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Comment: Re:Bose is overpriced crap and always has been (Score 1) 328

My problem with Apple is more about the lack of choice. My preferred desktop platform is a desktop PC with expansion slots and no built-in monitor. Apple won't sell me one of those. They discontinued the last one they offered, the Mac Pro, which was outside my budget in any case.

What they want to sell me is sealed boxes that I can't expand or upgrade. And they force me to buy a new monitor every time I want to upgrade my computer, which substantially increases the cost of the upgrade cycle, unless I buy a Mac Mini - but that has no GPU so it is unsuitable for my purposes.

I do like their laptop hardware. If I were shopping in the $1000 and up price range for one I would certainly consider a Mac. But my portable hardware is much less expensive than that.

Lack of choice is also a problem with iOS. There my problem isn't so much the limited hardware choices, though they don't have anything for really budget-conscious buyers. A more serious problem is that Apple holds absolute veto power over what apps are available. If they choose not to approve an app, that's the end of the story; you can't get it. (On Android the developer has the option of offering the package for sideloading and/or selling it on an alternative application store. Windows Phone is just as locked down as iOS.) There are entire classes of app that Apple categorically prohibits. Not just adult content, but also language interpreters, and browsers that don't use Apple's HTML rendering engine and Javascript engine. (Reference: Said engines, by the way, are basically the ones from an old version of Safari and are inferior to the ones in the current version of Safari, so any third party browser is guaranteed to offer inferior performance to Apple's own browser.)

Comment: Re:also applies to flash and acrobat (Score 1) 111

by Shirley Marquez (#48170777) Attached to: Adobe: Click-to-Play Would Have Avoided Flood of Java Zero-days

Not that fringe. Safari has a significant market share, mostly because of iOS, and quite a few people still use IE. If you use something that isn't one of those four, then I will agree that you are in a fringe minority. lets you see the market share of various browsers, and also lets you select which platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet, and/or console) you want to look at. If you look at the total stats (including mobile) they have Chrome at just under 40%, IE at 14.5%, Firefox at 12.5%, and Safari at 8%. They break out the iPhone browser separately at 6.75% though that is another version of Safari. The Android browser has 7.25%; a big chunk of that is probably Chinese AOSP devices that don't have Chrome installed. Opera is around 4% and clearly most of that is mobile; on the version of the chart excluding mobile Opera only has 1.4%.

The desktop only stats: Chrome 49%, IE 22.5%, Firefox 19.25%, Safari 5.25%. Everything else is noise. Safari jumps to 11.2% if you also include tablets, showing the importance of the iPad, and everything else edges down.

Comment: Re:Quite the opposite. Acer, Samsung, HP - all unl (Score 1) 183

The C710 had a terrible keyboard. The C720 is an improvement; not perfect but not awful either. Both have decent but not earthshaking TN screens. If you want a Chromebook with a good screen you want one of the HP models with an IPS display.

The Pixel was a statement product. I don't think Google had any expectation of selling a significant number of them. I doubt that the number sold matches the number that were issued to employees or given away at Google I/O.

Comment: Re:Quite the opposite. Acer, Samsung, HP - all unl (Score 1) 183

If you have one of the models with a rotating disk rather than an SSD, the C720 is nearly identical to Windows systems that Acer sells. (Only the bootloader and the Google keyboard are different.) Even the SSD is bog-standard hardware, though Acer doesn't offer a Windows version of that particular platform with it. So it's not surprising that there would be no driver issues. The other Intel-based Chromebooks don't have exact Windows counterparts but also are unlikely to have driver issues.

ARM-based Chromebooks are another story. Since there are no ARM systems for full Windows, hardware support for that platform is more limited. Though I know that boot of a full Linux distribution has been done on the cheap Samsung ARM Chromebook, so it's not impossible.

Comment: Re:Not only in Finland. (Score 1) 314

The US stopped printing bills larger than $100 many years ago but the larger bills were not withdrawn from circulation. A substantial number of $1,000 bills are still in the wild; they don't turn over often so they don't wear out quickly. (In contrast, $1 bills turn over frequently and have an average lifespan of 18 months.)

Comment: Re:The diode voltage drop would cause power loss. (Score 1) 395

High efficiency power supplies are already doing this. You might have one in your new PC. Instead of using rectifying diodes, they are using power FETs and switching them on and off at the power line frequency because power losses are lower.

Comment: Needs a trial (Score 1) 158

by Shirley Marquez (#48142073) Attached to: Netflix To Charge More For 4K Video
If Netflix is going to do this, they need to make one title available to regular Netflix subscribers so they can test whether 4K streaming will work for them. If people pay and then discover that their network connections aren't up to the challenge they are going to be unhappy. Doesn't have to be a feature film; a short or a TV episode will do.

Comment: Not for me... (Score 1) 304

by Shirley Marquez (#48104165) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

The Model M was always too stiff and too noisy for my taste. But if you like them, have at it.

I do have a special clueless award for the company (some anonymous small manufacturer in Taiwan) that produced a LAPTOP with clicky keys. I ran into that one in the late 80s when I was working for a computer dealer; one of my jobs was testing new products that we were thinking of selling. I gave that a "don't even think about it" rating.

Comment: Re:not complicated...monopology (Score 1) 346

They also gain efficiency from having only one provider. Telecommunications is a natural monopoly business, at least the part that actually involves pulling cables; having multiple sets of them, as we do in the US, drives up costs. Nearly everywhere has at least two, the company that originally provided telephone service and a cable company, though internet service is not always available on the telephone wires in remote locations. Some places have a second cable company and/or somebody who has pulled fiber to the home (which may or may not be the original telephone company).

The problem with monopolies, natural or otherwise, is that the holder of the monopoly tends to abuse it. On average corporate monopolies are abused more seriously than government monopolies, though there are counterexamples.

The competitive market in England is actually multiple consumer providers using the same monopoly infrastructure - lines owned by British Telecom. We had that model for a little while in the US, with CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers) using lines provided by the local telephone company. But then the FCC rescinded the rule that required the phone company to lease those lines at reasonable rates and the CLECs died. Cable TV and fiber companies have never been required to lease their services to third party providers, so the days of the CLEC would have ended in any case as people moved to faster connections.

Comment: Re:So, it has come to this. (Score 1) 742

by Shirley Marquez (#48096681) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job
It is sometimes possible to win discrimination cases for wrongful termination; the employer will try to claim that you were fired for other reasons but they don't always convince the judge. The ones that are really impossible is proving that you were never hired in the first place because of discrimination.

Comment: Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (Score 1) 336

by Shirley Marquez (#48091747) Attached to: Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

No, they don't. Windows Update is speed limited, but downloading ISOs from Microsoft developer sites does not appear to be, at least not at levels that are relevant to typical internet connections. I have seen those downloads approach 100Mbps, which is the limit of my connection - so I usually have mercy on my housemates and download them over the WiFi connection rather than hardwired because that only gets to 20Mbps or so (limitations of my router).

The lesson here: queue up those big downloads at the end of the business day, not when other people are trying to get work done.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 249

by Shirley Marquez (#48091385) Attached to: Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?
The problem with Hulu is that they have a limited ad inventory; only a few large companies are choosing to advertise that way. You're getting those TJ Maxx ads because that's what they have available that day. If they don't have any Amazon ads or Tesla car ads or ads for whatever you might actually want to buy, you won't see those ads even if Hulu knows you would love them.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.