* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

National Security Letters ruled unconstitutional

Greg J Preece

Re: Greg Damn constituion

".....That guy who's never been convicted of anything in this country?....." Nice little qualification there, "in our country" - he has already been tried and convicted in Jordan.

Oh, well that's alright then. If he was convicted in Jordan, a country where torture for confessions and in prisons is pretty widespread, then that should totally count as a conviction under our laws.

Fail yourself.

Greg J Preece

Re: Damn constituion

current problems we have in offloading that scumbag Abu Qatada back to Jordan

That guy who's never been convicted of anything in this country? What a bitch it is that our judiciary process doesn't come down on people who haven't been proven guilty of anything.

Greg J Preece

That's still a big "if". Citing "significant constitutional and national security issues," the judge has stayed her own ruling for 90 days or until the government appeals, whichever comes sooner. ®

Or to give the FBI time to get its last batch of them out.

Google+ architect: What was so great about Reader anyway?

Greg J Preece

(They didn't used to be like this and they are still making plenty of money so I don't see the point.)

The point is that this was always going to happen, and those people who forgot that Google are a company, rather than their best mates, are suddenly wising up to it. Google spent a lot of money on goodwill in its earlier years so that they can abuse that position later. We got a lot of really great services from it, but there is always a price. Forget that at your peril.

Greg J Preece

Of course it's going to be rolled into Google+. Google will keep rolling stuff into it and pushing that service like billy-oh until people bloody well start using it! Whether they want to is irrelevant; there's lots and lots of sexy personal data in them thar social netoworks, and Google want what Facebook has.

Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

Greg J Preece

Re: Tested a drivers skill...

With a passenger you can break off briefly in mid sentence to do some driving stuff and they can see why you've stopped talking. A phone call has different etiquette.

First thing I say to anyone when I pick up hands-free: "I'm driving, so bear with me." Then they know why I've suddenly stopped talking halfway through a sentence.

Modder hacks SimCity for unlimited offline play

Greg J Preece

Re: It's also a bit shit ...

Actually, knowing the complete lack of imagination at EA central, zombie DLC is inevitable.

Greg J Preece

Considering that's 15 quid more than most PC games at launch, the servers should have been bloody invincible.

Greg J Preece

Re: Nah

In fairness, Need for Speed has finally improved recently. They realised what a load of crap the old ones were and handed the series over to Criterion. The latest Most Wanted? From what I've played of it, it's basically Burnout Paradise 2.

For the first time ever, I actually really want a Need for Speed game.

Greg J Preece

OK, we knew they were lying. Anyone with a brain knew they were lying. But now they've actually been proven liars, at what point does their bullshit become illegal? Surely that's misrepresentation of a product?

Samsung Galaxy S 4: A slim stripper with palms hovering over its body

Greg J Preece

Ooooh, an IR port

Just like I had on Pocket PC 2002.

And Windows Mobile 2003.

And 5.

And 6.

And Maemo.

Well done for bringing us this revolutionary new tech, Samsung! I shall sit here and watch with the bemusement I normally reserve for Apple, as everyone praises you for inventing decades-old technology.

Apple's marketing honcho Schiller attacks Android, Samsung

Greg J Preece

Re: Astonishingly useable

I don't usually buy into the whole 'my phone's better than your phone' gig, but I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS running iOS 6.1.2 and I never have a problem with it. Maybe you're holding yours wrong :-) or just need to upgrade the OS.

Maybe it's a 3G, not a 3GS. :-p

Greg J Preece

Between reading the article and getting to this page, every single comment criticisng Apple has received exactly one downvote. I think we have a butthurt iOS user out there.

Much as I dislike pretty much every mainstream "smartphone" these days, the problem of Android fragmentation is over-hyped by its competitors. I can't say I've ever noticed it as an issue, and I've been using Android on my work phones since 1.5. I can't think of a single app I've wanted that I couldn't have. True, I keep fairly up to date, but I was on 2.2 and 2.3 for a long time with no issues.

I accept that it's more of a pain in the arse for developers, but the only reason no-one's using older iOS versions is that any iOS device over two years old is immediately abandoned as unfashionable and (knowing Apple's rather dodgy updates) slow as hell, and never used again.

I've got a few 3Gs in the company inventory, using the latest possible iOS (4.2, I think) - you wouldn't want to use one. They're quite astonishingly unusable.

AdBlock Plus BLOCKED from Google Play

Greg J Preece

Re: What's the difference...?

One isn't regulated by Google Play and thus continues to work?

Greg J Preece

Still available!

As a Firefox plugin. :-)

Take a temp job in Oz and become office pariah

Greg J Preece

Nice to see the UK isn't the only place where "blame it on the immigrants" is a go-to scapegoat for all the country's ills.

Well, I say nice. I actually mean "fucking disgusting."

And people do not steal jobs. They are given them. When Maddox is making better political points on immigration than you, you really need to stop and re-think your approach.

Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

Greg J Preece

Re: To the naysayers

Win8, be it on ARM or x86, is a non starter as far as I'm concerned.

Why? It's the best Windows version I've used in years, and TIFKAM works quite well on a tablet.

For the rest, your requirements for a tablet are clearly very different to mine. It sounds like you pretty much want a laptop replacement

That's what tablets used to be. What's wrong with wanting a tablet that actually does stuff?

Greg J Preece

Happy side effects?

Qt and QML, eh? Across everything? Can we finally expect greater inter-compatibility with KDE?

Greg J Preece

Re: A little bit to early

Agreed. While Canonical's work is undoubtedly impressive in such a short space of time, they are rapidly becoming the Peter Molyneuxs of the Linux world. Keep traps shut, open when system is ready.

That said, you've got to get the developers in early.

Greg J Preece

Re: What is the USP for this?

Native Linux on my phone gives me, as a nerd, a far greater set of options than Android does. Of all the jumped-up feature phones pretending to be smartphones, Android is the one I use, but for technical work it's as horrendous as the rest. Ubuntu, being native Linux, will give me the option of exposing that power. It'll be all prettiness up front, but if I want a bash terminal, I'm betting I can get one. For me, that's the USP - a smartphone that looks like the rest of the shitty modern "smartphones" on top, and actually is underneath.

Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Greg J Preece

Re: redundant string

eulampios.....are you the author of emacs?

Mozilla to Apple: we don't care about iOS

Greg J Preece

Re: kurt@delanoy.name

Sometimes, the wankers on this board lose sight of the forest through the trees.i

Well, thank you for that little pleasantry. You clearly missed the part of my post where Firefox is nice and fast for me.

Greg J Preece

Re: wtf ?

Hardly a fair comparison? Why?

iOS is a traditional operating system, and Safari runs on top of it. Gecko *could* run on it, but Apple won't let them.

B2G / Firefox OS is Firefox. The actual base of the OS you develop on is Gecko. Everything is rendered by it. It's like asking why you can't run Safari inside Firefox on the desktop.

So, yeah. That's why.

Greg J Preece

Re: kurt@delanoy.name

Hmmm, speaking of Opera as if it were Jesus. This sounds familiar.

When was the last time you used Firefox on Android? The beta? It's kinda-sorta completely different these days. Faster than the native browser on my devices.

Greg J Preece

Re: wtf ?

Did you ever read the article? Chrome isn't banned, it already has an iOS port. They just can't use V8, only JavaScriptCore. They already use Webkit anyways, so that's the same.

Firefox is also not banned, they just refuse to port because they want to use Gecko.

Oh I do apologise - theyre only banned from using their own rendering engine. Not a big deal at all, forcing them to be a deliberately slower re-skin of Safari. Nnnnnope. Nothing wrong with that. How could anyone cry foul?

And if you think all versions of Webkit are created equal, you're wrong.

By the way, I did know all that, but 'as far as I'm concerned Safari re-skins don't count as separate browsers, so the real, full-fat versions of Chrome and Firefox are indeed banned from iOS, no?

Greg J Preece

Just how advanced? We're glad you asked, because WebKit is so advanced even Google's market-leading Chrome uses it

I'd love to know what one has to do with the other. I can remember a not-particularly-advanced browser that had a stranglehold on the market.

Greg J Preece

Re: wtf ?

I reckon it's a little from column A, a little from column B, and some from column C, headed "no-one likes a fanboy smart-ass".

Safari works "fine". Firefox and Chrome would work better, so they're banned. If you're OK with that, enjoy your iOS device.


Greg J Preece

Having recently moved to Vancouver, I joined Wind, an up-and-coming pre-paid network (your credit history lags behind you by months, so I could only go pre-paid). Problem is, because they're deploying their own infrastructure, they're currently metropolitan-only. Never mind leaving the country; I'm roaming if I leave the city!

So the first thing I did? I activated the roaming options in Android. Done! Now if I happen to accidentally pick up another network's signal out in the suburbs, my phone tells me immediately, and cuts off my data connection.

It's annoying, sure, but it's easy enough to be aware of it.

Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Greg J Preece

Re: Strange Days

While I thought the allegories for the '90s L.A. riots in that film got a bit paper-thin at times, it's still an excellent sci-fi, and I agree that it's massively underrated/underexposed.

Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Greg J Preece

Re: I read the book ...

These days a movie maker has to consider all the moral and political implications of every little thing, because otherwise some nitpicker somewhere will be offended and make a huge song and dance about it...

Yeah, wasn't it better back when films were dumb, and morals were nice black-and-white absolutes?

Spoilers: NO.

Greg J Preece

Re: Hollywood

from badly digitally recreating Arnold in his prime

Aside from the claw hammer I'll be throwing at you for mentioning that film, I fixed your post for you. Same goes for Jeff Bridges.

Greg J Preece

Downvote away, fanboys. It won't change the reality that the Star Wars franchise hasn't put out anything worthwhile in a loooooooong time.

But then the franchise was always rather massively overrated...

Greg J Preece

Ah, the usual sloped foreheads in this comments section, eh?

And goddamn, this film sounds more and more like a disaster every time I hear about it.

Here's the $4.99 utility that might just have saved Windows 8

Greg J Preece

What, you think I bought this? It's a company laptop. You're right, I wouldn't have gotten a Mac otherwise.

Greg J Preece

Take away the context-switching torture feature, and Windows 8 is probably the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. The performance and storage improvements alone are worth the upgrade. But the UI is keeping punters away.


Under the silly UI (which on a Surface or phone works great), Win8 was worth the 15 quid I paid to stay up to date. It's bloody fast, and I mean bloody fast. On this tri-booting MacBook Pro it's easily the fastest operating system of the three, booting in seconds, and absolutely wipes the floor with Mac OS X (stick that in your tuned-to-the-hardware pipes, fanbois). The little enhancements lying around here and there also make it worthwhile, and it means I'll have the latest DirectX available.

So for me, this system continues to be:

Linux: Primary system, for work and getting shit done.

Windows: Secondary system, for games and media Linux can't handle (pretty rare these days).

Mac OS X: For when I have to, otherwise never booted.

Greg J Preece

Re: well hold on there pardner...

Or how you love the 24 inch monitor in 1920 x 1200 and the constant muse movements on my small mouse mat to be able to drag my stupid little mouse across MASSIVE tiles to get to the one I want because I don't have a touch screen... Or the fact I have dual screens and it takes TWICE as long.

You have a 24 inch monitor and no mouse wheel?

Metro for me is a glorified start menu, and with the keyboard support they added after its first appearance, I use it like I use every other menu these days. Hit the windows key, type a bit of what I want, hit return. It's what I did in 7 and it's what I do in Kubuntu. I see Metro for about a second, then it's gone again.

And to get to the control panel? I hit the charms menu and it's right there. That's way easier than it was in 7!

Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

Greg J Preece

Adjusted to account for Christmas, fine, but were they adjusted to account for the general upward trend in those markets anyway? As more people switch from physical to digital, what were the upward percentages in the months surrounding the shutdown?

As usual with the MPAA, I'm doubting this is the entire story. Likely cherry-picked to justify their heavy-handed tactics.

Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

Greg J Preece

May I point you to the success of GoG.com, and then ask you to STFU?

Greg J Preece

Re: All games with hype that require an internet connection.

Fail bad on the first day/week (WOW, D3, Guildwars 2, COD and prolly alot more...) The accountants should just follow this rule.

In defence of Guild Wars 2, they removed the game from sale while they set up more servers, in order to maintain quality of service for the customers who had already bought it. While it frustrated me slightly, I had to give them props for being honest and caring more about their paid customers than getting more sales in.

Greg J Preece

Re: Online for single player is BS

On the Windows and Linux versions, I don't have my login saved, and it still boots to offline mode just fine if I don't have a connection. People tell me all about this necessary voodoo of logging in, booting a game once, etc, but it never seems necessary. I got on a ten hour flight the other week, and right before it I downloaded Civ 5 to my laptop. Never booted it, never fiddled with Steam at all. Got on the plane, started Steam in offline mode, played the game.

It just works. Ironically, unlike your Mac. :-p

Greg J Preece

Re: Stick with Civ 5?

Does Civ 5 work? Civ revolution marked the end of me as a EA customer, as the endgame was bugged to hell to the extent it ruined most games and despite releasing updates that updated *something* they never fixed that.

Revolution nearly cured me of my Civ addiction, the console-cuddling piece of shit. Civ 5, however, has reaffirmed it, and as far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with EA. Registers on Steam, has full integration with it, and works perfectly - it *can't* be an EA game.

Every EA game I've bought in recent years has had major bugs that have never been patched. Alice: Madness Returns illustrated their disgusting customer attitude perfectly for me. It had several game breaking bugs reported in chorus in their customer forums. Did they patch the game? No, they shut the forums!


Greg J Preece

Re: Why...

Downloaded Gatling Gears off Steam the other day. No Steam integration for achievements, no hub....hmm....I wonder who published this, then?

"Please log in to your EA account to continue."

Ah, that explains it. Wonder what happens if I put the licence key into Origin...

"Thank you for registering Gatling Gears! Your product is ready for download."

.........Fuck's sake.

Greg J Preece

Disgusting, abusive business practices from EA? No, surely not!

What amazes me is that people still bought the fucking thing, especially given the Diablo III saga last year. EA wants to sell you something you neither own nor control, and shut it down when they, not you, get bored of it. But they still want full price for the game, plus microtransactions.

I could rant all day about EA's horrible attitude toward its customer base, but I have stuff do so, so I'll be more succinct:

Fuck EA. Fuck them in the ear.

Pwn2Own: IE10, Firefox, Chrome, Reader, Java hacks land $500k

Greg J Preece

Forgot this was happening in Vancouver around now, or I'd have gone along. Oh well, next year.

Greg J Preece

So what you're saying is, so few people have bothered buying Chromebooks that no-one had one to practice on?

Mark Shuttleworth: Canonical leads Ubuntu, not 'your whims'

Greg J Preece

Why throw it out if you like the underpinnings? Just install KDE/Gnome/whatever and carry on.

Greg J Preece

I'm in two minds on this one. If Mark can drag Linux kicking and screaming past its current desktop boundaries into popular relevance, that will most likely benefit it as a whole. He's interested in making it popular, and whether or not you like Unity, it's shiny, and shiny appeals to the end user. (It's a reality I despise, but Apple's kinda proven once and for all that end users are magpies.) Besides, just because newbies use a Linux distro isn't going to suddenly turn the kernel into Windows ME.

On the other hand, Linux bods have long since resented moves that are overtly commercial, and if he's going to continue to make Ubuntu popular, he needs the support of Linux's broad base. Move the system too far from that base, or piss people off too much, and he risks losing contributions.

It's difficult, but I'm continuing to support him thus far. Unity isn't the horrendous system-breaker people pretend it is, no more than Metro is on Windows 8 - those are just knee jerk reactions, and I'm guilty of them too. The plan's ambitious, and he has a Molyneux-style habit of talking up shit he hasn't built yet, but if he can pull it off it'll be bloody impressive. Mithras knows, I'm begging for a proper Linux OS on a proper smartphone, like I used to have before Nokia went batty nuggets.

Remember, no matter what vitriol you can hurl at his UI, at its core the distro is still very good. When Ubuntu has done things differently in the past, it's generally worked pretty well. I still run Kubuntu on everything I own - the solid Ubuntu base with the KDE I like over the top. (I did this long before Unity arrived.) No matter what happens at this point, it'd be impossible for him to take that solid base away from us.

Rid yourself of Adobe: New Firefox 19.0 gets JAVASCRIPT PDF viewer

Greg J Preece

Re: But does it work for local PDFs?

Not much use unless it opens when you double click a local PDF, you'd still need Reader or whatever.

Depends whether you're running an OS that's bothered to include such a basic tool. Okular is installed by default on my machine, for example.

Greg J Preece

Re: I've been trying it.

I see you are unaware of the dozens of memory corruption exploits firefox has been victim to.

I see you need to read his comment again. What part of "Mozilla's approach to security" means "Mozilla has never had a security bug"?

Go away, troll.

Top Firefox OS bloke flames Opera for WebKit surrender

Greg J Preece

Re: too bad the Gecko engine is half-baked bloatware

which can't even render correctly half the pages.

As a web developer with a not-insignificant amount of front-end experience, bollocks. Gecko is more consistent than anything else. I'm sure some tool will now link me to the Mozzy bug tracker, as if that proved something over every other browser that totally doesn't have a bug tracker.

But then I'm still wondering how your second sentence is justification for the first.

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