* Posts by John Robson

1580 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Testing times as NASA rattles Mississippi with mighty motor burn

John Robson
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Re: new technology...

Air is a bit of an issue - maybe doing it on the side of kilimanjaro (fairly tall, and near the equator) might be useful

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DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

John Robson
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Re: FFS

Different sample points mean different approximations to the ride on each device, so each device will have a slightly different description of each corner, curve, wiggle....

And that's assuming they are all taking "1 per second" samples, rather than "smart" sampling.

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Boffins nail 2FA with 'ambient sound' login for the lazy

John Robson
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Bluetooth?

Didn't we do this before, with short range radio reception.

We could even use a wireless charging pad with an NFC reader in it now?!

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Popping the Tesla S bonnet – to reveal SIX NEW FLAWS

John Robson
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Re: Good on them....

@Stoneshop - In all the cars I know the handbrake applies ONLY to the rear wheels

Citroen C5 - Handbrake, drive and steering are all on the front wheels...

OTOTH they are often low power, my Father recalls thinking that a company car he was delivering up the M1 wasn't pulling well, then realised he hadn't taken the handbrake off...

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John Robson
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Re: Just the tip of the iceberg

Did you read the article?

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John Robson
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Seems like quite a complimentary review

Not necessarily good that the were such flaws, better than most in that the failure cases were basically* 'safe', if blooming inconvenient.

Much more so the approach to working with the researchers and fixing things, as well as the overall architecture, with modules secured against each other etc...

* Of course applying the handbrake on a level crossing isn't safe, but you get the gist...

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Imperva demos cloudy man-in-the-middle attack

John Robson
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Sorry - let me get this straight...

If the attacker has access to your machine - then why don't they just look in the synced directories?

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Fancy 10 Gbps home broadband? Broadcom's built the guts of it

John Robson
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Re: 10Gbs fibre to 4*1Gbs ethernet

So basically yes - they still can't sell a 10G connection...

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John Robson
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10Gbs fibre to 4*1Gbs ethernet

Erm - so assuming perfect trunking I'm still only able to access 40% of the available bandwidth...

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DNS chief and wannabe master-of-the-internet ICANN pwned… again

John Robson
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Re: How to enforce good security practices.

Anyone with a CxO designation gets no remuneration for the year.

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Hey, FBI. Wanna track someone by cellphone? Get a proper warrant, says US appeals court

John Robson
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There are two cases here

The general case - you should get a warrant, which requires more than "I have a hunch", and this seems reasonable

This case - we got a court order (which the court accepted as the corrent thing at the time) in a case where we had pretty good reason for suspicion (multiple similar crimes, catching these guys at/near the latest one).

I'd suggest that would have been good enough for a warrant, but the court didn't ask for one. I therefore see no issue in handing out a "get a warrant in the future, but this case stands". The only surprise is that a court would do something so sensible...

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Too much vino? LG brings Wine Smart oldster-mobe to Europe

John Robson
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Re: Me too!

Whilst I'd love to agree with you....

I would have bought a feature phone, except that I had a few devices on the shelf, and it seemed pointless. So I now run an HTC Desire S.

It has most of it's "smart" features turned off - and how long do you think the battery lasts?

A week? more? less?

The 10% battery alert went off and I realised that I couldn't remember when I had last charged it, so I checked on the battery status screen: ten days, 19 hours. And it still had 10% left...

The other thing I like is that I can sync contacts to it once in a blue moon, but that's often enough to have the important contact details available when I need them.

This looks like a reasonable compromise - smart enough to keep contacts up to date, physical keys, protected screen... I guess that if you disable all the pointless ctuff then the battery will last well. I'd quite like an e-ink screen on the outside, so I don't even need to open it up to check if there are any missed calls/texts, or whether it's on silent - but that's a minor quibble.

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Petrol cars are dead in the water, says Tesla CTO waving numbers on the back of an envelope

John Robson
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@Blank Reg

You have seen how many of these things are sold in Scandinavia right..

They like them, alot - partly because they work so damned well, no fuel to freeze see.

They also have very good road holding and the various computerised "keep me on the road" gubbins can react far faster than a combustion engine can...

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ATTACK of the ZOMBIE SATELLITE: Run radio hams, run!

John Robson
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Big torch...

to keep it online long enough to reprogram?

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Crazy Canucks heat their lab with muahaha-capable server

John Robson
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Re: Why 40mm fans?

Because 120mm fans don't fit in 2u...

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

John Robson
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Re: Torrent is as Torrent Does...

@Charles 9

UPnP

That's still a thing?

Never had it enabled on anything of mine for any longer than it took to give a device an IP address...

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John Robson
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Tried to sell this to them nearly a decade ago...

It makes sense for them - and for most customers actually, it would be nice if it limited it's upload, but since it can't see all the network traffic at the gateway I don't hold much hope for that...

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Google to French data cops: Dot-com RTBF? Baiser ma DERRIERE

John Robson
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IP block...

Just firewall off all access to Google from the French (or maybe from the French courts/parliament only?)

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UK's first 'DIY DAB' multiplex goes live in Brighton

John Robson
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Cost?

'cos I'd run that for a community station if I could - the FM license is stupidly expensive.

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Google sneaks out new clip-on tech goggles for saddo Glassholes

John Robson
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@moiety - it won't be safe to wear in public.

But this is designed as a workplace tool, so it doesn't really matter.

What was wrong with the red LED indication which camera was live?

Have people forgotten that every buttonhole might be a concealed camera?

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Tired tablets don't tickle the imagination, so sales fall again

John Robson
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Re: spamjfo@gmail.com

@jerkyflexoff

No they're not.

I am reasonable techy - certainly more techy than your average person on the street.

My iPad is my primary computing device, as was the Nexus7 before it.

I have a bluetooth keyboard, which I use on occasion - mostly when I'm sat at my desk - occasionally I'll grab the mac keyboard for longer use at home.

The on screen keyboard does most of what I need though, most things I type are relatively short, with the irritation of an occasional autoscrewup comedy moment.

It is quite capable of holding a VPN to my wider network, as well as SSH sessions and a VNC/VPN option to my VPS (mostly used for game playing actually).

Virtually everything I do is perfectly well catered for, and its battery lasts all day

The iPad fits in my pocket (as did the N7), so I always have it around. The keyboard folds up and sits with my "normal" kit that gets carried around, so that's normally close by as needed.

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John Robson
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Re: Tablets are like PCs, not phones

Maturing market sees smaller niche markets emerge as viable segments.

Smaller providers make suitable specialised devices and reap rewards.

I'm not sure how often this headline can be considered news?

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

John Robson
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Fridge magnet...

If a woman's work is never done... why start?

Given the current (reported) state of W10...

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A third of workers admit they'd leak sensitive biz data for peanuts

John Robson
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Tax isn't the issue - you've just pissed off the mob...

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John Robson
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Passwords

My password is horsebatterycorrectstaple - I'll have my chocolate bar please....

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Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

John Robson
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Re: NowTV is good

720p is good enough for most things - I have various things on bluray - which *do* look better, but if the content is good then 720p is just fine.

Most stuff is exDVD anyway, so it never was 1080p...

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John Robson
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NowTV is good

I'd quite possibly subscribe to a BBC Store - there is a huge amount of decent material there.

I *do* subscribe to some OTT media provision, but have no live TV capability - I just don't value it enough

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Ofcom wants to ease the pain of switching mobile networks. Good luck

John Robson
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Changed networks twice in the last few months...

The middle operator wasn't offering the deal I *thought* I had read...

But it took very little time. Yes, a unified SMS number (maybe 722 (or PAC)) to get a PAC by return would be good...

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World-beating TWO-QUADRILLION-WATT LASER fired by boffins

John Robson
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Re: Oh dear...

They really don't

see the renaming of NMR to MRI as evidence...

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Ford's parallel PARCing: Motor giant tries to craft new tech just like Xerox

John Robson
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Re: @fandom (was:"Cars already decide when to change gear for you")

@jake - "Intake of nicotine, fat, alcohol, salt and sugar is far worse when it comes to mortality ... Do you want those banned in your lifetime, too?"

Nicotine doesn't - it's the asscociated tar I think...

But the big difference is that (except for certain aspects of alcohol consumption and smoking, which are already legislated against) these items don't kill other people.

But there are already plans to levy taxes on salt/sugar rich foods, and I support those.

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John Robson
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@ jake (was:"Cars already decide when to change gear for you")

"Electricity will never kill off feeding horses"

Huh - deliberate misreading?

"Horses & other manually driven vehicles are here to stay"

No doubt - but neither will be used as a mode of transport. They will both be sport/hobby instead. Which is fine. I have no desire to stop people having their fun - but they can do so in an environment which doesn't threaten the lives of others...

There is some overlap for other forms of transport - Walking and cycling are used both for sport and transport, but they pose very limited external risk.

"He refused to listen to me when I pointed out the leaking fluid ... and then told the engine control system to stop complaining."

You know what - I don't think anyone can blame that on the gearbox. That's user failure.

I've driven a mix of manual and automatic, petrol and deisel cars for longer than I care to think about. If you ignore the warnings then anything will break. One big advantage of electric drive is that there are far fewer things to go wrong (potentially down to one moving part per wheel) - and I think that the electric motor will kill the gearbox.

"Shirley you are discussing fast-so-called-food rather than automobiles in the above sentence?"

Don't call me Shirley. And no - people (including myself) are by far and away the weakest link in the system. Even the current generation of autonomous vehicles are better than humans (including me).

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John Robson
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Re: "Cars already decide when to change gear for you"

@Lionel Baden

Even if they did ignore the odd defect - that would still leave these vehicles far safer than the current generation of control systems.

I strongly suspect that the legislative framework would react fairly strongly in these (by definition rare) events.

The current control systems don't pay attention at all times, they don't look all around them, they do get tired and distracted. They generally overestimate their own ability (last survey I saw said that something like 85% of drivers considered themselves 'better than average').

In fact the current control systems kill multiple thousands of people each and every year - more than 5 people EVERY DAY in the UK alone.

Proper legal controls would help, like a willingness to revoke licences (even fairly short bans would be effective if they were regularly issued), but the majority of deaths aren't caused by malice.

Beyond the Kerb

The driverless car is coming, and coming soon - and we'll all be better off for it. Those who enjoy the act of driving can go and play on a track*, where you can *really* enjoy your driving.

* Race or off road.

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John Robson
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Re: "Cars already decide when to change gear for you"

@Jake - None of mine [change gear for me]. Nor will any of them, ever.

Hopefully the act of changing gear will be as old as feeding horses anyway - the electric motor will kill it off. But seriously - when did you last see an automatic gearbox fail?

@Jake - what will happen the first time a self-driving car kills somebody?

It will be an event which will be analysed thoroughly and the lesson(s) learnt will be taken on board by all other vehicles on the road, and *never* repeated.

The possibilities for carnage are *far* higher if you put tired, distracted, fallible, meatsacks in control of a lethal weapon.

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John Robson
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@Terafirma-NZ

Yes - because there are no cars which can do this at the moment.

OK, they can't yet do it in all weathers, but the GCar regime has shown it is well within our capabilities - and there are others out there.

I don't think this will take decades - I'm hoping that my kids will never have to learn to drive (they may well choose to though)

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

John Robson
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Re: Hmmm [Going OT]

@irmoko - (perhaps it'd be collecting license fees if those phones would be Android).

I've wondered for a while whether Google isn't powerful enough to write a decent ext driver for MSWindows (and macOS?) and ditch the FAT system on Android - it would also allow dedicated cameras/media players to do the same, since the FS driver seems to be the main reason that people stick with FAT.

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Automattic says spooks asked for something it can't reveal

John Robson
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Re: So, up to 125 then

Surely 3-128 is a "band" of 125...

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Samsung emits mobe charging monitor. For your 'active lifestyle'

John Robson
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Re: Scrabble

@Bucky 2

QI has been a well known "2 letter scrabble word" for a long while - certainly more than a decade, probably longer.

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John Robson
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Plinth?

Don't think I've used a monitor or TV anything other than VESA mounted to a pole or the wall for about 5 years...

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Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

John Robson
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There is some benefit to being able to remotely update firmware

But I can't see all that much advantage over a dealer version.

When you update the car firmware you also program the version number into the entertainment system - then it can notify you that there is new firmware available from your garage.

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US beats Iran as Japan's tincan footie team wins robot World Cup

John Robson
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Query

Were the robots provided?

So it was an AI test, rather than a robotics one?

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Choc Factory research shows users just don't get security

John Robson
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Derren Brown

"Noon can hack my mind"

Really? Has noone seen Derren Brown (other such tricksters exist)

The human brain is fairly predictable...

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Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

John Robson
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Re: Good broadband bad TV

@Wardy01

Because that would mean they needed to implement multicast properly - and their techs haven't heard about it yet...

Their network is pretty much the perfect environment for testing this kind of solution - but since the existing system works (sort-of) they stick with it

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NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

John Robson
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Or a space mirror?

XKCD: http://m.xkcd.com/1532/

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Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

John Robson
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Confidential

Clearly means something different in the US:

"Intelsat isn't waiting around for SpaceX or the FCC to voluntarily release the information, either. It has simultaneously filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that would compel the FCC to release SpaceX's confidential documents."

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Facebook fails to block NY DA's fat warrants for profiles of suspected September 11 fraudsters

John Robson
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@icesenshi - No way to challenge a warrant's legality or defectiveness until it's it's executed. Then the government can say 'oops' but by that point it's too late. Only in America.

I *think* that the point is that all such evidence gets thrown out in court, and that is meant to be the guard against overly broad warrants.

Of course the data has still leaked, and we don't trust the police to deal with is sensitively :(

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Oi, #tubby! You are what you Tweet, boffins find

John Robson
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Food tourists?

With it being geotagged are there particularly dense areas where speciality foods are mentioned alot, but mostly by tourists?

Or is it drowned in the narcissistic ramblings of the general populace?

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

John Robson
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Surely

The Gubbinment can provide a fund totalling one pund per annum.

The music companies can then go to court to argue over how it gets split....

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Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

John Robson
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@AC - Why arn't dividends taxed at the same rate as any other income?

Because politicians get them?

The concept is that the income has already been taxed (when it was company profit) so to tax it again would be double taxation (or triple if you include the VAT you'll inevitably pay on anything you buy with the income).

It's to encourage people to make sucessful businesses - but from the IT contractor market it gives an advantage to the small firm - one or two people who work together and share the profits - over the huge conglomerates.

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What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff

John Robson
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Re: The processes failed before the strut did

@Grumpy Fellow - The point is to figure out how their processes allowed a defective critical strut to be assembled into the spacecraft in the first place.

You say that as if there are only a few *critical* struts.

They're all critical - and they have now started an additional testing regime on all the strruts they are using (hopefully not just in this location), which they have also redesigned somewhat.

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Tablets, smartwatches just not doing it for Apple right now

John Robson
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Re: Obvious

I expect my tablets to last a fair while, my phones to last longer and don't use a laptop.

The iPad (moved to apple for specific audio control applications) will do me for a good while, it's not going to get replaced quickly, much to Apple's displeasure.

OTOH, after using Android until this iPad I'll be getting another when it does die...

My phones don't seem to die quickly either. Currently my Desire S is running with about a 10 day battery life (it complained this morning about low battery, with 10 days and some hours reported by the battery usage meter) - amazing how well these things last if you leave them in a pocket - it gets WiFi every month or so to update the contacts from the Goo machine.

In the western worldd the market is both saturated and mature.

There are no killer features, there is no obligation to replace products that work - so people don't.

Shock results indeed.

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