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Comment Re:Isn't this bad for Samsung? (Score 1) 271

If they were going to buy an iPhone5, they probably weren't Samsung's customer to begin with (at least, not in the mobile phone market, anyway).

I can see the potential for the loss of a customer in other markets if the person in question decides to swear off all Samsung products as a result. But, really, if such a person were to blindly declare such a thing without at least looking into the cause/effect relationship that we've been watching over the last couple years, should Samsung even care?

Comment Re:AT&T's Response (Score 1) 301

It's really not as bad as it sounds. Granted, like you, I much prefer having the choice to sign up for a contract or not, but in this particular case you could argue (though, probably incorrectly), that they are looking out for their customers, given the terrible offerings that their soon-to-be overlords are providing.

I recently switched to a two-year contract for the sole purpose of locking me into a plan for roughly two years, regardless of the outcome of the merger shenanigans. It's starting to look like that I made the wrong move, but considering I also picked up an unlocked Galaxy S2 and AT&T is still AT&T, it's not like I'm really going anywhere anyway.

I dunno. I guess in my opinion, if they were still taking new customers on prepaid/non-contract plans, knowing/expecting to be bought out, it'd feel too much like a last-minute money grab before running out the door.

Comment Re:Future cars (Score 1) 68

Really?

I'm not one to worry about all the tracking and what-not that's going on (though, admittedly, I probably should). But there are a plethora of ways such a system could track you. I'd even argue that it'd be significantly easier than any existing system we have now. For instance, using the whole automated car as an example:

The car will need an on-board computer with internet access so it can accurately look up the "quickest" route to your destination. Since it requires internet access, it could/would have some kind of login functionality to prove that you are an authorized driver of the vehicle. Considering that you would have to (a) login and (b) enter the destination, any monitoring center would then know exactly where you* are going and approximately when you will get there.

Going a step further, they could even have your credentials remotely revoked if the issuing authority needs to stop you for "questioning" or something, forcing the car to either stop dead where it's at or, more likely, route you to a place of their choosing.

If you ask me, these automated future car theories provide even more opportunity for tracking, in a scary sci-fi/thriller kinda way.

-----

* Or anyone who has your credentials. I imagine this would be combated with biometrics or implanted rfid or something, under the flag of "theft prevention."

Comment Re:Neither (Score 1) 257

True enough.

...or you could store a format that Flash can read also, and provide that in audio tag format for browsers which support it. And personally, between Flash and multiple copies, I'll take the multiple copies.

I was purposefully vague before, so that's probably why the issues I'm having sound so trivial. So, I suppose I'll just ask that you trust me when I say these are issues which are still better handled by a plugin. (mixing, looping to specific points in a track, synchronization, etc.).

And, I wasn't at all trying to suggest that other cross-platform issues were less significant. I'm just saying that the web isn't ready to completely shed itself of plugins. Though, I do agree that a lot of what is out there now could be done without Flash and pals.

Comment Re:Neither (Score 1) 257

I'll agree that the web is significantly better than it has been in the past, but it's still not ready to drop the plugins quite yet.

I'm currently working on a "web application" that has a minimum requirement of IE9, FF4, Chrome10, etc. You'd think that this would give me the latest the web has to offer without headaches, right? No.
None of the browsers can agree on how to render fonts specified via @font-face (oddly enough, IE9 is the only one to get it right), the supported a/v codecs vary from browser to browser, and each browser has its own selection of the HTML5 spec implemented, so sometimes I have features available and other times I'm boned.

Ultimately, this has forced me back to using a Flash plugin for audio support, simply because I don't feel like storing multiple copies of every sound file (or having to do other tricks to generate something each browser likes), for the fonts I'm still stuck using server side junk to generate images, and I don't even know what headaches I will have to deal with when it comes time to deal with the canvas stuff and other video-related features.

Do I like it? Not at all, but my hands are rather tied. I can either suck it up and use commonly found and accepted plugins to solve my issues or I can spend (potentially) boatloads of time looking into ways to deal with individual browser quirks and/or missing functionality.

The whole web-as-a-platform thing has indeed come a long way, but I don't think we're ready for a plugin-free web experience yet.

Comment Re:2011 MBP a stinker? (Score 1) 501

For what it's worth, I think those magnetic power connectors are a very effective scam.

Anecdotal evidence:
I have a number of friends who are have Macbooks. And I know at least three of them have had to buy replacement power cables for their Macbooks because the cable itself becomes so worn that it only charges when in a very particular position. I imagine that this is largely due to them pulling on the wire itself to unplug it.
They could probably avoid it by not tugging on the wire and using the base to disconnect it, but that thing seems incredibly tiny and probably a pain to actually get a grip on, but ymmv.

Additionally, I've watched one of their Macbooks get dragged across a table when someone tripped on the power cable. The magnet did give, but not before dragging the laptop a good foot or so. So, it's not necessarily as fail-safe as one would imagine (Though, I'm sure my non-magnet power thingy equipped laptop would have been thrown clear off the table given the same situation).

Comment Re:No different from when Scribes were laid off (Score 1) 622

There's a lot of that in Japan. In fact, the only places I saw without such machines were very small (local, family run) or foreign-style restaurants (McDonalds, Indian restaurants, etc). These things made life so much easier when I couldn't speak the language.

Also, back in town where I go to school in the US, I know of a couple small restaurants that use touch-screen inputs for ordering and they're doing great. I wonder if the fact that they're in a college town has anything to do with the customer satisfaction.

Comment Re:Intl. Distribution (Score 2) 407

Plastic? Physical media? People still buy music on physical media? :D

Seriously though, If I'm understanding this correctly, this fee/tax/whatever would replace the whole payment system for online music purchases. Yes, I suppose if you bought physical media, you'd be paying twice... but at least you're getting something tangible out of it.

For your other two scenarios:
You could always opt out and not pay the fee. Granted, the article seems to imply that it would be a painful process; but if you're looking to save that $10/mo, it seems to be a proposed option.

And if you have a home-business or two houses with two broadband internet connections, I'm pretty certain $10/mo is not really going to be a major concern. Maybe in principal, but, to be completely honest, if you were to complain to me about having to pay $10/mo more than I do for unlimited music because you have two houses, I would, most certainly, want to kick you right in the balls (or whichever applies here).

Comment Re:Easy Solution for Crapware (Score 1) 243

I'm in the US and every Windows license I've ever received with a laptop or computer has been one or more of the following:

(a) A feature-limited version (home "premium").
(b) An OEM license (which means the key won't work for a retail copy).
(c) Invalidated by some shenanigans involving someone else using the key somehow (my best guess involves ninjas and/or pirates).

So while I'm not entirely sure on the legalities behind what you're suggesting, I can tell you that, in my experience, it's simply not worth the headache.

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