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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:^^Winner (Score 2) 214

by Gadget_Guy (#48897907) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

The idea of the Doomsday clock being closer than the cold war is silly.

Considering that the doomsday didn't eventuate during the cold war then it is not necessarily wrong to say that it was closer then than now. The main difference between the danger being face now and then was that back then you didn't have a huge segment of the population disbelieving the experts who said that the world was in danger. Nobody was so stupid enough to say that just because people died before the atom bomb was invented that it means that bomb couldn't be responsible for killing anyone now (to adopt one of the anti-AGW lines).

We are actually closer to danger now because politically we are further from a solution than we were back then. At least both sides recognised that they had to consider the ramifications of their actions and that something had to be done. Fast forward to today, and the two sides now want different things; one wants to change things while the other wants to keep the status quo. That is far more dangerous than what we had in the past.

The other crucial difference is that for the danger of doomsday to exist back then, someone would have to make the decision to "push the button". Someone would have to decide to be actively responsible for armageddon. The danger we face now is opposite. If we don't take action this time then the predicted doomsday will happen by itself. Nobody has to press any button to make bad things happen. We are closer to doomsday because the button was already pressed years ago when we started down the path of rapid expansion of our use of fossil fuels.

The fact is that the doomsday clock actually worked during the cold war. It kept the issue in the minds of the people, so that the political will was there to solve the problem. The clock wasn't accurate nor inaccurate. It was a symbol.

In the same way, the changing of the clock isn't striving for accuracy in as much as it is raising the notion that we are facing a crisis in the public perception. And it is needed now more than ever.

Comment: Re:Shouldn't it be past 12? (Score 1) 214

by Gadget_Guy (#48897789) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

We were told in something like 2005 that unless there was action X within 4 years then we would be heading to disaster.

No, we were not told that. Your assertion is simply a lie. Global warming happens over a much longer time period than this. There is not one single climatologist who would make such an absurd statement as to predict disaster within 4 years.

Comment: Re:Windows 8.1: Not quite as shitty as believed. (Score 1) 130

by Gadget_Guy (#48810167) Attached to: PC Shipments Are Slowly Recovering

Microsoft made 7 available again, reversing earlier decision not to sell it.

Is that really true though? Microsoft have always sold the previous version of Windows alongside the current version - at least as far back as Windows 2000. I know this because I worked at a company that consistently standardised on really old versions of software and we would often buy copies of the previous version of Windows just before the current one got superceded.

It would not be unprecedented for people to notice something like that and just presume that it must be Microsoft getting worried about the sales of the current version. Then when enough people repeat the misinformation it becomes "general knowledge" that everyone "knows".

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48740983) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

There's already cheap 2g phones you can buy that have those things.

You are correct that there are already cheap 2G phones. But now in Nokia's line their cheap phone can do web browsing too. If you don't have a data plan then you simply don't use that feature, but it is not like the phone becomes worthless simply because you haven't had to pay extra for the facility. You are at no disadvantage if you cannot access data on your plan.

These phones also support multiple languages, but nobody complains that this is useless unless the user attends night school to learn all those languages. Nobody complains that this phone (like the previous models that it replaces) have a camera, despite that some people will never use the feature. You are under no obligation to use all the features of the phone. It is not like Nokia are encouraging people to pay extra to get the model of phone that has web browsing; it is just becoming a standard capacity of their entire range now.

If you read the article it says nothing about being "made for countries that still use 2g". The whole emphasis is the price and affordability of the phone. This would indicate this is made for a market where there are more expensive higher quality options.

The article doesn't need to state this - it just stands to reason! Nokia are not going to sell this in countries where 2G does not exist or is being phased out. As for there being more expensive options available, I don't see what difference that makes. If web browsing is really important to you, and you can afford it, then you probably will want to pay extra for a better screen and faster data. But this phone allows those people who will possibly only use it once in a blue moon; those who want a cheap and small phone that won't break if they drop it.

Comment: Re:Not that impressive (Score 1) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48737689) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

You are comparing the street price of one product with manufacturer's recommended price of another product. I imagine that the 215 will sell for about 5-10 pounds less than the 220. The Nokia 220 is about a year old, so it is possible that the 215 will replace it. The camera is much better in the 220, but the USB is only version 1.1 in the old phone. Other than that they seem identical, but there may be software differences.

Comment: Re:How is this [OPEN!] internet-friendly? (Score 1) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48737523) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

This is a device not unlike the Nokia 108 RM-945, both of which seem designed to suck payments at the teets of the GSM-provider/subsidizer. You can transfer your data using SD-cards or GSM; that's it.

Or plug the phone in to your USB port on the computer and it acts like an external drive - just like you would do if it was a camera or MP3 player. That's the easiest solution.

If you are referring to not being able to browse the Internet using WiFi, then that is not really what this phone is about. Nobody is going to use a device that is so slow and has such a tiny screen for doing lots of web browsing. This is a device for making phone calls, but can do the occasional look up of a website. In fact I would guess that most users of this phone would probably never use the web browsing capability at all.

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 2) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48737431) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

It's worthless without a data plan, which I haven't seen any mention of.

Why would it be worthless? It would still work as a phone, camera and MP3 player. Obviously, the web browser wouldn't work. If you don't have a data plan you could save money by buying a phone without a web browser at all - except that you really aren't going to find one much cheaper than $29.

And hearing it's likely 2g makes it nearly useless for most people.

Well, yes. This is a phone made for countries that still use 2G. There are still some countries where 2G is the only choice. Just because it is not the choice for your neck-of-the-woods doesn't mean that they should not make the phone.

Comment: Re:April 1st (Score 1) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48737149) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

No, this phone is basically a GPRS enabled camera -all the processing and storage will be happening in the (Microsoft) cloud. As there are digital cameras in this price range this phone is actually possible.

What? A 0.3 Megapixel, Internet-connected camera? I think not.

These types of phones do not require a data-connected phone plan to work. If you take pictures on the phone, they will save to the micro-SD memory card that you install. Then you simply plug in the micro-USB cable to your computer and copy the picture files (which are saved in JPEG format). There is no cloud involved.

There are a lot of different models of feature phones from Nokia, and not a single one of them works in the way that you suggest. They are designed so that they work in countries that don't have a mobile Internet infrastructure.

Comment: Re:It may not be for me... (Score 3, Interesting) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48737009) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

It's pretty much the same setup as the XBox, I suspect - sell the hardware at a loss, and hope to make it up in apps and API subscription fees.

If this was all about making money from downloaded apps then they would have included more than 8MB of memory on the thing. These are just basic feature phones that do a few simple things for a cheap price.

There are a lot of people out there who don't want to carry a huge smart phone; they just want something small that can make calls and which doesn't run out of batteries at the end of each day. You tend not to hear about these people, because by definition they are not big on social media.

They aren't "saving up for an Android phone", because you can pick up one of those for just $40 more. They are probably the ones who still buy diaries made from dead trees. It is a niche market that will never go away no matter how cheap smart phone become.

Comment: Re:Kin 2.0? (Score 1) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48736691) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

Because it's clearly impossible to change software loads, and downscale specs.

By that rational you could say that it looks like an iPhone, only with a different software load and downscaled specs! Surely for the phone to look like a Kin it has to have at least one feature that is identical to Microsoft's abortion of a phone.

The fact is that this is a slight evolution of a product line that Nokia have had since before they were bought out by Microsoft. It is in no way reminiscent of the Kin. So sure, they could have released a phone based on the old social-media phone, but if you look at every technical spec and user interface then you can see that they clearly didn't.

All you have to do is compare the picture on the article with this Nokia phone from 2007 and you can see that this is just standard Nokia interface and feature spec.

Comment: Re:Got Root? (Score 4, Informative) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48736559) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

Even though the article claims that it is not typo, I find it startling that it would actually pack only 8 MB of RAM. It must be an error?

I don't think that it is an error. In fact, it is double the RAM that is in the Nokia 108, which was a particularly disgusting phone that had a very limited support for Bluetooth that only allowed transferring contacts and not connecting audio devices! Surely connecting a headset is what people think of when they talk about having a Bluetooth enabled phone! It implemented just enough to tick a feature box, but not enough to be useful.

The slightly good news is that the 215 at least allows for Bluetooth headsets, although even it misses some (unnamed) features.

Comment: Re:Kin 2.0? (Score 2) 150

by Gadget_Guy (#48736377) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils Nokia 215, a $29 Phone With Internet Access

Looks like their last cheap phone for kids, with a layout change.

In what way does it look like the Kin? It doesn't have the same form factor (QWERTY keyboard vs traditional Nokia-style). It doesn't use the same software user interface. It doesn't have the same features (eg. 8MP camera on the Kin vs 0.3MP on this new phone, 256MB RAM vs 8MB, etc). The Kin used a proprietary browser labelled IEMobile, while this phone uses Opera Mini. The operating system on the Kin was based on Windows CE, while this phone uses Nokia's System 30.

The Kin was marketed specifically as a wanky social-media platform, while this phone is really just a traditional feature phone like Nokia has made for years. It is certainly nothing new, nor does it have anything particularly Microsoft about it as Nokia have made feature phones with web browsers since before smartphones were invented. And it doesn't deserve being splashed on the front page of Slashdot.

Comment: Re:It's Dupe-L-Licious! (Score 4, Funny) 121

by Gadget_Guy (#48732953) Attached to: Netflix Begins Blocking Users Who Bypass Region Locks

I thought that "cruel and unusual punishment" was against the Geneva Conventions.

You are right. It is against the conventions. But if we have learned anything from the patent system, it's that "cruel and unusual punishment on the Internet" is different enough to be allowed (and quite possibly patentable).

Comment: Re: noooo (Score 1) 560

by Gadget_Guy (#48723375) Attached to: 2014: Hottest Year On Record

No, they have not dropped that claim. Here's a comment by a very low UID making that exact claim a few days ago:

Climate change is a non-issue. The temperature has NOT risen since 1998. Fact.

No, that is not the same thing. The original claim was that it was actually getting colder. They justified this by comparing the yearly (and sometimes the average) temperatures to the outlier data point of 1998 (which was not representative of the surrounding years). Sometimes people would try to back up the claim by pointing to journal articles describing how the rate of change had gone down - which is not the same thing!

Once it became apparent that it wasn't actually getting colder, without fanfare they changed it to "the temperature has not risen". Amazingly, they got away with the switch. The deniers often take the slightest mistake from AGW camp (even from decades ago) as some proof that nobody knows what they are talking about. It is a shame that they don't hold themselves accountable to the same criteria.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie