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Comment What patents are supposed to be for... (Score 1) 250

Patents were invented to make trade secrets public for the betterment of society - for example some enterprising engineer comes up with a method for making super strong steel - just looking at the end result doesn't give you any clue and if the engineer kept it as a trade secret the method might go with her to her grave - thus hurting society. She taking out a patent means that society gets to learn how to do it and she is rewarded for sharing by getting extra compensation from licensing the patent to other engineers.

Location-based reminders is not a significant advance by that definition.... and should not be patentable IMHO. All the necessary patentable advances were in the GPS system etc upon which this simple and obvious idea is built. Makes me sick how much this system is abused.

Doesn't it feel like almost every societal tool has been switched into reverse these days?

Robert.

Comment Re:This is a software thing (Score 1) 556

I agree the handling of Final Cut Pro X was a fiasco - but I don't think Apple was wrong to rebuild it. The app was creaking antique - that yes ran - but was built on a bunch of old tech foundations. Apple has a bunch of new tech that Final Cut could only leverage with a complete rebuild. Why they didn't rename it "Final Cut Pro Classic" or something and indicate that FCP X was the future path and transition over people who could now and add features for the Pros over time and gradually transition them too? I have no idea. An insurgent product wouldn't immediately end the sales of the market leader - they could have competed with themselves for a while.

Very strange.

Comment Re:Apple is going where the money is... (Score 1) 556

Apple goes where the market is heading and they like to think that their toughest competitor is themselves which is why they regularly subvert the established market (including their own products). They're constantly trying to be the outsider carving out a new niche. They've seen what happens when you become complacent: your products stagnate, your users oppose any change (Adobe?, Microsoft?) - this makes you vulnerable to hungry entrants who have nothing to lose (Apple?)

IT is the worst market for Apple because they hate surprises. They want slow, steady increments in functionality - with road maps they can budget for. And they're going to beat you down in price because IT is a commodity market.

Apple's always on the hunt for something new and they're willing to piss people off to find it.

Comment Re:Apple is just lucky.... (Score 2) 260

Seriously? Even here on Slashdot where we know how to use the inter-tubes?

"The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple, in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. Much later, in the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit in which Apple accused Microsoft of violating its copyright by appropriating the use of the "look and feel" of the Macintosh GUI, Xerox also sued Apple on the same grounds. The lawsuit was dismissed because the presiding judge ruled "that Xerox's complaints were inappropriate for a variety of legal reasons," although it is commonly believed that Xerox simply waited too long to file suit, and the statute of limitations had expired. This was not actually true; the dismissal of Xerox's legal complaint was not based simply on late filings, but rather a lack of legal merit to Xerox's case as it was presented."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PARC_(company)

Jeez - is Google search so hard? There's no excuse for uninformed opinion and urban legends any more. It just shows a pathetic amount of laziness...

Comment Re:This can only shake out one way! (Score 1) 113

They're not hardware makers any more - they're hardware designers that outsource manufacturing to Chinese and Taiwanese contractors - (in fact the same people Apple use) - and mostly outsource software to Google (we'll see what comes of WebOS - but seeing how HP missed the opportunity to get behind consumer Unix in the past I'm not hopeful).

Apple at least control their destiny on software and are locking up hardware supplies to control that too... The rest are left scrambling for scraps...

Comment Re:This can only shake out one way! (Score 1) 113

Here's the weird thing about hardware manufacturing - it's pretty much all contracted out to third parties - meaning Apple (unlike Nintendo say - who are an anachronism) have access to pretty much the entire tablet manufacturing capacity of the planet. This is very different from when Apple (and HP and whoever else - seems most computer manucturers are gone) had their own factories that limited their capacity.

So the other tablet "manufacturers" are competing with Apple for those resources - except Apple is the one with the mind-share and the deep pockets. So unless Apple misses big with a product no-one wants to buy, there's no manufacturing reason why Apple can't beat all the other companies IMHO. It's all about design and network effects - which Apple has in spades.

It's going to be an interesting next few years... (reaches for popcorn).

Comment Re:It won't be his ego (Score 1) 500

Actually I believe Apple made out like bandits in the early 00's - I distinctly remember Steve saying that while other tech companies were cutting jobs (HP for example) Apple would innovate through the recession and come up with products people would want to buy (iPod came soon after). Last year they had record profits despite the world being in the middle of a massive recession...

Wishful thinking doesn't make it true....

Comment Re:One issue: (Score 4, Informative) 500

Actually they're not. AppleTV (an iAnything if ever there was one) has been pretty much DOA until recently - Xserve was killed due to lack of sales - (you'd think the corporate fanboys in Hollywood and New York would have lapped those up?!)

How is this still debated? Not everything Apple touches turns to gold. Your meme is defective.

Comment Re:A Closed Model Can Only Take You So Far (Score 1) 500

Only if you're just considering software - which is missing half the equation. It's funny that when comparing devices the only thing that's looked at is the hardware spec (cpu, ram, camera etc) but when talking about devices we seem to only look at software (iOS, Android, etc) - but the device is only usable as a whole and a closed model really can accelerate the development of a well-integrated device, hardware and software.

BTW open source projects seem to be good as product seeds but it generally takes a closed model to finish them off to a usable state. The web is rife with stories of unusable (or undocumented) open source projects. It's the exception that turns into something good - and I'd hazard most of those are projects that started off closed and were converted to open source.

Comment Re:Whither 9%? (Score 1) 866

While watching Fox News the other week while waiting for a doctors visit (I wouldn't ordinarily choose it) an insight struck me. Fox News (and conservative media in general) plays the patriot card both ways. When Repubs are in power - they're portrayed as valiantly trying to help the little guy while un-american agitators (i.e. democrats) try to undermine them. When Dems are in power - they're portrayed as out of touch elitists with too much sympathy for foreign ideas while right-minded partriots (i.e. repubs - though nowadays tea baggers) try to take back America.

That's all it seems to be. Perhaps obvious but it was a revelation to me at the time.

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