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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Presumed guilty? (Score 1) 181

by Andy Smith (#48950905) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Is Back Online, Properly

The "new" pirate bay site is blocked here in the UK, which makes me question what kind of process the police have to go through to get sites blocked. Can a site be blocked simply because it shares the name of a site that's already blocked? Because it has a similar domain name?

Also, if Barrett Brown can be jailed for linking to allegedly illegal material, can you, I, or Slashdot's owners be jailed for linking to an allegedly illegal torrent site?

Comment: Definitely a beta product (Score 2) 800

by Andy Smith (#37932938) Attached to: Siri Gives Apple Two Year Advantage Over Android

After 2 years of using Android, going from love to hate, I returned to iPhone with the 4S. I hadn't even heard of Siri til I was leaving the store with the 4S and noticed Siri mentioned on a poster.

Siri is useful in a very limited number of circumstances. I routinely use Siri to set an alarm. S/he seems to be good at understanding stock market enquiries too. But the natural language parsing can be very random at times. For example, try "set a countdown for 10 minutes" -- sometimes you'll get "I don't understand", sometimes you'll get an alarm clock set for 10 mins from now, and sometimes you'll get what you want which is a timer counting down from 10 minutes. Try "set a timer for 10 minutes" and you'll get the same range of mis-understanding.

I'm fine with Siri being how it is at the moment. I know it will get better and more useful, especially when it can work with maps / businesses outside the US. But it is still definitely a beta product that is usually slower than performing the task yourself.

Siri in a year or two should be great. I'm looking forward to it.

Comment: Compensation (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by Andy Smith (#37098868) Attached to: Essex Police Arrest Man Over Blackberry Water Fight Plan

This is an age-old debate but in my opinion there needs to be significant compensation for arrests that don't lead to convictions. Even more so if the arrest doesn't even lead to a charge.

The way things are at the moment, people who are wrongly arrested are expected to see their eventual release as a "relief" and be thankful for it. That's not how it should be. Otherwise the police had might as well arrest and hold everyone, take their time investigating all of them, and then release everyone who didn't do anything wrong.

In the venn diagram of arrests and convictions the target intersection is 100%. Currently it is nowhere near 100% and that is not entirely due to a flawed court system, it is partially due to too many innocent people being arrested.

Comment: The cheek of it! (Score 1) 306

by Andy Smith (#36765714) Attached to: 34% of iPhone Owners Think the 4 Is 4G

I hope you're not suggesting that Apple had any intention of misleading people? That would be outrageous. I mean, they put out the iPhone for 2G networks, then the iPhone 3 for 3G networks, then just as people were starting to want a 4G handset they put out the iPhone 4. And you dare to suggest that it even _occurred_ to Apple that the numbering might confuse people!!!??? Go to your room and don't come out til supper time! Cheeky young scamp.

Comment: Makes me sympathise with the spammer (Score 0, Troll) 143

by Andy Smith (#36485336) Attached to: Judges Berate Spammer For 'Incompetent' Litigation

Well done judge, you made me sympathise with a spammer. I don't want any court case conducted in this way. The judge's conduct is indicative of someone who is in a position of trusted neutrality but with an apparent bias against one side. Even when the case inevitably goes against the spammer, surely the judge's behaviour provides grounds for an appeal, eating up more of Spamhaus's defence fund.

--
Andrew Smith
http://www.brainachegames.com/
Developer of "Seq", the world's hardest puzzle game

Android

+ - HTC bloat is bad news for consumers and developers->

Submitted by
Andy Smith
Andy Smith writes "Smartphone manufacturer HTC has largely ignored a memory fault with its flagship Desire handset that causes the phone to slow to a crawl and app installs to fail. The closest they've come to admitting the problem was a statement saying that the phone could never support Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) so it was a surprise when the company announced yesterday that a Gingerbread update was on the way. The Desire is one of the main gaming handsets so as an Android developer I find this quite alarming: "HTC's decision to bring Android 2.3 to the Desire is a superficial gesture, intended to appease customer concerns that the once-flagship handset has been abandon after little more than a year. We anticipate that Desire owners will find their devices further encumbered by the Gingerbread upgrade, while the persistent low-memory issue remains unaddressed." (Disclosure: I am the developer of Seq, the game referred to in the linked article.)"
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