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Comment Re:Will Tizen allow AdBlock ? (Score 1) 166

Windows 10 Mobile does still exist (well, it's technically pre-release right now, but it's easy to get on Windows phones and some even come with it). It's a solid OS that provides a degree of balance between Android and iOS on openness (easy sideloading - easier than Android these days, even - and more permissive than Apple on what an app is allowed to do). There are even new phones with the OS still being announced; it's not as if it's been abandoned.

Its main problem, of course, is application availability. Microsoft (and W10M users) is hoping that developers will embrace the Windows 10 Universal app platform, but Microsoft may ultimately need to complete the work they began to get Android apps working on the platform, which they demonstrated partial support for a few months ago and then removed without further ado.

Comment Re:Market share is what it is (Score 1, Informative) 311

In no particular order, and off the top of my head:

Win10 uses less RAM and boots faster than Win7. *
Win10 has a built-in "reset the OS" feature that basically does the "clean re-install" process for you, like factory-reset on a phone (Win7 doesn't have this). *
Win10 has a pretty good built-in email client, easily an alternative to Outlook if you don't need full MS Exchange support (it has some Exchange support).
Win10 supports sandboxed apps seamlessly with "classic" desktop apps, which largely fixes Win8's "Metro apps suck" problem.
Win10 has virtual desktop support built in.
Win10 has greatly-improved multi-monitor support, such as showing the taskbar across monitors or not, and controlling which taskbars icons appear on. *
Win10 has significantly improved on the "Aero Snap" feature (snap to corners, move the edge between two apps with one drag, etc.).
Win10 has native USB3 support. *
Win10 has native support for mounting ISO files. *
Win10 supports using a Microsoft account to sign in, so all your PCs get the same OS settings, wallpapers, automatic sign-in to Skype and OneDrive, etc. *
Win10's notification center lets you see alerts that you missed or ignored.
Win10 finally has a decent terminal emulator (conhost.exe) that supports things like line-based select and horizontal resize (with re-flow, where relevant).
Win10 has Cortana, which automatically does stuff like track package shipping numbers and tell you when to leave to get to events in your calendar.

That's far from a complete list, but I didn't consult any lists anybody else put together either. That's all just stuff I actually use. I also omitted everything that has to do with touch, focusing exclusively on stuff useful with a keyboard and mouse. Of course, I also didn't list the negatives (and there are some) but there are definitely many things in Win10 that are "truly better than Windows 7".

* denotes changes that were introduced in Win8.x and are still in Win10.

Comment Re:This isn't really about Apple (Score 1) 180

Well, maybe not using official third-party SDKs, but it's certainly not impossible. OpenVPN relies on the TUN/TAP driver, which I'm not sure anybody has bothered to port to WP8.1/W10M yet, but on a jailbroken phone (yes, they exist) you can do it.

There is also an official API for TLS-based VPNs, which may be usable for OpenVPN, though you'd need to re-write the client to use those APIs instead of using TUN/TAP like it usually does. They only officially allow a few limited partners to use those APIs (they aren't in the public SDK), but in practice you can certainly write an app that uses them.

Whether you could get it published in the store is another question, of course. At least W10M (finally) has dead-easy sideloading right out of the box.

Comment Re:8 was great, but 10 might kill it. (Score 1) 456

The Lumia 950 (and 950 XL) are the new flagships of the Windows Phone 8^W^W10 Mobile family, and hardware-wise, they're great. Unfortunately, they were released with a very premature version of W10M. While it's technically branded as "Windows 10 Mobile Preview", you don't usually see that "preview" part; they don't make it obvious. They probably should have. The OS has improved dramatically in the last couple months, from complete shit in November to "only occasionally completely fails to do stuff like launch the music player" today, but there are damn good reasons why Microsoft hasn't started pushing out W10M upgrades to existing devices (unless the user specifically opts in to the preview program).

Unfortunately, in their rush to get the new Lumia flagships out the door in time for the holiday shopping season, Microsoft inadvertently exposed people (who probably had to be nagged for months before upgrading to Win10 on their PCs) to some very beta-quality software. Bad enough at any time, but they did it on expensive, brand-new devices that people rely on for a lot of their daily live these days.

It's given W10M so much reputational harm that I wouldn't be surprised if they alter the branding slightly when they decide to make the W10M release "official". The current builds, which I'd call RC quality, are definitely getting there... but anybody who bought a Lumia 950 [XL] before January and didn't already know exactly what they were getting into software-wise probably got a very unpleasant shock that soured them on the whole device family.

Comment Re:MS is not abandoning the platform (Score 1) 456

You actually can; there was a jailbreak for RT 8.0 within a few months of release. RT8.1 took much longer - Microsoft for some reason put a ton of effort into anti-jailbreaking for 8.1, lest somebody do something useful with the device - but that too has been defeated. The jailbreaks let you run arbitrary Win32 or .NET programs (the Win32 ones need recompiling for ARM, but Visual Studio can do that; the .NET ones work as-is). People quickly ported everything from Vim and Notepad++ to Python and Node.JS (not that I could tell you why...) over to RT.

A few custom programs for RT also came along, most notably a x86 compatibility layer that uses dynamic recompilation and shims that thunk Win32 calls to the ARM libraries.

For what it's worth, some WP8.x phones can now be fully rooted as well, even after upgrade to W10M.

Comment Censorship? (Score 1) 539

They're absolutely correct; the makers of Adblock Plus are engaging in censorship of digital advertising created by some others and allowing through the digital advertising created by some others, which isn't optimal and thus there are different solutions which do not opt for such fickle behavior.

However, the key part here is that it isn't by force, it's by choice of the enduser of the product; in direct juxtaposition of being on the receiving end of forced digital advertising delivery.

In almost all cases, in order for me to view content, I must first opt in, by only my visiting the site in question, to digital advertisements before I am able (if at all) to disable the advertising through payment. Instead of bitching, we just utilize these tools to (UBlock Origin is my preference) to censor our own content.

I mean, I get it; they are fighting hard to reduce that 30% of Europeans and 10% of Americans blocking ads but enough w/the rhetoric, please.

Comment Re: "child porn" laws are somewhat absurd (Score 1) 301

Don't know of any case in the US where the only minor involved was 17 and 11 months, but in a broader sense it appears that it does happen.

@xiando's explanation of the laws is essentially correct; although age of consent varies by state (not nation) in the USA, sexual pictures of anybody under 18, even if voluntarily generated and only shared privately with other minors who are already in a (legal!) relationship with the minor pictured, are legally child porn and have led to child porn prosecutions and even convictions.

Comment Re:One obvious question. (Score 1) 301

Ah, if *most* jurisdictions have provisions, that means it's not a problem? For example, feel free to peruse the relevant WA state legal code and point out the relevant provision (spoiler: the ACLU doesn't seem to think it exists). In any case, 18 US code 2251, a law against child porn is a federal law and - while I believe it only covers inter-state or foreign transmission - contains no such provisions. Fortunately, minors are definitely never in a different state from their SOs, and if they somehow were, would never request or send naughty pictures, right? Not that I know of any cases of the feds prosecuting such a case of private communications between consenting teens, but if they did the law would appear to be on their side.

While states certainly have some de facto control over what cases they will prosecute, in many cases they have certainly attempted to convict sexting teens as child pornographers, and sometimes they have succeeded. The situation does seem less outrageous than I believed it to be, especially after the first few cases to make the news generated enough outrage at this travesty, but it's still far from perfect. - 17 and 16 year old in Florida prosecuted, found guilty, conviction upheld on appeal. - 15 year old arrested on felony charge (apparently got put on no-cell-phone-or-unsupervised-Internet probation, charges probably dropped afterward) - 7 teens charged with felonies, at least 6 plea bargained to misdemeanors (better than it could have been, still very wrong) - Key quote: "... anyone who sends obscene images of persons under the age of 18, whether it’s of themselves or someone else, are violating child pornography laws,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept. - Cops photographing a 17-year-old's junk to try and enter the pictures as evidence. They eventually backed down, after massive public ridicule, on the plan to have him given an injection to make him erect before photographing him *again*. - Provisions, you say? Nope, can't even downgrade it to a misdemeanor, gotta stay a felony!

Sorry for doing the research...

Comment Re: Space Race! (Score 1) 132

Isn't H2, even liquefied, a lot less dense than RP-1 or even (liquid) methane? Lower density means more volume for the same mass. Sufficiently lower density that even with H2's increased efficiency (i.e. you need less mass of it) you need more volume.

While that's irrelevant in space, it's very relevant for getting *to* space. More volume means you need a bigger rocket, with more air resistance, more metal (increasing both materials and manufacturing labor costs), more windage if you try to land it, and so on.

Comment Re:This is crazy... (Score 1) 301

I thought the argument was that if you want it, you're creating a demand for it, which means it will be created, which means children will be abused (or, you know, will take pictures to give to their boyfriend, who then posts them on 4chan after they break up, whatever). I hadn't heard "victimizes those displayed" before. It's a better argument for banning such media if you take the premise (that viewing causes victimization) as true, but that seems a shakier premise than that demand creates a market...

Comment Re:One obvious question. (Score 4, Insightful) 301

Yes, a high school couple (at least one of whom is 17) sexting each other is definitely causing harm to innocent victims! After all, they are manufacturing, possessing, and distributing sexually explicit images of minors. Won't somebody think of the children?!?

The child porn laws are broken, very badly. There's no room in them for taking the actual situation into consideration. That's what happens when you laws that are written in absolutes, when the world is more complex than righteously angry legislators (and the fools who vote for them) can bother to take into consideration.

People making claims like "always causes harm to an innocent victim" without actually paying any attention to what qualifies as "childporn" in this country are part of the problem. Yes, this means you.

Comment Re:Essentially a ULA contract? (Score 3, Informative) 57

Rockets cost a lot of money, but spacecraft aren't cheap, either. Dragon, Cygnus, and Dream Chaser (assuming it ever goes anywhere) are major R&D costs, plus a bunch of complicated engineering to manufacture.

As for launchers, Dream Chaser may currently be slated to fly on Atlas V, but Falcon Heavy (or something else) could end up taking that role. By the time Dream Chaser is operational, Atlas V may well no longer be the best option in its weight class.

Also, for something that needs a pretty heavy booster, the Dream Chaser cargo capacity is miserable. I suppose that's not surprising, given the weight cost of its chosen landing mechanism, but it does make me wonder *why* they chose that mechanism.

Comment Re:Oh Happy Days (Score 1) 155

IE11 is stull supported, for legacy sites that need things which Edge doesn't provide (like ActiveX, or any of the other ~95% of IE's features that Edge doesn't have). It's mostly used by businesses, but anybody can use it, even on Win10.

Of course, lots of people still aren't on Win10. You can't install Edge on Win7, or Win8.x. So no, IE11 is definitely not going away yet.

I really wish they would just let IE use Edge's rendering engine. They could even call it... Edge mode! Fall back to Trident for legacy pages, but use EdgeHTML on everything else; sites that are coded to cutting-edge standards would work, legacy sites (including business-internal ones) would work, and nobody would use that abomination of an overgrown phone browser that Microsoft tried to make the default on Win10 PCs.

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