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* Posts by Greg J Preece

2286 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

Greg J Preece
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Re: What is the USP for this?

Native Linux on my phone gives me, as a nerd, a far greater set of options than Android does. Of all the jumped-up feature phones pretending to be smartphones, Android is the one I use, but for technical work it's as horrendous as the rest. Ubuntu, being native Linux, will give me the option of exposing that power. It'll be all prettiness up front, but if I want a bash terminal, I'm betting I can get one. For me, that's the USP - a smartphone that looks like the rest of the shitty modern "smartphones" on top, and actually is underneath.

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Greg J Preece
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Re: redundant string

eulampios.....are you the author of emacs?

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Mozilla to Apple: we don't care about iOS

Greg J Preece
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Re: kurt@delanoy.name

Sometimes, the wankers on this board lose sight of the forest through the trees.i

Well, thank you for that little pleasantry. You clearly missed the part of my post where Firefox is nice and fast for me.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: wtf ?

Hardly a fair comparison? Why?

iOS is a traditional operating system, and Safari runs on top of it. Gecko *could* run on it, but Apple won't let them.

B2G / Firefox OS is Firefox. The actual base of the OS you develop on is Gecko. Everything is rendered by it. It's like asking why you can't run Safari inside Firefox on the desktop.

So, yeah. That's why.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: kurt@delanoy.name

Hmmm, speaking of Opera as if it were Jesus. This sounds familiar.

When was the last time you used Firefox on Android? The beta? It's kinda-sorta completely different these days. Faster than the native browser on my devices.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: wtf ?

Did you ever read the article? Chrome isn't banned, it already has an iOS port. They just can't use V8, only JavaScriptCore. They already use Webkit anyways, so that's the same.

Firefox is also not banned, they just refuse to port because they want to use Gecko.

Oh I do apologise - theyre only banned from using their own rendering engine. Not a big deal at all, forcing them to be a deliberately slower re-skin of Safari. Nnnnnope. Nothing wrong with that. How could anyone cry foul?

And if you think all versions of Webkit are created equal, you're wrong.

By the way, I did know all that, but 'as far as I'm concerned Safari re-skins don't count as separate browsers, so the real, full-fat versions of Chrome and Firefox are indeed banned from iOS, no?

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Greg J Preece
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Just how advanced? We're glad you asked, because WebKit is so advanced even Google's market-leading Chrome uses it

I'd love to know what one has to do with the other. I can remember a not-particularly-advanced browser that had a stranglehold on the market.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: wtf ?

I reckon it's a little from column A, a little from column B, and some from column C, headed "no-one likes a fanboy smart-ass".

Safari works "fine". Firefox and Chrome would work better, so they're banned. If you're OK with that, enjoy your iOS device.

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En Garde! Villagers FIGHT OFF FRENCH INVASION MENACE

Greg J Preece
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Having recently moved to Vancouver, I joined Wind, an up-and-coming pre-paid network (your credit history lags behind you by months, so I could only go pre-paid). Problem is, because they're deploying their own infrastructure, they're currently metropolitan-only. Never mind leaving the country; I'm roaming if I leave the city!

So the first thing I did? I activated the roaming options in Android. Done! Now if I happen to accidentally pick up another network's signal out in the suburbs, my phone tells me immediately, and cuts off my data connection.

It's annoying, sure, but it's easy enough to be aware of it.

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Greg J Preece
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Re: Strange Days

While I thought the allegories for the '90s L.A. riots in that film got a bit paper-thin at times, it's still an excellent sci-fi, and I agree that it's massively underrated/underexposed.

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Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Greg J Preece
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Re: I read the book ...

These days a movie maker has to consider all the moral and political implications of every little thing, because otherwise some nitpicker somewhere will be offended and make a huge song and dance about it...

Yeah, wasn't it better back when films were dumb, and morals were nice black-and-white absolutes?

Spoilers: NO.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Hollywood

from badly digitally recreating Arnold in his prime

Aside from the claw hammer I'll be throwing at you for mentioning that film, I fixed your post for you. Same goes for Jeff Bridges.

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Greg J Preece
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Downvote away, fanboys. It won't change the reality that the Star Wars franchise hasn't put out anything worthwhile in a loooooooong time.

But then the franchise was always rather massively overrated...

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Greg J Preece
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Ah, the usual sloped foreheads in this comments section, eh?

And goddamn, this film sounds more and more like a disaster every time I hear about it.

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Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

Greg J Preece
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What, you think I bought this? It's a company laptop. You're right, I wouldn't have gotten a Mac otherwise.

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Greg J Preece
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Take away the context-switching torture feature, and Windows 8 is probably the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. The performance and storage improvements alone are worth the upgrade. But the UI is keeping punters away.

THIS

Under the silly UI (which on a Surface or phone works great), Win8 was worth the 15 quid I paid to stay up to date. It's bloody fast, and I mean bloody fast. On this tri-booting MacBook Pro it's easily the fastest operating system of the three, booting in seconds, and absolutely wipes the floor with Mac OS X (stick that in your tuned-to-the-hardware pipes, fanbois). The little enhancements lying around here and there also make it worthwhile, and it means I'll have the latest DirectX available.

So for me, this system continues to be:

Linux: Primary system, for work and getting shit done.

Windows: Secondary system, for games and media Linux can't handle (pretty rare these days).

Mac OS X: For when I have to, otherwise never booted.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: well hold on there pardner...

Or how you love the 24 inch monitor in 1920 x 1200 and the constant muse movements on my small mouse mat to be able to drag my stupid little mouse across MASSIVE tiles to get to the one I want because I don't have a touch screen... Or the fact I have dual screens and it takes TWICE as long.

You have a 24 inch monitor and no mouse wheel?

Metro for me is a glorified start menu, and with the keyboard support they added after its first appearance, I use it like I use every other menu these days. Hit the windows key, type a bit of what I want, hit return. It's what I did in 7 and it's what I do in Kubuntu. I see Metro for about a second, then it's gone again.

And to get to the control panel? I hit the charms menu and it's right there. That's way easier than it was in 7!

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Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

Greg J Preece
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Adjusted to account for Christmas, fine, but were they adjusted to account for the general upward trend in those markets anyway? As more people switch from physical to digital, what were the upward percentages in the months surrounding the shutdown?

As usual with the MPAA, I'm doubting this is the entire story. Likely cherry-picked to justify their heavy-handed tactics.

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Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

Greg J Preece
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May I point you to the success of GoG.com, and then ask you to STFU?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: All games with hype that require an internet connection.

Fail bad on the first day/week (WOW, D3, Guildwars 2, COD and prolly alot more...) The accountants should just follow this rule.

In defence of Guild Wars 2, they removed the game from sale while they set up more servers, in order to maintain quality of service for the customers who had already bought it. While it frustrated me slightly, I had to give them props for being honest and caring more about their paid customers than getting more sales in.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Online for single player is BS

On the Windows and Linux versions, I don't have my login saved, and it still boots to offline mode just fine if I don't have a connection. People tell me all about this necessary voodoo of logging in, booting a game once, etc, but it never seems necessary. I got on a ten hour flight the other week, and right before it I downloaded Civ 5 to my laptop. Never booted it, never fiddled with Steam at all. Got on the plane, started Steam in offline mode, played the game.

It just works. Ironically, unlike your Mac. :-p

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Stick with Civ 5?

Does Civ 5 work? Civ revolution marked the end of me as a EA customer, as the endgame was bugged to hell to the extent it ruined most games and despite releasing updates that updated *something* they never fixed that.

Revolution nearly cured me of my Civ addiction, the console-cuddling piece of shit. Civ 5, however, has reaffirmed it, and as far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with EA. Registers on Steam, has full integration with it, and works perfectly - it *can't* be an EA game.

Every EA game I've bought in recent years has had major bugs that have never been patched. Alice: Madness Returns illustrated their disgusting customer attitude perfectly for me. It had several game breaking bugs reported in chorus in their customer forums. Did they patch the game? No, they shut the forums!

Scumbags.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Why...

Downloaded Gatling Gears off Steam the other day. No Steam integration for achievements, no hub....hmm....I wonder who published this, then?

"Please log in to your EA account to continue."

Ah, that explains it. Wonder what happens if I put the licence key into Origin...

"Thank you for registering Gatling Gears! Your product is ready for download."

.........Fuck's sake.

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Greg J Preece
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Disgusting, abusive business practices from EA? No, surely not!

What amazes me is that people still bought the fucking thing, especially given the Diablo III saga last year. EA wants to sell you something you neither own nor control, and shut it down when they, not you, get bored of it. But they still want full price for the game, plus microtransactions.

I could rant all day about EA's horrible attitude toward its customer base, but I have stuff do so, so I'll be more succinct:

Fuck EA. Fuck them in the ear.

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Pwn2Own: IE10, Firefox, Chrome, Reader, Java hacks land $500k

Greg J Preece
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Forgot this was happening in Vancouver around now, or I'd have gone along. Oh well, next year.

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Greg J Preece
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So what you're saying is, so few people have bothered buying Chromebooks that no-one had one to practice on?

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Mark Shuttleworth: Canonical leads Ubuntu, not 'your whims'

Greg J Preece
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Why throw it out if you like the underpinnings? Just install KDE/Gnome/whatever and carry on.

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Greg J Preece
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I'm in two minds on this one. If Mark can drag Linux kicking and screaming past its current desktop boundaries into popular relevance, that will most likely benefit it as a whole. He's interested in making it popular, and whether or not you like Unity, it's shiny, and shiny appeals to the end user. (It's a reality I despise, but Apple's kinda proven once and for all that end users are magpies.) Besides, just because newbies use a Linux distro isn't going to suddenly turn the kernel into Windows ME.

On the other hand, Linux bods have long since resented moves that are overtly commercial, and if he's going to continue to make Ubuntu popular, he needs the support of Linux's broad base. Move the system too far from that base, or piss people off too much, and he risks losing contributions.

It's difficult, but I'm continuing to support him thus far. Unity isn't the horrendous system-breaker people pretend it is, no more than Metro is on Windows 8 - those are just knee jerk reactions, and I'm guilty of them too. The plan's ambitious, and he has a Molyneux-style habit of talking up shit he hasn't built yet, but if he can pull it off it'll be bloody impressive. Mithras knows, I'm begging for a proper Linux OS on a proper smartphone, like I used to have before Nokia went batty nuggets.

Remember, no matter what vitriol you can hurl at his UI, at its core the distro is still very good. When Ubuntu has done things differently in the past, it's generally worked pretty well. I still run Kubuntu on everything I own - the solid Ubuntu base with the KDE I like over the top. (I did this long before Unity arrived.) No matter what happens at this point, it'd be impossible for him to take that solid base away from us.

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Rid yourself of Adobe: New Firefox 19.0 gets JAVASCRIPT PDF viewer

Greg J Preece
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Re: But does it work for local PDFs?

Not much use unless it opens when you double click a local PDF, you'd still need Reader or whatever.

Depends whether you're running an OS that's bothered to include such a basic tool. Okular is installed by default on my machine, for example.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I've been trying it.

I see you are unaware of the dozens of memory corruption exploits firefox has been victim to.

I see you need to read his comment again. What part of "Mozilla's approach to security" means "Mozilla has never had a security bug"?

Go away, troll.

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Top Firefox OS bloke flames Opera for WebKit surrender

Greg J Preece
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Re: too bad the Gecko engine is half-baked bloatware

which can't even render correctly half the pages.

As a web developer with a not-insignificant amount of front-end experience, bollocks. Gecko is more consistent than anything else. I'm sure some tool will now link me to the Mozzy bug tracker, as if that proved something over every other browser that totally doesn't have a bug tracker.

But then I'm still wondering how your second sentence is justification for the first.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: bah

I've not run into any of those problems and I use FF heavily on a daily basis for web development. I'm loaded up with lots of plugins too.

Snap. I use it under Linux, where it doesn't have some of the Windows-based optimisations, and it's rock solid. And really, on my development machine, which is currently using 1.5GB of my 8GB RAM to run Netbeans and an attached Tomcat instance, do you think I give two shits about my bajillion Firefox tabs using 400MB?

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Go Gecko Go!

Mozilla's rendering engine is called Gecko. IE has Trident, Apple and Google use WebKit (though different versions), and Opera - until now - used Presto.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: WebKit alone

One browser engine to rule them all won't fix your problems. There'll always be bad implementations and different versions of WebKit about, and if WebKit is the only engine out there then the incentive to fix problems is gone.

<u>THIS</u>

I have nothing against WebKit. I've got plenty of browsers that use it and most of them are fine. I have something against whatever buggy, unfixed version of WebKit they cram into Chrome in order to claim all the latest gadgets and buzzwords.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: WebKit alone

Exactly! Mozzy stormed up the market share charts through a fight-back against a monoculture. Why the hell would they willing step back towards one?

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HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

Greg J Preece
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@Matthew Smith

I do hope you're trolling. I could spend the time to refute your post, but you are literally too stupid to challenge.

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Opera joins Google/Apple in-crowd with shift to WebKit and Chromium

Greg J Preece
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Re: How does this help Opera's market share?

Oh look, an Opera fanboy! I was wondering where you were in all this. I expect the rest are weeping in a corner.

FF and Chrome both provide bare-bones browsers that require third-party extensions to come close to Opera's native feature set.

That would be the extension framework that Opera insisted it didn't need, then added anyway? And where do you get off calling the two browsers that caned everyone else for years "bare bones"?

Besides, maybe not everyone requires that functionality in the browser. Better to leave it slim and provide optional installers than let it get bloated.

When those browsers do get more built-in functionality it tends to be cut-down versions of stuff Opera added a few releases back (compare Chrome or FF's New Tab layouts copied from the far-superior Speed Dial in Opera).

See, this is the hipster mindset at work. You complain that other browsers don't have features that Opera has, which is fair enough. Then they add those features, and you complain that they "copied them", and refuse to accept the improvement.

Everyone rips off everyone else and you know it. IE7 was a blatant point-for-point copy of Firefox. Everyone and their mother has ripped off Firebug for their developer toolset. Firefox and IE swiped Chrome's minimalist interface (though I turned it off back in FF4, so I can't honestly say if it still looks that way). Firefox went for Chrome's stupid 6-week release cycle (though Jetpack came of that, and Jetpack is awesome). If I were to go back, I'm willing to bet that I can find features in Opera that other browsers had first - so what?

Windows 8 finally added ISO mounting. OMG, how dare they rip off Linux??!

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Another one down

Opera's rendering engine being killed off in favour of Google's

Webkit belongs to Google now? When the fuck did that happen? Last I checked, Apple spun it off from KHTML.

* And no, Nets^h^h^h^h Firefox is not worth mentioning, too many people have been burned there.

If by "burned" you mean "have enjoyed a consistently accurate rendering engine".

I don't mind Opera using Webkit, so long as they don't use whatever buggy-as-hell bleeding-edge version Chrome uses. I'll keep using Gecko though.

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Pope resigns months after launching social networking effort

Greg J Preece
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Re: Maybe he read Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion"

Richard Dawkins comes across as an arrogant asshole

It's possible for a man to be arrogant and correct.

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British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

Greg J Preece
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Not until it's tested in court. Getting a Trademark doesn't really seal the right until it's actually tested and tried under the rigours of a Judge.

Then given the requirement for them to protect the trademark, they are forced to take this current action, right? Who they went after doesn't matter (except to you lot, who I guarantee wouldn't be bleating so much if this wasn't a little indie guy). The principle is the same.

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Greg J Preece
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The laughably small amount of research I've done suggests that it is in fact a registered trademark of GW's. Doesn't trademark law require them to make good efforts to protect the mark?

Boom, here you go

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ohim?ohimnum=E392886

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=1461715

Christ, you'd think all the people banging on about this could at least run a search...

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Greg J Preece
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If they actually have a trademark on "Space Marine" (did the article address this?) then surely they also have a point? I mean, for all the talk of rip-offs in this thread, GW themselves have been ripped off before. *Cough* Warcraft *Hack*

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The Register: Our all-new app now available for Android

Greg J Preece
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Re: @Eugene

What a surprise, a web-designer suggesting a site should be redesigned.

Surely updating your site's interface to use CSS properly (which isn't necessarily the same as redesigning it) is much less effort than creating and support multi-platform apps?

I'm prototyping an RWD version of our website at the minute, and despite having barely any styling yet, it matches the layout of the original well enough that at first glance it looks like the same site - until you try to view it in a browser that isn't a fullscreen desktop app.

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Greg J Preece
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Re: "Responsive Design"

So I'm not the only one who thinks that RWD is another good (if slightly obvious) idea surrounded by bullshit terminology and a design luvvie circlejerk?

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Microsoft teases IE10 for Win7 with Blocker Toolkit

Greg J Preece
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Re: "Long Awaited"?

Internet Explorer at any version is still the same crappy browser on a Trident rendering engine.

Granted, IE9 and IE10 have improved, but a turd is a turd no matter how you polish it.

See what I mean? "Derrr, it's just shit because it's IE. It doesn't matter if they re-wrote the whole thing, its IE, so it must be shit. Guuuh, more sticky plasters for my knuckles pleeeze."

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Oh, Sony, you big tease: Mystery PlayStation reveal date set

Greg J Preece
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Re: Resistance to online only gaming?

@Andy - Thanks for the condescension, but the reason I don't want a download-only console is because the publishers will use it as a method to screw me over. EA and the like have not and will not drop their prices to compensate for the reduced costs and content of digital distribution. Hell, they moved off Steam because Valve don't treat their customers badly enough for EA's tastes. At launch, the latest FIFA game was 20 quid more expensive online than in a high street store. That is disgusting, and that's why I don't want an online-only console; it'll be too expensive to play on.

I buy lots and lots and lots of games online, but from Steam, Desura, GoG, etc. Having multiple marketplaces on the PC means competition between them, and as a flag-bearer for the industry Valve were pretty bloody exemplary. The result is a convenient, customer-focused system that benefits me. On a console, you have one marketplace, and you're constantly bombarded with loyalty tests to prove you're not some scum-sucking pre-owned game purchaser (which I am).

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Greg J Preece
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Re: I already have a PC

What I didn't realise was how much more expensive the games are. Because, thanks to Steam, I appear to have to buy two copies of every game now.

......Eh?

OK, look, I have a shitload of consoles, and a massive gaming PC that I built oodles of years ago for oodles of money. Given the option, I always buy stuff on PC, because my PC is just better, and the games are cheaper, by miles. Light years. Parsecs.

Name a game, and I can almost guarantee that the PC version is cheaper on launch. A month or two after release, the PC game is probably available for half the price of the console version. As soon as a Steam sale hits, it's probably a third of the price. That's where I make back the money on my expensive gaming PC, and the part that clueless console feckwits like the guy a few posts back always fail to grasp.

For example, last year I bought every single GTA game ever released on PC, including GTA4, expansion packs and all for....5 quid. Try that on PS3. A month or two ago NiGHTs Into Dreams got a PS3 release. I was going to buy it for 8 quid, then realised I could get it on PC two weeks later for 3.50. So I did.

How the hell are the games you're buying more expensive than console? I couldn't spend more on a PC game than a console game if I tried. And what's this "buying games twice" stuff? A retail game might come with a Steam code, but you still bought it once. I honestly don't understand what you're saying.

The truth is, over the course of its lifetime a gaming PC I build will span two console generations, and in that time, I will save more than the PC's value in game discounts. There's a reason that Steam sales always abuse my wallet: they're worth it. On top of that, online play on a PC has always been superior to a console, as well as free. Patches and mods aren't just readily available, but even encouraged by many developers. It's just a better ecosystem to be gaming in, where I'm treated as a customer and not a criminal, and the notion of after-sales support still exists (unless you're buying from EA, in which case fuck you, you filthy PC pirate).

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Greg J Preece
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Re: Will buy when

What about inFAMOUS 3? :-(

I hope it doesn't happen, personally. The story is done. Just because a game series is good doesn't mean you have to keep producing sequels until you run it into the ground.

If you need a new inFamous fix, go play Festival of Blood.

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Greg J Preece
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Not having to pay the extra premium to a shop for the privilege of paying minimum wage clerks will save consumers cash

Er, no it bloody won't. EA and the like want rid of that overhead, but not so they can charge less for games. Their games aren't any cheaper online, and are often more expensive, because the profit margins rapidly increase in size.

Honestly, with the way most publishers are treating the customer like shit these days, overcharging for release content while simultaneously holding more content back for DLC - even stuff already made and on the disc you bought - along with their many other heinous practices, I think we may be heading for the second video game crash. There's only so far you can push people.

Bring it on.

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Greg J Preece
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I can't imagine that anyone would make a games console these days that relies on a person walking to a shop to buy a piece of plastic.

"Relies on" != "has the option of"

This is Sony we're talking about. Their store is allowed to be so horrendously expensive that the games in it are often 20 quid more on launch day than the physical copies in the shop down the road.

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