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Comment Re:This is why (Score 3, Informative) 225

And having now read TFS, I sheepishly rescind my previous post... This is the Prime photos thing, not the actual Cloud Drive storage thing. Previous post applies to Cloud Drive Unlimited. Yes, storing unlimited data for the photos only service is being a dick. Shell out the $60/year.

(And if you do, pushing ZFS backups into it is a thing I'm working on... zfs-acd-backup)

Comment Re:This is why (Score 3, Interesting) 225

If you read the full Cloud Drive Terms of Service, you'll find nothing in it that associates the word "unlimited" with "photos".

The Service provides storage, retrieval, management and access features and functionality for your photos, videos, and other files ("Your Files").
-- CloudDrive ToS

Everything they've put in writing makes it clear that you're permitted to use unlimited storage to store whatever files you like, so long as you don't resell access, use it as the backing store for another cloud service, etc. Personal use == A-OK.

Comment Re:Abandon ship (Score 2) 118

I've tried (and tried (and tried...)) to like NinType. Main differentiating point is that it allows you to use gesture based typing with two fingers. So you can hold the phone in two hands and use two thumbs to type. Less stretching to reach the opposite side (especially on phablets) when you can just finish a word with your other thumb.

I've never quite been able to get comfortable with it, and honestly it has an interface only a Gentoo user (or nuclear control room tech) could love. Soooo many buttons...

Maybe time for another try...

Comment Re:No permissions enforced at runtime? (Score 1) 67

article seems to imply that Apple's primary security model is to first verify the apps and then give them at runtime unlimited access

The implication (which I agree is what I got reading the article) is utterly false. Many sensitive API's are secured in the runtime sandbox by the presence of crytographically signed "entitlements." Apple won't approve an entitlement unless the app has a legitimate need for it. Calling those secured API's through any mechanism when the app bundle lacks the necessary entitlement just fails. Entitlement-secured API's include background execution and iCloud access among others.

Other less-sensitive APIs such as photos/camera access, microphone access, contacts, calendar, etc. don't require an entitlement, but still trigger an OS-provided permission dialog on first use. If the user doesn't approve, access to those API's just fails. It doesn't matter if the app didn't trigger those API's during the review process. The first time it does at runtime, the dialog pops up. Granted less savvy users might just hit "Approve," but if you read dialogs before mashing your thumb on the screen, a JSPatch app can't just run off with your data.

As for the suggestion in the article that the app would modify system settings etc? Pure FUD. In order to expose that functionality to JavaScript, the JSPatch library itself would have to contain references to those symbols. Any binary that refs non-public API symbols is rejected. Whether the code actually calls them or not is immaterial*. If JSPatch did anything polymorphic to conceal the presence of those symbols, I'm pretty confident the thing would get blacklisted double quick.

*Source: I had an app rejected once because one of my own function names happened to match a private API. Had to rename my function to get it approved.

Comment Re:Physical media is king (Score 1) 105

Nothing wrong with a DRM-free digital copy. I can back that up wherever I like, format convert it, etc.

iTunes music purchases have been DRM-free for years. I have my purchases backed up in several places. As an added benefit, for at least as long as Apple chooses to let me, I can re-download those purchases any time on new devices where ever I have Net access. That's a nice convenience for me.

iTunes video is a different story, which is why I have very few video purchases of things I just had to watch right now. Two seasons of Dollhouse, and one episode of Glee (don't just me, it was the one with N.P.H. in it...).

Comment Re:I guess it's easier... (Score 1) 425

People on diet have lower performance because their brains are lacking fuel on diet.

Absolutely false. When I'm not "on diet" IE eating three square meals full of traditional American junk, I feel like garbage, my brain is fuzzy, and I'm generally rubbish at my job. Cut out the sugar & starch, eat enough protein, and I can easily eat only one or two meals a day (approx 1200Kcal), and work several times better. My brain has plenty of fuel between those limited calories and the lard on my ass that's getting burned off in the process. There's an acclimation period of about a week that's no fun at all, but once over the hump, I'm a much, much, much better code monkey when I lay off the bananas and stick to protein.

As far as being fat/not fat, exercise doesn't make much difference. You can't burn enough calories working out to make up for over eating. Can't out run the fork as they say... Exercise makes me feel better. I'm an endorphin junkie, no question. When I feel good, I stress/depressed eat much less, so that helps in weight management.

"Enough" exercise to get that effect in no way requires me to never see my family. I run three times a week. I do it at lunch time (those would be the one meal days usually), and I'm not actually away from my family any longer than if I'd spent lunch going to Mc HogBurger for a triple artery blocker... Or here's another idea... Want to be a present father? Exercise with your kids, and maybe even their mother too. Turn it into a family affair, teach your kids to enjoy something that's good for them, and be a far better parent than most.

If you want to exercise, you can absolutely find the time. If you don't, you'll spend the time finding excuses instead.

Source: Dropped about 180 lbs over 18 months by eating less and exercising more, all while working full time (plus standard tech career unpaid overtime) as a coder.

Comment Re:Netflix would love to be able offer... (Score 2) 159

Nearly all of that slice-and-dice is driven by US producers. It’s not reciprocal.

Considering the US market is generally the highest paying and also the largest amount of big & copyright region restricted content, if Netflix was able to get world-wide customers to pay the US price (which it would seem they can to some degree), it’s likely they’re making more money than if they try to offer a tier more suited to local markets in India for example.

I doubt most Bollywood producers would complain for a second to have their content available world wide and get paid for it at US rates. Maybe not such a huge market (stoner set aside), so not worth it to Netflix to buy the content. But for better or worse, everyone seems to want to stream Hollywood’s blockbusters. No accounting for taste I guess.

Comment Re:no it isn't (Score 1) 159

You’ve heard of pre-paid debit cards perhaps? Easy to buy a US-based one over the interwebs and send to your address wherever. Sure, you can block those providers, but you risk pissing off legit in-country customers who use them. They’re also about as plentiful and quickly created as new VPN services, so you have the same whack-a-mole problem if you try to police which credit card prefixes you block.

Also, odds are good you can find a US friend willing to pay your sub for you on their credit card. You can buy year long Netflix gift certificates and send them wherever you like. Gimme a $10 premium, and I doubt I’d think twice of buying a gift cert & emailing you the code.

Comment Re:Not doomed (Score 5, Insightful) 159

This type of VPN usage isn’t risky right now. You’re thinking of downloading bad stuff over VPN and trying to prevent nastygrams from your ISP. In that case, you’ve got a copyright owner or a LEO with subpoena power who can follow the paper trail back to you with minimal effort.

This is people paying for VPN’s for paid Netflix subs to stream content that’s not normally available in their market.

Is there law breaking going on? Probably, but thus far it’s not something that content providers have made the effort to send copyright cease & desist or whatever the local equivalent of DMCA letters for this type of stuff to end users. As for the VPN providers (where the money’s going), they’re arguably doing nothing wrong. They’re just moving packets from A to B, with ‘B’ being a frequently moving target, for Reasons.

Sure there’s a paper trail, things could get messy some day, but for the time being, paying for this service on your own credit card and accessing Netflix is a very low risk activity.

The VPN services getting paid have all kind$ of incentive$ to make sure they keep working with Netflix. It’s whack-a-mole with well funded & highly motivated moles. Not likely that any blocks will suceed for very long.

I’ve little doubt some law or top-secret treaty will attempt to add legal clout to close the loophole; but for now it’s not something that’s likely to get in you trouble. Enjoy it while it lasts...

Comment Could add a backup if you're worried (Score 1) 432

The trigger on every thermostat I've seen comes down to just "short these two wires". You could wire a fail-safe analog thermostat in parallel to the fancy one somewhere. Just keep your old one, and you don't even have to figure out how to dispose of the liquid mercury properly. Set it to 45-50F, and it should only trigger if something went very wrong.

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 123

Given the number of users who can be fooled into thinking a site is "secure" just by having an image of a key appearing somewhere on the page (not the browser chrome, but actually in the HTML of the site), what's the point of adding more chrome?

I doubt most users are capable of understanding the concept of chain of trust nor levels of verification behind different certificates. I'm positive that capabilities aside, the vast majority don't want to learn the difference and willfully avoid learning.

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"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost