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Comment Re:Good Riddance? (Score 1) 85

Apple doesn't have anywhere near enough capital to go private, and I doubt they're going be able to borrow more because they already have a lot of debt. Their stock would have to seriously decline first.

Actually, Apple doesn't have a lot of debt. In fact, the only reason they have debt is because it's cheaper to borrow the money than repatriate it. The interest rate on that money is around 1-2%. If they repatriated that cash, they would lose 40% of it to Uncle Sam.

Comment Re:Mobile Atom was a dead-end anyway (Score 1) 130

The big selling point for Atom is that it's almost as efficient as ARM but it runs REAL WINDOWS with all those x86 programs we love. What killed the market for Atom is that people aren't that eager to have Windows on portable devices. Intel went through contortions to implement all the x86 instructions on low-power chip, to support all the legacy software that's written for x86. But with iOS and Android, ARM seems to have all the apps that people want, and they just don't pine for the legacy stuff.

Well, I love my atom-based tablet that came with Windows 8.1 and upgraded to Windows 10. For $100, it does a lot more than a $100 Android tablet (I use an iPad), and being able to just run Win32 stuff (or even Win16 stuff!) is a dream.

What was surprising is how peppy that little chip is - it won't beat my i7 desktop, but for on the go stuff, it works surprisingly well. The only downsides is that 1GB of RAM and limited storage (yes, it has an SD slot, but SD is sloowwww)

Heck, I bought a couple more Atom based PCs - a Lenovo Think Stick and a Kangaroo mobile desktop, both of which were obtained for $100 and $150. Cheap micro desktop PCs.

And yes, I love the ability to run old software on it - I mean, you can play MP3s on any device, but you can't run WinAmp and all the plugins on just any tablet. I wonder how BlueStacks would run on it for the quick Android fix ...

Comment Necessary but not sufficient (Score 1) 47

Benchmarks are necessary, but not sufficient way to test things.

The reason for benchmarks is simple - you want a scientifically repeatable test that can be used to compare things with each other. This limits the benchmark's utility as a real-world test because it's inherently limited in what it can test. All it gives is how your thing measures up to all the other things out there. And yes, benchmarks will be gamed, doesn't matter the field (see VW, Mitsubishi and everyone else with diesel engines). However, that doesn't mean their utility is null - it's a comparison tool. Just like how your fuel consumption figures are based on somewhat unrealistic test scenarios, they're like that because they have to be repeatable and comparable.

But on devices which are complex, a benchmark will never cover all the use cases and will never cover everything.

(E.g., an audio amplifier is really simple and a benchmark can cover everything because its job is to increase signal strength, so all you need as a benchmark is how far the output waveform deviates from the input waveform. But a preamp that say corrects for room deficiencies cannot be tested by benchmarks alone because its too complex).

So for complex measurements (or things not fully quantifiable, e.g., "image looks better" or "clearer" or "faster", then you need more tests.

Although, for the imaging system a benchmark should be good enough - as all it needs to do is take a photo of a calibration chart and measure the final photo output for errors. Other aspects like lag can be measured as well. In which case if they produce the same results, they should be just as good. (This will be analyzing the image itself internally or via the same screen). If the S7 images are "more vibrant" then perhaps it's the screen itself since OLEDs are known to oversaturate and produce nice looking, but completely color inaccurate photos.

Comment Re: Sounds like a good time to get in on the game (Score 1) 140

No, this is NOT about ClearChannel's revenue, it's about the fact that the 100w station's signal wanders for a far wider, uncontrolled range, then interfering with the fringes of others that have paid for lots of engineering plans, capital infrastructure, and the operational expenses in hopes of a profit from their station.

If that is true, then the licensed station takes it up with the FCC who goes and finds said pirate radio station.

It's how it's always worked. Most licensed stations use hundreds of kW to transmit (which is why you can pick up a signal pretty much anywhere with even the crappiest of radios), and as long as you're sticking with the broadcast band, you're not going to interfere with non-broadcast licensed services like aircraft (unless you have a terrible transmitter).

FM also has what's called the "capture effect" - if you have two FM stations on the same frequency, the one you hear is the more powerful signal and it acts like the other signal doesn't exist. (It's why aircraft use AM - stepping on another transmission results in a squeal on the receiver).

And pirates intentionally check to make sure their coverage area doesn't interfere - less chance of getting caught if you're not interfering with licensed services. At best, they'd interfere with low-power FM (which are unlicensed, but not pirate stations that transmit with low power for a small area). But with LPFM, the rules are still the same - it's still unlicensed.

Comment Re:Important to note: the GPL is NOT being used! (Score 1, Insightful) 30

Oh Bullshit, the only freedom the GPL limits is the freedom to be a commercial leach and sell other people's work as your own. If you don't want to play by the GPL rules, fine, don't, but quit whining about losing freedoms that you never had.

Said the GPL fanatic who loves to leech BSD code as well.

It's probably worse because GPL locks up the BSD code - any improvements made to the BSD code cannot be contributed back to the original project!

So maybe it should be less about "closed source leeching" and more about "GPL leeching" as well. Because at least Microsoft and other closed-source companies either contribute, or don't. GPL code makes improvements that cannot be integrated back whilst claiming superiority. And parading the modified code as a big F-U to the BSD folks

Always notice how GPL always claims "closed source exploitation" and not "GPL exploitation"? I think this attitude is worse than just Microsoft etc. "leeching"..

Comment Re:Winamp (Score 1) 255

Yes iTunes is bloated piece of crap and I never let my iOS device go near it.

Which is a shame because iTunes gives iOS a couple of advantages over Android.

First, encrypted backups through iTunes backup EVERYTHING. Authentication information (which is omitted on non-encrypted backups for obvious reasons) is backed up, as is a bunch of stuff Apple would rather not have on their servers where government can obtain it by warrant.

Having a local backup is good - iCloud backs up the bare minimum - just the stuff Apple won't mind holding for you. iTunes normal backups back up more stuff since they include stuff Apple rather not have on their servers. Encrypted backups are best for they include everything.

The second reason is app backups. Apps disappear from the iTunes store all the time - either the developer fails to renew their iOS development certificate, the app is pulled or the developer pulls it. If you don't have a local backup of the IPA file, then if you delete the app, you can't get it back.

But if you back up the IPA file locally, then even if it's removed from the store, you can reinstall it on your devices at will.

But that's really the entire utility of iTunes nowadays that's actually useful.

Comment Re:Apples and Persimmons (Score 1) 211

It looks pretty good for the money. You can of course run other operating systems on it. Linux, certainly, maybe even Windows. As a Linux machine it's pretty cheap for the spec.

Actually... no. The default Chromebook loader can only boot Linux. There is no BIOS unless the boot firmware includes one (e.g., the Chromebook Pixel included SeaBIOS). This is required if you want to boot... Windows.

Even then, it's a nasty hack - while you can do it, only geeks will be satisfied with the result. Basically, every time you boot it up (including reboots), its going to wait 30 seconds while it says the system is insecure. After 30 seconds, it'll display a screen asking for a recovery USB or SD card. So in those 30 seconds you need to hit a key combo to proceed to boot (Ctrl-D or something).

This will be fine for most /. users, but as a "cheap laptop" solution for the general public... not so much. Needing to hit the key command within a certain period of time is probably going to be the biggest sticking point.

By default, ChromeOS is designed to be locked down so people can use it to browse the web in safety without worrying that something is doing to install something that will destroy their computer, or spy on them, etc. They make great machines to do internet banking with as you can be reasonably assured they have no malware or other thing spying on you. But that also makes life difficult if you want to use it in unsecured open mode.

Comment Re:"Unlimited nights and weekends" (Score 2) 138

* they shouldn't be allowed to charge per GB without offering better tools for their users

"they" shouldn't provide the tools at all.

NIST or equivalent body should be generating the standards for measuring traffic use, and if Comcast wants to charge per-GB, they need to provide everyone with a NIST-calibrated and certified meter. Just like your water meter, your gas meter, your electric meter has calibration stamps and seals to indicate that yes, what they measure is accurate.

That meter should have a 0-cost way of reading it - i.e., a display showing how much you've used.

Until that is satisfied, there is no way to do this properly.

Think about it for a moment. There is no standard way to measure a byte. is it 1TB or 1TiB? What bytes are you including? TCP/IP headers and above? Or are you going to toss in DOCSIS headers as well? (your cellphone provider typically includes OTA packet headers and SI prefixes in their plans - the former adds around 10% overhead on average, the latter, well, you know).

Also, will there be a way to disconnect? If you're being DDoS'd, it's going to be annoying to pay for that kind of traffic, so if there is a way to disconnect and incur 0 usage...

Thus, if you're going to sell something on a per-anything, you need to make sure your measurement tools follow a standard.

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 72

It makes the ethics of what he did a bit less clear to me. He spent years telling people how to be secure on Tor, then spent a few more unmasking those who didn't listen.

No, I think that's actually perfectly valid.

Because if you want to protect your anonymity, you have to take steps to do so. Tor is not a magic bullet, it has known flaws since the beginning (e.g., exit nodes) and doing stupid things will make you readily identifiable.

In fact, too many people are using Tor as a tool improperly - it's like using encryption improperly. You get a false sense of security when in reality you're making yourself plainly visible. Or using HTTPS and storying your passwords in plain text

No, "just use Tor" will not make you magically anonymous, especially if you immediately go and log into Facebook and Amazon and everywhere else. But too many people believe it will and blithely continue using the 'net as if Tor magically anonymizes them.

So demonstrating that people are stupid isn't a crime - in fact it should be published far and wide so people using it know what people can get at.

Submission + - Apple employee commits suicide at HQ (nbcbayarea.com)

tlhIngan writes: Time for Apple to bring in suicide netting on their buildings. An Apple employee was found dead in a conference room early Wednesday morning at Apple's headquarters (1 Infinite Loop). A gun was found nearby. Prior to this discovery, a female Apple employee was escorted out with a head injury. It is believed to be an isolated incident with no further danger to Apple employees or the public.

Comment Re:So, what's the problem here? (Score 1) 171

And what if the Uber car is on the other side of a busy road? Crossing legally at a crosswalk can easily be more than two minutes to walk to the crosswalk, wait for the traffic light to let you cross, then walk to the car.

Or it can easily be more than two minutes to cross in the middle of the street.

And finding the car is hard enough - perhaps there should be a button saying "Where are you" which tells the driver to honk so you can find them. Because looking for them can easily take a good few minutes as well.

Perhaps Uber needs to have drivers do something. Lyft has those pink car moustaches that are easy to see (from the front, they probably need something for the rear).

Comment Re:So stupid (Score 2) 427

It's just the media companies desperately holding on to old sources of revenue instead of trying out new licensing models.

Or it's because exclusivity pays.

I mean, I'm sure they'd love to have worldwide distribution - it's less people to deal with and less people means less middlemen taking profits.

The problem is, the old distributorship model pays quite well - they know if they get exclusivity they can get a lot of money from it, so they pay a lot to the studios.

The problem is if you want to break exclusivity, then the amount they're going to pay you for the content is a lot lower. And that difference is not made up by the additional providers you bring in.

The problem is exclusivity pays a lot more, and the exclusive partners are willing to fight for it.

Take Bell (Canada) for example - the CRTC ruled they can no longer "simsub" (a practice that's really only desirable during US election season) - basically if a Canadian channel is showing the same content as a US channel, then providers (satellite, cable) are required to substitute the Canadian's channel content over the US channel.

Well, as an experiment, the CRTC ruled that simsubbing the superbowl was not going to happen starting in 2017. Bell was upset, being the exclusive distributor for it in Canada (because 95% of Canadians have cable or satellite) and the simsub rules meant anyone turning to NBC would get Bell's version (with Canadian ads).

Personally, I think simsub is just bad policy - it was designed to help CanCon, but I think it really goes against it because it's more profitable for a channel to simsub by airing the same programming as the US than to air Canadian content instead which results in the Canadian content being quite marginalized (until the US picks it up).

Bell is spending millions in lawsuits to overturn this one experiment. Bell spent 20 years in court getting people to not install US satellite dishes in Canada, too (Dish and DirecTV are *illegal* in Canada, even if you pay for them and not use hacked cards or anything!).

Oh yeah, and the Bell CEO speaks out against VPNs, calling them "thieves" for using it to watch US Netflix. She even called her daughter a thief for doing that.

That's the kind of money on the line - and the studios and networks go along with it because there is so much money being thrown around that non-exclusive distributorship would simply make a lot less money.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 109

unless someone winds up in court charged with a crime.

Which is probably what's going to happen. I mean there's only so many times you can do it before some lawyer wises up and will try for "tampered evidence" defense.

At which point the phone will come up and the FBI will have to describe how they cracked the phone. If it ends up with a third party they'd get at those details to make sure there was no chain of custody issues and that the methods used were kosher and won't tamper with evidence.

At which point the method of cracking WILL be public.

Otherwise it might be argued the evidence was tampered with, or chain of custody lost, and thus any subsequent warrants issued with that information were no longer valid and associated evidence.

Heck, a judge found a defendant not guilty despite evidence to the contrary - it's just the evidence was obtained using a Stingray without a valid warrant (there was a warrant issued, but the judge felt it was issued improperly and thus invalid - making the evidence collected without a warrant) and the judge threw out that illegally obtained evidence. The judge certainly *felt* the defendant was guilty, but could not rule that way because there was insufficient leftover evidence.

If any evidence was obtained from cracking a phone that lead to additional searches, tossing the phone's evidence will suddenly mean those warrants were invalid and that evidence gathered is not allowed as well.

Comment Re:Emojis are useful, but Unicode goes too far (Score 3, Interesting) 226

The current set, though, goes way too far beyond that and needs to be mercilessly pruned back. Unicode is not supposed to be a way to incorporate every single image anyone could want as a single character.

And it's not. The reason we have emoji in Unicode should be obvious from the name. The origin of emoji was in Japan, and one of Unicode's goals is to be able to encode all text. So they're incorporating various languages alphabets, then they come across Japanese and put in Kanji. Then they discover that their phones have been sending pictures and had to incorporate those into Unicode. Then they discovered every carrier started having a similar thing but different and had to incorporate those as well. And they've been in Unicode for a while.

Then a silly fruit company had to release a phone, initially in the US, but then also in Japan. But because they were in Japan, they had to add support for this as well. Then a non-Japanese user discovered with a hack they could type poops and such as well, and started sending their friends poops. And their friends wondered how it was done, installed those hacks, and now what was a Japan-only feature was now world-accessible.

And now everyone decided they want their own set of what we now called emojis.

Which meant Unicode now had to incorporate them in order to fulfill its mission to be able to encode every text in it.

Comment Re:Apple is not outdated, its products are mature. (Score 1) 243


Yup, you'll be paying $1.00 a month to store your music in the cloud. You'll be paying $10 a month to listen to music. And whatever other services that Apple can think of (or copy, in order to monetize).

Actually, that's what the CEO was arguing.

He's saying Apple is outdated because the whole "device in your hand that does everything" model is outdated. Network speeds are up, so why not use the cloud to do your processing?

That's his argument - that Apple is bad because they do everything on the phone, and they are good because they are doing everything in the Cloud where there are powerful servers and all that, and sharing data is much easier on the cloud.

Of course, he completely ignores the fact that governments love the cloud. Or that Apple is intentionally trying to move stuff off the cloud to avoid being unwitting parties for the government. He never answers what he would do about San Bernadino - his model would have all the data stored on the esrver, and being a Chinese company, will probably hand it over willingly to the Chinese government...

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