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Comment That's not really the case... (Score 1) 11

ActiveX "applets" are/were full Windows programs, which could do anything any other application could do.

Which is why for a time they were widely used.

Android Instant Apps don't have access to storage, to other applications, etc.

If that were wholly true they would not be very useful...

Instant apps have some access to the system, with restrictions. In addition to the standard Android permissions apps have to obey, they have some other limitations - a subset:

* Can't access external storage - but they can access private local storage. That to me is a potential hole, especially if the full app can get at that later.

* No access to long term ID's like SSAID, or IMEI - but can access AdvertisingID.

* Foreground services are available while instant app is running.

* Cannot use explicit intents to access other apps.

So while there are many restrictions, there are also areas where security issues may allow an instant app to break from the sandbox. Being pretty new there are bound to be some gaps.

I personally have reservations about something like Instant Apps really being any more useful than applets were. We'll see though.

Comment There's a good reason why Trump is right (Score 1) 293

The cheaper energy is, the faster R&D goes. Movement to renewable energy is going to occur regardless, but a thriving economy based on cheaper energy now means we get to a great alternative energy future even sooner.

The previous administration was just helping subsidize solar for rich people. That's nice and all but I want electric cars for everyone, not just the 1% or wannabes.

Comment Re:What is up with airlines IT structure (Score 0) 115

I'm not sure about that - the 50 missing flights may not be able to re-book, but the original flights will still fly roughly on time, to the same places. Individual cabin crews know what the passenger count is to let more people on or not. There's nothing about an iT shutdown that SHOULD have to cause a complete failure of all planes to fly.

Comment The apps are buggy (Score 3, Informative) 204

I used to use Google Assistant daily, and I liked it. Now I almost never do, because it is buggy, and it gets buggier with each release. It's highly accurate, *when it works at all*.

Voice recognition quality:
The voice recognition quality is stunningly accurate. It almost never gets things wrong. This is the hardest part, and they nailed it. But it seems like they had an intern write the rest of the code. Maybe it just wasn't exciting enough?

Speed:
My Galaxy S5, in 2015: "Okay google" *beep* "Send a text to..."
My Galaxy S5, in 2017: "Okay google" (45 second delay) *screen flash* "Send a text to..." (15 second delay)
This isn't just my specific phone, because my wife has the same model, but with almost no apps installed, and it performs the same way.

Bad parsing code:
If you give Google assistant a command that is more that some arbitrary limit, like 256 characters or something, it gets stuck in a loop.
I say "Okay Google, send a text to Harold Smith, saying that ... 2 paragraphs of text..." Google shows me the exact correct text I spoke, in a text box, then promptly says "Who do you want to send this text to?" Confused, I respond "Harold Smith" then it correctly finds the contact, then says "What would you like the text to be?" I say the text, it transcribes it perfectly, then says "Who do you want to send this text to?"

Bad contact lookup:
I say "Okay Google, send text to Dad" then it says "I cannot find a contact named Dad." Then I open my contact list, and there is a single entry named "Dad" with a cell phone number on it. Same spelling, same case.

No retry logic:
Sometimes it tells me something like "I'm sorry, I wasn't able to contact the server, please repeat that again." Why would I have to repeat it? Didn't it just record my voice? Other times, it actually transcribes the text, then tells me it couldn't contact the server. Ummm.... what? And it does that even if the action is local and doesn't require the server, like running an app or adding an appointment to my local calendar.

Must look down at the screen to use it:
On my iPhone, it would repeat back to me the message and prompt me to confirm. With Google Assistant, I have to look down at my phone and read it. I used my iPhone to send voice texts while on the road. I can't do that with Google Assistant since the whole point is to not have to take my eyes off the road.

Poor app integration:
After I send a text, it isn't in my text history.

Comment I prefer duckduckduckgo (Score 2) 186

Since I am concerned that duckduckgo might leak search information, I prefer duckduckduckgo, which uses duckduckgo internally, but hides my searches even better. Should we ever find that duckduckduckgo is also storing personal information, we could always create duckduckduckduckgo, which would solve the problem once and for all.

Comment Anecdote about Western Union (Score 4, Interesting) 113

My mother-in-law got a phone call saying that she owed back taxes and would be arrested if she didn't pay. Now, this is a woman who has no income other than her pension. She went to a Western Union and tried to transfer money to pay the fraudster, and the agent refused to let her send the money. She was furious, and called my wife, who fortunately told her mom that she is an idiot who should thank the agent.

If this is the kind of fraud they are talking about, I sympathize with Western Union. How exactly do they determine what is fraudulent, and what should they do?

The ftc.gov filing says:

Western Union’s failure to comply with anti-money laundering laws provided fraudsters and other criminals with a means to transfer criminal proceeds and victimize innocent people

Can anyone post what those "anti-money laundering laws" say? I am curious how the average Western Union employee would really know if something is fraud, and deal with it.

Comment What is up with airlines IT structure (Score 4, Interesting) 115

This is not the first airline this has happened to, I think now something like three airlines in about a year? How on earth do all of these separate companies have the same problems where ANY breakage of the system mean planes with schedules pre-determined ages ago cannot fly? Is there some kind of Intuit Turbo Airline Manager software they all run??

WTF!

This is probably the strongest demonstration yet that we are all living in a computer simulation.

Comment Let us rephrase (Score 1) 288

Should extremely targeted software be priced according to the broadest possible metric?

All of this should essentially be up to the software developer, to price things according to who their customers are in various markets.

Now what I have read about is some app developers out of a spirit of charity, making apps free in some extremely poor markets (like Africa and India) to help out the population there.

Comment Madness (Score 1) 379

Government provides better services for a fraction of the cost compared to capitalism

You are utterly insane and I do NOT want to subscribe to your newsletter.

That statement is so breathtakingly ignorant it boggles the mind. But not too much because believing that titanic lie is why California is the way it is, and is becoming moreso.

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