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Comment Re:Well done, Motorola (Score 4, Funny) 287

I don't see what the problem is. The information is comprised of basic GPS, microphone audio, and phone radio data that's very obviously being collected purely for debugging and diagnostic reasons. From the article*:

The phone collects the information, storing it in a file called "/media/.NSAquiredData" until it can be transmitted to the Motorola server at, and comprises of the following:

* Number of dropped calls in the last 24 hours.
* Location data, sampled at 5am, 11am, and 6pm
* Location type of above (eg residential, business)
* If the location at 5am != 6pm, and 5am and 6pm are both residential locations, and 11am is a business, then:
- Whether 6pm is associated with a phone number that is frequently called but not marked "HOME", "FAMILY", or "WIFE"
- Whether a random, five minute, audio sample taken between 6pm and 6.30pm matches patterns marked "KISS", "WORD_LOVE", or "WHIP"
- Whether that audio sample contains both male and female voices, and whether, upon analysing a similar sample taken at 9.30pm, one voice matches but another voice does not.
* The date and time and location of any dropped calls
* The temperature of the phone at the time the calls were dropped
* The status of the humidity sensors at the time of any dropped calls

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

* No, not that article, the other one.

Comment Re:Sadly, no ... (Score 1, Insightful) 326

To the people responding "But other browsers support extensions! You're an idiot!", yes, technically you're right, but I'm referring to the specific type of extension that would allow something like NoScript/YesScript to be viable, and I'm talking about mainstream browsers (no, Konqueror is not mainstream.)

Yes, I'm technically wrong, but in terms of the point I was trying to make, not in any way that matters.

Comment Re:Sadly, no ... (Score 4, Informative) 326

There's nothing stopping you from sticking with Firefox 22. While later versions will have more support for more modern standards, if you're not going to run Javascript then it's not going to matter a whole lot what the new standards are.

In the meantime, understand too that while Firefox 23+ may not provide a UI to disable JS across the browser, it is still a low-level setting for now in about:config, and Firefox continues to be the only browser that supports extensions - meaning that options like YesScript, NoScript, and to a lesser extent Ad-block+ will always be available to provide the functionality you're after.

Comment Re:This is mostly outdated service (Score 1) 280

Well, the problem with that is that's actually the direction they're going - not "Office for Android" specifically, but for platform independence. We already have Office 365, which works fine under Firefox for Ubuntu. At a guess I'd say that, actually Office for Android will probably become available soon after a proper Office RT comes out (that is, a platform--formerly-known-as-Metro version, not the current "We just recompiled the desktop version for ARM" thing.) - the hard bit is creating a touch version.

And whether it'll be "Office for Android" or simply "Office 365 version 17 now using jQuery Mobile" is open to question. But I think it'll happen.

Comment Re: Scare tactics (Score 1) 407

So it's not all Europe, just "most Europe" whatever that means.

WP also says this:

It has been introduced to varying degrees in many countries and territories outside the U.S., including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the UK, and Vietnam

Ireland, Spain and the UK, I'd be very surprised if there aren't other countries on that list.

FWIW, I find the sentence you quote raises more questions than answers. It's saying there's been a decline in tooth decay because of flouride toothpaste, but it makes no effort to explain whether the decline is the same as if water had been flouridated in that same area. It's subtly slimy, transmitting an inferance ("Flouridation isn't necessary because other countries don't use it and they've reduced their rates") that isn't backed by the arguement it uses.


Comment Re:And this is the reason I've decided to leave. (Score 1) 122

Well, many of us did try various distros and in the end switched to Ubuntu because it was really the only one that "Just worked".

Now it's possible that's changed and Slackware or Fedora or Debian "just work" but I'm not getting that feel from what I'm reading of any of these distros. I'm still hearing the same moans about stuff that isn't quite integrated. The tragedy with Ubuntu is that it's slipped and is heading towards the lack of quality we saw with distros five years ago.

In any case, the point is that Ubuntu works the way we want. So our first choice is always going to be something that works the way Ubuntu did until it started to get annoying.

BTW my other problem with the OR (original reply) was that it assumed that we want to punish Canonical for daring fail us, and that's why we wanted to switch, to send some kind of message.

But I don't want to. Actually I hate the idea of treating Canonical in that way, I'm reluctant to switch to Mint, and if there was a GCUbuntu (like Kubuntu or Xubuntu, but with the new Gnome Classic system) I'd probably jump on that instead - leaving aside the ease issues of switching to such a branch.

Why? First, because Canonical did such a great job in the beginning anyway. For a time, we genuinely had a platform that was close to being as usable as the most usable platform (Mac OS X) while having the flexibility, power, and support of the most popular platform (Windows). And Canonical has been a victim here not of hubris but of a lack of it. It wanted to do better.

I like the fact it wanted to, and I like the fact they tried. I think Unity brings great ideas to the table, the problem is it doesn't, ultimately, work. It's not a good system. The Mir/Wayland fiasco is another example, not just of Ubuntu but of the community as a whole, that sees problems with X11 and wants to do better, but again I just don't see how it's better - impossible to measure in the real world benchmarks do not a better display platform make.

I think there's a call for GCUbuntu, and I hope it's heard. And if I do switch to Mint I'll be doing so reluctantly, hoping that Canonical can get things right over time.

Comment Re:Why is this such a big deal? (Score 1) 122

Neither Mir nor Wayland are X servers, though they do provide an add-on X server as a shim to allow "legacy" apps to run. And before anyone complains "What's the difference", it's the same as the difference between Windows 7, and Ubuntu (which provides Wine as a shim to allow "legacy" apps to run...)

Comment The big ticket question (Score 1) 141

Can it outperform classical computers?

This remains to be seen for the time being, although early benchmarking was enough to convince Google to shell out some cash.

Nevertheless, there is another set of benchmark results to be released soon, and those may spell a different picture. Unfortunately, I am not at all convinced that I can already win my bet on D-Wave with the current chip generation.

Of course 'hardliners' like Scott Aaronson maintain that quantum annealing will never get there in the first place.

At any rate a fascinating story to follow.

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