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Comment Re:Brave polling, but in real life? (Score 1) 62

Well, it depends on what passwords. Most passwords, well they can go to my webmail provider or bank or whatever and gain access regardless, most people at customs just want to know you haven't modded it to be a bomb so in reality I'm probably not going to refuse them but they're also not going to get access to anything I really want to keep secret. If you can avoid it then it's better to make them think they "won" rather than pick a fight, it's a fairly decent tactic against assholes of all shapes and sizes. Life's too short as it is so I'd rather just get on with it, even if I'm not really doing the right thing.

Comment Re:Great Flood (Score 1) 48

As is the idea that he was 950 years old when he died. Also totally believable.

Well, we have reason to believe some trees are over 5000 years old so if you believe in the creation myth and that Adam and Eve were created by divine touch that diminished over generations that is actually one of the less incredible parts. That we don't live longer is probably a compromise between reproductive age and retaining experience and knowledge between generations as giving birth to a new healthy generation might be more evolutionary "fit" than growing longer life spans, not any true kind of hard limit. Having seen how long we have and haven't gotten in medicine I don't think we'll see it in my lifetime but within the next few hundred years of science I think a thousand year life span is possible. Which doesn't mean that I think ancient people of the past lived that long, but still far more in the realm of the possible than some of the other stuff.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 114

OK, here is your short short short form of how to change your ROM.

Step 1, find your ROM. First, you go to XDA-Developers and find your device, then you look at the first page or so of the applicable "Android Development" forum at the different active threads. If you have an enormously popular device, you will also want to look at page 2. Look for threads with high post counts. The thread titles should tell you which version of Android the ROM is based on. Check inside the threads to see what is working/nonworking.

Thank you, I see that you really are trying to help. The issue with checking what is working/nonworking is that each thread has on average hundreds of replies, some in the tens of thousands. I _have_ gone and read them, and I still don't know what has been resolved or not. Examples, from the current first page of results:

XDA: DEVDB [ROM] [5.1.1] DarkLord Note 5 Full Port (Fastest, Smoothest) [03/10/2015] 1 2 3
Replies: 10,717

XDA: DEVDB [ROM][AOSP]Minimal OS HLTE Unofficial 2015/10/01 1 2 3
Replies: 38

[ROM][5.1.1r18][HLTE] Resurrection Lollipop v5.5.6 [21/09/2015] 1 2 3
Replies: 1,001

[ROM] 03.10.15] [5.0] [Stock] [N9005.../OC3/OEA/OF3/OH3/OI6] QS-N9005-LP 1 2 3
Replies: 698

XDA: DEVDB [ROM]AryaMod V7.2 TW Lollipop Official POF3 | OTA Update [14 August 2015] 1 2 3
Replies: 13,180

NOTE 3 SM-N900W8 deathnote v10 snapdragon, Dervish Rom marshmallow 5.0.1
Replies: 3

[HLTE/TMO/SPR/VZW][ROM][CM12.1][5.1.1_r16] Temasek's UNOFFICIAL Build v17.3 1 2 3
Replies: 18,757

[Rom][5.0.2][S6 Port][Xposed][18.09.2015] Phronesis Rom v2.0. Stable, Lag Free. 1 2 3
Replies: 895

XDA: DEVDB [ROM,TW][03/23/2015] Note 4 port 5.0.1 - DarkLord rom v2.2 N910F BOB4 by Samsungviet 1
Replies: 6,593

[ROm]Note 3 base (tazzy) Aurora-Note3-Full-G9200-Port.v3-Stable,lightening fast. 1 2 3
Replies: 639

[ROM] [BOI6] Lollipop And Port Rom [Darklord Note 5 RC Port][10/02]Aurora Note4 Light 1 2 3
Replies: 701

[Rom][5.0.2][S6 Port][Xposed][19.09.2015]Norma Rom S6 V15 English 1 2 3
Replies: 6,565

MIUI V7 Note 3 N-9005 v 5.9.25 modded by ENIAC & Atrankas. 1 2 3
Replies: 615

XDA: DEVDB [Rom][5.0.1][Note 4 Full port][01.09.2015]AuroraRom Note 4 V6 English 1 2 3
Replies: 2,476

XDA: DEVDB [ROM][OFFICIAL][5.1.1_r18] BlissPop 4.0.3 by Team Bliss [hlte/xx] 1 2 3
Replies: 350

[ROM] [hlte] [5.1.1] [official] [CM-based] **crDroid** 1 2 3
Replies: 145

[ROM][KERNEL][N9005][OI3][5.0 LOLLIPOP]AUDAX L v29.0[26/09/15] 1 2 3
Replies: 4,096

XDA: DEVDB [ROM][AOSP][5.1.1] Slim ROM Beta 0.7 #Back2Basics [Unofficial][2015-September-21] 1 2 3
Replies: 447

Poll: (Xposed) DeathNote Rom Based on Darklord N4 port 1 2 3
Replies: 932

XDA: DEVDB [ROM][Official] Tesla by Team Validus [2015/Sep/23] 1 2 3
Replies: 802

Choice is good, information is good, but _too_much_ information is just as bad as not enough information. I have seriously tried to go through all those posts but - with no offence to the ROM builders - the ROM builders are busy building ROMs and not documenting their work. We see this all over the open source community: features exist, bugs are filed and fixed, but nothing is documented other than in random, often-contradictory forum and blog posts.

I'm not complaining, I'm just pointing out that the emperor has no clothes: the open source community is does great work, but it is for hobbyists. If I cannot find clear documentation about Foobar ROM, then Foobar ROM is a hobby. I'm looking for something more substantial, and I'll happily pay for it. Maybe Redhat should get into the Android ROM business.

Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 318

Note, by the by, that helping Assad against ISIS allows Assad to use more of his own troops against, say, the Kurds, who are our nominal allies in the region.

I might be wrong, but my impression was that Assad's strongholds were in the west/southwest and the Kurds in the north with ISIS in between so they don't really have any common border to fight on. It's the other rebel groups in Syria that are taking the piss with Assad's forces on one side and ISIS on the other. And now possibly Russian death from above, they must start to feel somebody up there hates them...

Comment Re:What kind of dumbass company... (Score 1) 114

Really? Where on earth do you live? I'm not sure anyone in this country still offers two-year contracts. Most people are either on pre-pay or one month rolling contracts. 18 months is about the longest, and they're rarely much cheaper than the one-month version, so there's little incentive to sign up for them (especially given that you're likely to get a better deal in six months, so being locked in for 18 months doesn't make sense even if it is cheaper at the start).

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 114

Forget CM, go to XDA and look for other ROMs for your phone.

I would love to know how to do this. Go ahead and call me an idiot, but I've gone through the ROMS for about a day and a half and then asked on the forums for suggestions, but I got no help on that:

How does one "look for other ROMs" and know if those ROMs support the needed features? Especially for devices such as the Note which have exceptional hardware that may not be supported in the ROM (S-Pen).

Comment Professional event organizer abuses Pokemon IP (Score 1) 194

That would be a more appropriate headline. The $2 admission their company charges is basically the cover charge to get into a party with sale of alcoholic beverages. Does this sound like your typical fan gathering?:

Defendants boast that the "5th Annual Unofficial Pokemon PAX Kickoff Party" will feature among other things, "Pokemon themed shots and drinks - Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize - Dancing - Giveaways - Cosplay Contest and more," and an "AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP."

This sounds like a typical commercial "theme night" that bars and clubs might have, only instead of using a generic unprotected theme like Halloween they made a Pokemon party. Not surprised their lawyers got angry, They managed to put a very good media spin on it though, clearly they as event organizers know how to get media attention and manipulate it. I hope they get to pay every dollar.

Comment Re:lesson learned (Score 1) 128

I learned to always wait for the .1 some time ago. 10.4 had a really nasty bug where, if you used File Vault (home directories were encrypted disk images), everything went fine. You could continue using the system and there were no problems. Until after the first reboot (which is something that typically happens less than once a month). At which point, the OS would be unable to mount your home directory and would give you a new, empty, one. The encrypted disk image containing your home directory was completely unusable. It later transpired that 10.3 could still mount it, so if you had an old bootable image around you could restore the data, but it caused a lot of pain. Apparently no one on Apple's QA team was using File Vault...

Comment Re:Not just MS Office (Score 1) 128

and the user has no way to "jailbreak" their Mac to allow them anyway. (That's not entirely true, there is still a method to disable this new iOS-style lockdown, but it involves booting off El Capitan install media. Which Apple doesn't distribute.)

Bullshit. Boot into recovery mode (from the recovery partition that the installer creates by default) and disable System Integrity Protection, and it's gone.

Comment Re:Genuine Quality (Score 1) 128

I'm not sure about that. I have Keynote and PowerPoint installed (and OpenOffice and LibreOffice). For lectures, I still prefer Beamer (including syntax highlighted code snippets in anything else is painful), but Keynote has nothing like the SmartArt feature of PowerPoint, which makes drawing figures a lot easier. It also doesn't have as useful guides and makes it harder to produce useful templates. These days, I generally use PowerPoint for short presentations (though for some things I find the results of Sozi much more effective than anything else for a lot of things. It's still very new and unpolished though).

Comment Re:Repeat Business, every 2-3 years? (Score 1) 118

Old Apple customers aren't a drain on Apple's financials, even in between the times they're buying new shiny Apple products, but that's Apple.

The difference between Apple and Motorola is that Apple owns the app store that they ship on their devices, Motorola ships the Google one. If someone publishes an app that needs the latest OS, then Apple has an incentive to ensure that it runs on the widest possible set of devices so that they can take their 30% cut of the sale price. If Motorola ensures that the app can run on all of their devices, then all that they're doing is adding to Google's profits.

This is why Amazon and Samsung include their own app stores. Eventually Android manufacturers will realise that they're in a low-margin business where all of the profits go to Google.

Comment Re:That was then, this is now (Score 2) 118

Right. In the UK, the sale of goods act (which was strengthened last week and extended to cover downloads and a few other things) permits you to return a product as not suitable for the purpose for which sold. That means that not doing anything promised in the ads is grounds for a full refund. Just mentioning the relevant law on a call to their support line was enough for Apple to courier a new battery out to me (which arrived at 9am the next morning) for a 3.5-year-old (our of warranty) MacBook Pro, because it was only holding 20% of its rated maximum charge and the discharge counter was significantly below the 300 charge cycles that their support pages claimed.

If someone buys a phone based on the promise of long-term support, but doesn't receive it, then they are entitled to a full refund from the seller, who is then entitled to a full refund from the manufacturer (and less likely to keep selling phones from a manufacturer if they get too many returns). I'd slightly disagree with this claim though:

Which is why consumer protection legislation exists; so corporations have more responsibility than profit mongering.

Corporations are expected to continue profit mongering, the goal of consumer protection legislation is to align incentives so that failing to take responsibility hurts the profits more than taking responsibility. Having to issue individual refunds to every Moto E customer would cost a lot more than back-porting security fixes and pushing out updates. Especially when you include the accompanying news articles.

Comment Re:What kind of dumbass company... (Score 4, Interesting) 114

Mobile phone vendors make their money selling new phones. You want a new Android, get a new phone.

Sure, but the new phone I get will be from a vendor that I can trust to support it for its lifetime. I may upgrade my phone after 2-3 years, but I'll probably hand the old one off to someone else or use it as a spare. If the phone becomes useless after 1 year, then I'll factor that in when I calculate the value of the phone - if I can amortise the cost over 4 years rather than 2, then the cost of the phone is not as good.

Your contract will be up in 2 years

What kind of idiot signs a 2-year phone contract in 2015?

Comment Re:I doubt it (Score 1) 69

Color me skeptical; I don't think this is going to happen via private industry for another 20 to 50 years at the very least.

A moon shot is only marginally more difficult if at all than a GEO satellite. Or for that matter a Mars shot, it's just a slightly longer rocket burn. The difficult part is what the fsck do you do when you're in orbit, it's the descent/landing that is challenging. That SpaceX can land rockets is obviously to save costs here on Earth but it's also to fill a major gap in our capability to go to Mars. I don't think a dedicated lander will ever get sufficient private funding, a spin-off technology of landing rockets here on Earth just might. It's not like the private industry is 50 years behind Apollo in technology, it's that they lack a business plan for going.

Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it. -- Heisenberg