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* Posts by lurker

272 posts • joined 24 Jun 2010

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime

lurker

Payment Methods

"On PC, payment is done via Paypal"

Card payments are also accepted through a card registered to the associated battle.net account. (Like all blizzard games, you need a battle.net account to play).

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Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER

lurker

This will be a breakthrough

In lolcat delivery technology, the principal benefit resulting from all major technical developments such as this.

"Look at the detail on those whiskers!"

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What price justice? 73 CENTS in book price-gouging case

lurker

Ironically, until very recently Amazon had the exact same policy with their 'price parity' rule on all products sold through the Amazon Merchant system - you could not list a product cheaper elsewhere (e.g. on your own store) if you were listing it on Amazon. But they were told (quite correctly) to stop that, in the EU at least.

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Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

lurker

Netflix is definitely supported on a far wider range of devices, especially when you take into consideration media streamers and the like.

I doubt that it is actually a case of Amazon wanting their product to have a more limited audience, the issue is likely that it's having to rewrite a lot of it having gone down a dead-end technology branch in the form of MS silvershite.

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Mathematicians spark debate with 13 GB proof for Erdős problem

lurker

Re: wikipedia download too big?

Actually truly random binary data would not compress well at all.

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The revival of survival – the gaming genre that refuses to die

lurker

Re: Dwarf Fortress

Relevent, a study of the pursuit of 'fun' in dwarf fortress, in comparison to 'normal' and merely 'hardcore' games:

http://dwarffortresswiki.org/images/4/40/FunComic.png

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HARD ONES: Three new PC games that are BLOODY DIFFICULT

lurker

Re: The Saga of the Saga Sagas

As above, try Googling for the definition of the word 'saga'. It's being used absolutely correctly in the context of this game.

The Candy Crush people used it inappropriately, and then tried to sue the makers of the Banner Saga for using it in the title, despite the >1000 years of precedent in the form of the Scandinavian saga literature. Classy.

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Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

lurker

Re: Valid Points

I know that in theory they should be fine, however the truth is that they are not really designed, as gaming GPUs, to run 24x7.

Given the choice between one which had seen normal use, and one which has had it's nuts clocked off and then been run with a custom water block at the absolute thermal limit for 2000 hours without a break, I'd choose the former, all else being equal. Perhaps that's just my suspicious nature.

Quite right about the warranties, but having to return stuff is hassle I prefer to avoid.

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lurker

Valid Points

I think though that to say that they (graphics cards purchased for mining) 'will not have a resale value' is an exaggeration.

It's almost certainly true however that the resale value of cards will be affected by the glut of cards which are purchased for mining and then dumped onto the second hand market when they quickly become obsoleted by a newer card. So it's true that people buying such cards would be wise to expect to be selling them for considerably less than the current going rate.

Which is potentially good news for gamers looking for second hand cards in a few month, although the question arises: do you want to buy a card which has been nuked at maximum load 24/7 for the last six months?

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Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

lurker

RE: Daley Thompson & joysticks

Those QuickShot IIs just couldn't sustain that kind of abuse, I must have killed a few before I discovered the glorious (and basically indestructible) sure shot, and later the almost as rugged (and slightly more flexible) competition pro range.

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UK.gov to Google: Kill impostor taxmen ADs hogging top spot in YOUR search results

lurker

Tax Return Gateway

Sneaky how the TaxReturnGateway people made a website with a colour scheme using exactly the same palate as the official HMRC site.

They made one big mistake though, their website actually looks professional and tidy. If you click the official HMRC link just below it you get a horrendous mess which looks like it was produced by a 15-year-old YTS trainee who had been handed a copy of FrontPage from 1998.

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Bitcoin's so over. We're mining Primeco... Oh SNAP, my box is a ZOMBIE!

lurker

Re: Erm

Translation:

I haven't a clue what I'm talking about, so I will string together some phrases which I believe are pertinent to the issue and hope that it makes sense.

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MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

lurker

Re: You have missed the boat!!!

That's certainly true for BTC, which is where the alternative Crypt based cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and more recently Doge have come from - because scrypt doesn't currently benefit from the ASIC hardware out there (although naturally there are people working on Scrypt ASICs).

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Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

lurker

If you read the article carefully, it doesn't say that it's the same password used elsewhere, just that it is based on the same phrase (from the Koran) on which other passwords were based.

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Windows Phone app devs, this is for you

lurker

Title

"Windows Phone app devs, this is for you"

What, both of them?

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Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

lurker

Re: What's the point of upgrading

PC Gaming market is actually still very healthy, Steam and other online game retailers have really helped keep the PC going as a gaming platform - you get a lopsided impression from high street retailers with racks of console games and a tiny dusty PC games shelf in the darkest corner of the store, because very few PC games are purchased physically nowadays.

Source: I work for a company which sells gaming PCs online in the UK, sales this year are better than last year, and that was better than the year before, etc. Our view of the market is quite different from that reported by El Reg with monotonous regularity, although obviously these nuggets from 'analysts' are looking at the 'monolithic' companies rather than the smaller outfits like ours.

Obviously, the gaming PC market is a small corner of the overall PC market, which is undeniably shrinking for the reasons cited by other posters - simply no pressure to upgrade, since a PC which ran a web browser and office software three or four years ago will still happily run a web browser and office software.

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Now THAT'S a sunroof: Solar-powered family car emerges from Ford labs

lurker

Look at it this way, if you typically used this car only for short journeys - e.g. the school run, it could effectively be free to run. Pretty sure you can see the point of a car which doesn't require petrol?

Obviously, it's not going to work for everyone.

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You're spending WHAT on iPhone 6? Wells Fargo downgrades Apple stock

lurker

Apple doesn't innovate, that's just their marketing department at work. What Apple best does is refine, reduce and repackage existing innovations in a highly effective manner, while claiming to be innovating. What it needs to do is what it already did with mp3 players, smartphones and tablets; find another (existing) class of product which is 'out there' in the hands of a niche market and ready to be brought to mass market.

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Security guru Bruce Schneier to leave employer BT

lurker

Re: writing for you

No offence to El Reg, but I doubt they could afford him.

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Bigger on the inside: WD’s Tardis-like Black² Dual Drive laptop disk

lurker

Re: Not perfect, but...

Yup, like all amateur reviews this assumes that 'big numberz hurr hurr' sequential read speeds are the most relevant metric, when in fact very few normal usage scenarios are based around large file transfers. Information about IOPs is easily available from SSD benchmarking tools, and is at least as relevant as the sequential transfer rate, since operating systems typically access a lot of small files rather than a single monolithic blob.

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While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

lurker

[mod snippage - see above]

Indeed, I'm not usually a BBC-basher, I don't mind paying my license fee. But Rory Cellan-Jones is nauseating. If you put him and Stephen Fry in a room together, the universe might well disappear up it's own backside as a result of the ensuing "smug IT pseudo-expertise" critical mass event.

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No, it's NOT Half-Life 3 – it's Valve's lean, mean STEAM MACHINE

lurker

Re: This will either save PC gaming or kill it.

Pretty sure you can just launch XBMC through steam's big picture UI, problem solved.

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UK.gov forks out £250k to rescue EROTIC novelists and pals from PIRATES

lurker

E L James (50 shades of Grey) would beg to differ. Her work comes from this 'fan fiction' background, and sold very nicely.

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Ding-dong, Cthulu calling: Infogrames’ 1992 Alone in the Dark

lurker

Re: About gameplay and atmosphere

Brogue is good. But half of the appeal of nethack is how precisely "un-streamlined" it is, all the silly little touches and obscure details and tricks give it character.

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lurker

Re: Pickman

Except for the spelling, it's "Cthulhu".

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

lurker

Re: Raising Skinny Elephants

"Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken" is the one I recall.

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Amazon: OK, OK. We'll let traders flog tat more cheaply elsewhere

lurker

Re: I wish the competition commission would do something useful instead...

@Graham Triggs

What you are failing to take account of there is the completely dominant position of Amazon in the e-commerce marketplace. You say "they just can't list it on Amazon if they do" as if that's a non-issue, however for many small companies (not the one I work for thankfully, as we have a brand and a long-established customer base of our own) selling on Amazon is the only way to stay in business; not selling on Amazon is effectively not an option if they wish to continue to pay the Mortgage.

"There is no reason for Amazon to not protect it's customers by asking retailers to ensure that they are not charging more on Amazon than through another outlet"

There is a very good reason for Amazon to not do this: this is price fixing. Don't just take my word for it, the OFT seems to agree.

And if you think that this activity s 'to protect the customers' you are hopelessly naive. For reasons explained several times throughout this discussion, the end result of this activity is higher prices for the consumer, because smaller retailers are basically having to build the Amazon tax into products even when selling them elsewhere than Amazon.

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lurker

Re: price comparison sites

Spot on. The net effect of this policy was a global increase in retail costs to the public. This is because retailers were forced to bump their "own" prices up to match the "Amazon price" if they wanted to list on Amazon, and the Amazon price was necessarily higher because AMZ takes a significant percentage fee from each transaction. This is good news for customers and for small retailers, and it's very good to see the OFT actually doing something to protect the UK economy from an aggressive tax avoiding "global megacorp" here.

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lurker

Re: Price competition?

Exactly what the guys above said. I work in an online retailer, in an industry where margins are typically low (10% difference between retail and cost price typically). If we wanted to list on Amazon, we (formerly) had to bump up the price on our own store to include the 'Amazon tax' if we wanted to list a product on Amazon.

This change means that we can now list our products at our own prices on our own site, and also list them on Amazon with the 'Amazon tax' built in to the Amazon listed prices. So the prices will be cheaper on our own site than on Amazon, with the benefit to the customers of Amazon of course being that it provides a single marketplace/comparison site - but those customers might now have the option of finding the product listed cheaper elsewhere by cutting out the middle-man, which is of course exactly what Amazon were trying to prevent.

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Web showered in golden iPhone 5S vid glory - but is it all a DISTRACTION?

lurker

Re: It'll be the..

"Crap attempt. They already invented that."

Except that they didn't. The Xerox Alto says "hi!".

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Apple sucking triple the phone switchers as Samsung – report

lurker

Re: MacRumours: Android grows to 80% of market, iOS drops to 13%

"Is this "report" just a very clever but desperate attempt to disguise this fact?"

That's exactly what it is. Cherry pick some fruit-friendly figures and pretend that everything is going swimmingly.

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Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip

lurker

Re: Eh?

Pretty sure you know what I mean. There are likely still jaquard loom enthusiasts out there too, but that doesn't prevent it, or the Amiga, from being very much legacy technology.

I loved the Amiga, and at the time both the hardware and the O/S were way ahead of the competition. But those days are gone, and now it's of interests to retro computing enthusiasts (who I understand and applaud) and small minority of cranks who refuse to accept that things have moved on.

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lurker

Re: Eh?

Just what I was thinking.

There were graphics akin to this (ok not quite so pretty, but still filled polygons) in Zarch/Lander back in 1987 on the Archimedes

In 1993, when this was released, the Amiga was nearing the end of it's lifespan, but back in 1989 I was playing Stunt Car Racer - with not drastically worse graphics than this - which even had a "networked" multiplayer mode over a null serial cable.

The GPU-in-the cartridge trick is quite neat though, if a bit bizarre :).

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Microsoft cuts Surface Pro price by $100

lurker

@LDS "but it's true it's not a device for everybody"

To judge by the truly staggering losses being made, it's a device for barely anybody.

I can appreciate that hardware-wise it actually is a nice bit of kit, but I would never go near it personally because of the boot lockout, even if they were to drop the price to sane levels.

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Leaked photos of iPhone 5C parts portend ugly Google legal battle

lurker

Copying is not Apple's vocabulary

... they are 'innovating retroactively'.

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

lurker

Re: VI?

@Thing

I sense a disturbance in the force. You are a user of the operating system known as 'emacs', I suspect? :) I understand that there are plans to add an editor to that, one day?

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lurker

Re: Indentation

In VI you can easily remap the number of spaces per tab, I would imagine most new-fangled editors have the same option somwhere.

Which is precisely why you should use tabs instead of spaces, actually. Because then someone else who dislikes reading compacted two-space-indent code can view it the way they want when they open it in their own editor.

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lurker

Re: Personally

Dear god, your poor mouse wheel!

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lurker

"Well, they're wrong. Braces come in pairs and should be visually paired up by putting them in matching columns. Putting the first one at the end of the line is just stupid."

Having the brace pairs match up doesn't really matter, though - having the closing brace line up with the relevant function/method/class/other language construct is what actually counts. As such your extra newline just makes for more whitespace - probably you are the sorts of programmers who judge your success by line count, the higher the better? ;)

On the other hand I'm a former paid JAPH, and as such spent years working with code which looked like an explosion in a punctuation factory - and loved it - so my opinion on this matter can safely be ignored.

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Ubuntu puts forums back online, reveals autopsy of a brag hacker

lurker

"Seemingly if a user account (especially an admin/moderator account) is compromised then there is nothing much that can be done apart from limiting what those accounts can do in the first place"

That's very true. The issue is that vbulletin is really not a very security-minded application, it's a 'kitchen sink' forum application which is designed to provide any features a forum owner might want. Basically if you have admin access to it you have been given full access to the server, especially through the 'hooks' mentioned in the article - at the absolute minimum the Ubuntu sysadmins really should have disabled that feature.

The mistake Ubuntu made was being lazy and choosing to use vBulletin rather than writing their own custom forum application, compounded by their failure to properly review the vbulletin configuration from a security perspective - not a very big project given the wealth of development talent available to them. Considering that they are asking he public to stump up 30 million dollars to help them develop a smartphone right now they really need to take a little more care.

And I say this as someone who's really not anti-ubuntu, or anti-vbulletin, I have used the former at home and the latter at work.

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lurker

That's either deeply misinformed or deeply misleading. If you're saying (as you seem to be) that the web is a more dangerous place than usenet was, then yes, strictly you are correct. It's also true that our motorways today are much more dangerous than the bridleways of the eighteenth century.

Presumably when you are talking about 'web applications downloading code to your machine' you are speaking of javascript? If so then yes, there is some truth in what you're saying although Javascript runs in a sandboxed environment (the browser) so it's not being executed in the same sense as e.g. a windows .exe.

However javascript is not actually required to make a web application, it is only needed to make a more responsive web application with greater interactivity. Web applications were developed for a long time without any javascript before the advent of ajax, and as such your comment that 'web applications are evil' is patently silly.

Yes, using a browser on a windows machine is considerably more risky than using rn on a soliaris box in the early 90s was, but this is hardly evidence 'web applications are evil' unless you are writing from a 'back to nature, progress is evil, smash the machines' viewpoint, in which case I have to wonder how you managed to make this post in the first place.

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Buy a household 3D printer, it'll pay for itself in MONTHS!

lurker

Given that Step 3 is probably..

3) Permanently lose the use of your hand when it fails spectacularly.

..I'm not sure that your step 4 is accurate.

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So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

lurker

Re: Raises hand...

@Robert Carnegie

I think the point being made was more that many people don't care about the wide availability of 15,000 fart apps, and are mostly happy to use the apps which come as standard with the phone.

I mean, I'm an alpha nerd who was compiling kernels by hand back when linux came on 22 floppies, but I still don't really have the time or inclination to mess around with my current smartphone (nexus 4) much. So although in theory I am glad to own an unlocked phone which I can potentially tinker with, actually for 99.9% of the stuff I use the phone for, a winphone would probably do the job just as well despite a much smaller pool of apps.

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Five charged as Feds bust largest credit-card hack in history

lurker

Re: And yet the NSA never even noticed?

Not this, unless the data in question was slurped from government systems.

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Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev

lurker

Re: Sorry if it contravenes the 'Linus is God' mindset ...

Actually she's not a volunteer and she's not working for free, she is in fact being paid by Intel.

Sure, the man is no diplomat. But on the other hand, his occasional habit of letting loose when people who should know better make stupid mistakes has probably saved us (as in the many people in the world who depend on linux one way or another) from a lot of grief and annoyance.

In short: "Boo Hoo, someone shouted at me over the internet because I messed up". These people presumably have never been on xbox live, they would have a breakdown in minutes.

Personally I like the fact that Torvalds is human and not just some faceless corporate drone.

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Ciseco Pi-Lite: Make a Raspberry Pi trip light fantastic with 126 LEDs

lurker

Re: There are many LED matrices

Assuming you mean me, I dunno - I'm just a code monkey :) But we're not on the highstreet so probably the latter.

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lurker

Re: There are many LED matrices

"But non-free S&H often ruins an otherwise decent price."

As someone working for a non-tax-avoiding UK online retail business, I often wonder how people have come to the conclusion that all shipping should be free nowadays. Sadly, none of the couriers we work with are prepared to move our stuff around the country without requiring some kind of payment in return (how selfish of them!). Perhaps you know of some secret underground network of couriers who act out of sheer goodwill? If so please let me know!

And yes, I know why people expect this nowadays: Amazon. But surely you must logically understand that the only way this can be achieved is either through sticking markup on items to cover the margins, or by making savings elsewhere such as nominally running all your profits through the "greater republic of nonexistia", and thereby making the UK taxpayer pay for the shipping anyway, albeit indirectly.

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Who ate all the flash pie: Samsung, 'course, but hang on... GOOGLE?

lurker

Research is hard

1. Google for 'Google SSD'.

2. Click first link.

3. ....

4. Profit???

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NSA PRISM deepthroat VANISHES as pole-dance lover cries into keyboard

lurker

RIP Bill

"Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do as we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!"

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