Why the new Galaxy s6 sucks

No removable storage? Oh, that makes random file transfers on the fly so much more fun! And I love how the limited internal storage space affects how I use my own data.

 

No removable battery? I can go from 1% to 100% in less than 90 seconds with the S5, now I get to be tethered to a charging cable! Added bonus: the battery wears out over time, forcing you to replace the phone. Extra bonus: you need a special charger for their “fast” charging times

 

Samsung, I could give zero cares about the stupid iPhone…since forever. What kind of functional regression game are you playing here? Why do you want toddlers to fawn over how good the phone feels in their hand? Like that is some supreme benchmark of electronics or something while having zero to do with real-world usability.

 

Thanks for nothing.

 

 

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Google Play Store Redesign, Permissions dropped

Google recently updated the design for its online play store. While I can’t find any benefit other than eye candy (It would have been nice to have better search-ability, for example being able to search apps based upon permissions or popularity within certain time constraints) I certainly missed the “Permissions” section. After searching frantically I gave up, bing’ed it and confirmed my fears..parts of them anyway.

UPDATE: The changes go deeper than just this rant, after not being able to sort free/paid apps or relevance/popularity or app categories, lack of downloads in 30 days chart I found this post about ALL the TERRIBLE things (functional regressions) that have changed with the Play store redesign.  From that post user NoWallsPlease gives their perspective:

Don’t forget the Hangouts debacle. There is a consistent pattern here. They are stripping features out of everything and closing everything that was previously open. Very disturbing.

It seems google is trying to be like apple: dumb everything down, like riding a tricycle in a walled-off garden.

Background: app permissions are often why you get apps for free: they sell your identity to advertisers or who ever else might want to pay for that information. Even paid apps do this so getting the paid version isn’t a fail safe. Because I desire a modicum of privacy I ALWAYS check permissions prior to install and app permissions are often a deciding factor in my purchases/installs. Why does a “free” simple game need to know all my contacts and read my SMS, GPS coarse and fine locations? Creepy, especially if the only opt out is to install nothing at all.

app permissions are like the hidden dangers of smoking in the 1950's.

Some things that look good are really a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Sure, you can still see the permissions but you have to click to install first and then review them. This is a setback for privacy because raises the barrier for people wanting to know where their personal information is going. True, most people don’t care but on the other hand most people don’t even know or are too busy so they just trust the app – after all if it was bad why would Google list it in the play store?

This is a setback for security by the same measure. People just don’t have the time (let alone knowledge) to investigate and this makes it even more difficult to spot suspect permissions that may allow trojans/viruses/malware to do god knows what.

Yes, I know the information is semi anonymized but there is no “back” button if an app takes a picture using your camera without your knowledge* and then uploads it to their servers – let alone your facebook friends, status updates, profile info? No thanks. Google already gives paid apps enough information even without any permissions.

Mildly related video (Typical Funny that Microsoft does’nt give an embed code from their scroogled site so I had to find the youtube version:

This seems like a 180 from Google considering to give users the ability to block specific permissions on a per-app basis, lets hope it is rather a stepping stone toward that. In the mean time, root your device and use droidwall if the app will let you.

I am going to speculate that someone at Google got paid a very handsome salary to analyze the user interface and conclude that this change is for the better. Problem is, “better”  according to for-profit corporations generally means higher sales. Is it a coincidence this information is only provided after you have made an initial decision to press that “buy” button? From what I have seen, Computer Human Interaction (CHI)  specialists don’t approach these issues from a customer satisfaction standpoint as it is assumed the Human doesn’t even know what they want.

another blog post about this: http://www.mobileburn.com/21824/news/android-let-down-by-google-play-web-store-redesigned-for-the-worse

 

*technically you knew they could do that (and was ok with that) when you reviewed all the apps permissions and decided to click OK. Reference: South Park's brilliant HUMANCENTiPAD episode.

Intuit stuck “Please wait while we gather your account details”

If you receive the “please wait” message and it never changes, try another browser, try mercahntcenter.intuit.com as a login rather than login.intuit.com – not that it will work because it probably wont but the real solution is:

log into merchant center from within quickbooks.

works instantly, you can find invoices processed the same day whereas if you try online you can’t even see transactions you just processed!

Hope this helps!

Washington State Charter Schools – Failure of our Corporate Sponsors

Well kid, this is the future if you think
Goverment=Bad
Corporations=good

Its a slippery slope we are stepping on by having our corporate overlord wage slave drivers educate us, employ us and entertain us from cradle to grave. Whose interest do you think a for-profit school’s leadership would have close to their heat. kids? WTF? No, profit! The kids might as well be cattle.
Corporate Charter School Slavery arrives In British Classrooms: http://www.disinfo.com/2012/12/corporate-workfare-arrives-in-british-classrooms/

“Launched quietly in 2010, studio schools allow private businesses to run state education for 14 to 19-year-olds with learning ‘on the job’ and not in the classroom.”

read on that and think what good it would do to pay a for profit corporation to take over the education system in washington state!

Olympia, WA legislature – don’t fail us now!

Earthquake near Kamaishi, Japan 7.3 Magnitude

The USGS is reporting a magnitude 7.3 earthquake 23 miles off the coast of Japan, near the previous epicenter that caused the 2011 Tsunami.

earthquake location Kamaishi Japan

screenshot of the USGS reporting location

A Tsunami warning has been issued, we are awaiting reports from our correspondent in Omihachiman, Japan regarding the extent of damage and local response to the quake.

To view it for yourself, here is a link to the location on google Maps.

How to use a DSL Modem with Wifi as an Access Point without DSL

This post is how to add wifi to a wired network if all you have is a modem/wireless/router unit but without a WAN port to plug into, just LAN ports.

I have an actiontec wireless n dsl modem with built in wifi and router capabilities (model GT784WN-01 ), but I dont want to use it as a modem – I want to use it to add a wireless access point for an existing wired network. At first I thought it would be easy to just plug into an existing network cat5 cable into the modem/wifi/router without needing to use the modem part of the unit. Not so tru but it can be done, at least with my model.

Here is the trick: Disable DHCP, otherwise the router side of the modem is trying to hand out network addresses and this mucks up the whole process of multiple DHCP servers on your network handing out conflicting IP addresses.

This took me a couple hours to figure it out, I have to give credit to this forum postin on using a modem/router as an AP at dslreports.com (an awesome website by the way) specifically, this entry with step by step instructions. awesome

anyhow, on actiontec modems you will find the DHCP settings under the “ADVANCED” menu tab, picture below of what you are looking for (at least on my version)

By the way, this modem/wifi/router is terrible according to newegg reviews for many reasons. I should have never bought it but for wifi it seems to be okay. Among many gripes, there are security issues with ports being open if used as a modem.

screenshot of actiontec GUI for DHCP

goto advanced setup and turn off DCHP, you can see the radio button at the bottom of this screenshot . the scroll down and hit apply. DONE!

Hope this helps someone, this is one of those posts I make just for my future personal reference to make wireless Ethernet bridges (as well as to burn it into my memory. If it helped you, drop me a comment – all are much appreciated!