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Android International

MonTemplar The Curse of Geolocation Strikes Again! (5 comments)

Crazy, isn't it?

Evidently, there is some unwritten law that states that Geolocation by IP address shall override any and all set preferences by the user on their device, and ignore any possibility that barring or redirecting the user makes no sense.

I get a version of this periodically on Spotify, where I'm informed that the particular album or single I'm looking at can't be played because it isn't licensed to my region. And of course there's the small matter of my being IP-blocked from Pandora Radio for the same reason.

I ran into a particularly nasty geolocation issue back in late 2012, when I was informed that I couldn't access my National Lottery account because they no longer believed that I was accessing it from the UK. Went back and forth between them and my ISP (VirginMedia), with each blaming the other for the problem.

I've also heard of situations where people have found the books on their Kindles vanishing because they're holidaying in an area where said books aren't licensed.

about 2 months ago

The username/email conundrum

MonTemplar No real solutions, just better sticking plasters (7 comments)

Alerting you to login attempts from new locations or devices, and offer two-factor authentication, will slow down the hackers for a time.

But the answer, for most service providers, is to tell the user that it's their problem now.

about 3 months ago

iMess with your messages

MonTemplar Re:I feel your pain (4 comments)

Consider yourself lucky, then - SMS spam seems to be pretty common here in the UK. Even my parents occasionally get hit.

about 4 months ago

iMess with your messages

MonTemplar I feel your pain (4 comments)

I've been fortunate so far - I don't have any fellow iPhone users that I regularly communicate with via said device. I've now turned off iMessage, so hopefully all texts should go out as SMS.

My personal bugbear with my iPhone is the number of steps required to block a number from Messages. As I use my mobile number as a contact for business, my number is public, and as a result I've started getting SMS spam and telemarketer calls. You would think that Apple, of all people, would make it easier to tell the iPhone "block this number from calling me again."

about 4 months ago

I figured out my /. password!

MonTemplar First Post! (3 comments)

Hello there! :)

about 5 months ago

Reminiscence XP

MonTemplar Re:Cutting out the middleman... (6 comments)

Well, as I'm a Mac person these days, I've swapped out those sorts of issues for the ones that Apple produce. ;) About the only thing I really miss from Windows is the certainty of knowing when the next lot of security updates are due - at the moment, they're so slack they make Adobe look on-the-ball.

about 8 months ago

Reminiscence XP

MonTemplar Cutting out the middleman... (6 comments)

...yeah, if I've gotten a slipstreamed install disc with SP3 on it, I could have saved myself a lot of time when I did the same experiment. *shrug*

Out of interest, which version of IE did it have after install completed? I see you were prompted to upgrade to IE8, but my memory is hazy on whether IE7 was ever included on later XP install discs.

about 8 months ago

Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

MonTemplar Re:XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (7 comments)

But XP? Not so simple. XP has lower system requirements, it works well on systems that are dog slow under 7. It's STILL BEING SOLD for that very reason, and the machines that ship with it will generally not work with other versions, either from lack of resources, lack of drivers, or both.

I'm aware you can still get XP discs second-hand or ex-stock here in the UK - Amazon lists several versions, although some look suspiciously like they may be OEM versions that are tied to specific brand/model PCs. I'm not aware of any PC maker here in the UK offering an XP options, though - maybe Windows 7, for business systems and workstations.

Ultimately I will probably just put Slackware on the machine that's running XP now but if ReactOS were a little more mature I might use it instead.

I recently wiped my old (2003 vintage) laptop, which originally came with XP, and installed Linux Mint - considering the machine's specs, it works fairly well.

I've read about ReactOS, but given the slow pace of progress I regard it as curiosity rather than a viable alternative.

about 8 months ago

Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

MonTemplar XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (7 comments)

Seriously. I remember trying out the preview version on my then-XP-running PC back in 2009, and being blown away by a) how much easier it was to install and get going, b) how well it ran all my existing software, c) how it let me finally use all of the memory installed in my machine, d) how much better it was than Vista. I pre-ordered a copy soon after, and the rest is history. Now, on my Mac, I have my Windows 7 VM for running various applications I still use.

Installing Windows XP today is not nearly as fun as you might think, particularly if you've got a pre-SP2 copy. When I tried it, I had to manually install some patches just to get Windows Update working, then some more before I could install IE8, and some more before I could install MSE. And then all the patches to bring the whole lot up-to-date - that took hours and hours to finish. I'd only recommend trying it if you're installing onto a machine that you don't actually need to use for a good while.

As for the 'but it's tried and tested" argument for hanging onto XP, I would point to the number of flaws that are still being uncovered in the Windows codebase, many of which are also in XP. Yes, you can mitigate against some by hardening your system, running only as a standard user, etc. - but for most current XP installs that will probably mean extra aggravation caused by third-party software written back in the Bad Old Days that expects to run with full admin privileges.

The only excuse for continuing with XP, to my mind, other than sheer obstinacy, is where you've got systems that absolutely, positively require XP running on physical hardware - specialised hardware or software that won't work via a VM because they need direct access through physical ports. Such systems should be segregated from local networks and the Internet as much as possible.

about 8 months ago

New circle, same as the old circle

MonTemplar Re:I'm now imagining... (7 comments)

Natalie Portman involved?

NetCraft confirms it! ;)

about 8 months ago

New circle, same as the old circle

MonTemplar I'm now imagining... (7 comments)

...a Beowulf Cluster of Circular Refuges. Across all of the social networks. Covered in hot grits. ;)

about 8 months ago

Couple Weeks With A Mac

MonTemplar App installation + uninstallation (19 comments)

I come at this from a completely different viewpoint, having only recently dipped my toes into Linux - for me, a package manager is a relatively new concept. The nearest I've come to it previously has been with Apple's App Store, both for iOS and now OSX - plenty of choice, sometimes too much choice.

As far as manually installing apps goes, it usually boils down to double-clicking on the DMG file to mount it, then either running the installation package or dragging the app file to your Applications folder.

In theory, uninstalling apps is as simple as dragging the app file to the Trash. I say 'in theory' because apps do leave behind some detritus formed by using them - thankfully not to the same degree as Windows, but it is there. For suites of apps like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Cloud, there tends to be a lot more extra stuff deposited onto your system besides the apps themselves.

Sadly, updates do tend to be on a per-app basis, with the exception of those acquired through the App Store, which handles the update process.

about 8 months ago

Dude, where's my comments?

MonTemplar Re:Isn't this in a FAQ somewhere? (4 comments)

I've started getting "this resource is no longer valid" warnings when I post stuff here. Coincidence?

about 9 months ago

Dude, where's my comments?

MonTemplar Re:Isn't this in a FAQ somewhere? (4 comments)

Well, my view options are set to Raw & Uncut (-1), so in theory I should see all the comments. In theory.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

MonTemplar My list, plus a few I miss (as a Mac user) (531 comments)

First, the essentials for me, on my iMac (many of which moved with my from PC background) :

Google Chrome - go-to web browser. (Safari just doesn't cut it, Firefox is good but doesn't work quite the way I'd like it to.)
VLC - the media player that will play anything!
F.lux - mentioned elsewhere in comments, this adjusts monitor brightness from daytime to nighttime.
Pathfinder - excellent power-user file manager for OSX.
DaisyDisk - find where all that hard disk space has gone.
CleanMyMac 2 - scrub the detritus from OSX and apps.
Torrent - for my torrenting needs. :)
Parallels Desktop - for when I need to run Windows software.
Mozilla Thunderbird - my mail manager of choice.
FontExplorer X Pro - organise and manage font library, root out dupes and duds.
Last.fm - because here in the UK at least, I can still listen to full tracks. Still the best way to find where to buy particular tracks.
Spotify - I still love my MP3s, but this way I can legally share the love.
Sophos Anti-Virus - because I know better than to believe the hype about Macs being less at risk.
LastPass / XMarks - recent addition, no more hassle losing passwords or bookmarks between browsers.
DesktopServer - for Wordpress site development and deployment.
Toast Titanium - still need to burn the occasional disc.
Steam - need I say more?
Pocket - where my read-later stuff goes.
Alfred - Like Spotlight, but with brains.

There are a few Windows apps that I miss, because there isn't a good Mac equivalent :

TeraCopy - Pathfinder does bulk copy operations, but doesn't support CRC checking / diff.
Everything - Spotlight is good, most of the time, but not fast. Alfred is better, but still no speed demon.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

MonTemplar Re:Windows file management ... (531 comments)

I used to use Beyond Compare for work purposes back when I was involved in USB flash device duplication - great for checking master copies prior to duplication, and double-checking selected duplicate sticks during duplication.

Along those lines, I'd also recommend TeraCopy - fast file copying with the option of CRC checking to spot any corrupted or missing files.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

MonTemplar Re:MS Office (531 comments)

I must admit, I didn't buy a new version of Office for personal use for a long time (last PC version was Office 2000), and only got Office 2011 for Mac because I was found a cheap deal off eBay, plus Pages couldn't digest some of the Word documents I needed to use.

Given that there's no indication that Microsoft are going to do a new version of Office for Mac any time soon, I'm now looking into trying LibreOffice.

Worst part is that because I only occasionally need to crack open Word, Excel or Powerpoint, when I do want to do so I invariably have to wait whilst Microsoft AutoUpdate installs the latest update.

Best part, though, is that Office for Mac has an actual proper menu - I would probably go insane trying to use the fecking Ribbon!

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

MonTemplar Re:f.lux (531 comments)

I'll second that. Especially for big screens. (I have a 27" iMac.) Only caveat is that it's not so good if you're doing graphic work and want to be sure that your colours are correct - but then, if you're working into the evening or night I daresay you have other problems you need to deal with first.

about 9 months ago


MonTemplar hasn't submitted any stories.



Dude, where's my comments?

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  about 9 months ago

Posted a few comments on this Ask Slashdot article yesterday. Come back, and they've disappeared. They've not been deleted - I can still access them, from the recent comments area of my profile - and they've not been downmodded either. Not a Beta issue, as I'm not currently on it.



When Did 'Beta' Become A Dirty Word On /. ?

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  about 10 months ago

Just spotted that people are stuffing comments into various stories here for the sole purpose of complaining about the /. Beta.

Maybe it's because I only occasionally visit here, but are people really that hung up on the current design?

Hell, I can remember when /. didn't even bother with any testing, period, just shoved changes straight onto the production servers. Fun times. (Not)

Having looked at the Beta, it seems to me a damn sight cleaner that some news sites I can think of*. Ok, the comment view controls could use some refining, but that's the whole point of beta-testing, right?

(*I still have nightmares about pre-2000s ZDNet. Makes the current design look almost pleasant by comparison.)



MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Although I stopped posting stuff here ages ago, I've had the My Amigos feed in Google Reader, and have occasionally wandered in to have a look.

But now I've decided to cut my ties here permanently. So as soon as I've posted this, I'm unsubscribing My Amigos. I've already updated my User Info with how to contact me.

To those few of you who still post here, thanks for the fun times. It's nothing personal, I just need to cut down the amount of time I spend on social networks generally.

-MT. signing off.


MT has left the building...

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  about 6 years ago

In view of the fact that I hardly come here any more, plus the fact that TPTB here seem intent on fscking up the UI even further :| I've decided to call it a day here.

You can follow my antics over at deviantART or Multiply (sorry, Jorg), or add me on Facebook.

Alternatively, you music lovers can check me on Last.fm, whilst most of my linkage is over on StumbleUpon.

It was fun back in the day, when I had more time to spare, but now... *shrug*

Au revoir!



Hello, Circle. Miss me much?

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It's been a while since I posted something here. Guess my /. craving is subsiding now that I've got the My Amigos and /. feeds plugged into my Bloglines. Been posting (and recycling) stuff to my website instead of late, as well as trying to catch up a bit with goings-on over at DeviantArt.

I've also set up a LiveJournal ID, mainly so that I can follow and reply to stuff that my LJ-using Amigos write there (hi to Leo, SW and Interrobang!) You can probably guess my username. :)

Some good news at work, the MD's wallet has opened. We've got a new CD duplicator tower, plus replacement drives for two of our existing towers, so we should have much more throughput now for those big orders. Hopefully, this means that a move on the new server box I was helping to spec before Christmas might actually be happening sometime soon. Hey, they might even give me a payrise, at this rate (I can hope!)

Just put in an order at Hard-To-Find Records for a cheap record deck with pre-amp that I can plug directly into my PC, to rip vinyl and make MP3s from them. I might have a nosey and see if I can rip some of my Dad's old jazz collection while I'm at it...

No snow yet. :(



Weblog comment spam hitting new low

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Just spotted a huge build-up of comment spam over at my website, all of it sex-related. I've added a few extra choice phrases to WordPress's blocking list, and instructed WPBlacklist to start harvesting IPs and URLs as it goes. It may risk poisoning the blacklist file again, but that's a chance I'll have to take. Just a heads-up to anyone else who has a weblog, to check in case you've been hit as well. Seems to have started very recently, so you might still be able to stem the tide before it gets out of control.


HL2 First Impressions

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  about 10 years ago

I fired up Half-Life 2 last night and got stuck in for about three hours. First impression weren't brilliant - it took a while to load up, but I suspect that may have been it detecting my sound and video cards and adjusting settings. The opening screen, with the view across the square, made up for the wait. I was playing at 1024x768 (will have a go at 1280x1024 tonight to see how that fares) and the views are awesome!

Lots of familiar faces show up during the game - the G-Man, Barney, Dr Vance and his daughter Alyx - as well as a lot of the aliens from the original Half-Life, although some have changed a bit in the interim (talking Alien Slave!)

It's a long wait before you get to put on the HEV suit, and you have to run for it at one point, but once you get there it,s like a family reunion (complete with 'pet' headcrab to muck things up!)

The scripted stuff with the citizens and the Combine soldiers is pretty good, and really makes you want to press on and find out what the heck is going on in City 17.

I've managed to get to the point where you get to take the skimmer for a ride down the river - this is quite a departure from the original Half-Life, and takes a lot of getting used to, particularly where steering and braking are concerned.

Only downsides so far have been the long delays between levels, and occasional stuttering sound in some parts of the game. But overall, I'm really enjoying this game.

You'll probably not be surprised to learn that my ID on Steam is 'MonTemplar'... :)


Redunser v4.0

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Finally gotten around to doing something about my moribund personal website. Chucked out the MovableType stuff, and put in a WordPress blog in its place. I'm planning on adding links to the artwork that I've put up at DeviantArt, specifically the stuff that I've got for sale as prints, :) as well as write-ups on the websites that I think deserve more coverage. Also, a few offbeat and/or unusual news items as and when I find them.

If you've got a website or blog, drop me a note and I'll make sure to link to you. Cheers!


Thoughts on Doom3

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

  1. The chainsaw is the best melee weapon in a FPS game evar! Sure, the crowbar in Half-Life was fun, and the monkey-wrench and Bowie knife in HL:Opposing Forces was even better, but they won't have that satisfying roar, and make sparks when you strike it against a hard surface. The only downside is the smoke when you fire it up, which makes it harder to see which side of the zombie you're slicing. :)
  2. The sentry bots are so cute, whistling at you to follow them, and tenacious when faced by obstructive monsters. Brings a tear to your eye if the little feller falls in battle. *sniff* Even cuter than the Rustbits in Gunman Chronicles.
  3. Boy, those imps are fugly! Just as rough as their grandpappies from the original Doom, right down to tearing into you at close range.
  4. The cutscenes are pretty darn nifty, particularly with the way they pan back into your characters head at the end, so you're facing whatever gets revealed...
  5. The zombie marines are buggers to take down, because they've still got some grey-matter ticking away. Enough to use radio links to coordinate their attack, and duck for cover when their ammo is low, but thankfully they stand still when firing so a few well-aimed shots will take then out.
  6. Some of the audio logs and e-mails you come across are hilarious. :)

I reckon I'm about a third of the way into the game, and I've met one Boss so far. Anyone else got any progress reports?


I am teh bored!

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

No work to do today, apart from keep the CD printers running. *yawn*

Ordered Doom3+HalfLife2 from Amazon UK yesterday, something to look forward to in September.

Anyone here recieved XP SP2 via Automatic Update yet? Anyone? Bueller?!

Was doing some rendering work on my PC last night, good thing I've got the laptop handy, I went onto DA with that whilst the beast was busy. Took about 2 hours to render to my satisfaction - at 9000x6000! Yeah, baby! :) Only problem was that the PC crawled afterwards due to the delay in releasing memory back - with 1GB of RAM you'd think this wouldn't be so much of a problem - damn you Bill! *shakes fist* Had to restart in order to get back to a usable state.

I also discovered that DA will not allow you to log in from two different machines at the same time - log in on one, you get logged out on the other.

Speaking of which, here is the result of my labours. Not finished yet, I'm going to try hand-paint some extra details on it later this week...


Still Alive

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Gak! Nothing really grabs my attention on the front page these days. Not even the addition of new sections for Linux and IT (in beige! the horror!) tickles my fancy. Still reading journals when I get the chance.

Apologies to RWS - I would have given you some mod points, but all your recent posts have been archived already. Must really suck to be hit with bad karma.

Mostly hanging out at DeviantArt now, along with Leo and a certain lurking shark of this parish. If you're bored of /. shenanigans, come and check out the pretty pictures. :)

I'm up for helping tire-kick any /. alternatives you guys are working on - e-mail address is in my Yahoo! profile, if you need it - ditched the slashdot@redunser.co.uk one as it was just getting junk mail.

Oh yeah, I got a new digital camera and a replacement Wacom tablet last week. More on that in another JE.



Oh look, they've bodged up /. again!

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

As announced on the front page, they've gone and mucked around with the Slashcode again. Most noticeable change so far is that the homepage exclusions are currently kaput, so you get everything now - I had the sections cleared off to the sidebar.

But wait! What is this? Apparently, there is work on convertion the site to XHTML and CSS, albeit by a couple of volunteers, not Slashdot/OSDN, so don't hold your breath waiting... :)


36 today!

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Today was my birthday, so I celebrated with a slap-up meal at the Flower Drum, a very nice Chinese restaurant in the centre of Watford, and the purchase of my very first mobile phone (as a gift from my Mum). Yes, I've finally lost my virginity :) and will shortly be joining the texting masses, albeit mainly to let my folks know if I'm stuck somewhere.


Shrek 2

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 9 years ago

They had an advance screening at our local VUE (was Warner Village) multiplex this weekend - it's not due to go on general release in the UK until the 2nd of July. Went up there Saturday evening to the first show, and the foyer was packed!

For some reason, Larry King was replaced by Jonathan Ross (UK chat-show host, presents BBC's Film programme) as the voice for the Ugly Stepsister, in the UK cut. Don't ask me why, but he did a good job.

There were a few other bits in there that may have been added or changed especially for us Brits. Shirley Bassey gets a name-check (doubt that would register with most Yanks), there's a Faulty Towers moment (not surprising, since John Cleese is in it), and possibly a few more. Oh, and of course Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett.

Yes, I made sure to stay back while the main credits rolled. Sucks if you missed the last scene. One word - 'dronkeys!'. :)

Saw the trailer for Thunderbirds. A bit too much fast-cutting for my tastes, and only the one clip at the end with Lady Penelope and Parker (boo!), but definitely one I'd like to check out when it's released.


On This Day...

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

1984: Hundreds dead as troops storm temple
Nearly 300 people are killed as Indian troops storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar, held by Sikh militants.

1966: Black civil rights activist shot
James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, is shot in the back and legs while on a civil rights march.

1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum
British voters back the UK's continued membership of the EEC by a large majority in a nationwide referendum.


On This Day, in 1989...

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

1989: Massacre in Tiananmen Square

Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic uprising in Peking's (Beijing) Tiananmen Square.

Tanks rumbled through the capital's streets late on 3 June as the army moved into the square from several directions, randomly firing on unarmed protesters.

The injured were rushed to hospital on bicycle rickshaws by frantic residents shocked by the army's sudden and extreme response to the peaceful mass protest.

Demonstrators, mainly students, had occupied the square for seven weeks, refusing to move until their demands for democratic reform were met.

The military offensive came after several failed attempts to persuade the protesters to leave. Throughout Saturday the government warned it would do whatever it saw necessary to clamp down on what it described as "social chaos".

But even though violence was expected, the ferocity of the attack took many by surprise, bringing condemnation from around the world.


I have seen the light! (at home, at least...)

MonTemplar MonTemplar writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I think I can safely say that I am now a convert to the Mozilla way, having used Firefox and Thunderbird in anger for about a week now. Still using IE at work, though, mainly because I will just confuse the hell out of people if I put a different browser on there, and someone needs to use my PC when I'm away.

I'm particularly happy that I have threaded e-mail once more - mailing lists are actually manageable now! That was one of the things I liked about Forte Agent, but I lost the installation plus registration for that, and the new v2 doesn't have enough new features to tempt me, and is still missing multi-server, multi-account support.

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