* Posts by David Paul Morgan

267 posts • joined 20 Aug 2007

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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

David Paul Morgan
Happy

call me old-fashioned

but Swype and (Palm) Graffiti are my favourites.

I can get quite a speed up with a stylus and graffiti

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

David Paul Morgan

My first "real job" mess-up

My first job from college was as 'junior operator/programmer' for a carpet manufacturer. My manager was a fearsome ex Midland Bank executive - she was good as gold once I got to know her - and my technical manager Bob, was a really cool ex USAF guy from Colorado.

I was responsible for the end of day and lunchtime orders consolidation batchwork.

ICL ME29 a bit like this https://www.flickr.com/photos/wades_world/4385072758/ with EDS-80 'exchangeable' disk packs for backup. (72MB formatted!!!!)

Anyway, I'd inherited the JCL and CL command files. The command to backup to disc was CRAFTSEC and the command to restore the files was CRAFTREST - note that you can type them with the left hand...

Of course, on the afternoon shift, I typed CRAFTREST instead of CRAFTSEC and overwrote the afternoons data files.

Fortunately, I was able to restore the lunchtime backup and 'roll forward' the afternoons TPMS transaction log files! (once I'd worked out how the system hung together - phew...)

Needless to say, I changed the names of the commands to something harder to type and rewrote the content to something a little more robust on the checking.

Nice machines the ME29's.

reset - enter - load - enter

to reboot it.

LD #ABCD

GO 21

to start a program from the console!

8" floppy discs for loading microcode updates and for me to keep copies of my COBOL programs!

I have a lot of respect for the old-school ICL engineers. The South Wales guys were bonkers, and great company. They really knew how to look after the hardware and the customers.

[sigh] I still miss my ICL VME Series39 machines too! but that's another day...

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David Paul Morgan
Alert

Re: rm -rf /etc /bin /usr

yep, done that one.

We had a set of near identical ICL DRS TeamServers same monitors, same chassis etc.

I was housekeeping on machine-a , turned around and was distracted by something, turned back and ran the rm command on the machine-b (I think it was development housing allocation, so not production, phew).

but, yes, was able to boot from the tape cartridge and recover from the most recent backup!

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

David Paul Morgan
Thumb Up

nostalgia ahoy!

This reminds me of my first 747 experience.

I'd won a competition prize-draw for a trip to India.

1993, I think.

My mother and I were 'VIP' guests of the Gov. of India tourist board and our Air-India flight was on a very new 747-400.

The interior surfaces were decorated with a traditional flower design and when the inflight monitor/displays were not in use, they used the same motifs as on-screen wallpaper, which I thought was a nice touch.

I've been on a few El-Al 747's since and a Heathrow to San Francisco but it's the Air India flight that sticks in my mind.

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Friends Reunited to shut down. What do you mean, 'is it still going?'

David Paul Morgan
Happy

Funny things, social networking sites

I reckon one of the first 'modern' sites was out "out in the UK" which became "out everywhere" and was primarily for gay mane, at the time. Emphasis was on going out and meeting people via "coffee posses" which were very popular ISTR. All this was soon after 1995. It too has died a death mainly due to (a) Facebook & (b) hand-held dating apps.

I am in contact with quite a few of my primary and secondary school friends on Facebook.

The nicest part is definitely the old photos. Most of the nastiness seems to have gone as peopkle have mellowed with age :-)

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DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

David Paul Morgan

when 'on strike' working for a local authority...

during day 2 of a three day strike, we had a powercut in our area.

Naturally, when I received the telephone call, I did NOT reload their IDMS/TPMS systems.

However, I had to pop into my local pharmacy to pick up my prescription...

The locum on duty was an older retired chap and it was not his pharmacy.

They had an Amstrad CPC computer that they used for printing the labels for the medicine - not working after the power came back-on.

I said I'd take a look, otherwise I couldn't have my medicine.

Fortunately, I was able to restart his amstrad, start the labelling program and get my label printing for my medicine.

As a reward, he gave me a bottle of aftershave, that we was going to put out as a tester! Quids In!

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Microsoft shelves 'suicidal' Android-on-Windows plan

David Paul Morgan

Virtual 'Droid?

I'm sure I ran a version of ICS in a VMWare player VM on my 2003 laptop.

If anyone has a dire need to do this, then build a VM or just get a 65GBP Lollipop Smartphone off eBay (other online retailers available)

I am seriously considering getting a transforming Win10 laptop. As long as the common apps are available (facebook, twitter etc) then why bother porting...

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Microsoft is about to launch a UK store within a store

David Paul Morgan
Happy

another vote for CPW here

Dixon group / Carphone Warehouse would be ideal.

They already manage stores on behalf of Samsung.

The high street really needs to have more shop-window/demo space to advertise the goods and services, which people can then buy online.

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Smartphone boutique OnePlus reveals another model you can’t get

David Paul Morgan

Re: Stock android

SWIFT in stock. STORM more stock 4 days...

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Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

David Paul Morgan
Happy

Re: Scientists - Dyson 'sphere'

Also name-checked in Larry Niven's "Ringworld" - which is a cut-down Dyson sphere as a 'strip' and also in a joint work with Gregory Benford - and this one is truly awesome!

http://us.macmillan.com/shipstar/gregorybenford

their hemispherical Dyson 'sphere' the self-propelled ShipStar

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Sony phone chief vows to keep losing money forever and ever

David Paul Morgan

Re: Would be a shame too

follow-up.

My Z1C was discharging and not charging properly from the micro-usb.

Went into Carphone Warehouse (18months into 24 month contract)

unfortunately(!) they could not repair OR replace the Z1C, so I had to have a Z3C instead :-)

only realised when we tried to fit the nano sim into the micro-sim slot!

(replaced gratis as I was still under warranty with CPW)

I might still get a pair of Z5C's in March, though...

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David Paul Morgan

Re: Would be a shame too

we have a pair of Z1C Xperias at home. Did almost all our hokliday snaps & videos with them last year. I have the Z2 Tablet and it's great.

I don't have an upgrade until next March, so I hope they'll be around long enought for the Z5 compact! Especially if they persue the minimal Android skinning plan.

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David Paul Morgan
Happy

Re: Z3C owner here

LOL - my emergency backup and travel-sim handset is my trust HTC Desire (aka Bravo?) but with CM7 installed. Tough as old boots and works well as a roaming wifi hotspot. (see above for Xperia comments)

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David Paul Morgan

we had an Xperia S...

... with the slight yellow-tinted screen.

As soon as I noticed, I took it back to the store and the screen was replaced. Under warranty.

Another Xperia had a power supply / battery discharge issue and was fixed - under warranty. 2 different issues, supported by Sony and the shop. Also, all the Android updates for the Z series have been fairly timely. 9not as fast as some, granted...)

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

David Paul Morgan
Go

Re: Say it is true

I have "registered my interest".

The price is very right, the features look good.

Very very tempted.

I hope that it supports OTG interface, so you can plug in external memory, keyboard etc and use it with an HDMI TV.

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A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

David Paul Morgan
Thumb Up

Re: Saygus dual-sim dual microsd waterproof android phone

nice to know, but "dual sim" does not weem to leap out at me, from the website(s).

Perhaps I need to put my specs on!

:-)

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David Paul Morgan
Go

Re: Saygus dual-sim dual microsd waterproof android phone

nice unit, but not dual-sim (and a bit chunky for my taste). however, worth a look!

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Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet – gift of sound and vision

David Paul Morgan

I love my Z2 tablet...

and I use it with the playstation bluetooth keyboard - which allows 'nipple' mouse control too.

use the Z4/Z2 in conjunction with google docs and it's very handy on the move

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Android Wear 5.1: A more enduring wristjob for your pleasure

David Paul Morgan
FAIL

I know I don't watch much 'live' TV...

... but /what/ adverts? I cannot recall seeing any advert (tv, billboard) for these products.

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ZOMBIE Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a FONDLESLAB

David Paul Morgan
Go

looking at the specs...

... it seems half decent. Dual-micro-sim which is a plus for me.

form-factor and design seem quite respectable.

microSD expansion.

What's not to like? Even if they are relying on a 'brand revival'.

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Chinese takeaway, hold the Google: Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android

David Paul Morgan
Facepalm

What's the Mandarin for Caveat Emptor?

well,

something of a hobbyist handset!

Three years ago, I bought a non-name dual sim chinese handset.

yes, once I installed the google services and changed the launcher it was really good. Also had a micro-sd slot. Cost me about 100GBP. came with an extra swappable battery too.

Unfortunately, after 14 months it stopped charging.

I really hope Xiomi do well in the west. we need an alternative to Samsung over here and Sony seem to be dropping the ball - or at least, advertising that they have the best ball!

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China's best phone yet: Huawei P8 5.2-inch money-saving Android smartie

David Paul Morgan

Re: Does it still have that hateful front end

agreed.

I've always hated that ios/copycat look of all the programme icons spewed over the home screen.

that's where the widgets are supposed to be.

It's also how they displayed the samsung devices in the apple vs samsung court cases, to make sure that the supposed copycat device looked like the apple interface.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

David Paul Morgan

Re: Apple Crap again....

I think these are android-based.

Good old walkman...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-NWZ-ZX1-128GB-Walkman-Resolution/dp/B00I3YIRJQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1431355890&sr=8-5&keywords=sony+walkman

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Toyota Yaris Hybrid: Half-pint composite for the urban jungle

David Paul Morgan

Re: very practical commuter around London

is it exempt from the congestion charge?

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David Paul Morgan
Thumb Up

we're two years into our current Yaris lease/hire

and this means that they'll have the bugs ironed out by apr/may 2016!

Seems like a worthy addition to the prius/toyota hybrid family.

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

David Paul Morgan

Re: Satellite

slingbox solo?

http://uk.slingbox.com/go/slingbox

would be one way.

I also use a scart --> UHF transmitter plugged into the TV aerial socket (don't use the aerial) to 'pipe' the TV tuner signal to the rest of the house TV's.

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David Paul Morgan
Happy

Re: DAB...

yep! Planet Rock, err, Rocks!

as does BBC 6 Music.

I actually have three DAB radios - A 'pure' upstairs, an Asda cheapy in the kitchen and a 'pure' portable for the car. (I used to tuck the 'speaker' cable along the edge of the windscreen before plugging it into the head unit. nowadays I have to use an FM transmitter!)

In the house, I usually use the freesat version, or stream to chromecast or use PS3, depending on where the station is.

Most often in the car, I 'send' from my Xperia using the RadioPlayer 'app'. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.radioplayer&hl=en_GB (yes, I have plenty of data!)

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Google Chrome suffers brain freeze on Android Ice Cream Sandwich

David Paul Morgan

Re: And what do you *lose* moving off ICS ?

I put a kit-kat variant on my tf101 and gave it to my brother.

runs perfectly well.

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£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

David Paul Morgan
FAIL

never invest what you can't afford to lose

I have backed 2 projects via Kickstarter.

One is a new thin wristwatch which is 18 months late delivering.

the other is a 'fan' CD/DVD theatre project.

I may never see the wristwatch. I will be slightly disappointed, but the investment was only the cost of a Chinese dual-sim android device!

The CD/DVD was worth a few rounds of drinks. I suspect that they will get the funding for that and they are not re-inventing the wheel, just renting/buying studio facilities.

caveat emptor quod veteres Romani, ut dictum est;

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OLPC spin-off teases modular 'Infinity' computer

David Paul Morgan

This sort of thing reminds me of...

... the old ICL DRS-300 computers that were modular and could multi-window.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICL_DRS#DRS_300

ICL were often way ahead of their competition, but never quite set a global standard...

Each module was, unfortunately, the size of an A4 box-folder, but flexible despite that!

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Red-spattered Android figures sinkhole Sony's healthy financials

David Paul Morgan

Re: what puzzles me ...

there was plenty of poster advertising for the Z-Series.

I walked past an entire Samsung demo in my local shopping centre to buy a an Xperia 'T' outright from CPW.

Moved to the Z1 Compact for the 4G - although I could have waited, as it took ages to arrive on O2!

As I've said many times before, love the sony Camera experience (still & video on the Z series) and I like the Walkman software "I'm listening to it on my walkman" sounds so much better....

(and the design language and the minimal skinning and the NFC connectivity)

The Samsungs are soooo plasticky!

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

David Paul Morgan

Re: I don't know why anyone buys a locked phone

my preferred method is definitely to buy the handset up-front and keep the connection + data part separate. I was on £10+£7(unlimited data) for ages.

I did go the 24month route for my Z1 Compact which has 5GB data/month, but by going through Carphone Warehouse, it meant that the handset is 'unbranded' by the network operator, but I still kept the same network operator. I probably won't CyanogenMod this handset, as I like the Walkman & Sony Camera parts. To be fair to O2, their handsets are only lightly 'branded' and certainly not sim-locked to Network. (or have not been, in my experience)

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HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

David Paul Morgan

NFC used daily...

when I tap my Z1 compact onto my fitbit, the fitbit 'app' is brought to the front and sync starts.

When I tap my Z1 compact onto my headphones, the headphones power up and my Walkman/Unlimited/BeyondPod plays my programme and when I get home, I tap my Z1 compact onto my sound bar and the current programme transfers from headphones to speakers.

Other people use the tags to change profiles for sleep, going out, getting into the car, etc.

saves all the 'faff' of bluetooth pairing on new devices and I wish it was a standard feature on PC's & Laptops to make data transfer a bit easier.

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Yotaphone 2: The two-faced pocket-stroker with '100 hours' batt life

David Paul Morgan

Re: Dual screen? Check. Dual core? Check. Dual SIM? Oh, no.

dual sim needs to become 'the norm' - or GSM should now allow one or more 'logical' sims.

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David Paul Morgan

Re: spying (and don't forget spivving)

ICL eventually were merged into Fujitsu, via the Fujitsu-Siemens interim company.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Computers_Limited

I still miss my ICL Series 39 DX/SX machines. Had a trimetra for a bit - running unixware, NT4 & openVME on the same intel machine!

(I also had an ICL TeamServer running unixware that survived the local government reorg and was still running unixware until a few years ago! a P100 intel processor, I think!)

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Metrics house hails Apple DOMINANCE of X-Mas phone 'n' slab sales

David Paul Morgan

Re: Short memories

Well,

I had the HTC Wizard (200) as the O2 XDA mini S

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_Wizard

in 2005.

We had one each. interface pretty good, if resistive. could use grafitti or handwriting too.

Also interfaced really well to the Windows media player and had an e-reader and proper internet browsing and mail clients.

I think we forget what a great influence HTC have been on the smartphone market.At one time, HTC Desire/Sense WAS the face of (Android) smartphones!

Incidentally, a lot of people at the time did not 'get' why we had palm pilot or windows mobile 'pocket computers' and now everyone has one - what a difference 10 years makes!

(I had the handspring cellphone 'backpack' before that, which enabled palm o/s to go online too!)

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

David Paul Morgan

I had 2 electronics kits...

my first was a merit - I think that was illustrated.

I remember my older cousin teaching me

Bye Bye Rosie Off You Go (to) Bristol Via (the) Great Western for the resistor colour values when I had the Philips kit. Other variations available! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electronic_color_code_mnemonics

My mate had the mamod steam engine.

I had the later mecanno.

We had a Matchbox slot car set, powered by a loop of spring - like a san-francisco street car, and you put sticky pins under your favourite car to convert them into slot-cars. Me and my brother used to race a Beetle and a Sports Car, to represent Herbie & the Apollo from "The Love Bug"

I had the Prinz microscope, too! My mate had some sort of russian modular microscope which cost a fortune, but the bugs looked just the same in either!

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Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

David Paul Morgan

Re: Hipsters? Poseurs, more aptly

I still have my Aiwa 'beat box' portable cassette recorder/player and my Sony MD Walkman (4xplay for audio/talking books, 2xplay for 2 CDs per disk)

I used to timeshift radio 4 programmes for listening on the train or in the car (via the cassette audio adapter!)

I had one pre-recorded MD - Reef http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glow_(Reef_album)

by the time sony got to the 1GB MD format, memory cards and dedicated music players had already stolen their thunder. As I've said before, I love Walkman on my Xperia! (ony a 32GB uSD as I stream)

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Bought an iPhone 6 Plus? Odds are you've binned the iPad

David Paul Morgan

the common factor here is...

... that people who have a large smartphone are going to use it as a small tablet with telephony?

I use my Xperia Z2 (tethered) with my Z1 Compact - the Tablet is more for pdf's, Zinio, browsing and the compact is for txt/hangouts/facebook/twitter/Good.

At meetings, it's the Tablet as you have to read minutes and take notes, so that's easy with the Swype (etc ) keyboard.

cursus equorum

I agree about having a decent data tariff!

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LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

David Paul Morgan
Headmaster

plenty of debate and examples for Chrome vs iOS

and in this article - point 3 - which I've seen elsewhere, echoes what most schools who have tried both find,: that the Chrome way is more collaborateive and easier to generate content.

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-06-30-3-reasons-why-chromebook-beats-ipad-in-1-1-programs

disclaimer: I am a chair of governors at a primary (us. elementary) shcool and the previous Head bought iPad devices and I don't think they've been used for 8 months. I found myself doing the research on this subject after the event. I'm convinced that we should have gone Chrome.

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Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

David Paul Morgan

Re: One Omission

perhaps it supports the MHL protocol? in which case, get a £5 - £10 micro-usb to hdmi adaptor off eBay etc?

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The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

David Paul Morgan
Go

Re: Android OEMs are copying Apple in all the wrong ways

this is not true.

My Xperia-ence (see what I did there) from the S, T and Z1 compacts/Z2 Tablet is that they've received all the Android updates in a timely fashion and I expect Lollipop by end of Jan on the Z1/Z2's.

The 'skinning' is minimal and, yes, Sony include their own media 'apps' which you can choose to use or not. I'm using the Sony apps, but my partner is using the Google media apps.

The Z3 Compact is, without doubt, the 'best' smartphone on the market, especially for media consumption AND generation because of the quality of the Sony camera. Plus, it supports micro-SD and DLNA and you can just plug it into your HDMI TV to smartify it. Also, getting them sim free is possible at a good price if you shop around.

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Making an entrance: Remote door-opening tech

David Paul Morgan
Meh

Not suitable for all doors?

I have a uPVC/double glazed front door, and ISTR i was quite pricey to change the lock on that.

Also, the interlocks would have to be electrically driven too?

i can see how a simple yale lock could be altered and strengthened, but a modern double-glazed door is a different proposition, surely.

(yes, I'd love to use NFC to open the door - but there's also the worry about what happens when the power goes off...)

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Watch out, Samsung and Apple: Xiaomi's No 3 in smartphones now

David Paul Morgan
Go

I agree about the specific customisations...

I think the manufacturers should be supplying as close to a 'base' version of Android as possible, but then supply separately, downloads for the Camera, Walkman, touchwiz/sense etc that they think will enhance the experience.

I have to say I had an unbranded chinese dual-sim gingerbread device about 2½ years ago and it was really handy, once I'd customized the launcher. The only 'flaw' was that some accented character text in the music player was displayed as a chinese pictogram!

Good luck to Xiomi as 'the west' seems to have long ago abandoned this sort of consumer hi-tech manufacture.

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Wanna hop carriers with your iPad's Apple SIM? AVOID AT&T

David Paul Morgan

Re: Witness the power of phone operators

oddly,

MMS is about the only thing from O2 that 'costs' me as an extra - inclusive minutes and txts - ample and a lot of mobile data - so I don't even use the 'free' txts but the hangouts-over-data (to other hangouts users, of course)

I sort-of like this soft SIM idea, but the GSM committee needs to get control to allow proper universal free (as in unrestricted) access to it, so ordinary folk can have full flexibility over network providers and data connectivitiy. 1½ cheers?

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How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

David Paul Morgan

I'm still surprised...

... that Apple, Microsoft and Google have not already bought out their own GSM networks.

For a soft SIM to be really useful, it must be fully open and, yes, let the service providers compete fairly and in a more open way.

The changing size of SIM cards is already restricting users flexibility - I don't have particularly fat fingers, but have you tried swapping micro- and nano- SIMs from one handset to another?

Plus, I previously found having a dual mini-SIM android handset really useful - one for me, one for work, so I would hope that any 'logical' SIM 'address' would allow you to have your main number/services AND your secondary/work service, with sensible seperation of services, address books etc.

The SIM card having your contact numbers used to be useful, until address books became better - and now in the cloud, so why not get rid of the 'card' itself. The GSM organisation MUST make sure that no single vendor exploits this unfairly.

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First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

David Paul Morgan

Re: Doesn't matter if the features have been available for years...

putting the NFS chips in the handset is only the first stage.

Surely, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal et. al. could produce a smartphone application for ios, android, windows etc so the consumer can pick and choose which tap-to-pay system they wish to use - and link to a payment system that suits themselves.

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David Paul Morgan

Re: Apple is the reason some stuff happens

I'm still amazed that Google, Apple & Microsoft have not bought up a 'network operator' each - in each main market, to impliment a seamless gsm/voip experience using the various smart handsets.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

David Paul Morgan

Re: On being slowly boiled alive with video standards

no-one 'replaces' their DVD collection unless something new/better comes along.

eg the remastered Star Trek Next Gen Blu-Rays whcih look stunning compared to the original un-remastered DVD's.

Streaming is the way forward, of course.

I loved the improvement when I went from PAL -> Digital -> HD TV.

4K will be great for a more immersive domestic experience, but of course, for most living rooms, HD, 16:9, 37" screens are pretty good.

I'm glad that Netflix & Amazon/LoveFilm are embracing it and hope Google Play Movies /' Apple catch up so there's even more choice!

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We give Panasonic's new 5-inch Toughpad phablets a kicking

David Paul Morgan
Go

Nice to see...

that Panasonic are still making a contribution and a choice in this niche market, rather than chasing the herd.

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