* Posts by Dave 126

6177 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat

Dave 126
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That's a good idea Marcelo. And Google have already done it - On ChromeOS.

The reason it isn't done already on Android is because it currently wouldn't work.

Hence the interest in the possibly merged future of ChromeOS/Android.

http://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/2015/11/what-android-could-stand-to-learn-from-chrome-os/

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Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years

Dave 126
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>Humanitarian worth 16.6 Donald Drumpfs

FTFY

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Microsoft's Hololens is up for pre-order, here's hoping you can expense it

Dave 126
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>I guess a good parallel is the Kinect - it sold by the shitload when it was priced and packaged for consumers and had a ton of great software being sold so they could use it, but started off with expensive developer previews so it could get to the point where it was a consumer product.

Even the original Kinect was sold at a loss - with an idea to recoup the money by selling games (a bit like printers and ink cartrisges... again, profit is hard to calculate).

Within 48 hours of its release, a MIT student had got a PC to talk to the Kinect, opening the door for people to use the subsidised hardware for their own applications. A little while later, MS released a PC-only version of the Kinect which was more expensive, along with drivers and APIs.

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Dave 126
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>our highly profitable hardware. If it sells.

How can you even judge the profit on something that hasn't been sold yet? You have to share your R&D and tooling costs amongst your customers. After that, you add up your bill of materials and assembly costs per unit. Add the two together and add a margin. This will be roughly what you sell it for.

For the moment, we don't know how many customers there will be. So we can't calculate a profit.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 3

Dave 126
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Re: No, thank you.

>Tablets, then, didn't really exist. The EEE PC came out in 2007.

2007? We were discussing what killed netbooks, not what what aborted them!

Whatever, a small letter-box of a screen just wasn't much fun. I saw a fair few netbooks (Linux and XP) in the wild for a few years after their arrival - until tablets and 'thin n light' laptops came on the scene - so I stand by my comment about their small screen being their Achilles' heel.

I don't care how good an OS is, if it is on akward hardware then the whole experience will be lacklustre. At the time we were forgiving of netbooks' shortcomings because of their price - the Reg termed them 'SCCs', Small Cheap Computers. I'm sure some of you can remember a sunny photograph demonstrating this!

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Dave 126
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Re: No, thank you.

>Yep, it's the netbook scenario making a comeback, and look what that did to a very clever idea.

I don't think it was MS that killed the netbook. They weren't great for writing lots of text due to their small keyboards, and their letter-box shaped screens made even browsing web pages tiring work - too much scrolling! These points remain true regardless of what OS they were running.

Netbooks could get you out of a jam, but you wouldn't want to use one for extended periods. For purely consuming content (web pages, video), tablets simply had a better form-factor.

For creating content, you'd want at minimum a bigger keyboard (novelist). Coders and artists would also want a bigger screen and more grunt.

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Brit uni rattles tin for ultra-low latency audio board

Dave 126
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Re: What's

Can't help you - there's no clearer image of it in the video.

For all I know, it could have been an old drill-bit case that this guy has re-purposed as a chassis for a home-built mixer.

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Dave 126
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Re: Ultra Low Latency

> I don't know if it works on Android yet, but last I heard latency was still a problem.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/11/13/android-audio-latency-in-depth-its-getting-better-especially-with-the-nexus-5x-and-6p/

URL alone gives the idea.

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Raspberry Pi celebrates fourth birthday with fruity version 3

Dave 126
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Depends on the browser?

Anecdotal evidence, possibly not relevant to Linux, please feel free to correct me:

Using some old Windows XP desktops with around 1GB of RAM, I found Chrome too memeory hungry, so I installed Opera. My reasoning at the time was that each Chrome tab was a sandboxed instance, so using resources. Whether I was right or wrong, Opera worked better than Chrome on these underpowered machines.

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Crowd-funded OpenShot 2.0 delivers graphic Linux package

Dave 126
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Very interesting

It is the crowd funding aspect of this project that has caught my attention. I keep abreast of the popular technology sites, but I haven't heard much of crowd-funded open source projects.

I have been critical (in a supportive, not mocking way I hope) of some open source productivity applications (just as I am of commercial applications). I do this because as a user of software, I want the best and sanest solution for everybody. 'Everybody' means people who are rightly wary of proprietary software, just as it also includes people who are less confident with computers.

I love the ethos of open source. I love the idea that if someone needs a little bit of software, they can write it and make it available for others. And in those cases, I wouldn't knock them for not polishing the user interface. To create larger applications, a team might be required - skilled people giving their time. But usability testing and refinement is time consuming. If crowd-funded open source software is more suitable for 'everybody', that can only be a good thing.

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Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

Dave 126
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One assumes that such chips are descended from those developed for mobile phones, and thus work similarly.

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Dave 126
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Re: Arduino 101

@Zsn

Just out of curiosity, what sort of things do you do with your Arduino?

I've only brushed with them - An Arduino Duet sits on the PCB of my RepRap 3D printer. I'm not a coder, but I got the impression during the course of commissioning the printer that it would only take a week or two to bend an Arduino to my will.

Very tempted to drop £50 on Banggood.com's cheap n cheerful stepper motor kits, sensors and some Arduinos, and make something (don't know what, but like Lego Technic, that's the point).

Perhaps Arduinos don't get much coverage on the Reg because they are headless systems? Unlike the Pi, they aren't designed to run a GUI OS. If the Reg reviewed Arduinos, it would have to start reviewing soldering irons, Dremmel-like tools, glues and hot wires. Fun stuff for sure, but creeping away from the Reg's core competencies.

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Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

Dave 126
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Re: It seems a bit early to pass judgement

There are plenty of such studies that have examined longer term health benefits. However, an employer would want to know if any change they make will affect productivity in the short term. That was the purpose of this study.

Fortunately, their finding suggest that standing desks don't negatively affect productivity.

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Dave 126
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Re: Personal experience

The study was limited in scope, as all studies are. It was designed only to study productivity in a time-and-motion style.

It was only over a 19 week period, so would not have been able to pick up on any medium to long term health benefits.

There is plenty of existing evidence, obtained by different methodologies, to support the idea that sitting down continuously for long periods is bad for one's health. This study just provides some evidence that standing desks don't negatively impact productivity, thus reassuring any employer that is considering installing them.

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Brit brewer opensources entire recipe archive

Dave 126
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Re: Founder gave entertaining talk at LSE recently

That needs topping up, surely?

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Surprise! British phone wins Best Product at Mobile World Congress

Dave 126
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Re: The Mind Boggles

What Darryl said.

Heck, for people with an older house a FLIR camera could quickly pay for itself.

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Dave 126
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Re: Um...

AO supports British industry when he can. In the past he has made the valid point that the dollar value of British manufacturing is higher than ever - it is just that it employs fewer people, because of automation.

However, he seems to be a bit under the weather at the moment, and has recently written articles on one subject and then slung in a final paragraph about another.

It has been the case that manufacturing has been done in Asia for decades, but that design was done closer to the end market; Clearly, designers in [Country] have a better understanding of consumers in [Country]. However, as living standards around the world improve, a designer in China can design a device that may past muster in the UK. Really though, if you make enough devices, then the cost of the designer per unit becomes close to zero, so you don't really save money by having your designers in low paid countries. As it is, the most famous product designers are English, German, French, Japanese and Italian and American. As perception plays a role in valuing product design (*not* Industrial Design... akin to Alaister Cooke's observation that "the national dish of America is menus"), I enjoy mulling the manufacturing history of those countries.

Put another way, if you make enough units of a single model you can throw a lot of money at the design process. Same goes for tooling costs.

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Dave 126
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Re: I almost got optimistic then

Regrettably, DAB radio is a thing in the UK.

Most people I know listen to 'radio' either at home or in their cars. At home, damn-near everybody has WiFi, and a Chromecast (roughly the same price as a low end DAB radio) will allow a choice of thousands of 'radio' stations to be listened to on any existing audio equipment with an aux-in, plus podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, whatever.

In my car, Radio 6 Music is the only DAB station worth listening to. However, the DAB signal isn't strong everywhere, and my data allowance (I don't watch YouTube videos in the pub on my phone) means I could listen to 6 Music over 3/4G with about as much reliability as DAB.

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Apple hasn't announced the new iPhone 5SE and pundits already hate it

Dave 126
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Re: The problem with Analyists

>They are all a bunch of overpaid, useless Berks.

I can imagine that there are some very competent ones, but employed by [Apple and whoever] and so have no motive to shoot their mouths off.

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Dave 126
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Re: Shall I be an analyst for the day?

Yeah, I can imagine some people would be happy with a small iPhone 4 sized phone in their pocket, in conjunction with an iPad Mini in their glovebox, bag or briefcase. So Apple's decision to not offer a smaller, up-to-date iPhone did seem a bit odd.

That said, they have access to far better market research than I do, and their earnings appear to vindicate them.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cook said...

Absolutely. However, Apple are in position to think medium term (their back aren't against the wall, financially), so if faced with a choice between making shedloads of money on the medium term or a bit of money short term, will likely choose the former.

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Dave 126
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Re: The 5C was different

I'm making no comment on Apple or Android here, and I'm mentioning my 4.7" Sony Xperia Z3 Compact purely in relation to the ergonomics of screen and phone size. The vendor and OS are irrelevant for this post. Okay:

I choose it because I didn't want a 5"+ phone. My job can be active, so a large flat slab in my pocket is uncomfortable (and probably not good for a larger phone, bending moments being what they are).

Holding the phone in my right hand hand, my thumb can reach 80% of the screen easily, and 100% at a slight stretch. Reaching the top left corner of a larger phone strains my hand, and compromises my grip of the handset.

Now, if my lifestyle was different (perhaps if I spent more time on public transport, or if I decided that bum bags or utility belts became me) or my hands were bigger, or my fingers fatter, or my eyesight poorer, I might consider a 5" phone. They are better for looking at images, definitely.

Summery: Choice is good.

Observation: Playing cards are a size that is easy to hold in the hand. Postcards are of a size that is easy to look at.

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Dave 126
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Re: Those who can't, analyse....

>Those who can't, analyse... In developing markets, people don't normally have the kind of cash needed to buy the latest and greatest, but still have a desire to own apple devices.

They have no cash, so why would Apple court them? Especially when it comes at the cost of cannibalising sales from their high-end, high margin models.

I agree with you in general though - analysts have a worse track record of predicting Apple's future than Apple do. Probably because Apple employ some expensive analysts themselves, and feed them with expensive-to-acquire data.

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Android users installed 2 BILLION data-stealing, backdooring apps

Dave 126
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Re: Agree about Samsung

It sounds like a Sony Xperia will tick moist of your boxes. They are pretty good at updates as well - not the quickest, but I've had one Xperia that's updated across three Android versions. (Not that I jump on the update as soon as it drops - I prefer to hold back a month or two and see on forums how other users fair with it first)

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Dave 126
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Pies, damned pies, and...

>The statistics are surprising since iOS is generally more secure than Android on account of its restricted application installation controls.

What statistics? All the previous paragraph meant was that "about 40 percent of large enterprises [which being large presumably a fair few iPhones] sampled by Proofpoint" had at least one iPhone running at least one malicious app.

There is no way of extrapolating from that statement what percentage of iPhones have malicious apps installed, beyond "more than zero", so I can't be surprised or otherwise.

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Meet Barra's baby: Xiaomi arrives with a splash

Dave 126
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Re: With all the "spying"

Hehe, I think the same when I see the fifth instalment of the Mission Impossible film franchise.

There was a Xiaomi Mi4, so I'm assuming quadraphobia was just a Japanese thing (companies like Panasonic would often have a MK3 product followed immediately by a MK5 successor. )

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Dave 126
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Re: on the up?

Performance-wise, one assumes that this will be as quick as any other Snapdragon 820-based phone, though I note the slides refer to two different clock speeds, 1.8 and 2.1 GHz. The 4GB RAM can't hurt, either - that's all my laptop has, and in five years I've only wanted for more on a couple of occasions.

**

Apps aren't the only investment people make in iPhones - there are also bits of hardware, either from 3rd parties such as headphones or from Apple like the Apple TV, that don't work as well with Android devices. However, many of my iPhone/iPad using mates use them in conjunction with Chromecasts and Playstations rather than Apple TVs or whatever. So, it's hard to call. The price difference between a Chinese Android phone and an iPhone buys a lot of apps and peripherals.

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Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux

Dave 126
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>Ubuntu phones have been available for a while now - don't they do this already?

But why? If to make this system work you need the bulk of a wireless keyboard and mouse, you might as well carry a stick-shaped Linux computer. That way, you can do your work on a big screen, but also take a telephone call. Or just grab your phone as you nip out to the pub for half and hour.

This 2-in-1 desktop/phone system seems like a lot of kerfuffle just to save on the cost of an SoC in a plastic case.

Ubuntu have been proposing this concept for a while. Microsoft have played with it. Meanwhile, many people just use device-independent services such as Gmail - where an email I start writing on my phone I can finish on my laptop - and it is in this direction that Apple have moved (Yeah, I know that it is in Apple's interests to sell you both a Mac and an iPhone).

Heck, I had a Sony phone with a real microHDMI socket on it. Grand. But it was nowhere near as convenient or flexible as using a Chromecast to display content on a big TV.

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Dave 126
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>If I can run some flavour of L*nux, completely open sourced, then I don't need or want any apps

Can you expand upon that? I can't work out what you actually want to use your phone for. Take away all the applications, and you'll have nothing. No dialler, no SMS client, no gallery, no browser...

I have a nicely polished pebble I found. I'll send it to you. No charge. It is 100% secure and quite ergonomic, though it can ruin the lines of a lighter jacket.

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Dave 126
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>Why bother with the Android part? Dump google and run the phone with Linux.

FFS! I've used a Linux desktop application on an Android phone (Inkscape) and it is a horrible experience. It doesn't matter how good the underlying OS is, if the UI is unfit for the Human Input method being used, it will be an exercise in frustration. Install it now if you don't believe me.

UIs are important. Those proponents of Linux who don't acknowledge that fact won't do their cause any favours. So, if you really want Linux to do well, promote good UI design. Here's the thing though: it is time consuming to get right.

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Dave 126
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Re: attack surface

A user with this hybrid device will have no higher an attack surface than a dual device set-up (i.e, an Android phone and a Linux desktop).

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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

Dave 126
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Re: laser mounting

I think your sense of humour is a touch too subtle for some people!

That (impossible) concept of 'pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps' is why we 'boot' computers.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's true - what goes around ....

>older El Reggers may remember a very decent sci-fi/fact magazine of the 80s, called OMNI

There's an online reboot of OMNI here:

https://omnireboot.com/

More recently, Buzz Aldrin's novel Encounter with Tiber explores this method of laser propulsion.

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LG’s modular G5 stunner shuns the Lego aesthetic

Dave 126
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Re: To agree with others - wtf?

>Never owned an LG phone

>Just put the decent DAC in your phone in the first place and I might have bought it

LG did just that in the G2, yet you didn't buy it. So, what was your point again?

LG also contributed 24bit 192Khz libraries to the AOSP.

The B&O module is more about the B&O Class D amp for driving headphones than it is about the DAC per se. B&O do make good Class D amps.

Oh well, glad you feel you can have an opinion, though.

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Dave 126
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>Does the B&O DAC include coaxial digital out?

No, it is a DAC, the clue is in the name.

What B&O do have a reputation for is Class D amplifiers ('IcePower'), so you'll have a reasonable DAC and amp combo for driving a variety of headphones. If you want your own DAC, you'd just use USB Audio, or a Chromecast Audio which has an optical out.

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Dave 126
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Re: USB

You'd be dealing with two lumps connected by a cable - not very ergonomic.

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Dave 126
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LG have missed no point.

Making a fully modular phone incurs structural weakness (so it would have to me made thicker and heavier, and is harder to waterproof), and it is also of limited appeal (cos really, most lower-mid to high end Android phone buyers will want a Snapdragon 8XX SoC, a good screen and a Sony camera sensor).

So whilst buyers haven't bothered with modular phones, they already fix things to their phones, such as external microphones, DACs, IR cameras, joysticks, bigger sensor cameras, LIDAR, external batteries and keyboards. However, the power/IO sockets they plug into are not mechanically fit for holding an extra lump of gubbins. LG have addressed that issue.

Whether the G5 will be bought in any numbers remains to be seen. Maybe by folk wanting a swappable battery.

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Alcatel drives upmarket with Idol 4 smartphone series

Dave 126
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The LG G5 has a removable battery, but doesn't have the waterproofing that its Samsung and Sony competitors do.

My Alcatel Pixi3 has a removable battery and SD card slot. It has many shortcomings, but since I bought it for £25 unlocked to any network I look upon it charitably. It does the basics well enough. ('Til I get around to getting my Sony Z3 C repaired)

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FBI says it helped mess up that iPhone – the one it wants Apple to crack

Dave 126
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Re: Cook is just grandstanding

>Apple has been running ALL OSX and IOS traffic (including Phone backups and email traffic) through their services for ages, scouring every bit of their users information to see what they can monetize.

That is Google's business model. Apple make plenty of money through high-margin hardware sales, and through taking a cut of music, video and app sales. If Apple really were making tons if cash from user data, then they would seek to bring more users into their fold (by selling cheap iPhones).

>Now all of a sudden he [Cook] acts as if he cares about the privacy of their customers, which I am sure he does not give a rat's behind about.

It helps differentiate his company's wares from Google's. Since Apple make plenty of money from people buying from/through them, they have a fairly good motive to keep that distinction.

Cook's talk about privacy may be all in his financial self-interest (his reasons don't really matter), but he has been talking about privacy for some time now. Do keep up.

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Dave 126
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Re: they want Apple to do it ~For Free~.

@dan1980

Whilst I largely agree morally with your point, I suspect that legally it wouldn't hold water.

For the sake of your argument, you used the example of biological weapons - but that example stretches the argument a bit (on the grounds that biological weapons are banned by treaties). Perhaps a different example (an antidote to a poison, perhaps) would better help us to explore your point?

I can't think of a direct precedent - the closest I can think of is governments banning the sale of products (cars) that don't include another product (seat belts).

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Dave 126
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>On death doesn't the contents of account become owned by Apple? A few years ago I believe that it was mentioned widely that Bruce Willis had no ownership rights over his iTunes content so could not bequeath it in a will.

In the iTunes case you mentioned, the terms of the music licences meant that they couldn't be transferred to a beneficiary - the music licence in effect ceased (upon the death of the original buyer) and it didn't revert to Apple.

In any case, user's own data is covered by different EULAs than purchased music. If all data on a phone became the property of Apple, no company would allow iPhones anywhere near them - and we would have heard an almighty stink about it.

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

Dave 126
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Re: Precisely

@Loud Speaker

>I am not sure if terrorists need tour guides and I presume the BBC does not know either.

The BBC were merely reporting what a police officer said. The Reg has got it wrong, but hasn't published a correction yet.

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Dave 126
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Re: So why ...

>So why ... ... do the travellers have to be specifically terrorists? Why not hunters,

Hunters? Given the nature of some the weapons, (an anti-tank missile, and an uzi with a bayonette) that concept brings the Monty Python sketch Mosquito Hunting to mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZvT3MHpffk

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Dave 126
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Re: Standard measure

Rubberdingyrapids, bruv!

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Dave 126
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Re: Ha

@codejunky

The "nine coachloads" phrase was used by a policeman investigating the case, not by the BBC.

The Reg article has got this very wrong, so I'm not blaming you for writing a comment based upon the misinformation you have received.

Kind regards

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Dave 126
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Re: Isn't it more worrying ...

> The idea of actually trying to find out which viewpoint might be closer to the objective truth now appears a quaint notion fading rapidly into the mist of the past.

The objective truth is the number of weapons of different types that were recovered, as given in all coverage of the story. Reports also published pictures of the weapons that were recovered.

That the policeman said "nine coachloads", is also a fact.

What is just plain false is that "nine coachloads" was concocted by the BBC.

Whilst John H Woods' point that they [journalists] will try to achieve "balance" by repeating what they are told from people with alternative viewpoints. is an important point in general, I fail to see its relevance in this case.

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Dave 126
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What about a Mini full of barmaids?

(Nominally 5, though the record is 23 in 2012. Technically, whilst all adult human females, they weren't all barmaids, but as a child of the eighties - when such attempts were more common - that's how I want to imagine it.)

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OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses

Dave 126
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>The only oddity I found was the capacitive navigation keys were not backlit, which defeats the object of having dedicated navigation.

My understanding is that Android navigation soft-keys remain the same, so don't really need to be visible once the user learns what they do. I may have missed something though, because I haven't kept up in the most recent versions of Android.

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New Monopoly version features an Automatic Teller Machine

Dave 126
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Re: Misses the point entirely

>to teach children addition, subtraction

They will learn those skills quicker if they play darts.

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Facebook tells Viz to f**k right off

Dave 126
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>Newflash - Facebook isn't a public service. Its a company that wants to turn a profit and it can set any rules it likes when you use its services. More fool you if you thought otherwise.

Absolutely. But if Facebook's existence is a de facto barrier to an alternative service (one that that just does what its users want, for a couple of quid a year), is there not grounds for banning it? I mean, can't we just be naive and ask our elected representatives to do what they are supposed to i.e act in our interests?

(Game theory: In some games, being the first to move gives a player an unassailable advantage. Take eBay as an example - once established, it will be the first choice of any self-interested buyer or seller)

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