* Posts by Charlie Clark

5391 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

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

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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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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Charlie Clark
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Except manufacturing has been declining this year.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: if MPs

Article 50 means: out, and any existing terms are considered void.

Yes, except if there a unanimous vote by all other member states and I'm pretty sure this could be arranged if the UK decided to stay. Politics, after all, is the art of the possible.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: How to stitch it up

I suspect most MPs will vote to save their skins

Well, except those up for deselection anyway or losing their seat due to boundary changes.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I hate to quote David Davis, but this "will of the people" shite

A democracy that cannot undo the anti-democratic mistake taken in their name but without their consent

Which particular one are you referring to? Governments are always making mistakes. If you're referring to the EU then you'll have to concede that there have been numerous general elections since the initial application to join and all subsequent treaties. In the UK Parliament, and only Parliament, makes the laws.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: As I understand it

Since Juncker has forbidden his vassals from having independent discussions

What are you talking about? Article 50 quite clearly sets out who does the negotiating and when and nothing can be negotiated before a country applies to leave. But it is the member states that have the lead in any negotiations.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: There's one bit of good news though

German law does not permit dual citizenship with nations that are not EU members

It does, because it often has no other chance. When I applied for German citizenship I was told that pretty much the only countries who don't get dual nationality are the former countries of the Yugoslavia (that are not yet in the EU), the Soviet Union and Turkey.

Farage is an EU citizen (otherwise he couldn't be an MEP) and so eligible for German citizenship, assuming he chose to live here. There's quite a crowd of idiots who'd welcome him with open arms.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Very Interesting . .

I voted Remain but I really fear how damaging rejecting the result of the referendum could be

This all depends on the courage and conviction of the politicians to take the difficult decisions needed to run the country and explain them to the population. Difficult to see that with the current crowd but not totally impossible.

Europe has never really been an issue for the public (remember Hague's "Save the Pound" campaign that flopped so miserably?) People want jobs and their "fair" share: giving more money to areas with large migrant inflows is easy and reasonably cheap. The rest of the EU is now desperate to reform immigration and asylum rules. Should be easy to find countries to work with on something to replace the ridiculous Dublin II accord.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Re:

I voted to remain, but the vox populi have spoken and it's time to get on with it, whether we personally wanted it or not.

Obviously not as the court has just ruled. The whole thing was, legally speaking, a very expensive opinion poll as Parliament, and only Parliament, makes the laws.

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Charlie Clark
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I mean, even Nigel Farage found himself having to distance himself from Trump at one point.

Not as long as he's being paid by Breitbart to do so. What a committed servant of the public he is: paid by the taxpayer to represent his constituents in the European Parliament and by an American media company to appear at Trump rallies. An inspiration to us all!

Or, a despicable bastard.

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Charlie Clark
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But it was a close vote - many MPs will feel that they were elected to make the difficult decisions.

Absolutely.

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Charlie Clark
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There's been no huge reversal in the GBP rate, so the markets seem convinced that article 50 will happen

As has been noted elsewhere: Sterling's exchange rate does not yet seem to fully price in leaving the EU, the costs of which are still unknown. The dollar has been rising against many currencies since the Federal Reserve stopped printing money and lowering interest rates. The pound's move against other currencies is far less pronounced.

The judgement is likely to increase political uncertainty as May may now feel obliged to hold a general election to get a majority in parliament in order to pass a bill on Article 50. At the moment, even if she tabled a motion of confidence, there is a high chance of losing the vote, hence reversing the referendum and then bringing down the government: Gideon Oliver Osborne's hour could yet come, albeit as head of a Tory-Liberal-SNP coalition.

Of course, there is also the possibility of further constitutional shenanigans to try and get round this but I suspect more MPs would vote against the referendum than against the courts.

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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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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cyanogen OS

It is incredible that Cyanogen's commercial efforts flopped so badly.

I suspect this is not so easy as they thought it would be: so many SoCs all slightly different. So they went the way of premium partners only to shoot themselves in the foot with the stupid exclusive contract in India.

You can see why hardware manufacturers would be keen on porting support but less on maintenance. Maybe the market needs to embrace some kind of maintenance fee? Doesn't have to be much but has to be enough to cover costs (I suspect $ 20 to $ 30 annually after the second year?).

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Charlie Clark
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WileyFox was aiming for sub-£150 but got hit by the fall in sterling. That should help exports, though, and WileyFox has strong plans for Europe.

If the price was hit by the fall in the value of the pound then it is obviously dominated by the price of imports. The export price will also be dominated by the price of the inputs and is likely to be unchanged. What will change is the value of exports in GBP.

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Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it not possible?

If theres a million missing particles we haven't identified yet all of different mass

Well, while initially restating the WIMP theory, you then go ahead and spoil it by driving a coach and horses through it: quantum theory doesn't allow for "millions" of particles and the heavier ones are generally extremely unstable.

WIMPs provide a solution by having few heavy particles (of a known eV mass); Axions do it by having lots and lots of light particles (the mass of which has now been calculated). Checking for Axions should be easier because they're lighter and it will require less energy in the particle punisher of choice to create them. In theory.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Dark, as in invisible

Most of the "visible" matter emits some kind of EM radiation.

Not really: those bloody neutrinos don't for a start and elsewhere radiation is tied to changes in energy sates. What most matter tends to do is interact with EM radiation or other particles. Hence, the "WI" in WIMPS – weakly interacting. This is why "dark" is so confusing. If we had a way of visualising gravity then these things could be very bright indeed.

But until we come across something that more or less validates the theories it could be anything including a bunch of photons doing something odd, which as any fule nose, also have mass.

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Charlie Clark
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Dark, as in invisible

"dark" used in the terms "dark energy" and "dark matter" merely refers to our inability to detect something posited to account for observations that are counter to theory: these are values plopped into equations to make them balance. "Missing" might be a better term but names are hard™.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: DAMA and her mysterious WIMPs

The arguments for axions as the dark matter gets stronger the longer no WIMPs are discovered.

That's not logical. They are competing but generally unrelated hypotheses (one will not necessarily disprove the other) both of which have merits but also problems which is why more empirical research is required. I'm pretty sceptical about the axion theory but then again much quantum theory is odd, especially the bits dealing with mass.

We may well need another Newtonian/Einsteinian/Paulian moment to come up with a new theoretical approach.

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Sweden axes 700MHz spectrum sale over 'national security' fears

Charlie Clark
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Could it have anything to do with money?

Even in its cities Sweden has a relatively low population density and has already "solved" most of the problems related to coverage, not least with the many council run WiFi-services around. And service in the sticks has long depended upon tie ups between the networks, the equipment providers and local councils. with the government only too happy to throw additional cash in.

Traditionally Sweden hasn't auctioned frequencies just held beauty contests. Given the lack of interest in other countries for new spectrum it may simply have become apparent that they wouldn't get a lot of money for the frequencies. Well, at least not enough to be worth making the spooks use something else.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "This is particularly true of a total defense perspective."

FWIW The Economist while generally anti Putinist Russia, is weakly pro-Iran and anti-House of Saud. Has to tread a bit carefully because of US politics which are so pro-Saudi and anti-Iran.

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Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Charlie Clark
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Re: Obvious bull

So one scenario is file is created on a x86 box and then updated on an Alpha box, So the Alpha system has to be able to compress in the same way, while still meeting to meet the performance criteria.

Why would that matter? If the OS is doing the compression then it will present the compressed file to any external programs as uncompressed. Another box accessing the file over the network would see it as uncompressed (network compression technology is different). And this still doesn't really back up the fairly flimsy assertion that Alpha's weren't up to the job. I certainly don't remember this being an issue when the architectures were being compared back in the day. It's certainly not a RISC/CISC issue. At least not if the algorithm is being correctly implemented. But I seem to remember that many of the performance "improvements" (display, networking, printing) in NT 4 were done especially for x86 chips which suck at context-switching. Coincidentally NT 4 was seen as MS abandoning any pretence of writing a single OS for many different architectures.

I'm not a whizz at compression but I think the common approach now is to use a container approach as opposed to trying to manage compression on individual files in place.

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Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

Charlie Clark
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Re: I don't hate Win10

As for the sudden death of Win7 licenses, I suspect the majority of those looking for Win7…

… will continue to buy them from the perfectly legitimate resale market for some time yet.

Larger companies already have their own installation procedures and couldn't care less. All that's happening is that the pool for OEM discs will slowly start to get smaller.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: And it still makes you wonder...

For any large vendor the answer will be: "the same as whether it comes with Windows". They have all signed volume licensing deals with Microsoft which, even if it no longer requires them to install Windows on every machine they sell, is practically the case because of the way the production lines are configured because still well over 90% of their sales are to people wanting Windows. The Linux crowd is a really tiny minority and margins at manufacturers are really thin.

Essentially the only way around this would be to buy a machine without a disk. Even then there are warranty issues related to any drivers required for the hardware.

The issue, however, is becoming increasingly moot as the PC business continues to shrink. In a couple of years, at this rate, it won't make much difference for the few vendors that remain. Indeed they may well move to installing only an installer à la Mac Book, which would make assembling even easier.

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Could Heather from EastEnders turn on Kettering if Lohan is no-show?

Charlie Clark
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Re: enough already

What about learning Kim's curves?

Mine's the slightly grubby mac.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Who? What?

The answer, going by that latest photo, is most definitely not. I'd rather have a nice warm cup of tea.

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Charlie Clark
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First to third base at the World Series? But for Chicago or Cleveland? I don't know.

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Groupon buys Living Social

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are they still around?

Ah, but group buying is a good way to get services.

But that's never what they offered.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Are they still around?

Maybe we can bury them together in the same plot as Twitter and get a discount for a job lot?

Mine's the donkey jacket, ta.

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Think I'm done.

Spot on. I think Apple may well miss sales targets this year with this uninspiring and undifferentiated release.

There is a lot of pent-up demand for new Macs but most developers I know would be looking to have at least 16 GB of RAM. We don't mind paying a premium for Apple kit but only if we get what we need. These machines seem to come with little else than swingeing price increases, and it seems they have not learned the lessons from recent I-Phone launches: people won't splash out on new gear if it doesn't seem significantly better than what they already have.

I wonder if they'll be an equivalent of the 5c for the Mac Books?

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UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Charlie Clark
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Angel

Re: Mission Impossible

But the only real benefit the EU has to offer is the single market

Yeah, a mere trifle. Strange that Norway seems to think it's worth paying to get access to this even thought it has no say on its rules.

If you think trade is all about tariffs then you're in for a rude awakening in a couple of years. But I'm sure the steel workers of Britain are relishing the prospect of even more cheap steel from China.

Anyway, I'll leave you to your rosy-tinted dreams of a return to England's glory days.

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Surprise, surprise: AWS is making boatloads of money for Amazon

Charlie Clark
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Re: Shaun, Shaun, Shaun

You're only happy because the potential profit you would make from selling your shares would be taxed less than any dividends you might have received since you bought your shares.

According your your analysis, Amazon is making too much money from AWS. To others it just confirms what a drain on resources the warehousing and logistics business is.

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