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* Posts by MasonStorm

16 posts • joined 15 Feb 2010

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

MasonStorm

Huh?

In the AnTuTu screen shot, it's ranked behind the Galaxy S4.

Forgive my ignorance if I've misunderstood, but does that mean the new S5 is slower than the older S4 ?

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Snap suggests Apple out to 'screw' hardware hackers

MasonStorm

Re: Looks Familiar...

I was just thinking exaxctly the same thing.....Lucasfilm may come a knockin'

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Star Wars visionary becomes one with the Force

MasonStorm
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Wonderful designs....

Would Star Wars would have had the impact it did without Ralph McQuarrie's wonderful designs (and John Williams stirring score) adding to the production values? George Lucas hired the right people for the job. I was a wide-eyed 7 year old when I saw Star Wars for the first time, and it was like nothing I'd seen before. The droids, the ships, the technology all mesmerised me (especially the wonderful stormtrooper helmet which Andrew Ainsworth so effectively sculpted and brought to life). Years later my wife bought me the "Art Of Star Wars" books from the original trilogy I and found that almost everything was designed by Ralph McQuarrie. Bon Voyage sir, I'll be raising a glass to your genius tonight and toasting my Shepperton Studios ANH Stunt helmet in your memory.

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Sony posts PlayStation firmware patch

MasonStorm

The media icons dissapeared from my PS3's XMB after the v4 update. It seems that they wouldn't reappear until the unit knew it was UK based. I downloaded, installed and then ran "PS Home". This seemed to do the trick and the media icon reappeared. Not sure if it will work on your non-UK sourced PS3, but worth a try ?

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TalkTalk, 3UK scratched off Ofcom's Xmas card list

MasonStorm
Happy

Me too

I was with Tiscali since my dial-up days of 1998, they were taken over by Talk Talk a couple of years ago. Never had any issues with Tiscali, nor Talk Talk.

I've got my broadband, line rental and calling plan with them at a price I'm happy with, and never had any problems with the service, reliability, billing etc.

Of course, the fact that I've not had cause to complain means I haven't experienced their infamous customer care....but other than that I'm happy and would recommend them to others.

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The BBC Micro turns 30

MasonStorm
Happy

Re: DARE DEVIL DENNIS

Hell yes !!!

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MasonStorm

Forgot to add....

....that about 6 years ago a local school was fitting the classrooms out with new PCs and the old kit was free to a good home otherwise it was being scrapped. I popped down and walked away with a Master 128, a CUB colour monitor, twin Cumana floppy drives and a box full of discs (including some original Superior Software collections). All in working order and set up at the back of the home office at home office. Every couple of months or so I'll switch it on and play Revs, Codename Driod, Boffin and loads of others just for the memories.

So in the end I got the BBC I always dreamed of, just took 20 years or so !

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MasonStorm
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I think you're right about Pacman.....

....I have an the original Acornsoft disc - it's called "Snapper".

I also loved "Starship Command"....

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MasonStorm
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Proud Electron Owner !

I had an Electron and loved it, although I have to admit that originally it was a BBC B that I wanted.....

It all started In 1982 when I wanted a Spectrum for Christmas (a few of my friends had one and I was forever round at their houses begging a go), but ended up with a second hand ZX81(with ZXPanda 16k RAM Pack) - both parents were out of work at the time, so they bought what they could afford....

So whilst most of my peers were busy playing Jet Pac and Manic Miner, I was a bit more limited with the ZX81 (apart from the odd classic like 3D Monster Maze). The result of this was that I spent more time typing in magazine listings and learning to program than I did actually playing games - and found that I was in my element. The programming bug was well and truly caught and I spent the next year playing about with the ZX81.

Starting sometime in 1983 we got BBC Micros at school and I loved programming those. So for Christmas 1983 I tentatively asked my mum if I could have a BBC B (one parent was working by that point, so a bit more money was available). It was decided that a new BBC B was too much, and they were scarce on the second hand market at the time. So a compromise was suggested - the Acorn Electron, which was "almost" a BBC B (bar the Teletext mode and a few ports round the back); and that's what I got (although I had to wait until my birthday in July 1984 since it was out of reach for Christmas 1983).

What wasn't appreciated until I started using the machine though was, apart from losing Mode 7 Teletext and a few ports, it was also a hell of a lot slower than a BBC B. To maintain the speed, a lot of Mode 2 games from the Beeb (8 colours) ran in Mode 5 (4 colours) on the Electron, likewise a lot of Mode 1 games such as Elite (4 colours) ran in Mode 4 (2 colours) on the Electron.

Having said all that, I loved my Electron to bits for it's BBC Basic and spent many an hour over the next couple of years programming away on it (and admittedly playing games a bit more than I did on the ZX81). It confirmed for me that I had the programming bug and that I wanted to make a career out of it (which I did - and am still doing over 25 years later). For my next computer I went serious and got an Amstrad PC1512 in 1988 since that's what I was using at college at that point.

Happy days !

( Incidentally, although the Electron and PC1512 are long gone, up in the loft I still have the ZX81 in it's original box with the RAM Pack and a box of tapes....wonder if it sill works? )

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Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

MasonStorm
Happy

Sinclair and Acorn still live and kicking....

In 1981 we bought a Sinclair ZX81 with ZX Panda 16k RAM Pack. This has been boxed in its original packaging for the last 20 years or so, but after reading this article I tried it and it fired up fine, connected to an old Sony CRT telly in our spare room. We also have a box full of tapes for it but no tape player to test these on....and I really fancied a game of "1k breakout" or "3D Monster Maze" !!!!

In 1984 we bought an Acorn Electron, but this was given away to a friend about 10 years ago to help their daughter learn to type....it ended up in the bin I believe.

Around 1985/86 we got a BBC Master 128 with twin Cumana 5.25" floppy drivers and a colour CUB monitor. This has been up and running in the corner of our home office for years and still runs fine; it gets used a few times a year for novelty and nostalgia value - we've got quite a few floppies which still run (mainly Superior Software collections and a few Acornsoft titles).

Our first PC was bought in 1988 (Amstrad PC1512, no HDD just twin 5.25 floppies and a B&W monitor showing the 4 CGA colours; it was upgraded later with a 32MB Western Digital "hard-card" HDD) and since then we've had another 6 desktops, 4 laptops and a netbook. Most of the old PC stuff has been scrapped though...

Feeling quite nostalgic now I've reminisced.....<sniffle> !

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iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red

MasonStorm
FAIL

Apple Customer care....?

Almost 2 weeks on, I have my new card and the £250 fraudulent transactions were charged back to Apple by the bank, but trying to get any info or an acknowledgement of a problem from Apple is impossible. They simply don't want to know. All they did was suspended my account, (after I changed the password and removed the card details) which I have since had re-activated.

A complete FAIL from my point of view. Even though in my initial email I informed them I have already changed my password and removed my card details they just keep sending me emails advising me to "change password and remove payment details if you wish", or they say "necessary actions on card ending xxxx, please do the needful with your bank" and finally to "contact your bank if you think you have been the victim of identity fraud". The emails seem to be a mix of stock cut-and-paste paragraphs interspersed with custom pidgeon English text.

I haven't been a victim of identity theft, the only fraud going on here is through Apple, and that's obvious via the number of reports on this "monthly gift card fraud" issue (including this thread on Apple's own discussion forums):

http://discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2731702&start=30&tstart=0

I've tried various times to get Applie to acknowledge the issue and asked them if they plan to proactively fight fraud in future, but every single email I've sent just results in the stock "sorry you have had a problem, please contact your bank" response. If I didn't know any better I'd think that no-one was actually reading the emails I sent.... ;-)

I give up. It's going to need someone with a bigger drum to bang than me to get Apple to acknowledge this. I've sent copies of all correspondence to Watchdog, Trading Standards and Consumer Direct. I suggest anyone affected also does this, perhaps if the powers that be take it up Apple will be forced to respond.

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MasonStorm
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@Anonymous Coward 26th January 2011 14:56 GMT

I agree with you mate, my bank should have declined long before 25 transactions had been done. Makes me wonder if £250 is the "alert" rather than the number of transactions.

I still maintain though that APPLE should have fraud routines in place to spot this kind of activity and should have stopped it far earlier - an email to say "is this genuine?" would have prevented all this hassle for me, the bank (how much does it cost them to create new card, new account, investigate etc) and iTunes (my understanding is that the bank charges the merchant for chargebacks).

<sigh>...

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MasonStorm
Unhappy

Happened to me too...

...on 20th Jan in the afternoon got a call from my bank saying suspicious activity on my credit card, 25 transactions at £10 each from iTunes in the small hours whilst I was tucked up in bed. After 25 the bank declined any more.

I confirmed that I hadn't done them and then checked my email and iTunes account. One email saying "monthly gift to xxxxx@hotmail.com", iTunes purchase history showed all 25 with exactly the same details.

I've had an iTunes account for around 5 years and never had a problem before this, no idea how the account was hacked (password was unique to iTunes account and never used anywhere else - I think from now on I will change it at regular intervals though).

Contacted iTunes via email, the usual stock response basically saying take it up with your bank - which I duly did. The bank has cancelled the card and is issuing chargebacks to iTunes.

I've changed my iTunes password and removed the card details, in future gift card only credit for me (yes I will still begrudgingly give money to Apple whilst I have an iPhone for apps etc, but when my contract is up I may consider going HTC depending on how Apple handle this).

If the bank can spot 25 transactions as being suspicous, why can't iTunes? Why would I perform 25 transactions all giving the same £10 gift to the same hotmal account? Apple need to install their own fraud monitoring routines and be pro-active, rather than passively relying on banks and users to spot fraud and sort it out.

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iOS 4.2: An 'ace' for iPad, a 'meh' for iPhone

MasonStorm
Unhappy

Still missing

All I wanted for Xmas was:

1) customisable alert tones (for messaging and email) - the number of threads out there on this subject shows I'm by no means alone, so come on Apple - listen to your users !!!!

2) perhaps this one is just me, but a "kill all" button for the taskbar would be nice. It's a bind killing them all one by one. (How about shake to kill all ?).

Other than that the only useful feature for me on my 3GS is the Safari search (which is most welcome)...

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Sony PS3 Slim

MasonStorm
Grenade

Is Backwards Compatibility really needed?

I have to agree with other posts - the PS3 Slim is not new, so why so long for this review to appear?

As for the quality of games; agreed some ports could be better, but again as mentioned by many others there are now enough top level exclusives to justify buying a PS3.

Personaly I think the PS3 is good value when you take into account it's other abilities - myself I use it for watching Blu-ray discs and streaming videos from my PC to watch on my big HD telly as well as playing games.

As for backwards compatibility - I own one of the 60gb 'fat' PS3 consoles which is PS2 (and PSOne) backwards compatible. When I bought my PS3 I sold my PS2 and most of the games, retaining only what I thought were a few essesntials. However, this proved to be a waste of time - once I'd acquired a few PS3 titles, the PS2 ones never got a look-in. Ultimately I ended up selling all my PS2 titles too. The only PS2 games I have now are the wife's Buzz and Singstar party style games, and even these are rarely used now she has a Wii....so ultimately although PS2 compatibility is nice, it ain't essential for me (and I suspect for many others). Having said all that, I do think it was a bit tight of Sony to remove it (they obviously realised they could make more money by re-selling us PSOne / PS2 titles which we already own via the PSN Store....)

(P.S. - although I wouldn't miss PSOne / PS2 compatibility, I WOULD miss my extra 2 USB ports and the multiple card reader slots, so I'm happy I've got an old 60gb fatty !).

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Frosty fanbois navigate iPhone with sausage

MasonStorm

Sausage Style(us!)

I'm more concerned about the bloke in the background on the tube photo.....either he's having a slash in public, or he's using a different kind of "sausage" to navigate his iPhone. (And you certainly don't want to get frost-bite down there !)

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