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Comment: Re:Speed is good, but what about range? (Score 1) 410

by Shawn Parr (#45337757) Attached to: Tesla Model S Can Hit (At Least) 132 MPH On the Autobahn

I'd hate to be motoring down the Autobahn at 130-140 mph and run out of battery. A gasoline or diesel powered car has a range of 300-500 miles (depending on speed, engine efficiency, and size of tank), so assuming a 1/2 full or better tank, running out of fuel after 80-100 miles is not an issue.

At 130+ MPH a gasoline or diesel powered car gets nowhere near 300-500 miles of range. They most likely are getting sub 10 mpg.

Comment: Re:It just proves analyst are complete idiots (Score 2) 189

by Shawn Parr (#37701838) Attached to: No PDFs, No Co-editing On Underwhelming Apple iCloud

If you use iCloud for backup it backs up whatever you tell it to. Whether your whole device, or just specific apps and their data. If you have an app that works with PDF files they will get backed up to iCloud.

GoodReader has an update to work with iCloud. I can upload PDF documents with it into iCloud. Yes, I just did it with an iPad, and it worked just fine.

I could then use GoodReader on any other iOS device to get access to those PDFs.

From what I've seen it is app specific, or at least company specific. So as an example Drop Box can't access your GoodReader files in iCloud, even though both can work with PDF files. But AutoDesk makes two different versions of Sketchbook, one for iPad, one for iPhone/iPod, and they see each other's files just fine.

Comment: Re:Price point creeping up (Score 1) 638

by Shawn Parr (#32579422) Attached to: Updated Mac Mini Aims For the Living Room
So is this going to be the new Mac Troll, replacing the old my Mac 8600 file transfer will take hours?

So with the current mini you're looking at doubling the ram like you always have to for a stock machine and it's a proprietary case not meant for user fiddling so you have to pay the mac store to install the ram

Someone already covered this, but the new one has a panel to easily get to the RAM. I've also replaced the RAM in an older Mini, it isn't hard, although you will need to look up how to do it if you haven't before.

then you have to get the mouse and keyboard which will be wireless and thus more expensive

Or you could buy the wired versions which cost less. Or you could buy any USB keyboard/mouse which would cost less than that. Or any other bluetooth devices you wanted to, from any vendor, anywhere.

Oh, and let's no forget the mandatory service plan since Apple gives you a flat one month warranty, that's it.

All Apple computers come with 90 days telephone support, and one year hardware warranty. I don't know where you got one month from, but it is total BS. Or, yes, you can get an Applecare plan that covers both phone support and hardware for 3 years, plus any Apple accessories for the machine (keyboard, mouse, Airport, etc).

My mini's hard drive took a shit at one year plus two months. They told me I was SOL.

Guess that support plan wasn't mandatory then. If you had Applecare (or any issues within the first year of ownership), you call Apple, they next day air you a box with a shipping label already on it to go back to them. Usually within a week or so you have a repaired machine back, or possibly a refurbished or new one depending on the issue and the machine in question. I had to do it with an iPod once, I had a brand new iPod 3 days later. Not to mention sometimes HD's die. It sucks. It sucks just as much in a PC, or a RAID enclosure, etc. etc etc. But it happens. Sorry it happened to you, but I've had it happen a few times, sometimes in an Apple product, sometimes in something else.

Comment: Re:No shock (Score 1) 397

by Shawn Parr (#30791490) Attached to: THX Caught With Pants Down Over Lexicon Blu-ray Player

As I stated in another reply above, SPDIF doesn't have the bandwidth for the new lossless codecs. If you have a nice audio system, it is nice to have the option to take advantage of the better audio codecs. Eventually the audio will be analog so having it go analog in the BR player can be just fine depending on how the rest of the system is set up.

For instance my receiver (Outlaw Audio 1070) is one of very few that can do analog bass management for multichannel sound, so even if the Oppo doesn't have acceptable bass management (for instance if listening to SACD's in DSD output mode) I can still get bass management without converting back to digital. That receiver also has quite good analog input, output, and amplifier stages in it, so just going out and grabbing a low or mid end Onkyo/Denon to replace it will not be much of an upgrade. It would be for features I'm sure, but I'm pretty sure it would not be for pure sound quality.

Comment: Re:No shock (Score 5, Insightful) 397

by Shawn Parr (#30789976) Attached to: THX Caught With Pants Down Over Lexicon Blu-ray Player

This overlooks one group of people who actually exist in large numbers but are often overlooked:

3. You have a nice HDTV and HDMI digital for that. But you also have a very nice audio system, but one that you put together before the HDMI specification was well established and thus it does not have HDMI. But your Receiver/PrePro/Amplifiers are very good, and you don't want to just replace them just to get ones with HDMI built in. But luckily they can take 5.1 or 7.1 analog inputs from a player with good quality outputs.

This is exactly why I like the Oppo BluRay player. At the time for a minimal cost increase over other BR players I was able to use both a digital connection to my TV, and use the latest audio upgrades on BR along with my older, but very good, audio system. That being said I would never pay the $2000 plus for the 'high end' BR players. The Oppo is excellent, and I don't even have the special edition model with upgraded audio components. I'm sure it's fabulous, but the regular one I have is really really good.

Why replace perfectly good equipment just to get a new connector, when you can still use it and get great performance out of it? I occasionally get the itch to replace those components, but when I research new ones I just don't see enough upgrade for what it would cost to justify it at this point.

Comment: Re:iPhone vs everything else (Score 1) 420

by Shawn Parr (#30579378) Attached to: Consumerist Says AT&T Site Won't Sell iPhone In NYC, Citing Network

This is complete and utter BS.

I live in Louisiana, and we have spotty AT&T coverage. Edge only, and it barely works. This not only happens to us with iPhones, but other phones as well (my wife's RAZR isn't an iPhone and shows the exact same issues).

We are just finishing up a 2000 mile Christmas trip visiting families in Illinois and Nebraska. In many of the cities we visited my iPhone worked just fine. Pretty much perfect. And this was in areas with either 3G or Edge. In Omaha I had 5 bars of 3G continuously, was able to make, receive, and keep phone calls going, and use 3G without any issues. Same in Peoria Illinois (not 5 bar all the time, but the phone always worked, even in the lower level of the old Mall). The only issue I ever ran across was at my Mom's house where it would show 3G, but upon using data it would switch to Edge. Phone calls and data both still worked though, and it was on the tip of the 3G coverage map in that location, so it was understandable (it is a rather rural location).

In areas where the network isn't overloaded (NYC) or broken (various locations in the South and Michigan), the iPhone works just fine. Just like many other phones. It may not get the best RF of all the phones, typically Nokia's do that, but it certainly works as well or better than Samsung and LG models.

Even more ridiculous is the idea of not selling the iPhone due to network issues. Sure the iPhone has a rep for using more data, but it uses the same data plans and network that BB and WinMo phones use. If this was merely AT&T saying their network wasn't up to snuff likely they would stop selling any smartphone.

Comment: Re:Suddenly, everything is a right (Score 4, Insightful) 565

by Shawn Parr (#30430754) Attached to: Broadband Rights & the Killer App of 1900

"Materialism" is not a right. You do not have a right to stuff. Free speech, the right to bear arms, a common trait of all things that are actually rights is that they do not cost money. They are intangible.

You do not have a right to tangible things. They cost money. All you can do is help lower costs so you can afford them.

Wow, contradictory much? Arms are tangible items. I have to buy I gun one isn't guaranteed to be given to me at birth.

This is actually a great example of the 'rights' to electricity and to broadband. The right doesn't mean you will get it, it means you will be able to get it. Just like your right to bear arms doesn't mean you will at all time walk around with weapons, it means that you have the right to purchase, own, and use weapons within the law.

Comment: Don't forget distance (Score 1) 360

by Shawn Parr (#30422942) Attached to: EU Recommends Noise Limits On MP3 Players

In addition to all of that (which is totally correct), distance causes drop in sound pressure level at the eardrum as well. While it may not seem like there is that much of a difference change between old school over the ear headphones versus much newer inside the ear canal type headphones, the entire length of speaker-to-eardrum is short enough it can make a difference of a few dB.

And with 3dB being half the power, 6 - 10 dB being half the apparent loudness, levels can drop quickly. The change between headphone styles may only be between 2 - 5 dB due to distance, but added to the effect of impedance and efficiency of the drivers it certainly is a consideration.

Trying to regulate this at the player level is a joke. And it would be nearly impossible to try to get every headphone manufacturer in the world to make more consistent efficiency/impedance headphones.

Comment: Re:DS Improvements a good thing (Score 1) 187

by Shawn Parr (#29895199) Attached to: Can Nintendo Really Be Planning Another DS Variant?

If I were to make any improvements to the DS, I would make the charger USB based and make it so that save games and such could be backed up similar to the iPhone.

Having had to replace the case on my son's DS for exactly the same reason, hinge failure, I think you missed an important potential upgrade. Metal hinges. Or at least significantly beefed up ones. The DS takes a lot of abuse, and the only place it seems to really fail is those hinges that deform almost like they are made of butter rather than plastic.

But thank goodness for 3rd party resellers that have those replacement parts. We had ours for maybe 2 weeks when his hinges failed the first time. They are starting to fail again, but this time a bit more slowly rather than in one traumatic experience.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 4, Insightful) 501

by Shawn Parr (#29705463) Attached to: Why AT&T Should Dump the iPhone's Unlimited Data Plan

ATT is rolling in money from iPhone, they should use it to build out their network.

That is an understatement. Nielson claimed that in April there were 6 million iPhones in the US, and some estimates say 2.4 million iPhone 3Gs units were sold in the US. Let's pretend there are 7 million iPhones due to upgrades, breakage, and other such events.

If they all had 3G data plans, that would be $210 million per month, but there are still some 2G iPhones out there, so let's imagine $175 Million per month. That's a bit over $2 billion per year.

Now the question is, how many smartphone users are there overall, and how many have iPhones? I have no way of knowing, but I'm pretty sure AT&T still sells plenty of non-iPhone smartphones, all with unlimited 3G data plans. Is it unreasonable to assume that AT&T has 20 million or more smartphone subscribers? That would be 1/3 of their entire subscriber numbers in 2007, so based on iPhone, Blackberry, and even WinMobile gains in the overall industry, I think it sounds like a reasonable guess.

20 million smartphones, all with data plans. $600 million per month, or more than $7 billion per year. Just for smartphones, just on data plans. Those same customers also have minutes plans, SMS plans, and other profitable add ons.

AT&T is claiming they will spend just shy of $18 billion in 2009 on upgrades. With more than a third of that cost being covered just by data plans, and the cellular industry making crazy profits on services like SMS I'm pretty sure they aren't exactly hurting for money. With SMS profits they will likely cover more than half of the upgrade cost they quote just from smartphone users. And just on data services.

These numbers get to be pretty striking when you find that AT&T's smartphone users comprise quite a bit less than half of their subscriber base. And many of those other subscribers are also buying into high profit items like SMS plans. And even data services, GPS services, etc.

Plus next year they will add a lot of subscribers from Centennial Wireless, and all the profits from those customers, some of which may upgrade to new phones with data plans as they live in areas where AT&T or Verizon service was weak and they couldn't get an iPhone, or a newer Blackberry.

AT&T needs to step up, and build out the network they should have had originally. There is no way they didn't see this coming when planning on adding the iPhone, they simply chose to ride the short term profits and deal with the issue later. Well 'later' ended up sooner than they hoped, and now they are doing what they always planned on doing:

  • Playing catch up
  • Sending out feelers in the press and at conferences to see how well they can get away with metered or restricted service
  • Waiting for the above point to get people used enough to the idea that it will seem more 'natural' to them when it actually happens

Of course a lot of my math above is based on guessed numbers, including the numbers that come from Nielson and AT&T themselves, after all they are likely guessing and passing it off as fact as well. However I'm pretty sure the dollar figures for what AT&T makes is more than my guesses not less.

Comment: Hardware support? (Score 1) 184

by Shawn Parr (#29553621) Attached to: Theora 1.1 (Thusnelda) Is Released

I find it intriguing that in every discussion I see on tech sites like /., it is always the patents that seem to be what people focus on.

What about the built in hardware support for h.264 is millions upon millions of existing general computing and embedded devices? It seems like Google would want YouTube accessible on these devices, and on many it is. Being able to bring that support to phones, satellite boxes, cable boxes, TV, etc. etc. etc. that already have h.264 is probably a bigger motivator than the idea of a patent looming.

My iPhone has hardware acceleration for h.264, so does my TV, so does my BluRay player, so do many computers I use, so does my DirecTV receiver. Some of those (BR, TV, and DirecTV) don't have the resources available to play any arbitrary compression type. However all of them are from markets where integrating online services, especially images and video, is a strong focus.

Overlooking several markets of existing hardware to bring your services to seems like a bad business decision to me. And the real players that will determine what codec gets used: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, hardware manufacturers, media producers, etc., are all used to dealing with licensing.

Comment: Re:The company should be named "Ear Damage", Inc. (Score 1) 630

by Shawn Parr (#29553143) Attached to: G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"

Of course 3dB doubles the power not the perceived volume. Depending on the person 6 to 10dB doubles the perceived volume.

However it is the power of the sound that potentially causes damage, not how loud your brain interprets it as. So a doubling of power could easily lead to halving the safe amount of time to be exposed.

Comment: Re:Palm dropped support (Score 5, Informative) 290

by Shawn Parr (#29224645) Attached to: Snow Leopard Drops Palm OS Sync

Mod parent up.

Palm hasn't updated Hotsync for the Mac in at least a decade. If it in fact worked under Leopard it was a miracle, as I doubt anyone from Palm even gave it a glance.

Mac Palm users almost all typically ended up getting Mark/Space Missing Sync for Palm OS. I was a late adopter for that, and I did it in 2005. At the time I was helping people with support on Palm OS devices, and the answer to any Mac sync problems was to dump hotsync and get Missing Sync.

To claim that Apple dropped support is pretty ridiculous, and just inflammatory. What next, an article on how Apple refuses to support running 10.6 on a Mac II from the late 80's?

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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