90 posts • joined Saturday 7th June 2008 11:16 GMT
Touch-based controls for gaming have never worked well for me, based on my limited experience of trying to control various Android games (and one terrible Amiga gamepad many moons ago). To paraphrase Charlie Brooker, it's about as responsive as prodding your fingers against the wall of a fish tank and hoping the fish move in the direction you want.
But... Valve are a company who seem to be remarkably good at killing bullshit ideas before they ever get off the ground. If the project has gotten to this stage without being shot down, then I'm prepared to believe that the hardware implementation is something better than it seems and I'll reserve judgement until I get a chance to fondle one of the things.
Re: Monthly payments FAIL
The decision to pay monthly is entirely arbitray. The UC system supports weekly and fortnightly payments (in as much as it supports anything). The Northern Ireland Assembly made it a condition of their acceptance of Universal Credit that weekly/fortnightly payments were possible, and the system is already set up to accomodate them. The rest of the UK is out of luck, however, even though they're using the same system.
I first heard this news through Google Reader
About half my daily desktop web browsing comes from Reader, and almost 100% of my Android phone and tablet browsing comes from articles linked in Reader. Being the only service I know that seamlessly syncs across all devices, I'm going to miss it.
And what of all the news aggregation sites and blogger types who use Reader as their main source of finding stories? Before those stories filter up into the web2.0 world of retweets, Likes and (lol) +1's someone has to find them and get the ball rolling. Reader is one of the most convenient and well-established sources for doing that.
Once TIFKAM apps are reduced to windows running on a desktop, it becomes even more apparent how crushingly inadequate they are compared to traditional desktop programs. I imagine this is going to be one of those things people try once for the novelty, before going back to ignoring TIFKAM apps once more.
Re: How does this help Opera's market share?
It doesn't help their market share at all. Not much they've ever done has increased it beyond a percentage of a percent.
But Opera's rendering engine was never its selling point, even though it was mostly excellent. People like it because it has a nice low footprint and comes with lots of usability enhancements built-in (ad-blocking, mouse gestures, speed dial, etc). FF and Chrome both provide bare-bones browsers that require third-party extensions to come close to Opera's native feature set. When those browsers do get more built-in functionality it tends to be cut-down versions of stuff Opera added a few releases back (compare Chrome or FF's New Tab layouts copied from the far-superior Speed Dial in Opera).
Perhaps the reason people eventually return...
...is because it's almost impossible to delete an account. Facebook refuses to delete accounts straight away, but insists on a minimum 2-week "cold turkey" period during which you must avoid the site and any of a million Facebook widgets on every other site, lest one of them inadvertently reactivates your account. Oh, and don't forget to disable it on your phone and on your tablet and on your laptop and on any services like Twitter or Google+ or Windows Live or Tweetdeck etc etc because one of those might reactivate it too.
Then, having done that (by living in a cave for a fortnight), you visit the site 4 weeks later to confirm your account is gone, and whoops you've just reactivated it.
Only satisfied customer?
Been with them since the LineOne days before they became Tiscali became TalkTalk. Never had any serious problems and my line always runs at close to the maximum speed. Judging by the feedback on the internet about them, I'd say I'm in a minority of one.
I was unaware about service problems in Northern Ireland. I've not noticed anything different about my speed or experienced any site problems over the past few days, so it's not affecting all customers here.
Re: Not bad for £25
I upgraded for around the same price. I'd pay double that for a downgrade option. Maybe that's a potential revenue stream for MS?
Re: Was there a survey?
It's gathered via feedback data from the Customer Experience blah blah Feedback option, which is in the same place in the Control Panel as it is in Windows 7 and Vista. It's enabled at install time if you choose "Recommended Settings" when prompted, disabled if you choose to the other (sane) option.
I'd a feeling it would be Manchester.
Every time I use IE or some other browser without ad-blocking at home, those adverts that try to target me with "hot local MILFs" always seem to think I'm in Manchester. I'm not. I've never been to Manchester. I don't even live in England.
I'm with a rather large and much-maligned ISP and unless I'm a special case I imagine a pretty big chunk of their addresses are 'located' in Manchester. Guessing location based on the ISP's IP block is a lousy way to gather data.
The Killian papers killed the debate about Bush
Including the debate about why all the non-fake documentation about his time with the Guard had mysteriously vanished from the public record. There were a lot of real questions needing answered that got buried under the hype about one cheap fake. It wouldn't surprise me if this is the same kind of damage limitation being played out again.
"Not everything is illegal on torrent sites and since you aren't logging the details of the file that I am actually downloading you don't have a leg to stand on, so good luck with that."
Well they can quite easily log the details of the file you're downloading. All they have to do is download the offending torrent, watch/listen/read to ensure it's not a fake, and then seed it until you've successfully downloaded the whole thing.
It's impressive how some tactical punctuation can turn Magic: The Gathering Online Xchange into something vaguely professional sounding. Pity their site and recent actions shattered any illusion carefully-placed full stops might have created.
"The server is currently down for maintenance."
Their definition of 'full restoration' doesn't quite align with mine
They ring in my head when I look at the list of browsers and see the usual stable releases and one ultra-bleeding-age hasn't-even-reached-beta version of a certain company's browser. I wonder what made him choose IE10 while sticking to Chrome 10, instead of Chrome 11 or 12 which have been readily available for longer than the IE developer preview.
Firefox performing well is a surprise, and further cements my opinion that JS performance isn't as big a deal in the real world as it's made out to be. In day-to-day usage both Opera and Chrome feel faster FF4. Maybe it's the more responsive user interface, but I'll stick with what 'feels' fastest regardless of whichever browser is currently waving its e-penis from the top of the benchmark table.
I don't think I'll ever like Unity
I remember spending an afternoon with a Win 7 beta tinkering with all the cool things the new taskbar allowed me to do, and consistently being surprised as I discovered more and more nifty features.
Having spent the same amount of time with Unity it's a case of running into more and more things I expect to work that simply don't or aren't there at all.
First thing was trying to move it to the bottom of my main monitor. I have 2 monitors with the right-most one being my primary, so by default Unity sits in the middle(!) of my screens. The solution? There isn't one, it's impossible to move it!
Now maybe I'm just silly for having my primary monitor on the right and should move it to the left. Oh, except I used to have it that way but Ubuntu's bizarro notifications system (you know, the one that 4 releases later still doesn't allow you to click on a notification) then popped up all it's messages half-way off the very top right corner of my second monitor, prompting the change.
I hope to see some improvements in Unity but given the recent lack of improvement to every other hastily introduced element in the last 2-3 iterations I doubt it. Official policy seems to be to introduce a badly thought through element in each new release, then abandon any work on improving it in favour of adding another new half-baked UI element.
Hope Airbender sweeps the board
I was only a casual fan of the TV series, but enjoyed it more than I had any right to enjoy a kids' show. It was one of those rare things that could be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, with consistently strong scripts, fun characters and enough genuine humour that anyone could appreciate it.
Despite not having seen every episode I'm pretty sure I watched more of it than M Night did. He seems to written the film using Wikipedia's season plot synopsis as a screenplay. Exposition, some things happen, more exposition; all the humour, characterization and moral undertones that anyone actually watching the original couldn't fail to pick up on are missing.
It's certainly not the worst film of the year but it's pretty close. What really irks me is the shameless pillaging of one of the few great kids' shows of this generation. I imagine younger fans probably felt the way I'd feel if I discovered Uwe Boll had secured the rights to a big-budget Mysterious Cities of Gold.
Don't be so harsh
I'm going to be optimistic and look at this as a positive step forward for British tabloid journalism. At least they've graduated to using sources (albeit spoof ones) for their stories instead of just pulling them out of their arse.
Hope this fixes things
I can honestly say I've never had a problem with a plugin crashing Firefox in many years of using it, at least once I learned to disable that godawful Acrobat plugin. Since upgrading to 3.6.4 I've had to kill Firefox from the task manager several times after a page tried to load some embedded Flash and the entire program froze - no switching to another tab, not responding to the close button.
I've since purged my profiles and done a clean install of 3.6.6 and things seem to be behaving so far. However Flash performance seems (even more) sluggish than before, especially noticeable with HD iPlayer content. Chrome on the same system manages it much better, but I'm not ready to jump on that bandwagon yet.
"Fifth, it does not recognize the Java plugin on pages, although it sees it is installed (in the content details configuration tab)."
In my opinion no Java is a positive feature :P
I've always had a soft spot for Opera. I don't hold much stock in speed tests, so it may or may not be the fastest renderer. However, the fact that all the essential features - ad-blocking, mouse gestures, autopaging, spatial keyboard navigation, ability to create search shortcuts from any search box on the Web - are already there without extension bloat is what sells Opera for me.
Don't like the feature? Don't use it
I probably won't be Twitbooking any TV shows via iplayer, but I'm not going to start a moanfest about a piece of software having a feature other people will use that's of no use to me. I know everyone here hates social networking, but last time I checked it was rather popular with the internet as a whole. Internet users are a core demographic for the BBC's internet division.
I do like the new favourites function, very handy for keeping track of Radio 4 shows I'm constantly forgetting about. Overall, it adds features I've been wanting for ages, plus some I don't care about but can safely ignore. People banging on about copy/paste should learn about an even simpler computer trick called not-clicking. Once you master the ability to not-click on the features you don't want, you'll never be bothered by them again - a real timesaver!
Congratulations, you're now the record holder for "most spelling mistakes in a single post by someone referencing their superb education" (I counted eleven).
@ElNumbre Outlook gloomy
With volcanic ash in the air and a big solar outburst thingy on its way to disrupt communications you may not get to see the thrilling debate. Nature is spoiling her ballot for this election.
Needs more chicken head
Poor effort on the keyboard design - they didn't even replace the Windows keys with the C= chicken heads. And what on earth is a touchpad doing on a desktop-based machine? If they insist on such a thing, couldn't they at least drop the keypad and put the touchpad in its place? The C64 had mouse support you know!
of the old Demotivational poster that used to hang in our office, with the truism:
Government - If you think the problem is bad, wait until you see our solution.
I feel much safer
Moan about a police state all you like, fact is there have been very few terrorbastard-related deaths of recent.
In other news, very few deaths in the UK have occurred from stampeding rhinos or meteor strikes over the last few years as well. I'd like to say a big thank you to the Minister and everyone else working at the Department of Statistically Improbable Ways to Die for protecting us from all three. Giving up our civil liberties is a small price to pay for such protection.
In an office full of people who seem to spend more time on IT training courses than they do working, we set up IE on every computer with handy link buttons to all our intranet sites across the top of the browser window.
A recent redesign of the intranet home page had left out some links to important apps so this was a quick workaround until normality was restored. In the meantime, applications could be accessed as follows:
1) Click appropriate button
The preferred method seemed to be:
1) Start typing 'google' into the address bar.
2) Click the first search suggestion.
3) On the Google results page that appears, click the first link.
4) Realise that they're on a news page about Google, not Google itself.
5) Click Back button (for less savvy users, an alternative was to avoid the complicated Back button and start again from Step 1).
6) Click next link, which *does* link to the Google home page.
7) Type <name of intranet application> into Google search box.
8) Click first result that appears - some random page that has nothing whatsoever to do with our in-house built intranet apps.
9) Stare blankly at the screen for several minutes trying to figure out where the login box is.
10) If the random page happens to have a login option somewhere, attempt to log in using their intranet username/password.
11) Give up, phone support complaining about how terrible the new layout of the intranet app is, and how it isn't accepting their password.
There's a certain breed of otherwise intelligent people who, when faced with the daunting sight of a web browser, mentally descend several rungs down the evolutionary ladder.
My bloated resource-hog of an OS is currently using 278MB of the 1GB RAM on my netbook, including a browser with 5 tabs open, e-mail client and PDF reader. It's still running perfectly on the XP install I did almost 2 years ago.
While it is easy to get a Windows installation bogged down with so much crap that reinstallation is the only option, it's equally possible to keep a Windows install bloat-free and running smoothly. The only difference between the two is the user.
Title add-on incompatible with this version of ElReg
Maybe Mozilla should start incorporating more add-ons' functionality into their core product? As Firefox stands, a vanilla install is slower and clunkier than Chrome or Opera, and lacking in features compared to most of the competition. I'm scratching my head trying to remember the last innovative browser feature to debut in Firefox that wasn't simply copied from somewhere else. Add-ons are the only trump card in its deck - without them it's a pretty poor browser in today's market.
I don't know what ramifications this will have for extension developers, but for Mozilla's sake I hope it isn't serious. Chrome's extensions project is making great strides, and any move that might damage Firefox's only killer feature probably isn't a good idea.
In the same boat
Still paying my £14.99 a month for broadband only. I've received no communications from Tiscali/TalkTalk since the initial letter announcing the takeover and an assurance that there would be no bill increases. I certainly haven't received anything regarding this 25% price hike.
Service since the takeover has been pretty much the same as always - fast and reliable. Apart from a noticeable increase in anti-PTP traffic shaping (ironic considering TalkTalk's bluster every time the media mentions piracy) I haven't noticed any change in the service since the takeover.
All TalkTalk and no trousers
It galls me to once again see TalkTalk vocally denouncing any anti-PTP measures. I was a happy Tiscali customer (yes, there were some!) until TalkTalk decided upon taking over to bandwidth-shape the hell out of the service. Now, between the hours of 4pm and some time after midnight and practically 24/7 at weekends, all PTP traffic - whether it's bittorrent or legal stuff like Spotify - is restricted to the point that such services are completely unusable.
So while they're spouting gung-ho soundbites to the media they're also deliberately crippling customers' connections to the point that I can set my watch each day when Spotify stops connecting at 4pm.
I guess they can afford to be bullish because by the time the government implements their anti-consumer laws there aren't going to be any TalkTalk customers left with a connection that works well enough to fall foul of them.
They're always known
"...(unless there's been a step change in DSGi staff and they now know what they're selling?)..."
What they've always sold - 3-year super extended warranties that happen to come with a box of electronic stuff ("uhh we don't really know what's in the box, it's just thrown in when you buy the warranty").
RE: whoopy doo
> Wake me up when he gets it into a peer-reviewed climate journal.
You could be asleep for a long time.
From: Phil Jones <email@example.com>
To: "Michael E. Mann" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
Date: Thu Jul 8 16:30:16 2004
I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep
them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !
From: "Michael E. Mann" <email@example.com>
To: Phil Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Fwd: Soon & Baliunas
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 08:14:49 -0500
This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the
peer-reviewed literature. Obviously, they found a solution to that. I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.
Do you have a posting permit?
The point is that the police asked him for a non-existent permit. How is anyone supposed to produce a permit for an activity where permits aren't required and don't exist? He didn't have one (because there's no such thing) but luckily he managed to fudge them off with his press card. Without it, he'd probably have been taken down the station for the whole matter to be sorted out. By sorted out, I mean sitting in a holding cell for 6 hours before being chucked out onto the street with nary an apology, after being told that they'll be keeping their eye on him and he better not cause any more aggro for the cops.
Filming/photographing in a public place is not subject to having the correct permit any more than using a mobile phone in public or walking down the high street requires an official permit (although it's only a matter of time).
Another late contender joins the race
The Northern Irish police force have come in with a late bid, arresting and bringing to court a 17-year old boy who took a picture of a police car on his mobile phone. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/8408496.stm). Apparently this picture could be of vital use to terrorists in tracking police movements (HINT TO TERRORISTS: They're the stripy ones with the flashing lights and sirens).
The peasants are revolting!
Cue scenes of an angry torchlit mob hurling 56K modems across his moat (all these fat cats have moats, right?)
He's the chairman of BT, naturally he gets preferential treatment on BT services. Because he is the chairman. Of BT. When my boss asks his minions to get something done, we do it. Being the top dog has its perks. The manager of my local fleapit probably gets to see the latest cinema releases before I do but I'm not up in arms about it.
I'll miss Mininova...
...but not because I'll no longer be able to download the latest TV shows or whatever tripe Hollywood is marketing as must-see blockbusters these days. There are still other torrent indexers like Google for those who want that kind of thing.
Mininova contained a huge heap of hard-to-find movies and TV shows - stuff that is in-copyright but out-of-print. If all the torrent sites vanish, where will I get it from? Shoddy copy-of-a-copy VHS cassettes from eBay? No thanks.
The media companies don't give a damn about releasing old material that has a limited market value, not even through a low-cost download service. Without amateurs sourcing rare copies and releasing them as torrents, much of this movie heritage would have been lost to the mists of time or locked up for all eternity in the basements of Hollywood.
Sure, there are still private trackers for this kind of thing, but it's only a matter of time before the media companies' mission to alienate their customers takes its toll on these sites as well.
Most pager messages are (were? Does anyone still use pagers?) transmitted openly in cleartext on a radio frequency that anyone with a cheap receiver can listen to. Privacy isn't built in to the system or expected.
In the case of this leak, I doubt it was an amateur due to the volume and range of networks. Only a government agency would have the resources to collate such volumes of data. This, in my opinion, is a more interesting privacy issue - not who leaked the data, but who was collecting and analysing it all to begin with.
I'm getting old and cynical
"Around 11 million records will be included in the planned database, which is being created in response to the murder of Victoria Climbié by her abusive guardians in 2000."
The tragic death of a young girl, which could have been prevented by adequate training, funding and staffing for overstretched social workers, and the government's solution is to reward a lucrative IT contract to one of its preferred business partners.
How would these 11 million records have saved her life? The social workers involved still would have been handling more cases than they could cope with. Instead of a decent staffing and front-line support we get a database of dubious utility and crap security. I've ashamedly been involved in the development of some - most of the cash goes on consulation fees, shoddy specifications and expensive trips to committee meetings with the developers left to knock up something that half-works at the last minute.
Sometimes I think the government has these multi-million pound contracts sitting on the back burner just waiting for some tragic situation to occur so they can pimp them to the public as part of the response and start writing out those beefy cheques to their business buddies.
From hereon, let it be known that all persons opposing the player in any armed videogame conflict are to be classified as 'enemy combatants' As such, they are not fighting under the flag of any national entity recognised by the UN and therefore not protected under the Geneva Conventions or any other articles of war.
It's a cop-out that works for the Brits and Americans in real life, why can't it work in games too?
"a view into everything about Twitter to better exploit Twitter's marketing prowess"
No need for a commercial account, I can reveal their entire business plan for nowt.
@Cantankerous Old Buzzard
> First off, what took them so long? The way I remember it, most previous versions of The Rubbish from Redmond were cracked the first week they were on the street, or before.
This is how it was for Windows 7 as well. Product activation cracks have been in wide circulation since the first beta release, using similar methods to those used for Vista (basically the same OS, why change cracks?). Presumably this is some new and improved method, although AFAIK Microsoft hasn't issued any updates to disable the existing cracks that people have been exploiting since before day one.
Only the most egregious offenders?
Surely they can be prosecuted under the existing and very extensive UK copyright laws? Oh wait, actual prosecutions are expensive, drawn-out hard to technically prove in court.
So instead we have a catch-all 'guilty until proven innocent' scheme that will ensnare lots of easy targets while the serious offenders carry on untouched with their IP blockers, VPNs and half a dozen other technologies that render them immune. But hey, it'll do wonders for the crime figures.
Maybe they should extend this to other criminal activities. If someone sees my teenage son doing 45 in a 40 mph zone in our car they should report it to the police so we can all have our licenses revoked and the family car confiscated without trial. As long as we have an appeals process to get it back of course.
What's the bet the appeals process will involve making an official complaint via the website (after you've been disconnected)?
Thank goodness for the comments
Without them I'd have no idea what this article was supposed to be about. A quick straw poll of the other 11 people in the office reveals that none of us (of varied age/sex) were aware of a cougar being anything other than a large cat.
On a similar note, did you know that Fulham FC have the nickname The Cottagers? Fnarr, what where they thinking, eh? Gonna sign George Michael to play up front, lads? He has great ball control an' luvs a bit o' dribblin' round the rear defence.
See? Making jokes about similarities to slang terms is neither big nor clever nor funny. Except I imagine slighly more people have heard of cottaging. Seriously, cougar?? Are you sure this wasn't just made up for the purposes of the article?
Good to see some real female body images
You can tell it's genuine. Look at her skin tone - it's much more natural and has less of a plasticy airbrushed look than those models you see in the pages of fashion magazines.
This explains why both Trafigura and Carter-Ruck are in the top 10 trending topics on that hotbed of irrelevance, Twitter. In an effort to prevent reporting of whatever it may have been, they've managed to raise awareness of it in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people who otherwise wouldn't have given a toss about it, myself included.
- World's OLDEST human DNA found in leg bone – but that's not the only boning going on...
- Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE
- Pics Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year
- Storagebod Oh no, RBS has gone titsup again... but is it JUST BAD LUCK?
- Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout