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Comment Re:Hopefully VoLTE will make this even bigger (Score 1) 79

While I generally agree with your preference for GSM devices, there's an advantage in that everyone else does too, so Sprint CDMA phones are available used for much less than comparable GSM phones. Sure, the selection's somewhat more limited but there are a number of high-end, CM-supported Sprint phones available for very little money.

Agreed. I got a slightly-used Samsung Epic 4G from Cowboom for $60 about in January 2012. It had been one of Sprint's two flagship models when it launched, less than a year and a half before. It runs the latest CM10.1 and the WiMax 4G coverage is great in Portland, and upgrading in this way allowed me to avoid a contract change or extension.

Because the market for them is so much bigger, the high-quality GSM and Verizon devices seem to retain their value for much longer... which is good if you're selling, bad if you're buying.

Comment Re:Bad news for Google Voice (Score 2) 416

Actually, I think you're routing your calls through Google Talk even if you make your VoIP calls from within Gmail. If you "Try the new Hangouts" from within Gmail, you'll find that you can no longer make GV calls until you switch back to the old Google Talk interface.

I'm glad to see that Nikhyl Singhal of Google reassuring users that the cutting-off of GV is only temporary, and that it will be integrated with Hangouts/Gmail later:

Comment Re:I think this is for "apps" not applications (Score 1) 466

What does "standalone" even mean? The Wikipedia app on my Android phone uses some HTML5-to-app Javascript framework, the mobile banking apps use some other HTML5-to-app framework(s), the Wifi network debugger app uses some Busybox tools and would probably have been a lot simpler to write if it could rely on standard Linux wireless-tools, etc.

When I look on the Android market and I see 20 apps that do roughly the same thing, but 18 of them do it badly, and they all duplicate the basic functionality of a standard open-source utility... I weep with despair. :-p

Comment How to stay fit in the office? Get out of it! (Score 1) 372

I work in a "sea of cubicles" at a large tech company. When I have an hour or two of downtime, I get out of it. I go for an 8-10 mile run nearly every day, and have got it down so I be back at my desk in just about 1.5 hours if need be, though it's a bit of a rush. I get out into the nearby countryside, clear my mind, see the scenery, and exercise my body... it's tremendously restorative in many ways, and I believe it significantly enhances my productivity.

If you have work rules that require you to be always reachable/emailable/pagerable... push back against 'em or come to some agreement with your boss or another employee who can cover for you. I feel that it's beneficial to my mental health to be totally disconnected for an hour or two a day, and I think that the contrary expectation of many modern workplaces is unnatural and ultimately very bad for morale and productivity.

Comment Technical knowledge? (Score 1) 402

I want a camera that's better than my phone, but I don't have the technical knowledge to fully appreciate a DSLR.

I don't mean to be overly pedantic, but there's very little difference in "technical knowledge" required to operate DSLR vs. a MILC. The fundamental differences are mainly that DSLRs offer larger sensors and real optical through-the-lens viewfinders, while MILCs are a bit smaller and quieter.

Also, no one has technical knowledge to appreciate a DSLR until they start to play around with one for a while. I suggest trying as many models of each as you can, in person, at a knowledgeable camera store or by borrowing from friends. The ergonomics and convenience of a camera are at least as important as its technical capabilities in terms of allowing and encouraging you to take great photos.

Comment Re:Virgin Mobile? (Score 1) 115

Thanks for the info.

Any idea when this will become available for existing GV users? I have a Sprint Android phone, and use GV heavily, but no options have yet appeared for me to combine the two. I'm wondering if the hold-up has anything to do with the fact that I ported my number from Verizon to Sprint several years ago.

Comment Re:No news (Score 1) 115

This obviously isn't intended for you. Nobody said it was. Basic logic should cause you to skip over it since you've already made the transition.

This is intended for normal Sprint users who just use their phone as normal. Now instead of jumping through hoops and using apps or workarounds, they can simply flip a switch and suddenly receive all of the great Google Voice features for free. Free along with easy is a huge selling point.

Heck, I'm an early adopter of GV and a Sprint customer as well... and I'm very happy for this change.

Benefits of "built-in" GV integration for people like me and the grandparent poster, who already have Google Voice and fancy smartphones:

  • The Android GV app uses background data, which eats battery. If GV texts are transmitted at the CDMA level, they'll use less battery.
  • Android requires a data connection for GV texts and calls, so they're less reliable in marginal coverage areas, and you can't get texts during calls. A low-level text message can get through almost everywhere, and during a call.
  • We'll be able to block spam calls to our private Sprint numbers using the Google Voice interface.

The longer-term benefit of this change, I hope, is that it will show other wireless companies that they should concentrate on building good and flexible networks, and let others provide useful services on top of them, rather than pursuing rent-seeking, walled-garden approaches (like charging for over-the-air downloads and crippling Bluetooth file exchange).

Comment Re:Everyone wins. (Score 1) 424

I just got an Evo to replace my moment.

I have the Moment as well. The stock ROM is awful, unfortunately. The Sprint-branded apps (NFL, NASCAR, TV, Navigation) and other crapware (Moxier Mail) are buggy and use a lot of memory and battery life and can't easily be disabled. The worst part is that the Moment randomly locks up when you transfer too much data (e.g.*more*-often/) and a number of OTA baseband updates have failed to fix this.

Fortunately, rooted and with custom ROMs (many of which do little more than remove the Sprint crapware) the Moment is a pleasure to use. With patched EV-DO libraries (why the heck Samsung/Sprint haven't fixed this, I have no idea...), the Moment is very reliable for data usage. Really nice hardware at a low price, and a genuine pleasure to use.

So, basically, I agree with your point. Many of the phones, pretty much everything except the flagship products, are rushed to market with tons of bugs and tons of carrier-added crap... then abandoned by the carriers and manufacturers. If you are willing and able to install custom, community-supported firmware on you Android phone, it will be awesome... but the handset manufacturers and carriers have really dropped the ball.

Comment I completely agree (Score 1) 1128

Rush Limbaugh tried something similar in 2008 (encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary in Obama-leaning states), and it just made him look like a bigger d-bag than he already was.

I think it's dangerous and unethical to vote for a candidate other than because you genuinely want them to win. Dangerous because it can backfire, and unethical because it subverts trust in the democratic process and its outcome--however flawed they may already be.

I know that some states allow voters to vote in primary elections of parties with which they're not affiliated. I think this is just fine if those voters pick candidates who they genuinely want to see succeed. For example, had I been eligible to vote in Republican primaries in 2008, I probably would have voted for John McCain. In the general election, I preferred Obama, but I also genuinely felt that McCain was the most competent, intelligent, and deserving Republican candidate, and I wanted to see him succeed and make the general election campaign competitive and thoughtful.

If nothing else, Democratic voters should understand that they're doing their party no favors by setting them up with a weak opponent. Politicians without credible, thoughtful opposition tend to act like ordinary politicians... which is to say that they become corrupt, authoritarian, lazy, and devoid of ideas. Many American leaders have been most productive when they've faced smart opponents... and won. I'm thinking about Bill Clinton vs. Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan vs. Mikhail Gorbachev, in particular.

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