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Comment: Re:Nothing is unhackable (Score 1) 46

by chihowa (#48928785) Attached to: Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug

There are several implementations of OpenPGP on Android and IOS. These guys have one that's coming along nicely and has OK email and XMPP integration (because they actually wrote a decent API for (de)crypting).

Of course, your keys are only as secure as your phone... which isn't very. Google, the carrier (for stock, branded phones), and who knows else can remotely swipe the key from your device. There is rudimentary support for secure elements like YubiKey, though.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 2) 179

In a democracy, the people vote on laws, budgets, wars and everything else. In a republic, the people elect representatives who vote on laws, budgets, wars, and everything else. That's what people generally understand, and how they use the terms.

Not really, because there are very few examples of direct democracy, especially in our contemporary world. Nobody but pedants and classical historians think of the population voting on everything when they think of democracy. Both in definition and in popular conception, "democracy" just means that the people have some say in the governing. Republic is a subset of democracy.

I wish there was some independent reference materials you could consult. Can someone help me out here?

Luckily enough, there is!

democracy (noun)
a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives

Comment: Re:Nice troll (Score 1) 575

Cyanogenmod is still releasing builds for the GSM Galaxy Nexus, but there's nobody looking after these builds on that platform.

There's a radio glitch in everything above CM 10.1.3 on the GSM Galaxy Nexus. Loss of signal from the cell radio will (sometimes?) leave the phone unable to reestablish a cellular data connection until the phone is rebooted.

Paranoid Android still actively supports the Galaxy Nexus, though.

Comment: Re:The IRS could shut down??? (Score 1) 253

by chihowa (#48879821) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

I've been audited once. I was a student with very low income from multiple sources, very low dividends from multiple accounts, and education credits of some form. It was a crazy filing, but the audit actually only found an error on their side. I'm not sure that income has much to do with it.

Comment: Re:Less creepiness (Score 1) 324

by chihowa (#48879403) Attached to: What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

Android's connection to Google is well known to geeky types, but seems to be less well understood by the general population. Aside from the Nexus devices, there's almost no Google branding on Android phones. Even the inclusion of various Google apps is somewhat countered by the stock inclusion of Facebook and other companies' apps.

I completely agree that Google would do well by moving away from advertising. The data slurping and overall creepy and opaque nature of Google's business is largely due to being supported by advertising. It's going to be a very hard road, though. Getting people to pay for services that used to be "free" is hard to do without convincing them that "free" wasn't really free (and that "free" was undesirable... tarnishing their image in the process). If they don't fix their image and trajectory though, they're bound to turn into another Microsoft: flush with cash, but reviled and only coasting along on inertia.

Comment: Re:Less creepiness (Score 1) 324

by chihowa (#48875073) Attached to: What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

A great deal of the creepy factor associated with Glass is the connection to Google. You may not perceive it this way because you work for Google, but a great deal of the population is at least a little uneasy with Google and their tendency to slurp up any information available.

In any conversation I've been in, the mention of Google carries with it a response ranging from mild uneasiness to outright creeped out. By the general population, Google isn't perceived as hip and cool anymore. A Glass clone without a creepy connection to Google would likely be better received.

It's not being recorded that bothers people as much as it's being recorded for creepy or nefarious purposes. Google's involvement makes the recording more creepy.

Comment: Re:Only if they cleaned house. (Score 1) 489

by chihowa (#48853223) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Why buy a full tablet device with a pen if you will always use it with a mouse and keyboard.

I have no idea, which is why I have no interest in owning one. For reading and notetaking, what does the SP3 give you that a cheap ARM tablet wouldn't give you with better battery life and less mass?

If tablet tasks are what people use it for, then now I'm stumped as to why anyone would pay that much for one...

Comment: Re:Only if they cleaned house. (Score 1) 489

by chihowa (#48852107) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Proof that your touch UI and OS is crap when your users of your flagship device use a mouse and keyboard with it most of the time.

Huh. Looking back, every Surface Pro I've seen was always being used with a mouse and keyboard. I never really thought about it at the time.

To be fair though, the Surface Pro is really a laptop without an integrated keyboard and mouse. Its niche seems to be that of a laptop that you can use like a tablet (like those weird old Thinkpads with the rotatable screen, but not as thick and heavy). Metro crappiness aside, it's easier to do real work on a laptop than a tablet/phone and real work almost always requires a keyboard and mouse.

Comment: Re:They can propose all they want (Score 1) 182

by chihowa (#48849975) Attached to: Republican Bill Aims To Thwart the FCC's Leaning Towards Title II

Obama veto a bill... yeah right.

The current president has used the veto less than any president in over 100 years. He's used it twice in eight years and has happily signed into law bills that directly countered the platform he ran for office on. If this managed to make it to his desk, he'd probably sign it just the same.

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 2, Interesting) 592

by chihowa (#48845259) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

If the trendy new flat grey-on-grey visuals annoy you, try the "Increase contrast" option in the Accessibility System Preference. It doesn't restore the visual scheme to what it was (which had its own problems), but it's different enough that it may appeal to you. My eyes are fine, but I'm not a big fan of the war on contrast.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem (Score 3, Insightful) 151

by chihowa (#48844963) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone

An air rifle would be fine for city use. A BB has next to no kinetic energy by the time it returns to the ground. Air resistance is a real energy sapper for things that small.

A thrown rock or a slung projectile will be larger and more massive and so retain more of its kinetic energy on return. The attacked drone falling from the sky will do more potential damage than any of the projectiles you'd use to bring it down.

Comment: Re:suppose we wanted to do something about it. Goa (Score 1) 102

by chihowa (#48844875) Attached to: Feds Operated Yet Another Secret Metadata Database Until 2013

Then we should really eliminate democracy. The people are too dumb to give power to. Unfortunately I do not know what the solution is if we eliminate democratic process.

A lottery for representatives would be the ideal. Even a hereditary monarchy (with a constitution and veto, perhaps in the form of a guillotine) would beat what we have now.

The problem isn't so much that people are too dumb as that our system selects for corrupt, greedy, and power hungry sociopaths. The only way to become a "representative" is to want to be one. But anyone who wants that job should be denied it on that basis alone. The people may vote sub-optimally, but every single choice available to them is a bad choice. Our system is designed to distill out anyone who is remotely suitable for public office.

Replacing the system that self-selects the most horrible people with one that operates on complete chance would be an improvement.

Comment: Re:Robocalls to my cellphone: 'Ineffective' (Score 1) 217

I've found that many of the telemarketers either use a random number with the same area code as the number they're calling or an 800/866 number for the caller id. I've had the same phone number since college and don't know anybody at all with that area code. So any call coming from my area code is a drunk misdial or a telemarketer. Very handy for filtering two classes of annoying calls.

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