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Comment: Re:about time (Score 1) 45

by tlhIngan (#47429393) Attached to: FTC Files Suit Against Amazon For In-App Purchases

All that needs to be said is to compare after it's been taken over by Amazon with the new site the Woot founder started up - (yes, it's called meh).

Hell, if you remember woot's website before the takeover, it bears a closer resemblance to meh than today.

As for Amazon's awful ToS? Amazon is Apple-lite. They have an approval system just like Apple, and that's where Amazon's value-add is.

Remember how we keep asking for someone to do a curated app store to help get rid of the iffier apps found on Google Play? Here's Amazon.

Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 41

by tlhIngan (#47426487) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

Well, the real reason is when you're on top, there's only one place to go and that's downhill.

Samsung's dominance in the Android market is legendary - it's what, 90% of all Android phones? (take Google I/O's 1B unique devices in the past month, that would be 900M of them Samsung. And given sales figures, ~20-30M (2-4%) are SGS5's, 80M or so are SGS4 (9%). All the rest are thousands of lower end models (SGS3, 2, and all the Galaxy S variants that are really just cheap phones with fancy branding).

Like how Apple rode iPod up the growth curve, Samsung rode the Galaxy family (low end phones to high end flagships) up the consumer smartphone curve.

And when you're #1...

Samsung can still be a luxury brand, they just need to act like one and use materials that speak "high end" - get away from the plastics and into more interesting stuff. Metal, for instance - try some more exotic metals.

Comment: Re:Self Incrimination Irrelevant (Score 1) 328

by tlhIngan (#47419655) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

What do they do if you don't supply the desk key? They brake into the drawer. What should they do if you dont supply the encryption key? They should brake into the..

Sure, they could do that. And in the meantime, they'll hold you in custody until they do.

Given the length of time it would take to brute force AES and the like, that would effectively mean jailed for life with no parole. And I'm sure that would make the government's life much simpler.

Instead, the kid gets 6 months

Comment: Re:Why yes, we should blame the victim here (Score 2, Informative) 309

by tlhIngan (#47418135) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

Don't want your nudes to end up in public? Don't take nudes that you wouldn't want the public to see. Then you can be a true victim. The whole concept of "revenge porn," insofar as it applies to nudes and porn freely made and disseminated, is ever so much "I want my freedom.... but I don't want my choices to have consequences of which I don't approve."

We have a term for that behavior. It's called behaving like a child.

Technically true if she posted the photos on Facebook or something.

Instead, what happens is she and her boyfriend do stuff like sexting and sharing rather private photos that way. They break up, douchebag boyfriend decides he's innocent and posts those private photos online.

It's why the German courts I believe say if you do that, you're not only responsible for any damages, but also for taking it down (ha, ha) since those photos were not posted with permission.

Basically, every teenager with a cellphone and a camera is vulnerable to this (I think the numbers were what, 60% of all texts and other messages were of a sexual nature?).

It really is a modern technology thing - if you took nudie pictures of yourself, you had to get them developed, etc., and you mailed them off. If your ex-boyfriend wanted to embarrass you with them, it would take a lot of work to get them published widely. These days, digital photos make it easy to share with your friends, and ex-friends.

Comment: Re:Buzz elaborated on his reasoning yesterday. (Score 1) 77

by tlhIngan (#47415913) Attached to: Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

NASA needs a passion project on which they can fire on all cylinders and do something big.

No, the American people need a passion project for space. The space race happened because it was "Us vs Them" and when you got the people behind you, politics generally gets out of the way.

But when you don't have the people behind you, politics gets in the way and you end up with stuff like the Shuttle and people opposing you on purely ideological grounds.

Hell, try doing any pure science research, and it's heavily politicized.

The only way to do stuff like mine asteroids or go to Mars is to somehow light a fire that gets people excited enough to actually do it. And that generally takes an external threat. I mean, WWII is an example of how you can do into massive deficit spending and have everyone "suffer" (rationing, wage controls, etc) for the "greater good". Ditto the space race - can't let those Ruskies win, after all, so full speed ahead, damn everything else.

These days we're all engaged in piles of petty squabbles - science vs. religion, taxation, spending, climate change, conservation, oil, etc.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 1) 102

by tlhIngan (#47415857) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

Spreadsheets are actually tools of terror!

You jest, but they actually are - a lot of terror groups use them to keep track of funding and expense tracking (Al Qaeda being one of them), and ironically, for corruption protection. Because they're not necessarily flush with cash, and keeping spending down and wise means your terror group can do more with less.

Basically, a terror group happens to also be a business and businesses need to keep track of their accounts.

Comment: Re:Classic 100 years from now? (Score 1) 138

by tlhIngan (#47415803) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

The thing that always amazes me is while simple games like chess, weiqi, checkers, etc., all seem to have unlimited playability and intricacy, computer games generally don't.

Tetris comes to mind as a computer-only game (you can really only play it on a computer - a real life version is sorta difficult and messy).

And it's been going strong for what, 3 decades now? (The only reason the rules change is because the Tetris Foundation or whatever needs to keep themselves relevant, but the original is still as fun and addictive as ever).

Comment: Re:Multiple PCs and multiple copies (Score 1) 207

I'm surprised there are console games that allow you to buy one copy and play on more than one console at the same time, as tepples seems to imply in the GP post.

Two on PS3/4 and Xbox360/One - the "master" console (which can be changed on either) which lets the game play offline, and the subsidiary one, which lets the game play while logged in online (though only one login per account).

But it's true, right? If a cheap Dell off-the-shelf computer was far better than the current generation, that would definitely show how terrible the current consoles are. Instead, you need to spend maybe $800 minimum, you probably want to build the computer yourself and therefor need to have the time and the knowledge to build the computer yourself and then deal with any potential issues...

Are you kidding? Dell's $500 SteamBox entry was a pathetic i3 entrant. And $500 gets you an Xbone with depth-sensing camera. You could save $100 and get a PS4 or Xbone without.

Someone needs to explain to Valve and everyone that if SteamBoxes are to be the "next big thing in consoles" that they need to cost like one. And to be stuck with it because people don't want to upgrade it yearly - if I spend $500 on a SteamBox, I expect to be able to play the latest games on it for 5+ years at 1080p with the same quality (or better - console graphics typically improve through its lifespan as people optimized).

And if a SteamBox is supposed to be a gaming PC and not a console, well, geez, how about selling it more as a PC than as a console.

Comment: Re:haven't we learned from the last 25 exploits? (Score 1) 68

by tlhIngan (#47415631) Attached to: 'Rosetta Flash' Attack Leverages JSONP Callbacks To Steal Credentials

You know, there used to be a time where there were excellent webmasters that could do both HTML and Javascript great. Where you went to a website and without JS, it degraded gracefully.

Apple's website was like that, maybe about 8 years ago or so. Other than being a bit ugly in parts, it worked extremely well without JavaScript. (turning it on made it prettier and things worked a lot better, though). In fact, I only noticed it when I noticed it rendered differently on two different Firefoxes - on one, I had NoScript set to allow, on the other, I didn't.

It was a thing of beauty.

Of course, these days, it's gone to requiring javascript, though you may see old remnants of the time when it worked just fine without.

Comment: Re:Um.... (Score 1) 118

by tlhIngan (#47415567) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

Wait, I was alive during that time -- the smallpox vaccine wasn't made from smallpox, it was made from cowpox. So samples of the vaccine would not be smallpox, dead or otherwise. Samples of smallpox would be from labs specifically testing the disease. (Hopefully, testing for means to eradicate it.)

And only a decade or so ago, smallpox was effectively eradicated from the world - a win for vaccinations.

Of course, then we had the whole anti-vaxxer thing and now, smallpox is back and as infectious as ever. And you thought whooping cough was bad. All these controlled diseases are now rampaging communities again, except instead of in poorer nations in Africa and the like where the lack of medical care derives from corrupt governments and poverty, it's in first-world nations with access to clean water, medical aid, education, etc.

Comment: Re:I want voters to go to college (Score 1) 253

by tlhIngan (#47415517) Attached to: US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

I wasn't ecstatic about all the non-major courses I had to take when my primary worry was getting a programming job after I got my degree, and I might have taken an $100K out if it was available. But now 10-15 years later I'm glad I that my formal education included a psychology class, a statistics class, a history class, and others. Maybe I would have picked all that up on my own, or maybe I'd have a giant black hole in my world view.

  There's a training side to education and there's a wisdom side to education, and they're both important in the long run. Telling young people to get jobs right out of high school because being well-rounded isn't necessary for "smart" people just means it's going to be a crap shoot as to whether their decisions repeat history or learn from it.

Actually, we have a proxy for it a decade and a half ago.

It was called the "dot-com boom" then - where kids fresh out of high school decided to either start their own companies, get hired by startups, etc., and bypass the college route to earn some big bucks early and retire at 35 (the dream)..

We're seeing the effects about now, really and as everyone knows, history repeats itself.

Hell, many of the early millionaires lost all their money because high school home economics courses don't really teach you how to handle money anymore (home ec was really a "how to survive out there" style course - cooking, budgeting, saving/spending/retiring, etc.), so they spent their money on flashy cars and big houses.

And here we go around again, dot-com 2.0. Though, hiring high school kids has the advantage in that they're young and easy to excite with money, while those who have been around or studied at college can take a more critical look at things and see the shiny bauble is nothing more than a cheap exploitive ploy.

Comment: Re:It's like we've learned nothing in 5000 years (Score 1) 138

by tlhIngan (#47415387) Attached to: BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

The limiting factor on a phone is what you can wrap your hand around. This thing looks so wide it couldn't be operated in a single hand. I notice that a lot of BB users are two-handers though, perhaps because of the keyboard, so maybe it isn't a problem in their target market.

Square screens aren't a Blackberry issue - they've had square screens ever since they used that godawful pager protocol.

The thing is, it was fine to use a blackberry two handed because they strongly considered the single-handed use case and developed around that.

The UI, etc, are designed to be used single handedly - back when it was a 160x160 screen, they had the scroll wheel that let you go up down and select. And things modernized, they used the central click-ball as a virtual 5-way controller (up/down/left/right/center) and as a left/right up/down scroller. That became an IR sensor (not unlike an optical mouse sensor) later on.

And that makes a HUGE difference in usability - it didn't matter you needed two hands to type - you could navigate and figure out if something needed an immediate response or could be deferred on the go.

And that's what big screen Android phones lack - they don't take into account the single-handed use-case. They assume your hand can reach all four corners of the screen at all times, which generally requires two hands.

Well, if single hand use is important, then you either have to use a smaller screen (impossible on Android as small screen phones tend to be crappier as no one seems to innovate at making flagship phones with decent high-res screens 4.5" or smaller), or use Blackberries or iOS.

Perhaps Google needs to rethink how we interact with our phones and impose a new paradigm for large-screen phones where all controls need to be reachable on the left or right (depending on handedness).

Because that's one way Blackberry excelled - it was a two handed phone that let you use it as a viewer singlehandedly.

Comment: Re:Where the fault lies? (Score 4, Insightful) 221

by tlhIngan (#47413007) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

But how many people actually reset phone and reset data? I'd imagine a lot of people simply manually delete their photos and unhook their Internet accounts from the phone. Hardly a wipe.

But it's so easy to do on iOS. You can do it on the phone - Settings->General->Reset

And it wipes the phone - the flash storage is encrypted. Resetting it wipes the key and generates a new one. It then reboots and reformats the user storage using the new key and mounts it. The old data is irrecoverable because the key is lost, and the new data is written using a new key.

Even prior to encrypted storage, iOS3 created the option to do it where it erases and wipes the storage - anything 3GS and newer wipes keys (so wiping takes a couple of minutes), older ones took a couple of hours.

No reason Android can't do the same - either by sending TRIM commands to the entire user storage area and then forcing a write-all-with-zeroes to be doubly sure.

Comment: Re:Que the outrage (Score 1) 138

by tlhIngan (#47412949) Attached to: BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

Choice is good. You get to have your itty bitty little phone with it's itty bitty screen and I get to have my 5" phone with a beautiful screen I can actually see

Only if there was a choice.

I mean, the only GOOD android phones have huge screens, lots of RAM and powerful CPUs. The small screen android phones have shitty screens, shitty RAM, shitty CPUs, or all three.

And Apple is following this lead. It means I want a smaller screened phone I can use single-handedly, but I have to compromise something.

Be it iPhone, Android, or whatever, if you want something smaller, you give up a lot.

That's not a lot of choice there. Either I go your route and get a nice phone with nice everything, or I get a shitty phone with a shitty things. That's not choice.

Comment: Re:Pity about systemd (Score 1) 120

by tlhIngan (#47407285) Attached to: CentOS Linux Version 7 Released On x86_64

It can be argued that an OS really isn't much more than a kernel and init with everything else as userspace.

init isn't all that special to begin with, either. It just happens that it's something the kernel looks for when spawning the first userspace process.

Other than that, it's just a regular program. Linux has a fallback to /bin/sh if it can't start init for some reason, but you can have the kernel launch any other binary as the first process.

Of course, if you're complaining about systemd, check out Android's init sometime. That's something that requires an incantation...

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse