192 posts • joined Thursday 21st January 2010 13:46 GMT
Re: "Android today is like Microsoft's Windows 3.1"
"Betamax vs. VHS - market went for the cheaper product. Actual technical features and quality likely won't come into it."
IIRC, Betamax began with 100% of the market, a share that was eroded away and it wasn’t just because VHS was cheaper.
The superior marketing for VHS is usually considered a big factor – but there was a bit more to it than that. The fact that VHS tapes had far greater recording time than Betamax ones was significant to punters (Sony did catch up but too slowly) - as was the range of home media.
In terms of quality, with the kind of television sets that punters were using, the difference was negligible.
Re: In a digital world, whats the difference between a loan and a purchase?
For a long while now, it’s been argued that the system for the library service paying authors royalties needs to be looked at – which I think fits into this.
Under the current Public Lending Right (PLR) legislation, authors get paid 6p every time that their booked is loaned out - with the maximum amount paid out each year of £6,000.
Some books are never going to be big sellers but they can get loaned out at libraries a fair bit – often the case with some quite specialist subjects, like local history. Some very big-selling authors (e.g. Jacqueline Wilson) have said this isn’t a fair system. In their opinion, the £6,000 per annum amount that they each get would be better spent if by being distributed to authors that don’t sell so much – the money the former camp get from the libraries might be nice, but it’s dwarfed by their income from other sources.
Re: Before anyone moans about her...
"The Labour Party first under Blair and then Brown could have, with such a large majority in Parliament over turned everything she and John 'Privatise Everything' Major had done"
There was additional privatisation under Labour. In fact, with one service, Air Traffic Control, Major’s Government thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea – Blair’s, on the other one, disagreed. There was a story in Private about Major collaring a Labour MP in the Commons about it, asking him what he thought – the latter ummed and ahhed, causing the former premier to remark that in his cabinet it was ‘only nutters like Redwood’ were in favour.
Also, I think it’s a good idea to look at PFI – Labour took it far further than the Conservatives and made it more ‘business-friendly.’ See Private Eye ad nauseam and George Monbiot’s State of the Nation presents a decent early history of the whizzer concept.
@ Bill the Sys Admin
Actually, the retention rate (i.e. how many complete their course) for student nurses is fairly high. Although it's not uncommon for such students to intermit from their programme, it's often for a period of time and will resume at a later date.
The NHS pays for the course fees and institutions are under natural pressure to try and retain students. If someone doesn't qualify, the institution won't receive a penny.
Also, marks matter on a nursing degree right off the bat - students need to achieve (and maintain) a certain standard both academically and in practice in order to remain and progess on the course. Bear in mind that 50% of their course will be inpractice.
Actually, I would say that used to happen more often – often, the students wanted to getting into pharmaceutical sales, where a science degree was needed, and a nursing degree was financially easier. It was possible to do the diploma course for two years (which had an automatic bursary) and then switch to the degree programme in the last year. (For quite a few years, until it was scrapped, there was very little difference between the diploma and degree course, incidentally).
Since the move to all degree courses, the competition for student nursing places has rocketed and it’s a lot harder to get accepted. Interviewing is often part of the application process and consequently, it’s harder for people to get accepted if they don’t have a realistic view of nursing and/or have no interest in it as career – that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Today, personally, I would say the bigger problems are a lack of jobs after students qualify (trusts are going after cheaper options) and students growing disillusioned by constant healthcare provision changes, rather than students trying to gain a degree sneakily.
It's been going this way for a long time...
As the article mentioned, the last game developed by LucasArts was Force Unleashed 2 - the PC, PS 3 and Xbox versions were dire, but the Wii was pretty decent. The latter still had the dire story and script, but the gameplay was more solid, had an enjoyable control system and a hugely entertaining multiplayer game – another difference was that it was developed by Red Dog Studios.
Something very similar happened with the first game – Red Dog produced a game that was different to the LucasArts versions without the bugs.
LucasArts has been relying more and more on outside developers and it’s been letting go of staff. In 2008, after Force Unleashed, it let go of a (reported) 100 staff and had to deny rumours that it was closing shop. IIRC, that was the first round of lay-offs and it certainly wasn’t the last – more were let go in 2010 and last year, it was being reported that 30% of staff had to leave (http://uk.ign.com/articles/2010/09/01/lucasarts-confirms-layoffs).
Every article I've read says that it was around 150 people being laid off - so is there WSJ right?
LucasArts introduced a recruitment freeze back in September, so things weren't looking that rosy then.
“Plus books aren't usually prone to deliberate sabotage.”
True and there was shock when it was discovered that a Oxford English Dictionary editor secretly deleted words - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/26/former-oed-editor-deleted-words
It’s not just that Wikipedia is prone to deliberate sabotage, but just how easy it is to commit that sabotage and how depressingly readily people will take it at face value without any cross-referencing.
The Normal Wisdom example that Andrew gave is a good one – when it was first reported that he co-wrote (There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, I thought it was unlikely as the song was written too early and it would be better known if he did. One would have thought that hacks writing obituaries would have twigged the song was written several years before when they were claiming Wisdom became an entertainer. Although I suppose it wasn’t impossible, a quick web search would bring up a huge number of sources crediting it to the actual writers and the only ones credited Wisdom were the Wikipedia entry and his obituaries.
There was another one about a European football team (Croatia, I think) where one paper used Wikipedia to report that the fans wear bizarre shaped hats fashioned from old football boots and quoted a supporters song with strange lyrics… all made good copy and all was completely made up by (IIRC) an experienced Wikipedia vandal.
Also, worth remembering there are cases where articles are tampered for other reasons – e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hari#Wikipedia_editing
If scrapping live filters is controversial...
why not lead the story with that?
Re: So like the new iPhone
"The Reg have started getting comments from Apple now, rather than simply being ignored. Around the same time, this and the iphone 5 both get 90%.
Err, have you been reading *all* of El Reg's coverage about Apple? An overly obsequious tone isn’t a criticism that can’t justifiably be made.
Also, IIRC, Apple started giving comments to El Reg before these reviews.
Re: Is this a reaction?
"Also, I'd be surprised if we're publishing less. There's something like 40-45 articles a day most of the year. Forgive us if you can't love every piece."
I had a quick tot up earlier and, including the Woz article, there were nine stories on the front page – two of which (the Woz one and this Lewis article, which I did find amusing) were also positioned on the right of the front page and in the top stories section. If you do publish 40-45 stories per day, then that’s 20% to just shy of 25% of today’s output.
I don’t expect to love every piece – I know that from reading El Reg (and have the T-shirt, got the book… well, a couple of TBOFH ones) for ten years, but there’s fatigue setting in from so many iPhone and Apple stories – not just here but every blinking site.
If the number of such stories wasn’t bad enough, it’s the content provided so many outlets – very little analysis or real news is offered. One outlet will report what another outlet said. Still, the headline will draw hits and readers will post with passion.
I got into El Reg because I liked the irrelevant style, but there was opinion and news that wasn’t so easy to come by elsewhere – it might be me looking through rose-tinted spectacles, but I don’t get that so much these days.
Speaking as an ex-hack, I don’t envy the El Reg team having to produce so many stories – but sometimes there’s a case for less being more.
"The Independent online reports that there are also complaints about poor finish on some iPhone5 units."
I think 'reports' is a little charitable. The hack writes that "some customers" have complained about issues - but how many is 'some'? How widespread is the issue? Now, I have read forum posts that have referred to the sort of problems that he's referring to, so I know the reports are coming from somewhere, but the Indy hack provides no details about where he got his information from - speaking as an ex-hack myself, that's just shockingly bad. Would adding a link or two kill him? As I've a base cynical mind, I suspect that the reason that he gave a link to another Indy story only is to do with trying to drive the site's Web traffic.
Still, it doesn't really matter. The sheer mention of Apple will generate hits - to hell with actual reporting.
Yet more iPhone linkbait
Or at least, it seems longer.
Re: The real question is.....how many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?
You mean like the Android kil switch?
Re: analysts BS
"Search online for SGS3 Pre orders which from what i could google was 9 million. a little more than the 5 million in 72 hours (thats if that figure includes pre orders)"
From looking myself, that number appeared to be from an unamed Samsung executive - might be accurate, from what I found, it looks unverified.
Also, from what I read – and I’m happy to be corrected, if I’m wrong – that 9 million figure includes the amount that carriers had ordered for future sales rather than just 9 million punters pre-ordering the phone.
According to this Telegraph report - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/samsung/9419878/Samsung-Galaxy-S3-breaks-10-million-sales.html - there were three million pre-orders for the Galaxy SIII and it took nearly two months to reach the 10 million sales mark.
Also, although I would like to say it’s surprising that there was no mention of Nik Software’s other products, it’s sadly predictable that there wasn’t. I know the story was leading with something else but I think it might be of interest.
Nik has firmly placed itself in providing photo-editing plug-ins for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom for higher-end users – so what’s going to happen to those? It doesn’t sound like the kind of area that Google is interested in.
There have been just over 130 comments for users on Nik’s site (http://education.niksoftware.com/2012/09/17/google-acquires-nik-software/) about this news and it’s almost universally been criticised. Punters see this as heralding the end for products that they’ve spent time and money (I consider them excellent value, but they’re not on the budget end of things) into their workflows.
Personally, I suspect that as well as Google leaving a truck full of cash outside Nik’s HQ, a major factor in Nik’s decision was that the market for the plug-ins becoming increasingly niche.
Betteridge's Law of Headlines
Ah, the joys of rumour-mongering
It only seems like less than two weeks ago, when the rumour mill was grinding out stories that there was going to be another event later in the year for the anticipated smaller iPad… it seems it, because it was it.
There was some comment that a separate event for the iPad would be done in order not to deflect attention away from the new iPhone. This makes sense, and it’s what Apple has done in the past. Bearing in mind that updated iPods and very likely, updated iMacs are going to revealed imminently, if all the new kit does get unveiled at the same time, the stage is going to be a bit crowded.
What, I wonder would be a good reason for Apple to unveil a new iPad tomorrow? Actually, I’ve just thought of one – to prevent the seemingly end of articles bemoaning that Apple didn’t announce a new iPad “as expected.”
Re: Anyone else find it amusing
I suspect most would say that Apple gets more than its share of attention, but that’s not the issue. The issue is about how our nice fancy gadgets get manufactured – you might be sanguine about this type of manufacture, but according to the report, some of the practices flagged are illegal by the standards of the county of origin.
Personally, I don’t care what company is involved, if it’s breaking the law, it’s breaking the law – the 'it's a different country, it’s a different way of life' argument doesn’t wash, particularly as no one is saying that the laws being violated are bad or unjust.
Sadly, I feel it’s far too easy to shrug off practices that we wouldn’t be happy with if they were on our own doorstep. If blood/conflict minerals, essential to the production of so many gadgets, weren’t sourced from ‘far-away lands’, I suspect there would be more of a fuss.
Re: Link to that article
Re: For years I've put up with crap service
"The head of sales at Currys/PC World has now moved to head up Apple's Retail Division. Shows their commitment to customer service."
Actually, Browett was Chief Executive of Dixons Retail, which is the parent company of those companies. Anyway….
Anecdotally, these days I don’t hear much bad word of mouth (I’m struggling to think of any) about either of those stores – I don’t use them myself (other than occasionally popping in), but a lot of non-tech colleagues do and their feedback tends to be pretty good – far better than it used to be. One of my mates bought a laptop from a PC World a couple of weeks ago and said the service was actually rather good and the guy serving was very open that the price (which had had come done a lot) and actually been like that for quite a while, rather than pretending it had suddenly come down. As I say, I only pop in now and then, but my impression is that things have improved somewhat – particularly with staff .
Last Christmas, PC World/Currys was one of the few high street retailers that actually did well. Maybe Browett hadn’t done too badly there? The Dixons share price went down when he left for Apple, which indicates that investors didn’t think it was necessarily going to be ‘business as usual.’
Browett’s also been credited in taking a fledging Tesco.com service and nurturing it into a major retailer.
If you want to have a pop at Browett and Apple’s customer service, I think you would have been far better looking at the recent news stories (and arguably, this reflects more on Tim Cook than Browett), rather than the reason you gave, which I suspect would have carried more weight several years ago (overlooking the obvious fact that Browett was actually at Tesco).
re: Best billion dollar ad-campaign Samsung ever had
Speaking of ads, I believe that Apple has yet to comply with a UK court ruling that it has to place notices in the press that Samsung didn’t copy it. The wording of such notices could be rather interesting now.
"Sweden has rather fucked up definitions of rape. In terms of UK law, he did not commit rape and if tried in this country; the case would be thrown out as no crime had been committed."
Although Assange’s legal team has basically argued that twice in English courts, both times, the courts decided that the one of the allegations would also constitute rape under English law.
Re: Who cares about him?
"If Sweden really wanted to question him (and that's all they want to do), then they could have saved everyone lots of time and actually came to the UK...
….Sweden could also offer assurances that we will not be extradited to the USA. As Sweden has done neither of these things "
I believe - and this is based on what someone from Sweden told me - that at this stage of the investigation, the questioning needs to be on Swedish soil, due to a legal requirement. Assange has been interviewed once previously and a second interview is needed in order to formally charge him (assuming that’s what the Swedish authorities wish to do after the interview.)
re: the point of extradition, I believe that once the UK extradites Assange to Sweden, if the USA then applies for him to be extradited to their clutches, then both Sweden and the UK has to agree to it.
Neither Sweden or the UK has said it would refused an extradition request, but until such a request is made, how would it be possible to comment on the strength of such application?
Sweden’s extradition treaty with the US is a lot stricter than the one between the UK and the US. When the UK courts were deciding whether to agree to the Swedish request to extradite Assange, it was widely reported that if they did, then this would complicate attempts to extradite him from Britain to the US.
I suspect Assange has more to fear from Sweden bundling him back to Australia. If there are guarantees that he wouldn’t face the death penalty, I believe it would be easier for America extraditing him from there.
The article doesn't say why the staff are 'loyal'.
Re: Without Jobs there would be no Pixar
"FYI to put it bluntly Jobs died because he was a stupid, arrogant idiot, plain and simple, who - instead of listening to the best medical advice one can get on this planet - decided he will 'study this tumor thing' and know it better than anyone, pissing away the critical first 8-9 months drinking carrot juice while the tumor was still isolated and removable but slowly growing and metastasizing."
Ah, cheers for that. I thought this story was about Pixar, rather than about Jobs' approach to health.
Re: Pixar will miss Jobs like a fish misses a suntan
"Did Steve Jobs found Pixar? I would argue against it.”
And you’d be dead right to do so.
Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith founded the company as a ‘spin-off’ of Lucasfilm – they paid Lucas $5 million for the right to use the technology that the team that would became Pixar, had developed for him. So rather than buying a company, they were buying a technology for a company.
Jobs invested $10 million into Pixar, which gave him a 70% stake – the other 30% was owned by the workers. Although Jobs continued to invest, this was in return for company equity, which left him as 100% owner of the company.
Kickstarter and tech
Tech projects don't have a great track record Kickstarter - something like the Pulse Watch managed to get over $10 million, but they've now said they're going to miss the estimated shipping date in September and won't say when people will get the goods they've stumped up for.
There have been some impressive deals linked to OUYA, but there are rather a lot of questions unanswered - and Penny Arcade ran an excellent report.
Re: People talk about the inaccuracy of Wpedia...
“I challenge those who have claimed above that Wpedia is effectively worthless to provide a link to a Wpage on an uncontroversial subject that really is downright wrong.”
I certainly don’t claim that it is effectively worthless, but there are plenty of examples where duff information sits along perfectly good information. For example, when Norman Wisdom died, some news stories stated that, along with other songs he had written, he co-wrote ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ – all perfectly bunk but they had taken it from Wikipedia. Now, arguably that’s a bit of an extreme example as someone was being mischievous, but I think it it’s illustrates the point.
There have been times that I’ve read something that was stated as a fact or as the accepted belief, when it wasn’t. This isn’t to say such claims were far-fetched (usually, they were far from it) but it’s not accurate to claim something as a stone cold fact when there isn’t sufficient proof and if I didn’t have specialist knowledge, it would have seemed reasonable enough to me. On occasion, I have made contact and revisions have been made, but I feel it’s spitting in the wind.
Also, even when there’s a cited source, you can’t take it as read (no pun intended) that it’s a good one. For instance, I looked up the entry for Charlie Dimmock (I wanted to check something quickly about women on television, okay) it said:
“Dimmock, who is well-endowed, became known for going braless in all weathers.”
Fair enough one might think, and the source is “Chris Roberts (2006). Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind Rhyme. Thorndike Press. ISBN 0-7862-8517-6”, a frothy book about the meaning behind nursery rhymes - even with a mention of Dimmock, it seems a bit of an odd choice… Still, the version history for the Wikipedia indicates that the matter about her wearing a bra was looked into.
"Which is kind of the point, if you want to make money in games you sell software at £25-£40 (x1.5 in dollars) these days. All Linux users ever seem to count is downloads."
But that's not the case. From various information, PC games have been growing - one reason is that freeimum model is working well. Also, there are plenty of indie developers doing rather nicely for themselves, selling games for rather less than the price point you mentioned - look at Legend of Grimrock, for instance.
When we do consider the price point you've quoted, often the teams producing games at that price are large and so are the costs - revenue may be high, but that doesn't mean profits will be.
It's worth mentioning that very recently the CEO of Epic Games spoke about how profitable the Infinity Blade games have been on the iOS platform:
""It's more profitable than Gears of War," Sweeney explained to the audience, emphasizing the implications for console developers. "Nowadays the high end of the game business is in these console games ... Activision invests almost $100 million per year in Call of Duty."
Rein is quick to point out that Infinity Blade has not brought Epic the highest overall revenues, just the highest profits for the amount of time Epic spent making it. Regardless, Sweeney sees this as evidence that developers need to change with the times. If the common smartphone can catch up visually to the Xbox 360, which Moore's Law states that it will, games must naturally adapt themselves to be cross-platform experiences."
If I remember correctly, whenever I’ve looked at donation-based software deals, like the Humble Bundle (where people can pay whatever they want), Linux users tend to pay more than average compared to Mac or Windows users. For example, with the latest deal (which is actually to do with music), the current averages according to OS are:
Okay, this figure is admittedly shy of $30, but it’s representative of previous deals – that on average Linux users have paid more through choice.
Re: Linux on a stick
"Probably is an aim, but don't Macs have an equivalent to the Windows Marketplace? If not, they'll follow suit soon. In either case, Steam will be redundant on both and I think that's his main problem right now..."
Apple launched a Mac App Store at the beginning of last year – and on at least one story, the impact of Steam was discussed. However, one difference is with Microsoft Metro software (sorry, name change I should be calling it something else - http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/microsoft-metro-out-windows-8-style-ui-in-amid-rumors-of-a-trademark-dispute/) it can *only* be bought via the Microsoft store – if I publish a game that works on OS X, I can sell it via Steam, Apple, other retailers and direct to the public (rather like I could – other than the Mac Store! - if it was a game for Windows, but not a ‘Windows 8-style UI’ one).
Going back to the discussion last year, my comments would be the same as then – Steam doesn’t have too much to worry about, it’s really Mac-only online software stores that will be hit. Although the Apple App Store does have Mac games, I find Steam is more competitive on price (especially in the sales).
However, one of the Steam guys (I think it was Newell) when talking about piracy, it’s not the price but what’s being delivered that counts – they’re selling a service as well as games. On Steam, I buy game that is on more than one desktop OS, I’m able to use it on all of those platforms – with the Mac Store, unsurprisingly, I can only play it on OS X.
The performance of games is better on the Windows platform than OS X (look at any benchmark; incidentally, I recently bought Crusader Kings 2 and had such problem getting to the main menu screen on OS X, I uninstalled it and ran it on Windows instead) – not to mention there’s a lot more choice on the former. Am I going to just buy from Apple’s App Store? Am I, heck (and in fact, I haven’t bought a single game.)
If someone plays a very limited range of games or plays infrequently, then the Apple Store would be great and arguably, it’s a better choice for them than Steam – but they’re not the main market for Steam, nor would they necessarily use Steam anyway. On Mac-centric forums, when games are discussed, Steam is mentioned a darn sight more than the Apple Store.
On my Mac, I can run OS X, Windows and Linux flawlessly – if Steam does Linux games and I know performance is significantly better on a game, then I’ll play it that.
Microsoft does have its own online gaming service, Xbox Live, so it could compete with Steam there – but at the moment, I can’t see Steam being shifted as the main online distributor of games.
@ Geoff Campbell
This is something that Private Eye has been covering for years - specifically, in complex financial fraud cases that require very long court cases.
With these types of trials, it’s been argued that the details of such cases are so complicated that when they are explained in a broad way, in order a lay person can understand, a lot of the wrong-doing is lost. In other words, you need to look at the fine details to be able to properly examine if the law was broken.
Here’s a director of the Serious Fraud Office speaking about his in 1997:
"The prosecutor strives to present a complex commercial fraud to a jury of lay people in a way that enables them to understand the intricacies of the commercial transactions and understand the documents, often the most convoluted and intricate sets of accounts," she said. "But this means having to prune a case to its bare essentials, losing, in the process, substantial elements of the total criminality alleged."http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sfo-wants-to-end-trial-by-jury-in-complex-financial-cases-1239577.html
This has been long debated in legal circles – for example:
“In 1986 Lord Roskill's Fraud Trials Committee did not find trial by a random jury a satisfactory way of achieving justice in cases of long and complex fraud. Lord Runciman's Royal Commission on Criminal Justice, which reported in 1993, was more cautious. It pointed out that no-one really knew how juries reached their verdicts because it was against the law to ask them. It recommended a change in the law to enable research to be carried out. Lord Justice Auld was quite clear, however, in his Review of the Criminal Courts in 2001. He said, in line with Roskill's favoured option, that in serious and complex frauds the nominated trial judge should have the power to direct a trial by himself and two lay members drawn from a panel established by the Lord Chancellor for the purpose, or, if the defendant so requests, by himself alone.“
Re: "Why do you think they required that ARM-based systems *must* have Secure Boot enabled?"
"Apple tried to claim at one point that they were losing money on each OS license sold but this was revealed to be based on an accounting methodology that could get you thrown in jail in most businesses. Jobs ended licensing because he wanted absolute control over anything calling itself a Mac. It's that simple"
Actually, there's a bit more to it than that. Apple found itself playing catch-up with the Mac clones in terms of specs at the same time as being beaten by price. Mac sales by Apple in the two years of licensing declined (from 4.5 million per year to 2.8 million).
The clones didn’t increase market share for the Mac OS, which was the point of licensing.
I have no doubt that Jobs had other reasons for canning the licensing program, but it had come far too late, was born out of desperation and from the various stuff I’ve read, there was wasn’t a strong economic case for it.
@ Mark .
“How many were Ipod users? The thing is, by 2007, Apple had already built up a niche of Apple fanatics, even if they weren't using Macs.”
Apple *already* had a core base of users/cultists/fanatics before the iPod launched – and in fact, many thought Apple was wasting its time bringing out a music player and what it needed to do was to bring out a mid-range tower. If you go to any Mac-centric forum, posters who are self-proclaimed Apple fans, but not happy with everything the company does, are ten-a-penny and it's been like that for years. For example, the iOS-fication of OS X, the lack of Mac Pro are directions of travel that many aren’t comfortable with currently.
Although many early adopters no doubt had an iPod player, just because someone has an iPod doesn’t make them a fanatic. The vast majority of people I know, for instance, who have had one at some point don’t have a Mac, or ever have – more than a fair few use an Android phone as their main music player (presumably, they've been deprogrammed). If my mates had thought the early adopters were largely ‘fanatics’, I would have mentioned it. There are many factors for the growth of Apple’s sales – and you’ve mentioned the hype and publicity (hacks knows that Apple stories generate Web activity – why do you think El Reg has so many) – but largely ascribing this to foaming at the mouth fanboy/gals is overly simplistic and false. When the last iPad was launched, the Telegraph surveyed the people queuing up, most were PC users and for many it was going to be their first Apple product... but let's just call them the Mac faithful.
"Apple are scum, they make Microsoft even at their worst seem like a pleasant company..."
Sure because one company who wants our money is worst than another company who wants our money.
Re: bloody ridiculous...
"Apple did well with the iphone for two reasons, 1) it was an Apple product, and they have seriously loyal (to the point of irrational) customers - how lucky are they?"
In the UK, I don't believe that was the case - I had and still have friends working/managing phone shops and at the time, a good proportion of early adaptors weren’t traditional Apple customers (in the sense that they used Macs). Anecdotally, my experience tallied with that – out of several people I knew who had the first iPhone, only one used Macs. That’s not to say that a lot of Mac users didn’t get the iPhone when it came out, but I think the product’s success isn’t easily explained by the usual ‘Apple’s customers will buy anything by the company’ – like the iPod, there’s a bit more to it.
Re: bloody ridiculous...
"If someone does invent a transporter, they could patent it, but not the design of it if it's the same as that of Star Trek. Or at least, that's how it should work, because you didn't invent the design. It's hardly rocket science."
Slight tangent, but a few years ago, a couple of guys did try to patent a warp drive, which IIRC was briefly granted. I seem to remember that there were claims that the appllication was rather influenced by a Star Trek book.
Re: "Yet there was really nothing like it around."
Why do Apple cultists insist on revising history? Next they'll claim that Apple "invented" the computer mouse, the GUI, the home computer, the smartphone, and the portable digital music player.
Sadly, they’re hardy the ones. How many times do people say that Apple stole, rather than licensed, research from Xerox PARC? Or for that matter, claim that the PARC invented the GUI? People get some het up about certain companies that they’ll simply choose to not bother access easily obtainable information.
“Apple should be "applauded" for making so much money off stolen ideas and litigation ... in the same way that Al Capone should have been "applauded" for racketeering and murder.”
In the case of Capone, he – like many others - took advantage of a situation, namely the Prohibition Laws. That legal situation created an environment for racketeers to prosper and to fund expansion – just as it allowed Joseph Kennedy to fund/buy a presidential election. That doesn’t excuse what Capone did, just that he (and others) were an inevitable product of a flawed system – which I would say is exactly what’s happening with patents in technology.
A company like Apple ain’t going to go broke soon and we can’t rely on insolvency to sort out the problem of patent litigation – and in fact, the judge at a recent case that Apple lost seems to be indicating that something needs to change (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-judge-posner-us-patent-system-out-of-sync-20120705,0,4814825.story).
Who came up with the title?
We might have missed these? Seriously?
For those who use Steam, I very much doubt it. Even if you don’t use Steam, unless you avoid discussing games or read any gaming sites/mags, you would have known about most, if not, all of these titles. Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall Of The Samurai isn’t exactly a title that goes under the radar.
Re: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, the game was brilliantly designed for touchscreen devices and it shows badly on the port, which I felt the article skirts around. Very little thought has gone into how the game works with a completely different interface. It’s inexpensive, but a fair few gamers resent paying good money for bad ports. Although most critics have been praising it, feedback from punters is much more like on marmite lines, unlike with the original version(s). Maybe iOS users are less demanding when it comes to games, or it just might be that the port has issues that mar the game for many.
Although I suspect that the intention of the article wasn’t what the title implied, one game that I suspect that people might have overlooked or missed is Crusader Knights 2. Unbelievably entertaining.
"Both Amazon and Google will be looking to make more money by encouraging tablet owners to buy content from them than they stand to make on the devices, but it's interesting that neither (yet) sees the hardware as a loss-leader."
If Google is breaking even when it sells the 8GB model direct (as it’s said is the case), then surely it’s going to make a loss when another retailer sells the same model? Similarly, how much profit is Google going to make when a retailer sells the 16GB one? As Google is not selling the Nexus 7 exclusively, then I suspect it is willing to sell it as a loss-leader to some extent.
On a slight tangent, I know a few people who have ordered one or will be, but all are going for the cheaper unit. I have no idea how this will compare to most punters, but the people I know seem to have been very much influenced by price in their decision.
Re: re: "How does it compare to the cluster of 7" android tablets priced around £100"
Aye, and all reviews (well, the ones I’ve seen anway) have been extremely positive and the consensus seems to be that this is the best Android tablet yet – or for that matter, a terrific bit of kit.
According to David Pogue in his review, Google has said that it’s not making a profit when selling the Nexus 7 direct (and therefore, will be making a loss when sold via other channels) – so arguably, that means a rather big bang for your buck.
Re: Slightly puzzled and wondering if I have missed something...
"Ok, this I get and is a fair balance, but he states that the sea change was really when stuff like the Ipod came in."
Actually, Dediu doesn't mention iPod once in his article - it was Rik for El Reg who did. However...
The iPod made Apple into a trendy hip and happenin' company, daddy-oh - there was a halo effect with the iPod, which lead to an increased demand for Macs. Because of the iPod, some punters got a lot more interested in Apple products.
Also, as Rik said, Apple enjoyed success with consumer electronics with the iPod - this has continued with the iPhone and the iPad, and arguably, it was the iPod that kicked it all off. Dediu did considered iOS devices, so I think Rik was correct to show when Apple got into the market that such products belonged to.
Re: Apple treated differently than Microsoft.
"It is also worth remembering that until Apple created the original iPod it was on the verge of bankruptcy itself. With just 2~4% of the PC marketplace."
Although I wouldn’t say that Apple’s finances were in rude health, by 1998, the company was in far better shape –the success of the iMac, which was announced that year meant that it was unlikely that Apple would go belly-up, which had been widely assumed was going to happen before that.
Although Gil Amelio’s tenure of CEO isn’t highly regarded, arguably Steve Jobs benefited from more of few things his predecessor did (e.g. cutting costs, reducing workforce) to put the company on a better footing.
Re: Punch and Judy show...
"Oddly enough, the ancient Greeks already solved the problem of career politicians.
Their representatives were chosen randomly from the population by lot and then used meetings to get the majority opinion on issues in order to move things along."
Not quite - in Athens, for example (which is the model normally referred to), although the majority were selected that way, a certain amount were elected (often to the plum posts). Also, different city-states used different forms of government.
Very importantly, the entire population wasn’t included for the lots under the Athenian– male citizens only. When women (Athens abhorred Sparta for letting women have more rights), slaves (which Athens was renowned for) and men who didn’t qualify as being a citizen (born in another city-state but lived there for 50 years? Tough.), are taken account, the pool of people that could be selected for office, was a minority of the population.
At the time, the Athenian model had plenty of critics… whatever the system, people will find fault!
The hardware employs workers?
"The not-so-subtle dig at Apple's outsourcing went down well with developers, some of who are happy to spend more for hardware that employs American workers."
It's companies that employ workers, not hardware (unless we should be hailing our new robotic overlords), so that sentence really needs to be fixed.
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