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Comment Re:The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 1) 41

History has also shown us that most new ideas fail. Even good ideas.

I agree that the idea of accessories per se, attractive as it is to me, isn't enough to make a product a success these days. However I should point out that back in the day of PDAs it was normal for mobile devices to have a CF or SD slot that could also be used to add features. This was in the day when mobile devices didn't have cell data connections, GPS or even wi-fi, and it was quite common for people to add memory cards, wi-fi, bluetooth, and GPS. I have a box full of accessory cards in my attic.

Handspring, a company that made Palm Pilot clones, initially did very well with their Springboard modules which allowed you to add any kind of functionality to the base system, just like what we're talking about here. Then a few years after introducing the Springboard module Handspring stopped making PDAs altogether in favor of what was then called a "converged device" -- aka a smartphone -- without the slot. It's all about timing; Handspring was perhaps a little ahead of the curve on convergence, but a lot of manufacturers were getting pushed that way because of falling hardware retail prices made it attractive to put more stuff in the base device to keep the price high.

The standard inclusion of GPS + Cloud + Camera + Bluetooth built-in means that there really isn't a need to physically connect a device to a mobile device. The only exception is battery; there is a real need for a more elegant and secure way to extend the operation of a smartphone than plugging it into a powerbank via USB.

But I may be wrong. Maybe there's a compelling use case for a modular architecture that I just haven't thought of yet. That's why I like to see vendors trying something different, although I usually expect them to fail. I've watched tech long enough to realize that success isn't just about an idea being right, it has to come at the right time.

Comment Re:Old stuff "discovered" by the ignorant (Score 1) 371

While I don't necessarily disagree with you, let me point out that orthodox economic models are also based on assumptions that are not entirely true. For example you don't necessarily assume that any one agent (e.g. the central planner) has all the information relevant to making decisions, but you do assume that all relevant information is available to parties making decisions about transactions they'll take part in. That's not true, but it's close enough to being true that the models have practical utility. Oh, and there's the bit about people being rational in their decision-making.

Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 371

Because believe it or not, while working sucks, not working also sucks. You don't know how much you get out of work until you don't have it anymore, and I mean stuff beside money: social interaction, purpose, challenge, someplace to go and someplace to look forward to take a vacation from.

In Sweden they're offering an intriguing compromise: work less, or more precisely work for fewer hours, which isn't precisely the same thing.

Comment Re:What a mess (Score 1) 438

You know, taking the dichotomy you propose as accurate, I'd go with the sleazeball hands down. You might not like them but you can work with sleazy people if you know what they are. They are simply pursuing their self-interest and respond predictably according to realistic calculations of where that lies.

A narcissist on the other hand you can't work with on the basis of realism because he's not rooted in the real world. He operates in a fantasy world. A sleazeball won't act in a way that harms himself but a narcissist, while every bit as self-oriented and deceptive will, and then go looking for scapegoats, even when that does more damage. A sleazeball only scapegoats when it's to his advantage.

So would you rather deal with someone who is rational but selfish, or someone who is unpredictable, self-destructive and selfish?

Comment Re:Anything incriminating? (Score 3, Interesting) 438

I was a Sanders supporter, and I'm neither surprised nor particularly upset. You have to be realistic. Hillary has been active and well-known in the party since 1974, when she rose to prominence as a whip-smart young staff attorney of the Children's Defense Fund. She's spent the last forty years, building contacts and networks in the Democratic party, including nationally as first lady for eight years and with nearly successful presidential run that took her across the entire country. She has a massive rolodex, war chest, and ground organization.

Bernie Sanders only joined the party in 2015. That the DNC was less than perfectly impartial towards the two won't come as news to an Bernie supporter, but to be frank the idea that long-time party insiders and activists would treat someone who joined the party last year the same as someone who's been a big deal in the party for decades is simply unrealistic.

Comment Re: Reaching the limits of the unlimited (Score 1) 409

If Verizon was some pie-in-the-sky commune, where we were all sharing bandwidth for the greater good and world peace, I'd agree with you.
But they're not. They're a business. And they're advertising falsely.

Currently in California, many "clean air" vehicles get to use the carpool lane ( which I find idiotic). now if the state suddenly started saying "Well, you can only use them between 9 pm and 4 AM", I'd be against that as well.

So if that is true, then you advertise what you're willing to offer to everyone.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 128

I think you think the text is too small because you haven't actually used one. I have, and I'm almost 60 years old and need bifocals. I generally can't read ingredients on food or vitamin packages without glasses, but I have no difficulty whatsoever with reading calendar notifications or caller ID on a smartwatch without glasses. Would I want to read a book or webpage on one? Nope. But for notifications the text size is plenty big for me, and I have weaker-than-average eyesight.

Likewise it's not particularly uncomfortable to wear a watch, or hard to remember to put one on. Some folks with ADHD might have problems, because they're always misplacing things and many of them have comfort issues with things like t-shirt tags which most people don't notice but they find distracting. But most people don't find watches uncomfortable or hard to keep track of.

This is just the usual problem with managing the tech adoption curve; the point where you've saturated the early adopter segment. There aren't new features coming in to entice thosee early adopters to upgrade and there aren't enough people on the penumbra of the early adopter community that they become hip. And there isn't really a killer app yet, unless it's fitness tracking which can be done on cheaper devices. That's the only reason I don't wear one anymore; there aren't any that are as good at fitness tracking as a fitbit, so I'd be paying more and getting less for my main use.

Comment Re: Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 335

Automation raises the standard of living for everyone. Your Smartphone has more compute power than computers from Windows XP era, and don't cost nearly as much, and do so much more. So, your view on my viewpoint is irrelevant at best, and at worst is wrong.

The people who get killed in economic revolutions are all caused by those fighting to keep the status quo economically. The transition between Agrarian to Industrial was fought out in the Civil War, by those people who couldn't see the future because of tradition (slavery being one of the big ones). We've fought long hard wars with people trying to keep what they had, instead of adapting and moving forward. The next war is not going to be much different, and is already being battled in the cyber area, between those that want to keep the status quo (China/manufacturing) and those that see the future (Cyber Industry).

There will always be work for people to do, and those that work smarter will seem luckier. People have always fought wars over limited resources. Economic and Real Warfare. There is nothing in the future that will change that.

Comment Re:New Chrome looks terrible on OS X (Score 5, Insightful) 67

Why not use OS X's built-in widgets for tabs, arrows, etc.?

Is it more important for your browser to be consistent with the other apps on your desktop, or to be consistent with the browser across different kinds of platforms? The answer won't be the same for everyone, but what we're seeing now is the endpoint of process that Microsoft feared with Netscape back in the 90s: the marginalization of desktop operating systems as platforms.

Back in the 90s if your browser looked dramatically different from the way other Mac apps looked, users would have howled in protest. Now most people would agree that it's more important for a website or app to look consistent across different devices and operating systems. For many users it wouldn't matter very much whether they're using Windows, MacOS or Linux, were it not for the fact they're locked into MS Office.

So there's nothing "wrong" with OSX's built in widget set, except that it serves Google as a browser-centric company better to standardize the experience across host OSs.

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 2) 335

Taxes are regressive. All of them. The rich will pay to avoid them, the poor cannot. Guess who is impacted more by any / all taxes?

Welfare should be TEMPORARY, and limited in scope.
Minimum Wage is always $0, regardless of the starting wage.

The economy today has a much higher productive output per person, which means some things are possible which weren't possible before. If you're out of air in the tank and suffocating, pulling your mask off underwater means you drown; pulling it off when you're on land means you live. Same action, different consequences. You can't explain that.

If you are dumb enough to go diving, without a clear plan, reserves in the tank, and run out of air, I don't expect the government to suddenly provide you with a "Air Grant" and subsidies for being stupid. You went high risk activity and got the result you were looking for. Yes, it is tragic when it happens, but I am NOT responsible, nor should I be, for your choices. Choices have consequences. So, I do have an answer, it just isn't what you wanted.

That being said, if you and I were diving, together, and you screwed up, and ended up without air, underwater, I would help get you to the surface. I wouldn't loan you my tank on a permanent basis in perpetuity. THIS is a safety net option. Welfare State is NOT safety net, it is a hammock.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 128

You missed the point. For most people's its not about adding functionality, it's about adding convenience. Doing the same things you could do with a phone, but with less bother. If you receive a lot of phone calls, most of which you ignore, or if (like me) you tend to put a lot of notifications in your calendar, a smartwatch adds a considerable level of convenience, although obviously you *could* haul your phone out of your pocket a dozen times a day, look at it then put it back. If you have to check the time frequently, or time things frequently, you obviously could use your phone, but a cheap digital watch is more convenient. If you don't need to do any of these things more than once or twice a day it's really difficult to add another device to the mix and increase convenience.

Since adding any device necessarily adds some inconvenience, we're in the complicated realm of user trade-offs. That's a tough problem, because to the mix of things like battery life, legibility, user interface you also have comfort and style. All the offerings on the market are marginal in at least one or two of these areas, so it's a tough sell outside the early adopter market. The trick for the long-term success of this product category is to keep offering early adopters enticing upgrades, long enough for someone to develop a really compelling device, the way that "converged devices" sputtered along for years until Apple introduced the iPhone. Can it be done? I don't know.

The one thing that smartwatches add these days that doesn't really work with smartphones alone is fitness tracking, but that's a niche market. Some people like me obsessively collect data and wear them 7x24 except for occasional recharges -- which I can do with a Fitbit surge because its battery lasts for multiple days. So for people like me you can't beat something like a Fitbit surge and going smartphone-only doesn't work at all, so where a solid reliable market for fitness trackers. The danger for the smart watch product category is that high-end activity trackers will evolve into smart watches, which is why recent smart watches all have multi-axis accelerometers and heart rate sensors. But they're also slightly more expensive, and certainly more complicated than the need to be for fitness tracking.

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 3, Insightful) 335

One, your rant is interesting because your sole fix for a really bad economy is taxing people more. Can you name a single example where taxing people more, improved things?

Two, you can tax 100 % of the people you think aren't paying enough, and it won't help anyone. The rich can always avoid taxes, where the middle class cannot. The bottom 50% don't pay taxes (because they are poor).

Three, the Number One indicator of Poverty is ... single parent homes. The Number one indicator of crime is poverty. The black community, supported by the Democratic Welfare state has a 75% single parent home. Taxing the rich isn't going to fix this problem, and the DNC loves its economic slaves which vote as a block at a rate of 85%-95%.

So, while you can spout statistics all you want, until you look at correlation between single parent homes and poverty, you're ignoring the real problem .

As for housing, HUD and Government subsidies PROMOTE being locked into poverty. Because if you earn enough money, you get kicked out and lose your subsidies. It is a vicious circle of poverty and dependency, all in the name of compassion (and the voting block for the same policies that you are supporting). Yes, I want to toss grandma off a cliff, and kill kittens (Just getting the inevitable Ad Hominem out of the way).

I want people to have opportunity, not guarantees. 40+ years of war on poverty, and we are no better off than before. Repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insane.

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