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* Posts by EmperorFromage

56 posts • joined 20 Nov 2007

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Chinese cops cuff 1,500 in fake base station spam raid

EmperorFromage

Finally, a stopper to strumpet spam

I have gotten dozen of indecipherable messages when visiting central Beijing. Asking the locals to translate them, invariably turns red faces. But it is more bothersome that my phone becomes unavailable for legitimate traffic while it is hijacked by the fake GSM base stations.

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Nokia and HTC throw down swords, sign patent war peace treaty

EmperorFromage

Which Nokia ?

The story doesn't say, but it may be reasonable to assume that the bits of Nokia that have been flogged to Microsoft and by extension Microsoft is not party to this truce. Thus making it an agreement between the surviving Finnish bits of Nokia where all the IPRs are to be found and HTC.

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Security 101 fail: 3G/4G modems expose control panels to hackers

EmperorFromage

Plenty of blame to go around here

The USB standards group is to blame for not having created a standard USB serial interface specification, which in turns means you can't have a serial modem dongle work out of the box.

3GPP group, and various telcos for not specifying a default internet APN (empty string perhaps?) and operators desire for complicating the setup, requiring all sorts of bundled crapware on modem dongles.

Having a web server on the dongle gets around the setup problem, but not checking the Referer in the http request header is plain stupid in this case

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Open source bods magic up Qualcomm tech to unlock Internet of Things

EmperorFromage

Not going to happen

I don't think any company big enough to have a proper legal department will touch this thing with a barge pole. The problem is with the licensing terms, which gives a royalty free license to some undisclosed IP. The caveat is that if you enter into any kind of legal dispute with Qualcomm (even on completely unrelated areas), you loose the rights to utilize said undisclosed IP. No serious player in the mobile business would agree to such a legal hobble.

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Samsung isn't alone: HTC profits take a huge dive

EmperorFromage

Unfortunately rather well deserved

My previous droid was an HTC One X which was rather good when I bought it, but had some problems:

1) Did not wan't to accept US T-Mobile sim card (prepaid when visiting US)

2) Firmware update broke Bluetooth A2DP for my Sony car stereo

3) Later Firmware update broke WiFi channel 13 support (regional setting)

4) Finally the GPS antenna came loose and navigation stopped working (well known issue)

At this point I was not so much inclined to buy another HTC product, and no amount of marketing I am afraid would make me change my mind. In addition to this the bilingual text input was a complete mess as "å" (Norwegian and) would always be corrected to "a" (English), with no thought given to how far apart they are on the keyboard, and that the likelihood of mistyping is virtually nil.

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Oracle trowels more plaster over flawed Java browser plugin

EmperorFromage
Big Brother

You will be assimilated

... by a neverending stream of updates, until you all have started to love the ask.com toolbar.

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Intel plugs both your sockets with 'Jaketown' Xeon E5-2600s

EmperorFromage
Meh

Tweaked for bloatware performance ?

Perhaps with the exception of floating point performance, it seems unlikely that highly tuned programs will run very much faster on this. If on the other hand you are running a crapload of bloatware, all of the listed performance tweaks should translate into higher overall performance.

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FAA to pilots: Expect 'unreliable or unavailable' GPS signals

EmperorFromage
Pirate

Jamming could reach even further

http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo_car.html

Select region: Gulf-Caribbean

Strong tropospheric ducting is forecast, meaning the jamming signal could be ducted and picket up hundreds and even thousand miles away. I bet they didn't think of this...

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Cell phone eavesdropping enters script-kiddie phase

EmperorFromage
Black Helicopters

Who watches the SIM card makers ?

The venerable Swiss crypto maker Crypt AG was little match for the subversive skills of the NSA when they wanted a back door into Iranian diplomatic communications. I have a suspicion SIM card makers are even more of a pushover when the men in black come knocking with polite requests for copies of embedded crypto material embedded in SIM cards as they leave the factory floor.

This way, the NSA won't even have to break A5/3 when doing intercepts in foreign territories

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3G at 2G frequencies edges closer in UK

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Excellent start to plugging the security nightmare which is GSM

This weeks BlackHat conference is firing a volley of shots at GSM. (Break A5/1 - intercept calls, set up IMSI catchers) Some of these faults are due to GSM phones not properly authenticating the network they connect to. Unfortunately as long as 3G phones rely on GSM, they will be equally vulnerable. Moving 3G networks to 2G frequencies is a step in the right direction for patching 'the Achilles heel of 3G security.'

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PARIS in cheeky GPS chip slip

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

GPS Good to go

From BeeLine GPS User’s Guide:

17 GPS Module Limitations

The GPS Receiver firmware contains an algorithm that allows either the speed limit (515 m/s) or altitude limit (18,000 m) to be exceeded, but not both. This allows the receiver to be used, for example, in high altitude (research balloon) applications.

So as long as the speed stays below 515m/s you should get good high altitude readings.

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PARIS pops down to QinetiQ

EmperorFromage
Boffin

GPS above 60000'

Some further study in the gospel truth of google searches, reveals

http://www.thefintels.com/aer/gpstelemetry.htm

Meaning only one of the limits need apply, and by judicious choice of GPS, and keeping speed well below mach 2 it should be possible to track the craft, even above 60000'

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EmperorFromage
FAIL

GPS wont work above 60000'

I see a potential problem that could ruin the mission. Civilian GPS units have built in hardware limitations, and won't track if the speed exceeds 999 mph, or altitude goes above 60000'. This to prevent the ilks of Kim Jong-il etc. from building a cheap missile guidance system.

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Giant flying pliers menace West Bromwich

EmperorFromage
Terminator

I for one

I for one welcome our Chrome Vanadium Overlords ...

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DARPA asks you to cram petaflops super into single rack

EmperorFromage
Boffin

Easy : Stack up ~360 ATI 5870 GPUs

You can stack 8 GPUs to a motherboard (In the form of a standard 5890 card) - And you can stack 2 motherboards side by side in a 3U unit. The proposed rack would hold 22 3U units.

Then to make it easy to program, you write a OpenCL wrapper API for the whole cluster. - and divvy out the work through OpenCL to the individual computers - together with a slice of dataset to chew on.

It isn't quite a homerun though:

0.816 petaflops @ 66KW (1500W per machine)

It would need custom motherboards to fit in the rack, but one could start work today using off the shelf components, and by the time ATI moves one step down from 40nm, the power and size issues will take care of themselves.

Where do I collect my prize?

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Skype arrives on Nokia Symbian phones

EmperorFromage
Troll

But why?

Fring was working just fine for me.

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ARM strengthens low power hand, targets smart grid

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Cortex-M next year ? Looks like it is already here.

The STM32 primers seems like very neat little toys.

http://www.stm32circle.com/resources/stm32primer2.php

I am tempted to buy one, as the cost is very reasonable, and they make for a fun hand held gaming platform if nothing else.

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Nvidia details GF100 graphics beastie

EmperorFromage
Black Helicopters

I'll take two (after NSA has taken delivery of theirs)

@AC 13:01

It will be interesting to see how they compare to the 58xx. I have two of those cards in my rig, and use them for rendering stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w6vo9t62c0 or compute rainbow tables etc. (or just plain video and image processing)

Has anyone notice that the DX11 instruction set contains the "canonical NSA instruction" (bit population count) - I expect various 3 letter government agencies to stock up on these cards as well now.

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AMD revs up Stream SDK

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Go ATI evergreen

I bought the 5850 card for for playing around with in Linux. Very impressive stuff. Unlike nvidia the chip has a full integer instruction set, very useful if you want to compute rainbow tables. The ATI cards are ahead of nvidia in when it comes to speed on the GSM cracking effort.

For floating point work it is brilliant. The author mention mandelbrot, he should get his hands on my mandelbulb renderer. For sure he will waste more than just 30 minutes looking at that twisted old knob.

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MS denies Win 7 backdoor rumours

EmperorFromage
Black Helicopters

No _NSAKEY this time around ?

.. it was about time the moved to a 2048 bits key.

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Google wraps Gmail and Co. in Microsoft comfort blanket

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Much better than SyncML

I am no M$ fanboy, but judging from the speed and compactness (small amount of data transfered) it seems that Redmond got something right in the exchange protocol.

The alternative SyncML - ( made by OMA, whose standard specifications are more akin to statements of intent ) - is just incredibly slow and chatty. That is if you can manage to implement it - I guess big G may have just given up on trying to implement SyncML - even with the full "spec" in front of them, and found it easier to reverse engineer a proprietary Microsoft protocol.

Gmail is an excellent way for me and my miss to keep contacts and calendar in sync on our S60 phones.

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NASA rejects democracy, names ISS node 'Tranquility'

EmperorFromage
IT Angle

@Jump off a bridge

I assume you mean the Stephen Colbert bridge in Hungary ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megyeri_Bridge

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Brussels and Beijing work to end trade show police raids

EmperorFromage
Boffin

@AC

Most www animtians are flash these days, hardly an improvement. But the GIF patents expired in 2007, so there is little impetus now to pay the royalties that unisys demanded. 2012 / 2017 is the expiration years for mp3 patents, till then you will be giving alms to Fraunhofer for every single mp3 capable device you buy. Your cost for convenience on a personal level may be negligible, but for HW producers that churn out units by the millions with paper thin margins, pennies and cent to Fraunhofer accounts takes a good sized chunk out of their margins.

What Fraunhofer doesn't seem to get, is that the road from a Chinese manufacturing plant to the EU market is long and arduous. It would make more sense to ensure that products shipped by the container load to EU are fully licensed. Enforcing licensing requirements on the trade show floor, where much of what is being showed is just prototypes anyways, adds more hurdles in bringing product to market, and could very well result in fewer overall unit royalties. This coupled with the ill will it generates, could bring about more uptake of royalty free alternatives, such as ogg.

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EmperorFromage
Thumb Down

MWC had customs / police raids.

I know of at least 1 Chinese company that got a visit from Spain's customs / police during MWC 2009 - even though they had their papers and licensing in order. Either Fraunhofer or Spanish officials are getting sloppy, more of this it and it could very well trigger the necessary backlash to see a real uptake of the ogg format. ( remake of the burn all gifs campaign , 2012 / 2017 is still a rather long wait. )

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Ballmer: 'Google not a major mobile competitor'

EmperorFromage
Gates Horns

Android trounces windows mobile

After 1 week of using the G1 I have almost been sold. I did expect it to be an half baked attempt at an iPhone killer. But it seems that what has happened is that Google set aim for the iPhone, missed woefully on that target, but hit windows mobile right between the eyes instead. As a phone, it completely trounces windows mobile (except if you have an absolute need to talk with MS exchange)

Fear is what I hear in Ballmers voice.

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Symbian: Linux unfit for mobile phones

EmperorFromage
Boffin

Sad but true

Speaking as a developer, the Linux kernel is just brill for mobile phones. The problem lies with a number of manufacturers that confuse "Linux phone" with "smart phone". There are a number of Linux phones out in the market place, but very few third party applications for such phones. That stems from the almost complete lack of standardized APIs for the cellular space.

However this doesn't mean that it will always be this way, efforts are well underway for instance in and around the LiMo foundation to supply these standardized APIs that can transform linux into a viable smart phone platform. But of course LiMo is a in a race with several contenders ( iPhone, Android etc) to determine which ecosystem of application , developers and devices will be the dominating one in the years ahead. Thankfully, it won't be Symbian.

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Blame game over United Airlines stock crash rumbles on

EmperorFromage
Unhappy

Ancient stories should not show up on "most read"

Except perhaps if it was an archeology related site. But I believe the Sun Sentinel is in the business of disseminating NEWs...

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Holiday text messages to cost less than 9p

EmperorFromage
Alert

It'll still be prepaid for me.

(posted when "roaming" in Romania. Unlimited WAP for EUR 3.50 a month goes a long way when I configure Firefox on my eee to use the WAP gateway as a proxy.)

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Google cedes Belgium to Germany

EmperorFromage
Alien

Clearly gmail.de is the target here

By eliminating Germany, the .de domain can be vacated, and the now New Danes can all enjoy gmail as it was intended.

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Hijacking huge chunks of the internet - a new How To

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Great news!

Now would someone care to route the Internet in a great circle around Sweden!

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Nokia admits major Series 40 security problems

EmperorFromage
Pirate

Guessing the vector

Adam has excluded WAP push as the vector. MMS is then the next likely suspect. This begs the question if a virus / worm could use the vector as a replicator. The network meltdown caused by 100M+ infected client devices would be one of biblical proportions.

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Blank robbers swipe 3,000 'fraud-proof' UK passports

EmperorFromage
Boffin

No digital signature ?

A digital signature would easily prevent counterfeiting the data on the chip.

Cloning is another matter though...

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Linux on mobiles will put the squeeze on MS, says Zemlin

EmperorFromage
Linux

Don't believe the hype...

Carriers are carried away (bad pun) by a Linux pipe dream. Android, and iPhone have been a clarion call - They can no longer control the users experience in their little walled gardens, and thus they risk being commoditized and made into dumb pipes.

But the fact of the matter is that there is no credible Linux platform for application development today. Android mind you is just a glorified java phone.

GTK has prooved to be to heavy to run on small ARM devices, thus it has been bitched by the OpenMoko effort. The LiMo foundation is still sticking to it, but will get badly burned when they fail to provide a secure sandboxed 3rd party application environment.

So as a Smartfone platform Linux is quite lethargic, but that is not to say that it is dead in the water. It is still a very good OS to run a phone on, especially compared to e.x. what Qualcomm has to offer. The Qualcomm platform is so decrepit that there is now talk about running a user space Linux on top of it. Not that this will turn it into a "Smartphone" platform that the carriers can control, but it should make development easier.

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Rogers chucks (small) bone to Canuck Jesus Phoners

EmperorFromage
Thumb Down

3 years a bit optimistic

Having seen 2 dead & crying iPhones on the cross already, I realize that they are not the sturdiest of devices. There is no way average device lifetime is even close to 2 years, much less 3. What will the punters replace the broken iPhone with when they are tied into a 3 year data plan? Androids ?

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Femto forum gets big ideas

EmperorFromage

Unintended application:

I can already see a use for femtocells which the operator might not have thunk of: Avoiding roaming charges. Bring your own femtocell while traveling, and you no longer need to roam onto the local networks; better that than leaving it unused at home.

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Nokia grabs control of Symbian - then gives it away

EmperorFromage
Jobs Halo

Riding two horses ?

There is a large overlap in the Limo Foundation and Symbian foundation members roster. Does this mean that Limo is sinking ship? Or has collective panic set in from fear of the Jesus phone, and the others players are all grasping at straws.. any straws they can get hold of ?

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Snoop bill opponents post Swedish spy IDs on net

EmperorFromage
Alien

Not yet operational ?

Strange that I can still read this story here in Norway, considering that IP traffic to the UK is routed through Stockholm by my ISP. I expect these stories to be replaced by reviews of Volvo in car navigation systems shortly. It was fun while it lasted though.

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Asus Eee PC 901 Linux Edition

EmperorFromage
Go

Integrated 3G

I agree this would be nice, but eee supports the huawei E220 modem flawlessly. If you have some clue about what 3G setup you need, the wizard will have you up and running in less than a minute.

My 701 + E220 works so well for El Reggin on my commute, that finding reasons to upgrade to 901 is hard. Integrated 3G and a bigger screen would perhaps be reason enough though.

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3 told to cut rates

EmperorFromage
Pirate

The end of termination fees ?

Pure 4G IP networks (like WiMAX) can run VoIP on top of an all you can eat IP plan. ( Mayby some QoS qoutas will be thrown in ). Charging termination fees on such a setup is impractical, and (I hope) will force other operators to abandon them altogether. Competing with something that has zero marginal cost is rather awkward.

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Koreans tout standard for US mobile TV

EmperorFromage
Jobs Halo

A shiny new future

requires yet another standard: multicast over WiMAX

Which isn't a new standard really, but rather what the next generation of "open networks" should use, existing and "open" standards.

I'll buy that for a dollar!

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Mobile roaming in Europe: Have your say

EmperorFromage
Paris Hilton

Revolt - Someone should make a roaming wiki

Data roaming charges are broken beyond repair, and if I have to make any extended stays in EU countries, I try to buy a prepaid SIM and use HSDPA / GPRS and make my calls using SIP or Skype.

For Instance, in Italy you can get a TIM SIM for 10 EUR - charge it to 30 EUR, and then activate "Maxi Alice 100" this gives you 100 hours of full Internet access anywhere in Italy ( apn: ibox.tim.it )

In Sweden you can get a Telia SIM, charge it, and Internet traffic is capped at 69 SEK a day. However you must first register the SIM to a Swedish address. Ask the dealer to help you out, customer service is expensive and confusing

The trouble is that researching all the loops you have to jump through is time consuming, and should not have to be repeated over and over again by anyone wishing to roam cheaply. This information should be in a wiki somewhere.

Paris, well since she seems rather cheap

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DVB-H is the official mobile-TV standard

EmperorFromage
Stop

Will only work in Germany

From what rumors I picked up at MWC it seems that the DVB-H pushers will move traditional access control mechanism from satellite TV smart cards and stick them in the cellphone SIM. There are a couple of problems with this approach though.

1) Punters will not want pay a full subscription for a service they use 5 minutes every 3 months.

2) Watching TV while roaming is out.

For this reasons DVB-H will only work in Germany, where consumers have enjoyed free satellite TV since the inception. Thus asking punters to pay a subscription fee is out of the question, and DVB-H will have a modest chance of seeing any uptake.

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Sun dreams the impossible Java on Jesus Phone dream

EmperorFromage
Alien

But why Jazelle ?

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture the iPhone CPU is listed as ARMv6KZ (ARM1176JZ(F)-S) which among other niceties has Jazelle.

Jazelle can only be used for hardware Java VM acceleration. Why did Apple put it on the chip if they never intended to use it ?

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Nokia N810 internet tablet

EmperorFromage
Jobs Horns

I'd take the eee

I had the option to try the N810 out for some days, but couldn't be farked. The somewhat chunkier eee suits my needs much better I thought. Eee + Huawei E220 = perfect on the go surfpad.

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Most spam comes from just six botnets

EmperorFromage
Pirate

Answer...

@stottle: Easy, because that would make a fake spam-run a formidable DoS weapon.

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Qualcomm and the real story behind Mobile World Congress

EmperorFromage
Jobs Halo

WiMax for teh win

Many smaller handset manufacturer balks at the entire 3G licensing scheme, and are looking for ways out. A SIP capable WiMax / WiFi handset with a decent battery life could bring the 3G house of patents tumbling down as well.

This would also leave IMS ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Multimedia_Subsystem ) a smoldering ruin, which can only be a good thing for consumers. Future networks should be an open IP architecture, and not a fragmented jumble of carrier approved services.

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The future of the SIM hangs by a single wire

EmperorFromage
Gates Horns

DVB-H

DVB-H the "other" herpes at MWC - will require new SIM features. ( Similar to a satellite TV conditional access SIM ) ... so there should be plenty of fodder for the SIM marketing droids in pushing DVB-H

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Vodafone CEO finds wireless too complicated

EmperorFromage
Alien

What if WiMAX beats LTE ?

WiMax is primarily an IP infrastructure. SIP / Skype / whatever will happily run on top of it. LTE on the other hand is a more insidious creature that comes bundled with IMS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Multimedia_Subsystem - which is just a way for the carriers to continue gouging their customers by preserving the current pricing structure over an IP network. The current structure has FAIL written all over it, hence the EU commissions need to rein in exorbitant roaming charges.

WiMax has the potential to introduce a flat affordable IP roaming arrangement, and rid us of antiquated differentiated asymmetric billing rates, which never has made any sense. ( Why different price to call A->B than B->A ? )

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Samsung bares its Soul

EmperorFromage
Thumb Up

Vibrates

I tried this at the camping congress, the tiny touch screen actually has tactile feedback, and vibrates when it registers a touch, the response to the push is instant, as compared to LGs feeble attempt at copying this feature. ( Vibrates when touched, but only 75% chance of a delayed response on th e phones main screen. )

Actually this feature works quite well, but 90% of the time it is simply a fancy directional keypad. Still cool though.

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US HD DVD sales hit new low

EmperorFromage
Flame

Time to bring on compulsory licensing

The copyright industry lives of a set of limited right. These rights have been granted them (mostly) by the people. Once again they have used these rights as a bludgeon to stamp out players more or less unrelated market. This power was not intended thought the grants given in copyright law, and so the law needs to be clarified.

Compulsory licensing needs to be put into effect. Both the HD DVD and BluRay consortium should be allowed to stamp out HD movies on equal terms. This would put the consumers (the people) in charge on who wins any format wars.

This way the most consumer friendly format would gain the biggest market share, and balance would be restored, the Earth would cool down, and the Tasmanian tiger would once again return to our Planet.

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