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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2272 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Android Firefox: Screaming, awesome, you'll go blind etc

Greg J Preece
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Re: Awesome...

Perhaps they're a big fan of Awesomenauts?

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Greg J Preece
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Firefox Mobile's been my default Android browser for a while now. It hasn't been nearly as fast as the built-in one, and not having Flash is a pain, but the extra functionality and sync with my desktop FF has been bloody useful. Plus, I quite like the fullscreen interface.

These new updates sound like exactly the kick it's been needing. Hope it's not as buggy as other commenters are making out. (Though TBH I had this thing installed on beta 1 - it can't possibly be as bad as that was!)

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Mensch pal Bozier defends Menshn security, dubs critics 'snippy geeks'

Greg J Preece
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Aside from everything else that makes this hilarious, I finally made it to the front page after several minutes, and the featured quote was:

"Hey Louise. Your government is inhumane. Bye!"

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Apple's iPhone 5 connector said to be a control freak

Greg J Preece
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And this is why you don't have the proprietary connector in the first place: because, at some point, you'll inevitably have to change it. Apple dug themselves this hole.

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Firefox 'new tab' feature exposes users' secured info: Fix promised

Greg J Preece
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Re: Chrome too

Really?

'Scuse me, off to check Opera/Safari...

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Greg J Preece
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Yipes, that's a bit of a fuck-up. Surely during the development of a feature that takes screenshots of what you're doing someone would consider HTTPS and private mode? That's some serious derp.

I'm OK though, I turned off that quick-dial crap anyway. Always annoyed me in Opera and Safari, still annoys me in FF.

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Nintendo supersizes 3DS

Greg J Preece
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Oh wow, what a shock. No-one could have seen this coming from ten light years away, no sir. It's not like they already did this once with the DS.

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Reloaded Doom 3 shoots onto shelves this autumn

Greg J Preece
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"I take you were a Descent fan? : D"

You know, I was. :-p But I also quite liked Heretic, because it was everything Doom claimed to be.

Incidentally, all three were available as shareware, back when a demo was 1/3rd of the game, not 5 minutes of cutscenes and one firefight.

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Greg J Preece
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I'm used to being the only guy who thought the original Doom games were a bit crap, but am I the only one who thinks £30 for this release is a piss-take?

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William Shatner confirms Devon town actually prostitute free

Greg J Preece
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Re: "Mr Shatner was not above making jokes at his own expense"

"Jeebus! George Takei... Strewth!"

Apparently our good Takei is *not* Shatner's biggest fan. That might have something to do with it.

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Ex-Soviet space gunboats to be FOUND ON MOON

Greg J Preece
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Re: Soviet-era space vehicles?

I seem to remember that they were just as reliable - if not more so - than the NASA equivalent. Are we forgetting the Apollo fires, two destroyed space shuttles and a certain Tom Hanks movie?

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ASA: Rooney tweet was advert, not written expression of his thoughts

Greg J Preece
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"Though Rooney did come up with ideas for the January 2012 tweet, Nike offered in its defence."

I'd love to see those. Probably comedy gold.

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Sony slams Nintendo Wii U functionality

Greg J Preece
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Re: By past performance...

*Sigh* Really? Are we still banging on about the rootkit thing?

I've got a new console to introduce to you, time traveller. It's called the Sega Nomad.

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Microsoft takes on tablets with keyboard-equipped Surface

Greg J Preece
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Soooo, let me get this straight. It's a touchscreen device running a mobile version of Windows, with a flat keyboard inside its case, integrated kickstand and stylus?

That doesn't half sound familiar...

http://www.4winmobile.com/reviewer/waveydavey/Reviews/Ameo/conv_1.jpg

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Crytek says future is free-to-play

Greg J Preece
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Steam could be a subversive set of shits and allow retailers to build code deactivation into their EPOS units. Scan the barcode of the game the spotty oik is selling you, and it automatically removes it from his Steam account! Owned.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Explanation needed?

Having played some of the quite astonishing rip-offs to be found in the free-to-play market, which are technically free to play - unless you want to actually have a competitive chance, or more than 10% of the game content - that system can frankly sod off. To pay for all the actual content in a FTP game generally costs more than a retail game would, or you can spend an amount of time equal to several lifetimes trying to unlock it all for free.

Was barely interested in Crytek's stuff before, less after they called people buying 2nd hand games thieves, and now not at all. Good job, guys.

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Mozilla plans multi-engine search results, native iOS browser

Greg J Preece
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What is the reason you would pick Firefox over Chrome?

I'm a developer, and FF works better for that than any other browser. Gecko > everything. That's always been my reason, and given how buggy Webkit is (stick your nth-child selector bugs up your highly polished ARSE!) it looks set to stay that way. It also has the best feature set, for my money.

From an end user's perspective, I can see why they'd be using Chrome, aside from the massive advertising campaign. There's no denying that it's bloody quick, and that seems to be the only thing most end users care about.

Personally, if I wasn't using FF, I'd probably be using Opera to be honest. All the speed, similar feature set, none of the bugs (just a couple of its own), and if you turn off Turbo, no dialling home either.

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Linus Torvalds drops F-bomb on NVIDIA

Greg J Preece
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Re: Great now we have a child

"After all, the whole Live Aid thing was wiped out when Bob Geldof asked us to give him our f*$%ing money IIRC!"

Without taking a side in the argument, and my own penchant for cursing notwithstanding, Geldof never actually said that. If you watch the clip back, he actually says "fuck the address", then goes on to the "give us the money" rant.

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Apple adds gay and lesbian icons to iOS 6 messaging

Greg J Preece
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Re: My only question for the idiots against gay marriage is ...

You know, I just didn't realise there were this many homophobic cunts on El Reg...

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Greg J Preece
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Re: My only question for the idiots against gay marriage is ...

"I suspect that the reason christians get upset is that the language is pretty well defined and has established usage."

Usage that has changed over time. The original definition of marriage (even assuming that marriage is defined exclusively by the Bible) allowed for polygamy, mistresses, marrying slave girls, and generally treated women as property.

The definition of marriage has been changed over time to "one man, one woman", but it sure as hell wasn't like that back in the OT. The Mormons only changed their definition of marriage last century because the courts threatened them with action over the polygamy thing.

So if it's changed to what it is now, what's the problem with it changing some more?

TL;DR - Bullshit.

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New Opera 12 hooks web apps to 3D graphics acceleration

Greg J Preece
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Uh oh, the fanboys have found me again. Calm down, idiots. I was just messing with the guy's odd capitalisation.

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Greg J Preece
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Wow, really? The WHOLE APP? Not just the canvas, but the WHOLE APP? That's impressive that they accelerated the WHOLE APP, and so well did they accelerate the WHOLE APP that it runs slower than normal? Genius. Why even advertise that?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The King of browser just got even better

Hello, Opera employee!

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Greg J Preece
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Excellent, another browser getting hardware acceleration. It's one of the things that really impressed me when IE9 got it, and with other browsers rapidly following suit, its absence from Opera was starting to become more and more noticeable. When they say "experimental", how stable is that? The experimental support in VirtualBox is surprisingly solid, for example.

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Wraps come off UK super-snooper draft plans

Greg J Preece
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"Law enforcement agencies – the police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – account for the overwhelming majority of annual requests for access to communications data under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act ('RIPA') 2000."

HMRC, eh? Wasn't this all to stop teh t3rr0rists and t3h p33d0s?

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That new 'Microsoft GCSE': We reveal what's in it

Greg J Preece
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Sounds excellent to me. When I was in high school (in my 20s, so not that long since) there was no ICT in our school at all below A-level, and that course was such a joke that I switched schools to do A-level Computing instead.

They since got GCSE ICT, and it's not much better. Seems to be a "how to use Office" course for a decent chunk of the time. I wonder if they still have that room full of Apple LCIIs, for the "top sets"...

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Apple's Retina Macs: A little too elite?

Greg J Preece
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Re: Apple has to be ahead of the curve

One post made up entirely of gushing over a new product. Hmmmm...

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Windows 8: Not even Microsoft thinks businesses will use it

Greg J Preece
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Re: not new coke

"Apple is not using the same UI for the desktop and tablet."

Give 'em time. The LaunchPad menu that came in with Lion was utterly pointless fullscreen crap ripped straight from a mobile operating system. Sound familiar?

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Hands on with Nintendo's Wii U

Greg J Preece
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Re: This is NOT aimed at gaming geeks...

OK, so Nintendo demoed the thing with Arkham City and Mass Effect. It was their event, they're defining the market, and it can be criticised accordingly.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: *Sigh*

"That is all anecdotal and from the top of my head, not checked or researched, but I believe it to be a fair description of the last three generations."

I wouldn't say it was unfair, just incomplete. The N64 was difficult to develop for, and games were relatively expensive next to the PS1, with which I honestly believe Sony took the old MS position of "we don't give a shit if you pirate this." It gave them massive market share because half the games people bought were copies from the local car boot sale. I knew people who bought a Playstation and then never gave another penny to Sony, but they sure as hell weren't spending money on an N64 instead. Kind of ironic when you consider that the Playstation was a spin-off from a development project with Nintendo. The console that beat the N64 into the ground was their own fault! D'oh!

The GC was roughly the same power as the PS2, IIRC. Where Nintendo went wrong (and did again with the GameCube+, sorry, Wii) is not including DVD playback. The PS2 released at a time when DVD was very much desired, but the players were still expensive. It was the same price as a player or cheaper, and more importantly, it was £100 cheaper than the X-box. Lots of people bought it because it was two devices for the price of one, had really impressive backwards compatibility with the PS1 catalogue, and was a genuinely great console. It went on to be the biggest selling console in history, so I don't think that was down to power, or the Xbox would have won out.

The Wii is just a GameCube with a gimmick attached. From what I remember, the What it did was prove to console makers how strongly the public will latch on to a gimmick, so they all started including them. These days, to me, the Nintendo strategy appears to be: take something popular in the early 90s, give it a graphical overhaul, add gimmick, release, and I'm just utterly tired of it.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: This is NOT aimed at gaming geeks...

"In the same way the WII was aimed at family, older generation etc., the Wii U is aimed at the same market."

See, I hear this crap all the time, and it's still crap. If the Wii was only aimed at kids and grannies, why did it (later in life) get HOTD Overkill, the most profane video game ever made? Why did they continue to make shitty ports of Star Wars Unleashed and CoD for it? Why does it have Ghost Squad, the best twitch-shooter light gun game of the last decade? What the fuck was the Conduit about? Red Steel? How about feckin' MadWorld? No More Heroes? (OK, that last one's actually pretty damn good.)

And if the Wii U is only for kids and grannies, then why does the preview talk about Arkham City and CoD?

In summary, please stop reciting this BS that we can't criticise Nintendo consoles because they're not aimed at the people they're clearly trying to include.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: *Sigh*

Ah, the fanboy presumptions. The sweet sound of denial. OK, let's dive in:

"Awwww. Greg is just pissed because the Nintendo handed Microsoft's arse to them on a plate, before skull-fucking every gaming device that Sony have put out in the last 5 years."

Ummmm...what? I don't even own a 360. I *do* own a Wii, and a PS3, and having owned both, the Sony console is far, far superior in every notable respect. But then, my PC beats the shit out of all of them, and is actually where I prefer to game. Better luck next time.

(Incidentally, I own or have owned *every* Nintendo console to date. I'm just not a fanboy.)

"100m sales tell me that you're in the minority with your opinion"

Argumentum ad populum. Completely worthless.

"You don't like it? Don't buy it."

I thought that was the point of my post. But then, I forgot how Ninty fanboys work. Dissent is not allowed!

"I don't come on here and troll every Sony review, for instance, because I don't like them, I just don't buy one."

Who's trolling? I was presented with an article on a new console, I read it, thought about it, and concluded that the console in question is going to be another gimmicky piece of shit populated with shovelware and aged ports. But I don't agree with the majority, so clearly I'm trolling...

"The second-screen worked quite well on the DS, for instance."

Did it? The 2nd screen on my DS seems to be used either for arbitrary crap or not at all. And switching input systems all the time is infurating. Did you see the "accessory" they shipped with Kid Icarus? JHFC!

"And seriously, pressing a button to have your character pack the shotgun into your backpack and pull out and load a pistol doesn't break your "immersion"?"

As the great and powerful Yahtzee has pointed out far more clearly than I, immersion is about minimising the link between thought and process, not maximising it. When I play a first person game with mouse and keyboard, looking around is so ridiculously natural to me now that my brain processes it on instinct alone. The motion controls I've used to date have exaggerated this link, not removed it, and I fail to see how spending my entire time re-orienting myself between different screens, input systems, and even physical areas is going to help.

"Not everything is about pixel-perfect shooters."

I never said it was, but I used FPS games for two reasons:

1) They are a prime example of a flaw with the Wii U's control system. Casual games can be played with a pad just fine, but action-oriented games on touchscreens and styluses are shit.

2) The Wii U is apparently getting them. DUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Anyone else want to have a crack at extending my post out Glenn Beck style to encompass my entire life? I don't like the Wii U! Come on, shun the non-believer!

This reminds me of when I called the Wii a fad on these very forums some years back, and the fanboys downvoted me to Hades then too. Pity I was right, wasn't it? Unless some fanboy on here wants to try and argue that the Wii *hasn't* been dying on its arse for the past few years?

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Greg J Preece
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*Sigh*

Come on guys....it's a piece of shit. This is exactly what they did with the Wii, and I don't care how well that thing sold, it was a piece of shit too. Already I'm hearing the dreaded phrase "mini-games", and you can bang on about the AMAZEBALLZ controller as much as you like; the games will just be another Mario, another Zelda, and another Metroid, all crammed full of as much flow-breaking gimmickery as possible. Oooh, Mass Effect 3, eh? Wow! Only a year late, too!

A second screen I can use to select weapons with? Yep, that's what my games were missing! Every game should have a weapon-switching mechanism that completely breaks your immersion and requires you to use an inaccurate touchscreen, as opposed to, say, pressing a button. Man, when I'm playing Killing Floor with half the wave bearing down on me, I find myself wishing that it was necessary to look away, locate myself on a screen, locate the item I'm looking for, tap it, tap it again because it didn't like my first attempt, and then throw it across the room in frustration.

Nintendo are building consoles one generation behind, and throwing every gimmick they can think of at the controllers to try and convince people that they still have anything resembling a clue.

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Marathon

Greg J Preece
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Haven't we had Marathon on El Reg once already? Or was that a port?

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Firefox 13 now available for download

Greg J Preece
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Neither does the latest IE, Chrome (without hackery), or Safari (again, without hackery). However, Opera does, surprisingly, so kudos to them.

But TBH, if you stay on a 13 year old system, how long are you expecting support to last?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: If addons haven't broken in every version since FF6...

Did it reject any?

"Chrome/Chromium are superior in every way."

Except that they're not. The address bar doesn't work as well, the rendering engine has more bugs, the developer tools are all swiped from superior Firefox extensions, etc, etc. You can call Chrome faster and I'll agree, but that's not why I use FF as my primary browser. Chrome is fast, and Opera is polished, but Firefox works.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: and *how many* addons do you use??

I use a ton of extensions, given that I'm a professional developer. (In fact, I have actually developed Firefox add-ons!) But with the later mods to Firefox it isn't necessary for developers to update their extensions to have explicit compatibility with new versions, which makes things much, much easier.

The change in version numbering doesn't alter how rapidly changes in the browser code occur. There's now a smaller number of changes in each major revision, so as a developer I can make a minor change every so often, rather than having a set of major changes all dumped on me at once, which is part of what caused the old problems of "x plugin isn't ready yet".

"And I bet you wont even bother to try out a few of these addons, just to let us know if it is safe to get the latest FF???"

Aside from the fact that I've no idea what these add-ons are, how the heck is that my responsibility? Have you tried disabling version checking and seeing if they'd work anyway? Most still will, and it's just the max version number stored in the add-on that stops them from activating.

"It is not easy making a full backup of your settings, down to individual button positions"

Uhhhhh, yes it is. Just make a copy of your Firefox profile folder. Is that difficult?

"Most of us are just simple guys, with a busy life, not able to spend hours just tweaking, unlike SOME people here...."

Well pardon me, I apologise for having a hobby. You know, going on to a tech website and making sarcastic swipes at all those silly sad bastards who are actually interested in this stuff isn't going to encourage them to help you. Back in't day (ooh aye, old lad) on IRC or Usenet, you'd have lasted about ten seconds with that attitude.

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Greg J Preece
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It never ceases to amuse me with every FF release, watching the proud 3.6 luddites write off a browser they haven't used in ten versions for reasons that have been long since fixed.

Add-ons break in every version, do they? Well, no. No, they don't. Jetpack and other changes fixed that back in what, FF6? But you wouldn't know, because you're on 3.6.

The browser's slow, is it? Well, no, not really. Firefox these days is a lot snappier for me, and compared to Chrome, I really can't bring myself to chuck out a load of functionality for the 0.01 second per page I'd gain in speed. But then, you wouldn't know if it was quicker, because you're on 3.6.

Oh, they forced a new UI on you in 4, did they? You know you can right click twice and put it back, right? I did that 30 seconds after installing 4, and I haven't seen the minimal UI since. Oh, the horror. Come on, it's not exactly the Office Ribbon.

Try the new one out, seriously, if for no other reason than the various Gecko upgrades. (Gecko being one of the main reasons I use FF so much. Excellent engine, and far less buggy than Webkit in my experience.) It's a lot better than you think.

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Greg J Preece
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Jetpack and other modifications to the system long since fixed that particular issue. Can't remember the last time I had a plugin issue at upgrade time.

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Advertisers slam Microsoft over 'Do not track' decision

Greg J Preece
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This isn't the only move they've made in this direction recently. I was pleasantly surprised, when I installed the latest Win8 preview in Virtualbox, to find that the list of things Microsoft wanted to dial home for under "Customise Settings" were now all set to "off" by default, where in earlier versions they were all on by default.

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Facebook goes offline, shares stabilise at merely disastrous level

Greg J Preece
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Re: Apologies not necessary

http://www.icanhascheezburger.com

Aw, no Nyan Cat icon.

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LucasArts unveils Star Wars game for grown-ups

Greg J Preece
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Ah, so now even Star Wars has succumbed to the modern trend of "dark and gritty". Let me guess; the protagonist will be a broody miserable shite, overly vicious, with a troubled past.

Oh, wait. Force Unleashed. Yeah...

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Sony PlayStation 4 will not be download only

Greg J Preece
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Not quite true. As I understand it, the 60GB model in the US had hardware support, as did Japan, but the 60GB version in Europe was software based.

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Greg J Preece
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@M Gale, Re: On PC We have Steam...

Did you read the rest of my post, or just get to the word "Steam" and type in reflex rage? Steam might be the biggest and best known, and you can't deny that it's a damn sight cheaper than console markets, but I did mention "competition within the platform". If GoG continues the way it's currently going, it could very well give Steam a run for its money. While I have an embarassing number of games on Steam, I've recently bought a few games from GoG because they were cheaper, DRM free and came with more stuff. That's a set of incentives that will undercut anyone.

On console, you have Sony's store, and Microsoft's store, and both are a rip-off. Though, to be honest, the company with the shittiest online service is definitely Nintendo. Apart from it having the barest of feature set, and games almost never receiving patches or updates, if you actually look at some of the real-world pricing for the Wii Store, it's astonishingly expensive.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: "selling point for the PS3"

Assuming that it works the same way as the 60GB PS3, get a copy of Burnout 2 (black box). The game works, but all the car wheels are missing, and instead there's this unearthly glow where they used to be. It's frickin' awesome!

The only other game I've found with any bugs (and the only one with any game-breakers) is Gungrave, where there's a door partway through the game that you simply can't enter. But then, Gungrave is a piece of shit anyway, so who cares?

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Greg J Preece
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It was removed after a load of idiots complained that features cost money. The PS3 was lambasted as being too expensive despite being more powerful, having way more kit, having better backward compatibility, etc, etc, etc.

Not really surprising to see the console makers backing down on this one. They all want an online-only console where they can screw the customer over to their heart's content, but they also all know full well that the first console to do it will get savaged. If the Xbox 3 tried it, the PS4 would come out with a disc drive, keep the important 2nd hand and discount markets, and easily win market share.

It's just console makers acknowledging that online-only is bad for consumers, and they don't want it.*

(*On console. On PC we have Steam, and fairly reasonable pricing, and sales, and competition within the platform, etc, etc, etc.)

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I need to multitask, but Windows 8's Metro won't let me

Greg J Preece
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Re: Sorry what?

I've got an even better, one-word question, thinking about my setup at home:

Eyefinity?

Ooooooh, that's gonna be bad.

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Amazon's Lovefilm HD shuns Sony fanboys

Greg J Preece
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Re: HD pixar movies

Erm....really? Pixar's are all basically video game cutscenes, and you don't see the point in increased resolution?

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Greg J Preece
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Hang fire. I wasn't with LoveFilm for long, but when I was, I'm pretty sure the PS3 streamer had a HD option. I remember having to switch down to a lower quality to watch Sky Blue, because their server kept lagging on HD. Did that just happen in my head, or were they "compressed" and "less compressed" as opposed to 480p vs 720p?

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John Lewis appears to punt Chromebook with Windows 7

Greg J Preece
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Re: So

He was probably thinking more along the lines of "Norton don't make a Debian client."

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