* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Popcorn time at Popcorn Time: More vid slurpers hauled into court

Greg J Preece

Re: Causation/correlation?

I've seen Popcorn Time, and it's got a surprisingly nice interface. There's a disclaimer on the site it comes from, but the app is quite professionally put together. I'd think it reasonable that at least some users aren't aware of what they're doing. You don't see the torrent, the data, the seeding or anything like that. It looks like Netflix.

Of course, if the rights holders weren't so astonishingly out of touch, they might be asking the important question: what benefit does Popcorn Time provide over their own service? Well, it has way more movies instantly available than any legal streaming service, because of the constant exclusivity deals and squabbling over licencing, and it doesn't make users jump through hoops like Ultraviolet and the like do. As Jim Sterling puts it, "you push a button, and get the thing." Users will pay for convenience, but if they can get superior service for no cost at all, you bet your ass they'll go for it.

Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

Greg J Preece

And in such straightforward language, too. I was also impressed. It's a very small thing in the big picture, but it's nice to hear a politician act and talk like they're not a scripted Ken doll.

Greg J Preece

Re: Proof, (if it were needed)

Once Scotland becomes independent

While we're talking about pointless gestures...

Greg J Preece

Re: Proof, (if it were needed)

*Cough* Welsh *Cough*

Completely pointless nationalistic resurrection of what was a near-dead archaic language, that now merely requires everything to be printed twice. Oh goodie, I'm so glad my Welsh forebears wasted everyone's time and money making things more difficult for the sake of a national ego.

But then, I've always been of the opinion that if you need "heritage" to provide yourself with a personality, you must be quite dull. Has any Brit here ever genuinely defined themselves as an individual by what happens 500 years ago? How about 1000?

Watch out, Tokyo! Samsung readies a 15 terabyte SSD

Greg J Preece

Roll on SSD. Why people are still even trying to make HD I find baffling.

Didn't you answer your own question above? Capacity. That's why I still have a mechanical drive in this desktop, after all, along with 750GB of SSD space.

Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

Greg J Preece

The fun part of this rage-filled comment thread of hate is the presumption that he's guilty and hiding out from that, which conveniently ignores both that he was already in hiding when the allegations arose, AND this part of the article that you all seem to have missed:

The former chief public prosecutor, Eva Finne told the BBC,"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

OK, former chief prosecutor, but someone who knows what they're on about says that there isn't enough evidence to prosecute anyway. Innocent until proven otherwise and all that, chaps? It's not like this whole thing could be a setup designed to discredit him and/or drag him out of hiding to somewhere he can be extradited...

Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

Greg J Preece

Re: @ Greg J Preece

Not at all, I'm just hoping the guys who make apps like these keep on top of things.

Greg J Preece

I've been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10 while I waited for the inevitable privacy protector freeware to appear. That app now appears to exist, so I will consider it, after a test in a VM:

The app in question. Holy shit, check out how many domains it had to block.

Greg J Preece

Re: Bringing Up The Rear

Looking at Statcounter, I see Linux flat-lined as always as a desktop OS. In 11 days Win 10 has managed to double its market share.

Can I add to this discussion with "who cares?" I think everyone knows that the reasons behind the various company market shares are a long and involved discussion stretching back decades. Far as I'm concerned, I don't really care if people use the things I use (I have Windows 8 installed, after all) as long as they do things the way I want - much like this lovely lovely Kubuntu installation I'm typing from.

A while back I was having a similar argument with some guy who claimed that nothing Linux invented deserved credit because those things hadn't improved its desktop market share any. Putting aside Linux's prominence basically everywhere else, that really makes no difference as to quality. All versions of OSX combined have lower market share than Windows 8. Does that make OSX crap? (OSX is rubbish for a host of completely different reasons!)

'Cops KNOW WHO I AM and I don't believe their hearts were truly in the shootout'

Greg J Preece

X-wings, pirates and a generic Lara: Gamescom 2015

Greg J Preece

Re: Isn't Lara a bit young?

Face it: One's getting old. Games hold one's attention when younger but at some point one has to move to more interesting, rewarding (or not) real-world activities. Whereupon one regrets all the hours spent creating random activity in electronic hardware (but the sights seen and feels had were overwhelming, maybe more so in retrospect)

One sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't one?

I don't regret at all spending my recreational time doing a thing I enjoy. One thing I've been learning in recent years is the importance of downtime, and if I find more fulfillment in beating a game's challenge than I do in other activities, what's wrong with that? I might become jaded with the industry sometimes (read: most of the time) but that hardly means there aren't games available to inspire me. I haven't yet found a medium more compelling or rewarding in terms of sheer escapism than the video game.

Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Greg J Preece

I don't use a start replacement myself - a fullscreen start menu just isn't that big a deal for me, and from my experience with it on another (less powerful) machine we have in the house ClassicShell introduces significant lag.

Crazy Canucks heat their lab with muahaha-capable server

Greg J Preece

Go price one of these up, it's hilarious:


I easily made a configuration in about ten seconds that was ~$50 000

UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Greg J Preece

Re: Like booze

The point is arse-covering. If they just show you porn, they "forced porn onto children, those monsters!" If they ask you your age, you got in because you're a liar, and how are they supposed to know?

Greg J Preece

Just show a picture of a C-90, with a multiple choice question: "What is this?"

Under 18s will likely be stumped.

Greg J Preece

Cameron huffed and puffed: "Our One Nation government is working hard to make the internet a safer place for children. The next step in this campaign is to curb access to harmful pornographic content which is currently far too widely available."

Citation on pornography being harmful, please.

He added: "I want to see age restrictions put into place or these websites will face being shut down."

Oh, right, I forgot - barely anyone in government has even the slightest idea how the Internet works. "Shut down" in this case will most likely equate to "blocked", which never works.

Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Greg J Preece

Re: if you're on netflix, you're ganna have a bad time.

Since when? My TV gets 4K Netflix.

Google bows to inevitable, stops forcing Google+ logins on YouTubers

Greg J Preece

What about all those existing pointless bloody accounts we had to create to carry on using services? Will those be nuked? Can we get the old-style commenting/discussion systems back?

Ubuntu defibrillates 14.10 for one LAST patch

Greg J Preece

I did upgrade to 15.04, but something managed to bork both my systems after running for a while, to the point where they wouldn't boot. Bug was identical, found lots of reference to it online from other people, but no single cause nor solution was found, so here I am on 14.10, running out of updates. Maaaaaaybe it'd be a good idea to give people longer on the previous system if your new system can't be debugged inside half its lifetime.

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

Greg J Preece

Re: I'll take these with 0.3125ml of salt

You have honestly never heard anyone say "just a tad bit more"... Do you live across the pond ?

"A tad more" I have heard many times, being raised in Yorkshire, but "a tad bit more" makes me think you've been mishearing "tidbit".

Keep your stupid drones away from piloted aircraft, rages CAA

Greg J Preece

Re: @ Alexander

Of course it's already illegal, but as the British government will tell you, you can never have too many laws. There's always some keyboard warrior (like some of the ones in this thread) or hysterical nanny demanding newer and harsher laws for everything from littering to picking your nose.

Greg J Preece

Yeah, let's get mega-authoritarian over something pretty minor. Ten years in jail for not registering a toy, that's reasonable, right? "It's the only language they understand" seems to fly in the face of everything we've ever learned imposing prison sentences.

It wouldn't be too hard instead, perhaps, to require any drone over a certain power level to be transponder equipped. I'd even be OK with needing to pass a test to operate anything bigger than x size, as we do for many other forms of equipment. At least then they'd be educated on how airspace regs work. People who want to muck around in their yard still can, people who want something that can do 2000ft for half an hour need a licence.

Time for a brutal TELLY-OFF: Android TV versus Firefox OS

Greg J Preece

Pssssssst, if it's that easy to plug a side-device into a TV to give it smart capabilities, it'll be even easier to do that to a smart TV in 5 years or so if one or more of the apps on it loses support.

Also, pssssssssssssssssst some of these TVs have free SDKs and allow side-loading so you can homebrew the bastards pretty easily.

Greg J Preece

Re: LG WebOS

Oh, you're using it for an actual TV connection! Ha, ironically that's the one thing I don't do with it, got no experience there, and given that most of your complaints relate to navigating channels, they won't apply to me. No-one I know over here even has a TV subscription any more, we just use on-demand services, and the clients on the LG are great. I use it for gaming as well, and it's fscking great for that - Journey looks faaaaaaaaaaantastic on that screen.

Also, I only have the magic remote, though I was wondering if there was a version with some actual buttons on it. I also don't get that "mode disabled" message of yours, though again I wish they made it easier to switch modes if you only have the magic remote. And yeah, I've been using the keyboard without many issues, though some apps don't make it very clear when they will and won't accept text. For a first shot at WebOS on a TV i still think it's pretty good, though LG have apparently stiffed us on a WebOS 2.0 update and kept that back for the overly expensive 2015 models.

Greg J Preece

Re: LG WebOS

Really? I quite enjoy using WebOS. You're absolutely right about the licence agreements for voice recognition and the like - those can sod off - but the software's come across pretty intuitive to me. Wiggle the remote, point at a thing, done. The settings panel is a wee bit confusing in how it categorises things but in terms of apps I can't recall being frustrated by any of it.

The one issue I did have with my lovely LG telly was the wireless signal when I first got it. Wireless connectivity (we're still planning our network installation at this house) was garbage, and I was really disappointed that I couldn't use the TV properly. In the end I got frustrated and did a manual USB firmware update - BAM, wireless works flawlessly. Alrighty then!

The one other thing I do love about my WebOS TV is that you can grab the SDK for free and write your own apps for it, and apparently (haven't tried it yet) they can be sideloaded a lot easier than most Smart TV kit. Hells yes. Oh, and the ability to shove any HID device into one of the rear USB ports and have it work immediately, though that might be common across smart TVs now. Sure makes using net apps easier.

Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Greg J Preece

Take old car, rip out stereo unit, replace with cheap 2-DIN touchscreen <insert OS here> unit, get a superior version of all their connectivity crap without the ludicrous security bugs and less tracking bullshit. That's what I'm planning to do with my car at any rate. it's not exactly hard to do, and even with the 3G connectivity, car mic, rear parking camera, etc I'm still only looking at $500-600.

Ashley Madison hack: Site for people who can't be trusted can't be trusted

Greg J Preece

This is the part I'm laughing my ass off at:

Biderman told investigative reporter Brian Krebs that ALM was "working diligently and feverishly" to get the leaked data pulled offline.

You want to remove information from the Internet. Good luck with that!

HSBC takes Twitter tongue-lashing over failure to offer Apple Pay

Greg J Preece

Re: Don't see the point

Oh, really? I thought it required a particular terminal. I must have been misinformed, and let's be honest, it's not like Apple to do anything in a standardised or easily-accessible way, so it's easy to believe. Thanks for putting me right. :-)

Still, over here I wouldn't go encouraging its use when the Interac service is superior. That much is still accurate.

Greg J Preece

Don't see the point

Here in Canuckland, Interac Flash (tap-debit) is becoming ubiquitous, my debit card has it, it works perfectly fine and Interac is massively cheaper for retailers than any credit card processor. I can't see retailers going all out to install a more expensive, less convenient version that only a small percentage of their customers can use.

Microsoft to spoofed Skype users: Change your account passwords NOW

Greg J Preece

Re: This sort of thing has been happening for years with Hotmail

Yeah, but....e-mail is terrible. As a protocol, as a tech, it's just awful. It was never meant to do the things it does. Skype is completely unrelated (and a lot newer). It shouldn't have the same issues (or at least not to the same extent, and in my experience it doesn't).

Greg J Preece

Re: It shows that Microsoft has started working on Skype

They did an update June last year:

I was gonna say, if they haven't updated it, why are the Xbox, WLM, etc login options on the splash screen.

Though why you're wanting more updates is beyond me, really. It functions nicely with a minimalist interface very much like an old IRC client. Everything's in one place, there's no GUI guff, no adverts, none of the crap that has besieged Windows users. True, if we could get an update that added in group video and made the inline images work, that would be nice, but I'm OK with having the Linux client as it is if it means I don't have to have the Windows client.

High Court smacks down 'emergency' UK spy bill as UNLAWFUL

Greg J Preece

Re: No big deal

Can you show me a single instance where these laws have prevented anyone dying?

HD and SSD Prices not declining - why ?

Greg J Preece

Over across the Atlantic in Canuckland, prices are definitely declining. Beginning of last year I built a new PC and installed a 240GB Corsair MX series into it for $220. This week that same $220 got me a 500GB Samsung Evo.

(Note that the Canadian dollar has also been nose-diving against the American dollar in the past 12-18 months. Our currency is a lot more dependent on oil prices than some folks realise.)

Firefox to speed up dev cycle, go multi-process, rip and replace UI – soon

Greg J Preece

Well, at least they're managing to get rid of your calibre of user...

I have been using Firefox since the very early days and FF has gotten better and better, now Mozilla wants to kill it.

What planet are you living on where this makes an ounce of sense?


Always a reasonable response to a planned change in development procedure, I've found.

I will not be using Firefox any further.

You'll be missed.

Greg J Preece

Re: A plan?

They need a LESS frequent release cycle. Its a BROWSER!

It's a FISH AND CHIP SHOP! Wait, sorry, I thought we were just yelling things that made no sense. What's the fact that it's a browser got to do with its dev cycle? Browsers house some of the fastest-evolving standards and tech on the planet.

Just fix the bugs.

I think they mentioned that.

Make it able to be multithreaded

Pretty certain they mentioned that too. Did you actually read the article, or did you just see the word "Mozilla" and reflexively start foaming at the mouth?

Fix the GUI BACK to some sort of sanity.

Dear god, there are tabs at the top! Bringing back the menu bar is like 2 clicks! It's just impossible to use! Also, thanks for fulfilling my prophecy. :-p

Greg J Preece

While I predict that this comment thread will consist almost entirely of people still complaining about that one time Firefox changed the UI back in version 4, it's nice to hear an actual plan coming out of Mozzy for the first time in a while. Go faster, go multiprocess, make the big architectural changes a program needs from time to time to keep up. So long as Gecko still remains as consistent and lovely as it currently is, I'll be happy with speed and resource upgrades.

A faster UI is a nice idea, but ditching their markup languages is going to screw over a lot of current extensions, and at a time when they're also changing the LAF of the program. I can see that going down like a ton of bricks with people obsessed over which order their toolbars are in.

Did a SUPER RARE Sony-Nintendo PlayStation prototype just pop up online? Possibly, maybe

Greg J Preece

However, Nintendo later reneged on that agreement, much to the chagrin of Sony, which went on to make its own console.

....and kick the shit out of Nintendo's offering. Well done Ninty.

Google IS listening: Binary blob banished from Chromium build

Greg J Preece

The *buntu repository versions of Chromium don't seem to install this module, but then Chrome on Linux doesn't seem to either, at least on my machine.

Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

Greg J Preece

Re: I've just read.

Hmmmmm. 10 book series. Tech site, so likely a nerd. I'm gonna shout....Wheel of Time. No, wait! Belgariad/Mallorean.

Greg J Preece

This is going to be a bitch for people writing technical manuals/reference books/textbooks. Does anyone read every single page of the computing books they buy?

Oculus Rift noggin-bucket ... heyyy, errr ... have we all got them on already?

Greg J Preece

Both the Unity 5 and Unreal 4 games development toolkits will be free to Rift developers.

Errrr those are already free, or are they offering to pay the threshold licencing fees?

Apple extends idiot-tax operation, makes devs pay to fix Safari snafus

Greg J Preece

Re: Probably not

Opera? There you go, a giant hole in your own argument.

You mean Chrome?

Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

Greg J Preece

The one that jumped out at me:

iOS 9 will also have a smaller footprint, requiring 1.3GB of free storage space compared to 4.6GB for iOS 8.

Bloody hell, how bloated was iOS 8?

Chips can kill: Official

Greg J Preece

I look forward to having this study misquoted back at me on Facebook by alternate/weird diet nutters.

Google blames Flash for hobbling Chrome, says it sucks (too much power)

Greg J Preece

You mean Steve Jobs' astroturfing for his devices not having the same functionality as the rest of the industry?

Sysadmins rebel over GUI-free install for Windows Server 2016

Greg J Preece

Re: and in the real world...

maybe my employer is atypical (local government) but quite a few of our windows servers run middleware and client/server stuff that absolutely must have a GUI to allow it to be configured and interrogated.

.......So then you would install the optional GUI? The article makes it clear that's still 100% possible, soooo.....what's the issue here?

You *can* install a GUI on a Linux server, after install, in very much the same way as this. It's just that in 99% of cases there is absolutely no reason to, and as mentioned it vastly increases your attack surface.

Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Greg J Preece

Can we have Eich back?

He might have been a bit of a twat, but the decisions Mozilla made were less insane/against their principles with him around.

CBS boss says he'll show off his crown jewels on Apple TV – for a large enough check

Greg J Preece

I love all this "Apple is trying to change the universe" crap, when Netflix already walked in years ago, kicked everyone in the teeth and took their lunch money. I don't have a single device Netflix won't run on - I even have 4K through the decoder in my new TV. Netflix already became the iTunes of TV and didn't write unholy shit software to do it, or lock it down to their preferred platforms. In what universe is this guy living?

WTF is going on with the zombie NSA-friendly Patriot Act? Let us help

Greg J Preece

This is also coincidentally right as the Canadian government has authorised their own brand of completely unnecessary surveillance bullshit, and have you heard the shit coming out of Cameron's mouth since he got his majority?

That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Greg J Preece

Oh, downvoted for pointing out facts again. I guess Chrome doesn't have the DRM extensions I use all the time to watch Netflix on Linux.

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