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January 2nd, 2011

01:44 am - New Year Objectives

I've considered that now it's 2011, what my aims are for this year. Honestly resolutions are a bit pointless as everyone breaks them. So instead I've gone for Objectives instead.

The fact is, a device I rely on to live without difficulty is now end-of-line, and unless I can get the decision reversed, it is likely the replacement will mean I'll lose the ability to walk properly. The one fitted is enough to last 2-3 months, and a spare can last 3-6. So I have 6-9 months left. In that time, I have the following to do...

1) Finish the Final Year Project
2) Graduate with Honours
3) Finally visit London while I can still walk
4) Set up an Apple Developer Account
5) Talk to careers service about employment and/or Postgraduate study

I've decided that if the device can be sourced again, I'll do postgraduate study as I'll be able to actually walk without difficulty. Otherwise I guess that will be the end of my University career. Bugger.

Current Mood: Considerate
Current Music: Fallout 3 OST

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November 3rd, 2010

07:22 am - Not-so Open Source
If you like Richard Stallman or the Free Software Foundation, I don't recommend you read this post. You have been warned.

If you read any of the computing-related websites, you may have heard of the VLC GPL Violation Controversy. For those who don't want to read a really long legal document, the basic point is that the VLC port to the iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad) violates the GPL v3 software licence.

Basically, most Open-Source software uses one of several different licences. They are pages-long documents bundled with every open-source project which no-one but Richard Stallman reads. Anyway, the point which is causing problems for both VLC developers and iOS Device owners is a new addition to version 3 of the licence, which prohibits use of DRM during distribution. Because the App Store works using DRM at its very core (with software usable only by accounts which bought it on up to five devices) it technically violates the GPL v3.

Needless to say, this was the most fucking stupid addition ever made to an Open Source licence. Rather than embrace the freedom of software and allow such a great application on an even greater device, Stallman and his cronies have used it to further their political agenda. For them, the only solution is for Apple to completely ditch the App Store and open the iOS to anyone and their dog.

No offence to dogs, but even they can think of a more viable solution. If the DRM of the App Store is ditched, it means...

1) Software can be easily pirated, defeating the point of App Sales. Piracy is something Stallman and his fellow idiots at the Free Software Foundation don't understand.
2) Security exploting applications will be rife, stealing people's data and causing file deletion on their systems. Apple's review policy filters out any malicious applications.
3) With the piracy situation, developers get no cash. Most of the applications on the App Store come from individual and independent developers rather than big companies, defeating the point of the FSF's anti-capitalist campaign.

I think even the most ardent Open Source supporter can see why Apple implemented DRM. Besides, the five-device limit isn't that serious - who has more than five iOS devices in a single household? And besides, the free Applications can be downloaded on different accounts as well, meaning the DRM restrictions are pointless.

My suggestion is that Open Source projects adopt another licence apart from the GPL. Indeed, Linux refused to accept the GPL v3 because of the new provisions. The main issue for a licence will be Stallman's rants, and thats it. When I start distributing some software as open source (which I plan to do) I won't be using the GPL. Instead, i'll be using my own idea, "XGPL" (Exclusive General Public Licence) which makes the following changes:

1) DRM isn't an issue, so long the SAME BUILD of the application is avaliable to download for free on ANY device.
2) Feature unavailable due to hardware are taken into consideration (Such as screen resolution), but deliberate limitations (such as no networking on a games console which has it) are not allowed.
3) Commercial distribution of the software is banned. A different licence will be available for such situations.
4) Any changes to the official specification will be considered a fork, to prevent feature creep.

Its funny how right now I can imagine Richard Stallman grabbing his keyboard and typing out a flame email. Honestly I think free software is a great thing. However, using it to drive a political agenda is just stupidity and hypocrisy. If its any indication, the game Ethnic Cleansing (the most terrible FPS ever made) was also made to satisfy a political agenda.
Current Location: Home
Current Music: Dawn of War 2 OST

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October 7th, 2010

04:58 pm - eBuyer - the 'E' doesn't mean 'Environmental'
So it came to be that last week I needed some additional kit computer-wise, so I ended up putting a small order in on eBuyer, my preferred source for computer parts. So 15 minutes and £30 off my debit card later, the order was in and sent.

The next day (Saturday), the first part of the order arrived - an 8gb Flash Drive for my younger sister (Happy Birthday to her 2 days ago). A few days after that (Monday) the rest of the order arrived.

Two huge boxes (the size of a small child) greeted me as I collected them from the hallway. After taking them down my room and opening them, I burst into laughter. I put my iPhone into them to give a sense of scale, and took some pictures...

Here we have a keyboard in more packaging and a flash card reader in plastic. The box was filled with those airbags you see.

Thats a Macbook slip case slightly larger an A4 sheet of paper and 1cm thick.

Its so ironic when you consider eBuyer put up this page to tell the world how environmentally friendly they are. I seriously doubt that, seeing the stupidity of the packaging sizes. Saying that, there was some concerns about this posted on The Register last year about this excess packaging. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: The Animal - Disturbed

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September 18th, 2010

02:27 pm - The Future of Gaming! (Or maybe not)

So yesterday I went to York for a change of pace and did my usual of wandering around, doing random stuff. It happened to be the 17th, and thus the Playstation Move was launched in Britain today. I tried it at Gamestation. Also at the Sony Centre, they had a Playstation 3 running Wipeout HD on one of these newfangled 3DTVs.

Opinions on the Playstation Move...

Read what I think of waving an ice-cream cone around.Collapse )

Verdict: Only get it if you have a PS3 and not a Wii

Opinions on 3D TV...

Read what I think of wearing silly glasses while playing the same game I did last year.Collapse )

Verdict: The worst experience i've ever had with a TV. Avoid.

So anyway, thats about it for now. Kaboogle.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Disturbed - "The Warrior"

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September 14th, 2010

01:05 am - Reviving this old thing...
Okay, so I tried to get used to Wordpress but I found writing blogs out using it a bit of a chore. That and I was bombarded by spam at the same time. So i'm just going to use the old-fashioned way of doing things - linking to individual entires.

Additionally, after reading certain blogs, i'm not updating with stuff that is absolutely pointless. For example, no daily updates with what boring stuff i've been up to. I may do a big post every week though with my latest activities and the like.

If you want a more up-to-date way of finding out what i'm up to, why not check out my Twitter feeds? @Silvergunner is my main one, and @ArtAtrocities I use simply for making fun of bad artwork and stories people post on FurAffinity and WWOEC.

Oh, and of course, don't forget about my all important Furaffinity page - www.furaffinity.net/user/silvergunner. Almost all of my work is posted there.

Anyway, that's it for now. Kaboogle.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: (silence)

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June 4th, 2010

06:16 pm - Testing

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September 1st, 2008

03:14 pm - Moving...
Yes, its true. After years on Livejournal, i've decided to move onwards. From now, i'll be running a Wordpress blog - read it at http://silvergunner.wordpress.com. This blog will no longer be updated regulary, but rather i'll be cross-posting the odd announcement. Its still here though, for historical reasons. Kaboogle.

Anyway, see you over at the new blog soon!
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: My Chemical Romance - Cemetery Drive

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August 2nd, 2008

05:31 am - Not dead yet.
I figured I haven't posted for quite a while, and decided to talk about something. I'm not going into my current life - you can read stuff like that on MySpace. Instead, I wanted to talk today about the Mystery Mac and E3 2008.
Starting on E3, I can sum it up in two words - "Utter Bullshit*". It was about as interesting as Politics Textbook, and had less games than the Gizmondo's Back Catalogue**. Seriously, it was perhaps the worst E3 to date. Basically the ESA decided to save money and have a few conferences instead of the traditional trade show. Unlike the good attempts to work within the box last year, this year no-one could be bothered. In short...
  • Microsoft went on about Price Cuts, a few games, and not much else viable outside Steve Ballmer's Imagination.
  • Nintendo was the best, but apart from Miyamoto's entry, it was boring with Reggie boasting about sales figures.
  • I feel that Sony thought they were at CES instead of E3, trying to sell Multimedia PCs, due to their repositioning of the PS3 away from Gaming. That and also, I felt Jack Tretton was avoiding real issues by predicting great things**
  • The ESA exec's droneathon (worse than Gil Amelio's) had just 50 reporters out of 1000 places. Go figure.
Will there be an E3 next year? Probably not. Activision, ID and several other companies have already pulled out of the ESA. I can't see the show going on another year with so little funding. That, and the question is if anyone would want to go to a show like that every again.
Moving on, Apple have mentioned a transistional product, but with no information. People are speculating what it will be. Here are my thoughts on the possibilities...

Mac Minitower Doubtful. Apple announced years ago they were leaving the low-end market. A Mac Minitower machine would either flop or dig into sales of their other models. If people want a Minitower, they buy a cheap PC from Tesco. Sad but true.
Macbook Tablet The answer is NO. People have said this ever since Steve Jobs killed the Newton off. The truth is, its never going to happen. Steve Jobs has reasons behind not creating another Newton, and additionally a Mac OS Tablet would destroy the Macbook Air. Also, touchscreen computers are an expensive niche, and may end up too expensive (above Macbook Pro) to sell.
Macbook Refresh This is most likely in my book. Apple have ordered many Centrino 2 parts, stepped up orders for notebook mainboards, and have mentioned an Eco-Friendly casing. The new Macbook will probably be built from some sort of metal, ending the era of Plastic cases as far as Apple is concerned. Also, the lower pricing of parts could mean it would cost less than currently.
iPod Line Refreshes A definite yes. At least one line of iPods will end up been refreshed to add more storage.

Right... unbelievably I wrote a lot more than I wanted. Ah well...

FootnotesCollapse )
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: n/a

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June 20th, 2008

04:58 pm - Kitty X2
Okay, its been a while since I placed anything on any of my pages. Reason mostly been that i've been suffering a hell of a lot more stress than a teenager* like me should do in life. Mostly due to two family members I refer to as the "Middle Managers", but i'm leaving that discussion alone for now. As I would end up ranting for 3 or 4 pages.

So anyway, reason i've decided to talk about it today is that i'm doing something different - remaking my WWOEC page. I feel Coppermine is a pain in the fucking arse, and thus decided to create my own page. Due to the fact however that my plans may not work (due to limitations of Javascript), I have a backup site readied I made in iWeb. The fully working website will, however, use a new navigation method.

I decided that the best way to look through something is to have a user interface that is simple and effective to use. For this reason, I decided to create a system called "KittyStep". Its basically using some of the GUI elements seen in NextSTEP and its successor, Mac OS X. Notably the file navigation system, which i feel will be perfect for browsing through tons of items. A sidestrip toolbar will also give common tasks available, which will help out the user a lot. Overall, its Web 2.0 how it should be, and without a hint of spyware in sight. If all goes to plan, of course. If things mess up, the backup site is readied.

Anyway, thats about it from me. Kaboogle.
Current Music: The Guilty Gear X2 Soundtrack

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May 17th, 2008

06:48 pm - OLPC is Dead. I'm Not
Whew, been a while. Thankfully i'm alive, and ready to talk about a big issue... OLPC.

From the start, I was rather skeptical about the “One Laptop Per Child” Project. To explain briefly, it was to supply a low-cost laptop ($100) to developing countries so children there could learn. It sounded great as far as PR was concerned, but I noticed a few iffy bits* even then.

Technical_BitsCollapse )

This week, its been revealed what i’ve said all along. Nicholas Negroponte, the head of the project, has said to several officials within the project that he really just wanted to ship Windows Desktops to third world countries. I bring you back to the essay, which is an interesting read, written by no other than security director Ivan Krstić. He left immediately when Nicholas spat out the truth, along with others who had been decieved all along.

Nicholas’ comments pretty much have sounded the death knell for the project. While the project was based on children in foreign countries learning, the director actually said he wasn’t concerned with the Educational aspect. All he wanted was for a cheap machine to be delivered to those who could not afford one. The problem is that without the educational aspect, the XO-1 is virtually useless as a machine and is worth pretty much nothing in countries where electricity is a far-off luxury. Apart from Solitaire of course, as limited telephone lines makes the internet scarce (no Porn**) and i can’t see many USB DVD drives been delivered (no games of Unreal Tournament, if it will even run of course). In short, they built hundreds of thousands of useless machines, which is a bigger waste than when your local Fast Food outlet had to throw out all their burgers and chips and milkshakes after a rat was spotted in their kitchen***.

The funny thing is that the OLPC people actually had a disagreement and ended up losing Intel as a partner. This was strike one for the organization even then. The reason? Nicholas actually had a go at Intel and asked them to stop selling their own Classmate PC. Intel refused and quit. In the style of many CEOs, Nicholas thought it wasn’t a big deal. But sadly, it was. Intel were due to make the XO-2 - the next-gen OLPC - and quit in the end. This would have been lower cost and actually be cheaper ($100 instead of the final $183 of the XO-1, due to AMD’s pricing). This seems like a no-brainer to us, but Management types it was standard procedure****.

So what is next? More than likely the OLPC project will go on, but eventually fall on its face and crash. To all us analysts, the project is dead already, and further attempts to save it will simply hammer more nails into its coffin.

FootnotesCollapse )
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Throwdown - Holy Roller

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