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* Posts by Mike Bell

436 posts • joined 3 Aug 2007

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Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery

Mike Bell
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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

@psychonaut

Oh do quit whining. You have your opinion; I have mine.

I get it. You're the kind of person who enjoys tinkering with things. Get yourself a Meccano DIY smartphone for your ultimate enjoyment. Be my guest. Meanwhile, the world seems to struggle by with the most popular phone effectively being a sealed unit. A unit that is warranted in its entirety. There are definite pros in having sealed memory, tamper-proof enclaves etc. but they don't appeal to the tinkerer's mindset, or the kind of person who enjoys 'fixing' things. Again, fine. I could fix the clutch on my car if I wanted to, but I've got better things to do with my time, and I'll take my car somewhere where they have the proper equipment to do the job.

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Mike Bell
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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

The difference being that iPhone batteries are warranted. Whereas your cheap Chinese knock-off battery won't be.

I used to have a crappy phone that I could split in two by hand for the joy of sticking bits in it. I don't care for that kind of nonsense any more.

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Mike Bell
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Re: @Lost all faith...

Bluetooth is probably enabled by default after each iPhone upgrade because it (Bluetooth LE) consumes very little power indeed. I never turn it off because it hardly affects power consumption, and when it is on it can be very useful, e.g. for tethering to another device.

Likewise for GPS. Which is a means to an end. Some people without a life might like to know the position and strength of GPS satellites, but others just prefer that their phone knows roughly where it is.

Why would I need to add a bluetooth or WiFi state widget to the screen when they are already there by default? And can be activated/deactivated by a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen?

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Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious

Mike Bell
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@DropBear

Unless the draft legislation has been changed, it will be illegal for anyone to use the kill switch without the device owner's express permission. Not to say they couldn't, but it would not be legal for them to do so.

@others

Blowing SIM lines or disrupting cell communications would not necessarily kill a phone's communication facilities. Just wander into Starbucks and use WiFi to talk to your chums.

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Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years

Mike Bell
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Re: Who?

People on zero-hours contracts? Poor people, generally? I know a few of them. They don't mind watching shit quality movies on their lap-tops so long as they are free. They wouldn't stump up £1.50, though, so that's a new one to me.

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

Mike Bell
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Graphic plays it down

It's worse than that! The core of that graphic (25%) is way too small compared with the area of the whole (100%).

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What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet

Mike Bell
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Re: Chuck-a-duck

Philae has a cold gas thruster. But it will, more or less, throw itself at the comet.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Orbit

@mtp: The clue is in the word suffix. 'gee' pertains to the Earth, as in geography, geosynchronous etc. Since the comet orbits the Sun, not the Earth, apogee is not relevant to the orbital perturbation that you mention. Whereas aphelion most certainly is.

Apogee: furthest point from the Earth

Aphelion: furthest point from the Sun

Perigee: closest approach to the Earth

Perihelion: closest approach to the Sun

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Mike Bell
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Re: ...a mass of 10 billion tonnes...

Nearly everyone uses a billion to refer to 10^9 these days.

As is the case in this article.

A lump of ice with a volume of one cubic kilometre has a mass of 10^9 tonnes. The comet is only about 10 times this size, and its density won't be wildly different from that of ice, so its mass will be about 10 x 10^9 tonnes. Or ten billion tonnes, as people say these days.

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TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P

Mike Bell
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It's not in orbit as such... yet. Currently, it's undergoing a series of hyperbolic trajectory manoeuvres. Without regular thrusts it would currently leave the comet behind.

When it descends much nearer the comet's surface, it will be put into a roughly elliptical orbit. I imagine the gravitational field will be pretty variable so that would require a good bit of knowledge / number crunching / thrusts to keep things that way.

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Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST

Mike Bell
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Not all the features of a high end device are required on a bargain basement tablet. But a wipe operation that doesn't do the job is less than a feature. It's a bug. And a pernicious one at that.

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Mike Bell
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Oops.

It might be an idea to encrypt all data by default. Then the wipe process merely involves destroying the private encryption key, which takes no time at all. Like my iPad does.

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Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

Mike Bell
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The Rosetta NavCam photos aren't the greatest quality, compared with something from its narrow angle camera. When you see it properly, it does have a certain rugged beauty about it.

In my opinion, it's a pity that ESA aren't being more forthcoming with the data. Anyone remember the heady days of Hayabusa in 2005? The Japanese released fantastic pics on a daily basis as they approached asteroid 25143 Itokawa.

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No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off

Mike Bell
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Re: It'll be good in about 5 years time...

But haven't the EU recently mandated the use of the inferior micro-USB connector for phone chargers? A bad decision that will stick one in the eye of your 5 years.

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HUMAN RACE PERIL: Not nukes, it'll be AI that kills us off, warns Musk

Mike Bell
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Terminator

Re: I don't buy it

Jeez. Don't any of you guys watch the Terminator movies?

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Mike Bell
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Terminator

Re: or we wait until the batteries go flat or catch fire

Yeah, right. They tried that with Skynet, and look what happened.

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Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8

Mike Bell
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@AC

I tend to agree. This, and other iOS password managers, were created before Apple rolled out iCloud keychain to the masses. I have a similar password manager, but I rarely use it these days.

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Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low

Mike Bell
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Re: Oh, yeah?

@Robert

Not really. A physical screen behind a couple of slits in Young's experiment count as an 'observer'. That screen doesn't require a soul in order to do its job. It is merely required to interact with the quantum world in such a way as to produce an outcome.

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Mike Bell
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What's a neutron?

What is a neutron other than the composite of its properties?

Isn't it more likely that some properties of a neutron go one way, and one or more properties go another, and the totality of the system is what we think of as a neutron? Rather than saying a quantum goes one way and a property of the quantum goes another?

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Mike Bell
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Re: Really?

I've used a contactless payment card on a few occasions. But to tell the truth, I'd prefer the option of holding my thumb briefly on my phone's fingerprint sensor to do the same thing.

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Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services

Mike Bell
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Re: Apple are only interested in ad ownership.

Apple Ads. Here's some information for you.

As and end user, you can easily turn it off.

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Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s

Mike Bell
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Re: As a Galaxy Note User...

Ah yes when I watched the WWDC where they talked about all the new features and APIs including...

Ha ha! You told that little story with the same conviction as Al 'The Landlord' Murray saying he was never confused. Next, you'll be hanging around Apple Stores just to see how bad they are!

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Mike Bell
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Re: Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous

"Whether it is a phone, a sandwich or a child in the backseat....taking your eyes off the road for any reason is a distraction and *could* be a contributing factor in an accident"

Yes. We have dashboards as well. Guess what? You look at them. I'll bet that even *you* have looked at your dashboard from time to time. You want to get rid of them? Spare me the sanctimonious lecture, please.

"Do us all a favor, get a big red cross sticker and place it on your front and rear bumber so the rest of us can spot you and avoid you at all costs. The moment you relax on the motorway is the moment your brain switches off and that's when the huge pile ups happen. Driving (even on the motorway) SHOULD be tiring because you should be concentrating hard."

There would be an awful lot of big red cross stickers on the motorway crying wolf in your happy little world. Because many people know how to drive safely without sitting rigid in front of the wheel saying 'shut up, shut up, I need both hands right here'.

NB, I've been driving for more than 30 years and I've never had an accident. I've avoided plenty, though, by being aware of my surroundings.

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Mike Bell
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Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous

OK, I admit I've done it on a few occasions in the past. And I'm not proud of it. It's just plain reckless behaviour at the end of the day.

But I do get somewhat annoyed when I see trumped up traffic officers on TV lambasting the odd driver who just picks up his phone to see the status of the screen. There's no danger in that, in my opinion, any more than there is picking up a sandwich and taking a bite (which I gather is now also a punishable offence in the UK).

If this is to be taken to its extreme, every driver would be required to have both hands on the wheel, like you did when you had your driving lessons - as opposed to how you actually drive.

On a motorway, my left hand is pretty redundant most of the time, and whilst I can't multi-task like a girl, I'm quite capable of lifting a phone to my ear and talking, just like I'm able to scratch my ear and talk to someone in the passenger seat.

Fiddling with the phone's screen controls is entirely another matter. But the law is a hammer.

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Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

Mike Bell
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Re: Regardless who is the good boy here or the "less bad boy" I feel ......

Please can we have an option for 'Anonymous Twat' as well as 'Anonymous Coward'?

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Mike Bell
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Too early to say.

Most bacteria and viruses that we encounter have co-evolved with us. They rely on our particular body parts and cellular chemistry in order to do their thing.

While its pretty unlikely that you'd be able to find something nutritious to eat on a random planet, it's not at all certain that their particular bugs would do for us.

As for toxic chemicals, well, you're not going to be able to stand on somewhere like Io. But there may be plenty of relatively harmless planets around.

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Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1

Mike Bell
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Re: Does it still collect data when...

If you believe Apple's statements on the matter, turning Location Services off turns them off. You can also turn them off on an app-by-app basis. You can also get notified (with an icon) when a so-authorised app actually tries to make use of Location services.

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Thought PCs were in the toilet? They're STILL eating Apple's lunch

Mike Bell
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Re: That's because

Yay, speak for everyone, lurker, why not.

My wife has one (regular bod). My next-door-neighbour has one (football coach). I have one (loathe Adobe). My friend who owns a sandwich and kebab stall has one. My friend who is a vet has one.

I also have a PC at work. Hate it.

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Apple OS X Yosemite 4 TIMES more popular than Mavericks

Mike Bell
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Mavericks is pretty well loved by owners of older Apple gear. Possibly its biggest under-the-hood improvement is its revamped memory management system, which means it can run – and run well – on some relatively old devices.

It employs dynamic compression of least-used memory, and attempts to maximise the amount of RAM that's in use. That feature scared a lot of people, who believed it was a memory hog, when the opposite is true. Unused RAM is wasted RAM.

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

Mike Bell
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Re: bull...

Indeed, sapphire is extremely hard. I have a rather expensive Rado wristwatch that has a sapphire face cover. It's virtually indestructible and will take any amount of bashing and scraping. They harden the metal as well, mind you, to make the whole thing ultra scratch proof. People have looked on in shock as I've deliberately scraped it along brick and concrete walls for a laugh. It's 10 years old and it looks like I bought it yesterday. NB I don't work for Rado.

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BlackBerry knocks Google's KNOX LOCK PICK for Android

Mike Bell
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Re: Serious biz users don't want Samdung Fandroid or iDrone Crapps

1. Funny how world + dog seem to struggle by. Try answering the phone when someone calls you, might do wonders for your business. The little numbers that appear on app icons are also there for a reason. Don't Tweet, it will turn you into an idiot.

2. Briefly hold your finger on the TouchID sensor. Then you can do all kinds of things as well as muting/un muting. Can your BB do that? If it had a thumping great button taking up real estate to do other specific functions like, say, opening your garage door, would you regard that as a virtue or a design flaw?

A Smartphone isn't just a yapping device, and there are countless businesses that rely on custom apps that have been built for them. Perhaps, you know, they don't share your oracle-like assessment that they are perhaps not serious biz users.

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Apple fanbois to talk at the iWatch, INSPECTOR GADGET style – report

Mike Bell
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Re: WeChat

Why would anyone send a photo over MMS when they can use iMessage instead?

Answer: when they have to.

I rarely send photos using my iPhone unless it's part of an iMessage conversation. Because I know that I'm going to get stung by those ridiculous charges for using MMS.

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Speed of light slower than we thought? Probably not

Mike Bell
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Neutrinos

Didn't someone discover a few years ago that neutrinos actually have a very small but non-zero mass?

It was found that neutrinos can change 'flavour' on their journey. And if they can change, they must therefore be travelling at less than the speed of light. Because at the speed of light, null time passes, and no change would be possible. If a neutrino had zero mass, it would have no option to travel at anything other than the cosmic speed limit, speed of light.

If you flick a bowling ball with your finger, it's not going to move very quickly. If you flick a marble, it's going to belt off a lot faster because it's less massive. If you flick something with no mass whatsoever, e.g. a photon, it's going to move as fast as is cosmically possible (subject to any interfering medium in which it is travelling). You might ask yourself the question why doesn't it move off at an infinite speed? Then things get quite complicated, and intuition lets you down. You will see the photon move off at the cosmic speed limit, but the photon itself will experience no time on its journey.

There's quite a good article about the constancy of the speed of light here.

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Mike Bell
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Re: If gravity bends light...

Does heat bend light?

In its own way, yes, it does. An oasis mirage would be one example. Hot air and cool air have differing refractive indexes, which bends an incoming light ray by varying amounts.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Silly question...

Photons and pretty much everything else is affected by gravity because gravity distorts the very spacetime continuum itself. Large clusters of distant galaxies act as a 'gravitational lens', for example, distorting the image of galaxies that lie beyond them.

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Apple abruptly axes Aperture ... Adobe anxiously awaits arrivals

Mike Bell
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Aperture has four major things going for it.

1. It works well and efficiently for many professional purposes

2. It supports 3rd party plugins

3. It's not Adobe software

4. It's not Adobe software

Apple recently trumpeted their forthcoming Photos application, which will doubtless thrill hordes of consumers with its ability to make non-destructive pretty edits. But it remains to be seen what, if any, pro features will be available, like camera RAW edits. Plugins of some form will be supported, but you can bet that there will be the same trouble ahead that happened when they brought their iWork applications down to a common base level with iOS and are slowly working features back in again.

It's a shame, as I really quite like Aperture.

Oh, and did I mention it's not made by Adobe?

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REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

Mike Bell
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Re: If I had £899 to spend on a computer

Apple can't even offer an option to pay for that

You are disturbingly ill-informed,

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Mike Bell
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Re: If I had £899 to spend on a computer

For mundane tasks, I'd certainly consider it. And an awful lot of computer users do really really mundane things.

If I want a powerful computer, I'll buy a powerful computer.

But since I have other Apple devices, there's much more to consider than its computing power. Do I want a computer that will be easy to set up and use, doesn't have ghastly Windoze on it, will receive gratis OS updates, has perhaps the best support in the world from any manufacturer, looks great, syncs personal data with virtually zero effort on my part, can play my existing video and music library just like that? etc. Well, yes. And 900 notes isn't exactly a huge amount of money these days.

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Google Nest slurps your life into the Matrix? The TRUTH

Mike Bell
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Smack Down

It's gonna get smacked down by Apple Home Automation anyway.

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Backup bods Acronis extend disk-imaging support to Macs at last

Mike Bell
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Time Machine

I'll stick with this, thanks, as it comes with the OS, and runs silently in the background pretty much all the time.

I've never had an issue with it, and I'm confident that if my Mac blew up tomorrow, I'd have a replacement machine up and running exactly as before in a matter of hours.

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The enemy of my enemy is my, well, temporary ally: Apple and Microsoft in pact against Google

Mike Bell
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Re: Did anyone else see the enormous u-turn here?

No. Have a look to see what it's for.

http://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/icloud-drive/

This is more than MobileMe - a failed toe-in-the-water exercise - could do.

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New iOS 8 SDK: Come in, apps. Get cozy, sip wine, swap numbers

Mike Bell
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Re: All new technology

Hardly. COM was the spawn of the Devil.

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YOSEMITE GLAM: Apple unveils gussied up OS X

Mike Bell
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Re: So is Apple taking development cues from Google now?

It might sound like a yes, but it looks like a no.

Best graphic of the presentation: Android dominating the mobile malware market to the virtual exclusion of all others.

Haters gotta hate.

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What data recovery software would you suggest?

Mike Bell
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Re: Macrium Reflect

I can also give a big thumbs-up to Macrium Reflect. It's unobtrusive, simple and gets the job done. Also, even older versions are well supported with periodic updates. It's also got a neat drive clone facility – I used that recently to swap out an old 150GB C: drive for a new 1TB one. The whole job was done in about an hour, and for most of that I was carrying on using my PC as normal.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Mike Bell
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Re: WTF?

No definition of what "too many times" is, and as stated, there doesn't appear to be any incremental delay in blocking failed logins (which iOS does with failed PIN/Password attempts)

I can't say I'm surprised that the actual qualifier is not stated. That's probably not important, and is likely a reasonably small number.

The difference between logging into an iOS device and logging into iCloud via a web client is that the latter is serviced by http requests. It's only badly designed web apps that introduce lengthy delays in returning an http response (OK, I've been guilty myself of making a few of those. Not intentionally, though.).

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Mike Bell
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Re: WTF?

You sure about that?

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Mike Bell
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"All of which raises a different question: why is the locking function so easily thwarted?"

It's not easily thwarted at all. You need physical access to the iDevice and knowledge of the Apple ID password in order to unlock it.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Mike Bell
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Re: This adds in my driving to the shop to buy the disc?

Some of my daughter's films have been watched tens or even hundreds of times.

Shhh! Word of advice: never own up to being a secret Twilight fan.

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iDevice ransomware stalks OZ, demands payoff

Mike Bell
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A good bet, I'd have thought. Most users recycle their password across many sites and services, ripe for picking from insecure websites or dodgy site administrators. Probably made all the easier when the password is likely to be 'fosters', 'tinny' or 'sheila'.

Don't do it, kids. Use a password manager of some description and create a unique strong password for each system you use. Above all else, keep your Apple password safe. iCloud Keychain provides a piss-easy way of generating, populating and syncing password fields across sites and devices, but it's like a master key in this respect. 2-factor authentication is a must.

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ET hunter: We will find SPACE ALIENS in 20 years

Mike Bell
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Re: Space is big. Very big...

There are other forces at work.

Even in an infinite universe, I cannot imagine Wayne Rooney being crowned Miss World, even though the technical possibility might exist in a theoretical sense.

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