No highs, no lows, gotta be Bose
As any audio pro/ audiophile knows, Bose is an acronym for Bring Other Sound Equipment.
95 posts • joined 3 Jan 2008
It sounds like someone OD'd on the whale-song and incense. I can sympathize with the need to keep rent and what not low, but to build a business model on hot-seat office space without a real grand plan in mind, and have it's mission to be to ".... elevate the world’s consciousness." just seems, well, not well thought out, to put it generously. I wish them the best, and hopefully The Face Book will buy them out to prevent competition in the idiocy sector, but, I suppose, time will tell.
-The Czech Republic still tops the world consumption league by some margin. Precise figures vary but Japanese brewer Kirin reckons the Czechs down an admirable with 183 litres per person per year (322 pints), down on previous years but still well ahead of Austria in second place with a measly 106.6 litres. The UK languishes in 23rd place with just 66.5 litres.-
I could drink those Czechs under the table. Like my father, and his father before him, I usually don't stop till my urine is flammable. It's practically a Minnesota tradition to down cheap beer until you cannot stand up or see straight, and start speaking in cursive. Even our last state governor was an admitted alcoholic and it didn't hurt his reputation one bit. You have to have a hobby to pass the time during our long, cold winters. Here's mud in your eye!
For the past several months, I've been running a bit of an experiment- running Ubuntu 18.04 from a 16GB USB 3 stick, and Steam/Proton on an additional 128GB USB 3 stick. Two USB sticks, an Intel Core I5-2500K, an MSI Lightning GTX-780, 8GB of RAM, and that's it. The idea was to see if, once and for all, Linux could be a true "daily driver" OS/environment for me. Before this, gaming was my one hangup with Linux. Wine could be pressed into service, but to get any particular Win32 app to work often took more effort than it was worth. Play on Linux was certainly a step forward, for non-Steam games or applications, but Steam with Proton makes using Linux for gaming as simple as pie, with few bugs and little noticeable drop in performance in games (which for me are mostly Bethesda ES/FO games). I've had to fallback on my Win 10 installation only to back-up/sync my iPhone before an OS upgrade, or to access my Windows stripped array to get to old files. If you told me 18 months ago that I would be booting into Linux daily for work and play, I'd have said you're daft. Now, however, I've come to appreciate the simplicity and utility that Ubuntu has to offer. Fully booted, at idle, it uses a mere ~800MB of RAM, and the processor is practically comatose (as an aside, there was a time, of course when even 1GB of RAM seemed to be fantasy to me, having been brought up on a fully loaded IBM PC XT with 640KB of RAM and 10 MB double-height 5.25" HDD).
Having said as much, if/when Ubuntu drops support for x86 to make life easier on its talented and dedicated developers, I will be forced to go back to Windows, and not be easily tempted back. Even Microsoft, some day, will decide to drop support for x86 (without VMs/Containers, etc), but I actually don't see that happening in my lifetime. Steam OS, which is also based on Debian, could prove a viable alternative for gamers, but only for the narrow focus of gaming, not being an every-day OS you could easily fool your mother into using. The entire point of Ubuntu, I thought was to create a version of Linux that would not frighten away the casual user, and would be as easy (or easier, in my experience with 18.04) to install and use as Windows. Dropping support for an entire, still widely used, architecture is certainly a step backwards. Saying "Run it in a VM" (with the necessary performance loss, if it runs at all) is the wrong message even if it's something as trivial as gaming. If it's not a turn-key solution, it's not going to be an easy sell as an alternative.
This is tangential to the topic at hand, but germane to my post. I remember an advertisement for a Marantz branded stereo receiver that survived a house fire and fell two or three stories through a house, into a basement and, after having been burned, flooded, and pressed back into service, still operated to spec. I own the same model which was already 30 years old when my Dad passed it down to me. I replaced the electolytic caps, aligned the tuner, checked bias and DC offset (which drifted to only within a margin of error, per the service manual, which was included!), and I still enjoy it today at my cabin with a set of Wharfedale E-90 loudspeakers, which likewise have withstood the test of time.
I'm reminded of the Good Omens incarnation of Famine when it comes to modern laptops, at least in the past 10-15 years. The IT shop I used to work at used to quote out multi-kilobuck 17" to even 21" Sager-Midern workstation-replacement laptops weighing 5 pounds or more, with specs that would make a contemporary Xenon system blush with pride. Not a one burst into flames, unless left to charge in an oven, or an enclosed vehicle during Minnesota's deceptively warm summers.
I may be an old curmudgeon, but I really don't know where today's obsession with paper-thin, un-upgradeable, planned-obsolescence laptops came from. Maybe I'm stuck in the glory days of my G3 Pismo with two incredibly flexible drive/battery bays and processor slot, (and praise the Lord) DIMM slots, and battery life measured in days, and the long-term reliability of an old Volvo. I can't imagine that an inch-thick, highly upgradeable, high-value laptop would not be welcome, especially among the semi/pro crowd, trading for a fractional-inch form-factor and Timex watch upgradeability. I would gladly pay $6K+ for a modern take on the PowerBook Pismo G3. Even Lenovo, heir to IBM's industrial reputational might, hardly acknowledges the hard-core leather pajama, studs, and straps wearing Thinkpad group any more. To think that Apple once made one of the most enviable laptops made, not because a swallow could reach a velocity of 30 MPH carrying one, but due to its durability and expandabilty. It makes one really miss the near-end of the dot-com bubble days. You may have lost your life savings investing in Sun Microsystems, but at least you could buy a half-decent laptop.
Now that we have tablets, phablets, massive-screen super computing cell-phones, convertibles, glorified Palm Pilots, and so on, I think there might be room, yet again, for decently sized, decently equipped, decently upgradeable laptops, with a decently long life. If you need something smaller, you're spoiled for choice.
On the other hand, decency does not account for a lot these days.
Back in the day, my RCA CTC-120 chassis 24-inch television needed to have the solder re-flowed about once a decade or risk severe picture key-stoning. It was half an hour's job, including discharging the HV anode, to prevent a shocking experience, and I'd usually perform convergence at the same time. I personally haven't owned a TV in 20 years, but I suppose downloading software updates and scanning for malware once or twice a month is no worse than changing out the 6FQ6 or 6DJ8 tube from back then. The fact that you no longer have to deal with a flyback coil just to perform maintenance on your TV these days is amazing! What will they think of next!?
Starts- Guns cause death, take all my guns, please! Only criminals will have guns! We'll all be safe then!
Next- Knives cause death, take all my knives, please! Only criminals will have knives! We'll all be safe then!
Then- Nobody saw that person who may have had criminal intent, monitor us all, please! Only the guilty have something to hide! We'll all be safe then!
After which- Vans cause death! Take all my vehicles, please! Only criminals drive vans! We'll all be safe then!
Which leads to- Liberty and privacy cause death, take my liberty and privacy, please! Only criminals need liberty and privacy! I'll stay home, with my hands neatly laid on a table and not move unless told to, not think unless told what to think, not speak unless spoken to, and accept that Big Brother loves us all. We'll all be safe then!
The next logical step is simply to "liquidate" everyone. eliminating crime and all other ills once and for all.
Andrew, you've been here since I started visiting the site, like a regular at the local, and I'm going to miss seeing you. I've enjoyed your writings and musings over the years, as well as your well-informed opinion pieces (which I did not always agree with, though I could not argue that they were poorly written- just that the conclusions didn't always mesh with my own, given the facts). My hat off to you for your work and dedication to critical and timely journalism, and not being the least bit timid about calling a spade a spade (as many of The Register's contributors have also done).
I now wonder who will feature as El Reg's senior curmudgeon, as they are some large shoes to fill. One of my other favorite (print) publications, Stereophile, is also transitioning to a new generation, although John Atkinson is staying on as a technical editor, and he's groomed his replacement for some time. I wonder if Andrew has done the same, finding another writer of wry wit, with a hard-nose and critical eye to follow in his footsteps.
All the same, I wish you the best on your future, and the gods bless whoever takes over as the Reg's voice.
A large part of this problem, and one that allows American Pai and his predecessor Wheeler-and-Dealer to do as they wish is that we're using laws and authorizations that date back to the "Philly-1416" days, when an actual human operator would take your call and direct it to the appropriate trunk, exchange, switch, etc. Both Wheeler and Pai are simply doing what they're supposed to in interpreting a pre-WWII era law and authorization for a period, almost 90 years later, where technology now exists that was hardly even science-fiction then.
Without a comprehensive reexamination and realignment of modern realities put into law, by congress, and signed by the president, the game of ping-pong will simply continue with the changes in political climate. Up until the era of net neutrality, the FCC was a pretty boring bureau of government, mostly concerned with auctioning off airwaves, taking complaints about radio or TV media, and guiding industry technical standards. It's only been since the rise of the "open" internet that it's become such a political hot potato.
I agree wholly with poster doublelayer- It's none of Verizon's, Comcast's,CenturyLink's, et al business what information service I lawfully choose to connect to. Their responsibility is only to see that I can connect to it to the best of their abilities. That is all I pay for. Once they begin prioritizing or throttling based on who I choose to connect to, they are then editorializing which sites they want or prefer I connect to. This would be no different than the same companies prioritizing or charging me more to call my aunt Dianne, who also happens to be a customer of a competitor, than calling my aunt Kathy, who is a customer of the same company. If, on the other hand my aunt Dianne decides to get a premium rate 1-900 number and charge me $2.00/min to talk to her, that is a different matter.
As the first part of the article alludes to, states, or even the federal government should start regulating broadband as a utility. Maybe not as solidly as the have for say, electricity, but actually put forward a grand scheme to get everyone connected. It worked for rural electrification, and, for most of a century, it worked for telephone service. Private industry investment is predicated on the investment/return ratio, and large, publicly traded telecommunications companies are not concerned with long-term, 20-50 year, return on investment. They're concerned with next quarter's earnings statements. Google, despite pocketing more per day in profit than any of 2000 (well paid by our standards, and combined) other people in my county will see in a year, is not immune to this. I honestly wonder if not for the REA and TVA, and the the quasi-nationalization of AT&T/Bell, whether even today electrical and phone service would be as wide spread as it is. My own great grandparents could not get electricity to their house, despite living less than a mile away from a hydro-electric dam until the REA, back in the 1930's.
With regards to municipal and publicly owned affordable, universal, and open broadband service, I think the first step is to try and coerce private companies to invest and comply. They will not do so, because it's perverse to look to the long-term gains to the well being of the company (or society); after all, once they declare bankruptcy, yet again, and are denied a despised government bailout, they can look forward to achieving success in the face of uncertainty by spinning out their most profitable and least profitable divisions and getting bought out in a lightly regulated merger with a former rival *cough* Worldcom *cough*. Once this failure is complete, despite the protestations and unfulfilled promises of incumbent providers, a municipality should have the right to build out a broadband network in lack of or in competition with a publicly traded or private company, if that is the will of the community. If profit cannot decide that such affordable universal access is necessary, perhaps utility can. I'd be happy to pay $80/month and have an additional $133/year added to my property tax for reliable 50-100Mb/s broadband, and I'd profit from it (compared to what I currently have).
I normally cannot abide the ultra wealthy/ celebrity and their scandals- it’s a waste of time and effort in today’s hyper PC atmosphere where anyone can be acused of anything, judged, tried without context, and hung by a envious public and more often than not absolutely deserve it. I’m just a lowly IT drone and I’m sure someone could find some long forgotten dirt that would hold me incapable of ever wielding admin privileges again (like the time I was 19, and wiped out a company’s Exchange store because I deleted all files named *.log before they were backed up, and the massive 7.2GB drive was crammed full. A delightful “Who, Me?” tale if ever there was one).
You might consider it scandal burn-out. Nothing surprises me any more. NPR ran a piece covering the NYT with the headline “We’ve almost lost the ability to be shocked,” though this was in regards to his Great Greatness, and not the world in general (I obviously apply it to the world in general). I feel the same way. The only thing that has surprised me lately is when a resolute Jayme Closs managed to rescue herself after 3-months captivity, and the murdering of her parents. I was further shocked that Minnesota based Hormel foods vowed to honor their bounty for her safe return by awarding it to her.
That, my friends takes balls. Not reporting on the affairs of billionaires or being a Teflon billionaire and deciding to fight such stories with the resources of a small nation. A tycoon having an affair is practically tradition. The only one I can think of in the past 100 years that might be innocent of such sin is Bill Gates, and I’m sure he is either waiting for the shoe to drop, or it will be revealed he’s still technically a virgin and that Pecker couldn’t write a puff- piece about Old Bill despite all his buggery in the industry.
A large part of this comes from the typical American’s apathy and ignorance of what the FCC does. Your typical US cititizen believes the FCC is who you complain to when your TV reception is poor, or you’re receiving robo-calls at dinner time. Unfortunately, most American popular media (the big three, and their cable company cohorts) seem unwilling to report on or question the FCC in fear that they themselves will be put under closer scrutiny in retaliation. The pot calling the kettle black and all that. Ever greater and power consolidating mergers won’t be approved or have expensive conditions imposed on them. Will no one think of the shareholders!?
Many of the most egregious (so far) privacy breaches occurred under Wheeler’s watch, but at the very least he was trying to right the course. American Pai doesn’t even offer the pretense of protecting consumers, regulating the industries he’s charged with regulating, or taking into account the will of Congress and the American people. People may look at the former head of the EPA and admonish his lavish, self aggrandizing spending, or that all the “adults in the room” of his Great, Greatness, the Best EVER, have been forced out, no one questions the little rich kid in the corner, with a runny nose and big mug of tax-payer cocoa, slurping on the lollipop nice aunty Verizon gave him, who actively doesn’t oversee the very industry he is supposed to regulate...
The telecommunications companies now control the vast majority of consumer facing media, and they’re not afraid to use their bully-pulpit to advance their own interests, or at least downplay the grievances of their foes, or more likely not report on it at all. Even stalwarts of journalism like PBS and NPR have become more timid on media’s ‘inside baseball’ news for fear of having a belligerent congress and FCC decide to revisit some objection from some constituent long ago. So, they report breathlessly on The Facebook or the latest Yahoo! breach ( which should no longer shock anyone- who uses Yahoo!?), but FCC policy is relegated to some headline without context with the vague, undefined Net Neutrality inserted as a buzzword.
It’s true that like most “western” democracies these days M$ had decided the exchange of liberty is worth the cost of “security” for you. I fear that on both the software and political fronts, there is no turning back.
But I do have to say that living in a rural area, where broadband is usually considered anything above 56.6K dialup, Microsoft’s cloud-first and OSAAS is painful. Not everyone in tech lives on the west coast or major metro regions, where you can get 20-1000Mb/s broadband. Even where you can, the looming specture of metered billing hangs like the sword of Damocles over your head; do I do this month’s patch Tuesday, get Visual Studio, and download the
October, er November, um January Service Pack Feature Update? Or do I download all the patches and updates for all the other software I run and have room left over to binge-watch a season of ST:TNG?
Quite aside from the above mentioned Slurping, it would have been nice if SatNa had taken such things into account. But he has the Silicon Valley ethos of if we cannot have bread, let us eat cake.
I remember attending an Intel channel conference back in the early oghts, when AMD’s hammer was mostly just slides and rumors on Tom’s Hardware Guide. Intel pushed Itanium hard, and even gave out processors and boards to dink around with. However, they lost the plot with the weak, afterthought x86 compatibility offered. Even in the late ‘90s, many were put off by proprietary archetectures unless it had some must-have feature. Itanium came to market 10 years too late, and Intel, ironically, had a lot to do with this. They made the Pentium 3/Xeon “good enough” that for your average small, medium, and gigantisaur customers, Itanium was just gilding the hood ornament. Since it’s official release, it’s been an interesting footnote with specialized use cases. It didn’t make Exchange or Apache run faster, nor did it run consumer applications run faster or more efficiently. Unlike MIPS, which could scale down, Itanium was almost, from the beginning, an architecture that only scaled up; unlike ARM, or MIPS, it could not find solace in embeded systems. Eventually, SPARC will suffer the same fate (if it hasn’t already- I don’t remember the last time I saw anything regarding SPARC); PowerPC has some life left in it only because for the past 60 years no one had ever been fired for buying IBM, and its ubiquitous use in embeded systems (I happen to know that the ECU in my Volvo uses a derivative of the Power PC 603).
The failure of Itanium is many fold: it was positioned as a replacement for x86 during the heyday of x86 clones; it did not provide an improvement in performance now (circa 2001-2002); it was designed as a high-end competitor to MIPS, SPARC, Power PC, etc, but was marketed as the the successor to x86; the fundamental problem it was envisioned to solve (effective super-scalar execution and parallel threading) had already been solved by their own hardware.
The VLWI theory behind HP/Intel’s EPIC architecture was effectively commandeered by nVidia and DAMMIT and put to better, more efficient use.
If HP had released their EPIC processor in the early 90’s and partnered with Intel to manufacture it, things might have been different for the novel architecture. At the time, any one of a dozen or more chips could go on to rule the world- IBM and Apple thought the way forward was PowerPC; Silicon Graphics and Nintendo and Sony thought the future lay in MIPS. Sun somehow convinced the world SPARC was worthwhile. ARM showed that CPUs could be cheap as chips.
Despite marketing, despite citing use cases, Intel could not do the same. The final nail came with (pardon the pun) AMDs Hammer, which showed that x86 still had life, a future, and more importantly compatibility. The last thing a CTO wants to hear when asking “will it work tomorrow?” is “perhaps, mostly, but slower.”
Que the standard "We'll pay for credit monitoring (by handing all your info to Equifax) for a year, and we take customer yada-yada seriously, also we have measures in place like not having the admin password '1234' to probably make sure this doesn't happen again; also since you used our website, you agreed to the T&C's, and individual arbitration, no class-action lawsuits, and so on. We strive for excellence and value our relationship with
shareholders customers guests."
This is getting old...
In the US, at least, it would be a good option. If people were aware of their tax dollars being wasted in such a manner, they would vote the fools who support such a scheme (as proposed) out of office. Congress critters are, in their own way more vain than even the worst instagrammer, constantly trying to appease their supporters, and keeping an eye and a half on the polls (unless they’re going to retire, or run for another office). Look at how many times members of both parties flip-flop position on things based on popular sentiment in their district. “Not my tax dollars!” would certainly be the popular sentiment among conservatives, and liberals would invoke the fourth amendment. It almost, more or less, worked before after the Snowden revelations. In that case, though, there was only the carrot; now we need the stick.
Things might be different in Blighty, where the House of Commons, (realative to our WhoRes) is so diluted they may not care. We have one Rep on average for every 1-million people, to put it in perspective- IIRC, Britain has something like 10 MPs for every million people.
True... many governments have stretched the definition to the breaking point. Some get caught out (extremely rarely), but that is where you have very ineffectual congressional oversight. At least in our case we have one senator, Ron Wyden, who is acting as a sort of canary and trying to alert people to an abuse of power; though at least ( not publicaly) it’s not as bad on this side of the pond.
If the government wants back doors for intercepting private communications, which they have in the past, without warrant, authorization, and against the law, they can offer something else, aside from “security” in return- uncompromising transparency. If someone has even a remotely legitimate reason to ask why they spied on so-and-so without warrant or authorization, they must provide a timely, well reasoned, and above all legitimate response or face the same dire consequences as their victims. Further, there must be sanctions for violating this principle, with real teeth- think multi- million dollar fines to the government, just as they would give The Face Book, Google, etc all. Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers of my country famously said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” This is as right today as it was then. The Brits may hold different views. Just remember that “....temporary safety...” more often becomes permanent in a nanny state.
It's a perfect analogy. Someone, doing something obviously unauthorized because it's "cheaper" to the end user, then getting upset that the original company will not support it. Install a Volvo 2.3 in your Buick in America and see if GM, or Volvo for that matter will support a warranty...
As I've mentioned before, Apple's "walled garden" is a selling point for many, who have been burned by Android's lack of consistency or security, or Microsoft's utter lack of support. These customer's could choose an alternate platform, one that does not abide by Apple's rules and get, more or less the same apps. When my mother bought her iPhone 6, I told her that she could only get apps and what not from Apple (not that she uses many, beyond a default installation), and she said, basically, "Great! Only one website to visit!" She had started her smartphone odyssey with Windows Phone via Nokia (on my naive recommendation that MS would support it, since MS seemed to have a hard-on for mobile/desktop fusion at the time, and Mom owned a Windows 8 laptop), then moved to an Android Galaxy 4s (until she heard in the news that it could catch fire), and finally bought an iPhone 6. If my mother, ignorant of technology and business practices as she is, chose an iPhone, then if someone, apparently more savvy on both business and tech as the plaintiffs are also "chose" an iPhone than there is something rather suspicious about spending $700USD on a phone for some people... Simply, I smell a rat, and a multi-million dollar payout for 3 lawyers for a month's worth of work (I'm not counting the paralegals, assistants, secretaries, ect, who pretty much never see the fruits of multi-million dollar settlements/judgements, and who actually do the bulk of the work.
As the article implies, it might be different if the developer were the one bringing the suit, but even then I would have a hard time swallowing the argument. Apple has a minority of the smartphone segment. And they make no secret to developers or customers what the rules are. Developers know what they're getting into when they bed with Apple. They can choose Android, or (HA!) even Microsoft. If they don't like Apples' terms, then they can move to a different platform, one that is more popular, and possibly, has higher margins.
It would be no different than GM being sued because you can't put a cheaper Kia engine in your Cadillac, or Nintendo being sued because You can't install your Steam copy of Final Fantasy VII on your Switch. Are people going to start suing GM because they can't install a $500 Sedona engine in their STS and keep the warranty? If they do, are they going to sue GM, or Kia for that matter, when it doesn't work right? Where does it end, when you are given a choice? People are not forced to buy into Apple's ecosystem, or Microsoft's abandoned planet, when Android and it's multitude of vendors are in play, just as they're not forced to buy a Caddy, and can instead buy a sensible Camry.
I'm not currently fond of Apple, though I have been in the past, but this is obviously just digging for gold, and hoping to strike it rich for a couple lawyers, and as an Apple consumer, I knew what I was getting in to. Indeed, I think that the entire concept of class-action lawsuits should be re-thought. It never "benefits" the supposedly injured and only serves to enrich a couple lawyers, and maybe their personal assistants. When Yahoo, Target, and so on (which I had consumer ties with) were hacked, I, as an "injured party" literally saw nothing. Lawyers saw a Christmas bonus big enough to upgrade their 20-foot boat to a 45-foot yacht.
....even makes the slightest indication that Apple could be in the right on something tangential to the story, you know you've gone over the line. On the other hand, the wild west that the Face Book, etc, have enjoyed for the past decade is ripe for taming. Mark and his ilk have made massive amounts of money monetizing and dehumanizing people, all in the guise of creating a digital utopia. To stay unanswerable for the consequences is unacceptable. In the past, when companies or industries have gotten too big or bold for their britches, the government has stepped in to (at least at first) bring some sanity about. It's true that many regulations and regulators have surpassed and vastly expanded their edicts, but that is another problem for another day. It would not hurt any of these companies to feel the real bite of law (if laws existed that governed them), nor hurt their "innovation" of making money selling ads to people. Some degree of genuine accountability is in order. The other side of the equation, of course, is over reaction by the government, but when applied to tech companies this has been either ineffectual or toothless in the long run, and thus not hurt them at all. A bit like telling your child to improve their grades or you'll reduce the data plan for their cellphone.
Since the release of Windows 10, be it mobile or else which, Microsoft has been treating Windows as Bethesda treats an Elder Scrolls game- release it now, and we’ll fix it later. The difference, of course is that people rely on Windows operating correctly from day one (or at least reliably enough) whereas people playing Skyrim can wait 6 days or months for a mostly functioning version of the game through patches. It’s not really an important thing. This Windows as a service scheme is not suited to a consumer/semi-pro OS. It works for Linux, because Linux users tend to be more savy ( nevermind that many problems can be circumvented with config/command line mojo). Not to mention that most major Linux distros have a 3+ year LTS version with regular patches, but also have an army of user/developers who also contribute code, based on real-life scenarios and a now more polite overlord who demands the best (even if/when bugs get through), and MS’s new “throw it at the wall and see what sticks, we’ll fix it later” looks even more daft. Peter Bright, Microsoft apologist, recently wrote on another site about how MS’s OS’s were always crud out of the gate, and took a service pack or two to be considered good enough for deployment, and that the fix it as we go Windows 10 meant continual
bugs improvements not seen in previous versions. What he failed to concede was that while, yes, the initial release was usually rubbish, the service pack, released a year or so later was solid enough to keep you going for 10 or more years, if you updated, because it was tested up the wazoo before release. The first version of anything is not as good as the later version. Companies learn from mistakes, and not only from the mistakes they made, but why those mistakes were made. Further, you could choose not to bork your system every 6 months with a service pack feature upgrade foisted upon you whether you want it or not.
Living in a rural area, serviced by a WISP I helped get off the ground, I’d appreciate even 20mb/s broadband. The relatively meager 4mb/S (max; routinely only 100-200kb/s) I have now (occasionally supplemented by my phone’s 8mb/s hotspot speed with 8GB/month cap) is good enough for daily web use, but useless for streaming HD video, music, cloud use, etc. If I buy a game via Steam, I can either wait 20-30 hours for it to download (never mind patches), or burn through a month’s worth of 4G data in one go. And in the area I live in, this is typical. In order to get anything appreciably faster, I would have to pay, out of pocket, about $90,000USD, for “up to” 100mb/s internet, plus $89/month plus fees, etc. 5G, without meaningful reliability, service, elimination of data caps, or speed improvements is useless to me. If the government wanted to make things better, they’d stop throwing money into unicorn wireless systems and throw it into expanding rural fiber, or even bloody DSL. It really says something when I have to travel 15 miles with a laptop and glom off a dialysis center’s guest WI-FI to download any larger file, be it a game or a Windows 10
Service Pack biannual update.
As the article contends, this is not Apple’s first rodeo switching architectures. But, as capable as ARM processors are now, I think there is still arguments to be made as to X86’s superiority, especially if Apple wishes to keep its foothold in the creative/pro markets. Apple’s intimate knowledge of ARM not withstanding (they were early champions of ARM), many third-party developers are x86 houses for power apps, with a mere toehold in ARM. The Unix underpinnings of Mac OS are quite portable (compared to classic Mac OS), but if they are not abandoning the workstation market (as they seemingly have) they will need something more than “good enough” ARM. Unless they have a quite powerful ARM chip in mind, without cooperation from nVidia and AMD, any such adventure is doomed to fail. When Apple went from PowerPC to Intel, they were becoming [i]more[/i] compatible with market/ industry; this would be going back the other way. As innovative as PowerPC was at the time, ARM is still the economic/ecological solution to CPU’s and will remain so untill they have a real competitive desktop/workstation offering that competes with x86 on a performance and economy basis. In addition, it would screw anyone invested in a MacInSoft workstation and do away with any developer cred, absent some really awesome emulation mojo. I, for one, don’t look forward to a “PC” compatibility card of ancient times ( if, ever again an expandable Mac were to exist).
What you're seeing here is the difference between a services company, e.g. The Facebook, et al, and a products company. Google, etc. make their bread on the long tail of monetizing the consumer to other customers via behavioral profiling and advertising, whereas Apple's gravy is the immediate gratification of purchasing an expensive piece of jewelry that they profit from immediately. If The Facebook and sundry had an option/business model where they charged each customer $700-$1000 upfront every 2-3 years for their glorified BBS/email service, and did not make their money selling personal data to any comer, I'm sure they'd be just as resolute in their protection of intimate personal data. If Apple sold their cell phones and watches at a loss (hold your laughter) and made up for it selling the buyer's intimate details to any comer, they'd be singing a different tune.
As it is, it's different business models. There is nothing for nothing- pay for it up front, or pay for it with your privacy.
Samsung and its ilk are a bit different- some try to have the best (from the shareholder's perspective) of both worlds, buying into Google's data gorging operations for next to nothing, but also charging the up-front premium of Apple's walled-garden for their product. Good for them, I say. They have it figured out that in most cases you can get them coming and going. That said, there are some cases where I think Apple, being Apple, could say in their advertisements, in 72-point impact font "WE SELL ALL YOUR INFORMATION TO WALL STREET AND ISIS, AT AMAZING PROFIT!!!!!" and it would only increase sales.
I agree entirely. If it's some sort of authorized dealer sale, then yes, LRJ, Volvo, and others do bear responsibiliy to make sure ownership "truly" changes hands, but if I'm selling my Rover to Charles, here, who's job is it to make sure I hand over *all* the keys? Is it his, having researched the vehicle and deciding to buy it? Is it mine, having owned the POS and having become familiar with all its
quirks bugs? Is it in fact LRJ's having no idea I've become disillusioned with their vision of luxury and instead selling my RR and buying a fleet of old-lady gold colored 1990 Toyota Camary's and not looking back?
Should it be easy enough for someone, presumably almost anyone, to defeat the "connectedness" of a modern car just to prevent someone else from taking over our 2.5-ton lethal projectile and causing embarrassment, inconvenience, or worse? Is there really some way to prevent some occurrence without constantly phoning home to Nanny? Or should we decide that out car really does not need to talk to our toaster or alarm clock, and that carrying a keyfob with the traditional "lock, unlock, panic" buttons is really not all that hard or traumatic. I know El Reg's readership tends to turn a more critical eye towards such things than readers of say Ars Technica's "Oh! Shiny Phone App until Privacy Breach!", but I suspect that even even Gitlin would prefer security and safety to adding yet another mostly useless app to their iTimepiece.
Then again, there is a reason the Rover (14,000 hard-fought miles) is saved for Friday nights and trips to the Cities and the 18 year old 940 Turbo (536000 miles) is driven daily. Not to mention that I live in northern Minnesota- the Swedes, at least at one time, knew how to make a car for our climate.
...electronics, there should be little to worry about. Based on my personal experience with my own Range Rover, attempting to unlock the doors remotely will only result in the gas-cap cover opening, and attempting to remotely start it will just just cause a puddle of oil to appear under the engine. Pretty much, there is nothing a previous owner, or evil valet can do to those vehicles that's worse than what they already do.
I still remember the reassuring "click" of the safety belt the first time I drove mine off the lot, and the weird sensation of the fastener portion of the belt sliding across my lap and chest as it came out of its anchor about 2-blocks away from the dealership. Land Rover: Inventors of the self-releasing seatbelt.
On the one hand, Apple's "walled garden" approach to the app store and exclusive delivery method is one of the selling points purchasers of iThings buy into- I know in the case of my mother, after having been crapped on by Microsoft with Windows Phone (Lumia 920), and enduring the Wild West of Android (Samsung Galaxy 4s), she very much appreciates the relative simplicity, continuity, and security of her iPhone. Since she got her iPhone 6, she won't even consider another phone.
On the other, I'm a geek spoiled for choice on what OS I want to boot up every day, many of which are open-source (and those that I don't are inevitably fired up in VMWare) on a PC I built myself (agonizing over parts selection sometimes for minutes on end), and I'm used to having things done how I want, when I want.
Almost since it's inception, Stereophile (and many others of their type) have encountered the same conundrum. It has been their position, though, to review what is given to them- except in the cases of something obviously damaged or defective- be damned.
If the company under review wants you to review a beta-quality product, then that is their prerogative. I remember Infinity being signaled out specifically because their loudspeakers might be revised two or three times between the time that the review set were sent to the magazine and the "final" version shipped to stores or customers. In effect, the magazine was accusing Infinity (and others) of having the reviewers beta-test their devices.
It would be no different than to delay posting a review of say, Windows, until it is EOL'd, and passing judgement only on the final, final version with all the patches and feature updates that it will ever receive. If they want you to review the final product, they should send you the final product- if they want you to review the beta, half-baked version, then that's what you do. Doing otherwise is dishonest.
Further embarrassment can be found in the $7500 Twentieth Anniversary Mac which spec'd out the same as a $2100 P'Mac 6500, and could not be upgraded to the same degree.
On the other hand, they also had the Mac IIfx, which was probably one of the fastest workstations of its day.
Today would have been my father's 60'th birthday, if he had lived another 3 years. That was reason enough to be reflective. That Stephen Hawking passed away makes even more so.
Like many "nerdy" children of the 1980's and 1990's, I was enthralled by Hawking's celebrity and it encouraged me to pursue my own career in the sciences. Never mind his disabilities, his ability to think big thoughts and scale them down was more impressive to me. He made the most difficult physics and cosmology accessible to ordinary people, leaving them, if not more well informed (actually more likely baffled), then at least appreciative of the topics, which was in and of itself revolutionary. Einstein was similarly a celebrity scientist in his time, but was known more for his political positions and eccentricities than making high science science understandable. The only other champions of popular "hard science" I can think of are Carl Sagan and Niel Tyson.
Like many other intensely brilliant people (from all backgrounds) he will, regardless of his religious position, live on for eternity in L-Space (whether he likes it or not), just as Sir Terry does.
So, the moral of the story is that if, as Charter did, you fail to deliver on your promises, you will have to pay a fine, that later you will recoup with added fees, to do what you promised to begin with, if, indeed, you do it at all (just like Verizon)... Well done, New York, well done!! And if Charter does not indeed fulfill its obligations, it will be compelled to pay another 12.5 minutes of profits to "settle" it's breach of contract. Can I sell anyone here a bridge? We just built a new one here in Minnesota! Awesome deal. Only $186US million and if you don't make it back the first year, I'll only charge you $175US million, plus fees, surcharges, rentals, etc, etc! A bargain at only $499US million!!!!! (beware five exclamation points as per T. Pratchett)
I withhold judgement on whether Comcast is guilty of such mafia-like behavior, and it is a story I will follow with interest (on El Reg, if they do not loose interest). I do not doubt that they will be able to convince others with
discounted service for the first 43 days factual arguments that they did not dig up their competitor's lines while installing their own. They were old, fragile, and near on failing of their own accord. Gophers are to blame as well as lack of regard for infrastructure maintenance and ordinary wear. Gophers can be very, very dangerous for business when you're a small company, without the resources to creatively and legally rip-off your customers.
But, lest anyone forget, this is what happens when a government, federal or local, not only allows, but encourages unregulated monopolies to emerge, and allows these monopolies to integrate vertically (NBC/Universal/Comcast, ATT/DTV/TW, etc.). Because these companies have actively and effectually lobbied to change the laws preventing their formation, with useless opposition, they in effect write the laws and regulations allowing their creation, again, both locally and nationally. The members of congress of both sides (with a couple exceptions) of both the Senate and the HoRes are responsible. To paraphrase the Orange One, this only happens because we allow it to (though he was talking of the generous tax loop-holes he routinely takes advantage of, not necessarily the creation of monopolies or conglomerates). Non-participation, disinterest, and disregard by the general public and lack of action informing the general public by so-called consumer protection groups (I'm looking at you, EFF and friends) is what not only allows this, but encourages it. Such "consumer interest groups" must keep in mind that that the average American does not read El Reg, Ars Technica or Vice: Motherboard on a daily or even ever basis.
Your average US media consumer will bellyache to no end about their high cost of their cable/satellite bill but will never have known that there may have been some regulation or piece of legislation that would have eliminated or reduced it, introduced by some idealistic first term representative from Montana's second district or junior senator who thought, naively, that they may make a difference. I remember when I was elected to student council (without even naming myself or running), and I was stupid enough to think it might have more say than planning prom or home-coming. I idiotically thought we could actually change school policy on a couple things that I didn't think made sense (lack of open lunch and adding a minute between classes for those who had to cross a busy street to get to classes for starters)). As for cable/satellite, I for one, gave up almost twenty years ago when The History Channel decided to refuse showing programs on history, and CNN stopped showing news programs. After that PBS News Hour and Nova were my TV's raison d'etre, and I cut the cable, saving almost $250/year. Even in rural Minnesota, I have a dozen channels to choose from just from the antenna, and, unlike cable/satellite, they're not 250 variations of a theme.
Paris, because only she and leaders of the free world, and in particular the free leader of the free world, would think this is fair and made sense.
Which is why we desperately need internet connected self-driving flying solutions that can only be started by signing on with the Face Book and can interface with my IoT juicer, so I don't have to suffer the trauma of using my phone to make juice while en route from work to home.
I still have my quad-processor Daystar Genesis 466 box out in the garage. Absolutely smoked the PMac 9600 (Apple's top-shelf kit at the time) in the few multi-processor supported apps available then; it otherwise ran slower than my PMac 6500.
Aside from that, it's wise that the company is realizing its mistake in abandoning the pro/creative community, which (aside from education) is what kept the company afloat during the dark days of the 90's. I personally haven't bought a new "pro" Mac since 2004, when I laid down $3k for a PMac G5 DP 2.0. I do still use my older wind-tunnel G4 (maxed out) for Photoshop and Final Cut duty, where it's still perky enough.
Though far from perfect, I sometimes wish the rest of the country had the reasonable sensibilities of L 'Étoile du Nord (Michelle "Is she mad!?" Bachman not withstanding). We need more Arne Carlsons and Mark Daytons in office. It must be the hotdish and lutefisk, dont'chya know?
To Mr. Miller, I add that Trump's presidency might push California off the map (rhetorically, anyway), as they seem intent on continuing as if Obama was still in office regarding many policies.
I've seen this coming for a while. Time was that something like this would have created such outcry, investigations and new regulations, even by republicans. Not no more. Indeed, it's been given the government's personal stamp of approval. As has been pointed out before, people may choose to use GMail, The Face Book, etc. but here in the US, where broaband monopolies are not only allowed, but encouraged, we're forced to use their services or do without. I can choose an alternative to GMail, but many in the US, even in large metro areas, cannot choose a (reasonable) alternative to Comcast or AT&T. So, all we can do is tilt at windmills and give up any notion of online privacy. As of now, I personally can't wait to serve our new monitization overlords.
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