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Comment: Re:Microsoft Natural Keyboard, before they fschked (Score 1) 635

by sremick (#47858903) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

My old Northgate Omnikey keyboard had the keycap letterings not printed in paint, but as plastic molded throughout the entire thickness of the key. There was no possible way to wear it off. It was also full-mechanical with a metal base. Could be switched to Dvorak layout in 2 presses.

I miss that keyboard.

Comment: Re:Removable battery? (Score 1) 176

by sremick (#47236487) Attached to: Samsung Debuts Thin Galaxy Tab S With Super AMOLED 2560X1600 Display

You're joking right? Consumers are pushing a desire for thinner lighter devices capable of longer and longer run-times with higher loads.

Believe it or not, consumers also like to not have to replace their device in 2 years because the battery only holds half the capacity it used to. Just because it's not on the box or part of the advertisement's spiel doesn't mean it's not something consumers care about. There are plenty of consumers who can see into the future beyond the length of their nose.

Something has to give when you are designing around these requirements. A lot of modern devices are thin because their batteries lack any kind of protection. Using flat lithium cells gives the designer far more flexibility to design a product rather than having a full battery pack with protective case and protection circuit.

You seem to be under the misconception that these rule each other out. Do you do much electronics repair? How many devices have you owned? Opened? Replaced the batteries on? I am on a tablet right now that is thinner than a Microsoft Surface Pro 2, but unlike the Surface it has a user-removable battery and doesn't sacrifice run-time to get it. My cell phone is thinner than an iPhone... and guess what? Removable battery.

Manufacturers aren't making non-removable batteries because of design constraints. They're making them non-removable because it ensures that when the battery wears out, the consumer is forced to buy a new model. Otherwise why permanently epoxy the battery into the device? I know all about unprotected lithium cells... I'm a certified Apple technician and have opened plenty of MacBooks. But you can have a battery that uses the case of the device to protect it without gluing the damn thing in so it can't even be serviced by someone with the proper training and tools.

The average consumer is likely to damage the types of batteries used in these devices and burn their house down in the process.

I'm well aware of this... it's made quite clear in our training and quite obvious when you're working on them daily. But it's not as necessary as you've been fooled to think. The "design constraints" and "users are demanding thinner" is just the bullshit lines they've come up with as an excuse to mask the actual reason: enforced obsolescence and increased revenue stream. If it were actually true, there would be no need for the epoxy, and no other manufacturers proving them wrong.

Given the pace of technology and the average use life of such devices, replaceable battery is one feature I really no longer care about.

That's nice. Not everyone is rolling in cash and prepared to buy a new phone or tablet every 2 years, especially when there's no technical reason to have to do so. Consumers have been conditioned to accept a worn-out battery as a legitimate reason to trash their otherwise perfectly functional and adequate device, which is insane and inexcusable. This would've never been accepted pre-iPhone/iPod. My sister's HTC One X is less than 2 years old and already can't hold a charge worth a damn. The phone is already 3 times the phone she needs, so why should she be forced to buy a new one? It's criminal. Luckily I am willing to replace it for her but HTC has made it unnecessarily difficult for no legitimate reason. There are thinner phones with user-replaceable batteries... they could've made it so she could do it herself, but that wasn't advantageous to their bottom line.

And if the batteries actually fail a quick and quite cheap trip to the repair shop will see it swapped out.

WHAT "repair shop"? Maybe for the lucky subset of people who live in cities near an Apple Store or some other electronics shop. But guess what? There's a lot more to the USA and world than the big cities. And the fact remains: there's no need for it to not be replaceable by the consumer. There's no need for them to pay $80 to have someone replace a $5 battery. And there's no reason to epoxy the batteries in so the repair shop can't even replace just the battery.

It's a scam, it's bullshit, it's anti-consumer, and it should be criminal. Unfortunately they've sufficiently brainwashed you so that you're inclined to parrot their same line which helps them spread the lie and make you an unpaid salesforce on their behalf, but those of us who have opened enough off these devices, and seen enough of what is possible, know the truth. It's too bad that the technically-informed are the minority of consumers, leaving the majority to be taken advantage of by the manufacturers, but unfortunately that's been the case for years.

Comment: Removable battery? (Score 4, Interesting) 176

Does this have a removable battery?

I've stopped buying consumer electronics that take the markedly ANTI-consumer and needless action of making non-removable batteries. I realize this eliminates most tablets* but I really have little use for a tablet (my job has provided several for me to use but I really couldn't care less about them, having tried them).

* - And all Apple hardware, but I'm ok with that too.

Comment: Re: The FCC has no right to dictate terms (Score 1) 208

by sremick (#47053645) Attached to: Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

You obviously haven't lived or even traveled anywhere where there are mountains.

Newsflash: the world isn't flat, and radio signals have difficulty passing through hundreds (or thousands) of feet of solid rock.

There's no cell service where I live. Radio reception is fuzzy. I can barely get satellite TV due to the position of the mountains. My internet has to be DSL as Comcast will never run cable out here.

Comment: Re:Blank Media (Score 1) 477

by sremick (#46936357) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

And Netflix/Hulu/Amazon will happily stream you that fast? I highly doubt it. I have a 6Mbit/s DSL connection and Netflix won't even saturate that, although Amazon and Hulu do a better so it's not my internet connection throttling Netflix.

My car can go a lot faster than the 20MPH it was stuck in traffic the other day doing for a long time too. The potential of the pipe is only one factor.

Comment: Re:Blank Media (Score 1) 477

by sremick (#46936339) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

Comment: Re:Blank Media (Score 5, Insightful) 477

by sremick (#46925693) Attached to: Sony Warns Demand For Blu-Ray Diminishing Faster Than Expected

I have a movie collection numbering in the many hundreds. All are on original physical media.

All the reasons that people have for streaming versus playing off discs I agree with... but there's one kicker: once you get past the annoying menus, notices, and previews, and actually get to the movie, the quality can't be compared. Not many people have a 30-50 Mbit/s internet connection that can handle the full bitrate of 1080p video with lossless 5.1 sound, and I can't think of any streaming source that would send that even if someone did. They're all horribly compressed up the ass with lossy compression... noticable even on my 40" TV but especially so on the 92" projector.

Unskippable menus suck, and online libraries are certainly convenient... but when it comes time to watch the movie, I do kind of want it to actually look good. But I guess I'm a dying breed.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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