* Posts by PhilipN

269 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010

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Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy

PhilipN
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Hollywood got there first

Uncannily prescient and similar representation of time's hiccups in the movie version of Ray Bradbury's "Sound of Thunder"

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Ducks, Lord of the Rings, movies and maths: The GCHQ Xmas puzzle solutions revealed

PhilipN
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French numbers? That's just mean.

Unless you are French .... or Belgian. One of the winners, for example.

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Ginni Rometty to pocket $4.5m bonus for IBM leadership

PhilipN
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Market leader

I am more concerned about IBM sliding towards irrelevance than the arrivistes in Redmond flailing for direction.

In the days when MS was given the journalist's accolade of World No. 1 software company, it wan't. IBM's software sales, once you stripped out hardware sales, were consistently greater.

More pertinently, IBM has consistently been the largest customer of the US Patent Office - year after year after year. If IBM cuts its R&D budget, who is going to take up the slack?

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Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

PhilipN
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'Fess up everybody

Like a lot of us I was a complete shit* when I was a teenager and it makes me cringe to think of the stupid things I would get up to. Thank Whoever I did not get caught for youthful stupidity.

Any hypocrite want to claim he was not taking risks with life, limb and property when at a tender age?

*Complete because of cultivating a respectable persona to display to the rest of the World.

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Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

PhilipN
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All hail

For perspective : A while ago I was looking into home telephone wiring systems to try something imaginative and I came across various explanations online.

One of them, with photos, declared that back in "those days" the wiring done by a well-trained (they all were) telephone engineer at all locations were close to works of art. Seeing the photos, I had to agree. Good quality kit (natch) but crystal clear layout and barely a millimetre of excess cable anywhere. For connections, every wire stripped to precisely the same depth.

The bloke who did such installations had probably been doing it for 10 years and would probably be doing it for another 10 years but it was impressive.

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Florida cuffee surprised by pills in vagina

PhilipN
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F.Y.I.

For the edification of the upright, having a prescription is meaningless. Blank prescription pads were favourite targets for lifting by druggies. Possession of such an item would mean prosecution unless the possessor is a doctor, pharmacist etc.

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Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

PhilipN
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Parachutes?

Tangentially from the above discussion about soft landings, the aeronautics are fixed, so the challenge is handling the massive stresses caused by gravity - twice - which are greater on landing than on take-off - is that correct? Which more than doubles the wear (to put it mildly) on the equipment. Why fight gravity twice, and use so much energy, when parachutes have been used for decades to drop the personnel module "gently" on to Earth's surface. Or even several parachutes for separate parts. No doubt the engineers will explain that a parachute is too unpredictable as are weather patterns etc but why not have both options ready?

What Musk and his team are doing is brilliant and essential, and I would not want to have 2 different modes of propulsion for, say, a quick trip to the shops - hey how about a large elastic band on the back of my car to tug me back home in an eco-friendly fashion - but I think there has to be an ingenious way to avoid the huge expenditure of power than we have grown accustomed to with rocketry.

Hydrogen balloon stored in the nose? Or hot air - one thing a rocket has is plenty of heat. After all, what is the hurry to bring the thing down again?

Any smokers ready with the fag packet ready to make notes on the back of?

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Australia considers mass herpes release for population control

PhilipN
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Close your eyes and make a wish

Has there EVER been a targeted local species eradication project which did not have unintended, unforeseen and horrific consequences?

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

PhilipN
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Pfffft . . . Human arrogance

Trying to replicate human thought and actions is mere vanity. There is nothing ideal about the way we are constructed and move. Some years ago it was shown that a one-legged robot which bounces along like a pogo stick is more efficient and a damn sight easier than one with 2 "legs".

Let's face it even the way we think is not clever. Progress derives mostly from flashes of insight which come from who knows where?

Trying to reproduce the conscious mind of an adult human will create an equally stupid and irrational "thing".

Homo sapiens sapiens? Gimme a break!

Plants, microbes and insects do a lot of things a lot better than we do.

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Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

PhilipN
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What's bad

Drinking to excess

Jogging with poor posture

Crossing the street negligently

Sitting on an aircraft too long

Eating junk food while watching TV

I could go on. But now I am worried sick about :

Background radiation

Radon gas coming out of the ground

Ah yes. Worry can kill you.

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TV streaming stick brings the movies and the network backdoors

PhilipN
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So?

Many a broadband router/modem has a factory reset button and prints the login credentials on a label stuck to the thing.

Not that the login credentials count for much. Try "admin" to kick off with.

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HSBC COO ‘profoundly apologises’ for online outage

PhilipN
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Recite after me :

"THE BANK NEVER LOSES!!"

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Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

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No Aldermastonium or Harwellium?

Tragic

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Face, meet book: Zuckerberg plans to dabble in AI this year

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Zuck discovers this here thing called IT

Way to go Zuck!

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2016 in mobile: Visit a components mall in China... 30 min later, you're a manufacturer

PhilipN
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Re: Maybe smartwatches are just ahead of their time?

Thanks!

I had to scroll through a mountain of crap and ignorance to get to a post which nails this entire issue.

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

PhilipN
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Jolla

Bastards took my money for it but no sign of the frigging tablet!

That kind of investment should be ring-fenced and illegal to touch for any other purpose. Remember Robert Maxwell.

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Oklahoma bloke cuffed for Chrimbo caprine coupling

PhilipN
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Was it a billy goat or a nanny goat?

And those with enquiring minds will titter at the name of the journalist who wrote the story.

In fact with the acronym KOKH after his name I am thinking this is a wind-up.

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No, Kim Kardashian's plump posterior's pixels did not break the App Store – just this El Reg man's mind

PhilipN
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Old joke?

Good God! Is that the source of the joke whose punch line is ".. She doesn't have to put a pillow under her ass" ?

Nah ... I first heard it from an Aussie long before our minds had the risk of being kardashianised.

Course who knows she may even be a nice girl under all the hype. And silicon.

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Talko the devil and he shall appear: Microsoft buys Ray Ozzie's startup

PhilipN
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Cloud-based VOIP?

Which can be annotated, stored, shared etc?

No bloody way!

Tell me when there is a 21st Century equivalent of tin cans and a long piece of string. I want to know whom I am talking to.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

PhilipN
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A landmark in the history of the human race

As significant as landing a man on the Moon. In some ways more so.

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Sanders presidential campaign accuses Democrats of dirty data tricks

PhilipN
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Is it just me?

I do not believe a single word of what anyone is reported to have said about this incident.

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Booming Ballmer bellows 'bulls**t' over Microsoft's cloud revenue run rate

PhilipN
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Where does the retired CEO go?

Oh now I get it.

Right now there is a bidding process for his autobiography and the tender offers are on the low side

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Vote for me, Hotspot Hillary – I'm your $250bn broadband builder-in-chief

PhilipN
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Yes please

I am a mountain man living in a shack in the Kentucky highlands with a squealing pig for company and my quality of life is sadly diminished by the lack of high speed internet access

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Research: Microsoft the fastest growing maker of tablet OSs ... by 2019

PhilipN
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Re: first tablet?

Don't forget GO and it's Pen OS.

Very promising, which is why MS stomped on it.

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Thai women drugged punters 'with Xanax-spiked nipples' – cops

PhilipN
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Shocked!

And appalled! Especially at the caption photo and its gross innuendo.

What is this? Viz magazine?

Keep up the good work!

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

PhilipN
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Blowed if I'm going to watch the film

The guy's painting is crap

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

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Tangentially ...

In one visit to Japan we bought an alarm clock in the shape of a bear standing to attention wearing baseball kit.

Sure enough - you're probably way ahead of me here - while peacefully asleep in the hotel room we were rudely awakened at 3 a.m. precisely by the little fucker right on cue shouting "Go! Go Go!" .... "Go! Go! Go!" complete with faux crowd noises ..... Of course as a new purchase that day it took a while to realise what was making the din, and another while to find the box, and open it, and to figure how to silence the f******

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Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

PhilipN
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What happened to ...

.. those articulated delivery lorries - parcels only - with triangular-shaped cabs, apex at the front. Triangular because there was one wheel at the tip, two at the back. Turning circle delightfully minuscule back at the sorting office.

We're these electric or is my memory playing tricks?

Those pointy-nose cabs were particularly welcome just before Christmas for obvious reasons.

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How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

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Re: May not be an issue

"and when the land required for farming is overtaken by the invading displaced millions-strong migrant hordes, what do the farmers do then?"

Same as ever. Employ them.

"and where does the water come from to feed your technologically enhanced farms? Consider California, one of the most important of the USAs food producing areas. Two years away from the aquifers going dry. Then what?"

Same as ever. Steal it.

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PhilipN
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Dump heat in the sea

Kill all the fish. Great!

Smoked salmon I will miss.

Kippers I won't.

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Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

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Re: Oh happy memories!

Dare I say that IBM had to be ethical in its marketing?

The OS/2 maestri at IBM were pushed aside by IBM Personal Computer sales reps who wanted to sell boxen and were blackmailed by MS in the same way they targeted WordPerfect by threatening to keep secret DLL's which were critical to the OEM. That risked giving Compaq an insurmountable head start over IBM PC division.

What choice did they have? It would have cost IBM an absolute bleeding fortune to market and scrape their way back in, it might have failed, and as a senior IBM executive said at the time OS/2 was just "one of [their] operating systems". Big metal was where they were back then.

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At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte

PhilipN
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20,000 DVD's

And only 16,000 movies reviewed in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide 2015.

Oh. He doesn't do XXX movies.

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

PhilipN
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"... clean air for all Americans ..."

Why does every petty American official have to talk so grand, as if he/she is running for fucking President? Who the hell is listening to such drivel?

And why does anything which smells foreign suggest an attack on all good clean values of the pure US of A and all right-thinking upright citizens of the Leader of the Free World?

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Windows 10 growth stalls during October

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Balls

Where I live (mind your own business) will be the same as for most people here. Everyone in the street, in shops, on the bus etc is staring at his phone. Even when at their desks and online with an MS OS their phones are still picking up emails, notifications etc. So the numbers for Android and iOS are complete balls.

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The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!

PhilipN
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Re: Presentation / Ronnie

He obviously (from the photo) knew how to shoot.

Would there even have been a second shot or would they all by then have been floating down to earth at 32 feet p.s.p.s?

(Necessary Sean Connery quote: "That's a Smith and Wesson.... " blah blah blah)

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Millions of people forget to cancel Apple Music subscription

PhilipN
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Tidal

Less than 1M users? But each one paying 25 or even 12 bucks PER MONTH is still a sh**load of money.

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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

PhilipN
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Re: I fail to see the logic

I'll consider an up vote if you repeat your post in real world conditions using swear words

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Microsoft boss Satya Nadella is paid $18m – and would trouser $20m if sacked

PhilipN
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Confused

The gushing assessment falls, in my book, in the category of "doing the job you were hired for". So why the enhanced bonus?

Oh. It's Microsoft. Everything is done for PR. Send the message at all times that everything is going really great and sod the reality.

You'll notice MS's persistent use of different buzzwords and phrases from time to time according to what their market psychologists tell them. With Steve B it was "say the word 'innovate' at every opportunity, even if it's out of context".

Now it's "get things done" in every public statement.

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So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

PhilipN
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None ...( Of the above)

Zero

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Google wins book scan battle. Again. Can post pages online. Again

PhilipN
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Ding dong. Reality calling

What a load of bollocks. A book may change hands or get read dozens of times - anyone can buy books online which are "pre-read" - anyone heard of abebooks for example? and the author never sees a penny after the first sale. Never mind the thousands of books which never go out of the library.

Thank God out-of-print and out-of-copyright books - some of them quite magnificent components of and contributions to yuman kulcha - are being made available. Publishers are businesses and could not be arsed to do print runs of a few thousand - there is a known limit to how many universities for example are going to spring a large amount for this tome or that regardless of how immensely valuable it is in the cultural sense. No need even to wonder about it.

Different but related point but who knows - one day the Vatican may even open up the many miles of shelves it maintains of books banned over the centuries.

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Weight, what? The perfect kilogram is nearly in Planck's grasp

PhilipN
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Avogadro?

Bloody hell! I thought I'd heard the last of that bastard at Chemistry O-Level donkeys years ago.

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Dell-EMC merger could leave Lenovo out in the cold – analysts

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Thank you, Krista

for today's sample of the bleeding obvious hiding behind shambolic MarketResearchSpeak.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Whitman slams EMC/Dell deal

PhilipN
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Horrible

Is that what we may now expect from the head of a renowned company with impeccable provenance? Not only obnoxious but I have known interns who could write a more perceptive rally-the-troops memo than this.

Ugh!

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Apple news-churn app mysteriously stops churning news in China

PhilipN
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No surprise.

Hats off to Apple for championing uncensored news over the state-filtered version, even at some risk to their penetration of the Chinese market in certain respects.

China has been doing this for years, starting with Satellite TV transmissions.

I was sat in a China hotel room some years ago watching the BBC news when a background piece mentioned Tiananmen 1989. Within 2 seconds the screen went blank. It came back after an interval sufficient to see a change of subject.

Whole bunch of key words and topics will trigger the off switch. Just guessing but presumably Taiwan (once upon a time). Tibet in certain contexts hence Dalai Lama. Falun Gong, etc.

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World's oldest person scoffs daily ration of bacon

PhilipN
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Faculties?

Well done to the old biddy. Even if she cannot do much else at least her gnashers are working, or rather her lower jaw.

Recently I had to tell a client to ask his mother to sign a document. She is 105 and managed a signature after practising a few times.

Crikey! Before I came off the grog I was half that age and there were times on most days I could not have signed my name.

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Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

PhilipN
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Re: The weekly fawning...

Oops. Would have up voted but the language is a tad emotional. Maybe it's one of those programmes that does that to you. For my money the real Doctor is William Hartnell. All the others are pretenders. The right style, and the only bloke back then with shoulder length hair.

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PhilipN
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Re: The Abyssmal

First time I see a post mentioning both Captain Scarlet and Stingray but more to the point you reminded me why I never watch TV these days*. 99 percent has been done before - old episodes of Kojak, Bonanza, Pathfinders in Space, Get Smart etc etc. But then 99 percent could probably be found in Aesop and Homer. That's why Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings is for Millennials and proto-Millenials whereas I cannot watch such stuff without feeling I've seen it all before.

*although I did enjoy Fargo.

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz

PhilipN
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iPhone 1

I may be going out on a limb here but if Apple - or anyone else for that matter - re-cycled the original form factor every year I would be as happy as a sandboy. Remember Apple hit the absolute sweet spot with that design : comfortably weighty, smooth edges and corners, glossy frame, not too big, not too small and so on. Memories are short but I would say the physical difference between the first iPhone and its clunky predecessors accounts for at least half the enthusiasm for its take-up and the smartphone era had truly arrived.

FWIW mine is still working, although I dropped it too many times so the mike is unpredictable. I just plug it into the car's hi-fi.

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Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope

PhilipN
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Legalese

Correct. An obvious lawyer's trick :

Note: "we do not scan your emails IN ORDER TO..... " which means they scan your emails for any other reason. Except this is Microsoftspeak so they mean they do not scan emails EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF delivering targeted emails. This is just a happy consequence of grabbing all that personal(ised) data.

Don't forget we all love Big Brother eventually.

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Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

PhilipN
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Ditto

Having been given a DVD set of Spooks it lies on the shelf, episode 1 half-watched. Implausible and superficial. To respond to the remarks of an earlier poster, The Wire was just as bad, for different reasons. Cops and crooks were so clean, well coiffured and tidy. No loose threads. No missing buttons. The 5-o'clock shadows so orderly. And their motors - spick and span. No scratches and no mud.

Having at one time practised criminal law (yes - I am no longer a criminal lawyer!) I can tell you that engaging with the nether parts of society is dingy, smelly and cloying.

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