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Comment Re: Buying not needed (Score 1) 207

I've long used the bootable utility MHDD and its "erase" command (followed by "scan" with erase delays, and then scan with "remap"). It's a low-level diagnostic tool, and apparently erases remapped sectors (hence the need for the following scans). I've never established with certainty whether the erase command is using the ATA secure erase method or not, but it's certainly faster than using DBAN and with the added bonus of erasing remapped sectors. It's been a great tool for extending the life of old hard drives which go in computers for Craigslist or donation.

Comment This makes so much sense for developing countries (Score 4, Insightful) 33

Outside of urban areas in many developing countries (India being a great example), internet speeds can slow to a crawl during waking hours as everyone is doing their online thing and traffic is going through a single connection from that town or village, often through a repeater to a repeater to a repeater that might get you 1.0 Mbps when congestion isn't an issue (during the middle of the night).

Given that video takes huge bandwidth, and YouTube is the single largest provider of free video content, this tactic is actually long overdue. Not only will it make people's YouTube experience more pleasant, but it will also likely make the internet experience of everyone in that village/town/region/country much less frustrating.

Comment Re:It's obvious Youtube is abusive (Score 2) 246

If Google was uploading these works, they would be violating copyright. They aren't (users are) and they have an effective system for removing videos that are copyright violations -- a system so effective it has also been abused by copyright owners to takedown videos which are not in violation of copyright (their use falls under "fair use").

Your seem to be claiming that Google is making tons of money off of videos that are genuine copyright violations, but you're not offering anything to back that up.

As said above, this seems like nothing more than an attempted money grab by the usual suspects.

Comment Not just the FTC, but a partnership with the FCC (Score 1) 74

The FCC launched an inquiry in partnership with the FTC. I submitted a story to slashdot on the FCC inquiry, yet somehow this is what we get.

Regardless, this is a big story, as the way security patches have been handled -- or more preciesly ignored by the carriers and manufacturers -- has become a huge problem. We're talking millions of vulnerable internet-connected mobile devices out there which, the way things are now, will never get patches for severe exploits like Stagefright.

Submission + - SPAM: FCC makes inquiry into mobile security patches (or the lack thereof)

gaiageek writes: Endgadget is reporting that the FCC is inquiring of wireless carriers and eight mobile device manufacturers as to what the process is for releasing patches once a security flaw is discovered — a step in the right direction toward doing something about the fact that many Android devices, even ones sold within the last 2 years, have not gotten any security patches to prevent exploits such as Stagefright, leaving millions of devices vulnerable.

Comment Re:Bigger than you think (Score 3, Interesting) 188

you Merkins are so removed from reality...

I'm speaking from having just spent the past month in Central America, riding the hot and cramped local buses and seeing people using almost exclusively Android smartphones (still some dumbphones). Is that what you call "so far removed from reality"? Regarding Africa, like I said, there will always be hold outs for whatever reason (battery life, simplicity, durability), but what you describe isn't really relevant to the topic, which is WhatsApp no longer being supported on older devices. Those people using missed calls for replies aren't even using the data connection on their phone, so they're not exactly going to be affected by WhatsApp not being supported on them, are they?

Comment Re:Bigger than you think (Score 2) 188

With fully capable Android phones dropping below $10, Android is very much the smartphone OS that powers the developing world. There will always be holdouts who use dumbphones, but I'm guessing they represent a tiny percentage of WhatsApp users which is growing smaller literally by the day.

Comment Poor support for 3G/4G bands used in the Americas (Score 5, Informative) 139

Just in case anyone in the US or elsewhere in the Americas is considering one of these, know that you won't get any LTE reception, and in the US, you'll only get 3G reception on the 1900 band used by AT&T or (in some places) by T-Mobile. It doesn't support AT&T's 850 band and or T-Mobile's 1700 (AWS) band.

In short, this is designed by Europeans, for Europeans.

Comment Re:They want no cash (Score 1) 558

The sole reason why they like automatic payment so much is the cost of handling cash.

You fail to point out that handling credit cards costs money too: generally 2% of every retail transaction. If I were a small business owner, I'd want to have the choice whether or not I have to give 2% of all sales to some bank.

I don't know about you, but I find it rather disturbing that private banks are making ~2% of every single retail credit card transaction that occurs. That's skimming a shitload of money off of the world's economy for what is ultimately a convenience.

Comment Re:What's stopping this plan? (Score 1) 72

The world already has $10 Android phones. That said, this probably has better specs than most of them with 1GB RAM, an IPS display and dual SIM slots. Combine that with the fact that for a poor person in India, making $1 for an hour of work is incentive enough, and I'm sure we'll see these on eBay in the near future.

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