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Comment: Re: What alternative could be built? (Score 4, Interesting) 143

Internal memory and internal SD card are two separate things in Android. Internal SD card is simply a part of the internal NAND that the OS treats like a normal SD card. Many phones don't support external SD cards but have moderate amounts of storage, so they compromise.

I'm not sure I follow.

Many phones don't support external SD cards, but officially their apis still need to support external storage with internal SD memory anyway, otherwise they won't pass the Compatibility Test Suite.

The problem is that the internal SD card and external SD card are treated differently.

Android apps by default work off the internal SD card. It's actually a separate partition that's mounted at the same place as old phones used for external SD cards. You can't change the default to use an external card. You can't recover space from that internal partition.*

Here's the kicker. Now external SD cards are mounted somewhere else. (/mnt/extSD) The thing is that many apps don't work with the external SD card. Especially after the latest android release. With android KitKat apps with the, misnamed, external storage permission can read and write anywhere on the internal card. The problem is that now they can read anywhere on the external card, but can only write to a directory on it which is something like "/mnt/extSD/data/" There are a few exceptions for system apps like the camera, but regular apps have to use this weird naming scheme.

It's actually a good security feature, but the fact they don't apply it to the internal SD card just seems to be Google deliberately moving people away from phones with an external SD card. Not cool.

*Without rooting, and knowing exactly what you're doing at least. No way a non expert is doing this.

Comment: Re:What alternative could be built? (Score 2, Interesting) 143

How would an ecosystem be designed not to have these sorts of holes but also not to restrict what the owner of a device can use it for?

Just look at the Xprivacy extension for rooted android phones. Even iPhones let you disable app permissions. What has Google done about the issue? They reduced permissions into groups so users couldn't even know exactly what their apps have access to any more. Oh, and block apps from writing to most of the external SD card, but they can do whatever they want to the internal one. Guess Google doesn't like privacy or SD cards.

Comment: Re:No, no unfair advantage at all... (Score 1) 175

by EmperorArthur (#47543491) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

It's Deus Ex: Human Revolution coming to real life. Next thing you know it'll be someone with some other disability going ahead. Perhaps a footballer with a prosthetic that helps him catch and hold the ball. The tipping point (as it is in the game) is when you can get near natural control of a prosthetic by connecting it directly to a persons nerves or brain.

Comment: Re:Mill? (Score 2) 71

The nice thing is all the waste powder can be reused without having to melt it down, so there's almost no waste.

How big of an advantage is that, though? Melting down metal to reuse it is really easy, much easier than with other materials like glass or plastics. Especially in the case where you control the environment and can be assured of its purity, vs. collecting scrap metal or something (but even collecting scrap metal is profitable).

Well, it's Titanium, so it's probably quite a pain. Titanium has an ignition temperature that's lower than its melting point so you have to work with it in an inert atmosphere, and apparently it's still a pain even then. Given that I'll bet titanium scrap isn't worth a quarter of its value when in block form.

The article says "each surgery cost just 20% of what a traditional jaw implant surgery would have cost." It doesn't say how much of that was due to not having to recycle 80% of the material and how much of it was because the jaw was made to order. It certainly implied though that a decent bit of the savings was due to laser sinstering.

You're also forgetting the cost of the multi axis milling machines that this process replaces. If they're even close in price and you're using 80% less material then why wouldn't any manufacturing shop go for it?

Comment: Re:Mill? (Score 3, Interesting) 71

When they say 3D printed do they mean a metal mill, or can we 3D print with any random material now?
And if so, why not use the far more tried tested, and better alternative milling?

Nope, it's "laser sintering." They take metal powder and fuse it together one layer at a time. You put a layer of metal powder down, the laser fuses it together, then you put another layer of powder over it. Repeat until done.

The nice thing is all the waste powder can be reused without having to melt it down, so there's almost no waste. The other thing is you can print shapes that are really hard to mill. No more ridiculously complex 6 axes milling machines that the US treats like munitions. Just Google ITER sometime to see the craziness.

Comment: Re:But I thought it was already dead? (Score 1) 71

by EmperorArthur (#47351579) Attached to: Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

If Google kills unpopular services, why is Google+ not dead yet?

Because Google tends to spam you to set up an account if you use any of their other services. If you define active as making more than 3 posts a month then over 99% of Google+ account's aren't active.*

* I made those numbers up, but they're probably reasonably close to true.

Comment: Re:Apps which require location? (Score 2) 67

by EmperorArthur (#47348513) Attached to: Ars Takes an Early Look At the Privacy-Centric Blackphone

Take a look at Xprivacy. If you have a rooted android phone you can do that and more today. I think Cyanogenmod also has some sort of permission control built in now. Even Iphone's have basic permissions. The only thing that doesn't is stock Android and Windows.

Google knows there's a market for it, but they're worried about ad revenue or apps breaking because it would be "too much of a burden" on developers to make sure there apps behave when permissions are denied.

Comment: Re:Nobody tests RF ability anymore (Score 2) 198

by EmperorArthur (#47346181) Attached to: Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

Just once, I'd love to see some side by side comparisons of the end-to-end RF ability of these new phones. While voice calls, the kids tell me, are a thing of the past we are getting more and more dependent on data connections. And how you get data is via RF link. And yet I haven't even seen link quality mentioned in a single review for at least two generations of smart phones.

The truth is that there are few radio manufacturers. If you have Verizon in the US then it's almost certainly going to be a Qualcom radio. The exact same Qualcom radio that are in all the other phones of the same generation. Kind of hard to differentiate yourself if the carrier forces you to use the same thing everything else is using.

That brings up another point. Radios are carrier and region dependent. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA, while just about everyone else in the world (except Japan) use GSM. Worse, the US and Europe use different frequencies. I think most newer radios can handle them all, but that certainly wasn't true in the past.

Comment: Re:Um (Score 2) 93

by EmperorArthur (#47342271) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

I think it's even mentioned at one point of the Supreme Court's decision. They'll have to do a bit more than that, and only offer pre-recorded programming, but It'll probably be done and, if they have the money to survive the lawsuits, it'll end up before the Supreme Court again.

Comment: Re:Dream Theater (not the band) (Score 1) 310

Did you actually have the console, or just the HogPC software?

Because while it might be great for live shows, I've truly come to despise the hog when it comes to programming anything more complicated than a single scene. Seriously, I think I liked the lighting console that I had to use floppies and a VGA cable with better. At least that one was clear on exactly which scene I was working on, so I know exactly what happens when I press the next button. (that's without getting into overrides :/)

Seriously, the console/software is pretty good if you want colors on the fly with someone basically DJing the lights, but It would be a pita to run something like a play.

Comment: Re:Embedded System Designer's Opinon (Score 1) 240

by EmperorArthur (#47151035) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

But, But you can just put Linux on there. Then you can use Java for all those fancy things you mentioned. That will solve all your problems.
Seriously, I'm pretty sure I've seen this on an old Vonage box I was playing around with.

For many of the smaller microcontrollers we're lucky to have a full libc. It's always a wonderful day when I have to choose between rewriting an algorithm to use integers or taking a chance with new hardware with a built in floating point unit when the ship date is fast approaching.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 2) 240

by EmperorArthur (#47150431) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

A deadline has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind. No deadline, less motivation.

This is the next big one:

Honestly I wonder how many devices it will affect. I know anything which isn't patched and relies on security certificates is hosed, but what about the network printer that nobody cares about and is running completely unsecured?

Comment: Re:But will they also have GPS? (Score 1) 170

by EmperorArthur (#47148085) Attached to: Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

Will these puppies also have some form of GPS in them? Not only will they know what filth you are posting but they'll know where you posted it from.

With triangulation, and Doppler shift calculations it doesn't matter. Though it's much harder to do those things with everyone vs just have them send their position data. Not that ISPs don't already know everything about you.

Comment: HP Is Being Cheap (Score 4, Interesting) 121

by EmperorArthur (#47142195) Attached to: HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop

ChromeOS, in contrast, comes with more stringent system requirements that would cost HP a bit more.

In other words, this thing is going to be really slow if you try to use it for serious work. Why? Because HP is cheap and doesn't want to shell out for decent components. That and/or they like their locked down bootloader.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.