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Comment Re:Old vs. New Apple in one anecdote... (Score 1) 460

Yeah but like 99% of the time the laptop is open and being used so 99% of the time other people are looking at the logo, and not you. Might as well have the logo be right side up. Learning that the logo being upside down means you can open the laptop takes ten seconds max. Go back and watch old episodes of The West Wing where they use old Mac laptops with the upside down logos. They look dumb as hell.

Sometimes aesthetics are more important than tiny losses in functionality.

Comment Re:Webkit rules (Score 5, Informative) 96

How soon before Mozilla ditches desktop Gecko as well?

It's not using WebKit on iOS because it doesn't want to use Gecko, it's because it can't use Gecko. You can't release a web browser with its own rendering engine on iOS, you have to use the built-in WebKit The Chrome app for iOS also does this. What you're getting with Chrome/Firefox for iOS is the synchronization with your bookmarks and whatever other niceties you get with different interface styles.

The one exception is the Opera browser on iOS, but it also doesn't use its own rendering engine on the phone. It renders the page on a server and then sends your phone an image of it. This is a workaround and it also makes browsing really fast but it has zero privacy or security. You probably wouldn't want to browse anything sensitive like your bank info since Opera would get to see it too. This is assuming that Opera Mini hasn't changed any, that is.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

What would happen if everyone thought this way. What if VW had, buried in their terms and conditions that emissions are the sole responsibility of the buyer? What if a restaurant had a tiny plaque obscurely displayed indicating that they were not responsible for food poisoning, intentional or not? What about all that nonsense that is going on lately with clauses for "fining" customers that write bad reviews?

That's quite a team of strawmen you've got there. And the thing is, some of those things you propose are both possible and true. Rules and laws involving cars are pretty rigidly enforced by laws. Restaurants can already do what you're proposing except no one in their right mind would ever draw attention to even the tiniest possibility that their food might be bad - there's way too much competition to even risk it. I'm not sure what exact thing you're referring to with the reviews thing but basically outside of anything protected by law you can sign away just about everything in a contract - the right to disparage, the right to participate in a class action lawsuit, and the right to talk about a product before a certain date.

Going back to the restaurant example, if a restaurant were to have a visible disclaimer people would go to their competition, all other things being equal. If you don't want to accept the terms of a pre-release Apple hardware product you can go to their competition. Apple TV just doesn't have any competition in the same spot (or at least nearly as popular).

You can scream injustice all you want but this is how things work in the real world.

Comment Re:What NDA? (Score 2) 366

I am confident that I could find an AppleTV out there somewhere which I could purchase without signing anything.

The part you're getting tripped up on is that while the unit in question is being called "Apple TV" (and will still be called that when it's released later this month) and the units you can currently buy in stores are also called "Apple TV", the two devices are fundamentally different.

Specifically, the thing you can go buy today in stores for $69 is a third generation Apple TV (usually referred to in shorthand as ATV3). It came out a few years back and hasn't seen an update in a while. And really it hasn't needed to - it has little storage and it outputs 1080p. Short of wanting to do something fundamentally different it's all you would need it to do.

The unit coming out later this month, which is going to start at $149, runs games and apps, and is what the iFixit guys took apart, is a fourth generation Apple TV (ATV4). It looks very similar to the ATV3 but, as has been noted, it's a little taller/thicker due to the extra parts inside to handle the 3D graphics, storage, etc. It also has that motion sensitive touch remote (ATV3 came with this tiny little silver remote that just had some buttons on it).

So while the name is the same they're making a pretty big departure from the older model, features-wise, with this one. Apple has some lines of products where they increment the name on every release and some where they don't. For example you don't see a MacBook Pro 24 on the market, it's just the MacBook Pro and you just have to figure out what model it is based on year and model number (i.e., A1234). The iPod did the same thing. The iPhone doesn't, it's iPhone 4, iPhone 5S, etc. They tried to drop the number with the iPad so they could do more frequent releases (i.e., the iPad 2 came out then what would have been the iPad 3 came out as "the new iPad" and then six months later "iPad 4" came out) but that went over like a fart in church so they went back to a naming scheme (i.e., iPad Air, iPad Air 2, etc.).

For bonus trivia points, the ATV2 only did 720p and was only on the market a couple of years but it was the model that introduced the concept of the small hockey puck design and almost no storage, favoring streaming almost entirely. The ATV1 was a very different unit - it resembled today's Mac minis and had a hard drive. The idea behind it was that it would download/mirror a lot of your iTunes library. Specifically the things you bought on iTunes. It didn't have things like Netflix streaming on it because it predated all of that. It was seen as a Steve Jobs hobby project and it wasn't really successful but the second chance they gave it with the ATV2 and ATV3 was a huge hit.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 5, Interesting) 366

Their issue is not that they took apart the hardware. Their issue is that they took apart the hardware and then did an article about it before the ATV4 hit stores. Here's the relevant portion of the agreement.

Everyone is getting this wrong - the issue is not that they tore it apart but that they did an article on it before the NDA was up. If they did an article on the still-assembled unit they would be in violation of the NDA as well. They were not giving these things away to be reviewed, they were giving them to people to write apps for them.

Quite frankly the majority of Slashdot seems to be completely down with disregarding all of contract law, which is sort of hilarious given the fervor with which they go after GPL violators with.

Comment Clarifications: (Score 5, Informative) 366

The summary is pretty bad on this one.

Right after the Apple TV 4 (ATV4) was officially announced, Apple put a form on their Developer's site to give some of them away to developers. These are pre-release units, and the packaging on them even says "Developer's Edition" or something on it. There was a (since pulled) eBay auction showing the packaging.

Part of the agreement in getting this unit was an NDA which stipulated, amongst other things, that you can't take it apart.

iFixit got an ATV4 as part of the giveaway and decided to violate the NDA and get an exclusive article in the process. Since the developer program was what they used to get the ATV4, the developer program is what they were kicked out of. As a result their iOS app got yanked as well.

Several people have noted that their iOS app hadn't been updated in years (may still have been on the 3.5" screen) and so the app itself isn't much of a loss. The summary says something about being "rewritten" but that doesn't make any sense - if iFixit were to get another developer account they could just put the same app up again from the same source code. The content of the app is not what was offensive to Apple, it was the NDA violation. It may need to be upgraded for modern phones (i.e., be adaptive to the iPhone 6/6+ screen sizes) but it doesn't need to be rewritten in order to adhere to Apple's policies.

iFixit entered into an agreement with Apple that had consequences. It violated that agreement and so it's suffering the consequences. Which it knew would happen and it didn't care about. And since it's an old app that's being pulled it's not much of a loss to them, not compared to the exclusive early article and coverage this stunt's consequences has given them.

But to clarify for everyone, this wasn't a review unit, it wasn't on loan, it was a unit Apple gave them and other developers in order to develop for it early before the actual thing is released. And really, a number of developers didn't get these units and so to some extent the idea that iFixit got one not intending to write an app for it but instead just want to tear it down for page clicks and ad impressions is sort of offensive. If they had waited for the thing to be in stores and bought one retail and then tore it apart they would be in the clear.

Comment Re:The Stupid Brits can do what they want... but.. (Score 1) 279

One edge case might be that a CAM copy is the only copy of what was shown in the theater, so it's potentially interesting to film aficionados should the movie be changed/edited before it hits home formats. Things like:
  • The censorship of certain scenes from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (the upskirt shot of Jessica Rabbit, the smoking habits of Baby Herman)
  • Scenes George Lucas removed or modified from the prequels
  • Spider-Man 2 being forced to remove the Red Cross logos from the hospital scenes (the Red Cross association doesn't want anyone to use red crosses in film as they believe it erodes the effectiveness of the logo in real war situations as a "don't shoot" deterrent)
  • Preserving the original framing - the film Avatar for example was shown in something other than 16:9 but the DVD/BR versions are all 16:9 to fill up television sets - they don't chop off the sides on home formats, they chopped off the top/bottom in theaters. Having a CAM version might be the only way to prove something is different.
  • The occasional movie that never makes it to home video for some holdup reason.

Watching CAM rips as your primary movie source is inexplicable, but short scenes that get cut/changed are interesting in small doses.

Comment Re:Quick poll (Score 1) 174

Rate the chances of a reverse app to assist migrating from iPhone to Android making it into the Apple store?

Actually I bet they do let a similar app from Google in the store, should Google ever put one out, simply for the reason that it would be less of a PR headache and would save them from potential litigation.

Granted, the nature of such an app would probably mean that the app really needs to come from Samsung or HTC or LG or something and they might tell those guys to fuck right off but if Google does it they might allow it

Comment Re:ipad pro (Score 1) 508

The primary selling point for these larger tablets is as a laptop replacement, not just for use as a tablet. If I were to buy an iPad Pro or Surface Pro, it would be so I could do work on it. This means being able to run XCode / Visual Studio at a minimum.

Microsoft has stated the SP3 could replace your desktop/laptop, yes, but no one else has seriously suggested such a thing. Also, I'm a developer as well but you do realize there are professionals out there that do things other than programming, right? Presumably some number of them would find this sufficient.

Comment Re:Too many choices (Score 1) 508

Which one do I pick? Christ, I have to research this now? What's my use case? How important is screen size, battery life, cost, etc etc etc.. This is why I hated buying anything from Dell.

You know, the average Slashdotter complains about Apple's lack of options. You've managed to complain about the exact opposite. Impressive.

I agree that the average Joe is not going to figure out the difference between "mini 2" and "mini 4" so some of the naming is a misstep but it's pretty simple overall. How big of a screen do you want? How much storage space? Do you want an iPad that requires Wi-Fi or one that can use a cellular data plan (sold separately)? Done. Anyone who wants one for gaming or mass music storage knows to get a more expensive one, everyone else will gravitate to the cheaper models.

In the mid 90s there were so many different Apple models, Performa, Centris, Quada, God knows what else, that I had no idea what to get. You know which one I got? None of them. That's when I finally went to PC.

You're correct in that this was before Jobs came back and you're referring to the Sculley administration I believe, but the reason they came out with so many of those models was to make price comparison across stores impossible. Circuit City gets the Performa 9000 and Sears gets the Centris 7500 and so the average person can't do price comparison because no two stores carry the same thing. Not that this was any less dickish mind you, and it drove people like yourself to the PC (which, Ironically, had manufacturers that did the same thing) but just FYI, this wasn't a maneuver because Apple was clueless, it was a deliberate move by a CEO who made a number of bad decisions. I doubt Cook is going to be giving Best Buy an exclusive model any time soon (although that weird HP iPod did come out under Jobs' watch)

Comment Re:Download the ISO (Score 2) 317

The "N" versions are for the EU and they don't feature Windows Media Player. The EU forced this for anticompetitive reasons.

The "KN" versions are for Korea and they don't have Windows Media Player or Windows Messenger (the IM client) to appease the Korean government (not sure if North or South)

However, since MSN Messenger has been discontinued I'm not sure what the point of the KN edition is any more.

Just skip N or KN.

Comment Were the other Batman games this buggy on release? (Score 2) 223

This story wants to be a rallying cry for the sentiment to not pre-order games, but this was, what, the fourth game in the Batman: Arkham series, right? And it looks like it's on UE3 like the others, and it was done by the same studio that did two of the previous three games.

Pre-ordering can be dangerous, sure, but I think people were reasonable to perhaps assume that this game wouldn't have huge issues, and even if one or more of the previous games had issues surely whatever it was (cape physics?) could have been worked out by now.

I know things change between games and a $60 purchase is not cheap but telling people they're stupid for pre-ordering the fourth game in a series with most of the same elements in place is like telling people who are at the opening night of a movie that's a sequel to another movie they liked that they're being stupid for not waiting for reviews. Sure, the new movie might suck but is it unreasonable to think it probably won't?

Comment Re:Yes, but it will be a while. (Score 1) 337

So much of the system libraries on both OS X and iOS are written in Objective-C and they aren't going anywhere.

Maybe at the application level, but not for system libraries.

So for a long time people at Apple will keep using the giant codebase they're familiar with but app developers, Apple and otherwise, will use Swift going forward. For the Universe minus Apple's OS developers, the statement is true.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne