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Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

It would hold true for any poorly programmed upgrade utility, of any form. Other possible causes of issues are upgrade utilities built in to existing firmware that have various limits on what the new firmware can look like, so for example if version 1.2 thinks the next version must be of exactly size Y, the manufacturer may make 1.3 fit that parameter, but also update the upgrade utility to allow new firmwares of size Z instead. And then when the next firmware upgrade is made to 1.4 the firmware is using that extra space. in that situation an upgrade from 1.2 directly to 1.4 would fail. (I've also seen this done with changing encryption keys, or new compression methods being implemented, in all cases an intermediate firmware is used to upgrade the upgrader before the following firmware makes use of the new features)

Of course the real culprit in any of these cases is extremely poor programming. About the first thing taught in any programming course is to never make assumptions about the initial state of any system, or about the input being handed to you. So your upgrade utility should always check first to make sure things are going to fit it's per-conceived notions, and have a contingency plan to work around it (either refuse the update, or fix the issue before continuing)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

Thing is, most people don't want to loose all settings when they upgrade, so most of these upgrades leave some form of settings file intact (or it's stored somewhere other than the area you are flashing) and then does whatever magic is needed to convert the stored settings to the format expected by the new version. So the problem isn't so much in the firmware/software versions, as it is in an updater that doesn't properly translate stored settings between version, AND fails to check version numbers before updating, AND has no fallback to wipe corrupted data
If you've only tested your conversion software to work from 1.5->1.6, you should check that it's actually running on 1.5 first before updating, if you can't/won't do that, then you should check all the values, and if things don't look like they're going to work, set them to default values.

Comment Re:Apple needs to move on to a new form factor (Score 1) 587

Except that I find the "polish" of apple products to be SEVERELY lacking. the user interface of the initial ipod was horrible by comparison to the other devices of the day, and they continue to have similar problems.
As for your other points, As someone doing technical work at people's houses every day, I use all manner of devices, I HATE the apple keyboard with a passion. it's about the most difficult keyboard to use. no dedicated number row, no indication looking at the keys as to if you are using caps or small case, as for the actual speed of input, I hate apple for convincing manufacturers they could do away with hardware keyboards, that's one trend that badly needs reversing! and if you have to use an onscreen keyboard, they could at least implement something like swype. Luckily most Android phones have the dedicated number row, the keys change from upper to lower case depending on the shift status, and most of the new ones support swype for input (some are even nice enough to have slide out keyboards)

And although completely unrelated to this topic, I use an airline website over a travel agent because it is MUCH simpler, much more reliable, always cheaper, and always "just works"

Comment Re:A Judge did? (Score 1) 109

It's not the patent office's fault if people think patents mean something is legit. And I would say that invalidating all those patents would put exactly zero dent in those fraud schemes.
Fixing human stupidity is far outside the scope of the patent office.

Prior art is a problem, broad and vague patents are an even bigger problem. Honestly, I believe "patents" are the problem, but I know that this view is not widely held (despite much research to support it)

Comment Re:Proper multitasking (Score 1) 587

So you want to remove the ability to swipe between screens within an app (an often used feature) so as to be able to do so to multi-task (a seldom used feature on most phones)
Additionally, when you have a bunch of things open, swiping is a pain, because you never know what order they are in anyway, a list is much easier.

I'll take the Android way any day.

Comment Re:Not Flash, but Silverlight (Score 3, Interesting) 393

I can't believe how many sites use silverlight. Even Microsoft backed away from Silverlight ages ago, but some sites are even just now starting to implement Silverlight. As a Linux user this is EXTREMELY frustrating, and as a user of mobile devices it isn't any better. Silverlight has never worked properly on linux, and nobody has ever made a plugin for it for Android, there was a Linux Firefox plugin ages ago called "moonlight" that seemed to work on about 10% of Silverlight sites, but that stopped development ages ago too, and isnt' compatible with any of the latest browsers.

Comment Re:A Judge did? (Score 1) 109

While I agree with your point in general, perpetual motion machines are not an example of the patent office's failings.
The patent office's job is to determine if something is new and novel, substantially different from anything previously invented, and not overly broad in scope. Their job is not to determine if something works as claimed. A patent on something that doesn't, and can't, work, doesn't harm any real inventors. A patent on something that someone else has already done, or on something obvious, or so broad as to net things completely unrelated to what is patented, THOSE hurt real inventors. But I don't want them evaluating every thing as to whether or not it actually works, because they would likely reject many truly novel inventions based solely on the grounds that they haven't seen it work before, so assume your implementation can't.

And for those that will reply saying that the patent office doesn't currently do any of what I said, I agree with you, that doesn't change the fact that it is their job, it only proves that they aren't currently doing their job.

Comment Re:One down, five to go (Score 1) 564

My use of mail:
- receiving items I ordered online.
- receiving my insurance bill annually.
- receiving my auto registration renewal notice annually.

That's it, that's all. And if I could convince the last 2 to go electronic I would (the last 2 holdouts to upgrading to where many places were a decade ago)

I don't need any statements by mail, email works great, and I can archive on a hard drive just as easily as in a filing cabinet (in fact the disk takes much less space)
As for Junk mail, I don't really get that anymore. I told the post office to stop delivering it, and they did. (of course, USPS may not be as accommodating, but my country's post office happily stops delivering junk mail with one phone call (theoretically they don't deliver junk mail if you have a sign asking them not to, but I found that ineffective, a single complaint call though was quite effective.)
Phone books around here aren't delivered by the post office, but by a private contractor, I've opted out of them too. (on their website I promised to use their online directory instead... yeah... that's what I'm likely to do...)

Comment Re:Pfui! My country's post system does a better jo (Score 1) 564

Except that Canada post takes WAY longer to get anything anywhere than USPS (or pretty much any other civilized country's mail provider) takes to do the same job.
If I mail a letter within the same city, it usually takes a week. The other end of the country 2 or more weeks.

I routinely have the following conversation with overseas sellers shipping things to me:
seller: "We mailed the package 5 days ago, we see it cleared Canadian customs 3 days ago, why haven't you confirmed receipt yet?"
me: "well I haven't received it yet"
seller: "We're not falling for that! you should have it by now!"
me: "no, this is normal, I'll get it in a week or two..."

You see the package can get from the opposite side of the planet to Canada Post in 2 days, but it usually takes over a week from there to me. The sellers just can't grasp this concept, the slow speed is completely alien to them!

Not to mention all the items I can buy from China, that, including shipping by mail, still cost less than it would cost me to mail across town (and somehow Canada Post delivers those to me, so I'm not sure how they work the payment on that...)

Canada post is hardly an example of a system that works "better" than USPS.

Comment Re:Proper multitasking (Score 1) 587

I'm not sure how it's supposed to be hard on an android. Press and hold the home button, pick your app from the list of running ones. I can't imagine any easier way to switch between them... (I had this even back on my froyo phone, so I know it's been around for a while)

Comment Re:iphone should have micro usb and SD card slot (Score 1) 587

Except that I can have one cable hanging out of my wall charger that can charge my camera, GPS, cell phone, wife's cell phone, work cell phone, bluetooth headset, remote control helicopter, television universal remote, or any other device that happens to be nearby. All with the same cable. the only devices I can't charge that way are my friend's iphone and ipod. for that he has to bring his own cable.

Comment Re:I only miss BBM (Score 1) 587

I have a blackberry for work... I never could understand why anyone would ever want to use BBM for anything.
It's exactly like SMS, only it doesn't work unless the other person has a blackberry, and even if they do, you can't just send it to their phone number (something you already have) you have to instead find out what their special BBM PIN is, and if they ever get a new phone, that will change (even while their cell phone number stays the same)
I never found any reason to not simply use SMS.

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