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Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 3, Insightful) 119

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47519471) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows
History isn't encouraging, though. They've been pursuing the dream of one windows to rule them all since the days when that involved smearing a crude layer of flayed win95 across winCE and pretending it was a good fit for PDAs.

Now that hardware has advanced they have a much better shot at architectural unification (if memory serves, NT has basically edged out everything else except for whatever CE support they provide for legacy customers); but UI? That won't go well.

Comment: Re:How thrilling... (Score 1) 50

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47517015) Attached to: Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious
The CPU and GPU are fine, reports on battery life seem to vary, with excellent results if you turn the 'dynamic perspectives' thing off and don't firefly much, tepid ones if you actually try to use those features; but the screen is genuinely disappointing for a phone in that price range, although the internal storage is better than usual.

There's nothing offensively wrong with it; but the price tag befits a device that is genuinely compelling in some way, which it isn't.

Comment: Re:How thrilling... (Score 1) 50

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47516921) Attached to: Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious
Unfortunately, while stock android is undeniably Google's little fiefdom, 'FireOS' is a pretty much point-for-point a replacement of hegemonic Google with hegemonic Amazon (somewhat more, arguably, given the 'silk' browser's extensive default reliance on server-side processing).

It is pretty stark how lousy de-googled Android is; but Amazon isn't really here to change the dynamic of effectively closed control of the platform, just who controls it. Getting models with a 'clean' AOSP firmware(typically excluding drivers; because it seems to be blobs all the way down on the mobile side) isn't hard; but using them is fairly grim.

Comment: Re:Security? In a crapp? (Score 1) 39

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47516325) Attached to: CNN iPhone App Sends iReporters' Passwords In the Clear

Did anyone *really* expect a crapp to have any sort of security whatsoever?

It's a trifle surprising given that the usual 'eh, let's just wrap our shit mobile website in a UIWebView and call it a day' school of 'app' development would likely have inherited SSL through sheer laziness, while whatever attempt at app development CNN attempted is apparently so dysfunctional as to be markedly worse than the state of website logins in general, and apparently so incoherent that the phone and tablet versions don't share login behavior...

That seems like the sort of thing that takes effort to screw up.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The one complicating factor, though, is that discrete sound cards are being squeeze from both sides: With even integrated GPUs offering HDMI and displayport audio, and even all but the most spartan (usually super-cheap and/or strictly business oriented) onboard audio supporting S/PDIF, the option of an external DAC or receiver becomes much more attractive, especially if you already have one that you like or want to be able to use other audio sources with a relatively expensive piece of high quality audio gear.

The performance of the analog components of onboard audio is, indeed, going to be more 'endurable' than 'good'; but digital logic is crazy cheap and (mostly) either works or doesn't, and basic boring onboard audio often has less ghastly driver mess than the cards trying to 'value add'(Creative, specifically, being a ghastly offender).

It's not as though they are a ghastly scam or anything, if you want to be able to plug a nice pair of headphones straight into your PC rather than an outboard module that's totally understandable; but they do occupy a slightly precarious middle ground between mostly-competent onboard audio and the full array of audio gear that accepts digital input.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

Apropos of that... With at least certain Realtek chipsets(I'm afraid I don't have the model number handy, this was a couple of years ago) I ran into an issue with audio output from a program that made atypically demanding use of MIDI:

The audio worked, and was free of obvious noise problems; but the pitch and playback speed kept changing, sometimes correct, sometimes badly off. With a bit of fiddling, it turned out that putting the system under heavy load made it work properly, and the deviations only cropped up when it was lightly loaded. If CPU power saving was disabled(and so clock speed kept constant) the problem never occurred regardless of load. As best I was able to tell, some part of the sound system was using the CPU (instead of all those fancy system timers that were added because using the CPU clock is something best left to the bad old days of Turbo buttons) as a timebase; but not accounting for the fact that it only actually ran at the maximum frequency when load demanded it.

It was an entertaining bug, as they go; but not confidence inspiring. The $10 USB thing that replaced it had no such issues.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The /. writeup sounds like audiophile wank to me. I would be surprised if this Soundblaster could justify its price in a proper double blind study on real world data (music, games, movies, etc...) vs. the built in audio on your mobo.

It doesn't help that the squeeze is really coming from both sides: On the low end, the performance of onboard audio has improved(SNR may still make the golden-eared cringe; but horrors of the old days are mostly banished, so adequate performance, usually with fairly well behaved default drivers, is rarely a problem).

On the high end, odds are good that the user already has a preferred DAC and amplifier which will skip the cheap and electrically noisy PC entirely. Even fairly nasty onboard sound often has digital out, and with HDMI and displayport including audio support, so do most graphics cards, even integrated GPUs.

Unless you are trying to drive a touchy and analog only device, maybe a nice pair of headphones or an older amplifier or receiver, there just isn't an obvious need for what creative is selling.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 591

That is not fully true. At least in East Germany you owned things. You could own a car and the furniture in your house.

Soviet doctrine (and the broader Marxist doctrine) distinguishes between "personal property" and "private property". Things like furniture or car would be considered personal property, and hence okay. Land, means of (large-scale) production like workshops and factories etc, would be considered private property if owned, and that was banned. Houses and other things that straddled the line could be treated differently depending on the country and the era.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 591

Russia was truly communist for a few years after the Russian revolution, until the Bolsheviks took over and turned everything on its head and forever corrupted the word "communism".

After the first revolution in February, 1917 (the one that saw the tsar abdicate), Russia became a capitalist republic. That lasted for 8 months.

After the second revolution in October, 1917, the power was in the hands of the soviets (councils) of workers and peasants, most of which were under Bolshevik control already.

In 1918, the power was very briefly (and largely nominally) exercised by the Constituent Assembly. It lasted for 13 hours before the Bolsheviks dissolved it.

By the end of 1918, Bolsheviks have purged the only remaining minority party that shared the power with them in the soviets, the left esers.

So, where do the "few years after the Russian revolution" come from?

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