* Posts by EvilGav 1

433 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Copper load of that: Ofcom claims HUGE jump in 'average' broadband speed

EvilGav 1

It's more than a little flawed

Not least because the measurements are taken by using boxes supplied by Samknows. Outside of the tech audience, I doubt there are many people with these boxes (I have one) and these are the very people *more* likely to be paying for a faster connection.

So, we are more likely able to say "of a technically minded audience, their average speed has increased significantly".

The rest of the country, probably not so much.

Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire

EvilGav 1

Another one . . .

. . . for the "why would anyone want to work in IT for the current crap wages?"

As of next week, I will be leaving my current employer and, most likely, walking away from IT as a career. That's after 20 years in the field working.

Why? Because the wages have been depressed for successive years far too far. There are adverts for jobs today that would have attracted £50K+ not 5 years ago and required more than one person to do, the same job is now for one person for £30K+.

We can point to lots of reasons as to why this has happened - the dot com boom didn't help, with every jonny who could make HTML flash across the screen claim they were a web developer; a generally depressed job market meaning university leavers accepting lower wages; out-sourcing/off-shoring of entry level technical positions; consolidation of IT on a global scale within large corporates. You get the idea, there are lots of reasons.

By far the biggest one, is that the view of IT by anyone who has no idea, is that it's not "hard-work" or difficult. Most of the rest of the company view IT as a necessary evil, but not one which needs to be highly skilled or paid well for it to work. That view is ingrained across all industries and helped by the media, who constantly portray IT guys as sloping off to play games all the time.

I'm minded somewhat of an anecdote, told by the pilot of Concorde on it's maiden press flight, full of press monkey's from around the world. Once cruising at 65,000ft and a little over mach 2, the pilot did the old school walk through the plane to talk to the invited passengers. He was stopped by a Texan reporter, who said "what took so long, there's nothing to this breaking the sound barrier in a passenger plane". The pilot, in typically understated Britishness - "that's what took so long."

Many years ago, I was penalised (lost a pay-rise) for a project over-running by 10-15% on time and cost. It took longer for various technical reasons around making the code as robust as possible. That code ran in production for 6 years, only stopping when they no longer needed. No maintenance was ever required.

Delivery is king, as far as management are concerned. Which is why so many firms struggle with technical debt and expensive maintenance contracts.

1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

EvilGav 1

Re: dead printer?

You're halfway there.

The problem isn't MS here, the problem is Dell no longer supporting the hardware/releasing drivers. Point your ire at the right company.

EvilGav 1
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@AC 17:30 Re: Customers.... really???

Interesting point, but the argument is somewhat flawed.

Anything you buy has inherent "flaws" that can be used by a nefarious 3rd party - the alarm/imobiliser on your car can be circumvented; the locks on your front door can be picked; the condom you wear could fail.

If you choose to park your car in a public and dodgy neighbourhood, is it the manufacturer of the alarm/imobiliser that's at fault if it gets stolen?

If you leave your house for a long period and it gets burgled, is it the lock manufacturers fault?

If you sleep with a skanky person and the protection fails and you get a virus, is it the condom manufacturers fault?

Plugging a PC into the internet is always risky, you just take measures to minimise the risk (firewalls, AV, web check and so on). If the PC gets attacked and you're behind a firewall, why is it the OS that's at fault and not the firewall (after all, one is sold on the premise it protects you and one isn't).

What you are "owed" is a working* operating system. That's it.

* Let's not get into the "hur, hur, it's Windows, I wouldn't say it was 'working' hur, hur" comments

EvilGav 1

Re: Supprised companies on XP

We still have assembly language running on our mainframe, should we re-write all of that because it's no longer sexy and with-it in the IT world?

In the world of large corporations, moving from one OS to another happens at a glacial pace and only when they have exhausted all excuses not to.

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

EvilGav 1
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@Paul Shirley Re: @Keith 72

No offence, but if you'd spent 5 minutes longer you would have found that you don't need any 3rd party app's to do exactly what you want.

On the Win 8 themes screen is an option to make the window borders context sensitive or static. Setting them to static and to whatever colour you want would, from your note, have done exactly what you wanted.

EvilGav 1

@rebajas Re: Gets my vote..

Yes, the music app (along with the photo and video app) can see your music, wherever it is.

Like the old Media player, if you don't store it in the defined place, you need to tell the app where to find it. This is not done in the same way as the media player, but a 5 minute google found my answer - basically, you open up Explorer (Win + E) and add the relevant directory shortcuts under My Music, My Photos etc (i'm at work on XP, so don't have the exact manner in front of me).

Before I get shot down with "but that's just silly", please remember that Media Player has been the same since it was launched, it assumed all media types were in the directory it wanted them and you had to tell them where to find the files if they weren't, nothings changed except how you tell it (which changed between Media 9 and Media 10 as well).

Virgin Mobile coughs to choking its customers

EvilGav 1

Re: 2Mb/sec should be enough for a video stream

Sod laptops. With the top end phones this year all sporting 1080 screens, they all match the average desktop monitor!!

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Both GiffGaff and Three offer truly unlimited data plans - the former for £12 a month and the latter for £15 a month (or £12 if you sign up for a 12 month contract).

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

EvilGav 1

Re: cost of alcohol... £7.5bn for Scotland

I wasn't aware that the entire worlds population lived in Scotland ??

EvilGav 1

Re: There's a reason they have to use Min Pricing in Scotland

Do we really have a "drink until you collapse in a taxi" culture or do we have a minority who make it seem as such?

I drink in local hostelry's on a regular basis, the number of people I see in the above mentioned state is minimal. I'm aware there are other areas of the city (Edinburgh) where this is more of a problem, which suggests it's a clientele specific problem and not a cultural problem.

There are some people who cannot go to the pub and *not* get completely bladdered, it seems to be their way, but that isn't culture, that's personal.

This is legislation based on assumption - the assumption is that everyone is a border-line alcoholic, otherwise there is no possible way pricing would make any large scale impact on the problem.

First, servers were deep-fried... now, engineers bring you wet ones

EvilGav 1

Same problem as all liquids

Yes, it conducts heat better than air (and presumably better than water, which itself is 25,000 times better than air), the problem is dumping the heat afterwards.

Heating from a solid (the CPU, GPU or whatever) to a liquid or gas is fairly trivial, but you the need to move that now heated coolant away from the solid and cool it back down, otherwise it's pointless. Usually we do this with radiators of some kind, which usually need airflow over them to remove the heat.

In some instances, this will be a trivial concern - the mentioned submarines are surrounded by water much colder than the internal temperature, dumping the heat from the server into the submarine itself and using the fact it's immersed in colder water to balance the internal heat would seem sensible.

However, in hot climates, you need another method of heat exchange. This would be why most large data centres (where possible) are being built in colder climates - when the external ambient temperature is low enough, expensive cooling solutions become somewhat moot.

Fondling again: HP slates new tablet for April

EvilGav 1
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Re: Looks like a Nexus 7 clone...

If that's all you want, get an Ainol-Novo for less than half the price!

Build your own 180TB NAS for $US1,942.59 (plus disk)

EvilGav 1

Re: (plus disk)

Given the cost for 3TB drives is hovering around £100, i'd say it's not worth building a 4TB rig - adding 45B of additional storage increases the cost by around £3,500, which just doesn't make sense economically.

Should be able to build the chasis for ~£1,500, so the 180TB version is around £9,000 or 135TB for around £6,000.

John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

EvilGav 1
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Re: Religions and non-religions

Quick check on Sky - 15 religious television channels in the UK.

Do entire channels devoted to them constitute an advert?

EvilGav 1

Re: Religions...

I vehemently object to these charlatans* being given tax exempt status.

* Charlatans covers all of them, the many colours of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and so on and so forth.

Tesla vs Media again as Model S craps out on journo - on the highway

EvilGav 1
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Re: Cold weather and cold batteries

The problem with the little doors is that they only work whilst the vehicle is in motion. Whilst it is not in motion, there is little to no air-flow and little to no cooling.

Those air-cooled Beetle engines are notorious for over-heating unless the later model fan is fitted.

If we fit a fan to cool the battery pack, we've now introduced something that will deplete energy whilst the car is stationery.

EvilGav 1

Re: The big problem is

With the Tesla Roadster, it was obviously meant as a run around, much like the Elise it's styled on cant really be considered a usable car (unless you never need more than 2 seats and don't need and luggage).

But the S (and indeed the Leaf) are being billed as replacements - why else have something of that seating and luggage capacity if not as a replacement?

Neither of these cars are in any way cheap, the vast majority of people don't have 2 cars (not as in 2 in the family, as in 2 cars, 1 for the week and 1 for Sunday best). Most families have 2 cars because 2 or more people need to actually get to different places.

The fact that you yourself have basically said that you need 2 cars to be able to own an EV, means that any savings made are completely negated by the doubling of initial costs - 2 cars, 2 insurance premiums, 2 road taxes, etc etc. Plus there's now double the manufacturing, so any environmental impact is largely if not totally negated by building 2 cars instead of 1.

Right now, today, these sorts of EV are not praticable. The technology simply isn't there to make use of it. There is an argument for electric mopeds for cities, which require shorter charging time (with a lower range to go with it), but you still have the charging issue at either end of your journey.

EvilGav 1

Re: Cold weather and cold batteries


Now, we have all that insulation around the batteries - what do we do about the excess heat we have when the temperature is at the other end of the scale?

Batteries work best at a relatively constant warm temperature, cold will kill the charge, heat will kill the battery itself.

Heat conservation *is* relatively trivial, heat disapation however is unfortunately not.

Australian Parliament issues summons to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

EvilGav 1
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@AC 08.32 Re: Listen

"Oh no it costs $3.50 per gallon of petrol, vs £6.50 (roughly) it costs in the UK. (which is about $10.20)"

I'm not saying that you're entirely wrong, but i've no idea where you go and pay £1.45 a litre for petrol - accordign to OFT the average price is £1.36.

The next point is that the US gallon is only 3.5 litre's, whereas the UK gallon is 4.5 litres.

The actual comparison would be $3.50 vs £4.76, so around $7.15. You also need to compare the cost of UK petrol against what the US calls "premium". Our normal petrol is much better than the US, they run (IIRC) 85RON, whereas we run 95RON (burns far more efficiently) - the US premium petrol is what we consider normal.

11-YEAR-OLD code wizard hacks Greedy RuneScape geeks

EvilGav 1

Hacking ?


Having seen the "app" in question it's little more than a C# variation of the "Hello World" intro code.

Adding in two text boxes and a drop-down and prettying up the interface, along with the submit button, is a long, long way from hacking.

It even requires the user to download and run the application.

It's social engineering, nothing more.

A new Mac Pro coming this spring? 'Mais oui!'

EvilGav 1

@Hans 1 Re: hmm

Errm, nope, not at all.

I'm running a Core 2 Quad Q6600 from November 2007 (ok, 1 year newer than the Pro).

It's currently quite happily sitting running Windows 8.

It's due to be replaced in a couple of months as I want something a bit more up to date.

It wont be dead, though, it'll be going off as a new PC for a friends son where it will be just as capable of running the same software.

Windows Phone 8 hasn't slowed Microsoft's mobile freefall

EvilGav 1


In the short term, almost certainly, but that's never been the MS way.

They haemmoraghed (sp, cant be bothered checking) money with the X-Box, which took IIRC nearly 3 years to simply break even.

This isn't about instantly being top-dog, it's about the long-term strategy. It's largely the same strategy is Apple - get them onto the eco-system, make that work seamlessly and don't let go.

Microsoft want you to have a desktop, a phone and an X-Box, with your Live! account on all of them.

What would be interesting to know is what the contract Nokia have with MS states regarding exclusivity.

'Online sex abuse of children is growing trend', warn Brit net cops

EvilGav 1

@AC 16:29 Re: .... nice

That's a shame for you, we had access to some pretty good shit from the age of about 8 or so.

Certainly remember seeing SnM and GB's in magazines when I was, ohh, 13 or so as well - which is near enough 30 years ago now.

The only difference today is that it's easier to get hold of and, in no small part, has meant that many groups of *adults* have come to the conclusion that they aren't alone in their preponderences.

There are many comments that already say this, but it's quite simple - be a parent if you have kids, don't expect society to be one for you.

US diplomat: If EU allows 'right to be forgotten' ... it might spark TRADE WAR

EvilGav 1
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Re: Right to be forgottem by government?

Right to be forgotten <> right to have all data held deleted.

Financial institutions are required to keep records for 5 years minimum on transactions, this law wont change that.

Driving convictions (UK) are kept on record even after "spent".

There are others.

What this will most likely do is allow an individual to have their personal data deleted by someone who has no need to keep it - say an airline after the flight has happened.

It sounds more like a case of enshrining in law something that should have been possible anyway.

Axed staffers hijack HMV Twitter account: 'We're tweeting LIVE from HR'

EvilGav 1


The stores continued belief that they could still charge "full retail", when (at the time) Play were selling the same for nearly half the price boggled the mind. Even worse were imports - sold in HMV at around £30 for a CD, when it could be delivered from the other side of the world for less than half.

Even when they finally went online, the prices tended to be the same as instore.

The biggest trick they missed, was not allowing a click and collect type affair - buy online and collect in store. They had the necessary number of premises to cover it and presumably the stock control database to back it up.

It's a shame, as I still remember it being one of the go-to shops, especially the flag-ship Oxford Street store - when VHS was king in the late 80's that store was fantastic.

Apple still top for slab-fondlers despite FLOOD of Xmas tablets

EvilGav 1

Re: Markets and Growth

At the super-cheap end it's true, they are terrible - if it's < £100.

But you can get exceptionally good tablets for not much more - the latest Ainol tabs are amazing hard-ware wise and there are enough in that £100-£200 bracket to make your choice almost endless.

This is where the "benevolent" hand of Google shows just how savvy it is - create an eco-system that any hardware manufacturer can enter for a low entry fee, get the customers on your eco-system and don't care who's hardware they buy, since you make money anyway.

With Apple, if you don't buy the hardware, you also don't buy the app's, tunes etc etc.

EvilGav 1

Re: Why the obsession with market share

I think you'll find the super-cheap ones have resistive screens which work with a stylus.

The shiney iThingies and all the Androids (I think) have capacitive.

EvilGav 1


Your failure to comprehend statistics is tiresome.

Apple's share of sales was 52%, it's now 44% so an 8% drop in the share of sales.

Now, if we were talking about market share and how much that has dropped (which it undoubtedly has), that number is much lower.

Official: Fandroids are smarter/tighter* than iPhone fanbois

EvilGav 1

Also . . .

. . . IIRC the US trend was for 24 or 36 month contracts, the idea of the 12, 18 or 24 that we tend to get in the UK is a revelation.

As others have said though, I don't understand anyone who buys a tethered phone these days. I replace my phone more or less annually and pay £15 a month for 300 minutes, 3,000 texts (which is as near as makes no difference unlimited) and unlimited data (no FUP, this month i've gone through 1.5GB without trying and without issue). That's a PAYG month by month contract too, as I refuse to be tied to a carrier any longer as well.

Yes, it works out as somewhere around £35 monthly, but the phone isn't tied and can be updated as soon as the manufacturer releases an update, not when the provider decides. I get no provider rubbish on the phone. It's an unlocked handset so is onwardly more saleable. I can switch provider on a whim, with full number portability. I get to choose whatever handset I want, not whatever handset someone can make more profit on. I get all of that, pay about the same monthly as people on longer contracts and have complete control over every aspect - why wouldn't you do that?

BBC: What YOU spent on our lawyers in Secret Climate 28 debacle

EvilGav 1

@96percentchimp Re: fooey

You missed a very, very important question, one that dictates how those following are treated, after "is there a problem?"*, you've missed out :

"what's causing the problem?"

Without knowing the cause, you cant begin to discuss a solution. Current belief is that it's CO2 concentration, but that is still open for debate - in my own lifetime I can remember at least three gasses being the cause of global warming, who's to say today's bogey-man is the right one?

* this itself is subjective, a problem for whom? not the planet, just one of it's indigenous species.

So: 6,500 Win 8 laptops later, how are BT's field engineers coping?

EvilGav 1

@Dave Lawton Re: Consistency

All I can give you is the process on my and the dozen or so friends who have all installed W8 - this means a multitude of different home built machines, varying hardware (from old C2Q LGA775 up to Ivybridge LGA1155 motherboards, both AMD and nVidia GFX and so on).

In all cases, the screen resolution is located in the same way :

In desktop mode (where the screen looks basically the same as it has done for the last 17 years), right click and select Properties. The box that then pops up should be familiar to everyone.

In Metro mode, type Control Panel and proceed as per any previous version of Windows.

That's for W8 Pro on old-school desktop, I cant tell you how it works on a Surface (which may well have been what you were using) or indeed how you right-click on a touch-screen (never had to do it, as I don't have one). Without knowing what the different hardware was you were using, it's hard to answer more fully than that.

EvilGav 1

@Chad H. Re: Win 8 is a grower

What utter gibberish.

I run loads of app's at the same time, across multiple monitors and very rarely do I look at the Metro UI. The only time you would go to Metro is for little used app's (and that doesn't include Control Panel, which you can have as a pop-up menu on your desktop toolbar). Any app that you use regularly I would expect to be pinned to your desktop, just like every version of Windows since 95. If you want to de-clutter, create a folder with short-cuts to all your app's in it and add that as a pop-up on your toolbar.

Here's an even better thought, if you don't like how it's working right now - change it. It's kind of the point, that you can make it act however you want it too.

EvilGav 1
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@theodore Re: surprised at the use of iPhones.

Not sure why you got a downvote.

We have iPads for all our "top" management, because a previous CTO decided we needed to look modern and stylish (not to mention, he already had one). Cue the requirement to have wi-fi throughout our buildings and ensuring the firewall/network etc coped with them.

We'll ignore the more pressing concern (at least for those at the front end of IT) that we're still on XP and it's in service life is all but over - we must have the shinies working first!!

Apple users: Only Apple can track us! Not Google

EvilGav 1

Re: Security Issue?

iThingys don't have multiple accounts, so the argument is somewhat moot from the start.

Twitter must unmask racist French twits or face $1,300-a-DAY fine

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Re: Changing worrld

"hate" is not a crime.

In some circumstances, what was said and shown could be considered satire - albeit many may find it distasteful.

"Jews talk about The Holocaust, which is wrong, they had A holocaust, admittedly it was the best one, but the native American Indians and the Australian Aboriginees may have a claim on holocaust as well."

Jim Jeffries

Greenland ice did not melt in baking +8°C era 120k years ago

EvilGav 1

Re: Is there a way I can filter out crap posts?

And therein lies the entire problem with the climate change "debate". If you don't agree that we need to make changes, you are wrong - that is not a debate.

I actually find it quite refreshing to get to read climate stories that don't all conclude that it's worse than we previously thought (as I can on almost all other news services).

The debate *should* still be going on, for the simple point of : is the current situation natural and we cant change it or is the current situation un-natural and we can do something? That is the actual debate and it's one that the doom-mongers (for want of a better name) don't want to have. It's either all mankinds fault or you are wrong.

As you say, we have 50+ years of climate research. However, we only have good readings for Earth's temperature for a little over a century and accurate for a little over half that. Yet we're trying to model something on a 125,000 year cycle - we have some pretty good readings on a macro scale, but not on the micro. We have no idea if the temperature change from the last high point went smoothly or in fits and starts, with sudden (in this form, sudden can be considered any fraction of a century) changes. We don't know if we're in a sudden rise in temperature, that will plateau off for another century or two.

These are the problems. The current philosophy seems to be to bankrupt the planet in a manner which may be the equivalent of farting in a hurricane. If the science cant get a hold on a model that stands up for more than 5 minutes without major changes (which is what has been happening, the various models have required major changes every 6 months or so), how can we possibly attribute a solution to a "problem" we don't understand?

Cautious Brits less likely than US firms to puff on clouds - survey

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SafeHarbor is a voluntary boon-doggle, it has no protection of law behind it.

It allows EU companies to deal with data holders in the US, but without the safe-guard of a legal framework behind it - it would be a straight breach of contract and require a civil case to sort out.

TSA to pull backscatter perv scanners from US airports

EvilGav 1

You should probably fact check that.

9/11 was caused by flights originating in the USA, it's one of the reasons the planes still had so much fuel aboard when they hit. If those planes had started their flights outside the USA, they would have had very little fuel left.

Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

EvilGav 1

Netbooks, for my money, failed for the same reason that many devices do - they never evolved or changed.

I love my netbook, it is precisely what I was looking for - a very light, extremely portable laptop at a reasonable price.

I bought a Samsung NC-10, as it had the best feeling keyboard, about 4 years ago. Yet if I look at the latest Netbooks (the few that there are), at the same price - the hardware is all but the same (single core, 1.6GHz processor, 1GB ram, 10.1" screen, 200GB or so HDD). Either the price should have dropped or the spec should have got better, neither is true to any great extent.

Playboy fined £100k by Blighty watchdog for FLASHING SMUT at kids

EvilGav 1

Re: The UK is a funny old place

Even worse than that . . .

You can legally be married, have a child and be making the beast with two backs regularly at 16, but taking a photo of your naked wife when she's still 16 is actually illegal!

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Re: what about sexual violence

"skewed conception and expectation"

What? They get the expectation that they might enjoy it? They get an idea of mechanically what to expect and how to go about it (I mean more than the crap videos we got at school)?

Conception is another way to say opinion, so is the young peoples opinion skewed or is it yours?

Tell Facebook who's the greatest: YOU are!

EvilGav 1
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Re: Horses for courses

Very true. In the old Chas and Dave song they sang "you got more rabbit than Sainsbury's", try and actually *buy* rabbit in a supermarket and you're most likely on a hiding to nothing these days.

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The Failure of Digital

It's a similar point i've espoused to a number of people with regard to digital, especially things like Kindle books - great for a specific reason (lots of books in an easy to carry format) - but try flicking through pages of a e-book (reference books especially) and it doesn't work. Since we're on an IT site, how many people have had a vague idea of what they want to do in a language, picked up a book and flicked through pages rapidly until something clicked. You cant do that with digital.

It is in that same regard I will partially lament the passing of HMV, however the price gouging that they have done for the last 30 years eventually had to come back and haunt them. They had a choice 20 years or so ago to start cutting prices, but chose to gouge the consumer; 15 years ago the internet was a start-up online shopping area and only early adopters including myself used it. 10 years ago they could and should have had HMV online running properly.

Doing nothing for over a decade is criminal negligence on the part of management.

Here we go again: New NHS patient database plan sets off alarm bells

EvilGav 1

More stupidity

Again we see a senior MP spouting a variation of what has gone before. Again we see that it's the bureaucrats that run Whitehall and not the MPs.

We don't need any new massive IT systems, we need to sweep away huge swathes of senior civil servants and kill these projects once and for all.

Apple rubbishes rumours of iPhone for the masses

EvilGav 1

I'm not going to vote you up or down, but point out that if you bought something, you have a warranty.

You and others have also mentioned this idea that if the phone goes wrong you speak to the manufacturer - but I don't have a contract with him/her, I have a contract with the selling agent and it's them that are on the hook to sort out my issue.

Like any other purchase, if the purchaser does no sort of analysis into what they want or gets no opinion (other than bloke in shop), then caveat emptor applies. We're talking about a few hundred pounds here, not sure about anyone else but I don't randomly spend money without finding out at least a modicum of information about what i'm getting.

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@AC 13:45

Superior Service - like fleecing customers for an extended warranty they don't need in Europe?

Superior Support - "you're holding it wrong" or "here, have a rubber band"

TCO - i'm not sure what else you want to include in that figure? Usability is about the same regardless of which smartphone OS you use; phone contracts are a fixed cost regardless of handset and so on. What else would you like to try and shoe-horn in??

All your audio, video kit is about to become OBSOLETE

EvilGav 1

Increase the quality of music?

From what?

mp3s @ 192kbps, mp3s @ ~400kbps, CDs @ 1440kbps, DVD-A @ ~8mbps ??

'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

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Re: Anything but

Not sure everyone is in such hived off silos as you believe.

I have a W8 desktop, an Android phone, a linux file server and a Win XP Netbook (not decided whether to switch it to Linux or W8 yet). The only OS I will have no part of is the one from the fruity firm.

So, whither does that leave me in your eyes?

Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

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Re: Surely...

Tea should be made with water around 85C, not boiling.

I very much enjoy my 2 or 3 500ml cups of tea a day.