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Comment Re:Tim Cooks response should be... (Score 1) 478

Wacom stylus replacements are only slightly cheaper, depending on the model. Some are very inexpensive, but some are certainly in the $100 ballpark. Apple isn't charging appreciably more than competitors, and by accounts of how the pencil works on that screen, it's a much better device.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 166

So as a programmer in the AAA games industry, one of the nicest things about supporting consoles is that they're a fixed target and your development only gets more efficient over time. The API changes almost not at all, your engine settles into place, and your optimization pipeline becomes more refined as time goes on. You make better games at the end of the cycle than at the beginning.

Don't discount the value of a development target that is very consistent. After the first time we build some engine components, we literally never have to update them ever again. This is a big part of why consoles really took off and PC games comparatively languished for so long--each PC configuration represents a potential problem we didn't cover around the edges, and THOSE people are the ones that any support costs are going in to. If one person on console finds a bug and we can fix it, we've covered every single console user simultaneously. In the PC world, we've only fixed the problem for a handful of people and we're waiting for the next edge case.

I've never worked with Android, so I take you at your word that it's easier than it would seem for someone on the outside looking in, but I don't think it's entirely fair to accost the parent post.

Comment Re:So I know something about this.... (Score 1) 242

I think his point was merely that it's not as trivial as getting a phone with fingerprints on it and suddenly having full access. The list of steps you included is still non-trivial, and I think we'd probably agree that almost all phone security is about discouraging trivial access. That list of steps is complicated enough that it probably requires a dedicated location (nobody is going to be able to do it while still on the subway), which gives me time to recognize my phone is gone and remotely kill it.

Comment Re:Bad practice. (Score 1) 242

My partner and I have enrolled one of each other's fingers on each device. If there's an emergency or I die or something, I want her to have access to my stuff. That's also why my master password lives in her 1Password vault and vice-versa. Too much of my life is governed by this stuff to have it non-retrievable.

Comment Ugly, expensive, obsolete--pick three! (Score 1) 55

As a cyclist, I've got a special place in my heart for things made out of titanium. But something about the casing on this watch and the matte finish makes it look like plastic, and the face looks really fake. I know that it IS fake, but it LOOKS fake. Some of the other smartwatches out there have the good sense to at least attempt the illusion of depth.

But what part of this watch is actually Tag Heuer? Not the internals, and the watch face isn't anything special if you can just swap it in and out for anything else. You're left with an ugly watch casing (subjective, I know) and a brand name. Normally you can use the brand name as a proxy for some quality you want (lightness, thinness, openness, what have you) but this brand is a proxy for nothing here. The watch will be obsolete immediately and it has no qualities that stand it apart from every other watch on the market--it's not even the most expensive! It even fails as a Veblen good.


Comment That's just THIS year (Score 2) 129

First, I agree with the comments saying that it's not clear that Apple cares to enter that space. They probably don't want to.

But if they do, they've got an advantage in that their update cycle is 5-7x faster than the normal console cycle. They can release a new Apple TV next year. And the year after that. They could release an Apple TV every 2 years and still have an update cycle that's 2-3x faster than Sony or Microsoft.

Comment Re:Science is Settled (Score 1) 319

Actually, why? I'm not sure why that's important, honestly. What do we owe to the fossil fuels industry that we need to continue propping them up? They receive BILLIONS in subsidies every year.

I happen to think that we're dumping carbon into the air faster than the planet can cope, particularly because we're simultaneously disrupting the systems that would normally be able to capture that carbon properly. But beyond that, it's indisputable that literally every step of extracting and using fossil fuels is bad for the environment. The tar sands in Alberta are a disaster for the soil and birds and wildlife and trees, they use an enormous amount of fresh, drinkable water and turn it into completely unusable filth. Offshore drilling and pipelines cause enormous environmental damage when they go wrong, and the sad reality is they go wrong ALL THE TIME. There's really just no good or clean way to extract or use this stuff right now.

Given that we have other technologies and we're starting to make good progress with them, I think we should stop propping up a sector that we know is dirty and harmful, even if they're not doing exactly as much damage as many scientists claim. There will be jobs in other energy industries for workers, it's just the people at the top that will have trouble finding new work--but they're already so rich I don't see any reason to be concerned for them.

If we take climate change out of the equation entirely, I still think it's worth shifting to a post-fossil-fuel energy infrastructure and doing it quickly. There are just too many downsides to oil and coal.

Comment Long ternary statements (Score 1) 497

I love a good ternary. I find it really obnoxious to try and set a variable through a long set of if-then-else statements, and sometimes I'm forced by C++ const correctness to do it through a ternary anyway.

I do my best to break them up over multiple lines in a way that makes the structure obvious, and I document them so you can read the comments instead of reading the actual code, but I know that's vulnerable to comment-rot.

To a certain extent it's a bad practice, but I really do find the terseness of a ternary a lot more pleasant. (If I have to do it more than once, I just make it a function, obvs.)

Comment Re:Figuring (Score 1) 262

It's probably not much of a factor. iOS apps are aggressively throttled in the background. Facebook plays all sorts of dirty tricks to keep running (apparently like trying to pretend it's an audio app, I've heard?) but otherwise, most apps happily accept the kill signal and take up no additional CPU time.

Comment Re:Battery Life (Score 1) 262

Really? My friend can't make it through half a day without running to charge her Galaxy S5, whereas I get 12 hours of actually tapping on my screen on my iPhone 6.

My anecdote is at least as good as yours.

The 6 and 8 hour values are through synthetic benchmarks that purposely stress the processor and display things on the screen non-stop. I've never gotten as little as 8 hours from my phone, even on a day where I all I do is play games and load webpages. Apple's devices generally get about 10 hours of usable battery, and that's exactly how it's been for the last 4 years.

They do it as a trade-off for phone thinness. I'd rather have a thin phone and a thin case than a bulky phone that lasts 2 hours--or even 10 hours--longer. If I change my mind, I can buy a case that has a battery built in to it. But if I start with a bulky phone, I can't make a thin phone out of it. That's the tradeoff I'm willing to make.

Comment Re:Money in my bank account? (Score 1) 174

Given that I said it's also a gaming device for me, that's one way where 'more' is roughly equivalent to 'better'. And actually, per clock, we're using less power. The new Apple processors are a lot more efficient than the old ones.

The camera in this phone isn't just 'marginally' better, it's a lot better. Better optics, faster focusing.

Browsing the web is faster, which is meaningful because of how bloated and bad the web has gotten.

I can use TouchID, which doesn't sound like a big advance, but it really saves me a lot of time and gives me a measurable amount of additional security. I've upgraded from a 4 or 6 digit passcode to something that's more than 15 characters long, and I don't have to type it in every single time I want to do something on the phone. My thumbprint is theoretically something someone could duplicate, but when you look at the people that have 'hacked' the phone that way, it's incredibly time and resource intensive. If someone wants my phone that bad, there's nothing I could've done to stop them anyway. They certainly would've cracked any passcode I had.

But basically, arguing against the progress in phones as good or useful or noteworthy is just shouting at clouds. The phones are better the way our PCs are better. Does that mean we should upgrade every year? Or even every two? Probably not--this world has enough waste as it is. But I do do 'more' on my phone than I ever have before. It's the central piece of technology in my life, and I perform more tasks on it than I used to. I don't use my desktop computer as much because I can lean on my phone more heavily. How is that not 'more'?

Comment Re:Bloatware? (Score 1) 213

Then you hide the app in a folder like everyone else. The app itself literally only takes up less than 1MB, I think. I'm looking on my phone and it reads 4.7MB, but that's all 'Documents and Data', which is probably a cached old podcast that I used to test it out.

But there's a reason why the overwhelming majority of podcast listeners are on iPhones--not only does the iTunes store make podcast discovery really easy, but having a default app on the phone really simplifies the matter.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.