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UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

nightfire-unique It's so important.. (358 comments)

.. to know how people feel.

We, as members of society, need information when we choose who to befriend, who to do business with, and who to avoid. If people are not free to express themselves, we cannot make good choices.

If you're the type to avoid humor in bad taste, and you find this person offensive, you should be fighting this. Otherwise, at some point, you may find yourself emotionally attached to someone who feels this way, only to find out after the fact. When people bare their soul in a public forum, without fear of repercussion, you can observe and make decisions on how you want to interact with them in private. You can decide ahead of time.

If speaking one's mind is potentially illegal, much important information becomes unavailable as people will be unwilling to speak their minds. You cannot know someone is a racist, or someone is opposed to religious influence, or someone is against liberal governance, or someone has a problem with war. You can't know if they're neo-nazis, and you can't know if they believe politicians should be hanged for war crimes.

You may enter into relationships with these people only to find out much later that they feel a certain way.

The more deeply offended you are by speech, the more you should fight for it to be open and free.

4 days ago
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WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

nightfire-unique Telegram is better (93 comments)

Telegram offers every feature of WhatsApp, plus end-to-end encryption with visual signatures, arbitrary file sharing, multi-device support (including PC), is open source and the API is published.

They claim to have 40M+ users, so they're a substantial amount of the way to displacing WhatsApp already.

about a month ago
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Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

nightfire-unique Android is getting worse (178 comments)

I want to preface this with: I'm an Android user/developer of 5 years, and have no interest in Apple devices. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I apologize for the long-winded post.

Sadly, I find Android is heading in a very bad direction.

Google has captured most of the top of the market, leaving little opportunity for growth, so it appears they've started "simplifying" the UI to capture those with little/no interest in mobile computers, those with less mental acuity or those unable/unwilling to spend a few hours learning the fundamental operating principles of a machine, young children, etc. Same direction Gnome headed in a few years back.

Can't blame them; they are a publicly held corporation, and they must grow. But, unfortunately, simplifying a user interface almost invariably makes it less useful to those who are willing to put in the time to synchronize with the machine.

Just a few more egregious examples of this in the latest Android versions:

Menu button removed

Contextual menus are a extremely powerful. On most modern OSes, right-clicking a control brings up a menu of actions related to that control. Since touchscreens lack a practical way to right-click, the menu button used to implement the equivalent functionality. Some UI designers claim it's inconsistent because you never know if the menu button is going to do anything, and that is a valid complaint. However, removing contextual menus entirely is silly. Many apps run full-screen where an overflow button is inappropriate, and when appropriate, overflow buttons needlessly take up room on the screen and enforce a display layout that isn't always appropriate for every app.

Bafflingly unusable new task switcher

If you haven't seen the new task switcher layout for 5.0, check it out. No longer can you see screen captures of your most recent 5-6 apps, but rather a confusing, battery wasting, user-interaction-required morphing list.

Google Maps feature regressions

Although not directly related to Android, it is symptomatic of Google's general new approach to mobile development. Gone are incredibly useful features like distance measure, zoom controls, sortable place search, place search compass arrows, and many other features that made the old Android maps app so great.

Where are chrome extensions? Native multiwindow support? GNU tools (instead of their godawful "toolbox")? Correctly functioning alt-tab? DNS overrides? Native image backups? Out-of-the-box viper4android? How about forcing manufacturers to add a "delete crapware" button if they want membership to the play store? Where are the extended privacy controls?

The thing is, they already have the "power users" market. So there's no reason to improve the Android core. We've all got CM, AOSP, AOKP, etc., anyway, right?

But it's frustrating, and I do hope some competition pops up to re-address the concerns of those who really use their devices.

about a month and a half ago
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WhatsApp's Next Version To Include VoIP Calls and Recording

nightfire-unique Re:I still don't get the love for WhatsApp. (65 comments)

The big deal is that it got so many things right back when no one else could figure it out, and that netted them a ton of users (which of course means that most of our friends are probably already on it.

Here are the features that won me over two years ago:

- Proper functioning chat groups that forward every message type (video, audio, locations, text, etc) to all members
- Location sharing
- The two-checkmark system (one means message reached server, two means message reached user's device)
- Zero configuration; your contacts are scanned (I get why some people have a problem with this, though), and everyone else who has WhatsApp installed appears automatically
- Audio messaging (GMRS-style)

Keep in mind, WhatsApp supported all of these features years ago. It was fast, reliable, simple to install, easy to use... it really was unique. Now everything out there supports all or at least most of this functionality, but it's too late; WhatsApp already has the user base.

Myself, I'm hoping Telegram displaces them.

about 2 months ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

nightfire-unique Why sex? (622 comments)

2014. Almost 2015.. and sex is still the thing. So odd.

about 2 months ago
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Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

nightfire-unique Living in the past! (84 comments)

Let's face it, driverless buses don't really exist. But so long as we don't regress back into the awful world of proprietary or non-standard extensions, why should buses need drivers outside of those shipped with the kernel?

Methinks the mayor of London has a soft spot for microchannel!

about 5 months ago
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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

nightfire-unique Re:Actually (93 comments)

Wait; maybe I misunderstood. Sorry, I'm using the industry-approved(tm) term "stealing" for copyright violation. Tongue-in-cheek.

I want those making the decisions to understand that I accept the term "stealing" and may consider copyright violation morally ambiguous or even negative. However, I judge the encryption of works restricted by copyright to be so much greater a moral failing that using the even theft is the lesser crime.

about 8 months ago
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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

nightfire-unique Re:Actually (93 comments)

Oh, definitely. Stealing copies is a friggin' pain, which is why I've acted accordingly, and been putting the call out!

*waves money around*

Please, someone! Take my money and provide me direct, legal access to unencumbered, copyrighted video material!

about 8 months ago
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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

nightfire-unique Actually (93 comments)

Can they please send me one?

I am desperate to find someone to give money to, in exchange for unencumbered 1080p video (movies/tv).

I've stopped watching movies, but I know many in my position steal movies not for the price (we're engineers; cost is not an issue), but for the quality and user experience. Honestly, I couldn't care whether movies are $10, $20, or even $30. I care that I can wire someone money, click a button, and start a 10-20gb download of unencumbered, professionally encoded, high definition video.

In the meantime, I spend all of my media dollars on music, since there are multiple sources from which I can actually buy it.

Won't someone in the video world please take my money?

about 8 months ago
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Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

nightfire-unique Re:It's because we allow freedom of religion (917 comments)

Athiests are occasionally "bigots" with regards to the choices others make, like religion. Religious folks, on the other hand, are occasionally bigots with regards to the properties of others. There is a difference.

about 10 months ago
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Google Apps License Forbids Forking, Promotes Google Services

nightfire-unique Re:You don't have to have google apps in your droi (163 comments)

Ouch. I don't been to be a downer, because I love competition and consumer choice, especially in the computing market.

But, I gotta say. This "other half" gimmick is about the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. Trying to sell themes, backgrounds, etc., by manufacturing hardware backs with RFID chips? Seriously?

Phone! I'm in a bad mood. "Applying bad mood theme. Done."

Or am I missing something?

about 10 months ago
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Amherst Researchers Create Magnetic Monopoles

nightfire-unique Plus, they're worth 25 RU (156 comments)

.. and can certainly help in the fight against the Ur-Quan!

about a year ago
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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

nightfire-unique Re:Single finger zoom gesture (255 comments)

Interesting.. thanks for the tip. :)

about a year ago
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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

nightfire-unique It sounds harsh, but (255 comments)

The entire Google maps leadership team should be fired.

Google is in the (almost) unique position of having outstanding cartographical data, satellite imagery, realtime traffic information, and access to user searches and email.

They could have built an incredible mapping platform with hierarchical point and route storage and sharing, GPX import/export, realtime location sharing (ie. latitude), advanced planning, map overlays, user reporting on traffic incidents/roadblocks/radar..

A year ago, they seemed to be heading in this direction.

Instead, they've slowly been stripping away the features they had that made it useful.

I remember looking upon the Google Maps iPhone app 6 months ago in horror. How do I send my own location? How do I see a topographical view? Why do selected locations snap to the nearest road? Why can't I measure distance, or plan a route in advance? Why can't I save a place, and give it a different name? I laughed, smug in the superiority of my Android version. I thought nice play, Google.. way to stick it to iPhone users, and offer them a compelling reason to switch to Android!

Little known to me at the time, my preferred platform would suffer the same fate. The abomination that was Google Maps on iPhone was ported, and pushed out to Android as well! Now who's laughing, right?

I am literally dumbfounded. Android's old maps application (6.14) was good. Not perfect, but good. The new version is laughable. No more latitude. No more labs. No more topographical maps. No more realtime transit navigation. No zoom buttons for one-handed use. No dedicated navigation button. No arrows pointing the direction of each search result. Bizarre, distracting user interface with clunky "3D" wipes. Still can't share your current location.

It doesn't surprise me at all that they're starting to remove features from the new Maps for web.

I'm almost certain that it's a move to convert the platform from data to advertisement. Less focus on what is actual (corner of 5th and E17th), and what is sponsored (Feel like McDonalds? Here are some locations!). I only hope that competition moves in to eat their lunch, and everyone who was involved in gutting it is offered a package.

about a year ago
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Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

nightfire-unique Netflix should sue (383 comments)

Netflix should very loudly sue all of the major ISPs in the states, asking the court to affirm its right to reach its users at the same rate content-partners (or other business units) of the ISP pay.

They should make all sorts of noise about anti-competitive practices, damage to the Internet, corruption and bribery, lack of last-mile competition, lack of common-carrier status, etc.

They wouldn't win any judgments, but at least they could provide exposure and coverage in mainstream media so more of the population would grasp what's at stake here.

about a year ago
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UK ISP Adult Filters Block Sex Education Websites Allows Access To Porn

nightfire-unique Re:What will Cameron do then? (227 comments)

Can someone please stop the country? I want to get off -.-

I see what you did there.

1 year,9 days
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Many UAVs Vulnerable To Directed-Energy Weapons

nightfire-unique Re:Illegal (153 comments)

Finally.. haha. Can't believe it took more than 10 posts on /. for someone to mention INS.

about a year ago
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Oracle Attacks Open Source; Says Community-Developed Code Is Inferior

nightfire-unique This just in... (394 comments)

McDonalds proclaims home-cooked meals more expensive and difficult to make than eating at their restaurant.

about a year ago
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Saudi Justice: 10 Years and 2,000 Lashes For Internet Video of Naked Dancing

nightfire-unique Re:Being a Saudi (537 comments)

I extremely do not collect stamps! :)

about a year ago
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Lenovo Shows Android Laptop In Leaked User Manuals

nightfire-unique Google may miss the boat, yet (106 comments)

I was a Google advocate and an Android fanatic a couple years ago, but it seems to me that they have shifted focus to emulating Apple, eliminating functionality, and, worryingly, ignoring bug reports.

Consider:

- Latest maps update removes swathes of important functionality, is significantly less useful, and looks "better" than the previous version
- As of Android 4.3, the base OS still does not support correct mouse-driven cut and paste, or right-click to open context menu
- Alt-tab does not function correctly; first press merely opens the "recents" menu. A second press is required to actually switch apps, inconsistent with every other major platform available today
- No real, consistent window-mode infrastructure in place
- Still bundled with non-standard, poor quality unix-level utilities
- As others have pointed out, the Nexus 7 2013 ships with a buggy bluetooth configuration that breaks keyboard compability. That this trivial-to-fix issue was not a sev1 defect speaks volumes as to Android's direction!

It saddens me to see Google focusing on decommissioning useful services like Latitude to try to rope people into Google+ (a silly place for user location services) and Android UI "enhancements" while the market is clearly moving towards device integration.

They may yet turn out to be the next RIM: focused on irrelevant things while their competitors (some yet to be visible) build the infrastructure that will be demanded in 5 years. They may wake up down the road unable to compete with a competitor who has spent this time looking forward.

Google: Please focus on desktop functionality, proper unix integration, and product feature set! Leave the customers who demand a limited, cutesy UI to Apple!

/rant

about a year ago

Submissions

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Why are we still using A2DP?

nightfire-unique nightfire-unique writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nightfire-unique writes "I recently bought a "7.1" channel wireless gaming headset, and it's spectacular. It got me thinking.

Why is it that we're still using (for the most part) Bluetooth 2.x + A2DP for mobile wireless headphones? Anyone who has used them will be familiar with the problems: high latency (causing audio sync problems, particularly with games), excessive audio compression, long connection times, insufficient radio power (causing frequent drop-outs and subsequent pitch bending), a limit of two channels, etc.

Virtually everyone I know with a smartphone uses headphones to listen to media content. Isn't it time to add a dedicated wireless media chip to our mobile devices? Something capable of higher power output, low-latency uncompressed multichannel audio, and instant connection? A datagram service with forward error correction could virtually eliminate transient signal loss.

While such a device could draw more power than A2DP (in high-bandwidth mode), even this could be mitigated by presenting the user with and option to reduce bandwidth/channels/quality.

So my question is, why hasn't this been invented and deployed yet? Are vendors waiting on Bluetooth 3.x? Anyone here in the industry — is something in the pipeline?"
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Should GPL update prohibit locking users out of th

nightfire-unique nightfire-unique writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nightfire-unique writes "With the DMCA exemptions for mobile device rooting nearing expiry, Americans face a very real danger: losing legal access to root on their own devices. Almost certainly, someone will intervene to prevent this from happening, but is this good enough? Perhaps it's time to fight back and turn the battle in the favor of developers, innovators and tinkerers, by adding a new clause to the next GPL: manufacturers intentionally restricting customer access to "root" on any devices they ship lose the privilege of redistribution. For where would Linux be today, if early PCs had these limitations? Thoughts, fellow /.'ers?"
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So, any /.'ers use the Nokia n900?

nightfire-unique nightfire-unique writes  |  about 5 years ago

nightfire-unique (253895) writes "Not news to most who are following it, the n900 runs a Debian-derived truly open source OS, with X11. Sounds too good to be true. I've been on the fence for a few months, wondering if this could be the ultimate phone for me, a *nix admin. But at over $600USD, it's not cheap.

Having been burned by the Zaurus C7x0 in the past (unstable, and essentially abandoned by the time I got mine), I'm wary of dropping this kind of money. And of course there's Android, which would undoubtedly have better commercial app support.

I've read all the previews and reviews I can find, but none have been done from a typical /.'ers perspective. So, anyone here tried one out? Can you SSH into it using its public IP? Will it wake-on-IP? Is it stable? How is the keyboard for the typical bash user? Does OpenOffice run, and if so, is it actually usable? How long does it take to compile the kernel on-device?"

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