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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

alvinrod Re:Graph is search results, not speed measurements (281 comments)

Even a perceived slowdown isn't a good metric as it's terribly subjective. I have an older computer that still runs just as well as when I purchased it, but it feels a lot slower since my new computer has an SSD and once you experience that, you can't go back without feeling like everything is painfully slow, never mind the extra cores and additional RAM. It was the same with dial-up internet back in the day. It didn't get any slower, but once you had used a cable or T1 connection, loading webpages on a 56k connection felt like a small eternity.

If someone were actually interested in evaluating this, they should buy some new phones and benchmark them for several different tasks and then wait a few years to compare the results after a few operating system upgrades. There are probably a few people who have never upgraded their devices, so even today a comparison could be made.

5 days ago

Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

alvinrod Re:Body integrity identity disorder (175 comments)

That is quite possibly the worst interpretation of scripture that I've seen in a while. Even people who don't buy into it are quite capable of realizing that what you're suggesting the passage means has nothing to do with what it was intended to mean.

I'm not sure if this is just ignorance, a failed attempt to be funny, or a troll. If it's the latter, bravo to you as it appears as though it's worked rather well.

5 days ago

Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

alvinrod Re:forever payments (26 comments)

Considering that most of the e-books sold (at least from the companies that are or might be selling monthly subscriptions for a buffet style approach) contain DRM, you don't really own it even if you make a lump sum payment either.

about a week ago

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

alvinrod Re:What? (200 comments)

So what if we can't get perfect a la carte options, I'll take the ability to select media company bundles over the terrible packages that the cable companies bundle together. Right now I have to get all the ESPN channels, all the network channels, all manner of other crap channels (E!, Hallmark channel, etc.), and a bunch of other stuff I don't want. I'd be glad to have the option of picking just the ESPN channels and HBO. A lot of people are stuck with an all or nothing option and at that point it's no longer solely the fault of the media conglomerates.

about a week ago

Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

alvinrod Re:nothing new (122 comments)

But those holes were rather small. This one is reported to by 80 meters wide, which coincidentally is rather similar to the dimensions of the (Royal) Albert Hall which is oval-shaped with a length and width of 83 and 72 meters according to Wikipedia.

about two weeks ago

Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

alvinrod Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (157 comments)

This assumes that chimps aren't on their way there. However, without understanding how intelligence first arose in humans or what in our genes is responsible for it, there's no good way to determine what it would take chimps to get there other than enough time.

Also, what makes you think that stupidity has advantages? That humans exist on every continent on Earth and will probably have moved off planet within a thousand years and likely will have a least tried to move out of our solar system in the next ten thousand would suggest that intelligence ultimately confers more of an advantage. Other creatures are limited by their ability to adapt to new environments. Humans move there and adapt their environment to suit them. The only thing that really limits us is our own lack of understanding of the universe, but we've been amassing knowledge and continually peeling away the layers of mystery. The more we add to that pile, the better we're able to adapt our world to suit us.

about three weeks ago

DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

alvinrod Re:Alternate use for this technology (188 comments)

It's getting cheaper than ever before, not more expensive and the asymmetry is narrowing. Before we had to fire a cruise missile, now we're using drone strikes. A laser guided bullet that can be fired from almost 2 miles away that does even less collateral damage is even cheaper to use both in terms of material cost and politically when there aren't any innocent civilian casualties.

Finding the target isn't going to be any more difficult. Imagine when something like Google Glass becomes ubiquitous and the government is spying on more than just phone calls. Even without that, it's not too difficult to imagine fleets of drones being used for surveillance, maybe even themselves being capable of painting a target once they find one.

about three weeks ago

Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

alvinrod Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (178 comments)

It's not a matter of failing peer review, it's a general disinterest in publishing negative results. If you find a cure for cancer it's a big deal, but if you just found one more thing that doesn't work any better than a sugar pill, none of the journals are going to care about publishing it even if it's the most well-run study in the history of the world.

If someone starts doing some novel research that's going to take five years to possibly produce results and nothing pans out, they aren't going to get anyone to publish the findings.

about three weeks ago

Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

alvinrod Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (45 comments)

Samsung's dominance in the Android market is legendary - it's what, 90% of all Android phones?

It's not that high. A C|net article from a few months ago puts them at slightly more than 30% of the global share, which is still pretty damned impressive. What's been impressive is that Samsung has been one of the only companies actually making money. HTC just posted that they were back in the black for the first time in a while and neither LG, Sony, or any of the other big players have done much better than break even. Motorola bled like stuck pig both before and after Google acquired them. Blackberry and Nokia all but disappeared.

In the first quarter of 2014, Apple and Samsung together had 106% of industry profits. That number only makes sense because all of the other companies (China wasn't included) lost money. That's what has been most incredible with the company.

about three weeks ago

Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

alvinrod Re:How fitting (333 comments)

It does explain Facebook and Twitter and the seeming need for some people to constantly spam the rest of the world with useless information that is of no consequence to anyone.

about a month ago

Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

alvinrod Re:How fitting (333 comments)

If the majority of people are extroverted, how would it not be considered normal or typical behavior? The problem comes from assuming that anyone who isn't normal must have something horribly wrong with them. The number of people who are normal in most every regard must be incredibly small, which by definition also means that they're not normal.

Either some attribute is the typical state for a person, so our brains will assume it's true unless given sufficient reason to believe otherwise, or there's another likely explanation for the behavior. In the case of the stick figure, assuming that it's drawn as plainly as possible, it better matches the mind's pattern for men due to a lack of hair and a lack of breasts. If we lived in a culture where women had flat chests and shaved their heads and men wore their hair long, most people would probably default to calling the stick figure a woman.

Our brains are fairly good at recognizing patterns and will often try to find them in places where none exist. Even if the number of introverts and extroverts are the same, it could be simple confirmation bias as you're far more likely to engage with extroverts while introverts will keep more to themselves.

about a month ago

Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

alvinrod Re:Show me the money! (441 comments)

There are a lot of people who the environment matters to....

Which doesn't matter one bit unless they have the money to build the wind farms, which they usually don't. The monetary cost and payback are what is going to be looked at when determining whether or not to build wind farms and how many will be built.

about a month ago

Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

alvinrod Re:Good luck with that ... (190 comments)

And why didn't you mark the post I responded to as "off topic"?

I'm going to guess because Slashdot doesn't have a "-1 Disagree" moderation option, but that's just my guess. That and Troll or Flamebait probably wouldn't stand up in meta-moderation, but Off-Topic might not get flagged.

about a month ago

US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

alvinrod Re:Deleted (108 comments)

The problem is that it appears to be rather arbitrary. What objective criteria is used to determine what popular culture is popular enough to warrant a Wikipedia page and what popular culture isn't popular enough so everything must go? In reality I think it comes down to whether or not it is more liked or more hated by editors who hold the power there.

about a month ago

Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

alvinrod Re:Embarrasment (198 comments)

The companies that are producing these incredibly pixel-dense phone screens are the same ones that are producing a lot of the panels for monitors. I think Samsung and LG are collectively responsible for about half of the global supply of LCD panels. A quick Google search shows that the top 4 companies make up roughly 80% - 85% of the market. They're probably perfectly happy making a healthy profit and not rocking the boat too much.

about a month ago

Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

alvinrod Probably not (198 comments)

Probably not, given that most reviewers tend to focus on technical specs or other flashy points after spending perhaps a week with the device before moving on to something else. A lot of consumers are going to buy whatever costs them the least, even if they still end up paying the same ridiculous amount every month for a contract. Even then, a lot of them will take whatever the sales droid pushes on them.

When Google still owned Motorola they tried to make some quality designs that had a lot more polish than the typical Android phone, but the sales didn't follow because it didn't have the bells and whistles that attract tech geeks or the type of people who fill buy based on some shiny, new feature. Similarly, none of the sales people were pushing it for any reason (usually some kind of kickback^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsales incentive) and so sales were poor and Google ended up dumping Motorola because they couldn't make a profit with the company.

That and if they make a quality device that lasts for three years, they can't sell you a new phone after two. Why do you think so many of the manufacturers and carriers stop providing Android updates even though the device could easily support them or a different version of the essentially the same hardware is getting the update?

about a month ago

First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android

alvinrod Re:Seems like a 180 from their previous views (193 comments)

It seems more likely that Microsoft is so large that parts of the company are on different wavelengths and act inconsistently with one and other. Also, no one brings a phone from conception to market in a few months. This was probably something in the pipeline from before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. Microsoft could have axed it (and under Ballmer they probably would have) but I think they've realized that doing things like that for purely ideological reasons is poor business sense and that while they might have been able to get away with it in the past, the times have changed. Given that they recently made Windows Phone free for manufacturers (at least certain ones anyway) it's not like they're potentially losing out on revenue either.

about a month ago

Robyn Bergeron Stepping Down As Fedora Project Leader

alvinrod Three products? (53 comments)

"If we're going to be able to do three products . . ."

Three products? Why not five?

about 2 months ago

Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

alvinrod Re:I beg to differ. (370 comments)

I typically drink a lot of tea as well and it's possible to sip it at that temperature, but you wouldn't take a mouthful and swallow it. Also, when someone does drink something that hot in small quantities they're typically moving it around their mouth fast enough so that it's not staying in one spot for long enough to cause damage. Spilling it yourself is going to cause some of it to puddle or soak into clothing where it will remain in one spot for long enough to start burning.

about 3 months ago

USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

alvinrod Re:Our patent system is totally broken (152 comments)

It's very likely that there are dozens of other ways of achieving a similar effect, much like there are loads of different designs (and patents) for internal combustion engines.

Even if this patent is worthless in the sense that anyone can get around it, it provides protection for Amazon as it's significantly more difficult for anyone else to sue them for anything related to cameras when Amazon can point out that they received their own patent for the method that they're using which is legally recognized as different from existing methods. Considering the legal fees associated with patent litigation, this patent is far from worthless if it prevents millions of dollars spent fighting a court battle.

about 3 months ago


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