* Posts by Charlie Clark

5384 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Charlie Clark
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Windows for Workgroup was sold "with lifetime support".

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Uber red-faced from Waymo legal row judge's repeated slapping

Charlie Clark
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Coat

Obviously just another "so-called" judge!

Mines the one with the red baseball cap in the pocket.

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Charlie Clark
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Hi, my name is Vordrord Quordledroop from Extravangaza Capital and I'd love to talk to you about your idea!

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

Charlie Clark
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Re: Nice work

I thought the Galaxy S7 got almost everything right

Weren't you even more enamoured of the Note 7 until the battery problems proved unresolvable? In any case I was referring to your scepticism about companies like Samsung making money from Android devices. While there is always the risk that Google will try and each their lunch, Google's own hardware offerings always seem to stop short. But this looks very much like what the Chromebook should have been: "kids stick your phones in the docking stations and go to chapter 1".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Actually...

Use RDP to a server for that.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Failure

What about the Surface? Isn't that supposed to be the best convertible on the market?

What, in as something you can stick in your pocket and turn into a full-fat desktop device as required?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Failure

The difference between Continuum and DeX is that Continuum is a crippled attempt to make Windows Phone relevant, all the while with MS doing its best to bury the platform. DeX on the other hand is a very useful addition to a phone people might already have or be thinking of buying. This is called marginal utility and a very good way of selling something. Samsung is soon going to own a new "convertible" category in much the same way Apple made the smartphone and tablet market its own.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why would you need a dock?

Mr Clark, An S5 you say? You early adopting fashion-victim hipster!

I had to get a replacement when my S4 Mini got nicked. MHL was the reason for going with a second-hand, reconditioned S5. I have since splashed out on an SD card, the MHL connector, wireless charging kit, a second battery an OtterBox and Quadlock combi for mounting on the bike.

TBH I think whines about fixed batteries are over done. For heavy use you can just take one of 6000 mAH packs with you.

Anyway, got to go and wax my moustaches! ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Linux

Can it run generic Linux software

Such as what? It's running Android which isn't GPL Linux.

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Charlie Clark
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Nice work

After putting it through its paces, I'm hugely impressed.

Given that Andrew's default reviews of Samsung's stuff is scathing this is praise indeed. A good review but the only thing I don't understand is the "flip the lid" open because there doesn't seem to be a picture of it.

The price for the dock seems comparable to notebook docks and the implementation especially with keyboard shortcuts seems so much better than the normal v1s we tend to see. It's obvious that Samsung has taken the criticism of TouchWiz and some of its other offerings seriously and has got most of the details right here.

Assuming they can continue to improve on the details they should profit handsomely from being first-movers in this space. Apple will probably have to have something similar for the next I-Phone to remain credible in the enterprise space, but it's MS and Intel who should be most worried!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why would you need a dock?

A dock adds a lot of convenience. You might as well ask why should notebooks have docking stations.

I use Bluetooth and MHL a lot with my S5 and this means a certain amount of fiddling which would only be worse with a keyboard and a mouse.

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Charlie Clark
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Re: Liability question

The medical professionals are still on the hook for professional misconduct

IANAL but I thought that the NHS still had crown immunity, and doctors are accountable to the BMA and not the courts. Trust managers might possibly be liable but I can see them doing a deal with their golfing buddy Hunt. Of course a few BOFHs and PFYs might get pink-slipped to be replaced by ATOS or similar monkeys. But that's par for the course, innit?

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Charlie Clark
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Liability question

The blame is a lot of fun because, as the law stands at the moment, virtually no one can be held accountable for this train wreck.

Because software companies have traditionally been exempt from product liability as long as they can produce a patch, Microsoft is in the clear. But this is also why the NSA is in the clear: had it developed a worm for something that wasn't exempt from product liability then Microsoft would have a case for seeking damages from the NSA for discovering but not disclosing the flaw and subsequently developing an exploit. The development of such exploits is, by the way, already a criminal activity in many jurisdictions, so you'd need some kind of crown immunity.

And then there are the companies that were using an unpatched version of XP, either because they couldn't update to a newer version or afford the ransom for the supported version. If they were running an XP because they have software that won't run on newer versions of Windows then they can blame their suppliers. But these are, of course, exempt from product liability. And the government will just blame the nasty criminals and terrorists and promise that a more repressive state is the only way to solve the problem.

Removing the exemption from product liability for software is the only credible long term solution.

Whatever: Hunt is still a cunt.

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Samsung was just Tizen – homegrown Linux again pitched at n00bs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Eh?

Er, Android is Linux-for-mobile-devices

That's debatable: the Linux kernel is only a part of Android. Google could at any time decide to swap it for something else, though thus far there is no real indication that they are planning to do so: Fuchsia doesn't really look like a replacement.

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For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

Charlie Clark
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Re: Double edge

…you implicitly agree to the terms of the GPL…

Implicit contracts are always a legal nightmare.

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Charlie Clark
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Hunt the Cunt

A large part of the organization's [NHS] systems are still using Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt cancelled a pricey support package in 2015 as a cost-saving measure.

And they still expect people to trust them over the NHS and security? They're having a fucking laugh!

Maybe if Hunt had devoted more resources to IT security and less to taking on junior doctors then this would never had happened.

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ?

All the shaky small EU countries would be running around in a panic, and the Euro itself would tank.

Nope, the smaller Eurozone economies are now effectively backstopped by the Germans thanks to an almighty bailout fund. As for the exchange rate, much like the dollar, the external value of the Euro doesn't matter that much any more as so much trade is done with it: this was one of the major aims of the currency union.

But these kind of hypothetical questions don't really mean much. Suffice it to say that Greece's exit has, for various reasons, been avoided and the debts to the other member states are being slowly inflated away.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ?

As we have seen with the sanctions on Russia, reduction of foreign imports can force a developed country to become more efficient

The only things in Russia that ever get more efficient are corruption and repression.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ?

Why do you think the Germans have not kicked out Greece from EUR yet? Because it would destabilise the single currency

Not sure about that. Greece's economy is too small to move the needle and the threat of contagion has largely receded, especially after the French election. Politics, and the prospect of having a failed state next to a newly belligerent Turkey play a bigger role into the deliberations.

But the point about currency stability is valid which is why the Bundesbank always targeted "monetary stability" and Germany's major trading partners historically aligned their currencies with the Mark. And it's also why China manages the Renminbi's dollar rate so closely. Currency fluctuations mean that trades have to be hedged (on both sides) which adds to the cost.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ?

Maybe he is the kind of guy that rather would drink from the pub toilet if his beer is too warm.

Have an extra upvote for the metaphor!

BTW. Free trade is "barrier-free" not "tax-free".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Did Dyson participate in the standards setting process?

That's speaking as a member of European and US standard making bodies. The EU ones are a fix-up, as this and dieselgate should have demonstrated.

You mean there are no US standards, such as those set by the FTC, SEC or FCC, that aren't fix ups? Nowhere is perfect on this.

Any industry with a large investment is going to see a huge amount of lobbying, whether of the standards bodies or legislators or regulators. VW's blatant and egregious flouting of the rules should also be seen in the context that US rules favour petrol engines over diesel engines, because that's what US manufacturers favour. And it should also be noted that it was the California agency that rang the alarm. Now that the EPA is effectively being wound down there will no doubt be pressure in the US to defang the Californian agency, which often acts to set de facto standards for the whole country.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this the same Dyson who has no time for the EU ? @ Voland

WTF was all that about? I'm sure there is something in there that was meant to make sense but all I read was I love Europe it can do no wrong and I don't like that Dyson bloke.

Let's just take the EU out of the equation because this is how all non-tariff barriers work through standards setting. Regulatory body (here the EU Commission) gets the job of setting power standards for vacuum cleaners (I've heard German politicians moan about meddling here) as part of the general plan to reduce power consumption in households. The call goes out to interested parties including the manufacturers, but also consumer groups, to help define standards and associated tests. Ideal, clean room situations are standard for this sort of thing, partly because they're much simpler and cheaper to do. And they're always gamed: Philip Morris famously invented cigarette filters which drew in more air in testing equipment than when used by people. Assuming everyone is agreement, and those that don't take part in the process are considered as to be in agreement, then the standard goes into force. The UK seems to delight in grandstanding about the process and then moaning about the result. Guess what, this works just as badly around the world.

It should also be noted that reproducible "real world" tests are notoriously difficult to define and run. And it's not as if they aren't subject to gaming either. If you're not squeamish you might want to look up how negative medical trials are silently ignored on a routine basis.

The important thing is that the standard and its tests are open to challenge, as is here the case. Yes, it's taken years, but the court has reached its decision and Dyson has been vindicated. Let's hope that the next time they get on board earlier in the process.

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

I for one have full confidence in the government's ability to protect me and my family because…

… well I can't actually think of any but I'm open to suggestions.

In the meantime let's watch Mother Theresa, who as Home Minister a year ago is surely largely responsible for a large shovel of this shit, and her incompetent colleagues try and bluster their way out of this one. And these people are supposed to be responsible for major international political, security and trade negotiations?

So, your Majesty, how exactly does reducing the number of EU farm workers help protect the NHS from attack? Does Brexit contain a secret plan to protect the UK from nefarious computer hacking by following the lead of the Taleban and deindustrialising as fast as possible? After all, once the peasants have to worry about things like starvation or dying from Polio or the measles they're not really going to be protesting about freedom.

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Sweaty fitness bands fall behind as Apple Watch outpaces sales

Charlie Clark
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This piece has the whiff of Apple PR on it. In the scheme of things 3.8 million I-Watches probably isn't a lot and can be related to the fanbois trading in their old bracelet with too small a battery in for the new shiny, shiny. Apart from the "measure me" fanatics I know of only one person who has an I-Watch, though to be honest she's very happy with it.

Fitbit is paying for its own stupid to decision to buy and then smother Pebble. Because Pebble was independent of any "eco-system" but designed to work with other devices it definitely had all the makings of a useful device. Oh well.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Quick question

We could do with a hipster icon. In the absence of one of those have a pint of the microbrew of your choice! :-)

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Microsoft's Windows 10 ARM-twist comes closer with first demonstration

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh goodeee

Unless they come with the kind of TPM lockdown that Microsoft favours on x86… ;-)

More ARM-hardware is coming because slowly the amount of ARM-only software (on Android) that is really damn useful is increasing.

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Charlie Clark
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Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

Well, if they deliver a "native" mail client using HTML/CSS/JS, it will be just a clumsy product with a lot of UI limitations.

Not really. This was an approach first mooted by Opera over 10 years ago but put on hold because of performance problems. Since then web components and JS runtime have improved beyond all recognition, which is why they're so prevalent on our phones. And if you're programming for a known runtime then you can avoid a lot of the compromises. This is the approach that the Vivaldi team (lots of ex-Opera people) have adopted and I'm looking forward to the promised mail client if it ever arrives.

As for e-mail itself: if only people would stick with text/plain then the world would be a simpler and safer place.

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Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

Charlie Clark
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Re: They'll fix it, but users won't get it

Google really need fix the problem of users being left out in the cold.

Wrong, I'm afraid. The manufacturers need to be forced by the courts to do this: Google has no obligations whatsoever to individual consumers.

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Agile consultant behind UK's disastrous Common Platform Programme steps down

Charlie Clark
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Re: Agile == Fragile

The failure has nothing to do with the methodology and everything to do with the people involved.

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IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

Obviously not. Any costs that cannot be billed to the customer can almost always be offset against tax so moves like this are usually driven by short term crap, presumably sales are well below target, rather than anything a good accountant would recommend.

Good way to piss of your customers though. I was recently chatting to a friend who works at an aluminium rolling plant which is IBM through and through. Support is expensive but it is also guaranteed to be same day and given the costs associated with even just an hour's standstill, cheap. It takes years to build up relationships like that but you can end them with a single, stupid memo.

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Take a sneak peek at Google's Android replacement, Fuchsia

Charlie Clark
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Nothing to do with Oracle

although the tiny new Magenta kernel also allows it go there too [lightbulbs and toasters]

Not really, the microkernel should simplify recompiling for different architectures: x86 is already dead for handheld devices and IA64 won't get started. That said, if those archs are listed, then this is simply another project OS.

Google's anti-Oracle ploy has already been released: dumping Dalvik for ART and favouring native code over byte code. Fuchsia's licensing seems as much to do with avoiding the GPL as anything else. Works for me.

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First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why I feel uncomfortable...

Correctly handled* and wood is more fire resistant than concrete* which is why there's an uptick in wooden houses.

* obviously not Pudding Lane.

** actually it's when the steel in concrete melts that the fun really starts.

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Charlie Clark
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Google and hardware

Google's relationship with hardware, apart from Chromebooks and Chromecasts, has not gone very well.

Complete nonsense: Google designs its own data centres and has even ventured into chip design.

If you mean consumer hardware then you have a point but many of Google's products have always looked liked limited issue trials to test the market. It consistently shies away from the consumer market why all the while testing AI-backed CRM solutions.

The "maker" projects like Cardboard and this show that Google has a reasonable understanding of the tinkerers. What to get into VR but can't afford one of the expensive and soon to be obsolete kits? Then stick a phone in one of the Cardboard kits. Want to try your hand at speech recognition? Then try this. I personally think it's a great idea.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: GSA

Customer has had it for years and even if you spend very little time on customisation, it does an excellent job. It's being replaced by an SaaS which more or less makes sense once you realise they were black boxes always under Google's control. SaaS should give Google more pricing power so that the service can be offered to SMEs as well as corporates.

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Charlie Clark
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Re: This isn't because wine has suddenly become more potent

Not anecdote. Fact

Anecdotes and facts are not mutually exclusive. The additional, even more interesting, information you provide certainly underlines your case but, along with my own suggestion, someone else has posted above duty, make it difficult to be certain as to what caused what.

The wine market has become globalised — I remember reading that it costs around 10p to send a bottle of wine around the world — which leads to standardisation of product and packaging.

Of course, there is now a trend against this standardisation and the rise of the "naked wines". Plus ça change, plus ça même chose, as they say.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Stay in balance

Have an extra upvote of your choice for such a clearly explained post.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I Remember

Hopefully the young will stop applauding and celebrating people who do anything stupid…

It's group dynamic. Whether it's drinking beer or having a fight or any of the other daft things people do, the tribe will identify itself with the object of their attention. So, while I appreciate your sentiment, and also think it is mark of true friendship to stop people drinking more than they can handle, I think you're largely pissing in the wind on this one.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I Remember

8 pints of >= 5% really is excessive. Back in the day most good bitters were less than 4%, and this makes a difference over an evening: 1% less ABV is 20% relatively or one pint for every five. The fashion for slickly marketed and strong but shit lagers in the 1980s with nice fat profit margins ruined that.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This isn't because wine has suddenly become more potent

Malvasia, Mavrud,…

Interesting anecdote. While the adoption of Australian wine-making practices may contribute, I think the main factor is arbitrage given that wine is sold by volume: vintners make more money if they dilute it. This has been standard practice in the Napa Valley since the 80s as yields fell due to hotter summers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Possible reasons

like driving like complete twats

There is for this, at least, a scientific explanation: testosterone in men acts as a risk assessment inhibitor, so young men (< 25) generally behave like their invincible and drive like maniacs, get into fights and make stupid investment decisions.

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Imagination puts two-thirds of itself up for sale as Apple IP fight rumbles on

Charlie Clark
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Re: Whither MIPS?

Competition is good but it's difficult to see much of a market for MIPS in the beefier part of the embedded world because it has too little to differentiate it from ARM.

In a sense, Imagination built a rod for their own back by suggesting they would go after ARM's business, which just spurred ARM to developed its own GPU cores and made Imagination even more dependent upon Apple.

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S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

Charlie Clark
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Surface Notebook vs MacBook

This turns out to be a superb premium device targeting the vacancy left by Apple, which inexplicably won't be updating its ageing Air line.

I don't think I can agree with this. Apple has essentially replaced the Air with the MacBook which is even lighter. Not enough oomph for me but I can imagine them being popular with people who want the lightest machine out there and I know a couple of people who are very happy with them.

The Windows S will just piss off people who like the hardware but want more control of the device. This is an unnecessary, if illusory, hurdle that doesn't augur well.

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Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: Hmm ChromeOS

On ChromeOS, Chrome is effectively the runtime, which is why many of us are not interested in it as a product, partly because of the monopolistic effect and partly because of the limitations of the browser runtime.

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Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple still in Education?

They replaced it with the even lighter MacBook.

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Charlie Clark
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For college kids Apple still has the better offer

Apple's MacBook might look like a toy but you can see that yet again Apple understands the market better than MS.

As for Windows S: it's not much of a secret that Google is merging ChromeOS and Android so that the world of offline apps will soon be available to those who want them: outside the US one doesn't tend to hear much about the Chromebooks.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The other secret source for the OS is...

It's also to administer and not to administrate.

Article published too quickly to impress MS for the invitation to the event, methinks.

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LinkedIn chatbots to help with 'important conversations'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Old fart here.

As with all these things: it's the personal data. Presumably, Microsoft is planning to tie LinkedIn in with its CRM stuff and might even be looking at the HR market which is huge. Regarding the actual acquisition I think you'll find it was so structured that MS couldn't lose from it. It has lots of cash sitting around earning no return and the purchase could be debt-financed at virtually no interest; no doubt some of the LinkedIn shareholders had connections with Microsoft and so were more than happy to be able to get cash for their shares.

Personally, I don't think LinkedIn is particularly suited for IT stuff: it keeps offering me sales positions. StackOverflow is much better for anything remotely related to my skillset.

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Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally someone's noticed?

Or maybe just "finally there is an election on", so they all have to look good until polling day.

After which the regulations will no doubt be reduced even more.

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Apache OpenOffice: Not dead yet, you'll just have to wait until mid-May for mystery security fixes

Charlie Clark
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Re: I prefer OpenOffice

over LibreOffice. Why? Because it seems smother, easier to use than LibreOffice.

Same for me on MacOS. Despite the undoubted technical advances in LibreOffice it's crashed too often for me to be usable. But most worryingly is how the UI seems to be going backward. I'm increasingly thinking of switching to MS Office 2016.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

Charlie Clark
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This will stop any teenager that cant take away 18 from the current year

This is where the reintroduction of grammar schools for those who can afford them and workhouses for the rest will help!

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