* Posts by Graham Dawson

1574 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

New transistor tech could beat silicon and save Moore's Law

Graham Dawson
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Re: May I be the first to say....

For I do not come to destroy Moore's Law, but to fulfil it.

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Report: Apple, Google, Microsoft join forces to buy Kodak patents

Graham Dawson
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Re: What's wrong with worshipping satan?

Oh shut up, you old goat. Who are you? I do not know you.

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Republican staffer fired for copyright reform suggestions

Graham Dawson
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Re: There is only one answer to Washington's issues:

Ah but the thing is. IT Vet, a corporation has to have some status as a "person" in order to be taxed on its income (what we call corporation tax). Anything else gets complicated extremely quickly. Considering how complicated current tax law is, do you really want to make things even more convoluted?

And of course, if a corporation is a "person", then that "person", under US law, has to have the same constitutional rights as any other citizen, otherwise you re-establish the precedent that certain citizens can be deprived of their rights simply because they fall outside an arbitrary definition of "deserving".

It's a very difficult and complicated situation, something of a conundrum in fact. Expecting politicians to fix it is madness. Expecting the courts to fix it is wishful thinking because they tend to be extremely conservative when it comes to taking away "rights" once granted. There is no simple and easy solution, and certainly depriving corporations of "personhood" will not fix things and will only, in fact, make them worse.

You'll lose corporation tax, for starters. You'll lose the ability to enforce law and judgements against corporate entities because those entities will no longer have any legally recognised "body" against which to bring judgement - and at the same time you'll not gain the ability to enforce judgements against the owners or managers, as they can simply hide behind collective responsibility, because individuals can't be legally held liable for the actions of others. Corporations, however, won't lose the ability to fund lobbying or contribute political donations. They'll just organise a few employees to do it on their behalf.

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Forget fluorescents, plastic lighting strips coming out next year

Graham Dawson
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Re: CF bulbs are fine here too

All fluorescent lights give me a headache. Every single one I've tried, no matter how cheap or expensive, no matter the build quality, they all give me a headache without fail. I can always tell when there's a CFL in a room - even the high quality ones that emit an otherwise pleasing glow. Fortunately there are "energy efficient" halogens to keep me sane and headache free.

Something being "old" doesn't mean it's inferior and being "new" doesn't make something better.

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Curiosity finds organics on Mars, but possibly not of Mars

Graham Dawson
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Re: And now for the Hoagland interpretation

Seems like he took Iron Sky to be a documentary...

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Microsoft cues next-gen Xbox for Crimbo 2013

Graham Dawson
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@Chris

Yes. And then you stamp on it a few times and keep going.

(disclaimer: I own an xbox. I play two games on it. This proves nothing.)

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NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Graham Dawson
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Actually they used string.

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America planned to NUKE THE MOON

Graham Dawson
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Re: mentality of our friends from across the pond.

AC, I don't know if you're an idiot or just poorly educated. I'll assume the latter.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Note on Sagan

Nah, nah, you're all wrong. The existence, or lack thereof, of any god is a non-testable hypothesis. There is no means of falsification, hence no theoretical basis by which the existence of a deity can be tested. There can never be "scientific proof" of the existence of god, or the lack, or even the possibility of a quantum superposition of states of God, because the very concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being is not falsifiable.

So to say that science can't prove God doesn't exist is correct. The scientific method can't be applied the idea, therefore it lies outside the realm of science, and any opinion on the subject is a matter of faith. Any opinion. Not just the ones that you don't like.

Same with m-theory and whole bunch of other stuff that gets waved around as "science" when it's just so much handwaving and fancy hypothetical models. Can't be tested, not falsifiable, ergo not science. Might as well claim the universe looks pink on the outside.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: mentality of our friends from across the pond.

Probably shouldn't express that sentiment anywhere east of germany, mr noodles...

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Google+ exec declares Facebook 'social network of the past'

Graham Dawson
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Re: What's this "ad" stuff people keep talking about?

You realise that an advert is a paid-for recommendation, yes?

Anyway, not that it matters. Usually word of mouth is easier to assess for quality, whilst paid-for ads are more likely to be something I don't want.

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Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

Graham Dawson
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Re: ah well

Flee market? Is it called that because they run away whenever they see you coming?

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Dawn of the X-Men? MUTANTS swarm AMONG US, say geneticists

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Oh gawd. I just realised I've spent the last ten minutes trying to decipher amanfromMars...

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Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

Graham Dawson
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I'm vaguely disappointed that The General from The Prisoner wasn't included.

Not that disappointed, mind. It was a terrible episode.

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Anti-Israel hackers leak nuclear watchdog email addresses

Graham Dawson
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Brace yourselves, a shitstorm is coming...

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Android seven-inchers swipe rug from under Apple

Graham Dawson
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Re: More fake numbers by Google....

"The parents" are people around my age. It's depressing.

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Real sci-fi space ships coming at last? NASA tests nuclear engine

Graham Dawson
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Re: Earth orbit?

Presumably they mean LEO.

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Apple granted patent for microphone silhouette

Graham Dawson
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Re: Oooh

Just popped open the app drawer on my phone and, lo and behold, an essentially identical icon is used for the Voice Search app. It even has rounded corners!

These design patents are silly. At least they haven't managed to snag a real patent on the thing. Things aren't that far gone yet.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Did Apple

Swiss.

Though, come to think of it, I do recall a very similar design on a button in the railway station under Arlanda airport...

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Elon Musk envisions small town of VEGETARIANS ON MARS

Graham Dawson
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Re: Won't happen for that price

Apollo could carry 5 astronauts with the addition of two more seats in the equipment bays from the very start. Improvements meant it could probably have carried 6 or even 7 by the time it was used on Spacelab, though things would have been rather cosy.

Dragon has significantly more internal space due to the miniaturisation of much of the tech involved and it's not inconceivable that it could also carry 6 without any difficulty, or more if you want to get really friendly with your fellow passengers.

But lets just assume that they haven't made any advances at all on the Apollo-era tech and that they're never going to make any cost-saving improvements at all. Ever. That makes it so much easier to argue against the idea.

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Google parks panzers on Germany's lawn over 'link tax' plan

Graham Dawson
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This would be equivalent to being required to pay a tax for pointing at a newspaper and saying "there's a story in there about the big event that happened yesterday".

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Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Seriously!?

hplasm nutshells it. There seems to be this strange idea that everything should just be handed to "us" (us being teachers, students, workers or whoever) on a silver platter without any effort. Life is not like that. Life is hard and painful and requires that we do something to get something.

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Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

Graham Dawson
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Re: This is assuming the products are the same

Oh fine, if you want to get picky about it, they're tin-plated steel, the point is that it would have been unthinkable to use tin for that in the not so distant past. Once it was used as jewellery, now it's used to prevent corrosion in disposable cans.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: This is assuming the products are the same

Think outside the box then. Gold and copper reach price and supply parity. Now, you'll find that gold would be used in place of copper for a lot of jobs, because it doesn't corrode or oxidise and is somewhat more ductile, thus less likely to break in stressful installations.

Tin used to be a precious metal. Now it's used to make cans. The point is that an increase in supply allows the market to experiment with new uses for a material. And yes, there may be something that people don't want to use, but I'd be surprised if any raw materials - particularly metals - would fall under that category.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: This is assuming the products are the same

A lot of these arguments are also applicable to earlier "novel" infrastructure projects. Uranium mining in Australia, for instance. Or oil in saudi arabia. The market for oil was growing but constrained when the saudi fields were exploited and there was a certain worry that it would cause a price crash that would make the whole endeavour pointless.

After a short lag the demand rose to consume the supply. If we're able to source large quantities of what are currently relatively rare materials from space, they will be used. The price might bounce around a bit before it settles down but the market will expand once the supply is there and new uses for the materials are found.

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Lawrence 'Empire Strikes Back' Kasdan to pen future Star Wars script

Graham Dawson
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Re: Annoying bear thingies

Nah, the Ewoks were Lucas's idea.

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NASA admits hiding 'really good' news from Martian soil

Graham Dawson
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I'm just glad to see someone spell "tenterhooks" right for once.

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Do you know a chimp who's feeling doleful? Mid-life crisis, probably

Graham Dawson
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I always figured the mid-life crisis kicked in around the end of a pre-agricultural human's typical lifespan. In the grand scheme, the ability for the majority of humans to live into old age is a very recent phenomenon; our bodies are adapted to a lifespan of about 40 to 50 years and start to fail in increasingly obvious ways after that age. The depression only seems natural in that case. We'd be subconsciously, but intimately aware that our body is reaching a lifespan limit that our species has experienced for millennia and as a result we'd get all existential and depressed, but not really understand why. Those humans that live longer would cheer up, because they might just live forever.

Oops.

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British Ruby conference cancelled after diversity row

Graham Dawson
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Ruby developer?

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How can the BBC be saved from itself without destroying it?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Or...

Did you just seriously compare a news and entertainment company to the people tasked with defending our borders?

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Lord to sue Twitter users who falsely accused him of abuse

Graham Dawson
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Meh

Libel is a civil offence, not a criminal one. There's no jail time involved unless you refuse to pay the fines (or undertake whatever reparation the court hands out), in which case you're attempting to commit fraud amongst other things. Even then it's kind of hard to get you in jail for it.

And since it's a civil matter there's no criminal record.

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Graham Dawson
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And, incidentally, "wouldn't have", not "wouldn't of".

You also slip into "no smoke without fire" fallacy.

0/10 would not give time of day.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Seriously?

Nono, Torres was the engineer on Voyager.

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ROGUE PLANET WITHOUT A SUN spotted in interstellar space

Graham Dawson
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Re: Planet?

Given "planet" descends from the greek for "wanderer", it's more accurately a planet than anything in our solar system.

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Skyfall makers 3D printed Bond's DB5

Graham Dawson
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And the mona lisa is just paint on a lump of wood.

It's art, you... you philistine!

Nah I'm kiddin, you're great, really.

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Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

Graham Dawson
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Re: HD video? Good enough for me

Except it makes cheap ION gear look seriously overpriced for the performance you get.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Any old iron?

As far as I can tell, the sort of "hardcore gamer" that buys a whole PC in one go is treating it more like a games console with a short upgrade cycle and none of the hardware lock-down that prevents them playing old games.

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SECRET 28 'scientific experts' who Greened the BBC - Revealed!

Graham Dawson
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Re: Impartiality and scientific theories

The very concept of "the scientific establishment" is unscientific. Scientific fact is not determined by authority, but by the establishment and exercise of verifiable, repeatable experiments.

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Google, Amazon, Starbucks are 'immoral' and 'ridiculous' over UK tax

Graham Dawson
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Re: what do you expect them to do

The quickest way to tax profit is to tax where that profit comes from: sales.

I'm no randian. I simply start from the position that government is a necessary evil that we should have as little of as possible and work from there. Rand argued that government was unnecessary. Very different position.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: what do you expect them to do

Pay what they owe? Who says they "owe" anything? Governments are not gods, they have no more right to another entity's money than any other random collection of bureaucrats. Taxes are an imposition extracted through the state's monopoly on the use of force, they are not a moral imperative, and avoiding them is not an immoral act.

But putting that aside for the moment, if you want to stop corporations avoiding taxes, then the solution is not to lambast them for "immorality", but instead to move the taxes to where they can't be avoided. Get rid of corporation taxes and all those other things and tax sales instead. It's virtually impossible to evade or avoid sales tax, and it's much easier to resolve if they try.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: Department of redundancy department...

Metics were foreigners and slaves, never a majority, even in Athens.

Hoi polloi literally means "the many" or the majority, and was never used for the category you're thinking of. If anything that would be hoi oligoi. I don't know what Apple fanboys would be called in Ancient Greece, but I'm pretty sure it would be rude.

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BBC places news chief and her deputy beyond use in Savile row

Graham Dawson
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Re: It's a bit of a bugger.

Minor mistakes. Are you fucking kidding me?

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Coffee next on climate chopping-block

Graham Dawson
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Re: It's funny, isn't it?

Speaking with my Christian hat on for a moment, it annoys me the number of times people invoke God as a justification for whatever bit of pseudo-scientific nonsense they're foisting on the general population (in turn to justify raising taxes and throwing more money at international NGOs who exist only to, er, justify their existence apparently).

But then I always believed God was a libertarian so I'm probably somewhat atypical. :D

Stupidity isn't limited to any particular social group - nor is wisdom and intelligence, before anyone decides to claim that group X is dumb because they do or do not believe in hypothetical concept Y.

I'm going to have some coffee.

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The GPL self-destruct mechanism that is killing Linux

Graham Dawson
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Re: @AC 16:38GMT - A few more lumps of confusion in the article

No, that's choice. You seem to be complaining that there will be relatively painless alternatives when an open source project up and dies.

What happens when proprietary software is abandoned? No choice there. You have to find something else that likely is completely incompatible with your existing system. With the forks you at least have something that resembles what you already do, and most likely have something that is exactly the same as the software you already use, except it has some bug fixes and Feature X tacked on.

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Apple is granted a patent on the rectangle. No, really

Graham Dawson
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Re: I know how to deal with the people behind this

Like comedy and tragedy, the difference is timing.

Douglas Adams lauded Apple at a time when they were good at what they did and didn't try patenting the platonic solids. Fry lauds Apple at a time when they're arsewipes of the highest order.

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Kim Dotcom's new Mega site barred by Gabon

Graham Dawson
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Re: Afraid...

That must be why the US is occupying Mecca and bombing the rest of the arabian peninsula into the dirt right now.

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Tesla Model S named '2013 Automobile of the Year'

Graham Dawson
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Re: And

Transmission losses and conversion losses make the final efficiency of electrical cars approximately the same as internal combustion (slightly worse, if I recall), yet there's little room for improvement without significant and possibly unachievable advances in technology. Batteries certainly can be improved, but the transmission losses are only going to go away if we can invent room-temperature superconductors and replace the entire national transmission infrastructure with them, and then invent a way to convert from high to low voltage without any power losses. And of course all electric vehicles have the same insurmountable problem: range and weight. They waste a lot of energy carting dead batteries around.

You want a truly efficient electric vehicle? Build a trolleybus. Put the electricity directly in from the supply when it's needed rather than converting it three times and losing most of it in the process. Of course that would mean every street in the country would need a dodgems-style electricity supply suspended over it and your car wouldn't be able to operate independent of that supply, but it's a small sacrifice to pay for increased efficiency, no?

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USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission

Graham Dawson
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Those behemoths are keeping the sea lanes safe from piracy. Perhaps you don't realise that international trade used to be fraught with danger until Great Britain began regular sea patrols around the world. The world economy went through a huge boom once that projection of force cut down piracy and made the seas safe for international trade. The US navy took over that role after world war 2 and it's only within the last decade, with politically correct rules of engagement that prevent decisively dealing with pirates, that piracy has started to become a problem again.

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Samsung posts record profits as Galaxy sales crush Apple

Graham Dawson
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Re: Nice

Of course, the difference with Sammy is, if people get fed up of their products, they can switch to another Android manufacturer and still have all their stuff.

Makes for a much easier transition away from the hated foe du jure.

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