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Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

clonehappy Re:Bullshit (207 comments)

Yes, I also have small scratches on my 5 and 5S model iPhones. However, my 4S is still immaculate and has been used and abused more than my newer models. The larger screen glass on the 5/5S seems to be made of a softer or different type that scratches easier.

about a week ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

clonehappy Re:WiFi Calling? (730 comments)

My BlackBerry on T-Mobile had Wi-Fi calling in 2007 that would hand off between the Wi-Fi and cellular network. Of course, now that the device using it has a piece of fruit on the back of it, it's magically "usable". Come to think of it, it was tough to use the feature on my old BlackBerry, you know, you just had to leave the Wi-Fi on and whenever you were in range of a suitable AP it would work automatically. I'm sure Apple has made it much easier than that.

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

clonehappy Re:The real reason, and it does make sense (533 comments)

I don't disagree about basic connectivity. I personally know plenty of people in those difficult last mile areas who would *love* to have a 4Mbit/sec downstream wired internet connection. But the difficult last miles are why we pay things like USF fees, we do things like grant monopolies, we provide tax breaks and other subsidies to those who claim they are going to provide that connectivity to the exurban and rural areas.

There was a high-profile examination of a similar situation, in New Jersey I believe, where the ILEC had taken millions in tax breaks and subsidies to provide universal broadband in their area of monopoly. Those deals dated back two decades, yet many areas of that state are still served by central offices that aren't even DSL capable. That's unacceptable. HEVC be damned, when you can't even get "broadband" (however you'd care to define it) to begin with. I'm fortunate enough to live in a suburban area in a large megalopolis served by Comcast. If it weren't for them, I'd be on a DSL line from a carrier I won't name that got stuck with the rotted physical plant left behind by the same company that took the money and ran in NJ.

Note that these same ILECs are the ones that fight tooth and nail against community and cooperative broadband in every state they do business in. If it weren't for the subsidies, tax breaks, and government-granted monopolies many of these areas would still have no POTS or electricity for that matter. The rest of the areas, the ones served by telephone and electricity cooperatives, never even got that until they did it themselves. This isn't about free market capitalism, it's about having a reliable national communications infrastructure. As it stands for broadband, the ILECs can't even do it when they have it handed to them on a silver platter.

I understand the last mile challenges are fierce, and I'm from the flat heartland of America. I know it's worse in more rural, less populated areas than I have seen anywhere even in my state. But I have no sympathy for these telcos. If we found a way to provide those folks with electricity and POTS, we can do it with fiber. Fiber runs are better suited for rural areas than copper, anyway, as the loss is negligible in comparison over longer distances. And if you are going to roll new lines, metal ones are so 20th century anyway. The rest of the world is moving on. Do we really want our rural brothers and sisters to be stuck with copper? I say make the definition of broadband 100Mbit! And force the telcos taking subsidies to get the goddamned job done or at the bare minimum, get the fuck out of the way and let a cooperative or muni do it who can and stop buying legislation to screw over the good folks out in the sticks.

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

clonehappy Re:4Mps and 640k (533 comments)

Whooooossshhhhhh.....

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

clonehappy Re:wut? (533 comments)

"They" are not "stuck" with anything, including copper. "They" have the option of rolling out next-gen fiber or HFC just like Big Cable. What's that "they" say? "That" wouldn't be economically viable? Then maybe "they" should have been doing something besides stealing subsidies and pocketing every dime of profit for the last two decades rather than letting their plant rot into oblivion. If "they" were in charge of infrastructure in a first-world country, "they" would be in prison for breach of contract, embezzlement, and neglecting/sabotaging critical national infrastructure.

about two weeks ago
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51% of Computer Users Share Passwords

clonehappy Re:Logged in to email? (117 comments)

Because you haven't been able to set a SIM PIN since, say, SIM cards were invented, right? Just because no one uses the security mechanisms available doesn't automatically make it the cell network's fault when someone rips you off. Set a device PIN and a SIM PIN and you're all set. Takes about 10 seconds.

about a month ago
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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

clonehappy Passively pushed to Fiber? (93 comments)

I'd gladly take fiber, if it were available.

The problem is, it isn't for the vast majority of the population.

Verizon and others are just letting the copper rot. There is no alternative. If you're lucky, you have a cableco co come in and provide a usable service. Luckily, I live in a Comcast territory and have had exactly zero service issues in the last 8 years and a speed increase every other year. Copper? Verizon sold this area to Frontier and you're still lucky if you can break one megabit on their DSL. Please, you wouldn't have to passively encourage me to get fiber if it were available. I'd already be on it.

If the telcos weren't so busy spending every last dime on C-level executives, lawsuits, advertising, and slithering out from underneath their commitments, even good old Verizon could have rolled fiber to everyone in their footprint. Even the ex-GTE areas like mine that had a stellar copper network before Verizon consumed them and left them for dead.

about a month ago
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T-Mobile To Throttle Customers Who Use Unlimited LTE Data For Torrents/P2P

clonehappy Re:It's a marketing thing (147 comments)

If you have Verizon, they do offer such a service. Still to this day, you can add the unlimited tethering option to Verizon unlimited data plans, for $29.99 a month.

about a month ago
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T-Mobile To Throttle Customers Who Use Unlimited LTE Data For Torrents/P2P

clonehappy Re:Good idea (147 comments)

I know this is modded flamebait, but I tend to agree to a point. The providers shouldn't be let off the hook for advertising/selling "unlimited" data plans when short of putting a micro-cell tower on every lightpole, such a thing is not economically viable. It's all false advertising at the least. But at the same time, P2P/torrenting over a cellular connection all the time is like pissing in the pool. It's probably cool if it happens occasionally, but when it's being done constantly it fucks everyone over.

about a month ago
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Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

clonehappy Re:I quit buying Samsung (220 comments)

Yeah....but name manufacturer that is better then them?

Better than Samsung? Motorola, Apple, LG, and HTC for starters. I've never understood the hype around Samsung's Android phones, they are cheap plastic, have the ugliest skin (TouchWiz) out of all the manufacturers and have always had sub-par RF performance on every one I've ever owned.

Stick with the high-end models from any of the big names and you'll have a better experience than on a Samsung Galaxy. And I've owned a bunch of high-end Android phones over the years and have not yet had one that didn't have at least decent Cyanogen support. Say what you will about Apple, as well, I'm not a big fan of the walled garden, but the hardware and build quality is top notch. Also, the LG G2/G3, HTC One Series, and almost all recent Motorolas (Droid MAXX, HD, X, G) have a very premium look and feel to them, lightyears ahead of Samsung and generally a bit cheaper.

I suppose marketing hype really is everything, as I've never been "wowed" by any of Samsung's products.

about a month ago
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Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

clonehappy Re:I don't see what good unlocking does (77 comments)

This is a tech site, we're supposed to be people who keep up with the latest in technology. I'm not sure, exactly, why I have to keep posting this over and over, but here we go again:

The "retarded" Verizon specific phones are actually some of the most compatible phones you can buy today. Not only do they work on the Verizon CDMA and "bastardized" LTE networks, but they include full functionality for GSM and HSPA networks. I have two Verizon phones, right at this moment, that I'm using full time on other networks with full capability. My Verizon iPhone 5S is currently being used on an AT&T postpaid plan. All LTE, HSPA, and GSM functions work with 100% compatibility. My Verizon LG G2 is being used on T-Mobile with full LTE, HSPA, and GSM services. Nearly every phone worth having today is fully compatible with the GSM/WCDMA (HSPA) network technology. Phones are becoming more compatible, not less.

Now, everyone always wants to trot out the fact that you can't take a phone from Carrier X and move it to Verizon, and this is true. Very few use cases actually involve moving a phone TO Verizon, however. But to say that Verizon phones are the bastard child of the cellular industry is simply untrue. In fact, they are more useful to some people, including myself, as I can take the aforementioned G2 or iPhone and put my Verizon SIM back in it and go on my way. Phone manufacturers have no incentive to make multiple product lines, yet they all still need to support Verizon as the largest carrier in the United States. So they make compatible phones, then simply disable the ability to connect to CDMA on the ones sold to GSM/HSPA providers. But the Verizon ones are compatible with GSM/HSPA and CDMA, making them the most versatile of all.

At any rate, things being more open rather than less is always a good thing. There are plenty of cases where a phone geek such as myself can benefit from having unlocked handsets lying around. Say someone breaks a phone, or an iPhone fanboy wants to try out Android (or the other way around), or traveling overseas, or trying out a new MVNO or prepaid carrier...just pop in the SIM and you're on your way. And as for the GP, millions of phones work on CDMA and GSM (and their descendents), they're just all sold by Verizon. But the FUD machine wants you to think there's no good reason to have handsets with carrier mobility, and for many folks, that's simply untrue.

about 2 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

clonehappy Re:Uh (278 comments)

For the sake of our privacy, let's all hope so!

about 2 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

clonehappy Re:LoL... (278 comments)

Raw phone audio traffic/data, at least on cellular which makes up the vast majority of telephone traffic these days, is already heavily compressed at the air interface level to allow companies to maximize the voice traffic they can carry across a channel without increasing physical capacity. It would be hard to compress it much further and still be audible. Hell, on Verizon Wireless's network it is already practically inaudible due to the compression.
 
You'd basically just have to dump it to disk which wouldn't be processor intensive whatsoever nor would it take much disk. 8k EVRC is a common audio codec, which you could store roughly 30 years of phone calls on a 1TB disk at 8kbps. More reading on EVRC

about 2 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

clonehappy Re:Thank you William Binney (278 comments)

You expect anyone in the media to actually be able to figure out how to reply to someone when it's more involved than just clicking the reply button at the top of the web page they check their email on?

about 2 months ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

clonehappy Re:I'm shocked! (278 comments)

worse than I expected

 
Then you really, really haven't been paying attention for the last 15-odd years or so. Where are the apologies from all of the nay-saying bootlickers who branded those of us who have been pointing these things out since the early-90's "tinfoil hat nutters" or "right-wing conspiracy theorists" or just plain old "kooks"?
 
I'm not happy to be proven right (I was always hoping to be proven wrong), I'm just sad that we had to let it get to this point before people started paying attention.

about 2 months ago
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Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

clonehappy Re:There are legit uses (188 comments)

So now I guess I can expect a knock on my door from a couple guys with no sense of humor that drive a nondescript sedan with black wall tires.

Nondescript sedan with blackwall tires? Weren't those the days...

Howabouts a no-knock raid on your next door neighbor's house (since the jackboots can't be assed to get the house number right in most cases) where they shoot his dog and break his grandma's nose with the butt of the rifle for telling them to fuck off?

about 3 months ago
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Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

clonehappy Re:Good. (188 comments)

Ever heard of a Stingray? The police have been using them like hotcakes all over the country. The feds even went as far as to raid a police station who was going to release a FOIA request about their use. Long story short, they emulate a cell phone tower and trick the "target" handset into connecting to it. It's a hardware MITM over the cell network. Highly illegal, violates a number of laws and FCC regulations. Of course, those are perfectly fine since it's the power elite using them against YOU. You want a cell-phone free zone in your museum or church? PIRATERRORISM, of course.

about 3 months ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

clonehappy Re:Us AV guys have known this for years. (394 comments)

Putting a cable box on the sequencer is a bad idea. Almost all STBs will lose all of their guide data, which can take hours to repopulate, in addition to taking forever to boot up. Occasionally they will even lose their subscription information if you are out of town/country for a few weeks. I wouldn't recommend it.

about 3 months ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

clonehappy Re:500 Watts for master/slave power relay, likely (394 comments)

You can't read well. I just spelled out, in a post you replied to, exactly what the switched-AC passthrough port that is on the back of many STBs was originally designed for (which was for powering on an old-fashioned CRT television set). No, modern DVRs like TiVo probably DON'T have them (they also aren't rated for 500W), but many of your Motorola/GI/SA boxes DO in fact, have the switched power passthrough on the back. Stop trying to stir up bullshit.

about 3 months ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

clonehappy Disingenuous Summary (394 comments)

Which is it? 500 watts or 35 watts? This summary and title are completely ridiculous, I can think of plenty of other things that are using more power in my home than a cable box. Refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, hair blow dryer, desktop computer, television, central heating/air conditioning, range (if it's electric), power tools/garage, home theatre system, the list goes on and on.
 
The reason the "500 Watts!!!" is disingenuous, is because many cable boxes have a switched outlet that allow you to plug in a television set to the back of it. Back in the good ol' days, you could click on the cable box and the TV would turn on as well, if it was plugged into the back. That CRT might draw as much as 500 watts, so that's what it's rated for. With the advent of universal remotes, electronic controls in sets that forget the last power setting and the need for constant power to keep settings and "quick-on" for many sets, this is now an antiquated port that's just a hold over from the olden days of cable TV.
 
The STB might be the 2nd biggest energy user in many homes, but I wouldn't bet on *most* homes.

about 3 months ago

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