Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Cost; exclusive applications (Score 1) 274

by CastrTroy (#48930939) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One
Actually, you can put Linux on the Surface Pro. The problem is that there's drivers missing for a lot of things, and certain things just don't work. To add to that, Linux still has some catching up to do in terms of high resolution displays so that things don't end up really tiny on the high resolution display.

Comment: Re:Cost; exclusive applications (Score 3, Interesting) 274

by CastrTroy (#48925469) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One
That's why I said they will only be around for a few more years until they can bring the price of the Surface and other similar devices down to the price of the iPad. The iPad is much cheaper if you buy the base unit with 16 GB of storage, of which, only 12 GB are free out of the box. Once you get the 64 GB version, the price starts to move a lot closer to the price of a Surface Pro. And if you have a Surface Pro, that means you have something you can use as a laptop and as a tablet. So if you're OK with just the iPad, and no laptop, then sure the iPad is cheaper. But if you're the kind of person who wants both, which is a large number of people, then buying just the Surface Pro is very cost effective.

Comment: Re:not the point (Score 2) 351

by CastrTroy (#48924921) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure
The problem is that if you walk away and think that the screen locker will kick in, and somebody comes by while it is still unlocked, they can run a program that will look the the screen locker when you come back, but in reality will actually just be recording your user name as password so the intruder can use this. They'll get the password, and come back at a time when they have more time to do their dirty work. Ideally, you should lock your computer as soon as you get up, but that's what happens in an ideal world, and security has to work under non-ideal circumstances.

Comment: Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (Score 1) 274

by CastrTroy (#48924793) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One
This is my biggest problem with Android and iOS tablets. The operating systems are built assuming a tiny 4-5 inch screen. Once you have a 10 in screen, there's a whole lot more you could be doing with the device. They both pretty much limit you to a single app at a time. They are both missing key features like mounting network drives, or connecting to printer or other USB device (Android has support for a very limited number of devices). That is why I think the tablet is kind of a stop-gap device that will only be around for a few more years until ultra-mobile devices like the Surface Pro and Lenovo Yoga get a little cheaper so that most people can afford them. Why pay $500 for an iPad that can only do a small number of things if you could get a Surfrace Pro that can do so much more, while not actually increasing the weight or size of the device.

Comment: Re:Tax (Score 2) 503

by CastrTroy (#48922411) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever
Apple does sell plenty of high priced devices that the government collects sales tax on. In my country, they also collect taxes on all the apps, music, and movies sold in the Apple marketplace. So in a way, the government makes a lot of tax money from Apple. If Apple had to pay taxes directly, they would thy would just pass that cost onto the customer anyway; it would really just result in higher prices.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 575

the current model of the Nexus is a 6 inch monstrosity. I have no want, nor need for a 6 inch phone. They still sell the Nexus 5, but even that is a little high priced for my tastes. And the lack of SD expansion makes it a no go for me. I don't care what reasoning they have, there's nothing that will make me buy a phone that doesn't come with expandable storage.

Comment: Re:Their excuse sucks (Score 1) 575

Similarly, I have an LG Optimus G2X. It came with Android 2.2. It didn't get any updates at all. I was able to get it up to 2.3 by using the firmware from another carrier. This from a phone that debuted only about 6 months before Android 4 came out. You might think that LG or my carrier is the only one to blame. But when Google has their name engraved on the back, it gives me a bad impression of them when they put their name on a product that has so little support.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 4, Insightful) 575

Isn't this basically what Microsoft does with Windows, or what Linux does. One code base that runs on all kinds of machines. And we still expect them to get vulnerabilities fixed. I could understand if it was a bug with some kind of driver that communicated with the cellular radio or other piece of hardware. Then it would be up to the manufacturer or carrier to fix the bug. But this is a bug in something that has nothing to do with the hardware that it is running on. There should be a more reliable way for bugs to get fixed on Android without going through multiple entities, some of which would just rather you buy new hardware. Imagine if you had to go through Dell, HP, or Acer every time you needed something fixed in Windows. It would be a disaster. But that's exactly what the state of affairs is with Android. I'm due for a new phone soon. I can't afford an iPhone, and my previous phone was Android, but I seriously got burned on updates. I've been considering Windows Phone, but their app selection is quite poor. I find that the current state of affairs with phone operating systems to be quite terrible.

Comment: Re:Wait for the fallout (Score 1) 128

It depends how they are sold If they are sold like kit cars and meant to be assembled by the end user, then there's a lot of regulations that you can get around. kit cars have very relaxed rules on what is required it make the street legal in many states. If you can get a frame from the 50's or earlier, you basically can avoid all regulations, as long as you have approved tires.

Comment: Re:Crash-testing & strength? (Score 1) 128

Plastic is not as hard as metal. The 3D printed guns have to be built much beefier, and even at the increased size of them, they still only last for 10's of shots, not hundreds or thousands like a regular gun. If you 3D printer a gun, you probably shouldn't fire it with your hand, as you are at risk losing some fingers.

That being said, I also question the cost and feasibility of this. 3D printing is great for 1-off prototypes, but it's a stupid idea for mass production. Even the best 3D printers are slow compared to traditional manufacturing methods once you want to produce items in the hundreds or thousands.

Comment: Re:If Microsoft would unlock the boot loader now.. (Score 1) 158

by CastrTroy (#48887855) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
I've use that to develop my own software. It's really quite great. If they just opened up the development a bit more so that things didn't expire, or things didn't have to be signed at all, then it would be as good as Android as far as side-loading apps goes. I also think it would be great if they opened up the desktop API. there was a jailbreak for Windows 8 (doesn't work on 8.1) which allowed desktop apps to be run if recompiled. I think they got DOSBOX, SharpDevelop, and a few other things working on it. Just unlocking the thing would probably make a lot of people happy for not supporting Windows 10. Let's hope somebody at MS is reading this.

Comment: Re:If Microsoft would unlock the boot loader now.. (Score 1) 158

by CastrTroy (#48885771) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
The actual OS I really like. It has a lot of features that are missing from iOS and Android. One big plus is the support for Network drives. If an app can read a file, it can read it from anywhere, including network drives and OneDrive. There's no special coding required on the application developers part. And apps are still restricted well enough that they can't just read/write willy-nilly to the file system.

What I really don't like is just the fact that so few developers have latched on to their App store ecosystem. And for me that only means less games, as I've been able to find apps to do just about everything else I would want to do on a tablet. If they aren't going to support it anymore, they should at least provide a supported way for running whatever apps you want to on it. Let people program their own applications at least. It wouldn't require unlocking the boot loader, but would still open up the possibility of a lot of independent app development.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 1) 158

by CastrTroy (#48885701) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
I'll give you the distinction on a phone, but on a tablet, I'm really not so sure. What is the fundamental difference between an ultrabook, a Surface Pro, or a more traditional tablet. Sure I'll admit that as you move toward smaller tablets like 7 inch ones, running a full desktop OS becomes cumbersome, but you have to admit that there are some advantages to being able to run a full desktop application on your tablet in a pinch. Sure you'd want to be using tablet focused apps most of the time, but it's nice to know that if you only have your tablet on you, you can still do things like quickly edit an Excel or Word file with real MS Office. You wouldn't want to make huge edits, but just small little annotations would be great.

As you move up to larger tablets, like 10 inch and above, Android and iOS really start to show their lack of features because they don't let you run multiple apps at the same time, and they don't let you do things like mount network drives that every application can have access to. They don't come with standard USB ports, so you can't just plug in a USB stick, printer, camera, or other devices without using special dongles, and most likely they won't have drivers for things like printers anyway.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 1) 158

by CastrTroy (#48884927) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10
With newer Broadwell and Skylake processors coming down the line, and a 4.5 watt chip that will run full x86 Windows, there's very little reason for Microsoft to not think that everybody will be running a full power Windows installation on every device that isn't a phone. And if they can make the phone run the same apps with minor changes, then it lets developers target the entire ecosystem with very little effort. If you could have a single code base that easily supported phones, tablets, and desktop computers, then developers might see that as a huge advantage.

"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond