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Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US

Ed Avis Re:"provides marketplace platforms" (93 comments)

I don't think market cap is a good measure of size. If it were, then during the dotcom boom various online pet food suppliers, etc, which had barely any assets, employees or customers, would have counted as 'bigger' than more boring companies with a much greater footprint in the real world. Similarly, a large company may head towards bankruptcy and as it does so its market cap heads towards zero. But even if it is sold for a nominal price of one dollar, it is still a big company by any reasonable measure.

about a month ago
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4K Is For Programmers

Ed Avis Re:where do I sign? (520 comments)

There's no issue getting 3840x2160 resolution with any even half-recent video card. I drive a T221 (3840x2400) from a five year old Dell laptop; these displays first appeared a decade and a half ago when PCs were much slower than today. Admittedly, if your new monitor takes Displayport you will need a video card capable of outputting that. Now, if you want to play games at 3840x2160 at 60Hz refresh, you're going to need some pretty serious hardware. But that has nothing to do with using the display for programming or office tasks. 30Hz refresh is quite comfortable for that.

about 3 months ago
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Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

Ed Avis Re:Work? (333 comments)

In Windows it works better if you stick to an exact multiple of 100%. In other words your choices are 100% or 200%.

about 4 months ago
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Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines

Ed Avis Re:No Sympathy (413 comments)

Why on earth would you choose to base your product (something that presumably companies will use for many, many years) on something that will have no security support in just 4 months?

You wouldn't. You based it on something that would be supported for several years when you made the decision back in 2006. It's just that schedules being as they are, it has taken that long to develop the product and get it to market.

In the land of dinosaurs, where Big Companies do Stupid Things, it is fairly common for new products to be launched and then the whole platform end-of-lifed soon after. It's nobody's fault in particular, just how decisions get made.

about 4 months ago
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Intel, Unisys Partner On New Range of Servers

Ed Avis Re:We have the way out! (46 comments)

If you have an Intel server running Linux is that really any different from a SPARC server running Linux or Solaris?

about 8 months ago
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Google's Second Generation Nexus 7 Benchmarks

Ed Avis Re:Yawn ... (205 comments)

There should be some way to sell computing power to cloud customers. Like a live-CD Linux distribution you boot, and it connects to some online exchange to see if anyone wants to rent virtual machines. If nobody is offering enough cash to cover your power costs then it sends the machine to sleep. However, CPU power efficiency improves fast enough that even if the hardware is free and sitting idle in your garage, you still might not be competitive with specialist cloud providers. (Then there are the inevitable issues about data privacy, reliability etc.)

about 8 months ago
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

Ed Avis Re:Matte screen (155 comments)

Panasonic's Toughbook rugged laptops have colour transflective displays. But the colours start looking washed out in bright sunlight, so perhaps the transflective part is black and white only somehow. And the readability in direct sunlight is not quite what the marketing wants you to believe - you're still better off finding some shade.

about 8 months ago
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ASUS PQ321Q Monitor Brings Multi-Stream Tiled Displays Forward

Ed Avis Re:Unusable aspect ratio (94 comments)

Yeah I'm just talking about the aspect ratio and resolution. Another good example would be the 'retina' Macbook Pros - they are also 16:10 though not quite such a high number of pixels (the 15" has 3/4 as many pixels on both axes as the T221). But since you mention it, I wouldn't agree that a slow refresh rate or poor colour gamut rules out 99% of uses. Probably only about 5% of users require colour accuracy; the T221 is no worse than most monitors, photos look pretty good on it. (I use a wide-gamut monitor too but for day-to-day use it makes no difference.) Even a 24Hz refresh rate is enough for text-based work such as programming, office apps or web browsing. So don't knock it till you have tried it!

about 9 months ago
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ASUS PQ321Q Monitor Brings Multi-Stream Tiled Displays Forward

Ed Avis Re:Unusable aspect ratio (94 comments)

4:3 is not coming back. Its old and appears odd today in the 21 century.

I suspect millions of Ipad users would disagree.

about 9 months ago
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ASUS PQ321Q Monitor Brings Multi-Stream Tiled Displays Forward

Ed Avis Re:Unusable aspect ratio (94 comments)

Not 4x3 but there is the 16x10 IBM T221, 3840x2400... I have three of them and I'd certainly buy a new monitor like this one if they'd made it with a sensible aspect ratio.

about 9 months ago
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Samsung Launches 3200x1800 Pixel ATIV Book 9 Plus Laptop

Ed Avis Re:Resolution (397 comments)

I wonder why my experience differs from yours - I have found almost all the applications I use (Firefox, PuTTY, Visual Studio, MS Office, TortoiseSVN) work fine with a simple 200% scaling in Windows 7. I agree that Remote Desktop is a pain.

about 10 months ago
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Samsung Launches 3200x1800 Pixel ATIV Book 9 Plus Laptop

Ed Avis Re:Resolution (397 comments)

Vista reverts to "fractional scaling", where it simply does a bilinear upscale of the application window, resulting in a blurry, god-awful mess where nothing was rendered natively.

I have to say I've never seen this on either XP or Win7. Perhaps it helps to have exactly 200% scaling so everything can be enlarged exactly. But as far as I can see, programs that aren't scaling aware (such as the command prompt window) are just rendered unscaled. Maybe it is because I have Aero turned off.

about 10 months ago
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Samsung Launches 3200x1800 Pixel ATIV Book 9 Plus Laptop

Ed Avis Re:Resolution (397 comments)

Not true. Windows can quite easily double resolution - just set your font size to 200% in Control Panel. Everything comes out twice as big but fonts are smoother. This has worked since Windows XP at least. I run it this way on a 3840x2400 monitor, so the effective desktop size is "1900x1200".

about 10 months ago
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Mozilla Plans Major Design Overhaul With Firefox 25 Release In October

Ed Avis Re:Finally looks exactly like Chrome (250 comments)

Its completely broken with perfectly legitimate local DNS URLs.

Can you give an example of a 'perfectly legitimate URL' that doesn't work? (Hint: all URLs begin with a scheme such as http: or file:)

about 10 months ago
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High End Graphics Cards Tested At 4K Resolutions

Ed Avis Re:Not that small (201 comments)

People repeat this meme that desktop OSes don't support high resolution displays, but it's not really true. At work I have Windows 7 and several 3840x2400 displays; just setting 200% font size works fine in all the applications I use.

about a year ago
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High End Graphics Cards Tested At 4K Resolutions

Ed Avis Re:Now where's the cheap monitors? (201 comments)

Well, yeah, surely 4000x4000 is 4k (like IMAX), and 3840x2160 is only about 2k measured conservatively.

about a year ago
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BlackBerry Looking To Quench 'Insatiable Demand' For New Smartphones

Ed Avis Re:Um? (173 comments)

"Riddle me this: what is it that is always coming, but never arrives?"

about a year ago
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Taking the Pain Out of Debugging With Live Programming

Ed Avis Re:Greenspun's Tenth Rule (254 comments)

So you have your nicely written function of type int -> int, but now you want to add some trace statements while it executes, but you can't because it is purely functional. Then someone helpfully suggests monads. Now all you have to do is rewrite it to be of type int -> IO int, and rewrite all of the calling functions to be of monadic type too, and so on all the way up to the top level of the program...

The fundamental problem is that you need some way to separate the program itself (which is purely functional) from whatever scaffolding and diagnostic code you put in to help test and debug it. In imperative languages you can happily mix the two together but in pure functional programming you can't, and the language environment has to provide explicit support for trace messages and the like.

1 year,14 hours
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Intel Unveils New Atom and Xeon Processors and Future Rack Scale Architecture

Ed Avis Re: Compatible with Windows 7? (73 comments)

IMHO Windows 7 requires Classic Shell and some messing around in Control Panel to make it usable. Essentially, with each new Windows release there is another half hour of setup you must do to get rid of the latest bright ideas from Microsoft and get back to the basic but usable interface circa 1999.

1 year,5 days
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Classic BBC Sci-fi Series Blake's 7 To Return On Syfy Channel

Ed Avis Re:Vila weighs 73 kilos, Avon. (213 comments)

That US remake of House of Cards isn't too bad.

1 year,6 days

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