Fucking Cell Phones

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Bongo Bill
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Bongo Bill » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:15 am

I'm aware of the existence of alternative keyboards that purport to make typing without buttons less excruciating.
...but is it art?

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Mothra
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Mothra » Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:26 pm

Well, it does take the act of typing out of the equation. Worth a shot.

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Bongo Bill
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Bongo Bill » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:09 am

Swiping is still typing, and my experience with the swiping on the stock Android keyboard tells me that I will inevitably insert too many wrong words when I can't feel what letter I'm using, and also will run into the problem where it autocorrects proper nouns and ambiguities like "to/too." Swiftkey has some very nice-looking features but my experience with swiping-based keyboards has been even worse than hunting-and-pecking based ones, even if it is faster.
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Bongo Bill
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Bongo Bill » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:19 pm

Holy shit, sorry for whining so hard.
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Thad
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:25 pm

Blackberry's still your best choice if you want a physical keyboard. I think the new ones even run Android apps. I don't know much about them but it's probably worth reading up on some reviews.

I use SwiftKey, and while I certainly have all the vexations with it that you mention, I am inclined to think that if someone as anal retentive about the English language as I am can get used to it, then anyone can.

It's definitely a handicap, though, and I've had to develop a completely different set of parameters for how I use my phone versus how I'd use a computer with a full keyboard.

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Brentai » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:59 pm

You can buy a slide-out keyboard case for the big brand phones, and that probably won't make it any bulkier than my Epic 4G already was.

But yeah, if the Internet was killing proper communication already, the mobile net is taking it out back and putting it out of its misery.

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby sei » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:38 pm

Bongo Bill wrote:Swiping is still typing, and my experience with the swiping on the stock Android keyboard tells me that I will inevitably insert too many wrong words when I can't feel what letter I'm using, and also will run into the problem where it autocorrects proper nouns and ambiguities like "to/too." Swiftkey has some very nice-looking features but my experience with swiping-based keyboards has been even worse than hunting-and-pecking based ones, even if it is faster.


SwiftKey seems to learn better than the Android stock, even though both support trace input. My main gripe with SK is to/too. My experience with continuous swiping (moving down to the space bar without lifting my thumb) has been poor. However, even though I do not use my phone frequently, I'm finding that I can swipe blind and generally get my intended results, save auto-correct thinking I meant to use a less-infrequently-used word.
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:22 pm

It's also fascinating seeing how it learns.

And what other people are typing in the aggregate. If you type "Ron", it predicts the next word will be "Paul".

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby sei » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:12 am

Yep, noticed some of that too. Especially with two+ word brand names.
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Mothra » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:52 pm

I mean, I'm as skeptical as the next guy about anything that has build-in autocorrect. Swiftkey really is worlds better than the default keyboard.

Honestly think it's worth the three dollars to try it out, because I was wary as hell at first and now I'm working on stories on G Drive with this thing.

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby sei » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:10 pm

Privacy and security are bigger concerns than the $3 investment, IMO.
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Mothra » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:02 pm

You're worried it's a keylogger?

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby TA » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:25 pm

Well, if it contributes what you're typing and what words follow other words to a central aggregate for prediction, that's kind of inherently got privacy issues.
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:43 pm

I think it's opt-in -- at least, the part where it cloud-saves your personal DB is. (I know that much because every time I reinstall my phone OS I have to re-teach it.)

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Mothra » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:46 am

Wouldn't the standard Android or iPhone keypad be way more likely to be storing your key strokes somewhere than some third-party company?

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby sei » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:46 pm

Mothra wrote:You're worried it's a keylogger?

I use it. I wouldn't have, if I suspected foul play.

SK records everything (except possibly passwords?) to refine the autocompletion / suggestions. SK probably doesn't keep a primitive keylogger-style plaintext blob of input, as it'd be inefficient as hell for the algorithm to reference. Still, something's there and depending on whether malware is run at elevated privilege, it may be able to grab it. What I'm saying is that any keyboard that "learns" probably inherently poses some risk. Whether that risk is higher than that posed by the default keyboard cache (ignore that this is an iOS article), I can't really say.

SK aside, there's the possibility of shit like CarrierIQ shenanigans that we haven't caught on to yet. I expect there are court-mandated backdoors in almost everything at this point, which is sad.
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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Thad » Sun May 04, 2014 6:43 pm

Cyanogenmod OnePlus One released; better specs than the Nexus 5 at an even lower price. US version works on T-Mobile and AT&T.

Looks pretty sweet; obviously it's at a disadvantage when it comes to third-party hardware support (cases etc.), and I'm a Sprint user so it's no good for me. Still, interesting to see this happening, and I hope in the long term it means friendlier support for Cyanogenmod updates across all devices.

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Brentai » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:58 pm

A couple days ago I got an OTA update to KitKat. Since then my keyboard has been hiding itself at inappropriate times, and every once in a while my screen will turn itself off in a unique way (randomly blinking out each line, like an old-fashioned demo wipe). I noticed it getting really hot today and checked it out; my battery is now down to 49%, which is a big deal - ending the day with it in the 80s is considered "heavy use" for this phone. Even more disturbing, the battery report is giving "Android System" as the biggest drain at 35%.

Working fine now so far after a restart, but, well, fucking cell phones.

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Rico » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:51 pm

I've had this pop up a couple of times, think it's just something getting misreported and lumped in. I'm at a pretty normal battery drain but it's reporting 50% Android OS, 40% services, 3% screen (jokes).

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Re: Fucking Cell Phones

Postby Thad » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:25 pm

Decided to try setting up my old (Evo 4G) phone as a music player in the kitchen.

On the list of Very Simple Things That Are Needlessly Complicated on Android, you can add "playing music from an SMB share in the next room".

Samba Network Music Player is designed for that exact purpose -- but it doesn't have FLAC support. If I wanted to convert all my music to a lossy format to play on a cell phone, I'd just fucking copy it to the cell phone instead of streaming it over my network.

I tried the Android version of XBMC. Out of all the solutions I tried, it worked smoothest on the backend, but on the frontend? Well, the problem is that it's a straight port -- it has exactly the same GUI as the desktop version. It's probably usable on a tablet but it's fat-finger hell on a phone screen. (I suppose I could have tried installing XBMC Remote and pointing it toward 127.0.0.1, but that's terrible.)

The other downside is that, while I got XBMC to work briefly on the firmware I was using (Ubersonic, a custom ROM specifically designed to turn inactive phones into media devices), I've since switched to Cyanogenmod (because Ubersonic wouldn't connect to my Bluetooth speaker) and can't get XBMC to install on it. (Possibly because Ubersonic is ICS-based and the version of CM I'm using is Gingerbread? Don't know.)

Since then I've set up CIFSManager and mounted my music share as if it's a local file. I got n7player to read the share, sit there for a very long time pulling metadata for 6000 songs, and then play a couple before it started sputtering and then, after pausing and resuming, showing a completely different song onscreen than the one that was playing through the speaker.

I couldn't get Poweramp to view the share at all, but I suspect at this point Samba was choking, because I couldn't browse the directory with a file manager either.

So, tl;dr I don't think SMB sharing is the way to go. I think I might look into Ampache or something.

Long-term, of course, this is a very silly project and I'd probably be better off just buying a Raspberry Pi. Or a cheap TV and a Chromecast. But I kinda like working with stuff I've already got lying around the house not doing anything, and at the very least I'm learning some things.


(Also the n7player interface seems terribly inconvenient -- what if I WANT to listen to an artist I only own one album from? -- but I kinda love how it reminds me of my blog's tag cloud, what with "Frank Zappa" in giant letters.)

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