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Comment Re:rounded corners (Score 1) 81

And Samsung has a patent on rounded corners too. So does Coca-Cola. And Toyota. And thousands of other companies. But design patents function differently than utility patents, are infringed upon differently than utility patents, and have very different sets of restrictions on them than utility patents. So while it's true that Apple has (had?) a patent for rounded corners, it was a design patent, not a utility patent, and basically everyone else with a rounded product has a design patent for rounded corners too.

What matters are the details, and it's clear that you've subscribed to an oversimplified view of the facts.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 81

It's not the Supreme Court's job to replace it. That's the Congress' role.

The OP's whole point was that it's no one's job to replace it, because it's a job that shouldn't exist in the first place. Effectively, the OP is asserting that the Supreme Court acted contrary to the law in their ruling. Unless they're declaring a law unconstitutional (which they didn't), they have no right to do so, which means that the need for a replacement is entirely invalid.

I don't know if the OP is making all of this up or not (nor do I care enough to investigate, if I'm being honest), but it's certainly an interesting twist if it's true, and it's something that everyone on all sides should be able to agree is not good for case law in the country.

Comment Re:too much segmentation (Score 1) 139

While I agree with what you said about content disappearing, you've got everything else wrong (in fact, it looks like you're deliberately misstating things). A la carte pricing commoditizes the layers of the TV watching stack, allowing us to shop around and swap out parts we don't care about. Even for people who were taking full advantage of everything their package offered, it's almost assuredly cheaper with a la carte pricing, and for everyone else it certainly is.

Using my own town as an example, Suddenlink is the lone cable provider and their cheapest TV+Internet plan is $98.95 per month for new customers. The same Internet access is $39.95 when purchased separately as a new customer, so we can say that basic cable costs $59 each month, and that's before you include HBO ($+19/mo.), which, I'll note, you conveniently forgot to include in your traditional package example. Broken out that way, it should be obvious just how bad of a deal it actually is, since it's easy to find basic content for less than $59.

With that same $59/mo., we could pick up ALL of these:
1) Access Slim bundle from Playstation Vue for $29.99
2) CBS All Access for $5.99
3) HBO Now for $14.99
4) Amazon Prime for $8.25

All of which is to say, you can stretch your dollars a LOT further by going a la carte, since you'd be gaining HBO content, DVR functionality across all of your devices, and all of the benefits of Amazon Prime (e.g. free two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, unlimited photo storage, etc.). And that's assuming you actually wanted everything in the basic package to begin with. For our family, we don't care about sports, we don't care about live TV, we don't care about current seasons, and we'd rather binge watch, so Internet+Netflix is more than enough for us.

But even if you're not so extreme, you can still shave dollars in other ways. Don't care about ESPN? Drop to Sling's $25 Blue package. Don't care about seeing CBS live? Save another $6. Don't care about live TV at all? Get Hulu's day-after content and save $22 from what you'd spend on Vue. Don't care about current seasons? Netflix or Amazon gets you old seasons plus a catalog of movies. Hell, you might already have Amazon Prime for the other benefits it provides, so it may be no added cost at all.

And now that our Internet isn't packaged with our content, we can swap the Internet service out. 50Mbps is already 5x more bandwidth than we need for two 1080p streams (which is the most strain we put on our connection), so the moment a cheaper plan is offered by an ISP in our area (fingers crossed), we'll be shaving even more off our bill.

Comment Re:Low bar (Score 1) 116

Amen to that, though I'd rather the industry do so with TVs first. Laptops move between locations, not all of which are similarly equipped, so there are times when those speakers get use, but a TV is stationary. Why do they insist on including tinny speakers covered by ugly grills on sets that cost thousands of dollars, when it's pretty much a given that anyone buying the set already has an AVR and speakers, or at the VERY least a soundbar?

Comment Re:Low bar (Score 1) 116

At the prices Apple charge for their laptops I expect them to far exceed the bar set by their far cheaper competitors.

As do I, but that's a different topic than the one I was addressing. I was merely pointing out that the OP was incorrect in his belief that Apple was failing to live up to the standard set by its competitors given that the competition has dealt with this exact same issue in the past (albeit, infrequently, as I pointed out, and just as I expect that this issue will be for Apple).

If you want to argue about the value proposition, that's a dead horse that's been beaten to death. While I agree that this model is overpriced, I think that you're overstating things. Even so, we have better things to do than argue opinions on the Internet, so I won't try to convince you that it's not quite as overpriced as you seem to think.

The one thing I do find fascinating and want to point out about this new model, however, is how different its reception seems to be among the general population than it is here in the nerd echo chamber. While folks like us may quibble over the degree to which the new MacBook Pro is overpriced, in its first five days it outsold the lifetime, combined numbers for every notable, competing laptop in the industry.

We can dismiss that as the faithful followers buying another Apple logo for their Apple shrine. We can dismiss it as locked-in customers starved for an update who jumped eagerly at the chance to upgrade. We can dismiss it as simple brand loyalty. We can even dismiss the study as being biased, fabricated, or inaccurate. But even if the numbers aren't quite that high, it's clear that these machines are worth the asking price to many people, and that's something I've already been struggling to reconcile with my personal opinions. I'd encourage you to do the same. It's clear we're in the minority.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 116

3) Except that clearly it can't run Windows nearly as well as every other PC compatible.

There was a story not that long ago (maybe a year back?) about a line of Dell or HP laptops that had the same sort of issue with the user being able to set the volume to levels that would cause damage to the speakers, despite them being designed to work with Windows from the get-go. So, contrary to your statement, yes, Apple managed to hit the bar set by their competitors.

Mind you, most laptops, whether from Dell, HP, or Apple, don't have that issue in the first place, so it's a bit of an outlier, regardless of brand. We all agree that this sort of thing shouldn't be possible in the first place, but mistakes clearly do happen from time to time. We'll see if Apple makes it right for the customers affected.

Comment Re:eating less (Score 1) 256

While I agree with much of what you said, I had a question about this part:

studies have shown that once people become obese and start dieting their bodies go into a kind of starvation mode, where they need to keep calorie consumption down below normal levels to maintain their weight.

Are you referring to ketosis? If so, that "starvation mode" should only be a problem with low-carb diets (e.g. Atkins), given that it's triggered by a lack of sugars in your system, but you're quite right about how it can cause a bounceback once you stop and that if you want to avoid the bounceback you'll effectively need to maintain "starvation mode" in perpetuity. That said, if you're aware of a different "starvation mode" that applies more broadly to all (or other) forms of dieting, I truly would love any info you could point me towards.

My wife and I are in the process of losing weight (we're down for a combined 100 lbs since the start of 2015 thanks to modest cutbacks on portion sizes, adding light exercise, and monitoring things carefully), but we've specifically been avoiding unsustainable approaches like crash diets, crazy workouts, or anything involving ketosis, in large part because we don't want to have a bounceback at the end of all of this. As such, if you're aware of more general "starvation modes", I'd love any info you could share, that way we can start adjusting our diets (and expectations) sooner, rather than later.

Comment Color me surprised (Score 4, Informative) 20

You mean the company whose offices were raided less than a decade ago because the previous CEO was maintaining a slush fund to pay off government officials is embroiled in a fresh scandal involving the company currying illegal favor with government officials? Surely not! I thought they had left all of that behind after they allegedly bribed government officials so that the previous CEO's son could become the current CEO without the government asking any questions about the son's level of involvement in the previously mentioned crimes!

...which (just in case you're wondering about the timeline of events) came after the President of South Korea pardoned the father/previous CEO so that he could serve on the IOC instead of serving the three years of jail time he was sentenced to.

So yeah, I'm very surprised at this turn of events. Definitely didn't see it coming.

Comment Re:Popcorn time! (Score 1) 1321

Just to comment on this one part of your post (which I largely agree with):

if as stated the concern is with electronic voting machines, why would they call for recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin, which use paper ballots?

The paper ballots there are counted via optical scanner (i.e. like a scantron). It's possible someone tampered with the optical scanner so that it would misreport what it read in from the paper ballots. Again, it seems unlikely that someone did so, but I believe that's what they were getting at with regards to those counties.

Comment Re:tesla models S (Score 2) 56

Neither of those is true nationwide, so far as I know. Most states have allowed speeds above 65mph since the mid-90s, with only a handful of states keeping their maximum speeds under 70mph. For instance, here in Texas our speed limits go as high as 85mph in some parts of the state, though the fastest I see in everyday driving is 75mph.

As for anything over 100mph being a felony, maybe that's true where you live, but I doubt it's true here. In Texas we have prima facie speed limits, rather than absolute speed limits. Whereas in most states the very act of speeding is a crime in and of itself, in Texas and a few other states that isn't the case. Rather, when we get pulled over "for speeding", it's actually for going faster than what is considered safe for the conditions (the ticket will even have details about the road and environmental conditions at the time you were pulled over). You can contest the ticket in court if you lay out a case for why you were driving safely, despite exceeding the limit (e.g. common speed that day was higher than posted speed, so it would have been unsafe to drive at the posted speed). Likewise, if everyone is passing you while you drive the limit, you may find yourself getting ticketed for unsafe driving, regardless of the fact that you were at the speed limit.

Also, as others have pointed out, there are plenty of private race courses and the like at which people may want to push their cars to their limits.

Comment Re:Why yes! There is. It's called (Score 1) 230

not plugging your fucking toaster into the internet so it cat tweet out whenever your toast is done.

I don't know whether you're talking about a toaster that tweets cat pictures or a toaster that tweets to cats when the toast is done, but either way I agree that it's a step too far (though I don't see the relevance to the topic at hand).

Back on topic, everyone knows you should use IFTTT to connect your toaster to the IoT, that way you can log your toasting activity to a Google Spreadsheet, active your Nest thermostat, initiate your coffee brewing, and share your #toastselfie across 72 social networking sites simultaneously. As you're no doubt aware, enabling people to do so is a vital service to the community, because it allows rampant narcissists to self-identify so that the rest of us can cull those relationships.

Comment Re:Dupe news (Score 2) 35

Not a dupe. That news was reporting that Apple was using different chips with different levels of performance in models intended for different carriers (i.e. you should be upset if you bought the "lesser" model). This news is reporting that despite the differences between the chips, the phones are performing the same, presumably because Apple is bottlenecking the performance of the one (i.e. you should be upset if you bought the "superior" model).

Comment Re:Is it? (Score 2) 35

Indeed, and the suggestion that "It would be an unusual step for a major phone company to restrain its devices" is obviously incorrect as well. Apple already underclocks its processors and limits the types of background processing that can take place because they think the tradeoff is worthwhile in order to get something else (e.g. extra battery life). Or look into how binning works with virtually every processor manufacturer. They artificially limit the performance of the chip.

The practice of "restraining" better performing hardware is both common and widespread across the technology sector. The only thing surprising here is the manufactured outrage of some technology enthusiasts who saw the teardowns and thought they'd be able to get more than they had paid for. Never mind that Apple had been clear about the expected levels of performance all along, and that they didn't differ between models on different carriers.

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