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Comment: For certain values of 'available', apparently. (Score 4, Insightful) 77

by John Pfeiffer (#47876409) Attached to: Amazon Instant Video Now Available On Android

I've got five Android 4.x devices that run Netflix and Hulu and everything just fine, and Amazon STILL won't let me install their fucking app on ANY OF THEM. So much for 'releasing' it.

Paying for Prime and possibly buying videos apparently isn't enough. If I want to watch Amazon Instant Video on something other than a computer, I have to buy their overpriced gimped non-standard Android tablet?! (Or even worse, an iOS device!)

Last time I was this pissed at them, it was when they suddenly removed THE ENTIRETY of "How It's Made" from the stuff Prime members could watch for free, not long after I'd deleted all my HDTV caps of it off my network drive to save space.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 533

by John Pfeiffer (#47856885) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Tell that to my 10 megaBYTE per second downstream that still has trouble with YouTube sometimes. 4Mbps would be unusably slow on the modern internet, unless you turned off all media, and adblocked everything. Hell, 10Mbps would still feel like drowning in quicksand to me, even for basic web browsing...and I doubt I'm alone.

Comment: But that little screen... (Score 1) 116

by John Pfeiffer (#47817071) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Trying to read on that little cellphone screen might eventually drive you nuts though... You'd be better off buying a Chinese-made 7" Android tablet like I did. (I four of them for ~$40 each, half off though.) Make damn fine readers, and good for a lot of other tasks, too.

Though I also picked up an Android phone with a bad speaker for $13 on eBay that I use as a wifi mouse/keyboard and Mediaplayer remote for my PCs. All in all, a pretty good supplement to my 'digital life'.

Comment: Re:Makes perfect sense to me. (Score 1) 749

by John Pfeiffer (#47455137) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

A re-reading of the summary and a skimming of TFA shows no mention of the data in question being that of a third party. I assumed the emails they were talking about pertained TO Microsoft somehow.

That's what -I'm- talking about; companies trying to weasel out of handing over electronic information requested in a search warrant simply because the server it's on isn't in the same country.

NOT a company, such as a service provider, being asked to turn over a third party's data. That's a whole different exploding can of worms already, even before the jurisdiction problem enters into it.

Comment: Makes perfect sense to me. (Score 1) 749

by John Pfeiffer (#47454323) Attached to: Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

I've seen a lot of pissing and moaning about this already, and it's always "Ooooh, look! The Americans think all the world's servers belong to them!" (Which for some reason I imagine in a British accent...I don't know what that's about.)

I'd really like to know why a sizable portion of the world seems to think a company should be able to do something meriting investigation, and when law enforcement comes in with a valid warrant for their electronic data, go "GUESS WHAT?! THE SERVER'S IN URUGUAY! SUCK DEZE NUTZ!"

It's a bullshit legal dodge. As far as I know, someone in the same situation wouldn't be able to move money to another country to keep it out of the hands of the law (At least not without laundering it, which is in itself a crime), this is just bringing how we handle digital information up to the same standards.

Besides, what does everyone else care? It's American companies that this affects. It just makes data belonging to THOSE companies that resides on servers in other countries accessible to US law enforcement. I seriously doubt the FBI is going to show up at a server farm in Finland and demand to cart away the whole rack. (Though they might try that on US soil.)

Comment: Re:Boards or ROM's (Score 1) 133

Fighting games. The move durations, defensive reaction times, and openings are all measured in frames. Timing is absolutely critical. In high-level play, you may only have an opening of a handful of frames in which to land an attack...and that's at 60 frames per second.

If your game isn't running 100% frame-accurate (Try as they might, emulators really don't), you might as well be button-mashing.

That's why those of us who care about that sort of thing take extreme measures to ensure an authentic experience. (Also, it's just totally bitchin'!)

Comment: Wow, finally. (Score 4, Interesting) 182

These sound remarkably like the cheap Chinese tablets you can find on DealExtreme. I was wondering when a big brand was going to start slapping their name on them.

The $100 price-point is actually a bit of a deal, since that's basically what that 'tier' (The quad cores and 1024 displays) costs from DealExtreme, but I presume you're getting HP warranty and support with these. So not bad!

I bought four different 7-inch tablets in their $65-$80 price range during a half-off sale last May. My favorite is the ICOO ICOU7W.

Its specs:
800x600 screen, the 4:3 aspect being one of my favorite features, because I use it primarily for reading.
1.0GHz Allwinner A13 (Single core)
512mb of RAM
Mali-400 GPU @ 350MHz
8gb of internal storage, plus a microSD slot. (They all have microSD slots)
Front-facing camera
Android 4.0.4 (I could probably update it, but haven't felt the need.)
3000mAh battery, 2A DC fast-charge jack*

On sale, I paid a whopping $36.45 for it. ;)

Only bad things I can say about it are no OTG on the USB port, and no bluetooth...but mostly it's the missing OTG that's a letdown. There's also no GPS which is a little bit of a bummer. Only one of the tablets I bought had GPS; the Erani E70. For some absurd reason, the MK808 'Android TV' stick I bought for $25 also had GPS. (I mean, really?!)

*It's funny, because under full load-- playing HD video, screen brightness up all the way, using the wifi, etc. --normal USB can't actually charge faster than you're discharging... So the 2-amp DC jack is handy for when you're using it in bed or something. I have no idea if the USB port is capable of fast-charging from fast-charge capable ports... I haven't tried it, but I just got a 10,400mAh portable USB battery from Jackery... If it can't, I'll have to make a USB to DC jack, so I can fast-charge through the DC jack using the 2-amp output USB port on the Jackery battery.

Comment: Re:No bluetooth? (Score 1) 182

The lack of an OTG-enabled USB port is usually a bigger issue than a lack of bluetooth.

I bought four uber-cheap Chinese 7-inch tablets, and none had bluetooth...which never really bothered me. Though it was a shortcoming on the one I gave to my father; It had poor sound (Badly-placed speaker or something), and he would've preferred to be able to use bluetooth headphones like he does with his PC.

Mostly it was the fact that two out of the four didn't have OTG functionality on their USB ports that was the real shortcoming, because it meant no interfacing with little gadgets, or using it as a terminal for my tinkering.

These HP tablets sound like re-branded cheap Chinese tablets. Just a tier up from mine, because they put in extra for the quad cores.

Comment: Patience is a virtue. (Score 1) 274

by John Pfeiffer (#46954939) Attached to: First Arrest In Japan For 3D-Printed Guns

If I'm not mistaken, in addition to absolute gun control, Japan also practices what we need here in the states; bullet control. i.e. it would basically be impossible for him to acquire ammunition in the first place. So, while manufacturing what is ostensibly a firearm in the eyes of the law is almost certainly illegal in Japan, might it not have been more prudent to wait and see what he intended to do?

I see three possible outcomes they missed by not waiting:

  1. 1. He had a buyer who wanted a disposable gun, and they could've nabbed the buyer, too.
  2. 2. He wanted to use the guns, and had a connection that could get him ammo, and they could've nabbed the connection.
  3. 3. Absolutely nothing; He did it to see if he could. They still bust in and confiscate the guns and everything, but having had time to analyze the situation, maybe charge him with a lesser offense, or at least not parade him around in front of the cameras.

Of course, being Japan, that last one is just as unlikely as the first two-- except not as ludicrous --because the police, as much as the media, like to turn just about any crime above a purse-snatching into a spectacle simply to show that they're doing their jobs.

At any rate, I hope they show some restraint in prosecuting him. Barring any further evidence, he just seems to be a nerd/tinkerer who wasn't thinking about what he was doing, but didn't intend any harm. (And no harm was done.)

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.