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* Posts by Annihilator

2869 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

China Central TV comes to Freeview

Annihilator
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Who's financing this?

The licence fee, Sky subscriptions, DVD sales and although less effective, advertising still makes an impact.

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Annihilator
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Big Brother

Orwell

Presumably you need a compatible "telescreen" to receive the feed that you can't switch off and is 2-way?

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Details of all internet traffic should be logged – MEP

Annihilator
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True

"Politician claims data records will help ID paedos and predators"

They're absolutely correct, much in the same way my handy lump hammer here will do a great job of cracking open a nut. Will probably turn out to be quite expensive though as I'd need to keep replacing the dining room table after each nut...

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Vlingo

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Meh

Hurry, while stocks last..

I don't imagine this app will survive for much longer. Expect a tweak to the App Store Ts & Cs shortly.

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Earth escapes obliteration by comet

Annihilator
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Alert

New headline

"The scientific reality is this modest-sized icy dirtball's influence upon our planet is so incredibly minuscule that my subcompact automobile exerts a greater gravitational influence on Earth than the comet ever would."

"Don Yeomans' car set to DESTROY THE EARTH!"

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RIM faces legal action following service outages

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WTF?

Paying whom?

Maybe I'm ignorant of RIMs Canadian operations, but is this person paying $25 per month *to RIM* or to his mobile telco/ISP?

I've been looking for an answer to this, but who in the retail world is paying RIM for Blackberry services? I can currently lob any old SIM into an old Blackberry I have sitting in a drawer and register for a BB-style email address, without any additional charge on my ordinary telco charges.

Apple now have iMessage (a borderline rip-off of BBM, but integrated into the SMS app), which was provided to me for free. Am I now able to sue Apple if this service ever goes offline?

In the court of public opinion, perhaps it's reasonable for RIM to pay something to their users (which I think they have, in terms of some freebies, much like Sony did) as they don't want customers switching to iOS or Android, but I doubt there is any court in the world that would consider awarding damages to a consumer for loss of an effectively free service with no or limited SLA.

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Binned PCs were stuffed with MoD and Sun staffers' privates

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Close

I'd guess just their misunderstanding of the word encrypted.

"But all our Windows machines require a password to log in to them" may have been a more accurate statement.

The BS-o-meter was triggered by the subsequent statement of how they securely erase them afterwards too - you'd think option 1 or option 2 would be enough for only mildly sensitive data.

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BT gets 14 days to block Newzbin2

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Unhappy

Wedge. End. Of. Thin. The.

Rearrange the above words into a sentence summing up my feelings

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German boffins BREAK LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS!

Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

Done

Wasn't there a CPU fan showcased a while ago that was powered by the heat of the CPU? Isn't this roughly the same application?

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Union enraged by secret driverless Tube plan

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Boffin

@Craig12

"Couldn't a driverless tube system be 24/7 ?"

I driver-tube system could be 24/7, much like the bus network. The reason it's not is due to required maintenance windows each night. The tube is constantly being serviced.

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DLR

"It would leave passengers stranded in tunnels with no means of evacuation and would turn the platforms and stations into a muggers' and vandals' paradise"

The DLR has been an example for almost 25 years of how this system could work. I'm amazed it hasn't been considered or leaked before. If it's anything like that, the trains wouldn't be staff-less.

Though not sure how they'd reduce operating costs if the trains were still staffed...

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Griffin Technology Helo TC

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Boffin

The cost

Any RC chopper in the £30 or less range is going to be using IR, simply because it's so cheap (both in terms of power and cost to implement).

BT = two microcontrollers on each end

IR = an LED and a photodiode

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World Solar Challenge: Why the winners were so good

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Stop

@jake

"However, that bit of sillyness behind us, he's a lot greener than any human built solar-powered anything I've ever come into contact with. What's the energy TCO on the solar cars? I'll bet the electricity to produce them is several orders of magnitude higher than they will ever collect from the sun. To say nothing of the pollution inherent in the GaAs process (etc.)."

Ever considered that all the stuff in the WSC is proof of concept stuff that's not designed to be completely green, but rather pave the way for future products that are? You can't consider the TCO of *just* the one car - you have to consider the TCO of the potential cars.

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Meteor shower falls from Halley’s Comet on Saturday

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Boffin

Easy

They know roughly where it'll land (within a few degrees of latitude, but limited idea of longitude, just due to it's orbit), what proportion of that area is land and what the population of that area of land is. So your chances of being hit are actually variable on where you are on the planet. In Blighty for example, there is zero chance.

Unless it takes a big fluke ricochet off a 747 on the way down or something...

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Cable employee admits replacing Superbowl feed with porn

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Trollface

Worked at ITV-HD

Just wondered if he was the same bright spark that interrupted the ITV-HD coverage of the 2010 World Cup?..

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Nipples and teen lesbians sexy even when ironic, ASA rules

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IT Angle

Ironic nipples and teenage lesbians

What makes nipples and teenage lesbians ironic per se?

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Depends

If only 34 people watched it, that would be quite high.. Right argument, wrong baseline.

Besides, I thought it was pretty much established fact that according to the Daily Mail metrics, one complaint = 1 trillion offended people. So we can safely assume that 34 trillion people were offended by this :-)

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Further correction

"The product should not be displayed in the general release slot of game stores, it ruled, judging that it barely passed as a game and so was breaching trading standards"

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Libel reform vows to slay anonymous trolls

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Holmes

@AudiGuy

"what if the "defamation" is later to be found as fact? What happens then? Do I get to sue the person/entity that was allegedly defamed? Do I get an apology?"

No, because you're anonymous remember... :-) You might get an apology published, and have to sit quietly triumphant knowing you were right but can't tell anyone about it...

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Vegas man begs web for $1m to fix gigantic scrotum

Annihilator
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"What's the matter?"

I don't think the doc would need to ask that question in this case...

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Sony BDP-SX1 portable Blu-ray player

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Mushroom

"lappy"

Didn't that word get banished from El Reg on pain of death along with mobey?

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Apple iPhone 4S

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Meh

@Tony

""A bit faster, slightly better camera" That pretty much defines every new smartphone release for the past two or three years."

Perhaps, but would it have killed you to give an indication of how much faster? Lines such as "applications open in a trice" and "content is downloaded fast" are utterly meaningless and bordering on the good old hifi reviews of "the sound was warm and believable". As I understood it, the iPhone 4 was fast too.

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re: Siri

"The other inherent aspects of Siri work well - e.g. play a particular piece of music / track."

You mean the features that have been working since the iPhone 3GS? Hold the button on the iPhone 3GS and 4 to say "Play songs by Queen" has worked long since Siri was involved - didn't need a network connection to do it either...

"Oh, and it's fast" - the iPhone 4 is slow?

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Apple 'prepping smaller iPad'

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A billion thumbs up

As I recall, one of the rumours for the iPad 2 was "retina" display. Presumably the Apple reporting tactic is "if we're wrong, just add it into iProduct version+1 rumour, repeat as necessary"

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Brits forced to join waiting list for iPhone 4S

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FAIL

Same crap system as before

Think they used that system for the iPad 2. God forbid they just enable some form of digital queue, where you can choose your store, register and be emailed when yours is ready to collect. Pretty sure they did that with the iPhone 4, but seemingly they now prefer to carry on the "it's still sold out! It must be amazing!" vibe.

So now, if you really want one and don't want to wait the current 2-week dispatch time, you have to hover around the website waiting for the magical "unavailable" message to disappear- from iPad 2 memory, it's around a 20 minute window each evening IFF they get any. Being "available" doesn't guarantee either, as you then have to get through the purchase process before someone else does.

Disclaimer: I own a (2nd hand) iPhone 4 and an iPad 2. I like them, I just dislike the theatrics whenever one is released. So much to do at Cartmanland, but you can't come (especially you Stan and Kyle).

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Ten... earphones for mobiles

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FAIL

@The Jon

I seem pretty certain that I'll turn my head at least just slightly before stepping out on the road, it's call "looking before you cross the road". But then again, I'm not an imbecile.

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Loudhailer

Fortunately I'm also capable of using the other primary sense useful in the situation of crossing the road - namely my eyes. Unless they've perfected cloaking technology recently, I'll be able to see that car/bus/truck coming.

How you think the hard of hearing cope in the world, I've no idea.

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Annihilator
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Fair question

But I suspect it's because the middle button has the iOS commands built-in (click for play/pause, double click for >>|, triple click for |<<, hold for voice activation). Whether that works for 'droid, nokia etc I don't know, but would be surprised. The mic and phones will work regardless.

I've got a pair of Sennheiser's for my iPhone, they are perfect for everyday use, especially as I end up ruining a pair of buds every 4-6 months or so, budget are all I'd ever go for.

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World+Dog goes bonkers for iPhone 4S

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Facepalm

and I charitably assume you've missed the fact that Siri was available from the App Store up until about 2-3 weeks ago, that it was invented by a third party and that all Apple have done is bolt it into the UI.

So yes, there are many people out there able to comment on how well Siri does or doesn't work.

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Annihilator
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Evidence

I'd guess the circumstantial evidence is gained by witnessing the same story with each revision, and that Apple broadly know how many they expect to sell, yet don't make them available on day 1. They may not be in a warehouse, but they sure as hell ain't in a shop or a consumer's pocket.

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Annihilator
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FAIL

@Code Monkey

G'ah! I queued to get into Alton Towers once! I wish I'd had you to coach me in the car park and I'd have come back on a rainy day in October instead.

Have queued in McDonalds once on a lunchtime, maybe I should have come back later in the afternoon.

What a fool I've been. Perhaps instead of doing what I damn well please, I should listen to people telling me not to be a sheep and ironically do what they tell me.

Disclaimer: didn't queue for an iPhone, but more than happy for people to go out and fill their boots.

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Holmes

@Silverburn

"O2 has claimed it sold more iPhone 4S handsets in the first hour the gadget has been on sale than the number of iPhone 4s it shifted in 2010."

Yup, I made the same initial interpretation as you - namely that this morning, in an hour, O2 topped their entire 2010 sales numbers. Seems rather unlikely!

It's hardly a story though. If Apple are doing the usual ploy of not meeting demand then they get to control how many are sold each time. If they release 100,000 on day one, and next year release 100,001 on day one, they are able to perpetually generate the news story of "sales figures for opening day beat previous iPhone". Easiest marketing ploy in the world!

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RIM: 'Faulty switch took out faulty-switch-proof network'

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@John Rose

Selling their corporate solutions. BES hardware and licensing turns a pretty penny.

To prove a point, I've just slung my O2 SIM card in an old BB I have lying around and created a new O2 email via O2. I don't have an official blackberry contract. http://bit.ly/qQ8dQb

You may as well ask how gmail or hotmail makes any money. It's not their primary source of income, but sell the BB idea to a person, and that person may well be in a position to request BB in their place of work...

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Annihilator
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FAIL

No...

You're right, there's only so far that you take doomsday scenarios and it's generally based on probability. Would you have them crash 50 planes into a power plant for example? 100? Draw the line for me somewhere, and while you're at it, figure out a way they can meaningfully run these tests.

Aeroplanes today are generally built with triple-redundancy, why not four?

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Annihilator
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Easy

Give a complete refund for the percentage of however much they paid for Blackberry services. I can't see a difference in price plans over at O2 - as far as I can tell the Blackberry services are free.

Those who think you're paying a Blackberry charge, look close enough and it's the same price as the equivalent data tariff.

Samsung Galaxy or a Blackberry on O2: 50mins + 250 texts + 500MB data = £16.50

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BOFH: Where's my free fondleslab?

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Thumb Up

"You can stay here in the big leagues and play by the rules, or you can go back to the farm club in Aurora, it's your choice."

"Yes, and it's the choice of a new generation."

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Annihilator
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Coat

It's obvious that the footnote wasn't written by El Reg - if it were, then the punishment in their eyes would have been to give Simon the iPads. Sort of in a similar manner where 1st prize is an iPad, 2nd prize is two iPads..

Unless this is a way to try and get back in to future Apple media events!

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Forza 4

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Thanks!

Did not know this, may actually dust off my copy and see if it's become a playable game

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Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

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Go

Straight out of Top Gun

"By hitting the air brakes and overlapping red and green threat markers on your HUD, holding L2 and R2 pulls of a special manoeuvre to outfox your pursuer and bring them directly into your sights."

Or more succinctly, as Maverick put it: "I'm bringing him in closer. I'm gonna hit the brakes, he'll fly right by. Woooo! Let's see what you've got now Jester..."

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One in 10 Brits leaves web passwords in their will

Annihilator
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Happy

"porn buddy"

A phrase I first heard on a TV sitcom in the 90's (Coupling I think?) where two guys became porn buddies and exchanged house keys. The long and short was that if either of them were to die, the other would go into their house before their loved ones had a chance and remove the deceased's porn. Not destroy mind you, just remove.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Key

You missed the key phrase "or plan to". I don't imagine the surveyed a broad enough range of the population either, so probably asked 20-40 year olds. Even worse, it seems unlikely to be able to get that stat without explicitly asking "would or have you put your web passwords in a will?" which would prompt people it was a good idea and to say yes.

Yet another bit of "scientific research" kindly paid for by... oh wait.. Rackspace. It's almost as if the cost they paid for the research is outweighed by the free advertising they get through all the "news" stories that pick it up.

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Billion dollar telescope snaps galactic head-on

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@Lallabalalla

"I thought that as a result of the big bang everything in the universe was moving away from everything else"

By that definition you're gradually moving away from the earth...

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Annihilator
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Lucky you

I see an array of dishes like that, and instantly think of the film Contact. Then I feel overcome by suppressed shame and violation at the very memory of watching it.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

"first light"

Radio telescopes still capture light, just not usually visible light. The equivalent of "first light" for radio telescopes is "first light"

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Vodafone knocks over £120 off iPhone 4S

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Really?

I don't have to check the details to know that they haven't really "knocked over £120 off" and instead have just hidden this bonus somewhere in their tarrifs. You're still being massively ripped off.

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ISPs end PM's web smut block dream

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Boffin

Proxy is the key - and the workaround

The current IWF filter is already doing this on most ISPs. It's normally done by blacklist. There are plenty of companies out there capable of doing it - Websense manages our work anti-smut list I believe.

OpenDNS even provides a semi-decent attempt (but blocks at the DNS level, not IP level)

The IWF proxy usually manages to break legitimate files on the same sites as suspected naughtiness though, due to triggering defences by the host website (all traffic via the IWF proxies have the same source IP, so looks like a flood attack, though some ISPs have kludged this with multiple IP addresses).

As per the title, proxies are the simplest way to get around nearly every solution though.

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BlackBerry BBM, email offline AGAIN

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Stop

@PXG

You're paying exactly the same tariff to the network provider regardless of whether it's a Blackberry device you're using or not. You are not paying O2 Vodafone et al for any Blackberry services.

The Blackberry services are in essence free to Blackberry owners. What you and the rest of the world are currently b1tching about is the loss of a free (proprietary) service accessible only by a proprietary app on a proprietary device. You'd be as well asking for a refund from Google when gmail is offline - I'm sure they'd be happy to give you 100% of the price you've paid them: £0.00

This is really the equivalent of Whatsapp failing. I also find it odd that people are quick to attack Apple's walled garden approach, but seem to leave RIM/BB alone.

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Annihilator
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FAIL

The award for epic fail goes to s. pam for:

a) relying on a proprietary service for work.

b) not discerning between the network provider (Orange & O2 are down you say? They seem to be working just fine) and RIM's services.

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'Buggy' Facebook iPad app finally emerges

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Paris Hilton

Swing and a miss

Ever considered that developers *could* make apps that were scalable for both types of iOS device? Many do and are listed as "iPhone/iPad apps" instead of device specific. Air Video, Planets, Zombie GS, RWC2011 and Lovefilm are some of the apps I've used on both that spring to mind. It's the developers that make the choice.

If Android apps are scaling, then it's clear they were designed with this in mind. The Apple approach at least gives you the option of running phone-specific apps on the pad - "Some apps simply aren't available for the slab, period". Maybe if Apple banned iPhone apps on the iPad and removed that choice you'd be happier?

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Go

Ah

""We're releasing it now because it's done," said Bret Taylor, the firm's chief technology officer assured the BBC."

Good to see the id Software methodology is alive and well.

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