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* Posts by Charlie Clark

6885 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

No word from ElReg on how a face scanner is probably not a good idea

Apart from the notes in the article that biometrics are inherently not secure… The review even briefly touches on the quality of the radios in case anyone wanting to use the phone as a phone is interested.

I'm not currently looking for a new phone but credit where credit's due: an impressive device. But it's got a notch and Huawei phones are not well supported by Lineage OS, so not for me even if I was looking.

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One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

Charlie Clark
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As hard as I try, I cannot make myself think of Material Design as "getting things right".

I suspect you're just being snarky. If you compare apps before and after Material I think you'll find more recent ones are more consistent. Material Design, of course, builds on classic UX patterns but also incorporates lessons learned fom IOS and, yes, Windows Phone. Which is one of the reasons why the various platforms are increasingly interchangeable.

To summarise: I think that Material Design provides a coherent metaphor for design elements that recognises the importance of visual effects but subordinates them to functionality. Eg., the darkening around a screen press: the effect reinforces the action and is thus meaningul. I don't think this is particularly revolutionary or magical, just well applied, well documented and it provided a useable toolbox for developers.

Right enough of the whalesong guff, I've off to shoot some kittens!

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Charlie Clark
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I don't mind TouchWiz that much. I do mind not being able to remove preinstalled crap and tardy updates. Fortunately, nearly all Samsung's are easy to root and well supported by LineageOS. :-)

OneUI looks to me mainly like adopting Material Design, which makes sense because it gets a lot of things right.

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Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

Charlie Clark
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Re: Shurely...

Macintoshes are also compulsory on-board gear

I believe this one is yours, sir.

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Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

Charlie Clark
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Re: IOT is only going to grow as an issue long term

For the non-German speakers: "Mist" == "Manure" & "Gift" == "Poison"

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Charlie Clark
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Re: America always waits for class action suits

Do you really think IT security policies would be better under Hillary?

No, I'd just expect different groups to be lobbying and blocking each other. But she might at least be more actively involved in developing policy and less obsessed with doing stadium tours.

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Charlie Clark
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America always waits for class action suits

Until then companies can, and generally do, do what the hell they like. And the new Congress isn't likely to help: the House may propose something but the Senate and the Big Orange Baby will shoot it down. Won't really matter because none of them will really understand in it anyway and will write it whatever their richest lobbiest wants.*

So, prepare to wait for, I don't know, a class action due to houses burning down because the IoT smart home stuff fucks up to work its way through the courts, impose swingeing fines and create legislation through precedent. As has been the case for the last 40-odd years.

* I call it the Greenback Wave.

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Bloodbath as Broadcom slashes through CA Technologies personnel

Charlie Clark
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Re: As ye sow, so shall ye reap

I think you're missing a step before 6: sell off carcass to like-minded group (tax efficient) or float it, if you think the cretins have returned to the market.

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Charlie Clark
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Broadcom isn't really Broadcom. It was bought by an investment company which just adopted the brand. So, everyone should have seen this coming. No doubt the entrails of CA will subsequently be put up for sale.

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Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

Charlie Clark
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Re: folding batteries.

IMHO, of course, but I don't see a device that unfolds to a roughly 4:3 like this one, and is only 7.3" at that, being much of a success.

Why are you so hung up on the specs of the demo device? It was so obviously a protoype but there are presumably multiple different designs currently being tested. We'll probably know more in a couple of months but until then we should assume that, at least some of the people in Samsung are thinking about the right form factors for their target markets. Personally, I think that A6 -> A5 would be a good place to start but we'll all just have to wait and see.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This

Which isn't the same as people's pockets.

Pockets have a standard aspect ratio?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: How they test matters

@DougS – no shit Sherlock. But, again, this is something that the company understands well. There are bound to be issues with the screens, temperature is particularly likely to be a problem, but I'd expect the mechanical stuff to be well understood and appropriately tested. Unlike, say, the antenna problems of a certain rival phone maker when it decided that an aluminium cage was the best thing to put a radio in, because it was so beautiful.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: sci-fi show where they had devices that rolled

Sony also had a demo of roll up display, possibly eInk.

PlasticLogic will happily sell you them: now up to around 15". Not suitable for smart phone displays, of course, put pretty interesting all the same.

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Charlie Clark
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Just open it enough times and the display will start to degrade...

Given that Samsung is an industrial conglomerate with a small consumer electronics business, I think they might be aware of that and have done the tests. In fact the presentation goes into that including needing a new adhesive to cope with the folding.

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Charlie Clark
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Due to difficult of producing large OLED panels, Samsung has retreated from pushing them for monitors so I wouldn't expect to see them pushing the folding screens there soon. Assuming they can make the panels then I suspect they will initiialy all go to phones for the time being: think of the price of a TV 55" that would equate to the number of S9s that can be made from the same OLED panel.

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Charlie Clark
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Possibly, but I also think that something like this, which is yet ready for market, is also about keeping the competition in the dark until you have all the IP (materials, process, etc.) needed to make it safely registered.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Is this a joke? It must be a joke...

Watch the presentation (about 1:22 in) because it is quite interesting. Flexible displays are hard™ and a lot of the technologies and materials that we hoped could be used have failed to deliver. Yes, it's important to see what is actually available and at what cost but mass production is due to start over the "next few months".

Personally, I think the technology could really be revolutionary but as to whether it will be Samsung that makes the most of it, well, that's another question, because I'm sure we will see a slew of interesting but ultimately useless designs.

The presentations, however, are worth watching. While "One UI" looks like an admission that Samsung fucked up UX for years, it also shows that they've finally started thinking about the users. Basically the biggest indication so far that Samsung has a coherent strategy for breaking out of the consumer electronics follower segment.

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Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

Charlie Clark
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Re: Disappointing

Expect to pay a reasonable surcharge in the UK for: VAT, UK/EU/network certification and, most importantly, UK-based sales and support.

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Data flows post-Brexit: 'Leave it to government to make sure you've got a smooth run in.' Er, OK

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

Have an extra upvote for that.

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Charlie Clark
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Trust me, I'm a politician

NFT

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Upset fat iOS gobbles up so much storage? Too bad, so sad, says judge: Apple lawsuit axed

Charlie Clark
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Re: Sizes

Why should the OS be smaller on devices Apple has full control over?

In theory because it needs fewer drivers for varying hardware configurations. But, basically people who buy I-Phones and moan about storage only have themselves to blame. You want lots of reasonably priced storage? Buy something that supports SD cards.

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'Blockchain SAVED my Quango'

Charlie Clark
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Did I sleep too long?

Has April come early? No, everything tells me it's still November but this does read like an April Fool. Except it's just yet another example of government imitating satire…

Hang on, I've got an idea for a Blockchain Sitcom. Must be worth a couple of million for a feasibility study…

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iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe

Charlie Clark
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Why is it necessary to waste energy whinging about it and accusing other people of being idiots because they don't agree?

Discussion, including whingeing, is part of the debate culture and also helps sets prices. Sure, people should spend their money on whatever they want but how do we get to decide whether it's good value if not through comparison and discussion. Personally, my biggest beef with Apple is their inherently anti-competitive approach.

I personally don't like iPhones much but I have to suffer them because the alternative option is so completely shit.

You're being disingenuous by pretending to be above the debate, while taking a swipe.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Speaking for myself...

Assuming I average 5 years a device

I think that's stretching it. You might get 5 years but I'd use 4 for any kind of calculation and you'd have to factor in Apple's desire to increase the ASP. Mind you, I think your maths is more of an excuse and less of argument. For any kind of monthly payment I'd expect instant replacements to be included, which is definitely not the case with Apple.

I've had a Mac since 2006 but the I-Phones have never appealed. Not putting all your eggs into one basket is a strategy that I do follow.

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ICO poised to fine Leave campaign and Arron Banks’ insurance biz £135,000

Charlie Clark
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I wait to hear more about the Lib Dem thing. I thought parties got privileged access to extra electoral roll data, that doesn't go to marketing lists. Surely they don't get the right to sell that on?

Having given the LDs some money in 2016 I subsequently received several campaign-related e-mails all from the LDs which I all deleted but nothing else and since GDPR came into force I've had nothing. Wish I could say that about other mailshots I continue to receive. But, yeah, it should all be investigated.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Whereas the "Remain" campaign

If the support of the supposedly "neutral" state was priced correctly,

No neutrality required: it was avowed government policy.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Will of the people my arse

It *might* not just be the Russians that are bankrolling it.

I think Russian involvement is largely overplayed. Most of the money came from special interest groups who see a financial benefit for them in being able to opt out of lots of legislation (employment, environmental and, yes, privacy) that they don't like. They should be shown up for the hyprocrites they are and the hollow lie of taking back control be exposed for the hoodwinking it was.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Chuck that toad in the Tower of London

Guy's it's about data misuse.

Yes, but what was the reason for the abuse?

I hope some of these cunts get doxed. Love to see them running for the protection of the law when it suits them. Except, of course, they can normally afford to get injunctions…

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Charlie Clark
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Re: £135,000

Ah yes, but if Britain wasn't in the EU then honourable businessmen like the amiable Mr Banks, wouldn't find themselves shackled by this oppressive privacy legislation.

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Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo

Charlie Clark
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The problem isn't the radios or the screen it's the annoying lazy scriptkiddies who think that just because you've got a RAM space of 6gb,

Modern browsers will happily grab a couple of GB because of the work they have to do with modern websites. Then there is the VM-based architecture of the platform which is supposed to prevent rogue apps bringing everything else down or stealing data.

Yes, there are still apps out which use far more resources than necessary but it's also time to stop fighting the battles of the 1990s. More cores and more RAM, with the correct power management makes sense.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Linux

As Dave559 wrote above, “the chipset in the Gemini isn't the most Linux-friendly”.

This was obvious from the word go but didn't stop Linux fanbois moaning. I don't really see why people need more than a good SSH client and Juice is fine for that. But basically only Mediatek can make their chips suitable for Linux. Planet must concentrate more on supporting Android properly or working with vendors to get things like Sailfish OS running well. Even I personally don't use it as such, the Gemini is essentially a phone and if you want a palmtop running Linux you should be looking elsewhere.

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Charlie Clark
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I managed to do something stupid to my keyboard - they shipped an entire new keybard assembly to me to pull the replacement keys I needed from - free of charge.

Not sure why you think that making the user do this is good, I just think it's an invitation for them to break it. In any case, nearly 4 months later I'm still waiting for replacement keycapps in the layout of the phone I ordered. Currently, I can't even install the Gemini Keyboard app from the Play Store. I supplied a logcat report two weeks ago…

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Charlie Clark
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I'm interested but for heavens sake why do we need 6gb of RAM and a server grade multicore processor?

Hardly a server core but the article does cover some of the reasons that more oomph makes sense for this device, not least to manage all those radios. These CPUs are not "server grade" and the screen isn't small: it's high res so there are a lot of pixels to push around. Android might not be the most efficient OS out there but that's not stopped it becoming the most popular and juggling all thoses resources in real time is never as easy as it seems.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Linux

It's not been abandoned but, given how dependent it is upon the largesse of Mediatek in providing drivers, I wouldn't hold my breath. It's far more important that they manage to release regulat security patches and updates for Android first before they spend resources on other OSes. Two security updates (June and October) since launch isn't impressive.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I'll say it one more time...

A properly designed slider phone…

… is harder than you think. You have to get a lot of things right like the weight distribution and mechanical and electrical stability.

The Gemini isn't suitable for one-handed use except maybe just to answer calls. But the hinge does make it a very portable little notebook and feels "right" with the Gemini, albeit if the hinge does work loose.

Still, you should really be discussing this with Martin Riddiford who can probably explain why they've done it this way, or at least why they didn't go with the a slider.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: I'll say it one more time...

The hinge means you can and do use it on a flat surface. Very different experience to using a slider.

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Charlie Clark
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Planet's after sales support is, unfortunately, very poor. It's not for want of trying but they are just not set up for it.

I have one of the early Gemini's and had to replace the keymat because the spacebar wasn't reliable. Unfortunately a couple of the keys were damaged during the replacement, which you have to do yourself. I prefer to have a German keyboard and have been waiting for one since July. I was due to be sent a set UK keys but looks like I was sent US instead: nothing comes with a delivery note.

I couldn't do the recent OTA upgrade so had to do another manaul flash. Everything is usable and a friend of mine is using the Gemini as his main device. Like others, the hinge on mine is working loose. I suspect that a normal company would have simply replaced the device by now as the first batch was know to have problems.

I can understand why they want to push on with new models, but I think they will fail if they do not improve support significantly. The people I know who need devices like these won't mind spending a bit more for reliability.

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Android fans get fat November security patch bundle – if the networks or mobe makers are kind enough to let 'em have it

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yep my android updates last night

Has Google also signed 90 day agreements with the hackers to lay off while the patches are done?

Why should it? Part of the deal with OEMs is that they get advance notice of the patches and it's them who are liable. Integrating upstream patches and providing timely releases should be part of any OEM's lifecycle. But we probably won't see much action here until the courts force them.

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Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Charlie Clark
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Re: Charles Freakin Darwin

There are two British scientists who have created truly world shattering laws

Read the comments again and you'll find the list is longer than that and he's already had a go.

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Charlie Clark
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Wot no chemists?

Very biased sample. Loads of Brits made invaluable contributions to chemistry even if it's not as fashionable at the moment…

John Dalton, Humphrey Davy to get the party started. But Maxwell should also be on the list, while Baird can take a walk.

If you want to stick to computers then go with with Babbage and Lovelace together.

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'Pure technical contributions aren’t enough'.... Intel commits to code of conduct for open-source projects

Charlie Clark
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Load of CoC…

Every time I come across one I'm reminded of Groucho Marx's quip about not wanting to be a member of any club that would let him join…

All this value-signalling is doing fuck all to improve the glaring imbalance of levels of education in America. But, you know, that might involve raising taxes again. Far easier to do some hand-wringing, make thie right noises and some tax deductible donations to a captive non-profit.

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Wow. Apple's only gone and killed off Mac, iPad, iPhone family... figures for units sold to fans

Charlie Clark
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Re: Services could be hit at some point too

If Apple wanted to put their foot down and stop Netflix bypassing they could really hurt them.

Nail on head, hit. Which is why Apple is trying to be better at services and let's face it, it's done well enough to create a pretty captive market that is loathe to leave the fold. I think betting on the higher ASP is a bit short-sighted but Cook has the numbers and knows more about this than I do. But even if it doesn't work out, they've still got millions tied into their services and might well try and offer their own exclusive content. After all, we know that the trustbusters seem to be blind when it comes to Apple.

I think they make good products but I also think, that just like everyone else, they love a restrictive practice when they see it.

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Google Project Zero zeroes in on Google project: Security hole spotted in gVisor sandbox fence

Charlie Clark
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Re: This is good bug hunting

Indeed. Of course, the real proof will be when someone finds a bug and Google doesn't find a fix or workaround within the 90 day window.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Security where they want it

I have only two groups but have so far found the spam protection pretty good. One group requires moderation by first time posters, the other one you just need to be registered. I get occasional spam reports for the stuff that Google thinks is probably spam and it usually is. Funny thing was last week that my own e-mails were suspected, probably due to being on an anonymous VPN at the time.

But I guess volume may depend on the subject. If in doubt, however, enable moderation of posters.

NB. this has nothing really to do with software security.

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Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Charlie Clark
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Re: "as fast as the fastest PCs."

How many VMs can I run on one of these iPad Pros?

While I agree that you do have a point, how many people need to use lots of VMs? I suspect that people who really do need a lot of VMs are probably fairly flexible about their choice of host OS. Anyway, as I'm sure you're aware, VM performance is heavily I/O dependent and I think that's going to be the bottleneck here (along with the performance hit if you need other architectures). But could such a device be okay assuming it comes with a good SSH client to your VM park?

My biggest worry with all this is trying to force people to abandon local file systems. Yes, it's convenient if you do work with multiple devices that the relevant files are easily available on them all, but it's not worth the risk of them not being available because you have a shitty internet connection.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "as fast as the fastest PCs."

but I run rather heavy (and well parallellised) image processing code

How much of this can be done by the GPU? I suspect that RAM and bandwidth might be the limiter here, but, yeah, I suspect it will run significantly slower if at all on I-Pad than it does on your current hardware.

I've nothing per se against the I-Pad route (for many tasks a suitable replacement for a notebook), except that I do want full control of the OS so that I can install my own libraries. Wonder if there will ever be a version of IOS that gives us a terminal and sudo?

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EU Android latest: Critics diss Google's money-spinning 'cure'

Charlie Clark
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Odd, I would have thought the commentards here would like to see Google having to offer a "price" for their data.

It's an asymmetric auction so not really possible to set the price, which is also unlikely to remain constant.

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GitHub lost a network link for 43 seconds, went TITSUP for a day

Charlie Clark
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Re: Better for democracy

Yeah, with the right webscale blockchain system this could never have happened! :-)

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With the 6T, OnePlus hopes to shed 'cheeky upstart' tag and launch assault on flagships

Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: Why the front-facing camera hullaballoo?

Plus, the case allows me to choose a level of protection to suit me, and other customisations that could never practically be offered across a range of phones.

Do you, by any chance, work for the marketing department of The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation? Because it certainly sounds like it!

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IBM sits draped over the bar at The Cloud or Bust saloon. In walks Red Hat

Charlie Clark
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Re: sad

I mean IBM could invest $1 billion more in their cloud stuff every quarter for the next 8 years with that kind of cash

I'd rather they spent at least half of it on Watson. Let's do other things wit ML / AI than facial recognition.

I could see Red hat being bought for $5B or something, but $30+ ?

10 times revenues is about standard taking into consideration future growth prospects with one competitor less. But, yeah they're overpaying especially with current stockmarket developments.

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