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Comment Re:Only from Apple (Score 1) 46

It's not their low-end laptop. On the other hand, their low-end laptop is $999 (or $1300 if they discontinue the Air), which still isn't cheap. On the third hand, shop out a similarly spec'ed laptop (with of a similar size, weight, screen quality, etc.) from other vendors, and if you can find something, it'll probably be similarly priced.

Comment Re:Bye, MagSafe (Score 1) 46

PreviouslyApple claimed the macbook air was too light for the magnets to separate, but i don't think that argument applies for the heavier macbook pro.

The new Macbook Pro is about 0.06 lbs heavier than the Macbook Air.

Still, I essentially agree with you. Magsafe is great, and If they're going to make the Macbook Pro so it only has 3 ports on it, I'm not sure I like the idea of using one of them for power.

Comment Re:Touch screen (Score 0) 226

Is this 10 year old touch bar apple's way of admitting that maybe a touch screen isn't a bad idea? Just give us a damn touch screen already. Christ.

With the Surface Studio announced, it kinda makes these laptops look "meh"

How is this Touch Bar "10 years old"?

I've never seen anything even close to the same thing.

Comment Re:They need a big success (Score 1) 29

One mistake and most buyers will forgive, a second big mistake and they could rapidly lose market share.

Fortunately for Samsung, most buyers have poor memory. I just about gave up on the Blu-Ray format because I had so much trouble with two of their players lasting only a year or so before they stopped reading discs reliably. When I replaced my refrigerator, I seriously considered the Samsung, because (IIRC) its reviews showed ridiculous numbers of people saying that they stopped keeping food cold because of control boards dying (repeatedly)... and a refrigerator is not something you can just toss in the trash can and replace.

This is not to say that they don't also make some products that are good. Obviously they do, or nobody would buy their products. But IMO, it takes a lot more than one or two big mistakes for a company with that much name recognition to rapidly lose market share. Otherwise, it would have happened long ago. :-)

Comment Re:The few Web 1.0 Sites. (Score 2) 27

I agree with your sentiment, but not your conclusion. That is, Yahoo doesn't inspire disgust or outrage for me. I don't hate Yahoo the way I hate some companies. The feeling that Yahoo inspires in me is something more like, "meh." It's the site that was part of the early web, and then became one of those lame portals, along with such stellar inspirations of "meh" as AOL and MSN, that you might find some piece of semi-malware switched your homepage to.

However, I don't think that means the brand is worth salvaging, specifically because the brand inspires a sense of "meh". If I hear Google or Apple is about to introduce a brand new product, my expectation is that it's probably going to be something interesting. Even if Twitter announced that they'd be introducing a big change, I'd be curious and want to find out what it is. If Yahoo announces big changes coming, I expect that they're going to be shuffling around their existing semi-competent me-too products-- like maybe they're going to have a new theme for their portal, or their webmail will introduce "labels", or something similarly uninspired.

Maybe I'm wrong. I know people have a good association with Yahoo Finance. Do people still use Yahoo webmail or Yahoo Messenger? Is Yahoo Answers used for purposes other than trolling? Are there other services that are popular that I've just lost track of?

Also, and admittedly I'm just basing this on my own perceptions, but I don't think "Yahoo!" is a very good name for what they're trying to be. Sure, it's kind of fun, but it would be more appropriate branding for a Flash game website or something of that kind. If you'd never heard of the company and it were just being introduced today, I don't think "Yahoo!" would be considered a good choice for a web portal, news site, or a tech conglomerate. It's too playful and not serious enough. Verizon already owns AOL, and I think the name and branding for "AOL" is going to play better in this day and age, and I'm not sure it makes sense to maintain both brands.

On the other hand, it's not clear to me what Verizon wants from these purchases. It might be less about what companies like AOL and Yahoo can provide, and more about trying funnel the people using them as an ISP to content they own and control.

Comment Also phone service was fucking expensive (Score 1) 200

Back in the day phone lines were so much, you didn't get to have your own phone line. You had a "party line". What's that? That's where everyone in your area as the same phone line. One line, multiple houses. It would ring a different number of times to tell you who the call was for, and if you wanted to call out and someone else was using the line you had to wait. Also this meant everyone could listen in on your calls, of course. However, that was the only way phone was affordable for most people. That's not to mention the cost of long distance, which in the old days was anything off your local exchange.

And for all the bitching about Internet service, it does keep getting better, by a lot. When I first got connected to the 'net 14.4kbps was all I could get. Faster modems were out at the time, but that's all my ISP supported. As time has gone on, I've got a steady and fairly regular set of speed increases until now I have a 300mbit connection. About 21,000 times speed increase in around 21 years. Not too bad, overall. Price is in the same ballpark too. Currently I pay $100/month for that connection. Back in the day it was $20/month for Internet and about $25/month for a second phone line, I can't remember precisely. So about $70/month in today's dollars. For that price I'd have to step down to 150mbit Internet, if we wanted to keep all things far. Still 10,000x faster. Not really that bad for a couple decades, particularly compared to a lot of other, more mature technologies. My electric service sure isn't 10,000x as good as it was in the 90s.

So ya, fiber and gig or 10gig Internet hasn't come to everywhere yet. So what? It is getting rolled out, perhaps not as fast as we geeks would like, but it is still happening, and tech improvements are increasing bandwidth on copper formats as well. What we have now works well for most people, and the improvements we've seen are not insignificant.

Comment Contact the ISPs in your area (Score 1) 200

You can get fiber, if you are actually willing to pay. You just aren't willing to pay for it.

What I mean is they'll sell you a fiber connection, as fast as you'd like, but you'll have to pay the full costs. You pay what it takes to have the line run and installed, and then you pay the full rate for an unmetered dedicated connection and they'll do it. Real enterprise class service with a nice SLA and all that. Thing is, that is going to run 5 figured (maybe 6) on the install and 4 figures or more for the monthly. That's what it really costs, that's what actually running dedicated fiber costs and what dedicated bandwidth costs.

What you want is CHEAP fiber. You want them to roll out a PON network on their dollar, and then sell you can your neighbours access to share that bandwidth for a low price. That's fine to want, but demanding it as if they owe you is unreasonable. Particularly since for something like that to be economically feasible everyone needs to be willing to pay, not just you. If it is a shared network, with the costs not being paid upfront, then a bunch of people need to pay, and need to do so for a fair bit of time.

If you look in to it, you'll find more than a few people that have no fucks to give about fast Internet. any modern service is "fast enough" for them. You can't convince them to spend on higher speed connections. My parents are like that. They have 12mbit cable. They can buy at least 100mbit where they live, maybe more (I haven't checked lately). They just won't. They are happy with what they have. They've used faster Internet, when they visit me they get to use mine which is 300mbit, but they don't care. To them what they have is good enough and they would rather spend the money on other things.

So if you are really willing to pay, and I mean pay the actual installation, operation, and bandwidth costs for dedicated fiber line, you can have that. However if you aren't willing to, and I can't blame you if you aren't, you can't then demand that they should give you stuff for cheap.

Comment That last bit is the real trick (Score 1) 200

We are pretty good these days about keeping track of shit. Probably not as good as we should be, but still pretty good. However we have LOTS of old infrastructure. The documentation can be bad or non-existent. There's not an easy way to deal with, unfortunately, since it isn't like we can just open up an access panel and have a look at what's there. It'll continue to be a problem for a long time, perhaps forever.

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 77

Sort of. It wasn't that they didn't "want an expensive show", but that Farscape's time slot had a good enough lead-in (which I believe was SG1 at the time) that they could put something cheap and crappy into the time slot and still get decent ratings. Not necessarily great ratings, not even ratings as good as Farscape, but good enough that the savings in making a cheaper show would still make the time slot more profitable overall.

This is a fairly common thing. Let's say you have a popular half-hour sitcom at 8pm, and another popular one at 9pm. You might think that the smart thing is to put a 3rd popular show at 8:30, so that you'd really lock people in, but if you pay attention, that's not typically what happens. Instead they put a weaker show (or a new show they're trying out) into the 8:30 slot, since they know that being sandwiched between two popular shows will mean it gets pretty good ratings, even though it stinks. Basically, a lot of people will watch a crappy show because they're too lazy to change the channel.

So that was the rumor on what lead to the demise of Farscape. It was getting good enough ratings to make money, but SciFi thought the time slot had good enough shows around it that they could fill the slot with a cheap crappy show, and people would still watch it.

Even if that's not really what happened to Farscape (and who really knows?), the point remains that the way advertising and time slots work have an influence on the kinds of programs that are produced. As DVR and streaming services have become more common, some of those effects are probably becoming less pronounced. In a service like Netflix (where their original programs aren't aired on broadcast TV at all), these kinds of considerations shouldn't have any effect at all.

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