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* Posts by Ian Yates

858 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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Dolphin Browser HD

Ian Yates
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WTF?

When a browser is not a browser

I don't know what El Reg or Dolphin did to upset you, but arguing what is and is not a browser is a bit odd.

Yes, Dolphin renders pages using WebKit and some native API calls rather than reinventing the wheel and rolling their own rendering engine - that's hardly the same as a skin on the native browser.

Are you saying the all WebKit browsers are not browsers because they didn't invent WebKit themselves?

Personally, I use DolphinHD (a browser) on my Transformer because it provides an actual desktop-like browsing experience, which the bundled browser comes no where near.

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Sony preps refreshed PS3 and talks down PS4

Ian Yates
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Devil

Innovation

I'm sorry, I think the PS3 is a good piece of kit (I'm not sorry for that), but this line: "the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3"

Pure comedy.

sixaxis controller, PS3 Move? Sony can hardly claim they haven't done exactly the same thing.

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Aunty squirts serendipity into TV apps

Ian Yates
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Censor

What do you mean by "censor"? I had assumed the same as Fred in that you meant restricting access (which is fair), but if you mean posting edited content based on IP address, that's something different.

Rather than screaming bloody murder, have you contacted them to find out why? I'd be interested, personally.

I'd guess it's either licensing restrictions (the Beeb content providers can impose odd restrictions about what can be broadcast where) or to do with editing in order to fit in to designated segments for Beeb Worldwide. But if it's truly censorship as you say, that's concerning.

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Ian Yates
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Que?

The licence already applies to computers receiving live streams.

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/technology--devices-and-online-top8/

Long live the Beeb

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Got a website? Pay attention, Cookie Law will come

Ian Yates
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Thumb Down

/sigh

Unfortunately, while I'm a big believer in the freedom to be anonymous online, I agree with the AC: I think this directive is mostly a waste of time.

Yes, I'm not an average user so I understand that a) a cookie is *not* a piece of software, and b) I am in control of said cookies.

What actually needs to happen is for all browsers to implement simple and secure cookie policies (i.e., never share cookies across domains, zero-day security bugs excepted). The whole idea of forcing every website to ask a user if they can store cookies is a joke, when this would be far simpler to be implemented at the browser level - oh, wait! it already is!

Hats of to the EU for raising awareness of the evilness of cookies and the lives they've destroyed, but I don't really see what problem they've solved here. The companies that want to track you will continue to do so in another way.

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Refusal to unveil scuppers French refusal-to-unveil trial

Ian Yates
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Burqa?

I thought they banned the niqab, the face-veil? Think of burqa as the 'union set' of the three Islamic coverings ;)

That aside, her arguing it being part of her religion opens a difficult discussion:

1) Is it? I'm under the impression that even Muslims don't agree whether the niqab is a requirement

2) Should someone's religious views enable them to avoid standing trial or giving a defence?

Not easy. All eyes are on France

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AMD trumpets next-gen GPU architecture

Ian Yates
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Pint

So basically

Your computer will be the Beowulf cluster. Cool

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Panasonic preps outdoor Android slate

Ian Yates
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Joke

Idiots!

Do they think we go outside?!

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LucasArts Day of the Tentacle

Ian Yates
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Holmes

Some list

A lot of my favourite games on that list.

Whatever happened to good storytelling in games?

/old fogy icon

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Ian Yates
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Sound

I used to love all of the options before games like this.

"What video type? VGA, XGA, CGA, etc."

"What soundcard? SB Pro, SB16, SB 2.1, Audigy, etc."

Never quite being sure which options are best, so always trying a different one only to have the game bail when the first character tries to speak.

Ah, the "good" old days.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Pre-ordered?

Assuming you're in the UK: You know it's out, right? And has been for some time.

I'm not a fan of Curry's, but I couldn't find the Transformer (with keyboard) cheaper (and available) anywhere so went with them. Paid for the next day delivery and it arrived exactly when they said it would.

Haven't regretted it for a minute.

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Ian Yates
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Coffee/keyboard

Thirded

I guessed they'd give 80% before opening the review, but was still kind of shocked.

Apart from the lack of Honeycomb-specific apps, I think it's the perfect media-consumption device for me.

Actually, one niggle I have is that having two separate accounts running on it is tricky. While the OS lets us both be logged in for calendars and market (assuming you trust the person), other apps (facebook, twitter, etc.) just don't support it.

Easily 90%+, in my eyes

/bias

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No Gingerbread snack for Desire owners, says HTC

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Really?

My rooted Gingerbread-running Desire (with Sense 2.1) says otherwise... runs flawlessly.

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IATA: this iPad could BRING DOWN A PLANE

Ian Yates
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Pint

Skeptic

I've always been massively skeptical of the claims about interference (and sorry to those that travel on the same flights as me, I always use my MP3 player during takeover/landing).

If airplane instruments are so sensitive that a MP3 player, iPad, etc., can set them off, I'm seriously shocked. How can they possibly be fit-for-purpose?

I remember when a Merkin friend was flying over with some special tech gear; he asked BA if it was alright for him to carry on his expensive, delicate gear (can't remember the details, some kind of wireless equipment that he was going to use to set up a proof-of-concept long-range wireless network with - pre-WiFi days). They replied that it was fine as long.

He pushed it and asked if he could use some of it mid-flight, and gave them specs; they said that it would be no problem. (He did and said that he found no interesting signals up there)

Alas, this was ~15 years ago, and I no longer have the email that he forwarded around. We were all pretty shocked, though.

Final bugbear: Why don't airlines put the interactive entertainment system on straight away? Passengers would be far calmer watching a film during takeoff/landing.

The system's powered up, so that's not the reason; it's normally showing the stupid "flight info" screen to some boring classical music.

/Beer: need one

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Living, biological raygun produced in lab

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Scale?

Can we scale this up to, say, sharks?

No reason - just thinking about the savings on water-proof, cranial-attached hardware.

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Ian Yates
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Surely

++C++

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Toxic Plankton feeds on Android Market for two months

Ian Yates
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Numpties

While I had the same thought as you, the tech-illiterate who have picked up an Android consumer-focussed phone are likely to perceive anything in the market as being legitimate by the very fact that Google "owns" the market.

Perhaps Google need to add a rewards scheme for security firms identifying malicious apps in the market? That way, they don't need to expend any effort themselves, if that's their issue here.

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Phishers LAMP web hosts

Ian Yates
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root

You touch on something there without mentioning it explicitly:

A lot of these attacks are pre-scripted and assume many things like directory names and user names.

Simple tasks such as using unusual usernames for admin tasks and not using the pre-supplied directory names can foil scripts enough that the majority of attacks won't even bother following up.

I see enough 404 attacks to things like "phpMyAdmin" (all case variants) to know never to have that as a root directory.

Publishing Apache or webapp version numbers publicly doesn't help, either.

I'm not saying this is the answer to security, but it's a simple fix to a lot of attack attempts.

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Ian Yates
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Phishers

Except phishers need somewhere to host their fake bank sites.

Fair play, though, I had the same thought to begin with. Not sure why the Reg went with "phishers" when I'm sure this applies to any script-kiddie-based activity.

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BioWare blows brains with intro cinematics for Star Wars MMO

Ian Yates
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Intrigued

Some hands-on previews I've read have said that it is good but there may be some hyperbole in what we've been told.

Specifically, they were referring to the usual grind in fighting swamp rats (etc.) and masses of similar quests with some names/locations swapped out; though they did emphasise that these have all been previews.

Still, worth a watch - loved the KOTOR games.

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Netherlands first European nation to adopt net neutrality

Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

facepalm

+1 Internets to you both

My ill-thought argument can rest their for posterity.

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Ian Yates
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Headmaster

Stats

Wait... someone help me out here.

"8 per cent decline in text messages per customer"

So "text messages per customer" is the total number of text messages sent divided by the number of customers (assuming we're talking mean here), and they've seen a decline in this figure of 8%.

Isn't that *exactly* the same as saying "8 per cent decline in total text messages"?

(Thursday-afternoon-brain don't do me wrong!)

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Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud

Ian Yates
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IT Angle

"Vista and Win7 are mainly about eye candy."

To be fair, OS innovation died a long time ago.

XP covers 99% of what people want in an OS. Vista did a lovely job of shaking up the underlying hardware APIs, but the end user benefit was negligible.

MS (and others) make a lot of money from OS's, so they need to do something new.

However, I completely disagree that DirectX/3D are bad - maybe you're thinking back to the DX3 days when MS were catching up with the emerging 3D market? Nowadays, they're streets ahead of OpenGL (as painful as that is to admit), but they have the massive disadvantage of being platform-dependent.

OpenGL is a reasonable multi-platform solution, but it's been playing catch-up to D3D since about version 8. In terms of features and API, that is.

Personally, I like Win7, but the big things I like are simply usability improvements that *could* have been applied to WinXP if MS could have made the same margins from it.

I don't begrudge them a new OS, though; if I owned an OS I'm sure I'd want to constantly improve it as well - Linux and OS X do exactly the same.

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Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

Ian Yates
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Terminator

All it needs

is for a manufacturer such as Smart to tie up with BP, Total, etc. and offer the ability to switch your dead batteries for charged ones at a "petrol" station.

Sure, it requires a modification to the car design, but the station can store ready-charged batteries and charge you for a) the cost to charge and b) the convenience of an instant charge.

This way, if you can't charge it home, you can pop in to a garage on the way to/from work and quickly swap your batteries.

Assuming they're making their money, the only other concern for the driver is that they remove old batteries from circulation.

I think this is the only viable solution until almost-instant charging is possible.

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FT sticks it to Apple

Ian Yates
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Go

"which has since taken the world by storm"

I assume this is my irony fail, since I've heard nothing about it since about a week after its launch.

I can't say I've noticed any amount of iDevice users reading it on the tube or at work either.

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Apple hit by new competition complaint as iCloud launches

Ian Yates
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Heard it before

Name the culprit: "It's our operating system, we can tell people what browser and media player we want them to use!"

Now take the same idea to printer manufacturers and print cartridges, or cars and fuel. and on, and on, and on

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Cellphones as carcinogenic as coffee

Ian Yates
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Holmes

Fixed that for WHO

"that heavy use [of anything you care to name] is a contributory factor in cancer rates"

I think that statement should be pretty close to reality.

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Student geeks build Rubik’s cube solving bot

Ian Yates
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Gaggle?

I'd have thought it was "union", or maybe "pub" or "party". But I like "cluster".

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Skype reverse-engineered and open sourced

Ian Yates
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FWIW

I had the same thought as you.

Certainly "clean room" emulators don't pretend they've never had the console they're emulating, just that they didn't extract the firmware and decompile it in order to reproduce the functionality.

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Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7 8

Ian Yates
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I wouldn't

Watching the video of Win8 (working title, apparently), it's clearly targeted at tablets. I can't see anything that makes it look like a productive desktop environment.

They're obviously designing a media-consumption-oriented OS, which is fine, but it doesn't like like it's got the featureset to replace Win7.

I can't see me upgrading my home PCs from Win7, unless they include some kind of "force", like DX10+.

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El Reg pays by phone – mmmm, free cookies!

Ian Yates
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Joke

Ladies of profession

Where would you wave your phone to pay?

NFC means something different to such people.

etcetera

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Android Marketplace starts cleaning house

Ian Yates
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Flame

Age-old argument

While the sentiment is sound, unless you're running homebrew games (and plenty exist), the value of the emu us clearly in copied ROMs.

I'm not saying I agree with Sega, but I can see how they could put together an argument so that Google decide it's better to cut off a few devs on dodgy ground rather than risk getting in the crossfire.

Now, if Sega were doing it because they had an Android emu of their own to release, along with tested and tweaked ROMs of everyone's favourite classics at reasonable prices, I'd say "fair play" - but they won't. They'll crush all attempts for people to play classic games that Sega themselves have no interest in without offering a legal alternative, and then do nothing about it.

Perhaps these companies should learn to chat to such devs and come up with a legal compromise that pleases everyone, rather than acting like a spoiled brat?

Seriously, they could be making £1 a ROM without putting any effort in themselves.

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Skype pushes gaming software down users throats

Ian Yates
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Facepalm

MS

While I doubt MS are to blame for this directly, I wonder if they're starting to question how good a purchase they've made?

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Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village

Ian Yates
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Pint

Fund

Can the Reg provide a way for us to buy him a pint? I would, and I doubt I'm the only one

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Boffins tail bees with tiny radio tags

Ian Yates
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Go West

She was clearly dropped west of El Reg Towers.

Any mountains she can use nearby to navigate?

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HTC to stop locking smartphone bootloader code

Ian Yates
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Stop

Carriers shmarriers

They need to get their noses out of our data.

If I've paid my £10pm for "unlimited" mobile data, why do they get to say what I can't do with it?

I don't mind "no tethering" clauses (smartphones have different data needs to PCs), but they shouldn't have any say in the features on phones they haven't produced themselves.

/rant

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Ian Yates
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Thumb Up

Smart move!

I lent my weedy voice to the masses calling for this.

Had they chosen to continue making it hard to tweak the OS, I certainly wouldn't have been able to consider buying a Sensation.

Having been through the hoops to unlock a friend's Galaxy S, it was easy to see that the manufacturers were getting better at preventing rooting.

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Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Ian Yates
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Joke

Ideas?

Hollywood can't even remember what ideas are to know how to run out of them

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Ian Yates
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Naively hopeful

True, the original film (despite its late 80s graphics) was a reasonably good adaptation of Dick's attempt to confuse the concepts of memory and reality.

The re-imagining, apart from highlighting that Hollywood has no more imagination, has plenty of leeway to play with the same concepts and make something good.

Should be interesting to keep an eye on.

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Yanks officially recognise the word 'boffin'

Ian Yates
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Don't make me feel old!

Is "pukka" really one from the by-gone years? It was certainly a big word when I was still legally allowed in playgrounds (as a child, I mean; I don't have any dodgy convictions).

I can't say I've every head "chunter" before though. And I'm not entirely sure that "twee" is ever used outside of being ironic...

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Judgment Day prophet resets doomsday clock

Ian Yates
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Bad tactic

Seems he's going for the "I'm bound to get it right eventually" approach.

He clearly isn't very good at calculating probability (although, if it happens before his prediction, I don't suppose anyone would take him up on it).

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Coders run Android 3.0 on Honeycomb-less tablets

Ian Yates
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Interestingly

Read this post in Larry Ellison's voice and it takes on a whole new meaning ;)

/insert evil Larry icon

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Sony BMG Greece hacked

Ian Yates
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Responsibility

How many governments are going to hold Sony responsible for the huge data-loss that's occurred?

They had an obligation to protect the information of their users, so it should be a pretty landmark case if it (rightly) kicks off.

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Bin Laden's porn stash: Too good to be true?

Ian Yates
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Jesus bin Laden

I like the idea that history will become so confused that in a few thousand years people will remember the Son of God as "that bearded dude who blow up some buildings and then died watching porn".

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Ubisoft whispers the wonder of Wii 2

Ian Yates
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No interest

I'm not interested in whatever Nintendo do next at all.

/looks at dust-covered Wii

Until they announce it, of course, and then I'll NEED one!

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Facebook 'smear' shock: Journos aghast!

Ian Yates
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Wait...

are you saying Google planted this story to (smear/slur/etc.) Facebook?

/looks aghast

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Facebook fails webmail tests

Ian Yates
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Coolmail

Have you used Hotmail?

I'll confess I haven't, but from what I've heard from friends who do, the refresh a few months ago (teething problems aside) was remarkably good.

Yes, they've "borrowed" features from Gmail (who borrowed them from lesser known services), but they've implemented them well (so I'm told).

I don't use either, though I have accounts with each, but I'm tempted to fire them up and have a gander.

If MS really have done something good, well done to them.

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Ian Yates
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Of course

Why would they want you to leave the fb ecosystem?

You have to admire their gall to call it "email".

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Go SMS Pro

Ian Yates
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Handcent

I've been using Handcent for over a year and just tried Go.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to be 90% the same... I don't know who got there first, but the customisation dialogs are identical and the general inbox/conversation stylings are too...

I'm going to play with Go for a while, but I can't currently see any features that make me prefer one over the other... am I missing something?

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Portal 2

Ian Yates
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Heart

Brilliant game.

Absolutely love the game, but with two niggles:

* SP campaign was too short (I finished it in a little over 6 hours, and I didn't feel I rushed - I have started a second run, though, to find the last two achievements)

* None of the puzzles felt nearly as hard as some of the ones in Portal; I was always hoping for a large mind-bender near the end, but it wasn't delivered

The story was worth it, though, I hope they find something to continue for a Portal 3, and all of the voice acting was perfect.

Can't wait to get some coop fun going :)

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