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Comments

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"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

AmiMoJo Re:USB 4.x to offer signed USB device signatures?? (175 comments)

There are much worse threats. Thunderbolt and Firewire give the device full access to RAM, with no protection at all. For over a decade companies have been making Firewire and now Thunderbolt devices that dump a running PC's memory for forensic analysis, complete with any encryption keys and passwords that happen to be there. Law enforcement loves them because even if the computer is locked or the user logged out when they get there most operating systems auto-configure newly plugged in devices. Thunderbolt allows pre-boot attacks as well (including cold boot key recovery).

The only way to solve this problem is to train people not plug random stuff into their computers, and to disable Thunderbolt and Firewire ports. Plugging in a random USB memory stick is a risk and many people are starting to understand that, so we just need to extend it to cover all USB devices.

7 hours ago
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Grad Student Rigs Cheap Alternative To $1,000 Air Purifiers In Smoggy China

AmiMoJo Re:Lots of people criticize this for its obviousne (147 comments)

Go on AliExpress, there are loads of cheap air purifiers with HEPA filters. TFA says "up to $1000", and actually even high end Japanese models are usually much less than that. Chinese manufacturers sell many models that are basically the same as what this guy invented - a HEPA filter strapped to a fan - for $30-40.

7 hours ago
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iFixit Takes Apart the Oculus Rift DK2, Finds Galaxy Note 3 Display Inside

AmiMoJo Re:Surprise? (47 comments)

Manufacturers of high quality colour LCD/AMOLED displays will laugh at you if you ask for a custom design in quantities of less than 1,000,000. Even for the final version it will be hard for them to justify signing a contract for 1 million displays up front, not being certain of sales volume. Off-the-shelf displays are pretty much their only choice.

7 hours ago
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Is the App Store Broken?

AmiMoJo Re:economy bullshit argument (231 comments)

Uh... because web browsers are certainly the most profitable software outside the app store.

Yes they are. They regularly appear in the top selling apps on Android.

The App Store doesn't give a fuck.

Exactly. The best search engines tend to rank pages by reputation, so if software is just a copy of something else and lots of people point that out it usually becomes apparent to anyone searching. The Play store uses a similar system where apps that are recommended on web sites often get promoted in the store, where as the App Store isn't quite that sophisticated. The result is that people like Zynga can steal other people's ideas and SEO their way to the top, where as it is much harder to do on Play.

Essentially Play has a better spam filter.

7 hours ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

AmiMoJo Re:RACIST! (487 comments)

Are you saying that white people are inherently less physically able than black people? How do you measure physical ability? There are physical sports where white people are overrepresented (like hockey), so let's not pretend that top white athletes are not competitive. It's entirely possible that there is systemic racism in basketball. Are childhood training dollars spent disproportionately in black communities? For instance I remember Clinton's midnight basketball program.. how many white kids showed up to that?

Statistically speaking there are more very tall black African Americans than white Americans. I'm not sure that statistically African Americans are dumber though, if you were to somehow measure raw intelligence and potential rather than academic results.

10 hours ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

AmiMoJo Re:RACIST! (487 comments)

The NBA values physical ability. Tech companies value mental ability. Are you saying that black people are inherently less intelligent than white people? It's a theory that has been researched and mostly rejected.

I suppose you could argue for a programme to help stretch young white kids on some kind of medieval rack so that they are more competitive at basketball, in exchange for better schools and learning opportunities for young black kids.

yesterday
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

AmiMoJo Re:Have they solved liability? (184 comments)

The owner will need insurance, but it will be much lower for self driving cars without any manual controls. Even self driving cars with a manual mode will be cheaper, on the assumption that people will drive on auto much of the time.

yesterday
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

AmiMoJo Re:A Progression of Complaints (184 comments)

I hate being a passenger because I can't read in cars without feeling sick. All I can do is listen to the radio or audio books. The seats are too uncomfortable to sleep in... But perhaps if someone made a car with seats that folded flat like a bed it would work.

yesterday
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UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

AmiMoJo Re:A Progression of Complaints (184 comments)

Do you ever fly? All modern aircraft use fly-by-wire, so you are trusting the programmers. Most modern cars have some kind of drive-by-wire system, especially performance models that often do things like braking force distribution and traction control.

yesterday
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

AmiMoJo Re:Confusing position (487 comments)

Jesse Jackson is putting race, not skill level, as the priority imputes to employ more blacks.

No he isn't. He is saying that black people need more opportunities to get those jobs, i.e. more access to training that is lacking in the areas where many black people live. Rather than going after H1B visas the tech companies should be trying to bring better education to parts of America that are not well served, but there is a lot of stigma associated with them that prevents it happening.

You are projecting your own feeling of persecution onto what it he says, rather than paying attention to what he actually said.

yesterday
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

AmiMoJo Re:Mod parent DOWN (487 comments)

He can fight against the pervasive drug and gang culture that keeps black kids away from any means to better themselves.

You are confusing cause and effect. Most kids don't dream of becoming drug dealers, they simply have little choice because their schools suck and parents don't care.

Jackson is making the point that there is talent available in the US, it just gets wasted due to lack of opportunity. Instead of lobbying for more H1B visas and employing overseas recruitment specialists the tech companies should be trying to fix the problems that prevent minorities getting the opportunity to work for them. Of course they won't do it without being forced to because business only ever does what is most profitable.

yesterday
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Is the App Store Broken?

AmiMoJo Re:economy bullshit argument (231 comments)

Part of the problem for developers is that Apple has banned some of the most profitable types of app, i.e. anything that competes with the functionality of Apple apps. For example alternative web browsers that are more than just a skin like Firefox. I'm amazed they bowed to pressure and allowed 3rd party keyboards, which are always top sellers on other platforms.

The other part of the problem is that Apple does little to prevent developers being screwed, and to be fair most app stores are guilty of this. If someone has an interesting idea you can guarantee that about 15 minutes later Zynga will have cloned it, and then thrown money at marketing it and probably sued the original developer for good measure. The App Store only rewards Zynga for this behaviour.

yesterday
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

AmiMoJo Re:Reject all proprietary software and "choice" to (362 comments)

The OnePlus One is the highest spec one, and insanely cheap too. At the moment it is on limited release though, so might be a few months before you can get one. You can of course buy a Nexus 5 an enjoy full Cyanogen support too.

yesterday
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Tesla and Panasonic Have Reached an Agreement On the Gigafactory

AmiMoJo Re: What makes this a gigafactory? (92 comments)

The problem is the vast amount of computer code and documentation that uses kilobyte=1024. In fact even today most memory manufacturers use the power of 2 notation. Pick a random datasheet for a DRAM chip, a microcontroller, an EEPROM or flash memory and I guarantee they will use powers of 2 and the "old" words like gigabit or the "MB" suffix.

It would have made a lot more sense to define new words for powers of 10. Kibibyte = 1000 bytes etc. Only hard drive manufacturers would have been mildly annoyed, until they realized that they didn't have to print "1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes" on the label any more.

yesterday
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Tesla and Panasonic Have Reached an Agreement On the Gigafactory

AmiMoJo Re:Cell and battery production in same plant (92 comments)

Panasonic have highly advanced robotic factories. I took a tour of their "lights out" plasma TV factory and it was quite incredible. I imagine this new gigafactory will be mostly automated.

yesterday
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

AmiMoJo Re:Chrome? (362 comments)

The only issue I find with it is that sometimes it hangs and can't be closed. Even Process Explorer can't kill it. This is a known problem with Windows where a task hangs waiting for a driver or something in the kernel, and it may be specific to my system, but I've never seen any other app do it.

2 days ago
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

AmiMoJo Re:Reject all proprietary software and "choice" to (362 comments)

Are you aware of Cyanogen? Did you know that you can buy high end phones with Cyanogen as the default OS? Cyanogen is built from AOSP and is fully free. It also supports extensive ad-blocking and app permission control, way beyond what any other mobile OS offers.

In what way exactly is Android not free? You can build and run it perfectly well without the Google apps, as Cyanogen and many others do. The resulting OS is fully featured and compatible, and can be distributed commercial without permission from Google.

2 days ago
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

AmiMoJo Re:Chrome? (362 comments)

Chome is no worse than most other browsers. Firefox sends search requests to Google, IE sends them to Bing by default. They all include feedback mechanisms that can be turned off.

Chrome actually has a pretty good porn mode. It doesn't have any advertising built in and supply supports AdBlock and other privacy enhancing plug-ins. I'm really not sure why you think it's goal is to counter privacy and choice. Can you be more specific?

2 days ago
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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

AmiMoJo Re:None of them. (362 comments)

The problem with the hosts file method is that it requires a complete blacklist of all advertising related sites. Sites that are not listed, or adverts hosted on the same domain as the legitimate web site being visited don't get blocked. AdBlock uses pattern matching rules that solve this problem.

2 days ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

AmiMoJo Re:The American Dream (559 comments)

Even back when individuals could make it they would still mostly have been better off fighting to improve their current situation. A key part of the American Dream is supporting things like low taxation for the rich, because one day you too might be rich, and minimal employee rights because one day you might be the employer. People screw themselves in the hope that it will pay off later, but for 99.99% of people it never does.

2 days ago

Submissions

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One trillion Bq released by nuclear debris removal at Fukushima so far

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a week ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material."
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TEPCO planning to use Windows XP up to 2019

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about three weeks ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "TEPCO, operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, plans to continue using 48,000 copies of Windows XP until 2018-19, when they will be replaced. The Japanese government has urged companies in charge of critical infrastructure to upgrade from XP due to the risk of cyberattack. When asked about potential problems TEPCO said that it has "taken technical measures of various kinds", but declined to detail them "for security reasons.""
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Stan O'Neal may not have requested the "right to be forgotten"

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Yesterday Slashdot reported that Stan O'Neal may have requested that a BBC News blog post be removed from Google's search results under the EU "right to be forgotten". Late last night Robert Peston, the author of the article that made the original claim, updated it to state that in fact the blog post was still indexed when searching for "Stan O'Neal", speculating that it may in fact have been one of the commentators who requested removal when searching for their name."
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Germany's glut of electricity causing prices to plummet

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010.

“The new plants will run at current prices, but they won’t cover their costs” said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet” according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer. Wind and solar’s share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%."
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Japanese court rules against restarting Ohi reactors

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 2 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, not to restart 2 of its reactors, citing inadequate safety measures. The plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors were halted for regular inspections last September. Local residents filed a lawsuit asking that the reactors be kept offline. They said an estimate of possible tremors is too small, and that the reactors lack backup cooling systems. The operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has insisted that no safety problems exist."
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Japan surpasses Kyoto Protocol emission target

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 4 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's environment minister says the country has surpassed the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it pledged under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Japan had lowered emissions by a 5-year average of 8.4 percent in the 2012 financial year compared to 1990 levels, more than the 6-percent goal the country pledged under the Kyoto Protocol. The 2012 figures are significant as they include the first full year after the March 11th Tohoku earthquake disaster, during which no nuclear power was available."
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Japan marks 3rd anniversary of 11/3 disaster

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 5 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
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Measures fail to stop Fukushima plant leaks

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 5 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been coming up with countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water. But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday. The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7."
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Kickstarter project tries to fire payloads into space from a giant cannon

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 6 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Starfire Space Cannon project aims to launch small payloads into space from the ground using a large gun. 13.7m (45 foot) gun claims to use multiple charges to reduce the force exerted on the payload, although the pitch is devoid of any explanation as to how this technique might actually work. The creators warn that "we could have a really bad day and the gun could blow up or the trailer could fall apart."."
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Google and EU agree on changes to search result pages

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 6 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google has agreed to display competing site's results along side those from its own products in search results. The agreement comes as part of an EU investigation into Google's domination of the search market and its promotion of Google products at the top of each page. The EU has published screenshots (scroll down) showing how the changes will look once rolled out."
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Majority of Mac OS users not getting security updates

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "According to security company Sophos around 55% of home users and 18% of enterprise users have updated to Mavericks, the latest version of Mac OS (10.9). Unfortunately Apple appears to have stopped providing security updates for older versions. Indeed, they list Mavericks itself as a security update. This means that the majority of users are no longer getting critical security patches. Sophos recommends taking similar precautions to those recommended for people who cannot upgrade from Windows XP."
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Ask Slashdot: What next for Slashdot?

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Most of you are probably aware of the beta site, and there have even been a few survey emails going around. For some reason no-one thought to use the actual site's discussion system to ask about the future of Slashdot. Times are changing and Slashdot needs to make enough money to continue, but at the same time almost all the site's value comes from the user comments. What should Slashdot do to ensure it lives on for the next 15+ years, and what can we do to help?"
Link to Original Source
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Google's wireless charger for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 launches today

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 8 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google's wireless charger is now available from Play. The charger uses a magnet to hold the device in place while charging, and comes with a 1.8A (9W) power supply, although it isn't clear what the charging rate of the device is."
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Fukushima leak traced to overflow tank built on a slope

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 10 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The on-going leak of radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been traced to an overflow tank that was built on a slope. Because one side of the tank is lower than the other water slops over the side when it is nearly full. TEPCO estimate that 430 litres of wastewater seeped outside the barrier around the tank and say some of this water may have flowed into the sea, about 200 meters away. They detected 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water pooled inside the barrier around the tank. The safety limit is 30 becquerels per liter.

Officials say that a miscommunication with contractors lead to the blunder."
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GE Canada struggling to find PDP-11 programmers for its nuclear control systems

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 10 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."
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Ministry of Sound suing Spotify over user's playlists

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Ministry of Sound, a UK dance music brand, is suing Spotify because it has not removed user's playlists that mirror their compilation albums. The case will hinge on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in putting them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation structure — the order of the songs — can be copyrighted."
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Fukushima Daiichi leak raised to level 3 severity

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's nuclear regulators have raised the level of severity of the radioactive water leak from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is now a level-3 serious incident. The revision from level 1 is based on estimates of the volume of radioactive substances leaked. The International Atomic Energy Agency supports the revision. They say the tank leak can be assessed separately from the Fukushima Daiichi crisis as a level 3 incident. Japanese experienced a level-3 nuclear event in 1997 with the fire and explosions at a fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture. 37 workers there were exposed to the leaked radioactive substances."
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Thyroid cancer found in 18 Fukushima children, 25 more cases suspected

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Medical examinations in Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear crisis of 2011 have detected 18 children with thyroid cancer, with a further 25 suspected cases awaiting confirmation. The group checks 360,000 who were aged 18 or under at the time of the accident. The incidence rate of thyroid cancer in children is said to be one in hundreds of thousands. In Japan, 46 people under 20 were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2006."
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At least 300 tonnes radioactive water leak found at Fukushima, discharge ongoing

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank into the ground at Japan's Fukushima plant, operator TEPCO says. Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (Ines), which measures nuclear events. This is the first time that Japan has declared such an event since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea."
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Samsung and Motorola match Apple for smartphone customer satisfaction

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "This year's ACSI Benchmarks for Smartphone Brands measure consumer satisfaction with different smartphones and brands. ACSI surveyed 4,112 phone owners in the U.S. who judged their phones on overall experience (customer expectations, perception of overall quality, value for money, customer loyalty) and experience of quality (ease of making and receiving calls, ease of sending and receiving text messages, performance of phone in terms of battery life, etc.) Samsung took the top spot, followed by Apple and Motorola all within a few percentage points of each other. RIM's Blackberry brand didn't do so well."

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