* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

PEAK iPHONE? Apple mobe growth slumps to ‘lowest in its history’

Greg J Preece

Re: @RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

Next-day replacement on ours. Apple simply throw new phones at anyone with the slightest issue to get them to go away. Makes it really easy for fanboys I've known to claim that they've never had a hardware fault - they've never seen Apple admit to one.

Greg J Preece

@RogerThat - Sweet Jesus, dude...

There's fanboying, and then there's that post. Samsung are the devil, their phones always break, there's a blogger conspiracy, etc, etc.

Knock it off.

I don't even like Android that much (I prefer it to iOS, but then I'd prefer a chainsaw in the shins to iOS), and I can tell you that the S3 is an excellent feature phone. I thought when I got it through work that I'd end up preferring my previous S2, and after quite a lot of time using it.....nope. In fact, I'd say it's better than my Nexus 4, specs be damned. The screen is gorgeous, the system is nippy, the battery life is surprisingly decent.

As a smartphone, they all suck, and I'd rather have an N950 if I could find someone to steal one from, but as a featurephone the S3 kicks ten bells out of anything Apple branded.

Greg J Preece

Re: 1/3 of their market value as cash

It's very easy to forget what was arguably the most revolutionary feature of the (original) iPhone - the data tariff.

Errr, excuse me, but o'er in Europe I was using Web and Walk long before the iPhone debuted. The original W&W was exactly that - unlimited data on all ports.

Then "smartphones" started to pick up, killed off all the real smartphones, and T-Mobile shat themselves. Bye bye unlimited data.

Kindlevision? Amazon reportedly developing set-top tellybox

Greg J Preece

They launched Amazon Prime here in the land of the Canucks and you still can't get bloody Instant Video, so don't hold out hope of it arriving in the UK any time soon. When it comes to making their content available, there's a hell of a lot of studios who apparently don't want to sell to anyone outside the US border.

Microsoft to unveil new Xbox console on May 21

Greg J Preece

Re: Love it...

Now I'm not suggesting that used game sales are stopped, it's saved me a few quid over the years, but I'm not blind to the fact that used game sales hurt the devs that MAKE THE BLOODY GAMES.

No, they don't. Pop quiz: if developers can't survive in a market that allows you to re-sell something you bought, how the hell did they ever get to the point where EA and the like could start demanding this of people?

The truth, as anyone who has been within ten miles of a shop like CeX, Game or Gamestop knows, is that used game sales directly benefit the games industry. The young 'uns can't afford the 50, 60, 70 quid a time publishers are apparently now going to be demanding with the new generation of consoles, and trading in their previously played games is the only way they can possibly buy the new ones.

Why the hell is that so hard to grasp? These are not a minority of purchasers. Everyone lampoons the teenage shooter demographic, but Call of Duty is still the biggest game release of the year, every year, by miles. Do you really think that all the young lads who boosted the CoD player count to over 7 million could have afforded the asking price without a trade-in? Don't make me laugh.

And then there's the notion of the cheap introduction. Want someone to get into your ongoing series? Perhaps letting them try the previous game out at a lower price point isn't a bad idea, eh? I discovered some of my favourite games and developers by taking a punt on a cheap game. Sucker Punch, Valve, SCE Santa Monica, etc have all made tons of money from me because I bought the first game in a series for dirt, then proceeded to buy every other game at release.

And the publishers know that one works; every time a new expansion or sequel is about to be released, the base game is put on sale for the preceeding week or two. Kindle do the same thing with eBooks, often putting the first book in a series at a massively reduced price point. Allowing people into a series at a cheap price directly benefits sales of the series, and the second hand market has been doing that well for years.

As for Steam, it's not loved for being DRM. People don't mind using it because it adds value. Compared to similar clients, Steam adds a much more useful, less invasive toolset. Rather than concentrating on constantly validating your worthiness to play, and locking everything down, Steam throws useful kit at the end user and actively encourages PC players to mod the shit out of everything in sight. It's still a refreshing change from the other big publishers.

Greg J Preece

Re: Love it...

Can you blame them for looking at ways to cut down on used game sales?


Greg J Preece

Re: Always on - obviously, this isn't 1998

How about people who can't get a persistent net connection, dipshit? And my Nexus 4 isn't always-on either. There's a big big big big big button that turns off the mobile data, and get this - when I press it, the phone continues to function as a phone! I can even still play games on it! Weird, that.

How about you outline the benefits to me of an always-monitored* console?

*This is the correct moniker, not "always on". Always monitored, all the time. If we can't keep tabs on you, you're a criminal, get out.

Ubuntu 13.04: No privacy controls as promised, but hey - photo search!

Greg J Preece

Re: sob. sob.

Still has Unity... Oh for the love of a box that says 'click this and you never have to use, need or look at Unity.' (and all the privacy stuff, and anything to do with online searches) and I might care about ubuntu 13.

You've never heard of Kubuntu? That's what I'm running Steam on. ;-)

jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

Greg J Preece

At least they're keeping both branches. By having 2.0 available now, they're getting a jump-start on a future state of the web, and they can develop with that in mind. Of course, I have to support the older IE versions in my work projects, so I'm hoping they keep that branch for at least three years yet.

In my personal projects, though...

British bookworms deem Amazon 'evil'

Greg J Preece

Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?

I bought a Sony reader, jailbroke it, then installed the Kindle app. Best of both worlds.

Brussels clears Liberty Global's £15bn Virgin Media takeover

Greg J Preece

Re: Hopeless Dopes

"Fibre broadband"? No - the same old ratty coax cable that was installed as cheaply as possible in the 1960s.

"Unlimited Internet"? No - traffic shaped, DNS-restricted, download limited, and never as fast as they claim.

"High reliability"? No - average time to restore lost service measured in weeks, not minutes.

"Low Cost" No - slightly cheaper in some ways than Sky, but you get less than half the service.

Yup, and while BT are better at some of that list, they're as bad or worse in others. Isn't UK broadband awesome? Virgin brought in many of the traffic rules after their buyout - perhaps after another buyout that will be re-evaluated.

Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

Greg J Preece

Oh well, guess I'll stick with the old Civ, uh, whatever number I have.

I can confirm that not only is Civ 5 a better game, but you can play it offline to your heart's content. I recently did exactly that on a ten hour plane flight.

Greg J Preece

Re: > steam sale type prices (Always Online Required)

erm, actually the latest info says that it is similar to this generation with the Xbox Next having a moderate graphical advantage over the PS4, just like the Xbox 360 does over the PS3.

Not sure where you're getting that nonsense from. The 360 is markedly less powerful than the PS3. Developers like Sucker Punch have even apologised to 360 fans that their games won't be ported to the X-box, because it can't cope.

Greg J Preece

Re: Been that way for a while. .

Whatever happened to getting things right the first time?

What, you don't want security updates? Fine, don't get them. Enjoy your infected system.

Go download an Ubuntu ISO and install it somewhere. I guarantee at least 250MB of updates immediately, even though Ubuntu periodically update the install ISOs. Mac OS X updates are *huge*, and download at a bloody crawl from Apple's rubbish servers.

Software gets patched. This has always been the case. Get over it. (Seriously, why are people on an IT site downvoting me for the bloody obvious?)

What is your suggested alternative? Not ship the patches? Destroy a massive number of shipped DVDs every time the smallest update comes out and replace all of them?

Greg J Preece

Re: Been that way for a while. .

How can a new Windows 8 PC need to download nearly 600MB of updates when its first booted up....

It needs explaining again that the DVD you're installing from, or the PC you're starting, wasn't set up last week....?

Greg J Preece

If the next X-box is online-only, Microsoft may well have shot themselves in the balls. From what has been previously announced, the PS4 is not, and the Wii U sure as hell isn't.

Gamers see always-on connections as nannying, as the company watching over your shoulder to make sure you're being a good boy, and that's probably because that's exactly what they are. They're also a system of planned obsolescence, as the game can't live without the service, and they're a way of taking more and more private information from the end users, to be sold and used for more and more invasive advertising.

In short, online-only can continue to fuck off, and if the next MS console is online-only, a great many of their fans may say the same. It is far more likely to boost sales of the PS4 than the console it's designed for.

'You can keep it' - Brit's nicked laptop turns up on Iranians' sofa

Greg J Preece

Re: Clowns

It is a bit odd - while El Reg has its fair share of idiots, I've never seen anything as bad as the ignorance displayed in some of these comments by quite a wide margin.

It's British people talking about potentially dodgy action taken by people who are a) foreign and b) of the type that might be described by our prince as "a bit dusky". What reaction were you expecting from Britain, exactly?

Dell shareholder: 'Rush' is because Michael D wants to buy

Greg J Preece

Got in before me. Just imagine a polite golf clap from me.

NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Greg J Preece

Re: Astonishing and nice!

We have to have it done by 2063. Someone with the right surname needs to get busy and make sure there's a lad called Zefram around at the right time.

Hey, hey, we can do without World War III, thank you very much.

Mozilla devs plotting to put a stake in <blink> tag – at last

Greg J Preece

which usability expert Jakob Nielsen once described as "simply evil."

How odd! I think I've used that exact phrase to describe Jakob Nielsen before.

Though I will admit, blinking text is pointless unless you're doing some kind of in-browser animation/game/something like that.

Greg J Preece

.........................................You're not serious, are you?

Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Greg J Preece

an operating system that was, at the time of its release was, fast and stable thanks to its roots in Windows NT

Rose-tinted glasses? When XP came out, I remember it crashing all the time, and the hardware available then being generally underpowered for the system. I ditched 2000 and went to XP around the time XP SP2 came out. The hardware available had improved (though mine was actually OK anyway), and the stability, networking, USB support, etc were much better, giving me far greater incentive to nuke Win2k. From XP I moved to XP64, which was, IMO, a belting operating system for the time. It was exceedingly fast and stable for me, and fortunately I was able to get drivers for all my hardware.

People only think XP is great now because it's had a decade of patches to make it stable, and the hardware has improved to the point where XP will run blisteringly fast. Compared to a modern system, though, it does feel very outdated at this point.

German ransomware threatens with sick kiddie smut

Greg J Preece

Re: Very dangerous indeed

Actually, the real danger is from the UK's hysterical attitude to child protection. Simply by viewing the images, you are immediately made into a criminal worthy of registration on the sex offenders register. I doubt whether you wanted to view them or not makes much of a difference, given previous idiocy.

Disney shutters Star Wars game unit with 200 layoffs

Greg J Preece

Re: Shame...

Shame that games these days demand split-second timing, loud irritating "music" and minimal puzzle-solving. The imagination needed to create DOTT, Sam n Max etc is sorely missed.

I want you to look up a company called Telltale Games.

And as others have said, just because Call of Duty and Halo make a lot of noise, doesn't for a second mean they're all there is out there.

Firefox: Use new stealth window to satisfy your wife, suggests Mozilla

Greg J Preece

Re: Really?

It's not the sort of thing you realise if you only tried Opera once back in the days of it being pay-for or having an advert banner, and even then some features we had back then have only been replicated relatively recently

This is going to astonish you, but it's possible to have used Opera and still not prefer it. No, really. No, honestly, I swear this is a thing.

Not every feature in Firefox/Chome/whatever is in Opera, and not every feature that they share is done better in Opera.

Greg J Preece

Re: Really?

How hard is it to remember Ctrl + J for Windows and Cmd + J for Mac? I don't use it under Linux, but I can't imagine the shortcut is very different, if at all.

On Linux, it's CTRL+SHIFT+Y. You were saying?

Greg J Preece

Re: Really?

While I was waiting for the inevitable Opera fanboys, yes, it was a rather annoying side effect of Firefox's private browsing - it placed all your current tabs in the background and made a new private session. When you exited, your previous tabs popped back into place. It worked, but it was kinda irritating that you couldn't have both. Nice that they've gotten around to sorting it.

A new download manager sounds excellent, too. Why on earth they decided to have the old one as a popup window (that liked to play disappearing games and hide under a different shortcut on every platform) is beyond me. Perhaps once it drops into the Ubuntu repositories I can uninstall the Download In Tabs add-on I've been using for years.

Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live

Greg J Preece

Extremely sad to hear this. I read The Wasp Factory years ago and was drawn into his work. A very talented writer, but let's not write his eulogy while he's still kicking. Good luck to you, Iain.

Egyptian navy captures divers trying to cut undersea internet cables

Greg J Preece

Re: The mystery of the mysterious operatives

The don't seem to have the facial hair of religious zealots.


...By jove, Sherlock, I think you've cracked it!

Not got 4G? There's a reason we aren't called 'Four', sniffs Three

Greg J Preece

Re: 4G - what is the point...

(seeing all the withdrawal symptoms on a flight LFR->LAX recently makes me believe that a whole generation of young people are totally addicted to instant communication/gratification. The OMG, no one has liked me in what 20 minutes, I'm a complete failure.)

You again? Oh no, are all those horrid young people still offending you with their desire to use technology rather than sit and stare at the back of the seat in front?

I was recently on a flight from Heathrow to Vancouver, and given that I was in a small seat for ten hours with moaning sods like you running like scared children from my deadly, vicious, killer...sleeping cat (not a euphemism), I was very glad to have my laptop and an X-box controller with me.

My thinking went something like this:

"Hmmm....I could be a boring fuck and stare sullenly at this boring person's boring head... There's only so many hours I can code in one stretch.... I could play Blur on the laptop? Hey, look at that, the guy next to me has a controller too! TWO PLAYER! Man, am I glad I'm not a miserable old shit who'd give up making friends and enjoying himself for the sake of being a smug elitist."


Greg J Preece

Re: But

How do you do that? Warping to hyperspace?

No, silly. You re-align the deflector dish*, vent plasma from the nacelles** and, if all else fails, dump the warp core.***

*Take a shot

**Take another one

***Down the bottle

Greg J Preece

I'd rather have the better written article than the one slapped together fastest. Why exactly is being first to break the story important? The Beeb had it up before El Reg, but their tech reporting is usually spectacularly inept.

After Leveson: The UK gets an Orwellian Ministry of Truth for real

Greg J Preece

Re: There's no need for press regulation per se

For example we learned that a transgender teacher killed herself 3 months after Richard Littlejohn ran an opinion piece in the Daily Mail basically describing how this person was "selfish" and not fit to teach or be anywhere near children.

As others have said, he should be allowed to be a shit-stain, and we should be allowed to call him such in response.

Depressingly, what gives his shit-stainery the power to hurt people is the legion of knuckle-dragging fuckwits who agree with him, not his stupid little column.

BT scores £146 meellion more UK.gov cash to fibre up Balamory

Greg J Preece

Re: Glasgow central?

If there are any BT managers watching this thread, that is how business is done in these parts. Mutual self help.

Translation for managerial types: bribery. :-p

Greg J Preece

BT will do what they always do - the absolute bare minimum to provide service at the absolute bare minimum speed that will qualify under that nice vague "super fast" banner. Then, when we've all swamped that service, they can go back to daddy government and ask for more money for their private infrastructure.

Can't help but win when you're BT. And to anyone asking why Virgin couldn't have done it - Virgin didn't bother bidding in a process they knew was a formality. Neither did anyone else. The money always goes to BT.

Lightspeed variable say intellectuels français

Greg J Preece

Pedantry ahoy!

The researchers also say their theory

Come, now. You mean hypothesis, surely?

Apple share-price-off-a-cliff: Told you that would happen

Greg J Preece

Re: pathetically dependent?

Yes, you're paying perfect attention...no Fortune 500 companies are using iPads or iPhones for business applications.

People in business spending money on shiny they don't need was covered in the article, you know. ;-)

Greg J Preece

Re: pathetically dependent?

BEG PARDON? You won't believe how much work you can get done on a tablet. Smaller, lighter, instant-on... perhaps you don't get work done on it, but I and many creatives do. With the right tools, sketching, editing, building maps, writing theses, updating docs whilst on the road are a real pleasure on them.

Depends what you're doing, naturally. I know artists that love having a tablet to doodle on. I'm a programmer. For me, tablets aren't particularly useful unless you turn them into a laptop, in which case....might as well carry a laptop.

And I do! It's a Macbook, too.

Runs Linux. :-D

Furious Stephen Fry blasts 'evil' Reg and 'TW*T' Orlowski

Greg J Preece

Followers of computer science lecturer and Twitter celebrity Dr Sue!! Black ;-) also dubbed us "misogynistic"

Is that just a go-to word when arguing with a man? I don't recall any reference to her gender beyond her name, just that she said something stupid.

Dongle smut Twitstorm claims second scalp

Greg J Preece

Anyone care to guess why the Western world is rapidly being caught up by developing nations who like our own predecessors focused their attention on doing 'the thing' they did, and not on pandering to the sensitivities and paranoia of a specific group?

Errrrr...you're honestly going to blame feminism for an asserted rapid development pace in other countries? Are you kidding me?

Look, feminism (in a broad sense) has a point. There are still sexist dicks in our society, and I do still run into them. I generally refer to them as "pricks". And on the other hand, you have people like this woman who go OTT about any perceived slight, even if it wasn't directed at them, etc. I refer to those people as "pricks" also. Their gender or social alignments have little to do with it.

1 "feminist" is a prick != all feminists are therefore pricks.

Greg J Preece

I don't get it. What exactly was the joke? Was it aimed at her, or at anyone in particular, or was it just someone making reference to their dick? Why would someone talking about their dick offend you?

I....am confused. El Reg, you're normally so good with the tittilating details.

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Greg J Preece

Re: Defensive?

Greg - Limited range inherent in the technology aside (which I think I devoted as much copy to as was reasonable)

Major flaws aside....

And you did devote time to it - especially to blasting in advance anyone who dared criticise. If you're going to qualify a review by saying that it can only be compared to other, equally flawed products, then that's not about to convince me to swap my petrol car for an electric one. Both products are in the same marketplace, attempting to appeal to the same people; surely comparison is appropriate, not nay-saying? The global sales figures don't suck because people have been waiting for the one, true EV; they suck because EVs are more expensive and less capable than the alternatives.

If I was reviewing a new video game, but you weren't allowed to compare it to other, better made, more modern video games because it would look shit by comparison....I'd be reviewing something on a Nintendo console. OK, bad example.

Perhaps Renault should have simply handed over the keys to a half-charged car at Lisbon airport and walked away letting me try to find my own charge point in an unfamiliar city?

A real world test? Perish the thought!

A fair test would involve exactly this. OK, Renault aren't about to do that because they're pushing for favourable reviews, but if you were being objective you'd have called them on that yourself.

I like the notion of hydrogen cars, and of electric cars, but they've got to be at least equivalent to a petrol car or no-one, myself included, is going to bother. And when you flat-out insult anyone who would argue that point, you're not convincing me.

Greg J Preece


You're an idiot. Just thought I'd let you know. Unless you can explain how you're going to build and maintain a solar array capable of powering the planet without:

a) Bankrupting several small nations

b) Generating any OMG POISON

c) Losing any of the amazeballs 6-hours power from the sun to, say, inefficiency

Greg J Preece

You know, this article seems really defensive. Lots of strawman-building, failing to mention the charge time on a regular socket (in case it's astronomical, I imagine), apologising for all the downsides of e-vehicles, attacking critics, etc. I'm guessing you were in Lisbon because the manufacturer had already set you up with a nice route and easily available fast-chargers, right? You don't see that as a problem? Nice, unbiased reviewing...

And before all you knee-jerkers start downvoting, I've nothing against e-cars, just this rather pathetic excuse for a review. Don't criticise the failings of the product like you're a reviewer or anything, oh no - criticise the people who dare to point them out.

I'd love to have an e-car, but taking way too long to charge and not going far enough are pretty bloody big failings, especially when you live in somewhere like BC. Maybe when the tech has improved, I'll consider one, but I wouldn't buy one of these, no matter how practical the reviewer asserts it is. If you're the kind of person that never leaves their home town....well, I pity you, personally, but you might still like this car.

NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Greg J Preece

Re: Yes the Rothschild Bank and the US Federal Reserve....

Ignoring the rest of that largely irrelevant post:

The principle is pretty simple - a 10 ton iron penetrator to lead the bomb by a certain distance, on the approach; followed by a HUGE bomb that detonates as it enters the hole created by the penetrator, thus maximising the blast energy inside the asteroid.

No. This is a really terrible idea, and if you'd listened to any half-qualified astrophysicist for ten minutes you'd know why. You "blow 'er out of the sky", you create a series of smaller asteroids, which come raining down on the planet, genius.

Twitter patents sending messages, promises not to sue everyone

Greg J Preece

Re: I'm gonna start up my own social network

Didn't someone actually make Twatter? I seem to recall the AUP saying that only abuse was allowed.

SimCity owners get free game, EA will get A NEW CEO

Greg J Preece

Ten quid says John Riccitiello blames his departure on software piracy.

Greg J Preece

Re: Not too shabby

I, too, think a better idea would be to return the game for a refund, then use it to buy one of the other games on the list.

Though I can't talk - I took the free games after the PSN hack, and I'm glad I did. It got me into the excellent inFamous series. Looking at EA's list, I'd probably take the new Need for Speed - sorry, I meant to say Burnout Paradise 2.

BlackBerry CEO: iPhone past its prime

Greg J Preece

If the iPad UI looks dated I'd guess it is only because The Apple choose to give its competitors catch up time in order to avoid monopoly wrangles.

That's the best apologist bollocks I've read since William Lane Craig. Thanks for a Monday afternoon chuckle.

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