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Comment: Re:Nokia has great packaging too! (Score 2) 639

by chundo (#40701251) Attached to: Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

On the contrary - it could be argued that Apple's entire success as a company is due to their packaging on all levels - packaging features, packaging software, packaging hardware, packaging services, packaging their brand. Nokia's problem is that their good packaging tends to stop at the box.

Apple packaged the original iPod by taking mature features that already existed in other music players in the marketplace, and wrapping them together in a more attractive product, with a slick design and lots of storage. They packaged OS X by taking an established operating system (BSD) and throwing some pretty on it, some of which was innovative, but most of which was simply combining existing ideas into an attractive package. The iTunes store was only notable because they negotiated slightly more flexible DRM terms and didn't close down in 2 years leaving its customers in the cold, like so many predecessors. The iPhone packaged the PDA and phone in a smoother and more attractive way than other products had done before, even though there are few truly unique features in it that were not also being implemented in some form by its predecessors and contemporaries (including Android, which also started in 2005.) And throughout all of these product launches, they had the marketing muscle to successfully focus attention onto the shiny and away from the omissions.

This is not to denigrate Apple's success, because they seized upon a truth that eludes many companies - packaging matters, as much or more than the product itself, and if you can consistently combine great packaging with good products, it doesn't matter where the functional ideas came from originally. Sometimes the packaging is the innovation.

Comment: Re:You are lucky. (Score 1) 1003

by chundo (#38388570) Attached to: Why the NTSB Is Wrong About Cellphones
Counterintuitively, emissions are generally much worse with modern motorcycles vs. modern cars. In most cases, the only green benefit it gives you is roughly double gas mileage, but even that doesn't makes up for the increased harmful emissions. Motorcycles are not the green machine you think they are. There was a whole Mythbusters episode on this awhile back.
Science

First Membrane Controlled By Light Developed 33

Posted by timothy
from the my-eyelid-aside dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "A new membrane developed at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics blocks gas from flowing through it when one color of light is shined on its surface, and permits gas to flow through when another color of light is used. It is the first time that scientists have developed a membrane that can be controlled in this way by light."

Real computer scientists don't comment their code. The identifiers are so long they can't afford the disk space.

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