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* Posts by Arctic fox

2196 posts • joined 6 Nov 2009

Free iPhone 4S deal tempts Chinese fanbois

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

RE: "China Buys more Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces than U.S. in 2011"

I am perfectly well aware of the difference between, for example, "average" and "median". That is indeed the point here. Income disparity in China is even more extreme than in the US. If one speaks of the "1.0%" in the United States then one should perhaps speak of the "0.1%" in China. The vast majority of Chinese people are dirt poor in comparison to the equivalent economic groups/classes in Western society. A skilled blue-collar or white-collar worker in the UK could certainly realistically buy an iPhone (or other high-end smartphone) on a plan from a carrier, he or she would not regard it as a minor matter financially but it would be doable dependent upon the scale of the rest of their monthly expenditure. Skilled blue-collar or white-collar workers in China however (ie ordinary Joes and Josephines like me and thee) could not possibly afford what that plan costs. *That* was the point with my comparison - that plan is nothing that any ordinary Western retail customer need feel envious of. In Chinese terms that plan costs the earth.

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Arctic fox
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"iPhone users worldwide feel a wee bit underappreciated"? Only if they are both......

........totally braindead and *very* parochial. The average monthly wage in China is about 1800 yuan. The cheapest plan in that list represents about 16% of the average Chinese citizen's salary *before* deductions. The average monthly wage in the UK before deductions is about £2,200 giving us an *equivalent* monthly cost for plan #1 of £(0.16 x 2200) = £346.66. Still fancy some of that? It will be a long time before ordinary Chinese people can even begin to dream of owning a high end smartphone.

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Microsoft revives flight sim by giving it away free

Arctic fox
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Trollface

RE: "swan song", shirley?

Hmm, yes. Although the thought of SB demonstrating his "swan dive" from the top board at CES with accompanying tsunami conditions in the pool as he enters the water does have a certain appeal.

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'Mobiles bake men's balls' bog ad is cobblers - new ruling

Arctic fox
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@AC 16:51 GMT "Magnets near the pacemaker."

Indeed. For exactly the same reasons that we cannot allow anyone with a pacemaker near our dept's NMR, the liquid helium cooled magnet would really ruin their day.

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Parasites spark swarm of ZOMBIE BEES

Arctic fox
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Joke

Resident weevil?

"Then the next time I looked at the vial, there were all these fly pupae surrounding the bees,"

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UNSW researcher creates four-atom silicon wires

Arctic fox
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Holmes

Remarkable.

"It is extraordinary to show that such a basic law still holds even when constructing a wire from the fundamental building blocks of nature – atoms..............."

I look forward to the team demonstrating how one constructs a wire, of any type on any scale from any material you care to name, *without* using atoms. "Atomless" materials - the wave of the future.

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US lawmakers claim Huawei sold censor tech to Iran

Arctic fox
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Just taking a look a Huwei's response to the initial allegations.

"We have never been involved in and do not provide any services relating to monitoring or filtering technologies and equipment anywhere in the world," Huawei said then."

That is pretty explicit and if they are bullshitting it should be readily refutable. I've been googling this one a bit and I can't find anywhere that these six senators have said anything that in fact actually amounts to *evidence* contradicting what Huawei have said. Anyone else seen anything different?

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Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

Arctic fox
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I do not know what your arse can manage in 8m and 22s but the figure is.........

............not necessarily so ridiculous as it sounds to you. In addition to the specs of the tablet that Sammy handed out at the Build Conference mentioned in the article there was also the little matter of the 64 Gb SSD. Two of our Win 7 machines at home have identical specs as far as mobo, CPU and RAM are are concerned. The former needs about 60 min or so to run a drive image backup and the latter takes 18 min even though the amount and variety of data/programmes is roughly the same. The difference is simple. The former machine is equipped with a standard hard drive whilst the latter has a SSD as the system disk. The very large difference in sequential read speeds makes a big difference to how long a full system backup takes even though their sequential writes are about the same. The presence of an SSD on the system would have a considerable effect on how quickly these "refresh/reset" actions can be performed. It is perfectly possible that the genuine figure is significantly under your assumption of about 30 min. At any rate with an SSD on board that tablet their figures are not *necessarily* bogus.

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/09/samsung-windows-8-tablet/

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LG to show 55in, 4mm-thick OLED TV at CES

Arctic fox
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I freely admit that I am drooling - and no it does not have anything to do with........

............that young lady by the side of the telly, well not entirely anyway. Four mill thick, blimey! I assume that there will be fixed cable out to some kind of "ports hub"? I don't see how they are going to provide the necessary connectivity otherwise.

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Whale versus shark in KIWI DEATH MATCH!

Arctic fox
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Happy

Paws?

"...........who owns the dog seen harassing a shark in the video...........

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Verizon retreats on ‘convenience fee’ for online bill payment

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

I would however also like to make the point that I am not suggesting that ......

..........the European carriers are intrinsically more "worthy" than the US carriers. Whilst it is certainly the case that the markets in both data and voice traffic *within* the various nation states of Europe function reasonably well with local prices tending to be much lower than in the US, the situation when one leaves one's home country to travel to another European destination is another case entirely. Here the European carriers have been allowed to get away with so-called roaming charges for data and voice that amount to a degree of usury that would have brought a nod of rueful respect from Don Corleone. The primary difference here in Europe being that it is definitely a political hot potato with a considerable row going on between members of the European parliament and the commissioner responsible for EU telecommunications over the timing and scale of the upcoming capping of these charges. AFAIK there is not anything like the same degree of political noise over such issues within the US and I admit that I am bemused as to why that appears to be the case.

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Arctic fox
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@Hurtlebum RE: ".......extortionate charges for cell phones and data plans........."

This may be at least partly driven by the degree of reliance on credit purchases amongst US retail customers. This leads perhaps to the choice being between a phone bought *with* a plan and buying on a credit card followed by buying a "phone-less" plan, rather than paying *cash* and then buying a plan. If, as I believe, phone-less plans are often artificially overpriced then the financial logic of the situation in practice drives credit customers straight into the arms of the carriers - a situation that has become self-reinforcing as the majority of customers have become dependent upon what are in practice 2-year hire-purchase agreements for both devices and services with the same retailer. In contrast to a good deal of the rest of the US economy the market in phones and services in the States is to a significant degree not functioning in the interests of anyone other than the carriers.

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Arctic fox
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Unhappy

Whilst I am glad that this fee has been dropped and can readily understand the ire......

.........it generated I cannot help feeling that it is rather strange that US customers got so exercised over $2 (roughly a quid or so) when there are things about the mobile market on that side of the pond which surely must cost American mobile phone owners a great deal more than that. The fact that the carriers collectively in the US are a form of near monopoly gatekeeper with regard to *both* service provision *and* retail sales of mobile phones must surely cost the American customer far more in a year that this type of fee. The fact that buying your own phone and then buying a "plan" can actually end up costing you more over the lifetime of the contract is something that stinks of collusion between the carriers, with "phone-less" contracts being artificially over-priced. Oh no, not any kind of formal cartel - just a clear understanding of their common interests at the expense of millions of US customers. Verizon threaten a two dollar fee and there is outrage and the company has to back down. Yet US customers (apparently) accept this unholy alliance that in practice controls both access to services *and* to mobile phones in the large majority of cases, leading in turn to a situation where a mobile phone producer or a particular phone can in practice be shut out of the market unless he drops his pants for the carriers. Where is the outrage over that? I really do not understand the situation - anyone got an explanation that makes sense?

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Next-generation materials for post-Christmas repairs: Reg investigates

Arctic fox
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Trollface

The only preparations you need are.........

.........one gag and one set of handcuffs per child. -:P

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David Cameron gets custom prime-ministering iPad app

Arctic fox
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"Doesn't Cameron already have an iPad app....................

...........................that helps him set policy? It's called MailOnline."

Many a true word spoken in jest!

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Microsoft mum on leaked Phone OS plans

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

RE: ""leaked to Wmpoweruser.com" says it all." With all respect old chap, not it does not.

When it comes to the murky world of astroturfing and FUDing I recommend reading one of John le Carre's Cold War espionage novels to get a flavour of how to try and work out what is going on. It is perfectly possible (in theory at any rate) that this is FUD fed to Wmpoweruser by a source they believe they can trust but is in fact compromised. I am not say that it *is* the case, I am just saying that the assumption in your posting is *not* the only possible explanation for what *may* be going on here.

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Arctic fox
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Headmaster

To: Dana W: Actually the lack of logic ought to be fairly obvious.

This leak (if genuine - another point which should be taken into account) suggests that Windows Phone will not support high res screens, amongst other needed improvements, until almost 2013. This if anything is bloody embarrassing for Redmond and certainly does not support the accusation of officially sanctioned astroturfing in this particular instance. If this was leaked by someone within MS it rather suggests internal conflict and someone unhappy with the pace of development of the Apollo upgrade. When assessing an alleged leak from a major conglomerate like MS one should always take into account the likelihood that internal turf wars may be at least *part* of the equation or indeed the possibility that it is FUD generated by an outside player.

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Intel gets Atoms out ahead of CES

Arctic fox
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"20 per cent reduction in power and 10 hours of use"?

I realize that I am probably missing something here but how are they getting 10 hrs use with only a 20% reduction in power (consumption?) contra 1st gen atoms?

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LCD cartel case claims seven more scalps

Arctic fox
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RE: "Well, the report certainly trys to spin it that way"

You have a point - we'll just have to see how it *actually" plays out.

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Arctic fox
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Er, well actually on this occasion...........

"The bulk of the latest payment is made up in payments to “indirect” purchasers – that is, customers of finished products like TVs and computers using the screens, rather than the OEMs that were the cartel’s direct customers."

...........I think that the report does make it clear that the end-point customers *will* be compensated - as they should be given that they have almost certainly lost more (collectively) than the OEMs did.

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Chinese confirm Beidou satnav system is operational

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

"The EU has been lagging behind on this front, mainly down to..............

.......................squabbling over funding methods and cost overruns."

It also has to be mentioned that, initially at least, the US did a lot of heavy lobbying against Galileo in an effort to get the project dropped. They were not happy with Europe having a nav system independent of the US and gps.

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Japanese boffins crack arse-based ID recognizer

Arctic fox
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Joke

"The system is 98 per cent accurate" In the case of the remaining 2% the system.....

..........cannot tell your arse from your elbow.

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Apple land-grabs fuel cells for mobiles

Arctic fox
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To "Voland's right hand". I agree with you.

You said:

"The USPO's default position should that the patent is *not* granted unless the *applicant* can show that it is _WORKING_. No working prototype - no patent"

I said, about 3 - 4 postings earlier:

"Working prototype where we are talking hardware patent application or no patent granted."

AF.

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Arctic fox
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Shift the burden of proof perhaps, in addition to tightening the law?

In other words tighten up on what can be patented *and* shift the burden of proof onto the applicant. The USPO's default position should that the patent is *not* granted unless the *applicant* can show that it is novel. The current situation where the patent office is drowning in a flood of micky mouse applications where *they* have to show due cause to reject the patent is the source of all the shite we are seeing today.

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Arctic fox
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This demonstrates the problem perfectly.

"As far as El Reg can tell, Cupertino hasn’t actually built a fuel-cell-powered-cellphone, so we presume its two patent applications merely indicate directions in its research."

You are in a position to patent a device in your imagination. No, this is preposterous and should not be granted. Working prototype where we are talking hardware patent application or no patent granted. This has nothing to do with innovation, this is quite simply yet another land grab by a patent troll seeking to poison the market to their own advantage.

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No winner in Android v iPhone 2011 marathon

Arctic fox
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RE: "Totally agree"

In the short to medium what you say is IMHO indisputable. A touch more difficult to call long term, though I suspect the need for locally installed native apps will never entirely disappear.

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Lumia sales fail to set world alight

Arctic fox
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@Phoenix50: Too much like common sense..........

...............those it applies to will not listen to a word - unfortunately.

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Arctic fox
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@Twilkins: I really think old chap that you should have read my post more carefully.

I said:

"Ignoring all the feature phones and all the smartphones *significantly* under £400 we arrive at the following top ten."

I made it quite clear that I had done that in order to get a comparison between phones in the *upper price segment* which is where the Lumia 800 is - albeit at the lower end of that segment. Comparing like with like in the financial sense you understand. That was the point of my list with regard to those phones for which punters are willing to plonk roughly £400 or more on the table for their newest shiny.

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Arctic fox
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RE: "crikey. Razr coming up fast there"

It is isn't it? Mind you I am not exactly surprised it does appear to be very fine kit and has attracted some very favourable reviews on a number of serious web-sites including, natch, Reghardware. The one that does surprise me a bit given the problems that RIM has had lately is their highest end offering at number 4. I'm not dissing the phone you understand it is just that they have been in some fairly heavy weather in recent times and that does not exactly help when trying to sell a device in that price segment! As far as the Lumia goes this list would seem to suggest that it is doing all right albeit not near well enough yet to give Nokia any reason to feel that they are yet out of the woods.

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Arctic fox
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Headmaster

The information currently available does seem rather conflicting.

On the one hand we have major carriers claiming that the Lumia 800 is doing well (not just in the UK but in Holland, France and Germany) and on the other we have this survey which says the opposite. I took a look just now at Amazon in their sim free mobile phone category and chose to sort under bestsellers. Ignoring all the feature phones and all the smartphones *significantly* under £400 we arrive at the following top ten. I do not get the impression that the Lumia is doing quite as badly as this survey would suggest although it is clearly not "setting the world alight". Other than that this little list does appear to confirm that Sammy has a great deal to smile about!

1. Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II 16 GB (Black)

2. Galaxy Nexus 16GB

3. Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II 16 GB (White)

4. BlackBerry Bold 9900

5. Apple iPhone 4S 16GB Black

6. HTC Sensation XE

7. APPLE iPhone 4 16 GB

8. Nokia Lumia 800 (Black)

9. Motorola RAZR

10.Apple iPhone 4 16GB Black Factory Unlocked

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bestsellers-Electronics-Mobile-Phones-Smartphones/zgbs/electronics/356496011/ref=zg_bs_nav_ce_3_1340509031#3

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NASA finds first Earth-sized planets outside the solar system

Arctic fox
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Unhappy

RE: "Plus, if we could ship all the religious nutters into opposite corners...............

................ of earth 2.0 we might get some peace and quiet for a while."

It would be heavenly wouldn't it? However, they would make that extra effort to travel, regardless of how long it took, to bang on your door on Sunday morning. Just when your listening to your main man Lionel singing "Easy Sunday morning" you open the door to hear "we've come to give you a message from Glod (thank you Terry)" - they just don't get the message themselves do they?

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Deutsche Telekom: 'FCC, DoJ didn't give AT&T deal a chance'

Arctic fox
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@Chad H. Ah yes, the good old "cut your nose of to spite your face approach".

"They should have followed Qantas's union negotiation example.......And just threatened to shut it down if not agreed."

Oh I see, as simple as that hmm? You are comparing a dispute between a company and a trades union with a dispute with the government of (still) one of the most powerful nation states on earth? The US authorities would, not unnaturally have assumed they were bluffing and said "go ahead" and if they were bluffing their bluff would have been called. Of course if they had not been bluffing and had actually tried to go ahead and do that (with the consequent *massive* financial losses) I predict that the shareholder rebellion would have cost the entire board their jobs. Though in reality of course it would not have gotten that far because DK would have ended up with *both* the US *and* the German governments on their arses and would have had to back down from *that* position so quick you would have been able to measure their doppler shift.

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IBM: 'Your PC will read your mind by 2016'

Arctic fox
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Terminator

I'm afraid that I can't let you........

..............think that Dave.

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Shareholders rage over Imation's incredible 88% plunge

Arctic fox
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It is a regular horror story. However we know what is likely to happen...........

.............they'll still get their golden goodbyes, there will be absolutely no question of sacking them without compensation (which is what would happen in equivalent circumstances to us mere mortals) and they will probably be employed by another company in the future. The "Managerati" look after their own - because they all know that it might/will be their turn at some time in the future.

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Sony creates paper battery

Arctic fox
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Devil

@Efros. Forced to listen to their drinks cartons playing the same tune.......

............again and again and again and again.

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Apple wins skirmish in HTC-Google patent war

Arctic fox
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Megaphone

I am a little puzzled.

"Apple will likely assert that the patched versions still violate claims 1 and 8 of US Patent No. 5,946,647,"

Aren't you rather assuming that HTC and Google are incapable of coming up with a fix that avoids Apple's patent? Or are you assuming that whatever the fix is Apple will sue whether or not the fix in reality still breaches their patent? The ITC *has* rejected the rest of Cupertino's claims from its original suit, dated March 2010 (a total of nine alleged breaches not upheld by the commission) and it seems to me that as long as the fix is competent there is a reasonable likelihood that HTC will win through. If they do it will be a lot harder for Apple to sue the other OEMs over the same patents.

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Shoppers love fondling iPads to fill out sex health survey

Arctic fox
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Joke

RE: "Ewww". I am looking foward with great anticipation to El Reg.......

............reporting the release of the iClap 3 - the news would go viral immediately.

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The Best of El Reg 2011 now on Kindle

Arctic fox
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Weeell, I think that is a touch over the top.

The moment I saw "Kindle" in the headline I clicked to read the article operating on the assumption that the book was scarcely going to be part of the Gutenberg project. I think that most would have assumed that it was "pay per view"? I would argue that it is far more of a real world problem where a newspaper or a special interest site promo something without revealing their financial involvement.

AF.

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IT'S OFFICIAL: AT&T, T-Mobile deal is dead

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@dognolegs. Completion of contract old chap?

AT&T reached an agreement with Deutsche Telekom and signed on the dotted line. Part of such agreements is a fee to be paid by the one party if the other party "fails to complete". For reasons for which DT cannot be held liable AT&T has withdrawn from their agreement thus making them liable for the $4bn fee, the size of which was stipulated as part of the original agreement. AT&T on this occasion is just having to pay up for their own misjudgement in betting that they would succeed in scamming something close to recreating the old Bell monopoly past the competition authorities in the US. They fucked up and they are having to pay for it.

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NASA detects 'heartbeat' of pint-sized star-sucker

Arctic fox
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Joke

I can't see the............

...............attraction myself.

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Asus Zenbook UX31E

Arctic fox
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I suppose I should not bite but I will.

Compared to the MBA it has:

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1. Higher res and larger screen

2. Better cpu

3. All the connectivity options (industry standard) you can shake a stick at.

4. Same price as the MBA

It does not look anything like the MBA and there major differences (for the better IMO) with regard to specs. We expect a higher standard of troll here at El Reg, please try harder next time

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Google's Siri-a-like to be named 'Majel' after Trek actress

Arctic fox
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WTF?

@Peter Gathercole: An interesting aside?

Pardon? We read in the article as well:

"The name Majel comes from Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the actress best known as the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek."

Best known as?

For those of us who remember when Star Trek was first broadcast by the BBC in (if memory serves) '68 Majel Barret is *always* Nurse Chapel first and foremost. That she contributed much more afterwards is something we of course honour her for. Majel Barett was a great lady - let us not rob her of the kudos for one of the roles in the classic series that are remembered by many of us with *great* affection.

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Jedi light-sabre beats Taser in Oregon parking-lot fracas

Arctic fox
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Terminator

Firing on all thrusters.......

...........he is not.

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Apple mulls new chip boffinry HQ in Israel

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Law of unintended consequences. In the same fashion that suing Samsung.........

.............all over known space has contributed to raising Samsung's brand profile it is possible that this acquisition might also have unintended consequences.

"Apple might like its very own chips and flash at some point, thereby removing all Samsung stuff from its products."

This will likely result in Samsung investing even harder in mob/tab production and sales in order to shift their own "stuff" in addition to selling it to other OEMs.

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iPhone users get iJustHadAShag bedpost-notch boast app

Arctic fox
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Trollface

May I be permitted to correct this report a touch?

"iOS users who fondle more than a slab now *and then* have an app to help them report the fact"

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Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving

Arctic fox
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@Khaptain A most apposite question.

The answer for the US was about 30,000 or so total gun related deaths in 2010 of which a little over 50% were suicides. Thus approximately 12,000 or so due to deliberate action or accident. If we exclude self-harm it still means that about 4 times as many people die as result of a gun being discharged by another party than as a result of "distracted driving". It is instructive that politicians rush to legislate in the latter area (and others like it) but will not touch anything which can be characterised by the NRA as anti-gun legislation with the thin end of a very long bargepole. As far as guns are concerned they are flag waving libertarians, anything else (except of course BigCorp's sacred right to make as much money as possible unimpeded) and suddenly the joys of social authoritarianism overwhelm them.

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Arctic fox
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RE: "This is precisely why.."

That is indeed precisely why. When one reads..........

"driver of the pickup truck had sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the accident, and that the final message was received right before the pickup ran into the truck-tractor."

...........it is almost necessary to read it a couple more times to get ones head round how lethally stupid the driver was. If we do not want the state to "take responsibility for" (=control) even more of our everyday actions then we better bloody well take responsibility ourselves. That kind of idiocy simply gives the lobbyists and the politicians more to work with. It makes it even harder to fight off the desire of some politicos to wave their legislative dicks around when so called adults behave the way that lad did.

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Higgs boson hunters have god particle in their sights

Arctic fox
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Happy

@Destroy All Monsters Or maybe..........

..............Cosmic Sense.

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Asus Tegra 3, Android 4 tablet priced up for Brits

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

RE:"Rip off Britain"

"Why does Britain have to pay £551 for the 32GB version + keyboard when in the states they pay around £400 ($499 + $149). "

If you take a look at that, about two thirds of it is British VAT with the "rip-off" being about fifty quid or so. I do not defend *that* mark-up but it is not quite so bad as its seems.

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Windows Phones message hub hit by killer SMS

Arctic fox
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Trollface

RE: "You are Barry Shitpeas and ICMFP."

Don't bother, he'll never pay up.

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