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Comment Re:"I know it can be avoided, but [PANIC PANIC]" (Score 2) 95

Oddly, there wasn't so much fuss over Opera's compression service, which is opt-in for Opera Mobile and always on for Opera Mini.

The issue here is one of scale and reach. Opera didn't have as many users under their umbrella as Amazon does, nor did it have a massive database on their purchasing habits, just waiting to be cross referenced with their newly acquired browsing history.

Comment Atack early, atack often (Score 2, Insightful) 235

The patentability of software is basically flawed and has no place in any knowledge driven economy, but unfortunately this is the reality we're saddled with for the time being.

Nevertheless, I'm getting pretty tired of companies using software patents as a tactical weapon against competition. If I could introduce a single new law, is that any given company's patent claims would have not be valid unless they were exercised at the earliest possible opportunity. No waiting for years until your competition starts threatening your bottom line before you unleash your army of lawyers. Either they would deplete their resources against every single target out there that may or may not be a threat later on, or they would forfeit any claims they might have.

Sure, there would be loopholes, and I can think of a few right now, but it would still be fun to watch.

Comment Deal breaker... (Score 1) 408

It's definitely better than Facebook in terms of putting people in control of how they share their data, however there is still a huge G+ deal breaker for me, at least in its current form.

So, you can make the lists of people who are in your circles, and the list of people who have you in their circles, not being publicly viewable from your profile. However, since other people will probably have those lists visible on their profiles anyway, and you have no control over those, anyone with a little time on their hands can still infer a very clear picture of your social network connections based on information gleaned from other profiles, making hiding those lists on your profile useless at best, and misleading at worst.

Maybe I just don't get social networks, but I'd like for the list of people I know only be available to people in the same circle as they are. For example, I have no wish to mix people I know at work with my family, or vice-versa.

Comment Hard drive encryption broken? (Score 2) 203

"We succeeded in breaking the encryption behind the hard drives"

Wait, what? All of the solutions I know of to encrypt hard drives at block or filesystem level are prety well implemented. You can't just brute force them. So either:

  • Someone at google left the password/phrase on a postit note next to the HDDs and/or it was '12345'
  • It wasn't 'encrypted' at all, but the Cyber Terror Response Center[1] thought it would sound awesome to say they broke it
  • The South Koreans are hiding the most advanced super computer in the world on some basement somewhere. Or some methematicians who can factor large primes in their sleep.

[1] What the hell is up with these bullshit terror-inspiring names anyway? It sounds like a bunch of kids getting together on the playground and trying to think of the most kick-ass name for their dodgeball team.

Comment Duck Duck Go to the rescue (Score 1) 238

For the last couple of months I've been using Duck Duck Go with great results, and with much less spam than Google. Plus you get warm fuzzies from using it. Written in Perl on top of FreeBSD, respects your privacy and supports all manner of yummy syntax.

Couple that with zero click info such as:

define sfumato 12 usd in eur 12 cm in inches

I find myself not missing Google in the slightest when it comes to search.

Comment App permissions? (Score 3, Interesting) 286

As much as I love the idea of an easy to use and ubiquitous VoIP application that I carry with me everywhere in my pocket -- insane 3G data rates and prorietary protocols notwhithstanding -- I have to question some of the permissions it's requesting.

Maybe this is due to me not fully understanding the Android permissions model, in which case I hope someone will clarify what these mean, but aren't these a little overreaching?

Read and write contact data - I assume this means the Skype app stores contact data in the phone's address book, but it also gives it access to all my other contact data (local or google contacts).

Coarse location - In my experience coarse location, when requested in heavily populated areas, is just as accurate as fine (GPS) location. Why does Skype need to know exactly where I'm standing in order to route my VoIP calls? The desktop application seems to do fine without it.

Act as an account authenticator, manage the accounts list, use the authentication credentials of an account - Does Skype use the Android accounts and sync framework, like a regular Google account does? And, like the contact data, I'm pretty sure this also means it has access to all the other Google account authentication credentials stored on the phone.

I'm pretty sure all of these permissions are requested for legitimate reasons, but from what I can understand it also means the Skype app has access to some pretty sensitive information, basically your whole Google account. Am I correct?

Comment Developer/tinkerer friendly Android device? (Score 3, Informative) 294

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of any android device that's meant by the manufacturer to be tinkered with? No protected bootloaders, read only filesystems, or any other such shenanigans that are meant to make the task of installing custom ROMs as difficult as possible.

I know the Nexus One is supposed to be very easy to root, and thus developer friendly, but unfortunately it's not available everywhere.

Comment Re:Hype. Awesome. (Score 1) 296

Give out blank CDs. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. He's already getting amazing free press over this, and there's more coming for certain. I was reading through the replys to just this article here on slashdot, and found more than a couple of readers vowing to by multiple copies of the release just to show support. Multiple copies. Of A Blank Disk.

You're making it sound like a scam, but the way I see it he's selling a 100 page book of David Lynch photography, which for fans of Mr. Lynch like myself is pretty damn cool. The fact that it comes with a blank CD-R is just a neat little afterthought.

Not being a big Danger Mouse fan, I downloaded the tracks nonetheless and I have to say they're pretty decent. They would have stood by themselves without marketing ploys or legal entanglements.

The Courts

Submission + - U.S. May Kidnap Wanted British Citizens

Frosty Piss writes: "
A lawyer for the U.S. government has told the British Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the Supreme Court has sanctioned it, making it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington. The lawyer said that if a person was kidnapped by the U.S. authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no U.S. court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him.
This is the first I've heard of this outrageous idea applied outside equally questionable "terrorist renditions". Many nations of the world may be surprised to learn the U.S. no longer believes in sovereignty."

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