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Comment Re:I don't see how this hurt HP (Score 1) 309

HP was already in the music player biz, but the fact that you didn't know that is kinda the point of why this was such a bad deal for them. They pulled their players when the HP iPod debuted. And Apple didn't have to pay to get iTunes onto those computers. HP computers, simply on account of there being so many of them getting sold at the time, were valuable real estate: get your software on those machines and millions upon millions of people would likely be using it. They could have sold that right for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Instead, they gave it away for free, pulled their own product, locked themselves out of the market for a year (ensuring that the iPod became the dominant product), and made themselves look like clueless, me-too buffoons.

Comment Re:Gateskeeper (Score 3, Informative) 66

I get that this is possible and all, but I think I'm failing to understand the threat posed by it that's any different from what was possible already by design. Gatekeeper has three settings (paraphrasing; #2 is the default, from what I recall):
1) Mac App Store only
2) Apps from registered developers only
3) Anything goes

It's already quite possible for a ($99/year) registered app developer to release a trojan and distribute it via the Internet to anyone using settings #2 and #3, but if they do so, Apple has been quick to revoke their certs (preventing all of their apps from installing on anyone's Mac using settings #1 or #2), pull their apps from the Mac App Store, and add the malware to OS X's built-in malware blocker that gets updated nightly.

This attack seems to rely on the actual bulk of the malware being downloaded separately from the main app that's been signed, which means that, as has been the case up until now, the user still needs to be coerced into downloading the malware themselves somehow. The only difference I can see (besides the addition of a lot of complication that makes the attack more difficult to accomplish) is that if the dummy app is able to be distributed via the Mac App Store, this may be a way to target users with setting #1, since otherwise the malicious payload would need to get through Apple's app review process. But if that's all that this attack brings to the table, it isn't much, since setting #2 is the default, meaning the target audience for this attack is particularly limited and that (by design) there are already easier ways to hit the bulk of users. Moreover, Apple's response would no doubt be exactly what we'd expect: to revoke the certs, pull the apps from the Mac App Store, and add the app to their malware blocker, meaning that the attack will stop working overnight.

Am I missing something more sinister here?

Comment Re:How much will it cost. (Score 2) 396

Completely agree with the reference, of course, but the thing I don't get is why people are hung up on thinking that a single car must fit ALL of their needs. Most American families have two cars. Keep the EV around for day-to-day, in-town commuting, then bust out the old IC when your family does its annual road trip. Not exactly rocket science, and you get to start enjoying the benefits of EVs immediately.

Comment Re: Matirx KVM Switch (Score 2) 127

Completely agree with you, since that'll save a load of money and complexity headache. If he is, however, absolutely dead-set on a KVM and wants to avoid a matrix KVM, he should recognize that he really has three modes (i.e. one per computer), with PC1 having two modes (i.e. toggling between what's displayed on the second display). Doing so greatly simplifies things, since it lets you use a normal dual-screen KVM switch to control your inputs, then use a simple HDMI switch to toggle what's shown on your second display when controlling PC1.

A complete example setup might be:

PC1 SCREEN1 goes into an HDMI splitter, which goes to KVM Port 1 SCREEN1 and KVM Port 3 SCREEN1. I.e. For controlling both PC1 and DOCK1, you'll see PC1 SCREEN1 on your first display.

PC1 SCREEN2 goes into an HDMI switch, which then goes to KVM Port 1 SCREEN2.

PC2 gets hooked up like normal.

DOCK1 SCREEN1 goes into an HDMI splitter, which goes to KVM Port 3 SCREEN2, as well as the HDMI switch mentioned earlier. I.e. DOCK1's video will always be visible when controlling DOCK1, and will optionally be visible when controlling PC1.

Everything else hooks up like normal. At that point, he'd use the KVM switch to control which computer he's using, then would use the HDMI switch to toggle whether he sees PC1 or PC1/DOCK1 when controlling PC1.

That said, HDMI splitters are notoriously flaky, particularly if you go for the passive variety.

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 1) 535

As you no doubt expect, I'd find it utterly ridiculous.

But that sort of rhetorical question misses the point I was attempting to make. I'm suggesting that the general computing market has grown to the point that it is beginning to encroach on the car market, in much the same way that it encroached on the phone market before it. Just as the computing market commoditized the phone call by making it nothing more than an app among many others, so too is the computing market primed to commoditize cars by making them nothing more than yet another device that can run apps. The opposite, as per your question? Not so much, hence why I find the one utterly ridiculous and the other entirely plausible.

Moreover, the features that make cars distinct from both each other and the other products are increasingly less important and less relevant to consumers (as evidenced by the double-digit drop-off in car adoption and later age for first vehicles among the millennial crowd as compared to previous generations). As with you, I doubt that Apple will be able to come in with a car that outperforms everything else on the market, but what will that matter, if it does succeed in having good enough performance while adding value in the areas that modern consumers actually care about?

And, when you get down to it, modern electric cars are not particularly complicated machines. They're well understood, experienced people are readily available, Tesla demonstrated that a newcomer could out-engineer the incumbents after a single iteration, and so long as you have the deep pockets and the manufacturing/distribution capability to bring something to market, the biggest differentiator will be in terms of the design and polish, rather than the engineering. Plus, Apple gets to build on the backs of Tesla and others, since they have had the opportunity to watch its missteps and learn from them, they've reportedly been poaching its top engineers, and they've been gaining more experience over the last few years in working with the key materials that make up an electric car (e.g. aluminum, glass, LiON batteries, etc.).

Honestly, I'm inclined to view Tesla as the Palm/Handspring of the car world, with everything else out today being the car equivalent of the dumb phones from yesteryear. If Apple doesn't do it and Tesla doesn't do it, someone is going to be the one to come in and disrupt the car market, since it has been way too stagnant for way too long. I don't know that Apple will be the one to do it, but it's going to happen, and soon, and I firmly believe it will be a company from the Silicon Valley crowd that'll be the one to do it.

Comment Re:Apple does the same thing (Score 1) 151

At least Google lets phone-vendors ship "just" the OS if they want to.

That, right there, is exactly why what they're doing is not the same thing. In a nutshell, here's the important distinction:
- Apple: Developers, if you want to work with our phone, you'll play second fiddle to our apps.
- Google: Developers, if you want to work with any phone that includes our app ecosystem, you'll play second fiddle to our apps.

Companies (generally) aren't compelled to open their products up to additional sources of competition, any more than McDonald's could be compelled to sell Whoppers from Burger King in place of their own Big Mac. Apple is welcome to sell their phones with whatever software they want on them, just as Samsung, HTC, or even Google can too.

But here's the rub: Android's success is in large part owed to the fact that Google (shrewdly, and as you pointed out) gives away the OS for free to manufacturers, then stays out of their way. Doing so paved the way for a diverse market full of handsets aimed at a multitude of target audiences, but it also means that (aside from the Nexus line) Google does not have ownership of the final product. The handsets that those other manufacturers make are their products, not Google's. As such, competing app developers have just as much of a right to be on those phones as Google.

By compelling manufacturers to give their apps and services preferential treatment as a condition for including Google Play, Google is using their dominance in the app ecosystem market to unfairly stifle competition in the apps market on devices they don't own. It's akin to what Intel did a few years back when it gave cheaper prices to PC manufacturers who agreed to not sell AMD CPUs. In contrast, Apple owns the whole product from top to bottom, which comes with a number of drawbacks (e.g. lack of diversity in hardware, some types of apps simply aren't possible, others are disallowed, etc.), but at the end of the day it also means that they own the final product and get to retain say over what goes on it.

TL;DR: Both Google and Apple are locking-in advantages for themselves against their competition, but Apple is doing it on their own products, whereas Google is doing it on the products of others.

Comment Re: It's not just IT (Score 2) 152

I've had both technical and non-technical managers. In both cases I've had good luck and bad luck.

This. It seems to me that there's an awful lot of confirmation bias at play in the comments here, when the fact is that many of us can think of counterexamples that disprove the notion that non-technical managers are always a bad idea. Just because a woman cuts you off in traffic, it doesn't mean that women, as a rule, are incompetent drivers, and just because a non-technical boss does a lousy job, it doesn't mean that non-technical folks are bad managers. It could just be that the one person was a lousy driver (who happened to be a woman) and that the other person was a lousy manager (who just happened to have a non-technical background).

I've had good managers and bad, from both sides of the technical spectrum. As you said, a good manager understands when they're out of their depth and finds someone who can fill those gaps. Technical managers could be argued to better have the ability to recognize that problem more readily, but I've seen just as many technical managers think that they know it all because they came from a technical background, so I honestly don't think they have a leg up in this regard.

Comment Re:What (Score 5, Informative) 207

The relevant quote, buried at the very end of the article:

"The Fair Work Commission didn't find that unfriending someone on Facebook constitutes workplace bullying," Josh Bornstein, a lawyer at the firm Maurice Blackburn, told ABC News.
"What the Fair Work Commission did find is that a pattern of unreasonable behaviour, hostile behaviour, belittling behaviour over about a two-year period, which featured a range of different behaviours including berating, excluding and so on, constituted a workplace bullying."

More or less, unfriending someone, in and of itself, is not bullying, nor was that the ruling. The unfriending that happened in this case was merely an example of hostile or otherwise unfriendly behavior aimed at the plaintiff by the defendant. Even so, none of the examples of "belittling behavior" strike me as significant enough to involve the court system. The very notion that the courts are being called in to resolve a personal spat strikes me as utterly ridiculous.

Comment Re:But your finger prints is not protected (Score 1) 178

Exactly correct. That's why you should power off your iPhone if you're being taken into custody or being pulled over. iPhones require the use of a password after they've been powered off or if you've been away for too long (which shouldn't be counted on, since the first thing a competent police department will do is image your phone so that it can be preserved in a pre-locked state), so while they can compel you to provide your fingerprint or use it in an effort to unlock the iPhone, it won't do any good if the device has been powered off.

You can even power the device back on immediately after you power it down, then use it to record video or take pictures without unlocking it. Those videos and pictures will be available later when you do unlock it, but in the meantime you'll still enjoy the legal protection that comes from having fingerprint unlocking disabled.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 178

They could order you to turn over any relevant e-mails (e.g. "all e-mails from June 4th-July 1st", "all e-mails to Alice", "all e-mails regarding the contract"), even if they don't know that they exist. That's a standard part of the discovery process. Now, you could just tell them that none exist, and they wouldn't be able to force you to divulge them immediately, but if they later discovered evidence that you were holding back (e.g. Alice provides her side of the e-mail conversation), you'll find yourself in hot water in a hurry.

Relatedly, I'd imagine you'd want to have a separate way to access those e-mails too, since while they can't compel you to unlock the phone (i.e. demonstrate that you know something), they can compel you to provide evidence you kept on the phone (i.e. provide things you have). If you can't access that evidence via some other means, you might find yourself forced to demonstrate you know something in order to provide something they know you have, and that could be used against you in court.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion