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* Posts by Steve Evans

2374 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

'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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Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

Steve Evans
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Much whining...

Except does it actually stop Sammy or HTC making their next new phones?

No.

Will it give them stiffer competition, and possibly a bit of motivation to get updates out to their users a bit faster when Silver phones appear?

Hopefully.

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Stephen Elop: I was RIGHT to BURN the PLATFORMS

Steve Evans
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Re: "He likes pizza and R&D. Presumably not together"

"But Elop and R&D go together like Max Clifford and...

Er, I can't finish that sentence on this site, can I?"

You can, the court case is over, he's been found guilty.

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Steve Evans
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Re: trojan horse

Indeed.

I know Nokia did need a kick up the corporate arse, and a few layers of management culled, but Elop arrived from Microsoft, with a firm Microsoft mindset. I find it impossible to believe that what he did was for the good of the company he was supposed to be running, and not following a Microsoft directive to assimilate.

Nokia had a history of great hardware (which admittedly floundered on the later models like the N97), but they were hardly beyond rescue. They had various R&D projects on the go, including Android, a booming platform.

Instead they are told to dump all of those, and go with this new Microsoft vapourware.

Even so, HTC launched phones running on the platform before Nokia could!

All eggs placed firmly in one basket, and then that basket runs off and gives another company first choice... Niiiice...

Watch that share value tumble...

Watch Microsoft reach for the cheque book and grab the bits it wants.

So typically Microsoft, and so obvious to everyone, and we're not talking hindsight here! I can only assume the Nokia board members got an offer they couldn't refuse, they couldn't really have been that incompetent by accident.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Steve Evans
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Virtual box...

Now if only I could get it to run under VBox at >VGA resolution... Grrrrr!

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CEO Tim Cook sweeps Apple's inconvenient truths under a solar panel

Steve Evans
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Re: Outgassing

Or maybe not working them all into such rapid upgrade cycles...

"Don't worry kids, you won't be out of date this year. No new phone launch until 2016... We'll just release lots of software features you really want onto your 4s... We've kind of run out of gimmicky hardware to add on for the moment anyway..."

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Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen

Steve Evans
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Re: Hateful

Well if I were a iPhone fan, I'd want a bigger screen.

I'm a man, with man-size hands. A single finger obscure half a dozen letters on the teeny tiny virtual keyboard. Given that my fingers aren't sharpened to a point, it can get tricky to type at a useful speed on any of the iphone models.

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Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

Steve Evans
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"the historic meeting of Chelsea Clinton and Lilly Cole 98 views as we write"

Ooooh, only two more and she can collect another £200k for demonstrating impact at uberscale...

*jeeez*

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GoPro's new lens: Like a GOOGLE STREETMAPS car... for your life

Steve Evans
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Re: Not much new

And expensive grin!

The problem with these kinds of device is when you try to stretch the image back to get regular frames, that shot where the pedestrian stepped out in front of you for example, you discover that one edge will have been sampled by only a few photosites on the sensor. The pixels per inch will be far greater on the other edge, so the resolution varies across the image!

So there's little point bigging up the quality of the mirror when the sensor is being misused to such a huge extent!

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Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Steve Evans
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Suspected as much...

Earlier this year they initiated a "you need to access your profile via the website every 30 days to keep it alive" policy.

Which was slightly annoying, but they did at least send you a reminder email when you got close to 30 days.

It came as no great shock when the "we're killing the free accounts completely" email arrived over the weekend. I guess the 30 day death hadn't pruned as many as they had hoped.

Glad my Vigor has a huge list of dynamic DNS services it will work with :-)

Good luck DynDNS, you've been very stable and reliable. I only needed to contact you once, and on that single occasion your humans were fast and efficient, but I just don't need all the paid account bells and whistles.

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Steve Evans
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Coffee/keyboard

You owe me a new keyboard!

HMRC have 85,000 PC's running XP?

How many people have they got sitting in front of computers in there? XP is a desktop OS after all, not a server. That a not insignificant %age of the entire UK work force!

Talk about bloated government body.

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Steve Evans
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Re: We have all experienced Schrödinger's USB stick

Sometimes I suspect that I'm the only person in the world who has noticed that the metal rectangle of the standard USB A plug has a join... And the join is on the bottom!

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BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Steve Evans
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Re: 10 Downing Street

Indeed!

Somewhere in Shoreditch there is a "trendy" running about screaming "Who leaked it!?!?!".

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Boffins demo FIVE MICRON internal combustion engine

Steve Evans
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They might make some awesome nano-tech, but their soldering is shocking!

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CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

Steve Evans
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Well the law makers were so keen on hyping TERROR and having us all live in fear...

Well look what you've created!

Sorry, still trying not to laugh. (failing)

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

Steve Evans
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Re: It's crap

Not to mention the * and # used frequently in his outbursts...

Actually, maybe not the latter, he couldn't find it on the keyboard!

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HTC One grabs BEST SMARTPHONE gong

Steve Evans
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Re: Apple sucked their business out from under them?

A slight correction...

Before Apple jumped in, and made tethering a "paid for" update for the iphone, the rest of world+dog had been tethering and using their 1GB/month data as they wished.

Since then all the mobile carriers seem to have got fussy over exactly how you're using that 1GB/month, and charging you if you want to tether it off to something else...

What difference does it make exactly? It's a 1GB/month contract! Why should you care if I use 1GB on my phone, or do exactly the same on my laptop via a tether... It's still coming out of the same 1GB/month pot!

So thank you Apple.

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Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84

Steve Evans
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I remember Mac fondly from his Beeb presentations. He always seemed enthusiastic and explained things perfectly to my precocious pre-teen ears. things. Although I sometimes wondered if he'd like to strangle the technologically challenged Serle, I know I did.

RIP Mac.

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Reports pump fuel into iCar gossip: Apple in 'talks' with Tesla

Steve Evans
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Coat

NOOOO!

OMG, don't let the arty-farty Apple boys have any say in the design... It'll be a triumph of form over function...

Don't believe me?

Well do you think they'll let anything they produce go out of the door with windows?

Mine's the black one with the beanie hat sticking out of the pocket.

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Steve Evans
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Ah, Statistics...

Whilst I'm not convinced by his calculations, his findings do actually tie in with mine.

As with most long in the tooth IT guys, there are things which we suffered back in the dark ages which have stuck with us for life. For me it was Seagate drive death... We're talking 400meg drives here! (Yes, that long ago). Unfortunately I was a field engineer at the time, and covered so many miles just to replaced dead Seagate drives that I still wouldn't use them for anything more than a doorstop! (Actually I lie... I took them apart and used the platters to hang from the plum tree to stop the pigeons eating all the buds).

When my data storage needs at home expanded to the point I really needed to think about redundancy, I opted for "special" raid edition drives, only to have two of them die within 12 hours of each other when I was away from home. They were 6 months old. Don't worry, I also had backups.

I replaced those drives with the next model up (went to 500gig from 400gig, but the same brand, and still specific raid drives), upgraded the power supply in the server that contained them, put it on a better, mains cleaning, inline UPS, and increased the air-flow.

This time the first drive failed after 4 months!

I then decided to start again. Dumped all the drives, working or not, and bought a load of cheap Fujitsu 1TB drives, plus a couple of spares... Never needed the spares. They were still running perfectly reliably when I replaced them with 2TB Fujitsu consumer drives... And that's where things are today. The 1TB drives have ended up being used in all sorts of machines, and I've never had a single one give the slightest hint of failure. The 2TB are still whizzing along in the RAID, the uptime of which is now over a year.

All the spares have been pinched for other things (really shouldn't do that!), such is the confidence they have given me.

Meanwhile, in the work environment, I've seen more specific raid drives die in under a year than I can remember... Some things don't change.

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Steve Evans
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There was indeed.

At the end of the credits, there was a bit of text correcting all the inaccuracies, such as it wasn't the USA who forced a U boat to the surface, boarded it (even though it was about to sink) and retrieved the wheel settings book from the wireless room, it was the royal navy.

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

Steve Evans
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Re: What the...

As I've said elsewhere, there are things that should be left in the past and not resurrected.

The dead-flesh keyboard is just below smallpox on my list!

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Steve Evans
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Re: Nothing new here

I saw the BBC report on the TV last week, so I'm glad to see you cover the issue here.

I found the whole tone of what the Bletchley Park trust said and did disgusting and completely out of touch.

As other have said, the men in suits have moved in.

The whole charm of this place was it's Heath Robinson nature. Sure leaky roofs need fixing, but the whole place was a lash up in the 1940s, and should remain that way.

To replace it with a glossy plastic "visitor experience" is turning it into a theme park.

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What can Microsoft learn from 'discontinued operations' at Nokia?

Steve Evans
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For me the rot set in even before Elop.

Nokia were never really bleeding edge, but they made good reliable phones for most of the 10+ years I owned them, right up until the last couple of years when the lack of updates to known bugs (or allowing the carriers to customise, and in effect blocking bug fixes) crippled Symbian phones. The N95 for example, was actually a good phone if you jumped through all the hoops to reflash the model number to generic Euro so you could get the updates direct from Nokia. Unfortunately Joe Public didn't know (or what to know) this, so he was stuck with the carrier branded firmware the phone arrived with. Unfortunately the OTA update ability of the N95 seemed to coincide with Nokia developing a "It's okay, we know it's got bug, we can ship it, we'll fix it OTA later"... Which of course they couldn't if you had a carrier branded phone. For some reason, even non UK carrier branded handsets had a weird UK firmware, which caused any firmware updates to be delayed just getting over the border.

Things were not learnt (by them or me!), so when the N97 arrived with a touch screen lashed onto Symbian, and an incredibly generous 32gig of storage plus microSD, it had horrendous bugs. Unfortunately even flashing to generic Euro didn't help this time as Nokia had got your money, and didn't seem to give a hoot about the bugs any more. One of the more major ones for me was the terrible GPS. Various hardware modifications to the antenna failed to improve things, leaving the conclusion that there were serious hardware/software problems deeper inside.. Support dried up before the mobile contract finished, and I even managed to get censored on the Nokia support forums for "disrespecting Nokia" for pointing out that if they didn't support customers they would soon have nobody to support, and therefore no job!

Oh how I laughed 6 months down the line when Elop arrived and proceeded to dismantle the company from the inside.

The N97 was the last phone I bought in a contract bundle, and also the first I abandoned before the contract was over. It was replaced by a phone purchased outright..

It was Android, and so was my next one, and so is my tablet, and my old tablet which has been handed down to my mother. Both my brothers now have Nexus 5's... My mother is still using an old Nokia N70 I gave her many years ago, but she wants a better camera for the grand kids... Not 100% sure which one I'll buy her, but it'll be running the same OS as the tablet she has got used to.

"Treat them mean and keep them keen" is not a good motto for business.

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If your telco or mobe provider hikes 'fixed' contract fees you can now ESCAPE - Ofcom

Steve Evans
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Easy to bail...

It's been pretty easy to bail out of contracts recently, especially ones with T-Mob/Orange. They've been tidying up their cells, and reducing overlap.

This has resulted in some areas losing coverage completely. Which is exactly what happened to my brother. Suddenly no signal at home.

After he heard of a neighbour getting released he thought he'd have a go. It took a couple of phone calls (first 2 agents wouldn't release him mid-contract), the third agent was a bit more sensible as they were failing to provide the service he'd signed up for, and had been using happily for several months, and let him go... 12 months into a 24 month contract. He kept the phone. No fee (their breach after all).

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UK smut filter may have sent game patch to sin-bin

Steve Evans
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Re: Somehow I don't think so.....

Or Cocking, West Sussex GU29

Lady Hole Lane, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

etc etc...

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Steve Evans
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Re: Well that's my holiday ruined!

You joke, but this happened a few years back. I think it was AOL who introduced a similarly badly thought through, and implemented, nanny-net that wiped Scunny from the map.

Nice to know that all the lessons have been learnt so well eh?

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Large Hadron Collider competition: VOTE NOW to choose the WINNER

Steve Evans
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Re: Heroes 4

I'm Steve

(Just about resists saying "and so's my wife")

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App to manage Android app permissions

Steve Evans
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Re: Anyone see a price anywhere?

"EDIT: Back to App Ops for me. It may well keep me from upgrading to KitKat on my Moto G."

If you don't mind rooting, you can run app ops on standard KitKat.

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BlackBerry sues American Idol host's company for 'blatant' patent infringement

Steve Evans
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What would be really annoying for anyone who bought into the new BB cool-aid would be if this keyboard introduced the rather useful shortcuts which BB forgot to keep in their latest implementation.

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Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Steve Evans
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Re: Far too expensive

For a little silent media consumption box to chuck behind the TV and turn your "thick" TV into a "smart" one, it's way too expensive.

There are plenty of little linux based boxes which can provide a webkit browser and stream your music and movie collection from a network share for far far less.

Sure they don't have the CPU grunt of this Intel box, but then again it's not needed for this kind of use.

I doubt it's required to run a thin client either.

So it can run windows... I guess that's a more unique selling point, but is that really a requirement for the end use I can see this being put to? It just leaves me wondering exactly what the intended end use of this thing really is?

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