* Posts by Dave 126

4735 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Improved Apple Watches won't get more expensive? Hmmm

Dave 126
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Re: The Cray.

That actual computation isn't directly affecting your quality of life - what you do with that computation might do. You might enjoy better weather forecasts today, or new pharmaceuticals, or a car that has made it market more quickly... but not by a factor of a squillion.

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Dave 126
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>they really should be saying "hey Apple, you pay so much less now, where the fucks our discount"...

In terms of economics, what it costs Apple to actually make the iPhone 6 is irrelevant, except with relation to how much it costs Apple's rivals to make competing products. The manufacturer will sell their products at a price that suits them (usually to improve margins, but one might discount products to gain market share. Apple have done their sums and determined that enough people will pay the asking price - and APPL's bottom line suggests that they have pitched it well.

Of course, it suits Apple to try and make sure there are no competing products; someone might instead buy a Samsung and it will still make phone calls and play YouTube videos, but it won't be a FaceTime terminal or iWatch companion. The user might have already invested (money and learning) in propriety iDevice-compatible kit, so a HTC handset won't be a swap-out alternative (, i.e level competition) for an iPhone.

This isn't the area of economics that is being discussed in the article. The argument being made is that a computer sold in the eighties for £1000 was a word processor and spreadsheet. It then, slowly, acquired the ability to be a photograph archive, drafting board and music player. Today, it is also a video editor, physical model simulator, and video-phone. (And my ageing Core2 Duo laptop also functions as a fan-heater)

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

Dave 126
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Re: Eh?

>I'm having trouble seeing the IT angle in this story

India, a country that produces many very very bright mathematicians, physicists and coders, and hosts famed technical technical colleges... and this gentleman restores the balance.

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

Dave 126
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Re: @Ivan Not sure what it is

>"Some of the curbs at the soccer club are quite high".

Haha!

Actually, you only have to watch someone strap a toddler into a baby seat to see why some people prefer higher vehicles. Simply, the parent has to bend less when holding a heavy object (the toddler), and they stoop less when engaging the straps.

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

Dave 126
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Well, that's showing some concern for your fellow citizens who aren't as strong as you are - our population is aging, y'know. Maybe the user has arthritis, and any weight saving saves them discomfort when they move their laptop around their house. Maybe the user has a load of other stuff - paper files, cameras, product samples, whatever - that they need to lug around as a part of their job. Maybe the user travels by air a lot, and the space saved in their carry-on luggage allows them to pack an extra shirt.

Who knows.

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Dave 126
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Re: Any similar sized laptop good for repair?

iFxit tend to be the go-to site for 'repairability' scores.

The Surface Pro used more glue and 52 screws, according to iFixit. I can't find any guides or teardowns of the Lenovo Yoga 2 or 3 on the iFixit site.

Instead of just researching how easy these things are to repair, you might also research how reliable different brands are, and what their extended warranties and service compare.

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Dave 126
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Re: @SuccessCase

>Licking the hand that feeds IT ... Doesn't sound like a site I'd bother reading.

And yet the headline could have read "New Macbook Pro - a bugger to dismantle" and been both critical *and* accurate.

Criticising poor products and lauding good ones is in the interest of the consumer and user. Beyond that, not distorting what is said by a source is important.

iFixt merely expressed mild surprise that the Macbook Pro has a different design of trackpad to that in the new Macbook - that is all.

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Dave 126
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Re: @ Suricou Raven

>As an example, combination of sliding parts, latches and rubber 'stoppers' wouldn't add weight nor thickness to these gadgets,

Yes it would... and it would add complexity, too - making the device both more expensive to manufacture and assemble, and more expensive to recycle. Using glue makes products easier to dismantle when they come to the end of their lives, since they can just be passed through an oven and then pulled apart. This much less labour intensive than unscrewing a dozen or so fasteners.

The manufacturer is responsible for the end-of-life disposal of products now in many territories - so ease of recycling is in their interests.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

Dave 126
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Re: What's the gold worth?

http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-Much-Gold-Is-Really-In-A-Rolex-Watch-/10000000001632748/g.html

The total value of the pure 24kt. gold in this Rolex President is $963.27.

Case ring weights 18.5 grams. Contains 13.875 grams of pure gold. It has a value of $178.43.

Case back weighs 7.21 grams. Contains 5.41 grams of pure gold. It has a value of $69.57.

Bezel weighs 5.30 grams. Contains 3.98 grams of pure gold. It has a value of $51.18.

The bracelet weighs 68.85 grams. Contains 51.64 grams of pure gold. It has the most value at $664.09.

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Dave 126
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Re: Change in society? -@Dave126

Fair enough, I didn't choose my examples well, except that they weren't 'functional' objects. Still, there are many examples of luxury goods in history that didn't last long - Cleopatra's baths of asses milk, rare foods and spices, gladiators and otherwise useful slaves killed for entertainment. The bottom line is that they were usually displays of wealth power over lesser mortals.

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Dave 126
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Re: Change in society?

>Once upon a time the point of "luxury" goods was that they lasted

What d'ya mean? History is chockablock with examples of extravagent luxury goods. The eggs made by Faberge, the rare cloth dyes and gold thread for your clothing, gold statues of yourself.

In that context, the gold iWatch is not a sign of society's breaking point, it is just yet another drop in the rain storm of history.

Yeah, once upon a time it was expensive to make durable goods... but modern manufacturing techniques allow inexpensive objects to be functional and durable. The manufacturing tolerances on any cola can, for example, are just incredible. We all can now afford sharper knives, better shoes and more intricate toys than any king of old.

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Dave 126
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Re: Mark Up

>Do you think Apple will provide that [TAG's] kind of service?

Apple hired TAG's VP of Sales last summer, and poached a couple of fashion and luxury CEOs in 2013.* At the least, Apple knew what they didn't know and set about learning.

As for service you describe, I would imagine it depends on the sales channel Apple uses for the gold version... an Apple concession within an existing luxury retailer doesn't seem implausible. The service level depends upon the dealer and their margin, and TAG do sell watches at many time the price of Apple's top offerings.... I dunno.

*https://gigaom.com/2013/10/28/why-is-apple-hiring-luxury-fashion-execs-it-wants-to-be-a-lifestyle-brand/

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Dave 126
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Here's one:

Steve Wozniak became rich because of Apple, and he wears an expensive, impractical watch because he wants to and because he can. It's huge. Why? Because it uses Nixie tubes to display the time. You have to like a company (actually a one-man band) that puts this testimonial on its homepage:

“If I wanted to buy a watch that guaranteed I would never get laid, I certainly wouldn't have to spend that much on it.”

—random Slashdot comment

above

“I would have loved to have invented that.”

—Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple

http://www.cathodecorner.com/nixiewatch/

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Dave 126
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Re: But what happens a few years down the line

Granddad's retirement Rolex might have sentimental value to you. That is a different kind of value to that discussed in the article.

The 'value' discussed in the article is that of showing off wealth by 'wasting' it. Y'know, like the people who like to show off by drinking a £500 magnum of champagne (though some inexpensive Cava might taste just as good to them)- it is not going to be passed on to the next generation. Cocaine and caviar, similarly.

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Dave 126
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>eventually they will go away.

I have a large stack of National Geographic magazines dating back decades that disagree with you. They almost always carry advertisements for Rolex watches, usually associated with an explorer. Rolex even sponsor various awards for young explorers - part of the cost of maintaining the brand that Mr Worstall talks about.

'Wildlife as Canon Sees It' has been another long-running National Geographic advertising campaign, usually featuring a red-ringed zoom lens that costs thousands of dollars. Again, the aim is to associate the product with professional use in the mind of the consumer.

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Dave 126
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Any biologist will tell you much the same as Mr Worstall. ' Wasted' resources are everywhere in nature, from peacocks tails and moose antlers, to time 'wasting' behavior like that of the bower-bird. Open a window and just listen to Spring.

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Dave 126
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Re: The difference is …

The longevity of a Rolex compared to an iWatch is completely irrelevant for the very reasons the article discussed. Wasting resources proves that you have resources - Hence the old Rolls Royce in a swimming pool antics.

I have some sympathy for Bill Gates idea of a progressive tax on luxury goods - tax puts up the sticker price of a £300 handbag to £500 - so the buyer still shows off their disposable wealth but society benefits.

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ALIEN LIFE drenched in HOT FLUID on Jupiter's Ganymede – is that so?

Dave 126
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Re: Outstanding piece of boffinry

>"Cat, are you drilling?"

Cat, drilling in space, near Jupiter, Mining Corp... I so thought that was going to be a link to a Red Dwarf clip!

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Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

Dave 126
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WAR is against war?

Did WFR not have a spokeswoman available for comment?

For some reason, this thing has reminded me of Tom Sharpe's farcical novels.

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Dave 126
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Re: Good for him… maybe?

>if the reason for the extradition is retrospectively done away with, is the extradition itself is no longer valid (or considered never valid)?

If Hollywood movies have taught me anything, it is that if you jump bail for a crime you did not commit and then succeed in proving your innocence and killing the swine who framed you, you'll be left free to go home. Also, elevators don't fail safely, and cars explode if they crash above 20 MPH.

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Dave 126
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Re: What an idiot.

Actually, just the idea of this might prevent people from using USB sticks of unknown provenance. USB sticks are used (with software payloads) by blackhats.

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Dave 126
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That'd be a little harder to 'socially engineer', though!

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Dave 126
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Re: Optional

I've done something similar -I plugged a 19v laptop power brick into a 12v external HDD. Oops.

I recovered the data by snipping off a TVS diode from the HDD's PCB, and was able to recover all the data.

The 19v adaptor got slung in the bin.

For anyone who has done the same: http://community.wd.com/t5/Desktop-Mobile-Drives/HDD-TVS-diode-FAQ/td-p/250274

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Dave 126
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Hiya!

The Discworld novels can be grouped into different story sequences, more or less - as helpfully illustrated by this diagram:

http://www.lspace.org/books/reading-order-guides/the-discworld-reading-order-guide-20.jpg

EDIT: Go with what Dave 132 (no relation) has said.

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

Dave 126
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Re: The Unadulterated Cat

Yargetouttafityabastard!

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Dave 126
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Re: It's sad but also not sad

>I'm still sad though. I'm not normally one to feel this way when someone famous dies.

The same here - it's only been Terry Pratchett, Iain Banks and John Peel whose deaths have brought a lump to the throat... the common denominator seems to be humour. And beards.

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25 years of SNK's Neo Geo video gaming platform

Dave 126
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Are you thinking of the NEC TurboExpress (1990)?

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Augmented reality: Who needs immersive worlds when you've got it all?

Dave 126
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Could be very useful in some situations, and in environments were the drawbacks (looking goofy) don't matter - i.e workshops, construction sites, studios.

I've said it before - a 'smart workshop' would be lovely, where a physical work-piece becomes a CAD sketch plane, a virtual model taking its references from real pre-existing features.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Dave 126
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Re: A bit too much...

>If we're going to be all personal anecdote about it...

All you've shown by your opposing anecdote is that some people require USB ports. All AC suggested is that some people don't.

Yet you presented your post as a contradiction of his. Oh well.

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Dave 126
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Re: It is an old Jobsian obsession

> is Apple expecting their cultists to automatically use USB hubs? What point in a laptop if so?

I suspect Apple is expecting their customers to mostly buy Macbook Airs and Pros. The average consumer will first look at the cheaper and faster Macbook Airs, and will only choose to spend the difference if the new Macbook really suits their needs.

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Dave 126
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Re: Welcome to the wireless world

>Yeah, bog standard users don't use printers, mice or memory sticks...

They do, but:

WiFi printers are cheap and common in the home, and have been the norm in business and academia for some time.

The laptop doesn't need a mous, it has a trackpad. Bluetooth mice are available.

Your argument is what, exactly?

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Dave 126
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Re: @Andrew Its called drinking your own cool-aid

It's not gold-plated, it's just goldie-coloured. However, the quantity of gold used in gold plating is tiny anyways.

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Dave 126
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Gamers and some designers prefer the low latency of wired mice - these people will likely prefer PCs or MacBook Pros anyway. Many other people get on fine with Bluetooth mice or indeed multi-touch trackpads.

Here's the thing: you can never satisfy every possible use case with one single laptop.

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Dave 126
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Re: You forgot...

It's still a helluva lot more than my laptop has. My photos are redundantly stored elsewhere, my software doesn't produce particularly huge files, I tend to stream movies rather than download indefinitely. True, if I was going travelling some place boring for a month and just wanted to watch films, I might feel the pinch at only being able to store 70 films, but hey...

The are reasons that this isn't the machine for me, but storage space isn't one of them.

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Dave 126
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Re: Fragmentation

It could just be a transitional fragmentation. It is confusing that the Macbook Air is now the default Macbook, and something called a Macbook is a bit niche like the original Air was, but in a year's time the product line up could look a lot tidier - eg, a MB form factor is retired, beefed up or given a new display.

> a problem looking for a solution.

Respectfully, I disagree. Whether or not this watch is the correct solution, I don't know, but a time-and-motion study could show you empirically that allowing notifications to be dismissed or ignored without pocket-fumbling is no bad thing in principle. For some people, that function alone would be of tangible benefoit. Personally, I think Citizen and Casio are on a better path. But that's just me.

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Dave 126
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Re: Plugable UD-3900

Limitations in OSX?

Strangely this device seems to do the same sort of thing and yet supports Windows and OSX:

http://www.targus.com/uk/usb-3_0-dual-video-docking-station-acp70eu

As with all these things, reading up on some reviews first is advisable.,

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Dave 126
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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

Fair enough. I'm sure you know that quotes from Apple staff on the Reg are often framed... interestingly. :)

I'm not an Apple user, but product design and user experience in products does interest me greatly - mainly because I can see obvious room for improvement in much of the stuff I use.

In context, the quote was from a man who had been told he had to be interviewed for his company's PR, but at the same time couldn't say too much. Without being absolutist about it, his point was that users aren't in a position to try out every design permutation to discover which combination is best for them - they simply haven't got the time, and it can be a distraction to simply using the device for its intended purpose. Many users would prefer for that heavy testing to be done by someone else. The assumption was also that he was taking a dig at the MotoX for making the 1990s Nokia Xpress-on concept it's chief 'value proposition' - but it was only an assumption.*

Of course the world has fettlers and tinkerers, too - and that is a good thing.

* If true, it was slightly unfair - whilst the MotoX was midrange-components sold at a flagship price (initially!), it focused on the user experience. It featured a low-power co-processor that allowed it to be always listening for the user to say "Okay Moto - where is the nearest whatever?" without the user having to touch it. It was also said to very comfortable to hold.

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Dave 126
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Re: If only 2 ports were allowed, why a 3.5mm jack?

USB 3 / Type C are standards - see USB.org.

This means Apple can't monopolise cables and adapters as they can their own Lightening cables.

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Dave 126
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Re: self-indulgent onanism

Let the heathens spill theirs

On the stony ground

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Dave 126
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Re: Not a universal view

>by God - have I thanked the designers time and again when a twitchy cat has taken a leap in the direction of the charging port.

That is a downside of USB Type C when compared to MagSafe.

The only mitigation I can think of is that some people will charge their laptops from an external monitor or docking station, so that a tug on the cable pulls the laptop across the desk and not off the desk.

Perhaps someone will create and sell a inline Magsafe-style connector. It doesn't have be 'MagSafe' as such, since it is only mating with itself; Apple doesn't own the concept, since Sony use magnetic charging cables on the Z phones, and one manufacturer makes magnetic 'breakaway' guitar cables.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not a universal view

>So what usage pattern are they addressing... someone who does sod all with their computer in case it needs charging?

Er someone who doesn't use USB because their 'producibles' are emailed to their clients, perhaps? Not universal, but not uncommon, either.

I have six USB sockets on my laptop, and to be honest I've still wanted a few 2" USB A Male > USB A Female cables. Why? So that if I'm clumsy, my knocking a USB stick doesn't bugger the USB socket.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not a universal view

Well said. People have different needs from their computers. Some people only use one machine so might get a powerful portable, others will choose a light laptop to complement their desktop workstation. Some folk don't care how powerful a laptop is, cos they only use it as a terminal to their real *NIX computer.

Some people will prioritise typing as their main need and buy a laptop, others just need an x86 machine to connect to older USB and serial instruments so buy a cramped-keyboard Netbook. Bookeepers might liove having a dedicated numer pad. Some find that a Bluetooth keyboard and Android /iOS device does fine. Other people find that their needs are not catered for by the usual suspects, so pay the niche premium for a Panasonic Toughbook, or pay Modbook to fit a Wacom digitiser to their Macbook.

Some people are writers and bloggers, some people are engineers, some are artists, some are doctors etc. You get the idea.

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Dave 126
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Not unprecedented.

The original Macbook Air only had 1 USB port. All subsequent models have had two.

If you need the ports, buy a MB Air or Pro. If your past experience with using an iPad has shown you that your wireless infrastructure (NAS storage, wireless printers, photos from phone camera or EyeFi instead of an SD-card camera) is up to scratch and you really value portability, then buy this. There are people - not me - for whom this machine is fit for purpose.

If you don't often use USB sticks, then the scenario in which you need to use a USB stick whilst having no battery power left will be very rare.

The more interesting questions are around what does Apple's use of USB 3 and Type C mean for the adoption of these standards. It would seem to be a good thing for us non-Apple users, since it was in our pipeline anyway. It is a proper standard (USB.org) so various cables and adaptors will become widely available and cheap in time.

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Dave 126
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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

Curious that you linked only to the Reg article, and not the New Yorker source article in which the quote was in context.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/shape-things-come

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Dave 126
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And yet I have only once used the USB OTG on my phone... nice to know that it is there, but I have never had cause to use it, other than to check it worked (ahem, XBOX USB controller on a Megadrive emulator and VirtuaRacer).

My point is that for some people (usually not Reg readers) their laptops are for typing, spreadsheets and messing around on the internet- USB isn't required. Reg readers are likely to research and then buy the kit that suits them - so they are not likely to buy this new Macbook.

My laptop has six USB ports and I'm glad of them. However, what I'd really like is a single cable to a docking solution.

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Price slashed on Reg-branded Swiss Army Knife

Dave 126
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Re: Why is it not based on the cybertool?

The lack of a Phillips or PZ is the only major downside to this knife. Realistically, one would want it to have a hex socket to take replaceable driver heads, because no driver lasts forever.

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Dave 126
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Re: Leatherman

Leatherman blades come out of the factory damned sharp and stay that way for a long time.

Victorinox blades come damned sharp, but can also be resharpened more easily than the steel Leatherman uses.

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Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

Dave 126
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In Bolivia market stalls in 2008, I saw iPod Mini knock-offs sporting a SONY logo in addition to an Apple logo. A belt and braces approach to counterfeiting.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Dave 126
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'Innovation' is a red herring

Innovation for innovation's sake does not aid the user experience. Innovation is not a goal in itself, and really it's a bit of a strange criterion to judge something by. User experience and fitness for task are how stuff should be judged.

It would seem that Apple have made a Macbook that will suit some users very well, just as the Panasonic Toughbook (again, niche and pricey) suits a very different set of users.

Me? I wanted the monstrous ThinkPad W700ds with the two screens and Wacom digitiser (huge, powerful, expensive) but in truth 95% of the time I'd be better served by a more mobile laptop.

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Dave 126
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Just think of this new Macbook as a sort of iPad. If someone has got on well with an iPad without ever plugging it into ethernet, then this will serve them fine.

Also, it is a narrowly targeted product, almost a tech demonstration or proof of concept. It could be that Apple can't get enough of these 'Retina' 12" screens, so have fitted them to a niche product that they don't expect to sell in as large volumes as the MB Airs or Pros.

The original Macbook Air only had one USB port... all MB Airs since have had twoUSB ports, so it is possible that Apple might either backtrack again for MKII, or else be vindicated in their assumption that some people use USB less often these days.

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