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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2303 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Obama calls for study into games ‘n’ guns link

Greg J Preece
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Re: Plan B? Plan C?

There still remains the issue that in the US you can get types of weapons, along with rather.. generous.. amounts of ammunition that fall well outside any need for personal protection and/or hunting purposes.

Because, for the millionth time, the guns exist as a means of potential rebellion, or to fight off invaders. The people who founded the US government didn't trust governments, including the one they were founding!

You can argue all you want over the current feasibility/likelihood of such things, but it will not in any way change the principle of the document.

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Greg J Preece
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“Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence.”

Nice to see that the president isn't deciding anything in advance.

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Wanna really insult someone? Log off and yell it in the street - gov

Greg J Preece
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The police arrested someone for calling a horse gay?

So the police are saying that it's insulting to be seen as gay? Interesting...

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Greg J Preece
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Re: It leaves the definition of "grossly offensive" up to police officers (and judges)

How much time and stress will it take to get from PC Pleb

Pleb? PLEB??

You're fired! Get out! How could you say something so horrendous. If this doesn't make the front pages tomorrow, there's something seriously wrong with this country!

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Sony PS3 extends lead over Microsoft's Xbox 360 by a cool million

Greg J Preece
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People realised that the Kinect is a piece of shit? The Move can be hit and miss, but when the game isn't a badly-coded Wii port, it works pretty well. The Kinect is just awful. Have a look at the reviews for the abysmal Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour. I saw it top several "worst of" lists for 2012, just because of how utterly broken it is.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

Not so sure why Brits go for Xbox, though.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/345512/ps3-leading-european-hardware-sales-in-2012/

Couldn't find UK-specific data, but according to the European data, it's actually us buying the PS3s most recently.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Santa

Didn't know about PS compatibility still being present, I did download Destruction Derby for old school crashing :)

That's always bugged me. Sony let everyone say that they'd completely dropped backwards compatibility, and most people don't know anything about the PS1 feature in the slim PS3s. Surely that's a feature you'd sell? (Unless you were hoping to re-sell all the PS1 games on SEN...)

Hell, I think I was tipped off to it by a guy on IRC! Even my friend, who runs a local games store and tests PS3s pretty much every day, didn't know about it.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Santa

I'm kind of surprised that no software emulation was provided to replace it.

But that's the rub; European PS3s supported the PS2 via software emulation anyway. The American PS3s were the ones with the hardware support, which is why they didn't glitch out on games like Burnout 2.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Not in the UK I don't think.

1) I've only ever met 3 real people who have owned a PS3. Every other gamer I know is PC, Xbox or PC AND Xbox.

Try harder. I can point to four people in my office who own a PS3, along with several of my friends. 360? Actually, can't remember the last time I saw one in the wild.

In my book, that's pretty meaningful.

Anecdotal evidence is more meaningful to you than actual sales figures? Would you like to buy some of my snake oil? I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that it works great!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Santa

- Why oh why did they get rid of the PS2 compatibility? I have a shelf full of PS2/PS games. Though the PS store with some PS/PS2 games to buy does answer this. Seems ridiculous that I would have to re-purchase San Andreas to get round to finishing it, unless I bring the PS2 out of hibernation again.

With you on that. After my 4-year-old fat PS3 went YLOD I bought the slim as a replacement (apparently they don't do that, or at least not nearly as much). It still plays PS1 games just dandy, but I had to pull out my original fat PS2 (which still works perfectly!) to play those. Apparently it has to do with PS2 compatibility costing extra to licence (from itself?) because the PS2 is/was still being sold. It's daft, whatever the reason.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: downloads

At the moment it is greedy, charging full RRP for a digital version when the digital version has none of the associated costs on a physical product.

Sony/EA/Ubisoft are going one better than that at the minute. Far Cry 3 and Fifa 13 both launched at an eye-watering £60 on SEN. Far as I'm aware, they're still that price, despite releasing at £40 or less in stores. Game even used Far Cry 3 as a loss-leader up to Christmas, selling it brand new for £20 when it was still £60 online.

What depressed me was that the £60 games were still at the top of the SEN sales charts. Consumers can't be *that* stupid, can they?

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Greg J Preece
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No-one really cares, not even Nintendo, now the replacement gimmick has arrived.

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Greg J Preece
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Re: Amazon is not evil

If you seriously believe that amazon provides a service that the rest of the internet doesn't then either you work for the company of you've got its Kool Aid on an intrevenous drip.

And the chances of your tiny company managing to get above Amazon in the product rankings on Google to get the attention in the first place? Amazon lets them be a searchable part of what is undoubtedly one of the largest product catalogues online. Set up your own tiny website with OSCommerce (because all small businesses know how to do that and can afford it) and see if you can get those customers as easily.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

If I had an accountant, I'm pretty sure he could figure out a dozen ways of reducing my tax bill. The difference is that firstly it's not worth the cost of the venture, as I'm an individual not a company.

And secondly because morally I don't agree with doing so. So please don't be keen to judge everyone by your own standards.

I do. :-)

The government, via one method or another, takes at least half of your money as tax. They then put it through a process of monumental wastage, at the end of which you will see a pithy amount in return. The minute you give a quid to the government (and this goes for any government, not just ours) then you can kiss a decent amount of that money goodbye.

In a system where we are constantly reamed for more and more tax to pay for a ludicrously large public sector and hilariously mismanaged government spending, I think it's completely moral to try and keep as much of your money your own as possible. Last time I checked, we live in a capitalist society. If you set the rules, and I take advantage of those rules (without breaking them) to make life better for myself, I'd call that a success, not an immorality. Don't like it? Re-write the rules and cut wastage.

People want to give all their responsibi-I mean, money to the government, and have them handle everything. Doesn't work, unfortunately.

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Greg J Preece
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HMV was too expensive to survive. Everyone knows this. Online ordering might be cheaper, sure, but when the series I want is £8 online and £30 in your store, I'm not going to buy from you. No-one in their right mind is.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

Wonder how much tax HMV paid in comparison to Amazon.

Even if they hadn't been losing money, as others have pointed out, the answer would be "as little as humanly possible", like any company worth its salt.

Seriously, I'm going to start forwarding posters like you to the "Tax Bores" section of the Speak You're Branes archive. Company in "legally reducing tax bill" shocker, film at 11.

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Titsup Windows Phone 8 orders user to cram 'boot disc' in mobe

Greg J Preece
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graphically demonstrates that Windows NT code still lurks under the surface of Windows Phone 8.

This is a surprise? I thought that was the point of modern WP?

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Apple 'slashes iPhone 5 screen orders', tight-fisted fanbois blamed

Greg J Preece
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The difference is the Apple keyboard is fine to start with - I have never met anyone who had considered replacing it - even if you could.

Oooh, oooh, me, over here! Had to use an iPhone for a while and I bloody hated the keyboard. Far too basic, far too slow. The basic Android keyboard allows for long presses to bring up numbers, special characters, etc. More advanced ones allow tap-and-hold for smiley faces, and then have a separate page full of additional stuff. Yet more advanced ones, especially the downright brilliant Swype, allow for continuous input that's way faster than anything else I've used on a touchscreen.

By comparison, the iOS keyboard is a piece of shit. Inputting passwords on it was a bloody chore.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Analysts don't know jack

There's no analyst angle on this. They've halved their orders. That's not some bullshit prediction or something I came up with over my cereal.

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Disney World slaps pay-by-bonk stalker cuffs on grown-ups

Greg J Preece
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Probably voluntary, one site only, stops working the moment you step off-premises. It's not like the Feds are doing it.

what they spend time doing (queuing mostly, from our limited understanding of the venue).

Honestly, the US theme parks are much, much better with queueing than the UK ones. Multiple platforms/carriages, lines that might be long but keep moving, and lots of stuff in the queueing area to keep kids occupied (the Muppets theatre being a great example).

In the UK, we have Thorpe Park, where the staff couldn't give two shits, load carriages like they're stoned off their asses, and the queues are just winding paths with picket fences. Two hours in the August sun to get on one sodding ride...

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ZTE to launch Mozilla-based phone in Europe in 2013

Greg J Preece
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It's only weakness, unfortunately. :-( I've ordered a desk charger for the battery. Hopefully that will get me up and running again.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Ummmm...... I think Tizen = Meego

Actually, Tizen = MeeGo + Bada.

Sailfish is closer to MeeGo, in that it's MeeGo with bits nailed on.

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Greg J Preece
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Kick ass! Ubuntu, Tizen and Firefox all confirmed for 2013. Now, someone confirm a Sailfish/MeeGo phone and I might actually have a choice of new smartphones!

Good timing, too. The charging port on my N900 is finally giving up the ghost.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Greg J Preece

I'd rather spend my years from 45 to 70 taking ever increasing handfuls of powerful medications with nasty debilitating side effects and sleeping with a tubes up my nose and into my bladder. Slowly, slowly, ever-so-slowly slipping from a painful life to ignominious death - than consider my own and my dependants/loved ones futures a little tiny bit.

No, you condescending git, I don't. I mean that it's impossible to pick up anything these days without hearing about how it will kill me, so rather than spend the rest of my life worrying about dying from a thousand cuts, I'm going to continue the laser tag, skiing and otherwise pratting about that keeps me in reasonable condition, and eat and drink as I normally do. No smoking, no heroin, just the odd cider, and lots of chinese food.

And the most likely outcome from that? I'll live for pretty much the same length of time, but be far happier at the end of it.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Deadly

Kids are not free at school, in case you noticed :)

They're not free to think? More's the pity. It's nice to know we'll continue treating all teenagers as if they're complete morons.

Perhaps education is the key to solving problems, and would allow for freedom and personal choice, rather than simply banning anything that might ever cause the slightest harm to anyone. In fact, I seem to remember a form of institution dedicated to such education. What were they called again?

If you're honestly implying that our children - some of the oldest "children" in the world - are completely incapable of figuring this kind of thing out until the same age at which they magically become capable of understanding sex and alcohol, then I think that's very patronising.

In any case, drugs are not allowed in society - in general, when substances are addictive and have adverse side effects, it's best not to feed them to kids.

I think there might be a little bit of a difference between sugar and heroin, ta. But then, I'm one of those children-hating bastards who thinks drugs should be legalised.

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Greg J Preece
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You know what would depress me? Living a health-freak's life. Every time I pick up a drink or snack these days there's someone around to tell me all the ways it's going to kill me.

GOOD!

I'd rather drop dead at 70 having eaten and drank every bloody thing I like than make it to 75 without Dr Pepper. I've no intention of becoming a man-mountain, but I'm not about to start snacking on the muesli either.

</grumpy_old_man_who_is_actually_in_his_mid_20s>

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Sweet Poison

That would be the same Janet Starr Hull, "Nutrition Counsellor" (not a legally protected term, ever) who takes part in documentary videos about the expanding Earth hypothesis (I refuse to call it a theory)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8cJCvDnlfA&feature=player_embedded

That one? That's your credible source on aspartame? The bullshitter who sells diets based on vague fears over "toxicity" that claim to reduce your cancer risk? (She would never say "prevent", just heavily imply it.)

Fuck off.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Deadly

These should be banned from schools, even diet versions.

The true mark of a free country, that. If something is even potentially mildly kinda harmful, BAN IT! BAN IT NOW BEFORE YOUR CHILDREN DIIIIEEEEE!

Ok, a little facetious, but I am really rather tired of the banning brigade. Has no child ever survived the terrors of a childhood filled with fizzy drinks? Oh, wait...

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A pre-ticked box in web forms should NOT mean consent - EU report

Greg J Preece
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Re: All seems very sensible

Ever wondered why UK privacy reform is so mealy-mouthed and bitty? They're having to work around the fringes of the problem because the EU doesn't allow national parliaments to act on this issue any more,

Given their complete failure to act in cases of ISP wiretapping, etc, and their continued attempts to track as much citizen data as possible, do you honestly think the UK gov would give two hoots for your data privacy on its own?

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Razer uncages Core i7, GeForce megaslab for hardcore gamers

Greg J Preece
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Re: Expensive, but at least it'll heat your house too.

"To avoid overheating maximum screen brightness has been reduced"

So it's not an N-Gage, as suggested above; it's a fucking Lynx!

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Nvidia takes fight to Sony, Nintendo with Android handheld console

Greg J Preece
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Re: Android and Linux

I am not even sure if there's any top-notch game engine anymore that runs on OpenGL

The Unreal engine still runs a silly amount of games, and part of the reason is that it runs on a silly number of devices, Linux included. OpenGL != Linux. The same cross-platform angle that lets them work on Linux also lets them work on Mac, iOS, Android, PS3, etc.

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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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