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Comment: Re:Unable to control your company, or complicit. (Score 4, Informative) 197

by JonathanF (#42916633) Attached to: Tim Cook Never Wanted To Sue Samsung

These lawsuits were started before Cook was CEO -- the point is that he basically inherited lawsuits that Jobs started.

And while it's tempting to follow up with "he should just drop all the lawsuits," it's not that easy -- aside from spooking the public and investors, an exit from legal action wouldn't guarantee that others would do the same. Samsung has at least made some grandstanding that it will never, ever settle. That could just be talk, but Samsung isn't exactly known for its humility or compassion toward competitors.

Comment: Re:Definition of irony (Score 1) 500

It's true that Apple filters the App Store, but that's the apps, not the OS. I'd be very worried about a Chinese government-endorsed OS, since that's usually a codeword for "and we have monitoring code on your phone."

RMS was valuable when he was actually at the forefront of producing code and setting groundwork. He is entirely, unquestionably useless now. The man refuses to use the visual web, most social networking services, and certainly most modern hardware. And he certainly hasn't made FOSS equivalents. What can he honestly speak about from experience in the modern era? Ai Weiwei is 10 times more an activist than RMS is, because he's arguing for actual civil liberty -- the kind that determines whether or not you're imprisoned for your beliefs, not the kind that matters to someone that wants to modify Red Hat for his home theater PC.

If Stallman had been in Tunisia during the Arab Spring revolutions, he would have been mostly oblivious to what was going on because he would have refused to use Facebook, Twitter, or maybe even Google. And how likely are you to involve yourself in a protest you know nothing about? That's what I mean -- that a lot of the "Android/Linux is freedom" rhetoric is posturing from those with a skewed sense of priority, where having access to CyanogenMod matters more in their day-to-day lives than people being "disappeared" for their political views.

Comment: Re:Definition of irony (Score 1) 500

Let's put it this way.

Ai Weiwei, freedom activist in China who's been detained for challenging the communist government, says the iPhone is the product of a free country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2012/apr/16/china-censorship-internet-freedom?newsfeed=true

Now, that's not to say that closed source actually makes you more free (the paradox would be a bit too much), but it does underscore that there's actually a political schism that's the opposite of what the Americans shrieking "Android is ffffffffreedom!" are all on about. In China, the iPhone isn't just the esteemed brand, the equivalent of a Givenchy or Mercedes-Benz, it represents the new and better life, the real economic and social freedoms the people want. Android isn't inherently oppressive, but it's the only mobile OS an oppressive government would choose right now.

As I like to tell fellow geeks: stop pretending that you're taking a political stand by choosing Android. It's just code. Real freedom is seeking out better living conditions, demanding your civil liberties, protesting, even starting revolutions. Richard Stallman is actually the most enslaved, limited geek on Earth, because he refuses to use so many things on the principle of "free" software that he's useless in real life and trapped by his own ideology.

Comment: Definition of irony (Score 4, Insightful) 500

The irony: this comes from a company that wants to know everything about you and shifted its entire strategy to compete with Facebook. A company currently facing DOJ and EU antitrust investigations. A company that just got fined $25,000 for obstructing an FCC investigation into Street View cars' Wi-Fi accidentally scraping personal messages and website visits.

Not to mention that Android is officially endorsed by the Chinese government as its mobile platform of choice (customized as Open Mobile System). You know, the government that has political opposition jailed, censors the Internet, and spies on its citizens in a way that makes the NSA look modest.

Look, Sergey, there are advantages to an open platform, but you're as much of a threat as the others.

Comment: Re:No mention if Droids were considered (Score 1) 188

by JonathanF (#38952713) Attached to: Halliburton To Dump Blackberry For iOS

iOS has a better centralized management system and enterprise app delivery platform. Most of the enterprise-grade stuff you see in Android is bolted on by an OEM, and I doubt Halliburton wants to buy a few thousand RAZRs and hope that Motorola either isn't messed up by Google or headed down the tubes.

Comment: Re:Physical keyboard? (Score 2) 188

by JonathanF (#38952677) Attached to: Halliburton To Dump Blackberry For iOS

Think the "I can't write unless I have a hardware keyboard" trope died once people actually bothered to learn to type on touchscreen keyboards. I know I can type faster on an iPhone (or Galaxy Nexus) than I can on the multiple recent BlackBerrys I've used. Not having to use awkward function key combos and using autocorrection to your advantage can go a long way.

Comment: Fracking fracking! (Score 3, Funny) 299

by JonathanF (#38563362) Attached to: Earthquakes That May Be Related To Fracking Close Ohio Oil Well

I'm sorry, I know there's loads of serious comments that are worthier than this, but my inner Battlestar Galactica makes an entirely different subject out of that title. That's a fracking close Ohio oil well!

Consider this post the steam vent for everyone else who needs to get it out of their system.

Comment: Adobe's flop: obsession w/ inclusion at all costs (Score 1) 354

by JonathanF (#37566010) Attached to: How Adobe Flash Lost Its Way

Part of why Adobe is struggling with Flash is its sense of entitlement.

The company believes not just that Flash is a good idea, but that you *must* adopt Flash. As-is. Without question. No matter how much it slows down your device, how it hurts battery life, how it affects the stability of whatever browser you're using (I know it's not nightmarish, but it's far from perfect). Oh, if you're making an Android phone, could you please make Flash a core part of any marketing you do, no matter how much it actually matters? Thanks!

And if you dare to omit Flash like Apple (and now Microsoft, partly), then you're an evil commie dictator who hates freedom and life itself. Just look at how John Dowdell and others from Adobe react to Apple, or how Android phone and tablet makers are practically forced to parrot Adobe's line of how you're not getting the "full web" unless you use their third-party plugin. Never mind that HTML5 lets me AirPlay a video to my TV where you can't do that with a Flash video on any other platform.

This wouldn't be a problem except that Adobe hasn't really addressed many of the underlying problems, and I'm not sure if it entirely can. Hardware acceleration is good, but when a Galaxy S II or an Optimus Pad (both dual-core devices) can still choke on a moderately sized piece of Flash, that's a problem. It's also still very common to hear of Flash crashing things or of security holes specific to it... when Apple, Google, and Mozilla design sandboxing code specifically because of the problems your plugin creates, that should tell you that you're doing something wrong.

Comment: Re:Just a reminder: Samsung isn't innocent here (Score 1) 412

by JonathanF (#37038406) Attached to: Sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab Blocked in the EU

There's a difference between improving your product and doing it purposefully in a way that makes your product look more like your competitor's. Samsung did this to copy the iPad 2's look, not just to get it thinner.

When Samsung goes from a fat design virtually ready to ship to a complete re-architecture of the casing in six weeks, that not only shows that it was relatively easy but that it was a knee-jerk reaction to emulate a rival product. And what does it say about Samsung that it could have easily delivered the same battery life and performance in a much thinner case but waited until Apple had put out the iPad 2 to suddenly get serious about it?

Again, if it were me, I wouldn't have been in Samsung's face about it. Still, there is zero question that this wasn't natural competitive evolution; this was Samsung being knocked out of complacency and deciding the best route was to imitate what Apple was doing.

Comment: Just a reminder: Samsung isn't innocent here (Score 4, Insightful) 412

by JonathanF (#37036828) Attached to: Sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab Blocked in the EU

Remember what the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looked like in February this year? It was fatter and it only somewhat looked like what Apple was doing.

And then... the iPad 2 came. You can tell that Samsung completely freaked out that it would lose to Apple, because it almost immediately said it "would not be outdone" by the iPad's new design:

http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/03/24/samsung.says.galaxy.tab.101.thinner.to.beat.ipad/

Yep. Samsung openly admitted that it was going to change the shape of its tablet because of the iPad 2, just two weeks after it had unveiled its own work. And sure enough, in March, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was suddenly a lot thinner and looked remarkably much more like the iPad 2. I was at the CTIA's spring show, where they first showed off the remake: they even made it a source of pride how quickly they'd changed the look and had a glass case showing the old version and the new one.

I would personally keep the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on shelves because it's different enough, but there's no question that the model you see now wouldn't look the way it does if it weren't for Apple.

Comment: They hit 10% a year ago! Spoke with IDC (Score 1) 410

by JonathanF (#36769782) Attached to: After a Decade, Mac Sales Again Top 10%

I talked to an IDC analyst when this broke: Apple was at 10.5% back around spring/summer 2010. The difference here is that Apple is likely to keep this spot because of gangbuster sales -- and, of course, Acer's "there are no iPads in Baghdad" strategy of depending way too much on netbooks and cheap notebooks.

Comment: A story to buck the trend -- Macs and Prop 8 (Score 1) 638

by JonathanF (#35921148) Attached to: Mac Users More Liberal Than Windows Users

I write for a website which covers a lot of Apple news in its coverage, so I do see that leaning; by definition, if you're knowingly going against the mainstream by getting a Mac, you're probably willing to change the status quo elsewhere.

However, one day the site got this absolutely indignant feedback e-mail from a Mac user complaining about Apple. You see, Apple had the audacity to endorse a No vote on California's Prop 8. How dare this company support the freedom of sexual orientation and 'assault' family values! It was making this reader and his wife question their choice of platform.

Never mind that it's a San Francisco Bay area company. Whose logo was a rainbow-hued apple for half of its history. Whose slogan was "Think Different" for several years. It just goes to show that even conservatives will lean towards Apple... if just in spite of themselves.

Comment: Stallman: a good incentive to get an iPhone (Score 1, Insightful) 792

by JonathanF (#35491216) Attached to: Richard Stallman: Cell Phones Are 'Stalin's Dream'
When Richard Stallman makes paranoiac comments like that, he makes a pretty good argument for getting a closed-source device. The guy lives on an extremely slow Chinese netbook, avoids using as much of the Internet as possible, and is basically a hermit! His version of "freedom" actually makes him one of the most enslaved people on the planet. He's dependent on what other people say to make judgments because he won't use their devices and has little access to modern news sources because he's afraid of most of the web. Meanwhile, an iPhone owner might not have his pick of apps, but at least he can actually communicate with the outside world and get knowledge about what really matters -- political freedom, not theoretical software freedom.

Comment: Pure speculation. Don't believe it! (Score 1) 356

by JonathanF (#34353226) Attached to: New MacBook Pros To Sport Light Peak Technology
The podcast is pure (and false) speculation -- it doesn't cite sources, and it's providing supposedly very definite details about something that won't show up for half a year. Having talked to Apple workers and knowing a bit of what goes on in the inside, even *Apple* doesn't know what the system will necessarily be like that far out. It has cancelled systems at the last minute or made part swaps weeks before launch because they either didn't work properly, cost too much or even for political reasons. Apple dropped ATI video cards from a line of Power Macs because an ATI PR confirmed the new models a day early.

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