there any alternative to Hangouts, even a paid one, that is at least as good and no more hassle to setup?

Lync seems like a royal pain in the arse and we have no desire to setup Exchange. What else is there that's competitive and doesn't require a fulltime support person?

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Amazon's cloud cash pile dwarfs Microsoft and Rackspace's best efforts

JC_

Re: I bet

Why the downvote for fandom stating a fact? It is incredible how little profit Amazon has made, despite its huge income (& tax-avoidance ;) Clearly it's their strategy and an astonishing one - I'd hate to compete against them.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook v Microsoft's Ballmer: Seconds out, round two!

JC_

Re: "Who remembers netbooks?"

So, basically you want a Surface Pro with extra USB ports? There's a discount on the earlier model.

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

JC_

Re: Right click admin options

Oddly enough, after upgrading to 8.1 my laptop (XPS 12) lost right-click functionality. If I'd wanted a mac... :)

The missing start-button was one of the stupidest things in Win8. Watching any new user staring blankly at the desktop wondering what to do next would have taught Sinofsky that.

Good job with the popup introductory guides, too. How they ever thought that they'd got it perfectly right in the first place and these weren't necessary is beyond me, and I like Windows 8...

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Former Nokia boss Ollila: Stephen Elop was second-choice CEO

JC_

Re: Elop was Second Choice?

"Nokia had actually prepared for years... and released the first tablet in 2005. By 2009 the tablet could perform telephony"

Four years for Nokia - Nokia!!! - to add telephony to a tablet? Yup, they completely fucked it up.

Regardless of whether going with WP was the right decision, one can understand why Elop had little faith in Nokia's ability to deliver a competitive OS before it would be too late.

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Scottish gov follows cutting-edge Italian Post Office with Win 8 trial

JC_

Re: complete with the Start button

As you've obviously not used it - let me explain that it doesn't. Once invoked the menus are there until clicked or until something else is clicked. Just moving the mouse has no effect on the open menu other than to select the options above or below the one the mouse is currently on - no collapse

Nope, you're right, I haven't used KDE in ages. It's good that the menus don't collapse when the cursor moves outside the boundary, unlike the stupid way they'd disappear in early Windows versions, but I still maintain that it's much easier to move the mouse in one axis and keep the area of focus in the same place.

There must be some telemetry data somewhere...

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JC_

Re: complete with the Start button

yes it is and it's easy Click on start button, vertical menu appears, slide up to required group, and sub-menu appears, slide across, then up/down and across to 3r'd level if necessary and left click.

No, it's not easy because the user has to move the mouse in two dimensions along narrow channels with no boundaries to guide them. Stray one pixel too far and the sub-menu collapses, leaving the user stranded.

It's just a limitation of using a mouse, nothing to do with vision or physical capacity.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

JC_

Re: Concur with Stross. With a couple caveats.

You do not seem to be familiar with the concept of version control .... it works best on pure text files.

I work with SVN and Git everyday (and VSS in the past - shudder), so I'm quite familiar with version control; you, on the other hand, do not seem to be familiar with what an editor would think of being asked to "merge your changes into the trunk"...

A single file has the advantage that it can be emailed around the office and between the author and the editor and all changes are included, along with formatting, in an easy to use way. Word may not be perfect, but it's a good enough solution for millions of people.

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JC_

Re: Perhaps

Ah, two downvotes already for stating ".docx has been around since Word 2007, i.e. 3 releases, hardly changing "every version".

Can my downvoters can get both hands on the keyboard for a minute and let me know which part is mis-leading or inaccurate? :)

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JC_

Re: Perhaps

the fact they change the .doc/.docx every version forcing users into upgrading to keep up

.docx has been around since Word 2007, i.e. 3 releases, hardly changing "every version".

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JC_

Re: Concur with Stross. With a couple caveats.

How good is the change-tracking in an ASCII text file? Editors would probably prefer to use a tool that has this feature when revising a document.

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