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Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 604

by Ramze (#49536027) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

The trouble with all these different metrics is that it really comes down to "How much extra will I pay if I get the gas guzzler that allows me to comfortably use the vehicle for its intended purpose over a more fuel efficient vehicle."

MPG doesn't tell the whole story... even difference in MPG doesn't - even a percent difference doesn't. One needs to know whether another vehicle could perform the necessary tasks, and if so, if the total cost of ownership is higher for one than the other - sale price, gas, maintenance costs, etc.... and to know the monthly gas, that would depend on driving habits.

For your vehicle which currently averages 17 MPG, you are correct that an average minivan from 2014 would get a combined 20 MPG to 24 MPG depending on the make/model. So, a minivan would be between 3 and 7 mpg better. That's between 18% and 41% improvement over your vehicle. Granted, for your purposes and income level, that's probably not a big deal. For someone commuting hours a day, maybe that percentage improvement would matter - maybe not.

I think it's far too simplistic to compare MPG. My father has a Jeep - it's a gas guzzler... but, he uses it mostly for long family trips and puts a carrier on top and/or hauls stuff behind, so it's economical in that it fits more stuff and people - otherwise, we'd be using 2 or 3 cars that each got better MPG individually, but not if we're using all 2 or 3 rather than 1 Jeep.

Comment: Re:OS updates still depend on this stuff? (Score 1) 179

by Ramze (#49456021) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

I am right there with ya, brother. I have a flip phone. My tablet was my way of testing out this mobile nonsense. Eh, it's a cheap toy that has worked out rather well for me, though.

The problem with mobiles is they have to flash the OS onto the device and rather than a standard x64 chip, there's bloody dozens of processors and configurations to support. Basically, it's the whole embedded OS market that's the issue. Give it another decade when they've settled on some standard architectures and storage media for the OS and maybe - maybe they'll work like your Ubuntu setup. There are already variations on vanilla Android out there and even FirefoxOS and others. It's still a new market. People will figure out they want control over their devices rather than buying new ones every couple years and just taking whatever setup comes with them.

Comment: Re:Cutting edge journalism (Score 2) 179

by Ramze (#49456007) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Man, those RAZRs were awesome. I'm actually looking for something similar now for my father who is just now learning to text - he has a flip phone now and a slide-out keyboard would be best. It's getting more difficult to find one that doesn't require a data plan. Verizon charges for data based on the type of phone - doesn't matter if you actually intend to use the data or not :-/

Comment: Re:Cutting edge journalism (Score 3, Informative) 179

by Ramze (#49451843) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Ah. No worries. In your defense, Google has not been very good about advertising this unique aspect of the Nexus line of products. Other than Apple, it's not exactly the norm for how devices are updated either. Still, it's unique in that, apparently, Google is pushing some of the support to the hardware manufacturers instead of handling it themselves (though I could be mistaken). I find this disheartening as it's Google's flagship name and I believe Google should handle any issues unless there's a hardware malfunction rather than a software glitch - possibly caused by Google's update.

Basically, Google chooses a specific manufacturer and works with them to develop a model that has its requirements, labels the product a "Nexus" , then supports the OS directly. They even sell Nexus items straight from Google rather than through a carrier. Nexus phones can typically switch carriers as long as the phone supports the proper tech and frequencies - same for the tablets. My Nexus 7 is made by ASUS, but I knew buying it that I'd be supported by Google - which is why I got it instead of a similar ASUS tablet with a standard USB port (Nexus products are notorious for not having expansion ports - Google thinks you should use them and the cloud for everything). I'd rather have the assurance that my hardware will be supported by the latest Android (so many manufacturers sell you a device, then don't bother updating it) than to have a few extra features.

I could be wrong, but last I checked, Nexus 5 had the proper tech to run on Verizon's network, but Verizon won't approve it - I suspect because the don't like that it's not locked down. They already hate that the iPhone doesn't have their bloatware and artificial restrictions.

But, yeah, if you see the name Nexus, that's Google's flagship product line and they'll update it first and directly while all other Android devices will take you months to get an update - if ever.

Comment: Re:Cutting edge journalism (Score 4, Informative) 179

by Ramze (#49451437) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Not sure why you're confused. The post clearly begins with "The whole point of the Nexus branded devices." Yes, this is true for Nexus branded hardware. It's Google's Android OS with no carrier bloatware. The updates come straight from Google. I own a Nexus 7 2013. I've updated many times - comes straight from Google.

Here's the link on Google's support site to confirm it: Click on the "Nexus Devices" to expand to see the below text.

https://support.google.com/nex...

Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10 devices receive the latest version of Android directly from Google. Once an update is available, it can take up to two weeks for it to reach your device. Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.

Nexus devices may not receive the latest version of Android if they fall outside of the update window, which is usually around 18 months after a device has been released.

Comment: Re:This is the End, Beautiful Friend, the End. (Score 1) 279

by Ramze (#49118487) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

No, the gp post is right. Moore's law can't break physical laws.

10 nm means the pathways are about 40 silicon atoms wide. 7 nm is 30 silicon atoms wide, but they're planning to move to GaAs or another III IV semiconductor, and those atoms are larger than Si, so even fewer atoms across at that width. Another shrink to 5 nm is about 20 wide.

I don't think we'll go much smaller than that. The smaller you go, the more quantum effects interfere with the electrical properties of the materials. Also, heat means movement, and those chips get really hot. Go too small, and with enough heat, atoms will move out of alignment.

No worries, though. Chips are presently mostly 2D which means a lot of space is taken up by connections between components - like power and clock pulses. 3D opens a doorway for alternative smaller structures and better cooling techniques... maybe liquid cooling between chip components on nano pipes.

Comment: Re:Re-engineer the OS to include ROMs? (Score 1) 95

by Ramze (#49101839) Attached to: Linux Foundation: Bugs Can Be Made Shallow With Proper Funding

Intriguing suggestion, but perhaps based on a false premise that "data, programs and operating system components are equally vulnerable to writes by viruses." That's most certainly not the case even on a Windows platform. System files and folders usually require an admin to modify, and drivers and other OS components typically must be signed drivers to update. On "trusted computing platforms", there's even more security on what can even boot on the machine. A virus should only have privileges based upon the user that allowed the infection (who should not be admin or root for daily tasks) or an elevation if it found a flaw to escalate privileges. This is part of why OS X and Linux rarely have viruses, but Android and Windows with their lax security have more than their fair share. (And I say this even though I have many Windows machines along with a Nexus 7 running Android).

A better solution would be for XP to have had better security levels (User/Power User/ Admin were great as a start, but EVERYONE had to be an admin just to add a printer, sync their phone, random stupid task, etc.) Windows 7 and 8 are much better about this... and even an Admin isn't really full Admin - still has popups to verify and you must take ownership of some files in order to modify them, etc. A better question would be - how many viruses would have been prevented if people logged in as USERS instead of Admins for their everyday tasks?

I have this fancy Read Only Compact Disk with Linux on it... and another with a version of Windows. I also have them on bootable USB flash drives. One even has a persistent install - so there's the compressed image plus changes and other installed software on another area of the drive. They're basically what I boot into when I think a system is infected to try to repair/clean them with various antivirus tools and system cleaners. Your proposal is not without merit - as obviously I use these read-only or difficult-to-modify entire OSes to clean such infections.

I'm just not sure what issue your proposal would resolve, and how you'd expect to implement it. It's not a bad idea in principle, but I'm not sure how you'd pick and choose which bits to be read-only and which to be re-writable.... and I'm not sure why a virus couldn't simply modify the code to ignore your read-only memory and point to it's virus-ridden duplicates instead?

Some viruses infect boot loaders, so you could write a BIOS/EUFI that uses "trusted computing" and point a windows startup to a ROM.. maybe even one with crypto keys that will allow the next 10 or 20 updates of various windows files (signed/hashed kernels, etc) to load on startup and nothing else. The more you make read-only, the more you obsolete your system. You might even be baking bugs into the system that can't be removed through updates! As for flash memory, I know of viruses that have infected the flash memory on ethernet cards and sound cards. I don't know if you want to have parts of the OS in imbedded chips that could be tampered with or become permanently infected with the wrong virus.

Even if you could somehow protect the primary OS from corruption through this method (unlikely - it's more likely to freeze bugs in place for future exploits), you'd still be open to running viruses - even if the virus is wiped by a simple reboot. Some viruses only take 1 run to do their damage. One virus I know simply scanned the system for media files and deleted any .jpg, .jpeg, .mp3 files. It could run in userland as a script from double clicking on a malformed file attachment (like a pdf). Once it runs, it's damage is done. Only a file restore utility or a backup could undo it. Others run, but infect programs rather than the OS. So, MS Outlook gets infected - virus spams your contacts, they get infected, and so on. There's just too many kinds of viruses and worms to protect against them all by this method.

I think maybe a system restore, a virus scanner, or maybe even a system wipe and re-install are just simpler/better. That, and prevention - like real world viruses, vaccines and better protection/choices are best. Maybe one day - a thousand years from now - when OS X has all the bugs worked out and linux as well... we can write the entire OS as ROM firmware... b/c there will be so few updates that the device will likely outlive its usefulness before a new flaw is found or a new feature needs to be implemented.

Comment: Re:Spaghetti on a slick wall fails to stick (Score 3, Informative) 257

by Ramze (#48987159) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht Found Guilty On All 7 Counts In Silk Road Trial

I think the assertion is (and I'm not a lawyer, etc) that a defendant cannot suppress the evidence which was possibly obtained illegally if the defendant doesn't have standing to contest the search. If he says they're his servers, then he can contest how the servers were searched. If he says they are not his servers, then he has no standing and cannot prevent the evidence found on the servers from being used against him at trial.

Seems odd to me, though. I would think any improperly obtained evidence should be contestable. For instance, if his buddy's statement that he was behind Silk Road was coerced, that should be contestable. I'd like to hear a lawyer's opinion on the subject.

I'm sure there's plenty of loopholes for the prosecution with multiple 3 letter agencies involved as well as multiple nationalities. There's probably a clause that lets them do whatever they want if they suspect terrorist activity on/through Silk Road, too.

Comment: Re:better than rushing steaming piles of shit. (Score 1) 180

by Ramze (#48945267) Attached to: George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015

Diskworld books averaged less than 300 pages each (I'm too lazy to do the math, so I took a random sample. Many were in the mid to low 200s, but more were just at or slightly above 300, so I think 300 is a generous guess).

RR Martin's averaged about 900 pages so far. His latest is his biggest yet, so if you include how much is written so far plus the side novellas he's written, I'd say he's at least on par.

Let's say Diskworld averaged 300 pages * 22 books = 6600 pages

Now RR Martin:
900*5 books = 4500 pages + 140+160 + 832 (novellas and short stories) = 5632 plus 1000 or so pages already written on book 6 and 7 = about 6600 pages
plus, it's not like he hasn't done other non-"Game of Thrones" work in the meantime. He's also doing consulting work for the HBO series as well.

RR gets a lot of flack for taking time between releases, but his books are so thick and his plot lines and characters are so numerous, it's a wonder he publishes at all. Many publishers won't print a book that's nearly 1000 pages - the'll send it back for editing or force the author to split it into multiple volumes. RR has trouble deciding where to end and begin books b/c to him, it's all one big story and he doesn't want to leave the reader waiting for years hanging on a plotline.... but it happens anyway. hahaha

Comment: Re:better than rushing steaming piles of shit. (Score 1) 180

by Ramze (#48945183) Attached to: George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015

The Dune series is a definite case of "the search for more money," but RR Martin's work is very different. You can tell when a writer is out of ideas or throws something together with a new book. With the Dune series, it's especially obvious when they change authors or when characters and plot lines don't overlap between books.

RR was a well established writer long before Game of Thrones, and from how these books are written -- especially how they've progressed -- He's got an ending in mind and multiple plot arcs and story lines to complete - there's just too much to fit into a short book. His books are easily twice as thick as a normal novel. He considers this to be his masterpiece, so he's going to do it the way he wants it done, then only return to it in largely independent novellas. He spoke about how he progresses. His books are between 700 and 1100 pages each. He starts from one character's perspective, then shifts perspectives to another on another plot line, then decides what he thought of as a minor character deserves their own background story and side story... and down the rabbit hole he goes. 600 pages later and he hasn't finished his original train of thought from when he sat down -- and now he has even MORE stories to tie up because he went off on a tangent. This is why he already has an ending in mind - he thought of it at least a book or two ago and all this is tying up loose ends to get there, yet he keeps inventing new characters and back-stories to weave new webs.

He has a hard time deciding where to just STOP a book and publish already and then push his remaining ideas down the road to the next book.

Having characters on multiple continents and so many locations, plot lines, and characters... I'll honestly be surprised if he really only has 2 books left in the series. He started out thinking he'd only have 3 books... now it's up to 7. I'm betting there will be an 8th. He just can't help himself.

I do wonder if this is just how his mind works... like if you sat down to talk with the man if he'd change subjects 10 times and fail to express his thoughts fully on the original topic... which he'll try to get back to you on later... much later.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 579

Exactly. I have a Nexus 7 2013 tablet. Samsung has some very tempting products, but I prefer to have Google's flagship products that get the longest support and the fastest updates.

Apple has the clout to fight the carriers on crapware, bloatware, and lock-in. I hope Google in conjunction with hardware manufacturers get the same leverage soon.

'Til then, buy what you like, but know that if it's not supported directly by Google, your support may be lacking.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 2, Interesting) 579

" a smartphone is just a shrunk down PC/laptop."

No. It isn't. Seriously. PC/Laptop CPUs are all either x86 or i64 (mostly i64) compatible and standardized. The various modified ARM versions in mobiles are not. ARM tech is licensed and various core manufacturers make their own changes - but also, there are ARM4, ARM5, ARM6, ARM7, and ARM8 based CPUs out there with incompatible binaries. MS and Apple just compile once and go (Though Apple compiles for A5, etc for tablets and MS compiles for 32 bit and 64 bit)- but you have to compile for each architecture for various devices running Android. In fact, it's smarter for the manufacturer to compile it specifically for the configuration they created - as well as enabling/disabling features to optimize memory, speed, etc. Manufacturers also may have to recompile any other binaries/drivers to inter-operate with the updated code.

Also, MS and Apple have standardized OSes. Android is not - it's a base for the manufacturers and carriers to modify. Because it's modified, it's up to the manufacturer who made the modifications to update the systems to be compatible. It simply is not possible for Google to maintain a list of all manufacturer's various hardware and software modifications for each device produced (assuming manufacturers would even give them that info).

"What does a pure software component, WebView, have anything to do with hardware drivers? Nothing."

Now, here is where you have a solid argument. Google could release a patch for each Android version affected rather than require an upgrade to a new Android version to resolve the issue. That's not an unreasonable request for maintenance on 2 year old software. Even then, it would be up to the manufacturers to compile and test the code for their devices, then to release it.

I'm not sure there's much of an argument if the devices could be upgraded instead of patched. MOST of them can be upgraded to Android 5 - it was designed to have a smaller footprint so that even older devices that couldn't take previous updates could upgrade to 5. Either way, it'd be the device manufacturers' responsibility to test and push out the update.

Your device manufacturer chose the hardware configuration, modified the OS, and accepted responsibility for supporting the hardware AND software updates for the device. That's why it's their fault and not Google's. Android 5 can be run with few modifications on practically any device that could run Android 4 (ice cream sandwich) which came out 3 or 4 years ago. There's no reason each and every device manufacturer couldn't recompile from source, test, and push out the very latest Android to just about every device out there. Why haven't they? Because they don't care about long term support. They are in the business of selling you a NEW device, not maintaining your old one beyond a reasonable time for them not to be sued.

Want to blame someone? Manufacturer FIRST, then Carrier, then Google. Google's done their part IMHO by releasing free fully patched OSes for the manufacturer. It's not their fault if the manufacturer refuses to compile, test, and push out the updates (with their carriers' blessings) which they accepted full responsibility for doing.

 

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 0) 579

The real question is: WHEN will Google have enough leverage to force carriers and device manufacturers to allow them direct access to upgrade the devices and without crapware or disabling features?

I bet one could jailbreak a device and flash a firmware hack to patch the hole if Google or another team released a fix.

Google lets manufacturers use their base OS for free given some restrictions, and yes, many of the devices use radically different hardware with different kernel modifications, GUIs, and drivers. It's a fragmented ecosystem, and it would be pointless to push updates without consulting the manufacturers on how such changes would affect such customized systems. Think of the many different Linux distros running various window managers, kernel versions, hardware, etc. You push the wrong update to the wrong distro and you break all sorts of things. Google doesn't want that liability. Not to mention, they don't have the authority to alter a device - it would void your warranty without the manufacturer's permission.

The smartphone market is less like the laptop market and more like the embedded OS market - highly customized software specifically for one configuration of a device and also tailored for the manufacturer's preferred interface and the carrier's preferred lock-in schemes with crapware and disabled features (so they can offer premium paid features).

Blame the carriers first, the manufacturers (who stopped thinking about supporting your phone about 5 months after they released it) second, and Google very last.

Look at Google's Nexus product line - those get updates first b/c Google negotiated to have a clean OS on good hardware that would be largely portable between carriers. It's not Google's fault people choose other less supported makes and models. If consumers only purchased Nexus devices, Google would have the clout of Apple and could command more authority on the design, implementation, and upgrades of Android devices.

It would be very nice if and when the Android market were more like the laptop market, but even then -- remember all those Windows XP machines that could upgrade to Windows 7, but the manufacturers never made drivers for the hardware? XP laptops upgraded to 7 sometimes didn't have trackpad drivers or webcam drivers... same thing could happen with android devices. Fix a kernel bug and suddenly your phone loses a feature because the manufacturer didn't bother to upgrade the driver for the new kernel.

The current arrangement is Google makes the software, Manufacturers customize it for the device and carrier. Google updates the software, Manufacturers support the device with software upgrades pushed over carrier networks. If google's made a patch or update (and Android 5 can work on older devices that couldn't take the 4.4 upgrade), then it is definitely the manufacturer's fault for not supporting their hardware and testing and rolling out the patch. If the arrangement is going to change to more like the Apple model - people need to start buying Nexus products and shunning all hardware that doesn't come with updates straight from Google.

I understand that the life cycle of phones is about 2 years, so It's hard for me to be upset about 2 year old unsupported hardware (Verizon has a "new every 2 plan"), but I certainly wouldn't blame Google for he issue when manufacturers and carriers are the ones blocking their ability to provide the updates. IF Google could update any old Android device on their own, they'd wipe out crapware and bloatware, enable the features Verizon and others have disabled by default, and get rid of crappy UIs some manufacturers put on their devices in favor of the Nexus interface.

Comment: Re:New System: Inner/Outer Planets (Score 1) 170

by Ramze (#48852907) Attached to: Analysis Suggests Solar System Contains Massive Trans-Neptunian Objects

No need to begin with tl; dr as it's obvious you either didn't read it or simply have a lack of reading comprehension. Odd that you'd bother to reply without reading and comprehending, though. You clearly missed my point entirely.

My post was a response to yours, not its grandparent, so all references to such are moot. Mostly, I was trying to convey a general sense that modern astronomy lacks clear, descriptive definitions and designations - including one for "binary planet" which you were clearly arguing for.

This gem is what I was specifically replying to:

"But I take solace in the fact that the Moon is spiralling away from the Earth and long before the death of the Sun makes all this insignificant, the Earth and Moon will, in fact, become a binary planet. According to the precepts of contemporary astronomy."

The Earth and Moon will absolutely, emphatically, undeniably NOT be considered a binary planet according to contemporary astronomy because THERE IS NO SUCH DESIGNATION.

I hope this post was short enough and uses small enough words to get the point across for you.

I apologize for attempting to enlighten you on your error while simultaneously agreeing with you that the current system is extremely flawed.

You can't take damsel here now.

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