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* Posts by Mike Bell

514 posts • joined 3 Aug 2007

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? Don't hop on AT&T ...

Mike Bell
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Re: Sort of defeats the object then

Not really. If you choose to ignore the warning and go for a lock-in, that's your own stupid fault.

If nothing else it's a useful shaming device that puts the carrier's lock-in tactics right in your face.

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FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for

Mike Bell
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Apple don't really talk to El Reg, which is understandable. But they do talk to imore.com

Apple's response there kicks a few wild accusations into the long grass.

Lest anyone needs reminding, Apple doesn't need your personal data in order to conduct its business. Plenty of other tech firms do.

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Hey, iPhone 6 fanbois: Apple's bonk to 'Pay' app IS GO

Mike Bell
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Re: Zapp is clearly the future.

Don't forget to type in that 5-digit passcode while you're at it, for all the world to see.

Sorry, but solutions like this missed the boat.

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Mike Bell
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Re: So in summary

Do you ever read stuff on the internet?

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Mike Bell
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Re: Sounds bloody insecure

Actually, I suspect that Chip & PIN is significantly less secure than Apple Pay.

All you need is a compromised card reader (plenty of those have been deployed by criminal gangs) or someone looking over your shoulder to see the PIN. Neither of which is possible with Apple Pay.

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Apple releases MEGA security patch round for OS X, Server and iTunes

Mike Bell
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Re: They want three years, between upgrades?

Nope. Starting with Mavericks, which introduced Apple's variant of memory compression, older computers were supported.

The same is true today. If a computer can run Mavericks, it can run Yosemite, released a couple of days ago. It can run on Apple computers that were made in 2007.

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Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM

Mike Bell
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Top drawer article, Alistair. Great read.

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iPad AIR 2 and iPad MINI 3, 5K iMac: World feels different today – and it IS

Mike Bell
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Re: $399 on the 16GB Wi-Fi model

@stephajn

I guess you're not one of the 100% of people who were satisfied with this device (according to Tim Cook in his presentation). You should email him so he doesn't make that mistake again.

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Mike Bell
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You care enough to comment in public. Having presumably spent time reading about it.

Thanks for letting the world know what you don't feel.

How many times have I seen this kind of behaviour before?

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Apple hit by INSIDER LEAK: New iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2 blabbed

Mike Bell
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Re: I don't get the fuss

Well plenty of people have been squealing for more RAM. It will be faster. Touch ID is a tempter for me, because I hate people shoulder-surfing when I unlock my iPad. That's one of the best features of recent iPhones, implemented SO much better than the competition.

I don't give a damn about a better camera, or non-existent gimmicks like tinny stereo with a separation of a few centimetres.

So... bring it on.

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Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar

Mike Bell
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Terminator

Re: Cut'n'paste

@Q&A:

Hey Janelle, what's wrong with Wolfie? I can hear him barking. Is he all right?

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Apple's iPhone bonk to 'Pay' app launches on Monday

Mike Bell
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Re: Spending Limit + Theft

Spending limit enforcement: it's likely to work the same way that it does for contactless payments. For me, a more pertinent question is: will terminal equipment be upgraded so that higher spending limits can be agreed when a more secure (i.e. fingerprint) means of authentication is provided.

The banks will assume liability, as they do now for card payments.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Laughs

Oh, it was YOU!! I had a good giggle myself when I lifted that card from your pocket and bought my own lunch with it :-)

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Mike Bell
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Do try to keep up. When Apple Pay is activated in the UK, you'll be able to use it anywhere you see the NFC payment symbol. If, as you say, a long list of businesses 'have no current plans to deploy bonk to pay services for the iPhone', they must also have zero plans for handling NFC card payments. Which kind of flies in the face of what's actually happening in the UK.

You mention card swipe. Which is shit technology. Any thief can clone a magnetic stripe and use your card. Or they just lift your card and start buying stuff with it.

Apple Pay will require your fingerprint, which is much much harder to clone, in addition to your phone. That does not make it an attractive target for thieves.

The real benefit to the user, since you ask, is that your card information cannot be stolen from the phone, your purchases are authorised by your fingerprint, nobody can look over your shoulder to see you entering a PIN, and there's no magnetic stripe to clone.

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Mike Bell
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Re: If I understand the technology correctly

@AC

Your phone knows about your card details.

Those details (which end up being stored in a 'secure element' of the phone) may be gleaned initially by scanning the card optically with its camera. Or - if you happen to have already registered a card for iTunes payments - that card is known to your phone.

You can't just go around photographing anyone's card and expect to be able to make payments with it. There's an authorisation process that must happen first - details not yet divulged. In the case of a card registered against your iTunes account, that's already authorised.

When your card gets a new expiry date, the card company will push that info out to your phone via some kind of message. Probably automatically. Details sketchy at this time.

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'MYSTERIOUS PYRAMID STRUCTURE' found on COMET beyond Mars: Landing planned

Mike Bell
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Re: Can someone tell me...

The camera can sense a wider range of colours than your eye can. But this is a science mission. The camera has a variety of filters that can be used to detect specific wavelength ranges. For example, one filter with a 35nm bandwidth is specifically employed to detect iron-bearing minerals.

Space missions often take a series of images using colour filters that can be combined to give a good idea of how things might look to the human eye, but the science imaging always takes top priority.

For this particular object, from what I've heard, it's 'true' image, as you might perceive it, would be something rather like viewing a piece of coal.

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'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

Mike Bell
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Re: Mnemonics are not new

Good idea, but you should keep this kind of thing to yourself. It would be dead easy to create a rainbow table from a range of (popular) nursery rhymes using this algorithm. Just imagine how many people would end up using The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea as a basis for their key. Easy pickings. Wouldn't add much to the length of existing rainbow tables.

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PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois

Mike Bell
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Re: Too slow...

8.1 is in beta (2) now.

8.2 and 8.3 are also being worked on concurrently. You can look forward to another update before the end of this month.

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Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains

Mike Bell
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Re: Tries to kill?

Fair enough, 45. Sometimes I don't see the trees for the leaves.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Tries to kill?

The XProtect update doesn't kill this trojan by some kind of magic.

What it does is prevent reckless users from installing it in the first place. And yes, people have verified that it stops even the most foolhardy user in their tracks.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Will you make up your mind.

You thought Apple products never get viruses? You'd be right,

There are no Mac viruses. Period.

What there are, are trojans which can get installed by careless or reckless users. Just like you can install on virtually every OS. You can only help some users so much.

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Mike Bell
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Unless you're a fool who downloads pirated software and then types in the obligatory admin password to complete a malware install, you don't need to hope anything.

If you are the kind of fool who downloads pirated software and then types in the obligatory admin password to complete a malware install, Xprotect should kick you up the arse before you get a chance, for this particular nasty.

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Uni boffins: 'Accurate' Android AV app outperforms most rivals

Mike Bell
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Re: Drebin?

Don't call me Shirley.

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MAC BOTNET uses REDDIT comments for directions

Mike Bell
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Looking like this happened by users installing pirated software. Silly, silly people.

Apple have now updated their malware definitions to protect users from themselves.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Sorry, has to be said.....

@Matt,

That fanboi was almost certainly correct. Strictly speaking, no virus has ever been found running on a Mac.

As for other types of malware like trojans and worms, OS X can never be immune to these. Potentially, any piece of software that a user installs – or allows to be installed – could be malware.

If you allow unsolicited malware to be installed by entering an admin password when prompted, you are in trouble. Historically, flaws in Adobe Flash and Java have been exploited to fool users into doing this, one reason I don't install Flash or Java on my Macs.

As for this particular strain, the precise attack vector is still unknown. I read somewhere that it prompts for an admin password but can still do limited damage regardless – the truth of that would be very interesting to establish.

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Google wants to KILL apps with the 'Physical Web'

Mike Bell
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Re: Have objects automatically sling ads at us?

You've just described an ad man's wet dream there. I don't want to live in a world like that.

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Apple blacklists tech journo following explicit BENDY iPhone vid

Mike Bell
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Re: Apples response:

He [Jobs] had a point. I went to my doctor comlpaining that my shoulder hurt from going to the gym. He said "don't do it any more". Nice!

Apple's company response (as opposed to one person's quip in an email) was somewhat different. And neither said "you're holding it wrong". But commentards can always interpret history as they like.

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Mike Bell
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Re: Apples response:

Actually, the oft-misquoted Apple response was "Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas".

Which isn't the happiest advice in the world. But it is at least semantically correct.

Clue: Apostrophes and adverbs exist for a reason.

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Apple tool: Buying an iPhone in a carpark? Find out if it's STOLEN

Mike Bell
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No it doesn't. It suggest that you might want to use that website check the status of a specific iPhone using another iPhone. Not necessarily using the one you've just bought.

Except that you won't be able to. Because that site doesn't work on iPhone's Safari browser.

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Mike Bell
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Try opening that website on an iPhone and you'll be out of luck.

Oops.

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You dirty RAT! Hong Kong protesters infected by iOS, Android spyware

Mike Bell
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One more reason (amongst very many) why I would not choose to Jailbreak an iPhone.

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Payment security vastly improved when you DON'T ENTER your BANK DETAILS

Mike Bell
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Re: Can I be the first to say ...

No, you can't.

I said that years ago when I won a beer-voucher in a pub quiz.

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Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

Mike Bell
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Re: Another way of looking at it...

Since you're likely to get shot in China just for reading a p0rn mag, what's the penalty for using a mobile device that doesn't have the current regulatory clearance?

Apple would already be selling the iPhone 6 in China if they had permission to do so.

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WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

Mike Bell
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Re: Urrrggghhhh

The OED definition of 'slurp' has not been updated since 1993, long before mainstream adoption of the internet. Meanwhile, it has been appropriated widely in IT circles as in, for example, this 'urban definition':

To upload or download data, usually at a high rate of speed. Often used in slang to refer to illicitly gathering data -- that is, theft of somebody else's private data, trade secrets, etc.

One could reasonably expect the OED to be updated in due course, and for El Reg to be ahead of the game.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Mike Bell
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Re: Headline should read "Note 3 Twice as Strong as iPhone 6"

Open invitation to Fandroids: Go to an Apple Store and try to bend one. The staff won't stop you. I did. It didn't bend.

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Bendgate backlash: Apple claims warped iPhone 6 Plus damage is 'extremely rare'

Mike Bell
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Re: "Backlash"

Jim, your down-voter is clearly in his own reality distortion field if he doesn't believe what you're saying. Life. Death. Taxes. Apple making pots of money. These are givens in today's world.

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Apple nurses HealthKit apps back to life, discharges iOS 8.0.2

Mike Bell
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Re: "Key features disabled"?

No, no, no. Fanbois (and Fangirlz) are the Apple devotees. Fandroids are, as you say, slaves to the world of Android, and their commentard faction are typically identified by a certain frothing of the mouth, brought on by endless trawling of articles in which they claim to have no interest!

/Fandroid Baiting

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Mike Bell
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Re: "Key features disabled"?

It's the job of El Reg to 'bite the hand', and I for one enjoy its irreverent swipes at the world of IT.

On a purely personal note, I also enjoy reading the rabid rantings of Fandroids here.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

Mike Bell
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Re: Arcane

What 'fact' would that be? The fact is that over-the-air maintenance has been available for years on iPhones. Connecting to a PC for maintenance is a last resort. Or maybe taking it to an Apple Store.

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

Mike Bell
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Man who predicts death of Apple does the honourable thing

[Mod note: Warning – graphic content in the LiveLeak link below. I don't know why anyone would click on it. The title of the video is: "Man aborts suicide but puts his hand on the power line." It does not end well.]

Here he is

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NASA's MAVEN enters Mars orbit to sniff its gas

Mike Bell
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Re: Fantastic stuff

Well, technically, we're all "journeying through the stars". Albeit a little slowly for some.

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Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

Mike Bell
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Re: Bulk Data

Nope.

From Apple's current privacy policy:

"In the first six months of 2014, we received 250 or fewer of these [National Security Order] requests. Though we would like to be more specific, by law this is the most precise information we are currently allowed to disclose."

I wouldn't equate 250 with a large number.

In the same document:

"The vast majority of the requests Apple receives from law enforcement come from an agency working on behalf of a customer who has requested assistance locating a stolen device."

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Mike Bell
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They charge more, BECAUSE people WILL pay more.

They will indeed. And if you can afford an iPhone, you can probably afford to pay a tad more for extra flash memory, which you will do at most once a year.

Some of the cheaper DSLR cameras that you see effectively have nobbled versions of the sensor that appears in top pro models. If everyone had full access to the sensor, cheap models included, they wouldn't be able to charge the price premium to pros.

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Apple's Cook: We have never allowed g-men access to Apple servers

Mike Bell
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Re: "So only users, not Apple, can grant access to law enforcement agencies."

What if you forgot your code? What if you entered your desired code incorrectly, and now have no idea what you've accidentally typed? What if your iPhone is unlocked and some joker locks it on you for laughs? Your data is safe, but beyond your own reach?

Forgot password/device disabled

You have to enter the same lock code twice, like you are often required to do when setting up a password.

You have to enter the existing lock code before you can set a new one.

...and relax.

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iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? No. It is the Most Exquisite THING. EVER

Mike Bell
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Yes, most amusing.

But I suspect that if most El Reg readers were in possession of a Fabergé egg, they wouldn't have the faintest idea what do do with it, and instead swipe the top of it with a teaspoon to get at the yolk.

For what it's worth, I don't think the iPhone 6 looks particularly wondrous.

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Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks

Mike Bell
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When you enable 2FA, accept the invitation to print out the nicely formatted recovery key. That's what it's for.

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Mike Bell
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Apple 'rolled out' 2-factor authentication a long long time ago. My Apple ID has been secured this way for ages.

More pertinently, and topically, is that Apple are being more reactive now when someone logs in via a device like a Windows PC. They're starting to send e-mail notifications when this happens.

They've also now introduced a means on your account of devising a clutch of app-specific passwords for third party apps that do not support 2FA. Which, they say, will be "required" come 1 October 2014.

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iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!

Mike Bell
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Re: WebGL Demo

@Dave

It's probably down to my clunky old graphics card on my PC.

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Mike Bell
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Re: WebGL Demo

No luck for me in Chrome (Windows) or Safari (OS X).

Nor this demo in Chrome. But it does look lovely in Safari (OS X) with Web GL enabled. Safari has been able to render Web GL for a long time, with the relevant (developer) preferences set.

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