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* Posts by Steve Evans

2354 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Skype for Android is vulnerable

Steve Evans
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Unencrypted, badly set permissions, predictable location...

Not good... At least they managed to send an email out...

Thank you for downloading and using the Skype for Android software. Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that if you were to install a malicious third-party application onto your Android device, it could access the locally stored Skype for Android files. These files include cached profile information and your instant message chat history.

We take our users’ privacy very seriously and are working quickly to protect you from this vulnerability, including securing the file permissions on the Skype for Android application. This update will be available shortly and as always we urge you to install updates to benefit from our continuous fixes and improvements.

Until the update is released, to protect your personal information, we advise that you as always take care when selecting which applications to download and install onto your device from the Android Marketplace.

For more information see our Security Blog at blogs.skype.com/security or our security section at skype.com/security.

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Apple spits out increment iOS version

Steve Evans
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Re: Is it just me...

I wouldn't call unlocking an iphone easy.

Why haven't they made it 100% impossible? Well I think they might have tried, but remember we are talking about a company who can't make a scheduled alarm ring at the correct when daylight saving changes, and has tried to fix that several times without 100% success!

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Steve Evans
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Somehow...

I can't ever imagine Apple releasing their control over the phone, and until people can install whatever application they like, be it animated boobies or whatever, there will always be a market for jail breaking techniques.

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LG Optimus 2X dual core Android smartphone

Steve Evans
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@A/C 12:16 GMT

Yes, the USB electronics only implement the very basics, the CPU is used to do all the hard work.

Firewire on the other hand is far kinder on the CPU and handles far more itself in the interface.

If you have a little Atom powered netbook or nettop, try copying a file on a USB stick back to the same drive, and watch the task manager CPU usage.

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Feds commandeer botnet, issue 'stop' command

Steve Evans
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@copsewood

Viruses did exist before the internet, they just spread more slowly on infected floppy boot sectors and couldn't create spam email. They did however destroy local data and do "fun" things like make all the letters fall down the screen.

If you want to run a machine without AV then you'd better hope the machine has no network connection or *any* removable storage support.

If you want to try a honeypot, simply connect a windows 95 machine to the internet via a USB router. I'll be amazed if it has lasted the day before is turns belly up under the weight of infections.

IIRC one of the techie sites did this a few years ago and had to unplug it after 45 minutes!

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Steve Evans
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@It's an appliance, yes...

Indeed. A car is also a consumer device, and if you operate ones of those like a complete muppet they will take away your right to use one.

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Steve Evans
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The legal mine field...

Yup, you got it. Sending a command to something which is already on the machine and telling it to "stop" is one thing, actually installing or uninstalling something starts to fall fowl of various computer misuse laws.

Then again, the machine is already infected, so how the end user would know that he should blame the feds for his now dead PC is a good question... If he wasn't clued up enough to install antivirus in the first place, nor to notice his router or network icon blinking away excessively then I vote the feds keep quiet and just issue the format command...

Or maybe just set up a persistent route for everything back to 127.0.0.1, then hopefully Jim-Bob would call someone in to fix his errant machine.

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Steve Evans
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Blimee...

Logging the IPs and working with ISPs to inform the end user...

Impressive if it works... I tried that once. I was getting several thousand emails from one IP every day. I contacted the ISP and it stopped. I was impressed. A month later it started again. Same IP, so the user had obviously learnt very little. I contacted the ISP again, nothing happened, the spam continued.

The IP is still blocked on my email server. Glad it was fixed and not dynamic!

I think MS should be made to force an update onto PCs which works like the browser choice app, but gives a choice of antivirus.

It's amazing to think how close the music industry have got (or are getting) to getting laws introduced which can have you disconnected from the internet, yet infected PCs which cause problems for far more people are just left to spew their infections penis and enlargement emails unchecked.

I'm sure if they introduced a 3 strikes and you're off the net until you complete a PC driving licence course would be far more widely supported.

Oh damn, I hope I haven't just given HMgovt a way to spin the music industries plans onto us under the guise of internet health.

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Free Libyana: Gadaffi networkjacker speaks!

Steve Evans
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Pint

Great hack...

From a technical point of view it's a great hack.

From a political/legal point of view, ummm, I'm not going to even go there!

So I shall raise a pint to their technical abilities, and audacity.

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Vodafone, Three to offer hyped-up HTC handset

Steve Evans
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Re: Bootloader

Yes, but the breaking relies on exploring a flaw in an older bootloader. To do a Desire Z or HD today you'd first have to downgrade the firmware to one with the bug, then exploit it and get S-OFF.

If the new phones don't have the flaw, there isn't an older version of firmware for them with the flaw to roll back to, it's going to make things a little tricky!

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Android, Steve Jobs, and Apple's '90%' tablet share

Steve Evans
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Re: Way to win a debate!

My point was purely that the iphone1 cannot be described as being five years ahead of its time in 2007. Although it's very possible Nokia won't have anything to beat it in 2012!

So you are going to have to forgive me for arguing over the time scale, because that was my point!

SMS is far more widely used for phone to phone communication outside of America than email, the reason mobile email got a hold in the USA is because the US networks couldn't sort out their interconnects to deliver messages between networks. So not being able to send a group text message was quite a source of amusement to us non-Americans when the iphone1 appeared.

I'll freely admit that the iphone did give the other manufacturer a good kick up the arse, the user interface is nice. Unfortunately Nokia were still sitting in the meeting when the kick arrived and it just made them fall off the chair, banging their head on the edge of the table on the way down.

So thank you Apple for causing the Android smartphone sitting on my desk to come into existence.

Feel better now?

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Steve Evans
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@Everyone!

@A. Nervosa

I make no apology for being a chin stroking techie, but the iphone1 was lacking more than just a "bleedin'" SD card slot.

It was little more than an ipod touch with a phone slapped on, and it was a phone design they based on the US market only, which is why they didn't notice the rest of the world was already moving onto 3G, cameras and used SMS extensively.

@AnotherNetNarcissist

Please at least pretend to read the original post my reply was addressed to. Why did I dig out a "5" year phone for comparison? Because the OP said (or repeated a quote) that the iPhone1 (please note, iPhone ONE) was five years ahead of its time. So a logical comparison would be against a competitor at the time.

Maybe you would prefer I compare the iphone1 against something from five years after its release which will be something next year...?

So anyone claiming the iphone1 was five years ahead of anything at the time is at best a troll, at worst mentally deluded.

@A/C 1

The N95's biggest issue was that carriers were allowed to customise and often prevent firmware updates. Best thing I ever did to mine was to change it to a generic Euro model. They nailed a lot of the bug within a few months, something which they never managed with the N97

@A/C 2

N97, oh god yes, what a pile of poo. Had one of them. Nokia made a royal mess of trying to put touch onto Symbian. Only phone I have replaced outside of a contract just to get away from it. The old N95 remains my "just works" backup phone. The N97 is in a draw.

@turnip handler

Very true, dominating the digital "walkman" market, and then grafting a phone onto it was a smart sideways move. It avoided trying to go head to head with the big phone manufacturers right from the word go. Build up your customer base in the mp3 player market, then offer them an ipod with a built in phone.

In summary, I wasn't saying the N95 was better or worse than the iphone1. I was just comparing two phones of the same era to counter the claim that the iphone1 was 5 years ahead of its time. If the iphone1 was truly 5 years ahead there should be a gaping chasm between them. There isn't.

Technically the N95 was ahead with a better camera, real 3G video calling, true multitasking, copy/paste, 3G support, full support for the GPRS messaging specification, battery life etc etc.

The iphone wins on the user interface which it brought from it's father the ipod touch, but as a phone it was lacking some pretty basic features, and lets not forget, it was supposed to be a phone!

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Steve Evans
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Troll

Re: *sigh*

Sorry? Are you saying the iphone1 was 5 years ahead of its time?

Oh go on then, I'll feed ya!

This would be the iphone1 that didn't do 3G, multitasking (of any style), couldn't do MMS messages, couldn't do group SMS and had a tiny camera with no flash?!

It could barely be called a phone given it's poor support for the standards. It would have been better to call it an iPod chat.

All it had was a pretty UI and a touch screen... It was a retarded beauty queen... All very pretty to look at, but don't expect it to be able to do much more.

In 2007 I had a Nokia N95, sure, no touch screen, but real multitasking, hot-swappable MicroSD storage, built in RDS radio, 3G, video calling with front and rear cameras (5meg with flash on the back) and it supported all the mobile messaging standard correctly etc etc etc.

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Libyan network hijacked for rebel cause

Steve Evans
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@kennsmi

Next you'll be saying the "Terrorists" now in Afghanistan used to be "Freedom fighters against the Soviet aggressor" supplied and trained by the USA.

Sorry, what was that?

Oh...

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MYSTERY of huge Canadian chicken-shed EXPLOSION

Steve Evans
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Re: Gas or powder?

Indeed... For the tank to be damaged it would either have to had the explosion occur inside it, or it would have had to be subjected to prolonged heat. Neither happened here, but a leak of gas into the building sounds good to me.

What ignited it is a good question, but congratulations on getting the mixture spot on! Approx 15:1 of C3H8 in a shed that size... Gonna be impressive!

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Red Dwarf to blast off on new adventure

Steve Evans
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Re: The thing is ...

Errr... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRq_SAuQDec

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Steve Evans
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Should Red Dwarf make another season...

There are two reasons why they should not do that...

1) They lost their way after season 6

2) They lost their way after season 6

I thought it was such an important point it deserved mentioning twice.

Oh, and no more canned laughter, it's not big, and it's not clever!

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AdBlock Plus man disputes Mozilla add-on tests

Steve Evans
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Startup time - thwarp!

Fighting for startup times are really pointless. So much of what we do is done via a webbrowser that I doubt most of us start the browser more than a couple of times a day. The rest of the time it's either populated with tabs and in use, or minimised/hidden behind other windows ready to be used at any point. No browser will start fast enough to challenge pulling an existing browser into the foreground.

I'm sure it's just for a bit of willy waving in an advert they have already got ready to publish.

My FF stays open for days on end. My machine gets put to sleep/hibernated at night, and resumed in the morning. The only time I restart the browser, apart from M$ patch reboots, is when it's leaked so much it's eaten too much RAM and slowed my machine up.

Even if I did start the browser multiple times a day, the alleged few seconds extra is more than outweighed by the faster page loading you get from having the ads removed.

Maybe Mozilla should target code which causes the browser to eat resources and other things which continually impact the browser usage during the course of a day, and not just a few seconds at start up?

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World pays tribute to Yuri Gagarin

Steve Evans
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Pint

Re: Thank you, from all...

I'll drink to that.

Budem zdorovy

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Punter bags 500GB SSD, finds 128MB Flash inside

Steve Evans
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Re: Fake flash

Thanks for the link... Makes me think again at HTC's immediate response to a bug report I filed... I know the bug I filed is a well known one with Android, I just wanted to increase the volume of complaints so it gets fixed, but HTC's first reaction was "Have you got another MicroSD card you can try?"

"No" I reply

"Oh, can I take your address and we'll send you a replacement"...

I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but it does make me think twice about my initial "Wow, what service" reaction... Maybe "Hmmm, been cutting corners eh?" would be more apt.

Oh well, the MicroSD I have is actually fine, I've checked it, it is 8gig. Can't wait to poke about the replacement though.

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Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

Steve Evans
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Re: We might be able to beat that

Ditto. My BBC Micro was bought as a model A with 32k (because the B was in short supply at launch), still works, although I did replace the original linear PSU about 20 years ago when a nice switch mode crossed my path.

Somewhere I have some disks for the viglen 40/80 switchable 5.25 floppy drive.

Amongst the collection of ancient technology I also have two Einsteins, but unfortunately no floppies for them... Stupid 3" non-standards! Grrr! They were a rescue out of curiosity, so I have no idea if they even work!

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Steve Evans
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Oooh...

Now you say that, you've reminded me of the vectrex... Always wanted one of those, I loved asteroids!... BRB, ebay... :-D

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Nokia E7 Qwerty slider smartphone

Steve Evans
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Re: Even worse?

Are you sure about that?

If you exclude Apple from the "nearly every phone manufacturer" list I think you'll find most have swappable batteries.

Memory card swapping has always been a yes/no feature with Nokia. The original N95 had a removable MicroSD. The N95 8 gig didn't. The N97 did.

Most recent Androids have removable cards too, although a lot of them have it tucked under the battery meaning that although the OS has the option to unmount the storage, you have to turn the phone off to physically remove it, which is a tad annoying.

If a smart phone had a true 3 days worth of *real* running because they had squeezed a huge, but weird shape battery round all the internals, then I might be able to put up with it not being removable, but for less than that I'd prefer to be able to swap it for a bigger or fresh battery when required.

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Sony buries hatchet with GeoHot in PS3 modding case

Steve Evans
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Re: WTF?

Actually, in the UK at least, vehicle manufacturers did manage to throw some spanners into the works of motorcycle parallel imports, they pulled the trademark laws and prevented companies selling the bikes from using their logos!

They also refused to honour warranties on EU bikes which have been brought into the UK. I think they based this argument on the vehicle being modified with LHD headlamps and MPH speedos.

How they manage to get away with this when the whole EU club is supposed to be based on the idea of free movement of people and goods is beyond me.

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Google woos enterprises to Android with new security offerings

Steve Evans
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Re: Autowipe

Thanks for the tip of Autowipe, I'll have a look.

I have a selection of apps which do various security things. Lookout does indeed do location (wipe available on the paid for version). There is also where's my droid which works via a trigger text message and replies via text message with a link to google maps.

Last, but not least, if you have an HTC phone, the HTC sense website offers remote location, a loud remote ring and wiping.

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Hasselblad H4D-40 Stainless Steel 40Mp camera

Steve Evans
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Re: pro photographers and penis envy...

Depending on the event, if you turn up with that thing you'll still get laughed at.

As the review says, it's too big and heavy for field work. The H4D is a studio machine, tripod mounted with banks of studio strobes.

Cramming that many pixels into a small sensor means the photosites are going to be minuscule, this in turn means it's sensitivity to light is only going to be a couple of clicks above Stevie Wonder.

It's horses for courses and exactly the reason Nikon make a 24mega pixel D3X for the penis envy figures and a D3S with a more normal 12mega pixel which can see in the dark.

I think for that money I'd have a D3X, a D3S and a nice bunch of lenses.

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Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

Steve Evans
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Re: Wow...

Oh blimee, me too... It used to be easy on the later commodores, just cut a new read only notch and flip it over. The BBC micro was not so easy, the beeb actually used the optical rotation index hole, so you had to make another one of those two... Which involved extracting the floppy bit, chopping the hole and then feeding the floppy bit back in.

Always seemed to get away with it though!

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Carphone Warehouse makes Motorola Xoom cheaper

Steve Evans
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Re: RE: "...there's no fair use limit...."

I've yet to see a "fair use" clause that was even vaguely fair!

FYI, the 3 all you can eat has a limit of 80Gig, now that I call fair... Hell BT do a home infinity package with a lower monthly limit!

They'd be stupid to do a bait and switch on anyone who has a current contract. If they do that they've cancelled the existing contract, so you're out and free, with the tablet.

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BT reveals fibre-to-the-cabinet plans for 156 exchanges

Steve Evans
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But...

Is there any news on BT upgrading their backbone, or are we going to see more and more "packet shaping" (aka, throttling anything more complex than email and http) or just ludicrous monthly caps?

Their cheapest offering has a monthly cap which you could blow in a couple of hours if you did manage to get their advertised top speed!

They've quoted me 32Mbs down and 8Mbs up on my bit of aluminium... Which is very tempting as I'm still coming to terms with my current ADSL staggering over the 2M down / 256k up line to a heart stopped 2.9M / 680k up a couple of months ago (no idea why or how, I just noticed Flickr uploads seemed to be rather speedy one night, and there it was!).

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Named: Ten towns with slowest mobile broadband

Steve Evans
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Got that here in Essex too...

Unfortunately old brittle aluminium doesn't like being disturbed by the even increasing urban sprawl either.

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Sex Party's down-under struggles with dominant Catholic priests

Steve Evans
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So...

The don't like posters from the sex party, but it's okay to have a 16 foot sculpture of a man nailed to a cross?

Niiiiiiice.

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HTC Desire S Android smartphone

Steve Evans
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Re: DLNA

I believe the DLNA playback is called "connected media".. That's what it is called on my Desire Z, Froyo 2.2.1, but as I don't own any DLNA equipment I can't say I've tried it!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Meh! Soft buttons

I can't say I've tried hard buttons as my Desire Z has soft ones too which I don't find a problem, but to who started it, I think you'll have to take your argument up with the fruit themed company

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Wanted: Nude female web coders

Steve Evans
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Re: porn photo studio not software company

I think you'll find that's a softbox.

No, I'm not going to get my coat, that really is a softbox!

Grrr, some people!

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Steve Evans
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Happy

Re: re: re: Netscape Navigator Gold

You don't have to get your coat, I think there are several people here willing to hand it to you!

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Steve Evans
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Actually...

Having just commented about the CRT monitor, I have looked at their website, which can only be described as having been designed with Netscape Navigator Gold... So I believe they are possibly trapped in a time warp...

Which might explain how the naturists they show appear to actually look vaguely attractive, when all the ones I have ever seen before are the kind of people you'd prefer to keep their clothes on!

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Open source .NET mimic lands on Android

Steve Evans
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Curious...

Sounds interesting, but the problem with cross platform applications is that different platforms have a different look and feel, not to mention different hardware features. There are already plenty of applications showing up on Android which are a straight ports of the older iphone apps and they're generally horrible. The user interfaces look like they are sponsored by Crayola and standard Android behaviour such as pressing "menu" inside an application to access settings are replaced by a sodding great "settings" button on the main screen.

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The new killer app is … MMS

Steve Evans
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Re: How much?!

Agreed 100%

MMS is only a killer app in the UK from the network's point of view. The price per byte of sending that little picture makes international roaming charges seem reasonable!

I've sent less than 5 of them in my entire life, and one of those was an accident when I hit reply to a received MMS and the s*dding phone decided that "thanks" should be sent back via the same messaging route... Grrrr!

I can only assume that all these happy MMS users on the Asian subcontinent have far more competitive mobile networks than our 4.5 old school friends.

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Ofcom Radio pokes at potential pirates

Steve Evans
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Re: You were lucky

One man's hobby? I know FM radio is a bit old school, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who listens to it!

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Nokia floats out a collection of cool concepts

Steve Evans
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LOL!

The folding phone... errrr, well it looks like a great way to show off flexible and transparent electronic components if they are ever invented, but that's about it...

The weeble phone on the other hand looks kind of fun. Pity it's bound to be crippled with an MS operating system which means it will slowly raise off the desk when a call comes in then topple over and land flat on its face!

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Spanish cops rush to cuff 'webcam killer'

Steve Evans
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Re: Linguistic considerations

Indeed, Romanian, Spanish and Italian are all very closely related.

I have a Romanian friend who used to live in Italy. He said he could understand pretty much everything they said, and they could understand him (when he wanted them to!).

Now if it was the Hungarian Police speaking to Spain, now that would be interesting!

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Steve Evans
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Re: "Hmmm..." ???

Nope, old enough and with good enough recall to remember the iron curtain rusted away over a decade ago.

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Steve Evans
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Hmmmm...

Well for 2 phone calls and a quick drive from the cop shop you'd think they might be able to do better than 45 minutes when there is a life at stake!

However, it's better than some of the times you hear for the UK cops and certainly far better than trying to get assistance from an out of hours doctors.

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Wannabe baby-kisser lies on political honesty phone-in

Steve Evans
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Re: When will they learn?

A lying politician? NEVER!

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Steve Evans
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Ummm...

"I don't think it was deceit and lies"...

So pretending to be someone else is not deceit, and then answering the phone and denying it was Ashley pretending to be Paul wasn't lying?

I must get a copy of this politicians dictionary because my OED seems to be totally out of step.

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It's the oldest working Seagate drive in the UK

Steve Evans
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Oooh...

I had an old ST drive somewhere I used to use as a door stop, I wonder if I can find it... More importantly, I wonder if I can find an ST interface card (and drivers) to test it out!

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Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Steve Evans
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Re: No political bias then?

I think you'll be hard pushed to describe it as anything else!

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Steve Evans
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DAB?

Ah yes, DAB, the all singing, all dancing radio technology that doesn't work in cars very well...

Hmmm, so it is best suited to stationary use... Like at home, where you've got a PC which can stream a zillion internet radio stations with no reception issues...

Oh dear.

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Mozilla ditches Messaging wing, eyes social webby sweetshop

Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

I hope they don't dump Thunderbird, I like it... I have multiple accounts set up, including IMAP and the spam filter works great. I guess those that have spam filter problems didn't RTFM... You've got to mark good ones as "not spam" as well as bad ones as "spam", then it's spot on, at least it is for the junk that I get.

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Hacks arrested in phone hacking probe

Steve Evans
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Grrrr!

I really wish they would stop calling this hacking... By the same measure I would be classed as a master cat burgler if I stole your TV when you left the front door wide open!

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