Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Longtime Android user, but contemplating Apple (Score 1) 123

The fact that these and the previous Stagefright bugs and others like them will never be fixed on most of the affected handsets, along with other nice things I'm hearing about the newer iPhones have me contemplating something that a year ago would have been anathema.

I may actually end up switching to an iPhone this fall instead of a new Android phone.

That may depend on some other things like root availability and CyanogenMod planning for possible handsets, but even with those a lot of the nice things on Android seem to be a product of the data being stored on Google's servers, while the impression I've gotten is that much more of Siri's appointment, etc. capabilities are managed at the point where it has access to the calendar - on the phone itself. I'm not feeling like I'll lose a lot of application capabilities since most apps on Android are going to have at least one solid corresponding app on iOS (in contrast to Windows Phone where I'm not sure there's even a really good text editor, much less a code editor).

Comment Every keyboard user will want one. (Score 1) 127

My wife finally gave in and is using a touchscreen-only model now, but only because there were no viable choices with keyboards and even now she still uses a stylus for most things including text input. It makes me nuts but I'm not going to successfully smack the stylus out of her hand any more than you could smack the cigarette out of the mouth of a smoker.

If Blackberry brings this out with 5.1 Lollipop or even manage to get Marshmallow on there, it will be the ONLY current keyboarded Android phone from a major vendor, the only available keyboarded phone with a screen over 4", one of two phones with a screen higher than VGA's 640x480 (the other is an LG from 2013 with 800x480 and Android 4.1.2). It may be a niche market, but if the phone as released doesn't outright suck it will be a niche market that Blackberry will own. If it's unlockable and can get updates in the future that'll just cement its potential for success even if BB doesn't do well with the OS.

IIRC, I saw some discussion that a leaked preview pic had a T-Mobile branded app icon which indicates that it's going to be GSM/LTE and likely will work just about anywhere in the world.

Comment Re:Exchange (Score 1) 889

Given its history of being acquired, sold, etc. and its most recent acquisition by Synacor I'm not sure I'd call Zimbra a "dead project," but it doesn't fill me with a feeling of comfort either. I get some feeling of "we can pull some cash out of this thing," though given the money involved in the purchase I can't see them doing it just to let it die.

I'm not 100% sure that all the features you're looking for are there, but it might also be worth looking at Kolab - I think much of it is there, but the folks we have using it are mostly just interested in the email side, so I don't have a lot of experience with other parts.

Comment Re:It is amazing... (Score 1) 288

My concerns include the following:

* Candidates may only request recounts in state and federal elections. This leaves lower levels (esp. cities and counties) with no recourse.
* If the margin originally reported is greater than 0.5% then the recount requester has to put up a bond to cover the full cost of the recount. Since the question being researched relates directly to unexpected statistical skew in voting results after voting units (precincts?) reach 500 votes, that skew if artificial and introduced at the tabulating stage might well result in a margin greater than 0.5%.

I'll grant though that perhaps she should have chosen a different place to check since the statistical pattern is not only seen in Kansas - it's just that the researcher is in Wichita, so presumably Kansas is the easiest place for her to work and she's an interested party as a resident of the state.

Comment Re:It is amazing... (Score 1) 288

Perhaps I am partisan, but I'd say that at this point there's enough information to make a credible argument for calling into question any election in Kansas. Of course, that would perhaps be vote fraud not voter fraud, and I'm not sure that the former is as worth of attention as the chance of catching those rare Ann Coulters of the world who vote illegally.

Of course, this could be a rework of the old saying, now to "It is better to hide ballots and let people think there's a criminal conspiracy rather than opening them up and proving it."

I think it'll be interesting to watch recount challenges that would normally be outside the margin where a recount would be allowed. Will they challenge that exclusion based on the unexpected statistical pattern without which they wouldn't be outside that margin?

Comment Re:It is amazing... (Score 0) 288

It's a amazing how many folks have a "Government is hiding something" default setting here. Who, without reading the background material, conclude that the Kansas Secretary of State is stonewalling with the "it's not legal to release this information" argument.

Under KS Secretary of State Kris Kobach, creator of the 2-tier voting system (you must provide proof of citizenship, e.g. passports to vote in state and local elections, but not in federal elections because federal law prohibits using that same type of restriction on the federal voting registration paperwork) I'd absolutely believe that he's hiding something. He's shown a history of official decisions that can at least be interpreted from the outside as motivated by politics more than the law, and if there's something squirrely going on with the voting machines I'd be unsurprised to see him working to keep it covered up.

Comment Re:False comparison (Score 1) 254

No, Microsoft added the Ribbon because product design internally is way way ahead of what you typically see released. I suspect that some of the folks working on the Ribbon design were looking ahead and expecting touchscreen interfaces at some point, though they may have expected them to be more stylus-driven instead of fingers.

Comment Is a false DMCA claim an act of LIBEL? (Score 1) 224

I don't think asking whether it's an act of Perjury is going to get you anywhere - is there a civil action you can bring for perjury?

On the other hand, in submitting a false DMCA notice against your videos the studio (or someone acting on its behalf) has claimed in writing that you have effectively stolen something of worth from them, and in so claiming they have cause you harm - your time in dealing with the false claim, possibly financial losses due to video removal, loss of reputation due to the claim, and (apparently) long-term damage even if their claim is proven unfounded in that just having a history of false claims against you can result in you losing the ability to work with a vendor (Vimeo).

I'd say that could absolutely be actionable.

Comment Re:Go after the owner/pilot (Score 1) 176

<blockquote>You're confusing "guidelines" with "laws" (or "regulations").</blockquote>

No, I'm not. I'm not talking about trying to get the police to go after them for violations of some Federal statute that they've never heard of, I'm talking about putting them on the defensive and getting them to back off of flying their drone over your house. Citing the guidelines is a good start on that.

And frankly if they're not flying it over your house then you just need to get over it.

Comment Go after the owner/pilot (Score 4, Interesting) 176

Going along with the wisdom that bringing a drone down may have some high costs associated with it and the associated recommendation of calling the police:

Be aware of the FAA's Model Aircraft Operations rules and recommendations (https://www.faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft/) and be ready to go after someone flying a drone around above you - in particular reference section 336(a)(2) of the laws linked on that page, the "community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization." If someone gets antsy when you're pissed off about their drone use, liberal application of the hammer of "Why are you violating the FAA guidelines on drone use? Whose community-based standards DON'T require that you avoid flying your drone above and around uninvolved people? Are you a registered member of that organization? What's their contact information and your membership information?" might be merited.

Depending on how things go you might actually get them ticketed for creating a public nuisance or something along those lines, and that's the kind of thing that can create a record that might be useful in the future.

Comment Silly string? (Score 2) 176

I wonder what a stream of Silly String would do - might be the best option of all, it probably wouldn't destroy or even crash it, but if it got into the propeller shaft area it'd gum things up enough to bring one down but the owner could still clean it out.

I can see the court case now "Your honor, he sprayed my drone with silly string!"

As for paintballs vs throwing things, paintballs don't actually mass that much, they're designed to splatter dispersing the impact, and they're not that dense. One of the animated GIFs in the article shows what looks like paintballs being fired at one but being slowed or stopped by the airstream from one of the propellers. A baseball isn't going to have the same problem, and if a propeller hits it the baseball isn't going to be sliced open and splatter.

Comment Garden hose (Score 3, Insightful) 176

Seems to me that a garden hose with a good high-quality nozzle may be your best bet. No questions about how close it is, no questions about using something dangerous, etc.

You still have the legal liability question, but I think the first thing to do on that if someone were to challenge you would be to subpoena any and all video, photo and GPS logs created by the person suing. Possibly (assuming you have a lawyer involved to write this up) with some sort of motion to compel or attempt to seize computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. along with flash cards, etc. to ensure that responsive materials weren't destroyed.

Of course, you might also look into the options of very low-powered (to avoid widespread damage, for safety, and for size) HERF guns. "Really, it just fell out of the sky! What the hell was the pilot doing dropping that thing on us? He could have hurt someone!"

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 200

How long ago was this? I never used Windows Phone 7 but didn't get the impression it was bad so much as it was limited in apps.

Anything back on Windows Mobile 6.x and earlier? Yeah, that may have been crap, but you're talking about something that was around the same time frame as pre-Cupcake Android.

Comment Agreed re: Windows Phone (Score 1) 200

I agree - if I could get even credible substitutes for some of the apps I use regularly on Android, I'd switch over with no complaints.

There are elements of Windows Phone that are actually very nice and that I miss on Android - I actually like the tiled interface on a phone screen where I loathed it on a PC. The ability to have variable-size tiles showing information means that I can fit everything nicely onto a single non-scrolling screen with easy access to all of it.

Comment To activate, you MUST upgrade not clean install (Score 1) 187

I downloaded and created a 64-bit install DVD for a test system which had Windows 7 Pro 32-bit because I was planning to switch it over to 64-bit anyway. Obviously this requires a clean install.

Turns out that to activate, you MUST do the upgrade from an activated Windows 7/8/8.1. Apparently that will register the hardware signature for the activated Windows 10 on Microsoft's servers. After you've upgraded to Windows 10 that way, you can then go back and do a clean install if desired - because that hardware signature is known it'll activate on its own after the clean install, or at least that's how I found it described.

I was just glad that I had the Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-bit ISO handy - I ended up reinstalling that, activating (had to call in, when they offer you the smartphone option, TAKE IT), never even installing updates, then installing the upgrade immediately.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955