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Comment Re:What about stop making stuff super thin? (Score 3, Insightful) 264

The obsession with thinness is all the more ironic considering that for many of these devices, the very first thing that the user does is cradle it in a thick plastic or silicone case to protect its exquisitely sleek and fragile surface.

I totally understand that people want to be able to protect and personalize their phones through cases, but it really proves how consumers don't actually NEED each successive generation of devices to be increasingly thinner. They want durability, they want grip, and they want better battery life, none of which is served by making devices so thin they will bend or explode with the slightest force.

Don't make something thin unless you intend for it to also bend.

I'm old enough to remember the "small" phone craze that happened decades ago. Mobile phones were on this progressive death spiral toward tinier and tinier form factors (this was even parodied in Zoolander). Now it's the same thing, just with thinness. It's a sign that the industry has gotten too comfortable with itself. Something will need to come along that really innovates, much in the way that the original smartphones broke the tiny phone trend.

Comment Re:Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 1) 119

Chargers and cables are not cutting edge technology. The design and safety considerations are well known and stable. Your suggestion that the high price is justified from a research, design, and consumer safety perspective is not supported by actual evidence: for example, a Lenovo laptop charger retails for $55 but an Apple charger retails for $85, yet the Lenovo design has all of the safety and durability features that even the Apple charger lacks: it has strain relief, and it has a replaceable cable that disconnects from the brick.

And this comes from someone who uses both Apple and Lenovo products; the former for personal use, the latter for work. And I detest and loathe Windows and Lenovo hardware in general. (I would have rather had our company go with Dell but I didn't have a say.) So when I go out of my way to specifically point out that even a (in my view, substandard) manufacturer like Lenovo can make a safe, reliable, durable charger and sell it for substantially less money than Apple, that really should underscore how serious and blatant Apple's design hubris really is.

Comment Re:Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 1) 119

Anonymous Coward:

The victim here is the consumer. Not Apple, and not the counterfeiters, who are both playing a role in the consumer's victimization either directly, by offering unsafe low-quality products, or indirectly, by offering safe but expensive low-quality products. Together these comprise opposite sides of the same coin. Neither manufacturer is harmed in the least bit by their actions; to the contrary, they both profit handsomely, which is precisely why this issue has become so prevalent among Apple products.

Comment Apple bears some responsibility here. (Score 3, Insightful) 119

The only reason why there's so many fake Apple chargers and non-compliant cables is because Apple prices genuine ones exorbitantly, and yet they are not designed to be durable. This combination creates a market for counterfeit and shoddy replacement products because when the genuine version breaks, consumers don't want to spend $100 or $45 or $20 to replace a charger or cable.

Case in point: MacBook Pro chargers have been known to suffer from frayed cables due to Apple's insistence on a design that lacks adequate strain relief. This has been a known engineering defect in their chargers since the iBook and PowerBook design over a decade ago, yet Apple has persistently refused to correct this flaw, presumably to encourage people to buy new chargers and make more profit. It would be a trivial matter for Apple to redesign these chargers to make the cable detachable from the brick--something that virtually every other laptop manufacturer does, so that if the cable breaks, you don't have to pay $100 to replace the whole thing and toss the broken one in the trash.

Same problem with iPhone cables. No strain relief. Apple talks about being an environmentally conscious company, but with millions of iPhone users--and almost everyone I know who owns one has said they've needed to replace the OEM cable due to wear--the cost of this garbage is substantial. Then add in the cost of the counterfeits both in terms of waste and safety.

Apple: lower the profit margins on chargers and cables, and make them more durable. You won't sell as much or make as much money, but only then will you be living up to your claims of being environmentally conscious and actually caring about consumers not injuring themselves, because you are playing a role in the fact that your consumers are buying knockoffs in the first place.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 0) 540

1. What you think is "equitable" in fact is not: the Electoral College as it currently exists places disproportionate weight on voters from states with small populations. Why should their votes have more influence on the outcome than someone who lives in a large city? Each person's vote should count for an equal share in the determination of any voting outcome. That is by definition equal representation and this is not how the Electoral College works.

2. We already do count all the individual votes; this is precisely how we determine the electors. The historical examples you cite actually prove that disputes about legitimacy or voting outcomes are NOT addressed with the Electoral College, because these controversies occurred even when the College was used. In fact, had the Electoral College been abolished in 2000, Al Gore would have won the presidency irrespective of the result of the disputed Florida ballots, because he had won the popular vote nationwide.

3. Trump is extremely popular and in the eyes of many extremely dangerous: he is self-contradictory, so we have no idea what he will do or say. And his supporters, far from holding him accountable, find all kinds of post hoc rationalizations and justifications for his erratic behavior. Yet he was elected through the Electoral College. It is in fact not a protective measure at all: electors are, almost without exception, bound to elect the candidate they pledged themselves to. Whether you agree or disagree about whether Trump is "evil," is actually secondary to this fact.

In summary, the reasons you cite for keeping the Electoral College are in fact reasons for doing the exact opposite.

Comment Apple misses the point (Score 5, Insightful) 212

(Gordon Ramsay voice): It's not about the price of the bloody dongles you fucking donkey!

It's about not having to deal with all the extra connectors, keeping track of them, taking them with you when you travel and then worrying about losing them. It's about Jony Ive and Tim Cook having the arrogance to design both the iPhone 7/7+ and the new MacBook Pro with release dates less than a month apart, yet not include in EITHER BOX a cable that lets you connect these two devices directly to each other. What the fuck is that, Jony? Just tryy to justify that decision. I dare you. It's about marketing USB-C as the future but not actually providing any cables out of the box that connect to those ports! How many devices exist in the market that support this connectivity?

Anyone who has the money to spend on this laptop is not going to balk at another $50 of cables. But the fact that Apple expects them to play pin the tail on the dongle with their new laptop is a slap in the face. Every time you have to fiddle with a dongle, it is like Jony Ive personally reaching out and bitchslapping you.

Comment Re:What the hell?! (Score 1) 63

If you're willing to sign a legally binding waiver indemnifying Samsung and TCF and your wireless provider from any harm that may occur as a result of keeping your device, and accept all risks and liabilities of such a hazard in the event the device causes death or injury or property damage to other parties, then of course you should be able to continue using it.

Not willing to sign such a waiver? Then Samsung should do what it can to encourage you to return the defective product, because as long as you haven't absolved them of this liability, it is theirs to retain. They have no other recourse to protect themselves. Most rational people will recognize that continuing to own a hazardous and defective product is not in their own best interest, because in some cases, you could lose any claim for damages if the manufacturer can demonstrate that you were injured or suffered a loss after you willfully ignored reasonable attempts to recall the product.

Comment Re:Sort of concerning (Score 2) 63

Reach out and kill your phone? As if having a ticking time bomb of an exploding battery in your pocket is any less concerning?

First of all, the device is recalled: the manufacturer and consumer product regulators have determined it is not acceptably safe to use, even if most users have not experienced any malfunctions. Second, Samsung is refunding the purchase cost of the phone and giving owners a discount on a future phone. Third, Samsung worked with the relevant telecommunications company to "kill" the Note 7. It's not as if Samsung itself has a switch somewhere to disable mobile network access. The telecoms have that power, but it's not any more exceptional or prone to abuse than any wireless provider being able to cut off network access to your device for any reason, such as failing to pay your phone bill.

Comment Screwed either way (Score 5, Interesting) 322

I've got money burning a hole in my pocket, but between this and the piece of shit MacBook Pro that was announced recently, I don't know what to do. Buy a Razer laptop and install Linux? The Surface Studio looked amazing but I refuse to use Windows on my personal computer.

Like this election cycle, it seems that personal computing seems to be on the same race to the bottom, in terms of which company can screw over their most loyal users the most.

Comment Re:Yes, but... Apple is a change agent. (Score 1) 299

No.

When USB was first introduced and Apple put it into the iMac, did they ship a mini-DIN keyboard with it and expect you to buy a dongle? No. It shipped with peripherals that worked out of the box.

What Apple is doing now is shipping a device with no native port compatibility with the rest of their product line, and then demanding that people buy dongles that Apple expects to become obsolete after the transition phase from USB-A to USB-C.

As for supporting legacy requirements forever, consider that USB-A is still very much a dominant and ubiquitous connector. If Apple believes USB-C is the future because it is a better connector, then the market will decide on its own, just as it did when USB-A first came out and a rapid-growing ecosystem of peripherals supported it based on its merits over the old serial port technology. Forcing the issue in a pro-level product is arrogant and stupid.

If Apple were sincere, they would ship all of these MacBook Pros with, at the very minimum, Lightning to USB-C, or give them out to any iPhone/iPad owners who buy a MacBook Pro. Only then can you have a case about Apple being a "change agent."

Comment Re:Dear Apple.... (Score 1) 675

No wifi-enabled DSLR can transfer RAW files as fast or faster than it can on a wired connection. Presently I use a 5D Mark III, and I own at least $15,000 worth of lenses the last time I counted, so I think I know a little bit more about professional photography hardware and workflow needs than you do.

For the record, I don't use the SD slot to transfer my photos either. But that was not my point: my point is that you have to look at the bigger picture, which is the insistence of removing functionality and compatibility from an ostensibly "professional" product when existing and current state-of-the-art hardware DOES NOT YET SUPPORT DOING SO, expecting that people go out and buy themselves an entire host of adapters, dongles, cables, and what have you just to recover that lost functionality. Apple's own most recent iPhone models are incompatible out of the box with this product: you have to buy an adapter or a special cable. And this fact exposes the lie in the claim that the industry is moving to USB-C and these laptops are leading they way. If Apple were sincere about this, they would ship their iPhones and iPads with Lightning to USB-C cables ONLY, but they don't because they know that the vast majority of users don't have machines that support USB-C yet and they're not willing to piss off that many people in the name of "courage" and "innovation."

I need a machine where I don't have to waste time or worry about whether I remembered to bring a dongle, or if I've got the right dongle, or I have to search my bag for the right dongle. I need a machine where I can use the same cable to connect my camera to my laptop or to someone else's laptop. In the future, that may well be USB-C. But it is not the reality now, and Apple's approach is stupid, arrogant, and objectively wrong. Make a laptop that has both USB-C and USB 3.0, wait for other device manufacturers to ship their products with USB-C cables, ship your own goddamned iDevices with USB-C cables, and then we can have a legitimate discussion about moving over to USB-C entirely. But when you don't do any of those things and you expect everyone to attach dongles everywhere, that is seriously fucked up.

Comment Re:Dear Apple.... (Score 5, Insightful) 675

Schiller's subtext is this: "We believe the vast, vast majority of people taking photos are doing so with their iPhones. We want to encourage that behavior and make any other camera obsolete."

Apple doesn't want to make it easier for people like you or me who use professional-grade imaging equipment. They arrogantly believe that the only thing that people need to take good photos is the iPhone 7+ with their fake bokeh.

And before the Apple fans accuse me of being a troll, let me state for the record that I have exclusively owned Apple hardware since at least 2004. The only phones I've bought since 2007 were iPhones; I owned the original iPhone. I've watched as Android went from a joke to a serious competitor, to beating iOS hands-down in features, yet I've remained loyal. But these statements coming out from Cupertino are unacceptable to me. I count myself among their most loyal consumers, but I will not be purchasing this Macbook Pro, despite having more than enough money to spend on the highest-end model and all their ridiculous dongles they expect me to buy with it. For me, this was never about money. This is about not taking a huge step backward in function. Yes, I am voting with my wallet.

I sincerely hope that Apple's management listens, because the direction of their "innovation" is antithetical to everything that Steve stood for. Steve believed in the importance of design, but design as a means to an end, which was to facilitate rather than hinder the user experience. Jony Ive's design philosophy is to make devices as pretty and thin as possible, screw function. Without Steve to put a reality check on that, this Macbook "Pro" is the all-too-predictable result.

Comment Re:Why I'm not upgrading (Score 1) 535

The MagSafe connector suffers from the same basic design flaw as every other Apple branded cable, which is the lack of strain relief, which again is Jony Ive's fault: he wants the cables to be as slender and clean as possible, but this comes at the expense of proper engineering. The cables fray, the plastic sheathing breaks open. Never mind the accumulation of magnetized particles on the connector, which I've not had an issue with personally. It goes to show that Jony's design is more important to Apple than anything else, because the environmental impact of all those frayed, wasted cables is enormous. It's a deliberately defective design that needlessly contributes to electronic waste, all to feed Ive's design ego.

This is also why I hate the idea of using adapters: Apple's track record of creating any kind of durable cable is abysmal. Why should I spend $20-$45 on each adapter only to have it break after 6 months of use?

As for USB-C being superior, I don't dispute that. What I dispute is the fact that Apple should include as part of the device any kind of connectivity that is needed to use the device with other Apple-branded products: so if you sell a laptop that only has USB-C ports, you should include at the very minimum a Lightning to USB-C connector somewhere. If a user has an iPhone or iPad, give them a fucking cable that works. Don't screw your most loyal users over. Give them a voucher or something. Let them go to an Apple store where they can take 5 seconds to verify your Apple ID and your device and give me a few cables that work natively. Otherwise, Apple is not sincere about moving the industry toward USB-C adoption.

As for the RAM, I don't need 32 GB personally. But anyone who runs FCP will probably want it, especially now that they've been waiting several years for an updated pro desktop. A lot of Macbook Pro owners are professionals and at the end of the day, I think their main criticism is not going to be about connectors or even the RAM limitation, but the slow and uncertain Mac update cycle. For the most part Mac users have learned to live with it, but I almost guarantee you that these newest laptops have sold out simply because a lot of users just need the update despite the serious flaws. This latest gap in Apple's product line, though, has a lot of professionals wondering if they can migrate their workflow to another system, because in the PC world, there's just so much more choice and products get updated far more frequently.

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