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Comment: Re:Google updates (Score 1) 179

by thsths (#49452477) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

Yes, they could update the core services, and they could fix bugs quickly, but they don't.

There are quite a few battery drain bugs still in the core services, especially in the location service. It is embarrassing.

But not surprising. Core services were never about faster upgrades or better Android, but about control. Once apps rely on core services, they can no longer run on a plain Android device with the Google apps. Android is getting more and more closed.

Comment: Re:Never going to happen (Score 1) 137

Actually the EU has done that, for example with the eco label.

However, it turned out that typical white goods with an eco label below A would not sell in Germany, so they are no longer available. No consumer choice there. In other countries, consumer standards are different, and therefore it may be very difficult to sell or to find a highly efficient device. Again, little consumer choice.

So the result was that different countries would informally set different standard - exactly what the common market was trying to avoid. Regulation would be more efficient and provide better consumer choice (everybody can get the same efficient devices).

Comment: Too broad (Score 1) 198

They have a specific problem (NOx and PM), but they address it with broad measures. It may work to some degree, but the costs are significant. (And I still remember car being completely banned on a Sunday... that was even broader, but it also carried a sense of purpose and community.)

But my main issue is that these measures are very late. Surely they should be taken before pollution reaches unacceptable level, to prevent that from happening.

Comment: Re:Um... it's 16 days (Score 2) 95

by thsths (#49262767) Attached to: BlackBerry's Latest Experiment: a $2,300 'Secure' Tablet


With Windows, you get security updates every second Tuesday. For free, for years, and in a timely fashion.

On Android, you are lucky if Google deems a bug worthy of fixing. The best sandboxing is useless if the OS itself has known and remote exploitable security issues, as Android usually does.

Comment: Re:And that's half the story (Score 4, Insightful) 178

by thsths (#49213755) Attached to: MH370 Beacon Battery May Have Been Expired

It's not just "speculation and conjecture" As the Daily Beast's companion article states (emphasis mine),

One item in particular jumps out from the cargo manifest: a consignment weighing 5,400 pounds that included a large number of lithium-ion batteries, radio accessories and chargers.

Tests conducted on a similar consignment of batteries in a cargo hold by the Federal Aviation Administration have shown that they are vulnerable to a “thermal runaway” when one battery overheats and a chain reaction occurs. In several of the tests, smoke and fumes reached the airplane’s cockpit in less than 10 minutes. Another test caused an explosion that blew open the cockpit door. This week United Airlines joined Delta in deciding to no longer carry shipments of the batteries in the cargo holds of passenger flights.

Yes, and that is a perfectly rational risk assessment. It is not possible to say how big the risk is exactly, but it is easy to avoid for a moderate additional cost, and therefore I would expect any airline to come to the same conclusion - unless maximising profit is the only significant consideration.

However, that does not really explain what happened, because it seems that the aircraft did not blow up, but it just followed a rather strange and irregular flight path.

Comment: Re:The benefit of Science (Score 1) 398

Unfortunately nutrition advice is a lot more pseudo-science that science.

Like "low fat": eating less fat should make you less fat - that much seems obvious. But there was never any scientific evidence for it, and now we found that actually low fat products tend to make you fatter. It even makes some kind of sense, if you understand how the metabolism works.

Peanuts are very much the same, I think. Yes, eating peanuts can cause an allergic reaction, but not eating peanuts can cause allergies to develop. Finding the best possible action takes time, large studies and a serious amount of statistics.

Personally I tend to ignore most of the nutrition advice out there. There is some good science out there: for example there are clearly bad substances that should be avoided, and an excess of sugar can cause all kinds of health issues. But a lot of the more sensational statements of the form "x is good for you" or "y is bad for you" are just made up.

Comment: V8 Rumble (Score 1) 823

by thsths (#48877085) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

I would be a lot sadder, but for the fact that all that V8 rumble is just the result of an unbalanced engine with a cross plane crankshaft.

Well designed engines produce a lot less noise, and they have to.

So if you want to have the sound of a bad engine without the side effects, playback seems like a logical option. And yes, pretty much everybody is messing with the sound.

Comment: Re:Not a priority (Score 1) 56

by thsths (#48828067) Attached to: Google Finally Quashes Month-Old Malvertising Campaign

> Stopping malware is not a priority for advertising companies.

> The priority is to do whatever they can to help advertisers, because advertisers give them money.

Yes, but there is a gap between the two statements. How about:

The priority is to do whatever they can to help malware (while only appearing incompetent and not actually evil), because malware spreaders are giving them money.

All I am saying that this is a very slippery slope. Google is most certainly helping to spread malware, and they are probably making money from it. And they could do more to avoid it if they wanted to...

Comment: Don't do evil (Score 4, Interesting) 56

by thsths (#48827721) Attached to: Google Finally Quashes Month-Old Malvertising Campaign

unless it is profitable.

Google standards have certainly slipped. You would expect them to prevent this at all cost, and to have a system in place that prevents it from happening. But unfortunately the very opposite is happening: unruly ads are becoming more and more common, and Google doing very little to prevent it.

Comment: Re:technical communicator (Score 1) 488

by thsths (#48510399) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

> As a result, coming up with something small that shows your "value" (or often rather just a "cultural/attitude fit" with the project) is likely to work much better.

That sounds very much like initiation to a cult to me...

"You have to bring three chickens for sacrifice to join us."

Comment: About time (Score 2) 162

by thsths (#47874795) Attached to: Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Integration And Free VoIP Calls

In Google Voice it was free to call US numbers, but only while you were in the US. From abroad, you still had to pay for US calls. Google Voice had a lot of potential, but it never quite realised it. I hope this works better .

What I would like to know if there is some "call in" feature, too? Maybe not a phone number, but a way to call and then be connected to Google Hangouts.

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson