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Comment Oh come on where's your sense of history (Score 1) 237

50 bucks for this? Back in "my day", we made these things for nothing, and we used them too. Here's how you do it:

1. Cut the cord off a lamp
2. Cut a data interface cable in half
3. Splice the two together

Plug one end into a surge protector outlet, and one end in to any computer component. BLAMMO!!!!
Then reset the surge protector, and you're ready again.

O NOES HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR DEVICES FROM THIS!!!
Here's an idea: Don't let your idiot h4xx0r children borrow any hardware you actually NEED. :D
(Took my parents a round or two to learn that One Simple Trick.)

Comment Hogwash. (Score 1) 134

This time has come, and passed.

Do you think computer programming is a "real job"?

It didn't exist until new technology allowed it less than 100 years ago. It's in high demand. It earns a high wage if done right, and a survivable wage if done barely adequately.

Nevertheless, I bet there were plenty of people alive a century ago and more who would call it pure leisure. It's not physical labor. It doesn't require you to breathe poison gas, or wrestle with criminals. You don't have to deal with inclement weather, hard travel, biting insects, or constant humiliation. You get health coverage. Pure luxury, my lad.

And yet, money changes hands on a massive, massive scale for this practice, because you have to train like a mad motherfucker all the time to do it well.

And that spells out the crucial factor that will always make the hierarchy form: Those who put in the time, to get the training, to learn how to get a larger slice of the pie, will do so. And there will be jobs for ever and ever, hallelujah, amen.

Comment Questions. (Score 4, Insightful) 73

First question: Are they knockoffs?
Second question: If this is only happening in China, has the Chinese government asked Apple to modify their firmware in some way?
Third question: Are we hearing about this because someone is trying to FUD Apple out of the Chinese market?

Comment Re:Plan for job sharing (Score 1) 917

Well, you can make a case to preserve the current state of technology, and through that maintain the status quo - or at least the part of the status quo that you like.

Or you can make a different case: Technological innovation is one of the few ways that the status quo can change for _everyone_, rather than just a subset of the population. E.g. rather than resigning 80% of the population to the task of tending fields, and giving the remaining 20% more powerful and comfortable jobs (and arguing over who's in the 80% and who's in the 20%), technology can actually change that ratio, and/or make new categories.

Is there something fundamentally different about "AI" technology that completely upends this approach? If so, what is it?

Comment Re:Seth Godin is spot on with this one. (Score 1) 78

Seth's glorified blog post is not news - and it is barely noteworthy. He is looking to Apple for innovations in word processing and spreadsheets, as though that were the new frontier? That is laughably out of touch.

He claims no progress in "file sharing and internet tools" ... right after Apple simultaneously releases mobile and desktop operating systems that automatically share a common clipboard, documents folder, and desktop across all devices. Whut?

And this is on top of the "file sharing and internet tools" they have already crammed in over the last six years (and keep in mind these are ALL software) :

Per-app cloud space management, cloud-based backup and restore, automatically synchronized logins, web forms, network settings, photo libraries, music libraries, chat histories, open web pages, browsing histories, calendars, app purchases (each of these requires a different implementation). Laptops that back themselves up wirelessly over your home network _while_asleep_... (That's excellent software and firmware working in tandem, that is.) Watches that authenticate laptops, phones that complete purchases for laptops, two-factor authentication across five classes of device... In-device transcription of your voicemails, background visual analysis of your photos, intelligent automatic data-mining of your mail, documents, chats, etc for unorganized contact information - again, on device... Oh yeah, and they threw together what's become a very good competitor to Google Maps in half a decade or so, including 3D flyover data and public transit... This is a wide-ranging suite of useful functions that no other company - not even your precious Google - is able to offer.

I agree, the seams are showing a lot more often these days. I'm quite upset that they cannibalized Aperture to work on Photos. I feel the rest of their "professional" offerings are already going the same way - getting hollowed out and left for dead. (Luckily Adobe is taking up that slack.) But anyone who claims software innovation has just "stopped" at Apple is either out of touch, or perhaps being willfully ignorant to try and sound clever or profound. And Seth has the temerity to claim that DROPBOX is somehow the company to beat? Ugh.

Comment Re:Not happy at all for a "Pro" laptop from Apple. (Score 1) 316

Inductive charging is horribly inefficient and it would be a huge pain to have to lug your six-foot-radius inductive charging transmitter around with you. So that's out.

Magsafe went away on the Macbook because the designers did a bunch of testing and realized that the USBC connector yanks out of the socket almost as easily, unless pulled at an angle, and in that case, the Macbook is light enough that it tends to pivot before it gains enough momentum to fall off a desk. That and, everything in the Macbook is solid-state. The risk of damage from tripping over a cord is less, while the risk of damage from dropping it at standing-height was never addressed by magsafe in the first place.

What remains to be seen is, will they refine the design of USB enough that the extra weight of a Pro machine doesn't interfere with cable detachment, and, will they be able to charge a Pro-level battery acceptably fast enough by the USB quick-charge standard. If one or both of those questions come out "no", then you'll be seeing a magsafe connector, or dongle, on your new Macbook Pro.

Your history lesson about Apple removing the floppy drive is just a little bit revisionist. All those devices you mention that eclipsed the 3.5-inch drive really only became usable once the USB standard got entrenched, and the iMac was one of the biggest reasons for that. Remember when ZipDrives needed a special driver, and ran off the parallel port? Or off the SCSI port? Same with SyQuest drives. They were SCSI- or IDE-only for a very long time. What was killing the floppy before the iMac was all those ZipDrives and SyQuests AND the rise of dirt-cheap home and small business LAN hardware, and the ever-cheapening cost of CDs and CDRs. Ubiquitous USB came later. Let's not put the historical cart before the horse ;)

But anyhoo... Thunderbolt. I'm glad you mentioned that. There's some good news on that front: https://www.cnet.com/news/thun...

Don't think of the new MacBook Pro as having a bunch of small-size USB ports, think of it as having a bunch of Thunderbolt 3 ports. That's one port for supplying data in and out, at massive speeds, including multiple displays, and it's daisy-chainable, and it supplies power!! Of course Apple is all over this! What else would they be doing?

That said, if they eliminate the headphone jack, I'm going to have to drive down to Cupertino and slap some people around.

Comment Re:USB-C "dock" is a disaster (Score 1) 316

You're probably seeing selection bias in those reviews.

Here's an alternate perspective: I owned a series of MacBook Airs for seven years. Earlier this year I got tired of not having a retina-class display and bought the MacBook, and one USBC-USB dongle. Eight months later I take stock, and wow, there is NO WAY I would go back to the Air. This laptop is quiet, decently fast, has a fine display, and is so much lighter than the Air that the Air now feels like a cement block and I can't believe I ever believed it was light. I _love_ this laptop. I like the keyboard more than the one on the Air now - I can use it with a lighter touch and that helps me type faster.

Yes, it's true I gave up the built-in USB port. But that's what the dongle is for. The SDXC slot is an annoying loss as well - now I either have to tether my SLR camera directly, or carry a reader dongle. But honestly, that hassle is minor, compared to the savings in weight. This thing weighs A THIRD LESS than the Air. An entire pound less. Get one and use it for a while and you'll be shocked at the difference that makes.

Comment Re:Used hardware? (Score 1) 223

That's how you _keep_ a couple hundred million in the bank.

Seriously, though. The state of official government hardware would HORRIFY anyone who's worked in the Silicon Valley. Five years out of date is the standard, ten years out of date is common. And in this instance it's not even official government hardware, which means corners cut from corners.

Comment Re:We screw everyone. (Score 1) 181

To answer your question: The argument is over whether Spotify is allowed to inform users of the app that they can get a paid subscription by going to a website. This is against Apple's rules because it circumvents their automated systems for getting a cut of subscription fees.

Spotify can easily go the route that a number of other subscription-based developers have: They can make the app _require_ a login as a subscribed user, before it provides any functionality - including even informing the user where to go to get the subscription. There is no "redirect" happening, since there is no sale being made in the context of the app (they must have a subscription beforehand). It's a technicality; it's Apple's attempt to split the difference because if they didn't draw an arbitrary line somewhere, all apps in the app store could just claim to be "subscription based" and redirect their users to some non-Apple payment service. Apple's store infrastructure would go from "paying for itself" to "huge financial drain" and the process of paying for things would become fragmented and less secure, and arguably more hazardous and complicated for iPhone owners.

I'm not sure what you have against pasta sauce makers... A tomato from "Bob's farm" can be markedly different from a tomato from "Jill's farm". Just because you think they're all the same, doesn't mean others do! And on the other side, have you listened to most of the new music of the last 20 years? No; no one has, because the market is freaking oversaturated with sound-alike indie bands making a race to the bottom in music fees so they can try and scrape up a living putting on shows. One streaming service is a heck of a lot more like any other streaming service, than one jar of pasta sauce is like the rest. :)

Comment Re:We screw everyone. (Score 1) 181

"Sticking your software on a webserver" is equivalent to Apple's app store, for a developer? Sure...

And for a farmer, dumping your produce in a heap in the middle of a public park is the same as getting it onto supermarket shelves, and getting a check at the end of the month.

Your claim of equivalency just doesn't fly; and since the rest of your argument is built on it, that doesn't either.

Except for the part where you turn your own argument on its head by stating, "there are tens of thousands of different grocery stores, from large chains down to one-store shops. By contrast, there are basically only two viable mobile operating system platforms." I'm sorry; weren't you just saying an app store is the same as dumping your software on a website? By that score, there are an infinite number of them. But that's neither here nor there: If you want to make the (oft repeated) claim that "Apple has a monopoly on the Apple platform", as if that means something in ethical or legal terms, do please continue. :)

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