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Comment I just fired Time Warner. (Score 1) 138

I finally had enough of Time Warner and fired them for video delivery. Fuck them and their abuse of CCI "CopyOnce" flagging that amounts to rent-seeking by eliminating all non-rented choices for a DVR system except for Windows Media Center (EOL) and TiVo (not really your own).

I now have faster internet speeds, and Sling TV for $40/month cheaper, with all the same channels. And I recycled the box I was using for Windows Media Center into an Ubuntu 16 / MythTV box for recording OTA HD programming at far better quality than anything coming over Time Warner, and I have the ability to scan and auto-extract commercials from the recordings.

Time Warner / Charter / Spectrum can go chug raw sewage. Only way I ever go back is with a deep price cut, and the elimination of CCI flag abuse that allows me to continue using MythTV or the like.

Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 1) 91

I meant Android phones in general. Google is the OS maker and forces phone makers to install a lot of Google apps in Android phones. I'd like a Samsung or LG made phone with a "stripped down" Android

Okay, that's not what you wrote. Your question should be directed to Samsung or LG, then, not Google.

I'd also point out that the Nexus 5X is an LG-made phone. Personally, I'd prefer the Huawei-made 6P, or one of the HTC-made Pixels.

Comment Re:How much for a phone without Google's services? (Score 2) 91

Hey Google? How much would you charge for a phone without your services? They can be installed on purchase as long as I'm able to uninstall them.

All devices Google sells come with an unlockable bootloader, so you can unlock and flash a different system that doesn't have the Google stuff. Be sure you re-lock after flashing, otherwise your device can be reflashed with malicious software by anyone who gets hold of it.

So, the price is the cost of buying the device from the Play store, plus a few minutes to unlock and reflash.

Comment Re:The Irony (Score 1) 58

The real irony is that you still don't understand the difference between standards essential patents and design patents after all this time.

If you lobby to include your tech patents into a global communications standard under the premise that those patents would be licensed under Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory terms (which are conditions for inclusion in the standard), and then start asking for unfair, unreasonable, and highly discriminatory licensing terms from certain licensors, then you are a fuckhead company and there will be legal action.

There are absolutely zero design patents that are "standards essential", so Apple can choose to license (or not) on any terms they want. And if these design patents are so damn hard to get around, why is it only Samsung that has been found guilty of violation? LG, HTC, Google, Motorola, etc. are all doing just fine.

Get over it already. Samsung is a proven bad actor. Qualcomm may also be a bad actor - we'll have to wait to see on that one.

Comment Re:I'd love it except I have a kid (Score 1) 91

Except when it comes to convenience, where a phone wins every time.

He says he has a 3 year old - 3 year olds aren't very good at holding a pose or extending a moment while you run around looking for your camera, turn it on, realize the battery is dead so you have to go get another one to put in it, find a memory card because there's never one in the camera, then wait for the auto-focus and take the picture.

Photography on phones is a huge thing because of the convenience - you always have it, it's charged and turned on already. Storage is there already.

Comment Re:Leaf off the air too (Score 2) 127

Touch screens in cars are the dumbest fucking idea that has ever been. There is no tactile feedback, so you have to take your eyes off the road to use the fucking thing. Every time.

I have no idea how they are legal, other than the stupid message that comes up every time you start the car that basically says "don't use this unless you are pulled over and parked." Which nobody does.

BMW spent over a decade to get their iDrive (now ConnectedDrive) system to be what it is today, and it's probably the best-of-breed. Big screen for showing information, and a knob / bump controller / touchpad thing on the center console that you can use with one hand to do practically everything, with your eyes still on the road. And it has shortcut buttons for the most accessed functions, which you can find by feel alone.

It's the way it should be, so that you aren't fiddle-fucking around with a touchscreen instead of paying attention to that idiot in a huge bro-truck that isn't checking his blind spot, and entering your lane.

Comment Re:Industry should not allow patents in standards (Score 1) 58

Because if they don't, then they don't get a standard. Nobody is going to go through the R&D spend without some guarantee of licensing revenues.

Standards bodies deal with this by requiring the patent holder to agree to Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory licensing (FRAND) to get it included in the standard, or they can go pound it. Meaning, you get to charge $0.25 per radio, and everyone that makes a device based on that standard pays the same. Fair, Reasonable, and without discrimination. Not this bullshit where all manufacturers except that one who has patents we want access to, but those patents aren't included in any FRAND standard so we will try to fuck them into a cross-licensing agreement instead of the agreed upon FRAND price, like we've seen of late.

In fact, that's probably what this FTC lawsuit is about!

Comment Re:The US can only do this by Phasing out CDMA. (Score 1) 58

To be fair, he said "carriers", not handset makers.

LTE isn't everywhere, no matter what the carrier marketing says. If you buy a Verizon phone, it has to be able to talk CDMA2000. If you buy AT&T / Sprint / T-mobile, it has to be able to talk GSM. Some handset manufacturers have gone dual-radio to get around this shit, in addition to the idea that a Verizon smartphone shouldn't be a useless lump in other countries not named the United States.

We just saw in another story that AT&T is switching off their UMTS service that the original iPhone used - how long until CDMA goes away and Verizon can recycle that spectrum?

Comment Re:Varied opinions (Score 1) 783

First, I feel that Snowden should actually have his day in court and present his case before anything related to a pardon or commutation is discussed. The American people need to see and hear both his and the government's position and evidence in a more balanced, less sensational environment than the MSM gives us.

The only question that would be debated at trial, or on which any evidence could be presented, is whether or not Snowden stole secrets. The government has overwhelming evidence that he did, including his own repeated admission, to many people, in many forums, many of them recorded and nearly all of them perfectly admissible. There would be no arguments presented as to whether his decision was justified because it was in the public interest, because that has absolutely no bearing on his guilt under the Espionage Act. The only place that would be argued is in his lawyers' appellate pleadings.

So, a trial would do nothing to enable the public to hear the sides. The trial would consist of the government submitting into evidence many pieces of proof of Snowden's act, and Snowden's complete inability to disprove any of it. It's more likely he'd just plead guilty to avoid wasting a court's time -- and making a judge who has to sentence him angry.

Comment Why are there even still DVDs for sale? (Score -1, Troll) 301

My daughter and I were in Costco where they were selling Boxed DVD sets for breaking bad with a very nice cover. We both picked it up thinking it might be some kind of cool Breaking Bad card game or something. We both put our boxes down in revulsion when we saw they were DVDs. Why don't they put out the Breaking Bad soundtrack on 8 Track? Or they might have been BlueRays? We didn't care. They could literally have been free either way and neither of us would have wanted it.

I think at this point DVDs are for sad lonely men who pine for the 90's to come back when having a huge collection of DVDs was something that would generate envy among your sad friends.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 5, Informative) 783

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

Under the offense Snowden has been charged with, they could have a fully public and perfectly fair trial but the outcome would be completely known in advance. The Espionage Act includes no provision for justification as a defense, so the only question to be tried is whether or not Snowden stole secrets, and there's absolutely no question that he did. Snowden's only hopes if he were to be tried are (a) that the trial judge would hand down a very light sentence, (b) to have his conviction appealed to the Supreme Court who might find that the Espionage Act's lack of a public interest defense constitutes an unacceptable infringement of freedom of speech or (c) a presidential pardon. (a) is unlikely because you can be sure the government would pick a "good" judge, and (b) is a crapshoot, and one that would leave him rotting in jail for years until SCOTUS ruled, assuming they ruled in his favor.

Snowden's best move is exactly what he's doing, staying away until some president decides to pre-emptively do (c). His current status likely also positions him better to generate ongoing publicity in opposition to government spying since it makes him a more controversial and/or tragic figure.

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