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Comment Re:You know nothing, Jon Snow (Score 2) 277

You make it sound simple. It does, indeed, look simple. But when an app wants to "Read Phone State" - is that so that it can quickly get out of the way when the phone rings or is it so that it can send your phone number (and the numbers of the people who call you) to a remote server? Some actions that it could take by acting on "Phone State" data would be things users would want, other thing it could do would be things users definitely don't want. For example, a game I saw on TWiT.tv's show "All About Android" called "Flow Free" requires this:

Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.

So is it going to store my phone number in a database somewhere? Is it simply going to avoid trying to send data if a phone call is active? We, as users, have no way of knowing. And, if they made the permissions even more granular, we would never be able to successfully wade through all of them. I need someone smarter than me to fix the design. But the design as it exists today is largely useless.

Comment Re:Some things don't change (Score 1) 183

As sad as that is, it seems to be common. For example, how many times have we seen a new device / new version of iOS that immediately needs either a fix for busted WiFi or a fix for power issues? Apple and Microsoft both have had issues like this - in fact Windows 8 pro got a patch rollup a couple of weeks ago - before the product officially shipped! (Although to be fair it shipped to corporate customers in August). I remember my first Android phone - the original Motorola Droid. I got it the first day of availability and two weeks later it got an update from 2.0 to 2.01. It seems everyone ships something a bit busted and fixes it later (if at all) these days.

Comment Re:Another moron CEO (Score 3, Informative) 182

You are absolutely right. In fact, supporting these myriad operating systems and configurations is going to be so hard (things like domain join, security, etc., not to mention versions of productivity software not working due to the plethora of conflicts), that IT isn't going to go in for the BYOD in the way people think. They will just punt and provide VDI sessions for people who BYOD - and that session will be all that is supported.

Comment Re:Now people have tags (Score 5, Interesting) 136

Actually I think it is worse than that. We all have things we like to do. Many people have things that they like to do that they really don't want others to know about. It might be that shoe fetish you mentioned. It could be gambling. As soon as people realize that they are being tracked on these activities and lists are being sold saying that they engage in them, they may modify their behavior. And while this may seem a net good for gambling or jailbait or something - it may eventually extend to things like "votes libertarian" or "is an atheist" or even "hindu, but frequents burger king" or whatever. I really don't want to see us get so far as to have people consciously having to modify their normal (legal) behaviors simply because they are being reported, tracked, and shipped to anyone with some money. You never know when that information will get out and you don't know who will see it. Let's label it "do not want" and see if we can prevent this "behavior modification through tracking everything" dystopia from becoming a reality.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 5, Informative) 515

Add to the items you list EMET - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29851. This is a free download from Microsoft that allows you to protect processes (such as IE and Java) from well known exploit techniques (such as heap spray, etc.). As an example, it protected against this latest IE zero day "execCommand Use After Free Vulnerability - CVE-2012-4969". We (large enterprise) had no worries at all about that vulnerability since we have EMET deployed and configured. Here's the MS02-063 bulletin - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms12-063. If you expand the execCommand node and look at the mitigations you'll see you would have been protected. Often times Adobe Flash bulletins mention that EMET was a mitigation for the plethora of vulnerabilities that Adobe Flash code contains.

Comment Re:In a laptop performance isn't the only issue (Score 3, Informative) 405

I've gone from spinning drives to SSD in my notebooks and I won't be going back. As a person responsible for both coding and creating system images, I rebuild my machines all the time. The build time is a lot faster on an SSD. Besides just the OS, it takes about 15 minutes to install Visual Studio 2010 + SP1 on an SSD as opposed to nearly an hour for a spinning drive. (BTW, I am a real poster - not that Visual Studio troll / shill we've seen recently). I also run a single VM on my notebook. That boots up and runs almost like a real computer instead of the pokey slowness I had before with a spinning drive. Honestly all of the other things mentioned here are valid. Less heat, better shock resistance, better battery life, etc. But don't count performance out either. As with most things, it depends on the workloads you are running. For my workload, SSD makes a lot of sense.

Comment Re:Statutory damages are devoid of all meaning (Score 2, Interesting) 285

Well, to be fair, they would have to settle the whole "making available" thing before they can determine if the actual damages (by law) were more than $24. Because, honestly, WHO makes the copy? The downloader does. Not the seeder. The seeder "makes available" and the legal status of that has really not been settled. It would be similar to you hanging up a pamphlet on a bulletin board near a copy machine. Yes, people may make copies. But you didn't. You made it available for them. Contrast this with the commercial violation of copyright making bootleg DVDs. The person making the DVD made the copy. Very different. I know it is semantics and all, but copyright law is full of things like this where things don't make a lot of sense.

Comment Re:It's Not A Bet... (Score 5, Interesting) 362

I do agree with most of your points. For example I have a dual screen setup at work - one 27" 2560 x 1440 screen and one 23 inch 1680 x 1050 rotated to portrait (mostly for PDFs, Word docs, etc.). Why would I want one app at a time on that huge screen? It just makes no sense. After running all the releases like you did (DP, CP, RP) I am now on the RTM build. On Win 7 I can click on Freecell and boom! I have a card game going. On Win 8? Download a 196 MB app from the MS Store. It wants me to login to xbox Live like I was playing Halo or something. For freaking Freecell! It loads extremely slowly and takes a bunch of clicks to get a game going - and only runs in that full screen interface that used to be called Metro mode. Garbage.

On the other hand, the advances they've made to the core of the OS are very nice. Once you get to the desktop, as long as you create shortcuts for the stuff you use a lot, it is fine. But that new UI is definitely not for large screens.

Comment Re:The Steve at Apple everyone SHOULD listen to (Score 2, Insightful) 331

I have my music (ripped from CDs that I still have and even some cassette tapes - all legal) on Google Music for easy access from work computers, my phone, etc. But I can easily imagine at some time in the future where those songs "disappear" from Google due to some sort of automated "take down" because they don't have "any record" of me purchasing those albums in the 80's and 90's (with cash). The cloud providers will be pressured more and more by the cartels that are in charge of most commercial content creation and distribution (yeah, the MPAA, RIAA and their non-US partner organizations). We definitely have not made it to a place where we - as "consumers" have clear ownership of much of anything. I guess I do own the plastic that makes up the CDs and DVDs I bought years ago. But the content is definitely covered by some sort of license as well as copyright and changing laws and rules may well make your data disappear from cloud sources. The Woz has a good point. Go ahead and use the cloud - but keep copies locally too. There probably will be rights conflicts. There will be outages. There will be meltdowns (whether due to finances or government overreaches like with MegaUpload). Just be careful; that's always good advice.

Comment Re:Blatant lie (Score 2) 125

Is it true that if a company does not reserve the right to sell my details to every advertiser it can, they will be in trouble?

Well that would only be true in a limited sense. For example, with a company like Facebook now that it is public - yes, this could be partially true. A company whose business model is collecting data and selling advertisements based on that data would not make their shareholders happy if they decided not to fully utilize that data. However, if a company had a business model of "we provide secure cloud services" (oh say like Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure or something like that, or even like say Dropbox) their shareholders would not like it if the company jeopardized their entire business by not keeping the stored data as confidential as possible. Only as the company started to fail on its own (like dropbox could now that Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive are attacking their turf) would the shareholders then want to extract all the possible value from the data that they have. They still wouldn't want to do it illegally though as the lawsuits could eat up the shareholder value before they can cash out.

The main risk to data is that it can be subpoenaed by the Government fairly easily. That's really the data risk you have in the US.

Comment Re:For the last F*CKING time... (Score 2) 104

I was going to mod you up, but I think I'll comment instead. You are absolutely correct. I know how much we all hate anecdotes and decry how they "aren't data" - but when you add all of them up, they actually do come out to be data. My example: I got a Motorola Droid 1 when they first came out. That was a really nice phone at the time. It was one of the first with Android 2.0 and it got updates to 2.0.1, 2.1, 2.2. Each release made it better. At the time, I would show my wife a new feature that came in with a release (one example was voice recognition for sending texts, etc.) and she would exclaim how my awesome phone was getting better all the time. It was a "Google Experience" phone - which meant that the carrier and manufacturer weren't allowed to screw it all up with bloatware and skins. When it got older, I moved to a Motorola Droid 3. That is a terrible phone. Not enough RAM, a stupid 'Blur' skin that brings bugs with it that don't exist in AOSP, an incredible amount of manufacturer and carrier bloat and crapware. It runs extremely slowly, the camera takes 8 seconds to start and usually crashes taking the first photo. It sucks. It has barely gotten ANY updates. It took over 8 months to get one Blur bug I reported with the dialer fixed. I've only had it since the day it came out - 1 year now - and I want to throw the thing out. I'll tell you - the next one I get will be a Nexus model without any carrier shit or manufacturer shit. No skins, and quick updates.

The carriers haven't figured out that we want these phones to evolve and do more things as the software ecosystem grows. The junk they and the manufacturers put on the phones makes it prohibitive for them put out updates in a timely fashion; they want the phones to be stagnant and always look and run like the day they were purchased. That isn't what a good chunk of us out here want. It will be a Nexus for me - probably when the new ones come out in November. I hate my current phone enough that I will be willing to spend the money to break out of contract early at that point.

Sorry for the rambling anecdote. I am in total agreement that any fragmentation is caused by the vendors lack of ability / agility / desire to get out updates.

Comment Re:Hmmmm, yeah (Score 5, Informative) 274

Why try to use it as a Facebook replacement? It isn't designed to directly compete. Facebook has a "two way" model (where two people have to agree to be 'friends'). This fosters a community of people who "post to each other"; sort of a friends keeping in touch type of model. Google+ is a one way thing. You put a person in your circles. Then, if they post to public, you get their content in your feed. (Google+ also has the concept of private posts where you can post just to your circles instead of public). However, just circling someone gets you their public content. So Google+ is a great place to get content from content producers, interesting people, etc. For example circle Mike Elgin, Wil Wheaton, Robert Scoble, etc. and you'll get lots of content (I can't vouch for whether you'll like said content). Circle LifeHacker, ArsTechnica, etc. and you get notified of their posts - and can engage with people on Google+ about them without registering accounts on Gawker, Ars, etc. It really is a different model and a different target. I don't view it as a replacement at all.

Oh, and Google Instant (where photos you take automatically upload to a private area) is the killer feature there - just that alone can be so helpful even if you don't circle anyone or use the other features.

Comment Re:Isn't IE embedded into the OS where possible (Score 1) 218

Actually it has a lot to do with the isolation model. Both Chrome and IE have a process per tab. Firefox has one process for the whole set of tabs. This means that Firefox is much more likely to go completely non-responsive when - for example - flash is in the middle of crashing (which it is lief to do). In fact, I see Firefox do this fairly often. Chrome and IE on the other hand, use a process per tab which allows them to have better isolation of one tab from another and also allows other tabs to remain responsive when Flash does it thing or some script doesn't run very quickly. (Note that they can't always be 100% responsive when one tab goes south as they do need a process coordinating all the others - but in general they do better than FF does at remaining responsive). Although the memory cost for loading the same DLL, over and over is negligible (simply another handle object), there are resources that can not be shared between processes (due to either OS design, browser protection / isolation scheme, etc.). So the browsers that start a process per tab gain some small security benefit, responsiveness benefit, etc. But they also lose out on the "small memory footprint" since they have to have a copy per process (tab) of the non-shareable resources. Knowing the design, you should absolutely expect there to be a threshold of number of tabs where FF will have less memory use than IE or Chrome.

Comment Re:Real plan (Score 4, Informative) 398

With something like this, he owns the land, not the island. That may sound stupid, but the island itself is part of Hawaii. For example - if the governor or legislature decides to build a highway across the island, they simply declare eminent domain and seize the land they need (paying for it at some "going rate"). However if he really owned the island, the government couldn't legally do that. So he is like any other landowner. The only difference is that he owns 98% of the land. All of the normal laws about land use still apply. If they have zoning there, it still applies. If they have laws like California does about maintaining free access to certain parts of beaches and waterways, those still apply. That's a far cry from what most people think of when they say someone owns an island. They generally think of it as the person being basically the sovereign there. And that is not true in this case. Larry isn't the king.

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