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Comment Re: Softare and wording problem (Score 1) 210

I have seen my phone's battery discharge while "charging" if it was doing something with, say, the CPU, GPS, & Bluetooth at the same time. They need to allow drawing power from the battery, even when plugged in, because the USB port (& the charger to which it is attached) does not necessarily supply enough power to run, just to charge at whatever rate they deem appropriate.

Comment Re:Nintendo are only keeping up appearances. (Score 1) 140

Certain platforms have rampant trademark infringement in the programs offered on them, especially games. Does the fact that trademark holders (including Nintendo) continue to ignore them cause their marks to be genericized on those specific platforms? (Or maybe they are unaware of the infringement...quite possible, but I am not sure if that matters legally.)

(Not asking for legal advice—just curious...I was actually wondering about that just a few days ago.)

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 146

Regarding lazy programmers: I have written programs where I used packed bitfields & still ended up needing around 4-8 GB RAM. I was counting how many of something existed & marking them off as they were discovered—enumerating in (much) less space would make it take a lot longer, barring a computational complexity breakthrough (or maybe spending weeks discovering a different special-purpose enumeration method).

But for the most part, programs do seem to take up more space than necessary these days. E.g. a text editor should not need over 1 GB RAM. Even with unlimited undo & 30 or so documents open, each is not very large (under 128 KB), & I cannot type that fast.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 146

When I was a little kid, I once said I wanted a terabyte floppy disk & a 6 GHz CPU (& was told something similar to that being either never needed or not possible). A terabyte of flash is smaller than a floppy disk, but I still want my 6 GHz CPU. (With air cooling & 85 degrees Fahrenheit ambient, that is.)

Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 1) 239

I have run out of Latin letters & started using Greek ones a few times. In my defense, I was just grabbing elements of small nested lists (via Haskell's pattern matching) & permuting them, & a comment saying what the permutation meant (or better yet, a good function name) would be a lot clearer than trying to give meaningful names to 32 (or however many it was) variables used only once.

Comment Re:faraday cage (Score 1) 107

Microwave ovens only need to block the frequency used by the magnetron (& enough to the sides to account for drift & finite-time effects). It is apparently tricky to make a broad-spectrum Faraday cage with a usable door, so they tend to take the cheapest option & leak elsewhere (i.e. everything but (part of) the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band).

Comment Re:Its a step, but there are better ones (Score 1) 107

This. The comments suggesting just disconnecting or disabling the radio are missing that the phone could record stuff & transmit it later when re-enabled. An RF sensor will not stop such recording, either.

Sensors could have small, redundant backups, so hardware input switches might only get a false sense of security. For that matter, even removing the battery is in principle possible to work around (using an extra battery or a capacitor—the power needed to record from a microphone is not very high, for example). We might hope that would not happen due to cost, but what is a few cents out of the price of a modern smartphone?

A soundproof Faraday cage should work, but if someone is that paranoid, they probably need to put the people inside it rather than their phones.

Comment Re:What if the robots don't want socialism? (Score 1) 262

There is a difference between a human of above average intelligence needing the rest of civilization to survive &, say, a human needing an ant colony. (Sure, they do something useful, but we kill them en masse when they get in our way.) So it would seem to depend on how much more advanced than us these hypothetical robots were.

Comment Re:What if the robots don't want socialism? (Score 1) 262

If they are more rational (for certain values of "rational"), they might be socialist while sub-human, then switch to being libertarian once they reach super-human intelligence. But of course that assumes they are programmed such that they can pick their political views, rather than being constrained to espouse whatever position most benefits their owners.

Comment Re:Meh, I won't bother (Score 1) 292

I hacked the PS4 camera firmware to get it to work with my apparently-buggy USB 3.1 controller card. You still have to unload & reload the driver every time you want to use the camera (or even change resolution or frame rate), but it does work. Sometimes. (I suppose I could have hacked the USB controller's firmware instead, but it does not seem to be reloaded every time it powers up the way the camera's is.)

Comment Re:Have to give it to Apple..... (Score 1) 771

While the standard way of quoting the size is ¼" (& that was surely what was originally specified), that is exactly equal to 6.35 mm, unlike many other claimed (near-)equivalences between metric & U.S. units.

But for exactly that reason, it might as well be called ¼" because it is a more easily memorable number.

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