* Posts by Greg J Preece

2505 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Mozilla promises browser just for developers

Greg J Preece

Been a while since I've seen a comment thread containing so much gibberish... Apparently Mozilla releasing an entirely new product is going to make Firefox slower, or change its UI (which you can already do yourself JHFC are people still whining about FF4?), or it's going to spontaneously generate ads that don't exist, or something....

Personally I'm really interested in seeing what this is. From my perspective Firefox has always been the browser to develop in, given that it has the most consistent rendering engine and the best toolsets for developers, so a developers-only version sounds right up my street. If they did split them and remove the dev tools from standard FF entirely, would that actually speed anything up? Aside from the fact that every other browser long since stole Firebug's developer panel, most of the dev tools are turned off during normal running anyway.

'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'

Greg J Preece

Ex-pat here

Though I cheated and went to Canada. Bit less of a culture shock, but you get tripped up in ways you don't expect, mostly language related.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Ultrabook flexes new 'Watchband' BENDO hinges

Greg J Preece

Take it to your local watch shop? ;-)

Unchanging Unicorn: Don't be disappointed with Ubuntu 14.10, be happy

Greg J Preece

Hopefully the new touchpad drivers referred to fix my problems with scrolling on my laptop. Everything else in the 14.04 upgrade on all my machines worked perfectly, but the touchpad on my MacBook Pro now spazzes out when I scroll, moving insanely fast for any small movement. Adjusting pad speed down does nothing. Apparently there was an upstream fix but after installing a .deb I found for it, no dice.

What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Greg J Preece

Heh, fair point. He did actually seem convinced that the cable "quality" made a difference though.

Greg J Preece

The branding will also, hopefully, stop retailers from charging ridiculous amounts for cabling with no extra benefits: the gear should work exactly the same, whether it costs ten bucks or a thousand.

Yeah, that'll never fuckin' happen. I remember buying an Aquos a few years back, and the salesman arguing to the hilt that the $80 HDMI cable would produce better results than my $5 ones. He really wouldn't drop it, and then I found out he had three of the expensive ones at home.

No sale, mate.

Divinity Original Sin and Wasteland 2 reviews: Turn-based gaming's not dead yet!

Greg J Preece

The restriction-by-library thing? Yeah, that's shitty. Works for me though, because I'm sharing my library with a friend on the other side of the Atlantic. When he's gaming, I'm working, and when I'm gaming he's asleep. ;-)

Greg J Preece

Re: Oh, why Steam?

When I want to play a game, I want to play it when I sit down, not when Steam decides that it has server capacity to see if I may play it

Ummmm....what? If you're referring to having to download the game, I am not entirely certain that the Internet is Steam's fault. If you're referring to some mythical capacity check when starting an already-installed game...well yeah, those don't exist.

Sony says year's losses will be four times deeper than thought

Greg J Preece

Christ's Sake

I shouldn't read threads on Sony stories with my drinking game to hand.

Someone still whining about the rootkit thing when even the format it happened on is dying fast...down the pint.

Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper

Greg J Preece

My main slave the Imp is brought to life with a click of the mouse and a cheeky “Yipee!”

OK, I have played this game far too much to not go all pedantic on your ass. That's what they say when you drop them. When they're born they do this odd half-laugh thing - "Nyh-ha-ha".

DK is one of my all-time favourite games. I still have the DK Gold big box, the sequel, and I have the GoG version permanently installed on my Windows partition just in case I want to make someone miserable.

The Deeper Dungeons though....now there's an expansion pack that will eat your face for breakfast.

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Greg J Preece

Re: Nailed it

It would appear that you consider "good analysis" to be that which agrees with or reinforces your own particular prejudices.

Followed by...

Almost any article on El Reg which concern Apple is little more than troll-bait and is followed by the inevitable troll-fest.

I think you might be the person with the issue you describe...

Greg J Preece

Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

First I raised an eyebrow, then I clicked on Jurassic's name and scrolled through a litany of posts, every single one of which was either praising an Apple product to the eyeballs, or attacking another product for not being as good as an Apple one.

Well, at least you're consistent.

Look out, world! Space Station satellite cannon has A MIND OF ITS OWN

Greg J Preece

So those were NSA launches, then?

Apple Fanbois (and girls) already lining up for NEW iPHONE

Greg J Preece

Wait, why do you have to pay to queue?

Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

Greg J Preece

Re: And meanwhile in the real world

If the chance of getting caught was the same, but the sentence was, say, 100 years no parole (EXAMPLE FFS), then the weighing up of immediate gain vs the worst outcome would surely have an effect?

Do you have a single example of where higher sentencing actually deterred crime? In the US, merely possessing a drug can give you a mandatory 5 year jail term, and there are parts of the country that will literally kill you stone dead for certain crimes - do those crimes happen any less frequently? Nope.

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Greg J Preece

I gotta be honest, it was flawless for me. The one gotcha is getting it to show up in the first place, but that's just a case of making sure your Win8.0 OS is fully up to date on security patches and the like. Once I actually started the 8.1 upgrade it worked perfectly, and I gained back a ton of SSD space.

Greg J Preece

The opening article states there's no bounce in other operating systems, but Win 8.1 has gone from 0% to over 8% in a year, with Win8 only dipping by a single percent point. Wouldn't that indicate that the Windows 8 family is on the rise?

Apple 'fesses up: Rejected from the App Store, dev? THIS is why

Greg J Preece

"Five per cent, meanwhile, stumbled by including irrelevant Android names, descriptions or screenshots in their application submissions."

Fixed that for you.

Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist

Greg J Preece

It's obscure reference time!

If you turn the bracelet around, does it project a countdown on your forearm...?

Women-only town seeks men

Greg J Preece

Men are shit.

Men are shit.

Men are shit.

Men are shit.

Men are shit.

Hey men, wanna come live with us? Why not?

Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

Greg J Preece

What, every time??!!

Yes, Winston. Every time.

Greg J Preece

It wasn't meant to be a cliché factory either....

New rule: if you're going to constantly compare X government action to 1984 in the usual tiring Daily Mail way, you have to have read it first.

The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

Greg J Preece

Re: platform independant hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha

That's what you do all the time with your PC. New gfx card this year, oh a new PSU because the last one wasn't meaty enough, oh more memory, oh new CPU is out so new mobo and...

Actually, it isn't. I can get PC components that will outclass console gear for not a lot of money, and sit on them for years at a time. Last PC was 7 years old when I ditched it, and that was because I moved. This new scratch-build didn't cost me all that much, and it can blitz anything currently on the market without blinking. I imagine I'll sit on this for quite some time too.


If I do decide that I want to upgrade a part of it, I can. And with a console?

Greg J Preece

Were you expecting that games would miraculously work for Linux overnight? Valve doesn't have a $make_linux_worky_time_now variable in their code, you know.

I find it interesting that we didn't have this same kind of FUD and blah-blah about it being completely pointless when the OSX version came out. Perhaps - and this is just my defective brain at work - more games will appear on Linux over the course of time? Most indie games I look at now seem to release for all three platforms.

I was in the Steam for Linux beta. Back then I had around 30 games available to play, mostly Valve. Now I have 130, so perhaps a better way of looking at it is that the number of available games for the platform has more than quadrupled since release. I'll bet money it's got more games available than any of the new consoles, but no-one calls them pointless for being new.

What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Greg J Preece

Re: Browser emulator

Eventually they condescendingly acceded to that... in version 24 I think?

Right, and before that downloads were in a separate window, which I thought was irritating so I installed a plugin that moved it to a tab. Still had full progress reporting though. I can't recall ever using a version of firefox that didn't show me download progress.

Greg J Preece

Re: Browser emulator

Development tools aside, we were told we couldn't get a download progress bar "because that belonged in a plug-in", yet the sorry shit's got Twatter, Farcebook, and ObscureSocialThingMeToo integration right in the core.

Sorry, what? This is Firefox? I'm in it right now and downloads are under an icon to the right of the URL bar, with progress displayed just fine. And I haven't seen Facebook or Twitter any time other than when I request them as URLs. What are you on about?

Incidentally, KDE Linux here also, as well as Win8.1 and OSX Lion. Never seen what you're talking about in any Firefox version. Personally, I just removed three more add-ons from Firefox because their functionality had been built into core, so the trend for me is in the opposite direction to what you describe.

Americans to be guinea pigs in vast chip-and-PIN security experiment

Greg J Preece

Re: Not such a big change

Er, this is the same with your basic debit card, the only difference is you swipe the stripe and then key in the pin. You can do this in the same 100s of places on the same terminal that could be compromised in the same way.

I've been tapping a lot recently, especially at the local 7-11. I have no idea what my tap limit is, but it seems to be ludicrously high - I put $200 through it a month ago and the reader just said "yep, sure" and processed the payment!

Greg J Preece

Re: PIN lengths here are variable... 4 digits is pathetic.

So what do you do when you travel outside of the enlightened Canada and are presented with a prompt for a 4 digit PIN? Will the first 4 digits work?

When I travel to the states and am lucky enough to get a chip machine, the longer pins work just fine. I believe the restriction is in the card, not the reader.

Greg J Preece

The part I never got with chip & pin was the 4-digit limit on PINs. Then I moved to Canada, and was both pleasantly surprised and frustrated to find that PIN lengths here are variable between 4 and 12 digits, according to user preference. I have a PIN at the higher end of that range as a result. 4 digits is pathetic.

Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Greg J Preece

IE isn't a bad browser any more. It hasn't been in a long time. That comment about web devs hating IE9 in the article - I sure as shit didn't. It wasn't exactly bleeding edge but it was far superior to all of its predecessors. IE in Win8.1 is a perfectly fast, stable browser, burdened with the reputation of some versions ago.

Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle

Greg J Preece

Re: They need to step up their game

Sluggish is right. Remember that patch earlier this year that brought the U's boot time "under 30 seconds". Thirty bloody seconds? My PC boots in seven! What the hell was the boot time before that?

As one user put it when the patch was announced:

Well shoot, this is usually time I spend doing laundry. Or building a car. Or learning to speak a new language. Or creating a new color in the spectrum (I think I'll call it "tulra").

Greg J Preece

Re: They need to drop the gimmicks.

Quite the reverse. The Wii was a stroke of genius, it brought Nintendo a whole demographic that was more or less completely ignored by Sony and Microsoft.

The problem with focusing previously on the "party market" is that they're very fickle. Just ask the guys that made Guitar Hero. The Wii was a trend, not a console, and the U is a pretty crap follow-up to that if you're going to try and keep the momentum. It doesn't hit the price point, it doesn't have the right games, and Nintendo's attitude to online play is absolutely lousy.

POW! Apple smites Macbook Air EFI firmware update borkage

Greg J Preece

Re: Anecdote, anecdote, anecdote

The only oddity was that all of them kept presenting the update as available even after it had been installed.

That happens to me all the time on my Macbook Pro. The update will just reinstall itself over and over every time I run updates, if I let it.

Kudos to Apple for getting a fix out quickly (though I really wish they'd talk to people more before turning up whenever they feel like and handing down a fix from on high). Thing is: if Airs really were bricked by the previous update, how do they go about getting this one?

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Greg J Preece

Re: Another hitchhikers quote might have been more appropiate...

"Ever thought of going into advertising?"

You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

Greg J Preece

Re: Noooo! Noooo! Run away! Save yourself!

I don't see Holder offering you a couple of seats in our Senate.

No legislation without representation, eh? Maybe it's time we broke away from the overlords across the Atlantic...

Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Greg J Preece

Re: Just what the world needs

MS have gained traction with C# but that's really the stand-out counter-example in terms of a new "next best thing" language that has been adopted into the mainstream.

And let's be honest, while C# is a good language, that's also partly down to what came before it being so hideous.

Apple's steamy OS XXX picture leak riddle: Blurry snaps deleted

Greg J Preece

The look of the Dock has been modified to look a bit like iOS, whilst the whole design looks a bit more Flat, which was the name for the beefed-up design of iOS 7, for those who remember.

So will the iFans ever come close to admitting that super-trendy Apple are now taking design cues from Microsoft? Because they totally are.

Still watching DVDs? You're a planet-killing carbon hog!

Greg J Preece

Re: I do both

My wife has a Netflix subscription, but she uses it far more often than I do; I've seen their selection, and there's not a whole lot there I'm interested in

Which country are you viewing it from? Netflix's catalogue varies wildly by territory. Its anime section in the UK, last time I checked, was a whopping eight titles.

Greg J Preece

Re: All well and fine, but...

Of course, as always, YMMV

It certainly might. As a re-telling of Kelly's Heroes with somewhat blacker humour, I thought Three Kings was great. :-D

But the tunnel thing doesn't bother me so much. I guess I'm so used to jumping through hoops to get around region issues with any gaming service that isn't Steam or Origin. I have a second browser permanently set to talk to a local SOCKS proxy, and firing up that tunnel is the work of seconds when I need it.

Greg J Preece

Re: All well and fine, but...

Every streaming service I've tried do NOT provide subtitling for the feature, and some have no intetion to ever provide subtitling, hiding behind clauses such as "the licence holder prevents.."

Netflix *definitely* has this, at least in NA. Grab yourself an SSH tunnel and enjoy.

Greg J Preece

I do both

I've long been an advocate of disc ownership, because you can watch what you like, when you like, and no one can control it or take it from you. That said, I now also have streaming subscriptions, because now that I live in Canada and Netflix doesn't suck, it's totally worth it. (Plus, I have the obligatory US connection to get the "proper" versions of Netflix and Hulu, which are both awesome.)

Being able to check out series I've heard of on a whim, legally, instantly, and with a surprisingly good indexing system is great. The recommendation system might be useless but most of my recommendations come from friends. Hulu's anime section is unbelievably good for a free service, and Netflix is well worth the $8 a month I pay for it.

That said, I do still buy discs, in two cases:

1) Something isn't available on streaming.

2) The content in question is something I really enjoy and want to have permanently available, especially as blu-ray.

So the library on my shelf is becoming a list of favourites in the highest available quality, and general watching is done via Netflix or Hulu. Honestly, I don't actually know anyone in Vancouver that even watches traditional TV any more.

Greg J Preece

Re: So, how do I stream when

Turn those devices off, unplug everything and basically, get a life!

Said the man on the online forum.

Is this now an obligatory thing here? The old-man moaning post about how online interactions somehow aren't real, the world was better when I was a kid, sweets were half a farthing, etc, etc? It's getting as tedious as the Opera fanboys invading anything to do with browsers. (Though they've quietened down since it became a Chrome clone, harf harf.)

Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

Greg J Preece

I thought the optimisation was terrible, uPlay was its usual piece-of-shit self, the main storyline was garbage, and the hacking gameplay elements were pathetically shallow. Nice NPC AI though. Overall, thoroughly disappointed.

But then I've long since ignored El Reg opinions on games.

I guess I'm in a minority when I prefer the vehicle control scheme of Borderlands, which uses analogue input from the mouse to steer instead of digital input from the A and D keys.

Yeah, definitely in the minority there. I can get why you'd like analogue input for steering, but with the mouse? Halo on PC had that control scheme and it was bloody awful (but then Halo was bloody awful anyway).

Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Greg J Preece

Re: Popular commands...

Yes, but only to the extent that everything you do in Chrome is tracked. Or possibly less.

Have a guess why I don't use Chrome.

Greg J Preece

Re: Popular commands...

It's the same as when they were reporting how many enemies had been killed in games, how many combos had been done, etc. Microsoft's willingness to use these figures in their marketing demonstrates that everything you do on an Xbox 180 is tracked.

Greg J Preece

It really is the Xbox 180, isn't it?

Remember when Microsoft said this would never happen?


So now we have two consoles at the same price, with the same general capabilities, but one is getting PS Now, wasn't locked down, has better games (though naturally that's subjective), and is more powerful to start with.

Making your product more like the PS4 to stop people buying the PS4 isn't gonna work, just like making your game more like Call of Duty to take down Call of Duty does jack shit.

WTF is Net Neutrality, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Greg J Preece

Neither did I, until they all responded to the article going "oh wow, Fluffle Puff!" ;-)

Ninten-DON'T: Wii U bomb blows Mario Kart giant off track – but new console promised

Greg J Preece

I realise that makes me sound cynical, but it's the truth.

No, it makes you sound like a fanboy.

"They're comparing the U's user experience to other consoles, those bastards! They should favourably compensate for the U's inferiority, but they don't, so it must be bribery."

Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Greg J Preece

Worked OK here upgrading Kubuntu on my desktop. Given that the laptop is a tri-boot hybrid-partition bootloader mess (thanks, Apple!) I might hold off on doing that one for now...

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