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Comment: Re:How thrilling... (Score 1) 42

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47517015) Attached to: Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious
The CPU and GPU are fine, reports on battery life seem to vary, with excellent results if you turn the 'dynamic perspectives' thing off and don't firefly much, tepid ones if you actually try to use those features; but the screen is genuinely disappointing for a phone in that price range, although the internal storage is better than usual.

There's nothing offensively wrong with it; but the price tag befits a device that is genuinely compelling in some way, which it isn't.

Comment: Re:How thrilling... (Score 1) 42

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47516921) Attached to: Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious
Unfortunately, while stock android is undeniably Google's little fiefdom, 'FireOS' is a pretty much point-for-point a replacement of hegemonic Google with hegemonic Amazon (somewhat more, arguably, given the 'silk' browser's extensive default reliance on server-side processing).

It is pretty stark how lousy de-googled Android is; but Amazon isn't really here to change the dynamic of effectively closed control of the platform, just who controls it. Getting models with a 'clean' AOSP firmware(typically excluding drivers; because it seems to be blobs all the way down on the mobile side) isn't hard; but using them is fairly grim.

Comment: Re:Security? In a crapp? (Score 1) 33

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47516325) Attached to: CNN iPhone App Sends iReporters' Passwords In the Clear

Did anyone *really* expect a crapp to have any sort of security whatsoever?

It's a trifle surprising given that the usual 'eh, let's just wrap our shit mobile website in a UIWebView and call it a day' school of 'app' development would likely have inherited SSL through sheer laziness, while whatever attempt at app development CNN attempted is apparently so dysfunctional as to be markedly worse than the state of website logins in general, and apparently so incoherent that the phone and tablet versions don't share login behavior...

That seems like the sort of thing that takes effort to screw up.

+ - MagicJack Inventor Dan Borislow Dead at Age 52->

Submitted by Nightwraith
Nightwraith (180411) writes "Dan Borislow, whose “MagicJack,” peddled in television infomercials, helped pioneer free phone calls through the Internet, has died. He was 52.

His death was confirmed by Brad Shewmake, a spokesman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., the maker of the device. Borislow was the founder and former chief executive officer of the company, based in Netanya, Israel, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

He died yesterday of a heart attack after playing in a soccer game in West Palm Beach, according to an e-mail today from his friend, Douglas Kass, founder of Seabreeze Partners Management Inc. in Palm Beach, Florida.

“Dan was a true telecom pioneer whose vision, creativity, energy, passion and single-minded focus was the driving force behind the success of MagicJack,” the company’s CEO, Gerald Vento, said today in a statement. Vento replaced Borislow as the company’s chief executive on Jan. 1, 2013."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Pft (Score 2) 765

by ultranova (#47515849) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

You realize that there's more difference between your average man and your average woman than between your average NFL linebacker and your average man, right? (seriously, compare the stats some time - height, average bench strength, etc). You do realize how commonly women are raped and abused by men, and how they might happen to be more sensitive to the implicit or explicit threats of violence from someone that they're highly unlikely to be able to fight off?

You know, if you complain about violence against your group yet dismiss violence against another group as inconsequential, you aren't likely to get - or deserve, for that matter - much sympathy, especially from that other group.

This is something many feminists - and other rights groups as well - seem to be unable to comprehend: you can get most people to back equality. You can't get them to back a power grab. No matter how justified you believe yourself, if you dismiss everyone's pain but yours then of course they're going to dismiss yours, and rightly so.

I'm tall, 182 centimeters, and I still once had a guy literally pick me up and carry me back to his apartment when I tried to walk away from him.

And I had a guy pull a knife on me. But that doesn't matter since I'm a man, and thus don't have a woman's sensitivity, right? Testicles make me immune to fear and pain, thus violence and threats against me don't count. Only real human beings like you matter. I can bloody well just "stop being a sissy", since unlike you, I don't have feelings. Someone attacking you is a tragedy, but someone attacking me is of no importance because, after all, I have a penis.

Sexist creep.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The one complicating factor, though, is that discrete sound cards are being squeeze from both sides: With even integrated GPUs offering HDMI and displayport audio, and even all but the most spartan (usually super-cheap and/or strictly business oriented) onboard audio supporting S/PDIF, the option of an external DAC or receiver becomes much more attractive, especially if you already have one that you like or want to be able to use other audio sources with a relatively expensive piece of high quality audio gear.

The performance of the analog components of onboard audio is, indeed, going to be more 'endurable' than 'good'; but digital logic is crazy cheap and (mostly) either works or doesn't, and basic boring onboard audio often has less ghastly driver mess than the cards trying to 'value add'(Creative, specifically, being a ghastly offender).

It's not as though they are a ghastly scam or anything, if you want to be able to plug a nice pair of headphones straight into your PC rather than an outboard module that's totally understandable; but they do occupy a slightly precarious middle ground between mostly-competent onboard audio and the full array of audio gear that accepts digital input.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

Apropos of that... With at least certain Realtek chipsets(I'm afraid I don't have the model number handy, this was a couple of years ago) I ran into an issue with audio output from a program that made atypically demanding use of MIDI:

The audio worked, and was free of obvious noise problems; but the pitch and playback speed kept changing, sometimes correct, sometimes badly off. With a bit of fiddling, it turned out that putting the system under heavy load made it work properly, and the deviations only cropped up when it was lightly loaded. If CPU power saving was disabled(and so clock speed kept constant) the problem never occurred regardless of load. As best I was able to tell, some part of the sound system was using the CPU (instead of all those fancy system timers that were added because using the CPU clock is something best left to the bad old days of Turbo buttons) as a timebase; but not accounting for the fact that it only actually ran at the maximum frequency when load demanded it.

It was an entertaining bug, as they go; but not confidence inspiring. The $10 USB thing that replaced it had no such issues.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The /. writeup sounds like audiophile wank to me. I would be surprised if this Soundblaster could justify its price in a proper double blind study on real world data (music, games, movies, etc...) vs. the built in audio on your mobo.

It doesn't help that the squeeze is really coming from both sides: On the low end, the performance of onboard audio has improved(SNR may still make the golden-eared cringe; but horrors of the old days are mostly banished, so adequate performance, usually with fairly well behaved default drivers, is rarely a problem).

On the high end, odds are good that the user already has a preferred DAC and amplifier which will skip the cheap and electrically noisy PC entirely. Even fairly nasty onboard sound often has digital out, and with HDMI and displayport including audio support, so do most graphics cards, even integrated GPUs.

Unless you are trying to drive a touchy and analog only device, maybe a nice pair of headphones or an older amplifier or receiver, there just isn't an obvious need for what creative is selling.

+ - 'Optical fibre' Made Out Of Thin Air 1

Submitted by Dave Knott
Dave Knott (2917251) writes "Scientists from the University of Maryland say they have turned thin air into an "optical fibre" that can transmit and amplify light signals without the need for any cables. As described in the research, this was accomplished by generating a laser with its light split into a ring of multiple beams forming a pipe. Very short and powerful pulses from the laser are used to heat the air molecules along the beam extremely quickly. Such rapid heating produces sound waves that take about a microsecond to converge to the centre of the pipe, creating a high-density area surrounded by a low-density area left behind in the wake of the laser beams. The lower density region of air surrounding the centre of the air waveguide has a lower refractive index, keeping the light focused, and allowing the higher-density region (with its correspondingly higher index of refraction) to act like an optical fibre. The findings, reported in the journal Optica, have applications in long range laser communications, high-resolution topographic mapping, air pollution and climate change research, and could also be used by the military to make laser weapons."

Comment: Adver-teasing is fun. (Score 4, Funny) 133

by TapeCutter (#47514477) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims
I haven't a mobile phone of any kind for almost a decade but google and facebook know (from my bank) that I have spent some serious dollars on dentistry recently, their computers are thoroughly convinced I should buy a $350 set of plastic clip on teeth. I don't need false teeth but I post something random about the plastic teeth to web sites about once a week, like I'm doing here. I've been doing this for about six weeks, almost every page I visit is now plastered with the same ad (I clicked on it once just to tease them).

There's some people selling porcelain teeth that started following me last week, I'm currently experimenting with different phrases to see if I can ignite a bidding war between the two vendors. Would love to know how much they have spent on me so far....

Your post is spot on, it's exceedingly difficult to opt out of the civilization you found yourself born into. Ridicule is the best defense against extremists, so my advice is try to have some fun with the absurdities of "targeted advertising", and the crusaders who are battling it..

Disclaimer: For many years I have had the slashdot "disable advertising" option available, I don't use it because I actually want slashdot to make a few pennies from my eyeballs. It's also humourous seeing ads for religious scams posted to a bunch of atheist nerds ranting against religion. If we keep burning gods money like that maybe (s)he won't be able to buy as many congressmen in the future.

+ - Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bromium Labs analyzed public vulnerabilities and exploits from the first six months of 2014. The research determined that Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have increased more than 100 percent since 2013 , surpassing Java and Flash vulnerabilities. Web browsers have always been a favorite avenue of attack, but we are now seeing that hackers are not only getting better at attacking Internet Explorer, they are doing it more frequently."

+ - When Google Sells Your Data, It Might Be Illegally Killing Your Phone's Battery

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Personal information about you and your browsing, email, and app-using habits is regularly sent between apps on your Android phone, a potentially illegal practice that could be killing your battery life. A federal judge ruled that the claim, raised in a class action lawsuit against the company, "requires a heavily and inherently fact-bound inquiry."
That means that there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with who, and when."

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison