* Posts by Goldmember

477 posts • joined 21 Feb 2011

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Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Goldmember

Re: Safety-critical updates?

"Patch released at (for argument's sake) 12 noon. Accident at 2pm. Is that negligent? Or is it a reasonable delay?"

It would make sense to remove the user from the software update process entirely, especially if the updates are potentially safety critical. Have over the air updates automatically download and install. Then the insurers would have to pay out to the user and to any third parties in the event of an accident. By all means inform the user when an update is ready/ has been applied, but removing the responsibility and putting this on the manufacturer should solve that particular problem for the most part.

This would then mean insurers can only reasonably wiggle out of paying if the user has purposely modified the ROM to stop updates, or has installed custom updates.

However if an update fails, although I would hope the car would let the user know about it, it could create a pretty big legal headache and would possibly shift some of the liability back onto the manufacturer/ software publisher.

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BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Goldmember

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"rush to the bottom with 3 minutes of programming per 30 minutes of adverts."

This is incorrect, actually. The ratio of ads to programming is regulated. It was increased for Sky when it launched to give it a chance of survival. A few years ago, the other providers complained and were given the same increased level (Sky's should have been decreased to match in my view, not the other way around). It's not done hourly but over a day, which is why you see more during peak evening times and fewer late at night. But the disappearance of the licence alone will not cause an increase in ad frequency.

And oddly, as others have mentioned, the BBC almost matches commercial radio and TV in terms of ads promoting itself anyway. Radio 2 is unbearable for more than a couple of hours for me, for this very reason.

It's definitely time for a serious discussion on the future of TVL.

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BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss

Goldmember
Pint

"it seems you can get PTSD from a violent pneumatic ram insertion"

Ha! Excellent.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Goldmember

Re: Over my dead body!

Since the Surfrider Foundation clearly has considerable funds at its disposal (they've already shelled out nearly half a million fighting him), if I were them I would set up a daily boat service from further down the coast, to Martin's Beach.

A service with one of those "party boats" which plays loud, banging music and is full of rowdy drunk people. With bars, drinks promotions and all-night parties on the beach itself.

May as well piss him off if he's insisting on tangling the matter in red tape for as long as possible.

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O2 admits to throttling network bandwidth for EU data roamers

Goldmember

Last year, I used paid-for O2 roaming in Greece, Netherlands, Czechia and Italy, all with no problems. I didn't always have 4G, but there was no noticeable throttling of speed.

Funny, eh?

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Goldmember

The Alexa app shortcut appeared on my U11's home screen yesterday

And it was instantly uninstalled.

But instead of displaying the usual "uninstalled" message, it told me it would be "reset to factory", so there's still something baked in to the ROM somewhere.

It'll be interesting to see if it keeps coming back, of its own accord.

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MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

Goldmember

The point is...

"navigational and gps transponder equipment"

... the transponders were switched off. Whether manually (by the pilots) or through another means (fire, electrical short) we don't know. Which is why we could really do with finding that plane.

But the only other means of tracking it - the 15-minute interval satellite "handshakes" with Inmarsat - were not designed to be used for tracking, which is why the potential final flight path was (and still is) so varied.

It was basically an accident that we even knew it had gone into the Indian Ocean.

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Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Goldmember

Re: Being human

I do as well. Although the truck driver apparently pulled a pretty stupid manoeuvre, the driver of the Tesla should have been paying attention, should have seen the truck and should have taken evasive action. Quote from the article;

"Brown's final trip lasted 37 minutes, from buckling in until the crash. During that time he had his hands on the wheel for 25 seconds"

Twenty. Five. Seconds. In a 37 minute journey. Completely entrusting his life to beta software.

I remember seeing one of the driver's previous dash cam videos where he'd been paying no attention to the road (he was too busy taking "no hands" selfies) and had relied on the Tesla to stop him from crashing into another truck which he should have seen but didn't. On that occasion the Tesla saved him.

Advanced driving aids are nowhere near ready to take full control of our vehicles, no matter how good they appear to be. It was only a matter of time before this happened to him, sadly. And quite frankly, it scares me to think I have to share the roads with such reckless people.

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Capita call centre chap wins landmark sex discrimination lawsuit

Goldmember

Crapita

It couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

Let's hope the appeal falls flat on its arse, as they blatantly ignored the law in this case.

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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

Goldmember

Yep. To give production credentials to a junior, on their first day of employment, is asking for trouble. They should never have been written into this document. Not even a rough draft.

And as far as "legal" getting involved? Well, surely any type of investigation would highlight serious security flaws internally. So the CTO and subordinate managers would be far more screwed than the (ex) new guy.

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

Goldmember

Re: I don't see the problem

"The purpose of a date is for each party to learn something about the other."

Indeed. The idea of going to the cinema on a first date has always seemed an odd one to me. So you're meeting for the first time, then you're going to sit in the dark, in silence, for 2+ hours?

Maybe it's a case of starting as you mean to go on for some.

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Goldmember

Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

"Now that they have just dropped the case, we are left with the bill. Shouldn't the Swedes pay the cost of this?"

The case hasn't been dropped, it's just been suspended as they can't physically get to him while he's here. Quote from the article:

“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately,”

But you're right in that a ridiculous amount of resource has been spaffed on guarding him. He has cunning, and a team of loyal backers/ supporters who can make a lot of noise in the media. It was clear he wasn't going to back down and give himeself up.

Years ago, they should have instructed officers to quietly turn their backs and quickly have a taxi take him to Heathrow with a one-way ticket to Ecuador. It would have saved millions.

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

Goldmember

Recently they've started to announce that "the next station stop will be... " on trains in the grim North West.

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Goldmember

Re: Does it have to be a train station?

Yep... Even the stuff behind the 18+ curtain in Japanese DVD shops is censored. Er, so a friend told me.

I'm pretty sure they can just do a Google video search nowadays, so the obscenity laws are mostly pointless.

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HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

Goldmember

Can Alexa...

... be removed without flashing the ROM and going to stock Droid?

My last 3 phones have been HTC as I really like them. But I really, REALLY don't want the Amazon creepware...

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Greater Manchester cops fined after victim interview vids lost in post

Goldmember

£300k in fines over 3 years...

Jesus... It'd be cheaper to keep someone on staff just to drive around the country and personally deliver sensitive material.

22
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Jeez, we'll do something about Facebook murder vids, moans Zuckerberg

Goldmember

Re: Here we go again

"Just make a part of Facebook for idiots and creeps, and another for regular people who just want to like your breakfast."

Or, just do it yourself. It's not a public and open forum like Twitter, unless you want it to be. I use Facebook sparingly, mostly just to keep in contact with people I don't see very often. On the rare occasion I have a bit of a browse, I only see content from people I actually know. Mostly it's just gripes about bad days/ shopping/ traffic, pictures of friends' and families' kids or Instagram shares of meals, which is why I rarely use it. It used to be much more interesting than it is now.

But this also means I've never seen videos of baby murder on there. If I did have someone in my friends list who felt the need to post or share such a video, or who felt the need to go off on a racist rant etc., it wouldn't take long for me to hit the "unfriend" button. There would then be no need for moderation from above.

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Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

Goldmember

Re: Odd that there were network ports available inside the secure area

The quote from the report:

"They narrowed the search area down to the switch in P3 and the PC was connected to port 16. I was able to follow the cable from the switch to a closet in the small training room."

So it wasn't simply a port; they managed to run a cable directly from a switch somewhere. Maybe a comms cab in a cupboard, locked door but accessible from the ceiling? I've not had time to read the report yet but will later to see if there's clarification.

One thing I'm wondering though; how did they manage to sneak out an entire monitor or 2 on which to use said PCs? You can cobble together the other parts and sneak them in pockets (with the exception of the mainboard, but that is thin so can fit down pants). You don't need a case for the PC to run. But how did they get a screen out?

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Goldmember

Re: Interfering mice

Yes, we had this in a company I used to work for. Complaints of "I'm being hacked!" or "Someone is controlling my computer!" at spurious mouse movements, apps opening and words being typed always turned out to be some else's wireless keyboard and/ or mouse interfering.

To be honest, why anyone even requires a wireless keyboard and to a large extent, a mouse, when they're using a desktop PC, is beyond me. They're nothing more than a colossal waste of batteries.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Goldmember

"Oh, and I will cross at pedestrian crossings when the light is green. It's not my fault I run into people who think red traffic lights are not for them.."

You run into cars and come off better?

Are you, in fact, a tank?

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National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Goldmember

Re: On to the next target

"Yep, lucky that you and other small businesses are off the hook, just hope you don't need to use the NHS or any other cash-starved public service."

That was exactly my point; we should be encouraging enterprise, and the Tories should not be reneging on an election pledge. The hike should not even have been considered, and now with the backtrack it will likely just be used as an excuse to cut public services even further.

And as already stated, I am both employed and self-employed, so I actually pay 2 lots of NICs...

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Goldmember

"Drives me mad."

Yep, me too. And now the bigger worry is; what's going to suffer in light of this new-found £2bn hole in the budget?

Already-stretched front line public services are my bet.

What an absolute fuck up.

(side note; I am both employed and self-employed, so the NIC increase would have affected me. I'm glad the hike hasn't gone ahead, not just for me but for small business in general)

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User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

Goldmember

Yes, you can

"What about following due process? You can't just fire people like that."

Of course you can, even in the UK, if you use loopholes. Simply make the staff "redundant" and hire replacements with different job titles.

It happened all the time in a company I used to work for...

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Goldmember

Re: and don't take a job

"where your entire purpose is to look at the dregs of humanity."

One of the guys in the article was "involuntarily" moved to the snooping team.

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'At least I can walk away with my dignity' – Streetmap founder after Google lawsuit loss

Goldmember

Re: At the risk of sounding controversial...

"This is like saying, I'll buy major parts of the highway, and then saying you cannot drive on it, because I don't want you to (I only want my cars to get to work on time). You have to walk to work."

No, it's more like saying "This is my highway. So there's a dedicated lane for my cars. The rest of you are welcome to use my highway, but you can fight it out in the other lanes. Or use a competing highway."

Again, I don't see a problem. On a personal and moral level it may be dubious, but companies aren't people. They don't have moral compasses. All they have are lawyers to tell them what they can and can't do.

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Goldmember

At the risk of sounding controversial...

... I don't agree. Yes, the idea that Google isn't the "dominant" search engine is ludicrous. But so what? Does that mean Google has a responsibility for smaller companies, to stop them going out of business?

Google made a competing product (which may or may not have been better than the competition). It promoted its own product, ranking it higher on its own network than those of the competition. The competition subsequently lost market share.

This is just business. Build a product. Promote the product effectively. Grow the business. Eat up or destroy the competition. If you're clever, gain monopoly status (or get close to it). If Google had used underhanded tactics to take down Streetmap then fair enough, there's a case to answer. But simply promoting its own product over the competition, on its own website? I'd say that's just tough titties.

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Trump's cybersecurity strategy kinda makes sense, so why delay?

Goldmember
Facepalm

"We need less regulations and more action", Bay said

Fewer.

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Hello? Police? My darknet drug market was just hacked by criminals

Goldmember

Re: Maybe it's the police who are doing the hacking

I wouldn't expect police involvment in that. But FBI/ GCQH; absolutely. They have a lot of legal protection. To the point of having laws changed/ created when they do step outside of existing bounds.

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Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

Goldmember

Re: Contradiction?

"Call me cynical but that possibly sounds like a statement the ambulance chasing lawyer has cooked up, where there's blame there's a fat pay check for fees"

Maybe... But at the end of the day, this was a royal fuck up. A royal fuck which could, and should, have been prevented. The two lads were lucky to have survived at all, and they endured something which must have been horrific for them. It may even have caused some long term damage they don't know about yet. So, lawyers' fees or not, the uni deserves to pay every penny of that fine. And the two lads deserve each a decent enough payout to pay off their uni fees/ loans, and then some.

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Modular dud drags LG to first loss in six years

Goldmember

TKFKALG

The Kompany Formerly Known As Lucky Goldstar?

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China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning

Goldmember

Re: Add TnT to it

In the future, these drones should have some kind of explosive added to them such that if they are illegally stolen again we can simply blow them up. Serves 'em right for stealing it in the first place!

So the "theft" of a single drone is worth causing instant death to military personell, a major international incident and potentially triggering a full-scale nuclear war between the two largest superpowers in the world, at unimaginable human and economic costs to both sides and half the other countries in the world to boot?

I really, really hope you don't wield even the tiniest amount of power in whatever work you do.

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Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

Goldmember

Re: Umm

It doesn't matter what society-imposed "safeguards" or morals are included; the modding/cracking communities will be all over this from day one. Just look at how quickly games are cracked. I see no reason why the firmware of a sexbot could be not modified to get around this.

And I should imagine the motivation to do so would be immense, to say the least...

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If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

Goldmember

Agreed. I recently spent some time in Cambodia, and can confirm 4G connectivity in cities there is better than any city I've visited in the UK.

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$17k win for man falsely accused of a terrible crime: Downloading an Adam Sandler movie

Goldmember

Re: Cobblers to that!

Private parking companies can't legally do either of those things in the UK. All they can do is send you an invoice disguised as a "ticket."

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Could Heather from EastEnders turn on Kettering if Lohan is no-show?

Goldmember

"Cheryl Fergison is starring in panto at the town’s Lighthouse Theatre, along with Mark Pearce and Lucie Downer"

Who, who and who?

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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this

Goldmember

Re: I was at a local....

"They are f***g massive things and f******g expensive"

Yes, but the world changed during the 40+ years of the original Mini's production, whereas the design of the car did not. I visited the BMW museum in Munich last year, where they have/had a "Mini Story" exhibition (which was actually pretty cool). One fact that stuck out to me was that the average human was 10cm taller in the late '90s than they were in the late '50s. So the revamped car had to be designed with this in mind.

But the cost thing... yes, of course. BMW is a premium brand. They aren't going to churn out cheap and cheerful, iconic branding or not.

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Boy, 12, gets €100k bill from Google after confusing Adwords with Adsense

Goldmember

Re: RE: "Why did the kid know the family bank account details?"

According to the BBC article, the kid had a savings account set up in his name. This was the account used, not the "family" account.

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Google's hardware extravaganza: Ad giant takes on Sonos, Roku, Linksys, Amazon, Oculus... you name it

Goldmember

Re: More adverts

Whilst @Planty's execution was poor, the point was sound. Google offers software products for "free" (and the new hardware products will be released at low-medium price points, apparently). Consumers use the products, and in exchange agree to hand over various bits of personal information. This info is used by Google to create a profile, which it then uses to push targeted ads at said consumers.

The products are often good, which is why people use them and are happy to hand over information in return. There is no "theft" involved. It's all there in the T&Cs.

It's pretty simple. If you don't like the thought of Google using your info, don't use its products.

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Matt LeBlanc handed £1.5m to front next two series of Top Gear

Goldmember

Re: arguably the UK’s most famous ginger man

Tim Minchin identifies as Australian, not British

4
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Microsoft: We're hugging trees to save the 'world'

Goldmember

Re: slow off the mark

"For North America, it's trivially easy. Put the server farms in Canada."

It's not quite as simple as that. Data protection laws prohibit sensitive US data from being stored on servers which are physically located in another country. I know this as the UK-based company I work for is currently looking to set up a US DC for that very reason.

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Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report

Goldmember

Re: That'll be MacLaren soon then...

"and how it keeps throwing bits of engine and such out (OK I know that's technically Renault rather than McLaren) "

Nope, McLaren is the only team in F1 that runs with a Honda powertrain, not Renault.

0
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Yelp wins fight to remain morally bankrupt

Goldmember

Re: what he should have done

There's no racket involved. It seems this one has already been addressed and dismissed by the courts, as the systems are Yelp's own;

"As a result, it offers advertising to companies who may then find their negative reviews are relegated or discounted from the system – an approach that was supported by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals, which noted it is Yelp's own system and it can do pretty much what it wants with it (under the concept of "editorial immunity")."

Immoral, yes. Illegal, no.

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SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific carrying 12 moustronauts

Goldmember

Re: good news/bad news

I was going to ask how someone would go about extracting mouse sperm.

But on second thought, I actually don't want to know.

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Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!

Goldmember

Re: @Dwarf

"Yes, they do. But my in my impression most of these ads are non-intrusive and don't disturb, so I prefer to not adblock El Reg."

Apart from the one embedded in an article yesterday which was chucking out malware...

1
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The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

Goldmember

Re: On the subject of daft remotes

I bought a device which connected to my phone via Bluetooth, then was supposed to transmit over an FM frequency so the radio could pick it up and play music (my car is 9 years old and the head unit has no Bluetooth connectivity built in). Cool idea but turned out to be an unusable piece of shit which couldn't get through a full song without cutting out, and the quality was shocking. It got binned after the first use.

Anyway, this thing plugged into the cig lighter. Which from my experience is pretty much always within reach of the driver. And it, too, came with a remote.

My thought was simply; huh?

1
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Amazon launches its own plane line. Sort of

Goldmember

Re: Please remember this about Amazon

Amazon already has "Prime Now", which is same day delivery. I ordered a PS4 controller using the service, which arrived in a takeaway bag around 4 hours after I ordered it. You're obviously limited to ordering whatever they have in stock in the warehouse closest to you, but it's still pretty cool.

I doubt they'll open retail stores. But more warehouses of various sizes to give greater coverage, definitely.

0
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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

Goldmember

Re: @James 51

"Even if we don't jump straight to all solar planes, they might inform the design of the next generation of planes."

This is the best point about all of this. Large, fully solar-powered planes are way, way off, maybe even an impossibility. But hybrid planes are a more realistic concept. Current planes spend much of their time above the cloud layer and have a large amount of real estate available on which to place solar panels. I can certainly see a future where jet-powered planes take off and reach cruising altitude, where they begin to harvest solar energy. They could then use it to boost engine performance and power the in-flight entertainment systems etc.

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Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Goldmember

Re: Big dreams...

"a lot of what Elon Musk is talking about is relatively pie in the sky"

People said the same thing of SpaceX and cheaper, reusable rockets. Look how that's turning out.

Hats off to the guy. I'd like to think I'd do cool shit like that if I was a billionaire.

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Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Goldmember

Re: The writing should be on the wall

"and the Winphone never had a chance to change the game."

WinPhone actually had a decent chance to change the game. At one time market share in Europe grew to 11% or so. But MS botched the Nokia acqusition and botched OS releases/ upgrades, sadly. It created confusion and frustration, which pushed away devs and customers in droves.

I'd like to see it make a comeback as it's actually a pretty good platform, but it's looking less and less likely now.

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Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention

Goldmember

Re: As an advert for *not* buying a Windows Phone

"but Windows Phone is not Win32, there isn't even a Steam client app for Windows Phone."

No, but Win Phone will happily run XNA games, of which there are many available on Steam.

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