546 posts • joined 5 Jan 2011
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).
@TheVogon, Yes you most certainly would subject the accounts to forensic re-examination before making a multi-billion dollar purchase and HP indeed executed full financial and accounting due diligence and willingly went ahead with the purchase after having done so. The reality is HP for the second time in successive quarters were admitting to having to writing off billions of dollars of value (the first write down related to their EDS business, another bad purchase). The first time you do such a write-down shows careless management, the second, rank incompetence. Meg Whitman knew if she could not rustle up an excuse she would be toast. HP cast around for a scapegoat and subsequently came out with a number of slime-ball slurs against the Autonomy deal they had gone ahead with after executing full financial/accounting due diligence. It was clearly a desperate attempted excuse for their second inexcusable business write down. Additionally you yourself have given the precise reason why HP and any company involved in such a deal should execute due diligence by the fact you have said "sounds like Autonomy's accountants were likely also to blame." You don't spend billions of dollars without checking what you are buying, and checking independently, that the auditors employed by the company you are buying were doing as they were required to do it.
But in any case, so far, no evidence of impropriety has emerged. Tellingly, HP's accountants have not endorsed the company's earlier statements that financial impropriety was involed. To me that says they have adjusted the accounts as requested by Whitman (their customer) and, since they are auditors and have to maintain professional standard, have quietly but tellingly failed to back HP's position that there was fraud at play.
Look, undoubtedly Autonomy "bigged-up" the value of the company. Kevin Lynch does appear to be a salesman of the "if they buy it, that's their look-out" variety, but many would argue that he has simply proven he is a good salesman and effectively maximised the sale value of his company for his shareholders - e.g. he did his job properly. Meg Whitman, on the other hand, in buying it, clearly didn't do hers.
Re: Peak apple?
@ratfox Ok fair enough, It seems you were suggesting 2012 was the peak, however if the numbers going down you are referring too are not the percentage numbers you then proceed to give, you aren't misrepresenting anything. And yes it's true iPhone sales volumes are at the very least close to a peak. It seems the analysts expect every year to be like 2012 with, you know, exponential levels of growth, because that can happen forever if only Apple work hard enough, demographics be damned.
Re: Peak apple?
@ratfox, you are climbing up a hill and though you are still climbing the angle of climb has started to reduce. I know your desperate for that to be a peak, but for the rest of the world, it isn't. Indeed it looks as though for Apple that peak up ahead you are trying to will into the here and now is actually a false one. Apple have inked a deal with China mobile, which will be increasing the rate of climb again. So you're just going to have to be patient. Or go and find stories about Samsung to comment on.
'when one analyst asked Cook whether new product categories – not just new products – were still on track for release later this year, Cook was succinct in his answer. "Yes. Absolutely. No change," he said.'
You see this worries me. Cook on the surface is cool. But he has allowed himself to be bounced into confirming there will be new product categories later this year, and he first indicated that last year. Apple are a product company and secretive to boot. So people can't see the next product and investors get jittery. Over the years Apple have faced continual predictions of their imminent demise. But Steve Jobs was ruthless about avoiding pre-announcing the next big thing because he understood, the way to avoid a Galaxy Gear type situation is to mature a new product and live with it for a bit and to be prepared, right up to the last minute, to cancel it if it is't good enough. All focus should be on building the right product, saying no to what doesn't work and releasing only when good and ready. It's ordinary companies who dance to the beat of market analyst demands who do ordinary things and have a tendency to fail with new product categories more than succeed.
Plus the mobile phone market is surely a once in a lifetime deal. To find another device almost everyone on the planet wants/needs, that costs what a smartphone costs and that gets promoted by massive cross subsidy from monthly subscriptions is surely a hard act to follow. It's not going to happen until we get glasses with a reality enhancing true HUD that look near as damnit *no different* to normal glasses or super effective and accurate computer / brain interface implants, or robot house cleaners that also happen look and can perform like Lisa Anne (or Charlie Hunnam, depending on your sex and what you're into). I don't expect too much tech-wise in 2014.
No, they wouldn't. The report is right and wrong. It is right as a measure of attitudes here and now, but misleading as a longer term prediction. The BBC currently benefits from having a captive audience. Viewers think they offer quality level X because there is a large number of viewers who are offended by advertising and who value highly the PSB/educational output.
However there is an illusion in these figures (and the BBC know this and so won't act on them). Despite what the article suggests, the BBC would not produce better quality than commercial rivals for less (you only have to be at a sports event and see the difference in work ethic between the grips at commercial production companies and BBC lifers to understand why that is a misinterpretation). The report is in fact suggesting the BBC could earn more because subsets of license fee payers, if able to be targeted through conditional access are prepared to pay more. However what people currently say they are prepared to pay is conditioned by the captive audience effect and lack of exposure to alternatives. This is why the BBC would lose out:
The BBC PSB/educational programming is its best output and much loved by a highly vocal, highly educated *subset* of audience, whilst being subsidised by the masses much of whom don't really care how good it is. Add conditional access and, unless it is replaced by other artificial rules, that subsidy effect goes away. Cost goes up for those who partake of the content and the perception of value for money rebalances at another level.
Now for the large majority of BBC output that is not PSB/educational, the captive audience effect will, fairly quickly, be eroded. The reality is, respondents to this survey aren't OTT subscription service users because they are still, comparatively, rare in the UK market. However, where users do have choice between, say BBC iPlayer and Netflix, when it comes to drama they are swinging very heavily to Netflix (and to watching a greater proportion of drama in general). The simple fact is BBC drama has not been competitive with US drama for ages, but due to having a captive audience and, high levels of inertia, thinking based on TV tropes, and lastly due to high levels of aversion to adverts, the captive audience often don't yet realise how comparatively bad it is. But as Netflix is so ably demonstrating, commercial sector drama doesn't need ads to be viable. Once viewers get to compare Breaking Bad, House of Cards, The Good Wife, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy etc. with UK drama (the original BBC House of Cards, whilst good in it's day, is a good example for the purpose of comparison) and develop the habit of finding new content in new places that are not the BBC, they vote with their feet and quickly abandon the pappyfied, excessively PC, low production value BBC shows. Only Sherlock and Dr Who stand out commercially and there are question marks on them (for reasons I don't have time to go into here).
If the BBC were to survey students, (which I'm sure they are doing) they will be horrified at the results. Since I have an interest in the TV industry, I have been conducting my own informal checking on what students are watching (my daughter is at university and my partners daughter before that). So, yes the sample size is small, yes the questions asked have not been formalised and are limited to students at two universities but also yes, I have been diligently asking and have now sampled across a diverse number of students checking TV viewing habits.
What I am seeing does not look good for the BBC. From what I am seeing, almost all students have iPlayer and most watch TV content via their laptops, but the word is out, and there is an ongoing and rapid switch to Netflix and Love Film. Neither have adverts and amongst student subscribers (where account sharing is rife) time spent watching BBC output is all but wiped out. The level of recommendation to other students is off the scale (the captured audience damn is bursting with a devastating effect). As far as I can see, the BBC is in the process of being wiped out amongst the student population; the next generation of TV viewer. They should be worried. Extremely worried.
Re: Samsung Board Room
"If you want Android I'd look at the Moto G"
Yes I agree. I'm an iPhone user, but if I were to use Android, the Google Nexus handsets and the new Moto G stand out as the best option. The relative sales of Google Nexus versus Samsung it makes it pretty clear to me just how important physical retails stores and relationships with the networks remain.
Re: Samsung Board Room
You forgot the integrated motion chip :)
Oh and the 64 'bitness' will be "future ready" because there won't be a 64 bit Dalvik VM and apps available in time for the launch - a bit like when they released handsets with 4 cores (and advertised as much) but for which it turned out the software restricted them to only ever using two.
I suggest anyone contemplating a Samsung device should complement it with a set of Carlos Fandango tyres for their car (showing my age with that reference).
Re: Peak Samsung anyone?
"It never ceases to amaze me..."
Agreed. It is a phenomena with Apple and has been noted by journalists who specialise in all things Apple for many years. I think it stems from the fact Apple are a product company and our psychology when confronting that is that they are always reliant on there being a next product which, especially as they are so secretive, can never be seen. For most companies there is a virtual path out in front of them. For Microsoft there is an entire PC industry (albeit shrinking) comprised of many, many companies which puts Windows on their devices. For Google, there is the Internet and search which will not be going away any time soon. But those who don't think about the mechanics of business, Apple's assets appear less tangible.
However another way to think about it (which you probably do as a matter of course) is to think of the space Apple occupy and the market they cater for and the fact those user needs/desires/wants are a constant. Then consider what other company has the assets to take them on in that space and dislodge them. Over time it can be done of course, but it certainly won't be happening in the space of a year or three. Think in those terms and it's clear Apple isn't going away anytime soon.
Two further down votes, This time I suspect it was Krypto the super-dog and Vibe the breakdancing member of the Justice League, what a dude he was. Is it any wonder I prefer Marvel to DC?
Damn, I've been down voted. I suspect it was by Beppo the Supermonkey. Pro Marvel comments always seem to upset him.
Is Carnegie-Mellon University run by idiots, or have they done a deal with DC and know they have Superman on their side? Still, they had better have Superman, because Batman wouldn't stand a prayer against Spider-Man, Wolverine or The Hulk. And even if they've got Superman onside they had still better pray the Silver Surfer is currently visiting another Galaxy.
I would like to share your confidence consumer choice will resolve such matters. Unfortunately the evidence is to the contrary. While consumer choice is powerful and resolves many matters, it doesn't work too well when the problem at issue is one element or aspect of a service bundle. But one example being international data roaming. A small but highly significant subset of consumers are highly motivated by roaming rates, there is competition in the mobile market throughout Europe. Yet for years international data roaming has remained criminally high and not at all based on cost. Competition has manifestly failed the consumer here. Even if there hasn't been under the table price fixing (and I would not be at all surprised if there had been) there has been tacit, let's not rock the boat, price correlation so even if we aren't quite in cartel territory it's a strong oligopoly effect.
Part of the difficulty is consumers seek convenience more than price advantage which means they do not organise around points of principle on the pricing of sub-services of larger services. High prices can be charged where many services are bundled. Consequently the competitive model we learned about in A Level economics doesn't work and economies of scale are leveraged to deliver bigger profits to the incumbent big business, not the consumer. So we have Supermarkets charging more for fruit and veg than street markets, and the giant B&Q in New Malden charge more for nails and just about everything else than the tiny but superb Cunningham's local hardware store 5 mins away in Raynes Park (yes, plug, no, I have no relationship to them) where you can still buy nails and screws by the gram and buy just a single gram if you prefer. And when business do really bad things consumers still flock to them. Like Sainsbury's in Chelsea, where years ago they were only allowed to build in the Chelsea Harbour area if they built a supermarket of architectural merit and didn't spoil the feel of the neighbourhood with an excessive outward projection of corporate branding. The architect Richard Rogers won the design competition with an inspired and subtle Egyptian design. But the council's lawyers weren't smart enough with the contract. Sainsbury's opened the store for one weekend with the Richard Rogers exterior design, thus fulfilling their contract obligations, then immediately closed it ripped out the brand recessive exterior and replaced it with their normal bright orange corporate branding. If consumers acted on principle, locals would not have frequented the store. Sainsbury's actions were unconscionable, they were clearly negotiating in bad faith and their actions were akin to a big f**k y** to the local community. But of course, depressingly, that is not the case. The store was popular from the outset.
A Google presents the results for terms relevant to a subset of pages across multiple web sites. These sites on the other hand present what is often little more than a new front end for the complete content of a site owned by other people, the contents of which they present under their own front end. I've noticed many websites do something similar with tech question and answer format websites, so you find e.g. the same Stack Overflow question and answer thread republished in its entry multiple times over. It's easy to deal with if Stack Overflow is in the list, just go to Stack Overflow, but for other websites where they are not so well established, often it is difficult to know who the true source is. The true source will find it difficult to build and maintain a brand. They don't get all the credit they deserve for their work. Also often the clones have bad performance which is really bloody annoying if you are grazing across multiple results (though of course the originals also often have bad performance, but it is worse for the clones). I find it rather annoying when websites do this, plus I personally think it is wholly wrong. Ditto the same problem encountered when booking hotels (especially when you can't find the authentic hotel website and all the others deliberately hide the telephone number because they don't want you going direct to the hotel, when and the telephone number for the hotel is all you want to f*!%*ing well look-up). ditto when booking theatre tickets.
Re: it all depends ...
@MyBackDoor a reasonable sounding supposition for the cynical... Without a shred of (non-circumstantial) evidence to support it. If you check out Lawrence Lessig's short TED book, Lesterville, or his longer Republic Lost, you will find an extremely convincing argument for how money works and corrupts the US political system. Anyone elected to the Senate quickly learns money is required to survive and political lobbyists are the source. The Capitol as a business runs almost completely on income from lobbying.
Yet it is well known of all the major tech companies Apple spend by a long way the least on political lobbying. Such is a legacy of Steve Jobs, who, character that he was, had to all accounts, something of a "f*** y**" attitude to giving politicians money. Indeed the two companies who are amongst those spending the most are Google and Amazon. So, amongst those who understand how the political money system works, there is greater registration of eyebrow lift when the Amazon eBook case is mentioned. Just recently Barnes and Noble have announced they are abandoning the Nook eBook reader business earlier than expected and this is because Amazon was granted permission to rip up Agency model contracts and heavily discount eBooks such that all competition is essentially being snuffed out.
Business Week point out Donna Tart's gripping new novel "The Goldfinch" Kindle price is $7.50, Nook price $14.99. This is the second, classic monopolist step the anti-trust commission was set-up to detect and eliminate. Step 1. Control the market. Step 2. Reduce prices and margins to an extent others can't match to drive them out the market (or out of business). Step 3. Raise prices.
Of course we have no evidence yet for step 3, but on that one, when there is no effective competition, cynicism *is* justified.
Re: Someone in the US needs to grow a brain and actually use it
Some people love to twist history. For years I've been hearing arguments about how Android just happened to look like the iPhone but had been under development for years, so the similarities were just co-incidental. But in the recent book "Dogfight," Google's Chris DeSalvo, working on the Android project, admitted what those who were attentive the first time round already knew. On first seeing the iPhone he said:
“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.’”
People forget Samsung shamelessly copied the iPhone physical design and proved by the point by radically changing their phone style only after they were sued by Apple. Before they changed their style, many of the more vociferous Android users were claiming the similarity was purely co-incidental and Apple had no right to protect it's design language and were bastards for attacking Samsung on that basis. Yet once the S3 was launched and Samsung suddenly had their own design language, the same users were suddenly proclaiming how wonderful it was and how there is no need to copy stupid Apple. They completely (deliberately) failed to see the simple reality that Samsung changed their strategy and proved Apple's point there was no need to copy, only after being sued. Copyright lawyers have a phrase for what Samsung were doing. It is called "camping on" a competitors design.
I'm not saying Apple are whiter than white. These are competitive businesses and everyone has to, to some extent, copy good ideas to compete. However there is a difference between copying a good idea seeking to improve it and executing a new design whilst doing the copying and shamelessly "camping on" a competitors design hoping some of the brand value they have built will rub-off and give you a boost. The former is competing, that latter is unfair, cheesy and wholly lacks class.
Personally I think it is good that a business can ensure it's designs remain distinct. Nokia didn't ever feel the need to copy Apple and style wise they have kept a distinct identity and with regard to hardware design have always been streets ahead of Samsung. As a consequence they garner respect. Sony too are beginning to return to the design strength they once had. As a consequence of the laws being as they are, users aren't fooled by cheap knockoffs a business doesn't get it's design language diluted to the degree it would otherwise be and, some will disagree with this statement, but overall when a company can build a distinct readily identifiable style and identity I think that helps consumers too. I like it that I don't live in a country filled with cheap knock of signage like "McDibbles" or sellers touting crappy counterfeit £70 "iPhons." By all means sell cheap phones, just don't "camp on" the brand another business has worked hard to build.
Re: @SuccessCase (was:Theory)
@jake, Yep it's ignorant conjecture. I alluded to as much in my comment but I guess some people never tire of the opportunities the Internet serves up to find ways to be rude about what others have said. However given now multiple artichokes have exploded - apparently without an explosive device being placed within them, it's kind of fun and would almost be rude *not* to conjecture. There is a mystery to be answered. As for your reasoning I'm not sure farming equipment is so accurate as that there is a guarantee that for all the millions of artichokes grown, fertiliser never gets on the head of the plant. This is after all an exceptional event, so we can expect it is brought about by exceptional, but nevertheless feasible, conditions. How about that at the end of the greenhouse row, the fertiliser feed pipe comes down a vertical and every now and then an end of row artichokes head gets leaked over with fertiliser when it grows against the pipe ? But one piece of conjecture as to how there could be a high level exposure. And while I now remember precious little of my O'Level chemistry, I do know fertiliser + sugar can in the right combination equal explosion. A chemist might be able to easily show my amateur thinking to be way off base, and I don't necessarily believe it myself anyway, but I'm not sure your rebuttal is any less ignorant conjecture than my own so in ignorance we are united.
Not probably not from ground water by osmosis, but washed into the flower from rain or dew after fertiliser has gotten onto the artichoke head is a possibility as the artichoke leaves make a good water trap. Normally before flowering they would be quite well sealed, but since this is a rare event, we can suppose some abnormality is at play. So, for example, perhaps a insect chomped it's way in, making a neat channel for capturing phosphene rich water in the centre of the artichoke (which due to it's shape would make a very good water trap). A few days of sun warming the artichoke head and the water evaporates off leaving a more concentrated phosphene residue. Additionally since it will be flowering at some stage, sugars in the form of nectar will be migrating to the inner surface of the leaves. I'm making this up, but it doesn't seem wholly far fetched.
This is Italy we're talking about:
"That's a nice wife you have there. It looks to me like you need insurance in case she has an accident."
"I don't need insurance."
"Everyone needs Mr Corleone's insurance. You never know when she might come across one of life's surprises, you know, like an exploding vegetable."
"An exploding vegetable? Get outa here."
"Your choice tough guy."
"Mine hits concrete at least 3 times a week"
If I were you I would see a neurologist and get a check-up done on your nervous system - or drink less.
"Is it conceivable that Chitika's ads are not the whole of advertising on the net?"
Of course you know the answer to that already. They are nothing like the whole of advertising on the web. But it's clear what you are trying to suggest is a little disengenious as the relevant question is if there is any reason to suppose there will be any bias in their numbers. Since Chitika's figures come from ad impressions served via the web, the answer is, "not particularly." There may be some subtle biases based on if Chikita ads tend to be placed more with websites appealing to a particular demographic. For example research has shown iPhone use is higher amongst young, higher educated professionals with higher levels of income (true) so if Chitika ad packages are preferred by websites catering more for this demographic, there will be a bias in the result.
Rik Myslewski: "should tamp down some "Peak Apple" rumblings"
What is this, civil war in The Register's editorial dept? Either that or it's a bit of a cheek considering it is The Register that has been publishing an ongoing stream of articles with the "Peak Apple" phrase in the headline, not anyone else.
Re: Rockstar claims to be independent from Apple and Microsoft
"I think Google's entire revenue stream has come from adverts"
Google have software patents in number of areas. 1) around link analysis which was central to the success of their search engine. 2). Their adwords patents cover the process for bidding for adwords, the key USP for their ad-platform which was the central reason their ad platform excelled over Yahoo's offering. These patents are pure software patents. Yahoo would dearly love to have implemented an adwords competitor but didn't and had to leave the business to Google.
"They have never attacked with patents"
Nonsense, Motorola have initiated multiple patent actions against multiple parties. More incidentally than either Apple or Rockstar. The US Trade department and EU commission have both found their attacks to be an "abuse of a dominant position."
"which is why MS et all formed Rockstar - so that they could attack Google"
You have ignored the fact Google were invited to join the consortium but declined.
"You seem to be supporting the school bully because someone is fighting back so they must be the aggressor which is frankly bollocks."
Neatly ignoring the logic of fact that Google hold software patents on Adwords predating any of this. Do you really think Google would not have sued Yahoo if Yahoo implemented adwords functionality when Google was eating their advertising revenues for breakfast?
And the fact is Google have form as a serial bully steamrollering IP owned by other companies and individuals. Youtube was built on copyright infringement (and recognising that they had to set aside a multi-billion dollar legal fund to fight the sue balls they were expecting but have since mitigated the risk by amending their policy and partnering with content owners). Google images is mostly a destination in itself and utilised copyrighted images without permission (but individual owners aren't bothered enough and the images aren't worth enough to sue over - take 1 cent off every user and, if you're Google, nothing will happen to you). Google maps cars were slurping private data with impunity and even hacking WiFi router security to do so (and it eventually emerged Google had lied about it being a management policy that they should do this). Let's not even start on what they were initially pushing for with Google Books. Then having grown a culture of operating with impunity, they copy functionality implemented patented by another big business and act all offended when they get sued... Bear in mind, in the recent book "Dogfight," Google's Chris DeSalvo 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.’”
and you are seriously claiming Google were an innocent happy company going along minding their own business and would not have sued other companies infringing their server side software patents and Apple had no right to defend against Google infringements? Google are a fiercely competitive commercial entity that has steamrollered any business they think they can, and roundly abused IP owned by others until they bumped into Apple. I'm not claiming Apple are any better here (as you seem to be claiming for Google). I on the other hand, am merely pointing out they are businesses and this is the playing field on which they are competing and the proposition Google are some cuddly defender of the rights of independent engineers is woefully misguided.
Re: Rockstar claims to be independent from Apple and Microsoft
Before multiple techies leap onto horses with 100ft long legs, let's not forget:
1) Google only complain about software patents on clients devices. Their entire business and core revenue stream was founded on software patents for Adwords. At the same time as claiming they were against software patents, strangely, they didn't mention or condemn their own.
2) Google were invited to join the Rockstar consortium on the basis the patents were a risk to the industry as a whole and if all the major tech companies bid together they could simply be taken out of contention (at least for the major tech companies), but Google chose not too join.
3) Google bid for the Nortel patents directly. Their thinking was probably that their patent position on client devices was weak and they needed the ammunition. But famously after a bizarre bidding strategy involving bidding amounts corresponding a variety of well known mathematical constants they lost the auction.
4) Many of the Motorola patents are held in patent holding companies to so they can leverage different legal jurisdictions. So really Google are complaining about the size of the holding company which holds patents that are effectively owned by a mother company (or companies) in order to obtain maximum leverage through legal channels. Not sure that their own holding companies are a smaller means they have a justifiable argument.
5) Motorola (owned, of course, by Google) are currently suing more companies for patent infringement than Rockstar.
So this strategy is hardly coming from a company in a superior moral position.
If you spend your time throwing shit for hits you end up smelling of it.
You've supplied your own crotchetiness, but something is missing. Ah, I know, here's a virtual stick to wave at random strangers:
"Another analysts guess based on no data ... no news here then."
Spot on, the latest data is showing 5C sales are picking up nicely.
From what I have read, I strongly suspect the hold-up is more simply a battle of wills over a single important issue of business principle rather than being a simple matter of meeting on percentages. China mobile want a cut not just of sales of the handset, but of Appstore revenue and Apple have said, that's none of your business and we're not discussing it. China mobile are probably under the impression pressure will build on Apple as time goes on and they will cave. I expect there is an entry on the terms sheet saying Appstore revenue and followed by a percentage figure. I expect Apple have simply been returning the term sheet with that line struck out and that is where the negotiation has stalled.
A different cultural/market perspective could well be contributing to the impasse. China mobile being immersed in the Chinese market, see Android as a defining force and think it will be putting pressure on Apple. Apple, not being interested in the low end or even low to middle of the mid-range, don't see need to pay homage at the church of market share. China mobile will have thought pressure was building at about the point the Samsung 4S was launched, as it seemed like Apple were being marginalised globally and will have thought they just needed to wait. But in reality there is a more subtle dynamic and Apple's grip of the high-end market has been strengthening and that is the market where most of the profit is (all other handset manufacturers other than Samsung have combined profit share in negative numbers). Apple have in fact been continuing to make strong gains *in the market they want.* In Japan for example, after they shook on the NTT DoCoMo deal, they now have 75% share of the market, and whilst China and Japan are obviously very different, there is less difference when you are looking just at the high end segments of the market Apple are interested in (it is just a significantly smaller share of the entire market in China). Additionally the proportion of 5C sales has been increasing steadily (all the latest data in fact contradicts what this analyst is saying).
If I'm right about the reason for the impasse, China mobile may realise where Apple are coming from and agree the deal, or maybe they will continue to be confident Apple will have to cave them because of the value of the Chinese market to them. And on the other hand of course, perhaps Apple will cave, after all, there is no place for dogged principles when you're just talking about percentage shares of revenue even when there is a principle at stake for where that revenue is taken from.This is hardly big moral principles to be defended here; it isn't an arms deal. It's about making money.
I can't help but think this stand-off is actually highly symbolic of the global power struggle between the US and China. If the deal is concluded because Apple caves on such an issue, it's a symbolic moment. The only problem is, we are unlikely to get precise confirmation of the reason for the dispute or details of the agreed terms for years.
Great tip, thanks. I've been looking for something approaching F355 challenge for a while now. I've never been engaged by the desire to master a game as much as that one. As said, technically Forza and GT have all the ingredients, but somehow the cake they bake is too sanitised and anodyne. Its really frustrating to see it all there on the screen but just not get into it and feel it in the same way as with F355.
GT, Forza. Fantastic technical feats but defeated by their own in game aids designed to ensure you can always succeed. For me, nothing has matched the visceral adrenaline rush of Ferrari F355 Challenge on the Sega Dreamcast. Its a shame so few get to know the pleasure of having to play and improve for hours, just to be able to hang on to the rear of the field. The fact there was only one car and the physics modelled so obsessively meant you really got to know, feel and finally master driving the car. The physics so accurate that after much focussed practice you could actually learn how the gyroscopic effect of a spinning engine could be used so you hold a line in through a corner and steer with the accelerator and the fact the physics made it feel intuitively so right, so true to what you expect of the real word. The fact you simply couldn't win on the difficult setting without customising the car set-up for each course and they way Sega provided just the right tools and level of analysis to be able to do so but remain focussed on the main task - racing.
There is nothing you can do in F355 that you can't do or find in GT or Forza, but the framework the sound, the unforgiving nature of the simulation, the way the game improves with the driving aids off. The subtle yet brutal shift in the car chassis relative to the road as you change gear (an effect which GT and Forza unforgivably failed to emulate for years and one which contributed so much to making you feel like you were actually there in the action. GT and Forza always felt sanitised annoyingly smooth after F355). When you can finally overhaul the field and place first, the sense of achievement is unparalleled and provides so much more satisfaction than I have felt playing any graphically or more sophisticated racing game since. The only flaw (and it was a damned annoying one) was a drift bug (at a guess, for performance reasons, the result of simplified bezier trigonometric calculation) which meant that if you deliberately put the car in a drift and caught the right angle, it could be made to unrealistically accelerate around the corner. The angle of drift required to make this happen was unrealistic and unnatural enough that I was able to ignore the presence of the bug and play the game as thought the cheat was not available, but it meant the online leaderboards were, for the purist, entirely pointless (and unfortunately the Dreamcast wasn't powerful enough to support head-to-head online play).
"I'll even forgive that "never has been" could be construed to mean that Apple's iPhone 5 sales were greater during the 3 launch days of the S4 when I'm pretty sure over those particular 3 days that wasn't the case."
Check the Asymco link I provided. If you do you will see the iPhone 5 sales *were* greater over the opening weekend than the S4 by quite some margin (about 1/3). iPhone 5S sales were, of course, greater again.
Re: who are counterpart?
"From Cnet: "Counterpoint's monthly Market Pulse report culls its sales data from surveys of major retailers and distributors across 33 countries."
Too true, one retailer these companies don't include data from in their survey results is the Apple Store (Apple won't respond to such surveys any more than they respond to The Register). So they end up being a skewed representation of sales only via independent channels. Independent channels account to close to 100% of Samsung handset sales and 50% of Apple handset sales (half of all iPhone sales are through the Apple Store) So you then get your answer as to why it is the picture mobile industry surveys paint so often diverges quite radically from the picture you get when you take (the far more accurate) global sales figures released by Samsung and Apple as public listed companies (see my post below - remember it's a Fellony offence to lie about sales figures if you are a public listed company, they are comparatively far more accurate, though practices such as reporting sales into channel rather than sales to end users need to be accounted for). The biggest problem with the figures these companies produce is that they don't report them frequently enough or with enough granularity for the public to be able to do apples for apples comparisons. However there are some highly salient figures reported for the question this particular article raises (again see below).
I'm not in the habit of making false claims or making claims that can't be substantiated.
"For the iPhone 5 [note: not 5S] its sales for the second half of 2012 were 74.7 million units" (so 6 months)
If Samsung's CEO is to be believed (and Samsung have form for "massaging" their figures upwards), the Galaxy S4 has sold 40 million over 7 months. The few data points Samsung have provided paint a picture of rapidly slowing sales for the S4:
10 million total sales in less than first month
20 million total sales after first two months
30 million total sales after first 4 months (so rate of sales has halved from opening two months)
40 million total sales after first 7 months
The S4 figures I've given above can be determined from here:
So it's clear this doesn't get close to matching the iPhone 5 sales, let alone 5S sales, which are much higher than the 5.
However also note: the Samsung CEO provided his figures verbally and without qualification, so, given the evidence Samsung habitually fluff up their figures, I think it is quite likely he will have been counting orders as sales and rounding up his figures. It is also well known when they do publish figures, they give them for sales into channel (so sales to suppliers, not end users) which are will be quite a lot higher than sales made to end users (up to about 15% higher). Apple sales figures are into channel for handsets they supply to phone companies. For handsets they sell through the Apple store the figures are sales to end customers (globally Apple Store sales account for about half of their iPhone sales).
Also it's notable that the market was smaller when the iPhone 5 launched, so relatively speaking it's performance is even stronger than the total sales figures suggest.
"Apple's flagship iPhone 5s has been the world's top-selling smartphone for two months in a row."
Makes it sound like the S4 was at some point the top seller. It never has been. Before the 5S the iPhone 5 was selling more as well. Samsung sell more smartphones overall, when their non-Galaxy lines are taken into account. However their flagship phone has never outsold Apple's flagship phone in any quarter by quarter comparison. The figures have to be estimated somewhat, since Samsung don't release their sales figures (and there's only one reason for that, and it's not because the figures compare well). But even being kind to Samsung in the estimates, it's clear the flagship falls short by quite a margin.
Especially since Apple only sell 50% of iPhones through independent suppliers. The rest the sell through the Apple Store. Samsung sell almost all their handsets through independent suppliers. So the fact it is the top selling phone in these stores and the 5C is in two out of 4 as well, is actually quite stunning. No wonder Samsung have been holding Galaxy S4 sales crisis meetings (having said that, they are still doing better than everyone other than Apple of course).
Also 75% market share of the Japanese phone market, continuing to take market share off Android in the US the UK as well and all the rumours indicate a deal has been inked with China mobile. Yes the statistics have are showing remarkable resilience in Apple handset growth and as developed nations markets have become saturated, customer switching intention is proving a decisive factor resulting in more users switching to iOS from Android than from iOS to Android. Check out Asymco, Horace Dediu has been excellent and deep analysis of the factors at play.
"Well, at least it wasn't a court a few miles from Apple's HQ, with an all-American judge and jury and a jury foreman with an axe to grind and no real knowledge of IT."
No instead it is a court in a country where an ex Samsung chairman was convicted of c.$100 million fraud TWICE (once a dodgey bond issue to gift the company to his grandson, the other time pure and simple tax evasion) and was gifted a suspended sentence both times with his political connections being the only possible explanation for why he got off so lightly.
I have no problem with Chromecast being what it is and I too would happily buy it if I was in the Google ecosystem. Where I do have an issue with though is how they have been playing to the gallery whilst exercising rank hypocrisy on the subjects of Open Source software, Openness in general, Software Patents and issues around Privacy. If they were honest on these subjects, I would have no problem with them at all.
For example regarding software patents, they have said they are against them (fair enough and an entirely valid position) but fail to mention their entire business was founded and valued on the basis of their adwords software patents. So they seem to think software patents are OK as long as they aren't on client devices (where they have strong competitors and where their competitors have them at a disadvantage re: patents). They said they are pro Open Source, but again they are only pro Open Source when talking about client devices where they want such devices to connect to their centralised services, which are far from open. Additionally they have been steadily pushing value into upper layers of Android (e.g. the Play-Store component), so Andy Rubin's definition of open applies to less and less. They are in other-words implementing a workaround to take control of what they sold to the developer community as a commitment to openness. Again there would be nothing wrong with what they have done, if they weren't playing lip-service to lofty ideals to get applause from the gallery but then behaving differently.
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