* Posts by Charlie Clark

5402 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

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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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

Eh? When did I say I know what the Germans are thinking?

haha, you repeatedly assert what people are thinking such as when making your entirely bogus claims about the UK having a good hand in the negotiations, only to deny it when you get called out.

Just because the rest of the EU doesn't want the UK to leave, doesn't mean that they'll want to give the UK a good deal if it leaves. On the contrary, there will be lots of electoral pressure to play hard ball.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ batfastad

We dont do president/vice president here.

So, if you accept the principle of representative democracy for the UK, how come you don't think it applies for things like the European Commission?

Come to that, how come you think it doesn't apply for international treaties such as the membership of the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, the Commonwealth or NATO?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ batfastad

Good job these are all elected by the people

What, just like the Prime Minister isn't?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

What does that have to do with the price of fish?

Oh, I don't know, maybe something like I'm might be more likely to know what Germans think about the referendum: "what the fuck were the Brits thinking?" seems to be quite common. But you obviously know better, because, well why exactly?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

they are now practically begging we change our minds

Who's they? While I think most other European citizens would rather the UK wouldn't leave the EU, the politicians are in the business of winning elections. FWIW the chairman of the German CBI has already gone on record as saying that "it's a political issue".

But again, I suspect you've got access to additional sources. I should just forget the fact that I live and work in Germany. What the hell would I know?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ring fence

Ring fencing is one thing, which should be applauded

Ring fencing may be a crowd-pleaser but is usually bad policy. Governments have a job to do and need to ensure that they either have enough money to do everything they want to do; or make sure that they do as much as possible with the money they have. For example, the Tories under Cameron promised to "ring fence" the NHS but reduce overall expenditure. This meant more cuts to things like social security which ended up putting more pressure on the NHS. Or the "sequester" the US imposed after the last shutdown which forced the army into expensive contract cancellations and procurement deals it no longer wanted to pursue because entitlements were ring fenced.

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Charlie Clark
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I'd suggest we stay in the EU science programs, if they want us. That should be an easy agreement, if negotiations don't go wrong.

See what happened to the Swiss when they voted to limit immigration from the EU. Result: frozen out of EU research programs.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

The UK is the only one holding any real cards.

Just keep telling yourself that, dear…

As for the facts: Article 50 specifies that the other 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. Sounds a lot like holding all the cards to me, but you're obviously privy to other information.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ batfastad

You do know Blair was aiming for EU president.

Sounds about right for him: aiming for a position that doesn't exist…

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Charlie Clark
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Too many experts

I thought that we'd already agreed that there are too many of the bastards! Reduce these silly research budgets is what I say! I mean, what is it these so-called "scientists" actually do? Drink coffee, smoke pipes and stroke their beards (especially the lady scientists who are all lesbians by the way) I don't doubt.

This is from my application to join the Daily Mail as Mrs Gove's dogsbody. What do you reckon my chances are?

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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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October proves to be the cruellest month for Twitter staff as 350 more laid off

Charlie Clark
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All advertisers spend money trying get attention including advertising on other services. Probably have to spend even more if journalists get bored of copy pasting and thus providing free advertising. Then there's the not inconsiderable sum they've spunked on broadcast rights for sports. Was there any news of whether this was effective or not? Love to see them taking a bath on this as well.

#sooneratherthanlater

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How Google's Project Zero made Apple refactor its kernel

Charlie Clark
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Re: Where's all the snark?

Because it is a possible security hole I'm posting AC.

Why would that matter? It's not as if you posting an exploit here.

I also take the time to document bugs and inform the relevant developers. I've recently informed Apple of a bug in their handling of OOXML files but I won't be holding my breath for a response. This is only too often the case with them so kudos for Google for holding back from publishing. I wonder if the naming and shaming of Microsoft earlier in the year helped focus Apple's attention on this?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This isn't an easy bug class to fix

Yeah, but context-switching is so damn slow on x86. Any idea of the performance on ARM?

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Charlie Clark
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Where's all the snark?

Fanbois have in the past been only too happy to pour scorn over Google for this kind of research.

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Hangouts flameout bringing the Google blame out

Charlie Clark
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Another article that would be improved if Twitter wasn't around

More random and banal "tweets" added as filler.

Meanwhile: Google has been de-emphasising Hangouts as a messaging tool for the masses while it has been adding peer-to-peer support for voice calls to make them less dependent upon the server.

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Squeaky bum time for Apple: It hasn’t made enough iPhone 7 Pluses

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

“Can’t meet demand” is an ambiguous term. It may mean that demand is genuinely greater than expected. Or it may indicate supply issues

I think you may have nailed it. Whereas Apple has historically pursued a strategy of a limited a bouquet of products – driven by aspiration and tailored to price – the recent move into fashion accessories has encouraged the tyranny of choice. This contains the risks of lower margins due to more complicated inventory management and the attendant supply chain problems. They've historically been amazing at anticipating customer demand. Now if they ramp up production too much they risk sitting on too much inventory at the start of 2017.

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Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

Charlie Clark
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: ..strokes beard and looks incredibly cook

Tim? Peter? Captain?

Peter, of course, as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling. Fancy some peche à la frog.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh yes

Flat Whites are so 2015… what you want is cold brew coffee.

/me strokes beard and looks incredibly cook. We really need a hipster icon!

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BlackBerry DTEK60: An elegant flagship for grown-ups

Charlie Clark
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Samsung is still a bit slow at pushing out updates but has improved a lot on the S3 days. especially when it comes to the security stuff. But you'll often be holding a network's Samsung which has even more crap installed on it and an even slower update approval process. Fortunately, nearly all of the Samsung devices are supported by CyanogenMod.

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App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it

Charlie Clark
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Re: What are the odds...

Yeah, because Google now designs its own memory chips…

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Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

Charlie Clark
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The promotion of these commercial services by public service broadcasters is, indeed, the most annoying thing. They do it because a) they're lazy and b) it makes them look "engaged" with the public. But basically it just means they provide free advertising for them.

Twitter is basically just a JSON API that turned into a money pit.

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Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Coincidence ?

I think the implication is more that Google is not actively throwing the shit around, more like sneakily smear some more of it on Samsung when no-one is looking.

Google is too busy selling ads (including to Samsung) and abusing its market position (making certain bits of Android exclusive to its phones) to bother with that.

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Charlie Clark
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Black Helicopters

Re: Coincidence ?

Take your conspiracy theory and do one.

All Samsung's competitors have very good reason not to make fun of the problems with the Note 7: they know how easily something similar could happen to them and how such accidents are bad for the whole sector: just as you have halo effects, you also have the manure effect. They'll be picking up more than enough extra business by doing nothing. Plus, they almost certainly rely on Samsung for some components.

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Charlie Clark
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Well, real question has to be: what is the sky if it isn't blue colour with more or less clouds in it?

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Ageing GSM crypto cracked on commodity graphics rig

Charlie Clark
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Re: So

Only if it's using A5/1. Many companies have already moved off this for their 2G connections, other networks no longer do any kind of 2G.

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Charlie Clark
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So…

The flaws in the encryption have been known about since 2009 and you still need to create some pretty big rainbow tables and have some pretty good equipment to do the hack.

Well, in that case I'm impressed by what the GSMA did come up with back then. It means we're generally pretty safe. Yes, the spooks have probably had the wherewithal to do this for a couple of years for the few cases where they can't get a wiretap order or find a compliant telco, but given all the other attack vectors on modern phones such getting an app installed that can control the mike and use the network, I'm not unduly worried.

Nevertheless, it's an important research project and should expedite the deprecation of this part of the standard.

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are you saying the mini revamp was a success?

In the 1970s the mini was very much seen as a small family car for running the kids around town (small turning circle, park anywhere tolerable for journeys of less than an hour). They are now almost entirely driven by single women, maybe with their BFF. Meanwhile the family car market has merged with the small van one. So maybe a shift in the demographic was required? But I too pine for something smaller.

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Virgin Media boss warns Brexit could hamstring broadband investment

Charlie Clark
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Re: Can't see banking being retained but goods not.

Turkey is part of the customs union, this means no duties between Turkey and the EU on goods.

Yes, but duties are now considered one of the smallest barriers to trade which is why we hear so much about "non-tariff barriers to trade"

Norway is part of the single market but not part of the customs union (hint this is a bigger deal and much harder to get). There currently seems to be a lot of woolly and wishful thinking about the kind of the deal the UK can expect from the EU. To be clear, Article 50 was set up as a poison pill to make leaving the union as unpalatable as possible. It hands all the cards to the other member states and negotiations are done by the vast army of skilled trade negotiators that the European Commission has at its disposal.

Unless the UK signs up to the single market then passporting for financial services is almost certain to b lost. Although it's extremely capital intensive, it's also much easier to move the offices and workers from London to Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt than it is to move factories from Sunderland and Derby to Wcoclaw or Bratislava. If passporting goes then the City will almost certainly lose other business such as the nascent Yuan market to Hong Kong or Singapore.

EEA membership is unlikely (Norway has indicated that it would veto it) and couldn't be split for Scotland and Northern Ireland. But we won't really know more before Article 50 is actually invoked.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Brexit situation looks like it might be the worst possible.

Can't see banking being retained but goods not. More likely to be the other way round (as in CETA).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Christmas Time is here!

Frankly the politicians should have already pulled the plug on that but they haven't the balls.

How exactly?

Oh sorry, this question was one of the reasons why the referendum was a Bloody Stupid Idea™. The UK has an armful of international obligations and benefits because of EU membership. It is going to take years to unravel and replace them which is why the government has proposed the "great repeal act" which would enshrine all existing EU legislation on the statute book. Apart from the fact that I think the proposed act would itself be unconstitutional, a quick look at the success of governments in actually repealing legislation should give an idea of how long things might take.

Meanwhile the pound will fall as FDI falls if access to single market is limited. Think petrol prices are high now? You've got another thing coming.

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Just what Europe needs – another bungled exit: Mars lander goes AWOL

Charlie Clark
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Re: Breaking up the party

It is clear there are big issues in how ESA validates its systems

Really? That doesn't seem at all clear to me. In fact having a test vehicle sounds a lot wanting to validate its systems before trashing even more expensive components. The success rate across all Mars missions thus far leaves a lot to be desired but I can't think of many recent ESA specific failings.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bungled? A tad harsh methinks

I used the term "controlled crash" deliberately because of the thin Martian atmosphere and that landing, at least as we know it on earth, isn't really an option yet.

I think they were testing a new "delivery" method. Success or failure may be determined by the amount of data they get back. Systems could have failed to work properly à la Philae, or everything could have worked well but they just landed in a shit place.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Bungled? A tad harsh methinks

I think it's just stupid clickbait. Schiaparelli is a test for the real probe which isn't due to land until 2020. In any case, like the recent Space X explosion, it just goes to highlight how difficult some of this stuff is, especially when you're doing it for the first time.

So I guess we'll be reading a lot more over the next few days over any telemetry that could be gathered and which, if any systems, survived the controlled crash.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They don't want us

Btw., years of reading online publications have resulted in me automatically scrolling past Twitter screenshots, and now it's compulsive.

Me, too. It's also indicative of the worst kind of lazy journalism. Somehow I expected better of our antipodean cousins.

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AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all

Charlie Clark
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These are not the results you are looking for

It's just that Intel is pretty unstoppable at the moment.

Actually, Intel has just issued downward guidance. The PC market is continuing to shrink and growth at data centres is slowing; both Intel and AMD are going nowhere in the mobile space and ARM is looking to move up the value chain. Of course, Intel still sell huge volumes at high margins but I wouldn't be surprised to see those margins fall over the next couple of years.

In a post-x86 world AMD is just collateral damage. Fortunately, it started looking for new markets a couple of years ago when it bought ATI and an ARM design competence so I think Mr Moorhead has a point.

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Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and BT bid for Indian cricket online

Charlie Clark
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Re: ITV

http://guerrillacricket.com is what you want.

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Who killed Cyanogen?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dammit I love Cyanogen

The OS isn't going anywhere. Just the company that thought it could turn the OS into a commercial product.

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Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: Seems obvious...

And?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: They needed an alternative to Play Store and Play Services

apkpure is pretty good. But, yeah, Google, quite understandably doesn't like people stepping on its toes.

Now the CM eco-system, the stuff the hobbyists are working on, is here to stay. And Google is probably quite happy. It keeps older phones running and using their services. It's just a pity the other manufacturers haven't embraced it more as a two-way street.

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