* Posts by Whitter

694 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

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Europe's 'one patent court to rule them all' vision may be destroyed by EPO shenanigans

Whitter
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Mushroom

"Battistelli may finally face serious consequences"

I very much doubt it. Got paid a whack while in office, will have a huge life-long pension when he leaves. A glorious example of the complete and utter failure of management to manage management.

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Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

Whitter
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Mushroom

Why?

"Uzan will keep control of the Vertu trademarks and patents with an eye on eventually relaunching the company through a separate corporation"

Why?

The folks they owe £168m should get first dabs at the assets, not the boss of a failed company.

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Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

Whitter
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Meh

T&Cs

All it shows is that T&Cs as currently implemented are a waste of time - the can't be enforced as they were never read.

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'Many' ways to create artificial intelligence. Just ask the UK's AI businesses

Whitter
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Paris Hilton

AI or expert system?

The engine degradation and flash-point examples sound like expert systems, probably based on regressions of previous data, rather than any real demonstration of "AI" as such. Is this just tech buzzword bingo or is there more than first meets the eye?

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Whitter
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Boffin

NaN

A bit of pedantry which has nothing to do with the error in the article: comparing a variable to itself isn't always madness, as it is a specific property of floating point NaN values:

x= NaN

y = x

x != y

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Tory-commissioned call centres 'might have bent data protection laws'

Whitter
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Boffin

Re: ICO involvement?

Only a bit wrong: it's illegal to pay anyone to campaign to election day.

And the call centre staff were indeed being paid.

Representation of the People Act, Section 111: prohibits ‘payment as a canvasser for the purpose of promoting or procuring a candidate’s election’.

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Whitter
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Re: ICO involvement?

They also did campaigning on election day, which is flat out illegal (and a matter for the Police).

Though as another comment points out, the "public interest" will be used to avoid actually doing anything about it.

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In the week Uber blew up, Netflix restates 'No brilliant jerks' policy

Whitter
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Re: Parsing error

Got you: thanks!

Puts a lot on negative inference on "are also" to essentially mean "could but don't" (with the appropriate grammatical corrections to fit the sentence).

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Whitter
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Re: What do Netflix staff do that requires all these not-brilliant stars?

Cheers! I have heard it said in my office that Netflix does a very good job of not intermittently pausing on a bad connection when iPlayer (for example) would pause almost every other minute. That's the only reason I've considered them at all (mainly, to watch iPlayer via Netflix - does that work?)

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Whitter
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Paris Hilton

What do Netflix staff do that requires all these not-brilliant stars?

Just wondering.

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Whitter
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WTF?

Parsing error

"Brilliant jerks are still not welcome, because Netflix believes “that brilliant people are also capable of decent human interactions, and we insist upon that.”"

Does anyone understand what this means? Typo? Misspeak? nothing?

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IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced

Whitter
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Unhappy

Abuse, plain and simple.

Only those who cannot walk for whatever reason can conceivably still be contracted to IBM. This sounds like straightforward abuse of such people. Without doubt a mass walk-out by contractors would hit IBM where it hurts but sadly, it would hit the contractors that much harder.

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Is your research hot or not? US boffins create ‘Tinder for preprints’

Whitter
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WTF?

OMG!

OMG!

Swipe (whatever way is "No!" for this idea)

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France and UK want to make web firms liable for users' content

Whitter
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Trust first?

'cos the UK state never misuses "terror-specific" powers (see section 44 et al).

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Hand in your notice – by 2022 there'll be 350,000 cybersecurity vacancies

Whitter
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WTF?

£87,000+ ???

"Demand is driving record salaries with 39 per cent of UK cyber workers commanding annual salaries of more than £87,000"

Really? I only know a handful of "cyber" people earning anything remotely close. Job ads (or agency phone calls) almost never have anything breaking £50k.

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BA IT systems failure: Uninterruptible Power Supply was interrupted

Whitter
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Headmaster

... not due to outsourcing...

If you don't know why it happened, then I doubt you know it was not due to outsourcing.

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Retirement age must move as life expectancy grows, says WEF

Whitter
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Unhappy

Retirement (and pension) age vs local life expectancy?

As chair of a World Health Organization commission on the social factors that determine health, Michael Marmot and his colleagues took Glasgow as an example of stark health inequities, noting that a boy in the deprived area of Calton had an average life expectancy of 54 years compared with a boy from affluent Lenzie, 12 km away in East Dunbartonshire, who could expect to live to 82.

<http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/10/11-021011/en/>

The example of Japan is simply inappropriate to many other countries.

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Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

Whitter
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Unhappy

NYT article

A simple enough read which at no point asks if or when an editor or journalist should restrain themselves. In the specific Manchester case, the desire to publish first was the driver - any consideration of how that would adversely impact an investigation was nowhere to be seen.

But the lack or ethical journalism isn't really the source of UK anger here: its the lack of professionalism in the USA intelligence network.

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8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

Whitter
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Boffin

The purpose of statistics

a) To describe a population clearly (be that theoretical or sampled)

b) To compare populations meaningfully (and thus make value judgments)

If nobody understands, then (a) has failed.

If a conclusion is not supported by the statistics, then (b) has failed (and probably (a) too).

i.e. The problem is not with statistics. It is with bad statistics.

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Supreme Court closes court-shopping loophole for patent trolls

Whitter
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Meh

The game is afoot!

And so previously where one court took the financial incentive to bias its proceedings to the prosecution (increasing the number of paying trials it got through its door), now the bias moves to the other foot: districts competing to bias towards the defendant in order to encourage incorporated corporation location in their district.

Swings and round-a-bouts as they say.

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LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Whitter
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Paris Hilton

Reuse security?

I have occasionally wondered if the more obscure rule sets imposed by some sites were more to do with avoiding password reuse (and therefor potential breach from any half-assed site the user has a password with).

Mind you, the 8-character maximum limit from Virgin Media is just madness.

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London City airport swaps control tower for digital cameras

Whitter
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Paris Hilton

It's not all "cyber"

How physically secure are the cameras in question, be it cables, paint or laser interference?

What risk from a power cut?

And so on.

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

Whitter
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Unhappy

Government scientists

It was bad enough that politicos have made themselves the least trusted of all professionals, but they have started dragging down their associates too.

The shambles that was the last edict from the Chief Medical Officer (where the impact of alcohol studies intentionally filtered out all positive studies / effects and included only negative ones) was a glorious example of exactly how *not* to do science, but there it was, pinned up in all its glory.

And was it contested by the scientific establishment? Well, yes, a bit. A very little bit. By a few. Not many. And not so much as to make anything happen. Oh well. Keep calm and keep sliding down the slope to shitdom.

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Master of Dredd: Judge inker John Higgins speaks to The Reg

Whitter
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Pint

Well done sir!

2000AD was the birthplace of many a great British artist and/or writer.

Still is.

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

Whitter
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Flame

Re: Not just the so-called "gig" economy either...

Whenever people are in full time employment but still need government benefits to make ends meet, then there is a strong argument that the employing company is in effect being subsidised by the state.

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CompSci boffins find Reddit is ideal source for sarcasm database

Whitter
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Joke

Re: The full quote:

But was Wilde being sarcastic?

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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Whitter
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Meh

Re: real aims of the course

"... transition for the past five years, writing a new textbook ... Roberts wrote the Java textbook still used in CS 106A, The Art & Science of Java..."

I think you'll find the real aim is to maintain sales of a textbook written by Roberts to his students.

There will be benefits to all without doubt, but in further education one should always question the alleged reason for anything.

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Whitter
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Re: "People don't hate adverts, just awful adverts"

True for some.

Some do hate them all, some hate their bandwidth requirement, some hate being tracked for advertising purposes (or indeed, mostly any purpose) and some hate the increased risk posed by poorly vetted 3rd party "source injection" (for want of a more accurate term occurring to me while I type).

There are likely others too, but that last one is where the assumption that adverts = insecurity is clear (though tracking and theft/misuse of that data is another type of insecurity too).

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Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Whitter
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Meh

How long is too long?

No doubt some companies like long processing times (likely phrarma who patent a lot) . I seriously doubt most small companies do though: the last patent I got through took five years! What odds your company's inventor works for you anymore by the time you know if spending R&D for v2.0 is financially viable?

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Yahoo! human! rights! fund! called! a! sham!! $13m! of! $17m! wasted!

Whitter
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Unhappy

Bribery by another name

I've no proof but I suspect this is not an uncommon use of corporate charity - and fairly worldwide too. Maybe "bribery" is a bit harsh in other instances, where "tax evasion" may be closer to the mark (and if there is a moral distinction worth making between the two).

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How their GDPR ignorance could protect you from your denial

Whitter
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Thumb Up

Customer-first doesn't mean cutting your bottom line

Unless you are just an abusive tosspot obviously.

For most companies, spending time and manpower contacting people with no interest in what you are promoting is a clear loss-maker. "Give me the good leads" as sort-of-said in Glengarry Glen Ross.

If your system's design reflects what your customers want you to help them with (rather than "keep everything and screw them"), and you interact well with those customers, your odds of getting the good leads from that system will be improved. If you assume that customer data needs modifying and pruning on a regular basis, you'll find maintaining your data won't cause apoplexy as editing was designed in at the start, not as an afterthought.

And as side-benefits, when your system gets breached (like we all know it inevitably will), if your setup was structured with customer privacy in mind, the impact of said breach will be lowered.

You can make acting professionally a winning proposition: the question is, will you?

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OK... Red wire or black... *Clickety* You've emailed the schematic? Yes, got it! It's opening. And... WHAT? NO!

Whitter
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Mushroom

New supplier?

With a high probability of all the old problems, if not worse, and a long minimum contract length to boot. Much like the rail system where "use another train line" isn't an effective an solution to poor service, a system of rebates for contractually poor service needs to be established.

And that needs some level of agreement as to what minimum* standards are for all those fictional "up to services" that everyone is on.

*a.k.a. "actual"

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Microsoft's in-store Android looks desperate but can Google stop it?

Whitter
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Unhappy

The Maginot Line

"... But is it legal? Microsoft evidently thinks that Google's Maginot Line can be circumvented..."

"Evidently thinks"? Not necessarily. It may be no more that a tactic to overtly illustrate the current anti-competitive restrictions being applied by Google.

Many might smirk with schadenfreude given Microsoft's history of similar market abuse but, as immoral as Microsoft were, the rest of us do not benefit from another company applying similar tactics/morality in the mobile OS world.

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Whitter
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Boffin

... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

Not if you are in the UK (and don't have a garage) you can't:

"You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road."

http://www.highwaycode.info/rule/123

I imagine many potentially helpful (and therefor potentially dangerous) actions may have troubles somewhere in the world for somebody, so the whole approach may require "legal-region" localised APIs or the like.

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I've Been Moved: IBMers in same division slapped with 2nd redundo scheme in 2 months

Whitter
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Meh

Fire the bottom 10%

Wasn't that General Electric? (CEO Jack Welsh if google serves aright).

Regardless, it rather pre-supposes you have a means to measure employee "value", which most companies don't. They have lots of metrics on their employees of course, but few of them illustrate anything meaningful.

And as was pointed out above several times: it always hits the snag that if you pay somebody bonuses to fire people (be that directly or in short-term shares where short-term market "valuation" via the clueless share-price rules), then that is exactly what they will do.

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Boffins Rickroll smartphone by tickling its accelerometer

Whitter
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Boffin

Given the description of a controlled aliased signal

Given the description of a controlled aliased signal, doing the ADC sampling properly would have avoided the problem in the first place (anti-alias analogue prefilter in hardware; over-sampled DAC, digital downsampling filter; downsample). I'm going to guess that was too much bother for the manufacturers.

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US regulator looks at Internet of Things regulation, looks away

Whitter
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FAIL

"... or is likely to cause harm..."

Alas it seems they don't understand their own words.

IoT insecurity is currently likely to cause harm.

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Rap for chat app chaps: Snap's shares are a joke – and a crap one at that

Whitter
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Go

Re: High frequency trading people

Screw those guys. Never did anything for anyone.

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Whitter
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Mushroom

Slow it all down.

By whatever means might have a chance of working.

e.g. Buy a share: can't sell it for 6 months.

That example is too simple to work in reality, but there must be some reasonable system that encourages stocks to be bought because they represent a company of value, rather than bought as part of a numbers-game that reflects no meaningful sense of worth to anyone outwith the game.

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Shopping for PCs? Ding, dong, the Dock is dead in 2017's new models

Whitter
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Devil

"... which it's agreed will intrigue business buyers this year"

My marketing-speak dictionary needs an update it appears. Yet another extension to the "hope like hell sales go up but, in the likely case they don't, cover yourself by copying everyone else" category.

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Stop the press: Journos not happy losing jobs to journo bots, say journos

Whitter
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Trollface

Given that most rags do little more than copy/paste PR puff from politicos or companies, one wonders if the robots will stop at just replacing the middle-man in this arrangement and target the other sides too? Robots creating PR drivel to be tweaked by robots for "local news" to be read by robots (to dive up the advertising "seen by" figures)?

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Awkward. Investigatory Powers Act could prove hurdle to UK-EU Privacy Shield following Brexit

Whitter
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Boffin

"An SNPMP asked..."

"Who's "she"? the cat's mother?"

It was Stuart C. McDonald as it happens.

The committee transcript is linked below should anyone want to see the gory details.

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home-affairs-committee/eu-policing-and-security-issues/oral/48082.html

there are some nice lines such as "You used the expression “no indiscriminate mass collection of data”. According to the European Court of Justice Act, that is essentially what DRIPA was. It is almost certainly how it would regard the Investigatory Powers Act. That suggests that it would be impossible for anything to pass this adequacy assessment without changes to that legislation."

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Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

Whitter
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Meh

"Uber has said it will appeal against the judgement"

Have they said what grounds they will appeal on?

When a company's (or indeed, person's) immediate reaction to a verdict they don't like is "appeal", it always sounds to be a combination of financial bullying with contempt of court.

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Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Whitter
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Paris Hilton

"our advice to the customers is to always update their apps"

My mobile (being a few years old) doesn't have the latest 'droid and as such doesn't have revocable permissions. Thus, as apps have been developed (in most cases, seemingly just shark-jumping) they have invariably asked for more and more permissions for the next update.

As each permission is an increased risk, but not updating is also an increased risk, what's a commentard to do?

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Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams

Whitter
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Big Brother

How long until the general public follow suit?

Indeed, a number of cyclists, drivers and bouncers already have. I'm fairly sure there was a Black Mirror episode about all this...

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Alcatel wants to be Android, but different – and another crack at the Windows market

Whitter
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FAIL

"... Android vendors struggling to differentiate their brands..."

They struggle because they add so little value themselves*: who's fault is that and why should we pity them for their failings?

*One might even argue that most remove value rather than add it.

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LG, Huawei unwrap 'Samsung Galaxy-killers'

Whitter
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Re: Gimmicks

The new meaninglessly-improved models make the previous generation models significantly cheaper: that's the only benefit I tend to see (though your mileage may vary: e.g. gamers for can almost always actively use incremental benefits to their genuine advantage)

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Omg, that is, like, sooo 2007... Retromania set to grip this year's MWC

Whitter
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Unhappy

I suspect most of us are at the point where the phone we have is not the problem: it's the piss-poor mobile data connectivity that app/web-site/phone designers seem to be oblivious to.

As for what might work in the modern age: a genuinely secured phone, which would require a genuinely secured browser (not going to happen) pus a genuinely secure/robust means to run 3rd party apps (also not going to happen). So more of the same then.

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