* Posts by Joe Harrison

483 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Global crypto survey proves govt backdoors completely pointless

Joe Harrison
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Sorted!

I knew it must be possible to get unbackdoored crypto. No way they can defeat me now unless they put the backdoors in the chips before they even leave the factory! Which obviously couldn't hap...Oh wait...

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

Joe Harrison
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Obviously unable to resist that lovely sub-headline. Damn it I can't get that tune out of my head now...

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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

Joe Harrison
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Don't like predictive keyboards

They keep making me say things I didn't Nintendo

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Joe Harrison
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Shredder rotors

I'm impressed by metal shredders. A large funnel into which you chuck metal scrap and at the bottom there are two slowly contra-rotating cylinders with sparse teeth. Just about anything goes in (old cars etc.) and metal shreds come out.

How about a wedge-shaped open-mouthed robot that did nothing but get close to any type of opponent and try to suck it into the mincer.

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Evil OpenSSH servers can steal your private login keys to other systems – patch now

Joe Harrison
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Re: Good advert for HSMs and smart cards ?

If any hot chicks are reading this... I have a smart card. Several in fact. Just sayin.

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How long is your password? HTTPS Bicycle attack reveals that and more

Joe Harrison
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Re: Down with 2FA

2FA is great and I'm not against it. What I AM against is every single 2FA site wanting me to install its own app with their own TOTP implementation. So far I have Google Authenticator, Symantec VIP, Steam's one, and one from my bank. There is another site on which I would like to enable 2FA but that would need yet another app. Where do you draw the line? And yes I know that with some work I might be able to hack them together a bit closer but life's too short.

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Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Joe Harrison
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Re: Demos

On which planet? I bought CS-GO on Steam two days before they cut the price by half in their sale. I asked for a refund so I could re-buy it and they told me to get lost.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Joe Harrison
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My (grumpy) prediction for 2016

I will reaffirm my belief in the principle of Free Software and get all excited about the new GIMP tech preview. Unfortunately I won't initially get a clean compile but after a few hours work I will find out where the bugs are or what I did wrong in the compilation and build process. There may or may not also be some Dependency Hell. Finally GIMP will run in a very impressive manner.

Except for the bit I actually want to use, which will fail with an unintuitive error message when I try and do it. I will search the internet for a solution but the only hits will be other users saying "me too how do I fix this". I will mutter under my breath and go back to whatever I was using on Windows.

Sad but true, been there before on many other products.

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IT security is a safe job? Tell that to Norse staff laid off this week

Joe Harrison
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Re: They provided me a very interesting security tool

It shows me a blank map of the world, so either it doesn't work or there are no attacks happening anywhere.

Maybe that's their business problem? That screen would look super-impressive in your defcon-6 control room but otherwise I can't see why customers would be interested. Surely your average PLC just wants to keep intruders out of their systems rather than feeling they have a handle on what's happening worldwide from minute to minute.

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Half of UK financial institutions vulnerable to well-known crypto flaws

Joe Harrison
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Intent doesn't always mean very much. I was shocked several years ago when a bloke got found guilty purely for editing a URL in his browser address bar because he suspected there was a security problem and then reporting it to the site owner.

And surely by definition anyone capable of taking part in an SSL or security-related thread on El Reg is almost certainly qualified by experience? Not having a CISSP badge doesn't mean not qualified.

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Joe Harrison
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Don't listen to them

This thread seems to be full of idiots begging you to lower the editorial tone to a predictably dire schoolboy humour level.

However we're all business people here and I'm disappointed in any such move to incentivize your value add. Let's please see you roll out your effort to launch a new community-killer site which will taper the playing field vertically. Moving forward, it's time to act with game-changing ideation and close the loop with a robust and sustainable reporting of industry transformation and recontextualization. OK?

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UK ISP Sky to make smut an opt-in service from 2016

Joe Harrison
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Might rebound on them

A lot of people genuinely have no idea about filters, routers, DNS, browser. I'm not calling them stupid it's merely that they are not interested, their expertise is not in tech, and they just want to "go on the internet". If they run up against a block they will scratch their heads and move on rather than call the helpdesk.

I'm guessing that this particular ISP will just acquire a reputation as "that one where half the sights [sic] don't work".

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EU reforms could pave way for smells and noises to be trade-mark protected – expert

Joe Harrison
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Only on el Reg

Where else could a discussion of trademark law effortlessly decay into a fart-fest?

Here is the antidote to all the sprouts and cabbage if anyone's interested

http://www.ergo-log.com/poo-smells-less-with-grape-seed-extract-supplement.html

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GCHQ Christmas Card asks YOU the questions

Joe Harrison
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NSPCC

Why am I not surprised that this is their favourite charity...

My wife used to get loads of mail from NSPCC and half of it was trying to get her to support various campaigns to lock down the internet "to make children safer".

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Dailymotion hit by malvertising attack as perpetrators ‘up their game'

Joe Harrison
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French video site eh

The one time when a rouge ad would have been more appropriate and somebody has to spell it correctly :(

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Russia's blanket phone spying busted Europe's human rights laws

Joe Harrison
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Re: How will it be enforced?

Not our experience - I worked for an application vendor where we outsourced development to Russia (Java coding.) Everything came back near perfect and just needed minor cosmetic cleanup from a UK senior developer. A+++ wud buy again

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Mr Grey, the Russian hacker who helped haul in 1.2 billion logins

Joe Harrison
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Re: Thief.

Does make me wonder why we need Internet connections to <xyz>

You're right the internet would work a lot better if we pruned off all the unnecessary bits. As it happens I don't know anyone in Birmingham and I never go there so I propose we disconnect it.

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Superfish 2.0 worsens: Dell's dodgy security certificate is an unkillable zombie

Joe Harrison
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Simple way to kill it

It's been said before in the other thread but just move it to the "untrusted certificates" bit of certmgr.msc.

Yes it will come back again into the list of root CAs but will also remain in the untrusted list therefore will not actually work.

Then at your leisure you can do the DLL hacking if you still want it completely gone.

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Researchers say they've cracked the secret of the Sony Pictures hack

Joe Harrison
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Re: Whatever happened to WORM drives?

In my day WORM drives for logs were called Oki 9-pin printers

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Love your IoT gadget but could you keep the noise down?

Joe Harrison
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Re: TGIF

"Dalek morse code" exactly describes the Orchestration Registration ringtone by Ali Spagnola, shipped with the original Nexus 5. Really sounds odd when your phone rings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbRSZyOLW5E

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Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Joe Harrison
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Re: That's a thoughtful take on current affairs...

Really unfortunate thing to say in the article. I also tried to point out the same thing and The Register actually rejected my comment which has never happened to me before.

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Joe Harrison
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Re: "require Microphone permission"

OK I shall call my new game "Crispy Cakes!". Hours of fun collect them all!!1! (whilst your stuff is being uploaded to the mothership)

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Joe Harrison
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Re: Most post moar!

Posting irrelevance just for the sake of getting the badge? Very reprehensible and not in the spirit.

Did I ever tell you the story of when my grandad was on night duty in Sidi Barani?

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Let's Encrypt gets automation

Joe Harrison
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same old

I don't see the point. Let's Encrypt seem to be the latest in a series of other free CAs. For example www.cacert.org have been around for years and I never see sites using their certs. You can get a "real" SSL certificate in the free to 10 dollar range so why Let's Encrypt?

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Here's how TalkTalk ducked and dived over THAT gigantic hack

Joe Harrison
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I am not joining in the hating until I have all the facts

Nobody knows what actually happened, apart from speculation that they might have got SQL-injected. What if they were actually running a tight ship but got clobbered by a 0-day could you still call them idiots?

As an aside, the only time I ever had a problem with a Talk Talk connection I bypassed their official customer support entirely and went straight to their user forums. Some excellent people on there who helped me wireshark my way to success.

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Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

Joe Harrison
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Re: Respect

There probably really are that number of operating systems (at least) but only if you're allowed to get seriously historical, NetWare, Plan9, VME/B, TOSD, George3, CP/M, DOS keep counting and be at the 45 mark in no time.

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You own the software, Feds tell Apple: you can unlock it

Joe Harrison
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But you do own the phone

I don't have any Apple kit but probably the EULA can only say "you don't own this software"? I mean you do own the phone hardware. I'm guessing that Apple cannot do a remote unlock and would need actually do hardware things to the phone, connect something to it at least. Why can't they say "OK it's our software but not our phone".

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New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Joe Harrison
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Autocarrot is a menace, keeps making me say things I didn't Nintendo

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Joe Harrison
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Serious question

What are you supposed to do with no SD card? For example I like to watch video on the boring train, but even in populated area like SE you could not hold a signal long enough to watch a film or episode which was streaming from gdrive or other cloud. In fact I doubt could even listen to one complete music track without it dropping out.

If I didn't have the 64GB card I would be reduced to carefully managing local copies on what's left of my 16GB, needing to keep on top of loading and deleting things all the time.

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O2 joins Virgin Media as member of weak crypto software club

Joe Harrison
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But in real life...

Not defending poor security practice but let's be fair, cracking RC4 is still "hard enough" to deter blackhats from snaffling that ten quid you just paid to O2.

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Accidental homicide: how VoLTE kills old style call accounting

Joe Harrison
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But even when you are no longer making "calls"...

...they'll still want to make you pay Line Rental.

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Shoebox-sized satellite enters orbit packing 3Mbps radio

Joe Harrison
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What is it for?

As title. Article explains what it can do but why is it up there? Presumably even small satellites are not cheap.

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Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'

Joe Harrison
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And whilst we're at it

Let's ban directory design choices which insist on displaying names back-to-front, such as "Smith John". Absolute nightmare in a large organisation especially when there inevitably exists a few legacy systems which for some reason displays the right way round.

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Ad networks promise to do something about the awful adverts you're all blocking, like, real soon

Joe Harrison
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Unfixable

I too remember when there were no ads on the www, although that didn't last long. When "banner ads" (there were even standards for pixel sizes) came along I didn't adblock because it was so easy to train yourself to ignore them. The advertisers knew that so they got clever with punch the monkey and so on, at which point I had to start getting creative with my hosts file.

So what are they going to do, go back to static ads which they know didn't work the first time? If you as a site operator really feel you should get paid for your content then there will have to be some other way than ads.

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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

Joe Harrison
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Doesn't pass the smell test

I believe VW did this, since they have owned up to it, but everything still bothers me.

1. Rumour says the US emissions test limit is deliberately set impossibly low, in order to keep out foreign competition, and because they don't want diesel cars in the US for some reason. I haven't driven in US for years so don't know if it is true that diesel cars practically nonexistent there.

2. Apparently known about for some time but scandal broke at the exact same time as VW opened their engines manufacture in Russia.

3. Why are we not seeing huge numbers of VWs failing their MOT if they are that dirty?

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Has the UK Uber crackdown begun? TfL opens consultation on private car biz

Joe Harrison
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Doesn't matter

The rights and wrongs and legal definitions are not really important. In the end, black cabs haven't a chance because nobody likes them.

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Joe Harrison
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Because things are so great right now

The global economy is in a fine mess. Trillions wiped off stock markets, central banks' money-printing completely out of control, ridiculous bubbles across asset classes such as property, oil wars, commodity crashes, you name it. Also not a day goes by without a banker somewhere accused of trashing the rulebook even harder than yesterday.

Governments got us here, shall we have even more of the same or something new?

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Hands on with Google's Nexus 5X, 6P Android Marshmallow mobes

Joe Harrison
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Re: Still don't want Chinese Kit!

I have a Huawei phone (Honor 6) and yes it does randomly connect to .cn addresses. After a lot of work with wireshark I am pretty satisfied it is a rather oddly-implemented cloud storage option, a sort of Huawei competitor to Google Drive. So tin-foil hat removed.

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UK.gov unleashes 3D virtual world to train GCHQ's kiddie division

Joe Harrison
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Sigh

Can't we just go back to the good old days when you were only regarded as suitable intelligence material if you went to the right school and your dad knew lord thingy? Then the rest of us can get on with the actual security work.

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Spirit of the Ghost: Taking a Rolls-Royce Wraith around France

Joe Harrison
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Re: 21MPG?

Bah 25mpg RUBBISH!

My Volkswagen does 1000mpg (according to the emissions test report.)

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BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU

Joe Harrison
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Why?

My kids and all their friends already have about six computers each

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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Joe Harrison
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It's everywhere

They will even SELL you Linux

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/virtual-machines/#Linux

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Cryptome founder revokes PGP keys after weird 'compromise'

Joe Harrison
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Re: Word transposed in headline

He is a bit weird. A few years ago I emailed him and encrypted to the key on his website at that time. He replied with some rambling story and would I mind resending in plain text. To my mind that is an odd thing to do after you have gone to the bother of generating and displaying your key.

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Uber is killing off iconic black cabs, warns Zac Goldsmith

Joe Harrison
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Can't get rid of them quickly enough

Last week an unsuspecting German colleague took a black cab from Heathrow to our Bracknell office, mid-morning, and got charged 126 pounds. We make that journey all the time and the normal fare is about 40 quid. It's legal but black cabs please just die.

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Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer

Joe Harrison
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"I didn't really understand it, but it solved my issue, so I used it."

Sums up my entire career as a "developer" :(

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Coder pleads guilty to writing Gozi banking trojan

Joe Harrison
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Almost three years in jail?

So he was arrested in November 2012 and last Friday he pleaded guilty. What's been happening all that time?

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ICO probes NHS clinic's data blunder that exposed HIV+ status of 800 patients

Joe Harrison
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Happens to the best of us

A few years ago a prominent UK digital rights organisation (I can't bring myself to embarrass them again) sent out a mail about their internet privacy campaign to the entire dlist instead of bcc...

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Small wonder, little competition: Asus Chromebook Flip

Joe Harrison
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keep it

Whenever I am on a train listening to music on my phone, and it goes into a tunnel, and the music doesn't cut off because it's on sd card and not in a cloud, well that's when I pat myself on the back for being old and boring instead of hipster 2.0

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Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill

Joe Harrison
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What is wrong with Amazon?

I wanted to sign up for their free trial on day one but have never done so precisely because

(a) I don't know what I'm doing until I have learnt

(b) don't want my lack of knowledge somehow to trigger a massive credit card bill.

You would think they would understand this.

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Jailbreaking pirates popped in world's largest iCloud raid – 225,000 accounts hit

Joe Harrison
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Rooted mine

I have barely any reason to root my Android phone but did it anyway just on general principle. Why not, I paid for it. Cannot understand the "jailbreaking is bad and you mustn't do it" sentiment in this thread.

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