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Comment Re:warranty in case of bankruptcy? (Score 5, Insightful) 302

I think there are a few reasons why RIM didn't catch up.

Part of it was complacency. Upper management believed for far too long that RIM was unbeatable, and by the time they actually changed course it was too late.

Part of it was a lack of talent. RIM tried to make an all touch screen phone early on (the Storm came out in 2008) and it was terrible. By the Storm 2 it was obvious that the development team at RIM couldn't handle a keypad-less world, and that BB's OS couldn't keep up with the iPhone.

Part of it was poor choices. RIM worked to change OSes to fix that fact that the old BB OS didn't handle touch very well, but they made the mistake of biting on the iPad hype and they put out a tablet with the new OS before a smartphone with the new OS. The tablet failed miserably, which lost all momentum for RIM's new platform.

Part of it was a lack of vision. RIM has had some good ideas, they just lack the vision to take them that extra step. They had the first great communication platform with BBM, but they didn't think to make it seamless with texting like Apple did iMessage. They basically had the popular Kindle Fire before Amazon did, but they didn't think to try and take the "cheaper than iPad market" until it was too late.

And finally part of it was the market they catered to. Business users are often not a fan of rapid change, especially if that means the IT department has to redo how executives get their email every year. RIM ignored the consumer market for too long- when the iPhone started getting tons of fun apps you got the sense that RIM was happy its phone wasn't a "toy." By the time Apple's "toy" had added in some business functionality to encompass RIM's target market, RIM had nothing fun to offer consumers and fight Apple on their own turf. By the time they had their fun "toy" device (the Playbook, its in the name) they had to rush it out so quickly that it completely didn't fit their core market (it didn't even have email). Hence today's news.

Comment Re:Hunters.. (Score 1) 1010

The problem is that all of those people you listed (Mom, Dad, Grandma, etc.) go to people like us for advice when they are going to buy a computer product.

And for the iPad what will we tell them?

"It sucks"

So unless Apple has some "magic" that removes nerds as council for such purchases they might be in trouble.

Comment It is all about flash. (Score 1) 1713

In the end I don't think this will be real popular, and it will be the lack of Flash that makes it unpopular- and no HTML5 is not the answer...

I am not saying that Flash or Silverlight is superior to HTML5 in any way. Flash in particular is proprietary junk. Flash versions for not popular systems (PowerPC, Linux, etc) are usually terrible, and playback of Flash requires WAY more CPU use than it should- on an Atom Netbook fullscreen Flash plays poorly in OSX. I bet Flash on one of these iPads would be super terrible on the 1GHz CPU- Steve Jobs probably considers keeping Flash out of the app store a quality control measure.

With that said the appeal of the Netbook market (which Jobs very blatantly backwards admitted is the competitors to the iPad) was that consumers could get REAL computers for cheap prices at a low size. A Netbook is supposed to be more than a gloried Pocket PC- it is a secondary system when you need more power than an Smartphone can provide. And one of the real barriers that separate a Smartphone and a laptop in 2010 is the ability to use "real" Flash. Even if all of sites switch over to HTML5 in the next year (a very optimistic goal considering that fact that IE use is so high), is it a guarantee that the iPad can play back the content well? Review will soon tell us, and then we will know if this first gen iPad has a promising future or not...

Honestly the form factor for the iPad is perfect- anyone with a brain could figure that the natural progression for Netbooks was for them to ditch the keyboards for touchscreens. Any decent SciFi since the original Star Trek has shown us how important tablet PCs will be in the future.

But the current iPad misses that mark by a great deal because it is not a full featured computer. Is is a bigger Smartphone, with all the limitations of that market.

Until an iPad can do everything a laptop can for say a college student (lacking Flash kills that- my college age sister couldn't go a day without her Hulu) or a business executive (lacking real Microsoft Office kills that for when you REALLY need Office) that what you are really looking at is a EXPENSIVE secondary "toy" for a large part of the market that currently buys laptops. Which is basically the market Netbooks have now (I will admit for serious work they are a toy), but the difference is that a Netbook costs as much as a game console, while a iPad costs as much as a REAL 15inch Windows laptop.

I can guess what Apple is thinking- that there is enough apps in the App Store to do everything that most "real" people do with computers. If someone wants a real computer for something specific then they are advanced enough to shell out the thousand bucks for a real Mac laptop. But I get the feeling that the iPad is purposefully neutered with a kiddie slope OS to ensure that it does not dig into the Mac Book market. Can't wait to see if people can Hackintosh the thing like was done to the AppleTV.

For these reason I am very disappointed in the iPad. The likelihood is that I am wrong and it might have a bright future- as it is it could revolutionize the Medical Industry. And if Apple cuts a deal with Adobe and Microsoft down the line (or HTML5 adoption increases at a brisk pace) then maybe later versions of the device will change everyone's lives and change how we think about computers. But today, as it is today, it is the most underwhelming release of a new Apple product since the AppleTV came out...

And for that I blame the fact that it was maybe one of the worst kept secrets in Apple's recent history, and for that reason a hype machine began that makes it so that even an incredible life-changing device fails to live up to expectations set for it (aka the PS3 effect)....

Comment Old Talking Points with Renewed Vigor (Score 1) 784

As the growing recession drags on, there is a new martyr of the minute for those who are caught now (but only at private companies) bathing in government dollars. AIG and its cohorts may have created the most sensational recent example of poor use of taxpayer funds, yet overlooked in the national media dialog is how many old ideas concerning government spending have been reinvented to represent different concepts in this time of crisis.

In the most recent stimulus bill- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009- a massive $787 billion dollars in spending was unleashed from the public coffers in a very expedited manor. The president challenged the congress to oppose the bill, saying âoewhat we canâ(TM)t do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way.â The public demands action to our growing economic problems, and the modern media made sure Obamaâ(TM)s version of the story was soon clear to the American public.

The narrative about the economy has always had a few sides. Universities around the nation have for a long time incubated a non-decisive discourse on the economy. Two schools of thought have been debated back and forth in academia: Adam Smithâ(TM)s model touting the greater benefits of the free market vs. John Maynard Keynesâ(TM)s economic model that stipulates that government spending is the best way to get through an economic crises.

With our current federal policy the Democratically Controlled government has declared a winner between the two, and the mainstream media seems happy to report that this decision will apparently allow the nation to put this nasty recession thing behind us. You canâ(TM)t blame them though- it makes good sense on the surface for the media to come to this conclusion. If the current nationally agreed upon model is a Keynesian one of government spending, then who better to do the job-if you go by the past century of the American narrative-than the Democrats. One of the old favorite Republican adages is to call the Democrats âoetax and spend librals.â
Nowadays Obama is proud to boast the Democratic Partyâ(TM)s credentials are spenders of the publicâ(TM)s coin. FDR and his legacy of spending during the Depression is heeded as the new best old way to do things. But the new Democratic Party canâ(TM)t get support for the same projects Roosevelt did; they needed new ideas to capture the heart of the nation. So where did the Democratic Party look for these new ideas? The same place they kept their old ones.

One big part of the conversation is so called âoeGreen Collared Jobsâ that are to be created by the millions due to government spending contained in the stimulus package. Suddenly the subject of saving the environment became less about losing jobs (from private corporations that are negatively affected by environmental regulation) to making them through new government spending on environmental projects. In the age where Keynes is king, the idea that subsidized industries are less efficient than private ones that are affected by free market forces is all of a sudden a good thing.

Yet there is an important question the media never asked during the passage of the important bill. What mechanisms or provisions are in the legislation to guarantee that the jobs created by its passing will be American ones? On Obamaâ(TM)s website it states that he plans to âoehelp create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.â
The problem is that the wind-turbines, solar farms and clean coal factories that Obama professes to be enamored with can be full of parts made in China. In fact, we all know it would be cheaper to build the bits there and put the final product together here. That is what America is good at nowadays. The website never specifies that the 5 million jobs be American ones.

But jobs installing wind-turbines and putting together Chinese made solar panels are not the kind of jobs the Obama Administration wants many in the American public to see as the âoegreen collared jobsâ created. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told the American people that Obamaâ(TM)s environmentally friendly energy policies will create "thousands, millions of new jobs in America."

Why would she not promise this considering that American workers who used to make cars, houses and many other products would naturally want a piece of the action in the factories making essential parts of the new Green Industry? When millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the past year, it seems very logical for the government spending Obamaâ(TM)s Administration requested from Congress to be used for the direct benefit of these American citizens. And yet not a single major media outlet demanded this provision from our representatives.

No major media outlets has asked for quotas on spending bills that stipulate what percentage of parts needed to be produced for use in the new Green Industry are to be made in America. Everyone seems to prefer looking forward to better days when all this government spending makes news on the economy move back to its own section of the daily paper where it belongs.

Comment Just Use Play On (Score 1) 375

Forget this mess and just use the wonderful Play On software to stream Hulu UPnP style to your media box (whether its a computer, a PS3, a Xbox360, a Popcorn hour, etc.). Lets not pretend for a second what the content providers want for their content is what happens with it (TPB anyone?)

Personally I can see this working out bad for Boxee. It is currently my second favorite XBMC fork (behind the rocking Plex) and I was looking forward to make my folks a new HTPC to give them Boxee in their living room, but without Hulu Boxee is much less useful.

Personally I use Play On to stream Hulu, Netflix and the like to my Plex computer hooked up to my TV so I am not missing out, but they were excited.

Now Boxee is just a second rate XBMC with needless social networking bolted on. Personally I would much rather keep Plex (with its working surround sound support and better Apple remote integration).

Honestly though I bet someone will get Boxee back having Hulu with some sort of unofficial plugin soon. Thats what the major media companies don't understand- it doesn't matter what they want what matters is what is technically possible. If someone cool is possible to do technically someone somewhere you can buy the law will work out the solution and spread it back to the exact people the media companies think they have control over.

Disclaimer: I don't work or develop for Play On or Plex. Just giving props to amazing software.

Comment Television and Movies is When it Will Matter (Score 1) 664

Currently no regular consumers seem to be up in arms about iTunes DRM because it mostly people are just buying music. Music is usually a personal thing so the most annoying part of DRM (the lack of ability to move or share) doesn't come up. Not many people have many iPods for themselves (I have three, but only honestly one is my main iPod, the rest are older models) and their family and synch to the same account. My 52 year old mom does not want the same music collection as my 17 year old sister. So they have different account and neither knows that they can't share what they have (because they don't want to).

Move forward 5 years when movies and television go more digital and it will be much different. TV and movies are more of shared experience- there are a million emo bands but only a few $250 million blockbuster movies a year. In that time when our broadband pipes are bigger and DVD fade away, suddenly the lack of the ability to put "Finding Nemo" on everyones iPod on the way to the Grand Canyon will be a big deal. Since you can't (unnerdily) burn an iTunes movie to a DVD the biggest way of getting around music DRM is gone.

Maybe in the digital movie age DRM will be a bigger deal. Or everyone will just stream all the content they want (like Youtube. Hulu, Netflix) on 4G wireless connections and the thought of purchasing monolithic media files will be very dinosaur. Who knows, but either way does not boast well for the iTunes business model.

But don't listen to me, I am just a Rapidshare addict that won't touch any digital media that is not in a mkv, avi or MP3 file. In fact, my favorite part of fixing the extended family's computer at Christmas is that I make every copy of iTunes I see import in high bitrate MP3. That way if they ever put a CD on their iPods I want, I can "magically" (to them) just get it off and play in my digital media kingdom.

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