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That's all you need to read. Bill Gates has a terrible track record of imagining anything. >640k memory, the Internet, Apple's recovery, etc, etc. Just because he was once a very successful moneymaker despite his inability to predict things should mean you stop asking him to predict things.
Well, there's the B-52 which has been in service far longer than that. Also made by Boeing, and like the proverbial favourite axe, has had its handle and head replaced several times. So your statement is hyperbole, though the point is taken. B-52s may end up being in service for 100 years - that would be pretty cool actually.
all on it's own.
It's completely automated
Correct. "it's" is a contraction of "it is".
a tiny chip holding up it's little metal finger
Aaaarrrgghh!!!! Doesn't make sense: "...holding up it is little metal finger".
And to address the article itself, who even needs cat litter and all that nastiness in a house? Just let your damn cat out! They will never, ever soil in the house given a choice.
Seems to me that people just like to use the existence of the meritless case to push and reinforce their own anti-Apple views. Such views may have some validity, but to use this particular case and the history behind it to push them is ridiculous. We consumers enjoy DRM-free music today because of Apple, make no mistake. Do you really think Real (or Amazon, or whoever) would have managed the same thing if Apple hadn't? Nope - we'd still have crappy DRM-encrusted music from the industry or would be using the hit-and-miss GNUTella method.
Remember that any industry-backed music download service had to compete with free (albeit free with strings attached, in the form of terrible rips, mislabelled files and malware). Apple pulled it off, and they deserved to win this.
Way back when iTunes was just a reskinned SoundJam, it supported an architecture for supporting arbitrary devices, alongside the visualizer API. The visualizers are still supported and even got some improvements a few years ago, but the device support was dumped very early on, version 3.0 perhaps.
I know this because I wanted to make a plug-in for iTunes that supported one of the early cassette player adapter devices (forget the name, but it was a solid-state music player in a cassette form factor that would work in a standard deck). I got it roughly working just as iTunes got revved and the device API was scotched. It was annoying but as a hobby project not something I was expecting to build a business on. Asking around Apple devs, even then (this was before the iTunes store launched) the consensus was that iTunes was only going to support the iPod from then on, no 3rd party devices, and for precisely the reason stated. The anti-competitive nature wasn't really expressed, and at that time the Mac and the iPod were extremely minority players in the marketplace so it wasn't really seen as anti-competitive. By the time the iPod and the iTunes store started to become huge, everyone had forgotten that iTunes had ever supported a devices plug-in API.
My worry (or one of my many worries) as she is on the threshold of puberty is that she'll be a bit too geeky and that will invite bullying and so on. Ad that in turn will turn her away from her natural interests just to fit in with her friends. All you can do is encourage them to be themselves and be proud of not being part of the crowd.