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Microsoft

Submission + - R.I.P. Zune (nytimes.com)

trudyscousin writes: Microsoft is sending Zune to the pasture where Microsoft brands go to die. It’s the end of the road for a name that once symbolized Microsoft’s grand plans to curb Apple’s entertainment ambitions.

Comment I'm done with them. (Score 4, Insightful) 317

I knew for years that Sony had been the distributor of CBS recordings in Japan (and a great custodian too; I found CDs in Tokyo of CBS releases, long forgotten in the US, whose excellent quality reflected the care given to their masters), so it seemed to be a natural fit when they acquired CBS Records. In those days, how could I think otherwise? Sony's reputation for innovation and quality were unmatched by anyone else in Japan. Whenever I brought home a Sony television, or a stereo receiver, or a reel-to-reel deck (yes, I'm that old), that was something special.

However, that acquisition, along with that of Columbia Pictures, marked the days when Sony began its long decline as an electronics provider. (Akio Morita's inevitable departure didn't help, either.) They still produce some amazing products, even though products like the Walkman, once ubiquitous, is now largely a historical fact. Their shift in focus now makes them a content provider first and a electronics provider second.

When it comes to content, I think of them as nouveau riche, in the derogatory sense. Like the person with newfound wealth sometimes behaves, Sony has behaved in a most vulgar manner. It has demonstrated an amazing lack of finesse toward its customers while attempting to protect its content. The most infamous example of this has got to be the rootkit debacle.

I miss the Sony of old. But I'm done with them.

Businesses

Single-Player Game Model 'Finished,' Says EA Exec 439

Frank Gibeau, label president for EA Games, recently spoke with Develop about the publisher's long term development strategy. Gibeau thinks developing major games without multiplayer modes is a passing fad: "...it’s not only about multiplayer, it’s about being connected. I firmly believe that the way the products we have are going, they need to be connected online. ... I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads; they’ll tell you the same thing. They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out. I think that model is finished. Online is where the innovation and the action [are] at."

Comment Re:Duality of Wozniak's Apple Versus Jobs' Apple (Score 1) 789

If we were "everyone else" we wouldn't be the ones people run to so we can explain to them which end of the USB cable is which.

Apple is successful in good part because "everyone else" is heartily sick of having to rely on people like you. It's hardly surprising they prefer computing devices they can use without needing the help of a techie.

If Apple products aren't for you, so what? Ignore Apple and just buy your stuff from other manufacturers.

When you tell me what "everyone else" wants, it doesn't exactly make me want to run out and buy it so I can be like "everyone else".

Yes, I hear that from a few people. They want to be special by not following the trend. But to not buy a product just because everyone else buys it is pretty much the same emotional behaviour buying something because everyone else has it. Fashion and anti-fashion.

Comment Re:Insanity (Score 1) 383

Speaking as a 16-17 year old who has safe sex and hasn't had his life fall apart after this, I'd like to second this comment. Maybe the general trend is that teenagers are irresponsible when it comes to sex, but I would argue that there are always exceptions to trends like that and education in matters like sex is likely to reduce the risks associated with it than telling children not to have it.

Comment If you really want to know what's wrong... (Score 1) 278

...with Warners today, all you have to do is contrast this money-grubbing douche with the likes of Ted Templeman, Lenny Waronker, and Mo Ostin. These were guys who staged and kept alive a renaissance at Warners for over thirty years. They signed amazing people like Hendrix, Zappa, Little Feat, the Doobies, and that's just for starters. Ostin in particular was so loved that artists actually wrote songs for him.

But this moron...the only thing he's interested in--forgive me for the cliché--is money for nothing.

Comment Re:They may have won in the courts.... (Score 5, Informative) 307

If you were talking about iPhone OS, you might have a rational argument, and would have earned your moderation.

But I thought we were talking about an operating system for a general-purpose computer. Contrasting Mac OS X with any post- W2K Microsoft OS:

- I've never had to enter an 'activation' key to install it.
- I've never had to worry if it's going to turn on me and accuse me of using a 'counterfeit' version of it.
- I've never had to call Apple and ask, "Pretty please, is it okay to have my computer back?"

I think you're a little bit confused as to "Super-Lockdown-Incorporated" really is.

Comment The things about vinyl that drove me crazy: (Score 4, Insightful) 405

- 22-26 minutes maximum playing time per side.
- Rumble. Especially when it came pressed into the record.
- Scratches. A click or pop was forever. Often with the very first playing.
- Warpage. This was especially a problem after 1969-1972, when records became thinner. (Thank you RCA, for that "Dynaflex" nonsense.)
- Playing a phonograph record was a fiddly business. Extracting the record from its jacket and inner bag without getting fingerprints all over it (which could lead to more clicks and rumble). Cleaning the record surface with a brush before playing. You took all those precautions because you didn't want to make things worse, but it was rather like pissing in the wind, as the saying goes. No matter how great your cartridge was or how light your tracking force, your records would inevitably wear, especially your favorites.

Obviously, I'm not in the demographic that wants vinyl today. I was never a DJ (not in the context of a dance club, anyway), and I have no nostalgia, false or otherwise, to bring me back to the medium.

But I can't help but wonder if the problems that plague CDs today parallel the problems that vinyl in its heyday had. Everything I mentioned above were the reasons I was so quick to embrace CDs. (And if you've ever heard Ry Cooder's "Bop 'Til You Drop" or Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms," you know exactly how wonderful CDs could sound.) But, it was a reaction, and I'm wondering if things like DRM and the "loudness wars" are the reaction people who are migrating to vinyl are having.

Comment Gooey brown sludge (Score 3, Informative) 4

I have no first-hand knowledge of the condition of the computers involved in the story.

But as a student completing college in 1990, I lived in a small one-bedroom apartment, and smoked perhaps 3/4 pack a day. At that time I had owned a Macintosh II with a 13" AppleColor display for the past year and a half or so.

One day I noticed that the display had become somewhat dim. On closer inspection, the glass looked as if it had been fogged over, and so I fetched some Windex and a paper towel to clean it. What came off beggared belief. The paper towel was covered with a gooey brown sludge. On a hunch, I opened the case of the display and found that everything inside was similarly coated with that brown gunk. The thought of taking the thing apart and washing the chassis in a microsonic cleaner crossed my mind, but I decided to leave well enough alone as long as it worked, washing the exterior case instead.

Oddly, the Macintosh II itself seemed to be fairly free of that crud.

Nonetheless, this is why I haven't had a cigarette since that day.

Comment Re:Equilibrium (Score 2, Informative) 237

It amazes me that there are still people out there who are afraid of vaccinations. They are an important tool in preventing disease, and without them many of us would have died before we reached the age of 5. Just because a vaccine may cause adverse reactions in a tiny percentage of people does not make it bad -- for every life they take, they save many millions more. Vaccinations need a certain percentage of the population to take them to be effective at stopping disease outbreaks. Not submitting to vaccinations is socially irresponsible and selfish.

If it comes to my quitting, I'll just quit and be done with it - like millions of people have before).

So why are you still smoking? You surely realise that it has no up sides? I quit a couple of months ago after ~10 years smoking, best decision I made in ages.

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