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* Posts by Tom 38

2441 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Say goodbye to landfill Android: Top 10 cheap 'n' cheerful smartphones

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: 75 bucks? WTF?

Actually, the price of the phone is £75, but some retailers will accept 75 freshly shot adult male rabbits.

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Tom 38
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Once upon a time, Alcatel was known for making budget tat.

Hmmpf. Once upon a time, Alcatel was known for producing the highest quality fiber optic interconnects known to man.

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Tom 38
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Re: I like mass surveillance

Which group is the minority and which group is the majority depends on whether the audience is register readers or genpop.

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Tom 38
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Re: The UN is not *excatly* powerless but

The UN has power because it consists of powerful nations, but it has no power when it wishes to control the actions of the powerful nations that give it power.

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Tom 38
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Re: Mad

However much of an arse he is, his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state.

What a load of bollocks. You cannot ignore the law because of "fears". All that does is say that your personal inclination is more important than our laws.

<p>Sweden seems to have done nothing to allay those fears. They could interview him in London, or issue an assurance that he wouldn't be extradited after being interviewed in Sweden.</p>

He has been given those assurances, he "fears" that they are not being forthright and will extradite him anyway, despite it being against Swedish and EU law, so he is ignoring our laws.

And you're still apologizing and justifying his behaviour and actions..

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Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Tom 38
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On the spectrum, Gauntlet came on 2 tapes, once you finished tape 1 side a, tape 1 side b, tape 2 side a, tape 2 side b it would instruct you to insert tape 1 side a, and you start again from the beginning, but with a few more beasties!

Infinite play :)

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Tom 38
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Re: For me, the game changed when someone said ...

I've not seen such bravery?

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Tom 38
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No, their paper is not on execution speed of languages, it is on choosing the best language for a macro-economic model, and yet they chose to measure a metric that is irrelevant for choosing the best language for a model, and admit as much in their conclusion.

A "scientific" paper presumably has a hypothesis, an experiment that tests that hypothesis, and conclusions that can be derived from the empirical results of the test. To be valid science, the test must be valid in order to draw conclusions, and the purpose of being a scientist is to devise valid tests.

In order to determine if your test and conclusions are correct, you release the information to your peers, who examine your work to see if they can determine logical inconsistencies from your experiment method or your conclusions, which would invalidate your conclusions.

By critically examining their paper for these logical inconsistencies you can determine that their experiment did not produce valid test results, since they only measured execution time, which TFA explains is not worth measuring.

Science. It works bitches.

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Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: Hire Tim Almond

Are you hiring?

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Tom 38
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Re: Re Tom 38

The dichotomy is that you are trying to state what is required to produce a high quality product, but manufacturers mainly produce what most consumers want, which is cheap products.

In general as consumers, we are far happier to pay less for a lesser, buggier experience than we are to pay more for a premium, high quality experience.

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Tom 38
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Is that your understanding from a lifetime of dealing with software provided by hardware manufacturers, that they spend a lot of time and effort making it work efficiently?

Mine is that they get it right enough to put it in a shiny box and sell it. If it sells well and there are software bugs, they can fix them in rev 2, if they care enough.

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

Tom 38
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Re: Horror Stories with these machines!!

When I bought my house, I assembled my funds in an "Instant Access" savings account at HSBC. At some point, I needed to transfer £25k to my solicitor:

Log on online, go through security, add solicitor's client account as payee, but I can't pay them more than £500.

wtf

Website says to try phone banking.

Ring up phone banking, go through security twice (automated, and then in person), re-supply solicitors account details, finally "Steve" tells me I can't do it over the phone, I have to go in to branch.

wtf

Walk to nearest branch, queue up for counter.

Get to front of queue - "This is business customers. You want the counter around the corner that isn't signed at all"

wtf

Queue up again. Get to the front of the queue - "You can't do withdrawals here, you need to make an appointment to talk to an advisor"

wtf

Go to the front of bank, there is a man with a clipboard. He can give me an appointment in 1 hours time to do a withdrawal, it will cost me £40.

WTF

At this point I enter meltdown and had a fit of pique and threatened to close my "instant access" savings account on the spot, walk across the road with £25k in cash and deposit it with my solicitors bank directly. This got action, they do not like having to physically give you your money..

I would move my current account, but they are all similarly cretinous these days.

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ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Tom 38
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Re: Get a grip

Most people who are planning or have committed really serious crimes are extremely paranoid and will naturally limit or disguise their communications.

Citation.

Most of the people who get caught via these means will be minor criminals - such as the person who gets drunk and emails or posts a racial or homophobic rant, or small-time drug dealer/users

Citation.

and it really doesn't need special laws to get access to that information.

It currently does, so what do you think changes in the future?

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Tom 38
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Re: Get a grip

Sucide bombers dont care if the data is retained, what are you to do with it? prosecute the crater they leave?

Not all terrorism is suicide bombing, and RIPA is not only used for terrorism but also organized crime. Even if it were a suicide bomber, do you not think it would be handy for the police to know who he spoke to 10 minutes before-hand?

A panopticon only works if everyone is rational (they aren't), the punishment always outweighs the benefit (it doesn't) and that the surveillance is perfect (it isn't).

Except this isn't a panopticon, for two main reasons.

Firstly, this isn't the mass collection of data on everyone and everything that security services apparently do legally, which could be considered a panopticon.

Secondly, it differs in that the idea of a panopticon is that people who are constantly observed will not offend, where as the idea of this is that if people offend, it's easier to determine who and why if you have this data available to query.

It's not perfect, but in most cases, if two people communicate digitally, this may record the fact, which can then be used to prove that they communicate with each other when their defence is predicated that they do not.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Tom 38
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Re: Groundbreaking

"This [Vantablack] is not a groundbreaking thing," sniffed professor George Stylios at the school of textiles and design at Heriot-Watt university to the Graun. "It's a progression of a group of scientists who didn't ask me to play

FTFY

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Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge

Tom 38
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Re: Money isn't everything,

Only the autistic think a free market will solve all of life's problems.

Obviously, when people think thoughts politically different to your own, they must have a neurodevelopmental disorder.

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Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!

Tom 38
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It's been some years now since I have read any of your articles because every time I read your stuff, I feel like committing suicide.

Expressing your feelings is good, but it is even better to actualise them.

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FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

Tom 38
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Joke

The FBI are also hoping that this latest arrest will lead them closer to apprehending Su Bin's cousin Paste, the man they believe to be behind most recent information disclosures.

\o/

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Samsung in Brazilian strip: Robbers snatch $6.3m in gear from plant

Tom 38
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Inside job

Definitely knew which truck would have the easily shifted consumer tech in and not big bulky washing machines.

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

Tom 38
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Headmaster

the outage lasted for "approximately an hour and a half in the North East."

Interesting, does time pass at different rates in different parts of the country?

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Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

Tom 38
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Re: Struck by "comparatively flimsy"

Playing Devil's Advocate, there is some issue to be taken with the alleged offence. The police helicopter was only endangered after it began following the quad-copter, (wild speculation follows) tracking it by observing it from above. The quad-copter operators, unaware of the police helicopter following above them, raised altitude, which alarmed the police operators and they took avoiding action.

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Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

Tom 38
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chose the Isis name […] because it "brought to life our company and our values,"

Presumably by gathering the parts of the company in a big chest and burying it on a magical island?

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

Tom 38
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No, because this isn't about GCHQ intercepts, which apparently are all legal (dubious: discuss), but instead about ordinary plod being able to request warrants to request the same sort of data from ISPs.

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EPIC FAIL, FACEBOOK: FTC complaint against creepy mind games filed

Tom 38
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Re: Not the apology I'm looking for

Yep, "whoops, too bad" is about the worst apology you can give.

A couple of days ago a company I've bought e-cigs from decided that the best way to market their crap to me was to give Twitter my email address and full name, so that Twitter can invite me to register and subsequently follow my retailer... it took multiple email exchanges before they figured out that I was upset that they had spaffed my personal details to a 3rd party, not that they sent me a marketing email every 2 days.

Their subsequent "apology" was along the lines of "Well, we've done it now, can't really take it back". Fortunately, they are a UK subsidiary of a US company, I only dealt with the UK company, so I'm seeing how toothless the ICO actually is in dealing with idiots like this. Accidental data losses are one thing, this was wilful.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Facin' IT

"Facin' IT" is surely a pun.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Tom 38
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My favourite was the PA whose monitor was "broken"

She'd turned the brightness down to zero.

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Google right to be forgotten 'looks odd and CLUMSY'

Tom 38
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Re: Asking for a court order

50,000 people might fill in a web form, 50,000 people won't instruct a solicitor.

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Tom 38
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Re: Of course it's clumsy

And they've just now announced that all the links they've removed in the past couple of days - they've added them back again. Guess too many people saw through it.

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Tom 38
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Re: Of course it's clumsy

Plus they are going that little bit further - they didn't email "webmaster@bbc.co.uk", they emailed the journo directly in order to trigger the follow up story.

The first thing google should say in response to any request is "Sure, no problem, where is the court order". They are entitled to do so, but they don't because they want to make a story out of it and spin it their way.

If our courts are overwhelmed because of one of our laws, we'll deal with it. I doubt they will be.

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Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

Tom 38
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There are two reasons why it will take so long:

a) The comet isn't sitting still - it is also going very fast.

b) Generally when you approach an object you want to land on, it is advisable to be going significantly less than 30000 MPH or parking dings may occur.

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Tom 38
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Re: Re Bootnote

Surely this is more elegantly expressed in cans of coke per second, viz ~ 1 Cc/s.

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ISPs haul GCHQ into COURT over dragnet interwebs snooping

Tom 38
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Re: Here come the lawsuits.

Parliament is sovereign because it is equal with the monarch, and I have no problem with secret squirrels listening in to her phone calls either.

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Tom 38
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Re: Here come the lawsuits.

Why is it at all important that we reassure MPs that they are, once again, especially privileged?

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EFF sues NSA over snoops 'hoarding' zero-day security bugs

Tom 38
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Re: Im all for bashing the NSA

Not any different the CDC cultivating, creating and keeping dangerous virus and bacterial cultures just in case we ever need to develop an antidote.

In fact, it is very different. The CDC collect and cultivate virii and bacteria in order to develop treatments for them. The NSA collect and cultivate exploits in order to develop weapons based on them.

If the CDC spent their time developing weaponised Ebola, then sure, it's exactly the same.

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Amazon sues former employee who took Google cloud job

Tom 38
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Re: Can't see the gray area here

I think Sales has it's issues too, mostly around customer lists :)

That is straight up corporate theft, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the times that I've been asked to produce logs and evidence of a particular sales bod downloading client lists and corporate data the day before they hand in their notice.

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Tom 38
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Re: Can't see the gray area here

In the UK, your company can put whatever they like in to your contract regarding no-compete clauses, and you are largely free to completely ignore them - your right to pursue legal employment outweighs the contract provision.

Only in specific scenarios can a no-compete be enforced, typically when a company takes out an injunction against another company from hiring their staff - and the High Court agrees - then if the second company does subsequently hire staff from the first company, that company can take relief from the second company (note - not the employee in question).

So that is probably the grey area.

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MONSTER COOKIES can nom nom nom ALL THE BLOGS

Tom 38
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Re: Bingo

No, it is perfect error handling on the part of the web servers. Normal, non malicious clients do not send multi megabyte GET requests to web servers, and thus it is perfectly correct for the server to terminate the connection with a "413 Request Entity Too Large" error.

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Tom 38
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Not really denial of service

The "attack" does not force excess resource consumption, and the service is still available, just not to afflicted clients.

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Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

Tom 38
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Re: @Trigun "meh" Whilst I entirely agree that Redmond do not seem to be handling.....

You've mis-read the article - the "ISP" referred to is No-IP, she is complaining that MS are clueless when it comes to DNS.

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British and European data cops probe Facebook user-manipulation scandal

Tom 38
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Re: If I was a Facebook engineer...

What are they doing with their life? Exactly the same as almost all other people in the world. Most of us don't change the world with our day jobs, we just get a wage for pushing out whatever IT it is that our corporate masters need.

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GCSE Computing teachers cry victory as board decides NOT to bin tech teens' work

Tom 38
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Re: Kids, parents: don't worry

Significantly cheaper too.

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Tom 38
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Kids, parents: don't worry

A GCSE in Computing is about as useful as a chocolate teapot (or an A level in General Studies).

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New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

Tom 38
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Re: Vimes This is news?

Plus, she is a domestic extremist. She lives in this country and holds views which are beyond what most people in this country consider proportionate - in other words, extreme.

If the Greens were to resort to direct action, I have no doubt that she would be involved in some shape or form because of the extremity of her views and lifelong devotion to "the cause", and so I can totally understand why people monitoring domestic extremists would have her on their list.

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REVEALED: The sites blocked by Great Firewall of Iraq

Tom 38
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Porn sites are still blocked, [but] social media websites were unblocked in Baghdad

Explains the fighting I guess. Re-block twitter, un-block House of Ron Jeremy, peaceful nation again?

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What is ex-NSA spyboss selling for $1m a month, asks US congressman

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: @silent_count

Thanks, I thought it was named after that episode of House.

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Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

Tom 38
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Re: More "management versus labor" mentality

you do not throw your income away on commuting

Most "work from home" schemes still have you coming in to the office on a regular enough basis that it is still cheaper to buy a monthly/annual rail card than a succession of day returns.

So its like you save on commuting, without actually saving on commuting.

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Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Tom 38
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Re: Message for the labels

Sure the independent labels can do set up their own sites; they are doing so.

Why does that mean that Google are allowed to keep their advertising revenue when illegally uploaded content is added to their site?

Google want to play it both ways;

a) you can agree to our offer, and when your content is placed on our site we will give you what we consider a fair cut.

b) you can not agree, and when your content is placed on our site we will keep all the money we make from it and you can go fuck yourself.

Seems a bit aggressive, don't you think?

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HP in 'serious' settlement talks over Autonomy legal bust-up

Tom 38
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Re: So what about the auditors?

And always remember to take a box of chocolates and misleading signs with you whenever you take on The Auditors.

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BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

Tom 38
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Re: I don't get the BBC

I would totally watch a live action version of "The Archers".

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Tom 38
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Re: Whatever the answer may be......

Three currently only have bandwidth at 1800MHz, which is very very poor at penetrating buildings. This is universal to the Three network, all the other networks have bandwidth at 900MHz. Therefore if you are on Three, and have a good connection indoors, you are pretty close to the cell and so your experience is atypical.

Other networks have bandwidth at 900MHz and 1800MHz, and so have better indoor penetration. Three have a deal with (I forget, T-mobile?) to trade some frequency to give them some slots at 900MHz to rectify this, which I think comes in to effect in October.

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