36 posts • joined Wednesday 5th May 2010 06:20 GMT
Since You Asked
You could start by not apologizing for reviewing Apple products or otherwise catering to the tech equivalent of religious fanatics who confuse that particular fruit with the one in Genesis. (Pro or con - it's all the same.) The Register is justly famed for quality snark, and what could be snarkier at this late date than to refuse to put on that sort of us/them Punch & Judy show? At least in the colonies, courtesy, rational discourse, and tolerance for differing opinions have become so rare as to constitute daring transgression against the pathetic bourgeois norm. Adolescent self indulgence went out with, well... adolescence. "Thank you" is the new "kcuf you."
"We review products as users, not as procurers or engineers…"
Well that is a problem. Consider reviewing them as critics, and more specifically, as journalists. Given that few now alive have ever experienced "journalism" and couldn't define "criticism" at gunpoint, you'll have the pleasure of baffling idiots everywhere. The only thing worse than the subjective trash that passes for criticism amidst the masses are the regurgitated press releases that pundefecators try to pass off as analysis. Eschew both. Subjective, unsupported opinions are as common as cold sores, but considerably less attracting and definitely deserving of less compassion.
As for content, reviews with objective parameters and some sort of transparent scoring system are more useful than those without. User reviews being a sewer of subjective worship and loathing (see "religious fanatics," above), I look to the pros when I want another perspective on what's best. A report card without grades is as useless as grades without a transparent scoring system are unjust.
Finally, if your purpose is to communicate, well-crafted language isn't optional. Your editors are either absent, stoned, or far too concerned with being well liked. Too often, your writers put me in mind of what online comment sections become without a character limit. Cute is seldom anything of the sort, and if I need to read something chummy, I correspond with friends.
While not nearly often enough, judicial bodies do occasionally treat overweening, mindless corporate greed with the humorous contempt it deserves. It's only odd if one forgets that, unlikely corporations, judges are human and potentially possessed of both a sense of humor and one of, well… justice. Which is sometimes poetic.
As so many of the comments on this article demonstrate, to take any of this at face value is a form of blindness, which among other symptoms, can be recognized by the complete failure to recognize wit.
In the US, it's been mostly forgotten that "corporation" is nothing more than an elaborate system of "walk/don't walk" signs elevated to the status of religion by the egregiously wealthy priests who most stand to benefit. In fact, it's an abstraction with no more intrinsic reality than manifest destiny or the white man's burden (and deserving of no more respect).
When children behave with mindless greed, responsible parents discipline them. Given that it's not possible to take a switch to Tim Cook's behind on YouTube, this is the next best thing. While it's much too little far too late and unlikely to have any significant impact, any attempt to teach the corporate machine that justice is not "whatever you can get away with" and that the judicial system should not be used for frivolous purpose is great thing.
It's good for civil society to regularly bitch slap corporate behemoths in the face, if only "to encourage the others."
Anyone who doubts this should look closely at the US, whose government has over the past half century become a wholly owned corporate subsidiary - little more than craven middle management lording it over a nation of servants indentured to health care and drugged on mass media, where law is whatever the egregiously wealthy find convenient.
Agism is no more acceptable than racism, homophobia, or any other form of bigotry.
And given that it's never anything more than an ad hominem attack, it's a sign of a weak mind as well as a weak character.
You fail to mention that the CEO of EPEAT has publicly admitted that details of the standard have failed to keep pace with developing technologies and are in desperate need of revision. I'm no corporate apologist, but given that, it seems to me that you (and the "hippies") are blaming the victim.
Do you consider yourselves journalists? Do you research the content of the stories you publish, or just mindlessly regurgitate the equally derivative regurgitations of others? Increasingly, what passes for journalism in the 21st century resembles the premise of the movie "Centipede."
"Let me tell you about this ‘real world’ place…"
Thank you, Oh Arbiter of The Real, for your pretension and presumption, which provide a reliable indicator of where to stop reading whatever righteous, narcissistic nonsense you're ranting on any given day.
Welcome to the 21st century, where journalism is first and foremost about the writer's feelings, and emotional bias is the scarf he pins to his helm when galloping off to joust with himself. It's a marvelous thing to observe… the sublime self assurance of the almost-smart.
Everyone masturbates. Might Mr. Dabbs be persuaded to do so in private?
Re: why DRM exists
I am so very relieved to learn that fear, greed, and stupidity are all the province of a single generation, now passing. I look forward to seeing how this new species of human (of which you are presumably one) saves the world.
Do please hurry.
"…Perry switched the story from copyright infringement to paedophilia. Why does this keep happening?"
Because all of Western culture along with much of the rest of the world is built on a religiously-inculcated tinderbox of sexual shame. This makes it possible to derail any debate about any subject merely by mentioning sex. It doesn't matter what's being discussed or why: use the words "sex" and "children" in the same sentence, in any context, for any reason, and the idiocracy gathers pitchforks and lights torches. I live in America, where processing images of baby's first bath can land you in court, and saying "children should be taught about sexuality" attracts tar and feathers.
Ask any sheepdog… Being able to bark a single syllable and stampede the entire flock (over a cliff, if need be) is a very handy thing. Ignorance and hysteria are far more essential to authoritarianism than shiny black boots and truncheons.
I predict a great future in politics.
"Oh, touched a nerve, have I?"
Only your own.
In fact, when compared to the engagement and intercourse of actual journalism, it becomes clear that touching yourself is just what this sort of rant is all about. What sort of loser does _that_ in front of a computer?
Like the little girl said, "Because I am not one of your fans."
I arose this morning thinking, "What this day needs is some self-indulgent whinging about nothing much." After that, it was inevitable that my fingers would tap out "reghardware.com" without conscious intervention on my part.
"So what we've got in the iPad 3 is a product that is fatter and heavier."
.6 mm or 1/32" fatter, 55 grams or 1.75 oz heavier. Who but a carrier pigeon would notice, much less care?
"offers less battery life between recharges"
I experience better battery life than my partner's 2.
"risks running out of storage space four times more quickly"
You're on drugs. The wrong drugs. I'd invite you to visit reality, but then I'd worry about running into you there.
"and makes some of your existing apps look worse."
Also know as showing your poor design for what it is.
Please, dear Register. If I want to be subjected to the twee snark of narcissists, I'll read Wired.
Do we suppose Wilde had any idea how that the future of humanity would consist entirely of variations on "The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible," each more nauseating than the last.
I guess not. It'd have broken his mind long before that vile little rodent Bosie broke his heart.
It's 2012 and if you don't hate yourself, you aren't paying attention. Our species is loathsome, its cultures vile, and our future deservedly dubious. Let's all pray the end is instantaneous, painless, and tomorrow.
What's next? Will some idiotic bureaucracy allow patenting of fingertips? Will I be sued for using mine without paying royalties?
We're allowing greed to suck all creativity and joy out of life in exchange for giving 5% of the species 95% of the wealth. No person or organization should be permitted to "own" an idea to this degree of specificity, and possession of "intellectual property" should be limited to a modest portion of a human lifetime.
"Mine!" is not a fact, a reasoned argument, a supportable conclusion, or a reason for existence and those who behave otherwise are a menace to themselves and everyone else. The seagulls in "Finding Nemo" were not admirable, and neither are the people who behave like them. The apotheosis of wealth is suicide.
An hysterical race over the edge of every cliff is the inevitable outcome of living in a world where ownership of everything is assigned to whoever gets there first. Theft is the only ethical response to cultures which define reasonable profit as the most you can get away with.
The next time you hear someone shouting "Mine!," take a moment to steal a copy of whatever they're clutching so fanatically.
As an American, I'm encouraged to learn that British MPs are apparently of such modest means that it's appropriate for taxpayers to buy each of them an iPad. This is in stark contrast to the US, where our wealth-based class system as resulted in the bulk of our "elected" officials being little more than puppets for the plutocrats who pay to put and keep them in office. Most of our officials are so awash in perfectly legal bribes that they own not merely their own iThingies, but significant chunks of Apple as well.
It's good to know that there's someplace left on earth where the powerful retain some semblance of honor.
The more we focus on the mechanisms by which media content is delivered, the less aware we become of the fact that the content is crap.
Changing the color of a sewer pipe doesn't change the reality of what it delivers.
Samsung might consider spending less time dreaming and more time addressing the massive security holes in their implementation of Android. Their "ignore it and it will go away" approach is going to result in "ignore and they'll [their customers] will go away."
When Apple pulls this kind of sh*t, half the world rears up on its hind legs, screaming for blood. What is it about droids that makes them so tolerant of fragmentation, the lack of upgrades, and this kind of DRM nonsense?
"I love everything about Amazon…"
And therein lies the problem. Do you know anything at all about Amazon? It's history? Its tactics? Anything beyond that fact that they'll give you all the landfill you can pay for without your having to move from your couch?
It's easy to understand why Amazon - were it not an abstract legal entity incapable of feelings - might love you: from your descriptor of yourself, you sound a perfect consumer dupe. What's baffling is what sickness compels you to such passion for a corporation about which you appear to know little or nothing, to the point where you reflexively buy its products a six-pack at a time without even reading the hype, much less doubting it.
There are reasons why the expression "caveat emptor" has along and venerable history, whereas "shop 'til you drop" is merely the trendy snark of the ethically, spiritually, and financially bankrupt.
P.S. Does it occur to you that people who've intelligently structured their virtual lives to suit themselves might welcome the gift of a Kindle about as much as they'd appreciate being given a puppy with a big red bow around its neck?
"timeless design that includes an all-metal chassis with rounded edges in a classic black and silver finish."
I'm sure Apple will be pleased HP finds their design timeless, but Envy is a character defect which leads only to misery and failure.
Whimpering Rich People
I have the same reaction to this that I do to the silly games members of the US Congress play for their own amusement while their country falls apart around them.
I'd like to line every last one of them up and slap them in their selfish, foolish, narcissistic, greedy faces, and with each slap, transfer $10K from their personal accounts to a charity that helps young people grow up to be something other than fools.
People who believe life is about the accumulation of wealth are insufficiently mature to be allowed any.
I'd made my own by the time Lion was even released and Apple has since provided a free download to help non-geeks make one. Combine that with the fact that the OS costs thirty bucks and only a bitter old woman would complain, in between kicking cats and screaming at the neighbor kids to get off her lawn.
There's a point at which your insistence on perpetual pique distorts the truth and become truly bad journalism. When was the last time you got laid?
Wrong Question, Wrong Answer
"What are we building here? Is it a computer or just a fancy picture frame?"
Either, neither, both… It doesn't much matter. Samsung's clever gadget will fail for the same reason all the iPad's imitators will fail: even those few developers who understand that the product is a user experience to which hardware is incidental have likely caught on too late to catch up.
Geeks will tout the allegedly superiority of one device or another while the rest of the world will be motivated by the realization that the hardware is now so ephemeral that as to matter only to truly monomaniacal fetishists. The only computing product worth buying is an ongoing, evolving, useful, and pleasurable experience of an increasingly ubiquitous data flow culture. Developers who fail to provide that consistently over time will do just that: fail.
Missing the Point
As devices proliferate and information technology becomes as pervasive as oxygen, tech-obsessed geeks and the companies they influence should stop listening to each other and go talk to their middle-aged mothers.
While she might not use the words, Mom could tell them that hardware is incidental to the experience of ubiquitous computing. Beyond the fact that they're required to literalize the metaphor, actual physical computers are irrelevant to the experience of dataflow culture.
Consumers have largely stopped buying devices. What's being purchased is an experience, real or imagined. Apple was founded on this understanding and after a promising start, nearly failed when the corporate fixation on individual products made inroads. They're now experiencing a spectacular boom cycle while the rest of the industry tanks in a worldwide economic bust because they've returned to the understanding that computing is not about computers. (This is also explains why die-hard geeks often loathe Apple with a level of vitriol normally reserved for religious arguments.)
HP is a perfect example of this because their history includes an extraordinary number of remarkably clever devices which went nowhere. They and their ilk fail and will continue to fail not because they produce bad hardware - they've made brilliant hardware - but because they've adopted the perspective of their Aspergers-afflicted engineers and therefore don't understand that almost no one has any interest in buying hardware.
Computer design that doesn't regard the experience as paramount and the physical object as all but irrelevant is doomed because the product _is_ the experience. After all, the various devices are beyond ephemeral, resembling mayflies far more than the game-changing "life will never be the same" revolutions they purport to be.
Quack Quack Quack
If it looks like an iPad and it quacks like an iPad…
Oh, who the hell cares about the intellectual property rights of corporate bodies which undermine and destroy democracies by buying and selling "elected" representatives? Whatever they produce, I'm going to follow their example and steal - not buy - it in order to obtain what's good for me without regard for their welfare.
One Giant Leap… Backwards
The nastiest of the web's many problems is the clumsy, slow, inconsistent, and unreliable interface provided by the combination of a site's programming and the web browser with which you access it. It was a giant step backwards the day Mosaic was conceived in 1992 and since then has not so much been corrected as merely complicated. Like the inescapably ubiquitous pinky-gray cellulite wattles on the morbidly obese supermarket checkout clerk, self preservation has forced us all to simply stop noticing how awful it is.
The only purpose served by making it the _only_ interface will be to create a generation of users who have no idea what a dog it is and who will have no objection to Google's de facto ownership of their virtual lives.
Be evil, Google. Be evil.
Now we're holding Apple responsible for the fact that Microsoft was unable to produce an acceptable new OS for eight years following XP's 2001 release, and that it's customer base so suspects and loathes its more recent products that they choose to run a ten-year-old antique?
No doubt Apple will fail to consider the needs of those using 300 baud modems as well. Get the tar and feathers.
The Kindle is a moronic single-purpose computer permanently tethered to Amazon's high prices and inferior quality. (Anyone for a 700-page anthology of short stories with no table of contents? Stop complaining - what do you expect for $2 more than their discounted price for the hard cover?)
And now I'm offered the same turkey plus additional clucking for $25? Do I look like I smoke crack?
Those who can't create litigate.
An overweening concern with intellectual property is inevitable in a culture that values wealth above everything else. These people honestly believe the purpose of their lives is to accumulate more consumer goods than those around them.
The corporation is by definition an amoral profit machine. It's a lofty legal abstraction with its feet firmly stuck in the all-too-actual swamp of human fear, aggression, and greed, and nothing in the concept itself in any way limits what it may do in pursuit of its single goal: to get more than it gives.
Harper Collins, like any corporation, is free to do whatever it likes in pursuit of profit. If its best options are illegal, it - like any large corporation - will simply apply money to the law until its either changed or rendered irrelevant. Like all corporations, it regards everything, everyone, every notion, feeling, itch, and scratch as a potential product to be exploited. The only thing that can impede such a machine is the failure to make a profit - everything else is subordinate to that one defining characteristic.
I don't think Harper Collins is good for writing, for authors, for art, for readers, or for information. Exploiting readers and writers alike, they create nothing, and consequently there's nothing about them that I admire or require. I don't think they're good for the species, I know they're not good for me, and they're just one instance out of hundreds of similar relationships.
At this point in my access of digital information, anything I turn my attention to is automatically stripped of DRM and stored for as long as I choose to keep it. It's largely effortless, and if I find some item that's intractable, I either beat it over the head until it submits or turn my attention to something else. Either way, the only way Harper Collins and its ilk can get me to pay for anything is to convince me that they serve some good purpose and deserve to exist.
How Much Does It Take?
We know that in America that being rich never means having to admit you're an elohssa, but can we quantify that? Just how much money do I have to have before I can tihs in public and have the idiocracy applaud?
Ohmigod! That is soooo targeting the most aggressively inarticulate generation the world has seen since, like... forever? I mean, you can just totally tell how cool Lili is by the way she says "they're always talking about stuff I don't know what they're talking about"?
I'm soooo going to friend her first, you bitches!!!!