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Comment Re:This is kind of a trope (Score 1) 74

It is about killing multiple birds with one stone. Windows need film on them anyway for color, so might as well plaster the south side with a film that generates a few kilowatts of electricity. This also gives some positive PR, even if the only thing the electricity did was feed a rack of UPS batteries so less mains power was needed.

You are correct... it won't get near as much electricity as a panel mounted horizontally, and each square inch gets far less energy than a PV panel... but it does something, due to the sheer amount of area available, and it can be used to help polish a company's "green" image.

Comment Where are the phone sold that have malware? (Score 3, Interesting) 60

The TFA was light on details, but where phones are sold makes a big difference.

In Asia and South America, there are a lot of small shops selling phones, and oftentimes, they add "value added" stuff like pirated apps and other items. Usually the lesser known makers wind up here.

In the US, the phones go either directly from the maker to the phone provider to be sold, or from the manufacturer to a store like Best Buy or S-Mart.

I would be surprised if malware (other than the usual vendor bloatware) was an issue in the US or Europe.

Comment Re:ZTE... (Score 1) 166

There are also features like dual-SIM capability which seem to be more common on lower-end models.

Storage-wise, Android phones have languished, and iPhones slow to increase. One's best bet is just to get a low end phone that can handle SDXC and a 128 GB card for $85 or so. Plus, another advantage of a MicroSD card is that backups are easy to do. Fire up Titanium Backup or nandroid, dump /system, /data, and other volumes, pop the card and stash it away.

Comment Re:Market share != $$ (Score 1) 166

It is a different mentality than US companies. If you have a company that is near the bottom of the charts... but you are making some type of profit... that is just fine.

There is always the fact that the big names can topple over. Sony used to be #1 when it came to MP3 players, but after the iPod, the market pretty much got split up between Apple and a number of no-name WMA players.

The US market has this issue about "growth". A company that has been turning a steady profit for 20 years is valued less than a company losing money, but "making it up in volume" by expanding to lose money in many market segments.

The ironic thing is that the US used to have this mentality about a decade ago.

There was a time in the 80s/90s where there were hundreds to thousands of no-name PC companies, and Computer Shopper had many, many ads. Today, people are used to just 1-2 companies (Lowe's/Home Depot) in a market, but there is nothing wrong with a segment having a lot of competitors in it. At the minimum, it means more choices, at the higher end, it means finding a device that better fits one wants/needs.

Comment Re:#4 in the U.S. Market, #1 in Malware (Score 1) 166

Depends... There have been preloaded malware incidents, but the bootloaders of these devices tend to be either not locked, or easily unlocked. After that, it isn't tough to flash a third party ROM, or good ol' CM.

Flashing a good ROM can go a long way into making a low end device quite useful, and for a flagship phone, making it worth the price premium.

Comment Re:Cheap (Score 1) 98

Depending on the backend, it could just be a filesystem, like WAFL/OnTap or OneFS. The videos get stashed per owner ID, and a database on a different box keeps the meta data in sync, deleting videos that expire.

Coupled with something like Isilon's SmartLock (which, in compliance mode, keeps stuff from being deleted unless one logs on as console root), it would provide decent protection against changes/deletions, barring physical compromise.

There are a lot of ways (some good, many brain-dead) to store video. A NAS can be used, or some type of cluster with EMC VNX LUNs and another machine doing an object database manage things.

Comment Re:In principal decade old email but no. (Score 1) 73

I learned this as well. Best long term storage because it is readable by any mail program is by using Thunderbird. Outlook can do integrity checks on a mailbox, but only it can use its own format.

Then there is finding a compressing/archiving format. WinRAR or tar/xz/par are good options for this. This way, the mail spool with 100-200 gigs of spam gets reduced by an order of magnitude at the minimum.

As for storage? Different media. One copy on DVD, one on an external HDD, and perhaps one stashed on Amazon Glacier (although retrieving it can be costly.)

Comment Re: So what? (Score 2) 143

Even for college classes which bar use of Wikipedia directly, going through the citations and downloading/buying the works that were mentioned to read is a solid way to write a paper.

Wikipedia is one of the few places on the web that I can get meaningful info without having to deal with paywalls, full page ads, demands to create a user account or link to FB (so they can post freely as your ID), or other crap.

Of course, it isn't perfect. It is hard to get past the stage where any meaningful/relevant/on topic additions to an article don't just get blindly reverted by another person because one is a new user and doesn't have any reputation.

Comment Re:Not really ... (Score 2) 42

The real solution is something like xPrivacy (or on iOS, PMP), where the app thinks it has all the permissions it ever will want, but it gets fed bogus data. Contacts? Gets garbage. Location? Fake. Advertising ID? Sure, pick one. ESN/IMEI? Whatever the RNG says, its all yours.

It is surprising what apps ask for, permission-wise. If one uses a firewall program (Firewall IP on iOS, others on Android), you will find that a lot of apps communicate with tens to hundreds of sites that are pretty much irrelevant to anything you are doing, but usually are related to ad-based stuff, be it analytics, behavioral tracking, or other stuff that has no benefit to the end user, but a windfall for a snoop.

I've found the only real solution is to either move to a more user-respecting ROM like CM or whatever the talent in XDA has built, which almost always works better than what came from the factory.

Comment Re:Not really ... (Score 1) 42

Problem is that we will see this problem "fixed" by things similar to Samsung's KNOX, where if someone tries to manually install their own ROM or unlock the bootloader, the device blows an e-Fuse, rendering it either incapable of using a factory ROM, or showing it has been tampered with on boot.

Comment Re:Business and Bitcoin? What could go wrong? (Score 1) 68

That is the classic problem we have had since the early 1990s and PGP.

PGP 2.x and its descendants solved a lot of issues. It is transport independent [1], supported a good web of trust, did well for backing up keys, had a decent provision for revoking keys that were lost (assuming you made a revocation cert), and many other things. However, it took some active knowledge to use, and that is what made it unpopular.

Bitcoin is similar. MtGox presented a point and drool user interface to a protocol, pretending to be a bank. Of course, because the coins were in MtGox's wallet, they were really not belonging to accountholders, so when they went out of business, possession is normally 9/10 of the law, but in this case, possession is the law.

A lot of the exchanges just capitalized on people new to the protocol, and were expecting the currency to behave like dollars with a PayPal account.

Like the above -- this is an education issue, not a BitCoin issue. However people seem to rather deal with a lack of security than have to pack their own parachute. S/MIME versus PGP comes to mind for E-mail.

[1]: E-mail, SMS, MMS, NNTP, I've even used Paperbak (now spelled PaperBack) by Michael Mohr to pull larger from printed codes.

Comment Re: Well now Patrick will have to make a change (Score 2) 134

LILO has been a fundamental piece of the OS for many years, and has worked quite well. GRUB has eclipsed it for most uses, but for applications where every byte of storage is at a premium, it still has a place.

It is something that is well maintained, and can probably be retired, but still be useful, mainly since BIOS booting won't have the security changed and enhancements that UEFI comes with, so there isn't much that may change with the old BIOS based process in the future.

I'm grateful that it has been well maintained for so long. It is a piece of software taken for granted... but yet essential to the function of a machine.

Comment Re: Sorry, but Apple still deserves most of the cr (Score 2) 349

OS X is a completely different thing than System 1-7 or OS 8 and 9.

The main thing OS X offered that many a Mac person just hated Apple for not having... was true, preemptive multitasking. Before that, if an application or a desktop accessory didn't use WaitNextEvent(), the entire system ground to a halt, requiring a hardware reset. In fact, because OS 9 and earlier behaved like a chain of primitive Christmas tree lights (one bulb goes out, the entire chain does too), one wound up having to reboot every so often, just for safety. Some applications crashes could be recovered from... others, it was full down. To boot, there wasn't any real multi-user capability, other than what was grafted on via AppleShare servers or security programs like FileGuard or others.

Is OS X perfect? Nope. It desperately needs a new primary filesystem as HFS Plus is getting long in the tooth (it really is at best, competition for ext3) [1]. However, as an OS, it does its job well.

[1]: With all the cash Apple is sitting on, they could either license ZFS from Oracle, or if they don't want to deal with the licensing issues, hit up Symantec, license Veritas for VxFS, and extend that. One can use OSXFuse, but having a native filesystem on par with ZFS or btrfs would be nice.

Comment Ada? (Score 1) 427

It can be debated if Ada is obscure or not, but it has an important place in computing: Programs made from it can be made provably secure. Very few languages can do this.

Of course, with most dev houses, being able to have a build tree that can compile an executable for packaging on ship date is the most important thing out there, but if someone actually cared to write code where security or life safety is an issue, there is a language, that isn't too unpopular, that can be used for this.

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.