* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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

Greg J Preece

As for Firefox, well, shame on Mozilla, but I moved to Chrome ages ago anyway

You.....know this stuff's been in Chrome for ages, right?

Greg J Preece

Re: out of the frying pan...

Actually, Netflix already uses the extensions to serve up video content without using Flash. Chrome on Linux has had support for it for ages, which is why Chrome now actually gets used on my PC at least some of the time. They were probably checking whether their particular extension can be put into the container, rather than whether they should be using Adobe's crap.

House of Cards UI central to Mozilla's plans for Firefox on tellies

Greg J Preece

Re: Missing the problems of TV GUIs

TV GUIs are different, you have no pointer device, or if you want to have a pointer device that's very inconvenient to use.

I have one of the LG TVs with WebOS, and it comes with a pointer remote. Those aren't difficult to make these days, and I assume this would only realistically be going onto new products, so that's a small hurdle to overcome.

Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

Greg J Preece

New Kubuntu release is great

For all the shouting about SystemD, Kubuntu just got a hell of a nice upgrade. Plasma 5 is lovely, and the OpenGL hardware rendering in the back makes it pretty slick too. My Macbook Pro touchpad drivers are fixed, my AMD drivers are improved and game performance is up, Breeze Dark is both lovely and universally supported. Really happy with it, and with how stable it is for a KDE rework.

Desktop still won't boot without going through recovery mode => resume, though. No idea why on earth it does that. Started when 14.10.1 dropped and even with the move to SystemD it'll still hang right before showing the login screen. Go to recovery mode and just hit "resume", and it boots just fine. Annoying, but manageable for now.

Money-for-mods-gate: Valve gives masterclass in how to lose gamers and alienate people

Greg J Preece

Re: Meh

Oh, well if a client also runs on the machine then...um....bad things will happen, somehow. You should throw away any purchases you make from the Apple/Microsoft/Android stores because the store is still there on the device.

Greg J Preece

There were a number of troubles with the implementation. The cut that modders received was IMO insulting (and led to modders hiking prices), both Valve and Bethesda said they wouldn't curate the store, there were huge numbers of fraudulent listings, etc. I don't have an issue with modders getting money for their efforts, but I object to the way that this was done.

From a consumer's standpoint it was terrible: pay more than the value of the game you're playing for an amount of content that would be insignificant within the game itself, and receive no after-sales support whatsoever, even if a game patch breaks the mod you're using. You have no recourse, you cannot get a refund past the first day, fuck you.

Oh Em Pee! Giant Android tinkles on Apple in Google Maps graffiti

Greg J Preece

Re: It's gone

Still appears for me here in Canada.

Revealed: The AMAZING technology behind Apple's $1299 Retina MacBooks – a lot of glue

Greg J Preece


If you've never heard anyone complain about the reliability of their Mac, allow me.

I have a company-provided Macbook Pro, 2011 model, so about the same age as yours. The slot-load optical drive died within 18 months, and the RAM died shortly afterwards.

Having replaced those, I then had to later replace the power adaptor, where the cable wore out and was designed in such a way that it could not easily be replaced. $110 of your finest Candian dollars for a new one.

After that, the hard drive recently conked out, so that was replaced with an SSD. To add insult to injury, OSX Yosemite disables TRIM on any hard drive you didn't buy from Apple. (Dear Apple: fuck you.)

And now the return key has broken in half, a fortunately cheap if irritating repair job. One of the USB slots is also on the way out.

The only reason my laptop is still alive is because I can easily open it up and repair the components that break. Were that not the case, I would have been several laptops in by now. The fabled "Mac reliability" is a myth.

Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Greg J Preece

You mean JavaScript/ECMAScript app?

Technically I mean a HTML 5/Typescript/CSS app, but "HTML 5 app" is much easier to say, and most people understand what I mean just fine. It's become an acceptable shorthand for a modern collection of language versions, no?

Greg J Preece

Genuinely interested; is it proving to be a write-once-run-everywhere experience

Sort of - we've done a pretty nice job of creating a new UI for the applet client. Just having some issues in that the tech to run it originally only existed in Chrome, and I think most modern designers know how buggy Chrome's engine is. Now we're testing on FF and finding issues that people are blaming on FF, but are actually down to Chrome bugs.

In terms of device, it's actually working pretty damn well. We have a seamless Flash fallback for browsers that don't have the appropriate tech, and that'll be phased out in time. I've tried it on a range of devices and it's hard to trip up. The new JS APIs are pretty solid, it seems.

Greg J Preece

Good timing on our part then. Our first(?) Java application to be completely rewritten as a HTML 5 app goes live this week.

Pre-order consumergasm will leave Apple Watches out of stock for months

Greg J Preece

$707 eh?

That's ironic. I recently spent that exact amount of money buying a new toilet. Probably more comfortable/functional in the long run.

Who is the fastest-selling phone maker of ALL TIME? Samsung? Apple? No, it's Xiaomi

Greg J Preece

Can't resist

And it goes a little something like this.

Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Greg J Preece

Re: Some People

Do you people not know what private browsing is?

25 years of SNK's Neo Geo video gaming platform

Greg J Preece

Re: Neo Geo compatibility

That was pretty damned useful. Thanks, dude!

(Incidentally another local store has a 3DO for the same price as the Neo Geo, and that's also extremely tempting.)

Greg J Preece

I should check out compatibility between the home consoles. There's been a boxed Neo Geo in my local EB for ages for $200, and it's tempting...

Crack security team finishes TrueCrypt audit – and the results are in

Greg J Preece


Moved to VeraCrypt, remade my container, transferred the files, carried on as normal. Top dollar.

Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

Greg J Preece

"If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no," said the pizzeria's owner Crystal O'Connor. "We are a Christian establishment. We're not discriminating against anyone..."

Errrr....yes you are. Your dumb beliefs might be the reason why you're discriminating, but discriminating you are. If you believed that black people were inferior, that wouldn't get you any further.

Cross-dressing blokes storm NSA HQ: One shot dead, one hurt

Greg J Preece

No.......you're wrong. Those barriers are there to stop some naive gullible fool from going off half-cocked and carrying out an irreversible process when his or her mind is screwed up. Nothing to do with stigma. Its to do with protecting the vulnerable from self-harm.

Naive? Gullible? Are you implying it's easy to persuade someone to have their penis removed?

I'm not certain you're familiar with just how many checks and balances we're talking about here. I wouldn't mind some if they were reasonable, but it can take timescales on the order of years, not months, just to get hormone therapy, never mind surgical adjustment.

Greg J Preece

Chelsea still has one so is biologically male but requests that people treat said male as a female.

And how much pain will it cause you to honour the request? If she identifies as female, that's good enough for me. My trans cousin hasn't been able to get her op yet because, aside from the costs involved, there's a whole shitload of barriers, waiting periods and assessments put in place by the rest of us because there's still a stigma around the whole thing. Chelsea might be in the same place, biologically male and unable to do anything about it, so why not just let her be whatever she wants to be?

I.e. don't be a dick.

Greg J Preece

Re: A new sport - Base Crashing

Well it worked in Just Cause 2...

Greg J Preece



Don't be a dick.

PlayStation Vita owners – Sony owes you $25 cash or $50 credit

Greg J Preece

It is really disappointing that more game makers didn't hop on the potential of cross-buy/cross-play. When it's available, it's great (see Resogun/Sly Cooper 4), and it's such a neat idea. I also haven't come across any games where I feel ripped-off compared to the console versions. Unfortunately, not many people actually went with it, and when they did some idiots screwed it up.

(No, Konami, I will not give you another $30 for another copy of MGS3 HD on the Vita, when I already paid you for MGS HD and MGS Legacy on the PS3.)

I don't necessarily think that Sony were wrong to advertise that feature at launch in the way they did. It's certainly something the console is capable of, and at launch it was a great potential for the Vita, but the studios didn't like the idea of buy-once-play-twice, because the console game industry is about as anti-consumer as it gets.

As for 3G gaming....yeah, the adverts were total bollocks. Anyone who knows what the latency is like on 3G knew it would be total bollocks, and sure enough, it's total bollocks. At least on that half of the suit, Sony deserve it.

Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

Greg J Preece

OK, this woman's an idiot, but that description of their programme....

"examined the use of CCTV cameras to monitor the public areas of 19 council-owned tower blocks in Southampton and included the views and opinions of CCTV operators and residents on the impact of CCTV".

Bullllllllllllshit. Let me correct that for you:

"offered voyeuristic middle class punters the chance to ogle the zoo of poor people doing things they would never ever do not even once, and pontificate about what it all means over their Marks and Spencer TV dinners."

Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

Greg J Preece

Oooh, that was very old-man-ranty of me. That's what a screen full of merge conflicts does to you, I suppose.

Greg J Preece

Oh, for....

The British pound was the *one* coin I could easily identify by feel when my Canadian and British money gets mixed up, and I'm trying to catch a bus, because there's no other coin I've encountered that looks or feels quite like it. Now they're making the bloody thing exactly like the Canadian $2 coin, as if 5ps weren't already annoyingly close to dimes, and 10ps weren't annoyingly similar to quarters. Thanks a bunch. Now the only coins I definitely know at a glance are British are the penny and 50p, because Canada doesn't have them.

A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Greg J Preece

Re: None

Yes, lovely story. On my iPhone, I didn't even need to do that. I take photo, it's on a webpage in under a minute. iCloud.

A "lovely story" you apparently didn't read.

Greg J Preece

Re: None

The iPad only has the one port (and a 3.5mm audio) and that seems to be considered acceptable.

The iPad is a fancy window through which the vast majority of users poke at things and don't tend to do much of productive value.

Laptops have keyboards and other such whizzbang things because they're used to actually do/make/produce things. This ability often requires such archaic nonsense as memory sticks.

I recall coming home from a skiing trip with the family and chums. Ex-teacher family-friend couldn't get her photos off her iPad onto her non-Apple machine for love nor money. E-mailing was possible but the UI made it inconvenient, she's 65 and has no bloody idea what "cloud accounts" are, and you can't plug anything into it. You also can't transfer the photos via direct wi-fi or bluetooth or several other methods because that's not letting Apple control your life, and you can't install a better file browser for exactly the same reason.

My old man, on the other hand, just plugged his non-Apple tablet into his non-Apple computer (of a totally different brand) and "oh, look, there it is." He gets drives, and plugs, and cables; those are easy. You plug a thing into a thing and they talk to each other. Got it.

Greg J Preece

For a company with two pinnacles of design and engineering in its current range – the MacBook Pro and 13-inch Air are strong contenders for the finest personal computers ever made

I shall post my riotous laughter from my MacBook Pro, fresh off it's fourth repair job and waiting on a fifth.

UK Supreme Court waves through indiscriminate police surveillance

Greg J Preece

Re: @A.C. -- As Treasonas May is fond of saying...

I know this is a serious topic, but the pedant in me will not let this lie. You used a boffin icon!

Half the population have a below average IQ.


First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Greg J Preece

Plasma 5

I'm interested to see what the new Kubuntu looks like, and I'm glad to hear it's fairly stable already, but it's the upgrading from the Plasma 4-driven Kubuntu 14.10 that worries me. Here's hope it's more seamless than the 14.04 => 14.10 path was.

Greg J Preece

Re: An amazing grasp of the obvious.

That pretty much is the only real difference.

Yeah, it's just that a windowing system & appset can be quite a large number of associated packages. KDE isn't small (by Linux standards) so having to install one default environment and then install more is just filling your hard drive with crap you don't need.

Love rats show sex while drunk will sober you up, say boffins

Greg J Preece

Re: Not ALL 12 step programs

Not ALL 12 step programs rely on Jesus. However, the participants in the program have a limited pool of sober examples to choose from.

My apologies, step two refers to a "higher power" that definitely won't be inferred to be Jesus in a US-based structure, and I'm certain that the Twelve Traditions definitely have nothing to do with Christianity either. It's not like the 12-step programmes were created by a Christian institution or anything.

If you don't have a belief structure then you really have no right to criticize those who do.

Well that's a disgusting notion. All ideas are open to criticism except faith? That smacks of intellectual honesty, alright.

What you're basically saying there is "you're not allowed to disagree with us unless you agree with us, in which case you won't, and we don't have to hear any challenge to our ideas." Yeah, fuck that.

Your criticism is nothing less than hate speech.

Criticising an idea is the same as hating the people that hold it? You've got some really funny (twisted) notions of how the world operates, though this "hate speech" attitude reeks of the notion of the poor, oppressed, put-upon minority (75%) of the population that's religious.

I'll continue to criticise the institutionalised pushing of religion on the non-religious, thanks. If it was reversed I'm sure you'd be throwing a shit-fit about it.

Greg J Preece

Actual medical treatments for alcoholism? Research? Drugs? No, no, no, the US court system has taught us that all you need is Jebus! That's why they order folks to take 12-step programmes, which might only have the same success rate as non-attendance, but at least they don't use any pesky scientific facts or suffer from earthly corruption.

W3C recommends Pointer Events standard – but it's a touchy subject. Right, Apple?

Greg J Preece

Re: Point of order

MS' motives in developing and offering Pointer Events for free? I don't know. Good experience for Windows tablet users? Hard to find a cynical reason although I really am trying.

In recent years the attitude from MS has been changing to the point where I'd be tempted to consider it actually altruistic.

Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

Greg J Preece

Most people don't care what resolution its broadcast in. They have a 4k telly so think they are watching 4k. Like how people thought an HD telly magically made all broadcasts HD.....

Which is where all the "I can't tell the difference" bollocks comes from. My old man, nicely into his retirement years, can easily spot the difference between HD football and not on his TV, and will buy blu-ray over DVD if available for the higher quality. He's the exception because he knows roughly what's going on, so he knows to match the source to the screen.

If the source isn't up to the screen, then it isn't worth it. Also, as others have said, 4K makes little difference to TV media in the living room on even fairly large screens.

Video games, on the other hand? Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on.

Greg J Preece

Re: If "Ultra HD" doesn't go the same way as 3D, I'll eat my hat.

Soon every TV you can buy will be 4K. It'll make absolutely no difference to you if you're going to bung 1080p into it, but it'll be there. I'm pricing up a new TV for the back room, and it'll be a 4K one, simply because the TVs with all the features I do want are now all 4K.

German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

Greg J Preece

Legal notices with potentially serious consequences being sent by scripts you clearly didn't QA properly? Yeah, you...you should stop doing that.

Enough is enough: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Greg J Preece

Re: (2); Jobs' letter came two months before Adobe finally managed to launch a preview version of Flash for Android

I keep hearing over and over the claim from his open letter that Flash "still wasn't running on Android". Ask anyone who owned an Android phone at the time - we had Flash. The N900 had Flash. Flash was on mobile. I really don't get what that whole thing was about. Had every version of Flash on Android before then been a beta or something?

Greg J Preece

Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

*if you're in Chrome it will work natively on Linux. Not sure how I got FF's name in there. Was probably thinking of my next sentence.

Greg J Preece

That was a bit vicious. The reason I discount the whole "Jobs was right" thing is two-fold:

1) He was stating the bloody obvious. HTML5 was being implemented at the time and its enhancements were fully intended by all parties to replace needless Flash installations. Now every time someone says "Flash is shite" everyone yells "seeJobswasrightomgwhatanamazingvisionary" when no-one was arguing that point.

2) He was only making his super-amazing-wise proclamations in response to people bugging him about why iOS didn't have Flash. He decided to point the finger at Adobe and get on a high-horse about how making things worse for the end-user was actually a feature - something they eagerly lapped up - rather than admit his devices were deficient compared to their competitors.

Greg J Preece

Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

Odd, it works fine on my linux machine which has never seen Silverlight (or Mono)...

Chrome implemented the HTML5 DRM extensions that Netflix's HTML5 player requires, so if you're in Chrome it will work natively on Firefox. Before that became a thing, I was utilising a package within an Ubuntu repository which was basically a Windows version of Firefox and Silverlight pre-packaged to work under WINE. Worked pretty damn well, but native is nicer.

Google strongly opposes plans to let ANY US COURT authorise digi-snoops

Greg J Preece

Re: Too bad

That's true if you live in the land of the free. But here under fascist oppressive Canadian regime - opposing an oil pipeline gets you listed as a threat to national security by the RCMP.


Greg J Preece

Re: Too bad

Unless you're a crim you have nothing to fear as no one gives a rats arse what you do online.

Why do people who quote this absolute bullshit line not get the obvious problem with it? You're not a crim now, but once someone has complete control over your ability to dissent, and changes the rules, what then? The prudish UK government is constantly one moral outrage away from making kink illegal, for example. Yesterday you weren't a criminal, now you are and the proof is already in the government's hands.

Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Greg J Preece

Re: A few good pints

Your personal experience may not be definitive. We've been using Scrum for years, and I've generally found the daily scrums useful. I'm in three feature teams at the moment, which means 15 scrums a week; they rarely take more than fifteen minutes a day together, and I'd estimate at least one participant learns something useful about the state of the release in 10-12 of them.

Scrums are brilliant for team newbies. I'm a remote worker on a new dev team, and the daily scrums mean that there is a guaranteed 15-30 minutes* each day when all the busy people who already know everything about the system stop and talk about it for a bit. If I have a question on how to proceed, what something does, or I need help on some stack trace explosion that happened because silly ol' me dared to run "bower update", I can get assistance.

*10 mins of team updates, generally extended by a follow-on discussion on some aspect of dev

Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

Greg J Preece


I'm surprised at that. I was expecting something more abstracted/contained, as on other devices these days. On the upside, apps will be fast and the choice of language gives me hope they'll have all the hardware access they could want. On the downside, prepare yourselves for all the memory overruns and segfaults you can handle! It's also a fair barrier to entry, compared to FOS' HTML5 coding for example.

Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

Greg J Preece

Re: The BGGEST MISTAKE that these Asscowns made

You do recall the part of the article where these "asscowns" were found not guilty, yes?

Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Greg J Preece

This sounds fantastic. If they bring out a well-made, well-supported cross-platform API, it'll be one more nail in the coffin of Windows-only gaming.

Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

Greg J Preece

Re: £12

Better than better than that if you live outside the UK. $15 in the US, and $16 in Canucksland. Was going to get it on PC, but if it has cross-play and I can play it in the living room with my roommate and ladyfriend to help out with the puzzles, I'm game. This time, just this once, I might betray the PC Master Race.

Why no PS3 version, though?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019