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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Well...not ALL bloatware. (Score 2) 208

by PsychoSlashDot (#49151707) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

So, you're still going to be shipping it with trial versions of bloatware McAfee or bloatware Norton or whatever, plus your Lenovo-branded applications (which are really just re-branded bloatware ad-servers disguised as "handy applications for running your 3D camera!"). In other words, it'll be "bloatware-free" except for all the bloatware you're still going to pre-load onto it. Thanks, Lenovo!

No, that's not what is being said.

Yes, security software means a short-term subscription with Norton or similar. But the Lenovo-branded applications... you're just making stuff up. Lenovo has been shipping their machines for a few years now with a fairly reasonable package of management software. It'll do scheduled hardware tests (as best as software can possibly), keep BIOS/driver packages current, keep you informed as to expiring warranty status, and otherwise make it generally easy to find information on the product you own.

So hey, don't get informed, just jump on the Lenovo-hate bandwagon.

Comment: Re:FBI, sic em! (Score 1) 114

by PsychoSlashDot (#49115777) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

Who cares who benefits financially? By punishing Lenovo's ILLEGAL behavior and driving them from the marketplace, society benefits. If we have to send an army of lawyers as mercs for hire to get them to do what federal prosecutors should be doing, so be it.

What? Wait. Grow some perspective.

Lenovo accepted remuneration in return for installing a program that injects ads and presumably reports statistics. How is that logically different from installing the Google Toolbar on IE? Right. It isn't.

Oh, but the software is poorly implemented and could allow unexpected access to the users' data. How is that logically different from installing Java, Flash, and Adobe Reader, each of which has repeatedly been found to massive security vulnerabilities? Right. It isn't.

Fact is, Lenovo didn't do anything new here. Certainly nothing illegal, all-caps or not.

Comment: Re: Got found out ... (Score 1) 266

by PsychoSlashDot (#49099457) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

Yeah, where's the proactive removal of other sketchy software that their CPO's team found during the regular audit?

It's almost like they're only doing this 'cause they've been caught stealin' user data with SuperPhish.

Not to defend Lenovo in this, but yeah, that's not how it happened. Keep in mind they stopped installing this a month before they "got caught".

There's no reason to assume that Lenovo knew, or was told everything this software could do. Personally I would definitely attribute malicious intent to the developers of the software, not the company that agreed to install it.

Expecting Lenovo to manage to learn/know/discern every bug, flaw, or undesired side-effect of every software package they allow on the preload image isn't practical. I mean, if they preload Java, are they responsible when the computer gets hacked because it's buggy? Flash? Windows itself? A driver? What about CD-burning software that could potentially have a back-door or rootkit? Now, yeah, this was shit-ware to start with but it's hard to know exactly where to draw the responsibility line.

Regardless, this isn't a matter of stopping because they "got caught". They stopped before they got caught. They just didn't offer to fix things until after it was discovered just how bad it is.

Comment: Re:MH370 (Score 1) 439

by PsychoSlashDot (#49057883) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

We can't find MH370. If we can't find a missing plane in the ocean, then the tech for finding subs has a ways to go before it makes submarines obsolete.

This completely ignores that MH370 is (likely) a stationary, fragmented husk, spread over a significant portion of the ocean bottom (as in, below crush-depth), with zero emissions, and not in any way expected to support life. Strange how "two things in the water" can still have a bunch of important attributes that differentiate them.

Comment: Re:Even Fox gets it right sometimes (Score 1) 645

To me, Fox got it right this time.

There is no informational content to be gained by watching this video. There is plenty of emotional content to be gathered though.

The problem is that such intense emotional content won't help anyone react rationally. It'll just breed more hatred, which isn't good for anyone involved.

Comment: Re:Interesting approach (Score 1) 183

Still, it feels like its going to be much more a lab tool than a anti-aging treatment for a few more decades, RNA treatment is very tricky to do in vivo and even the most promising candidates for treatment (vaccines and so on) only produce very limited success, unless some revolutionary vector is invented in the near future it will pass a lot of years before this can be safe and efficient enough to be commercialized.

I'll give you two decades. Three, tops. Get going, I literally don't have forever to wait for this.

Comment: Re: What's wrong with a scroll wheel? (Score 1) 431

by PsychoSlashDot (#48895745) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

It's not just difficult or takes effort; it's IMPOSSIBLE. And I think your a liar if you say you can.

Weird. A decent mouse has detents so that there's a meaningful rotational force that has to be applied to cause scrolling. While accidental scrolling can happen, it's the exception, not the norm.

Comment: Re:I want silent vehicles (Score 1) 823

by PsychoSlashDot (#48880763) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

If you mandate noise you will never get silence.

Good. That's an admirable goal. The greater the destructive potential of a vehicle, the more evident it should be. Making cars only evident in the visual spectrum is a poor choice, even at the cost of your evident need to sleep, rest, or otherwise concentrate while near a roadway.

Plus once you get enough cars close together you almost can't distinguish them anyway because it basically becomes white noise.

Not so. There's a reason why bells are more or less constantly rung in China on bicycles; it's not unlike echolocation. Riders advertise their presence for safety purposes.

Just because people have become accustomed to a certain amount of noise is not a credible argument for continuing to emit noise pollution needlessly.

Just because [reason that is not the reason for the argument]... [stuff]. It's not a question about what we are accustomed to. We shouldn't continue to have seat-belts in cars because we're accustomed to them. We should continue to have them because they're a bloody safety feature.

And no, I am not at all concerned about blind or inattentive pedestrians crossing the road in front of me. It's MY responsibility as a driver to drive carefully and watch out for possible road hazards. It is also their responsibility to watch out when crossing the road.

Excellent, let's reduce the bidirectional safety measures because you want to hear your whale-song tranquility CD better. There are situations - real situations - where line-of-sight is blocked but usefully sound is not. You can currently hear cars around a corner, or behind an obstruction, before you step out, peddle out, or potentially make a lane change. Yes, it is everyone's responsibility to "be safe", but audible motor vehicles is a tool that aids in that endeavor.

Hell, people get hit by trains while walking and they make a huge racket and are 100% avoidable by staying off the tracks.

People are occasionally killed in airplane crashes, which are very, very loud, and completely avoidable by walking everywhere instead of flying.

There is simply no good argument for allowing the removal of a useful side-effect, other than your personal tastes. Now, I admit there's a big difference between say, a Harley, or... um... my big-ass V8... and a typical car, in that there is such a thing as simply obnoxious. But silent cars? Bad idea.

Comment: What - exactly - are you worried about here? (Score 3, Informative) 186

by PsychoSlashDot (#48844847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can I Trust Android Rooting Tools?
On the PC, typically Odin is the only Windows executable involved with rooting an Android phone. Standard security best-practices should keep you "safe" here. Obtain Odin from trustworthy sites such as XDA. Use a bi-directional firewall package that tells you when your PC tries to make an outbound connection. Odin shouldn't.

On the phone, if you're just rooting, you're trusting the manufacturer of your phone, which isn't necessarily wise, but I see that's WHY you're rooting. So, you can get the XPosed Framework and XPrivacy, and set permissions for the various packages on your phone. Both are open-source.

If you don't actually read the code, then by definition you're trusting, period. So what's the issue?

Comment: Re:Glass was doomed from the start (Score 4, Informative) 141

by PsychoSlashDot (#48825555) Attached to: Google Glass Is Dead, Long Live Google Glass

The Pebble does not use E Ink, it uses Sharp's Memory LCD crap. An E Ink display uses no power unless the display is refreshed. Memory LCD uses power constantly. I would have thought you'd know that as someone who "owns" a Pebble.

Five days of battery is terrible for a watch. A smartwatch with an E Ink display could last a lot longer.

I wrote some stuff responding to your attempt to rile me up, and it amused me intensely, at your expense, then I deleted it so you can't even reply to it. So thank you.

But I'm not going to stop trying to be helpful.

As it happens, the screen on the Pebble is a form of e-ink. It isn't the same oil-cell bubble technology used in many e-readers (including the one I "own") but it's marketed as e-paper because it's got many of the benefits of traditional e-ink while simultaneously not having most of the shortcomings of straight LCD. What, specifically, does that mean? Well, for instance it's fully transflective, meaning that it's perfectly viewable in daylight conditions (atypical for most LCDs).

Also, as designed, the display pulls very little power to maintain a given display. What pulls power is altering the display - as with traditional e-ink - but this too is addressed with admirable cleverness; it's designed so it doesn't refresh the entire screen, only horizontal lines that contain altering content. So with a watchface that isn't wasteful, you may only be redrawing a fraction of the screen at a time, leaving most of the display at maintenance pull. Traditional e-ink redraws the entire display each draw, and usually does so a total of three times; once to solid black, once to solid white, and once to draw the desired content, all to deal with the memory effect that traditional e-ink has. It's not actually a given than traditional oil-cell-based e-ink would actually net longer battery life.

Finally, the Pebble's screen is capable of a much higher refresh rate than traditional e-ink, so that non-watch applications can have smooth display. Admittedly, the vast majority of the time a user only redraws a portion of the screen once per second, but the capacity is there.

As for battery life, yes, five days is excrementally poor for a watch. Strangely, for a smartwatch it's not at all poor. I - an admittedly small sample of exactly one - find it no chore to find one night a week that I don't sleep with the Pebble on, so it can charge. Every other night of the week I wear it as usual, allowing it to wake me in the morning as my traditional digital watches have for the last... oh... nearly four decades. It also bears mentioning that the method the Pebble uses to get attention is vibration, not audible sound. At first I didn't know if I would like that, but in the end I've come to prefer it. Of course, physical movement is also battery-expensive, so that's another factor to keep in mind when comparing battery life to traditional watches; they just beep.

Dismiss the product if you will. Not everything is for everyone, but the Pebble is in a completely different category from every other smartwatch on the market in pretty much every way. Not expensive, not huge, waterproof, doesn't have a silly battery-intensive colour display. It's a very capable companion product that augments an existing device instead of trying to weirdly replace it.

Comment: Re:Glass was doomed from the start (Score 1) 141

by PsychoSlashDot (#48824815) Attached to: Google Glass Is Dead, Long Live Google Glass

Smartwatches have the same problem as Glass. Pathetic battery life and useless functionality. Until someone makes a low cost E Ink smartwatch, they will never become common devices.

It depends on what you define as a smartwatch. I'm very happy with my Pebble because it's exactly what I see as the limit of usefulness; a notifier. It's not a web browser or Google Maps screen. It doesn't have GPS and I can't make phone calls on it. It has no speaker, so it's not an audio player. All it does (for me) is put my phone's notifications somewhere I can see them without fumbling for the phone itself.

Oh. Five to seven day battery life. Because... low-cost e-ink smartwatch.

But you posted AC so you'll likely never see this hopefully helpful reply.

Comment: Re:Double nope (Score 1) 426

by PsychoSlashDot (#48797153) Attached to: Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

Dismissing it "just a hybrid" is no more accurate than calling it an electric car. It's runs as an electric car until the all-electric range is exhausted -- about thirty miles -- and then runs like a hybrid.

So... what you're saying here is that it's just a hybrid. Just because it can roll to the end of your driveway without using the gas motor doesn't change that to actually drive the car you're in hybrid mode.

Tangential Disclosure: I'm not the target market for these cars. I'm still at a point where I find driving entertaining, so my current car is a 410+ hp muscle car that seats five comfortably plus cargo space, with four doors and weighing in at about 4,400 lbs. I can 0-60 in about 5 seconds, but what really gets me looking at electric/hybrid vehicles askance is the range. I can happily cruise up to about 500 miles on a fill-up.

I can romp around when I want to, and I can pull nearly 30 MPG when I'm going somewhere. Until electric/hybrids have that kind of range, they're just kind of like bicycles with roofs; perfect if you don't have any real distance to travel (which yes, I realize describes some drivers' whole lives).

Comment: Re:Meaningless drivel (Score 4, Informative) 100

by PsychoSlashDot (#48789837) Attached to: US Lawmakers Push For a Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

Later law automagically overrides, so a law cannot make anything permanent.

All it'll take is a new law allowing/mandating internet access taxes to make this "permanent" ban vanish.

Thank you. It must totally rile you up that permanent magic marker can be removed with rubbing alcohol or the heat-death of the universe.


1. lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.

lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time.

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.