* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

So you claim, but you still haven't provided figures. Downvotes don't invalidate facts.

I did or why do you think the power companies are buying French electricity? Have you seen the projected costs for power from Hinkley Point C? £92.50/MWh which is more than twice the current average and even more than what we pay in Germany!

This is how markets work. Largely down to a surplus of renewables from Germany the French often have over-generation to deal with and currently the UK power companies and, to a lesser extent, British consumers are the beneficiaries.

However, if Britain leaves the single market, it might be much harder and or expensive to buy that power. But what will the alternatives be.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

Hm.

I'm not speaking for either you or me, just reporting what the polls say.

The opinion polls at the time of Maastricht clearly showed that the British people did not want the government to sign up to the EU

But you previously claimed

that most European citizens want an EEC model

Please try and stick to your argument; we're not in the pub now.

Governments routinely pass legislation that isn't popular at the time: ending capital punishment is one of the many examples but it's a long list. The UK is a parliamentary democracy and the aftermath of last year's referendum is another example of why we don't decide policy by referendum.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

You are conflating the EEC (a good idea that worked) with the EU (a very bad idea that is failing).

That old canard again. The UK, as a fully sovereign state, participated in the negotiations that led to the treaties of Luxemburg and Maastricht and, hence, the EU. It's not perfect but it's not that bad either.

Unfortunately the arrogant twats who run the EU refuse to recognise that most European citizens want an EEC model

Speak for yourself; I much prefer the EU, despite its problems, to the EEC. Though I suspect most people couldn't tell you the difference and don't really care that much. Particularly the younger people across the continent seem to be pretty fervent Europeans.

The EU is still largely run by the nation states, but they often find it politically expedient to blame "Brussels" for things they may well have approved but are not very popular at home, at the moment.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

French consumers pay 0.15euros/kwh (13p) and UK consumers pay 12p/kwh, base rates.

Cheaper to buy French energy than generate it in the UK. It's not as if people buy a couple of boxes of electricity while they're in the Calais supermarkets.

As for consumer (industry pays a bit less) prices: €0.25 KWh here in Jormany because we subsidise renewables so heavily and still burn dirty coal. Still, with power, as with computing, you pay for what you provision, not what you use.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stupid people don't know they're stupid

not told we can't burn coal and must import French energy

There's no EU rule over the burning of coal and French energy is imported because it's cheaper and because the UK has failed to ensure it has sufficient generation capacity. Successive governments have failed to come up with a plan for the UK's energy market. OTOH you can consider yourselves beneficiaries of the single market in energy, particularly when Germany has to dump its subsidised over-production cheaply: KWh in the UK is quite a bit cheaper than in Germany.

What will happen after the UK leaves still needs to be worked out but 1970s style blackouts can't be ruled out: that monstrosity in Somerset certainly won't be ready in time.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "what was their response..."

not being allowed to sign our own trade deals, etc

Yes, because somehow the UK is bound to be able to negotiate better deals with Japan, China, India, etc. on its own than part of a bloc. All trade agreements impose some kind of non-compete clause on member states when it comes to trading with other groups. But being inside a bloc doesn't prohibit trade with other countries, viz. Germany's impressive record with India and China.

The aim of being inside a free trading bloc is that most of a country's trade suffers from neither tariffs or non-tariff barriers. For various reasons, some nakedly political, some economic, the EU has never favoured being solely a free trade area. For example, the currency union was proposed as a way of reducing the costs of exchange rate fluctuation and a way around the fairly ruinous policy of competitive devaluation. Common standards for goods and services are essential requirement for removing non-tariff barriers.

The UK is already providing a poor negotiator with the rest of the EU: turning up late and unprepared. There is absolutely no reason to suggest that it will be any better when it comes to negotiating new trade deals in a few years. And that's even if other countries are seriously interested in them,

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "European courts will have no more influence after Brexit"

European courts will have just as much influence

As things currently stand the ECJ might end up with even more as the court charged with ensuring the settlement, which is bound to include stuff which the UK has to enforce but will have no say in.

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Charlie Clark
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the brexit negotiations generally are going to be a complete clusterfuck

A cabinet consensus around a transitional period (ie. the status quo) seems to be forming. Hardly surprising seeing as the clock has been ticking for nearly four months and nothing has thus far been negotiated, except perhaps the cancellation of fishing rights for other countries in British waters. This, along with so many other flag-waving exercises, might well turn out totally shit for the UK. Data transfer is likely to one of the more straight forward aspects: accept EU rules with no influence.

There are two things wrong with this: it will require the remaining 27 member states to agree and this will require sweeteners, which the UK will be expected to pay for somehow. But some kind of compromise is bound to be possible. More immediately whether government holds. The more it looks like there will be some kind of transitional arrangement, the more the hardliners are likely to try and force their own agenda. Cue leadership and general elections during which time even less gets done.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "have the same influence in the future as in the past"

Most of the continent uses a different metaphor which is significantly more apt in describing the situation

The German one is: Wasch mich aber mach mich nicht naß which translates as wash me but don't get me wet. Better get your towels!

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Charlie Clark
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Lets just get this over with then

Don't forget: "Get off my lawn!" and "Bloody foreigners!"

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Charlie Clark
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Especially if the minister responsible only attends the meetings on a part time basis.

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Watson AI panned, 5¼ years of sales decline ... Does IBM now stand for Inferior Biz Model?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not sure comparing job postings is that accurate

It should also be noted that Watson goes a bit beyond the ML stuff that most companies are focussing on for speech and image recognition (this is where the developer service market is). I've always understand Watson to be a play for the far more lucrative support industry aimed at automatically white collar jobs like insurance claims handling. No idea whether they'll really succeed or whether Google will beat them to it, but full marks for identifying the market and continuing invest in the research.

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Android-ocalypse postponed: Jide withdraws Remix OS from consumer frontline

Charlie Clark
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Re: It already happened...

@RyokuMas isn't it time you got that chip on your shoulder looked at?

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wading in late

Probably a heretical opinion here, but I find the "new" episodes better than the classic ones, which frankly are quite dated.

Not really fair to compare all of the new ones with all of the old ones. The programme started to change from the first episode and had to invent "regeneration" when William Hartnell decided to quit. Continuing the series with a new actor who looked and acted a lot different than Hartnell was at least as controversial as any of the more recent casting decisions.

The programme was initially about using the Tardis to explain some science to children. Only later did it become part of the science fiction genre it helped create. It was traditionally also produced for immediate consumption, which is why so many of the episodes went missing when the BBC wiped the tapes. Now, it's a medium budget co-production. The budget was a notorious problem throughout the earlier episodes. Don't have the budget for expensive locations? Then you get lots of episodes in shitty sets, quarries and abandoned factories. Filming outside with 16mm and in studios with huge U-Matic cameras was also hugely limiting. The tech was starting to improve by the 1980s but the poor writing and cynicism of the production team really started to show: casting Nicola Byant as an ingenue American student wasn't a bad a idea but having her run around in little more than a bikini all the time was just desperate.

But, nearly all the good ideas (Daleks, Cybermen, etc.) and tropes for the series were established in the original episodes. This includes a tendency for hamming up the acting and treating the companions as sidekicks: Doctor Who took some of its subjects very seriously but itself less so.

I haven't seen much of the newer episodes but those I have seen have high production values, including generally good acting. But I haven't found the stories very engaging. I think the biggest pity is that Christopher Eccleston only got the one series. Without him turbo-charging the restart I don't think it would have got very far.

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Charlie Clark
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An attempt to be relevant

Nearly all the Doctors have been played by fine actors, each brining something to the role. Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth or maybe it was having to work with Bonnie Langford? The problems have always been related to poor writing.

Jodie Whittaker is a fine actress and, unlike say James Bond, there's not a long particularly masculine in the role, so there shouldn't really be any problems. Still, it's going to take some excellent writing and production to overcome any prejudices or suspicion of tokenism that the decision was taken for PR as much as anything else.

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IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

Charlie Clark
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Re: The White House don't care

Trump only really cares about looking good in front of crowds (and what affects his own business interests).

It's a pity for the country that some of the knee-jerk, crowd-pleasing stuff is going to cause some serious disruption in some business areas. But that's democracy for you.

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Charlie Clark
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Gnome (another fine RH project)

GTK for GUIs a good idea? /me shakes head. QT is so much better. But, a bit like Linux itself, it was licensing concerns that got Gnome started. A bit ironic when you look at how carefully RedHat handles copyright.

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Charlie Clark
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Obviously if you're getting paid in Bitcoin, then it makes sense to use them for what you want.

The currency risk explains why Bitcoin is better considered a means of payment than a currency but there are plenty of places where people will prefer the currency risk over currency controls, retrospective taxes, bribes, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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I've had it offered to me for software development and know that some people in some countries prefer it because they worry more about access to their bank accounts being frozen than about the exchange rate risks.

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Charlie Clark
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There's always that risk, but in terms of the arms race against mosquitoes, it's easier to develop new strains of Wolbachia than to develop resistance to it. The mosquitoes already won the race against pesticides.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Charlie Clark
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Something fishy

I can actually read that line of Perl which makes me suspect it isn't actually valid. Suggestions for some proper "write only" scripts?

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NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Charlie Clark
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Re: dichotomy and delay

More complicated than that but not massively difficult.

ah, the logic of false equivalents! Let's see how far that's gets you. I mean, who needs experts when you've got shit for brains? It's not like it'll make much difference on what you choose!

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: dichotomy and delay

to negotiate a brexit when it wasnt such a difficult thing

Right, about as difficult as cancelling a magazine subscription…

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Charlie Clark
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It's okay now that we have the official answer for any kind of problems "Tell them to go whistle!". "You do know how to whistle don't you?" (with sincere apologies to Bacall and Bogart).

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Charlie Clark
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Like it.

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Will the last person at Basho please turn out the lights?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sorry, who?

Riak was and is a significant player in the data space

In the what? Codd must be turning in his grave.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: That depends

Or if the company folds.

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Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

Charlie Clark
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Re: This has been going on for decades...

Tax inspectors are usually told to leave the corporates alone and focus on small businesses because even though the sums are smaller the chances of getting the money within a certain period of time are higher.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So..

No. Not least because it's not an exclusive European problem: Singapore, Delaware, the British Virgin Islands, Panama, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Basic accountancy problem

All this does is illustrate the imperfections of the EU.

Not really, the same effects can be viewed around the world. Some aspects may be easier in the EU because of the single market but the main problem is governments letting themselves be played off against each other by multinationals and the finance industry. Slowly the member states in the EU are coming round to the idea of closing some of the loopholes, though the pressure not to do so is immense as was clear in the hearings this week in the European parliament.

You even get tax arbitrage in the US because sales tax is charged by the states. Amazon has been using this wheeze for years to undercut bricks and mortar shops.

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Charlie Clark
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Re: I had not heard of Tizen before

If they are serious about ditching Android

They're not. They found that Android's requirements were too much for some devices and wanted something with a smaller footprint and already had a homegrown OS.

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Charlie Clark
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Re: Still no.

Every manager / exec / board member wants a Surface these days instead of the iPad as used to be the fashion.

Just as they're signing off on BYOD for their minions… PC sales are in terminal decline.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Still no.

$1 billion a year and rising!

Revenue != profit, especially of an expensive item. If the article wants to make the comparison with an I-Pad Pro then this matters. The I-Pad Pro isn't inspiring but it is nearly all profit for Apple.

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Charlie Clark
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it's hard to argue that Apple's iPad Pro is not inspired by the Surface Pro's success

It isn't you know: many of us were using the term I-Pad Pro before there was a Surface. It was the market that Apple went after once I-Pad sales started to fall. Apple has deliberately avoided going down the same route because it wants to avoid cannibalising laptop sales and it also avoids difficult decisions on the UI.

The Surface Pros are nice computers largely because they became laptops with touch screens rather than tablets that grew keyboards. As to whether they can be considered a success would I suspect depend on sales numbers and I haven't seen anything to suggest that this is the case. They might well be the best laptops for Windows but this is a shrinking market. In the meantime it looks like Apple is doing a better job at milking its market and coming up things like Samsung's DeX look likely to eat even more of Microsoft's lunch.

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JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding

Charlie Clark
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Gets more like Python with every release

Except for the fecking syntax!

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Trump Hotels left orange faced: Hackers plunder systems for credit cards

Charlie Clark
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Re: So it's SynXis and not Trump Hotels that was cracked?

but on the bright side

What? You mean you don't think he's going to do that anyway? He always reacts to anything that he feels like criticism of him or his brand in the same way. So we can expect more bluster about how great the hotels are, etc.

Emoluments…

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'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Charlie Clark
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Re: If he had been in the UK

If he had been in the UK

Maybe if he was resident in The Netherlands he wouldn't have any problems either. If he was not resident then his existing insurance in Spain should have covered him, E111 and all that.

I really don't understand why someone with such a medical condition seems to have gone overnight from Barcelone to Amsterdam without checking these things out in advance. That's what the agency is supposed to be paid to do. That said: € 60 k a year for Amsterdam isn't really enough and should have set alarm bells ringing. Money isn't everything but you should never move anywhere where rent is going to more than a third of your take home pay.

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GitHub acknowledges autocrats with 'code owner' feature

Charlie Clark
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Re: Maintenance?

The community nominates or elects someone else. Handover happens.

This only happens for well-resourced projects. There are plenty projects with just one or two contributors and lots that have been more or less abandoned.

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Charlie Clark
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Maintenance?

I'm not sure that Chromium is such a good example for many open source projects because of the resources that Google is prepared to devote to it.

Typical open source projects have high degrees of churn and fluctuation so a list like this is going to need maintenance and who's going to do that?

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Insurers may have to adjust policies to reflect 'silent' cyber risks

Charlie Clark
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Re: Could it be a box ticking exercise?

Doubt it: the insurers see a big chance here and also a big stick with which to beat customers who, in the eyes of the insurers at least, were lax.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the insurers buy into the IT security business.

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Atlassian hikes prices for most cloudy JIRA and Confluence users

Charlie Clark
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Re: Jira...

Horses for courses but I've always hated Bugzilla

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

Charlie Clark
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Re: Meanwhile ...

We're all going to pretend that there are no low-tech terrorists (and mafia) out there…

Of course, the cell still has to be informed about the particular signal but that, too, is usually done as simply as possible.

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Charlie Clark
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Trollface

This isn't the problem you're looking for

Al-Qaeda learned pretty quickly how to get off the grid and in the end Bin Laden was only caught when the relevant people in the Pakistani military decided to stop hiding him. And Four Lions highlighted how quickly current "best practices" filter down to even the biggest idiots.

Blanket surveillance of the population is at best a money pit and at worst an accident waiting to happen: all that data will have value to someone whether they're in the government or not.

But I have a feeling that, since the deal with the DUP, the security forces may soon find that they're facing a very different and better organised threat.

I'm off to put on my scrambler suit…

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Charlie Clark
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@Lost all faith, I think you'll find that the opposition is also largely in favour of this nonsense. Along with lots of other, different nonsense.

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Twitter will no longer snaffle data allowances on Virgin Mobile

Charlie Clark
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Assuming you don't spend all your time watching or torrenting HD video you probably don't need to worry that much but for a mobile network bandwidth is an unavoidably scarce resource.

John LeGere's (CEO T-Mobile US) talk on nudging people to watching slightly lower res vids as a way to manage bandwidth is worth watching as it covers the networks need to manage expectations.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Net neutrality please

No need to dress it up as net neutrality: it's plain old anti-competitive behaviour. No doubt Twitter is paying in a bid to stay relevant (no chance there, that ship sailed in about 2015 when the messengers started to replace SMS).

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LHC finds a new and very charming particle: the Xicc++ baryon

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Re: Awe

I'm definitely putting Quantum Dynamics as my religion / "belief system" on the next census

If you definitely believe in quantum dynamics, you probably don't!

Mine's the one with "Favourite Quantum Dynamic Quotes and Other Animals" in the pocket.

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Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

Charlie Clark
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Re: The horror. The shame.

Soon? You mean the ejection seat route so that you get a creationist as president?

Maybe I should look to getting one of those tickets to Mars…

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Jaw-boned: Wearables biz Jawbone shuts down

Charlie Clark
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Given the margins selling a couple of million Apple Watches every quarter is a nice little earner. But I want to know who's buying? Thus far I know only one person who has an Apple Watch and I have lots of fanboi friends.

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Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google itself is the reason for sideloading

Google conspires with App developers to selectively discriminate against certain devices.

It doesn't you know. App developers (and copyright owners) get to choose. In addition there may be API / hardware restrictions. Google is happy enough collecting payment data, and selling ads.

However, it would be nice to be able to legitimise alternative stores. Wonder if the EU investigation of Android will lead to such a recommendation.

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