* Posts by Matt.Smart

42 posts • joined 17 Jul 2009

C and Unix pioneer Dennis Ritchie reported dead

Matt.Smart
Unhappy

A sad day

A very, very important man, whose work has been fundamentally important in so many ways. It's even sadder that his passing will go largely unnoticed by many.

Rest in peace, Dennis.

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Dixons to set up concession in Harrods

Matt.Smart

Seems like the perfect match...

...overpriced crap from Dixons, overpriced crap and tourists willing to pay for it in Harrods.

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Virgin IT dept shocked by donkey-shagging Taliban

Matt.Smart
Coat

Ba-dum-tish

The Taliban in question must have felt like a bit of an Ass...

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Nude gardener's arse hauled into court

Matt.Smart
Coat

I'll get my coat.

I hear there's been a streak of this sort of thing at the moment.

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XXX domain names go live

Matt.Smart
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A worrying precedent!

Though I agree with the benefits of the whole .xxx thing (i.e., parents and businesses being able to filter it, etc), I get a bit of a shiver down my spine when I read that countries are already planning to block all .xxx domains. Seems like we could fast be going down the path of infringing on people's rights.

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GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers

Matt.Smart

Minimise/Maximise buttons *are* available

Although Gnome Shell (by default) doesn't include them, gnome-tweak-tool (http://live.gnome.org/GnomeTweakTool) allows you to put them back in. Granted, this is hacky - perhaps what we should take from that is that the developers have a good reason for not putting them there. But hey, it would be nice to have an option.

Having used it for a few days I quite like Gnome 3 (on Arch). It's quite buggy, though - docky was running previously and that doesn't seem to play nicely with it (it has a number of docklets which Gnome Shell doesn't). Having to hold down 'alt' in the top right menu in order to shut down is quite frustrating. No easy way to put icons on the desktop (?) and a few random freezes.

But, like the author says, this is a 1.0 release. Gnome Shell needs a lot of time to mature.

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Vulture falls asleep in front of Christmas TV

Matt.Smart
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Ho ho ho!

Merry Christmas, El Reg! Thanks for another great year.

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Tesco's iPhone app gets barcode reader

Matt.Smart
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Yep!

Well said, that man. Note that I'm not a fanboy/i/whatever, before the flames begin (continue?). I just know common sense when I see it.

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Matt.Smart
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Erm

"Why do they insist on releasing on a phone that very few people have?"

Are you serious?

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Ubuntu 'Maverick Meerkat' erects own App Store

Matt.Smart
FAIL

Oh dear...

...you've not used Linux for a while, have you? I've not typed 'startx' for at least five years... if you're going to have such a strongly biased opinion against something, at least try a modern version of it first.

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US carrier tailors 3G jacket for iPod touch?

Matt.Smart

troll spotting...

<insert pedentary comment about there being no such thing as an 'iTouch'/> ...thought I'd save you trolls the effort.

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Matt.Smart

There is no app.

I think the idea is that the whole thing acts like a MiFi - i.e., it generates a local wifi network which the iPod touch can connect to. There's therefore no need for an app.

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BBC news apps squeeze onto iPhone, iPad

Matt.Smart

Bloody whingers!

Dear god, there are a lot of whingers on this thread. Try reading the article! They're developing versions for other platforms (sorry Symbian lovers, imo the time for your platform is coming to an end): android and blackberry are getting versions soon.

The BBC are absolutely right to develop for the iPhone first - like many other developers who make games/apps for iPhone before other platforms. It's not favouritism or the BBC being fanbois - it's common sense. If they developed for all platforms at the same time and spent loads on it, there'd be more whingers complaining about how their license fee was being wasted. They can't win!

Oh and for what it's worth, I love the app :)

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O2 dithers over Apple iPhone 4 refund pledge

Matt.Smart

Yes, you're wrong.

Well, only in the first bit. Distance Selling Regulations cover seven days from purchase only (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Protection_%28Distance_Selling%29_Regulations_2000). The whole 'fit for purpose' thing is very full of contention, so I'm not getting into that.

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O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals

Matt.Smart

Re: data rip off

Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Network Data

I thought I used mine a lot, too - turns out I've only used 1Gb in 12 months; the rest has been by wifi.

Don't get me wrong, though - this is still a little annoying. But o2's terms seem to suggest that existing customers on unlimited tariffs won't lose the unlimited data (subject to FUP) in one section, and then simultaneously suggest it's only a promo lasting until October in another... hmm.

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Spotify waves £5 plan at freeloaders

Matt.Smart

Agreed

Definitely with you there. I'm still a Free user and I think this "mid-way" £5 offer is really tempting, but not in the right way. I'd definitely use the mobile version, but the £5 subscription doesn't offer me anything I really want (don't care about bitrates and I don't mind ads). I'd happily put up with ads for a £5 mobile option.

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Apple prices up iPad for UK

Matt.Smart
Jobs Horns

Absolutely

Ridiculous. If you're considering paying that, you're crazy. Crazy, I say.

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Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection

Matt.Smart

Cue flaming?

Seems odd that no-one has really only said the following: the death penalty is plain wrong. A life in prison for his crimes - fine. Killing someone for their crimes - abhorrent. There's reason it was banned in the UK (and is banned in 95 countries, and forbidden by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union).

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Last.fm now offers Less.fm

Matt.Smart
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Ugh

This can only be a step backwards for last.fm, a service that I used to subscribe to and was a big advocate of. It seems to be disastrous for small artists starting out - no longer can they stream full-length tracks, and they don't have much chance of uploading to spotify, etc.

The whole "you can still listen in full using spotify" thing is a bit of an arse for Linux users, too - though I can run spotify through Wine, it's a nightmare to get it to respond to spotify URIs.

A step backwards, albeit something of an inevitable one, I guess :(

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Best Buy trumpets UK store openings

Matt.Smart
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Can't come soon enough

I don't imagine I'll be frequenting Best Buy that often, but *anything* that brings competition to the rob-dogs at Currys is a great thing.

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Next from Apple: The Pocket iPad

Matt.Smart
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hehehe

Brilliant work guys.

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Google tries to quietly trample on Apple's toes

Matt.Smart
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Right then

You've done it now - let's prepare for the nexus one to slay the iPhone.

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Sequoia opens kimono with e-voting code handout

Matt.Smart

Not strictly true

Although you're right that I can trivially verify my vote at the point that I cast it, how can I guarantee that *my* vote was cast as written? Certainly in the UK there's no way to guarantee this whatsoever. Furthermore, can I trust human observers that all votes were counted correctly, as cast? I can't - errors could be introduced at any stage. With end-to-end electronic protocols, the user is offered some guarantee that their vote (and all votes) were counted correctly.

That said, you have a point that we've got no proof of the code actually used. The best solution to that is to allow users to verify the code being run (there are a number of ways to do that), or to use their choice of voting software, but of course that's a pie-in-the-sky idea for most users.

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Atheists smite online God poll

Matt.Smart
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Love it!

Go atheists! :D

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Palm Pré arrives in Blighty

Matt.Smart

Fingers crossed for Palm...

...because this is last chance saloon for them. And for that reason, they shouldn't have left it so long to launch here. (Without comparing with the 3gs) it should have been launched before or at the same time as the iPhone. The Pré is a great phone, but I have a bad feeling that it's too late - non-techie consumers won't have heard of it (there's only one name on most o2 customers' minds), and that's a shame. Hope Palm can pull it off.

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Bloggy thing signals iPhone FM radio

Matt.Smart

Hmm

This is all good, but what I'd like to know is if the radio will work without an external antenna (i.e., headphones) since I usually listen to music using the internal speakers, and never carry headphones.

Also as said above, the ability to broadcast FM is MUCH more desirable for me - I hate using a car kit for it.

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O2 finds new way to bind iPhone users

Matt.Smart

Pah

I've probably used it twice, and that's only because it's there. It would be no inconvenience to be without it.

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Orange gets UK iPhone deal

Matt.Smart
Thumb Up

Brilliant

Irrespective of how you feel about Orange's coverage, customer service, etc, this is brilliant news. Anything that introduces competition into the iphone market has to be a good thing. You never know, maybe the price will come down...

Like Peter Wilkin, I have to wonder what O2 did wrong to piss off Apple enough. Or perhaps it's just the end of the exclusivity agreement. Either way, good times :)

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O2 launches democratically-minded MVNO

Matt.Smart

@AC 8:34

An MVNO is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. It's a network without its own licensed set of frequencies on which to run. Virgin Mobile is the example that springs to mind most readily, or Tesco Mobile (the latter being run on O2's spectrum).

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O2 confirms UK Pré launch date

Matt.Smart
FAIL

Shame

I really liked the look of the Pré when it debuted in the US. But leaving it until October to launch in the UK is ridiculously stupid. If Palm had made the effort to launch it before the iPhone 3gs came out here, they would have sold a tonne more of them. Now we're getting the Pre when it's already on the downward slide of sales in the states. Rubbish effort, Palm.

For what it's worth, I really hope the Pre does well. Palm are (were?) a great company.

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Sale talks heat up at T-Mobile UK

Matt.Smart
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Good riddance, T-Mobile

Just about the worst network I've been with. Granted, I was on Advantage (worked in the industry), but customer service were always unhelpful, terrible for upgrade deals, etc. I didn't realise how much my T-Mobile phone dropped calls until I switched back to o2 and haven't dropped a call since.

The only good thing was Web'n'Walk - a very good deal, but I would say other networks are getting close to matching that now. T-Mobile relied on it for too long, realised it was losing them money then tried to push people onto crappier contracts instead.

As far as I'm concerned, this can't come soon enough. People can harp on about a loss of competition, but are T-Mobile really competing right now?

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Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard — The poison taste test

Matt.Smart
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Nice!

Great article, well balanced, and a refreshing change from the normal fanboy-baiting stuff. Well done.

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Wikipedia to crack down on celebrity Wikideaths

Matt.Smart
Alert

Problems

I actually think this is quite a good idea. From what I've gathered, "new" users whose updates aren't auto-accepted are those who joined less than 3 days before the edit. It seems fairly clear that that will stop most opportunist pranksters, since registering is too much of an effort.

But, I doubt this will work, for a couple of reasons:

- it introduces a tonne of extra work for moderators, who won't have time to vet all the changes, and as such

- there's a concurrency issue. If two 'new' users make changes to the same page, what if those changes affect each other? This issue was of course there before, but on a much lower scale.

Matt's prediction: further changes to come.

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Les Paul dies at 94

Matt.Smart
Pint

RIP

So passes a great man. Thanks, Les.

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Spotify: iPhone sideloads for £120 a year, unlimited

Matt.Smart

Hmm

I'm a big fan of Spotify, and this looks really good. However, while I can see that they really need something like this to make money, I think £9.99/month is going to be too much for many people, when their desktop version is basically free. For an unlimited mobile streaming service I think I'd be happy with £5/month, but then I am a bit of a freetard.

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Hilton's mum enjoys One Night in Paris

Matt.Smart

@Jerome

Ha. Okay, _that_ was more apt.

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Matt.Smart
Paris Hilton

Hehehe

If there were ever an occasion where the icon to the left were more apt, I haven't seen it.

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ISP redesign unites the web in nausea

Matt.Smart
FAIL

Dear God!

I think I've just been a little bit sick.

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Metallica sticksman gloats over Napster downfall

Matt.Smart

@Lupus

You're spot on there mate.

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Mandriva's Linux-on-a-stick refreshed with Spring '09 release

Matt.Smart

@James Greenhalgh

Come on, that's a little harsh. But be honest here, who will take Mandriva (or Ubuntu, yes, well done) up on that offer? For every "cock-fingered rabbit" willing to get squeezed to the tune of forty quid, there will be many who are happy to forego the USB stick and pay zero quid. Luckily my coding skills exceed those of a "cock-fingered rabbit" thus I can avoid the penance I should apparently be paying.

I could understand, perhaps, if the whole thing was about £20, max. The price they're charging is disproportionate.

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Matt.Smart
FAIL

Hold on.

They want me to PAY FOR it? For a free, open-source operating system which I could download for free and stick on a USB disk I already ahve? That's ridiculous. I'd rather stick with Ubuntu.

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Apple's panties in bunch over Microsoft ads

Matt.Smart
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Hehehe

For once, I'm completely with Microsoft on this one - they should keep running the ads. Macs are overpriced. End of.

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