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* Posts by Semaj

353 posts • joined 2 Feb 2010

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Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

Semaj

I'm all for not discriminating against people who like to say they are whatever gender they want but this seems like a little strange way to go about it. I'd have just replaced the dropdown with a tag based textbox so it covers all bases while still remaining elegant.

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Larry Ellison: Technology has 'negatively impacted' children

Semaj

Not Black and White

Thinking back to my own childhood, I can say that in fact technology and computer games had the exact effect that Ellison describes - and it was the best thing that could have happened for me.

I grew up in a relatively poor area. Thankfully not the hell that inner city kids have to deal with but the kind of place where 8 out of 10 families (mine included) were dependent on benefits of one form or another.

As a young child I'd go outside a lot and do all the usual stuff such as making tarzan swings, camps in bushes and things like that (didn't have a bike until I was 12 as we couldn't afford one). The people I'd do these things with were not nice (I knew right from wrong) and along with the good, wholesome activities there were the games which involved setting stuff on fire and other antisocial stuff.

That all changed when I got my Sega Master System (saved up all year). Now I finally had something to do, which didn't involve hanging around with mini-chavs. Then when we could afford the Internet, that really allowed me to become the person I am today. I could talk with those with views like my own and it allowed me to see that there was a whole world out there to experience.

Fast forward a few years and now I'm doing well. I'm a software developer with a good degree from a decent uni, a good few years of experience and will soon be buying my own house. The majority of the kids I hung around with are either dead, in prison or on benefits with a horde of little bastards of their own.

It's true, computer games and other tech can prevent kids from going outside and in my opinion, that's a good thing.

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Fisher-Price in hot seat: iPad bouncy chair lets APPLE BABYSIT tots – parents

Semaj
Trollface

Old

Wow, old news today Reg - the DM covered this one weeks ago.

Hilariously inappropriate device though non the less.

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It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

Semaj

Re: I had to Google how to find the Control Panel...

Right click the start button (bottom left hotcorner if 8.0)

You will be happy.

Very under-reported (and non-obvious) but useful feature, which should have been in Windows since XP.

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Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

Semaj
Trollface

Lol

Unfortunate and very mean, but quite funny.

This really is what 4chan [used to be] all about. Not getting people to kill themselves or the lame moral crusades.

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MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

Semaj

Z Shops

One of the things that these "boycott Amazon" lot always seem to forget is that a large amount of what we see on Amazon is actually provided through small, independent, tax paying retailers who could not even begin to survive the hideous shop rental prices if they couldn't supplement their sales through Amazon (and Ebay).

So before talking about how evil Amazon are - think about the little guys who they keep afloat.

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Nice job, technology. Now we have to work FIVE TIMES HARDER

Semaj

Re: The promise of automation

The trick is to never give overtime for free. Leave work on time (a few mins to finish off is fine), never check your emails on the evening / weekend / holidays and have a separate work and personal mobile phone if the office always rings you.

It's tough being the only one to do this in a company of spineless coworkers but it does catch on.

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RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Semaj

The cover-keyboard was a good idea. It could have been a killer feature if it had been bundled with every surface for free rather than costing an extra ~£120.

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

Semaj

Tip

In case anyone is wondering (as I was) if this update will remove the HEIGHT restriction for running apps, the answer is no. Only the width restriction for snap has been removed / modified.

No big loss really.

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

Semaj

Hurf Durf

I'm hoping this fixes a few of the annoyances of Windows 8 on my (crap, low res) laptop.

The start button and custom corners will be nice currently it's annoying with the rubbishy trackpad. The top right one for example causing the charms bar to appear when I'm trying to scroll something.

As for the start menu / screen debate. Honestly I (and I suspect most other advanced users) don't much use the Win7 start menu. We open it, search and press enter or we use taskbar or keyboard shortcuts. One thing that we do use is the fast access to computer management etc but that's BETTER in win8 because you can right click on the bottom left hotcorner (most useful feature in the whole thing).

The only people who will actually have their use case changed are those who enjoy scrolling through the start menu, which is a waste of time.

That said - I do think the start screen is ugly and unnecessarily large on a proper screen. A middle ground would be nice.

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Now that's real science: CYBORG MONKEYS with PROSTHETIC ARMS

Semaj
Boffin

It's definitely been tried. I attended a talk by a guy who did an experiment like that on himself (essentially inserting tiny wires directly into the nerve - an incredibly painful process apparently).

If I remember correctly he was receiving the stimuli from someone else, having it sent over wifi then into his own hand.

That was a few years back though so I don't know what happened with him or his research.

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'Safest car ever made' Tesla Model S EV crashes and burns. Car 'performed as designed'

Semaj

Video

I really wish people would stop recording videos with their phone rotated vertically.

Or the developers of the recording software should automatically transpose them. It's hardly rocket science.

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Regretful selfie-snapping vixens, lads to get shame-hiding digital burqas

Semaj

Re: Pointless

I did read the article. Did you not read the comment?

If you do something in public - people can see and photograph you and the Internet has nothing to do with it.

If you are ashamed of your behavior and don't want it photographed maybe you should just not behave that way in public?

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Semaj

Pointless

What a waste of time.

Any company with photos of someone will probably remove them if asked. The problems occur when someone's peers have downloaded their own copies. It's annoying that people in positions of power still fall for that tired old Hollywood misconception that there is only have 1 copy of anything digital.

Anything you do in public is exactly that - public. If you don't want people to know about it then do it in private and don't take photos.

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Intel touts 2-in-1s, the 'new' reincarnation of convertibles

Semaj

Flimsy

For all the improvements, I just can't get past the impression that such convertibles would be really flimsy and prone to physical failure at the pivot points.

Does anyone have one? If so, are they more robust than they look?

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The bank that likes to say... crash: TSB's online banking goes titsup on launch day

Semaj

You think that's bad...

Anyone ever tried to use Standard Life's "Customer Zone"? It's IE Only for a start so if you use any other browser, the contents of the pop-up (yes - obviously it's all in a pop-up) get rendered about 10000 pixels wide and none of the links work. The design is awful and the interaction just not thought out in the slightest.

The worst though? It's only available during business hours. They actually go to the trouble of turning their web application off after 6pm. You can use it on weekends though, which is cool.

I guess the point I'm making is that finance companies are really behind the times in many ways, their IT systems being the worst.

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Crumbs, we're going to lose that public sector bid - Jeeves, send for the lawyers

Semaj

Not New

Public sector tenders are stupid and pointless. Generally they come in 2 flavours:

Tender A: The one, which has clauses in it that only <Big Company> can possible say yes to (e.g. your system must fully integrate with <Big Company Proprietary System>... which has no externally available API).

Tender B: The one where the clients don't know what they need so they pick as many tick-box requirements as they can. ISO XXXX, AAA accessibility, Investor in People, CRB ... et al. These ones are especially frustrating because those who come up with them play a game where they attend public sector conferences and talk with other tender creation people to exchange new tick-boxes. It's like swapping stickers for them.

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Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Semaj

Meh

Now I may be completely missing something because you lot (el Reg) seem to be doing a fair few articles on this thing but the only reaction I can summon of the Chromecast is "meh".

I'd be much more interested in a wireless HDMI desktop streaming dongle for the same price, if anything cause it'd make working with projectors much easier.

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Microsoft lathers up Windows 8.0 Surface RT for quick price shave

Semaj

£50

I'll give you £50 for one Microsoft, wouldn't pay any more.

I'm actually thinking of buying a new, small form factor laptop but given that I can get a really nice one from PCSpecialist for ~£500 - why on earth would I buy a surface RT for only £150 less?

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France's 'three strikes' anti-piracy law shot down

Semaj

"declining home media and ticket sales"

I simply don't believe that there is a decline in ticket sales or home media. Cinemas make an absolute fortune from every rubbish reboot blockbuster that gets released and while CDs are only bought by enthusiasts now, legal downloads seem to be doing quite well, as are devices to play them on.

Just sounds like an excuse to make a new tax to me.

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Modern-day Frankenstein invents CURE for BEHEADING

Semaj
Facepalm

Shortage

While this clearly falls into the realm of "cool", I don't really see the point.

Surely the only way this would benefit anyone is if they could be given a better body than the one they currently have. But don't people tend to die more often from things damaging their bodies rather than just their heads? Using a heart or a lung, which remained undamaged when the previous owner's been killed in a car crash is one thing but this would need an entire undamaged body. I just can't see them having many to hand.

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Microsoft's murder most foul: TechNet is dead

Semaj
Facepalm

Re: Freeride

Indeed there were a lot of users who did that. And now they will either pirate the software they need or they'll go elsewhere.

Way to go MS.

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Microsoft talks up devices, Windows 8.1 at developer shindig

Semaj

Re: Maybe

Good tip but having them arranged differently to how they are on the desk would do my head in ;)

Mostly I just use the windows key.

Oh I did forget another annoyance though - the charms bar often seems to appear when I try to scroll full screened windows - very annoying.

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Semaj
Thumb Up

Maybe

I use Windows 8 on a small laptop (with low screen res) and on my media PC. I have a Windows 7 work PC and home Desktop and an old XP machine too for some games.

I actually sent a long and detailed document of my findings around the shortcomings of 8 to Microsoft and oddly enough, these new features actually pretty much cover my major gripes.

Yeah we all know TIFKAM is a culture shock but in all honesty I don't mind it (I don't really like it and having the choice of a menu would be nice but there were worse issues IMO). The thing that bothered me most was the "invisible action areas" that you had to hover around to do anything with (very hard with multiple monitors / RDP). The start button fixes this.

My other major gripe was the res restriction (I have to do the display scale hack on my laptop to run the calendar etc). So if they are being honest about app scaling being put in then that's pretty good. Same goes for more than 2 at once.

And search all instead of just my apps would be nice too (that way it's EXACTLY the same as 7).

Tentative thumbs up from me - as long as it's not all lies. I think I'll stick it on the laptop when the ISO comes out.

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Canadian TV station wails: NFC bonking... it's not SAFE

Semaj

Re: NFC

It asked me for mine. It does remember the details until the card expires though - but that's linked to the account so it should be OK.

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German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

Semaj
Thumb Down

So it required more rare stuff and produced more CO2 ... swing and a miss guys.

Good marks for effort though - it's always worth exploring the options.

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Unwearable tech: Five ways IT garb's gone HORRIBLY WRONG

Semaj
Go

Re: Many

"Many glasses wearers have been trying to get away from wearing them, look at the popularity of laser eye surgery and even contact lenses"

Those are only popular with people who never wore their glasses at school as a child because they wanted to be like all the other little lambs. I.e. were terrified of being labelled a nerd.

So if Google whack them on a pair of chunky D&Gs (which look like utter crap anyway) and they get some vapid celeb to wear them then those same people will buy them in droves.

Personally I wont bother because I just don't see the point.

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Is social networking good for anything more than cat pics?

Semaj
Thumb Up

I find that linkedin is a useful tool for aggregating results from recruitment sites.

It's also quite handy when you need a new job quickly because the recruiters mob you as soon as you let them know you are up for grabs.

But I can't see it's purpose for anything other than finding a new job. It's too spammed up with recruiters to find anything of interest.

Out of all the various ones I'd say it's the best because it at least have a purpose - even if it is a really boring one.

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

Semaj
Boffin

Yorkshire tea bags (1 per cup) in (hot water rinsed) tea pot

Small amount of full fat milk (yes, just like Han shooting; the milk goes in first)

Let it brew strong (or agitate it)

Pour

1 tea spoon of Billingtons golden granulated sugar (or non to taste)

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Microsoft can't even shift Windows 8 slabs in the middle of a tablet frenzy

Semaj
Boffin

Third it and throw in the cover-keyboard (should come with it on all models) and then maybe.

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UK web snoop charter: Just how much extra info do spooks need?

Semaj
Trollface

Wrong Icon

You wanted this one.

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Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

Semaj
FAIL

Crystal Ball

Except that MS had something even better than a crystal ball - thousands of beta testers who all gave MS countless warnings that the Windows 8 UI was not fit for purpose. They were ignored and MS are suffering for it. Office 13 won't do well either for the same reason.

And as for the surface marketing - anyone with any knowledge of how people use computers could have told MS what a terrible campaign that was. What the hell were they thinking? The surface ad makes it look as though the (admittedly novel) case-keyboard is an add-on, which needs to be carried around separately - it's misses the whole point.

Fail all around at MS. Hopefully it'll give them the kick up the backside they need though.

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Kids as young as FIVE need lessons in online safety - NSPCC

Semaj
Coat

Lucky

I wish I'd been given lessons in how to find porn when I was in school.

I had to figure out all the good keywords myself :P

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Wii-U boat torpedoes Nintendo's '¥20bn profit' into ¥20bn loss

Semaj

Re: Good

The last PC game I played was Skyrim. The remapping in that was awful. Perfect example of a game (franchise), ruined for casuals and their consoles (though that UI sucks on console as well IMO).

I'd hope that some are better than others because chances are that I'll be avoiding the next batch of consoles for many years so PC will be my only option.

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Semaj
Thumb Up

Re: Good

Upvoted you because you are right. If consoles die out all together then even better. I just can't see it happening though where as they least they could do is throw the hardcore crowd a bone or two.

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Semaj
Flame

Good

Casual gamers have messed up gaming over the past few years because of idiot developers trying to appeal to them with "accessible" (read - dumbed down and shit) games.

The sooner they all bugger off with their phones and tablets and leave the consoles for us people who aren't going to be "confused" by having the ability to remap controls - the better.

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Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Semaj
Facepalm

Re: ToDo Bar

I like to see when my next holidays or social appointments are even if they are a few weeks away.

So it's not a massive problem for me but if I used it for business there's no way I'd put up with it. I'm sure that sales reps who like to know at a glance if they are going to be driving up the country over the next few days will be hit especially hard.

Anyway, just do a Google search for "Outlook 2013 ToDo bar" and you'll find plenty angry people.

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Semaj
Thumb Down

ToDo Bar

I can't believe there was no mention of how much they've messed up appointments & calendars in Outlook.

If you use Outlook for managing your time you will want to avoid this update.

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Twitter adds loopy videos with Vine integration

Semaj
Paris Hilton

This can only be for Porn

Enough time for a money shot I guess :P

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Google files patent for eyewear that SHOOTS LASERS

Semaj

Also it's not much different to regular glasses. You can spend as much as you've got if you buy designer spec (not that I would even if I could)

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Office 2013 now available for some home users

Semaj
Thumb Down

Re: IMHO, MS Office 13 has a largely anti-productivity UI

The UI is pretty meh, especially in Outlook, where emails in the list tend to blend into each other cause it's all white.

The main productivity kicker will be what they've done with the to-do bar though - it now only shows your appointments for the current day and there is no way to change it. Showstopper for many (every?) business I think.

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

Semaj
Meh

Software Developers

Ah but the difference with us is that we start out happy and optimistic then after 5 years or so in the industry, once enough coffee has been consumed and enough DailyWTFs have been observed; we become bitter, sarcastic, cynical bastards.

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Time has already run out for smart watches

Semaj
Boffin

Watches are a Status Symbol?

No, for most people, a watch is a way to easily tell the time. They are a status symbol of you are a douche bag who is compensating for a certain something being below average in size (do you drive an Audi TT as well by any chance?). But in that case you won't buy one of these until everyone's got one anyway.

No, this is a geek toy and will be for some time. So fix the battery issue then maybe it'll take off. It'd be kinda handy to be able to see text/IM/email and appointments without having to get the phone out.

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'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

Semaj
Facepalm

There's a Good OS in there Somewhere

I installed it on my small, low powered laptop (mostly to test) and tbh - it's not an awful OS, it's just crippled with awful, arbitrary design choices. The biggest one of which for me is that apps won't run in a lower (netbook) res and this is impossible to change, even though all of those apps have vast amounts of white space. There are a number of other issues as well but that's the one that winds me up the most.

There are a lot of low powered laptops (mostly people who don't give a toss about whether something looks good or not), which could have generated quite a number of upgrades if nothing else. If only they hadn't totally ignored their Beta and RTM feedback.

And I think this res issue is going to bite them even more in the coming months / years because surely you could produce a much cheaper tablet with a low res screen, which would be ideal for the netbook market (i.e. those who want to pay <= £200).

Ah well - at least coding Android apps is pretty easy.

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Cameron defends U-turn on web filth ban, leaves filtering to parents

Semaj
Facepalm

2 Things

I should point out that most of the comment leaving DM readers were AGAINST an opt-[in/out] block. So it's not really for "Middle England", it's for the DM and no one else.

Also one thing I posted on there too: I expect this will be done for new and current customers. They'll be asked if they have kids. What about couples who've not had kids YET. Will ISPs be informed of all births?

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Semaj
Thumb Up

Re: Is the Fail confused or am I?

Upvote for the needless delicious breakfast description and the obscure knightmare ref in your name :)

Not to mention that I agree - the DM confused me earlier as well.

I'm thinking that they just want to do the old trick of pretending that's what they wanted all along when they clearly didn't.

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Little spider makes big-spider-puppet CLONE of itself out of dirt

Semaj
Thumb Up

I'd love to see a time lapse video of the whole process. If this isn't fake it'd be amazing to watch.

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Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

Semaj
Thumb Down

Re: Angry Birds does it

I'm glad I'm not the only one whose noticed this. I thought maybe it was something set wrong on my phone or it was a version issue (I have an Ace so not exactly newest). Surely it should be impossible for apps to do such an override and it's a bug in the OS?

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A valid use for Windows 8?

Semaj
Facepalm

Remote

Now I was thinking about doing the whole win8 for media centre thing myself but I've held off because the primary method for my navigation on that PC is with an RF remote control (in place of a mouse).

And that's the problem. It seems like it would be impossible to work in the new interface with a remote (even worse than a trackpad at any rate) so I just don't fancy doing it. Plus, the majority of the time I'd be in desktop mode anyway so what's the point?

Now if I could close apps by right clicking somewhere I'd consider it.

If anyone's tried the same setup and likes it though then please let me know.

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Post-defenestration Microsoft: It's the APIs, stupid. And Metro

Semaj
Unhappy

Re: What a mess.

Hey, at least you can run the apps that it comes with by default - I have t plug a second monitor into mine to do that as the primary has too small a res.

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