* Posts by jason 7

2684 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

AMD's new Carrizo: The x86 notebook processor that thinks it's a GPU

jason 7
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The biggest issue is that a lot of low power/tablet type CPUs have crept into the mainstream inventories for laptops and desktops.

If a customer wants a cheap laptop or desktop I now have to check if that Celeron/Pentium/Athlon is a proper desktop part or just a re-badged ultra low power Atom type.

It's actually better value/simpler to buy second hand ex. corporate clearance in a lot of cases. You know what you are getting with a 3GHz C2D.

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jason 7
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Just one small problem....

...you'll never buy a decent laptop with one of these in it.

AMD are all but frozen out of the laptop market. Take a look on any IT retail website and its slim greasy pickings for AMD based laptops.

Nothing classy or decent. Just bargain basement crud or buying an over priced, hamstrung 'protect Intel from monopoly' model from HP.

£700 for a AMD A8 laptop with 4GB of ram, a 1366x768 screen and a 500GB rust spinner? Oh yes please!

Shame really.

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Man the HARPOONS: YOU can EASILY SLAY ad-scumware Superfish

jason 7
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Just had a Advent desktop handed to me from a customer.

He said it wasn't working as nicely as his Macbook and so hadn't used it much since he bought it.

Well no sh*t! Machine was struggling to do anything in less than 3-4 minutes.

Just uninstalled twenty four pieces of bloatware off of it and ran a full adware scan etc. etc.

Now it's running nice and smoothly...as it should have done in the first place.

Thanks Advent! Well done!

It's just so idiotic. Imagine Ford selling you a new Mondeo and then just as you leave the forecourt they weld a 500KG anchor to the rear axle.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

jason 7
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Re: Orange Alert!

If you use the recovery partition then 99 times out 100 you get all the bloatware re-installed.

Nothing like having a laptop freshly installed with mouldy 3+ year old installs of Adobe Acrobat/Flash/Java/Skype/Wild Tangent Games/Oberon Media/OoVoo/Ebay links/Cyberlink DVD player/McAfee/Nero Express/Norton Backup/Power2Go/Bing Bar/Google Tool Bar etc. etc.

Mmmm smooth!

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

jason 7
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Take a look on the Amazon reviews for IT Hardware/Software...

I would say 80% of the 1 star reviews say -

"Grrr wouldn't work with Mac!"

Or words to that effect. Usually quite short reviews either way.

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

jason 7
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This is why I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't tried harder to stop the spread of bloatware on OEMs machines. The practice isn't doing Windows/Microsoft any good.

It's like Ferrari producing a fine car and then the dealership slaps loads of cheap sun strips, fluffy dice, novelty horns, beaded seat covers and furry steering wheel covers on it.

The moans from customers are rarely about Windows itself, it's the issues caused by old bloatware they have never dared remove.

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jason 7
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Re: They shot themselves in the head

Unfortunately, the range available is rather small and uninspiring.

However, it's a start.

I'd like to see a video of Lenovo's CTO starting up one of their domestic laptops from out of the box and seeing how he enjoys the bloatware experience.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

jason 7
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Lenovo/Acer/Asus/HP etc.

...are making their laptops and desktops look and behave like clown cars with all the useless junk they install on them.

Have any of them sat down with one of their consumer machines out of the box and thought -

"Oh yes, now this is a slick and pleasing computing experience!"

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jason 7
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Re: Microsoft hardware

@Buzzword

Not sure why you are getting all the downvotes. Bloatware/Adware on new laptops from the likes of Lenovo/Acer/Toshiba etc. is a major screwup in the Windows experience.

I get customers to bring their laptops straight to me unopened so I can delete the 30+ items of crap (not to mention the crappy McAfee AV trial that will lapse and leave the machine unprotected). The machines work really well after all that cruft is removed.

This bloatware trend creates a messy and pop up riddled experience that makes Windows look a mess. Doesnt reflect to great on Acer/Lenovo etc. I can tell you guys, your customers don't like it.

It is time that MS started pushing out more desktops and laptops with just Windows and a few essentials installed. The current US based signature thing isnt enough.

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Horrors of murky TrueCrypt to be probed once more

jason 7
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Still good enough...

..to stop the bloke that nicked your laptop from taking a good look before someone slaps something over the top.

That's all that's needed in most cases.

However, as mentioned above, Truecrypt was largely obsolete for full HDD encryption. Still handy for containers though.

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Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

jason 7
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They can charge more for the laptops. After all a lot of my customers are happy to pay me £50 to remove the crapware and set the laptop up like a Mac would come out of the box.

Improves the user experience no end.

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Get ready for the El Reg Storage Winners-n-Losers super chart

jason 7
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Sorry...

...I need a girl to help me tell the difference between all those colour hues.

Being a guy I only understand the basic colours.

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Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

jason 7
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Re: It's an improvement

Yes to get past the need for using a Outlook account you simply click the "Create new account" and then you see an option to login using a plain local account.

A little counter intuitive but going forward the more logins they get the better for them I guess. Plus it helps when customers moan they can't get into the Apps store.

I have tried 8/10 with a MS login and its pretty neat as soon as I logged into my first 10 VM it automatically looked like my Windows 8.1 machine even down to the desktop theme.

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

jason 7
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Erm...

...whats that awful protrusion from the dash on the passenger side?

A leather wrapped girder? Nasty.

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Help! DYING Google Helpouts YELPS out the door

jason 7
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I was asked to be a Helpout person.

It was about two years ago. Had an interview, setup my Helpouts page etc. Was quite intrigued about the possibility. But then it suddenly went all 'happy clappy' as a lot of these type of web things do and as a Brit I just edged away from it. Some people just got a bit too over excited by it all.

Then a few months ago Google told all us Brit Helpouts folks we could no longer charge for our time...which was nice.

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So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

jason 7
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Oh bliss!

Just managed to get my tech curmudgeon girlfriend to accept that Android has moved on somewhat since her Galaxy Note1 got left behind and accept the One+ as a worthy replacement.

Mighty have to start all over again...

"Why can't I have..." "Why isn't..." etc. etc.

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Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

jason 7
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Unhappy

The race to the bottom.

The Windows with Bing has brought another issue thats been a pain.

When you bought a sub £400 laptop a couple of years ago you were assured of getting at least a proper Pentium or Athlon level dual core laptop CPU. Nothing amazing but perfectly acceptable and pleasant for general use.

However, the past 18 months or so has seen a huge influx of rebranded low power CPUs that barely give tablet/Atom level performance in this sector. It's been a nightmare with customers bringing these AMD E1 etc.CPU laptops that appear to have the same user experience I haven't seen since using a 1999 spec laptop in 2002. Putting in a SSD makes them almost tolerable so you may as well have spent the £60 extra in the first place.

I now have to check carefully the CPU specs to make sure I'm getting a proper CPU for the money.

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AMD stops shipping chips as bloated channel begs 'Please, no more'

jason 7
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Meh

They would do well to raise their profile.

I mention to customers "well you could get a AMD based machine..."

"What's that? Never heard of...AMC did you say?"

Yet they all know of Intel due to every Currys ad etc. having the Intel tag on jingle.

They complain about Intel taking all the cake but when hardly anyone know who you are...

I love AMD gear but they are their own worst enemy. While we are at it, c'mon AMD how about some new chipsets that are at least 2014 spec rather than the current 2010 spec ones.

Edit - Just checked and the average price for a FX 6300 CPU is currently £9 more now than what I paid a year ago.

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Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping

jason 7
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Re: For me it's older Xeon workstations.

Well it's been running fine for nearly 7 years and the box itself cost me £80 so...

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jason 7
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Re: For me it's older Xeon workstations.

Ahh shame. Mines a 2008 one with latest BIOS and still going strong after a years heavy use from yours truly.

Added in USB3.0, eSATA and a HD7870 gpu. Okay its a power pig but I love the flexibility,

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jason 7
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Re: Huh?

Yeah I had stopped replacing all my customers XP machines by end of May.

Would have done it sooner but you have to go at their pace sometimes.

Now I'm onto the great SSD upgrade crusade...

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jason 7
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For me it's older Xeon workstations.

You can pick up quad core dual Xeon boxes and the CPUs for peanuts on Ebay. Slap in 16-32GB of ECC ram and you can run your VMs etc. etc. all day long.

Dell T5400 machines are pretty handy and real cheap. Tank like build quality too.

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FOCUS! 7680 x 4320 notebook and fondleslab screens are coming

jason 7
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Well I'd settle for being able to buy an average laptop with at least a 1600x900 screen but apparently I'm just too fussy it seems.

It's crazy that in a few months time we'll probably have -

% of laptops with 768p screens - 66%

% of laptops with 1080p screens - 2%

% of laptops with 4K screens - 32%

Just no middle ground. From one extreme to the other.

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jason 7
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The reality?

Next year we'll still have 99% of laptops with 1368x768 TN screens.

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Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate

jason 7
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Re: What I've found...

Encrypted (if required) USB3.0 drive hooked into the back of the NAS and scheduled via the NAS to run a backup at lunchtime and then 10 mins before the person responsible for taking the drive home goes home.

Far easier and faster than multiple tapes. Plug in and leave it for the day.

All the PCs user data folders are backed up individually to the NAS in a staggered timing during the day also. These also go into the offsite backup.

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jason 7
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What I've found...

...in the realm of small business setups are quite a few that were sold over the top Server setups running 2003 for basic file sharing and backup duty, plus a nice monthly support fee.

These are single core Dell boxes with a single 320GB HDD in them that have racked up thousands in costs over the past 10+ years.

So I've been swapping them out for the small business level QNAP NAS boxes with double gigabit. Oh and at the same time I pulled the old 100Mb switch for a gigabit one. No more 200W noisy box in the corner, no more multiple DAT tapes for daily backup (same tapes from 2003 probably) and no more massive monthly support fee.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

jason 7
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No Hi -Fi company makes it's own cables.

Cable making is big, dirty industrial work. You cant run a cable maker without having to run several KM of wire at a time so that £500 a meter cable ain't costing anywhere near 10p a meter to make in the first place.

I would speculate that 99.99% of all wire that goes into Hi-Fi cables was originally specced for Boeing or CAT scanners at next to £nothing a meter.

All you need is a reasonable (thicker than bell-wire) gauge, reasonable quality copper and keep it as short as you can.

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

jason 7
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Linux

So the question has to be asked this time...

Can i hack it and put Android on it instead?

What's good for the goose...

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'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

jason 7
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Re: Sympathetic - to a point

I call them the 'more money than sense' crowd. Plus those oil fired Agas are a real treat in the summer when they still keep throwing out the heat.

We worked out how much the oil ones cost to run and to be honest I'm surprised they are still legal.

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jason 7
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Re: Sympathetic - to a point

Yeah if I was buying a house one of the first things I would ask when taking a look is to run a speedtest.net run from their broadband.

I come across a lot of folks that have bought barn conversions out in the wilds of North Norfolk and then moan to me that they decided to buy a £850,000 property 4 miles from the nearest exchange and didn't bother to think about broadband.

Satellite it is then! They can afford it, I saw a nice oil powered Aga in the kitchen there!

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

jason 7
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Re: Poor timing for this announcement

Indeed, I reckon it was done purely to kick Intel into line to start producing the chips MS really wanted for mobile productivity.

Sometimes getting what you want/need from another industrial leviathan costs billions.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

jason 7
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Re: Sigh

I install Adblock on both Firefox and Chrome for ALL my customers machines whether they ask for it or not. It's just basic computer safety/security now.

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jason 7
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Re: Sigh

"I would if it wasn't such a memory pig"

Really is that an issue in 2015?

Sometimes you just have to come to terms with the fact that some things just won't change and live with it.

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jason 7
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Re: Sigh

Indeed, I've never bought CillitBang, tampons or a Nissan Juke.

Likewise I've never clicked on anything saying "Get a free iPad here!!"

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Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

jason 7
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Re: There was another game that came out a year earlier...

Spot on!

All comes back to me now. Ahhh yes, buying PC Format each month to get the patch updates and bits of software you needed because downloading a 20Mb DirectX update by 33.6 modem would have just been too much hassle.

Good times!

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jason 7
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There was another game that came out a year earlier...

...that was claymation style. A tall thin alien type character who had a man eating plant in his living room. I remember myself and a mate playing the first level demo version on my new 150Mhz Windows 95 PC all those years ago. It was good fun but we never got round to getting the full version.

Can't remember its name. Grrrr

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Port authority: Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock

jason 7
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One of those bits of tech...

...that will pass me by I reckon.

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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

jason 7
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If I was a metal worker I wouldn't expect the company to ask me to bring my own heavy duty lathe to work.

Same if I worked for Rentokill, I wouldn't expect to bring my own pesticide.

Why shouldn't staff expect the tools for free if they are being employed?

Would be different if the employer gave them each a cheque for £5000 a year for IT kit and support costs.

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jason 7
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I loved my little company 1998 spec AST laptop with Windows 95, 65MB of ram, 166MMX CPU (I overclocked that sucker to 233Mhz though), single USB port, CD Rom and 3GB HDD.

Great little machine. Wasn't so keen on the locked up tight NT4 laptops that followed it but they weren't bad either.

However, I caught on and saw what was on the horizon and made the request to be the only desktop PC user in the office. That way I was never under pressure to work from home/hotels or at the weekend.

"Oh damn, I can't sorry, don't have a laptop!"

Enabled far more time in the hotel bar.

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jason 7
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I was waiting for the next stage...BYOE

Basically they seal up all the plug sockets and put electric meters needing 50p pieces beside each 'hot desk'. Windows would be blocked up to stop anyone using non-approved solar chargers.

Next phase after that was BYOC (chair), then BYOH (hot desk).

By that point if you hadn't realised they weren't actually paying you...

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

jason 7
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Re: Just too expensive now

No, no stylus but to be honest...other than you, only folks in the marketing ads for the Note ever used one (or pretended to use).

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jason 7
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Re: Just too expensive now

My wife did the same. Had a Note 1 that was getting slow (though I did tell her and prove that the live aquarium wallpaper wasn't helping but you know...) and wanted the Note 4. One look at unlocked prices on Amazon and I was asking a mate for a OnePlus invite.

She's as pleased as punch with a ultra snappy phone that goes four days on a charge and cost just over a third of the price.

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'Boutique' ISPs: Snub the Big 4 AND get great service

jason 7
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I've seen these kind of ISPs before.

You suddenly get a buzz around the office "Oh this ISP is fantastic...super speeds...super price..amazing!"

A haze of smug wafts around the office.

And they are great...for the first few months, then standards just nosedive and folks are moving on to the next latest and greatest.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

jason 7
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Re: Well its nice that the iPhone 6...

This is why three of my customers who switched over to Macs for work about 18 months ago have all come back to me and Windows. Apple Genius support is fine if you have a problem with iTunes or dropped your iPhone in the loo. However, if you need help integrating it into your existing business setup forget it. Most of the independent Apple support guys I knew of a couple of years ago, have all given up and got other jobs due to an Apple Store opening up in the city taking 50% of their jobs away and the other half gone through Apple making a lot of the hardware not worth fixing economically.

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jason 7
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Well its nice that the iPhone 6...

...has mostly managed to catch up feature wise with my 2012 spec Nexus 4.

I think the issue for Apple in the future is that they launched the iPhone back when the components for such devices were at the peak of mobile tech and could charge a premium for such tech.

However, now that tech is mature and common, the material cost of such devices has plummeted hence why we can now have a full blown Windows x64 tablet for £60!

Apple's marketing folks will have an uphill struggle to keep convincing their kit is worth £600 when in the not too distant future you can probably buy a faster 4K IPS, 128GB, 20MP enabled 5.5" Android for £275.

But I'm sure they'll perfect their mind control techniques further.

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A Bombe Called Christopher, or A Very Poor Imitation

jason 7
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I got moaned at...

...when I asked in the comments for the review on here, when we were going to get the real story on screen that encompasses all the main characters with actual technical details.

I'm sure it could make a great three/four part TV dramatisation, kind of like the BBC used to do well about 20 years ago, before they made everything simple for the US market and the decline in the UK education system.

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

jason 7
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Re: Fraud Vs Incompetence..why it happens?

As my other half was told many times by the grey haired little men in charge of such things when she worked in the public sector as a Projects Monitor (or words to that effect).

"Oh don't worry..it's only tax payers money!"

The folks in charge of these projects really didn't give a toss as the end result, whatever happened, was they would just move onto another new project disaster. No come backs, no questions just another reshuffle.

They really didn't care, the world would carry on and another £10 billion would land in their laps to piss up the wall.

My other half left after a few weeks in disgust.

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

jason 7
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After watching Dispatches about unsolicited calls...

I saw a trick that actually seems to work.

If I get a call I ask two things politely and clearly.

1. Please do not ever call me again!

2. Please remove me from your database!

That's it. No rudeness or shouting.

Since I started doing that the number of such calls has dropped dramatically.

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Broadmoor: My Journey Into Hell, The Chimes and Cowboys and Indies

jason 7
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Re: Fuck Bronson

Indeed, you read stuff about him and he's just one big contradiction.

"I don't wanna be in the nick!"

Well maybe don't be such a dick then?

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FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

jason 7
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Re: Microsoft is still not listening

I have to say I was handed a 24" Windows 8.1 all in one PC to work on a few weeks ago.

Touch screen the works.

Whilst I'm a big "no touching my screen bitch!" type I decided to try the whole thing as it was intended for an afternoon.

To be honest it worked really well. Side swiping news articles and other such stuff was a pleasant experience and switch back and forth between worlds was pretty slick. With an open mind it did work, possibly more as a domestic interface rather than a hardcore user interface.

I also must admit the screen didnt suffer too badly from smears and fingerprints either. Light swipes and prods were all that was needed.

Back to sitting at my Win7 Pro workstation thinking Windows 10 might be nice for a change. I've got 10 on it as a VM by the way.

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