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Comment Can somebody explain why? (Score 1) 83

Why do we need new codecs? I'm genuinely confused and would like to understand.

Is it an issue of patents and royalties? I know I've been watching videos on my computer since about 1995. The patents on those codecs should be expired. Also, I use a lot of Linux and open source and have since about 1998. I can still play videos. If those codecs are patented and closed then who paid the royalties to make that open source software possible? Is patent violating software being openly distributed while nobody does anything about it? And if so then why do the patents even matter?

Is it about quality? Can't pretty much any codec support arbritary resolution, color pallets, frame rates and compression levels? i would think that the same old codecs would keep working and content providers would just tweak those parameters as computers become faster, storage larger and user's internet connection bandwidth greater.

Is it that different mathematical algorithms can compress the same quality of data into a tighter package? If so then how do we even know that? If such algorithms are already known then doesn't that define our new format already? If not then have mathmeticians via information theory have somehow shown that better compression is possible but the current task is to figure out how?

The only problem I have ever had playing a video is DRM. I don't see new formats somehow convincing the industry to drop DRM though. Without answers to these questions all I see is that old XKCD comic about standards.

Thanks for any thoughtful answers!

Comment Re:Mission accomplished (Score 1) 395

"I'm sick and bloody well tired of the NIMBYs, environmentalists, and whoever else that gets their panties in a twist over anything with the word 'nuclear' in it."

We have a whole bunch of 1970s era nuclear power plants out there. A few have leaked stuff. Those particular incidents can be tied to either mismanagement, poor maintenance, the fact that they were built near fault lines or some combination of the above. But surely that doesn't mean anything.

Clearly since some plants have failed, under the above conditions that means that there is no way that nuclear power could be done safely and we should scrap that whole area of technology and science.

Right?

Comment Re:Fragmentation is a lesser evil (Score 1) 111

"All the things you mention are features, not qualities, or quality."

I quoted the part of your post that I was replying to.
"The only advantage is low cost."

A feature.. if you use it IS an advantage.

I wrote another big TLDR reply, mostly about how I believe that for remote adminitration Android does have the highest quality of any solution that is available. But.. that was never my point in my original reply to you. I simply pointed out a bunch of things where Android has the advantage for me!

Features are kind of personal. You might have no need for a feautre that I can't live without. Or.. you might prefer how some other solution solves that particular problem. But... someone else's opinion can be totally valid for their own lives. I don't need everything you need and you don't need everything I need. Even where we have the same needs we might have different preferences.

If a device does not have the features that I want then for me it certainly has no advantage. The whole concept of buying something specifically because it does not have feautres.. why?

But.. I'll tell you what. I think I can easily out-Apple Apple. I can get you the lowest-feature phone possible. Clearly that implies it will be of higher quality right?

So....

If you promise to buy it from me then tonight I will go for a walk and find you a phone-shaped rock!

Comment Re:Fragmentation is a lesser evil (Score 1) 111

"The multi-tool is a best useful to keep for an emergency when you have nothing else. Because it's not actually very good at anything."

That's what Apple says. For their own users they prove it with their own products by crippling them. Of course a device without a mouse is at best an emergency last resort!

I don't need to clutter my life with 1000 computer tools, one for every situation. I've owned laptops and an iPad. I know how to compare them and I chose what works best for me.

For remote administration an Android phone with a Lapdock is in my opinion is the best tool available. I cycle with 3 other coworkers as being the on-call developer support for my work.

If you don't want to use a 'multi-tool' then I suppose you go for a laptop. They are expensive, short lived and require constant updating just like any other computer. I prefer not to own a laptop if I don't have to. I settled with what worked best for me.

Comparing the Lapdock with a laptop, it's the same form factor. There really is no physical advantage to the laptop! I'll be honest, a laptop has one advantage due to Motorolla or Google's software choices. The escape button is mapped to the phone's search feature so you can't use it to send to the remote computer. That can be worked around. Also, that does nothing to prove the multi-tools are bad theory. It's a poor programming decision that could have easily been the other way.

Anyway, my Lapdock beats a laptop because the data connection is built in. I do not require Wifi to work. I'm not dicking around with tethering apps that my phone carrier wants to try to block. Nor am I paying for my data twice by paying them for their official tethering service. I am definitely not paying for a whole second data service to activate some breakable USB dongle or a GSM modem that is built in to the laptop.

It's also superior to any iOS solution (short of Jailbreaking) because it supports a mouse. Like I said, I have used VNC and RDP on an iPad. Having some sort of floating touch mouse that covers part of the screen that you are working on... people pay for that shit really?!?!

As for the IDE.. you got me. I'm still learning Android development. I haven't built a large project on it yet. If.. when I do I find it's annoyingly slow that isn't going to stop me. I'll just use it's arguably superior VNC capabilities and use Android Studio on my desktop!

Even then the IDE would still be useful to me. It's compatible with Android Studio. Once I need to test on a real device I can use it with Subversion, Git or Dropbox to bring it local for a final build and test. Slow isn't so bad if I only have to do it once or twice at the end.

Of course that says nothing about the things you didn't reply to. What should I do for an SDR? Buy and lug around a laptop just for that? Or.. you did say you don't like multitools. I guess I need a standalone radio with the same capabilities as my Android plus SDR stick. Too bad that costs about as much as a new car!

Finally, for iOS devices to have those features it would make some of us happy without doing anything to harm users who don't want them. I simply cannot believe that enabling mouse support would break anything or make the device run any differently when a user does not even attach a mouse! Also, allowing side-loading would do nothing to harm the security of a user who does not chose to side load. It would allow anyone who wants a feature Apple does not approve of to have it. It doesn't matter if you don't find it something yourself. Just don't install it!

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 569

>>Targets in Baghdad were bombed, Baghdad as a whole wasn't.
Would you have wanted to be anywhere in Baghdad during that?

>> Citing Haliburton doesn't make the case stronger.
You seem to be ignoring all the close ties Haliburton has with government officials esepecially including vice president at the time.. Dick Cheney. The war in Iraq made a lot of money for many government officials. Corruption and greed are a far more likely explanation for that war than the extremely dubious looking inteligence regarding WMDs that were cited.

Comment Re: DNA testing of waste? (Score 1) 175

We prevented that problem from the start by putting a lid on the sandbox.

Yes, I know, we shouldn't have to do that. Cat owners shouldn't let their cats do that in our yard. How do you solve that though? Surveil your yard and then follow and identify any cat that ever comes by? Then go argue with each of those cat's owners? What do you do about stray cats? Catch them all yourself?

It's far more practical to just put a lid on it and be done.

Comment Unecessary (Score 1) 87

Meh.. it's just another telecom offering for a monthly fee what any good maker could provide themselves.

You just need a Raspi set up as a car computer with ODBC reader. Add a GSM modem for those emergency calling features. I suppose you could use that for tracking too. Better yet though.. get a ham license and track the car via APRS. It's free! Saves minutes on your sim card.

Total price if you are a good scrounger.. less than a years worth of Verizon's service. After that it's basically free so long as you aren't using you aren't actually making calls and your prepaid SIM card doesn't expire. You can even transfer it all to your next car.

Comment Re:Fragmentation is a lesser evil (Score 1) 111

"The only advantage is low cost"

I like convergence. The fact that Android supports a mouse is a huge advantage for me!

With VNC or Remote Desktop my Android device is just as useful as a laptop. I have a pretty good app for that on my iPad. They probably do the best job possible to make an on-screen mouse. It still SUCKS!

USB host and the ability to install drivers for things the manufacturer did not intend... I sometimes use my phone with an RTL-SDR stick as a software defined radio.

I also use it now and then as a quick and dirty Arduino programmer when I don't feel like pulling out a 'real' computer.

There is even an IDE for developing Android applications right on an Android device. I don't think I would use it solely on the touch screen but using a decent sized tablet with bluetooth keyboard/mouse or my phone with a Lapdock it is pretty nice.

I realize that these are all edge-case uses that don't interest most people. But... that flexibility satisfies MY use case. It does not harm anyone else's experience. And it means that other people's weird use cases would probably be easy to support on Android.

Apple could have done this easier than Google did. Google wrote a new UI. They must have had to actually write in mouse support. Apple basically took OSX and dumbed it down. At some point they purposefully made an effort to REMOVE mouse support. WTF?

They also made a special effort to prevent the user from loading in any other USB drivers. So.. only storage devices and maybe a few other chosen peripherals can functon. Even to use those you have to buy an adapter because of those horrible proprietary connectors they make an extra effort to re-design themselves every couple of models rather than just use industry standards.

Finally.. in order to get that nice, on-device IDE.. they would only have to NOT ban compilers from their store! How much effort would that take them? Oh wait... why does it matter? That's right.. because they will not allow you to install anything not on their store! They make tons of effort with every iOS release to ensure that!

I would say the biggest advantage of Android is not cost. It's that it isn't owned by a bunch of control-freak assholes!

Comment Re:Fragmentation is an issue? No shit! (Score 1) 111

I don't understand the huge rush to switch to BLE. So the software stack still has rough edges? No shit! It's new! Meanwhile regular Bluetooth chips and modules are available for pennies by the pound! If you are just a geek looking for something to play with yourself then by all means.. shiny! If you are developing a product though.. well.. would you install a 1.0 something on a production server?

Just stick with regular Bluetooth for now. These issues will be worked out. Can you really tell me that the average customer is DEMANDING BLE in their products? Do they even know what it is? I'm really doubting it!

Yes, I get it that Apple has already polished their BLE implementation. Of course they did... they didn't even have Bluetooth serial support! They had a major feature gap and a need to compete. So.. they threw all their effort into it just to try to show they are different.

Comment Re:Fragmentation is a lesser evil (Score 1) 111

I think most of those a-holes ARE imagining 'every' phone maker having their own OS. It's their dream! Of course.. key to that dream is Apple being the ONLY phone maker. The whole concept of there being a world outside of Apple's walled garden is scary. It's far better for them if they can spread FUD until it is destroyed.

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.

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