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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

gweilo8888 Re:it is perfectly timed (247 comments)

Nope, they're just plain late to the party and feature-crippled to boot.

My name-brand phone that I've had for ages -- and had Apple users asking me what it was, then telling me they were going to switch to Android -- has the exact same resolution as the iPhone 6 Plus. The screen is only 10% smaller than that on the iPhone by surface area, yet the phone itself is 13% smaller by frontal area. And my phone is equal or superior to the iPhone 6 Plus in every way.

My phone looks better, it fits a pocket better, it weighs less, it's waterproof, it has a better rear camera, it shoots 4K video, it has a better front camera, it has triple the memory, it has external storage, it has an FM radio, it lasts twice as long on standby, it gets a quarter more battery life in real-world use (per Phone Arena real-world testing) and shortly to be even longer once it gets Lollipop, it supports far more connectivity standards (and supports them properly -- no disabled NFC here), it doesn't live in a walled garden, and it costs barely half what the iPhone 6 Plus does unlocked.

Literally the only feature from the iPhone 6 Plus that I can find which my phone lacks is the fingerprint sensor, which I wouldn't actually want. My phone will soon unlock itself simply when its near me, by dint of my smartwatch being near it. I won't have to fiddle with fingerprints, the phone will already be unlocked when I switch it on, but locked if somebody steals it.

Oh, and my smart watch is here now, not some vague date in the future, and it looks infinitely better to boot. It looks like a real, grownup watch, not a child's toy, and does things that are useful without trying to shoehorn in a bunch of junk nobody is ever going to want to do as Apple has done. (Yes, people will use their phone to see their next direction when navigating; no they won't try and view / pan / zoom a map on a tiny little screen when they've got a proper screen right in their pocket. And that's just one example.)

Apple are late to the party once again, just as they almost always have been throughout their history. Only with the first-gen iPhone and iPad did they truly show up on time, and yet the Apple faithful ignore their perpetual failings and fawn over them nonetheless, without one iota of critical thinking or *real* comparison to the competition.

2 days ago
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Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

gweilo8888 Re:Bring the 10 Back (201 comments)

This. Google has monumentally screwed up the size of these things.

The Nexus 6 is ridiculously large for a phone (and I'm not against large phones per se -- my Xperia Z2 hits the sweet spot for me). I have no interest in a Nexus 6, needless to say. At the same time, the Nexus 9 doesn't offer enough of a size advantage over my phone for content viewing -- and that's the primary reason for a device like this.

The Nexus 9's screen is, in terms of size, essentially a Nexus 10 screen with the sides cut off to a 4:3 aspect ratio. Most content I view on the device will be 16:9 or CinemaScope (movies), 3:2 (photos) or somewhere in between (ebooks using printed pages option; I consider the layout and font choices an important part of the experience, and can't stand reading ebooks as flowing text.). So the Nexus 9 screen is the wrong aspect for basically every type of content I will consume on it, and will have black bars surrounding the content. It's almost as large as my Nexus 10, the screen size is identical on the shorter side, but the content will be 20-30% smaller depending on what I'm viewing. Where my Nexus 10 offers a 3.5x larger picture for 16:9 movies than does my phone, the Nexus 9 will only be 2.5x larger.

I'm definitely sitting these out, and if the Nexus 10 doesn't get a replacement before mine dies, I'll be switching to an Xperia Z2 tablet instead.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

gweilo8888 Re:Really? (294 comments)

What about DSLReports' speed tests makes them inherently more trustworthy than any other? All the ISP needs to do is prioritize speed test traffic over all other traffic, and speed tests become meaningless. Heck, they could even raise your cap for the duration of a speed test to make it seem like you got a faster speed while actually capping you to a lower one. The whole thing is a joke.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

gweilo8888 Re:None (294 comments)

Why would an ISP bribe them, when all they need do is identify when a speed test is occurring and give that traffic priority over all else? They wouldn't, and your tinfoil hat is too tight if you think otherwise.

Speed test sites are fundamentally flawed, but bribery has nothing to do with it.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

gweilo8888 Re:One step only, thanks to Asus (113 comments)

Only stumbled on this reply weeks later, but you couldn't be more wrong. I despise Apple's overrated, overpriced, walled-garden, deliberately incompatible, non-standard trash. I am an Android fan through and through. I currently have four Android phones and four Android tablets in my household, including retired units which I've not gotten around to selling, and most recently bought an Android device within the last month. Of those, the only ones that have had major problems are the two Asus Transformers, both of which I would feel guilty selling second-hand to some sucker.

about 2 months ago
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Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face From Space

gweilo8888 Re:but... my face is smaller than 25 cm? (140 comments)

This. Ridiculous, fearmongering flamebait from Slashdot, something this site is increasingly becoming associated with.

You know what Slashdot's editors want us to be terrified of the privacy implications from? Something significantly lower-resolution than existing aerial photos like this image.

Download the image, and measure the length of runway 3/21 in pixels from threshold to threshold. (Approx. 6341 pixels.) Figure out how long it should be at 25cm per pixel. (4876 pixels.) Scale the image appropriately (7500 pixels wide.) Zoom in to 1:1 resolution onscreen.

Now, are you terrified? No? Nor am I. Want to confirm I'm right about the scaling? Find a car and measure the length: it should be about 20 pixels, or 500cm for a typical full-sized US car. (I tried one, and the first one I tried was exactly 20 pixels.)

So no, I'm not scared. What I am is mildly amused that the myth of satellites that can read newspapers from space still exists. That, and surprised that imagery this (still relatively) low-resolution was ever off limits in the Internet age. And a bit disgusted that a supposed nerd site insults the intelligence of nerds who know far better, this readily.

I really should stop coming back here.

about 2 months ago
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$299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed

gweilo8888 Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (65 comments)

Based on the bugginess of every Tegra device to date and Nvidia's near-total lack of support, you're nuts if you even consider buying this.

And that's the real review from an owner of multiple Tegra products from the first generation onwards. You're welcome.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

gweilo8888 One step only, thanks to Asus (113 comments)

One step: Trash it. The Asus Transformer is worthless junk, and has been ever since Asus trashed it with a hopelessly bug-riddled Ice Cream Sandwich update that turned a useful tool into something that randomly rebooted multiple times a day, crashed interminably, and for many months until the bug was fixed (pretty much the only bug they *did* fix in their ICS release), often got stuck in a boot loop that would drain the battery -- sometimes to the point where the tablet couldn't even be charged back up.

Some of these issues were somewhat ameliorated by third-party firmware, but none was able to actually *fix* them because the bugs were in sections of code for which no source was ever provided. All they did was apply bandaid fix after bandaid fix on top of a gaping wound.

Asus provided essentially zero support for this nightmare, which they followed up by releasing another tablet whose hardware was so fundamentally flawed that the in-device GPS could never work, and in many cases the Bluetooth / Wi-Fi traces weren't even connected to their antennas. You buy Asus, you get what you deserve. You keep Asus, you keep a headache that belongs in a landfill somewhere. (Or better still, dumped in the CEO's driveway.)

about 3 months ago
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Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

gweilo8888 Re:Overreaction (265 comments)

Exactly. Will it be gated, and entrants checked for their bank balance before entering? Then it's not a partition. And as for "dystopia", the submitter should probably check the definition of the word. It would hardly seem relevant to this creation.

about 3 months ago
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Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

gweilo8888 Well, this sounds brilliant... (104 comments)

...if you're a lighting manufacturer wanting to lock customers into your products. What, pray tell, is the *real*-world advantage for the customers, though? Because I'm struggling to see anything this provides which couldn't be done better using a different technique.

Yet another Slashvertisement for a pointless invention.

about 4 months ago
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That Toy Is Now a Drone

gweilo8888 Re: Not anything new (268 comments)

Mod parent up. Submitter clearly didn't do any research before going Full Chicken Little.

about 4 months ago
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Protesters Launch a 135-Foot Blimp Over the NSA's Utah Data Center

gweilo8888 Re:Two thoughts (104 comments)

Correct. The blimp in question is a four-seater GEFA-FLUG AS 105 GD/4 with a 41-meter Hyperlast envelope that inflates using two Cameron Shadow burners. It's powered by a Rotax 582 UL engine putting out 65 horsepower, mounted in pusher configuration with a four-bladed, fixed-pitch Helix H50F prop. (That's an ultralight engine and a lightweight glass / carbon-fiber prop, incidentally. Dy weight is under 1,100 pounds, and maximum takeoff weight is under 2,000 pounds.)

http://www.gefa-flug.de/index....

about 4 months ago
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

gweilo8888 Re:Too much competition (85 comments)

Owning both (I had the PSP long before I ever got a smartphone), I have to say there's no contest. One has a form factor and physical controls conducive to gaming, the other doesn't. (Or at least, not to most games, just to Angry Birds / Candy Crush-type games.)

about 5 months ago
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

gweilo8888 Re:Piracy (85 comments)

Given that anybody who pirated the content likely wouldn't have paid for it even if they'd not pirated it, this is just an excuse from the likes of EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. (And when was the last time any of the above put out a game that wasn't another tepid dishwater remake or derivative copy of somebody else's game anyway?)

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

gweilo8888 Re:Any idea what's the motivation to remove START? (516 comments)

Having used them both side-by-side for the last year, Windows 8 is not far superior to Windows 7. It is in some respects modestly superior, in some respects, modestly worse, and overall, significantly less stable. Even if they both had an identical UI, I'd choose 7 over 8 in a heartbeat on a non-touchscreen machine. I haven't used 7 with touch (yet, I'll be downgrading my Win8 machine to Win7 soon and will give touch a try, then forego it if necessary).

about 5 months ago
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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

gweilo8888 Re:He also forgot to mention... (343 comments)

Comcast wants to have its cake, and eat it three times. First, it charges the customer an extortionate rate for a (usually) monopolistic or near-monopolistic service. Second, it is now charging Netflix for the right to access that customer without being throttled. And third, it is now charging its own customers for using more than a certain data cap on data that it has already been paid twice to deliver -- once by the receiver, and once by the sender.

Comcast is beyond despicable. Perhaps the only company more evil is Disney.

about 5 months ago
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Congressmen Who Lobbied FCC Against Net Neutrality & Received Payoff

gweilo8888 Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (192 comments)

Mod parent up insightful. Lobbying is just another way of saying state-sanctioned bribery and corruption.

Take the money, gifts and favors out of the equation, and you have what true lobbying would be: a simple statement of facts and/or point of view as regards a matter, designed to inform or sway opinion through mere words. The fact that it has to come accompanied by cash and favors shows that lobbyists don't expect action to be taken unless a bribe is given -- and that is the definition of corruption. Not all lobbyists are evil (because right now, there's no way to have your opinion heard except to tie it to a bundle of cold, hard cash), but lobbying itself is undeniably evil and corrupt.

about 5 months ago
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Volvo Testing Autonomous Cars On Public Roads

gweilo8888 Re:only viable in small countries (98 comments)

Not to mention that you quite likely know where many potholes are locally, and you avoid them without even thinking about it, whether you can actually see them or not. Your autonomous car can't tell a puddle from a puddle with a pothole beneath it. Do you want to drive in a car that has to swerve around puddles, just in case? Because if not, you're going to be hitting more potholes, like it or not.

about 6 months ago

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