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Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

A producer is someone who produces useful output. Contrast someone jacking about in a gaggle of hipsters or a seat-warming middle manager.

Movie producers are probably the only group of producers who have a serious reason for considering Apple, because Apple bought just-as-good-as-Avid(-well-almost) Final Cut. Oh, and bought and extinguished Skake, so it ended up having to play catch-up with itself on Motion. Embrace, extend, indeed.

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

If I want the best of a regular GUI with lots of commercial software and the flexibility and developer-friendliness of Unix - and I have for a good 12 years - I'll choose Windows and Linux with one in a VM. In the NT4 and brief W2K days, Linux was the more stable host. Since XP, XP has been the host - Windows takes good advantage of the hardware and I want the better graphical client experience.

I tried OS X for a couple years but it's just compromise after compromise: Mac Office doesn't quite render everything correctly and any neat Windows tool is likely to either not exist or have only a half-hearted Mac version; OS X isn't nearly as well supported for development as, say, Debian. And if I'm deploying to Linux I might as well develop on Linux.

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

All the managers here I work are no longer carrying around their laptops and power chords. They have ipads now.

Can I ask what work managers do on their iPads? I have had periods of wandering around with a tablet, but that had a stylus and a detachable lightweight keyboard - even my 2003 Compaq TC1000 felt more usable than fat-fingering a tiny iPad.

And it's very good at figuring out what users want and then finding the technology to make it happen. It doesn't invent the technology, but it puts it to very innovative use.

Well, Apple's a fantastic integrator. No question there.

And, yes, most people are lazy. But most people learnt to read. If they can learn to read when they're young, they can learn to use a computer when they're young. People have been brought up on the Windows-style interface (the Mac-style interface not being that dissimilar), so they think it's natural - but it really isn't, and we've been through two decades of training up older people. Any worthwhile tool involves a small amount of learning. The solution is not to dumb things down so saving 5 minutes today means a lifetime of inefficiency, any more than the solution to the difficulty of learning to read and write is to pass information down by word of mouth.

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

That's all very interesting, and I'm glad that you take 2 years of steep AAPL increase as indicative of the last 30 years, but it's not addressing my point: I stated that Apple produces consumer shiny, and does not innovate useful tools for producers. The counterargument was "Apple's share price has gone up". So what?

For a company which doesn't pay dividends, "share price has gone up" is not necessarily related to Apple's performance. And even if it were, it wouldn't necessarily be related to its ability to innovate useful tools for producers.

Comment Re:quantum bla bla bla (Score 1) 57

No. I think that, what with current security-obsessed Western governments, way too much money is being ploughed into fields which claim they might make or break security. Quantum computing and cryptography are two such fields.

I have no problem with people continuing to study the subjects. I do have a problem with wild claims about the destination. I don't like that academia has fashionable subjects while people ignore the incremental steps which actually build the world. It creates a horrible misallocation of resources and, when commercial enterprises finally exploit research, they ride the hype and exploit the dreamy shit.

Comment Re:quantum bla bla bla (Score 1) 57

Concentrate a bit.

Lots of people have said pigs don't fly and they still don't fly. We have good reason to think pigs won't fly, and there is good evidence that quantum computing won't reach the stage where it will be able to fulfil suggested applications.

Do you have any evidence to the contrary, apart from smartass remarks at the level of rigour used to insist that proof of God's existence is only a matter of time?

Comment Re:quantum bla bla bla (Score 1) 57

No, the problem here is one of the probability of implementing a quantum algorithm with a sufficient number of qubits to be useful. Although I'm being flamebaity by whining about the number of failures (or, more precisely, highly overrated demonstrations), that's not really relevant. What's going wrong is people assuming some particular thing can be done just because it "would be cool" to actually implement all this fashionable research.

That the last 10 years have just about shown that 3x5=15 - although not all demonstrations were really quantum - doesn't mean we can scale to factoring some 1024-bit key.

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

So what's you're saying is that a Mac makes a shiny Unix terminal, being a commoditised NeXT box. And that you're likely to find them on the laps of attendees at wankfests, but not doing the interesting work.

I agree.

You could credit NeXT for building a userfriendly Unix desktop with a poor man's Smalltalk, and say that this makes for a reasonable workstation.

But Apple isn't producing anything new and interesting for producers, is it? Really, I've tried to take an interest in Grand Central, in OpenCL, but it's just... nothing which hasn't been done better elsewhere. Apple just don't do research and they don't implement for researchers or other producers. Hell, it's a common complaint. When you contrast with MS or IBM's research output, it's fairly easy to see the difference in culture. Apple's had this perpetual thing of wanting to be cool, but it's never matured to saying, "I want to create something substantially new."

Have you ever used Microsoft Bob? The experience just reminds me of an Apple iDevice.

Comment bullshit (Score 1) 403

I remember when the WIMP GUI was so new that everyone had to be trained in it. Now older users have been trained and younger users have been brought up with it, so it seems natural. If you did the same thing with a decent command line, you'd end up with every moderately educated person being a wizard on the command line too. Put another way, computers didn't become popular because of Windows but because of DOS. The Mac, despite its "for the rest of us" tagline and mature GUI way before Microsoft's offering, wasn't the machine everyone ended up buying.

I used to think that computers needed some natural UI. One of my earlier academic projects in the '90s involved all the bullshit with the spinning 3D objects which you could open/close/put under/otherwise manipulate, and I thought I was so clever. Now I'm seeing this sort of thing attempt to reach mainsteam and actually look quite fluid, and I think the same thing now as I concluded back then: it's not worth a miniscule reduction in learning curve to be so restricted and drowned by eye candy. Contrary to popular belief, most people have wonderful brains which can accept new instruction and traning to a good old age. All they have to do is think and concentrate a little, and they'd be much better off with a powerful interface rather than a "natural" interface.

Of course there's a balance, and nothing inordinately hard to learn will ever reach mainstream. But look to a few hundred years ago and even reading and writing was regarded as something that only the elite could do. Yet at some point we managed to unify the planet on the notion that being able to read and write is a reasonable goal for everyone without serious physical or mental difficulties. Why must we dumb things down again?

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

It just works at being shiny, i.e. at providing minimal features for a lazy consumer to entertain himself with. Neither the iPhone nor the iPad provide anything new which makes them realistic tools for productive work. Put another way, I've not found any work application where the iPhone or iPad is in some way the best choice.

Comment Re:grr (Score 1) 307

True re Sun by the late '90s - concision led to imprecision, sorry.

As to Apple's stock price, I couldn't give two hoots. That's determined by the demand of shares on the secondary market, in turn determined by nothing much since they don't pay dividends. In particular, it's not determined by whether they're producing high quality products to help people produce. They are not.

Comment Re:Not news... (Score 1) 224

So there are still morons who think AC is some kind of hero populist eh?

Just wait. There will be discoveries of mass graves and the like sooner than later.

See what you did there? If you want to argue that Chavez isn't a saint (and he isn't, but he's nothing compared to the US govt), provide evidence. There's enough of it, but it's not as damning as you're implying.

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