* Posts by Greg J Preece

2493 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Ubuntu's Amazon 'adware' feature to be made opt in

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Teiwaz - It's a start...

So, you didn't tell us what's wrong with a Desktop interface for desktops ? Why do I have to endure the same interface on a 5in and on a 25in screen ?

You don't. I simply can't accept arguments - from Linux users of all bloody people - that they're forced to endure any windowing system. You know full well that Ubuntu will happily run most major windowing systems and that ready-made spins are usually available.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: It's a start...

Yup, I agree. My only beef with the Amazon search thing was the lack of an off switch at launch, which was shitty behaviour, but once that got added I didn't care.

But then again, I'm a Kubuntu user, so I didn't care much anyway. ;-)

Note to Microsoft: lack of a working off switch is why I won't be installing that malware you call Windows 10.

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Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility

Greg J Preece
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They do, but they've decided not to ignore non-standard webkit- prefixes on badly-done websites.

Smells like IE6....

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Greg J Preece
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Prefixes have a value, but the entire point of them is that they're supposed to be vendor specific! Why not just implement these things with a -mozilla prefix?

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Java 9 delayed until Thursday March 23rd, 2017, just after tea-time

Greg J Preece
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Re: Friends don't let friends install Java.

Where I work we recently rewrote all our web software. We ditched systems that relied on Java and Flash in favour of HTML5/AngularJS gear that does the job much more seamlessly. Wanna guess what the backend servers still run and will continue to run? Yup, Java. Lots and lots of Java.

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Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5

Greg J Preece
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It doesn't matter if you "can get it to work" by messing around for hours. The fact is that it doesn't just work out of the box. There is no purpose for you to try to defend that state. The point of DRM is for stuff to not work.

Huh, that's interesting. It does work for me, right out of the box. Chrome isn't my normal browser so I haven't tweaked any of the settings or "messed around for hours." I just loaded Netflix, and it worked.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Netflix is that it is so cheap and convenient

Not cheap. It's a huge amount a year.

What?

My Netflix subscription is $8 a month. 4GBP. How much is a basic Sky package?

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Greg J Preece
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So we are back to the situation of not having support on many platform (older Android, Linux, Windows XP, etc) and it is easier to torrent. Any how many tears do I see being cried over this?

This simply isn't true. The method they're using now is a standards-based method of delivering DRM extensions to your browser. It can work on any platform that supports the extensions (and does). Why are people saying that this means you can't watch Netflix on Linux, for example? I said in my first comment I've been doing that for ages. This methodology keeps everyone happy - the media wonks keep their DRM comfort blanket, and people running on minority systems keep their support, and this time on an indefinite basis.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: ...of the dumbest ideas from dumbville

Except that in this case it can be easily switched out by the provider on a provider-by-provider basis, and in a way that is seamless to the end user. It's therefore far less of an issue than Flash.

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Greg J Preece
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The reality of services like Netflix is that it is so cheap and convenient, why would anybody go to the trouble of copying their stuff? The only actual effect of DRM is that it makes it so I cannot use my Linux box to watch Netflix and I'm a paying subscriber.

I'd disagree, based on the type of DRM being used (which is why I used the term "reasonable" when describing it). The DRM Netflix are using now is the kind that can be auto-configured by your browser seamlessly without your intervention, so long as your browser supports it. You can quite happily watch Netflix from Linux right now on Chrome, because they were the first to implement these extensions.

The DRM they had previously was Silverlight, which is restricted proprietary bullshit that doesn't work cross-platform and requires ongoing user intervention. I don't consider that kind of DRM acceptable/reasonable. Hopefully that clarifies my position a bit more.

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Greg J Preece
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Sounds good. Streaming video is one area where I can understand and accept reasonable DRM, as Netflix seems to use. Fights like VP9 vs H.264/265 are worth fighting to keep content creators free of bullshit, but media extensions not so much. Nice to see Firefox taking the practical route here. I'll soon be able to use my default browser on Linux for Netflix rather than having to switch to Chrome.

Also kudos to Netflix for ditching Silverlight and going with something that can work more universally. Not having to have a Wine-based hackaround any more is very pleasant.

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Microsoft beats Apple's tablet sales, apologises for Surface 4 flaws

Greg J Preece
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Re: Mission impossible...

That is just a con. To do proper development you need more than a pad with small screen and lightweight keyboard.

You can actually do programming on the iPad - there are environments for Python, Haskell, etc.

I could also observe that OS X and iOS developers (and users) have lots of windows open doing diverse activities. Most MS users you see, just maximise one window on the whole screen. OS X is much better for doing multiple activities at once. Thus Windows is already much more towards iOS than OS X. OS X is a much more capable OS.

This is about 80% twaddle. Surface Pros are x86 Windows machines. They can run full-fat IDEs. The iPads are better because they have Python interpreters?

As for how people use machines, that has nothing to do with how capable the systems are of doing certain tasks. I've got all three major OS's installed on my Macbook Pro (think on that before you engage the distortion field), and frankly the OSX windowing suite I consider the worst of the bunch. The clunky multi-window management in the dock, dodgy app switching, counter-intuitively keeping apps open eating resources when the user doesn't explicitly close them, their ridiculous implementation of fullscreen apps, their insistence on adding stuff like Launchpad (which does literally nothing), the barely competent and anticompetitive App Store (not that Microsoft's is better), and a file manager so dazzlingly shit that basic things like "rename file" are missing from the GUI....this is not a windowing ecosystem anyone should be crowing about. OSX might have made its name for usability in the 90s but now half of what it does seems archaic and the other half seems like pointless gimmickery.

For programming I'd rather use OSX than Windows because OSX has a competent-if-underdeveloped command line, but I'd rather use Linux over either of them because KDE is a competent windowing system with many advanced options and a great app suite, and Linux has far superior programming tools, package managers, etc. And I bet it could run on a Surface Pro, too.

To say that it's impossible to do "proper development" on a tablet that's more capable of programming more things in more languages with more tools because Windows users use the maximise button is.....twaddle.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Mission impossible...

How ironic that you complained of FUD...

Home users will NEVER buy the Microsoft kit as it costs more

I love watching people say things like this with a straight face. You're complaining - in favour of Apple, no less - that a tablet device is overpriced for home users. If that stopped people the iPad would have never gotten anywhere.

I actually know a number of "home" users that have Surfaces because they're just downright better than the iPad competition. Being able to run all their Windows apps inside a decently made portable touchscreen is top dollar for them. If I were to buy a premium tablet (unlikely, but I still have a laptop) the Surface is definitely one I'd be considering.

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Mozilla looses Firefox 43, including Windows 64-bit variant

Greg J Preece
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Re: How about "World has flushed Firefox"?

Modernisation like getting a 64-bit version out (about time too)?

Security updates like the ones described in the article?

Getting plugins signed to help fight against, amongst other things, malware?

Do you people even read the articles any more, or do you just see a piece of software you don't use and immediately start writing the comment slagging it off?

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Motorola’s X Force awakens a seemingly ‘shatterproof’ future

Greg J Preece
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Re: Blimey

I might even buy a Moto now that the screen on my Nexus has bust.

Have you considered repairing it yourself? While it's a bit of a fiddle to do, I bought a kit to fix mine for $70 CDN (about 35 quid). It's basically a replacement screen, and there are good YouTube vids showing how to remove the old one and attach the new. Don't forget to get a bit of the correct adhesive (not UV glue) to affix the new screen to the casing.

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Work on world's largest star-gazing 'scope stopped after religious protests

Greg J Preece
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Oh hey, look at that, religion and superstition getting in the way of scientific progress. That's never happened before.

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Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm

Greg J Preece
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Re: Homing mat?

So, maybe I should start leaving one of those out on the roof just in case one of my neighbours tries to order something...

I was thinking exactly this. One way around it would be to put some kind of embedded radio tag in each mat, and then assign a tag code to each Prime customer when they sign up, so it will only land on your mat. Not that that would be too hard to spoof or steal.

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Telecity fails with car park net rescue plan. In fact, things got worse. Again

Greg J Preece
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Re: They should be applauded

Or for managing to fry servers through a UPS. Impressive.

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Half the staff go gardening at the now not-so-jolly Jolla

Greg J Preece
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They seem to have spent a lot of development effort on that rather than fixing some long, long-running bugs. Like crappy network management, or buggy IMAP IDLE.

Or making it so that the store works on devices that don't have a SIM card, like my Nexus 7.

It's a real shame. I'm so desperate for a successor to Maemo but they never seem to get the backing or hype they need.

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Greg J Preece
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Re: Holy shit!

Silver gets you on the Special Watch List as a Subversive Element.

Ohhhhhhhhhh fuck.

On the upside, no chance of me getting upgraded to gold. There's no way I'm considered a net positive, given how much of a greenie I was when I joined.

For Silver, a copy of Windows 10.

Even though I only really use Windows for gaming, there's no way I'm putting that spyware on my gorgeous Plasma 5 box.

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GCHQ 'smart collection' would protect MPs from spies, says NSA expert

Greg J Preece
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So what we have here is an argument amongst MPs as to whether the government is going to treat them as badly as it does the rest of its citizens?

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Halo 5: Overhyped, but still way above your average shooter

Greg J Preece
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Re: Rating

Are you surprised that a game review from El Reg - especially a Halo review - reads like a press release? The "reviewer" here completely glosses over the bullshit acquisitions system by praising how much it apparently adds to the multiplayer, whilst not once mentioning that it's a microtransaction-supported premium currency inside your paid-for multiplayer experience. The reviewer also completely fails to mention that basically all other collectibles previously available in Halo games are now hidden behind this premium currency, or that 343 actively mocked any players who might have a problem with how this would upset game balance in the name of cash whoring.

That's OK, El Reg, keep acting like your game reviews are worth a shit.

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Work from home when the next big Windows 10 installation arrives

Greg J Preece
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Re: hahahahaha

God, I love Kelly's Heroes. For that matter, I also love Three Kings, the totally-not-a-remake.

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Greg J Preece
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"Tens" is pushing it

Perhaps more importantly, there are tens of millions of Xboxen out there.

Pluralising that "tens" may be premature. Last time Microsoft bothered to give us numbers, it had ten million sold at the end of last year, which is what the Wii U had sold at the middle of this year. Of course, for some reason Microsoft is being tight-lipped about its numbers this generation. Can't think why...

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Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

Greg J Preece
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Can't really argue with the judge. I've been considering for a while that trespassing laws may need extending in modern times to include any type of ROV (that isn't a regulated aircraft operating inside a corridor, naturally).

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THESE ARE THE VOYAGES of the space probe Discovery

Greg J Preece
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For fuck's sake...

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Hands on with Google's Nexus 5X, 6P Android Marshmallow mobes

Greg J Preece
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Re: Marshmallow

Nexus 7s exist that aren't modified? Mine got modded right away. Need to get a 2013 model so I can multiboot more systems.

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz

Greg J Preece
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Re: So, almost 4 years waiting for a good haptic "click"

I have no idea why you're being downvoted.

State requirement.

Phone doesn't meet requirement.

No purchase.

Downvotes?

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Linux-powered botnet lets rip on victims with 180Gbps network floods

Greg J Preece
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Re: Don't allow ssh access with a password

+1 for key access only.

Also, who the fook allows hammering on their SSH port? Logwatch and an automatic firewall rule will take care of that BS.

(I do still need to add that last one to my VPS, now I think about it. A project for this evening!)

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Total War: Warhammer, Blood Bowl and other Games Workshop table-to-screen delights

Greg J Preece
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Re: IT?

There are some good, even superb GW based video games already, stretching back to the Dark Omen and Chaos Gate games I played in the 90s. I think people fairly universally agree that the games made by Relic were the best in recent years. I have never seen any adaptation in any medium absolutely nail the aesthetic and feel of WH40K like Space Marine did.

The gothic architecture and lighting were perfect, the fact that three Space Marines were taken seriously as reinforcement to an entire forge world, the way the world shook slightly with every step you took... You really do feel like an 8 foot genetically engineered ruiner of worlds.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Skaven

I'm a Skaven WHF player, and I love that they work best when played like a lunatic. Have absolutely no heed for your own survival, hurl yourself at the enemy, and a decent portion of the time the sheer resulting chaos will win you the day. I recall a 4th edition match where my doomwheel's steering broke, and it rolled over the rat regiment next to it. My opponent was greatly amused until he realised that the wheel was also headed right for - and indeed over - his general.

I can't remember grinning that hard in any other match.

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Greg J Preece
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While I am stoked to see the more niche GW games get what appear to be decent video game adaptations (I adore the tabletops of Mordheim and Battlefleet Gothic), it's saddening that the main reason I'm excited for them is what an absolute set of shitbiscuits GW are being with their tabletop games these days. Pricing was always an issue with GW, but now units are priced according to points value, and every other box in a store is a special unit costing $100. The rules are being butchered left and right, any game less mainstream than the fscking Ultramarines is being thrown out of the pram, and the money-grubbing is at disgusting levels.

I was in a store the other day seeing if I am rich enough to get back into some of my favourite games, and was told it would cost me $130 + tax to get just the rulebook and ONE codex. Holy shit.

It's getting to the point where video games are going to be the only practical and affordable way to play the GW games, especially those smaller titles that really have character to them. GW are whoring the licence out to anyone who'll have it, and with Relic now gone that's getting really risky. We're doing well right now for adaptations being treated with care, but let's not forget that GW was lunatic enough just a year ago to whore 40k out to Eutechnyx, of all fucking people. Not sure who Eutechnyx are?

Ride to Hell: Retribution.

Oh yes, those guys. And what did they do with the venerated universe of Warhammer 40 000? They re-skinned one of their existing mobile lane-defence games with Space Marines and called it "Storm of Vengeance". We can do without titles like that...

TL;DR - I still love the GW universes, especially WHF, but Games Workshop only seem to become bigger arseholes with each passing year.

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US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

Greg J Preece
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Re: 2A

I don't think you're quite getting this constitution thing...

Oh, while I think about it, anyone who says that the reason they should be allowed to gun is because it's in the Constitution is producing a stupid argument: firstly, it isn't in the Constitution, it's in an Amendment;

So it's in the Constitution.... Amendments to the Constitution are still part of the Constitution....

secondly, the right to own slaves is in the Constitution, but most people would agree that isn't a reasonable thing now;

Which is why it's no longer in the Constitution, as per Constitutional amendment. That said, please also be aware that changing the Constitution is such a serious thing to do, that particular amendment took a civil war...

thirdly, if we are talking about whether something should be legal or not, stating that it is legal is not an argument.

The entire point of a Constitution is that it's a basis for the most important parts of the law, and is much, much harder to alter. Other laws can be struck down if they contradict the Constitution, and often are. It is a special law, and special consideration regarding its tenets is indeed valid.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: 2A

Absolutely, and I'm also in favour of gun ownership by responsible people, just as I am in favour generally of things being granted to responsible people. The argument that's been raging in recent years in the US has little to do with whether or not guns should be allowed as possessions - good luck with that one - and is actually about one side wanting to add controls/checks on who can have guns, which I have no issue with but apparently the gun lobby does. If you have a health issue likely to cause an accident, you're not allowed to drive, but apparently checking whether you have health issues before giving you a firearm is insane.

Back to the issue - good on the librarians! In the current climate it takes some brass balls to do something like that.

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Should take down mean stay down? EU’s Big Internet quiz leaks

Greg J Preece
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Re: This ain't rocket science

Ludicrous prison terms, ludicrous fining, totally unenforceable.....work for the music industry, do you AC?

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Greg J Preece
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I was just coming here with soda all over my monitor to object to that quote. As a guy who's into his video games and game..."fandom" (for lack of a more appropriate term) that particular sector has been hit near-constantly by overreaching ContentID restrictions.

The idea behind ContentID is IMO sound, but it has some gigantic flaws. As you correctly mentioned, content can be (and very often is) claimed by people who do not own it. The most frustrating flaw for me though is in how they handle matches. The people claiming your content immediately begin receiving all monetisation from the video. Used a ten second music clip in a third minute video? You get no money at all for your efforts. That's disgusting.

The incredibly frustrating part of that is that they were so close to having an automatic music licencing system I'd have easily been in favour of: if you use someone's content for some of your video, they get a relative portion of the revenue, not all of it. Use someone's music for 5% of your runtime? They get 5% of any money you make off the vid. If I were a video maker I would be 1000000% OK with that, assuming that problem 1 - the overreach in matches - was fixed. It would mean that even the smallest content creator can licence music for use in their videos in a way that doesn't require a single lawyer, and music creators would get paid for their content also.

The overreach needs fixing first though. Currently people can have their accounts put in bad standing for using even screenshots or clips from trailers. You can be financially penalised for helping promote their product!

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Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY

Greg J Preece
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It's a fucking Surface. The way the multitasking is laid out, the stylus, the keyboard, everything - it's a fucking Surface.

I'm going to watch every goon who slagged off the Surface when it came out because of their hive-mind fanboying now buy one of these and rave about how much better it is than everything else, aren't I?

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Stick your finger in another Pi: Titchy-puter now has touchscreen

Greg J Preece
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Such things have existed unofficially for a while. My roommate has one that is the size of the Pi itself, so it sits on top and becomes almost one wall of a case for the board. They're useful, and not exactly expensive.

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Popcorn time at Popcorn Time: More vid slurpers hauled into court

Greg J Preece
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Re: Causation/correlation?

I've seen Popcorn Time, and it's got a surprisingly nice interface. There's a disclaimer on the site it comes from, but the app is quite professionally put together. I'd think it reasonable that at least some users aren't aware of what they're doing. You don't see the torrent, the data, the seeding or anything like that. It looks like Netflix.

Of course, if the rights holders weren't so astonishingly out of touch, they might be asking the important question: what benefit does Popcorn Time provide over their own service? Well, it has way more movies instantly available than any legal streaming service, because of the constant exclusivity deals and squabbling over licencing, and it doesn't make users jump through hoops like Ultraviolet and the like do. As Jim Sterling puts it, "you push a button, and get the thing." Users will pay for convenience, but if they can get superior service for no cost at all, you bet your ass they'll go for it.

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Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

Greg J Preece
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And in such straightforward language, too. I was also impressed. It's a very small thing in the big picture, but it's nice to hear a politician act and talk like they're not a scripted Ken doll.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Proof, (if it were needed)

Once Scotland becomes independent

While we're talking about pointless gestures...

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Proof, (if it were needed)

*Cough* Welsh *Cough*

Completely pointless nationalistic resurrection of what was a near-dead archaic language, that now merely requires everything to be printed twice. Oh goodie, I'm so glad my Welsh forebears wasted everyone's time and money making things more difficult for the sake of a national ego.

But then, I've always been of the opinion that if you need "heritage" to provide yourself with a personality, you must be quite dull. Has any Brit here ever genuinely defined themselves as an individual by what happens 500 years ago? How about 1000?

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Watch out, Tokyo! Samsung readies a 15 TERABYTE SSD

Greg J Preece
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Roll on SSD. Why people are still even trying to make HD I find baffling.

Didn't you answer your own question above? Capacity. That's why I still have a mechanical drive in this desktop, after all, along with 750GB of SSD space.

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Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

Greg J Preece
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The fun part of this rage-filled comment thread of hate is the presumption that he's guilty and hiding out from that, which conveniently ignores both that he was already in hiding when the allegations arose, AND this part of the article that you all seem to have missed:

The former chief public prosecutor, Eva Finne told the BBC,"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

OK, former chief prosecutor, but someone who knows what they're on about says that there isn't enough evidence to prosecute anyway. Innocent until proven otherwise and all that, chaps? It's not like this whole thing could be a setup designed to discredit him and/or drag him out of hiding to somewhere he can be extradited...

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Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

Greg J Preece
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Re: @ Greg J Preece

Not at all, I'm just hoping the guys who make apps like these keep on top of things.

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Greg J Preece
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I've been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10 while I waited for the inevitable privacy protector freeware to appear. That app now appears to exist, so I will consider it, after a test in a VM:

The app in question. Holy shit, check out how many domains it had to block.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Bringing Up The Rear

Looking at Statcounter, I see Linux flat-lined as always as a desktop OS. In 11 days Win 10 has managed to double its market share.

Can I add to this discussion with "who cares?" I think everyone knows that the reasons behind the various company market shares are a long and involved discussion stretching back decades. Far as I'm concerned, I don't really care if people use the things I use (I have Windows 8 installed, after all) as long as they do things the way I want - much like this lovely lovely Kubuntu installation I'm typing from.

A while back I was having a similar argument with some guy who claimed that nothing Linux invented deserved credit because those things hadn't improved its desktop market share any. Putting aside Linux's prominence basically everywhere else, that really makes no difference as to quality. All versions of OSX combined have lower market share than Windows 8. Does that make OSX crap? (OSX is rubbish for a host of completely different reasons!)

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'Cops KNOW WHO I AM and I don't believe their hearts were truly in the shootout'

Greg J Preece
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X-wings, pirates and a generic Lara: Gamescom 2015

Greg J Preece
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Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

Face it: One's getting old. Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities. Whereupon one regrets all the hours spent creating random activity in electronic hardware (but the sights seen and feels had were overwhelming, maybe more so in retrospect)

One sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't one?

I don't regret at all spending my recreational time doing a thing I enjoy. One thing I've been learning in recent years is the importance of downtime, and if I find more fulfillment in beating a game's challenge than I do in other activities, what's wrong with that? I might become jaded with the industry sometimes (read: most of the time) but that hardly means there aren't games available to inspire me. I haven't yet found a medium more compelling or rewarding in terms of sheer escapism than the video game.

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Greg J Preece
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I don't use a start replacement myself - a fullscreen start menu just isn't that big a deal for me, and from my experience with it on another (less powerful) machine we have in the house ClassicShell introduces significant lag.

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