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Comment: Re:So? (Score 2) 124

by c (#49497479) Attached to: John Gruber On Third-party Apple Watch Apps: They Suck and Are Really Slow

What's worse than the apps on an Apple watch?

A 2 hour podcast about the Apple watch.

Keep in mind that you're looking at people who spent hours upon hours writing blog posts speculating about the leather and alloys Apple would be using in their watch bands.

A 2 hour podcast about an actual shipping device seems comparatively reasonable.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 175

by c (#49493027) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

Yeah the MS junk won't be installed into CM just yet - but wait until that "Deep integration" Kirt McMaster keeps talking up starts happening - you're going to see architectural changes happen in CM designed solely to be beneficial to Microsoft.

Well... I'm less certain of that.

CM/Cyngn has to walk a fine line between making investors/partners happy and not pissing off the CM community. They don't make money from the community, but the community is a huge QA base and they'll have a lot of trouble developing and supporting Cyanogen OS without it.

If they ram through MS-specific stuff (versus just expanding the capabilities of the OS for everyone), a huge chunk of the community is going to bail on them.

I don't think they're quite stupid enough to do this. But I did say "Yet", because ... well, aside from their inability to muzzle their CEO, publicly fucking over a loyal customer with an international reach in favour of a regional exclusive was easily one of the most boneheaded things I've seen in a while. Short of changing the default boot animation to an android waving its dick around, I can't imagine a much more effective way to scare off potential Cyanogen OS customers...

Comment: Re:Technically right (Score 1) 238

by c (#49484737) Attached to: Google Responds To EU Antitrust Claims In Android Blog Post

That's probably because somewhere in the google complex, there are some crusty old bureaucrats that just cant let go of the notion that "Proprietary == Profit!", and that "Control" takes many forms other than just "Stop all competition at all costs!"

I think it's just as, if not more, likely that within the Google complex the general mindset is that any Google service in Android (or more generally, on the web) is going to so much better than any competing service that nobody in their right mind would care about that competing service.

Which isn't an entirely unreasonable opinion/bias if you think of it from their perspective. There's obvious counter-examples like Google+, but in the case of the core services like search, maps, their app store, etc, it's... well, I don't think it's the slam-dunk Google might think it is, but there's at least a rational basis for having that bias.

To some degree, that's where this EU action leaves a sour taste... there might be a basis for some action (scraping competitors websites for data to use in a shopping service *does* sound pretty dodgy), but the overall tone of it seems like the EU attempting to punish Google for sincerely believing that their own products are best of breed in their respective spaces.

Comment: Re:Brand names mean a lot in some places (Score 1) 198

by c (#49369933) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

What I've seen is that american brands have had trouble penetrating that market because preference goes to the incumbent local company.

There's a certain amount of truth there. But there are also counter-examples. Walmart, in particular, destroyed quite a bit of the competition (Woolco, K-Mart, Zellers, etc).

And then there's cross-border shopping...

Target is struggling to gain acceptance

Well, not anymore. The best I can determine is that Target's approach to the Canadian market was to push brand recognition, but their supply chain, pricing, and how they ran their stores was jarringly different from how they ran them in the US, and enough Canadians knew the difference that once the word got out, the impression was they were trying to milk Canadians without bringing anything new to the table.

Canadian Tire is still the go-to

Canadian Tire hits a real sweet spot in terms of locations, pricing and selection. I can't really think of any other competition which covers quite the same ground.

even major e-tailers like Newegg have trouble over the other Canadian e-tailers

True. I think was solidly established well before Newegg opened a Canadian store.

The problem for these companies is that their .ca sites routinely offer less to Canadians at usually substantially higher prices than their .com's, and while there may be legit business reasons, nobody likes being treated as a second-class citizen. So there's always a bit of resentment.

Hell, Sears seems to have won mindshare by having a little maple leaf in their Canadian logo.

I think Sears won mindshare in Canada from catalog sales. There are Sears mail-order outlets in every stinking little town across the country, and Canada has a lot of stinking little towns; up until maybe 10-15 years ago when e-commerce took off they were the household name for remote purchasing. But they're no longer the only game in town, and their supply chain is still stuck in the 90's; I can buy Craftsman parts directly from China faster and more reliably than I can get them from the local Sears parts store. I'd be very surprised to see them last another five years.

Comment: Re:Not a huge surprise (Score 1) 198

by c (#49364603) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

I shopped more at Best Buy than FutureShop because Best Buy sales reps were not on commission while FutureShop sales reps were (and, as a result, tended to be very pushy).

It might be a local thing, but I've found that the Future Shop employees generally leave... sorry, left me alone unless I hunted one down and asked questions. The few times I bothered with Best Buy I either couldn't find an employee willing to answer questions or couldn't find the product I needed.

Comment: Not a huge surprise (Score 4, Insightful) 198

by c (#49362217) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

The real surprise is why it took so long? 14 years is a heck of a long time to be running large redundant stores. From the parking lot of my local Future Shop, you could literally see the Best Buy store, and neither store was ever busy enough to really justify having two so close together, and I've heard that some were so close as to share a parking lot. It might be different if there were significant differences in the product lines they carried, but as it is it never really made much sense.

Comment: Re:I hate not being culture (Score 3, Informative) 237

by c (#49355131) Attached to: Quebec Plans To Require Website Blocking, Studies New Internet Access Tax

This is one thing I wish the US could import from France. Over there, all radio stations, newspapers, and other places have to have a percentage of their artists be local to that country.

Canada has that sort of system, too, to protect local "culture" from the US marketing behemoth.

When it works, it seems to work pretty well.

The main issue with that sort of system is that it's based on a minimum quantity of local content. Yes, you do get some good local talent which you might not hear about otherwise. Unfortunately, most of the time you just get Nickelback.

I think the majority of Canadians would prefer to just drop the CanCon requirements entirely.

Comment: Re:Easy Solution (Score 1) 222

by c (#49354219) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House

I guess it depends on what the fine is for not complying. For your above scenario to make sense, the fine itself would have to be more than the cost of installing the line.

It doesn't have to be a big fine. It just has to be a fine that continues to apply until they install it. $50/day until the service is turned on would get compliance... eventually.

Once they've installed your lines, you're basically a slave to paying that provider's rates.

That's a tougher problem, but I'm sure it could be managed.

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe