Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Here's to hoping they don't find oil (Score 1) 150

by Andy Dodd (#49545047) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

Cooling the magma into stone could have long-term negative effects - a lot of this magma has quite a bit of dissolved gases.

The end result is that when it erupts, the gases come out of solution and frequently drive the eruption (think shaken-up soda bottle)

Cooling the magma will stop progression initially, but will cause the gases to accumulate - this could lead eventually to an even more catastrophic BOOM.

Comment: Re:Like 'sunset' (Score 1) 192

by Andy Dodd (#49536241) Attached to: Yahoo Called Its Layoffs a "Remix." Don't Do That.

No, "sunsetted" has been around for a long time. Although historically it's been used to describe systems that are old and obsolete and getting replaced with new ones.

You'll hear "sunsetted" frequently in the military to describe systems being retired, usually after decades of service because they're falling apart and their replacement has been in production for nearly a decade.

Comment: Re:Yet another reason not to use Google search (Score 1) 355

It isn't rating a site positively for having a mobile version. It is rating it positively for "not looking like shit on mobile".

It's not just saying "oh this site claims to have a mobile version, great!" or "I don't see a mobile-specific version, ding it in the results!", it's "Does the site render well on mobile?" with various criteria for "renders well on mobile".

If anything it's pretty lenient, in many cases rating sites which people say suck on mobile as "mobile-friendly" - including itself.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 355

I believe that this is what Google's system is doing. It isn't looking for "this site has a specific mobile variant", it's looking for "the site does not suck on a mobile device".

If anything, it's apparently lenient, since most of the comments here say Slashdot is shitty when viewed on a mobile device, but Google's "Mobile-Friendly Test" at ranks as "Mobile Friendly"

Comment: Re:Handset makers will be thrilled. (Score 1) 27

by Andy Dodd (#49519013) Attached to: For High-End CPUs, Qualcomm Ditches TSMC For Samsung

Not really. With a few exceptions, circuit boards are thin. Very few manufacturers use 3D techniques (daughterboards, etc.) especially not in mobile.

So "larger circuit board" means "more area but rarely thicker".

"more area at same thickness" means "wider/taller device"

"wider/taller device" means "more room for battery".

Comment: Re:Good riddance (Score 1) 27

by Andy Dodd (#49518951) Attached to: For High-End CPUs, Qualcomm Ditches TSMC For Samsung

They're "horrible" but they are, sadly, the best now that TI has exited the business.

MTK is notorious for giving their customers C&D letters when they dare to comply with the GPL (Google is cracking down on this with Android One, but I know of at least one non-One device that had its kernel sources C&Ded by MTK.)
Rockchip and company are no better
Samsung publishes no reference source that matches any production devices (I speak from experience here - back in 2012/2013 I was one of the CyanogenMod co-maintainers for Samsung Exynos4 devices. Every member of the team got sick of dealing with Samsung's crap and lack of documentation, we all switched to Qualcomm)
Nvidia was horrible but have improved a lot with the SHIELD family of devices, although I dislike their approach to AOSP support. They have a lot of closed-source binary HALs (just like Samsung) but at least don't hack the interfaces of those HALs in ways that break compatibility with AOSP. Unfortunately this means that if you find an issue with the HAL (such as not supporting AC3 passthrough) there's nothing you can do about it.

Qualcomm is no angel (see the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 factory image messes), but with their CAF reference sources, they're better than anyone else currently in the business about software support.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 350

I think you didn't understand what you linked to when you stated, "is apparently present for some fairly popular devices, but not activated in software"

The problem is that since FM is a highly niche feature, there's no standard for FM HALs in Android. This means that those manufacturers that do implement FM do it in their stock firmware in whatever way they want. With one exception (STMicro's implementation used in many Sony devices), they never document this methodology. (STM's HALs were supported in CyanogenMod for a while, but was eventually dropped because while STMicro documented the basic HAL interfaces, there was no opensource reference HAL implementation, and thus the interface only supported older Sony devices with blobs supported by that HAL.)

You'll note that:
1) All of the devices that app supports are older devices.
2) All of the devices that app supports DID support FM in their stock firmwares. The only issue was that if you replaced the stock firmware with an AOSP derivative, you lost FM, because it was a niche feature and no device maintainer had the time to work on it, partly due to the lack of any reference implementation of an STMicro HAL. I speak from experience in this - I was the CyanogenMod maintainer for the original Galaxy Note from Spring 2012 until I left CM in August 2013 - the Note had FM, but all of my time was consumed reverse engineering core functionality and not niche functionality.)

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 350

I haven't seen a smartphone with onboard FM hardware in a while. They aren't simply "disabling" it - an FM receiver costs more, requires board real estate, and as you said, has the additional challenge of an antenna.

It's cost for a feature very few people use. FM is deprecated and obsolete - it's been dead in Europe in favor of DAB for years, and in the USA, satellite radio is the go-to for vehicles and streaming is the go-to for anywhere with wired Internet access (the backhaul for wi-fi in 95%+ of cases is wired DSL, cable, or fiber).

The NAB should look at themselves before complaining about others. FM is no longer a desirable feature for most people thanks to Clear Channel abusing every loophole in station ownership rules (There are various rules that are supposed to prevent one company from owning too many stations, among other things to promote a diversity of content.) The end result is that the content of FM stations is utter crap. The last time I drive without XM, on a single 4-hour drive I listened to one song at least three times, I think it was four. There were numerous other repeats. Meanwhile, if I do that drive with my XM subscription, it's rare that I'll hear even a single repeat.

Simply put, if a phone has FM now, I see that as a reason NOT to buy it, because that is paying extra for hardware that I'm NEVER going to use.

Comment: Re:Pretty please (Score 1) 178

by Andy Dodd (#49492715) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

They are one and the same. Every person who has a leadership role in the CyanogenMod project is an employee of Cyanogen Inc.

CyanogenMod is trademarked, Cyanogen (in respect to Android operating systems) is trademarked - and Cyanogen Inc. (or Steve Kondik personally, I'm not sure, but he's CTO of Cyngn) is the holder of those trademarks.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine