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iPhone, uPhone, we all phone together

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Letters It would be wrong to run letters without some kind of reference to that new phone thingey some company or other launched this week. As soon as Apple debuted the iPhone, Cisco unleashed the legal hounds to hunt down and retrieve a the name. To help Apple out, you thought up some alternative names for the handset. And told us why you love to love and hate it, all at the same time:

After a short discussion in the office, we decided it's not going to be a problem in the UK, if Apple are ok on choosing a different name...

The iDog&Bone!

or for ultimate cool and sexual innuendo conatations, just have

The iBone



I can't understand the hype surrounding the iPhone?  I own an MDA Vario from T-Mobile and as far as I can tell it does everything the iPhone is meant to do and more. 

Sure its not as pretty but I bet it will be a shit load cheaper (£40 on a £15 a month contract).  I jammed a 2GB mini sd in it and have hours worth of porn and music, and that doesn't require any extra software. 

Just put the sd card in my computer, copy and paste and I'm done.  Plus when I'm bored in work I can play worms, and even a SNES emulator.  Now will the iPhone let me do that?!


> it does nothing my Nokia N93 can't do already...

Indeed, the N93 has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve, including FM, a 3MP camera with a 3X optical zoom, and a few others.

But the N93 is a third heavier, over twice the size, offers half the viewable area (at a similar pixel density), requires you to spend another $100 or more to get 4GB of mini-SD memory and STILL lists, in a quick Google check, for $200 or so MORE than the iPhone, in an unlocked version.

So the iPhone will go places the N93 won't, be a few hundred dollars cheaper, offer features (such as usable? virtual keyboard, widgets etc) and usability that will appeal to millions of people, which the N93 never will.

There ARE still question marks such as ability to load 3rd-party scripts, widgets or apps, the usability of the virtual keyboard for real typing, etc. But I think that the iPhone qualifies as a first-class "paradigm shift" of a phone, rather than a pretty but troublesome toy. Why the petulance?


Even linking to copyrighted documents is now frowned upon by legal types. Not sure we can get our brains 'round that one, but there you go:

It doesn't even matter about free speech here: the public right to know this is IMMENSELY higher than the "right" copyright grants the "owner" of these documents.

The judge may be steering things in a bad direction: if the public are shown in a case like this that it is either

a) keep copyrights and you cannot know DAMN IMPORTANT stuff like this because copyrights say they belong to Eli and they can refuse to let you read them


b) drop copyrights and you will be allowed to read information that you NEED TO KNOW then they could decide that copyrights aren't wanted any more and refuse to have them. If the judge rules that the public's need to know copyrighted information trumps copyright then there will be fewer people needing to abolish them.


AT&T goes nettily neutral. You are not impressed:

As usual activists drink quite a bit more than they can handle when the slightest glimmer of hope shows itself. I'm all for Net Neutrality, but to hail AT&Ts reversal as a capitulation might be a tad premature. It is a setback for AT&T, but as Arnie said, they'll be back.

And as for the pompous "once and for all" line, please don't make me choke on my milk.

As long as there is no law, the issue is certainly not put to rest. And even if a law is passed, big money is on the balance and will try again, someday, somehow. This issue is far from closed, guys. Don't hang up your hat just yet.


Some concerns about the safety of voting electronic voting systems left to run on Windows kit:

No weakness is potential when it runs on Windows XP. When that is the case you have a bonafide liability.

Why would any organisation entrust the fabric of democracy itself [it does sound heavy, doesn't it?] to a system with a proven track record of devastating security failures? This sort of sensitive job should be given to the open source community to make sure there was no tampering. Actually: the Windows XP EULA says so itself: do not use this software in a mission critical environment like airplanes and nuclear power plants.

Defending the foundation of civil society should not be entrusted to a system that is equipped with insultingly weak defenses.

Hint: the best way is still to give the voter one ballot and a red pencil to make the vote. Eyeballs from all political fractions then have to look at the validity of the vote and tally the votes as they pass the box. It's easy albeit a tad time consuming. But you never have to worry whether someone tampered with the code. Democracy is too precious to give it to mere machines to decide. The current example in the US demonstrates quite adequately the abomination that ensues when the terminally unfit are given power over vast armies. It should be made into an allegorical lesson for humanity.

Compulsory vote paper ballot red pencil human eyeballs

There's your democracy right there.


Got to love the taser, now that you can pick one up for less than the cost of a new shiny iPhone. Or at least, one reader thinks so:

If 220 people have indeed died from being Tasered by police, perhaps one should consider the alternative. I wonder, in that same period of time, how many people died of police beatings that could have been foregone if a Taser had been available.

On Taser's website the estimate that they have been used about half a million times. How many deaths do you think would be caused by half a million beatings?

Honestly if you resist arrest, guilty or otherwise, you should be well aware of the risks, particularly if you have a pacemaker. I think I'd rather be tasered than clubbed. Tasers don't leave marks.


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