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* Posts by David Austin

170 posts • joined 11 May 2007

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

David Austin

Re: 23 Years

At the moment, I think SteamOS Is the best chance of *nix breaking through to mainstream desktops, which is a mixed bag: Yay because it will have done it and SteamBoxes will get units out there, Aww, because it'll be used to just run Steam by most people who will never drop into the desktop, and SteamOS Does not matchup on an idealogical level to what most Unix coders and users want.

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RealVNC distances itself from factories, power plants, PCs hooked up to password-less VNC

David Austin

Meh

The exact wording on the install options is:

Set no password (DANGEROUS!)

With Set a password the default option.

This is an active choice. If you're smart enough to pick it, it's your responsibility not to be dumb enough to punt it onto the open net.

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Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

David Austin

Re: Unlimited

* It really, really isn't.

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David Austin

Unlimited

This is not hard.

Oxford English dictionary has this to say on Unlimited:

unˈlimited, adj.

Etymology: un- prefix1 8.

1. Not limited or restricted in amount, extent, or degree:

So: Either stop making a rod for your own back by selling "Unlimited Internet", then getting all pissy when people actually use it, or put your money where your mouth is and actually provide the service you're advertising

I'd like to think most reasonable people - especially tecchies - understand about the contention issues at play here, and don't take massive issue with "entry level" broadband having a sensible limit (No BT, 20GB cap on a fibre line does not count as sensible), with people wanting to go over that paying for the next tier up.

Where I think we are right to call bullshit is is when ISP's start putting on fair usage policies, bandwidth throttling, traffic shaping, "Top x% of users" and artificial slowdowns, all so their marketing men can go "Hey Unlimited* Broadband's here!"

5
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65 patches later and Java STILL breaks stuff

David Austin

I always get resentful when I find a machine that needs Java. Just know it's going to be one long string of updates, errors, and regressions.

Of all the runtimes you come across in the field, JVM Seems to be the one that gets the most updates, and causes the most headaches, to the point where most of our shops prefer to avoid software that uses it - Heck even Adobe Flash has a streamlined updater that seems to do it's job in 2014.

I don't know enough about Java programming to understand why it's such an aggravation to update, keep older apps working with it, or generally just work without whining, but I wish they'd fix it - I mean, they finally got a version that works with User Account Control out of the door, so who knows what's possible?

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

David Austin

Win 8.x

Until last week, I would have written a comment that it was disingenuous to represent Windows 8.0 and 8.1 as separate OS in the stats, unless you're splitting Windows 7 RTM/SP1 and the other service packs as well.

However, Microsoft seem to have purposefully made it hard to upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1. I've seen quite a few systems where people were checking Windows Updates to see if they were up to date, but the 8.1 update only appears in the App Store for some unfathomable reason. At some point (If not already), Microsoft will stop offering security patches for 8.0, so Windows update will say they're A-OK, when they're really not

The final straw came last week when I had a Win8 PC where Aero worked fine, but Metro wouldn't open any modern apps, including the store. some Google-fu found lots of people with similar symptoms, but an abundance of different causes and fixes, none of which seemed to work with this PC. In the end, I rebuilt it from an 8.1 iso, but this seems a semi regular problem.

I'm hoping at some point, Microsoft will offer 8.1 through Windows Update or - gasp - as a downloadable .exe (Had to App Store upgrade to 8.1 over a 1.2meg broadband connection the other day, which was approaching 9th circle levels of torment) as part of their pull back from their Windows 8 insanity.

Until that day, It's totally justified to split them 8.0 and 8.1 in the stats.

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Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

David Austin

Re: Perfect use

Seen how many 14 year old XP installs there are out in the field, even after the April cut off date of security patches? Throw in the still supported Vista and 7 installs, 2 years after Windows 8 hit the ground, and I think you'd have to agree that's not quite in the same league as Apple (Much to Microsoft's annoyance, I'd imagine...)

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David Austin

Perfect use

Use as an exclusive Sonos controller - demoting it to a flashy remote controller - sounds the perfect use for an old iOS device: It doesn't need massive overhead in power or space to run lots of apps.

Apply have a lot of good things going for them, but keeping their kit doing their jobs over the three year mark can be a massive headache: Even though this isn't Apple's decision, it's their culture that helps to promote it - There aren't very many other companies that can keep their users marching to such an aggressive upgrade pace.

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

David Austin

Red or Black.

Very nice, but I'll wait for the black version, which will probably be my next internal drive to pair with my Samsung 840 pro.

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Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

David Austin

Obligatory XKCD Link

http://xkcd.com/548/

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Tens of thousands of 'Watch Dogs' pirates ENSLAVED by Bitcoin botmaster

David Austin

I'd like to think people who fileshare (Especially the latest and greatest) would look out for this kind of thing: At least keep an On-Demand virus scanner kicking around to check stuff that comes in.

Guess this is one of the unintended consequences of lowering the barrier of entry to file sharing, as in ye olde days, you had to be reasonably technically inclined to get the firewalls et all configured.

Still, 18,000+ downloads on a game that hadn't hit retail yet? Looking at those numbers, you can understand AAA Game publishers new(ish) strategy of not completely stopping piracy, but increasing the time to crack it to at least grab the day 1 sales.

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Expulsion from Garden of Steven: Apple staffers tossed out of Fruit Loop

David Austin

"outgrown its Infinite Loop"

Language is funny.

8
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Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival

David Austin

So what's different?

Nowerdays, Chrome, Firefox & Safari (with Internet Explorer 11 in 2nd place and catching up fast), rendering engines and performance are all going in the same direction, so it all comes down to which UI you prefer

My preference was Firefox (With a few customisations for tabs and Status bars), but if they're going to Copy Chrome - And not bring something better to the party (Key detail) - IE's old skool menu bar and stability between version upgrades is looking pretty tempting...

17
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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

David Austin

I'm fine with it.

It's an optional service, they're being up front for it, and some of these more obscure pre-configure options (Such as BIOS Disable Wireless) are handy when sending stuff directly to a remote office - £5 to do that at the factory is much cheaper then;

-Sending one of our engineers out to do it

-Pay to get it shipped to head office, then ship it to site

-Talk a non tecchie end user through configuring options over the phone.

You don't have to have it, but I appreciate having the options.

Sent from a Dell latitude E6400, while configuring a Dell Venue 11, and imaging a Dell Optiplex 3020, and having a massive row with Lenovo about their warranty T'c and C's.

5
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Symantec scratches head over balance sheet, calls in JPMorgan

David Austin

A Working backup exec product would help

Fun fact: Want a tape drive and a working backup under 2012/2012 R2 server? Go talk to someone else, because backup Exec 2012 does not do that.

Backup Exec 2014 is currently at beta 1 stage, and won't launch until Jul/Aug this year: That's a lag of 22 months between Microsoft releasing Windows Server, and Symantec releasing a product that supports it.

That's beside the perennial BE2012 issues of no multiple job types to one tape/job, and no Job view UI issues.

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Psssst. Don't tell the Bride, but BBC Three is about to be jilted

David Austin

Not Necessarily Bad

I'm in the supposed target audience for BBC, but Radio 4 gets my leisure time. The programming on BBC3 is of little interest to me.

However, this could be a great opportunity: If they do genuinely move BBC3 to an iPlayer only channel as opposed to just not doing that kind of content anymore, they don't have to worry about filling up dead airtime with anything they can, and focus on a smaller, higher quality output.

The target audience of BBC3 has a huge overlap with the people that have the time, money, and technical ability to use an online viewing platform (And probably spend a good chunk of their leisure time on a computer/smartphone anyway), so it could be a great test platform for nailing on-demand viewing across a multitude of platforms, as I think everyone's in agreement that Over The Air live broadcasting will have a reduced roll going forward. I think we're a long way off even thinking about shutting down the Digital TV Platforms, but it never helps to look into future-proofing....

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Random car shutdowns force Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN

David Austin

Toyota Update?

How far are we away from "Patch Tuesdays" for cars? or maybe even old skool update disks being sent out on an annual/quarterly basis to keep these little car issues under control?

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

David Austin

Re: maybe the last.

"Yes, it's striking and different, but a niche expensive product. Maybe there might be one more generation at most."

Power Mac G4 Cube ver. 2?

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Flash stash on toppa platta: WD's tasty Black² 1TB combo for LAPTOPS

David Austin

You had my curiosity. But now you have my Attention.

I like the idea of the Split drives in one platter more than the Hybrid drive: It seems a a long list of caveats, but that's to be expected for a Ver. 1 product. Nice one, WD.

Kinda sad from a nostalgia point of view if they're going to kill the (veloci)raptor drives - they were amazing, back in the day. They should re-brand the Black2 to carry on the name as it carries on it's spirit: The perfect halfway house between consumer and enterprise product.

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

David Austin

Re: So what you are saying is...

I was thinking about this: Seeing as these guys clearly know how to use encryption properly, couldn't we could kill two birds with one stone, and get Adobe to legitimately hire them?

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BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

David Austin

Hub 3

with myself and my clients, I've found the BT Home/Business Hub 3 a reasonable router: Probably the best "Pack-In" Router, apart from possibly Sky's new FTTP Box - Yes, if you buy a decent router, you can do better, but it adequately covers the basics, unlike some of the TalkTalk/PlusNet/Orange routers they've used in the past.

They seem pretty reliable - don't get many blown power supplies or box failures. On stable lines, they don't seem to drop out more than I'd expect.

About my only complaint is their WiFi connections don't support 128-bit WEP, and the Port/Services logic is a bit convoluted to set up.

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Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

David Austin

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

Yep. Average transfer speed in Kilobytes on a VDSL Line, and a stack of failed partial files are littering up my disk right now.

Honestly? Don't expect to get it until next week.

Of course if they RELEASED IT TO PARTNERS early, we wouldn't be in this FlusterCluck now.

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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

David Austin

Re: Offline Install

we can download the installs off Technet, yes, but what's the Average end user on a slow internet connection to do?

The Windows Store Download is ~3.6GB~, which could take an age for some people, and that's before you look into capped internet (2 PC's on BT option 1, and you've just used your monthly limit)

I'm assuming if they know one of us, we can use our full TechNet Iso's to upgrade them but as this is basically a glorified Service Pack, I'd like to think they'll be some sort of Network Install available at some point?

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David Austin

Offline Install

Something I've not seen anyone talk about:

If Windows Update is delivered through the Windows store, what options are there for "Offline Installs" Of the 8.1. Update?

Some 8 customers are on very slow links, or behind internet blocking firewalls: What can I do about them, apart from do an upgrade install from an 8.1 iso, assuming that even works...

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LIVE, my beauty, LIVE! Nokia revives dead phone with LIGHTNING powered Frankencharger

David Austin

Re: Why?

We do what we must, because we can.

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You thought slinging Photoshop into the cloud would fail? Look who's laughing NOW

David Austin

I'm interested to see how this plays out: Will creative types be willing to give Adobe such a position of power over them, long term? This could work out OK (With some grumbling users left behind), or blow up spectacularly in Adobe's face.

I'm not a creative type, but there's a reason I have dropped for FPP Office 2013 over the 365 cloud version (And Deeply appreciate Microsoft giving us a choice, albeit grudgingly)

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Torvalds frustrated at missing simultaneous release

David Austin

Re: Better late than broken

Normally, I'd agree with you.

But then again, normally I'm not waiting over 14 months for backup exec 2012 R2 to bring native Server 2012 support to the table.

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HP plugs password-leaking printer flaw

David Austin

Re: Make a hole in the air

Reading through this, The biggest potential problem is being able to extract the Wifi settings, letting you hook in a rogue device to the network

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Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll

David Austin

Not Mocking here - genuine question (I have not done my homework):

What's the cause of those youtube videos of people igniting their water mains, if it isn't fracking?

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Symantec: We 'stubbed our toe' on Backup Exec, but we'll be fine

David Austin
Unhappy

Backup Exec

Windows 2012/Windows 8/Exchange 2013 has been available since September. 8 months later, there's still no Backup Exec support for it.

The BETA of the version which supports it as an Agent has been put back to June.

The version which supports it as a host is not even publicly roadmapped yet.

ignoring the usability issues with Job Monitor and multiple jobs to one tape, How can they claim to be tier 1 backup software providers when it looks like their windows server support is lagging by over a year?

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Mozilla blocks auto-loading of plug-ins by Firefox

David Austin

Re: Not evil, just a little too nose-y.

Agreed - Firefox has been much happier since using the Flashblock Add-on which only changes all SWF objects to click to load.

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Latest Symantec CEO's 'revolution' could axe 1,000 jobs

David Austin

Yeah, nice whatever: When is Backup Exec 2012 R2 Gonna ship? It may actually make the product usable for anyone outside Enterprise level IT again.

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Oracle patches Java 0-day, goes to Defcon 2

David Austin

Naming

With Hindsight, the naming of the technology is a big problem. Had about half a dozen customers call up, after disabling JAVASCRIPT, then noticing almost all their websites stopped working...

Perhaps a Java VM Rename could help it dodge it's current reputation, and reduce confusion...

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Don't shoot the Windows Live Messenger, cry IM users

David Austin
Thumb Down

Ignoring the glitch, I've got no problem with the merge in principle, but at the moment, the Skype client is missing (or doing a good job at hiding) more than a few features from Windows Messenger. Off the top of my head: Email notifications, Custom Fonts, Tabbed conversation Interface, Send Email, Photo sharing, sending files to MSN Contacts, Remote Assistance, nudges, and group chat.

I'm not the only one pinning for features, either: http://community.skype.com/t5/Live-Messenger/Will-Skype-be-updated-to-include-classic-msn-features/m-p/1183778

As a video client, Skype is great, but at the moment, as an IM Client, it feels like a downgrade from MSN Messenger, and leaves a lot to be desired, with only vague promises of the shortcomings being addressed (http://community.skype.com/t5/Live-Messenger/No-email-notifications-after-merging/m-p/1184924/highlight/true#M71)

Coupled with the fact that Microsoft quietly killed off Yahoo IM Support in December (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/messenger-people/messenger-to-yahoo-chat-interoperability-is-no/1941a832-3b78-4cb8-9a9f-ec2e36ca4684), it's clear Microsoft are railroading users down this path to make their Skype investment worthwhile, with scant regard to what they want - A textbook case on how to mismanage migration.

"The New Messenger is better"

"How? Aren't there import problems? It's missing features. Are you adding them? What about my non MSN Contacts?"

"...The New Messenger is better"

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Apple said to have let the name of the next OS X cat out of the bag

David Austin

kittehs

I Have a client that exclusively uses cat names for their desktops. They're up to 80 clients now, leading to two interesting side effects:

1) it's the cuddliest Active Directory in the world

2) Setting up a new Desktop requires 10 minuets of Wikipedia slog: The last three desktops were called Cymric, Chausie, and TopCat

0
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Google expects Apple to block its not crap iOS maps app

David Austin

Antitrust

I Would think it's in Apple's best intrests to let the Google maps in to play. With the level of control and market share they have, I wouldn't be surprised if various bodies start looking into Antitrust and Market dominance abuse claimes.

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Hackers deface 'sinful' French Euromillions site

David Austin

Well, if it's this instead of blowing up a building or two as a means of protest... I'm not too upset about punters needing to pop down to the shops for a few days.

4
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Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue!

David Austin

Active Corners

I can live with the Metro Style Start bar, and I've even, after four months of searching, found some useful metro apps - it more the constant switching between (ex) Metro and (ex) Aero to do simple tasks that's annoying.

but when using a mouse the way you do in XP or 7 on Windows 8, it's all too easy to trigger the charms or active corners if going for the Close button/File Menu/System Clock. The Disable Active corners part of this program has me intrigued, and it'll probably be the first extension on once I switch from CP to RTM.

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Sony PlayStation Vita sales crawl

David Austin

Show me the games

I know the Vita's a lovely piece of kit, but until that "Killer App" Game come out, I don't feel a need to rush out and buy one.

In that respect the 3DS seems to have done better: Zelda the month after launch, MarioKart by Christmas, and Kid icarus before year one is over.

Looking at Vita's game selection, the only thing tempting me personally out now is Lumines, and some point next year, Phantasy Star II. For other people, I'd expect sales to pickup later this year with God of war and Assassin's creed III Helping out.

2
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Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

David Austin

So metro is no longer Metro, and Aero is no longer Aero. Nice one, Microsoft.

5
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French perfume house bottles 'Eau de new MacBook'

David Austin

Sod that - Get these Boffins working on New Game Smell

With the decline of physical media, coupled with smaller/no manuals in the ones you do get, we need to capture that magical smell of the first unwrap for future generations before it's extinct.

2
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NT daddy turns his hand to Xbox

David Austin

There's been talk and rumours of "Xbox Home Server" For ages, so this is consistent with that outline.

It does have some merit, I guess - make something a little more like an Apple i* - more appliance than PC, for simplicity and ease of use, trumping customization....

1
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Comet 'sold 94,000 pirate Windows CDs', claims Microsoft

David Austin

Love it when EULA's and common sense collide.

The Valuable bit of the Windows Product - the bit you pay money for, and the bit Microsoft care about in a software audit - is the COA - Certificate Of Authenticity - slapped on the side of OEM Machines.

As long as you have a (Non-Counterfeit) one of those, that's the license.

You can take any standard XP/Vista/7 Media, install it, and throw that key in, needing a telephone software activation at best, and end up with a genuine and licensed windows instance.

Without further details, it appears Comet did not include Microsoft Authorised Windows/Recovery media, which would need the legal COA to work (yes, ignoring BIOS Activation for the sake of clarity, here), A Pragmatic, but illegal solution to the problem of failed customer PC's, especially Hard Drive failures, which take the recovery partition.

So Yeah, Comet may be technically breaking their Microsoft contract, but it probably resulted in minimum illegal installs, especially if they checked you were entitled to order it before by having an applicable PC before selling it to you

This could all be avoided if Microsoft did the decent thing for consumers, and re-write it's OEM License to stipulate either Windows media or recovery media is included with each license, but I think we all know the chances of that happening, mainly because that would help End Users and IT Shops service their own systems, keeping them running for longer.

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Seagate sucks hard disk biz from Samsung

David Austin

I'm Worried.

I Jumped to Samsung's quite frankly amazingly quick and Quiet 1TB SpinPoint Range after a batch of loud and clunky Seagate Barracuda's soured the experience with poor performance and a higher than expected failure rate.

When the Spinpoint range dies (Or become Re-badged Barracuda's) I think I'll switch to WD Black to see if Seagate do to Samsung what Maxtor did to Seagate.

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Ten... top PlayStation Network game downloads

David Austin

Not a bad selection.

I'd Throw Flower, Lumines Supanova, and Everyday Shooter into the mix, too. more fun in those three games than any brown and bloom HD Space marine cover-based shooter you'd care to mention.

http://www.ukresistance.co.uk/2005/11/blue-sky-in-games-campaign-launched.html

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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

David Austin

Agree with the license fee or not, this was an obvious step to keep the status quo in the digital, on-demand age.

The argument of whether there should be a compulsory license fee is, of course, an entirely different (And far more inflammatory) one.

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Nokia launches Windows Phone range

David Austin

Meh

Who Cares, really?

In my mind, Nokia is a spent force, and are no longer relevant.

If it wasn't for HP trying to self-destruct through most of the summer, I'd have said the way Nokia handled all of this is my nomination for corporate suicide of the year.

It's going to take a heck of a lot for them to make me care again, and something that looks like a re-jigged iPod Mini running a commodity OS ain't gonna cut it. I'm willing to bet my view isn't unique.

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Valve chief says Apple will own your living room

David Austin

I Honestly believe, at the moment,sSocial network games, and Steam are the best examples of how PC Gaming should work - Personally, I'm more a Fan of The boys from Seattle, simply because of the game I want to play, but I accept the validity of Farmville & Co.

It's a shame that Apple and Valve can't work closer together - sure, we got Steam on OS X, and immediately improved the breadth and ease of getting games on mac, but that's only scratching the surface of what could happen. It's a shame that Valve and Apple's cultures (More-so Apple's Walled garden and margin mentality, I'll wager) are too different to closer integrate - Some form of Steam/App Store mash up is a very pleasing thought.....

Gabe & Co. Have proved that with the right, forward-thinking product, you can come up with a business model that's "Just Works" for customers, SDK and distribution platforms developers like, and make a tidy profit through clever sale offers, and something much smaller than apple's 30% Cut.

Now, Stop distracting Mr. Newall with interviews, so he can get on with the continuing adventures of a certain crowbar-wielding Scientist.

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Gay-bashing cult plans picket of Steve Jobs funeral

David Austin

Hmm. yeah - Interesting idea.

I See two problems.

Firstly, knowing the kind of guy Steve is, I suspect no-one outside of his close friends and family will know when and where the funeral will be until it's over.

Secondly, yes, what they're doing may be legal under free speech, but with the number of apple fans running higher-than-usual emotions, I wouldn't bet against mob justice kicking in before the law enforcement shows up.

Now, as we remind everyone on the forums; don't feed the trolls. Westbro feed on media, and without it, they're just rebels without a cause.

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Sony: all new PS3 titles will require PSN Pass for online play

David Austin

I Have sympathy with both sides, here.

Gamers are demanding more from their triple A games, forcing development costs to balloon - we've gone from 30 people teams running on a 18-24 month development cycle in the PS2/Gamecube era, up to 100+ Teams on 2-3 development cycles.

Yet the game titles have not gone up in price - most games have been selling at the £30-£40 new range since the SNES and Mega Drive days. They can't really push the new prices up any higher, without alienating the consumers.

Gamestop/Game/Gamestation have a very obvious 3 part business strategy, which massively compounds this problem;

- Push Pre-orders, to get as many full price day one sales as possible

- Give good trade in prices to new games to get back as many copies as possible while they're still in demand

- push the 2nd hand copies on buyers, as all profit goes to them, as opposed to publishers and developers getting a cut.

Only step one in that strategy benefits anyone but the retailer. some game stores see the same copy of an individual title a half dozen times in the launch months.

I'm in the fortunate position of being a 20-something with disposable income, and care enough about the games industry and developers to buy new whenever possible. I cannot begrudge any pocket money saving kid, hard pressed parent, or hard up adult for saving a bundle on a second hand copy, which they're told is functionally identical to a new one - it'll be fun to see how Game's 2nd hand slogan - "Everything's the same but the price" - fairs against this new direction.

Many of you are making analogies to to the second hand car or house market. While I take on board the general point, we are dealing with a mostly digital product, here - as long as the disk is not scratched, there is no degradation in the product you get; If you buy a car, you get it with an empty odometer, in pristine condition, with no scratches, dings, or crumbs in the drivers seat. New House, you get to specify the furnishings and fittings you want.

The only market I can think of with a like-for-like compassion is the 2nd Hand DVD market, and even then the studios can make a good portion of their production costs back in the cinema, beforehand.

I may not like it, but I can understand where Sony is coming from - they get to make some money from second hand sales, turning the online component into a service instead of a freebie (It would be more interesting and harder to justify if 1st Party Microsoft games started doing this, as they're already charging for Xbox live - as many have pointed out, 3rd party publishers, like EA, have been doing this with their games for a while on all platforms)

Until Digital Distribution really kicks off - to iTunes Levels - and we can cut the real bad guys in all this - Game & Co. - out of the equation, I don't see a nice way around this.

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