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Comment Defaults (Score 1) 84

The first sentence talks about INCOGNITO messages and the second about NON-INCOGNITO ones.

Yup, you're missing something : default setting.

By default, on Allo, every conversation is non-incognito. You need to explicitely jumps some (albeit small) hoops to gain privacy by accessing the incognito mode (it works the same as the various "incognito tabs", "porn mode tabs", etc. that have appeared on browsers).
For everyone else, Google's AI will mine the shit out of everything you say - "to help make the AI better by better knowing you, and thus giving you more relevant answers and auto-suggestions" (i.e.: being to target the shit out of you with all the deluge of on-line ads you're exposed to everywhere)
(not to mentions NSA's wet dream: your Google-AI's answers/suggestions could accidentally incriminate you).

By default, the end-to-end encryption in Silence Circle, WhatsApp or the OTR plugin in Pidgin/Adium/Jisti, etc.
kick in as soon as possible, and displays warning if anything fishy is happening.
Privacy is the default behaviour.
The companies use whisper (or the OTR devs for the latter), are not in a position where they could access your data.

I hope you notice the subtle difference.

Comment Add Jitsi to the list (Score 1) 84

Adium/Pidgin with OTR....

Jitsi is another interesting clients.

- Supports XMPP/Jabber/Jingle and SIP (a little bit less options available than Pidgin)

- It also has support for OTR (so a Pidgin+OTR user can have a end-to-end encrypted chat with a Jitsi user, all this over a Jabber connection with Google Talk/Hangouts)

- It also has support for ZRTP (so Jitsi user and, e.g.: a Twinkle user, can have a end-to-end encrypted Voice-call, over some random SIP provider).

Comment Intel and Linux (Score 1) 467

It's not just intentional sabatoge that can cause a lack of support. Newly release chipsets or other hardware often doesn't have initial Linux support.

In early December 2015 I built myself a Desktop using the latest Skylake Chipset (released 5th Aug 2015) and all I had to do was select "Other OS" and I installed Fedora 23 KDE spin without any problems.

In fact, if you follow news sites like Phoronix, you'd notice that Intel spends quite some resources making sure that their chipsets have release-day support in the mainstream kernel.
That shouldn't be a surprise, given that Intel's chipsets are also very popular on server, and those most frequently run some Linux distro - CentOS probably.

I can understand if graphics drivers are not available for a new graphics card

(and, as a side note, since the release of the Polaris GPU, AMD is starting to manage release-day support for their graphic cards too).

Unfortunately switching back to the PC port dropped signal which required me to reset the PC.

That *really* sounds like a HDCP (the copy-protection on HDMI connections) problem. The PC's GPU failing to renegotiate the HDCP with the monitor upon being switched back.

Putting a HDCP stripper between your PC and monitor (and eventually PS4 and monitor) should definitely and radically solve the problem.

Comment And yet... (Score 1) 136

And yet, I can easily found dozens of 10" tablet "powered" by Mediatek chipset, that can still run on Android,
and all cost ~150 CHF (~140 EUR, ~155 USD, ~120 GBP).
(Similar tendency of price difference in smartphones too)

The same android.

Of course, if you try and look for the most expensive Android manufacturer, it's going to be in the same ballpark as Apple.
For the rest of us, you could try a cheaper alternative (LG, HTC, etc.)
For the people who simply use tablets and smartphones as glorified Web/Facebook/Instagram browsers and chat machines, you can find ultra-low cost (Huawei, or even less known asian brands).


Comment Of chickens and eggs... (Score 2) 146

it's just the chicken-or-the-egg problem in regards to Linux support for games.

Well, given the current repertoire available for Linux on Steam :
it's more like there a giant flock of tiny hummingbirds who are happily laying eggs all together in Linux nest.
Only a couple of huge ostriches are too smug to lay their giant eggs there, or are only able to lay hideously deformed linux eggs.

There are currently thousands of Linux games on Steam. Most are indie games.
Of the triple A big studios, only a few run on engines that already have good Linux ports (hi, Ryan Gordon !)
The rest are either doing extremely crappy ports relying on aweful middle-ware for the windows-to-unix adaptation,
or completely ignore the non-Windows/non-DirectX market.


That's a gap that Vulkan could eventually close one day:

unlike the OpenGL vs DirectX opposition, Vulkan is the same API everywhere.
Including Windows, including Linux, including other hardware.

Also, Vulkan *drivers* are much lower-level and simpler than OpenGL or DirectX (because most of the advanced management is moved out of the driver and into the game engine. That's the whole point of giving low-level access to the devs : to help them have better control on the hardware by letting them handle all the small management details) - that also means that the Linux world can produce Vulkan drivers at a faster pace with less bugs (see the fully open-source RADV driver for Radeon hardware). Less playing "catching up" than current OpenGL revision in Mesa or DirectX compatibility layers in Wine.

And for game makers, it means most of the heavy optimisation done in the game engines (and these are going to be much heavier optimisation due to the bigger role played by game engines) can be leveraged much more easily on anything running Vulkan (that includes Linux and Valve's SteamBoxen) than used to be before (where a DirectX-developped game engine needed to be ported to whatever runs on the port target. Means usually rewriting the engine to run on some PlayStation's low-level API. And a Mac OS X/Linux port means yet another rewrite to OpenGL)

Comment Business Laptops (Score 3, Informative) 180

you don't know the whole story.

lenovo is many companies. their business laptop division is nothing like the 'yoga crap' that they sell consumers with crapware.

You mean the Thinkpad line that they acquired from IBM ? Yes, that one is an entirely different kind of beast.

- The good thing is that they are very easy to repair. (In addition to being very sturdy)
    Whereas with some other constructors you can find two laptops that have the same official name, but different internals, to the point that their customer service actually asks you to give part of the serial number instead (HP, I'm looking at you...)
  With Thinkpads, it's actually the opposite: plenty of different models share common parts (e.g.: the keyboard is usually the same across lots of models).
- The bad thing is all the BIOS / Firmware weirdness. Older laptops I've seen didn't have a full BIOS Setup. Only a couple of basic stuff could be change from the setup. Most of the settings where handled by DOS tools (like settings IO Ports and IRQs).
And the whole black/white list fiascos date back from IBM time - they "had to protect their business", i.e.: make sure you could only buy mini-PCI cards from their (expensive) shop, instead of any compatible after-market 3rd party part.

the spyware and phone home stuff does not tend to exist on the business level lappies. business guys would not put up with that

One of the main reason is that upon buying new equipment, the IT department of most business tends to reinstall a whole new OS from scratch (usually combined with all the necessary crypto-layers, remote-access tools, etc.)
So trying to pre-install any crap on a business laptop is futile... ..unless you manage to get it running on the "Intel ME" (The "lights-out" management engine from Intel : a separate low-power core that runs a small webserver that enables the IT department to do remote management on any corporate workstation or laptop, even when the main CPU is shut down, as long as the device is connected some how to the corporate network) or "IPMI" (the industry standard for the same functionnality used by anyone else beside Intel).
This firmware is currently NOT open, and can't be installed by anyone. It only comes together with the BIOS/EFI upgrades.
And researchers has already found tons of vulnerabilities in these firmwares. To the point that you don't actually need a real backdoor/spyware to spy on users, you just need to abuse one of the multiple exploit in the wild.

Current best practice :
- for servers : keep the management on a separate private network.
- for laptops : just kill the function, and ask the user to physically bring the laptop whenever you have maintenance to do. The remote access isn't worth the security risk.

Comment Drop in the bucket (Score 5, Funny) 161

Dear Mister Zuckerberg,

We think that you're grossly underestimating the size of the effort.
But thank you for diverting a bit of your fortune to our cause.
It's a refreshing change from counting on big pharma corporations to divert a bit from their marketing budget....

- The scientists in the life-science field

Comment Apple hardware (Score 1) 98

Actually, you can find microSD card readers that plug into the Lightning port of the iPhone. So you could in theory use a 1TB card with them on an iPhone.

And never the less, these cards target video/photo hardware.
So it will get plugged in the camera itself (which certainly has a SD card port), and very likely has p-2-p Wifi connection to directly upload the pictures and videos to smartphones and laptops.

So, for the specific use case for which this hardware was developped, Apple hardware isn't at a disadvantage.
(Though Apple hardware sucks for not having any SD port: as there's no way to extend the internal storage)

Comment Difference is pureley logical (Score 4, Informative) 98

My general impression is that SDHC support implies SDXC support, even if it doesn't say so on the tin.

Yup, unlike the plain old SD card format (which was limited to 1GB due to a small number of addressable blocks. Up to 4GB by using larger block), the protocol hasn't changed at all between SDHC and SDXC. The difference is purely software:
SDHC are formatted with FAT32, whereas the SDXC standard mandates the use of exFAT. Which Microsoft has patented the shit out of.

Any slot can access both SDHC and SDXC cards without any distinction.
The limitation is at the *OS level*, and depends on whether the OS maker has paid the necessary patent tax to be able to access the logical content of the card: An SDXC slot is simply an SDHC slot on a device whose OS has a driver for exFAT in addition to FAT32, etc.

You can use a SDXC card in any device advertised as SDHC-only only simply by :
- installing an exFAT driver (e.g.: install FUSE-exFAT on Sailfish OS)
- or reformatting the card with something that the OS supports out of the box. Some Android devices and photocamera will automatically give you the possibility to reformat the card. Other device (like Nintendo's New 3DS) will require you to manually reformat the card using a separate device before plugging in.

The size will have absolutely NO influence. (Again, that's unlike plain SD card, which use an older protocol that can only reference a smaller number of blocsk)

They often come up well short of the rated speed of the SD media, but they still work.

And that has nothing to do with SDHC/SDXC format or the size.
That's basically similar to all the various UDMA mode available on older IDE (parallel ATA), 16bit PC-Card and Compact Flash cards.
There are several different speed protocols available for SD cards.
On your device, the SDXC card fall back to older and slower speeds (Class-10, class-6, etc.), whereas the SDXC could have supported a faster one (UHS-1, UHS-3) had the reader had it too.

At least that's the theory, when writing on a plain empty card.

In practice, as there are already data on the card, it is limited mostly by the read-erase-write cycles and various wear-levelling tricks.
(So it's mostly due to an interaction between the file system used by the OS and the firmware running on the SD card.
- With Log-Structured and Copy-on-Write filesystems like UDF, F2FS, BTRFS, ZFS being better than classical FAT32.
- And SD cards capable to handle many allocation units in RAM at the same time performing better)

Comment Software limit (Score 2) 98

The other common "hard" limit is 32GB.

That one is a software limitation.

"SDHC" cards go up to 32GB
"SDXC" start from 64GB

There's no pinout nor SPI difference between the 2.
The only difference is a logical one.

SDHC cards come pre-formatted with FAT32.
SDXC cards come pre-formatted with exFAT, and Microsoft has patented the shit out of it.
So unless the company has paid money to Microsoft, they can't use exFAT and can only advertise "up to 32GB SDHC cards".

But nothing prevents you to buy a 128GB SDXC and :
- either install a FUSE-exFAT driver on your OS if supported.
- or reformat the card with something supported by the OS (depending on the OS: FAT32, F2FS, Ext3/4, BTRFS, UDF, etc.)

So 128/256/512/1024GB will work on most SDHC readers (i.e.: that support more than 4GB plain- SD), but the manufacturer can't advertise it because they lack the patents to the file format that is mandatory to advertise SDXC support.

Comment Extra axis buttons. (Score 1) 69

Oh, you plug it in and it works, but you don't get all the fancy per-game remapping and 30s startup time and 1-2GB RAM consumption.

It works in my case.

The whole stack support them:
- Linux' USB HID driver perfectly supports all the available axis and buttons my the MX Master.
- The SDL library used as a middle ware support multiple extra mouse axis and buttons.
- Quake3 supports binding any commands to any input. (You just get fancy name like "Right Click" on the first few buttons. Then it's more like "M_BTN7"...)

For stupid games that don't have a good re-mapper, there's always things like (rejoystick, joy2key, qjoypad, etc.)

As usual, the crap software that comes with your hardware is crap.
(like the fancy stupid DVD player that came with your optical drive. Simply use VLC)

Comment Confirming. (Score 1) 118

Most large companies have their very own copy of github in-house. Most commonly these days it's on AWS or some other cloud offering that the company controls for their IT Projects.

I can confirm.

Though we aren't *companies*, most of the universities and research institutes here around (Switzerland) have their own in-house git repository.
Though in our case, a self-hosted copy of * Gitlab * is what is the most popular here around.
And most of the time it's hosted on the universty's/research institute's own server because of complex IP/publishing/secrecy considerations

And if we do it, I can clearly imagin that huge corporation could be doing it too.

And for the record, Google has announced that they've shut down Google-Code for 3rd party project only. Android is *still* officially hosted on their servers.

Comment USB HID (Score 1) 69

Their flagship mouse MX Master has quite a few driver issues and also the DarkField sensor seems to have problems with some surfaces.

Drivers? For a *mouse* ?
It's fucking USB HID device (or bluetooth wireless if your laptop has Bluetooth 4.0 LE and you go dongle-less).
It's just a bunch of axis and buttons (though you have to admit that the MX Master mice tend to have a little bit more than the average of them).
You just plug into anything with generic USB HID support and it should work out of the box.
If it doesn't work, you shouldn't blame Logitech, you should blame the retarded operating system that fails at basic USB HID.

The only thing that would require extra software would be:

- Battery status in your status bar. Which is visible thanks to green LEDs on the mouse if self, so I doubt it's that much necessary to have the status-bar widget.
(Though we're on /. Maybe you have a script that automatically sends an e-mail to your smartwatch to remind to plug the charger into the mouse when leaving the room)

- If you want to do some complex re-paring (e.g: pairing the mouse with a Logitech dongle that wasn't initially designed for it).
(Again, this is /. and this might actually be the case. I would point you in the general direction of Solaar)

- Circumventing a piece of software that has asinine key/button binding. (e.g.: that has some stupid arbitrary hardcoded maximum of 3 mouse button, thus preventing you from binding the extra butons to additional functions). But then, any keyboard/mouse/joystick button remapping software would be plenty enough.

Logitech Quality has declined measurably recently, that's my experience anyway.

I have a strong impression that Logitech doesn't the same build quality in all markets.
(I've noticed difference in products between US market, and Logitech's home Switzerland)

Could anyone else confirm ?

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