Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Android = trash (Score 1) 232

I wasn't "being stupid". This is a discussion about the Steak 7, which is a tablet. The post I replied to was about the Xoom, which is a tablet. I referenced the Transfomer and the PlayBook, which are tablets.

There's no conflation of the two going on.

And yes, you're right to note that, while Android works very well on phones, it's been, well, let's be honest, a commercial failure on tablets, with even the best-of-breed examples competing on price and selling only when they hit fire-sale pricetag levels, and that the reason isn't due to marketing or consumer stupidity, but because the product really hasn't been very competitive, and that's the fault of Google and the OEMs.

And no, that's not the case with Android phones because the OEMs seem to try harder and Google's offering doesn't have that "premature" feeling.

Comment Re:Android = trash (Score 2) 232

350,000 Android devices being activated each day

Those are mostly phones, not tablets. I actually quite like most Android phones, but the tablet experience has not been a good one (I'm on my second, now, a Xoom, after the failure that was the Optimus Pad). Android fans need to be honest with themselves: the product was rushed out the door by Google, and made worse by OEM incompetence/indifference/opportunism.

I am hoping ICS helps out, but I was not at all impressed with Honeycomb, to the point where I thought the PlayBook was a better experience for casual use.

Comment Re:Android = trash (Score -1, Flamebait) 232

All the other companies like.... who?

Asus shipped a fair number of Transformers (where "a fair number" is "an order of magnitude or more less than Apple) but that's it. Most of the Android tablets are commercial failures, and the top-selling tablet, aside from, well, you know, is the HP TouchPad. I suspect the PlayBook (which sells about what the Xoom does, FWIW) might take that title next.

I'd also add that many Android tablets wouldn't sell at all were it not for the carrier-contract offsets and occasional firesale.

I'd blame Google and the OEMs for this. Honeycomb was kind of, well, unpleasant out of the box, and the hack-job systems integration done by the OEMs only made matters worse.

Comment Re:Touch lag (Score 1, Interesting) 218

No, most of the Android tablets that are more or less on-par with the iPad feel draggy and occasionally glitch. You might not notice, but just about every reviews, and lots of consumers, do.

On some tablets, it's so bad that I can't imagine anyone actually used it before they kicked it out the door. They just checked off boxes on a feature sheet and called it a day. I mean, these are web-browsing devices first and foremost---what does it say when you can barely type into some web forms and the browser feels unpleasant to use.

About the closest to the iPad is RIM's PlayBook. It doesn't have the draggy interface problem. It does have other issues, lots of them, but in RIM's defense they got the fundamentals right. Android, especially on tablets, is shaping up a lot like Windows Mobile: a negligent parent company, a number of stack'em-high-and-sell'em-cheap OEMs and, occasionally, a pigheaded carrier thrown into the mix.

I'm hoping Google's acquisition of Motorola forces the other OEMs to up their game.

Comment Re:It's the apps (Score 3, Informative) 396

Panel might be doable, but Compiz needs to be shot. Honestly, most of the problems I have with video and 3D playback on Linux are fixed by "turn off Compiz". I'm personally glad it's impossible to port it GNOME3, and I worry that Ubuntu is going to choke for basing so much of Unity on it.

I don't think I've ever gotten tear-free playback on Compiz with nVidia or ATI drivers. On Mutter it worked, first go, no screwing around with two different sync-to-vblank options that don't work, no wrong refresh rates. Just video playback on par with Windows or MacOS.

Comment Re:Have you actually tried to use GNOME 3? (Score 4, Insightful) 396

In all honesty, have you actually tried to use GNOME 3?

All the time.

So much so that I find myself tapping the Windows key in every other OS and wishing it would show me all open windows. Whoever thought that one out is brilliant: hit the key, boom, there's everything you're running, hit it again, boom, back to the original window, if you don't select one of the others. Hit it, boom, all windows again, pick one, boom, it's there. Hit it again, close a few, hit it, boom, back where we were.

Brilliant. Beats the snot out of alt-tabbing and the myriad of Expose ripoffs.

GNOME3 has some significant rough edges (some config options aren't exposed, the font size choices in the list of apps is troublesome, NetworkManager is messed up and notification is whack, hard dependencies on Evolution in Fedora bug the hell out of me) but there's some really, really good ideas there.

What I've found is that, well, people don't like change. I admit it made me uncomfortable, but I also found I didn't get fed up fighting little idiosyncracies like I do with KDE, or the sense that it's really, really under-developed (Unity). It was a few days of "huh" and then it worked.

Comment Re:We B OS (Score 2) 226

It's not the gruntwork of rasterizing---I agree you could write a decent rasterizer that isn't a buggy piece of crap. The problem was that people are complaining about huge printer driver sizes, and part of the reason is the rasterizer/interpreter needs to be included.

The other point is that, well, on-host rasterization is usually a trait of poor-quality printers. It's not a direct correlation, just a harbinger, and it's not the fault of on-host rasterization, but if you avoid it and get printers that do this on-device you'll get a smaller driver and a better printer. You'll just pay more for it.

Comment Re:We B OS (Score 5, Informative) 226


The cheaper printers are just that: cheap. They offload most of the rasterization onto the host PC, have no job control features and are generally awful. Ethernet-capable printers usually, but don't always, help, because printer makers are shovelling out some awful crap.

You can still get small print drivers for HP's modern printers. The problem is that those printers are expensive, but then again, so were the "Good ol' days" printers they replaced.

Here's a tip: check to see if the printer supports PJL (not just PCL) and/or PostScript (or a compatible derivative, like Kyocera's KPDL). If it supports PJL and/or PS, you can be guaranteed a) that the drivers will be small, b) that the printer will work pretty well, and c) that you'll pay for the privilege of A and B.

Comment Re:Want Privacy? Get your own BES (Score 5, Insightful) 478

Agreed. If you want absolute privacy, your own BES is the way to go.

And you can get BES Express for free (you lose some of management policies, but the core security stuff is there) though you'll need a mail/calendaring/contact server to hook it up to, which means (if you want to avoid Exchange) probably VMware's Zimbra.

Comment Re:Everybody should have the weapons (Score 0) 358

I have a question: other than nationalising it's industry, exactly why is Venezuela lumped in with North Korea or Libya. Hugo Chavez is no angel, not by a longshot, but in the bastard rankings him, and his government, aren't particularly awful. Heck, there are much worse people whose boots we'll happily lick.

It's rather telling that a petroleum-producing state, and especially one in the western hemisphere, that shows a little backbone and follows the "wrong" economic doctrine, gets a disproportionate amount of scorn. I think it well and truly freaks out many American politicians, and the business interests that back them, that governments like Venezuela's can exist; governments that decide they don't feel like playing by the rules of the international economic game.

Comment Re:Intel's Software Experience...Graphics (Score 2) 151

Even if they develop their own graphics chip for tablet use, it'll a) probably be enough for what you'd do on a tablet (seriously: on a desktop PC, for anything except gaming, Intel's stuff is good enough), and b) it depends on how well the software's done, anyway (case in point: on many recent Linux distros, and again, unless you're gaming, Intel's chipsets provide a better overall experience than much more capable nVidia or ATI hardware).

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.