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Comment Protection? Hah! (Score 1) 205

Try "peace of mind." It doesn't even have to be actual protection, just the sense that you're protected, even if it's just a bald-faced lie. And they're not afraid to taint that peace of mind if it guarantees sales.

Case in point: I put Norton Antivirus on my father's laptop. The newest version of NAV has a live map lit up with places where cybercrime is reported. Think about it for a moment. It doesn't help detect malware, it doesn't help find or remove viruses, and it does nothing to educate the user, unless you consider the message "Computer crime is everywhere!" to be in any way an informative message. It is there for one reason and one reason alone: to make the user afraid not to have it.

It's why I say "Norton Antivirus: You pay for the security. The fear is free."

Comment Google: "C is for Lettuce" lyrics (Score 1) 477

(I'd post the lyrics themselves, but Tim Crist, a.k.a. "Worm Quartet" packs a lot of lyrics into one song.)

On top of everything he sings/raps/screams about, another cause comes to mind and it's the parents' own damn fault for this, because they won't stop thinking about the childhood injuries. To prevent boo-boos at school, athletics programs get pared down to sub-Special-Olympics levels. Playgrounds get dismantled because someone could get hurt on them. Public ball fields and open spaces are either infested with drug dealers or more profitably developed into McMansions.

If the thought of sending children out into that cold, cruel world to get some exercise makes you at all pale, clammy, or weak-kneed, then congratulations, you may be part of the problem. If you've ever voiced those concerns and made other parents afraid, then damnit you are the problem.

Comment And this is why people should hope it succeeds (Score 3, Informative) 271

Disclaimer: I'm using iTunes 10 right now. Make of that what you will.

There's a lot to hate about Ping, mostly that it's what I like to call a "Potempkin Shopping Village of the Damned." It's there for little more than to allow people to show off their musical tastes and share with their friends. The fact that once you've shared a favorite song with your friends they can listen to a snippet and buy it on the spot <sarcasm class="eyeroll pshaw">is purely coincidental, I'm sure.</sarcasm> It's using the concept of "social networking" in a way that's so utterly cynical it's shocking, and we've got some primo cynics around here.

So yeah, evil evil evil. Insert as many "fanbois" as you think are necessary after that. (If you stick in two or more "gay"s, though, you're projecting.)

But then, as crovira points out, there's that bit where Mr. Jobs mentioned "discovery." That's the tilt. It's also where Ping could redeem itself if the users are judicious in its application. Yes, Lady Gaga and U2 and Yo Yo Ma and Katy Perry and Linkin Park and U2 (apparently, Apple really likes U2) are featured on the front page in their own box. Think of that as the sponsored advetising. The really important box is on every user's profile page, in the top right corner. This is where each user gets to recommend ten songs that exemplify their own musical tastes. Click one of those, a pop-up comes up allowing you to sample the tunes on that album, go to that album's page, buy it, review it, etc. In that space, artists like Voltaire, Abney Park, and Lemon Demon can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Roger Waters and Madonna, and could even win.

Comment Re:Facebook dead (Score 3, Insightful) 579

line-bundle: This sounded like a hammer nailing the first nail into the facebook coffin.

Take my word: Ping is the Next Big Thing(tm)(sm)(c).

I can't tell if you're being serious or not, but I'm more inclined to believe you are.

First off, they are not going to overtake the likes of Facebook by following it, and the first thing I thought when I saw the Ping design is, "What, did they reskin Facebook or something?"

Second, integration with iTunes does not a social network make. It's a good start making it extraordinarily convenient to a lot of people, but what ultimately makes or breaks a social network is two things: 1) how many people actually make use of it, and 2) how the owners handle people who cause trouble, whether being disruptive, destructive, or dissident. In that second regard, Apple has a somewhat dubious history.

Comment Sometimes, "legal enforcement" isn't. (Score 1) 287

First, I'd say you misspelled "colostomy," but given that we're talking about the legal profession, it wouldn't surprise me that its a word from a specialty dictionary. Then again, we're talking about the legal profession, so "colostomy" seems like the best word after all. But down to business:

tibit: Add to the fact that the legal seems to be adept at the chasing away part, while somewhat forgetful of the law they apparently learned many moons ago in, uhhhunh whatwuzitcalled college methinks?

That classic image of the lawyer charting a perilous and circuitous path through a legal maze to exonerate a client of criminal charges? That's a warm, fuzzy fiction from the bygone days of Earl Stanley Gardner, and that's where it belongs. More often than not these days, the client hires a lawyer explicitly to cut across as many peoples' rights as possible while incurring minimum risk. They're not defensive legal teams, they're intended to play offense, to take advantage of peoples' ignorance of the law as much as possible without getting sued themselves.

Why does this work? Most people don't have lawyers themselves, making them incredibly easy to bully. See also RIAA, MPAA, etc.

Comment Advertising ...revenues? (Score 2, Insightful) 190

ravenspear: They've already "paid for it" with the bucketloads of cash they've made from selling all the devices.

dmacleod808: Well said... AT&T's new tiered 3G plans will kill this easily... I can watch unlimited Television for free (broadcast networks of course).

It's interesting that you two are overlooking the same thing from different angles.

ravenspear has neglected to take into account that television is not free to broadcast. Even without government regulations and licensing, you have to have a transmitter, and either a live performance (lights, cameras) and/or some recorded performance (playback hardware) to transmit. The electricity alone would be monstrously expensive, and needs to be paid for somehow (say, advertising).

And you're citing AT&T's tiered plans as being a stopper because you think nobody on the receiving end would pay for the service. How do you watch broadcast television without paying for it? Because the broadcaster pays for the transmitter.

So what would happen if a significant chunk of iAd's revenue went into paying an ISP system or carrier for the bandwidth? I could only see it working this way, if you cast the phone's/pad's/computer's user as the audience, Apple itself as the network, and the ISP (or just one primary choice of ISP) as the nigh-inertial cost of doing business.

I can easily imagine reasons why they wouldn't do this—AT&T's 3G coverage and the fact that the iPhone and similar devices are already straining their networks for two. But then again, I thought the hassles of dealing with a mobile phone carrier would be sufficient to keep the iPhone from becoming a reality, so what do I know?

Comment Re:If Apple wants HyperCard for the iPad (Score 1) 610

As a fellow RunRev user, you might want to look at the CloseField handler for each of those fields to trigger recalculation.

Additionally, the .app.sit version I downloaded had a "no"-symbol over the app icon, which indicates that the system thought it woudn't run at all on this architecture. That probably didn't help RunRev's case with the App Store approval at all, if not actively shooting it in the foot.

Comment Did anybody ask the franchise? (Score 1) 131

Microsoft's intention to "reboot" the MechWarrior franchise would be a good sign of future computer gaming to come, but there are two other issues: copyright and the intentions of the current owners.

The issue is that while the computer gaming rights were being traded around, the MechWarrior name itself was being traded around too. It is currently held by a company called WizKids which has granted full publication rights to Catalyst Game Labs, and is being rather proactive with it.

WizKids was nice enough with Catalyst and the printed game, but I have no idea how they negotiate the licensing of computer games, or how much creative control they're going to exercise over the finished product. Can anyone confirm if this is really a problem?

Comment Sarcastic question, answered honestly (Score 0, Troll) 160

fuzzyfuzzyfungus: Did somebody just rediscover the fact that humans have been forming little social groups, sometimes partially or wholly kin-based, other times simply social, for most of their evolutionary history?

No, it's been observed that people have been gathering this way for a very long time. However, there's this field of study called "sociology" which aims to figure out what makes these groups come together or fight. And your comment got me wondering just how old the field of sociology really is.

I've only just started researching, but the earliest cite I've found so far is an examination of the pre-Civil-War south. This was about the 1850s, so sociology is a young science. And it's a slow-moving, vague science, combining the touchy-feely nature of biology, the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics, and the dismalness of economics. Why, it's just like a version of theology applied to the common man.

Because it is a science, there are occasionally breakthroughs or discoveries. And when they happen, they get announced. And when they're announced, people either perk up or yawn and brush them aside depending upon how profitable they sound.

Comment "Trojan Horse" (Score 1) 298

Call it fluffheaded fantasizing on my part, but I could envision the much-maligned iPhone 1.1.1 update as being part of a wonderful Trojan Horse attack.

And no, I don't mean against the industry of hacked or modded iPhones, I mean against the industry practice of locking phones to specific carriers in the first place.

Yeah, it's goofy, I know, but think about it: for a very long time, the mobile networks have been calling the shots and tilting the playing field their way. Phones would be designed to meet those specs and little else. Consider that it took Apple's entry into the cell phone market in the first place to generate this sort of outrage. If it were a lesser device, interchangeable with all the other services out there, do you think enough people would have cared to raise this kind of stink?

If it turns out that Apple really did write phone-bricking code into patch 1.1.1, and they had to do this in order to meet a contractual obligation with AT&T, then I doubt that Apple would be in as much trouble as AT&T. Furthermore, perhaps the FCC, FTC, or some other relevant GOV TLA will give up relinquishing [sic] their duties long enough to investigate just how much the mobile carriers have been stifling their own progress and growth and that of the mobile device industry in the name of quick profits. At least, that's the dream. It's vague and it's fuzzy, but its realization would make me inordinately happy.

Comment Don't confuse "unpopular" with "unsupported" (Score 3, Insightful) 350

A company I worked for had similar similar browser-share for their major web applications, and it really had little to do with Opera and Safari being niche outcast browsers. It had a lot more to do with the site being so broken as to be unusable in Opera and Safari. People would go one or two pages in, realize there was a problem, and either switch to a different browser, or as the growing fear was, switch to a different company.

It stems from the complaint above that many large corporate IT departments don't want to switch from IE6. Well, guess what the in-house web developers code for first? IE6. Then they try to tweak the design to work passably in other browsers when they should be working the other way: create a standards-based layout, then tweak for the peccadillos of other browsers.

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