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* Posts by FIA

103 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T

FIA

Got that? When you select AT&T for your cellular data account, AT&T disables the Apple SIM's carrier-switching feature and grabs your iPad for good, and you'll need to pay Apple money to wriggle out of its clutches.

From the linked Ars article:

"An Apple customer service representative told Ars that Apple SIMs are available for free at Apple retail stores."

Or you could just use the free SIM from your new provider.

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iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012

FIA

Handbags and gladrags

and the days of Apple releasing industry-leading tech are well and truly over.

Were they ever here?* Okay, they were the first phone manufacturer to do the high DPI screen thing, but IIRC the original iPhone had many things that were well behind the competition upon release. (No MMS, crap camera, no 3G).

Apple's strength have always been in design (industrial and UI). All that's happened is the pundits have gotten bored and stopped over hyping the shiny shiny.

(* although to be fair a second generation in house custom designed 64bit ARM CPU may possibly come close. ;) )

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

FIA

Warmed over apple pie

It isn't just Apple that looks a little less miraculous today – the entire consumer electronics industry looks a bit tragic and battered

Isn't it more an issue of tech journalism, or at least the expectations of tech enthusiasts? We've been involved in an industry that has traditionally seen a frenetic pace of development. (especially if you're old enough to remember the early days of computing). And the fact is that this simply isn't the case any more, the tech industry is for the most part mature. I watched the iPhone presentation and was generally happy, but then again I expected incremental improvements to what came before, and that's largely what I got. (Although I do think the UI for apple pay seems quite well thought out, will be interesting to see it in action, and I thought the watch UI again was fairly well considered, although I'm not that interested in this segment, so can't really compare it to the competition with any authority).

The fact is desktop and laptop computers have been pretty much stagnant for about 10 years now feature wise (sure they're a bit faster and a bit thinner, but nothing really amazing), however this has been somewhat masked by the rise of the mobile platforms, but that too has now reached a point where improvements are incremental rather than revolutionary. This isn't anything to worry about, it's just a side effect of the transition from a developing industry to a largely developed one. (You don't see the motoring industry disappointed that each new car comes with the same old steering wheel and pedal arrangement for example).

Maybe as geeks we've been spoilt for too long, and just have to accept that the era of startling new tech innovation is largely over?

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Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

FIA

How would you do it?

Not like that.

But how would you do it? The donations model has proved time and again to be insufficient for funding large scale projects such as this. Also, Opera's move from their own renderer to a fork of another open source backend would suggest the pay model isn't really sustainable either.

Firefox is Free Software. It can be forked.

But any fork would still have to tackle the ongoing development of an up to date web browser, which is probably not feasible on a purely voluntary spare time basis, so would still require some kind of funding for the developer time?

This Sponsored Tiles idea is *so* bad that we will see large-scale adoption of IceWeasel. And then Mozilla will get *nothing*.

But then IceWeasel would have to change from being a modification of an existing codebase to a full on continuation of it.

Also, what is so bad about it? They're not forcing adverts down your throat, it's a tile on a rarely seen page? I've personally been using FF since the 0.6 days, and have never paid them a penny. If the continual development of a browser is conditional on me seeing a link for youtube in a page I barely ever look at then that's a price I'm happy to pay. Is it just some idealisitc objection that I genuinely don't understand? (While I accept I'm technically 'freeloading' I suspect my funding approach mirrors a large amount of FF users).

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

FIA

From the specs? It's just PC hardware, and a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 is a 1.4GHz dual core Intel Core i5 whether it comes in a box with a fruit themed sticker on, or not.

It's a laptop part in a desktop chassis though, so unlikely to be thermally constrained that much, and will probably spend a good portion of it's time at the 2.7GHz turbo frequency.

Plus 8gig is more than enough for the casual browsing and occasional light photo editing these things will mostly be bought for. I suspect they'll sell quite well.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

FIA

Restraining order maybe?

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

FIA

Re: Backwards

…unfortunately it's spell checker sucks.

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Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

FIA

Re: Good luck

Win XP/7/8 are the same thing with only the GUI changing,

Other than support for newer hardware interfaces, what else is there really to add? OSs have been pretty mature for a good while now.

PC laptops and desktops are soon to be history.

That's very doubtful. They're not growing at the rate they were in the late 90s early 2000s, and there'll be a certain amount of displacement in the (primarily consumption based) consumer area, but other than that they'll still be around, also most of these devices will continue to run Windows. (Inertia is a bitch).

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Toshiba pushes out 5TB spinner for cloudy types

FIA

Aren't the 3.5" HGST drives Toshiba these days?

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Inventors: Feast your eyes on fuel cell tech that'll power up Internet of Thingies

FIA
Mushroom

Re: Renewable?

Care to point at anything that says a hydrogen economy will be much much worse than an oil based one?

See icon.

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Nvidia CEO: Android 'the most disruptive operating system in decades'

FIA

Re: Disruptive is a fair description

In what way ? The kernel mods have been submitted to the mainline kernel.

The kernel is Linux, which being GPL means the mods to that will always be available. However much of the higher level functions are being moved to the google play services. Which are closed source, leaving the existing open source components to stagnate. For example the launcher and SMS functionality in kitkat.

What are you saying ? That CyanogenMod can't run Android apps ?

No, not at all, however as more and more functionality is moved into closed source APIs that can't (legally) be used on non google approved devices the breadth of apps that run on those devices will decrease. For example Apis using mapping or locational functionality may find it harder to support non google approved forks. (Think mor Amazon and possibly in the future samsung).

Ars has a pretty good take on the issue here: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/

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FIA

Re: Disruptive is a fair description

[...]

Android: Anyone can port it to any CPU architecture that will support Linux. Heck, it even runs on Xilinx MicroBlaze.

That has completely shifted the powerbase of who gets to make decisions and who gets to play the game. That is surely the definition of "disruptive".

It's only really shifted the decision making to Google though. ;) An increasingly large portion of the core is being moved to a closed source code base, entirely under Google's control. Plus if you want to use android on a commercial scale you pretty much have to play by Google's rules. (Good luck getting hardware made for your Google free android fork.)

True there's notionally a completely open version available, however as more and more APIs become part of the closed source Google play code base good luck finding apps that'll run on it.

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Apple: Now that you've updated to iOS 7... YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

FIA

Re: FFS

"Serves them f'ing right for choosing to use Apple or MS rather than a freedomware option where they can play to their hearts' content."

I don't think freedom and choice mean quite what you think they mean.

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

FIA

Re: Why Not.

"I however love chocolate and I love android products"

But which one's better?? There's only one way to find out...

FIGHT!!!!

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Config management: Enemy of agile approach or the reason it WORKS?

FIA

isn't it 'turn and face the strange'?

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British boffin muzzled after cracking car codes

FIA

Re: News?

"So you can have your car driven by the wisdom of crowds?"

Where do you want to go today?

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Laser-wielding boffins develop ETERNAL MEMORY from quartz

FIA

Re: Storage Crystals

"It's a FAAAKKKEEEE!"

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Galaxy S4 phondleslab selling like lukewarm cakes, analysts reckon

FIA

Are Apple fans really that much different? I've always assumed that Apple's practice of releasing a new phone then an 'upgrade' the following year was mainly due to most people being on a 24 month contract; people either get the base model or the 'S' variant, then move up after 2 years.

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Lightspeed variable say intellectuels français

FIA

...which might be testable with the help of new ultra-fast lasers.

They've finally worked out how to apply the grease to the light then?

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Torvalds asks 'Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?'

FIA

Re: Chromebook is doing what Surface was supposed to do...

Google releases Chromebook Pixel with much less fanfare. And wham, the greatest active operating system guru endorses it.

Andy Tanenbaum uses a Chrombook?? Wow. Must've missed that one,

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Introducing the Open Source Rookie of the Year... Whoa, it's Microsoft

FIA

Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

"Apple is a big-time [abuser] of open source"

Fixed that for you.

Just ask BSD.

How is it abuse? They're doing exactly what the licence says they can? Not all open source follows the GPL ethos.

"The Berkeley license is a rather liberal license. All it requires is that the author of the work be given due credit for their creation, and that their name not be used to promote products based on their work. It allows free distribution, as long as the terms are followed, and also allows people to modify the work and not distribute it, if they so choose.[…]"[1]

[1] http://www.netbsd.org/about/redistribution.html

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FIA

Re: Link your code with some GPL code?

Actually, the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) was specifically designed to allow linking your code to GPL code without having to release your own code ...

<pedant>

The LGPL was designed to allow people to write code that could be linked to non GPL code whilst maintaining the 'change the code; release your changes' ethos of the GPL, but the code still has to be licenced under the LGPL, you can't just take a GPL licenced bit of code and link against it without your code becoming GPL too. For example the Qt framework is licenced as either LGPL or GPL3 allowing you to pick the most apropriate.

</pedant>

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'Silent but deadly' Java security update breaks legacy apps - dev

FIA

Couldn't they just distribute the JVM DLL with their app, providing the option for customers to use the system wide installed one if required?

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This week's BBC MELTDOWN: Savile puppet haunts kids' TV

FIA

Re: BBC lefites

Privatise the BBC - it's just a Labour party propaganda machine, so clueless that it makes a puppet of this tw*t on a kids tv show.

They used a puppet resembling a well respected entertainer with a strong track record for charitable works, the programme was made ten years ago.

Have you ever heard them say anything bad about the EU? Or anything bad about Labour and the Unions for that matter?

Yes; many times.

...I've not watched TV for ten years but I read the media so have a fairly good impression of their bias from reliable sources,...

So unlike most people you don't tend to favour media that tends towards your own political leanings?

If you've not watched it for ten years why get so upset about it? I hope you don't listen to any if their radio output too. (I'm assuming you don't pay the licence fee after all).

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Ten affordable mid-sized Full HD monitors

FIA

Re: Price check, aisle 5

Really? Comes up as £147.72 for me.

The £118 one is a different model. Doesn't look to be IPS, although looks fairly similar otherwise. (Slightly different connectivity though).

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Review: Kingston Hyper-X 3K 240GB SSD

FIA

Re: $159 !

That was an offer price though, the $199 regular price works out at £123, which with VAT is about £150.

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Happy birthday, Compact Disc

FIA

Most of the Sony devices which could record a digital input wouldn't then allow you to make a digital copy of the copy. This was certainly true of MiniDisc Recorders, I'm not sure about DATs (but only Japanese kids had those).

Oh, DAT drives had DRM too, it's not a new phenomenon, and back then it was just as irritating and restrictive by the sounds of it.[1]

Ironically, whilst MiniDisc prevented generational digital copying the format was actually lossy, so subsequent copies would never be as good regardless. (the SPDIF signal being the reconstructed audio, not the actual stored data).

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/24/digital_audio_history_part_one/ - Page 2

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Vandals break into congressman's office, install Linux on PCs

FIA

Re: Overwriting with zero's is, well, overwriting.

I'm sure I've read before that under laboratory conditions, it is sometimes possible to retrieve information from a hard disc even if it has been later overwritten with zeroes, or even random bytes.

That used to be true with old HDs, but not for anything built in the last 15 years or so.

More <a href="http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html#Epilogue">here.</a>

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Microsoft: It's not Metro, it's Windows 8

FIA

Re: WinZip?

Dude, you need to stop living in the 90s.

Ah yes, the 90s, when naive software developers still thought they had a right to be paid for the fruits of their labour.

For those who do not recall, WinZip were a troll company who stuck a crappy GUI on top of PKWare's free tools and expected people to pay for it.

PKZip was shareware; you were expected to pay for it.

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Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

FIA

And of course, old-time Linux veterans might welcome a dose of nostalgia and the chance to make Linux look just like Proper UNIX™.

Eh? This looks nothing like OSX??

<ducks>

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Microsoft unveils fondle-ready keyboards, mice

FIA

Re: Looks like a nice enough keyboard

I do, however, use the term "tabby" quite often, but in my defense, I am a cat person.

I knew it was only time before they developed opposable thumbs.

We're doomed!

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Three touts 'unlimited' Euro data roaming for a fiver a day

FIA

Re: Interesting

I'm on a 15 quid a month SIM only iPhone contract with O2, the text I received the other day said:

O2: From July, we're changing the way you use your mobile in Europe. You'll pay 50p connection charge to make or receive a call, then use your UK call allowance. And no more than £1.99 for a day of data. For more info, visit http://go.o2.co.uk/o2trpm

Looking at the terms it's limited to 25MB a day though. Still outrageous, but not the daylight robbery it once was.

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Apple introduces 'next generation' MacBook Pro with retina display

FIA

Fun point to ponder: what will that display do to 1080-line video? It'll have to scale by 166%

Surely as most 1080p video is 16:9 and this is a 16:10 display it has to scale by 150% and add black bars top and bottom?

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Insider cuts into Apple, peels off Intel Mac OS X port secrets

FIA

There's a bit of a history of this kind of thing at Apple....

http://www.pacifict.com/Story/

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Windows 8 Release Preview open for download

FIA

Re: Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

Nothing like a thorough, considered, evaluation.

Sometimes though you don't need a thorough evaluation.

When running windows desktop apps, it's quite likely win8 will end up pretty similar to win7 in use, however there's a rather obvious and jarring paradigm shift in the interaction with the computer as a whole that's immediately obvious.

For some people, this is probably enough to move them away from windows, simply because if you're going to adapt to a new paradigm you might as well take the time to adapt to a different OS instead.

Personally I've stuck with windows because it has become 'good enough', windows 7 is a nice little OS that makes an okay job of years of bloat and UI cruft; windows 8 is different enough that I'll consider giving Gnome 3 a try.

In contract, I installed the win 7 CP in a VM and had a quick play, liked it enough to install it on my desktop, and am still using that same install several years later (upgraded to the release version of course.)

Unless Windows 9 is a serious refocus on the desktop I can see more people making the switch once 7 gets long in the tooth.

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Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

FIA

clipX

One more for the list....

ClipX is a nice small clipboard history utility I find it increasingly hard to live without. Useful when coding, and the keyboard short cuts to google or browse to the contents of the clipboard.

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Syrian secret police endorse male hair remover

FIA

My favourite tech book comment is still:

http://www.amazon.com/Story-about-Reading-Railroad-Books/dp/0448421658/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336146453&sr=1-1

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Dad sues Apple for pushing cash-draining 'free' games at kids

FIA

Re: >Do you have children?

She was really pissed off by Apple, not allowing to give her a way

to let her children download free apps without risking her money.

Give the child their own iTunes account and don't assign a credit card to it.

Or don't assign a credit card to your iTunes account, just add it when you make a purchase and remove it afterwards.

Granted there should be a way of specifying a card isn't to be stored and used for a single transaction only; however it is possible to remove it afterwards.

another alternative would be to give the child an iTunes gift card, say once a month with their pocket money on it. They can spend it on what they choose until it runs out.

Or a prepaid debit card such as this:

http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/prepaid-card-faq.html

http://www.mastercard.co.uk/prepaid-card.html

(Don't have kids, but don't have a credit card assigned to my iTunes account either. Yes it's a faf, yes it's inconvenient, but it's not impossible.)

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Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

FIA

Re: Easy...

>Pr0n creates TERRORPEADOS!!!

If that doesn't end up as a Gery Anderson series then the world's just not fair.

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iPhone fanbois enraged by Instagram's Android triumph

FIA

So let me see if I get this?

A service slows down due to increased usage.

Some people on the internet are less than eloquent.

Reg writes article with 'Apple' in the title to increase advertising revenue?

Maybe we should have a 'news' section on the reg so we can filter out the idiot baiting.

(Yes, I know, I'm one too, doesn't make it taste nice though.)

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iPad queue hog doesn’t want it, won’t be first

FIA

Re: Such a shame...

Vasectomy? Is that like an ironyectomy but not as funny?

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Java won't curl up and die like Cobol, insists Oracle

FIA

Re: Confused

"Nope.

int x = 12; x.toString()

Ouch time if you are not writing this in Groovy."

That's just removing primitives though. It doesn't make the language more or less OO, it just makes it easier for people who don't understand the distinction between primitives and objects (and possibly some of the confusion around the auto boxing introduced in 6.)

Re Smalltalk: I wonder if they're going to change it to message passing like objective C too?? ;)

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FIA

Confused

"For the Java Development Kit (JDK) 10 or after, a fundamental change is being discussed: making the Java language Object Oriented. "

Erm, how is Java not currently OO?

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New forum Wishlist

FIA

Aren't we always in a transitional phase though? It just takes a generation or so to really see it.

Perhaps the (relatively recent) proliferation of mass media will make this more obvious as time goes on, but it's probably just a lens on an effect that has always been; just a consequence of the wider berth of human experience modern communications offer us.

@Trevor_Pott

I really want to visit Alberta now. Sounds an interesting place. (I'm British; but from a part of the country that also likes to call a spade a spade).

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Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

FIA

Re: A bold leap?

"The form factor of the day is currently the tablet, whether it will take over from the desktop/laptop is uncertain."

It won't.

It'll augment it, and in some areas supplant it, but for the kind of general purpose computing most people use desktops for there's not really a viable replacement.

And nor should there be. Desktop computers have their place, just because technology has allowed the same power and flexibility in smaller form factor devices doesn't negate that.

It does amaze me that MS seem obsessed with creating a (apparently quite nice) tablet OS at the expense of the market they currently dominate.

I mean desktop as an app?? It's a paradigm ffs, a paradigm onto which your applications should be laid.

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FIA

Re: Everyother one

"I think 7 is probably the only Windows version i have used that has come out more or less perfect out of the box"

Windows 2000.

it's pretty much downhill from there until 7 appeared.

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Handbags at dawn: Hermes loses Chinese trademark battle

FIA

Re: Time for the Western World to wake up, stop doing business with China!!!!!

So you're annoyed that China seems quite good at capitalism?

"..but now the Chinese cannot understand what a legally binding contract means...."

Xenophobic racial overtones aside, isn't the point of the story that they can?

French company didn't bother to register it's name in Chinese, when registering in China. (I mean why would you register your trademark in the local language??) French company isn't a large and significant make in China (which just happens to be an emerging potential lucrative market with rapid increase in social standards of the emerging wealthy) and expects to be given special treatment because it would like to be?

Doesn't work like that.

"We need to pull every possible manufacturing contract with China and move it back to Western Countries"

If we did this we would be in serious financial trouble. (Mind you, if China politely asks for that money we owe we could be too.)

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Bogus Pokemon evolves into iTunes smash hit

FIA

Re: @FIA

"I don't think it's foolish to trust a huge IT company to do what you are paying it for."

Trust is fine. Blind trust is foolish.

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FIA

Re: @FIA

"The number of stars is irrelevant to this.[...]"

There has to be a certain amount of self responsibility though, surely? Just because it's on the internet it doesn't absolve basic common sense.

"This is not about how good a game is it is about people trusting Apple to do what they paid Apple to do and vet the apps.[...]"

But they only paid Apple by /buying the app/. Apple put a peer review system in place precisely so you can make the purchasing decision before parting with your cash, which seems to have accurately reflected the lack of quality in this case, and was routinely ignored. (by a lot of people who seemed only too happy to then go and submit a rating presumably ignoring the irony in the process..)

Do you actually go into a shop and not examine your purchases? The app had 1 star and lots of reviews pointing out the fact it doesn't work, if you bought it without even bothering to read it then sure, you're entitled to a refund (it doesn't work) you can even complain, but it does just come across a little petulant.

Out of interest, what is your actual point? The app store is a market with millions of apps, is it really that inconceivable that they may occasionally make mistakes? Would you expect, nay demand, every product in a large several square mile retail outlet to be perfectly labelled, displayed and priced correctly 100% of the time? Even if you did, would you do it with such self righteous indignation?

Or maybe someone just made a mistake? The problem was rectified by the sounds of the article, it's infrequent enough to make it newsworthy so it's hardly an endemic failure of the stores review process.

Personally, I'd be unhappy to pay to have every app reviewed completely, as each app would end up costing several thousand pounds. In fact each app would probably end up costing more than it's development costs. you can only ever hope to achieve a reasonable balance. Apples continued success would seem to suggest that they have this about right.

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FIA

Re: Re: Re: Re: A fool an their money

"If users are expected to research whether an application is many good or, indeed, whether it's malicious or (as in this case) of dubious legality even if it does work then what the hell is the point of the vetting process and the fact you are forced to get applications from Apple only?"

I have some magic beans for sale that you might be interested in, I can assure you they are entirely legit.... the single star? oh... /that's/ the star of quality.... yes... yes they do don't they... no... /fewer/ stars is better... yes...did you? well it /is/ a common misconception... now... about these beans?

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