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* Posts by Arctic fox

2221 posts • joined 6 Nov 2009

Barclays Capital cuts IT contractor rates by 10% ... again

Arctic fox
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Mushroom

"Barclays Capital has told IT contractors and temp staff.........

.............that they have to accept a 10 per cent cut in their rates."

Amazing how these (w)bankers appear to be of the opinion that everyone else should accept cuts in their remuneration except them. Also fascinating that they do not seem to make the connection between this kind of "cost control" and their websites going down the kahzi regularly. This degree of short-term stupidity, greed and arrogance is on a scale damn near unique even compared with the rest of the business world's leading managerati. When the revolution comes and they're put up against the wall can I, please, please be allowed to lead the firing squad?

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Ten... high-end Android tablets

Arctic fox
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I agree with your point about *current* market share.

It probably is no more than about a quarter at the moment. However I would point out that going from 2 - 3% of the market at around about this point in 2010 to somewhere about 25% now in 2011 is a fairly remarkable jump. How it is going to pan out in the next year or so and what effect Win8 may or may not have in tablet space is of course another matter - my crystal ball needs a firmware upgrade.

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Nvidia outs five-core ARM chip

Arctic fox
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That is impressive

Improving the performance contra power consumption equation by a spread of most of an order of magnitude is very impressive. Intel reckons its low power challenge will be available in 2013 according to the roadmap they announced recently - they are going to have to go some to match the accelerating development of the ARM SoCs.

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Apple shovels $400m in stock grants to top execs

Arctic fox
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"...........they are all dedicated to Apple’s continued success............."

In common with many other examples of BigCorp's managerati throughout big business they are so dedicated to the company that they have to have large amounts of wonga thrown at them in addition to their already sky-high salaries.

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Microsoft gives Phone 7 Mango jailbreak its blessing

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Not sure that that is quite the case.

"Redmond has had an ongoing feud with the developers at ChevronWP7 ever since the group put out a jailbreak for Phone 7 a year ago, allowing users to run applications …"

AFAIK Redmond's relationship to ChevronWP7 has been reasonably constructive for quite some time. They released a hack (8 - 10 months ago perhaps?) that meant WP7-phone owners could download and install a pre-release version of MS' "NoDo" update and Redmond warned (I believe it was language files issues although I am not sure) that it might result in the phone being bricked when the "real" update arrive OTA. Chevron's people had some meetings with MS engineers, went away and built a fix for those who had installed unofficially and provided it OTA with Redmond's blessing. I am not saying that they invite each other to family reunions but the expression "ongoing feud" seems a little too creative.

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Hands on with the Motorola Xoom 2 10.1in Android tablet

Arctic fox
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Currently no 3G and no storage expansion?

They may, or may not, turn up in future? Why would I buy now then Moto? As far as I am concerned there is a basic check list for what should be on tablets in the medium to high end segment.

1. USB (and chargeable through it, stuff proprietary chargers)

2. HDMI out.

3. micro-SD slot (no memory expansion, no sale).

4. 3G option available as well as a Wifi only model.

5. Customer changeable battery.

6. Bluetooth.

As far as I am concerned lack of these facilities is a deal breaker. So far Sony, Samsung, Moto, HTC etc have all managed to spoil what would otherwise in many cases be very good kit by not including some of the above. Sony's new table recently reviewed here? No HDMI and no USB charging on what would have a damn good tab. Sammy's new 7-incher lacks.............no I got to stop. The OEMs just wind me right up with their unerring capacity to *almost* get it right.

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German website offers custom cow killing

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

"The jury is still out on...............

.....................the effects of stress on the taste of meat, but some maintain that the strain on cattle of being packed into a container, shipped to an abattoir (with a trip to a massive feedlot first for final fattening) and then being killed in an industrial manner makes beef less tasty, and also more difficult to preserve."

I imagine it ruins the cow's whole day as well.

On a more serious note both humane principles and actually economic common sense (if one thinks outside the box a bit) would suggest that the slaughterer coming to you, doing the job on the spot and shipping carcasses rather than live animals (much easier and the number of vehicles needed, numbers carried per container volume, far fewer - cheaper, less traffic) would be a win-win on both accounts.

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Mobile industry needs Windows, handset vendors warn

Arctic fox
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RE: "Carriers are bullies"

I do not disagree. However that problem is primarily driven by the lack of *genuine* competition amongst the carriers in the US market which, because of that markets importance to the producers, means that the carrier's behaviour in the US has a very big effect on the world-wide phone market. That problem has to be tackled by the US competition authorities (well we can always hope), it will not be in any way ameliorated by insufficient competition in the world-wide phone *producer* market.

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Arctic fox
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@Jack Prichard RE: "I disagree". I agree (with you)

The problem with the reverberating beat that one often gets on a thread covering this kind of topic of "do you wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang, do wanna be in my gang..." is that the issue of what serves us *all* as customers regardless of which os we prefer tends to get drowned out by the tribal choruses from various points of the compass. If we actually consider *analytically* what serves our interests as consumers we realise immediately that our *objective* economic interests are *not* coincident with the interests of the manufacturer of our favourite kit. It is first and foremost in *their* interest to b** f**k the competition by any means they can get away with and, if they succeed, proceed to b** f**k us some customers. This point is so obvious that it is a wonder that it needs repeating regularly. We need as many players as this (very rapidly) growing market can support. For that reason I hope (says through gritted teeth) that Apple continue to do at least reasonably well, that Android does the same, that RIM succeed in getting their act together again and, yes, that Nokia have decent success with their "Nokiasoft" phones. That would be in the interests of *all* of us.

BTW I run a Desire Z :)

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Tech Data sues LCD panel makers over price-fixing

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

Agree with your final point with one modification.

Given that it is too easy to cook the books with regard to *profit* (net or gross) the fine should be based on gross *turnover* in the panel division concerned - very difficult to evade/falsify. How about an entire year's turnover for the first offence?

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Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

Arctic fox
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Re: "....the dumbest fucking list........."

"No, those aren't the opinions of mere fervid fanbois; they're the considered conclusions of 1,000 gaming-industry executives".

Not surprising its dumb it is after all the opinion of a thousand or so managerial/executive types - and the smartphone/pad that type usually owns is a......?

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Sony Tablet S

Arctic fox
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Unhappy

There does appear to be much to like about this tab but............

"For me, you can't beat the no-nonsense connectivity of an HDMI port or full-size USB 2.0 socket, and so I'm left feeling Sony deserves a bit of kick for not fitting them when the bulbous rear of the Tablet S clearly has the space. ®"

...............there is no flaming excuse for this. No HDMI, you have to use a proprietary charger and no proper USB when they could have fitted one. I do not understand what the mindset is here. With those things in place this would likely have been one of the very best tablets on the market bar none (the iPad included) - what is it with some of the OEMs?

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Steve Jobs' last words: 'OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.'

Arctic fox
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Indeed I am relieved in fact to see that someone else was struck by the same thought.

Whatever my opinions might be of Apple's products and/or their marketing strategy I have never experienced the impulse to wish Mr Jobs any personal harm. In the same light I regard his passing as an intensely private moment that I do not feel that I have the right to share. What was it that that Dylan Thomas wrote?

"Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

That moment should have remained something that he only shared with those closest to him - shame on those who have chosen to "Face-Book" it.

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Google-Moto pulls in $228m following settlement with RIM

Arctic fox
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I am just wondering when this preposterous and destructive game.......

...........of musical patents is going to stop. Unless any one of these corporates actually believes that they are going to emerge as the "winner" by going the courtroom route then the industry better sit down and work out a framework for a deal. It really ought to have begun to dawn on them that any "victory" in the courtroom will likely be the very definition of a "pyrrhic victory". "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined."

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HP UK PC team baying for rivals' blood

Arctic fox
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"Leo Apothker who pocketed a nice payout on his way out of the door"

He had responsibility for a monumental cluster-fxxk and still gets his golden goodbye. A finer example of the capacity of the "managerati" to take the piss out everyone: shareholders, employees, customers, business partners - and still get away with helping themselves from the till on the way out the door would be hard to find. Until those bastards are actually subject to consequences related to the way they do their jobs of the kind that we "little people" have to accept (you know, like sacking without notice or pay where appropriate) we are just going to see history repeating itself again and again.

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This weekend: First ever iPADS IN SPAAAACE

Arctic fox
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"They're going to be used for entertainment purposes only"

"Entertainment only"? Oh dear, Cupertino is not going to be pleased.

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Nokia: The first year of the Elopcalypse

Arctic fox
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A calmly argued assessment of what went wrong.

One can argue about the details but what is indisputable is that Nokia had done it to themselves well before Elop was on the horizon as the new CEO. He took a decision which many disagree with but the decision is taken. Basically he has got 2012 to demonstrate that he took *a* correct decision (even if many feel it was not *the* correct decision). If by the end of next year it is not obvious that Nokia is boxing on the front foot then there will IMO be little hope for the future. I hope for Nokia's sake that it does work out and for all our sakes as customers regardless of which os we personally prefer. A market with three major players will, by definition, be more competitive than a market with only two where a misstep by one of them can leave a "winner" owning the market place to the detriment of us *all* as customers. That is after all pretty much what happened in the nineties leaving, ironically enough, you-know-who owning the pc-market.

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Details of all internet traffic should be logged – MEP

Arctic fox
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@Tony S RE "Translation" It is indeed a very serious problem - the attention seeking.......

...........politician that is. I have in my lifetime seen more examples of bad, poorly thought out and counter-productive legislation "birthed" by some politico or other than almost any other source of changes to law/public policy (other than the results of the special interest lobbying industry of course). I won't bother to list the potential horrendous consequences of this idiot's proposals, it is obvious from the thread that posters are well aware of the damage that such stupidity could do. There are few more pernicious sources of bad law than a politician with a hard-on for personal publicity and a pathological need to be seen to being do something - anything, however bloody stupid it is.

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Apple sending sun-juiced iPads to rural Zimbabwe

Arctic fox
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@dotdavid RE: "Hmmm".

It is very strange. What ever view one takes of Apple Corp their marketing dept has a reputation (understandably) for being one of the smartest in the retail sector. This would appear to be a major fail inasmuch as the association with the Mugabe regime is, frankly speaking, poisonous.

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Samsung gets fast-track appeal on Tab injunction

Arctic fox
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@andreas koch: Does not work old chap

In contrast to the Great Satanic Beast Of Redmond (who will at least permit you to pay extortion money) the Demon Spawn of Cupertino do not license, they are famous for it in fact. If they decide to take you out, there is no point in offering to pay. They are only interested in ensuring that you "sleep with the fishes".

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A rapid first hands-on: Nokia’s Windows phones

Arctic fox
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IT Angle

The Curious Case of the SD-Card

According to Anandtech:

"Unlike the 800 however the 710 features a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to a 16GB card (24GB total)."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5015/nokia-lumia-800-710-windows-phones-announced

Have you any idea what is going on here Andrew? Why on earth has Nokia not put an SD-slot in the 800 when they have in the (relatively speaking) budget 710?

The icon? Well although it is IT it definitely deserves a question mark!

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Nokia's Brave New World is (almost) Finn-free

Arctic fox
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Coffee/keyboard

What a wonderful image.

"................they made people physically sick at their concerts. So the Kevins have something in common: they’re both sonic terrorists."

That's a keyboard you've cost me!

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Binned PCs were stuffed with MoD and Sun staffers' privates

Arctic fox
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Oh God please. "Rebekah Wade's naughty bits"

Get that image out of my head, aaargh.

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Survey: Future IT guys will 'crowd-source' to fix stuff

Arctic fox
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Lovely, just what we all want.

All right, temporary contracts all round, no chance of a permanent job - yeah, way to go. This is just another employer-responsibility-avoidance model. Let's keep the prols hungry, frightened and above all obedient. If I have misunderstood this (which is quite possible) I would be delighted if someone would explain why my cynical response is mistaken.

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Disk drive crisis: Economists are terrible weathermen

Arctic fox
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@KrisMac Interestingly enough they are using it.

Rather like neurologists mapping the brain (complex network by definition) economists *are* applying non-linear dynamics to complex systems such as global production/trade. Problem is of course that specific concrete effects/outcomes are, almost by definition, very difficult to predict in such systems. From what I have read they are in a position to model generalised "what-ifs" to produce scenarios but they are a long way from being able to offer prescriptive predictions. Even then of course one reaches the point where politics and economics interact. Who would be in a position to tell the Thai government that some of those factories "should" be relocated to another country? Any economist offering advice of that kind would very rapidly be accused of seeking to impose Stalinist central planning on a global basis - even if his/her advice was well grounded in such vulnerabilities as we see here in the example of hard-drive production.

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Intel, MS destined to remain tablet underdogs

Arctic fox
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@Geoff Thompson Re "Flawed"

Agreed, the inclusion of Win8 in this kind of data set is ridiculous. They have no data from any sales of Win8, no pre-order data, no shipping data, nothing nada. How on earth one can pretend that such a prediction is anything other than *literally* guesswork is beyond me. Currently, for all we know, Win8 will be a complete failure or an utter triumph for MS or anything on a sliding scale in between those two extremes. The analyst industry appear to love making complete and utter fools of themselves.

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Microsoft trousers yet more royalties from Android gear

Arctic fox
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@Red Bren RE: "Picking off the small players"

I respectfully point out that Samsung recently settled with MS - hardly a small player. I do not know what MS have got in those patents and I do not for one moment seek to defend predatory behaviour. I am just pointing out that it is not only the "little boys" who are paying up. Why that might be I have no idea.

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China punts free condoms at iPhone owners

Arctic fox
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"Fondle something other than a mobe"

Do they have the time or the inclination for other interactions?

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Jobs: 'I'll spend my dying breath destroying Android'

Arctic fox
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Which Wildfire are you talking about?

It surely cannot be the Wildfire that HTC got showered with praise for because it brought a level of build quality to the sub-£300 price point that had not been seen at what was then regarded as the low-price end of smartphone space? Or the same Wildfire that was the very first phone to have Wifi at that price point? The same phone that a large number of reviewers described as a break-through in terms of the specs on what was then an entry level phone pricewise - that Wildfire? I do not know which piece of shit you bought but it cannot possibly be the same Wildfire as the one I bought as my introduction to "smarphonery".

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Arctic fox
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I am trying to work out why Steve Jobs......

........apparently felt that once Apple had produced a smartphone OS nobody else thereafter had the right to produce another new one. Apart from anything else one would have to be braindead to confuse iOS and Android. The latter is very clearly *not* a copy of the former.

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Samsung Android 4.0 smartphone priced for Blighty

Arctic fox
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@sheep++; Carriers should indeed be the first up against the wall etc etc.

However, the unlocked price will undoubtedly come down some in the months after release although for the reasons I have already posted on this thread I will not personally be buying one.

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Arctic fox
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I have to say that I agree.

When you consider what one values about the Android OS I have to say that no available memory expansion and you cannot change the battery on a phone that is priced over five hundred pounds (we are supposed to throw it away when the battery's knackered?) does rather take the shine off the system's flagship. I was interested to see what the latest Nexus would be offering but I have to say that my interest headed south rapidly when I saw these aspects of the specs.

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War boffin: Killer cyber attacks won't happen

Arctic fox
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@JustaKOS I think that the gentleman is dealing to some extent in semantics.

"if the attack, no matter what form it takes, is instigated by another state and is so serious that the victim would be justified in using destructive force to curtail it, then there is implicitly a state of war between them."

That indeed is the nub of the issue. Is a state going to launch a cyber-attack which could cause significant damage (albeit without causing human casualties in the *direct* sense) on another state who *does* have the technology to reply in kind - likely not, a sort of new style MAD scenario. However, what if state A (believing that it can conceal the source of the attack) launches an attack on state B (who whilst not having "cyber capacity" *is* in a position to respond militarily ) which causes a great deal of damage and state B *does* succeed in identifying the culprit? How will state B respond, especially if the attack is ongoing and continuing to do more and more damage? The only option state B would have to defend itself might be a military response. The fact of the matter is that one can imagine several logical scenarios (of which mine is only one) where a cyber-attack would *lead to* actual large scale casualties.

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Debt collectors warned off pursuing punters on Facebook

Arctic fox
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This is very worrying as a sign for the future.

We are facing the possibility that "authorities" public or private will use the new social media as a means of pursuing/persecuting somebody they do not like (for what ever reason). This is only one of the reasons why I am *very* bloody careful what I put on the web. If you knew my real name you could of course "google" me. However, the only thing you would discover would be where I had done my degree and what subject I took - which is one reason why the only personal things I have said about myself here is what my "trade" is and which country I live in. That certain people are interested in social media as a way of reintroducing the stocks as a punishment (without inquiry or trial) is not something that surprises me in the slightest.

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Bog builder pushes out poo-powered motorbike

Arctic fox
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Joke

"The bog bike can reach maximum speeds of around 50mph..............."

Try in on the result of several lagers and a curry vindaloo - reckon it might achieve escape velocity under those conditions.

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Wireless industry bows to 'bill shock' rules

Arctic fox
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I am constantly amazed at the attitudes displayed.

"Today's initiative is a perfect example of how government agencies and industries they regulate can work together under President Obama's recent executive order directing federal agencies to consider whether new rules are necessary or would unnecessarily burden businesses and the economy," said CTIA–The Woireless Association headman Steve Largent."

How about examining whether a *lack* of enforceable rules unnecessarily burdens the customer? How about the default position being in favour of the ordinary citizen instead of (as it nearly always is) organised capital?

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US military debated hacking Libyan air defenses

Arctic fox
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Obamaführer?

Of the "VG Tips*" persuasion are we?

*Explanation for our US compadres: they are a well known brand of tea-bag in the UK.

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Toyota Yaris 2011

Arctic fox
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"Put the new Yaris and the new Kia Rio side by side........................

..................and remove the badges, and I dare you to tell them apart."

And nobody is suing anyone for patent infringement? How refreshing.

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Punters to favour Smart TV over 3D TV

Arctic fox
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RE: "it will post what you are watching."

As well as demanding "likes" with menaces for certain selected programmes.

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Apple wins for now: no Galaxy 10.1 in Oz

Arctic fox
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"Apple are not suing Sony, LG, Acer and .....................

".......................other tablet makers and trying to ban sales of *their* tablets."

That might just have something to do with the fact that with the sole exception of Asus (not even Apple's lawyers could accuse Asus of copying iFruit with the Transformer's form factor) the only OEM currently producing both phones and pads whose sales are beginning to make Cupertino really nervous is in fact Samsung. I have to say though that this legal campaign does not seem to be likely to harm Samsung that much - for example the Galaxy S II appears to be readily available (and selling really well) in most of Europe and the US. No disrespect to our Antipodean compadres but I do not think that the temporary injunction down there will end up hurting Sammy that much.

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Chinese whisper of low-cost Kindle-confounding iPad

Arctic fox
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I am not sure about this one.

What is Amazon's big strength and why is it selling the "Fire" so cheap (I pose the question rhetorically)? Content, content and yet again content. Even if Apple made a version of the iPad intended to compete with Amazon's price they would still not be challenging Amazon on content. Apple make very well built kit (doesn't float my boat but fairs fair) and have a famously loyal customer base, however, can they seriously challenge Amazon over content? *That* is the issue here.

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Android apps now playable on Windows PCs

Arctic fox
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RE: "I was wrong about needing to be logged in"

Thanks for getting back on that although I still have to say that the need to open a FB account is a dealbreaker as far as I am concerned. :)

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Arctic fox
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"It's good, in parts"

Thanks for the review - very useful. :)

Two things kill my interest in this program. 1, Not functional unless you are online. 2, You have got to have a FB account. They want you logged on all the time and they want access to your online "social life" - social engineering much?

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Dubstep ringtone wins Nokia compo

Arctic fox
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Yes, of course I did. The problem is ( apparently) that nobody detected........

...............the irony in my gentle tease of the author of the article (accompanied by a smiley icon FGS!). Frankly speaking, some people should get out more. The only thing I did was gently "twit" the author in a *very* friendly fashion and I get downvoted - hello`? That kind of response, in the context, is ridiculous.

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Arctic fox
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Happy

Personally I think its shite but I have to say that even if it was top ten material.......

..........I have the faintest suspicion that it would have been greeted in the same way.

"Here at Vulture Towers we don't claim to be shooting the breeze with the cool cats on a daily basis.............."

"..........and either we're way too old to understand what the young things are listening to these days.......".

"The cool cats"? If you guys have not yet left the beatnik era then you definitely are "way to old to understand what the young things........."!

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MS kills, un-kills kills Zune player line

Arctic fox
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RE: "A shame"

"with even cheap feature phones packing a competent media player nowadays the death of the PMP is pretty much inevitable."

I think that that is at least as much the point here for Redmond as the Zune-player's not so stellar sales record. The smartphones and the good quality featurephones are in practice killing the stand alone media player and the compact digital camera (plus a whole list of other devices dependent on which apps the owner has installed). It simply is not worth the effort from MS' point of view.

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Motorola punts Android into the enterprise

Arctic fox
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No 3G?

For that kind of money those tightwads could have given it call capability anyway.

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Would you let your car insurer snoop on you for a better deal?

Arctic fox
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"Would you let your car insurer snoop on you for a better deal?" F**k NO!

No way for the very simple reason that the insurance companies will, if customers sit still for this, make it a condition of getting insurance at anything other than usurious premiums. In practice it amounts to putting the "spy in the cab" that lorry drivers have to accept (for a hold raft of reasons that do not apply to a private car driver - bit of a difference between driving a Ford Mondeo for a couple of hours a day and spending your entire working day a the wheel of a 32 ton "artic") into private cars without having to bother about inconvenient things like getting debated legislation through parliament and having to make/justify your case in the process.

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Intellectual Ventures wages patent war on Motorola

Arctic fox
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We have now reached the point where there is a market............

....................in patents as if they were independent financial instruments with all that implies. Most particularly it means that large amounts of speculative money are being used to trade in a *commodity*, something patents were never originally envisioned as. In practice it means that a large amount of venture capital is being applied to parasitising the industries affected instead being available to contribute to driving innovation and development. The VCs appear in increasing degree to see this as a lower risk because they are investing in enforcing ownership of what already exists. Unless the patent system is reformed in such a fashion that speculating in patents as a commodity in themselves is severely restrained, this development will utterly strangle industrial innovation. A situation where it is extremely attractive to invest in and enforce the status quo is no recipe for innovation and progress. The current situation bids fair to ensuring that the industrial/economic system starts to stagnate completely in a mire of competing civil court cases where the competition is not over what you can make but over what you own. The principal of ownership is of course central to our economic system, however, how that is expressed and how your are permitted to enforce it is crucial in driving forward the systems "creative destruction". Unless we do something about this there is going to be far too little creation and far too much destruction with the result that we may very well see the patent system doing to society what the banking system has been doing in recent years. The price is likely to be a *very* steep one.

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Samsung and Google's next Nexus specs leak

Arctic fox
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RE "even this phone will face some stiff competition from apple."

Possibly not, especially if an even more freshly baked set of rumours are to be believed. From the update to the article in the link:

"...............that 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display mentioned above is just about the only spec to make the final cut. The processor, however, is more likely to be a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos (that's right) with an accompanying dual-core PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics chip. That rear facing camera? Try 8 megapixels with a newly beefed up sensor. The handset should also ship with a girthy 2,050mAh battery fully capable of juicing this apparent LTE / CDMA / GSM Android monster."

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/06/samsung-galaxy-nexus-specs-leak-headed-to-verizon-as-an-exclusi/

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