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Comment Re:Dumb Article (Score 1) 266

Using mindshare to sell your products means you aren't going to expand your market significantly. MacBooks obviously have qualities that appeal to people, or they wouldn't sell. Apple works on making them nice and easy to use, and many people are willing to pay for that.

But seriously... What's the real functional difference between the Lenovo X series and the Macbook Air? Besides the logo?

Comment There's no technical reason this couldn't happen (Score 4, Insightful) 176

It's the netbook argument all over again -- most people's use case for laptops is web and email, and it doesn't really matter what processor or OS the laptop is running as long as it works with most websites and email sends and receives ok. There are assumptions there -- that video and other resources used by websites work correctly -- and there's room for some specialized apps like Netflix, but that's pretty much it.

So Linux on ARM as a laptop? Sure. And it'll almost certainly be more reliable, run faster on equivalent hardware, and meet most people's needs who own laptops. There's no technical reason this couldn't happen.

The reason it won't happen is that there's this ninety billion dollar company and this other one hundred eighty billion dollar company that both have a vested interest in this not happening. And they're really good (at least so far) at making sure it doesn't happen.

Comment Re:Dumb Article (Score 2) 266

Enh. I have a feeling that the MacBook isn't a big seller because it's a better product, it's a big seller because Apple has been, and still is, really brilliant about developing "mindshare" amongst enough people to make a substantial profit. So they don't have to deliver a new product that's substantially better, because their followers will upgrade merely because it's new. Even when that means learning to do without some things they used to have (firewire).

It's *way* too late for Microsoft to build that kind of following. And this leaves them nowhere to go. Microsoft's machine is not a MacBook killer for one simple reason -- it doesn't have the Apple logo on it. And that's enough. They can't do it on specs, because there just isn't enough technical differentiation anymore to really swing people one way or another.

Comment I think they're missing the point (Score 4, Insightful) 266

I think what Microsoft may not be understanding, or may be trying to ignore, is that people aren't buying new hardware because their old hardware meets their needs. In the early days, there were two major factors that drove the PC industry -- (1) low saturation. PCs were a relatively new thing, and there were a lot of people who didn't have one yet. (2) PC hardware and software were in relative infancy -- we were on the steep end of the curve -- and resources didn't meet the needs of what people were trying to do. Software drove hardware in that each new release of the OS needed faster hardware and bigger disks to run reasonably. UI was still on the steep end of the curve, with new features coming out that were actually -- you know -- relevant, and not just eye candy.

All of that is long past now. Microsoft doesn't understand that the UI curve has flattened out, as their recent attempts to make the UI Really Different hasn't met with a lot of enthusiasm. About the time PCs routinely sold with quad core processors and terabyte drives dipped under $100, hardware stopped mattering for most people. What people could *do* with these resources started mattering more than the resources themselves. Hell, I do compute intensive work on a motherboard from 2005 sitting in a case from 2000, (running Win7 Pro) and I have no desire to upgrade anything except perhaps disk space. I do vacuum it out once in awhile.

So, Microsoft tries and fails to develop the hipster mindshare of Apple, so they need to try something different, and they see an over-saturated market, with a plethora of hardware overdesigned for most people's needs (given that "most people" do web browsing, facebook and email and other social media, and maybe a game or two, and perhaps a movie, and that's pretty much it), and decides that's the field they need to go into.

So... wow... I mean,... How is it they're still alive?

Someone I know works for Microsoft, and he's really been crowing about Microsoft's new laptop and how it's the greatest thing since, I dunno, Windows for Workgroups. And I look at it, and you know... it's just a laptop.

In summary, "reigniting the PC market" is problematic because the PC market is already saturated and over-built, and has been for years. It's like, when toasters first came out, everyone had to have one, and growth was steep. But now, everyone already has a toaster, and we only replace them when they stop working. Sorry, that's the nature of industry.

You want to create a new market, make apps for content creation on tablets (as opposed to content consumption) and maybe tablets will see a new renaissance. I don't own a tablet precisely because most of what I use a PC for is content creation, and the apps aren't there on tablets even now.

But PCs? They're toasters. Pick a size and a color.

Comment Re:Wasn't it? (Score 1) 363

There was a lot that was Apollo 13-ish, but what stood out about the story for me is that Watney does a lot more for himself, with his own wits, and with much less support from the brains at home. They even made a point of it about midway through the movie. (You'll know the spot.) The Martian was more Robinson Caruso-ish, if you can imagine Robinson Caruso's island as being extremely hostile towards life as we know it.

Comment yep, noticed that (Score 2) 70

There was a time when my daughter was really into blackberrys, because you could text really fast on the keyboard. She discovered that a local electronic junk store had a stack of various models of blackberry for something like five bucks apiece, so she bought three of them, and would put her sim in different phones depending on whether she felt like carrying a 6000 series or a 7000 series or a Curve.

Anyway, one thing she discovered is that none (0) of them had been wiped, and she had access to documents, baby photos and all kinds of stuff. Nothing pornographic, fortunately. At least, that she told me about.

Comment Re:The best summation I've seen (Score 2) 99

If the ads are appropriate, I'm ok with them. Like reasonably sized camera gear on a photography site, small, silent biker gear ads on a motorcycle forum. I may even occasionally click on them. And I kinda like the Roadkill and Snorg ads that have pretty girls. But full page video popovers of some car commercial? Screw that. With a really big screw.

I guess you could say that the more obnoxious sites (are you listening, seattlepi?) are ruining it for everyone else.

Comment Re:Yeah, wait, hang on (Score 1) 405

Combine this with the current fashion of being offended at the tiniest opportunity, and what do you THINK is going to happen?

Interesting, that you use the current conservative meme. Also, mention these clueless people are trying to protect animals. If you read the actually complaints, they are mostly from conservatives. Conservatives who are offended by even the slightest hint of unmarried sex or the slightest mention of human genitals. These are conservatives who are offended at the tiniest opportunity. Yet, you never hear people bitching about their entitled attitude, because that's not how the brainwashing works.

"being offended at the tiniest opportunity" is not a characteristic solely of the left, as your examples illustrate. My examples used real jokes on the show related specifically to animal cruelty, which was right up there in the damned SUMMARY. Maybe you missed that?

For the record, I'm neither liberal nor conservative, because life is not even close to being that simple. I regularly change my registration from democrat to republican and back, depending on who has the most interesting primary (my state doesn't allow voting in either primary if you're registered independent) and the issues in play at the time. But I think you did help to illustrate my point about "being offended at the tiniest opportunity". Well done.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist