Feeds

* Posts by Greg J Preece

2297 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Fanboi Mania - difficult to understand, from either camp

I, personally, find it a little bit off-putting knowing that I currently possess the 1st, 2nd or 3rd best selling phone on the market. Kind of makes me feel like a brainless sheep.....

Ah, so you're a hipster. :-p

I get your point though, and I do agree. I always buy whatever hardware I think is best, and sod the brand. If some fanboy then wants to tell me why I'm wrong, I can justify the purchase with something demonstrable, rather than just saying "nu uh, mine's cooler."

Sure, my current phone is Android, but I bought that one because it's supposed to be getting Ubuntu....at some point. And I really wanted an evolved N900, but keyboards and a low-level OS are apparently now illegal or something. Buy whatever you think is best for you.

That said, if you then turn around as a fanboy and say extremely stupid things to me (like the person last night who tried to tell me that smartphones didn't exist before the iPhone), then I'm going to call you on your crap. ;-)

1
0

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

The line that impressed me most was the one regarding lack of heat buildup. My recent Nexus 4 purchase has underwhelmed me, if I'm honest, and I still regard my S3 as the better phone. One of the Nexus' party tricks is heating up to surprising levels from just about any screen usage longer than a few minutes. It's just not on. That the reviewer was able to game for a considerable time without heat is impressive.

0
0

Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: No second-hand games

Why? Virtually every console game released now has a "this game requires 4 fuckloads of hard drive storage" message on the back or similiar, and then you get the inevitable stream of patches that take the beta-level shit you've bought and plug some showstopping bugs.

Errr, which console are you playing on? In my entire time with a PS3 I think I've installed what, 2 games?

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

I watched the livestream, and the presentation was awful. A bunch of suits spouting corporate bullshit and desperately trying to engage with "da yoof" by constantly name-dropping things they'd heard of.

"You can see here I've been listening to some Deadmau5."

"I like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones."

Etc, etc. Patronising arses.

First they talked about TV, and all the ways to watch TV, etc, etc. They seemed to have some kind of obsession with sports and Then they rabbited on about the hardware. Finally, after half an hour they decided to talk games, and what was the first thing they did? They announced a partnership with EA! Of all the people you bring to a product launch, you bring the most hated company in America??

EA announced more EA sports titles, and we were all supposed to care. Microsoft talked Forza, Halo, Call of Duty, and I nearly fell asleep. CoD looked excellent on a technical level, but then CoD is always excellent in some respect. The storyline looked like bollocks though.

Here's a thing to ask yourself: Was there a single second of actual gameplay footage anywhere in that 90 minute presentation? Anywhere? Call of Duty came bloody close, and I thought for a second I actually saw some, then I realised there was no HUD. Every single thing relating to games was pre-rendered, and I'm certain that the stuff on the big screen was simulated, even the Skype call (seriously, you didn't notice the perfect timing and scripted lines?). We haven't seen this thing in action, at all.

It was a bloody disgrace. The machine looks OK as a set top box, but as a console I saw no reason to buy it when the PS4 presentation did a far better job of positioning the machine as a games machine, which it is. The PS4 presentation basically went through a list of every single one of the PS3's flaws and said how they would be fixed, which is how you bloody do it! The Microsoft guys were almost embarrassed to admit it was a games machine.

8
7
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: No second-hand games

Details are still hazy on this. Microsoft say it doesn't need an always-on connection, but it does need a connection, which I presume is for activating products against your account. Also, all games apparently have to be installed when you buy them, which could really piss people off.

6
1

Gay marriage? We'll put a stop to that 'human BUG', says Nintendo

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Sims games should be assumed to be for innocents

Gay people living together isn't marriage. Never has been.

There's no reason to deprive them of legal privileges, but it isn't marriage.

.....Because?

Sorry, bald assertions carry absolutely no weight with me.

1
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Same Sex Marrage

In a letter delivered to Downing Street, 34 past and present local Conservative Party chairmen urged the PM to drop the same-sex marriage bill."

So...no MPs then? And "past and present" implies that a number of these people have retired, and aren't even active in politics.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Same Sex Marrage

I see what you did there, and you can have an upvote for it.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Sims games should be assumed to be for innocents

Sims games should be assumed to be for innocents, so why is this bad press?

So straight marriage is cute and innocent, and we can shoehorn wedding plotlines into every little girl's show ever, but gay marriage is some big dark evil we should shield children from the knowledge of?

Get fucked.

21
3

It! Started! With! A! GIF!... Yahoo! Actually! Buys! Tumblr! for! $1bn!

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

The minute you said "empower creators", you fucked it up. No-one in the real world talks like that. It's corporate horseshit.

3
0

Nvidia opens pre-orders for handheld Shield console three days early

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: article should mention battery life

I have to admit, if that's even remotely accurate, it's bloody impressive.

3
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

The games on the Android store are improving (mainly because of indie PC ports to the system rather than mobile games improving as a genre), but they're still not as good as a traditional mobile lineup for me. I really do like the design of this thing (though I'm not sure about the positioning of those analogs), but I can't justify spending way more I would on a Vita on something that only plays Android games.

1
0

Android device? Ooohhhh, you mean a Samsung phone

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

They produce great hardware relatively cheap. That's at least why I sometimes buy Samsung. Nothing less nothing more.

The one company I tend to go for because of their hardware is, weirdly (or maybe not), Sony. Their software sucks bricks, but the hardware is usually top notch stuff. From my Playstations to my e-reader to my MP3 players of yesteryear, they've almost always proven to be excellent on a hardware front, with software that comes nowhere near the same quality.

With the exception of the XMB. I like that thing! Yes, I am aware I am the only person in the universe who does.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Design?

Sure, the games move you - but what you *feel* is the controller...and if the controller feels right it will help your immersion.

I can see where you're coming from better here. For me, the perfect feel for a controller is none at all. If it's well designed and laid out, it should become instinctive, invisible. When I play an FPS with mouse and keyboard, these days it's instinct. The control set works well enough that I simply *think* to look to the right, and the process inbetween is (at the time) seamless.

It's the same with a mobile device, or a computer, or any other electronics I use. It should provide a good base set of tools, a solid set of hardware, and then get the hell out of the way. My love of the N900 wasn't based on it being slick (though it was, in its own way), but more on the sheer brilliance of the available toolset that let me get on and do really cool things with minimum effort.

We're probably coming at the same thing from different angles, but with me devices are 100% about functionality. Looks, feel, and "soul" come waaaaay down the list. ;-)

1
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

For Apple, Samsung and everyone else, the sales figures bear no relation whatsoever to the quality of the actual device. It's the boom and bust cycle of an industry that's come to be dominated by fashion rather than actual technology or usefulness. It's faddish, shallow trendiness and nothing more or less.

3
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Design?

they are crammed full of the nicest things but they do not move or involve me at all. Soulless.

......What?

You need to be moved by a phone now? They need to be anthropomorphic? It's a device! It's supposed to provide you with the best hardware possible, and the content you visit through it is supposed to affect you. My Playstation doesn't "move" me*, but the games I play on it might.

*See what I did there, eh, eh, eh?

13
0

Google platform cloud now takes PHP apps

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Seriously, PHP?

Ah, yes, Python. That infuriating language they taught me in University, where I had to import a module just to get proper error messages. Web development in it was so joyful, and yet when I left Uni, it was my PHP knowledge that actually got me a job.

Funny, that.

6
0

Apple: ebook price fixing? Nooo, nothing to do with us, no siree

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Although they've made the argument that stopping Amazon's climb to a potential monopoly is good for competition

Conveniently ignoring iTunes, I'm assuming.

6
0

Firefox 21 ships with performance-profiling Health Report

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Then turn it off?

At least they're being up-front about it, unlike some Chocolate-flavoured browsers. You can easily turn it off, and how many apps that phone home have a big option for you to view the data being sent back?

16
1

Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Actually, I agree. I have two Android phones (because one of them is waiting for Ubuntu Phone to be ready) and a Windows Phone 7 one, and I will freely admit that the UI on Windows is the best by light years. Honestly, I just don't get why people give the new Windows Phone so much shit. Functionally the original wasn't up to scratch, but if you recall, at a functional level the original iPhone was straight-up retarded. You can slate Metro on a laptop all you like and I'll likely agree, but Windows Phone is crazy fast, great looking and easy to use.

2
2
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Yep, I agree

I have both a Nexus 4 and a Galaxy S3, and if I'm honest, I prefer the S3. The battery lasts longer, it's not slower to any amount that matters, I can open the back of the bloody thing, it has an SD card slot, they both run Android 4, and the screen on the S3 is gorgeous. Plus, the Samsung meddling on the S3 is fairly minimal really.

2
1

'Hotmail, since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive pr**k'

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Hotmail veteran

There's an Outlook app for Android now, and I've got to be honest, it works way better than the old Hotmail one. For example, swiping left for the folder list and clicking it is much simpler than the old menu > folder list > add folder to sync bollocks that plagued the old app.

1
2

'Quantum network? We've had one for years,' says Los Alamos

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

It's not a perfect system. While it's relatively scalable within a locale, the hub and spoke system has inherent disadvantages on very large scales, and the authors acknowledge that if the hub is compromised in any way, the messages are insecure.

So I imagine it's also a bit insecure if the hub were managed by, say, a government authority?

2
0

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: forced obsolescence, Apple douchebaggery

And what does that have to do with how easy its is to sell a used Mac? You nevre addressed All you did was tell us how you do real work and how special a snowflake you are.

Given that you can't even spell "Greg", I'm going to assume you can't bloody read either. It isn't about how hard it is to sell a Mac; it's about having to sell the Mac in the first place to get the latest OS when it's an artificial lockout by Apple, and how saying that they hold their value better is weak fanboy justification for that.

I need the latest Mac OS X, regrettably, for work. I can't be ditching my machine and getting a new one every time Apple feel like forcing me to do so. My "real work" point was to illustrate that I can't use the consumer-oriented methods of moving across, and I shouldn't have to either. The Windows OS you deride so easily doesn't make me do this, and neither does Linux.

Would you like that in crayon?

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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?

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
1
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge
Flame

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?

7
3
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

5
4
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

5
6
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

21
2

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

You think Yorkshire is rural any more?

You're from London, aren't you?

1
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Sometimes I wonder if "progress", really is.

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

0
1

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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

0
0

Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

1
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: Love it...

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

Um.....yes?

16
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

22
1

Opera sues designer for leaking trade secrets to Mozilla

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

8
2

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

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

0
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

2
1
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

3
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

@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.

5
0
Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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?

0
0

Kindlevision? Amazon reportedly developing set-top tellybox

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

Greg J Preece
Silver badge

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. ;-)

3
0