* Posts by Dave 126

6133 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Apple's design 'drives up support costs, makes gadgets harder to use'

Dave 126
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Re: huh? - facepalm

>Aren't sending emails, posting to social networks and paying for something EXACTLY the sort of functions you need a cancel/undo for ..

You might well want that, but that would be a function of the service provider, not the OS. And the user would have to understand that their instant messaging system isn't instant, but has a lag of X seconds, suring which time they can 'Undo' their 'send'. Hmmm. Now you have the situation where 'send' now means 'send in a bit'... simple, heh?

My point was that if the main functions of a device are reading information or sending information, an 'Undo' button is of far less use than it is on a computer used for creating and editing content.

Now, the idea of conflating an 'Undo' button with a universal 'Back one step' button is not without its merits, but brings its own compromises. It is for reasons like this that UI/UX design is bloody complex, and being dogmatic can be counterproductive.

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Dave 126
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Re: hardware designer Jony Ive?

That's strange Mage, because Dieter Rams considers Jony Ive to be Product Designer.

Ive has largely followed Ram's '10 Principles', but that cannot be done slavishly - if you understood them or the work involved in Product Design, you would know that. Shit, even common sense should tell you 'if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it'.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8555503/Dieter-Rams-Apple-has-achieved-something-I-never-did.html

I know enough about product design to know how little I know. And I have a BSc degree and working experience.

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Dave 126
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It's a long old read.

Whilst some of their points are valid ( font size etc ) they do come across as being dogmatic. The first iPhone apps were primarily for accessing information (maps, train times, news etc) and so had no place for an 'Undo' button. The same goes for making purchases on-line, or sending emails or social media posts. 'Undo' isn't applicable.

Rather than acknowledge this, the pair seemed to have missed the wood for the trees.

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Belling that cat: Oz boffins pass entanglement test

Dave 126
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Re: 96% is high-fidelity?

Yet your data storage / transmission systems don't have a fidelity of 100%... hence checksums, error correction and other techniques.

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BlackBerry Priv: After two weeks on test, looks like this is a keeper

Dave 126
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Re: Yes!

The bootloader cannot be unlocked, according to BB's Head of Devices:

http://www.androidcentral.com/exclusive-interview-blackberrys-president-devices-about-their-first-android-phone

If I read the PDF linked to in the following article correctly, the bootloader is a major security weakness on many Android phones, should the attacker gain physical access for just a minute:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/16/faux_disk_encryption/

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Dave 126
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From the article, with added emphasis:

> even downloading a new browser without being more geeky than I had time for required using Chrome, which wouldn’t do anything without me signing into a Google account first.

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Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

Dave 126
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Re: I wonder

Nescafe don't make coffee.

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Dave 126
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Re: Okay, got it

>consider diet and exercise rather than extra lattes or flat whites.

Past studies that have suggested coffee is good for you usually suggest it works better when you don't add milk.

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Dave 126
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Re: “He”

The article author knows which posts belong to this convicted commentard. There may be a clue as to their sex in their posts.

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Microsoft shelves 'suicidal' Android-on-Windows plan

Dave 126
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Re: What 'app gap'?

That's a gross exaggeration.

However, it is true that a fair few users will have 90+% of their needs met by just a handful of apps: Phone, Text, Maps, Browser, Email, Calender, Camera, Music etc.

Other users might find genuine utility in a niche app, especially if they work in a sector like construction or music production, and will choose their platform accordingly.

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Dave 126
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Re: Sensible choice, though...

>(Why Apple hasn't looked at this approach to get iOS apps ported onto its moribund OSX App Store, I don't know)

I guess many apps design for multi-touch iDevices would offer a less-than-ideal user experience on a mouse / trackpad / keyboard-based Mac. Then there's Apple's business model to consider - their software ('Continuity' et al) is designed around you buying both an iPad and a Mac

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D-Wave heads for New Mexico

Dave 126
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Re: "thousand-qubit"

Dwave don't claim it to be capable of Shor's algorithm. It may, or may not be faster than classical computers at some problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor%27s_algorithm

http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/10496/what-can-the-d-wave-quantum-computer-do

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US military readies drone submarine hunter

Dave 126
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The jamming itself would be noticed, thus bringing attention to the attacker.

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Dave 126
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Re: WTF, ok i may be a little late to the party but !!!

"US military readies drone submarine hunter" should be read as "US military readies a surface-based crewless ship that hunts submarines".

The headline was a little ambiguous, but reading the article cleared it up.

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Get an Apple Watch or die warns Tim Cook

Dave 126
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Re: Keeping the doctor away?

It was P.G. Wodehouse, of Blandings and Jeeves and Wooster fame: “An apple a day, if well aimed, keeps the doctor away.”

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Dave 126
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That was an old Dennis Publishing trick - a picture of a cute kitten with a gun against its head, with the strap-line "Subscribe to PC Zone or the kitten gets it!"

Happy days.

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Dave 126
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Re: The problem is …

Except make payments, act as a remote control, alert the wearer to phone notifications, etc.

I take your point though - the payments thing isn't too much use to me (if I was a city dweller it might), and the latter two examples can be accomplished without a power-guzzling colour screen.

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Dave 126
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Re: We live, We die

Haha, glad you've still got your hand!

It seems, as I would have expected, that most watch pins are design to break away before taking an arm with them. I've tried to find some info about this ( some sort of ISO standard or whatnot) but instead found an anecdote about NATO-style watch straps (continuous Nylon loops) being banned on oil rigs - for exactly the reason you outlined.

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Dave 126
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Re: Oh dear

It only takes a doctor 5 minutes to say: "it's because you're an unfit, fat bastard, why don't you just go for a bloody walk ". The consequences of someone not taking an interest in their own fitness - by whatever method - can be waste of many, many hours of doctors' and potentially surgeons' time, plus equipment, beds and medication.

It's no contest.

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Dave 126
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Re: Let's be clear:

You're right that it doesn't really matter, but I feel that it needed spelling out clearly, because the sentence as written in the article was ambiguous, if not misleading:

Sadly, that has not been the case and the expensive and not terribly useful wristwatch is expected to have sold just seven million units in its first year, against expectations of 30 million sales.

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Dave 126
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Re: We live, We die

Official advice confirming what the two posters above have said.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg139.pdf

Whilst I don't work with UPS devices, I did once blow the case-hardening off a spanner by accidentally dropping it across the terminals of a 24v truck battery - a suitably violent illustration of the hazards. It would have been fun to have seen what that flash bang did to my heart rate!

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Dave 126
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Re: The problem is …

>I might buy an Apple Watch if it weren’t a watch.

From rest of the Tim Cook Telegraph interview:

“We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else.”

Not having FDA approval limits the applications the Apple Watch can be sold for. It would be easier to get approval for a pared-down, health-focused device, and as Cook has hinted, a possible move from Apple if facing competition from a competitor (be that Polar heart monitors or Rolex, Seiko et al.)

Or, with your Rolex:

The Chronos is a small, 3mm thick disc that attaches to the underneath of your current regular watch. It clings on using a suction system that avoids any messy sticky pads, and makes it easy to swap between watches. Once stuck to your watch, it adds fitness tracking, notifications, and a cool gesture control system — all without changing the outward design of your watch, or swapping the strap.

- https://wearchronos.com/index.html Device is at pre-order stage, so no in depth reviews yet.

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Dave 126
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Let's be clear:

The "expectations of 30 million sales." were not Apple's expectations, as far as we can know. It comes from "The Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said the Apple Watch would reach 30 million sales in the first year, an extremely optimistic prediction. " [ ://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-watch-sales-november/]

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Roamers rejoice! Google Maps gets offline regional navigation

Dave 126
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Re: Here Maps

>Given the amount of times I have had no coverage in the UK where knowing my location is important if not quite life-threatening (although still entirely possible in the wilds here),

I'm sure you know this, but mountain rescue teams will welcome people not taking a false sense of security from carrying a mobile phone.

If you can't use redundant, dedicated hardware (which is weather-proof and battery frugal) such as a paper map and a Garmin GPS, at least use a paid-for mapping app that it is fit for purpose. If in the wilds, turn your data off, otherwise your phone will eat through its battery very quickly searching in vain for a signal.

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Dave 126
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Re: Useful in tunnels?

@AC

>Just read the magnetometers and accelerometers at that point to get your baseline reference, then work from there until you regain the signal

The point is that there is too much cumulative noise on smartphone accelerometers to use them alone for ready-reckoning. And yes, smartphones aren't stupid, and will use a combination of inputs to get a location fix.

The video, about fusing different sensor inputs, is interesting.

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Dave 126
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Re: What?

Google Maps will download roads etc, plus business names, star ratings and telephone numbers.

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Dave 126
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Re: Useful in tunnels?

What DaLo said.

Assuming you are travelling at roughly constant speed in a tunnel is easy. Taking the integral of acceleration to get velocity, and again to get location just makes the sensor errors too big to be practical.... apparently, according to this fella who is smarter than I am on a Google Tech talk: (23 minutes in)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7JQ7Rpwn2k

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Dave 126
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Re: Here Maps

What makes you think you can only download cities?

Offline maps (but not offline navigation) has been in the last few versions of Google Maps - though made last obvious in the previous version. The area you can download is limited by an arbitrary number of MB. Rural areas work fine.

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Tim Cook: UK crypto backdoors would lead to 'dire consequences'

Dave 126
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Re: Why is article trying to stir controversy?

It's actually more nuanced than AC makes out.... reports of Apple-related rumours and whatnot are delivered in a snarky style, whereas Apple products are reviewed here in an even-handed manner.

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Dave 126
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If you think some Reg commentards are bad...

... then take a look at the comments section under the linked Telegraph article. Often homophobic, cherry-picking, or just plain ignoring Apple's strong financials - which I would have thought were as objective measure as any. Strewth. They were more reminiscent of the comments made under a Youtube video than 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' or 'Major Smith-Smythe-Smith (Retd)'.

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LG picks up US smartphone crumbs, gains on Apple and Samsung

Dave 126
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Indeed. I guess it depends on where in the world you are based... I'm in the UK (and What'sapp seems quite common), yet the original label to the chart, which The Reg didn't reproduce, is:

"Top 15 Smartphone Apps

September 2015

Total U.S. Smartphone Mobile Media Users, Age 18+ (iOS and Android Platforms)"

emphasis mine

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Dave 126
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>I wonder what the Facebook figure would be if it was possible to remove it in all cases.

The figures would look much the same, because contrary to how the Reg presented it, the chart was compiled from app usage and not (pre)installations. This explains the anomaly that @ratfox spotted.

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Dave 126
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@ratfox, that is a good point.

It turns out that the chart doesn't represent app 'installations', but actual 'useage' ofsaid app by users.

From the Comscore.com, the source that the Reg cited:

Using a combination of panel and census-based measurement methods, Mobile Metrix offers an unduplicated view of mobile browsing and app audiences at the media property, website and individual app level.

Whereas the Reg wrote:

Facebook and Apple dominate the non-Google apps installed on smartphones, as Comscore's table (below) shows.

That is not what what the table showed at all.

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Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

Dave 126
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>......and just how is the drone or driverless truck going to post a letter through a letterbox?

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paperboy_(video_game)

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Dave 126
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This wasn't inspired by the recent news that a Welsh Village is having Royal Mail deliveries suspended, on account of a fierce mastiff dog that got loose and intimidated a postwoman?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-34765737

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Einstein's brain to be picked by satellites

Dave 126
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Re: Totes respeck to AE

And of a musician, who when playing violin with Einstein, declared in exasperation "My God Albert, can't you count?!"

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Dave 126
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Re: Wait. What the ....

>so we'll test it to within [an inch to the power -12] of its life to try and find holes in it

There, tweaked it it for you! : D

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Drones are dropping drugs into prisons and the US govt just doesn't know what to do

Dave 126
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Re: Drone cannon

then people will just start using dead-reckoning or computer-vision to have drones navigate themselves: no radios required.

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7 million Apple Watches just buried the competition – Canalys

Dave 126
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Re: Fitness band for me

I've seen two Apple Watches since their release, but then I drink in pubs a lot.

I can't remember (drink) at what point in 2006 I saw my first (battery-compromised) iPhone either - but now every phone looks basically the same.

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Dave 126
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Re: Early days yet

>Are you suggesting some quantum leap in overcoming form-factor limitations is waiting in the wings? Direct display in the cerebral cortex perhaps?

Don't be a pillock.

Stevie, you seem to have stuck in your head that a 'smartwatch' is a battery-guzzling colour-screened lump. The definition isn't set in stone. For a couple of years now both Casio and Citizen have offered smartwatches without said display, and they look like normal watches and each boast year + battery lives.

Basically, there are a few points on the functionality / form-factor / battery life graph. Clear?

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Dave 126
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Re: Bah!

The display of my analogue watch is, arguably, 'data'. I prefer to think of it as the time and the date, with an ever-so convenient (rotate bezel) reminder of when I bought my parking ticket.

Your comment seems to have been written in ignorance of offerings other than Apple, Android and Pebble efforts. That's fine, but don't condemn a category unless you know what it consists of.

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Dave 126
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Re: Now this IS interesting

>TAG are very similar to Apple. Both useless as a time keeper.

TAG quartz are on a par with any quartz movement that isn't updated over the airwaves. TAG automatics, likewise, are on a par with their automatic peers.

Apple Watch are updated over the airwaves (via the iPhone) so will be accurate to within the second. Which makes your assertion bollocks.

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Dave 126
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Re: Web blurb is meaningless

>The web site is all marketing and no substance,

I hadn't bothered to look at their website, but at another technology review website. Of course there are different potentially viable points on the function / form factor / battery life graph, and Fossil are aiming at a couple of them.

EDIT: And yeah, Fossil watches are a bit too gaudy for my tastes.

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Dave 126
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Re: Now this IS interesting

>TAG should be able to significantly bite into their iWatch market.

TAG have stated that their smartwatch 'will be upgradable', and teaser images suggest it will look similar to a sports chronograph - circular with numbers around the bezel.

TAG watches, like all their rivals at various prices levels, are nicely made. Details, such as the clasp being machined (not stamped) and then deburred, do make a difference. Apple too though, even according to watch nerd sites like Hodinkee, have the quality of finish and tolerances spot on.

That is all good. However, at the moment every smartwatch with a colour screen* incurs a massive penalty in battery life, so it will be for the individual consumer to weigh the pros against the cons. Some people may find the Apple ecosystem offers them more.

* As opposed to watches from Citizen and G-Shock which give phone notifications and not much else - they last a couple of years on one battery, or indefinitely on kinetic energy.

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Dave 126
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Of course, that should be 're-entered the fray':

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_Wrist_PDA

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Dave 126
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Fossil have already entered the fray; some of their Q line of smartwatches went on sale late October.

Of their line-up, only one is an Android-wear model, the others have conventional analogue watch faces, and using little LEDs in the buckle to distinguish different types on notification (call, sms, email etc) on the connected phone. Far fewer functions than an Apple Watch or Android Wear, but a valid balance of form and function.

How they perform 'in the wild', I don't know.

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GCHQ's CESG team's crypto proposal isn't dumb, it's malicious... and I didn't notice

Dave 126
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Re: I love the way A.N.Other hack thinks GCHQ are dumb

I'm upvoting boltar, for showing willing this week.

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Dave 126
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Re: IP Phone Home

>Be great if GCHQ had a neat little app I could look myself up on. Save a lot of bother with KeePass2 and Evernote ...

That was what the Welsh philosopher and drug deal Howard Marks did. When asked how, as an inveterate dope smoker, he was able to be so clear about dates in his autobiography, he replied that just submitted an FOI to the FBI.

[He was busted because someone he trusted was turned against him, something no amount of encryption can save you from. ]

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MacBooks are so hot right now. And so is Mac OS X malware

Dave 126
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Re: been saying it for decades...

@Grikath

1. You started it. We don't know why.

2. Fitz used the word 'Fuck' as a verb, specifically in the imperative mood, and not as an adjective. It seems you didn't grasp that.

- Dave 126 ( not an OSX user myself)

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Dave 126
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Re: Impeccably dishevelled

You spend time looking at the Instagram accounts of OSX malware authors? Oh well.

Also: How considerate of them to identify themselves publicly!

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