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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Ohh! The PRECIOUS! Give it to uss. We WANTS it: Shiny iThings coming in 2014

Graham Dawson
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I hear those things are awfully loud!

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

Graham Dawson
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Re: Seriosuly?

How about "Limited Internet Service Providers"?

Then you can tell everyone you have a LISP.

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Payday loan firms are the WORST. Ugh, my mobe's FILLED with filthy SPAM

Graham Dawson
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Re: Payday loan and betting, eh ?

Should we ask Ian Rush?

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A steam punk VDU ?

Graham Dawson
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I It could be miniaturised quite handily, I reckon. You could get the individual characters down to, oh, maybe 10 or 15mm on a side. Have the screen take up the majority of one side of a box with the mechanics in it and attach the keyboard via a cable containing the hydraulic lines.

The major potential problems would be in the durability of the tiny pins and the reliability of their motion. The clearances required to make a small display wouldn't be beyond the capabilities of the technology of the day, given how fine they made their clockwork.

I'm tempted to go off and scribble up some rough plans for this...

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Graham Dawson
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I believe that what you need is something like a pin screen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin_Art), with the pins hidden within and only visible when they're pushed out.

Pins could be manipulated with an x-y traversing arm that carries the character head.

The character head is an n*n array of pneumatic or hydraulic hammers, activated in different combinations by the keys of the keyboard. The hammers push the pins out in various combinations; the pins are a high contrast to the screen (white on black perhaps) that then appear as a character. Each key press advances the head one space.

Removing characters could be difficult. Perhaps the head can make a seal with the back of the character and simply suck the pins in again. Clearing the display would be as simple as tipping it back, or running a shallow-sloped wedge across the front to slide all the pins back into place.

What this offers: the display becomes its own memory buffer. Each character is "stored" in the display and can potentially be read back by a second head - or even the same head, if there's some way of shifting the hydraulic connection from the keyboard to a memory device. It'd be slow, one character at a time, but it could be done relatively simply by extending all the hammers on the write head and then pressing it against the character, and recording which hammers were pushed back and which remained in place. That would give you a record of the pins that had been stored in the display.

There'd need to be some way of preventing the pins moving at that point. Perhaps the pin screen could be made with a plate on the back that slides to one side when reading, narrowing the holes the pins pass through and wedging them in place.

Other possibilities: given you're working with a matrix of pins, you can go back and edit whatever you want by shifting the head back and forth with a set of control keys. With a little tinkering you could even have different font sizes, typefaces and even simple graphics.

No electricity or magnets required.

I hope that makes sense.

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Don't crack that Mac: Almost NOTHING in new Retina MacBook Pros can be replaced

Graham Dawson
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Of course in the real world, inhabited by the real humans you seem to contend this is aimed at, even the most dense and unfocussed realise that they can extend the life of their expensive hardware by replacing ram or replacing the harddrive at relatively little cost, both to themselves - as the cost of a new speedy large drive is significantly less than a new laptop - and to the environment - as they don't simply throw out an entire computer just to buy the latest new piece of shiny, overpriced kit from the world's most effective tat marketer just to get an incremental capacity upgrade.

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US Veep's wireless heart implant disabled to stop TERRORIST HACKERS

Graham Dawson
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Re: @ rcorrect

Just about everything Jake has ever stated comes entirely from his apparently very fertile imagination.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: @ rcorrect

So those sods that blew up Manchester in 96 were just my imagination? Wow. I'd better stop thinking. I'm bloody dangerous.

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Graham Dawson
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Newp, grounding, at least on the DC side.

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Do not adjust your set: TV market slows, 'connected TV' grows

Graham Dawson
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Re: I think they where hopping

A few issues.

First, get your prescription checked.

Second, a lot of the blueray films that came out in the first wave or two were just upscaled DVD releases rather than remasters. They're generally crap. It took a while for television broadcasters to really get the hang of producing HD content, which has resulted in ramping of quality just slow enough to be not-quite-perceptible. Compare TV now to TV then and it's pretty obvious how much higher the quality is.

Of course visual quality doesn't mean much if there's nothing worth watching.

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Feline OVERLORDS ditch camera-toting human servants, film selfie vids

Graham Dawson
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Re: Bird massacres

in most of the country the single biggest killer of songbirds - allegedly the favourite prey of cats - are not cats, but magpies. A cat might be able to get one songbird but given their lack of flight, cats are generally not capable of catching that many birds. In contrast, magpies do something that no cat would even think of attempting: they destroy nests. They take songbird chicks to feed to their own young. The growth in magpie numbers in recent years has had a devastating effect on all sorts of small birds - and not-so-small birds as well. They aren't particularly picky about where they get their food, you see.

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Island-hopping Beardy Branson: I'm dodging rain, not taxes

Graham Dawson
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Re: So tell us Mr. Branson

I dunno, JDX. Perhaps the fact that it's a tropical island is a pretty good reason to live there? I don't begrudge him that. I'd do the same if I were rich enough to buy an island. What's the point of an island if you don't live on it?

Just as long as he doesn't start lobbying for any tax increases in the UK. These rich ex-pats have been known to do that from time to time.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Graham Dawson
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Re: @Adam T

You want an unassailable example of a de-jure standard, look no further than the Intermodal Shipping Container, which is no less than the physical manifestation of a set of ISO standards on the transportation, identification and handling of freight. It transformed the freight industry so completely that the cost of worldwide shipping has gone almost completely flat and is no longer governed by distance or mode, but rather by content.

Every time anyone complains about ISO standards all you have to do is point at that. Or road traffic signs. Or bolt threads. Or any number of other things that we take for granted and assume are "just so", but are in fact the result of a piece of an international agreement to set a standard.

I'm saying this as someone who's really not all that keen on transnational and supranational organisations: there are times when they just bloody work. Setting standards is one of those times.

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Streaming TV Aereo's enemies lob sueball into Supreme Court

Graham Dawson
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Re: This could get interesting

They assume. They can't do much else but assume and pester you with threatening-sounding letters that amount to nothing much if you read the fine print. They have no legal right of entry (even the police have no legal right of entry without either permission or a warrant) and they have no ability to procure a warrant, and have to ask the police to do it for them.

The detector vans and all that gubbins are empty propaganda, merely designed to remind people that the TVLA exists. Just ignore their letters and tell the "inspectors" to take a walk. If they can't see a television displaying live broadcasts from the public highway, there's nothing they can do.

Not that I'm saying you should try and evade the license by hiding your TV in a back room where it's not visible to passers-by...

I only ever watch DVDs on mine.

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

Graham Dawson
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Re: 1 out of 10

I feel compelled to complain about all the complaints made in this thread.

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Firefox OS update adds performance, polish to Mozilla's webby mobes

Graham Dawson
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Second! Touchscreen keyboards are the bane of my life.

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Tech specs wreck: Details of Google's Nexus 5 smartphone LEAKED over interwebs

Graham Dawson
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@Elron Re: The sad thing is..

For the sake of comparison, I went n900->xperia mini pro (which was awful)->xperia pro

I couldn't live without the physical keyboard. Even with the screen size of these latest phones, the lack of tactile feedback from a screen just confuses my fingers. It's a failing. If I could get some sort of clip-on bluetooth keyboard that suppressed the on-screen keyboard I'd switch in a heartbeat.

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New Terminator-style 'bots can self-assemble, leap, climb and SWARM

Graham Dawson
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Re: A witch! A witch!

Incorrect. Burning was for heretics, whilst witness were generally hung or drowned. It's no better, but it pays to be historically accurate.

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Third of Brits now regularly fondling their slabs, say beancounters

Graham Dawson
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Re: Android already king of tablet marketshare globally.

Well, as I pointed out, they are using them in my experience. Perhaps you're just seeing people who don't have a tablet and assuming that they're android owners. Or people who simply weren't using them at that particular moment.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Android already king of tablet marketshare globally.

Last time I was on the tube I saw one ipad, three droids and a windows slab.

of course, as that doesn't fit the narrative, it's entirely meaningless and can be safely ignored.

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Apple's new non-feline Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, ready to go

Graham Dawson
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Maverick... meerkat?

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'ALL information leaks', Samsung exec told us – Nokia splutters in filing

Graham Dawson
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Course, the great thing is, if or when Sammy goes down another manufacturer will slip into its place with a new line of droid phones and you'll be able to seamlessly transfer all your contacts and apps between them without any hassle.

Of course, it has to be acknowledged that not everyone is comfortable with all that information being handled by Google.

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Tesco's new fondleslab winks at Apple's stealthy NFC assassin iBeacon

Graham Dawson
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Watch out for the drummers...

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The LSD trick cyclist, the 1980s pop-star and video games to REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN

Graham Dawson
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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

― C.S. Lewis

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Google's robot army learns Spanish

Graham Dawson
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Re: The gootards really need shunning/quashing ...

They have a solution. Google Stars. Somehow it makes sense.

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iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating

Graham Dawson
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Fifth from the right? I've looked through the entire report, none of them show the settings screen for iOS. I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me.

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Graham Dawson
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Is there any particular reason why they show several pages of the app screen when they only show a single page of the iOS home screen - which is the functional equivalent? Methinks they're padding just a fraction.

EDIT: Actually strike that, they do show a second page. BUT. They don't show the iOS settings app, yet do show the android settings. Kind of cheeky.

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UK.gov's e-Borders zombie still lurks under the English Channel

Graham Dawson
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Re: How's it supposed to work anyway?

Way to miss the point. Besides, Norway regularly ignores EU directives, so you're wrong anyway. They have the choice, you see; they can implement what is good for their country and ignore the things that are against their national interest. We can't..

And Iceland abandoned the accession talks in august.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: How's it supposed to work anyway?

I'll trade you joining schengen for leaving the rest of the EU and joining the EEA instead. We can be like Norway - who, believe it or not, don't have to implement EU laws without any say. They can and often do ignore them. The only areas they can't ignore are certain areas of regulatory law, which membership of schengen or the EEA requires they comply with.

However, almost all of the regulatory directives are simply implementations of standards, regulations and so on and so forth created by various committees of the United Nations, the ISO and other such transnational organisations. The EU has very little input except to re-write them into the languages of its member states. As an EU member state we no longer have any individual say on those committees and have to maintain a joint presence with the EU.

Given that fact, the greatest benefit to us is to be outside the EU so we can properly represent our interests on the primary source of these regulations, and in Schengen and the EEA so we can benefit from the free-trade agreements without having to implement every stupid piece of one-size-fits-all legislation Brussels decides to send our way.

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HTC staring down the barrel of a US sales ban after Nokia's patent coup

Graham Dawson
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I'd much rather they reboot the maemo/meego development and release a successor to the N9. That was a bloody beautiful phone.

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Grand Theft Auto V: Violent, sweary and amazingly ambitious

Graham Dawson
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Pint

It's never too early. -->

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'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

Graham Dawson
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Re: From the linked article

"Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Cut the red wire first, or you'll set off the bomb!"

Um... they're all yellow.

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New ransomware strain forces hapless users into becoming Bitcoin miners

Graham Dawson
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Because punishing people for a crime committed _against_ them is the most logical way to deal with this.

Idiot.

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Bill Gates again world's richest, tops in US for 20th straight year

Graham Dawson
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Re: Bill Gates and taxes

Obviously they're Jewish Commie-Nazis. And apparently pink.

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

Graham Dawson
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Re: Why does Samsung have to wait for Google?

Independently adding their own code to the underlying OS would mean it was no longer Google certified (or approved, or whatever they call it) which would mean in turn that they couldn't bundle the google play app and other google toys, which would then mean they no longer have that google ecosystem to offer to the punters.

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Reelin' in the years: Tracking the history of magnetic tape

Graham Dawson
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And I'm reminded of my days at Bradford, when we were all ushered into a little room in the back of the university of photography, film and television and given a highly entertaining lecture on the evolution of magnetic recording media fro the very first to the very latest.

I mean it when I say highly entertaining. I've forgotten the chap's name now, but he could weave a story. It helped that he had a lot of props to hand around, including what he claimed was a length of the tape from those old BBC recorders, which was accompanied by a story of the day he took part in or observed an interview that used them. According to him, the operator had at least one finger missing on each hand.

I know it sounds silly and that digital recording has essentially no downsides, but there was always something so very tactile about recording to tape or playing back from it. On the other hand I'll not miss the amount of time it took to transfer rushes from DV to the computer.

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Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986

Graham Dawson
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If you'd read the article you would have noticed an explanation for that. Do pay attention.

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Autogyro legend Ken Wallis hangs up wings at 97

Graham Dawson
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Holmes

Re: Look, no hands!

With a pipe!

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Australia's anti-smut internet filter blueprint lasts LESS THAN A DAY

Graham Dawson
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Meh

Re: As has recently been achieved in the United Kingdom...

Most mobile phone operators already do the former and have done for some reason, as I found out trying to access an entirely innocent writing website.

Which just goes to show that these content filters are stupid anyway.

Who would have thought?

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Baffled boffins 'closer' to finding origins of extragalactic COSMIC RAYS

Graham Dawson
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Re: data is a plural word

Of course you're correct. The singular has become "data point", or the phrase "a single piece of data". Rather like cake. Though of course that also comes in slices. But then, so does data.

You see English is a very functional language. It has lost most of its inflection - not all, given we still pluralise and inflect for number, amongst other things - but certainly most, so of course when English adopts a word from an inflected language, such as Latin or Greek, it will tend to adopt a single form and discard the rest. Other forms of the noun might then turn up in other contexts, for related but distinct concepts.

One of the reasons I personally tend to rail against attempts to enforce foreign grammatical rules on imported words is that it leads to hyper-correction. That is, the proscriptive applicatiopn of "the rules" to situations where they have no reason to be applied. Virus and Octopus both still have their pedants insisting that they pluralise as virii and octopi, when English orthography would render them as viruses and octopuses. Yet there is no attested plural of virus in Latin, and octopus is greek, and should pluralise as octopodes.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: data is a plural word

A few things to bear in mind:

Nowhere does the article refer to a single point, but always to a collective "data".

In English, "data" is also used as a collective singular noun.

In English, datum generally refers to an originating or prototypical example of a thing. See for example "datum line", generally shortened to "datum", being a guaranteed line from which measurements are taken or from which distance is calculated in a variety of fields.

Datum might be the latin singular and data the plural, but we aren't speaking latin. My wife speaks classical latin and has taught it at a university level, yet she'd bop you over the head with her copy of The Golden Ass if you tried pulling that sort of pedantry on her. Attempting to shoehorn latin rules of grammar into English is the reason why we have to put up with complaints about split infinitives and the tortured house style of The Economist, that once rendered the unforgettable sentence "Yet even as big data are helping banks, they are also throwing up new competitors from outside the industry." Which is a complete and utter nonsense.

And finally: language evolves. Words change meaning. Often they can change quite fundamentally and even transform into antonyms of their origin, as you might find if you look up the historical meanings of "nice", "artificial" and "awful".

Data is the singular, plural and collective noun in English. That's not how it started, but that's what it is.

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Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

Graham Dawson
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BLIT

wink

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Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users

Graham Dawson
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Re: "Anything to throw a spaniard in the worms"

Google "writing comments on a touchscreen"

(writing came off as spring and wording first couple of tries. ..)

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Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

Graham Dawson
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Re: Put my CV through but I have yet to hear.

ChairPunt, surely?

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Guardian teams up with New York Times for future Snowden GCHQ coverage

Graham Dawson
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Coat

@Bluenose Re: Yes Me history of the Guardian

Denying the Graun has a left-wing bias would be like denying that the Sun has tits on page three. They may once have been anti-establishment but as things stand now they're very much part of it, considering their close relationship with the BBC.

They are, nevertheless, performing a valuable service releasing these documents. One might question their potential willingness to do so had Labour been in power, but since Labour aren't in power the point is moot: they're releasing the information and we, as a whole, will hopefully benefit from that.

Never let it be said I'm not fair. Though I might be somewhat unbalanced...

Mine's the one with a copy of the Beano in the pocket.

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Google cursed its own phones with wacked Wi-Fi, say Nexus users

Graham Dawson
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Re: A slightly different problem

Maybe turn off the wifi unless you want to use it?

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Graham Dawson
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Re: Take care

Nah, something like that would come under building regs at most. You can apply retroactively without penalty.

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Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

Graham Dawson
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Windows

Oh look, it's mister monolithic whine.

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Snowden's email provider may face court rap after closing service

Graham Dawson
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His mistake was in being too honest. What should have happened was a series of unfortunate accidents that managed to destroy all of their data storage, after which they found out their backup system wasn't actually being used for the last two years, so all the requested data is simply gone.

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