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Comment: Wow (Score -1, Flamebait) 76

by frovingslosh (#48204775) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits
Now, with this thicker than a tablet display, you could now put together a clunky cigar box sized computer for less than $200 bucks that is nearly as useful as just buying a $50 multi-core Android tablet running KitKat. Of course, you may have to give up the cameras or other features, but that's OK since your box doesn't have the Google Market (can't bring myself to use Google's current term for it) and will not run the apps to use such features anyway.

Comment: Re:Miracast anyone? (Score 1) 106

I'll never deal with the electronic bay of thieves, but I had a similar thought about the price. If the $12 deal was still open when this was first posted I would have bought in. 18 is too close to other HDMI dongles that I've seen at Internet retailers that I deal with. True, this is likely more open than those, but if openness is the driving factor then the PI is likely the best low cost option. And while they quote the Chromecast $35 price, I often see it discounted, even at Best Buy. The best deal on such devices was still the short lived Chromecast initial offering that also included Netflix.

Comment: what brand smart TV? (Score 2, Informative) 106

You might want to be more specific about your brand of smart TV. I got an LG and the Plex support is awful (even though Plex claims LG is a supported brand). Some stuff would play OK when it was encoded in something that was native for the LG, but transcoding just didn't work right. I ended up switching from Plex to the open sores Universal Media Player and that is at least working with transcoding. Clunky interface and slow to respond sometimes, but at least I can watch stuff that I couldn't watch with Plex.

I think the bottom line here is that there is a lot of variety between the various options. In my opinion the Roku 3 is probably the top end, and the "Smart TVs" are likely at the bottom of the list. The hope for this device is that it will be open and not go out of its way to prevent useful things from being done with it like Chrome cast did when they stopped many early apps from working. And I doubt that you are seeing may apps or channels being added for your "Smart TV" (I'm sure not).

Comment: Re:worse than crapware (Score 1) 427

As for no use for social media sites, where do you think you are right now?

That's an amazing statement, even more so when posted by someone hiding behind the Anonymous Coward name!

I don't see Slashdot as Social Media. I reserve that term for privacy forfeiting sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of that sorry lot. And Google wants in that sorry lot too. They have done pretty poorly so far with failed attempts, and are now trying to increase their share by forcing hardware vendors who use Android to include their tools like Hangouts in the device rather than let users elect to install it or not as they see fit. I do post here, and I never post as an AC. But I have the sense to use a screen name and not link back to my real name or use my personal email. The one time that I did get a submitted story accepted years ago, my email was getting fresh spam from the email reference to me in the story even before I knew that the submission was accepted. Thankfully I had used a spamgourmet disposable email for that and didn't have to abandon my real email address and start a new one. But Hangouts on Android, as I understand it, forces users to use the same account that they get email under and access the Android Market with. I don't want to do that. So don't talk to me about the wonders of the Hangouts social networking tool when posting as an Anonymous Coward.

Comment: What's in a name (Score 1) 427

Several people here are saying that I implied that Hangouts is for 13 year old girls and I was wrong. I see it somewhat differently, I believe that Google is the one who implied that when they gave it the Hangouts name. Sure, sure, it's a professional business tool for communication. Then why the hell did Google give it a name with the connotations that are implied by the name Hangouts? They might as well as called it "My Little Pink Unicorn", and if they did and put in even more features then I expect you would still call me short sighted for not wanting to use a product with such a name?

I think the name makes it clear who they are targeting the product to.

While we're talking about whether Google is evil or not, lets remember that the VOIP API used to be open to other developers and some were offering good products like GroovIP that took advantage of that to compete in the Android marketplace. On May 15 of this year Google took that away and replaced the VOIP services with a closed unpublished API that only it is allowed to use. Otherwise even fewer people would use Hangouts.

Comment: Re:This is aimed at carriers like Verizon Wireless (Score 1) 427

Fragmentation? I call BS. The ability to choose which APPLICATIONS that I choose to install or not install on my computer is not fragmentation of the OS. Not that I'm at all happy about some vendors changing or omitting basic things, or substituting their own "replacements". But Google's policy will only lead to more issues. By not allowing access to Google Play unless a vendor includes all of the crapware, vendors like Verizon are more likely to include their own crippled crappy app stores rather than access to the Play Store (and yes, I feel foolish every time that I use that term for what used to be called the Android Market). If you've ever seen a tablet with "Slide" rather than the Play Store or Android Market then you know that you don't want that, but Google's threat to take their football and go home if the other kids don't want to play by all of Google's rules will lead to exactly that.

Comment: not Alright... (Score 3, Interesting) 427

Unfortunately, rooting is not always easy for Android devices, and is said to introduce extra security issues. If Google would let us remove the crap without rooting, or provide the option in some other way, then I would consider this less evil. But as it stands I sure don't like the idea that more and more crap is being forced on the Android users. This stuff takes all kinds of resources, and updates may even introduce additional vulnerabilities, all for software that a lot of people didn't want in the first place. Sounds evil to me.

Comment: worse than crapware (Score 5, Insightful) 427

Actually, it is crapware, at least as I see it. I have no use for social media sites and I'm not a 13 year old girl, so I'm never going to use anything named "Hangouts". If I have to have it installed on my device and I'm never going to use it then it is crapware.

I'm also never going to buy DRM infested books and audio, and if I have to have DRM in my video at least I'm going to buy it on a real piece of physical media, not as a low bit rate crippled download that can go away or might even be taken away at a whim. So the apps that deal with Google selling me stuff that I'll never ever buy are crapware to me.

But it is worse than the crapware installed on a laptop. While the manufacturers think nothing of selling a laptop with an undersized hard disk ad then filling that disk space with crapware, at least I can uninstall the crapware on a laptop and recover the space. On Android, by Google's own design, you can't simply uninstall the crap that has been pre-loaded on your tablet. Significant amounts of very limited flash memory get taken up and are not recovered by a simple uninstall. Even worse, the crap runs, taking resources, and even gets updated, taking more resources and risking an update that might introduce a problem to the tablet, all for software that I didn't want in the first place.

If Google would simply allow this stuff to be easily removed from an Android system, then I could support their requiring the vendors to include it with a new system. But until that happens, it is another case of Google being evil.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 118

by frovingslosh (#48016251) Attached to: World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

Right. Size isn't the issue. Maybe even power is secondary. The big issue is that, at least in the U.S.A., the telco cartel is keeping prices absurdly high to make these things prohibitive. If my dog could wear a collar with a device that was affordable to own and inexpensive when not really being used at all but could be contacted if he got out of the yard, he would have one. But our cartel keeps the prices so high that simple device like this would cost hundreds of dollars a year to operate. That's thousands over his lifetime, when it might be used once or twice or hopefully not even that.

I understand that in Europe and even in the third world one can buy a sim for a few bucks and slip it in such a tracker and only be charged against it when tracking occurs. But here the telco cartel has free reign to charge whatever they want to conspire to charge.

Comment: Re:special software client (Score 1) 131

by frovingslosh (#47979285) Attached to: The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job
I wasn't saying that, because it is so hard to build your own exact copy of the binary that releasing the code is pointless, which was apparently stated here. I was saying that in this particular case where there is no good reason at all for the user to need a special downloading client then releasing the code that supposedly is the special downloading client is not enough to make me trust it. I see no reason for a special downloading client just to get the assignments, so I'm not going to go through the pointless effort to examine code that might or might not be the source code for the special magical downloading client.

Comment: Re:special software client (Score 0) 131

by frovingslosh (#47975775) Attached to: The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job
OK, your hiding your ID and posting as an AC, so I hate to even respond to you. But someone might just accept what you say. I don't. It has been seen that it is notoriously difficult to download source and compile it and produce a binary that is a perfect match to the posted binary. Until I know that this is being done by trusted sources (not ACs), then I'm not going to trust that the source code is a true match to the special download client that is being provided. And if I can download the source code without using the special client (and there would be no point in even checking it if I had to use the special client to download it), then that pretty much makes my point that I shouldn't need a special client to download the assignments.

Comment: special software client (Score 2) 131

by frovingslosh (#47975641) Attached to: The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job

using a special software client

Doesn't anyone else find this suspicious? Why in the world do I need to install a special client just to download an assignment? Why would anyone who knows anything about computers agree to this? How long before we start reading the stories about what this special client was doing behind users backs, that supposedly no one suspected?

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields