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Comment Re:Nexus Devices (Score 1) 340

I have owned at least three different cheap Android phones (one with Android 2.2, one 4.1 and one 4.4) from three different cheap brands (ZTE, BLÜ and VeryKool), and they all offered a FM radio application. The second one had quite bad reception, but worked. They all used the same application (with the same silly "five favorite stations only" cap).
I don't know if Android does not offer a standard API for FM radio, but it does offer a standard app at least — which, I guess, is left out or disabled by those that want /not/ to offer it.

Comment Color me surprised... (Score 1) 340

I believe that all of the (not so many) cell phones I have bought since my first one, around 2003, have had FM radio capabilities. And it's always been one of the features I have most used. Except for the Nokia N95 I bought in 2008, my phones have always been at the cheap end of the category — I currently have a "Verykool" (yes, that's the brand) that costed under US$80, bought it because it's a dual-SIM, unlocked, decently-recent-Android, decent-camera phone.
Anyway, a FM chip is probably one of the cheapest functions to implement in a phone. I never doubted that every phone should carry it, as it brings value that many of us still use. One more thing to check when my phone finally gives the ghost — hopefully a couple of years from now.

Comment There is also a quality gap (Score 2) 352

I use my mobile data very seldom, so I have little experience on this. Also, I am in Mexico, which might have somewhat inferior infrastructure — although I understand that, in major cities at least, it is very close to what you get in the USA.

I don't like mobile networking. It is quite laggier, and its quality variance (both in bandwidth and in latency) is much higher than wired Internet. Of course, it can be easily explained with many people walking into or out of my cell, with the antennas having to synchronize with all of the devices and whatnot.

Maybe it's not so annoying for people that don't use interactive sessions... But given the nature of most Web pages (and darned apps), every day interaction gets closer to "real" interactive sessions.

Comment FSVO "defeating" (Score 1, Insightful) 72

Encryption (even more in such general terms, not even mentioning which algorithm or basic representing problem) has not been and cannot be "defeated" as such. It can be circumvented. And, besides some weak cryptosystems that have been proposed and found lacking after analysis (i.e. the knapsacks implementation), the only "useful" general attacks on cryptography are attacks on the implementation: Circumventing cryptography rather than breaking it.

Comment Re:Apple genuii (Score 1) 106

That, or maybe the fact that the phone was left unplugged on a drawer until somebody's grandchild connected it after January 2038 just to see what is that thing.

Of course, your comment still applies: It's probably impossible to travel back to 1969 and have working wifi and NTP. But I think it's highly unlikely that by 2038 we will have Wifi networks compatible with today's standards, or NTP servers compatible with today's implementations.

Then again, today's Wifi is still compatible with what 802.11b, which I first used in the late 1990s, and NTP operates at least since 1985. If Wifi has survived for 20 years and NTP for 30, who says it won't last 22 more?

Comment One more improvement... (Score 1) 326

Make all those interactions more interesting by having people sitting together. Offer them some beer, wine, coffee. Maybe even food. You can also even charge some extra money for such amenities, people are known to be willing to pay for VIP treatment.

Suddenly, you will realize you are no longer stuck in the silly "you are the product" business. You are offering real goods and services.

Congratulations! You have reinvented the ages-old "restaurant/bar" concept.

Comment Re:No longer any reason to get smog checks? (Score 1) 90

Besides being too expensive, as malditaenvidia already pointed out, they are permanently exempt of the twice-yearly verification every other car must undergo.

Note, however, that they are *not* zero emissions, much less negative emissions: Except for hydroelectric plants, all other electricity generation schemes also carry some sort of pollution tag. Yes, it's usually "freed" in a much less polluted area (is that good or bad?) and I understand it's much more efficient than burning fuel in the motor. But it's not "effectively negative".

Comment Re:Inaccurate summary. (Score 1) 90

Nice to read you, old friend! ;-)

Just adding to your comment: This program has yielded great results since 1989. You can check daily graphs showing the amount of different pollutants over time. I do remember the early 1990s as being terrible. Our air nowadays is mostly-OK... But yes, over 25 years have passed since this program started, and it should be reviewed for the city's newer reality.

Comment Quito and Mexico's altitude are quite similar (Score 4, Interesting) 90

FWIW, Quito sits at 2700m above sea level, and Mexico City at 2240 — Both cities are in valleys, and the suburbs rise quite higher than their "downtowns" (although Quito is a much smaller, steeper valley). As a comparison, Beijing is 43m above sea level. A completely different picture.

In Mexico City, foreigners that come to visit do feel (lightly) the lack of oxygen, even in our best days pollution-wise. It is clearly not as impressive as what I have experienced, say, in El Alto, Bolivia, at 4070m.

The problem with smog is not lower oxygen, but higher irritation due to the other components in our air. In very bad, very polluted days, eyes sting due to ozone and PM10 particles, and it's easy to develop coughing also due to PM10 and airborne sulphur compounds. Carbon monoxyde does not decrease oxygen, but it decreases our body's capability of fully using it.

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