* Posts by big_D

2684 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

big_D
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Re: Rendered irrelevant by the iPhone X...

I must have missed the bit about the X having 6GB memory and a stylus built in.

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big_D
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The Note 8 is for those that want a stylus, the S8+ for those that don't. I don't see why there should be any other differences in the spec.

(Obviously the 200mAH disappear to make room for the stylus.)

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Apocalypse now: Ad biz cries foul over Apple's great AI cookie purge

big_D
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I'd rather they expired after a few hours or a day at most. 30 days is too long.

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HP users moaning over 10-minute login lag during 'Win 10 update'

big_D
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Nor my Spectre x360.

I did have one problem with a Fujitsu Lifebook at work, but that was a conflict between W10 update and TrendMicro - just 1 machine from over 100. A de-install and re-install of TrendMicro solved the problem.

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DoJ: Look! Google is giving up overseas data for warrants outside Second Circuit

big_D
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Facepalm

I never understood the Microsoft case anyway, there have been rules in effect for decades on getting this information - you petition the Irish courts (in this particular case) with the assistance of the local authorities and if the case has any merit, the information will be given to the local authorities and they will hand it over to the US... It would have been much quicker and have caused a lot less fuss that trying to play Team America: World Police.

Blunderbirds are GO!

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UK attorney general plans crackdown on 'trial by social media'

big_D
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Holmes

Re: It's not social media that's the issue

But if you look at a Venn diagram of social media users and thickies, there is a huge overlap. ;-)

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Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

big_D
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Re: No need to worry

These sorts of machines have been around for years - in Germany some shops had their whole shopfront as a big vending machine for out-of-hours shoppers. The prices in the machine were usually slightly higher than buying in the shop.

I remember having to go out and buy personal hygiene items one night in Germany. Convenient, but harly a replacement for real shopping.

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Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars

big_D
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That was a 2010 Toyota Verso (Android and WP connected via BT for handsfree, music and addressbook, iPhone AUX for music, BT for handsfree without addressbook), a 2012 Citroen C3 (Android and WP connected via BT for handsfree, music and addressbook and voice commands, iPhone via AUX for music, BT for handsfree without addressbook) and a 2016 Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Pulsar (Android and WP via BT for handsfree, music and addressbook, Android also BT for Nissan apps, iPhone BT for handsfree, music, addressbook and apps only over USB cable).

VW Toureg also had problems with BT connections and iPhone.

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big_D
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I don't think standards are Apple's thing.

Ever tried to Bluetooth a photo from your Android phone to your Mum's iPhone?

My car has full Bluetooth capabilities and reads the address book from the phone, BT music streaming, BT handsfree... As long as you aren't using an iPhone, that has to be plugged into an extra USB port... Only the handsfree telephony works with iPhone AFAIK.

With Android and Windows Phone, it works flawlessly.

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Mobile industry begrudgingly accepts impacts of Apple, Google et al

big_D
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Re: 5G wont matter

We have 300mpbs LTE here, but I'm usually lucky if I can get an Edge signal. I'm lucky, I don't have a company phone, those are on Vodafone and they are lucky if they get GPRS, if any data signal at all.

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

big_D
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Basically, all the easy ideas have been dealt with, so now they have to work harder to optimize. It is the same in most fields. After initial breakthroughs, it is refinement, until the next big breakthrough and each subsequent breakthrough is tougher than the previous one.

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The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

big_D
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Re: Wow... memory lane...

The one good thing about the sliding keyboard was you could hold it with thumb and forefinger on the hinge and front edge of the keyboard respectively and clap it shut with a slight push.

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Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

big_D
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Coat

Re: Is "iPhone X" the actual name?

Wait for the iPhone XXX

With extra Vin Diesel? I think I'll pass.

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Everybody without Android Oreo vulnerable to overlay attack

big_D
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Re: "will need updating"

Except that when the story first broke earlier this year, Google said it wasn't a bug and it was working as intended on Nougat.

Now that Oreo is there, suddenly it is fixed and Nougat and earlier are at risk?

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big_D
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Not a bug...

When this was first raised in February / March this year, Google said it wasn't a bug and it was working as expected...

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

big_D
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RIP Jerry.

I loved his Mote novels.

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Equifax mega-leak: Security wonks smack firm over breach notification plan

big_D
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Re: Alternatives

This isn't about credit, it is about credit scoring. They'll hold information on you anyway if you have had any transactions with any of their customers.

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Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

big_D
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Re: Where's the substance?

Nationality is the key. It comes under "foreign powers" meddling in internal elections, which is generally illegal.

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Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

big_D
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Re: I know several people with two accounts

@DougS you set up a business page and administrate it separately, but it "has" to be linked to a "real" account.

If it is a fake account or linked to a fake account, you could lose control of it, if they decide that the main account is fake and lock it / delete it.

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big_D
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Re: Dual accounts?

And my ex-employer used dummy accounts to run its company page (even though this goes against Facebooks T&Cs). Instead of giving employees admin access to the page, they had to use a second account to manage the page, because paranoia.

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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

big_D
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Re: So?

@Number6 In the event of fraud, the customer is responsible, unless it can be proven the bank was negligent. That goes for both sorts of card in Germany.

That is the big difference to the UK, the credit card has no bonuses or extra protection over and above a debit card.

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big_D
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Re: So?

@jmch Not in Germany, in general. All the credit cards I have had are directly linked to the current account and the bank sets it up to automatically take 100% of the balance at the end of the month, no option to change that. If I spend more on the credit card than I have in my current account on the day the money is transferred, it goes against my "Dispokredit" (overdraught) on the current account.

In Germany, again, the normal Visa and Mastercard offer no insurance/protection and no bonuses for frequent / high use.

I even got a card sent to me from the ADAC (German equivalent of the AA), you have to sign a DD mandate equivalent when you accept the card and it books 100% of the amount at the end of the month from your bank. The real benefit was discounts on ADAC services and 1c/Litre on fuel bought with the card.

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big_D
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Re: Define "regularly"

@Custard Gannet if I am going out boozing, then I leave my wallet and phone at home and only take enough cash for the drinks for the evening.

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big_D
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Re: So?

Interest rates are pretty much zero at the moment and no loyalty points etc. on credit cards.

The only possible reason to use a credit card in "everyday life" in Germany is if you are travelling on business and waiting for the expense claim to be paid, before you can clear the balance or it is an emergency and you need to give out the money today and can't get to the bank to transfer money from a savings account.

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big_D
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Re: So?

@Dan 55

No, no sale of goods refund or insurance on credit cards here.

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big_D
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Re: Define "regularly"

In Germany, cash is still king and older (>30) people still generally frown on credit and debt, with the exception of a mortgage.

Generally I use cash up to around 50 - 100€ and a debit card after that. The credit card is used exclusively for online transactions.

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big_D
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Re: So?

I also note that Germany isn't in the list.

We also have tap to pay on our debit cards, but most places still don't take credit cards - debt is still a four letter word. Most people still pay cash or at worst use their debit card.

As the credit card is linked directly to the bank account and automatically debits 100% of the balance at the end of the month, credit cards have little value over debit cards, currently.

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Futuristic driverless car technology to be trialled on... oh, a Ford Mondeo

big_D
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Re: Why not use a Tesla?

Why use a Tesla 3? If you do, the first thing you do is rip out all the Tesla technology and replace it with your own...

The Mondeo is a stink normal car and representative of where the technology will be aimed. Plus it is relatively cheap to buy and run, so you have more money for R&D, because you aren't using a prestige brand.

Of course, using a Dacia or Lada would have saved even more money...

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big_D
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Holmes

Branding

The branding is good, because obnoxious a*holes will know that they can cut up those vehicles and they will get out of the way and not honk at them or roadrage them...

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Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

big_D
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Oh, I thought you meant the CMD Z1 Plus

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/KFxTX6Fm-Yc/maxresdefault.jpg

Funny, I was just thinking about this phone today.

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Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

big_D
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Facepalm

There was a case in Germany recently, where a woman was 1cm too short for joining the police force. She sued for discrimination. She didn't get the response she was hoping for.

The German force in question had something like a 15cm height difference between men and women (i.e. women could be 15cm shorter than men).

The court came to the conclusion, that yes, the height requirement was arbitrary, but was lawful. What was not lawful was having different height requirements for men and women.

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Sweden may extend data retention, splat NAT and register VPNs

big_D
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Re: Next one in line

@AC - The German government has been brought to task on several occasions, both by its Constitutional Court and by the ECJ because it has tried to snoop on citizens and they had to back peddle and tone down what they wanted to something that was constitutional / legal - keeping more than 6 months of ISP data, for example or installing the "Bundestrojaner", a state written trojan for monitoring citizens' PCs. Both were brought to a swift halt.

The second run at the trojan went through, narrowly, they can manually install it on a device (physical access), when they have a valid warrant.

@Charley Clark the Poles ignored an ECJ court ruling over a piece of primeval forest, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage area.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/31/poland-continue-logging-biaowieza-forest-despite-eu-court-ban

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big_D
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Re: Next one in line

@Dan55 the fine will be that UK businesses will not be able to do business with Europe (storing personally identifiable information) or hosting EU data, until the Snoopers' Charter is brought in line with EU law.

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Lanarkshire NHS infection named as Bitpaymer variant

big_D
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Re: Brute force RDP access?

Yes, you should use a VPN or similar service to tunnel the connection.

Opening RDP, Citrix etc. directly is a bad idea in general. The RDP is certainly only really designed for internal access (remote administration or terminal services), it isn't very robust, when it comes to being put on the Internet - plus your security is only username and password, adding a security layer around it is always a sensible idea.

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big_D
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Re: I'm curious

Swyx, Innovaphone Unify and many others.

Many new VOIP exchanges are software based and run on Windows or Linux servers, so you could cripple them.

Likewise softclients could also be disabled, if their configuration files, for example, were affected.

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Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

big_D
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Re: Typical US corporate way of life....

The problem with Uber is that they act like stereotypical American tourists, they come to a new country and say that they can ignore rules and operate illegally, because they are American...

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New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

big_D
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Re: These days, you always get fired for choosing microsoft

The only positive on buying the Windows Phones was that the 640XL was about a fifth of the price of an iPhone. With discounts, probably more. Of course, she could have probably got equivalent Androids for a similar price.

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Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

big_D
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Re: Lack of indicator lights and ports

With an SSD, I just close the case and pack it in my bag.

In the meantime all of my notebooks have SSDs, even my old 2010 Sony Vaio Core i7; once it became an SSD, it was nearly as fast in general use as my more modern Surface Pro 3 - although not as portable and the battery only last about 2 hours, instead of the 8 - 15 hours of a modern notebook.

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big_D
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Re: Non-PC company

There was a saying back in the 90s, "friends don't let friends buy Dells."

The problem is, if everybody leaves the council except for yes-men, who is going to challenge bad ideas and bad decisions? It is a difficult situation, I can understand those that quit and I can understand Dell's point of view. If there is nobody there who doesn't agree with Trump, who is going to steer the conversation?

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big_D
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Re: Power on LEDs

On my HP Spectre x360 they are on the side of the unit, so can't be seen and on the Lenovo Y70-70 Touch I use at work, they are under a lip on the front of the case and relatively dim, so they don't get in the way. The Fujitsu Lifebooks we use have them on the front edge (6 LEDs), they are brighter, but not blindingly bright.

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big_D
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Re: Lack of indicator lights and ports

Interstingly, we use Fujitsu Lifebooks at work and they have battery, mains, power, caps and num lock and SSD/HDD indicator lights on them, even the current Kaby Lake version. The same for the Lenovo Y70-70 Touch that I use at work (except for caps/num lock).

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big_D
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Re: Lack of indicator lights and ports

That is one of the nice things with my Spectre x360, the power switch at least has an LED in it, which lights up (on) or blinks (stand-by). It also has an LED for the power supply. The only thing missing is an SSD activity light, as the OP said.

Back in the 90s, I wrote a little utility that showed resource usage (cpu, memory, swap, HD space etc.) and the status of the caps, num and scroll lock keys. It was an always on top and you could move it to any corner of the screen. It proved very popular with my colleagues and customers.

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Boffins bust AI with corrupted training data

big_D
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Re: Hanlon's razor

Sci-FI authors have been writing about this for decades and MS have proven that the dataset is important with their chatbot which became a neo-national socialist ideology spouting idiot, when it learned over social media platforms.

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Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

big_D
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Redundant Systems

I had one boss who decided that we needed redundant systems and bought in a new server infrastructure with mirrored servers in two separate server rooms, separated by a physical firewall (a wall to stop real fires from burning down both server rooms).

So far, so good.

However, he was of the opinion that, as we now had mirrored servers, we could do away with the tape backups. The whole IT department said no, this wasn't sensible. But the boss said that it was no longer needed, as we had a hot backup.

No amount of trying to inform him that a hot-standby redundant system is not a backup could get him to change his mind...

Until one day he made some changes to the main database and corrupted it in a catastrophic way. He said, no problem, pull it back from the redundant machine... At which point he learnt the hard way that redundant means that everything that happens on the primary machine also happens on the secondary machine "at the same time", which meant that there was no "backup" of the database, just an equally corrupted database on the secondary server!

Lesson learned, he agreed that making backups was a good idea.

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Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

big_D
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Re: Bricked TVs

@bombastic Bob if it is anything like the Sony Bravia I have, the updates are automatically loaded and you are prompted to restart the device afterwards.

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El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT kill off the trusty hard drive

big_D
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Re: What's in it for me?

Also, for films, music and photos etc. that you aren't currently editing, but looking at on occasion, the speed of an HDD is more than fast enough and it has the capacity to hold many times the data for the same price, so for slow sequential data access it is a cheap and relatively robust solution.

If I have a TB of films, music and photos, it is cheaper to archive them on an HDD than to buy a TB SSD, the performance will be more than adequate and there is an enormous saving at the moment.

We still use tape for backups today - we use a SAN, a backup SAN with regular images and that is written out to tape for disaster recovery / long term storage.

Currently, I see SSD for OS, applications and scratch / working data and HDD for data storage at home. I load my RAW photos onto my 250GB SSD, check them, edit them, then move those I want to keep to HDD and free up the space used. This gives me quick editing, but them cheap storage.

(In fact, the images are then copied to OneDrive and Carbonite and to a NAS for mobile availability and backup purposes.)

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Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

big_D
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Re: A venerable workhorse

They have the newer 747-400 that is mentioned in the article.

And they are still being built at a rate of around 6 per year, according to a Register article from January this year.

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Raising minimum wage will raise something else: An army of robots taking away folks' jobs

big_D
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Re: Yup

I saw they were rolling that out to the first restaurant in Germany, in I think Frankfurt Airport. The one drawback over here, in Germany, is that most people wouldn't pay with plastic or NFC for such small amounts.

That said, I haven't been to a McDonalds in about 7 years.

I work in IT, but I still prefer personal service.

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Don't buy Microsoft Surface gear: 25% will break after 2 years, says Consumer Reports

big_D
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Re: Not really a "survey"

The other thing is, what do Microsoft do, if there is a fault? Products always fail at some point, some sooner than others and poor components from third party suppliers can also cause problems and that can affect multiple manufacturers.

Back in the 90s, we fitted out a sales team with Compaq LTE notebooks, these were high end at the time, we had over 25% DOA and a failure rate of over 60% in the first 3 months. It was tracked down to a bad batch and a problem in the moulding of the casing (it was over stressed and cracked after a couple weeks). Compaq did replace all 100+ notebooks, even those that hadn't shown faults.

Moving forward, I had a Surface Pro 3 and it had one of the dodgy batteries. After around 18 months it failed. Emailed Microsoft support and they arranged to swap out the dead SP3 within 2 days., no questions asked.

For me, that is the more important part of the equation. Yes, 25% is high, although we know that the SP3 was affected by faulty batteries, so that sways the overall reliability and similar recalls/problems have affected all manufacturers over the years (remember the Sony battery recall that affected pretty much all major notebook manufacturers a couple of years back?).

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UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

big_D
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But but but...

The communication must be secure? But the government wants to ban encrypted communications!

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