* Posts by M Gale

3526 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

M Gale
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WTF?

Re: I know this will be blocked by the swear filter.

What fucking swear filter?

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M Gale
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Finally got there.

And as a recent graduate of a Computer Games Technology degree (LJMU, 2:2 with honours, I reckon I could do better), I've managed to get quite conversant with C and C++. Dabbled in C# a bit, but as I didn't take the Console Programming module and go for the Xbox, it wasn't a major part of the degree. I've been playing with scripting languages for years, but C and C++ always seemed a bit scary, at least until I started using it properly and going "holy shit, that's fast." Never looked back since!

I'll say it's not a course for the faint-hearted (or mathematically ill-disposed). The "Advanced Computer Graphics" core module is a good example as it's a long slog through the underlying mathematics that make 3D worlds possible. You'll learn about shaders, be given a good start on the Autodesk Creative Suite, and be expected to write long essays on the difference between fixed and programmable pipelines. Add Computer Vision and AI for a major (filter matrices, recognition and search algorithms, oh joy) and Mainframe Computing (I can do JCL, I can) for a minor and you can't accuse me of picking stuff because it looks easy.

The first year was an "intro to" course on a wide range of computer science-related subjects. One module went into boolean logic and gate-level stuff, and culminated in making a logic simulator spit your student ID digits out in sequence on a 7 segment display, for example. There were sections on computer security and forensics, databases, and of course computer graphics. The idea being you could switch to any of the computer science-related subjects before the end of the first year, because everyone was being taught the same stuff up to that point.

As for drop-outs? Well, one of the first things everyone was told by one of the more droll professors is that he expected to see half the students in the school of mathematics and computer science to not make it to the final year. I'd say he was about right.

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PM Cameron calls for modern, programmable computers! (We think)

M Gale
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Re: Buy the kid a phone!

"We still primarily use 1860's methods of teaching."

Uniforms with so much starch you can cut yourself on the creases, lessons taught through the use of the cane, and lefties getting their hands tied behind their back to teach them to "write properly"?

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M Gale
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Oh, and.

(iv) The availability of free applications software is a threat to commercial

software producers, such as MicrosoftTM.

Explain two ways in which commercial software producers can

respond to this threat.(p21)

Har.

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M Gale
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Re: I'm assuming it's related to previous statements like this

*(e) Some people claim that playing video games is beneficial.

Make a reasoned argument to support this point of view.(p19)

Bit of a wierd question.

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M Gale
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I guess he'd like to see kids taught something a bit deeper than an Excel formula, which is commendable enough I guess. Throw the kids Scratch to play with, and gcc or MSVS if the budget stretches that far, at the ones that show an interest.

But really I'm making up my own bullshit in an attempt to get sense out of a statement that is quite bizarre.

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We want to put a KILL SWITCH into your PHONE, say Feds

M Gale
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Re: Bad idea

"you will put a kill switch in this phone or we will make it impossible for you to live."

Just remember that every diktat from government comes with a "or we will make it impossible for you to live" attached to it, and you'll see that dictating this over a fucking phone is perhaps a little bit psychotic.

But then this is a government we're on about. They are good at using sledgehammers on nuts.

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Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

M Gale
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Re: Not Gorilla Glassed

"Gorilla" glass is just a brand name, like Triplex or any of the other manufacturers of toughened glass. Bit like turning down a borosilicate baking dish because it doesn't have a "Pyrex" brand.

So long as it's comparitively tough, I guess it doesn't matter too much.

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M Gale
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Back pocket?

You never put anything like technology in a back pocket. Back pockets break things!

As a one-time owner of the old Galaxy tab though, yep, they make nice phones. Bizarre that SIM-equipped 7 inch tablets (or any SIM-equipped tablet) doesn't have a phone dialler as a "just in case" feature anyway.

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Google to punish sloppy mobile webmasters

M Gale
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Silly idea

Can't various sites forget the "mobile" and "desktop" distinction and have a "low bandwidth" option instead?

It might actually be useful. Half a meg or more of "rich media" shit just to view 2kb of text? Yes please.. not.

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M Gale
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Re: Butt hurt android?

Flash works on your iPhone?

News to me, and the rest of the world. No, streaming shit from someone else's servers doesn't count, unless you want me to bring OnLive out.

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How NSA spooks spaffed my DAD'S DATA ALL OVER THE WEB

M Gale
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Re: NSA have no sense of humor

Here as well as numerous other news sites.

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Google inflates BigQuery AaaS

M Gale
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Re: AAAS FFS

Could launch an Acronyms As A Service... service?

Big text file, modified chargen server, shouldn't be too difficult no?

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M Gale
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Re: Does anybody call it 'Big AaaS Query?

Dammit, you beat me. Have an upvote instead.

Suggest Google use that as a service name. It's awesome.

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AMD announces 'world's first commercially available 5GHz CPU'

M Gale
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I can see inefficiencies creeping in, but is there any reason distant components can't take the latency into account? I'm pretty sure supercomputer manufacturers have to deal with latency between nodes. This is a very similar thing but on a smaller scale, no?

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M Gale
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Re: Chipzilla....

Still, Intel all the way for me... From the mmx166 to my current i7

I didn't think CPU fanbois existed. Seriously, if it's cheaper, better, faster than an Intel chip.. why get the Intel option unless the motherboard is so expensive it makes up the difference?

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M Gale
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They do this every now and then. The AMD K6/III and AMD64 kinda caught Intel with their pants down. AMD then decided to do an Intel and hike the prices, Intel released the Core series and stomped AMD back into second place again.

If this is another AMD blinder being pulled, I'd suggest grab it now before they hike the prices and give Intel some wiggle room to stomp on them again.

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M Gale
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Re: "Max Turbo" modes

Oh, I have an old Asus motherboard+AMD quad core combo here, which has "unleashed" mode.. which you can trigger by pressing the power button.

Okay so it only adds about 1% or so to the speed, but I still have a Turbo button, and this time around it actually does something (as in, makes the computer sound like it's about to go VTOL).

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Crusading lawmen want more details on Apple's iOS 7 'Activation Lock'

M Gale
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Re: @Cliff In the meantime

Oh god, that site.

You have to wonder what the cops are doing all day, or howcomes Plumpy hasn't found out about his increasingly infamous online art gallery yet.

Really though, all of these anti theft measures are doing nothing about the phone chop shops that'll just rip the device apart and sell the screen, case, sensor glass, battery and any other saleable spare parts on Fleabay.

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Chrome and Firefox are planet-wreckers, IE cuddles dolphins

M Gale
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Yeah because W8 isn't more resource-efficient than W7, which was better than Vista. Oh wait, it is.

Yes because half the guts of IE aren't part of the OS and already running in the background, and Microsoft don't have a bunch of hidden API calls that other browser manufacturers can't reliably use.

Oh wait, they do.

And yet they can still only manage such slim margins over the browser with the renowned weight problem, Firefox? This... is not impressive.

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M Gale
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Re: Might offset some of the Energy wasted trying to get things to work in IE

To be honest, there's a lot of sites now that are made to give up and gracefully degrade as best they can while warning you that you're using a POS* browser.

Granted, IE still has its, erm, ways.

*Particularly Obsolete Software

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M Gale
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: W8 on a 1Mhz processor

Now that I would like to see.

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M Gale
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Holmes

“installed three popular browsers, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox, on six new notebook and four desktop computers running Windows 8.”

Running Windows 8. That's your problem right there.

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We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

M Gale
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Re: it's probably MUCH worse than this

You'd rather the MBR get trashed silently I suppose?

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Comcast expands public Wi-Fi net using customers' modems

M Gale
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Because if this is anything like the deal BT have been running for years, you choose whether to join that club or not.

Don't want access to a huge network of BT-FON points? Don't enable your point. I can't see how ComCast's setup is going to be much different.

tl;dr: Untwist those knickers until you know what's actually happening eh?

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M Gale
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Re: Are you kidding me?!

If it's set up like BT-FON/OpenZone, what's the problem? You can dish out your bandwidth in exchange for being able to use anybody else's bandwidth who's also in on the plan. You don't have to join if you don't want to.

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Microsoft announces $499 price tag, new games for Xbox One

M Gale
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Re: Comparing like with like

Next lets see what Sony have to say about PS4.

I dunno. Maybe the boss might just walk on, say "$299", and walk off again? Not like it hasn't happened before. And then the year after.

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Tim Cook: Android version fragmentation is 'terrible for developers'

M Gale
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CEO of company slags off major competitor

Well who would think that would happen?

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Chinese 'nauts prep for next coupling in Heaven, clear way for new station

M Gale
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What I'm waiting for

Real-life modified asparagus staging.

Sorry, on a bit of a Kerbals trip at the minute. Rockets that start out pancake-shaped? Might as well.

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M Gale
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Re: Wang Yaping?

Does that sound like a euphemism to anyone else?

Not unless yours talks.

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Author Iain (M) Banks falls to cancer at 59

M Gale
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/Use of Weapons/ is perhaps the best of his SF. To decry it as too hard is to miss the point of reading IMB. It is not easy reading.

Not saying I didn't enjoy it, but I was replying to someone who might want something a little lighter? You can burn through a State Of The Art short story in an hour if you're taking your time over it, stick a bookmark in there and come back tomorrow.

Taking a lead from the movie adaptations of Dicke's short stories, something like A gift from the Culture(spoilers) is probably ripe for the Hollywood treatment, too.

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M Gale
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Some are easier than others. Try to avoid Use Of Weapons unless you want to have to wrap your head around two plotlines travelling parallel but in reverse to each other so that the book ends and begins at the end and beginning.

State Of The Art is quite fun though. Lots of little bite sized storylets, some in the culture universe and some elsewhere.

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SEXY models clash at big bash over catty tweets: Yup, it's HTC v Samsung

M Gale
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Re: To be fair...

It's probably the only thing LG have won around mobile phones for a while

The contract for the Nexus 4 not count?

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The Reg's best-looking reader reveals list of jobs for the beautiful

M Gale
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Re: Good looking on Radio

Now list me a few female presenters who aren't at least passably good looking.

Jo Brand?

Okay, so she has a certain "cuddly" look about her, but she's hardly size 0. From her material, I gather quite proudly so.

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YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

M Gale
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Re: I don't see why

The original model one was out for years. The model 2 worked fine, and I'm not even aware there was a model 3 of the 16 bit consoles. After some wikichecking, seems that was limited to North America and Brazil. On this side of the Atlantic, I was playing Master System games on a Megadrive up until way past the Saturn launch.

Considering the 3rd model didn't even support the DSP used in Virtua Racing, nor the Game Genie that was quite popular over here (or even the 32X and the CD add-on, whatever you want to call it), maybe people on this side of the Atlantic just tolerated less bullshit at the time?

But still, the original point stands. PS2 was nothing like the first console to support backward compatibility.

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M Gale
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This is just a convenient excuse.

Don't ever accept bullshit for an answer. Right now the only thing wafting in the breeze from various game publishers is a distinct manure scent.

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M Gale
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Re: I don't see why

Up until ps2, no console supported legacy.

I think people who remember Sega's 8 bit adapters for their 16 bit consoles (and MasterGear converter for playing Master System games on the Game Gear) will tell you very differently.

Yes, Sega dumped their hardware division after the Dreamcast did less well than expected. The 16 bit consoles were way before this, and massively more successful.

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M Gale
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Attention Cipher:

Good luck trying to sell those second hand Steamworks titles.

Frying pan -> Fire?

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MYSTERY Nokia image-mangling mobe spotted in public

M Gale
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Re: capable of knocking out outstanding photos

Dunno about the downvotes. I have video of bats taken with this old Arc S. Not the fastest phone in the world, but that is one nice phone camera.

Now, what time to bats like come out to play (and occasionally use you as an obstacle course)?

Quite good low light performance, I would say.

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Review: Acer Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate

M Gale
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Re: Caps lock?

If you want to tear the caps lock key out with a screwdriver, be my guest. I'd rather tear the power button out of the too-many keyboards that have a power button on them. Whose stupid idea was that? Ah yes, the Apple Mac was the first with that little insanity wasn't it?

Some people find caps lock useful, for instance, for typing things like MEMORANDUM or IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ.

Plus if you have your caps lock on while setting your password, it adds an extra layer of confusion for shoulder-surfers.

Given that caps lock is used then, it helps to have an indicator to show whether it's active. That or to have a proper old-skool clicky pushbutton switch that holds the caps lock key down when it's on.

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Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

M Gale
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Re: does tend to prove the point

I have to wonder how many of the NT kernel's security flaws would be known if any old Joe could take a look at the code?

There would certainly be a bigger chance of getting them fixed, rather than festering away in some dark corner of a hacker's 0day catalogue.

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M Gale
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Re: I'm confused

On a more serious note, any recommended AV applications for an Android tablet?

I use the don't-run-rooted method of virus avoidance and it works pretty well. If you're worried about random apps nobbling your SMS messages or somesuch, the usual firms (such as Kaspersky, hoho) will sell you a security suite.

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M Gale
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Re: Déjà vu

I still want to know how many devices were infected that weren't rooted. I'm guessing the answer would be 0? The only thing I'm surprised at is that there aren't more infected smartphones (of any platform) that are basically allowing random apps to run as root (which was half the problem with Windows up until UAC).

Thing here is, the droid builds for rooted phones tend to let you perform post-install permission denial, either built in or by using an app like Permissions Denied. So, it can obviously be done. The only thing that prevents me from rooting my own devices is because I'd like to install Cyanogenmod or whatever distro, then re-lock the device under my own key.

Add the ability to root, mod, then re-lock, and I bet you'll slash the already small amount of Android virii out there.

Of course, if someone decides to enable downloads from unofficial sources (and let's see that code swapped to allow different 'official' app stores eh?), root the device, leave it open then go on a download binge from cracked-apk-downloads.com, you can't really blame the device or the system for that.

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NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

M Gale
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Re: Classic!

I think you'll find that the age of comparitive enlightenment we live in around these parts is due to people fighting for, dying for, and eventually winning the ability to raise a middle finger high in the direction of religion and established dogma without it getting chopped off.

Probably upsets you but it happens to be a fact.

Childishly throwing spiteful comments when the only thing that US corporatism will ever understand is the bottom line is simply petulance and, perhaps, ignorance.

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M Gale
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

Already been thinking on this problem. Basically a TrackMeNot but for as many forms of communication as possible. Problem is how to make it work without everyone filling each others' inboxes and chat windows up with bomb recipes.

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Study: US iPhone owners tend to be rich, educated, white

M Gale
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Trollface

Difference is, you got your phone before it was passé. I got mine before it was cool.

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M Gale
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I use an iPhone because I have better things to think about than my phone. It does it' s job and I don't need to be sending hours sorting out home screens and widgets thanks.

Swap "iPhone" for any particular brand of phone you like and it still sounds the same.

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M Gale
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I'll admit the iDevices have a bunch of manufacturers producing slots on the top of their clock radios and boom boxes that are completely useless for anything other than an Apple device. Many of them now require an adapter to work if you have the i5.

Headphones, remote controls and hands free devices in cars though? I'm pretty sure there's this thing called "bluetooth". Works on almost any phone, so I hear, although Apple are still having trouble with the file transfer bit. As for the "creation" side of things, have a look in the Play Store. There's DJ apps and virtual synthesizers all over the place. Same with graphics apps. "Mark-up"? As in the gazillions of text editors? Mix that up with the Bit web server and you've got a LAMP-ish stack on your smartphone that you can play around with as much as you like.

It ain't 2008 any more.

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M Gale
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Re: iPhone economics

We miss out on massive malware. I think we can survive it.

So do I, because I don't run stuff as root if I can help it.

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