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Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 92

by Dixie_Flatline (#48934669) Attached to: Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

It's a miracle because those commercials are lip-service. There are a bunch of things they could legislate fairly quickly that would force competition in the space, but it's unclear that they're really interested. They're budging a bit because popular opinion is so vociferous, but they're not what I'd call a tech-savvy government. They're decidedly anti-science and they're incredibly secretive. They don't even LIKE the CRTC.

That said, I don't really have a good sense of what the other parties would do. In general, they tend to be even MORE protectionist (Bell, Rogers and Telus are garbage, but they ARE Canadian) even at the expense of competition.

But this is what you get when most of the people running for office (and winning) are old white lawyers. They don't know what's going on, and they're not interested in learning. The current Minister of Science and Technology was an *insurance broker*. I'm sure he's doing what he can, but it's a deep pity that there aren't any scientists or technology people in those Ministerial positions.

Comment: Re:to apple fan boys (Score 1) 507

by Dixie_Flatline (#48927921) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

Yeah, the specs don't really tell the whole story. When you go through the benchmarks, the A7/A8 chips really clean the floor with the Snapdragons, and they do it at a lower clock (and a lower voltage; performance per watt on the A7/A8 is much better). The cameras on the iPhone is of a comparable or higher quality in all those cases (keeping in mind that megapixels is perhaps the worst way to rate a digital camera; my 12.1MP Nikon D3s will crush any phone camera without any effort).

My screen isn't as high DPI, but I'd be hard pressed to tell any difference without a microscope. Numbers being bigger for the sake of being bigger doesn't impress me. Also, it chews up a lot more battery.

I get TouchID, an implementation of biometric access that currently isn't well matched on the Android side. (I've heard Huawei has a good implementation? They're not a very prolific brand in NA, so I haven't read anything except occasional offhand remarks.)

The only thing that the Android phones tend to have is more RAM, but by virtue of a completely different multitasking model and garbage collection scheme, additional RAM is less relevant to iOS. (The lone exception being webpage reloading, which I'll cop to as being an annoyance.)

So yeah, my iPhone 6 runs faster than basically anything else on the market (http://www.anandtech.com/show/8554/the-iphone-6-review/5) and will have the legs to take me to 4 years, even if it'll feel pretty dated by then. I don't really think you can legitimately claim that just because the specs of a few phones were *higher* that they were meaningfully *better*.

Oh, and I don't have to talk to my carrier about my phone, like, ever. That alone is a virtue that's hard to pass up because fuck those guys. :)

Comment: Re:to apple fan boys (Score 1) 507

by Dixie_Flatline (#48925807) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

To a certain extent, I DO like these announcements merely because they really tweak the noses of the people that have been beating the 'Apple is Doomed' drum for a while. So yeah, there's a small bit of enjoyment that I get that Apple's numbers are so astronomical--I'll cop to that. That's the same thing that's happening with Daring Fireball. Gruber is obviously an Apple partisan, but he complains about as much as anyone I've heard about quality and direction.

But Apple has a good brand and it's drawn customers in. It's what every company hopes to do, really.

But there are lots of other examples of this. Ford vs. Chevy (or Ford vs. Holden, if you're in Oz) is a good one. People become partisan over all sorts of things.

Comment: Re:to apple fan boys (Score 1) 507

by Dixie_Flatline (#48923947) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

I don't know why you think I'm getting ripped off. I paid $600 for a phone that will get software updates for four years. The hardware will last for four years. My last iPhone did.

The reason why those profit margins are a good thing are because it means Apple isn't concerned with me buying a new phone from them every 18 months to stay afloat. They don't have to track my personal data or advertise to me to make money. Apple making money means that I can be sure that when I want to buy another phone in 4 years, they'll have something good for me to buy and they'll still be around for me to buy it from.

Contrast that with Android phones. They only promise support for 18 months, even on Nexus devices (though they MAY support them longer than that). There are dozens of phones that have fallen by the wayside. Sure, I can buy a new $150 Motorola every year or two, and it would be a good phone, but I could also just buy my top-of-the-line iPhone and keep it a little longer, and it means that I get a really exemplary phone every once in a while.

I understand the decisions that lead you to chose Android devices, but it's not wrong to chose Apple even BECAUSE they're making money. It's a short term pain that has (for me) been a long-term win.

Comment: Re:18B on 75B (Score 1) 507

by Dixie_Flatline (#48923897) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

Well, clearly it's what the market will bear. By definition, it's not overpriced. Overpriced items don't sell.

That is, 75 million phone buyers have decided that the phone price aligns with its value in their hands, whatever that value entails.

In my case, I buy phones to last for four years. That's what I did with my iPhone 4, and that's what I'm planning with my iPhone 6. The $600 I paid is a mere $150 when amortised over that time. And I can rely on there being 4 years of software updates and support from Apple. I can count on the hardware lasting that long, because it's really solid hardware. In what universe is that not good value for money?

My $600 pocket computer is only overpriced if you consider it far more disposable than it actually is.

Comment: Re:18B on 75B (Score 1) 507

by Dixie_Flatline (#48923869) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

Given that Apple's OSes are free, I don't know that you can claim that. They basically have a 0% margin on most of their software. They underwrite their software development with hardware sales. Basically, when you buy an Apple product, they're selling you both at the same time. I'm sure if you work in the R&D and the software costs, the margins come down.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 2) 577

You're talking like Google's a minority player in this deal. Google's the big dog here. Google dictates terms, and this one isn't so onerous. They patch the OS and they send the patch to a bunch of handset makers. They integrate the patch and push the update. This isn't a fundamental system overhaul, it's a bug fix. Unless the phones are incapable of receiving an update at all, they should be able to get this no problem. If there are costs, Google can offer to defray them. This is about building a brand and taking care of your customers. All this is doing is further pushing the perception that Apple takes care of its customers and Google and it's partners don't. Samsung is the only one that could theoretically afford to turn Google down because they could switch to Tizen, but they're getting drubbed by Apple at the top end and Xiaomi at the bottom; I don't think they're in a position to make a afuss.

But if that's what they want, that's fine--I'm an Apple shareholder (20 whole shares!) and that just makes my stock more valuable. And I own an iPhone and will continue to buy them. Whenever I look at Android, one of my big concerns is how long I'll get updates. If this is the sort of thing I can expect--buy a new phone for the latest security patch--I'll continue paying $700 for an iPhone and getting updates for 4+ years, thanks. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 4, Interesting) 577

Apple released a security patch for iOS 6 when that SSL vulnerability was found. It was a deprecated OS running on a MINORITY of Apple phones and they issued an update anyway. (http://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202920)

Why are so many people excited to give Google a pass over this? Support your customers or don't, but be up front about how long they're going to get to see updates. If you're going to drop security support after 18 months, at least let everyone know so they can make an informed decision.

Comment: As an active user of both... (Score 2) 114

by Dixie_Flatline (#48897655) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

Twitter's request is asinine. Twitter is only set up to share with other Twitter users. When I post something to Instagram, I get to share with people on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I do occasionally use VSCO and send things to each service individually (usually when I want to preserve the aspect ratio of an image; the lower res square that Instagram demands doesn't always work best).

If Twitter wants people to use their service for images, they have to make it easier to share outside of their network. People interested in sharing usually want to cover all their bases, not just one population.

But this is what's wrong with Twitter's current managementâ"they don't understand their own service and the people that use it. And they don't seem to get that if you want to grow, you have to reach outside of the network and bring people in, not broadcast to the people that are already there. I have friends that have joined Twitter because of my own active cross-posting (using third party tools)â"if Twitter made that part easier, maybe they could convince people to give them a shot. (That and doubling back and making third party clients easier to develop again; the official app is trash compared to Tweetbot. If they want ads, just make it part of the stream that the clients can't skip. It's not so hard.)

Comment: Re:Not about code (Score 1) 307

The key elements of Apple's monopoly power are there though: they can effectively set prices in the market, they have the ability to raise or lower production to affect prices and availability of the good, they can suppress or increase the market by withholding or releasing products. This last one is important.

I'm not sure I buy this. Apple's control extends only to their own product. There's a active market below Apple's pricepoint (though there's not much profit there, I'll grant you). When Apple's prices change (actually, has that happened in the last few years? I think the price has been steady for a while) the market doesn't reconfigure around that price. Apple certainly has a monopoly on Apple phones, but I'm not sure that's particularly insightful.

In theory, someone could also release a product that's priced ABOVE the iPhone (perhaps as a Veblen good) as long as they can make a sufficient appeal to the wealthy that their product is superior. (I know about Vertu, but I haven't seen anything that makes me think that anyone thinks their phones are better than even ordinary Android phones.)

If Apple disappeared tomorrow, the world would still have smartphone manufacturers. The only way this monopoly argument could hold water is if we decide that Android and the handsets it runs on should be considered a completely different category of product.

Comment: Re:Not about code (Score 2) 307

What?

Sorry, this makes no sense to me. Why should Apple be forced to open up its protocol? Why is that necessary for the public good? As people are always delighted to point out, Apple's market share is by no means the majority. Apple isn't a utility.

If people don't like iMessage or people they know aren't on iMessage, then they can use something else. I chat with friends on Hangouts (which, if I'm honest, is the worst of all the chat apps out there), WhatsApp (some clumsy UI elements, but lots of good features) and Facebook Messenger (surprisingly good, despite the fact that Facebook is behind it; also the one I'm least likely to trust privacy-wise). I don't demand that my friends only use iMessage. I'll find a way to chat with them one way or another.

If I happened to have a friend with a BlackBerry, I'd use the BBM app. Or ordinary texts. There's plenty of interoperability here.

If Apple didn't allow the BBM app (or any other chat app) on their phones in order to ENFORCE iMessage use, maybe you'd have a point.

BlackBerry missed the boat about a dozen times at this point and that's their fault, not Apple's.

Comment: Re:Crunch all you want... We'll make more! (Score 2) 136

In India, until March of this year, antibiotics were an off-the-shelf drug.

http://bsac.org.uk/news/major-...

You can't blame the doctors there for this one.

But as usual, things are probably a mixture of things. In India, antibiotics were easy to get, and waste at the plants was an issue. In North America, over-prescription and people not taking the full course of drugs when they ARE required is an issue. In all places, prophylactic use in animals is definitely an issue.

Put all those things together, and here we are. But it's nice to see this guy cop to his industry's (and his own, by implication) complicity in this problem. They're making drugs to help people, and the part that HE can control is how safely they manufacture the drugs. The agriculture and medical industries will have to be dealt with separately (and probably through legislation).

Comment: Re:Holy Carp! (Score 1) 136

Actually, it's even worse than that. India JUST banned the sale of antibiotics off the shelf this March. Until recently, you could just walk in and grab them. http://bsac.org.uk/news/major-...

There are way too many things wrong with that, but among them is that a lot of unused antibiotics probably wound up in the trash.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan

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