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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
"Last year's phone"
Posted May 16, 2012 4:00 UTC (Wed) by ewen (subscriber, #4772)
Posted May 16, 2012 4:55 UTC (Wed) by thisisme (subscriber, #83315)
Too true... My Nokia N900 has started to show signs of the infamous Micro USB port problem, and I have been really struggling to identify a replacement.
Posted May 16, 2012 17:53 UTC (Wed) by dsommers (subscriber, #55274)
I have an N900 which really begins to behave unreliably (had a nasty vfat failure, which wiped most of /home/user/MyDocs) ... since that, it has been rather unstable. I'll try to reflash it and hope it improves.
But I'm really struggling to find a *real* alternative. Nokia ditched the MeeGo platform, which could have been a real alternative. No way am I going to support Nokia by buying their devices when they're not committed to MeeGo or Tizen. And the only interesting Nokia device with MeeGo can't be bought in the shops even, the N950.
One of my requirements I probably have to forget about, is a hardware keyboard. As I'm using my N900 for a lot of SSH stuff, I can't imagine the pain a touch-keyboard would be. I hope an external bluetooth keyboard may become my "plan B". Motorola have a few models, which is not available in Northern-Europe, and then there's HTC's Desire Z which is outdated.
I considered webOS - but its future is also vague/unclear, and devices with the right specs isn't easy to come over where I live. And there haven't been much happening around Tizen either. So the most open alternative left is Android - which is really a big pity ... but I'd rather go straight for CM instead, as I don't trust Google enough. CM seems more like a more real Android community than Google's Android, no matter how oddly that might sound.
If just a device with specs similar to HTC One S comes arrive a hardware keyboard ... I would jump to that boat rather soonish. But I doubt that will happen. And I wonder how long I can keep the N900 alive in the mean time.
If anyone have some good suggestions, I'm all ears.
Posted May 17, 2012 8:56 UTC (Thu) by thisisme (subscriber, #83315)
Amen to that.
Given the sad fact that my N900 will eventually die, probably sooner rather than later, I won't have the option of waiting who-knows-how-long for Tizen / Boot2Gecko / a future open-source WebOS device. And of course there are no guarantees that any of the above three will actually materialize, let alone survive as a viable alternative in the long term. Let alone producing a compelling device with a HW keyboard, which seems to becoming more and more of a niche.
In my mind, that leaves Android as the only option, despite all misgivings I have about the Google mothership. Sadly, as you pointed out, there aren't many phones with a keyboard. I have sort of half-decided to get the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro. It appears that it is possible to get the latest CM working on that, even though it doesn't appear on their "official" list of supported devices.
Posted May 16, 2012 7:43 UTC (Wed) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640)
Only if you choose to buy a subsided phone.. nothing comes free. Buy an unlocked android phone like galaxy nexus.
> the lesser of two evils
If you consider and 98% closed source iOS lesser evil than a 90% open source system...
> I'd rather not give all my calendar/contact/etc information to any megaplex, kthx.)
No need to: https://android-client.forge.funambol.org/
Even better, you can actually build your own galaxy nexus aosp build without any apps that talk back to the google mothership. meanwhile, your iphone is still sending all kinds information to apple..
Posted May 16, 2012 8:27 UTC (Wed) by ewen (subscriber, #4772)
Thanks for the pointer to non-Google data sync with Android. It's definitely useful to know that the situation has improved over 2-3 years ago when I was last making the decision (where AFAICT at the time it was "sync via Google, or no sync at all" -- neither of which was desirable).
Posted May 16, 2012 9:43 UTC (Wed) by job (guest, #670)
Posted May 16, 2012 9:58 UTC (Wed) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
- Sent with disgruntlement from my HTC Desire
Posted May 16, 2012 12:25 UTC (Wed) by job (guest, #670)
You can still make calls, send SMSes, use the GPS, use the browser, and install as many third party apps as your heart desire. What else could you want? I know I didn't run into any other limitation.
The fact that Google requires an account to use for example Latitude or Gmail is not something you can hold against Android. They don't offer Gmail anonymously on any platform.
Posted May 16, 2012 12:40 UTC (Wed) by yaap (subscriber, #71398)
For example, my device is registered (for Market/Play access) but the only data seen from my Google account dashboard is the phone id and list of downloaded applications. There's no calendar information because I don't use Google calendar but my company groupware instead. Other services are equally blank as I don't use them either.
So there's some amount of granularity in what you want to show Google.
However I find the fact that the WiFi settings are sync'd puzzling. It doesn't show on the dashboard, but I'll be sure to try it when I get a cheap/small Android tablet end of this year (current tablets are too expensive for what I see as a couch potato device ;).
Posted May 26, 2012 17:41 UTC (Sat) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
Posted May 26, 2012 19:12 UTC (Sat) by job (guest, #670)
Posted May 16, 2012 20:03 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Not without your permission!
Posted May 16, 2012 7:50 UTC (Wed) by job (guest, #670)
If you want to sync calendars and contacts over the air to your own server, there is third party software available for this. It works beautifully.
I ran my phone without the account and the functionality loss I suffered was the Play Store. It's a pain installing software manually. There is multiple replacements, including F-Droid for free software, but none that come close in number of packages offered. Other services, such as Maps, works.
So "big G 0wns your data" is really a red herring. Android is perfectly usable without a Google account, something that can not be said about Apple, where the iPhone is pretty much an expensive brick without an iTunes account.
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