* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

Charlie Clark
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Re: Got a Note 3 at launch...

so either their battery tech isn't advancing as quickly as might be hoped

It isn't advancing at all. Which is why Tesla is spending so much money on a factory for Li-Ion batteries in the expectation that nothing significantly better is going to come along any time soon.

I think Samsung also understands that more and more people are extending their replacement cycles. This favours its approach of continual improvement and integration over Apple's more tick-tock ones, which is why it's moving towards flagship releases every six months or so (first Galaxy then the Note). This is typical for consumer electronics where people can be expected to replace model X with model Y at some point, even if it isn't every two years.

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HPE CEO Meg Whitman endorses Hillary Clinton, dumps on Trump

Charlie Clark
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the US technology community usually comes out mostly pro-Democrat

This isn't true: John Chambers is a notable Republican. There are some headline Democrats in Silicon Valley but, like the banks, they donate heavily to both parties so that they can best influence legislation. And, historically at least, HP largely kept out of politics. Fiorina was a disastrous aberration, but also an outsider.

But nearly all CEOs are free-traders which is why it's not so surprising to see them being sceptical about Trump. What is perhaps noteworthy is the vehemence with which they've come out, more or less coordinated against Trump. Warren Buffet was particularly scathing and when it comes to willy-waving about how to make money, he has Trump (inherited most of his money, hasn't made much himself) hands down.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

As can Trump. As is every member of Congress. Your point is?

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Loss-making data-viz biz to investors: You know what our problem is? We did too well

Charlie Clark
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Re: Am I being thick?

Not necessarily, and not in start-up land. Many companies run loss-leading sales campaigns where the costs of initial acquisition are higher than annual revenue. The business model hopes that in time both scale and renewals will more than offset the initial costs.

Tableau has certainly managed to position itself as the premier visualisation toy. Only time will tell if the product provides real benefits to customers.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update: This design needs a dictator

Charlie Clark
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Hopefully by this time next year, the challenge of integrating tablet and desktop UIs in a way that doesn’t suck will finally have been addressed.

I don't think we'll be holding our breath for that.

Good review but one has to ask the question: why not do all the under-the-hood works with the Windows 7 (& Metro for the couple of touch users) GUI. Pissing around with the OS and the GUI never works well.

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Headline news

Other new Edge features include a tree view for Favorites, a warning if you try to exit the browser when a download is in progress…

What year is it? Folders for bookmarks? Even when Opera stupidly removed bookmarks when moving to Blink they reintroduced them, with folders, faster than MS added them to Edge.

Whatever next? The ability to print pages no doubt.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: You can put lipstick on a pig

Windows path handling (due to the DOS/VMS/POS/ETC heritage) is so shit it's worth a book.

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Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Charlie Clark
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Missing link

The data from US government websites. the high percentage of IOS indicates how skewed the set is:

https://analytics.usa.gov

Akamai also provides worldwide numbers: https://www.akamai.com/de/de/solutions/intelligent-platform/visualizing-akamai/internet-observatory/internet-observatory-explore-data.jsp

El Reg routinely ignores this resource. It has MS Edge, which is a reasonable proxy for Windows 10, at around 6 %

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Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass

Charlie Clark
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Re: desktop OS's will be the minority by 2020 (?)

Interesting concept. How's my theoretical phone of the near future going to handle being asked to run something like Fallout4 ?

It probably won't be able to. But what about Fallout VR running either from a console or over a network and streaming to a fairly dumb viewer? This is at least the theory behind one of nVidia's products. By 2020 flash memory will be have all but replaced the magnetic stuff and Samsung's already pimping next-gen (hi-density, fast I/O) parts. Hi-end phones in 2020 might easily come with 256 GB storage or more and 16 GB RAM.

As noted above I said that the PC will no longer be the dominant hardware platform in 2020, but PCs will still exist. However, I don't think it will be long before we see game development budgets moving towards the mobile devices: Pokemon gives an idea of the potential size of the market (yes, I know it doesn't need anything like the processing power of Fallout). Here, it's led to a bridge being closed to traffic so that people can hunt.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: desktop OS's will be the minority by 2020 (?)

However I doubt my phone will ever have 4 usb ports, or parts I can swap out in 3 mins at £20 a pop.

Firstly, I said dominant. Notebooks overtook desktop PCs (the ones with replaceable parts) a few years ago. Nowadays you can only really swap the drive and RAM. But in a couple of years it may be really hard to find anything with replaceable parts.

Most phones will happily run a USB hub via an OTG cable

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Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Re: desktop OS's will be the minority by 2020 (?)

More recent phone sales statistics tend to suggest that smartphones. like slabs, have had their "bubble".

The stats only show that growth has peaked: 3.5 million per day seems to be the limit. Meanwhile PC sales are in terminal decline and are lucky to get 20 million a month, with lower margins.

High-end smartphones are now as powerful as desktops from a couple years ago and catching up fast (Intel has better process but ARMs need less silicon): adding keyboards and extra screens is easy. Convergence is going to happen, just not necessarily the way Microsoft would like.

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Charlie Clark
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Windows XP was EOL'd in accordance with the policy that MS announced.

Windows 7 will be fully supported until 2020. The "free upgrade" offer is MS' desperate attempt to bring this forward because of all the resources it has to devote to securing the browser built into the operating system. But they're basically pissing in the wind: desktop OS's will be the minority by 2020.

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Tablet sales remain bitter, but Nougat tipped to sweeten the market

Charlie Clark
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Re: Business oriented Android tablets

What about Office for Android and IOS? Might not be acceptable to the quants but may well satisfy others.

Android already multitasks, what Android N brings is multiple windows. While Samsung has something like this already, it will probably improve once it's in the core OS. However, I expect tablets to remain primarily devices of media consumption.

Apple's tie up with IBM, and others, has yet to yield any real gains as evinced by falling sales of all but the top end I-Pads. But it still has sufficient market share to allow for niche products. Elsewhere Android is becoming the first platform to be developed for (corporates with IOS investments are also planning Android rollouts).

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Uber rips off Chinese arm, swaps it for share in successful rival – reports

Charlie Clark
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Re: At least they were honest about it..

You only moan about human rights when you can't get a monopoly. After all that's what "disruption" is all about, isn't it?

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Charlie Clark
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Tea with milk in it is a abomination anyway, a complete act of sacrilege.

The black tea drunk in Britain is not particularly aromatic and requires something to temper the tannin. Try drinking a mug of neat strong black tea – it's almost bound to make you sick because tannin is powerful stuff, which you'd know if you ever saw leather being made.

I'm not sure of the chemistry (what oxidises what) but the citric acid in lemon juice can help here. Early Grey isn't anything like as strong as the normal stuff.

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Charlie Clark
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The power of suggestion

Windows 7 is a fine operating system and will be supported until 2020. Windows 10 has very few new APIs and none that are currently compelling: an upgrade is quite simply not required and may in some cases be counterproductive.

But Microsoft dangled the carrot of a "free" upgrade to Windows 10 in front of everyone and although you probably thought you wouldn't do it, the idea of taking advantage of "free" lured into this experiment. The science behind this is well understood and used to drive up prices for many time sensitive events.

Well done to the marketing department of Microsoft. Mind you, I expect that there will be plenty more "limited offers".

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Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Charlie Clark
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Re: How has it come to thus?

Concentration of power in London, and in particular Westminster, certainly didn't help.

In its heyday Manchester was making more money than London but the City of London soon took steps to put an end to that. Once the power passed to the bankers then industrial decline was more or less inevitable. Politics went from trying to pick winners – the disastrous nationalisations of Labour in the 1960s – to Maggie's closing down sales of steel, coal, cars, etc. (because she worked out she didn't need the votes).

Employers have also done their part by favouring deregulation and cheap labour over skilled labour. Cottonopolis even got its own form of capitalism: Manchester capitalism where pretty much anything except workers rights was possible. While the rest of Europe was skilling up, the UK was dumbing down, aiming to compete with China over wages on a level playing field. That could soon be mission accomplished.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Disappointed...

soon to be three, massive span bridges that Merseyside can boast

Where's the latest one been nicked from then? ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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It's good question: the railways made it almost obsolete by the time it was built. But it did significantly improve the negotiating position of importers re. the Port of Liverpool. History is full of similar instances where a direct cost / benefit analysis would indicate fail but benefits to the overall economy were definitely positive.

It also helped stabilise the water table in Manchester: floods in the basin in the city centre in what was called "Little Ireland" were not uncommon before the ship canal.

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Charlie Clark
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Please accept our apologies: we hope you weren't too disappointed!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Rate this article: 5/5

Presumably some scousers had tried to nick the wheels…

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Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

Charlie Clark
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Re: The screen is another story...

I didn't know you could run Keynote on Linux… the requirement seems largely to affect sales and marketing people. Last time I checked these weren't likely to want to use Linux on a PC.

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Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

The opinion was shared by Buzz Lapdance of Transcendental Research who also noted that "Google's continued focus on products and services was against market trends of fostering unicorns and fairy dust".

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Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies

Charlie Clark
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Re: Patching speed is probably the issue

The risks of Android are routinely overblown – not to say that they don't exist – but the attack vectors are usually outside normal use patterns. This doesn't, however, excuse manufacturers from improving their woeful update practices.

What you suggest simply isn't possible at the moment because the kernel on each phone is owned by the manufacturer and any kind of OTA is going to rely on their keys, or you open the door to drive-by hacks of the kernel.

The only way things will change is if cases, such as the one currently winding its way through the Dutch courts, decide that manufacturers are at fault and impose sanctions / requirements. I'm not holding my breath on that one as the software industry has a dreadful record of providing security updates.

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Here WeGo! Google Maps rival drops Maps branding

Charlie Clark
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Horses for courses: I have both Osmand and Here. If you're driving then good turn-by-turn navigation with optional traffic information is a godsend. I know OSM does navigation, but I don't think it compares well to the big boys.

On the other hand, if you're in the middle of nowhere on your bike and want to get to the next road, then something that knows all the footpaths is just what the doctor ordered. You can also load up GPX.

Both apps let you store the relevant maps on an SD card so the world is pretty much your lobster.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Too much whalesong

Personally I think the new name is fine. They obviously want to get away from "maps" which, at least on Android, is most associated with Google.

"Here Maps" was never a brilliant name and doesn't really suggest navigation – one thing Andrew didn't mention is that Here also does offline turn-by-turn navigation as good as TomTom in my limited experience – talking to non-native English speakers about "the navigation app called Here" is a bit like Abbott & Costello meeting "the artist formerly known as symbol": blank stares and exasperation.

"Here We Go" isn't brilliant but it is catchy (and less cringy than something like "WhatsApp") so well done whoever came up with it. In a couple of months we won't care. Maybe they'll even rebrand it again to just "We go!" or "Let's go!". As long as they have sufficient promotional advertising it'll work fine.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Had a look, but...

Doesn't bother me: I'm on Cyanogenmod so it only gets the permissions I give it.

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Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

Charlie Clark
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Re: Charlie Clark Just one side

If you employ someone with a clue you will get both good requirements plus a contractual financial penalty for the galloping goalposts that agile encourages.

Yes, because all of those massive waterfall projects always get the requirements right and never produce overruns.

Once of the biggest fiddles in software development is to draft a seemingly complete specification based on what the customer thinks they want and then force the customer to sign-off on increasingly expensive change requests as it turns out that the specification wasn't actually what they need.

Any contract that doesn't include some degree of iteration is just as doomed to fail as one that is based on unlimited iteration.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Just one side

but if you dont know what you want you end up with a brittle unclean solution.

I think this applies whatever methodology you follow and is true of most projects.

You won't know all the requirements at the start so a regular release, test, feedback approach is inevitable. Good project managers will be the ones who can spot bottlenecks, blind alleys and fucking stupid ideas early on. And, of course, how to compromise when key aims (features, timeline) are in conflict.

Communication is important but mustn't get in the way and needs to be between the relevant people. Meetings should be constrained by the size of the teapot: 4 or 5 mugs at most; brown jenny on special occasions.

This could all be called common sense programming™ but without a fancy name, gurus and expensive certification courses it'll never take off.

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Plenty of fish in the C, IEEE finds in language popularity contest

Charlie Clark
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Re: HTML?

HTML definitely isn't a programming language: it's an SGML dialect.

SQL, as you rightly point out, is a Turing-complete programming language even if I think the chosen semantics are extremely unsuited to the domain.

Getting these two wrong tells us a lot about this language beauty contest.

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Twitter: $602m into -$107m

Charlie Clark
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Re: Remind me again

Ah yes. But that's usually a sure fire money maker. What are they doing wrong I wonder?

They forgot to charge.

I hope Twitter ends up as the poster child for the limits of the network effect. Even with ten times the users I think it would struggle with its current business model which is why it's thrashing around to come up with new ones: like live sports that aren't exclusive.

As much as I hate Facebook, I think it's obvious that Zuckerberg and his team realise that there isn't a huge amount of money in just looking over people's shoulders while they rant.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The best thing about Twitter...

Server costs really shouldn't be that high but office rental is crazy in SF.

But I think one of the main costs is related to equity given to staff.

I think I'm right in that this quarter doesn't include any of their expensive streaming deals which could make current losses look like chicken feed. Or they could work out and Twitter could break even.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Remind me again

They stroke and massage people's vanity.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Where's the PR staff to paint this as a good thing?

Would be nice but revenues continue to increase…

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's funny

Featured prominently in the Panama leaks. See https://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/panama-papers-money-hidden-offshore

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It's funny

Hell, I'd vote for Putin over Hillary. At least he's an honest bastard.

I'm not sure you'd say that if you'd spent any time in Putin's Russia. Corruption is endemic in Russian politics and Putin isn't immune: he's squirrelled billions away himself.

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Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

isn't anything code audited anymore?

Surely that's just a rhetorical question. Was code ever audited?

Time to market is everything in this business. The gets developed by people on work experience using whatever examples they can find and gets shipped as soon as the prototype works.

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What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything

Charlie Clark
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That's still a lot of money

Yes, Apple confirms what we all knew: it's not immune to the laws of gravity.

People still love their I-Phones but their just not desperate to buy new ones. Given the state of the PC market in general and the fact that Apple have yet to update their notebook line I'd say their sales are holding up incredibly well. Shit, I'm sounding like a fanboi! The bottom line is that the bottom line is still very health. It's just that the growth has stopped. Where are the new products?

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Apple Watch exec Bob Mansfield 'gets into secret Apple car'

Charlie Clark
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Transportation using round wheels.

FTFY

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Car?

2019 does indeed sound a bit late to come to market. By then pretty everyone and their dog will either have launched, or have advanced plans for their next generation cars.

Still, this assumes that Apple wants to go head-to-head in the production. Even going the cheap way Tesla did to get capacity this doesn't sound like the best thing to do with their cash pile. But it also doesn't fit the way Apple does business. Maybe they're working on some kind of mobility subscription concept which combines Uber with a Merc: nice car whenever you want one. At a price.

Or they could just be about to buy Fiat / Chrysler because it's cheap.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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Charlie Clark
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Doesn't seem to bother a lot of people about their mobile phones…

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What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Charlie Clark
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Re: Scaremongering

There, here? Funny how your running around in panic yet we have not started leaving. You may want professional help to get you through the stressful 2 years of negotiations.

Haha, you fucking UKIP numpty: "here" is Düsseldorf. So, in this thoroughly undemocratic EU I'll also get to give my voice on any deal Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber™ try and come up with. Guess what? I'm not keen on free access to single market.

But it also seems your sarcasm detector is broken.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Trade deals?

I can’t see any reason other than political for the rush to sign up the Ukraine to closer integration when EU member states have said no to it.

No to what, exactly?

The EU's foreign policy focusses heavily on soft power using things like trade agreements to shore up neighbouring countries because the last thing the EU wants are neighbours that are failed states. In case you hadn't noticed: the Ukraine's economy has been a mess for years after being plundered by the oligarchs and it was getting close to collapse. An association agreement offers alternative markets for famers and the electronics industry and also the prospect of the rule of law. Many people don't realise that, despite its many problems, how attractive the EU is for people in eastern Europe: reduced threat of going to prison for saying the wrong thing; being paid on time; drinking clean water; etc.

Putin talks a good talk but is, nukes notwithstanding, no longer in much of a position militarily. Otherwise he would have marched all the way to Kiev and Lviv two years ago. This is why he's forced to do deals with fellow failure Erdogan, even though they have diametrically opposed interests in Syria. That's going to work out well. :-(

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Doctor Syntax

I'm really curious about codejunky the person

Most of the posts do seem to be related to the referendum. Wonder if it's someone from the "50 kopek" brigade. The speech patterns are inconsistent and indicate a non-British speaker. Some examples:

I absolutely voted leave

then your in for a bit of an upsetting surprise.

My tip is a troll. Downvotes only in future.

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Charlie Clark
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Megaphone

Re: Scaremongering

Ok well you dont know. But the UK does as does the EU (see BoE/IMF/etc statements pre referendum) which is why the EU is pushing its ever closer union stuff. The currency is again in trouble as people look to Italy (again now the referendum is over) and massive cracks are showing through the many crisis.

Which particular statements are you referring to? Both the BoE and the IMF said that the UK was likely to go into recession and that the rest of the EU would suffer. Oh, hang on. Wasn't that shameless scaremongering by clueless "experts"? If it was wrong to try and worry people about the economic consequences of leaving the EU before the referendum, how come its okay to mutter vague threats of doom now?

What should Italy do about its banks? Surely it couldn't nationalise them like the UK did with RBS and Lloyds, and the Germans did with Commerzbank? Fun fact: bailing out Italy's banks will be a lot cheaper than the ECB continuing its financial repression.

And, despite the UK's growing deficit, I'm really worried about companies relocating there to take advantage of the smell of freedom. Huawei recently opened a massive campus here. Should I be out there protesting against the jobs they're stealing? Or maybe asking for one? Or begging them not to relocate to the UK because we Europeans are obviously not as good at doing trade deals as people like Liam Fox?

I spent last night putting brown paper on the windows. I also bought lots of tinned food and bottled water. Do you have any more tips?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: YAWN

The significance of headlines such as "Cameron considered last-ditch appeal to Merkel" seems lost on you. Unless you liked being run by Germany.

Germany's role in the EU, and in particular in the Council of Ministers, is constantly overstated because it makes for good headlines.

As things stand at the moment: Merkel is almost a lame duck Chancellor thanks to a short-sighted, if heart-warming, policy towards Syrian refugees.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Chicken/egg?

We hire immigrants because there are not enough local skills.

This applies only to a very small part of the market: technology and, to a lesser extent the trades, where years of little or regulation has deskilled the workforce.

The UK has imported EU nationals largely to work in labour intensive fields such as agriculture because the English won't do the work for the wages on offer.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

Re: @ Doctor Syntax

We know the EU is doomed as it is.

Do we? That's news to me. What should those of us in the EU do? Duck and cover, perhaps? Create a Ministry of Unfeasible Trade Agreements?

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Eurocrats to pore over Apache, KeePass code

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Re: Well...

httpd -t already does this

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Silicon Valley's contribution to the US Republican Convention: Gayness

Charlie Clark
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Not really. He did highlight the increasing polarisation of modern politics and you seem to be providing the proof.

JFK may be a Democrat icon but was he really liberal? The Apollo project was undoubtedly progressive but it was also one of the best examples of the military industrial complex. And, in a way, it was the ideas of Barry Goldwater that, through Nixon and Reagan did more to reshape American politics.

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