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Comment: Really? (Score 1) 148

by melting_clock (#49061879) Attached to: Report: Samsung Replacing Its Apps With Microsoft's For Galaxy S6

MS must have paid Samsung a lot to commit suicide. I've been using Android for a long time and my last few devices have been Samsung. Finding MS crap on my expensive new device would really piss me off. Skype was something that I used for many years, even using their official Linux client, but MS buying Skype broke too many things.

Being a bit anti-MS doesn't stop me from being annoyed at how intrusive Google has become on Android. The "...Google's massively more popular services..." comment ignores the fact that we don't have a choice, services are updated automatically, with added bloat and intrusion, without the user having any control. There is so much junk in there now that I have no interest in. Gmail was what started my journey with Google and it is still the best email option. Their search engine has become less useful in finding information in recent years because search results tend to be filled with sales, closed ended third party searches and spam. Maps is less useful now then they were for routing and trip planning because they removing capabilities, now it spams ads and other crap that is useful for people just wanting an interactive map. Plus is the most painful thing ever created and you are forced to have a g+ profile to do basic things that have nothing to do with g+, just so Google can get their user numbers up... Useful products are killed off or dumbed down so I don't bother wasting time on anything new they bring out because you can't trust them to keep it going.

Rant over... Sorry.

Attacking both Google and MS isn't going to win me any friends around here... shit... almost forgot... Apple is pure evil and a bunch of wankers, just like the losers that buy Apple products. Ah, fixed that just in time.

Comment: Some good, some stupid (Score 1) 37

by melting_clock (#49034011) Attached to: Drone, Drone, Everywhere a Drone -- at CES (Video)

I've been building and flying my own quadcopters and tricopters for a few years now which gives me a slightly different perspective to most. There have been some impressive advancements in consumer, hobby and professional level "drones" in the last few years. Barriers to entry have larger disappeared so that it is now possible to purchase an all in one, ready to fly, package and all that is required to get flying is to charge the batteries. Unfortunately, this also means that their are an increasing number of people that a flying with no understanding of the rules, laws or safely precautions that apply to their new toys. There are amusing stories of people destroying their new toy on the first flight, with amusing videos online to show their silly mistakes, but there is also a dark side to this.

Most of the negative news stories about personal drones in the mainstream media relate to these uneducated new users flying in places where they are not legally allowed, often for very good reasons, such as, over crowds, near airports or busy cities. People that have been in the hobby for a while, and fly responsibly, are terrified that these idiots are going to have our hobby outlawed.

Education in the rules, safety and a basic technical understanding of the equipment is very important. The air space regulator in Australia, CASA, provide a simple brochure to outline the most important legal limitations for new users. The simple dot point style doesn't give all the details but is better than nothing and it is short enough so that people might actually read it. It doesn't address other safety issues or the technical limitations of the equipment.

Those spinning propellers can cause serious injury, particularly if you are unlucky enough stick a finger in there. Many of us in the hobby have had minor cuts during the setup of our gear but some have serious injuries that require stitches and approach amputation. I'm referring to adults here - a child could easily lose a finger in some of these boxed packages. Why use this as an example? Seeing the idiot explaining the airdog shit suggest catching a quadcopter with spinning props does allow for exactly this issue. It is possible the best example of the worst drone product ever to be created.

Comment: Its just Apple being Apple (Score 4, Insightful) 189

by melting_clock (#48475877) Attached to: Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Maybe suppliers will now reconsider getting involved with Apple. Large companies with extreme market power will often bully their suppliers. It is common for large customers to make demands for price reductions below the contract price, with threats to dump the supplier if they refuse. Having a single customer that makes up most of your sales is a significant risk to any business and something that has to be carefully managed.

Comment: Other priorites (Score 2) 45

There are a lot of people in developing countries without safe drinking water, access to medical care, adequate nutrition and many other serious problems. While it is sometimes difficult for the lucky few in better off countries to understand, they might just be a few things that are more important then having Internet access.

Comment: It will be interesting (Score 1) 142

by melting_clock (#48339097) Attached to: Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

I've made a lot of international purchases from Australia without ever using using a forwarding service to hide my location. There are a lot of retailers in the US that are happy to ship to Australia and that can mean it arrives here 3-4 days after the order is placed. Ordering from retailers in Europe and throughout Asia is often possible. US retailers have a right to set their policies and very little of what I buy is actually made in the US anyway so there are generally other options when US retailers will not ship here.

In the past, I have had the help of friends in the US to deal with a few retailers that wouldn't accept by Australian credit card for online purchases, while I was actually in the US...

Comment: The only way for MS to get rid of them (Score 1) 236

by melting_clock (#48339063) Attached to: CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

Giving away surface craplets is really the only option MS has get rid of them and avoid being buried under a pile of steaming shit... Even if the hardware is good, you're still stuck with the worst version of windows that MS have forced on the world.

It is amusing to see shots of people using MS products on TV when you know they just have to be paid to do it.

This is all coming from someone that owned a few windows based PDAs and a windows phone. Android came along and showed just bad windows really was on small mobile devices. MS has failed miserably to give customers what the want and show no interest in doing so. There is really only so much that you can put up with in a relationship before it is simple time to move on to something better.

Comment: One of the things I hate about Linux (Score 1) 126

by melting_clock (#48232155) Attached to: OwnCloud Dev Requests Removal From Ubuntu Repos Over Security Holes

Although I've used Linux as my main OS for many years, the idea that bundling applications locked to version that cannot be update is insane and one of the things that I hate about Linux distros. Ubuntu did the same stupid thing with Firefox and Open Office at one point. Being stuck with outdated and potential insecure software, unless you compile your own or used another unofficial repository, is crazy. This is a great example of a system that is designed to fail and a huge security flaw.

I do often compile and install or directly install debs or add other repos. It isn't difficult but can become a hassle when it expects a base Linux environment that is very different. It is about time for some standardisation in the Linux distros. That would also help with a broader adoption of Linux in a desktop role and attract more commercial software to Linux that is currently Windows only. Commercial devs can chose between developing for a small number of Windows versions or a shitload of constantly changing version of Linux. Learn something from the example of Android as a commercially successful version of Linux...

Locking the core OS and software necessary to provide a common base makes some sense but this is taken too far. Either keep software in repositories updated or don't provide them. Ubuntu don't have to be the ones updating but they can have a policy of removing software that isn't keep up to date and banning it from future versions. Shift it back to the original developers to decide what distros to support and install the software directly, rather than through the broken repository approach.

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48226187) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

You really are completely failing to understand the simple concept that their has been absolutely no hardware damaged...

It's damaged (unusable by the user) until they get a tool from the people who damaged it. Sounds like extortion to me.

OMG, do you even have basic reading and comprehension skills? It would take me less than five minutes to fix if it happened to me and I'm not an electronics or computing expert. The utility is free so no extortion, not that you let facts get in the way of your delusions...

Another option is simply installing a order driver and pointing it toward the device that windows is no longer identifying automatically as an FTDI chip. Not a difficult exercise for anyone with reasonable computing skills, particularly when there are step-by-step guides on the Internet for idiots.

I do use FTDI gear regularly in cables and on boards. It would not be a surprise if one of the several chips I have ends up being a fake but I'm not going to have a cry about it.

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48219589) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the real world but I've had enough of playing into your fantasy world.

In my fantasy world, you wouldn't defend a corporation for damaging people's hardware.

You really are completely failing to understand the simple concept that their has been absolutely no hardware damaged... Maybe you could read the article and get at least one of your facts straight...

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48219441) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

Criminal? Really? What laws are being broken exactly?

They're rendering your device unusable, which they may not do knowingly.

Have you read the license for these drivers?

That is irrelevant. You cannot give yourself rights with shrinkwrap license. The law still wins.

few people are going to spend the money to take FTDI to court over this.

If only one of them does it, they will have lost money over this.

MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT

Yes, if they did it by accident. If it can be shown that they did it on purpose, and that is almost certainly the case here, then it doesn't matter what they put in the license.

So, an entirely unspecified law is going to apply to some imagined damage? Is this in some sort of parallel reality? There is no actual physical damage done... Their change is entirely reversible. The only real limitation is that you have provide an alternative driver to continue to use the fake device because the latest FTDI driver will not work with it. They are under no obligation to support fakes with their drivers...

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the real world but I've had enough of playing into your fantasy world.

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48218019) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

FTDI is abusing customers who attempted to purchase their product in good faith, and that's why this is both a criminal act and also a very stupid idea.

Criminal? Really? What laws are being broken exactly? Have you read the license for these drivers? FTDI seems to be making an effort to cover themselves legally with the license and it would need to be tested in court to see how successful they are. Not every court will accept every license or terms of use conditions but few people are going to spend the money to take FTDI to court over this.

An interesting section copied from their license below, see http://www.ftdichip.com/Driver... :

" 1.5 The Software will not function properly on or with a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component. Use of the Software as a driver for, or installation of the Software onto, a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component, including without limitation counterfeit components, MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT. It is the Licensee's responsibility to make sure that all chips it installs the Software on, or uses the Software as a driver for, are Genuine FTDI Components. If in doubt then contact the Licensor. "

Comment: Re:FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48208959) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

From the article, the fakes are not bricked it is just their device ID is changed to 0. FTDI are simply saying this isn't one of our chips so we won't let it work with our driver.

Or your OS, which will refuse to deal with the device, assuming that it has failed or is otherwise exhibiting bad behavior.

Those manufacturers that include fake chips will end up with a lot of returns and might reconsider using fakes.

Most of those manufacturers will just close their doors, change their name, and open them again, and the users will end up contacting FTDI, or just giving up.

FTDI will be able to quickly identify any users contacting them about fake chips and simply have to state that they do not provide support for fake chips or to the use of their drivers with fake chips. Problem solved and the user will have to complain to the company they bought the fake containing item from. They were probably being contacted by users of fake chips already, when the failed to behave as expected, and wasted time troubleshooting those user problems. I doubt that this will add to the workload of their support personnel.

I do not like that users are caught up in this, having experienced something similar myself. I purchased a cheap programming cable for ham radio from a local supplier. It was less than half the price of the official cable so I was a bit suspicious. The CD included with the cable had several files with Asian characters in their names - more cause for concern - and it simply did not work as claimed. Since it was a tiny part of the order from that supplier, I simply moved on and bought an official cable from another supplier, and no longer buy from the supplier that sold me the fake cable.

Comment: FUD? (Score 1) 700

by melting_clock (#48208499) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

From the article, the fakes are not bricked it is just their device ID is changed to 0. FTDI are simply saying this isn't one of our chips so we won't let it work with our driver. If the clone manufactures produce their own driver and don't try to use IDs that are for FTDI chips there isn't a problem. It might be better if the FTDI simply refused to recognise the fakes and didn't make any ID changes but I guess the problem it that people would still believe that FTDI hardware was at fault...

Those manufacturers that include fake chips will end up with a lot of returns and might reconsider using fakes. There does not appear to be any legal basis for these manufacturers or the producers of the fake chips to go after FTDI but the end users might. This has raised awareness of the fakes and the fact that FTDI has the ability to do something about them which might be enough for FTDI so consider the exercise a success and a newer driver without this behaviour could follow soon.

Comment: And the criminals win... (Score 1) 284

by melting_clock (#48166807) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

Phone theft is a pretty common issue around the world. Smart phones have a lot of confidential personal and business information. They can also be used to compromise many online services used by the device that use email or SMS verification. Smart phones are very attractive targets for criminals.

Encryption is one sensible precaution to reduce the damage done if a phone is stolen. Remotely wiping a stolen phone is another sensible precaution. These measures can be effective against criminals but can also make the job of law enforcement more difficult.

Law enforcement seems to want us all to be less safe so their job can be easier, while they fail to deal with the criminals that we are trying to protect ourselves from. The FBI seems to be stating that they want to continue to be lazy and incompetent.

It doesn't really matter what law enforcement wants anymore. Public awareness is increasing with leaking of nude celebrity pictures and other breaches that made the mainstream media. People want to be able to protect their data. Even if Google and Apple fail their customers by backing down there will be other commercial and free options for users to protect themselves.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian

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