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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

93 Escort Wagon I'm not sure this approach is valid (122 comments)

There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not.

You may be asking the wrong question, at least if you see your phone as a tool. If the apps you've got are doing the job you want them to do, who cares if they're apps you picked up two or three years ago?

It might be better to think on what it is you would like to be able to do using your phone but can't currently accomplish with the apps you've got on hand. If nothing that comes to mind, then there's no problem to solve and no questions to be answered - you're good to go.

Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new(ish) apps are you aware of?

You've said absolutely nothing specific regarding what it is you want to do on your phone. There are literally millions of apps in the iOS and Google app stores - if you want meaningful responses, shouldn't you qualify your question a bit first? Are you trying to manage your diabetes? Do you only want to buy local, in-season fruit? Are you using your phone to manage illicit drug transactions? Looking for a wife? Learning to repair cars? Managing your Pokemon collection? What??

yesterday
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Brian Stevens Resigns As Red Hat CTO

93 Escort Wagon Red Hat fails at their corporate doublespeak (38 comments)

Normally if someone intends to pursue a different job, both he and the company are supposed to say he's "stepping down to spend more time with his family". Then, a week later, the new company announces they've hired him.

Obviously the Red Hat higher ups haven't been attending enough seminars at tropical resorts...

2 days ago
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Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

93 Escort Wagon Re:As a statisticians (113 comments)

You're arguing against a point he didn't make. He didn't say those terms were recently created - he stated they recently were added to the "IT trade lexicon", which is true.

10-15 years ago you didn't hear people bandying about the terms "big data" or "data science".

3 days ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

93 Escort Wagon Re:and yet (333 comments)

Right.

The way Slashdot hid a -1 comment made it appear as if the post I was responding to was intended as a "the government would be worse" post, while in truth it was in response to such a post.

4 days ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

93 Escort Wagon Re:Monopolistic thuggish behavior (333 comments)

Unlikely. Price out your cable bill compared to your water or gas bill.

I'm not actually sure what your point is. My water bill is less than half of my recently-cut-by-$60 Comcast bill. Heck, until we cut back on our Comcast "services", their bill was threatening to approach our electricity bill.

4 days ago
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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

93 Escort Wagon Re:NIMBY (140 comments)

Practice makes perfect, so try it out on Venus first.

They already did.

If you've ever read Robert Heinlein, you'd know that - back when he was writing stories in the 50s and 60s - Venus was a temperate (albeit still very cloudy) planet.

4 days ago
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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

93 Escort Wagon Re:Didn't these people watch Futurama? (140 comments)

Of course you NEGLECT to mention that - for all of this to work - Richard Nixon's head has to be elected President of Earth! A rather convenient oversight...

I, for one, am not ready to pay that price.

4 days ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

93 Escort Wagon Re:Hmmm ... (194 comments)

Unfortunately, the sole copy of the manual exists as an app that only works with that particular iPod Touch.

4 days ago
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Is Dong Nguyen Trolling Gamers With "Swing Copters"?

93 Escort Wagon I admit to putting too much time into Flappy Birds (112 comments)

So, yeah, I downloaded Swing Copters. And then I played it... for about two minutes.

Nguyen stated he wanted to come up with a game that was "less addictive" than Flappy Birds, and I think he accomplished that - by creating a new game that will almost certainly irritate and annoy most people very quickly. That game is freaking impossible!

5 days ago
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Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

93 Escort Wagon Re:I doubt it even makes it to the atmosphere (273 comments)

Excuse me, but - discussions here will be more free flowing and productive if people's opinions aren't pre-biased by any so-called "facts" which might appear in the linked articles. This is why we have a longstanding prohibition against reading them. Please remember that next time.

Thank you.

-- The Management

5 days ago
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Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

93 Escort Wagon Re:Better ways to track users (76 comments)

Because 90% of the time the bad guy knows it takes 20 seconds, and has a stopwatch by the phone, and hangs up at like 19 seconds, just to toy with the good guy.

Which is why, back in 2007, the NSA infiltrated stopwatch manufacturers and altered their timing mechanisms so they run slow - when a stopwatch says 19 seconds, in truth it's been a bit over 20 seconds. So now when the bad guy thinks he's outsmarted the beautiful police detective, she's had time to set up that GUI in Visual Basic and knows exactly where he is.

Don't believe me? Just look at the number of world records that have fallen during the last few Olympic Games.

5 days ago
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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

93 Escort Wagon Re:Do they? (329 comments)

Check my math, okay?
100 tech women
56% leave the private sector (56 in this example)
75% of the 56 continue to work full time (42 in this example)
~50% of 42 continue in tech (21 in this example)

So that 21 plus the 44 that did not change is 65. So only 35% of women in tech leave tech in mid-career. 65% are in tech and stay in tech full time.

Well, there is also a dearth of women studying mathematics.

about a week ago
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Air Force Requests Info For Replacement Atlas 5 Engine

93 Escort Wagon Re:"Amid heightened tensions with Russia" (107 comments)

Actually that is misspelled - it is supposed to be "don't bury the lede".

The site you've linked to also misspells it as "lead" - and the person who runs that site markets herself as a "writing coach and business writer".

about a week ago
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Spot ET's Waste Heat For Chance To Find Alien Life

93 Escort Wagon It'll be one of two things (80 comments)

Either we will have located the home world of the Quagaars, or it'll turn out to be a garbage pod.

about a week ago
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2 Galileo Satellites Launched To Wrong Orbit

93 Escort Wagon Interesting difference between GPS and Galileo (139 comments)

Unlike existing GPS, Galileo has an interactive "search and rescue" function that can interact with the unit on the ground.

Given how infrequently this would be useful in the grand scheme of things - and the likely higher power requirements over passive GPS - the paranoid person in me wonders if the real reason this was included is because spy agencies requested it. With GPS being passive, taking advantage of it to locate a target requires a second piece of software be loaded onto the device.

about a week ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

93 Escort Wagon Bill Nye the Science Guy (361 comments)

As a long-time "Puget Sound"-ite, I was always under the impression that - prior to his big break with Almost Live - Bill Nye had already been trying to break into comedy and/or show business (although he was indeed a Boeing engineer).

I do know that he didn't start out as "Bill Nye the Science Guy" - it was a name John Kiester offhandedly coined which stuck (because, frankly, it was perfect for him).

about a week ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

93 Escort Wagon Re:Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.... (116 comments)

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts....

Remember, the NSA is the group that originally gave us Tor. If I was one of the original developers, and I took pride in my work - it is likely I would continue to help the project improve, even if my employer had changed focus.

Also, remember that the NSA is not just one huge monolithic group with only one task on their plate. I find it easy to believe that some folks there question the wisdom of attempting to cripple security (such as they seem to have done with the elliptic curve ciphers). Plus code breakers and cryptographers are, in general, going to be working at cross purposes - it's the nature of their jobs.

about a week ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

93 Escort Wagon Re:Yes Google and FB are the ones to protect us? (116 comments)

Are you aware that Google is one of the last big internet guys who refuses to cooperate with the Chinese government?

What are you talking about? Google pretty much capitulated to the Chinese government on all fronts a couple years ago.

Do some DuckDuckGo'ing if you don't believe me. I'd suggest not searching for this using Google, since using that engine for this seems to bury some of the less favorable stories - the ones at the top are the ones that use language refer to Google "reluctantly" giving in.

But in any case there have been multiple instances over the past several years where Google has made noise about standing up to China, then more quietly reversed course months later. But people only seem to remember the original noise, which means Google has an effective PR team.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Google patches Android against OpenSSL MITM vulnerability

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  about 2 months ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Google is releasing Android 4.4.4 for certain Nexus phones and tablets. While some users hoping for a new Android release at I/O may be disappointed by the timing of this new KitKat release, it is important update since it is primarily addressing CVE-2014-0224, a significant OpenSSL man in the middle vulnerability discovered recently."
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Remote Root Exploit in Kindle Touch

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "This week's SANS Consensus Security Vulnerability email reports there's a remote root exploit on the Kindle Touch, thanks to its NPAPI support, served with a side of full root privileges.

NPAPI support was newly introduced on the Touch with software update 5.1.0. I don't own a Kindle Touch, but if it's anything like my Kindle 3 — I can't imagine too many people are using its web browser. But still..."
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iGoogle going away in 2013

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Users of iGoogle are now receiving notices that iGoogle is being shut down on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012.

I remember when Google seemed to be all about offering tools people might find useful, regardless of their money-making potential; but it appears they're now proceeding pell-mell down the track of killing projects they can't monetize."

Link to Original Source
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When Stallman speaks, you'd better have Pepsi on h

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Some Slashdotters adore Richard Stallman, while others revile him — but we all can agree he's an interesting character. If you're thinking about bringing RMS in for a talk, though, there's a lot to be considered — literally. And you'd better not use the term "open source" or use a penguin in the promotional materials!"
Link to Original Source
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Netflix does about-face, decides to keep profiles

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Fresh from my Inbox:

We Are Keeping Netflix Profiles

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix"

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