* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Charlie Clark
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Re: Cart before the horse

Microsoft should have required Intel mobile chips in their Continuum phones.

The whole thing started with the WinRT fiasco. They could, and possibly should, have included something like Rosetta, possibly backed with something like Transmeta's emulation microcode on the hardware, maybe throw in some ART style JIT cache; depends a bit on which resources are available. But they were worried about cannibalising their existing market and pissing off Intel.

For the last few years all mobile chips have been beefy enough for this kind of thing which Intel demonstrated with the ARM emulation code for x86 for the Atoms: nearly all apps ran fine at the cost of battery use.

My guess is that they're getting ready for the long-heralded but Zarquonesque arrival of ARM on servers and possibly desktops. Many of us expected that to be from Apple this year but they were too busy raising margins and adding fluff. Still, can't be too long before we see some impressive reference designs.

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Samsung fires $70m at quantum televisions

Charlie Clark
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In the longer term, its boosters hope quantum dots could replace other light sources in displays, making them a potential competitor to OLEDs.

Not really: OLED has fewer components and layers and can in theory work entirely without glass. However, Samsung, despite having invested heavily in the OLED production process, have decided that for TVs they're more competitive if they tweak LCDs and sell more expensive OLED screens with higher margin phones until they or 3M, or Dupont get the additive manufacturing for OLED sorted.

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Charlie Clark
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It's a misnomer here. Colours have long been achieved by doping one material with another. A few years ago boffins discovered some materials that could affect colours simply due to their size (based on the research into butterfly wings, I believer). To get this to work you need really tiny particles, which is where the term nano or quantum come from. The managing is all about managing these particles.

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Signal security revealed: A triple-Diffie-Hellman with a double ratchet

Charlie Clark
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Re: Capture the message post decryption...

I think you're assuming the messages are stored somewhere unencrypted but they're not.

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And with one stroke, Trump killed the Era of Slacktivism

Charlie Clark
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Re: Time to get of the fence Mr Orlowski

I believe that the Koch Brothers have more influence than Apple and Google combined. And, once they realised they couldn't control Trump, they directed their not inconsiderable funding at Congress. Scrapping the EPA's good for business as I'm sure Volkswagen among others would agree.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Better broadband could be a grassroots cause"

NOW... if that process were made SIMPLER, maybe those lines being brought in for YOU could then provide competing service to all of the neighbors.

Congratulations for going off at a tangent, you dumb fuck. I'm glad to see you're happy with your vote and I wish it brings you everything you expected. Though I suspect you may be ever so slightly disappointed.

Now, back to the issue: there are many documented instances of incumbents telcos lobbying, generally successfully, against municipal fibre services. Nothing to do with universal access and all to do with restricting competition.

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Charlie Clark
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It's very amusing watching leftists try to claim Trump is bad for not releasing his tax returns.

Would that it were true, Mr Redneck. But, alas no conspiracy theory here: it was Trump himself who reneged on his own promise to release his tax returns. Not that it really mattered: his egregious, if perfectly legal, avoidance just made him seem "cleverer" to his dumber than average base.

And not that it really matters either but Americans always seem to want change but never seem to get it: Dodd-Frank will get repealed and that the banks go back to betting with other people's money. What larks!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: We do not know what Trump will do or will not do

I can see Trump doing that...

If you mean that, like Teddy Roosevelt, Trump might split the Republican Party, I think you may well have a point.

As for the rest, we'll just have to wait and see. He ran extremely effective campaign but that has little to do with running the government. Appointments so far read like a three-way toss up between right-wingers, insiders and members of his family.

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MongoDB's CEO: Expect aggressive investing as biz aims at Oracle et al

Charlie Clark
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Re: If one reads between the lines

Postgres provides you with enough options for when you need to keep this kind of data around, and, as a bonus, it won't magically lose it for you. This is the "o" in NoSQL I was recently at a talk on Map/Reduce and the volume of transient (OLAP) data you need for non-relational systems to have an edge is staggering.

Otherwise stick with Redis for the transient stuff if it's working for you.

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Firefox hits version 50

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wifi Hotspots

This is because these gateways are really, really, badly programmed and open to MitM attacks on the network.

Recently tried (with all browsers) and gave up at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Statcounter

I've heard that in some countries up to 10 % are using ad-blockers. Don't think it really matters that much. Akamai's data, which El Reg disappointingly fails to use, has Chrome (all versions) at around 50%:

https://www.akamai.com/us/en/solutions/intelligent-platform/visualizing-akamai/internet-observatory/internet-observatory-explore-data.jsp

Google must be particularly pleased in the uptake of Chrome Mobile because that's a fairly recent addition.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Android

That's been my main experience with it, it's just regular enough to be annoying but not so regular that it's forced me back to Chrome.

I've found it pretty solid over the last year or so even on websites like BBC Sport which really hammer the network and the CPU. And blockers (I use Ghostery are a must).

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Low-end notebook, rocking horse shit or hen's teeth

Charlie Clark
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Re: Funny that...

Sounds like the channel adjusting to lower aggregate demand with some component lines being discontinued.

I like the idea of responding to the situation by putting even crappier components in and hoping to make money the mid-range and premium devices. Good luck with that!

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Samsung sets fire to $9m by throwing it at Tizen devs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Pocket change for Samsung ...

The version on the new Pixels seem to be hinting at Google heading in a Google-only direction.

What makes you think that? It's already in the CM nightlies.

Google is a services company and it is working very hard using all kinds of the methods to offer more services to more people.

It's difficult to see how the rest of the world can benefit from the Chinese experience. Switching to Baidu would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fie.

But Samsung's much more expensive purchase of Harman International suggests that they're interested in the embedded space. They've already gained experience of Tizen on weaker hardware with the Gear watches.

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Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger

Charlie Clark
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Re: A wedding ring...

I'd always thought this sort of thing was apocryphal but obviously not. If you really must try this kind of thing I believe you can get something called a "cock ring", which is slightly smaller than the average (53 mm according the condom manufacturers).

But, basically viagra in all its forms is what the pros use. Unless their worried about getting the gush.

I'm just off down the park…

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GitLab to dump cloud for its own bare metal Ceph boxen

Charlie Clark
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"pay for what you provision"

IO is always the biggest problem with any virtualised environment and why cloud solutions are sold on CPUs, memory, disk size, bandwidth, anything but the IO speed and VCS systems are known to hammer IO.

So, it's a classical trade-off which is why some businesses are happy not managing their own data centres because they have extremely variable capacity. The various providers also offer differing solutions.

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Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

Charlie Clark
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Re: Seems to me ...

Taxes are a game played between the finance minister and accountants. Our modern, sophisticated societies need reasonably high tax bases spread across all areas of economic activity. Actual rates are less important than the loopholes and exceptions which pit various theories against each other.

Apart from mopping up distortions from redesignating income, taxes on capital are also intended to keep money in circulation. It was discovered some time ago that letting too much capital accumulate anywhere causes all kinds of problems.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Yeah Donald, you punish those coastal elites

trickle down yes

all the way down the wall! Well, it worked so well before and this time it's different!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ireland can compete

Good. H1B visa employees and offshoring is killing US IT workers

The two are not the same: I think you'll find that is H1B's get reduced that offshoring will increase. Silicon Valley wage and associated inflation is evidence that there are not enough homegrown IT people, though admittedly this is additionally distorted by the network effects. Anyway, I don't think we can expect many tech jobs to be appearing in West Virginia.

Offshoring is very likely to fall under the wheels of the automation bus.

As for driving wages down, well that would largely be done by concentrating purchasing power in companies like Walmart and Amazon but I think we "ain't seen nothing yet" if the deregulation policies get enacted. There may well be an uptick in employment (participation is still low) but wage pressure could easily be offset by other measures meaning no net gain and quite possibly a net loss for some. But I think we'll have to wait and see what stuff really gets passed.

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Charlie Clark
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Pretty much anyone says they have a mandate for something you can be sure they're bullshitting you but, according to the rules of the election, he was elected head of the executive branch of government.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Who knows?

He controls both houses

He doesn't you know, the Party does. We'll see all about checks and balances, and earmarks and "deals" next year. But at the moment it's best not to jump the gun until specific policies appear, though tax cuts are probably a given.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Only needs to be $1 cheaper...

Well, yes but you also have to be able to do something with the cash. Hence, things like Apple's complicated Swiss debt issue to use foreign earnings to do share buybacks.

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Google Pixel pwned in 60 seconds

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's not really the Pixel though.

7.1 was released as CM 14.1 this week.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This is going to get expensive... And it's daft.

There's not enough money on Earth to use these contests to significantly enhance security.

This isn't a one-way transfer, consider the money cycle.

And your game theory doesn't hold water either. It's not really about specific bugs, more about attack vectors. The contestants are competing amongst themselves and cannot expect to live of the bounties. It's a recruitment drive: for the companies; for the spooks; for organised crime.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You ban "agile".

There never is any time to go back and fix the issues that were brushed aside during a sprint.

That happens all the time whatever the methodology. A methodology is really nothing more than an agreed set of tools and if the boss says use a hammer or cover the whole with gaffer tape or you're fired then that's what you tend to do.

I don't know how "agile" my own methodology is but I find that writing unit tests is a great way of kicking the tyres and reflecting upon the design.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

You design in the quality and security.

Some of the most recent bugs attack apparently secure designs.

And even if I fully believe the mantra that untested code is broken code, working code is better than no code. I would also fully agree that features have been allowed to dominate the market for too long. But, guess what, if you're not selling anything then you can't afford the make anything, no matter how good the quality. SaaS may help to realign interests here: happy customers renew versus just make the next sale. Time will tell.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cheaper to pay bug bounties...

You've got that wrong: the bounties are cheaper than paying agencies to try and find these people.

Even with the best developers in the world, software still has bugs and the nature of bugs is that they are unlikely to be found by the internal teams. Bug bounties might start off as apparently cheap PR but if companies don't take the findings seriously and start improving their processes, then they stand to lose a lot more than the cost of a few bounties. But it needs a change of culture at the top to sanction the necessary additional expenditure.

That said: there is still a long way to go. Both Google and Apple have enviable QA processes and code reviews but these are obviously still not good enough. MS was working hard to improve in this area. Then it sacked a lot of the QA teams.

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Google: If you think we're bad, you should take a look at Apple

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple and supplied Apps

Try replacing one of the key apps, such as the browser, with one from another developer. Apple is extremely anti-competitive and it also works very hard to convince its customers that they don't want anything else.

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Looks like the 10 kopek brigade has been given new instructions…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What?

Hangouts has been replaced by Allo and Duo for consumers and now a conferencing system. I've never had much problem disabling the builtin apps. It's a bit annoying but it's not as bad as the lock-in that MS was trying with IE and MediaPlayer and at least they stay disabled, unlike some of the other bloatware provided by the vendor, which has to be the biggest motivation to go CM.

I already use https://apkpure.com to sideload stuff that Play thinks I shouldn't have because my phone is in the wrong place. Installing from other stores does carry a risk which is why Google is covering its ass by disabling this by default.

I'm sure Google would be quite happy to get out of the app store business and concentrate on selling media (films, tv and music) to consumers and advertising to developers, which is why its driving the PWA stuff.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Do they still not understand

Well, yes but there's no doubt that Apple's policies — the App Store, no other browser engine, etc. — are uncompetitive. But that's irrelevant in this investigation.

I've no doubt that Google and the European Commission will come to some kind of agreement not least because the alternatives are possibly worse. And Google is also essential in improving the security for all Android phones.

At some point Google may well be happy to relinquish some parts of the value chain as long as it maintains its dominance elsewhere, particularly advertising: GMail is more of gateway product for its enterprise suite; consumers are moving towards messaging platforms and Google wants to be in the AI services game, where again the consumer gets to beta test stuff. We haven't much about recently about Google's push into enterprise but they seem to be following the slow and steady route: Calendar recently told me it can book rooms for people and is getting to be a better and better secretary that I would happily use.

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Google's crusade to make mobile web apps less, well, horrible

Charlie Clark
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Re: Web Apps?

You seem to want to have your cake and eat it.

The distinction between apps and websites on smartphones has always been blurred (IOS initially only support XML widgets since then they've nearly always used some kind of HTMLView) and has become so more recently as developers try and pool resources and use a single codebase.

I am no fan of the SPA (single-page app) craze, which has been shown to be difficult to maintain and poor for SEO but I don't see what's wrong with the PWA approach: visit a website and "install" it. No need for stores, just services. As for ads: what better that using the tools provided by the browsers to block them?

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Fatigue fears over bug bounty programs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sounds like a Synack advert to me

Yes, it is a bit of a blatant PR for the two companies but I don't mind it that much when you think of some of the shit that gets forced down our throat. Companies should be doing more security evaluations and pentesting with external partners.

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Charlie Clark
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It's not about the money

People who are motivated by the money will get more by selling exploits to criminals.

Bounty programmes have four functions: show recognition for the work involved; potentially improve any automated systems; act as cheap and effective recruitment programmes; PR to the rest of the world showing that they care about security.

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Charlie Clark
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Re: Where I am working right now

Try and go tell your CFO you need to spend a few millions of dollars

That's obviously arse about face and is unlikely to get approval.

The general way to get IPv6 in a company is via the whole unified communications malarkey so the phone call can be shit either out of the phone or via a headset attached to the PC. CFOs love the potential savings associated with getting rid of their PBXs. In Germany at least the approach has been coordinated to some degree by the governments so there are tax sweeteners and jobs for the techies. Everybody's happy. Well, except the makers of PBXs and PCs.

As for but IPv6 "is utopian crap", while that's partly true, it's still better than yet another IPv4 kludge and if there are no serious steps taken to migrate then no one is going to bother writing improvements (of which there have been several) unless there is take up. Dual-stack is a well-understood stop gap for legacy systems. Consumer stuff will be led by mobiles and TVs to the IPv6 world.

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The big day is here and it's time to decide: Patch Flash, Windows, Office or Android first?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Time to decide?

It's difficult for an exploit to get persistent root if your Android's running SELinux, which all Androids on or above 4.4 do.

Yeah, but that doesn't make for very good headlines!

The Dirty COW is yet another example of an exploit that depends as much on social engineering as it does on the coding. Not trying to downplay the threat in any way but this vulnerability affects a small percentage of a huge market. There are reasons for Russia being targeted over say the UK and even the banks are waking up to the need to implement at least something that looks bit more like security in their apps.

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Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

Charlie Clark
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Re: You know the joke meme about how do you confuse a blonde ?

The vote was to leave the institution - it wasn't to define a given route afterwards - that is what general elections are for

Oh great. So a bit like: "more money for everyone" was approved and we'll worry about paying for it all later.

A referendum that expects action but wasn't itself about policy is worse than useless and one of the reasons we have so few of them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

ah, dear impartial, tax-paying Lord Ashcroft. It's not as if he could have his own agenda now, is it?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

with what Brexit voters consider important

So you claim to speak for them all? Or that they all voted for the same reasons? Doesn't seem to be what the demoscopes say but, as we all know, they lie just whenever they can. Just like all the "so-called" experts do. Even so it is a bit remarkable, don't you think to claim that 17.4 million people could all vote the same way for the same reason and this being completely antithetical to the other 17 million.

And has anybody changed their mind since June? And will anyone change their mind if their employment prospects at a multinational (GSK, Walmart, Nissan) change?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

Though as she is Polish the Brexiteers will no doubt be pleased she has lost employment.

Well, surely not the ones who use Polish cleaners? The problem with the xenophobia is that it pretends it can be selective and that there are "good" foreigners and "bad" foreigners: the good ones being the ones who are of direct use to us and the bad ones the ones that we have to compete with for something (jobs, housing, schools, etc.); in any given situation they can be one and the same.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: don't for get the Chocolate 'repackaging'

Manufacturers pulling a fast one in order to make a quick profit? Unheard of.

Of course, most of the commodities that the food "processing" (denaturing might a better term) uses are traded globally and often in dollars or euros. AFAIK the sugar beet crop in Germany this year is shit so that sugar might get more expensive next. Of course, by then sugar from the UK might be cheaper for the Germans who would then buy it and force up prices in the UK. Cocoa on the other hand has had several poor years and is already subject to speculation.

Sorry, to hear you're on short time. Let's hope you've still got a job at Christmas.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

I don't suspect people who voted for huge changes in how the country is governed cared a great deal about a very minor reduction in their employent prospects

Deliberately cut you off because of a sweeping claim for which you provide no evidences. I personally think that most people care a lot more about their employment prospects than they do about alleged constitutional issues (immigration policy to the UK is unlikely to change within the next 10 years).

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Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are these people clueless?

It's all a sleight of hand: Facebook uses emotions to allow tracking; Uber suggests choice while it reduces wages from people in intends to sack.

These AI systems are going to revolutionise first and second level support across the board and that is one huge market. The apps are just for testing and market research.

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Unstoppable Huawei draws level with Apple

Charlie Clark
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If they could get the software right

But that is a big, and expensive, if. Huawei has built a huge HQ here in Düsseldorf. No doubt it's mainly to serve the network operators but some of it will also be for the channel.

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Twitter trolls are destroying democracy, warn eggheads

Charlie Clark
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How hype works

The media, the politicians and associated pundits loved "social media" as it seemed to make it easy to get the mood of the public and to seem "engaged" (very important for advertisers / donors / investors). In such a situation there is no upside to being critical (look at what happens to anyone who suggests equities are over-valued) and potentially huge rewards for getting on the bandwagon. Me, I set up my first Twitter bot in 2010 and it's still got hundreds of followers. But this only makes me another grumpy old git.

However, they all completely ignored the fact that most of us are at least somewhat partisan and that emotion trumps reason every time. So let them all crash and burn and be replaced by equally vacuous and watch out pension pots be destroyed in the process.

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are there any current polls on Brexit sentiment?

Difficult to say and you know how reliable those polls are!

The general view seems to be that there are more people who voted to leave who regret their vote than otherwise. Turnout would be key (could the protest vote be mobilised again so strongly? would the middle class get off its fat arse to vote in its self-interest?) but, so frankly, would be the arguments put forward on both sides.

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Charlie Clark
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As a US citizen it also seems strange to make such a huge change by simple majority.

Not just strange but stupid. A bit like turning over the election process to the media… look how well that's worked out for you lot.

The referendum was supposed to be one of political expediency where the Prime Minister could silence, once and for all, the critics in his own party. The same Prime Minister who, when he became party leader in 2005, said that "we have got to stop letting Europe divide us". He failed to follow his own suggestion and follow the lesson of every successful party leader: never let yourself be blackmailed by a minority the party.

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: Is anyone really surprised?

No, I'm not surprised but not for the spurious reasons you provide: there is no conspiracy. The referendum was a poor idea badly implemented in order to try and settle an argument in the Tory party once and for all. Again. How well that worked.

The Act of Parliament that enabled the referendum should have set out a quorum and a minimum winning margin, quite possibly within the four countries that comprise the United Kingdom. It should also have made clear that Parliament would take up the result of the referendum within a specific period.

You want a globalist agenda? look at some of the people who funded the Leave campaign.

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Charlie Clark
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Re: Media and entertainment

that the precedent would be one which granted the government a lot of power to overrule parliament in the future

Indeed, difficult to see that being the majority position and pitting the High Court agains the Supreme Court is not a good idea.

The government has other ways around the decision which are probably less fraught with danger. To lose in court twice would almost certainly mean no chance of a majority in the House of Lords and hence no chance of meeting the self-inflicted deadline.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Charlie Clark
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If it already runs CM then, yes, it will get an update to Nougat and presumably whatever comes after that. Timing maybe an issue. Haven't seen anything on CM about Nougat but my S5 builds have been getting very busy recently presumably because of upstream work: security fixes are generally pushed pretty quickly.

The support for CM for many devices is quite often breathtaking. Well worth taking a look to see if anything you have is supported.

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