* Posts by Charlie Clark

5121 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Gartner halves tech splash forecasts, blames the US dollar

Charlie Clark
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Depreciating dollar?

How did they get to that? The US Federal Reserve has been promising to raise rates for some time now, which, all things being equal means financial inflows and a stronger dollar due to the carry trade if nothing else.

But, they're not that dumb. It was just the usual wishful thinking and now a vaguely plausible reason for being wrong. Elsewhere consolidation in the industry tells us all that business is slack and money is cheap.

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WileyFox disentangles itself from Cyanogen

Charlie Clark
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Re: Stock android

@Dan 55Lineage has builds for Wileyfox phones, at the cost of having to wipe everything and restoring from backup.

There are, or were at least, transitional builds designed to allow the migration from CM device (it's about the keys used to signed the images, I think). But otherwise running from a backup (Titanium Backup) isn't too much of a chore (I did this several times till the GApps bug was fixed in early February).

Since then I've found LOS to be very robust and the eco-system around it more professional than for CM. Let's hope some more manufacturers get involved in a constructive way: mainly providing drivers and maintaining builds.

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Who really gives a toss if it's agile or not?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Limits of pragmatism

In France "naviguer à vue" is pejorative.

Software development in France* which also gave us ah yes, it may work in practice but does it work in theory.

The story is about the highly unusual cost overrun of a government project. Never happened dans l'héxagone? Because it seems to happy pretty much everywhere else with relentless monotony because politicians are fucking awful project managers.

* FWIW I have a French qualification.

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T-Mobile US CEO offers kid a year's supply of chicken nuggets for switching from AT&T

Charlie Clark
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LeGere shows how it's done

Goes straight to the point and gets good coverage for minimal cost. With any luck the kid will kill himself eating all that offal — actually nuggets give offal a bad name — reducing the bill even further.

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An echo chamber full of fake news? Blame Google and Facebook, says Murdoch chief

Charlie Clark
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Re: Luddite Whining

Old media was always about content.

Sounds like you've never worked in an advertising funded business: to many content is only valuable if it can be sold with advertising.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Meanwhile "Real" News

Was either Assad or the Russians, as nobody else had the technical ability to do it.

While I'm inclined to agree with you, it's really impossible to be sure: there are so many different groups in Syria now with so many different weapons.

But there is little upside for either the Syrians or the Russians doing it because it is likely to draw the US into the conflict in a more active role. Last week on serious German media there were reports that reason Obama decided against intervention was that the spies decided that the gassing of 1500 was actually carried out by Al Nusra with support from Turkish secret service (Turkey has a long-standing dislike for the Assad led government). There are also groups who would love to topple Assad and install some kind of more religious government and get on with the real business: war with Israel. This is why I think that, at the end of the day, some kind of deal will be done by the US and the Russians to keep Assad in power.

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Charlie Clark
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News of the World

Murdoch became successful because he realised that the market for sensationalism is far bigger than the market for journalism. It was the success of The News of the World that allowed Murdoch to buy The Times and later expand into broadcasting.

I have little sympathy for the newspapers that have themselves failed to invest in their own advertising technology. That the market for digital advertising is uncompetitive is as much the fault of the ad buyers as it is of those providing the ads.

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

Charlie Clark
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Re: But seriously though folks....

Our current ways of dealing with cancers are very effective.

I should have been clearer: they're still basically barbaric and attempt to kill the cancer before the patient. Of course, I'm delighted for every success but if you know anyone whose had cancer you'll also know that the adage the cure is often worse than the disease has a ring of truth to it. The market was also skewed to promoting expensive therapies over research into the causes.

The more recent investigations into understanding what the various cancers actually are and selectively targeting treatments and looking far more promising.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: But seriously though folks....

People regularly and happily flock to quacks promising miracle cures all the time. Unfortunately, there's still no cure for stupidity in sight!

This is little more than a PR scam to get the attention of the gullible through articles such as this.

On a side note: many of our current ways of dealing with cancer including chemotherapy are sadly often not that much better.

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Device spend will rise 2% to $600bn in 2017, say techno-seers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Ah yes - Gartner

The problem is the agency principle: they're either touting for business or openly producing reports for their customers.

Anyway 2% is neither here nor there; whether Apple has a good year or a bad year moves the dial more than that. This is just a frantic grab to suggest that this year, finally, the PC market will either come out of terminal decline or people will start spending more on alternatives. They know it won't, because even they do spout shite, they also have people talking to the factories in Shenzhen and elsewhere, so they're just hedging their bets.

So, do you your duty and order that Apple Watch you've been putting off till now! ;-)

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Charlie Clark
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Re: Entirely predictable

If no devices are allowed how will the TSA get all your contacts

Easy: convince all the mugs to cloud all the things. No more difficult stop and search at airports and relying on the Charlies (sic) in security to do things right, just fax a letter to the tame provider of your choice and have all the data delivered by them.

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Revealed: Blueprints to Google's AI FPU aka the Tensor Processing Unit

Charlie Clark
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Re: Tech-Porn is not news

Get a fucking life you moaning bitch!

The article does contain some interesting details such as being able to use 8-bit instead of 32-bit. It also confirms that if you want to do lots of machine learning nVidia is a good place to start, which is backed up by sales figures after a couple of failed bets. This is good for the industry as a whole, as it is a boost to custom chips and will put more pressure on Intel both to cut prices and be more accommodating in its own chips.

And I also wouldn't put it past Google to release the specs at some point. They've done so with similar things in the past.

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Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

Charlie Clark
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Mushroom

Out of the frying pan into the fire…

GTK FFS

QT all the things or forget any serious GUI development.

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Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dosh?

$1329

Which is why Apple's kit compares favourably with the competition.

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Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Charlie Clark
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Headmaster

Blastphamous?

That's a nice neologism: blasting the famous?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No nails required

Someone fetch me 10 sets of identical twins…

Can't be arsed; just take the Cabinet: they're all a bunch equally evil bastards!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No nails required

In fact the Romans didn't drive the nails through the hands, they did it through the wrists.

I'm trying to think of how that would work without breaking the bones so badly there's not much purchase left anyway. Maybe to affix the rope to stop people slipping out of it?

Anyway: crucifixions are still practised in Sudan so how about a quick trip over to see it done for real!

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Charlie Clark
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No nails required

Nails through the hand were invented for the pictures. They're not really much use for bearing the weight of the body: strong knots around the wrists are required.

Anyway, what's the point with asking for volunteers? Just go down Westminster and round some of the sinners up. I'm sure health and safety could be convinced to turn a blind eye: all in good cause and all that.

hm, where's the "I'll get my cross" icon when you need it? Mine's the one with "CCIM" engraved in it. I'll guess I'll just have to go with the "burn in hell one" instead.

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Charlie Clark
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Re: The times they are a-changin'

I wouldn't read too much into the voting. There were a lot of trolls here last year who only seemed to care about the referendum. Most of them have since left because "job done". I suspect the national mood is one of wait-and-see now that the phoney war has passed. The health of the economy is likely to dictate future sentiment: if, as many have predicted, the economy does enter recession or there are significant job losses, then expect this to focus minds accordingly. Alternatively, and against most predictions, if there is an export boom, then those who advocated leaving will bear the fruits.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

A "no-deal" deal is bad for everyone

I've never denied that, see my post above. What's at issue are the negotiating positions and you seem to be encouraging the UK to adopt a hardball position because it the other 27 member states stand to lose more: your claim that "the UK holds all the cards". But your claim is bogus as I have demonstrated: to varying degrees there are political and economic arguments to stare the UK down.

No deal, and it's becoming increasingly evident that no trade deal can be done in time, would hurt everyone but very possibly the UK most and will require unanimity from the other 27. As we get closer to this then the pressure to retain the status quo, even if for some provisional period, will grow. May has already laid the groundwork for this by talking about "implementation terms".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

French farmers probably don't care about imports of UK meat, but they will care about EXPORTS of cheese/wine/fruit etc to the UK

Not as much as you think: the UK only accounts for around 7 % of all French exports. Compare this with the value of financial services sold by the UK to France…

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Charlie Clark
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Lets put my mythical cards into perspective.

What, without the numbers? How does that work then

France and Germany want to trade with us as they are probably the biggest.

Another truism but, again, where are the numbers?

… and so on in the rest of the post. It's so convenient to try and present an argument about economics without and any numbers but it's also meaningless.

The eastern countries Poland/Romania have many thousands of workers over here sending money back allegedly to the tune of billions.

I've read reports that it's getting harder to recruit Poles because the UK now offers far less competitive wages than it did Zloty / Pound exchange rate. The problem for the UK economy is what to do if those workers are no longer available, and, given that reducing immigration from the EU seems to be a key priority and why the UK government is prepared to sacrifice access to the single market, this seems a likely outcome. I guess this will test the idea that these workers displaced UK nationals from building sites and farmers fields. This "lump of labour" idea is barely credible at the best of times. Should it be proved wrong here the consequences will be either higher prices (due to higher wages) or less production, or even more imports. I guess we'll find out soon enough though it's not the kind of experiment I'd like to try.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Choose your statistic...

EU Politicians put idealism over common sense.

Hang on: who was it who held the referendum?

Whether it's worse for the UK or not, a "no deal" deal is bad for everyone.

This truism fits in nicely with the "Brexit is Brexit" canard but doesn't really tell us much about negotiating positions. Instead you might want to follow another possible conclusion of that trite optimism: if we can't get a deal, we could always stick with the status quo because it would logically be better than "no deal or a bad deal".

I've no idea how politics in the UK or elsewhere in the EU will be in a couple of years but I am pretty certain that May's currently apparently unassailable position will be far less so.

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Charlie Clark
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Ignoring the facts isn't a good place to start. There are three separate deals to be done: the deal to leave the EU; the deal over assets and liabilities; some kind of free trade deal for after leaving. The first two have to be concluded before the third can start so talking about what the trade deal might entail at the moment is not only erroneous but possibly even counter-productive.

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Charlie Clark
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We hold most of the cards in this.

From the Kellogg's Big Book of Negotiations…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Dan 55

Except no deal would mean WTO rules which seem to work well enough in the real world.

And how about non-tariff barriers?

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Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Charlie Clark
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I remember watching an old Horizon on neural networks about this. However, since then the technology has, and our understanding of it, has involved significantly. Not that it's infallible, as this article demonstrates only too well, but whether it can be used in situations and perform at least as well as humans for the same task. This is already the case with still image recognition: video is considerably harder but correctly identifying the brand of the car in the "blipvert" is pretty impressive and, incidentally, tells us a lot about the training data that has been used: Google is going to make more money from brands than tigers…

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Charlie Clark
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It's just taking a statistic generated from the data and finding the nearest data point to that statistic in its database and then returning it.

This is patently not the case because it's classifying by an outlier. This tells us a lot about the configuration of the algorithm but not much more. As for testing intelligence: I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to come up with something similar that could "fool" humans. Indeed there was a Horizon programme devoted to just that several years ago. But in terms of video there is also the classic colour changing card trick.

Heuristics themselves rely on an underlying statistical model or models.

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Canadian court refuses to let Feds snoop on Megaupload servers

Charlie Clark
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FBI's overreach

Nice to see the court's standing up to US bullying for once: the FBI's remit is the US and this kind of extraterritoriality is not good for anyone.

Whether or not Kim has been involved in illegal activities is not relevant. It's whether or not he broke Federal law in the US. For everything outside the US the FBI can only ask other countries to assist in its investigations.

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Charlie Clark
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Not sure if that model is common outside the US.

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Android beats Windows as most popular OS for interwebz – by 0.02%

Charlie Clark
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Re: "It marks the end of Microsoft's leadership worldwide..."

You might want to look at the history of his articles: for years Gavin was one of Microsoft's cheerleaders on the site, though when not chatting with Mary Jo Foley he was mainly rehashing PR pieces.

His one sentence per paragraph style is fucking abysmal.

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British biz Imagination Technologies admits Apple may dump its IP

Charlie Clark
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Re: So a court battle

They may just let it crash and then buy the rights at a discount.

Possibly, though this could leave them open to legal action by shareholders if it were indeed to look like market manipulation.

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Charlie Clark
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It's not about the money, it's about control of the supply chain. In theory, you can get to market faster if you own more links in the chain. Apple obviously thinks it can do this with in-house resources, otherwise it would have bought Imagination and sold off all non-GPU stuff (like MIPS).

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Charlie Clark
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US courts are notably partisan in patent cases that involve US and non-US companies.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: So a court battle

Doubt it: if Imagination does lose Apple's business it won't be around for much longer as an independent entity. If there is a risk of infringing IP rights then Apple would most certainly have bought the company and may still do so.

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Microsoft's in-store Android looks desperate but can Google stop it?

Charlie Clark
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Re: The Maginot Line

This does indeed have stunt written all over it. It's probably legal but it probably voids the warranty and there's no way Microsoft is gearing up to handle this instead of Samsung.

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Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

The way we would have done it before bootstrap…

I would suggest you look at Pure CSS is has a similar feature set but is much smaller and less verbose than Bootstrap.

Though I think that form elements are moving more and more to REST (largely due to the inability of the W3C or WHATWG to fix the specification).

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Not fully awake

Sort of, except I wouldn't really call it normalisation because it's a very different approach and implementation even if the effect is similar.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

And no-one ever has written shit CSS?

Shit CSS does not affect the semantics whereas shit HTML does.

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Charlie Clark
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Apart from my own preference for text/plain I suggest you have a look at this article on A List Apart.

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Charlie Clark
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It has nothing to do with tables, except when they're being abused for layout purposes.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Finally!

Table-based grids were always shit and we've all been able to do better layouts using CSS for over 10 years. Nice to see you catching up! ;-)

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Dell warns PC slowdown threatens transition to infrastructure sales

Charlie Clark
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Re: Dell make reliable, cheap desktop and laptop PCs. However.

I am sure I read a couple of things saying that 2 in 1 s are starting to take a good chunk of the sales

Possibly: the market is contracting quickly and there are quite a few Windows tablets at the low end (mainly no-name so people may be picking them up instead of notebooks. As to whether they're getting a lot of use as PCs I'm sceptical: all the low end machines I've seen are very poorly spec'd and wouldn't be much fun to work with.

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Charlie Clark
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Re: Being on a placement myself...

Granted this guy was just trying to hide his dark secret

Didn't they teach you any I.RONY at your place?

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Charlie Clark
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I too was wondering about the "he knows too much" aspect. Can't risk him going to the boss but maybe he could bought off?

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Security co-operation unlikely to change post Brexit, despite threats

Charlie Clark
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British intelligence is so fucking great…

…that it single-handedly defeated the IRA: prevented the bombing of the Horseguards' Parade, central Manchester and countless bombings in Northern Ireland.

Oh no, it didn't, but the EU-backed peace process managed to. Glad we're getting rid of that then!

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Charlie Clark
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Re: Mint

Don't know about putting Linux on it but some version of AOSP is bound to be available. However, DeX is most likely to Samsung only for a while.

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Charlie Clark
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Continuing to innovate

The desktop mode is really interesting, possibly even compelling. If this works well then it will justify the price and really shake the market up. Will Apple be able to respond by the time these, and related ecosystem become available in volume?

For the time being I'll be sticking with my second-hand S5, which recently got a new battery, but I am definitely tempted by this.

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Charlie Clark
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While Samsung is pretty poor at providing updates, it also makes phones that are easy to root and hence install other ROMs on. This isn't for everyone but worth considering if you've had a Samsung for a while (updates generally stop appearing after 18 months) and would allow you to reassign the assistant button to do something useful.

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Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Charlie Clark
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Re: It'll be fine

It's quite simple really.

It always is, isn't it? Except when you get round to actually doing it…

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