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Comment Re: Android is Linux (Score 3, Insightful) 221

Linux certainly did NOT win the smartphone war. Firstly, Android is built to use the Linux kernel because hooking deep into the kernel is easier than it should be (hence bugs like stagefright) and because Google doesn't have to pay for Linux. The Linux / GNU stack is vaguely available but mostly unusable on Android. Android could be ported to any other kernel that is similarly hackable / easy to kneecap security and kernel / HAL / userspace partitioning as Linux. As for iOS, it co-opts the BSD Mach kernel in a similar manner.

Comment Re:I agree - AI's strength is with details (Score 4, Insightful) 110

I buy products when and where I want / need to. I don't need a personal relationship with the establishment or increased communication from the entity. In the cases where I do have a personal relationship which drives my desire to purchase goods / services, the relationship is with a person or people (e.g. my favorite bars).

What does drive me to going to a different competitor are advertising / marketing methods I find any of the following: invasive, absurd, immature, over the top, lacking in class, offensive, over budgeted, unethical, and others. I vote my pocketbook against vendors I dislike rather than for a particular or special one.

I don't need product offers in the first place. The idea that I need to be offered products that I am not already researching prior to purchase is intellectually insulting, and part of the the consumerism + marketing driven problem. You remove value from the interdependent system of producers and consumers and increase the cost of products.

Comment Napolitano is the UC President? (Score 3, Informative) 483

Color me shocked! Shocked I say. It blows my mind she has an entire history built around how amazing she is to hold so many high positions as a woman, but it doesn't take much work to see, it's a history of failures and exceptional levels of mediocrity. I don't know why the democratic party an their insiders keep backing her and getting her jobs.

Comment Re:Small tidbit (Score 1) 122

Still the article and security implications are bullshit. If you can get access to installing your malware on the machine, than the physical domain of eavesdropping is irrelevant. It's not like there is a vendor selling TEMPEST secured equipment with headphone jacks but no mics (and that messing with audio drivers would pass). Switching signal direction on jacks has been a standard feature of audio chipsets since the AC'97 standard, it's just that the auto-detection routines in most CODECs would correctly direction the jack for what you plugged in.

What is interesting is that this "hack" is in the same realm of overblown and needing excessive access as the Cisco VoIP phone hack that everyone was fellating Ang Cui for a few years back. Yeah, if I can hang out physically connected to a diagnostic port on someone's phone for several minutes to flash the firmware, I can do much better as far as surveillance. Not to mention the frequency that VoIP VLANs can't reach the Internet to egress their eavesdropping.

Comment Re:Incentivized vs fake? (Score 1) 106

I have a really simple system for reading and filtering reviews at Amazon. Many advocate for reading the 3-4 star reviews for honest criticism and balanced reviews, but besides some user promoted ones in this range, they're pretty bland and lacking in key information, it's easy to see the product's strengths in the first few 5 stars that appear at the top of the listing.

The reviews to pay attention to are the 1 and 2 star reviews and look for patterns of complaints. If out of 50 1 star reviews only a few of them share similar issues with the product, than it is probably bad luck or user error. It's easy to filter some of the derp derp what did you expect the product to do. If 25 of those 50 1 stars all had the same problem and this is an aspect of the product you find unfavorable, then it's a no-buy, move on.

I've also found this aggregate negative review process to be much faster than trying to average a skimming of 20-100 of 3-10,000 different reviews all over the place as far as their overall impression with the product. After all, at some point the price of the product exceeds my time lost to reading redundant, useless reviews. There is rarely much useful in positive reviews, I obviously already want the product for the good things it can do in my life if I am looking into buying it.

Comment Re: Simple? (Score 1) 302

It is when nearly half are not "doers" in the system - non-clinical staff. That means for every doctor, nurse, gp, and hospital staff member, there is a bureaucrat jockeying a desk.

I work at a retailer with >100k employees. Our corporate office staff is under 5k.

The NHS clearly needs an efficiency expert to come slash office jobs.

Comment Re:His Girl Friday (Score 1, Troll) 296

The same guy who is complaining that TV / Movies at normal speed are too slow, probably couldn't comprehend and fully appreciate the average Aaron Sorkin sitcom dialog interchange slowed down by 20%.

Different writer / director combinations dump data at the viewer at different speeds and use a variety of compression algorithms (references, partial quotes, alliteration, anagrams, homonyms, puns, etc.) to embed additional metadata into the verbal stream.

Guo and others who are fans of accelerated speech are watching low data density dialogue as well as not intellectually interested in the full texture of well written material. They want the bullet points and laughs and to be done with it.

Comment Re:Why the political ending? (Score 1) 224

You have every right to complain about how people vote when there isn't a "no confidence in either candidate" option. Not voting is a growing sign of discontent which will hopefully result in violent revolution. We've proven consistently that grassroots and other forms of non-violent revolution make little long term change (e.g. the Tea Party) with minor exceptions for obvious, and frankly trivial from a legal standpoint social policy (suffrage, civil rights).

Real change to the movers and shakers, campaign contributions, cronyism, wealth distribution, general body of criminal, tax, budget, and welfare law are well beyond non-violent means.

Comment False Premise (Score 1) 507

I haven't found SmartTVs to be a significant cost increase over the regular ones since last fall with the rise of <$1000 4k televisions. There are lots of premium TVs which heavily exhort their SmartTV capabilities, but comparing actual comparable models (size, panel quality, etc.) seems to be very little difference in price. Where there is a huge difference is getting larger, premium quality panels with superior color reproduction and refresh rates. Those ones are already going to cost a nice premium, and universally that halo market includes Smart functionality.

Let's go through a few specific statements:

1) "media-center computers and DVRs are ubiquitous" - Umm nope, not even close. They're common with middle and upper class white techy males and their families. Heck, I have XBMC on a PC hooked up to my TV and still use the native "SmartTV" functionality for Netflix and Prime because dealing with those on XBMC is extra steps and inferior. XBMC is for playing stuff I've downloaded almost exclusively.

2) "smartphones have HDMI connectivity" - Most do NOT, more have Miracast/AllShare or similar wireless tech. They literally overheat or lose battery while charging and mirroring whether wired or wirelessly.

3) "Raspberry Pi is inexpensive and can play 1080 content at full framerate" - This is a lot of extra work for non-technical common folk. You might have gotten more mileage from saying AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, or FireTV. Of those, only AppleTV and Roku have a user interface and setup which isn't vastly more painful than the average SmartTV. Chromecast and FireTV are actually a huge PITA for non-techy people, and even as an IT engineer, I found FireTV to be a piling steam of slow crap, eclipsed in speed and usefulness by a $600 black Friday special (read: cheaper components) 4K SmartTV's native software (Tizen?). Further the $100 price tag for the AppleTV or better model Roku is more than the SmartTV price jumps in most situations.

4) None of these devices are terribly expensive anymore, and the price jump from a non-smart TV to a smart TV makes it difficult to justify the expense. - See original point.

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