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Comment Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (Score 1) 280

Ubuntu has had the Ubuntu Software Center for quite a while now, in Internet years, and it's a front-end to apt-get, basically, but it's entirely graphical and laid out in a logical and straightforward fashion. I didn't say it was the best implementation of a repository-style app market environment, but it sets out what it accomplishes to do fairly well for users unfamiliar or uncomfortable with package management (which sounds scary if you're unfamiliar with the terminology).

As much as I hate the closed nature of Apple's App Store and the sometimes-ridiculous approval process, I'm not a fan of the Android Market for this reason. Before I installed DroidWall on my rooted HTC Magic (aka the MyTouch 3G, the second Android device released in the US), I only installed apps that were recommended by a moderately reliable source, such as Lifehacker (not much of a fan of the rest of the Gawker network, but LH is okay) or ones where it looked particularly good and the permissions were sane. I'm a little more fearless with DroidWall when it comes to checking out an app that seems even a little sketchy, because DW's default is to block wifi/3G connections, so it only gets net access after I check it out and see if it's obviously crap or not. At any rate, if the market system worked like a collection of repositories and users were freely available (though the carriers would probably attempt to lock that down) to add trusted third-party repos to their market. Maybe not with Google Checkout payment support, perhaps, but it could be done. If Android Device X shipped without a wifi tethering app/option and the carrier's subset of the official Google Market doesn't list wifi tethering apps and yanks new ones as they're added, I'm sure someone would happily host and write if necessary a tethering app for free and slap it on a repository with a very good community reputation in next to no time, simply to fix that fascist omission.

Comment Re:No risk for me (Score 1) 280

In the case of the tithe calculator app, it required no permissions whatsoever, and this was early on in the Market's lifespan, before too many malware incidents had happened (though there had been at least one). My phone is now rooted with DroidWall installed, so nothing gets 3G or wifi access unless I let it through the firewall, and if it's obviously fishy, Deal & Be Billionaire! anyone, I'm not even going to let it touch my system anyways.

Yes, had the tithe calculator asked for any sort of permissions except maybe turning the vibration on for some zany reason, I would've just kept on my way.

Comment Re:No risk for me (Score 4, Interesting) 280

This is what I came here to say. If you think that those apps are legitimate or at least only a positive, you are either very desperate, underage, or a moron of the highest order. In the case of the first, I'm sorry you don't have the brains to find actual free porn/cheesecake pics, in the case of the second you're not clever enough to ascend to the next level of porn, and in the case of the third your phone is too smart for you, please take it back.

On a slightly different topic, since I might as well go all out in insulting average non-computer-savvy people for the crime of not spending their life like pasty-faced Anonymous Cowards in front of the cool glow of a monitor in their basement, I remember an early app in the Android market that was literally a tithe calculator. I'm GUESSING this was someone's first app or otherwise a test app by someone learning to program, because I actually downloaded it a second time after an update and the interface became slightly more refined (with a background picture instead of a flat colour and so on), and I'm not particularly here to mock the author of the app so much as any target audience members that might exist.

The app had a prompt for you to enter how much your annual income was, and then a 'go' button that returned (income/10) as the amount you needed to tithe. In the event that you belong to a church that receives tithes to support it, I'm very afraid if you need a smartphone and a custom app in order to divide a number by ten. The app did exactly what it said on the can, but by FSM I hope nobody was browsing through the Android Market and went "Oh! That's exactly what I need!"

Comment Re:Storm... (Score 1) 515

It's also worth noting that "8 cups of water" is probably a bit too much (if we take it to be the default value, given that it IS an approximation), because we also take in water from the food we eat. Chronically high water intake puts pressure on your body because you're giving it too much to process (but we're talking over a gallon daily over long periods).

And, of course, if you have way way too much water, it's called drowning.

Comment Re:Love the game, hate the bugs (Score 1) 113

Full disclosure: I use McMyAdmin for the server I run for friends, but I have no other connection to PhonicUK.

Consider McMyAdmin? It's got a freeware mode with the only limitations being that you have a max of eight players and it announces itself globally every half-hour or so, and a pro license without the player limit and global chat spam is reasonably-priced. It gives you a web front-end so you can remotely administer it, and it supports both vanilla Minecraft server and the rather popular custom server, CraftBukkit. CraftBukkit allows access to the library of Bukkit plugins (bukkit.org) which go a long way towards enhancing a multiplayer server (and for both creative and survival modes). McMyAdmin can automate backups, and these can be downloaded from the web UI as well as SCP/SFTP/etc. off the file system.

If you're conservative about updating until all the wobbles have settled out between Notch making a point update, and then two or three bugfix releases to patch the problems that don't require a significant codebase rewrite, and then CraftBukkit to update to accomodate the new content and code changes, and then plugin authors to patch any incompatibilities out of their plugins, you should do rather well. I have not had any massive problems with my own server that couldn't be blamed on the hardware. There've been minor glitches, like a bug in CraftBukkit build #1000 (since patched) where signs would just randomly decide to go blank. And then some things are just Notch's unfortunate early design choices coming back to bite him for pushing the envelope too much with new code. In general, once you're aware of the little problems, you can just accomodate for them. The server is pretty self-sufficient, so I felt I had to mention it, since I haven't had any of the headaches you guys up there have had.

Comment Re:Money (Score 3, Interesting) 96

The exact same week Telstra and Optus were awarded massive contracts to migrate their customers across to the NBN, they also 'volunteered' to implement the filters Conroy couldn't pass into law. iiNet (the third largest, nerd friendly ISP) flat our refused to implement censorship, and were coincidentally told that they wouldn't get any contracts.

Quelle surprise.

Comment Re:Let me summarize every comment that will appear (Score 1) 185

I substitute a different one that, if one were to be uncharitable in a particular direction, could appear on your list:

I don't trust freemium services like this with important things.

If I'm trusting my private data to a company to store, or anything else equally important, I have no problem paying for it, and I don't want to share the service with a trillion and one freeloaders on the Internet that are going to divert my subscription fees away from... well, making sure stuff like this doesn't make it into production. Something like Carbonite or Mobile Me (I know, put the pitchforks down) depends on its paying customers to stay and keep paying. Freemium depends on enticing its free customers into becoming paying customers. These are different priorities.

I do have to admit that I have a LastPass account, but I do pay for the premium subscription, and I only signed up after doing a bunch of research; I'm confident that they've done things right as much as possible. With LastPass, I'm the weakest point in the chain (social engineering, weak master passwords, and physical access to local machines are the easy targets over trying to brute force the encrypted blob LP's servers receive when my vault syncs).

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Carbonite, Apple, or LastPass, okay?

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