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Comment Re:No root = developer headaches (Score 2) 240

As an Android developer I can tell you that switching versions on a device is not provided by root access. Root gives you access to all of the system while the phone is running. Getting a different version running requires an unlocked bootloader. For example, on my Nexus devices I first do a "fastboot oem unlock" to unlock the bootloader, then I can use fastboot to send any version of the OS I want to the device. It gets tricky on more locked down devices, but the same basic idea still applies. You need to get past the bootloader to get a different OS running.

Comment Re:I disagree (Score 2) 289

The big issue with games on Android vs iOS is that Apple typically have very powerful hardware while Android devices for the most part don't. Then you have different GPU architectures, so what runs well on lets say a Adreno chip won't necessarily work on a Tegra one and vice versa. It really isn't all that different from what PC development is like if you are actually supporting Laptops & Desktops with varying chips and capabilities. I think you hear a lot of complaints from game developers because they are using prebuilt engines and those aren't always easily patched. They are great to put content together quickly but you are pretty helpless if you run into some technical issue. For example, I've seen issues with Unity and z-buffer fighting on some of my Android devices while my own custom built scene-graph renders content without issue. Inheriting other people's bugs sucks but I don't think it has anything to do specifically with the Android platform.

Ask Slashdot: Will the NSA Controversy Drive People To Use Privacy Software? 393

Nerval's Lobster writes "As the U.S. government continues to pursue former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for leaking some of the country's most sensitive intelligence secrets, the debate over federal surveillance seems to have abated somewhat — despite Snowden's stated wish for his revelations to spark transformative and wide-ranging debate, it doesn't seem as if anyone's taking to the streets to protest the NSA's reported monitoring of Americans' emails and phone-call metadata. Even so, will the recent revelations about the NSA cause a spike in demand for sophisticated privacy software, leading to a glut of new apps that vaporize or encrypt data? While there are quite a number of tools already on the market (SpiderOak, Silent Circle, and many more), is their presence enough to get people interested enough to install them? Or do you think the majority of people simply don't care? Despite some polling data that suggests people are concerned about their privacy, software for securing it is just not an exciting topic for most folks, who will rush to download the latest iteration of Instagram or Plants vs. Zombies, but who often throw up their hands and profess ignorance when asked about how they lock down their data."

Comment Re:It's motoblur... (Score 1) 287

It sure is. He says that it supposedly isn't and is basically stock Android, but after quickly looking at a review of the device it is running some form of Motoblur. It might not be as bad as other Motorola devices were but it is definitely not stock.

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