666 posts • joined Friday 24th July 2009 14:07 GMT
Neh, feck 'em anyway
Let's face it, most of us here will generally consider the Dixons/Currys/PC World experience to be the sort that involves a salesperson who doesn't really know much about what they're selling you, prices that are frankly ridiculous, and a selection of wares that's so random it may as well be the outcome of a consumer electronics raffle.
But there's still a place for brick & mortar consumer electronics shops.
The way for them to survive long-term is to have at least one or two in-house staff who know what they're talking about and not rely on having poorly-trained twits selling overpriced crap to uninformed idiots. But then, that'd completely change their business to the point that they would, in fact, have ceased to exist.
Tool of lucifer? Well, I can see the name's half right, at least...
Yes yes, well done, I'm an idiot for wanting my printer's warranty to be easily enforceable and not involve arguments over breach of warranty through using crap consumables. Not only that, I'm also an idiot for not wanting to manually refill toner cartridges for a laserjet printer. Oh, and I extrapolate this perspective to the large laserjet printers whose maintenance and upkeep falls to me at work as well? By god, I must be some sort of living embodiment of idiocy or some such.
Next time try not being a condescending prick and reading the whole post first. Unless you're going to claim I'm still an idiot for not wanting to fuck around refilling toner cartridges...in which case, well, there's not much point continuing the conversation, is there?
I like this
An article by an anonymous author (who definitely doesn't work for a bookmaker or have any involvement with one) is telling me how I could MAKE MONEY NOW! Just by using a few TOTALLY LEGAL OFFERS.
After the first rule of thumb ("if it sounds too good to be true, don't be a retard and fall for it") the second rule of thumb is "if you're hearing about it from some random stranger, you've missed your chance to make any money from it". How many people out there are reading the same guides and articles? Enough that any bookmaker profitable & reputable enough to give you a payout is going to have measures preventing you from making an easy profit from doing this, that's how many.
You want to do it as a hobby? Fair enough, it's probably no worse than playing with the stockmarkets in your spare time. But this is no more likely to deliver a huge payout with no effort than selling Amway.
Oh, wow, some sort of medal's in order for you, mate....
Right. So you're telling me that at enterprise level, you spend a four-figure sum on a high-volume printer/MFD and then *don't* spend the extra cash (normally significantly less than the cost of the printer/MFD, natch) to make sure that if it breaks in 18 months time you're covered?
Yeah, I can see how sales people would *love* you...
So who's surprised?
As per title, who's surprised here? Because I'm bloody not.
There's a reason I grudgingly put up with getting fleeced by HP for genuine cartridges for my small laserjet printer at home, and it's the desire to have a valid warranty. It's the same at work - what's the point in buying an extended warranty on a large printer/MFD if you then use non-branded cartridges that invalidate the warranty? (Yes, I know, you could use unbranded carts and disable cartridge checking - it's still the sort of thing that a service engineer will hide behind as a reason not to fix your hardware).
If government wants to do something about this, they should start by kicking HP et al in the pants over how they tie their hardware warranties to the usage of consumables. Of course, that would force companies selling printers to admit that actually they're in the printer ink/toner market rather than the printer market...
The starting weight on the 11.6" MBA is basically 1kg. The 13.3" MBA is ~1.3kg. The 13.3" MBP is 2kg.
Doesn't sound like much, but from what I can tell anything past 1.5kg is generally perceived as being too heavy, or at least beyond the desirable weight.
Don't forget you've also got to factor in the £280 you have to add to the 13" MBP's baseline price if you want to have a 128GB SSD rather than a 5400rpm HDD.
I agree entirely, and as far as I can tell it's just a case of Apple being dicks and forcing you to buy something expensive you don't need in order to get something else that you do want. In the same way as you can only bump up to the 1.6GHz C2D if you buy the model with the 128GB SSD, you can get the 2.13GHz C2D in the 13.3" version - but only if you go for the 256GB model.
In for a penny, in for over a grand...
The £850 version is alright, but if you're going to bother with Apple kit at that level, you'd be mad not to bump the SSD to 128GB (not only more space but better performance to boot), the RAM, and the CPU - you can get the 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo in the 128GB model. Sure, it's £310 more, but if money's an issue what the hell are you doing buying Apple gear in the first place?
(You should probably also drop the £200 that the AppleCare/3 year warranty will cost, but that has its own issues like Apple's refusal to offer on-site NBD service for its portable units...)
Blogging's not necessarily the wrong term though, is it? El Reg is at its core a groupblog, far as I can tell.
The headline and sub-head are kinda funny - the problems I've got with this article (I'm not speaking for everyone else) are:
a) it seems to be forum-sourcing its problems with Android on specific phones, extrapolating those problems to *all* Android phones, and assuming everyone/a significant fraction of everyone has them, without providing any basis for the assumptions involved,
b) it assumes that the iPhone "Just works", which is a bit of a false-start right out of the gate (Linux users? Windows users who don't want iTunes?)
c) it assumes that smartphones are sufficiently well-established across the entire mobile phone audience that a 100% bug-free smartphone with a working marketplace populated predominantly by useful, affordable/free software is not only the norm but a condition of entry as far as buyers are concerned, when the reality is anything but that.
I'm all for pointing out the flaws of any given platform, but for Christ's sake do the job properly and either write an opinion piece or provide some sources for your statements.
The short version of my comment is "What a load of toss"
The long version starts with "Well, I've had a G1 for about a year now and had no problems with it barring the occasional download-fallen-over".
You can't really talk about the iPhone "just working" without mentioning that it has platform lock-in. I can mount my G1 to my computer as flash storage,copy across some MP3s from my Emusic download directory and easily play them with the built-in media player. From what I can tell, the iPhone would require me to use iTunes for syncing stuff to my phone and to have imported my music collection. (Please note, I could be wrong and thus I welcome correction on this matter). I don't want to use iTunes. Ergo, an iPhone is more work for me than a G1.
(How many Android phones out there have Magical Antennae of Death like the JudasPhone, incidentally?)
Think of a clever title, then pretend I'd typed it here
The only way I can see that quote about Apple not wanting everyone to have an iPad would be if such a market expansion necessarily required a drop in price. There would obviously also be a drop in the status associated with having one, but Apple seem to have gotten around this with the iPhone by releasing a new iteration every year or so with the top configuration costing a large enough chunk of change that having the latest top-end iPhone can still be a sort of status symbol. If you're the sort that cares for that sort of thing, that is...
Is there demand for Blu-Ray?
Yes there is.
Is there enough demand to make it worth the hassle and licence fees of paying it when you can use an alternative distribution system instead?
Personally, I'm not fussed. I can actually see it more as a game issue than a film issue, but the rise of Steam suggests to me that buying games in hardcopy will only remain common while publishers can't switch to a full digital-distribution-only model. Cutting out the cost of getting games media pressed, then boxed, then distributed all over the place? Gee, I wonder why that would appear...
A title, it sez, is required. Why is it required, I sez. I dunno, mate, it sez.
Personally, I hope this does well.
Not because I could give a sparrowfart about the race itself, but because it would help further a cause I like in principle but can't usefully further in practice - namely, the future development of Airship Cruises as the next luxury-type holiday. There are companies doing aerial tours on airships at the moment, but they're of the order of a couple of hours - whereas what I'm thinking is a very large airship, flying for 1-2 weeks straight, possibly equipped with a glass-floored viewing room for touristy moments. Sort of like an airborne version of the Orient Express with more spectacular views.
When they say "capable of being switched on and running", do they mean "and have a version of Windows installed, along with relevant documentation"? Hopefully not, if they're going to wipe the hard drives anyway, but it does make me wonder what they'll be doing as part of the recycling process...
The question is, was it pissing him off...
...or was he just putting it out of its misery after some complete bastard stuck Windows ME on it?
Enquiring (alright, not so much enquiring as just plain silly) minds want to know!
That quote doesn't make him sound like much of an engineer...
"Although I use the slightly wacky sounding title of futurologist, I’m just an engineer making logical deductions for tomorrow based on things we can already see happening," he explains. "For example, if someone is investing heavily in a particular development, and there aren’t any obvious barriers to success, there is a good chance that they will succeed in due course."
What about the non-obvious barriers that come up whenever people are developing products based on new research rather than simple iterations of existing technology? Oh, wait, that's not relevant here. I mean, there are all sorts of dust-based products available today, aren't there?
Is this guy from the same school of publicity as Kevin Warwick?
Security risks are at a minimum? REALLY?
As per title, I'm not sure I believe that at all. Wasn't it El Reg that rightly pointed out the serious iffiness of Paywave type mechanisms on the basis that you can potentially get 9 transactions approved before you're prompted for a PIN with a card you've filched? And I can't help but notice that this article is talking about a £15 limit, rather than the £10 that Paywave was originally pushed with.
I'm reasonably ok with paying for stuff by card *because* there's some form of security to ensure it's me using the card. Remove that security and I may as well be using cash.
Oh they're barely even an also-ran at this stage, let's be honest
So they *had* a bad, DRM-laden piece of rubbish passing itself off as a download store. The pricing on it was uncompetitive compared to *buying the DVD from amazon or play*. They then retired the download store, and tried to pretend that their physical media offering was in some way equivalently useful.
And now, instead of, eg, making a deal with Nintendo and Sony and Microsoft to get their client onto those platforms, they're pushing for another media player with more DRM? Great. So much for any hope of working with my Busybox-based media centre. Which, in turn, means so much for any hope of them getting any of my money.
ARGH. I *want* to like them. I just want them to also have a service that's not retarded first.
Sounds nice, but as Chris Pearson says...
...another effin' box?
The problem all of these things have is that the standards keep evolving and changing, and in order to avoid having to persistently buy new boxes to replace old boxes the only realistic option is to have a computer-like box that you can update as necessary.
Which means either a dedicated media centre (something like a WDTV that can handle local storage for media but also have network access where needed) or a PC working as dedicated media centre, coupled with a wireless media centre keyboard.
Neither is a great option, but when the Beeb decides to next bugger about with the way in which iPlayer content is served up, or 4OD moves from Flash to Silverlight or whatever, a box you can't easily modify means you wait for a software update from the manufacturer.
Heh, I can see where this is going
"Oh, it's a levy to compensate us for rampant piracy!" Except of course that the numpties claiming that piracy is the only source of damage to the entertainment industry never seem to know about things like newsgroups or IRC, it's just the Napster du jour they bleat about.
But anyway, say this gets brought in. What'll happen? The same feckin' thing that happens with the tax from booze and fag sales. Will it all be earmarked and spent exclusively on tackling the issues which we were told could only be addressed by having these taxes?
Will it fuck. It'll go into a big pot and get spent as seen fit by a bunch of elected types or their duly appointed representatives, who like to think they know what they're talking about and tend to get fleeced by salespeople who know a good opportunity when they see one.
Saddest thing of all is that the ISPs are probably secretly dying for this - it'd be a great excuse to raise prices now that they've all realised that the race to be the cheapest provider was a mug's game, and now every punter out there expects to get their broadband for about £2 a month. Which is great for muggins like me who'd quite happily pay substantially more for a reliable, decent connection (Virgin Media's 50MBit package currently gets me ~17MBit, and I'm in central London....it's not bad, but it's also not really what the name suggests it should be, is it?)
Feckin' telcos, man.
Ah, would that this were possible for all of us
As a goal, it's a great one.
As a feasible goal, weeeeeeeeeeell, that's a different story.
As part of a tiny and under-resourced team in a *very* balkanised and haphazard environment, surrounded by users with varying levels of skill, varying levels of erroneously-positive conviction of their own skill, and varying levels of tolerance/acceptance of the knowledge & skills of the IS professionals in the building, I don't often have time for hand-holding. I don't have time for most of the stuff that I should be doing as part of my job - and I do include user training and soft-skill-related items on that list.
Unfortunately, it's my experience that the sort of company that under-resources its IS operations is also the sort of company that has a top-level view of IT as a sort of magic wand, and of the IT people as serfs whose job is to do what they're told and not have an opinion. That kind of view trickles down rapidly, and when combined with under-resourcing, leads to exactly the sort of "us vs them" mentality that you point out is harmful. But it does take 2 sides for that scenario to persist....
While I don't entirely like this sort of thing, I can understand the reasons for it existing - aside from anything else, with a Marketplace where software vendors can charge for their products, Google would likely face the pointy end of some sort of class-action lawsuit if it became apparent that they *didnt* have something like this at their disposal.
The question I've got is whether the remote-nuke option can be deployed on handsets where the user has opted to install software from non-Marketplace sources. *THAT* would be a bigger issue, IMO.
Fair enough then
Case of mileage variation, I guess - if I'm going into a shop to buy something it's mostly because it's either not available online or I want to have a look at it and play around a bit before deciding if I definitely want it. Otherwise I order online and get it delivered to work.
Queueing at a shop for periods measured in hours is something I've done before, but only rarely - usually for signings at my local comics shop, in fact. But it's a good comparative item, since getting a comic signed by its author/artist is the sort of thing that for some people is worth the hassle and for others is a waste of time and ink.
Anyway, despite the increasingly acrimonious tone this comment thread is taking, it sounds like you've got what you wanted at a reasonable outlay. As much a win as anyone can reasonably hope for in the world of consumer electronics, methinks...
It's not a life-support machine or a new kidney, it's a feckin' phone. Nobody's gonna die for the want of 24 hours waiting, or even a week's waiting for that matter.
If you want to get a new phone and are happy queueing up at a silly hour for an extended period of time to do so, that's your call. But trying to pretend that doing so is somehow easier than ordering over the phone and getting it delivered through the post/courier is a bit silly.
There appear to be several factors at play here:
1) You have bought into the marketing-hype and concluded that you want/"need" this phone on launch date, and thus have put up with frankly ridiculous circumstances from the retailers involved in order to get your hands on the product.
2) You've been misled (either by the person you spoke to at O2 or the person in the store) about what rules were actually to be enforced for the launch, but since you "need" the product you have accepted what you've been offered even though it is substantially less than what you requested. You may or may not have kicked up a stink about this, this is not mentioned.
3) Separately to this, you have upgraded older hardware to a newer more resource-intensive OS. Somehow this is also the retailer's fault, despite your stated intention of palming it off on someone else once it has been replaced.
It certainly sounds like a frustrating, but the easiest solution to it would be "don't be so desperate to be an early adopter". In terms of buying the iPhone 4 - waiting a few days/weeks won't kill you. In terms of upgrading your old phone - waiting a few days/weeks would let you read about the performance issues without having to experience them first hand.
There's an App for that!
Insert witty title here
Yep, I wake up next to one every day - and I know plenty of other women using Android devices.
Not everyone who buys Android-based devices is a nerd, and not everyone who buys an i$DeviceName is a fanboi.
I'm reminded of an ancient article
Have things changed that much in seven years?
Carefully chosen numbers?
So, the 2007-2008 figures show a 7% drop, the 2008-2009 figures show a 25% drop, from which you decide that assuming a 25% annual drop is not only sensible but reasonable enough to justify a big in-article graph? That seems a bit suspect.
Apart from anything else, in a recession people will likely have cut back on buying back-up media - because backups, like extended warranties and service contracts and on-site support agreements are an invisible benefit to anyone who doesn't regularly avail of them - so it seems less bad to cut spending on backups than on other IS infrastructure.
Tape drives will probably disappear into IS history as time goes on and newer, more efficient technologies take its place - but I'm not convinced that the pattern by which this happens will match your projections.
Let's see what those conducting the research say...
In anticipation of yet further downvotes, my final contribution to this discussion is going to be a reference to Danish research on the topic which thus far suggests there's no link between brain cancer and mobile phone use (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8393884.stm), based on a sample group of about 60 thousand people. When the research team behind these findings states that they still think further investigation is needed, I think the statement carries more weight than when some random internet commentard (ie me, and probably quite a few other posters in this thread) weigh in with an opinion on this matter.
Yes, I know researchers will always say further research is needed since that means they get more funding. But since the alternative to this is either no research or only private corporate research (ie dictated by anticipated profitable usage and unlikely to be published if results will have negative impact on profits, company image or both) it's the best option we've got.
I don't imagine that further research will find much, if any, evidence of health risk from the things - but I'd prefer someone to be paying attention and look into it.
I'm subbed to the UK paper edition of Wired and it works out as £2 per issue regardless of your subscription length. So 12 month paper subscription is £24.
Never mind, just checked the site and it is indeed offered for $10 per year - however, that's without VAT added. Still, it strikes me that if Wired are struggling to get an audience to pay $1 per issue of the paper magazine, something's a bit wrong...
Contrary to what you might think, I agree with your list
As per title, I agree with the list you've posited.
However, consider the following:
1. Observation - mobile phone usage has gone from extremely uncommon to ubiquitous over the last 15 years.
2. Observation - the operation and usage of the devices involves the emission of radiation of certain frequences at a variety of power levels in close proximity to the skull.
3. Observation - we don't really understand the operation of the brain, the development of malignant tumours, the nature of other degenerative brain diseases, and the impact on these of radiation exposure to a sufficient degree to be able to safely say whether long-term use is safe or not.
4. Conclusion - next logical step is to commission fact-gathering research project to collect data and investigate whether there are any correlations between mobile phone usage and instances of tumour development or other degenerative brain diseases over significant time periods.
The point about such research being that, as a fact-gathering study, the goal is not to "PROVE PHONES GIVE YOU CANCER" or any such bullshit notion. It's to get the raw data from which one can determine whether there's a correlation between something bad (tumour development, early-onset Alzheimers or whatever) and something perceived to be harmless (regular mobile phone use over time).
A conclusion of "the data collected shows no correlations between ill effects and mobile phone usage, thus we conclude that there are no notable repercussions/side effects of long term mobile phone use" is still valid and worth pursuing. It's important to remember that there have been numerous instances throughout history where the harmful effects of given materials or products only became apparent significantly after their usage became widespread, cigarettes being just one example.
Here we go again...
Oh yay, more "They couldn't possibly be bad for you in any way at all ever, because we haven't seen any way in which they've been bad for people yet over the last 15 years of development" thinking.
Firstly, all this legislation will do is force vendors to make punters aware of information that is already provided by handset vendors. Having worked support for one such handset vendor in the past who had a policy of only providing SAR information verbally, and never in writing, I can get behind the idea of forcing them to make it available - because while the case for mobile phones being completely safe may well be convincing, the discussion is rare enough without falling into the usual polarised "SCIENCE SAYS ITS FINE YOU RETARD" and "ZOMG WILL PHONES MAKE MY HEAD EXPLODE?!?" sides. Both of which represent a failure to understand the actual scientific method that we should be using to address the question of mobile phone safety.
Secondly - we don't feckin' *know* yet what will happen to someone who uses a mobile phone at length on a daily basis for the majority of their life, because the technology just hasn't been around that long. The indications are that nothing we're aware of causes any significant harmful effects, which is promising, but it's still technically an open question. Until we've got overwhelming data suggesting that mobile phones are more likely to cause death by choking if incorrectly ingested than through normal usage, I'd prefer to have people made aware that there may be dangers associated with it that we don't know yet, rather than assuming it must be fine because it hasn't yet been a problem. I mean it's not like that strategy backfired with cigarettes, is it?
If it's lies in Apple ads you want, the UK can help!
I've already submitted an ASA complaint about the UK iPad advert stating explicitly that iPad is "more books than you can read in a lifetime" without pointing out that:
a) iBooks is only available in the US, and
b) book content is obtained through the iBookstore and will be chargeable.
Ignore the ranting types, they'll get bored eventually...
"and if they manage to move the web to open standards where everyone wins, hooyah!"
You have a point about the fanboy subset of commenters, but it seems you've taken something very different from this article than I did. I can see how it might appear to be a sop to the anti-Apple posters, but the main thing I took from it is an interpretation of the ongoing Apple/Adobe spat over Flash and the protracted "open standards" conversation as a potentially huge threat to Apple's brand and reputation.
I'm not a big fan of Apple chiefly down to their support offerings, but I can recognise what they do well and why they're exceptionally popular amongst their target markets. I've heard this variously characterised as "focused on user experience" or "selling a complete package", but they clearly offer something to the end-user that rival vendors don't. That's a compelling USP and one that I can easily respect regardless of personal preferences.
Shifting the focus of the conversation to something like "open standards" when a large part of Apple's success with the user-experience aspect of their products has been specifically down to retaining as much control over their platforms as possible is a recipe for disaster. Talk about "open standards" will inevitably lead people to discuss associated topics like open-source software and peer review. At which point certain uncomfortable issues will crop up, including:
the seemingly-arbitrary nature of some App Store rules and their enforcement (well within Apple's rights in terms of protecting their platform and branding, but not particularly "open" in the sense usually used in the context of "open standards" or "open source";
their approach to fixing security issues such as the long-standing and baffling drive-by-download issue in Safari on OS X (which won't fare well in discussions about the benefits of open source software);
the existence of non-Apple software that also conforms to the open standards in question, while also being open source;
the spate of suicides at Foxconn's factory (widely described as an "iPhone factory" and thus something that, fairly or otherwise, will likely be blamed on Apple rather than Foxconn)
I'm not for one second suggesting that all of these are relevant to the discussion - but that's not the point. The point is that moving the conversation away from the Apple focus on user-experience and towards open-standards (which pretty much requires comparisons between products and companies) suddenly opens Apple up to a bunch of criticisms that can't easily be dismissed.
It's kind of hard to get level-headed discussion on this sort of thing at the minute, because almost all internet discussion about Apple seems to be polarised. But whether you like Apple or not, it has to be pretty straightforward to see it's not a good idea for Apple's head honcho to spend a bunch of time publicly reframing the discussion of Apple's products away from what they do well (user experience and selling a complete package) and towards something they don't do so well (open source/standards).
Well, yes actually
Joe - I'd agree with you completely, only for the overlooked fact that Apple bang on incessantly about how their stuff "just works". (Or, in the case of the iPad, "you already know how to use it").
If they say things like "it just works" and "it's intuitive" and "you already know how to use it" when selling the product, and then someone buys the product and finds that actually it's *not* something intuitive, it doesn't just work and they don't know how to use it, then yes it is Apple's problem.
As with anyone working in IT who gets the dubious honour of being the Extended Family IT Support Droid, I dislike the Magic Box approach to computers. Apple are trying quite hard to outdo Microsoft in that arena, and deserve any grief they get over it.
I don't think it was the couch potato do-gooders who mounted an investigation into a factory with an apparently aberrant number of worker "suicides", and frankly the notion that a company with a potential worker health/safety/morale issue as evidenced by such a suicide rate should be left alone because "interfering will lose jobs" is pretty damn scary. Yes, jobs are important - but not so important that any company should be allowed to do whatever they want, no matter the cost to their employees health (be it mental or physical).
Having said that, as a general principle I do agree that there is a foolish notion in the Western world of being able to wander into a completely different culture for 5 minutes, fix a problem without regarding or addressing its cultural connotations, and then leave. You'd think we'd learn, eventually, but not thus far...
I asked this already via email, but it bears repetition
In response to your previous article about the Wiggin report and the support for punishing pirates that it revealed, I asked whether the survey asked questions about the audience's satisfaction with current digital media sales avenues.
This article alludes to the issue (stating that 36% are happy buying albums and TV shows online) but doesn't appear to address the enormous elephant in the room - ie that while digital music sales avenues have matured to some extent and are now numerous and standardised enough that they broadly meet their customers' requirements. The same simply cannot be said about digital TV sales avenues - because, really, what options do we have other than feckin' iTunes? I refuse to use iTunes for several reasons, the main one being that I dislike the software basis of it but a close second being that of the various bits of kit I have around the house there are 2 laptops running Fedora and a Busybox-based media centre. Oh, wait, I could get films from Lovefilm - except, no, never mind, they don't do the downloads any more at all, but offer streaming. Which is better than nothing, but not what I want (and certainly not at the prices they're bloody charging, which are roughly equivalent to the price of buying the DVD on the films I looked at...)
At the moment, my option for getting TV shows in digital form is either:
a) NaughtyClicky download, or
b) Wait for DVD, buy DVD, go through contorted and borderline retarded process to rip contents of DVD to individual files. Which is still technically not allowed because fair personal use is one of those silly things that the law in this country has decided not to bother protecting.
I can but hope that eventually someone at a high level will realise that there are plenty of folks like me who, for example, don't care about Stargate Universe enough to want it on DVD but would happily pay about £1-2 per episode to download it and watch it, but I won't exactly hold my breath.
Has the question of satisfaction with existing sales avenues been addressed in this survey?
Because it's more expensive than what rival vendors offer, that's why
Because what you describe is more costly and less efficient than what rival suppliers offer, and frankly Apple are the only one of our approved vendors who don't offer NBD onsite support. Which I find preposterous.
I work in a department of a large academic institution which means we're tied up by all sorts of restrictions on who we buy from. All of our other approved suppliers have agreed to offer NBD onsite support, which in an academic environment is vital - we have neither the corporate structure that would let us enforce a limited range of manufacturers and models, nor a sufficiently standardised set of user requirements to make it a feasible business case.
With Apple, the suggestion is the laughable one you offer. The gits will give us 3 year warranty cover with AppleCare, but that's not good enough, because every damn time I've had to invoke it they've taken at least 2 weeks from the day we contacted them to fix it.
Why should we have to take the hit of buying in spare machines to use in the event that their product breaks down, when they try to claim their computers are suitable for business use and will offer the warranty duration but not the level of support that is industry standard for enterprise/corporate-level support? And in a time of limited public funding, how would you expect us to justify buying even more of the expensive apple hardware instead of buying from an alternative vendor who,even if they cost the same, will have included NBD onsite support in their pricing?
When the comparison between vendor pricing is: Apple - cost of (x required + y spare) laptops (where y=x/expected failure rate) vs Every Other Vendor - cost of z laptops (where x ~= z), you need very specific values of x, y and z for Apple to come out ahead.
I've looked into this at length and the frustration is enough to have me banging my head against the wall - Apple have offered the kind of support I'm talking about in the past, but don't seem interested now. You can go to third parties to get it, but it's unlikely to be cheap - considering that they'll have to pay the annual refresh for their technicians to be considered fit for work, as well as the cost of being an authorised repair centre, and that's before you factor in labour or materials.
End result? I can only conclude Apple don't want (or are indifferent to) business custom, because that's what their behaviour in the face of their business rivals suggests.
Business users? You're 'avin' a larf, aincha?
Honestly, I don't think Apple can claim it's seriously targeting business users with any of its products.
The absence of NBD on-site support on any of their products is the biggest indication of this, and my main gripe about Apple as an IT support bod in a multi-platform environment. It's a crying shame too, as their phone support staff are generally pretty good.
In the context of the iPad - of course they'll sell you the iPad version of iWorks, that's easy money and a good way to help people talk themselves into it ("It's not just a gadget, I can use it for work stuff too"). That doesn't mean they consider it to be a business-oriented device, just that they won't turn down money from business users (or those using the business angle as an excuse to get one). Especially not given their statement last year that iPhone Apps could not be used for business use (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/24/iphone_apps_not_for_business/)...
Well, I'm extra glad that when I moved to Virgin for broadband earlier in the year, I stuck to their Freeview offering. God knows how much of their non-free offering will remain intact within 12 months, never mind beyond that.
Of course Steve Jobs doesn't want a nation of bloggers. Neither will Microsoft when they're pushing some sort of tablet device. As others have said, why would he be in favour of something that gives him no revenue stream, when the alternative lets him position his company's latest gadget as a potential solution to the various problems faced by news & magazine publishing?
Of course, we're still in the infancy of blogging overall. Much though I may deride it, the rise of Twitter has at least crystallised one thing for the average web-surfing Joe - they don't want a blog, they want Twitter. There's less concern about your posts being inane and irrelevant if they're limited to 140 characters. Over time, we will hopefully see more divergence between blogs and personal journals, with blogs maturing into specialist websites maintained by individuals with both a knowledge of their field and good writing & communication skills.
Having first become aware of Warwick through the generally dismissive coverage provided (in an occasionally obsessive manner) by El Reg, I was pleasantly surprised by what I read of the second stage of Project Cyborg. The claims about the first stage were clearly media-oriented guff, but once it got to the stage of actually trying to do something interesting with neural interfaces the whole thing moved into the realm of potentially-useful science.
Now it sounds like we're back in the "press release for gullible non-technical types" zone again. Shame, that.
I've done much the same
And found that you can change your gender to "select sex" too.
F'em in the A, if that's how they want to play it.
Well, that sounds like a suitably-sized sample from which to extrapolate useful results. Oh, wait...
I'm curious to see what, if any, change there is in user satisfaction with the purchase between now and, say, 6 months down the line. Not to mention 12 months down the line (or whenever Apple get around to announcing iPad v2). But I'd want any sample groups used for collecting the data to have at least a headcount in the thousands, and preferably in the tens of thousands.
Yeah, because that's what happens in every other country with PR, isn't it?
What in the name of God has you so convinced that simple majorities are any better? It just leads to the playground-level bickering that passes for politics in this country as it is. Personally, I find it astonishing that politicians on the election trail actually had the balls to suggest that co-operation of the kind required under a hung parliament would be a problem. I'm sure that nuanced and subtle approach works excellently in foreign diplomacy.
Astrid Task Manager
Brilliant little task manager - lets you set targets as well as deadlines along with fixed or deadline-related reminders, lets you record how long you've spent on a task if need be, and can handle recurring tasks.
So what he's saying is that the only reason security through obscurity doesn't work is because those dang white hat hackers go telling everyone about the vulns?
Golly gosh darn it, that explains everything!
Except for, oh, the way the vulnerability exists (and will be found by those with malicious intent) regardless of whether white hats report them or not. But no, clearly this is an information flow problem and not a security/software patching procedural issue.
If we were talking about Sony when the PS2 was kicking the arse off of both the XBox and Gamecube, I'd not only have agreed but would've been buying one or more of these quite happily.
Sony now? Struggling to get the consumer to buy their console at a loss for about half its original launch price, while Nintendo make a profit on every Wii sold for the same (reasonable) price it had when it launched. Struggling to sell it on the basis of "all the other stuff it does - it's not just a games console" because not enough gamers are willing to buy it. And now, with the Move, struggling to see if they can bolt on what they think is the hardware that made the Wii so successful without having the software environment that will make it fun to use and thus a commercial success.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Sony return to the form that saw them kick both Nintendo and Sega's arses with the PS1 and then follow that up by again kicking Nintendo and Microsoft's arses with the PS2. I don't think that's going to happen in the PS3's lifetime, though.
How is that a benefit?
Couldn't the same thing be achieved by making the album/track artwork a QR code containing the artist's website link? (Because let's face it, all the things they list as "advantages" are things that the artist should be pushing through their web presence).
Quite aside from which, I have no idea why I would want to have my files remotely updated by these fine folk every time I go on the internet. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
I'll stick to my download once, listen forever account with emusic, thanks.
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