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Comments

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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 two weeks 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 two weeks 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 3 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 8 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 9 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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 10 months 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.

about 10 months ago
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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.

1 year,14 days
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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! :)

1 year,19 days
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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

1 year,20 days
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Apple Profit Falls 22% But iPhone Sales Are Up

nightfire-unique Re:Margin compression (251 comments)

No, it rather means that people are finally understanding that a tablet is a novelty. The only time I hear someone talking about how great their iPad (or other tablet) is when they are talking about how much their (less than 10 year old) kid enjoys it

I use my Nexus 7 daily. Some of the things I use it for:

- Kindle
- Web browsing / youtube out on the deck
- Advanced planning / 2nd head ship navigation while sailing (Navionics)
- Advanced route planning while in the backcountry (Locus Pro)
- Movies in bed
- Google magazine (Backpacker, Sailing World, etc)

My girlfriend also uses it at school when painting so that she doesn't have to print images out.

Admittedly, there is a lot of crossover potential with my S3. But to suggest that it's a novelty is a little silly at this point, don't you think?

about a year ago
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New Android Eyewear Wants To Compete With Google Glass

nightfire-unique Re:Let's Break This Down (55 comments)

Nobody wants to wear computers.

How is carrying a smartphone around in your pocket all day not wearing a computer?

Wearable displays can't come soon enough for me. I would love to be able to walk around while I attend conference calls, have chart overlays while I'm sailing, and not have to stare down at my phone while watching TV shows at the gym.

I'm also reasonably sure I'm not alone in this!

about a year ago
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European Researchers Propose Quantum Network Between Earth and ISS

nightfire-unique Re:Always a letdown. (209 comments)

No they won't. There is a certain cult that treats science as a religion and refuses to understand that there are basic laws of physics that constrain us. FTL communication causes a litany of paradoxes and trying to turn quantum entanglement into a FTL communication device shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on.

+4, Insightful? Really slashdot?

about a year and a half 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  |  more than 4 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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