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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2286 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Number-plate spycams riddled with flaws, top cop admits

Greg J Preece
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Re: Surveillance

No, he wasn't. Read his fucking post.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Nevermind the gaps.

Obviously the system could be abused and then you'd have to add in the "cost" of such abuse and you'd need to be clearing up a whole lot more cases before the privacy trade-off is worth it. Your comment, however, appears to take the position that such abuse could never be prevented (or its costs mitigated by the benefits of solving cold cases). I'm cynical enough to understand that position, but I hardly think we can take it as read.

Every single previous privilege and system we have given to the police has been abused. It's not a stretch of the imagination to believe that this might also be abused, is it? Are the anti-terror laws that we absolutely must have to stop the country immediately exploding used more against actual terrorists, or ordinary punters/protestors?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Nevermind the gaps.

Please explain to me, why is storing the whereabouts of anybody in a car, anywhere in the country, for half a dozen years, acceptable to keep tabs on just a small fraction of bad apples in the populace?

You say that as if you were, or ever will be, given a choice. It amazes me how this kind of mass surveillance can just happen, with little to no publicity, oversight, or referendum, but when PIPA turns up everyone goes batshit fucking insane.

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Ghostbusters

Greg J Preece
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Re: He's gonna take you back to the past....

He also reviewed several other versions of the same game. I believe it became a trilogy of videos. He also thought they were a right lot of shit.

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Sony opens cover on latest e-Reader

Greg J Preece
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Re: e-books and airoplanes

I've had that too, some self-important bint on a Jet2 plane commanding me to turn my T1 off in case the milliamps of power it wasn't currently using somehow disrupted the communications capability of an entire bloody control tower. It's utter nonsense. Can't airlines just grow up and stop this rubbish?

Same goes for petrol stations. I've been told to hang up on calls several times, because apparently microwaves in the communication band can make underground petrol tanks explode. Makes you wonder why terrorists bother with bombs when all they have to do is wander next to a fuel tanker and ring their mum.

</rant>

Sorry, irritated today.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Yep - that's Sony

Double standards because one is American and one is Japanese?

Not exactly. Sony make shit software, but they don't force you to use it. The T1 works perfectly well in mass storage mode, doesn't demand that it manage your content, lets you import just about anything, etc, etc. That's typical Sony stuff really. Technically excellent, despite their best attempts to ruin it.

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Greg J Preece
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Do I detect sarcasm?

Perhaps a little. ;-)

I may have previously owned a Sony MP3 player. Never again! But then, I've been buying Cowon players since then, right up until their recent fascination with Android.

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Greg J Preece
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The old buttons were nicer. They're useful for flicking to the next page without effort. I hold the reader sideways by the base and read landscape most of the time, so to switch pages I just push my thumb. Not everything has to be touchscreen, you know. Buttons still work pretty well (better, most of the time).

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Greg J Preece
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Interesting. My PRS-T1 is a really nice device. Once you've got your files on, it's great. The screen is nice, the multi-touch is bloody useful, if understandably laggy, it weighs almost nothing, and being able to hack the underlying Android and install Kindle reader is both awesome and hilarious. The one component it's really missing is an accelerometer for automatic screen rotation, but that's no big deal. If you're leaning toward a Kindle but don't want to be sandboxed, the T1 lets you do both (after some easy modding), and I love it for that.

Getting your files on is the problem, though. It's a great device with really irritating desktop software (there's a shocker). If you connect it as a straight mass storage device and copy stuff that way, it's fine, but the limited on-device controls leave you without a way to correct file titles, and creating collections on the device is a bit more laborious. And god forbid you create a collection using one desktop, then try to sync it with another one. You end up with collections that cannot be deleted. Genius.

If the T2 has an accelerometer and software that's not utter shit (and they don't lie about the store being available at launch, then make customers wait months for it) then it'd be superb.

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Everything Everywhere to be Nothing Nowhere in rebrand

Greg J Preece
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"We Have All The 4G Ner Ner Ner"?

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Sony PlayStation Vita sales crawl

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Greg J Preece

Hey, you're the one who's tracking my comment history. That's fine, but I'm gonna get irritated when you're only reading the bits that suit you. I'm not about to be turned into a strawman.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: @Greg J Preece

This was a point that you strenuously avoiding during your rather limp triumphalist Sony fanboi crowing on most 3DS articles- though it seems that the Vita has sold even worse.

Come again? If you'd read my previous comments on the DS range properly, you'd have learned that I own two of them, one limited edition, and only one Sony handheld (admittedly also limited edition). Read it again, moron: I don't own a Vita. I'm not owning a Vita until I get some games. I was criticising it, just as when I called the PSP Go useless. Some Sony fanboy, eh?

If you could be less of a dismissive tit and try again, you might spot that I was railing in defence of all dedicated games consoles. I haven't actually disagreed with anything you've said in terms of market direction, (a point you'll also miss, I imagine) but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Games on mobiles are shit, end of story. Screens are inferior, controls are horrendous, sound quality sucks balls, and the general effort and variety put into the games is far, far less. Call that "silly platform advocacy" if you want, but I am a gamer, and a proper one. I buy any platform that has the games I want, and actually works (I don't own a Kinect). My recent slagging off of Nintendo has been because recent Nintendo offerings are a load of crap. Sony being useless at releases doesn't make the 3DS any less rubbish, or the Wii any more functional.

Incidentally, my primary gaming platform is the PC. You'd have easily learnt that too, if you'd taken the time to read what I was saying rather than labelling me. But I guess it's easier to be condescending when you ignore what contradicts you.

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Greg J Preece
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Fantastic piece of kit, but where are the bloody games?? There's very little on there that entices me. I imagine it's going to get ramped up at christmas, but I fear that will be too late.

And all those people going on about phone games - go away. Mobile games != real games. You know it, I know it, but you're going to flame me for it anyway.

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UK watchdog snaps on glove to probe Tesco's 'security fails'

Greg J Preece
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Singling them out? How are you supposed to solve an issue without picking a place to start?

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Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Greg J Preece
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Re: I would care...

Is this clip typical of USA kids TV?

Only of the live-action side. Some of their animated stuff is superb. Their live-action low-budget shows that you find on Disney or Nick? Terrible, awful, atrocious, horrific, and utterly unbearable. To be honest, the clip you just saw is probably some of the better stuff. For example, try tracking down this episode on YouTube and giving it a watch:

Wizards of Waverly Place: Dancing with Angels. - Be very afraid!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Payback? @ Greg

One half-assed remark ... fair enough. But how many of the target audience will have heard that remark and let it sink in? All it takes is one percent of the target audience to believe it and one percent of that subset to end up making the decisions.

If they get to that point so uneducated that they're still basing computing decisions on an off-cuff remark they heard on the Disney channel in their pre-teen days, the company has far bigger problems.

Given that the content of these live-action kids shows is such utter dross, what are the chances that anyone will remember any of it? It's like enduring a visual frontal lobotomy.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Payback? @ Greg

But they are of an age where they might grow out of this pap, get a decent education and then end up making "enterprise software purchasing decisions". Or, if not enterprise level decisions, then at least at the SMB level. Then they regurgitate this nonsense and reach a decision along the lines of "well, no-one ever got fired for buying MS/Apple/ProprietoryStuff (insert your least favourite software here)". And thus the cycle of lock-in continues.

One half-assed remark by a writer who clearly doesn't know their stuff does not an indoctrination make. I grew up watching Star Trek and some seriously weird 80s/90s cartoons, but I don't currently believe that talking cats can fly jet fighters, nor have I tried to solve any server issues by dumping the rack's warp core.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Payback?

Errrr....you guys are aware that the target audience of this show aren't exactly those people making enterprise software purchasing decisions, right?

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eBay invites mystic wrath over ban on spells, potions and lotions

Greg J Preece
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She also found a fetish of some kind attached to her car

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

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Scientists find safer way to store hydrogen

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Aaron Em

Apart from the fact that you're changing the subject, the current Tesla home charging rig can charge at a rate of about 60 miles range/hour. That's from a standard 240 volt domestic supply.

Is that not the special three-phase huge pluggy thing? So what happens when you get to the other end and they don't have a special three-phase huge pluggy thing?

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Raspberry Pi now comes in Firefox OS flavour

Greg J Preece
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Been interested in Firefox OS for a while now, and in the Pi. I sense an impending purchase.

I'm liking the way this is going, being able to write the core of an app in pure HTML5 and then port the platform-specific bits between them.

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Windows 8: Microsoft's tablet-desktop still painful to swallow

Greg J Preece
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Re: "Windows key... that you have never used before."

Amen. WIN + R and ALT+F2 are among my most used keyboard shortcuts. (ALT+F2 is KDE's.) WIN + L gets used all the time, as does WIN + D, WIN + TAB, etc

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Greg J Preece
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Ah, I see the new trend is to write off everyone who doesn't like the horrific new interface as being "old fashioned" or "afraid of change." Nope, that's not the case. It's just bloody horrible to use on a desktop.

I think everyone can agree that under the hood there are improvements worth having. So why, for the love of Mithras, is there not a big option in the control panel called "turn that Metro shit off"?

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Sony evolves PlayStation Suite, makes Vita a PS3 controller

Greg J Preece
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I like the idea AC "Games on the go." suggested, that we could switch between mobile/ps3 gaming seamlessly, but, I wonder how often anyone would use it.

Me, me, all the time, me. Sony call it "continuation play", and the complete lack of games currently supporting it is why I don't currently have a Vita. If I could play inFamous 2 at home, then continue it in my lunch break on my Vita, and pick up where I left off after work, that would be utterly bitchin'. It's the best touted feature of the Vita IMO, and no-one's bloody well implemented it!

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Study shows half of all websites use jQuery

Greg J Preece
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Facepalm

jQuery's romping away, and yet Moodle still refuse to use something other than bleedin' YUI.

YUI, for feck's sake!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: "over 50% of websites are now needlessly slow"

Dear webmonkeys, be a little considerate of the other people's cycles you're deciding to waste, there's a good simian, thanks.

Oi, Captain Condescending, if you l-users would knock it off with all this still-using-IE6 and thinking-Chrome-works bullshit, I wouldn't have needed to use jQuery in the first place. As it is, it makes the lives of front-end developers far, far easier, and written properly it causes no noticeable slowdown at all in my experience. But what would I know, I'm just a simian.

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Lone config file in Mac OS X SIGNALS DEATH OF THE DVD

Greg J Preece
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Re: Just use an external one.

I recently built a new PC and decided not to go for an internal optical drive. This was because it would take up an ESATA connection I may well want for a hard drive

Must...not....nitpick...

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Greg J Preece
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Hmmm, nothing to do with Apple having iTunes and the App Store around, eh? Come on, this is 2 + 2 stuff. Of course they're going to ditch optical media. Given the chance, they'd ditch the USB ports too. Then the only way to get anything on or off the machine is through their overpriced service.

I like my DVDs and BDs over online gear for this very simple reason: they're mine. Mine mine mine mine mine, and you can't have them.

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Oooh-la-la! 'iPhone 5' bares all, strokes tiny nano-SIM in pics

Greg J Preece
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This isn't true for at least 2 years, try to catch up will you.

Did it, or did it not, happen? Are they, or are they not doing it again? And did you deliberately ignore the use of the past tense in my post just to make some sarcastic smart-arse quip?

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Greg J Preece
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Apple moved to micro-SIMs from normal SIM cards, which identify individual customers on a mobile network, for the iPhone 4 to save space within the tightly packed phone, but the nano-SIM is much more compact.

That, and it made it much more difficult to avoid the overpriced data bundles for anything running iOS.

Oh, trying to apply a bundle to this number, are you? We see it's using a nano SIM. I'm afraid Apple data bundles cost 50% more for 25% less data. Yes, they're special Apple-branded data packets, you see. Would you like me to apply that on your account? Hello? Sir?

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Valve opens Steam store to non-gaming software

Greg J Preece
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Re: Whats the fuss though?

And whether or not Steam were able to detect that!

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Greg J Preece
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Thunderbird with Lightning installed does fairly well with our Exchange server at work.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Brilliant idea

Steam can do skins. It's done skins in the past, and when you first install it you get a short glimpse of the original military green skin. I imagine there'll be an official corporate one.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Connected to the possible movement to Linux?

I run both, and in honesty I can't think of a single thing I have/need in Windows that isn't replicated in Linux. It might be called something different, but it's there. (Though I do already use a lot of OSS on both systems.) Going back the other way is when I find that I'm missing things.

Where the hell's the PDF reader? Why are the widgets so shit? Do you seriously refer to this as a command line terminal? What do you mean the only built-in archiving is zip? And why is it so slow? And do I seriously have to download and update every single piece of software individually? Are you drunk?

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Greg J Preece
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This is getting interesting. First console rumours, then Linux, then the OpenGL news and now apps too. There's some serious ambition over at Valve HQ, no? Frankly I'm gobsmacked that the Android app doesn't offer mobile games yet. Seems like an obvious move to me, and you could even get cross-platform gameplay going (if mobile gamers were suicidal).

Here's a thought I had the other day, though. Every time these discussions come up, someone asks where HL3 is. I can almost guarantee someone will on this page. So what if Valve really was planning a console or similar device, and the launch title was HL3? That would grab some attention, no? And if it ran Linux, games could be almost seamlessly ported between the "console" and the Linux PC, plus the PS3 is OpenGL. That would encourage Linux/OpenGL development and maybe even threaten Microsoft.

Probably wishful thinking, but holy hell would that be cool.

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Ouya Android games console to ship April 2013

Greg J Preece
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Ouya pitched its $99 box to punters in July, touting the Android gadget as the world's first hackable games console.

In a stunning display of "ignoring everyone else who tried it before us."

Personally not enthused. I don't mind the concept so much, but pretty much every single game I've played on native Android or iOS has been shit, with the replay value of a colonoscopy. They might amuse for 5 minutes on the train home, but that's it. Sitting down and playing that crap over my PS3, PC, X-box, etc? Not a chance in hell.

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Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Greg J Preece
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Are you trying to tell me that animals kill other animals?? This is outrageous! Steps must be taken to stop this immediately!

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Now Curiosity rover beams back 3D snaps of Mars

Greg J Preece
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Re: curious

Does the rover have a speaker onboard so that we can relay someone's voice to Mars?

And which atmosphere would that work in? Surface pressure is less than 1% what it is on Earth.

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Mobile phone health rules need update, warns US watchdog

Greg J Preece
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Re: Obviously these scientists all read the daily mail.

Not quite as directly appropriate, but this is my favourite Daily Fail song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI

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Ten... console games you may have missed

Greg J Preece
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Agreed on Spec Ops. If you missed that, you weren't paying attention. Definitely one I want to grab for PC. In a world made of brown dust-filled shooters, I want the one with the bitching story and the Bruce Boxleitner character.

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Greg J Preece
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When you start getting into 60s and below, it generally says a game is pretty awful and it would be harsh to label these ten so unfairly

That's the point I would argue. 60% shouldn't mean "awful" to me. If all so-so games make it to 70% and above, it gets much harder to differentiate quality. It means there's a huge section of your percentage range that never gets used, if a truly dreadful title can still score, say, 50%.

It's all down to where you set the average point, IMO, and I would say that if you establish "average" at 50%, and make that clear to readers, then you can differentiate between "misses the mark", "average", "good but nothing amazing", "recommended", "excellent", etc with appropriate scores.

There are games I've thoroughly enjoyed that earn 70% on MC, and truly dreadful stuff that earns exactly the same mark*. I just think that too many reviewers hover around this upper scale. The perception within the gaming community (not the reviewer's fault by any means) is that anything below 7/10 is shit, and that really makes no sense to me. It certainly isn't that way with other media, such as films. (Jim Sterling probably makes this argument far better than I'm doing.)

*OK, OK, Metacritic arguments aside. I know a lot of reviews, especially for movie-licenced games, are *ahem* sponsored.

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Greg J Preece
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Are you guys allergic to giving a game less than 70%? This is another reason why I can't take you seriously on gaming (the Halo reviews aside...). You basically called several games on this list crap, then gave them 70%. And El Reg is hardly alone in doing this,

This is why I prefer the scoring of people like Angry Joe. Dude isn't afraid to mark your game down. If a game is average, it gets 50%, if it's great it gets 70%, and it has to be ball-bustingly brilliant to get 90% or above. Otherwise you can't differentiate between the scoring on the games, and you end up with a bunch of games with the same score that vary wildly in quality.

TL;DR - knock it off. Stop being afraid to give games crap scores if they're crap.

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Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

Greg J Preece
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Re: Took long enough!

Fury 3 (cube) which is a DX GAME FROM MS dont even work today in windows 7

It doesn't? I'm pretty sure mine does (along with F! Zone which I somehow managed to track down).

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Greg J Preece
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Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

Are you kidding? Check out my over-used example of Humble Bundle, where you barely even have to pay for the games to get them. Linux users paid more than anyone, and typically paid as much as 4x what Windows users paid.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: WHY?!!

Why!? if OpenGL is clearly better on windows why would you continue to use Direct3D at all?! let alone spend time, resources and money investigating it?

Um, because the DX version has already been released, received multiple patches, is installed on millions of machines, etc, etc? They're not going to delete and replace an existing, working game with exactly the same game on another code base.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Microsoft Suicide

Now everyone owns a console and a Mac.

You, er, might wanna check your stats on that one. Console, yes. Mac? No.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: DO NOT DO THIS

I can also concur on GFWL. That was a nasty surprise after I bought Section 8 on Steam.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

Oh, and Half-Life Effing 3 please.

I would normally agree, but you know what? No. This is way more important. Go Gabe, go!

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