* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2755 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Men have LARGE APPENDAGES, are OXYGEN THIEVES: Science

Intractable Potsherd

Haven't seen that film for ages - must find it!

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The REAL JUICE behind leaked BlackBerry OS: Android apps to slip in without protection

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Sad day, sad day

Clearly, I am "f*cking mental"! I made a conscious decision to go for a touch-screen phone after years of hating half the *phone's* real-estate being taken over by a keyboard that was often too small to use properly, and/or required multiple touches per key to type anything. Blackberry keyboards that I tried were the worst of the lot - for me. Touch-screens give a choice of configurable keyboards, can reduce the risk of RSI (e.g. swipe-type keyboards), and get rid of the keyboard when it isn't needed. For my use-case, this is perfect - of course, YMMV ... and I wouldn't question your intelligence for having a different opinion :-)

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Lavabit founder: Feds ORDERED email providers to stay open

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not allowed to be secure

Whilst no fan of this, it does have to be pointed out that it has been like this probably since government began. The leader (this can include multi-party governance as well) thinks he is the right one to be leading, no matter how objectively correct that opinion is, and there are always functionaries who will garner information on his (their) enemies for a number of reasons. Let's not forget that Walsingham his a hero to a great many people* because he intercepted communications between private people - Catholics - who had a different point of view about how England should be run, and so probably contributed to a great change in the path of European history. The fact the Soviets (for example) did exactly the same makes them bad people ...

To me, the question is not "Should it be done?" but "What are the limitations and protections that should be placed on it?" Given that we are in an extremely low-risk world at the moment (religious nutters don't constitute a serious threat, and the number of countries we should worry about is small and most nominally constitute our friends), the limitations on internal surveillance should be high, and the level of spying on other countries should be at the usual background level for that country.

*Including me.

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Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

Intractable Potsherd

This is one of my disagreements with the "plastic cases are cheap and nasty" comments. Plastics are often exactly the right thing for a device's casing, both to improve grip and protect if the thing is dropped. I've tried metal and glass phones, and they feel too slippery and insecure in my paw, and it strikes me that when they fall, the screen will be broken because the its nothing to absorb the shock.

Whilst I usually put my phones in some sort of case, I don't want to be effectively forced into it by the basic design of the phone.

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iSpy with my little eye: Apple wants to track your every move

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I'd have expected the author of this article to provide the details...

If you don't like it, then the is no compulsion for you visit the site. If you do visit, accept the house style. Perhaps you'd be happier at Ars Technica.

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Space hotelier Bigelow wants capitalists to FIGHT comm-MOON-ist takeover

Intractable Potsherd

Re: It always starts like this

... or maybe he's modelling himself on D. D. Harriman??

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MANUAL STIMULATION: Whack me with some proper documentation

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Password generation

Read more science fiction! If you can't find enough weird names that can then have (additional) punctuation added, then you aren't reading the right books! I find Iain M Banks books, between Culture citizens (especially drones), aliens and planets, serve me very well for now.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Video tutorials

"My other pet hate is the shit-munching video tutorial. I fail to see how spending a quarter of an hour watching a blurry rectangle of illegibility while an American spits and wheezes into a microphone that’s so muffled it might as well have been be shoved up his arse is superior to reading a step-by-step workthrough that I could complete myself in less than five minutes."

This sums up my entire attitude to modern help files. Yes, in a minority of cases, seeing what is supposed to happen is useful, but in general that can be done with words and stills - video not required!

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'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "The news moved the entire family to tears"

In my not very deep experience, Coldplay songs fall into three categories: make you cry; make you bored; make you want to kill something, preferrably anyone that thought this bunch of miserablists should be hyped to popularity.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: @raving angry loony ".............in my opinion, more going for them than what I thought."

@Arctic fox: To my mind, the bad news is that anyone thought up such a shitty system in the first place, and that others thought enough of it to put it in place. Such a system only works for game-shows, not any enterprise that actually wants to achieve anything.

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Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

Intractable Potsherd

Re: 30M Down, 100M to Go @jnffarrell1

Could you try that again, AFTER your first coffee of the day, please?

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MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

Intractable Potsherd

Re: It's simply amazing... @AC moron

If your employers at the various IP protection agencies haven't made their case successfully to someone like me - law degree (including an IP module), MA (including a great deal of IP), and a PhD in the social effects of governmental involvement in social goods, then they really are failing. My considered, educated opinion is that the media industry is as relevant to the modern IT-enabled world as leech-breeders are to modern medicine.* Certainly in music, what I see is a bunch of middle-men trying to maintain their ability to make money from both people who can do something** and the people who want to buy it in a market where it can all be done in a direct way. The film industry may be a slightly different case, but the principle still applies.

It is clear I am not the only one who thinks the same, and yet you insist on ad hominem attacks on our education, intelligence, and honesty. You really are a twat, aren't you?

* I know there are some edge-cases where leeches have been re-evaluated for some conditions, but that only reinforces my argument.

** In general - I am yet to be convinced that anything in the charts is being done by people who have any clue what music actually is.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: @Robhib

If you aren't open enough to post with a recognisable -nym, then you don't deserve to have any attention paid to you. The fact that you post the same tired old astroturf every time, and are recognisable by the terms you use doesn't alter the fact that you don't have sufficient confidence in your views to allow others to search your previous posts.

By the way, have you noticed that you are in a huge minority here - doesn't that tell you anything at all?

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Norks EXECUTE 80 for watching DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES

Intractable Potsherd

Re: bibles @ an it guy 11:28

It is a bad thing when there is semi-official approval of hassling people simply for having a copy of a book of fiction, regardless of what it is. Almost as bad as semi-official approval of hassling people for NOT having a copy an approved book of fiction.

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Europe, SAVE US! Patriot Act author begs for help to curb NSA spying

Intractable Potsherd

A bit off-topic, but has Matt Bryant finally upset the mods sufficiently to be canned whilst I've been away? His silence on this thread is deafening!

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High-end Samsung slabs, cheapie Androids take healthy BITE out of Apple's market share

Intractable Potsherd

"You get exactly what you pay for in this world."

@Regtard - the thing is, people want different things "in this world". I can almost guarantee that whatever you think is "the best" in any category of goods, I will disagree with you because I *do* consider the initial purchase price as relevant. As I've asked you before, do you drive only Bentley and Rolls-Royce?

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Bloke named 'human' demands 'COPSLIE' licence plate

Intractable Potsherd

A few years ago, whilst driving in a South Yorkshire town, I saw evidence that the DVLA aren't too assiduous about checking plates - how would DO51 FKR have got through otherwise?

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iPad Air BARES ALL, reveals she's a high maintenance lady

Intractable Potsherd

Sanctimonious pair of pricks ...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: who the fugg cares about repairability? @Nicho

Learn to give a fugg. These things are real problems for the world, not like CO2.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: iFans are rediculously rich!

There are one too many "g"s in your name, Regtard ...

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Intractable Potsherd

So, if reliability, customer service and warranty at any cost are so important, why aren't all you Apple fans driving Rolls-Royce or Bentley? They also provide excellent service for lots of money.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: The point is @AC 20.38 Friday

Not being able to change the battery in a gadget is like not being able to fill up the petrol tank when it is empty, not like changing an engine ...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Recyclable not landfillable

I see that some folks on here have a different opinion of what "recyclable" means than I do. To me, recyclable means that it can be used by someone else, either as it is or with some refurbishment, or that the components can be easily removed locally and passed on. It doesn't mean being able to ship it to whichever country will reduce it to its component bits. Most of my tech comes to me second-hand, and always has done. For instance, I love Lenovo notebooks because they are rugged, easily fixed, and sold by companies after two or three years so I can pick up mature tech for a fraction of the cost. The only phones I ever bought new were my first and my current, though fiveof the hand-me-downs from contract-paying relatives are in still in use - two in the car (my Nokia 5210 doing a great job as a sat-nav, and one ancient blue Nokia (can't remember the designation) and a Sony Ericksson as backup phones because they both have better reception than my Note - useful in the back of beyond on a rally), another Nokia my wife won't let go of, and an Siemens that we use abroad because it doesn't matter if it gets lost/stolen/damaged. All of them are in fair condition and could be passed on to others if necessary. That is recyclable.

If there is a case to be made, I will consider a tablet, but it looks as if it will be an earlier one that can reasonably taken apart to change consumables - batteries - easily. To have hard-to-change consumables, as someone else mentioned in the context of car light-bulbs, is criminal.

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Snowden: Oh, PLEASE let me come to Germany and help Merkel with her phone

Intractable Potsherd

Re: @AC

"The only thing seperating the behaviour of each nation is the size of the budget."

Yes, and the US and UK budgets are obviously too big - what's your point?

And I, too, think you are Matt.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: He'd be a fool to go and Germany would be a fool to ask

@AC SF tech: whilst I agree with the sentiment in general, bringing lunacy like ZPE, anti-gravity and FTL travel doesn't help. There is no evidence for any of them, and, if they existed, someone in another country would have found them too.

Please, don't buy into the far end of the conspiracy-nut spectrum just because the near end has been proven by Snowden's evidence.

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iPad Air not very hot: Apple fanbois SHUN London fondleslab launch

Intractable Potsherd

Re: iNnovation?

If kit* keeps getting any thinner, they certainly will be "cutting edge" ...

*Not being partisan - the gallop towards thinness is bizarre and counter-productive. Give me kit with some heft that I can hold securely.

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Firefox's plugin-blocker slams into beta - but don't jump for joy, Flash haters

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Useless

Whilst I have several blockers running, my wife has trouble with just No-Script. She runs out of patience really quickly, and then fires up another browser (I caught her browsing the university server on IE the other day, ffs!) If Mozilla take the route they propose, they are certainly going to show that FF is more secure, but only because users like Mrs P will abandon it because of the nag-boxes.

I don't know what the answer is, but it isn't this.

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FIERY DEATH awaits all who stroke mobes mid-flight? Nope, says FAA

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I won't say "Sorry" for stepping on your face.

Don't worry - the idiots not paying attention will be incapacitated by their gadgets smacking them in the face as the emergency landing happens. I *never* have anything harder than a newspaper in front of me whenever the seatbelt sign is on.

However, if you survive being smacked in the face with your mobile but try to take your luggage off with you, I *will* make you a casualty ...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: A load of bollocks anyway?

I told you so!

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Intractable Potsherd

It won't stop people having GPS on, though! I confess, I've been tempted a time or two, but never gave in because of the rules. I won't start now, but that is because I'm one of the few in the population that realises that GPS (and mobile, for that matter) is radio ...

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Nokia wins UK patent spat: Quick, let's boot HTC One out of Blighty

Intractable Potsherd

I agree with mark: the fault seems to lie with Qualcomm. A purchaser of equipment checking each and every licence for compliance with new markets would be an unusual level of diligence - the word of the supplier would usually be taken.

However, the way that these things run, in the UK at least, is that X sues Y, and Y sues Z after the judgment. I'd be surprised if there is any injunctive relief granted - that is unusual in the UK on this scale - but the damages could be significant. It is these that HTC would sue Qualcomm for in the next round of litigation (and lots more lawyers make fuck-tonnes of money).

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Google RIPS aside curtain, exposes Nexus 5 phone, KitKat Android 4.4 coupling

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Well done for the plastic back

Pointless selling point. Slightly bigger with a larger battery would have been a better selling point, though. I don't think I've ever read or heard anyone saying that a modern phone is "too thick".

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Ordered!

Manufacturers are still playing the silly game of "see how small we can make it" instead of "lets have a decent battery in there, making it easier to hold at the same time."

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iPAD AIR WORLD DEBUT: Our Australian team gets an early fondle

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not that old humbug again?

Do you seriously think that companies don't look at market share - of course they fucking do! Apple wants to take market share from Samsung, Lenovo wants to take market share from them both. BMW and Mercedes want to take market share from Ford and Vauxhall.

However, deciding as an individual what to buy based on market share only counts as far as working out if there is likely to be support for your purchase towards the end of the time you intend to keep it. Otherwise, if it works for you, buy one (where "one" is whatever suits your actual needs or desires). I don't have a tablet because I can't see a use in my life for one - a laptop, a Very Large Phone(TM)*, and an e-reader seem to fill all the uses I have for screened technology at the moment. However, it might well be that, since I rarely buy new tech (preferring second-hand), at some point I go out looking for an iPad1, since they seem to proving to be very robust.

*That isn't, these days.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hmmmm

Is it anything you would actually ask?? I have absolutely no idea who of my family,* friends and acquaintances uses a SD card in their gadgets, and I doubt that any of those people know that I do - SD cards in all phones that accept them (still have some dumb phones in the car for emergencies), and in the laptop.

*Apologies - I know my wife doesn't, since she uses an ancient Nokia as *a phone*, and won't even consider upgrading. Her laptop is so huge she never takes it anywhere (completely undermining its purpose), and she is trying hard not to accept the tabletty thing or work mobile that would make her job soooo much more efficient because ... well, because it would make her job soooo much more efficient in the sense of people being able to get hold of her when they want her, not when she is available.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Pants

Yep; when there is a perfectly cromulent word like "trousers" to identify clothing that covers the body from the waist to the ankle, why use a word that also means "undergarment to keep genitalia in"?

On the other hand, is it possible that "under-pants" comes from the idea of wearing them "under pants"? No doubt the answer is on the internet somewhere, but I don't actually care enough to find out. "Trousers" is sufficient, "pants" is unnecessary.

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BOFH: Is WHAT 'running slow'!? GOD

Intractable Potsherd

That has sent me back a few decades! I still tend to call a cricket bat "clicky-ba" :-)

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Fleet of driverless pods to take over Milton Keynes town centre

Intractable Potsherd

I rarely use taxis, but last week I was in a strange city* on a tight schedule, so I got a cab from outside the railway station (I could claim expenses, so didn't worry). Cost for about 2.5 miles across the centre of the city - £7.00.

Later, I found out that some other delegates were going back on the same train, so we asked the organisers to book us a taxi. Same journey in reverse in roughly the same traffic - £5.00 (though it was a private hire rather than a cab, and, the organisers, being a hospital, probably have a contract rate). This caused some discussion amongst the other three, who had got a taxi at the same time(-ish) as me (they had been on the same train). Their journey had taken ten minutes longer then mine (they didn't recognise any of the streets taken on the return trip) and cost £20! The point? Yes, there are some robbing bastards in taxis.

However, in Prague the taxi drivers are so powerful they have effectively blocked an extension of the tram system to the airport because it would eat into their ability to gouge tourists to the tune of up to 300%. We could have it worse!

*Glasgow - a very strange city!

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Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

Intractable Potsherd

Re: evil? @Dogged (sigh)

And here is the root of the problem - what is advertising? Where are the limits on it?

Whilst the phone book is a form of advertising, it is unobtrusive and under the control of the person looking for whatever goods or services s/he requires when s/he requires it. It does not send data back to the publisher or others about when and where it is opened. It is also exactly the same as the phone book my neighbours get. I'd say the same about newspaper, magazine and TV ads - even though they are more obviously "advertising", they are passive and in the control of the reader.

Now contrast this with online "advertising", which is, quite frankly, creepy, and go beyond the limits of what should be allowed in the pursuit of flogging things. The entire concept puts the control in the hands of the advertisers, which is definitely where it shouldn't be. It erodes privacy and moves the active role into the wrong place. It needs to be stopped, not just controlled.

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Cameron on EU data protection rules rewrite: 'Hold it so we get it right'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hush you rant-o-tards

Have you?

It's amazing how anything that involves some effort being put into protecting privacy always brings out the "But it is bad for [my] business!"

Well, cry me a river. If it is bad for your business, you are doing something that you shouldn't be. The law is there to stop you.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Just to put this in perspective....

"... friends (do politicians have them?)"

No, just stepping-stones, just like any other psychopath.

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Singaporeans BEG government to block website

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Finally @NomNomNom

First of all, you do realise that Singapore is mainly Buddhist, and Christians form a small fraction of the population, don't you? It is unlikely they are standing up for the 10 commandments.

Second, why do you think a set of arbitrary conditions (not commandments) thought up by a particular group in a particular place with a particular environment at a particular time should necessarily be followed by our society? After all, it isn't as if other ways haven't been adopted by other successful civilisations over the centuries, is it?

Religion - the last resort of the hard-of-thinking ...

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LG G Flex: A new cheeky curvy mobe with a 'SELF-HEALING' bottom

Intractable Potsherd

Re: BMX Wheels

"I think the screen itself will be obsolete soon. I see a walkman-style phone you never have to take out of your pocket unless you specifically want to watch a thing or surf the web. It'll all be watches, bluetooth stuff, and head-up/AR displays soon."

Not for me, it won't.

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I am a recovering Superwoman wannabee

Intractable Potsherd

Re: @reg editors

Type a combination of the words "Megan", "Fox", and "Superwoman" into the search engine of your choice - it will be fairly high on the list.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: What does this have to do with anything? @Alfred

"So you've got someone very good at their job, and in an emergency they're happy to come in on their day off and do some extra work. That's got nothing to do with the topic at hand."

I think it does have something to do with it. There is a lot of misuse of the words "emergency", "crisis", "disaster" in the IT industry. Almost nothing that can happen is life-or-death, and the pressure that sysadmins etc are put under is entirely false. Surgeons are some of the very few people in modern life who can actually make life-or-death decisions, and they generally wear that responsibility lightly - most have a very good work-life balance, at least when they become consultants.

Most of the work in the IT departments comes from the expectations of others, not from *real* crises, yet it suits some(many?) of the people doing the job to play into the idea that they are doing something exceptional and invaluable. That plays into the situation the author of the article writes about ... a need to feel special and in a position of power, when, in the wider scheme of things, it isn't. A server going down isn't going to lead death, destruction or apocalypse - there is some urgency, but in the end all will be well.

So, yes, the OP was contributing to the debate.

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In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake don't read this

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Techie in the meeting.

Anyone taking two hours for a presentation should be ignored until they learn how to do things properly. There is almost nothing in the world that needs that amount of time to put across.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Why should anyone on the phone 'queue jump'?

On a wired phone, have the answering machine base set to put the message on the speaker. If you want to answer it, do so. Otherwise, it can wait. Mobiles display the caller - again, decide whether to pick it up depending on whom it is. Anyone that can't send a text to ask if it okay to call is a bit of a twit, anyway.

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Intractable Potsherd

Checking a diary - yes, at the appropriate time in the meeting (when scheduling, and everyone else is doing the same thing, except people like my wife who hangs on to a paper diary as if her life depends on it).

Looking at a map - it depends (in my area, it isn't something that comes up), but, again, it is likely to be in the context of the meeting and others will be doing it too.

Taking notes - possibly. It depends how, and if it is obvious that is what you are doing. However, paper and a scanning app are probably better.

Post-It note - paper and then enter it to your gadget later?

User guide - again, likely to be within the context of the meeting and others may well be doing the same.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: There are valid used for a phone/tablet in a meeting

There is a difficulty here. At one time those details would be on paper and, unless people were somehow hiding books or magazines in the bundle, it was fairly likely that the only thing the person was perusing was material relevant to this meeting (or the next, I suppose). Now, there is no likelihood at all that the person with her/his head on the other side of a computer/phone screen is doing anything relevant to the meeting at all. In my tutorials, I make it a point to wander around the room (when the room allows for it) and see what the students are doing on their computers - and then correlate it with the results later.

On the note-taking aspect, I have found that clearly using my Note with a handwriting program and the pen causes far less suspicion from the group leader than using anything with a keyboard. I still prefer paper and CamScanner though ...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: @Greg J Preece

Why are you at a meeting/presentation so boring that playing with your shiny-shiny is necessary?

If the meeting/presentation is worth your time, put the toys away unless you are on call/have an ongoing genuine emergency situation that can't be directed to someone else, in which case let the chair/presenter know beforehand, and take any calls/emails discretely. Remember that it isn't much more than a decade since people in general had to wait to find things out, and hardly ever were there serious consequences.

If it isn't worth your time, don't go. There are few meetings/presentations that are soooooo vital that your presence is required. If you are so paranoid that you think decisions will be made without you, then pay attention. Poorly attended meetings/presentations send their own message to the people organising them, and things improve (eventually).

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