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Comment: Re:I hate electronics consumer culture (Score 1) 269

by typhoonius (#48588045) Attached to: Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

I bought my 160 GB iPod Classic six years ago, and yes, I'm quite pleased it's still going strong, despite being dropped who-knows-how-many times and spending most of its life in my cars (often in somewhat extreme temperatures for a consumer electronics device).

I much prefer it to an iPod Touch or iPhone for playing music because of the much larger capacity, the simple interface, great battery life (even after all this time), and the physical buttons that are easy to use while driving (I can skip, pause, or replay a song without taking my eyes off the road). I much prefer it to offerings from other manufacturers because it has a cleaner interface, syncs automatically with iTunes (all I have to do is plug it in every few weeks when it needs a charge), and use databases and metadata in an intelligent way. All the other players I've seen have busy, garish interfaces, have controls that may approach but can't match the elegance of the click wheel, and use the file system for both adding music from the computer and playing it from the device, which is far from ideal, even with a well organized collection.

Really, the only substantial ways Apple could have improved it would be to switch to flash memory (say 256 GB, for even better battery life, reliability, thinness, and probably most importantly, parts availability) and switch out the old dock connector for Lightning. It's remarkable that the iPod has fallen so far from prominence since the iPhone that it isn't worth updating it at all anymore.

Unfortunately, my iPod won't last forever; the hard drive or the battery will eventually give out. I'll do my best to find parts and keep it going, but it would be nice if there were something on the market I would consider for a replacement. From my perspective, there isn't; everything else falls short.

+ - Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today, Comcast published a blog post to criticize the newly announced coalition opposing its merger with Time Warner Cable and to cheer about the FCC’s decision to restart the “shot clock” on that deal. But someone at Kabletown is probably getting a stern talking-to right now, after an accidental nugget of honesty made its way into that post. Comcast posted to their corporate blog today about the merger review process, reminding everyone why they think it will be so awesome and pointing to the pro-merger comments that have come in to the FCC. But they also left something else in. Near the end, the blog post reads, “Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not currently compete for customers anywhere in America. That means that if the proposed transaction goes through, consumers will not lose a choice of cable companies. Consumers will not lose a choice of broadband providers. And not a single market will see a reduction in competition. Those are simply the facts.” The first version of the blog post, which was also sent out in an e-mail blast, then continues: “We are still working with a vendor to analyze the FCC spreadsheet but in case it shows that there are any consumers in census blocks that may lose a broadband choice, want to make sure these sentences are more nuanced.” After that strange little note, the blog post carries on in praise of competition, saying, “There is a reason we want to provide our customers with better service, faster speeds, and a diverse choice of programming: we don’t want to lose them.”"

Comment: Re:Eww. (Score 1) 376

by jonadab (#48465731) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"
We never had a democracy. Ever. We have a republic -- a representative government. We elect people to engage in political discourse for us, so that we don't all of us have to do that ourselves, so that we can get on with our lives.

Furthermore, engaging in political "discourse", as you call it, with morons going on about irrelevant garbage on social networks would do absolutely NOTHING to help me know how to vote. Having an actual intelligent conversation about a real political issue would be a different thing. I might actually be interested in that. But listening to the kind of idiots who like to talk about news and politics on social networks drool about talking points they don't even understand that they heard on television is NOT my idea of good discourse.

Comment: Re:Except for Mozilla and Colts (Score 1) 128

Blocking Akamai would have significantly more impact than blocking Edgecast, because Akamai is the *big* CDN. It's like the difference between blocking Bing and blocking Google. One will result in bitter complaints, and the other will result in torches and pitchforks.

Comment: Eww. (Score 1) 376

by jonadab (#48450479) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"
I watched a cat video once. It was dumb. With that said, however...

> The French love sharing news and politics on social networks

If I had to choose between sitting through a hundred hours of nonstop stupid cat videos or thirty minutes of news and politics on social networks, I'd take the stupid cat videos every time. It's clearly the lesser of those two evils.

+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 252

by typhoonius (#48178041) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

I could see that. What I can't see in a million years is an OS X tablet, which is what an Apple version of the Surface Pro would be. It just doesn't make any sense with Apple's platform strategy.

Frankly, the only reason Microsoft takes this approach is because of the massive disparity between regular Windows apps and Metro apps. Being able to run the massive library of Windows applications is the primary thing that makes the devices useful. Apple has no such problem with iOS.

+ - Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

Submitted by swillden
swillden (191260) writes "There's been a lot of discussion of what, exactly, is meant by the Apple announcement about iOS8 device encryption, and the subsequent announcement by Google that Android L will enable encryption by default. Two security researchers tackled these questions in blog posts:

Matthew Green tackled iOS encryption, concluding that at bottom the change really boils down to applying the existing iOS encryption methods to more data. He also reviews the iOS approach, which uses Apple's "Secure Enclave" chip as the basis for the encryption and guesses at how it is that Apple can say it's unable to decrypt the devices. He concludes, with some clarification from a commenter, that Apple really can't (unless you use a weak password which can be brute-forced, and even then it's hard).

Nikolay Elenkov looks into the preview release of Android "L". He finds that not only has Google turned encryption on by default, but appears to have incorporated hardware-based security as well, to make it impossible (or at least much more difficult) to perform brute force password searches off-device."

Comment: Re:So what exactly is the market here. (Score 1) 730

by typhoonius (#47865419) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

I wear a watch every day as well, partly because it's a more convenient and graceful way to tell the time than pulling out my phone and partly, I suppose, as a bit of a quaint affectation.

However, a big part of it is also that a good-looking watch is fashionable and attractive. None of the current crop of smart watches are anything close to fashionable, and I was convinced Apple would be the company to bridge that crucial gap and create a smartwatch that people would wear even if it didn't do anything cool (something like this mock-up). I don't see the Apple Watch as being such a device. Maybe the whole concept is stillborn. Maybe it'll be an awkward stepping stone on the path to more wearable and increasingly intimate tech (like the Newton and Palm Pilot were indirect antecedents of the iPhone). Maybe this thing will defy my expectations and sell like crazy. Who knows? But I don't see myself wearing one (or any of its competitors).

Comment: iPod Classic (Score 4, Informative) 730

by typhoonius (#47864897) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

One bum note is that they are no longer selling the iPod Classic as of today, quietly ending thirteen years of scroll-wheel iPods.

That's too bad, as it's a much better music player than the iTouch and the iPhone, with its larger storage capacity and controls with tactile feedback.

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.