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Comment: Re:Had a HTC Win6 phone (Score 1) 539

Probably the Touch Pro or Touch Pro 2. Yeah, those were great. I saw people using them well after they were obsolete, just for the good keyboard and decent (for the time) display.

The HTC 7 Pro was supposed to be the successor to that line, running WP7 instead of WinMo, but it had relatively limited availability and the smallest screen of all WP7 devices. None of the slider WP7 phones did well, although there were at least three model lines of them (LG had one, HTC had the 7 Pro, and Dell had the Venue Pro). As far as I know, not a single WP8 handset has a slideout keyboard, and there are few-if-any Android phones that have come out in the last year-or-so (same time frame since WP8 launched) with slider keyboards either.

Comment: Re:NO, all candy bar (Score 1) 539

My Samsung ATIV S (same hardware as the Galaxy S3) does this, except it will work for a little more than two days and it doesn't switch off *all* smartphone features, just the ones that run automatically in the background. You can still do things like play games on it, or *manually* trigger an email sync, if you're willing to accept the battery hit.

Of source, every single Windows Phone 8 device has this feature... The percentage of battery where it does this automatically is not settable (it's always 20% if automatic mode is enabled) and the duration that it can last when in Battery Saver mode will very depending on how much actual capacity "20%" is (the ATIV S had the largest battery of the first-wave WP8 handsets). However, you can manually enable Battery Saver any time you want to, and you can (as of the latest update) also exclude specific apps from the Battery Saver rules (so you could keep synching one vital email account but stop synching the others, for example).

I really don't understand why something like this isn't standard in all smartphone operating systems. It's an obvious, useful feature. Smartphone batteries actually last very long if the phone isn't doing anything except listening for phone calls or messages - my phone reports 21 days of battery life if I put it into Battery Saver right after charging - but the things that make a smartphone really useful eat a lot of that. My HTC One M8 is a much newer phone than the ATIV S, and can survive in "full smartphone" mode longer now than the ATIV can... but without third-party tools or a bunch of manual tweaking, it will die while the Windows phone still has about 28 hours left.

Comment: Re:equivalent to destroying nine rockets (Score 1) 132

by cbhacking (#47537357) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

In fairness, the SLS is supposed to be more powerful than the Falcon 9. On the other hand, an extra $400M would probably be plenty for SpaceX to get the Falcon Heavy flying, which will be capable of most of the things that the SLS is supposed to handle and at a vastly lower per-launch price even if they *don't* manage to make the launcher reusable. Hell, an extra $400M would probably go much further toward SpaceX managing to build their interplanetary craft (the one that's supposed to ferry people to Mars) than it will actually produce toward the SLS, and you'd get a more powerful (and probably *still* cheaper per-use) spaceship out of it, too!

Comment: Re:So am I. Specifically, violated how? (Score 1) 888

I wasn't under the impression that the government making things that help (in the case of the TSA, that last word is highly sarcastic) a private industry render that industry public. If that were the case, any industry that relied on the interstate highways (or even just public roads) would seem to apply. Or anything involving oceanic operations (Coast Guard, NOAA weather stations, survey charts, hell even GPS). In many parts of the country, municipal water is government-run; does that mean that the government "funds" restaurants by making sure that they don't need to perform their own water quality testing before they can serve it to their guests?

Mind you, I'm ignorant of (and therefore not considering) any legal history which may exist around this issue. So far as I know, the gov does not actually directly fund airlines in any way and instead just has agencies who are responsible for making sure that planes don't fall out of the sky, crash into each other, or get hijacked for use as missiles... at least, not very often. I'm not sure how this is different from the government agencies which make sure that road signs are accurate, bridges can support the weight of a truck driving over them, and people aren't allowed to tear through residential neighborhoods at whatever speed they feel like. Well, aside from the fact that many (though not all) of the relevant agencies are operated by lesser governments than the feds.

Anyhow, if there's actually something that makes the difference, then I'm curious but accept that my understanding was incorrect. To the best of my knowledge, an airline agent is a public servant in much the same way that a cruise ship agent is - that is, not at all. They have authority within the scope of their employer (including the authority to evict you from the plane, assuming that in doing so they are not putting anybody's life in undue danger) but then, so does any restaurant proprietor if they have reason to believe that you are harmful to their business. They have the authority to call the police, but so does any private citizen for any scenario in which they think a crime has been or is being (or imminently will be) committed. They do not, to my understanding, have the authority to force the police to arrest anybody or indeed to show up at all, although given the nature of their job I'm sure they can convince the police to show up any time they want them to (at risk of crying wolf too many times). Again, correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.

Comment: So am I. Specifically, violated how? (Score 4, Informative) 888

What first amendment rights were violated? I'm absolutely serious about this; please point to any violation of first amendment rights anywhere in here.

While you do so, remember that the first amendment restricts the actions of the *government* - that is, it prohibits the making of laws that do certain things - and has absolutely nothing to do with the private sector. Here, let me quote it for you (emphasis mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, which law did SWAirlines cause Congress to pass that violated these people's first amendment rights? Go on, point it out please.

Or were you just mouthing off about stuff you don't understand, trying to get people riled up about an issue that doesn't even exist? Because that... well, let's just say it speaks volumes about your intelligence (and that of the person who modded you up). Volumes that I doubt you would ever read, since apparently you can't be bothered to read (or at least, understand) one of the most important *sentences* ever committed to text in the history of this nation...

Comment: Re:GOG discovers DOSBOX works on Linux (Score 4, Informative) 81

by cbhacking (#47525439) Attached to: Announces Linux Support

No offense, but that's a kind of dumb assumption. They explicitly state that they make the games compatible with modern systems. With a large portion of their catalog being 16-bit, and 64-bit OSes not able to load 16-bit apps, they *need* to be wrapping the games in emulators or the like.

Yes, the original game files - or very close, minimally-patched versions - are in there. However, the vast majority of their customer base wouldn't be able to do anything with those game files. Even if they were, it wouldn't be the simple and user-friendly experience that it is today.

Now, as a Linux user trying to run Windows software, you're pretty much writing off "simple and user-friendly" from the get-go (I've been gaming in Wine since 2006; it's better than it was but it's got a long way to go and the goalposts keep moving). Given that, maybe it would have been nice for the small portion of users who care if they'd provided a "here's the files and instructions you need for setting this up in ScummVM on the platform of your choice" option... but that's not their target market, and frankly it might actually be harmful to their goals (never underestimate the cost of support calls from idiots who think they know what they're doing).

Hence, while many of their games have been *able* to run on Linux since GOG released them, the really core portion of the service - the dead-simple installers and updates - didn't. That is what they're now changing.

Comment: Re:OK MS bashers. (Score 1) 322

by cbhacking (#47520593) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Yes, please! Hell, just dumping the lockdown (or rather, making it optional) should boost sales a good bit; there's a fair bit of recompiled code already available (jailbroken) RT. Something with RT's battery life and hardware support, but able to run "real" Windows software, is a desirable machine for many people... and as you say, there's also many who would like to put Linux on it, and get an ultra-portable Linux machine that can also run Windows stuff at need.

There's already a semi-functional x86 emulation (dynamic recompilation, more accurately) layer for RT. Considering it's the work of one hobbyist in his spare time over a few months, without access to MS source, I'm sure MS could do a lot better themselves if they wanted to. With that said, I can see the argument for not doing so after all. .NET binaries run as-is, anything MS owns can be ported, and perf impact of recompilation onto a less-powerful architecture, especially for something as complex as x86, is pretty heavy. (The current tool will happily run 2D games... from the late 90s.)

Comment: Re:OK MS bashers. (Score 1) 322

by cbhacking (#47520567) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

What the [redacted] do you mean "go back to" promoting .NET? Honestly curious. I mean, you obviously know [redacted]-all about it (among other things, while it compiles to bytecode in the typical use cases, it's executed as native code thanks to a JIT compiler that takes it the rest of the way for whatever platform it's on) but I'm not sure how you've missed the fact that it's the primary platform for Windows Phone apps (WP7 only supported Silverlight or XNA - both of which are .NET - for third-party apps; WP8 allows native code but most apps are still mostly or entirely .NET), Windows Store apps (JS and native are both available, but .NET is very heavily used), client apps (it's rarely used in big apps, but widely used for small utilities), server apps (hell, the Server Core SKU doesn't have a GUI, just PowerShell... which is a .NET-based command line interface), and games (all Xbox360 indie games - there are many thousands of them - are XNA which is .NET).

They added native code options for Phone and WinRT because people wanted them for performance-sensitive stuff, but the vast majority of the software for those platforms is architecture-independent. Windows RT will run the same .NET binaries that Windows 8 will.

Comment: Re:Microsoft Linux (Score 1) 322

by cbhacking (#47520547) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Microsoft actually sold a highly-successful cross-platform Unix system for many years, back in the pre-NT days. You didn't think they ran the company on DOS, did you? They used Xenix machines extensively into the 90s, until NT was in a position to take over.

For that matter, back then NT had a POSIX subsystem and could run most Unix software with little more than a recompile. In case you're curious, by "back then" I mean "until Windows 8.1"; the POSIX subsystem is still available in Win7 and Win8. It's not a great Unix, but it's better integrated into Windows than a VM or CoLinux, or even Cygwin, and it does the job... or did. When MS discontinued it, they also cut support for the most-used software repo, and staying up to date currently means manually updating or moving to a different package manager.

Comment: Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 1) 322

by cbhacking (#47520529) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Win8 (especially 8.1) already does this, to a small degree. Buttons and menu items are bigger on touchscreen systems, and I think the default state of boot-to-desktop-vs.-Start-screen is already input-hardware-determined. It certainly doesn't require any new APIs, much less new drivers!

With that said, yes, Win9/Threshold/whatever will be a more dramatic example. It's not new, though.

Comment: Re:Stephen Elop... (Score 1) 282

Nokia was struggling quite badly before Elop. I'm not dismissing your claim that Microsoft devoured it, or that Elop was a major part of that, but if you take off your rose-tinted glasses of Nokia past (which was excellent, undeniably) and look at the Nokia of just a few years ago, that company was in major trouble.

Now, they *could* have made a run at being the next Samsung, and gone with Android. Or they *could* have put real resources into Maemo/Meego/whatever-they-were-calling-it-then, brought out a really modern successor to the N900, and tried to compete solo. Or they *could* have canned everything else and pushed Symbian as far as it would go.

But they had to do something. They were hurting, badly, and showing no sign of an actual path out.

Comment: Re:"free market" (Score 1) 290

by cbhacking (#47504211) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

It's a $300 phone. That's "cheap" only by comparison to the high-end models; it's actually more accurately called mid-range. You can get vastly cheaper (less than half the price) smartphones that have better software/firmware. Their specs will be worse, but - and this is the whole point of the article - nobody will notice the shitty software and firmware before they buy, whereas a bad spec list makes a phone look bad (and cheap) even if the actual experience of using it is pretty good (most people don't come close to really using the full power of their phones).

Comment: You have to show the score so people know it. (Score 1) 290

by cbhacking (#47504177) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

No. The solution isn't that somebody needs to rate phones. It's that the rating needs to be obvious and visible. If I go into a store and look at a line of phones, they'll all tell me their screen size and their CPU speed and usually what OS version they have, plus usually one distinguishing feature, but that's about it.

Compare that with, say, buying a game or other piece of software. There will be review scores (and actual reviews, if I go looking, but the scores are prominently displayed), there will be awards given, there will be indications of the actual *quality* of the item. Not flawless ones, of course, but a hell of a lot better than getting nothing but a short list that tells me this is a RTS game, supports up to 8-way multi-player, runs on Windows XP or newer, requires 20GB of storage, and features a campaign with multiple endings depending on the decisions you make in game (or similar "cool but you have no idea how well that works" feature).

Of course, nobody *wants* to display a bad score on something they're trying to sell you... but they'd happily display a good one. The idea is to make such review scores sufficiently widespread and usable (which requires decent accuracy) that people will actually A) pay attention to them, and B) notice when they are missing.

Comment: Re:...The hell? (Score 1) 290

by cbhacking (#47504039) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

I actually found it interesting, exactly *because* of the comparison to things like the Lumia 520 (the only really-low-end smartphone I have any experience with - I've done a lot of security review on them - in the last five years). The 520 is an unabashedly low-end phone. Rear camera only, no flash, 5MPx (for Nokia, this is low-end indeed). 480x800 used to be pretty good for a 3.5" screen, but these days it's pretty meh. 1GHz CPU, even though it's dual-core, is about as low as it's possible to find in a brand new smartphone, at least in the USA. No 4G, no NFC, etc... but the radios it does have had good firmware. The software runs well within the confines of that hardware, and doesn't have any bugs that I found which its higher-end brethren fixed.

You will lose an important disk file.