* Posts by Selden

37 posts • joined 5 Feb 2013

You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Selden

Aside from the sheer unlikelihood of this scenario, no mention of Chromebooks. Even if someone can reflash the BIOS, everything stored on a Chromebook is encrypted, so there is no data vulnerability. The worst that can happen is the that thief powerwashes it, which destroys all data, then sets it up for his own use.

Reference: https://chrome.googleblog.com/2011/07/chromebook-security-browsing-more.html

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Selden

While I am, in general, a fan of most things Google, and I generally dislike Android, this is a welcome development. Bonne chance Gäel Duval!

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

Selden

Re: And that....

I'm not sure that you are in a minority; these gadgets appeal to techies, whose numbers may be over-estimated. I know many people who can't even figure out how to pair a Bluetooth speaker (and still more who have no idea what Bluetooth is).

For me, they are solutions in search of problems. So far, I have not found any problems for which they are more effective than older tech.

Your car may indeed be promiscuous, as I have never experienced what you report. BT pairing with a phone is genuinely useful technology in an automobile, as I can take calls while driving with no more distraction than listening to the radio (which shuts off during a phone call). If a technology improves my life I will use it; if it doesn't, I won't.

Selden

Still Unimpressed with IoT

As an experiment in new tech, I picked up a Google Home at a sale price when they first came out. On Google's product support forum many people complain about the "Hey Google" or "OK Google" trigger phrase, but it's a lot less likely to be triggered by mistake (unless a Google ad is playing that says "OK Google").

The only thing I use my GH for is to stream music from Pandora (ironically, it doesn't work well with my Google Play Music library). It sits on the headboard of my bed, and sound quality is good at close range (less than 12" from my ears), and it's marginally convenient to tell it to turn off the music at a set time, or tell it to stop when I'm ready to sleep.

After 18 months, I still don't see the point of the entire IoT product fad, including voice-activated devices, and I find the entire concept of IoT devices virtually useless. I set up a switch controlled by the GH, but it wasn't worth the effort. Elsewhere in my house I have motion-activated light switches, which work better, cost less, and work if there is an internet outage. Nothing in my experiences persuades me that IoT is a solution in search of a problem.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Selden

Far from an evolutionary dead end, my LG flip phone is serving me well. I have dropped it countless times (even on to brick and concrete) without harm, it runs for ~7 days on a charge, and to answer a call, I flip the lid open with my thumb and say "Hello."

It makess a far better telephone than any smart phone I have seen or used, and it only cost $15.

Black Horse Down: Lloyds Banking Group goes TITSUP*

Selden

ATMs running XT?

In the United States, an alarming percentage of ATMs are still running Windows XT. Is the situation any better in the UK?

So the 'Year of Linux' never happened. When is it Chrome OS's turn?

Selden

@Anonymous Coward : You have a reasonable take on the situation. Despite Michael Allison's contention that Android "is the more successful of the two – running on more than two billion mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets" sheer numbers are only one measure. Android is still a piece of crap. Chromebooks can run Android apps now, but I have little incentive to do so; if there is a Chrome OS alternative to an Android app, I will almost always go with the Chrome OS version. It's difficult to express how much I loathe Android.

PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

Selden

From the Gartner report:

"The Chromebook market has been growing much faster than the overall PC market. Gartner does not include Chromebook shipments within the overall PC market, but it is moderately impacting the PC market. Worldwide Chromebook shipments grew 38 percent in 2016, while the overall PC market declined 6 percent."

With Chromebook sales are on fire, it's not unreasonable to assume that they are a significant factor for the reported "PC" sales drop. Add in Chromebooks, and there may be no drop at all.

I bought a Samsung Chromebook Plus from Best Buy last March, in a promo that offered $50 credit for any "laptop" in working order. I brought in an old Chromebook, and had to argue with the Best Buy salesman, because their database only included Windows laptops.

Remix OS: China's take on an Android operating system – but for PCs

Selden

Correction: Jide's first product was not the Mini, but the Ultra Tablet, which physically was a rather shameless knockoff of Microsoft's Surface, but running Remix OS. It's a pretty decent convertible, but the irony is that nearly a year after being shipped, there is still no OTA release of Remix OS 2.0 for the Ultra Tablet.

Don't bother buying computers for schools, says OECD report

Selden

Recently, I have been involved as a volunteer with teaching refugees (many barely literate in their own languages) how to work with computers, and it has been an eye opening experience. I am also a Top Contributor in Google's Chromebook forum, and see questions from people who can't even figure out how to copy a file (or in at least two cases, find the enter key, even though it's labeled "enter."

The reality of our 21st century world is that it's nearly impossible to function without exposure to these devices, so they need to be in schools. At least in the USA, many children do not have computers (or internet access) at home, and school or the public library (if they even have one) is the only place they are going to get such contact. Using a keyboard, mouse, and operating system are fundamental skills needed to survive in contemporary society. More and more employers require job applications by computer, so lacking these skills immediately shuts people out of the workplace.

A more serious problem may be that many teachers are ignorant of the technology that they are expecting their students to use. Computers are tools; how students use them depends largely on those who teach.

Arctic ice returns to 1980s levels of cap cover

Selden

On what planet?

"Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 was the third lowest in the satellite record. June snow cover for the Northern Hemisphere was the second lowest on record. In contrast, Antarctic sea ice extent remained higher than average. The pace of sea ice loss was near average for the month of June, but persistently warm conditions and increased melting late in the month may have set the stage for rapid ice loss in the coming weeks....

Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 averaged 11.0 million square kilometers (4.24 million square miles), the third lowest June extent in the satellite record."

Source: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Selden

Re: I'm with you

I am running Ubuntu 12.04 LXDE via crouton on an old Samsung S5 Chromebook with an Atom processor and — GASP — 2 Gb of memory, which is the maximum supported by that processor. This setup uses a minimal amount of storage and RAM, and performs very nicely on this low-spec hardware.

Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Selden

Re: Why Why I always asked myself for Surface

There's a reason the word "laptop" is not used for the Surface devices. I was a backer for the Remix Kickstarter project, a device that is physically very similar (one could say "knockoff") running Android. I'm fine with this form factor as a big tablet (excellent for watching movies), and even for use on a table, but it's extremely awkward in the lap. The kickstand sorta kinda works, but it's still not a laptop. For the past 5 years, most of my computer use is in a chair, occasionally in bed, where the traditional clamshell laptop form factor works better.

New dirt-cheap Chromebooks: Team Google keeps jackboot on throat of PC titans

Selden

Windows on 2 Gb of RAM

An updated Atom processor and 2 Gb of RAM doesn't promise good performance for Windows. The Rockchip RK3288 is an unknown quantity.

@AC : How to unlock the bootloader on Chromebooks is well documented. All you have to do is search...

DAMN YOU! Microsoft blasts Google over zero-day blabgasm

Selden

Re: Sorry, but Google were uttely wrong.

Thanks for saving my having to compose a nearly identical response, but yours is likely better worded. Microsoft was right, but both companies are engaged in a pissing match over this. Broader buy-in over the Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure policy would seem to benefit everybody.

Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Selden

Don't bet on it

Sentences passed are not always executed. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 5 years, and knew someone who was sentenced to 50 lashes for public drunkenness. The lashes were applied to his personnel record, not to his back.

Amazon hopes fire stick will light up its video service

Selden

Re: Amazon Prime doing fine

Honestly, I wouldn't know if Netflix's content is pisspoor or not, because their search engine is so bad. I rarely found anything I was looking for, and their recommendations for what might "interest me" were always laughably off-target.

Selden

For me, Amazon Instant Video + free shipping is still a pretty good deal, even at $99.95 a year. I have used a Chromecast for over a year, but (surprise, surprise) Amazon Instant Video isn't cast-enabled. I still prefer the Chromecast for everything but watching Amazon Instant Video. Since I have never subscribed to "premium" CATV, there is a lot content that is of interest to me. After I got the Chromecast, I tried 1-month trials of Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, and of the three, Amazon's content most closely matched my interests. The Fire TV Stick is great watching Amazon Instant Video content; for everything else, I prefer the Chromecast. The two devices complement, rather than compete with, each other. A year from now, I may have watched all of Amazon's "free" content, and will cancel Prime, but for now, it's working for me.

Leak of '5 MEELLLION Gmail passwords' creates security flap

Selden

Re: Methinks Google is downplaying things a bit.

@Vociferous : haveibeenpwned.com is NOT a Microsoft site.

Selden

Re: Interesting

@hi_robb : Maybe yes, maybe no. It is not unknown for phishers to send fake e-mails that look to be communications from Google, but are not. Check the message headers to verify authenticity.

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/8253?hl=en

Selden

Re: Small mistake in article?

@Vociferous : I must strongly disagree about Google's 2SV being a royal pain in the behind. Once 2SV is set up, it's completely transparent. The knowledge that I will get an alert if someone does manage to crack my Google password, *and* that the perp won't be able to anything with it without the verification code sent to my phone lets me sleep much easier.

America's hot and cold spots for broadband revealed in new map

Selden

Speed isn't everything

For a traveler, ubiquity is at least as important, and on this measure, Alaska is the most wired of the United States. I spent three weeks travelling in Alaska and the Yukon last year, and connectivity was far better than for a trip to California 4 months later.

Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Selden

Re: I call bollocks.

Thank you for the xkcd tech support flow chart — I'm tempted to use it when answering especially clueless questions.

Selden

Re: Using pre-made services doesn't represent a skill

Amen to that comment. After working more than 30 years in library IT, I am currently a volunteer Chromebook TC, so I answer many tech questions daily.

Thanks to Google account age limits, I'm spared from dealing with the under 13 set, but petulant teenagers are probably the worst to deal with. First, they know next to nothing about actual technology (such as the differences between Android, Chrome OS, and Windows); second, they are often rude and generally incapable of asking a coherent question — let alone use basic English. At least those over-60 crowd usually acknowledge their relative lack of tech skills.

Yesterday The Reg carried a story about a macaque monkey who had snapped his own selfie. Ability to press a button doesn't make a monkey a photographer.

Cosmic dust riddle breakthrough: Study tackles stuff of the universe

Selden

Re: Gas gets compressed and cools down?

I was thinking the same thing. Something important has been omitted from the summation, as Boyle's Law predicts that the particles should heat up when compressed, not cool down.

Google Glass GOES GLAM, grabs Gap guru

Selden

UC Irvine School of Medicine seems like the sort of application for which Google Glass actually makes sense. I remain skeptical of the devices because of the social engineering issues, but who knows....

Google decides Chromecast TV-stick apps are a whole NEW THING

Selden

The number varies

The number of Chromecast-enabled apps is changing rapidly, and depends on where and when you look. As of November 29 @ 0900 EST, there are 29 Android apps for Chromecast in the Play Store. https://play.google.com/store/search?q=chromecast&c=apps

Furious Google techie on NSA snooping: 'F*CK THESE GUYS'

Selden

Re: Mindboggling

The NSA isn't even trying to hide its data centers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center

Google goes dark for 2 minutes, kills 40% of world's net traffic

Selden

Re: Explanation

Nothing in my life is more reliable than Google, certainly not my electric power provider or ISP. If either is out (and at least one, usually electricity, is out for at least a few minutes each month), it doesn't much matter if Google is up or down.

Selden
Unhappy

Re: Ah...

If you have electricity. In a typical month, my house suffers a Georgia Power failure at least once, sometimes for seconds, more often minutes, occasionally for hours. Can't use Google then either.

HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

Selden

Windows 8 IS a turd

'Nuff said.

Selden

Choice is good

"...a larger display is pretty much all the Pavilion has going for it over the other Chromebook models."

I started with a Cr-48, currently use a Samsung S5 Chromebook, and have had hands-on contact with all the other models. In my opinion, the overall build quality, bright screen, keyboard, trackpad, and especially the speakers, are all superior on the HP compared with any other model currently available. While I prefer the 12.1" form factor, others may have different preferences. Vive le difference. I welcome more options in the Chromebook universe.

Selden

Re: "..at $329.99 "

Also, that won't work when it gets compromised by malware.

Selden

Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

I was taking notes in a hospital emergency room last year, when a doctor asked the same question. Currently, well over 400 apps available that have online functionality. That's about double the last time I checked (two months ago).

Selden

Re: SecureBoot

Yes. Search for "chrbuntu"

http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

Selden

Re: About the big internal hard drive ...

Yes to both questions.

Selden

Re: bestseller

Samsung S5 550 Wi-Fi or 3G

Samsiung S5 Wi-fi or 3G

Samsung ARM Chromebook Wi-Fi or 3G

Acer Chromebook, Wi-Fi

Lenovo Chromebook

HP Chromebook, currently Wi-Fi only.

By my math, that makes 9 models. Currently, on Amazon, the Samsung 550 and S5 models are selling above MSRP.

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