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Comment: It's so important.. (Score 1) 341

by nightfire-unique (#48669125) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

.. to know how people feel.

We, as members of society, need information when we choose who to befriend, who to do business with, and who to avoid. If people are not free to express themselves, we cannot make good choices.

If you're the type to avoid humor in bad taste, and you find this person offensive, you should be fighting this. Otherwise, at some point, you may find yourself emotionally attached to someone who feels this way, only to find out after the fact. When people bare their soul in a public forum, without fear of repercussion, you can observe and make decisions on how you want to interact with them in private. You can decide ahead of time.

If speaking one's mind is potentially illegal, much important information becomes unavailable as people will be unwilling to speak their minds. You cannot know someone is a racist, or someone is opposed to religious influence, or someone is against liberal governance, or someone has a problem with war. You can't know if they're neo-nazis, and you can't know if they believe politicians should be hanged for war crimes.

You may enter into relationships with these people only to find out much later that they feel a certain way.

The more deeply offended you are by speech, the more you should fight for it to be open and free.

Comment: Telegram is better (Score 1) 93

by nightfire-unique (#48427297) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Telegram offers every feature of WhatsApp, plus end-to-end encryption with visual signatures, arbitrary file sharing, multi-device support (including PC), is open source and the API is published.

They claim to have 40M+ users, so they're a substantial amount of the way to displacing WhatsApp already.

Comment: Android is getting worse (Score 1) 178

by nightfire-unique (#48379255) Attached to: Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

I want to preface this with: I'm an Android user/developer of 5 years, and have no interest in Apple devices. I don't mean to offend anyone, and I apologize for the long-winded post.

Sadly, I find Android is heading in a very bad direction.

Google has captured most of the top of the market, leaving little opportunity for growth, so it appears they've started "simplifying" the UI to capture those with little/no interest in mobile computers, those with less mental acuity or those unable/unwilling to spend a few hours learning the fundamental operating principles of a machine, young children, etc. Same direction Gnome headed in a few years back.

Can't blame them; they are a publicly held corporation, and they must grow. But, unfortunately, simplifying a user interface almost invariably makes it less useful to those who are willing to put in the time to synchronize with the machine.

Just a few more egregious examples of this in the latest Android versions:

Menu button removed

Contextual menus are a extremely powerful. On most modern OSes, right-clicking a control brings up a menu of actions related to that control. Since touchscreens lack a practical way to right-click, the menu button used to implement the equivalent functionality. Some UI designers claim it's inconsistent because you never know if the menu button is going to do anything, and that is a valid complaint. However, removing contextual menus entirely is silly. Many apps run full-screen where an overflow button is inappropriate, and when appropriate, overflow buttons needlessly take up room on the screen and enforce a display layout that isn't always appropriate for every app.

Bafflingly unusable new task switcher

If you haven't seen the new task switcher layout for 5.0, check it out. No longer can you see screen captures of your most recent 5-6 apps, but rather a confusing, battery wasting, user-interaction-required morphing list.

Google Maps feature regressions

Although not directly related to Android, it is symptomatic of Google's general new approach to mobile development. Gone are incredibly useful features like distance measure, zoom controls, sortable place search, place search compass arrows, and many other features that made the old Android maps app so great.

Where are chrome extensions? Native multiwindow support? GNU tools (instead of their godawful "toolbox")? Correctly functioning alt-tab? DNS overrides? Native image backups? Out-of-the-box viper4android? How about forcing manufacturers to add a "delete crapware" button if they want membership to the play store? Where are the extended privacy controls?

The thing is, they already have the "power users" market. So there's no reason to improve the Android core. We've all got CM, AOSP, AOKP, etc., anyway, right?

But it's frustrating, and I do hope some competition pops up to re-address the concerns of those who really use their devices.

Comment: Re:I still don't get the love for WhatsApp. (Score 1) 65

by nightfire-unique (#48133357) Attached to: WhatsApp's Next Version To Include VoIP Calls and Recording

The big deal is that it got so many things right back when no one else could figure it out, and that netted them a ton of users (which of course means that most of our friends are probably already on it.

Here are the features that won me over two years ago:

- Proper functioning chat groups that forward every message type (video, audio, locations, text, etc) to all members
- Location sharing
- The two-checkmark system (one means message reached server, two means message reached user's device)
- Zero configuration; your contacts are scanned (I get why some people have a problem with this, though), and everyone else who has WhatsApp installed appears automatically
- Audio messaging (GMRS-style)

Keep in mind, WhatsApp supported all of these features years ago. It was fast, reliable, simple to install, easy to use... it really was unique. Now everything out there supports all or at least most of this functionality, but it's too late; WhatsApp already has the user base.

Myself, I'm hoping Telegram displaces them.

Comment: Living in the past! (Score 3, Funny) 84

by nightfire-unique (#47588435) Attached to: Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now

Let's face it, driverless buses don't really exist. But so long as we don't regress back into the awful world of proprietary or non-standard extensions, why should buses need drivers outside of those shipped with the kernel?

Methinks the mayor of London has a soft spot for microchannel!

Comment: Re:Actually (Score 1) 93

by nightfire-unique (#46960983) Attached to: UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

Wait; maybe I misunderstood. Sorry, I'm using the industry-approved(tm) term "stealing" for copyright violation. Tongue-in-cheek.

I want those making the decisions to understand that I accept the term "stealing" and may consider copyright violation morally ambiguous or even negative. However, I judge the encryption of works restricted by copyright to be so much greater a moral failing that using the even theft is the lesser crime.

Comment: Actually (Score 3, Interesting) 93

by nightfire-unique (#46960593) Attached to: UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

Can they please send me one?

I am desperate to find someone to give money to, in exchange for unencumbered 1080p video (movies/tv).

I've stopped watching movies, but I know many in my position steal movies not for the price (we're engineers; cost is not an issue), but for the quality and user experience. Honestly, I couldn't care whether movies are $10, $20, or even $30. I care that I can wire someone money, click a button, and start a 10-20gb download of unencumbered, professionally encoded, high definition video.

In the meantime, I spend all of my media dollars on music, since there are multiple sources from which I can actually buy it.

Won't someone in the video world please take my money?

Comment: Re:You don't have to have google apps in your droi (Score 1) 163

by nightfire-unique (#46240957) Attached to: Google Apps License Forbids Forking, Promotes Google Services

Ouch. I don't been to be a downer, because I love competition and consumer choice, especially in the computing market.

But, I gotta say. This "other half" gimmick is about the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. Trying to sell themes, backgrounds, etc., by manufacturing hardware backs with RFID chips? Seriously?

Phone! I'm in a bad mood. "Applying bad mood theme. Done."

Or am I missing something?

Comment: It sounds harsh, but (Score 2, Interesting) 255

by nightfire-unique (#45978677) Attached to: Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

The entire Google maps leadership team should be fired.

Google is in the (almost) unique position of having outstanding cartographical data, satellite imagery, realtime traffic information, and access to user searches and email.

They could have built an incredible mapping platform with hierarchical point and route storage and sharing, GPX import/export, realtime location sharing (ie. latitude), advanced planning, map overlays, user reporting on traffic incidents/roadblocks/radar..

A year ago, they seemed to be heading in this direction.

Instead, they've slowly been stripping away the features they had that made it useful.

I remember looking upon the Google Maps iPhone app 6 months ago in horror. How do I send my own location? How do I see a topographical view? Why do selected locations snap to the nearest road? Why can't I measure distance, or plan a route in advance? Why can't I save a place, and give it a different name? I laughed, smug in the superiority of my Android version. I thought nice play, Google.. way to stick it to iPhone users, and offer them a compelling reason to switch to Android!

Little known to me at the time, my preferred platform would suffer the same fate. The abomination that was Google Maps on iPhone was ported, and pushed out to Android as well! Now who's laughing, right?

I am literally dumbfounded. Android's old maps application (6.14) was good. Not perfect, but good. The new version is laughable. No more latitude. No more labs. No more topographical maps. No more realtime transit navigation. No zoom buttons for one-handed use. No dedicated navigation button. No arrows pointing the direction of each search result. Bizarre, distracting user interface with clunky "3D" wipes. Still can't share your current location.

It doesn't surprise me at all that they're starting to remove features from the new Maps for web.

I'm almost certain that it's a move to convert the platform from data to advertisement. Less focus on what is actual (corner of 5th and E17th), and what is sponsored (Feel like McDonalds? Here are some locations!). I only hope that competition moves in to eat their lunch, and everyone who was involved in gutting it is offered a package.

Comment: Netflix should sue (Score 2) 383

by nightfire-unique (#45953659) Attached to: Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

Netflix should very loudly sue all of the major ISPs in the states, asking the court to affirm its right to reach its users at the same rate content-partners (or other business units) of the ISP pay.

They should make all sorts of noise about anti-competitive practices, damage to the Internet, corruption and bribery, lack of last-mile competition, lack of common-carrier status, etc.

They wouldn't win any judgments, but at least they could provide exposure and coverage in mainstream media so more of the population would grasp what's at stake here.

"The identical is equal to itself, since it is different." -- Franco Spisani

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