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* Posts by Ian Yates

878 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

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Exhibition to applaud videogames as art

Ian Yates

"so merely looking, reading or listening to it is its only function"

I'm confused.

Are you then saying you agree that computer games _can_ be art, or can't?

Because the only function of a computer game is to, well, let you experience the computer game.

I was always told that you have art, craft, and skill; but even this oversimplifies a subject of grays.

In this sense, since computer game skills (playing) are non-transferable (for the most part) and not a craft, they probably fall under art.

I've definitely played games I think are deserving of the term (and HL2 is definitely one of them), but I wouldn't try to tell people to accept them as art.

Cheerio

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Cowon D3 Plenue Android media player

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

J3

As a long-time Cowon customer, I have to say that this sounds like a very poor follow-up to their J3.

The J3 has a battery life that smashes the competition; I consistently get a working-week's worth of usage out of it using on ~10 hours a day.

Plus, the touch-screen side of the J3 doesn't detract from the physical buttons for using it in your pocket.

True, the J3 doesn't have wifi, but apart from loading music on to it, I don't really see the need (though, I do have a smartphone, so those without may disagree).

http://www.reghardware.com/2010/07/07/review_media_player_cowon_j3/

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US scientists build laser-killing device

Ian Yates

The missing something:

They can selective cancel out a small range of wavelengths, effectively not changing other wavelengths.

At least, that was the explanation I read elsewhere.

The applications they've considered are for light transistors, where they can use block a signal using another signal.

Talking about taking up to the visible light spectrum, isn't that just a filter? I think they've been around for a while...

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O2 to raise broadband prices by up to 27%

Ian Yates

Compare

I don't have it on me to quote from, but the current issue of Custom PC does a comparison of the top broadband suppliers with details on their traffic shaping policy.

Well worth a gander if you need one type of traffic to be more reliable.

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'Race against time' to find LOST TREES from the MOON

Ian Yates
Joke

So...

Basically, the moon visits were just an expensive excuse to litter?

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Indian courts 'rule astrology is a science'

Ian Yates

Not science.

I can't decide if this was a light-hearted troll or an honest confusion between the highly-regarded science of *astronomy* and astrology, pretending to know what's going to happen based on planets moving through arbitrary boundaries in the sky.

Unless you know something that we don't, and that Johnson was advised by such a quack during the space race?

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Apple clips publishers' wings

Ian Yates
Thumb Down

Time for the publishers to unite

I think Sony, Amazon, etc. need to take a stand and remove their apps from iOS with an explanation to their consumers about why.

Everyone I know with an iPad uses the Sony or Kindle Reader and would be pretty upset to lose that ability because Apple were being greedy. Would it be enough to start the consumer boycott until they relax their sphincters? We can only hope.

This is some of the scariest stuff Apple has done. They've always stated that they restricted users' freedom for their own good; how do they justify this move?

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Official: Android rules OK

Ian Yates

Statistics

I think it's fair to say that, without access to any kind of raw data, these figures should be taken with liberal amounts of sodium chloride.

As you stated, the last few, which at least showed something tangible, ended up lumping all iPhones in one against a single phone, or completely cutting off a section of the market.

Statistics are wonderfully pliable things.

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In defence of Comic Sans

Ian Yates

n/t

I stand corrected ;)

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Ian Yates

Well put

But you'll never convince me. Something about the font just makes me think "amateur".

If I wasn't at work I'd hunt for the photo of a "keep this door closed" sign in Comic Sans that someone has placed a "do not use Comic Sans - we are a fortune 500 company, not a toy factory" sign next to (in Arial).

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Dead Space 2

Ian Yates

Ditto

I was the same, unfortunately.

I picked up the first one for under a tenner, but I just couldn't get on with the third-person view.

Shame, as I did enjoy the atmosphere and tension building.

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UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash

Ian Yates

Protest

While they may or may not believe their own statement, it is an interesting topic.

What normal right of protest can you make against an online organisation? I feel like DDoS /should/ be illegal (maybe just because I know the CMA says so), but I agree that everyone has the right to peaceful protest.

If the parallel is what happened to Top Shop and Vodafone for less than a day regarding their tax-evasion (surely just a Present Denial of Service?), then maybe I'm wrong to be against DDoS...

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Gatwick Airport security swoops on 3-inch rifle

Ian Yates
WTF?

Just what we need...

...people acting completely without thought to give the Sun and Daily Mail a reason to feel smug about "political correctness gone mad".

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Sony preps PlayStation gaming for Android

Ian Yates

Choice

It is a way to control developers, but only those that want to release Sony-approved PlayStation(tm) games; which I'm assuming will be supported in devices like PSP and maybe even PS3 arcade-style?

I'm also assuming they'll be providing their own APIs to run within the emulator.

I actually think this sounds like a good approach. You'll still get "pure" Android games, but Sony are providing the possibility of taping in to an existing catalog for decent games.

This is basically adding an Apple-style walled garden market for games - with all the pluses and minuses that entails.

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Italy sues Microsoft for box-bundling bungling

Ian Yates

@Lewis Mettler

I was interested in your statement about IE being sold on shelves, since I never witnessed that, but I can't find any reference to MS ever selling IE. Was this some kind of specially supported boxed edition?

I was under the impression they gave IE away with Windows to avoid having to pay royalties for the underlying tech - which they later rebuilt themselves. There was a massive lawsuit around this in the late 90's.

I agree with your statement about it being "free", though; even if I disagree that people have the choice to use another browser.

Do you make similar complaints about the engine components in your car? The parallels are quite interesting.

Ack. I sound like a MS sympathiser... must be time for some shell scripting

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Ian Yates

I /kind of/ agree with you

If, as some say, Microsoft is basically holding resellers to ransom to only offer PCs with Windows on or pay higher costs, then they should prepare for a few hefty fines from every corner of the globe.

If, however, it is the resellers who do it due to "market forces"... I'm not entirely sure what people expect to happen here...

I don't really want to defend MS' market tactics, given their history, but I'm not convinced they're to blame if OEMs don't offer alternatives... Dell's argument used to be about them supporting alternative OSs, since they can't sell a product without a warranty.

Aren't we also rapidly treading in to even worse territory regarding Apple products here?

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Tunisia plants country-wide keystroke logger on Facebook

Ian Yates

HTTP

If this is HTTP, why do they even need the JS injection? They can just record the POST headers...

I'm assuming, of course, that Fb doesn't do any client-side password hashing, which they may (can't be arsed to check).

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The Last Airbender up for nine Razzies

Ian Yates

n/t

I just wanted to take Iglethal's comment further.

I get really annoyed when it became "news" that a film (Avatar) has taken the most box office cash ever.

I'm sure it can't just be me who pays more for a cinema ticket now than they used to? In London, cheap cinemas are £10 a ticket, compared to the £4 of 10/15 years ago.

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Ian Yates

Hmm...

I disagree that a film's takings are related to the quality.

A new Twilight was always going to do well due to the hype and fandom; Inception, however, was a new franchise so didn't have initial momentum.

One of my favourite films is Gattaca, which is reported to not even have made back its own budget - hard to tell with Hollywood accounting, but it certainly wasn't a "smash" in this sense.

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Google swaps old CEO Schmidt for older CEO Page

Ian Yates

Amassador Schmidt

Which is why calling his new role an "ambassadorial role" makes me think all kinds of "uh oh"!

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Boffins sex pterodactyls at last

Ian Yates

Ditto

I had the same thought.

And, as unlikely as it is, what if the male pterodactyl is the one that carries eggs to term (like seahorses)?

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Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Hear, hear!

"Why do people seem to be unable to take responsibility for their own actions?"

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Ian Yates

no title

I'm not condoning their actions, but if she hadn't spoken out, we wouldn't know that it was Cathy Cruz Marrero who walked in to a fountain and her name wouldn't be a point of ridicule.

She's had her minute of fame, she'll probably never be heard from again.

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Website with 10 million users warns of password theft

Ian Yates

Responsibility

And, as a contract developer myself, I'd go so far to say that whoever designed and implemented that system should have to help cover the costs (assuming they didn't flag it for the client's attention).

A company should be aware of the security of the data they hold, but developers need to take the responsibility to tell even their bosses if they're endangering sensitive data.

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Amazon buys Lovefilm

Ian Yates

Streaming

Excellent; maybe Amazon can improve the movie streaming service and start offering HD (or even decent SD).

I rented one film for £3.50 and felt so ripped once I saw the quality that I stopped it less than 10 minutes in and got a refund.

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Ian Yates

No

Because I don't think it's a worthwhile investigation; it's sensationalism (or "journalism" maybe, there's a fine line).

Maybe I'm out-of-touch with the unclean masses, but I wasn't aware that anyone thought that electric cars were being touted for distance driving.

I've only seen two electric charge points, both within the City of London. If I was going to buy an electric car, it'd be for short trips within an urban area.

As I said, I'm sure this will eventually change, but the market is so young right now, I don't really see why the BBC went through with this "investigation". The headline should actually have been "Wow! You /can/ drive to Edinburgh from London in an electric car!" (no sarcasm).

IMHO, IANAL, YMMV, GMAB, NTIC, IOHTMTOMH*

* I Obviously Have Too Much Time On My Hands

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Ian Yates
Stop

That's some pretty bad reporting

I love the Beeb, but they should really get some proper tech and science hacks in. That's not to say I disagree with some of their assertions, but this was a sensationalist piece and tech/science tend to get much angrier about these types of things.

For a start, I agree with Llewllyn that testing a car they know is non-production on a journey with notably few electric recharge points is underhanded. To compare the car against "Stevenson's" [sic] Rocket is odd, since /that/ was a self-powered vehicle (assuming it had a supply of coke); though I'm sure it was reliability and efficiency that the Rocket lacked initially, more than speed.

Fully electric cars are not mass-production ready, as the Reg article covers. Leaving aside the cost, unless you're travelling ~30 miles within an urban area, the infrastructure isn't ready yet.

The only true infrastructure solution with current tech would be to standardise the cells used by the cars and be able to switch with fully-charged ones at service stations.

I'm sure "e-cars" have a future, but the Beeb trying to call it now is daft; it's very early days. I would like to see more hybrids, though; I like the idea of not burning petrol when I'm sitting idle at lights and junctions.

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Microsoft readies official Kinect support for PCs

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Good on them

It's rare to see a company know it's too late to stop their product being used for purposes they didn't intend and actually decide to allow, let alone support it.

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Case cut-outs connote iPad 2 SD, HDMI connectivity

Ian Yates

SD

Apple don't exactly have a track record with allowing removable storage on their mobile devices; why would they start now?

Slight OT, but why do all tablets have a rear camera? Is it just bullet-point filling or have I missed an important tablet use-case?

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Steve Jobs takes 'medical leave of absence' from Apple

Ian Yates
Joke

Jobs

I think he's like Castro or Jong-il; he's actually been dead for ages, but they don't want to cause a fuss with the news.

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Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

Ian Yates

@Giles Jones

I entirely disagree.

The issue here is that these are already paid subscribers and the magazine/newspaper is just allowing them electronic access to something they produce in print.

Apple are basically saying, "yeah, we want a cut of your print sales".

I agree with the other commenter: these publishers need to move to web-only and just provide an "app" that opens a cut-down browser to their website.

I find Apple's walled garden philosophy normally quite baffling, but this is one of the first articles I've read where I can only describe my reaction to their actions as disgusted.

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Bletchley Park to rebuild pioneering EDSAC computer

Ian Yates

Mass reply

No, I'm not American and I'm not terrified of mercury.

My link to asbestos was because they're both dangerous (increasingly) due to length of exposure and are both treated as hazardous material.

I would imagine breathing masks in a "mercury factory" and overalls (not necessarily white), but I didn't immediately think of glassed off areas. Probably rubber gloves, though.

I spent a while searching for mecury factories/refineries/production/etc. but didn't come up with anything worthwhile.

I didn't say "one breath and you are dead", but I can see how my original post might have read more scaremongering that it was meant. I was just saying that I wouldn't put myself in a position of risk if it was unnecessary (and not fun).

To be honest, IANAL but I don't believe Bletchley Park /couldn't/ use mercury due to H&S (which was the reason for my original post), they've probably chosen to do so because of h&s. In other words, why risk exposing people to a potentially dangerous substance if you don't need to? Just go with Turing's idea and use gin!

@Graham Wilson: I'm not going to address every point, but 4 confuses me. OHSA and H&S do not inhibit using mercury, they merely define how to reduce occupational exposure and personnel risk.

OHSA don't even list it in their "highly hazardous" list of chemicals (and yes, I know what a chemical is).

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Ian Yates
Troll

Mercury

To be honest, they probably have opted to not use mercury themselves and H&S is just one reason given. Cleaning up a mercury spill is not a simple job.

Sure, if you don't care you can get it done quickly, but I wouldn't want to be exposed to mercury vapours. But feel free to march over there and proclaim that you'll rebuild it with mercury yourself.

I guess you also think the way people handle asbestos is just H&S zealotry?

(Have I been trolled?)

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Android passes iPhone in mobile ad race

Ian Yates

Ads

I've heard it's ad supported... but I've never seen a single one...

I was in the beta and then got the full version and seasons after that, so don't know if there's a relation there.

I can't even see where the adverts would be...

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Google Nexus S Android smartphone

Ian Yates

Earl

Re. the screen, probably not. I personally think SAMOLED screens are really nice, but I know enough people who would disagree. In addition, Apple's pixel density is still way higher than the competition, but I don't think it's a big enough difference for most people to care.

As for ROMs, I see your point about security. However, I pay to use Modaco ROMs, and Paul would have to be mad to abuse the trust of his paying customers. As long as I have an Android phone, I'll keep paying my sub for the freedom that Modaco provides.

I hope to see some great advancements in Android usability (I personally have nothing against it) and the phone hardware over the next year; competition is good.

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Researcher cracks Wi-Fi passwords with Amazon cloud

Ian Yates

A fair question

What he's almost certainly done is recorded someone else having that very conversation with the router (not "plain english", but you get the point).

The inherent insecurity in all wireless tech is that you don't have point-to-point communication - if you say "hello", everyone who can pick up wireless transmissions can hear you. Breaking WPA just requires someone to listen for long enough to hear someone else run through the secure handshake and then take however long they want to breakdown and reverse the process offline.

It's like the door to a secret club; if you hear the pass-phrase clearly enough, you'll be able to con your way in.

As someone else said, though, if we're talking about home networks, I'm personally not bothered. Especially since I managed to connect to one of my neighbours' routers yesterday, which still has the default "admin"/"password" login.

I'd tell them, but they haven't been daft enough to use an SSID of their address (well, it's slightly worse since they haven't changed it at all), and there were no nodes connected at the time.

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Apple 'cans restocking fees'

Ian Yates

Law

"the distance selling regulations are not actually law, and as such breaking them is not 'illegal'"

I'm not sure I agree with you there.

The Consumer Protection Regulations is the UK acceptance into law of the EU distance selling rules; catchily known as Directive 97/7/EC (and, yes, I did have to look that up). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31997L0007:EN:NOT

While the Office of Fair Trading may not be the scariest thing, if someone believes that their consumer rights have been infringed (i.e., goods not being accepted back within the 7 day clause), they're obligated to investigate and (if needed) litigate on the consumer's behalf.

Anyone with any free time is suggested to read this wonderful site: http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/after_you_buy/know-your-rights/

There's nothing more powerful than a consumer knowing their rights, since most retailers either don't seem to or don't care (knowing that most consumers don't know).

IANAL, just a consumer that knows his rights.

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Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED 3D TV

Ian Yates

L[EC]D

I agree, it's a confusion of terminology, in the same way that current "3D" and "HD" are (what happens when we get 'real' 3D* and resolutions over 1080p?).

I guess the issue is calling them "LED-lit LCD" isn't so catchy. Consumers like to shorten things down ("I have a plasma TV. No, I don't have a clue what that means, but the guy at the shop told me it was better").

* "4D" is taken, so will it be "5D"? *shudders*

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Facebook boobs over breastfeeding page... again

Ian Yates

Glutten for punishment

If I was them, I'd strongly consider one of the hundreds of other free services that offer at least the bare minimum of Fb's features and don't randomly delete your group without warning.

Most even allow for Fb, Google, OpenID authentication, so you're not forcing people to already be a part of something else.

I'm not saying this couldn't happen elsewhere, but the Fb mods do appear to be pretty trigger-happy.

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Samsung launches 'world's first' Android MP3 player

Ian Yates

Niche

Depends on the niche you're referring to.

I have a Cowon/iAudio J3 (32GB). True, it doesn't do apps in quite the same way (only dodgy flash games), but it does have a really nice touchscreen, a coverflow-like system (not that I use it), brilliant battery, and great codec support.

In addition, it has microSD expansion (with proper library integration) and it can be used as a normal mass-storage device on any computer :)

And that's not even talking about the sound quality.

Unfortunately, I can understand why some people might find it a little bit techy, and even I'm disappointed with the playlist support.

Since I have an Android phone, I'm not really looking for anything more complicated than that (though, wifi file transfer would be a bonus, I suppose).

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Beastly Android will batter Apple's iOS beauty

Ian Yates

Shift

I've noticed a definite shift towards Galaxy S or Desire among the technically illiterate (my sister, for one).

It is interesting to see the teens moving to BBs, though. I use one for work and the only reason I can think to have one personally would be if I was texting A LOT. Is this because of BBM, or just that BBs are cheaper than iPhones?

The (non-technical) people I know with Android have it because it was the best offer on their network of choice.

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London's tube demands faster-than-NFC ticketing

Ian Yates

Ping!

But you don't care (really) who says they are whom in your ping scenario; for TfL, they want to be *mostly* sure that the person they've scanned in is really J Bloggs.

I'm sure there is room for error (since all scans are recorded and CCTV'd), but they don't want to be taken for a ride.

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Double-clicking patent takes on world

Ian Yates
Joke

*THE WEB*

Since you can apparently patent anything existing, as long as you restate it as being done on the web, is the next round of patent trolls going to be:

Using a keyboard... IN SPACE!!!

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Hackers get to work with Apple's AirPlay

Ian Yates

DLNA

I don't know much about AirPlay, but is this really just an Apple-only version of DLNA?

If so, why?

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Feds please no one with first official net neut rules

Ian Yates

Socialism

You're probably being thumbed down for throwing the usual McCarthyist rubbish around that something you don't like is "socialist" because it's about government control.

I'd argue that this was authoritarianism, which I have no problem with if the purpose is to use authority to protect the "weak" (those who don't have the power to protect their interests) from the strong (in this case, the ISPs who wield all of the true power).

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'Porn lock' heralds death of WikiLeaks, internet, democracy, universe

Ian Yates
Joke

Wrong time of year

But why not ask all the nefarious websites to use the new HTML5 tag: <meta name="evil" content="yes" /> and filter by that?

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UK Man cops to £500,000 iTunes royalty scam

Ian Yates
Coat

Agreed

If they did have the credit card details (and not just iTunes logins), I can think of many better ways to launder their money to my accounts.

Hang on, there's someone at the door.

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Beeb ordered to release TV licensing contract sweeteners

Ian Yates
Thumb Up

Adult approach

As Lee said, if you know you're in the right, just ignore them.

They won't prosecute unless they are sure you're evading paying.

(IANAL)

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Ian Yates

EMR

I just assumed they picked up ambiguous electromagnetic fluctations (possibly from CRT TVs) using directional antennae?

They'd then check if the possible source house had a licence and knock on their door.

Could (and almost certainly would) generate a huge amount of false-positives, but at least you got 'em!

Not sure it would even be worth it in the last 20 years, with PCs, microwaves, etc., but no reason not to pretend.

In fact, if that was how they worked, I'd be slightly dissapointed if they still had all the gubbins in them, seeing as how useless it would be.

Can't say I've ever seen one of these vans, though.

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Google gets physical on Hotpot

Ian Yates

QR codes

Why not include QR codes on these as well?

Oh, wait, Nexus S...

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