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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2286 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Churlish HSBC drops atomic-scale accuracy

Greg J Preece
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A horrendous margin for error! Surely they could have kept it to one decimal place?
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Profs call for harsh taxes on sweet carbonated beverages

Greg J Preece
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"Maybe not in the office, But surely the lunchtime pint is still a tradition among British techies?" It would be if it wouldn't get me sacked.
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Greg J Preece
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It'd be a great idea if BMI wasn't horseshit!

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Greg J Preece
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Except that drinking alcohol at work is rarely encouraged.

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Microsoft revives flight sim by giving it away free

Greg J Preece
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The same company does Street Cleaning Simulator. I shit you not. I've also seen Bus Sim, Truck Sim, Euro Truck Sim, Woodcutter Sim, Gardening Sim, and so on.

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Greg J Preece
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Well this sounds as atrocious as I feared. There are plenty of gimmicky sims out there. What I love about FSX is its sheer attention to detail, and the way the physics engine is so mental that it's the only app I've ever run to max my CPUs. Buying and installing 25GB scenery packs at silly prices might seen odd, but it makes for a very impressive experience. FSX is so over-the-top (in a good way) that it has its own hard drive in my machine.

And who the hell uses a mouse to fly anything? Last time I tried that was Freelancer, and it was painful.

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Boffins demo time-warp cloaking device

Greg J Preece
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"For the first, it's the basic fact of gravity: what goes up must come down, so if your flying car breaks down OVER the middle of nowhere, where does that leave you?"

Um...the same place as if it happened with a plane? Didn't stop us building planes...

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Greg J Preece
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It officially became the future when the years stopped being referred to as "two thousand and X" and became "twenty X".

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Gamers grumble over Steam outage

Greg J Preece
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I really don't get this "inconvenience" thing, but then I've had Steam installed since 2003, so for me registering Civ V was basically "open window, type code" - you know, like game installers have been asking PC gamers to do since time bloody immemorial. If the additional step of installing a file is too much for you (additional, that is, to the process of installing a whole bunch of other files) then perhaps you should put Civ V back on the shelf - it's too complicated for you. Perhaps Dark Reign is more your style. Or Halo Wars.

I've been playing online since about...1995? I've used a *SHIT-TON* of online game clients, and most of them sucked nadgers, and tried to bury themselves in your system. Steam is - this incident notwithstanding - generally very reliable, unintrusive, doesn't hog your system resources, and, if you're an online gamer, is genuinely very useful. Even without the friends system, automatic patching, free DLC, game invites, trading, the mental sale-time deals, community, forums and so on, it would be worth installing for the Steam overlay alone. That thing is genius, as is being able to run it over non-Steam games.

It's had moments when I've been frustrated with it, but after over 8 years I'm still on it, so it must be doing something right.

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Greg J Preece
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This will be why perks in Killing Floor were going a bit nuts. Steam's been suffering the past few weeks anyway - any time after 6pm during the sale, downloads were pretty much out of the question, and the friends system was ropey too. That said, the demands on the system recently were huge, so maybe Gabe and co. will use their massive profits for a few system upgrades. Would be nice.

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Sites knocked offline by OpenDNS freeze on Google

Greg J Preece
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@Brewster

Given how often jQuery versions update, and how many are available, this effect is somewhat negated by the user having 1.5, 1.5.1, 1.6, 1.7 etc, but not 1.7.1. Unless you want to always bind to the latest version of an available library, which is asking for trouble when it updates.

I prefer to have a version of the code available on my site where it can't go away. The extra few millis to load the page are less important to me than it always working. Plus, I often implement code to bundle JS scripts together to save on requests, so the speed saving is negligible.

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Greg J Preece
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This is why you don't load your JS libraries remotely from Google!

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Stratfor so very, very sorry in wake of mega-hack

Greg J Preece
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Coffee/keyboard

"Security firms slammed Stratfor for making schoolboy errors, such as not encrypting its password database."

*Dr Pepper*

They want to be put out of business for stuff like that! Never mind the police investigating the hackers - investigate this lot and their shitty security! Doesn't the DPA have something to say about things like this?

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2012 Games Preview

Greg J Preece
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Wonder if we'll see Hawken in 2012. That looks hella fun. And aren't the new Tribes games coming out next year too? The paid-for version might actually be decent, but given how much Tribes has been dumbed down since T1, I'm doubting it.

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Greg J Preece
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I was about to ask about the Last Guardian myself, but what you're saying about it being rushed is not music to my ears...

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AMD claims 'world's fastest GPU' title

Greg J Preece
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They've been doing that for a while. When they came back fighting with the HD4870, it was hilarious watching nVidia shit bricks.

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Lovefilm buys right to stream Sony Pictures content

Greg J Preece
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"Also struggling to find films that are less than 5 years old."

That's the part that irritated me most. I wanted to use it to watch classics that I'd missed out on. No such luck.

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Greg J Preece
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"You sure your DVD isn't on its way out?"

*Twitch*

I'm guessing by that you mean DVD player. Sorry, personal bugbear. Anyhoo, unless my PS3, DVD player, laptop and desktop are all dying a death, I think it's the discs. (I'm on 3 discs + unlimited streaming, BTW.)

Someone recommended Ergo Proxy to me. It turned up, didn't make it past title select, so I asked for another. The second disc got 15 mins in and then died. Exasperated, I pulled out the Big Lebowski DVD that came in the same package, and tried that. 4 minutes in, it stuck as well. Went around and tried every player I have - same results. Screw this.

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Greg J Preece
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"The service needs to ramp up the range of titles it offers as streams"

Damn right, they do. I'm currently canceling my LoveFilm subscription, as I've had three DVDs in a row through the post that haven't worked correctly. Oh sure, the data side of the DVD looks fine, but look closer in the right light and you can tell that the discs have been buffed/polished up, when they should have been put through a proper re-surfacing doodah like they have in some CeX stores. I would have gone onto a stream-only account and saved some cash that way, but the number of titles available on stream compared to DVD is pretty crap, and 95% of the films/series I want to watch aren't on there.

To be honest, given the £15 cost per month, and how cheap DVD/BD box sets are these days, going back to buying will probably work out cheaper for TV stuff.

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Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

Greg J Preece
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Why?

Why can't they make psychic TV illegal? Because defrauding idiots makes money?

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A simple HTML tag will crash 64-bit Windows 7

Greg J Preece
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WTF?

"guess that steve jobs is still trying to keep apple going"

I think there's something you should know...

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Greg J Preece
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Trollface

I an *DYING* to find out that it was some underlying hackery on Apple's part, or an API they weren't supposed to be using...

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Anti-piracy laws will smash internet, US constitution - legal eagles

Greg J Preece
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"Don't vote stupid."?

As opposed to voting for someone whose views you don't agree with because you're the kind of mouth-breathing retard who thinks that anyone not voting along established lines is "wasting their vote"?

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Greg J Preece
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Not that our lot are any less guilty of throwing draconian laws at the Internet because they don't understand it. That said, if the US did start causing problems with the DNS system and others, it might highlight to the rest of the world how much of the Internet/Web's core infrastructure depends on that nation, leading to the development of a more globally administered alternative. I can't honestly see that as a bad thing.

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Software bug fingered as cause of Aussie A330 plunge

Greg J Preece
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"Doing an emergency stop on a busy motorway wont be fun."

This is only because arseholes drive too close to the car in front. If all cars were computer controlled, they wouldn't do that, and a car stopping in an emergency would alert the cars around it. Job's a good 'un.

I only say this because planes have exactly those kinds of system - automatic distance and collision warnings and computer-negotiated advice to the pilots on whether to ascend/descend/change underwear.

99% of the time the computer can fly the plane just dandy, but you should always have a meatsack ready in case something goes wrong. Duh.

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Five firms to create HD-centric DRM for SD cards

Greg J Preece
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Ironically, I just bought a Sony e-reader because I don't want to be linked in with Amazon in that way.

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Greg J Preece
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Um...

Ultraviolet?

Wasn't that supposed to replace this DRM war bullshit?

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Cops target climate-sceptic bloggers in three countries

Greg J Preece
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Do home routers even keep them?

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Greg J Preece
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Oh, and routers? WTF are they stealing routers for? What's that gonna tell them? The uPNP settings for Unreal Tournament?

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Greg J Preece
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Classy

Raid the place at midnight, I imagine so they don't have chance to dispose of evidence, but give them 6 months beforehand to delete and destroy whatever they like. Genius!

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2011's Best... Games

Greg J Preece
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FAIL

A completely uninspired, unimaginative rundown of the major AAA titles released this year. I know you try to excuse it at the beginning of the article, but it doesn't really work...

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Greg J Preece
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"Widely thought of as a prime candidate for the best game ever"

...by Zelda fanboys.

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Greg J Preece
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"I reject your reality and substitute my own"

Isn't that from The Dungeonmaster/Rage War? :-p

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Sony takes PS Vita on Blighty-wide tour

Greg J Preece
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Nice idea. Reminds me of when the Sega Bus used to pull into town and send every kid within ten miles mental for a Mega Drive. Will definitely trip along to get my hands on one. I like my original PSP, though I will freely admit that dedicated portable systems need more developer love. That said, given the trend for crap touchscreen games, perhaps the current interest in mobile gaming will spur it on.

As for the 3DS, jamming 3D into a console you've already done 18 bajillion variations of smacks more than a little of desperation. They didn't sell because no-one gives a shit about 3D. We've already got the DS, the Lite, the DSi, the XL...

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Elon Musk's private Dragon ship to dock with ISS in Feb

Greg J Preece
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I really really hope this works (and isn't *ahem* inspected by other factions prior to launch). Musk looks set to bloody a few noses if he can pull this off, but it's become clear in the past 10-20 years that the American space program is faltering at best, and dead in the water at worst. If a private company can kick-start one of our most important areas of scientific advancement, then good luck to them.

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Assange: 'iPhone, BlackBerry, Gmail users - you're all screwed'

Greg J Preece
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Linux

Resurrect Maemo/MeeGo?

At the risk of sounding like I have a beard, pure FOSS -based phones would make it harder to pull this kind of cunning stunt.

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Greg J Preece
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Truly you are the next Cuger Brant.

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Silverlit Spy Cam

Greg J Preece
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Is that chick on the left giving a Vulcan salute?

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Opera spruces up email client in 11.60 browser cut

Greg J Preece
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Mushroom

Oh no, you mentioned Opera! RUN! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

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2011's Best... E-book Readers

Greg J Preece
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Well aside from the fact that you don't have to remember to do it, how many recharge cycles can your phone battery take before it begins to deteriorate? Now if you only had to recharge it once a month, how much longer would that battery last?

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Greg J Preece
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Thanks for the tip-off on Kindle cases! The Sony ones are chuffin' expensive. I asked my local library at the weekend and to my surprise they knew what the hell I was on about. Apparently it's being rolled out soon; they're just waiting for the related website to be polished off.

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Greg J Preece
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PRS-T1 for me

Functionality is always key for me, and with the quick hack demonstrated on here recently the Sony Reader becomes a Kindle as well. I'm actually kinda surprised that wasn't mentioned in the article; El Reg did report on it.

I had a play with one in a Sony store and it's unbelievably light for its size. Fits nicely in my jacket pocket, runs Android, does everything I need and doesn't lock me in to anything or argue with me about file formats. It's the obvious winner for me, so I'll pay the extra £30 (or less if you go on Play.com).

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US Martian nuke-truck launches without a hitch, but...

Greg J Preece
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I'll always upvote a Space Odyssey reference!

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Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley

Greg J Preece
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First Class/Business Class come with different meals, different service, etc. I'm just talking about seats that are a bit wider. You'd still get the same shit orange juice.

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Greg J Preece
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If you wanna be fat, be fat. I'm not gonna stop you enjoying life while it happens. But if you're gonna be fat, accept the inconveniences that come with it. The simple solution is to have a couple of rows on the plane with wider seats - a pair instead of a three between the aisles, for example. You pay a little more, you get a little more. Tall folks already have the option of paying for increased legroom, so why not?

That said, I think the minimum space regs should be looked at again. I don't care how thin profit margins are (and I doubt they are) - economy class seats are criminally small and cramped. As one other commenter has already mentioned, if nothing else they're bloody unsafe. I sure as hell couldn't get out of one in a hurry.

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Ten... top PlayStation Network game downloads

Greg J Preece
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Aaaaah, Housemarque

Love their stuff. Super Stardust HD and its PSP port addicted me half to death. Had a quick bash on Dead Nation's co-op mode, but not given the single player chance to eat my free time yet. Outland looks like fun!

Amazed that Super Stardust isn't on this list, to be honest. It's one of those games that makes me adore my HDTV. I pick it up fairly regularly and run one of the more insane modes/levels, just to let it melt my fucking brain. (And the PS3 processor.)

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Apple telly may sport Sharp screen tech

Greg J Preece
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Not a bad choice TBH. I've got a Sharp TV myself and I'm thoroughly pleased with it. Sharp picture, gorgeous colours, even the tiny speakers aren't that bad compared to their peers. It's not as pretty as the others, not as slim and shiny, but it does its primary function exceedingly well.

Actually, now I think about it...that's a terrible choice. This is Apple! They should go with an early Samsumg LED panel - thin and attractive, with god-awful haloing. Then they can just tell people not to watch dark movies - what's the problem?

The funny part will, of course, be buying the exact same TV with Sharp branding for £500 less.

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Chromebooks: the flop of 2011?

Greg J Preece
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I think they're useless, personally. Until our mobile net infrastructure greatly improves their usability is restricted by signal strength, which is always a bugger. Plus, it's Google. I just don't trust them to have access to every single keystroke on my machine.

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Penguin pulls its e-books off library shelves

Greg J Preece
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What about Sony? Their new readers let you borrow from UK libraries. Would that include Penguin books?

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Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Greg J Preece
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Obviously doesn't keep up with his claptrap - the mark of the beast has been updated to 616, referring to Caligula, I believe.

Meaning, of course, that for quite a long time religious nuts have been using Satan's mark quite happily, condemning themselves to hell. I can't help but smile. :-)

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