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Comment: Re:Easy way to fix this problem (Score 1) 146

For me it's not really about killer features, it's about app support (and OS updates to some degree). I'm still very happy with my iPhone 4 (bought in 2010 when it was released), however, I have noticed that newer apps don't feel as snappy as they used to, due to being optimized to run on newer models. It's not quite bad enough to warrant a new phone yet, but it might get there, especially when OS update support is dropped at some point in the future (Thankfully the resell value of iPhones is pretty great).

Phones used to be more or less single-use appliances that only had to be replaced if they broke, but now that what makes them compelling is apps they are subject to the same update cycles that other computer hardware is (or used to be, the update pressure for notebooks and desktops isn't as big as it used to be).

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2) 403

by torako (#39744051) Attached to: Europe Agrees To Send Airline Passenger Data To US

As a citizen of a European country you usually do not need a visa to travel to the US for leisure for up to 90 days. You need to fill out the ESTA form, but that's not a visa.

Getting a visa means making an appointment with a US embassy weeks in advance, standing in line for hours, having an interview with a US official, paying around 100 Euros. After that, all the ESTA stuff, fingerprinting etc. *still* applies to you.

So no, cancelling the Visa Waiver Program for EU citizens would be a *huge* deal.

Comment: Re:Which was always obvious. (Score 3, Informative) 144

by torako (#38925405) Attached to: Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing

This comparison doesn't hold. Microsoft extended HTML with their own tags and called the result HTML which was an attempt to force it into whatever direction Microsoft wanted it to go without going through standard bodies and while conveniently leaving other browsers behind.

Apple on the other hand took the epub format and extended it but is very clear on the result not being an epub but a new proprietary format. They make this extremely clear by even defining a new MIME type and a file extension that is different.

Comment: 2 year warranty is not AppleCare (Score 1) 218

by torako (#38519180) Attached to: Apple Fined By Italy For Misleading Customers About Warranty Terms

The way the mandatory two year warranty as mandated by the EU is implemented is very different from AppleCare and AppleCare goes beyond it. If a fault becomes apparent after more than six months after you buy the device you as the customer have to prove that the fault is due to some technical problem that was caused during the manufacturing of the device. This is pretty much impossible to do without the help of a lawyer. So technically a company can refuse to pay for any repair after six months and there is not much you can do. Within the first six months the burden of proof (that you caused the fault) lies with the company.

Apple's standard warranty is one year, already making it easy to get repairs for six months longer than the minimum required by law. After that year they play the burden of proof trick I mentioned.

The main problem is that it is often very confusing when a company offers a warranty deal beyond what is required by law, confusing the different concepts or as in this case giving the impression that there is no coverage at all.

Comment: Re:Kaon decay (Score 5, Informative) 113

by torako (#38104538) Attached to: LHC Research May Help Explain the Universe's Matter/Antimatter Imbalance

CP violation in Kaon decays can be explained by the Standard Model, but if the magnitude of CP violation they have claimed exists in the D system can not. It would be the first actual hint of physics beyond the Standard Model at the LHC. That would be some very exciting news (especially because everybody expected the big "discovery" detectors ATLAS and CMS to actually find something new first, i.e. the Higgs or Supersymmetry).

Comment: Physics is mostly Apple (Score 4, Informative) 556

by torako (#37724434) Attached to: Is Apple Pushing Away Professionals?

I'm a research scientist at particle physics institute and my anecdotal experience is the opposite: Nowadays, it seems like at least 3/4 of the laptops I see at conferences are Apple laptops (plus a growing amount of iPads). The desktops at my institute are either Linux or OS X.

OS X is a great environment to use LaTeX in, make presentations (Keynote + LaTeXit for equations is awesome), code scientific software or run apps like Mathematica or Matlab.

Comment: Re:As usual, not the first for the basics (Score 1) 473

by torako (#37699748) Attached to: iOS 5 Update Available

The only supported ways to use Time Machine over the network are using a Time Capsule or using a Mac running Mac OS X Server as the backup target. All NAS that offer a Time Machine function do that using unsupported software (I think usually a version of netatalk that runs on Linux).

If you're using a NAS that is not a Time Capsule (I have a QNAP for example that offers a Time Machine target function) and run into problems it is quite likely a problem with your unsupported NAS's implementation of AFP.

Comment: Re:About friggin' time... (Score 4, Insightful) 306

by torako (#37647424) Attached to: Windows 8 To Reduce Memory Footprint

By what mechanism can a browser know when the memory it has reserved is needed elsewhere in the system? I don't think it works that way.

When people complain about browsers needing excessive amounts of memory they usually refer to memory leaks, not to intelligent use of memory through caching.

The bit about how some people misinterpret the amount of free memory the OS reports is totally true, though.

Comment: Re:In this case (Score 2) 262

by torako (#37489420) Attached to: Via Files Suit Against Apple

The big question is: Is Android encroaching? I'm not sure the answer is that easy.

Have a look at the two graphs in these posts on Asymco: http://www.asymco.com/2011/08/22/nokia-vs-android/ and http://www.asymco.com/2011/08/05/the-competition/ .

Android is growing tremendously, but it doesn't seem to eat away any of Apple's marketshare. In fact, it looks like a lot of dumbphones are replaced by new Android devices and that Android is eating up Nokia's former share in the smartphone sector.

Another interesting fact is utilization (don't have a link handy, sorry). If you look at website statistics, WiFi hotspot statistics, the story is usually the same: a big majority of the devices are iOS. It does make sense if you consider that a lot of former feature phone users are now on Android, but continue to use their new Android devices as feature phones.

As long as Apple continues to sell more and more phones---and right now it still looks like that is the case---they don't have to worry about Android.

Comment: Get the actual article and judge (Score 1) 1088

by torako (#37488968) Attached to: CERN Experiment Indicates Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos
You can download the actual paper by the OPERA collaboration here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.4897 They have measured the distance of 730km to an uncertainty of 20cm using GPS and a dedicated geodesy campaign. Of course, when they talk about their six sigma result, this uncertainty is already included. If this turns out the be a fluke, it will most certainly not be because they messed up their distance or time measurements in a trivial way.

Comment: Re:Very disappointed (Score 1) 156

by torako (#37294976) Attached to: Hands-On Account of Amazon's Upcoming Color Kindle
I think this could actually be the first tablet that might have a chance of challenging the iPad. The hardware+OS quality is important, but I dare say that the integration with a healthy apps and media ecosystem is just as important, and that is where Amazon could really shine:

As it stands, this is basically just an Android tablet, capable of downloading and listening to music, downloading and watching films, and reading books (and not as well as a true Kindle at that, given that it's a LCD screen..!!)

The excellent tie-in with for-purchase or for-rent media is one of the big things that make the iPad so interesting. You only need to enter your Apple ID and you're set. Amazon could do the same thing with their huge MP3, video and books library. You won't have to download any apps that might be not so well-integrated, you won't have to set up several different accounts (and subscriptions): just enter your Amazon login and all that media is right there, with the option to stream or sync whatever you've purchased in the past.

So even if the third-party apps selection isn't that great (right now, Android's biggest weakness), Amazon still has a cheap tablet meant for media consumption that ties in excellently with their services. This could be big.

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