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Comment Re:Sad but unavoidable (Score 1) 150

Do you think there's a difference between "can run" and "runs stable and performing"?

Semantically, sure, but the AOSP builds for the Nexus phones are stable and performant. The differences between AOSP and the official Google firmware images are mainly skin-deep, in the form of UI themes and preinstalled apps. In other words, things which do not require a great deal of work to port to each new version of Android.

Are you trying to tell me the Nexus system image is exactly the same as AOSP?

Google has their own customizations and add-ons just like the other manufacturers. You can build and install fully functional AOSP images on Nexus devices, but they don't ship with stock AOSP. However, Google's changes are layered on top of the system using the AOSP mechanisms designed for that purpose, which reduces the porting effort considerably compared to other phones which need proprietary binary drivers (and thus specific kernel versions) and deep modifications to core AOSP components.

Comment Re:Sad but unavoidable (Score 1) 150

Since you obviously know more about this and I, maybe you could let me know what big name smart phones or Android devices are built in this manner. Please make it one that has shipped 100k's of units.

The Nexus line of smartphones has over 100k units sold (more like millions, actually) and can run AOSP out of the box with no patches.

Comment Re:Is this legal? (Score 1) 193

I suspect legally companies are free to tweet anything they want as long as they don't include terms specifically trademarked by the IOC, much as advertisers referred to the Superbowl as "the big game" instead of the trademarked "Superbowl" term.

Even if they did use the trademarked terms, the use of trademarks for purely descriptive purposes is not trademark infringement, whether or not you have the trademark holder's permission. Trademarks only exist to prevent confusion, not to censor discussion.

Calling your own event "the Superbowl"—trademark infringement.

Accurately referring to the Superbowl as "the Superbowl"—not infringement.

Comment Re:Sad but unavoidable (Score 1) 150

Every single change you made in the previous release needs to be ported to the new release and tested. And it's more likely than not that the files have changed and it's not simply applying a patch. If you are unlucky, the kernel changes and you need updated version of your drivers. Sometimes you don't even have the source for those so you need to go contract with chip maker or a 3rd party to rework the drivers.

This is why you upstream everything and choose hardware with open-source drivers. If you have to apply proprietary in-house patches to get the latest AOSP running on your device, you're doing it wrong.

Comment Re:It's not money (Score 1) 149

Gold is rare. The argument is null.

The situation described was that one was offered a handful of gold or a handful of seeds. Under those circumstances gold could not be considered rare. In any case its rarity is orthogonal to its utility as a raw material.

You're only proving my point that gold only develops value in the context of a society/economy (i.e. your trade) that can provide the basics of survival and has the sophistication to turn the gold into a useful tool.

The same could be said of the seeds—or did you think that the knowledge of how to grow, preserve, store, and prepare a proper harvest from a handful of seeds somehow comes by instinct? That, too, is a form of technology learned by society over a very long period of trial and error. Without that knowledge acquired from society you might manage a single meager meal, provided the seeds are of an edible variety.

You need to define "easily." Because most people don't have spare metal extruders lying around or the parts and skill to assemble one.

It doesn't take a great deal of capital equipment to draw wire, and gold has a relatively low melting point. A deserted island would most likely have everything you need provided it's survivable at all. Gold sheets are even simpler and can be hammered out with rocks if you're patient enough.

Comment Re:It's not money (Score 1) 149

Gold is not an appropriate material to make clothes or shelter.

You could if it weren't so rare. Gold can easily be extruded into fine thread and woven into cloth, or hammered into thin sheets to make walls or shingles. It's a very versatile material. We don't use it this way because an all-gold suit would require at least a few million dollars' worth of gold, not because the material properties of gold make it unsuitable.

Or another way to think of it... if you were stranded alone on an island with no hope of rescue and trying to survive, which would you prefer to have: a handful of gold or a handful of viable seeds for crops?

If this is a one-time either/or proposition, obviously the seeds. Gold has no nutritional value and little else matters when faced with the prospect of starvation. Given a more flexible situation, however, I might be willing to trade some of those seeds for an equivalent volume of gold for the sake of making tools. As a raw material it's highly ductile, malleable, conductive, and corrosion-resistant; I'm sure I could find some practical use for it even without any prospect of trade.

Comment Re:TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 3, Informative) 228

Why is my phone not protected because I used a fingerprint while your phone is because you used a passcode?

The phone is not legally protected in either case. If they can find a way in, they can use the data. What is protected in the latter case is the fact that you know the passcode. If there is anything incriminating on the device then knowing the passcode which unlocks it would be tantamount to an admission of guilt. (Note that the passcode is generally not protected if they can separately prove that you have the ability to unlock the device, since at that point you would not be revealing anything incriminating.)

The principle behind the prohibition on self-incrimination is that no one who has not already proven guilty should be placed in a catch-22 where their only options are to confess their guilt or be punished for failing to do so. Allowing records to be taken of your physical characteristics does not even amount to providing testimony, much less testifying against yourself.

Comment Re: TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 228

And if they compel me to provide fingerprints ... it should be up to them to convert my fingerprint into a useful tool to actually unlock the phone.

Sorry, but that's simply not a reasonable restriction. If they can compel you to provide fingerprints, they can compel you to provide them by placing your finger(s) on the scanner of the iPhone they already seized as evidence. There is no rational cause to limit fingerprint collection to ink transfers on paper, or their own imaging equipment.

At most you could argue that the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone cannot be trusted to uniquely identify its user. That would be a difficult argument to win at the best of times, however, and they may just want access to the data—either because they already know that it's your device or because they expect to be able to prove as much from the contents once it's unlocked.

A reasonable case could be made for limiting the number of times one can be required to provide one's fingerprints. Two or three times per finger would probably be sufficient; much more than that would be unduly burdensome. If they want to brute-force a system requiring both a password or PIN and a fingerprint simultaneously they'll need to come up with something more imaginative than making the suspect put their finger on the scanner repeatedly for the hours/years/centuries/eons it would take to stumble onto the right code.

Comment Re: Eugenics (Score 2) 93

Well that is now but wait till political and financial considerations come into effect. I mean if you have to deal with a budget the way your decisions are made will change. For example a person who is lazy or has a slightly increased risk of getting a depression or disease that is expensive to treat will be undesirable in your eyes. Not to mention entire feared ethnic groups.

Eugenics is not only morally bad, it is evolutionarily shortsighted too. Eugenics says for example, that a person born with a condition that prevents them from walking should not reproduce. But then what if that person also has a separate gene that makes them super smart? With eugenics, the intelligence gene is lost. With gene editing the person can fix the walking defect and have offspring such that the intelligence genes propagate.

With gene editing people with obviously bad traits can still reproduce. We won't get any closer to solving the slippery slope issue but as everyone chooses the intelligence genes someone in the future can solve it.

Comment Re:Eugenics (Score 4, Insightful) 93

Uh, gene editing is totally different than eugenics which literally prevented people with traits that were considered "undesirable" from reproducing. Eugenics involves infringing on someone's right to reproduce. Gene editing however is no different than choosing an green eyed partner because you want your kids to have that trait. Is that wrong? With gene editing you can choose a brown eyed partner and get an green eyed kid. It's not evil. You can have a kid with a black woman and your kids can still look white. Anyway, it's not eugenics. A person has the right to change their own genes. How can you tell me I can't change my own DNA? If I can change my own DNA, then why can't I change the DNA of my offspring as long as the offspring is not deliberately injured or made to suffer by it. You wanna talk about risk, what about women over 40 who have kids? That risks the baby to all kinds of stuff. While I don't advocate using CRISPR this early for gene editting this early. Long term, I see nothing morally or ethically wrong with using it once the technology is proven to be lower risk than say a woman having a baby after age 38.

You have no right to tell me that I can't change my DNA and, in addition, you can't tell me I can't fix any broken genes in my kids -- unless it is a trait deliberately to hurt them. I mean you have no right to tell me how to raise my kids either, unless it is child abuse. It should be the same way with gene editing.

Comment hashing and salting (Score 1) 30

Hashing and salting makes your breakfast taste better ... but for you shouldn't use the same salt for every password.

You have to use a UNIQUE SALT for every password and then have a WORK FACTOR of some large number (use the bcrypt library). That makes it much harder to crack all the passwords in the database because the attacker can't make a thing called a rainbow table easily .. which is basically a list of possible passwords hashed with the salt. Oh yeah when they enter the password check that the user doesn't use any of the top 100 passwords and patterns (ie, company name or username derivative a password etc.). First, after 3 bad tries (make sure you're saving the count on the server by updating the DB with the number of consecutive failed attempts -- dont track it with a cookie or session) on a username display a reCAPTCHA challenge. Second, if they do the reCAPTCHA but can't get the right password after 3 more tries .. then lock the account at least temporarily. The reason for displaying a reCAPTCHA before locking accounts is to make it harder for someone to write a script that locks out all your users. People should be using password managers nowadays anyway (they are built into the browsers right).

Comment Re:QL'EB? (Score 1) 420

EVERY device sold is carrier locked

That shouldn't be a problem so long as the SIM cards are from the same carrier. Moreover, I know that statement isn't true universally because I bought my own phone with no carrier lock (a Nexus 5 purchased directly from Google). There may be markets where it's impossible to buy unlocked phones, in which case your only realistic option is to move somewhere less oppressive.

Especially if you want to be able to use a phone number as well which doesn't change with each SIM swap.

That is a bigger problem. I'm not sure whether the dual-SIM phones are capable of using both SIM cards at once, one for voice and one for data. If not, the only option would be to get some mobile WiFi hotspots and use those instead of mobile data. While not exactly cheap, they would more than pay for themselves in avoided overage charges within the first month.

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