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Comment Too many flaws on Android smartwatches (Score 3, Interesting) 103

I bought the Huawei watch the day it came out. I was hoping to use it in bars/restaurants to allow me to keep my phone in my pocket, but still get a buzz if an important message (or pagerduty alert) comes in.

It does do this, more or less. But over the past year and a bit, I really hoped some of the shortcomings would be addressed, and they haven't.

The reality is it's laggy, "ok google" doesn't work more than 10-15% of the time, and even when it does, half the time it ignores the query. The speaker isn't used as it should be. It constantly loses bluetooth connection to my device. Wifi handoff is sloppy. There is no brightness control when in ambient mode. No on-watch app control; I do not want every single phone app with a watch counterpart installed!

My dad as the iWatch, and it just works. It's great. It's how it should be.

I've been an Android dev and user since Cupcake, and have no love for Apple, but I have to hand this one to them. They did it correctly, and everyone else failed (either due to hardware issues or Android Wear itself).

If Google doesn't abandon AndroidWear before releasing 2.0, let's hope things get better.

Comment Re:Init alternatives (Score 1) 321

In my experience, Slackware is a lot (very noticeably) faster than Fedora on the same HW. I don't know whether it is due to systemd or SELinux or something else entirely, but if you need raw speed, then you seriously should consider going back to basics.

Fedora would have been well served by following Debian's DashAsBinSh project back in the day. Post-kernel boot times might have been cut by up to a half or so, thus dulling the argument for systemd to begin with.

Comment Re:Init alternatives (Score 1) 321

It isn't so much that "old is bad" as that the new is more likely to have been designed with modern paradigms in mind. Despite your dismissal, parallelism in particular is important, especially as Linux has taken a role as the embedded OS of choice for smart devices and cheap laptops.

Linux was succeeding quite well in the non-RTOS embedded space and with cheap hardware long before systemd came around. And an embedded device (aka, an appliance) is precisely where you want the MOST deterministic functioning. You don't just randomly through a bunch of parallelized shit in there and hope systemd all figures it out for you.

The fact remains that the previous init harness was perfectly reasonable. People that needed service management, socket launching, and other functions had options in daemontools, inetd/xinetd, runit, and myriad other tools out there, while rc (on BSD) or the chkconfig-controlled symlinks in rc.d gave structured sanity to the set of deterministic instructions a machine needed at boot.

Systemd's writers forcefully shoved all that aside in favor of a one-size-fits-all strategy that people had to accept whether they liked it or not, and once it was in place, they did everything they could to burn the bridges back to other paradigms.

Comment Re:Based Gentoo (Score 1) 321

yay gentoo! Its very easy to avoid that systemd garbage. I'm not just bandwagoning here, I have to setup RHEL7 for a very large company because they wanted to stay with RedHat. It was hell on wheels. RHEL7.1 was a slight improvement but still not enough to ever consider it again.

I would kill for a systemd-free rebuild of RHEL, but it doesn't seem like there's enough of a push to be able to make it happen with some sort of plausible enterprise ability. It wouldn't be that hard -- basically take RHEL7 and stick RHEL6's initscripts and startup system onto it -- but it wouldn't be "EL7", which is important.

A systemd-free version of Fedora is tricker, if only because LP and friends have succeeded in burning as many bridges as possible within the base install away from any other init paradigm. Good job, guys. I hope you rot.


Google's New Public NTP Servers Provide Smeared Time (googleblog.com) 179

Google says it has built support for the leap second into the time servers that regulate all Google services. An anonymous reader shares a blogpost by Google:No commonly used operating system is able to handle a minute with 61 seconds, and trying to special-case the leap second has caused many problems in the past. Instead of adding a single extra second to the end of the day, we'll run the clocks 0.0014% slower across the ten hours before and ten hours after the leap second, and "smear" the extra second across these twenty hours. For timekeeping purposes, December 31 will seem like any other day. All Google services, including all APIs, will be synchronized on smeared time, as described above. You'll also get smeared time for virtual machines on Compute Engine if you follow our recommended settings. You can use non-Google NTP servers if you don't want your instances to use the leap smear, but don't mix smearing and non-smearing time servers.

Facebook Is Bringing Games Like Pac-Man, Space Invaders To Messenger and Your News Feed (techcrunch.com) 22

Facebook is launching Instant Games, "a new HTML5 cross-platform gaming experience" that is available on Messenger and Facebook News Feed for both mobile and web users. Since they're built on the HTML5 mobile web standard, the games load in seconds and don't need to be downloaded. Instant Games is available in 30 countries and launches with 17 games "from classic developers like Bandai Namco, Konami, and Taito as well as newer studios like Zynga and King," writes Josh Constine via TechCrunch: The biggest draw of Instant Games is how quick you can start playing. You tap the game controller icon in one of your message threads, choose a game from the list, it loads in seconds, you play a short round, and your high score gets automatically posted to the private or group chat thread. You can even share a stylized high score screenshot that you can Doodle on top of like Snapchat to trash talk your opponents. And if you share a game to the News Feed, friends can jump right into the action from Facebook's app or website. For now, the platform is in closed beta, but developers can apply to build Instant Games here.

Comment Bad for the UK, but good for the world (Score 5, Insightful) 394

I think this is something that will ultimately hurt a lot of innocent people in the UK over the coming years.

However, it will also help the Internet mature with new encryption and canary protocols, and more ubiquitous deployment of them, to ensure privacy and protection from all threats.

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