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* Posts by Steve Evans

2381 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Apple wins EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban

Steve Evans
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Headline: "Apple wins EU-wide Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ban"

First line of article: "A German court sided with Apple today and agreed that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes iPad design patents, granting Cupertino permission to push for a European Union-wide ban."

So which one is it?

So they haven't got a ban, just permission to attempt to obtain one. During the time between now and then there will be appeals, counter appeals etc etc.

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LOHAN acquires mighty igniter arsenal

Steve Evans
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Re: Careful with all those explosives!

Good point!

I wonder how long this can continue before El Reg is classed as one of those "terrorist bomb making website" you hear about in the news.

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UK Border Agency to create 'national allegations database'

Steve Evans
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98% assessed within 48hours?

Jeez, I thought they were supposed to be short staffed?!

To manage that kind of performance they're either not investigating properly, or they have fleets of investigators and cars waiting on standby 24/7 to "pop round" and check documents.

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Pentax K-01 16Mp APS-C hybrid camera review

Steve Evans
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HDR? NOOOOOO!

OH no, it's got an HDR setting, please NOOOOO! I can't take any more.

Don't get me wrong, HDR has its place, but I prefer HDR to be pretty much unnoticeable. That's what it is for.

It isn't there so you can turn all the tone map and saturation settings up to 11 and burn all the phosphor (or whatever TFT/IPS panels have instead of that these days) off my screen!

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Why British TV drama is crap – and why this matters to tech firms

Steve Evans
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You may have a point...

I was trying to think of the last BBC drama I enjoyed watching... Might have been Ashes to Ashes.

Now what about the last US one... Prison Break was great. I can't wait for Dexter to return. Heroes, was fun the start with, then I'm not sure what happened to it. I think the BBC moved the time slot, I missed bit, decided to catch up "on-line" and ended up watching a different series and totally baffled!

CSI is a bit, well, tired now, and I sometimes have a hard job turning off my "WTF are you talking about" reality filter when they make some ridiculous scientific or technical claim.

The problem is from over here in the UK we get to see US drama through rose tinted glasses. I really only get to see what the UK TV companies have passed. There are certainly still plenty of crap ones where they expect the audience to have the attention span of a gold-fish. The advantage the US has is it has far more milk being produced, so more cream available for export.

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Vodafone silences punters in mini-mast upgrade bungle

Steve Evans
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So...

So you have a patchy network and you expect me to pay you for a box to cover the gap. Then you charge me for the minutes I use on your network, even though I've provided the initial route all the way to your backbone via my ISP?

Can't for the life of me see why it didn't catch on.

We do actually have one here in the office (a few directors are on Voda) and even before the update it was a moody box of annoyance. No complaint so far today, but I'm sure they'll come soon, they always do.

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Google Nexus 7 shipping cock-up enrages fandroids

Steve Evans
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I guess...

Google wanted to just run out of stock and leave thousands disappointed, yet manage to spin this into glowing press reports of unprecedented demand and "flying off the shelves".

Unfortunately their lawyers warned them Apple have already patented this technique.

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Microsoft picks October 26 for Windows 8 launch

Steve Evans
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@AC 06:42

Looks like they've been following Government policy and burying bad news on busy news days.

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Judge: Apple must run ads saying Samsung DIDN'T copy the iPad

Steve Evans
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LMAO!

Is it April 1st again?

What? You mean he was serious?!

Too funny!

I guess it is apt. Apple live by hype and free press gossip so it's fitting that when they are naughty they should be outed via the same route - and have to pay for it!

Who is this judge? I think he has a rare grasp on modern reality and it's quite refreshing.

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Fake Facebook photo tag ruse smears malware on PCs

Steve Evans
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Re: Hmm

Not bad, but you forgot to throw in a mention of the Mac Flashback virus and how long it took for Apple to do anything about it for Lion, and even longer for Snow Leopard.

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AT&T may charge fanbois for FaceTime vid chat, hints iOS 6

Steve Evans
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Video calling?

Video calling? On a phone? Wow...

Haven't seen that before... Sorry, I don't mean before, I mean used in the last 5 years due to horrendous per minute fees, that was it.

However I assume Apple will be granted a US patent for it any day now.

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McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

Steve Evans
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Re: More shocking...

Ah, sorry, I missed that he was Canadian.

Why on earth did he go to the US embassy?

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Steve Evans
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More shocking...

Whilst I'm shocked by the behaviour of the staff, it's the handling of the incident by the authorities which really worries me.

He was physically assaulted! The police cannot just do a Sarkozy shrug and ignore a reported assault.

The Englishman side of me mutters "Well what do you expect from the French?", but then the US embassy completely ignores the complaint too.

Write letters, kick up a stink and lets have heads roll for this.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Funnily enough...

I don't see the link between restaurant waiters and McD staff... We're not talking silver service here, we're talking about some knuckle dragging monkey handing you a plastic tray, or pushing round a floor mop and bucket.

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Raspberry Pi rolls out speed surge Raspbian OS

Steve Evans
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Dammit!

I looked to see if that was release last night before putting the wheezy beta back onto my RPi - I'd rather screwed it up from too much playing and needed a "reset".

Sods law it turns up 12 hours afterwards!

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iPhone 5 poised to trounce Android, devastate BlackBerry?

Steve Evans
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65% plan to buy a phone that is not confirmed and has no spec?

Where's the sheep icon?

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Raspberry Pi used as flight computer aboard black-sky balloon

Steve Evans
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Re: Pi

You mean this one?

http://www.adonald.btinternet.co.uk/MMCCard/BBCMicro.htm

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iPhone 5 to be skinniest Apple yet SHOCK

Steve Evans
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Re: Why is everyone competing to make the thinnest phone possible?

There's a huge untapped market of potential customers with very small hands who currently can't reach round the huge girth of existing phones.

Yes, you heard it here first. Apple want to get Bush Babies online.

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Steve Evans
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Re: "The world's thinnest smart-phone"

Given the amount of shattered front glass I see, maybe they can claim the world's most delicate smart phone?

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Slash for cash: boozers' bladders primed for Olympic pee game

Steve Evans
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Re: So it's like one of those old Speccy/c64 games...

IIRC, those games on the speccy and 64 used to result in many joysticks being broken.

I don't know if I want to play a game with those risks!

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Steve Evans
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LMAO!

I love the instructions... "To run pee left/right"... Given the general aiming ability of your regular pub patron, I can only assume the sale of wellies will sky-rocket and "Oiy, you pissed on my shoe!" fights to do likewise!

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Olympics security cockup down to software errors - report

Steve Evans
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Re: As with any big Company

Sure you mean "The five layers of middle management"... That's usually how it works with the big guys.

Each layer adding nothing to the process, just making the bottom layer more and more opaque to those higher up.

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Fukushima powerplant owner forced to cough teleconference vids

Steve Evans
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Lip reading?

I wonder if Japan has any good lip readers?

I think John Terry might have some contact numbers if they want to give it a try.

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'Extreme' solar storm speeding straight towards Earth

Steve Evans
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Re: "We're all doomed!"

I thought flares were pretty normal in Camden?

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Sigma SD1 Merill 46Mp DSLR

Steve Evans
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Are you sure?

Interesting camera... Okay, interesting sensor.

I'm a bit unsure about your choice of competition though. The D300s is way cheaper, can shoot faster, has more focus points (50+, with 15 being cross) can shoot video and will last way more than 200 shots on a single charge. The SD1 only wins on image quality at base ISO, and quickly loses that advantage in the real world. It's a bit of a one trick pony. 40 lenses sounds like a lot, but compared to the number available for Canon, and Nikon's huge back catalogue (they didn't do the Canon trick of changing their mounts for digital, so old lenses still fit) it's nothing.

It sounds like it is best aimed at replacing a D3x or D800. Unfortunately although both those bodies are more expensive than the SD1, they both trump it on everything but base ISO image quality. That might be the most important thing in a studio, so maybe it might make in-roads, but then there's the investment in changing all your lenses. And a camera is only as good as the glass on the front, and from my experience Sigma's stuff isn't as good as Nikon's.

So from a technical point of view it is an interesting sensor. From a real world, grab camera, shoot anything, point of view it's too restricted.

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Move over Raspberry Pi, give kids a Radio Ham Pi - minister

Steve Evans
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Re: Best do it quick...

Oh damn, beat me to it! I just posted a similar comment!

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Steve Evans
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Confused...

Isn't this the same Govt that has some disembodied limb which is pushing for the death of analogue radio?

If they do that then building a radio is gonna be a damn sight more complicated than a tuning coil and a few other basic components. In fact it will probably contain more chips than the Pi!

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BBC mulls seizing the wheel of Local TV

Steve Evans
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Re: FailMux more like

A documentary on local TV?

You're dreaming! They're far to expensive. Only the BBC can afford big projects like that, and even then you usually end up teaming up with another broadcaster from the US or Canada.

By the time the bidding process has finished, any company involved with a local TV station will be so far in the red that they'll be desperate to rake in cash. Every program will have a premium rate angle. The news will have a topical premium rate text "quiz" after it. Maybe "guess how many people have been killed in Baghdad today?".

Local farming programs will have a "guess the weight of the hay we harvested this week?" premium text quiz.

Cookery programs will have a "guess how much sugar I will use in tonight's dessert?" premium text quiz...

And then, they'll be real-time interactive live quizzes where you, the viewer can participate! Wow!

Participate via a premium rate text quiz of course.

My town actually has a local radio station. By local I mean really local. A micro station if you like. The signal barely makes it the 4km from the town centre to where I live. I think I've tuned into it twice. Both times I was greeted by several seconds of dead air before anyone said anything. Try doing that on a "proper" station on the emergency drop in recording would have triggered!

So local TV is either going to be painfully amateur, or painfully commercial.

Both obvious failures.

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iPad Mini maquette spied on web

Steve Evans
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Re: Wow...

I'm interested, but only if you throw in a free goat.

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Steve Evans
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Somehow I doubt Apple will be selling this at $200 though!

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WD sees red, flogs NAS niche drives to SOHO punters

Steve Evans
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My Thecus is very happy with very cheap Samsung drives... I've just posted a comment about what happened when I used 400gig and 500gig WD RE rated drives in it.

At the end of the day, RAID is about availability, it is not a backup solution. You can look at a drive failure in a RAID as a warning if you like, and in some ways it is, but you should still have a backup.

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Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

As much as a trust WD drives in a desktop environment, all my desktop machines and my laptop have WD primary drives, I've had two very bad experiences with their RE drives. First two 400Gig Sata RE drives failed after a month within hours of each other, trashing a RAID 5 array before I could rebuild from the first failure, then after rebuilding the array with all new 500gig RE2 drives, one of them failed within a month.

I then gave up paying a premium for Raid Edition drives that kept failing, and decided to concentrate on the "I" of RAID, i.e. CHEAP! Sorry, Inexpensive.

So in went a set of Samsung 1gig desktop drives and they ran for over 18 months before I finally replaced them, and only then because I wanted bigger drives. I still use the 1gig drives in USB enclosures for various backups. I tried the same with one of the WD 500gig RE2 drives and it died after a couple of months.

I'm sure they have sorted out whatever problem occurred, but the fact there was very little mention of this anywhere on the intarweb didn't fill me with confidence. I know nobody likes publicising failure, but at least when it is publicised you can get a feeling for reliability. When nothing is said all you can do is look at your own experience, and in mine that means I have 100% distrust of RE drives.

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Climate was HOTTER in Roman, medieval times than now: Study

Steve Evans
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Axis!

A graph without an axis is utterly meaningless!

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Steve Evans
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Baffled...

I'm really baffled by the number of people who say "It must have 3G"...

Are you seriously planning on carrying a 7" tab an using it as a phone too?

No, thought not, so you mobile phone will still be in your pocket, a few feet from your tablet. So tether it! One mobile contract, one SIM... Simples.

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Steve Evans
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Re: 3G

Totally agree... If you have a reasonable smart-phone in your pocket it will already be able to act as a wifi access point, so you just use that...

Those that don't have a reasonable smart-phone will have already bought an ipad anyway.

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Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Steve Evans
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Re: Rule 2 @ A/C 10:27

Assuming the bucket is plastic, then I'll do it.

</science pedant>

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Steve Evans
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Re: Rule 2

Cleaning off any residue left by your liquid bath of choice is essential. So yes, sometimes the best thing to do when your electronic device gets a bath in one liquid, is to pull the battery and clean it with the purest water you can find. Melted ice from the freezer is pretty good in that respect (just filter out the peas and sweetcorn).

Then just dry with a cloth, place in a sealed bag with something to absorb the water (rice as mentioned or silica gel as used in packing) and put it somewhere warm for a day.

I've saved a laptop from orange juice (complete with pulp bits - this required gentle scrubbing with a soft tooth brush), another from a pint of beer, and a mobile from coca cola using just this technique.

I would hasten to add only the beer on the laptop was my fault. The orange was neither my fault, or my laptop. The mobile was mine, and 2 weeks old when my brother managed to spill an entire glass of cola on it.

once the power is removed, the main risk is the LCD panel. You don't want liquids getting inside that, so if you can remove it, do. If not, be very very careful.

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Trekkie pays £45,000 for rusty shuttle

Steve Evans
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Re: vinyl front tier

Please don't encourage him! PLEASE!

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Did your iPhone 'just stop working' - or did you drop it in your BEER?

Steve Evans
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Re: Unbelievable

Easy, the USPO is funded by the patents it files. The more it files, the more money it makes.

It's far more profitable than just taking the money for a patent search and saying "Sorry, already exists" or "Sorry that's obvious". So take the money and grant a full patent. Then let their friend in the legal profession make loads of money arguing over the granted patent a few years down the line.

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Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Steve Evans
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Nanny state...

I'm sure the emergency services will be overjoyed to hear of every little knock.

When I took my driving lessons I was told you ring the police and report accidents. When the inevitable finally happened, I rang the police.

"Is anyone hurt?" - "No"

"Are the vehicles off the highway?" - "Yes"

"Thank you, goodbye"

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Boffins pull off room-temp quantum computing with home-grown gems

Steve Evans
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1s sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like all they just need a bit of a refresh. Exactly the same as DRAM.

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GPS spoofing countermeasures: Your smartphone already has them

Steve Evans
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They could have easily got it from you.

Have you ever had your wifi and GPS turned on at the same time?

Did you check the option to say you're willing to share the wifi positional data is acquires with google? (You can change your mind by going into location settings and unchecking the "use wireless networks" and then checking it again. It asks for confirmation each time).

Then again, even if you didn't, someone else walking past (doesn't have to be a streetview car) could easily have been.

It's actually a useful feature. It allows the device to locate your initial (vague) position very very quickly. A cold start on GPS can take half a minute or so without it, which is a damn long time when you're sat at the front of a queue of traffic trying to work out where you are.

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CANNIBAL! Apple's 7.85in iPad will EAT 9.7in iPad sales

Steve Evans
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Re: It would be Tim Cook big second mistake at Apple...

"While maybe a 5" updated iPod with a pair of embedded analog sticks could make sense to completely annihilate expensive portable consoles"...

By replacing it with an even more expensive Apple branded console?

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What is the Nokia Secret Plan if Windows 8 isn't Windows gr8?

Steve Evans
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True. Nokia had rather started to implode before the arrival of Elop.

Their customer support and quality control had become dire. The moment they introduce OTA updates the thought it perfectly acceptable to ship alpha firmware. I should have seen this coming with the N95, but they finally got their act together with the firmware, and it was (and is) a great little phone.

Those that bought the N97 were just left to hang out and dry. Complain about it in the forums and you were hit with the mod hammer for "disrespecting Nokia". Basically they disappeared up their own backside.

That's when I jumped ship after 10+ years of owning nothing but Nokias and went Android, where I am quite happy to remain with a wide range of suppliers wanting my business. A few months later Elop arrived and I smiled to myself and muttered "serves you right". To be honest, even if Nokia did ship an Android phone, I don't have any confidence in their hardware or customer service any more.

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Steve Evans
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Re: Android HAS to be Plan B ..

Not that cunning. Everyone has been saying that since Elop arrived!

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Steve Evans
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Plan B

Would, implosion, liquidate assets and switching the lights off for good count as an "alternative strategy"?

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ITC denies Apple an emergency ban on ALL HTC PHONES

Steve Evans
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Re: "Software petents" - WTF ?

Well at the moment it's mainly the USA. Unfortunately as patient zero, they have a horrible habit of sharing.

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Apple's UK smartphone lead shrinks

Steve Evans
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The Android share of the phone market has already passed that of the iPhone.

iOS only dominate in tablets these days.

I agree about the apps though. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of apps, and plenty of good ones, it's just unfortunate that a some big companies seem to just have the iphone app converted and not take advantage of any of the extra features available on Android, such as the menu button for setting etc.

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UK.gov proposes massive copyright land snatch

Steve Evans
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Amazing...

You'd think HM Govt would try to hide just how much Big Corp controls them, but there's no hiding from it in this case.

1 - If Joe Public "steals" a piece of music, and shares it with others (note, not even selling), he's a criminal and will have his internet cut off.

2 - If Big Corp "steals" a photograph, and sells it to others, NADA!

I'll either be emptying my Flickr account, or adding a huge watermark diagonally across all the images.

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Google unveils Nexus 7 tablet, Android 4.1 and Nexus Q

Steve Evans
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@A/C 22:04 was Re: Google Now

You own a mobile phone don't you?

You carry the mobile phone with its connection in you pocket 99.9% of the time don't you?

Well you set the phone to act as a wifi hotspot, and connect the tablet via that. Tada... One mobile contract, one sim, and it's kept the cost of the tablet down.

That's assuming you have a mobile which can act as a wifi hotspot - hint, Android phones can.

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