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Comment Re:Marketers are idiots (Score 1) 45

Apple hasn't just been talking about this, they've implemented this for a while. Many of their devices take a physical SIM and also contain an eSIM, so you can have the SIM for your home network in their physically, but when you travel abroad you don't need to physically buy a local SIM to use for a week, you just pull up the settings screen and buy a short-term plan from one of a variety of different providers.

Comment Re:This is an OS (Score 2) 144

Try deleting all of your Google cookies and visiting YouTube. You can't even watch a video until you've clicked through a bunch of T&Cs explaining that you agree to their data collecting and sharing. There's a button at the bottom saying 'I agree' and another saying 'other options', if you click on the second one, then you get to a big page full of text that basically boils down to 'sucks to be you.' If you create a Google account, then you can somewhat restrict what they'll collect to anonimised, but there's a load of research showing that basically any form of anonimised data can be deanonimised by combining it with other data sets (which, by coincidence, Google also collects).

Comment Re:Next disaster will be smartphones and headphone (Score 1) 273

Repair manuals won't help with mobile phones. They're rarely thrown away because of hardware issues. It's far more likely that they will be thrown away because they are no longer getting software updates. In the case of iOS and some Android devices, a locked bootloader prevents third parties from supporting them, in the case of most Android devices there's no financial incentive for longer-term support so no one does. For example, I have an old HTC Desire that still works fine. It's a bit underpowered, but still runs a lot of modern Android apps. Unfortunately, the last CyanogenMod build for it is based on Android 2.3, which includes an old TLS stack that only supports versions of the protocol and cypher suites that are now not supported by servers because of known vulnerabilities. This means that it can't connect to any HTTPS URL, for example. I can install F-Droid on it, but F-Droid can't fetch the repositories over HTTPS. I can side-load applications, and as long as they don't use TLS (or ship their own TLS implementation), they work fine. It probably has several other known vulnerabilities though.

At least with CRTs, replacing them with a modern LCD will cut the power consumption by a huge amount (20-50W, vs 100+W), so there's a good reason for using the newer technology. A 7-year-old Android phone is about as capable as a low-end budget phone now, yet became effectively unusable after about 4 years of life.

Comment Re:Does this mean... (Score 1) 90

I have an optimus laptop (Dell L502x) and run Ubuntu 14.04 on it. No issues. Installed just fine with the intel driver (Duh!). I do have the proprietary drivers installed now, but it works fine. Switching from Intel to NVidia and inversely does require a login/logout. Not very practical, but good enough if you really really really need that NVidia card for a game.
Businesses

Thousands Of Disabled People Are Living In 'Virtual Utopias' In Second Life (backchannel.com) 54

"For many disabled residents, who may spend 12 hours a day or more in Second Life, the most important moments and relationships of their lives happen inside the virtual world," reports Backchanel. "For them, the fevered fantasies of a decade ago have become reality: Second Life is where they live." mirandakatz shares this article: Wagner James Au, who has written extensively about Second Life, estimates they may account for roughly 20 percent of users. Some active members estimate the number higher -- at as much as 50 percent... Abundant research shows imagining movement, without actually moving the body, can have positive effects on motor skills, balance, and learning... Studies suggest the therapeutic benefits of virtual reality extend beyond movement disorders -- to chronic pain, cognitive functioning in people with ADHD and PTSD, and social skills for people on the autism spectrum.
The article describes a 90-year-old former nurse, now living in a retirement community, who's spent eight years living in a Second Life archipelago called "Virtual Ability Island" with over a thousand other members. "Watching her avatar hike trails and dance gave her the confidence to try things in the physical world that she hadn't tried in a half decade -- like stepping off a curb or standing up without any help."
Android

Congressman Calls For Probe Into Trump's Unsecured Android Phone (cnet.com) 504

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: President Donald Trump regularly makes news because of his tweets. Now a congressman is making news because of the device the president reportedly uses to tweet. On Friday, Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Los Angeles, wrote a letter to the House Oversight Committee requesting an investigation into Trump's cybersecurity practices. In particular, he calls out Trump's apparent decision to keep using his personal Android phone instead of a secured phone the Secret Service issued him for his inauguration. The letter is also signed by 14 other members of Congress and calls for a public hearing to discuss the issues. "The device President Trump insists on using -- most likely the Samsung Galaxy S3 -- has particularly well documented vulnerabilities," the letter says. "The use of an unsecured phone risks the president of the United States being monitored by foreign or domestic adversaries, many of whom would be happy to hijack the president's prized Twitter account causing disastrous consequences for global security. Cybersecurity experts universally agree that an ordinary Android smartphone, which the president is reportedly using despite repeated warnings from the Secret Service, can be easily hacked."

Comment Re:Well, duh! (Score 1) 142

The problem is that Facebook T&Cs, as well as granting Facebook an almost unlimited license to anything you upload also includes a clause that you agree to indemnify them against this kind of claim. So, while you might be able to take Facebook to court and win if they took a video your friend uploaded of you and sold it, they would then be able to turn around immediately and sue your friend for whatever amount the court awarded you.

Comment Re:I'll never understand (Score 1) 142

Presumably he read the bit of the Facebook T&Cs that says that you grant them a non-exclusive, sublicensable, transferable, commercial license to anything that you upload, and that you agree to indemnify them against any claims of copyright infringement. They are entirely at liberty to take anything that you upload and sell it and are not required to give you a cut (remember the Starbucks posters with pictures of people who had uploaded Facebook pictures from their shops?). The only surprising part is that Facebook didn't manage to get paid for this.

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