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Comment Re:You (Score 1) 52

The problem is that it cannot be analyzed in a vacuum. Yes, in a vacuum it's just a free service being offered if you have a plan. But that's the first step into making things a lot worse. And quite frankly, Brazil is not known for being good at telling the difference and knowing when to stop the car before it crashes.

Besides that, if you take the law to the letter, you also run into another issue: What if a customer wants to access G+ (why would they do that??) instead of Facebook and Twitter? They have to pay for the data used, and that is discouraging to any social network besides FB and Twitter. This alone is against the concept of net neutrality. And this is exactly the point I was showing.

Comment "Net neutrality" (Score 2) 52

The law was passed with the "intention" of being the Brazilian "net neutrality" law. However, its chapter 1, article 1, paragraph 8 reads: "VIII - a liberdade dos modelos de negócios promovidos na Internet, desde que não conflitem com os demais princípios estabelecidos nesta Lei."

Freely translating, that could be read as "the freedom to shape internet businesses, as long as it doesn't conflict with the rest of this Law."

Chapter 3, article 9, paragraph 1 later states that net traffic may only be regulated by the President's orders, and can only happen in 2 cases:

- Technical requirements necessary to the proper functioning of services and applications;
- Emergency services

And then I see carriers offering free Facebook and Twitter access as long as you have any valid plan active, or any sort of credit left on pre-paid plans.

Who didn't understand what "net neutrality" means? Me, the government, these companies or the people praising the law?

Comment Re:Google Play Services (Score 1) 168

Yes, that was quite a tirade I launched there.

You seem to be too sensitive for a phone which has Internet access, maybe you should settle for something simpler? That would also solve your security concerns, and would bring the added bonus of way more battery life for your phone which you rely on daily and don't want to tinker with.

Seems like a win-win, how about a nice Nokia 3310? Still a classic.

Thanks, I'll pass.

My iPhone doesn't install updates without me telling it to, that's enough for me. I guess asking for such complex feature from Android is too much. :-)

Comment Re:Google Play Services (Score 1) 168

Why do you believe that the world owes any of this to you?

You don't like any of the stock options, or (very) easily configurable ones which have already been suggested.

You don't want to put any effort into managing your very specific requirements.

Why, then, should any of us care?

You don't. I'm asking if there are options that fulfill my needs, and then I have to laugh at people like you going on the offensive because apparently me not accepting to take any and everything a company throws at me, means you get your feelings hurt.

Thanks. :-)

Comment Re:Google Play Services (Score 1) 168

but like I said, I'm looking for a solution that does not involve nursing custom ROMs.

Could you explain a little further exactly what it is you're hoping for, then?

Right now it seems like you're asking for Google's Android, which inherently means Google's Services and thus Google Play, etc. - but without exactly those things. At that point, it's not Google's Android anymore.

So let's say you meant regular ol' Android. Okay, that's fine too, go grab AOSP. But then that's really no different from a custom ROM when seen from the viewpoint of 'Google's Android'. It's just that it's a rather barren one.

So if you have to go with a ROM in the first place, Cyanogen is, once installed, fairly hands-off. Nobody's forcing you to delve into the nightly builds, say.

But maybe you just don't want to deal with having to look up, download, install, custom roms at all. Well, you could get any number of phones that have it or, just as an example, MIUI pre-installed - with OTA updates so you don't have to 'nurse' it. But then you'd have to get a different phone.

Seems to me that with your desires, you're going to either just have to live with the Google Play integration bits, or ignore the part where you wanted Android to begin with, and jump ship to iOS, Windows Phone, FireFox OS, Sailfish, etc.

I don't mind that Google requires you to have all-or-nothing. I do mind that through Google Play Services it is able to change a device at will. This is the old argument about the device being mine and not rented/borrowed from someone. What goes in and out of it should, at very least, have me warned about. Mind you, I'm not even the overly paranoid type regarding privacy, my main concern is the device becoming useless or simply malfunctioning due to a bad update that got to it without my authorization or even knowledge.

No person or company is immune from making that kind of mistake, and I have read about Google Play Services destroying battery life with bad updates, for example.

So to be to the point and answer your question: I didn't say I don't want the Google parts of Android. I just don't want one very specific part: Google Play Services' ability to do anything it wants with a device, including updating itself at will and granting itself permissions I don't even know about. Besides that, I'd need it (the preventing that from happening) to be done via some sort of configuration or app that you can install without needing to use a different/non-official ROM (rooting would be fine).

To elaborate more: Android devices tend to be cheaper than its counterparts, but lately (post Google moving most of Android into a closed-source model), that comes at a cost: You have to "bend over" to Google's will, or choose to use a different ROM and forego Google entirely (or at least for the greatest parts). I think that is very important to take into account when switching to Android (I'm not an user yet). Like I said, I'm not excited about keeping such a close eye on that kind of thing anymore (I used to be), I just want something I can rely on and not have this sort of headache from.

I'm asking this here because I have overhyper friends who bug the hell out of me to "join the movement" of switching to Android. I'd be okay with that if it did not mean either leaving the device to Google's will, OR being forced to use custom ROMs and going Google-free. By the way, another important point in that would be the loss of the Google Play Store. As far as I know, if you don't have Google Play Services, you don't have the store. And if you don't have the store, that is yet another hit in the price-for-the-bang tag on Android.

Please correct me if I'm getting any of this wrong.

Comment Re:Google Play Services (Score 1) 168

I did not discredit anyone or anything. I said that for many people, tinkering with devices is not an option (or ceased to be, like in my case).

Thanks for the suggestion, but like I said, I'm looking for a solution that does not involve nursing custom ROMs.

Comment Google Play Services (Score 4, Interesting) 168

Honestly, in my opinion the most offending point of Android is Google Play Services. Google making all its services depending on one another is something we've all been seeing for years now, one could argue that we're expecting and used to it. Now, a service at the center of it all, which can do anything it wants, whenever it wants, that's honestly going too far in my opinion.

That's point #1, actually.

#2 is the fact that for many people (myself included), the days of tinkering with devices is over. It can be a hobby sometimes/for some people, but I for one like to separate what I rely on from what I play with. So at best an Android device would be a toy, not something I rely on daily.

Now, if anyone can point me to a simple/reliable way to use Google's Android without Google Play Services owning the device, and without being forced to nurse custom/specific distros/ROMs for it, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Comment Re:Good for Brazil (Score 1) 165

Sorry to pop the hope bubble, but that is not going to happen.

First, as stated above, this is a government-only (for now, at least) project. They think they can do it, and I'm sure they will unload tons of public money into it.. But I bet the result will not be nearly as effective as they say they will get, or that the money spent should have bought. That's just how things work in Brazil.

Secondly, to move from a gov-only project to something being sold to third parties, you'd need a sort of tech, infrastructure and skilled manpower that currently don't exist here. Brazil imports the vast majority of its tech (including almost all of IT), infrastructure is entirely imported and skilled manpower exists, but not in high enough numbers (and specially, willing to work for the government) to make that happen.

As a side note.. I worked for the government here (state, not federal) and left after 4 years. I couldn't stand the bullshit and the excessive slowness for everything, the pay was extremely low (I was part of the gov that actually worked [as a slave, almost], to make up for those who do not work and make shit tons of money) and the workload was higher than I currently have working for one of the world's biggest corporations.

Comment Re:A couple of points (Score 2) 263

Yep, you got it mostly right.

Importation taxing is insane here, and like I said on my previous post, very nonsense. Most stuff fall into this retarded law where at the border, they'll get taxed "to match the price practiced in the country". This law has the limit of R$5000, so anything more expensive than that will have its own separate law for importation.

The problem is that it makes importing stuff unpredictable unless you have market information to match prices (which by itself is a lot of work for the average person). Not to mention that the final decision is made by the government and thus things can still differ wildly. You can appeal if you think it's wrong/unfair, but that will cost you extra money and most likely a lot of time (justice in Brazil is VERY slow). In the end, most people prefer to just pay whatever overprice they go for in the country, or have someone bring it from overseas (they can bring up to U$1500 in "undocumented personal gadgets" when (re)entrying the country).

Foxconn built their factory here with that cut in taxes in mind, but the cut never really got to consumers. The 8GB iPhone 4, built in Brazil, is only R$400 (~U$200) less expensive than an iPhone 4S 16GB. Apple does get the phones made in Brazil cheaper than the imported ones, but they simply don't turn that into cheaper final products, which is the exploitation I mentioned in the other post. They like their "elite" status, and the Brazilian market is golden for that.

Comment A couple of points (Score 4, Insightful) 263

First, why not sell the name to Apple?

Because Apple most likely isn't willing to pay what Gradiente wants. Apple has a track record for engaging in long and useless "negotiations" in Brazil. Years ago they wanted the right to set the pace within the App Store (defining age ratings for apps), and the Brazilian government didn't want that. Here the government decides that kind of stuff and Apple thought it wasn't an option, so the end result was that the App Store in Brazil was really shitty for years. Only a few games (those made by Brazilian developers) were available, many other apps were missing. Which even led to people coming up with ways to register their accounts in other countries' stores just to have access to apps they couldn't get here.

Apple also exploits the market here. Brazilians have this retarded idea that more expensive = better. An unlocked iPhone 5 starts at U$U$650 in the US (today that would be ~R$1300 in Brazil). The Brazilian government imposes the highest and most nonsensical volume of taxes in the world, but Apple starts the iPhone 4S (iPhone 5 isn't even selling here officially yet) at R$2000. Carriers have been offering pre-orders for the iPhone 5 starting at around R$2600 with an expensive plan, or around R$3100 without one. It is believed that Apple itself will sell them in the R$2400-3000 range once it's officially released here.

With those things in mind, the result is very likely that Apple wouldn't settle for a value Gradiente wanted.

The second point is about the name.. They (Gradiente) very likely went with something slightly different for the case Apple eventually does decide on paying for the trademark. In that case, Gradiente's trouble with getting around "iPhone Neo One" should be slightly less complicated than simply "iPhone".

Comment Does "backfire" hurt business for you? (Score 2) 118

That your products seem to be of much higher quality than average, I believe there is no question. However, people will always find something to complain about, or will attempt something clearly out of scope and then blame the product for the "failure." There is also, of course, those times when things just don't go so well, like on this video. Does that kind of thing "stick" and make people reconsider the product, and how bad does it get?

Comment Re:We have the same... (Score 1) 689

A little intro here: I am Brazilian, and until recently I worked for a government agency that handles grants and general money distribution for college-level (undergrad and above) projects, research and scholarships. I can speak with a decent level of certainty about the relationship between Brazil and other countries on this regard.

First of all, let's get some things out of the way.

The first of them is an incorrect idea that when we talk about exchange programs, or students going to study overseas, we're talking of people who'd be in the lowest community colleges going to Ivy-League colleges in the US. That's simply not the case. The US schools require SATs, money guarantees and an array of extra information, tests and guarantees that American students do not require, as expected. The problem with this part is that it's most often than not, not accurate. The TOEFL for example, does very little to enforce a good output level of skill in English. It kind of ensures that the person _understands_ English, but writing and especially speaking it.. Yeah.

The second thing is that most students going from Brazil to other countries (and the US is the top choice) are part of at least 1 of 2 groups: Either they are from wealthy families and have had much above-average education throughout their entire lives, and therefore are usually just as good or often better than natives in the country they've chosen to go for higher education; or they are outstanding students (no matter the background) and earn their sponsoring through good grades, outstanding projects or simply put, what Obama called "being brilliant."

The third point is that, at least for Brazil, it is by no means "free." (and this is where my previous employment at that gov agency comes in.) A Brazilian student looking to go, for example, to the US for college, has 3 options:

1) They pay for it on their own (the wealthy family example I cited before);
2) The institution they are going to sees in them such an awesome potential that they sponsor it, much like they would with a native getting scholarship;
3) The Brazilian government (via agencies such as the one I used to work for) sponsors it, paying for it with Brazilian tax money.

Numbers #1 and #3 are obviously not free by any means, I believe that's clear. You could argue that #2 is "free" in the sense that the US is paying for it, and I'd agree with you if I didn't know some specifics of that deal. Here it is.

Countries around the world, and the US is probably the strongest one on this matter, enforce a rule about "exchanging students" in situations like #2 above. The way it works between a developed country, and the US in specific, is somewhat "exploitative" against developing countries like Brazil. Usually, US schools demand a ratio of X:1 (where X >= 1) to accept a Brazilian student under those circumstances. In exchange, Brazilian schools will have to accept X American students under similar conditions, and it's usually for Masters or PhD programs. In the end, the US still gains in the trade, because more American students come to Brazil to get higher-level education than Brazilian students get to go to the US for undergrad programs.

Another point to be cleared here is the fact that while Brazil does not have any schools standing at Ivy-League level of recognition, we have several, several schools that are good enough to be considered better than the alternatives right below Ivy-League. So at this point we need to remember that not everyone can be in an Ivy-League school. Most people end up going to "average" schools or below that "threshold". So in the end, coming to a top school in Brazil ends up being better than the alternatives they could face in the US, and that's not even taking into account the life experience of living in another country, learning another language, etc.

And yes, in the end, foreign students also come here "for free", get better education than most natives can get, and go back to their home countries with extra cultural and educational experience. It's not an exclusive thing in the US, the US is just under a brighter spotlight.


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