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Comment WTF FBI, LOL? (Score 1) 48

Parent has a good point. For one, the FBI technically doesn't have the right to authorize breaking the law. Isn't that the right of a federal prosecutor or the DoJ? The FBI, for all their fancy suits and cool sunglasses are just basically cops. A cop could ignore someone breaking the law, but they aren't really supposed to. The DA looks at the evidence collected by the police and decides if there are grounds for charges. (Actually it is probably more along the lines of if they are likely to succeed in getting a successful sentience or if they will get yelled at for not at least trying to charge someone for a high profile crime.) That is why a prosecutor offers a deal or plea bargain to witnesses for cooperation, and not the arresting officer.

As I understand it, if the FBI is just looking the other way, they are very out of line. If they are running this by a federal prosecuter and/or a judge that is providing assistance and oversight, then this is probably a legit practice. Perhaps not very moral or prudent, though.

/. readers who are lawyers cops, & prosecutors reading this, please jump in and correct my erroneous assumptions now...

Comment Re:or, maybe Google screwed up "ownership" (Score 1) 164

If Google had designed (? or something?) Android so that updating the base OS was something that could be pushed direct from Google instead of from each manufacturer's bollixed version of the system, there'd be no problem for any of us.

That may seem obvious now, but it's far from clear that Android would have succeeded the way it has if OEMs hadn't been allowed to differentiate their versions. That was (and is) something that's important to them, and they may well have decided that they wanted to do their own thing instead if Google hadn't given them the degree of control they wanted. Or maybe they'd have adopted Windows, since while it wouldn't allow them to customize it would have had the advantage of being from the then-biggest OS maker around.

It seems very likely that the ability of OEMs to customize was a core component of what made the Android ecosystem successful.

Also, keep in mind that the only way Google could really have kept OEMs from modifying Android however they like would have been to keep it closed. Personally, I'm glad that Google made the choices it did, not because I'm a Google employee working on Android (though I am), but because I've been an open source and free software advocate since before Google even existed. Android is far from perfect, and devices aren't as open as I would like, but I think the mobile software world is much better than it would have been without a F/LOSS mobile OS.

Comment Re:Outrageously short service life for updates (Score 1) 164

I still think that two years of updates is outrageous forced obsolescence that is prematurely adding electronic garbage to landfills.

FWIW, it's actually two years of upgrades and three years of security updates on Nexus devices.

I'm seriously considering going back to an iPhone on my next phone upgrade, despite all the concerns I have about them too. They at least support their hardware for around 5 years.

At least they have done so in the past. Note that they've never made any commitment to that, so they could stop.

Comment Re:Still most downloaded app (Score 1) 171

It's impossible to hold gyms for more than a few hours, and even if you did, there is no point to.

Actually there is. You know the currency you have to pay real money to get? Apparently you get it if you can hold on to a gym for more than 20 hours. I've never been in a place where gym churn is slow enough for that to happen, so I can't verify it.

But that's why the bot-swarms bother with gyms - to farm those "coins" from them.

Comment Re:The game needs more stuff to do (Score 2) 171

A really, really straightforward way around that problem already exists - Segregating players by whatever key stats make them casual-vs-god-like.

In the case of PoGo, that would just mean your highest CP critter, in tiers of around 500-ish. Once you get something over CP1500, you could effectively enter an entirely new world (doesn't need to be explicit, although in keeping with the Pokemon theme, they could call it a new town/island/whatever), with gyms controlled by people in the same ballpark as you.

Comment Re:By some definitions, (Score 1) 318

"Well, I don't use Facebook or Twitter, or even LinkedIn for that matter... But I can give you my handle for Slashdot, Fark, Reddit, Kuro5hin (oh wait, that went down), Metafilter, Digg, Voat, 4chan, Rotten, DeviantArt, Flixter, Diaspora, Stack Exchange, MySpace (never actually used it, but made an account)... Can I have another page to list these? Oh, and should I include game acounts too? This could take a while..."

Comment Re:Batten down the hatches - a bubble's bout to bu (Score 1) 161

The central banks of the world are conjuring money out of thin air and using it to buy stocks

Cite? I'm not aware of any central bank buying stocks. The "quantitative easing" they're doing -- AFAIK -- is all bond purchasing, which means they're not buying ownership in real businesses, they're lending money to real businesses.

Concurrently, interest rates are artificially low

That's debatable. Without the actions of the central banks, we would likely be in a deflationary cycle. Assuming interest rates naturally adjusted accordingly, they should go very low, or even negative. Some of the central banks have gone to slightly negative interest rates, but they won't go nearly as negative as would naturally occur in a deflationary cycle. Instead, they're pumping money into the economy (via QE) to avoid deflation.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 2) 479

Obama didn't release his birth certificate for one very good reason, he is very clever and Trump is very stupid.

The fact is that the Republicans will always invent some crazy idiotic 'scandal' that they obsess about and endlessly throw up smoke. The birther conspiracy was mind numbingly ridiculous. It would require someone to go back in time to plant the birth notice in the papers. Or for some group of conspirators to go to an enormous amount of trouble in order to make a particular black kid president.

So rather than release the birth certificate and let the Republicans invent a new scandal, Obama held onto it and let them obsess about a scandal nobody else thought made the slightest sense, knowing that he could knock their house of cards down any time he chose. Which of course he did a week before the Bin Laden raid which was guaranteed to end the story.

George W. Bush opened torture chambers across the world and collected photographs for a sick sexual thrill. Yet nobody ever talks about that. None of the people complaining about Hilary ever complained about GWB refusing to comply with Congressional investigation or the deletion of 5 million emails.

So here is what is going to happen. Trump is going to go down to the biggest defeat since Carter and he is going to drag the rest of his party down with him. And afterwards there is going to be a new civil rights act that prohibits Republican voter suppression tactics and the gerrymandering that give them a 5% advantage in elections. And by the time it is all done the Republican party will have two choices, either boot the racist conspiracy theorists and Trumpists out or face two decades in the wilderness.

Comment Re:"More Professional Than Ever" (Score 2) 277

You are confusing contributing with leading the project.

Determining what code is written, what new features are developed, is leading the project. Not merging the contributions after ensuring the code is well written.

Linus leads from behind. After a feature is developed, he decides whether it will be allowed into the kernel. It's the same sort of decisionmaking process as in most development workflows, it just front-ends most of the work.

In most development processes, someone will decide "the product should do X", and they'll make some slides and pitch the ideas and the leaders will decide whether or not to pursue it. If they decide to pursue it then the developers will build it, debug it, test it, etc. The process is optimized around conserving a scarce resource, developer time.

In the Linux process, someone decides "Linux should do X", and so they build it, write all the code, debug it, test it... and then they'll send it to Linus, who decides whether or not to merge it. Same process, the difference is that the leader decides on the basis of fully-implemented code, rather than slideware. In the Linux model, developer time is not scarce and the process does not optimize for conserving it.

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