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Comment Re:The problem with HTC in reality is (Score 2, Interesting) 544

The problem is that some of the problems aren't "day one" or even "day 30" bugs. They crop up after weeks or months of use, or when you try to use an application that depends on something that's broken. Sometimes they're related to security issues.

With Windows Mobile that was embarrassing: phones would ship with broken add-on apps that would leak memory or crash, problems like SMTP timing out would corrupt your mailbox, time zones being out of date, etc. For a personal user this might not be an issue: for a business it was really irritating. It was made even more galling because WM had an OTA update feature that, in all the phones I saw, was never, ever used, and outside of Symbol, Intermec and the like, the state of these handhelds software stability is terrible.

Even more amusing yet was how, even when your handheld saw an update, chances are your carrier wouldn't bother to deploy it. That was just so awesome.

Android is going exactly the same way, and for exactly the same reason: the same troglodytes are making and supporting the hardware. This is wholly different from RIM, Apple or (to some degree) Nokia.** If there's a bug in those platforms, those companies seem to have the will to get updates out in a timely manner and, generally, free from carrier reticence.

Complain as you will about Apple or RIM not being "open", but at least they seem to consider the end-users to be their actual customers. The reason the hacking communities are so strong in WM and Android circles is largely because the OEMs consider that carriers to be their customers; their offerings may as well be closed for the pathetic level of support they offer.

** Rogers in Canada, unfortunately, doesn't offer updates from Nokia's devices. This is why my E71 would have been stuck at an old and rather buggy firmware version, rather than any of the six or seven versions since that Nokia released

Comment Re:Big deal (Score 0) 458

Disclaimer: I am a member of the LDS Church, but I do know LDS (Mormon) theology somewhat. Suicide isn't considered an "unforgivable sin". The official policy is to assume that a suicide victim's soul isn't damned to hell or any of that nonsense. Quite a few years back we had a suicide in our immediate family, and although sad and shocking, the person was buried in their temple clothes. What that means is that it was assumed that they were (for a lack of a better phrase) sick in the head and made a bad judgment, and therefore either forgiven or simply not at fault. I firmly believe that person is enjoying all the benefits that heaven has to offer!

Comment Re:Advert for the verizon network? (Score 1) 423

That's true for a plain Pre. Out of the box, it has the options: Sprint only network and roam when Sprint isn't available. However, the people at have created a 'roam only' patch that gives the user a 3rd option: roam on non-Sprint networks even if the Sprint network is available. There are lots of other patches that they've created for the device too. Many of which just enable features that Palm has commented out for some reason, others are additions to the javascript files to enable new functionality. IMHO, anyone that's on Slashdot who owns a Pre should check it out.

Comment Re:ZFS (Score 1) 303

You must have checked a long time ago; FreeBSD got support for ZFS on root partitions before OpenSolaris. That said, the ZFS implementation in FreeBSD is based quite an old version of ZFS from OpenSolaris. There is a newer version in FreeBSD 8, but other bits of the kernel are less tested (8 is still in beta). If you really care about stability, Solaris is probably a better choice for ZFS than FreeBSD at the moment.

Comment Re:Republicans? [citation needed] (Score 0, Troll) 899

How about we take the scientific achievement that took place within different cultures. It just happens that's just what this book is about.

Of course, people who argue for the "equality" of different creeds and ideologies won't like the book, at all. It makes mention of several ancient cultures that did make scientific advances, however as is obvious to see anywhere in the world today, all save 1 failed. ("equality" of creeds strikes me as being such an obvious untruth that it baffles the mind as to think rational people can actually believe it, after all if they're all "equal" then how could it possibly be that there's more than one ? How can people who build upon math, who proclaim math's achievements, believe that the principle of the excluded third is wrong ? Talk about contradictory ... but that's just me)

Mayans, Incas, Chinese, Hindus, Japanese, Egyptians, Persians ... all made scientific advancements earlier than European civlization. Muslims, Mongols, other Chinese ... killed, conquered and massacred their way to richess and scientific knowledge far beyond what contemporary Europeans had. Muslims should really be split up in 3 groups. The original arab conquerors. Then their slaves killed them and took over (the "mamluks") and then they killed themselves while carrying out jihad against Christians and Jews, only to be replaced by invading Ottomans ("Turks" more or less).

And all these civilizations have one thing in common : they all perished. Every last one. Most of these (all except the Chinese) even eradicated their scientific knowledge (esp. the muslims were good at this), and went backward in technological development instead of forward.

The sad truth is, that there is a single ideology whose adherents have produced over 99% of all scientific knowledge, and who are the only ones who rescued the remaining 1% from destruction. There is one person who exemplifies the singular ideology that created our current level of knowledge : Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Why did he learn science ? Why should humans conduct science and improve themselves using it ? To get to know the beauty of God (as in Christ) better. The catholic church followed him (eventually) and we all know the result. This very forum is built upon his legacy, as is nearly everything we have around us.

That's the thesis of this book, and the guy makes a very convincing case. No doubt though, that lots of people, who might be reasonably accused of hating the ideology in question, will deny this.

Quote from the book :

âoeEvidence scattered from Angkor Wat to Machu Picchu attests to the ability of human beings throughout the globe, not confined to the leading civilizations, to achieve amazing technological feats. And yet, and yetâ¦.Modern Europe has overwhelmingly dominated accomplishment in both the arts and sciences. The estimates of the European contribution are robust. They cannot, in any way I have been able to devise, be attenuated more than fractionally.

Unfortunately if you read the book it will become clear just how much the author dislikes this observation. 3 "fields of science and arts" were created with the express purpose of not having any competing Europeans. Arabic literature (dominated by Jews), Indian philosophy (as Europeans dominate what you might call "eastern philosophy" too, certainly up until the 1990's), and Chinese arts (which somehow magically includes the printing press ("invented" by a Chinese emperor, who did nothing with it))

The author concludes the quote above, however, with this remark, even if it's slightly out of scope for the book :

As I write, it appears that Europeâ(TM)s run is over. In another few hundred years, books will probably be exploring the reasons why some completely different part of the world became the locus of great human accomplishment. Now is a good time to stand back in admiration. What the human species is today owes in astonishing degree to what was accomplished in just half a dozen centuries by the peoples of one small portion of the northwestern Eurasian land mass. Not only does Europe dominate the narrative of human accomplishment, so does the minority that has become known in recent years as dead white males.â

So in other words, what made Europeans unique in the pursuit of science and arts is dead or dying. A visit to any university, even the legendary Sorbonne, will unfortunately confirm this. It's dying. It's dying a very, very slow death though, so there is hope that it can be revived.

It seems praying would be the correct course of action. At least that's what motivated one hell of a lot of important scientists, ironically including Charles Darwin and others ...

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall