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Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 126

by Geeky (#47945015) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

With Android you have to accept all permissions an app wants or not install it. On iOS apps have no permissions other than internet access and have to ask for permission. The permission can be refused, and the app still works just without the feature being requested - e.g. refuse location access and the app can't offer you location based features, obviously.

This granularity is not available with Android.

Comment: Re:show stopper (Score 1) 126

by Geeky (#47944593) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

Well hopefully it's not too long to wait until L comes out and the first one will be answered. As for the second, it's just irritating that I can't get apps that just connect to their respective services. Not much chance of it, but it'd be great if the likes of Twitter and Facebook released cut down versions that only connected to them and didn't demand access to contacts, SMS etc. It's a refreshing change when an app requires no special permissions, or at least none that aren't obvious for its primary role.

Comment: Re:show stopper (Score 2) 126

by Geeky (#47944113) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

I've seen talk of automatically unlocking when connected to specific bluetooth devices or by location (which looks like it might require GPS?). That's handy, but I haven't seen anything about specific wifi networks. I don't want GPS running all the time because of the battery drain, but would like my phone unlocked on my home wifi. Preferably out of the box without needing a third party app that wants all sorts of permissions.

Off topic, but for me the biggest issue with (non-rooted) Android is the permissions model that forces all or nothing acceptance for permissions. I want certain apps, but want to refuse them access to, say, SMS messages. I can't do that. The permissions manager feature appeared briefly in, I think 4.3, but then disappeared. That alone is the thing that has me considering jumping ship to Apple.

Comment: Re: What about other devices? (Score 1) 421

by Geeky (#47891451) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Which is the argument for why this doesn't apply to Apple hardware (computers and phones) and to an arguably lesser extent Android (in that case there is a separation - the phone is made by Samsung, HTC etc, the OS by Google, so the argument that they're integrated is weaker).

My point is that the average consumer doesn't care. They want a Windows machine, and probably don't really care if it's HP, Acer or whoever - it's Windows they want.

So while there's a legal argument around bundling, it's not really a consumer protection issue. The number of buyers who would actually want to install an alternative OS (or be able to) is tiny.

Comment: Re:What about other devices? (Score 1) 421

by Geeky (#47890575) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Yeah, except it is possible to get OSX running on a PC, or in a VM. Apple just don't allow it. It's a shame, because I'd love a mini tower with at least three drive bays, built in CD burner and card reader and only one mid-range graphics card - a nice neat device with no need for a nest of cables and external devices. But I also want OSX. Turns out I can't have both because Apple's idea of a high end workstation is basically an iMac without a screen in terms of how well it fits my needs.

It's a shame, because the best of both worlds would be OSX with the flexibility of building your own hardware.

Comment: Re: What about other devices? (Score 2) 421

by Geeky (#47890533) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

The question is where you draw the line. My smart TV clearly has an OS, but I'm not sure there's a clamour for the likes of Panasonic or Samsung to stop "bundling" the OS with the TV. The TV is capable of being a general purpose computer but most people wouldn't see it like that. People want to buy a TV that just works, they don't want to buy a TV and then figure out what OS to install on it to get it to work. Same with phones, for most people.

So why should computers be different? Bundling helps the average consumer more than it hurts - you buy a PC, you get Windows, you buy a Mac you get OSX, all ready to use straight out of the box.

Comment: Re:Lame (Score 1) 730

by Geeky (#47870039) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Google Now has gone downhill recently. It used to alert me to traffic problems on my commute at around the time I normally leave the office. Recently it's started alerting me an hour before (when the traffic is always worse), and repeating the notification when I clear it. It's also got inconsistent on other things - sometimes it tells me stuff, sometimes it doesn't. The email integration also only works for plain gmail accounts - not google apps accounts.

So from me it's close, but not that close. And it insists on taking up a home screen.

Comment: Re:Stick Shift transmissions. (Score 1) 635

by Geeky (#47790003) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

My old 1971 Beetle didn't have a manual choke, instead relying on a bi-metal strip to control the fuel mix. Didn't work. Spent winters braking with my heel on the throttle to stop it cutting out until it had fully warmed up. I don't think I'd go back to that, but I'd never have an automatic. They're not that common in the UK, and I wouldn't want to pay the premium and get out of the habit of driving a manual.

Comment: Re:Working from home (Score 1) 161

by Geeky (#47721715) Attached to: Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

I suppose the logic is that the internet is now on a par with basics like power for being essential and ubiquitous, and you presumably don't get reimbursed a portion of your electricity bill for working from home.

I don't think that's good logic - I know people who only have 3G access because it's less hassle than setting up a fixed line and ADSL if you're young, renting and move often.

Where I work, working from home is seen as a benefit, so you take the trade off - it's still cheaper for me to work from home than spend the fuel on commuting.

Comment: Re:hum (Score 1) 65

by Geeky (#47636611) Attached to: Red Hat CEO: Open Source Goes Mainstream In 2014

And I could grow my own food, too...

Most people don't have the skills to change OSS code. I enjoy photography and, like many photographers, use Photoshop. For most of the photographers I know, just using Photoshop is enough of a technical challenge - suggesting they make code changes to the Gimp to make it do what they need would be like telling them to design and build a car from scratch rather than buy one from Ford.

I am a programmer, and I daresay if I really, really wanted to I could contribute, but to do so I'd be spending most of my free time on getting tools to work rather than using tools I've bought to do the things I actually want to do.

Comment: Re:Nerd Blackface (Score 1) 442

by Geeky (#47609957) Attached to: Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Up to a point, and see my reply to retchdog about circumstances. However, there are people living with chronic pain and disability who don't choose suicide. There has to be a trigger somewhere that makes some people suicidal in those circumstances and others not.

And yes, not everyone's pain is physical, but pain is pain - if we understood the workings of the mind better, we might be able to help those in any kind of pain.

Where it gets more complicated for me is that I do actually support assisted dying, with appropriate safeguards. So I suppose I see that it can be rational in some circumstances - for the terminally ill, for example, or those diagnosed with alzheimers. I'm equally aware that seems to contradict my view that suicide is a symptom of a potentially treatable mental illness.

It's a difficult and nuanced subject. Ideal for discussion on Slashdot, where open minded discussion is to be expected! No, I'm really not new here ;)

That wasn't a dig at your response, btw, in case it wasn't obvious.

Comment: Re:Nerd Blackface (Score 1) 442

by Geeky (#47609785) Attached to: Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

It's difficult because we understand so little about the mind that we can't really tell what falls within normal bounds and what is potentially damaging to the individual. particularly with regard to suicide. An analogy is blood pressure - we have what we call a normal range, and offer medication to individuals with abnormally high or low blood pressure. There is no well understood equivalent for behaviour. My belief, based on what I read, is that the trend in the USA has been to over medicate and smooth out behaviours that fall within normal boundaries, but as I say, that's based on media perception.

Circumstances can certainly be a trigger, in the same way that underlying physical conditions, or some cancers, can be triggered. Not everyone who smokes will get lung cancer, but it increases the risk. Bullying may be similar for mental health problems. Anecdotally, I lost most of my hearing in one ear and now have constant tinnitus on that side. At the hospital, I was offered counselling as apparently the tinnitus can drive some sufferers to suicide. I'm lucky - I experience it as an inconvenience and can live with it.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang