* Posts by ThomH

2108 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

ThomH
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Re: Just goes to show....

There shouldn't be any shame in responding to how consumers receive a competitor's product.

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Re: I don't really like Apple/iOs

On malware/viruses: I don't believe Android has a significant security problem, it just doesn't have a gatekeeper. The benefit is your freedom to download a greater diversity of apps, the detriment is that you have to look out for yourself. Nowhere near every app with a problem has been some dodgy hack from a Russian warez site but you can be confident that Dropbox, Facebook, Desert Golfing, etc, when downloaded from Google or Amazon or equivalent, are safe.

On disk encryption: if all we're arguing about is on-by-default then if it's something you care about just for you it's no big deal.

So I think that just leaves those who think non-technical people should be able to assume protection. I think they should. But is that Google's responsibility to police or should it be left to the market to decide?

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NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

ThomH
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Re: The adverts are getting more intrusive @AC

It looks like they're user targeted; transporting an example from one browser to another resulted in different advertisements. They're also likely campaign dependent.

Right now if you happen to match the same criteria as I do then look for: at the start of the video, a woman complaining about TSA and other security aparatus or a man whose video starts in a garage with some car or other and with his promise that he's about to let me in on the secret of how he made his wealth; most persistent mid-video interruptions lately have been on behalf of Wayfair, which is a US online furniture retailer that I have recently used so there's likely some DoubleClick-or-whatever cookie involvement in advert selection.

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The adverts are getting more intrusive

For sufficiently popular videos we now seem to be at unskippable multi-minute adverts as a preroll plus interruptions every seven minutes or so with a ten- or twenty-second insert. That makes a lot more sense as a roll of the dice: if they don't make the site profitable then killing it off is no bad thing.

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Yeah, I absolutely hate abstract bodies of people that learn from their mistakes. People with humility and the ability for self reflection should be run out of town!

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STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

ThomH
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Re: "back-lit color e-paper"?

Yes, like I said, Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper contrasts it with back-lit displays. Normal terminology considers any sort of LCD to be an entirely different thing from electronic paper. A functional difference being that electronic paper benefits from increased external light, back-lit LCDs suffer from it, outdoors daylight usually subtracting significantly from the perceived contrast and gamut of the latter.

So I guess they're just playing fast and loose with the terminology.

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ThomH
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"back-lit color e-paper"?

Eink itself, the trademarked thing from the specific company, is explicitly opaque and reflective. A back light wouldn't be visible because the screen is in the way, like putting a back light behind a piece of cardboard. Readers like the Kindle Paperwhite are front-lit. Wikipedia's entry on electronic paper (yes, yes, I know) explicitly contrasts it with back-lit displays.

So does anybody have an educated guess as to what sort of display we're talking about here?

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Apple: 100,000 lucky people can test our flaky iOS 8.3 code – report

ThomH
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I don't see what Microsoft has to do with it: to my mind it's more "a shock falling-in-line-with-industry-practice move". But I'm very impressionable.

If you asked me to give the name of the company I most immediately associate with public betas, it'd be Google. But Google products can famously remain in beta for years after becoming freely accessible, production services.

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This one weird script continually crashes Android email

ThomH
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Re: Fragmentation

I think Apple goes the wrong way on this too often: by preventing downgrades and trying to back port too much it often leaves older devices with a poor overall user experience.

I type this on an iPad 1 running iOS 5; I type this from experience.

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ThomH
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Doing well is a statistical thing. One counter-example is insufficient.

Google generally writes excellent software and Android is a first-rate piece of engineering. But... "recent phone, all available updates installed and a maliciously crafted email can still crash the client repeatedly without even being opened. So please don't tell me they do well." — see how silly that sounds?

Apple does a million things very poorly. I just don't think yours is a good example of one of them because you've ignored the age of the machine in question.

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Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'

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Re: People will still buy them

My understanding is that the watch is barely more than a thin client for the phone. So the proprietary functionality part is more severe here than usual.

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ThomH
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Re: "failed to meet standards ... arising from hairy arms or dry skin"

They were wearing it fine; they were oxidating their blood wrongly.

Cheap shots having been taken, if the story is accurate — developed feature pulled late in the cycle for not working — then it's neither reprehensible nor particularly uncommon.

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Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

ThomH
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Tempest with beer

Who could resist?

It's in the Midway Arcade collection and iCade compatible so I most recently played it probably a week or two ago. I doubt I'll ever get to the third bar, let lone the fourth.

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Now Samsung's spying smart TVs insert ADS in YOUR OWN movies

ThomH
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Re: WTF!

The only meaningful solution seems to be to buy an HDMI dongle — Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, whatever. But that's based on the premise that surely Samsung wouldn't interrupt content without knowing what it is? Surely?

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

ThomH
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Re: Ubuntu is using flash sales, announced via Twitter, as a marketing tool to create buzz

If Apple is artificially stifling supply then the latest model's first quarter is even more impressive.

Apple's PR trick is burying its failures so well that it looks invincible and declining to discuss what it plans to attack next. It's a very different approach from Canonical's over this, the next step in a long-public plan.

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'Ruskie' malware pwns iOS 7

ThomH
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It's an enterprise-signed application, per Ars Technica

If so then distribution can be halted just by Apple revoking the certificate. Ars also believes that the malware is explicitly tap-to-install (with the usual UAC-style "do you trust corporation X?" prompts), with no sort of drive-by installation or remote injection. So it's a trojan.

The security flaws are whatever under iOS 7 allows this application to hide and to block its own deletion. It doesn't manage those things under iOS 8 but it's not necessarily that security is better, it could just be that the similarly insecure components have shuffled around a bit and the detected version of the malware is out of date.

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

ThomH
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I'm a little more optimistic than I've historically been — I wouldn't have believed in 2005 that 2010 would produce a coalition, and I wouldn't have believed in 2010 that in 2015 we'd be talking about four unambiguously major parties and five-party television debates. It's the sort of changing environment that could lead to a more diverse range of political voices. But we'll see.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

ThomH
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Re: (2); Jobs' letter came two months before Adobe finally managed to launch a preview version of Flash for Android — three years of bickering, when doing so would have been a major PR coup, and Adobe still hadn't managed to produce anything. That says as much about the death of Flash as anything. It clearly wasn't ready when mobile devices came of age. Jobs couldn't have had it if he'd wanted it.

The letter was score settling for the atrocious Mac implementation though, I'm sure.

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Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

ThomH
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Re: It's true @Preston Munchensonton

I think the poster is more referring to stuff like being able to take an ordinary mobile phone call and answer regular, non-proprietary texts via your Mac if it and an iPhone are on the same wifi network.

Photos, contacts, etc automatically sync between your phone and iPhoto if you want (via Apple's servers), and Apple will sell you a music locker, but I think that sort of stuff is fairly normal now across all the handsets?

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

ThomH
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Re: ...the only fix being a reboot.

The browser choice is already ended. It wasn't a requirement for selling an OS, it was a time-limited attempt to redress Microsoft's specific errant behaviour. IE no longer having hegemony for a variety of reasons, I doubt anybody discussed extending it let alone figured out whether legally they could.

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What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad @Kristian Walsh

That works perfectly, thanks! I have been completely lost because a long press on an image in both Messaging and Internet Explorer brings up an appropriate context menu: 'share picture' in IE, 'forward' in Messaging (which is just for texting onward, but that hasn't proven to be an issue for my use cases and the list of issues was explicitly personal). A long press in any of my inboxes reveals only 'save'. It's very inconsistent.

Factor in that I am possibly an idiot. It took about a week to realise that the icon of a building with a door at the bottom is meant to be a floppy disk because, ummm, that means 'save'. I'm old enough to be very familiar with floppy disks, it's just that in the ten-or-fifteen years since I last saw one the mind has dulled.

Having posted my negative comments about Windows Phone, intended to query its maturity, I'll balance with the positive: at the budget end of the market its a better choice than Android for many ordinary consumers because Microsoft doesn't allow the addition of uninstallable network or vendor additions. El Reg types might like that they generally still come with SD card slots. But I guess it depends on how app-obsessed you are. Now that DropBox is here I've no problems; prior to that using it as a handy video camera was almost unbearable. After doing some sterling work pushing over all my music when I first got the device, the Windows Phone desktop client simply no longer works and the phone's otherwise intelligent policy of shrinking video down to 6mb for email attachment isn't always all that helpful.

In an ideal world, Google and Apple would heavily lift Battery Saver (starts aggressively killing background processes and throttles or disables timed things like email pulls automatically when the battery dips below 20% charged) and Data Sense (when supplied with your contract date and data limit, blocks background fetches and uses a web proxy to download lower quality images if you approach your data limit). Apple could do with broken-out email accounts right in the launcher.

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ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad @AC

If it's an Android device then it has a very unusual skin.

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ThomH
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Re: It's not so bad

I have the Lumia 635 and impressions include: it's seemingly impossible to forward an image from email by text or any other medium; while listening to voicemail the phone frequently gets into a state whereby any tap to the screen acts the same as the sleep button, so I can never stop whichever message I'm listening to; if you hit the 'take photo' button really quickly when trying to add one to a text, the camera will crash, will then remain unusable across all applications and upon a reboot will appear to work but ignore any photos taken for a couple of minutes; an update released shortly after I got the phone broke my music library and left it entirely inaccessible for several months, a subsequent update has restored it but everything in my recent listens list is connected to the wrong music underneath so I'll tap one thing, hear another; standard instinctual practice when an app shows the 'resuming' animation is to switch back to the launcher and try again as whatever Windows Phone does to resume applications that have presumably been turfed from memory appears rarely to work.

Also sometimes the OS just crashes of its own volition while doing nothing. I've had the phone for about five months now and that's happened only twice though. So I don't think it's common.

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Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

ThomH
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Re: Queue this side @boltar

I feel like I also see Android zealots, Linux zealots, Liberal Democrat zealots, anti-US zealots, Doctor Who zealots, GoPro zealots, north-of-the-river zealots, Sunderland FC zealots, vinyl record zealots, and a million other kinds, all the time. I guess what we observe is not nature herself, etc, etc, etc.

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Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now

ThomH
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Is this incompetence or vigilance?

Like most people my instinctive feeling about anything from Adobe is that it's probably a kludge of twenty-year old source code and some flimsy hacked-together OS abstraction layer that is guaranteed to be at least ten times slower than the native alternatives. But is that just prejudice?

Not that it matters. Now that Netflix streams without plugins to both IE and Safari I'm sans-Flash. That was the last thing.

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FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

ThomH
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I think this is the wrong sort of burden

The suggested neutrality rules for carriers prohibit what they can do. Packets are inherently have equal priority; the primary offense is taking action to perform market-restricting traffic shaping.

Chen wants not to prohibit something but to force it; he wants to put a positive burden on Apple, Netflix, etc to develop software they weren't otherwise planning to.

I don't foresee that leap being widely supported.

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

ThomH
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Re: Why should Apple be worried?

I don't think Apple should be worried: the difference in Samsung's release schedule and Apple's routinely means that one manages to launch a newer/faster/shinier flagship than the other. It's business as usual. It's expected.

It's now been, what, four years since Android became number one? And eight years since the original iPhone came out? Apple is doing fine and Samsung is still doing spectacularly by any fixed measure, even if less spectacularly than for the last few years. But that's Android diversification and ever-ongoing phone commoditisation for you.

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Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

ThomH
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Re: Not too sure

At my most recent publishing role, now five years ago but out in the real world and completely unconnected to anything in tech, every desk was kitted out with a thin terminal that presented a Windows desktop from a server upstairs. It was running Server 2008, I think; for me to know that it was likely in the 'winver' box so I'm not clear whether it was virtualisation or just headless multi-user on a single OS instance — nothing ever happened that would make it clear. Not that it matters so much when it's all in-house anyway.

Being run on a sufficiently fast internal network, the only thing that felt odd was that everything was rendered at 8bpp, but this was the sort of publisher where we spent our days just poring over text so it was no real impediment.

The terminals were very cheap (but not in the shoddy sense); certainly a lot dumber than a Chromebook.

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'Yeah, I'm like, SO backing Microsoft over Google, YAH'

ThomH
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Re: #JeSuisLeRameau @theodore

There's a difference because there are a huge number of people that find the depiction of Mohammed offensive but there's no significant group that considers the depiction of Jesus offensive. So if you make any evaluation of potential offence then the outcome will differ.

Thought of a really funny joke but are sensitive to people's feelings? The joke will probably have to be funnier if it's about Mohammed to make the one consideration outweigh the other.

Just aiming to offend? Then don't bother with Jesus.

Would prefer above all else not to offend? Then stick with Jesus.

However there's absolutely no difference in my mind as to the protection that each cartoon should be given. Both should be equally protected in a secular state.

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Re: #JeSuisLeRameau

My only problem with Charlie Hebdo is that I don't seem to get the joke. But there are lots of riotously popular comedies that leave me cold so that doesn't necessarily mean anything. If freedom of speech is used as a cover just to offend minorities then that's worthy of reproach but the principle of the freedom itself is still worth defending and, again, possibly I just don't get it.

A sad part of the whole thing is the huge number of people that have seized the opportunity for reductive us versus them rhetoric; I think possibly you originally came across as one of those.

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Grand Theft Auto 1997: 'Sick, deluded and beneath contempt'

ThomH
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Re: GTA Prequel - Before They Went Bad

If we're covering precursors then let this be the obligatory reference to Turbo Esprit, Durell's 3d free-roaming city driving game for the usual three 8-bit suspects.

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

ThomH
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Re: So are we saying... @Afernie

Which is fine, but a bank, a commercial concern that is in business to make a profit should be paying for that oversight itself, just like they pay accountants to conduct audits on their financial operations. Why should we pay for government to carry out a security audit on banks to allow twats like David Cameron to be seen to be 'doing something?'

The counterargument is that should these institutions fail then the cost for you and I would be huge, just as it was in the 2007–2008 financial crisis. So we're paying for preventative care in order to reduce total expected lifetime costs.

I guess the fact that we keep paying at all comes down to a resigned acceptance that the industry is a net benefit rather than a net cost in a country with limited natural resources and no significant manufacturing base. Not the healthiest position to be in but there it is.

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This $10 phone charger will wirelessly keylog your boss

ThomH
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... so that's a Caesar cipher? I guess it'd do for any completely indiscriminate group attack.

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Google crashes supposedly secure Aviator browser

ThomH
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Re: "Users concerned enough with privacy would probably be..."

I heard that it did that once but the government covered it up.

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ThomH
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Re: All are a 'real estate grab' minefield

Apple's service provides things like direct Wikipedia suggestions, links to film trailers, etc. It's for Safari's "smart" autocompleting address bar. These things are on by default even if you select DuckDuckGo. The direct UI allows them to be switched off but it's hardly straightforward in explaining itself. Which doesn't appear to be all that accidental.

So there's clearly a vested interest on Apple's side in serving those autocompletes. I'll bet they're monetising them in exactly the same way Google monetises its entire search engine. But they are, technically, optional.

(source)

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Android users are massive wan … er … smut consumers

ThomH
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Re: but are they really?

You'd want to weight against browser stats for other sites, surely, not sales statistics?

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Anonymous vows to avenge Charlie Hebdo massacre by blitzing jihadist sites

ThomH
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Re: Whose freedom?

While I agree that freedom with limits is in practice greater freedom than freedom without limits — e.g. it's fine that I'm not allowed to steal because the principle in general frees me from a lot of burden by facilitating shops — I'm not I want Anonymous policing anything for me. Accountability is important too.

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... and there are no skyscrapers in Africa?

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French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

ThomH
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Re: Let's have some Charlie spam

Just because three pathetic little European criminals claim to be doing something for a particular region of the world, doesn't mean we should target that region of the world.

I vote for a Google Doodle, including the full range of Charlie's targets.

(per released details, at the time of writing, all three were raised and educated in France. The birth country has been released for only one: it was also France)

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20 years on: The satirist's satirist Peter Cook remembered

ThomH
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Re: "greatest British comedian of all time "

What a blessed generation the baby boomers must be, to have had both candidates for greatest British comedian of all time amongst their ranks.

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FBI boss: Sony hack was DEFINITELY North Korea, haters gonna hate

ThomH
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@Roger Kynaston

Evidence is a verb according to the OED and according to Merriam Webster, and has been since at least 1610. Even Wiktionary knows it.

The Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage entry on evidence (noted as a transitive verb) is available via Google Books.

I agree: Lynn Truss would probably be sad if she read this thread.

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... and apparently the FBI doesn't have the same idea of the burden of proof as I do

If the party that makes an accusation cannot or will not evidence it, I don't believe the accusation.

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Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

ThomH
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Re: Untouchable

You're inventing false claims from thin air.

In the US courts Apple has: been found guilty under antitrust law of ebook price fixing; lost the attempt to establish that Amazon can't call its an 'App Store'; lost an attempt to compel various rumours sites to reveal their sources; been successfully forced by Creative Labs to pay royalties for use of hierarchical menus in iPods; failed to win a patent case againt HTC; failed to win a patent case against Kodak; failed to win a patent case against Motorola.

Apple has ended up settling rather than going to court in the US: with resellers who argued that Apple were illegally driving them out of business; an antitrust case about cold calling employees of competing companies; a class action over the reliability of early MagSafe power adaptors; a class action about price switching, where gift cards couldn't buy the number of songs indicated due to a price change; the trademark case with Cisco about use of the iPhone mark; a class action over iPod battery life.

So Apple has been successfully prosecuted by the US government. It has lost cases started against it by other companies. It has lost cases it started against other companies, it has had to pay out for cases started against it by groups of consumers.

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OnePlus vs Micromax: Dream of Google-less Android now further away

ThomH
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Re: Sounds like an opportunity for Linux for phones

The problem being that phones are very much about user interaction and Linux is just a kernel. So Linux solves the hardware interaction problem but that's all. It'd be more appropriate to say that FirefoxOS or Ubuntu Touch or Sailfish or something else is the smart choice and leave the Linux component implicit. But even then: where are the apps and where are the cosy carrier agreements you need to launch a mass-market phone?

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

ThomH
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Re: It's a mess

More likely someone doing the typical mediocre developer rubbish of deciding they're so clever that they can learn a framework not by reading the documentation but just by poking around, and then being surprised when all the things that they figured out empirically and all the code that seemed alright when they ran it a few times fails under a different version of the framework because they're relying on a whole bunch of things that were never API guarantees — many of which the documentation probably explicitly offers the correct approach for. But, you know, developers are too clever to need to read things, right?

If anybody here has never worked with such a person then you have my envy.

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Reg man confesses: I took my wife out to choose a laptop for Xmas. NOOOO

ThomH
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Re: @Tom 13

The original poster is referring to whatever drivers he had installed for an "old but functional graphics tablet" no longer working under the latest OS X. This is exactly a third-party hardware compatibility problem. Apple didn't make that hardware, somebody else did.

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ThomH
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@Pascal Monett

The author said, and I quote exactly: "I don't touch the damn thing unless I have to, it applied it's UI 'improvements' and rendered hardware obsolete on it's own."

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Fake Android The Interview app actually banking Trojan

ThomH
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Re: Installing an app from a random torrent is definitely smart

It's unclear to me from what I can find online how Android/Badaccents actually works but I think it's safe to assume that the payload is exploiting a security flaw elsewhere in Android or in the specific banking apps, rather than Google having thought it'd be smart to extend bank account details to any installed app that asks.

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Toffee, Apple? U.S. fanbois get their sticky fingers on Nork-teasing flick The Interview

ThomH
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... and who didn't already purchase it from Google or Microsoft. The macrumors.com gossip (i.e. not deliberately anti-Apple) was that after the cinemas pulled out, Sony wanted it to be an iTunes exclusive and went elsewhere only when Apple (initially) declined involvement.

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ThomH
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Only if making a loss was the objective. That all the major chains have declined to show it somewhat limits income — it had a budget of something like $44m and made only $1m in screenings during its opening weekend due to the limited release.

There's also the likely future employment prospects for Amy Pascal et al in the corner of not-such-a-great-set-of-circumstances.

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