* Posts by Fihart

1083 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

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Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

Fihart

Another cynical abuse of language.

"We are transforming the way we partner with you,"

In other words we are not your partner but, rather, have become an abusive spouse.

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Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders

Fihart

The usual abuse of language.

"Microsoft OneDrive wants to ensure users have the best possible sync experience on Windows, which is why OneDrive maintains the industry standard of support for NTFS."

How is not being able to sync, ensuring that users have the best possible sync experience ?

SD cards are Fat32 so they work with Mac and with cameras as well as Windows. It's a fact of life Microsoft have simply ignored.

They show their utter contempt -- and we increasingly return the compliment.

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It's the iPhone's 10th b'day or, as El Reg calls it, 'BILL RAY DAY'

Fihart

Re: Don't mention the iTunes. Kies @ Nick Ryan

Oh God, Kies ! Version from Samsung UK wouldn't install on W7 32bit, would install on 64bit but refused to work with Galaxy S4. Version from Samsung US installed and seemed to work. But by then I'd lost the will to live.

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Fihart

Don't mention the iTunes.

Two major hurdles to all iPhones: cost (obviously) and iTunes.

Insisting that anything uploaded to the phone has to go via the worst piece of commercial software I've ever encountered is a major no-no.

I struggled install my own ringtones (essential as the iPhone's default ones are too quiet to be audible on an urban street). Being unable to easily upload documents and pics stopped me using iPhone as a mobile office, something I'd been able to do with a Symbian Nokia E71 in 2011.

Some relief to go from iPhone to Android on an aged Samsung G4 (had the unique price advantage of being found in a dumpster, so just cost £7 for a fresh battery).

To be fair, the iPhones 4 and 4S I used were 100% reliable. In common with friends, I've found Android very occasionally falls over.

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Fihart

Re: Don't give me no static ...

On one occasion I touched a laptop and felt/heard a flash of static. The computer stopped dead.

Fortunately laptop could be restarted and was apparently undamaged. Culprit, pair of trainers with (presumably) synthetic soles, walking on a wool carpet.

Note also that opening envelopes with self-adhesive flap generates static -- try opening one in the dark

(don't ask !) .

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Men charged with theft of free newspapers

Fihart

Re: Nothing is 'free'

"Probably a cunning plan by the editor to boost circulation by having large amounts taken from various stations."

Shrewd comment. When working in ad agency with a client who was a magazine publisher I brought a meeting to a standstill by suggesting that instead of running an ad campaign to boost circulation we simply spent the money buying copies of the magazine and dumping them. Wasn't too surprised to some years later see a skip/dumpster near a publishing house full of current copies of a consumer mag.

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Sharp claims Hisense reverse-ferreted its US telly licence deal

Fihart

Who made your TV ?

Universal Media Corporation (UMC Slovakia) now makes TVs sold under an astounding range of formerly famous brand names: Grundig, Bush, Blaupunkt, Akai, Ferguson, Teac, Goodmans, Alba-- plus (in the UK) Sharp.

TVs sold under those brands are not necessarily made exclusively by UMC.

Fortunately, the UMC TVs I have encountered have proved pretty good, in fact a current model I tried is at least as good as an LG. One that failed (dodgy capacitors) at least had the virtue of being easy to disassemble and repair.

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My unpopular career in writing computer reviews? It's a gift

Fihart

Please don't write this.

"Year after year, I watch on........"

I don't know where this kind of English came from, but I strongly suspect Australian soaps.

Fine to say "look on" or "watch", but "watch on" jars. It's like "park up" when "park" would do. Parking up is when something is left permanently or semi-permanently.

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Lexmark patent racket busted by Supremes

Fihart

Re: What about other measures?

All sounds very complicated. Simple solution, don't buy Lexmark printers.

See also; don't buy inkjet printers as they are unreliable compared to lasers.

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Ransomware realities: In your normal life, strangers don't extort you. But here you are

Fihart

In your normal life, strangers don't extort you ?

Well, it's called rent and most of us pay it monthly in order not to perish on the streets.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Fihart

Re: Jewel cases

The biggest problem with jewel cases is, as you say, the centre crown that holds the CD in. Much worse with the innovation of clear plastic (so that artwork under the disc was visible) which seems more brittle than the regular opaque plastics used before.

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Fihart

Re: On air compression

When working with the old Charisma label Genesis were on, I complained about surface noise even on the white label vinyl samples I used for radio ads.

Rather grudgingly, I was informed that they'd gone for a "classical press" when the live double album "Seconds Out" was produced. Can't say I could hear any difference. Worthwhile seeking the

fairly recently remastered CD versions of the band's early albums, they really are an improvement.

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Cisco to fire another 1,100 after sixth straight revenue fall

Fihart

Good riddance.

Nice products. Horrible company.

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Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

Fihart

Re: A long time coming

Unfortunately, it's not just the disruptive new economy's low wages that exploits the welfare state. For example, supermarkets employ thousands of young mothers in poorly paid part-time jobs (necessarily because they have to look after kids out of school hours). Benefits, especially housing benefit, make up the difference. Food shops depend on cut-throat pricing and we consumers won't pay more.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Fihart

Re: I can't even rememer the name of the damned thing but....

LS-120 a good idea spoiled by greed, as you say. But perhaps also the fact that early external drives by Imation suffered from a power cube that failed. Company offered free replacements but it must have shaken faith for early adopters versus the more widely available (but in my view inferior) Zip disk.

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Fihart

Re: Kodak Digital Camera

Eating batteries was a common fault with most early digital cameras. In many instances could have been solved by making space for 4 rather than 2 AA cells -- but pocketability won over utility.

Only solution for consumer was expensive Lithium AA batteries.

Soon most makers offered models with Lithium Ion rechargeables -- but, being greedy, refused to make these interchangeable between models, let alone brands so they could charge the earth for replacements.

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Fihart

Philips Digital Cassette Tape etc

The infamous (or unfamous) DCC -- I only know one person who bought into it -- though a few record shops stocked the prerecorded tapes, as I recall.

Then there were those really big cassettes (LCassette ?). Sony made some machines, but the medium barely surfaced.

Quadraphonics -- none of the systems (SQ promoted by CBS and Sony, CD4 by Warner and Panasonic or QS by ABC Records and Sansui) actually worked and, having tried quad out, I was relieved to go back to regular stereo.

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BT's spam blocker IDs accident claims as top nuisance call

Fihart

Too late for me and BT.

When I rang to close my BT account they made little effort to dissuade me.

Offered a deal which cost precisely the same as I was already paying.

Replied to my comment that most calls seemed to be PPI pests that they could offer caller display (I'd already cancelled that when they suddenly started charging for it).

When I explained that calls via my Three mobile were cheaper than on BT landline, the reply was that BT offered mobile phones too -- yeah, but I' was leaving BT-owned EE because they were raising their charges.

BT seem to still have the GPO monopoly mindset.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Fihart

Multiple OS on multiple machines.

I think we may have to move to a situation that, where obligatory, Win10 is run on one machine (preferably without a full time internet connection) and 7 or Linux or Apple or Android on a couple of other machines. Feasible given the power of laptops and tablets.

It would be a big step backwards, but it's this or surrender to Microsoft's clearly unethical (if not illegal) intrude and control business model.

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Fihart

Re: Pauli Effect

Oddest failure I've encountered was when a desktop PC refused to boot having worked perfectly for months. Forgetting the rule about removing boards to see if that fixes things, I concluded that the hard drive had failed and swapped in a new PC.

Eventually, when I placed the Netgear wireless adapter in another PC and that refused to boot, I twigged that the wireless adapter failing had caused the previous PC to lock up.

Most amusing fault was hearing a persistent beeping at home. Eventually traced to a PC with a kitten asleep on the keyboard. "Individual PosturePaedic Springing" obviously appreciated.

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'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Fihart

Still too dear.

I confess that when the iPad appeared my reaction was WTF would I want with a device without a keyboard ?

A decade later I'm instead asking why anyone would still pay £300 for one when a decent brand like Lenovo offers a pocketable 7 inch pad for around £60 ?

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Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

Fihart

Modern life is rubbish (stuff).

Somewhere I still have a pair of AKG headphones bought in the 1970s -- still worked when I last listened, though from the sound of them, technology has moved on.

Still using Sony MDR 40 phones that came with a Walkman Pro in 1986 (though rewired several times)

I have some very nice sounding Sennheiser PX 100s. And horrid sounding PX 200s, but I was even less impressed with some larger Sennheisers which disintegrated. The latter seems typical of current products from all brands (as you say) regardless of price.

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Nokia 3310 'Supremo Putin' edition goes on sale in Russia

Fihart

outmoded Nokia for outmoded regime

Putin phone will soon be found among other soviet-era detritus like Zenith cameras that turn up in charity shops.

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Fihart

What the elite find inconvenient....

...is made illegal. No more justification for the BBC license to be subject to criminal law than for rail companies to have these powers. As with similar examples such as trespass, belong in the civil courts.

As for the argument that the license fee saves viewers from inane advertising, a license is needed to watch Freeview channels which are already wrecked by long and frequent ad breaks.

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Blighty floods with techies' tears as Capita boss Parker quits

Fihart

Capita, you must be kiddling !

Hear of case where they sent two of their monthly TV Licence letters to the same address warning that they were scheduled to visit on a specific date. Date different on the two letters. Either lying or bizarrely inefficient.

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Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store

Fihart

Re: Puts me off using them..

Glad to hear that, but I suspect that many app sites redirect to Play Store.

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Fihart

Puts me off using them..

Irritated to find that Apple want credit card details even to download free apps. Then Google started to demand Play was installed in order to download Android apps. Now Microsoft goes the same way. I can see why some control is needed, assuming they actually do weed out nasty stuff.

Glad to see that Linux apps still easily available.

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Hold the phone! Crap customer service cost telcos £2.9 BEEEELLION in 2016

Fihart

EE another PAYG price increase

http://discover.ee.co.uk/3G5S2pCw

T Mobile/EE -- from March 15p per text, calls 35ppm.

Three Network, 2p per text, calls 3ppm.

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How Lexmark's patent fight to crush an ink reseller will affect us all

Fihart

major cause of landfill

I have lost count of the number inkjet based printers and printer/scanners I have seen dumped on the street locally. I suspect that most are there because owners are fed up with the price of ink.

I routinely try to intercept friends thinking about buying a printer and bully them into buying a laser printer -- leave photo printing to those machines in pharmacies and specialist photo stores which produce better results.

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Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Fihart

Re:charging for unused phone @d3vy

"I know I could switch to one of the providers who have started doing this recently (like vodaphone)......"

My understanding is that firms like Voda and Talk Talk, who claim to have abolished line rental, have merely bundled it with broadband charge and raised prices to the same level as before, or more.

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Plusnet? More like Plus-naught: Mobile data on the fritz for days for some unlucky punters

Fihart

Yeww !!

Read that as Pusnet.

Another part of the putrefying BT network.

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Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

Fihart

Nothing to see (or eat) here...

A glance at a shot of Premier Foods' product line reassured me that any price increases would not affect me one jot. To take your example of Mr. Kipling -- he does make exceedingly over-sweet cakes.

I once read that many of the extra ingredients listed in factory-made cakes were there to prevent the mixture sticking to the machinery and the rest were there to prolong shelf-life.

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TCL vows to keep BlackBerry alive

Fihart

What's not to like ?

Android preferable to iPhone or the older BB systems. QWERTY keyboard (as my brother says, typing on iPhone is like elephant dancing on pinhead, with similar chances of errors).

Hopefully price and distribution won't shoot this BB in the foot.

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Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

Fihart

@ Paul Renault

God, the number of PSUs I've had to take apart to replace the 2 cent fan that's usually in there, squealing as its bearings die from the inevitable dust ingress.

In the past, some computer builders used Papst motors which were pretty much indestructible -- but that was back when PC were priced in $thousands not $hundreds.

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Don't panic, friends, but the Chinese navy just nicked one of America's underwater drones

Fihart

Message to all Chinese naval commanders.

"The U.S. trade deficit with China was $365.7 billion in 2015 This is a new record, up slightly from last year's record of $343 billion. The trade deficit exists because U.S. exports to China were only $116.2 billion while imports from China hit a new record of $481.9 billion.21 Nov 2016"

So don't rock the boat.

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Brexflation hits Lenovo's Phab2

Fihart

It's a Marmite moment.

Brexploitation first surfaced (in my field of view anyway) with those buggers at Unilever causing an increase in the retail price of a big Marmite jar from £4 to £4.50, provoking outrage at Tesco.

Interestingly (or not depending on your taste for savoury spreads), Sainsbury's seemed to stop stocking that size almost immediately and their boss made a point of saying that they'd maintained the old price on smaller packs. Waitrose just went on selling it at £4, though perhaps their upmarket customers simply don't much stoop to such low foodstuffs and price will rise as new stock eventually comes in.

There have been claims that own-brand spreads were gaining market share as Marmite lovers turned to alternatives -- but, having tried one of those, I wouldn't fancy a repeat purchase and Vegemite, which I haven't seen on shelves lately, was even worse (and made by the hated Kraft/Mondelez).

This doesn't have much to do with Lenovo, except that a few weeks ago Argos knocked a tenner off the price of the decent Lenovo 7 inch Tab, bringing it down to an irresistible £50.

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Cisco: Revenues are flat, profits are down, and we're not changing our plan

Fihart

Re: Cisco -- I kid you not....@AC

So, a bit like Freemasons or Scientology,then. I don't see me joining, so looks like this 890 is destined for eBay.

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Fihart

Cisco -- I kid you not....

Happy to find a Cisco 800 Series router in the rubbish. Fabulous hardware that cost a fortune, but soon enough found why it was there.

At first I was encouraged that the Cisco had a GUI for setting it up. After trying it I realise these guys have never, ever, seen a Netgear router's GUI.

Whoever wrote the Cisco PC Express GUI seems to have assumed that everyone who'd use it had the exactly the same versions of Java and Flash as he'd had on his computer. In other words, in my case, the GUI worked up to a point and then just stopped.

I gather from people who know about these things that Cisco are noted for good customer support -- they'd better be.

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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Fihart

Cats 'n boxes.

What is it with cats and boxes ? Try to get them into a pet carrier and you end up in A&E. But leave a box/shopping bag unattended for a moment and it'll be wriggling around and a face will appear with an expression (as per article pic) suggesting that the cat is trapped and panicking -- which clearly it is not. Only time I actually had to intervene was when my cat caught her head in the handles of a Sainsbury bag and was racing around the house desperately trying to evade this rustling pursuer. She collided with me with such force that the handles tore off.

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Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

Fihart

Exporting imports and jobs.

When I was a kid I noted how US toy companies imported Japanese components and complete products, gave them a US brand and sold them on to Europe.

Avoiding high wage economies seemed smart to me as, doubtless, the greater part of what I paid was pocketed by the brand's owners. But it also seemed inefficient, as US products tended to be more expensive than European ones, let alone those imported directly from the Far East.

To the present. Virtually none of the IT companies make anything in their home countries. This doesn't seem to lead to cost savings for users -- as Apple's amusing prices demonstrate.Thus the inevitable rise of Far Eastern brands, doubtless building on skills and infrastructure and economies of scale facilitated by supplying US companies.

To take a more prosaic example -- Levi's originally supplied the UK market from factories in the US. The price -- about three times that of UK brand Lee Cooper -- seemed reasonable for a better-made product and a tangible authenticity. Later, production was in Scotland and product quality remained, but one could still buy US-made Levi's when holidaying in the States where, ironically, they cost less than in the UK.

More recently Levi's has started supplying even the US market from Mexico and the world market from factories in Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Poland and more. Unsurprisingly this has diluted the brand (and, I think, quality) and provides little incentive for customers to pay more for jeans possibly made in the same factories as those sold under cheaper labels.

Moving manufacturing back to the US sounds attractive. The alternative is to continue concentrating wealth in the hands of the brand owners, to deprive the home market of incomes with which to pay for products -- and to encourage competition from abroad.

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Fihart

No one got unelected by underestimating.....

H.L. Mencken is credited with the famous quote “No one went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public".

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McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

Fihart

Leaning Tower of Pee Sir ?

Bang goes somewhere to take an emergency pee in Florence. If my experience of Rome is typical of Italian cities, cafes are happy enough to sell you a coffee but reluctant to provide a loo.

In other European cities one can count on McD for clean loos and not making a fuss if you fail to make a purchase.

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We're great, you don't understand competition law, Google tells Europe

Fihart

Three words...

Duck Duck Go.

2
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Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

Fihart

That reminds me.

The new Apple adaptive keys remind me of the 1980s Apricot computer. Keyboard had programmable keys with LCD labelling that could change with whatever program was running. In practice wasn't used much.

Also had built in calculator that worked independently of the computer -- the same LCD displayed results which I think could also be sent to the CRT to add figures to documents etc.

Not surprising if, as I recall, the manufacturer ACT was originally an accountancy firm.

1
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Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

Fihart

Re: How odd

I first bought a PC in 1985 with no serious previous exposure to IT. MSDOS was a challenge -- installing a printer was nerd-central -- but I guess I enjoyed the novelty.

These days installing an OS should not involve learning command-line stuff. Though I wouldn't deny the utility of being able to tinker under the hood, it should be an option -- not an obstacle to getting started.

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Fihart

Re: How odd

Absolutely. To popularise Linux what we don't need is elitist nonsense putting barriers in the way of those trying to flee Windows.

After several bad experiences (sound not working, video not working etc ) I refused to look at Linux until a friend bullied me into trying Peppermint Linux. It's not perfect but is simple to install and usually stuff, including WiFi, works without having to hunt for drivers.

For the first time, I have been recommending Linux, if only on netbooks too slow for XP, as it is fine for web browsing and emailing.

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And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Fihart

Just asking...

Does it have a camera for selfies ?

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

Fihart

Re: Vodafone apologises profusely..

......."it should impose a norm on them so packages can be compared."

Absolutely right. Supermarket items like bread, jam and detergents generally come in standardized weights so comparison is simplified.

If this is important for a trivially priced grocery purchase, how much more important for a 2 year contract for (say) £40 a month ?

But the telcos and broadband firms (these days mostly the same bunch) rely on confusion marketing to differentiate essentially identical offerings.

Glad to see that more customers are purchasing phones unlocked, unsubsidised, from the likes of Argos and Sainsbury's so, at least, the telcos' obfuscation over "free" (locked) devices isn't a further complication when comparing.

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Yahoo! halts! email! forwarding! to! outside! email! addresses!

Fihart

Go on, blame the user.

Been with Yahoo for over 15 yrs, most of them happy enough. Recently though, more spam, outages, slowdowns, errors when attaching files -- wanting mobile phone number "in case you get locked out" (i.e. so they can flog it to phone marketeers).

Yahoo finally admit to a security meltdown kept secret for years and start nagging ME about security !

Change password, don't use my iPhone, apps or sites like mail.com to forward mails.

All guaranteed to drive users into the arms Gmail.

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