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Comment Mozilla Firefox (Score 1) 37

Mozilla has their own password manager as part of their sync service.

And if you don't trust them, you can even sync using your own home server (I think I remember that you need WebDAV for that.)

And that one works *also* on Linux.

And in addition to a password manager, you should enable 2 factors on anything critical: Your banks, e-mail address that you use for password recovery, OAuth and OpenID providers that you use to log elsewehere (like Google or Facebook), etc.

Comment Solutions (Score 1) 314

This seems perfectly sensible to somebody making a media player, but for smartphones it means you have to come up with something else to do with your UI tones and notifications and whatnot (because you can't mix them into the mp3 stream without decoding and re-encoding, defeating the purpose of mp3 passthrough).

Or, the sound server/mixer in the phone could switch from MP3/AAC passthrough to mix-and-reecode whenever there are multiple streams, and switch back to passthrough once the music is the only remaining sound.

(As far as I know, pulse audio should be able to do it. It's already able to do with sample (only resampling and mixing audio if multiple channels, otherwise switching back to the music's sample rate if supported by the hardware), and is already used in several lesser known smartphone OS: as far back as the openmoko, and more recently in Palm/HP's webOS, and currently in Sailfish OS and Ubuntu Phone.
I suspect that Windows' sound mixing service should in theory be able to do it too...)

SBC was the first implemented because it's computationally trivial and royalty-free.

Speaking of which, FLAC and OPUS are royalty-free nowadays, and OPUS is even a IETF standard. Bluetooth should consider introducing them to Bluetooth...

I'm not sure it would have been practical to encode mp3 in real-time on a featurephone in 2004.

Trivially possible, but it would have required a MP3 *codec* core, instead of a purely MP3 decoding hardware core as done back then, which would have risen the cost of the SoC and thus of the feature phone. So nobody did it to stay competitive.

Anyway, the limiting factor of BT audio quality is the codec, not the radio. AptX is ~384Kbps for 16-bit stereo, and BT4.0 has a raw capacity on the order of 25Mpbs.

Correct me, if I'm wrong, but 25Mpbs figure is basically using AMP - Alternative MAC/PHY. Or in other words, using Bluetooth over a 802.11 transport (i.e.: over a Wifi transport).
That means the headset needs to have a more energy consuming "+HS" variant of bluetooth 3.0 that also features this "over Wifi" part.
(The same way that the low energy of Bluetooth 4.0 LE is bluetooth over WiBee)

This could mean shorter battery life on the wireless headsets.

Comment Batteries are expensive (Score 1) 129

It's not abnormal
The battery, not the motor, is the most expensive part in an electric car.

There are electric car makers who sell you only an empty car, and rent you the battery.
e.g.: Renault's Zoé
These cars are rather cheap.
(And in case of the Zoé, Renault have stated that:
- they DON'T do remote kills, even if they technically own the battery
- in fact they don't do any DRM on the battery
- you could in theory stop paying the battery, bring it back, and refit the car with something else (yup, they are open to the idea of 3rd party battery market that is eventually going to appear as e-cars get more popular) )
(Disclaimer: there are Zoé in pool of cars at the local car-sharing company that I often drive).

To over-simplify to the point of carricature :

In a gaz-powered car:
- The motor is a horribly complex high-precision mechanical piece with thousands of precise components, gearbox and transmission system, etc...
- The tank is basically a huge jerrycan, with a simple cap at one end to top up, and a glorified faucet at the other end to bring fuel into the car.
(Yup I'm over simplifying but you got the picture).

In an electical car:
- The motor is basically just a huge coil almost directly connected to the wheel (well, not quite. There's a fixed ratio gearbox), and that's about it. It just spins faster or slower depending on needs, no complex transmission in play.
- The energy storage is an awfully complex beast: complex (and explosive) chemistry in the battery that requires either custom parts or in Tesla's case a complex grid of thousands of simple common off-the-shelf 18650 elements, with a very complex battery manager to charge and top up the energy storage while keeping the longevity of the battery, and a high power circuit to convert the battery output into what high AC current is precisely needed at the time by the motor.

So yeah, take the energy storage out of the equation, and the rest of the electric car is cheap.

Or in a different perspective: adding 10% more energy to the storage is a complex task, that is going to cost a lot if you pay the battery upfront (like in Teslas)
It's not like extending the range 10% in a gaz powered car (where it's basically about increasing the the "glorified jerrycan" about ~10%)
It's more like extending the power or efficiency of a gaz powered car (where it would need an entirely new and better mottor, which is also going to cost a lot).

Comment What business ?! (Score 1) 75

I don't think you can call it patent trolling when Android is a direct competitor to a line of business they've continuously had for a couple of decades

Microsoft didn't as much had "competitors" and they didn't "had a business line for a couple of decades", as much as they've "continuously struggled, trying unsuccessfully to get a foot in a market that they don't even properly understand".

Nowadays, when Microsoft tries to do something out of their Windows 10 Phone, they've in practice lost to iOS and Android.
Back then, in the Windows Mobile era, Nokia's Symbian and Blackberry were the dominant platforms.
Back before, in the Windows CE era, Palm's PalmOS was the better platform.

They never actually owned the market.

And somebody who :
- is abusing their patent portfolio to get a share of the dominant in a marker that they can't conquest
- for something as trivial as exFAT (hey, it's just like fat, except with an allocation bitmap instead) or LFN (hey, lets invent filenames that are longer than 8.3, and call them something like VFAT)
- which is actually mandatory for some industry standard (SDXC is simply SDHC with mandatory exFAT. Other wise you can trivially plug a 256 GB SDXC card into a "up 32 GB only SDHC" reader as long as you either install a FUSE driver for exFAT or reformat the card into something that your OS can read - like UDF - but there is no physical difference between SDXC and SDHC (unlike the older plain SD))
that qualifies as a patent troll in my book.

Comment Depends on your referential (Score 1) 189

You're missing the fact that Apple does a really good job on some things, like interfaces.

I'm not missing it. I'm simply not considering them the best at doing efficient interface.
They are good at making them nice looking.
They are very good at making them skeumorphic so user don't seem lost to new functionality.
But they are not that good at UI in general. They usually need to dumb things down to an abyssimal level, just so to make things understandable to joe-6-pack. (which is enough to sell tons of shit, so why try harder ?)
As opposed to make an interface that can also be picked quite quickly by joe 6 pack, but don't stand in the way of more advanced users.

The iPhone didn't do as much as previous smartphones, but it was a lot easier to get it to do what it did.

Depends on your point of reference.

- Microsoft Windows CE/Mobile, whatever it was called back then had an absolute craptastic interface. So yeah, there's no way that Apple could NOT do better with iOS.

- PalmOS was already a much older interface for PDA (and smartphones, starting with some Handsrping Visors and later Palm Centro), that already had everything iPhone had on offer, except for multitouch scrooling/zooming (its touch screen wasn't *capacitive*, so no 2-finger gestures) and for virtual keyboard only as a 2ndary input method (main input method was "Graffiti": scribling special gestures. kind of simplified alphabet. keyboard was an alternative mode) (later centro model featured a physical keyboard, which was caried over to webOS devices py Palm/HP).

It did feature a main launch screen with apps, supported 3rd party apps, had standard tools for the era (calendar, address book, notes taking, etc.)

iOS looked no more than a rehash of what already existed on the better devices.

The smartphone market is completely dominated by the iPhone and Androids, and Google copied a lot of Apple UI for Android.

Except for some limited gestures introduced by Apple, both are quite similar to what was already available in PalmOS, or before that in Apple's own Newton, or before that on EPOC (symbian's grandpa). Or the first GNU/Linux attempts on PDA back then (Zaurus). etc.

In fact, Apple failed to innovate badly.

There are OS contemporary to iOS like Palm's own webOS, which at least tried to innovate and make multitasking easy to use (their stack of cards metaphor, with gestures).

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 1) 292

> Not to mention thorium. My CRC Handbook says that the available energy in the earth's crust from thorium is greater than uranium and all fossil fuels put together; thorium is about as common as lead.

The problem appears to be that you can't make plutonium from thorium.

And plutonium is the military industrial's buy in.

Otherwise it's just relatively inexpensive, safe energy. Clearly nobody actually wants that.

On point, the explosion in question was waste from nuclear weapons production.

Comment Re:Reminds me of a crazy, hot girlfriend (Score 1) 292

> Nuclear energy is the crazy hot girlfriend of energy. She may be nice, kind, and wonderful for days, months, or years - maybe decades. But someday, somehow, she's going to go berserk on you. 100% chance. And cleaning up the mess at that point will leave you with a very long term scar.

Coal is the dysfunctional fat chick that'll take anyone for a ride, but eventually comes knocking on your door pregnant and tagging along a few babies, named Katrina, Sandy, Ike, .... Keep banging coal and whatever life you had before will end up being over.

Comment Re:It's been dying since KDE3 (Score 1) 505

I didn't want to debate whether Gnome was a failure or a success with GP. That's subjective depending on what exactly you mean. I think had Maemo been a success Gnome would be on a few billion devices. Gnome itself isn't to blame for the failure of Maemo but it certainly contributed. The fact that Android doesn't run Gnome and that Tizen is based on EFL is what the Maemo failure cost them. They are cut out of the market they wanted. Sure they are dominant in the Linux desktop market but during the Gnome 2 days they saw how limited that was and would be.

  Mobile is about 4x the size of desktop. Linux desktop is a tiny share of desktop (about 1%). Getting most of 1% of 1/5 of the market, depends on your point of view.

Comment Re:We're All Dying (Score 1) 505

-- If you want to see responsiveness try gnome2 applications either locally or remotely and compare them to the current ones locally even with a video card accelerating things for you.

Sure. Try your experiment. Have several video streams going in different windows and rapidly move the windows relative to one another. Or try anything else that requires a high framerate and lots of video information.

-- Blaming network transparency is just a distraction from losers who wouldn't know how to get their stuff running well on any platform. It never had anything to do with responsiveness because local applications get to use local sockets.

Network transparency in the proper sense doesn't exist on modern interfaces. If you mean how they fake it then yes that has an impact on performance. We've talked about this before. You can't safely directly render to X11's compositor without a high risk tearing. The application can't tell the compositor how to render and so half rendered content gets displayed. That's not ignorance it is deep design. To solve this applications render to a buffer and then do a memory copy. The speed of the memory bus is going up, but much more slowly than resolutions so this problem has gotten worse not better since Wayland started.

High performing applications need to control the rendering process cheaply.

Comment Re:How to advocate for desktop dev in a phone worl (Score 1) 505

The foisting of mobile on everybody was a solution to how to leverage network advantages over a huge range of physical typographies. Whole classes of problems like maintaining phone contact lists (what's Bill's mother's phone number since he goes over to her place every other Wednesday night) are simply gone. Literally billions of new people have a programable high powered digital device in the last decade who did not before. Among the 1st world who had computers they not only have a computer somewhere in the house but they have a fully internet capable device with them 24x7.

Newer in this case is vastly better. Its not even remotely close. Mobile is the source of the massive performance gain. Now desktop now has to adapt to mobile. That's not some pointless quest for shiny but rather trying to keep desktop relevant.

Comment Re:It's been dying since KDE3 (Score 1) 505

Gnome transition was a different thing. Gnome foundation made a clear choice after Maemo's failure that flexibility for mobile not parity with Windows was the top priority. You may not agree with the choice but that wasn't just bells and whistles. Gnome 3 may be a failure. But the success of iOS shows that their idea could have worked were it better executed.

Comment Re:We're All Dying (Score 1) 505

Users like systemd its old school admins who are throwing a fit. Users mostly want graphical responsiveness it is old school Unix guys that don't think responsiveness is worth losing network transparency (which they don't really have anymore even with X). Users want mobile integration it is old school Linux guys (hey you are old school now) that want a more classic desktop.

The problem isn't users but a small subset of users that are disproportionately on /.

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