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Comment Re:What Would Epic Fail Look Like? (Score 2, Funny) 534

Folks toss about the phrase "Epic Fail" far too loosely. Here's what a real Epic Fail looks like:

The DRM code has a bug that, when a certain condition happens (time passes, specially-formulated packet received, etc.), it overclocks the CPU to the point that it catches on fire. Within minutes of the event, most of the millions of PS3s in the wild have set peoples' homes ablaze.

As a result, thousands die and the insurance industry collapses. Anarchy reigns, so there's nobody to enforce copyright anymore and the original DRM is rendered irrelevant.

THAT is an epic fail.

While I tend to agree that it's not exactly an Epic Fail on Sony's part, your description goes far beyond Epic Fail... that would probably be the most Awesome Fail in the history of electronics.

Comment Re:Invalidate Private Keys (Score 0) 534

It's a bit late to invalidate private keys.

My understanding is that every PS3 game is signed with those keys. Therefore, invalidating them through a firmware update would mean that every PS3 game to date will no longer work.

While I wouldn't put it past Sony to try this, this would result in not only massive lawsuits, but also would be a massive PR blunder.

Having said that, there could in theory be some sort of additional key telling what date a disc was signed, but even if that were true, it would be trivial to work around.

When has massive technological failure and massive PR failure ever stopped Sony? Last time I remember was in the 1980's. Since then, it's been one PR disaster after another and their technological edge is long, long gone. Invaliding all the private keys would be right along the lines of something they'd do without a second thought. They still think they are the cream of the crop when it comes to hardware, so they think they can get away with anything. The reality of the situation a bit different, though, sadly... but they still behave like everyone wants their electronic junk. The only piece of superior electronics they've made in the past decade I can think of was the original PRS eBook readers. They were superior to every other eBook reader on the market two or three years ago. They are about on par now, though. Otherwise, they have absolutely nothing worth two shits technologically that isn't already done by someone else, and usually done better.

Comment Not for me, anyway... (Score 1) 709

I didn't find any joy in programming until I got to use real languages. Granted this was decades ago, but when I started with BASIC, Logo and Pascal, I found very little interest and certainly very little joy in it. It was clear they were toy languages and served no real purpose... and I was in the third grade or so. It wasn't until I was introduced to ACOS, then C that I found programming to be fun... because you could actually do something useful with it.

One could argue that you can do something useful with BASIC, but it was a chore if you wanted to do anything beyond crappy little programs that printed something on the screen. Paradoxially, perhaps, but batch files are also something that was fun to program.

If someone had wanted to introduce me to programming and get me interested in it BASIC would have been a total put off... it just happens that I was self-motivated and saw the possibilities in it, so found something on my own that would allow me to realize those possibilities. If it was externally directed, you can forget about it.

I would start a kid on PHP or something that's both simple AND useful.

Comment Re:It's the apps, stupid (Score 1) 159

As a web developer, the iPad kicks ass for getting work done.. actually *replacing* my laptop for many things: reviewing online (or offline) documentation, checking email, and oh.. testing my work via Safari Mobile.

That is not being productive... Everything you listed is surfing the web (and checking email). Yes you are right, the iPad excels at that. But even that has its drawbacks as far as being productive in even it's area of expertise. For example, I am replying to you on my iPad right now... It is literally taking me 3x as long to do so simply due to the fact the keyboard is so horrible. So even in the things it's designed for, iOS still hobbles any productivity you might be able to get out of it. Android at least has the Swype keyboard, which helps some.

If your work IS the web, the iPad rocks.

I am going to guess by that statement that you aren't terribly fast or efficient then to start with. My work is IS, among other things, and the iPad (nor any of my Android devices) increase productivity by any cost effective amount.

In a pinch, I could code on it using a bluetooth keyboard, but that's not really what it is best at obviously.

At the very least, it makes a hell of second or third monitor (and has a much better display than the standard 75DPI used on most desktop and laptop displays).

I do have some serious gripes, primarily that of depending on iTunes to sync everything (but I get around that well enough with an old Linksys NAS200 stuffed with 2Tb in drives, a TZO.COM dynamic dns account, and port forwarding on my home router).

I actually held off on an iPad until the Samsung Galaxy reviews came out... I only use Linux at home and work, and a droid for my phone... I -really- wanted my platform to be a droid. My last "Internet tablet" was a Nokia N800 running Maemo... a pity that Nokia smothered their tablet line and moved the OS goalposts so many times (even now, the n800 is impressive... but lacks newer software).

Maybe in a couple of hardware revisions, android tablets will get there. I'm sure of it. But right now Android is not designed for tablets, and people are trying to force it into that hardware...

No, Android isn't there yet either, sadly. But the open development nature of it means it will likely get there sooner rather than later, whereas iOS was not built for it, can not do it currently and likely will fall farther and farther behind. Again, this is probably fine with Apple, since they aren't about being productive with iOS, but about providing an expensive walled garden.

Comment Re:It's the apps, stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 159

Which one has a richer appstore? Which one has the apps you're looking for?

Umm, both have the same apps? Seriously, besides a handful of high profile games, what does Apple have that Android doesn't?

Which one has a large, dedicated application developer community?

Again... the answer is both.

I think we all know the answer to those questions.

Well, if I understand what you were trying to imply correctly, it appears you do not actually know the answer to those questions, so you are thinking incorrectly that we all know the answer, since you don't...

As much as it pains us to say, Apple has done those things very well while the Android market has floundered helplessly. So count my vote for Apple, because at the end of the day I want to get my work done, not just play around with a shiny toy.

Wow... so can you tell me what work you can get done on an iPad (or maybe you're talking about an iPod Touch or an iPhone), because I have an iPod Touch and an iPad and I can't get any real work done on either of them. Not because they are crappy devices, or lack applications, or what have you... but because they aren't built for getting work done. They are built to be shiny entertainment devices, not workhorses. You might *think* you are getting work done on your little iPhone or iPad, but you're not - because it's nigh impossible to be truly productive on the incredibly restrictive iPad (the keyboard on iOS alone would prevent you from doing anything more than hobbling around like an injured bird), not to mention the smaller iPhone or iPod. Then there's the whole problem of the iPad lacking any sort of useful input mechanisms.

But I digress... your entire statement is ridiculous in the extreme. If the Android market is floundering (which I'm not agreeing nor disagreeing with you) the Apple Market is in the same boat. There is absolutely NOTHING in the Apple market that is compelling over the Android Market. I use both extensively, you sound like you are an Apple Fanboi, so I doubt you've actually used an Android based device for any length of time. I think the key take away here is that Android is more flexible and modern than iOS is currently (and likely will ever be) and that is going to be it's advantage, now and in the future. The Android market may be fragmented and may continue to fragment further, and while that has some drawbacks, the gains far outweigh the drawbacks... which is are already seeing in the form of how fast Android devices are taking off compared to Apple. Unless Apple does something drastic with iOS in the not to distant future, they are going to go back to and remain a niche market. I think this is actually fine with Apple, so I don't expect them to be in any race to improve iOS and bring it up to the standards of a modern day OS. Apple is and always has been fine with having a tiny slice of the pie and then charging through the nose for their curated slice.

If that's what floats your boat, fine. But there's nothing there at present and nothing in the future that makes Apple a superior choice any longer. iOS is, has always been and will likely always continue to be a shiny toy (although it's kind of a dull toy now), it's not meant to be productive. Will Android become a productive workhorse? Heck, I don't know, but trying to claim that iOS is one is a total joke. I can get far more done in an Android environment than I can in an iOS one and I don't consider the Android a productive environment, either.

Comment About as expected... (Score 1) 609

40,000 units would be about what I expected them to sell. Microsoft is entering a market already serviced 100% by both Android, iOS and to a lesser extent, RIM. What does WP7 offer that one of those three don't offer to those that are looking for a specific feature set? You could possibly make the argument that WP7 offers the best feature set of Android and RIM, but that would be a stretch, and then you have the problem of the fact that WP7 has nothing to offer in terms of apps to speak of...

Then there's the minor stigma of being a Microsoft product and the MAJOR stigma of Windows Mobile 6 and it's predecessors. The previous versions of Windows Mobile alone would keep me from even considering a Windows phone at all... WM6 was so horrible that I the visceral kneejerk reaction I have when anyone even mentions a Windows based phone is "Worst phones ever."

Microsoft has a lot of ground to cover before anyone seriously considers a Windows based phone over an Android or iOS (or RIM). They have so many things working against them at this point that it's going to be a long, hard road that I don't know if they can ever make it. They might have a meager share eventually, but given the development costs and continuing support costs of WP, I suspect it's going to fall by the wayside just like WM.

I just don't see any place in the market for WP7 and I don't hear of anything MS is planning to make WP7 stand out from the background noise. The 40k units moved are most likely to people who don't know and/or don't care about what phone they have, they just got whatever was handed to them by the sales person.

Comment Re:Overly pedantic (Score 1) 662


I'm not exactly the peak of physical fitness, (Yes, I have man tits) yet I managed to walk 15-20 miles a day - with a 15KG rucksack on my bag - for a month.

There are people in he world far, far fitter than me that I'm sure could walk a lot more in a day.

Having been someone who has actually done something like this, I can assure you that you did not walk 15 - 20 miles a day with a 15Kg ruck and you are not in top physical condition. You might be able to do it for one or two, possibly three days, but after the 4th day you would be quite literally physically unable to move. This does not even take into account the condition your feet would be in by the fourth or fifth day, to say nothing of the 21st day.

I'm sorry, but your statement is just so absurd to anyone who's done any sort of long distance walking with a heavy pack as to be completely laughable. You may have been high on what ever hallucinogenic drug you chose to take for that month and THOUGHT you did that, but you most certainly did not walk even 15 miles a day for a month, especially not with 30+ pounds on your back.

Social Networks

Facebook Is Down 448

Phil_at_EvilNET writes "Jeff Bertolucci of PC World reports: 'Thousands of Facebook users this afternoon (US Pacific Time) are reporting that the popular social networking site is down. It's unclear when the outage began. PCWorld has not been able to reach Facebook for comment, but Mashable reports the company has confirmed the outage.'"

Comment Re:ChromeOS competes with Android? (Score 1) 224

People who think that apparently haven't used both operating systems. Android is a mobile OS designed to run third party apps - the apps are the centerpiece of the OS. ChromeOS is for devices that want to run a web browser. And nothing else. ChromeOS is great for kiosks and a decent choice for a netbook. But tablets are a big in between. If your tablet is a big phone, get an Android model. If it's a slim netbook without a keyboard, ChromeOS should be your choice. If it's a laptop replacement, look to better specs and full Linux or (*gasp*) Windows 7.

Remember this:
Want apps? Choose Android.
Want web browsing? Choose ChromeOS.
Want flexibility? Choice Linux/Windows.

That's the problem - why diversify your product line when there's no point in it. You'll confuse most consumers by having Chrome OS on this tablet (which is a small netbook) and Android on this tablet (which is a large phone) - Well they are both made by Company X and look almost the same - why don't my Android apps work on this tablet? BAH TABLETS SUCK!

No... that's just a horrible idea. They need to unify the OS. Android is here and now, ChromeOS is too far off to be viable. It needs to be rolled into Android and Google needs to make a unified push to make Android the dominant OS in the mobile space. Your apps and data are all available on your phone all the way to your tablet and possibly even laptop if they roll enough of ChromeOS into Android.

Comment Re:Jettison ChromeOS (Score 1) 224

How do you figure Android is for those that want a keyboard? Most Android phones don't have a keyboard, they are entirely touch based. Only a select few have a keyboard and most of those are either old/underpowered or just plain suck.

With Swype, even the touch keyboard is becoming faster or at worst the same speed as the chiclet sized keyboard on the phones that have them.

I fail to see how Android is designed for anything but touch. A keyboard is possibly a nice convenience, but is by no means required.

Comment Jettison ChromeOS (Score 5, Insightful) 224

Whether or not ChromeOS is better than Android at this point is largely academic. Android is here, now and (arguably) ready for mass consumption. ChomeOS isn't. It's a shame, and it would suck to jettison all of that work put into ChromeOS, but it's just too late to the party at this point. People are already packing up and heading out to the retail store with Android and diluting the development of Android to push ChromeOS out to market a day late and dollar short does a disservice to both platforms.

They need to retool their Chrome developers to start making Android more tablet friendly and rolling the most positive features of Chrome into Android.

The netbook market is largely static and is likely to self implode or at the very least be rolled into the ultralight laptop market. I mean, really the current generation of Netbooks are really just small laptops; calling them netbooks is paying lip service to the netbook form factor only - a 12" screen really isn't a netbook anymore and people have largely figured out that anything smaller really isn't useful for much in laptop form - but it is in tablet form. So the netbook market is all but gone as separate entity. Where does that leave ChromeOS? Pretty much nowhere. It has no real platform and it is too late to the party to do much of anything.

Meh... I'd really like to see it rolled into Android, that's really the smartest move at this point.

Comment Simple... (Score 1) 516

Zotac Mini-ITX motherboard, low power quad core chip, Antec Mini-ITX case, 4 GB of RAM and a cheap laptop hard drive + Linux + XBMC.

Completely silent, lower power and tiny (About as long as a shoebox and 1/2 as high).

Plays everything and can be updated when new stuff comes out. People promoting the appliances are not looking towards the future when stuff breaks, you're stuck with a worthless appliance. With the PC, you can just update the software or replace parts that wear out for cheap. Plus you can dual boot it and do some gaming if you're so inclined.

Comment Re:$40 a month for occasional voice use? (Score 1) 202

Do not forget the original poster was saying he was GOING to have a Galaxy S, which means expensive data plan and not $7/month phone. Since he was going to have a phone with a data plan regardless, the contract does not matter.

Huh? The contract doesn't matter? Of course it does! The cost of the contract, and by extension, the cost of the data plan are the lions share of the cost. How the hell can you say it doesn't matter?

Look, I'm really sorry you have to pay more money for less features/ability on AT&T, but you made that choice. Don't try to justify your poor decisions and buyers remorse, just accept the fact that you screwed up and move on. Make a better decision the next time around.

Comment Re:Why is that not valid? (Score 1) 202

Nokia has smartphones like the 5800 entirely for "free".

An accurate assessment, as long as I am in fact going to have a phone no matter what. When you get a smartphone you really are weighing in the fact that you can get some phones for free simply for paying what you were already paying for phone service.

Really? I carry a phone anyway, and don't pay any contract.

Bully for you, but he stated he was getting a Galaxy S which would require a contract of some sort to use.

I stated no such thing. In fact, I stated the opposite. This, again, just shows how weak your position is that you have to make up things that were said to support your flawed logic. I said absolutely NOTHING about a Galaxy S requiring a contract, and in fact, when comparing the prices, I compared the prices WITHOUT a contract. The iPhone weighing in at more than TWICE the cost of a Galaxy S. With a contract, the iPhone is STILL 2x the cost as a Galaxy S. Seriously man, just face it... your position is completely untenable. The iPhone costs more and does less than the Galaxy S. The only thing the iPhone has going for it is the screen.

And productivity applications? Seriously? That's your killer app argument for iOS? All of the real productivity applications on iOS have counterparts or duplicates on Android. Junk like iMovie is for people who don't do real content creation - if you are doing real productivity, I guarantee you aren't using a phone to do it. Even the iPad is highly, highly questionable in that area... to claim you can do it on an iPhone is just laughable.

Comment Re:Service expires if I don't add minutes (Score 1) 202

On most prepaid plans that I've investigated, I would need to add minutes every three months just to keep the service activated. That's why years ago, I switched from Centennial (a company that AT&T has since bought) to Virgin Mobile because Virgin service lasted longer between top-ups (90 days instead of 30). Apparently, T-Mobile pay-as-you-go voice service lasts 90 days too, and it appears to be priced competitively. So would you call it a good deal to use the $6.99 SIM card seen here and buy the phone at MSRP elsewhere?

Personally, I would buy a T-Mobile or unlocked GSM phone on eBay used (or even new for the cheaper phones). They often come with a SIM or if not, you can get them free a lot of times from T-Mobile (Heck, I had like 10 of them sitting around my house as one time, since every new phone comes with one, but I just moved my old one to new phones, so they stacked up). I just sold an old flip phone on eBay for literally $.99. It was about the equivalent of the Audiovox you listed (I think it was an LG). You can shop around there and pick one up. If you get an unlocked one, you'll have the added bonus of being able to travel internationally with it and pop in a Prepaid SIM wherever you go. That is a very, very useful feature for me, since I travel internationally a lot. Maybe not so much for anyone who doesn't travel though.

In a turn-based environment such as a web forum, it is difficult to find the right word to use the first time: "PDA" vs. "MP3 player" vs. "handheld computer" all have their connotations and emotional baggage. Before UMTS and EV-DO became common, did you have a PDA?

So are you asking about a PDA? I can't really recommend one, since I have used my phone for that type of function since, hmm, about 2002? Whenever the Rainbow was released (small clamshell phone, one of the first color screens). Have I ever owned a PDA? Yes, but I stopped carrying it pretty quickly, as I never really found a use for it that outweighed the hassle of carrying it around. Anything I wanted/needed to do was too cumbersome on a PDA and I found myself using a laptop. So yes, I've had PDAs in the past (last one I had was the first generation HP IPAQ or whatever it was called, if that tells you anything).

I think, however, that the original point was that with the Galaxy S, it's truly the first phone I feel that I can ditch the iPod for and not lose any functionality. Up until now, I have always felt I needed a separate MP3 player to get the functionality and storage space that I wanted.

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