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Comment Re:Meh. (Score 2) 607

It's funny how people have this recollection of past Apple products being these dramatically original products. The only Apple product for which this could actually have been said to be the case was the original Mac (an even that is debatable). Every other major product was greeted at introduction with comments like "It's been done before," "a me-too product," "a niche product." And in the years between releases of new Apple product categories, there have always been numerous comments that to the effect that Apple has lost its creativity.

I guess people like to imagine in retrospect that they were perceptive enough to recognize at introduction that the iPod, iPhone, iMac, and iPad were going to be great commercial successes. But in fact, none of them were startlingly original in any obvious ways. All resembled products that had been done before. What has distinguished Apple's products has always been execution rather than concept.

That also means that I can't judge the significance of the changes to OS X or iOS. There were very few features that I haven't seen before. On the other had, none of them have every been done quite right. I won't be able to judge them until I can actually play with them to see if the execution is up to Apple's past standards.

Comment Re:Finder Tabs (Score 1) 607

I use PathFinder, and like it a lot, but it's not really Apple-like. It's an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feature-heavey program that would be confusing to non-techie users. Nice to see tabs finally becoming a standard feature.

I wouldn't be surprised if I continue to prefer PathFinder, though.

Comment Re:Cooling (Score 1) 607

Because the case is a big part of the expense of a high-end workstation?
Seriously?

Seems more likely that they made it a cylinder because it *is* cool than because it looks that way-- a cylinder with a fan at one end should provide far more efficient airflow than a box.

Comment Consensus versus evidence (Score 1) 1105

Validation comes form evidence, not consensus.
BUT consensus also comes from evidence.
If you are an expert in a field, which means that you have personal experience doing research in that area, and have been following the literature for several years, you base your judgment on the evidence.
But if you are not an expert in the field, you do not have the background knowledge to correctly evaluate the evidence.
In this case, your best proxy for the evidence is the consensus of the people who are experts.
"But the consensus can be wrong!" you reply.
Yes, it can. But as the saying goes, "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that's the way to bet."
The reason that people who successfully challenge the consensus become famous is because it is so rare. Everybody always cites the same handful of examples—Galileo, plate tectonics, germ theory, relativity. They do so because there really aren't that many clear examples of a broad scientific consensus being completely overturned.
The consensus is not infallible, but most of the time, it turns out to be right, or very nearly so. This is particularly true in a mature field like climate science, where the consensus is the result of the work of many scientists over many decades.

Comment Re:You gets whats you deserve (Score 1) 195

There are plenty of non-retina LCD displays that have short-term image persistence. In my experience most LCD displays do this to some degree, although some seem to be better than others in this respect. Apple's claims about their screen regard high resolution and good colors--I don't think they've made any particular claims about short image persistence. Apple has made it pretty clear what they mean by a "retina" display--one that at a normal viewing distance has a pixel density greater than what the retina can resolve.

Comment Re:Burn in is NOT Ghosting (Score 1) 195

Many LCD panels exhibit short-term image persistence that you can see when you switch from a display with very bright objects to one that is dark. This is different from permanent "burn-in." One might prefer a display that shows less or shorter persistence, but unless Apple made some sort of claim about low image persistence, I don't think that it can reasonably be regarded as a product flaw.

Comment Lawyer scam (Score 2, Interesting) 195

Class action suits over consumer electronics are basically a scam that benefits nobody but lawyers. The lawyer offers a lowball settlement that is cheaper than the cost of going to court even if the company wins, so the company invariably settles. The consumer participants of the suit get a pittance that is not even worth the value of the time they spent filling out the paperwork. And the lawyer gets a little piece of each of those tiny settlements, which adds up to a nice payday for hardly any work.

Comment But are small arms that critical (Score 1) 450

It doesn't seem like citizen ownership of small arms has been all that much of a factor in helping insurgencies to resist soldiers with body armor and military-grade weapons. IEDs and captured/smuggled military-grade weaponry like RPGs and Stinger missiles seem to have been far more of a problem for the military than citizens taking pot shots will small arms.

Comment Are consoles dying? (Score 1) 403

It may be that the problem is not with the Wii U but with consoles in general. The availability of smartphone and tablet games may have changed the gaming landscape permanently. Game enthusiasts may turn up their noses and point out that mobile device games lack the diversity of controls and graphics quality, and most of them are simplistic compared to mobile games--which is true--but it is unclear just how much that means in terms of the market for consoles in the $ 200+ price range running games in the $50+ price range.

For many casual gamers, mobile games are good enough, considering that they run on a device that you already own, so you don't have to buy dedicated hardware, and the games are about the price of a candy bar. Each game may not have the depth of a console game, but if you get tired of one, there are plenty more. And at the other end, the true gaming fanatics play on computers, not consoles.

It may be that consoles will end up being neither here nor there, appealing to a diminishing market of moderately enthusiastic gamers that is too small to yield the profits required to justify the sort of massive development effort needed to create games with the graphics and play sophistication that console gamers expect.

Of course, Nintendo's systems have never been hard core--they've always been more oriented toward families, so perhaps Nintendo is more vulnerable to competition from mobile device gaming. On the other hand, so far there doesn't seem to be a huge degree of anticipation of new gaming systems from Sony and Microsoft, and both companies seem to be having difficulty articulating just what their new-generation systems will offer to convince consumers to shell out hundreds of dollars in up-front costs for new consoles.

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