I doubt it. The situation was the same before the lawsuits and regulatory pressure.
"No Android device I'm aware of uses flash for swap"
Then you're not paying attention. There are a number of mods to allow exactly this kind of operation, particularly on older hardware with "only" 1Gb ram.
MicroSD cards are cheap, so burning them out isn't a big deal.
Heh. Obviously I was talking about OEM devices, not user customizations. If you include custom configs you'll find just about everything.
Er, vast majority. If only there were some way to see my post before I submit it...
Ah, I see what you're saying. In all of those cases, I'd say Google shifted to working on a component that integrates with other Google services. It does happen that the service-integrated component largely duplicates the features of an existing OSS component, plus adds a lot, but I don't think that's because of any move to close Android.
At this point there's really no need for Google to maintain generic apps for all of those things; there are plenty out there in every category you mentioned. I'm less sure that there are open source apps in all of those categories... but anyone who wants is free to pick up that ball. I suppose it would be nice if Google were to do it, but that's no longer necessary for the success of the platform.
I reiterate that the above represents only my personal opinions. Google pays me to write code, not define platform strategy (except in my narrow area) and certainly not to act as a proper corporate spokesperson. When I say stupid stuff it reflects on me.
The volume thing annoys me, too. I fix it with a Tasker profile.
As for navigation, try using voice to start the navigation. It's zero-click. I don't know that the maps team intentionally increased the number of taps in the non-voice case, but I think it may actually be a good thing for safety if it encourages more people to use voice rather than taking attention to poke at their screen.
Sure, and the history of life on earth is one of massive, unexpected mass extinctions, which often followed those massive, unexpected perturbations
Mass extinctions which are, most likely, also the biggest driver of speciation and diversity
I think the Holocene Extinction may be the exception to that trend, though.
I'm 90% certain no officially supported device ever used flash memory for swap.
By "officially supported" do you mean officially-supported by CM, or by device vendors?
That said, I fully agree with the people that are seeing a slow move towards AOSP becoming more and more closed source.
From within Android, I see no such movement. In the short term security concerns have motivated the movement of more stuff into GMS, where it can be updated by Google. Eventually I think the larger update problem will be resolved and that movement will be reversed.
Google is quite happy to see CM and similar third party ROMs flourish
Flourish or tolerate? Honest question. I've seen entire ROMs stymied by small things Google could/should have done as just a decent vendor, regardless of the ROM in question. For instance, a couple years ago the Droid3 port fizzed because the then-Google-owned Motorola wouldn't talk to anybody about releasing specs to turn on the camera.
Your example just demonstrates that Google really did allow Motorola to operate as a separate OEM, not directly influenced by the Android team. It's also possible that Motorola didn't have the option of releasing the specs because of agreements with the camera manufacturer. (Note that I don't know anything about that specific incident, and hadn't even heard of it until you mentioned it. I do know that Google would like its Nexus devices to be much more open than they are, but can't get there without becoming a hardware manufacturer.)
If all life on earth was destroyed, there'd be one hell of a stable equilibrium, but probably not one many of us would like to occur.
If that were an even remotely-likely outcome, it would have happened. Life is extraordinarily good at surviving and evolving new equilibria.
Natural ecosystems can only be expected to be robust against perturbations they have faced regularly for a time, which usually doesn't include much of what humans do.
Meh, the history of life on this planet is one long series of massive, unexpected perturbations, ranging from ice ages so severe that the equatorial seas are covered with several meters of ice, to massive volcanic eruptions that block most global insolation for years, to massive meteor strikes. In addition, the ice core records show that the planet has undergone radical climate change (much faster and more extreme than what we're currently seeing) without any cause at all as far as we can detect, as recent as 60K years ago.
As long as we rely on nature to survive, we shouldn't scoff at the idea that our actions can have disastrous consequences on our own habitat.
Certainly. Equally, we shouldn't ignore the fact that doing nothing at all (assuming we could) will also have disastrous consequences on our own habitat. Earth changes all the time, in all sorts of ways. If we want stability we need to learn to actively engineer the planet.