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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2272 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple's next OS X said to be targeted at 'power users'

Greg J Preece
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Re: forced obsolescence, Apple douchebaggery

Macbook Airs from 2008 are going for around £3-400 on Ebay. That's almost halfway to a new Macbook Air. I know because I just sold one - and there's others going for a similar price.

Except that those original 2008 Macbook Airs sold for thick end of twice the price of the current 11 inch baby ones. Nice try at twisting the numbers, there. What was that about recouping half the cost again? Can you hear me through the reality distortion bubble?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: forced obsolescence, Apple douchebaggery

How is that hassle? selling your house is hassle, selling a computer isn't.

Twit.

I know you're an Apple user, but some of us actually do stuff with our machines. I'm a programmer. My machine triple boots, and there's a development environment in each. I've got an extensive number of programs, configurations, customisations and such going on to make that machine usable for what I do. Do you have any notion of how long it takes me to fully set up a new machine? It is not the half hour some people in here are claiming.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: People moaning about the cost of Apple hardware

People moan about the price of Apple desktop hardware but like anything if you look after it it will last you and provide years of service. You might well call me a mug for buying expensive Apple kit but I'm not on the upgrade treadmill, my boxes get used until they finally die a natural death after long and productive lives

YMMV, naturally. My custom-built desktop lasted me 7 years, and even then it didn't die - I was forced to get rid of what was still a fast, excellent machine. At work, the highest rates of failure/return that we experience come from Apple devices. I'm dead serious! I wouldn't have thought it either, but we've got two hard drive failures, a broken screen, two dead iPhones (plus two smashed ones), and a Macbook that I kept alive for six months through sheer force of will.

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Greg J Preece
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In my opinion, Dolphin is the best file manager I've used. It's got pretty comprehensive functionality and can be extended/customised to suit (much like the rest of KDE), but if you're a basic user then its standard LAF is easy to grasp. Behaviour is consistent and logical, as are the shortcut keys used to access additional functionality. I'm so used to having all that functionality available that when I use a different (read: inferior) OS like Windows or Mac OS, I get really frustrated at how the companies making them bolt on new whizzy visuals with every release, but never pay any attention to the basic tools that make the system usable.

And of those inferior file managers, Finder is easily the worst. I despise it, and yet it forms the basic file manager of a system that your average punter considers to be the most usable. Probably because marketing bods said so. It's like every time I saw that "world's most advanced smartphone" tag next to the older iPhones. Just because the advert claims that, does not make it so.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Could really poke a finger in Microsoft's eye...

Whoops, did I not follow the established "Windows 8 is shit, no exceptions" narrative? Or did I just piss off a few fanbois?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Could really poke a finger in Microsoft's eye...

Judging by my own experience and that of everyone I know who has tried, Win 8 is not for the heavy duty content creator, worker, programmer, etc.

Putting aside that I generally use Linux for all my programming, coding on Windows 8 is no harder than it was on 7.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: forced obsolescence, Apple douchebaggery

It's pretty cost effective to upgrade a Mac by selling it and buying a new one. Unlike the market for used PCs, the market for used Macs is pretty active. It's not uncommon for people to pay half retail for a Mac that's 4-5 years old. I've done this several times.

It's OK that Apple force you to buy unnecessary new hardware, because that hardware isn't quite as exorbitantly expensive if you manage to sell your existing hardware after you've forked out for the new one?

And unlike other OSs, it's stupid easy to transfer your stuff from one Mac to the other. Just clone your drive to an external one or whatever, point a fresh copy of OS X at it, and after about half an hour you won't be able to tell the difference between your new Mac and the old one.

Oh sweet! So it'll transfer my development environment, and my servers, and my VMs, and my Kubuntu partition, and my Windows one?

No? Then perhaps upgrades are a better idea.

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Greg J Preece
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Holy crap, are they actually going to improve the core functionality of OSX, rather than adding on more and more iOS gimmicks? The next version might actually be worth the upgrade price!

Just adding tabs isn't enough for Finder, though. That just gives you two panels of the worst base file manager of any operating system. And yes, OSX users, I am including Windows Explorer.

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Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know

Greg J Preece
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Re: Um....duh....

<html> tags? Bloody luxury! I'd take a look at the source code for that page. It's not even as advanced as that.

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Greg J Preece
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You think Yorkshire is rural any more?

You're from London, aren't you?

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Greg J Preece
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Sometimes I wonder if "progress", really is.

Sometimes I get irritated when people get all wistful about the "good old days"...

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Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

Greg J Preece
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Perhaps it didn't sell so well because the developer was so obnoxious?

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Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

Greg J Preece
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Re: Exactly WHO do used game sales benefit?

You buy a MP game, it takes up server space, the previous owner also takes up server space, this costs the game publisher.

Exactly how does a person who no longer owns the game "take up space"? They're not going to be using bandwith, CPU resources, etc because they no longer have the game. You're not seriously referring to their profile/account, are you? Are you?? Because that's on the order of kilobytes, and isn't even necessary in the first place unless you're the kind of arse that requires accounts for constant online validation.

Did I have an account when I played the first Tribes game? Did I bollocks.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Love it...

Now I'm not suggesting that used game sales are stopped, it's saved me a few quid over the years, but I'm not blind to the fact that used game sales hurt the devs that MAKE THE BLOODY GAMES.

No, they don't. Pop quiz: if developers can't survive in a market that allows you to re-sell something you bought, how the hell did they ever get to the point where EA and the like could start demanding this of people?

The truth, as anyone who has been within ten miles of a shop like CeX, Game or Gamestop knows, is that used game sales directly benefit the games industry. The young 'uns can't afford the 50, 60, 70 quid a time publishers are apparently now going to be demanding with the new generation of consoles, and trading in their previously played games is the only way they can possibly buy the new ones.

Why the hell is that so hard to grasp? These are not a minority of purchasers. Everyone lampoons the teenage shooter demographic, but Call of Duty is still the biggest game release of the year, every year, by miles. Do you really think that all the young lads who boosted the CoD player count to over 7 million could have afforded the asking price without a trade-in? Don't make me laugh.

And then there's the notion of the cheap introduction. Want someone to get into your ongoing series? Perhaps letting them try the previous game out at a lower price point isn't a bad idea, eh? I discovered some of my favourite games and developers by taking a punt on a cheap game. Sucker Punch, Valve, SCE Santa Monica, etc have all made tons of money from me because I bought the first game in a series for dirt, then proceeded to buy every other game at release.

And the publishers know that one works; every time a new expansion or sequel is about to be released, the base game is put on sale for the preceeding week or two. Kindle do the same thing with eBooks, often putting the first book in a series at a massively reduced price point. Allowing people into a series at a cheap price directly benefits sales of the series, and the second hand market has been doing that well for years.

As for Steam, it's not loved for being DRM. People don't mind using it because it adds value. Compared to similar clients, Steam adds a much more useful, less invasive toolset. Rather than concentrating on constantly validating your worthiness to play, and locking everything down, Steam throws useful kit at the end user and actively encourages PC players to mod the shit out of everything in sight. It's still a refreshing change from the other big publishers.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Love it...

Can you blame them for looking at ways to cut down on used game sales?

Um.....yes?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

How about people who can't get a persistent net connection, dipshit? And my Nexus 4 isn't always-on either. There's a big big big big big button that turns off the mobile data, and get this - when I press it, the phone continues to function as a phone! I can even still play games on it! Weird, that.

How about you outline the benefits to me of an always-monitored* console?

*This is the correct moniker, not "always on". Always monitored, all the time. If we can't keep tabs on you, you're a criminal, get out.

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Opera sues designer for leaking trade secrets to Mozilla

Greg J Preece
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So these are ideas that he punted, Opera rejected, and then years later Mozilla accepted? And these are somehow Opera "trade secrets", despite them rejecting the ideas as useful?

Arseholes.

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PEAK iPHONE? Apple mobe growth slumps to ‘lowest in its history’

Greg J Preece
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Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

You didn't read my post properly. You need to read my post properly.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

Ha. With deliciously twisted logic great customer service gets transformed into a cynical ploy to reduce workload by getting rid of any customers with a complaint as quickly as possible.

If you're the kind of person that does so little with their smartphone that simply throwing your existing one away and getting a new one is "great customer service", you might be missing the point. (Or you might just be an iPhone user.)

Laptop got an issue? Just throw it away, get a brand new one! That's the responsible thing to do! You won't have to spend days setting everything up again, will you? No chance at all of data loss, ho no. And when the manufacturer reconditions the machine they just took off you, you can totally trust them with the hard drive, right?

Yeah....there' a reason why when I ask for something to be fixed, I want it fixed. And that's to say nothing of the potential environmental repercussions of simply chucking stuff out. A place I know threw out two projectors this week because they were "broken." It took a multimeter, a soldering iron and ten minutes to give us two working projectors.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

Next-day replacement on ours. Apple simply throw new phones at anyone with the slightest issue to get them to go away. Makes it really easy for fanboys I've known to claim that they've never had a hardware fault - they've never seen Apple admit to one.

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Greg J Preece
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@RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

There's fanboying, and then there's that post. Samsung are the devil, their phones always break, there's a blogger conspiracy, etc, etc.

Knock it off.

I don't even like Android that much (I prefer it to iOS, but then I'd prefer a chainsaw in the shins to iOS), and I can tell you that the S3 is an excellent feature phone. I thought when I got it through work that I'd end up preferring my previous S2, and after quite a lot of time using it.....nope. In fact, I'd say it's better than my Nexus 4, specs be damned. The screen is gorgeous, the system is nippy, the battery life is surprisingly decent.

As a smartphone, they all suck, and I'd rather have an N950 if I could find someone to steal one from, but as a featurephone the S3 kicks ten bells out of anything Apple branded.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: 1/3 of their market value as cash

It's very easy to forget what was arguably the most revolutionary feature of the (original) iPhone - the data tariff.

Errr, excuse me, but o'er in Europe I was using Web and Walk long before the iPhone debuted. The original W&W was exactly that - unlimited data on all ports.

Then "smartphones" started to pick up, killed off all the real smartphones, and T-Mobile shat themselves. Bye bye unlimited data.

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Peak txt: 1.5 BEELLLION more chat app msgs sent than SMSes a day

Greg J Preece
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So what about RCS?

Or Joyn, or whatever you want to call it. From what I understand, it's now in public trials on the continent, and even networks in the US are finally cottoning on and getting set up for it. It's not as advanced as any single IM network you could point to, but it does all the important stuff, and at a firmware level. Could it claw back that market share for the networks?

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Kindlevision? Amazon reportedly developing set-top tellybox

Greg J Preece
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They launched Amazon Prime here in the land of the Canucks and you still can't get bloody Instant Video, so don't hold out hope of it arriving in the UK any time soon. When it comes to making their content available, there's a hell of a lot of studios who apparently don't want to sell to anyone outside the US border.

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Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Greg J Preece
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Re: sob. sob.

Still has Unity... Oh for the love of a box that says 'click this and you never have to use, need or look at Unity.' (and all the privacy stuff, and anything to do with online searches) and I might care about ubuntu 13.

You've never heard of Kubuntu? That's what I'm running Steam on. ;-)

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jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

Greg J Preece
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At least they're keeping both branches. By having 2.0 available now, they're getting a jump-start on a future state of the web, and they can develop with that in mind. Of course, I have to support the older IE versions in my work projects, so I'm hoping they keep that branch for at least three years yet.

In my personal projects, though...

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British bookworms deem Amazon 'evil'

Greg J Preece
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Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I bought a Sony reader, jailbroke it, then installed the Kindle app. Best of both worlds.

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Brussels clears Liberty Global's £15bn Virgin Media takeover

Greg J Preece
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Re: Hopeless Dopes

"Fibre broadband"? No - the same old ratty coax cable that was installed as cheaply as possible in the 1960s.

"Unlimited Internet"? No - traffic shaped, DNS-restricted, download limited, and never as fast as they claim.

"High reliability"? No - average time to restore lost service measured in weeks, not minutes.

"Low Cost" No - slightly cheaper in some ways than Sky, but you get less than half the service.

Yup, and while BT are better at some of that list, they're as bad or worse in others. Isn't UK broadband awesome? Virgin brought in many of the traffic rules after their buyout - perhaps after another buyout that will be re-evaluated.

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Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

Greg J Preece
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Oh well, guess I'll stick with the old Civ, uh, whatever number I have.

I can confirm that not only is Civ 5 a better game, but you can play it offline to your heart's content. I recently did exactly that on a ten hour plane flight.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: > steam sale type prices (Always Online Required)

erm, actually the latest info says that it is similar to this generation with the Xbox Next having a moderate graphical advantage over the PS4, just like the Xbox 360 does over the PS3.

Not sure where you're getting that nonsense from. The 360 is markedly less powerful than the PS3. Developers like Sucker Punch have even apologised to 360 fans that their games won't be ported to the X-box, because it can't cope.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Been that way for a while. .

Whatever happened to getting things right the first time?

What, you don't want security updates? Fine, don't get them. Enjoy your infected system.

Go download an Ubuntu ISO and install it somewhere. I guarantee at least 250MB of updates immediately, even though Ubuntu periodically update the install ISOs. Mac OS X updates are *huge*, and download at a bloody crawl from Apple's rubbish servers.

Software gets patched. This has always been the case. Get over it. (Seriously, why are people on an IT site downvoting me for the bloody obvious?)

What is your suggested alternative? Not ship the patches? Destroy a massive number of shipped DVDs every time the smallest update comes out and replace all of them?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Been that way for a while. .

How can a new Windows 8 PC need to download nearly 600MB of updates when its first booted up....

It needs explaining again that the DVD you're installing from, or the PC you're starting, wasn't set up last week....?

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Greg J Preece
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If the next X-box is online-only, Microsoft may well have shot themselves in the balls. From what has been previously announced, the PS4 is not, and the Wii U sure as hell isn't.

Gamers see always-on connections as nannying, as the company watching over your shoulder to make sure you're being a good boy, and that's probably because that's exactly what they are. They're also a system of planned obsolescence, as the game can't live without the service, and they're a way of taking more and more private information from the end users, to be sold and used for more and more invasive advertising.

In short, online-only can continue to fuck off, and if the next MS console is online-only, a great many of their fans may say the same. It is far more likely to boost sales of the PS4 than the console it's designed for.

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'You can keep it' - Brit's nicked laptop turns up on Iranians' sofa

Greg J Preece
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Re: Clowns

It is a bit odd - while El Reg has its fair share of idiots, I've never seen anything as bad as the ignorance displayed in some of these comments by quite a wide margin.

It's British people talking about potentially dodgy action taken by people who are a) foreign and b) of the type that might be described by our prince as "a bit dusky". What reaction were you expecting from Britain, exactly?

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Dell shareholder: 'Rush' is because Michael D wants to buy

Greg J Preece
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Got in before me. Just imagine a polite golf clap from me.

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Greg J Preece
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Re: Astonishing and nice!

We have to have it done by 2063. Someone with the right surname needs to get busy and make sure there's a lad called Zefram around at the right time.

Hey, hey, we can do without World War III, thank you very much.

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Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

Greg J Preece
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which usability expert Jakob Nielsen once described as "simply evil."

How odd! I think I've used that exact phrase to describe Jakob Nielsen before.

Though I will admit, blinking text is pointless unless you're doing some kind of in-browser animation/game/something like that.

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Greg J Preece
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.........................................You're not serious, are you?

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Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Greg J Preece
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an operating system that was, at the time of its release was, fast and stable thanks to its roots in Windows NT

Rose-tinted glasses? When XP came out, I remember it crashing all the time, and the hardware available then being generally underpowered for the system. I ditched 2000 and went to XP around the time XP SP2 came out. The hardware available had improved (though mine was actually OK anyway), and the stability, networking, USB support, etc were much better, giving me far greater incentive to nuke Win2k. From XP I moved to XP64, which was, IMO, a belting operating system for the time. It was exceedingly fast and stable for me, and fortunately I was able to get drivers for all my hardware.

People only think XP is great now because it's had a decade of patches to make it stable, and the hardware has improved to the point where XP will run blisteringly fast. Compared to a modern system, though, it does feel very outdated at this point.

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German ransomware threatens with sick kiddie smut

Greg J Preece
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Re: Very dangerous indeed

Actually, the real danger is from the UK's hysterical attitude to child protection. Simply by viewing the images, you are immediately made into a criminal worthy of registration on the sex offenders register. I doubt whether you wanted to view them or not makes much of a difference, given previous idiocy.

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Disney shutters Star Wars game unit with 200 layoffs

Greg J Preece
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Re: Shame...

Shame that games these days demand split-second timing, loud irritating "music" and minimal puzzle-solving. The imagination needed to create DOTT, Sam n Max etc is sorely missed.

I want you to look up a company called Telltale Games.

And as others have said, just because Call of Duty and Halo make a lot of noise, doesn't for a second mean they're all there is out there.

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Firefox: Use new stealth window to satisfy your wife, suggests Mozilla

Greg J Preece
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Re: Really?

It's not the sort of thing you realise if you only tried Opera once back in the days of it being pay-for or having an advert banner, and even then some features we had back then have only been replicated relatively recently

This is going to astonish you, but it's possible to have used Opera and still not prefer it. No, really. No, honestly, I swear this is a thing.

Not every feature in Firefox/Chome/whatever is in Opera, and not every feature that they share is done better in Opera.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Really?

How hard is it to remember Ctrl + J for Windows and Cmd + J for Mac? I don't use it under Linux, but I can't imagine the shortcut is very different, if at all.

On Linux, it's CTRL+SHIFT+Y. You were saying?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Really?

While I was waiting for the inevitable Opera fanboys, yes, it was a rather annoying side effect of Firefox's private browsing - it placed all your current tabs in the background and made a new private session. When you exited, your previous tabs popped back into place. It worked, but it was kinda irritating that you couldn't have both. Nice that they've gotten around to sorting it.

A new download manager sounds excellent, too. Why on earth they decided to have the old one as a popup window (that liked to play disappearing games and hide under a different shortcut on every platform) is beyond me. Perhaps once it drops into the Ubuntu repositories I can uninstall the Download In Tabs add-on I've been using for years.

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Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Greg J Preece
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Extremely sad to hear this. I read The Wasp Factory years ago and was drawn into his work. A very talented writer, but let's not write his eulogy while he's still kicking. Good luck to you, Iain.

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Egyptian navy captures divers trying to cut undersea internet cables

Greg J Preece
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Meh

Re: The mystery of the mysterious operatives

The don't seem to have the facial hair of religious zealots.

........

...By jove, Sherlock, I think you've cracked it!

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Not got 4G? There's a reason we aren't called 'Four', sniffs Three

Greg J Preece
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Re: 4G - what is the point...

(seeing all the withdrawal symptoms on a flight LFR->LAX recently makes me believe that a whole generation of young people are totally addicted to instant communication/gratification. The OMG, no one has liked me in what 20 minutes, I'm a complete failure.)

You again? Oh no, are all those horrid young people still offending you with their desire to use technology rather than sit and stare at the back of the seat in front?

I was recently on a flight from Heathrow to Vancouver, and given that I was in a small seat for ten hours with moaning sods like you running like scared children from my deadly, vicious, killer...sleeping cat (not a euphemism), I was very glad to have my laptop and an X-box controller with me.

My thinking went something like this:

"Hmmm....I could be a boring fuck and stare sullenly at this boring person's boring head... There's only so many hours I can code in one stretch.... I could play Blur on the laptop? Hey, look at that, the guy next to me has a controller too! TWO PLAYER! Man, am I glad I'm not a miserable old shit who'd give up making friends and enjoying himself for the sake of being a smug elitist."

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BIGGEST DDoS ATTACK IN HISTORY hammers Spamhaus

Greg J Preece
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Re: But

How do you do that? Warping to hyperspace?

No, silly. You re-align the deflector dish*, vent plasma from the nacelles** and, if all else fails, dump the warp core.***

*Take a shot

**Take another one

***Down the bottle

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Greg J Preece
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I'd rather have the better written article than the one slapped together fastest. Why exactly is being first to break the story important? The Beeb had it up before El Reg, but their tech reporting is usually spectacularly inept.

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After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Greg J Preece
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Re: There's no need for press regulation per se

For example we learned that a transgender teacher killed herself 3 months after Richard Littlejohn ran an opinion piece in the Daily Mail basically describing how this person was "selfish" and not fit to teach or be anywhere near children.

As others have said, he should be allowed to be a shit-stain, and we should be allowed to call him such in response.

Depressingly, what gives his shit-stainery the power to hurt people is the legion of knuckle-dragging fuckwits who agree with him, not his stupid little column.

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