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Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 1) 559

Unlimited data plans on cell phones are not very common these days. I think people have a right to be upset if 100M gets sent to them unexpectedly.

Two things.

1) "Download Purchases Automatically" is NOT the default setting. It's off. (It's slightly confusing in that it really means if you purchase something on your account somewhere else - iTunes, another iOS device, etc - it will also be downloaded on the device also rather than just where you bought it).

2) The option to use cellular data is also OFF by default, so it only downloads when you're on WiFi. No extra bills here.

And to be honest, it really just seems to be a case of a bunch of people wanting to make some noise over a complete non-issue. Given the actual transfer happened on Tuesday during the keynote, and it's reporting was idle and sporadic, it really is just a tempest in a teapot.

I just looked at it on Tuesday, went "neat" and went about my day. It never downloaded to any of my devices (but the option remains open), but then again, I don't have the checkbox enabled. If you have more than one iOS device, you tend to keep it off because you don't want to accidentally fill up your other devices when you download a bunch of free stuff.

Comment: Re:iPhone 5S is already 8th fastest (Score 1) 205

by tlhIngan (#47909101) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

(source note 1-7 and the next 22 are all double the clock speed and quad core)

so indeed, few will care about whatever speed increase the 6 brings.

Actually, the problem is the benchmarks don't run long enough because you cannot achieve the speed usefully on quad-cores.

The problem is thermal - if you try to get all 4 cores going full tilt (and most of the time, you don't), you're going to hit the thermal limit within a minute. (Most benchmarks run under 30 seconds for that test). And once you hit that, performance and drop rather substantially. From thermal models I've seen, in free space with best cooling possible, you're going to hit max junction temperature in a minute and you have to throttle back two cores to 50% to keep it at max.

But that's ideal conditions - where you effectively only have 3 cores available. Most of the time you won't have that, and you'll find those two extra cores are clocked to 25% or slower of the top speed.

I'm sure the numbers are going to be more interesting if the benchmarks were re-run over and over again without letting the CPU cool down to see what the max sustained processing speed is.

Comment: Re:reading the results wrong (Score 1) 205

by tlhIngan (#47908963) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

Oddly enough, pushing pixels is the only sane reasons for doing 64 bit operations on a hand held device. If your not using more than 4 gig address space, going from 32 bits to 64 tends to mean you spend far more time moving pointers that have all zeros in the top half. Old stats showed the best a 64 bit PCU tends to do is about 6% worse based on average loads but operations with lots of indirect operations (like Java) it can be far worse.

Not on ARMv8.

ARMv8 only runs 32-bit (AArch32) code moderately faster than ARMv7. But if you can recompile the code for 64-bit (AArch64), you get an immediate speed boost because AArch64 makes several optimizations by getting rid of some legacy cruft in the old AArch32 architecture. (Some things, like conditional execution of instructions were great back in the day, but modern superscalar processors make that very inefficient because you're going to have to speculatively execute everything)

So one reason is pure speed.

Comment: Re:Go video go... (Score 1) 207

by tlhIngan (#47908841) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

First, I don't know how any of this is handled in Windows Phone or if there are any hacks or workarounds. All my smartphones have been Android.

Android (at least ICS) does allow this, though in a somewhat limited form, and it wastes^H^H^H^H^H^Huses more space than storing them on the phone. Another way if you have it rooted is the Link2SD app, which does some symlink trickery to put the app on the SD card exactly as it is on the phone. None of this allows easily transferring purchased apps to a new phone though. With the official way they're encrypted, and with the Link2SD way there's no easy way to transfer the links and the stub that says it's installed.

However, moving purchased apps to a new device is already pretty easy. I associated a new device with my Google account, went to Play Store, My Apps, all. It listed all apps I had purchased for my old phone and gave me the option to install each of them on my new one.

On iOS, it's a bit easier still, if you don't mind using iTunes. You just back up your phone, then when you get your new one, you restore from that backup.

It does two things - one, it means you have a LOCAL BACKUP of everything (including apps - Apple or the developer may remove apps, but if you have a local copy, you can always reinstall it on any device on your account!). Because the problem with the Google and Microsoft methods are, when you update, some apps inevitably go missing from this transition as they're no longer available and you cannot install them because you forgot to backup the APK.

Yeah, you can use iCloud. But that still suffers from the removed-app problem and the not-a-local-backup option.

Android did have a half-hearted attempt at a backup system using adb but it didn't save everything that was accessible over MTP, so you needed to copy everything from MTP when you did your adb backup, and then when you restored, you needed to copy everything back.

Comment: Re:Ion strengthened? (Score 2) 199

by tlhIngan (#47906105) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Is that $3 to replace a scratched screen, including all the AR coatings? At that price they might as well include three spare glass plates with every phone in case you scratch one.

That's the cost of the glass plate. (Note: Traditionally the iPhone uses Gorilla Glass, but for some reason I don't know why Apple and Corning couldn't come to a marketing arrangement. Probably because Apple traditionally doesn't hype up the products of its suppliers - so it may be Gorilla Glass, but Apple will never use the term).

Don't forget modern phones have a touchscreen embedded on the plate, followed by a bit of regular glass, followed by the LCD fabricated right on the glass as well so the touchscreen and display form a single unmoving unit. Alas, this extra processing means your $3 plate now costs $20 to manufacture, and maybe $25 after amortizing defective displays.

So no, the front glass is not just a single piece, it's the whole display assembly.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 561

by tlhIngan (#47906051) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Just what I need in a firearm. One more area that can fail epically. Also yet another battery to carry and eventually run out of.

Call me crazy but none of my firearms accidentally go off.

I understand there may be times when the use of gun to harm another human is necessary.

However, there are perfectly normal situations where you own a gun and this technology is perfectly acceptable.

There's a rather large contingent who really only use a gun for recreation. Perhaps they hunt. Or shoot targets (paper, clay. metal, whatever). They don't need a gun for constant companionship or ready access, they just have it for fun.

Perhaps after a day at the range or after bagging some animals, they head to the bar. Well, the gun's not put away, and there's a risk of your vehicle being broken into (actually quite common in the city). Well, it's one more thing that would make it worthless to someone and one less gun for druggies shooting at random people or whatever people do with stolen guns.

Yes, some people want it for protection. Others want it because they look cool (there's more than a few people who buy an AR and load it up with optics and grips and other accessories, only for it to sit on the shelf because they never have any intention of shooting it - just that it looked cool in Call of Duty and they wanted it).

Guns are versatile - there's lots of uses for them. In places where they're regulated, well, you often don't need one for protection but can often own one for recreational purposes.

So having the option makes sense - if you're going out to use it, you charge up the batteries and be done with it.

(Off-topic - why is it the real gun nuts take offense when they evacuate and leave guns out in the open, unguarded in an unlocked house often visible from the street, and the police come around and put it away for safe-keeping? I mean, is it somehow more offensive that the police are holding the guns for you (with a promise to return them) than if some random stranger decided to go and rob you? Perhaps it's less offensive if they were "stolen" by the police? The guns were right there waiting to be stolen, after all. Anyone else could've done it had the police not swept the area for items people may leave behind that are valuable)

Comment: Re:That title needs work, for one thing (Score 2) 93

by tlhIngan (#47900717) Attached to: Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Don't forget they fired their award winning composer who'd been with them since Marathon (?) days & treated him bad while doing so - made me wonder what was going on over there at the executive level (and add a bit of apprehension for this game's release - which turned out to be warranted).

The problem is Activision. That's the problem with Activision - they are all about the money, and even Kottick's admitted to it. And they've already forced Bungie's hand - it's presumed Activision put pressure on Bungie's board to fire Marty. He's been there since the beginning I believe - one of the founding members.

Unfortunately, Marty had the last laugh. First, the courts awarded him unpaid overtime and vacation accrued ($30K, plus another $30K for being idiots for not just giving it to him, and $40k in attorney's cost). And in the past couple of weeks, the courts also re-awarded him Bungie Founder's Shares, that Bungie tried to illegal take from him.

Well, the courts ruled that according to the terms of issuance, yes, Marty is due all his shares (even ones that weren't issued yet), undiluted. The argument that he left was invalid since the only way the shares could get cancelled was if he voluntarily left. Since he was forced out, he's still due all shares. And Bungie even protested saying Marty would use his shares to screw up the business because he holds powerful shares as an ex-employee forced out. The judge disregarded that reason basically stating that Bungie made the bed.

So $100K and powerful shares because Activision didn't want him. (Probably because he cost a lot of money and with Paul McCartney's special track). And Marty's not obliged to sell those shares, either. So he technically still has a say.

Bungie's following the path of Blizzard - from great gaming company to hollowed out shell coasting on a name.

Hell, Bungie/Activision made a super classic mistake - they didn't let game reviewers have a go in advance. The cynical response (and history has shown it to be true) is that it's because the game is so bad, they can at least count on a few early sales before reviews basically end up killing sales. They tried to couch it in terms of "we want everyone to evaluate it on the full content with real players" but that rings hollow - the easiest way to do that is to recruit a bunch of beta players for a special play session for reviewers.

Ars Technica wasn't kind to it either. Their same-day early review showed a lack of content (though they were kind in saying "the servers worked". Their later review calls it "Rent it" saying there's not enough content for whatever-kind-of-game-it-is.

Somehow, after taking 4 years to do it (2010 - Halo Reach), to release this disappointment means that Bungie probably had a few ideas for a Halo MMO like game in the background, then used that. And tons of committee meetings later, well, you have this as everyone tried to get their say in the game. Resulting in something no one is quite sure what it is.

Hell, I suppose the final insult is when Activision reported "shipped" numbers. Well, at least they got a bunch of money from Sony for exclusives.

Comment: Re:How much would the rebate be? (Score 1) 413

by tlhIngan (#47892709) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

No, you don't get a free version, you don't get the media. You wipe it you've lost it. Not too mention the OEM version runs about $100. So no it's not free. Moron.

Except it is almost free because software vendors pay computer vendors money to bundle in their software. Basically a company like Dell or HP go to Symantec and McAfee and ask them how much do they want in on their new PC. Highest bidder gets installed. repeat this several times and the cost of Windows is recovered.

Windows OEM to you and me may be $100, but Dell/Sony/Acer/HP/etc are not paying that - they're paying far less. Add in the bundled crapware subsidy and it can pay for the hardware too.

Comment: Re:I just want the new Nexus. (Score 5, Insightful) 222

by tlhIngan (#47891023) Attached to: iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

The only real feature of note was Apple Pay, which might finally make NFC payments take off in the US. It's been a technology that should have hit it big a couple of years ago, but has never seen much consumer buy-in for some reason.

Because no one unified around it. You have credit cards and phones and all that, and the phones were all fragmented into using Google Wallet or other custom thing so it was impossible to actually use.

Effectively, Google thought "If you build it, they will come" and everyone basically gave a collective "meh" and promptly did their own thing.

What Apple did was try to be a de-facto standard. Apple made deals with Visa, MasterCard and American Express (which probably covers the vast majority of credit card charges out there). Apple made deals with big retailers people used. So in the end, Apple has, upon launch, the support of the vast majority of credit card payment companies, and big companies that most people shop at.

Plus, Apple has money on their side - the people who buy Apple products tend to be ones who have money, and are the kind of people who do spend it. Android users tend to be more tight-asses (given the vast majority of them are free phones that their carrier gave away), so are in generaly seen as a "lesser valued" market.

So you have companies agreeing to Apple because they know Apple customers generally have money. As a side effect, it means the technology being promoted gets widely distributed so everyone else benefits as well.

Comment: Re:How much would the rebate be? (Score 1) 413

by tlhIngan (#47890901) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

What does MS sell their OEM OS for anyway? Probably not that much. No one will likely bother.

Roughly $10-50 or so. It's hard to pinpoint an exact figure because the bundled software often pays for that stuff. So the refund you get is often far less because they have to take out the software that subsidized the cost of the PC. It's one reason why Linux PCs often cost more.

Anyhow, you can still bundle in Windows on the hard drive and all that, and separate out the software as a line item. If you choose to pay for Windows, you get a card with a unlock key on it. You boot the PC, enter the key, and it boots up with everything.

If you choose to not pay for software, you just click "I did not buy software" and it erases the hard drive.

Comment: Re:What is wrong with people? (Score 1) 208

by tlhIngan (#47890797) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

You'd think people wouldn't get taken in by those Nigerian 419 scams as well, but they keep falling for requests to send money to make money.

You would think they'd stop before they'd send away $25,000 or more, but...

I can understand elderly folks falling for the "Hi I'm your grandson stuck in the middle of nowhere" scams, but the people who traditionally fall for the 419s know they don't have grandkids, and typically middle-aged people.

I guess greed blinds.

Comment: Re:Not all contributions / sacrifice are equivalen (Score 1) 121

by tlhIngan (#47890279) Attached to: Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

The writers of the US Constitution has the foundational documents of Sparta available to them. They deliberately chose to go in the other direction. This point seems to be one that is conveniently ignored by self-styled originalists.

I think the militaristic jingoism is a result of how the US came into existence - through war.

I mean, most countries only have one day to remember their war dead (Nov 11), while the US does the same (Memorial Day), as well as those in service (Veterans Day). Interestingly, while most of the world celebrates those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, it's when the US celebrates those in service, preferring to be different and celebrate its war dead separate from everyone else.

Comment: Re:Let's look at the data (Score 1) 59

by tlhIngan (#47890215) Attached to: Ozone Layer Recovering But Remains Threatened

That's not the issue. The issue is that the low-cost asthma medications that poor people bought for their kids used the CFC propellants. The FDA would not let them switch to a new propellant without spending something like $200M on a new approval study, which was not cost effective in their OTC market, so they pulled the product. Poor kids don't suddenly get expensive inhalers because their cheap ones went away.

And the real issue is that people ignored the deadline which was issued by the Montreal protocol to address exactly that.

Inhalers were the last source of CFCs and the people who got together to limit CFC usage knew it would take time to approve new propellants. So they allocated over 20 years to do just that - enough time to find a new propellant, get it approved and phase the old one out well ahead of the deadline.

What did people do? Screw it - profits profits profits. The long deadlines was to deal with all this, not to simply ignore the problem until it was too late.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 193

by tlhIngan (#47884839) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

And let's just remember that planes don't actually fly themselves:

A growing problem with a LOT of airline pilots is they lack the basic skills to fly. And this is, unfortunate a product of the environment in which they fly - most countries either prohibit or massively regulate general aviation flight, resulting in the only flying most airline pilots get are from the simulators and the jetliner cockpits.

It's better in North America as many jet pilots do actually fly little light aviation aircraft (like ye olde Cessna 172s and 182s and Pipers, etc). These pilots usually exercise basic flying skills because the most automation they have is a single axis autopilot typically. And are subsequently able to land in fairly normal conditions.

A lot of airline pilots get horrendously scared if the ILS is down, or they have to circle and land, or the VASI is off or a bunch of other things that most commercial airports have. It causes undue stress and if you really challenge them, give them perfect VFR conditions and they still can't land without automation's help. Yes, your basic VFR landing - something every student pilot has to do - can give the willies the most seasoned jetliner pilot simply because the skill has rotted away.

Oh yeah, there are also a few fundamentals to every plane that are always true for that plane. Stuff like Attitude + Power = Performance. Give it a set attitude, a set power level, and you know what to expect - climb rate, airspeed, descent rate, etc. It stays the same for the plane, and is true from your tiniest light sports to your Airbus A380s. It would've saved many lives when the airspeed indicators are off (mean flying instructors love to cover up instruments during landing - but it teaches the student that if they can hold a certain attitude and power setting, the airplane's performance is predictable and yes, you can even land without stalling. And landings can be oddly far better this way when the student is concentrating on the outside rather than inside on the instruments).

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"