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* Posts by Steve Evans

2355 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Apple 'sapphire glass' fronts for iPhone 6? It's NEWS to SUPPLIERS

Steve Evans
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Indeed... In all the years I've had mobiles (20+) I've only ever broken one screen... And that was when it fell out of my pocket and got run over by a Land Rover! Even then the glass (being old fashioned, non super hard - and brittle - glass) didn't break, but it obviously flexed enough to kill the LCD panel underneath.

My current phone (a Nexus 4) is 18 months old, used daily, has no screen (or rear glass) protector, just the standard optional bumper case (which has saved it from a couple of drops), and do you know what? When you take the bumper case off, and give it a polish, it looks new.

Why?

Because I don't throw is in a pocket with all my keys and small change, or a handbag full of what is best described as "life-gravel"! It lives in a pocket, on its own, as have all my mobiles.

Treat your phone like the essential (and valuable) piece of kit that it is, and it will last.

Kick it about like a football, or sandblast it with coins and keys and it won't.

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

Steve Evans
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240v 60Hz...

That's a funny spec... I don't think that's standard for anyone.

Most of the world uses 220-230v, and IIRC, 50Hz is more common than 60Hz.

The USA being the big 60Hz fan, although I'd have thought they'd be terrified of the idea of the 240 volts.

I hope they at least have an option for 50Hz, or all our European desk fans are going to get turbo charged! (AC induction motors).

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Steve Evans
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Re: No they don't

I already do Richard :-D

I stick the 12v output from my little panels across a pair of 6v SLA batteries.

6v (often closer to 7v when charged) is a useful voltage... It gives me some voltage in hand for my cable run to the USB sockets by the bed and in the living room (and an LDO regulator behind the wall plate to put a final limit on it). One battery does each room. By complete fluke, they generally stay pretty well balanced.

Free charging for the tablets, phones, Satnav and all those other things with a USB power requirement.

Yes, Raspberry Pi runs fine too :-D

80% of the available energy delivered to the devices... Not bad for a DIY lash-up with bits I had laying about :-)

Okay, I know you were probably trying to save a little bit more energy on bigger devices.

You could always buy a TV, fridge and stereo designed for a caravan.

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

Steve Evans
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Facebook are a huge offender.

Luckily the play store recently introduced a "do not automatically update" flag you can set against apps who are creeping the permissions. Assuming you already have an older version you don't object to.

Others in my offenders list are Absolute Radio who now want location, contacts/calendar

Amazon, Ebay who want fine location information

BT Wi-Fi (which is just supposed to auto logon to BT wifi APs) for SMS, Phone, Photos/media

The list goes on.

If you've got a rooted phone, I recommend Xprivacy. You can block permissions after you have installed, and at a far more granular level.

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UK data watchdog broke data law, says UK data watchdog

Steve Evans
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Re: Stop press

But those that are supposed to be encouraging better IT practice really should be setting a standard...

It's rather like a policeman being completely oblivious to the law he is enforcing... Oh... Bad analogy!

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Steve Evans
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Stop press

Government created body fails at IT.

(We need a sarcastic, picking myself off the floor, icon).

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

Steve Evans
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Re: @Forget It

"Exactly. And don't forget you vote for ONE person. Not a party, not a government, but one person to represent you. My MP is an idiot in many ways but he is very good at representing us. And that is why I would vote for him again. Not the Lib Dems, but him."

In that case you are a very lucky man.

Most politicians just follow the party whip, and vote with the party. You might as well just have one guy holding up a board with Yes on one side and No on the other to count for 100 votes... He could cover the job of a large majority of the work for MPs.

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NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

Steve Evans
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"Industrial customers? That wasn't in the original Pi plan!"

They never ignored the fact people would find industrial uses for the Pi, and it helped the intended recipients (students) by keeping production volumes high so the economies of scale kicked in.

That's how the Pi got it's 256Meg to 512Meg upgrade the other year.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Composite Output

At least 2?!! Ha, you're having a laugh!

There are actually more combinations of pin out from a 4 pole stereo video jack than the mathematics of permutations allow!

Seriously!

You can have a box of 4 pole break out cables, but never the one you actually need!

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ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Steve Evans
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Re: There is precident

I'm sure the US/UK side is already sorted... The US have been very public to say they don't monitor US citizens, and we all know why... The UK does that for them, and then shares any info they US want.

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

Steve Evans
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They're probably worried someone will have

"Yet another clit phone"

Written on the back.

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ATTACK of the Windows ZOMBIES on point-of-sale terminals

Steve Evans
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Re: Bah!

The more sensible configuration I've seen in the big wide world, is to have the POS devices phone home at set intervals/times to the head office, where there *is* a real IT team.

So no inbound connections to the POS device is permitted. This also means the POS devices can sit on a LAN with everything else, and not require their own line.

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

Steve Evans
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Re: A masters degree in computing?

They certainly do at Cambridge... You get it free simply by not dying for a few years!

(Then again, given the history of spy recruitment, maybe that is an accomplishment!)

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Steve Evans
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A masters degree in computing?

And yet he still sends criminal emails from his place of study...

Genious!

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That 'wiped' Android phone you bought is stuffed with NAKED SELFIES – possibly

Steve Evans
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The only surefire way to erase everything, is to perform multiple overwrites on everything sensitive.

Delete just sets a flag to say "This file is deleted". It's still there! A quick format isn't much better.

A full forensic wipe, featuring multiple flipping of the bits over a long period of time is probably a bit OTT. The main risk you are facing is someone using recovery software against the device, not a forensic scientist removing the chips and going at them that way...

So factory reset the device. Wipe the storage, then fill it up with something innocent.

Then delete all those files/pictures, and fill it up again with something else innocent.

Be warned though, that that will only overwrite your storage partition, not the system partitions (you've relied on the OS reset to do that).

Are you paranoid yet?

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BlackBerry claims ugly duckling Passport mobe is a swan in the offing

Steve Evans
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Re: Yeah,,, but what's it like to HOLD????

That was my thought too... Looks hugely wide... Entering into phablet territory, but without the extra vertical real-estate.

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

Steve Evans
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Not a telephoto... He turns round in the middle of the display at one point!

It's an amazing bit of footage, and it would be a pity if such filming is forbidden, by definition, the firework display is clear of people (this one over a river I believe), so even if it did catch a bit of flack and go down, it should do little more than make a splash.

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India’s Karbonn launches £26 Android phone

Steve Evans
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Re: Available from China for a long time

You think that two layers of reseller had undersold? ;-)

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Steve Evans
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Re: Available from China for a long time

You believe Chinese specs?

I remember looking at a mobile battery a friend bought from ebay... It had a rated capacity of 2600mAh in the advert... When it arrived the label said 2400mAh... When it died shortly afterwards I pealed the labels off (I'm nosy like that), and underneath it had the original manufacturers spec... 1800mAh.

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Steve Evans
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Re: "It runs jellybean"

Let me finish the sentence...

It runs Jellybean... Like a dog!

I thought it looked interesting, and having contacts in that part of the world, was thinking of getting one posted over... Until I saw the RAM... 256Meg... Sorry, not a chance! I've got an old HTC with more RAM than that, and even with a custom jellybean ROM and much tuning, it still struggles to do more than one thing at a time.

Such a pity... With 512Meg it might have been worth a second look... With 1Gig I would have grabbed one on spec.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Speakers...

I think all mobiles should have a quiet, low volume speaker...

Nothing worse than some idiot on the train/tube, playing his choice of muzak (well the bits of it that can be represented in a frequency range of 3Khz-8Khz).

It's not big, and not clever... And worst of all, it's not new! Back in the day at least the portable HiFi unit with it's dozen D cell batteries, actually had a reasonable reproduction! Although the weak armed yoof of today might lack the ability to handle a portable device of its mass!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Its Android, so what would it cost without the m$ extortion fee?

The M$ tax on Android is mainly the FAT32 support on the microSD card... And we all know how much people complain when they are removed!

I guess Kabonn just aren't that brave!

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When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Steve Evans
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Re: Dear Barbara.....

I believe that was Google's intention when they emailed Preston!

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Steve Evans
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Ha...

Just because they're rendered on a two dimensional surface, it doesn't make them as shallow as you Lohan!

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USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

Steve Evans
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Having been on the receiving end of an exploding USB charger only the other week, I don't have the foggiest idea how you are supposed to pick a good one.

And no it wasn't bought from a market stall. The offending one in my case was CE marked, and branded by the major electrical reseller were it was purchased.

The idea of an SLA battery charged up on a solar panel in the garden, and then brought in to charge devices is looking like a more sensible (and safer) solution every time!

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Google Glass gets 2GB of RAM. Think about this. Two gigs of RAM

Steve Evans
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Upgrading your memory from 512KB to 640KB? Luxury!

I remember installing the 16K ram upgrade in my BBC Micro!

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EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

Steve Evans
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Re: Warrantless search for $500?

Whilst the information gained from the illegal tap would be inadmissible in many courts, the information gained from it might give the "feds" information which could have them sitting across the road and photographing the drug deal... Photographic evidence which they can then use, just as long as they keep quiet about how they happened to be sitting there watching ("We received an anonymous tip" would seem to cover it).

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Steve Evans
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So.....

...accessing computer systems without a warrant is ok now?

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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

Steve Evans
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Cool...

Now we just need to wait for voice recognition on the customer end of the line to subtitle the Indian call centre!

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iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

Steve Evans
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A fool and their money are easily parted...

And thanks to the intarweb, it's now possible to separate them, en-masse, like never before!

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'Heartbleed-based BYOD hack' pwns insurance giant Aviva's iPhones

Steve Evans
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Re: Good to know

The claims of damage are reaching US levels of silliness.

Are they really claiming the data on these devices wasn't backed up elsewhere?

If that really is the case, then whoever specified the system (and penny pinched when an offline backup was suggested), should be given the bill.

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Steve Evans
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Good to see students haven't changed...

And the powers that be really do not have a clue when deciding where to place these things given the nature of students!

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DON'T PANIC: Facebook returns after 30-minute outage terror

Steve Evans
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Re: What do you expect?

They will, just as soon as they've finished blaming Google/Android.

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Space station 'nauts will use URINE-FUELLED ESPRESSO MACHINE

Steve Evans
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Recycled urine...

So what... I'm sure being part of urine was one of the less offensive solutions some of those molecules of H2O have been through.

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Want to tell the world how IT really works? Tell us first

Steve Evans
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Re: Swings and roundabouts

Many a true word said in jest.

Unfortunately in this world, the decision makers invariably have no grasp of the business or technology they are making decisions about. The same goes for politicians.

Double unfortunately, the developers are usually just as much in the dark about the end user requirements, only guided by their immediate manager.

I've done my fair bit of freelance work, and always try to spend some time with the real end user, watching how they currently do things, and taking notes on anything which currently causes them aggravation. Sometimes this request is seen as "strange", but a couple of minutes explaining the damage that the Chinese whispers can cause usually does the job.

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CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

Steve Evans
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Re: Assasination...

I agree with your sentiments Bloakey1. The difference is that Snowden has achieved headline status above that of the targets the US have taken out from 10,000 feet. Even my mother has heard of him, and knows what he has done. This guarantees he'd get wide coverage if he "disappeared".

The Pakistan victims are generally unknown, and when the "incident" is reported, they are portrayed as evil terrorists, even if they were nothing more than a goat herd.

Dropping a rocket on Snowden whilst he's sitting in Moscow, wiping out a chunk of the local, densely packed, population, is just not going to happen... He'd need to be selectively targeted and taken out surgically, and that is something the US is just not good at.

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Steve Evans
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Assasination...

The US can't have him assassinated because everyone would immediately know it was them. They'll have to wait, and hope he upsets someone else who could be blamed.

At the moment assassinating opponents is the only differentiation the US have from Putin's regime.

If I was Snowden, I'd have a truck load of embarrassing stuff held on a dead man's switch on multiple servers... If I go off the grid, it gets automatically published, emailed and serialised on Twitter.

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

Steve Evans
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Re: Hurrah, the UK is safe...

If only...

Only the other day I had a UK adapter explode (not Apple) when I pulled the USB cable out of it whilst it was still on (I just wanted to connect the phone to the PC to take some files off it).

There was a most impressive flash, and my hand was coated with the powered remains of what was once a plastic encased, silicon based component of some form.

Whilst it wasn't an Apple charger, it did come direct from a UK retailed, was CE marked, and branded by the retailer. All the usual BS marks etc.

If I'd purchased this from a market stall, ebay or Alibaba, I would expect all the markings to be worth less than the ink the Chinese manufacturer applied, but a well known and long standing UK electronics retailer should have the resources to check their source somewhat better than me.

Be careful out there!

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Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

Steve Evans
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Impersonating a teenager...

Randomly replying "Whatever", "bored" and "meh" should just about cover it.

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Feds crack down harder on 'lasing'. Yep, aircraft laser zapping... Really

Steve Evans
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Re: 14 years? @Jumbo crash

"Egyptian helicopters - IIRC the protesters were only illuminating the aircraft body, not targeting the pilot."

Are you claiming that at half a mile distance, you can hold a laser pointer steady enough to only illuminate a specific part of a moving aircraft?!

The light was dancing all over the place!

I think the whole claims of causing a commercial airline crash are dubious at best.

1) Commercial aircraft windows are generally on the top, not the bottom, so you're not going to get a "direct shot".

2) You can't target a pilot with a hand held laser, you might whizz past him a few times.

3) Pressurised windows are rather thick, so the tiny laser point will be defused. Add a bit of dirt/moisture and it's reduced even more

4) Comparing a laser to a camera flash is just laughable... If the laser lit up the entire cabin then you are admitting it's defused enormously. A few milliwatts from a laser defused to that extent would vanish. A flash gun dumps a huge amount of power to produce its illumination for 1/1000th second. You can't have both "blinding" and "huge coverage" from a low power source.

5) You are assuming the pilot is actually doing something important during landing... Got news for you... Most of the time they're not. Pilots are there for the occasions when the autopilot can't handle a situation. 99% of the time the plane will land itself.

I'm sure I'll collect a load of anonymous down votes, which is incredibly brave of you, but please, if you have something to add/correct, let's have a discussion!

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Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

Steve Evans
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Re: Shark Jumped!

I'm sure there are incident reports in the Vatican which would qualify as written paedophilia.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Pro or con?

Let's hope they don't take the word of the "victim" for the cost...

The cost of the damage should purely be the loss of business if a system is taken offline by the attack (NOT afterwards when they patch the flaw in a panic) and the real damage to systems or data.

NOT the price or inconvenience of fixing the flaw which they shouldn't have left in the first place, nor the damage their reputation suffers from being made to look stupid for hosting their services on windows 98.

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You've got two weeks to beat off Cryptolocker, GameoverZeus nasties

Steve Evans
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Re: Think of the children!!!!!

But 15,000 computers in the UK are infected!!!

Out of... Hang on...

Oh...

54.5 Million according to http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-personal-computers-users-map.html

0.027%

Over hyped just a bit then...

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French teen fined for illegal drone flight

Steve Evans
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Re: Stupid bureaucrats

I would expect attempting to get permission to do something similar would get you bounced from pillar to post by a dozen faceless bureaucrats over the course of several weeks without ever finding anyone that had the vaguest clue who you need to talk to or what you need to do.

At that point you'll either give up, or just do it anyway (but anonymously!).

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EE unleashes birds of prey onto unsuspecting customers

Steve Evans
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"The resolution won’t worry Apple, at 800 x 1200 at 188 pixels per inch, compared to the iPad Air's 2048 x 1536 at 264ppi."

Why are you comparing it to a full sized iPad? Surely the 2013 Nexus 7 would be far better given similar size, OS, price etc... To save you googling... Screen 7.02" 1920 x 1200 HD display (323 ppi)

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Apple, Google: WE SURRENDER ... to each other in patent war truce

Steve Evans
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Re: Peace in our time

That's probably why...

All the lawyers they have on retainers have bought their Benley's, lifetime golf course membership and have retired, and nobody else knows the case.

Now I hope Apple really do put that kind of energy into US patent reform, because as we've seen, they have submitted, and been granted, some incredibly dubious patents.

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Cold War spy aircraft CRASHED Los Angeles' air traffic control

Steve Evans
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Unsigned 16bit fail?

I told them not to fly above 65535 feet!

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Stone the crows, Bouncer! BT defends TV recorder upgrade DELETION snafu

Steve Evans
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Data protection laws?

Honestly, this law is used to justify absolutely anything these days!

Erroneously.

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