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* Posts by Paul Crawford

1576 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Microsoft to devs: Don't ruin Win 8 launch with crap code

Paul Crawford
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"any other can or can't?"

The point is the OS should provide the appropriate restrictions for ALL applications, and regulated by only a few permission levels depending on what an app needs to do.

The beef here is MS want to play with APIs for IE and Office that others are not allowed to, a bit like the old Word vs. WordPerfect anti-trust case where MS, due to its inner knowledge of its own OS, could out-perform other software by using undocumented features (OK WordPerfect had other issues, but the API tricks are known).

Or the same tactic, used more sneakily, to break DR-DOS + Win3.0 etc.

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Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Marketing is working

No worry, as win7 will be available for years due to demand just like XP got several stays of execution.

So please don't give them any more money then necessary?

Tux - 'cause he/she is cheap, and I like IT!

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Paul Crawford
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Re: All the well written 3rd party apps in the world won't save win8!

"So are you suggesting that they document how to use every piece of code in Windows?"

In a word - yes.

Or remove them completely so their own developer's don't have something special to play with.

Remember its not just IE that gets special treatment on WOA/WinRT, but they also have a special rule to allow Office to run without the dreaded metro interface. Why not allow LibreOffice this access?

Yes, I know, that was a rhetorical question...

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Does Britain really need a space port?

Paul Crawford
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Re: South America

No, the missed point about a usefull sub-orbital flight (as opposed to geostationary satellite launch) is that it goes from somewhere people are, to somewhere people want to be.

I can see flights from, say, UK to Australia (and vice-versa) in 2-3 hours being very popular if the cost was vaguely tolerable.

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UK's '£1.2bn software pirates' mostly 'blokes under 34'

Paul Crawford
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@h4rm0ny

The disbelief is not that 20% of software in use is not correctly licenses, but that (a) stopping this would not necessarily lead to 20% more income (a lot of expensive unlicensed software would not be bought, but cheaper alternatives used), and that (b) any such increase in income won't necessarily help the UK economy as a whole.

So while it may help some of the BAS' member's businesses, that is not the same as helping the UK was a whole as a significant proportion of such income would go overseas.

Where would the £1.2B come from? Its not like the UK has lots of spare cash in the cupboard, so other UK business & services would lose out. Robbing Peter to pay Paul?

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Paul Crawford
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More importantly from an economic point of view, where would most of the claimed £1.2 billion go, to Adobe/MS perhaps? Not in the UK's balance of trade advantage I'm sure.

A more useful thing would be for more home-grown (or open source) software to be used, that way the "missing" £1.2B can be spend on UK jobs & services.

If it ever existed in the first place.

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Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Paul Crawford
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Re: If they really knew...

Indeed, a small percentage are terrible drivers.

But speeding w.r.t. road sign values is only one aspect of this: not paying attention (for whatever reason: phone, kids, being senile, etc), being drunk/drugged up, having marginal knowledge of road rules, driving too fast for the prevailing conditions (fog, snow, etc), etc are all big factors that would be very difficult to deduce from GPS track data.

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Flashy mutant Ultrabooks to shove pure SSD chaps off cliff

Paul Crawford
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CPU share?

Is it just me, or are other surprised that the CPU is costing almost half of the machine?

Seems that is the reason Intel wants to push the 'Ultrabook', though as Big_Ted said, you could get a decent and flexible combination of machines for this sort of price if not wanting to ape Mac Air looks.

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Ubuntu will hit the big time on Amazon: Here's how

Paul Crawford
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@LeeE

Machines writing software to logical rules is quite practice, the problem then is you need to define those logical rules to be complete and in-turn with what you actually *want* the system to do.

For simpler systems you already have this and it works quite well (e.g. MATLAB's code generation option to produce C/Ada/etc from a block diagram simulation system).

But although this may avoid simple coding errors, I think you will find that it is no easier (in fact possibly harder) to formalise a large complex system in strict logical terms, than to allow humans to fill in the gaps of the specification as they develop it.

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Intel CEO predicts DOOM for fab industry and competitors

Paul Crawford
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@Dig

The OS and its architecture can have a big impact on power dissipation depending on how it handles task switching and idle operation.

Also one argument for x86 is the huge (but often ugly and unsupported) "wintel" legacy of code that businesses rely on.

So far MS has failed to succeed on non-x86 (they supported then unceremoniously dropped Alpha, MIPS, etc with NT4) so the new WOA (WinRT) on tables is therefore a big gamble. However, Apple has made a successful transition from PowerPC to x86 for the Mac, and conceivably could do it again if ARM became attractive enough in cost/power/performance (given the success of iOS on ARM that is not unreasonable). Similarly Linux runs on practically everything.

So the OS choice matters in that Intel's success was tied to MS' past glory, and the x86 is a horrible design that no one in their right mind would *want* to use, so outside of MS' old PC ecosystem there is little reason to favour x86.

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Paul Crawford
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@Charlie Clark

"...the new phone chip really does come close to the TDP of comparable ARM designs and it has more oomph"

How much of that is clever design (i.e specific to the x86 system) and how much of that is down to having a process technology a year or two ahead of the competition?

In other words, if you could get an ARM chip done with on the same Intel fab, would it then thrash it?

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Chrome beats IE for a weekend

Paul Crawford
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Re: M$ only have themselves to blame

Funny, I thought XP was supported until 2014?

Also note that the latest stable version of Opera for Windows has the minimum requirements of "Windows 2000 on a Pentium II, 128 MB of RAM, 20 MB of free disk space"

Funny how other browsers can work on XP, but not MS' latest?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Chrome - the anti-drone?

"Every time you hit Google.com with IE it tells you to download Chrome, so that's what such people do."

Makes sense in a sad resigned sort of way :(

As I virtually never use IE that escaped me.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Chrome - the anti-drone?

Going to the site and playing with the regions is interesting. Some like the UK or Netherlands shows noticeable weekend peaks for Safari, etc, and others like Germany show a much higher FF proportion.

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Paul Crawford
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Chrome - the anti-drone?

Funny how IE and Chrome have such a weekly cycle opposite each other, where as FF/Safari/Opera shows very little variation.

Why would corporate locked-down users all choose much the *same* non-IE browser for home use, and not a balance closer to the other browser's respective shares?

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Evil plot to control souls via Wi-Fi thwarted

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: @David W. (was: Whatever.)

"Why would you care, one way or another, what an ignorant fool thinks about you?"

It makes it harder to get the vicar's daughter undressed...

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US Judge says IP addresses don't identify pirates

Paul Crawford
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Re: MAC Address

The router probably holds the MAC addresses only temporarily in RAM. mine seems to have no permanent logs, so if it has been switched off at any point then any such MAC records will have been lost.

However, if there is a fixed port-forwarding rule to a specific MAC address (rather than a dynamic UPnP set-up for forwarding by the BitTorrent client) that would be available on inspection of the router. That is if they are willing to pay for expert evidence gathering and compensation costs for the accused's loss of access, profits, etc, should it turn out to be an error in their evidence.

Ultimately these companies are not in the game of proving copyright infringement, they are in the game of demanding money with legal menaces (more profitable), which the judge here clearly sees.

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: See how well that holds up...

<= you missed the icon?

You also forgot to mention the large resulting compensation for legal costs, time & inconvenience when a large number of such accusations turn out to be false...

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Paul Crawford
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@Tasogare

Very much so.

It sounds like it may end for them as for ACL:Law in the UK, where the lack of willingness to prove actual infringement by the accused in a court of law, and the general incompetence of their evidence processes, blew their chances and led to bankruptcy for the ambulance-chaser of the lawyer behind it.

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Facebook unfriends 19-inch data center racks

Paul Crawford
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WTF?

Oh FFS do it right!

So let me get this right, a 19" rack is too small, so lets go non-standard for only 4" more?

Why not go for 2*19=38" wide and be done with it, so you can mound old and new stuff in one rack?

Somehow I doubt that a few inches are so make-or-brake for cooling, and the real issue is just what is in a box and how it is cables. Most racks seem to end up messy for cabling, more so if you have servers on sliders to gain access and so have big loops on supports arms at the back. Why not have some "plug in" rack so the inter-unit cabling can be fixed, and the unit pulls out completely for repair, etc?

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Intel bakes palm-sized Core i5 NUC to rival Raspberry Pi

Paul Crawford
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Re: Fan = show stopper

You seem to be lucky. We see less failures than the sometimes quoted MTBF = 4-5 years figure suggest, but still not great, and some get noisy and slow (so less effective) as they get old even without "complete failure".

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Re:El Presedente

Avoiding fans is a good idea if you want reliability over a long time. Some example info of bearing types vs. temperatures can be found here:

http://www.nmbtc.com/pdf/engineering/fans_ball_vs_sleeve.pdf

As usual, if you can run cool (and probably lower the fan speed as well) it lasts longer. Of course, if you need a fan, then running cool is probably not a typical case...and if you want it quiet (e.,g. media player) the no fan is best, or a really big low RPM one (acoustic noise is related to the 8th power of air speed!)

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Paul Crawford
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Re:El Presedente

"And, really, how often do modern fans fail ?"

Few companies give MTBF figures, but those that do rarely say more then 40-50k hours, which is about 4-ish years. At at the MTBF (if correctly given and a constant rate) only 37% are working by then.

For always-on devices they are *significantly* more likely to fail than semiconductors.

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CPU and RAM hogs overstaying their welcome? Here's a fix

Paul Crawford
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Memory bloat...

..is often a web browser in our world. Why, oh, why does a web browser need GB of memory to keep a dozen or two tabs open?

Memo to Mozilla et al - please fix you damn leaky code and stop buggering around with version numbers and GUI changes.

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Microsoft storage boffins serve up smoking 2012 NFS server

Paul Crawford
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Source code, etc

I don't particularly like MS, and of course prefer Linux's openness instead, but that is down to their behaviour of propitiatory protocols and dirty tricks to promote vendor lock-in (not the only company to do so, I hasten to add).

So if they are indeed properly supporting an open protocol that is a very good thing and as such the source code is not essential if it works properly with a good selection of other's products.

Slightly different if high trust is needed (e.g. encryption).

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Nokia's fontastic Pure wins 'design Oscar'

Paul Crawford
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I see a letter H in there.

It's Hammer time!

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Paul Crawford
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"crank up the cetacean ambient CD to 11"

Class!

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'Apple will coast, and then decelerate' says Forrester CEO

Paul Crawford
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Re: Fashionable

What usually happens is someone else comes along with a "better" fashion and the old guard get knocked down a bit towards retirement.

So the real question is not can he keep Apple going, but who can usurp them?

I don't see MS doing that, though they are so entrenched in the desktop PC world they won't vanish in spite of turd-like OS/GUI choices, and Nokia, Sony, etc, seem beyond hope now.

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That global freetard crackdown: Three emails ... and carry on

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Really?

Permitting technical control on 'culture' in the form of DRM is by far the worst aspect of the whole game.

While I have serious reservations about the fairness of the "private company accuses" nature of the warning letters system, it is still a system that works on the basis of the majority being willing to do the right thing, and the minority freetards left over are probably not worth a serious fight over anyway.

But DRM is so much more toxic, as it hinders innovation ("can't do that boy, not without our license") and serves to render 'content' in current technology obsolete in due course and thus to force a re-licensing of stuff you have already paid for. Also it serves as a barrier to free speech and fair use by those who take copyright to cover far more than distribution of a copy.

Remember the revocation of "1984" by Amazon?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Only a small percentage of society is in denial

Come out AC, we know you are really Gene Simmons:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/gene-simmons-vs-anonymous-whos-the-bigger-asshole.ars

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Theresa May: No emails sniffed in web super-snoop law

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: when she says

"terrorists, criminals and so on."

And what exactly are the "so on" category of suspects?

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Metallic Glass iPhone 5 to battle pottery Samsung Galaxy S3

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Obligatory star trek,...

I dreamt of a watch with Sapphic glass, but it proved to be too distracting...

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'Attitudes to robot sex will change'

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Don't why blokes just use ...

Why? Because they don't stop until they get several pints!

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Paul Crawford
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Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Well it could be a cure for over-population and associated ills :)

Assuming the religious nutters don't get all hot about it threatening their business model.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: "business grade sex"

Really? Do you prefer "home grade" sex, or maybe splash out on "enterprise grade" sex with an upgrade assurance program and citlocker(TM) for keeping your dirty secrets really secret?

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BYOD sync 'n share

Paul Crawford
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Re: BYOD sync 'n share

As others have mentioned, Dropbox only encrypts the link to its servers, all of your data is available there naked and, if something goes wrong at their end, to world+dog. But that is no worse than most folk's PCs so its acceptable for most users I guess.

What I would like is an option in Dropbox's client to use your own NAS for some data, as it would be faster & easier for a home setup to sync big files (videos, ISOs, etc) between multiple users without needing always-on networking & NAS. But I guess that would eat their financial lunch so not likely to happen.

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Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: The classic line is:

"Don't put pictures of your balls AND face (in the same frame) on Dropbox."

At least half the population have no worries then!

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India orders 7.5 million Microsoft cloud services

Paul Crawford
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@As for vendor lock-in, how exactly?

Why, if your browser agent is set to report IE, will it attempt to load an ActiveX plug-in?

The old MS trick of favouring IE/Windows all over again, rather than being web standards compliant?

Still, Google's web offering also sucks so its not like there is a vastly better offer.

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Microsoft seals up Windows zero-day flaw in April Patch Tuesday

Paul Crawford
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Re: Hmm . .

Funny you should mention that, two of my friends' hotmail accounts have spammed me since Sunday.

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Intel engineer turned chip spy pleads guilty

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Errata

You are right about being incompetent about it - it was the Itanium designs he was hoping to flog?

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Sony to cut 10,000 jobs in quest for profitability

Paul Crawford
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Thumb Down

Re: And who said wishes don't come true.

Sadly I can remember when Sony was an honourable company, and a good example of Japanese excellence.

Probably about the time before it bought in to media and the USA way of litigation, DRM, etc.

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WTF is... UltraViolet

Paul Crawford
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Re: A grave misconception

It is all about this petty control, and getting you used to it before they discontinue optical disks in a decade or so.

Why bother stopping you copying anyway? if you are a dedicated 'freetard' you will get it pirated easily enough, so its not like those are going to change.

Make it nice & easy to use without needing an "approved" device (i.e. no DRM) and make the price & availability right and it will succeed. Sadly I fear they have not quite learned that yet...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Remind me?

Are you talking about Android on a locked bootloader system?

I.e. One you don't actually "own" in any real sense (i.e. can run what software/OS you please)?

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Sarkozy hails 'success' of Hadopi's pirate cops

Paul Crawford
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Re: Even if people stopped downloading

"It's not helping anyone unless they start buying"

That is possibly the most succinct statement of the whole issue. While big media likes to portray 'piracy' as the cause of their financial downfall, its not the whole story and more laws to play whack-a-freetard are not really helping anyone.

As the author (who is very much pro-copyright) has pointed out before: legitimate services have by-and-large sucked. If they make paying for stuff easy and don't piss paying folk off with DRM and "you are probably a thief" messages, maybe things will improve.

But, and there is the rub, maybe the disposable money is never going to return to past levels enjoyed by the music/movie biz due to the range of other things Joe Public has to spend it on now (mobile phone contracts, fondle slabs, multi-player games, etrc)?

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Plastic that SELF-REPAIRS using light unleashed by prof

Paul Crawford
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Re: Better than that,

No doubt with the custom ROM fitted?

(apologies to XKCD)

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Female Chinese astronauts must have no scars, straight teeth

Paul Crawford
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Joke

"Sod this you smelly bastards, I'm off out for the day!"

What do you think the space-walks are for?

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

<= I think you missed icon selection.

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Tripleton touts telephone for double-ohs

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'

Actually, one difference in favour of the Tripleton, other than possibly cost (Wikipedia has the Selectra at $3k versus £1k3), is "No Windows Mobile or Symbian OS systems"

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Paul Crawford
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Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'

I suspect it depends on the colour of your tinfoil hat, and how much you trust (or don't) each company.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Different w.r.t. Blackberry

I suspect in most not-totally-paranoid countries (e.g. excluding recent events in Iran) the intelligence services don't fear "unbreakable" encryption, they fear mass adoption of half-decent encryption so keyword searches and similar methods used to target traditional resources at real suspects is harder.

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