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* Posts by johnnytruant

319 posts • joined 12 Aug 2008

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Firing back at LulzSec

johnnytruant

I tried that once

Turns out you catch loads more flies with vinegar.

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Boffins brew up formula for consummate cuppa

johnnytruant

No no no no no

Never ever pour boiling water on anything but black tea. Green and white teas especially get ruined by anything over about 75C - the high temperature rinses out the tannins and they develop a nasty bitter taste. Green/white tea should be smooth and almost sweet. Also by brewing over 2 minutes - pour hot water into a gaiwan or teapot, decant, drink, repeat. You can get about six or seven flushes (ie: fresh hot water onto used leaves) from a quality green/white tea, and the flavour develops and changes each time.

I was shocked, while having a cup of £12-a-go first flush jasmine tea in a certain very famous 3-star restaurant the other week, to have it served at near-boiling.

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johnnytruant

spooky

even the timestamps are the same.

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johnnytruant

Preparation of a liquor of tea

Has a British and International standard already

BS 6008:1980 / ISO 3103:1980

http://sub.spc.org/san/docs/BS6008.pdf

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Nintendo: no DVD, BD playback for Wii U

johnnytruant

my hdmi splitter

was about a tenner, autoswitches so sensibly and quickly that I've long since lost the remote control, and the box dangles invisibly behind the TV.

It's made in the UK by Neet. You can get them on Amazon.

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johnnytruant

there have been noises

suggesting the Wii-U is about 50% more powerful than a PS3. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/06/report-wii-u-50-percent-more-powerful-than-ps3.ars

PS4 is coming relatively soon, and the first rumours of the 360's successor are starting to surface too (Crytek have confirmed they're working on games for both already). But, and this is the important point - Nintendo have long eschewed the "pure power" arms race that Sony and MS engaged in. Nintendo consistently sell more consoles than anyone else, and they make money on each sale, no loss leaders on the hardware here - so they're clearly doing something right.

The "hardcore gamers" market is quite a small segment of the population. Nintendo aimed at everyone else - their adverts are directed at kids, families, retired people - and scored, big time.

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Peugeot 508 Active e-HDI micro-hybrid

johnnytruant

I had a 206 diesel

and it was bloody awful. cost me a fortune to MOT every year, and was horrible to drive.

Last good Peugeot I drove was a 205.

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AMD promises 10 teraflop notebooks by 2020

johnnytruant

some benchmarks

suggest it's not quite the supercomputer-in-your-pocket that AMD would like us to think, although it doesn't look all that shabby.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4444/amd-llano-notebook-review-a-series-fusion-apu-a8-3500m

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Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

johnnytruant

good point

Make it a belton English Setter then, and call it "Bluey"

Although that's probably racist against people who are very cold.

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johnnytruant

The comedian Richard Herring

Suggested replacing the black dog with a red one, and calling it "Ginger" instead.

Which makes a lot more sense than "Digger"

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Living, biological raygun produced in lab

johnnytruant

I for one

welcome our new laser-enhanced overlords.

how long until I can get my shark upgraded?

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Reg hack cast adrift as Illuminati Online goes off-line

johnnytruant

the other thing is

I have an email catchall on my domain which ends up in (these days) a gmail inbox. It's ended up in other places in the past, and to change it's end target is a matter of minutes of work.

I filter by using a unique address for everyone I deal with - eg: theregister@domain.com for my Reg account, then I can block individual addresses which end up on spam lists. It also means that, should my email/password leak via, I dunno, PSN, they don't get an address which will let you log in to anywhere else, even if I do reuse my low-security passwords.

Although with gmail's spam filter as good as it is these days, I barely need the capability. But it's handy nonetheless.

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Peeping Tom Mac spyware suspect cuffed

johnnytruant

pics

Or it didn't happen.

Research purposes only, naturally.

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Belkin eBook Light

johnnytruant

mine was £1.50

although it's host powered, but as my eReader has a usb socket on the top edge, that's no problem.

Not sure why you'd buy something this hefty and pricey. Especially as I thought a lot of Kindle cases come with lights built in?

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US admiral reveals safety plan for Zombie Apocalypse

johnnytruant

"I repeat, you must remove the head or destroy the brain"

As any fule kno, a lawnmower can easily be employed for this purpose if you've mislaid your chainsaw or shotgun.

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Amazon heralds unstoppable rise of the e-book

johnnytruant

See also

http://www.feedbooks.com

It's like Gutenberg+

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How to choose the right screen size

johnnytruant

I recently "downgraded"

From a cheap 1920x1080 37" LCD to a nice quality 1024x768 42" plasma and can't tell the difference in terms of resolution. Picture quality is through the roof though.

I'm buggered if I can figure out why the apparently square pixels on the plasma manage to have a 16:9 aspect at that resolution though.

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E Ink, Epson to build 'retina' display for e-book readers

johnnytruant
Paris Hilton

A4 readers

do you mean a Kindle DX, Boox M90 or similar?

I have an 8.1" IRex iLiad and, even with more DPI to play with, an A4 PDF wouldn't be readable at that size. You really do need those extra few inches.

Paris, because she really needs the extra few inches too.

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Brink

johnnytruant

also

it's entirely possible that, when this review was being written, playing online on a PS3 wasn't an option.

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In-app payment patent scattergun fired at small devs

johnnytruant

I shall patent

A mechanism for making money by acquiring an excessively broad patent on a very obvious idea or system, then suing people for infringing on my so-called intellectual property.

Then I shall troll the patent trolls.

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Fiat 500 TwinAir

johnnytruant

Oooh, nice

The 500 series is based on the 2003 Panda chassis, iirc. I like my Panda, it handles well for a low-end non-sports car, but it's not quite as fun as it could be. It's comparable to a Pug 205 in terms of driving experience, which is good, but it's no Mini (and by Mini, I mean an actual Mini, not the fat ugly crap BMW make)

If this compares well to a Mini, I might be interested. Does better mpg than my current Panda diesel too. I agree on the styling, I think the 500 is one of the few reimagined classics which actually works. The Panda is too, thinking about it. Fiat are doing a lot right these days.

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Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

johnnytruant

You missed one

Cowl. Cowl would make an awesome film. Spatterjay and Cormac sequences are excellent, but Cowl is Asher's best book by a long, long way.

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johnnytruant

Much as I like Use of Weapons

I rather think that Surface Detail would translate better to film, not to mention being a better first contact with the Culture for the uninitiated.

Bank's publicist is on this story already, btw: http://www.iain-banks.net/2011/05/11/use-of-weapons-tops-poll-of-best-sci-fi-films-never-made/

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User data stolen in Sony PlayStation Network hack attack

johnnytruant

Oh hai

I also live at 123 Fake Street, London.

Could you pick up some milk on your way home?

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Fedora's Lovelock Linux is beta ready

johnnytruant

Ask Paul Fitts or Jason Spisak or Bruce Tognazzini or Jakob Neilson

Or any other HCI expert. They'll tell you how and why, big, simple, clear interfaces are good. Or you could just use it for a while, get over the "OMG some things are different" shock and then bask in the relaxing ease of use.

One thing the GNOME team did, long and hard and with much heated debate among many people, was actually *think* about usability. Big simple menus make sense for all but the most powerful of power users. Power users like yerself don't matter, because they're never going to browse menus and the shell has a good and fast Deskbar/Do-alike incremental search anyway.

I've also been using GNOME Shell since very early releases and I don't use the application menu because all the apps I need are a few - fast and easy - keystrokes away. I barely even *see* the shell interface any more, my stuff is just there. When I sat my decidedly non-techie housemate down in front of it recently, her reaction was "oh wow, I never knew I had all this stuff on my computer"

See also Ryan Quinn's awesome Mezzo desktop, which is surprisingly similar to GNOME Shell, and one of the most usable (imo) interfaces ever to grace a computer screen. Once you get over your ingrained feelings of how a computer "should" work because you're used to the bodged up over 20+ years gui we've had since the bad old days, not to mention get down to actually using it rather than just "having a play", you might just find you like it. Might. :)

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The best sci-fi film never made: Also-rans take a bow

johnnytruant

Ubik's disqualified

Because Michel Gondry is making it.

http://www.empireonline.com/news/feed.asp?NID=30201

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johnnytruant

One I forgot to email in

Cowl, by Neal Asher.

Would film up rather well, I think.

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Firefox needs heavy hitter Linux power

johnnytruant

I'm not 100% sure of this

But, Chromium (the FLOSS project Google's Chrome derives from) has sync baked in, and it's source is here: http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/

So, now? It's the 16th.

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So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

johnnytruant

House of Suns

is great. not sure how well it would translate to screen.

Surprised nobody has mentioned Neal Asher yet.

Neal Asher. The Skinner sequence would make a good, if gruesome, film.

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Canonical delivers second Natty Ubuntu beta

johnnytruant

I thought that

So I did:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gnome3-session gtk3-engines gnome-themes-standard gnome-tweak-tool

And huzzah! There was a GNOME 3.0 session available from GDM. It'll roll into the official repos at some point, but the rate of change is a bit rapid right now even for Canonical's rather cavalier (compared to Debian, anyway) attitude to stability.

Given my attempts at installing GNOME 3.0 under a plain Debian were going nowhere fast, this was a pleasing PPA to find.

Now my side-by-side comparing of Unity with GNOME Shell can commence. I think GNOME Shell is my favourite so far, but there are pluses and minuses to both.

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WTF is... 4K x 2K?

johnnytruant

A chart of interestingness

http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

I recently "downgraded" my 36" 1080p screen to a 42" 768p one, and the image on the new one looks far sharper (after turning down the insane oversharpening, obviously) and nicer than the older screen, even with 1080p sources. My living room isn't big enough - according to the chart above - for it to make any difference, and my experience certainly bears that out.

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PowerAmp

johnnytruant

shame it's so ugly

I use Zimly, which is free and pretty. And by pretty, I don't just mean nice looking, I mean nice working too. I tried the Poweramp demo and didn't get on with the UI very well.

Other people's milage may, of course, vary. It's nice there are choices.

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GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers

johnnytruant

Overall, I like it.

But the lack of a keyboard status indicator for StickyKeys breaks it so much I can't use it as my day to day interface.

I really hope that will be fixed soon. I rely on StickyKeys due to physical issues I have managing the various twists and finger gymnastics needed to hit metakey combinations. Ubuntu's Unity has the same problem, and KDE4 did when that launched too. Seems odd it slipped through in GNOME 3.0 though, given the prominence given in the new panel to the Accessibility Menu, that they don't seem to have finished implementing such. Ho hum. I've filed a bug.

The customisation stuff will be back, if maybe not quite so detailed as before - the GNOME team acknowledge that's something people want but it wasn't really a launch goal for them. GKT3 is nice, but it could look a lot prettier than it currently does.

I do miss minimising windows - it's not something I do often, I tend to just switch to an empty desktop - but it's nice to have the option.

All things considered, a good first (and big) step, and with a bit more polish it'll be great.

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Zomm wireless leash

johnnytruant

I feel cheated

I was expecting an article that, as a dog owner, I would benefit from.

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Judge to music industry: 'Worth trillions? Forget it'

johnnytruant
Coat

I beg to differ

The music scene is more exciting and dynamic than ever before, and it's partly the internet that has let it become so. Cross pollination between styles and genres has never been healthier, and making and distributing music never been easier. Just because the mainstream pop industry is as boring and insipid as it's ever been, that doesn't mean that the awesome isn't happening underground, where it always did.

When I was a teenager, you had to put some effort in to find good music - listening to late night radio (Oh John Peel, the world misses you so), swapping tapes with friends (funny, home taping didn't kill music then, either), going to random gigs, getting friendly with your local record shopkeeper and so on. That's all still happening: except there are thousands of radio stations, you no longer swap tapes with a hundred or so friends, you swap tapes with a few million of them, and the record shop is infinitely big.

"Adult" music just the same. Get thee to bleep.com and tell me there aren't exciting, challenging, imaginative, "adult" albums there, in DRM-free, lossless formats with beautiful album art. Just because you personally haven't been keeping up, that doesn't mean nobody else has.

Mine's the one with the headphones in the pocket.

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Paramount buries Dune remake

johnnytruant

Lynch can beat Lynch's effort

The mythical three+ hour film that Lynch shot - albeit never edited - has been pieced together by the fans using his original shooting script. If you own one of the Dune DVDs, you have all the footage, so can (I think, local laws may vary) legally download the version by "Spicediver" which is easily findable using Mr Page and Mr Brin's Patented Searching Engine.

Much better than the theatrical release, which I thought was excellent anyway. Lots more coherent, deeper and apparently the script was Herbert-approved too (Frank, not Brian). I'm sure I read somewhere that the sonic-gun/weirding modules were Herbert's idea, even, because he felt the whole prana-bindu Bene Gesserit combat thing was too complicated to explain in a film.

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johnnytruant

Alejandro Jodorowsky is probably free

Shame Dali can't make it.

Greatest film never made, that. Lynch's effort - especially the 3-hour-long fanedit based on the original shooting script - was pretty good, but Dali, Jodorowsky, Gieger and Mobius all working on the same film, with a story by Frank Herbert?

Can't see the accountants in charge of modern movies going for it though. Sad face.

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Jon Bon Jovi accuses Steve Jobs of murdering music biz

johnnytruant

I may not be old enough

But I don't recall not being allowed to listen to records before buying them.

That was one of the best bits of record shopping, going up to the counter with an armful of vinyl and having a listen on the shop turntable..

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Asus Eee Pad Slider

johnnytruant

looks interesting

I want to see how the other upcoming tablet-slider things turn out before throwing down any money though.

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Chrome 10: Google whips out its Crankshaft

johnnytruant

broken is rather an odd term

GDocs is a pretty good basic word processor, extremely useful if you move between computers/operating systems a lot and/or share files between many people. I do both. GDocs is definitely faster on a small machine than OpenOffice. Gdocs, Calender et al work fine in all browsers I've tried it in, but works best in Chrome. I chose it as an example because it's relevant to the way *I* use my machine, not as a reason for you to use Chrome.

I use Chrome because in all aspects it's faster, more stable, lighter on memory and it's bookmark/password sync is far better than Firefox's on my little linux runnin' netbook. Also I like it's economical use of vertical space and UI. I use Firefox on my big heffin' desktop machine. Can't stand Opera, I personally find it ugly and unwieldy. Other people's mileage may, of course, vary. Isn't it nice that we have the choice though. :)

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johnnytruant

speed matters

Since more and more people started browsing on smaller and less powerful machines.

Makes no odds to my quadcore desktop with it's stack of fast ram and shedload of cpu grunt, but on my little single-core atom-powered system, browser (and indeed all software) speed is important. Chrome is much more responsive than Firefox on my netbook, especially when running script-heavy things like Google Docs.

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Hollywood eyes Blade Runner replicants

johnnytruant

on the plus side

If we can find some way to extract electricity from the rotation of Philip K Dick in his grave, that'd be the energy crisis sorted out.

PKD fans might be interested to know that the Radio Free Albemuth movie has a trailer out now.

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Nuance Flext9

johnnytruant

swype

has been in open beta for a while now, so available for most 'droid devices. http://beta.swype.com/

Although Flext9 does look a bit better. Having been a user of Dragon in the past, I know how good Nuance's speech-to-text can be.

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Android phone to replace shop till

johnnytruant

my phone reads onscreen barcodes all the time

title says it all. my laptop's screen has plenty enough resolution and contrast for my phone to scan a 2D or 3D barcode from, without blowing up the code to stupid sizes either (ie, the barcode is no bigger than it would be if displayed on a phone screen).

My HTC Legend phone isn't exactly ancient, but it's hardly cutting edge either.

Interestingly though, the webcam on my laptop can very rarely read barcodes from the real, high-resolution, world, let alone a screen.

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Electric cars not as 'green' as advertised

johnnytruant

yes and no

While most of the so-called 'green' tariffs are something of a con, ecotricity actually do produce at least one KW/h from renewable sources for every KW/h I use. It's not a long drive from my house to see hundreds of wind turbines installed by them, providing power. I'm not so naive as to think that a wind turbine rotates and the power it generates come down the wire direct to my house. But even if they are lying about how much power they produce, I support a company who's entire business is renewables - the more wattage they install, the more money they make. Wind is one option, but wind can power pumped hydro for when it's not windy, and it's often windy in one part of the UK when it's not in another.

Biodiesel doesn't have to come from food land. It shouldn't, that's a silly thing to do. Plenty of advances being made in producing biodiesel from tanks of algae and so on. It's not there yet, but progress is happening. I wasn't necessarily suggesting biodiesel was a viable alternative at this stage, more that it has potential.

On a small scale, I can just use the biodiesel processor in my garage and blag used vegetable oil off the local chippy. That's not scalable, obviously.

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johnnytruant

if I had an electric car

the CO2/km would be much lower than 81g. Because I pay a little bit extra for a 100% renewable (mixed sources, mostly wind) electricity tariff from ecotricity.

As more renewable/low emission electricity sources come online, the emissions for electric cars will drop. Diesels - and much as I love my little 65mpg diesel car - may squeeze a little more efficiency, but at the end of the day, you're still burning fossil sunlight. Biodiesel, of course, is a different matter. That emits CO2 when it combusts, which can be measured at the exhaust, but is slightly misleading as the net atmospheric CO2 doesn't change.

CO2 emissions aside, electric cars don't spray soot, NOX, SO2 and an assortment of fairly nasty hydrocarbons out of their exhausts into the local environment.

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Android and iOS get a little Minecraft love

johnnytruant

cold turkey

I used to have a Minecraft problem. I've been clean for a few months now. Feels good.

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Doctor Who co-star Nicholas Courtney dies at 81

johnnytruant

farewell, sir

Such a shame he didn't get to do a final story. He deserved a proper send off.

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Debian 6: Have your Debian and eat your Ubuntu too

johnnytruant

so don't use it

Use LXDE, KDE, XFCE, Gnome Shell, Enlightenment, Unity, whatever.

Just because Debian (and Ubuntu, currently) defaults to Gnome, that doesn't mean you have to.

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johnnytruant

hard pushed?

You try installing any flavour or derivative of Debian on a Dell Poweredge R310 using the onboard RAID controller.

I lost a couple of weeks of my life trying to do that. Then I bought a new RAID card and all was well.

To be fair to Debian, I've installed it on a lot of hardware over the years and never run into problems in the past. It still remains the only choice in my opinion for servers - hence the battle to install, hence not settling for CentOS (which installed fine).

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