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Comment Re: We need one in America. (Score 1) 132

Nitrogen IS an inert gas, for most things. No, it's not a noble gas, and it's not completely inert, but it composes almost 80% of our atmosphere, so for any place which is designed for exposure to our atmosphere, it's pretty close to inert. It's inert to biological lifeforms (it causes no damage, though it lacks both oxygen and CO2 so respiration doesn't work), and for everything else it's pretty much inert compared to the oxygen which causes oxidation reactions (like rust). It's used in car tires these days, partly as a gimmick but supposedly it eliminates oxygen-caused degradation of the rubber, and race cars use it too.

Basically, if you pump a building full of nitrogen gas (at 1atm pressure), it's not going to cause any problems other than killing everything inside. Over time, it'll preserve everything inside better than regular air.

Comment Re: Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 322

Don't install a bunch of questionable apps on your Android phone and you should be fine. The problem with Android is the apps are not really curated and it's more of a free-for-all; this is both good and bad. Bad because it's less safe, good because it's more free and you're not limited to what Apple deigns to allow you to have. Freedom isn't free. Honestly, I can't say I've ever seen or heard of real cases of people getting their Android phones infected with anything. The biggest danger seems to be the crap-brand ultra-cheap throwaway models (usually sold for prepaid services) that have a truly ancient version of the OS that the mfgr refuses to update, which has known vulnerabilities. On my Galaxy S5, I'm still getting regular OS updates.

Comment Re:akin to.... (Score 1) 89

Is it considered polite/acceptable in the USA for the waiter to pass plates over, or reach across the table/other people's food? It isn't in the EU.

What's this "polite" thing you speak of? Here in the US, we barely have any manners at all, and we sure as hell have no idea what proper sit-down restaurant service is supposed to look like.

There, waiters are taught to ALWAYS serve from the diners left side, and that the best kind of service is so discreet that the diner didn't even notice it happened.

Waiters are taught in Europe? Well that would definitely make a difference. We Americans aren't real big on teaching people how to behave properly.

Seriously though, the big problem here in America is the inept management. Managers here think that customers like having lots of interaction with their server. And they might be right too; I'm not sure. Obviously, it doesn't apply to people like you and me, but surely these big corporate chains have done plenty of research into what customers actually prefer on average, and will adjust their training to match (assuming giving the customers what they want doesn't cost more; annoying service from the waiter doesn't actually cost the restaurant anything unlike better-quality food and more-careful or skillful preparation).

To help you understand American culture a little better, I'd like to share a quip I heard once: "America is like a third world country that won the lottery."

One minor note about your comment about serving from the diner's left side: I guess they don't have any booths in Europe? With a lot of seating arrangements here, there's only one spot where the waiter can stand and reach the table.

Comment Re:akin to.... (Score 1) 89

How's that tasting for ya?

Dear God do I hate that phrase. It makes me suspicious that there's some reason it shouldn't taste good. "How is everything" is such a better way to pose the question.

Sorry, I misspelled that phrase; it should read:
"How's that tastin' for ya?"

I think it might be a regional thing. I heard it all the time when I lived in Arizona, for instance, but not in the northeast.

"How is everything" is a more cultured way to speak. So in southern latitudes you won't hear that.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 322

I doubt it will be long before decent quality Android phones also ditch their headphone jack. And that would just add to the pile of reasons that I find Android to be an inferior experience.

Wow, that's some seriously deluded and kool-aid-drinking thinking there: "Androids are inferior because they'll eliminate headphone jacks, even though they haven't yet." They haven't done it yet, so what makes you think they're all going to do it? There's a ridiculous variety of Android phones out there. Where are the Apple phones with two SIM slots? There aren't any. Lots of people in Asia have Android phones with dual SIMs; it's a common feature there. Where's the Apple phone with an SDcard slot? They don't have any. But there's tons of Android phones with them, including the new Galaxy S7, and many other lesser-known ones. The nice thing about Android is there's lots of vendors (Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Sony, etc.) so someone is bound to have a model with the features you want.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 322

I didn't pay for my MBP, and didn't pay (extra) for my iPhone either (carrier provided). I use Apple for free (as in beer). Am I also a sucker?

Quite possibly. Your employer is (I'm assuming that's who bought your 2 MBPs. But if you're paying your own phone bills (you're a little vague here), and you think your iPhone is "free", then yes, you're definitely a sucker. I'm a little shocked anyone on Slashdot would not understand, by now, how phone subsidization plans work. You're paying extra every month (or are locked into a higher-priced plan so you don't see the extra charge) which pays for the phone during the contract period. Smart people don't buy subsidized phones these days, they buy a phone outright and get a less-expensive service with no contract, usually through a reseller.

Comment Re:akin to.... (Score 2) 89

It must be a uniquely American thing to equate massive levels of attention with good service. As a Brit now living in the US, all the unwanted interruptions you get when you're just trying to enjoy a slow, peaceful restaurant meal really took some getting used to.

I'm American, and have only lived in America, and I really hate this practice too. Drives me nuts.

A couple years ago, I lived in northern New Jersey where there's a bunch of Italian restaurants. At one, that looked family-owned, it was totally overstaffed, with some Italian-looking waiters, but a Mexican guy who I'm not sure what his position was other than "waterboy". He came around every few minutes to refill our water glasses, even though we had barely drank any water. It was the most annoying over-service ever. One of my guests (an older guy who speaks some Italian) tried thanking him with "grazi", and the guy corrected him with "gracias". My guest then asked him if this was an Italian restaurant or a Spanish one. I didn't go back to this place.

Anyway, you're completely correct about them seemingly deliberately waiting until your mouth is full of food to come over and ask "How's that tasting for ya?" and also clearing the plates before you've even finished. This stuff is epidemic.

Honestly, eating out in America is really not a fun experience. Just like going to a movie theater. Better just to buy your own food at a supermarket and cook it yourself, and watch a movie at home. America's a good country if you want to make good money and stay at home all the time to enjoy it with a big house, and come and go in a nice car (and you're healthy...). If you like going out a lot to restaurants, cafes, movies, etc., it kinda sucks.

Comment Re:Funny thing is (Score 1) 89

No, Ebay is like being at a flea market. Amazon makes it much less obvious who you're dealing with when it comes to their "affiliates".

With Ebay, for instance, it's very easy for me to click one button and only look at sellers in the US or in North America. Can't do that on Amazon; I have to wade through all the Chinese sellers and can only tell something is shipping from China by looking at the estimated delivery date. Heck, on Ebay I can even filter items by the geographic distance from myself: if I want to buy an item that's within 25 miles, I can filter it that way.

With Ebay, you *know* you're dealing with some other seller (because Ebay doesn't sell or ship anything at all, they're just a website), and that policies and reputations can differ greatly. With Amazon, you really don't. It's a big mess. Is an item being sold to you by Amazon itself, by someone else but fulfilled by Amazon, or by someone completely independent? Are returns for a product free or not? It completely varies. But finding this stuff out isn't that easy.

Comment Re:Money on the table (Score 1) 322

Apple doesn't make and sell most of those accessories so they are giving any profits from them to others.

It doesn't work that way. Big American companies aren't like Asian conglomerates that have divisions for all kinds of different stuff; they focus on just a few things, and maximize the profitability of those things. If something isn't profitable enough, it gets cut.

Most likely, these accessories just don't have enough profit involved for Apple to feel it's worth it. For some small company, it is.

Apple could charge a (bigger) premium for the bigger battery and increased durability

Not very many people are willing to pay that much of a premium for these things. Even worse, they can get these things as add-ons from 3rd-party sellers, cheaper than what it'd cost from Apple, which has to have huge profit margins.

Apple could sell to market segments they currently are ignoring.

Which ones? These people are going to buy iPhones no matter what. They aren't missing out on any customers. Apple customers aren't like customers for other things, where they compare the features, prices, reliability, etc. and make a balanced decision. With Apple buyers, they have an emotional connection to Apple so that's what they buy, no matter what.

You seem to be assuming that Apple is like other companies, such as car companies, which have to worry about losing their customer to competitors. Apple doesn't.

The market segment exists for smartphones with bigger batteries and/or more rugged construction. That's not really a debate.

People who prioritize these things over "I love Apple!!!" are not Apple customers. They're going to get some other device that suits them better and doesn't cost as much. People who care about these things are obviously practical, and that means they won't be interested in an overpriced fashion statement.

If they fail to address these market segments then their competitors will sooner or later.

Their competitors can't put Apple logos on their stuff, or run iOS on their devices. Their competitors aren't Apple. Apple's customers are not going to defect because a competitor makes a device with better specs; if that were true, Apple would already be out of business because there's already much better phones than theirs out there, for less money.

People will not stick endlessly with Apple products if they can get better options elsewhere.

Yes, they will. At least for a long time, unless Apple *really* screws up, but it'll take a long time for them to trash their reputation that badly.

We've already seen that when Apple almost died prior to the return of Steve Jobs.

It took a long time for the glow to fade before Jobs came back. And they're arguably doing a much better job now than they did under Scully.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 322

Samsung is far-and-away the leader in that technology, and has the Patent Portfolio to prove it. So, they have had a merry old time, DENYING Apple their AMOLED parts (or pricing them so they are deliberately out-of-the-question).

How do you expect a supplier to act when you sue them for something as stupid as rounded corners? They brought that on themselves.

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