* Posts by Charlie Clark

5375 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Isn't "Vaz" some kind of lubricant?

I always grimace at the term "creative industries". Anyone who invents, designs or modifies anything other than a T-shirt logo or a website can just fuck off, because you aren't "creative".

Oh, I don't know. Sounds like an appeal for a generous subsidy. I'll happily organise anti-radicalist jam festivals if I'm being paid to.

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Google 'Solitaire' ... Just do it

Charlie Clark
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Re: TTT.

try Googling a Zerg Rush.

Very cool! As long as Google keeps letting its developers piss around with this kind of thing, there's still hope for them!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: TTT.

Tic-tac-toe is a solved game

And your point is? Doesn't mean it can't be fun, or instructive if playing with those who haven't "solved" it yet.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not fair

Couldn't ever really get into that. For me it has to be solitaire / free cell. But word games could be the new one. Anyone have any tips? Needs to be be multiplayer and preferably multi-language.

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Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

Charlie Clark
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Stop

There's a big difference between sticking by your principles and leading a party.

Britain is a parliamentary democracy and Corbyn has one of, if not the worst, voting record of his party. He has even voted against party policy since he became leader. How can someone like this ever expect to command the loyalty of other MPs and thus form a government?

If you really want him to lead the party then you should be careful what you wish for.

If, as seems likely, he is re-elected as party leader then it will be champagne over at Conservative Central Office. An early election via a constructive vote of no confidence followed by a Tory landslide is likely to the result. Not only would this give the Tories the majority they currently don't have to repeal the European Communities Act, but it will also let them really get on with dismantling the health service and what's left of the welfare state. Oh, and any thing like the BBC that refuses to toe the government line. I bet Murdoch et al. can't wait for Corbyn to be re-elected.

Until the UK's electoral system is reformed there needs to be a binary choice for the non-partisan electorate. Corbyn and his Militant throwbacks are simply not viable for any of us who remember the lost decade of the 1980s. Much as we might have admired Michael Foot's ideas (he was so much more than Jezza could ever aspire to be) his complete failure to deal with the Militant Tendency is what gave Maggie three landslide elections.

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Charlie Clark
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I can remember what things were like under BR

Yes, but to be fair: after Beeching — the dear man saw no future for rail in the country — British Rail was deliberately hollowed out and there was virtually no investment in track or rolling stock for over 30 years. The APT was supposed to usher in a new era but was quickly abandoned by the Thatcher government.

Public spending on the railways increased massively with privatisation which included generous subsidies to franchise operators. The real risky bit (tracks and signals) did get re-nationalised after the sort of incident that requires crown immunity.

The problem with the current setup is not really one of nationalised or privatised but the way the franchises are awarded as the fiasco with Southern Rail shows. As usual, the British system seems to invite corner cutting and under investment. Countries like Sweden and Switzerland show that things can be done differently. And here in Germany, the local PTEs are only to happy to take on the nationalised incumbent which seems to hate running local commuter services. Though I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before I get into one of the National Express run services.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Cant see where he lied

It was made clear at the time that there were spaces in 1st class - but Corbyn chose not to upgrade (because most people can't afford to, and the taxpayer is paying for it).

FWIW MPs have allowances precisely to cover things like necessary travel expenses and travel first class if you want to get any work done.

If this was a business trip he, or his office, should have booked in advance. Seemed to me a bit like it was the first time he's actually travelled outside of London.

I can't stand the Tories but I have no time for this relic from the 1970s. He's going to ruin the Labour Party and bring down progressive politics with it.

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Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ever increasing hardware demands

Windows has been getting faster since Vista. Wonder how the speed-up compares between W7 and W10 and between Vista (XML-based GUI) and W7, and whether you can actually run W10 on some of the machines you can run W7 on? I've happily run W7 in 512 MB VMs and I can remember a lot of people running W7 on less than the proposed minimum.

Android 5 and 6 were also faster than previous versions if the hardware was supported: changes in the runtime format (better JIT), better memory use, more hardware based rendering.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ever increasing hardware demands

I think we may be back to hardware support for specific features. Remember in the early days of Android when point releases wouldn't necessarily work on older hardware? This was apparently (I'm not a dev) down to missing features in the SoC's.

I'm guessing the lack of support has less to do with oomph – most phones have had multiple cores and enough RAM for several years now – and more to do with things like hardware encryption. There is also the possibility of the new features requiring particular GPU functions that older chips don't have, which is similar for some games. This is speculation on my behalf, have to read the AOSP release notes for full details.

I think the important thing is that security patches are backported ASAP and this is as much down to the manufacturers as it is to Google. CM13, which runs great on my Samsung S5, recently had a big update chock full of them. As consumers we need to put pressure on manufacturers to do their job properly: cut out the crapware and provide regular and timely security updates. I suspect many would be happy to pay a nominal annual fee for these after the end of the statutory warranty period has passed.

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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Charlie Clark
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Re: "ARM's larger and healthier software ecosystem?"

The irony here is that, up until a couple of years ago, Linux on ARM was pretty poor. The RPi has certainly helped here to get all the toolchains ported, tested and optimised though I reckon that nVidia has also contributed a lot as will the HPC owners themselves.

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Das ist empörend: Microsoft slams umlaut for email depth charge

Charlie Clark
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Re: Latin

Worked for The Martian!

I'm going out to collect rocks…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Many more...

Yes, and in Swedish ö, ä and å do not have umlauts but are distinct letters on the own, to be found at the end of the dictionary.

UTF8 all the inputs!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Microsoft or Americans?

And while I read/write/speak 3 languages fluently

ahem

…dots as a seperator

Anyway, it sounds like you're moaning about SAP which, let's face it, is just a steaming turd of software. But SAP, like Oracle and MS, know how to sell it and once they've got companies hooked there's way to get off. Ever wondered why there are virtually never anti-trust investigations of SAP?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it Outlook or the interaction with a M$ IMAP service?

What's the betting that this just relates to the encoding set for the field storing the password? Spot the flaw in this logic ;-)

What's the % test coverage of Outlook? From this little faux pas I'd reckon less than 80%

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Charlie Clark
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Re: English is wonderful

Expose and exposé are two different words in the English language

What you mean like lead (for walking dogs) and lead (the metal?

English orthography is a mess but this is largely down to its age as a written language and the joyful absence of official intervention that tends to fuck things up whenever it tries to make them better.

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Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

Charlie Clark
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Re: But..?

They probably already are. nVidia has already released one "proof-of-concept" streaming console based on their ARM platform. The graphics chips in the newer phones are probably capable of most of the work already so some kind of combination is probably possible whether it's a box with the latest and greatest GPU that syncs with the phone or details are rendered "in the cloud" is probably just a matter of bandwidth. The economics would seem to favour streaming over selling discrete units.

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Charlie Clark
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I've actually used it more for entertainment than business though

Colour me unimpressed.

I can already connect my S5 to any HDMI device with a cheap adapter and I recently used Miracast / WiFi share on a friend's TV the other day. Fantastic for entertainment.

Samsung have been experimenting with this kind of thing for years (my Galaxy Tab 8.9 came with a "multimedia" dock) including support for multi-windows and alternative input methods. It wouldn't surprise me if they aren't the first with some kind of phone / TV / Chromebook setup. And we can assume Apple won't be far behind with its own extremely dedicated market.

Microsoft is going to pull something extremely remarkable out of the hat for this get any real traction. Otherwise UWP apps on Android might be the best they can hope for.

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

Charlie Clark
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Re: I still have 'friends' saying...

I saw £1 = 0.95 Euros last week at one exchange.

The official rate is about 0.86 so that's just a shitty exchange happy to scalp its customers. To be fair in 2011 it was near parity so this is within "normal" market movements if you take normal to include massive interference by central banks. The real time to worry is what happens if the BoE has more problems at auctions: the total amount that Carney is prepared to throw on this particularly is about what Draghi spunks on bonds every month.

If there is any form of general tightening of world monetary policy then the BoE may find its options severely limited and if the UK government has to go to functioning markets to borrow then rates will almost certainly have to rise.

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Charlie Clark
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I think it is a real shame that a woman got the job.

It's not as if anyone forced her to apply…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie: Simple is best

That's just wrong matey, I may live in the middle of Devon now, but I still have many relatives who still live in Essex.

Well then you know just what a bunch of fuckwits live there… ;-)

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

Apologies for being too subtle.

Yeah, right. Begs the question as to why you voted to leave. Not that it really matters. Some seem to think that the referendum is going to give Britain a better hand at future negotiations along the lines of "we want this, but not that", just like at a restaurant. This completely ignores the fact that the three "freedoms" are indivisible: trade, capital and labour and that none of the remaining 27 member states has any interest in giving the UK anything. Even Norway isn't keen on letting the UK join the EEA. Oh, and the UK will have to apply separately to join the WTO.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @AC 20-23 pages for EU citizens

Btw I voted to leave, I am fine with the movement of people thing

Yes, because international agreements are like à la carte menus…

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Charlie Clark
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And, as they're the ones tasked with doing the work, the Leave campaigners are going to be the ones who have to tell them.

I think this is Theres May's plan. I don't think she cares ideologically one way or another but she clearly understands the politics quite well. We can probably be expect Article 50 day to be based on some kind of never-never criteria just like Blair did with membership of the Euro (sun shining in Manchester, Newcastle winning the league, Piers Morgan not being a twat, etc.)

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Charlie Clark
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My money is on a land border and the unfortunate return of real™ terrorism from people who actually know how to make bombs: remember the IRA sponsored "Central Manchester Redevelopment Plan" from 1996?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh well, better send this article to my girlfriend

Just get the application process for residency and then citizenship started. Should be pretty easy: existing rules will continue to apply until Parliament enacts laws to the contrary.

Let the Home Office grind to a halt processing such applications. We all know what the solution will be: reduce the amount of paperwork and let all EEA & EU citizens without a criminal record pass.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Simple is best

Not sure if turning the UK into East Berlin is the direction anyone* wants to go down.

You may be right but how about just Essex? Gets my vote.

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Little ARMs pump 2,048-bit muscles in training for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale mega-brain

Charlie Clark
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Impressive stuff

Intel is going to have improve its customisation game if it wants to stay in this market. Hardware customisations like this are ARM's ace up its sleeve. We can assume the actual chips that Fujitsu (no mug when it comes to chips as the SPARCs show) will have additional whizz-bang stuff baked into hardware but this kind of compiler optimisation is going to give the HPC crowd wet dreams. Between this and FPGA Intel is going to be increasingly squeezed.

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MacPorts project leaving Apple’s OS Forge

Charlie Clark
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Re: Didn't know they were still around

I much prefer MacPorts because it allows you to replace more of the Posix stuff that Apple ships with each OS version and then largely leaves untouched until the next one.

But Homebrew seems to have gained the mindshare.

Apple's own engagement in the open source stuff has always been at best lukewarm and it looks to me like they're getting ready to close it down entirely.

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Google killing app format used only by The 1%

Charlie Clark
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Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

Google's Chrome team is fully behind the "Progressive Web Apps" of which the packaged apps were a precursor. As PWAs take off, you see a button on a website to install it, there is no need for the additional packaging.

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What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Turkey

NATO and the EU want Turkey as a strategic ally, a buffer zone for refugees we don't want, don't want her falling into Russian hands, pivoting to the Middle East.

I'm not quite sure what "pivoting to the Middle East" is supposed to mean but the situation in the Middle East is always more complicated than you think.

Erdogan and Putin are currently just posturing. There is a long history of conflict between Russia and Turkey and they're on opposite sides in current conflicts: in Syria where Russia favours Assad and Turkey wants him toppled; in Nagorno Karabakh.

Dictators routinely rub shoulders with each to look strong at home but they rarely form alliances of any substance. Anyone remember the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?

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Adobe stops software licence audits in Americas, Europe

Charlie Clark
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I think all the audit programmes were part of the lobbying process to make sure that the relevant legislation was in the industry's interests.

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Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

Charlie Clark
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Re: FTFY!

Yes, I liked it to. I wonder how they define the metric… IIRC companies did move pretty quickly to Windows: most of the enterprises I know completed this within two years of launch, after giving Vista a wide berth.

Enterprises are happy with Windows 7 and have around 3 years to plan the non-Windows future.

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Soylent adds coffee

Charlie Clark
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Re: Legal position is interesting

Well, it's the same with the name "Soylent". They will just have to pay the author or the author's estate to license the name. While this might be expensive, it may be the least of their worries.

I've just been doing numbers and they need an army of believers to buy this crap in order keep going. $ 60 per solutionist fool per month including to cover development, manufacturing and shipping doesn't leave much to actually pay anyone.

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Charlie Clark
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How they're still going is by being profitable, and actually selling goods that people want to buy.

ooh, a member of the cult chimes in. If they're profitable, and I've yet to any indication that this is the case, then they don't need funding.

Let's face it: this is just another Herbal Life.

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Charlie Clark
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Jesus, funding of $ 22.3 million in four rounds!. So, will the investors really be out of pocket? Or will they able to offset the loss against tax.

No wonder Trump is popular in large parts of America if this shit™ counts as innovation.

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Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

How is this company still going? Either they mugged some VCs or California has more members of the solutionist cult than is healthy.

Maybe I'm just jealous because I didn't get any funding for something equally inane!

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Twitter forgets followers

Charlie Clark
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Re: That's nothing new

How can you "protect" tweets? Where's the encryption?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Simple explaination

Lucky you!

I wish we could all just forget Twitter…

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FreeBSD devs ponder changes to security processes

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

What's the problem?

Does the author have an issue with the way the FreeBSD is addressing this? Not commenting on security problems for which there is no patch is common procedure for all vendors.

This particular situation — where a proof of concept for the attack has been released but for which a suitable patch is not yet available — is certainly uncomfortable. But, let's see who and what is affected:

To be exposed, a user would need to be under an active Man-In-The-Middle attack when fetching patches.

In other words: a compromised update process is probably the least of the worries!

Rushing out an untested patch could, as Microsoft and others can testify, cause more problems than it solves: the proverbial swallowing a spider to catch the fly. Security has often as much to do with procedure as it does with code and the advisory provides detailed information for admins on how to mitigate the threat until a patch can be made available. This isn't perfect but is good practice.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is why signed packages aren't already a requirement of the process. But I'm not familiar with the details. The update toolchain is obviously a vulnerability for any system, as once it has been compromised the whole system is effectively compromised. But hardening the toolchain is easier said than done: you have the repositories, transport and code to worry about.

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London's 'automatic' Tube trains suffered 750 computer failures last year

Charlie Clark
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Re: Really?

"most other train services [...] don't have a guard on the train"

For what it's worth, in comparison, here in Germany, where there haven't been ticket barriers for many, many years, all trains except suburban ones have guards, who do signal from the platform that the train can leave and keep one door open for the inevitable last minute arrivals. Making sure the train doesn't leave with someone half-out the door is probably more difficult than driving the damn thing!

On the fully-automated skyrail at Düsseldorf airport, people get in and out of the (tiny) trains using different sides, which are never open simultaneously. I guess this is because people with luggage trying to compete for door space is probably a perfect definition of chaos!

Getting rid of ticket barriers and stupid, stop-based pricing would also be a great idea. Otherwise there's not a lot you can do with much of the UK network without spending vast sums of money on new track, signalling and roll stock.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Shows the challenge of creating self-driving cars

Not really: there are systemic differences because the cars are autonomous and don't have the same kind of hop-on, hop-off operation. But a lot of the data gathered from these kind of services, especially failing safe, has gone into the systems developed for cars.

Personally, I think humans are incredibly not suited to driving cars in traffic: we are so easily distracted, so roll on fully autonomous vehicles.

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Charlie Clark
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Coat

I wonder if it's because it never comes up in Mornington Crescent so no one knows where it is?

Mine's the one with the Humphrey Lyttelton biography in the pocket, thanks.

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

Charlie Clark
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Re: It's not all bad

For a year all new machines have come with Windows 10 and I think most people would agree with you, though a sizeable minority may well have opted to "downgrade" to Windows 7. But, the market for PCs is in a possibly fatal decline.

The problems are with the more or less force-feeding of Windows 10 onto people who didn't really want it. This combined the "who moved my cheese" problem of GUI changes with compatibility problems in a way that was entirely avoidable and has definitely tarnished the brand. Lots of work for Microsoft to do to rebuild that brand and get the other 700 or 800 million machines onto the new OS.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Another lazy hardware bod looking for someone else to do his job

In sum, it's badly written, badly argued, and badly researched.

Can't really argue with that. From the article:

Shot memory and dated processors in your gear meant you were unlikely to get Win 10 running on that old PC.

Sounds good but I wonder what "shot memory" is supposed to be? The baseline for Windows 10 is supposed to be any PC that was supplied with Windows 7. There might be a higher minimum on the memory but the processor shouldn't really matter much because Windows 10 is supposed to contain lots of improvements over Windows 7, which itself digested a lot of the Vista bloat (XML for a GUI, WTF!)

I wonder how many of those 350 million include the many VMs that downloaded, because download by default, Windows 10 but never installed or even could install it? For a year all new consumer PCs came with Windows 10, some of which allowed you to "downgrade" to Windows 7 and they still only got 350 million downloads for a "free" OS upgrade.

The thing is that Windows 7 is a pretty good OS, as long as you don't want the command line (Powershell fans excepted). If only MS had used that as the baselines for a subscription based OS, as they have with Office. Yes, there'd be howls of protest from a few, but I'm sure most would have happily played along. Apple had already done the groundbreaking with free, annual OS releases which selectively disable older hardware.

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Charlie Clark
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Manufacturers will go wherever there is a chance of a profit. That won't be Linux/BSD and probably not Chrome, unless blessed by a Google release.

RemixOS – which will let people run their phone apps – could be worth a bet.

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Charlie Clark
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Packet inspection of somebody else's wifi?

Sounds like the Telegraph spreading FUD again. It's not as if it has a long standing agenda.

Listening to someone else's wifi is not going to get you very far. What is probably a lot easier is to check for wifi at the address of a known non-payer and see if you can correlate the ip address (via request to ISP) with one currently streaming IPlayer.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: BBC Viewers

The licence fee is not a tax.

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Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Hounded

Riddle me this though, in an age of digital media, where's the pay wall? Both boardcast television and online can sit behind paywalls

You might want to read the BBC's charter and look up the legal definitions of things like "conditional access".

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ARM's top brass land £54m Softbank windfall

Charlie Clark
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Re: Wow.

Almost certainly: the deal is debt-funded and Softbank is already heavily leveraged. There will be some restrictions on when people will fully be able to cash in but when they do, you can expect those who can afford it to leave "to take on new challenges".

At the minimum there will be financial restructuring to increase the cashflow. But, depending on how things go, the pressure to do things like selling and leasing back the patents might become irresistible. As for more money for new projects: don't hold your breath.

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Sealed with an XSS: Popular vulnerabilities probed

Charlie Clark
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SQL Injection - escaping is never enough

Passing parameters is far more important than trying to escape them: if your setup doesn't let you do this, change it.

Wrap all queries in views and only accept http-post queries with CSRF tokens.

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