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* Posts by VinceH

1185 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

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Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

VinceH
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Re: Greek geeks

And if you see the BBC documentary on it ("The 2000 Year Old Computer" IIRC) - watch it!

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Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)

VinceH
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Re: A years supply?

Exactly what I thought.

Along with "£16.95 per month for four bars of chocolate? Hand me a Twix!"

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Man, that iPhone 6 Plus won't fit in my pocket. Oh, here's a mobe store that'll resize my jeans

VinceH
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Re: Good for them!

"That said, I really think clothing should have long since adapted to carry electronics."

Over the last few years, I have noticed an increasing number of coats/jackets (and carrying straps on rucksacks) that have a pocket, designed especially for mobile phones.

Except that they seem to be designed for phones from a decade and a half ago - none of the phones I've owned for a decade or so would fit.

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GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

VinceH
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Re: Subject data access request

"Does the FOI Act apply to private companies.

My guess is not."

Subject data access requests are nothing to do with FOI. They're an individual's legal right under the DPA to see what information is held on them by any data controller - such as insurance companies - and which should therefore include any medical data they have obtained from GP records.

Should.

Ahem.

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#Help. There's a STRANGER in my Twitter timeline

VinceH
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Re: "But there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy."

"<translation>And here's a message from our sponsors...</translation>"

Nah, they do that already - they're called either sponsored tweets or promoted tweets, I can't remember which.

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

VinceH
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Re: Not so simple to take control

"If you want to be allowed to sell your devices in this country and use the frequencies required for your devices to operate then you must allow all operators within this country to provide services to your devices."

Exactly this - and it could, if done right, be good for the consumer.

You have your device. It tells you your signal strengths on the various networks it can pick up. You can choose one of them and sign up live, over the air - with varying length contracts (and longer contracts carrying greater overall discounts as you might expect).

But at that stage, you opt for a short one - just so you can use your device in the meantime, while you go about your regular travels and check the signal strengths of the various networks in other locations you visit regularly.

From that, when your initial (very short) contract ends, you choose the network that you felt gave the overall best coverage for your requirements - and, again, if you wish, you don't sign up for something onerously long.

The networks would be motivated to improve their services and coverage if punters can pick and choose so easily. (As it stands, it's not difficult - provided you're not locked in to pay for your device - but this concept has the potential to make things so much easier.)

Of course, I'm just dreaming. Reality will favour the network providers and help their efforts to screw the punter.

And there will probably be security issues.

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Careless Whisper? Anonymous messaging app accused of stalking users, blabbing to Feds

VinceH
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Big Brother

"Yes, Whisper has an ed-in-chief because the site works closely with news outlets such as BuzzFeed and the Guardian, sharing juicy anonymous posts with newshounds to turn them into stories"

And any suggestions that in future his role will be to release somewhat less anonymous posts when certain people - such as the sex crazed lobbyist mentioned - don't pay their protection fees are completely unfounded.

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iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac! World feels different today – and it IS

VinceH
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Trollface

Re: There's always one

"FASTER, SAME PRICE"

You give up your money faster - but the price is the same: you end up with an Apple iThing.

Is that what you meant?

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Disaster roster: OMG, are YOU SAFE? I dunno. Check Facebook

VinceH
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Re: Ads?

""We notice you're stuck, buried in a collapsed apartment block! How's your life insurance? Here's some policies to consider while you're here!"

You might also like to consider purchasing this shovel. [Supplied by Amazon, delivered by UAV]

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Batman in the frame to take on Steve Jobs

VinceH
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Re: Yeah that's what we need

I was looking forward to all of those, until you mentioned the subtitle of the last one - it's now scrubbed from my list.

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This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

VinceH
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Re: one day...

A view from 4AU away "straight up" might give an overall view of the Solar System - though whether the dots would be worth seeing from that distance is a matter of field of interest.

Another reason for the delay might be censorship; a slight delay while the "live" footage is checked for bad language (I hear Uranus is a right potty mouth) and other naughtiness (I gather NASA likes to do a little probing here and there in the Solar System).

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VinceH
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Re: one day...

"Except that it won't be live but delayed by about half an hour."

Depends which bit of it you want to watch. It's not all the same distance away.

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Qik as mud: Skype adds self-destructing video messages years too late

VinceH
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Paris Hilton

Re: Whats all the fuss about?

"Did'nt Charley's Angels boss used to get that tape that self-destruct after listening?"

No. You're thinking of Mission: Impossible.

Charlie's Angels boss - i.e. Charlie - spoke to the Angels* (and Bozley) by phone (as a group, on loudspeaker).

* For old time's sake: *Drool*

Paris? She's no angel. Or Angel.

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It's 2014 and you can still own a Windows box using a Word file or font

VinceH
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Re: Where's the daft name and funky logo?

"When my Linux boxen fall prey to a nasty they get trendy names and a logo (Heartbleed, Shellshock) with Windows you only get CVEs and a load of blather."

It's easy to come up with trendy names when the need is rare - but there aren't enough hours in the day when it comes to Windows.

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Lights off, nappies on! It's Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within

VinceH
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Re: As one of my friends used to joke

"One of the best (scariest) thing about the original Alien was that for most of the film you only ever got very quick glances at small bits of it, so you never really know exactly what you're dealing with."

Such as the scene where they open a hatch, and the alien is behind it posed as you would if you were hiding behind a door, in a monster suit, waiting to scare your kids when they opened the door - at which point it's clearly a:

"man-in-a-rubberlatex-costume"

If memory serves, yes, most of the glimpses were as you described - but that scene in particular has always grated with me. (Except when I first saw it - early mid-80s when I was a bit younger than the BBFC rating said I should be. And at which point a number of us young lads all thought Ripley looked a lot like one of our teachers.)

Still a fantastic film overall, though.

I wonder if it's time to break the seal on the Blu-Ray box set?

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Philip Morris seeks pay-per-puff patent to help you STOP smoking

VinceH
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Coat

"Philip Morris seeks pay-per-puff patent to help you STOP smoking"

It'll never work!

NEVER!

Erm, because I don't smoke to start with.

Oh, you didn't actually mean me specifically... COAT!

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Samsung: Thought your PIPE was FAT? Check our 4.6 GIGABIT WiFi

VinceH
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Re: Not for Fanbois.

"Not sure what the point of gigabit wireless is when you still have broadband measured in megabits."

A comment that immediately makes me think of certain members of my family who seem to believe that if "the internet" isn't working, their computers are useless.

It doesn't really matter if the broadband can't keep up - faster data transfer around a LAN will be useful to some.

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

VinceH
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Re: About recording calls.

"I had some issues with a company many years ago, after they refused to deal with the problem by letter and , despite constantly claiming to be recording my conversations "for training purposes", but being unable to retain ANY information from them, I tried to record them myself.

As soon as I repeated their own mantra back at them, they hung up on me.......

EVERY TIME."

When it comes to the point that you want to record conversations with them, before calling them again, send them one more letter - recorded delivery - and in that letter state that all future telephone conversations with them will be recorded.

That way, you don't need to say it to the person answering the phone - and they in turn won't react by hanging up.

(Been there, done that...)

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Cloud to kill off legacy apps, says Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes

VinceH
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Coat

"Cloud to kill off legacy apps, says Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes"

And what about Lebon?

Mine's the coat that shows my age...

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Is Apple incubating a Macbook, iPad bastard child?

VinceH
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Trollface

Well, it's about time that form factor was invented.

(We safely can dismiss any prior art, such as the Surface itself specifically, as not yet having been invented until it has been invented by Apple. We might as well, because when Apple finally do unveil such a device - be that next week, next month, next year, next decade - we all know the fanbois will claim it was invented by Apple, and that anybody else who brings out anything similar will be considered copycats.)

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Shift up, gran! Microsoft turns living room into AR game 'space'

VinceH
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Joke

Re: How cool is that ?

Well, the diameter of photos closer, anyway.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

VinceH
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Re: Story arcs and episodes

"What doesn't work so well for me is the harsh line between story arc and episodic format. [...] The heavy handed teasers that something else is going on do not constitute a story arc, so much as build to a series end that cannot possibly satisfy once you've got past the "so that's what it meant" discovery."

^ This, this and more this.

You've more or less said what I've said elsewhere before now about new Who. IIRC, the last time I bothered to discuss this was a couple of seasons back (the one where Amy was preggers/not preggers, having been taken and replaced with a replicant of some sort). It struck me that the "story arc" elements were - for most of the season - no more than reminders of something that was shown to us in the first episode.

This whole afterlife/Missy thing is coming across to me in the say way. Varying the person meeting Missy (because it's a different person this episode who has been offed) - and even having the person not meet Missy because she isn't there - doesn't change that.

For me, a good story arc needs to be integrated more seamlessly and subtly into the individual episode's stories, not jar from it, and build up over time equally subtly. (Though the*occasional* out of place, unexpected moment is acceptable - think the first ever reveal of a Shadow vessel in Babylon 5; a proper "WTF?" moment that makes you sit up and take even more notice in future.)

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We're not Mr Brightside: Asda Car Insurance broker hacked

VinceH
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Re: re: A non e-mouse

I'd ask "Compliant with what, exactly?"

All that was deemed necessary in 1996.

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VinceH
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Re: Flybe

"I'm convince Flybe has been breached recently as I've started receiving some spam (not a lot - yet) to an address I only use with them."

Was that address of the form flybe@domainname ?

I used to adopt addresses like that when handing them out to companies, websites, etc - but I'm not sure they're a valid way to monitor and control an address. I think some spammers may be trying common company names @knowndomainnames in order to get their crud to people like us.

I now generate a unique 7 - 10 character string to go before the @, with certain (undisclosed) characteristics so I can recognise if its an email I genuinely gave out, and check my records to see who to.

I think using this approach (for now at least) I'm less likely to falsely accuse CompanyXYZ of letting my email address out of the bag when, in fact, it was just pure bad luck that a spammer chose their name @ the domain I use for this.

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Google wants to KILL apps with the 'Physical Web'

VinceH
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Re: Have objects automatically sling ads at us?

"But that is only if you choose to interact with that URL or use an App that sends all the details off to a server."

Exactly, but the point I was making was that the one app to end all apps* that Google were talking about is an option now but in the long term I can see it being stock Android/OtherOS - by which I mean it comes with the devices, installed and enabled from the get go. Interacting at that point will be simply a matter of passing within range of things transmitting one of these signals.

As explained in the article? It's all innocent and one way, and there's no tracking, etc - but you have to be truly naive to think that the story ends there and we can therefore live happily ever after.

Call me a cynic and a grumpy, paranoid old fart if you like... and I'll agree with you wholeheartedly.

* Insert obligatory LotR [mis]quote here, replacing ring with app.

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VinceH
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Re: Have objects automatically sling ads at us?

It is a one way communication without login

It is a one way communication between the beacon and the app on your phone.

The app on your phone, OTOH, is communicating with a server on the internet (from where it's going to fetch the URL transmitted by the device).

Meanwhile the thing with the beacon is probably going to be connected as part of the Internet of Pointless Things - it, too, will be communicating with a server.

There will be (if not in the initial "let's big up the idea and get Joe Public excited" phase, or even in the earliest versions that come out - but somewhere down the line) "anonymised" data going from your phone to the server(s), to help the server(s) to know if there are any offers or personalisations that will be appropriate or make the "experience" more relevant to you.

"so you would have to actively choose to connect and use the 'app'."

Well, yes - until it becomes stock Android (and is then licensed - or reinvented by - Apple et al). Then it's only that you tend to leave mobile data switched off* that protects you from this insanity.

* Well, I do, anyway. I only switch it on if I need to use it, otherwise (and afterwards) it's off.

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You don't have to be mad to work at Apple but....

VinceH
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Re: TOP TIPS

"They should fit them with catheters piped directly to the sewer outside, via brushed Aluminium piping of course so people on the outside think it's cool."

That would be a missed opportunity.

It should be piped into a delivery system, so they can sell it to the true Applytes: Genuine Apple Staff Urine - almost as good as Unicorn Dust.

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IRONY ALERT: Former MI6 chief warns of 'mass snooping' - by PAEDOS

VinceH
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Re: Extraordinary claims

"CO, Spiderman/Tony Blair"

Wow! And all this time I'd been thinking Spiderman's true identity was Peter Parker. It must have been a cunning bluff, obviously.

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Coming to a theater near you: the TETRIS MOVIE

VinceH
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"Do they think that the association between a decades-old puzzle game will drive people into movie theatres to see it?"

No, but it might give them more opportunities for publicity and hype, with sites that may not normally be focused on the movie-biz willing to publish articles on it... such as El Reg.

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SPECIAL iPHONE TROUSERS will ease Apple into the fashion world

VinceH
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Unhappy

Re: Handbags at dawn

"Are you sure they are fake pockets?"

100% positive. :(

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VinceH
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Tsk.

"It’s something that we always are considering, in terms of the functionality of our garments," she insisted. "Of course, we’re always going to make sure that we’re going for something that’s flattering for the consumer...but we’re always thinking about how shethey wears the garment, what occasion she’sthey're wearing the jeans for and what shethey needs to just make them work for hertheir everyday life.”

Fixed that for her.

Unless Lee Jeans really are only going to design this 'extra pocket' on jeans for women.

(Although the general gist of that... flattering, occasions, etc... perhaps that is the case.)

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VinceH
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Re: Handbags at dawn

"The oddest of which for me has to be pockets that aren't, a frequent cause of irritation for my girlfriend. It looks like a pocket till you try to stick something in it, when you discover its sewn up and apparently only there for decorative purposes. Or I guess the lack of the actual pocket element is a money saving device by especially tight fisted manufacturers. It would drive me nuts;"

I have a coat like that - and it does indeed drive me nuts.

I bought it in a bit of a hurry, and didn't take enough notice at the time, so I didn't notice the faux-pockets until much later (and a very long way away from where I bought it).

Which is doubly annoying, because the main reason I picked it up was because it had plenty of pockets. I find lots of pockets very useful - especially when I go for a long walk in the middle of nowhere - so this coat is the most infuriating garment I have ever purchased.

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

VinceH
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Re: wait until a few days after teh renewal date

The problem is if something happens before you do that (late) renewal - for example, if you're in an accident. At that point, you have been driving the vehicle illegally, even if you intended to renew the following day (or even later that same day).

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VinceH
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"Reminds me of the tax-deadline when online filing came in. Everyone tried to do it on the last day. Don't. Do it before that. Your teacher wouldn't have accepted the excuse back in school."

Or when the same happened with VAT - with the last date for submitting returns being 7 days after the old end of month deadline.

Back near the start, I tried to submit a return for a client the day before the new deadline, and the server wasn't coping with the load - so I printed the error pages. Being kicked out when the office closed, I decided to take the figures home and submit from there - but my internet connection was down, and service wasn't restored until it was too late.

Unsurprisingly, teacher - in this case HMRC - didn't accept the excuse, and hit the company with a charge.

The subsequent tribunal, on the other hand, took an entirely different view, and described the situation as ludicrous - IIRC, the wording went something along the lines of "It's ludicrous that they are unable to predict and cope with the demand, and then fine the registrant for being unable to submit returns as a result."

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter one jot if you can apply (or, in the case of tax/VAT returns, submit) one day, one week, two weeks, four weeks, whatever period before the deadline. The deadline is the deadline, and you are perfectly at liberty to leave it until then - and if their service can't cope, it's their fault, not yours.

Although, as you say, teacher UKGov won't accept that as an excuse - possibly unless, as in my example, they are legally challenged. At which point, if it's a big enough cock up, they'll just legislate in their favour.

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VinceH
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Re: I concur

"You can renew your car tax for up to 4 weeks before the renewal date, so there is no excuse for leaving it till the last day."

How about people who don't have the money to pay for it until the last day?

Or people who are human, and do crazy stuff like forget?

FTR, I forgot - until I read this. (But luckily, my car will be parked on a driveway for another week). I shall [try to] deal with it now.

Edit: And now it's done.

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

VinceH
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Coat

Re: Life support systems is actually going to be pretty neat

""Windows could not find a pulse. Please wait while we search for a solution online..."

Sounds like the ideal time to bring back the annoying paperclip.

"You appear to have died. Would you like some help with that?"

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NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'

VinceH
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That's not a set of traffic lights. It's the end of a Martian Sand-Octopus's tentacle.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

VinceH
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Trollface

Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

"I love the way Apples denial machine is going overboard, such as this "only 9 complaints so far" malarkey."

Hmm...

"With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus."

...because the other iPhones that have bent ceased working altogether, and their owners had to use a different phone to contact us.

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VinceH
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Re: Blogger Fraud, even? @Bob

"The Slate article appears to be about some idiot who badly faked a video of bending the thing with his own hands."

Did he, though?

Yes, there are some time discrepancies in that video - but there also appear to be two iPhone boxes on the table to the right (his left) in some shots.

What may have happened is that after bending the first, and filming himself before and after talking about it, he then bent another to film the actual bending sequence - which would have resulted in the discrepancies. He probably didn't bother adjusting the time to avoid continuity errors because he wasn't making a Hollywood blockbuster.

Or just didn't think of doing it.

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

VinceH
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Curtains

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Alien gimp gag or cosmic golf ball? NASA tackles question everyone's asking

VinceH
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Who gives a damn about a silly little ball? I'm more interested in the Martian Sand-Shark whose dorsal fin is clearly visible breaking the surface to the left and up a bit - and whether or not it's equipped with frikkin' lasers.

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Apple 'Genius': iPhone 6? We've had NO COMPLAINTS about our BENDY iThing

VinceH
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"Even if another phone made of different materials survives the test does not mean it's a reasonable test."

Quite. Now look back at the part where I referred to his 'test' and note the apostrophes around the word.

It's not a reasonable test because it's not representative of the stresses the phone will be put through in the real world - he's applied a much larger amount of force than the phone would normally receive, just to see if it will bend, rather than to see if it will bend under normal circumstances.

However, the reason I pointed it out is because of what the previous AC (assuming you are not the same one) said:

> take any similar phone and put it under that much stress and it's likely to crack

The Samsung tested is a similar form factor - [troll] after all, it's a phone from the manufacturer Apple are trying to copy[/troll] - and it didn't crack. In fact, it regained its original shape.

It may not have been made of the same material, but ISTR he specifically pointed out the different material, and that it may have been a factor in the Samsung phone returning to its original shape.

And also:

> I'm surprised the glass did not break/pop off TBH.

(So am I, actually)

The iPhone's glass did crack - when he tried to straighten it, as mentioned at the start of the follow-up video.

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VinceH
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"Yeah right as if that is reasonable - take any similar phone and put it under that much stress and it's likely to crack - I'm surprised the glass did not break / pop off TBH."

You might want to watch the full video - and, given your comment about what might happen to a similar phone, the follow-up video as well, for one example of just that.

It's worth noting that the iPhone 6 had a minor bend in it already, before he started his 'test'.

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EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

VinceH
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Re: Gold standard available

"That's what the man said, and he's right.

The internet is a bigger place, and getting IFL right becomes an infinitely Hard problem as the cruft accumulates. Besides, your IFL "correct" is not mine. We're different."

Yes, but Google does its very best to know we're different, and your "I'm Feeling Lucky" result is likely to be different from mine for the same search term. At least that's the theory, with Google's ongoing mission to try to identify, track and profile every person on the planet.

Where it falls down, of course, is with people like me allowing Google to only store session cookies (because of those occasions I need to log in - otherwise it'd be no cookies at all), along with running script blockers, etc. But people like me (and I suspect you) probably form a minority - so while for us, then, your nay-saying of its ability may be true, for the majority it probably isn't.

However...

"So yeah, that feature will get more and more useless, then be removed."

Do you know what? I thought it already had been removed as part of Google's ongoing policy to take away things that people do actually find useful.

But I've just looked - it's still there.

However, in a way they have taken it away - because as soon as you type anything into the search box, the search becomes active (which has been the case for a long time - I can't remember offhand if they've called this active search, or live search, or something like that) and the IFL button disappears.

The only time it can be clicked, AFAICS, is before you've entered anything in the search box - which pretty much makes it useless already, by default. (Here it just takes me straight to Google's Doodles page, every time).

How silly is that?

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Man's future in space ... Barack Obama: Mars. Narendra Modi: Mars. Vladimir Putin: Er, Moon

VinceH
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"Quite why Russia has its sights set on the Moon, 45 years after Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind, isn't clear [...] A Moon base is within easy reach, though not as exciting as a Mars HQ."

Neil Armstrong, and those who followed him, stayed on the Moon for a comparatively short amount of time. What nobody has done is something you stated earlier in the article:

"The head of President Putin's space agency has confirmed it will build a new rocket to reach Earth's natural satellite – first occupied by the US in 1969 – and set up permanent encampments in the next 20 years."

Nobody has done that yet. We've had people spending a fairly long time in space, but not on another body. I'd posit that if you're thinking about setting up a permanent or semi-permanent base on another body, something that hasn't been done before, the sensible thing would be to do it on the closest one before going further afield.

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Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

VinceH
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Black Helicopters

"Construction has begun on the next major submarine cable, which when it's completed in 2016 will provide a big increase in capacity between South-East Asia and Europe."

Bidding now open for tapping...

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Galaxy Note 4 latest: Samsung rushes iPhone 6 Plus rival to China as Apple flails in dark

VinceH
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Duh! Withdrew my previous post, which was obviously the result of not enough coffee yet.

For some reason I read your post as saying the Note 4 was only 4.7 inches.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

VinceH
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Re: I agree

"But it looks like it would be bloody good to use"

And uncomfortable to hold, with the bottom corner pressing into the heel of your thumb. Rounded corners - as we usually get - are very beneficial there.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

VinceH
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Re: Thanks again....

"..for another broderline troll article that is fantastic for gently joshing my Apple-loving chums."

It almost makes me wish I was still on Facebook*. One thing I particularly enjoyed on Facebook was linking to pieces like this, specifically to bring it to the attention of my two Apple-loving brothers.

* Almost.

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