* Posts by GregC

474 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2009


Forget the Oscars, the Solar Orbiter is off to take a close look at our nearest (and super-hot) star


Re: Journalistic hyperbole

Oligatory xkcd (though this is for Parker rather than SolO)

I guess the point is that while in absolute terms (ie millions of km) these probes may not seem to be going "close", relative to anything else, and in terms of the harshness of the environment they are going in to, it's plenty close enough...

Vendor-bender LibreOffice kicks out 6.4: Community project feel, though now with added auto-█████ tool


Re: LibreOffice Draw

As #3, LibreOffice UI is conservative, the commands are where they have always been, no need to re-learn everything at each release.

That one is my primary reason for using it (alongside my hate for the ribbon in Office). I have the MS option at work but use LibreOffice out of preference these days.

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


Re: ACL Guarantee

unless the Conservatives want to do a downgrade to a state prior to the '60's

I find it very easy to believe that is their entire mission.

Observation: Slow-burn space HAL 'em up fires adventure game genre into the exosphere


Re: No Steam? No Thanks.

Yep, was sounding interesting right up until the "Epic exclusive" bit.

Oh well, I've got more games waiting to be played than I have time for at the moment anyway!

In Rust we trust: Brave smashes speed limit after rewriting ad-block engine in super-lang


Re: Lost cause

Trying to kill ad-blocking is surely a lost cause, ultimately. You can't force people to look at something they don't want to look at. Can you?

Just an observation...

Not saying this is a direction we're being herded in or anything.

Anyway, Brave sounds interesting - hadn't heard of it before. Definitely going to take a look.

Vulture gets claws on Lego's latest Apollo nostalgia-fest


I recall back in the day that LEGO sets actually had suggestions for alternative things to build from the same parts, is that still the case?

Not in the box, but a few years ago me & my dad* bought each other one of the big Technic sets for Xmas (mine was the Volvo digger, he got the mobile crane) and there was at least one alternate build for each set available as a pdf from the Lego website.

*45 & 65 at the time, you're never too old for toys!

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location


Re: Hotel cards

The NEC is the same - we attend an annual exhibition there in the Spring and for the last few years we have had to get our hotel key cards reactivated every evening when we get back.

Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo


Suddenly glad I didn't splurge on the Gemini

Yep - I was thinking of getting a Gemini as a Christmas pressie to myself, but seeing this has changed that. Gemini is 90% of what I want, and none of the missing features were a deal breaker, but this looks like it covers all the bases and then some.

I see they've hit 99% of their Indiegogo target already, personally I'm happy to wait for the final product and the reviews - if it lives up to what they are promising then I'll be buying.

Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show


Re: Low Cost? at $499!

£500 to £700 gets a not bad laptop, though if you want gamer performance rather than email, web, wordprocess & a bit of spreadsheet, maybe £2000. Most SOHO and SME only add Accounts, Payroll and CRM to that.

Slight tangent, but I bought a 1070 based gaming laptop for <£1500 last year, that exact model isn't available any more but you can still get a powerful, VR ready laptop for similar money now. No need to spend 2K!

Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update


True, buy a decent machine from the right place and you won't get third party crap.

With W10 however, even Pro, you will still get a whole bunch of unnecessary bloatware, including shit like Candy Crush, installed automatically in the background. Most of it can be removed easily enough, but that's not the point, it shouldn't be there in the first place.

Then there's the crap that you can't uninstall easily, but have to resort to Powershell or cmd to get rid of.


Re: It's taken some time and a bit of googling but I've managed to get it to "bearable" now.

Don't worry, we will make sure that you get back in line with this update

Would be funny if it wasn't most likely true...


1. Meh. If true then that's a bit less shit than the last big update I suppose.

2. Don't want, will be disabling

3. See 2

4. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Though "You can now use a two finger swipe gesture to dismiss all notifications in the Action Center." sounds entertaining, if only it was the two finger gesture I'm thinking of.

5. Oh, wait, there's only four really...

Unfortunately I finally had to cave and downgrade to W10 at work a couple of months ago. It's taken some time and a bit of googling but I've managed to get it to "bearable" now. Based on reading that ^^ list, the next update doesn't sound like it includes any actual improvements.

Apple's HomePod beams you up into new audio dimensions


On the (long) list of "things I don't get", all these talkie speaker jobbies are right near the top. I love cool tech, but these things are just, well, meh. Add in the privacy implications of having something in your house that is potentially listening to everything that you and yours say, and could be transmitting it all back to the mothership just so they can try and sell you more tat (or worse) - yeah, I'll pass.

I know, deal with it grandad...

Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at


Re: Autoplay videos are a pox

It's not set by default, but in Firefox at least:


set media.autoplay.enabled to False


1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa


The first rule of Manimal and Automan is you don't talk about Manimal and Automan.

Also you don't talk about Series 4 of Airwolf.

There wasn't a Series 4 of Airwolf. No! There wasn't! LaLaLaLaLa I can't hear you.....


You are one of the very few people I've come across either online or IRL that remembers Manimal and Automan (which actually I always thought of as "reverse-Tron").

Have a pint on me :)

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming


Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"



You are going to include a shutoff key for that, right ? And not make it on by default ? Yeah, right. And I'm winning the lottery tonight.

Given that as of the last big update you now need to edit the registry to disable Cortana and Game Mode, I think I can guess what we'll need to do to get rid of this new "feature".

Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion


From memory, Samsung have put it right next to the camera or something similarly daft. The rear sensor on my previous Nexus 6P and current Pixel XL are both, like your phones, perfectly positioned for me. A fingerprint sensor on the front doesn't do it for me, under glass or not.

Hipsterverse horror as Slack takes Halloween hiatus


Re: Can't happen, didn't happen

The cloud is mother, the cloud is father.

/me tips imaginary hat. Be seeing you!

We don't need another hero: Huawei overtakes Apple – even without a big-hitter


I anticipate this to be the biggest iPhone launch since iPhone 4. That was the last time I went out of my way to secure one on launch day. This year, you'll see me in the queue... Because you can be sure of one thing: if you don't preorder or queue, it will be a lengthy wait for you.

Out of curiosity (I'm totally out of touch with what's rumoured to be in the new Apple stuff), what are you expecting to be so special about this years iphone to make it a particularly big deal?

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?


Re: Fibre

How many people still think that their desktop background picture is a "screensaver"

Or that their entire PC is a "hard drive"....

The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Thumb Up

Why do they do it? All I can think of is that it must be something to do with the very nature of computing itself. If I went around saying I was a proctologist instead, I'm quite sure they wouldn't all be clamouring for me to stick my finger up their arses. At least, not without an appointment.

I'm going to make this point next time someone asks me to "have a quick look at the computer".

Have a bonus internet point for the Rage Against The Machine video too.

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04


Re: My thoughts on this ...

I'm way past the 'rapidly approaching' bit of middle age, and I alse hate Metro.

I quite like Unity though <shrug/>

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...


Personal favourite error messages? I've probably mentioned this before, but mine was from a web app we used to use a lot:


There has been an error.'

Yeah, thanks for that....

Video intercom firm Doorbird wants $80 for device password resets


Re: I have a large paper folder

Take photo of recipt and useful password doc with your fruit based device, add to folder. Job done

And say hello to Jason Isaacs?

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer


Re: 21st century pocket computer

I call it a smart phone.

Got one of those. It's missing a major feature: a proper keyboard.

Guess what this has?

Thumb Up

Well hello...

Very interesting. I loved my Series 5, and this looks great (both aesthetically and feature set). Looking forward to the hands on, and also an idea on price.

BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken


Re: Thank god get_iplayer still works fine, and is not limited to the "approved" platforms

If someone can stick a GUI on top that could even be a viable option

I did myself a basic one in VB.NET (yes, really) years ago - took minutes, still using it to this day. If I can do it I'm honestly amazed no one has done a proper one.

Welcome to my world of The Unexplained – yes, you're welcome to it


Sounds familiar

I gently ask my trainee to click on a menu. In response, she clicks her mouse frantically 279 times on random things all over the place before grabbing the title bar of her one remaining document window and dragging it four fifths of the way down her screen. Only then does she click on the menu I suggested.

I only have to do training a couple of times a year these days, but I always seem to get one of these people. Maybe I did something wrong in a previous life.

That paragraph did have me genuninely laughing out loud.

Coming to the big screen: Sci-fi epic Dune – no wait, wait, wait, this one might be good


Re: Make something new

Greg Bear's Eon. I'd love to see that on the big screen, though it might need to be a two-parter.... Come to think of it, Forge of God could work too.

Brexit means Brexit: What the heck does that mean...


The UK government has expressed a strong desire to curtail the freedom of movement of workers.

FTFY some more.

CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics


Hang on, so the bottom quark has now been renamed Kim? Or have I just got my particles arse about face?

Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details


Re: Never had a Nexus

Your "incredibly boring" is my "all the features I need with no unnecessary gimmicks".

Horses for courses I guess, though I would be interested to know what you think the Nexus line is missing (apart from the perennial moan about a micro SD slot, which will never happen in Google's own handsets).

Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8


So Microsoft 'now issues adjustments to Windows “... either during our regular update releases on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month or whenever an unscheduled update is released.”'

Or "whenever the fuck they feel like it" in other words.

Apple wants to buy Formula 1 car firm McLaren – report


Re: Talk about the right company

According to another report I saw on this story (but also quoting the FT), Apple are looking at acquiring the McLaren Technology Group, which is the whole shebang - F1 operation, road car division and so on. Apparently estimated to be worth £1 - 1.5bn.


Re: Oh no - Please doooon't !

Next we would have Google cars going around an F1 circuit !!

Couldn't be much worse than current F1. And I say that as someone who would organise my weekends around it up until a few years ago :(

'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'


Pretty soon the only way to get rid of it without downupgrading will be taskkill /f /im gwx.exe

Mind you, wouldn't put it past the bastards to assume that even that means "Yay! Upgrade me!".....

Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'


This morning I had the pleasure of hiding KB3035583 for the fourth time.

Only 4 times? I've genuinely lost count of the number of times I've hidden that fucker - and cheers for the reminder, just did a check for updates and sure enough, there it was again. Now hidden. Again.

Roll on August when it disappears for good. I just can't help thinking they will attempt to foist something else on us to "encourage" us to "upgrade".

"Nice computer you've got there. Be a shame if something happened to it....."

Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece



Very, very impressive. Congrats to the SpaceX team - what really impressed me was, after all the setbacks, how simple it looked. The thing just... landed.

Of course, they have to make it repeatable now, and it has to actually be reusable. But it's a big step.

Let’s re-invent small phones! Small screens! And rubber buttons!


Re: Small != Small

We don't want small phones, we want normal-sized phones.

Speak for yourself, you certainly don't speak for me. I caved in and bought an enormo-phone recently and now I wouldn't be without it. Yes, one handed use isn't possible, but the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages for me.

Nothing personal, I'm just really bored with people saying "we want x" on the assumption that they are speaking for the entire human race. No. You want it, and quite probably some others do too, but you aren't speaking for everyone. Here endeth the minirant.

Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie


Re: Very good, Mr D

.I'd hope that the official unit was Charlie Brookers

For me the perfect unit of rant would be the Kermode, as in film critic Mark. He doesn't do it often, but when he does they are magnificent. See his Sex and the City 2 review which brilliantly even starts with the phrase "you're not going to get a rant about this"...

Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month


Re: Same here

All you can eat data is no more I think though.

No - AYCE data is still there, it's just the tethering that's capped, at 12GB as mentioned. I renewed my contract just before Christmas and got the standard unlimited data contract at £18/mo just before it went up to £20. As I get through 10-20GB a month Three still offers the best deal for me.

Don't really get this thing about data speeds being slow either - I get anywhere between 8-75 mbits download depending where I am, unless I'm somewhere with no signal at all.

Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey


Re: The secret to giving up the toe rags...

People who use e-cigs have simply swapped one addiction for another (albeit a less harmful to the health one)

While this is undoubtedly true, I have tried various things (including the Just Stop option) and nothing has worked, the problem being with criteria A - I quite enjoy having a smoke, and therefore didn't really want to stop. In this scenario, e-cigs are the first alternative I have come across that actually works.


decent starter kit (Innoken Endura T18 is a decent option)

I'll second this, from personal experience - after trying one of the crappy cig-a-likes just to see if the whole e-cig thing would work for me, I ended up with a T18. That was over the xmas break, and it's been perfect for me - I haven't had a cigarette, or even really felt like having one, since - and for me that's been a massive deal. Until then I'd been on 20-30 a day for longer than I care to remember, and I can't see myself ever going back.

For anyone who's struggled in the past to stop, and I've tried various things, I'd hugely recommend the (decent quality!) e-cig option.

Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers


Re: 'The End of Free'

Interesting listen. Thanks for the heads up.

Yep, I'll second that for sure. Most interesting to hear that even the journos most likely to be disadvantaged by ad blocking feel they have to use blockers to get a usable internet.


Re: They don't understand

Pretty much spot on, but with one small adjustment for me. This part:

For most, it is not because they don't want to see ads.

Is not true, at least in my case. In an ideal world I don't want to see any ads, ever. However - I am happy to put up with unobtrusive, sensible ads in exchange for a free service, for those sites I am a regular visitor to and user of. Unless and until this type of ad replaces the aggressive, obtrusive and downright annoying stuff that is currently the norm I reserve the right to block ads, aggressively.

Brits shun nightclubs and CD-ROMs for lemons, coffee and woman’s leggings


A thought on the alcohol/tobacco thing - how long before e-cigarettes, and particularly the liquids, become a factor? Where I work I'd estimate that over half the smokers (including me) have made the changeover.

Watch six tiny robo-ants weighing 100g in total pull a 1,769-kg family car


Re: I, for one,

Perhaps they'll be able to improve the M25.

Unpossible. the M25 is evil.

Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware


Microsoft says....

Microsoft says a lot of things. I personally don't trust a word they say.

And Windows 7 may be 7 years old, but it's due to be supported with security updates until 2020. I'll 'move on' on my terms, when I choose.


The part of this that really boggles my mind

is that they've snuck the latest W10 ad in via stealth mode in a security update, so full on sneakyness, but then I read this:

The spokesperson who sent the missive went on to explain that “Users that have turned off the GWX app or disabled notifications in settings will not see this recent change, nor will Windows Professional users.”

Don't get me wrong, this bit qualifies as a good thing, or at least a not terrible one. And it appears to be true - having let this update through during the weekend on one machine and fired up IE to check, there is no W10 update prompt anywhere to be found.

It's as if Gollum is running the show for the most part, but occasionally Smeagol manages to take control....