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iOS 8 Review

c Re:Keyboard (202 comments)

I think you're overselling it somewhat. I've tried the swype systems, and I always devolve to just tapping. Same with my friends that have access to it. Out of 4 of us, all of us hate swype based systems. That's not data, obviously, it's just an anecdote.

I think the GP is overselling it a bit too, but I've been using the standard Android keyboard for a bit now, which includes swype-like typing, and I'd have a tough time switching back to just tapping. It's substantially faster and generally as accurate as tapping and quite a bit better than any miniature hardware keyboard I've tried. I don't know that if it wasn't built if I'd have bothered downloading Swype or Swiftkey, but it's nice to have the option.

In some ways, it reminds me of the difference between Newton HWR and Palm Graffiti; you had to learn some new patterns to use Graffiti, but when you got used to it, it was light years ahead of the performance of the natural handwriting recognition of the Newton.

yesterday
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Google's Android One Initiative Launches In India With Three $100 Phones

c Re:$100 phones (50 comments)

Well... Yes. All technology corporations try their best to bring technology to more people than before.

I couldd swear that Microsoft has been trying hard at the exact opposite...

3 days ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

c Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

People ***HATE*** "Windows". Windows is associated with work, pain, crazy difficulties, nerds and viruses. The brand name has negative value.

True. But it still gets more respect than "Windows Phone".

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

c Re:And if I am ridding in the car? (363 comments)

Well, that would explain why my language center pretty much seized up trying to make sense of that.

about a week ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

c Re:No. (368 comments)

On the one hand, I can't blame notch, because if Microsoft offered me enough cash to retire, I'd sell out. But on the other hand, notch is already a millionaire, right? It's not like he needs the money.

He might be a millionaire, but there's a subtle qualitative difference between retiring comfortably versus buying a large Pacific island, having an army of minions carve it into something that looks like a Minecraft world, and retiring comfortably.

about a week ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

c Re:And if I am ridding in the car? (363 comments)

If my wife is driving and I am riding then what?

It's supposed to be applicable to people caught (and, presumably, convicted) of texting and driving. I'm sure being stuck as a passenger with no interesting distractions other than the company of the driver and other passengers might be considered a living hell by some people, but such is life.

about a week ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

c Re:Huh? (280 comments)

Several years ago, a kernel developer submitted a patch that greatly increased Linux performance for desktop-oriented tasks

Well, sure. But that'd be a kernel fork.

Here's the problem... I'm not clicking on an infoworld link, so I can only go by the summary, which clearly talks about forking Linux distributions, not the kernel. And I assume the submitter is a professional infoworld writer, so the emphasis on distributions must've been intentional (since, it being slashdot, it's not like an editor would ever actually do any editing).

Now, someone could fork the Linux kernel according to workload, but any sane distro would just handle that scenario with a linux-image-server and linux-image-desktop packaging option and maybe a few meta-packages to sort out any other distinctions. Not unlike the -smp and -bigmem kernels that were typical until multi-core multi-GB desktops showed up.

In other words, even if the article-I-won't-read is talking about a kernel fork, the conclusion in the summary doesn't necessarily follow.

about two weeks ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

c Huh? (280 comments)

I assume that this is yet another click-bait blog-spam article, because I can't imagine that anyone who knows jack about Linux distributions wouldn't be aware that server and desktop variants of various distributions have been and still are done.

More to the point, anyone who wanted it done that way would've or could've already done it. That the more popular distros don't generally make the distinction or don't emphasize it should be taken as a fairly solid answer to the question posed in the headline.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

c Re:Is there any way to stop auto-play? (131 comments)

Actually, after learning about the ridiculous access privileges the Facebook app requires

Cyanogenmod with privacy guard locks Facebook down enough for me, but yes, that's the main reason I'd be using a browser otherwise.

The main advantage of using the app is smoother performance, bandwidth use seems somewhat lower (hard to tell for sure since if you use the browser it's aggregated with all the other browser traffic), and uploading things like pictures and video is far less hassle.

But generally speaking, I agree that if you don't have some way to restrict apps, you should either switch to the browser version of Facebook or put a decent ROM on your phone.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

c Re:Is there any way to stop auto-play? (131 comments)

and people access the facebook with their cellphones using browsers like chrome and firefox...

Yes, and I did this until I switched to CM, but I strongly suspect those people are a distinct minority.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

c Re:Is there any way to stop auto-play? (131 comments)

My Facebook app on my phone is still set to "off", so mine hasn't reset.

Could be a Cyanogenmod thing, then. I won't use the Facebook app without some form of App Ops to lock it down, so I can't say for sure what it does otherwise.

But since OP mentioned 2 browsers, my instructions was for how to disable it in a browser, and not the mobile app.

Ah, sorry. The OP didn't show up (non-Beta comments with ignore threads have interesting filter behaviours) and the article *is* about cellphones...

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Blamed For Driving Up Cellphone Bills, But It's Not Alone

c Re:Is there any way to stop auto-play? (131 comments)

You can disable it you know.

Settings -> Videos -> Auto-play Videos [off].

Facebook has this interesting habit of reverting settings to default when the app updates. I don't think it's every time, but often enough to surprise someone.

They can remember that time you Liked and then promptly Unliked that stupid fart joke, but try to get them to remember the settings you explicitly set...

about two weeks ago
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E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

c Meh (116 comments)

A feature phone with a Java-based reader worked decently for me prior to getting an Android phone. Screen sizes wasn't huge, but as long as scrolling doesn't get in the way it's manageable.

Not sure how this is news?

about two weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

c Re:Nothing really new (187 comments)

Hundreds of millions of potential customers will have this technology on Apple's [single] platform. Keyword: "Single."

Seeing how NFC typically needs hardware support, it would be starting with this generation of devices, and unless Apple does something different from the usual "downgrade existing top tier models and drop the bottom" then only the top end and most expensive models for the next couple years will have it.

Unless they sell a lower-priced iWatch or some other dongle that "expands" the existing iPhone range to support NFC (which would actually be pretty smart of them, so I wouldn't be surprised) or unless the last couple generations of devices have sold with disabled NFC hardware buried inside, it's not unreasonable to say that there will be NFC versus non-NFC fragmentation for at least another year.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

c Re:customer-centric (419 comments)

Actually they data is in Europe the judge is trying to say since they have access to it from the US they need to turn it over. The data is under the control of a division incorporated in Europe.

If the parent company, located in the US, can just access the data any time they want and (presumably) do whatever the heck they want with it, then it's a bit of a stretch to say that the data is "under the control" of anyone else under anyone else's laws.

Basically, if a multinational corporation doesn't structure itself such that it actually respects borders and separate jurisdictions in its day-to-day operations, I see no reason why stuff like this shouldn't happen.

It'd be a whole other story if there were internal firewalls. You know, something like "well, according to Corporate Directive 1444.18.c, the only way we can transfer this account data to the US is either at the request of the user or under an EU court order; yeah, too bad, take it up with Legal".

about three weeks ago
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No, a Stolen iPod Didn't Brick Ben Eberle's Prosthetic Hand

c Re:Rule of thumb (122 comments)

Yeah, apparently "what engineer would ever design a product like that?" was the correct question to ask.

Because the answer is "no engineer"

I once pulled apart a cheap shop vacuum to fix an electrical problem. The motor was held in with about 10 screws evenly spaced around the core.

Nine of those screws were a phillips head.

The other screw? Otherwise identical to the others, nothing special about its location or anything to differentiate it from the others. Security torx.

Because some engineers are just assholes.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

c Re:The death of leniency (643 comments)

The problem with this is that if all cops feel like they're being audited all of the time, they're less likely to let you off the hook for a minor violation.

I'd expect that any "audits" would typically occur in response to serious complaints.

I'll grant that there *are* people out there stupid enough to formally complain about being treated with lenience (possibly the same people who call 911 to report the theft of their illegal drugs), but I can't see it happening often enough to be a major concern.

about three weeks ago
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Machine Vision Reveals Previously Unknown Influences Between Great Artists

c Re:I don't see it (74 comments)

I guess they are trying to argue that the placement of the items is the connection?

Pretty much. I suspect this is one of those situations where "correlation != causality" is an appropriate comment.

about 1 month ago
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Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back

c Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (304 comments)

I've never, ever had the severe kinds of problems you mention, and I've been on Ubuntu or its derivatives (most recently Mint) for years and years.

I've seen all sorts of similar stuff. Mind you, it's not as bad as the GP suggests. If you're running Debian testing, you *will* get bit on the ass inevitably. And Ubuntu prompts you to boot more than any other distro largely because the others don't really prompt you to boot at the GUI layer after a kernel update.

I've seen some updates that render a system unbootable (the one that comes to mind was that /dev/hd* to /dev/sd* migration a while back), and there's been some pretty boneheaded small glitches too (Ubuntu recently updated to show a pretty background image at boot rather than the far more useful prompt for my whole-disk decryption password). And things like drivers can be a pain (nvidia graphics and anything involving the name "Broadcom" in particular).

The main difference from Windows, though, is that I've never, *ever* had to solve a Linux distro issue by reformatting. I've had to boot into rescue to edit files, sure, but in over 20 years of running Linux, I've never had to completely nuke a system in order to "save it" from a broken update. In fact, I think the only time I've had to do so was way back when I had to tweak my own storage drivers.

about 1 month ago
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Correcting Killer Architecture

c Re:Similar (98 comments)

Just put a "no parking" sign in the affected spots.

I was thinking "pick up and deliveries only". It takes more than a few minutes to melt a car, so might as well get some use out of the spot.

about a month ago

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