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

chis101 No conspiracy, but old phones are slowing down (273 comments)

I don't think they intentionally sabotage them, but they are definitely slower. It's just that they keep getting pushed new OS updates, and new app updates, and the new updates expect faster hardware.

I bought a Galaxy Nexus 2 years ago, and when I got it everything was blazing fast. By a few months ago, my phone was frustratingly slow. For a while I considered that I was just looking at newer phones and thinking "Wow, that's so much faster than mine" but just thought that it was the comparison that made mine feel slow, not that it really was slow. I finally decided my phone was objectively slow, not just by comparison.

A few weeks ago I 'downgraded' to Android 4.2.2 (Had been running Android 4.3), and turned off auto app update. (I had previously tried various ROMs with 4.3, but they were all still slow.) Now my phone is fast again. Maybe not as blazing fast as it was brand new, but I no longer feel like I'm ever waiting for the phone.

So, I don't think there is a real 'conspiracy' to slow down old phones, but I think that old phones *are* slower, they know they are doing it, and just don't care. Why would they? They think we should be happy they are pushing updates to us, but they don't think they should have to worry about the experience on devices they sold years ago. But, I have the ability to refuse these updates, so I can keep my personal phone usable for the foreseeable future.

2 days ago

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

chis101 Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

... use frameworks the new guy is likely unfamiliar with because there are so many. Time for a new web GUI standard; the existing attempts keep falling on their face and try to turn JavaScript into a GUI OS language, which it wasn't meant for. We need fresh standards, dammit!

This sounds familiar.

about three weeks ago

Why Software Builds Fail

chis101 Re:Because I'm lazy (279 comments)

If you are talking about C/C++, the variable is *not* null in either case. If you assigned null to it, then it is null. If you never assigned any value to it, then it is whatever happened to be in memory at that location. It's a pretty good warning to let you know you are using a variable without it being assigned a value.

int* ptr;
if( ptr != NULL )
*ptr = 0;

This code will at some point crash. Maybe not on the first run, but at some point ptr will not be null, but will not be a pointer to valid memory.

about a month ago

Parenting Rewires the Male Brain

chis101 Re:I believe it because.. (291 comments)

I have been discriminated against a few times because I choose to be childless.

Do you really choose to be childless or can you just not find anyone who will put up with you long enough to have a child together?

Though you may have been joking, this kind of response is an example of what he was talking about.

about 2 months ago

Zenimax Accuses John Carmack of Stealing VR Tech

chis101 Re:Trade secrets, not patents (148 comments)

Actually, all the sodas, even common ones like Coke and Pepsi, use real sugar when their market is Mexican people. Even soda sold in Mexican food stores in the US sell the real sugar version. They don't like the HFCS, so the companies make what will sell better. I don't know why us US Americans have such a weak will that we have to buy what they give us whether it tastes good or not. Brainwashing perhaps?

They sell Mountain Dew Throwback, which uses real sugar instead of HFCS. I actually don't like the taste of it. It tastes flat to me, like it was normal Mountain Dew that's been left open for a few days.

That's just my opinion though.

about 3 months ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

chis101 Re:A win? (328 comments)

Replying to myself, but here's what it is like where I live:

Block 1: $3.76/1,000 gallons
Block 2: $5.02/1,000 gallons

Block 1 rate is applied to usage up to and including 125% of the average winter consumption (AWC) used for billing. Block 2 rate is applied to all usage in excess of 125% of the AWC used for billing.

Residential customers are billed bi-monthly and charges are determined by multiplying the average winter water usage by the volume rate and adding the customer service charge

So, my waste water bill is based solely on my winter usage. My water bill charges me extra for any usage above 125% of my average winter usage.

When I first moved into my house (during the summer), my waste water bill was based on the 'average' winter usage for the neighborhood, since they did not have historic winter usage data for me. I live alone, so they were charging me 3-5x my actual usage. I had to call them and request that they use my actual usage, instead of the average for the neighborhood. I'm sure they could have very easily ran that check without my calling, but I think they were hoping I wouldn't complain about my sewage bill being 3x my water bill :).

about 3 months ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

chis101 Re:A win? (328 comments)

The increased rate is less than twice the normal rate, so if I wasted water during the winter I'd come out behind.

about 3 months ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

chis101 Re:A win? (328 comments)

I have a separate waste water bill, it's not charged through the water utility. *That* bill uses the average winter water usage to determine how much I *don't* have to pay during the summer.

about 3 months ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

chis101 Re:A win? (328 comments)

They do that where I live, too. They use your winter water usage as a baseline on the assumption that you aren't watering your lawn or washing your car during the winter months. During the summer months any usage over your average winter usage is charged at a higher rate, on the assumption that this extra usage is being used for things such as watering the lawn or washing your car.

about 3 months ago

Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

chis101 Re:not developed by a responsible team? (301 comments)

Even if OpenSSL is using system's malloc, with all its mitigation features, the bug still works. The attacker just has to be more careful, lest he should read freed() and unmapped memory, and so cause a crash and (supposedly) leave some kind of meaningful trail.

You got it exactly right. He's complaining that because they provided their own malloc() wrapper that the read of freed() memory is NOT causing a crash. If they had used the system malloc() then there would be crashes, the issues would be detected, and they would have been fixed.

about 4 months ago

How An Astronaut Nearly Drowned During a Space Walk

chis101 Re:On the bright side (144 comments)

It says right there in your Wikipedia article:

The term "begging the question" originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of Latin petitio principii "assuming the initial point". In modern vernacular usage, "to beg the question" more frequently is used to mean "to raise the question" (as in "This begs the question of whether ") or "to dodge the question".

It does go on to say that authorities deem such usage to be mistaken or unclear, but I don't know if I'd say he was incorrect. Language evolves.

about 5 months ago

ElcomSoft Tool Cracks BitLocker, PGP, TrueCrypt In Real-Time

chis101 Re:Key theft != cracking encryption (268 comments)

Note the basic misunderstanding embedded in that last sentence: Turned off != Hibernated.

While this tool might help you break into a computer you found hibernated, or running while locked, it won't do any good if the power cord is yanked, or the encryption software was intelligently written to only store its key an some volatile memory.

I'm pretty sure that modern hibernate simply stores necessary information from RAM into a file on disk, and shuts off the computer. Then, on boot, it checks if this file exists, and if so attempts to resume from it. So, there is no difference between "off" and "hibernating." The boot sequence will just check if there is a file to resume from.

So, you still need to find a computer that has the volume mounted (either running, in 'sleep' mode with power still being supplied, or from a hibernate file on the disk)

about a year and a half ago

Touch Interfaces In Cars Difficult To Use

chis101 Re:Never a good idea.. (233 comments)

Who wants to yell at household devices? I'll pay a thousand bucks right now if I can get a module that does voice command -> doing things implanted in my kids.

You don't need to spend a thousand dollars on that! There are easier ways.

about 2 years ago

Touch Interfaces In Cars Difficult To Use

chis101 Re:ODB II Readers are cheap (233 comments)

If you have a smartphone, you don't even have to spend near $60. Just check ebay for ELM327. Here's one that I got for $13 shipped:

then, download Torque on your Android phone (I hear that iPhones don't allow this kind of Bluetooth pairing, but I don't have any personal experience), pair it to the Bluetooth module, and you have a $13 OBD-II reader. You can read stats from your car, you can read check engine codes (Torque gives you a text description, and supplies a link to search the web), and clear the check engine light. IMHO, for $13 everyone should keep one of these in their glove box. It's worth it to me if I save one trip to the auto store to get the free reading/clear code just to know that my gas cap was loose.

Quick note: I bought 2 of these from the link above. They both worked great, but they both have the same Bluetooth ID. It may have issues if you try using multiple of them in close proximity. But you get what you pay for ;) It may be an unregistered Bluetooth device, but it works for my uses.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Flash-Friendly Router To Replace Aging WRT54GS?

chis101 Linksys E3000 (334 comments)

I've been very happy with TomatoUSB on the E3000. Only $60 refurb, or $70 new from NewEgg ( ). Simultaneous 2.4/5GHZ g/n, USB port for NAS/Printer, 64MB RAM, gigabit switch. Only has 8MB flash though, if you were planning on storing lots of programs on it (you would want to put those on a USB flash drive anyway, so I don't think internal flash really matters)

more than 2 years ago

10 Years of Windows XP

chis101 Re:What is my overriding reason to migrate off XP? (471 comments)

I had an old Athlon64 motherboard that wouldn't run with multiple sticks of RAM. It ended up that these motherboards only had 1 RAM slot linked up with the CPU speed (I believe Athlon64's memory controller was in the CPU?). Everything would be running fine until powernowd daemon started up and underclocked my processor. As soon as this happened, the computer would lock up. Apparently it was attempting to run the different sticks of memory at different clock speeds. The only two options I had were to not change my processor speed, or only use the 1st RAM slot. You don't happen to be attempting this on a really old motherboard?

more than 2 years ago

Apple's Siri As Revolutionary As the Mac?

chis101 Re:Purely out of curiosity (692 comments)

exactly! and just think of how pissed you'll be when you get that data bill.. streaming audio for a whole month.. yowza!

My impression (without bothering to actually look anything up) was that the recognition was done on-device. I noticed in the original announcement that they said it would require the greater processing power of the new iPhone, and I can't imagine why it would need a faster processor if it was doing the recognition on the server-side.

more than 2 years ago

Latest Humble Bundle Hits $1 Million

chis101 Re:And (276 comments)

#2 - that is false. You DO NOT need a bank account linked to PayPal.

I just tried unlinking my bank account from PayPal... My account is now unverified and has a spending limit unless I either re-link an account, or sign up for a PayPal credit card (my Confirmed MasterCard is not enough). I haven't spent the time to dig through their menus to see if there is a way around it, but it appears that for most purposes I need to link my account with PayPal, but you are correct, I can make limited use of PayPal without giving them full access to a bank account.

more than 2 years ago

Latest Humble Bundle Hits $1 Million

chis101 Re:And (276 comments)

1. Several years ago I made a purchase from eBay for $120. The product never arrived, so I opened a dispute through PayPal. The seller never responded to the dispute, so it defaulted to being resolved in my favor. I got back $95, with a message that

"the balance of the claim is due to you directly from the seller. Please be assured that we will make our best effort to recover the balance from the seller on your behalf."

I only received this amount because

Our investigation will be made on a best-effort basis and PayPal cannot guarantee funds recovery. For transactions that do not qualify for PayPal Buyer Protection, eBay will provide Standard Purchase Protection for $200.00 USD coverage with a $25.00 USD processing fee.

As eBay owns PayPal, I consider this still getting screwed by PayPal. Since the seller simply was not responding to any inquiries, I never saw that $25. If I had been able to use a credit card, I could have disputed the charge and had no problems.

2. You have to keep a bank account linked with PayPal. There is no way to default paying by credit card, you always have to go through a manual process to select Credit Card (at least they did away with several of the warning messages during this process). This makes it a hassle to pay for things when you don't want a direct withdraw from your bank account (which is 100% of the time). Also, a side effect of being required to keep a link with a bank account: My parents' PayPal account got hacked, and since their checking account was linked with their PayPal account, their checking account got cleared out (which was terrible timing, because they had just transferred over $10,000 to checking to pay for a new roof, so they had a significant amount of money in checking that disappeared, AND their roofing check bounced). PayPal investigated and refunded the money after a week or two, but they were missing actual money (as opposed to a line item on a credit card bill that would have been resolved before actually having to pay it) and had a long period of uncertainty as to whether PayPal would deem them worthy of having their money returned. If PayPal didn't require this bank account link, they have simply called their credit card company and reversed the charge.

3. Try selling something on eBay (owner of PayPal). They strongly encourage the use of PayPal as a payment method, so you get stuck with listing fees, selling fees, AND PayPal fees. My mom tried to sell something on eBay all by herself (which, I admit, things rarely go well when she tries to do something computer related without help). This means I have to try to explain to her why she has to pay 3 separate fees for a single transaction (and I still can't explain to her why she now has a PayPal credit card... I have no idea how she managed that, and neither does she).

more than 2 years ago

8 Grams of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars

chis101 Re:Hmmm (937 comments)

Even if it was $1500/kilo, that's only $12 for the 8 grams to fuel your car.

more than 2 years ago


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