1608 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
Sadly, schools are broken
I'm most knowledgable about the US market but over there the teacher shortage generally means that you end up with teachers having to do quite a lot of work outside of their own subjects, such as — for example — PE teachers teaching maths. Because they don't know the topic all that well, they're quite dependant on the textbook. Meanwhile, states require that textbooks be certified at the state level before schools are permitted to purchase them.
As a result web sites are generally out as a teaching tool because the subject-hopping teachers prefer to trust what the state has explicitly approved and the subject-native teachers can do without the liability of turning away from the specified materials.
The conservative approach that goes into textbooks prior to submission to state bodies therefore leads to children carrying around huge, heavy books with words that were fixed in stone a long time previous.
Forget the Apple angle; any move to electronic materials — which are less regulated at present and needn't carry the same heft or price — will be a great advancement.
@Field Marshal Von Krankenfart
McGraw-Hill, amongst others, has explicitly said it will be charging $14.99 for all textbooks that currently retail at $75. Terry McGraw of McGraw-Hill has spoken to journalists to confirm that and to confirm that he expects to make up the difference through volume.
Your theory that "most" books will be those "that don't sell well" and hence will be charged more is pure speculation and flies in the face of the announcements by (i) Apple; and (ii) the publishers themselves.
The article says: "'most' of their offerings priced at $14.99 or less". That's quite different from your shouty assertion that "the textbooks *START* at $14". It's explicit from the news released that the publishers will be selling their $70 books for $14.99, presumably because without a resale market they can sell a completely new set of copies every year.
Technically a markup of 40% would leave the publisher getting 1/1.4 * 100 percent of the cover price, which is about 71.5% — slightly better than Apple. By taking 30% of the sale price, Apple are effectively applying a markup of almost 43%.
Of course your other points are valid though, and the pricing looks reasonable. It sounds like they've divided the cost of a textbook that should last five years by five, on the assumption that each student will buy their own and not be able to resell it. Leaving weight considerations aside, I guess whether that's better for the consumer depends on what the resale price of US school textbooks tends to be.
On the other hand, some people also upgrade their Android phones religiously and quite a lot of iPhone contracts are two years, so quite a lot of iPhone users aren't upgrading. The story is also that the new release sales bump has lasted a lot longer than it did on previous releases, and the linked Nielsen data states that only 57% of those iPhone purchases were the latest model.
That being said, I expect it's just — as other commenters have suggested — the proximity to Christmas and the new availability of the iPhone on certain networks. This bump may indicate a trend in terms of how long the iPhone's sales increase for after a new introduction but I'm confident the share will be back to 60:30 type levels in Android's favour just before the next iPhone launch comes around.
It's worse than that
Per the original Nielsen report (there's a link in the article but no reason to suspect it had the additional figures), WP7 is 1.3% of all users, including 1.4% of phones bought in the last three months. That makes it 50% more popular than Symbian, and almost 60% as popular as the Windows Mobile platform it inherits from.
Technological pedant says...
The 6845 is pretty much just an address generator (though for completeness, it also generates sync and a hardware cursor); it's up to other components to figure out what to do with the address. The CPC swaps some of the bits around to give linear scan lines — a huge improvement on the BBC — fetches the byte and applies the current entries from its three-levels-per-channel 27 colour palette — also a huge improvement on the BBC.
So, technically, the 6845 isn't the cause of the CPC's superior colour handling.
Not really what he was saying
That's Android for those who are willing to invest a little time to get a large reward, iPhone for the time starved and those who just don't care. And even then I'm stretching Woz's words. At no point does he invoke the peer pressure or crowd following sentiment that you impute.
So I'm not sure he's in line with the El Reg gang but I think he's quite right.
It's pretty easy to argue with, given that most people's complaint with Objective-C is no more well-informed than "you know, it looks different", which tends to boil down to different brackets and named parameters being a bit verbose. While those might not be something you like, it's an easy description to argue with when placed in an article arguing in favour of a language that replaces most of the C/C++/C# brackets with verbose keywords.
Not just Apple
There are plenty of people willing to sell you a tablet that'll do home and work stuff for Apple's $499, or less. If Windows tablets really were to start at $899 (though scepticism dictates they probably won't) then it won't just be Apple that'll make them look dead on arrival.
As we're coming up to five years since the iPhone launched and the economy continues to look poor, I imagine even corporate networks are no longer so tied to Microsoft as to justify a premium.
You're opening a can of worms there
Though I don't disagree. KDE and GNOME seem to continue to stride forwards (even if toward the wrong targets in the opinion of some longtime users) but many of the applications commonly associated with the Linux desktop, like GIMP, OpenOffice and Inkscape, continue to look and act like Windows 3.1 refugees that got the usability wrong in the first place.
And the world of Internet discourse then seems to divide into (i) those that agree and therefore conclude that all Linux users must be stupid; and (ii) those that argue that if you're so brilliant then you can fix it yourself, and why don't you just clear off and buy a Mac if all you care about is shininess anyway? So it's difficult to have a rational conversation about it.
Yeah! Gadgets! That'll do it!
HMV feels like another company that — having failed to win much market share on the Internet — should probably just accept terminal decline.
I don't think gadgets are going to work for them since they depreciate in value very quickly and are something people have no qualms whatsoever in sourcing online (unlike, say, clothes). So the comparison will be three-month old gadgets with the standard HMV markups to new gadgets via Amazon or direct from the manufacturer.
@Sean Baggaley 1
I meant the field of DRM content rather than the field of books. And you can check my post history to see that I'm the first to jump to Apple's defence when doing so is justified.
iTunes is no longer needed to activate a device and iCloud acts as a backup solution for on-device content but, for example, if you want music then you still have to use iTunes. Sure, you can subscribe to iTunes Match and cut out the physical connection but there's still no way to put music onto an iPod without iTunes. As far as I'm aware, there's also no way whatsoever to recover music from an iPod onto another device.
Conversely, I can drag and drop over USB un-DRMed books onto my Kindle from the Finder or the Explorer, in both directions. So I was comparing 'how Amazon treat the only media the Kindle supports' to 'how Apple treat the media most associated with the iPod'. I don't think it's an unfair comparison because in both cases it's a question of what the company allows you to do with content that is not otherwise protected.
The Kindle comments are also primarily relevant to the allegation that you can't load content onto a Kindle without third-party software and the attempt to argue an Amazon lockdown. Nevertheless I don't think invoking Apple in a discussion about lockdown is inappropriate.
You're quite right; it's a build-to-order option that I failed to notice. I stand corrected.
However, example copy from PC World's write-up of the LG line: "Announced in Korea, the Z330’s prices in Korean currency are even higher than what Apple is asking for the MacBook Air." (source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/245564/lg_intros_thinnest_ultrabook_yet_the_xnote_z330.html)
The LG is more expensive than the Apple.
Or maybe they'll dispute it on the grounds of...
... PDF, plain text and Mobipocket drag and drop with no first- or third-party piece of software?
The Amazon platform is less open but only in so much as the DRM technology is proprietary. So it's less locked down than, say, Apple's devices — to pick a bogeyman of the field — because there's no need for an iTunes equivalent, and anything unprotected you load onto the device can be unloaded from the same device.
That Calibre allows ePub conversion is often raised but I've never been persuaded that it's a very convincing argument, because it's limited to unprotected books and the major unprotected book supplies, such as Project Gutenberg, will let you download a Mobipocket file directly from them.
Because crashes often lead to prosecution
And they can do that a lot easier if they've collected evidence. If you've been directly affected you'll definitely be glad about it, but you benefit from the fact that everyone knows that real penalties exist for reckless and dangerous drivers in any event.
If memory serves the BBC had a TI SN76489, which provides three square wave tone channels and one noise channel (which is still two level, but oscillating pseuso-randomly) for four total. The CPC, ST, 128k Spectrum, etc, have an AY-3-8910 which sounds nearly identical but is only three channels, any of which can be tone or noise, or the two mixed together. It's also got some volume envelopes, for a few simple effects without CPU intervention.
Neither of them comes even close to Commodore's stuff, of course.
Fantasy World Dizzy perhaps?
The best one in my opinion, and the third in the main series. One of the very first puzzles was giving stale bread to a rat and there was a painting of Treasure Island Dizzy in the first above-ground room.
I've never noticed Linux types get upset over companies making a profit from products that use Linux — such as Android — or from the vanilla sale of Linux-based OSes, as Redhat, Suse and many others have done. They get upset if companies use Linux and fail to respect the GPL by making their modifications available, but as that's a licence violation I think that's understandable.
As for Comet, it sounds like a simple contractual dispute. Comet obviously thought they had the right to manufacture those discs. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
The Mac was a game changer because...
... because it was a software platform almost from day one with no pretence of hardware compatibility from one machine to the next, and was lucky enough to become the best supported platform in the 80s and early 90s for high-profile, market leading productivity software like Photoshop and Pagemaker, at least partly because QuickDraw was very good software and a good functional match for Postscript.
The Amiga was at least five years ahead of its time and is rarely given the amount of credit it deserves but I don't think you have to take away from Apple to give to Commodore.
Incidentally, I've been reading 'Commodore: a Company on the Edge' since it was recommended by another commenter here and part of it seems to be West Coast bias. History has so far been written by Silicon Valley types; Commodore were based in Pennsylvania. I think it may also be US bias, since the Amiga was a much bigger success for Commodore internationally than domestically.
(aside: your chronology is off. The Amiga 1000 launched in July 1985, a full year and a half after the Mac 128k, which launched in January 1984)
If I recall, didn't the disk drive have a complete additional 6502 all of its own? So not only could you write your own turbo loaders there too, but I think the time to read a whole floppy could be reduced from the something-like-ten-minutes of Commodore's code to a very reasonable less than twenty seconds?
I'd class it as a computer with some significant caveats — and in a hugely different category from the C64 — but a computer nonetheless. Besides matching the dictionary definition of a computer, it also satisfies all the criteria for being a personal computer per the Wikipedia, which I'm taking as a reasonable approximation of what an average Internet user thinks a personal computer is.
I'd distinguish it from a console based on its demographics, especially its penetration into business use, and the software people are buying for it. E.g. Pages, Apple's word processor, remains the top grossing iPad application and rarely drops from the top ten applications sold by volume.
So while I agree that the C64 is the best selling device of all time in an extremely broad category, I don't think it's still the best selling computer.
Sorry, not true
I hate to have to invoke the example, but if you really want to broaden the category as far as possible then e.g. Apple has sold more than 20m IPad 2s (based on conservative figures) - and I've no idea about the other iOS devices. They're computers both per the dictionary and in any objective terms, I think, due to the existence of an aftermarket in software that includes home and business productivity software alongside entertainment and games.
Commenters around here being what they are: I thought to check Apple's numbers because they are a modern anomaly in throwing everything behind just one model for a lengthy period. I'm explicitly not trying to say anything about the relative worth of Apple's devices.
TV user interfaces are rubbish
Look at Sky's for example — you can't see the description for anything other than the programme you're currently watching without retreating from television entirely into the full-screen menus and there's no quick way to flick through just your favourites. Navigating the guide in general feels like wading through treacle compared to almost any of the mobile phone or tablet apps that do the same thing.
What we'd ideally have though is just TVs or decoders that sit on the home network and expose their functionality by a web service, for such second-screen apps as the user cares to use. So I don't just replace the remote control with my phone, I replace everything apart from the display of the television signal. Ideally I'd like to be able to stream my recorded programmes too. Companies like Samsung, DirecTV and Tivo (including via Virgin in the UK) are essentially edging towards that but keeping the protocols private and/or proprietary.
I actually think Apple can fix television in the same way they fixed the mobile phone — by launching a joined-up solution as a premium product for a certain segment of the population and hence giving everyone an appetite for how it should be done. Then let the Android analogue come along and pull the rest of the market up to speed.
Your statistics, while mostly true, give a false picture.
Apple's share has decreased but its overall sales continue to increase. The smart phone market is just nowhere near saturation. The huge disparity in profits between Apple's App Store and the Android Marketplace suggests Apple is still acquiring a large share of the customers it wants.
The iPhone actually still is the single best selling handset worldwide. However Apple are no longer the largest single supplier of mobile phones.
Based on El Reg's headlines, notable lawsuits in the last week have been those launched by Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.
On the contrary, it isn't being sold, it's being given away and MAME's legal information doesn't define a redistribution — the app store download could easily be argued to be part of a redistribution, not a complete redistribution in itself. So they'd be fine if the source is offered by other means. Indeed, if the iOS code has been contributed to the main branch of the project then the app store release isn't even a redistribution.
Re: the trade mark, there's no reason to suppose MAME haven't given approval and whoever uploaded it will have provided assurances to Apple to the effect that they have approval at the point of upload.
If the MAME team haven't granted approval and say so to Apple then it will be taken down. But they won't have been wrong to allow it through in the first place — it's not Apple's place to do legal background checks on all products and in any case MAME's own terms don't make it clear that this release isn't permissible.
The PPC was pretty good stuff, for about five minutes
Hence e.g. Doom, PC, 1993: 320x200; Doom, Mac, 1993: 640x480. The problem for Apple/Motorola/IBM was that Intel have enough money to make any design problem go away. Starting from the superscalar integer/floating point pipelines of the Pentium, Intel have been able to make up whatever they lose in instruction set architecture through sheer feats of engineering, give or take the odd misstep.
Dodgy benchmarks or not, the PowerPC was pretty impressive for at least a couple of years.
Samsung isn't going to finish it
Take your blinkers off; at this point Samsung and Apple are behaving as badly as each other and neither's approach has any moral or ethical merit.
When they're necessarily available with FRAND licensing terms, technical patents don't achieve anything more than patents are meant to achieve — Samsung will be paid a fair amount. "Well we've got some IP that we can have a court compel you to pay a sensible amount for" isn't much of a comeback to "We've got some IP that we can get a court to use to ban your product".
You're thinking of DOS versions, maybe?
This litigation concerns the allegation that Microsoft acted in such a way as to reserve the Windows word processor market for itself — both Word and WordPerfect for Windows were WYSIWYG applications from day one.
WordPerfect for DOS always used a bunch of colour cues to communicate formatting but I think it arrived at that compromise by being a bit of a platform slut and compensated for it by having the best printer support in the business. Word turned up quite a bit later and DOS was the only text-mode OS it supported, meaning they could tie themselves much more closely to the hardware.
I haven't cried this much since Adric joined the cast.
Similar to the Streisand effect?
In that an attempt to suppress something ends up amplifying its ability to do damage. I continue to be unsure quite what Apple thought would be the likely outcomes of its actions.
I'm not sure that's exactly it...
... as conservatives tend strongly to believe in free markets whereas Apple explicitly curate their marketplace.
That said, I do agree with you that the quote you've copied was probably the most revealing part of the interview. Quite a lot of the commenters above don't quite seem to have bothered reading that far though, judging by the knee-jerk 'Woz is a hypocrite — look at how strict Apple is with its employees' comments.
I guess one argument could be that Apple succeeds as a company because it is somehow able to attract enough of the creatives while maintaining a strict business organisation? You know, navigating between the rhetorical poles of attracting a bunch of extremely creative people and never quite managing to pull everything together or being extremely good at money and organisation but managing to employ only routine thinkers.
Other real companies aren't polarised either but Apple's trade-off does often sound unique.
There's got to be some highly technical definition of advert
The standard US half hour programme seems to be 20 or 21 minutes long. Similarly the standard hour programme seems to run for 40 to 42 minutes. Check any DVD you have. So, picking the first thing I can spot on the TV schedule, when Five show The Mentalist tonight between 9PM and 10PM, per the rules they have to find something like nine minutes of material that isn't adverts to show in between parts of the programme?
IDC already have Samsung in first place worldwide
And they're the only manufacturer that both runs a single-vendor ecosystem (in Bada) and participates in the multi-vendor ecosystems (of Android and WP7), so they're doing it by keeping a finger in every available pie. Forget what the platform advocates say - that's providing your customers with freedom of choice. Hats off to them.
It sounds to me like he's excusing it on the grounds that a court in the US found it legal after a discussion of US and UK law, and the UK courts have yet to express an opinion. So 'should be legal' is accurate only in the sense that they think it probably is legal but there's no direct authority. It would be inaccurate if you meant 'should' as in isn't but should be.
See e.g. Shuey v US for an occasion where not only has a US court considered an issue of common law that's equally applicable in the UK and US first (contract in that case, but whatever), but has done so sufficiently convincingly that it's often cited here in the UK with a similar authority to genuine legal precedent.
They'd just move the manufacturing to Brazil
That being where at least some of the current model iPhones are coming from. It also sounds like he owners of the mark want to do a deal, so the objective is to hurt Apple enough to get them to the table, not so much as to damage their prospects, so getting a Chinese manufacturing ban (whether explicitly or not) wouldn't be a smart move unless they're down to brinkmanship.
Per their FAQ:
Is there a version of StyleTap for Android-based devices?
Not at this time, but we are evaluating the technical feasibility.
Also possibly of interest, the emulator is available officially without anything else bundled in for the iPhone via the usual Jailbreak stores.
I'm not willing to pay extra for it
At least, not on top of a DVD or BluRay. However, if I could pay a little extra on a cinema ticket and get UV access then I'd probably do that, even if it's a case of redeeming now and being given access only once the home versions become available.
Same experience here, albeit just nudging into the 90s. Our culprit was a 'temporary' and mostly wooden prefab that the school had acquired secondhand and which decided to use as a permanent classroom. Memorable aspects, other than the cold, included an exploding lightbulb and someone falling through the floor, presumably both related to the damp.
They had a proper classroom built somewhere in the mid-90s, I think.
Puzzle Bobble is surely the best of them?
Or maybe not. It's all subjective.
They have a Puzzle Bobble machine at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco — as it turns out I can still complete the thing on a single credit. I'd be surprised if I could do anything like that on Bubble Bobble, especially with that Space Invaders level. As for Rainbow Islands, I've just never been a fan, even though we had the Spectrum version back in the day.
How prevalent is NDK software?
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that a reasonable proportion of big name Android games are built with the native development kit for the simple reason that they can reuse C and C++ stuff that can also be used to target iOS, Windows, consoles, etc. And such titles are going to be built for ARM, which means they won't run on MIPS devices.
With that in mind, surely a tablet like this is headed for some vocal consumer disappointment? It should be the app writers' problem because they'll have chosen not to use the normal Dalvik route and hence to provide processor neutral applications, but I'm not sure that subtlety is going to get across.
Even without knowing their UK price, I still think the Kindle is going to be the big thing.
Quite a few inaccuracies in there
The iPhone emails video out in the H.264 codec, which is an industry standard developed outside Apple. It uses the MOV container format, which was invented at Apple but then expanded to become the industry standard MP4. You should just be able to rename the files.
So: it's not in any sense a proprietary codec and the container format is an industry standard.
Because Apple's QuickTime standard has become the basis for the industry standard that powers most video, including solid media formats like BluRay, and because Apple was the first company to provide a framework of video on the desktop, it's worthy of a "happy birthday" story.
They could be using it secretly
In that one of its modes is "raise to speak", i.e. you put the handset on your face and have a conversation with it exactly as though it were a real person, sometimes repeating yourself just like when you're talking to a real person.
That said, probably people just aren't using it. I know I wouldn't.
In agreement with Tony Smith
My Kindle, which has retroactively become a Kindle Keyboard, has come with me on a couple of trips to the US and a couple of trips to other countries in Europe and been fine. So that's eight trips through airport customs with no issues, at least as hand luggage.
Surely they'd just lob a gooey blob somewhere near it?
That's not really fair
QuickDraw made it into Carbon but essentially was marked as deprecated from the initial launch of OS X. Quartz/Core Graphics, and those things abstracted away by the various NSViews, have been the recommended API since day one and Core Animation sits on top of Quartz to provide various transforms and animations in the compositor.
The long road to Core Text is probably the thing Apple should be most embarrassed about, but that was in place by 10.4 so it won't be what Mozilla are debating.
I'd imagine the issue is more Apple's zeal for cutting support for older OSs, both to end users and through their development tools. For various reasons there's no way to be confident that a build you produce with the latest Xcode will work on 10.5, even if you've set the target appropriately, written code that can cope with frameworks and bits of frameworks possibly being unavailable, etc, other than to test on 10.5 itself and then to modify compiler settings manually as appropriate. Which is a lot of effort either switching back and forth between machines or maintaining separate project files because Xcode has been through a major overhaul in the interim.
Intel co-created and are pushing Thunderbolt. It's supposed to turn up on all Ultrabooks in the near future because of its value as a break-out connector that requires minimal physical space, both externally and on the motherboard.
That said, so far I think only Sony have actually put out a Thunderbolt-supporting computer that isn't a Mac, so Thunderbolt's ascension to a proper standard is far from a done deal.