Sure, Intel CPUs are better. But if you don't do heavily CPU-intensive tasks (ie. if you use your computer for generic consumer-type stuff) AMD's ones are adequate and cheap. Intel is great in workstations but most people don't need a workstation. That's why AMD is still alive. It's pretty much the VHS of x86/amd64.
You don't automatically deserve for your business to succeed regardless of other commercial factors, and you certainly don't deserve money just for having an idea. Ideas are cheap, it's R&D that costs money.
I never said that I deserve automatic business success. "Reward" and "getting paid" are two different things. I do agree, however, that I expressed myself poorly. Of course the mere idea is not enough to get a patent: At the very least I should supply enough information to make my valve. Still, I shouldn't need to actually produce valves in order to deserve patent protection; after all there are dedicated research entities like CSIRO who do expend significant effort to develop technologies even though they don't develop physical products based on those technologies.
And that is how the patent system is broken, because it directly rewards ideas and not development effort. The positive outcome of the system is just a side-effect of how the system works. The whole system needs refactoring so that it directly achieves the goals above within an ethical framework that acknowledges the value of straightforward hard work over simple ideas. This would mean that a patent troll with nothing more than an idea can't walk all over a company that had the same idea and then spend $10m developing it into a commercial product.
If the non-company actually came up with a working prototype and wrote a patent that explains in detail how to copy it and demonstrably came up with the whole thing first then yes, the non-company deserves the patent. Of course this scenario is utterly unlikely. Still, patents shouldn't be about how much it cost to come up with something; they should be about whether this something advances the state of the art and is described in a precise manner that allows an average worker in the field to reproduce it. If your company spends $10m and mine spends $100k and we independently arrive at the same method of solving a particular problem then your company's claim isn't automatically more valid than mine.
If we could ensure that all granted patents are for things that advance the state of the art in a reproducible manner we'd be much closer to a reasonable system (although there'd still be work left to be done).
We have a few problems right now that need fundamental changes to how patents work in order to be resolved:
Firstly, there is a flood of patents far too great to allow patent examiners to examine each patent in detail. We can't solve this by adding more examiners; there's no money for that. We can't solve this by allowing an arbitrary backlog; sooner or later we'd get to a point where you'd spend longer for your application to be processed than the patent would last once approved, which would hurt legitimately useful applications. The current solution, just doing less work per patent, just means that more junk patents come through.
Additionally, we don't have enough experts. A patent on "storing a word processor document in a single XML file" (real patent) might not sound obvious to a patent examiner who doesn't have a deep understanding of IT but to an IT professional it's blindingly obvious; after all XML is a universal format and we store all sorts of other documents in XML form already. Still, a patent has been granted for this "innovation", most likely because the patent office can't afford enough IT experts to properly evaluate every IT patent. (Admittedly, the patent is specific enough that one can, with effort, create a non-infringing XML text document format. But it's still obvious.)
Of course it doesn't help that some granted patents are overly generic. Many patents just declare dominion over an idea, sometimes even without providing technical information on how to make the idea actually work. This can be hard to see for the examiner because of the relative dearth of domain experts.
Compounding that is the fact that willful infringement nets harsher punishment. However, if I actually do the research to make sure I don't violate certain patents it becomes reasonable to assume that I know about all relevant patents in the field. If I overlooked some and end up infringing them it becomes difficult to prove that I didn't know about them, costing me more money. Thus, the safest course of action is to never read any patents at all so I can at least claim ignorance. This keeps me open to surprise litigation, of course, and it also perverts the entire point of the patent system: Patents are not there so that someone can control an idea, they are there so that someone provides his idea and technical work to everyone else in exchange for some royalties.
Fixing this mess won't be easy. We need far more experts, more time per patent and fewer patent applications. The former two aren't going to happen because nobody's willing to pay that much money and the latter isn't going to happen as long as obtaining patents is as lucrative as it is today. While I don't think that killing off the entire patent system is the way to go it's easy to see how people come up with the idea.
"Random people" includes any single government. Jon Postel might have been trustworthy but his government isn't. Not when international politics are involved. No single government or regional bloc truly is. (Neither are all governments combined but at least they'll have a harder time screwing everything up.)
Of course this is about power shifting towards governments in general. This is to be expected - after all, we can't just have random people running the internet and governments happen to be the very things that represent their countries internationally. I expect ICANN to become something like the ITU: A UN agency that handles infrastructure governance. That does seem to be the safest and fairest option. Do Iran and North Korea get a voice? Yes, they do, just as they should. But that doesn't mean they run the show.
That's why I don't like their Retina lineup - less customer-serviceability (and parts in more expensive form factors) mean less independence from Apple's horrible add-on prices.
Of course it would be nice if we could get people educated about that sort of thing. Then the only ones we'd have to worry about would be those who just plain can't upgrade - either because they have custom software or because their job-specific hardware has no drivers for modern Windows versions.
No, those customers aren't going to replace their still-working XP boxes with brand-new computers running Windows 8.1 Upgrade 1 Patch 1 Service Pack 1, especially not to get a browser update. As long as those computers don't physically break down they're going to keep running Windows XP; after all, replacing a working tool is unneccessary cost and businesses don't like unneccessary costs. So IE 8 compatibility remains important, at least for those customers who still use it to look at their websites.
All of that would change if Microsoft wrote IE to support the same platforms Firefox and Chrome do. Firefox 31 runs on XP SP2, as does Chrome 36. So should IE 11. Then we could finally move on from the days of horrible IE-specific hacks and dozens of kilobytes of compatibility code and actually get some work done. As it is, the only recourse we have is to keep telling people to never run IE under any circumstance except to download a better browser; hopefully at some point we will have drilled "IE is always the wrong choice" into people's head hard enough that they will reflexively use a browser with a sane update policy and IE will be marginalized enough to be irrelevant.
Which would be sad; more competition in the browser market would be good. But not through an obsolescence factory like IE.
Well, they're better than Samsung, which admittedly isn't terribly difficult.
Now, I still don't watch the show but that's because every time people have tried to hook me on it I watched an episode and never laughed. The show's brand of humor just isn't mine and I don't find the main characters very likable. It's a matter of taste, though, and I recognize that many people find the show very entertaining. (Hell, The Middleman got canceled before they had time to shoot the first season's final episode and I consider that show to be among the best live-action entertainment produced in the last decade. My tastes certainly don't align with those of the people who actually count.)
Here are some more sensible names. Don't abbreviate them; nobody would understand you.
ActiveX becomes "Microsoft In-Browser Native Code API".
DirectX becomes "Microsoft 32/64-bit Multimedia API".
The X Window System becomes "Graphical Display API for Unixlike Operating Systems".
Lightning becomes "Apple 8-pin Connector Introduced In 2012".
Fiat Panda becomes "Fiat Cheap Car".
Mozilla Firefox becomes "Mozilla Web Browser"; likewise all other web browsers become "[manufacturer name] Web Browser".
eBay becomes "Physical Goods Marketplace Website With Many Auctions".
Amazon becomes "Physical Goods Marketplace Website With Sometimes Free Shipping".
SAP becomes "Big German Expensive Software Company".
Athlon becomes "AMD 32-bit Processor" (or "64-bit Processor").
Intel Core becomes "Intel 64-bit Processor (AMD-derived)". No distinctions between i3, i5 and i7; those don't contribute anything a model number can't.
See? Much better. Now, you might argue that names like "Core" or "Panda" are used to distinguish products from each other and not to inform the user of the exact properties of the product but that kind of sloppy thinking will get you nowhere.
Now, I use all three major desktop OSes. Once it's set up Windows is okay. It just doesn't have the fire-and-forget nature of Linux (where installing most software you need requires nothing more than a short incantation) or the polished UI of OS X (despite Apple's efforts to make it worse).
I admit that my Linux boxen are usually not exactly cutting-edge devices. I don't use 3D acceleration on them and video playback doesn't go beyond YouTube. That may be a factor in why I find the OS to be easy to take care of.