* Posts by Mike Bell

588 posts • joined 3 Aug 2007

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Quantum of Suspicion: Despite another $29m, D-Wave doubts remain

Mike Bell
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Re: "only faster for certain classes of algorithms"

Can anyone remind me whether cryptography is one of those problem classes?

Yes, it is. Google Shor's Algorithm.

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Super-cookie crumbles: Verizon will kill off hated zombie stalkers

Mike Bell
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Weasel words

"As a reminder, Verizon never shares customer information with third parties as part of our advertising programs."

Here's another reminder: Making unique customer IDs available to world + dog every time the user makes a web request anywhere on the web most certainly is sharing customer information with third parties. Get it?

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Top smut site Flashes visitors, leaves behind nasty virus

Mike Bell
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Re: "campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability "

No, they mean "leveraging".

Look it up. It's in the dictionary.

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Mike Bell
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Team America: World Police

This would have been quite a good movie, but the CGI special effects were terrible. I mean, Alec Baldwin was being played by a puppet, for Christ's sake! Did they seriously think the audience wouldn't spot that?

Can't fault the historical accuracy, though.

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LEAKED: Samsung's iPHONE 6 KILLER... the Samsung Galaxy S6

Mike Bell
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Re: Wireless charging

Your iPad or charger is faulty if it takes that long to charge.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Unwanted preloaded crap

Check out this bad boy.

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Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Mike Bell
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People will walk into phone stores and say 'I want Facebook'.

Yeah, right. Homer Simpson, maybe.

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'If you see a stylus, they BLEW it' – Steve Jobs. REMEMBER, Apple?

Mike Bell
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Indeed. If the following were true

"Apple, which has always derided fondleslabs that used any pointing device other than a human finger attached to a human arm"

then they wouldn't be selling stuff like this on their online store.

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Prez Obama snubs UK PM's tough anti-encryption crusade at White House meet

Mike Bell
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OED:

cyber, adj.

In predicative use. Of, relating to, or involving (the culture of) computers, virtual reality, or the Internet; futuristic.

Comes from...

cyber-, comb. form

Chiefly prefixed to nouns. Originally: forming words relating to (the culture of) computers, information technology, and virtual reality, or denoting futuristic concepts. Later also: spec. forming terms relating to the Internet.

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Mike Bell
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Re: I can't explain....

Destroy All Fraudsters?

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BMW: ADMEN have asked us for YOUR connected car DATA

Mike Bell
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Re: iBeacon vs Google

Actually, it's designed to receive information like, for example, whereabouts you are in a building with no GPS visibility. But you're right, the knee-jerk Apple bashing in respect of privacy is completely unwarranted, as is so so often the case.

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Apple wants your fingerprints in the cloud

Mike Bell
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Re: "Apple wants to collect and store your fingerprints..."@Mike Bell

Nope.

This is the hash code of an account password that I use to login to a live website.

9z076KYZa3ULVBHYTWNtbGL2vmM=

You didn't hack into its database, but I'm letting you know what it is to save you the trouble.

Care to tell me what password you're going to use to try to fool the login system? Hint: the website isn't expecting you to type in the above hash.

Further, it's not true to say that your finger will forever produce the same hash. It is almost certainly produced in conjunction with a random salt value. Just like when you update your password on a website that has any kind of decent security.

Good luck.

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Mike Bell
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Re: "Apple wants to collect and store your fingerprints..."

Well spotted, although that doesn't necessarily mean the El Reg back end database has been implemented shoddily.

Get to it on your login page, El Reg!

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Mike Bell
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Re: "Apple wants to collect and store your fingerprints..."

You are barking up the wrong tree.

Apple do not want to store your fingerprints in the cloud. They want to store your fingerprint enrolment data in the cloud, i.e. a hash code. Your fingerprint cannot be reconstructed from the hash code; it can only be used for verification purposes. Rather like your cloud-based El Reg password is stored as a hash. Bad boys aren't able to pinch your password if they dip into the El Reg user database.

As I see it, this would only be useful if you get a new iDevice and want to save a bit of time by not having to re-scan your fingerprints. Hardly the greatest benefit in the world.

i am intrigued that currently these hash codes are stored on-device in a secure element. This was much reported when Touch ID surfaced, and is likely a mainstay of Apple Pay. So I'm getting a mixed message here.

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PROOF the undead STALK Verizon users: Admen caught using 'perma-cookie'

Mike Bell
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Re: How about a new UIDH

There already is such a header in existence: Do Not Track

I have this set whenever I use various browsers, but the ad men just ignore it. Microsoft didn't help by setting the header by default in a version of Internet Explorer. That annoyed the ad men greatly, to the extent that they will have nothing to do with it.

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PlayStation-processor-powered plutonium probe prepares Pluto pics

Mike Bell
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Hands up, anybody, who remembers US Robotics modems that weren't much faster than that.

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20 years on: The satirist's satirist Peter Cook remembered

Mike Bell
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Re: brilliant things you forgot to mention

Yeah, he was brilliant on Clive James' show, appearing on TV after quite a long hiatus as a trio (IIRC) of alter egos. He pretended to be some crazed UFO spotter as well as a completely useless football manager with the catchphrase 'Dare to Fail', so funny. His 'diseased penis' also had me in stitches. Apparently, it needed 'regular massage to get rid of the pus'. Genius.

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Get your special 'sound-optimising' storage here, hipsters

Mike Bell
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Re: Too late - it already exists!

The Amazon review for that USB cable is awesome!

When my wife and I got engaged I proposed with a standard USB cable. I didn't get a steady job until recently and couldn't afford a cable as nice as this one. After being hired to stand in front of dominos pizza while holding a sign and jumping around like a chimpanzee on cocaine for almost six days I finally saved up enough hard earned cash to get her something nice. She had previously expressed interest in the gold plated lion tooth enforced XLR cable made entirely from recycled turtle tears but I knew deep down she wanted something with diamonds that would also keep jitter and distortion to a minimum. After months of searching I finally found this. At first the $998.75 price tag seemed a little steep but then I saw it had free shipping! The decision was a no brainier. My wife loves it; she wears it almost everyday. The smooth and shiny black cable goes with almost anything and ever since she started wearing it her jitter has been kept to a minimum. The only distortion that can be heard is portrayed through the jumbled banshee like squealing of her girlfriends who are all so jealous. If I had any complaints it would be that for $998.75 the cable should be a little longer. 3M is more of a $783.67 cable quality. Because of this, i give it 4 stars. Other than that I've got no complaints. I mean cmon, Free shipping!!!

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Not app-y with VAT: Apple bumps up prices in Blighty, Europe, Canada

Mike Bell
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Re: 30%!

Apple validate, host, deliver and update digital content for that 30% commission, as well as handling customer complaints and refunds, and providing a massive advertising platform for the vendor.

Compare that with many High Street purchases you make, where middle-men make their mark-up at multiple steps along the way.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Mike Bell
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I read an interesting description of Agile/Scrum the other day: If houses were built the same way that Agile software is developed, you'd need a bulldozer to fit a microwave oven in the kitchen.

Not a great fan, but thankfully it doesn't really affect me (now), since I'm mostly left to get on with my own thing.

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FREE EBOOKS: Apple falls into line with EU refund laws

Mike Bell
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Re: There is no requirement on digital content

You don't necessarily need an iPhone - it's your iTunes account that is relevant here.

I recently accepted updated terms and conditions that were presented to me prior to downloading some newly purchased content via my iTunes account. I couldn't say how it was worded because, naturally, nobody ever reads that stuff.

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Mike Bell
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Re: There is no requirement on digital content

Apple are not being generous. Their terms of sale say:

"Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right."

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Apple's 16GB iPhones are a big fat lie, claims iOS 8 storage hog lawsuit

Mike Bell
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Maybe they should fit an electric toothbrush attachment while they're at it.

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NASA preps lobotomy for Opportunity rover to cure amnesia

Mike Bell
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Plucky

Fingers crossed for the little chap.

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UK banks prepare for Apple Pay 'invasion', look to slap on bonking protection

Mike Bell
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Yep, the right way being anywhere in the vicinity of the card reader. It doesn't need a phone signal to conduct the transaction.

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Mike Bell
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Additional steps...

Your bank sends a verification code to you via various means before they let you use Apple Pay. The banks use their own security systems to make sure it's a kosher registration. Photographing the card using the phone's camera is just a convenience measure. You can use the camera to similarly scan iTunes gift cards, rather than typing in a long number.

AFAIK, cards that are already registered for iTunes payments are already verified by your bank.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Where do Apple fit in?

Apple assumes some of the liability for fraudulent use. For this they receive a small commission on each transaction. It would an odd world if they took on liability without reimbursement.

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Fake Android The Interview app actually banking Trojan

Mike Bell
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Re: Google play store

There are plenty of 'real people' who don't use Google Play Store. That's one reason why Android has cracked the market for mobile malware.

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German minister fingered as hacker 'steals' her thumbprint from a PHOTO

Mike Bell
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Re: Real Security systems

Any security system can be circumvented with enough determination and effort. Beating the PIN out of a victim is a darned sight easier than fabricating a false fingerprint. I've not heard of a single instance where Apple's fingerprint reader has been put to criminal use, probably for this reason.

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Norks blame U.S. for TITSUP internet, unleash racist rant against Obama

Mike Bell
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Re: Explain!

People from South East Asia have a thing about being referred to as monkeys. A friend from Malaysia once got the idea that I had likened her to a monkey (actually I hadn't) and she went ape shit. Pardon the pun.

It probably wasn't meant as a racist remark at all, just a mighty slur on Obama's character, from a North Korean perspective.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Mike Bell
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Nice. My parents were as poor as church mice, but they managed to put most of these things my way at Christmas time. My nostalgia trip is complete when I think of the John Bull printing set, Space Hoppers, the Stylophone (fronted by a good guy) and the Chopper bike.

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Solar-powered bra maker suffers 20,000 TITSUPs all at once

Mike Bell
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Bouncy Bouncy

I find the notion of a kinetic energy converter far more appealing.

</dream>

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Apple's DIRTY SECRET isn't that secret, or that dirty

Mike Bell
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Re: Reality Distortion Field

McClaptrap. Looks like Jony Ive doesn't have a monopoly on bullshit.

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Back dat app up: Microsoft opens Azure Backup to Windows PCs

Mike Bell
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Re: Behold the cloud

AKA The Internet. Where much of your digital life already exists whether you like it or not. On the plus side, not every glass is half empty.

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

Mike Bell
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Re: Time

Actually, the last time I read one of Mr. Barbour's books, he suggested that there was no such thing as time at all. It's all an illusion and nothing moves at all, least of all time. The cat that jumps isn't the cat that lands, etc.

It's hard enough even saying what time actually is. My own favourite: time is that which stops everything from happening at once.

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Sonic BOOM: 10 blast-tastic soundbars

Mike Bell
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Re: The TV manufacturers really have taken us for chumps

I plumped for separates right from the off. Before they pulled out of the business I got myself a lovely Pioneer Kuro plasma monitor. All inputs routed through an AV receiver, and audio sent to a set of 5.1 M&K speakers. It's served me well for many years. Logically, it's a straightforward setup. TV speakers don't interest me in the slightest.

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18 million iPHONE USERS HAVE NEVER BONKED to ApplePay

Mike Bell
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No, not yet. It will be available sometime in 2015.

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Mike Bell
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@Extra spicey nonsense

Rubbish. Have a read.

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Mike Bell
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@Paul:

You can hardly call it a rush. It's initially targeted at the American market where their card payment systems have been many years behind the rest of the world. Over there, signing for purchases, having your card details lifted, and merchants being left out of pocket due to extensive fraud is commonplace. Chip & PIN? You're having a laugh.

Apple Pay is a massive security increase for all concerned parties.

If a card (or all your cards) gets stolen, your life can be very painful indeed. You have the hassle of informing the bank and getting new cards. A thief won't be able to use a stolen iPhone to make purchases. And cards don't have to be cancelled or re-issued. I wouldn't call that infinitely more hassle to replace. I replaced my iPhone a few weeks ago. My new one was in exactly the same state as the old one was within a day.

Apple Pay lets you choose which card you want to pay with. There's no danger of the wrong card being used, or a random transaction being instigated as is the case with a physical card.

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NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling

Mike Bell
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Re: Navigation

We are mapping them well enough for Solar System Navigation.

I doubt that is the case. A neutron star won't help you pin down your location in the solar system any more than using visible 'fixed' stars.

The fixed stars are used by space probes to determine orientation. They don't tell the probe where it is.

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Mike Bell
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Re: still have a backdoor though right?

Pretty much all data is encrypted in iCloud, bar emails, by default.

Consistent with standard industry practice, iCloud does not encrypt data stored on IMAP mail servers. All Apple email clients support optional S/MIME encryption.

I imagine there are good reasons for storing IMAP data unencrypted out of the box. The protocol supports server-side search, for example.

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Blade Runner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it

Mike Bell
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Re: What's so great about Blade Runner?

You're missing the amazing visuals and lighting, which were largely achieved without the help of computers. The question of what it really means to be a human. The question of what it means to have someone else's memories. For starters.

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Mike Bell
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Re: If they re-do the bit where Daryl Hannah

Not that they would "re-do" that bit, but the scene was entirely in keeping with Pris's design: she was engineered to be a "basic pleasure model". The scene lets us know just how easily she gets off.

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Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi

Mike Bell
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Specifically, as the human moves her arm

So, that's men ruled out, then, apparently.

Whereas, if you're not trying to be a politically correct ponce, the possessive determiner 'his' would have covered all bases nicely.

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Apple Fanboi? Stand by to get Beats Music LIKE IT OR NOT

Mike Bell
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Canteen Radio

^^ Fortunately, I have this thing to listen to at lunch time, so my exposure to awful modern music is kept to a minimum but necessary amount (pub quizzes) without the inconvenience of a subscription.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Mike Bell
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Unhappy

Re: reminds me

@Valeyard

Except it isn't true.

Much though I wish it were.

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Get your CLOCK out, you coders: Apple emits Watch dev kit

Mike Bell
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Re: Apple Watch, what's the point

No need to wave your phone or your credit card at an NFC terminal; just wave the watch. IIRC, Apple Watch will be able to conduct Apple Pay transactions with phones older than the iPhone 6.

And, as El Reg pointed out a while back, the new messaging system will be greatly appreciated by users in the Far East.

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Mike Bell
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ZZZZzzzzz

...zzzzz

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Bug fixes! Get your APPLE BUG FIXES! iOS and OS X updates right here!

Mike Bell
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Re: Yeah, but ...

It's not unusual for the phone to be extremely busy for a day or two after you do an OS upgrade. Spotlight will be working in the background indexing your phone's content, for example, at the very least.

This was certainly true for my phone after the upgrade. It settled down after a couple of days and now uses just the same amount of juice that it did before.

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I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

Mike Bell
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Re: @Mike Bell

@Sorry that handle

It is.

but did you see this bit in the definition: "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests"?

That's the bit that is all about women.

In contrast with egalitarianism which does not focus on the rights of one particular sex: That asserts the equality of mankind.

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