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Comment: Re:The Windows Phone failed. (Score 1) 171

by MaWeiTao (#48188167) Attached to: Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

It seems you're living in the UK. Windows Phone has had more success there than in the US. American consumers are fairly close-minded; they, by and large, follow the herd and refuse to consider alternatives. Android is gaining traction, but I still come across people who chose that platform only grudgingly; they prefer the iPhone but aren't willing to pay the premium to get one. They're painfully ignorant of other platforms, as evidenced by all the fanfare over ApplePay and the way people talk like Apple has invented NFC payments.

The problems for Windows Phone are exacerbated by atrocious retail and carrier support. Microsoft talks extensively about partnerships but carriers do little to promote the platform and most retailers don't care their phones at all. The only place you'll find them are carrier stories and there employees, either due to ignorance or pressure from management, actively steer consumers way from Windows Phone.

Comment: Re:Hardware isn't Progressing (Score 1) 554

Not to be pedantic, but I'm almost positive plastic pistons are not used in F1. They wouldn't be able to withstand neither the heat nor the forces. They do incorporate special designs to allow the engines to operate high RPMs. The valves, for example, don't have springs, they're pneumatic. With springs they'd be subject to valve flutter.

The days of 18k RPM are over. Maximum is about 15k RPM but the cars shift at 10k to 11k.

Comment: Re:Buy a Mac (Score 1) 554

My iMac is stuck at 10.7 despite being a 64-bit Intel machine. Some random component inside that machine, related to the BIOS if I remember correctly, is not 64-bit and so I'm locked out of future updates. It sucks, but then OSX and specifically browser performance has degraded with every update. I have a PC that's about the same age, maybe a bit older, running Windows 8.1 flawlessly.

Comment: Re:Oh yes, we were (Score 1) 115

by MaWeiTao (#48027557) Attached to: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

It's not really surprising at all considering that this reality is demonstrated in Europe and Asia on a daily basis. Once you accept that the government is responsible for the overarching welfare of society it's natural that they would adopt an authoritarian stance and intervene in corporate and economic affairs, all for the greater good.

That both ends of the political spectrum end up adopting similar approaches is probably inevitable. It may violate the original ideology, but bureaucracy makes it inevitable that both sides adopt the same strategy. It's how they market themselves that varies, but what they want is to secure their power base. That their decisions may or may not benefit the people is a side effect.

Comment: Re:The big question is 'why' ? (Score 3, Interesting) 330

by MaWeiTao (#47911863) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

I'm not sure what rock you've been living under if you believe Minecraft is last week's news. I might have thought so too until I started noticing that kids are more into Minecraft than at any point in the past. I think the cultural impact of that game has thus far been underestimated.

Outside of Farmville, Candy Crush and that class of social games I've never seen a game cross gender lines like Minecraft. I can't recall every seeing a game with such widespread, universal appeal, period. Super Mario Bros doesn't even come close. Walk through any store with a Minecraft book or toy in hand and you'll have a half-dozen kids comment on it. Every boy I've met under 14 plays the game and seems to do so on a regular basis.

It's possible Minecraft is peaking, but I personally think this is uncharted territory for any game. It's on the level of a Facebook in it's ubiquity. Someone will eventually unseat both, but it won't be easy. In the meantime there's so much that can be added to Minecraft to sustain that popularity, and significant updates still come on a regular basis.

Not that Microsoft couldn't kill the game by sticking everything behind pay walls but hopefully they'll be smarter than that.

Comment: Re:Freak outbreak of common sense (Score 1) 421

by MaWeiTao (#47892215) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

I suppose in your universe cars would come without tires so that they can't force you to go with Pirelli over Michelin.

People want convenience. They don't want the pain in the ass of having to choose and then install their own OS, or worse, paying someone else to do so. I can't imagine a PC would be any cheaper without Windows, and if so, how much cheaper would it be? $20? $50? But the alternative is paying $80+ for a copy of Windows, which most consumers would inevitably buy. Many would then be forced to spend another $50-$100 to pay someone to install it.

For those who really don't want Windows, there are already countless avenues for purchasing a Windows-free machine.

Comment: Make the smartwatch a dumbphone. (Score 1) 471

by MaWeiTao (#47873237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

It's a bit ironic that nearly all smartphones are growing, including Apple's, but everyone is jumping on this smartwatch bandwagon which features a display too small to be truly useful.

With smartwatches why even bother with a mobile phone at all? Allow it to work with a desktop, laptop or tablet for more complex functionality. When untethered give it dumbphone functionality so that the watch can at least make calls and send texts, even if they have to be dictated. I think that's well within the realm of what's feasible with current technology and then you're giving the watch some level of true value.

The fitness tracking functionality is nice, but as data shows, adherence is abysmal for Fitbits and the rest. That functionality isn't going to make non-active individuals suddenly active, and fitness freaks don't necessarily need the info. If anything, these devices typically just create more work.

Comment: Plastic Metal (Score 1) 220

by MaWeiTao (#47662997) Attached to: Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

I don't get the obsessive appeal of phones with metal shells. Every iPhone I've ever seen that's led a life case-free really shows it's age, with all kinds of scuffs and obvious wear. The wear on plastic phones is far less apparent because the scratches don't show nearly as much.

I suppose excessive wear plus for the device maker as a motivator to get consumers to upgrade on a regular basis. It certainly helps that your average stupid consumer equates cold metal with luxury.

Comment: Re:Strategic coverage (Score 1) 150

by MaWeiTao (#47601307) Attached to: Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

Regardless, visit Japan and you'd never know their economy had been stagnant for over two decades. I'd take that kind of stagnation to American "growth" any day. They may be running a huge deficit, but at least the money seems to be used more productively than it ever is in the US. I'd love to see the kinds of massive infrastructure projects they undertake introduced over here. Stimulus spending in America consists of pointless and useless beautification on some stretch of road, not a new bridge link to cut travel times by half and foster local development.

I've suspected that their economy has stagnated because Japanese companies have expanded as far as they possibly can. The only way to rekindle growth is to engage in the kind of ingenuity and risk taking which Japanese may not be capable of. I certainly don't think this is something the government can fix. It's either that or US-style cost-cutting and layoffs. Although, while that would give the illusion of growth in the short term it would also gut their core competencies.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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