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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2272 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Greg J Preece
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Re: Another hitchhikers quote might have been more appropiate...

"Ever thought of going into advertising?"

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You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

Greg J Preece
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Re: Noooo! Noooo! Run away! Save yourself!

I don't see Holder offering you a couple of seats in our Senate.

No legislation without representation, eh? Maybe it's time we broke away from the overlords across the Atlantic...

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Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Greg J Preece
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Re: Just what the world needs

MS have gained traction with C# but that's really the stand-out counter-example in terms of a new "next best thing" language that has been adopted into the mainstream.

And let's be honest, while C# is a good language, that's also partly down to what came before it being so hideous.

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Apple's steamy OS XXX picture leak riddle: Blurry snaps deleted

Greg J Preece
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The look of the Dock has been modified to look a bit like iOS, whilst the whole design looks a bit more Flat, which was the name for the beefed-up design of iOS 7, for those who remember.

So will the iFans ever come close to admitting that super-trendy Apple are now taking design cues from Microsoft? Because they totally are.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Greg J Preece
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Re: I do both

My wife has a Netflix subscription, but she uses it far more often than I do; I've seen their selection, and there's not a whole lot there I'm interested in

Which country are you viewing it from? Netflix's catalogue varies wildly by territory. Its anime section in the UK, last time I checked, was a whopping eight titles.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: All well and fine, but...

Of course, as always, YMMV

It certainly might. As a re-telling of Kelly's Heroes with somewhat blacker humour, I thought Three Kings was great. :-D

But the tunnel thing doesn't bother me so much. I guess I'm so used to jumping through hoops to get around region issues with any gaming service that isn't Steam or Origin. I have a second browser permanently set to talk to a local SOCKS proxy, and firing up that tunnel is the work of seconds when I need it.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: All well and fine, but...

Every streaming service I've tried do NOT provide subtitling for the feature, and some have no intetion to ever provide subtitling, hiding behind clauses such as "the licence holder prevents.."

Netflix *definitely* has this, at least in NA. Grab yourself an SSH tunnel and enjoy.

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Greg J Preece
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I do both

I've long been an advocate of disc ownership, because you can watch what you like, when you like, and no one can control it or take it from you. That said, I now also have streaming subscriptions, because now that I live in Canada and Netflix doesn't suck, it's totally worth it. (Plus, I have the obligatory US connection to get the "proper" versions of Netflix and Hulu, which are both awesome.)

Being able to check out series I've heard of on a whim, legally, instantly, and with a surprisingly good indexing system is great. The recommendation system might be useless but most of my recommendations come from friends. Hulu's anime section is unbelievably good for a free service, and Netflix is well worth the $8 a month I pay for it.

That said, I do still buy discs, in two cases:

1) Something isn't available on streaming.

2) The content in question is something I really enjoy and want to have permanently available, especially as blu-ray.

So the library on my shelf is becoming a list of favourites in the highest available quality, and general watching is done via Netflix or Hulu. Honestly, I don't actually know anyone in Vancouver that even watches traditional TV any more.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: So, how do I stream when

Turn those devices off, unplug everything and basically, get a life!

Said the man on the online forum.

Is this now an obligatory thing here? The old-man moaning post about how online interactions somehow aren't real, the world was better when I was a kid, sweets were half a farthing, etc, etc? It's getting as tedious as the Opera fanboys invading anything to do with browsers. (Though they've quietened down since it became a Chrome clone, harf harf.)

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Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

Greg J Preece
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I thought the optimisation was terrible, uPlay was its usual piece-of-shit self, the main storyline was garbage, and the hacking gameplay elements were pathetically shallow. Nice NPC AI though. Overall, thoroughly disappointed.

But then I've long since ignored El Reg opinions on games.

I guess I'm in a minority when I prefer the vehicle control scheme of Borderlands, which uses analogue input from the mouse to steer instead of digital input from the A and D keys.

Yeah, definitely in the minority there. I can get why you'd like analogue input for steering, but with the mouse? Halo on PC had that control scheme and it was bloody awful (but then Halo was bloody awful anyway).

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Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Greg J Preece
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Re: Popular commands...

Yes, but only to the extent that everything you do in Chrome is tracked. Or possibly less.

Have a guess why I don't use Chrome.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Popular commands...

It's the same as when they were reporting how many enemies had been killed in games, how many combos had been done, etc. Microsoft's willingness to use these figures in their marketing demonstrates that everything you do on an Xbox 180 is tracked.

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Greg J Preece
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It really is the Xbox 180, isn't it?

Remember when Microsoft said this would never happen?

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/08/22/microsoft-xbox-one-will-never-come-without-kinect

So now we have two consoles at the same price, with the same general capabilities, but one is getting PS Now, wasn't locked down, has better games (though naturally that's subjective), and is more powerful to start with.

Making your product more like the PS4 to stop people buying the PS4 isn't gonna work, just like making your game more like Call of Duty to take down Call of Duty does jack shit.

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WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Greg J Preece
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Neither did I, until they all responded to the article going "oh wow, Fluffle Puff!" ;-)

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Ninten-DON'T: Wii U bomb blows Mario Kart giant off track – but new console promised

Greg J Preece
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I realise that makes me sound cynical, but it's the truth.

No, it makes you sound like a fanboy.

"They're comparing the U's user experience to other consoles, those bastards! They should favourably compensate for the U's inferiority, but they don't, so it must be bribery."

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Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Greg J Preece
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Worked OK here upgrading Kubuntu on my desktop. Given that the laptop is a tri-boot hybrid-partition bootloader mess (thanks, Apple!) I might hold off on doing that one for now...

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Greg J Preece
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Being a developer, I do organize my data, my folders and my disks. I know where I put things and I must be sure of what copy of a given program I am launching in order to properly interpret the results.

I'm also a developer, and my projects folders are meticulously organised. But am I going to click into a file explorer, then down through level after level to get to the right spot, or am I going to type a few letters of the filename and select the right version from the results? KDE will show me the version or path of what I'm about to hit, so it works pretty well.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The fixation with 'serarch' for everything

Why search for everything? Because it fits well with a keyboard-centric way of working. Unity is pretty meh unless you're a keyboard freak, then it effortlessly outstrips everything else out there.

Amen. If your work is keyboard-intensive (I'm a programmer, myself) as opposed to mouse/tablet/other arty things, then quick-search is the very best. I used to be that guy that slavishly organised all his menus, back in the XP days, but since the advent of first KDE 4 and then Windows 7, I've started using quick-search for everything. Hit ALT+F2 or the Windows key (depending on system), type what I want, hit enter. All the programs I use that have different versions are tagged as such at installation, so it works really well for me. It's also why the Windows 8 Start Screen on my desktop and laptop doesn't even remotely bother me any more - if you're a keyboard user then it works pretty much identically to the Win7 menu, so who cares?

Horses for courses, naturally, but that's what's great about Linux. If the way Unity does something isn't for you, install something else.

Lastly, I definitely agree with the person above who said that a lot of small changes over time make a big difference. Even without comparing KDE 4.0 to its current state, I have to use XP from time to time, and going back to it now feels like using a dinosaur. I guess it depends how static your working methods are over time, but using XP now just pisses me off. Its reputation is far in excess of what it deserves.

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Greg J Preece
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Re: Still beats the alternaives

I started learning C# / .NET 4 in earnest recently so I can leap across to another project, and I quite like some of the stuff in there. The concepts behind the CLR, CTS, etc seem sound enough, and as an experiment I wrote an interface in Visual Studio to control an LED sign over a serial connection - 6 lines of code! Seemed pretty nice to me.

What about it drove you potty? Advance warning is always appreciated. ;-)

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Greg J Preece
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No idea at all, I'm afraid. I read a blog post or two that alluded to some security settings getting flipped in the bowels of the system, far beyond the GUI, and Fiddler being required to re-enable access, but the fix looked a little dodgy to me. Fortunately it seems to be OK now.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Still beats the alternaives

endlessly installing iterations of C++ / C# / PERL libraries in polar fish-eating land.

.NET Framework never updates? You never get C++ runtime updates in Windows? That's news to me.

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Greg J Preece
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Sod's law that shortly after posting that, I started my laptop up to find that my TIFKAM apps have net access again. (Don't care what anyone says, I like some of the TIFKAM stuff.) Haven't got the most radical UI changes yet, but I now have close/minimise icons for Metro apps now, which is welcome. Couldn't care less about getting the Start Menu back to be honest.

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Greg J Preece
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I installed it on my laptop on release day, and the bugger killed all net access from TIFKAM. Still not been able to restore it, so I'm sure as shit not installing the update on my desktop.

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Rumour: Next Apple iThing to feature 65-inch screen. Four-limb multitouch, anyone?

Greg J Preece
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Wow, thank you, advertising guy! I had best run out and purchase this groundbreaking innovation immediately! With 32 point precise multitouch recognition, it's bound to be the product that makes my life worth living.

....You know, when you only register to make one post, and you do it with that username, and you copypasta advert-speak into the comment, you become a really obvious shill. 0/10, ask EA how it's done.

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Greg J Preece
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Hang on a sec. So Apple (according to rumour) want to make a 65" OLED, and make it multitouch, and add all their usual Apple proprietary nonsense to it, and their infamous markups?

I know that Cupertino like to make expensive kit, but...who the fuck would the target audience be? A TV like that is going to cost mega-money, even now. And I don't just mean Apple's usual 50% more expensive than the competition stance, I mean the point at which you could buy a nice car for less.

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BOYCOTT FIREFOX, rage gay devs as Mozilla appoints JavaScript daddy as CEO

Greg J Preece
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Wait, WHAT? You...you know that it's not supposed to support another vendor's pre-ratification prefix, right? Please tell me that you get the point of those prefixes.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The witch hunt continues

the militant homosexual lobby

I wasn't aware it was possible for me to be militantly gay.

DROP AND GIVE ME A BACK RUB!

As for the "witch hunt" remark, you're coming dangerously close to IYLISMWDYGLT territory. Yes, everyone is free to their own opinion, which is what Catlin is expressing in a way that obligates no-one else. He's also not trying to do anything like legislate against his opponents - who I will refer to as the "militant homophobic lobby" just to be a twat - unlike Eich, who supported an effort to deny them equal rights.

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Greg J Preece
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I take it the down vote was by somebody who believes democracy shouldn't exist then, and everyone should somehow think the same as everything they personally think. Someone caught the dictator fever here?

Are you under the impression that a company is a democracy?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: right

so, if I happen to be opponent of gay marriage, it is OK for me to be discriminated against and prevented from taking up a role.

Did I get this right?

No, you didn't. He's got the role, so he's clearly not prevented from getting it. He has the right to his opinion, however idiotic, and others have the right to protest in response. That they are protesting is not discrimination, FFS - it's an opinion. Far as I can tell, they haven't been abusive, and they sure as shit haven't tried to enact legislation preventing him from having the same freedoms as everyone else. Mozilla are under no obligation to listen to them. For me, the best outcome would be for Eich to realise his previous mistake and apologise, but hey, I'm a dreamer.

Personally, I'm going to separate the CEO from the software. Just as a lot of my favourite bands are fronted by dicks, I'm absolutely certain there are arseholes working on some of the software I enjoy. Mozilla is not Eich, and it contains enough good people doing good things that I'm going to keep supporting the cause and using the tools that make my job easier.

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

Greg J Preece
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Re: What the hell did they expect?

Well... the problem is STILL that Microsoft makes it difficult to use "legacy software" (read, software that isn't dumbed down for the tiled, "Metro" environment and the Microsoft store). That "start menu" is still dysfunctional.

I understand that some folk don't like Metro, but in my experience this claim simply isn't true. I can't think of a single item beyond Ext2Fsd that hasn't worked flawlessly when moving from Win7 to Win8, and even with the ext2 drivers I just had to run the installer in Windows 7 mode.

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Mozilla takes a page from Google with sync-friendly Firefox Accounts

Greg J Preece
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Mozilla has long offered Firefox Sync as a way for Firefox users to share their browser history, bookmarks, and recent tabs among several computers. But it was clunky, requiring users to explicitly pair each new device by generating a code on one machine and entering it into another.

Clunky? Push button in one browser, enter code into other, done. Oh yeah, it's a real nightmare to use.

And yeah, given that Firefox Sync is encrypted (and they give you the key as part of your master credentials), will the new one be?

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HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

Greg J Preece
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Re: Less than generous respawn points ... rehashing whole swathes of levels again and again

Why not? Redo the level. If you can't beat it stop crying to your Mum that you can't. Man (or girl) up and actually get better at the game.

Gotta love digital tough guys.

Checkpoints in general piss me off - I'd rather just have a save button like we've had on PC for decades. But replaying an entire level over and over for the one beardy bugger near the end who knocks you into a pit? No, that's not "grrr I'm a tough guy", that's wasting your time. And this is coming from an arcade light-gun gamer!

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HOT AIR-FILLED Apple fanbois SHUNNED iPad 2 at Xmas

Greg J Preece
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Re: Motorola Atrix

The Atrix had a swipe scanner on the side. By placing the fingerprint sensor in the home button you use to wake up the phone, it doesn't require anything extra to get the added security (which isn't close to foolproof, but is probably more resistant to snoopy spouses than a PIN that can be shoulder surfed by anyone who spends much time with you)

Actually, the Atrix's scanner was at the top back, and doubled up as the power/lock button. So yes, Atrix did do this first.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Wait a minute...

It'll take a few days for the register to catch up, but a lot of sites are running with a source citing that the new Samsung Galaxy S5 will be announced this April with a...... fingerprint scanner...... But, ...but surely that would be BLATANTLY RIPPING OFF APPLE, wouldn't it? And the super-innovative Korean ones would never steal other people's intellectual property, would they?

You mean like the Android powered Motorola Atrix had long before the iPhone?

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Speaking in Tech: Is this a mascot convention? Oh ... my God

Greg J Preece
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Re: Personally...

Hilarity should ensue. Believe it or not, there's a small minority of furries out there who know exactly how batshit they are and have something of a sense of humour.

Hell yes. I had a bunch of friends down there. Having said that, the furry fandom is very much against media coverage in general, having been burned far too many times. Honestly, what people think it is and what it actually is are two very different things, and what turns up on CSI or Dr Phil or any of that other crap is exactly that....crap.

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Wow, gamers on YouTube really love the Xbox One. It's like they were paid to say that (Hint: they are)

Greg J Preece
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Re: Hail mary pass by MS

No one likes the Xbone, and it's being out sold by the WII U.

What? No it isn't. The Xbox One did 3m units before 2013 was out, the Wii U's done 4.3m in its lifetime and just had all its sales figures slashed. Don't talk such utter rubbish.

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Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

Greg J Preece
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Re: The rich get richer ...

... and the rest of us get poorer.

Speak for yourself. What you mean is that the successful keep going and you keep whining into a pint glass?

Christ, I hate this attitude that "The Rich" are spontaneously generated whenever someone needs a Saturday morning cartoon villain to blame for their inadequacies. Gates was never on the breadline, but he made his own fortune.

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Microsoft shops ditch XP for New Year as Windows market share expands

Greg J Preece
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*flicking back and forth between months on the freely available reports

I don't know if I was distracted or inebriated. I guess it was Friday afternoon...

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Greg J Preece
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One thing I found interesting, flick back and forth between months on the freely available reports between, is that Linux didn't register as its own notch on that pie chart until this past month. A quick click-through reveals that Linux use has grown a full half-percent of market share through 2013, and overall usage has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2012. It's still insignificant compared to the big players, but at this rate "honest Linux" (Linux that actually identifies as Linux) should break 2% desktop market share in 2014.

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If you're still waiting for Firefox on Windows 8, don't hold your breath

Greg J Preece
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But they're not incompatible. I haven't found an app that I ran on Win7 that I can't run on Win8. The tits are you on about?

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Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

Greg J Preece
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Free roaming in the US?

Canda! Do Canada too! Having one UK number with free Canada/US roaming would make my life so much easier.

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Sony brags: We've hit over 2 MEELLION PS4 console 'sales' worldwide

Greg J Preece
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In what is perhaps a tacit admission that its console isn’t finished product

Are consoles ever going to be finished products again? Both major consoles last generation received regular updates that added (and removed) kit, because they're essentially PCs now. Why would the PS4 be any different?

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iPhone slips in Europe as Windows Phone claims OVER 10% market share

Greg J Preece
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Strange how people still vigorously deny that Windows Phone is getting anywhere, given that at this rate it has a chance of taking the #2 spot from Apple.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Lolz

And I'm sure if Apple had 70% of the market their supporters would be crowing about it, so...

And yes, if it's an indicator of trends and future sales, then it certainly is a measure of success.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

Greg J Preece
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Man, am I ever glad you came here to tell us all how superior you are! Don't think I could have gone on with my Friday without knowing how much better than me you are because I have a Twitter account.

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Microsoft: SORRY for the BORKED Xbox One disc drives, here's a free game

Greg J Preece
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The difference is the hoop you will have to jump through if the problem is on the PS4 compared to this.

That would be the hoop where Sony immediately RMA the machine and mail you a new one? The horror!

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Valve pal iBuyPower touts cut-price Steam box as powerful as PS4 or Xbox

Greg J Preece
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Yeah, but most of those 400 games are slightly pants indie titles.

Can't agree. My Steam for Linux list includes the Double Fine games, the Valve games, the Introversion games, Mark of the Ninja, Bastion, X3, Hotline Miami, Penumbra, Amnesia, Strike Suit Zero, Serious Sam, FEZ, etc. These games won awards for a reason. Hell, I'm currently replaying one of my all-time favourites - Psychonauts!

Every platform has its share of shit games, but the Linux set has more than enough games worth playing, especially compared to a freshly-launched console.

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VIOLENT video games make KIDS SMARTER – more violent the BETTER

Greg J Preece
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Man, there's some backwards buggers in this thread. Personally, I am one of those video game kids, from pretty much age 4, and my parents rarely restricted my access to any media. I played the violent games and the non-violent ones - whatever I enjoyed, essentially. And how violent, dangerous or otherwise warped did it make me? I got great grades, I never hurt a fly, and I have no criminal record whatsoever. Oooh, the horror.

"You have a degree??"

"I'm sorry! Unreal Tournament made me do it!"

OK, look: if violent video games make violent people, and you all like to call out GTA without actually having played it (as if GTA were anywhere near being the most violent game out there), and GTA is now the fastest selling entertainment product ever, shouldn't the whole of society have just broken down? Shouldn't there be a global prostitute shortage as they're all beaten to death by 11 year olds? It's your posit that if I do it in a video game, I will then do it in real life, so explain then why violent crime figures continue to decline as the popularity of GTA continues to rise.

It's horseshit. I've done some incredibly nasty things inside games, but funnily enough my brain is capable of spotting the difference between pixels and people. My addiction to Civilization didn't make me a general, my love of Time Crisis hasn't made me into a gun-toting murderer, and I can absolutely promise you that Uplink does not teach valid hacking skills. Don't be a moron.

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Microsoft bans XXXXBOX gamers for CURSING in online combat

Greg J Preece
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If they decide to ban people for swearing in a game where you shoot people directly in the face, I'll simply ban the overbearing fuckheads from my house.

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