* Posts by Charlie Clark

5898 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

Charlie Clark
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Re: Cool

SMS still has its advantages, such as not needing a data a connection, but one of the main ones was lost when the networks stopped worrying about delivering. I know I can't send my brother SMS any more.

But interoperability remains a problem. I have Allo, Signal, BBM, Telegram, Hangouts and Wire installed and still can't talk to everyone. Anyone who relies on a single network is a fool.

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As HPE trousers soaring profit, new CEO looks at cost-cutting Next plan and thinks: More of that!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Evryone is doing well

The painful bit has been done.

I wish I could share your optimism.

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Worldwide smartphone shipments DOWN for first time ever

Charlie Clark
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Re: In other news…

Google is already a services company which makes it pretty device-agnostic.

Apple's biggest fear must be if anyone challenged their walled garden for services and that is as likely to be Amazon and Netflix as it is Google. Though that kind of challenge is unlikely to have much success in the current cartel love-in that is America.

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Charlie Clark
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In other news…

The pope shits in the woods, predicts Gartner.

No reason to expect Apple's sales to pick up this quarter especially if the other report about disappointing sales of the Apple Galaxy X turn out to be true. They'll be fucking coining it though.

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Brexit to better bumpkin broadband, 4G coverage for farmers – Gove

Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Charlie Clark

Really?

No, nobody really knows but lots of people pretent to know. This is why it was a stupid idea and should at least have been followed by some kind of consultation. Instead we get platitudes like "Brexit means Brexit" and "enemies of the people". Racism in more or less overt forms did, however, play a significant part of the campaign.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Charlie Clark

It exists to make trade flow freely, and with the lowest tarifs and taxes possible.

It patently isn't because that would exclude all the many free trade agreements that do exist. The WTO is a low common deominator arrangement with reciprocity and non-exclusivity agreements. For example, Trump's proposed increases on steel and aluminium import tariffs must apply to all imports, not just those from China.

But the fact that the WTO has managed little or no progress over the last twenty years is what is driving the regional trade and service agreement.

But, facts, who needs them when you got unicorns?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Charlie Clark

So your argument against Brexit is that it will deprive British businesses of cheap foreign labour to exploit?

Research tends to show that the immigrants are not displacing local workers so the wage level is not the main factor in most situations. Many of the employers will tell you that they cannot find local workers to do the work at any price. It could be lack of skills such as doctors or nurses but it could also be that people aren't prepared to do some of the back-breaking work that immigrants will do.

Low wages are driven more by the "Walmart effect" of low prices driving wages down. If we want milk to cost 50p a litre (or whatever it is) we either expect people to earn a pittance or be replaced by robots. Hint, post-Brexit expect more jobs to be done by machines.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Infrastructure

M60 - opened in 1960 as the M62

That'll come as a shock to the Scousers and Tykes who still use the M62 to between Liverpool and West Yorkshire. It was the M63 that got turned into the Manchester ring road but this did involve a lot of work just for the project as the M63 was initially tiddly.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Charlie Clark

The amusement being that it is barely rising from an all time low.

Tell that to those who've been forced off the figures into low-paid, shit work. Unemployment is lower and so are wages.

the UK is years ahead of the EU in economic recovery

If you take the whole of the EU then you're talking shit, as usual. The non-UK part never contracted as much as the UK as 2008-2018 comparisons show. In some countries like Greece things got a lot worse, of course, a tragedy for those concerned but also a very Greek tragedy with land reform, ending restrictive practices, etc. continually being deferred. A big problem for all countries is poor wage growth.

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Charlie Clark
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Gove is just a Murdoch meat puppet.

I thought Lady MacGove, aka Sarah Vine, worked for that bastion of Britishness, The Daily Mail? Hence, the idea that subsidies for large landowners like Paul Dacre are such a great way to preserve the countryside. Along with fox-hunting, grouse-shooting and land-clearances, of course!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Charlie Clark

why would the EU's stance on freedom of movement

Because it's part of the negotiations: if the UK wants vets, fruit pickers, nurses, doctors, plumbers, etc. it will have to give them the same rights to settle as they have under existing agreements. Otherweise expect the EU to play even harder ball with things like reciprocal tax arrangements, including making it even less atrractive to work in the UK that it will be already. For example, it'd be easy enough to make such workers pay tax in the own country on anything they earn in the UK. Course, there are a couple of million in sub-saharen Africa jumping at the chance to work in cold, wet fields in the winter.

But you know this already: "regulatory alignment" means keeping things as they are (except the UK losing voting rights) but just keeping it out of the Mail and the Telegraph. There isn't really any time between now and January 2021, when you're out the door, to do any of these negotiations, let alone by the end of October, which is when a transitional agreement will have to be done by.

The fuckwits in the government running have added to the handicap by pissing off a lot of the more talented civil servants who Whitehall, who are the ones you need to get the details.

But who cares as long as Johnny Foreigner fucks off and Bojo drives the magic bus round the country with cash and G&Ts for everyone. Oh, happy days!

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Charlie Clark
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Wasn't this the speech where he promised farmers would still have access to EU labour? I guess he just "forgot" to note that the EU has already said that freedom of movement is non-negotiable.

I like the idea that because Tim Berners-Lee is a Brit, it follows somehow that the WWW was British, conveniently ignoring the fact that he was working for CERN at the time. You know, one of those hated multinational bodies.

Still, if people are prepared to believe that the magic money pot will allow them to spend the same money on the NHS, better transport, farm subsidies and now broadband, then pillocks like Gove will still continue to tell them.

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Samsung left off Google's new official Androids-for-biz list

Charlie Clark
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US only?

Sounds like the kind of thing the US market likes, elsewhere companies tend to run their own certification and want more control, ie. whatever the local standard is and not Google Pay.

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Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hydrogen is a terrible

you need a source of fairly concentrated (possibly purified) CO2

Should be possible to get this from industrial processes or even in a closed-loop situation with methane acting as the store. This can only ever make sense if you have consistently but not persistently have more energy coming in than you have demand for: the apocryphal windy, desert stations for example.

"Do renewable stuff. Don't ask us how, we don't have a fucking clue."

Possibly, but then that's how some of the best research gets started. If you look at how much money has been spunked on the various white elephants (how the fuck are we ever going to safely decommission all those nuclear power stations?) I don't mind a small amount getting thrown at this. But I do agree we need to start rolling the back the subsidies.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Hydrogen is a terrible

I was surprised with the CH4 reduction idea anyway. I thought the best candidate was CO2 + H2O to CH4 which requires less power and is easy to store. You can then go from this to H2 via methanol in a fuel cell if you want but basically LPG is good enough.

There are two problems with this: it requires energy input which makes it uneconomic at the moment unless you take duty into consideration but doing this would make it an ideal candidate for fraud. Mind you, electric vehicles are currently already heavily subsidised when compare with petrol due to the lack of duty.

But I'm not a scientist and haven't looked at this in detail for many years, so please do correct me!

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Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Charlie Clark
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Re: "when MS moved lots of stuff into the kernel"

That was made to avoid costly ring transitions.

x86-specific like wot I said. The Alpha didn't have the same problems.

And Linux too is not a microkernel architecture, still it runs on many different CPUs....

Yes, but the ports are not easy. Compare it with a truely multi-CPU arch such as NetBSD or a microkernel (hint why is Google thinking of dropping the Linux kernel for Fuchsia?)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Wedded to Intel

The issue is not the cross platform nature - it generally worked well

All the way until 3.5 when MS moved lots of stuff into the kernel for better performance on x86. This effectively killed off support for other architectures because the microkernel was lost.

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The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: Just looking at the screenshots of it running Ubuntu

Because Canonical have suddenly nailed the problems of small screen GUIs?

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Charlie Clark
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Fair review

Thanks very much for the review and confirming that devices are actually shipping. Appreciate that Planet have been very busy over the last few weeks.

It looks like some people are going to be very disappointed when theirs arrive but I'm looking forward to mine: a second mobile phone with a keyboard will be useful in many situations but cannot replace my waterproof S5 in others.

As for unlocking: I've been using a pattern for years: it's much easier than anything else when you've got gloves on. Course, I could always get an Apple Galaxy X and rely on facial recognition… but let's not go there.

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Charlie Clark
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I would've thought the screen would swivel outwards so you could hold it with the screen facing you

The design was always supposed to be similar to the Psion 5. There are mechanical reasons for this not least a stable centre of gravity when typing with both hands. I suspect that doing a full swivel would have added quite a bit to the complexity. Might be done in a later model, but you might be better off with something like the I-Pad-Pro or the Surface that promise a 2-in-1.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Far from complete

I don't agree with this assessment I think most of us want an Android with a keyboard fro e-mail, ssh, etc. It's only a vocal few who want a full Linux on this.

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Charlie Clark
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Go

Re: Replication of key Psion use-cases

And the winner of the 2018 Turner Prize is…

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Google reveals Edge bug that Microsoft has had trouble fixing

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Yeah, publish the details so that the black-hatters can take advantage of the problem!

See my original post on this logical fallacy.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They are pushing...

They specifically called out Edge and Safari as always last year's news.

When it comes to standards support there is a lot to be said for this. Apple does one major release a year and has been pretty slow over the last few years to implement some of the new standards, though happy enough to try and get the world to adopt its own hair-brained shit such as the notch.

Microsoft is still struggling with the shitty internals of IE but has recently got much better at feature implementation for IE. It's even release a version of Edge for Android.

And the features are important: having support for common use cases built in to browsers can significantly reduce the amount of boilerplate JS otherwise required.

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Charlie Clark
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Less dramatic copy, please

the flaw impacts the just-in-time compiler

Simon, I suggest you look up the word impact and in the meantime use the less dramatic, but also more helpful term affect otherwise we'll get confused the next time an asteroid arrives…

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Charlie Clark
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The whole argument against disclosure presupposes that nobody apart from Google could discover the flaw. Whichever way you spin this is alaming: either it's true and somehow Google has amassed the best hackers in the world, in which case all hail King Larry and King Sergey; it's negligent to assume that no one else among the usual suspects (spooks, security research teams, organised crime, etc.) is able to run the same off-the-shelf fuzzers to find the problems.

I think there might be some proviso in the DMCA for Microsoft to get the notice withdrawn but you can just imagine where this will go if the lawyers get involved.

In summary, Google is doing the right thing.

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iPhone X 'slump' is real, whisper supply chain moles

Charlie Clark
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Re: Samsung needs to find Android buyers?

I don't think Samsung will be sitting on the screens and even it if were it wouldn't be sitting entirely on the cost.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So Someone Learn me....

Seems like a lot for distribution, marketing etc...

The bulk of it is profit which is why Apple has such stellar results in comparison with other phone makers. So even when the numbers disappoint it's still minting it.

Seeing as Apple also switched to OLED for the Apple Galaxy 8 I'm not so sure that Samsung is going to be left sitting on 30 million odd screens even if it didn't have some kind of penalty clause. If the stupid notch fails, Apple will just move on with the slightly tweaked Galaxy X + in the autumn. The aura will be briefly diminished but as long they can keep selling millions of whatever at their current margins, they're laughing.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Presumably Android would have to be tweaked...

Google is adding official support for notches in the next version of Android though, apparently.

Nice oxymoron.

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When Samsung reveals the S9 at MWC, at least try to act surprised

Charlie Clark
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IMO I'd stick with the 8+ and wait for next years

It's a free market and if he's got the spare cash and wants to essentially beta-test DeX then I'm all for it, because the more testing it gets the better it'll get and the more people buy into it, the more resources will be devoted to it.

Samsung is now ahead of Apple on the curve so I wouldn't expect it to want to ape the X next year because with customers as happy as Christopher it doesn't need to.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Everyone wants

You're saying that like it is a good thing ("good marketing").

I'm not really saying I agree with it as a principle, merely explaining how it works. We're all susceptible to difrering degrees and for different products. Remember when someone posted a link to some kitchen gadget porn? And my allen key wrench with torque setting…

Marketing itself doesn't encourage debt. It sets aspirations but also polices them so that people know they can only afford second or third class. It's credit that encourages debt.

As for me: I'm happy on my second, second-hand S5 though I was seduced by the Gemini and sincerely hope these start turning up any time soon™.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Everyone wants

I wonder how many people actually have a use case for a phone that does absolutely everything?

Nobody and it's not how they're sold. It doesn't matter if it's a phone, car or handbag, good marketing of luxury items works on the emotional side, creating a desire or even a need for the object. The technical stuff is taken as given and provides post facto justification.

This isn't to say that the technology isn't important because it is. But nobody really wants it all. Some peope will love the slow motion, others will want something else.

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Charlie Clark
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I did this with my S4 and while the initial process was well documented

It's probably not for the faint-hearted but the process, especially updates, has a got a lot better. I guess it's legally a grey area (no warranty) but probably worthwhile to let someone in a phone repair shop do.

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Charlie Clark
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Samsung's OS support is generally a bit shitty: they like to do no more than 18 months after which you're on your own. I'm sort of surprised that no trading standards authority has gone after them over this, but I guess that says a lot about how little we consumers care about our rights.

OTOH Samsung flagships are easy to root and install an AOSP like LineageOS on. These releases are generally about 6 months behind Google when it comes to the next version and this seems to be the case for many manufacturers. More important is getting the monthly security fixes within a week of their availability. I have Android 8.1 build on my spare S5 and, while not everything is supported, it does look pretty nice.

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PM urged to protect data flows post-Brexit ahead of Munich speech

Charlie Clark
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Re: Complex problem

A bespoke deal, also known as having your cake and eating it!

Oh Jesus fucking wept… you forgot the slight rider on the whole thing:If the EU accepts the plan

It's not going to happen. The EU has made the position clear and in December the UK signed up to it: regulatory alignment or third party status. All the rest is smoke and mirrors of a government desperate to avoid a confidence vote.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Project Fear is still alive and well at camp remoan.

Chairmanship - my a***.

Fair enough but my information comes from someone living and working in Sofia who said that the Chairmanship of the EU Council did wonders for a lot of public works committees. The various things you list are now incompatible with the chairmanship: they could be flying to set up offices and lobby about MIFID 2 or tax havens or lower duties on Crystal champagne or Bolivian Trading Powder.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Complex problem

that workers in these factories are thinking, did I make the right choice?

Seeing as they think they were voting to reduce immigration, the answer is probably "yes". Any job losses are somebody else's problem.This is the result of a wholly unncessary referendum that was badly run.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Project Fear is still alive and well at camp remoan.

Lloyds of London is making sure that it will be able to operate from Brussels. Sofia's airport is busy largely because of the chairmanship of the council. But, yeah, everyone is making contingency plans and lobbying like fuck for things to stay the way they are. This is just another example of the other 27 forcing the UK to say publicly want it wants and how cooperation and, hence, that "regulatory alignment" (such as ECJ and ECHR) is required.

It would be funny if it wasn't so fucking pathetic.

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US docs show Daimler may have done a Dieselgate – German press claims

Charlie Clark
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Re: Never understood the dieselgate outrage bollocks

The outrage is certainly overblown in the US. As were the fines. But it was an egregious example of flouting the rules and getting away with it.

The interesting aspects of this are as much about the details of what's allowed: clean the exhaust fumes but only in near to ideal conditions*. And no need for the car companies to do anything until after years of legislative procrastination bans become inevitable. The solution will be Cash for Clunksers 2™ with handouts for a new cleaner to be fitted, which will still only have to work on warm days, or a new car. People love the idea of money for nothing or "getting something from their tax" so this will be wildly popular.

Meanwhile the Chinese are working had on all electric vehicles for short journeys like buses — Shenzen has now got 15,000 of the buggers — at purchase prices that will soon undercut diesels.

* which even the courts admit with the OLG Düsseldorf recently stating bluntly that it didn't matter than the tests were a load of cobblers, they are still the correct ones. Nice bit of legal chutzpah!

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Apple to devs: Code for the iPhone X or nothing from April onwards

Charlie Clark
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They make far more money on iOS than they do on Android.

That's not been true for a while. Developers that sell their apps tend to make more money on IOS than on Android but ad-based apps make far more on Android than IOS because the market is so much bigger. But there also publishers that moved to Android-first development for their paid apps because the market on Android was bigger.

That aside, there's nothing from the announcement to indicate that the stupid notch is here to stay. Apple has a lot more to do there to convince website developers of the need for a really pathetic CSS extension.

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Stephen Elop and the fall of Nokia revisited

Charlie Clark
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Re: He's responsible for Flash as well?!

He invented leaded petrol and Freon.

True, and a lovely account of him in Bill Byrson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Course, it has since turned out that unleaded petrol has problems of its own: CH3

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Charlie Clark
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Re: He's responsible for Flash as well?!

And who do you think put Macromedia up for sale to Adobe in the first place?

The owners?

I'm not a cheerleader for Elop and I thought at the time he made the wrong call at Nokia but at the same time I don't think he was responsible for all its ills (he was hired because the company was already in a mess) nor for Flash's many bugs.

In the end he got a great deal for the owners in the sale of the handset business to Microsoft. Don't blame him for the fucked up capitalism that makes those kind of deals make sense. But if you want to look for a real train wreck compare what he did with Nokia to what Carly Fiorina did with Compaq, DEC and HP.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cornflakes, ketchup and 20x20 hindsight

very highly engineered and expensive phones we have to keep for 18 months.

Speak for yourself: I'm into my fourth year on second-hand devices. The eco-system around a phone often requires more after-sales support than the cheapest phones can provide.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: He's responsible for Flash as well?!

No, he wasn't responsible for Flash itself. Flash became a the goto framework for interaction on websites and, hence, a money spinner for Macromedia. This in turn led Adobe to buy Macromedia and subsequently improve the video codec, which helped make YouTube popular and eventually end the video codec wars. It also served as the template for a lot of the later development of HTML 5.

Flash was popular as a development environment for designers and Macromedia did the right thing in developing it for them. That the problems of the runtime would come back to haunt it has as much to do with its success as anything else: it was popular then ubiquitous long before it was a target. Nowadays it is an increasing irrelevancy, largely due to the availability of more secure, native alternatives.

Credit where credit's due: Flash inspired a lot of people to develop "for the internet". Adobe has also done a reasonable job in maintaining Flash despite the many security flaws: reasonable in terms of having a plan for regular updates to exploits. Maybe they could have open-sourced the runtime but there might have been reasons against this such as containing licensed code. But by the time Google got behind the HTML 5 ball it was probably too late.

I think I removed Flash from my machines in 2016 but it lives on in Chrome and IE because for some things there still aren't better alternatives.

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Roses are red, Ajit Pai is tickled. Broadband from SpaceX gets him out of a pickle

Charlie Clark
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Re: A last poem...

Nah, check your history: we'd all still be pantheists and fighting wars about something other than religion.

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Charlie Clark
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LEO satellites don't stay up long so maintenance costs will also be high.

It would be a cinch for the FCC to get mobile networks to compete more effectively in rural areas and it wouldn't cost that much.

This basically more PR from Musk.

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Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Fees

VP9 is one of the reasons why H.265 decoders are free. It's also led to a more-or-less encumbered future video standard, AV 1 which even Apple has now signed up to.

It's possibly apocryphal but I seem to remember one of the reasons why Firewire failed versus USB was the $ 1 licence fee. Of course, in the end Firewire has won the technological battle emerging as the basis for USB 3.

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Charlie Clark
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Fees

MPEG LA's fees were trivial for electronics makers

I think you'll find the manufacturers would beg to differ. In modern consumer electronics patent licences make up a significant portion of the cost basis which is possibly one of the reasons for Google pushing its own video technology.

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Charlie Clark
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Re: A mobile OS will need, eventually, to become a desktop OS for real work...

and that will require a lot of redesign of both the OS and applications.

It's mainly the UI that needs work and both Android and IOS have been making strides in that direction for years. Some apps will just look stupid without any changes but they can be configured to run in phone size windows.

Both OSes already provide most of the service for pre-emptive multitasking, printing, etc. Not sure what's really missing.

Apple's numbers for sales of the I-Pad Pro show that there is a market for this and developers that focus on it could do well.

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Arsenal are red, pundits have 'insights', BT and Sky splurge £4.5bn on footie rights

Charlie Clark
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Re: BT return?

So how many free subscribers do you need to earn an extra £750 million a year.

Looks like about 3 million which doesn't look that illusory. But there is also advertising and sponsorship money.

The economics look like the domestic revenues have topped out here. But there's still plenty of money to be made, especially in Asia which is inevitably going to lead to more games be scheduled for their time zones (Saturday morning anyone?) or even over there.

I'm not a fan of these developments but you can see the way things are going.

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