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Comment Re:They won't fork it (Score 1) 223

If they're smart, they'll let Google continue to pay for updating Android, but demand a percentage of sales (or a set fee per handset) to keep using Android. The whole point of being the dominant retailer is to take the manufacturer's profits, and leave them with the expenses. Samsung should spend just enough on Tizen to make it a plausible threat (including releasing the occasional Tizen phone), and not a penny more.

Comment Re:this is ridiculous (Score 1) 223

They make money on hardware, they can't make money on search but google can.

Have you ever read any corporate histories of Sears, Walmart, et al?

As soon as you are the dominant market for any manufacturer's product, you take over their profits.

Now this is usually done be either by demanding lower prices until the manufacturer had almost no profits left, or in the case of family companies that felt loyalty to the workers, until the family could no longer afford to run the company (there are some dramatic anecdotes of frantic owner's giving up and trying to hand the keys to the sellers. Of course the sellers refused - the manufacturers would be the only ones capable of wringing out those last few dollars).

In Samsung's case, it only makes sense to demand that Google start handing over either a percentage of their mobile sales or simply paying Samsung a set amount per handset. (Of course, it might make sense to start smaller. For example, giving Samsung first access to new releases for 6 months to eventually demanding exclusive access to Android on platforms for which they have products.)

If you've got enough profits to be worth worrying about, you never, *ever* want to have just one viable customer.

Honestly, I don't think Samsung is quite at that point, but it's getting pretty close. Outside of the slashdot-crowd (which, let's face it, is noise in the sales figures), almost everybody I know thinks of themselves as buying a "Samsung", not an "Android phone".

Comment Re: As the song asks... (Score 2) 358

and mostly free Heatlh Care

As a Canadian who is very happy with our health-care system, can I please remind you that our health-care is *not* free.

It is single-payer (the government) and we are not charged based on use. It is also much cheaper on a per-capita basis for roughly equivalent care in the US, although for fortunate people like myself, it's probably more expensive than in the US, as my taxes probably cover the health-care expenditures for 1.5 - 2 other less fortunate families.

But to call it free is to ignore the fact that the "rest of the world" also pays for health-care, just through our taxes or other insurance schemes.

Comment Does Fragmentation Matter? (Score 1) 419

If you are interested in software sales, the only thing that matters is how many people are going to actually *buy* your app.

The real question is how many dollars a year users of each version are spending on apps (and if developers are considering iOS, how the dollars per year compare with Apple users).

My completely anecdotal guess is developers can pretty safely forget v.2.x of Android without hugely harming sales.

The real question (and I don't have enough info) is should developers who are trying to make a living from apps forget about Android apps altogether? (i.e. is it like writing and selling Linux applications - can be done, but you don't do it for the $ alone)?

Comment Re:I cut my teeth on that CPU (Score 1) 336

Ah, the DG. My first job was working on a Data General.

I always wondered why there was a long pause whenever I called technical support and introduced myself as Tom West (at least until I read "Soul of a New Machine").

Of course, while entertaining, that book wrecked ego surfing for me, as it was used for decades in every Computers and Society course on the planet.

Comment Most companies only get one innovation. (Score 1) 307

Statistically, you're looking at it all wrong. Lots of companies innovate, including the big ones. But any given innovation only has a 1 in 10,000 chance of succeeding.

If you get it right, then you've a decent shot at hitting the big leagues like Apple, Google, MS and FB.

But assuming because they managed a successful innovation once means they've got a greater chance of finding a second one is ludicrous. It's like expecting a lottery winner has a better chance of winning a second prize.

Of course, having said that, there are some companies that *have* managed multiple successful innovations, but they're *exceedingly* rare.

(I'd give Apple the Apple II, the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. I'd give MS MS-DOS, Windows and Office. At this point, Google and FB are still one trick ponies. But they're magnificent tricks. Criticizing such companies is like criticizing someone for only holding one world record.)

Comment Re:Piracy (Score 1) 321

> I thought the only valid business model (unless you're on the super-popular end of the power curve distribution) was ad-based apps.

Ow!

As a typical iPad owner who's spent $100+ on apps (not a lot, but still), I thought the stories of Android app-sales wasteland were overblown (that salesperson notwithstanding).

You're telling me it's not?

That *is* depressing.

I guess for the sake of my customer experience, Apple's *does* manage to stop jail-breaking.

Comment Re:Piracy (Score 2) 321

Reminds me of overhearing a salesperson trying to convince a customer to put down the iPhone she was holding and buy an Android phone (I suspect higher commission on the Android).

"And another advantage is you don't have to pay for any applications unlike the iPhone. It's really easy and everyone does it."

I wept for Android developers.

Comment Hard-to-find Monorail? 3-D printing to the rescue! (Score 4, Interesting) 41

I have to say, at least for the mono-rail track, 3-D printing seems the clear way to avoid prowling E-Bay for hard to find and expensive pieces.

I wonder if owners would consent to have their pieces scanned to produce a blue-print.

(Of course, then we'd see whether Lego wants to dare the bad publicity of preventing a trade in replica pieces that Lego no longer sells.)

Comment Re:That title has quite a spin on it. (Score 2) 170

> Why would they betray their own community?

I think you've got it the wrong way around. The would-be terrorists are betraying the Muslim community in every possible way.

I'm certain that the immigrant communities understand that the extremists would be overjoyed to see them sacrificed to angry mobs in order to further the their agenda. There's not a lot of love lost between these groups.

(Of course, you're always going to be able to find some angry young men ready to sacrifice everything and everybody to their rage. But the community at large? No.)

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