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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2288 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'

Greg J Preece
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Does anyone else think that Gabe Newell is sat somewhere cackling and rubbing his hands? Given that his is not only the largest online distribution system, but that it's one of the few with a concept of pricing...

I bought a dozen second hand games from the "please will someone take this stock" end of CeX's website the other day. Cost me practically nothing, but I can almost guarantee that I'm going to get into at least one franchise through this, and that will generate future purchases from me.

Unless, of course, you do something dickheaded like this.

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'Asteroid mining company' makes classic hypegasm debut today

Greg J Preece
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Re: Hollywoods already rubbing it's hands together

@Bill - Beat me to it. I was going to point out the irony of the guy who made Aliens founding Weyland-Yutani.

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Look back in Ascii: Computing in the 1980s

Greg J Preece
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Agenda

Not seen the Agenda before, but it looks seriously nifty. Always wanted to try out a chordboard - they still exist as USB peripherals aimed at RSI sufferers. Want to see how fast I could get my typing speed up on one.

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Happy 30th Birthday, Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Greg J Preece
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Re: Happy birthday old pal

And me! First bit of programming I ever did, at a ridiculously young age, and all because the introductory programming manual had a wizard on the front cover, and a kaleidoscope program in the back...

My Speccy, Speccy+ (hard keyboard) and ZX81 are all still going strong, though I did lose my joystick interface. :-(

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Megaupload case near collapse: report

Greg J Preece
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Re: The New Justice[tm]

Thing is, no matter how much the software developers (whose point of view I do appreciate) complain about MegaUpload, it had legitimate uses, like every other file sharer on the net. When MU went dead, so did half the links in the KDE theming/widget system, as the hobbyists who made all that stuff used MU as a reliable, fast method of distributing it. Everything on the net that copies anything can be used for piracy - should we just shut the net down? Allowing attacks like those seen against MegaUpload set a precedent that basically any service can be taken down any time the music/record/software industry says so.

Which is bullshit.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The New Justice[tm]

"if some german bloke didn't get rich off making it easy for people to copy for free what we've spent years working on"

Dotcom invented the file-copy command...?

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Biologists create synthetic DNA capable of EVOLUTION

Greg J Preece
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Man promptly replied "Fuck you then, I'm off to steal some from Saturn. We don't need your self-obsessed ass."

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Greg J Preece
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OK....that was completely irrelevant.

I wonder if the other Cameron (Kirk) will pay any attention to these findings...

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Nokia loses $1.7bn in Q1, sales chief falls overboard

Greg J Preece
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@MaXimaN - Re: N900 upgrade path

The Desire Z is not far off the age of the N900. (Did it get an S upgrade? Don't think so.) The Mini Pro got a refresh but it's too damn small. Plus, the reason I'm on an N900 is: I don't want Android!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Anyone remember...

Pro-tip: people can tell you're a shill when you:

a) Post anonymously

b) Use the word "synergies".

Definitely a PR invasion on this thread. Sorry guys, this is El Reg. Not gonna wash. And this is coming from a guy who actually kinda likes Windows Phone. One of my phones is a Lumia 800, and holy damn is it fast. Just missing quite a few bits of software...

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Greg J Preece
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Re: N900 upgrade path

Can't agree. The N9 is a nice phone and I like MeeGo, but Nokia abandoned another OS at launch, and the N9 has no keyboard. Now, if I could get my hands on an N950, that would be ace, but I'm stuck on my N900 for now. Going to go SIM-only and wait to see what happens with Tizen.

Someone make a proper smartphone with a bloody keyboard. Please? Please??

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Analyst: 'revolutionary, compelling' iPhone 5 out in October

Greg J Preece
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"In any case, said Munster, the timing of the iPhone 5's launch doesn't matter: it'll so impress, fanboys and regular punters will snap it up."

Well just how the fucking fuck would you know? How does he know it'll have a "revolutionary" new design? How can he know one damned thing about a design he almost certainly hasn't seen?

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Sony 3D PlayStation TV to hit UK at last

Greg J Preece
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One of the few good applications of 3DTV, but 23" is just too small. The TV hanging on my wall is 40", and I used to have a 52". Make one that size and we'll talk.

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Barclaycard slaps pay-by-bonk plasters on mobes

Greg J Preece
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Re: Stealth Bonk

Stick it to the back of your hand and invent punch-to-pay?

Stick it to your grundies and do the bump? Bump bump bu-bu-bump aw yeah?

If they're in America already, I'm surprised someone hasn't had the balls to stick one to the side of his gun and scare the shit out of a few till operators with draw-to-pay, punk.

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Oracle v Google could clear way for copyright on languages, APIs

Greg J Preece
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"In recent years, a strangely zealous campaign against patent protection for software has been successfu"

Which planet have you been living on? "Recent years" seem to have been chock-full of patent trolling from where I'm sat. The campaign against it can't have been that successful.

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Google faces WHOPPING FTC fine for Safari privacy gaffe

Greg J Preece
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It's still further than our lot got in prosecuting them. It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure that the Computer Misuse Act 2000 makes their little wi-fi slurp completely illegal, and on the scale they did it, someone should get put away. Nnnnope, never gonna happen.

But then again, it didn't with Phorm either, did it?

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Microsoft details Halo 4 release

Greg J Preece
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Oh Christ, I had hoped this hugely overrated piece-of-shit series was dead and buried...

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Google G-drive app leak sparks 5GB file vault riddle

Greg J Preece
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Linux

No Linux support again, eh?

Assuming these rumours are true, I would expect better from Google of all people. Half the stuff they make is based on Linux, as is a massive chunk of their infrastructure. The Android SDK has an official Linux release, Android itself is Linux-based, as are Chromebooks, etc, etc, etc.

Make a chuffin' *nix client!

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Microsoft to bake Windows 8 in three flavours

Greg J Preece
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Re: Let's go:

ReTarded?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: yep

"who ever knew that windows would be the star trek movies of software."

Only in this case, it's all the odd numbered ones that are any good.

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Sony: UK ebook shop open for business

Greg J Preece
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Re: amazon 3% VAT

....or reduce VAT where it's being horrendously overcharged? 15% for 18 months and then 20% for the rest of time? Yeah, thanks for that.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Been waiting for it to appear

I also have the PRS-T1. The store isn't that great yet - too few books and too expensive - but it's the Reader PC software that really gets on my nerves. It's terrible, with a pretty piss-poor user interface, missing options all over the place, and it doesn't handle sync properly. It assumes that its copy is always right, not the reader's, and you can imagine how that goes.

My biggest irritation is that I was stupid enough to create some collections on the reader from the PC software, as that kind of massive multiselect thing is always easier on a desktop. Collections you create on the desktop are locked on the reader - why?? I then got a new laptop, installed the reader software, and it refuses to synchronise these collections back! So now I have collections on the reader that neither the device nor the PC can edit. Someone needs a slap for that.

In fairness, the one thing it does do really well is updating the device's firmware - that was absolutely painless, just a notification and one button to click. I'm just glad that I applied the Android hack to my T1 immediately after getting it, so I have Kindle installed. Some of my stuff comes from there, and the rest are independently bought ePubs/PDFs from elsewhere on the net, copied via the filesystem directly to the device's /media directory. If Sony want me to use their store instead, they're going to have to try a lot harder.

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Apple finally deploys Mac Flashback Trojan terminator

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Greg J Preece: facebook needs no java-plugin

The uploader wasn't just a box with "select file" - it allowed for multiple select, showed upload progress, preview and rotate, etc, etc. Was actually pretty neat.

More info: http://www.stevepoland.com/facebook-image-uploader-java-applet-replica-script/

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I understand Java and Javascript are totally different, but...

Last time I uploaded photos to Facebook from my computer and not my phone, that was Java. It is around, and it can look pretty enough that people assume it' not Java. ;-)

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Greg J Preece
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The Flash Approach

Backed yourself into a corner by preventing Oracle from updating their own kit? Been made to look like ineffectual tits for 6 weeks? What's the answer?

Disable it!

Yes, that's right, when properly maintaining something you demanded complete control over is too much effort, and backing down would hurt your pride, just disable the user's functionality! If they complain, why not write an open letter attacking the platform as buggy/slow/a threat to users. I'm sure your legions of slavering fans will agree with your every word, no matter how demented.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Opera On-Demand Plugins setting

Good god, is there any article the Opera Squad won't invade with their gushing?

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FBI track alleged Anon from unsanitised busty babe pic

Greg J Preece
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Re: A few simple lines to save yourself from prison

My N900 auto-purges location information when it uploads photos to anywhere. No additional software required, it's built straight into the phone. Damn handy piece of kit.

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So what's the worst movie NEVER made?

Greg J Preece
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I really don't want to answer this. I don't want to give them ideas.

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'Selling your citizens to foreigner is not acceptable!'

Greg J Preece
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Re: > remember when a smartphone used to be all about capability?

I'm going to go with cynicism. ;-) Back when I started buying smartphones, they certainly weren't status/fashion symbols. Big, ugly silver bricks cluttered with keyboards and styluses, when everyone wanted smaller, thinner, more fashionable phones, ultimately culminating in the - *spit* - Razr.

They were not pretty to look at, twice the size of anything else, and had pretty piss-poor user interfaces, but they could do everything. The current set of "smartphones" (Android and iOS) took years to achieve pretty much the same level of functionality. Oooh, your smartphone can multitask now, can it? I must have fallen through a timewarp to ten years ago.

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Greg J Preece
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"This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."

Says everything you need to know about the current smartphone market.... Does anyone remember when a smartphone used to be all about capability?

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Most anticipated videogames of 2012 revealed

Greg J Preece
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Re: isnt....

Do you care? It's a long time since the Aliens franchise made something new that wasn't shit/meh, TBH.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: No PC games then?

"In the most egregious cases the pirated version is more functional than the retail. I pirated Crysis 2 after I bought it; the cracked version fixes a game stopping save-game bug that Crytek won't fix as the game is 'out of support'."

Funny you should say that. I had to do the same with Far Cry on WinXP x64 a few years back. I'm also of the opinion that DRM and publisher hatred is what tried to kill PC gaming (sorry, but it's not dead). Piracy happened all through the 90s, but the PC was absolutely golden. Then DRM came along, nuked the second hand market completely (meaning fewer games on shelves and no more people willing to pay £40 a pop than previously), and the publishers wrote off all PC gamers as pirates.

But don't be a smug console gamer, because you lot are next. Already the 2nd-hand taxes are being collected, and with the next generation, the publishers will try to kill off the high street entirely, so they can lean you over the coals for £50 a game. And unlike Steam, PSN sales are few and far between, include very few titles, and don't have nearly the same level of discount. So, enjoy that when it hits.

And if I have to hear that "yearly upgrade" FUD one more time... My PC just entered its 7th year of life, and only now am I *thinking* of upgrading it. Next year.

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Parents shocked by priestly PowerPoint pr0n

Greg J Preece
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Re: Wow...

"As an atheist, why would you care what the church thinks at all?"

Because they're counting me amongst their numbers, and those numbers give them influence on world events which is almost always negative. I don't want to be counted as a Catholic, because I don't want Africans dying in my name, or altar boys being buggered for it. I left Catholicism long before I left Christianity, because I simply couldn't continue associating myself with the horror and corruption of the Vatican.

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Greg J Preece
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Maybe it was a collage? A big, throbbing celibate collage?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I find it more shocking...

Well, if there's one thing the Catholic church needs, it's money! Money cures bad thoughts, dontcha know? Either that, or it pays hush money to the latest victims.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Wow...

Hey, if you want some anti-Catholic vitriol, then as an ex-Catholic that the church refuses to acknowledge as an atheist, I have plenty I can spout, if you'd like?

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Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Greg J Preece
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Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

"You press the relevant button, the app goes full screen. "

Noooooo no no no no no no, that's not quite true, is it? You click the fullscreen button, it does a pointless animation (Lion is very fond of those) and you end up in a completely enclosed version of fullscreen where you have to do needless clicking just to get at the bloody menu, and the dock isn't available even on auto-hide.

And never mind that this super-amazing-wow fullscreen capability requires apps to be modified in order to support it - are you kidding me?? All that was required was a simple button that made the window expand to fill the available space - a maximise button. But Apple couldn't have that, as it wouldn't be different enough, so they took the most basic proposition and overblew it as much as they possibly could. It might seem minor, but it's the sheer pointlessness of requiring applications to update just to support a needlessly flashy window transition that brasses me off. That isn't "revolutionary" design, it's fucking around. And sliding between fullscreen apps? Wow, you've invented the virtual desktop switcher...

The real question is: why did it take 7 revisions of OSX to get such a function? I can't think of another windowing system I've ever used that is lacking something so idiotically basic. Perhaps their next amazing, revolutionary addition to the system will be lock-sodding-screen. Perhaps they can have the OS play a fecking waltz before a huge padlock animation plays, and unlocking will require a new and totally intuitive touchpad gesture, like wiping your nose on it.

Grrrrrrr Lion pissed me off. All flash, no substance, 100% Apple. Truth is, as a practical, useful windowing system OSX is a piece of shit, massively overrated and fawned over, and it was left far, far behind by other systems many years ago.

</Rant>

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The Bethesda Excuse

The reason Bethesda create such excellent modding tools is because they know that RPG nerds are the pickiest, whiniest, most easily offended bunch of nerds on the gaming nerd spectrum. They know they can't possibly please all of them, so they let you mod the shit out of it until it is pixel-perfect to your exacting specifications.

Signed, an RPG nerd.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Windows 8 too

If Mountain Lion is anything like the Lion that preceded it, it can sod off. What an absolutely worthless upgrade that was. A fullscreen focus-stealing application menu (to add to your applications menu next to your other nested applications menu - usability!), the stupidest implementation of fullscreen apps I've ever seen in my life, a raft of bugs, and not much else. Wasn't worth the upgrade from the far more dependable Snow Leopard.

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Greg J Preece
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Colour Vampires

I like that, I'm going to steal it.

But yeah, these people are right. It's just awful to use, especially when your other IDE is Netbeans with a modified City Lights setup and version control thrown in - colourtastic. I almost immediately went back to VS2010, new thingummies that don't work properly yet be damned!

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Internet Explorer nibbles browser rivals, swells by 1%

Greg J Preece
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What's the install base of Macs versus Safari's market share? Serious question, does anyone have stats on that? It would be interesting to see which OS users are more likely to keep the default browser.

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Greg J Preece
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@Trollface

THIS!

I really quite like Opera as a browser. Not my preference, but it's not bad at all. The fanboys, on the other hand... Gee. Zus.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Wahey! - @AC

You say "unforgiving rendering" like it's a bad thing. Code your pages properly and there's no issue. ;-)

Interesting to see this reversal of fortunes for IE. People are playing it up all wrong though. Surely this is a sign to Microsoft that developing a fast, reliable browser that complies well with standards is a far better and more welcome strategy than their previous efforts? People are more savvy these days - Firefox and Chrome taught them that - and it's led Microsoft to create a much improved browser. Isn't this the end-result benefit of competition in the browser market that we all wanted? What the hell are you all complaining about?

I don't personally use IE9, but if I meet someone out there does, I don't actually mind. In the past, the developer in me would have gotten irritated and tried to persuade them away, but now IE has improved to the point that I don't have to worry about it so much.

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Sugar content now to be measured in Cadbury Creme Eggs

Greg J Preece
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Re: "In English"?

Perhaps he should have said, as I do, "what's that in proper money?"

Seriously, sod Imperial. It's a stupid system of measurements, and almost totally irrelevant today.

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Euro data roaming price cut too shallow

Greg J Preece
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Orange have a fairly decent (by roaming standards) package that our guys use when on the continental mainland. It sits dormant on your phone, activates the first time you use it each day, charges you £3 for that day, and you get 50MB to use until midnight, when it goes dormant again until it's needed. It's proved to be more than enough for our guys checking e-mail, viewing webpages, finding directions and so on.

Outside the EU, on the other hand, you're pretty much stiffed. Not only do you have to subscribe to a minimum 30-day roaming subscription (which they always "forget" to remove from your account) which costs a horrendous amount for little data, but the buggers pro-rata it!

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ALL Visa cards blab punters' names - not just Barclaycards

Greg J Preece
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Re: Yes

Look after your stuff better...

And if you weren't paying attention, what they've got now is more than previously. What happens when they break the whole thing open? "Oh, it's just all my important data being slurped from inside my jacket by some guy on the other side of the train. What's the big moan?"

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Munich's mayor claims €4m savings from Linux switch

Greg J Preece
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Re: hmm

"Please do explain why using Linux increases productivity for the average worker?"

I've got this one!

First up, it doesn't crash nearly as often. Boom, recovered hours of manpower right there.

Secondly, it has many many more features built in that don't require additional components or faffing around when you realise the attachment you were e-mailed needs an office service pack to be opened. Archiving is a great example. Windows will open practically nothing, and Mac about the same - Ark on the other hand will open pretty much anything you can throw at it, and it's integrated so the user doesn't even need to know what it is. PDF reading is another - Windows needs Adobe Reader, which I think we can all agree is magnificent bloatware. Every Linux distro I've used has an integrated reader, so again, no training or product knowledge required by the end user - just click the bloody thing.

Lastly (and these are just quickly off the top of my head) the file managers in anything that isn't Linux are atrocious. I thought Explorer was as basic as it could get, and then I used Finder. These things are terrible, and considering how core they are to the average office user's experience, it's pretty unforgivable. Something like, say, Dolphin, is brimming with useful and easily accessed functionality that helps me out on a daily basis.

Those are just the ones that sprung to mind. Others might be "having a network manager that isn't the most confusing labyrinth piece of shit ever designed by man", or "it's just way way way faster", but I'll leave those for other commenters.

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Apple slapped with second Siri senility lawsuit

Greg J Preece
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Re: Beta!

Siri's a gimmick for the gullible, but I would like to point out that another tech giant's favourite thing in the universe is to keep production products in "beta" for years so they don't have to concern themselves with such petty concerns as whether or not they work correctly.

How many years was Google Maps in beta, anyway?

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PlayStation 4 'Orbis' pegged for 2013 release

Greg J Preece
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Re: AMD?!? *yawn*

"I remember when Sony made cool hardware."

Your argument against AMD gfx chips being used is that they're...not.....cool.......... You're a CoD player, aren't you?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Sounds shitty

"Xbox games we can still play cheaper & better on PC."

Exactly why I don't have a 360. Between my PS3 and the PC, I can get pretty much any big-name game I want. Only some of the JRPGs and XBLA releases have tempted me over, but isn't XBLA supposed to be available on PC now?

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