* Posts by Joe Harrison

384 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Joe Harrison
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Re: How do SIM cards work

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_identity_module#Authentication_key_.28K

Thanks for that... not very secure then by modern crypto standards. Although maybe the design decision made sense years ago with low-powered phone CPUs of the time.

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Joe Harrison
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How do SIM cards work

I thought smartcards typically generated private keys onboard and would not release them outside the card. You could only give the card something to sign or encrypt then it would give it back to you. How were there any key copies available to steal?

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SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Joe Harrison
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Re: If I were a layman

It was only nasty cheapo SSL certificates which were busted. Up until now this was fixed by extra-cost extra-trustworthy certificates which displayed a green splodge for higher security.

Unfortunately the extra-cost certificates are now busted as well, but don't worry as you will soon be able to get extra-extra-cost certificates with a gold splodge.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Joe Harrison
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Avast anti-virus

Avast also does something like this to intercept your SSL traffic. I uninstalled it after I found out but I had previously been running it for quite a long time, and I am the sort of person who quite often does actually check certificates when connecting to SSL sites. I didn't investigate how Avast avoids certificate errors it but if you are a user you might want to look carefully at your config.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

Joe Harrison
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Re: Wait... what?

This certainly is old stuff but there are a couple of new angles...

VOIP clienting needs reasonable processing power and I would say that it's only recently that your average smartphone has got enough CPU to do it properly. Yes I too was bodging it on a PDA in 2004 but a modern phone does it much better.

In 2015 wi-fi providers have started to be more aware of traffic optimisation. Some hotels and coffee shops seem to be able to prevent me from registering Csipsimple with my SIP gateway. Skype-Out seems a more difficult problem for them.

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

Joe Harrison
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There is always a mysterious third-party

When I was doing web design in 1997 I had a choice - either get my boss to pay a fortune for Photoshop 6, or use JASC Paintshop Pro 3.0 free off the Computer Shopper cover CD. I got very good at Paintshop Pro and still use it, even now post-Corel.

Intriguing to hear how the product name came about as a casual suggestion from the unknown someone who was not really involved. History is littered with such people who drift by and change the course of history, from George Washington's "mysterious visitor" to Coleridge's "person from Porlock."

When I invent the time machine in 2023 I am definitely going back to 1988 and helpfully suggest the name "Photoshop" to them.

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Samsung's spying smart TVs don't encrypt voice recordings sent over the internet – new claim

Joe Harrison
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Says it all

http://www.joyoftech.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/2104.html

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Are you ready to ditch the switchboard and move to IP telephony?

Joe Harrison
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What about mobile?

I use A&A "SIP2SIM" - you get a rather unusual SIM card for your mobile which connects you *only* to the SIP server of your choice. You are then responsible for any gatewaying out to the actual PSTN. I am merely a satisfied customer etc. etc.

www.aa.net.uk/telecoms-sip2sim.html

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Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

Joe Harrison
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Windows With Bing is great

The zero license fee means lower price, for example the insanely good value Linx 8 tablets. Decent hardware, Windows 8.1, a year's Office 365, and 1TB of cloud storage for 70-90 quid, no wonder they have been flying off the shelves.

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Keyless vehicle theft suspects cuffed after key Met Police, er, 'lockdown'

Joe Harrison
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Re: Microdots ?

What if the crooks get their own bucket of random microdots and overwrite the real ones?

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First look: Ordnance Survey lifts kimono on next-gen map app

Joe Harrison
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YAMA(Y)

Yet Another Map App (Yawn)

They built their business on taxpayers' money and have got a nerve charging as much as they do. I bet it nearly killed them to make this app even partially free. They are a stodgy lot and have woken up too late to every smartphone already having enough maps.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

Joe Harrison
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dead right

"the customer decision to spend their hard earned cash is more about coalescence around certain values"

That's exactly right, I go to the supermarket for a good old coalesce. It only LOOKS like I am heading straight for the "nearly-expired" section to see what's reduced.

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

Joe Harrison
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My kids would vote for Putin if they could

Really! So would their mates from what I see. You might say the bad-ass image is just PR but they compare with Cameron/Milliband and it works for them.

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GROUPTHINK HIVE MIND informs climate change believers

Joe Harrison
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I don't know for sure but...

I don't know anything about planetary climatology, how the weather works, or anything like that. So I also have genuinely no idea whether "global warming caused by humans" is true or not true.

However - the idea seemed to come from nowhere and provided the perfect excuse for the introduction of yet another tax ("carbon tax") by people I don't trust. This does tend to colour my judgement quite a lot. Follow the money.

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

Joe Harrison
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Re: The Reg RSS feed knows me too well

I play them at 8x with the sound off while I'm asleep, you can get through most TV shows amazingly quickly that way with no loss of quality.

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

Joe Harrison
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Obvious

Phones all do basically the same things. Beyond a certain point paying more will not give you a better camera better or more accurate GPS. Being seen to afford a very posh car can make people pay for the flashpig model but I'm not sure the same really works for mobile phones.

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Joe Harrison
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Jobhunting

Hi everyone! Wouldn't mind a new job. Want something part-time and it must have comfy office with free food, but also lots of trips out to exciting places. Must be well-paid. My CV? well I don't know anything much about any of this modern thingy but hope this isn't a blocker!!1! Any suggestions where I could be looking?

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Great Firewall of China blasts DDoS attacks at random IP addresses

Joe Harrison
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Re: Simple Solution

Not sure that is true and I don't think they really want to be completely isolated. If they did they could just pull the plug, end of. Of course this would severely damage the rest of the world's ability to buy stuff from China, which would presumably be seen as a bad thing. Really they want their cake and eat it with an internet that only does things they agree with.

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Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

Joe Harrison
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Paired vices

I once had an urgent call to fix a printer in Scunthorpe because they couldn't do the paired vices. WTF? They repeated it several times but I was too polite to tell them I had no idea what they were talking about. Eventually "You know, the paired vice slip you get in your wage packet..."

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Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs

Joe Harrison
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Genius

"...like a mad hybrid of Mavis Beacon and Rick Wakeman" :)

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Node.js fork io.js hits version 1.0 – but don't call it production-ready

Joe Harrison
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Re: beyond moronic

I know, to avoid confusion we could change the name to "LiveScript"?

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Joe Harrison
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too complex

I was in the telly department at Costco the other day and they had TV sets from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. I was surprised at the differences in picture display but none of them actually looked fantastic to me. Maybe it's my eyes but they all look flickery especially when there is a lot of movement going on.

Oh yes and the "smart" factor bothers me - having paid for it I would feel obligated to use it, but wasn't there some news recently about smart TVs phoning home to the mothership?

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Google casts about for wireless audio

Joe Harrison
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Re: Bluetooth

Bluetooth audio normally does sound like an underwater potato yes. However when you are using the APTX codec it is much better and sounds like a high quality MP3. The trouble is that Bluetooth stacks so complex that getting APTX to work is elven wizardry. It works on one of my W7 PCs with a cheap dongle, but doesn't work on my other W7 PC with an identical cheap dongle.

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Whew, US cellcos... Better find a new revenue stream, QUICK

Joe Harrison
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When will they learn

People will pay for fast, reliable, and cheap network connectivity, and also for efficient customer service when things go wrong. But that is about it and nobody cares about the network operator's brand image or anything else.

Everyone is tired of the convoluted tariff structures and other sneaky tricks - the networks should face reality they are bit pipes and that's all.

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30 years ago today, the first commercial UK 'mobile' phone call was made

Joe Harrison
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Nothing changed

My first phone was a Motorola 4500 hardwired into the car. It was not new it was some sort of dodgy refurb that a mate in the trade had got from somewhere. That did not stop Nokia-Mobira from trying to "subsidise" it; when I read the small print they wanted me to sign a TEN YEAR contract!

The next one was the standard 8500x brickphone and I remember being at the checkout queue in Safeway when it rang. Everything stopped and what felt like the entire shop just looked at me while I red-facedly gabbled "call you back later" into it.

A later favourite was a star-tac thing on Mercury One2One because after 7PM local calls were free. Of course the network used to crash at 7:01 :(

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Easy Tinder prank hack lets you play stupid cupid

Joe Harrison
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Advanced state-level adversary technique

"His session is in his browser cookies. You get his Facebook.com cookies, you get his session."

Wow! Leaving your session open allows people to do bad things and impersonate you. Who knew.

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A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

Joe Harrison
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Re: hooray

Bad form to reply to oneself but be aware Android Studio doesn't like being behind an NTLM proxy either, will not even start!

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Joe Harrison
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hooray

The combination of Eclipse and Android SDK drove me crazy. Updates are a broken and semi-manual process if you are behind a corporate proxy requiring NTLM credentials. Considering that at least one update seemed to be needed every time I started Eclipse I am very happy to see the back of it all.

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Skinny Ubuntu Linux 'Snapped' up by fat Microsoft cloud

Joe Harrison
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Microsoft backing Linux

Deeply impossible things are happening.I knew I shouldn't have eaten those mushrooms I found in the woods :(

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Joe Harrison
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how does it work in reverse

For example alcohol is illegal in some countries. When someone located in one of those countries finds your ilovebooz-hic.eu site and complains, then what, do you have to take it offline or censor it somehow?

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Joe Harrison
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ominous

I have never exactly been a junk-food junkie but I have certainly eaten my share of pizzas and "things in packets". What has finally prodded me into serious care about my diet has been that I keep hearing "oh noes the doc told me I had diabetes" from my mates and contemporaries. It's one thing reading that in the news but quite something else from people you know and who are maybe younger than you.

After a lot of reading and crap-filtering I came to the conclusion that actually caring about what you eat is the key rather than trying to make sense of conflicting research studies. Incidentally I have come to distrust any food statements from "nutritionists" (anyone can award themselves that title) unlike "dietician" who have serious clinical qualifications.

No matter how much you might identify yourself as a permanent jaffa cake snacker you know in your heart what it is doing to you. Just switch your common sense on and if this is difficult picture yourself having treatment somewhere for your overloaded pancreas.

Finally, do some exercise and if you're not hungry don't eat (sounds obvious but isn't).

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Joe Harrison
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Didn't you get the memo? This is being done on the cheap. You're thinking of Optimus Primark.

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Cloud skills certification can add zeros to your pay cheque

Joe Harrison
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Certs not so bad

There's nothing wrong with certificates as such. If you need your botnet herd looked after properly then wouldn't you rather have someone who's studied his socks off and is now a Certified Botnet Shepherd?

Unfortunately where the model falls down is that nothing in the IT biz stays the same for long. The "getting the right certificate" cycle is longer than the "what's hot this week" cycle and people can't be expected to run looking over their shoulder on a permanent certification treadmill.

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Finnish PM: Apple has DESTROYED FINLAND

Joe Harrison
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Finland is different

I used to work for a Finnish tech company and to my mind their single most difficult characteristic was inability to admit when something was not working.

Pointing out a deficiency in your own company's product or strategy was tantamount to high treason so of course nobody did. There were probably plenty of people in Nokia who knew what was wrong they just didn't dare stand up and say so.

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Chinese researchers develop fuzzy search algorithm for encrypted cloud data

Joe Harrison
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?

What is the point of encrypting your stuff if people can still search to see what is in it. (Is it just me?)

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Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey

Joe Harrison
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Nobody reads those things

I never do, and even if people can be bothered the agreement is often not formatted to be read easily on a tiny phone screen. I just tick "yes" to everything. Does it really matter when everything I care about is via SSL or some other encryption.

Good luck trying to enforce the favourite pet thing as well.

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Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

Joe Harrison
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Re: Congratulations India.

I knew this would get posted somewhere in the thread and I think it's a tribute to people's respect for the Indian achievement that it has taken until now.

Downvote all you want but I grew up in a slum in Rochdale where we literally had no indoor plumbing, shared a toilet with other houses. A fuge number of people in India today would think "Luxshury!" to that since they have no toilet at all. Sorry Indian government but if you want respect fix that first, then you can go to Mars.

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

Joe Harrison
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Agree. Not long ago I found a top-end phone at a conference and luckily was able to return it to its owner. When I located her she was just about having the screaming habdabs at the thought she had lost something worth 500 or more.

Losing or breaking a phone is easily done so I don't understand why anyone would risk an expensive one purely for the bling factor or social status. Of course I don't want to lose my own (cheapo) phone but if it unfortunately happened I would just buy another one and forget about it.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: Emerging markets

There might be a spot for Windows phones, in corporate enterprises that are all-Microsoft. What if a Windows phone is the only one that works with your sharepoint, your Exchange, your AD, your Lync...

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Joe Harrison
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Really can't get this

What's the difficulty? The manufacturers design a phone which costs 50 to make and they sell it for 100 (or 90 or whatever). The software is not their problem as Google has done it all for them. Ungrateful bastards. Meanwhile more importantly I can avoid having to spend 600 quid on an Apple phone.

I searched my memory but I don't recall traditional PC manufacturers saying phew it's lucky Windows is not free otherwise we would be out of business.

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Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us

Joe Harrison
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Re: The proposed approach could have clear practical implications

Crimbr 2.0 is an innovative cloud-based solution which blends leading-edge academic research with dynamic crowd-sourced information to deliver attractive realtime offence-commission opportunities that (contd. p.94)

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Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

Joe Harrison
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Re: Speedo?

Yes it is, maybe not the speedo but the other stuff. I've had my car for six years and the heater is so fiddly I still can't do it without looking carefully.

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WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

Joe Harrison
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Re: Blind date?

Think you misspelled ambidickstrous.

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

Joe Harrison
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bing ka-shing!

Never used Bing but if it can accurately answer any natural language query about Scotland then I'm heading over there right now with mine.

"OK Bing what will be tonight's winning lottery numbers Scotland?"

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Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Joe Harrison
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Been there done that

Just around Y2K I was working for an organisation that wanted to sell what would today be called "private facebooks" to professional membership organisations. It was not a bad idea from the perspective of that time but ultimately failed.

The only point of being on a facebook or a linked-in or a <next big thing here> is that everyone else is on it. Who wants a phone that can only dial a closed group. Sorry but this is doomed.

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Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

Joe Harrison
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Re: While you're offering advice...

Maybe join a gym and cut down on the cakes?

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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Joe Harrison
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cashback disaster

Not pointing at any particular phone retailer but many of them had a terrible reputation for using technicalities to avoid paying the "cashback when you send us your fourth monthly bill" style of rebates which were popular a few years back. Alleged victims spread the news and I believe that permanently and severely depressed a lot of their repeat business.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: re.. simfree

Aha not so much a Flashing Blade then as one of us Potato Peelers. I know the Huawei G300 quite well and I would respectfully suggest that it is the wrong side of the speed and usability line by now and you might usefully spend the 60-80 quid at Tesco for the non-LTE Moto G.

As far as Phones 4U is concerned I hated it when went there once and failed to buy a phone for one of the kids so never went back. My last three phones came unlocked either from Tesco online or from Chinese websites so I can't say I understand the need for high street phone shops, nor for direct sales from the networks. So long as cheap PAYG continues to be available that is all I need.

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Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts

Joe Harrison
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Sleeping

I'm a huge fan of the "sleep analyser" apps such as Sleep As Android. They rely on motion sensors which means you rather inconveniently have to keep your phone in bed with you. It would be quite a win to avoid that by having the app use the watch sensors instead. See? I found an actual use for it.

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This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...

Joe Harrison
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Not as big a problem as it looks

You could always reflash your phone with Cyanogenmod, whose built-in "Privacy Guard" allows you to set a default "no access" for apps. It's not a perfect solution but takes care of the major risks.

The message in the article is right though in that most of the apps which over-enthusiastically grab permissions never actually attempt to use those permissions. On a few occasions privacy guard does pop up "this app is trying to access your contacts" or some such with no valid reason. Answering "no" mostly seems to crash the app unfortunately.

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