* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Chrome OS to get Android apps via the magic of containers

Charlie Clark
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Re: I hope this gets open sourced

vendors dropping support (for whatever reason) for Linux

hm, let's see: tiny market that expects everything for free? more GUI frameworks than you can count? weird licence restrictions?

Android in a container / VM has been possible for a while.

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Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Charlie Clark
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Well, ain't you the clever one? I've suffered a lot with this. On a page with a form the behaviour of the backspace key is dependent upon where the focus is. Did you want to delete a letter or go back a page? It's such a slight difference…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Long overdue

I'm surprised that Google, of all people, were the ones to make this usability blunder in the first place.

They weren't: browsers have been doing it for years but it did seem to affect their form handling more than most.

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

Charlie Clark
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The A380 isn't ugly

NFT

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World goes SIM-free, leaving Sony and HTC trailing behind

Charlie Clark
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Re: I just bought a £45 phone...

Meanwhile, the quoted repair cost for my Sony Z3 Compact remains £85. It's like when my mate's Hitachi disc cutter died and rather than pay £80 to fix it he bought one from Lidl or £50 with a 3-year guarantee.

Welcome to the world of builtin obsolescence: something not working, sir? Landfill it and buy a new one. You can't make the production lines for repairs as efficient/cheap the ones for making new ones. And throwing things away currently costs nothing.

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Charlie Clark
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IPhone fatigue?

Apple may not be rising to Mawston’s challenge with a Nathan Barley phone… Let's fucking hope not. It would presumably be more 5c's and the like.

I'm not a huge fan of Apple's business practices but they haven't been successful because they spend millions of dollars down at the strategy boutiques but because they have top notch industrial design and product execution. The I-Phone fills need for many people because it takes away lots of tricky decisions. Wrapping everything up in a pretty package is important but only a part of what they do.

God, some of these analysts need to join a dole queue and get a life. I do hope Apple continues not to listen to them. And I've never owned an I-Phone in my life.

Kudos for the Nathan Barley reference. We need more of these as life sadly continues to imitate satire.

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Dell seeks $20bn to buy EMC

Charlie Clark
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If it looks like a junk bond and smells like a junk bond then…

Those rates are unfeasible for the company so that looks very much like a promise for redemption (financed by more debt) or renegotiation in a couple of years. Assuming, of course, the company doesn't go bust first. That's the definition of a junk bond.

Be interesting to see the credit rating for them (paid for by Dell, of course).

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Girls outpace boys in US IT and engineering test

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ahh

we also have people who are racist, homophobic, listen to Justin Beiber(sic)

Justin Bieber is for racist homophobes? You learn something new every day.

The "safe space" bollocks is the best way to radicalise people against live and let live.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ahh

there was an article on this site a couple of years ago about a female IT person who was expected to keep up appearances, even at IT events, when she would have preferred to dress the same way as men would as she was more comfortable.

Be careful when extrapolating from individual instances.

You'll get that in any industry all the time. Viz. the current bizarre case in the UK about a women being dismissed by a female boss for refusing to wear high heeled shoes for work. I hope she wins the case at the tribunal and gets a good settlement. But it has fuck all to do with IT. There are far more aggressive places for women to work than IT.

Blokes, in a group, can be real arseholes. Then again, so can women. I've got several female friends who say they much prefer working with in a predominantly male environment.

I've got nothing against women in tech, engineering or wherever. But I prefer to let them speak for themselves than try to speak for them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ahh

I've never been to an IT industry do…

So what gives you the right to generalise about them? Most industry and corporate shindigs are boring. But sex sells which is why sponsored prostitution is not unusual at them (used to be very common for sales conferences and one of the reasons why Las Vegas is such a popular destination). Nothing to do with IT though when the insurance, car or real estate guys are getting their rocks off at a lap dance club.

As for appearances: the fiercest critics of women I ever encounter are other women who care much more about "making an effort" than men. Most men are generally interested in primary and secondary sexual indicators. It's a bit simple but that's biology for you.

You can't simply ordain more women in tech and it shouldn't really even be a goal in itself. Equal opportunity does not mean everyone is the same and wants to do the same thing. Most countries have pretty good laws against discrimination and harassment but enforcing them can be a problem. Find out why women don't want to work in tech and start there: a lot of them simply don't like computers very much, but are pretty happy working in biology.

And have an extra downvote for using an adjective as a noun.

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Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise salute EU flag, blast Brexiteers

Charlie Clark
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Re: The resources the government

And if you're going to throw insults, make em good ones

Your sister turned you down again, has she? Maybe if you could wipe the spittle away from your mouth every now and then you'd have more luck.

Again: what does the ECHR have to do with the EU? And why shouldn't it change its remit? I can remember when rape within marriage was not considered a crime by at least one high court judge. But times have changed, fortunately in my opinion, since then. But, of course, things were better back in the 19th century! Bring back the poor law and the workhouses! And the empire!

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The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

Charlie Clark
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WTF?

Re: Old Skool thinking

In fairness to the OP Selenium would be adequate (and appropriate) if they are simply testing the client side of a web-app.

So, again: WTF would this have to do with changes in Windows components which is what this article is about.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So...

How does all this time and effort and expense compare to migrating to Linux?

Apples and moon rocks in many cases: many companies are, more or less, happily wedded to Windows stacks.

In any case the main migration that Microsoft is worried about is desktop to mobile (IOS or Android).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Old Skool thinking

Our strategy is automated regression testing with Selenium

Selenium is a browser testing framework. How does this fit in with changes to Windows APIs?

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

Charlie Clark
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Re: Why has Flash been so bad?

ColdFusion to give another example of historically vulnerable software were created by Macromedia.

Nah, ColdFusion was developed by Allaire and subsequently bought by Macromedia. A lot of people were really sad that Adobe canned Freehand which many thought was better than Ilustrator.

With Flash I think it's worth remembering that it and Shockwave were originally developed as authoring tools for CD and DVDs. They were fine at this and adapting the runtimes to become browser plugins wasn't too hard. Of course, the internet has since become a much nastier place.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "exempt the top 10 domains"??

On the one I use the most (S20-30 netbook), the html5 version keeps the CPU at a "happy" 40-50% load, compared to 15-20% for the flash version.

Sounds like Flash is able to use hardware acceleration and your browser isn't. Hardware acceleration is very dependent upon browser and OS.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Google catches up to Apple, while Microsoft trails the pack

I will take the obsolete and unlikely to be targeted Windows 98 box over a modern Windows box running Flash

Really? Win 98 is just DOS which has absolutely no protection against permission escalation because it doesn't have permissions: find any exploit and get pwned.

I think Flash suffered from feature creep. Remove the video stuff and you could probably tighten it up. In the meantime "press to play" and the improved plugin architecture do significantly reduce the attack area. Better still just deactivate it and hassle any websites that tell you Flash is required. Anything that depends on ads or subscription will switch pretty quickly.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Google catches up to Apple, while Microsoft trails the pack

So the Almighty Jobs killed Flash on mobile back in 2011

Only because, by then, enough had been done that Apple could get people to move from the Adobe walled garden to their own. This was pretty much also the time when Apple stopped contributing significantly to WebKit. And, wasn't there a note recently about Apple not giving a shit about the holes in Quicktime?

If it was YouTube that helped Flash to dominance, it was Google that really pushed for HTML5 video being both free to use and free to create. Otherwise content providers would be paying both Adobe and MPEG licences to encode.

The important thing will be to fail on feature detection so that the <video> tag gets precedence and offer "press to play" functions where this isn't possible.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "exempt the top 10 domains"??

YouTube quite happily serves HTML5 video where Flash isn't installed, has done for a good while now.

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EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'

Charlie Clark
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Is four some magic number that protects consumers then?

The research does seem to indicate this: three's company, four's a crowd. Prices in markets with only three competitors are higher than in markets with four.

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Germans set to make schnitzel out of controversial Wi-Fi law

Charlie Clark
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There are loads of public hotspots: in cities, in cafés, airports, piggy-backing on DSL/Cable connections. Soon to be available on trains.

I generally avoid hotel wifi as they are often poorly setup and suffer from the "tragedy of the commons" because some fool will be streaming video and the hotel only has a 16 MB connection. In such situations it can make sense to pay for the connection if you need a reliable one. But PAYG data is around € 5 for a GB so that's usually the best choice.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Makes about as much sense as holding the owner of a motel criminally responsible because a room renter decides to brew up a batch of crack cocaine in the bathroom.

It's not. It's more like having no lock on a chemical laboratory or the gun cupboard…

I have a certain understanding for the principles behind the law but it's being dropped largely for being unworkable.

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Charlie Clark
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GIven that there is currently pretty much zero open internet available

That is utter nonsense. Nearly all German hotels have had free wifi for years – largely because mobile data charges are so low that it is impossible to charge for basic access. Most airports have some kind of free wifi and there are lots of public wifi spots in cities (Cologne) or provided by networks (Unitymedia).

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The fork? Node.js: Code showdown re-opens Open Source wounds

Charlie Clark
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Re: FSF

I did then I asked myself: "what's the point of this?"

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "Then what?"

Github isn't necessarily popular because it's such a great repository hoster but because of the toolchain and ecosystem around it. Moving the repo is easy but what about Travis, Coveralls, etc?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: FSF

What a typical bit of FSF nonsense: short list favouring its own offerings and focusing on the licence of the site's JS. The T&C's are far more important.

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Charlie Clark
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Without open source there would be no Slack, no Medium, no Github. Nor would there be Google, Facebook, or much of anything else.

When you put it like that… Might not be such a bad thing!

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Adobe...sigh...issues critical patch...sigh...for Flash Player zero day

Charlie Clark
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Re: Amazing

There is nothing out there that is even close to providing what it can do. It's a shame that a technology is aggressively retired when there is no viable alternative.

I'm no so sure about that any more. It was maybe the case a few years ago but the modern browser runtimes no leave very little to be desired. What maybe missing are the relevant authoring tools.

Flash should be recognised for two things: a cross-platform graphical runtime for browsers when the only other alternative were Java applets; and ending the video player wars (remember RealPlayer vs. Quicktime vs. Windows Media Player?) Unfortunately, as the internet grew in importance, the problems inherent in the platform became more obvious.

Flash is now only kept around for sites wanting to use it for DRM which is why it's down to around 14 % of sites. More and more browsers, including all the mobile ones, don't have Flash so now only around 50 % of any sites visitors can actually see the Flash content. Most media sites are already piloting HTML5 video. I expect by the end of the year less than 10 % of sites will be using Flash and a majority of users won't have it installed.

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Opera claims 50 per cent power savings with browser update

Charlie Clark
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Re: Its a start

Gif "animation" doesn't use much power and already doesn't affect non-visible windows.

Read the article (and some of the older ones) for more information on what Opera found to be chewing cycles.

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Charlie Clark
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I think much more than that and my Firefox would explode.

It probably wouldn't but it's pretty inefficient. Firstly, cognitively you can't keep 200 items in the stack. I think the magic number is 10 to 13. (I'm with you on the total number of tabs I have open across browsers) Secondly, it's probably quicker to use bookmarks to load the pages than switch between tabs – many of which may be swapped to disk. Still, it seems a lot of people like to work like this.

That said, I have seen Firefox get into trouble when using it with Selenium for crawling. I have to spawn a new instance every 100 sites or so.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Charlie Clark
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Re: Meanwhile, in the real world.....

You'll also get massive cost overrun because it's never been done before. Yes, putting rockets into space is rocket science and space is a notoriously harsh environment, but at least it doesn't have weather.

A near vacuum tube between LA and SF is going to have to put up with a lot of shit and on projects like this it's often the little things that over time cause the most problems. On the Cologne-Frankfurt lines it was problems with toilets and air conditioning that caused the most problems.

I do like the basic idea of Hyperloop – trying to displace as little air as possible – I wonder if there isn't some kind of halfway house using some kind of fairing with a maglev system. As for the proposed line – I'm not sure that LA - SF really is the route to be looked at: how many people really want to travel between downtown LA and downtown SF? Highspeed rail has excelled at shrinking the commute so something that halved the current journey time on Caltrain between Gilroy and SF and the same for LA's dormitories would be transformational. Of course, this requires all kind of ancillary investment to make using the new lines easier.

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Charlie Clark
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Sounds like you're one of the lucky ones. I'm by no means an expert on the situation but freight generally runs happily on single track, passenger doesn't. See http://www.economist.com/node/16636101?zid=302&ah=601e2c69a87aadc0cc0ca4f3fbc1d354

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Charlie Clark
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Freight trains are indeed coming along like, er, freight trains. Energy recovery when breaking, lower noise.

Biggest problem is that it is almost impossible for passenger and freight trains to share track. This is the biggest problem in the US and the most difficult to resolve because new track means more land and land is always expensive.

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Charlie Clark
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They're are trains and trains. On the whole they teeter on direct profitability because they tend towards universal service with hop-on, hop-off access. Commuter services are designed to reduce traffic so pricing is often political: it needs to be low enough to deter car journeys.

Some of the highspeed rail services can be highly profitable: Cologne-Frankfurt, for example but I think also parts of the French network such as Paris-Lyon.

Freight doesn't need speed; it needs faster transfer between modes.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Freight is toughter than you think

Speed isn't important for freight, cost is. Freight is all about bulk and weight which is why such much of it is done over water. Containers are not built for minimal wind resistance!

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Free tool aims to make it easier to find vulns in open source code

Charlie Clark
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Re: DevOps approach to Security

Static code analysis is no magic bullet but it is complementary and is particularly good at doing the stuff that bores people: it's more eyes but eyes that don't glaze over.

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Charlie Clark
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So what? If the scans of your code help you identify flaws in your own, open source code then that's a win. Static code analysis can pick up a lot of issues. I've been using Quantified Code for about a year now and am very pleased with it.

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Unicorn adopts rainbow as logo

Charlie Clark
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I always thought that the Instagram logo was pretty good: an iconic retro camera with a flash. I haven't seen it very often but have no trouble remembering it.

The new ones look far too generic.

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GitHub pricing change

Charlie Clark
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I don't think Bitbucket puts a limit on private repositories and you get to choose your DVCS.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: it's still pretty cheap

Go to Gitlab,

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EU vetoes O2 and Three merger: Hutchison mulls legal challenge

Charlie Clark
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Remit

Allowing Hutchison to take over O2 at the terms they proposed would have been bad for UK consumers and bad for the UK mobile sector.

So fucking what? This is for the UK regulator (OfCOM (joke that it is)) and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission(or whatever it's called) to decide. I'm a fervent European but I don't see, at least from this summary, why the Commission thinks it can rule on this unless it decides that either Three or O2 are getting unfair market share across Europe, in which case conditions could be applied.

The Commission can also get involved if it looks like regulation isn't working. This the logic behind the repeated calls to break OpenReach out of BT because the market for cables in the ground clearly isn't working in the UK. The same goes for electricity distribution in countries like France and Spain.

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IE and Graphics head Microsoft's Patch Tuesday critical list

Charlie Clark
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Re: Do keep up, people!

The patches for Office alone are close to 1 GB. Rolling this shit out across a large network is not fun.

I've no love for Linux but at least the unix crowd have always understood the sys admin's needs.

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Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

Charlie Clark
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Lego conquers the emoji world

All the figures look like Lego™ people. Will someone please think of the copyright!

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Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Trump Effect

Apart from the apparent love-fest between Putin and Trump. Reminds me of Berlusconi and Putin. Of course, if Trump does get elected, he'll do pretty much exactly what the banks and big business tell him to.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Wonderful

Granted the EU sparked a war in Ukraine where the Russians annexed land they loaned to Ukraine

Don't you just love Russian-apologist revisionism? Even if Kruschev's donation of Crimea to Ukraine was a bit of harmless fun back in the day, it became permanent with the fall of the Soviet Union with Russia agreeing to accept Ukraine's borders in return for Ukraine returning the nuclear weapons stationed there. Had the new nukes still been stationed in Ukraine, Putin might have thought twice about his "little green men".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Two steps forward...

It's all about appearances rather than outcomes: "don't worry that you haven't got enough to eat, look at our lovely missiles and don't forget to vote for me". Russia doesn't want war with anyone with real weapons: remember the plane shot down over the Turkey-Syria border?

More interesting will be whether Russia has managed to replace the electronics that the Ukrainians used to develop for it.

Long term all the weapons tech in the world probably won't do it much good once conflict really starts in the Caucuses and the *Stans. And it's doing a bloody good job of stoking this. :-/

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At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Agile f**king rocks! It

It's also not an excuse for not defining the long-term aims of a project. Any project that doesn't do that will fail badly whatever methodology or technology is employed.

I've always thought that the point of agile was that the iterative development and feedback loops help get the details right (because you can't imagine everything at the start) and guarantee that at least something will work.

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Microsoft bods tell El Reg: We've re-pivoted open-source .NET Core

Charlie Clark
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Substance

I don't currently work with .NET but there are some libraries I'd be interested at being able to compile and work with. But I completely failed to learn anything from this article except that beta2 is completely different to beta1. Anyone able to fill me in?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it just me?

Says a lot about the musical chairs at Microsoft over the last few years.

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