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* Posts by BigAndos

202 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012

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

BigAndos
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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
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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
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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
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Intentional typo in the URL?

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Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

BigAndos
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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
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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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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

BigAndos
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I would kind of like to upgrade to Windows 8.1 now the interface changes are less intrusive. From my limited use of it the OS seems a bit quicker on the same hardware than windows 7. However, I refuse to pay £100 for the upgrade! There aren't really any significant new features. I would pay £10 for example, but £100 is a joke considering Apple give you a new OS for free.

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Pension quango's £18.5m project FINALLY goes live... 2 months late

BigAndos
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Two months late? That's about six months early for a public sector project!

(source: currently working on a heavily delayed public sector project).

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It's a Doddle: Amazon inks train station parcel deal with Network Rail

BigAndos
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Re: Sounds brilliant.

I would sign up for it if they did this at tube stations. My local royal mail delivery office only opens from 7am to 12pm so at present if I get stuff delivered I have to pick it up in the morning and take it to work and back! Or get it delivered to work and take it all the way home.

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Virgin Media boss AND ex-Murdoch man: BSkyB broadband is 'lousy'

BigAndos
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I wanted to join VM, but despite the fact the buildings either side of me are covered my building was built recently and so they claim they are unable to supply it. I was a customer with them years ago and while the customer service was awful the broadband and tv were generally very good.

However, as they aren't prepared to invest a single penny in extending their coverage I've had to sign up with BT infinity and sky TV. Fingers crossed, no problems with either just yet.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

BigAndos
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To be honest, I'd rather wave my debit card around in a shop or at ticket barriers than take out my expensive phone and wave it around. I'm not really sure there is a need for NFC payments unless it gets added to very low end phones so it can be used by people who may not have a contactless card (or any card).

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Look, pal, it’s YOUR password so it’s YOUR fault that it's gone AWOL

BigAndos
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I still can't believe they clearly didn't have two factor authentication on their remote DB access, that just seems shoddy. RSA tokens etc are pretty widespread technology these days!

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UK's pirate-nagging VCAP scheme WON'T have penalties – report

BigAndos
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I like how the bbc article says that after four letters no further action will be taken. What on earth is the point? All this cost for ISPs for no gain, which will naturally be passed on to us paying customers!

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Netflix FREEZES prices for existing UK users to stop them quitting vid-streaming service

BigAndos
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I find Netflix excellent value for streaming HD video with no adverts, and accessible on a range of devices. It doesn't have a perfect range of content yet, and probably never will thanks to lock ins and exclusives. However, it does have a good range of content as it stands now and it is improving all the time. I'd be happy paying a tenner a month if it came to it!

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Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

BigAndos
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Re: @ James 51

Same here, I've tried all the neighbouring buildings on my street and they are all eligible. However, my place was built in 2008 and they refuse to cover it. If they won't expand their network how do they hope to expand? I've had to grudgingly go with BT and Infinity isn't too bad actually, but it would have been nice to get cable tv too.

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It's EE vs Vodafone: 'How good is my signal' study descends into network bunfight

BigAndos
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Sounds about right

Vodafone's 2G network is relatively good and has wide coverage, although I've never found their EDGE usable on any phone I've had in any location. Their 3G network is terrible, large areas missing coverage and it is unreliable and overloaded where it is present.

I've found their 4G generally excellent, so hopefully they will do a decent job of rolling it out nationwide. I also hope it doesn't get as patchy as their 3G once a decent volume of people are using it..

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We dig into the GTech GDrive Mobile ... and watch WORST tear-down vid OF ALL TIME

BigAndos
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When I can get a 1TB USB 3.0 drive for £49.99 on the high street I just don't see the reason to buy a thunderbolt drive. Certainly not for consumer use in any case!

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

BigAndos
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Tried it on my Citrix session at work (server 2003). Proxy error page "site blocked: Category malware". Seems appropriate!

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Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

BigAndos
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If they integrated this EPG and the catch up services into a 1080p 3D TV at a screen size that is sensible in a flat (e.g. 40") I would buy one today. Forget trying to use 4K to drive growth, just give me a current generation TV with this kind of software! I've been struggling with a Samsung "smart" bluray player that randomly drops support for apps at periodic intervals, and the ones that are available (like iPlayer) are awful to navigate.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

BigAndos
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MS seem to just keep proving that the "Modern Interface" (TIFKAM) is completely pointless on a dekstop/laptop PC. It sounds like the "Modern" applications are less functional than even Android or iOS versions for crying out loud.

They either need to bite the bullet and do a proper unified API allowing the same core code to work with all interfaces, or just give up.

I hope they think this through carefully when Windows 9 rolls round...

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The land of Milk and Sammy: Free music app touted by Samsung

BigAndos
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If it comes to the UK I might give it a try if the catalogue is up to scratch. I have spotify premium right now, and while I love the service the Android app is pretty shoddy. It has improved but it has a lot of bugs and despite many people complaining on their forums they never get acknowledged by Spotify. I will bravely assume that Samsung are promoting an app which works properly on their devices and give it a go!

On my S4 Spotify has the following "unexpected features":

-It often plays the same song multiple times in a row when on shuffle mode (and no I don't have repeat on!).

-It sometimes just stops playing one or two songs into a playlist. Restarting will play another song and then it stops again. You have to force close it to get it to play continuously.

-The lock screen play controls disappear and reappear at random.

-The equalizer randomly stops working until you open the settings menu again. Then the app seems to "remember" it is supposed to be on! This is so annoying I gave up and disabled it.

-Periodically it will just completely refuse to start playing anything. Force closing and restarting it offline with airplane mode disabled is the only fix I've found.

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Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

BigAndos
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I wondered this. Some third parties we work with are a bit behind on upgrading so we still have to support a handful of applications that need XP to run. We completed our own Win7 upgrade late last year so could be more people using XP mode.

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Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

BigAndos
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Re: Got 4G ?

Sounds like you might have a handset issue. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a 4G contract from Vodafone and i actually get pretty good coverage over most of London! There are a few black spots but in general I've gotten a 4G connection with 10 - 55 Mbps depending on time of day and specific location.

A few weeks ago my BT internet died at home, I set up my phone as a personal hotspot and had two ipads connected to it surfing the web while my laptop was streaming HD iPlayer without the connection breaking a sweat!

Now if only they'd sort out their network (even 3G) outside of London...

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App-maker King hopes to CANDY-CRUSH $500m from IPO

BigAndos
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Long Term

I can't help but think they desperately need to start inventing some original game mechanics instead of swiping the game play wholesale from existing games. Otherwise, I think they're destined to be the next Zynga...

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Facebook turns 10: Big Brother isn't Mark Zuckerberg. It's YOU

BigAndos
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Waffling Follows

Sorry, bit long winded but this article struck a bit of a nerve with me! I personally relate to the point on political beliefs. I made a post on facebook disapproving of certain tory cuts (e.g. to housing benefit in London). I got a torrent of abuse because I dared to express a partly left wing opinion while working (at the time) as an IT consultant in the insurance industry which somehow meant I was a hypocrite. It is really weird how facebook does seem to be enforcing conformity within social groupings.

For example, I have a group of "proper" left wing friends on FB who slavishly post every article from the Guardian comment section even when they don't particularly make much sense or conflict with statements they have made themselves. It seems if you identify yourself with a certain group or tribe you have to mindlessly believe everything that group believes. If you are more right wing, you don't seem to be able to "support our troops" and be in favour if immigration for example.

Even on trivial matters dissent is not encouraged. I identify myself mainly as an alternative rock music fan but I don't like Radiohead. I swear people have almost defriended me over statements like that!

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Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

BigAndos
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The thing with Facebook is that it has snared a lot of people who aren't technically savvy and who have never had any kind of online profile before. It is also very easy to use. Twitter is ok for quickly sharing status updates and pictures but that is it. Facebook lets you create albums, organise events and effectively create impromptu chat rooms. Sure, the tech savvy will likely get bored and move on - or many never even signed up.

But my aunty, for example, will form part of a large and very sticky audience for facebook. All her friends are on there and she can play farmville. Why would she desert FB?

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Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

BigAndos
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Re: It's not just about websites though is it?

At work I have to log into three different domains each day and (naturally) they all have different password rules. And then if I want to use my admin account on any of them the password has to be a minimum of 25 characters long FFS! While this is indeed excellent security practice, it is a giant pain in the bottom. I have a very good memory for patterns of letters and numbers, for example I can usually memorise my credit card details after using it one or twice online. However, even I regularly forget passwords, get locked out of accounts etc.

Most people can't memorise things like this very well at all so I think a lot of people just choose the easiest passwords possible almost as a form of protest or stubbornness. I'm not sure what the answer is either but there has to be a better way.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

BigAndos
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How about a price cut too?

This is supremely wishful thinking, but how about making upgrades cheaper too? I (for about 0.9 nanoseconds) considered buying an upgrade for my windows 7 PC after hearing rumours that Windows 8 performs better with games. Then I saw it was £99.99 for the (non professional) version! I had an iMac until middle of last year, and I never paid more than about £20 for a new Mac OS and Mavericks was free!

Surely once you've developed the OS the "pile em high sell em cheap" approach is better? Sure the margin per unit is lower, but in most cases all the cost was upfront in building it. Selling 1000 copies at £50 would be better than selling 200 copies at £100 surely (numbers purely made up by me).

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Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

BigAndos
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That lenovo hybrid looks pretty good actually, and a decent screen resolution for once!

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EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel

BigAndos
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How about on UK train lines?!

Still much of the UK's mainline train routes lack proper coverage, even a consistent ability to make calls along their length. I know it would be a big undertaking, but proper 4G coverage along the main long distance routes (east coast, west coast, east midlands and great western mainlines) would be a big economic boost as people could be much more productive while travelling for work

Eurostar coverage is nice but only for 35 minutes as other commenters have said. Imagine the benefit if you could be connected to your work network throughout a 5-6 hour journey from penzance to London! I know some trains have wifi but in my experience it is unreliable and can be expensive.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

BigAndos
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I may buy one if they get cheaper and more content is available offline

When my current 720p "HD Ready" TV dies, I was planning to replace it with a 1080p 3D one. If by that point 4K is cheaper I may go that route. The big stumbling block is availability of content. At present I get a decent BT infinity connection of about 45MBps so I could stream 4K content.

However, if I move to somewhere with worse internet connectivity is my shiny new 4K TV then be pointless? Will content be available on discs? Last I read we aren't even close to a disc standard being agreed.

Also, I'm still smarting from not checking out "HD ready" vs "full hd" properly before buying. I heard 8K broadcast TV has been tested in Japan (naturally) so I'm also concerned 4K will soon be a white elephant too.

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Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking

BigAndos
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Re: mince

Is the mk808 any good? I bought a "smart" bluray player to get things like netflix and 40d, but then Samsung inexplicably removed all the apps I used except lovefilm and iplayer! Looking for a better replacement than plugging my laptop into the TV as I could then sell the laptop...

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

BigAndos
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Re: Been experimenting for years with Linux

Thanks, I'll give that a try! I do like Fedora and Mint, I could happily ditch Windows on my laptop then. All I use it for is streaming video to TV or the odd infrequent bit of development or editing a basic spreadsheet. If I can get silverlight working in Wine (for netflix) operation ditch Windows can begin! It would be even better if Netflix didn't use Silverlight but hey ho.

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BigAndos
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Been experimenting for years with Linux

I find it odd that if you compare Windows to Linux, often the hard things on one are easy on the other and vice versa. For example, I dual boot Fedora 18 and Windows 7 on my laptop. I was on a Mongo DB training course earlier this year and realised when I got there I'd forgotten to set up a Java IDE before going. In Fedora I think I managed to get all the software I needed installed with two commands (install Open JDK then Eclipse).

On Windows this probably would have taken a lot longer and of course Windows doesn't manage dependencies for you so I may have had to download multiple installers. However, take the flipside - connecting the laptop to my TV. On windows, I plug in my HDMI cable and thats it - mirrored screens with sound feeding through. With Fedora I can (with much fiddling in display settings) get the video displaying on the TV but I can't for the life of me get sound over HDMI to work!

I find it weird how Linux can handle very complex work or tasks quite easily but often falls down on basic home user requirements, although maybe that is a reflection of the needs of those who develop it. Interested to know if Mint would handle my HDMI out needs more gracefully? I did try an earlier version but the touchpad driver it came with didn't work properly on my laptop and I couldn't find a replacement.

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GOV.UK's criminal record check IT job blow: Home Office snubs new design

BigAndos
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Re: Corrupt and Perverse is always a Precedent....

Yeah, cock ups happen under any political or commercial leadership, and don't forget that the senior Sir Humphreys have likely served under both labour and the conservatives. Despite what ministers like to think, I bet they have remarkably little influence on how successful (or otherwise) projects in their departments are.

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UK fondleslab surge slowing, says sales-sniffing specialist

BigAndos
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Re: They're already as good as they need to be

Yeah I agree, tablets have come in in leaps and bounds over the last few years but are becoming mature technology now. I bought an Android tablet in late 2010/early 2011 and it was absolute dog poo. Fair enough it wasn't from a big maker (it was a Viewsonic Gtablet) but it was horrendous, constant freezes and reboots, low res screen and woeful performance.

I gave in and binned it for a Nexus 7 a few months ago and I couldn't be happier. Screen resolution, performance and reliability have advanced tremendously. Can't imagine what would tempt me to upgrade it in a near to medium future.

I think the growth we see now is remaining people who want a tablet but don't yet have one, people replacing their first generation tablets and a few rabid fanbois/fandroids slavishly buying whatever comes out. Oh yeah, and all those people buying Surface RTs. *Cough*.

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It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

BigAndos
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If this is true...

I will buy it in a second. I've held out on Windows 7 for now as I can't be doing with the horrid UI. However, I had a play with the developer preview edition of Windows 8 and it seemed promising in some ways. I have an Asus zenbook with Windows 7, I installed Windows 8 in a virtual machine and it ran like a dream even with only 1GB of RAM allocated. It booted up supremely quickly too.

This hints to me that underneath the crud of the modern UI, Windows 8 has the best underpinnings of any MS OS. It is the first one I've encountered that runs MORE smoothly on the same hardware as an older MS OS.

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Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action

BigAndos
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Re: No, Liam, I won't be using a fondleslab as my primary computer.

+1 from me! I love my tablet for reading ebooks, surfing the web, watching a video or playing the odd game. All consumptive as you say. At work I'm got a windows 7 laptop docked to dual monitors and a full size keyboard and mouse. I'm a data architect and so regularly write code, compare data between multiple sources, produce data models, write documents etc etc. I can't imagine a more productive setup for me than the one I have now, at least until direct brain connections are on the market!

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Apple bests Dell for first time as preferred US consumer PC choice

BigAndos
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MS surface at number 4 in the tablet list? Interesting that no sign of google nexus in that chart, even though I know plenty of people with one and only one person with a surface!

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Internet Explorer 11 at it again, breaks Microsoft's own CRM software

BigAndos
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FAIL

Re: Sharepoint too.

That really is quite a spectacular failure. Sharepoint is the only thing I use IE for at work! It is pretty widespread these days too. I'm doing development on a Dynamics online setup right now but I imagine that us a much less common product in the wild.

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Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

BigAndos
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Vodafone 4G

I just upgraded to vodafone 4G and it is fantastic in London. I get 55Mbps in my local pub! I get 35 Mbps at my desk at work, whereas on 3G I barely managed 0.5 Mbps most of the time. Let's just hope this lasts once more people are upgraded...

I'll be interested to see how Three's 4G network copes under load. I read they have a fairly narrow slice of spectrum so speeds could be low once a lot of people sign up! However, if it performs well might be a destination for me when my contract next expires.

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RBS MELTDOWN LATEST: 'We'll be the bank we should be ... next YEAR maybe'

BigAndos
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I think most retail banks are in a similar state, RBS are just unlucky in that their house of IT cards is the most wobbly!

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DON'T PANIC: No FM Death Date next month, minister confirms

BigAndos
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Can't we just scrap DAB? IP stream digital radio over 3G, 4G etc. Leave FM alone as a backup, for older kit and for areas with poor mobile reception.

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Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan

BigAndos
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Joke

Skynet is here..

Prepare for the robot apocalypse, only Amazon Prime subscribers will be spared...

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Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

BigAndos
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One of my customers was in the middle of moving from XP to W8 earlier in the year. Whereas personally I would rather stick with W7 as long as possible, it actually seemed to be going fairly smoothly.

Having said that, the organisation in question seemed to have hired an army of IT support contractors to floor walk wearing "ask me about Windows 8" t shirts (the lucky chaps and chapesses). When my own company moved to W7 all they needed to do was hand out a few flyers.

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Samsung hauls in chiefs for 'CRISIS awareness' confab – report

BigAndos
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Re: So many Anonymous Cowards

Yeah I got an S4 recently, switched from an iPhone 4S. I really like it, but it doesn't seem much different to my friend's S3. He certainly sees no difference and no reason to upgrade. Most of the new features (e.g. eye scrolling) only work in Samsung's own apps and are patchy at best. I think this is now a trend in the smartphone market as it has been in the PC and laptop market. Incremental upgrades aren't going to spur the kind of sales growth we've seen to date...

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'You're BEAUTIFUL when you're angry' 'You SEXIST PIG!' Xbox One's fresh brouhaha

BigAndos
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I do wonder what the hell marketing people are on some times. Surely even a basic level of self awareness and thinking about what you are doing would stop hopeless campaigns like this getting off the ground?

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New NSA leak reveals invasion of the management consultants

BigAndos
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Unhappy

All of these made perfect sense to me

Is it too late for me?

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Reg hack fondles a sexy Pro: An Apple MacBook 13in with Retina display

BigAndos
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Upgrades on laptops

Most laptops are a pig to upgrade these days, especially ultrabooks. I think the dell I had a few years ago gave you easy access to put more RAM in but that was about it. I guess Apple do take it to extremes though!

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