I don't see how Apple is better than anyone else in that regard.
> This is why I've always insisted, for example, that if you're going to start talking about "AI ethics", you had better be talking about how you are going to improve on the current situation using AI, rather than just keeping various things from going wrong. Once you adopt criteria of mere comparison, you start losing track of your ideals—lose sight of wrong and right, and start seeing simply "different" and "same".
Not really. https://www.apple.com/lae/iphone-battery-and-performance/
> Apple's business model does not involve ad revenue or data collection.
I fail to see how ad revenue and data collection has anything to do with battery saving mode.
The implication is clearly that someone whose revenue is based on prying on your personal information has more incentive to do things like this than someone whose revenue is not affected by how much they know about you.
At least on Android I can install a custom ROM, root it, and install a system wide adblocker like adaway. Oh and also my phones cost under 300$ and I can keep them working until I decide it's time to replace it.
Because android works better for me doesn't mean it has to be the same for everyone, but in any case Apple is out to milk money out of you and not to save you from google. Neither companies have your best interest in mind, you're just there to make them money.
Ah. That’ll explain why the 5s - a phone that was released 5 years ago - is still supported with iOS 12.
As per Apple.
I see no reason to trust Apple any more I trust Google. Especially in the context of Snowden's disclosures of tech giants collusion under the Prism program. What they say is only remotely related to what they actually do.
There aren't any saints in the corporate world.
Nevertheless, I doubt that Apple is more inclined to give away their control of your device. I would guess that they could do the exact same as Google did.
Seeing how ads and analytics are so pervasive in the Apple app and music stores, they probably profit from ad revenue and data collection.
Yes. Best way to achieve it is to get Linux running on smartphones, finally, so we can manage our own updates.
(By the way, I'm not looking forward to an era of selfdriving cars which are updated remotely behind the back of the user.)
Bugs are bad and all but I don't understand the "how could Google do this?!" questions. Am I missing something?
The main problem is that this is completely bypassing updates!
* Changing a field's default value (is that even a mistake? users might perceive it that way. Also, is there a difference between a field set to the default value and has never been changed vs a field explicitly set to the default value? Should you change it in the latter case? Did you even track the latter case?).
* Overwriting a field's non-default value and setting it back to default.
* Migrating a field and mapping the non-default value to the wrong non-default value.
* Migrating a tuple of fields to another tuple of fields and getting the map wrong for an edge case subset of the input values (bonus points if that subset was thought to be an impossible state to get into).
The best way to avoid settings updates it to throw it all on the user. eg, Arch Linux just takes the approach: if, you update a file in /etc, the new file is just created with a special file extension and merging the new and current file is left to the user. You don't get nearly as many surprise updates, but... you spend time merging config files, which few people are willing to do.
actually I prefer Slackware's way to do it: you can keep either the new or the old file, or launch vimdiff and merge them yourself
My whole /tmp/ directory was silently deleted by some "cleanup" systemd shit, hours after an update that changed my configuration.
Putting stuff in /tmp and expecting it to stick around has been a user and indeed a system administration mistake for all of that time, motivating, for example, warnings like this in Kent's & Williams' 1990 Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology (volume 22, "The UNIX operating system"):
> /tmp and /usr/tmp: These directories are used by utility programs to contain temporary files. They are cleaned out periodically, so files should not be stored here.
Que Corporation's Using UNIX and Using Linux both said:
> Because the system automatically deletes the contents of this directory periodically, do not keep anything you might need later in this directory.
15 years before the existence of systemd, Linux Filesystem Structure (later to become the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard) was similarly warning:
> /tmp may be cleaned out at boot time or at relatively frequent intervals. Therefore, data stored in /tmp should not be expected to remain for any long period.
A mere 13 years before the existence of systemd, that warning was made starker:
> Programs must not assume that any files or directories in /tmp are preserved between invocations of the program.
If they involuntarily disabled battery saving and caused me to loose service or drain and reduce battery life i could see an issue.
Truly, bemused at the hate. What did you think the t&c said when you enabled updates?
From the thread:
"Ok, but how is it that you have the power to control our phones this way? "
Christ buddy. You have a phone thats made by Google. Google, the company that tracks you everywhere and rolls greenfield updates on all their other software. And then this person says they're going to turn 'allow modify system settings' off... What do these people seriously think Google is going to do?
In all seriousness, the percentage of people willing to forego using an Apple or Google smartphone (or any smartphone) to uphold at least some semblance of (digital) control over their life sometimes feels so low that it should be called a permillage.
This should be the point where I point out that I installed LineageOS for this very reason but even they do stupid stuff, their "April Fools" update this year, for example: https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/04/05/dont-freak-lineageo...
The same debate is around Windows 10. Some people are fine with Microsoft getting a stream of privacy data from them. Others feel it's their device, not Microsofts.
I didn't want Google to control my phone, so I installed LineageOS.
2. Was announced beforehand, not snuck in.
3. Is open-source.
If you mainly use a browser (Firefox, hopefully) and some messaging & mapping apps, works great.
If you want to use other apps, you'll have to do more testing.
I've had sucess with LineageOS 15.1 on a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (codename "whyred"). Unfortunately the phone's LTE bands don't support every country, but it works fine here in India. The phone hardware costs USD 210 and buys a lot of hardware: https://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_redmi_note_5_pro-8893.php
The phone comes with Xiaomi's Android fork called MIUI. It comes with the bootloader locked, and Xiaomi makes you wait for about 2 weeks to 2 months to be able to unlock the bootloader to install a different phone OS (called a custom ROM). Until then, one has to either put up with MIUI or leave the phone sitting on a shelf.
Once you unlock the bootloader, you can install LineageOS on it which is fully open source stock Android with some minimal tweaks and extra privacy features. The current version for this phone is 15.1 which is based on Android Oreo. This reminds me of my old Google Nexus 5's phone OS, but it is far more tweakable.
You can build the LineageOS ROM for your phone from source code: https://download.lineageos.org/whyred
You can install a subset of Google Apps depending on what your preference is: https://wiki.lineageos.org/gapps.html
Or you can avoid Google Apps altogether by using microG instead: https://microg.org/
After 2 weeks of using LineageOS, I am so impressed that I'm willing to shill for it^w^w^w describe about it here.
For your country, if the "whyred" phone's LTE bands are not compatible, you should be able to find a similar phone that is.
When I have time I'm going right back to 14.1 in the hope that that fixes it.
Also none of the stock Android phones they sell have a wait time for bootloader unlocking, it's only the ones with their own os MIUI
"The retailers would buy Xiaomi devices in bulk, unlock the bootloader, change the software themselves or flash a custom ROM like Xiaomi.eu (unofficial ROMs based on MIUI China but with more languages and features), and then sell the device. Most consumers would have no way of knowing they’re running unofficial/modified software, and would instead blame Xiaomi for a lack of updates or bugs they encounter."
It's right there on the boot screen. They can make it more explicit if they want with a red skull or whatever. That reason doesn't fly. Also, what changes in 30 days ?
Edit: I suspect Xiaomi do this to keep you using MIUI as long as possible because they make money from showing ads in various parts of the system, and also sync your data back to their cloud which probably is resold in some derived form to advertisers. In my opinion, MIUI sucks. MIUI vs. LineageOS proved it is the phone OS (software) which influences how much a person likes a phone, rather than the hardware.
They've recently increased the wait time from 2 weeks to 2 months which had buyers complaining loudly on forums. So for their newest device (the Pocophone) they reduced the wait time to about 3 days. But I think the long wait times still exist for other phone models.
The wait time depends on Xiaomi's mood-of-the-day. They keep fluctuating it.
And to the Chinese MSS perhaps?
 http://xiaomitool.com/MiUnlockTool - make sure to run it on a 64bit machine as the included fastboot binary doesn't work on 32bit installations
I loathe going back to Oneplus's stock ROM as they modified it to kill background processes to make the phone seem like it has better battery life. I own a Tesla Model 3 and it uses the phone as a key, and the stock ROM doesn't work well with it at all.
They do look at them. But I would suggest taking a quick glance at those logs and see if you notice anything familiar. It may be something you recognize.
I tried running it before it starts locking up and don't see anything of note.
It isn't advice or suggestion BTW.. just my experience. :)
Do you build your own car? Or bike? Or home? Or even mattress? All of these can be done with reasonable skills, they aren't because you pay for a finished product, in most cases, for the economy to remain productive. No one ever said 'reinvent the wheel' for making progress.
Just pretend it says "It would take a tech enthusiast to install [...] but the OS once installed can be used by all".
There's plenty of benefits Google's product offers that lineage doesn't. The surprising thing is, this kind of parameter toggling (turning on battery saver in an OS update) typically happens in non-Google OS-es too. What are you even offering, other than rhetoric, by suggesting lineage as an alt? How does lineage prevent an OS update from toggling a feature - something put in source code.
Lies, damn lies
It is not to keep the economy productive. That is an artifact of real value.
And, "keeping the economy productive" can mean making things for people that seem like they have value, but maybe break early, or have some catch.
This really bothers me... I am starting to think we need a truly open source phone. That is hardware and software. like GNU/phone or something.
We must have full control over our hardware and software!
Viva La Gnu! (no clue what this actually means, but it seemed like the thing to say at this time).
While I appreciate Mozilla's recent exploits like the IoT Gateway (https://iot.mozilla.org/gateway/), they should have put all their non-thunderbird non-firefox effort into FirefoxOS, it was a strategic bet.
I even added SSH, nginx, and ran a webserver off it.
I'm hoping for KDE Connect to come through. I want seemless integration from a mobile device to a desktop.
A girl can dream
Someone posted these up and comers today that look somewhat polished now (versus when I've looked at them in the past):
- Ubuntu Touch seemed like vaporware years ago but seems to be making progress
- Purism is making the Librem phone and it's running F/OSS linux (debian?) underneath, and for some reason they're building their own thing, but it might be awesome as well.
I just want someone to hurry up and add some competition to the landscape already.
But yes, it's a matter of convenience mostly.
The only strike against FFOS as a platform that you mentioned was speed, and I acknowledge that web-based apps do render slower than native ones 99% of the time. The parser/execution system that handles HTML/CSS/JS is almost guaranteed to be slower than one that can handle a more limited subset (there's just less to do).
That said, speed seems like a red herring though -- just how fast do you need your banking application to be? Is the half-second you had to wait longer to see your balance really the mission-critical feature? I get that rendering speed is important, but there are lots of bloated native apps that don't render as fast as possible either.
Also I want to point out that rendering and performance of web UIs could be good on phone hardware, the native implementations just have to want that to be the case. I honestly haven't thought about it deeply, but I also haven't seen a compelling case for why android/iOS's specific markup languages naturally render faster than something that was HTML based -- android/iOS just have subsets of the power HTML offers and that's where the savings is.
[EDIT] - I got what you mean about bringing Android-to-ChromeOS, so removed the section asking for clarification
If I am not mistaken it was Timothy Jordan that explained it on an interview.
So Google, the company pushing Web UIs, including PWAs in collaboration with Microsoft, still thinks they aren't worthwhile to be the default stack on their devices.
Also, since when was Google "the" company pushing web UIs forward? Mozilla is that company in my mind -- remember the time when they made a whole mobile operating system based on it, and at the same time tried to push forwards for various parts along (WebBluetooth, other APIs)? That's what investing in the web as a platform looks like. Flutter is successful, but not in a way that plays nicely with anything else -- if you want to push a platform forward or encourage growth, doing things that play nicely with others even if they're less convenient for you is the way to go.
I'd love to be enlightened to what you think is the problem with DOM in particular that makes it not the right model -- TVML and UWP dropped the DOM, but basically replaced them with their own walled-garden re-implementations of basically the same concept. A quick look at the documentation for both and pages like collectionList in TVML and the Getting Started page for UWP look just like shitty HTML.
Ultimately, I can see why they would invent their own UI languages, because it means they don't have an external standard to comply with and can move pretty quickly. I think this is the major reason, not that those other markup languages they created are magically better than HTML's standard. Again, I think this is less of an indictment of HTML than it is companies trying to move as fast as they can without care for interop -- great for them, but probably bad for developers who have to learn all their little languages that are re-creations of an established standard.
> I'd love to be enlightened to what you think is the problem with DOM in particular that makes it not the right model
The way DOM semantic works is no match for a composition engine designed from the bottom up for accelerated graphics UI.
DOM is for displaying documents not interactive graphics.
This is also the main reason why Flutter team dropped DOM, at they were hitting the border of what was possible while keeping DOM semantics.
Also why Houdini project exists, but it is far from ever reaching the browsers.
So that raises the question why Google, the king of the web, wouldn't want it.
Mozilla seems to do the most work trying to move the web as a platform forward.
Flutter is a system that would be impossible to create or fund unless you were at google scale, because it's massively wasteful as an idea -- it's literally a complete rendering engine and widget system built from relative scratch. It offers more flexibility than adhering to any other established UI standard, so I'm not surprised it made sense for them -- surely they can move faster with Flutter than they can by trying to support all of HTML.
There is a cost to using established standards and being held accountable to outside forces, Google just chose not to pay that tax here, which is well within their rights.
No one derives more power and money from the web than Google, and therefore they have a vested interest in keeping the web at competitive levels of performance compared to native platforms.
So if neither Google nor Mozilla can make web rendering as fast as Flutter, then I suspect that there is an inherent technical reason for that and not just lack of want.
That was the story of the Ubuntu Phone.
At least in the US the people sort of own the airwaves, maybe we can push for our government to enforce open protocols for connecting to cell networks?
- OpenMoko (2006)
- Symbian (2009)
- MeeGo (2010)
- Mer (2011)
- Jolla (2011)
- Tizen (2012)
- Ubuntu Touch (2013)
- Firefox OS (2013)
- Web OS (2013)
So it is a bit more than just lack of marketing.
- Maemo: open middleware, closed many applications and some drivers
- OpenMoko: closed drivers
- Symbian: was it ever libre?
- Meego: same as Maemo
- Mer: this is actually open AFAIK, but no native devices I know of
- Jolla: Android kernel (closed drivers), closed applications
- Tizen: ?
- Ubuntu Touch: Android kernel
- Firefox OS: Android kernel
- Web OS: ?
Only a couple of the above really matter in this light.
...also the fact that they have boot up sound means that they are not focusing on user experience and needs, but on copying any and all features from the current phones :(
Where did you learn that? I 1) didn't think they did and 2) even if they did the bootloader should be user replaceable. I could be wrong though..
fun fact, it was originally included in older phones as a marketing gimmick, a way to generate more revenue. someone at nokia or siemens had the idea to sell it to operators the same way as an Ad spot is sold. telco operators paid manufacturers to have their jingle there instead. and in markets without buyers, they put in the manufacturer jingle as a placeholder.
(I have no experience with that phone or whether it's good, just found it mentioned recently and very curious about it in general)
Have you had successful experience running Ubuntu Touch on the Fairphone 2? I'm ok with occasional bugs, but it needs to be still be reliable as a daily phone.
I generally don't trust any review that goes to the extremes like that, as I find it incredibly hard to believe that a device can have such extreme difference of views unless there's bias or intent behind it.
Super keen to hear from anyone who can give me a proper breakdown of pros/cons though. I'm very close to buying one, but I don't have the expendable income to take too big a risk on stuff like this (I know it's always a risk, but still).
What you're actually looking for is a phone where you manually initiate updates, and where it's guaranteed that change in behavior (e.g. theough experiments) can only be controlled through the device and not remotely.
With OS it's more likely to get that, but not guaranteed.
Bugs are part of it too (smaller I think), everything is moving fast enough that early reporting mostly took place of extensive testing.
I agree with you however. We must be able to have more control over something that has become so personal.
But I think what we really need is the smartphone-equivalent of the IBM PC.
It would allow anybody to develop a nice OS.
And with emulators you could still run Android/iOS apps.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how good it is or isn't.
> Firefox OS is a discontinued open-source operating system
It only confirms that what we really need is a common hardware platform, like the IBM PC was in the old days.
The GP's comment still stands though, it's a dead platform. Mainstream support ends on December 10, 2019, but lots of little things will die as we get closer to that date. Recently the Podcast app stopped letting me add new podcasts with some vague error about being unable to contact Bing. When Microsoft shut down their music service they killed Cortana's ability to identify music playing in the background. Notifications can be hit or miss depending on the app in question.
I went through the same cycle with webOS. What finally did it in the end for me was the browser crashing on about every 6th website I would visit.
I mean, I imagine that there is a control room where people receive an order by the president, together with a launch code, then an officer in command retrieves the other half of the launch code from a safe he opens with a key he keeps at all times on a chain around his neck, and then two other officers, each one with at least 5 years of service and the grade of captain enter the code and press simultaneously two buttons on two consoles rather far apart.
But I fear that the procedure is much simpler and - theoretically - at the reach of a disgruntled or "gone mad" employee, hired only a couple months before...
Backstory: It was created after the death of copperheadOS to fill in the gap. It builds stock AOSP (without any google play blobs), and signs it with your own keys for verified boot. This project is still pretty new, and has some limitations. It builds on aws, whereas I would like to do local builds. Still, a pretty neat and useful project.
I think that in practice, that applies to only the privacy sensitive features. Would you be upset if suddenly they rolled out a feature that reduced battery consumption by 10%?
This particular case was obviously a bug, but I suppose every software manufacturer is continuously doing A/B testing, and 99% of time the user would not even notice. I would be surprised if Google was not doing A/B testing, and did not have the whole framework for doing it.
If they secretly installed it, of course I would be. It's not like this is the only way to deliver features...
On live (not beta), unsuspecting users, without their consent?
If you're talking about battery saving mode, I would be upset if they activated the feature (turning it on) without my consent, yes. I don't have issues with Google pushing improvement to their code via OS updates.
From my perspective there shouldn't be a problem for Apple to have the regular updates work as you describe. And also for them to have an alternative method they can use without any user intervention at all. (Which probably very seldom is used.)
> Did you even read the post? It was a bug... They do A/B testing and experiments all the time. What's up with hackernews and going full technopanic at the smallest most benign things. It's not like someone at Google hacked into your phone and turned battery saver off.
I'm sure he did read the post.
For Google to perform A/B experiments on a random person's phone, they'd have to remotely manipulate that person's phone, which means Google has control of it at all times. They shouldn't even have the capability to perform an A/B test. We're not talking about some webapp running on their servers.
Ever heard of remote lock down features?
Don't use a Google phone if you don't want to be the product. That simple. Why would anybody trust Google and the Android ecosystem with security in general?
Sent from my galaxy s9
anecdotal story with absolutely zero proof
As much as I like my Pixel, simpler times of loading apps onto a Palm trek with a wire like syncing music onto an iPod comes to mind.
Externally initiated and unattended changes to my phone only impact the ability to trust and rely on my phone. This is a battery setting today, but might it be the last thing?
Windows forced updates and reboots come to mind of where we could end up.
In 2016, Trump (probably his admin he didn’t know anything) wanted to appoint the most badass anti monopoly czar in America. Probably the most momentous position in recent memory in terms of the future of society. Sounds like I’m exaggerating, but free speech, monopoly, hate speech, income inequality, spying, tracking everything, face recognition, Orwellian themes, and potential usurpation of nation states in favor of data harvesting multinationals was on the line. Google used all their lobbying capital to shut it down. Threatened to nuke every bipartisan bill and every conservative judicial appointment with the congressmen in their pockets. The WSJ had a great expose about this.
In the end the one man who scared the hell out of even Google and was poised to take down uber monopolies like att&t, Disney etc. was passed over for a pushover.
The title makes it sound like they hacked in your phone. With that logic, any time your apps update or you get a notification, you're getting hacked.
The title is accurate. The Google account linked to says just as much.
> The post quite literally says it's an experiment, accidentally enabled. A bug.
And this can be accurate too, without being in conflict with any claim in the title.
> Literally an A/B test, which they do all the time.
On accounts enrolled into beta programs. Not on regular accounts. This one happened to phones with only regular accounts.
> The title makes it sound like they hacked in your phone.
The title makes it sound — at best — as if it was unexpected. Which it was. The title does not make it sound like they "hacked in your phone". Perhaps you're reading some outrage in the title that isn't there.
The title is: "Google remotely activated battery saving more on multiple people's phone today", which they did (saw it on my own 2XL). That's it. That's a fact. There's no mentions of Google hacking anybody's phone.