1379 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
OS X has its own precedents though
Dial the clock back to 1999 and look at Apple then. The difficulty is remaining relevant and providing a computer that can attract developers and do anything useful while Windows has 95% of the market and desktop applications are much more relevant than now. So Apple did the smart thing to stay alive: they embraced the open source community, combined what they perceived to be the best parts of the then competing platforms and the one they'd bought (ie, UNIX underneath, NextStep as the basis for the UI and for applications, get Microsoft on board to supply Office and Internet Explorer), published quickly and updated often.
That set the precedent from which OS X can't easily retreat. It's build in a certain technological way and it'd be neither easy or particularly desirable to start swapping major underlying parts in and out now. It's a much better idea to continue to build upwards.
Conversely, skip forward to 2007 for the iPhone and you've got a company swimming in iPod money and more able to dictate terms. So they ban Flash, close off as much as possible and a year later when they start doing apps they insist on being the single source and — for a while — being the only company that can even supply development tools.
So Stallman's judgment of the company is probably better measured against the iOS experience, which is Apple at its most confident doing everything it thinks is right, than then OS X experience, which is derived from Apple trying to remain relevant and to attract users.
@Ben: I'm not even sure it was the mistake people are making out
CUPS was first released in 1999. It was incorporated into OS X in 2002, at which point Apple's contributions started. In 2007 Apple hired the main developer and purchased the code, yet the contributions continue.
So Apple have been contributing for 75% of its public life. They've owned it for 33% but have continued to publish.
The GPL, and all other licences, affect what you can do with code you acquire under that licence. As a general rule, they don't bind the original author. Since Apple bought the code, they've acquired it other than under GPL and aren't required to continue to keep it open source. It's almost certain they don't own the whole thing (as it's very likely that at least one third party contributed something under the GPL and didn't subsequently sell that to Apple), but they've continued to release what they own which is most probably a very significant portion.
So the conclusion that Apple sponsor CUPS, and own a portion of it that they release even though they don't have to is correct and is in their favour. Any assertion that because Apple bought it or because it already existed they haven't contributed anything is just plain false on the facts.
Of course, it's still a question of an overall assessment. If I found out that Stalin was always very good at gardening I wouldn't therefore conclude that he was a really nice guy.
An objective observer might say...
... it's good that where Apple have benefitted from open source software, they've ultimately given back to the community.
A cynic might add that while it is objectively a good thing to have happened, it's likely Apple acted through legal obligation.
Only a partisan would go so far as to claim misdoing. And, in one case above, to just start making things up about the FreeBSD kernel.
That all being said, Stallman is making a value judgment about the overall balance of Apple's business position in recent years. So CUPS, WebKit, Mach, LLVM/Clang, OpenCL, etc are already factored into his conclusion. Apple's contributions to those projects don't 'disprove' him per se.
My take is that I don't agree with him because I think his world view is too simplistic. For example, if you look at what Apple's stance on Flash has done to the market overall, it's probably been positive. I don't suggest Apple had altruism in mind, simply that their acts have been to the community's benefit, possibly even despite their intentions. But Stallman doesn't seem able to distinguish between intent and effect. I also agree with the poster above that speaking out now, in these terms, is likely to be more of a hindrance than a benefit to his cause.
I don't think that's quite the issue
The comments have mostly been quite balanced — see the large number of people saying essentially "great man, but his flaws stopped me from buying the company's products". Those struggling to be heard are the predictable pack of dogmatic knee-jerk critics, jumping on the death of a human being as another opportunity to pull out their soapbox and preach.
Adulatory comments aren't hard to come by but at least here they're by no means in the majority.
The MSX was poorly implemented though
Video contents had to be posted off via port IO (ie, a very costly form of data access) to the dedicated video chip, which didn't support a hardware scroll. As a result, the first specified version of the machine couldn't smoothly scroll in any general sense. Compare that to the hardware video abilities of a Commodore 64 or the stuff a machine like the Spectrum with the video contents right there in RAM could do and you had a machine consumers just didn't want. Specifications were improved in later versions of the standard but it was too little, too late for most of the world.
Android has a few issues here and there but no huge roadblock of a problem like tying everyone to an uncompetitive hardware design.
The 4S isn't behind the Galaxy S 2, though you're right that it's very hard to imagine it'll still look good on numbers a year from now.
The new iPhone has a significantly faster GPU and a higher resolution screen; the jury's out on relative CPU speeds since Apple haven't supplied sufficient details but parity is likely. The S2 is also slightly hampered because Android used the GPU only in a very limited fashion (ie, for games and for composition but not for normal painting) prior to 3.x, which has yet to make it to phones.
Conversely the S2 has a significantly larger, OLED screen and a whole bunch of other features that sound a bit silly one by one but add up: a memory card slot, an FM radio, a replaceable battery, etc.
Even ignoring whether anybody actually cares, I'm not sure you can say either has the better hardware without a vested interest in reaching that conclusion.
No, he doesn't. Or he'd be comparing it to the HDMI out on iPhones, which like the HDMI out on phones running every other operating system doesn't need an ATV, just a £10 cable.
Show me the fanbois.
Part of it is software, probably
They seemed to suggest that the camera being directly on the lock screen, etc was an iOS 5 feature rather than a 4S feature. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suppose they've optimised the software elsewhere if getting to the camera quickly is something they suddenly care about. We'll know in a week or so, I guess.
For my money, Apple's numbers are probably massaged and I don't recall it ever being much of an issue anyway.
I disagree that Nokia is more innovative than Apple on the basis that neither of them, or indeed anyone else, has produced anything even slightly innovative for several years. All we've seen for a very long time in hardware is piecemeal tiny-step evolution. Neither Apple nor Nokia has innovated at all and I think it's actually unfair to drag Nokia into the conversation when it's currently Apple harking essentially that, after more than a year of working on it, it's managed to put a faster CPU into their phone. If anything Nokia seems to be keeping its head down and just getting on with the long haul towards its software sea change, which is very hard to criticise.
If Siri isn't available, they can still use voice recognition
Siri isn't voice recognition and the iPhone has had normal, offline voice recognition built in for years. Arguing that Siri is voice recognition is like arguing that because Safari uses the touchscreen, the touchscreen isn't available when the user is offline.
So, in contrast to the GSII or Desire Z, a hypothetical user will find that Siri is available when online rather than not available at all under any circumstances.
Based on the demonstration and the simple obvious facts, a real user will quickly find that they don't want to use either Siri or voice recognition, both being essentially useless marketing puff. They'll subsequently then fail to notice whether the service is available on the handset they happen to own on the connection they currently have.
Embracing the adversarial system?
You wouldn't expect an article entitled "Ten reasons why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 5" to be a balanced summary. In fact you would expect it explicitly not to include any arguments in favour whatsoever. It's just a summary of the arguments in favour of a viewpoint; the conclusion precedes the discussion.
Obviously I'm confident that the opposing case will be forthcoming. Our favourite irreverent technical publication wouldn't descend to taking sides, surely?
Per the linked articles
StatCounter don't consider the iPad to be mobile. Their iPhone + iPod Touch share is 23.93%. Their number for Opera's share across all mobile versions (ie, Mini + Mobile + the various fringe versions like that in the Nintendo DS) is 22.8%. Nokia come in third with 16.51%, then BlackBerry on 14.28% and finally Android on 12.85%.
Net Applications count the iPad as mobile and don't combine Opera versions the numbers are arguably skewed — 55.6% to Safari, 18.9% to Opera Mini, 16% to Android and 4.7% to the Symbian browser.
The disparity on Nokia/Symbian numbers is the oddest thing. I think Android's showing is consistent with the way many Android devices are sold, i.e. without cheap data. People can want to use apps and have a decent browser available just in case without intending to browse often when out and about.
Not just the Apple price point
They tried to sell near identikit products, in HP's case with significantly reduced functionality, at the same price point as the runaway market leader. Amazon seem to be the first company to have hit on the idea of doing a device that is both distinct and priced attractively.
Unless Microsoft do something really amazing, my feeling is that it's a two-horse race from here on out. The interesting thing will be whether Amazon's forked Android slowly diverges from the Google original on technical grounds so as to make it effectively a different target.
Looking at precedent
The Kindle 3 launched in the US at $189 (sans tax; see the many articles on Amazon's US avoidance of sales taxes) and the UK at £152 (fully taxed), both back in July last year. At the time the exchange rate was around $1.50 to the pound and VAT was 17.5%, so a literal translation of the US price with no other adjustments would have been about £148.
I therefore think it's likely we'll get a pretty accurate conversion rate for the Fire.
No you don't
You might want to catch up on the announced iOS 5 features.
@Phalamir: more likely to be about quantification
Without being strong on Australian law, I would expect the argument (which I'm not necessarily endorsing, voters) went: Samsung should face measures because they use technology covered by our patents without permission; if you accept that we are entitled to relief because of the patent infringement then such relief should be to bar them from the market because otherwise we lose out very significantly.
So Apple aren't arguing that Samsung's wrong is taking away potential customers, they're arguing that Samsung's wrong is patent infringement. Only if that wrong is established then will the other comments become relevant.
Of course, El Reg's story is correct: if Apple think that a customer lost once is a customer lost forever then they don't sound that confident in their products.
Best of a bad set of options
The touch screens employed by other readers require something to be attached above the display. That reduces clarity a little, which is really important when you're trying to sell to people who value the printed page. I guess they've gone infrared because it looks over the screen from the edges. It also needn't necessarily be one of those cheap trip-the-wire things they had in the 80s, since doing it optically with two or three 1d cameras is now completely viable economically.
"exactly as they first aired"
Is that in the sense of exactly as they first aired as long as you didn't look at any of the bits they've almost certainly cropped or stretched to make a widescreen image?
There's one in the Window of the Maplin on the north side of Waterloo bridge, so presumably you can buy them at Maplin.
That's not a problem
While I was in the US I was able to use my UK Amazon account to order purchases to a US address, even while keeping my UK address as the billing address linked to my card. So you should be able to head to amazon.com, order whatever you want and have it delivered to your brother-in-law.
Per http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3493498/Katie-Price-book-outselling-Gordon-Browns.html Katie Price was still managing to sell almost 1,000 copies every three days of 'Pushed to the Limit' (described as "the latest instalment of the model’s autobiography") after 10 months on the market.
Per the report linked to by El Reg, the best selling book last week — One Day — managed to sell about 14,443 copies every three days.
Not especially surprising
Wikileaks published highly compelling evidence that a bunch of agencies that operate effectively above the law were — quelle surprise — acting as though above the law. If, like me, you think that greater accountability leads to better governance then that's a good thing. There's the counter-argument that what they did was likely to endanger actual operatives currently in the field and to negatively bias diplomatic relationships. I'm optimistic that the input of outlets like The Guardian will have caused the advantages to outweigh the disadvantages but the truth is that we'll probably never have a complete picture.
That all being said, Assange has always come off as so ostentatiously trying to benefit personally from the Wikileaks disclosures that you have to wonder about his motives. Not only do I not for a second believe that he's acting altruistically, but I don't even see him as an important component of the Wikileaks story. He didn't found the organisation and it's pretty obvious that not only do they not really need a public face but that even if they did they'd have been able to pick from a thousand others.
I'm therefore not really sure why I'd want to read a biography — he's a person with mostly negative traits that hasn't had any original ideas or built anything significant.
Quite a useful comparison
Per the text of the article, the figures show that:
(i) Android-aligned players dominate the market and Android's share continues to grow; but
(ii) not at the expense of Apple, which also continues to grow; whereas
(iii) RIM appears to be in decline.
This information is relevant and useful to us as IT professionals because the secondary markets (e.g., for application software) more or less break down along those same lines.
They'd just lose the business
Apple source screens and panels from multiple suppliers; all that would happen would be that somebody else would step up production. So Apple would be barely affected and Samsung would lose a lot of money.
Conversely, Samsung obviously have a government-granted monopoly on anything they've patented, so — without having an opinion about the merits of the case otherwise — it makes sense to kick back there.
It was nothing like a game from 1998
Almost purely linear levels pushing you relentlessly from cut scene to cut scene are a much newer invention. As the cost of assets has gone up the temptation to limit the ability for the player to explore has raised proportionally, presumably in order to ensure that all the money is on show. A bog-standard shooter from 1998 would have been endless indistinguishable corridors and caves and an insistence on making you find coloured key cards and buttons.
As for the feedback, I notice they've stuck to asking how much you approve of Duke's style of humour rather than anything about the specific execution. So that's: "Well, obviously you have a problem with the style of content" as a counterargument to "It's just not funny".
So 1430mAh wouldn't be a massive increase. Indeed, since that number comes from the tear downs that were carried out immediately after the device first launched it probably wouldn't even be surprising if Apple had silently substituted the one for the other in the existing model.
That's simply untrue. Nokia sued first. See e.g. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/22/nokia_sues_apple_iphone/ and, about a week later, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/28/apple_will_fight_nokia/
Nah, it's just the point that Loyal Commanders makes is valid — there's a distinction between actionable copying (which relates to what's legally protectable and so invokes a whole bunch of other considerations) and merely following another company into a newly energetic segment of an existing market.
So if you want to establish that Samsung copied Apple then the test is: what have they done, that Apple did first, that wasn't obvious or taken from an even earlier source? I think multitouch gestures are the only potentially relevant thing (which Apple own by acquisition, but you get the idea), but Apple appear to be claiming ownership of the tablet form factor, the famous rounded corners, etc. So Samsung appear to be saying, you know, we've done a whole lot of hard graft engineering on radio technology and if you want to start being legal about it then bring it on.
I guess the iPhone 5 element is to threaten to hit Apple when it'll hurt them more and to make sure their threat gets the best possible airplay.
The battery, presumably
Though 18 months may be a little bit of artistic licence. If Google is to be believed, the Airs ship with a lithium polymer battery, which normally means about 300 charge cycles. If you do a complete charge slightly more often than every other day then you get 18 months.
Apple didn't start it, they just jumped in with unprecedented vigour. As far as I can make out, Nokia started it by suing Apple in 2009. Apple have since gone after HTC (starting in 2010) and Samsung (this year), neither company having previously had much of an interest in legal pursuits.
My phone's an iPhone, but I'm with Samsung on this one. I'm a turn the other cheek person in any situation with serious consequences, but I doubt this is anything more than rounding errors on the Samsung and Apple books, so letting Apple know that it can't bully everyone into submission feels like the right way forward.
You're quite right — no matter how much someone might want to buy a new Mac with 10.6 or earlier on it, nobody is able to supply that. So customers can't react to Lion in the same way as many reacted to Vista. However it's still worth drawing a distinction because most of the Vista story was customer reaction.
I can tell you that Pascal (via Turbo Pascal, anachronistically) was still on the roster for Computer Science A-Level when I left sixth form in 1999. I don't recall any programming cropping up at GCSE level or earlier but there weren't any sort of computer-related courses at my school so that may not be typical.
At a guess, A-Level changes probably happened in or around the transition to fully separated AS and A2 curricula — around 2000.
It's the design pattern problem too
Though I guess if there were a standard library, that would set the tone for design patterns. So solving the one would solve the other.
Not a Vista for one important reason...
... its perceived faults haven't dented its sales figures. I wouldn't consider the comparison to be appropriate if the company doesn't see any response to its decisions.
This isn't a way of protecting you from yourself
It's a versioning system, tacked on in such a way that the writer has found it to have at least one significant flaw. Apple's intention isn't to save you from accidental deletion, it's to retain extra historical information much like a common or garden source control repository. They just seem to have done a less than spectacular job of the implementation.
It's because Apple aren't going to tell us
Apple are a prominent technology company, who are sometimes the first to succeed commercially in a field. They sell only about a dozen different products in total, so changes to any product are newsworthy. However they don't generally announce their plans in advance, so there's often speculation. Sites like El Reg like to carry stories that their readers will find interesting so they like to provide information that allows their readers to speculate.
So: gussying is caused by the official information vacuum.
Some companies don't adopt the same tactic because they're more connected to outside ecosystems, making it more likely that people would just feed on information supplied by another company instead and forget about them.
If you look at the phenomenon of vapourware you'll see that some companies have played exactly the other way — releasing information about products that they never launch, sometimes maliciously.
So it's definitely not true that everybody else would play it like Apple if they could, even if it is true that Apple's ability to get free publicity for doing absolutely nothing is enviable.
The original Pre launched in mid-2009, so WebOS has had more than two years to fail to reach a critical mass. Or nine quarters if you prefer to look at it that way.
It's sad and unfair that it's turned out like this, but compared to the Microsoft Kin or even to less extreme tech failures like the 3DO, the PowerMac G4 Cube or Google Wave it was actually given a reasonably decent amount of time to try.
The Amazon tablet is the thing
Samsung, Motorola and the other big names have managed to get serious traction for Android in the mobile phone space because people already know they need a phone and Android handsets are very competitive. Conversely I think they're doing much more poorly with tablets because you have specifically to want one (because carriers aren't generally subsidising them so you're not very close to getting one either way) and people don't necessarily think they want a tablet. Apple's marketing machine here is a benefit because it isn't saying "you want us not them" so much as "here's a new type of thing you want".
I think Amazon are going to distinguish themselves by significantly reducing the price, by adapting a more sophisticated marketing drive than "you know those tablet things that Apple are on about, well we make one too you know" and by really promoting the thing through the single most popular storefront in the world today.
In a year it'll be Apple v Amazon. And supposing Amazon have forked Android and are paying Google nothing, they have neither the interest nor the legal right to attach the Android brand to their tablet so I don't foresee much of a halo effect.
Not only do I agree, but taking your thought further based on my actual usage I can't think of an occasion when the catch-up services aren't enough for me. I'm much more likely to spend money on any of the hundreds of devices that could put those on my [antiquated] TV than on getting broadcast television onto my digital devices.
I prefer Office to OpenOffice/LibreOffice because the ribbon allows me to navigate by shape. The traditional approach to toolbars long ago became a large grid of tiny icons that you have to inspect one by one. The pull-down-but-with-graphics approach of the Ribbon is much easier because the different sizing and positioning of buttons lets you approach the problem spatially, so that much more of it is innate rather than conscious.
In versions of Office long gone, I'd spent about 20 minutes after install just disabling toolbars and pointless toolbar icons to get to a state where navigation wasn't a chore. The old pull downs that hide unused features are actually a problem rather than a solution since every time you use one of the features you otherwise ignore for maybe 95% of the time the positioning of items is changed. So your navigation is off again.
And the standard rules of requiring user customisation apply: 90% aren't going to bother, you're going to be hampered every time you use anybody else's machine and you're going to spend a ridiculous amount of time syncing your various machines.
Samsung don't see it how the bloggers see it
While a lot of the web paints the mobile OS space as a fight to the death, Samsung sees the OS as merely another component. To that end they've pursued a strategy of not allowing themselves to become dependent on any single supplier, so as to mitigate against risk. Their problem is that Bada is consciously designed to bring smart phone functionality to the feature phone tier and presents a relatively painful environment for developers as a result — nothing as low as the Symbian level but quite a few pegs down from the Java or C# end of the spectrum. If they were to buy or to licence WebOS, I imagine it'd be to provide greater diversity for their high end phones.
That said, like you I'm highly sceptical. Regardless of it's qualities, WebOS is a platform with a very poor track record in the market. I guess the question is whether Samsung feel both sufficiently emboldened and sufficiently restrained by Bada.
Because we're already more than half way to forgetting Bill Gates?
Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers, on the front line during the early period when people were first pushing the radical idea that computers should be usable by anyone and sold to everyone. Whether you think he was unique or not, he was a suitably prominent member of a sufficiently small number of people that his position in history — like those of Gates, Sir Clive, Jack Tramiel and several others — is secure.
No, doesn't sounds like that
My reading was that LDAP is used as the login mechanism for machines; if you can supply suitable credentials then you can get to a desktop. That bit all works correctly, with the LDAP server giving a verdict.
OS X is then broken because if you get to another prompt that requires a machine password, like waking from sleep or performing a superuser operation if your user is set to have access to superuser stuff on that machine, it fails to verify with LDAP and just accepts whatever you type in. Meanwhile the user with actual credentials has already logged in, already gaining access to whatever else one keeps on an LDAP server.
News just in...
"Man who wants to make Apple sound uninventive only able to supply short list of Apple inventions"
I think Apple are more innovative than the market average but so are several others. In that list I'd include some of their direct competitors, such as Google and Microsoft.
If I had to think of a quality that makes Apple unique I'd be much more likely to pick uncompromising. I think that's the quality that makes their products either brilliant or worthless, depending on which side of the debate you're on.
The SDK is awful though
For those that haven't experienced it, it's Eclipse based but available for Windows only, everything is done in C++ using vendor-specific memory management rules, an an odd proprietary alternative to STL (so you're supposed to use Samsung's custom classes for strings, arrays, hash maps, etc) and some weird usage conventions, such as two-stage constructors (ie, you're not meant to use the normal C++ constructor to do any construction, because someone at Samsung has decreed that exceptions are too costly to the processor).
The backstory, that Bada was designed and used purely internally for phones from 2004 onward, then opened up as best as it could be, is very credible.
@AC: check the article
"A Dutch court has warmed the hearts of Apple's patent Nazis, issuing a preliminary injunction against the sale of three Samsung Android phones"
This is a preliminary decision, just like that in the Galaxy Tab case. So the decisions made here are preliminary, exactly as in the Galaxy Tab case.
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