Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 48

by gstoddart (#48926747) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Do I get counted as an astronaut as I'm waiting for NASA to call me up? Or as a porn star in case one of the starlets decides she wants a hunka hunka burning nerd for a quicky?

Does wishing you had another job cause you to count towards the statistics of that job?

I honestly don't think "wannabee" counts towards these things. :-P

Comment: Re:You probably have one, though... (Score 1) 199

by gstoddart (#48926551) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I don't have one, and it's unlikely that I will have any tablet, ever.

Touchscreens are a regression in human interfaces. Yes, it's more intuitive than a mouse, but it lacks any way to even emulate buttons after the first, "cursor" positioning is imprecise at best, and worst of all there's just no substitute for a keyboard.

Honestly, have you even tried one?

I'm pretty high on the "get off my lawn" scale, and while I agree that for doing work, I still prefer a keyboard. But I find I do completely different things on my tablet, and in different ways. And for that, I prefer my tablet.

When I'm planning a trip, I'm using Google Maps, marking points of interest so I have them for later. When I'm reading the daily news, or checking the weather ... I simply don't find myself feeling like I need a keyboard or a mouse.

Sitting on a sofa, or in a comfy chair, or in the back yard, or on a plane ... purely consuming content changes what I'm using it for and how I interact with it.

So, yes, for work nobody is saying most people could replace their laptop or desktop. Well, most people aren't.

But the overwhelming majority of people, the overwhelming majority of the time, are NOT "getting stuff done". And when I'm not actively working, there are many things I'd prefer to do on my Nexus 7 than I would on a desktop or a laptop.

I know many people, who are not geeks or techies, or who are retired, or any number of things ... and for them, a tablet actually provides more utility that a computer. My mother in law has little interest in using their computer ... she pretty much does everything you'd use a computer for on her tablet. She can get to her email, do her banking, look stuff up on Google, look at maps, and even book a tee time for golf.

And I know many people who are geeks and techies, and outside of office hours, they prefer their tablet for many tasks.

So, in the same way that people find their phones exceedingly useful, people who find a phone too small also find their tablets exceedingly useful.

Not everybody is coding, or writing spreadsheets, or doing the TPS reports ... and for those people, a tablet is actually a good fit.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 35

by gstoddart (#48925995) Attached to: New Micro-Ring Resonator Creates Quantum Entanglement On a Silicon Chip

f all the stories and thing said about quantum computers, especially with the amount of poorly written stuff out there, that is the sentence you highlight when talking about gibberish?

LOL ... honestly, it's as good as any as far as I'm concerned.

It sounds like something out of a mission statement generator ... we've created light with minty and peaty overtones, which exemplify the highest moral standard.

I simply have no idea of WTF it's telling me.

Comment: Hmmm .... (Score 0) 35

by gstoddart (#48925305) Attached to: New Micro-Ring Resonator Creates Quantum Entanglement On a Silicon Chip

With which I will do ... what, exactly?

"Our device is capable of emitting light with striking quantum mechanical properties never observed in an integrated source," said Bajoni. "The rate at which the entangled photons are generated is unprecedented for a silicon integrated source, and comparable with that available from bulk crystals that must be pumped by very strong lasers."

As usual, every story to do with quantum anything is pretty much gibberish to the layperson.

Sounds like a quantum mood ring, but I have no idea.

Comment: What about Android tablets? (Score 1) 199

by gstoddart (#48924593) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Unless Android tablets have also plateaued or started to decline .. can you actually say we've reached "peak tablet"?

The people I know with tablets prefer them to a phone for the things they do with it.

A friend keeps his Nexus 7 on his sofa so that while he's watching TV if he sees something he wants to Google he has it handy. My mother in law uses her tablet for almost everything she'd use a computer for. I still get a lot of use from my Nexus 7 as well.

I admit, my Android tablet isn't a 'necessity', and may not get used daily .. for there's lots of situations in which it's what I'd prefer to bring with me. When I go on a trip, I bring my tablet because I can still check my email and the like.

Yes, you could use a phone for a lot of this stuff ... but unless you have stats showing that Android tablets are also slowing down, maybe they're just eating into the growth of iPads?

I know more than a few non-techies for whom their tablet is more important than their PC.

Comment: Boo fucking hoo (Score 3, Insightful) 282

"But we're very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a 'zone of lawlessness,' where there's evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we're prohibited from getting because of a company's technological choices.

You've demonstrated you can't be trusted. The CIA has proven they're willing to lie to Congress.

So the reality is, you're all lying, thieving bastards who ignore the law and our rights.

You got fucking probable cause and a warrant, show it. But you don't get blanket fishing expeditions just in case.

Sorry, but you're asking for back doors to all forms of security ... which defeats the purpose of those forms of security in the first place.

Go piss up a rope.

Comment: Re:It is hard to know what to think (Score 1) 408

by gstoddart (#48923199) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

It feels strange that Apple is making such a profit with a rather smallish that may be 12% of the market and no particularly eye-popping new products since the Steve Jobs era, just a series of well-engineered refinements.

Not really ... without even bothering to look, I'm assuming that Apple is raking in money hand over fist through the iTunes store.

So, it's not all from the devices, but the on-going revenue stream of selling all that tasty digital content.

But music, and books, and movies, and apps, and whatever else they can sell digitally ... I'm betting that's where the real money comes from. The incremental cost on digital stuff probably means that a huge portion of it is purely profit.

Comment: Security is a process ... (Score 5, Insightful) 39

by gstoddart (#48923105) Attached to: Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug

The problem with security is it is an on-going process, and it takes time. Which means the trust that you actually are secure also takes time.

So, just because you started out thinking "Oh boy, are we going to be hella secure" -- it takes a long time to FIND all those things which defeat that, and just as long to convince everybody that you've done it.

Almost as soon as I heard of this phone my first thought was "gee, you're brand new, why should be trust that you've got it sorted out".

And, as TFS says ... this phone is used by people who want additional security. What the hell made you think you wouldn't be immediately targeted? This is like advertising you have an unbreakable vault ... now everybody wants to prove you wrong.

I think they started trading on a reputation they hadn't earned yet, and now it's biting them in the ass.


Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody's-perfect dept.
mask.of.sanity sends this report from El Reg: The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application.

The impact of the flaw is troubling because BlackPhone attracts what hackers see as high-value victims: those willing to invest AU$765 (£415, $630) in a phone that claims to put security above form and features may well have valuable calls and texts to hide from eavesdroppers.

Comment: God, what drivel ... (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by gstoddart (#48920969) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

We were told that it'd give us Cortana, Microsoft's AI assistant

OK, I'll preface this with a "get off my lawn" to get it out of the way.

But I have to say, I have precisely zero interest in this. The more I read TFA, the more I cringe.

After setting Cortana up, which involves telling her your name, and adjusting some other minor settings, sheâ(TM)ll be good to go. If the respective option is enabled, sheâ(TM)ll always listen out for âoeHey, Cortanaâ, at which point your question can be asked. In the example below, I asked, âoeHey, Cortana. Could you please show me the weather?â, at which point she queried the Internet and spit back the accurate info â" without me having to state a specific location.

Talking to Cortana is finicky at best. After stating âoeHey, Cortanaâ, Iâ(TM)ve found that Iâ(TM)ve either had to keep talking right away to be heard, or have her say, âoeHey, Robâ and then me have to click the microphone icon again to speak. It seems some thresholds need to be adjusted, because in the current implementation, itâ(TM)s easier to avoid potential hassle and just go find such information online.

I don't want my fucking computer to feel like it's on a first name basis with me. I don't want to talk to it. I don't want my computer constantly listening to and parsing everything I say. I sure as shit don't want that crap integrated with an ad platform.

If I want to see the weather, I'll go to the tab I keep open with the weather.

This is a bunch of dreck I can't see myself wanting to use, which is mostly a "make pretend" version of AI which is at best a shortcut to search. I don't see the value in voice commands -- in fact, I see great nuisance in it (like in Offices, or just everywhere).

This sounds like an OS which is heavily focused on "teh social" integration with XBox, with the new lame-ass crayon interfaces Microsoft seems partial to, and a bunch of dorky features which seem like they're trying too damned hard.

I don't see any of these features being useful, I see them as being pointless eye candy, which is full of gimmicks I don't see myself using in the long run -- in fact, I see me disabling as many as possible.

I'm afraid Microsoft's "vision of the future" is a glimpse into hell. At least half of those features sound like shit which will slow down the machine and add zero benefit.

Now, seriously, get the fuck off my damned lawn.

Comment: Re:So what next? (Score 2) 94

by gstoddart (#48917337) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Or maybe refund the money they've been given to maintain it, or the subsidies to expand it.

Sorry, but the telecom companies have been handed huge piles of cash to maintain this stuff ... that they've sat on it and failed to invest in all of their infrastructure is their damned problem.

They weren't given that money to only invest in the most profitable stuff ... they were given it to invest in the entire system so that it was there for everybody.

Greedy, shortsighted corporations don't need to charge more to pay for that stuff ... they need to use the money they've been given/have been charging for what it was for in the first place.

Mostly I think they've been lining executive pockets, and bribing politicians so they can keep doing the same crap.

All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists know it. -- Richard P. Feynman