Repeated epic fail
"...if it trips easily off the tongue it is proper English."
What utter tosh. I should have known the readers of a techie website would have pitifully poor linguistic ability.
548 posts • joined 7 Oct 2008
One of the major flaws we've had in this country for best part of the last century is the constant to-ing and fro-ing in economic politics. I'll start in 40 years ago for no particular reason:
70s: Labour bankrupt the country and we go begging to the IMF.
80-90s: Tories cut the heart and soul out of the country.
90-00s: Labour spend us into submission again.
10s: Coalition start heavy cuts (though whether the Lib Dems would allow it into a theoretical second term is highly debatable).
We need a slightly longer term thinking, and that's why I reckon the voting reform is totally necessary. Of course, the Lib Dems are cutting now ... but only a militant socialist with no economic nouse really believes our national debt isn't an issue (Bob Crow?).
If you start from a 'normal' point (whatever that is) I reckon having a coalition with the Lib Dems as a junior partner would help dampen this constant belief from one side that they must spend all their time doing something ... anything so long as it's as ideologically opposed to the other side as possible (because we know that as soon as Party B gets into power, they'll do the same to us, right?).
Unfortunately, this logic will fall on deaf ears for all those people who don't look further than the time since the last election. Shame, 'cos it might mean we're doomed to be stuck on this merry-go-round forever.
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My bank offers travel insurance and breakdown cover.
That's utterly ridiculous too, and I told the nice woman behind the counter so last time they tried to 'upgrade' my account.
Particularly since both insurance and breakdown cover are pretty crappy alternatives to the more usual options.
Oooh, you were so close to the right answer. In fact, it is the users' fault but it is (I'm reliably informed people who work both for Vodafone and various insurance companies) actually because they want a brand new toy when the next one comes out.
Apparently accident rates sky-rocket when Steve does his messiah appearance and produces the latest model.
I too despise Apple and all its iOS devices, but one must be realistic in criticism else it just appears like "the crazed ramblings of a drugged horse." (c) C. Morris et al, 1997.
...there are an awful lot of big company directors currently selling their shares, on both sides of the Atlantic. This might have as much to do with confidence in the wider economy - currently and temporarily propped up by artificially low interest rates - as his confidence in Microsoft specifically.
Or he just needs the cash, but $1.3bn does sound a lot.
So you feel less sympathy for people because of the views of a third party? Curious...
Actually, I would suggest that saying that "Apple clearly has other priorities, chasing the wider consumer market" isn't a dig but good observation of a perfectly rational marketing strategy from Mr. Jobs. Techies might understand that iGadgets are pretty average and / or borderline defective, but Joe Public likes how purdey they appear.
The logic sucks, but it makes sales.
You're quite right. It's a decent article but the comment "and other nonsense where you write essays rather than think" is just stupid.
Why? Because if there's one thing I have consistently found it's that CS grads with no social skills are very limited in their choice of profession. Those who can be let loose on customers win over every time.
Yes, there was a point to going out, getting drunk and getting laid at University ... in fact, for CS students there was an exponentially greater benefit than for those who were naturally more sociable anyway.
Here's the disclaimer: I despise iOS devices and the technically-illiterate fools who buy them. Yet I've always stood up for the Mac. It's stable, it's effective, it encourages creativity because you don't spend half your time tinkering with it just to get something working. In many ways it's a better platform that Windows and I wish I used it more.
Now here's the rub: you can't blame Stevie J for going down the route of "Apple Knows Best" on the Mac. Why? Because it's been such a success on iOS devices. Given that background he'd be a fool not to push the restrictions a bit more.
Here's the problem: Macs aren't like iOSs. The people who have bought them are usually pretty bright and need the flexibility offered by them. OK, you get the occasional fanboi who claims that iTunes re-organising your entire music collection is the best option (you just don't know it yet) but these are capable machines for capable people.
Here's what's going to happen: Apple products, not just the iPad / iPhone / iPods, are going to become the platform of choice for the technically-incapable. Who cares if you aren't in control, just so long as it [appears to] work. Mass-market computing. A marketing genius, that Steve.
Here's why it's wrong: the people who support this are no students of history. It might be a bit extreme to compare Apple with totalitarian communist regimes (I'm thinking of Albania, for some reason), but the similarities are there. Centralised power; a population who believe that their way is the best way (though no information about the other way is permitted); no contrary views allowed; a Cult of The Leader; everyone is given the same lowest common denominator; cheering crowds outside the party headquarters / Apple store.
Here's why it will ultimately fail: for exactly the same reason that those totalitarian communist regimes (Albania in particular) failed. It was all built on a lie, and ultimately those lies are found out.
Apple's success has a medium term limit, and it will fail in the end, but it's better than no success at all.
You've got it spot on there. This kind of technology is pretty pointless when you still have to carry your phone around with a connector always in place (which you'll then have to remove if you want to connect it to a computer).
This is a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist.
Now, if the phone manufacturers could agree on a standard to include this sort of things WITHIN the phone itself.....
It occurred to me that I had no concept of a quintillion bytes. Hardly surprising: it's usually called an exabyte (not to be confused with an exibyte). Still, that too isn't often a value I find between my mobile phone and the Xbox, since I'd really only gotten my head around a petabyte.
FYI: a quintillion bytes = 1 exabyte = 1 million terrabytes.
Now just imagine how much pr0n you could store on THAT!
I set up an iPhone for a friend t'other day and was slightly irritated to discover that one must enter a credit card number before they let you in to play. On Android the credit card only comes out when you buy an app.
Then again, there have been more than a couple of times where I might have bought an app from Android if it had been quick and simple, but by the time the plastic comes out the 'impulse' has gone and I restrain myself.
From a developer's perspective, that's a point to Apple (and that's not something I often say!).
I've been wanting something this for a while and, if it works as I hope, it could be incredibly powerful.
The catch? It probably won't, and if it does, the large tech companies will probably do their own flavours and / or make it incompatible with each other. I'm thinking of Microsoft in particular.
And also Apple. I can't receive a contact, or a video, or anything from any of my friends with a Jobsian device via Bluetooth. Making an iPhone that can't connect to anything other than another iPhone isn't clever, it doesn't protect the consumer, it isn't safety-conscious ... it's just fucking retarded.
Which I really hope won't happen here. Hope against expectation....
About bloody time. It's fine when you buy Duty Free in the airport; but when you buy a bottle on the outbound sector taking only hand-luggage, you have to check that bag in for the return leg. Fine on a proper airline like BA, prohibitively expensive on LyinAir (but then, aren't most things?).
It does remind me that, when the ban was first brought in, airport security were disposing of all the liquids in a single container. Apparently it took a while before the concept of "binary explosives" was explained to them...
Apart from jumping on the Jobsian bandwagon, I still don't understand the point of tablets. This, then, isn't a dig at the iPhad or this Windows option, but perhaps it is at the people who buy them and their ilk.
Windows tablets were around years ago. I remember going to interview at one company circa 2004 where the technical interviewer had one. He spent so much time fiddling around, trying to get it to do whatever it was he was trying to do (look at a web-page, I think) that it put me off working for such a fadish company.
Now, clearly the latest generation will be better but apart from the consumer aspect ("look at my latest toy") I'm still utterly bemused by the business case for them.
But I await to be enlightened by the combined knowledge of El Reg's commentards...
I never did understand why it took so much time and so much effort to recover the domain after its theft.
Network Solutions, for I believe it was they who were fooled by Cohen's letter ordering the name transferred, could easily have reversed what they must have known was a mistake. The courts, equally, were damn slow in enforcing the obvious. Five years to recover a simple, obvious theft?!?
Yes, I know these were early days in the public consciousness for the Internet, but there did seem to be an awful lot of muppetry involved.
Video calling was made available on landlines in the 90s. No-one used it.
Video calling was made available on mobiles in the 00s. No-one use(s|d) it.
Video calling was made available on the iPhone in 2010. It doesn't work over 3G, only WiFi. It requires two iPhones. It has no fall-back to standard video-calling. For those reasons it is, by any measure, defective.
Why would anyone use it now?
Seriously, fanbois: why? I really have no idea and would love to know why this is better than the previous incarnations. Help me to "get it."
There was a suggestion (made by El Reg, if memory serves) that the white one would actually allow calls without first insulating one's fingers from the aerials. Any news on that?
In fact, any news on whether new black ones actually make phone calls without a condom? Despite attempts of persuasion to the contrary the (technically illiterate) other half wants one.
The flamer might also like to question his own linguistic skills and / or grasp of history since "Viva Franco" is an imperative form of the verb "to live" (usually translated into English as "long live"); thus he is commanding, or directly requesting, the somewhat deceased General to rise from the grave....
...which is utterly fucking retarded.
Big Brother icon, because there's something about embarrassing fascists that causes them to go for comically laughable moustaches.
"There's nothing quite like being licensed a book, rather than being sold one."
Precisely. Yet again the techie companies have gone off selling something that people neither want nor need; no-one except the people who buy the tripe that it's what they *should* have. Got a Kindle? Try lending a friend your book. Tough, isn't it? Supplier-driven technology is attempting to turn the basic market economics of customer-driven focus, and failing.
Example: Amazon's Kindle can store "up to 3,500 books." Umm .... why?
Henry Ford's quote ("If I'd asked my customers what they wanted they'd have asked for a faster horse") is smugly used by tech execs who who have managed to break into new markets.
It usually isn't relevant.
I'd like you to be right, in that there's a middle ground between Android and iPhone that could be filled by Windows Phone 7. However that my initial reaction has been so far that Microsoft risk taking the worst bits of both and combining them into one glorious ... meh.
My own background is that I loved my WIndows Smartphone / Mobiles from 2004 - 2009, until I went Android. That decision was based on the UI, of which I had had more than enough by then. I don't like the iPhone per se but recognise it has a place. Ultimately, I think having three major players in this market (plus BlackBerry) is a positive but it's doubtful the market will support many more.
There is also a wider question mark here over Microsoft's ability truly to innovate compared to its rather more habitual tendency merely to follow ... at least since Billy G went to pastures new. Microsoft has really suffered from a lack of competition since it ruled the world.
It's an intelligent and thought-provoking article. I can't help wondering if you contradict yourself, however, with the statement that Apple has a mobile (smartphone) monopoly yet...
"We're now seeing that mobile market further mature, with Google's Android playing the role that Windows did in the PC revolution."
...because you're then effectively saying that there is no monopoly there. Or are you? By stating that the market "matures" the implication is that a young market will have many players, an adolescent market will have only one while a mature market will have a few.
But this is perhaps because computing technology at this stage is defining its own industries. Or rather, individual companies are defining their industry. When Steve Jobs tells the world to go screw itself because the world is complaining Apple is a closed shop, it's because Apple is still in the process of defining an industry. It couldn't share this with others even if it wanted to, because the industry itself isn't yet defined. Mostly true of Facebook. Definitely true of Google.
These are leading edge companies in leading edge areas of computing. Theirs is the right to blaze a trail, then to tell others how it is. They are the modern-day colonial explorers, who got there first then sold what they had found on their terms.
So, Matt Asay, you are correct, especially when you say that "a certain level of monopoly is a very good thing for the development of a market." I would simply add that once the market is developed, the market itself will cease to be a monopoly. And that this will happen quite naturally.
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