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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2272 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

How to spot a coders comment

Greg J Preece
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Re: My favourite comment

Which is why one of the last things I do before committing any code is have the IDE look up any @todo tags in my current module. ;-)

Think my favourite comment was from my old boss, who left in one class:

"I think I've got this working, but then it was written by <ex programmer>, and <ex programmer> was a lazy incompetent twat."

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Greg J Preece
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Re: How to spot a coders comment

I think they get paid by the line, including comments

I do a lot of Java. I doc the shit out of my method and class headers, because it makes code inspection and merging later far easier, and the IDE will pick up on them. Within my methods though, I keep the comments to what's required. I go with the philosophy that comments should not explain what you're doing, but rather why you're doing it.

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Euro Parliament axes data sharing with US – the NSA swiped the bytes anyway

Greg J Preece
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One wonders, therefore, why the NSA bothered hacking it in the first place.

Because they could? It's pretty apparent at this point that the NSA's only oversight is a man who always says yes.

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You like iPads, you like things called 'Air'. You will LOVE this puppy

Greg J Preece
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Based on iPad3 & 4 benchmark results, I see no reason to disbelieve them. iPad2 smashes iPad1, iPad3/Retina smashes iPAd2, iPad4 smashes iPad3. The stats are on the web for all to see.

I'm not contesting that newer chips are quicker, that just makes sense, but if the numbers are real, then why use bullshit graphs to show them? Why not have a real graph, if you're not exaggerating things?

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Greg J Preece
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and it also includes the battery-saving M7 motion processor that's in the top-of-the-line iPhone, offloading sensor-monitoring and processing duties from the A7

That would be the motion processor that's turned out a bit dodgy?

Oh, and graphs without numbers == meaningless. Those are practically the same curve, yet one is "8x faster" and one is "72x faster". Get lost.

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Ryanair boss Mike O'Leary hits Twitter: 'Nice pic. Phwoaaarr!'

Greg J Preece
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Jet2 are another one I'd never fly with again, given the option. After a particularly uncomfortable flight to Barcelona, where three ordinary sized guys couldn't all sit back at the same time because our shoulders wouldn't fit next to each other (not guts - shoulders), in an "extra legroom" seat that actually had less legroom than the others, I was actually given shit by a flight attendant for being unhappy about it. Fuck those guys.

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Google stays tight-lipped on IE9 Gmail, Apps death sentence

Greg J Preece
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Re: When is a version a new version?

Until Windows 8 has reasonable takeup the stock MS browser on it will remain largely irrelevant to Google.

OK, Windows 8 takeup is still way behind 7, and XP continues to get in the bloody way, but I'd argue that 8 is still relevant. It's market share is already above that of OSX, for example.

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Greg J Preece
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To be fair, IE 9 and 10 have generally been way easier to support in the first place, and equally killing support for them is unlikely to mean that the pages will no longer render properly in IE9; they just won't be tested there.

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Not so Saucy after all: Ubuntu reveals Mirless Salamander... and what, no Britney?

Greg J Preece
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Rubbish. All Valve proved that if you spend man months of developer time optimising a single game on Linux, but don't spend the same effort optimising the Windows version then it can run faster.....

I'm sorry, but are you seriously implying that Valve hadn't previously put any effort into optimising Left 4 Dead 2? A popular game based on their well-known and established Source engine? Never mind that it also has an OSX release, and a 360 release, and the Linux version was still faster. Oh, no, course not - it's a deliberate cover-up of the way you see things.

As I said before, the original Eyefinity demos were Linux (i.e. not done by Valve). But I suppose that was just a graphics manufacturer doing something evil like optimising code before showing it off.

And if top-notch gaming isn't possible in Linux because of the apparent fundamental flaws you've been on about in your previous two posts, I'd love you to explain the ridiculous performance jump I just got after upgrading to 13.10. My game of Killing Floor (also not a Valve game, nor a Valve engine) went from a crap frame rate on the lowest graphics settings to running silky smooth on the highest. That's 6 months difference - one minor kernel version, and hugely improved AMD drivers. It's almost like the drivers really were crap before, like AMD had only bothered to properly optimise them for the platforms games were generally available on...

First time in a while I've seen the reality distortion field from a Windows jockey. Geez...

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Just install Services for UNIX:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35512

Doubt it'll bring Windows completely up to scratch, but that still looks useful for when I'm in Windows. Thanks. :-)

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

The Windows advantage is primarily in the Windows kernel performance, rather than the drivers....

Given that Valve have already proven that Linux builds of games can run faster than their Windows counterparts, I'm not really convinced by that. To be honest, there's absolutely no architectural reason why games can't run fast on any of the three main OS', and Linux builds have been used to demo very high-end graphics previously. Weren't the original multi-screen Eyefinity demos actually running on Linux?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: bye bye phonecalls...

I actually got so sick of Android on my Nexus 4, waiting constantly for Ubuntu's promised image, that I've resurrected my Nokia N900 and started using that again. Which leaves my Nexus wide open for a bit of Linux hackery, I reckon!

TL;DR - Think I'll be joining you on the brickwagon.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Why not install Cygwin, then? http://cygwin.com/

It's not just the command line that makes Linux better for dev work, you know. There's a lot of tools that Cygwin can't run, GUI utilities that Windows doesn't have, and just straight-up better windowing systems. I'd rather work with KDE any day of the week, just because I can configure the crap out of it.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Windows 8 is still faster for gaming:

I'd expect it to stay faster for a little while yet, while the Linux driver optimisation comes up to scratch. That said, if the Linux drivers are at least capable of running compatible games without noticeable slowdown, there's no need for Windows any more.

Ever since the beta of Steam for Linux dropped, gaming has been my primary reason for upgrading distro, kernel and graphics driver. My machines tend to run AMD, and the AMD Linux drivers have previously lagged behind nVidia's. If an upgrade gets my Linux box to the point where I'm no longer rebooting for a round of Killing Floor, that's alright by me.

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BBC announces plans to spend your cash on digital goodies

Greg J Preece
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Re: On a similar note

They had huge penetration into schools and made a difference teaching kids how to program. I programmed I/O stuff on one in high school as late as 2001, and I own another unit myself. Wasn't that the point of the effort? To teach people?

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Greg J Preece
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Instead they will see people with British accents, entertaining them , whilst teaching them the values of friendship, helping others and politeness. They will be educated without realising it. All of which is absent from Nickelodeon, Disney Junior or, even worse, Tiny Pop.

I'm not entirely certain why British accents are required, but your post does imply a certain...bias towards the homelands?

And I believe Tiny Pop now has the new My Little Pony, which is in my opinion one of the finest, best written cartoons produced for children in quite some time. It is absolutely superb, and I'm pretty certain that a series subtitled "Friendship is Magic" covers all the bases of "friendship, helping others and politeness". But I'm sure you'll dismiss it because it's made in Vancouver.

If you don't like the BBC, that's your loss, you obviously enjoy trash TV of the lowest standard.

Well that's not snobbish or patronising at all.

Go live in America or Australia for while, watch the local stuff, and then realise what you're criticising actually produces some of the finest TV programmes available, anywhere.

As a British ex-pat currently hiding out in Canada, you're surprisingly ignorant. Sure, the US has some quite astonishing crap, as does the UK, and the BBC is more than capable of producing both quality and crap - see "Two Pints" or the state of the modern Panorama for examples of the latter. That said, shows like The Wire, Deadwood, The West Wing, and so on all come from our American friends, and are quite excellent.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: On a similar note

Extremely well?

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Firefox OS update adds performance, polish to Mozilla's webby mobes

Greg J Preece
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Man, I really need to get my hands on one of these! Mozzy, please encourage someone to make one with a physical keyboard. You could totally get away with it while the phones are still niche.

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Brits spend one in every 12 waking minutes online, say beancounters

Greg J Preece
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Re: Did I miss something

Actually, I did misread "waking" in the title and thought the numbers were very low...

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Two years after Steve Jobs' death, how's that new CEO working out?

Greg J Preece
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And yet my main reaction to this article was "holy shit, it's been two years since we lost Steve?"

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'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

Greg J Preece
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Re: I don't think it's fair...

Looking back, that kind of a silly comment. ;-) I was just responding to his earlier post. It's the designers' fault, of course.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I don't think it's fair...

It's not fair to mention a thing that happened? He was talking about the firefighters using correct methods at that point, and stating that the battery was hard to extinguish. I'm imagining that blazing petrol-powered cars are also a bastard to put out.

It's the car's fault that it burst into flames, firefighters' initial cockup or no.

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Half-Life 3: CONFIRMED?

Greg J Preece
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Re: Calling it now:

Why push for 120fps on a TV that can only manage 30fps (60fps interleaved)?

If 120fps is your peak, then your game is very unlikely to visibly lag when the more stressful sections come up. It's amused me for years to hear console manufacturers brag about maintaining a "solid 30fps" in their games.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I am both nervous and excited.

I can't imagine that SteamOS won't properly support kb/mouse input for gaming, or that you wouldn't get equivalent functionality installing Steam onto Ubuntu without ever leaving the office.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: HL3? What's the point?

No, Fallout is a FPS with some scripts.

-SNIP-

OK, well then while you're being a tabletop snob and bragging about your ability to roll dice, why don't you check out the earlier Fallout games, which are isometric, and undeniably RPGs. If you're just going to turn your nose up at what video games have to offer, then go back to the tabletop where we don't have to put up with you. Either way, no-one who actually knows thing 1 about video games is going to class Fallout as an FPS.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: HL was great, HL2 was

HL2 did the usual sequelitis thing. Make it 'dark'with some confused Eastern European oppressive regime thing.

Because the events of Black Mesa were such a ray of sunshine. That's the game with the alien mind-control invasion and the marine death squads, right?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: HL3? What's the point?

Fallout is a FPS

...........................................No it isn't. Also, it came out quite a while after HL2.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: HL3? What's the point?

If HL3 is like HL2 or the mini adventures, then what's the point? It's a long set sequence of shootemups.

You mean Half Life is *gasp* an FPS game? Who knew??

You can't turn right, you can't turn left, and it's practically an interactive movie, but your only dialogue is gun fire.

So it's an FPS game with a good story? You know, just because it's linear doesn't make it bad.

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Greg J Preece
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I've been saying for donkeys that HL3 is the obvious exclusive to pull people onto SteamBox (and possibly even Linux by extension - wouldn't that be interesting?). Remains to be seen how bold Valve decide to be with this.

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Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

Greg J Preece
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Re: Fork, fork. My kingdom for a fork

This coldly explains why there will never be a 'year of the Linux desktop'. There is endless reinvention of things that don't really need reinventing.

You know, you have a very appropriate name..

The reasons Canonical gave for developing Mir are fairly straightforward, and stated in the article. Perhaps you'd like to read it? X works just dandy on the desktop, but desktops are dwindling in market share, and X across devices is a ball-ache, hence Mir.

There will never be a "year of the Linux desktop" (a phrase I've honestly never heard actual Linux users give a shit about) because desktops are ten minutes away from not mattering to most folk.

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Windows Phone market share hits double digits in UK and France

Greg J Preece
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Re: Tribalism?

You think we're joining the gang because we hope it will make us more popular and better liked? Or that we believe that MS and Nokia really don't deserve to succeed in the light of crimes past?

So in your head downvoting anyone who likes a product simply because the company that made it were once dicks and you don't like them....isn't OTT? MS aren't my favourite company in the world, but I evaluate their products individually, almost like I'm a rational person. I'd much prefer it if Nokia had been allowed to continue their Maemo/MeeGo/Linux nuttery alongside Windows, because that line of phones was superb for me, but none of that makes Windows Phone a bad product, so I'm not going to say that it is.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Here we go again

The rest of the day, many more phones on display in larger places. Still didn't see that flash of bright plastic. Still haven't seen one anywhere but TV and the web.

You know you can get them in plain black, right? Mine is.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Doing well?

So let me get this right. In the market where it has the best showing, it has just under 10% market share. Therefore in other markets it has a lot less, so overall it's share is less than 10%. This is good?

Are you under the impression that market domination is the only way to be successful?

Ah, why bother? I'd only be arguing with a brick wall. Looking at the number of downvotes I got for saying "Windows Phone is actually alright", the tribalism in the commentard section only ever increases...

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Greg J Preece
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Glad to hear it's doing well. Competition in the space is always a good thing, and Windows Phone is very usable, especially for smartphone newcomers. Never mind that, like its desktop compatriot, Windows Phone is bloody fast.

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Windows 8 fans out-enthuse Apple fanbois

Greg J Preece
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Re: Don't believe it has fanboys

I do not believe anyone likes Windows 8, or more specifically the Metro crap.

*Wave*

On certain devices (not necessarily desktops) Metro is great. You need to get over that.

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Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Greg J Preece
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This just seems like a backward step as a consumer. Ever since I started buying smartphones 10 years ago, one of the things I've loved about them is their ability to go anywhere, do anything - surely that's the point?

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Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers

Greg J Preece
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Re: Steam DRM luv?

Steam doesn't require DRM, genius.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: OpenGL is now reportedly faster than DirectX

As long as they are not fake improvements. Seen companies "manage" and "massage" figures and systems to give the desired, though not practical, results.

Valve have no interest in doing that, far as I can see. Why piss off your majority Windows base? They did the port of L4D2, optimised it, and it turned out to be 15% faster on Linux.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: wtf is my cs go

Great Steam but first how about releasing some of your own titles on Linux first like frigging CS GO.

Come on now, that "some of" is unfair and you know it. So far, on my Steam Linux client, I have:

Counterstrike

Counterstrike: Source

Day of Defeat

Half Life

Half Life: Blue Shift

Half Life: Opposing Force

Half Life 2

Half Life 2: Deathmatch

Half Life 2: Lost Coast

Half Life 2: Episode 1

Half Life 2: Episode 2

Left 4 Dead 2 (The latest port/current beta project)

Ricochet

Team Fortress Classic

Team Fortress 2

Are you really going to sit there and tell me they're not putting the effort in?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: In addition to Steam it's also Linux

Personally I use Windows where appropriate and non-Ubuntu flavours of Linux where appropriate. No need for the raving extreme fanboism.

I use non-Unity flavours of Ubuntu. All of the benefits, none of the crap.

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Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Greg J Preece
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Re: Happy Windows 8 user here

The usual commentard herd mentality, I see. Downvoted simply for preferring something. OK, whatever rocks your cocks.

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Greg J Preece
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People like you are pathetic. I have loads of tech friends and none of them (none of them) would even consider using LINUX in any real capacity.

Programmer over here, real name included. I use Linux every single day for the vast majority of that day. I'm typing from Kubuntu right now. Wouldn't use anything else for my work, and especially not Windows (unless you don't consider working a "real capacity"). I do have Windows on here - Windows 8 in fact - but that's for other uses.

I like the way you put "none of them" in brackets a second time, like on a lyric sheet. Is that an instruction for your backing singers?

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Greg J Preece
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Happy Windows 8 user here

Even happier that my upgrade to 8.1 will be free. Metro? Barely see it, doesn't bother me. When I'm in Windows it's because there's something there that the Kubuntu installation can't do, and the upgrades in 8 over 7 are worth it for me.

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Deep inside the iPhone 5s lurk a few surprises

Greg J Preece
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Re: Samsung processor

Yeah, that's probably why Apple are being aggressive patent trolls, to give Samsung free advertising. That, and in an attempt to legally injunct sales of Samsung phone in the USA...but probably more to give them 'free' (as in expensive international lawyer time) advertising, sure.

I don't think he implied that it was intentional on Apple's part...

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Meet the Unmagnificent Seven: The critical holes plugged in Firefox update

Greg J Preece
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Re: Try and not to be so negative ..

Been meaning to play with WebRTC, and now it's in Firefox I think I might!

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Bill Gates again world's richest, tops in US for 20th straight year

Greg J Preece
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I'm sensing a lot of butthurt over the notion that wealthy people in capitalist nations might be regarded as successful, rather than scumbags.

FTR, not exactly wealthy myself, but I see that as one more challenge among many, not a perpetual state.

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Greg J Preece
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If the old saw, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" * comes to mind as you read this, your observation is well substantiated by Forbes' survey.

Apart from the second part of it, of course, which isn't substantiated at all.

Congrats to those who mastered the system the rest of us set up. I aspire to your position, rather than merely envy it over a pint glass.

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Apple to uncloak new iPads, iMacs at October 15 event?

Greg J Preece
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Change processor architectures again? Aren't there still Mac fans out there pissed off about the move to Intel? That's not that long since.

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LOHAN doomsday box dubbed BRASTRAP

Greg J Preece
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Re: My only worry...

My concern is centred on the well known inability of the male of the species to actually undo the average brastrap.

Speak for yourself, I had that down to a fine one-handed art by the time I got to college. :-p

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

Greg J Preece
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Something about that picture makes me think of Ghostbusters.

For the next photo shoot boys, stand the short one on a box, get his hair cut, and look serious.

Does he not look a bit like Elliot Gould did in Friends?

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