* Posts by Fihart

984 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

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Putin's internet guru says 'nyet' to Windows, 'da' to desktop Linux

Fihart
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Our enemy's enemy.

With friends like Russia, we are in trouble !

Doubtless will confirm view of a few that Linux is a commie conspiracy. Others will see this as adding Linux some extra cred.

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Foxconn to slurp Sharp for US$5.6 BEELLION

Fihart
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Ah, the good old days !

When Japanese brands like Sharp, Sansui and Sanyo destroyed the UK television manufacturers and all but the premium UK hifi brands due to their impertinent reliability.

However an impressively large 1960s Sansui hybrid transistor/valve (tubes for US readers) receiver threw a friend across a room while he was trying to fix it. Oh, how we laughed.

I still use some 1970s Japanese hifi (Sony and NAD) and a friend has an equally ancient Trio/Kenwood amp which he swears cannot be matched by modern stuff, regardless of price.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Fihart
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no comparison

Having found both types of device in the rubbish, intrigued by author's comparison. Except there is no comparison.

Starting with the Elonex netbook, originally given away by Orange to tempt users to eat expensive mobile data via a dongle. This failed to work using the screwed-up Ubuntu installation on board (confirming my then prejudice against Linux) but booted from an external CD drive to install XP. Apart from a horrible keyboard and exhausted battery, has proved a usefully portable tool when visiting friends to fix their systems.

Next the no-name Android (model name AC1 or something similar) 10 inch tablet which turned up a couple of years later. First clue to its lack of utility was the inclusion of a stylus. Without that the screen is as responsive as a sloth with a hangover and, even with, is inaccurate enough to make text a pain. Add strangely reluctant network socket, weak wireless and battery -- plus the weird phone-based version of Android -- and the thing is rapidly gathering dust.

So -- netbooks good, but for a nicer experience stick with better known brands. Cheap iPad knockoffs, avoid, even if they are cheaper than cheap (i.e. free)

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Fihart
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Re: Telegraph

My experience of such sites started with a leading industry mag. Tried to block web readers who didn't have a paper subscription. Result, I stopped sending them editorial contributions. Since then I notice that they have unblocked access.

The fact is that newsprint media are in decline and their best bet is to jump to the web where turnround of news is as quick as TV, costs may be less and audience numbers easier to multiply.

The key, though, is to replace cover price and newsprint ad income with web ads. The Guardian is a good example of how to transition readers to new media and actually further the reach and influence of the paper. They are losing money, but I'm sure the solution is not to turn away potential readers such as those with ad-blockers.

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Layoffs! Lawsuits! Losses! ... Yahoo! is! in! an! L! of! a! mess!

Fihart
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Re: Wait, what?

As long term user I've seen a reliable and easy to use mail service revamped to be less easy (tho some improvements too) and, recently, unreliable.

Gimmicky interface redesign, pointlessly redesigned logo, slowdowns, outages. Probably time for me to pull the plug on Yahoo before they do it themselves.

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Why the Sun is setting on the Boeing 747

Fihart
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Re: Awe inspiring

Ditto. Saw my first Jumbo from upper deck of a bus in London. First time I flew one, the interior seemed like walking into a cinema.

Such a contrast to my first ever flight in a passenger plane -- Vickers Vanguard, London to Glasgow in the late sixties. Whole damned thing vibrated from the turbo-prop engines and I spent the journey watching a rivet in the bulkhead turning in its socket, hoping that the plane's structure was better finished than the interior.

But worst flight; from Frankfurt on a really old Boeing 707 of Kenya Airways. The only seat on a flight to London on a Friday evening. Had come in with a fairly full load from Mombasa and was quite ripe. The seat tray fell off when opened and the plane had to be diverted to Manchester as it lacked fog-landing tech.

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Little warning: Deleting the wrong files may brick your Linux PC

Fihart
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Odd photo.

Presumably from stock library and, like so many, taken by photographer who has no knowledge of the subject being shot. Otherwise why would one insert a wholly unwired plug into a motherboard ?

Other examples I can recall; ad with turntable arm lacking counterweights or turntable with arm on left side -- presumably correct shot flipped by dumb art director.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Fihart
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Breaches No. 1 rule of upgrading.

Rule One says never upgrade an existing OS.

Instead wipe old OS (or install new hard drive) and start afresh.

Has MS not heard of this ?

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Apple yanks international travel plugs over shock worries

Fihart
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Re: Is it just me ...

Except when you tread on them in bare feet, bloody painful.

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Fihart
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Re: Interesting: USA (etc) flat prong version recalled many years ago

US type mains plugs are probably safe with USA's 120 volt supply, despite the naked prongs.

Use in Europe (230v supply) is potentially lethal. I remember reaching behind a hifi amplifier to remove a US style lead from the auxilliary mains socket and getting hefty shock because the pins were still live when removed far enough for a finger to touch them.

Since then, US style sockets were sealed on equipment imported into UK and have now largely disappeared.

Modern auxilliary sockets (for what are called loosely called kettle-leads) are safe and present day European mains plugs have plastic covers on the prongs, as per pictures in article.

The main danger with UK mains plugs is treading on their upturned prongs in bare feet. That feature of their clumsy design actually caused me to break a toe.

Of course, Apple making stuff so badly that it breaks in normal use would be scandalous. I've had the case come off a third-party charger when simply removing it from the wall socket, exposing the live innards still plugged in.

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Fihart
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Re:Updates

Quite the reverse on patches. One of the things that most impressed when trying Linux was how quickly and painlessly it updated. Certainly, compared with Windows where the only option sometimes is to switch off disruptive and lengthy automatic updates.

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Fihart
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Re: How old?

Visited IBM's research place at Hursley(?) in 1974 and was shown strange object with a matrix of wired and ferrite thingies. Assume that was core memory -- as I recall it was a museum piece even then.

Still, probably more stable than mercury baths with a transponder at each end to act as a delay-line memory.

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Fihart
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CP/M lives ?

Friend working for one of the NatWest subsidiaries told me that their entire system went down after some bright spark changed something minor like a logging file that managed to exceed CP/M's capacity to address memory.

I was astonished that they had anything CPM still running in the 1990s but apparently no one still working there had any idea how to replace the machine in question. So it remained central to their IT system.

I recalled then that the first word processing prog I used in 1985 was Superwriter by CA and it had been created for CP/M so, even ported to DOS, it could not deal with documents over a certain length.

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Twitter goes titsup

Fihart
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Or like buying a wallet...

...and having no money left to put in it.

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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Fihart
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Anti-Trust suit impending.

Collusion between rival hardware manufacturers to benefit a third business ?

Anyway, bloody stupid because it will stifle sales of new PCs and, thus, depress sales of new processors.

Microsoft obviously has suicidal tendencies -- and mostly we are watching and shouting "Jump !"

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No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Fihart
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Re: Who's squeezing Microsoft?

Maybe you are over-thinking this one. It doesn't take a conspiracy for MS to make a cockup of this magnitude.

I've worked with enough large clients (on the marketing side) to know that the inertia/momentum in something like a car company will propel stupid decisions with an unstoppable force. Everyone below board level knows it's a disaster but it's not worth anyone's career to argue.

Before the Second World War (and for some years after as their factories had not been worn out or bomb damaged) American cars were common on every continent. Just look at movies of the period.

Microsoft is at the same size and life-cycle stage as the US car giants were in the 60s when, even at home, their products began to be displaced by better made imports.

What happened with IBM when, irritated by PC clones, they brought out the PS/2 range with non-standard connectors ? Obvious (to everyone except IBM) that many customers would switch to Compaq and Dell to maintain compatibility.

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Fihart
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Re: Linux, Linux, Linux, Linux,

Ah, so you have a compulsive downvoter too. Or is this nut just downvoting everyone who's ever disagreed with him ?

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Fihart
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@ Shufflemoomin

My previous experiences with Linux were similar to yours. Until.

Until a friend strong-armed me into trying Peppermint Linux and it installed without any serious issues -- even the wireless adapter. Put it on another computer too and no real problems there either.

Linux still isn't for everyone and some of the apps I've used just don't compare with Windows'.

But if Microsoft's bullying isn't mitigated by it's products' ease of use (and Win10 seems to combine lack of intuitiveness with bullying) Linux may be a viable alternative to Mac. Of course the latter are just as awful as MS -- e.g. crippling USB and Bluetooth on iPhones and forcing one to use the vile iTunes.

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Windows 10 makes big gains at home, lags at work

Fihart
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Re: Why keep reporting these stats

@ Avatar of They

I support several friends with PCs and two of them have Win8 as a result of new machine purchases. Both dislike it compared with previous OS (XP).

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Fihart
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Average user.

Would not want or should not try editing the Registry.

Will Microsoft be so helpful when Windows is borked ?

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Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

Fihart
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Still looking for.....

....a wrist wearable sundial.

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Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

Fihart
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Fix Yahoo Mail

Then worry about investors. Service is frequently slow and mails have a habit of shedding attachments.

Sure ways to drive users out of the door.

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Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

Fihart
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Re: Quality Vs quantity. PC Chimps.

Too right. Had a friend who built and repaired PCs in his shop and I'd occasionally drop in and see him. After similar "experiences" with PC Chips we renamed them PC Chimps.

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Fihart
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To quote...

Stanley Kalms of Dixons/PC World/Currys;

"a customer is a man who walks into my store with my money in his pocket"

Allegedly.

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Microsoft in 2016: Is there any point asking SatNad what's coming?

Fihart
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Re: Microsoft == The new Blue

BSOD ?

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Fihart
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Re: Microsoft == The new Blue

Blue Screen of Death.

PS: why was previous post which used the common abbreviation for this "Rejected" ???

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Watch out, er, 'oven cleaners': ICO plans nuisance call crackdown in 2016

Fihart
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Be a nuisance back.

When these robots call they usually urge one to press 5 to speak to an operative. Doing that while switching on an intruder alarm siren (loud enough for me to don ear protectors) obviously had an effect on the PPI pests. The next call I had offered to delist my number. When I ignored that, the calls dried up anyway.

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

Fihart
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Re: iPhone and Dropbox vs USB/Bluetooth @ D@v3

Sadly because Dropbox and other cloud services depend on internet access they are slower, less reliable (and not free) substitute for a working USB socket. By working, I mean operating as intended -- i.e. allowing files to pass in both directions and allowing access to folders on either device.

Equally irritating, the iPhone's Bluetooth doesn't work either -- the sole function mine would offer was to play music from my iPhone via my laptop's speakers, which is of zero utility.

I raise these issues because in the past when I have lacked landline internet I've been able to carry on via a Nokia or Blackberry by (in the most common use I have) scanning material on a PC and transferring it by USB to the phone and briefly using its data allowance to send files out via email.

Lack of usefulness as a mobile office, arguably, relegates the iPhone's to the kind of users who value selfies and social media above actual work.

If Apple want the iPhone to be happily adopted by users like me they need to uncripple USB and Bluetooth. Or completely redesign iTunes (hopefully separating the entertainment side) as a reliable, user-friendly hub.

Having got past the annoying form filling (that demanded a home address and phone number for no good reason when seeking a free app) and impossibly long t&c, I spent some time trying to find Dropbox in the App Store and concluded that the iTunes/App Store are just as hopeless as the present iTunes program. So another change for the better would be to allow reputable software to be download direct to the phone from the source rather than via Apple.

Of course, that might make it harder for Apple to apply a tax on everything sold via iTunes/App Store -- just as the rigmarole in the iTunes software seems designed to encourage users to buy music rather than copy their own CDs for free.

Clearly the way Apple operates is to hamstring the operation of their products to tie users into the Apple way of doing things (which runs counter to the whole joyous experiment with which we first embraced personal computers) and cynically wring cash out of users.

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Fihart
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Like iPhone, hate Apple.

Just switched from Blackberry to iPhone4 (secondhand). Mostly happy, though I miss the BB physical keyboard.

But infuriated that I can only download pictures from the phone, not upload them, without faffing about.

Don't tell me about iTunes or the Cloud or whatever. I just want to be able to drag and drop stuff from my PC to the phone. Pictures or scans to attach to emails -- you know, like I've been able to with every other smartphone I've used.

I cannot use iTunes -- it's the worst piece of commercial software I've ever encountered. Just try adding your own ringtone to an iPhone and you will be spitting teeth.

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Microsoft encrypts explanation of borked Windows 10 encryption

Fihart
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Exactly. Have an upvote.

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Lenov-lol, a load of Tosh, and what the Dell? More bad holes found in PC makers' bloatware

Fihart
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Re: New machine?

Linux is almost there. Using Peppermint (Ubuntu derivative) popped in a Netgear USB wireless dongle and it just worked. Windows usually needs a driver from CD or website.

Not always this smooth, but a contrast with earlier Linux experiences where usually sound or video issues -- solvable only by donning that propeller cap.

Remaining problems -- Linux applications not as user friendly as popular Windows equivalents.

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Windows 10 market share growth rate flattens again

Fihart
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word is getting out

Even my least techie friends seem to know that the persistent invitations to upgrade to Win10 are best ignored.

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Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

Fihart
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Yahoo getting worse.

Been with their webmail for probably 18 years and it was reliable for, say, a dozen of those. Not so much recently. Frequent apologies for downtime. Odd stuff like attachments falling off the end of mails. Links in mails are live when opened in Hotmail but not in Yahoo.

As for this adblocker nonsense, pushing users towards the exit.

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Love your IoT gadget but could you keep the noise down?

Fihart
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Needless wireless already with us.

My otherwise charming neighbours have no notion of anything technical -- witness the fact that when they are present the wireless router we share is registering a multiplicity of phones, iPads and laptops, though the devices can't all be using the internet at once. Even when neighbours are not at home, snoozing devices are still reporting to the router.

Already some years ago I was noting people with desktop computers parked next to their routers but using wireless -- an ethernet cable is in the box with the router and is faster/more reliable than wireless.

The other pest is routers (all routers nowadays) which default to automatic channel selection -- which means that if I am using channel 6 to feed a laptop some distance from the router and next door's router is closer, when it randomly decides to switch to 6 or any channels adjacent, my internet slows down.

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Fihart
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Re: "require Microphone permission"

Whenever I have been tempted to install apps, I've been stopped in my tracks when simple accessories quite unnecessarily want access to my contacts.

Bail out at that point.

Lots of things that apps do can already be done via browser.

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Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

Fihart
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Re: Perhaps I am the only one. You're not.

Addendum to my earlier rant. Just finished transferring three mp3 files to iPhone as ringtones. I say three, but one missing in transit. The process was unbelievably irritating.

I don't object to converting files to AAC format or even having to change the file extension (not helped by Win7 hiding extensions by default) -- but the struggle with crazed use of nested folders and the opaque nature of the iTunes UI left me shouting.

Some time ago there was a rare dialogue between Apple and users on just how bloody iTunes is and one gained the impression that they were puzzled but willing to try to sort things out. One can only hope.

By contrast uploading ringtones to Symbian, Android, Blackberry was simplicity itself, primarily because a USB connection pretty much put one straight into the folders on the phone where tones were stored. Version of Apple's PoS (Paranoid operating System) I have permits only one way USB access (outbound) and from only the picture folders.

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Fihart
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Re: Perhaps I am the only one

New to iPhone and only recently to Android. To some extent both make me appreciate Microsoft's traditional tinker-under-the-hood options and relatively straightforward (pre-Win8) user interface, though Android is okay.

I've found the Apple wrap and integrate approach pretty annoying but sometimes the end justifies the means. Didn't like giving them my email password, but the iPhone's email system works much better than going into webmail via a browser.

Still can't cope with Stalag iTunes though I've been using it with iPods for years. Simply the worst piece of commercial software I have ever encountered -- and Apple makes it the centrepiece of their system. As stated by others, the issue is the cool, stripped-down, aesthetic -- personally I care more about usability.

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Fihart
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Sooo right !

For example, Stalag iTunes.

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So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway

Fihart
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Mechanical birds nest.

Don't know about Betamax as machines were rare outside the media professions, but a peek inside a VHS machine guaranteed that I would avoid. Affordable DVD player/recorder well worth waiting for.

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TalkTalk to swallow £35m ‘financial impact’ after attack

Fihart
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Re: Encouraged customers will stick around

Reasons for joining Talk Talk -- after this cockup they'd better have the best security in the business.

Also, good time to negotiate a bargain deal -- just listen for the tumbleweeds blowing through their sales office.

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BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

Fihart
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Price.

Blackberry's current products already addressed many of the niggles I have about my 4 yr-old 9800 qwerty slider. The Priv seems like another good move to curb desertions. Except that price.

In a world where you can pick up a decent Android for £150, asking 4x that for the (real) advantage of a qwerty keyboard almost guarantees failure.

While I don't like on-screen keyboards, well-executed ones (Apple) and larger screens (HTC Sony etc) are a sensible compromise.

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Fihart
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Privy Counsellor.

Kinda appropriate for a smartphone.

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Microsoft's OneDrive price hike has wrecked its cloud strategy

Fihart
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Re: Why are people still using Windows?

Even to a Linux newbie the Peppermint (Ubuntu) desktop looks logical and uncluttered compared to Windows. A bit plain-Jane maybe, but this is an operating system not entertainment. Hasn't got all the Win toys as standard and CDs and MP3s stutter but, most stuff works or can (presumably) be added.

Mostly I'm impressed by opening and closing speed -- and that updates are quick and trouble-free.

Cloud storage makes sense for portables but, for a desktop PC, external drives are cheap.

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'Cancer-causing bacon would put a real dampner on processed pig sales'

Fihart
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Dampner ?

Surely, Damper or Dampener.

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Tardy TalkTalk advertised for a new infosec officer 1 week ago

Fihart
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Not just confusion marketing. Confusion.

Listening to Talk Talk's boss on Radio 4 this morning she sounded shaken, and appeared more so in later TV interviews.

There seems a perverse kind of justice here -- I've wasted hours trying to tie down the actual cost of selecting various ISPs due to the confusing and incomplete pricing displayed in ads and on websites. Talk Talk's current offer seems terrific value (e.g. free internet for 12 months) but averages out over an 18 month contract at about the same as competitors, once you add in charges for "phone packages" Can't quite see why I'd pay for the ability to use a phone line when it has to be there anyway, while also being charged for calls.

I'm almost inclined to call their sales people while this debacle unfolds on the assumption that they won't be too busy and may be begging to do a deal, any deal.

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Apple quietly swaps out MacBook Retina displays to fix skin-peeling stains

Fihart
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Re: Apple Replacement Programs - Not worth the web page they are posted on

Though legal action is a last resort, if NZ has small-claims courts and if the computer's price is less than max for small claim, that is worth investigating.

In most small claims courts, costs (for representation) are strictly limited so it's an even playing field for consumers. Most likely, the retailer (for that is who you usually have to sue) will not defend the action.

Roughly speaking, In the UK consumer law covers you for up to 6 years -- so your 2011 purchase would be covered (here).

Can't be more specific due to local differences, but well worth checking your rights in law.

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