* Posts by M Gale

3552 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Dixons' best chance? Quit the UK and move to Sweden

M Gale

Re: Jim Morrow

This is DSG we are talking about. These are the people that will charge one price for walking into the store and asking, and another price for walking into the store with a smartphone/tablet, pre-ordering the product IN THE STORE, and then still subjecting you to the same godawful hard sales techniques when you go to pick up the product that comwes from the same place, and costs the same amount to store in the shop.

It may be a "web price", but it's hardly a web purchase is it? That pre-order scheme was made with one thing in mind: To get you into the store where they can pester you to buy a warranty, instead of buying off the web where you just uncheck the little box that says "rape my bank account please."

M Gale


That's what I used to do. Couldn't see any sense in turning a customer away when I could just grab OpenOffice, tell it to create a link to "www.pcworld.co.uk" and double-clickie.

Of course the manager would get on at us for doing so. Fortunately you found a store where the staff hadn't had all sense of individuality beaten out of them yet.

M Gale


...as hammered into me during my unfortunate tenure with their PC World arm, knowing about computers is not part of the job description. Knowing how to SELL computers is.

German prangs dad's £275k supercar

M Gale

To be fair..

..you don't have to prang a car hard to fuck it up completely. They are designed to fall apart around you these days, so you don't become one with the metal framework. 50mph into a sufficiently solid barrier will really ruin your day, and you'll be thankful for crumple zones when you wake up in hospital.

M Gale

Famous last words...

...of any boy racer:

"Here, watch this!"

Apple's 'Do Not Track' feature goes on Safari

M Gale

You there, Mr Coward.

An awesome idea, sir.

M Gale

Of course...

...if you had a "do track" header, the advertisement networks would never get paid!

Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense

M Gale

Windows-native? Well, Windows-specific perhaps.

I don't know about any of the others, but I'll bet the old directx.transform bollocks still works in IE.

M Gale


I want it funky dirty native!

M Gale

Re: Oh for crying out loud

So if I write a Brainfuck interpreter in C++ it's "Native Brainfuck", but if I write it in Ruby it's not?

Brainfuck is not native on any platform that I know of, and neither is HTML5.

M Gale

Because back in the day...

..."2D acceleration" meant little more than having a honking great RAMDAC pumping pixels to the screen at inordinately high rates. That 2D part of things hasn't really evolved at all since then because it doesn't need to.

However, the GPUs in a modern 3D graphics card can be re-jiggered to process all sorts of numbers.

M Gale

Two seat mid-engined sportsters...

...do not generally class as "large".

How do the people in Chelsea Tractors manage?

Winfrasoft touts pattern-based password alternative

M Gale

Sounds like a numberised version...

..of Android's gesture-unlock function. That one works fine until there's the tiniest bit of moisture on a capacitive screen, then all your accuracy goes to shit until you wipe it off.

Still, could work.

Dell flings Froyo tablet at Brits

M Gale

lol, someone doesn't like the truth.

http://s267.photobucket.com/albums/ii282/technicalfool/notanipad/ <- truth. You can't do this with an iPad. Or any other 10" tablet, really.

M Gale

10" is way too big.

I want something I can fit in my pocket. If I have to heft it about in a backpack or a bag, being fearful every single time someone bumps into me, I might as well get a laptop (you know.. a real computer and not a big toyphone) for the same price and do more with it.

Seriously, what are Apple thinking by ignoring the 7" form factor? Ah well, more money for the droids I guess.

Google admits Android 'both open and closed'

M Gale


"Mark my words, Google will lock down the apps "market" in the next year or so because they can and it's an income stream."

I think the lawsuit from Amazon would be an awesome beast to behold, if that were to happen and their new budding Amazon market app were to be banned. Not to mention the other alternative markets that come on the cheaper, non-google droids. I think you'd hear the words "class action" within maybe five minutes of that announcement?

I don't think Google would be that stupid.

Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

M Gale

Fukushima releasing bunnies in a multi-sprite animated explosion.

I don't care if everyone's downvoting you. You get an upvote purely for that mental image.

Better hand me a new keyboard though. Tell you what, give me the one you just nicked from Lewis and we'll call it even.

M Gale

I didn't say "should".

I said "could."

And yes, you could. If you were concerned by that sort of thing.

M Gale

Wind? Low tech?

Just because it doesn't involve smashing atoms into their component particles, doesn't mean modern computerised windfarms are anything short of mind-bogglingly complex. Yes, the basic operation is "wind makes a set of blades turn around", but that's a little like saying "stuff enough uranium in one place and it gets very hot".

That and aerogeneration as we know it hasn't been around for much longer than nuclear power. It's a modern technology. Oh, there's some small scale electrical generation going back to the late 19th century, and people have been filling sails with wind for millennia. The heavy duty stuff however, only really started appearing in the 30s and 40s, possibly due to revolutions (har har) in aerofoil design.

Now if you can put a big metal and chicken-wire frame around the things and make them look like giant desk fans, you could probably get rid of the one real environmental impact of wind farms which is the exploding pink feather clouds that tend to result from flocks of birds flying through the blades.

Nokia gets touchy-feely with two new Symbians

M Gale


...Nokia *phones* can be quite good. They are phones. They make calls. They have a battery life that lasts for longer than the length of a gnat's fart. They're cheap, and they work. Every functionality you could want from a *phone*.

Nokia *smartphones* on the other hand... ew. Either an operating system that they have said is getting canned so there's really no point buying if you want to buy apps a year down the line, or an operating system made by Microsoft.

M Gale

What an advertisement.

"We're desperate to drop support for this device. Please buy it!"

James Cameron to amp up Avatar frame rate

M Gale

But then...

We'd be complaining about "Dances with Chipmunks", Shirley?

M Gale

Who or what is "the"?

Unless it's a pet name for yon Moderatrix. Doesn't she own us all anyway?

Sorry, I meant "pwn".

Wind power: Even worse than you thought

M Gale

245 comments and no time to read them...

...so forgive me if this has already been mentioned.

I'd say the inability of the system to dial its thermal use down when a known-intermittent source is bulging at the seams with juice is less a fault of aerogenerators and more a fault of the system. You've put down plenty of reasons why the current business model needs a kick up the arse but not much convincing me that wind, wave, solar etc are all hopelessly crap.

Still, good troll I suppose.

Nude Florida man in gunfight with police SWAT robot

M Gale


Give it a day or two for the commentards, the guy might be right after all.

Binary dinosaur drive found alive and breathing fire

M Gale

Re: Format?

..Also a subject of this semester's Computing in Society module, where the prof pretty much reached the same conclusion. In 20 years, will there be Word v6 file readers still around? What happens to all the documents still written in it?

Open standards. Good for more than just feeling superior about.

SpaceX unveils new Falcon Heavy rocket - WORLD'S BIGGEST

M Gale


It'll be after they cause irrepairable damage to SpaceX's reputation by trying to fling a Robin into GEO with the thing. Or seeing if Stig v3.0 can beat one in a drag race.

Floating Image

M Gale

I have one of these.

Sold as the "ZTE Racer". It's an okay cheapy droidphone, but some people don't like single-touch resistive screens. I especially don't like pulling the thing out of my pocket to find it's called the emergency services in my pocket.


There should be a feature in these phones so that the emergency service guys can determine whether a phone has been triggered in a pocket and set an alarm off or something. Better yet, make it so that the screen can't be brought up with the "unlock or press emergency call button RIGHT FUCKING HERE" just by pressing a button on the front of the bloody device.

Human heart could power an iPod

M Gale

Massive potential?

So how easily could these be mass-produced? What about a few hundred thousand of them waving in the current under a floating platform? Implanting them under pavements?

Could be an awesome universal mechanical to electrical energy converter, depending on the efficiency. Maybe use it to harness every ounce of juice from vibrations in power station equipment? Provide cheap electricity off-grid? Lots of potential, if it can be made by the milion.

Game stocks shops with Tesco 3DS consoles

M Gale

I'll probably get one.

If only to replace this DS lite with the knackered hinge/shoulder button. Not at this price though, might give it a little while.

Say what you like about Ninty's later-gen consoles not having a bajillion shader pipelines or being able to render things down to subatomic accuracy. Nintendo are first and foremost a game company, unlike any of the competition. They are undeniably good at what they do. The games tend to be cheaper as well, which in my eye is a double plus.

This coming from someone who always bought Sega consoles...

Google's 'clean' Linux headers: Are they really that dirty?

M Gale

What this looks like...

Developer: I've stripped out a bunch of info from these header files and am using them under my own copyright agreement.

IP lawyer: But the authors might sue you and anybody who uses your stuff!

Author 1: No we won't.

IP Lawyer: But the authors might sue you and anybody who uses your stuff!

Author 2: No we won't, really.

IP Lawyer: But the authors might sue you and anybody who uses your stuff!

Author 1, Author 2, Developer: *sigh*

Steve Jobs vindicated: Google Android is not open

M Gale

It's Monday. I haven't had my coffee yet.

"I'm shocked that so many people are just happy to let them do whatever the fuck they want, and genuflect at their name."

And no other drivelling, idiotic, slack-jawed fashion victims do that for any other consumer electronics manufacturer parading themselves as Messianic, do they?

Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

M Gale

And therein lies the problem.

By acting as the self-appointed Arbiter of Morality, as opposed to just deleting malware, Apple and its app store will always have this trouble. You can't cater to one special interest group without catering to them all, and by agreeing to censor you become a lot more liable for any objectionable content.

Same problem with national firewalls and other such hysterically child-contemplating ideas.

Google juices VP8 open source video codec

M Gale

Duck video!

I'm pretty damned sure I remember that. Used to compress a lot of early PSOne/Saturn/Mega CD-era FMV, back when it was called "FMV" and not just "Video".

Nice to see where it ended up. Shame to see the MPEG LA doing an SCO.

AT&T ends illicit handset tethering

M Gale

Also reminds me..

Of when Blue Yonder (now Virgin Media) had a rule barring you from hosting anything other than "personal use" servers over broadband, and no servers at all on dialup. That somewhat insane rule (almost as insane as running a server on dialup) didn't last too long!

Anyway, in some parts of the country, VM are still the only feasible choice for broadband so are a de facto monopoly. I understand AT&T are in a similar position. "You pays your money, you makes your choice" doesn't sound quite so justifying of onerous business practice in this case, surely?

M Gale

More like..

The boiler has a crapton of capacity and you hired a plumber to have radiators in all your rooms, not just the kitchen.

And all analogies are bullshit.

M Gale

But you're not.

You're tethering a device through a phone that I presume has been approved for connection to a public telephone network. There's no more a circuit from your laptop to AT&T than there is from me to Vulture Towers right now. Ain't packet switching great?

WTF is... cloud gaming?

M Gale

Photos at 720p...

...generally look better than cardboard mock-ups at 1920x1200, surely? I can see this being awesome for mmo games. No chance I'd want this to be the future of all games, but that's less resolution and more down to ownership issues.

Microsoft compares Amazon cloud to 'horseless carriage'

M Gale

Not only the hardware and applications.

Also all of "your" data. I know there's some real use for a rentable, scalable computing resource attached to a whacking great Internet connection, I'm just not sure my day to day computing or a company's trade secrets is it.

Hacker kills his own Pwn2Own bug for Android phones

M Gale

$31337 would be nicer.

Not that I'd complain at the grand-and-a-bit.

Shuttleworth sees fewer clouds in Ubuntu's future

M Gale

An animal for "p"?

Hm, I'll have to think about that one.

Three pushes UNLIMITED data to PAYG punters

M Gale

I could use this.

Already got close to the 2gb limit once on their £5 deal due to youtubing on the bus in the mornings. Plus 300 minutes? Methinks I know what package I'm getting next month.

Also, the Rate Article and Post Reply links are way too close together on a 7" toyslab. I didn't mean to give this article 1/10, honest!

Android malware attacks show perils of Google openness

M Gale

As evidenced by the flashlight-cum-tethering app...

Apple don't do a complete code audit of every app in their store. What's to stop a similarly spiked app with a rootkit on board making it in? Only one hardware platform to figure out how to root, too.

Well, unless it gets banned for not having a convincingly wet sound to the farts available, or something.

iPhone 'Death Grip' effect is real, plastic cases don't help

M Gale

Oh hell yes.

"Just hold this a minute", he said. I tell you, a 100w rig being keyed up is as effective as a cattleprod for various assorted bastardry.

Google preps YouTube movie service 'for UK'

M Gale

But will I be able to pay for it?

What with having a Maestro card.

Other than that, good show. El Goog certainly have the bandwidth available.

Memo to iPad mimics: No one wants a $799 knockoff

M Gale

I'm a sucker for a sweet little toy

"Currently Android tablets are sharply divided into two categories -- sub-$200 junk and wayyyyy too expensive."

I keep pimping this 7" toy I've got here (selective quoting opportunity right there), a Commtiva N700. Also sold as a Linx 7, amongst probably a couple of other names. It has a capacitive screen, Froyo and 512MB RAM. Not the biggest on-board flash ROM at the same 512MB, but you get a micro SD card slot so that's less important.

It's not as snappily responsive as a higher-end tablet like the Tab or Pad, but it's what I would regard as good enough. No Flash because of the 600mhz clock speed, but that hasn't been a big problem. While something like Captain Forever could be nice to try on a toy like that (and if you haven't ever played it, get yourself to www.captainforever.com and have fun), there's still plenty of games in the Android Marketplace that don't depend on Adobe's plugin.

Price-wise, it's £300, as opposed to the Tab's £450 and the iPad's £_shitloads_via_a_contract. Has features like tethering and portable AP functionality without having to root the thing, and £300 is the wifi+3g, SIM-free, no-network-lock, you-actually-own-the-device price.

Plus, at seven inches, it'll fit in a large pocket. The protective wallet you get with it isn't bad either. Find a shop selling this thing and ask to have a play with it, see what you think and whether you like the price in $.

Government defends need for census

M Gale

So that was YOUR form was it?

Ex 2001 keyer here. You bastard, I had to use gloves to handle that rancid mess!

Mind you, couldn't be any worse than rotten dogshit and the various other substances I had to deal with daily. You'd almost think there were a shitload of people unhappy with being forced to hand over personal information!!!!

(As an aside, my favourite forms were the ones where the person had written a 1000 word essay on Why The Census Is Bullshit, all around the margins. Or the people who work in data entry writing things like 'I bet you're halfway through a really boring shift right now - don't worry, it'll be over soon and then you can get a beer.' Useless as a form of protest, but it gave me a smile.)

M Gale

That last bit reminds me of 2001.

Some guy was prosecuted for putting down "British" as his race. The judge ruled that there is no such thing.

For this census, I will put my race down as "human". I would like the judge to try and argue THAT one.

Apple 'greed' tax spreads beyond music, movies, magazines

M Gale

Tesco and Amazon.

If I don't like them, there's always Aldi or play.com. Good luck shopping around for alternatives on your iToy, whether consumer or producer.

No, rooting the thing does not count, any more than me ram-raiding the local Tesco.

Now it would be nice for the Android Market to let me buy using vouchers or PAYG credit, especially after Google's bone-headed decisions on Maestro and now Solo debit cards, but this is not quite in the same league as forcing devs to pay to register, pay to publish and NOW pay Apple a tax for every subscribing customer. Ohwell, the Droids have a plenty big market now. I'd say they've achieved critical mass. Plenty of users there for any pissed-off iSomething devs to become ex-iSomething devs.

Sent from my Commtiva N700, which allows me to install apps from non-approved sources.

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