* Posts by Charlie Clark

5378 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Be our Guetzli, says Google, to make beastly JPEGs beautifully small

Charlie Clark
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Re: webp

Actually Firefox went ahead with webp implementation

Thanks for the heads up. Apple apparently also tried it last year only to remove it from the final release.

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Charlie Clark
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Research is good

Sounds like an attempt to backport some of the optimisations used in WebP to the older format. Google definitely favours WebP for images as it is a single format that does both lossy and lossless compression well and supports alpha channels. Unfortunately, there are still holdouts against WebP: Apple and Microsoft unsurprisingly but disappointingly also Firefox, though it supports the parent WebM format.

As for economies: I think Facebook did the numbers about the money it saves by compressing images as much as it does and it's more than you think.

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Google borks Nexus 6 with screwy over-the-air Android 7.0 downgrade

Charlie Clark
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Move along nothing to see

A serious cockup at the Chocolate Factory caused an over-the-air (OTA) downgrade to people who had side-loaded Android 7.1.1, dropping them back to Android 7.0 and sending their phones into meltdown.

Anyone who sideloads an OS onto their phone should be familiar with the risk of potential data loss especially when they okay the downgrade.

Want Android 7.1 on a Nexus 6? Go with LineagesOS

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Microsoft kills Windows Vista on April 11: No security patches, no hot fixes, no support, nada

Charlie Clark
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Re: Options?

You should be able to buy a valid licence for Windows 7 somewhere – use that. It's faster than Vista anyway and you need your accounting software.

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NetBSD adds RPi Zero support with 7.1 release

Charlie Clark
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Re: Variety of reasons

@Voland

And, 4. NetBSD's special trick: build for all platforms from a single source tree.

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Sources: Liberty Global, Vodafone take seats at negotiating table AGAIN

Charlie Clark
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It goes round and round

Back in 2000 when Vodafone bought Mannesmann their argument was a mobile only strategy had more value, while Mannesmann was one of the first to argue for the combined service option. Many years and significant write-downs by shareholders (and taxpayers) later they seem to be coming round. Mind you, back then Calao was head of Mannesmann's Italian subsidiary, Omnitel.

Also worth noting that once the UK leaves the EU, there is probably not much to be gained by trying to be a pan-European telco so we might see more of this kind of deal with the European business being managed from the continent. But, hey, UK customers will no longer be disadvantaged by not having to pay ridiculous roaming charges when travelling: what's not to like?

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Germany to Facebook, Twitter: We are *this* close to fining you €50m unless you delete fake news within 24 hours

Charlie Clark
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Re: Hasn't history taught us to think twice before appeases the Germans?

Second point, define obvious.

An example cited was that the German government issued a travel warning for Sweden which never happened.

I'm no fan of censorship but I understand the German legal and constitutional position on propaganda and hate speech and the law seems to fall within those bounds. It should also be noted that there are robust provisions for freedom of speech in general and satire in particular.

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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Charlie Clark
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"incentivised"

Andrew, really? ;-)

I think this may end up being a pyrrhic victory. Confidential parts for court rulings are not something you want to see very often. Time for an FoI request, methinks.

But this just a game of whack-a-mole. Until I read an article about it I had never thought of using Kodi for streaming stuff: together with a Pi it makes a great little media server for my TV so that I'm not at the vagaries of the manufacturer for software updates, codec support, etc. Now a lot more people know about it. I haven't streamed football matches for many years – I found I had better things to do with my afternoons – but I remember that even then there were other options such as getting the streams from different satellite signals and would expect these to become popular alternatives again.

As for blocking: well this might the be the step that encourages the mass adoption of IPv6 as I reckon trying to block anything based on that could turn out to be rather hard.

But at the end of the day: there is a risk of pricing themselves out of business. If things become too difficult and or too expensive, people may end up deciding it isn't worth it, even for something as emotionally charged as football is for many people. FCUM

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Tech titan pals back up Google after 'foreign server data' FBI warrant ruling

Charlie Clark
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Re: Turnabout

The US routinely spurns the principle of reciprocity, see how it handles requests about tax evasion.

But I don't really see Russia or China doing something like this except for propaganda: they have no concept of due process and probably have other ways of getting the information they want, which probably one of the reasons that services like Telegram are popular in Russia: if the stuff is properly encrypted then there's not much point in trying to get hold of it.

But for somewhere like the EU: pushing too hard on something like this is a sure way to get the new fig leaf called "privacy shield" declared insufficient. The FBI should follow due process and get a warrant in the country of the relevant jurisdiction, shouldn't be too hard if they have anything like reasonable grounds for suspicion.

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Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

Charlie Clark
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Re: Backwards compatiblity

You sound absolutely butt-devastated over my internet typo.

Nope, just mildly amused by your lack of erudition and subsequent defensiveness. Why not go with end-of-life in the first place?

FWIW for my clients I advocate such a policy for all web site development. But I also see, as do others what the real world throws up: IE9 is indeed still popular in China. Furthermore, while it's a good start to use the most recent stable versions of libraries. this doesn't obviate the need for objective security reviews and tests. And as developers we all need to ask ourselves: do we really need this library?

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Charlie Clark
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I have to disagree on this: website owners are at fault for not budgeting and contracting for maintenance. This favours cut-throat cowboys over anyone with a proper support policy.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Backwards compatiblity

Please lookup depreciate and deprecate.

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

Charlie Clark
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Re: "We need to promote women disproportionately, pay them equally or better..."

Perpetuated the stereotype that women are the "home makers" and men are the "bread winners".

That's a side-effect of the lack of childcare. Seeing as women who have children will have to take time off work at least to give birth, failing to provide childcare is what needs fixing. Otherwise, there are lots of reasons why women generally prefer the non-technical trades.

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Charlie Clark
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This isn't the problem you're looking for

The gender split in any particular area of employment is not of itself a problem, whether it's women in tech or men in education or nursing.

Equal opportunity and equal pay are far more important and to achieve both the most important thing is to improve childcare: women who have to take a lot of time off work to have and raise children will always be at a disadvantage in the workforce, others will go without children for a better career. Guess what, both choices will perpetuate the status quo. Improve childcare so that pregnancy and children become less of an issue and labour participation rates for women improve everywhere, as Scandinavia demonstrates. But leave it up to the girls and boys to choose for themselves what they want to study and do.

And while you're at it: look at fixing education for under-achieving boys so that have more employment choices than being janitors or security guards. The disaffected male masses of the developed world didn't come out of nowhere.

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Charlie Clark
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There's app for that

More fucking conscience-washing tokenism from Yanks. Maybe <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtlxIcN_tAM>this</a> would help.

Equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work are important. Hand-wringing bullshit like this article will do nothing to bring it about and can even be counter-productive because they're so obviously tokenist.

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BBC hooks up with ITV, launches long awaited US subscription VoD

Charlie Clark
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Re: Proof read your articles

Yes, but I'll take the named author from Faultline typo's over the usual stream-of-consciousness buzzword bullshit they normally churn out.

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Charlie Clark
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No – you get a small selection on the TV content and you can only access it via the internet, basically what you can already get on BBC America.

The licence fee covers all the local (radio and tv) content including all the boring stuff that only interests a few people and the a large part of the free-to-air infrastructure. The main argument, Lord Reith's famous edict to "inform, educate and entertain", behind public service broadcasting is that it is one of the best ways to avoid the echo chamber of people only hearing more of what they think they know.

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Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

What's the point of this article?

I mean I read it and go: it's another fucking language beauty cost and the author seems to like Swift. Apple liked Swift so much they dumped it on the open source community.

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Germany to roll out €100bn gigabit internet network

Charlie Clark
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Re: The €100bn project

Would you really be happy to see UK Gov increase your local taxes by £2400 to pay for that?

Well, seeing as I live in Germany it's happening anyway. However, we should correct your assumptions:

  • it's not an annual increase
  • and it's not just being paid for by households.

Governments raise money via taxation to pay for infrastructure, whether it's roads, railways, airports or communication networks. For capital intensive projects sometimes government is the only who will do this. Such investments are supposed to "pay for themselves" over time. Well, at least we have some examples as to what happens when they don't do this: road bridges in America not being repaired because the federal road repair tax hasn't been enough. Over time this increases costs to the economy and hence households.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: oooo

There is an awful lot more of rural France (similar populations but France is much bigger) than there is of rural Britain but the places I know (and some of them are pretty rural) generally have at least 5 - 10 MB ADSL because around 10 years ago the government decided it had to be done

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The €100bn project

We've already spent similar sums on similar projects (Köln-Frankfurt, etc.). One advantage was developing exportable technology: the newest trains have lovely linear motors and energy capturing systems (and toilets and air conditioning that regularly fail). Apart from the occasional howler (Berlin's airport is getting more Italian every year and will probably never be finished) and the inevitable cost overruns, Germany spends lots on new infrastructure. It's not necessarily so hot on maintenance. But at least the Germans are prepared to spend money on things, the Brits just always try and do things on the cheap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8dB4YnLSsE

Anyway, I'll accept bids for anyone to take that smug Bavarian Dobrindt out, or off our hands. He'd be great in a double-act with BoJo.

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

Charlie Clark
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Re: VPN?

and another thumb down....interesting....come on, tell me why?

Have a downvote for giving a shit about downvotes.

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Windows Server ported to Qualcomm's ARM server chip. Repeat, Windows Server ported to ARM server chip

Charlie Clark
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Re: pretty pictures

Nor do I see any PCI slots.

What do you want those in an OCP box for?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Hyper-V?

On a server you're probably even less inclined to want to run some kind of emulation code and even more inclined to want to take advantage of hardware design (bandwidth and acceleration): think of Netflix's requirements for example.

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Charlie Clark
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Famous last words

And there is absolutely no point showing off the software port if it's just going to be shelved and forgotten.

So, not like Windows NT for DEC/Alpha or MIPS then? ;-)

We'll have to see what the server market makes of this but ARM-based notebooks would be a welcome change at the lower end of the market where both the price of the Intel chip and the Windows licence eat into margins, meaning that manufacturers are even more likely than usual to cut corners with shit components.

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The good times are over, Peter Thiel tells Silicon Valley's oligarchs

Charlie Clark
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the internet to actually fragment and not to have this historical necessity to it.

Not really, if it fragments it stops being the internet. What is it with these people and money that turns them into pop (or should it be pot?) philosophers? I suspect it's one of the side effects of living in the VC echo chamber; the inverse of the aphorism: if you're so clever, how come you're not rich?

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Messaging app used by Trump aides 'riddled with security bugs'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Umm, hang on..

I just watched a rundown on the whole Russian thing and it appears that impeachment might be the minor thing on the cards given how actively they are alleged to have colluded with the Russians on subverting the election

Don't credit them with too much intelligence or competence. While their interests may have temporarily been aligned with those of the Russians and the Russians were only too happy to meddle, I think it's easy to see a conspiracy where there isn't one. Trump really only cares about his image, his money and his family.

is a suspicion the very reason Trump started the Obama allegation tweets was to distract from that investigation

Almost certainly. That, and he was bored in Florida. Not instructing the Justice Department to investigate is the real give away.

What a scary mess.

Have to agree with you on that. Someone in the GOP has to grow a pair about this (can't see it being Pence, Priebus or McConnell). I think stronger resistance may come from the more professional part of the cabinet, though I'm not sure how I feel about the armed forces gaining too much influence.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Umm, hang on..

I thought it was only 47 days? At least that's what Kate Bolduan told me last night: good show, excellently anchored. Oh, hang on. Can't trust them journalists can you? I hope someone respectable on social media (oxymoron?) has some more reliable kind of clock. Like one that runs only when the government isn't being obstructed by Congress or the courts or simlar (pace Idi Amin).

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Charlie Clark
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As if the software is the only thing to worry about…

In any system that is worried about information being compromised — we note that leaks can be both the work of great patriots and despicable spies (or is it vice-versa) — the technology is rarely the biggest problem, the people are.

Lovely weather here.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Charlie Clark
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Re: Signal / WhatsApp "good news"

The fact that they rely on compromising the phone to get at Signal / WhatsApp should not be read to imply those are secure.

Strawman: whoever though they were? The protocols have yet to be shown to be compromisable and Signal, at least, has a fairly robust anti-tamper mechanism through the PKA. If an agency gets hold of the device then they can nearly always be compromised. To avoid that then you need hardware encryption and a password, because we know biometrics are useless, which is why more countries are making it illegal not to provide the password.

However, in terms of security for those wishing to stay under the radar, the current crop of secure messengers make this both easier to do, especially when combined with a VPN, and easier to detect when it's compromised and when a switch of device, network or means may be necessary.

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Softbank tears off chunk of ARM, feeds it to hungry Saudis

Charlie Clark
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It needs the money to fund its purchase of the satellite company OneWeb (and service its Sprint and ARM-related debt). IOW: it's all available to the highest bidder. As for those jobs: safe as the ones at Vauxhall…

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Google, Microsoft bump bug bounties

Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh, so fixing normal bugs is no longer a priority?

Since when has bug-fixing ever been Microsoft's priority? Where's the public bug tracker? MS does produce some good software but it also seems to treat users with contempt.

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YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

Charlie Clark
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Fairly wild speculation

For example, but converting just a fraction of its 1 billion viewers . If this is a US-only rollout then the international audience size is irrelevant. The rest of the article is full, as is Faultline's wont, of similar misleading claims.

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Pence v Clinton: Both used private email for work, one hacked, one accused of hypocrisy

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: Fail on El Reg's part.

Mainstream Media rag

Conspiracy theory…

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Why so sad HPE, IBM, Lenovo? Server sales? Let's see... ah. Oh dear

Charlie Clark
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Only Dell and Huawei exhibited growth for the quarter

Coincidentally neither company has to produce public accounts.

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Europe's data protection rules set a high bar for consent – and UK ICO welcomes your thoughts

Charlie Clark
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Re: question

Simple answer — yes

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Dyson backs Britain plc with $2.5bn AI and robotics investment

Charlie Clark
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Knock those down to China levels and they will offset the increases.

I thought Dyson had already done that years ago when off-shored production to Asia? And also moaned about how difficult it is to get good engineers in the UK?

The experience of developing economies suggest that it takes at least a generation to train people up to graduate level. So, this sounds like very much like the "North Sea Singapore" version of Brexit. Nothing wrong with this per se but I don't see it going down with those who favour the "keep foreigners out" one.

Personally, I prefer business leaders to keep out of politics as much as politicians should keep out of business. I have a Dyson vacuum cleaner and I wish the company success but I'm a little sceptical as to what this investment will really amount to.

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Charlie Clark
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Given Sir James's battles in an industrial landscape dominated by German interests…

This is nonsense. A bit like cars or PCs, vacuum cleaners were for years sold by equating power with performance. While German manufacturers may well have lobbied effectively against changes to the model, particularly when the EU decided power limits on vacuum cleaners (along with other domestic electric appliances) were a good thing, but so did pretty much every other manufacturer. The shenanigans about vehicle emissions were even more blatant but, again, everyone else seemed happy to go along.

Meanwhile German customers have discovered Dyson devices and seem to love them so why should Dyson try and cut itself off from this market?

Yes, the rules aren't perfect, and they are often gamed, but as a result of them every EU household (and elsewhere because of the size of the market) now has more efficient appliances than 10 years ago. If you're not happy with these regulations then the correct thing to do is to challenge them; and if you suspect foul play by the competition, then expose it. What certainly won't work will be every country trying to draw up and enforce its own regulations: we have years of evidence as to how bad this is for trade.

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TWO BILLION PCs to sell in next five years

Charlie Clark
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Re: They are still predicting PC sales to increase

t can't keep dropping forever, but it could easily keep dropping through 2021.

They certainly can keep dropping forever as PCs get replaced by other devices: docking stations for something even more mobile than a notebook.

Tablet sales, I have no idea about, I think bigger phones have been eating tablet sales and if they start doing folding phones so the screen gets 2x the size it'll eliminate more potential tablet sales.

Beefed up tablets will replace notebooks just as notebooks have replaced PCs. If phones continue to grow in size then any difference between them and tablets becomes moot, either way it's fewer PCs being sold.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Improvement?

Only IBM is able to make faster chips; all x86 can do is add more cores, cache and SIMD instructions. So, no, except maybe for video encoding (and here you might as well use your phone) you probably won't notice any difference.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You know what would increase PC sales?

So you're saying Win10 is a good enough computer OS for people that don't need computers? Sounds reasonable.

That works for me personally. Anecdotally, the people I know who've recently bought computers with Windows 10 find it okay – this includes those who deliberately avoided Windows 8 – but not a lot of people are buying new computers.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You know what would increase PC sales?

I think this argument has been and gone: Windows 10 is "good enough" for the average consumer. In the meantime they've learned to love their smartphones and smart TVs and hardly ever need anything else.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The market is saturated

At some point does the extra energy consumed by the older hardware outweigh the capital cost of replacing it with a lower energy version from a more recent architecture?

Well, you'd need seismic shifts such as those from mainframes to minis or minis to PCs. Otherwise you're looking at max 50 W difference which would be a couple of quid a year at most (50 W all the time is 12 kWh a day).

So new hardware when the old stuff fails or for more convenience, such as having a computer so mobile you can carry it with you all the time and even make phone calls with it.

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Charlie Clark
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Must try harder

The prediction is that the tablet market: standalone and detachable will shrink. If anything this is where the market is going. Except that there is no guarantee that it will be running Windows on Intel silicon.

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Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

Charlie Clark
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Re: Forgive my ignorace, but...

In extremis they can make it an offence to use or even develop encryption (Germany has laws in place which make the legal development of forensic software more or less impossible). Individuals might be prepared to live with paying the fine / short custodial sentence, but service providers would generally rollover. Then we get into the tricky area of people using service providers with other jurisdictions and the game of whack-a-mole.

Meanwhile the criminals who this kind of nonsense is supposed to target are already breaking the law and the governments own systems would most likely become more vulnerable, due to the principle of the weakest link being any consumer device (think mobile phone) that is brought in. The German parliament's computer systems have already been breached at least once by Russian hackers. But if you thought that would make them favour stronger encryption then you'd be mistaken. The debate, with a nod to Blackadder, simply gets recast as one of "good" versus "bad" hackers and the need to give "our guys" the best tools. And the crooks and the terrorists will continue to use the best tools available…

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Charlie Clark
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It's simply electioneering as both Germany and France have national elections this year. They will have been properly briefed by the experts in their departments and decided to publish anyway: this is the right of politicians.

Elsewhere the German government is planning that immigrants be forced to hand over their mobile phones when they arrive, ie. infringe their constitutional right to privacy. So, this will obviously be struck down by the constitutional court as, unlike the US, the German constitution doesn't differentiate between German and foreign citizens. Doesn't matter because that will take some time and in the meantime it looks tough.

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Google's Project Zero reveals another Microsoft flaw

Charlie Clark
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Re: A 32 function deep call stack just to handle a column break??

Pretty sure Edge was supposed to be that project...

Nah, IE 9 was the rewrite but it still contained wonderful things like Active X. All MS did with Edge was remove stuff like that and focus on graphics and JS performance.

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The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Charlie Clark
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Re: That display...

Hear, hear, all you useless HP/Acer, even ASUS, floggers of 768x1366 laptops. FFS get out of your dubious 2007 time warp.

Sorry, I should have qualified: there will be a sweet spot based around the current size of popular smartphones simply because of the number of screens that can be cut from a wafer: notebook screens will be competing with about 10 phones from the same wafer, which would drive up relative prices.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Does this niche still exist?

I think the economics may actually favour something like this more than 10 or 15 years ago. The smartphone business has commodified the miniaturisation of high quality and high power components. While this has pretty much put an end to medium-range notebooks, where volume is key, it has opened up new opportunities for the niche. Think of the Pebble before the VCs came along: that risk still exists for this.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: That display...

2880x1440? For a 5.7" display? WHY?!

Quite possibly because hi-res screens are almost as cheap as lower res ones: phones switched to higher res screens some years back and have dominated screen production for years. Also, you will almost certainly have this device closer to your eyes than a notebook, so may well appreciate the extra detail.

However, the key thing for me for the screen will be how it handles in bright sunshine. If they get this right then there are tens of thousands of field engineers simply gagging for something like this. Well, "ruggerised" versions of it at least.

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