* Posts by BigAndos

246 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012

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India to add seven new elite IT training institutes

BigAndos

Re: What exactly will they teach?

Yeah ability to think on feet while problem solving can be lacking. I think a lot of the universities in India just teach people to cram and lean to parrot back set answers in exams. While I have worked with a number of excellent IT staff who've been through an Indian university, I've unfortunately worked with far more who are seemingly incapable of thinking laterally!

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Airbnb confirms it raised $1.5bn in spite of regulatory worries

BigAndos

Air B&B is really hit and miss, you can tell they do minimal vetting of owners and listings. I've recently been trying to book somewhere and most of the owners never respond to you. The listings are usually vague with poor quality pictures e.g. a place won't tell you how many beds there are. Unless they spend a bit of that cash improving quality they may struggle in the long term. I voted with my wallet and used a dedicated cottage rental website in the end!

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Star Wars Battlefront: Is this the shooter you’re looking for?

BigAndos

Re: Move along

"Sadly this is where almost every multi-player experience I've had has ended up."

Yep! After some bad early experiences in World of Warcraft to this day I won't play multiplayer with people I don't know.

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Uber wants UK gov intervention over TfL’s '5-minute wait' rule

BigAndos

What if the uber driver was actually only a minute away? Do they have to drive round the block for 5 minutes? Or park and clog up the street and ignore you until the timer counts down?

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Seven-year itch claims Splunk CEO

BigAndos

Re: Splunk?

We use Splunk for monitoring performance of our web servers. It uses Hadoop to do lots of trendy sounding big data type things and then can present it in nice animated graphs/dashboards. (I'm a SQL developer so Hadoop et al are a bit beyond me so far).

It is also very handy to to search through terabytes of log files when you need to diagnose an issue.

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Apple's Watch charging pad proves Cupertino still screwing buyers

BigAndos

Re: Again?

Finally, a proper answer to iCloud! When I switched from iOS to Android this was the only serious thing I missed, although it has gradually improved since Android 4. Now all I'd have to do is 1) wait for an Android 6 build for my phone (probably via Cyanogenmod) and 2) for all my favourite apps to support the latest API version :-\

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

BigAndos

Didn't even notice!

This must have been what the very brief "configuring windows" message that flashed up on PC last night was all about. They do seem to have made the update process less intrusive than it used to be, just as well as they force them on you!

I must say Windows 10 has been very smooth for me since upgrading from Windows 7. It boots up in half the time W7 did and no crashes or bugs that have affected me. To be honest though, apart from improved boot up time there are no new features I've actually used :-\. Oh well I'll take a 50% boot time improvement for free!

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NHS IT must spend a fortune to save a fortune, says McKinsey

BigAndos
Coat

Large scale NHS IT project? Nothing could possibly go wrong, bound to be a roaring success!

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EE reports flat Q3 sales, keeps mum on Power Bar recall debacle

BigAndos

Re: Customer service?

Are they really that bad compared to others? I've been with Vodafone for years but am planning to jump ship after my contract is up. I was eyeing up EE as they keep scoring highly in coverage tests (e.g. rootmetrics) and network is my main issue with Vodafone. However, I keep seeing horror stories about their service!

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Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

BigAndos

Re: a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers

Amazon are being especially rubbish at supporting a range of devices. Maybe I'll just vote with my feet and stop using them! Roku 3 is so nearly there, it is only missing Amazon which funnily enough is present in the UK. Rumours are Sky paid them a bung to not support their service in the UK as part of the contract to make the Now TV box for them!

This is also pretty hilarious. Isn't it up to Amazon to add Chromecast or Apple TV support to those devices?

http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/01/amazon-bans-sale-of-apple-tv-and-chromecast-because-they-dont-offer-prime-video/

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BigAndos

This still doesn't address the relative lack of content

I use my mark 1 Chromecast extensively for iPlayer, renting films via Play and netflix and it works like a dream. It has the best user experience of any streaming box I've tried. My Samsung "smart" Bluray is slow, clunky and apps like Netflix keep getting pulled.

However, the irritation with Chromecast is the lack of people making native apps for it. As the article mentions, outside of Google properties, iPlayer, Netflix and Now TV there are just a load of no name apps. I also want ITV player, All 4, Demand 5 and Amazon Instant Video. It is annoying having to stream these from my PC via casting from Chrome.

I can't find a single streaming box that can handle all of the content providers I want to watch. If Google could find a way to let you start streaming video from any source via your mobile/tablet only then Chromecast would be the best thing since sliced bread. I suppose that will wait until all content providers are using HTML 5.

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BT boss: If Ofcom backs us, we promise to speed up UK broadband

BigAndos

I like how even the "universal minimum" is a range, typical BT weasel words! Why not just say 5mpbs minimum? Obviously higher would better!

Mixed feelings on this topic. BT is an inefficient behemoth, but I'm not convinced breaking it up would help much and might just add a load more complexity and extra costs to be borne by the consumer (see the privatisation of the rail network for an example).

However, maybe the remainder of BT would be a bit more aggressive about chasing up Openreach for repairs if split into truly separate companies. Interested to see how the arguments on both sides shape up.

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Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

BigAndos

Re: Excel Co Authoring or not?

We use Google Docs at work, and the real time collaboration in Sheets works very nicely. However, I still have to use Excel for any serious number crunching and it would be great if they got that working properly in a future version of Office!

Were it not for Excel I would never use Office anymore, for my limited Word and PPT requirements google docs does the lot.

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Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

BigAndos

This looks like fantastic value for £250 (£210 with the money off code!). Would prefer if they just put stock android on it though, I've had 'droids from both Samsung and LG and I think the manufacturers UI skins always get in the way more than they help.

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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

BigAndos
FAIL

Did they *REALLY* believe people would rush out and buy a new PC just because there is a new version of windows on it? Joe Public: "Hmm I think I may spend £500 on a laptop because Windows 10 is out".

I think since XP the general public views a new version of Windows as a bit of a pain in the bottom rather than a reason to buy new kit. In fact the majority of users probably don't really know what "new version of Windows" even means. Not saying that to sound superior, but based on my observations of non technical friends/family.

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Ashley Madison hacked potential competitor, leaked emails suggest

BigAndos

They really do sound like a thoroughly horrid company!

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Using SQL techniques in NoSQL is OK, right? WRONG

BigAndos

Re: Interesting, but

I second your article suggestion, this would be really interesting. In my previous job at a consulting firm I went on a two day MongoDB course as they were trying to build a "big data" capability without really knowing why. I found the course interesting but at the end I came away from it not that sure why I would want to use it.

The main advantage I could see was the ease of scaling horizontally with sharding as doing this type of thing is very, very difficult with a conventional RDBMS. However, I've also never encountered a situation where "eventual consistency" was deemed acceptable.

Also, with a well designed and well indexed SQL database you can handle "moderately big" data fairly well. In my current job I managed a data warehouse built using £15k of commodity wintel hardware, SQL Server 2008R2 and fast SAN storage, and we can run queries across hundreds of millions of rows of data and joining numerous tables in seconds.

What would be fascinating is to see how NoSQL could handle "properly big" data and how people get around the consistency issues. For example, I would love to import the full event stream from our Adobe SiteCatalyst instance and query it - is this the kind of thing I can turn to NoSQL for?

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

BigAndos

Works well for me so far

I was brave and installed a day after it came out. Upgrade process was exceptionally smooth, and haven't (yet) felt the need to do a clean install either. It boots incredibly quickly, my entirely subjective estimate is that the desktop is usable in about half the time from cold boot as it was in Windows 7.

Aside from that though... well it doesn't get in the way like Windows 8 did. And it looks a bit shinier. Otherwise not a giant leap forward, although I am always grateful for improved performance! For free though, I'm not complaining. I always said with Windows 8, which was also a bit quicker in the release candiate I tried, it wasn't worth £100 or more for an incremental upgrade when Apple charged £20 so glad they've listened on that front.

Be interesting to see how their lofty ambitions to keep adding features works out - whether they can find a regular stream of useful things to add, or it is a stream of tweaks for the sake of tweaks remains to be seen.

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Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

BigAndos
Happy

Re: First steps

I followed the same path as you! Quite liked my spectrum but only really messed around on it. Eventually got an A1200 for Christmas when I was about 12 and that started a love of computers that has never ended. Even set me on the path for an IT career!

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Reddit meltdown: Top chat boards hidden as rebellion breaks out

BigAndos

I really love Reddit. Some of the bigger subreddits (subs) are a bit too easy to get lost in and can be full of junk/spam/reposts, but there are a lot of really active smaller communities where you can get some great discussion going. For example, people set up subs for a specific series of books or a TV show. It seems a bit less prone to flamewars than older sites like Digg back in the day, although naturally you get exceptions to that rule :-)

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Time to face the Apple Music: Spotify looks worried, and rightly so

BigAndos

Re: I do hope this isn't a issue.

Yep! I love the fact I can sit at my PC in the evening, save a few new albums I want to stream and then save them offline on my Anrdoid phone to listen do during my commute. Or my girlfriend can do the same on my PC and then either download them to her iPad or her Android phone. Spotify does work really well cross device and it does have a great catalogue. I have always desperately hoped they would become profitable and stick around.

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Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

BigAndos

I had an iMac at home for three years and I absolutely loved it. Easy to use, beautiful hardware and on the occasion I needed to run some other software I could use bootcamp with my spare Windows 7 license.

However after the three years there was no hope in hell of upgrading it to handle the latest games. So I gritted my teeth and built myself a Windows machine so I could easily rebuild in future with upgraded components.

In short, if only Macs were more upgradeable / user repairable I would still be a loyal Mac user.

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LG G4: Be careful while fingering this leather-clad smartie pants

BigAndos

I upgraded from my Galaxy S4 (which I liked but had rubbish build quality) to the LG G3 and really like it. The only real problem I have with it is occasional lag in the LG UI and an annoying problem where it occasionally just plain forgets your settings. If LG have indeed improved their UI software then the G4 may well be my next upgrade!

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Next-gen Freeview telly won't be another disruptive 4Ker

BigAndos

Re: PVR vs catch-up

Slow to start with but gets very good once it warms up. Worth sticking with it!

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BigAndos

Re: PVR vs catch-up

This winds me up something chronic! Some of the catch up services like demand 5 only keep programmes for a week after broadcast, at least on my sky box. I've been watching Gotham and was away for two consecutive Mondays and forgot to series link it. Therefore, I missed an episode and bittorrent was the only way to catch up!

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4K refresh sees Blu-ray climb to 100GB, again

BigAndos

I hope physical media sticks around a little bit longer. I like streaming from services like Netflix and renting then streaming from Google Play, for example, as it is very convenient. However, you can never guarantee what they will have in their catalogue. Google Play has a lot of inexplicable region restrictions, e.g. very popular films not available in the UK. Netflix are a bit unpredictable at adding and removing things.

You can also buy digital copies of films, but most come with fairly onerous licensing restrictions. E.g. if you buy a film on Blinkbox, then they fall out with whoever owns the rights, their T&Cs let them remove your access to it! For now at least, physical media is the only way to guarantee a film is available and that no one will take it away once you have it!

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

BigAndos

Google docs seems perfect for most of our business users. We only use Excel for more advanced data analysis, or macros/add-ins, and then 2007 is fine. Only recent new office feature I'm interested in is Power BI but that seems to be tied in to a cloud subscription! I don't think Word or PPT have had any decent new features for a long time.

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Snapchat wants $19 BEEELLION for your selfies

BigAndos

That popped into my mind - Uber is an actual cash generating business, whereas Snapchat's valuation is probably based on the hope Facebook will buy it out at some point.

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Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years

BigAndos

Re: Chiltern experience

East Coast have it and exactly the same thing happens. If you get on the train at the starting station before everyone else is on you can get a really good connection. It gradually becomes useless as the train fills up!

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EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

BigAndos

Vodafone have improved... if you live in London!

I live in north London and Vodafone's 4G was a bit patchy near me, I often didn't even get a decent 3G signal. However, they seem to have really boosted coverage in the last couple months and I know get a strong 4G signal everywhere in the neighbourhood.

However, the story soon changes when leaving a major city as other posters have commented. When I went to Devon a while ago with my fiance who was with EE att time, she had 3G everywhere whereas I had Edge. As anyone with Vodafone knows, Edge is just a euphemism for "no data signal" in VF's case!

They have gone frustratingly quiet about the 4G rollout on their blog, whereas Three have posted a big list of towns that they intend to enable 4G in this year. I shall definitely look at ditching VF, the amount they spend on their network for such a big company is pitiful.

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Grand Theft Auto 1997: 'Sick, deluded and beneath contempt'

BigAndos
Happy

Even in the modern ones, I tend to do just enough of the missions to unlock the whole map and then just mess around! They always pack in so much to reward exploration and goofing about.

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Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

BigAndos

I'm enjoying the game as well. The only major issue I had was that it crashed to desktop when I opened the system map but that was fixed with a patch within literally hours of release.

The forums are a real bear pit, any thread on the most innocuous topic gets besieged with both rabidly pro and anti Fronter posters within seconds! As you say I'm sure it will calm down, those who don't like the game will stop playing and Frontier will gradually fix any remaining bugs and add promised new features over time.

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Double-digit tablet growth spurt is OVER, say pundits

BigAndos

Re: People who wanted tablets, bought them..

Who would have thought exactly the same thing that happened to PC sales, then laptop sales and then smart phone sales would happen to tablet sales eh? No way analysts could have seen that coming!

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

BigAndos

Chrome is getting bloated too

I love using Chrome, and was very happy when our desktop IT team decided to support it alongside IE8. However, it seems to be turning into a right old memory hog! I'm running Chrome now with this tab, a gmail tab and hangouts running. It has 9 chrome.exe processes running and is consuming about 700MB of RAM! Think Google could do with some re-engineering too.

I'd still rather poke myself in the eye than load IE though.

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Samsung to boot out Shin after Galaxy S5 tanks – report

BigAndos

Re: Good hardware... but

Completely agree! I rooted my S4 and put Cyanogenmod on it, I got sick of all the mandatory installed cr*pware and Kies (the syncing software) is an abomination.

As you say they are great at hardware. I've had two Samsung TVs, one which lasted me 15 years and one which is about 6-7 years old and going strong. However, my Samsung "Smart" blu ray is absolutely horrendous to use due to terrible software.

If they kept focused on making meaningful hardware improvements with each model and made it run as close to stock Android as possible I think they would see bigger sales in future.

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

BigAndos

It is an exciting development but I do wonder if it will end up being more expensive for consumers. For example, I watch a lot of HBO shows along with newish movies on Sky. I pay £30 a month for this at the moment thanks to a deal. I also subscribe to Netflix for £7 a month. I can't imagine HBO going to market for less than netflix, and other providers who go to market will likely copy their pricing levels. Add on say £10 a month for the movie package on Sky Tv, a couple of other networks and I'm back to similar pricing levels. Be interesting to see how the market develops!

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Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

BigAndos

Windows 10 Preview - First Impressions?

Thought I'd start a hopefully flamewar free topic for anyone who has given Windows 10 a test drive. I downloaded it last night onto my Asus Zenbook. Impressions so far:

1. The upgrade from Windows 7 was a doddle. Apart from pressing a button to restart once I didn't have to do anything for the upgrade to proceed. It took about 1 hour all in.

2. Bootup time slightly slower than Windows 7 but I would probably do a clean install for a real life upgrade.

3. New start menu is ok. That's it, just ok. I don't think the live tiles add very much but at least it wasn't as wide as it appeared in screenshots I've seen. Seems to be a real lack of customisation options apart from adding/removing live tiles.

I haven't had much time to do a really deep test but most of my applications and drivers seem work ok. Therefore verdict thus far is "not bad but why would I buy it?". Thoughts from anyone else?

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

BigAndos

Re: @BigAndos "..........I hope they reviewing the pricing a bit."

Yeah I didn't mind Win 8 THAT much, I just saw no particular reason to go and buy it that outweighed the hassle of learning the confusing new interface. The other reason I missed out on the cheap upgrade offer was that of course no one sane buys a microsoft OS before SP1....

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BigAndos

Re: Looking forward to playing with the dev preview!

I'll be giving it a spin as well, I have a laptop I'd like to give it a try on. I remember doing the same with Windows 8 and thinking "wow it boots quickly, even in a VM" followed by "why the hell would I pay money for this baffling mess?". Be interested to see if anything in Windows 10 actually makes me want to get my wallet out.

Speaking of which... I hope they reviewing the pricing a bit. £100 is just too much for a home user to consider paying for an OS upgrade these days, no matter what new bells and whistles.

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Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

BigAndos

True, LinkedIn does charge you for some features but they are primarily aimed at employers or recruiters and really targeted on making it easier for you to search for and sell to/recruit people. I can't see Ello offering that kind of business focused service.

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BigAndos

I see they are planning to make money by charging users for access to "features". Why would I want a social network where only some of my friends can use some of the features I have? Sounds like it will get plagued by chicken and egg situations e.g. "why should i bother paying for the feature to do x when none of my friends have it?"

If you really want a private, ad free but sustainable social network then good old email (not gmail obviously) seems the best way to go!

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

BigAndos

Killed by phones

Most likely it was killed by the fact most phones have a decent music player these days. I expect the average non technical person (i.e. not a register reader) has a small enough MP3 collection to fit on a phone easily, so why buy two devices? When the iPod classic launched there was little choice but to have a separate phone and MP3 player.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

BigAndos

Some good ideas in that list, I'd also like it if it had a vibrating alarm. Me and my mrs often get up at different times so it'd be good if it could wake you up without any noise.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

BigAndos

Reminds me of this old cartoon from when the HD marketing push began in earnest:

http://www.claybennett.com/pages/hdtv.html

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BigAndos

I think there is a bit of user fatigue with tech becoming obsolete and "needing" to be replaced regularly. A lot of households (me included) still haven't even gone full hd yet. I still have a 720p tv and will only replace it when it breaks - and I'm a tech enthusiast.

I think a full hd tv, possibly with 3D, will do me for a replacement unless 4K sets are at a comparable price. But then my TV is 7 years old and my previous one from the same manufacturer lasted me 15 years so maybe it'll be 8K, or 16K, or direct brain connection by then.

You can see this weariness in other tech sectors too, there is no longer the same drive to upgrade your smartphone every 12-18 months that there once was.

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

BigAndos
Joke

The real story here is "Shock as user actually manages to access the internet via a BT hotspot". I've been trying for years and mostly either it fails to connect at all or doesn't actually return any data.

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Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

BigAndos

Intentional typo in the URL?

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Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

BigAndos

Netflix for books

I keep hearing this compared to Netflix but there a few issues:

1) A book tends to last me a few weeks normally, whereas I can watch several films or tv shows in a month. Therefore a lot of people don't really need an all you can eat service. I probably would have loved it when I was a teenager and had a lot more time to read though!

2) It appears a lot of major publishers either aren't taking part or will severely restrict the titles available. This makes it sound like Netflix in the UK where a lot of popular films are absent, even those released a few years ago!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/amazon-launches-kindle-unlimited-all-you-can-read-service-1.2710936

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Samsung rebrands store as Galaxy Apps, eyes up Google Play customers

BigAndos

Re: Oh great

I finally did that last week. All great so far, the phone loads a lot quicker and I think the stock android UI is actually slicker than touchwiz. And no more "system" apps from Samsung like Flipboard, which plainly don't have anything to do with the system but can't be uninstalled!

The Samsung app store is terrible, there is hardly anything decent in it. Still at least it is good that you can have competing app stores in principle!

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