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Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 5, Insightful) 579

by Tran (#48905793) Attached to: Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3

Well, unlike the wireless phone companies, there where no vendors for the PCs that insist on putting their hands on the OS to customize the Android experience (mostly to detrimental effect, in my experience). So yes, Verizon, T-Mobile are on the hook for this one.

My plain vanilla Nexus 4 is still running fine with the latest and greatest, well latest, OS from Google. It is just staring to take some performance hits as compared to when it first came out.

Comment: Re:Parents (Score 1) 784

by Tran (#48829931) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

You know how things got to be this way? Because when bad things or unpleasant things happen people sue. And win.
Similarly what happened to education (After my CS degree I also got a teaching certification (back in the 80s) - one track was on social aspects of education through American history - of particular interest to me was how kids are not held back anymore. One word: lawsuits [by disgruntled parents]).
Now a days, all it takes is a phone call by an unhappy parent - why did my Johnny not get into the honors class - I want him to be in there... when in fact Johnny does not have the skills to be in the honors class, but lo and behold Johnny is in the honors class the next day.

Basically, I see in forums that "the government" gets blamed or harangued for overreach for/in issues like this, when really it is (us?) the people doing it to themselves.
In that sense it really is the people are the government here in the US.

On a separate note - my ex-wife worked for CPS in Boston for a few years. The priority was trying to keep children with parents, family, and lastly foster care. It really had to be egregious or consistent flaunting of the plans and/or rules that would result in removal of children from parents. Unfortunately it does happen.

So, in this case it does sound the CPS department over reacted, but I wonder what the case history is in that area to warrant such a display by CPS personnel.

Comment: Re:One disturbing bit: (Score 1) 484

by Tran (#47315921) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

Your first example is not really what is happening, is it though? More apt is what is going on is that I buy an antenna and give it my neighbor to mount on his roof, and then run a cable from that antenna to my house.
For the access of having him put an antenna on his roof, I pay him a little fee.
Why should I not be able to do this, whatever my motivation (poor or signal at my house, no good place to mount an antenna at my house, etc)?

Comment: Re:Did he ever revisit these predictions? (Score 1) 352

by Tran (#44683119) Attached to: The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)

Yeah, I think that was the "Our future in the Cosmos" series of presentations. I saw him present that at NASA Langley Research Center.
Stood in line to meet him and get his autograph on a scrap piece of paper. Then I recognized the man sitting behind him, talking to him on occasion - and got his autograph right next to Isaac Asimov's. That man was no other than Mr Kelly Freas (Frank Kelly Freas). He was astonished that anyone recognized him, and I kept it to myself I had just seen him recently at a Sci-Con, so recognition was easy.

Had the concept been known back then I think that was my first nerd-gasm.

I was too young(16-17) and to unaware to notice Mr Asimov's health.

Comment: Re:Start here (Score 1) 1145

by Tran (#43857257) Attached to: White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

I don't know, I see the problem of no exact fit current lumber for my house built in the early 60s.
The guy who built the house originally used true dimension lumber, so a 2x4 in the house was truly a 2x4.
Without custom ordering I could not get the standard thickness plywood used for the floors (which I did not do - was easy enough to bevel the new plywood where it abutted the old). Made for some interesting rebuilding and renovating issues - but was doable.
So I am sure - even in the future, one could always custom order old dimension if so inclined. Or find innovative solutions to make things work out.
Not sure if all contractors are innovative, but from what I read and the stories I hear, good contractors and good carpenters certainly are an innovative group of people.

Comment: But Sanjay is smart (Score 1) 630

by Tran (#38842249) Attached to: America's Future Is In Software, Not Hardware

He will hire software developers back from home, or even back in China.
I fail to see how software will be a pillar that will change the economy of the US for the better. Everything that happened in manufacturing will happen in software as well, except probably 3 times faster, since it is already happening.

Comment: And how would you that for sure with AV software? (Score 1) 391

by Tran (#38677174) Attached to: Symantec Sued For Running Fake "Scareware" Scans

Taking the term anti-virus to the most base view that normal users see ( covering malware, scareware, rootkits and browser hijacks - all supposedly covered by these AV products).

I have seen to many times when free or commercial anti-virus fails to detect stuff coming in. One gets complaints that machines are not working so well anymore and upon examination you discover that despite AV software the machine has been usurped in some manner by some kind of *ware, often even having ( well in older versions anyway) disabled the AV, free or commercial.

I am going to paint with a broad brush here, but in my experience traveling salespeople's laptops have been the ones that have opened my eyes the most about these kind of issues. I swear, salespeople (not all) must be in competition as to who can show off the most crap to each other, in the process exposing their machines.

Thank god for smart phones replacing some of these laptops and so far having less issues in this regard. So far anyway...

Comment: Netflix on... (Score 1) 237

by Tran (#38676706) Attached to: Ubuntu Tablet OS To Take On Android, iOS

I don't know about that - maybe most do, but probably by a narrow and narrowing margin.
In our household we watch Netflix on various portable devices (80%), different computers (10%) and yes on TV(10%) via consoles (Wii, PS3, Blue ray player) where % is % of Netflix viewing time.
While my household may not be as typical as most, in our demographic neighborhood, we are not that unusual.
And certainly that is one question I get asked about a lot - can we watch videos on portable device x ( ostensibly follow up question possible to watch video without 4g or other form of wireless).

Comment: Re:That's messed up ... (Score 1) 359

by Tran (#38676462) Attached to: LG To Pay Licensing Fees To Microsoft For Using Android

Remind me again if ideas and algorithms are patentable.
I was under the impression one had to have fairly concrete implementations to patent something.

I know there is a discussion vis a vis algorithms in this regard ( all algorithms are math and math is not patentable).

Business processes are generally specific implementations of ideas, so those unfortunately have been patentable. But the general idea has not. ( ie (semi-fictitious example) in this process we use cooling to finish the product to achieve xyz was not patentable, but ...we use cooling using vaporizing liquid nitrogen through this kind of machinery was patentable. In the case I know about, using an alternate cooling process was sufficient to avoid patent issues) .


Comment: Tolkien was easy to read (Score 1) 505

by Tran (#38647812) Attached to: JRR Tolkien Denied Nobel Due To Low Quality Prose

The Hobbit and LOTR was easy to read, and the subject matter moved along just fine, at least when i was 16. I haven't tried since then.
If one want something to attempt to read that embodies drudgery, something I tried to read after LOTR was Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast. My friend who got me on to LOTR was ebullient about Gormenghast, but I could only barely make it through the first book. I keep promising myself that one of these days I will try to read it all three. Some of the characters are singularly imaginative.
  Another from that time period in my youth I could not take was the Sword of Shannara (Terry Brooks) series that started about then. There was something I could not even get through the the first 20 pages before I had to give up. Compared to Tolkien I just had read with joy, and Mervyn Peake's prose I just had failed to finish, Terry Brook's writing could not even compare.

Oh well, it all depends on one's outlook and background, I suppose. At 16 I was only in the US for 2 years, having grown up in Germany, learning some of my English by reading Captain America, Daredevil, and the Black Panther.

Nowadays I enjoy the uneven excellence of Michael Swanwick, and Charles Stross. The epicness of George R.R. Martin's Songs of ice and Fire have been an awesome read as well.

It seems as a geek, LOTR should be on the list as a must read. Sort of like a college degree - shows you can completes something, but not necessary to enjoy life.

Comment: Interacting and Movies (Score 1) 865

by Tran (#38538630) Attached to: Ebert: I'll Tell You Why Movie Revenue Is Dropping

Depending on the mood and movie, there are times I want to interact and other times not. So i choose the appropriate venue or viewing time.
Most first run movies - no interaction. Second or nth run movies interaction is fine most of the time... For that one can't beat local college/university movie nights.

While I was never a student at MIT I went to several screenings of movies there. Now that is(was?) an interactive experience, more so during movie marathons.
Where I am now, the nearby university doesn't seem to do much in terms of movies like that, so I miss that.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.