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Comment: byowireless unlimited texting is $15, not $5 (Score 1) 74 74

In considering "unlimited" services, I do realize that byowireless has a $15 unlimited texting plan. However, byowireless is limited to 3g Verizon devices, and the $19 textnow/sprint plan seems a far better deal if you can tolerate the coverage.

It seems that most everyone tries to get the Moto G 3g prepaid Verizon phone onto the 3g mvnos, and this can be rather tricky. The textnow option is a lot less headache.

Comment: tracfone byop (Score 3, Informative) 74 74

Yes, you can bring phones in from other carriers. This capability was greatly expanded with the Page Plus acquisition. I suggest a Verizon 4g device (this is the least expensive path to Verizon service). Verizon devices get triple the value on all purchased pins.

Comment: Android Updates & Security (Score 1) 382 382

Why didn't Google package a reasonable update agent within Android, and is this having a deleterious effect upon other Linux markets?

Would it have been possible for Google to deploy an updatable kernel with proprietary vendor modules? If so, why did they not do this?

I am still able to use towelroot to take control of several brands of Android phones (as can any app I load - silently). Should pressure and pain be brought to bear, or should we let Google continue to bring Windows 95-era security to Linux?

Or, should Cyanogen-Microsoft fork AOSP?

Comment: Nope. (Score 1) 104 104

The keyboard application launches at boot and regularly downloads .ZIP files of json objects. This download happens as the system user, and is vulnerable to directory traversal. Disabling updates for this .APK will not halt this activity, and it is unlikely that all vendors will bother to patch this.

Comment: Workaround (Score 1) 104 104

I am on the Alliance rom that bundles SuperSU, so I can fix this (unlike most unfortunate Samsung users).

I used the "NoBloat" application from the Google Play store to disable the Samsung keyboard (after clearing the cache with the app manager).

After doing so, I see the file /system/app/SamsumgIME.apk_ (note the underscore). I may try to copy the AOSP keyboard over from CM11 so there is a working keyboard in /system.

I would like to congratulate Google and Samsung for their stunning incompetence in Android security. Your only hope of closing exploits on this platform is to root. I would be hard pressed to name a modern, GUI-centric Linux distribution that lacked a system update agent capable of patching all system components.

Except Android.

Comment: Icehouse Earth (Score 0, Troll) 637 637

It is well-known that the Earth is in an unusually cold period with historically low atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

A transit from an icehouse to a greenhouse phase would likely involve profound (and potentially destructive) changes for human civilization, but the planet has undergone this cycle many times before, and we are profoundly foolish to think that our impact has been significant - it has not.

Comment: I am not so sure. (Score 1) 176 176

The initial Verizon warrants were on an air-gapped server. Even with root everywhere on the network, these documents should have been inaccessible.

This situation makes more sense if we posit that the NSA had already been deeply penetrated by Russian intelligence, who learned of Snowden's sentiments and elected to assist him for reasons and costs of their own.

Snowden initially claimed that he was trying to reach Cuba. There are somewhat more direct routes than Hong Kong.

We likely do not know 1/100th of the backstory of the release of these documents.

Comment: Nokia (Score 1) 223 223

If this is so, then Nokia can now assert copyright over fork().

Nokia now owns Bell Labs through a long chain of acquisitions. Bell Labs publicly asserted copyright over fork() in the Lions Commentary.

Nokia should now assert infringement over Solaris and the UEK. A sizable portion of Exadata revenues are fairly owed should this decision stand.

Comment: $4.68 is the minimum DAILY wage in Mexico (Score 1) 1094 1094

I am all for fair compensation, but am I truly frightened when U.S. workers make more in one hour than Mexican workers make in a day.

If jobs are to remain, our workforce must be far more productive than our global competition. We should be demanding more worker education, which would likely impact wages far more than legislative mandate. Simply making the workforce more expensive with no realistic improvements will only enlarge the class of the permanent unemployed.

Comment: Fail the school. (Score 2) 355 355

My professors conducted research in areas that were only slightly related (on a good day) to the material that they were assigned to teach. These people carefully preserved overhead transparencies from previous teachers that were cracked and faded. They obviously had little enthusiasm for their teaching duties, and my fellow students mirrored the excitement.

Some became prima donnas that flew into a rage in the wrong circumstances. Some actively preened their students for (low-paid) graduate research (not entirely suppressing a greedy desire to exploit). And some simply took apathy to levels that I had never seen before.

I went through a real circus with a professor going for tenure (who did have basic problems with competence) that had to endure not only the stifled laughter of fellow faculty in our class, but video tape recorders documenting his poor teaching style.

School, at all levels, needs to put people who want to teach in front of people who want to learn, which is diametrically opposed to the structure of a research university. If you don't have both of these types of people in the right place at the right time, the results will be substandard, as indeed they have been for the past century.

Fail the school.

Any programming language is at its best before it is implemented and used.