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Comment Re:Android app compatability? (Score 1) 148

The ability to run Windows apps is a selling feature for Win8 tablets, and not a small one.

Yes, it is a feature, and very useful when you have a keyboard and mouse available.

However, these are still not Windows 8 tablet apps. If they were, they'd work when there is no keyboard or mouse available.

I disagree with your assessment.

That's, apparently, because you don't know the difference between a tablet and a laptop.

Comment Re:finally, a tablet that will be welcome here (Score 1) 179

and provided that it can be used without a mandatory online account. you should be able to use one anonymously, and pay for apps with an anonymous prepaid card (like a gaming card, etc).

Experience suggests that mobile devices tend to be subjected to wipes and replacements more often than other device types, and with the general shift towards cloudiness and cloudification, that seems unlikely to change. On top of this, we're seeing the death of physical media, with mobile devices rarely having anything that could usefully be used to transfer preformatted data packages offline (yes, many - though not all - have SD cards of one sort or another, but you're not going to find $1 apps distributed on SD cards at a store.)

The fact is having a Google account with Android makes Android usable, I'd be frustraited and pissed off by now if simply changing phones was enough to ensure every app I bought either no longer worked, or needed to be manually copied using some torturous back-up process.

The world is changing, and unfortunately you can expect your computing to get more account-based, not less.

Comment Re:how does this play with existing Android accoun (Score 1) 148

Google has played nice with CyanogenMod but they don't officially support it, and moreover they consider CyanogenMod a version of Android (because it is, it's AOSP plus some bits that don't affect compatability, not bits of AOSP in something else.) Google has been fairly hostile towards operating systems that have compatability layers but that aren't, essentially, Android systems.

They're right, in fact, to take on this policy. Google runs the Play Store not just for the benefit of users, but also developers who want to sell their apps. Developers do not want to support app sales to users who aren't running predictable versions of the Android operating system. It's bad enough, in many ways, that they have to navigate their way through "ICS + Sense" / "Gingerbread + Motoblur" type crap, actually having a situation where the apis don't necessarily do what they're expected to do adds another layer of awfulness.

The chances of Google supporting the Play Store under Ubuntu is close to zero. Amazon? Slight chance in that they distribute their store's APK to anyone who wants it, but it's notable that the Amazon App Store running under, say, an SDK image, rarely offers anything like the same range that it does on a real phone or tablet. In other words, they may also be uncomfortable supporting app sales to people with non-standard systems.

Comment Re:So what the article is saying... (Score 1) 758

Well, that's because you've taken a bunch of random laws that in most cases are bi-partisan (mandatory seat belts? You mean that law Margaret Thatcher passed in the early eighties? Believe she passed the helmet thing too), classified them as "leftist" (you do know that term loses all meaning when you apply it to anything you consider left wing, right?) and tried to find some fear based reasoning for them.

The problem is it doesn't work. Seat belts mandated out of fear? Why would I fear you not wearing your seat belt? Or motorcycle helmet? I mean, you might come up with a justification for saying the two were invented because of fear, but not a law making them mandatory.

Why are they mandatory? I believe it's an insurance thing. My insurance goes up if you don't wear your selt belt and get horribly mangled (yet decide to survive, you selfish bastard) and require extremely expensive medical treatment as a result.

Gun free zones? Again, not getting the fear aspect. You don't want little Jonny taking some gun he found in the teacher's drawer and pointing it at little Sammy and saying "Bam" and then little Sammy is dead and Jonny is all tearful. Is it right? We can debate that. Is it more based upon fear than, say, a health and safety ordinance requiring asbestos be kept out of schools? Not that I can think of.

Hate speech? What does that have to do with fear? Seriously? And how many people on the left promote anti-HS laws anyway? I don't know any. I'm not saying they don't exist, but for the most part where they HS laws appear they're passed by most moderate politicians, with far left and far right generally disapproving. And what's their motive? Generally a belief that hate speech promotes hate, and hate is bad, and we should have a nice society.

Kind of like when conservatives ban nipples or rude words. Now, that's not to say that I don't think there aren't conservatives out there who are all out terrified of nipples, but we know that actually conservatives demand they be banned from TV etc is ultimately because conservatives want some kind of "wholesome" society, at least, as conservatives define it.

So of all the examples you gave, none are examples of fear, and none are particularly left wing.

Comment Re:Americans would like public transit more (Score 1) 245

Americans would love public transit if it was actually available and convenient, and if 1950s era zoning policies hadn't made the concept of "A short walk to a convenience store, a quick bus ride to the downtown" pretty much inheard in most of the US.

Tax reform? A tiny part of the story. Railroads shouldn't be subjected to property taxes, and gasoline taxes (etc) should cover the full cost of roads, but that's a tiny part of the story. Zoning reform is much, much, more important.

Comment Re:What's wrong with public transportation? (Score 1) 245

People who have trains nearby generally use them. People in real cities, like NYC, use them almost exclusively.

The problem with the US is the intentional run-down of rail infrastructure, together with anti-pedestrian policies, outside of a few well built metropolitan areas since the 1950s. In almost all of the US, it is illegal to build a business within walking distance of the customers it serves, or employees it employs. Buildings are required to have excessive parking, which must be provided to customers for "free" (that is, included in the price of goods you sell, so pedestrians who do decide to walk the massive distances needed to get from one building to another have to subsidize car owners who don't.)
Meanwhile, rails are subject to punative taxes. The entire industry is covered in regulations that would have looked overly bureaucratic and burdomesome in the 1970s. The train companies that used to operate in the most populous part of the US went bankrupt in the early seventies due to hostile anti-rail governance, and as a result, what's left in most of the US is a stripped down system that's only useful for freight. Outside of the North East, if you're lucky, you may live within one hundred miles of a station that's served up to four times a day by a long distance train that travels at an average of about 40mph.

That's how bad it is. You Brits whining about how much National Express sucks as a rail TOC? You have no idea what's bad. At least your system is growing.

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