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* Posts by Steve Evans

2299 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Why Android houses should give Google the 'fork you'

Steve Evans
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re: note

"It's not anything to do with the current Galaxy Tab 10.1 and impending 8.9 and 7.7, which seem to be rather more eagerly anticipated."

And judging from Apple's reaction in Europe, I'd say you were right. Nothing says "we're frightened we won't be able to complete" like a herd of lawyers.

- Definitely need a better collective noun for lawyers, "eloquence" makes them sound too civilised... Grasp sounds better.

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Steve Evans
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@James Hughes 1

Actually, that doesn't sound all bad... At least the managers have a vague idea what they are talking about!

I'm sure plenty of us have worked in far more Dilbertesque environments!

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Steve Evans
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@My Alter Ego

The second colleague actually suffered a double fiddled with whammy.

First HTC put sense on it (which is actually pretty good as far as manufacturer mods go), and then Vodafone install their crap on top of that.

Carriers have a long history of not being able to leave things alone. I don't know of anyone who went with a particular carrier because of something they added. You look at price, how many years you'll be locked in, at the included minutes and data. That's pretty much it. They just won't accept they should be a dumb pipe.

In exchange you get a hideous colour scheme (I'm particularly pointing at Orange here!), and you're lucky if you ever get a firmware update again in the next 2 years (again thinking of Orange and Nokia Symbian handsets).

So yes, there is something worse than a phone manufacturer supporting a fork. The carrier badly adding bits to a fork!

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Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

"Yes, this requires the handset manufacturers to become highly proficient in software, something they historically have not been".

A rather important point. You only have to see what the once mighty Nokia did to Symbian, a full mobile multitasking operating system. They bought in an OS years ahead of everyone, and still managed to screw it up.

You only have to see the delays handset owners have to currently endure when waiting for Android updates to see how unprepared manufacturers are for providing reasonable software support. Getting an update within 6 months of Google releasing it is currently considered "pretty good". I doubt supporting an entire OS fork will make things any faster or reliable.

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HTC mulls mobile OS buy – but won’t be rushed

Steve Evans
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Well...

There are many rumours about a purchase, but since Elop was placed at the head of Nokia it's been pretty safe to class the once mighty Finnish company as having been absorbed into the collective.

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9/11: The day we lost our privacy and power

Steve Evans
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Woohoo!

I didn't get arrested, or even questioned.

In fact I actually questioned too cops to confirm the location of the fireworks!

After that I had no interaction, even when I proceeded to climb up over a sea wall, and set the camera up for shots on what can only be described as a health and safety minefield!

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Steve Evans
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Let's see how free we are...

I'm off into central London with my trusty Nikon and tripod, let's see how much that will make me look like a terrorist today.

Oh, and I haven't had a shave either - living life on the edge!

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Steve Evans
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Well said...

I can't help but notice all the TV news coverage of the anniversary, and how often the politicians say how [insert nation here] refuses to bend, and how the terrorists cannot break [insert nation here].

Yeah right... I can't even take a 125g jar of marmite on as hand luggage!

(Yes, I know the limit is 100ml, a volume measurement, and 125g is a measurement of mass, but you try explaining that to security at 6am).

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Guardian pratfall swaps homepage for US insurance firm

Steve Evans
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@Mark 66

Typo not so likely? You obviously don't read the Gradian very much! Half a dozen letters messed up is a normal service for them!

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Orange Monte Carlo budget Android smartphone

Steve Evans
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@Pete 43

Yup, you got it... Did you not hear about the Nokia Beachy Head?

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End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out

Steve Evans
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@Tony Humphreys

Gonna show my age now, but was that Swap shop?

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Steve Evans
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@And the rest...

Almost spot on... Technically speaking 020 is now London.

At the moment only 0203, 0207 and 0208 are used, the rest are held in reserve. 0200 and 0201 aren't available due to routing.

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Steve Evans
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Planning ahead as usual....

Who remembers London being 01?

Yup, most of us I guess... Then they ran out of numbers and made it 071 and 081 for inner and outer London (only doubling the numbers available)... Guess what, soon ran out again, so they made it 0171 and 0181 to give them more room and tidy up the scheme...

Soon ran out, and now it's 0207 and 0208 (catchy for the capital city no?)

All this in the past 20 years! FFS, give someone who isn't terminally myopic the planning job in future!

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Steve Evans
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Also...

It means they can use multiple dialling (STD) codes for the same city... We have plenty of those. What we are lacking is the 6 or 7 digit local codes.

Say your number is 234567, there can't be another 234567 on your exchange because people dialling it without an STD (no tittering at the back) would mess it up...

If you get people into the habit of always dialling the STD code (like on mobiles), there is no reason someone in the next street can't also be 234567, just as long as your town/city has multiple STD codes and you and the guy round the corner have different ones.

STD codes had an extra digit added a few years ago to tidy up the allocations and make room for new ones. If we went off and built a new city there wouldn't be a problem. The problem occurs when an existing city expands to the point it uses all the available local numbers, that's when it gets messy like it did in London. In that case it got really messy because they changed the numbering scheme several times in only a few years... 01 -> 071/081 -> 0171/0181 -> 020n. At the moment only 0207 and 0208 are used, the others are in reserve.

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Swedish cops free boozy moose from tree

Steve Evans
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Oh gawd....

and I thought the Peter jokes yesterday were bad!

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Court bans man called Peter from calling himself Peter

Steve Evans
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Coat

*phew*

So glad all those terrible jokes seem to have petered out.

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iOS, Mac, Android users still vulnerable to bogus certs

Steve Evans
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Re: CyanogenMod

Yup, I just saw that in the change requests. They're pulling them in advance of upstream, and even knocked up a little app to allow you to pull your own certs in future.

Nice one guys.

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Steve Evans
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I bet...

And I bet users of HTC phones will have to wait at least another 6 months after Google release the change... That's assuming they have a phone from 2011... If they have anything "ancient" like a Desire HD, a Desire Z, or God forbid, a Desire, they're likely screwed.

/me wonders how long it'll be before Cyanogen patch this? Do they need to wait for Google?

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Christ appears in phone advert, secular authorities act

Steve Evans
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Where do I call?

To register a complaint that these Christians are offending me by having no sense of humour?

It's blatantly Buddy Christ.

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Freeview HD will deliver new IPTV channels this month

Steve Evans
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Re: w00t

Oh if only they did some good reruns!

Unfortunately it seems we are doomed to premium rate phone in shows of all varieties scattered across all the channels. This even infects the original 5 terrestrial as soon as it approaches midnight, leaving nothing but BBC1 and 2 even vaguely worth watching.

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Zalman ZM-VE200 portable virtual Rom drive

Steve Evans
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Try this...

"You can't really do it on the fly - selecting the right ISO from a long list will take you longer than the average Bios bootloader allows you"

Press the PAUSE button then.

This stops pretty much any BIOS in its tracks and lets you get on with things. Then press the infamous "ANY KEY" and the BIOS will continue.

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How are we going to search our hard disks now?

Steve Evans
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I know the feeling...

I was quite happy with Microsoft's desktop search 4 on XP. I could get it scanning UNC paths and all was well.

Now having upgraded my hard drive to SSD and installed Win 7, I'm at a loss what to use for search. I've had to disable the built in Win 7 search for several reasons...

1) I can't find where it's buried the ability to add UNC paths

2) I can't find how to move the index to my D drive so it doesn't murder the SSD

3) Searching specific file extensions is a pain in the arse.

Basically they've tried to make it so user friendly, that doing slightly non-standard things is now very complicated... I'm sure the things I want to do can be done, and it would be great if someone could tell me how to relocate the index, but until then I guess I am just going to have to use my old XP machine running in VirtualBox (I won't go into the Virtual PC pain here) to find things!

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Sea eagles menace Scottish children

Steve Evans
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Re: Nothing to do with grouse then?

Could be... Then again, what does Sea Eagle taste like?

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Apple's ex-cop and the case of the lost iPhone 5

Steve Evans
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How's that work...

"The six searched his home for the unnamed device and offered him $300 for it, but he told them he did not have it."

Apple cops: "We're looking for a thing, do you have it?"

Home Owner: "What thing?"

AC: "You know, a thingy..."

HO: "What you talking about? What do you think I have?"

AC: "Don't play dumb sonny, hand over the doodah"

HO: "I have no idea what you're talking about"

AC: "Okay, look, hand it over and we'll give you $300"

HO: "Hand over what?!"

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Amazon refuses Touchpad refunds after price slash frenzy

Steve Evans
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Distance selling regs...

In Europe at least, if you bought something remotely (mail order/internet) and it's a generic (non customised) item, you have 7 days after receipt of the item to say "Nope, don't want it".

So assuming you haven't wasted 10 days arguing with the seller about getting a backdated discount, you could get your big wedge of cash back. Although you then wouldn't own an HP fondle slab.

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Sony Android tablets in-bound

Steve Evans
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Are you sure about that price?

It almost sounds reasonable!

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Don't buy your iPad in a McDonald's car park

Steve Evans
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Honestly...

How stupid are some people? This con has been pulled for so many years, with so many different items, that there is even an English idiom which came from the practice "Let the cat out of the bag".

(To save looking it up, the cat is supposed to be a pig in a sack).

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Last ever batch of TouchPads isn't coming to Blighty

Steve Evans
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Why....

Why on earth would a company, how ever self destructive, do another production run to sell a product at a loss?

I can understand the logic of dumping the original batch cheap, warehouse space costs money, and it's better for a company's image that a dumped product is "lost" quickly, than sit unwanted in a shop window going yellow with age, but doing another run? WTF?

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New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G

Steve Evans
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1 week later?

Blimee, you're a bit slow off the mark... I'll be at it the moment the engineer shuts his van door!

I wish them good luck controlling it via 2G though. My mobile signal is weak enough when the phone is left on a window ledge, I don't fancy their chances in the cupboard under the stairs, not unless they have a 2 foot antenna!

It's odd they go to all that trouble and don't just give you a £5 discount if they can use your internet wifi.

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Couple can sue service that monitored their net sex

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

I'm not a US citizen, so I don't know how vaguely phrased the wire tap laws are, but was this actually a wire tap?

As I understand it, the monitoring software allows remote access to the laptop, allowing files and screen grabs to be taken remotely. The phrase "wire tap" certainly brings to mind an interception of data which is already being transmitted.

Having said all that it's quite amusing. The teacher really should have noticed the low price and certainly the scratched off serial number. If she was a teacher at the school which owned the laptop, then she certainly should have been aware that the laptops were issued by the school and not owned by the students!

And whoever intercepted the "naughty" images really should have done a bit of editing. You only need the face of the "offender" to identify her, I doubt the police required her to drop her knickers and assume the position so they could make a positive ID!

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Tony Sale, 'Colossus' crypto machine rebuilder, dies at 80

Steve Evans
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RIP Tony

Although I can't help thinking SJQ would be more suitable.

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One last production run for TouchPad

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

Can't believe they are actually doing another production run, which will do nothing but increase interest in an OS they have dumped, at a loss...

Something here does not add up.

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Nokia dishes out $10m in developer prizes

Steve Evans
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Oh dear...

"Nokia dishes out $10m in developer prizes"

Well there goes all hope of any profit this year then.

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Seven lessons from the HP Touchpad fire sale

Steve Evans
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No shock

No shock they became popular for that money, it really is a no brainer. Who cares if it is dead end, likely to receive zero support etc. As long as the hardware works as supplied you've got a great slab for browsing, emailing etc. I would have bought one, but they were all sold out before I saw the story.

At £400, no tablet is going to tempt me, no matter how good it is, for a media consuming device that's just too much cash. I'll stick to using my phone and just hold the small screen closer to my eyes instead.

The likes of Kogan have shown you can put a tablet together for that kind of money, now if only that was combined with a bit more quality control... Maybe Google-rola might have a plan to knock IOS off the tablet top spot...?

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Sprint issues iPhone 5 gag rule to staff

Steve Evans
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Preferable...

A corporate "We don't know" reply is certainly preferable to the Chinese whispers I experienced with Orange UK earlier this year.

I took to ringing up 5 time in a row to ask the same question "When or are you going to get handset XYZ?", just so I could at least pick the majority answer as guidance.

It was still bollocks though!

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Apple vs. Samsung: next round today

Steve Evans
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They're holding back the big guns...

Namely Star trek and their tablets, see next generation and deep space nice, both from the 1990s.

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Worm spreads via RDP

Steve Evans
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Is this the Daily Mail? Don't believe the hype.

Tut tut El reg, after reading your story I thought there was a vunerbility in RDP... Lucky I went and checked with the source.

All this worm does is scan for RDP servers on the default port, and then try a small set of easy passwords on the admin account.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet goes on sale

Steve Evans
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@Volker Hett

Indeed... Only thing I like about the ipad is the aspect ratio. Widescreen if for playing movies, not work!

Still, nice looking tablet, classic Thinkpad Business looks.

Posted from the R52 Thinkpad

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Steve Evans
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Re: Fn key

That's nothing! Where's the nipple that should be in the middle?

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Here lies /^v.+b$/i

Steve Evans
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Hayes might solves this...

+++ATH

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Steve Evans
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I'd certainly go for a Pascal family lanuage...

repeat

try

while fun do stuff;

except

curse(loudly);

end;

until fatal;

decompose;

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Apple rumor mill predicts 'all new Mac'

Steve Evans
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A-ha!

That's who bought up all the cheap HP Touchpads!

Well it's not like Apple haven't ever changed their mind about architecture before and hung an entire ecosystem out to dry before is it!

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Ultra-cheap HP TouchPads to hit UK at 6pm

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

How many did they actually have? It does strike me rather odd that all the companies that discounted them have sold them all within such a short space of time... Apart from us nerds on here (and similar sites), who knew, and who would want one?

Bet they find a few more in the next couple of days, but they'll cost more.

Either that or their websites have a built in "weird sales pattern detected, shutdown" protection to cover them if somebody accidentally enters and incorrect price.

Yes, yes, I know, I have a suspicious mind!

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ARM vet: The CPU's future is threatened

Steve Evans
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Vortex...

Damn, beat me to it!

That page is a bit out of date now. The latest is the Vortex86mx+ which integrates the RAM and video memory, so you don't need to provide both externally, just RAM, and then the onboard VGA interface can "borrow" some of it.

Got the slightly older 86mx here, runs at a smidge under 1Ghz, onboard sound, vga, 2 serials, ethernet, USBs etc etc. The box I have also has an SD card slot. Power consumption? Well I can run it off a USB port, so total system consumption is under 2.5watts. Obviously can't do this if I start handing hard drives off the USB ports though.

Quite happily running Linux, complete with Gnome desktop with an SD friendly zero swap file.

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Steve Evans
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@Darryl

You lick the dashboard of the car obviously!

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Steve Evans
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Denisity is density...

You think the 200g bar is the fat bastard special?

So who eats the 1kg bar? Apart from me of course?

Could run a laptop for a week on one of those, just long enough for my tummy to stop feeling bad!

Omnomnomnomnom

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Man builds gadget to silence annoying TV pundits

Steve Evans
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Damn...

I fear this won't work in the UK since the demise of analogue TV. All the digiboxes produces the subtitles display internally and overlay it on to the video signal before it is sent to the TV. The TV has in fact become just a dumb monitor with a set of speakers.

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Apple, HTC trim phone forecasts as markets tank

Steve Evans
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@Arctic fox

Greetings fellow Z'er.

I wouldn't hold out much hope for the Nokiasoft. The Nokias of old managed their impressive battery life by having very low power CPUs (we're talking number crunching power, not just battery sucking power here). They could do this because they were running a very efficient OS, Symbian.

Symbian was built from the ground up in the days when mobile devices just didn't have huge powerful CPUs. Android, WinMo and IOS aren't. They're all stripped down version of big OS's.

In the world of mobile devices there are always compromises. With Symbian the compromises were almost exclusively made in favour of low power consumption, because the power just wasn't there at the time to be used! The newer OS's had the CPU power, and have used it (programmers always use everything available to them, plus a bit more). Occasionally they have actually given us something useful too.. Which we got used to, and liked.

I doubt we're going to see 3 days phones for a while, not until the "dual core" willy waving is finished and everyone calms down to let the battery technology catch up!

You can actually get quite a few days out of a DZ, I discovered this (thanks to the excessive EU data roaming charges) when I went abroad... Data off, wifi off, bluetooth off, and remember to switch into flight mode if you go into an area of no coverage (stops the radio cranking up to full power and screaming the cell equivalent of "HELLO?" all the time!). It also helps that you tend to keep phone calls short due to the roaming charges too. Best I saw was from fully charged at 6am to 92% at 9pm!

So if you just use your smartphone as a phone, everything is good... Now I just want to use the "smart" part please!

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Steve Evans
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@Using it more...

Indeed... I've just posted a reply making exactly that point further up the comments!

I did actually email and browse on my N95, but only if I didn't have any choice. It did make me an Opera mini convert though.

These days I'll pick up the smartphone and check emails/reply to them, browse for stuff, even when the laptop is on standby only a few feet away.

I can't comment on iphone longevity (beyond that they die pretty well when dropped), but my Android handset will last days if I just don't use the "smart" part!

It would just be nice if the battery technology would catch up with all the eye candy we've become used to.

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Steve Evans
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I wouldn't just blame the economy...

All those who bought last year's uber-phone, and are still locked into a contract, aren't really going to be scratching at the doors this year for a new phone (crazed fanbois of all flavours excluded of course).

Why? Well if you have last year's iPhone4 or HTC DesireHD etc, what can't you do that this year's phone could? Ummmm... Yes, now you see the problem. Common sense has killed the sales (hence I excluded the fanbois).

There just isn't a killer feature for the new phones. So what if it can scan RFID tags, you've got to find one to scan first of all! So that's not going to do it. The webbrowser from last year still works fine, it loads up in a second, so maybe I could save 0.5seconds by spending £400 this year, then again, maybe I'll just blink instead.

I'm still happy with my Desire Z, which just sneaks into the "last year's phone" bracket. I feel no need to buy a sensation, although I have played with one, it's a nice phone, and all very pretty, but there is no "must have" extra.

In fact, barring a sudden, unexpected invention of something even Apple hasn't thought to patent, I can't see why I would need anything more than what I currently have in my pocket.

There is one big exception, it's the huge elephant in the room. The one killer feature which would make me buy a new phone... 3 days of real use from one charge... That would do it! A feat which my old Nokia N95 could do, even my N97 could do it, although that wasn't really real use, as it spent half the time crashing and rebooting!

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