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Comment Re:Why Not a Larger Screen Kindle Instead? (Score 1) 84

The main obstacle to making such a thing isn't Amazon. It's that there isn't a big enough market for large e-ink displays to create a mass market for them. As a result, the displays are very expensive, and the result is that such an e-reader is too expensive to be popular.

Another problem is the lack of color. Many current textbooks use a lot of it.

Finally, there is the competition from tablets. If a large e-reader costs as much as a Microsoft Surface, most people will buy the Surface instead because it does more. People can justify an additional $100 device like a Kindle Paperwhite, but fewer can justify an additional $500 or $1000 device.

My guess is that a large e-reader would have to sell for $250 or less to have a chance of widespread success. Currently it is impossible to hit that price point because the display costs too much. And until a large e-reader or some other product creates significant demand for large e-ink screens, the display will always cost too much.

Comment Re:Another spam ad (Score 1) 84

15:1 is not accurate overall, though I can't say what your personal sample looks like. Worldwide Apple has about 15% of the smartphone market, which makes it a bit less than 7:1 Android. In the US, Apple has about 40% of the market; 52% is Android and the rest is all other platforms (Windows Phone, people still hanging on to their BlackBerry).

Comment Re:Test... tickle. Is this mic on? (Score 1) 84

Corporations can also do you direct and consequential harm. #1 on the list is credit bureaus. Putting a bit of disinformation in your credit report can make it impossible for you to open a bank account, get a credit card (which also blocks you from doing a bunch of things like renting a car), or get a job. Max Headroom (the TV series) predicted it back in 1987 - episode 4, "Security Systems".

Comment Re:Valid (Score 1) 586

Did you know that Biff Tannen was actually inspired by Donald Trump? http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...

Back to the Future Part II was prophetic. It was just a year off. The Cubs won the World Series, Biff Tannen is the President-elect, and you can buy hoverboards at Target. Sadly the boards don't actually hover.

Comment Re:Valid (Score 1) 586

The Internet Archive already uses strong backup practices, which almost certainly include offline copies. But until now all of them have been in the US, so that does not take care of the political risk. Making a mirror of the archive in Canada does. It exposes the archive to a new set of political risks, but having two locations decreases the overall risk level.

Comment Re: That's nice (Score 1) 142

Fortunately, the SATA interface standard has been stable for a long time. Most computers built during the time period we are discussing use it, and drives are still readily available. There were enhancements in going from SATA 1 to 2 and then 3, but they are backward compatible. It's true that you might be forced to install a larger disk drive than the one that originally came with the system because smaller drives are no longer made, but the customer is unlikely to complain.

At the distant edge of the relevant time period there were still some systems that used PATA drives. Getting those is a challenge now. The problem is easily solved for desktop computers with a PATA-SATA bridge board, but there isn't any space to put such a board in a laptop.

Comment Re:Apple is Obsolete (Score 1) 142

Microsoft is working hard on being non-obsolete. Windows may fade away, but Azure and related cloud-based products will continue. That future Microsoft will be a very different company with a different product line, but the prospects for their continuing existence look good.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

Three months wouldn't be the end of the world. But Apple hasn't updated the Mac Pro for three YEARS. The GPU options, in particular, are seriously behind what is now available. (They also haven't updated the Mac Mini for a while, but that's not a core product for them.)

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

I'm not sure that Apple is ever going to update the Mac Pro. The new Macbook Pro falls far short of what some high end users want; even more than the ports, the lack of an option for more than 16GB RAM or a truly high performance GPU are problems and suggest that Apple has abandoned high end design professionals. (Sorry, the Radeon Pro 460, the fastest available GPU, can't even match a GTX 1060, let alone the GTX 1080 that you can get in some Windows laptops.) The Mac Pro is pretty much a system that is ONLY for design professionals.

The kiosk design and all-proprietary parts are a dead end for that kind of system in any case. It means that the system quickly falls behind competitors and is costly to maintain and upgrade. What Apple should build for that market is a tower that has basically the same hardware as a high end Hackintosh with few or no proprietary Apple components, but with the official Apple seal of approval. Choose a quality motherboard from a major maker (Apple likes to use Xeon processors and ECC memory in the Mac Pro, so perhaps something from a server motherboard maker like Tyan), a standard ATX-style power supply from a major maker, one or two high end NVidia video cards, and off the shelf SSDs, hard drives, and optical drives (yes, some design professionals still need those). Offer single and dual CPU socket systems, memory configurations up to at least 64GB, and multiple terabytes of storage. Apple won't sell vast numbers of them (they also don't sell vast numbers of the Mac Pro) but the people who need a computer like that will be happy.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

You don't have to pay for extended support out to ten years, and sometimes longer. (Microsoft guarantees a minimum of ten years, but has lengthened the extended support period for some OSes.) You have to pay after that, as you currently do if you want support for XP or Vista.

Basically, mainstream support means that the OS continues to get some new features, new versions of bundled Microsoft software like the web browser, and support for new hardware. Extended support means that it doesn't get those things, but still get bug fixes and security updates.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

Basically, extended support means no new features. (It also means no new versions of Microsoft web browsers but the major third party ones usually continue to offer new versions until the OS goes completely out of support.) Bug fixes, security fixes, antivirus updates, and the malicious software removal updates continue. Users can still safely use systems that are on extended support.

Microsoft offers a minimum of ten years of support of each OS release, though updating to the most recent service pack is required. (Windows 8.1 is treated as a service pack for 8.0 and the upgrade is therefore mandatory to continue to receive support.) That's quite a few years better than Apple is doing. Support of hardware repairs is another matter, but Windows systems generally contain fewer proprietary components so it's usually possible to continue to repair them for a long time. Desktop systems are especially good in that regard and can generally be repaired for at least ten years - perhaps not with official parts from the manufacturer, but with other parts that will work.

Comment Re:That's nice (Score 1) 142

I'm another person who hates it. I've lost too much text by accident because of it. But then I don't really like trackpads at all; whenever possible I use a mouse instead. I'll use the trackpad for casual use on the go but not for any serious computing.

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