* Posts by Paul

554 posts • joined 23 Oct 2006

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Ford giving 'leccy car investment a jolt to the tune of $11 BEEELLION

Paul
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they have a focus electric. it's not that good

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/focus/electric-hatchback

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Paul
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Re: If you build them...

what happens when your infernal combustion engine wears out? those aren't cheap either. and you'll spend a fair bit on cambelts, oil changes, spark plugs, etc whilst you're putting 300,000 miles on the clock.

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Paul
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you mean like the Renault Zoe?

or the Nissan Leaf (old and new model)?

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Users clutch refilled Box boxen after 'empty' folder panic

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This is kind of a non-story.

Anybody who relies on a single device or single service to store valuable data deserves to lose it. It doesn't matter if you use Google Drive, Amazon Glacier, Box, Dropbox, Spideroak (just off the too of my head) or any other of the many services, you should always have replicas of your data.

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Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

Paul
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Re: "...the company has agreed..."

is it any wonder that people leave HMRC to set up their own accountancy? I'm sure their brighter staff study the tax rules for loop holes and then go and start a consultancy/accounting business specifically to sell their services to rich people who need such things.

one day I hope to be rich enough that it's cheaper to employ an accountant than do my own tax return, so that said accountant will be able to save her or his own fees in tax savings ;-)

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The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Paul
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Sometimes I've been asked to help because the person can't print, say, a Word document.

So I go over and operate the computer, and let them watch me see it being done. I'll open the word document in question, click the right buttons to print it, and we'll walk over to the printer where everything is printed just fine.

Then I'll say "it seems to be working now", and "how were you trying to print it?" and they'll mumble something incoherently whilst looking at their feet.

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Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

Paul
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So where is IBM statement about and Power8 and Power9 in this?

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That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

Paul
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Re: That probably explains..

Problem with sealed-in battery with water-proofed device is it's expensive and difficult to replace the battery and you usually lose the water-proofing too.

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How's this for a stocking filler next year? El Reg catches up with Gemini

Paul
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Re: Linux

I imagine that Linux on Android will be lxc or other chroot container.

I do this already on my phone, with a full debian shell environment. If I want a gui I have to use a virtual frame buffer in vncserver, then use android vncviewer. It's slow, but it does work.

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UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Paul
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I'd be Ok with paying a few thousand to get fibre in to my house, BUT, it's the fact I'd then be stuck with paying a bill of hundreds every month that I can't justify.

Sure, I know that there's a big difference between domestic/contended and business/low-contention services, but the cost of fibre once deployed surely has the same price (to an order of magnitude)?

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A million UK homes still get crappy broadband speeds, groans Ofcom

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Re: I'm not rural

QoS is not honoured by your ISP, you need to do clever stuff on your router yourself to reserve bandwidth for your streaming devices.

As for Draytek. hmm. They seem so good on the spec sheet on the web. Built yourself a pfSense or OpnSense firewall instead.

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Paul
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Re: People are managing it...

If you could offer people in deeply rural areas the chance to have a decent internet connection, then perhaps we'd see businesses move into those areas, offering a chance of a local career to young people, and then less young people abandoning those places, and it could lead to a renewal of those communities.

That might win votes, and win funding.

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New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online

Paul
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Minimum viable product

A friend worked at crapita, there were two things he hated. One was having to commute into London. But by far the biggest was crapita's mantra of "minimum viable product". I.e. What is the least they can do to satisfy the contractual terms? This allows them to put in low bids for contracts, knowing they'll pick up lots of work fixing design flaws.

This, coupled with basic IT illiteracy* in the government and the default choice of taking the cheapest, leads to the usual clutterfunk situation.

* e.g. I recall the head of the home office (I think) complaining about how salaries of IT people were too high because she didn't think it was a skilled job!

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Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm

Paul
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Hoping these won't be locked down like windows rt v devices were

Sadly I think these will be locked down like the original Arm Windows RT devices, which will prevent running Linux natively.

However, maybe, the same Linux shell stuff will be built in to this version of Windows but it will be Arm binaries not x86?

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User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

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Re: What do they teach.....

Someone once cleaned their crt with nail varnish remover. It also removed quite a large area of the anti-glare-reflection coating, leaving a smeared mess.

The monitor was basically f'd, and ended up in the computer room for the rare times the kvm cart was in use.

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Paul
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There was a brief time when you had separate bnc connectors for red blue and green, so I swapped round the red and blue channels* on a colleagues computer whilst he had a coffee break. After he spent ten minutes fiddling with colour settings on the windows control panel, I swapped them back.

* sync on green.

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Ofcom proposes ways to stop BT undercutting broadband rivals

Paul
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They should change the cost ratio so that BT retail have to charge more for the Internet connectivity and tv services and BTOpenReach charge less for the phone line.

This means that other ISPs also pay less to use the phone line, and can better compete with the value added by extra services.

At the moment the high line rental is basically subsidising BT retail and making it harder for other ISPs to compete.

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Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

Paul
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Re: The issue I have with this

Get a second hard drive for your work laptop so you don't use the corporate OS image for your personal internet activities.

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Re: It is known

The other two use a VPN and incognito mode so they can be plausible in their lies

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You mean Google updated its smartwatch OS and nobody noticed?

Paul
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I find that a smartwatch and a bluetooth headset make using my phone so much easier, I can leave it in my pocket whilst making phone calls, or listening to music or podcasts. If someone rings I can see who is calling and cancel the call or take it.

Finally, I'd wear a watch anyway. I also have an old fashioned alarm clock by my bed.

There have been many reports about people with insomnia due to waking up to play with their phone. I wonder how many people would sleep better if they had an old fashioned alarm clock or positioned their watch so they could tell the time at night even when half asleep, and go back to sleep, rather than waking enough to unlock their phone and end up responding to all their notifications?

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China plots new Great Leap Forward: to IPv6

Paul
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Re: Well, you can see the attraction of it!

indeed, all China needs to do is ensure IPv6 privacy is disabled by default on all phones and computers, and all devices use EUI64, and then they can track all devices where people have't figured out how to renable rfc4941 and the like

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Windows on ARM: It's nearly here (again)

Paul
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Re: Native code good, x86 emulation bad

I'm sure it's the case that its trivially easy to set up an internet facing server that runs Linux and run some web service and then never patch it, that is the problem, and giving inflated scores for Linux attacks.

You can rent a low end server for just a few dollars a month (see lowendbox blog).

If you want to get a Windows server and connect it publicly to the internet you'd have to put in a lot of effort, enough perhaps to deter anyone who doesn't know what they're doing.

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Paul
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Re: Sorry... I vomited in my mouth as choking

Given that the entire internet thing on Linux, I'm not sure whether you're trolling.

the fact that Google pay huge bug bounties to people who uncover security bugs gives a clue how serious they are about security. They also have dedicated zero-day security researchers.

There's a huge base of users, e.g. educational establishments in the USA, who have fleets of these.

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Paul
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These won't be running a BIOS! Come on, El Reg, you should know BIOSes are long dead.

Anyway, I have a horrible suspicion these will have locked down UEFI firmware and locked bootloaders, and thus will only boot a signed Windows kernel, so can only be made to run Windows son-of-RT or whatever Microsoft will call it, and also only run signed apps from the Windows store.

Thereby basically achieving what Apple have done with the iOS (iPad/Phone/Pod) and trying to do with the Mac.

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Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'

Paul
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sing along time

On the 12th day of Christmas, Openreach gave to me...

12 failed promises

11 lines a syncing

10 megs a streaming

9 glitching circuits

8 bits per octet

7 leds a blinking

6 carrier failures

5 ring tones

4 local loops

3 vdsl modems

2 sync errors

and a packet with broken parity

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Dell EMC adds Skylake grunt to supercomputing workhorse server

Paul
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nvm

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BT hikes prices for third time in 18 months

Paul
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TalkTalk should have subsidised their prices by selling all their customer data, instead of allowing it to be stolen, at least then their customers would have got some benefit!

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Subsidy-guzzling Tesla's Model 3 volumes a huge problem – Wall St man

Paul
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Re: Guzzling?

it's only in the US where renewable energy sources haven't been developed.

in the UK, there have been times this year when renewables have been producing so much power that the price of electricity has become NEGATIVE. That means you could have been paid to use electricity.

And there have been more times when renewables have produced all the electricity the UK was using at the time, with no need for any fossil fuels to be burned.

If that doesn't prove that renewables can provide for a non-trivial amount of a nation's needs, I don't know what can.

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Paul
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I can carry in my hand a device which will let me access the entire knowledge of humanity from anywhere on the planet, and communicate in real time with nearly anyone anywhere.

And I use it to argue with strangers and look at pictures of cats doing funny things.

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For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

Paul
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Re: I was using FaceId (or whatever)

SD card? surely an XQD card slot would be what the professional photographers need, so that they can pop the card out of their high end Nikon into their phone to email photos?

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BT agrees to cream off less profit from landline-only customers

Paul
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Re: Could not agree more.

You can buy mobile phones that look exactly like desk phones.

I bought one for my mum, and put a Three PAYG SIM in it. It's got a battery in it for backup. It paid for itself in a matter of months instead of bt line rental.

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Paul
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I still use a PS3 as a media player.. plays Blurays, DVDs, streams Amazon and Netflix, plays media off a local DLNA server, runs PlayTV in the UK. Sometimes I play games on it.

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Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

Paul
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Dessert on a climate control panel?

Someone was trying to have their cake and heat it!

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How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

Paul
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microUSB was designed so that the connector on the cable is sacrificial, rather than the device.

this is why, generally, your four year old Android phone's microUSB port is still working, even if you're on your third cable.

then you can feel sorry for all those iphone owners whose lightning port doesn't work too well because the contacts have lost their springs, and buying a new cable won't help them.

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He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

Paul
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Given BT have a monopoly in many areas, I want my line rental cost set pro-rated against the speed my line achieves vs a theoreticallly perfect 40Mb/s FTTC service.

If I can get 40Mb/s sync, then I pay full price. If I get less, and that includes the uplink speed, I only pay a proportion.

If there's no FTTC, then ADSL2/2+ should be the benchmark, at 24Mb/s sync.

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Is that a bulge in your pocket or... do you have an iPhone 8+? Apple's batteries look swell

Paul
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I feel so sorry for Apple.

Or do I?

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Paul
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Re: Dover

About 45 years ago, I guess, I was 5, and my family went to France. The weather was terrible, and they nearly cancelled the crossing. I recall the hovercraft bouncing around, a waiter trying to serve drinks, and lots of people looking very sick and trying not to throw up. I was young enough to think it all great!

I have no idea which machine we went on, but it was probably one of the larger ones as we had our car onboard - they had to chain the cars down!

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Gov claws back £645m in BT broadband from subsidy

Paul
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the rest of the country simply need to breed faster carrier pigeons!

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Paul
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Re: BT should return ALL the subsidy...

I think you'll find that BT Openreach and BT are the same company. If you check Companies House, there is no separate company.

BT Openreach can simply jack up their wholesale prices and BT retail can simply reduce their margins, the overall group still makes a profit on each internet connection provided.

In fact, BTOR jacking up wholesale prices means that they make their resellers more expensive and thus benefits BT Retail.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Paul
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:-(

I spent many enjoyable hours immersed in his books.

I also enjoyed his Chaos Manor articles, even if I didn't always agree with his intentions.

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Dolphins inspire ultrasonic attacks that pwn smartphones, cars and digital assistants

Paul
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I always wondered how my Amazon account got hacked and three tons of tuna was ordered to be delivered to Sea Life.. Now I know it was sneaky dolphins hacking Alexa on my smartphone!

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Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

Paul
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if you work at NASA, rush to back up your data ASAP!

The moment he starts at NASA he'll demand that every reference to climate change be taken down off their websites and destroy all records and documents and data about it.

This has already been happening.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/science/donald-trump-data-rescue-science.html

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Paul
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I've despised flat ui design for years.. the absence of any navigational cues. sure, it makes things sleek and clean, but also hard to use.

sometimes I've had to help others find how to do something simple and obvious on a web page, and had to ask for help, simply because it wasn't clear where you had to click.

yet another style over substance stupidity of the modern era.

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Crushed Juicero now officially a fruitless endeavor

Paul
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I guess it *is* possible to over-estimate how lazy people can be.

If you can persuade people to pay good money for a coffee pod because cleaning a cafetiere is too hard (or even rinsing out an aeropress), then it doesn't seem unreasonable to hope they'll pay money for juice pods. Seems they were wrong.

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

Paul
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Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

years ago I was at Ionica in Cambridge and they built a staff canteen, and brought in a catering company (Compass, I think) and the food was indeed exceptional in the first three weeks whilst the staff were training up, and then as the senior chefs moved on leaving the work in the hands of junior/new staff, the food did indeed go downhill.

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'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

Paul
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So after China went full despot:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/28/china_to_identify_commentards_with_brrealname_policy/

the UK gov't think they should follow?

they can take my encryption-without-backdoors-or-key-escrow out of my cold dead hands.

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

Paul
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I worked at a company developing a customer facing portal, and we had regular deployments which had to go through some level of formal testing and the deployment by the sysadmins.

It was just before December and we were late making an important release with features the company felt were really important and urgent. Problem was we were late, and there was nobody around who was able to give formal approval to go live. I was also quite ill, and really shouldn't have been at work that day, and didn't want to take any **** from anyone!

My manager, X, who had made it clear for a long time that he despised me, rang me and told me to "go live". I sent out an announcement to all the usual people announcing I was making the release, and that X had told me to do it despite not having gone through the usual QA process.

Just as I was about to press the button to deploy, X rang, and told me "you can't say that!". I asked what he meant and said I was merely repeating word for word what he said, and he again repeated "you can't say that". I feigned innocence and asked if I should deploy or not, or if he would email and reply-all and rescind the order etc, he audibly shrugged, swore under his breath, and said yes.

My theory is that that X would have claimed all the credit for a successful deployment, or throw me under the bus if the deployment went bad and say it was nothing to do with him, either way he could punish me for not following the usual process.

Some months later a bunch of us were made redundant, and X was clearly agitated that, unlike the others some of whom were in tears, I was grinning as I left and walked with a spring in my step at being paid to leave!

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

Paul
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Another great has passed on :-(

I read every book of his I came across.

RIP.

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LG schtum over whether Europeans can get the powerhouse phablet V30

Paul
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I have an LG v20, an imported dual SIM h990ds variant. It's fantastic for the price. Razor sharp screen with really good contrast and vibrant colours.

In particular, it has a headphone jack, removable battery and memory card slot, things you can't take for granted.

The audio quality is very good. Ironically many people seem unaware you need specific formats and have to use the LG music player to get advantage of the DACs.

Sadly, apart from a CPU and GPU upgrade, I don't think the v30 will be a worthy successor.

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Brit folk STILL not getting advertised broadband speeds – survey

Paul
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Simple solution. You pay pro rata for the speed you get, including line rental - BT OpenReach can only charge full line rental if the line supports at least 95% of the theoretical maximum ADSL 2 speed.

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