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Comment: Re:Ottawa will never allow it (Score 1) 126

by RubberDogBone (#49766853) Attached to: Microsoft Reportedly May Acquire BlackBerry

Not even sure about a bank as so many banks still use BBM. They might not like having another bank in charge of the company, though there are probably ways around that with a holding company or something.

My feeling is some kind of Canadian consortium can come to BlackBerry's rescue Despite FairFax taking a look and walking away, I still think they could do it with Canadian money without needing foreign partners. Canadian investors are as good as any, have plenty of money to invest and they can read the tea leaves as well as any. It comes down to what they think the value is. If not FairFax, perhaps somebody else.

Comment: Ottawa will never allow it (Score 1) 126

by RubberDogBone (#49765975) Attached to: Microsoft Reportedly May Acquire BlackBerry

Canada considers BlackBerry as a national Canadian treasure of sorts. It's a huge success story and has been the backbone of just an immense number of high-tech jobs. BlackBerry is a flagship company. As such, Ottawa will never allow it to be sold to outsiders like Microsoft or anyone else.

It's just not going to happen.

This means the value of the company is a lot less than it seems since the value can't be taken out of Canada in any meaningful way.

Comment: Can the clock be changed? (Score 1) 250

by RubberDogBone (#49602695) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

Where I work, we currently tell one of our PCs that it is February because a software license expired on March 1 and nobody will pay to renew it while we work on getting a replacement up to speed. Meanwhile the old expired version runs fine thinking its February.

So what would happen if somebody told the plane today's date was 248 days forward of today? Or for fun, five minutes less than that. While it was in flight.

I'm assuming there are safeguards to prevent this but what if nobody ever considered that there could be a need to prevent changing the plane's clock? What if this was left exposed? Somebody from Boeing please tell me this clock was well protected and there is no way a virus could get into the plane, look for parameters like "wheels up" "seat belt sign off" and execute a clock change. It would be a magnificent disaster where not even the data recorders would capture what happened, if all power is cut off and all systems drop dead.

Comment: Re:I think we just need to get burned. (Score 4, Interesting) 332

by RubberDogBone (#49459095) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

Well that is the unspoken elephant in the room: we have people trying to live in arid areas never before used for habitation, and we have farmers and ranchers trying to make a go of their businesses in areas never before suitable for that kind of thing, all thanks to supplied sources of water which are now dwindling.

The simple answer is that all these people should pack up and leave, Nobody is promised they can live in any particular place. And some places are just not meant for it. But people hate to do that. They'd rather fight and protest and pay lots of money to truck in water, etc. And struggle for years trying to make it work.

Comment: Re:planet/planetoid (Score 3, Insightful) 83

by RubberDogBone (#49435047) Attached to: Collision With Earth's "Little Sister" Created the Moon

You can call planets planets or call them aardvarks. It makes no difference. The name we give it has no meaning except to the person giving the name. Another person might call it something else. Who can say which is right? You because you give it a name in English, or a first nation's person who named it in their language? Which is correct? And which is wrong?

But no matter.

The planet itself does not care what we call it. Our names mean nothing to it. The planet simply is what it is, as it was before humans gave it names and as it will be long after humans have faded from this universe.

Comment: Worry only when they stop (Score 1) 119

by RubberDogBone (#49228661) Attached to: CIA Tried To Crack Security of Apple Devices

The big news is not that the CIA was trying to break in. Hearing that they were trying means they still needed to get in.

Its when you STOP hearing they are trying. Because the only time they STOP trying is when they have in fact achieved their goal. These are not people who give up when it's too hard. They never quit. Unless they've won.

Comment: Too many unfixed things (Score 2) 172

by RubberDogBone (#49222959) Attached to: Google Announces Android 5.1

Lollypop has so many GUI issues, and none are addressed.

For example, the stock appearance of the settings menu with ultra bright white background cannot be changed. So if you open Settings in any kind of dark place like a movie theater, your car at night, or a bedroom, you eyes GET BLASTED BUT FULL ON ULTRA BRIGHT BULLSHIT that cannot be toned down. Compare to 4.2 and before where the menus where white text on a gray or black background. Worse, there is no way to change this. You are stuck wincing if you need to use the menus in the dark. And you lose all ability to remain private or avoid disturbing others.

The automatic dimming feature -which you might suspect would fix this complaint- does not actually work. In a bright environment, auto dimming dims the screen to unusable. And in a dim environment, it actually makes it so dim you can't see to undo it. But if you turn it off, you get BLASTED by that damn GUI with all it's bright white crap. Auto dimming USED to work.

The "battery is fully charged" info box appears even when the screensaver is running, and you need to do that because the super bright menus and status bars now leave significant image ghosting on the screen. For the first time ever on a mobile device, I have to run the multicolor screensaver AND a burn-in removal app periodically just to remove the hole in the screen where the status bar normally appears. Again, the issue is the overall brightness of the GUI contrasting with the rest of the visual elements.

Those things plus apps crashing, loss of root, needing to be rebooted twice a day which takes about three minutes before the desktop is actually working and usable, awful plummeting battery life, sluggish performance trying to open the dialer -Look, I hate Lollypop. 4.2 and 4.4 were very good versions. I expected better from 5.0. I expected more of the same Android UI. I got some misguided experiment in casual blinding.

For me, iOs is not an option. But instead of feeling like a big Android fan and supporter, I feel like I am getting shafted, And without root and access to the bootloader, I can't even DO anything about it. I am stuck with this thing rather than being a fan in love with it.

Maybe the S6 will be decent and somehow manage to fix these things but nothing I've read mentions any GUI fixes. I'm not sure Google even wants to fix it. Afterall, they have had years to fix the contrast problem in Gmail -look at your inbox from more than few feet away and see if you can tell read and unread messages based on color. Pretty much cannot because new messages are in not very bold black over white and read messages are a slightly less black black over almost the same white. There is almost no contrast difference. You cannot tell at a glance what is going on. This problem is awful on desktop Gmail and only a little less awful on mobile mainly because you are obviously closer to the mobile screen.

Google supposedly has GUI scientists and such but they don't see to put any thought into these things. It is frustrating. Yes I will keep using Google. They are wiring my neighborhood for Google Fiber so, yeah, I am on board. But I may not be using any Android devices by the time they get to my house this year.

Comment: Re:Sony doesn't care for electronics for a reason. (Score 2) 188

by RubberDogBone (#49099127) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

The ups and downs of movies and TVs can't be used, rationally, to support a company like Sony. Sony Pictures is only as good as their last blockbuster, or perhaps their next. But in between those are lots of films that lose money even before Hollywood Accounting(TM) takes over. There are no guarantees. And it only takes one or two expensive flop movies (and Hollywood is paved with the carcasses of such films) to ruin a studio.

TV is the same: ratings, networks, fickle viewing habits make it very hard to look at TV series as a reliable and steady source of revenue. Some years might be good, but many will be bad.

Sony got into making movies because they thought it would be cool to see the Sony Pictures logo before a movie you play on your Sony DVD player and watch on your Sony TV connected to your Sony home theater. It is cool for the executives. But nobody else ever gave a damn. And if nobody cares, why bother owning a movie studio?

Comment: Predicted end (Score 1) 188

by RubberDogBone (#49098871) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

One of Samsung's most important motivating goals has long been to utterly destroy Sony. They saw Sony not only as a competitor but also as a representative of a super-successful Japanese company in a country where Japan is viewed very bitterly and resented. Samsung resented Sony. Samsung made it their goal to kill that company, and it can be argued the have done exactly that, though certainly not alone. The end result is the same: Samsung is a household name across the globe, with a huge variety of products of all types.

And Sony? Aside from the PlayStation, they are largely a runner-up in most of their product segments. If Samsung wanted to challenge them on gaming, they could probably go to Microsoft and write a check for the Xbox division. But there is no need with Sony so weak everywhere else. The battle is over.

Sony still does OK in some audio lines. Their headphones are not bad. And their car audio is relatively good. That said, I am about to install my third Sony head unit in five years, because they are not durable. But they are cheap and forced other brands to bring in more features at lower price points. Sony used to bring this kind of pressure to bear in their other electronics lines. Not so much any more.

And my old Playstation first gen still works great. It happens to be the same age as my girlfriend. She thinks it's an antique (as am I for that matter, being more than twice her age) but nobody can pry her PS4 out of her hands. Don't try. I have.

Comment: Re:What if they'd stuck with it? (Score 1) 294

by RubberDogBone (#49000963) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

Sears and Kmart have been shooting themselves in the head for decades, particularly in IT related things.

in 2001, Baseline Magazine did a superb review of the KMart IT called "How Kmart Fell Behind" It still exists on Google cache. Reading that, it is clear the company was hopelessly lost even then and had no hope of ever recovering.

In the battle between Walmart and KMart, Walmart won but most people see only low prices and stores everywhere. But the real secret was in the IT behind Walmart. They embraced IT, leveraged it in every possible way, supported it, endorsed it, and updated it relentlessly to manage inventory and operations in a true model of efficiency. At the same time, KMart, did almost nothing. IT didn't matter to them. They didn't understand it, didn't get it, didn't use it. Had no inventory control, literally had no idea what was in each store. "But unless management pays attention, the data is worthless. "Because they didn't believe the system, they had trucks, and trucks, and trucks of inventory just sitting there.""

That Baseline article is like a obit written before the person dies. It's all there except the date of death.

Comment: TechAmerica (Score 1) 294

by RubberDogBone (#49000755) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

Not mentioned too often (or at all; I've not seen it mentioned even once) is the story of Radio Shack's experiment with a chain of stores called TechAmerica.

TechAmerica was like a giant RS plus the parts aisles from a Frys, plus audio, ham radio, kit stuff, science toys, books, cable, computer parts, you name it. Maybe 40,000Sq feet. The one near me was half of a former discount store so quite large.

Anyway, TechAmerica had three stores in Colorado, Arizona and Georgia. They were great for hobbyists but there were problems. One was pricing. They expected people unsure what the store was about to be happy paying premium prices. And of course the hobby types already knew where to get cheaper parts and batter deals so they didn't like the prices either. Two, it was stocked with what seemed to be an idea that all they had to do was put stuff on the floor and it would sell, which wasn't the case. You know, spools of wire might sit for years. This is fine if you expect that. But bad if you want SKUs to move weekly.

The third problem was RadioShack itself. TechAmerica was created around 1999 or so right at the dawn of the e-commerce boom. RS didn't have a competent online presence (and never got one) and looked at TA to be their online fulfillment spear. It was a disaster.

Had they let TA bloom and find its own way, it might have worked. They were unique places where you could go buy all the neat stuff a normal RS would not have. Well, provided you didn't mind paying extra for it. You could get computer parts too, except more costly than anywhere else.

These stores would have been great for the Maker movement except they were 13 years too early and overpriced. And they didn't have 13 years to wait for a movement to spring up .

After about two years, 2001 or so, corporate threw in the towel. The TA stores were renamed to "Radio ShackDOTcom" around 2001 and stuffed with crappy even more RS merchandise. The hobbyist angle was dropped. One of these RadioShackDOTcom stores was even in the same strip of stores as a normal Radio Shack which did more sales that the old TA.

The whole TA project was scrapped and forgotten. RS largely forgets that they ever existed.

Comment: Re:Copyright is Now Perpetual (Score 1) 227

by RubberDogBone (#48986701) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

Wow I had someone on the brain there.

First paragraph should read ...this attitude that the first person to find something (much less actually invent it) means something.

Then I mean to say....

We encourage by practice and by law the idea that the first human person to find something or see something is the owner and has all rights.

Comment: Re:Copyright is Now Perpetual (Score 1) 227

by RubberDogBone (#48986693) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

Absolutely true. But we humans have this attitude that first to find someone (much less actually invent it) means someone.

What will happen the first time we run across a territory or an object or a process that another intelligent race already has? Why of course we're going to grab all their stuff and attempt to patent it! We'll rename their planet and everything on it, usually with NEW as the prefix. Qrendorch is not a good name for a city. Call it, New Paris! Or New New York. Or New Venice.

That thing you use to turn on the anti-grav food cooker? We'll rename that the iCooker. And FUCKING SUE ANY ALIENS WHO SAY OTHERWISE!

Seriously, our system currently has no ability to handle ideas that come from outside. We encourage by practice and by law the idea that the first human person to find someone is the owner and has all rights. We are going to show up on some alien world and stick flag in the soil and ignore anything and anyone who might object. They might not like us very much once we are done copyrighting and patenting their whole world, in the name of Weyland Yutani or some other company.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai