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Comment Re:Google lost my trust when I became an app user (Score 2) 170

Considering Google's core functionality is ADS and SEARCH, and everything extra is literally done on employee spare time (20% to be exact), I don't think you can honestly expect a timeframe unless Google decides to hire people specifically for it.

Google apps is billed as:

24/7 Phone support and 99.9% uptime guarantee
25GB storage per user, no ads
Blackberry and Microsoft Outlook interoperability
Virus and spam protection by Postini

And it costs real money. That hardly sounds like a pet project of individuals. I agree with OP, the support and feature parity does not live up to what a normal person would expect.

Comment Re:Over-inflated importance (Score 1) 425

Are you saying changes like that are equivalent to burning every copy of the story and cleaning Humanity's mind of Star Wars altogether?

So the story teller has changed his story. So. What? Art isn't an engineering problem and entirely lives in the realm of ideas - YOUR ideas. If you don't like a certain performance (i.e. recording) of something then continue to enjoy whatever performance you do like. Life's really that simple.

Corollary: You might ultimately learn to enjoy the minor differences.

You make an excellent and valid point. I omitted that viewpoint in my statements.

But your point is not in contradiction to mine. The fact is that Lucas has removed the original from practical existence. He has intentionally literally destroyed all decent interpositives and internegatives of the original cut. He has literally destroyed all prints made for theatres. What exists of the original movie is a flawed print duplicated to VHS or Laserdisk, a paltry 400 lines of resolution, compared to a 4k or 8k scan that is normally used for archiving. He had, in his hands, a restored "original negative" of a fully restored and cleaned and re-timed version of approximately the original cut. This "original negative" was apparently stunning. He then destroyed that, in order to add Jabba to it.

Lucas can and should be able to do anything he wants to his forks of the movie. That's totally fine with most people, I think. But he should not be able to, for all intents and purposes, remove the original film, a film that is significant to millions of people, he should not be allowed to remove it from existence.

There is no way to watch the original Star Wars on anything better than youtube quality, and that is a crime against culture.

And, by the way, I do enjoy the "special edition" Empire Strikes Back. It is tastefully done, and it doesn't introduce new content or characters. If I take off my "original hat" and think about it, I would probably buy the Blu Ray set solely to have this movie.

Comment Re:Saving Star Wars: The Special Edition Restorati (Score 1) 425

It is possible to re-assemble that restoration, which by all accounts is stunning.

I've still got my laserdisc set. Just nothing to play them on at the moment...

The first laserdisk release was rehashed in the mid-2000s dvd release of "the originals", so you can get the original cut. However, it is taken from a badly damaged interpositive, and is not anamorphic, so it's missing a lot of information. There was a later laserdisk release of the "Special Edition" theatrical release, but the coloring was botched, and it is also not anamorphic, AFAIK. (I've never had a laserdisk player, but I think that's correct.)

Neither of these will do. FFS!, the negatives exist in some vault. All it would take is someone skilled with glue and a blade a couple weeks to re-assemble them and you'd have a fully restored 8k 4:4:4 copy of a film that is universally considered to be of significant cultural importance. Instead, we have zilch. It's a travesty.

Comment Re:Over-inflated importance (Score 1) 425

So STFU, get out of Mom's basement, and get a life already.

I don't live in a basement. I am not a fanatic. But it's been pretty well documented that Lucas has grossly mishandled Star Wars et al. It's not about consumerism, or artistic qualities, it is about integrity. The issue is about how Lucas has destroyed a significant part of the culture.

As it has been said, "The only people who haven't seen Star Wars are the characters in Star Wars". It is sad that Star Wars is currently lost,

It's an important movie, I'm sure you will agree? It should exist in some form? It doesn't, due to solely to Lucas. The new movies -- love them or leave them. But it's a travesty that such a monumental work has been destroyed.

Comment Saving Star Wars: The Special Edition Restoration (Score 5, Informative) 425

There is an exellent article outlining what Lucas has done to the original negative. tl;dr: in the 90's Lucas restored the negative of the original release, and then subsequently nearly completely butchered it while at the same time destroying all copies of the theatrical release (except privately owned vhs and laserdisks, of course). At this point the only thing that exists is a 1080p scan of the film. All of the restored negative does still exist, though. It's just not assembled into something that could produce anything. It is possible to re-assemble that restoration, which by all accounts is stunning.

Comment Re:Gosh, streisand effect much? (Score 1) 213

I don't have an iPhone as I am not a moral vacuum and so would never have heard of this app normally but now I have... good job Apple. [...]

Alright all your Apple cultists, time for you to loudly protest that: vote with your dollars[...]

Ready? GO!

Does HTC fare any better in this regard? Is anyone higher rated by Greenepeace, EPA, etc, than Apple? Is there some magical bamboo and seaweed phone that is in the ballpark of an iPhone? Is there a better (and feasible) way to do this? Do tell.

Comment Re:Apple/Scientology? (Score 1) 213

I've always jokingly called apple the "Cult of Macintology", but now it's even more obvious. The cult of $cientology sue people when they don't like what they're saying, Apple also take action (by the sole means they can) by killing off criticism.

Can anyone say Streisand effect?

I'm not sure what your point is, but I'm not sure that a comparison between significant changes in their manufacturing due to direct criticism versus pulling a retarded game from their own app store helps your point.

Comment Re:Maybe they'll search for a better solution ... (Score 1) 150

Setting up some form of logging (that they are fully informed of) that doesn't require daily intervention (and you have the already-demonstrated good sense not to obsess over, or probably even look at most of), but you can access when needed, is not necessarily bad.

One possible method would be get them a data-only SIM, install a SIP client on their phone, and run your own SIP service for them (and you) -- as a bonus, you can wind up cheaper (potentially as low as the operating costs of the server, with all calls and texts free, if you take advantage of the right offers, different routing for sending/receiving, voice/SMS, etc.) this way. I haven't done it, because it's really a bit of work to set it up and, then keep on top of what VoIP providers are offering what services free, but amortized over a whole family, it could be worthwhile -- and then logging is at your discretion.

Of course, if your kids know you're logging everything, they will inevitably route some comms other ways -- payphones (if they can find them), their friends' phones, social networking sites, etc., so it's still no good for helicopter parenting, but if you're concerned about e.g. teachers starting predatory relationships with them, it could have some value.

Disclaimer: I'm not a parent, don't want to be (yet, anyway), and haven't studied for it -- therefore I make no claim that my ideas about parenting are particularly good. They are pure speculation devoid of research or experience, and the only thing dumber than yelling at me because I'm obviously wrong would be following my suggestions. ;)

Yeah, I know that's all possible, but I'm not going to do any of that. 1) I don't log or lock down their computer at all. It's in a common living space and they know the rules. They still make mistakes, though, and I help them through those. 2) I just don't have the time to do any of that. I can barely be bothered to check the "Parental Controls" box for their browser (mostly because I don't believe it will do any good, long-term). 3) Maintaining my own SIP network while I have a full-time job, multiple kids, as well as other important things going on? Forget about it.

Comment Re:Maybe they'll search for a better solution ... (Score 1) 150

If you cant trust them to not abuse a mobile phone...

It's not about trust, it's about allowing for the inevitable naive mistake without all of the dire or embarrassing consequences. It's about balancing communication capabilities against being confronted with new and challenging concepts. My kids know my phone number, they should be able to call me if they need help. I trust them to do that, and to not send inappropriate messages to others. But what if they get a creepy text from a peer? Or what if they send a poorly-phrased text to a peer who then misinterprets it?

I know I can cut off text, or simply not give them a phone at all. But the middle ground seems worth exploring, I'm just not sure how to do it. I really just wish I could give them a quarter, and trust that there is pretty much always a pay phone within an 1/8th of a mile. These days, it's "all" (iPhone) or "nothing" (crippled feature phone) or nothing (nothing). I'm not happy with any of those three.

I want to be able to send a 10-year-old out into the world (and I will most certainly do so anyway), but the concept that it's up to the parent to constantly monitor kids' activities and at the same time allow the kids to live in the real world seems to me to have an inherent logical flaw.

Comment Re:Maybe they'll search for a better solution ... (Score 1) 150

I would also like to see some education on the parental front. I would much rather a parent monitoring my communications with a child than my employer. After all, it is the parent who is ultimately responsible for the upbringing of the child and it is the parent who should be deciding the boundaries that other adults have with their children.

While I agree with this, it is easier said than done. When I was a kid, I always a quarter in my pocket which I could use to call home or my parent's work. Today, there are simply no pay phones anywhere where my kids spend time (a big city in the USA). My kids don't have mobile phones yet (because they can't reliably use them yet), but when they do, they will have them on their person all day. How do you monitor phone calls/sms/web browsing in this scenario? Not a glib question -- I try to do a lot to monitor my children's online/tv/etc time. There are no private TVs or computers in the house; we talk about what it means to enter an email address into a Club Penguin form; etc. But at some point, they are going to have to go out into the world on their own, and they are going to have to have a way to phone home when they are in trouble. Am I supposed to do a data dump on their phones at the end of each day and interrogate them about mysterious SMSs that I find? I'm not really interested in that for many reasons...

Comment Re:Changing priorities (Score 4, Insightful) 88

The 2G phones were designed at a time when the manufacturers still thought people gave a shit about coverage or battery life.

Apple has shown us all that they don't..

I think history disagrees with you. The first iPhone was 2G despite 3G radios existing and working in the wild. They didn't put a 3G radio into the phone until they were small enough and efficient enough. The tradeoff was low-bandwidth vs battery life, and Apple decided battery life was more important. There is nothing particularly cutting edge about any of the iPhone's hardware at all. They use solid parts with good specs, but they are never "the best" that is available at the time. They do this specifically to improve battery life and ensure basic functionality.

You can complain about the UI and App Store all you like, but I don't think Apple has ever made a phone that sacrifices coverage and battery life for the sake of wowing customers.

Comment Re:Statement from BART (Score 3, Insightful) 440

How can the platforms and trains of a public transport system (that is tax supported and even run by a state agency) not be public areas? This is explicitly not about interfering with the trains, it is about "expressive activity" i.e. exercise of everybody's constitutional freedom of speech. If you have a valid ticket you are not "de facto trespassing" either. Freedom of speech cannot be limited to "certain areas", it is either a universal, fundamental right or it makes no sense at all. If to exercise your freedom of speech you are required to go into a "Free Speech" cage, what kind of freedom is that?

They are not public areas in the sense that the area behind the counter of the DMV is not a public area. In order for it to function, there must be rules. You and 50 of your friends cannot just walk into a DMV and hang out in the back office simply because it is run by the government. Have you been to a BART station in San Francisco? They are tiny and completely packed. There is no conceivable way to hold a protest on one of the platforms below Market Street without shutting it down. It's like insisting on holding a parade on the only 1-lane road that is used by 100,000 people an hour. It's not going to be allowed. Set up shop on the side of the road, or set up shop in the BART station, but not on the platform. These are all fine.

Comment Re:Statement from BART (Score 3, Insightful) 440

Paragraph 2: "No First Amendment activities in the trains, boarding areas, or any other part of our property." (I love the "expressive activities" buzzphrase in this one)

No, the statement is that the platforms and trains are not public spaces, and if you interfere with the trains, you are de facto trespassing and they will have you arrested. I support PETA doing their thing on the sidewalks and in the parks, but I would take action if they ended up in my living room or if they disabled my vehicle.

Comment Re:Well then just shut down everything (Score 2) 440

Since crime must be prevented, everything should be shut down to prevent all sorts of crime. Never mind about protests. What about real crimes like bank robbery and murder? Phone shouldn't work, guns shouldn't fire, TVs should turn off, and cell phones, FaceBook, Twitter, should all be silenced. Then there's that whole internet thing... Everyone please just stay home and be safe! Think of the children.

Look, protesting is not a crime in any degree and should not be lumped next to them even when trying to make an example.

BART was pretty clear that they would have accommodated a protest. BART was attempting to prevent a shutdown of the system, which would be a major hassle for hundreds of thousands of people. This happened a couple weeks ago, it was chaos and there is no alternative to BART for the majority of its riders. I don't know whether shutting down some of their own equipment was effective, or outrageous, or appropriate, or what, but I am glad for everyone who was able to pick up their kids at camp or make other crucial appointments on that day.

Comment Re:Apple's Greed Knows No Bounds (Score 2) 307

Here's my take on it. Apple's greed is amazing to behold.

It's not clear that it's about greed. Far more likely is that it's about control, control over the experience of their users. Apple has a direct motive to fully support the Kindle app on iOS, because the users of their devices want it there. iBooks just exists for users who can't be bothered to dive into the Kindle ecosystem. But also, Apple has a direct motive to prevent sketchy financial transactions from originating from within iOS apps. A couple of errant games that redirect users to a Russian mafia site to steal credit cards can very quickly remove any trust that people have in the App Store. Apple is mitigating this, at the very public cost to a handful of apps (Kindle, Google Books (or whatever), Netflix, etc.) But the bottom line is that in this capacity, Amazon, Google, and Netflix are all middlemen. Middlemen are going the way of the dodo in general, although today these three behemoths obviously provide a great deal of value to the end-user.

I don't use Kindle or Google Books or Netflix on my phone, so I'm not certain what the big deal is. If you have a Kindle account, is it really that hard to buy books at amazon.com rather than from within the Kindle app? Maybe it is, but the only effect this policy has had on me is to elevate the amount of trust I have with in-app purchases -- Only Apple will ever get the transaction details, and Apple has a pretty good track record with processing purchases.

I have a hard time finding fault with Apple's policy on this.

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