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Comment Re:"a number of user interface designers" (Score 1) 484

My go-to example of Macs not being intuitive is how you install/uninstall programs. After years on a PC I decided to try a Mac. For weeks I ran programs by running the installer and checking the box to open when finished because I couldn't figure out how to keep them installed. Then a long-time Mac-user friend told me, "do what you would do if you were the dumbest person alive." So I just dragged the icon in the installer into the Applications folder and voila, it was installed and I could run it from there from then on. And to uninstall, you just drag it to the trash! It sounds intuitive, except anyone used to doing it differently would never think of doing it that way.

Comment Re:Still Wrong (Score 1) 926

We produce enough food to feed everyone as the populaiton grows while less land is needed for farming every decade. The WHO warns about similar numbers of people facing obesity problems as they do starvation problems. Yes, there will always be governments that withhold food as a weapon against their own citizens, but beyond that any claim of a food shortage just seems silly.

We produce enough food to feed the world, but we don't produce it evenly, nor is it distributed evenly once produced. That is exactly how it is possible for there to be an obesity epidemic in America and starvation in the third world. And there is certainly not enough food for everyone in the world to live the way America does, eating until we are obese and throwing out enough scraps per person to feed a whole family. So either some people have to starve, effectively subsidizing richer countries, or there will be a Malthusian event eventually.

Comment Re:Criminal Investigation (Score 1) 444

The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

If "well-regulated" meant, at the time, "properly calibrated", "functioning correctly", etc -- I don't see how that precludes the current meaning of regulation. A gun that functions correctly won't explode in your hand or fire wildly off target. By that same token, a militia that functions correctly won't endanger itself or the general public. A gun in the hands of, say, a child, or someone who is mentally incompetent, etc, can be a danger to that person and the general public. Gun registration does not exist so the government can know who has guns when it gets around to taking them all away and imposing martial law. It exists so guns can be kept out of the hands of poorly-regulated, uncalibrated people. Whether you agree with how that judgement is made is beside the point.

Comment Re:Putting words in Apples mouth (Score 1) 393

Can you actually name any real Apple "planned obsolescence" or is it just something you typed because you thought it made you sound smart?

iPhones don't have removeable batteries, preventing replacements after the battery dies after a couple years. MacBook Air has its RAM soldered onto the logic board, preventing future upgrades to extend the life of the device. Retina MacBook Pro also has the RAM soldered on. OSX 10.5 eliminated compatibility for all G3 Macs and many G4 Macs. OSX 10.6 eliminated compatibility for all remaining pre-Intel machines, giving it backwards compatibility to models only about 3 years old. OSX 10.7's backwards compatibility is about 4 years. iOS 4 won't run on original iPhones, and iOS 5 won't run on the iPhone 3G, giving them both about two years. To be fair though, Android software updates for older phones is a lot worse.

I doubt that many people give even a moment's notice to the question of whether cables are compatible while deciding which smartphone to buy. It's a very geeky thing to be concerned with, it's a trivial expense next to the total cost of ownership of a smartphone, and most people don't use anything but the cable bundled with the phone anyways. On top of all that, what Apple cares the most about is people's experiences inside Apple's own ecosystem, so what matters to them is that it's a smooth experience upgrading from one iPhone to another. That's why they stuck with the original dock connector so long; this is the first time in the iPhone's entire existence that they're asking any iPhone to iPhone upgraders to change cabling.

I agree that the average person doesn't care about cables, but that's beside the point. There is no reason to use a proprietary connector. The iPhone cable is just a run of the mill USB cable with a non-standard connector on the end. The only reason to use a proprietary connector is to keep people locked in to your device and prevent them from easily switching manufacturers. It would be just as smooth of an experience to switch from one iPhone to another if they'd used mini-USB the whole time like everyone else. The problem is that it would also be a smooth experience to switch from one iPhone to a new Android phone.

Comment Re:Putting words in Apples mouth (Score 1) 393

If they don't do they they deprive every single buyer of the shitload of accessories actually on the market and in the homes of so many potential buyers.

Because Apple doesn't have a track record of planned obsolescence or anything. And wouldn't stand to gain from users having to buy new accessories and new connector cables.

And this is a definitive advantages of iPhones over competing products.

Using a proprietary USB connector when all of your competitors use the same connector is a disadvantage. I can buy a USB-mini cable or accessory and know it will work with any android device practically forever, or at least until a new industry-wide standard is adopted. That means the cables and accessories I bought for my HTC Evo still work with my Samsung Galaxy S3, saving me the trouble of having to buy new ones just because I switched brands.

Comment Re:CAFE Kills (Score 5, Interesting) 1184

Face it, the average pickup truck driver is some suburban cowboy poser who is commuting to his office park.

Ironically, a lot of pickup/SUV owners aren't necessarily "cowboy posers", but just people who think that if they ever do get in an accident, they'd rather be driving the bigger car when it happens. So smaller cars are more dangerous because there are so many big trucks on the road because so many people are afraid of getting hit by big trucks, thus perpetuating the problem.

Comment Re:Corporations are people? (Score 2) 244

The problem with the idea that corporations are just "a means for people, a means of personal income" is that it complicates the other idea of taxing corporations. If corporations are not people in and of themselves, but are just extensions of other people, then when you tax the corporation on its profits and tax the shareholders on their dividends, you are essentially taxing the shareholders twice. This is one reason corporations have been relying more on stock buybacks over the last couple decades, in lieu of dividends. Corporate profits are taxed, and then those profits are paid out to shareholders as dividends, which are then taxed again at ordinary income rates (unless the Bush tax cuts are extended). If instead a company uses dividend money to buy back stock, it can (theoretically) boost the stock price and let shareholders decide if and when they want to collect the income (and still be taxed on it a second time, but it can be deferred indefinitely and shifted to the lower long term capital gains rates). If a corporation is a person, it's more like a business owner paying taxes on profits and employees paying taxes on their salary (their share of those profits). Deny a corporation its personhood, though, and income is just passing through and you need a new excuse to tax shareholders twice. Not that a different excuse shouldn't be found, because seriously, corporations aren't goddamn people.

Comment Re:A lot of work? (Score 1) 94

If Apple is going to market their walled garden as a safe alternative to the Mad Max dystopian hellscape of Google Play, with bands of pirates riding around on patchwork motorcycles, hunting down developers trying to make an honest living and unsuspecting users trying to play their "hit thing with bird" games -- then yes, Apple does have some responsibility to carry through on their end of that bargain. However, given the wild exaggeration of Siri's capabilities in their commercials, Apple seems to take its implied marketing promises pretty lightly.

Comment Re:Not so sure (Score 1) 242

No the critical ingredient is public relations. We could have burned down 10 mosques for every dead US soldier, we could have gone house to house and shot the family of anyone found to have gun, we could have poisoned wells, we could have carpet bombed anywhere insurgents were even suspected of being.

Trying to look like the good guy mattered.

No picture it being far more personal. Lefty liberals and teabaggers hate each other, no need for goodwill when its all over because the other side will be dead.

This. If you're worried about America turning into a totalitarian police state a la 1984, it is ridiculous to think that the government would pussyfoot around wiping out a small insurgency by whatever means necessary. If you think the government would treat you with at least as much decency and humanity as it has the Iraqis or the Afghans (which may not be much, but as the parent notes, still isn't on the level of carpet bombs and poisoned water supplies), then you probably don't need to worry about turning into a 1984-style police state, because that kind of restraint is incongruous with that kind of state.

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