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Comment Re:Stop screwing with it so much (Score 2) 171

These Android-makers customize/skin the Android experience for the simple reason that it's just about the only thing preventing their product from becoming completely commoditized just like Windows PC's have been in the past few years. They also lack the clout to tell the carriers to pound sand. Thus we get Android handsets with carrier-dictated bloatware because the carriers get incremental revenue off that stuff. Be it someone using AT&T Maps and paying $10/month because they can't tell the difference from the Google Maps icon, or because someone is paying $0.50 a unit to have their app pre-loaded on the phone. All this bloatware, plus the additional QA the carrier does on each new build, is why Android releases are so delayed. Note that iPhones are devoid of these specific issues (though they have their own different issues). Apple wisely told carriers to shove it where the sun don't shine, and Google was wise to follow The Late Steve's lead with their Nexus devices.

Comment Re:Simply put... No. (Score 1) 589

Actually, not to split hairs or anything, but there was a third factor was the Soviet declaration of War against Japan on August 8 (in violation of the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, but in accordance with the Yalta agreement), and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on August 9. Historians differ as to the relative weight of these two developments in terms of their motivating force towards Japan's surrender. The generally accepted rationale for America's use of the bomb to drive Japanese surrender was to avoid loss of life associated with the invasion of the Japanese mainland (codenamed Operation Downfall). This invasion, had it been mounted, would have involved an amphibious landings double the size of Operation Overlord in Normandy, which was itself the largest amphibious assault in the history of warfare. Allied planners anticipated heavy casualties on both sides as the defending Japanese military (and even civilian population) would fanatically defend the Japanese homeland to the last man.

Comment Re:If any platform can (Score 1) 404

You mean like the Bada OS they've already released hardware for? Reliance on the Android OS severely limits manufacturers' ability to differentiate their products. All they can really do is re-skin the UI... Thus begins a race to the bottom on price. This benefits Google, as it grows the user-base of their OS (and thus their ability to monetize its users) but for hardware makers it's a race to the bottom, price-wise. Samsung only makes money because they're spending lavishly on marketing. Don't get me wrong, the GS3 is a great Android phone, but people are buying it over competitor devices from HTC, LG, etc. mainly due to brand recognition from having been inundated by the ads. Motorola is pursuing a similar strategy, but is hamstrung by the fact that they basically only make CDMA devices.

Comment Someone at Apple visited a Microsoft Store (Score 1) 272

It would seem someone from Apple Retail took a walk through one of the many shopping malls their stores are located in, and got a load of this: I walk in, and know I'm in a Microsoft Store, not an Apple Store, but my gosh does it reek of being a blatant rip-off. Higher fidelity to the original than most Microsoft rip-offs, too...

Comment Re:Great.... (Score 1) 272

Meanwhile, here in the "real world" the hardware devices you've mentioned have been completely commoditized. Audio chipsets? Really? They all offer 7.1 line-level input and output and something like 90dB S/N ratio. Hard drives are similarly a commodity, and all perform basically the same. They don't know because, quite frankly, you're the first person to go in and actually ask them about that...

Comment Re:Wait a second... (Score 1) 735

Personally, I liked the Abrams Star Trek movie. It broke the curse of odd-numbered Trek movies sucking. Very entertaining, and much better production values then the last several Trek films. That said, the desire to capture scenes "in camera" did lead to some questionable filming locations (Engineering in a brewery, really?!) And when, on the DVD commentary track, the man himself is making fun of how much he overused the lens flare effect, you know something is going on... I've always given the movies a pass in terms of series continuity and adherence to the "rules" of Star Trek. For example, In Star Trek III Scotty rigs the Enterprise so the entire ship can be flown from the bridge by a crew of, like, 6 people. No crew needed here! Oh, and let's not forget how, in Star Trek V the ship had something like 78 decks. Or how in Star Trek VI the they rig a torpedo to sniff out the Klingon Bird of Prey using equipment they had on board to catalog gaseous anomalies, except it was actually Excelsior that was cataloging the anomalies. And have you seen the TNG episode "Relics"?! The man maintained himself in suspended animation in the damned pattern buffer for 75 YEARS! Transwarp beaming is nothing after that. Besides, Spock's future self gave Scotty the formula.

Comment Re:Stepping backwards? (Score 1) 132

802.11a has been at 5GHz for a decade. Unfortunately, none of the early 802.11a equipment was backward compatible with the (at the time) more widely deployed 802.11b. 802.11a/b solutions eventually became available, but by then the 802.11g ship had sailed. 802.11g provided a-level speed combined with backward compatibility to b-level and at a much lower cost.

Comment Re:battery tip is great (Score 1) 286

And what phone (with a user-replaceable battery) do you have that allows you to swap out the battery without fiddling with the case of the phone? It's been my experience that, in response to phones breaking apart into 3 pieces when dropped, manufacturers have started making the back panels more securely attached, and the batteries as well. To the point of interference fit on a BlackBerry Bold I used to have. Not to mention all these batteries add bulk you're carrying around, too boot. Sort of like the Mophie Juice case you're not going for as an alternative.

Comment Re:windows rt (Score 1) 101

The Apple walled garden results in a more failsafe user experience compared to alternatives such as Android. The higher price-points of their devices also attract a customer-base that is not averse to actually purchasing apps. In addition to a user-base more inclined to buy apps to begin with, the walled garden virtually eliminates malware, and greatly reduces the level of piracy of paid apps. Developers can make money on the iOS platform much more readily than on Android, despite the smaller marketshare. For me as a user, this translates directly into higher quality, more usable and polished apps on iOS compared to Android. Apple actively combats jailbreaking as a proxy war against app piracy, third-party in-app purchase capability, and unauthorized wifi tethering. The first one is Apple protecting the value of their platform, the second is protecting their bottom line, and the third is carrier placation.

Comment Re:windows rt (Score 1) 101

I see it as the best of both worlds.

But its not. You're patronizing a hostile vendor.

I'm also an iPhone user. I don't see Apple as a hostile vendor; they're a vendor of more failsafe products

I do like Apple's walled garden because of the polish, quantity, and diversity of the app offerings, but I want to be able to knock a hole in that wall every now and then when I want to do something they don't want me to do (wifi tethering, custom lock screens, custom notification badges, etc).

Then perhaps the right answer is, instead of giving money to a company that is hostile to you, that you should look around for a vendor who provides what you want. Android's done a good job at crippling that market however.

They get to lock down the OS so the vast majority of non tech-savvy customers don't wind up breaking their precious iDevices installing malware, but the holes still exist for the more adventurous users.

No. iOS 6 proves that this argument is and always has been shit. Apple doesn't give a flying fuck about jailbreakers and will fight them until they've got nothing and thus far Apple is winning.

However, if they ever succeed in truly battening down the hatches and making jailbreaking impossible, I'll be forced to jump ship.

You'll eventually jump ship.

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