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* Posts by Alan Edwards

304 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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Plusnet is working on a network-level filter to block pirate sites

Alan Edwards

Re: RE: 1Rafayal

> Yes, but since it's just DNS blocking

Whatever PlusNet are doing it's not DNS-based, TPB is blocked for me even though I don't use their DNS. I don't think they are redirecting DNS queries, OpenDNS are still returning their error pages to me.

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

Alan Edwards

> Riot Games could shoulder some small amount of the blame

No, it rests entirely with the numpties that set the filter up. It is insane to block anything that has a specific sequence of letters in the name with no reference to the context. What are they supposed to do, name their patches 'FluffyKittens1', 'FluffyKittens2' etc?

Anything which has 'extended' (or 'experience', 'expert', you get the idea...) after a plural will be blocked. As someone else has said, anything referencing the town of Scunthorpe will be blocked.

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LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from, errrm, NOW

Alan Edwards

Re: Shock, horror

> I would guess that the majority of free users fall into the should be paying category

Going by the comments on the LogMeIn forum (which I've lost the link to now) a lot of free users only want the remote access, they don't use all the extras like file transfer. I'm one of them.

I did look at paying for their service, as I thought it was good - they wanted £50 a year for Pro on 2 computers, much more for 10 machines. I used LogMeIn to remote onto at least 4 machines, but never used the Pro features I got as a trial.

I would have paid a bit for just remote access on up to (say) 10 machines, but not what they wanted for the occasional remote session on one of 4-5 machines.

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Bloke hews plywood Raspberry Pi tablet

Alan Edwards

Re: "it needed to be sufficiently innocuous for in-flight use"

> the all important off switch

I'd want an off-switch too. You don't know how far you can throw it when you touch two wires you shouldn't during construction. It should be taken out (or disabled) at deploy-time though, or direct-connected to the detonator. "Ah, there's the Off swi..[BOOM!!].

> bomb that is detonated by remote control but which curiously still had a 2 minute red LED countdown

A timer backup in case a dead receiver battery/signal blocker etc kills the remote trigger is a sensible design choice IMO. An LED display is a bit showy though.

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Alan Edwards

Re: Use a cable to connect your samrtphone?

> Use a cable to connect your samrtphone?

> Errr whatever happened to Bluetooth?

If you've got the phone plugged in you don't have a dead phone battery by the time you get to work.

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Facebook bots grope our 'privates', and every wronged user should get $10,000 – lawsuit claims

Alan Edwards

Re: Re Big_D

> check information for a vendor who had no other online presence

If a vendor only exists on Facebook, doesn't that automatically add them to the "not even if *they* paid *me*" list?

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

Alan Edwards

Re: Meh

> the last two Nokia phones I had (around 2006 & 2008) had different chargers from each other

Nokia are one of the better ones. They've had a total of 3 different power connectors, since at least the 2110 in the early 90s - 3.5mm, 2.5mm and micro USB. It took a simple straight-through adapter to go from the 3.5mm to 2.5mm and vice-versa - I was charging a 6230i (via adapter) from a car charger for a 2110.

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Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

Alan Edwards

Re: FM radio will not be killed...

> They will still be able to be used, but only to listen to local stations which will still broadcast on FM.

Local stations that are all commercial, so have a 50/50 mix of adverts and crap "music" they have been paid to play. That'd be a good way to kill FM off once and for all.

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Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

Alan Edwards

Re: 3 are great...

> except they have shit coverage.

Possibly true once, but not now. You're going to get dead spots on all the networks.

I get Three coverage on a ferry in the middle of the Solent all the way from Southampton to Cowes on the Isle Of Wight. I suspect it's talking to Portsmouth, but I also get Three on the top of Culver Down, IOW, and Brading Down.

Once place it doesn't work is in the Days Inn at Cobham services on the M25. I think it's down to the building, but they have free wifi so it's not a huge problem. It does work in the basement meeting rooms at the office in Leatherhead though.

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Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Alan Edwards

I give it about a month

I give it about a month before the RIAA/MPAA and their sock puppets start campaigning for piracy terms to be added to the "return nothing" list.

"If you can use it to block child porn you can use it to prop up our business model".

Followed shortly by terrorism, then legal porn, and all the companies using it to block their competitors. In a year or so's time, once all the lobbying is paid for, disney.com will be the only site returned by Google.

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Brit ISPs ordered to add more movie-streaming websites to block list

Alan Edwards

Re: A start

> You do know that people have had less for rape and murder, right?

Well yes, but they aren't really important are they? That only affects the little people, no-one that actually matters.

Piracy is the more important crime to the government, as that affects where the money for coke and yachts (and the next election) comes from.

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Pwn2Own crackers leave iOS and Samsung mobe security IN RUINS

Alan Edwards

Re: Fixes?

Cool, still waiting for it on my 3G Nexus 7.

Are your devices unlocked, or carrier-locked and loaded up with their crapware? If it came from the carrier, the software update will come from them too (and may never arrive).

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Brit spymasters: Cheers, Snowden. Terrorists are overhauling their comms

Alan Edwards

Re: An oldie, but a goodie

> Compared to a longbow - which is, when all is said and done, a stick

No, there's engineering in a decent bow. It has to be flexible enough that a human can draw it but give the arrow serious acceleration. It also has to twang back to it's previous shape evenly so the arrow goes straight.

> And any cretin can use one (a crossbow)

What a crossbow does is automate the drawing and release. It doesn't negate the skill needed to get the arrow to go where you want it to. It's also slower to "reload" than a longbow. Miss with your crossbow shot and the archer you were trying to hit will put 3 arrows in your arse before you can reload..

> I am unwilling to read this pdf any further because Chuck Hammill is clearly an idiot.

I'm inclined to agree there.

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BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

Alan Edwards

Re: So, the BBC CAN still sink lower

> As I remember the myth/truth, it was "The bloody thing's stuck again" when a door failed to open,

> and it was cut from the original broadcast despite being whistled...

Possibly apocryphal, but I did get it from an interview with Oliver Postgate on the radio. The line was "Oh damn it, the bloody thing's stuck again", which the BBC forced them to change even though it was just done with whistles. The whistles were exactly the same, they just changed the words in the "script".

That was also the sample that was used in a toy.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Why can't they write some new programmes?

> Pingu's baby sister is a PUFFIN!!!!!

According to Wikipedia (I'm SO not the target audience for Pingu...) Pinga is supposed to be a baby Emperor penguin.

A puffin and a penguin would have to go some to "get it on", given they are at pretty much different ends of the planet.

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Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

Alan Edwards

Re: Remote control

The BBC and Electron had the tape remote too, but it was a 2.5mm jack on those.

I don't remember having the remote as part of the 5-pin DIN, but most of my tape decks had 3.5mm audio in and out, and 2.5mm remote.

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UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Key fobs??

No sure if the people asking this question are serious, but here goes anyway...

The phone has to be smuggled into the prison somehow, most likely by visitors. I'm guessing there are mobile phone bans in the visitors rooms, but no-one is going to look twice at a BMW remote on a keyring, even if you turn up in a '96 Corsa - could be for the wife's company 320d.

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Alan Edwards

Me, for a start. On a smartphone, 4-inch is about right, the 5-inch plus ones are definitely too big.

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Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: Where do I get one?

eBay. I just put "world's smallest mobile" (or whatever the text was in the BBC article) into the search.

They all seem to have Bluetooth, FM radio and a Micro-SD slot, probably because they are all based on the same chipset. Sorely tempted by the flip one based on the BMW key.

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US court rules IP address cloaks may break law

Alan Edwards
Stop

Re: Poor article

> No the US court did NOT rule that "IP address cloaks may break law".

Effectively, they did. What they ruled was that using "technical means" to access a service the "authority" has denied you access to is an offence under the CFAA.

This sets a precedent. Ignore the 3Taps/Craigslist stuff, they were dicks and got what they deserved. Think wider - as soon as you use any method to get around a block, you're a criminal.

e.g. a network-level block imposed by the court on The Pirate Bay means the "authority" has denied you access. If you then use a proxy/VPN/whatever to access it, you have committed a crime under the CFAA (or the British equivalent, which was probably written in 1873 and refers to 'tabulating engines').

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MYRA HINDLEY found working in Capita's benefits & revenues unit

Alan Edwards

So, not even someone with the name Myra Hindley working for Capita, which would be mildly interesting.

There must be other part-time actresses working for Capita whilst between jobs, how about giving them some free publicity too?

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ISPs: Relax. Blocking smut online WON'T really work

Alan Edwards
Big Brother

Re: Prohibition and human behaviour

> prohibition has worked pretty well on modifying human behaviour regarding the slave trade

I'm not sure it did. Was it "stop it, or we'll throw you in jail" that stopped it, or public opinion turning against it?

Public support was pretty widespread at the beginning of alcohol prohibition, because there was a problem with alcohol abuse at the time. It was the abuses and corruption it spawned that turned the public against it. If you don't have public support, you're hosed.

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Alan Edwards
Big Brother

Re: Just get the filters installed and everyone shut up.

> Look , you can disable it - so what's the problem.

Today you can. That may not be the case in the future, especially once the web sites that don't agree with the government position get added to the censor list.

Once filtering is at the network level it is totally out of your control. It can be turned on without telling you, and returns a 404 for a site on the list so it just looks like it's dead. The list of censored sites is not published, and there is no review process.

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Five bods wrongly cuffed thanks to bungled comms snooping in UK

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: none of the mistakes

> How can you 'accidently' request someones texts, voicemails or emails?

Easy, you put, as an example, 01234 567890 into the 'phone number' field on the online form instead of 01234 576890. You may not notice the cock-up until there's no sign of an incoming call matching an outgoing one to the number from another suspect.

I've talked to my own voicemail several times because someone at work has a mobile number that is the same as mine except that the last two digits are reversed.

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CONFIRMED: Driverless cars to hit actual British roads by end of year

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: All at once or none at all

> would an automated car be able to react well to a low-to-ground obstacle suddenly falling off the back of a truck

No worse than a human. The sensors will react quicker than a human, and it might be more accurate in predicting which way it's going to bounce.

> What about a child suddenly running out in front from between two cars (thus practically invisible beforehand)?

Again, it should be able to react to the human-shaped infra-red/laser imaging signature appearing quicker than a human can. It would also be able to work out quickly whether it can go around them without causing a serious collision.

> Can the car detect small but significant patches of black ice?

Yes, the infra-red signature would be different. It also might be able to detect itself losing control quicker, with accurate accelerometers comparing actual movement to control inputs.

The other thing is that, with software updates, all the "drivers" learn from the mistakes made by other automated cars.

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Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: "most likely be configured to perform boring, tricky tasks like parking"

> How the driver finds or summons his car back to take him home was not revealed.

Send it an SMS, or an email? A big "come here, car" button at the entrance that uses RFID/NFC to work out who you are and which car to summon?

The other thing it will be able to do is drop you off at the office door, then go home and park on your drive, thus avoiding parking charges. It will then monitor the traffic conditions to know when to set off to be at the office door to pick you up at the end of the day.

Imagine a big gaggle of people outside the office at 17:01 waiting for their car, all jumping on every silver Mondeo that appears...

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Sleek Nokia Lumia details EXPOSED ahead of Thursday's disrobing

Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: Get a grip on your massive storage requirements

A phone's different to a camera. I did a week in Nevada and Arizona and didn't fill the 8Gb card in the camera, but the 32Gb card in my phone is a bit tight with MP3s and navigation maps on it.

It will be interesting to see a comparison between this and a Galaxy Zoom 41 megapixels and clever software vs. a smaller sensor and proper optical zoom (and a card slot :-) ).

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Radar gremlins GROUND FLIGHTS across southern Blighty

Alan Edwards
Coat

Own up, who put petrol in a diesel 737?

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Vulcan? Not on our tiny balls. Pluto moons named Kerberos, Styx

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Happy doggies

Just be happy they didn't name the other moon Fluffy...

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Google donates £1m to child abuse charity ahead of Whitehall meeting

Alan Edwards
WTF?

> £1m. Peanuts!

Still a million too much. By giving the IWF money, Google have just announced that they are perfectly OK with silent censorship of the internet by an unaccountable non-governmental organisation. So much for 'Do No Evil'.

> Think how much money goes through the interwebs for porn, of every kind.

And how much is for baked beans? Equally relevant to the IWF's remit, which is (supposed to be) purely about child abuse.

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Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

nook.co.uk have them. I ordered a GlowLight and a Simple Touch (for my mum) yesterday, and just ordered another Simple Touch for myself to turn into an outdoor-readable simple tablet. For £30 I won't be massively upset if I brick it in the process...

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Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch

Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: Not radioactive

> As caesium atomic clocks use the stable isotope caesium-133, it is not radioactive, and there is no danger

> of being accused of moving nuclear material while travelling.

Doesn't stop the idiots seeing the word 'atomic' and thinking it could wipe out the city if you dropped it.

The makers might want to learn from NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. People saw 'nuclear' and got scared, so it was rebranded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Same thing, less scary name.

How about 'laser-excited chromometer'?

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Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: Screw the iWatch

The Quantum SA45s, the timekeeping gubbins of the watch, costs $1,500, so the display mechanicals are costing $48,500

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Guess who PC-slaying tablets are killing next? Keyboard biz Logitech

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Logitech's crap products are hurting sales

I agree Logitech's kit can be hit and miss, but I would still choose a Logitech over any else's mouse.

The original MX Revolution mouse is brilliant (IMO). Used daily for more than 5 years, still on the original battery, and it was a refurb when I got it. I also have a little Bluetooth V470 that lives in a laptop backpack and still survives.

Their keyboards I'm not so keen on. An expensive Bluetooth one with an LCD screen, and one that came in a pack with a mouse and media remote control, got ditched - horrible to type on and non-standard key layouts.

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High-rollers’ shop pitches wallet-pounding, wall-pummelling MONSTER TV

Alan Edwards
FAIL

Re: The frame comes off

... or suspension bridges, which weigh considerably more than that.

Those do tend to be put together by people who know what they're doing though, not hung off a drawing pin banged into some plaster board by some moron with the wrong end of a screw driver.

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Ofcom to UK: Really - you're using the same password for everything?

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: True but misleading

Another ditto. Having a unique password for every single website is overkill.

Anything that matters gets a strong password, the login for some website forum I posted to once gets the same password as every other website forum...

I'm more concerned that only 62% have a password on their wifi router.

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Review: Nokia Lumia 720

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Almost perfect

I have an Exchange server sat behind it, but on Windows Phone 8 you can send emails, edit calendar entries and contacts, and those changes show up in Outlook. If you set yourself up a Microsoft account when setting the phone up (I already had one for MSDN) you have a Hotmail calendar to sync Outlook and the phone with.

You don't need Zune - not sure that even came with my Lumia 620. The phone mounts the internal storage and Micro-SD in Windows 7's Explorer and you drag-and-drop things.

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Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Bad and good

> For several years now I have been on Plusnet

Other thing with PlusNet is that their support call centre is in Sheffield, so they speak English.

Unlike Orange, who are in India and unintelligible most of the time.

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Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

> Can anyone actually recommend a broadband provider.

I've been with PlusNet since they were Force 9, never had a problem with them.

The Thomson router they give you is crap (my ThinkPad refuses to even talk to it) but you can use your own.

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Google stokes hype machine over Project Glass robospecs

Alan Edwards

Re: "No one really likes to wear glasses at the best of times"

> "No one really likes to wear glasses at the best of times"

I'll take my glasses over contact lenses I can't get out (I nearly lost one round the back of my eyeball) and someone firing a high-energy laser directly into my eye, thank you very much.

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Mobe networks bag UK 4G for a steal - £1bn shy of Osborne's £3.5bn

Alan Edwards

They've got the 1.8Ghz they bought off EE too.

Is it significant that Three have less bandwidth at 800Mhz than everyone else - 2x5Mhz? Will that cause them capacity problems?

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Meet the stealthiest UK startup's app Swiftkey - and its psychic* keyboard

Alan Edwards
Megaphone

Re: INteresting that something so *apparently* simple is still capable of improvement.

The very reason I'll never use any voice recognition system. My car has it, as do my Android phone and tablet - never used it on either.

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Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: It is very good.

Give TouchPal a go, there's a prediction on/off switch on the space bar, just swipe left or right on it.

I tried Curve (TouchPal's equivalent of Flow), couldn't get into it...

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Tesla's Elon Musk v The New York Times, Round 2

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: The Balance Of Evidence

> used cruise control in order to preserve battery life

I once drove an A-Class that would drop down a gear in cruise control where it would stay in top on the same bit of road when not in cruise control. CC tends to be more aggressive with the throttle to maintain speed.

> the vehicle speed is just a series of irregular spikes, even when on a sustained run. Point 1 to Tesla...

Not necessarily. On a motorway in traffic you will always be dropping in and out of cruise as you come up on something slower and have to wait to pull out and pass. Also, if you're using GPS to get the speed it will be all over place because of the inaccuracy of GPS. Should be within about 5mph though, maybe with bigger spikes if the GPS loses and regains lock.

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Alan Edwards
FAIL

Re: Facebook on wheels?

> they knew that when the car shut's down, the parking brake cannot be disabled!

Seriously?! So if it runs out of electricity you can't tow it, you have to put it on a trailer?

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Cache 'n' carry: What's the best config for your SSD?

Alan Edwards
Happy

Re: No need for any cache - just go pure SSD

Nah, OSs aren't that big. I've got a 60Gb SSD (OCZ Vertex 2, if anyone cares...) as the boot drive in my PC, and there's still 25Gb left on it. There's also a 250Gb conventional drive for random junk, most of my data is on a 6Tb NAS.

512Gb probably isn't enough if that's absolutely all you have, but it depends what you do with it. My mum survives on a 120Gb netbook.

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UPnP scan shows 50 million network devices open to packet attack

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: A security scanner that requires Java ! WTF?

Run the scanner in a virtual machine. That way you don't need to put Java on the main machine, just the VM.

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Apple confirms 128GB iPad. A hundred bucks for an extra 64GB

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: "without needing their old PCs"

Probably got more grunt than the crusty 3.2Ghz P4s some of the design people here were using until very recently. I'm sure I've seen some 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duos around still, albeit with Quadro graphics cards.

There are likely still some ThinkPad T43s around with 1.6Ghz Pentium-Ms, slower that the Atom Z2460 in my phone.

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Google: Gov demands for YOUR web data up 70% in just 3 years

Alan Edwards

Re: Not so great Britain

Germany has data protection and privacy laws that weren't written by Facebook and actually mean something.

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UK malls use Google in desperate stab at luring shoppers off the web

Alan Edwards
Thumb Up

Re: Free WiFi?

> You also need to do this every time you visit. [The Cloud signup]

You shouldn't need to sign-up every time, once you've created the account you just need the email address and password to log on. An Android device will remember this for you too, can't remember whether iOS does.

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