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Comment Re:Apple picks up the costs (Score 1) 134

Apple made a business decision to offer a three month trial period at no cost to people who want to try their service. Fine. They want to people to try their service.

Why they thought their "suppliers" would go along without getting any form of compensation is beyond me. When a new restaurant, supermarket or other business opens somewhere, it's really common to offer similar promotions or discounts where the business is going to lose money but then eventually capture enough new customers to then make the business profitable. They don't tell the power company, phone company, water company, ISP, office supply company, marketing firm or whoever else they use during this time that they are going to expect them to give them those things for free.

I also see this "work for free for promotion/portfolio building/experience" line used a lot for coders, designers, photographers, wedding planners and other occupations. It's generally a cheapskate trying to dodge paying a pile of money for a lot of hard work. Apple has now effectively become the world's most valuable cheapskate. I've never heard of someone telling a plumber or electrician that they are going to "work for free to get some promotion".

Also, Apple has more cash on hand (something like $170 billion) than the entire GDP of some countries and is quite literally the world's most valuable company, worth nearly double that of the second place Exxon Mobil. This decision (before they "changed their mind") reeked of greed and arrogance.

Comment Re:Isn't there some vetting process? (Score 1) 553

I have no illusion that the Clintons aren't billionaires, nor have the rosy colored glasses on that Obama isn't helping corporate interests in very powerful ways. Like I said, holding my nose to pull that lever so that some theocrat and/or "enforcer of morals" in chief isn't in power. Or some guy who has been indicted for abusing power for political gain. We've now got nearly two of those in the GOP running.

Comment Re:Isn't there some vetting process? (Score 1) 553

I read that article, too. It takes away from Hillary, but honestly the clown circus on the GOP side is going to wear themselves out finding their own faults and making themselves look godawful. Chris Christie should just throw in the towel now, too, since he's pretty much associated with convicted criminals.

Comment Isn't there some vetting process? (Score 1) 553

I'd expect GOP potential candidates to be called into some back room at some billionaire's estate where they are politely told over Scotch and cigars lit with $100 bills that it would be in their best interest to spare the Old Party the embarrassment of them running, and to get back to towing the party line. Looking at the current crop, you have at most two people who actually have *something* of a shot, maybe a couple others who could come in as an "outsider", but the remainder are going to end up spending loads of time and money essentially writing the attack ads for the Democrats and associated PACs come the real election showdown. Hillary is going to sit around stockpiling money and letting the GOP tear themselves to bits with each one trying to sate the far right, which will produce a lot of on-camera sound bites of stuff that will sound godawful to anyone left in the center by the time the actual election rolls around.

I'm not a big fan of Hillary, but honestly the GOP at this point has me holding my nose and pulling the lever for her.

Comment Re:Amazon has really been a stealth company (Score 3, Interesting) 83

And now they are producing their own entertainment a la Netflix.

And they are making money from providing the back end for Netflix. So Amazon is producing their own content a la Netflix, AND Netflix is writing them a fat check every month. Netflix even has a public case study about how they use AWS ... and contribute to making AWS better.

Comment 300+ channels and nothing to watch (Score 1) 131

When I was a kid, we had a handful broadcast channels and I watched what was on because that was literally it. If I didn't like what was on, I found something else to do. Read a book, play with friends, play with toys, play a game, or go outside.

Then we got cable. More stuff to watch, woohoo. Plus those scrambled premium channels where you might catch a glimpse of a boob. But MTV and HBO were only unscrambled in the family room, and seeing the same video over and over again, or the same movie over and over again got boring. So I'd read a book, play with friends, play with toys, play a game or go outside.

Eventually I grew up and bought a cable subscription of my own. Hundreds of channels. At first, some were really good. Like Discovery. Then "reality TV" showed up, and the combination of cheap to produce + novelty become too irresistible for those cable networks that used to put out decent content and once again I'd read a book, play with friends, play with toys, play a game or go outside.

So then came YouTube. YouTube has some good stuff on it, but honestly a lot of it is poorly made crap that isn't worth watching. So I read a book, play with friends, play with toys, play with my kids, play a game or go outside. I largely skipped Vine, Instagram and the rest of the ocean of other self-promoting content platforms. There are some decent blogs out there, but honestly I see things like Tumblr and the content is generally pretty awful, and I've conceded that I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent. And they're actually really, really nice. They just have more time and energy to sort through the boatloads of content being produced and find the good stuff.

I cut off cable. Best decision, I get shows I'm willing to shell out for or that come off the antenna for free. I still have Internet. And now this "livestreaming" thing comes along, and I can't imagine how much deeper the spiral of "too much crappy content delivered at a rock bottom price of zero" is going to go. I'm betting that we'll see some standouts and people who create compelling content in this new medium, and I can totally get how it's going to be amazing for people who are living in shitbag countries with repressive regimes who try and control thought, but there are going to be plenty of livestreams that quite honestly suck.

I also remember Jennicam ... it was novel for a while, but having a billion Jennicams is no longer novel ... it's going to be clogging up the Internet with the boring everyday drek of life. I don't want to watch that, I live it.

Comment We do ... absolutely nothing (Score 4, Insightful) 279

People start and leave jobs for a variety of reasons. Maybe their spouse got a giant promotion but had to move. Maybe their parents are ailing and they are moving closer to take care of them. Maybe they just want to do something new, or change careers. There's a multitude of perfectly rational and otherwise sane reasons people change jobs.

Why are you even considering treating them like an asshole? If they have given their notice, they should be finishing things up. If there's a project they are working on that will not be completed, they should be working with who is going to take it over to transfer the knowledge. They should likely document anything they did that wasn't documented. So on and so forth. Maybe you go out of a good bye lunch or get a cake to wish them well in their new endeavor. But why treat them like an asshole? Who knows, maybe your firm will start going the wrong way and they will get you on at the new place.

Once they are gone, then you should have a procedure to deactivate the account, delete files, shut off email, have inbound mail forwarded to their old manager, etc.

If you DO think they are going to do stupid things, then they should have been fired a long time ago. But if they are just leaving with proper notice, you likely don't need to do anything special.

Comment Re:Won't everything need to be recompiled? (Score 2) 85

Yep. In my career, I've seen the rise and fall of RISC (on both Windows and *NIX), Apple's transition between several chip families, Sun's Sparc chips and even Intel trying to out-Intel with Itanium. You get hit with major roadblocks as well as death by a thousand cuts. It's extremely difficult to get it working in the first place, and then ongoing maintenance is no small feat, either.

I wonder if the Chinese government is "strongly favoring home grown solutions" with an ongoing infusion of funding, to do they just pay it lip service? China is a huge emerging market that plenty of vendors are trying to sell into, if they are really serious about this, it could actually provide the catalyst to make the ports happen. But no demand in the marketplace means little incentive for anything to happen.

Comment Won't everything need to be recompiled? (Score 1) 85

Sure, you can put out a chip, but without a software stack of common applications (and operating systems) that you actually run on that stack, it's just something that consumes electricity.

So who is going to fund the porting effort of all the tools, libraries, etc? Anyone who thinks you just grab source code and recompile on a new platform has probably never tried it. It's a pile of work.

Comment iTunes drove me to Android in the first place (Score 4, Interesting) 148

I got sick and tired of dealing with iTunes and its many failures and switched to Android. My wife still has an iDevice and regularly gripes when they change the interface, move stuff around for no reason and otherwise make the design "better".

My Android phone has no idea about my home PC because it doesn't have to. I don't see iTunes going anywhere, no way in hell I'm going back to the iOS ecosystem. I'm not likely to get another Samsung phone, which is what I have now -- I'll likely just go for the Nexus so I can skip the bloatware.

Comment "Trojan Horse"? Really? (Score 1) 107

Software (or Greeks) that show up with something that appears to be one thing on the outside but carries an unpleasant surprise on the inside = a "Trojan horse"

A company adding features (including additional platforms), and doing so with advertised, promoted, supported and approved apps that say exactly what they are doing on an $APP_STORE is just a company trying to draw in new customers, and there's nothing nefarious about it.

Comment Please make the controllers game agnostic (Score 1) 163

I recall having a great time with these types of games with friends. They were kind of like karaoke without the singing part. The later editions with more options for setting difficultly per player (IIRC) made it even more fun since you could have some people who were more experienced being given more of a challenge while a newbie or less coordinated person could play at a lower difficulty level and still have fun.

The room full of crap that sat around was not fantastic, though. We live in a smaller house at one point, had the drum setup and a couple guitars. The drums were hard to store, got in the way and just sucked except when you were using them.

I'd probably be interested in picking up something like this if I could get a controller that would work with any arbitrary game, as I'm going to guess that there are going to be fun songs on both games. My kids always loved the guitars and they got some appreciation for non-kid music since the track selections were pretty decent. I'd also appreciate if they would bring the songs from earlier games forward, too.

In terms of being agnostic, it would be nice to bring your fake guitar to your friend's house and play whatever they had, irrespective of if it were Rock Band/Guitar Hero or Playstation/XBox. I'd bet overall they could move more copies rather than try and keep it siloed. I'd hope Activision would see at least part of that with their success with Skylanders -- you don't have skylanders for each platform, you can take them to your friend's house and play on any console.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.