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Je Saist
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#GNiE   #UmiSuper  

Right. So recently I linked to a page on +GearBest featuring the #UmiSuper . In that post I commented that I couldn't find a G+ page for #Umi . Well. They have one. +Umi Mobile.

Their main web-site also has a questionnaire asking for consumer input on phones; and an option for Other Comments. Which of course I decided to post in; without realizing that the formatting I put in the comments section would not be carried through to the final post. #Oops . Big wall o'text later I decided just to copy the post I made over that questionnaire to here for readability. Just in case somebody from Umi Mobile decides to pop over and read this way.

The first comment I had to make was that I loved the response to the battery lifetime question. Most casual consumers I have communicated with would happily take a thicker phone with a bigger battery. A calculated 60% of respondents to Umi said the same thing; indicating they'd take a heavier phone with a thicker body for actual run time.

The next question I had more comments for concerned the important of USB-Type-C. I've been over the potential impacts of the integration of USB-Type-C and #DisplayPort  for a few vendors; and Umi was no exception to receiving a version covering the potential benefits of Display I/O. While wireless broadcasting in the form of Miracast/HDMI-over-wireless is all well and good; it is no substitute for higher resolution QHD/UHD panels that mobile device GPU's are increasingly capable of driving. Nor is it a replacement for the sheer number of devices that DisplayPort is designed to, in specification, to connect to. A single DisplayPort connection can address almost any monitor I can throw at it. HDMI cannot. Where USB-Type-C will be drastically important though is the Phablet/Tablet market. There the Input part of DisplayPort I/O will be a huge factor in space constrained households in the coming years. For a large number of modern day consumers worldwide their smart-device may be the only computing device they have. But what would happen for consoles like the PS4 if the user's smart Phablet/Tablet could be used as a display leveraging USB-Type-C DisplayPort I/O? Sony already makes a big deal about remote play on the Xperia device... but what about being able to game in high-resolution on ANY device... on any PS4? I think that's a pretty big deal.

However, having DisplayPort I/O is only meaningful if the system chipset has the appropriate handoffs to pipe an incoming DisplayPort specification supported signal into, or past, the GPU for display. The next question I had more comments for was the selection of a GPU that users wanted to see in a phone. The questionnaire only listed Mali GPU's. While ARM's Mali has gotten better in previous years; an effect of the old Imageon team is finally being able to stretch their legs like never before; DisplayPort I/O through USB Type-C isn't on any ARM roadmap that I've seen to date. Yet there's another GPU vendor with an excellent ARM platform of their own; +NVIDIA. I'm pretty sure Nvidia has already demonstrated USB-Type-C DisplayPort I/O in working silicon; admittedly I believe it was for an automotive vendor looking to simplify charging a mobile device and piping the mobile device's UI to a center console. I'd love to see Nvidia pick up some more performance-oriented design wins in the mobile space; they just get passed over way to often.

Which incidentally leads into the next question I had more comments for; the amount of system memory. The available options topped out at 6gb with most of the respondents picking 4gb of system memory. In fairness 4gb is the 32bit limit and almost every single Android application has to account for a 32bit ARM platform installation base. However, "Heterogeneous uniform memory access" will soon be a factor in most modern SOC and discrete chipsets designs. 6gb or more memory would be nice for HUMA support even under 32bit application limits; but not every application would benefit. Rather; for now; greater than 4gb of system memory will likely only be really useful on Phablet designs that leverage Android's incoming multi-task modes.

As a future note: Mobile-oriented spins of GDDR5X and HBMv2 chip types could possibly be impacting the market around the same time that HUMA starts landing as a general technology improvement in most SoC platforms. It might not be surprising to see the next generation of mobile devices leveraging the relatively low-memory-count mobile video-memory chips for system memory. This could make the next generation of mobile devices quite visually interesting; we just aren't there yet.

The last question I had more comments for was a surprising one to me. Most vendors rarely directly reference another vendor's specific designs. Umi specifically singled out the default Google Interface, Huawei's Interface, and +Xiaomi MIUI's #MIUI . Now, I'm a big fan of stock Android. I started using the #NovaLauncher just because how closely it got to stock Android while still including useful functionality (for me).

I will also admit a preference towards Xiaomi's MIUI. I'm not joking when I say that it is easily the best vendor specific Android Conversion Interface. Admittedly that is because most of the other vendor specific conversions just suck that badly.

I also put a check in the Other Option. The other I had in mind was the old KDE 4.x Plasma Active which has been superseded by http://plasma-mobile.org/

I tried Plasma Active way back when on a Sager convertible... and it just flat blew every other tablet system of the time out of the collective water. I don't have a Plasma Mobile capable device on hand; but if it's anything like it's ancestor; Xiaomi (and other vendors) might want to take a closer look.

Umi's main web site can be found at: http://umidigi.com/
UMi is a global electronics and technology service provider that delivers the latest and most exquisite mobile electronic devices in over 20 countries, including Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. UMi is dedicated to delivering customers with the most extraordinary mobile experience through meticulous designs and smart technology
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#MurkyPolitics   #LikeHellThisIsMurky  

... I'm watching a #tidalwave  sweep across various news sites and social media. News so massive that even sites owned by Gawker or controlled by AOL's Huffington cannot ignore it.

A released federal level report now confirms that #HillaryClintonBrokeLaws .

Big deal. Whoopity do. #HillaryConfessed  already. I've been over that so many times I am almost physically ill just bringing the subject back up.

There has basically been this whole mantra ever since #benghazi  that Hillary Clinton was innocent and had committed no crime. Everything was just a mis-understanding or a miscommunication. Everything was legal at the time it happened.

Yet it wasn't. It never was. Hillary Clinton broke standing federal law to cover something up. Trying to figure out what she was covering up is what unleashed #HillaryEmailGate  to begin with. The #EmailScandal  is only the tip of the iceberg as to the crime's perpetrated by the Obama Administration.

An administration that has fought tooth and nail to use every single bit of it's power and influence to pull strings and commit #ObstructionOfJustice . The newly released report confirms, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Obama Administration is guilty of that charge.

As of late the liberal cause of the day has centered around Unisex bathrooms. +Eric Raymond made a very on-point snarky comment about that recently that rang true; with all the problems in the world; iit's an almost ludicrous subject to be garnering mainstream attention.

I'd like to pose a question to Obama then. Since he appears to be in favor of unisex bathrooms; perhaps he'd also be in favor of a unisex federal penitentiary. That way he could serve out his own sentence for criminal acts alongside Hillary.
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#GNiE  

I've been talking a lot recently about +Xiaomi MIUI's products which I find to have acceptable listed MSRP for their build quality and specifications. Yet they are not the only #Android   phone vendor knocking hardware products out of the park.

From #UMI   ... and no G+ account that I see... is this linked #UMISuper . I haven't actually held a previous UMI product; but what caught my eye here was +GearBest's time limited $180(US) promo price. A couple clicks in and even at the $250(US) listed price; this device seems poised to hand the domestic products sold through AT&T, Verizon, and +T-Mobile stores their collective keisters on a platter. #Gearbest  is offering the UMI Super at a flat $220 on the pre-order; which is just a scorching deal in line with the grey-market prices on Xiaomi's Note 3 Pro.

I have to say, the competition in the Oriental markets is having the effect that market competition is supposed to have. Better products are reaching the market at consumer acceptable prices. Which is the exact opposite of the US market where toxic patent threats and heavily tortured/construed arguments on basic implementations of mathematics have strangled the capability of new vendors to enter the market successfully. However, this is not a Murky Politics post.

Speaking for myself, this just makes grey-market importers all the more attractive. To me it is almost a return to the days of Lik-Sang where the best electronic devices were only available through imports.
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#Cinenikki   #Idonotbelieveit   #StarTrek  

... over the years that I have been watching Star Trek I have come to a singular conclusion. The shows and movies have succeeded in spite of the actions of +Paramount Pictures / #Viacom ; not because of the actions of the studio and it's owners. So when Paramount picked #JustinLin  to helm #StarTrekBeyond  I had a few sharp words of my own.

Now news has come down that BECAUSE of Justin Lin; Paramount has ceased their hostile actions against the Star Trek Fandom's #Axanar . News has also come down that Paramount will be taking a much gentler stance than previous on fan run cinematic productions. Productions which, to date, have been far more faithful to the spirit of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek than the recent movies.
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#GNiE   #NintendoNX   #PrepToFail  

Seriously, +Nintendo has a major problem on their hands. The #WiiU  didn't sell as expected, #NDS  sales are slowly drying up, and all hopes are on the #NX  platform. Yet every time news slips out indicating that Nintendo has done something right for the upcoming consoles; somebody within Nintendo decides to open their mouth and ruin the positive momentum.

Case(s) in point(s). It was leaked that the NX would be Linux based; likely using Android. Investors went wild on the news; and stock interest skyrocketed. A Nintendo insider then said that the NX would not use Linux and thus would not use Android; and the investor reaction consisted of dumbfounded stares.

It was then later leaked that the NX was targeting a modern performance envelope. Within the thermal limits of the WiiU chassis and the known hardware advances in ARM, x86-64, and various graphics processors; this meant PS4 levels of performance in an acceptable format. Then an Insider stated that the NX would not at least match the PS4 in terms of rendering power; which against not only had investors looking confused; it had developers looking baffled.

Fast forward and AMD is taking the wraps off their Polaris graphics architecture; which was taped out months ago. AMD is also taking the wraps off their Zen processor architecture. Between the two +Sony is reportedly prepping a Playstation Console which targets UDH/4k resolutions and high-performance VR support. The so-called #PS4Neo  is expected to slide in at the same price point as the original PS4 which will get a massive price-cut.

It is known that AMD pitched the Zen+Polaris APU design with HBM2 and GDDR5X memory designs at Nintendo. This pitch has widely been the assumed based for the console as determined by the development kits that have already gone out to various developers.

So for Nintendo to turn around... and once again claim that they had a modern system... that was not using AMD's Zen Processor or the Polaris graphics architecture... after literal decades of partnership through SGI, ArtX, ATi, and then AMD... isn't just idiotic. It's nigh-on suicidal.

I hope for Nintendo's sake that the company does not repeat the same fundamental engineering mistakes that lead to the WIiU console. Going to a separate processor base from competitors and deliberately targeting a performance envelope those competitors were at literal years in the past is the recipe for disaster that made the WiiU a laughing stock among third parties. Sure, PowerPC was fine across the PS3 and Xbox 360; but both Microsoft and Sony moved away from that platform for a multitude of issues; least of which was the lack of vendors interested in selling PowerPC processors or support hardware in the thermal envelope and packaging required for a home console release.

While Nintendo could possibly get away with an ARM processor base for the NX... I'm not sure that would be their best bet given what has been shown with the Polaris architecture.
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#GNiE

Right location. Accidentally pushed to the Android N preview. I'm hoping this is the affordable answer to Samsung's overpriced Galaxy Note 6.
 
#‎MiMax‬ is coming on May 10! It's a phone with a large display yet fits well in your hands and pockets. I like phones with large displays because _______
See more: http://en.miui.com/thread-271518-1-1.html
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+Anshul Singla : not being native to your location I'm not sure I could offer specific directions. I do know that http://www.gearbest.com/ lists India as a shipping location.
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#GNiE   #MurkyPolitics   #OracleLost   #GoogleWon   #APIsAreNotCopywritableToBeginWith   #APIFairUse  

+Oracle got their rear handed to them again in a jury verdict. In a unanimous decision a jury decided that even if the Java API's were covered under copyright law, +Google's usage of of those API's to build #Android  were covered under #FairUse .

(yes I am aware of the Appeals Court Verdict, It's also flat wrong)

Oracle's lawyers quickly shook their fist in the air, stamped their feet, and held their breath until their faces turned blue. I wish I could report that there were snippits of "Nuh uh" and "says who" or the always popular "Just you wait" emanating from the vocal chords of those lawyers. Sadly the only childish lines Oracle's Lawyers could deliver covered just as silly statements like "plenty of grounds to appeal" and "this is not over."

Sadly; given how the Court of Appeals butchered the ruling on API and copyright law to begin with; it is very possible that Oracle's #9BillionRansom for Android is not yet a threat of ancient history. It is very possible that a US Appeals court could succumb to political or fiscal pressures as evidenced by the aforementioned verdict concerning API and Copyright Law.

Developers everywhere need to stay alert; stay watchful; and continue to work to remove Oracle from their workplace. Without a doubt; #OracleIsTheNewSCO ; the next generation #CyberCockRoachFromHell .
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Google should be moving away from Java regardless of the court rulings. The benefits of Java in mobile are more then offset by the drawbacks of the language. Compile once run anywhere my a**.
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#GNiE  

Incidentally, while I'm at it. The aforementioned +Xiaomi MIUI's #RedmiNote3Pro  from the last post is also on +GearBest. If I was buying right now this is probably the first phone I would choose. I will admit a certain amount of trepidation over the quality of the glass; mostly as Xiaomi's marketing blurbs are quiet on what it is. I believe it to be Asahi Glass Co's #DragontailGlass  which should be as effective as Gorilla Glass 3 under most usage scenarios.
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#GNiE  

+Xiaomi MIUI's #MiMax  is now starting to show up on various sites with world wide shipping. The lowest US dollar price I've seen for the base 32gb Snapdragon 650 model is ~$289. Average selling price seems to place the device somewhere between ~$325(US) to ~$350(US) depending on color.

Which admittedly; is not a bad price compared to what competitors charge for similar sized #Phablet  devices. It just is a fair bit above the direct currency conversion price point; which were announced at ~$230 for the 32gb/650, ~$260 64gb/652, and ~$300 128gb/652.

That being said; I haven't seen a base price or an average selling price for the 64gb and 128gb models with Snapdragon 652. As far as I can tell these devices do not appear to be shipping in volume.

Assuming #Xiaomi  delivers in volume the grey-market import prices should drop down quite a bit. I imagine the top-end 128gb model will probably settle around the ~$350(US) mark; with the ~64gb model probably tapping ~$300 on average.

Waiting long enough for prices to settle? Bit of a different question there. Every time I talk to somebody, anybody really, about the direction of the smartphone market as driven by LG, Samsung, Apple, and to some extent my previous favorite Sony, there seems to be this general opinion that their product directions are incorrectly aimed. Samsung, for example, no longer announces a price point for their phone. For the US Market Samsung doesn't even make a mid-range product anymore. For the US market Apple simply stuffed the innards of an older phone into a smaller package and called it a day. Sony went off the deep end by changing their flagship branding and posting pre-order pricepoints that generated a minor choking fit. Flagship phone after flagship phone get's thinner and thinner, driving material costs for chassis designs ever higher.

No vendor who currently targets the US Cell Phone market seems to be fielding a product range that uses mid-range +ARM parts from the likes of Qualcomm, +NVIDIA, or Mediatek, to save on power while still delivering yesteryears top-performance... which is perfectly acceptable for most mobile device use-cases. I mean product aspects like a smaller die-size, or upgraded system memory, or a redesigned system chipset, or USB Type-C with DisplayPort I/O in a mid-ranged target. There seems to be no drive to sell smart phones into the US market that simply have a slightly larger case to hold a bigger battery.

Yet these are the exact types of product aspects that Xiaomi keeps knocking out home-runs on. Aspects that ultimately may mean more to the average consumer than a flash badge. Aspects that ultimately may drive more and more consumers to step away from wasting their money on Samsung, LG, Apple, or Sony... and look at what they actually want in their next mobile device. Aspects that may ultimately drive consumers looking for their next mobile device right now to forget waiting for prices to settle; they'll pay the price premium right now just to get a better device: right now.

Speaking for myself; if Xiamoi stuffed one of Nvidia's ARM chipsets with a Pascal derived mobile gpu into a Mi Max chassis and then certified the device as being IP67 capable... I think that'd be one hell of a hard device to ignore.
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#Cinenikki   #Murkypolitics   #Spoilers   #captainamericacivilwar  

Fair warning; this is about +Marvel Entertainment / +Disney's in theater #CaptainAmerica  movie. If you have not yet seen this movie; well; go see it.

After I watched the movie I kind of sat in the parking lot of the theater thinking; just not necessarily about the film itself. Rather, several months ago I questioned in one of Marvel's own threads whether or not the movie would have viewers shouting #ChooseCruz  as they left the theater. The line was supposed to have been a quasi-joke at Disney's increasing return to a left-wing editorial policy that cost the company billions of dollars under former CEO Eisner; political stances that forced a massive effort to construe the accounting reports year after year.

Yet, as I reviewed the events of the past several months in the political realm to those of the movie; it almost seemed like the Russo Brothers were quite prescient. I saw parallels to the Conservative movement in Captain America; with the source of the #NoYouMove  speech changing from Steve Rogers himself to Sharon Carter. The lines about knowing something is wrong even when everybody else is shouting it's right just seemed to ring even louder in the face of the leftist's cause célèbre for unisex bathrooms; or the highly misconstrued calls for privileges and benefits disguised as calls for rights.

Throughout the film Steve Rogers kept trying to do what was ethically and morally correct; even if it wasn't legally correct. Steve Rogers kept placing his own life on the line for what he believed in. At one point Steve Rogers noted correctly that he couldn't stand down as he was possibly the only person who bring in Bucky without anybody dying. I'm not sure that those types of messages were ones that Disney's activist executives really wanted to send through the most popular movie on the planet.

I saw further parallels in the ending of the film. Just a few minutes screen time earlier the Black Panther character had been aligned with Team Iron Man fighting against Team Cap; albeit for the Panther's own interests. Yet in the closing moments Captain America; and much of the rest of the (former) Avengers; found themselves allied with an impossibly wealthy individual. In a single scene King T'Challa was shown to have medical technology at least equal to Shield's, if not superior. Wakanda itself was suggested to be advanced enough that King T'Challa was willing to suggest that the arrayed forces looking for Bucky would only be capable of unsuccessful attempts to capture Bucky. King T'Challa was also positioned to upgrade the Ex-Avengers gear, and even provide Steve Rogers with a new shield. The sole known source for Vibranium on Earth is Wakanda and the Black Panther suit was shown to incorporate the substance in an innovative fashion far beyond what Howard Stark had managed.

From a theatrical in-universe standpoint the relationship is a perfect setup for #InfinityWar . It's also a spooky accurate rendition of the Conservative relationship with #DonaldTrump . Just as King T'Challa was all for the Sokovia Accords and an alliance with Team Iron Man; Mr. Trump is known for funding liberal-leftist democrats and holding personal beliefs that have been defined by the quote/unquote #NewYorkValues . Just as King T'Challa's actions were defined by his own personal goals; Donald Trump's actions have largely been defined by playing a political game to his personal interests. In turn, just as King T'Challa's interests have changed after realizing that Bucky was just a much a victim as the departed King T'Chaka; Mr. Trump's interests have changed as the Democrat party has taken a sharp turn into ideals that are simply bad for Mr. Trump's business endeavors.

Given the time-line for filming and how the political process played out; I can't imagine that some of the analogs I observed were intentional. As much as I'd like to believe that the #TinyDudeIsBigNow  was as much a shot at the press over realizing that the #TaxedEnoughAlready  crowd was not a passing fancy to be ignored; that's probably reading too much into the film.

Speaking of that particular event; post-release interviews have passed on that Disney executives at first found the Ant Man sequence to be silly. The producers had to remind Disney that this was a comic book film and that the transformation would not, in fact, break suspension of disbelief. Fair enough, I'm not the biggest fan of Paul Rudd, but I really enjoyed the #AntMan  solo film. I would also note that the direct transformation of small objects to oversized objects; including organic beings; was already shown on screen in that solo film. Notably the giant ant and the giant toy locomotive.

There is a sequence, or set of sequences in the film, that do shatter the suspension of disbelief. However, those scenes are general critical to the films communication of just how badly Tony Stark is rattled from his close calls over the years. So before I talk about where the movie went catastrophically wrong, I'd rather discuss what the film did completely right.

Tony Stark; supposedly one of the smartest people on the planet; is caught flat-footed by a single mother spouting bull manure over how she blames Tony for her son's death. Had Tony been on top of his game he probably could have decimated her blame in milli-seconds; noting correctly that if the Avengers had not stepped in, that city would have landed as Ultron Designed and wiped out the entire planet. I can think of a number ways that an A-Game Tony could have left the woman speechless.

Tony's arc throughout the film has sometimes been referred to as his own little Iron Man 4. At the start of Civil War Tony has lost everything that mattered to him, including Pepper Potts. Throughout the film he makes one bad decision after another; culminating in the near-death of his wingman and a savage beat-down at the hands of his own friends. Yet, somewhere, somehow, Tony finds a thread to hold onto. He finds Peter Parker, somebody who has experienced similar losses, and becomes a mentor to the fledgling superhero. Peter offers Tony an opportunity to be a personal role-model; and in the wake of Tony realizing just how badly he messed everything up that thread may be the only thing keeping Iron Stank.. I mean Iron Man... riveted together. Fitting #Spiderman  into Tony Stark's life was a work of genius.

Something else the film did right was re-implement a plot line from #IronMan2 . I'm not a big fan of that movie either; finding it absurdly short and incomplete; a factor likely attributed to the amount of material shot using Mickey Rourke that just simply didn't work. The gist of Iron Man 2 is that Mickey Rourke's character was not interested so much in killing Iron Man; but in making Iron Man bleed. I will admit that the concept of destroying a Hero from within was certainly interesting. Iron Man 2 just did not deliver.

Civil War though? With Col. Zemo? Seriously; one of the best villains to date. A person with absolutely zero superpowers, near non-existent resources, successfully played mind games to pit the Avengers against each other. Even after some of the Avengers became wise to Zemo's involvement the character still managed to fake them out. If it hadn't been for trailers spoiling Steve Rogers "Rough Day" lines to Iron Man; I'd have seriously expected one of the other Kill Squads Soldiers to have come crashing through that door.

At the end of the movie Zemo is still alive; which means he can come back; and being questioned by an Everett K. Ross. Who from the name could possibly be related to a former General Ross. Who was a villain in a previous movie. While this could be shades of setting up Zemo for his transition into the infamous Comic Book Zemo... it also ends the sequence on what the film did right... and the brings up the suspension of disbelief shattering sequence of events.

Those scenes actually occurred fairly early in the movie when the Sokovia Accords are first introduced. The suspension of disbelief boat is still creaking some Tony's encounter with a deluded mother. While I had bought the idea that Tony was rattled; even a rattled Tony should have been on that ball.

That boat burst a few planks when #ThunderboltRoss  appeared on screen. Just to be clear; the #Avengers  movies go out of their way to establish a rapport between #TonyStark  and #TheIncredibleHulk  aka #BruceBanner . #IronMan3  explicitly has an in-universe scene were Tony is talking very openly about his own problems to Bruce; leading to one of the best dead lines Mark Ruffalo has ever delivered. I find it near on impossible to believe that at no point did the in-universe Bruce Banner not convey to Tony Stark the details of his encounters with General Ross. I find it nigh unbelievable that Tony did not abuse his military contracts to get General Ross thrown out of the service.

After the events of the Hulk movie, then General Ross should have been dishonorably discharged from the service. For Tony Stark to turn to a person identified as Secretary of State Ross within the MCU; didn't just strain the extreme limits of suspended disbelief; it started making snapping sounds as planks burst one buy one. Yet it was the presence of two other characters who caused that those snaps to turn into the entire boat disintegrating.

#AgeOfUltron  explicitly forms a relationship between #BlackWidow  and Bruce Banner. Natasha Romanoff is an in-universe crazy-prepared assassin; who also in the #RussoBrothers  exact previous movie, #WinterSoldier , was responsible for publishing the long list of S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets while exposing H.Y.D.R.A. There is no chance in hell that she did not scour those records for any mentions of Bruce Banner. There is no chance in hell she could have possibly been unaware of Ross's previous in-universe interactions with Big Green. Just, I don't buy it. I seriously couldn't buy it. While I could buy that she was not personally responsible for removing Secretary of State Ross's spinal column due to the timeline of when that political position was awarded; but to sit in a room and give somebody who had tortured Bruce Banner a chance to breath without breaking every bone on sight?

Then there was the presence of Steve Rogers in those scenes. While Steve Rogers is not shown to engage in the sheer level of crazy-prepared research that Natasha routinely engages in; he is a trained captain of the US Military. There is no plausible explanation for Steve Rogers to not preform due diligence on his team-mates. Especially after the events of the first Avengers when Steve Rogers first met the Hulk. As of Civil War Steve Rogers is either an active or retired commissioned Officer of the US Military who was in charge of an effective blackops division under S.H.I.E.L.D.; and the on-record leader of the continuing Avengers Initiative. Steve Rogers should have had access to the General Ross encounter under Army Clearance alone. Further more, there is no plausible explanation for Steve Rogers to not have uncovered the link between The Hulk and General Ross in the published S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets.

Given that finding Big Green was certainly a high-priority task in the wake of Age of Ultron, there is a significant amount of doubt cast upon all of the AoU Avengers to not have, in some form or another, been made aware of the General Ross Incidents. With Bruce Banner gone anybody with any previous association should have been priority during information briefings. Just the idea that non of the AoU Avengers were briefed on a person with whom Bruce Banner would have a serious grudge against is inconceivable.

I also find it difficult to believe that other law enforcement agencies were unaware of the General Ross incidents as Winter Solider clearly shows Senator Stern getting arrested by the FBI at the 2:02:21 mark. They would have only made that arrest after pouring through the published evidence from S.H.I.E.L.D. records; records that had to have included the Ross Incidents.

I find it notable that Civil War makes no effort to address events that the Avengers had to have been briefed on. The film makes no effort to sell the idea that the AoU Avengers, even Vision, were not saying anything about Secretary of State Ross not being behind a jail cell because of their own personal political or social positions. Falcon would have been the only easy sell as he would have lacked the clearance to know about the Ross Incidents through the Military; and no direct motivation to perform a record dive on the Hulk. Even then, as already noted, Falcon was an AoU Avenger and would have certainly been briefed on the Hulk and known associations just as a matter of accepting a place on the team.

After the movie was over I just barely managed to rationalize the idea that maybe Natasha was so desperate for the Avengers under the Sokovia Accord to shield her from her now publicly known actions that she would accept the presence of Thunderbolt Ross. Yet Winter Soldier firmly establishes that she wasn't relying on that type of protection; so even that rationalizing really didn't work. I also managed to rationalize Vision's lack of response on the basis that the Ross incidents were discarded as irrelevant data under the present circumstances; and Civil War does make a fair point over how purely logical conclusions can still be completely wrong. So, one character, maybe, had a possibly plausible reason to let Thunderbolt Ross keep an intact spine?

I get that the inclusion of General Ross was supposed to be a nod towards the Hulk Franchise that is caught in a quagmire with Universal. I get the idea that Tony Stark working with Thunderbolt Ross was supposed to be an indication of Tony's F Class Game in action. Still, promoting General Ross to Secretary of State was seriously nothing but fodder for a future +Screen Junkies  #HonestTrailer . Civil War should have just used another character period; and kept Thunderbolt to a non-speaking cameo.

Just a note as to where that cameo would have been appropriate; Secretary of State Ross does appear on the Raft, a floating prison that is actually a pretty good idea as a stand-in for Guantanamo Bay. Sadly, the character does appear in the position his previous actions would warrant: as an Inmate.

For what it is; Civil War is certainly a modern reflection of the political landscape within America today. Doing what is ethically and morally right isn't easy; and sometimes it requires forging partnerships and alliances that would be out-of-place under other conditions.

Will the film actually have an impact on the +GOP convention in July? Not likely. The film will have probably dropped from Theaters and the parallels will only be noted on a handful of blogs.

Will the film have an impact on American Voters themselves? That's a bit more difficult to answer. This film could be hitting Blu-Ray and DVD shortly before the November Elections... and that could be a perfect time to revisit just how much of a conservative vehicle this Disney published film actually is.
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... in the list of what the bloody hell... +Ars Technica pushed out a new site redesign today. While I quite often don't agree with much of the content Ars posts; including a long standing very low opinion of those hired to cover video games and an even lower opinion of Microsoft's number one unpaid spokesperson Peter Bright; I can appreciate the desire of the site's owners to grow the amount of content that is covered. That and Joe Mullin is always worth reading no matter what site he is on.

While I can't, and won't, argue that the default desktop page layout was not desirable for the amount of topics Ars was expanding itself to cover; I will argue that the chosen design as currently implemented was not the solution. On the monitors I had available I found the default new desktop layout to be painful and garrish to read across a wide range of resolutions (1024x768, 1440x900, 1920x1080, and 2560 x 1440). The previous site design allowed the user to select an in-date-order single column view which is semi-replicated through the mobile interface. Which is the interface I quickly switched to in order to find the post announcing a site change.

Granted, website layout isn't exactly my forte, as those who remember a really old fateback website will attest. so I have little input on how the implemented site design could be fixed. The only real feedback I can give is that the implemented solution was not the solution Ars needed.
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Je Saist

Development Troubleshooting  - 
 
 
#GNiE  

Earlier I linked to a story from +Ars Technica about +Sony / +Sony Xperia bringing the #AndroidNDeveloperPreview  to the flagship #XperiaZ3  phone.  Which I thought was good news for me as I actually have a Z3 on the +T-Mobile network.

Only there is some fine print.  The Z3 that #TMobile  seems to have carried is the #D6616 .  The #AndroidN  build provided by Sony is (currently)  only for the #D6603  and #D6653  Z3 devices.  

As of this posting I have no information on if any official  #AndroidN  build will be made available in any form for the D6616. Which given T-Mobile's recent behavior in regards to providing up-to-date  #Xperia  devices to Xperia owners paying for the #TMobileJump  quote/unquote "Insurance"  is certainly... discouraging. 
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