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* Posts by BigAndos

187 posts • joined 12 Jun 2012

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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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The ULTIMATE cuppa showdown: And the winner is...

BigAndos
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Yeah never been a Typhoo fan myself. I do like Clipper, and they get bonus points for being fair trade (I live in north London shockingly enough).

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BT jabbed by ad watchdog AGAIN over fibre deployment fibs

BigAndos
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Now please prevent them (and others) from using "unlimited" where services are subject to (somtimes hidden) fair usage limits, and have some kind of minimum acceptable percentage of an "up to" speed you should expect. Let's get some transparency in the market please!

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'Daddy, can I use the BLACK iPAD?': Life with the Surface Pro 2

BigAndos
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It would never be my primary gaming system, I was thinking more of this scenario:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/07/10

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BigAndos
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Re: unhelpful review

Not to mention all the tourists I see around london using iPads to take pictures of London Eye, Tower Bridge etc

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BigAndos
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My main use case for getting a surface 2 would be playing Windows games! No way in hell I'd use it for work, rather have an ultrabook or ideally a fullsize keyboard and dual monitors. As android and ios games gradually get better the use case for buying one of these is rapidly diminishing for me.. and at £719 it was never going to happen anyway!

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Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

BigAndos
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I get those flyers up to twice a week, and according to their website my address isn't even covered!

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Google to web: SHUT YOUR MOUTH or Chrome 32 beta will do it for you

BigAndos
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How about a feature to disable those irritating "please fill in a survey on our site" pop-overs? Or is there a way to do that already?

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BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

BigAndos
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Re: Mature technology

I have an iPhone 4S. If Apple released a 4S+ that was identical in every way with a battery that lasted two days and better reception I would seriously consider buying it. I don't think I can ask for much else now!

I've been considering swapping it for a Nexus 5 when my contract is up, but it won't let me do much new apart from types of application (e.g. emulators) not allowed in the walled garden. Therefore, think I'll leave it and go sim only!

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BigAndos
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Am I misunderstanding?

The article says it curves *down* at the edges, implying a convex shape as you look at the screen. I would expect a concave shape as you look at the screen (edges curving up) would be much more comfortable to hold (e.g. Galaxy round). Am I being dense?

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BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal

BigAndos
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Re: fixed this for you...

I was incredibly happy with my 38Mbps infinity connection, until recently. It was really reliable, very fast even in peak times. However, for the last couple of weeks it has slowed down to about 2Mbps in the evening. I knew it wouldn't last!

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Deezer unveils tarted-up music-streaming service after $130m injection

BigAndos
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I've taken to using Spotify as a "preview" service to road test new albums. If they pass the test (i.e. I still like them after 2-3 months) I go buy them on vinyl. Vinyl albums these days tend to come with a code to download high a high quality MP3 or even flac version.

Then I get high quality to listen to at home and on the move. However, really I find the quality on spotify downloads perfectly fine for listening to out and about, most listening done on the tube where you can't really appreciate sound quality! Not tried Deezer however, maybe I should do a trial to compare and contrast. Anyone used it?

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Huawei set to pump MILLIONS into 5G mobe networking research

BigAndos
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Hmmm Vodafone can't even pipe decent speeds to their 3G network across much of the country. We'll see how 4G copes when more people sign up and coverage increases, but surely at this kind of speed backhaul would very quickly become the bottleneck?

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

BigAndos
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Kids not programming? Here's why...

No QBasic and Gorillas.bas in modern versions of Windows. I remember hours of fun mucking about with it in the school's IT lab (I didn't get out much in those days).

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Anonymous hacktivists' Million Mask March protest hits London

BigAndos
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Yeah, they don't really seem to know exactly what they are protesting about other than "The Man" in general. Russell Brand's recent political musings are a little sixth form in nature, albeit very eloquent. However, he does make a good point that the mainstream parties don't really strike a chord with millions of people in this country.

Maybe that is what is at the root of this type of protests, a generation that seem to be disenfranchised and want some kind of change, but they don't know exactly what?

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Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

BigAndos
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Call Quality?

Since the article doesn't mention it, what is call quality like? Also reception/signal strength?

I'm otherwise happy with my iPhone 4s but these two things are abysmal, and fundamental to being a phone! I frequently get dropped or distorted calls and I'm sick of it going from having a full 3G signal to GRPS or edge only. Having to regularly flick in and out airplane mode is a right pain.

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