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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

sremick As well as this SlashDot article (239 comments)

Soon you won't be finding this Slashdot article in EU Google searches either.

about 2 months ago

Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

sremick Re:Why do we have screen savers? (349 comments)

Burn-in is also a problem on OLED screens (having experienced it first-hand). As we see more and more of these, the issue will regrow.

But I agree: auto power-off is preferable.

about 2 months ago

FreeDOS Is 20 Years Old

sremick Re:A popular laptop OS? (133 comments)

Dell most certainly does still offer FreeDOS. Perhaps just on some of their business line, but it's there.

We've chosen it to save money when we were just going to put our own non-MS OS on there. Ubunutu is also an option on a number of models. RHEL too, but that'll cost you.

about 2 months ago

Linux Mint 17 KDE Released

sremick Updating? (61 comments)

I ditched Linux Mint as an option for my clients when I discovered that major updates required a complete, clean re-install. I switched to Xubuntu and have been perfectly happy. Since kicking Mint to the curb I haven't paid much close attention. Is this still the case with major version upgrades?

about 2 months ago

Samsung Debuts Thin Galaxy Tab S With Super AMOLED 2560X1600 Display

sremick Re:Removable battery? (176 comments)

You're joking right? Consumers are pushing a desire for thinner lighter devices capable of longer and longer run-times with higher loads.

Believe it or not, consumers also like to not have to replace their device in 2 years because the battery only holds half the capacity it used to. Just because it's not on the box or part of the advertisement's spiel doesn't mean it's not something consumers care about. There are plenty of consumers who can see into the future beyond the length of their nose.

Something has to give when you are designing around these requirements. A lot of modern devices are thin because their batteries lack any kind of protection. Using flat lithium cells gives the designer far more flexibility to design a product rather than having a full battery pack with protective case and protection circuit.

You seem to be under the misconception that these rule each other out. Do you do much electronics repair? How many devices have you owned? Opened? Replaced the batteries on? I am on a tablet right now that is thinner than a Microsoft Surface Pro 2, but unlike the Surface it has a user-removable battery and doesn't sacrifice run-time to get it. My cell phone is thinner than an iPhone... and guess what? Removable battery.

Manufacturers aren't making non-removable batteries because of design constraints. They're making them non-removable because it ensures that when the battery wears out, the consumer is forced to buy a new model. Otherwise why permanently epoxy the battery into the device? I know all about unprotected lithium cells... I'm a certified Apple technician and have opened plenty of MacBooks. But you can have a battery that uses the case of the device to protect it without gluing the damn thing in so it can't even be serviced by someone with the proper training and tools.

The average consumer is likely to damage the types of batteries used in these devices and burn their house down in the process.

I'm well aware of this... it's made quite clear in our training and quite obvious when you're working on them daily. But it's not as necessary as you've been fooled to think. The "design constraints" and "users are demanding thinner" is just the bullshit lines they've come up with as an excuse to mask the actual reason: enforced obsolescence and increased revenue stream. If it were actually true, there would be no need for the epoxy, and no other manufacturers proving them wrong.

Given the pace of technology and the average use life of such devices, replaceable battery is one feature I really no longer care about.

That's nice. Not everyone is rolling in cash and prepared to buy a new phone or tablet every 2 years, especially when there's no technical reason to have to do so. Consumers have been conditioned to accept a worn-out battery as a legitimate reason to trash their otherwise perfectly functional and adequate device, which is insane and inexcusable. This would've never been accepted pre-iPhone/iPod. My sister's HTC One X is less than 2 years old and already can't hold a charge worth a damn. The phone is already 3 times the phone she needs, so why should she be forced to buy a new one? It's criminal. Luckily I am willing to replace it for her but HTC has made it unnecessarily difficult for no legitimate reason. There are thinner phones with user-replaceable batteries... they could've made it so she could do it herself, but that wasn't advantageous to their bottom line.

And if the batteries actually fail a quick and quite cheap trip to the repair shop will see it swapped out.

WHAT "repair shop"? Maybe for the lucky subset of people who live in cities near an Apple Store or some other electronics shop. But guess what? There's a lot more to the USA and world than the big cities. And the fact remains: there's no need for it to not be replaceable by the consumer. There's no need for them to pay $80 to have someone replace a $5 battery. And there's no reason to epoxy the batteries in so the repair shop can't even replace just the battery.

It's a scam, it's bullshit, it's anti-consumer, and it should be criminal. Unfortunately they've sufficiently brainwashed you so that you're inclined to parrot their same line which helps them spread the lie and make you an unpaid salesforce on their behalf, but those of us who have opened enough off these devices, and seen enough of what is possible, know the truth. It's too bad that the technically-informed are the minority of consumers, leaving the majority to be taken advantage of by the manufacturers, but unfortunately that's been the case for years.

about 2 months ago

Samsung Debuts Thin Galaxy Tab S With Super AMOLED 2560X1600 Display

sremick Removable battery? (176 comments)

Does this have a removable battery?

I've stopped buying consumer electronics that take the markedly ANTI-consumer and needless action of making non-removable batteries. I realize this eliminates most tablets* but I really have little use for a tablet (my job has provided several for me to use but I really couldn't care less about them, having tried them).

* - And all Apple hardware, but I'm ok with that too.

about 2 months ago

Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

sremick Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (208 comments)

You obviously haven't lived or even traveled anywhere where there are mountains.

Newsflash: the world isn't flat, and radio signals have difficulty passing through hundreds (or thousands) of feet of solid rock.

There's no cell service where I live. Radio reception is fuzzy. I can barely get satellite TV due to the position of the mountains. My internet has to be DSL as Comcast will never run cable out here.

about 3 months ago

Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

sremick Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

And Netflix/Hulu/Amazon will happily stream you that fast? I highly doubt it. I have a 6Mbit/s DSL connection and Netflix won't even saturate that, although Amazon and Hulu do a better so it's not my internet connection throttling Netflix.

My car can go a lot faster than the 20MPH it was stuck in traffic the other day doing for a long time too. The potential of the pipe is only one factor.

about 4 months ago

Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

sremick Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

Sounds like nobody wants to live there. Wonder why that is..

Yeah, I wonder... it's so awful here:

about 4 months ago

Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

sremick Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

The comparison was about legit physical media versus legit streaming services. Not about illegally pirated movies. That's an entirely separate issue and has nothing to do with what I was talking about

about 4 months ago

Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

sremick Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

Most of the USA isn't cities. City folks have an awfully distorted sense of what is "normal" and have no concept of what the rest of the world live like. My town has a population of less than 4000. The largest "city" in my state has barely over 40,000.

about 4 months ago

Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

sremick Re:Blank Media (477 comments)

I have a movie collection numbering in the many hundreds. All are on original physical media.

All the reasons that people have for streaming versus playing off discs I agree with... but there's one kicker: once you get past the annoying menus, notices, and previews, and actually get to the movie, the quality can't be compared. Not many people have a 30-50 Mbit/s internet connection that can handle the full bitrate of 1080p video with lossless 5.1 sound, and I can't think of any streaming source that would send that even if someone did. They're all horribly compressed up the ass with lossy compression... noticable even on my 40" TV but especially so on the 92" projector.

Unskippable menus suck, and online libraries are certainly convenient... but when it comes time to watch the movie, I do kind of want it to actually look good. But I guess I'm a dying breed.

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

sremick Re:Relocate the bloody thing (865 comments)

Actually, they had done a safety study and determined that a large number of injuries were caused by keys being driven into the driver's knees. So the relocation was mostly a safety issue.

Not to mention they crash-tested their cars against dummy moose...

about 4 months ago

Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

sremick Amazon streaming quality vs. Netflix (298 comments)

All these comparisons with Netflix fail to address one critical point: video quality

I can stream the same movie on Netflix and Hulu on the same device (Roku), at the same time, on the same internet connection. If I stream that movie on Netflix, the stream doesn't fully-utilize my internet connection and is noticeably poor. If I cancel, then immediately start streaming the same movie on Amazon Prime, same device, just moments later, it saturates my internet connection and looks considerably better. I can switch back and forth and the results are consistent. I can also recreate this with other movies available on both. I've done this on multiple different nights... the test results are always the same.

Not to say that if Amazon ups the price of Prime that we'll keep it... I'm not a big fan of streaming in-general. But to compare Netflix and Amazon one really needs to take into account the video quality. Netflix quality is absolutely HORRIBLE and I can't stand watching content off it, and choose Amazon or Hulu whenever possible. Of course, in this day and age people seem content with Youtube level of over-compressed shit so it's probably a lost cause...

about 7 months ago

Online Streaming As Profitable As TV, Disc Sales By Charging Just a $15 Flat Fee

sremick Re:That's not going to happen (160 comments)

If you're paying $30/blu-ray disc you're either impatient or doing it wrong. I don't feel a burning need to watch a movie within some arbitrarily-short timeframe after its release just so I can keep up with the Joneses. As a result of that and buying things on sales/deals, I average $5-$10 per blu-ray movie, even very popular blockbuster releases. My movie collection now spans over 400 movies, most of which are blu-ray. And I know friends and family with more.

One might point out that if I had taken all that money, I could have instead paid for 25 years or more of Netflix or what have you. The issue there is that then I'm at the mercy of whatever movies the streaming provide decides I can watch today, and maybe will pull tomorrow, as well as the condition of my internet connection. I've already had maybe a 10% success rate searching Hulu Plus/Netflix/Amazon Prime for a given movie we want to watch, as well has seen frightening lists of what movies Netflix decides to "discontinue" from time to time.

No thanks. I'll keep my physical media, thank you.

about 7 months ago

Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

sremick Re:The craptastic Windows 8 is Microsoft's time bo (829 comments)

"Also, you can't buy a new computer with Windows 7"

Very much NOT true. Where I work we buy plenty of Dell computers with Win7 all the time. Just placed another large order this past Friday in fact.

about 8 months ago

PlayStation 4 Will Be Running Modified FreeBSD

sremick Re:War of the Operating Systems (457 comments)

I'm still trying to figure out why the Wii (not Wii U, original Wii) and the Roku use the exact same sound effects in the UI.

about a year ago

What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

sremick Android widget (287 comments)

My main use of Google Reader these days is to consolidate the RSS feeds from several specific news sources of my choosing. Then I pass this RSS list to the Google Reader Android ticker widget which is the best of its class. This allows me a nice, clean rotating news widget with the specific news sources I want. Not only that, but I can manage the feeds used from my desktop.

I have not found anything else that can do this, or looks as good, let alone both. I have no alternative once Google Reader goes away. :(

about a year and a half ago

HTC Unveils Revamped HTC One

sremick Re:A lesson for HTC (152 comments)

Agreed about the batteries and MicroSD card. This is 2013. There's no excuse for lacking these features. All my cell phones have had removable batteries back to my original Nokia candybar. On Android a single battery can't get you through a full day of use if you're a serious user, and not everyone can get to a charging source constantly. Keeping spare charged batteries is critical. Plus not everyone wants to replace their whole phone just because the original battery (a $5 part) only holds 50% of its original capacity now, when the phone is otherwise sufficient.

And expandable storage isn't just about running out of what is built-in to the device. It's critical for backups should something happen to the phone hardware (failure, damage, etc). Pop the memory card into a replacement phone, restore from Titanium Backup, and you're back up and running in short order. No other solution via the "cloud" or PC backup comes close to being as flexible, convenient or powerful. I have my phone set to automatically back up to itself (external MicroSD card) nightly, no user intervention required.

All my cell phones back to early 2000s (when it was still called "Transflash") have had expandable storage. I'm not going to start giving that up just because some manufacturers are assholes and are trying to push consumers into being conditioned/brainwashed to not expect/want that anymore.

This is 2013. Anyone trying to market a phone needs to stop pulling an Apple, insulting consumers and treating us like imbeciles. Stop gluing the case together and taking away critical options. If we wanted a stupid i-device we'd go buy a fucking iPhone. But we won't: we want Android, which normally COMES with all this. Get with the program or GTFO of the marketplace. Samsung, now HTC. It's fucking infuriating. No removable battery, or no expandable storage = no sale. Period.

about a year and a half ago



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