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* Posts by big_D

1366 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

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Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking

big_D
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Re: Stuff is, is, it, issons, issez, issent and just speak the language

@Tapeador, when I arrived, I was dumped in deepest, darkest Bavaria, in a small village where nobody spoke a work of English and I was left on my own (girlfriend ran off, once she realised I was actually moving to Germany!).

German friends helped me with the paperwork for the first year and I managed to struggle through shopping without too much problem and bought other things by pointing and learning words as I went along.

What really helped was spending 9 months in a Language School in Munich, full time, before looking for a new job. Not everybody can do afford to do that, but even if you have to do it as an evening course, it is the best way.

I tried learning German before I left the UK, but because I didn't use it every day, not much stuck. I could count to 10 and say hello, goodbye, please and thank you... That was about it, when I arrived.

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Where I work, the people are often impressed with the quality of my German (may German fiance less so). I live in an area that was a hub for the British military and a lot of them stayed here after they had served their time. Some have been here for over 20 years and can speak little or no German.

I had a similar start to Mr. Durkin, I was made redundant in the UK (company downsized 2500 employees) and I took my money and moved to Germany to start again. Food is very cheap, housing is cheap, cars hold their prices.

The prices had held up well even before the cash for clunkers deal. The UK seems to throw their cars away after a couple of years and they are worth next to nothing. We bought a 2005 Micra this year as a second car, that cost around 3,000€. On the other hand, my previous car was a "Tageszulassung", registered by the garage and sold as "nearly new", with 4KM on the clock. That saved me nearly 6K€ on a 30K€ car. The car before that was an ex demonstrator, with 2000KM and 3 months on the clock, that saved me around 12K€.

That said, wages (and cost of living) are generally relatively low, once you are outside the big cities. My 3 bed house was larger than the one I sold in the UK, it cost a 20% less in 2010 than my old house in Southampton in 2001.

Heavy drinking isn't the norm - most of the people I know don't drink that much, only on the works do or Father's Day (Ascention Day in the UK), which is when they take the Bollerwagen on the small country roads and throw balls around and drink schnapps. Carnival season is also big in some regions (especially around Cologne).

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

big_D
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Re: Friday on my mind

My thought exactly as I clicked the comments button... Have an up vote.

And as it's Friday, a beer as well.

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

big_D
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Thanks, that puts things into perspective. When you read that the drivers are earning nearly as much as "well off" people in your own area, you tend to ask what they are complaining about.

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big_D
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And $25 an hour seems pretty good to me, our minimum wage is around $9. Many IT workers and managers around here don't earn much more than $25 an hour...

Is the cost of living in America so much higher than in Europe?

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GOTCHA: Google caught STRIPPING SSL from BT Wi-Fi users' searches

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Don't be evil

Google are following their corporate motto, don't be evil (to their customers and partners), unfortunately you and me, the normal users, are their product, not their customers.

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Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

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Yawho?

With Google having something like 95% search market share over here (Germany), I don't think they will earn much revenue from Yahoo!, although it might boost their market share a bit for unaware users...

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Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

big_D
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Re: You'll NEVER FORGET about Dr Dre NOW

@Shugyosha I had never heard of him until the deal with Apple (well, marginally that he had founded beats and they made headphones for people who don't like to listen to music, but like to listen to bass).

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Call the Commish! Ireland dragged into Microsoft dispute over alleged drug traffic data

big_D
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Re: The enemy..

In Europe especially, if the US Government win the case, it will essentially be illegal to use a cloud service with ties to the USA, because you will be knowingly contraviening the EU data protection laws, which say that you cannot allow anyone outside the EU to see the data without a valid EU warrant or the written permission of each and every identifiable person in said data.

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big_D
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Re: The enemy..

If the US Government prevail here, it will pretty much kill international cloud services and it will force companies to work only nationally.

No more Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, Office 365, Azure, AWS, Google Docs, GMail, Salesforce etc. You'll end up with disparate geographically based companies all offering similar services, but not internationally.

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Apple slapped in YET ANOTHER patent battle

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Re: Can anyone explain .....

They support the small guy with his patent against those big evil no good corporations... The jurors like nothing better than a good lynching at sunset.

The problem is, the prosecution lawyers make the patent trolls look like hard done by individuals, whose hard work is being stolen, and the defendents as big evil money grabbing corporations. The jurors seem to lap it up.

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big_D
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GSM?

It sounds like the patents relate more to the GSM standard than anything Apple themselves do, that isn't part of normal wireless communications.

Are these standard patents that Apple, htc and Samsung haven't paid for or is something missing from the story?

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That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?

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Tablets

Having a Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500 with 64GB and a Surface Pro 3 with 256GB, I hope that they sort it out before Windows 10 gets to release. The current functionality is great, I can see all of my 250GB of photos, plus the other documents and videos on OneDrive. How I am supposed to squeeze them all into what remains of the 64GB on the ATIV, if I want to browse them, I don't know...

This sounds very much like a work in progress, so I am not too worried, yet...

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Cyber security: Do the experts need letters after their name?

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Re: Professionalism by degrees

I studied computing at school (when it reall was still computing) and at college, but I couldn't get a grant for Uni and my parents couldn't afford to send me to Uni, so I didn't bother.

College was a waste of time anyway, I got a bit of paper at the end, but that was it. In my first lesson in the first year, they wanted to see what level our programming skills were at, so we had a simple task to perform (calculate the minimum number of coins to give in change). We had a double lesson to complete it, I had finished the main algorith in under 10 minutes, so I spent the rest of the time writing machine code to make a UI around it. The lecturer's reaction at the end of the lesson? "Wow, I didn't know you could do that with a computer!"

If I know more than the lecturer on the first day of "studying", then what is the point? I did pick up a few things and a local company took 2 of us for one day a week to learn S/38 and RPG (a sick joke of a programming language - take all of the disadvantage of Assembler and meld them with all of the disadvantages of a high level language), but in general it was 2 years of dossing around, drinking coffee and smoking fags waiting for the Prime mini computer to compile COBOL projects.

Getting my first gig was a little difficult, because I didn't have a degree, but I went in cheap and a company took a chance on me, I doubled my salary in the first 6 months and never looked back. I was always chosen to lead projects in new technologies and I moved over into vulnerability testing in the early noughties.

Heck, I even ran a project seminar at a German University for 3 years - they forgot to ask what university qualification I had until I had successfully been running the course for 3 months!

A degree shows that you know how to research and study, but it doesn't necessarily mean you know your subject well - I have worked with several university grads who knew a very narrow part of their course well, but their knowledge of IT in general or even how to use the knowledge they had gained to use a different system or programming language was very poor.

Obviously that isn't true for all and I don't really want to insult anyone, I just wanted to reinforce Pete's point that it doesn't tell you anything about the practical skills, professionalism, integrity or experience. It is the individual behind the qualification (or no qualification), which counts at the end of the day.

Living in Germany I like that you can study IT at Uni or you can do an apprenticeship in coding, admin or mechatronics, for example.

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

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Re: 6 out of 10

The Pebl and the Aura, yes. They were major design wins at the time. Although I still prefered the baby Nokia 9000 series slider in titanium.

As an expat, I'd never heard of Sendo.

The MPX300 is also new to me.

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Cold? Cuddle these HOT GERMAN RACKS, yours for only 12,000 euro – we swear there's an IT angle

big_D
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Re: Madness

Lucky you, our new gas system last year cost around 9.5K Euros (with the laying of the gas pipe) after the old oil system finally gave up the ghost, after 20 years service.

Oil would have worked out as expensive as the gas system + laying the gas pipe.

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Pay-by-bonk chip lets hackers pop all your favourite phones

big_D
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iPhone 6?

If NFC attacks were so popular at the event, why wasn't there an NFC enabled iPhone in the mix? Seems a bit odd that they used an outdated device.

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BOING, BOING! Philae BOUNCED TWICE on Comet 67P

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Renaissance

I can see a bunch of Lunar Lander clones being released in the next few days.

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Stop coding and clean up your UI, devs, it's World Usability Day

big_D
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W3C Validation != Usability

You didn't mention what the errors were. But do they negatively affect usability or are they sops to non-standard and older browsers, so that it is usable on them?

I used to code my sites error free, then go back and "break" the 100% error free state by throwing in browser specific hacks, so that the site still displayed correctly on compliant browsers, but would also display correctly on older or non-standard browsers.

Safari for Windows used to be a pain, it would render things slightly differently to the OS X version and differently to Chrome, Firefox and IE on Windows...

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Who will save Europe's privacy from the NSA? Oh God ... it's Google

big_D
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Re: Don't Make Me Laugh

We already have the data protection act and the NSA have tapped servers and data centers on European soil, so theoretically the EU could charge and prosecute the NSA under existing EU law.

Good luck getting those NSA bods extradited from the USA to stand trial though.

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Are open Wi-Fi network bods liable for users' copyright badness?

big_D
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Re: So all that's required is that you set a password ?

@Velv sort of. The law in Germany has gone backwards and forwards.

If you are a private individual and have an open wi-fi spot, you are/were/are/were/? responsible for everything that happened on the network, unless you could prove that it wasn't you - i.e. you had to keep a log of MAC addresses, names and addresses and what those PCs did at specific times. If it was private and you had a password, you were okay, if you could prove that someone had cracked your password and done something illegal without your permission.

Businesses had to pretty much ensure that they logged what was going on. Which wasn't a problem for the bigger providers or those that used a professional outfit to run their wi-fi hotspot. But it is a problem for small cafés and hotels etc. who run their own private wi-fi hotspots, but don't run / can't afford a proper logging system.

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Fire fighters call for no-drone zone around bushfires

big_D
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Black Helicopters

Re: Commandeer

The other point is, if you commandeer drones that are flying illegally and they crash and burn, you haven't lost any capital, it is the owner's fault for flying illegally....

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big_D
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Re: Commandeer

My understanding is, you have to fly very low, otherwise the water spreads too far or vaporises, before it reaches the fire and it doesn't do any good.

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big_D
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Commandeer

Maybe they should just commandeer those drones and use them for observation. They then know where they are and they are not putting additional pilots at risk.

I would have thought that bush fires would be an ideal application for large drones, swap those bombs and missiles out for a large tank and the pilot stays on the ground.

That said, the minutae of the up and down draughts probably have to be felt in order to fly safely through the fire, I would imagine that drones probably aren't advanced enought yet.

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Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

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Rival?

Isn't WhatsApp part of Facebook anyway?

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'Tech giants who encrypt comms are unwittingly aiding terrorists', claims ex-Home Sec Blunkett

big_D
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Re: "should wake up to reality"

Exactly. If the governments weren't infringing the rights of their citizens, the rights they should be protecting, then the citizens wouldn't be asking for secure data storage and companies wouldn't be responding.

The governments made their bed and now they don't want to lie in it.

Don't look over here. Ooh, look at that!

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ONE FIFTH of Win Server 2003 users to miss support cutoff date

big_D
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Re: For some small companies it is.........

And others that say, "server? We have a server?"

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Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

big_D
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Re: Obsolete?

But it is cheaper than buying a games console and / or a smart TV.

I find it very good for streaming Prime, ARD and ZDF, which is all I need it for.

The only down side, here in Germany, is that you can't choose to listen to the original soundtrack. You have to mainly listen to the German soundtrack, which is a pain as an ex-pat Brit. That said, 80% of the time I am watching with my German family, who don't speak English.

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big_D
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Re: WiFi?

Good in my experience. My laptop can't stream Prime over WiFi in the lounge, but the FireTV has no problems.

With our 50mbps Internet connection I can start fast forwarding through the titles in a TV series or film within a second or 2 of it starting (HD mode).

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Poll: Yes, yes, texting while driving is bad but *ping* OH! Hey, GRAB THE WHEEL, will ya?

big_D
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Re: It would be interesting to know

It asks whether you want to hear the SMS or ignore.

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big_D
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Re: Cure

I hate receiving SMS or emails on my phone, especially my work phone. That is why I set SMS and email arrivial to silent on it and leave it in my bag, when I'm in the car.

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big_D
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Re: Windows phone

Yes, the WindowsPhones are great in that respect.

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big_D
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Re: It would be interesting to know

Once is often enough.

My phone reads them to me over the car stereo. That said, I get about 1 SMS every 2 or 3 months when driving.

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Apple strap-on wristjob: You WON'T be able to spend more than $5,000!

big_D
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If you are spending that much on a watch, you expect it to last 20 years +...

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'You have no right to see me NAKED!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

big_D
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Re: Wrong Target?

That is the point, if the person's name is in the search query it won't appear, because he is being "forgotten", but any other key words that match will still bring up the article.

Google tried being heavy handed, when this first came down and removed all traces of links, they were told off about that, so I hope they are now doing it properly.

As to your results, have you read the story? Currently it affects European domains, .co.uk, .de, .fr etc. it does not affect google.com, which is the argument the EU is making, that people inside the EU also do use the .com domain - as a Brit living in Germany, I tend to use the .com domain for 90% of my searches.

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big_D
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Re: Wrong Target?

@John Tserkezis don't forget, this law isn't a "Google" law, this covers all search engines and content sites. As long as the story isn't public record and it is no longer relevant, then you can request that it not be returned on any search engine, when your name is entered.

It is just over here Google has over 90% market share, so Google get the brunt of the press coverage.

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big_D
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Re: Wrong Target?

@Vociferous and in many countries there is no constitutional right to free speech...

But ignoring that, this is not infringing on your right to free speech. You can say what you want about another person, as long as it is factually accurate and not slanderous. The point here is, if the person you have mentioned can prove that those comments are no longer relevant, he can get a link to your page removed when searching for THEIR NAME. All other combinations of keywords that would return your page remain unaffected.

Your article is still searchable and it is still there. Just when one name is used in the keywords, the link will be supressed.

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Re: Wrong Target?

Because the source can often not be removed, because it is public record, even if it is no longer relevant.

Think of it more as Fred Smith has moved out of number 41 Acacia Avenue, so it is no longer relevant to point to 41 AA when looking for Fred Smith.

We are also not talking about removing links from Google completely. The general information may still be relevant, but not relevant when searching for a specific name.

For example reports on a murder trial with 2 defendents, one is eonerated, so he asks that results to his arrest and the trial not be shown when searching using his name. Other searches to the article will still appear (people interested in the murder and the trial can still find the information), people searching for information on this person won't get links to the arrest and trial, as they is no longer relevant to that person.

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The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

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Re: Just what were you running exactly???

He's probably including cache memory?

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Google Glassholes haven't achieved 'social acceptance' - report

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Re: The bell end factor

Laws as well.

Here you can't photograph or film people without consent, even on the street (unless they happen to be "in the background") and if they are on private property (business or residential), then you cannot take their picture without explicit permission.

Plus years of living under the Stasi has left a bad taste in the mouth, when it comes to privacy.

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Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices

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Re: $200 Laptop Comparison - Screen Quality

I am using an Atom Z2 series hybrid at the moment (Samsung ATIV), driving the internal display and a 24" external display, running Outlook and Firefox. It is okay. It isn't blindingly fast, but it is fluid and usable.

The 1GB RAM on these newer devices is probably more of a problem.

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big_D
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Re: I'm not sure about this....

Don't forget, the Nexus was concieved as a susidised developer platform to start with. The last couple of models have gone mainstream, so they are no longer just subsidising developers.

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big_D
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Re: $200 Laptop Comparison - Screen Quality

Expectations, jason 7. That is what it comes down to.

If you buy a 1L Fiesta, because it was cheap, you know it isn't going to be able to keep up with the RS version, but it is fine for pottering around town.

The same goes for cheap tablets and laptops.

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big_D
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Re: $200 Laptop Comparison - Screen Quality

I have a cheap(ish), 2 year old Samsung Windows tablet, it is "good enough" for most things, although it is getting long in the tooth now. The screen is okay, but nothing special.

I agree, you get what you pay for. This time round I am looking at the Surface Pro 3 or a Lenovo Yoga Pro. But the same would go for an Android tablet, if I bought one, I'd be willing to pay a bit extra for decent screen quality.

I looked at the Kindle Fire HDX line, the 8.9" is great, and if I were to buy one, that would be the model. But the Kindle is too restrictive for my needs.

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big_D
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Re: Not sure Andriod tablets have the same appeal?

I sort of agree. I use dual 24" monitors at work and a 24" + 11" at home (Samsung ATIV Windows tablet). If I am doing serious work, I want a proper keyboard and a decent, large display.

That said, being able to undock my tablet and use it on the move (especially taking notes in meetings using a stylus) is a very handy.

The problem with iPads and Android tablets is that you can't use them as a desktop replacement and the problem with Windows tablets is that they don't run iOS or Android... For me, the Windows tablets offer enough in tablet mode to make it the best compromise and plugged into a desktop dock with a decent monitor and keyboard / mouse, I can carry on working without worrying about having to sync everything first.

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big_D
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Re: Maybe...maybe not.

And what was the battery life like on your XP convertible?

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Google's 'Right to be forgotten' roadshow is just a 'distraction' – EU digital rights group

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Yeah and copyright holders (especially smaller ones, like podcasts) always complain that their content is being unjustly taken down on YouTube or that they are putting adverts in and around their content for the "copyright owners", which are fly-by-night bumbandits, usually in South America (based on the reports I've heard)... So that works well.

And that is the problem, the material may have been correct when published (and is public record, so can't be changed or removed), but it is no longer relevant. E.g. arrested for a crime, found not guilty, so being arrested shouldn't be the first result when looking for my name...

And the other thing is, it is only removing the links when using a specific name in the search string. All other searches, not using that name, would still return the links.

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big_D
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Making sense

McNamee is spot on. Google complain that it is a huge burden to process the 150,000 takedown requests under the right to be forgotten, but where money is involved, they can deal with millions of takedowns that infringe copyright every day...

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New GCHQ spymaster: US tech giants are 'command and control networks for TERROR'

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Re: What was the question?

I think he is talking more about an independent body, not a commercial data gathering organisation.

Think more along the lines of OFCOM (although you would actually have to bestow them with teeth to actually deal with problems and get the right oversight).

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Seriously, for real this time, the 12in MaxiPad is TOTALLY on the way ...

big_D
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Stability and handlability. If it is too thin, it will be uncomfortable in the hand.

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