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Comments

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HTC Does What Google Wouldn't: Sell an LTE Phone That Sidesteps AT&T

ProbablyJoe Re:Best phone for 2013 (290 comments)

It runs Maemo/Meego, which is based on Debian, and can therefore run lots of standard Linux programs. It's also fully open and not locked down at all, unlike iOS/Android. The things that it can do that other phones can't do are very niche hacker things though, hence the popularity on Slashdot. I do have one, and it's fun to play around with, and certainly better than anything else for using a terminal and SSHing into servers, but for anything else I much prefer Android, since it's much easier to use and has apps that are better designed for touchscreens.

about a year and a half ago
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Blink! Google Is Forking WebKit

ProbablyJoe Re:V8 (252 comments)

You're thinking of VP8, the codec. V8 is the name of Chrome's JavaScript engine, which is generally considered to be the fastest JS engine of any browser.

about a year and a half ago
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Linus Torvalds Explodes at Red Hat Developer

ProbablyJoe Re:Linus has always been an a-hole (786 comments)

There's also a third one I seriously considered, but I can't remember it's name at the moment. It uses the icon of a mouse to signify the menu.

Sounds like you're talking about XFCE. It's quite similar to Gnome 2, simple and usable, but is indeed lacking some features and polish.

You might want to look into Cinnamon too. It's a fork of Gnome 3 developed by Mint, but is available on various other distros now. It uses the underlying code of Gnome 3 but has an interface similar to Gnome 2. I haven't tried it myself, but it has been getting good reviews.

about a year and a half ago
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Opera Picks Up Webkit Engine

ProbablyJoe Re:You're not kidding (evidences within over time) (314 comments)

Those links are all over 2 years old, so don't really prove anything about the performance of Opera now. Especially considering how much webkit has developed in that time, and the shift in focus towards JS performance. The second link even says to stop posting it on Slashdot because it's so outdated.

about a year and a half ago
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Firefox 18 Launches With Faster IonMonkey-Enabled JavaScript, Built-In PDF Viewer

ProbablyJoe Re:Wasn't this supposed to happen silently? (220 comments)

Actually, it does seem to update itself on Ubuntu, outside of the package manager. Mine updated overnight on my work computer, but I have no root/sudo access to install programs normally. Not entirely sure how it does that.

about a year and a half ago
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UK Government Changes Tack and Demands Default Porn Block

ProbablyJoe Re:Give option by default (163 comments)

Or they could just use one of the many commercial products available that do this sort of filtering for you. But no, of course we need the government to do it for everyone.

about 2 years ago
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Android Options Mean "Best" Browsers Might Surprise You

ProbablyJoe Re:Huehuehuehue (251 comments)

Mercury, and essentially every browser on iOS, is just a different UI on top of Safari. Obviously this allows for extra features, but limits how much can be done with them. Apple enforces this rule, and doesn't allow browsers which use a different rendering engine. Android doesn't have this limitation, which allows for a much larger variety of browsers, and much bigger gaps in performance. The same site did a similar test with iOS browsers, and the performance results were very similar, which isn't exactly surprising since they all use the same back end.

about 2 years ago
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Android Options Mean "Best" Browsers Might Surprise You

ProbablyJoe Interesting, but not that useful (251 comments)

While some of the results are interesting, I don't think this is a particularly good comparison. For a lot of the tests they said "This doesn't work on this browser, so we didn't include that test". Surely that should be a win for the browsers that DO support it, rather than just ignoring that feature. Personally, I'd care more that a browser can render more things, rather than if it can render some things a few seconds faster, but fail at others.

Not to mention, it completely ignores things like features, reliability, usability, security, etc, which are very varied between the different browsers. That's what I base my choice on anyway, and many that I've tried either crash, fail to load some pages, render pages incorrectly, or lack important features. Personally I find Firefox works best for me, but results would probably vary with different phones/OS versions, and some features are more important than others for different people

But hey, everyone loves benchmark numbers

about 2 years ago
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ARM-Based Chromebooks Ready To Battle Windows 8, Tablets

ProbablyJoe Re:What is the ARM bringing? (230 comments)

The Intel Atom CPUs actually have pretty low power usage compared to ARM. The Intel powered RAZR i has better battery life than the ARM powered RAZR M (identical hardware besides the SoC). The performance of the Intels isn't quite as good in mobiles, but that's partly down to optimisation.

about 2 years ago
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Intel Says Clover Trail Atom CPU Won't Work With Linux

ProbablyJoe Re:Qui Bono? (434 comments)

Android has been ported to x86, a lot of the code was contributed by Intel themselves. There's only one or two x86 based Android phones out so far though, so you're right that it is primarily an ARM market.

about 2 years ago
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Google Releases Android 4.1 SDK

ProbablyJoe Re:No Flash...No Point (58 comments)

It's not available on the Play store in JB, or installed by default, but you can still install the APK manually, and it still works in browsers that support it. (Firefox, Opera, Dolphin. Not sure if the stock browser still does on JB)

Besides, if people cared about Flash that much then the iPhone/iPad wouln't be so popular. It's nice having the option of Flash on my phone, but I didn't even realise until last week that I didn't have it installed, after having my current phone for 3 months. It's rare that I have a need for it on my phone.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Releases Android 4.1 SDK

ProbablyJoe Re:Old Horses and New Carts (58 comments)

Well, yes and no. You can't just take the code they've released and put it on your phone, since that lacks a lot of the hardware drivers and such that are needed to make it compatible with each phone. It's possible for developers to get it to work on most phones, but it takes some time. At the moment, pretty much the only phones which you can put a fully functioning Jelly Bean ROM are the Nexus phones. A lot other recent phones have already got people working on JB ROMs, and many of them have beta versions already, but most of them have problems with various things (eg camera, wifi, audio not working). Chances are they'll get it working before the manufacturers actually release updates.

Once there is a ROM available though, the process of installing it is pretty simple for most devices. Anything that could run ICS should be able to run JB, assuming people are able to port it.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Reportedly Plans Smartphone

ProbablyJoe Re:It's going to be GREAT!!!! (78 comments)

I think they're just referencing the Kindle Fire, which is very Amazon centric and cuts out a lot of the functionality of Android. It's pretty much designed to use Amazon content and nothing else. It's easy to assume that any phone the produced would be similar.

more than 2 years ago
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Humble Indie Bundle V Released

ProbablyJoe Re:Never heard of these games (145 comments)

Amnesia is the only one I've played, which is very good. Bastion and Limbo are also very highly rated. Don't know anything about the one.

more than 2 years ago
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Humble Indie Bundle V Released

ProbablyJoe Limbo Linux port (145 comments)

Unfortunately the Linux 'port' of Limbo is actually just a Wine wrapper. It doesn't even run for me, some say it works worse than running the Windows binary in Wine, or have reported various problems and bad performance.

Pretty lazy when every other game has managed to make a proper native Linux port.

more than 2 years ago
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Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted, Says Microsoft

ProbablyJoe Re:I thought this was already refuted? (272 comments)

So are MS just complaining about a problem which was already fixed before Chrome topped IE in their rankings? That's how it sounds at least.

From StatCounter's FAQ, and also noted on all of their graphs for this time period:

"Further to a significant number of user requests, we are now adjusting our browser stats to remove the effect of prerendering in Google Chrome. From 1 May 2012, prerendered pages (which are not actually viewed) are not included in our stats."

http://gs.statcounter.com/faq#prerendering

more than 2 years ago
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Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted, Says Microsoft

ProbablyJoe Re:On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (272 comments)

It's Webkit based, and that's about where the similarities end (so is Safari and a lot of minor browsers). You could say the same about Chrome for Android too really, there's nothing particularly "Chrome" about it besides the branding. Not sure what sync feature you're referring to, but I think it's probably more of a Google account thing rather than a Chrome browser thing, there were definitely things like that before Chrome was released for Android.

The User Agent doesn't specify it as Chrome anyway, and I believe that they count mobile browsers seperately. Even if it is included, Android browsing only accounts for about 2% of the total (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers#StatCounter_.28July_2008_to_present.29), so it's not really significant enough to sway things.

more than 2 years ago
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Sci-Fi Publisher Tor Ditches DRM For E-Books

ProbablyJoe Re:DRM works! (280 comments)

The question is, does anyone have a paid copy of it? Maybe if you removed your DRM, you'd have more paying customers!

more than 2 years ago
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Former Google Exec: Traditional Search Market Shrinking

ProbablyJoe Re:Oh really? (184 comments)

It always amuses me a bit when I come across posts on StackOverflow or other tech forums where one of the answers is "Google for it" - which I found by googling it. The world needs people to ask the simple questions first so that people can google their answers later!

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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First part of Black Mesa released

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  about 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "The long awaited Source engine remake of the Valve's original Half Life has finally been released. The initial release only includes the story up until Xen, but the developers say they'll be adding the rest of the story, along with an online multiplayer Deathmatch mode, soon. The game is available to download for free, and only requires players to install the Source SDK (included with all Source games, or a free download.

The highly anticipated release has also caused a huge amount of traffic for any servers hosting the files, with GameFront, GameUpdates, and Black Mesa's own CDN brought down within minutes of the release. The project has also been approved by Steam's Greenlight program, and will hopefully be available through Steam soon, though no timeframe has been given."

Link to Original Source
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Google Maps is going indoors

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "Google have blogged about a new feature for their Maps app on Android — indoors mapping.

The feature is designed to replace the "you are here" maps found in shopping malls and department stores. It will automatically zoom into an indoors map if you enter a mapped building, and should also change maps as you move between different floors

Currently the maps are only available in certain airports, shopping malls, and department stores in the USA and Japan, but Google say they'll be adding more worldwide locations soon."

Link to Original Source
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Worldwide support for nuclear power drops

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "A poll for the BBC shows that worldwide support for nuclear power has dropped significantly in the past 6 years.

However, while support has dropped in most countries, the UK has defied the trend, where 37% of the public support building new reactors. Unsurprisingly, support in Japan has dropped significantly, with only 6% supporting new reactors. The USA remains the country with the highest public opinion of nuclear power, though support has dropped slightly.

Much of the decline in opinion has been attributed to the events in Fukushima earlier in the year, although a recent Slashdot poll indicated that many readers opinions had not been affected by the events, and an even split between those who found the technology more or less safe since the events.

With reports on the long lasting effects in Fukushima still conflicted, is nuclear power still a viable solution to the world's energy problems?"

Link to Original Source
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Facebook developing phone with HTC

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "AllThingsD is running a series of stories this week about a possible new Facebook phone, codenamed 'Buffy'.

The phone is said to be in development by HTC, who collaborated with Facebook earlier this year for the Salsa and ChaCha/Status phones, which both had physical Facebook buttons, and a degree of integration with the social network.

While these rumours have been going around for quite a while, the article contains some new information, and neither Facebook or HTC are denying the rumours.

The phone will be based on Android, but like Amazon's Kindle Fire, will be heavily modified to integrate with Facebook, potentially using Facebook's HTML5 platform.

While we're unlikely to see any official announcements or releases any time soon, Facebook are eager to compete with Google and Apple, and are likely to want a phone of their own on shelves as soon as possible."

Link to Original Source
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Engineers developing 'Bionic contact lens'

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "The BBC reports that researchers at Washington University have made a breakthrough in developing a contact lens that will be able to overlay text and images on top human vision.

The research is still in early stages, so far just being able to light one LED on the lens, and requiring a battery no more than 1cm away. But researchers claim the main problem has already been overcome — getting the human eye to focus on an image generated on its surface.

While a long way from completion, the team hopes to soon increase the display to hundreds of pixels, and overlay text on the lens. The technology could eventually be used in future augmented reality applications, allowing futuristic 'Terminator' style vision."

Link to Original Source
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Scientists Invent Lightest Material On Earth

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "The LA Times reports on a new ultra lightweight material developed by scientists at UC Irvine, HRL Laboratories and Caltech.

"Ultralight metallic microlattice" is said to be 100 times lighter than styrofoam. It's so light, that it can supposedly be balanced on top of a delicate dandelion plant without crushing the seeds.

The material has been made from hollow, interconnected tubes of nickel, which are 1000 times thinner than a human hair. Possible applications include "impact protection, uses in the aerospace industry, acoustic dampening and maybe some battery applications."

The full scientific details can be found in the paper, published in the (paywalled) Science magazine"

Link to Original Source
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Adobe donates Flex SDK to Open Source community

ProbablyJoe ProbablyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ProbablyJoe (1914672) writes "InfoQ reports that Adobe is to donate it's web application SDK, Flex, to an "an established open source foundation" — suspected to either be the Open Spoon Foundation (who have been working on an open source fork of Flex), or the more established Apache Foundation

Adobe has stated on it's blog that they consider HTML5 to be a better technology for the future than it's own Flex platform, causing frustration among developers who have used the platform for enterprise applications

Is this a generous contribution to the open source community, or just Adobe offloading another failing technology?"

Link to Original Source

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