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>> No. 22913 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 5:23 pm
22913 Smartphones.
Right, sorry tome make "one of those" threads, but it's time for me to get a new phone.

I've had a Galaxy SII for about 4 years now, gone through the initial contract and then another couple of years on a reduced tarriff just because I couldn't be arsed upgrading, but it might be time to get something flashier now. Problem is I have no idea what's out there.

Mainly I want something that's good as a music player. My main use apart from calling/texting people is for playing music over bluetooth in the car. After that, I suppose I'd like one that can play the fanciest games- What's the deal with those nVidia mobile graphics chips nowadays?

The only thing that's really important to me- And it's the main reason I haven't upgraded until now, actually- is the operating system. I hate the 3rd party bloat that comes with most Android phones now, my current phone was perfect right up until they forced it to upgrade to android 4.1, and after that I have hated it for the most part. I can't say that I enjoy the Apple interface either. Are Windows phones any better? Or are there any phones still out there that come with a completely vanilla, bloat-free Android installation? Or can you still "jailbreak" phones and do what you like with them?

I really don't know, just, give me recommendations if you please, chaps.
Marked for deletion.
Expand all images.
>> No. 22914 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 5:27 pm
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>>22913
>I hate the 3rd party bloat that comes with most Android phones now
What is this, 1996 or something?
>> No. 22915 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 5:47 pm
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>>22914

Beg pardon, but I don't quite know what you're getting at.

But yeah I hate having tons of shit useless icons I can't get rid of, pointless apps taking up "system space" because you apparently can't change the partition size despite having nearly 12 more gigabytes sat around doing nothing.
>> No. 22916 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 6:05 pm
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>>22915
1996 was a time when PCs were slow enough and had small enough HDs for the "bloatware" to actually be a problem.
>> No. 22917 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 6:13 pm
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With android phones you can remove most of the bloat on phones by installing stock android. Or install something like cyanogenmod.
>> No. 22918 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 6:17 pm
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I have a Nexus 4 which is getting on a bit now but the main plus point is that it runs stock Android. I've tried looking at other smartphones and found that I hate the layer of cruft they apply.

Windows Phone was perhaps the smartest phone I've used but as a smartphone it lacks app support. Also aside from the bargain seekers not many people are interested in the platform which given the way that MS dropped WP7 support is enough to set alarm bells ringing.
>> No. 22919 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 6:21 pm
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>>22913
>Or can you still "jailbreak" phones and do what you like with them?
You can root it to remove anything hard-baked, though you may find that you can even uninstall some of those apps, if their taking up a few hundred kilobytes on your 16GB phone really offends you. Failing that, you can disable pretty much anything, so if you're one of the minority of the Earth's population that doesn't use Facebook you can deny it valuable processor time on your 2GHz quad-core phone.
>> No. 22920 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:39 pm
22920 spacer
Not OP but I am also looking to upgrade soon. Not really looking for anything so flashy games-wise, I'd much rather have an alright phone with Spotify premium than a flashy phone without for similar cost.

The reason I'm upgrading is similar to OP's though - a forced upgrade on my Xperia u to 4.0 from 2.3 that can't be reverted. I've no problems per se with the newer Android versions but the version I have is just so slow and full of bugs, the Maps app is now unusable which is a real annoyance.

I looked before about reverting to 2.3 or installing a debranded version of 4.0 but most of the things I found by googling look dodgy as fuck. Is there any sort of universal safe way of installing Android or does it vary massively depending on your handset?
>> No. 22921 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 9:23 pm
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Nexus and Moto devices run bone-stock Android with bloatware. Nexus devices are also first to get the latest Android updates, because they're used by Google as a reference device.

The OnePlus One comes pre-installed with CyanogenMod. Oppo develop their core firmware in collaboration with users, release a new firmware version every two weeks, officially endorse the use of CyanogenMod on their devices and provide extensive support to the CM team. Neither manufacturer installs any bloatware, and are apparently quite easy to root.
>> No. 22922 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 11:07 pm
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Too many bloatware apologists ITT.

True enough most modern phones are as powerful as laptops from five years ago, but that doesn't excuse having a ton of crap there to shorten your battery life and generally just get in the way.

And besides- If the phones are so fucking hot shit then howcome it still takes several seconds just to open up a simple messenger app? Because the developers are lazy spoiled fucks who have more processing power at their disposal than they know what to do with. The reason this shit happens is part of the same overall problem as bloatware, manufacturers and devs haven't got their shit together.

I never had to wait around for my bloody texts to load up ten years ago. Why do I have to do it now that I have a phone more powerful than NASA's Apollo computers? Inexcusable, same as bloat, walled garden app market crap and many of the other current trends in consumer technology. We're monumentally wasting potential just because someone upstairs is scared they won't make money off it otherwise.
>> No. 22923 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 11:15 pm
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>>22922
Word. The very idea that to unlock a phones full potential I'm expected to reinstall the OS and install something relatively unsupported by the vendor as soon as I buy it, is preposterous.
>> No. 22924 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 1:56 am
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>>22923
>If the phones are so fucking hot shit then howcome it still takes several seconds just to open up a simple messenger app?
It doesn't, unless you have a shit phone or use a shit app. I press the SMS button on my phone, and I don't have to wait for my texts to show at all. With the exception of a short "maximise" animation, it's about as quick as my old phone, not counting the whole "OK down down down down OK down down OK OK down OK" sequence I had to do before it on said phone. But then what do I know? I'm only old enough to remember when dialling required, you know, actual dialling.
>> No. 22925 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 2:02 am
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My phone had some ram issues, Xperia sp, before Sony decided to update it to fix it. Now sometimes even Settings crashes.
>> No. 22926 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 3:31 am
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>>22924

How about FB messenger, KIK, Whatsapp, or any number of other apps? All of them perform with the same snap precision?

I'm sorry but nah m8, "shit phone or shit app" doesn't discount what I am saying. Stop standing up for lazy developers and manufacturers- They are your enemies, not me. Stop giving your money to the parasites who want you to hold the exact beliefs you do, let go of your feeble consumerist insecurity.

I have a phone that features a 1.2GHZ, dual core, processor. 1 point 2 fucking GIGAHERTZ. I'll repeat that again so that it gets through your thick skull- ONE POINT FUCKING TWO FUCKING GIGAHERTZ.

Opening Facebook Messenger or Kik, or in fact, any bloody app should never incur any sort of wait time. This shit is ridiculous. You can't make excuses for it, you simply can't- At this level of computing power, and with applications so fundamentally simple, there simply can be no excuses. It's just sheer incompetence and poor design.

It's not a case of a shit phone, because, funnily enough, everything ran silky smooth a couple of years ago when I got it. But as things "advance"- which is a funny way of putting it because I can't tell that anything significant has changed besides the fucking logo being round instead of square now, it's exactly the fucking same- it gets slower and slower.

Seriously. I remember a time when I used to be so excited about where mobile phone technology would go. Yet over the last two years, I've come to hate the entire market. It's fucking shite is what it is.
>> No. 22927 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 4:47 am
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>>22926
>How about FB messenger, KIK, Whatsapp, or any number of other apps?
Like I said, shit apps.

>Stop standing up for lazy developers and manufacturers
Stop parroting bollocks you know nothing about. How about you come back when you know what you're talking about. Messaging is really, really fucking hard to do right. Messaging on mobile even more so. Granted, Facebook is probably bloated, but then that's your own fault for choosing to use it, though bloat in their mobile app is probably the least of your concerns. But if you still think it's just developers being lazy, feel free to show them how it should be done by building your own app. Who knows, maybe you could sell it to Facebook for billions too.
>> No. 22928 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 5:32 am
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>>22926

>You can't make excuses for it, you simply can't

I can. Software development is ridiculously, ludicrously hard. As a non-developer, you simply cannot comprehend the level of effort involved in making modern software work.

I know guys who work for Facebook and Google. They are unquestionably amongst the best of the best. Interviews at those companies take days, not hours. They are cherry-picking from the best graduates at MIT and Cambridge. A substantial number of the people working for those companies have turned down job offers from banks and intelligence agencies.

The current codebase for Chrome exceeds eight million lines of code. Eight million lines of tightly written, well documented, fully tested, ruthlessly refactored code. Facebook are managing a codebase that exceeds 62 million lines of front end code and four million lines of code just for the Android app. Even with the best people, they're barely hanging on by their fingernails to the immense scope of their software. Have you any idea what four million lines of anything looks like?

I'm a good developer - not great, I'll freely admit to that, but certainly in the top 10% of the field. I write open source libraries for fun and have a strong mathematical background. I have spent entire days chasing down bugs in a ten-line function and so have all of my peers. On a good day, I can audit one or two hundred lines of good quality code. Think about that in the context of multi-million line codebases. The browser you're using to read this has more human effort invested in it than the pyramids of Giza.

Huge security vulnerabilities in important products can be caused by the most trivial of errors or omissions. Heartbleed was caused by a single incorrect bounds check - essentially just four incorrect bytes. The Debian OpenSSL bug was caused by a single change made by a single developer to an apparently insignificant line of code. The foremost priority in any big shop is avoiding those kinds of fuckups, which involves a huge development and testing burden.

Software is just applied mathematics, so it is possible to formally verify software as a mathematical proof. This verification does take place for a tiny minority of ultra-important code (mainly military systems) but the cost of this is on the order of thousands of pounds per line. In most software, all we can do is follow best practices, test for the most important cases and hope that when things do break, they don't end up as headline news.

Nothing is simple in modern software. We're dealing with phenomenally complex systems, built upon layers and layers of legacy infrastructure. Once something becomes a standard, we're essentially stuck with it indefinitely for reasons of backwards compatibility. The ARM processor in your phone includes the same basic instruction set that was designed by Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson in 1985. The assets you downloaded to view this page include jQuery functions to work around bugs in Internet Explorer 6, a browser that has been obsolete for over a decade.

As developers, we aren't finding a needle in a haystack. We're solving a pile of rubiks cubes blindfolded in a giant pile of shit and broken glass. We're dealing with software that is immeasurably more complex than any individual could understand, even on a relatively high level. A trivial error by any of us could bankrupt a company overnight. We're totally reliant on code developed by other people, code that we often don't have full access to and couldn't audit in a hundred lifetimes anyway. We're burdened by the need to work with archaic standards, and constantly treading on landmines laid decades ago, often by brilliant developers who just lacked the right tools or had a project slip out of their control.

JavaScript is a perfect example. JS is half brilliant, half idiotic. It contains some amazingly stupid features like semicolon insertion [spoiler]oo er missus[/i] and automatic type coercion, but it is fundamentally a very sophisticated and powerful programming language. It was designed by a bona-fide genius by the name of Brendan Eich, but unfortunately he had less than a month to develop it singlehandedly. By the time anyone realised that JavaScript was at all important, it had already gone halfway around the world.

Due mainly to historical accident, a minor part of Netscape Navigator became one of the three most important programming languages in the world. Now we're stuck with it warts and all, because removing the most brain-dead bits would break millions of websites. Reforming it will take decades of hard work and politicking, so we have no choice but to write huge quantities of important code in a language that is badly broken. Thousands of developers spend a large part of their working day dealing with the consequences of mistakes made by one man in 1995.

This is what writing real software feels like:

https://www.youtube.com/v/xJ4WviaApHc
>> No. 22929 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 5:33 am
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>>22928

Here are a couple of good explanations of the insane complexity of superficially simple problems:

https://www.youtube.com/v/-5wpm-gesOY

https://www.youtube.com/v/0j74jcxSunY
>> No. 22930 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 6:30 am
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>>22920

CyanogenMod is a piece of piss to install nowadays. They've made it as moron-proof as possible. I remember the good old days a few years ago when you had to install some suspicious software from a couple random websites then spend 5 hours in CMD hoping you don't brick your phone. It was actually fun to do. Now you just plug in a USB cable and follow the instructions on-screen.
>> No. 22932 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 12:37 pm
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>>22929
>timezones
That's a fun one to deal with. The UNIX epoch is midnight GMT 1/1/1970. Once in a while someone discovers they can convert this to local time, tests it by converting 0 to London time and wonders why they get 1am. That's when someone has to tell them that in 1970 the UK was in the middle of an experiment where one year we put the clocks forward but didn't put them back.

I've also had to deal with that quite recently. I was asked to provide a list of things ordered by the time they were entered on the queue. The database simply has a date/time field for this with no hint as to what the actual timezone was. The application stack has access to an API that will do this, but raw SQL doesn't. The net result is that the application shows the correct time but the management report shows GMT.
>> No. 22933 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 1:16 pm
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>>22929
This geezer gets posted here all the bloody time. It has to be him doing it.
>> No. 22934 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 2:24 pm
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>>22928
>[spoiler]oo er missus[/i]

You almost had me convinced that you could write a single line of code until that point lad.
>> No. 22935 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 2:59 pm
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>>22934
Nah, he's the one responsible for Heartbleed.
>> No. 22936 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 3:17 pm
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Got myself the Moto G a couple of weeks ago. Astounded, not just for the price.

Still haven't fully set it up, I'm a bit iffy about agreeing to share my location (even though they probably know anyway) which means I get promptly booted from whatever I was trying to install.

So I'm looking for some free fun Android games that aren't chock-full of adverts or "Pay to Win". So far I've found PewPew and Pixel Dungeon, which I cannot reccomend strongly enough.
>> No. 22938 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 3:19 pm
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>>22936
>>22937

Not only have I double-posted, I've spelt "recommended" wrong. Bugger.

The absolution of my sins in the cleansing fire of a ban would be understood.
>> No. 22939 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 3:38 pm
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>>22938
Or you could just delete and repost your own posts, y'know.
>> No. 22940 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 4:34 pm
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>>22919
> minority of the Earth's population that doesn't use Facebook
> minority
Mirth. Thanks for making may day a tad easier.
>>22922
I concur.
>> No. 22941 Anonymous
18th August 2014
Monday 9:15 pm
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>>22928
>lotsa text

Thank you.
I often despair at much of what is said around here, but then I see wonderful posts like this that make it so worth it.
Nowhere else like this on the internet.


Back on topic, I also repeat the recommendation for the moto g.
Haven't got one myself, but getting a new one in the next month or two and already decided on getting one.
>> No. 22958 Anonymous
20th August 2014
Wednesday 8:32 pm
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>>22941
Agreed, thank you >>22928. Fascinating post.
>> No. 22959 Anonymous
20th August 2014
Wednesday 11:03 pm
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>>22928

Well, I do have to say that I stand corrected. Very decent posts that went a good way to abating my app-induced rage, so thank you for that.

... I do still think there's some profiteering involved, though, Or at least, and you partly say this yourself and I think it's something thatfrankly someobody neds to come up with a solution for since it's quite a large problem, the layering of complexity and legacy support that makes apps run slowly even on insanely powerful hardware, despite the fact that from an end user perspective almost nothing has changed.

I mean, I appreciate everything that you have said but from my viewpoint, it's immensely silly that in fifteen years of development, the most noticable change in my messaging habits is that they've gone from a black dot matrix on a green backlit screen, to a colour disply that puts fancy blue speech bubbles around your text. Otherwise, functionally, from the user's end, it's the same bloody thing. I know that the code underneath has probably become immeasurably more complex over the years, but what eludes me is why.
>> No. 22960 Anonymous
20th August 2014
Wednesday 11:07 pm
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>>22959
>the layering of complexity and legacy support that makes apps run slowly even on insanely powerful hardware
Christ, lad. It's like you've forgotten everything you've just thanked him for in the space of two sentences.
>> No. 22961 Anonymous
20th August 2014
Wednesday 11:18 pm
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>>22960

I was not disagreeing with him on any point, I was just ruminating on how silly and frustrating the whole situation is, from an end user standpoint. Is the hardware getting more powerful just to allow the code to get more complex and thus leave no net benefit in performance? Or is it the other way around? It's like some kind of technological chicken/egg scenario.

(Also this kind of technology is a very new thing- Today's programmers are like the doctors first testing out dangerous chemicals as anaesthetics years ago- Imagine what programmers in the future will be capable of, and imagine what new discoveries will mean when we reflect on our current patchwork mess of code and hardware in terms of security, privacy etc. I've kind of forgotten where I'm going with this but hopefully you get the gist of my point, and that it is intended benevolently.)
>> No. 22962 Anonymous
20th August 2014
Wednesday 11:46 pm
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>>22961
Different hardware is getting differently powerful. Your phone might have a superduperawesome CPU with an ubercoolshiny GPU, but if you want to send a text message via SMS, it's still got to talk to a GSM chipset that itself has to talk to a GSM network, neither of which have changed substantially in 20 years. Of course the messaging stuff now has to deal with other stuff that's been bolted on, so now the same app has to be able to handle stuff like MMS and SMS in the same context (which your old dot-matrix phone almost certainly couldn't do), and intermix them as appropriate. For instance, it needs to let you respond to an SMS with a picture (or vice versa) and still collate them as part of the same conversation. This is akin to keeping an email and your follow-up tweet and the resulting Facebook post all together, all the while doing stuff like ensuring a self-retweeting tweet doesn't retweet itself. Even something as simple as logging in to a service can be horrendously complicated. All the cycles in the world won't save you from having to move data across an unreliable high-latency network.
>> No. 22963 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 12:20 am
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Android-Stack.jpg
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>>22959

>I know that the code underneath has probably become immeasurably more complex over the years, but what eludes me is why.

Seeing as I'm slightly drinkwobbly, I'll have a go at explaining it plainly. All of this will be grossly oversimplified, but I think it should suffice as a conceptual overview.

Old phones didn't do very much and weren't very powerful, so developers would spend a lot of time carefully optimising the handful of features. The entire user interface was generally implemented in C (often with bits of assembler) as a single monolithic process, with the mobile network interface being managed by a separate baseband chipset. All the programming is extremely low-level and direct and everything happens in a simple linear order. Development of this sort is painstakingly slow, so software was generally fixed on release and never updated. You're also dealing with relatively trivial amounts of data - the 80x48 monochrome screen on a Nokia 3310 required just 512 bytes of framebuffer, versus the 6.2 million bytes needed by a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Today, we expect phones to do a huge variety of tasks, often simultaneously. In order to do so effectively, we need to abstract away a lot of the lower-level stuff.

You need a proper operating system kernel with scheduling, so that you can manage multitasking and multithreading. You need some sort of sandboxing system to restrict the privileges of installed apps and stop Angry Birds from being able to send all your mucky selfies to your nan. You need to manage power and memory, to maintain network connections, to deal with inter-process communication and a thousand other bits of minutiae.

Think about how much is going on if someone is listening to Spotify on their phone and gets a text. The IP network stack is maintaining a connection to allow the Spotify app to stream the MP3. The Spotify app is decoding the MP3, then sending the decoded data to the audio stack. Simultaneously, the baseband chipset is receiving GSM packets containing a text message, which will be forwarded to the CPU. The operating system then needs to give an audio notification and refresh the screen, without doing anything that would disrupt Spotify. In order to refresh the screen, the CPU needs to communicate with the GPU. All of this is being carefully managed to minimise power consumption, with the hardware being managed from millisecond to millisecond to try and keep everything in the lowest possible power state for as much of the time as possible. It's like spinning plates, timed down to the millisecond.

You then need further levels of abstraction to facilitate third-party application development. You need to create a set of interfaces that allow developers to specify what they want the phone to do, without having to concern themselves with the specific hardware or operating system version. These interfaces need to be extremely flexible to deal with the huge variety of devices that exist both now and in the future, to be backwards-compatible with older versions, and to be designed defensively to stop malicious or stupid app developers from buggering everything else up.

The architectural complexity of modern software is wholly necessary to provide the features and experience that users expect. There's no money to be made in selling dumbphones any more - people demand the latest of everything. Speed and efficiency do matter and huge amounts of development effort go into it, but it is just one of many competing demands.

Modern approaches to software are in a sense hugely wasteful of memory and CPU cycles, but those resources are relatively very cheap and the demands of the market require us to use those resources in ways that aren't perfectly efficient. Given a sufficiently large development budget and timescale we can do wonders, but nobody is going to wait ten years and pay £5,000 for the iPhone 6. The design priorities would be very different for a jet fighter's avionics or for a nuclear power plant control system, but for a smartphone we're going to use a lot of quick and dirty approaches that get us to market faster, at lower cost and with more features.
>> No. 22964 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 12:52 am
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>>22963
>Modern approaches to software are in a sense hugely wasteful of memory and CPU cycles, but those resources are relatively very cheap and the demands of the market require us to use those resources in ways that aren't perfectly efficient.
Quite. In general, using extra resources tends to cost considerably less than optimisation. You can pay a programmer silly money to hand-optimise your code, or you could just pay £100 for a bit more RAM. The stuff I'm currently doing at work is less than perfect and less than efficient, but then it'll be running in batch in a 12-hour window on a positively beefy cluster with loads of power and some nine figures of your money will be depending on it. We're not bothering with what might seem like obvious optimisations because it's going to take longer to deliver, will increase the testing workload, and the whole thing will likely have to be modified next year anyway, as it has been every year for the last fifteen at least.
>> No. 22965 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 9:52 am
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blphn.png
229652296522965
I was quite interested in http://blackphone.ch/ (connected to the people developing darkmail.info)

Though unsurprisingly, not unhackable; http://www.welivesecurity.com/2014/08/13/online-privacy-3/
>> No. 22966 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 3:49 pm
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>>22961
> Is the hardware getting more powerful just to allow the code to get more complex and thus leave no net benefit in performance?

"Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster."
— N. Wirth
>> No. 22967 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 6:06 pm
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>>22966
I suspect that it's probably related to the culture of humans (in this case coders) making things more complex than they need to be in order to justify the existence of their positions in order to maintain a job.

http://strikemag.org/bullshit-jobs/

We're only going to see a worsening of this situation across the whole of society until either people go full Walden/Kaczynski, drop the protestant work ethic shtick, WWIII or we are surpassed by robot overlords.
>> No. 22968 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 6:41 pm
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>>22967
You do know you're supposed to read the thread before you post in it, right?
>> No. 22969 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 7:20 pm
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>>22968

that's just like your opinion man

(A good day to you Sir!)
>> No. 22970 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 7:26 pm
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>>22969

What horrid grammar.
>> No. 22972 Anonymous
21st August 2014
Thursday 7:40 pm
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>>22970
Upon further perusal of this thread I am now glad that I am not a software engineer.

However, as a biologist I am jealous because in the case of computer code it is possible (at least in theory) to be able to discuss the generation of computer code with its architect whereas when it comes to genetic code we have to try and reverse engineer it with enzymes that are usually not what they are supposed to be
>> No. 22973 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 3:13 pm
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Well, even more fascinating posts. Cheers devlads.

... But now, forgive me, can I re-rail this thread a bit? I've been loong at the Sony Experia Z2, because me mate Daz who works at Phones4U says it's the best one at the moment.

If I've been paying attention, you chaps are saying its pretty easy to install this Cyanogenmod thing; and I understand it will fix the stuff I dislike about manufacturer skins and useless apps. What are the real advantages and disadvantages of doing so? I've had a look on their website but it doesn't really... Say much.
>> No. 22981 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 4:43 pm
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>>22973

The Z2 is an excellent handset (as you'd expect for the price). The main distinguishing feature versus the other flagship phones is that it is water-resistant, but that does entail some slightly fiddly rubber flaps covering the ports.

If you're looking to save a few quid, then you might want to go for a Moto G or a Nexus 5 on a sim-only deal - they're both exceptional value for money. If you're happy with a fairly expensive two-year contract, then in addition to the Xperia Z2 you might want to look at the HTC One M8, the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G3, which are the main rivals for the title of "best phone in the world". All those phones are similarly excellent, but have slightly different designs and featuresets, so it's up to you to decide which you prefer the feel of or what features matter. The LG G3 has the best screen, the HTC M8 is beautifully built and has a great camera, the S5 is a bit plasticky but is a good all-rounder.

Cyanogenmod is basically a bloatware-free version of Android with good customisation options. There isn't any massive difference vs stock Android, just a very long list of subtle tweaks that make the OS more suitable for enthusiasts. A lot of people install CM purely because their manufacturer hasn't provided an update to the latest version of Android.

You can see a list of key features at the link below:

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Why_Mod%3F
>> No. 22983 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 6:55 pm
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>>22981
I will say that cyanogenmod is less stable than most handsets' stock Android. It's kinda like Windows vs. Ubuntu: Windows (stock) will be slow as balls and not always do what you want but it won't piss itself and die quite so often.
>> No. 22984 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 7:13 pm
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>>22981
>Cyanogenmod is basically a bloatware-free version of Android with good customisation options.
Aren't they currently in the process of turning to the dark side?
>> No. 22985 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 7:13 pm
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>>22983
Most handsets don't run "stock" Android in the strict sense of the word, and the ones that do run stock are not, in my experience, appreciably faster running CM compared to Kitkat.

>>22973
The Z2's a good phone, but you don't have to spend that kind of money to get a good phone. I wouldn't recommend running CM on it, as Sony (along with Motorola and Google) have been pretty good at keeping their OS at or near stock and receive regular updates.
>> No. 22986 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 7:52 pm
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>>22985
I'd be very careful of updating Sony xperias. Updated mine from a stable 2.3 to an awfully borked 4.0 and you can't revert without unlocking the bootloader and flashing a dodgy zip. Either they just stopped giving a fuck about fixing all the bugs they introduced or it's a deliberate ploy to move you onto a more expensive model.

If it's the latter then they're a bit braindead if they think I'd get any more poorly made Sony crap.
>> No. 22987 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 7:55 pm
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>>22986
It's the former. OEMs don't tend to give a fuck about the user experience for budget oriented phones for any longer than it takes to convince you to buy it. The Moto G is the only exception I know of.
>> No. 22988 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 8:43 pm
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>>22987
That doesn't necessarily explain why they'd actively make it worse whilst preventing you from easily fixing it though.
>> No. 22990 Anonymous
22nd August 2014
Friday 10:24 pm
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>>22981

Right yeah, it's gonna be on a contract and I'm quite good at haggling those "upgrade team" chumps down (mainly because I used to do their job myself and I know how cheap they can actually offer me it if they are desperate to make their commission. And if they're not I'll just wait for the next agent on the dialler to call me and try again).

I basically concluded on the Sony because like I said, I will mainly want to use it for music, and I imagine the whole walkman lark will make that slightly more tolerable. I'm not even going to consider Samsung; despite being very happy with my SII, every model subsequenlty has been ugly, and the software crap (hated using my girlfriends S4). As for the others they all seem to have some fatal flaw, like the Windows phones not taking SD cards for god only knows what reason.

The flaw with the Z2 is that it seems to be fucking massive. I don't know if I'll like having a phone that big, but I gues I'll have to go to the shops and play with one in person to find out.

But yeah I'm interested in the customisation aspect of CM- I'm the kind of person who never leaves my computer with the standard Windows theme, I always have to make it look nice and use custom icons and whatnot. I've seen threads on the other place where people have tricked their phones out in some very snazzy ways, is this what makes that possible?
>> No. 22991 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:06 am
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>>22990

Can you share some tricks of the trade re: retentions please?
>> No. 22992 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:15 am
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>>22990
I've haggled with a phone company recently, got a Moto G with 500 mins, infinite texts and 0.5 gigs a month for £9. Did I do a good deal or should I have haggled longer? I get the feeling I could have but I was really busy at this point and was too lazy to spend more time phoning up other companies trying to leverage competitive offers to pressure the company trying to retain me with.
>> No. 22993 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:19 am
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>>22992
£216 over 24 months. Subtract £120 for the phone and you're left with £96, which works out to £4/month for the actual service.
>> No. 22994 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:21 am
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>>22993
I feel pretty stupid for not having done that maths by myself, seems like a better deal now at least.
>> No. 22995 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:32 am
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>>22994
The trick most people miss is that when the contract is up they're no longer paying for the phone, and they fail to account for that. They'll think they're getting a good deal when their bill comes down by £8 and forget about the £400 phone it previously included.
>> No. 22996 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 12:45 am
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>>22988
I don't think it's surprising that they're not going to go out of their way to make it easy for people to fuck around with things they don't intend to be fucked around with.

>>22990
>I basically concluded on the Sony because like I said, I will mainly want to use it for music, and I imagine the whole walkman lark will make that slightly more tolerable
Nope. There's nothing particularly phenomenal about the Z2's sound quality. It's about as good as you'd expect from a decent smartphone, no more, no less.

>But yeah I'm interested in the customisation aspect of CM- I'm the kind of person who never leaves my computer with the standard Windows theme, I always have to make it look nice and use custom icons and whatnot. I've seen threads on the other place where people have tricked their phones out in some very snazzy ways, is this what makes that possible?
That's nothing to do with CM. Stock Android is very much open to customisation with custom launchers and icons etc. Samsung have something called Touchwiz on top of the stock android interface which prevents you from easily messing around with it.

There isn't really any compelling reason for the average "power user" (ugh) to root their phone or install a custom ROM any more. It used to be mandatory if you wanted to get the most out of your phone, now it's the opposite: you're giving yourself the potential for serious headaches for not much reward. Even if you want the tweaks CM offers which you can't get through stock, the Xposed module Gravitybox allows you to access pretty much all of them with less fuss.

>The flaw with the Z2 is that it seems to be fucking massive
Honestly it doesn't sound like the Z2 is the phone for you at all. I'd suggest waiting for the Z2 compact, or picking up the Z1 compact now. Or getting a Moto G 4G, seeing as you really don't seem to need the higher end features those phones offer, and its OS is somewhat closer to stock.
>> No. 22997 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 1:55 am
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>>22991

In what way? Going to have to be a bit more specific chap.

>>22996

Hmm, I see. Well that's food for thought- It seems I know less about these things than I had previously thought. Admittedly I am a complete ignorant cunt when it comes to Android as frankly I simply don't like it, I just accept that it's pretty much the only choice in mobiles right now.

The compact phones don't appeal to me much because the trend seems to be that the specs are cut down along with the size. I want something reasonably futureproof, so I seem to be stuck looking at the fucking massive shit they call "portable" nowadays. Funny how a few years ago it was the smaller the better.

Honestly the entire mobile market right now kind of disagrees with me. I really just don't like the way things have gone, so whatever I get, it's probably going to be a comprimise of features I do and don't like. Cheers for the advice anyway though lads.
>> No. 22998 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 2:46 am
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>>22997

>The compact phones don't appeal to me much because the trend seems to be that the specs are cut down along with the size. I want something reasonably futureproof, so I seem to be stuck looking at the fucking massive shit they call "portable" nowadays. Funny how a few years ago it was the smaller the better.

Bigger is definitely better with modern phones. Old phones could be miniaturised because they did absolutely bugger all, so it didn't matter if they had a tiny screen and a puny battery. These days, screen size is vitally important because phones are typically used like mini-tablets; Bigger phones can cram in a much bigger battery, necessary for powering multi-core processors and 4G radios. Screen surface area increases with the square of the diagonal, so a 6" screen has 44% more area than a 5" screen and 224% more area than a 4" screen. Screen sizes have been progressively increasing as users have understood the value of having a big screen for web browsing, video watching and ebook reading.

The general rule is to go for the biggest phone that will fit your pockets and your hands. I prefer devices in the 6" class because I nearly always wear a blazer or suit jacket. Keeping a phone in your trouser pockets generally limits you to about 5", give or take half an inch. Most women struggle to get a secure grip on anything much bigger than 5" or at least that's what I keep telling my wife.

A lot of people find it useful to have a small, cheap second phone that they don't mind losing or breaking - a Samsung Galaxy Y or a basic Nokia makes an ideal phone for going out on the piss or going jogging with.

If you really don't care at all about screen size, then a touchscreen phone might not be the best choice; There is still a lot of merit in having a physical keyboard, as on a Blackberry.
>> No. 22999 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 1:10 pm
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>>22990
>I basically concluded on the Sony because like I said, I will mainly want to use it for music, and I imagine the whole walkman lark will make that slightly more tolerable. I'm not even going to consider Samsung; despite being very happy with my SII, every model subsequenlty has been ugly, and the software crap (hated using my girlfriends S4).
I have an Experia E and it's rammed full of Sony shitware that can't be removed. If you're trying to dodge proprietary software I wouldn't go looking for a Sony smartphone.
>> No. 23000 Anonymous
23rd August 2014
Saturday 1:44 pm
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>>22997
>The compact phones don't appeal to me much because the trend seems to be that the specs are cut down along with the size. I want something reasonably futureproof, so I seem to be stuck looking at the fucking massive shit they call "portable" nowadays. Funny how a few years ago it was the smaller the better.
Not really with Sony. The Z1 compact was notable for going against trend and retaining an almost identical featureset to the Z1 in a smaller handset. The Z2 looks to do the same.

Also, when you say you want something futureproof, what do you mean? What is it you actually intend to do with your phone?

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