* Posts by J Thompson

19 posts • joined 13 Jun 2007

Microsoft whips Apple with global Xbox TV deals

J Thompson

Power consuption

I have the newer slim XBox360, and it's silent in comparison to the older models (especially with no DVD in the tray). I still get the impression that its power consumption is fairly reckless though, and that an Apple TV, Mac Mini or dedicated STB make for a more responsible choice when it comes to consuming video.

Attack reads smudges to retrieve Android password patterns

J Thompson
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Greasy thumb

My unlock pattern is a good one. It involves sliding my greasy thumb back along the first part of the pattern, but in the opposite direction.

Perhaps if the system was based on allowing the owner to set more than one unlock pattern?

How to run Mac OS X on a generic PC

J Thompson


Presumably, I still won't be able to maximise windows?

I hate being dictated to about interfaces - I therefore hate MacOS. I remember studying Fitts's Law, etc. at uni (forgotten most of it now though) and Mac's car-crash-space-waste-dock-thing, menus-not-in-the-window WRONGNESS (actually, wrong, as in incorrect), only-one-mouse-button-but-right-clicking-mice-supported stupidity, inability-to-use-all-of-the-screen, and the hideousness that is Finder (worst name ever), all seemed to offend the recognised laws of HCI (human computer interaction) with a willful abandon.

Also, why do iPods come with 50cm charging cables?? Are iPods designed to be used on the floor??????????????

Windows is far better than most people realise. Anyone touting Mac as a superior computing experience to Windows, or even Mac-alike Ubuntu, doesn't, in my professional opinion, know how to use a computer properly.

Asus Eee Box B206

J Thompson
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RE: Ken Hagan

Noise levels are rarely considered with these sorts of things. Games consoles are particularly bad for it. The only thing I should hear in my lounge are the things I want to hear.

As the godlike Bjork once said, things like cities and phones are designed to look great, but always sound awful. The sense of sight seems to trump all others :(

Mr. WebTV gives games thin-client treatment

J Thompson
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Might be neat for consoley type games or for free, but anyone who is actually any good at games will find it hateful to pay the same money for a compromised alternative to doing things properly.

Concerted Linux-netbook effort needed to beat Microsoft

J Thompson

Sounds rubbish

So the netbook market should resemble the mobile phone market more than it does the traditional laptop market? That seems like the last thing people would want to buy into. People want consistency across their devices, not a load of proprietry/one-off stuff that skins the cat differently just for the sake of it. Every mobile is different, and for me, that resembles the early days of computers. The days before there were defacto standards. The mobile market is yet to find it's defacto standards (no common platform for the masses).

Why go back in time, and why this need to cripple PC hardware with overbranded naffness?

Selling a cheap laptop with locked-down, joe-public-friendly, feature-limited Linux OS on it is surely just a false economy when that same laptop is capable of running XP.

Norwegians spill Opera 10 alpha

J Thompson


It'd be lovely to have a version of Opera that is fully okay with the SharePoint site we have at work. I could then forget about having both IE and Opera open all day.

I suspect that this is more a comment on SharePoint compatibility than Opera though. Long live Opera!

Ubuntu 8.10 - All Hail new Network Manager

J Thompson

Proxy nonsense

Ubuntu is still failing miserably as it doesn't work properly from behind a proxy. I don't care what has been said before, it simply doesn't "just work!'. Until it works through proxy servers properly, I have to carry on using Windows.

BBC to launch iPlayer for Wii

J Thompson

A wonderful FriiBii

Now I'll be able to watch the programmes that I've been missing due to a Lego Star Wars addiction.

Final beta of Firefox 3 available now

J Thompson

I'm sure it's great, but

I'm still too much in love with Opera to use anything else, despite most pages looking nicer in the other browsers.

It was Opera's mouse gestures that first did it. I know there are gesture plugins available for FF, but none of them seem as good.

El Reg decimates English language

J Thompson


Anyone reading this far down must really care about the english language, in which case they probably watched with great interest, as I did, the tremendous series presented by Melvyn Bragg called 'The Journey of English'.

After watching that, you realise that english, more than any other language in history, has been adopted and localised to such an extent that there is no 'correct' version of it anymore. English in India is no more incorrect than english in North America or english in Glasgow. What is important, especially when using written english, is that sufficient attention is given to grammar, spelling, etc. such that there is no ambiguity in what you're writing.

Purists may lambast (?) the use of a lower case 'i' when spelling Internet (as in THE Internet), but more often than not when people are writing about the Internet, there is absolutely no danger of ambiguity between AN internet and THE Internet. Using a lower case 'i' would not be such a crime. Keyboard is another example - no one suspects for a minute that I'm typing this on a piano, unless they have willfully abandoned common-sense.

English is a fluid thing (a point often used in defence of dreaded txt spk). Fluidity is good, but it's essential to maintain enough traditional usage to avoid ambiguity. I can't imagine anyone being confused by the modern, non-ancient use of the word decimate, provided it's spelled (or is it spelt?) correctly, and not being used in discussion of ancient Roman military practices. Only then could you be wrong.

Bjork lays into NZ snapper

J Thompson
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Shouldn't there be some sort of legal barrier to prevent people loitering about outside airports? I won't argue that the guy wasn't assaulted, but I would say that it was provoked. It's not exactly photojournalism to snap someone walking out of an airport is it? That screams of cheopo-pap-tactics to me.

Anyway, I'll always side with Bjork because she is the only person I would ever consider idolising.

w00t voted 'Word of the Year'

J Thompson

as a verb

Is this w00t a new super verbified version of w00t? As in, "I think I'm in for a serious w00ting here"?

As for Facebook as a verb, I will admit to using it, every now and then. It's not much different from using Google as a verb. Whilst that might not lend any strength at all to my argument (!), I'm able to use Facebook as a verb without sounding like I'm trying hard to use Facebook as a verb.

A bit like being able to use the word cool, despite the fact that millions of parents, the world over, will never be able to do so.

'Extortionist' turns Wi-Fi thief to cover tracks

J Thompson

@ Nick Pettefar

"I think that Internet access should be free for all. It is unfortunate that crime happens on the Internet but hey, it also happens on the road and we do not make roads secure!"

The roads can be considered secure for motoring. You can't legally use the road as a motorist unless you and your vehicle are appropriately licensed, taxed, insured, registered, roadworthy, healthy, sober, etc. For all road users, there is also the Highway Code to pay attention to.

With regard to everyone in the land having free net access, well, nothing comes free. What you are talking about would presumably be funded by the tax payer, and there will always be people wanting to customise their service (i.e. have a faster connection, or a slower, cheaper connection, etc.). Leaving all of that to the private sector makes the most sense.

As for sharing your wireless Internet access with the general public, well, on your head be it. The people most keen to take advantage of anonymous net access are probably going to be just like the guy in this article, or worse. As the owner of the net connection, you'd be the first person the police are going to come looking for! Being elderly is not necessarily going to be indicative of innocence in every case.

Orange speaks out with new voice

J Thompson


As long as Ruth is English, and not an annoying telly advert Scot ('Oarrhenge' themselves being the worst offenders in the use of an annoying telly advert Scot).

Wii named fastest-selling console in UK history

J Thompson

Why the Wii is winning

Firstly, this who thing about what generation the Wii is, it's definitely latest generation. The term 'generation' was only bandied about with games consoles when the PS2 and XBOX were on their way. The PlayStation had created a massive and major new market for gaming, with less tech savvy people knowing about it - gaming became cool, and everyone was anxious to see what was coming next, so the term 'next gen consoles' came about.

Nintendo have always been out of sync with XBOX and PlayStation lifecycle, hence the Wii's excuse for not competing like-for-like with them. The Wii was initially called Revolution (a name which holds true I think), but I believe they wanted to distance it away from any 360/Revolution comparisons and opt for a distinct group or family orientated image (Wii as in we and ii as in two people standing beside one another). The Wii has attracted new buyers with it's controllers, and has therefore not needed to be much more powerful than a Gamecube (my Mum doesn't care about specular effects or shadow detail because the Wii is the first games system she's had any fun on). It's priced right in the 'I played on one at a party last week and now I'm going to impulse-buy' price bracket too, which PS3 isn't.

How to sniff out private information on Facebook

J Thompson

Why is this a bug??!

There is a differnce between allowing yourself to be found by search results and allowing the world to view your profile.

Think about it - I only want my friends to be able to read my page, but I want people who know me IRL to be able to find me in searches so that they can add me.

WHAT is the problem??

Dutch police arrest 111 West Africans in 419 clampdown

J Thompson

Source of amusement

>If it wasn't for the spam factor in how they do their work I would view them as an amusement rather than a problem.

How long before we see Ocean's 419 hit the screens?

EFF lawyer is smokin' on Google Street View

J Thompson

They aren't holiday snaps

It's not illegal to stand in the street and take photos with you camera, this is true, but you can't say that what Google is doing is exactly the same. Anyone capable of moral judgement must see that it just isn't.

Okay, so someone can stick their photos of you onto Photobucket or Facebook, but that isn't in the same league as been digitally immortalised having a wee by the side of the road, or dancing in your front room.

It seems to me that Google are relying on technicalities to maintain a service of questionable merit and ethics.


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