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* Posts by Obvious Robert

106 posts • joined 29 Sep 2009

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Apple fanbois to talk at the iWatch, INSPECTOR GADGET style – report

Obvious Robert
Facepalm

Re: How utterly pathetic.

At least when your nice shiny BIG screened phone is in your pocket, thieves can only guess whether you're carrying one, they only know for certain once you pull it out and wave it around. However with all the current gen "smart"watches being fairly useless in isolation, having an iWatch attached to your wrist is a permanently visible confirmation that you have a nice shiny smartphone about your person and IMHO probably makes you more of a target more of the time.

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Obvious Robert

Upgrading by simply plugging new cards into slots is one thing, but if I'd paid £899 for someone to build me a computer, call me Mr Luddite if you want but I'd expect that I didn't have to solder bits myself at that price.

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Obvious Robert
Meh

Having seen these curved sets in the shops, it's not just the distorted image you're supposed to see that bothered me. The inevitable reflections from dark areas of the screen are all massively distorted as well, so my viewing companions all looked like they were in a fun house hall of mirrors. Most disturbing.

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Obvious Robert
Boffin

Re: Pointless for the front room

BUT, for a dedicated games room with PS4, this would be frigging awesome. Imagine a full on racing seat with the latest Logitech Driving Force GT, plugged into a PS4 with the next Gran Turismo, all parked in front of a curved 78" 4k screen....

Or you could... drive a car.

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Obvious Robert
Linux

Re: None of this changes anything

Elmer Phud wrote

I'm so sorry that I don't have time to arse around trying one Linux distro after another, finding out what devices now don't work - that sort of thing.

Your name is perfectly appropriate, Elmer FUD.

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Ubuntu N-ONE: 'Storage war' with Dropbox et al annihilates cloud service

Obvious Robert

Re: Knew it

Or if you do go with Mint, wait until May and you'll get the new 5 year LTS Mint 17. Current Mint 16 only has about four months of support left!

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GIANT FLESH-EATING DEVIL CHICKENS roamed North Dakota

Obvious Robert

Re: El Pollo Diablo* ?

My exact first thought too! Very recently introduced my 10 year old to Curse of Monkey Island, has had us in stiches all over again. Some things never get old!

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Samsung leaps out of volume PC game as UK market crashes

Obvious Robert

Re: it's windows 8...

I want to upvote you 100 times!

I work in tech support for a large ISP. Customers who have Windows 8 are few and far between, and the ones who do have it generally tell me they wish they'd never got it. There are the odd exceptions, but I'm talking genuinely 2 or 3 people in the last year telling me they actually like Win8. I really believe it's a massive part of PC sales being so poor, because when it comes down to it tablets are pretty crap for anything except consumption, even typing a forum post of this length is a major undertaking on a touchscreen.

Being that your average Joe will only ever use the OS their PC came with, I think there's a fair chance lots of people are weighing up the awfulness of Win 8 and finding no other affordable option, so waiting it out for a new PC and getting a tablet to tide them over. Most people can't justify the cost of a Mac, but I could guarantee you that if Apple released a budget 15" Macbook in the £400 range they would completely clean up. They'll never do it, but if they did then their PC market share would rocket overnight. I think people still want affordable laptops, they just demonstrably do not want Windows 8.

And for the rest of us of course, there's Linux.

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Sony brings 4K shooting to the masses in weeks

Obvious Robert

I have mediocre eyesight, but could see an improvement on 4K content standing about 4m from a 150cm screen.

I wonder if you'd care to explain how that's possible, given that for a screen of 150cm (about 60") you'd have to be less than 8ft away before a human eye with 20/20 vision could discern ANY difference between 4k and 1080p?

Maybe the 4k content was being compared to SD content, not 1080p HD? In which case, yes you'd see an improvement, but it wouldn't be any better than if they'd showed you 1080p (or even 720p) at that distance. It's simply not biologically possible.

Or do you think you may have imagined it?

http://www.rtings.com/info/television-size-to-distance-relationship

http://carltonbale.com/1080p-does-matter/

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4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

Obvious Robert

Re: Wow... just wow

4K displays are at least a real thing with a genuine result, even if there's no actual source material available yet.

Oh I'm not denying there's a genuine result, my point is that unless you're sitting less than those distances from your screen then it's literally impossible to tell the difference anyway! We may as well buy the magic power cables for all the benefit we'll actually get in everyday practical experience.

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Obvious Robert

Wow... just wow

Having read my way through lots of discussion mainly revolving around re whether it's a "HD Ready" style marketing mess and people saying they'll wait until specs are settled before getting one, I'm amazed at the lack of comments calling 4KTV out for the pile of money grabbing horse shit it so obviously is. Don't get me wrong, it's perfect for cinemas, but then most of us don't have a 30 foot screen in our living rooms.

There are plenty of graphs and charts available on the internet which tell you how much detail the human eye is capable of perceiving for a given distance and screen size. I have a 42" TV. For 4K to make any difference whatsoever from 1080p, I'd have to be sat no more than 5 feet away from it. And that's not 'night & day' difference, that's just where the differences _start_ to become perceptible. For a 50" TV it's about 6.5ft and for a 60" it's less than 8ft. Go home and measure the distance from your viewing position to your screen and work it out for yourself. This is so obviously the realms of diminishing returns where the cost, logistics and headaches involved are just not worth it - all so the manufacturers can sell us another TV.

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Moto G: Google's KitKat bruiser could knock out, bury Landfill Android

Obvious Robert

Re: Here is my proper review

Did you buy a Tesco one and unlock it? I don't know where else they're available from off-contract.

Phones4U are doing the 8GB unlocked and SIM free for £130, 16GB for £160. Still a bargain at those prices, I've bought a couple as Xmas presents and I'm seriously impressed by the build quality, speed and screen. Seems to have good battery life and even the sound quality for MP3 playback through headphones is pretty decent. If my current HTC One S dies unexpectedly I'd happily get one of these as an affordable replacement.

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Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G

Obvious Robert

Re: Wow

"apart from the cost of buying for "friends and family", I don't think a phone is an appropriate gift - just too personal a choice."

You obviously don't have kids. I can happily afford to buy my two eldest one of these each for Christmas. iPhones and S4's... not so much. Screw them having a personal choice, they'll get what they're given and they'll be grateful I didn't give them socks ;-)

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Expert chat: The end of Windows XP and IE6

Obvious Robert

Re: IE 6

... and also, the number of self-righteous vocal zealots in the community who spout bile about anything that isn't Linux with no basis for their argument apart from "it's not Linux" and belittle anyone who can't recite the entire kernel source code from memory (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little) are quite off-putting too...

Total FUD. I've only started to get into Linux about two years ago, and only seriously started to use it as my main OS within the last year, but at all points I've found all the people more knowledgeable than me to be thoroughly helpful. The wealth of people out there prepared to give their time to help new users for free is overwhelming and it's a community I'm proud to have become a part of. In my experience, the myth of the bile spouting newb-bashing Linux ubergeek is exactly that - a myth. What's more, stop pontificating on how complicated it might be, just give it a go. It's was actually extraordinarily easy - and this is coming from someone who had never in his life even partitioned a hard drive before.

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Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

Obvious Robert

Re: Pass the tea cosy (Wrong Again Mr Dabbs)

[Stevie] Ahem, I think you'll find that's Radio-o G'nome *In-viz-ee-bla-hah*

Pronunciation is everything.

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Microsoft: Oh PLEASE, HTC. Who says Windows Phone can't go on an Android mobe? – report

Obvious Robert

Re: re: *

I don't think the idea is to let you flip-flop, only to choose when you buy the phone or first use it.

While I agree with your interpretation of the story, is there actually any technical reason - aside from storage space required for the ROMs - why we couldn't have dual boot OS on a phone?

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In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows

Obvious Robert
Trollface

Re: @Pirate Dave RE: Always a PC

Where would a company go which had fully committed to Gnome have been when the developers chucked away the Gnome 2 interface because they were bored with it?

But the same thing happens with Windows anyway, and on that side we have to pay for the privilege! At least with Gnome et al we get shafted for free.

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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

Obvious Robert

Re: LOL

Curved TV screens? Talk about a solution looking for a problem.

Phase 1: Make curved LCD panel

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Profit

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Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers

Obvious Robert

Re: In addition to Steam it's also Linux

You may have some bizarre printer make or possibly an older or broken Mint install. Every printer I've connected to computers running Mint 13 & 14 has been detected, configured and ready for use within about 10 seconds, including scanner functionality. That would be a couple of HP's, a Canon and an Epson.

Same goes for other peripherals - I've recently had no issue setting up a Creative webcam and a Wacom tablet for my daughter on Mint 14. Both just literally plug and play and working with no fuss at all.

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Billionaire engineer Ray Dolby, 80, dies at home in San Francisco

Obvious Robert
Coat

I think

It probably would have sounded better with Dobly.

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The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Obvious Robert

Which would make Tamu Massif about 4 Belgiums. Ah, now I understand.

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Obvious Robert

But I thought the accepted international standard of area measurement was the Belgium...?

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Samsung stakes claim to smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear

Obvious Robert

Re: "phablet" - ie. very large smartphone

You may think that... but I heard someone on Radio 4 recently say the word 'fondleslab'.

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Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

Obvious Robert

Re: I'm a MSFT Fan But.....

" it is the ONLY OS to work on convertibles/2in1"

You didn't say 'penables'.

For once.

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Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

Obvious Robert
Stop

Re: 24 fps ... bah

"But my biggest hang up with film is that it artificially constrains the motion because at 24fps"

"HD should be 96 FPS"

Spoken like true techies! And excluding The Hobbit, exactly how many films have you seen in anything other than 24fps? And I'll tell you why, 48fps (or higher) makes things look cheap, by association with it being closer to the frame rate of made-for-TV stuff. If you want to watch high frame rate tech demos, you go watch them. Personally I'm perfectly happy with films at 24fps for the aesthetic qualities the frame rate has, and I'm dreading Cameron, Jackson and chums getting their way with an industry wide move to 48fps.

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Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild

Obvious Robert
Stop

Re: Kind of underwhelming

"a unified iOS / OS X which merges the product line."

Why???? Why would you want that? That's the whole reason Metro is shite. Using a small handheld computer with a screen <10 inches is fundamentally different to using a desktop/laptop with a larger screen, pointing device and keyboard. I don't want them merged, thanks. Adhering to standards and compatible with each other yes, but merged, no. After a few glory years of smartphone tech I'm getting slowly more disappointed with the latest moves from all the major players, my latest personal WTF moment being when I realised our Galaxy Tab 2 uses MTP instead of being a standard USB mass storage device. Sorry, who does that benefit exactly? UMS is more functional in just about every way conceivable. That and the unrelenting focus on 'social' bollocks... not to mention very creepy moves, such as Google Play starting to recommend music for me to buy based on stuff I've been listening to using the standard Music app on my phone. Sorry? What? When did I say it was ok for Google to start collecting what I've side-loaded and listened to privately on my phone and advertise it back to me??? I'll be watching the development of Firefox OS with interest.

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Google whips the sheet off new Gmail interface

Obvious Robert
FAIL

"If you don't want to use google stuff, don't use it."

I do want to use some Google stuff, but I don't want to use G+. I signed up for it right when it was starting off to see what it was all about and now I can't work out how to switch it off without losing the useful services like Gmail and Calendar.

Lots of people are concerned that Google knows everything about them but I wouldn't worry about it. In my experience they don't actually know everything, they just have a collection of harvested data but don't really understand how it fits together or what to do with it. Regarding Google+, a prominent example involved it suggesting my ex-girlfriend as a potential G+ friend to my fiancee... oh how I laughed at that one. In my case their legendary profiling decided I was a 65+ singleton (I'm in my 30's) in the market for a bit of mature lady action, and started showing me adverts all over the internet for nothing but granny dating... and that's when I found out Chrome supported Adblock.

Google aren't the omniscient evil gods we fear them to be, they're actually pretty incompetent at this stuff. When the advertisers finally discover just how useless their legendary data harvesting and profiling is, they're fucked :)

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Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

Obvious Robert
Thumb Up

Re: Reading this page...

Also available for Chrome may I add...

I relatively recently became an Adblock convert after Google's profiling went crazy and decided I was single and aged 65+, and started showing me endless adverts for 'mature dating' (and I do mean *mature*). All attempts to opt out from their targeted advertising made no difference at all, so I went the Adblock route. They can incorrectly profile me all they want now, I'll never see their crap ads anyway :)

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Obvious Robert

Re: Microsoft have a problem

"The one thing they *could* do is change the filesystem (like they were going to do with Longhorn, remember that?) to a database. The idea was that things like folders and file paths would become meaningless; you could just "query" the file system whith an SQL like syntax and get the files you need. Physical location would be irrelevant."

And I'll tell you exactly why *that* doesn't work. A couple of evenings ago I was attempting to retrieve a load of specific songs (MP3's) to make 10 hours worth of compilation CD's. Some stored on my laptop, some on my old desktop and some on my partner's laptop. The ones on my PC's were easy to find, for years I'd always used programs like DB PowerAmp to rip music and set it up to save in the format of Music/Artist/Album/01_Artist _SongName.mp3. Everything was exactly where I expected to find it.

My partner on the other hand, had been an iTunes and Windows Media Player user. She could find all the songs fine searching in the iTunes or WMP libraries, but most of the time we had very little idea where things were really lurking in the recesses of the hard drive. As I was compiling all the files on my laptop and was networked into her machine to copy them over, my machine couldn't read her PC's 'libraries'. I was reduced to straight file system searches (which also relied on bloody iTunes naming files sensibly) and the whole thing was a massive pita.

I hate the 'libraries' way of doing things, whether it's within the Win7 file system, iPods & iTunes, Android's media player/gallery or whatever. I don't mind a media player or gallery giving me a nice straightforward list of my media, but I object when that actively obscures the underlying file structure in a way that stops me seeing what's going on behind the scenes.

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Obvious Robert
Stop

Re: One key difference between 8 and Vista

"TIFKAM really, really doesn't work in a traditional mouse and keyboard setup though. Give it me on something like the Surface Pro and I can imagine it being brilliant"

I see this idea bandied about everywhere, the hypothesis that TIFKAM is great for touch but not for mouse + keyboard. Where I work we have a Windows RT tablet (Asus I think) for testing purposes. It looks lovely, but it's an absolute frickin nightmare to use. TIFKAM is arguably even worse on a touch device than on a normal PC. I know this is only anecdotal (and I'm no fan of Win 8 in the slightest), but on the occasions I've used it I actually find it far easier to navigate with mouse + keyboard than touch.

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HTC profits PLUNGE 98%: Pins hopes on HTC One, 'Facebook mobe'

Obvious Robert

Re: 2 HTC Phones, 2 Buggy Phones

I had a Desire Z and never experienced that SMS sending bug... I did have to root it eventually though. It was an amazing phone when I first got it with Froyo at release time but the OTA Gingerbread update screwed it up badly and made Sense restart if I ever had more than one app open. Thing is I actually really like Sense more than vanilla Android, so I installed Virtuous ROM on it, which was basically just a fixed, overclocked version of Gingerbread + Sense, and it was great again.

I moved to a One S (UK version) last summer and I adore that too. I'll admit that I did root it on the day I got it but that was mainly to remove carrier branding, no obvious bugs that I noticed. When I later replaced the ROM I went for ViperOneS, again a ROM based on Sense but with lots of extras and improvements. After staying loyal since my G1 I'm quite sad to see where HTC are heading these days. When it comes to replacing my One S it looks like I'll basically have a choice of Samsung. Nice specs but I find their build a bit plasticky.

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Ubuntu without the 'U': Booting the Big Four remixes

Obvious Robert

Re: nonsnse that KDE isn't easy to use

"effort that would be better spent improving more mainstream desktop environments."

According to sites like Distrowatch, Mint appears be be the single most popular distro these days. How much more mainstream would you like?

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Obvious Robert

Re: nonsnse that KDE isn't easy to use

"It's all nonsense to say KDE isn't easy to use. Just watch the OsFirstTimer videos on YouTube where an annoying Australian kid gets his mum to try lots of OSs. She vastly prefers KDE over Unity and finds it more familiar and logical."

True, she did prefer KDE to Unity, but she also preferred Mint 14 with Cinnamon to every other OS altogether (excellent series of videos). KDE is designed for people who want absolute control over their environment, and that's great. KDE was my first port of call after not getting on fantastically with Unity and initially I was wowed by all the eye candy. But exactly like the reviewer here said, I quickly began to find all the options, configurability and endless buttons and tick boxes busy and overwhelming, and felt the OS was getting in my way somewhat because of it.

Then I read about Cinnamon, first tried it as an additional desktop on Ubuntu, and recently switched to Mint wholesale and I love it, for me it gets the balance between eye candy, configuration options and usability precisely right. That's not to say that KDE, LXDE, Unity or (god forbid) Gnome 3 don't have their places, IMHO the fact you can pick an interface to suit you rather than put up with whatever is shoved down your throat is one of Linux's massive strengths.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Obvious Robert

Re: sob. sob.

I so desparately want steam on linux, but not at the price of everything else unbuntu comes with.

Come on Gabe, bring out steam for Mint.

As I'm sure you know, Mint basically is Ubuntu with a load of codecs preinstalled BUT without Unity or the online search privacy issue. As a rule of thumb, if it works on Ubuntu then it works on Mint - including Steam.

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Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

Obvious Robert

Re: Vista Part II...?

"but Linux is still a terrible joke for the home user."

Complete unadulterated FUD, and shows you haven't tried it recently. Here's the entire list of what I had to do to get things working on Mint:

1) Download single file from Mint website

2) Burn it to DVD

3) put DVD in PC and switch it on.

4) click 'install Linux Mint'

5) EVERYTHING works. Seriously.

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Obvious Robert

Re: BS.

"In my case I installed a FREE one-meg utility (much smaller than either my anti-virus, my anti-spyware or my registry cleaner)"

The thought of having to endure Windows 8 made me switch to Linux Mint Cinnamon edition (after road testing a couple of other desktops along the way)... By default I have a start button and don't need anti-virus, anti-spyware or a registry cleaner.

Apart from Metro, horizontal scrolling (ugh!), no start menu, signing in to MS accounts, apps not quitting from the X button, schizophrenic menu options depending whether you right or left click, hidden options/menus/hot corners, ugly flat window decoration, constantly being unexpectedly dumped between desktop and Metro... I'm sure Win 8 is lovely.

Thank you Microsoft for finally producing an OS so atrocious that it gave me the impetus to do something I'd been meaning to try for years. I feel at home again with my PC, like I've got all the best bits of usability from XP and 7 with the security, stability and customisation of Linux. The future's bright, the future's Minty.

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Linux in 2013: 'Freakishly awesome' – and who needs a fork?

Obvious Robert
FAIL

Re: And yet, and yet ...

"No way you are running a photography/design business without Adobe products."

Umm... in what way is running an Adobe product incompatible with exclusively running Linux? I happily run Photoshop on Linux (via Wine of course) and incidentally have tested MS Office on there which also appears to work perfectly well. Nobody asked if you can run a business entirely using FOSS software, and irrespective of whether or not the OP is exclusively using FOSS, he didn't claim to.

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Hard luck lads, todger size DOES matter: Official

Obvious Robert
Thumb Up

Re: Well in the classical world...

"except those of Baccus, of course, but he epitomised drunken lewd enjoyment"

Ah.. my favourite kind!

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Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Obvious Robert
Thumb Up

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

"Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am."

And then dual boot them with your favourite Linux distro just to rub their noses in it.

Don't, whatever you do, go anywhere near Windows 8.

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Review: HTC One

Obvious Robert

Re: Features

It really is a piece of piss to root HTC phones these days now HTC allow their bootloaders to be unlocked. XDA has guides for them all. Once rooted you can do what you like from simply uninstalling bloatware to totally replacing the ROM if you want to get rid of Sense. Rooting my One S took under 30 minutes on the day it arrived via a mostly automated tool, largely just point and click!

I find it slightly odd that the kind of people who frequent this site would be so hung up on manufacturers' interfaces, bloatware and update timescales when they can be so easily circumvented. Very few of us would ever consider relying solely on the manufacturer of a laptop to provide new OS versions, we'd just install them ourselves or replace the OS altogether. The more that phones become like fully capable PC's the more we should see them in the same kind of light, as very capable hardware ready to install whichever interface and software we choose.

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Obvious Robert

Re: No microSD AGAIN

No, but it supports USB OTG.

So, seriously, why would you need to change the SD card? It's actually far easier to plug in a USB stick than fiddling around swapping SD cards for your additional storage needs, not to mention that loads of apps make dynamic use of the SD card and if you swap the card then suddenly half your apps lose their data.

Welcome to 2013, you appear to be stuck in 2009.

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Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Obvious Robert
Thumb Up

Re: Listen

Thanks Andrew, I've got DoggCatcher on my list to try, along with some other names I've picked up: Stitcher, PocketCast, BeyondPod and Podkicker. I basically just want something that's easy to add a custom RSS link to, will download the podcasts automatically and if necessary store them until I get round to catching up on them two months later! I shouldn't be too difficult to please.

And on the question of whether Google Currents will do Podcasts, the answer turns out to be Yes... and No. It's fairly simple to add an RSS feed and listen to a *current* edition of a podcast. From what I can make out, there's no facility to listen to older episodes or store them in any way. The clue is in the name I suppose :/

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Obvious Robert

Re: FYI there's a petition

Current total well past 53,000. Killing Reader obviously not a good PR move on Google's part :)

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Obvious Robert
Unhappy

Listen

My main use of Reader is for the Android podcast app Listen. They neutered Listen last year by taking away the search function but it was still easy enough to add podcast feeds manually. Reader now going altogether will sadly make my favourite (non-browser) app totally useless :(

Can Google Currents handle podcasts?

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Dear Facebook: I heard the news today, oh boy

Obvious Robert

Re: Please don't happen here too...

" How many of you would bother reading El Reg if there was no comments section?

Sites like El Reg provide a venue for people to argue about shite that doesn't matter with people they'll never meet, because in the "real world" no-one we know gives a toss about whether iOS is better than Android or Windows 8 sucks."

So true. I'd upvote you 20 times if it were possible!

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US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

Obvious Robert
FAIL

Re: Facepalm... @ AC 12:26

What? Is the husband/partner supposed to carry her for the 4 miles or something...?

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Hands-on with Ubuntu's rudimentary phone and tablet OS

Obvious Robert
Linux

Re: @Steven Raith - High Hopes

"So why in this world you came back to Linux, Mr. Usability ? Windows was always better suited for you than Linux."

And what in this world is wrong with having options and choice? These days the average computer user can cope quite effectively with Windows, Mac OS and a Linux distro like Ubuntu, and that choice of vendors and systems can only be a good thing. Ubuntu existing doesn't preclude any other Linux distro existing, so what's the problem? If you want to put it all together yourself then you still can, but if you're one of the 99% who can't then it's essential to be given an alternative to the Windows/OS X desktop duopoly (I'm not at all sure that Chrome OS is any kind of real alternative, it's just a glorified browser isn't it...?)

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Ofcom ploughs up UK spectrum fields, reseeds them with 4G

Obvious Robert

Yes but there are also those of us who own extremely capable multi core smartphones who happen to spend a great deal of our working lives in buildings that magically evaporate any 3G signal, so we choose to switch over to 2G to both ensure we retain a signal and save battery life. Aside from that there are some more rural areas near me that have never had 3G at all. They couldn't possibly switch off GSM altogether, it'd be like switching off analogue TV... oh wait...

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