* Posts by Buzzword

535 posts • joined 30 Jun 2010

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HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Buzzword
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£200 a head

How the fuck does a tax computer cost £200 per taxpayer?!

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IBM to cut '118k jobs worldwide' – report claims

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Axe the axe!

Seriously, find another image to decorate your articles. That one has been overused to the point of cliché now.

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Facebook: Yo 'people'! Zap fake news on our giant ad farm, would'ja?

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Really?

"We’ve heard from people that they want to see fewer stories that are hoaxes..."

Are you sure, Zuck? Judging by how many people *like* and *share* these stories, it seems they very much do want to see them.

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Facebook poaches design talent from Toronto firm – fate of staff unknown

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Re: unclear if ...

Under NAFTA, most Canadians can already work in the USA without much difficulty. The fact that most choose not to implies that it's hardly equivalent to winning the lottery.

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Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

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Linked Out?

It's just a clone of LinkedIn, surely?

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Lollipop licked: KitKat still king in Android land

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Not all Nexuses (Nexii?)

My Nexus 7 (2013) with 4G still hasn't received the upgrade. Only the Wifi-only model is on Lollipop.

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Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

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Re: What about pre-payment?

Because the last thing you want your customers to see is "Sorry, this site has been suspended because they didn't have enough credit in their account." People are wary enough about buying stuff on unknown websites, without having messages like that pop up.

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NoSQL pioneer to inject your database with ACID

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Vapourware

That's all very well, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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Acer to unveil a 15.6-INCH Chromebook WHOPPER at CES

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Re: No numpad?

Every 15" notebook? Not if it has an Apple logo on the back! Even the 17" MacBooks don't have a numpad.

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Magic streaming beans? Sure, have my cow - music biz

Buzzword
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Why do people keep buying CDs?

Because my car only has a CD player; and because I can afford to.

I have enough disposable income that it's just less faff to buy a CD. With any other method, I have to find blank CDs, fire up my dusty old computer that still has a CD burner, work out which illegal source of music hasn't been shut down this month, work out which illegal filesharing client software isn't pumped full of adware. Then I discover the ink in my CD-labelling pen has dried up, or the blank CDs themselves go wrong.

Yes, I could probably buy some MP3-playing gadget that I could wire into the car's CD player, although DIY isn't my forte. I suppose I could pay somebody at a garage to fit one. Or, much simpler, I could just keep buying CDs.

Then again, I'm talking about the kind of CDs you find near the tills in petrol stations. I don't think my purchases of Eddie Stobart's Keep On Truckin' are keeping the charts alive.

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El Reg's Giant Mobile Industry Roundup of 2014

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Tarred by their own brush

Android is also facing the other Windows fate: being judged by old versions of its own software. Microsoft did itself no favours by continuing to support XP into 2014: likewise, many Android users are stuck with Jelly Bean (or even Gingerbread) with no chance of future upgrades. When these buyers are shopping around for their next phone, they'll remember all the bugs in their current Android version. For all Apple's foibles, they've been incredibly good at supporting the latest OS on older hardware. As phone hardware matures and replacement cycles lengthen, Android's non-upgradeability* will increasingly tarnish its reputation.

(*Yes, tech-savvy Reg readers can install custom/hacked versions of the OS; but try getting your nan to do that.)

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El Reg tests portable breathalyzers: Getting drunk so you don't have to

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Re: Social drinking

Yeah, how drunk do you have to be before you want to share your blood alcohol level with the whole world? I can just see Google's advertising networks salivating over this: little AdSense boxes suggesting curry parlours at 11pm and detox clinics the morning after. I'd rather keep my drinking habits out of the hands of big advertisers, thank you very much.

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TalkTalk eyes up Blinkbox for advanced FOURPLAY – report

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Tax advantages

There can be tax advantages to buying up a company which has a (hopefully temporary) large loss on its books.

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Euro iTunes customers get 14 DAY refund option

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Free movie rental!

What's stopping me from "buying" a film on iTunes, watching it a few times, then taking it back to the shop for a refund?

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Gmail falls over after hitting 'Great Firewall of China' – report

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Protectionism

There's more than a hint of old-fashioned protectionism. We know that blocking imports of physical goods favours domestic producers. Similarly, blocking "imports" of online services also favours domestic companies. With the added benefit of being able to spy on them more easily.

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

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Re: £499?

"Spare cash" is part of the definition of hipster. They aren't your granddad's hippies: these guys all have jobs, hence at least some spare cash.

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Google Cloud gets 'snappy' with Ubuntu Core support

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App Store inception

So on one level we have the Docker Hub, a sort-of App Store (TM) for Docker. In that store you can download Ubuntu Core, in which you'll find Snappy, another App Store. In Snappy, you can download Docker.

It's turtles all the way down.

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Parallels to adopt Docker as native app format in Cloud Server

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Re: Docker flocker schmocker

I'm inclined to agree with Gordon 10. Looking through the Docker Hub, the most popular "apps" are Linux distros; ubiquitous server apps such as Apache, MySQL, WordPress; or languages such as Python, Ruby, Rails, PHP, Java, and Mono. Altogether these are more correctly described as platforms: they certainly aren't business apps that ordinary users would recognise. I suppose using a Docker image is a bit quicker than setting up a new virtual server and running apt-get, but it's not a huge difference.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

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Mobile

I know there's m.theregister.co.uk for mobile, but it would be nice if the main site would auto-scale for narrow screens.

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Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

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Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

Jane is on a zero-hours contract. Some weeks she works a full 40 hours a week; other weeks she works hardly any hours. Please write a computer system that adjusts her benefits every week to top up what she earns. Delays in payment are not allowed - she's struggling to get by as it is, so you can't leave her without money (whether wages or benefits) in any given week. If successful, send the £2bn invoice to Her Majesty's government.

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Buzzword
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Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

No, you can't just give everyone £100 a week.

Different people are entitled to different benefits. A young single unemployed male living with his parents gets the basic Job Seekers' Allowance; a partially-disabled widow working part-time and living with her sister who also cares for her & three kids will get a very different set of benefits.

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Skinny Ubuntu Linux 'Snapped' up by fat Microsoft cloud

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Still too big

I remember fondly the days when a full OS could be booted from a single floppy disk. Where does the extra 109MB go? Is it all networking and multi-tasking?

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USB Forum submits itself to electrical probing

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Re: USB 3 is a disaster - WiFi and other wireless interference is awful

Only on 2.4GHz channels. No true Reg reader would use such a congested frequency, when there's a perfectly good 5GHz alternative.

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Intel buys Canadian ID-wrangler PasswordBox

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The master key to all your accounts

Another password manager app. Protect all your fiendishly hard-to-remember passwords with one single password. What could possibly go wrong?

Just replace "standards" with "passwords" in the comic: http://xkcd.com/927/

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BORGED! Expat moves from New Zealand to Norway to be acquired by Cisco

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FAQ

Could you ask a bit more about people's "stage in life" when they expatriate themselves? Are your interviewees aged 25 and childless, 40 with kids in tow, or 55 with kids all grown up? Expat life can be great, certainly, but I assume there's a golden age where you have globally-marketable skills (not too young) and a sufficient lack of home attachments (not too old / no kids). Or am I over-simplifying things?

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'Watson AI, cloud, mobile', says payments firm, trousering £49m

Buzzword
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Is Monetise in Jeopardy?

Why would you use a natural-language question-answering computer for a mobile payments business?

Coming next week: KPMG audits your accounts using fuzzy logic; and Cisco designs your network by copying a live spider's web patterns.

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Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

Buzzword
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The first rule of software development...

... is to always have a more powerful computer than your end users. You need more RAM (to hold your IDE, your debugger, and your app itself); you need more power (to compile quickly); and you need more screen real estate (to see the app you're working on and your IDE around it / on a second screen).

Using a tablet as a thin client to a remote desktop or command-line terminal is only acceptable in emergencies, such as if you're on holiday and it's the only computer you have with you.

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Universal Credit CRISIS: Up to £200m in IT spend WASTED – NAO

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Re: The NAO might be waiting a fair old while...

Non-IT projects manage to set deadlines, and often stick to them.

Heathrow Terminal 5 opened on time and on budget; and that was a £4.3bn project. Why on earth can government not improve its own project management?

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Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

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Incoming calls matter too

One important metric they've missed is the percentage of incoming calls succeeding. My experience with O2 is that an awful lot of incoming calls don't connect. I get voicemail messages without my phone ever ringing, even when I'm sat at my desk and the phone has four bars of signal.

For anyone running a business from their mobile, missing a call from a client can be a deal-breaker. This is particularly the case for small businesses with many clients: mobile hairdressers, painters & decorators, etc.; but it's also very frustrating when you're job-hunting and expecting calls from potential offers.

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BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

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It's cheap to try

Personally I'd like fewer fatties in my neighbourhood despite the cost: they take up two seats on the bus, they walk too slowly, and they offend my eyes. I'm sure you could put a figure on the pain I suffer, in QALYs, of having to see fat people.

At the same time, quite a few of McKinsey's 77 solutions are no-cost or negligible-cost. Perhaps it's worth trying the half-dozen cheapest solutions? And what can we learn from elsewhere? The Danes banned trans-fat: how is that working out for them?

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You'll go APE for our new Gorilla Glass 4, Corning reckons

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Pretty cool

Yes it's an advert, but it's pretty damn cool, and I learned a bit of science.

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

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Re: Does your job suck?

Tips? When did you last tip a bus driver? (Or tube driver, train driver, airplane pilot, whatever form of public transport you last used to get to work.)

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Buzzword
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Recycling user names?

Maybe you're the original JSmith@yahoo.com or a J.Doe@gmail.com or your Twitter account is just @1. How long do the companies wait before recycling those names? Do their heirs get the right to sell them, like personalised number plates?

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

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Fight fire with fire

The police need a new squadron, the Flying (Remotely) Squad. They'll have their own attack drones, maybe some trained hawks too, who can force a malevolent drone out of the sky. Just as the police get super-fast cars to chase down us ordinary folk, so too they need killer drones to defeat the menace of unauthorised civilian drone flights.

I, for one, welcome our encroaching police state.

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The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

Buzzword
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“When I’m in the office I’ll AirPlay it over to an Apple TV connected to a monitor. What’s the difference between that and a desktop?”

The difference is productivity. On a desktop with a mouse and a full numeric keypad I can fill out a spreadsheet with data from three different sources, draw a chart, copy it into a document, format it nicely, and email it to twenty recipients. All within five minutes.

On your iPhone, multi-tasking is barely feasible - every time you jump from your spreadsheet to your presentation app you'd find the latter'a process was killed because it ran out of memory. The Bluetooth ultra-light keyboard will be slower to type on than a more solid keyboard. There's no mouse so simple tasks like Copy+Paste take forever.

For content consumption (displaying your presentation) the iPhone is fine: but creating anything more than linear text, no edits, is a tedious chore.

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Me GIVE you $14 SQUILLION gadziddly-DILLION

Buzzword
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Re: Customer / Mark Selection Strategy

Thanks for the clarification!

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Buzzword
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Re: Customer / Mark Selection Strategy

Yep - the poor spelling and grammar help make the foreigner's sob story more believable. The spammers are just as likely to be in Russia or Vietnam.

Spam is the ultimate A/B testing, almost a genetic algorithm. You send out a million messages, half written in style A and half written in style B. See whether A or B gets the best response rate, then take the winner, tweak it into two variants, and repeat. Unsurprisingly they've all come up with similar results.

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7 questions we're dying to ask the internet's MOST EXCITING BLOKE

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Word docs

"2. Will you move the ITU toward the use of multi-platform-friendly documents rather than Microsoft Word docs?"

Which platform are you using that struggles to read a Word document? I can open them on Linux (Abiword, LibreOffice), on Mac OS (Pages, which is free in the App Store), on Android (too many apps to list), etc. It's just not an issue any more.

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That 'TECH-FREE' Nophone? It was already out years ago

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XKCD

Mandatory XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/1363/

Seriously, what is it with everyone and their dog thinking they can make a better phone than Samsung/Apple, despite having (usually) no prior experience, no team of engineers, and nothing but wishful thinking?

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The ULTIMATE CRUELTY: Sandworm uses PowerPoint against Swiss bank customers

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Olé olé olé

"Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) object technology is used to share data between applications so that a chart from an Excel Spreadsheet can be included within a PowerPoint presentation, for example."

We're tech readers, not Daily Mail readers. Give us some credit.

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This time it's SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO

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Herding cats with long tails

"The Linux kernel has just over 3,000 committers"

But of those, there are probably 50 to 100 dedicated committees, and a long tail of thousands who only contribute the odd patch. Some other metric is needed.

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It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

Buzzword
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Re: So why Starbucks?

Ok, so what about Caffe Nero? They aren't a franchise: every store is owned & operated by the company.

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Buzzword
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So why Starbucks?

So why on earth do we have global coffee chains? Making a cup of coffee is just as local a service as a haircut; yet our high streets are dominated by national or international chains. Where's the economy of scale in coffee production?

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Google puts Chrome credentials on USB drives for two-factor authentication

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Malware

This is no protection against a malware-infected computer though.

Banks (in the UK at least) have a better system. They issue a device which generates one-time tokens which you type into the computer. The twist is that when you make a payment to a new recipient, the last four digits of the challenge code must must match the last four digits of the recipient's bank account number. Thus your one-time-code is only valid for a specific transaction, not for any transaction; and crooks can't redirect the underlying website to send the money to their own accounts instead.

Since this doesn't protect against malware, and HTTPS already protects against man-in-the-middle attacks, what exactly is this supposed to defend against?

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FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

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Same as iOS 8

iOS 8's Spotlight does the same thing, sending search queries to Bing. It also shares your geographical location (not sure if with Apple or with Bing). Both features can be disabled via the Settings, so it's not exactly secret.

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

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John Connor

Your surname is Connor, your son is into tech and killing robots, and yet you didn't name him John?

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VMware's new VDI play is self-destructing virtual desktops

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Re: I guess it's neat that they "self destruct"

It's neat that they self-destruct, until your contract gets extended and the IT guys forget to extend the self-destruct date of your VM.

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PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois

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6 GB free

Anecdotally, it's the requirement for 6 GB of free space that is putting most people off.

Don't tell them that they can connect their iPhone to a computer running iTunes and perform the upgrade without having to delete anything.

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

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"What we think of today as the "flagship" Android niche may shrink to boutique-sized proportions, much like top-end hi-fi or A/V equipment became a low-volume high-margin business."

Yes, this. Mobile phone manufacturers can't differentiate on OS (it's Android or nothing, nobody except MSNokia are making WinPhones), nor can they differentiate on screens (AMOLED, 300ppi since the eye can't see the difference). There's little point adding a super-fast processor or tons of RAM since the OS and apps aren't built for it. Radio support (3G/4G/5G) depends on the network. And so on.

Today's high-end phones compete on fringe features such as speakers (HTC One), battery life (Sony), and camera quality (Nokia). Speakers haven't evolved in years: phones differ only in speaker placement. Cameras will reach a technical plateau soon. All that's left is price. Margins will shrink dramatically: in fact they already have for most manufacturers.

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£150m, three years... TWO base stations. Gov.uk? You guessed it

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Re: To improve the health of the nation ....

The government already is in sole charge of alcohol sales in some places, including much of Scandinavia and Canada. It's not nearly as bad as you'd expect.

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