* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is Linus's vision really this narrow?

I think we can assume that Linus is talking mainly about the world of servers and data centres, where ARM is just a rounding error.

x86 has the advantage of the various ISAs (industry standard architecture) over the years that has made investment in it as a platform less risky: chip manufacturers aside, there are lots of suppliers for the rest of the kit. ARM is still chasing this kind of uniformity so that moving from one ARM-64 box to another requires more than just recompiling.

However, the sheer volumes of ARM in personal devices has goosed development to levels beyond those that Intel can match and competitive server products are now becoming available. Initially it might only be bespoke hardware for some of the private data centres such as those of Google and Facebook or CDNs like Akamai and Cloudflare, but we can probably expect more generic products as more experience is gained in the field and manufacturers see real cashflow.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Now that ARM has been bought by a bank its future is uncertain IMO

Softbank, despite its name, is not a bank.

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Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Charlie Clark
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Re: Lots of conjectures

Maybe not this year but to me it is the start of a slippery slope.

ie. more conjecture…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: People have been saying this would happen for years

Ever since they bought Motorola their intentions were clear.

They weren't, at least to me they weren't. And the price they paid seem to reflect this. Motorola's patent library was bought as a defence against possible future lawsuits and the manufacturing was then flipped to Lenovo.

The Note 7 hasn't been good for Samsung but it doesn't seem to have as bad as many feared: most people are dutifully replacing the phones with like for like because they, er, like what the phone gives them. By and large Samsung has handled the SNAFU in an exemplary manner and is moving on to the next product.

The big issue for all makers is that the refresh cycle is slowing as people see increasingly less benefit in buying the latest model. Google's biggest play is betting on increased adoption of its services: and I think that they have a pretty compelling offer with the assistant which will benefit from its own network effect as it is installed on more and more of our devices.

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Charlie Clark
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Commodification is the real threat

The ASP for phones has been falling for a while and will continue to do so. This is what is causing manufacturers the biggest problems. Samsung saw this coming a while back and built the relevant product stack from bargain to boutique so that the brand would still matter.

You can now get pretty compelling phones for around $/€/£ 100 and their value for money is only going to improve.

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BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Charlie Clark
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Re: huh ?

said meetings might be held off-site, in a pub-like venue

That's a lot harder to organise than you might imagine. And, remember, it means spending more time with the odious twats on the Committee that you'd rather do almost anything, even work, to avoid!

Seems like you just haven't spent enough time on committees. You'll learn!

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Robots blamed for wiping 10 per cent off the value of sterling

Charlie Clark
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Re: but but but

real ale only of course

I don't think they drink much of that in Essex… hm. maybe the country could do with a rebranding "The Disunited Kingdom of Essex, Jockland and Taffyville"? Motto: "Did you spill my pint?"

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Charlie Clark
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The UK is already a member of the WTO independent of the EU

When did it manage that feat? It's been a member of the customs union longer than the WTO has been around.

Anyway, let's just wait and see what the fools at Westminster come up with the closer they get to reality.

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Charlie Clark
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Because the markets make money on trading volumes they push for ways to do more of this and faster and lobby strongly against anything such a transaction tax that could slow it down or reduce their margins.

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Charlie Clark
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WTO defaults in place

Only if the UK is a member of the WTO. Once it leaves the EU it will have to apply to join the WTO…

The Tory party conference has given the currency markets plenty to worry about: the government is no longer aiming to reduce debt; access to the single market does not seem to be a priority; the Bank of England may have to choose between propping up assets and defending the currency.

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Russian government ponders open source purchasing preference

Charlie Clark
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Re: And if Putin *really* feels like annoying the West

This has nothing to do with the GPL. Russian programmers have for years actively contributed to open source projects. Indeed in the Postgres world there's a group of them collectively known as "the Russians".

Just dropping MS Office, Outlook, Exchange and IBM will be sufficient. Worse still if they can demonstrate cost savings with no loss of productivity with the replacements.

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Windows 10 market share fell in September

Charlie Clark
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Re: Spammer Stats

Those probes and bots generally won't be running a full browser and won't show up for StatCounter or NetMarketShare which rely on JS running in the browser.

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Charlie Clark
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And El Reg's own stats…

Oh, missing in action as usual…

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Google melts 78 Android security holes, two of which were critical

Charlie Clark
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Me, I'm an entitled baby boomer dick.

Will you settle for "grumpy old git"? ;-) Getting rid of all the crapware is another reason to root and mod. But you're right, it's not for everyone and can be harder on phones that were customised for particular networks and it seems that virtually every Samsung has a special Sprint version.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark

Also: if I can offend, irritate or dismay any brand tribalists at any time

Whoosh.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie Clark

There is no way I have the money to take on Samsung in the courts.

But I didn't say that. I think it's terrible the way the companies behave. I don't know the setup in Canada but I'm referring to things like the action currently being led by the Dutch consumer rights authorities to try and enforce timely distribution of security patches. I assume you have something like a consumer advice bureau in Canada. If enough customers get up of their fat, lazy, entitled arses and start complaining then the authorities might take action.

My S5 with CM is fine. Wifi isn't at all patchy if a bit greedy. I don't have a 4G SIM but 3G is fine. I have Samsung phones for about 10 years now and they've all been pretty good.

The idea that having to load a third party ROM to get security updates is somehow acceptable

See above: I do think that the companies should be doing a lot more but in their absence I'd rather do something rather than nothing. Bitching about Samsung, or any other company, on an internet forum certainly isn't going to change anything. And if it makes me an asshat to point this out, then I'm happy to be one.

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Charlie Clark
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FFS, Trevor. I've got an S5 (picked it up second hand a year ago) and it's a great phone.

Pursue Samsung via the consumer rights channels where you live (Canada?) as this is only way to effect change. In the meantime just stick CyanogenMod on and you'll get all the security updates. This may be far from perfect but makes you sound less of entitled millennial dick.

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Mobile data is getting slower, faster

Charlie Clark
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Re: US Data Rates seemed rubbish

Not really a fair way to measure. It's quite likely that the deal which 3 has with roaming partners allows them to throttle your traffic in order to privilege their own users. It could, of course, simply be that the cells you were in were swamped with traffic: doesn't take many people watching or uploading video to do this. LTE will over time ameliorate this as the all IP infrastructure should make it easier to handover to local friendly wifi spots in places like cities where it can be difficult to install more aerials.

Otherwise it would seem that T-Mobile's attempts to influence user behaviour (all you can eat video but at lower resolution) might be paying off. No doubt they'll be excitedly pointing to this report.

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TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

Charlie Clark
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Re: Where's that vomit-inducing CEO now ?

If past form is anything to go by I'm sure we can see her in government or heading some gravy train. After all it's how daddy made his money.

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Charlie Clark
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It had the most 0s the authority could hand out.

Which tells us all we need to know about the ICO's rubber teeth: should per customer (works out at less than £3 per customer), or % of turnover (as proposed in the new EU data protection directive).

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Charlie Clark
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Kieren, I love you

The new Pixel phones are available to order now.

Not a needless prefix in sight. Can someone please pass the memo on the other hacks?

As for the review: not sure what slide notifications or quick access to settings are but I think Android had both before IOS. The two OS have been growing closer together in look and feel since Apple dropped the skeuomorphic shit.

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‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

Charlie Clark
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Re: Should have happened years ago

@Dave 126

ChromeOS was a skunkworks project that Google allowed to become a project. But it soon started duplicating infrastructure associated with a full-blown OS: local storage, printing, multimedia. Want a browser-based OS? Try Firefox OS and see how well that's doing. OTOH want a sandboxed Android with no local storage? And as for app delivery via the browser, well we've now got "progressive web apps". ChromeOS was certainly useful developing some of the stuff but has now outlived itself.

The security and update aspects of Android are now well (or at least much better) understood by Google and support is probably built in to anything new. But you can't turn the clock back. A new micro-kernel OS might give them much more scope to push out security patches. A micro-kernel and JIT architecture should cope with most hardware issues but you can also bet that the licence for the new OS will allow less leeway when it comes to hardware and drivers. The latter might also give Google greater access to the Chinese market where Android dominates but without Google's services.

Be interesting to see what they come up with.

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Charlie Clark
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What makes you think that?

Microkernel means no Linux.

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A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

Charlie Clark
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Re: Re Battery Life: Save me From Electro-pedants!

Lord save me from reviews and comments that suggest that turning off half of your smartphone is a reasonable approach to device operation.

Amen to that but it is useful to know which services require the most juice even when apparently not active.

In my experience toggling wifi makes the most sense when you're trying to eke out a bit more from your phone because the OS and apps will assume you're near a charger. At a conference recently I found that leaving wifi on on my S5 would drain it during the day with only light (messaging) use. Whereas I can happily cycle using the phone to turn by turn navigation for about 5 hours riding time (active GPS and Bluetooth). Passive GPS (not navigating) and Bluetooth use virtually no power and can happily be left on.

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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

Charlie Clark
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Re: Good.

Security and bug fixes should not be confused with OS "upgrades". Companies have a legal obligation to provide fixes. Unfortunately, Apple often uses new releases to avoid providing fixes for older versions.

Experience has taught me to avoid such updates until the the first patch release. I also have a heap of stuff that might need compatibility updates.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This is a much smaller update than going from Windows 7 to Windows 10

not added a bunch of Google like personal information collection

Apple collects just as much of this from search, Siri, et al. as Google does. It just hasn't entered the advertising business. Yet.

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Charlie Clark
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Agreed: Marissa Mayer might not have saved Yahoo but it was in a mess when she got there. Carly, by contrast, managed to trash a healthy and well-run company before launching herself into politics.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: multiple places

For some strange reason Mrs Clinton's name is actually spelt "Hillary". But definitely a candidate for the B-Ark, along with most of the Senate, House of Representatives and the House of Commons, all the hereditary peers, bishops (of all persuasions).

Elon: the ship just isn't going to be big enough!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Dirty Digger

Actually I was thinking "most of the above and quite a few more". David Cameron seems to have some time on his hands after needlessly setting the country on a course for unchartered waters, not unlike a trip to Mars.

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BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

Charlie Clark
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Happy

Aha! You're trying to trip us up by including lager in the questionnaire. Presumably you've wired they keyboard up to the cattle-prod for anyone who answers with that!

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Charlie Clark
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Pint

More beer!

You've earned this one (and several more) and with the Boss out of the way, there's nothing to stop an early start to Friday afternoon!

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Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sour grapes

I can't see the commission following this argument at all: Microsoft is not currently in the HR business, plenty of other platforms exist.

Sounds like poor PR from Salesforce perhaps as part of a phoney war to buy failed social network business, Twitter. Or bidding up its own price prior to being bought by Oracle.

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Charlie Clark
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Anonymous interviews have their own problems

First up: it's known that all people have bias for their own kind (gender, class, ethnicity, football team, etc.)

However, recent research into anonymous interviews / CVs indicates that they can be counter-productive, though there is also evidence to the contrary.

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21677214-anonymising-job-applications-eliminate-discrimination-not-easy-no-names-no-bias

Anyway, when it comes to raising funds and getting top jobs, it seems women can be successful: Elizabeth Holmes and Marissa Mayer seemed to do okay. Yes, yes, I know this is cherry-picking.

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Analyst: iPhone 7 points to price jump

Charlie Clark
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It could also mean a substantial decrease.

This is unlikely: this is what the SE is for. As any fule nose, and as the money markets keep on telling us to justify higher inflation, price cuts often tend to set expectations for further price cuts.

What I think is more likely is: bumping the spec but maintaining the price (adjusted for currency fluctuations) and further segmentation with fewer people opting for the extra storage. Apple has to do something to respond to the ever cheaper SD cards that everyone else can use and things like Samsung's upcoming format which will be huge and very fast. Upping the high end also makes Apple look like a leader (though they're only playing catch up with things like water resistance).

Apple's market share is no longer growing and the absolute numbers have started to dip. The 7 is really a litmus test for whether the delayed replacement cycle, that has hit the whole mobile market, will also affect Apple. We won't really know until Apple releases some numbers.

Personally, although Bernstein has a good reputation, I'd expect any rise in the ASP to be more than offset by lower volumes. Won't really matter much for Apple as the profits will still be huge and the share price, based on price to earnings may still look cheap.

@DougS as for innovation, well we're not seeing it from Apple: waterproofing (Sony and Samsung have had it for years); Android now has multiscreen support builtin; two lenses for pics (Huawei). Apple makes great kit and provides a compelling experience but they left innovation behind a few years ago.

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Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Charlie Clark
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Never seen them but I reckon it's hard to get passed the deformed doll's head…

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British bloke bailed after 'hacker plunders Pippa Middleton's iCloud'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Interesting..

You can always start a civil suit…

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'Everyone' is buying Twitter

Charlie Clark
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Re: Always follow the money

Agreed. Suggesting that Google wants to buy it is also part of an attempt to bid up the price, even if it doesn't fit in the list of any of the recent acquisitions by Google.

Twitter itself is probably worth about £2.50. The companies it has bought might be worth a bit more: Vine is popular but all the good clips are also on YouTube.

Over-the-hill company with no real IP? That must be tempting for Microsoft and they could bid against themselves, just like they did when they bought Skype! I just hope that, if Twitter is bought, it gets closed as fast as if went to the wall.

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EU U-turns on mobile roaming fees: No 90-day cap after all

Charlie Clark
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This is wrong for two reasons: firstly and primarily because it's a typical strawman argument. I wish you luck trying to get that SIM card. Secondly, excessive roaming charges are evidence of market failure. The telcos have know this for around 15 years and have had plenty of time to prepare for it. If you talk to anyone in the business they'll generally admit that they've already priced the change into their business models and they're currently more interested in sharing infrastructure and switching to cheaper all-IP stacks. The biggest costs were those associated with licence auctions and M&A (to reduce competition) but it's okay because these could be offset against tax so never really cost the companies anything.

The most important thing is actually opening up the wholesale market. This will make getting a SIM from another country for use in your home market largely irrelevant: it's classic arbitrage. This is why the European Commission launched the investigation in the first place.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Lol!

it seems Junker, the politician actually most to blame for Brexit

Really? While I don't think that Juncker is a very good president of the European Commission, I think that the EU referendum in the UK was a wholly avoidable, self-inflicted wound. But you obviously have access to better sources.

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Not enough personality: Google Now becomes Google Not Anymore

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google Now user

Some of the stuff was really good but it was accompanied by a lot of guff. I really like the way they've added the clever stuff into the calendar app. For me, the Android calendar has by far the best UX. Interestingly I hated Apple's dumbing down of the Calendar app so much that I switched to BusyCal.

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Virgin Media costs balloon by MEEELLIONS in wake of Brexit

Charlie Clark
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Re: Note to editors

Thanks for reaching out.

You're welcome. Let's try and touch base over the new incentivisation onboarding proposals…

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Note to editors

Companies have "employees", "personnel", "staff". They do not have "staffers" or "new hires". These are made up words by the same people who brought us "pre-order" for "reserve" or simply "order". KISS.

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Google's Allo chat app hits a downside to AI: Bot must hoard private messages to train itself

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

One

sentence

per

paragraph

is difficult to read. Please, Miss Quatch, group your sentences by subject into paragraphs.

Thank you.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No news...

Agreed. I think this kind of data is probably the least interesting for Google. They will be interested in some of the metadata about how successful the bot is, because this will be useful for downstream products it can sell such as chatbots for support.

Anyone who is worried about this had better be sure they're not using GMail, Chrome or YouTube, which aggregate for more valuable data.

For chat I use Signal, Wire and very occasionally Hangouts but I'm quite keen to try Allo out because I'm very interested in the development of "conversational interfaces". In case no one else has noticed: the days of people providing first-level support and horrible, complicated phone menus are well and truly numbered.

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Reg Programming Compo: 22 countries, 137 entries and... wow – loads of Python

Charlie Clark
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Re: Fortran 90 "weird?" I don't think so.

The competition would have been more interesting

The answers might have been more interesting, but not the competition which was trivial.

Where's the link to the answers?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Python dict order

Well, Python 3 will reseed the hash for each process. But really you should never be relying on order for hashes anyway. Had to write a couple of tests in the past that did, the tests ended up being easier to understand! :-)

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Vodafone UK blocks bulk nuisance calls. Hurrah!

Charlie Clark
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Re: Personally, with nuisance calls...

The best attack is actually to waste their time: the calls are free but the "agents" have to paid, in theory. Would be ideal for some kind of bot…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: BT8500 Home Phones

My mum was getting loads of nuisance calls but these have virtually ceased since we got her on TPS. But being able to block on the phone is definitely worthwhile.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Does it work with landlines?

Yes, but in here in Europe unsolicited communications of all forms are illegal. Why should we pay for a service to prevent illegal behaviour?

The UK seems to suffer from poor regulation and implementation. Fines obviously aren't high enough and the regulator doesn't seem to hound the telcos hard enough to clamp down on this kind of thing. In Germany the telco providing access to the POTS can be sanctioned (including being banned) if it does not clamp down on abuse; fines have been significantly increased. Result: I have had no nuisance calls at all in the last five years on the landline and I can't remember ever getting them on my mobile (number unchanged for 15 years).

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Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

Charlie Clark
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Re: Still plugging the Galaxy 7 - Edge

Because the S7 is not at all affected by the problem, the company should stop promoting it?

Let's keep our feet on the ground: this is mainly a slow news days story for the media to keep trotting out. Millions of devices sold and still less than 100 incidents reported worldwide, recall in process. But in our modern world it seems that people would rather have an accident and talk about it than take steps to avoid it.

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