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* Posts by Spanners

355 posts • joined 10 Sep 2009

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Spanners

Re: Agenda here?

_If I were to say "I always drive my car into work", nobody would ask me to justify it, _

If you lived 2 minutes walk from work, it would be quite common for people to ask. If you live 30 minutes drive away and had a prosthetic leg, less common.

People ask about things that they want to find out about. Someone saying they are a vegetarian while eating fish & chips that need to be clarified.

I have a friend who feels she is a vegetarian but when we talked about it, most of the time she doesn't like eating creatures that make a noise.

Not liking the taste of meat no more makes you a vegetarian than not liking the taste of spinach stops me being an omnivore.

People like to know why other people do stuff. Not to beat them down but to know how to react. If you have some deeply held philosophical reason for identifying as one, that will cause me to react differently to if it is just becauseyou had a bad experience in the KFC that changed your preferences.

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Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

Spanners
Black Helicopters

Poor Headline

The headline talks as if the NSA is not a criminal organisation.

It is certainly not illegal in its own country but by default it breaks the law(Constitution). It is therefore a criminal organisation.

Also I believe that the churn between criminal organisations, legal and not, is a lot less than that.

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Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

Spanners

So the Answer is

1. Nobody does any sort of business with the USA or its colonies.

2. All copyrights, patents and licenses specifically exclude Gitmo Nation.

3. We make it clear that we are happy at being friends or allies but they do not have rights over us.

4. We regard their hacking us in the same way they would feel about it.

So we would loose some market - after all the USA has nearly 4.4% of humanity in it. They aren't are rich and powerful as they used to be. They have been heading down since at least the start of the century and their military is doing to them pretty much what the USSRs did to them...

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Spanners

Re: What about the first universal power supply outlet?

Or the second, the USB.

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Spanners

Re: On a more serious note ...

15 Standard 13 Amp Plug

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Whoa, hold on, Earth: Wolfram's discovered the 'Internet of Things'

Spanners

"I still cannot see any *actual* benefits..."

It depends on who the benefits are for and who is doing the tracking.

If my house kept tabs of whether I was in or not, it could save me money by lowering the heating as described. It would also know if certain things of my choosing happened, that I should be informed - window left open, phone call from particular people, break in and so on.

If it was some bunch of corporations, not so beneficial though. If it was my *local* police, they might be interested in someone else hanging around my garden. Not so sure about spooks and other government officials and I am definitely against the idea of foreign (eg US) spooks and other criminal organisations like the NSA having any information.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Spanners

RPN

I had a Sinclair Scientific Reverse Polish Notation device. The best thing about it was that almost nobody borrowed it twice! My maths teacher figured it out and explained some of the things that it could do beyond straight arithmetic.

I too now have an calculator app on my phone that does RPN if I want. Now I get confuse a whole new bunch of people...

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Parents can hide abortion, contraception advice from kids, thanks to BT's SEX-ED web block

Spanners

Is this all done by deliberate DNS errors?

There are alternatives if so.

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If you want an IT job you'll need more than a degree, say top techies

Spanners

To get past automated filtering

I used to know someone who had a section at the bottom of their CV listing items they were not able to do.

They listed a number of things that were not relevant to their work but were often trawled for. I think a degree was one of them so a line like "I have an HND in Civil Engineering and not a BSc in Computing" may get you past the 'bots and HR types.

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Want to reach out and touch your Chromebook? How does $299 grab you?

Spanners

Will there be a valid exchange rate.

Any manufacturer who prices their products in US Dollars needs to remember that many people who buy IT kit can count and even look up things.

A quick Google shows be that $300 is about £183.90. If I add VAT to that, it is still under £221. In the past I have seen things advertised that indicate a $ to £ parity. Lets hope that never gets tried again...

Of course, if you wanted a value equivalent, $300 may have a purchasing power of about £150 at most...

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Samsung v Apple: Titans await jury verdict on damages of MILLIONS

Spanners

I think millions is not enough.

Billions should be paid to recompense the economic sabotage by Apple.

Samsung no more copied apple than Apple copied Xerox. Someone here has already said they don't think that happened.

Apple however, has very calculatedly used (lawyer based) economic sabotage every time and everywhere they think they can. A lot of the time the cases have been dismissed but the idea was to sow FUD and just general spanners into the works. They succeeded in that. There are still some people who genuinely believe that Apple has a case. Tell a lie often enough and some people will believe you.

The whole purpose of the whole horrid campaign was to try and keep their place at the top of the tree without actually competing their way there.

They now sell less smartphones than their competitors and even their tablets have fallen from their perch. The only think that keeps them wealthy is the gullibility tax. They make more money per unit. Presumably, they are now trying to hang on to this but still don't want to sell anything better than they have.

Apple really does sell above average kit but since the average includes £50 devices, that doesn't say too much.

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Murdoch stands between your kids and filth with BSkyB network-level SHIELD

Spanners

What do I want?

I want a really simple thing - a "dumb pipe". How thick a pipe depends on what I can afford...

I don't want your special services. I just need connection to the internet. If I want to download films, I will decide which ones and from where. If I do it from Netflix, that's my choice and I do somewhere else without paying, that's my lookout.

If I want to filter my household, there are plenty of applications and services available. When my kids were growing up, I used Open DNS. It blocked violent stuff, dodgy file sharing and various other things that I objected to.My kids are now 19 and 23. They got their own computers when I thought they were old enough. They show no evidence of being bullied and nobody has told be they bullied anyone else. My daughter does not seem to have showed anything to a webcam that she may now feel bad about. If her brother looks at anything rude, he is smart enough not to let me know...

They are now young adults who are accustomed to making their own decisions and thinking for themselves. Sadly for Mr Murdoch, this may involve few of his products and sadly for Mr Cameron, they don't seem too stuck on him either.

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Spanners

Re: Where's the "I dont need protection"?

Probably in the same place as "I'll protect my own household" option.

The last thing I would want is a bunch of crooks limiting what I see. Um....

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Android mobes outsell iPhones, but Apple gets MORE PROFIT THAN ALL

Spanners

Simple Maths

Apples income is the product of

1. Profit per unit

2. Total size of market

3. Percentage of market they have

We know that 1 is very high due to the gullibility tax,

Number 2 is still increasing merrily but only until everyone has a phone. Then it's just replacement only.

Item 3, however, is dropping.

If any of these items drop too far, Apples profits will suffer. If number 3 keeps dropping, it could in theory get to zero and that means Apple gets no money. This is not going to happen. There will always be uninformed people with money to burn but it could go down so far that their only option is to change item 1.

If they drop the profit per unit to try and increase sales, they may loose more customers as their products become less exclusive and "special". If they increase their markup, how long will their user base remain loyal?

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Check out The Register's Google+ page

Spanners

I was a fairly early adopter of G+. I find it a good way of getting information and discussing stuff with people who want to talk about what I consider interesting.

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Android in FOUR out of 5 new smartphones. How d'ya like dem Apples?

Spanners

:Dan55

Not counting Workplace BBs, I am on my 3rd SmartPhone (all Android). I had never heard of a wakelock.

A quick Google and browse tells me what it is but I don't think I will worry about them. There are loads of things that I could look into but I am fine without them.

It's a SmartPhone if you have a general purpose computer inside your phone. The smartness of such devices varies. That is why Apple can truthfully sell its devices as such and there are plenty under £50 that are even feebler but a good phone - HTC, Nokia, Samsung or whatever may have more computing power than NASA had in 1969 when they put people on the moon. They certainly allow you to install confusing apps but it's not compulsory!

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Spanners

Re: That and a prominent name or logo...

That's why phones with that OS have 81% of the market.

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Spanners

Premium Market?

They are holding fast to premium pricing though.

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Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

Spanners

@JamesTQuirk

I believe most users do not care what is "in the box". I think there are some people who do. They have read this article, or ones similar to it.

What good does it do? I suspect that I am not the only reader here who has fired up a VM and started installing something interesting. I compare it to people who like to play with old motor bikes. The big difference is that this make less mess and probably cost less money as well.

It's been a long time since I last played. I gave my OS2 CDs away . I think the BEOS I tried is on an old HDD in a box somewhere. This article has given me a few reminders of other things. All I have done in the last while have been fairly common versions of Linux. Nostalgia...

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Apple's Hacker Princess really needs to stay away from Idaho cops

Spanners

Re: hacker princess...

It seems that she has already hacked herself. She used to be a "prince hacker".

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RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Spanners

"users who actually want to do some work"

I am unclear what having an iPad and actually doing some work have to do with each other.

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Brazil's anti-NSA prez urged to SNATCH keys to the internet from America

Spanners

Re: 'Hating America is a crime'

Why are they all trying to come here "for a better life"?

Short answer, they aren't.

Slightly longer answer - Some people want into your country because they want some money.

Long answer, There are some people who want to go to the USA and take part in the great "American Dream". There are also others who want the "Australian Dream" and yet others who want the "European Dream". Some of this last group even want the "British Dream".

Why?If you are poor, have had your country screwed over by the USSR, CIA or just big international corporations in the past of course you want better. If you are surrounded by civil wars, various fundamentalists, droughts etc, you want out *now*.

Someone from New York told me that his city is full of Ukrainian cab drivers sending money back home. If that's true, they want your money but how much more? Your country is beautiful, full of friendly, welcoming people and well worth visiting. It is also seen as a great way to earn enough money to set oneself up nicely once home is "safe" again. Nobody else believes in your dream any more.

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Spanners

Re: Spanner @Matt Bryant

Did you see the brackets in my post?

My observation was that if you are seen (correctly or not) as a US conservative, your contributions are discounted.

First of all, if it wasn't for the very "un-socialist" financial crisis that the whole world is in the foolish actions of many countries around us would have not all blown up at once. They would have been individually sorted without the economic stupidity pushed upon us all the out of touch financial experts who put us here in the first place.

¿Why is this economic situation "un-socialist" then?

Because it was caused by major screwups in the financial industries both here and in the USA. They were not caused by Spain, Greece. etc spending more than they had. That just made it worse for them. Now, when they should be bump-starting their economies, they are bound to follow big moneys commands and make life as difficult for their poor and middle classes as possible - just like we are doing here.

As for Brazil, should they just ignore what Snowden has revealed?

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Spanners

@Matt Bryant

As soon as you start to talk about "reckless socialist spending" everyone identifies your politics (correctly or not) as US conservative. This invalidates everything else you say.

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15% of Americans still holding off from this newfangled interweb thing

Spanners

Have you got figures for Earth?

We have figures here for a tiny proportion of humanity - about 4% I believe.

How about some figures for the remainder?

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One year to go: Can Scotland really declare gov IT independence?

Spanners

Re: You;ve not been home in a while have you?

In the event of a UK breakup, that would be called making the best of a bad situation.

Just as it would (hopefully not will) be extreme stupidity to break up the UK, it would be further stupidity to break up things even worse.

PS - for a more local view of Orkney opinion, try a local paper like www.orcadian.co.uk I imagine Shetland has theirs as well.

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Spanners

As a Scot "down south"

I live not far from Birmingham & Coventry. Most of my friends & colleagues identify me as Scottish but I'm actually from Orkney - the most SNP hostile region in the UK.

Unfortunately, I don't get a vote but I would vote against destroying the UK in this way.

Couldn't we just have a vote to disown London? I'll vote yes for that! The rest of the UK has been sha* on my that place in fairly equal shares.

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'It's GOOD we stopped selling the iPhone'

Spanners
FAIL

AC @ 11:40 gmt

So they loose $10 per unit.

They sell a million.

Their losses are $10,000,000

No, that doesn't work. They will be better off selling smartphones instead...

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Asperger's and IT

Spanners
Big Brother

Re: Ironic

"Asperger's Syndrome is no longer a recognised diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders version 5"

From what I have heard, that merely indicates there are not profitable drug therapies for it.

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Galaxy S4 way faster than iPhone 5: Which?

Spanners
Happy

Re: Battery

Modern *smartphones* aren't going to get the battery life you require until the battery technology catches up...

A partial solution is to get a grown up smartphone that allows you to remove the battery. My GS2 has a more than double capacity battery. Its replacement, whatever it turns out to be, will have a removable battery as well.

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Number of cops abusing Police National Computer access on the rise

Spanners
Thumb Down

<quote>So if the enforcers of the law can't be trusted, why do we feel the security services can be?</quote>

I trust the police more than I trust spooks.

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It's official: 'tweet' an English word – not just in the avian sense

Spanners
Meh

@Don Jefe - Moot?

Moot means subject to debate or unclear/unknown etc/

The problem with that work that people unable to pronounce diphthongs (USA for example) have mixed it up with the word mute and redefined it as "irrelevant" or pointless.

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EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

Spanners
Black Helicopters

Re: Turn It Off

I can think of a couple of possible reasons.

1. They might make it illegal. You can turn it off but black helicopters appear...

or

2. They might make the car not work if it can't find it connected.

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Think your IT department's parochial? Try selling to SMEs

Spanners
Alert

Some of them take pride in something

When I worked in a small IT company, I came across some people who were supposedly running small businesses. In actual fact, they were ignoring everything except what a couple of their preferred salesmen told them.

They would seal some fantastic deal but because they saw any decent administration as a waste of money, their accounts received were a complete joke. Any form of knowledge other than how to sell something was seen as demeaning although I wonder whether they knew words that long.

They despised their shop floor workers because they wore overalls and did not laugh at their in jokes.

They despised their book keepers because they were an overhead and didn't wear good suits.

They objected to the fact that they had to have a computer to run their payroll and one got cross with me when I accidentally explained to them the meaning of the word backup. Apparently now knowing this fact was so far beneath their station that even knowing a simple word made them less exalted beings!

It was quite a few years ago but I just tried googling a couple of company names and most are out of business and one seems to exists in name only and the business has moved to a competitors in another city.

Conclusions: Being proud of not knowing something is seriously stupid and a bad attitude to run a business with. Ignore what is irellevant but despising people who make your business actually function is not a good long term plan.

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Amazon faces its third strike in Germany

Spanners
Boffin

without the matching responsibility

The responsibility is in having a job there. If your employer goes bust, you are unemployed.

This is as opposed to executives whose only responsibility is to themselves and their bonuses. If your company goes bust under them, they will be allright. They have huge "tax efficient" savings and investments and will get hired by one of their chums who is misruling another company which they have no more idea about either.

Consider this please... How many of the top people at Lehman Brothers were without income 3 months after that organisation went under?

I don't know either but I have an uninformed suspicion that it is a very low percentage.

Anyway, why should the taxpayer subsidise Amazon in yet another way by providing low cost housing and additional benefits that would not be given if people were paid properly?

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Windows 8.1 Start button SPOTTED in the wild

Spanners
Flame

It would be like me calling someone from Scotland "British".

I was born in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. My mothers family comes from Fife north of there. My father came from Orkney which almost as far as you can go and still be in the same country.

I have worn British Army uniform (a Scottish unit), My allegiance was not to Scotland (or England) it was to HM the Queen of the whole United Kingdom. Of course I am British!

Do not let the rubbish we hear from the SNP mislead you. Scotland may be united in its dislike of the UK being controlled from a reclaimed swamp (London) in the remote south of Britain but splitting the country up into ever smaller bits to help political adventurers is not universally seen as a good idea!

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Spanners
Boffin

Re: "I could care less for the button itself"

@Fihart let me try and explain

"I could not care less" means that there is no circumstance where something could be less relevant.

"I could care less" means that there is some way that could reduce my feelings about the matter.

This is not a Brit/US thing. It is not even a concept for pedants. Neither phrase is wrong. They just have very different (opposite in fact) meanings.

Consider it in French (Courtesy of Google Translate)

I could not care less - Je m'en moque.

I could care less - Je m'en fous.

The two phrases are different

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Brit spooks bugged Edward VIII's phones, records reveal

Spanners
Holmes

Some Things Haven't Changed Then

Politicians and government officials were lying in the 1930s and they still are.

Spooks were invading the most intimate privacies then and they are now.

You can get more business done over a few drinks than in a day sat in a meeting.

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Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Spanners
Happy

My biggest reason for using Android?

It;s not Apple.

Of course swopping to another OS is possible - just not IOS.

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Microsoft splashes big bucks to blast Google Apps

Spanners
Boffin

Re: FUD train?

Google Docs is great, as long as you don't need advanced features.

So the 80% of people using just 20% of the application will be fine for a start?

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iPhone 5 totters at the top as Samsung thrusts up UK mobe chart

Spanners
Thumb Up

More anecdotal "evidence"

My wifes phone was an ageing HTC. When the time came to replace it, our iPhone using children suggested that she try "that nice one that Holly Willoughby advertises".She has had it a week now and it works excellently.

The interface is as pretty as an iPhone except that it is actually functional.

As a non-geek, my wife doesn't give a monkeys about how sparse the store is. It came with Angry Birds and other things.

The phone side works as does the texting and the camera is "really good".

This looks like a mass-market device to me.

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UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

Spanners
Meh

Re: Bad ideas never die...

Passports are for one purpose, and one purpose only (quite a reasonable one) - to allow the holder to pass through a port into a different country

Tell that to the people queued up outside nightclubs this weekend. They are using them to prove that they are old enough to be let in. Later in the evening, when legless, they will have the chance to loose this valuable document. This is actually an improvement over an ID card as it is bigger and easier to notice.

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Dish boss: We're English-speaking Americans, hire us!

Spanners
Holmes

We're English-speaking Americans

What they speak may be the same as other people around them but are we sure it's actually English any more?

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Fanbois vs fandroids: Punters display 'tribal loyalty'

Spanners
Meh

@JDX

That doesn't speak well of US consumers.

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Google report shows record rise in government takedown requests

Spanners
Unhappy

Re: It is all about convergence

In the end, the people just wont put up with it

I'd really like to believe that, but even optimism as extreme as mine finds it hard on that.

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Galaxy S4 radiant, but has black holes

Spanners
Happy

A happy S2 user

I have a few months of contract still to run S I am beginning to look at what's available.

I have only got 2 criticisms of the S2 and they are likely to be the same for the S4.

1. *Junkware*. When I got my phone, I went through and installed what I needed and configured things. Then I found out what a pain the Samsung "hubs" were.They had pooled all my email, textx, IP FB and anything else into a big mess. After trying to cope with it for a couple of months, I bit the bullet and reset to factory settings and carefully did not touch these annoying utilities.

2. It's too thin! I know that one of the cool factors that impresses the uninformed is how un-thick a phone is. The manufacturers have not really got a choice on this. If someone made a 12mm thick phone, all we would hear would be "OMG - it's even thicker than an iPhone!".

The first fault can be "fixed" by knowing that all the junkware must not be clicked upon. Remove it from your screens and should you accidentally run it from the Apps, you just have to carefully reverse out of there.

The other problem solution is one that unfortunately keeps me from having a Nexus phone. I put a high capacity battery in the phone and as a side effect now it is thick enough to hold comfortably and securely. I have a Nexus7 tablet and really like the cruft-free interface but with my phone, battery life is more important.

At the moment, the choice seems to be between the S4 and the One. If the rumours that the One will not be upgraded seem to be true, that will rule it out. I wonder what other competitors will show up.

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Human rights groups rally humanity against killer robots

Spanners
Facepalm

And this will work how?

A few years ago, civilised countries banned (some) mines. Watching the news, I sometimes hear that not only are some people still being killed/maimed by old mines but that "rogue" states are still using them.

We can ban autonomous lethal weapons all we like - and we should, but don;t expect the usual suspects not to use them.

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Smart metering will disrupt weather forecasts, warns Met Office

Spanners
Happy

Not everyone has central heating

A smart meter would be interesting to me but when all the kettles go on during adverts, I have nothing to turn off.

If its coronation street, I'm walking the dog anyway.

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Netbooks projected to become EXTINCT by 2015

Spanners
Holmes

Not just Netbooks

Ultrabooks and Notebooks and most other overpriced variations of laptops are becoming pointless.

I have a Nexus7 tablet. That does most of what I want to do. I have a cheap buetooth keyboard that clips to it and that puts paid to anything I would want to do with a portable device bigger than my phone.

If I decide to write a book or more bad poetry, I have a desktop PC. That also deals with games. (That last item has been endangered by consoles for a long time though.)

I have no need for an ultrabook - what can it do that I want? There are some markets that might want netbooks - reps and travelling salesmen for example. People working in offices don't. Desktop PCs are better, faster, cheaper and less likely to give you RSI & eyestrain. Suit wearers and meeting goers seem to want iPads although there are better alternatives to them too.

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Google asks Blighty to slave over its Maps for FREE

Spanners
FAIL

Re: The English don't know where they are.

They call themselves the midlands so population has nothing to do with that. They just can't tell that the middle of something is half way between the ends, not less than 15% from one end.

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