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* Posts by Ian Yates

858 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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End of UK local dialling in sight as numbers run out

Ian Yates
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I live in London, and I still always dial the full code.

Most people here believe London's area code is "0207" or "0208", when it is actually "020".

Even knowing this, I'd rather waste a fraction of a second of my life dialing three extra digits than mistakenly trim the number and get the wrong person.

Academic argument really, since I never use my landline and tend to use the phone's contact list for nearly all my calls.

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Microsoft inks new patent pacts over Android...and Chrome

Ian Yates
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Windows

The good money is with something FAT32-related at the minimum.

Probably some vague (and questionable) UI/UX ones thrown in for good measure.

If only one of these companies asked for more proof than just threats and either leaked the details or at least gave their thoughts on the credibility...

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GlobalSign stops issuing SSL certs, probes hacker claims

Ian Yates
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Responsible?

A responsible approach? How... novel...

I'm sure no one would have batted an eye-lid if they'd just stayed schtum and investigated in private.

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IBM builds biggest-ever disk for secret customer

Ian Yates
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Mushroom

Homogenous

And these are 200,000 drives from the same manufacturer and, presumably, there won't be too many different manufacturing batches involved (unless they've been stock-piling drives for years) - so you could potentially see a situation where 50+ drives die in a very short time frame...

Although, I'm sure they've thought it all through and we're just missing some info.

/else: boom!

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AMD's new CEO bobs, weaves, says 'big' and 'fast' are good

Ian Yates
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Coffee/keyboard

I feel sick

Did he say all that with a straight face? He's taking the CEO role to heart, that's for sure

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Room-temperature brown dwarf spied just 9 light-years off

Ian Yates
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Mnemonic

Only Big And Famous Guys Know More Love Than You?

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Glee!

Looking forward to getting my sneak on again

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Dog fight game bitten with pro-PETA virus

Ian Yates
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Pint

@NomNomNom

You have to use the "joke alert" tag for that kind of comment, I'm afraid. There are enough imbeciles around that comments like that could be taken seriously :)

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School caned for losing 20K details

Ian Yates
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Punishment

I'd like to see actual punishment for these types of problems.

Too often the "organisation" is "criticised" - big whoop. It should be the individual who is penalised; they are the ones in the position of responsibility to secure and protect the data in their charge.

If you're a sysad and you can't even use a complex password yourself, you don't deserve the job.

Fining places like this (and the NHS, quango's, train companies, etc.) doesn't work, because they just recoup their "loss" through higher fares or taxes...

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10-year old hacker finds flaw in mobile games

Ian Yates
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Quality of tech reporting

At least you didn't stoop to the Beeb's coverage of screaming of the doom of this "security flaw".

I was impressed until I read the detail and realised that I'm sure I did similar things to this in the days when software came with 30 day trials.

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Martian water slides caught on camera (maybe)

Ian Yates
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Black Helicopters

Whoa now!

"Who runs a totally watertight operation with absolute secrecy? No-one"

So you *think*! How do you know?

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Acoustic trauma: How wind farms make you sick

Ian Yates
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Headmaster

@Naughtyhorse

Pah! I thought you were going to say "they *convert* energy"

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Ubisoft revisits Internet-at-all-times DRM

Ian Yates
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Steam

Personally, I find Steam a better experience than non-Steam games. They're always patched (without each publisher having to come up with different ways to patch games), and things like Steam Cloud means you never lose game progress.

Plus, the offline mode works, assuming the game doesn't have another form of DRM.

However, just last night I fired up BioShock 2 for the first time and Valve have been forced to include Games for Windows in it... my broadband being down until this morning, I carried on without signing in to GfW and played for about an hour before finding out that I can't save without GfW... REALLY?!

To make matters worse, I tethered to my phone so I could sign in to GfW and guess what happens - after waiting for five minutes for a mandatory update to GfW (having only downloaded it a few days ago), it prompts that the GfW account has changed and boots me to the main BS2 menu...

I was seriously pissed - not sure if I can be bothered to go back to BS2. I'll certainly avoid all other GfW-encumbered games in future. Why the hell would 2K (MS?) insist on TWO forms of DRM?!

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Ian Yates
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Devil

Valve?

When did Valve ever do this? Only Valve titles I know of that require constant Internet are L4D, L4D2, and TF2 (etc.).

Certainly, though, I'm shocked Ubisoft and EA haven't learned their lesson - this doesn't stop pirates at all and just makes me want to pirate the game more.

As an example, I really wanted to like StarCraft 2, but I just got so fed up with the DRM that I gave up and never went back. Annoyingly, they already had my money by that point, but I'll never buy a game with so much DRM again.

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From Dust

Ian Yates
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Value

Sounds well worth the £10 for some light-hearted evening gaming.

Actually, it really sounds like what I thought the final Populous would be like - not the awful travesty that tarnished the series' name. Maybe I'll save myself £10 and brush off my Populous II copy in DOSBox :) Armageddon!

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End of an era: Atlantis hits the tarmac

Ian Yates
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only vehicle

I assume by "we" you mean Americans, because Russia still have Proton and Soyuz. Perhaps they aren't quite as elegant, but they do the job.

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STUDENTS EXPOSED in university IT blunder

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Begs the question

How serious does it have to be?

Name, address, phone number. That's pretty valuable information right there.

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Brussels acts to ensure arrival of new, unknown legal highs

Ian Yates
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Stop

Usual problem

Politicians: "You are all idiots. Also, this stuff might be dangerous, so we're just going to ban it for your safety before it's invented."

Public: "Have you asked any medical experts to evaluate just what the dangers are?"

"No, but it isn't taxed like tobacco or alcohol, so it must be dangerous. In fact, we've disbanded the medical and science advisory boards because they said that some of these things weren't actually dangerous, but my public school education tells me otherwise."

"Oh, thanks; have some extra expenses."

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Apple flings patent lawsuit at HTC (again)

Ian Yates
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Nothing wrong with that

But it would be nice if Apple didn't try to enforce the revisionism that the iPhone was a magical device with no precedent.

Sure, it was a well-designed and refined product (especially given the state of things like Symbian at the time), but I think the revolution was actually in placing the consumers' experience over the developers' (and Apples over that).

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Doom guy: tablets, phones to be gaming platforms of the future

Ian Yates
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Stats

What's missing from those stats is the cost of those two games.

I don't disagree that mobile gaming is a boom market, but I don't personally find it comparable to console/PC gaming.

I have quite a few games on my phone and tablet, but when I'm home and fancy some multiplayer FPS, you're never going to convince me to give up my keyboard/mouse or controller.

Casual games are certainly becoming more phone/tablet-based, and rightly so. Consoles and PCs will just become further niche in more "hard-core" gaming.

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Will News of the Screws reappear as Sunday.co.uk?

Ian Yates
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FoS/FoE

"There is no 'freedom of speech' enshrined in British law AFAIK."

Human Rights Act 1998 (based on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights).

I agree with your statements, though.

The way papers (tabloids) behave right now is "print first, ask later". If it sounds juicy, get it out there and deal with the consequences later.

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ARM daddy simulates human brain with million-chip super

Ian Yates
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Coffee/keyboard

Aagghh!

I can't get the image of a monkey on amphetamines out of my head!!

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Deep inside AMD's master plan to topple Intel

Ian Yates
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Headmaster

acronym / abbreviation

"TLA is not a TLA by your definition"

And why not? Are you saying that "TLA" is not an acronym?

Using your dictionary link, "acronym" means: "a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words"

So regardless of what "A" stands for, "TLA" is an acronym; and a three-letter one at that. Granted, acronyms are also abbreviations (but not vice versa).

I really don't understand what you're being pedantic about.

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Ian Yates
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Mushroom

A pinch

I'd be pretty pissed if my password was being stored hashed without a salt. I'm not naive, I know it happens, but it should be be illegal under DPA for lack of due care.

Not saying this is an infallible solution, but I'm always amazed when a service warns users that their passwords have been compromised.

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Splashtop Remote Desktop

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Works well

But if you've changed your DPI, it will be useless (as I have done on my HTPC). Refuses to let you see the whole host screen.

Works equally well for streaming audio to a second set of speakers, assuming you can't hear both at the same time because of the half-second lag. (i.e., upstairs and downstairs)

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HuffPo goes UK: But shills and pols writing for free isn't new

Ian Yates
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Pint

Tim

Do you need us to buy you a pint?

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Bug-Byte Manic Miner

Ian Yates
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All together now!

Dur dah dur dah dur dah dah, dur dah dah, dur dah dah...

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Facebook gets awesome with Skype

Ian Yates
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Facepalm

Standards

I'm glad to see they've picked one of the many interopable and open video-chat standards that are already in use. Oh, wait...

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Top level domain explosion could wreak MAYHEM on NET

Ian Yates
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Resolve

Why would any browser or OS use a DNS lookup for something that fits the pattern of an IP? I can't believe any browser out there doesn't attempt to go direct to IP addresses, so his example is a fail - but it does highlight the kind of attacks that people will be thinking about,

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Xboxer SWATTED by armed cops after online spat

Ian Yates
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I wondered that

What do they mean by "leak users' IP addresses"? If they didn't provide servers with their IP addresses, I think users would have a bigger problem.

Monday apathy prevents me from actually trying to find out what they mean. (but doesn't prevent me from typing this reply)

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The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?

Ian Yates
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Gimp

Troll

I can't believe you picked that icon over this one ;)

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Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

meta^meta studies

That reminds of some reading I was doing around environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoking).

Big tobacco funded loads of reports to prove it didn't exist or it had no harm (and eventually admitted some of the reports were fake). But even better was a meta-study that came to the conclusion that ETS didn't exist because there were more high-quality studies showing it didn't than ones showing it did. (Don't have the reference at home)

Genius! It just made me wish (and hope) that someone's done a meta-meta-study in to how well meta-studies are done.

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Ian Yates
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True

I think the article could have changed the wording on "increase, not ban, the production of child pornography".

Surely just not banning it would have the same effect? Increasing circulation, maybe, but production surely is abuse, no?

Good article, though

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17 flock to see Gordon Ramsay turkey

Ian Yates
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Mushroom

Re: Read The Grauniad One

The trailer review is excellent.

I also like the wikipedia "Critical Reception" understatement:

It took £121 on its opening weekend in June 2011, comparing *poorly* [emphasis mine] with the same weekend's biggest opening film, Bridesmaids, which took £3.44 million.

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Skype brings cross-platform video to Android

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Thank F for that

How long did that take them? Seriously?!

Fring and NimBuzz had it so long ago, Skype should have bought of them out instead of shutting them down.

Too late now, though; everyone's looking for better (or "non-MS") alternatives.

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Office 365: Can Microsoft replace Microsoft?

Ian Yates
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IT Angle

Problem solved?

What exactly are they trying to solve here?

I work for many large corporations in IT, some with 10,000+ employees. None of those companies would consider using an online office suite. Hell, they generally blocks docs.google and any other site that could potentially be used to get data on or off site.

It sounds more like a solution for personal/SOHO users, but they're currently disallowed. Plus, I'm increasingly hearing of such people switching to Open/Libre Office because it does the basics well enough without costing anything.

IMHO, MS Office peaked with 97/2003.

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Google battles MicroSkype with 'open' VoIP protocol

Ian Yates
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Android

Update to Android? Like what? We're still waiting for video calling through Skype.

I may be in the majority, but video calling is the main reason I have Skype at home, to keep in contact with my distant friends/family.

Skype on Android would be a killer app if it did video calls, but it's months too late with apps like Fring allowing a get-out to a lot of people.

As soon as I've found an easy-to-use Windows client that supports video-calling, I'll be switching the silver surfers in my family.

And a browser-based solution is not an option: they need an icon they can click and leave running in the background.

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Woman dies of heart attack at own funeral

Ian Yates
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Joke

Husband

"this time... for good" /Russian accent

Makes me wonder if he was also holding some kind of heavy implement as he said it.

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Kiwi gals swig shots of horse semen

Ian Yates
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Pint

Here's the solution

Put it in a vial and sell it as horse semen.

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So, how many rhinos does a tram weigh?

Ian Yates
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Pirate

Headphones

With or without headphones, these things are dangerous. The ones in Manchester are silent killers! Sneaky little things.

I don't know Manchester that well, looked the wrong way first (thinking they always travelled on the same side as cars) and stepped as I looked the other; jumped back just in time.

My Manc friends nicknamed them Population Control Devices - reducing the city's average age one person at a time ;)

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Dungeon Siege III

Ian Yates
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Torment

Where's the next PlaneScape?! There was so much room to explore more parts of that universe with different storylines.

Hell, I'd pay for a higher-res version of PS:T that ran properly on W7. Assuming I had enough time to sink in to it

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Want to keep Android apps from spying on you?

Ian Yates
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Thumb Down

Trend?

"Google will soon delete this application from the Market, as well as retroactively removing it from the phones of everyone who installed it."

Citation needed, methinks.

Yes, they certainly *could* do that, but I think it's unlikely they will.

From what I've seen, Google have remotely uninstalled less than a handful of apps from phones - and they were all malicious or PoC exploits.

Google hold a lot of power in their hands, but I think it's unfair to accuse them of having abused it just yet.

Finally: "I bet I don't." Really?! Have you a) looked around the Internet for this answer or b) thought to ask Google?

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Apple Snow Leopard update sets stage for Lion

Ian Yates
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Nice

"unlike windoze: suspend works reliably every time on laptops and desktops"

Maybe it's just me, but my "Windoze" boxes suspend/hibernate every day without issue - and I've done this for years.

I think you need to update your trolling.

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Ten... festival survival gadgets

Ian Yates
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RF

I noticed the number of these gadgets relying on RF of some kind. How many channels do they support?

I'm just wondering who's tent you might end up finding, if enough people brought them.

Definitely worth the walkies, though. My sets take AA, so easy to "recharge" without mains power. Even if others are on your channels, you don't normally use them for long conversations. over. out.

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Oracle's Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

Ian Yates
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A nice idea

But the truth is that a patent holder doesn't always know their patent is worthless until they test it in court.

If you mean about claiming someone's infringed when they haven't, I think that's a different matter to what's being discussed here.

Regardless, if you don't win you have to pay court costs and you may lose your patents.

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UK census data is safe

Ian Yates
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Top priority

So, you know, we're going to put it on a network that isn't accessible from teh Interwebs.

Oh no, wait, everything has to be accessible for some reason no one knows. Or maybe I'm just missing the obvious non-cynical reason for having a shit-ton (official term) of personally identifiable information on a non-private network.

This goes for all government departments.

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Apple will 'own games industry'

Ian Yates
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What rubbish

First, there's his stats fail about Apple's growth.

"Oh, look; they're market share grew from 1% to 3%*. That's 200% growth, therefore in 5 years they'll own the industry."

No.

* Figures are to illustrate point.

Then the comment about expensive single-player games becoming rare... I don't buy it. There are certain narratives that work better with only one player and they'll continue to be produced.

Sure, companies may scale back the massive budgets they throw on them, but I can't see them becoming rare.

If anything, MMOs should be rare. I find it odd the number of new ones that keep getting announced. At this rate they'll be SMOs because everyone will have their own niche game to play.

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Dropbox security fubar infuriates customers

Ian Yates
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Big Brother

Security

Security in other peoples' hands - what could go wrong?

It might cost slightly more and not be as well polished, but SpiderOak does at least ensure that things like this can't happen to your data (assuming SO aren't lying, of course).

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Alice: The Madness Returns

Ian Yates
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Awesome

Couldn't tell from the screenshots, but how would you rate the level design compared to the first game?

Alice was an average platformer, but the design was the thing I loved about it - whole worlds changing shape, etc.

Looking forward to playing this one, once it hits a reasonable price.

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Dolphin Browser HD

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Opera Mobile

Settings > Advanced > Adobe Flash(tm) > Click to play

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