* Posts by Chris Evans

389 posts • joined 27 Jun 2008

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Rosetta probe's final death dive planned for just after last call next Friday night

Chris Evans
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I don't understand!

AIUI Rosetta has been orbiting the comet and isn't in a Geostationary[1] orbit so given that the surface is extremely rugged won't it end in up crashing into a mountain side?

[1]I'm not sure geostationary is really the correct term as the 'Geo' bit is of course referring to the earth.

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2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Chris Evans
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Re: Finding DNA could tell archeologists more about the ship and where it came from.

"Still, DNA can tell something about the ship crew and thereby from where it came from."

Not quite, it hopefully will give where that particular individual came from. Whilst probably a crew member that is not a certainty. But it would be a significant part of a big jigsaw.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Chris Evans
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Re: Grammar police alert

I don't think it's wrong but I think in the UK it would normal be written as:

"Apple's reportedly BEEN usING the bag in its stores for a few months now."

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FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password

Chris Evans
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Now there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

1st Phone expensive to do. 2nd and subsequent much cheaper.

Yes there was significant time and equipment used to get to the point of being able get at the NAND chip outside of the phone, but now that he has done it. Another phone could similarly have its NAND removed and read comparative easily and I'm sure there are companies who regularly remove such chips without damaging them.

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Chris Evans
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FAIL

Battery Stapler Horse Fail

Some people seem to think that the multiple words option e.g. "Battery stapler horse" is the way to go. But I saw the XKCD cartoon about this some years ago and tried to memorise it. I've probably seen it two or three times a year since (More often than I visit some websites I have to log into) I've never remembered it yet! If on all the websites I used I had a different three or four word password only a memory champion would be able to remember them. n.b. I note both Alistair and I got it wrong anyway! Its correctbatteryhorsestaple.

Now did I capitalise any letters... what about websites that insist on: numbers, varied case, a low maximum length....

Part of the answer is for websites to not insist on complex passwords unless it is appropriate. I recommend people to use as complicated a system as they can do reliably. I wish I knew the full answer.

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Great British Great Bake Off gets new judge

Chris Evans
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Re: The BBC is skint?

Whilst I agree that not all of them probably went first class, I do wonder how much UK government spends funding sports. Remember most of the money 'UK Sport' receives comes from the National Lottery

A bit of research suggests that in 2015 less than £7M came from the government. I doubt the BBC have spent £28M on the RIO Olympics but it might not be far off, given how adept the BBC are at squandering money.

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Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

Chris Evans
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Wishful thinking!

"Unless the UK and EU have a really major falling out, the UK is likely to be able to continue to contribute and influence."

That is wishful thinking on two counts, we may or may not have a nasty divorce but I can't see our influence being anything other than significantly reduced

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SSP to PERMANENTLY shutter mega-outage bit barn

Chris Evans
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"disappointment "?

"Once again, we would like to express our disappointment about the delay, "

Most of the apology seemed appropriate buy the word 'disappointment' really does sound right to me.

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YouTube breaks Sony Bravias

Chris Evans
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Apology fail

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,”

Should be

“We apologise for THE inconvenience this may cause,”

saying ANY sounds like they are trying to downplay things and will really grate with those affected.

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

Chris Evans
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It's like..

Asking for unusual BSOD situations is like shooting fish in a barrel. Think of almost any conceivable place and it will probably have happened given the ubiquity of Windows and of BSOD.

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That Public Health study? No, it didn't say 'don't do chemo'

Chris Evans
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Headline writers!

I frequently read articles and find the headline wasn't just way of the mark but actually the opposite of what the article stated.

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ARM moneymen OK buyout

Chris Evans
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I have a soft spot ARM but!

I was an Acorn dealer and sold the first ever computer to use an ARM CPU, the Archimedes (I still selling them now into the retro market). When ARM was established it was owned 30% by Apple, 30% by VLSI and 40% by Acorn. At the time some of the Acorn share holders were probably not British. Recent reports have said 70% of ARM shares were owned by non UK holders. So it is isn't as a significant change in share ownership as a lot of people think. What will happen regarding paying tax and for employees remains to be seen. Employees may vote with their feet but they are a very bright bunch and maybe they will start up another company that can be sold for £24bn, though it did take ARM 26 years!

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NASA tried turning lost spacecraft STEREO-B off and on again... but it didn't work. True story

Chris Evans
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More info please!

I lot well explained about what went wrong but very little about how "NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN)." was used. I think it means that DSN managed to pick up the weak signals that tell them the current status. What will be really interesting to know is do they think they can send commands to bring it back more under control and how will they do that!

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NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

Chris Evans
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dead reckoning without a starting referencence would be useless

"'dead reckoning' navigation, which measures change of position without reference to landmarks or start" Not true. There may be a very few circumstances where you only need to know where you are relative to your start but normally Dead Reckoning is used relative to a known starting point. Mariners take a known starting point on their maps and calculate from that. I'm struggling to think of a use without a known starting point... Here's one: you are in the dessert you do not know where you are and you want to get out. You could use dead reckoning to ensure you don't go round in circles and head off in the direction you think a town or road might be.

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IPv6 tipping point

Chris Evans
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"which is incompatible with IPv4"

This is not my area of expertise but I know enough to say that saying "[IPv6) is incompatible with IPv4" is a misleading over simplification.

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NASA test foiled by rocket shaking power cord loose from camera

Chris Evans
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Re: Not "...shooting in slow motion"

Just remembered I've heard them called 'high speed' cameras, which seems very appropriate!

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Chris Evans
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Not "...shooting in slow motion"

They shoot at a much higher frame rate than normal and that then allows them to replay the frames at a normal rate which looks like slow motion.

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Olympics bans GIFs

Chris Evans
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The IOC is losing it!

I'm a great fan of most of the Olympics and was a GamesMaker at London2012. It was one of the best experiences of my life. But I do find some of the IOC's petty rules takes a bit of a shine off of it. On Sunday there was a Radio4 discussion on the Olympics and one commentator said that sports should only be included if the Olympics was the pinnacle of that sport. e.g. No Golf, Tennis or Football this makes sense to me. The purists idea that competitors should all be amateur is never going to happen and rarely happened in the past anyway. #Rio2016 Go #TeamGB

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The dev-astating truth: What's left to develop? Send in the machines

Chris Evans
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"The Last Program" you will ever need.

There was a program called something like "The Last Program", it was certainly advertised as the last program you would ever need. This was about 25 years ago....

Historian Francis Fukuyama is looking a bit foolish now and I think rumours of DevOps demise are exaggerated.

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Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

Chris Evans
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Landing Slots! & ETOPS

I thought that one of the reasons of Wide bodied jets like the 747 were favoured by the airlines was the limited landing slots at popular Airports. Popular routes get a 747 to the 'hub' and smaller planes used to feed in and out I suspect most air travel expansion in recent years has not been on the popular routes. It would be good to hear how that aspect fits into current and projected travel.

ETOPS

"Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim"

I like it, have an upvote!

ETOPS "Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards". ETOPS applies to twins on routes with diversion time more than 60 minutes at one engine inoperative speed.

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UK South East Coast Ambulance slammed for creaking emergency dispatch IT

Chris Evans
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Coverage.

SECAM cover: Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, and North East Hampshire

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Ad viewability worsens

Chris Evans
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Ad blocking success or other metric?

Are they effectively reporting the installation and success rate of ad blockers or is there something else that reduces 'viewabilty' as well?

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Samsung deals out microSD-crushing faster fingernail flash cards

Chris Evans
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Random access filing?

I wonder if UFS will be better for use as an operating storage device. i.e. for use by next generation devices that replace things like a Raspberry Pi or Pine64!

SD cards are less than ideal.

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4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Chris Evans
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Depends on their size!

To some small businesses £60 a month is a lot.

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Dolphin fans freak, blast browser's bumbling bundles of bloatware

Chris Evans
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ElReg spouting business gobbledygook!

"Reached out", "Moving forward" etc. What horrible big business gobbledygook phrases! Does ElReg you really wish to portray such a faceless disinterested image?

http://wadds.co.uk/2015/11/11/business-jargon-love-hate-words-phrases-avoid/

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ITU okays another TV spec

Chris Evans
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compression jpeg artifacts

1080p with low compression i.e.few jpeg artefacts, would give a good enough picture for me. Broadcasters are skinflints and won't give good quality unless they can charge you more.

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Linux letting go: 32-bit builds on the way out

Chris Evans
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Re: what about RPi?

"When AArch64 takes over ARM, then we'll be having a similar discussion " I expect there to be billions of 32bit ARM systems being produced for many years to come, the IoT isn't going to go significantly 64bit for many years if ever. There are still many 8bit systems being produced!

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By Jove! NASA's Juno prepares to slip into orbit around Jupiter

Chris Evans
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Home significant a speed change?

"change Juno’s velocity by 1,212 miles per hour (542 metres a second)" My first thought was is that dropping the speed say by half or what. According to Wikipedia it was approaching Jupiter at 74,000 m/s so less than a 1% change which seems remarkable!

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We'll smash probe into comet 300 million miles away for kicks, er, sorry, ... for science

Chris Evans
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High speed smash?

I was thinking the landing would be at low speed but then spotted that it is orbiting the comet and is not geostationary so whilst the vertical seep may be negligible the horizontal speed is probably high and it will crash into a mountainside at its orbiting speed

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Thunder struck: Apple kills off display line

Chris Evans
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Re: Those...

The full quote is better: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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EPO president caught threatening independent appeal board

Chris Evans
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Why can't they just fire him?

Surely someone has the power to fire him. A good article would explain what is necessary to dismiss him or if it isn't possible report why not. I've read umpteen ElReg article about Battistelli but can't recall any mention. It reminds of Katrina Percy, chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust who refuses to resign despite a number of damming reports. The fact that both of them are refusing to go confirms they need to go.

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Cygnus spacecraft on fire

Chris Evans
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IRONY

'...pushed earthward for an ironic fiery disposal'

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The Microsoft-LinkedIn hookup will be the END of DAYS, I tell you

Chris Evans
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Weeping shareholders!

If I was a Microsoft shareholders I'd have my head in my hands weeping!

I read an article a while back that explained big companies like Microsoft think they have to always continue to get bigger so when their main market becomes mature and stops growing they try and expand by buying up comparatively new companies. This almost never works. They can't get their head around managing a shrinking business and squander the cash they have that should be returned to shareholders. I suspect Apple will fall into this trap in a few years time.

Now if I was LinkedIn shareholder I'd have a big grin, though as I never thought anyone would be so stupid as to pay $26Bn for it I'm not a shareholder!

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Freeze, lastholes: USB-C and Thunderbolt are the ultimate physical ports

Chris Evans
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Smaller network plug than RJ45 please!

"Wireless is nifty, but wired is and always will be better. As for connector types, there will be plenty of upgrades to come. I just hope they're not smaller"

Well I wish there was a smaller wired network connector than RJ45 particularly in height! Much of the connector is only mechanical.

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TeamViewer beefs up account security after rash of PC, Mac hijacks

Chris Evans
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Build in better security

One of the problems is the use by "We are phoning from Microsoft and we have noticed a problem with your computer scammers" This is not my field but surely there could make it more difficult for the scammers. e.g. have the IP address of any remote access to be logged by TeamViewer with a block on using anonymising etc. Also a simple warning "Warning if you are using this as result of an unsolicited call it probably is a scam" that users need to answer with at least three key presses YES to.... I'm sure better brains than mine could improve things a lot.

Last time "Microsoft Support" got me to install TeamViewer I managed to keep them on the phone for over half an hour before they twigged I was on to their scam.

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Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars

Chris Evans
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Re: Probably cheaper

"write-offs for tax purposes" I suspect most of the cost in buying Nokia would have been 'Goodwill' not IPR of fixed assets. In the UK writing off goodwill does not save any tax. I expect the US is the same.

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Twitter expands beyond 140 characters

Chris Evans
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Rearranging the deck chairs!

I do wish them well but it sounds like a classic case of rearranging the deck chairs whilst the ship is sinking!

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Android might be on the way to the Raspberry Pi

Chris Evans
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Not a problem!

It would only be a problem if it hindered Raspbian and the other OSs etc. I can't see it doing that.

I've no use for it myself.

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Florida man, Chinese biz fined $48k, $35m on mobe signal jam raps

Chris Evans
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Re: Couldn't call in an emergency?

There's also pedestrians, people who live or work on the route, some alarm systems, some IoT etc. that would be effected!

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Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

Chris Evans
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Re: Predicting Problems. Convex?

Having a safeguard mirror that was slight convex in one or both axis would distribute the light over an even larger area.

But the main problem would be the necessary area that would need safeguarding, it would include a lot of the tower structure as cables will be running all the way down the tower. This would significantly increase the weight and the wind resistance requiring a stronger tower. Sensitive parts near the designed 'light collection' point should though be protected.

There could also be a system that checks the main collector is getting the light level expected and set off an alarm if not, Also it could unfocus the beam if not corrected within an appropriate time scale.

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Violin makes friends in APAC

Chris Evans
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Daisey-wheel?

I must be missing something. What has a photo of a Daisey wheel got to do with the story?

I've tried thinking laterally, backwards and upside down!

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Ofcom serves up an extra helping of airwaves for Wi-Fi

Chris Evans
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A little and late!

An extra 25% capacity in one band is probably only about 10% overall and 'In a few years' time.

Data growth will far outstrip this increase:-(

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Super-slow RAID rebuilds: Gone in a flash?

Chris Evans
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Naff table

They have a column for TBs, GBs & MBa as well as Seconds, Minutes and Hours!

Why?

One column for capacity and one time is all we need or don't they think we know 1TB is 1000GB?

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IBM's Internet of Things brainbox foresees 'clean clothes as a service'

Chris Evans
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Circular economy!

'clean clothes as a service' is part of the "Circular economy" idea.

The more I read about it the more I believe it is the only way mankind will survive into the next century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_economy

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Barclays.net Bank Holiday outage leaves firms unable to process payments

Chris Evans
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Apology fail!

"and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

should be

"and we would like to apologise for THE inconvenience caused.”

'Any' plays the problem down. It is best not look like you're wheedling out of it.

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Daft draft anti-car-hack law could put innocent drivers away for life

Chris Evans
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Re: alter

The key thing is WHO can authorize the alteration. If it is the owner of the vehicle then that seems to be to be the correct situation and no problem.

Rather like the UK act that covers misuse of computers!

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Ex-Apple gurus' elusive Android phone coming to UK next month

Chris Evans
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Re: Lollipop?

"Marshmallow was released 6 months ago." Yes but it is only available on top of the range phones.

I went phone shopping for my wife earlier this month and IIRC the cheapest phone to buy unlocked with Marshmallow was over £250.

The shop assistant did say that Marshmallow would probably eventually appear for the Motorola Moto G she bought!

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Irish researchers sweep smartphones clear of super bugs

Chris Evans
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Re: A la les chickens

"won't this just lead to yet more highly-resistant bacteriological strains evolving?"

Not necessarily. Bacteria will always try and adapt to survive but they don't always do so. I'm thinking of Silver, its antibacterial properties don't seem to have diminished over hundreds of years!

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Chris Evans
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Sounds very promising!

I just hope they don't find a gotcha to stop commercial implementation.

I wonder what other usages there are apart from phones and tablets!

Pity no time scales for practical usage were given.

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