* Posts by Julian

68 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jun 2007


Microsoft and Linux trade patent words in Europe

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No thank you very much

I think we are entitled to choice, competition, innovation free from the influence of Microsoft and the American way of settling things. Smaller companies would be driven out of business and patent trolls would flourish.

Whether I like Microsoft software or not, I would like to make up my own mind about which software to use and, in particular, I really want a choice of vision for the future, not just a single product and a single vision, take it or leave it, from the playground bully.

Plagiarism and outright theft of code should, of course be wrong. Surely then copyright is the appropriate mechanism for protection of software from such.

Furthermore, the British and European laws and justice system have developed in a different environment from the USA and we should not look to have our jurisdiction suborned and subservient to the USA.

Big Business has considerable sway with our own government, but in America Big Business, so we understand, cracks the whip.

Again, no thank you very much and, by the way lets have equality of pricing.


And then there is the old chessnut

We do not know how much offending code there is in Microsoft's products. On the balance of probabilities, plenty, but we just don't know as they devote so much time and energy to maintaining secrecy, particularly in dodgy deals.

Microsoft accepts US antitrust oversight extension


Won't make much difference

As I said

Who snapped first?

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Another interpretation

@ The Sun report.

Rather than an assumption (accusation) of drunkenness, perhaps the victim was already suffering a medical incident which he didn't understand and was disorientated .

Wait for the postmortem.

Either way, the second occurrence where he was pushed violently to the ground was totally out of order.

So far as photography is concerned, sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander!

Gnome answers Linux critics with 'big' vision plan



replicate Microsoft's error of introducing changes which just turned off their users, for example Office 2007 and Windows Vista.

Stick with the concept and improve it in incremental ways, and provide additional relevant and useful features, but not dramatic changes of no particular value.

By all means improve the appearance and the underlying technology, but Gnome could hardly be any easier to use. The simplicity of the Gnome desktop is, presumably, why so many users prefer Gnome to KDE.

One thing that I think would help the user experience would be to take away all the hard colours and replace them with something similar to Windows 7, that is something that Microsoft did get right. Sorry!

Royal Mail disses runaway post van man

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A sign of the times!

'nuff said.

Did TomTom test Microsoft's Linux patent lock-down?

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Leopard and spots.

It is indeed surprising that Microshaft's secret dealings have not been leaked before.

I, for one, do not like Microshaft's duplicity and double dealing and do not want to be 'owned' by them. Neither do I want to live in a constant state of suspicion, thinking or fearing the worst of people, all the time. Unfortunately .........

Separately, we are reading that the EU have decided that they can relax their supervision of said Microshaft when, without this belated revelation, they still seem to be using (abusing) their dominant monopoly to extend dependence on their products.

Correct me if I'm wrong, if this latest revelation is true, then Microshaft may have deal a really damaging blow to the GPL, with the collusion of some significant Linux commercial companies who now appear to have sold out. .

Tom Tom are not well placed financially to defend this action. Notwithstanding that they are not a community player, they are going to need some considerable assistance if they are not going to cave in. Groklaw to the rescue!

By the way, where are Red Hat placed following their recently reported secret deal.

I've said it before, in many contexts, and I'll say it again. I would like to leave a decent world to my children and grand children. Without being too pessimistic, that seems to be rather optimistic.

PS It looks as thought this particular revision to the GPL, section seven of GPLv2, is potentially an own goal.

EC retires the Microsoft watchdog

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As Microsoft continues it's 'dominant monopoly' policies unabated.

BT accused of 'sharp practice' on rolling contracts

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More Pot and Kettle

TalkTalk rang me up the other day to offer me a free wireless broadband router and other incentives - to lock me into a new 18 month contract and cancellation charges, which no longer apply to my current contract.. Pot and kettle.

Mind you it's debateable who provides the poorest service, BT, Virgin, TalkTalk, ......... , and don't forget Phorm.

Microsoft trades goodwill for TomTom Linux satisfaction


Extinguish or take over

Having read the article and all the comments, the most likely scenario is that Microsoft wish to bring Tom Tom to its knees, because Tom Tom is vulnerable just now, and then take over the company. Plenty of precedent for Microsoft absorbing other people's products into the Microsoft family.

So it's not a Linux thing! Just as Microsoft said.

Scots and pilots brace against ID cards

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I am retired and etc.

"The government's secondary legislation, if passed, will mean that from 31 March 2009 those who will be required to supply their fingerprints and apply for a card will include postgraduate doctors and dentists, academic visitors who are staying in the country for more than six months, people seeking private medical treatment, domestic workers and retired people who support themselves financially, plus their spouses and children."

What a mottley collection with no obvious thread of connection or particular risk to the citizens of this country or, indeed, the rest of the world. And exactly what do the government mean by retired people who support themseves financially?

What danger does an old fogey represent. However, he or she is a good catch all as his or her family is drawn into the system, which in my case will be a further ten people 'obligated'.

My reaction: What a load of bull. I got this far without blowing up the Houses of Parliament but it does increasing seems like a bloody good idea.

You're barcoded: The sneaky under-25 route to compulsory ID


Next they will be doing it to OAP

The news item you have referenced is a very good example as to why we should resist the current march (dash) into a mis-micro managed society in which we will all be the losers. Might as well be Cyborgs or Robots.

The next step is presumed guilt and the thought police - but we're already going that way, inexorably, unless we can do something about it. We need a strong politician, possibly like Obama who has stated he will roll back state intervention.

I would like to quote Benjamin Franklin, again, with this very apt statement. "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither"

And which has been paraphrased many ways as below:-

He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

People willing to trade their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both.

If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both.

Any society that would give up liberty to gain security will deserve neither and lose both.

He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.

Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.

Miliband refuses to release torture documents


I am reminded

of my experience in the local newsagent some 12 years ago, soon after I had moved to London.

Firstly, we had visitors, with two young girls about the height of the shop counter, staying with us. We went to get them weekly travel cards and were refused because we had no 'evidence' that they *were* children!

Later on, I was chased out of the same newsagent whilst browsing to see which computer magazine I would buy that day, actually by the same person. I had been a regular purchaser of computer magazines, newspapers, sweets and travel cards, etc. up till then.

Needless to say, that newsagent lost all my regular business until it changed hands some years later, despite inconvenience to myself. Now the new owners greet me and my family when we go in. I think perhaps there's a lesson about society in there somewhere.

The main point is that I was extremely upset and offended by this treatment, it seemed to impinge on both my integrity and my identity.

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The point that appears to be missed

by most contributors seems to be that Miliband was going to great lengths to avoid admitting that the UK Government did/does know about the torture of Binyam Mohamed. If it wasn't a serious issue, the lengths he went to to avoid telling the truth would be laughable.

It is a great shame to our nation that we do not expect the truth from our politicians and other 'peers' anymore, and the world can see this. Great Britain no more!

Extreme porn law goes live - are you ready?

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If there's a lawyer/council who will defend you, there's also one who will seek to crucify you, and that's before you are targeted by the police as a soft option.

It would be nice if these and similar measures really dealt with the real ills of society without actually creating such a morass of inconvenience and risk to your average Joe Bloggs.

The word of a politician, inter alia, is worth very little these days, which is a great problem in achieving a healthy society as a whole.

US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet


@ Trix Sexism = fail

Sorry, but I did qualify my statement. It just so happens that nearly all the assistance I offer is to females who are frequently not very good with computers.

No offense intended!



I provide support to lots of females who are just as feckless as this with Windows installed! One in particular has less difficulty with Linux. Not to say that all females are feckless, of course. I expect there are lots of men just as feckless, I certainly spoke with one just the other day.

The biggest problems with Linux are unfamiliarity and printer support. Many of the Linux tasks are actually easier than Windows, updating in particular, and Linux is not bothered with all the security issues.

Virgin Media to dump neutrality and target BitTorrent users


@ Paul and all the flamers

I'm surprised at the paucity of comment supporting Paul's position. I have a 10Mb cable connection which frequently performs a slowly as 10Kb. Do you think that I should support the abuse by all you freetards on P2P exchanging pirated software,music and video for which you are not paying and, consequently, also damaging constructive use of P2P and BitTorrent such as legitimate downloads.

It is you who are destroying net neutrality. It is you who are stealing not only the content but your ISP's resources and MY moderate use of a service for which I have paid and do not receive. You are contributing to (and even aiding and abetting) the the destruction of ALL our freedoms which you spuriously argue you are supporting.

I pity the world you are creating. After all, it is you and the likes of you, selfish something for nothing people, who have brought us to the current financial meltdown. Nothing is ultimately free and our children and grandchildren will pay for our lack of foresight with diminished freedoms and choices and, of course, the bill.

Go on, Flame me, but it would be really nice to hear from a few people supporting my position!

Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch


@ Julian (that's me)

My Virgin cable 10Mbits/sec service dropped to 12Kbits/second this evening!



What about the rest of us?

I have a 10 Mbit/sec connection with Virgin and have been a loyal cable customer for over 10 years. Currently and frequently I cannot even obtain 512Kbits/sec and downloading email, for example, is a painfully slow process.

So my question, already voiced above, is what about the rest of us? Will we be banished to an ever poorer service as a result of preferential treatment to the higher speed and bandwidth users?

I am a steady user but not an excessive user and would very rarely hit, or even approach, the published limits before shaping/throttling is supposed to kick in. It is clear to me that Virgin infrastructure is not adequate for reasonable current demands, let alone future demands.

I'm inclined to think that Virgin's 20Mbit and 50Mbit services are a bit of a gimmick at the expense of a satisfactory service to customers on lower speeds which really should still be more than adequate for most users, but are not.

Ballmer's bid to swerve 'Vista Capable' row comes unstuck


A joke too far!

I wonder. Has anyone noticed the resemblance of the Ballmer's image to that of Fester from the 'Adams Family'?

Microsoft: 'Patents are gibberish - unless you're a patent lawyer'


Gibberish - Lawyers

Says it all!

Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista


@ LOSING?! By Dr. Ellen

The only reason M$ are loosing money in the Netbook market is that they are subsidising Netbooks with XP installed in order to gain leverage (unfair advantage) in that market.

Apricot drops 'too complicated' Linux from netbook line


Slightly off topic

One of my daughter's friend's mother is a nightmare with her laptops (XP and Vista installed). Some years ago I installed Linux on an older desktop for her as a temporary measure. This is still going strong and said mother has had no problem using it, unlike the aforementioned laptops, and I have not been required to maintain it at all - not even once.

Ergo, it does not take a geek or fanboy, to use Linux.


Not again!

Microsoft certainly know how to win friends and influence people and in consequence have had a very rough ride with the somewhat premature release of the imperfect Vista, which was also not properly supported by the available hardware.

What a shame that they coninue to act the bully boy rather than just compete. As more people learn this, they will seek alternatives. That is human nature.

Nevertheless, SuSe might provide an unfamiliar user with difficulty in configuring wireless connections unless a simplified tool has been included. On the other hand Ubuntu would just run, as already stated above.

The comment about installation is enirely rediculous, Ubuntu and most Linux install easily and quickly and require reinstallation less frequently. Updates and upgrades are very easily achieved and generally do not require a reboot unless there is a change to the kernel. Similarly installing additional software is a breeze and usually free. In any case, there is, presumably, no initial requirement to install either of the systems as they will already be pre-installed.

Time for a class action?

Lenovo drops web sales of Linux machines



I run Ubuntu on my Lenovo X61 and it runs faultlessly. I love it. Everything just works. As with most Distros, adding and removing software is a breeze.

Many live Linux Distros also run well and identify the hardware without any problems.

So far as I can see, Lenovo are not offering the X61 with Linux installed.

Police quiz BT on secret Phorm trials

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Since everyone else has overlooked it

don't forget the Phuzz!

It will be a disgrace if a prosecution does not follow, but if BT are fined it's their customers who will actually pay the fine.

Remember the cash for honours - swept under the carpet although it was as plain as a pikestaff to us mere mortals.

Who's taking bets?

McKinnon a 'scapegoat for Pentagon insecurity'


And another thing

This all opens the door to US laws and legal processes superseding UK (and even EU) laws and legal processes.

Is this what we want, Is this where we want to go?

The British government and legal systems have been weak and short sighted and, no doubt, improperly expedient.

I'm sure independant legal analysis would conclude differently and would not hand over UK citizens to the US and wash their hands of the consequences both to the individual and the bigger picture.

A good article!

UK.gov misses deadline on EU Phorm probe


One thing apparently overlooked

by the EU is that it appears that interception of our internet traffic by Phorm will still take place even with an opt-out and that this is still illegal and objectionable.

Phorm's response to date is, a la Blair, 'trust us'. Not bloody likely.

The problem is who do we now trust. Answers on a postcard please!

UK.gov tells throttling petition: Choke on it


@ Pointless? by By Dave Ross

I have signed a number of reasonable petitions which have represesented fair statements of public opinion. The replies have all been a total whitewash of one kind or another.

I concur that petions to No. 10 are, unfortunatetly, a completely pointless exercise. We have no voice as demonstrated by this and other actions of this government. I despair!

Europe drafts law to disconnect suspected filesharers


@ By Pierre

I'm not in a position to comment on your opinion of Sarkozy neither, since you haven't stated your position on (illegal) file sharing, can I respond constructively to your insults.

However your language suggests that you see nothing wrong in what is, in effect, theft. I am not in favour of an Orwellian society and that is exactly why I'm against (illegal) file sharing and it's unfortunate consequences affecting everyone of us, regardless of whatever spurious arguments are made to justify it.

The choice is anarchy (which is not freedom) which you, by implication, appear to prefer, a decent law abiding society (which is freedom) or the strictures of an Orwellian society (which is certainly not freedom). Most unfortunately the choice now appears to be a choice between anarchy and Orwell.

Freedom carries with it responsibity, but obviously not responsibility as you understand it. Pity you couldn't post a reasoned comment.

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@ Louis

You are the problem which we all have to suffer and pay for.

In any case, I don't believe most of the sh1t you have written.


Chaos in the EU Parliament

I posted a link to an informative article yesterday which described the confused and chaotic progress to rush this legislation through the EU Parliament before the Summer Recess. Multiple amendments likely to create unworkable legislation regardless on any underlying merits to the control of illegal file sharing.

My comment hasn't been published. This is the second time this has happened when I have included a link to an informative source about the matter under discussion.

Hasty law - bad law. And in any case, any law should be enforced by the duly constituted authorities, not the ISPs and certainly not other interested parties for all the reasons already rehearsed in these comments.

Guilt by assertion is unacceptable.

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Wrong approach

I am against all the illegal file sharing of copyright material, music and video in particular. It is after all just plain theft. But another reason I am against it is the negative consequences it will have on the management of the Internet and ALL its users, inevitably having an unsatisfactory impact on the freedom of the Internet for everybody.

Is that what we really want?

However, I believe it is the uploaders and other facilitators of the illegal file sharing who should be targetted. Furthermore I also believe that ISPs should under no circumstances be turned into a private enforcement agency. It is for the properly authorised agencies of law enforcement to carry out this function, namely courts, police and if relevant the CPS.

Additionally, under these proposals, your child or other person sharing your connection can get you cut off and this may have serious consequences for you if your Internet connection is fundamentally important to you.

My own personal opinion is that this illegal file sharing should have been nipped in the bud at least 10 years ago. Now it is a very difficult task as the scale of sharing has ballooned exponentially, and the younger generation in particular consider it a norm.

Bottom line, all Internet users will suffer. One more step to a surveillance and control society wholly unacceptable in principle and far more dangerous than Phorm.

Go on - Flame me!


For more information

Visit this site for another analysis very much worth a read


Dismissed deputy head launches legal fight

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@ By Eek

Damned if you're right and damned if you're wrong. What a wonderful world we are creating!

But in one respect I do not agree with you, the inevitable consequences of acting on soft (or any) information will not tend to remain confidential. Innocent lives may be ruined. Innocence is a precious thing and it should not lightly threatened. A teacher of many years standing, for example, suddenly looses his job, or a volunteer is equally suddenly no longer wanted, what conclusions will be drawn?

Firefox 3 Download Day falls flat on face


@Firefox RC2 was still buggy for me...

"...as in it stopped responding quite frequently on my Windows Vista running laptop"

Internet Explorer also freezes now on all my computers running XP pro SP3 every time a page is slow to load.

I finally managed to download Firefox 3 last evening, very slowly though. For me it runs very nicely and I appreciate the choice.

However, I think Mozilla did manage the record attempt very badly by failing to disseminate useful information/instructions in advance and hence were not really prepared.

Microsoft: 'We will save America from foreign domination'


Microsoft: 'We will save America from foreign domination

Excuse me but I thought the rest of the world needed saving from Microsoft and American domination!

Have I got it wrong?

Canonical rejiggers Ubuntu for laptots


@E @E @E .........

I am appalled at your posts. Linux is trying to get more established in the desktop/laptop market and extend its acceptability in many other areas. Your rants do not exactly help. I'm sure you really must put people off from using Linux. Indeed you seem to arguing against the very freedom and choice that is at the heart of Linux and GNU philosophy

I drive, I do not open the bonnet and tinker in order to take the car out. I do know how the engine, gear box, differential etc. work. I do not really know how the electronics work, but this does not stop me from owning and driving a car. Indeed, most people probably have no idea how a car 'works' but they are still able to own and drive a car. Of course, we need the skills to create, build and maintain the cars.

So it is with computers and software. There are all the users and then there are all the creators builders and maintainers, the 'experts' which is where you appear to place yourself.

I'm in computer maintenance and the most of the clients I meet would be ruled out of computer use altogether by your criteria. Is that what you are suggesting?

Horses for courses. Console if you wish, manual configuration every time you install software or connect to the internet, if that's what you want. For the rest of us, the majority, a computer that 'works' (out of the box, so to speak) and does what we want and need, whether it be Windows, Mac, or some flavour of Linux that meets our requirements. There are distributions to suit all kinds of uses and users, after all, that's one of the many benefits of Linux.

Don't belittle the majority who don't meet your criteria, and don't shame the many people who make a fantastic contribution to the development of Linux other GNU software without reward other than the satisfaction of doing it and doing it well.

The Reg surfs for porn with a San Jose councilman

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Is this the same 'Websense' that forms a part of the much criticised Phorm technology being foisted on us by BT, Virgin and TalkTalk. Or is the name just coincidental, which does seem unlikely given trade mark protection.

Are we then to assume that the charming, but unscrupilous, Kent Ertegrul is behind this and dictating what may and may not be censored, or even that censorship should occur?

The New Order: When reading is a crime

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@ By D

"..................... This covers probably about 10% of the stuff in book shops. Surely the sensible approach now is to not take any chances and burn all the books. They only turn people into spectacle wearing dangerous intellectuals anyway."

Have you ever read the 1950's Science Fiction Book 'Fahrenheit 451' portaying a world where books were banned in a world of total surveillance and control, and it was the job of the Fire Service to burn books rather than put out fires. 451 degrees fahrenheit is the temperature at which the books burn.

It's beginning to look as though Ray Bradbury was clairvoyant. Perhaps this book should be on the prohibited list now!

So now we are only waiting for the 'interactive' televisions in every room in our homes querying what we're doing or, more likely, what we thinking.

I'm old enough not to be worried about this for myself, but I do worry for my children and grandchildren although they think I'm a dynasaur.

Margaret Thatcher is remembered for her enthusiasm for the excesses of capitalism. Tony Blair will be remembered for his enthusiasm for the excesses of state (and private) surveillance and control (opening up the horrors portrayed in certain Science Fiction books and films) - all quite contrary to the spirit in which our fathers fought for freedom in the Second World War.

Activist coders aim to deafen Phorm with white noise

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For those of you outraged and offended by Phorm, save some of your energy for Comscore.

Comscore is a far more intrusive program than Phorm and DOES harvest all your personal information including, for instance, online banking transactions (passwords anyone?), and save it, and use it, and use 'forensic' tactics to fill in the gaps, and reconcile its ill gotten information with other sources, and disseminate it, and does not anonomise it, and can presumably pass it on to God knows who and where.

Bad though Phorm is, Comscore is so very much worse and, according The Register, IS happening to suckers who, for example, download a free screensaver but don't read the 54 pages of terms and conditions and thereby do actually opt in without realising what it is they've done.

PLEASE go here and read about it to see how vile Comscore is.


and then start to raise hell about it.

Phorm in phormulaic logo phorm storm

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Not Actually About The Logo

The Register has just posted and article about 'ComScore', a really very nasty bit of work that puts Phorm in the shade. Read all about here.


After reading this, you will really want to check for and remove any instances of this abomination as a matter of urgency. Apparently it will even obtain all the details of your online banking activity, for example.

Ugh! Is this the future? Yes, but it's already here!

Microsoft's 'Vista Capable' appeal thrown out

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I bought an HP computer with Vista Business installed, primarily because it didn't have a shiny screen, reflections and all that, but the price was also very good too. The Spec. seemed OK and I put in an extra Gig of Ram.

It ran like a dog with lots of issues and I subsequently noticed that the Vista sticker said 'Basic' in very small letters underneath the usual Logo, obvious when you've noticed but equally obviously designed to be overlooked. So HP sold a computer with Vista Business installed on a computer which they considered only fit for Vista Basic. Who's responsible? HP or me?

After restoring the computer to it's original state several times in the vain hope of improving things, I downgraded to XP Pro and now have a computer that runs very nicely thank you, except for a hardware quirk also present and more troublesome in Vista. The computer has to be started in the same power state (mains or battery) in which it was turned off or else it freezes, presumably during hardware detection. I think it has something to do with the ethernet card which powers off on battery if there is no connection present. Running in Vista, removal of the cable would completely lock up the computer, leading to a reset.

BT's secret Phorm trials open door to corporate eavesdropping


Correct me if I'm wrong

I seem to remember an item on The Register some months ago concerning unidentified activity on the Internet, which was possibly Java based, but which no-one could fathom out. There were many posts but it still just remained an unsolved puzzle.

Seems to me this was the unauthorised trial(s) of the Phorm/Webwise system.

Anyone else remember?

American ISPs already sharing data with outside ad firms

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@Jason Bloomberg

I don't use Store Cards/Loyalty Cards because I don't want to share my shopping habit and get even more unwanted junk mail. Also, I value privacy and find those seeking to invade it offensive in the extreme.

But I think most people are missing the point. This invasive, intrusive, and ultimately controlling, system is just the start of what's to come - the thin end of the wedge.

Think about it.



But they've still harvested all your internet activity/interests

A week in the life of Open XML


@Adam Azarchs

I think you mean that OpenOffice can read .docx files as, of course, can MS Office 2007. Careful about misinformation. I'm sure that Microsoft wish to perpetuate exactly that misunderstanding to promote MS Office as the 'only' viable choice, but, as stated in an earlier comment, Microsoft are unlikely to progress OXML as an open standard, thus leaving us exactly where we were before, using Microsoft current proprietry formats by default.

HP launches Linux-loaded Eee PC rival



How many USB connections?

EU sets cellphone users loose in aircraft

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Will you shut the f**k up

You got that right!

Just my tuppenny worth, but I could say that about mobiles in the street, in the shops, on the bus, on the train, etc, etc, ............., and soon to be on the underground in which case people will have to yell to hear themselves above the racket the train makes.