* Posts by Charlie Clark

5407 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Charlie Clark
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An attempt to be relevant

Nearly all the Doctors have been played by fine actors, each brining something to the role. Well, perhaps Silvester McCoy really was out of his depth or maybe it was having to work with Bonnie Langford? The problems have always been related to poor writing.

Jodie Whittaker is a fine actress and, unlike say James Bond, there's not a long particularly masculine in the role, so there shouldn't really be any problems. Still, it's going to take some excellent writing and production to overcome any prejudices or suspicion of tokenism that the decision was taken for PR as much as anything else.

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IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

Charlie Clark
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Re: The White House don't care

Trump only really cares about looking good in front of crowds (and what affects his own business interests).

It's a pity for the country that some of the knee-jerk, crowd-pleasing stuff is going to cause some serious disruption in some business areas. But that's democracy for you.

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Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Charlie Clark
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Gnome (another fine RH project)

GTK for GUIs a good idea? /me shakes head. QT is so much better. But, a bit like Linux itself, it was licensing concerns that got Gnome started. A bit ironic when you look at how carefully RedHat handles copyright.

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Charlie Clark
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Obviously if you're getting paid in Bitcoin, then it makes sense to use them for what you want.

The currency risk explains why Bitcoin is better considered a means of payment than a currency but there are plenty of places where people will prefer the currency risk over currency controls, retrospective taxes, bribes, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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I've had it offered to me for software development and know that some people in some countries prefer it because they worry more about access to their bank accounts being frozen than about the exchange rate risks.

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Charlie Clark
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There's always that risk, but in terms of the arms race against mosquitoes, it's easier to develop new strains of Wolbachia than to develop resistance to it. The mosquitoes already won the race against pesticides.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Charlie Clark
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Something fishy

I can actually read that line of Perl which makes me suspect it isn't actually valid. Suggestions for some proper "write only" scripts?

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NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Charlie Clark
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Re: dichotomy and delay

More complicated than that but not massively difficult.

ah, the logic of false equivalents! Let's see how far that's gets you. I mean, who needs experts when you've got shit for brains? It's not like it'll make much difference on what you choose!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: dichotomy and delay

to negotiate a brexit when it wasnt such a difficult thing

Right, about as difficult as cancelling a magazine subscription…

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Charlie Clark
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It's okay now that we have the official answer for any kind of problems "Tell them to go whistle!". "You do know how to whistle don't you?" (with sincere apologies to Bacall and Bogart).

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Charlie Clark
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Like it.

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Will the last person at Basho please turn out the lights?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sorry, who?

Riak was and is a significant player in the data space

In the what? Codd must be turning in his grave.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: That depends

Or if the company folds.

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Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

Charlie Clark
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Re: This has been going on for decades...

Tax inspectors are usually told to leave the corporates alone and focus on small businesses because even though the sums are smaller the chances of getting the money within a certain period of time are higher.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So..

No. Not least because it's not an exclusive European problem: Singapore, Delaware, the British Virgin Islands, Panama, etc.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Basic accountancy problem

All this does is illustrate the imperfections of the EU.

Not really, the same effects can be viewed around the world. Some aspects may be easier in the EU because of the single market but the main problem is governments letting themselves be played off against each other by multinationals and the finance industry. Slowly the member states in the EU are coming round to the idea of closing some of the loopholes, though the pressure not to do so is immense as was clear in the hearings this week in the European parliament.

You even get tax arbitrage in the US because sales tax is charged by the states. Amazon has been using this wheeze for years to undercut bricks and mortar shops.

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Charlie Clark
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Re: I had not heard of Tizen before

If they are serious about ditching Android

They're not. They found that Android's requirements were too much for some devices and wanted something with a smaller footprint and already had a homegrown OS.

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Charlie Clark
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Re: Still no.

Every manager / exec / board member wants a Surface these days instead of the iPad as used to be the fashion.

Just as they're signing off on BYOD for their minions… PC sales are in terminal decline.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Still no.

$1 billion a year and rising!

Revenue != profit, especially of an expensive item. If the article wants to make the comparison with an I-Pad Pro then this matters. The I-Pad Pro isn't inspiring but it is nearly all profit for Apple.

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Charlie Clark
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it's hard to argue that Apple's iPad Pro is not inspired by the Surface Pro's success

It isn't you know: many of us were using the term I-Pad Pro before there was a Surface. It was the market that Apple went after once I-Pad sales started to fall. Apple has deliberately avoided going down the same route because it wants to avoid cannibalising laptop sales and it also avoids difficult decisions on the UI.

The Surface Pros are nice computers largely because they became laptops with touch screens rather than tablets that grew keyboards. As to whether they can be considered a success would I suspect depend on sales numbers and I haven't seen anything to suggest that this is the case. They might well be the best laptops for Windows but this is a shrinking market. In the meantime it looks like Apple is doing a better job at milking its market and coming up things like Samsung's DeX look likely to eat even more of Microsoft's lunch.

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JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding

Charlie Clark
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Gets more like Python with every release

Except for the fecking syntax!

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Trump Hotels left orange faced: Hackers plunder systems for credit cards

Charlie Clark
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Re: So it's SynXis and not Trump Hotels that was cracked?

but on the bright side

What? You mean you don't think he's going to do that anyway? He always reacts to anything that he feels like criticism of him or his brand in the same way. So we can expect more bluster about how great the hotels are, etc.

Emoluments…

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'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Charlie Clark
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Re: If he had been in the UK

If he had been in the UK

Maybe if he was resident in The Netherlands he wouldn't have any problems either. If he was not resident then his existing insurance in Spain should have covered him, E111 and all that.

I really don't understand why someone with such a medical condition seems to have gone overnight from Barcelone to Amsterdam without checking these things out in advance. That's what the agency is supposed to be paid to do. That said: € 60 k a year for Amsterdam isn't really enough and should have set alarm bells ringing. Money isn't everything but you should never move anywhere where rent is going to more than a third of your take home pay.

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GitHub acknowledges autocrats with 'code owner' feature

Charlie Clark
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Re: Maintenance?

The community nominates or elects someone else. Handover happens.

This only happens for well-resourced projects. There are plenty projects with just one or two contributors and lots that have been more or less abandoned.

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Charlie Clark
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Maintenance?

I'm not sure that Chromium is such a good example for many open source projects because of the resources that Google is prepared to devote to it.

Typical open source projects have high degrees of churn and fluctuation so a list like this is going to need maintenance and who's going to do that?

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Insurers may have to adjust policies to reflect 'silent' cyber risks

Charlie Clark
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Re: Could it be a box ticking exercise?

Doubt it: the insurers see a big chance here and also a big stick with which to beat customers who, in the eyes of the insurers at least, were lax.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the insurers buy into the IT security business.

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Atlassian hikes prices for most cloudy JIRA and Confluence users

Charlie Clark
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Re: Jira...

Horses for courses but I've always hated Bugzilla

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

Charlie Clark
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Re: Meanwhile ...

We're all going to pretend that there are no low-tech terrorists (and mafia) out there…

Of course, the cell still has to be informed about the particular signal but that, too, is usually done as simply as possible.

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Charlie Clark
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Trollface

This isn't the problem you're looking for

Al-Qaeda learned pretty quickly how to get off the grid and in the end Bin Laden was only caught when the relevant people in the Pakistani military decided to stop hiding him. And Four Lions highlighted how quickly current "best practices" filter down to even the biggest idiots.

Blanket surveillance of the population is at best a money pit and at worst an accident waiting to happen: all that data will have value to someone whether they're in the government or not.

But I have a feeling that, since the deal with the DUP, the security forces may soon find that they're facing a very different and better organised threat.

I'm off to put on my scrambler suit…

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Charlie Clark
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@Lost all faith, I think you'll find that the opposition is also largely in favour of this nonsense. Along with lots of other, different nonsense.

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Twitter will no longer snaffle data allowances on Virgin Mobile

Charlie Clark
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Assuming you don't spend all your time watching or torrenting HD video you probably don't need to worry that much but for a mobile network bandwidth is an unavoidably scarce resource.

John LeGere's (CEO T-Mobile US) talk on nudging people to watching slightly lower res vids as a way to manage bandwidth is worth watching as it covers the networks need to manage expectations.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Net neutrality please

No need to dress it up as net neutrality: it's plain old anti-competitive behaviour. No doubt Twitter is paying in a bid to stay relevant (no chance there, that ship sailed in about 2015 when the messengers started to replace SMS).

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LHC finds a new and very charming particle: the Xicc++ baryon

Charlie Clark
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Re: Awe

I'm definitely putting Quantum Dynamics as my religion / "belief system" on the next census

If you definitely believe in quantum dynamics, you probably don't!

Mine's the one with "Favourite Quantum Dynamic Quotes and Other Animals" in the pocket.

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Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

Charlie Clark
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Re: The horror. The shame.

Soon? You mean the ejection seat route so that you get a creationist as president?

Maybe I should look to getting one of those tickets to Mars…

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Jaw-boned: Wearables biz Jawbone shuts down

Charlie Clark
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Given the margins selling a couple of million Apple Watches every quarter is a nice little earner. But I want to know who's buying? Thus far I know only one person who has an Apple Watch and I have lots of fanboi friends.

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Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

Charlie Clark
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Re: Google itself is the reason for sideloading

Google conspires with App developers to selectively discriminate against certain devices.

It doesn't you know. App developers (and copyright owners) get to choose. In addition there may be API / hardware restrictions. Google is happy enough collecting payment data, and selling ads.

However, it would be nice to be able to legitimise alternative stores. Wonder if the EU investigation of Android will lead to such a recommendation.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I feel retarded

I'd be more interested in someone explaining how in this day and age it's still possible to trivially root an OS based on oh-so-secure Linux.

Easy: just ask the user to do it. Some way to escalate permissions is always required to install software. But sideloading is disabled by default on Android and users are warned every time of the risks when they change the setting.

Elsewhere, in OS theory land, it turns out to be pretty to difficult to completely secure an OS when direct access to the hardware is required and systems like "trusted computing" have their own problems, like preventing users from using devices as they would like. But unix was never developed as a secure OS as anyone who's entered single user mode would attest to.

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Behind the scenes of Slovaks' fight to liberate their .sk domain

Charlie Clark
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Re: Entirely predictable behaviour

What kind of shenanigans are you referring to in particular?

Management of a country's domains is an aspect of sovereignty so it's important that, whoever is the actual registrar, is accountable to the electorate. The ex-Warsaw Pact countries have had very mixed experiences with the privatisation of their utilities.

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Microsoft offers cloud to Baidu, gets autonomous car in return

Charlie Clark
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Going nowhere with MS?

NFT

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Market research

Reliable? Good? As someone who uses Skype for Business on a daily basis I would very much disagree with both of those. It doesn't often take the whole OS down

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that Skype for Business was any good (it used to be totally unusable, now it's just mainly unusable), just that there's a market for good and reliable VoIP stuff.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I face a dilemma.

I've found Hangouts to be very reliable for audio and video. But Signal and Telegram are also fine.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Market research

The staid business world is not a good income source.

Have to disagree there: companies will pay for good, reliable VoIP and conferencing which is why there is Skype for Business (previously called Lync) and why Google is in the market and has released separate consumer products.

But Skype got fucked once it was sold to E-Bay. It used to be simple and reliable: it just worked and even had a viable if low-margin OTT call-out business model. Then valuations got stupid. The rest is history.

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Charlie Clark
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For group stuff Hangouts is very reliable.

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PCs will get pricier and you're gonna like it, say Gartner market shamans

Charlie Clark
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Re: Desktops and laptops have their niche

But, there are plenty of people who are doing actual work in a non-BYOD environment.

No doubt, but quantify plenty and put it alongside those who will be happier with BYOD. My hunch is that the second bunch is growing even as the overall category shrinks.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I call bollocks ...

An RPi is almost all you need as a media server, depending of course on the number of clients. I think we'll see more such dedicated devices at home and the odd explicitly Android PC. This will put enormous downward pressure on devices unless they have desirable specs, ie. are not PCs.

Companies are starting to move from PC purchases to rentals (CapEx to OpEx) and that is bound to put pressure on prices because the lessor will want to protect margins. There's still a business there (printers moved this way a few years ago) but it won't be driven by the faster, higher, shinier products. White label manufacturers who can deliver reliable devices are the ones who'll benefit.

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Time to rethink machine learning: The big data gobble is OFF the menu

Charlie Clark
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Re: It is not the amounts of data that matter, it is the labelling

One upvote isn't enough!

Apart from that ML is going to be pervasive but just not in the way that suits vendors and crystal ball readers like Gartner.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Charlie Clark
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Re: "pushing LGBTQI"

I'm against the gay agenda on only one front - adding more and more fucking letters to the original LGB

This is the principle of self-selecting minorities (you can't be discriminated against if you're not in a minority) that was parodied in the "only gay in the village" sketches in Little Britain: all about attention seeking and nothing to do with human rights.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Rainbow

Yeah, not so long along it was used by the peace movement with PACE on it.

A bit OTT for a computer website but nothing compared to some of CoC shit that some West Coast idiots try and force on you in lieu of actually doing anything.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Charlie Clark
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There are already, they are usually used only for display brightness, not color adjustment.

Some devices do use them to adjust the white balance of the screen but this is generally considered unnecessary as the eye will quite happily do this itself. A lot of cameras also do automatic white balancing otherwise we'd notice much greater shifts between natural and artificial lighting as you used to when working with real film.

But I think the paper is investigating more subtle effects (flowers look very different to insects than they do to us) such as IR levels.

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File sharers Dropbox latest US tech startup to stick toe in IPO waters

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sad

GoPro's investors got impatient and the cashflow wasn't good.

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