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Comment Re:Spyware (Score 3, Interesting) 109

What you call spyware I call the price I gladly pay for free email, calendar, contact management, search, web browsing, drive space, photo organization, document creation/editing/management, (simple) web site hosting, a mobile device OS, maps, translation, music management, video hosting, messaging, social media (I know), note-taking, and data synchronization.

Comment Re:law abiding (Score 2) 367

When encryption is criminal, only criminals will have encryption?

Screw the federal government. They had their chance when things were unencrypted. They took advantage and spied on people without warrants. Now he says that when warrants are issued, they need to be able to get into encrypted devices? Screw you. You should have played fair when you had the opportunity. Now nobody trusts you, and we'll do everything we can to keep you from our devices, because you've already proven that when given the opportunity, you'll hack into our devices without a warrant.

He wants an adult conversation? They should have acted like adults.

Comment Re:How about we reject the settlement? (Score 1) 232

Yes, today, the Cell gets outclassed by most any GPU. GPU-based computing didn't get popular until just after the Cell came out, though. Back then, the architecture of the Cell was considered the future of computing. Even on the PS3, where you got access to 6 SPEs, times the quadruple-wide (128-bit) registers on the SPEs and the specialized, simplified instruction set that allowed you to do SIMD processing, you could execute floating point math at 24 times the throughput than using traditional computation.

Shortly after the Cell became a topic of interest in academia for its parallel processing capabilities, you saw GPUs coming out with 256 cores, and their instruction sets started allowing for the same sort of SIMD computation that the cell allowed, and the Cell was obsolete.

I was working on my Master's degree in CS at the time, doing some work on the Cell, and I wound up buying a PS3. I was in the market for a game console, and I had a young son at the time. I was trying to decide on whether to buy a Wii or get the PS3. Being able to do some schoolwork on the PS3 is what tipped the scale in favor of the PS3. The PS3 was the only consumer-available system you could get that had the Cell processor. However, I also used it as a game console. So removing OtherOS definitely harmed me. And because I wanted to play games on the PS3, I couldn't not update the system, as games and other features required you to update when there was one available. I readily admit OtherOS wasn't the ONLY reason I got the PS3, but without it, I definitely would have gotten a Wii.

Comment Re: Uninstall would be nice (Score 1) 80

Or at least disable. Some of these apps don't even let you disable them. I know that doesn't actually free up any space if you just disable, but uninstalling doesn't help so much either because these preinstalled apps are on the /system partition, and removing them doesn't give you any more space on your /data partition.

Comment Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (Score 1) 533

So small government = your dollars going to large corporations? Show me where Rand Paul is for corporate welfare of any kind. In fact, the first article I get back on a Google search of Rand Paul corporate welfare is where he's criticizing Republicans for not standing against corporate welfare. Reducing corporate welfare by definition is reducing government.

Comment Re:Clarification (Score 1) 249

But if the app had the SMS group permission when you installed it, it had the ability to do that already. You haven't granted it any additional permission. If the developer only really wanted the ability to read SMS messages, it should have only asked for that in the first place.

I can definitely buy that app developers may get lazy and ask for more permissions than they need because it's more convenient. Let's say a group had 5 permissions, and an app needed 3 of those. The app developer may get lazy and just ask for the whole group instead of the 3 permissions the app really needed.

If a developer gets lazy and asks for more permission than the app needs, that developer should get raked over the coals in the app reviews, and maybe they'll fix their app.

The human component of asking for permissions (both on the developer's end and on the user's end) may be weakened, but the security model itself is no different with permission groups. As far as I can tell, they're not removing the ability to ask for individual permissions, they're just making it easier to ask for collections of permissions.

Comment Clarification (Score 1) 249

Someone tell me if I'm wrong here, but I just read the Google support page discussing the changes, and here's what I came away with.

Permission groups are new. If you grant permission for an app to have access to the features controlled by that permission group, then the app has access to all of them. Using the SMS example, if a developer requested the SMS group permission, the developer is asking you to allow the app to do all the things listed under that group. That would include reading SMS and sending SMS messages, among other things. If an app requested the SMS group, and you installed the app, even if the app previously only read SMS messages, it still had permission to send them. A future update may also send SMS messages, but you've already approved that action by installing and manually approving the previous version of the app. Where it gets dicey is if a new permission were added to a group. For example, if a delete SMS feature were added to the group, I don't think the Google page discusses whether that new permission would need to be approved.

An app developer can still ask for individual permissions, like reading SMS messages. If a future update wanted the ability to send SMS messages, they would still have to ask and the app would not be auto-updated. Or, if the app developer later decided he/she wants to add the SMS group permission request, that download would require manual approval.

I don't think there's anything nefarious going on here. You just need to be aware of what permissions you're granting an app. If you grant an app permission to send SMS messages (whether it's via an explicit request for that ability, or whether that ability is granted via a permissions group), don't get upset when it does send an SMS, even if that feature isn't baked in until a later update. As far as I can tell, no app is being granted permission to do something you haven't already given it permission to do. Except for internet access.

The internet access permission being demoted to a secondary permission, on the other hand, might be cause for worry.

Comment Comparison to traditional bank (Score 2) 704

I, like most of you, have a checking (and savings) account with a traditional bank. That bank has a web site. If that bank's web site gets hacked, my money is at risk. (Forget about FDIC for a second, because there's no reason a bitcoin exchange/online wallet site couldn't provide insurance.) My money could get transferred to another account, then withdrawn before I realize what happened. Why doesn't this happen as often as we hear about these bitcoin exchanges getting robbed? Is it because of regulations? I don't think so. As far as I know, there's no government regulation for "this bank's web site is safe because it implements these technologies we've decided they must implement." It's because the banks know that if their web site's reputation as a secure site becomes tarnished, they're going to lose a lot of customers.

My point is that there's no inherent security enhancement in big banks' web sites just because the banks are regulated and deal in government currency. The reason they're safe is because they've poured a lot of resources into making them safe, and the reason for that is so they don't lose customers. These bitcoin exchanges that are getting robbed obviously were not spending the amount of time and money necessary to ensure their safety. That's it. It has nothing to do with whether they deal with bitcoin or dollars.

Comment I'd like to take this opportunity to pimp my app (Score 1) 146

PhotoSync -

In the app, you specify an SMB share. Any time you take a picture or video, the app will be notified. The next time you're on the same wifi network as your PC, the app will copy the new pictures/videos to the share. Optionally, you can have the app delete the pictures/videos off your phone after a user-defined amount of time after they've been synced, so that you don't run out of space on your phone (unless you set this time threshold longer than it takes to fill up your phone).

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