* Posts by Turtle_Fan

238 posts • joined 13 Dec 2010

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Researchers find backdoor in milspec silicon

Turtle_Fan

@Colin

I don't doubt your sources but in reality just how mission critical could the components in question be?

I'd hazard a guess, not very.

And yes, those of us that depend on others' tech for our kit shouldn't be surprised when there are hitherto undisclosed vulns.

Thanks for the sources

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Turtle_Fan

It's the milspec that troubles me...

Milspecs come in many many variants so much so that they cover a range from normal everyday fragile kit all the way to ultra secret robust stuff.

Thing is, for most advanced militaries the rule is: "if you didn't design, build and assemble it yourself (or under your control), don't trust it".

I find it extremely unlikely any half-competent armed force would use off-the-shelf stuff for anything sensitive.

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Crazy Geckos: Nitot on Mozilla's post-Firefox mobile crusade

Turtle_Fan

Re: Not forever, I think

I quite like your approach with 'performance levels'. What I don't understand is why this has not caught on and we're stuck with synthetic benchmark of limited value.

Saying that, MS' similar windows rating hasn't caught on either but at least I can see why that is the case on desktops.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

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Chinese 3G users top 150 MILLION but most still on 2G

Turtle_Fan

Re: iOS impact overstated - Pedantry alert

Well, so long as the 6% of the Chinese market is the largest single-country chunk of iOS activations, then the original statement could still hold true alongside yours.

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North Korean GPS blocking sparks cyber war fears

Turtle_Fan

Sad

While we techies love anything technologically advanced, society's utter reliance on comms is indeed dangerous.

Although I find it naive that any military is taking public comms infrastructure or things like gps for granted.

I was with the UN in the late 90's and we still had to exercise on fallbacks like reading maps and doing triangulations despite being equipped with all sorts of (classified) 'shiny'.

(Joke Alert): If however, the price of peace in the Korean peninsula is a week without StarCraft for the Koreans then so be it.

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WTF is... Intel's Ivy Bridge

Turtle_Fan

Socket R?

If this is intel's "latest and greatest" why don't I see anything with 6/8 real cores on an LGA 2011?

These chips *still* look inferior to the positively ancient i7 on LGA 1366.

Once upon a time we'd get a new 'extreme' cpu every year. To me, it looks like time stopped in 2008 and we haven't had a real game-changer since. (I hope it has nothing to do with Intel's newly found fondness for mobile SoC's that they don't care much for the 130W TDP beasts).

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Blighty's IP framework one of world's worst for consumers

Turtle_Fan

Re: Joke Alert

There he is: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/02/soros_ip_philosophy/

Took him less than a day....

He's getting sharp :)

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Turtle_Fan

Joke Alert

Where is Orlowski when you need him....

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Anonymous crashes Formula One site over Bahrain protests

Turtle_Fan

@anons, Robert and Harmony

Don't feed the troll....

(Just downvote it)

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Stray SMS leads to aborted landing

Turtle_Fan

@Jebiden

It's all good thinking that all fuel is gone but according to ICAO worldwide rules the excess fuel one must carry beyond what is calculated for a given journey is:

1) extra fuel for 30' to 60' to deal with possible weather adversities and deviations

2) extra 15' as safety

3) extra 5% of the total (including above extras) as a final safety.

In layman's terms this means that most intra-EU flights land having consumed around 50% of the fuel they departed with.

And in any eventuality, 45' flight-time woth of fuel is enough to seriously grill any plane. Your best bet is hoping for rain or drizzle than empty fuel tanks.

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Killers laugh in face of death penalty threat, say US experts

Turtle_Fan

Correlation is NOT causation

It's fine extolling the law abiding virtues of a strict dictatorship of the kind that Singapore is, but do try and get figures for lawlessness/crime from areas sharing Singapore's very high per capita GDP and median income.

As most criminologists would attest, meeting Maslow's basic needs (food, shelter, safety etc.) the incentive for criminality diminishes exponentially.

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BYOD is a ticking time bomb for B2B resellers

Turtle_Fan

Re: it will stop

The rant-y way you expressed your comment makes me question whether you work in a real enterprise environment and how senior you are.

This incredibly blinkered black/white world view may be par for the course for 1st level support guys but any CIO worth their title will know that everything is "shades of grey" and a matter of balancing complex priorities; and you don't sound like one.

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Turtle_Fan

IT control freaks need not apply....

My time costs the company something around $100 per hour. So saving 5 minutes per day (minimum) by upgrading to an SSD and some more RAM for a couple of hundrend dollars is a no-brainer.

So dear control freaks among you, get off your horses and start i) educating, ii) listening to and iii) serving your internal customers.

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Google updates Chrome for Android

Turtle_Fan

Re: Firefox Nightly

I'm getting the Aurora nightlies as well but flash is very haphazard and point-blank not working in full screen on my asus tf under ICS.

Well, at least twitch.tv decided to finally make an app so it's some consolation.

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Turtle_Fan

Re: meh

If you think lack of flash is meh, then what about the inability of text reflow/rearrangement on such staple sites as wikipedia?

And that's before we mention the lack of sync between logins/passwords on the desktop and on the mobile version.

Ok, ok, we all know it's beta but it's too half-baked by far to even merit a beta.

Opera is great. My only complaint is that all its searches are returned on the mobile google page as opposed to the classic, even when desktop UA is chosen.

Oh and flash sucks donkey balls on ICS and won't be improved either....

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RIM mulls pimping BlackBerry OS to Samsung – report

Turtle_Fan

Sorry what...?

Blackberries are among the most underpowered, under-specced and expensive phones you can get (explains the battery life though).

Just being an IT administrator's wet dream ain't gonna cut it any more. Not since the "bring your own tech" trend took hold.

How many corp users actually chose BB freely and didn't have it foisted on them?

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Chinese and US military square off for cyber war games

Turtle_Fan

Those slightly older of us...

... Can still remember the intelligence agencies' verdict in the USSR just prior to its collapse:

1) their economies are in rude health and expected to go on like this for the foreseeable future,

2) their military is well-run, state of the art and its capabilities are growing

And then the whole edifice came down and the spooks were pinching themselves in disbelief. So long as "intelligence" can be used to "steer" decision making and spending priorities, it will never be entirely wed to reality.

(The CIA's internal express raison d'etre is to solidify and perpetuate its existence and nothing to do with real intelligence gathering).

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Turtle_Fan

Re: Exceptional move from Oracle

There is "losing" and there is "loosening", "loosing" is not a word.

So either "losing" ground.... or "loosening" their grip on...

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Google planning to brand and sell Android tablets

Turtle_Fan

Even though I have been in the Android camp consistently since Eclair and have had an Asus Transformer since last summer, I have to concede that the iPad *at the moment* is the better alternative.

Two simple reasons are a) graphics which currently smoke what is out on the market and b) flash; since adobe killed it off it left android's main counter-argument bereft of substance. Flash video sites bit the bullet and produced an app for their wares on iPad. On android you either have to use the hopelessly buggy ICS flash player or nothing. And while everyone evangelizes about HTML5, I've yet to see it perform well on nvidia's tegras.

Lets face it, for a brand that made its name on graphics and gpu's (nvidia) the tegras are hopelessly inadequate graphics-wise.

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Tim Cook, Chinese vice PM agree IP pact

Turtle_Fan

All of the western world can hope, beg, cajole and threaten to its heart's content but other than diplomatic assurances intended at not embarassing their guests nothing at all will come out of it.

The Chinese (esp. Chinese officialdom) are very very polite in Victorian antiquated sort of way. Avoiding embarassment and showing respect is paramount. But at the same time there's a ruthless, single-minded hyperfocus on their interests.

So while they consider it obligatory to make "all the right noises" they won't budge. Unless, their own companies (Huawei etc.) indicate that such IP respect/enforcement is now to their advantage.

They're quiet and polite; not gullible or stupid.

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High school student expelled for dropping F-bomb in tweet

Turtle_Fan
Facepalm

Gawd protect us from oversensitive busybodies intent on scoring brownie points with the local moral fundamentalists. Anyway, has anyone argued the actual merits of his statement?

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Tripleton touts telephone for double-ohs

Turtle_Fan

Re: M16?

5.56 mm Assault Rifle - Standard NATO armament till recently.

Can be equipped with, night visions sights, laser rangefinder, laser target illuminator or, for the traditionalist in all of us, a range of vintage grenade launchers.

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Apple iPad 3 packs LAPTOP battery

Turtle_Fan

And that's how we'll come full circle...

...back to PSION's razor sharp focus on coding efficiency. Let's hope the market can now send the message that each cycle is precious and taking unusual, idiosyncratic and convoluted paths to achieve even a tiny reduction in cycles is precious.

The desktop dogma that "hardware is cheap" and throwing hardware to iron over sloppy, hastily-put-together code is not applicable to mobile computing.

(Caveat emptor: excluding monster gaming laptops weighing at 4kgs and sporting a battery life of 45 whole minutes - true story; latest alienware's battery time)

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Turtle_Fan

Re: Overnight charge only?

Which is why ASUS has frustrated so many punters by using a bespoke charger. That's because as soon as you plug a transformer on it's USB socket the current goes from 5V to 11V thereby charging in a reasonable amount of time.

Ordinary USB would need 16 hours to charge a sleeping transformer. Turn it on and the charge is no longer sufficient....

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iPhone/PS3 hacker Hotz arrested in pot bust

Turtle_Fan

Re: He's lucky they didn't shoot him

I'm sorry to burst your bubble but I think you're talking nonsense.

Outliers like him can be very bright but also difficult to understand to us "ordinary folk". I however have enough self confidence to admit that I can't quite match his intellect as repeatedly demonstrated by cracking all sorts of stuff.

So while he maybe quirky and not quite subscribing to all the norms "we" do this by no means diminishes his stature or makes him clueless. But then, looking at Turing's suffering and all the vitriol poured on him, it's not difficult to see where the attitude comes from.

I think the world needs more "clueless" people like him.

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Could tiny ebooks really upset the mighty Apple cart?

Turtle_Fan
Facepalm

Re: 10% of worldwide turnover?

"Your parking example is silly, a better analogy to parking would be charging you 10% of your income if you park illegally. That would just discourage rich people from ever venturing into your city limits, lest they unknowingly violate some local parking ordinance and are forced to write a six figure check."

Let me list the counts on which I disagree with your argument:

1) Switzerland already has this feature for egregious speeding offences. Didn't stop the world's rich from camping here did it? (For the lulz, here's the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10960230 )

2) "...Lest they unknowingly..." W00t!? Are you seriously saying that anticompetitive practices that would carry the maximum penalty as envisaged by law could be perpetrated by a multi-billion company *unknowingly*!? Not sure whose intelligence this assumption is insulting to, but it's certainly someone's....

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Turtle_Fan

Re: 10% of worldwide turnover?

Well a good competition / market regulating law, must have sizeable and sharp "teeth".

It's called deterrence and it usually works. Otherwise the tradeoff between increased market advantage / establishment vs. Potential fine sometime later, will mostly lead to a rational economic decision to flout the law.

Think parking fines; if they are set just marginally above normal parkibg rates, then people would consciously choose to park wherever they liked and take the risk of the meagre fine.

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Mobile banking security bypassed in fiendish malware blag

Turtle_Fan

Re: This sounds silly...

And to cap everything off, even if you could get the credentials OTP's are good for one single login and have a lifetime of 30 secionds.

So your only option is hijacking my session as described. But even this is planned for as any transfer to hitherto unknown/unused account requires authentication anew.

So at best you'd be able to pay my usual bills as those are the only account which have been credited by me in the past.

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Turtle_Fan

This sounds silly...

The effects of this scam are so fishy it would be bound to raise some suspicions...

On the other hand, I've yet to see a way to break my bank's (ubs in switzerland) e-banking.

Not only do you need to know a special 8-digit login but the password is generated using a bespoke smart card reader which then produces a code by combining a) 8 digits given by the site, b) a 6-digit PIN to unlock the smart card and c) a signature on the card's chip. Those passwords are only valid for 30 seconds; be slow and you missed it.

Finally, as a layer of security any payment to an account not paid to before requires the same authentication as above so even if someone hijacks a session they can't make payments to anything you haven't made a payment to before.

So unless you a) know my special code, b) grab hold of my smartcard and c) know my card's PIN you're stuffed. If you get all the above though, then you truly deserve the goodies :)

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Rising China costs get manufacturers moving

Turtle_Fan

Re: There are a couple of little problems here for the Western companies' "sweatshop hopping".

Well, I'm glad someone raised this topic at last and hopefully we can have an adult conversation on the subject.

First of all, worry not about the depletion of low wage countries. Even after Vietnam and Indonesia there's deep ex-Russian Asia, Ukraine and of course then comes Africa (just look at Angola).

Regarding what you guys perceive as price advantage I can tell you it is not. As everyone is in on the game, low cost sourcing is not a differentiator but the absolute minimum. Whoever succeeds still does so on the merits of their product.

Finally let's look at oft cited argument about slight increases for the sake of the workers. Assuming I won't be summarily fired for mentioning it, what makes you think this will be passed on to the poor workers and not 'confiscated' by the manufacturers' profits?

The way I see it globalisation is good and ultimately fair. Take the global GDP per person and you'll see that our wages in the western world are the outliers. And while a lot has been written about worker exploitation I see the general population of a formely ultra-poor decrepit country become more wealthy and able to afford hitherto undreamt of things.

And finally, it's all about the market. Unless a "made at home" tag isn't an adequate differentiator that people will pay for then I have no incentive to even try. Especially while your pension funds ask me for increasing profits each and every quarter. Take for example the various codes of conducts for suppliers' workers rights. Do you think they would be instituted if you guys out there didn't demand it?

So yeah keep on moralising but occasionally please put your money where your mouth is and don't be an armchair revolutionary of the chattering classes, taking pride for your ideals because you pressed 'Like' on the latest 'cause du jour'.

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Turtle_Fan

Old news

As a procurement manager purchasing electronics and pcba's from the far east I can tell you that the move inland was news sort of 2-3 ago.

Since then it's all about moving to indonesia and vietnam; the former due to its proximity to Singapore and the latter due to wages even lower than China's.

Sure, Donguan et al are still huge but that's mostly due to inertia. Most new products are going elsewhere.

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SUPERCOMPUTER vs your computer in bang-for-buck battle

Turtle_Fan

Don't bad mouth the i7!

While I have no doubt your i5 may work wonders the i7 is still largely unsurpassed a good 3+ years after launch.

I refer of course to the 1366 variety and not the "i7 in name only" other ones.

Looking forward to the proper arrival of 2011 i7 to see if it will finally be surpassed.

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Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

Turtle_Fan

Re: "fast and fluid"

So basically what you're saying is that the good news for KDE is that it runs under windows? No doubt about it. KDE rocks. However, I can't see any cross bleed benefits for GNU-Linux OS's until some fundamental things get supported on the platform. No gaming, no AD, no iTunes (before you shoot me, I don't use it but almost everyone in the office does) and no drivers for many popular peripherals then it won't gain traction. If I were Shuttleworth, instead of fornicating all over the shell and UI, I'd just focus on wine as being the best and most viable shortcut to at least run what the masses are used to running. Finally apologies but the mobile version I use now does not somehow use carriage return.

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Turtle_Fan

Re: "fast and fluid"

The only way there will EVER be any good news for KDE and its ilk is when they start supporting AD and gaming as well as a myriad other gadgets that have drivers for windows only.

Till then they will remain a fringe faction loved for its eccentricities by the few people that use it.

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Laptops dominate UK spending in personal computing kit

Turtle_Fan

A few points and a question

So desktops are lower than even tablets, right?

Could this be due to:

A) Desktops being easily upgradable, hence having on average twice the lifespan of an equivalent lappie

B) Desktops costing like-for-like about half the price of laptops?

C) Intel's 1366 i7 series being unsurpassed a good 3 and a half years since their launch

D) I know many desktops can be kitted out on-demand and I haven't bought a full branded desktop since 2001. So how are all those machines, that get assembled to order, accounted for in the sales figures?

Enquiring minds would like to know.

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Google’s privacy policy: Incoherent and confusing

Turtle_Fan

What's even more worrisome

Is society's at large very lax attitude towards privacy and intrusion. (And no, CISSP's and associated fellow-paranoids are not "society at large").

It looks like we are destined to re-learn all our lessons once again, and the hard way.

Pity...

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Wikileaks regains relevance with Stratfor doc-drop

Turtle_Fan
Headmaster

Correction

It's the Yes *Men* not the yesman. Furthermore they're not purely "Bhopal activists", it just so happens that this was their most successful stunts. They're no single issue double-act in any case.

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Foxconn allegedly hid underage workers from inspectors

Turtle_Fan

Re: Re: Re: Patiently waiting..

All fine and dandy but where's everyone else (dell, sony, microsoft etc.) in all this?

Surely they don't just make products for apple, right?

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HP insists Whitman is new broom to clean up execution

Turtle_Fan

Someone explain....

So, Apotheker, who was by most accounts a one-man wrecking operation wherever he was (copyright and data theft @ SAP, his moronic decisions @HP) was booted out in less than 12 months since taking over. He lost investors and HP a few billions in market value in the process.

And yet he went away with more than 30 million worth of compensation.

If that's the reward for doing disastrously bad for just under a year, I wouldn't mind being fired...

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LG touts Tegra 3 talker

Turtle_Fan

Glad I wasn't the only one somewhat disturbed about the looks of those girls.

Pity, as the phone looks good on paper...

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FCC hangs up on 4G broadband biz LightSquared

Turtle_Fan

Re: Re: What's the Diff?

Wait a minute....

IF (as I am not sure but go with me on this one), IF the originally foreseen use under the sat regime DID provision base stations as augmentation whenever the sat signal wouldn't work then that mode is purely mobile cell network equivalent.

So, IF that was already foreseen why is it such a big deal if the base station count multiplies by an order of 1000?

What I'm trying to say is that the original intended deployment may be culpable here as well.

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More Chinese shopkeepers hide their iPad stock

Turtle_Fan

Can someone enlighten me?

..."We bought Proview's worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 10 different countries several years ago."

IANAL but "worldwide rights" vs. "10 different countries", doesn't seem right. (Before we ever start on learning which were the 10 countries etc/ etc.)

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OFFICIAL: Smart meters won't be compulsory

Turtle_Fan

I am only writing as a warning

In theory this could work. However, all meters these days have in excess of 150 anti-tampering devices/schemes. (Btw, if you think this is radical, you should see what the Brazilians and Nigerians try).

To be more precise on this point: all smart meters come with their own internal battery specced for a week's operation with no grid power. Secondly, the terminal cover has a microswitch on top of the seal, and the opening event will register, power or no power. As soon as power is restored, the event is sent home, compared vs. known service jobs and within a day you get a visit from a technician.

Same with EMP's, strong magnets etc etc.

P.S. In Brazil the meters are placed high on the leccy poles and many tampering attempts have resulted in the poor punters getting fried. The big broo-ha-ha though was when an unlucky guy took the neighbourhood's power with him thereby making everyone miss a world cup match.

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Turtle_Fan

I'm afraid you're right in most of what you said. Two points I'd dispute are the cost and the attack mode. The most expensive accurate grid level meter would be pressed to reach the £300 mark.

As for the attack scenario, it's been foreseen already and in case of massive instabilities and fluctuations as described in your post the smart meters revert to "dumb" operation.

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Turtle_Fan

Hurrah for OFGEM then....

If you do a bit of a search of the articles tagged with smart meter, you'll see that it all stems from OFGEM's acceptance of serial price increases that apparently would offset "investment costs" instead of telling them that the whole smart metering thing should be a fiscal no-brainer with a quick payback. (And if it ain't no fiscal no-brainer then why is it pushed so much?)

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Turtle_Fan

That's the gov't's fault

As a long time worker for just such a smart meter company, I can safely say that this particular problem was the regulator's.

They never stipulated an open standard among those that exist (dlms) and neither an open API.

Which is why utilities scrambled to get their versions as the new standard. It's the VCR wars all over again. And to the detriment not of just of the consumer but of the wider market too.

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Google dings missive to lawmakers: 'We're misunderstood'

Turtle_Fan

Truth be told though, we could use a sane, measured and hysteria-free summary on what exactly those changes mean. And I've yet to see that anywhere.

If anyone has links, please post/respond.

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SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Turtle_Fan

PIPA in a foreign language...

Then you really don't want to know what pipa means in Greek....

(B-J)

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Google tablet to tackle Kindle Fire not iPad

Turtle_Fan
Headmaster

Pedantry....

Eric Schmidt is not CEO anymore, surely....

Nexus from Samsung + Prime from Asus = .... Oh, I'm getting carried away

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Motorola Xoom 2 10in Android tablet

Turtle_Fan

What's the point....

...having a scale from 1 to 100 if, in reality only the top 30% of marks are used?

And just how much of a phail does a device need to be to be given a 50%? From what I read, this a story of too little, too late, for too much? My verdict is that unless insane or blinkered your money is better spent elsewhere. Anywhere else!

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