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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2272 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Nvidia takes fight to Sony, Nintendo with Android handheld console

Greg J Preece
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Re: Pity...

A reason would be nice.

I actually really like the design. By emulating a standard controller they've basically got spot-on ergonomic design, which the PSP had a problem with, and Nintendo never bothered with (seriously, the ergonomics on the DS range are hideous). And the battery life does sound superior to its peers.

The library of games is the real problem; the vast majority of the games on the Play store are pretty shit. Some indie ports have made it to Android, such as the Introversion stuff, but that's still not enough, especially when the Vita lets you play Uncharted.

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Samsung confirms Tizen-based mobes to debut this year

Greg J Preece
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Re: Mee didn't go

Good points considering the base could be basically the same. Still I see it always being a bit slower and bloatier than Android considering it will largely be Android with a bunch of extra crap bolted on.

You've got that entirely the wrong way round. Android is Linux with a Java virtual machine nailed on. MeeGo is just Linux, and with Tizen you'll have the option of firing up the JVM for running Android stuff when necessary. That's going to use fewer resources, not more.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Mee didn't go

Yet Another Mobe OS (YAMOS). Lovely thing about standards, there are so many to choose from.

I think you're confusing "standards" and "products".

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Greg J Preece
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I am liking the way this year is going! First Ubuntu is announced for phones, then Tizen's release gets confirmed. With Jolla and Firefox OS also possibly on the horizon, I might finally have an upgrade path from my N900!

Sure, Tizen punts HTML5 as its primary ecosystem, but come on, it's MeeGo based. Pennies to pounds someone has a bash terminal out of it ten minutes after launch.

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Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Greg J Preece
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Re: Babylon 5 influence

B5 was far more heavily influenced by LOTR than DS9 by B5

I'm sure that's been commented on elsewhere, but I honestly don't see it. OK, other races teaming up against the Big Bad, but beyond that, the themes are quite different. Even the Big Bad in B5 is actually just a different philosophy.

You could always tell the entire plot of a JMS B5 ep before the titles rolled, 'Passing through Gethsemane' being a particularly egregious example.

Was "Falling Toward Apotheosis" one of his, by any chance? ;-)

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Babylon 5 dissappointment

That episode when Delenn was going through some transcendental transformation..the transformation? She grew hair.

What exactly were you expecting a Human/Minbari hybrid to look like? A lizard?

Last episode of B5 I ever watched.

Sooooo....you watched the very first part of season 2? Off the top of my head, you missed:

* The Clark conspiracy

* The return of the Shadows and their influence on the Centauri

* The invasion and later liberation of Narn

* The imposition of martial law

* G'Kar mind-raping Mollari

* B5 breaking away from Earth

* The return of Lyta Alexander

* The entire frigging shadow war!

* The First Ones

* The theft of Babylon 4 and the reveal of Valen

* Sheridan divebombing a ship full of nukes onto a planet!

* The assassination of Emperor Cartagia

* Garibaldi being manipulated by the Psi-corps

* The Mars rebellion

* Psi-corps trying to take over the government

* William Edgars attempting to kill every telepath on Earth

* The breaking of the grey council and the Minbari civil war

* The Earth Alliance civil war

* "Scorched Earth" (fans will get that)

* G'Kar becoming a holy man

* The beginning of the telepath war

* The fall of Centauri Prime

* Llondo ascending the throne

* Babylon 5 getting blown up

And how could I forget:

* Lennir beats the shit out of an entire bar full of people because Llondo was cheating at cards.

Yeah..... I'll grant that Season 1 was the weakest, but running out of ideas? The whole thing was written in advance; that's how Paramount were able to rip it off, after all. Episodes, characters, etc are referenced across seasons, and character arcs span years at a time. I would recommend giving it another shot - you quit right before everything kicks off!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: So...

I was wondering if anyone was going to mention how this "defiantly different" show was actually a rip-off. The article didn't bother, after all.

I did like DS9 when I watched it, but I later watched B5 and it's far superior. The budget may be lower, and the acting on some of the cast is pretty bad, especially early on, but the compelling story arc and character development blows every other sci-fi series I've watched out of the sky.

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Ubuntu for smartphones aims to replace today's mobes, laptops

Greg J Preece
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Re: Ubuntu = FAIL

I'm calling troll. If it deleted your MBR, that's most likely because you told it to install in the MBR.

And if that was Ubuntu 10.04 (10.0 isn't a real version number) then it didn't include the Amazon stuff. That only came in much later.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Ubuntu ???

In some ways and not others. The base OS is still great, and it offers some user-friendly front-end stuff that many other distros don't come near. Everyone just threw their toys out of the pram over Unity, and you can see from the posts on this article that people are still acting like children about it, when all that's necessary is to install Kubuntu instead. All the upsides, few of the downs.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: HTML5

Um....who's tried to make HTML5 proprietary? Because they haven't done a very good job of it.

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Greg J Preece
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Amazed at the amount of negativity aimed at this. Personally, I've been waiting for Linux to make its way back onto the mobile, and this is a great step from where I'm sat. For years, my friends and I have been convinced that computing will eventually end up as a "core" device that you plug into different shells depending on the task you're doing. That core device is likely to be a phone, that you then dock to form a desktop, or slide into a tablet shell, etc, etc. The shells might augment its functionality, or provide things like dedicated graphics card, etc. This is, like the Motorola Atrix and others before it, a step in that direction. If you can't figure out why having your phone and desktop be literally the same device has advantages, I don't want what you're smoking.

Either way, I'm glad to see this released. I'm going to be emigrating soon and having something like this would be perfect to get a low-cost desktop running in my new place, as well as giving me something resembling an upgrade path from my N900. Android might be pretty, but its not suitable for what I do. iOS is miles off, Jolla and Tizen have yet to raise their heads, and there's little else to get excited about from a tech standpoint.

And would you lot please realise that Unity's going to make ten times more sense on a mobile than GNOME ever would? I'm not that fond of GNOME on the desktop, but on mobile? That said, I'd love to see a KDE/Plasma variant of this. I saw a demo of a Plasma-based tablet interface last year and it was gorgeous.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Hasn't it been done ?

That was a thing they made that installed Ubuntu inside Android. You docked the phone and it fired up Ubuntu. It was a precursor to this that they demo'd at last year's World Mobile Congress. Even back then they were talking about this full replacement OS. Glad to see it finally arrive.

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Greg J Preece
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the lack of apps means i doubt its ever going to make for the only OS i would run on a phone.

Lack of apps?? Are you out of your tree??

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The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux

Greg J Preece
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Re: @westlake - A good question

The fundamental problem here --- the elephant in the room that no one ever talks about --- is the lack of compelling programs which are Linux only.

It's a fair point, though I would argue that those programs do exist. As a novice video editor (but an experienced computing geezer) Kdenlive is a great video editor. It's a piece of piss to use, has a simple interface, but still has a lot of functionality, and supports a wide range of formats.

Also, K3B is the best CD ripper/burner going, hands down. KDESVN is the best Subversion client I've used, and you don't realise just how good tools like KRDC, KSnapshot or Kompare are until you try them against other such tools (or lack of tools, as is often the case in Win/Mac).

(If you've noticed that these are all KDE apps, that's because KDE is awesome.)

Actually, based on that, I'm going to contradict what I originally said. I don't use Linux for the 3rd-party apps. As you rightly pointed out, I can set up Netbeans, Firefox, Skype and the rest on Windows just as readily as Linux. I use Linux for everything around the 3rd-party apps. The superior file and task management, shortcuts, interface customisation, widgets, command line, etc. Put it this way:

Firefox in Windows and Firefox in Linux are the same.

Explorer in Windows and Dolphin in Linux are most definitely not the same.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: A good question

I see it as a step toward a ChromeOS-like experience, where "the network is the computer".

Ah yes, the thin client. Those didn't really work in the '90s either.

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Greg J Preece
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This year's GNOME is no place for someone who just wants to get some work done.

GNOME, as the developers would have you believe, is not designed for nerds that want to customise things

KDE is. I honestly don't know why it's not rapidly replacing GNOME as the standard desktop. You never know, that might finally give better compatibility with Mozzy stuff...

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Apple supremo Tim Cook's pay packet SLASHED 99% in 2012

Greg J Preece
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Re: all that dosh!

so WTF does he (or any other high paid CEO) spend the money on?

Same thing we should all aim for (IMO): retiring early and spending the rest of our days enjoying everything else.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: 99% pay cut

Obvious troll is obvious, but hey, I'm bored. Bored enough to look Jim Whitehurst up on Forbes and read the part where he earned $7,407,214 in 2011 (figures for 2012 aren't there yet).

Soooooo....no.

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Windows Firefox stiffs Adobe Flash, plays H.264 YouTube vids

Greg J Preece
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Re: Mobile?

What makes you say that? Used it since the beta, and while admittedly the first few versions were a bit slow, these days it's a great browser. Flash got added in, the browser sped up, they redesigned the UI (though personally I liked the old one) and sorted out a number of other issues. It's a luvverly piece of kit.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Firefox...TWENTY??

Well, thanks for your valuable input.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: but the flash video player is STILL better

It's right there in the context menu on my YT HTML5 version...

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Greg J Preece
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Pragmatism, perhaps, but I wish they'd stuck to their guns. I'm watching YouTube HTML5 in FF on Linux with no issues - works perfectly. Seems to be more stable, too, and I'm not seeing any unusual resource usage.

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Valve hauls down The War Z, offers refunds

Greg J Preece
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Re: Dead on arrival...

The fact isn't that the game is shit - the fact is the blurb for the game claims a lot of things about the game which simply aren't true.

The blurb provided by the game developer/publisher, and similar to the descriptions on Amazon, Game, and every other retailer? Or do you imagine that all retailers personally write all product descriptions?

It was clearly more fun to poke fun at someones comment than actually doing the small amount of research required.

Poke fun == disagree with? Thanks for the patronising response, but I know how Steam works.

As for GAME, I'm not sure who'd be liable if they sold a game which advertised having things it didn't as most of the staff wouldn't have the means to check ( I worked there for awhile) however we'd prob refund it as faulty.

Exactly like Valve are doing?

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Greg J Preece
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Speaking of rampant Day Z hackery, check out Team AVO's Day Z vids. They're hilarious.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Dead on arrival...

They denied something? Where? It's a bit harsh to go laying all the blame at Valve's feet when they didn't develop the game. Would you blame Game if you'd bought War Z off the shelf and it was shit? I'm thinking back to Sword of the Stars 2 as an example, which was released completely broken; no-one blamed the retailers, FFS.

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Windows Vista woes killed MS Pinball

Greg J Preece
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Re: Windows has built-in games?

Wow, quite a surprising level of butthurt over an OS-included pinball game...

Step 1. Go to GoG.com

Step 2. Register. Receive Beneath a Steel Sky/Duke Nukem 3D/Ultima IV for free.

Step 3. Buy the Independence War games for $3.

Step 4. Get over yourself.

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Greg J Preece
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Windows has built-in games?

And people play them? Seriously?

Given the option of Solitaire or something from my Steam collection....Steam wins.

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The best smartphones for Christmas

Greg J Preece
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Re: Those were the times

Upvote for the N900. Still got mine, still use it for work stuff over the S3. The S3 is a consumer device, in that you can view things on it, and browse things on it, but the minute I want to actually do something the N900 comes out. A task as simple as searching an e-mailed logfile became a tortuous task on the S3, but takes about 5 seconds on the N900.

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Greg J Preece
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Can't you just rotate it the other way so the soft buttons are at the opposite side to your hand?

You're not seriously trying to say I'm "holding it wrong", are you? ;-)

If I'm holding it one-handed at the bottom, it makes sense to rotate it from there.

I'm not sure why someone down-voted you, you were merely expressing your personal preference, whilst accepting that not everyone feels that same.

People do love that button. Two downvotes so far for "I think soft touch is shit and here is why."

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Greg J Preece
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Personally, I don’t care for Samsung’s insistence on using a physical home key on its phones but I’m obviously in a minority on that score

Personally I wish they'd take soft-touch buttons and throw them down a well, never to be heard of again. I utterly despise them. Almost every time I rotate my S3 one-handed - to watch a video, for example - one tenth of a micron of skin hits the back button and boom! There goes my content. It's absolutely infuriating, and really speaks to the obsession with crap touch controls at the expense of buttons, which work.

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Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza 'bigger than North Sea oil'

Greg J Preece
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Re: Get it right next time

Hysterical much? Satirical mucher.

Twice in two days; if you're going to do satire, don't do crap satire.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Get it right next time

Putting aside the possibility that fracking will cause massive earth tremors that will destroy all our homes, infrastructure and civilisation

Hysterical much?

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Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

Greg J Preece
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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

iPhone starts at £529 SIM free not £650.

I highlighted something for you. Also, he was talking historically, and so was I, though on reflection I got the currency wrong. It was €650.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

the iPhone brought the smartphone to the masses

By costing £650?

Apple doesn't do "unwashed masses", mate.

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

Greg J Preece
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More western technologies to corrupt their ways of living....

Those western bastards, giving them the ability to fucking see. You're right, we should stop all these evil culture incursions, such as medicine and food. All we're doing is corrupting them!

Incidentally, you're a ringpiece.

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FCC urges rethink of aircraft personal-electronics blackout

Greg J Preece
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What's wrong with you? You must pull out a device for a poxy 10 hours!

I enjoy keeping my brain stimulated? I'll admit, that's a clear difference between us.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: @AC

A book too heavy for your puny little boy arms? Stop trying to justify your childish little strop.

Strop? He's moaning about electronics, then watching the in-flight movie, and I'm wondering how. I might also be taking the piss somewhat.

Unless you have an answer for how he can sit on a modern, electronically controlled airliner, watching a digitally recorded film via an electronic device, and have the testicular elephantitis required to call anything he doesn't use a "toy" for them filthy young 'uns...

Or do electronic things scare you, old man?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Crash and Burn

I for one always ask anyone I see using a phone in an airplane to turn it off after that experience.

Yes, because '95 phones and Pentiums are IDENTICAL to an Airbus A330.. And I think your understanding of CPU clock speeds may be somewhat flawed...

And there are plenty of examples of airplanes dropping from the sky without explanation to make someone edgy.

No there aren't. It might take longer in some cases than others to figure out why a plane crashed, but most accidents are resolved to a startling degree of accuracy. You might stop paying attention when the crash leaves the newspapers, but the NTSB, etc don't. Most people still think Air France 447 was never resolved, for example. Nonsense.

Turn it off please,.. or I'll have to kill you.. Huh? Yes,.. quite mad.. and dangerous at the slightest provocation... Thank you miss...have a nice flight.

You sound more dangerous than the devices. Dick.

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Greg J Preece
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@AC

You sound like such a moaning old fart I'm tempted to call troll.

They wouldn't think of watching a movie or reading or doing something educational. They desire to be entertained 24/7. That explains electronic toys, Farcebook and social media.

I'd love to know how you're going to watch a movie without an electronic "toy". And I read a lot, from an electronic reader. If my solutions to being bored on a flight are inferior to yours because they're newer, then I suggest you go the whole hog and take an aeroprop to your destination. I'll be waiting for you in the bar at the other end, watching YouTube vids to pass the time.

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Greg J Preece
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Christ, there's some miserable old farts on here, especially considering it's a tech site. If there's some class of consumer device that brings down planes, it hasn't managed it yet, and if it exists, then leave that class of device banned. Other than that, why assume that "electronic device" refers to "something that will annoy your whingeing arse"?

Everything is electronic these days. I've been harassed before for an eBook reader. It barely uses any power to begin with, but no, can't read for large sections of the flight. That would be dangerous...somehow....somewhere....in some alternate dimension...

If I want to fire up my PSP on a flight, how is that any different to you watching the in-flight movie? And if my PSP or reader is going to bring down the plane, why wouldn't your wristwatch or the headset monitor? I wouldn't be surprised if my own body put out a larger EM field than some of the electronic kit I use.

The fear over EM fields here is exactly the same as the fear over wireless routers in schools; a load of crap perpetuated by people who don't get how stuff works. As for "keep them banned, I'm grumpy", no thanks. You can stare at the back of the seat in front for 10 hours if you like. I'm going to play God of War.

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Valve chief confirms Steam-centric console-killing PC

Greg J Preece
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Re: Linux is much more stable for gaming than windows

Yeah, sure. For Tuxracer maybe. The rest has to be forced to work with a half-assed Windows emulator.

Pathetic.

Pathetic, eh? OK, what frameworks does Windows have for running Mac games?

Never mind that the major game engines are pretty much all Linux compatible from the get-go.

Tit.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: final blow for Windows

Your games portfolio must be pretty small. :E

You're only thinking in terms of old software. If they marketed it as a console and got people to develop for it, they'd develop for it as a new platform. I'm pretty certain that the PS3 isn't Windows underneath.

There are thousands of old games that will never get a Mac or Linux port, but if they can encourage major developers to cross-platform the coming games, then in time Windows will become redundant.

Gotta get AMD to fix their drivers first, though. They're horrendous.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Just hurry up with the Linux port

Not too fussed about playing on my telly tbh but they need to get working on the Linux port now.

You know that's in beta, right? I'm in it. The client looks identical to the Windows one, the overlay is a million times faster, and it's currently about as stable as Mel Gibson.

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Greg J Preece
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*Cough* Called it.

Bloody knew it. Ten quid says Half Life 3 is the release title. Been saying this for aaaaages.

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Latest Call of Duty sequel shoots past Avatar sales benchmark

Greg J Preece
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Re: Why compare apples with oranges?

It's generally done to try and show that video gaming is a legitimate media. As a certain Mr Brooker will often point out, you're allowed to be a film enthusiast, or a literary snob, and people think you're all sophisticated. Discuss how you enjoy the beautiful escapism of Okami, or how immersive the latest FPS is, and people call you a manchild/nerd.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Is it sustainable?

Tribes is F2P, I've not spent a penny on it and still manage to hold my own (most games)

I would agree that it's less pay-to-win than most of the F2P games out there, and I did play it for a while. Their pricing is also less insane than others - at launch it was £35 for pretty much all the content, which is much more reasonable (except that the game didn't have a whole lot of actual content - few maps, etc).

It was also the lack of complexity in the gameplay compared with the original Tribes games that put me off, if I'm honest. For example, they kept in all the weapons and armour sets that allow you to base-camp, but removed all the kit that let you defend against that. In the original I could build my own base, mod on the fly, etc, etc. Ascend is a poor imitation, as was Vengeance.

Still, the F2P bait-and-switch is there, if you ask me. I did far better in terms of scoring in the earlier games than in Ascend, and there always seems to be someone with a superior loadout ready to mess you up.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Is it sustainable?

There plenty of other FPS games out there that are free to play.

You mean pay-to-win. I got sick of the F2P model ten seconds after it appeared. If you want to have any kind of useful content, or stand a chance against the paid players, you have to pay in, and the total cost is way more than just buying a game outright. To get all the content, you need to pay a frankly infeasible amount of money, and unlocking it through free play is reckoned in some cases to take several decades.

I was excited as hell for Tribes to come back, and I got into the beta. I quickly realised how the F2P model ruined it. Same goes for Planetside 2, which looks really interesting, but at $7 per weapon they can fuck off. Hawken too, looked amazing, right up until they announced it was F2P.

I really hope the F2P business model dies a horrible, painful death. It ruins everything it touches.

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Instagram starts filtering out hipster pics on Twitter

Greg J Preece
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Re: Misleading headline

Instagram is, in itself, a method of identifying hipsters.

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Greg J Preece
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Instagram

The single most pointless service I have ever seen in my entire life. Take photo, make photo look worse to somehow inversely make you look trendy, post to Tw@tter. Appending "inspirational" quotes to show how different and deep you are is optional.

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Facebook invites users to vote away voting rights, some privacy

Greg J Preece
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Re: Phantom voters are phantom users

In fairness, the dude is just taking cues from the governments around him. How many petitions on the official UK or US government websites have actually been acted on?

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