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Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

obarthelemy The "worker standards" farce is obvious (178 comments)

Apple is not the only one guilty of this, but it's more egregious in their case because they trade a lot on their luxury image.

If companies cared about workers, they'd set up factories in countries were workers are actually protected by lax and practice. Apple especially have the profits to do so.

They don't, and they don't. Let's just stop pretending the resulting product is glamorous.

yesterday
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

obarthelemy Where's the standard ? (239 comments)

I'm not in until I can switch clients and servers. My current IMAP system lets me use pretty much any email provider and any email client I want.Over the years, I've used several of each of those, and figure I'll have to keep switching once in a while.
Inbox pretty much locks me in to gmail and Inbox (or dial it back to a regular email client). That doesn't work for me, no matter what its features. Amongs which local backup seems to be missing.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

obarthelemy Re:Dual monitors and recompiling the kernel .. (488 comments)

Mine is Intel + AMD. Apparently this changes *everything*. Plus last time around, Ubuntu wouldn't let me put the menu bar on the right-hand side of my main screen, and other desktop manager wouldn't rotate for vertical, and videos wouldn't play nice on either or both...

I'm sure it can be gotten to work, just not by an ignoramus who values his time such as myself; and I'm not sure the end result would be as polished as I want (sideways text when the task bar is on the side ??)

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

obarthelemy Mostly, the attitude (488 comments)

I'm geeky for a non-programmer, but, for example, rarely managed to get Linux to run on one of my PCs, and never managed to get it to run *satisfactorily* (with my dual monitors set up as I want them, smoothly playing video, running what I want at startup...). Stuff such as "recompiling the kernel (which someone had to do for me on my last attempt) stumps me.

I could contribute: translations, feedback on the UI ("could your mom understand *that* ?), testing... I've tried twice, and found the atmosphere utterly unfriendly. Mostly, especially in big projects, devs are out for peer recognition and hacker glory, not to take care of the thorn-in-your-side user for which things are either not working or not understandable. And that's too bad.

about two weeks ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

obarthelemy I remeber (306 comments)

getting a lot of flack in high school for answering "I don't know" to a lot of stuff. And not just from teachers ^^

about 1 month ago
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How the NSA Profits Off of Its Surveillance Technology

obarthelemy Re:I can't quite decide (83 comments)

Actually, they're not so much security tools as spying tools. I read TFA as "NSA has been helping US corps spy on allies's corps". Well, after spying on Germany's Chancelor and others, that's par for the course for the US I guess.

about 3 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

obarthelemy Re:In fairness ... (277 comments)

"holding a 7" phone up to your face looks pretty ridiculous"... Well, I feel less ridiculous the very few times I do that than if I had to carry a phone AND a tablet AND a laptop every time I travel. Plus I don't really care about ridiculous, like beauty it is mostly in the eye of the beholder.

"unless you are using speaker phone or a bluetooth headset" I'm using a wired headset. Sorry if that's not fashion-approved.

"But, thankfully, life hasn't forced me to be constantly tethered to a device like this." Well, if you prefer to be tethered to a stamp-size squint-box for fear of how others look at you, that's your prerogative. I advise you to gather a crowd next time you go buy... anything... and get their approval before any purchase.

To give you a point of reference, a 6" screen (let alone my 7") is to a 4" screen what a 23" is to a 15" screen. I wouldn't go back to 15" on my desktop, I wouldn't go back to 4" for my phone.

about 3 months ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

obarthelemy Re:In fairness ... (277 comments)

Hey, you sound just like the fashion police back when I got my first ridiculously huge phone that they wouldn't be caught dead using. My 4.3" HTC HD2.

Then, again for my huger more ridiculouser 5.3" Galaxy Note.

Then, again for my hugerer ridiculouserer 6" Ascend Mate.

Now, my hugererer ridiculousererer 7" Huawei X1.

I know you reactionary types need time to catch up to new things. Please, do take it, but in the mean time, shut up. Meanwhile, I'll be enjoying reading and watching vids on my "phone", which is really more of a e-reader+media player. Don't worry, you'll get there...

about 3 months ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

obarthelemy Performance ? probably not. Specs ? YES !! (253 comments)

Specs != performance.

From what I see around me, perfomance is not an issue for any less than 3yo phone. Specifications are still key though: screen size, battery life, camera, sound quality on speakers and headset. One issue is that specs are sometimes off the mark: good screen doesn't mean more pixels, it means legible in bright light, at an angle, with good colors... Good camera doesn't man moar pixels, it means good pictures inside with no blur, etc etc.

about 3 months ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

obarthelemy Re:Because of Apple engineering (264 comments)

Indeed. Music files and Video files take sooooo much less space on iOS !

about 3 months ago
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Android Apps Now Unofficially Able To Run On Any Major Desktop OS

obarthelemy Re:Please make this thing useful for development (101 comments)

Have you actually tried it ? I've got an Android **desktop**, and it's usable. Most apps understand mouse buttons and wheel; the lack of the usual sensors and touchscreen is only a problem in some games.
Things could be better: I miss keyboard shortcuts, right click for Back is silly, and zooming in/out seems to be up to the OEMs. But overall, it's more than usable.

about 3 months ago
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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

obarthelemy Poor Apple (191 comments)

It seems they've picked "privacy" as a fighting point vs Google. They don't seem to realize that people either
1- don't care anyway
or
2- care, and know Apple is bullshitting.

about 3 months ago
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Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

obarthelemy Apple do drop tests ? (207 comments)

Really ?

Really !

Really ?

Really ??

Really !!

about 3 months ago
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Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

obarthelemy Re:With no power comes little responsability (117 comments)

from wikipedia:

"A bully pulpit is a position sufficiently conspicuous to provide an opportunity to speak out and be listened to."
Not to "do", not to "enforce".. just to "be heard".

Sounds apt to me.

about 4 months ago
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Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

obarthelemy With no power comes little responsability (117 comments)

This sounds mostly political, then a bit managerial, then a teeny weeny bit technical. And from what I've read before, that post is mostly a bully pulpit with 0 effective power.

I'm sure each and every budgeting unit have their own systems, their own standards, their own teams, and their own kickbacks -sorry, suppliers. Standardizing, rationalizing and unifying all that is a bit technical, but, mostly, political.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

obarthelemy The question makes no sense. (167 comments)

It's way too imprecise. For the staples, Lifechacker.com has regularly "best of" lists.

about 4 months ago
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MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

obarthelemy Re:no price? (88 comments)

What makes the Pi attractive is relative openness.
There are a lot way more powerful Android sticks that end up cheaper ( http://www.geekbuying.com/item... , $43 w/8GB Flash, WiFi, BT and a PSU are included)
The hardware could be more open, but the libraries and documentation for the CPU/pinouts, and above all the GPU, would require a lot of work and hit a lot of walls. It's telling that the Pi's competitors are all chipset-maker driven.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

obarthelemy As a sales guy (ducks) (548 comments)

I work for consulting firms, selling both flesh-by-the-month and fixed-budget custom dev/integration. Here's what I'd like begining devs to know:

1- be presentable. Be clean, pleasant, non-threatening (agreed, that means be lame. Lame is good). You don't *have* to wear a suit and tie (though if you want to move up, you probably should), but at least clean jeans (chinos is much better) and a top with a collar (polo is OK). "Town" shoes are much better than hiking or sport shoes. Needing to express your personality by shocking others is pretty much a dead-end. It's not "look how much you need me that I can bug you by being an ass", it's "look how much I'm sabotaging myself by making my self be a problem".

2- don't be afraid to say "no" and "I don't know". And don't say anything else instead (like "yes" or "this idea/tech sucks"). If your client/boss is asking for unrealistic, impossible stuff, just say so, or at least say you need to check, don't accept. Saying you can't do something, or something is undoable, will hurt you and others a lot less than accepting and then not delivering. Also, "I can't do it" and "it's undoable" are not the same. Maybe you need help from someone else. Maybe you need training.

3- Be proactive. Learn new skills and try to help people around you. You boss mainly. If you spot a problem or a potential sale, say so. Don't make a huge issue out of it, don't get frustrated if it doesn't get top priority, but do point out issues, and if you can, solutions.

4- be patient. Many youngsters have this mental image of where they want to get, and how good they are. You'll probably get there, but not in 6 months. You *will* have to work on nonsensical doomed projects, with idiots as coworkers and bosses. That doesn't prevent you from building skills (technical, personal , organizational), networking and building up your brand...

about 4 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

obarthelemy Not really, not yet (381 comments)

I loved consolidating my watch, PDA, phone, and media player into a smartphone. Yo make me go the other way, a gizmo would have to provide very strong utility. Not alerts, not exercise data, not a duplicate of the remote that's already on my headset, not a teaser of stuff that I need to go to my phone to really use/act upon.

I've narrowed it down to either universal ID (for logins, PINs, locks...) or doing what my smartphone does, only hands-free. Not holding my breath...

about 5 months ago
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HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop

obarthelemy Re:Sounds DOA to me (121 comments)

Offline mode is not limited. Google docs for example is fully functional.
No clue about software development, whether connected or not. That's not really the target, anyway.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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MS still doesn't get "mobile"

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "The dismal ratings of the PlayStore's "Outlook.com" mail app illustrate the challenges MS faces when trying to become relevant in the mobile space. That brand-new mail app illustrates what *not* to do:
- unannounced update from the generally-accepted Hotmail app. Hotmail just stopped working yesterday.
- limited to 1 month of messages
- no widget
- no themes
- horrendous ergonomics, with "menus" sometimes popping submenus, sometimes doing things straight away, with no hint as to which."

Link to Original Source
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2013: the year of Android on the desktop ?

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "While Ouya and Gamestick are having a go at consoles, even cheaper Android computers are quickly gaining traction as low-end desktops, HTPCs, and gaming consoles.

At $50 for a dual-core A9 computer with typically 720p to 1080p HDMI out, 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash, a SD slot, 2 to 3 USB ports, Wifi N, Bluetooth, and nothing else, the poetically named MK808B, MK802III, Neo G4, UG007 and their numerous ICS-running, PlayStore-equipped brethren have enough chops for basic Internet stuff, dlna/LAN/Airplay streaming, Skype, light Office work and light gaming and emulators. Basically, tablets in desktop's clothing.

While not having a touchscreen nor gyroscope nor accelerometer throws off quite a few games (the portrait aspect ratio doesn't help, either), almost all non-game software runs fine, as do about half the games. Surprisingly, Android has OK keyboard and mouse support (no right-click, tough), and most devices also support xbox and DualShock controllers, though few games actually take advantage of that.

No major OEM has launched a product yet, so a few small manufacturers (Minix, Rikomagic, Tronsmart...) are making a name for themselves. Upcoming quadcore, 2GB RAM refreshes with Android 4.2 might further boost interest.

Sent from my Minix Neo X5"

Link to Original Source
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Facebook France showing old private messages on some users' Timeline

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "Since midday, it seems some French Facebook users are seeing old private posts/messages pop up on their public Timeline. This has major /popcorn potential, if you've ever used FB's private messages to exchange secrets, talk behind someone's back, have an affair... or even talk business.

Facebook denies this being a security issue, so it's probably a bug. It's being investigated, in the mean time users are advised to disable the Timeline feature.

Cue ruminations about whether entrusting important communications and data to a third party that doesn't offer any king of guarantee, except the guarantee that it is selling them on, is wise."

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: iGoogle replacement ?

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "With iGoogle scheduled to close, I'm looking for another web site that can be my home:

on a single web page, and in any browser (no browser-specific extensions please)

- display multiple mail and webmail inboxes (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, and pro POP/IMAP)
- display Google Reader feeds (or a collection of RSS feeds directly, but Google Reader would be much better)
- and Google Calendar
- and Google Tasks

I have no clue why Google is discontinuing their home page service, but if that's what they want, I'll make my home somewhere else ^^"

Link to Original Source
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FOSS, Multiplatform replacement for Skype ?

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "Skype having just been borged, now may be a good time to edge our bets and look for a replacement. I'm *not* looking for for something that interfaces with POTS, but just a simple PC-to-PC video chat tool that is very easy to configure and use, reliable, multiplatform (my family has Windows, Linux, MacOS; iOS and Android would be nice extras), and has good video/voice quality. We're almost only skyping with each other.

What would you recommend ?"
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in-browser technical 3D graphics and plans ?

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "Is there a way to easily generate and integrate 3D graphics on a web page ?

I'm looking for an easy, standard, and if possible open way to be able to display a variety of non-interactive, but generated on the fly, 3D graphics within a web browser (including IE6, no flames please, not my call). We're looking to convert a large number of vertical technical apps from fat-client to web-based. One, if not the main, sticking point is visualization of 3D data, especially with IE6 still being the company standard (no chance to be able to change that). We do have a lot of non-official Firefox; plug-ins are frowned upon.

Java, Javascript, Flash, and PDF would certainly be OK. A more specific solution would have to offer very strong guarantees. I failed to find a ready-made toolkit though ?"

Link to Original Source
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Which Linux for non-techie Windows users ?

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "Having at last gotten Linux to run satisfactorily on my own PCs, I'd now like to start transitioning friends and family from XP to Linux instead of 7. The catch is, these guys don't understand nor care much about computers, so the transition has to be as seam- and pain-less as possible. Actually, they wont care for new things, even the upcoming upgrade to Seven would be a pain and a bother, which is a great opportunity for Linux. I'm not too concerned about software (most of them only need browser, IM, VLC, mail and a Powerpoint viewer for all those fascinating attachments). What I'm concerned about is OS look and feel and interface: system bar on the bottom with clock, trash, info on the right, menu on the left... menu items close to those of Windows...

Is it better to shoot for a very targeted distro ? Which ?
Are they themes/skins for mainstream distributions instead ?

I've been looking around the web, it's hard to gauge with distro is well-done and reasonably active, and which does not really work. Puppy Linux also looks good, different but so very easy I imagine I could 'sell' it.

I'm NOT asking whether it's good or bad for Linux to look and feel like Windows. Actually, I'm fairly convinced it is not a good thing, but I don't feel up to training handfuls of newbies and fielding tens of support calls."
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iPad margins 40-55%

obarthelemy obarthelemy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

obarthelemy (160321) writes "Cost analysis show that Apple is making a nice margin of the iPad (40 to 50%), especially the high-end ones. Not as high as on the iPhone (60%), though.

main components breakdown goes like this:
- screen $100
- 16gigs RAM $25
- case $25
- CPU $15
- Bluetooth, Wifi $5
- assembly $10
- 3G modem (some versions) $16 (sold for $130)

Total for 16 Gig iPad = $270 (sold for $499), for 32 Gig + modem iPad = $332 (sold for $729). These costs do not include warranty, R&D, marketing, logistics....

As usual, margins for high-end versions go up very fast, especially with the 3G chip being sold at almost 90% margin.

Sources:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9150045/Apple_makes_208_on_each_499_iPad"

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