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Ian Argent
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The leak camera of Android version 4.3 is out. Changed interface and UI bu Google. Originally shared by XDA memeber sonyxperiarebel

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Swype is finally on the Market. Get it, don't regret it.

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I may have bought my last computer as a single entity a few years back because of this
The User vs The Machine

This post isn't about what you probably think it's about. It's not about usability, really. It's about what you own, and how you own it.

I just had a new PC built. In order to make this new machine be MY machine I had to do lots of configuration. I reinstalled numerous applications, including a few expensive ones like the Office suite and Photoshop. I moved my documents across. Most recently I bought new backup software (which I'd been evaluating) and licensed it to that machine. And the OS, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, is also licensed to that machine. My iTunes collection has been authorized on that machine, but it can be de-authorized there and taken with me when I leave (as I someday will.)

I installed Steam, and realized that my kids have a Steam account, but I wanted my own. Then I realized that the games we've bought on Steam don't follow a machine. They follow the user (or in this case the "account.")

Amid rumors that the next XBox will require a persistent internet connection, I got to thinking about how we're living in the worst of both worlds right now. 

It used to be that every piece of software you bought, from the lowest-level OS to the heaviest-hitting application and all the way up to the ditziest pack of screen-savers was installed on a machine, and it was all yours. If the machine died, or if you upgraded, you could (usually) re-install everything on the new box.

(LONG parenthetical aside: Remember the tech-support complaints in the early 90's, in which people were mocked for whining about how they bought a computer, but it doesn't do anything until they bought MORE stuff? And the mockery ran along the lines of "you have to put gas in your car, but you don't complain there." Bad metaphor. My PC and my VW Beetle are both tools, and one happens to require more customization. When you buy a computer, it's more like buying a vehicle chassis, and then buying extras like seats, body panels, etc. based on how you plan to use it.) 

We appear to be heading toward a world in which the machine is a platform upon which a transient entity, the user, makes his or her presence felt by engaging an account, and lo! Gigabytes of applications, documents, music, movies, and more are downloaded, authorized, and engaged on that platform. When the user logs out or leaves, all that's gone, following the user to his or her next authorization/destination.

To my understanding, that's how the Chromebook works. 

This, by the way, is how the ancient terminals worked, only now we have more streaming media, quieter printers, not to mention the sum of all human knowledge accessible from our phones.

So... user vs machine: Right now some of "my" stuff belongs to me everywhere all the time, some of it follows me from machine to machine, and some of it is perma-locked to a single machine. My OS is hardware locked. My Nintendo Store downloads are also hardware locked. But the Nintendo games for which we have physical copies can travel from machine to machine, and my Google Chrome bookmarks, Steam games, and iTunes purchases follow me around. My Dropbox, Drive, and Skydrive (just kidding -- I don't use Skydrive) allow my documents to follow me anywhere, too.

Keeping all that straight is a massive pain in the neck. I ran a Windows Migration last week, and it failed to transfer some key OS customizations -- fonts, in this case -- which you'd think would be considered transferable. I had to go font hunting this morning in order to be able to script comics. Also not transferred? Dozens of document templates, application automations, and workspaces which I had to re-create from scratch.

I don't know where we're actually headed, but I do know this -- the driving force in the business and consumer spaces will not be "user convenience" or "portability." The driving force will be "what the market willingly pays the most for." 

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A nice followup if, like me, you liked +Neal Stephenson 's "Mother Earth, Mother Board" back in the early 1990s.

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A little bit of an opinion:
When you make the argument that the only use for a gun is to kill, you're using the same logic that says the only use for a first-person shooter video game is to train to kill.

I just got challenged to define the limits of what I believed the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms protected (with reference to the Marque and Reprisal clause and it's clear contemplation by the Framers that private citizens would have access to the military-grade weaponry of the time).
I believe (in accord with Peelian Principles of Policing) that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to keep and bear the same type of equipment as is used by police officers to defend themselves and the public; on the grounds of "the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence." 
Police carry firearms to defend themselves and others, and to keep the peace; they are (nominally) subject to the same laws regarding use of force as are any other member of the public (though the doctrine of "qualified immunity" means they are accorded a presumption of correctness in their actions that the private person is not; and that any improper action is considered the fault of their agency, not themselves, unless negligence on their own part can be proven.)
If there is a type of weapon or accessory in use by the police that you feel shouldn't be in private hands, ask yourself, why do the police need it? As a consequence of the "War on Drugs" and "War on Terror" I find the police to have become overly-militarized; and that an unhealthy blurring of the lines between police and military roles has occurred

We arm very young adults with semi-automatic firearms with >10-round magazines for the express purpose of defending self and others and hold them to a not-very-demanding standard as regards accuracy in use. They are minimally supervised at a moment-to-moment level on the job, and not at all when off-duty (where they are usually expected to still be armed), and call them Police Officers and expect them to have as their primary job the general civic duty of maintaining good order. Police officers are held to the same standards as far as legitimate use of self-defense as any other person, except that they have "qualified immunity" when on-duty, and the federal government requires that retired police officers be permitted to carry under the same requirements as in-service officers in the state of residence.
For that matter, much of the country only tests competence with a firearm once, if at all; I'd have to check how many states require some kind of qualification test to carry a firearm in public in some way. I can name at least 5 states in which no permit or test is required at all to possess a loaded handgun in public, at least while unconcealed (AK, AZ, VT, PA*, VA* - the last two require the firearm to be unconcealed to be possessed in public without a permit, and Philadelphia requires a permit for any sort of public possession of a loaded handgun), and I believe that most states where permits are "shall-issue" do not require a qualification test. 

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This was a triumph!

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