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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2298 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

New Opera 12 hooks web apps to 3D graphics acceleration

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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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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Facebook needs Opera - to rescue it from dependence on Apple

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Greg J Preece

Hello, anonymous person I think I know. ;-)

Nice try, but I've said repeatedly on this verrah site that Opera's actually a pretty darned good browser. As for the rest of your down-the-nose attempt at a put-down, do me a favour and look to the left of my above post. See the weird-looking face? You should Google that.

*Trololololol.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Then - goodbye Opera

...."The idea"?

Opera is not a concept. Opera is not a religion. Opera is not a state of mental nirvana.

Opera is a company. They exist to make money. From you. Don't ever get the impression that it's otherwise.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: page impressions

...in the current version. If FB buy Opera, are you really imagining they'll leave the option in to turn off Turbo?

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Greg J Preece
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Trollface

Soooooo we're gonna have:

IE9, that on default settings sends everything you do to Microsoft.

Google Chrome, which sends everything you do to Google.

Opera, which sends everything you do to Facebook.

Firefox, which sends ever-...oh.

It's still hilarious watching the Opera fanboys react to any mention of the browser. Someone mentioned Opera? Better gush about how you're a "web pro"* for using it, and everyone else is an inferior mindless drone.

* "Web pro" - bwhahahahahahahahaha!

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Free Windows 8 desktop app development is dead

Greg J Preece
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Out of their minds

What a brilliant idea when introducing a controversial new operating system - limiting development for it in any way.

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Max Payne 3

Greg J Preece
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Re: The /real/ problem with this game...

Fuck yeah, Captain Baseball Bat Boy! That show was the shit.

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Greg J Preece
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No PC version at release? Did you forget which market gave this game its success? Or are you making sure we don't get another day-1 patch for the game as we did with Max Payne 1? (Which couldn't save games at release - no, really!)

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Russian satellite beams home 121-megapixel pics of Earth

Greg J Preece
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Watching that video, with that music, feels like I just unlocked a wonder in Civilization II.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Whew.

You'd be suprised. Just recently I was laughing my ass off at a creationist geocentrist dipshit who thought he had disproven gravity with a toy helicopter and a pickup truck.

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US space programme in shock metric conversion

Greg J Preece
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Trollface

Re: Bah!

What's the name of that language again? :-p

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Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Greg J Preece
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Re: The 'mercans seem to be doing OK with feet, inches and funny sizes gallons.

Yes, I can count in base 8, then 12, then 16, or however the fuck Imperial weights go, changing base at different scales, or I could just use something consistent and easy. Using Imperial doesn't make you cleverer, it just means you waste more of your time.

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Greg J Preece
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Piss off yourself. Imperial's a right load of outdated shite people cling on to out of some misguided sense of "tradition". It's the same staring-into-the-past attitude that British people regurgitate every damn day, and it really gets on my tits. Why can't we get rid of all this old-fashioned crap and move on?

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HTC phones held up at US ports after Apple patent ban

Greg J Preece
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Re: Errrm...

"The patent covers automatic recognition of phone numbers etc. in things like web pages (so you can tap to call)"

Given that Skype have been doing this on various platforms for about a gajillion years, is this another patent that only made it through because it's Apple?

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Watchdog bites bar over 'offensive' Facebook ad

Greg J Preece
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Re: ASA powerless

Hang on, let me try and summon some sympathy for the homophobe...

*Nrrrrrrrg*

Sorry, couldn't do it. He'll have to continue shoving his religion up his arse. Or up the arses of any altar boys that pass nearby.

Incidentally, you are aware that Archbishop Cranmer died in the 16th century...?

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Game goes titsup in Australia

Greg J Preece
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@DrXym

I tend to pre-order games only when there's some kind of pre-order bonus involved. For example, my pre-order of Child of Eden meant that I (eventually) got it for £15 with a free t-shirt, which is a reet bargain. My pre-order of Ghost of Sparta got me the game for a mere £16.99. Otherwise, I don't bother.

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Sony stock slides to 30-year low after record loss

Greg J Preece
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Flame

Oops, sorry, clearly I forgot the narrative on this comment thread. I can't recognise a company for making decent tech whilst acting like wankers. I have to hate them unconditionally.

Grrr, Sony shit, all bad, nothing good, grrr, knuckles bleeding, make mad, grrrrr.

Morons.

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Greg J Preece
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I do hope they sort themselves out. While the company themselves can be completely schizo at times, and can act like assholes, they do make very good kit. They're not the only people I use, but the Sony kit I have bought has never let me down, and tends to be technically superior to the majority of the market.

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Keep out of the Olympics' way, earn a haircut from TfL app

Greg J Preece
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FAIL

Erm, forgive my squirrelly ignorance, but surely a route is more than just the beginning and end points? Aren't those what you start with, and the route is the bit inbetween?

I just love how TfL's primary response to the Olympics screwing over the capital seems to be "just walk." They wrap it up in the usual help-us-out/save-the-planet/this-is-doing-you-a-favour bullshit, but at the end of the day all this massive ad campaign says to me is: "we really fucked up with transport for this massive event half of you don't want, so we're asking all the people that paid for our network to not use it."

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PHP devs lob second patch at super-critical CGI bug

Greg J Preece
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Cue 1000 server admins calling PHP a shit language whilst providing no superior alternative.

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MP blasts 'ineffective' games regulation

Greg J Preece
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Off to fire up the Unreal Development Kit and make a quick mod where you kill Keith Vaz, then dilute him in vast quantities of water as a homeopathic remedy for being a twat.

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Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

Greg J Preece
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Re: Time to resurrect the Usenet group...

Naaaaah.

alt.shut.up.wesley

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Who?

Is there anything more painfully boring than someone commenting on an article to say "Never heard of them"? Thanks for your superb contribution to the debate. Perhaps, given that this site is fulla nerds, they'd be more interested in the opinion of another nerd than that of the latest chart rapper?

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Greg J Preece
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I follow Wil on FB and this is exactly why. In this case at least, he's absolutely right.

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Britain prepares for government by iPad

Greg J Preece
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"Politicos had been testing the Apple 'slab in the Commons since early 2011 with the idea being that the devices could save money on print costs."

Erm, why do laptops require you to print anything more than tablets do?

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