* Posts by Buzzword

622 posts • joined 30 Jun 2010

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Courtney Love in the crossfire! Paris turns ugly over Uber

Buzzword
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Why not in Britain?

Why don't "les rosbifs" have UberPop? I wouldn't mind earning an extra £20 a day dropping off passengers at the airport (which just happens to next to my office).

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Buzzword
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Date order

If they'd just call it 11/9 like the rest of the world, then they wouldn't have this problem.

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Vodafone splashes €2 BEEELLLION to kick German TV sideways

Buzzword
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Making maximum money

Haven't the governments shot themselves in the foot here? If they restricted the amount of bandwidth for sale (leasehold), they would limit the supply and thus push up prices. As it stands they're flooding the market with 4G frequencies. No wonder they aren't reaching the lofty heights of the 2000-era auctions.

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Reg scribe feels disturbance in the force at secret Empire Strikes Back screening

Buzzword
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£80 actually

£75 plus booking fee, so £80.50 for one person or £79.25 per head for a couple. That kind of money would buy you a lot of tickets to far more original events.

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MOUNTAIN of unsold retail PCs piling up in Blighty: Situation 'serious'

Buzzword
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Re: @AC

@jason 7,

Sure, the Apple costs a bit more to buy; such that you might well end up at the same financial position after three years, including the resale value. But during those three years you'd have all the enjoyment that comes with owning an Apple product; whereas your Dell will afford you no such joy.

If you genuinely prefer the Dell then that's fine; but if you were hoping for a cheaper Apple equivalent, it's a false economy.

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Buzzword
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Re: @AC

Yet curiously a three year-old second-hand MacBook will easily sell for at least 33% of list price.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Buzzword
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Vague platitudes, no concrete calls for action

I see lots of green flag-waving but no mention of specifics. He could demand global cap & trade legislation to limit CO2 emissions; he could demand anti-pesticide laws or anti-pollution laws in those countries which have a problem with environmental pollution (clue: not the west). He could even say that people who switch on their air-conditioners when the outdoor temperature is less than 30 degrees will burn in hell (oh the irony!). But no, it's just a wishy-washy motherhood & apple pie statement. Nothing to see here.

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NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'

Buzzword
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Re: Self-inflicted

>"does make me wonder whether they made any effort to resolve their individual cases themselves before spamming the internet with their rants"

Companies seem to react faster to bad news posted on social media than to bad news communicated directly to them. Last month I tried to tell a major company that its website had a broken FAQ link. I used the "send a message" functionality on their website; they emailed back failing to understand the problem, so I phoned them and got the standard script: "What is your account number?" "I don't have a bloody account, I was trying to research whether to open one!"; and after three follow-up emails I gave up.

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Buzzword
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Internal wikis - do they ever live up to expectations?

"If you don’t have a Wiki-style document repository where people can add designs, hints, tips and known issues, you really are missing a trick."

Maybe it's just the places I've worked, but I've never seen a decent internal Wiki. In my experience documents get strewn across multiple locations: network drives, source control, Readme.txt files buried alongside source code, Sharepoint documents, Sharepoint Wikis, other Wikis, etc. The idea of having one Wiki to unify them all reminds me of https://xkcd.com/927/ - just replace "standards" with "document repositories".

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Buzzword
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Re: We recently had this..

If the department is under-resourced and employees are regularly having to work long hours to meet deadlines, then I'd fully expect them to leave. That's poor management, nothing to do with having an employee like Tim.

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The NHS pays up to NINE TIMES over trade price for commodity kit

Buzzword
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> "the products acquired were in all likelihood one-off or low volume purchases"

Isn't this just a case of "we need a twenty-foot network cable to make our £million CT scanner work, can you nip down to PC World and get one?"

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

Buzzword
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Re: Great Idea!

I can't imagine banks encode in ASCII either - they're still using EBCDIC.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Buzzword
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Re: What spare capacity?!

Holding on to employees for a year or two, perhaps; but for seven years? Your theory is implausible.

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Buzzword
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What spare capacity?!

"a recession, when there's spare capacity"

Nothing like today then, with our 5% unemployment rate. Nor do we have factories lying idle, nor airports half-empty, nor any other possible indicator of spare capacity.

So whatever the lessons of this article, they aren't relevant to the present situation.

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Shine a light on the rogue IT that hides in the company shadows

Buzzword
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Bill directly to departments & projects

Maybe IT could be billed directly to departments that use them, rather than funded centrally. Following the money tends to concentrate minds wonderfully, and departments may be pleasantly surprised to see how much cheaper it is to use internal resources rather than engaging external consultancies.

You'd still need some central IT oversight to make sure they follow common standards, coding conventions, security policy, etc., so you'd end up billing only half their time to projects / departments and the rest to central office. It'd still be an improvement though.

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MIT bods' digital economy babblings are tosh. C'mon guys, Economics 101

Buzzword
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Re: Tax the robots!

Maybe your car should pay NI, since it's just a robot replacing the two men who previously carried you around on your sedan chair.

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United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

Buzzword
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Re: Account lockouts

Indeed. It's trivially easy to get your hands on a bulk list of valid email addresses, and if you're DDoSing a large company (say Amazon, EE, Tesco's) where half the country has an account, you'll get a pretty good hit rate.

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Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Buzzword
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Economy of France

This might explain how France manages to have a first-world standard of living while pursuing a second-world economic policy.

(cue flames in 3... 2... 1...)

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ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

Buzzword
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Geotagging hack

I'm going to find a picture of some bearded bloke in the desert and edit the EXIF data such that the geotag points to the White House, then post it on Twitter. Let's see if they actually do basic sense checks before typing the coordinates into the missiles.

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Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

Buzzword
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Re: Baby monitors?!

Yes they exist - some people like to watch their baby while they're at work.

What's the worst-case scenario? Let's imagine somebody wants to kidnap your baby, so they'd like to hack into your baby monitor to find out when the parents aren't in the room. (Let's assume it's a hot country and baby's window is wide open.) If the kidnapper is outside your house waiting for the parents to leave the bedroom, it's just as easy to sniff a DECT wireless baby monitor as to hack a wifi-connected one. Maybe even easier.

Of course, all this is ridiculously hypothetical. Your security flaw is leaving the window wide open, not leaving your baby monitor's firmware unpatched. Most babies are stolen from public places: hospitals and nurseries in the main, but also e.g. snatched from the back seat of the car while mum goes into the petrol station to pay. Let's stop pretending that cybersecurity matters for baby monitors.

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Elon Musk's $4.9 BEELLLION taxpayer windfall revealed

Buzzword
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Consumer subsidy per car

Does the $7,500 tax credit really matter for Elon's fortunes? The first car, the Tesla Roadster, had a list price of $109,000. How many prospective buyers were persuaded by the government's 6.8% discount?

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Spoiling staff with toys could turn against your business

Buzzword
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What are we trying to prevent?

I'd like to see some real-world cases where an ex-employee used old company emails stored on his personal phone / laptop / Hotmail account to somehow gain an unfair advantage which he couldn't have gained if the article's guidelines had been followed.

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Bank: Without software mojo, Android OEMs are doomed to 'implode'

Buzzword
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There's still some scope for OEMs to innovate (look at the YotaPhone with its e-ink rear screen); so it's not all doom and gloom. The fact that they can't fiddle deeply with the OS is quite reassuring to some consumers.

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O2 craps itself on national Blighty holiday as cabinet minister moans: 'Oi, sort it out!'

Buzzword
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O2 tend to be cheaper than the other networks though. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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NEVER MIND the B*LLOCKS Osbo peddles, deficits don't really matter

Buzzword
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Flow of money

"if you're paying that interest out to foreigners then that's money that leaves the domestic economy"

That's true for Greek euro payments to Germany; but when Britain repays its debts to a foreign creditor, those are pounds sterling; and they can only be spent in Britain. So it never really leaves the British economy.

The result is that printing money has the same effect as printing debt: it's inflationary.

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Brexit-fearing Vodafone: Of course we’ll make money from 4G

Buzzword
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Blocked by default

Porn is blocked on UK mobile networks by default, and many users shy away from requesting an unblock. So it may be true that Pornhub has a lot of users viewing on mobile devices, but they'll be on Wifi, not 3G/4G.

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NHS Scotland to refresh creaking, 25-year-old apps

Buzzword
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Can't be too hard

A twenty-five year old system must surely be incredibly basic - the state of the art desktop computer back then was the Intel 486DX. Replicating that functionality with modern tools will be quite straightforward.

Of course then some idiot will come along and add tons of superfluous features, and ten years down the line they'll be tendering for the replacement of a thirty-five year old system.

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

Buzzword
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Re: No need to worry

Most cars reach 30mph on urban commutes, even if their average speed over the whole journey is just 10mph. City driving is largely start-stop: bursts of 30mph when the light turns green, followed by 0mph when the next light is red.

Cyclists often make the same mistake: assuming that because they can hit 12mph, they'll be faster than car drivers averaging 10mph. But cyclists are also doing 0mph at red lights, so their average journey speed is just 4mph.

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Google to extend Hyderabad office into first non-US campus

Buzzword
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I should have used the </sarcasm> tag.

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Buzzword
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Will the Hyderabad office suffer from the same problems of lack of diversity that befall the Mountain View office? Or will they manage to recruit in even numbers across the castes, religions, and sexes?

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

Buzzword
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Ofcom in the Internet age?

What can Ofcom do to clamp down on foreign hate preachers broadcasting over the internet? Lots of noises, not much concrete action.

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Don't look now: Fujitsu ships new mobe with EYEBALL-scanning security

Buzzword
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Standard biometric flaw

Can you just use a photo of your iris? Because that's really not secure at all.

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Why Joe Hockey's Oz tax proposals only get five out of 10

Buzzword
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Politicians don't do delayed gratification

"The tax system really does get its slice, eventually"

That's not good enough. Our beloved leaders want their slice now, up front, so that they can deliver on their wild promises to the electorate. If they don't get their hands on the money, or at least show that they're making an effort, they won't be re-elected.

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Enjoying the Spring? Microsoft has 13 ways to fix that

Buzzword
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Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 will enjoy security updates until 2023. Sysadmins aren't going to be made redundant for a while yet.

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Amazon creating 500 ‘fulfilling’ jobs in the UK

Buzzword
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Re: So...

This is relevant in that Amazon has a reputation for poor industrial relations. In other words, applicant beware.

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Microsoft Azure – or how to make the public cloud work for you

Buzzword
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Thanks Trevor. I was very much of the same opinion as you before working with Azure. Old-school IT folk are scared of it partly because it threatens to make their specialist skills redundant - you no longer need to know about that obscure IIS machine.config file setting, or whatever your particular angle is.

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You've just woken from a 3-year coma. Cloud is everywhere. So how are you gonna make your millions and retire?

Buzzword
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White labels

I can see the value in an app store for cloud-based services, but as a consumer I have mixed feelings about white-labelling services.

For example look at PC World's cloud-based backup service KnowHow, actually provided by LiveDrive. If you buy it direct from LiveDrive you only run the risk of one company going tits-up; whereas if you buy it from PC World then you're exposed to twice the risk. Obviously it's a good synergy for both LiveDrive and PC World, but the poor consumer often gets passed from pillar to post trying to resolve any issues.

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EC probe into murky cross border e-commerce kicks off

Buzzword
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Exchange fees too

Some of us have debit or credit cards which charge exorbitant fees on foreign currency transactions. Take the humble Halifax debit card: £1.50 flat fee per transaction plus 2.75% percentage fee. That rather takes the shine off a lot of smaller transactions.

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Low price, big power: Virtual Private Server picks for power nerds

Buzzword
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Pi might be enough

For many use cases, a cheap home-based Raspberry Pi is enough. Sure, the hardware is basic and your domestic broadband is slow; but the sheer quantity of other users means there's a hell of lot of support out there. For those just dabbling and not sure if they want to go further, a Pi is a great place to start.

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Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

Buzzword
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Just like Windows Phone

"Google takes no responsibility to update customer devices, and refuses to take responsibility to update their devices..."

Microsoft did the same with Lumia devices running Windows Phone 7.x: no upgrades to Windows 8. They really can't claim some sort of moral high ground here.

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Mozilla to whack HTTP sites with feature-ban stick

Buzzword
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Backing the wrong horse

But we know HTTPS is flawed: the certificate authorities can't be trusted. By all means encourage website owners to improve their security and/or privacy, but not like this.

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From Manchester to Microsoft – missing mum :-(

Buzzword
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Weekend

World's first Starbucks and a floating bridge? Come on, there must be more than that to do in Seattle. What do *you* do at the weekend there?

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UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

Buzzword
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The clue is in the name, Open Book. Not phone-a-friend (Facebook), not ask-the-audience (Twitter). For exam purposes you'd need a whitelist of acceptable resources. It's an awful lot of effort on the part of the examiners, with the aim of solving a problem which hasn't been proven to exist.

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Visual Studio running on OS X and Linux for free? SO close

Buzzword
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It seems that Developer Tools unit within Microsoft have their own agenda, separate from head office. Their goal is to ensure survival of their own product (and thus their jobs) even if Windows goes down. Don't tell Nadella.

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Can't wait to bonk with Apple? Then try an Android phone

Buzzword
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What I want from NFC phone payments

I'd like the amount to pop up on the screen, together with green and red approve/reject buttons. The most aggravating thing about contactless is that you often don't see how much you're being charged; or that it is shown, but only on a tiny screen which isn't well-positioned or well-lit. You have to trust that the person operating the till correctly typed in £1.95 and not £19.95; or that they only charged you for your beer and not for somebody else's whole round.

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Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament

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> "If you want to vote for [...] having all the tech firms in the south-east, you’re out of luck."

Aren't most tech firms still in the south-east?

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Trading Standards pokes Amazon over 'libellous' review

Buzzword
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So Trading Standards has no powers either, other than to politely ask Amazon to "reconsider its refusal". That doesn't bode well.

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Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

Buzzword
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Re: SSL version

For my https-only server, this works:

curl -I -v https://my.server.name/realfile.png -H "Range: bytes=0-18446744073709551615"

(The file requested must actually exist.)

Before patching it replied "HTTP/1.1 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable"

After patching it replied "HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request"

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Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

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QNX surely?

Why didn't they choose QNX? It's specifically designed for the embedded market.

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Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

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Compared to Nexus 5

For similar money you could pick up a nearly-new Nexus 5, which would be better than this in all aspects except perhaps the speakers.

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