580 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011
"The watchdog is there for the one specific purpose of monitoring compliance concerning book pricing."
Which actually is what Apple were complaining about. He is a friend of the judge, was there for that one purpose, but, in Kafka-esque style, appointed himself monitor of the entire company for all anti-trust matters - way beyond the scope of the remit given to him by the court - and cited Apple complaints about his expansion of scope as reason he needed the additional scope. To cap it all, he awarded himself an unfounded higher than market-rate reward for his un-sanctioned "service" plus charged for an additional lawyer admitting he needed the help because on his own he wasn't qualified for the job (but is, as noted, is a friend of the judge). Apple complained about him and his activities were curtailed and his charges slashed by the appeal court. The Register, of course, reported this as Apple failing to get him removed as they requested, when the reality is Apple will have thought there was little chance he would be removed, but certainly wanted his expansion of scope curtailed.
Now his expansion of scope *has* been curtailed, Apple are co-operating. It seems bizarre and hardly objective that he should write about this new level of co-operation as he did without mentioning the appeal court directed that his his gravy train should get back on the court approved route and agreed he had overstepped the mark.
Additionally, Apple don't dispute the facts of the case, but do dispute the logic of the conclusion and have appealed with a highly reasoned and well founded argument (not all appeals are, but with this one they really have some good arguments):
After all at the end of the day, there is one monopoly in E-Books, its not Apple, and the monopolist was helped by the ruling and strengthened its grip on the EBook market. That is the monopolist was helped by the ruling of the US anti-trust powers, whose job it is to curtail unfair use of monopoly power. Something, right there, isn't right.
@Andrew Newstead, agreed. The UI does fade away, in which case the bold, bright and distinct icon images are useful for helping the identification process. I think they do offer a small but real advantage and yes, very much agree the UI getting out the way of what you want to do is a key measure of success - if not THE key measure of success. I do think Ive has thought very carefully about these things. Additionally if there is one thing that I have learned regarding UI's, it is that users hate change. There will always be complaints. So with a change like iOS 7, the alternative scenarios are, complaints but no user revolt, or higher level of complaints plus user revolt. The former = success and after a while the complainers fall in line anyway.
For me the striking thing with Ive and iOS 7 is that the result is good where you expect he would have struggled but not so good where you would have expected him to be strongest. If we split UI design work into two parts, interaction design and visual design, you would have expected Ive would have been good with the visual design and struggled with the interaction design, but in fact, in iOS7 it appears it was the other way round. The interaction design improvements were balanced, powerful and well implemented (example: swipe from the right/left edge to go forward and back through hierarchical menus and web pages is a joy to use, especially on the iPhone), but the visual design elements (example, the Safari Icon) were not so good. That said, Ive clearly wanted to shake things up and as expected some of the more jarring extremes (read garish colours) have been dialled back in more recent updates.
From a high-level the visual look and feel is consistent and balanced but in the detail often seems naive and childlike (those icons again). Ives level of skill, achievements and experience make me undecided as to if this is simply a failing or a wholly deliberate and quite radical philosophy. Many artists seek to recapture the purity of expression young children have because at a young age there is an honesty and simplicity in children's drawings that captures the essence of things with an ease that is lost when we enter adolescence. That ability to capture an essence and so directly convey an idea serves the *functional* purpose of UI elements perfectly. Ive is either of the mind that designs with a naive "non-designery" appearance serve the purpose, serve the role an icon plays, better than something more refined, in which case he is actually being quite radical and a bit of a genius successfully making appearance wholly subservient to interaction design, OR the interaction design advantages are accidental, and his visual design aesthetic is, just a bit shit. I'm not wholly convinced, one way or the other and can genuinely argue both sides. To all accounts he was very single minded in driving out old thinking, and enjoyed disrupting the established cosy visual design pipeline, provocatively selecting the flat icon designs of non-pro-designers over those of the pro designers; that single minded ness speaks to the coherent philosophy I have described - and a brave one at that. But then, on the other hand, the removal of button outlines, while visually simplifying (also a theme in Ives design philosophy) also remove what interaction designers call an "affordance" cluing the user in on how to interact with the element (or more simply that they can interact with the element) and this runs counter to the purposes of interaction design.
So Ive, design genius across hardware and software, or a very lucky Barbie and Ken toy designer (at least where software is concerned). All will become clear in subsequent releases as things either further improve and his philosophy beds down such that there are improvements both interaction design-wise and visual design-wise, or they become a bit more unlaced. We shall see.
Re: Fixated on Apple
@DougS "But Apple's threat was/is limited, as they only play in the high end of the market."
How is that a limited threat, it's the only segment of the market making money!! After Apple and Samsung, all other Android vendors combined (excepting manufacturers internal to the Chinese market) make less than zero profit. e.g. lose money on Android. That's a terrible state of affairs. That's why Samsung see the threat as so great. Apple occupy the high end and are proving not just difficult to dislodge but continue to improve their position relative to that market.
This article shows why Apple are still killing it versus Android:
I get it. The Reg left missed off some informative scare quotes. Google were fined by the The Italian Data "Protection" Authority.
Read the headline and I was convinced this was going to be an article about Eric Schmidt using the tether feature of his phone.
Re: "Apple Newton was out first"
Oh Homer you seem not to have been able to parse quite simple logic. Saying x was an earlier implementation of feature y than z's is NOT a claim x was the *earliest* implementation of feature y. Read again my "claim" and you will see I have made no statement about the Newton being the earliest resistive touch device, and that I have quite rightly pointed out the argument Apple was not innovative because the iPad was predated by the Palm Pilot is a wholly inadequate given the Palm Pilot was predated by an earlier *Apple* device which clearly evidenced the two features (touch sensitivity and a grid of icons) cited. In the future, do try harder to actually parse basic logic old chap, your supposed to be a technologist. Bad humoured insults suggest your ability to analyse simple logic has been somewhat hampered by the red mist.
kinda arguing against your own straw man there. Not what I've said at all, but it's quite fun to watch you vent against an imaginary enemy. Throw some more insults at the dullard. Get it off your chest. But if you come to blows, don't swing too hard, he's not real so there's a high chance you'll just spin on the spot and hit yourself.
Re: "Apple Newton was out first"
Well here's the thing Homey boy, its a little boring how you are incapable of grasping the argument that "first" does not equal "success" or even "good," and though it may be largely of identity with "inventive" isn't even necessarily "innovative" (innovation being more than invention, but also cultivation and integration of valued solutions such that they are brought to practical fruition and application) And the first electronics device made of plastic was way earlier than 30 years before the Linus Write-Top. So what?
"yet Apple enthusiasts almost always immediately claim Apple were the "first" with the iPhone and iPad when they demonstrably were not"
It's not too facetious to point out, that by definition, Apple were the first with the iPhone and the iPad and you have already appear to have agreed it is the cake baked with the ingredients, not the list of ingredients themselves. Plus you seem to have ignored the "horses mouth" admission of a key techie in the history of this, one who was quite happy to pay due respect to the achievements of a competitor. Why do you think it is Chris DeSilva thought the Google Android project (at the time Android looked far closer to the Blackberry OS than iOS) would have start-over if it wasn't for the fact the bar had just been moved significantly higher ? And why did RIM take a dive? Because of an OS that looked like their own, or because of Nokia's smartphones (which they were already, in business if not in technology terms, besting), or because of the significant fork in the smartphone design path brought by the iPhone? So all in all, who is it that is attempting to re-write history here?
I'm a little at a loss as to what your point is except to deny the important role the iPhone played. Now if you ask me if the Newton, the Palm Pilot or the Nokia 9000 were important devices I would have no difficulty acknowledging the part they played. Sour grapes and partisanship only serve to warp historical analysis. Psion should be in the mix too: they had far superior OS technology than Palm (though how they squandered that advantage is a sad story). Their OS was the root of Symbian, which they spun out as a separate company, though by the time they did this, they had lost their early lead and the endeavour was, unfortunately, further wrecked by vested interests and a lack of overall over the design direction for the OS.
sorry, meant to say resistive, not haptic touch screen device. Old age.
@Jason 5, selective memory, since the Apple Newton was out first, which was, oh a tile based haptic touch-screen device released 1993 when the Palm Pilot was released 1997. The "who was earliest" game is a silly one anyway. All modern tech products have components with considerable lineage which have been around in combination with other devices for many years. It's all about the cake that is baked with the ingredients, not the ingredients themselves.
"Phil that claimed Apple sunk most of the firm's R&D effort into the iPhone, yet we have Greg Christie on record as saying the dev team was "shockingly small""
That's a false choice, since there is no inconsistency in saying most of the R&D effort was against iPhone and that the dev team was shockingly small. Most companies use R&D spend as an accounting trick, because it can be used to minimise tax. Steve Jobs was well known for the fact he disliked large sprawling teams and he felt fluffing up R&D budget to reduce tax would lead to a dilution of focus on what R&D should be about.
On returning to Apple he slashed the R&D budget and also crucially cut the number of the products the company marketed to a fraction of what it was before. He understood you get far better and more intense value from small focussed R&D teams. Far from reducing focus on R&D, he was in fact the most R&D obsessed CEO of any tech company for the simple reason his modus operandi was to involve himself intimately as R&D commander in chief. To put it in somewhat melodramatic (but illustrative terms) he was the equivalent of the special forces officer who takes on an audacious plan with the words "my specialist unit 1/20th the size of your conventional forces will get the job done better and with fewer casualties." and then he went out and proved his argument in spectacular style.
So Reg commentards who will never come close to making something like the iPhone in their lives think the most successful consumer electronics device in history is no big deal, yet in the recent book "Dogfight" Google's own Chris DeSalvo, working at the heart of the Android project, admitted on first seeing the iPhone:
“As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.’”
So no, I guess it had no impact on the industry and all the ideas it embodied had no impact either. /sarcasm
Re: BEEP BEEP BEEP
"He wrote in a blog post that he was "outraged" by the campaign and couldn't understand why T-Mobile had run the "clearly inappropriate and ill-conceived" promotion without running it by BlackBerry first."
Perhaps, because, now let me think... they want to make money?
Re: well personally
You mean SFTP server. FTP is for suicidal morons.
Re: Big Mistake, Andrew
After reading the article, it made me laugh watching on iPlayer. Andrew was much too polite. He was suffering from that British disease (and I for one also suffer from it, badly) of being much more polite in public to the person who, in his head, he is having a wrestling match with than he is in the wrestling match that is happening in his head. It's a very British disease, which in my case has lead me, to recount to my friends imaginary conversations where, in my imagination, I have score hit after hit with witty rapier like blows. But the reality is I was, in actuality, I was probably sitting there rather meekly. Never mind. It was working in the other direction too. If there was friction didn't really come across and Eileen didn't score any blows against Andrew. After reading this piece I expected a boxing match, but relative to that frame, in reality it was two people dancing round each other shadow boxing and not actually trying to land any blows, and then the bell went for the end of the match.
I agree with Andrew re: the real locus of tech in the UK (M4 corridor, Cambridge etc) but I think it is also fair to point out, as a VC she is putting her reputation and money (I'm aware she is investing the money of others, but her own money is very likely to be there as well and certainly will be in terms of time), where her mouth is. Don't dis consumer services. There are many very good businesses based on the service industry. Silicon Roundabout will score many misses, but there only need to be a couple of big hits and it will be worthwhile. And I don't like the class politicking either, there is no "Private Schooled applicants only" clause on any of the grants. If there is a lack of state sector educated applicants, the fault lies with the attitude instilled by the state sector and the likes of the BBC (purveyors of positivity and enterprise inspiring productions like East Enders).
Getting a start-up going is demonstrably more related to attitude than resources, since most don't bring money in from mommey and pappy anyway, and those that do usually fail for the fact, if that is the case, the child usually doesn't know arse from elbow. Grant money is there for people who have taken the steps to set-up an enterprise and anyone who has tried will know relief only and not freebies are given. The risk remains high. We are not talking unconditional "state handout" here. Most attempting a startup are taking a considerable risk and they should be encouraged.
Selling 1/10 the the number of Surfaces as iPads sold by Apple is actually quite good. The number of iPads sold is huge. Unparalleled for a device of its type. They are sold to a market more global than ever before. So let's be clear 1/10the number means MS have gained a toe hold in the market and can begin to expand.
"No - they just moved to Hong Kong - which is still part of China."
Clearly you haven't seen the stats for what has happened to Google usage since they left China. They to all intents and purposes don't exist there now. They are regularly blocked by the government and performance is dreadful.
Hong Kong is a special zone, and has completely different laws to mainland China and a tiny fraction of the population.
"Just like every other cloud vendor" apart from, er, GOOGLE. Why ? Because they were opening themselves up to a huge breach of human rights when the email accounts they were hosting for political dissidents were hacked by the Chinese government.
You do know people still disappear there without trace? It happened to a Chinese engineer working alongside the members of one of my teams. Not often but it does still happen. He vanished, and was seen being ushered into a police car. None of his Chinese colleagues wanted to talk about it and the company could find no record of charges brought against him.
I would be interested to understand why you think Google has left the largest market in the world to Baidu? Guess they just couldn't be arsed with the easily implemented local disclosure requirements.
I expect Microsoft are happy to contract operations to 21Vianet as the approach has the added advantage that when the government demand direct access to the data, as they inevitably will, MS would have been left in an awkward position. At least this way they can say their service is being run for them by a separate, local, legal entity who have to abide by local laws. Google have cut themselves out of China altogether. morally their position is more laudable, and they deserve credit for it. But financially and strategically it isn't good for them at all.
Re: And this is whats missing today
Why on earth would Johnny Ive be pushed?
Re: This article does come over...
Larry Page was not wearing a pair when he spoke at TED this week. It would seem Google is cooling on the project. Robert Scoble, the biggest Glasshole out there, wrote a blog post decrying the fact they are very far from ready for commercial release and lamenting the fact there seems to be a growing disinterest on Google's part for pushing the project to completion. I expect they are coming to the view smart watches are a first more practical step to wearable computing, and even those haven't as yet been executed well. Google's new API and Motorola's latest hardware look interesting though.
"Claiming Apple to be the most profitable company in the world makes you look a tool"
Up is down ! black is white !
Apple are the most profitable company in the world. Period.
Re: Apple market cap (provably) utterly nonsense. Go on prove it. The point is my view on Apple's market cap is *opinion.* As is yours. If what you are saying has a single iota of reason, then analysts would have followed the proof, because it would be you-know, proof. And if this *proof* is evident to a commentard on TheRegister, it will for sure be evident to others.
YoY profits are walking backwards. Except YoY profits haven't walked backwards. One year, last year's profits were the first dip for many years (though revenue had still increased), but of course that doesn't qualify as Year-on-Year does it. Plus initial reports show the addition of China mobile has reversed this in any case so, again not a YoY profit dip. Plus of course their profit dip in the last year was far less significant than their leading competitor, Samsung, so their performance - the result of a maturing market - when compared to the rest of the market clearly remains industry leading. So please do go on, produce your proof.
Tim Cook is more considered, but I don't think it can be said he lacks Charisma. In comparison to Jobs, yes but not really in comparison with any other tech CEO (other than perhaps Larry Ellison, but then who, other than money loving egotists, would want to be Larry Ellison). Cook has a very sure presence and is extremely comfortable with himself.
You don't capture the most profitable end of the market so dominantly with only a "fan base." Sure Apple have a fan base, but the idea it extends to over a billion purchases by the wealthiest consumers on this planet is, I would say, a bit of a distortion. It's one of those memes people with Apple envy seem to latch onto but really it's just lazy reasoning on the part of people who have no interest in getting to the truth of how Apple have come to be the most profitable company in the world.
Apple were not bankrupt when Jobs did the deal with MS. They needed to turn things around for sure and did, but they were not bankrupt.
The city certainly doesn't have a love affair with Apple. Their P/E ratio is far lower than it should be when compared with equivalent tech companies and their revenues continue to hold up in the face of the negative expectations on future earnings that have been keeping the P/E ratio down. In my view, the reason for this is they are a product company and investors can't see the product pipeline and don't believe it will continue. However, it has continued at a level that continually disabuses the depressed P/E only at any given moment, investors still aren't able to see the future products so continue to price negatively in the face of the evidential success. A more intelligent way to look at the question is to ask what other company in the world is positioned to be able to continue to dominate the earning potential of the high-end of the market. When asking the right question it becomes clear Apple is a machine that is uniquely positioned and will be continuing to perform well for the foreseeable future.
"In the real world they should fail"
What, in this real world, where they are the most profitable company in the world; they should fail. Not sure I follow your logic. Reality dictates the most profitable company in the world should in fact be labelled a failure?
I just can't compute the reasoning behind that, it just makes no sense how you could work that through in your head and actually think it is a reasonable statement... unless, wait,...Ah, I get it, it's fantasy wish-fulfilment from a grudge bearer.
"One thing is clear: Apple currently has little or no intention of duking it out at the bottom end of the smartphone market, where $US100 is reportedly the sweet spot for those seeking to connect “the next billion” to the internet. Microsoft and Google are more than willing to go there, as Nokia's newly-minted Android range and Google's generous licence terms for the operating system attest."
Well considering Samsung make most of their profit from the Galaxy range of handsets - e.g. their high end range - and Apple and Samsung between them last reported quarter made more than 100% of smartphone handset profits (more than 100% is possible because, the average profit for companies not Apple and Samsung was in fact a loss), it's pretty clear Apple have adopted the right strategy. The 5C was never an attempt to compete at the bottom end of the market, but an attempt to slightly expand their constituency to include customers who are not interested in paying top whack for a high-end model with every state of the art feature, but who nevertheless want the Apple experience and are still prepared to pay a significant amount for it. For sure they thought they would be selling more of the 5C. In hindsight, it should probably also have had a metal construction (a slight adaption of the iPhone 5). However the colours are eye catching and previously the introduction of colour after a period of colour uniformity has worked very well for them.
Also the 5C, when it was in the drawing board was planned to maintain volume in the face of an expected assault where the Samsung S4 would dilute the high-end; which never really materialised due to the S4 not being the ground breaking release Samsung had hoped it would be. Samsung failed to make inroads into Apple's share of the high-end market and Apple failed to make inroads into the high to mid level market.
@xperroni "they exist in a different market altogether" of course there is segmentation and to say they exist in different markets is playing semantics as you yourself prove by saying Samsung target the upper end of THE market" (my emphasis. THE = definite article covering upper, middle and lower price points), so it seems you're calling yourself a bit daft. Plus, of course you are simply wrong, for the reason that for what you are saying to be true, the must rarely be users who walk into a store selling Huawei handsets and purchase one after considering buying an iPhone, albeit at a somewhat different price point. There will be plenty who have had the thought, "hmm, this vastly cheaper handset is actually pretty damned good for my needs in comparison with that lovely shiny iPhone I was just looking at. Maybe I should go with this one instead"
There will also, of course, also be plenty who's thought process has gone the other way "hmmm this precision metal iPhone really does look lovely under the spotlights of this cool Apple Store. It does cost more, but hell, I'll go for it"
"The Chinese hardware maker, which is the third largest smartphone manufacturer on the planet these days, has made no secret of the fact that it's gunning to take on the two big biggest players in the game: Apple and Samsung."
You mean they are planning on actually competing against their biggest competitors? Blow me down.
We are all concerned over NSA spying. Well it seems to me Google has become more powerful than the NSA because users are "voluntarily" providing them with large volumes of data. Through search and advertising data they have a detailed breadcrumb trail of users' browsing habits. Through Google Maps on smartphones, which makes it appear as though log-in is required to access all the features (in fact it isn't but Google manage to make it feel like users are using it wrong if they don't log in) they have detailed tracking information (and can geographically map browsing habits too). Through Gmail they have access to vast swathes of Email correspondence and personal contact details, often including information relating to confidential competitor products and service (I know from running large projects, it is almost impossible to always prevent staff from mailing themselves and outside of projects using Gmail accounts). Through their download scanning service, they are even able to extract additional information about the contents of files users are downloading, refining their user profiles still further.
I put "voluntarily" in quotes above, because once a business becomes big enough and a service widely used enough, it can become difficult to avoid and doing so can be quite an inconvenience. Users are driven by convenience, and the concessions given too and liberties taken by Google when outweighed by convenience become a kind of insipid cancer that permeates society.
Google are now in a position where they can quite legally dig dirt, if not on every individual, on pretty much every family out there (yes I'm assuming most families have a few skeletons in the closet - and yes clearly this is a subjective statement, but equally whilst I don't think there can be statistics proving the average number of skeletons in the closet per family, agreement on the definition of what constitutes a skeleton or agreement on the definition of the boundaries of a single family - most people will agree with thrust of what I'm saying).
I don't think it's healthy for any private enterprise to have such a privileged position. Power corrupts etc.
Oh dear, another commentard who has no clear appreciation of the difference between secret and private. When in the middle of a dinner party, I go to the loo and lock the door, it's not a secret what I'm doing. I'm not trying to cover my tracks. I don't think anyone particularly cares or finds value in being able to look at me on the throne. But it is, nevertheless private, and no one else's business. So every one of your points along the lines "no one cares," so therefore "get over yourself, privacy is irrelevant" is a straw man argument. Attempting to paint me and others who argue for privacy like me as egotists entirely misses the point. I don't think anyone cares what I'm doing in my front-room this evening, but I certainly don't want to live in a world where any fool can just wander in, sit down and start watching.
"Either get out your wallet, or provide some personal data."
So when Google and Facebook sucked-up my personal contact details through ingesting the contact databases of colleagues I know, was that because I personally failed to get out my wallet?
When Google photograph my garden because of the height of the camera in their Google maps car, is that because I personally am failing to get out my wallet?
When they slurped wi-fi data and then lied to government by claiming it was not a management sanctioned activity, when it was, was that also because I personally failed to get out my wallet.
When Google produce a maps app with no option to pay and which doesn't function well unless you log in, and then link my movements and build a personal profile about my person and do their level best to link it all with web site browsing data from entirely different contexts, is that because I am failing to get out my wallet?
When I run a commercially valuable project in competition with a Google service and then find for practical reasons, I have to give-up and allow correspondence with contractors, suppliers etc who are using Google mail accounts (or spend my time "King Canute" like, policing all correspondence and insisting Google Mail users use an alternative) and Google are entirely able and free to read about the internal status of my project, is that also because I have failed to open my wallet?
Your assertion is a an ignorant simplification that wholly ignores the dynamic whereby the end user is finding it more and more difficult to exercise choice, and is being parcelled up to be sold as food at the Google trade restaurant.
From the article, and given in the context of how native apps came to be:
"Native is on a run for two reasons: one, because the app writers were ordered to do so by the app store owners or phone makers and there was too much at stake in saying "no". Two: because tuning the app to the hardware ensured the app performed beautifully and without any crashes."
This is simply not a true reflection as to why native apps came about. The author has totally forgotten (or wasn't aware in the first place) when the iPhone first introduced apps, there was an equal emphasis on creating web apps (apps accessed via an icon off the home page but that are rendered by the browser) as native apps. At the first iOS WWDC (before it was called iOS) half the sessions were dedicated to how to produce web apps that would render well on the device. There was reams of documentation on how to do it. Apple changed their emphasis only after developers voted with their feet. The web app sessions were unpopular and the web app documentation on the Apple developer portal went unread. For a certain section of the computing press it's an easy assumption to make; that Apple conspired to promote the native app and suppress HTML (it plays well to the gallery) but that simply doesn't match the history of what happened. Indeed Apple firmly believed the first iOS Safari browser was a wonder of mobile computing that developers would love to leverage (and at that point in time it was) but developers still preferred native. It is undoubtedly fair to say Apple fairly quickly cottoned on to the fact web apps weren't enthusiastically embraced and quickly saw the strategic advantage of native apps and changed emphasis, however that change was a direct reaction to developer preference, not the result of a nefarious master plan to undermine the web hatched with the inception of the iPhone.
"how is that bringing anything forward?"
The S5 was announced earlier in the year than the S4. In an unexpected move this year Samsung made their announcement in Feb at MWC in Barcelona. Last year they booked out a New York music hall in March and had something of a bizarre/disastrous/embarrassing product launch. It seemed rapid S3 sales had gone to their heads and they became fixated with "bigger," "better," "showier" only to screw-up royally on the "better" part of the equation.
The ban is only for 45 days. So no.
It's now seems probable Sammy held a crisis meeting late last year, not just because of flagging S4 sales, but because after the launch of the iPhone 5S, it was clear to them their planned S5 handset would not be sufficiently competitive. They brought the S5 launch forward, I think, as part of a plan to write off this current generation in terms of overhauling the iPhone, and focus on the next - the S6 - (people forget, over the lifetime of each their handsets, they sell far fewer of the Galaxy line than Apple do iPhones; its lower cost Android handsets they are selling by the bucketload).
The Galaxy line of handsets is where the money is for Samsung so to keep ascending, they need renewed success with the Galaxy range.
"However you still need to have a proper hoover around the place from time to time."
That's what I found to be most disappointing about my Roomba. It makes the room look very clean (its great for that, and I'm grateful for the reduced workload), the problem I find is it doesn't take enough fine dust out of circulation. Fine dust seems to go straight through the filter. I know you can't eliminate dusting, but if the Roomba is covering 60-70% of the horizontal surfaces in my flat, I would expect the fact it runs frequently on a schedule means it should reduce the amount of dusting required. But it hasn't done, not even by a tiny bit. Indeed, if anything it seems to make the fine dust situation worse, blowing the stuff out over the surfaces everywhere it goes.
Would be interested to hear from anyone who has the HEPA filter model, if that does a better job with dust.
In the voice of Alan Rickman:
"I'm an exceptional Barista Mr Tachicoma.
Now where's your corporate headquarters, I'm going to take down your office building."
I can't see that it is any different from astroturfing, which is widely accepted as immoral. Just because in one case support is being purchased below the table and represented as the real deal, and as a commercial event sponsor, support is still being purchase but the transaction is made above the table, doesn't make it any more right; Still for both cases the "sponsor" doesn't want the end-user to know about the false nature of the "endorsement".
Over the years Samsung have shown themselves to be perfectly prepared to Astroturf and adopt strong arm sponsorship tactics. They have no shame, or class. But then what to expect of a company which at the same time as it is showing ads taking the piss out of Apple Fanboi launch day queues, sends out crews to film the events in a sad attempt to work out how they manage it. Hint to Samsung, if you find yourself wanting to buy a book "how to be cool" that should be your signal you should save yourself the money. Just stick with the ad agency who came up with the idea of taking the piss out of the Apple queues, be yourself and resist your inner envies and you will fare far better.
It's a brand values thing. Mercedes, BMW, Landrover, Ferrari etc will go with Apple. Ford, Vauxhall, Skoda, Trabant will go with Android.
Re: Thank You Tim Cook!
I apologise for quibbling about a quibble, but the problem with the initial quibble is that people frequently do usefully apply terminology on a kind of kinaesthetic basis, on a basis of a feeling about the entity, without independent reference to actual physical attributes. So if I the 1930's someone had said to me "Al Capone is the biggest criminal in Chicago" I wouldn't have been confused by this and then from that point on been on the lookout for a very tall or fat mafioso (though he was to all accounts quite fat). The very fact people are not confused by such terminology illustrates there is a common basis for reference based on mood or feeling. It is frequently done and when it is done, language is not the poorer for it. Turning up somewhere new and hearing "x is the biggest game in town" is not useless information just because there is no audited definition of the size of x; it is useful for anyone who wants to know what is most prestigious, most regarded or most notorious. That's the beauty of language, it can be used to express the ephemeral, even if sometimes doing so annoys the pedant or that some of the word-signs we use (like "biggest") are used at times with scientific precision and at other times loosely and colloquially. The meaning of words changes with the context and one of the great beauties of language is how with illogical circular self contained references it can be used to manipulate the context applied. So if I say of the XBox one, "yo bruv it's sick innit," I've imparted a switch of context using "rules" or conventions that have no respect for formal logical syntax, and most people know I'm not suggesting the console is ill. That imparting meaning is done in accord with such imprecise and artful rules is often seen by us techies as an affront; we want a thing before us to be always in all contexts one thing or another but not both, but that does not change how language actually works.
Brian Chaffin of a Mac Observer gave the true story on that (got story via Daring Fireball) and, as always seems to be the case for The Register Apple stories, the actuality seems to have been somewhat negatively spun, as though Apple were arrogantly batting aside shareholders, when it rather seems the reverse was true, the NCPR were arrogantly trying to throw their political lobbying into Apple's operations.
Brian Chaffin wrote:
"Mr. Cook didn’t directly answer that question, but instead focused on the second question: the NCPPR representative asked Mr. Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.
What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader. […] He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
The NCPPR proposal received just 2.95 percent of the vote. Not sure too many would argue Tim Cook was wrong in his response, but as usual, The Register see the word "Apple" go blind in their obsession with ferreting out the snark.
Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?
"Apple are also taking a lot of credit for a fingerprint scanner, even though Motorola brought one out in January 2011"
Well fingerprint scanners have been around in one form or another a lot longer than that. The issue, clearly, is implementation. Having to swipe your print is clearly not the ideal solution and touching a sensor is clearly superior.
Re: Apple SSL, yes a concern, which is why I was happy to note, when I read the story, that iOS on my device had already been updated with a patch. Speed of update is a real strength of iOS.
Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?
"but I'm not convinced the two implementations are at all comparable"
Nice throw-away comment from someone who has taken what The Register hacks write at face value. They often get it wrong you know. They are cynics who are always looking for the negatives. In a comment against that very article you have quoted I provided the link below which gave a thorough overview of what Apple achieved. You're right it isn't the same as Samsung's implementation (at least so far as it is possible to tell based on Samsung's higher level statements on what they are doing). By design. Simple aggregation of channels for data throughput is hardly the best use for the technology and Apple have implemented a more sophisticated pattern, of which aggregation of multiple channels is but one available tool and is used when it makes sense to use it:
Re: Excellent review; but "flaunting"?
Well in that case, the iPhone has had multi-path TCP for a couple of generations now. Only Apple didn't hype it up because they know it is a technical advance average Joe Punter won't understand or care about. He/she simply cares the connection is more robust. Aggregating multiple channels out of the hardware side of a single TCP-IP stack for download speed is actually about half way to where Apple got to in their previous generation of handset. I know, given this is a S5 article many will find this comment challenging, but it is fair enough to point out the multi-path TCP Samsung have presented as an innovation is something Apple have already been doing since the iPhone 5. Especially when for those with an understanding of what is going on, the Apple implementation is so impressive precisely because it directly addresses your concern:
"who really cares if it takes 5 seconds or 20 seconds to download something; much more important to have that first few beats available right away, not after a half second lag for handshaking."
Apple have taken the multi-path TCP standard and adapted their implementation so it ensures robustness of connection at all times. So for example, if you are using FaceTime or Siri and you enter a coffee shop where you have an account, it will test the WiFi connection, ensure the path is clear (no annoying authentication process / advertorial page blocking a true internet connection) and enable and start using WiFi without breaking the LTE connection. If the connection is good enough it will stop using LTE, though if quality degrades it will wake LTE back up again. It can use two channels, one channel or briefly use two channels to switch channel, and does so in a way which preserves optimal performance and battery life.
Being technically minded I noticed how good this was, when I first used Siri whilst exiting my flat. Due to the layout as I get out to the main road, the walk used to wreak havoc on my connection. On the iPhone 4S, as I left the front door, I would lose WiFi, but then as I walked to the main road I would have to go past the front of my flat, and I would briefly regain it, but, due to the distance from the flat, I would have a frustratingly low signal, then after what seemed like too long, completely lose the (usually unusable) WiFi again before finally getting a stable 3G connection. This would wreak havoc with a Siri request (such as, as I would often want to do when leaving the house, message someone to say "I'm on my way" or "running late" or whatever). With the iPhone 5, I was blown away to discover the request always succeed (except ending with a stable LTE connection, since the iPhone 5 supports LTE) and looked up why that would be, and only then found out about the multi-path TCP implementation.
So when you really understand multi-path TCP it's clear Samsung are now advertising a feature Apple have had for two generations, in a more advanced implementation than Samsung are touting, and they didn't bother to tell anyone about it in the first place.
Yes the Apple MagSafe power adaptor was an example of a very good hardware invention and has saved many a MacBook getting dragged to the floor. The iPad Smart Cover was also excellent, and this is a continuation of that work, filed before the MS Surface was released and filed during the period when the initial Smart Cover patent application was still secret. The initial filing is kept secret precisely so such continuations can be worked on.
The Reg's interpretation of the first independent claim is also wrong. All clauses if the independent claims need to be read like a logical AND. So the claim isn't just for two magnetically attached devices communicating with each other, but where each device is also actuated based on the moment of attachment (e.g. Wakes up, comes out of standby etc.). The Register just like to moan about anything with Apple and patent in the title.
Patented inventions are always small steps on from the state of the art. It is the easiest thing to claim a patent is obvious after the fact. The black and Decker Workmate, one of the best Everyman patents ever filed also seemed obvious after the fact (a table top combined with a clamp). In recognition of this the hardest criterion on which to get a patent overturned, is obviousness.
It will advertise a 4 cyclone cell, show pictures of 4 on the box, but the suction hose will only be connected to 2.
Patrick Seitz reporting for Investors.com
"Apple and Samsung continue to soak up all the industry’s profits, McCourt says. Apple claimed 87.4% of phone earnings before interest and taxes in the fourth quarter, he said. Samsung took in 32.2% of industry profits. Because their combined earnings were higher than the industry’s total earnings as a result of many vendors losing money in Q4, Apple and Samsung mathematically accounted for more than 100% of the industry’s earnings."
Kinda paints a different picture of which company is dominant.
Re: meet the Law of Unintended Consequences...
It can already done to iDevices through Find My iPhone. The user has the option to put it in lost/stolen mode. No reports of hackers locking users out of their iPhones.
Re: Up against it
I suspect one of Apple's moves into a new category (Tim Cook didn't say they would be inventing a new category), will be the addition of app downloads to a new generation of Apple TV. The point is, though they only have accidental gaming brand credentials, due to supply chain economics, Apple are in a better position to deliver a Next Gen console at - wait for it - low cost, than just about anyone.
I wouldn't be surprised if they release a new Apple TV with a 64bit A8 chip and greatly enhanced GPU. They have the infrastructure and now have the experience of streaming-data and the data centre's to be able to ensure a compelling service is delivered. By doing away with the need for anything more than a network connected device with a local storage cache of flash memory, they can greatly reduce the device production cost as compared with other consoles. Apple have no problem is undercutting the price others can supply at, when their supply chain economies allows them to do so. In the case of an Apple TV streaming device, the cost of the device, requiring no display and only an HDMI output, simply is inherently low, allowing them to preserve their usual margins. I can imaging games will be either rented or purchased as you can currently either rent or purchase movies (though purchase movies don't live on the device). Also if the device is a pure low cost streaming device, no one will be approaching it with any expectation of game ownership or second hand-resale rights as cause a problem for the Xbox one launch. The model will simply be the existing App Store model which millions of customers already understand perfectly and accept for what it is. Many will scoff at the idea of Apple providing a category of device at lower cost, but actually they are perfectly prepared to do it when the device is in a new category and the BOM for how they are doing it is naturally low. So for example, they did this with the iPad when it first launched, which Steve Jobs boasted nobody would be able to match in price. Many were skeptical, but he was right. At first competitors could only get into the market by matching the price of the iPad and having zero margin or even adopting a loss leader model. That has changed now, but it provides illustration of where Apple have pulled a similar move before.
Bear in mind Apple have released a controller API for processing commands from games controllers connected via bluetooth. I can't help but think that is part of a larger move by Apple and I'm not sure using games controllers with iPhone or iPad alone was a big enough market for them to have released the API if that is all they had in mind.
What I don't expect, but what would be really interesting, is if they co-opted Nintendo to provide games and controllers for the new system. I could see this happening because Apple and Nintendo share some fundamental principles (such as focus on excellence in the experience rather than focus on the hardware specs). Of course Nintendo are now suffering because the dedicated games console market is not big enough for every player to get the scale for low enough cost of supply. Nintendo working with Apple, who do have the necessary scale, makes sense on many levels.
"Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella - IS HE ONE OF US"
I hope for Microsoft's sake, not. Because if he were, he would be a cynical, "we're all going to hell in a hand cart," know-it all, who hates big business, would want to give all the companies patents away for free and would give every company memo a purile title with a double entendre. Might be fun for a while if he were though (for 5 minutes at least).
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