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* Posts by Si 1

385 posts • joined 13 Jun 2009

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In three hours, Microsoft gave the Windows-verse everything it needed

Si 1

Re: Too Little Too Late

I agree it's too little, too late. I think the sudden appearance of Office on iOS is a sign Nadella recognises market share is more important than quibbling with Apple about their 30% App Store cut.

Imagine what the market share of Office on iOS would be if Ballmer hadn't wasted nearly 2 years arguing the toss about that. Instead they're now trying to charge £80 a year for Office when all new iPhones and iPads come with Apple's Pages/Numbers/Keynote apps for free.

Unless you're a power-user that needs macros and mail merges those apps are more than adequate for any average user, meaning Microsoft are again losing out on capturing new Office users.

I like what Nadella is doing, but I think it really is too late to turn the ship around...

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Don't panic! Japan to send nuke fuel rod into MELTDOWN in Fukushima probe

Si 1

In all fairness, their only real mistake was keeping their diesel generators somewhere a tsunami could wash them away. The reactors and the buildings survived a quake a magnitude greater than they were built to withstand as well as being hit by a wall of water. If those generators hadn't been lost they could have carried on cooling the reactors and there wouldn't have been even the partial meltdown that occurred.

The moral of the story is to always keep your diesel generators away from tsunamis!

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XBOX ONE owners rage as HDMI SNAFU 'judders' Brit and Euro tellies

Si 1

The Xbox has a picture-in-picture mode, so you can have the TV playing in the corner of the screen while you play your game.

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Doctor Who writers Neil Gaiman and Terrance Dicks talk to The Reg

Si 1

Re: Am I the only one

I didn't like it much either. For a worrying time it also seemed like every Doctor Who fan posting on the internet was going to refer to the TARDIS as "Sexy" from then on, although thankfully that hasn't persisted. It was almost as bad as all the people who insist on constantly using the phrase "timey-wimey".

But I'm just a curmudgeonly bastard who grew up on '80s JNT Who and doesn't like Doctors being all shouty and flirting with companions...

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APPLE EATS ITSELF: iPad Mini set to wolf Air's market share

Si 1

Mini replacing the Air

I'm not sure what Apple are up to with the Air. While I personally prefer the larger screen, it's hard not to notice that the Mini has an identical spec and is cheaper too (in a way the Mini actually has a better spec due to a screen having a higher pixel density than the Air).

It's like Apple are trying to kill off the 10" form factor, although I don't know why. Maybe the rumours of an iPad Pro are true and the Air will be a mid-range model?

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HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Si 1

Re: Retina?

It's 2048x1536 at 326 ppi, the same res as the 10" model..

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Tim Cook stands firmly behind pro-LGBT, anti-discrimination law

Si 1

Re: Not Princess Hacker.

Agreed, and frankly if I received a CV from someone who said their previous job was "hacker princess" I would have no qualms immediately discriminating against them for having a stupid job title that doesn't suggest they take their role of system security seriously.

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ECHR rejects free speech plea over offensive online comments

Si 1

Re: It can be explained concisely...

Yes, it's only the UK courts that the ECHR likes to overrule. I suppose in this case they made an exception as it allowed them to find in favour of restricting freedom of speech, something the EU isn't keen on.

Mine's the ballot paper with UKIP ticked...

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There's ONE country that really likes the iPhone 5c as well as the 5s

Si 1

Re: stock issues

Yeah I really wanted a 128GB model as well, I'm surprised Apple didn't launch one considering there's a 128GB iPad now. That said I need it less for music (I've uploaded my entire collection to iTunes Match and just download stuff on demand), I want it more for all the 1GB+ games that are coming out now and for films which tend to be at least 1GB as well.

Maybe if Apple lifted their restriction that prevents movies and large games being downloaded via 3G I wouldn't need that much storage and would stream stuff as I needed it. The all-you-can-eat data package from Three really is great...

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Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist... Spy HARDER

Si 1

Re: To make your mission challenging, we give you this...

It's even more ridiculous than that in Blacklist, whenever you're in darkness it's not just the googles that light up now but various parts of the sneaking suit start twinkling green as well! They actually light up to tell you you're in darkness. Somehow the bady guys pretend not to notice...

I'm really not liking the new voice actor who replaced Michael Ironside either. If the game had been a total continuity reboot it might have worked, but this game is very much linked to the story of the previous game so it makes the change seem really odd. Also, Fisher's 3D model actually looks older for once, which in one sense is a nice change from the previous games where he seemed to be aging backwards, but it's totally at odds with the new, younger voice!

Still, I also got Wonderful 101 and it's fantastic!

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BOFH: Backup server's failed? We have a backup backup server

Si 1
Thumb Up

Re: Classic!

My favourite bit by far! I'm going to try that on my boss one day...

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Peak Apple? HOGWASH! Apple is 'extremely undervalued,' says Icahn

Si 1

Just don't hold the shares that way. Not that big of a deal.

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End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

Si 1

Hmmm

So if <blink> no longer exists in any modern browsers, I might just enclose all my pages with it as a gentle reminder to IE6 users that it's time to update...

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Oh please, PLEASE bring back Xbox One's hated DRM - say Xbox loyalists

Si 1

Re: "...consumers were uninformed..."

It wasn't confirmed by Microsoft but it is generally thought that the family share feature would only allow friends or family to play an hour or so of a shared game before being asked to pay full price for their own copy.

Quite why these people want that feature back I don't know.

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

Si 1

Even Alan Sugar knows it's a load of codswallop

He no longer hires his so-called apprentice at the end of the series, he just bungs them some cash and sends them on their way. He knows there's no point in putting any of these people on staff as they're all useless (or will take him to an employment tribunal).

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New cheapo iPhone ain't gonna be that cheap, says non-Foxconn CEO

Si 1

Re: Oh darn, beat me to it, but still.

Pegatron must be stopped. No matter the cost!

#You've got the Touch...

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'THINNEST EVER' spinning terabyte beauty slips out of WD fabs

Si 1

iPod Classic update?

I know it's not cool to own an iPod these days but personally I find the 160GB storage of the iPod Classic to be really handy. I've stuffed mine with TV shows and films find it very useful when going on holiday, but 160GB just isn't enough for a particularly high bit-rate.

An iPod Classic with 1TB of storage would be perfect for that sort of job...

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So, who ought to be the next Doctor Who? It's up to YOU...

Si 1

Philip Glenister!!!

I was going to vote Benedict Cumberbatch (even though it's a bit predictable and I think in the past he's said he doesn't want the part) but then I spotted Philip Glenister in the list.

While I'm generally not a fan of actors who play the Doctor as shouty, I reckon Gene Hunt could be bloody good in the role...

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Intel: Haswell is biggest 'generational leap' we have EVER DONE

Si 1

Re: 2-in-1 WTF?

I think they're referring to the newly announced Frankenstein tablets that have both an i7 and an Atom chip on board and run two operating systems. The Atom chip runs Android and the i7 runs Windows 8.

Unless they've found a great way to share data between the two operating systems I can't see it working very well.

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Cook: iPad is a gateway drug which leads to harder Mac addiction

Si 1

Re: Surging iPad sales?

iPad sales are up 27%, sounds like a surge to me. The doom and gloom headlines focus on Apple only narrowly meeting its targets and "only" making $9.5 billion in profit, but that doesn't mean sales are down. The only problem Apple have at the moment is shrinking profit margins on what they sell, hence why profits aren't higher than ever.

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Weak iPad, iPhone demand hits LG Display in the wallet

Si 1

Isn't this just the usual lull as people put off buying until the latest version comes out? It happened right before the iPhone 4S and 5 launched and was interpreted as the end of Apple then too...

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BadNews, fandroids: MILLIONS of Google Play downloads riddled with malware

Si 1

Re: Android permissions design

Aoyagi Aichou,

iOS let's you block (or allow) apps access to location services (GPS), contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, Bluetooth sharing and Twitter/Facebook. There's no permission for calls or SMS as I believe those just aren't allowed at all.

While it's de rigueur to criticise iOS around here, I think the permissions model is actually pretty good.

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Report: Apple returned 8M shoddy iPhones to Foxconn

Si 1

Maybe the black iPhone 5?

There were a lot of reports early on about people getting black iPhone 5's that already had scratches and marks on the black coating on the antenna. Maybe Apple sent back the worst of these?

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Si 1

Re: Community?

So would you knock on the door of your neighbour who is a doctor in the evening and ask him to look at <insert symptom here> or would you phone your GP and book an appointment?

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You know how your energy bills are SO much worse than they were?

Si 1
Mushroom

"There is no mainstream party [...] which offers to dismantle these crippling stealth taxes"

What about UKIP? They're polling ahead of the Lib Dems, they should be considered a mainstream party if the Lib Dems are. UKIP's energy policy is pretty much exactly what this article calls for:

http://ukip.org/media/policies/energy.pdf

<-- Mushroom cloud, because we need more nuclear.

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Android 'splits' into the Good and the lovechild of Bad and Ugly

Si 1

Re: So mfg can't be a**ed to do the system tuning necessary

I'd imagine crap handsets sell quite well to people due an upgrade who want "one of those touch screen thingies" and think the only difference between models is in the colour of the casing.

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Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

Si 1
Flame

They probably don't want to have to replace the seats in the C'eed after she's sat on them.

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Have Brits fallen for Netflix, or do they still LoveFilm?

Si 1

Doctor Who

Netflix is winning for me at the moment as they have all the surviving B&W Classic Doctor Who stories. Now if they could just hurry up and start adding Jon Pertwee's stuff and beyond it would be even better....

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Firefox for Android now runs on EVEN OLDER, slower kit

Si 1
Coat

"Google only started making public beta builds of Firefox"

Is that line from the story a typo? Shirley it's Mozilla producing these betas?

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Six of the best Nintendo Wii U games

Si 1

Very true, although I'm planning on grabbing Arkham City so I can play it on the tablet while the main TV is being monopolised with X-Factor/I'm A Celebrity/Strictly/Master Chef/etc/etc. That's going to be the main advantage of the Wii U for me I think.

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Google, Apple, eBay shouldn't pay taxes - people should pay taxes

Si 1

I disagree

This is the mentality that allows politicians to flip houses by renting them to each other. It's not specifically prohibited in the rules so therefore it's OK. There's a spirit of the law and a letter of the law, and just because a company or a person is rich enough to be able to operate out of Luxembourg doesn't mean it should be allowed.

The fact that the EU continues to allow it just shows what an insidious organisation it is. Being on the referendum.

The tax bill for the small company I work for was £69,000 for last year (and that was a very quiet year). That's up to two salaries being eaten up by taxes. If Starbucks, Google, etc paid more of their fair share maybe smaller companies could finally be given a break on taxes.

I suppose the counter argument could be that if Apple, Amazon, etc started paying more they would have to increase prices which would negate any additional spending power afforded to employees, but given the obscene cash reserves of these companies and the vast sums the executives earn it seems they could easily afford to sacrifice some profit margin.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the socialist type who thinks taxing everything is the answer. I'd much rather see lower taxes overall than the current mentality of taxing everything that moves. However, there are rules on taxes and I want to see them obeyed fairly across all businesses, rather than the current situation where large business can afford to avoid all tax responsibilities increasing the burden on smaller business.

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BOFH: The Great Patch Mismatch

Si 1

Ah yes...

... the good old update that definitely, positively, absolutely won't need you to restart your device... except that it always does.

If anything/anyone promises me that a reboot won't be needed I automatically assume there will be at least two forced reboots before everything is working again.

Also, the more mission critical the device being updated the more likely the update is to go wrong.

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Apple chief Cook is HIGHEST PAID CEO in AMERICA

Si 1

Shocking what modern CEOs have to live on isn't it? I mean that's barely enough for him to have a new Ferrari every day to take him to work.

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Samsung turns screws on Apple, hikes A6 processor price 20%

Si 1

Re: Could this be another hoax?

Yep, another hoax: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11766909/1/apple-investors-can-relax-a-little-bit.html

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Si 1
Black Helicopters

Could this be another hoax?

I seem to recall the recent claims that Samsung were going to stop selling screens to Apple turned out to be false (although I can't seem to find any links to it anywhere). I wonder if this will also turn out to be false?

Given how widely the screen thing was reported I wonder if this could be some deliberate attempt to kick Apple square in the share price?

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BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T

Si 1
Thumb Up

F***ing brilliant

This is so true it's practically the exact conversation I have every other day (except without the cattle prod and carpet roll sadly). The moment you start letting the lusers dictate stuff like this is the moment you lose control over your systems.

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Apple is Superman's digital Kryptonite

Si 1

ComiXology

I'm not sure why anyone would want to use Kindle etc for comics anyway. Comixology's app is much better with the "guided view" feature that zooms and borders each panel in the comic book. Plus all the comics are scanned at a high res now so iPad 3/4 and Nexus 10 devices get really sharp looking comics. Then of course there's the selection on Comixology which is absolutely massive with hundreds of publishers on there.

I'm off to read some more Avengers...

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Google's UK grip slips a bit, brutal dominance basically unshaken

Si 1

That would be me then...

I switched after Google brought in their privacy changes. So far Bing has been pretty good, although on occasion I've had to go back to Google because Bing just isn't finding anything relevant.

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LucasArts' Dark Forces

Si 1
Thumb Up

Still one of my absolute favourites

This game was amazing when it came out and I still enjoy replaying it. I had both the PC and the Playstation 1 versions of the game. The PS1 version was actually quite compromised, they took out the iMUSE system and just streamed pre-recorded versions of the PC midi music from the CD. The framerate on the PS1 was also a bit dodgy and the controls often required some quite convoluted combinations to switch weapons or run and jump.

On the subject of iMUSE, I think this was one of the last titles to use midi music. It had a fantastic score with lots of unique themes and cues (I think it was by Clint Bajakian). Sadly LucasArts moved on to chopping up bits of John Williams music for future games. While having full orchestral music was nice, I think the lack of a composer creating music specifically for each level was lost. The end credits music to Dark Forces in particular is one of my favourites.

I do remember being slightly annoyed that the longest cut-scene was the one at the end of the first level (and was included with the demo). Based on the demo you'd expect massive cut-scenes after every level but usually you'd get little more than a shot of the Mouldy Crow flying away from an explosion...

Does anyone remember the box to Dark Forces? There was a screenshot of a map to a level not in the game. As I understand it this was the original first level but it was dropped as it was considered too complicated.

A few years back some fans attempted to re-create the game using the Jedi Academy engine. I believe they re-made most of the game but there were a few levels that were never finished. Their website is here: http://darkforces.jediknight.net/

I think this is the first game to ever use a texture on a wall to display vital information (when in the vault on Coruscant). I remember wondering about that area for ages until I realised that the map on the wall was actually updating as I opened and closed doors and was meant to be used to guide you to the centre of the vault. I'd never seen anything like it before then and it really blew me away as suddenly walls could do more than just be barriers.

Dark Forces 2 Jedi Knight is also an absolute favourite of mine. I really wish LucasArts would consider making another one (and preferably not the shallow experience that was Force Unleashed)...

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UK iPad Mini FRENZY: Queues stretch SEVERAL FEET from till

Si 1

Re: iPad 4?

My conspiracy theory is that the A6 was always meant for the iPad 3 and that Apple hit delays producing it. This required a stop-gap which was the A5X. The only problem being it was fabbed at 45nm and the quad-core graphics needed to push the retina display created a very large and expensive chip.

Therefore the costs of the chip meant it was always going to be a temporary solution that would be replaced with a more cost effective 32nm A6 as soon as was feasible. I believe that was the plan all along and is why the third gen iPad was just called "the New iPad" and the fourth gen is called the "iPad with Retina display" to avoid blatantly incrementing the version number twice in one year. That Apple also had a new dock connector to help justify updating the model is probably just lucky happenstance.

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Forstall ousted from Apple after refusing to apologise for Maps

Si 1

I'm undecided about this...

I'm genuinely not sure what to think of this news. Without clear examples of what Forstall did and didn't contribute it's hard to decide whether him leaving is good or not. I know most people hate skeuomorphism but I quite like it in some iOS apps.

The notes app looking like a notepad is nice and I like the unfolded treasure map style of the "Find my iPhone" app. That said I'm less keen on the diary app and detest the green card table of the Game Centre app. So for me it's hit and miss.

I suspect iOS might look a bit dull if everything was reduced to just standard buttons and boxes. Safari and Mail look fairly plain, but then I don't want the UI of them distracting from looking at web pages or emails, so they work well as they are.

While Forstall sounds like a bit of a nightmare obsessing over apparently minor details, sometimes getting the little things right is what makes a successful product. It certainly worked for Jobs. I love Jony Ive's industrial designs, I just hope that translates to making good software user interfaces as well.

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Alienware assimilates Dell FROM THE INSIDE!

Si 1

Re: "the closest thing you can get to indestructible"

Thanks for the reply. If the M11X is coming back I will be over the moon! Squeezing that much high-end kit into such a small casing really is something for them to be proud of.

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Si 1

"the closest thing you can get to indestructible"

I'm not sure I'd describe an Alienware laptop as indestructible. My first m15X has had the hinges replaced three times already and the current hinges are on their last legs. My first M11X also had hinges that disintegrated with normal use. Only my current M11X R3 is still working without problems but I treat it with kid gloves. They seem to be made from 99% plastic and just don't last very long.

Given the premium pricing of Alienware's systems I'd like to see a move towards the build quality of Apple. In fact the 15" Retina Macbook Pro with its overclocked Geforce card certainly looks like it could be quite a decent gaming system once you put Windows on there...

My M11X R3 has been fantastic as a gaming laptop. It's small yet powerful and the i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia 540M mean it can run just about everything I throw at it with a decent frame rate. It's been a perfect portable console replacement, running Arkham City, Mirror's Edge, Mass Effect, GTAIV, Saint's Row, etc with everything usually set on max details. It's only running at 720p but that's plenty for a laptop screen and I prefer 60fps over something that will bog down trying to fill a 1080p display.

Sadly Alienware seem to be abandoning the smaller gaming form factors. The M11X hasn't been updated this year and the next smallest system the M14X doesn't have a particularly competitive graphics chip. It's only when you look at the 17" and 18" systems that you can start to get higher end components. I really don't want to drag something as massive as the M17X or M18X around. 15" is the maximum size I'd consider buying and even then it would need to be closer to the Retina Macbook Pro's form factor for me to contemplate it.

I reckon my M11X will still be useful until the next generation of consoles arrives some time next year, but after that I'm not sure what I'll be replacing it with. At present it probably won't be an Alienware. :(

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Amazon quietly un-wipes remotely wiped Kindle

Si 1
Big Brother

So the question is....

How many other Kindle owners out there have had their collection wiped by Amazon and not been fortunate enough to garner any kind of attention in the press to force Amazon to change their minds?

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Apple unsheathes MacBook 13-incher

Si 1

The only snag...

... is it only has Intel's HD4000 graphics chip on board. The 15" model has an overclocked Nvidia 650M which is at fairly decent for games (although not ideal for running at the full resolution). I can't see many games being able to run at "retina" resolution with Intel's piddly graphics on board on the 13" model.

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Google adds 25 million grey building 'footprints' to Maps

Si 1

Re: It has to be said...

I doubt Google would have rolled this out to iOS, it looks like something that would be added to their vector maps but not the static tiles version that iOS was stuck with. It's probably worth mentioning that Apple's new maps also have building and house outlines for many cities and can also display them in 3D (using a simplified version of the 3D flyover data).

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Apple: Blue-shirts can fix iOS Maps in their spare time

Si 1

Re: But how

If there's something missing you tap and hold on the location until a pin drops onto it. Then you choose "Report a Problem" -> "Information is incorrect" and then enter the name, address, phone, hours, URL and category of the location. I've done it a few times now and they've appeared fairly quickly.

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Sony PS3 sales soar on slimmer system

Si 1

One bit of speculation I've seen recently is that Nvidia are up to their old tricks and are blocking Sony from putting the RSX and Cell onto a single chip. Nvidia pulled something similar with MS on the Xbox 1 so I wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia were doing it again, especially if the rumours of AMD winning the design for the PS4 are true.

So all Sony can do is try to save costs elsewhere like on the system casing and drives.

When it happened to MS they just dumped the Xbox 1 and moved on to the next generation. Sony on the other hand don't really have that luxury as the whole company is currently struggling to turn a profit. If it were up to them I'd bet they would have loved to stick with the PS3 for another 5 years!

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Instagram on iPhone 5: Now you can spoil even MORE snaps

Si 1
Big Brother

Where's the article rating feature gone?

Just curious but why has the ability to rate an article disappeared? Has it been disabled because it was being abused? I've noticed iOS/Android articles tend to be quite harshly rated if the author says something unpopular, even if there's nothing specifically incorrect or inaccurate to the journalism.

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Apple begs ex-Google bods to fix crap maps app

Si 1

Re: The problem is ALWAYS the PEOPLE.

Indeed. While it's currently cool to bash Apple's maps, I think the underlying system is fairly competent, it's the data that's crap. Throwing more programmers at it isn't going to help, like you say it requires lots of cheap eyeballs to sort out the flaws in the data.

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