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Comment Microsoft Surface (Score 1) 531 531

It seems like Microsoft Surface would actually do better. There you get a full-table touch screen instead of a 9.7'' that you have to pass around, scroll on, etc. Of course it's wildly expensive and not so available, but we're talking about the "perfect" not the "practical".

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

Have you been living under a rock? This is the case in every heavily-regulated industry in every country that heavily regulates. There is massive overhead to doing business. The barrier to entry is huge. Only the large (evil?) corporations can afford it and their potential competitors (that you never meet, since they never actually start their business ventures) never materialize. This is one of the best ways to discourage competition, drive up prices, and send quality plummeting.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

Thanks for the excellent responses. I have friended you. :)

It seems to me that if the public can get together and form enough of a consensus to effectively regulate a standard via the government, that same consensus group should necessarily be large enough to persuade the cell phone manufacturers without resorting to force. After all, the cell phone manufacturers haven't initiated force against us, so we need no defense. They have simply attempted to sell the public phones. If the public doesn't want them, they should reject them.

You're right that this is ultimately a "proper role of government" situation, as all government policy must be. The government does not exist to coerce industry into producing a specific type of cell phone charger connector. To me, that is absurd. We cannot pretend to be free when our government holds such power over us as to dictate what we can and cannot produce.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

If there was no law requiring them to also have a Mini-USB connector in addition to the wireless charging solution, then they would only include it if they believed that the added cost, however small, would be, at minimum, repaid in increased revenue from sales of the phone. If there is a law requiring them to have it, their hand is forced and they must pay any losses out of their profits. When profits are reduced, businesses scale back investment.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 0, Troll) 374 374

If the consumer isn't even aware of the connector, is it likely that they care? If they did care, it's easy to examine the phone in the store and find one that has a, say, Mini-USB connector on it. You could also ask the store clerk which of them have connectors that are shared across brands. If you're really concerned about it-- and virtually no one is-- you can always do a little research online. Nobody is being caught here. There is no trickery going on. No one is being forced to buy any particular phone. Standard connectors already exist and are being shunned by those who don't care. Those who do care simply buy phones with standard connectors.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

If customers were really demanding standardized connectors, wouldn't there be a huge incentive for Nokia, Motorola, and Sony-Ericsson to get together and agree on a standard connector? They'd beat Siemens, HTC, and LG to the punch and enjoy a market lead over them.

The reason they don't do that is that there isn't sufficient consumer demand. The desire for standardized connectors remains held in a niche market. That's not to say that you can't get them. For example, there are many devices with Mini-USB support.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

A standardized connector leaves little room to make improved connectors as they would be, by definition, non-standard. For example, if the standard connector is Mini-USB, a cell phone manufacturer would be less likely to invest in a wireless charging solution as it would be illegal to sell by itself. The cost for their device would be increased as they would need to include both the wireless solution they had developed as well as a Mini-USB connector, thus making it less likely they could turn a profit. They could go ahead and invest R&D funds into the wireless solution anyhow and then lobby the government regulators to make it the new standard connector or an alternate standard connector so the device cost could be kept down, but that lobbying would cost them time and likely add significant delays to their product, during which their competitors would be catching up. In the end, the standardization legislature discourages investment into new technology that improves the lives of consumers as well as the profits of the manufacturers.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 0, Troll) 374 374

If the profit margin for non-standard connectors is higher than that for standard connectors, doesn't that mean that the consumers are demanding non-standard connectors? Remember that demand is where you put your priorities in terms of how much you're willing to spend on one good rather than another, not simply how much you want something. Lots of people want to drive BMWs, but there aren't enough BMWs for us all so the people who don't value them as much buy Hondas. Sure, some people simply can't afford a BMW, but there are many that could if they were willing to re-prioritize in order to afford one by spending what they used to spend on cable TV, movie tickets, liquor, video games, and so forth on them. If people were willing to re-prioritize and spend extra money on standardized cell phone connectors rather than a new DVD, they could easily have it. The absence of these standardized connectors is due to the cell phone manufacturers recognizing that their consumers do not demand them and are instead willing to accept (presumably) cheaper non-standardized connectors. Forcing the manufacturers to only produce standardized connectors is like forcing Toyota to only produce Lexuses, Volkswagen to only produce Audis, and Nissan to only produce Infinitis. You end up raising the price for everyone when some people don't want or even care to pay more.

Comment Re:Restoring the balance (Score 1) 374 374

It's not so much that the government knows better, as that they have different priorities and the power to mandate that those priorities are respected.

The priority of cell phone manufacturers is to make money. When they can only obtain this money from their customers when their customers freely decide to give it to them, their priority must be to make products that their customers will buy. This is how the cell phone manufacturers are serving the demands of their customers.

I wonder- what priority of government are you referring to that is different than serving the demands of the public?

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