* Posts by Graham Dawson

1575 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Genetics and technology make Columbus Day a fraud

Graham Dawson
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In the frozen north, people didn't celebrate the winter solstice. They feared it. They feasted because they might never see the sun again, and they did everything within their power to convince the gods to bring it back.

Ok, so maybe it was a n excuse for a piss-up, but it wasn't a celebration...

It was, however, the main festival of the north-europea pre-christian calendar. All that dancing around stone henge in the summer is a modern invention, a creation of ppeole too pansy-arsed to do it properly. The *original* pagans did it in the winter. Naked. And then they killed things. bring back that good old-time religion I say!

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Graham Dawson
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Not only that, there are regular finds of deep graves and the ruins of farms under ice on what is now permafrost. Permafrost is not easy to dig and nobody in their right minds would try to farm grain on it, let alone dig a six foot grave.

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Boffins fear killer gamma death blasts from space

Graham Dawson
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You're kidding, right?

Our ozone layer isn't "totally hosed", it's still almost entirely there and it is constantly replenished by higher frequency electromagnetic radiation interacting with O2. But never mind that, you're apparently claiming that an "intact" ozone layer would prevent a gamma ray burst from doing anything to us?

Bull.

We aren't talking a dribble of light here, we're talking the entire output of the sun hitting us in moments. The ozone layer wouldn't stop a tiny fraction of that. In fact it'd probably be blown away in the first second.

Just for once, look past the sort of petty vindictiveness that tries to blame humans for everything and realise that the universe is far bigger and more powerful than we could ever hope to comprehend.

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Graham Dawson
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"Well, they currently have *no* ozone, "

Wrong. They have a reduced percentage. The ozone "hole" is not a hole as you seem to believe, it's a thinning, like the hair on my head, or the credibility of your posts each time you make a new one. Still there, not as much as before, and it's highly variable as well.

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TomTom ties up traffic with Top Gear

Graham Dawson
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There comes a time in a man's life when he has to bear left and take the next exit, but that time has, sadly, long passed for you. Son, you better slow down, maybe make a u-turn soon and get back on the road to your destination as soon as you're able. Okay.

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Graham Dawson
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Coat

Joiing presumably thousands of others who have asked the same question...

No Stig option?

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iPhone 5 a no-show at Apple's 'Let's talk iPhone' event

Graham Dawson
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Coat

It's not a bug!

It's a creature!

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Graham Dawson
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@irons

Given the way its "family" has been treated by apple...?

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22,000 'freetards' escape Hurt Locker piracy suit

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

@G Wilson

And you seem to be struggling with the concept of irony and satire.

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Check your machines for malware, Linux developers told

Graham Dawson
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@AC

Logical fallacy. They may be writing some part of the kernel, that doesn't mean they know jack about securing it.

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Ecclesiastical judge tells church: Let there be Wi-Fi

Graham Dawson
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They're usong churches because they're a convenient tall tower that's usually close to the people that these wifi schemes are meant to serve. It's why a ot of steeples also gave phone masts installed - they provide coversge wthout fhe mast being a visible eyesore.

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New flash RAM tech promises 99% energy drop

Graham Dawson
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@Dick Emery

Of course not! We have to get through duotronic "tape"-reading behemoths first.

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Graham Dawson
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Don't forget.

IBM still has that racetrack memory on the go. I quite like the idea, it seems very scifi.

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MS denies secure boot will exclude Linux

Graham Dawson
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How often?

Well, lets see, in the last several months I've booted various family computes from a USB drive several times, and from a CD numerous times as well, to either repair an existing installation or to install something new. I do it quite regularly. A lot of people do it quite regularly. More than enough to make something like this a huge problem.

As for importing keys, surely you can see this renders the entire concept pointless? If you can import keys, so can other people. In that case all you have is a needlessly complicated additional step to getting a working system. It's rather like government bureaucracy in that respect.

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Memo to open source moralists: Put a sock in it

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

What is this, BENEATH a steel SKY?

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Verity's secret shame revealed

Graham Dawson
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Or swedish. The wife's name was over 30 characters long (not including spaces) before we married and, due to Swedish conventions for naming, she kept her surname as a middle name with mine tacked on the end. Believe it or not, a 40+ character name with accents is not something you can just brush off as an edge case. It's very common.

We've had no end of trouble with idjits who can't comprehend a slightly foreign name. She's been called all sorts of things on paper, from minor misspellings, to using the wrong name as her first name, to the unforgettable Mr Omordlinap in one case... it's fun waiting to see each new permutation.

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Google's Native Client goes live in Chrome

Graham Dawson
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Windows

Well, no, jave uses bytecode, it's *completely* different! Buggrit!

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Winter for webOS, winter for Droid, but springtime for iPad!

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

5 minutes on google

http://sondreb.com/blog/post/showdown-of-slate-tablet-pcs.aspx

O course, given the entire complaint by apple is about *design*, there are also plenty of design examples about that predate the ipad. Apple did not invent this look, they followed an existing trend, so take your smug attitude and get off your high horse.

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Got a non-iPad tablet? Weirdo

Graham Dawson
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@404 harder to crack, too...

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Why Android houses should give Google the 'fork you'

Graham Dawson
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Pedal Stool

That some sort of unicycle without wheels?

I think you'll find it's pedestal. As in, the large lump of stone often found between a statue and a plinth.

Plinth, incidentally, is the sexiest word a woman can say. Try asking a woman to say it sometime and watch their face. Magic.

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Apollo 17 Moon landing: Shock revelations

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

oh. my. god.

Seriously?

pop quiz. how many photogr0hs were released for publicity puposes? how many were actually taken? IF you are a real photographer and not just an idiot with a camera you will know that they will have taken hundreds and used perhaps a dozen that turned out well enough. the "perfection" issue is only an issue to those ignorant about photography. I'm not even going to dignify the rest with a response.

photographer. right.

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Hologram Live

Graham Dawson
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What a world that has such noble titles in it

Answer: why not?

- the general

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Green energy and jobs will cripple the UK economy

Graham Dawson
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TITLE

Because insulting your ideological opponents is so much better than addressing their arguments.

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Bury council defends iPads for binmen

Graham Dawson
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even that much?

When the councils were set up, they had one, single job and were called local water authorities. The one thing they did ws manage water quality and supplies in that order. Everything else was handled by parishes, incorporated towns and all the little councils that have been slowly but surely erased. Perhaps we should go back to that instead? One advantage is, they wouldn't have a big enough budget to splurge surplus on iToys. They'd also have to be more responsive to local problems rather than spending all their budget on follies and bridges named after the council leader.

also, I'm starting to think we're like the Hitchens brothers. Only more sane.

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London borough in miracle £250m IT deal

Graham Dawson
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This is just a press release.

I'd expect this sort of credullous parroting of government 'news' from the graun, not el reg.

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Google's anonymity ban defied by Thomas Jefferson

Graham Dawson
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You realise the irony of your post?

I hope you do.

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Seven lessons from the HP Touchpad fire sale

Graham Dawson
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Eh?

I use my wok all the time. It's a good all-round pan for cooking anything that needs a bit of frying first and it distributes the heat quite nicely. Marvelous thing.

You may be surprised to find that some people buy things because they actually know what they're going to use them for.

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Google dumps TV flop on UK

Graham Dawson
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Useless?

I wouldn't say that.Honeycomb 3.2 is actually very good at being a laptop OS on my eee pad. It even recognises mouse-over events in the browser.

Were it possible, I'd be tempted to chuck a copy on my old toshiba just to see if it worked. I expect it might, but until google opens up the relevant bits again it's unlikely.

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Graham Dawson
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Happy

Sorry, no.

TV here is just as crappy as TV there. You only get the bits considered to be the very best, we get the full flavour shite in every shade from white to brown to that weird and disturbing ruddy-black stuff that you should probably go and see the doctor about.

Our news is the same as yours too. Especially the BBC, who have even abandoned vox pops in favour of reporters interviewing each other in nice safe studios.

What I'm trying to say is, your tv isn't uniquely awful. Sorry.

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Samsung SH100 14Mp Wi-Fi compact camera

Graham Dawson
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OHMIGOD! It looks just like my camera!

Nikon had better call in the lawyers, Samsung is at it again!

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Woman in strop strip for Bermuda airport customs

Graham Dawson
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Re: democracy and such

I've been itching to answer this one all day but I've been a bit busy.

Democracy is not just elections. Democracy is, at it's base, holding those in power to accountin order to limit their ambitions to serving the people. A mere election is usually the most efficient way to choose who those in power are going to be but it is not the essential element of a democratic system of government. The House of Lords, prior to being stuffed with government-appointed stooges and tripped of its ability to prevent the cabinet exercising untrammelled power, was more democratic than our current "system".

When a democratic system comes apart, it becomes mob rule and a sort of soft totalitarianism (fascism is actually the merging of state power with private capital, with the state totally directing the use of capital without actually taking ownership, but who's counting?) but by dint of that failure it stops being democracy - those in power are no longer held to account, the system no longer prevents their excesses but encourages them. A functional democracy prevents mob rule.

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Vogel's RingO iPad mounting system

Graham Dawson
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One of my odd little fantasies

Having wall-mounted docking stations for a tablet computer so I can drop it somewhere and use it to control or play back a upnp audio system. It just feels so star trek somehow.

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'Apple is not going to change,' new boss says

Graham Dawson
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Dana W might be half right.

If it's tossing kernel panics so regularly then there's probably a hardware issue behind it, and it's most likely the ram. My *buntu box was panicing almost daily until I found out it had duff ram in it. Worth running memtest to see.

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Graham Dawson
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Perhaps...

Perhaps he took, it down from its pedestal under the soft glow of display lights and actually used it.

But, then, macs crash whenever I go near them so I know I'm not exactly impartial about their reliability.

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Apple after Steve Jobs is still Steve Jobs' Apple

Graham Dawson
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Trollface

WIndows? Pah!

Put android on it.

OkI'm done being silly. Put debian on it.

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Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss

Graham Dawson
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Worse still...

They dropped the one thing that would have really differentiated them. Twice.

Still hugging my n900. Poor thing feels so abandoned even months later.

Wouldn't surprise me if a few of these manufacturers are investigating the possibility of MeeGo now.

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Graham Dawson
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Why not? Woked for Steve Jobs.

You can't use an iphone without setting it up in itunes first. What's the difference?

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Sulphur-loving microbes might be oldest life

Graham Dawson
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Boffin

Possibly...

On the other hand, given a number of inorganic processes can also produce microscopic spherical and tubular shapes, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.

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Who the hell cares about five nines anymore?

Graham Dawson
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@Martin 71

Hell is a profanity, though not a blasphemy, and by strict definitions not a swear as it doesn't invoke but merely names.

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HP's WebOS mess: When smartphone assets go toxic

Graham Dawson
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Wasn't that SCO's argument as well?

I recall they got a sound thrashing after trying to prove that headers were copyrightable.

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Graham Dawson
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Lewis? Nah...

Not enough american military hardware involved for him to have any real opinion on it.

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Average sozzled Brit sinks 5,800 pints during life

Graham Dawson
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Pint

WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE

I'll drink to that!

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HP chief bows to Jobsian cult

Graham Dawson
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Get a dictionary and lrn2english

Secular means, amongst other things, an event that lasts a long time or that happens, or is celebrated, once within a century (or other long period).

What Apothekar means is that, within the consumer PC space, there is a movement that is at once long-term, highly notable and has nothing to do with relig- wait...

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Injunction suspended: EU can buy Galaxy Tabs again

Graham Dawson
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Not quite

The motivations for the EU were post world war 1, and the solution to preventing war was to make sure that no European nation (or, more accurately, Germany - the EU was proposed by a frenchman, never forget that) could have all the necessary resources to make war. However, in the aftermath of world war 2 most of the justification quickly disappeared, as Europe transformed from a series of fortresses into an open market almost overnight. The EU is late to the game and, on current form, trying to implement a counter-productive solution.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

@Handle This

The EU is not like the US. The US constitution specifically states that any powers not granted to the federal government by the constitution are retained by the states or the people which, until relatively recently, meant that the federal government had very little actual power. Strictly speaking it still has very little actual power, but it has arrogated a great deal to itself following the american civil war and the subsequent war powers acts and various inter-war acts that granted it "temporary" power during the world wars. Nevertheless, the states are still able to legislate freely in all areas except foreign affairs and, to a lesser extent, military spending. They can't create legislation that interferes with inter-state commerce, but that doesn't actually prevent much. Meanwhile, federal laws become laws the moment they are signed by the president, without any froo-farah or re-implementation by the states.

In the EU, the situation is quite different. Member-states have very little sovereignty these days. Instead here there is a concept of subsidiarity: When a directive is created in a specific legislative area, that entire area becomes off-limits to member-states, except where the EU specifically allows them to continue legislating. An example is road safety. The EU has created certain directives on road safety in order to harmonise road safety practices across the entire union. The up-shot of that is that member-states are no longer allowed to legislate in that area, with the result that when, several years ago, a proposal was put forward in Parliament to require more and more visible reflective markers on trucks in the UK, it was shot down because that area of legislation was an EU competence.

Were the EU to allow member-states to exercise subsidiarity in that area, it would have included wording to that effect in the directives that had granted it competence over that area of legislation.

Also worth remembering that, unlike US federal legislation, directives (not including technical and regulatory directives) have to be implemented into law by the member-states' own legislatures, which leads to what may be politely referred to as fuck-ups, as amendments and translation issues introduce little caveats and minor but significant differences - and worth remembering, too, that each country has it's own legal system that has to be taken in to account when drafting legislation to implement a directive, which leads to some instances of law that directly conflicts with existing legislation.

Now, of course the issue is a german court, rather than the german legislature. The courts are also rather peculiar. There are no equivalents of the US federal court circuits, nor any direct equivalent of the supreme court, with the closest being the European Court of Justice (and please remember that the European Court of Human Rights is not an EU institution - something I often forget in my rantings). Member-state courts function as both "state" and "federal" courts, but there is a horrible amount of overlap due to the aforementioned subsidiarity and competence issue. If a german court were to rule on a purely german legal issue, it would have no effect outside of germany. If, however, a german court ruled on an issue that had become an EU competence, there is currently no clear measure of where that court's jurisdiction ends. Does it merely rule on the german law implementing the directive, or against the directive itself? Do directives grant german courts jurisdiction over the entire EU when ruling on that particular competence? It hasn't been decided yet

Then the issue becomes, what to do? On one side you'll have people who say "the system must be clarified, streamlined and simplified". They would favour tighter integration and harmonisation, with the EU becoming more of a unitary state. Another side would say "we need to loose, and rationalise", turning the EU into a federal model similar to the United States circa 1880, with very little power residing in the central government. A third group would say "lets call the whole thing off", desiring an admittedly messy divorce and a restoration of national sovereignty, along more holding our own politicians to account. All three would solve the issue of lack of clarity in different ways. I favour the latter, though I'd also be able to live with the second option, but whichever side of the issue you stand on it's pretty clear that the way things are at the moment is a complete and utter mess and that some clarity would go a long way.

There are other arguments too (one being that the EU is largely useless, as the majority of it's activity is to be merely a rather meddlesome middle-man between the member-states and the various ISO committees) but this post is going on far too long.

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Graham Dawson
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That doesn't actually answer the question

Merits or otherwise of the EU aside, the question was how did a German court arrive at the conclusion that it had the right to set an injunction across the entire EU, when the EU itself says probably not, not whether such a right would be desirable.

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Graham Dawson
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Equal partners

The EU is often said to run on a franco-german motor. They are both equally up to their necks in it: Germany provides the money, political will and organisational skills and France provides the histrionics.

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PETA to launch .xxx smut site 'to help animals'

Graham Dawson
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Pack your trunk

... that's all I got.

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Apple changed shape of Galaxy Tab in court filing

Graham Dawson
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Pint

What, like...

Brown, sticky and with a funny smell?

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Has Google wasted $12bn on a dud patent poker-chip?

Graham Dawson
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"and the UI copies Apple's iPhone."

I, er... what? The UI copies what? The iphone? How? The iphone UI is a touch-screen filled with little icons that you can, er, move around a bit. The Android UI is a touch-screen filled with a very flexible and configurable space for widgets, icons and all sorts of things. That counts as "copying"?

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