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Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 702

by joemck (#47501291) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

This isn't so much a question of whether to allow people to yell FIRE in a crowded theater. It's more like confiscating anything that might possibly contain something that could be made into an ignition source before you can enter the theater, and not giving it back when you leave.

Comment: Re:Simple countermeasure (Score 1) 418

by joemck (#47491877) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Why not let AdBlock kill the ads in videos as well? Unless the person posting the video has put the ad in before encoding it (in which case the playback slider will let you skip it), AdBlock zaps pretty much all of the at least on Firefox. It astonished me that it was able to do it despite it being inside a Flash Player, but it does it very reliably.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 176

It's good for a small-screen touch GUI. It can get irritating on a screen big enough that you *could* have 2 apps tiled side by side, with a floating music player miniwindow in the corner, if only it would let you. Sure, there's a few apps that can make a floating window, but this is a tiny minority. Besides, even on a ~10" touchscreen the "floating windows over a desktop" design is irritating. The ability to tile normal apps that usually run fullscreen would be great.

Bluetooth keyboards? Yeah, they're nice, but quite often unless you're using an on-screen keyboard that explicitly supports them, the keyboard app pops up anyway. Or my favorite: SwiftKey, which recognizes that you're using an external keyboard and hides its on-screen one, but still autocorrects what you type based on how you type on a touchscreen. And then there's how long it took Android to make the ctrl key work like a normal modifier and not like sticky keys. Also, near complete lack of keyboard shortcuts. I shouldn't need to lift my hands from the keyboard and mess with the touchscreen to do simple things like save, undo, switch between two text entry apps, or even just send a chat message.

App switching gets irritating as well. I haven't tried it on a TouchWiz device, but the usual procedure is to long-press home until an app list comes up. This is slower and more tedious than tabbing through apps on a desktop OS. Then add in that apps get frozen when tabbed away from, and sometimes inexplicably quit altogether. Yes, this is ultimately the fault of the app developer, but it really shouldn't be necessary to write a daemon to make an app that can do stuff while you're not looking at it, or do your own state saving to make an app not reset to its main menu should the OS decide to page it out of memory. It seems even Google themselves can't get this stuff right: Gmail *always* quits and has to reload when I switch to another app, and whenever I open Play Store it seems like it's about 50/50 whether it's going to show me the last thing I looked at or the main menu.

Desktop OSes have done all this stuff seamlessly for a decades. On a PC, if I minimize something I can 100% trust that it is still there and doing anything I asked it to do, even if I can't see it. Android has repeatedly taught me to change this assumption.

As for "Android is Linux", yes it is, and I really appreciate that. But that still doesn't fix that its command line is crippled and horrible in comparison. It's like normal *nix command line, minus a handful of the more useful commands, and with others missing options or modified not to produce useful output. Among other things, I have seen an ifconfig that never prints anything, and an rm that complains about the file -rf not existing.

Comment: Re:Two Problems (Score 1) 164

Well, the '90s iteration of it *worked*. It taught kids to read, and got them to read. It obviously isn't a comprehensive literacy education, but it doesn't have to be. If it can get kids interested enough to pick up a book and read, it'll be a success. Unless there's reason to believe the current go-around isn't going to be done as well, I say let them have a go at it.

Comment: Re: Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (Score 1) 566

by joemck (#47122837) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

Though if it's already been mounted by the user with hidden volume protection on, you can write near the end. If there's a hidden volume, the write will be discarded and the old data will remain. Apart from that, hiden volumes are pretty hard to detect unless you've captured multiple versions of the container and things have changed in the hidden volume in between.

Comment: Re:So, what now? (Score 1) 566

by joemck (#47117025) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

One cross-platform option that looks good is EncFS. There's a FUSE module for it on Linux, and Safe ( is a port of the same thing, plus a GUI, for Mac and Windows. Or stick with TrueCrypt format and move to a different program for accessing it, like tc-play or cryptsetup.

(NOTE: I haven't tested these products. This is just from reading stuff here and there, and looking around.)

Comment: Re:Never buying LG again. (Score 1) 304

by joemck (#47084393) Attached to: Is LG's New Ultra Widescreen Display Better Than "Normal" 4K?

If you still have it, get an LCD fixer program that flashes the whole screen at 60 Hz. Leave that running a couple nights and it should fix the burned in stuff.

Unless of course that was a CRT, in which case it's pretty much permanent aside from the untested idea of making a picture of the screenburn and leave a negative of it on a while to "wear level" the screen. It would obviously need to be lined up just right, and I don't know if it would make things better or worse.

Comment: Re:Objectively Inferior in Every Way (Score 1) 304

by joemck (#47084341) Attached to: Is LG's New Ultra Widescreen Display Better Than "Normal" 4K?

Just because 30 FPS is the most common format doesn't mean increasing it wouldn't be noticeable. If you can see the difference in a 3D game, you can see the difference in an action sequence in a movie.

I've seen some clips that were shot at 60 FPS and watched them on a PC. The motion looked considerably more fluid and natural than the same clip at 30 FPS.

Comment: Re:Ghostery = 'Souled-Out' + Inferior (Score 1) 219

by joemck (#46921371) Attached to: Help EFF Test a New Tool To Stop Creepy Online Tracking

I used hosts based blocking until AdBlock came along.

Procedure for blocking an annoying object with hosts: obtain URL for item, pray it isn't hosted on the same (sub)domain as something you don't want to block, add it to hosts, restart DNS, reload page
Procedure for blocking an annoying object with AdBlock or similar: right-click, block item, adjust filter if the preview shows other things blocked too

Hosts also fails completely at blocking somedomain/images/ads/annoying-blinking-banner.gif while allowing you to browse somedomain. Or completely blocking the the ads YouTube makes you watch before some videos. Or killing the random Facebook "like" buttons everywhere while still allowing you to view the main Facebook site. Or blocking the specific JavaScript file that makes the newest annoying "feature" added to Google work. Or blocking the obnoxious animated avatar/sig some random user on a forum has. --all of which AdBlock does easily.

There are some major perks you get from being further up the stack. Hosts just blocks whole (sub)domains. An HTTP proxy allows blocking based on URL and tweaking things within the page, but is easily defeated by JavaScript or Flash's idiotic habit of ignoring HTTP proxy settings. Browser extensions can see and edit the page *after* any JavaScript has done its thing, and mess with the Flash plugin more directly.

The bogosity meter just pegged.