* Posts by frank ly

3691 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Obama says patent trolls 'extort money', pledges reform

frank ly
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@Ronald J RileyRe: Grammar

"Socializing software inventions will ..."

What does that mean? e.g. 'Yesterday morning, I socialised four software inventions. Now they can talk and make friends with people.' Is that the sort of thing you mean?

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Civilization peaks: BEER-dispensing arcade game created

frank ly
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Facepalm

@eldel Re: Some hints for beer

"Hi thee south for about 450 miles, find the Stone brewery. "

Starting from where? Why not tell us the destination in the first place? Have you been drinking?

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Roast entrepreneur: Mmm, tastes Just Like Chicken

frank ly
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Happy

After I've read ¡Bong!, everything else makes sense

It's wonderful and does explain a lot.

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Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

frank ly
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Happy

@Lee D

You don't understand the importance of ritual. It's the personal talisman branch of sympathetic magic and it really does make a difference. Ask any dedicated tea drinker.

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Kiwi cops to buy 6,500 iPhones, 3,900 iPads

frank ly
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@Lance 3 re. " ... the closet donut shop ...."

There's a joke in there somewhere.

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iOS 6.x hack allows personal data export, free calls

frank ly
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Re: EPIC WINDOWS FAIL!

You're suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Go and install Linux on an old laptop and you'll be fine.

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Microsoft exec: No 'Plan B' despite mobile stumbles

frank ly
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They should have gone with Android

They could have made their own curated and moderated app store and made all the icons larger and square to fill the grid.

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Inside Microsoft's Surface Pro: A fiendishly difficult journey

frank ly
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I'm starting to like him

Really, I look forward to reading his posts. We should keep him as a pet. Outside in a kennel of course.

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Irony alert: Pirate Bay accuses anti-piracy group of illegal copying

frank ly
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re. Pirate Bay ship

I always thought they'd copied the Blue Peter badge. (I had one, many years ago.)

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The official iPhone actually runs Android - in Brazil

frank ly
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It takes 8 years ...!

... to get a trademark application approved in one country?! That's ridiculous. The Brazilian government must be running on molasses.

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Ask Google this impossible question, get web filth as a reward

frank ly
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@Annihilator Re: There are multiple complex roots

A quick check will show that +/- sqrt(2).i doesn't give -4 if raised to the 4th power.

The other two roots are (-1+i) and (-1-i). If you draw them on the complex plane, the symmetry is obvious (which is how I figured it out).

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frank ly
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Re: Fixed?

-4^(1/4) is the 4th root of -4, which is not -1.4142.... The 2nd (square) root of -4 is 2j (where j is the square root of -1)

I'll leave the 4th root to your imagination and a bit more calculator fondling if you're in the mood.

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Forget wireless power for phones - Korea's doing it for BUSES

frank ly
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Wet blanket time

"...embed charging into the M25 and you could be sure of everyone in London getting a couple of hours charging daily."

Not everyone in London drives around the M25, or even drives a car. Who is going to pay for the massive infrastructure costs and associated installation disruption costs; and how will the cost be recovered?

What is the running energy efficiency of this system compared to parked charging of electric vehicles and what is the energy cost of the installation?

I'm a cynical and miserable old git and I ask awkward questions, but they must be asked and answered. I have a feeling that the answers will not be satisfactory.

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Boffins make bio-chip breakthrough

frank ly
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Happy

re. "Messy collection of data aside, ..."

You're not thinking this through. Combine this breakthrough with DNA from electric eels and fireflies, then the bacterial sensors will be able to send data via bluetooth or by encoded flashes as they lay steaming in the pan.

The possibilities are endless and potentially very entertaining (your sense of humour may vary).

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Android? Like Marvin the robot? Samsung eclipses Google OS - Gartner

frank ly
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Headmaster

Re: Apps store

> Someone suggested tome that "bad English" .....

Was it a weighty tome? A learned tome? Pedantic minds kneed to now.

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Perky smartphone figures can't stop droop of worldwide mobe sales

frank ly
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Buyers are getting full?

“Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year,"

I don't understand how 'intense market competition' could weaken sales.

Eventually, perhaps soon, everybody who wants a feature/smart phone will have one and then the market will be limited to upgrades and replacements - until the 'next big must have thing' comes along.

It would be interesting to see figures for sales of second hand mobile phones, from eBay etc. to gauge the total number of people buying phones.

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Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE

frank ly
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Re: 1984

Stop slouching over your keyboard JamesC! Sit up straight and at least try to look interested.

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Is social networking good for anything more than cat pics?

frank ly
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Happy

Re: I see what your problems is

I'll try to remember the password for my LinkedIn account and see if anyone's been looking at my profile.

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frank ly
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I see what your problems is

"LinkedIn offers a feature ... that lets me see who has viewed my profile. I check it once or twice a day ..."

There it is.

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Spotted: Android 4.2.2 update for Google Nexus devices

frank ly
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@HMB Re: Android Honeymoon Over

The Nexus 4 doesn't have the 'old' Android browser, it has Chrome baked in. You're right in that the old browser had very nice reflow.

Every 'upgrade' I've seen; Froyo -> Gingerbread -> ICS -> JB, has removed useful functionality from the device.

The Froyo -> Gingerbread update removed the ability to have local/private calendar events.

Gingerbread -> ICS did something that pissed me off but I worked around it and have forgotten what it was.

The ICS -> JB update removed the ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files and then feed them to the dialler when you touched them. That pissed me off because it meant that my local 'telephone and e-mail directory' didn't work anymore. I've moved to Colornote which has built in phone number recognition and active links between notes.

Also, in JB, the Google Play Services now form a key part of data synchronisaton and _must_ be active, as I found out when I disabled it. The reason I disabled it was to stop it pushing crap music and old books onto my phone. Eventually I found out how to dig deep into the Chrome synchronisation settings to stop it doing that.

I won't be accepting the latest 'upgrade' until it's been out for at least a few weeks and I've read the comments and discussions on the serious techie forums.

Every change of this nature is geared towards removing the user's ability to have local storage and privacy, away from Google's oversight and control. I'm getting pissed off with Google and disenchanted with Android, but I suppose that I'm not really part of their target market.

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DropBox seeks to woo IT admins with team data controls

frank ly
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Drop Dropbox for Box

Box have recently upgraded my 5GB freebie personal account to 50GB. I asked them if this was a promotion that would expire and they told me that it's permanent. The Box PC sync application was also made available to me (it was previously paying clients only, I think) and I can choose which folders and sub-folders are synced to my PC.

As might be expected, they have apps for Android etc. and I use the third-party Folder Sync (paid version) to synchronise one of my Box folders to an Android folder.

I've no idea how well they perform compared to Dropbox or if their T&Cs are 'good', but for personal use they are worth looking at.

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New cunning linguist computer has got ancient tongues licked

frank ly
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Can it work the other way round?

If it 'knows' the processes and patterns by which spoken language changes, can that process be applied to modern English (compared with older and ancient forms) in order to predict how it will be spoken in, say, 300 years time?

I realise that the modern world has a massive level of cultural exchange and pressure for language change than any previous natural process. It would be interesting to try it though.

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3 million Freesat receivers now out there, and boxes to get YouTube

frank ly
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A cave dweller writes:

"...Brits average six viewing devices per household, including PVRs, TVs and set-top boxes, ..."

I ought to get out of my cave more and learn about this stuff. I haven't watched television for six years; not since I packed the tv away when I did a major redecoration of the living room and never got round to unpacking it.

(iPlayer on my laptop gets used about once a fortnight when I'm bored and desperate for diversion.) Have I missed much?

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Shocked jocks' O2 calls crossed with Brummies, now everyone's cross

frank ly
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Re: Nothing like a bit of institutional racism is there?

It's a lot easier to say than "people of Scottish origin, ancestry, residence, nationality, dialect or accent".

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US company aims patent-gun at Australia’s e-health system

frank ly
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One offs are different?

Disregarding the validity of the patents, which has been well commented on already, I thought that patent protection only applied to people or organisations who were producing an infringing item/system for general sale.

e.g. If I had the ability and resources, I could produce an exact copy of an iPad and use it for my personal use with no legal redress from Apple. (I'm not considering the trademark aspects here, just the patents, though my reasoning also applies too the trademark.) As long as it's for my personal use and I don't try to sell it.

Similarly, I can ask someone else to produce an exact copy of an iPad for my personal use and that would also be ok, provided that I had specifically asked them to do that and that did not make a habit of doing this for lots of people.

If the Australian government (or any individual) specifically asks for one specific computer system to be built to its own requirements, in terms of characteristics and methods, then it doesn't matter if any patents cover that system because it is not being built/sold for general sale.

IANAL so can a legal beagle please comment?

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Apple said to develop curved glass iWatch with Foxconn

frank ly
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@Thorne

How would you calibrate it?

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Review: HP Spectre XT TouchSmart

frank ly
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re. Gloss screen

Sighs. I suppose you could stick a matte screen protector on it, as I do with my phones. Apart from the 'speckle' finish on bright areas they work well and you get used to the 'speckle'. (For a 15" screen, putting it on without getting several particles of dust under it would be an exercise in hope and swearing.)

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Illicit phone rings in Sri Lankan inmate's back crack

frank ly
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Re: charging

I've been thinking about four or five galvanised steel buckets, filled with urine, with copper foil suspended in them, connected in series as a battery. Would this work? Have I thought of the correct materials?

Note: This is a serious engineering problem, so no sniggering and no off-colour jokes please.

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AT LEAST two-thirds mobile traffic will be video by 2017 - Cisco report

frank ly
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@Ace Rimmer Re: Data cap anyone?

I asked about the FUP on the One Plan (which allows tethering) in a Three shop and was told that it's 100GB a month. The guy told me that if you pump more than 3GB a day for 3 consecutive days, then they send you a polite warning e-mail (I could live with that). I forgot to ask if the FUP figure was printed in the contract or Ts&Cs.

Note that the SIM only One Plan is a rolling one month contract so they could easily pull and replace Ts&Cs.

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Bangalore's home state takes aim at tech manufacturing

frank ly
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Re: Bangalore Chore

I was talking on the phone to one of those last week. He told me his name was Tipu though he had an obvious Birmingham accent. Oh, wait a minute, my cousin lives in Birmingham and he has a son called Tipu who would be about 22 now ..........., bloody outsourcing.

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Australian Parliament issues summons to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

frank ly
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Joke

(but maybe not a joke)

The $5.5 billion is to pay for a small army of world-class psychics, who work in shifts 24/7, to maintain a reality distortion field over Australia. This is the only explanation I can think of for why Australians spend so much money buying Apple products.

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Superbowl blackout was a stuff-up, not Anonymous

frank ly
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Re: Variable Relays

" ...I imagine that they had already been through a full rehersal.. ."

Imagine all you want but I imagine that a full rehearsal costs money they weren't willing to spend. Even switching on lights and all expected power loads would be an organisational cost that was judged to be too great. I speak as someone who has, in the past, tried to get management to agree to real world test scenarios for systems testing instead of theory and dummy loads.........

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BBC blueprint to make EVERY programme on TV a repeat revealed

frank ly
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re. TV licence needs for iPlayer

I'm sure the iPlayer first page used to have a statement that you needed a TV licence to watch it. Not anymore though (and I deleted cookies).

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

frank ly
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I refuse to take part in this

"For the love of all that's holy don't get sidetracked into the perfect biscuit to accompany the perfect cuppa."

Separation of the twin sacrements is a heathen act.

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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

frank ly
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Re: I'm sure I remember...

I once read that the number was in fact 66.6, which happened to be my weight in kilograms. I made an effort to eat more and now I don't feel cursed.

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Psst, wanna block nuisance calls? BT'll do it... for a price

frank ly
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@ge Re: Alternatively

Why not go all the way, tell them you're interested in buying a nanowidget and get them to send a salespup round to give a demonstration in the comfort of your own home? Imagine the fun you could have 'testing' the nanowidget and pointing out all the flaws it has.

Then you offer perform consultancy services to improve the design of their nanowidget and ask for a working lunch with their managing director. You also send them an invoice for the 'initial consultation' with the salespup. The possibilities are endless.

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Taiwan's Polytron promises see-through phones

frank ly
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Cynical and suspicious .....

In the 'Mobile Geeks' linked video, I got the impression that the change in display from '0' to '1' happened when he moved the phone to change the viewing angle, and there were positions in which both '0' and '1' were visible together, which is not what I'd expect from a working display demonstration.

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British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

frank ly
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Bill The Galactic Hero ......

... would know how to deal with them.

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Yahoo! strikes! display! ad! deal! with! boss's! old! boss! Google!

frank ly
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Re: and so the takeover begins...

Googoo, Gahgoo, Goohoo, ...?

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

frank ly
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@Lee Dowling

El Reg does have an RSS feed, it has several. I've been using the main one for ages and it's _usually_ exactly up to date.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/feeds.html

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frank ly
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@DrXym Re: Some tips for sites

Thank you for saying what I've been thinking (with less technical detail) for the past two years. I get especially annoyed with ebay and Wikipedia who always initially deliver their mobile site to my 10" tablet.

Having said that, I am pleased that 'The Independent' newspaper delivers its mobile version, because then I get just the article text, with no fancy layout bars, no adverts and no big pictures; with simple links to other articles underneath it. I've tried the main site and it's full of crud that I don't want to download or look at. I use the Google RSS news reader for my newspaper and other regularly updated websites.

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NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

frank ly
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Happy

Re: Bring it on ISON

You have a waistcoat made from oak panels?? Very cyberpunk. Does it have turned brass buttons?

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Shocked Zynga investors get a penny per share

frank ly
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Headmaster

@Kevin Johnson Re: Nice distinction there

I recommend that you consult the Oxford English Dictionary. It's on the internet nowadays; which is nice of them.

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Profitless internet biz Pinterest seeks $2.5 BILLION valuation

frank ly
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History - learning from it - as if

You know how we look back at boo.com and similar ventures, then say, "WTF was that all about?". Well, ......

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UK web snoop charter: Just how much extra info do spooks need?

frank ly
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How about locking you and your children in a concrete bunker and dropping food in through a hole in the roof twice a day? I can't see any downside to that.

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Study: Gay marriage support linked to pr0n consumption

frank ly
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Facepalm

re. prospectively predicting stuff

'prospective' means relating to the future. So, 'prospectively predicting' means predicting things about the future.

I thought that predicting was always about the future. Is there another kind of predicting?

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frank ly
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Meh

Re: Wise up?

If only you'd had the courtesy to stay out of our awareness.

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Kids as young as FIVE need lessons in online safety - NSPCC

frank ly
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I'm not sure what exactly is happening

"The charity's phone-in helpline ChildLine said that compared to just one year ago, a whopping 70 per cent more boys had called in about seeing porn online, ..."

If I want to see porn online, I have to make a reasonable effort (hint: it's not worth the effort).

How are these kids doing it? If the are being shown porn or being sent links to porn, then this is an issue for child protection authorities and the police. If they are actively seeking it out themselves then that raises all kinds of questions.......

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Fanbois rejoice: iPhone 5, iPad Mini finally jailbroken

frank ly
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@diodesign Re: Scott 49

Windows has WIMPs.

(Scott; I'm a fandroid and not at all bothered if anyone calls me that.)

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Jammy b*stards: Admen flog chocolate bars with 'Wi-Fi-free' zones

frank ly
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Puzzled re. legal jamming

"Jamming is done legally to ...[do A] .., and ensure that our defence forces could cope if GPS got knocked offline, ...."

I don't understand how the ability to perform jamming would be of any help if GPS went offline. What scenario do you have in mind here?

Also, I thought that using a mobile phone to call in the 'detonate' command was fraught with danger (to the perpetrator and the aim of the mission) and so they used cheap old phones with no SIM card but a calendar event used for the trigger?

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