* Posts by Charlie Clark

5376 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Brit ministers jet off on a trade mission to tout our digital exports...

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ha

But since we wont be within the cartel we wont need to punish the poor globally and instead will see prices falling as we dont need to freeze them out of trade any more. This is something that worries the EU as any trade deal with them could give us the best of both worlds which is why they are desperate to demand we cant be allowed a competitive advantage.

It doesn't worry the EU at all because the UK will at best get access to the single market on current terms.

But you're promised lower prices might well worry the low-skilled who've seen their real incomes decline over the last few years… How about replacing EU migrant workers with those from China, Vietnam or Angola? Sounds like a real vote winner to me!

Oh, and, of course, we know there's £350 million a week been found behind the same sofa that found extra money for Northern Ireland…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Insanity?

Sigh, strikes me as insane to be touting a market that is an 11 hours expensive flight away with a massive culture and business law difference to your home country as opposed to somewhere nearer.

Well it did work for Norway's salmon and Scotland's whisky industries… but those are admittedly special cases.

Elsewhere, as you're presumably aware, the Japanese have been unusually forthright in expressing their views on continued access to the single market.

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Charlie Clark
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Last minute lobbying

I believe Bojo is also organising a jaunt to the gulf to promote British oil and gas…

Going to Finland and Sweden can only be trying to lobby for special access to the EU markets for UK financial products and services once the UK leaves the single market. Only about a year too late with all these countries actively looking to poach what they can from the UK. Expect lots of nods and sympathy and polite explanations that that chap Barnier in Brussels is handling the negotiations.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ha

Do you know why May is going to Canada now?

I think the main reason is to try and persuade the US not to consider Bombardier's C-Series planes as being unfairly subsidised. If the Americans do decide this then it's job losses in Northern Ireland, where the wings are made. Not that Treesar is worried about votes in Northern Ireland at all…

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Pretend Python packages prey on poor typing

Charlie Clark
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Re: The number of packages for a language...

The point is that Linux is a rewrite and its now the most used version of Unix in the world.

Maybe (could get into arguments as to whether Android is Linux, etc) but what does that have to do with your argument?

A better example would be something like LibreSSL or BoringSSL vs OpenSSL. Forks, ports and rewrites all have their place but how often do you want to rewrite a sorting algorithm?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: pypi should have a better weighting

And who do you think is going to do any of this? Not that I think anyone really gives a fig about the weighting on PyPI. I think it was added at the start when people thought these mattered. I suspect that nowadays most PyPI packages are installed automatically as dependencies and CI systems.

It would be far better if some kind of static code analysis could be run on every uploaded package but, again, who's going to set this up and pay for it?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The number of packages for a language...

So he thinks one should never rewrite code from scratch?

Stop being disingenuous: he said rewrite everything from scratch. Reuse or rewrite is casting build or buy in a different light and should be assessed for each project. This notwithstanding: PyPI is full of fairly pointless libraries. Rinse or repeat for all other public repositories.

The success of Linux was as much a happy accident as anything else. If BSD Unix hadn't been mired in a legal case with AT&T for years, Linux would probably have remained an unremarkable Minix clone.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The Real Problem is a Bit More Complicated

The real solution for most people is to install from their Linux distro's repo

I don't agree with this at all. Distro's packagers often get it wrong and Debian abuses Python's packaging so much that it causes problems for other libraries. I have had to deal with this a couple of the times in the past and it is infuriating! Furthermore, user project installs should always be separate from system ones.

But your main point stands: typos are an established attack vector.

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Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

Charlie Clark
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Re: So Google told them to fuck off

That's great. Now if only they weren't a monopoly. But they are! So different rules apply.

You want it that bad the just do what everyone else does and sideload it.

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Python explosion blamed on pandas

Charlie Clark
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Re: Execution speed...

Hence NumPy.… and numbas and pypy, etc. Python has always followed the principle of avoiding premature optimisations and the libraries allow us to continue it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Execution speed...

You could make that argument for Excel/Access/VBA. But I'd rather you didn't.

I know no one who prefers VB(A) over Python and lots of people who've moved from VB(A) to Python and have embraced it wholeheartedly, especially as some of us work hard to make it possible to work with MS Office files without having to start Word or Excel.

While in Python you can't simply record a macro to get something done, it's a good example of nearly literate programming. Most new users are keen to right good code and respond well to suggested improvements and I've almost never come across unreadable newbie code. I know some people hate the whitespace but it makes a real difference in these environments.

VBA on the other hand has access to some fantastic API but as a programming language is akin to self-harm.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: approachable for novice programmers?

Python's packaging remains a problem. However, in general you should avoid installing user libraries for a system language.

Personally, I create a separate virtual environment for every Python project an install the required libraries only there. However, when it comes to Pandas you can also install Anaconda (from the maintainers of Pandas) which comes with its own package manager for a set of well-maintained and pre-compiled libraries.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Execution speed...

Absolutely. Is it a "game changer"? Hell, no.

You should probably talk to more scientists. Python has become popular among a huge range of scientists with no formal computing qualifications who are required to process large amounts of data. I've met several who would never have got their work done without Python. So, yes, for some it really is a game changer.

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Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

Charlie Clark
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Re: Heh. A no-win situation with El Reg

Apple is the company trying to break this down so that mobile operators actually have to behave more competitively.

Only in your dreams, fanboi. Andrew is entirely correct to suggest that Apple wants as much control of the device as possible. Control the SIM and you can run play MVNO. Any money saved by playing networks off against each other will go to Apple not to customers. Not they seem to mind, however, seeing how much Apple charges for the stuff.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Battery life

If I'm doing some sort of large sync task, it can use WiFi instead of 3 Mbps = 375KBps(1) over BlueTooth

Depends on your version of Bluetooth but power consumption over radio is directly related to bandwidth and distance. But it does make you wonder what kind of stuff you'd sync with a phone would require the bandwidth. I can and do use Bluetooth to play music round the flat and can easily do this for > 5m with a wall in the way.

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

Charlie Clark
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Re: And its only Windows 10?

Yep, lots of companies are still on Windows 7 and have switched to Firefox ESR for "normal" browsing. If they ever do get round to migrating to Windows 10, and they've got another couple of years to think about it, moving to Edge would just provide disruption. Edge should either have been backported or at least IE should have got the improved support. As things stand I've just discovered IE 11 no longer works at all on my Windows 7 VM. No idea why as the install is kept vanilla for testing purposes.

And where's the mobile integration? Firefox, Chrome and Safari all offer sync services.

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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Charlie Clark
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Little more than hot air

(literally) to get some PR for people to install their devices. As Ledswinger points out, for many situations the yield is very poor. Heating water from <= 10°C might work but either you don't do a lot of this or you need a much bigger unit. But, even in France, heating with electricity is considered inefficient.

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Apple bumps up price on iPad Pro as flash costs climb

Charlie Clark
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Re: Android here I come

Almost makes you wonder if they deliberately slow the old models down...

A mate of man told me about this a few years ago when Safari introduced tabs or something.

The high-end Samsung Tabs are beautiful but Samsung is terrible at keeping them updated. On the plus side: they are easy to root and generally well supported by AOSP's like LineageOS. I got as far as Android 6 for my 2011 8.9 which eventually died on me in spring.

But the Yoga also looks like a good device.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: The iPhone X is $1149, not $999

Many people will get the phone on a contract

Heh? Even at £25 a month for the phone (plus whatever the plan) costs people are going to be facing upfront payments of around £500!

The Apple Galaxy X is only for those who can afford to buy it cash.

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Uber loses bid to avoid trial in Waymo case

Charlie Clark
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Re: This just in....

I suspect the VCs behind Uber have been an eying a sale for a while now. Once it becomes apparent to everyone that Uber's business model is based entirely on exploiting loopholes in regulation then the valuation will fall fast.

The company still has some IP and, partly due to the very public controversies, reasonable brand recognition but I suspect if it closed tomorrow, people would hardly notice.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Charlie Clark
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Re: Even Samsung

You're already paying £XX per month so you can have the flagship, I can't see that mindset balking at £XX+5-10, and perhaps an extra 50-100 up front.

Actually, I suspect this segment will fragment (just as it was supposed to with the 5C) into a smaller number of people buying the X and most going for an 8 as the closest thing. Apple will be happy as long as people stick with an I-Phone (existing customers are likely to). They might not even be too disappointed if people get off the upgrade treadmill and go for £xx -10 a month with no upfront and keep their phone until it breaks. I suspect the number of people doing this is likely to increase as it has for every other manufacturer.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Even Samsung

The stylus of the Note is it's killer feature, but if Apple were that threatened by it they would easily be able to implement it on iPhone.

Rephrase that with some fantastic I-Phone feature from a few years ago that other phones didn't have or didn't do as well. Technologically all the other phones were compared with the I-Phone and found wanting, which is why the price premium was justified. The boot is now very much on the other foot and I think Apple's biggest failure with the X was not having something like DeX. Yes, I know there are lots of reasons why they might not want it, but they are going to need it. Just like bigger screens, OLED, QI, water resistance.

Note, this does not mean I don't think Apple makes great kit: it does and it does remain a leader in some areas. It also keeps the purchasing decision pretty simple for users: screen and memory size. But it is getting closer to relying entirely on its brand and styling.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ah, Mr O, the go to guy for an article

Andrew has is generally pretty liberal and even with his criticism and certainly didn't spare Samsung last year. In the past, he's written glowingly of Apple's approach. The only hardware pieces that really jarred were the Windows Phone ones, which came across as a bit too close to the PR briefings.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Even Samsung

it shows there's plenty of folk willing to drop that much on a phone.

While the Note 8 doesn't have "Face ID" it does have DeX and I can see that alone driving some corporate sales. I expect demand for all the flagships to be strong initially because the market is now so big. The real test will be if demand persists over the coming months when it comes to standard contract renewals.

Of course, Apple is likely to win whichever phone is successful because the margins are so high. My brother, who can normally be relied upon to upgrade with each new release has already declined the Apple Galaxy X as too expensive so he's only getting an 8. Apple shareholders can relax as they can expect a record quarter.

However, there is no doubt that Apple has for the first time really conceded the lead in the market. The Apple Galaxy X is a beautiful but restricted copy of the Samsung Note 8.

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

Charlie Clark
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Android has a disastrous security track record ... some 95% of all Androids on the market are vulnerable to at least one threat

Show us the real remote exploits in the wild. If people only install from PlayStore (or equivalent) then they really are reasonably safe from remote exploits.

We really need Debian or something on these devices ... these phone OS's are crap!

Not for phones we don't! Or has Debian Phone recently been released? Remember Unity?

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Charlie Clark
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Not really.

Depends on your definition of secure, I suppose.

While there have been some headline-grabbing exploits over the past couple of years they have led to relatively few real-world problems because the OS really is pretty secure. That's not to say that things couldn't and shouldn't be a lot better but that's largely down to the lack of regulation. You can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as there is a large scale attack on Android phones in the US there'll be a class action suit on the back of it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: One more thing -

However, I use my 6S+ 128GB to carry endless ‘stacks’ of PDF’s and tech manuals

On a fucking phone? Sell the I-Phone, go Android and get an e-reader with good PDF support and save your eyes!

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Charlie Clark
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The Apple Galaxy X?

Samsung's marketing department is going to have lots of fun with this.

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Charlie Clark
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Unfortunately, if on all that wonderful hardware it is running Android,

Why not? With default settings Android is pretty security and can be hardened, viz. BlackBerry betting its business on this. Stick with your expensive Apple tat if you like but you might as well stop with the anti-Android mud-slinging as it's not working.

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Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars

Charlie Clark
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Re: for once...

I think it's more like backing the winner: Samsung's support for Qi from the S5 (with a cover) had effectively already ended the race with the success of the S6, S7, S8 and derivatives. Fanbois like to scorn Samsung but it sells nearly as many of its flagship phones as Apple does, which is why IKEA provides tables with Qi.

Manufacturers would not have liked seeing their margins squeezed even further by having to use the also ran as opposed rounding the corners, making the plastic white to justify the higher prices.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Charlie Clark
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Re: My wishlist

Nice list but I'd make screen readable in bright sunshine, ability to survive a drop and water resistance a priority.

Doesn't matter because Apple wants bragging rights and is doing a fine job of selling to less discerning customers than you or I.

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The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

Charlie Clark
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Re: Driver legacy - source/specs

What do you expect for an SoC? Blobs, blobs and more blobs. This works reasonably well with many Android devices. Only time will tell about the Debian. Basic ARM stuff should work but you're unlikely to have drivers for every bit of hardware. But you're not actually expecting to be able to use the phone stuff under Debian are you?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Want!

Because "size isn't everything…"

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Charlie Clark
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I guess the Pebble would count as one of the few examples that worked. Unfortunately, you have to be prepared to take a bath with any investment like this.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: IS going against Chromebooks

I can't help but think this is a device who's time has past.

On the contrary, I think that the market for this kind of device is just about to start. Lots and lots of people would love to be able to do e-mail and some ssh stuff on something the size of a phone. Yes, you can do it now but a real keyboard makes a huge difference.

The mobile market now completely dwarfs the PC market which means that niches previously served by the PC market are being served by the mobile market. It's certainly a niche: lots of people will just want bigger and bigger screens and cameras, but some people will be happy with something like this (plus perhaps a few cables). I've ordered one with WiFi-only as a potential companion for my standard phone.

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Google to relieve HTC of its phones biz – report

Charlie Clark
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Re: Competing with their own customers

Maybe they are no longer worried about Samsung forking Android

That has never been a real possibility outside the fantasy of a few analysts. Samsung does want to be in on the services market but, just like Baidu, it doesn't need to fork Android to do tha.

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HSBC biz banking crypto: The case of the vanishing green padlock and... what domain are we on again?

Charlie Clark
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Re: 2009 ?????

Depends a bit on the logic. Frontends should contain hints about fields but not necessarily all relevant constraints. A good frontend will validate as much as possible inline and might include additional constraints that are not in the schema. Specifically regarding passwords: if you're only ever storing the salted hash this will be bound to be different in length.

But, of course, the login should be implemented as a testable service with a detailed API… I think you've lost > 90% of the web monkeys with that kind of requirement.

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Charlie Clark
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If we follow that logic: legislation for seatbelts in cars would never have been required as safety conscious consumers would have only bought cars with them.

No market is perfect which is why we have regulation. Due to the systemic nature of banks, the banking market is even less competitive (the barriers to entry are higher) than other industries. And if the onus is not on the bank to provide security by making them liable for losses incurred by fraud, then they have little incentive to improve things.

That said: I avoid all apps and websites for online banking and use only HBCI.

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Charlie Clark
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The eight-character limit is pretty bad, however, there are multiple layers of security to prevent brute force attacks from the front-end.

With only eight characters to play with I'd expect clever crooks to have a pretty good idea of a mark's password before they start and not need to worry about brute-forcing. The FSA or the BoE really ought to be all over this.

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Charlie Clark
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Bouncing around the domains

This is biggest problem I see with any kind of web-based login and is really an accident waiting to happen.

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Atlassian releases 'Stride', because HipChat isn't hip enough to whack Slack

Charlie Clark
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Re: Just what we need...

Could they not simply add features incrementally to HipChat?

Probably not. It was something they bought and badged. They may well have lost the original developers and determined that the codebase is not really maintainable (this happens a lot with acquisitions). Or it might be that they have a shiny new asynchronous framework they want to use.

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Charlie Clark
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Compared to most of the ticketing systems I've had to use over the years, Jira is quite good.

If you just want a ticketing system then Jira isn't really for you. It's got a whole lot more in it which makes getting started a bit more difficult. But even so it's much better than most of the other systems.

I generally like Atlassian's stuff: it has the feel of something they tend to use themselves and care about. I also found them to be pretty responsive to suggestions. But they still insisted on switching Bitbucket to massive 7MB SPA! :-/

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Red Hat speed fiends celebrate automation

Charlie Clark
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Re: Commissioning

I need a new route adding to my critical server, which has 7 interfaces…

Shame on you for wanting to things with real hardware! DevOps wants you to virtualise everything and provision a single server for every service because the management is easier and who cares about silly things like interprocess communication?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Commissioning

immutable infrastructure

The next buzzword?

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Google rushes to curb Oreo's massive appetite for your 4G mobile data

Charlie Clark
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Re: You can see how they'd miss this

The same is true for anyone in the Valley: websites getting fatter and fatter because they all have fat pipes for "testing"…

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We don't need another hero: Huawei overtakes Apple – even without a big-hitter

Charlie Clark
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Apple phones are top dollar and underperforming compared to much cheaper offerings.

To be fair Apple's phones are usually among the best when it comes to performance, especially GPU. But on mobile phones oomph is less important than screen size and memory. Apple currently charges excessively for onboard storage. But this will give them room for price cuts if things like Samsung's proposed SD-card replacement come on stream: removable storage with nearly the speed of onboard but at a fraction of the price.

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Charlie Clark
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As usual I believe the list contains everything except perhaps a cure for cancer. Maybe this time it's different and it even does that as well.

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Charlie Clark
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Stop

True, but I believe this can be largely attributed to the upcoming release of the new iPhone X or Edition or whatever.

This is why YoY comparison is required. I suspect the drop is larger than for the same period last year but I'd like to see my hunch backed up by the numbers.

You obviously enjoying queuing for the latest shiny shiny and good luck to you: it's your money. This year I spent a small fortune on a new MacBook but have never owned and no intention of owning and I-Phone. My second, second-hand S5 does me just fine: waterproof, large screen, MHL, infrared controller, SD-card, Miracast, … all things that I have made use of since I got it.

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Google puts the last coat of polish on Chrome 61

Charlie Clark
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Yes. http/2 makes most of them irrelevant anyway.

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Must go faster, must go faster! Oracle lobs Java EE into GitHub, vows rapid Java SE releases

Charlie Clark
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Re: Java... who?

I doubt that Oracle's courtroom drama had any significant impact on Java developers. Far more important has been their stewardship of the project. For businesses to invest in any ecosystem then they need clarity over its development for the foreseeable future and Oracle has failed in this area repeatedly.

Meanwhile alternatives for more and situations (there are some where removing Java would be considered a disaster) are arising and getting adopted.

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