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Comment: Re:How much longer will Foxconn need Apple? (Score 1) 109

by macs4all (#48458859) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

Maybe I phrased it wrong. What I mean is: Apple is not really relying on best specs, best technology anymore. Just like Gucci doesn't have to come with totally new bag all the time. And that makes sense as they won't be able to be the best all the time.

Just as long as they are perceived to be the best by their loyal fanbase, they will do well. That's also why a smart watch (very much a fashion item) is so important to the lineup. Or white headbuds. It's all to build brand. It doesn't have to be the best, just perceived to be.

First off, thank you for your considered response; that's getting pretty rare around here... ;-)

Actually, Apple is almost never the "first" to employ a new technology or adopt a new standard. They actually shy away a bit from the "bleeding edge" (while still maintaining a cachet of "innovative" and "ahead of the curve").

What they are masters at is waiting until a technology/standard/product niche is getting popular (e.g., WiFi, Music Players, Small-form-factor Desktops, Netbooks, Smartphones) and then "re-imagining it" with a distinctive flair and usability-level that is consistently far above the pack.

Often, these improvements come with a "fit and finish" factor that is often mistaken for "Fashion for Fashion's sake" (Apple Watch notwithstanding. They freely admit to it being a "fashion accessory"); but actually just looks that way because the competition so often ignores the aesthetic appeal of good industrial design (how many creaky brittle plastic laptops have we all suffered?), or which have some bizarro Asian idea of "fashionable"? (Not picking on Asian product design; but it is just "different" from what most "Westerners" think looks "classy")...

But make no mistake: Along with the "classy" industrial design is real, solid product engineering, both hardware and software. And that is what seems to escape so many in the Slashdot crowd, who seem to almost universally seem to place price over value (and who seem to, at the same time, incredibly value the cost of their time at zero).

I get my "tinkering"-Jones satisfied by being an embedded developer; my computer is a tool, like my oscilloscope, various meters and my Zircon-encrusted tweezers, and I want my tools to "just work".

And in my nearly four decades as a professional embedded developer (software and hardware), Apple products deliver on that promise far more consistently (nothing's perfect!), both in and out of the lab, than what my non-Apple-oriented friends and colleagues seem to experience (which looks a lot like "suffering" to me).

And that, my friend, is the very height of "geek-chic"; at least to me.

Comment: Re:A good deed will never go unpunished (Score 1) 102

by macs4all (#48451079) Attached to: Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight

The person that wrote the title is a professional writer, they know how words work.

From what I have seen pass the "Editors" at Slashdot, I wouldn't bet on either clauses of your statement being true.

This is a Tech-Blog; not the Wall Street Journal, nor the New York Times. If you're looking for examples of erudite journalism, you've come to the wrong genre.

Comment: Re:"For every $900 iPad, we'll donate $5 to charit (Score 1) 102

by macs4all (#48449849) Attached to: Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight

If they're not making a profit off the discounted items, then no money goes to AIDs research. It's not a decent gesture. They're only doing it because it'll drum up more sales. If they really cared, they wouldn't advertise it, or at least not right before.

But I thought the meme on Slashdot was that Apple makes "obscenely high" profits on their products; so which is it?

1. Apple is being disingenuous because they won't be making any profits to give away?

2. Apple is evil because they make "high" profits?

Can't have it both ways.

Comment: Re:Wrong Question (Score 1) 197

by macs4all (#48428953) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Actually, a lot of companies have a moral compass, even "evil" ones. I mean, do you consider Apple evil because they sue over patents?

Um, if it makes Apple "evil" to protect their IP from being directly ripped off by well-heeled competitors (cough, Samsung, cough), then I think you need to adjust your definition of "evil".

I mean, if you were the CEO of Apple, what would you have done in that instance? I mean, look at the Techcrunch article with the "Before iPhone" and "After iPhone" Samsung pictures. Tell me you wouldn't have been incensed, probably moved to litigation.

Comment: Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (Score 1) 197

by macs4all (#48427957) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Morality is for the working class. If you want to succeed in a capitalist economy, it's better to be amoral.

Reminds me of a Book that has been around since the late 1970s (and still available on Amazon, I believe) :

"Why S.O.B.s Succeed And Nice Guys Fail In a Small Business"

No truer words were ever penned.

In fact, when writing physical checks to pay bills was the norm, and based on some ideas from that book, I would regularly fill-in pieces of the MICR OCR field-delimiters at the bottoms of my personal checks to delay their processing by the Federal Reserve Clearinghouse, I know it worked, because I would receive those checks back "re-striped" with new (no doubt manually-generated) OCR strips stuck on the bottoms of the check. It was usually good for a 3 to 5 business-day delay "float", while (I assume) the check got kicked-out of the automatic scanner, and routed to the "manual processing" pile. And, since my account wasn't debited until the check "cleared" this process, I avoided a non-sufficient-funds "bounce" fee, and the payor thought that I had paid "on time" (which I technically had).

I kept waiting to get a nasty letter from my bank or the Fed saying "quit it, or you're going to jail!", but I never did.

Comment: Re:How much longer will Foxconn need Apple? (Score 1) 109

by macs4all (#48419391) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

Apple is not really a technology brand these days

lolwut?

Apple is in the same league: as long as the brand remains premium, it does not matter what the output is or for that matter what their quality is.

Too bad for your theory that Apple remains the top performer and the tops in quality and customer satisfaction.

Comment: Re:How much longer will Foxconn need Apple? (Score 1) 109

by macs4all (#48419111) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

Of course, a big part of it is Apple is able to tweak the software to their needs and spend time doing so. Samsung doesn't have that luxury when they release more than 1 new smartphone a week (56 so far in 2014 alone!) and 1 new tablet every two weeks [arstechnica.com]. Or LG, which released 41 since the start of the year. Versus Apple's 6 or so (4 of which were just minor tweaks of the base model)..

Excuse me, but is anyone holding a gun to either Samsung or LG's proverbial heads, forcing them to throw design after design at the wall to see what sticks? It's like every single prototype that some engineer slaps together, the marketing guys steal right off the bench and put into full production. What maroons!

In fact, in the face of their 60% drop in profits, Samsung just announced they are reigning-in their insane new-model-creation rate, and focusing on "quality" over "quantity".

All I have to say to Samsung is: "Duh". Where EVAR did you get THAT idea...?

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 2) 98

by macs4all (#48386701) Attached to: US Gov't Issues Alert About iOS "Masque Attack" Threat

Yes, you can for sure install untrusted apps on iOS without hacking. I can remember from the top of my head at least three ways. Phones in dev mode (not the problem here), Enterprise certs and beta software distributed through TestFlight.

I believe that the limit on TestFlight is 100 phones, and those have to be added to a "List".

Enterprise Certs are easily determinable and Revokable by Apple.

The system is just about as secure as could reasonably be designed.

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 98

by macs4all (#48386651) Attached to: US Gov't Issues Alert About iOS "Masque Attack" Threat

All of those hoops are removed if the app is signed by an Apple 'enterprise deployment' certificate. Someone anyone can get just by asking.

Bzzzt! Wrong!

You have to be Registered as an "Enterprise" Developer; which is a different level from the regular $99/yr. iOS Dev. Registration.

And since that means these Apps are "signed", it should be about 5 seconds before their Cert. was revoked by Apple.

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 98

by macs4all (#48385861) Attached to: US Gov't Issues Alert About iOS "Masque Attack" Threat

The same kind of popups are shown to the people who install malware to their Windows machines. And yet they just click next-next-next-ok, as the ad banner promised something cool, like free money or pictures of . No matter what your iGod, Steve the great lied to you, the Apple devices are just as vulnerable to stupid users as any device out there.

One question: Is there any reasonable security scheme that can defeat social engineering 100% of the time?

I'm not trolling; I seriously want to know what Apple could have done to prevent this, and still allow for "corporate" apps.

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