644 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011
"If it is the former, HP and Meg deserve to go to fiery hell for being taken for a pair of mugs."
Agree completely, but also, if the case is dismissed, even more deserve to go to fiery hell for trying to stripe-up Mike Lynch. It would mean she quite literally was prepared to send someone to prison to save her job. If Mike Lynch sold her a pup photo presented it well, and it turned out Autonomy was actually the pup grown into an ugly old dog, it is perfectly fair and can be argued he is simply a salesman making a one off sale where he doesn't care about maintaining future relations and did a good job for Autonomy shareholders. If he personally directed a co-ordinated effort to deceive and mis-categorise accounts, he deserves to be punished (though the auditors should of course, have picked this up during due diligence). However there would have to be evidence he co-ordinated an effort to deceive. You can't hold a CEO liable for any minor fraud that might be uncovered as in a company above a certain size, you are always going to have bad actors somewhere (most usually in the form of a rogue salesman or someone cheating on their expenses) that will mean there has been some accounting activity that can be considered fraudulent.
People forget Meg Whitman was on her second major unplanned write-down. One multi-billion dollar write-down seems careless. Two looks like rank incompetence and a sacking offence. In this context facing an impossible to deliver message in the annual analysts call she casts accusations at Autonomy, and yet doesn't back them up with a shred of evidence. The story becomes a giant distraction from the fact of a second, politically "impossible" to manage write down.
Over time it emerges the legal case against Autonomy is a fraction of the actual write-down. And it takes HP so much time much time to produce the case it rather appears they may be attempting to cook up a legal case after the event - surely if you are accusing a company and it's executives of illegal activity you do so only if you already have actual evidence for your accusation? So it has turned out Whitman did achieve the impossible, but in wholly the wrong way as a CEO. She successfully distracted the press from her rank incompetence. With an army of accountants working to her direction she has only been able to produce a case amounting to a small fraction of the write-down. More damning HP's own accountants have not to signed off on the case HP have produced. It rather appears as though the accountants themselves don't see it as watertight. The prima-facial evidence is that Whitman produced this lawsuit as a distraction from her own rank incompetence.
The real story here is how a CEO has managed to so successfully manipulate the media and avoid being hauled over the coals as she should be for the write down HP themselves are no longer in the main attributing to illegal activity (in the original press release on the matter they were making bold sweeping statements).
Sure. HP can go ahead with the court case against ex Autonomy execs. They may even truly believe it. But HP's incompetence is a rather different matter. Whitman should be sacked now.
After using the Aeropress for some time, I've come to the conclusion it can produce the very highest quality brew (some other devices can produce brew as good, but not better), however it requires technique to do so, roughly, IMO, equivalent to the level of technique required to cook the best scrambled egg (so not too difficult, but not so easy it can be done in a mindless zombie state). Other solutions (most notably those that will cost a couple of thousand) can do it more consistently where less "technique" is required. The same tequnique required to ensure it does a great job is partly a function of its flexibility which is also what makes it so much fun to experiment with.
"Peak Apple Apple's stock today inched toward the company's record high as investors eager for new products pushed shares over $100 apiece."
I don't understand, is that supposed to be The Register trolling itself? Apple reaching their peak AGAIN?
Re: Shipped vs "in users hands"
And yet developers building apps for iOS make on average twice the revenue per app as they do from their apps when placed on the Google Play AppStore and Apple revenues are far higher than any of their competitors. Seems that 11% who want iOS are a far better business proposition than that 80+ percent, most of whom have found one day they have an Android handset (if most are even aware of that).
Probably true. But still likely to be another record launch quarter for Apple.
Is that irony bypass making Jasper feel a bit *peaky* I wonder ?
Re: 75 million
Best practice usually dictates it is best to know what you are talking about before taking the piss Andy.
It's perfectly possible to be an arsehole and right.
Completely right. Personally though I recommend using the Aeropress coffee maker. It has geek credentials (designed by the Stamford University engineering professor who designed the Aerobie flying disk), is low cost, fast, convenient and makes awesome coffee. While it makes a great smooth, relatively acid free cup Americano or Latte, it doesn't make a true espresso. But having said that it does make a strong syrupy "espresso like" filter coffee drink that can best be described as it's own form of strong coffee. Like espresso it is an excellent base for Americano or Latte.
Espresso has been around a long time and so has tradition behind it, but in all honesty I slightly prefer the Aeropress version. Perhaps due to the physics of the way the Aeropress works, it seems, for my taste, to produce a more consistent purer strong coffee. The Aeropress is basically like a big syringe plunger which ensures hot water gets pushed through the grounds under pressure, which means the coffee can be made with water at a lower temperature, can be made faster, while less acid and bitterness is released into the brew. Because the resulting brew is paper filtered it is very pure and the brew can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days just fine. Plus the Aeropress offers endless ways to tinker with the process and is far better than e.g. a French Press for avoiding the mess of sodden coffee grounds.
If your into coffee I recommend getting one. Even if it doesn't turn out to be your coffee making device of choice, it's great fun to experiment with and at the price it's difficult to go wrong. At worst you will have the best highly portable coffee maker available for ensuring very good coffee brewing capability is always available to you when travelling.
Re: Of course we don't want a referendum about Scotland.
If you Scotts want a divorce and leave the house and set up their own bank account. We agree a split in the accounts and there's no problem.
If you want a divorce and demand we should remain joined at the hip with a joint bank account and financial guarantees, but gradually wake up to not having the leverage, and leave muttering obscenities to yourself, then you are being a bit annoying, but also there is no problem.
If you want a divorce, and insist on the account transferred into joint names, with financial guarantees before leaving and having said you are going, refuse to leave and have hissy fits, then yes there is a problem. I want a clean divorce. Just leave already, you are affecting voters UK wide.
So actually I don't want a referendum in the UK, but reserve the right to have one should the Scottish Nationalists press demands of the remaining UK instead of making a clean break of it. Of course, in practice we won't have one, but in principle it is fair if such demands are being made.
Re: ... the English should be able... to vote about separating from Scotland
AbelSoul. Of course we don't want a referendum about Scotland. You can do what you like. Just don't come back in the door two hours after leaving saying, "oh, sorry but, we are just expecting our banks to be underwritten by a currency union, sign here will you" and then two hours later again "oh, sorry, sorry to interrupt again, ha, it just seems we seem to have forgotten the additional 4% of Scotts employed by the UK national government above the average public sector employment rate, just sign here to guarantee their jobs will you?" then two hours later again saying, "sorry, sorry, we really are leaving, but it seems, ha, this is really quite embarrassing, it seems we are no longer in the EU and, you see, that means we need special treatment re: immigration. We've been left a bit short of jobs and were just wondering if we could have freedom of movement to take some of yours. Oh, and that whole charging for education at Scottish colleges thing, when anyone else in the EU got free places and we could go for free to yours? Clerical error. Sorry won't happen again. We're good aren't we? Good yes? Great, see you for the barbie on Saturday, got to be at your place, it's raining here."
Re: "you are assuming the English would vote to keep the union..."
I think the most pressing issue is why, when I was a kid, there used to be a *lot* more ginger Scotts than there are today. Seriously, either there is some extremely dangerous genetic terminator doing the rounds, or Scottish men are far more softy Southern than they make out and have been adopting women's hair treatments; probably with a manicure, shampoo and head-massage.
Re: "you are assuming the English would vote to keep the union. Where's the evidence of that?"
@Jedit. Sources please.
Where polls were conducted across the UK the data I've found (admittedly now a little old) says the opposite:
"what do you imagine should happen if Scotland or Northern Ireland were to vote to leave the UK, but the English voted to keep them within it?"
That's not the issue. Of course the English shouldn't be able to vote to keep the Scotts in. However if the Scott's are voting about leaving and demanding (ha ha ha) a currency union, the English should be able, at the same time, to vote about separating from Scotland and/or avoiding a currency union (which would mean the B of E continuing to underwrite Scottish banks). Many Scott's don't realise that more English want them to leave than want them to stay. Polling firm Survation polled North and South of the border discovered that little factoid.
Here's a suggestion. Since which country should continue with or "inherit" EU membership seems arbitrary, why not have Scotland leave the union, stay in the EU and the remaining UK exit the EU? Seems to me if we assume a "Yes" vote North of the Border (big assumption I know) and on the basis of the polls South of the border, the majority will be happy.
Going to Amazon and buying their home brand Kindle Fire is a bit like going in MacDonald's and thinking, I know, I'll buy their home brand cookery book.
My advice. Buy a good chair.
I had a knee problem a couple of years back. Due to an op that went wrong it swelled up like a balloon and became crazy painful. Being self employed I continued working but with my knee propped up. This put my back out. Badly. The two things, the knee and the back played off each other. Eventually the knee problem healed. But the painful back remained.
I used to be sceptical about the many reports you hear of x, y or z, being unable to work because of a bad back. While I remain sceptical of many cases, I now understand just how bloody painful it can be and how absolutely a bad back can destroy your ability to work, even when your work is confined to being done at a desk. I learned first hand, for example, that even spending prolonged periods lying down, whilst giving respite, can lead to deterioration of the problem.
I was beginning to despair as I could no longer afford the lost days work. Someone suggested I get a better quality office chair. My existing office chair already gave me back support and I was sceptical changing it would make much of a difference. I figured the cause of the problem had been my knee and my existing chair had adjustable lumbar support and since I was beginning to feel the pinch didn't feel I should be spending the money.
Anyway, I was ready to try anything. I went to John-Lewis and spent literally an hour moving from office chair to office chair to check which one felt best, decided there was no point in half measures and placed no limit on my budget. I ended up opting for a Herman Miller Sayl chair. It felt better for me than even the more expensive Herman Miller Aeron, the gold standard of healthy office chair design. I wasn't going to muck about, and was perfectly prepared to purchase the Aeron if need be. But the Sayle just felt marginally better for me and the engineering principles behind the subtle design of the "suspension cable" back appealed to my engineering mind (as you sit back in the Sayl, your own body weight causes the "cables" to subtly lift the small of the back).
I was stunned by how quickly my back improved. In fact it went from feeling extremely painful to better than it had felt since my teenage years (I'm now in my forties), in a period of just three days.
Now I've become a good office chair evangelist. It's difficult to convey just how transformative and revelatory the effect of a properly adjusted, well fitted chair can be. If you have back problems, don't hesitate, don't buy just anything, but test out the best chair for you. Make sure it can be adjusted and has a tilt back mechanism where the power required to tilt it can be adjusted and fine tuned (whilst looking to my eyes "slobby", being able to tilt back is good for your back). Lastly, don't let price be a factor. The best adjustable chair for you may be cheap and/or may be expensive, but you need to be able to try them out before buying.
Re: "A spokesman for Apple told El Reg..."
Rather seems Apple are getting criticised for not going further than already having implemented the features Google are only just getting around to implementing. Adults have full and complete control over all aspects in-app purchases. They can ensure passwords are always required or turn them of entirely. Apple made the changes last year in response to criticism from authorities in the US. Additionally anyone can get a refund for any in-app purchase made in error.
Apple are way ahead of Google in that regard just as they always have been for all manner of app permissions. They have, for example, now implemented a family sharing feature so families don't get hit multiple times for each kid they have that wants an app.
Re: 8 years for 15K
What pisses me off, is just this morning, again my bank trousered late payment fees for a credit card non-payment for an account I had set up and expressly requested the balance be transferred automatically at the end of the month. When I phoned up to complain, I had barely begun to say what the problem was and the operator had already started telling me "very sorry sir we will reverse the charges and have in fact already started to do so" Call me cynical but it was almost as though they were expecting the call and had the apology script already on the screen. No I'm not being a cynic. Happenings the drop money into the banks open pocket are far too frequent an occurrence for it to be an error. If it were truly an error, then sometimes things would happen that are in my favour. But they never are.
I wonder how many other customers have been scammed because they haven't had time to phone or haven't read their statements properly. We get annoyed about these scammers. But really who is worse? Someone who is scammer who is taking thousands, from the old weak and vulnerable, or a bank cynically working the margins as close to the line as possible diverting millions into deep trouser pockets and away from the old weak and vulnerable. Technically legal, but morally, rotten. Robbers and thieves the lot of them.
Re: slagging off the competition
"re. your other assertion about developers preferring IOS ... Sure, the margins may be higher on IOS but the size of the Android market often more than makes up for that."
You seem to have misunderstood what it means to say developers are earning on average twice the amount per app on iOS than Android.
Here's the background data for that one:
Re: slagging off the competition
Quite right. The difference is though, the I'm a PC, I'm a Mac ads hit the spot, because they traversed the period Windows Vista was on sale. Some of the Samsung ads are quite good but don't hit the spot in the same way. iOS generally has higher satisfaction ratings than Android and as a result more existing Android users are switching to iOS than iOS users are switching to Android. Re the wall-hugger ads, smartphone battery life in general, for all smartphone users, is crap and everyone knows that. iPhone battery life is actually relatively good and Samsung seem to be making a play about having replaceable batteries and also the new reserve low power battery mode. But few people carry round replaceable batteries, Samsung users feel just as afflicted by short battery life as iPhone users and all other smartphone users and in any case the subset of iPhone users who are like the subset of Samsung users who would carry a spare battery, have the highly effective option of the Morphie Juice Pack.
@Ratfox, the iPhone sells about twice as much, over previous years about 1/3 more. Consistently has done. You just would never guess it from reading The Register "Peak Apple" articles. You hear headlines about The Samsung S whatever outselling the iPhone at launch, but that is only because it is the launch month. At all other times they are usually far behind.
Additionally app developers make on average twice the revenue from iOS apps than Android apps make on the Google play store (that's about 4 times the revenue per active user)
Models per manufacturer is almost irrelevant, because most manufacturers shipping low cost Android handsets are making virtually zero profit (at least those outside china. Stats for China only suppliers are scarce). In fact last year, combined, all smartmobe manufacturers other than Samsung and Apple made less than zero profit. Samsung are primarily making their profit from the Galaxy range, which is why they held a sales crisis meeting late last year when it was clear sales were dipping.
Samsung recently have rebranded ALL there handsets as "Galaxy" range. In my view this is to obscure their worsening position in high-end handset market and to start reporting numbers for total number of mobes shipped, so they can still try and look like they are still performing well relative to Apple by publishing "bigger" figures.
The truth is the handset market is now like the Netbook market became. Wafer thin margins that will massively raise risk and strangle innovation. Android is playing the same role as Windows did for Netbooks and the promise to manufacturers that they can differentiate on top of it with their own UI implementation is slowly being withdrawn as it is being shown to bring fragmentation problems and as Google has now established a large enough user base they can start to dictate terms.
These market characteristics have lead Benedict Evans to point out it is best not to think of the smartphone maker as a single market, but rather a set of markets, some being worth a lot more than others. There's only one that is really worth being in, and that is the high-end market, and Apple continue to steadily expanding within it and continue to increase their domination of it. I know many El Reg readers don't like to hearing this and swallowed The Register's "Peak Apple" analysis that was based on nothing more than wishes, but it's the truth.
So this really illustrates The Register's nature as defined by negativity. Sure it's a mildly interesting tidbit. Yet Apple completed their WWDC conference this year, which was highly successful and packed full of genuinely interesting tech news and future direction for their platform yet there was barely a mention of what had occurred. Instead we have been witnessing a swing to the old and crusty. The Register has been focussing increasingly on an old fashioned IT administrator crowd. It's becoming like a bunch of ex-PC-World magazine journalists shaking a stick at the "Idiot young'uns who don't know how real computing is done." This has attracted the bitter cynical PC junior administrator crowd, many of whom were only ever really slightly more specialist PC system users tasked with little more responsibility than having to wipe the arses of other less Aspergic users, and bitter for having to do so. Now the world is moving on and job specs are shrinking further as IT infrastructure moves to the cloud, food for the bitter is getting squeezed out of the near empty toothpaste tube in the form of The Register articles.
Re: Samsung unclear about why the rebrand had taken place
"The term “Galaxy” – which was once solely the high end brand in the Samsung range – now embraces all of its Android phones, with the Ace and Grand Neo now becoming the Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Grand Neo."
Most probably because with their sales dip the brand distinction was making it clear they have been getting their arses whooped by Apple in the high-end market. They were selling at best 2/3 the number of Galaxy handsets as Apple have iPhones and now, with their ongoing sales dip and going from a vintage S4 release to a not so vintage Galaxy S5 release, while Apple have gone from a not so vintage 5 release to a vintage 5S release, it will have dropped to more like about 1/2 the number. They also know Apple seized the initiative in a number of technology areas: 64 bit computing, full finger finger print scanner, iBeacons, soon to be released handover features. They also know with the forthcoming larger iPhone the battery life will be massively improving, because one of the advantages of a larger handset is a relatively larger compartment space for the battery.
However they are still killing it with cheaper handsets (though of course facing stiffer competition in China), so I suspect this is a typical bit of Samsung obfuscation of the shipment figures to help protect their credentials with the tech press (they have already reported their sales dip as temporary and recovering by next quarter for two quarters in a row and can't say the same thing next time). Expect them to now make all sorts or press releases with implied (but invalid) comparisons of Galaxy sales figures.
Agreed. I think the indies should team up with another provider like e.g. Vimeo, who have always provided far higher streaming quality than YouTube and call Google's bluff. The independent labels are where the centre of cool is. Surely music is it's own promotion. Boring old Google couldn't hope to survive the loss of cool if the independents went elsewhere. Just look at the instant transformative effect music has on a product. Apple have understood this for some time and have been masters at exploiting the instant lift music can provide. C'mon indies, have faith in your power, go with someone else. Google will come running back to you.
A couple of reminders of just how effective music can be in advertising
Re: Serious biz users don't want Samdung Fandroid or iDrone Crapps
What do you find your iPhone doesn't do well that your Blackberry does? My business is app development and I would be interested to understand where there are weaknesses/opportunities etc.
Typical dickish misrepresentation by The Register and a shameful "reporting" on what the patent is really about. It's actually a very good idea and something I've been looking forward to for a while. Make it so that you don't have to enter security details when you are at home or at the office. So your phone can be unlocked when it is in your home but needs security unlocking when you are out and about. Also given your phone can now to be used as a key to unlock your computer through use of the new "handover" API announced at this years WWDC, this will be very convenient. When you are next to your computer with your phone, and you are at home, you will be able to set your policy such that the computer will simply be unlocked. When you are out and about and have your phone (with e.g. touch ID), your MacBook in bluetooth range will similarly also unlock. You might set it such that that only occurs at known locations like home or office. Wherever you want the policy to apply really.
It seems Jasper wants to be a bit of a mewling quim by trying to imply its' some snobby fear of muggers thing. Way to inform your readers Register.
Thereby proving how useless T&C's are anyway. Do we honestly believe there would be any less Facebook users if the clause had actually been included in time?
Re: There's a difference between
@nichomach - Useful additional paragraph on what you are saying in the article I linked to on the question of "Is the Apple charger worth it?":
"Apple's charger is expensive compared to other chargers, but is a high quality product. You should definitely stay away from the cheap counterfeit chargers, as they are low quality and dangerous. Non-Apple name brand chargers are generally good quality according to my tests, with some better than Apple. If you want to get an Apple charger without the high price, the best way I've found is to buy a used one on eBay from a US source. I've bought several for testing, and they have always been genuine."
Re: There's a difference between
@nichomach Agreed. Though (and I'm not disputing the thrust of your point in saying this), I think there are a lot more of the "intended to deceive" level of quality chargers inserted in the supply chain that end up even with reputable suppliers, than many realise.
I've noticed on many fronts companies are encountering supply quality challenges. A none tech example, I purchased some stainless steel cutlery from Ikea about 6 years back and it started rusting after a couple of washes. I'm sure Ikea have quality standards for stainless steel and this failed to meet them. The cutlery was manufactured in China. Perhaps the initial shipments were good. I'm guessing the quality of the supplied steel was surreptitiously switched, or a previously good supplier, delivered a below spec line, and the first Ikea knew about it was customer complaints (based, admittedly, purely on my belief that a Scandinavian company has a reputation and values such that they would not have knowingly ordered cutlery in steel of that low grade). Of course they should quality check shipments, but the quality checks are probably also built into suppliers contracts and the supplier now booted off the supply list or given a heavy ticking off.
We've grown used to big business having certain standards (Sheffield steel quality marks and all that) and I think some big businesses have had to re-adjust to the QS wild-west that is China and suspect, in no small part from a significant volume of anecdotal evidence (some of it my own like the above), quite a lot slips through the net and ends up with reputable suppliers.
Interesting read in this context. Teardown of an Apple charger versus a cheapie replacement:
Re: The same occulus ... and not the same and an Oculus Rift Creating CULTuring Machine World Order
Here's a tip. If you're going to write something impenetrable, try to make it good so there's a payoff for those that grant you the benefit of the doubt and actually try to read it.
"The update will allow Chromebook owners to enjoy the offline video feature that rival platforms such as iTunes offer to users who purchase and download their video content."
It's nice to know that offline viewing is now a video file feature. Next time I download an MKV or MP4 file I'll be sure to consult a features table to remind myself it is indeed suitable for offline viewing.
FFS, Samuri -> Samurai. Damned auto-regret. I do know the correct spelling, I assure you.
Oh dear. That is a bad faux pas. Especially as for ex POW's the wounds ran very deep indeed. I have a lot of respect for the Japanese and Japan, but one beef I do have is, when you look at the history, it's clear the Japanese have never been able to fully acknowledge the extreme extent of their cruelty during the Second World War. This has to be modulated somewhat and set in context. Japan had only just emerged from Feudal rule and in Japanese culture, no respect was paid to the vanquished. Japan was a nation with very deep intellectual and spiritual culture married to extremely constrained and harsh notions of civilisation. They had no notion that greater civility is shown by respecting your enemy when they are captured. The upshot was very many low level ball-sacks in a uniform felt they were showing superior Samuri spirit and culture when they cruelly tortured and degraded the POW's in their charge (and I mean really, fucking horrendously, degraded and tortured the POWs in their charge).
The dawning realisation that greater civilisation is shown by respecting your enemy, even if they have been vanquished was very hard for the Japanese to process, especially since it was evidenced by brash, loud, beer swilling 'mericans who after beating them, handed them back the keys to their country and economy. And frankly, most who sensed the truth of it, recoiled at the face they then saw looking back from the mirror, swept the whole thing under the carpet, and started pigging out on Samuri fantasy escapism that later transformed into what we now know as Manga.
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things." - Steve Jobs
Seems to me Apple are recognising users really won't be interested in horizontal market general purpose smart watches. For now wearables have to be focused on a real and enduring need. Health and fitness tracking is highly valued by those who do it. I personally am an avid Strava user and can fully relate to the notion of an advanced health and fitness tracker which improves on existing offerings. This will be a smallish subset of the general phone user market, but an enthusiastic and motivated one. A general Galaxy Gear style smart watch; NO.
Re: Hmm, coicidence?
There was no security breach of the iPhone OS. There were users who had used the same passwords on their Apple accounts as on other accounts and a miscreant (or miscreants) having got hold of a password list (as can be purchased from many sites on the Internet), had managed to log into some iPhone user accounts and use the "lock a lost or stolen iPhone" facility to lock the user's out of their own phones. The facility lets you post a message to the screen when the phone is locked. The message said something to the effect "your phone has been taken over, pay x to y if you want to access your files again"
Actually the user could just log in to their iCloud account on any browser, and unlock it (though they would probably want to change their password first) If they had been so foolish as to use the same password on their email accounts, the hacker might also have taken those over, in which case they really would be stuffed. I didn't hear any reports of that happening, but lets face it, if they were using the same password with multiple accounts the chances were quite high some might have been so affected.
Re: Just what the world needs
Yes C# is one of the few developments to come out of Microsoft having a high degree of intellectual purity and rigour. It was designed by one of the best in the business and is IMO a very, very good language. And I'm saying that as someone who detests most things Microsoft.
Re: What do you do when your commercial skills become obsolete?
You either have the possibility of the in-attentive generating retain cycles or the inexactitude of garbage collection, there is no middle ground that doesn't make decisions you should be aware of and making yourself. Given the choice between the two, ARC, for the serious programmer is, IMHO, the infinitely superior option because you have full and complete control. Plus the memory analysis tools are superb so you can easily identify any accidental retain cycles. The only problem with ARC is that the use case for understanding reference counting is rarely encountered, but when it is, reference counting techniques need to be fully understood. That's OK for me and from the sounds of it, you also, because we were raised with it. But for programmers who have never had to learn the art I feel truly sorry. 99% of the time, they will never need the understanding, but when they do, boy will life be difficult for them.
Re: BadaOS all over again.
Samsung have successfully skated to where the puck was about 3 years ago, and now rather comically are trying to take a shot.
Re: Interested by iCloud Drive
Works across OSX and Windows. Not Linux though.
Thank you for letting me know that. And I wish I could care more, I really do, I just don't.
"iOS market share and mindshare is no longer large enough to move a market."
Just why is it app vendors still predominantly write for iOS first ?
"By far the most likely reason Apple bought Beats is simple: Despite repeated efforts, Apple has near-zero presence in the subscription streaming market at a time when music sales are plummeting fast in favour of these services."
It's a standard term in music industry contracts, that they have to be renegotiated in the event of a change of owner. So no banana. Yes they will want to take over Beats subscription streaming, but it isn't really anywhere in user numbers, so again no banana.
Oh gawd did I write that? I lived through it too, so actually know they were on Motorola first but was forgetting the dates and thought they went briefly to Intel before going to Power PC. Now thinking about it, I remember it was just a lot of *talk* about them going to Intel, (and there was also a lot of talk about PowerPC trouncing the Intel architecture, so of Windows converting to PowerPC). It didn't happen though, not because Power PC wasn't superior. Risk did offer real advantages, but because Intel effectively introduced Risk philosophy behind a kind of facade and basically kept ahead of the performance curve through shear money and scale talking.
"The King of the Lossy Codec purchases a bass-boosting acoustic-disruption hardware biz for $3 billion."
And that is precisely why Apple are buying Beats (apologies BTW, but this is in large part a repost of a post I made earlier, but is even more relevant to this article). Agree on the base-boosting acoustic-disruption line (but that doesn't change their popularity does it), but your line on the "lossy codec" says it all: The tech world has been caught on the hop by the popularity of Neil Young's PONO kickstarter project. Ultra-high def audio is proving a bigger draw with consumers than anyone imagined would be the case (the science case for it is not at all clear and more than a little contentious). Apple have a penchant for pushing standards to new levels and always seek to reduce the number of connections and simplify. They were the first to drop optical drives from their laptops. They were the first pushing FireWire. They moved from Intel to Power PC and back in their Mac/MacBook line and now look likely to move to ARM. They always move on and never fear burning some of their existing market to get to where they consider the leading edge to be.
I predict they are about to go all in on ultra-HD-Audio. The 3.5 inch headphone jack is now the oldest connector on their devices. They will probably replace it with a connection via the lightening port. Overnight 3.5 inch headphone connections will appear old fashioned and low tech. There will be a wave of upgrades. Apple sell half their kit via the Apple Stores where they can play kingmaker with which head-phone brand is given most prominence. Beats will needless to say have the new connector type. Users will still be able to plug in with a 3.5mm cable (via an adaptor for Apple kit and an alternative cable in the box with the Beats cans). But many consumers are nevertheless going to have at the back if their minds that they should go for the new standard; That 3.5 mm jacks have had their day. They will offer instant "quality" upgrade via their iTunes iCloud service (where tracks are streamed so can be upgraded to higher quality non-lossy bitrate for "free") and needless to say the Beats streaming service will offer the same. Even those who are dubious of the value of ultra-HD audio will have a nagging feeling they no longer have the best if they don't have it - that is simply human nature.
Further I believe Apple will publish the standard for others in the industry to be able to use the connector. Which they may well do, if reluctantly. At the very least Apple will succeed in muddying the waters re USB. This will simultaneously help them in their problem with the EU, who are soon to mandate a common connector for mobile devices. Apple will not want it to be mini USB 3 because it is a turd compared with their physical socket design and they way in which it isn't appropriate for headphone connections (where users often grope to insert the cable, sight unseen) will illustrate their point. When other companies have to compete by moving away from USB 3 to Apple's design or their own new design, the fact Apple are right on this will have been made clear. Apple will gain a small advantage over other companies playing catchup to implement a new standard and will have the appearance of being industry leading. Some companies will stick with 3.5mm audio connectors and hold the line there is no discernible difference (and they will most probably be entirely correct), but their sales will suffer anyway because with new standards out there the 3.5mm will simply start to feel old and new kit using it will suffer from the, albeit technically unjustified, whiff of premature redundancy.
If Beats is going to encounter, over the next two to three years, a huge spike in revenue in large part due to upgrade purchases, and also due to new ultra-HD customers being attracted to buying (albeit bass heavy) "quality" kit, it makes sense for Apple, who will be creating the conditions for that upgrade revenue spike, to own the company.
Re: no way
You are right that is a risk. If this is the right scenario, you're reasoning has lead me to think they will have an audio jack convertor connector. Users will want the latest iPhone and say to themselves I can just use my existing high end cans with the convertor. But then, once they have got the latest device, will dislike the fact their cans appear to be second rate because they are plugged into a lump of a convertor, so they will ask for a new set for Christmas anyway. I fully admit that in this case it will be fashion, or at least image at play over real benefit. But it will be highly lucrative nonetheless.
"Buying Beats was more about a a strategic alliance and a marketing tactic, nothing more."
I disagree with this point, not because I think it is anything other than a marketing tactic, I have to agree with that point if HD Audio is no real advantage. I happen to think it is a marketing opportunity Apple didn't particularly define but now don't want to be seen to be playing catch up. I'm guessing they will have reviewed all the iPhone connectors and the need for each, as they do from time to time, and will simply have concluded, in conjunction with the evidence of the PONO project, it's time to lead the pack in ditching the 3.5mm audio jack. They will probably get the device down to having just one connector.
There are a billion iOS device users out there. Everyone upgrading who wants anything other than the stock headphones is going to need a new set of cans. People will upgrade, even if they have existing expensive cans, because they will want latest tech, reason "I can use the stock headphones" and will do so but will soon miss their over ear phones and purchase new ones.
I also agree on your point about base heavy Beats headphones. I personally wouldn't touch them and will stay with my very unfashionable looking Bose's. But that said, I think for that, they are actually very good quality if simply preferentially heavy on the base. Many users are very happy for that and agree with that emphasis. Where Apple will gain is there will be a massive wave of upgrades and Apple will have control over the position of the headphones in the stores where 1/2 of all iOS device purchases take place. They are colourful, made of high quality materials and are a brand with Street cred. Just imagine Apple own brand headphones and its clear their brand wouldn't quite be right. If I'm right Apple are in a position to engineer a massive revenue boost for Beats and they figured they may as well own the company and reap the profits.
I respectfully disagree with your opinion on Apple, but wholeheartedly agree with your view on this "HD audio" trend. I suspect Apple and other tech companies will have been shocked by the massive level of support the PONO Kickstarter project attracted. Regardless of the actual value of PONO, no leading edge tech company will be sitting back and risking being seen as stick in the mud, no matter the real world merits and the public perception on this being ahead of the tech world, will have given Apple an opportunity I expect they about to seize with both hands.
By HD audio BTW, I am of course using the loose term that has come associated with the new ultra-high def audio standards brought into focus by Neil Young's PONO player Kickstarter project. It's hotly contested as to whether this new standard will bring real discernible advantages. For the leading tech companies, regardless of the relative merits, they will have to be seen to be adopting the newer "higher quality" standard. This is where "fashion" can genuinely be said to play a role, because I suspect blind audio testing will establish no one can actually reliably tell the difference anyway.
Starts off well, but then collapses into facile and shallow trope "what keeps Apple revenues flowing is just fashion"
But no, fashion is suddenly this incredibly powerful beast (true) that for Apple has become a perennial, because, er, suddenly the theory trips over it's own laces.
For a better insight into one of the main reasons Apple succeed, this article is a good read:
In summary Apple have design intent to their core. They avoid falling foul of the three design evasions:
1. The first design evasion "Preserving" - Apple have always been prepared to rip-up the blueprint for a previous design success where their competitors do not. Microsoft clearly have suffered badly from this evasion, and as this The Register article points out, where they have ripped up the blue-print (e.g. Windows phone) the result is much better.
2. Copying - Apple are perfectly prepared to copy but only after they have evaluated it is the best solution. They don't abdicate on the responsibility to place the design effort first and evaluate it is the best solution in the current context. Samsung have too often taken the copy first / think later short-cut. Their shameless equivalent of the Apple passbook is a good example of the level to which they are prepared to go in not thinking for themselves. It is pernicious because it can appear to help the company, but it also places an upper limit on user expectations as to what to expect of that company. It's a bit like saying I'll compromise my reputation to achieve scale. It can be done, but it's an existentially limiting trade to make. In life we all have to decide how we are going to live in that regard. If for example I become a photographer, and want to be taken seriously, I can't make a quick buck by shooting porn, or even doing low value magazines, and hope to easily recover my reputation as a top photographer.
3. Delegating - also pernicious because it dresses in the garb of reasoned scientific method. Microsoft fall foul of this problem (the office ribbon bar being an example). This is where design direction is surrendered to the uncoordinated masses through delegating the process to the results of focus group and user research. The abdicating "designer" always has an excuse to fall back on "our research showed..." Steve Jobs would give the Henry Ford quote to illustrate the problem of this third evasion. "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."
Apple will fail if they start to diverge from their drive to put design first. Which brings me to their Beats purchase. I've been puzzled by this for some time and concluded Tim Cook had slipped up (I wrote my feelings up here and they seemed to be well received; http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/09/apple-looks-set-to-buy-dr-dre-beats-electronics#comment-35409955)
However, now I think that conclusion was wrong and it has suddenly clicked. Apple like to own the full stack. The oldest and most low-tech connector on a mobile device these days is the headphone jack. And we are heading for a new level HD audio. Apple like to be thought of as the technology firm who "owns" music.
Given they rarely allow themselves to fall foul of design evasion 1 - I predict they are about to go all in on HD audio. In Apple style they will simply wholly remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from all iOS devices coming out this year and moving forwards. In 2 years it will be near as dammit a forgotten connector. If they do this, there will be one hell of a user base purchasing new speaker/headphone tech with a new connector standard (possibly lightening and/ or a new higher throughput low power wireless standard / upgrade to low-power bluetooth). They have been losing some of their lustre as THE tech music company. By buying Beats, and going all in on HD Audio, they reap the profit from the inevitable Tsunami of consumer upgrade behaviour, and fully establish themselves as design leader amongst their peers.
"Nokia's cameras are considered to be the best in the business, whereas Apple's aren't"
That simply isn't the case. The DxOMark is the most comprehensive anal, exacting and science based of the benchmarks out there. Nokia's 808 is getting 77 on its' DxOMark and the iPhone 5S got 76.
Let's be clear, if I tape a point and shoot camera and a phone together it will offer better quality photos, be only a little bit bulkier and will be a lot better looking than the Nokia 808 (ok I exaggerate a little, but you get my drift).
Getting better quality is not difficult if you are not worrying about size. The fact the iPhone 5S is in 3rd on the overall DxOMark ranking for mobile phone cameras and yet has no raised camera lens/cowling says it all. There is some kick arse-tech in there. Sony are in first place with the Z2 scoring an astonishing 79. They, like Apple have no raised cowling, (though the camera housing is significantly larger on the Z2 than the iPhone 5S) and they are in a joint tech agreement sharing all phone-camera patents and tech with Apple.
Compare Apple/Sony handsets with the Nokia handsets that are normal handsets (e,g, that are not specialised units with enlarged cameras) and it's clear the Apple/Sony shared tech is further ahead. Though to be fair all these top camera handsets offer outstanding quality given the limited dimensions of the devices and the Nokia handsets are right up there mixing it with the best.
I'm sure this guy knows his stuff. I'm sure he will be extremely valuable to Apple and will bring some new thinking, but Nokia's mobile phone camera tech being "the best in the business" is one of those oft regurgitated seldom challenged Internet tropes that simply isn't backed up by the extremely comprehensive and science based testing of the DxOMark.
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