2759 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011
Where has Apple been "making noise" about tying the two together?
Apple has a vested interest in NOT collecting data because they don't make their money pushing ads at you, that's Google and Facebook, they make their money on hardware.
iBeacon is not forced you on, it is intended to be something (some) people will want, because if you visit a store it can alert you to specials, direct you to a specific area (if you want to know where the light bulbs are, or whatever)
If Apple devalues the customer experience by pushing ads in your face or selling your data, fewer people will want to buy iPhones. Given the margin they make on those there's no way they could make up for that shortfall by pushing ads or selling data. Google, by contrast, loses money on Android sales (they have the cost of developing it, but get no royalties from Android sales) so the only way it is profitable for them is all the data they collect on its users, and ads they can shove in the face of users of Google services.
Re: CurrentC dead on arrival
I don't think it would matter much if Apple does approve the app. What's in it for the customer? They don't save money, they don't gain privacy (they probably lose some, actually) and they don't gain convenience (how is paying with an app easier than swiping a card?)
Unless you (stupidly, IMHO) believe Walmart will go so far as to stop accepting credit/debit cards and only accept Walmart cards, CurrentC and cash there's no way this gains acceptance from consumers because the advantages are only on the side of Walmart, with nothing for the consumer. If they try like the old web based Google Pay and whatever that copycat effort from Microsoft/Bing was called to bribe people into using it with discounts, it'll be used so long as the discounts are there. I haven't paid with Google Pay for years (I don't know if it even exists anymore, actually) since I stopped when the discounts ended. Ditto for that Bing payment thing.
If Walmart gave me 10% off buying with the CurrentC app sure I'll download and use it. The minute the discounts stop, that app will begin gathering virtual dust and tumbleweeds on my phone.
I don't think there's any chance Walmart stops accepting credit cards and only accepts CurrentC or cash. Probably the vast majority of their customers use credit/debit cards today, and while they could surely induce some of them to switch via a Walmart branded charge card or CurrentC app, many people will be unwilling to do so and would simply shop at Costco or Target if they preferred not to have to carry in cash to shop Walmart.
Not accepting Apple Pay or Google Wallet is not a problem, since no one is shopping there that way today. Cutting off use of credit/debit cards that most of their customers use would be a huge deal, and there's no way they'd take that risk no matter how much they want to gather data on customers. They can always use the tried and true loyalty program to gather the data regardless of how their customers pay.
I guess if you don't understand why people choose Apple over Android you have to fall back on tired stereotypes like "the object of owning is largely to demonstrate your wealth".
I don't think there's any positive or negative moral qualities to pursuing profit versus market share, they are two different approaches to business. Apple definitely does try to maintain a high end image, though calling them a "luxury good" stretches the definition, at least in first world countries.
Regardless, because Apple has a different approach to what market it is targeting with its devices, and is the only seller of iPhones, versus one of many many sellers of Android phones, means they are much less vulnerable to Xiaomi than Samsung is. A Xiaomi phone is essentially an exact substitute for a Samsung phone, unless you value TouchWiz or the "S-xxx" features Samsung added (in an attempt/hope to make Samsung owners want to stick with Samsung in the future) It is only a substitute for an iPhone in a more broad sense (both are smartphones, able to run apps, etc.)
There are already some pretty inexpensive Android phones that compare to the high end Androids like GS5 and HTC One. Xiaomi is only lowering the price for that, but people who aren't switching to Android to get a $300 phone probably won't be swayed when Xiaomi ventures out of China and sells them for $200. Considering how much time you use your smartphone each day, that difference amounts to less than a penny per minute of use. If it was something you only used an hour a month it would be much harder to justify to oneself.
Ara will fail
They're going to be inherently more flaky - even Google has been embarressed during presentations, the phones don't work right!
It will never be cost effective to make a modular phone that can have individual components replaced. Let's say you want to upgrade to a higher resolution screen. You not only have to replace the display, you have to replace the SoC since the graphics is part of it. If you replace the SoC you probably have to replace other stuff, too.
Even something as simple as replacing RAM chips to upgrade memory is very hard to be cost effective. You have to socket them, which uses up more space and you give up performance (socketed connections can't be clocked as high) and reliability (socketed connections are less electrically stable than soldered - same reason as why they can't be clocked as high)
Then there's the matter of who is going to do it. How many people are comfortable opening up their PC and upgrading the RAM? I suppose the unwashed masses could rely on a handy friend to do it, but if those who don't have such a friend would have to pay someone. In phones that cost $100, is paying someone $20 and buying RAM for $20 really worth it?
Google would be much better off trying to get people to recycle phones than trying to make them upgradeable. All electronic goods, including PCs and laptops, are less upgradeable/repairable than they were a decade ago, or two decades ago, and there are reasons for that trend which aren't "because big companies are trying to screw us and make us buy new stuff all the time".
Re: Robots don't pay income taxes either...and you can't buy their votes.
Robots "pay taxes" if the profits of the robot's owners are taxed.
The logic pushed from the right in the US is that the lower the taxes are on rich people, the more they'll have to and be willing to invest, which will create jobs. This tends to fall down in the modern world, where those jobs might be in China whose workers don't pay US taxes, or jobs for robots who pay taxes to no one.
Xiaomi is killing them
They make phones that are comparable to the GS5 but sell it at a third of the price. Samsung's low/mid range phones look like a joke compared to that, and their high end phones look expensive compared to that. When Xiaomi starts expanding out of China Samsung is going to be in some real trouble.
I wonder if Xiaomi will introduce a phablet with a stylus, so they can kill the Note as well?
Apple is going to break their record sales handily this quarter. They're limited by production, and saying they might be so limited until the end of the year - that will be a first for them, usually the shortages clear up in a month or less. They'll reach a point eventually where their YoY comparisons stop showing growth, but they're at least a couple years from that since all the iPhone owners who wished for larger screens but weren't willing to go to Android for that have a very reason to upgrade.
High end phones are still being upgraded on a two year cycle. Tablets are a different matter, and probably upgraded on more of a PC/laptop cycle. Apple is close to selling its 600 millionth iPhone, so even if the average upgrade cycle across all iPhone owners is three years, that still leaves room for quite a bit more YoY sales growth.
Re: I don't fully understand this
What he's trying to say is that MCX members won't pay payment processing fees because MCX will BE a payment processor. However, being owned by its members, they won't pay transaction fees. They'll probably pay some sort of largish yearly membership fee that pays for its operation, which will keep it restricted to only large retailers.
I wouldn't look for fraud prevention to be high on their priority list, since they'll be drawing directly from people's bank accounts they have little incentive to care. It'll be your problem, not theirs.
Kim Kardashian will be pleased!
Re: Hippo Farts
That memory was erased from my brain, or at least I would have thought so since I haven't thought about that since the day I watched the video. Until you reminded me!
This will follow the usual path for such things. Offer the option, and see not many people are willing to pay. Start throwing on more and more ads and making them more and more annoying to induce people to pay.
The uploaders determine where to put video, not downloaders, and since Youtube pays them (maybe more with the subscriptions) where the alternatives don't they'll continue uploading there, so freeloaders will suffer more and more until they're forced to pay up or give up.
Its really only one step above how Windows highlights the newly installed apps in the Start Menu. It isn't asking to be made your default browser, or asking "hey, why the hell didn't you use Safari?" every time you start up Firefox. Comparing it to what Microsoft did in the 90s where they went out of their way to insure that IE was your default browser and borked web standards so web sites would only look correct in IE is ridiculous.
I agree though that Jobs would not have appreciated it asking at all. If you just upgraded your OS, you can pretty much assume that all built-in applications have been updated, Safari included. It shouldn't bother the user with reminders. If they prefer another browser so be it. Apple isn't trying to subvert web standards and make Safari the only browser capable of viewing the web.
I admit that sounds annoying, but wouldn't it have taken you less time to click "OK", then immediately exit the browser once it started so it wouldn't ask again later, instead of writing that post?
Re: Still refusing to admit
It is only if you do the upgrade wirelessly that you need all that free space. If you upgrade within iTunes you only need 1 GB free.
They were already using silver bullets - silver is one of the metals commonly used in lead free solder :)
Re: But does it bend?
The Note 4 bends where the Note 3 didn't, and the main difference is the metal band. So this may bend as well. It would be equally as irrelevant as it is with the iPhone 6 though, unless you deliberately try to bend it or are in the habit of keeping it in your back pocket and then sitting on it.
Log structured writes will eliminate write amplification
But you can't go below 1.0, at which point you're still bound by the same restrictions as everyone else. Unless they think they have a magic way of erasing each block 5000 times that everyone else can only erase 500 times.
They're probably banking on most customers not actually writing at anything close to the rates they probably believe (once DBs are out of the picture) especially when write cache hits reduce the amount of write data actually saved to the underlying storage.
I'll bet their strategy is as follows: Their SSDs will still have blocks that can only be erased/rewritten 500 times, but that's fine because they'll know when blocks start failing (cutting into the overprovisioning) and can easily do an advanced replacement of the SSDs before they actually fail. For that small fraction of customers who really do have a write rate far too high for TLC, they can silently swap in some higher priced MLC drives and thereby avoid having to swap their drives 3x a year.
When I got SSDs at home I was bit worried about the lifetime, but seeing as SMART thinks I've still got over 90% of the life left after several years it looks like I greatly overestimated my own "full disk write" rate :)
Easy way around the law
If the spy organizations in the US and the UK were actually held to laws that prevented spying on their own citizens, they could spy on each other's citizens, and share the data with each other.
100 meters for cat5e at 5 Gbps?
That would be useful, since currently cat5e maxes out at gigabit speeds, or at least isn't rated for 10GbaseT but may work on shorter runs. Cat6/6a is rated for 10GbaseT, so the utility of 5 Gbps for it is debatable unless 10GbaseT is significantly more expensive to implement for some reason.
I'm sure its not all that cheap today, but that's always true for next gen ethernet standards at first. If this splits the market between 10GbaseT and "NbaseT" it will only increase costs of both by reducing the production quantities of each. More likely if Cisco is successful in pushing this, before long we'll see 10G/5G/2.5G/1G/100M/10M autonegotiation chipsets so it won't end up mattering much.
Seems like people are no longer putting their trust in the 802.3* working groups, considering I've heard of fiber standards for 40 and 100 Gbps, but proposals to push 25, 50, and 400 as alternative standards as well as these alternative copper standards.
I've seen it work well
For IT support, I think having the customer facing call centers offshored doesn't matter at all so long as they speak good enough English without too thick of an accent (Central America seems to work better than India, in other words, for US support, and wages are similar between the two now anyway)
For back end support, having the lower end support offshore in India isn't a big issue. A lot of that stuff is simple rote work that anyone can do, following a simple formula. When you get to higher levels of support for more complex problems where you might involve customers and/or vendors, it doesn't do well in India. Not that there aren't smart people there, but the really smart ones are in such demand they don't stick around very long and you end up with the ones who don't know enough to be able to move on to other jobs quite so easily. It is better having that last line of support local, especially if they're still located on site with the customer so they can develop relationships with them, etc.
The problem is, as pointed out earlier, where do you get those high level guys in the US (or UK or other expensive countries) once all the low level jobs have moved on? The ladder by which new IT workers in the US learn on the job and become high skilled is being removed rung by rung, so fewer are able to climb it each year.
Tragedy of the commons
Even if it was conclusively proven to everyone's satisfaction that offshoring lower skilled IT work removes the ladder by which local lower skilled IT workers learn on the job and eventually become higher skilled IT workers, it wouldn't stop offshoring.
Every company acting in their own self interest would continue to offshore if they believe it saves them money, because the benefit from a larger pool of higher skilled IT workers in the future don't accrue exclusively to them, but to all companies in their country. In fact, having spent less due to offshoring, their competitors could afford to outbid them for the talents of their (formerly) lower skilled workers when they become higher skilled!
Apple's gross margin has been running in the mid to high 30s the last few years. The majority of their sales are iPhones, which cost around $200 to build and sell for $600 and up, which would be a gross margin exceeding 70% if that were their only product and they had no costs for it other than manufacturing.
So clearly there are a lot of expenses against those margins that aren't accounted for in Jesper's naive assessment. But that's all we expect from him, he's not a journalist, he's just a fanboy who somehow got a job writing for The Reg.
I heard that Adblock is responsible, that it allocates some huge blocks of memory for each open tab. I haven't tried to verify this since even if that's true it isn't like I'm willing to browse without it.
Is internet service subject to VAT?
I suppose proposing it as a capless per gigabyte tax was a monumental fail, but with the cap is this really a big deal any more? We're talking barely two euros, isn't that 10% or less (unless they get REALLY good prices over there) which is quite a bit less than VAT...unless they're already paying VAT, in which case adding a tax on top of a tax would be kind of annoying!
Re: Hmmm.... Isn't this the political party
If that was (apparently) so easy to do, why didn't the previous party in power do that to keep themselves in power and keep these guys out?
Say what you will about the messed up system in the US, at least it is impossible for one party to rig and take over completely. Not that there is a huge difference between the two we have on some important matters, but even if one party nominated a complete whack job who started quoting Hitler during the final debate and 90% of people went for the other guy, he still can't pull a Beer Hall Putsch.
Re: Skype has stopped working
I think it is ironic and pretty hilarious that Americans are now more secure using Chinese internet services for VOIP than US services. And the reverse is true for Chinese citizens, except if the service gets big enough to be noticed the Great Firewall will block it.
Safari? You "pay" for it when you buy a Mac/iDevice, and since Apple makes their money off hardware rather than ads, you are still their customer, instead of their product, and they treat you a bit better as a result. Well, so long as you can get over not having any cheap options to obtain that hardware....
Pay more up front but not be tracked (or at least tracked much less) or save money up front but "pay" in the form of giving up privacy. Your choice.
What's the definition of "malware?"
He seems to be assuming anything that autoruns at startup but wasn't signed by Apple is malware. I'm sure a lot of applications install their own stuff, and I even have some of it on my Linux desktop - VMware starts up several processes automatically!
What if you install Photoshop and there's an Adobe process that runs on OS X at startup (I don't know if there is, just using as an example) If it just checks for updates, is it OK? What if it downloads the updates without asking, possibly taking up all your drive space if you were short? What if it has a bug in it where it deletes a failed download and re-downloads it over and over again so when you have a full drive it soaks your network bandwidth? What if it has a bug where it hits a spin loop and consumes 100% CPU? What if it uploads the MAC address of your computer back to Adobe? What if it records keystrokes during while you're running Photoshop, to help engineers fix bugs and improve the GUI? What if it has a bug where it keeps recording keystrokes after you're done, and uploads passwords to Adobe? What if that isn't a bug, but a backdoor some engineer put in on his last week of work hoping to tank the company when it became public?
Everyone has a different point in the above where they'd say it crosses the line into malware, but claiming anything related to something a user knowingly installed is "malware" conflates it with true malware, which is something you never intended to install or didn't install but it happened through a remote/web exploit.
Its not context switching per se that is slow, it is switching from user to privileged mode that is slow. That's not a particular failing of x86 though, that is a problem with all architectures and only gets worse as there is more hidden state as CPUs grow more complex.
Re: Article 32
I find it highly unlikely that the low paid workers are sifting through everything, or that they even exist. I'll bet they save all this metadata with their posts and do an instant database search, and made up the story about low paid workers to cover their butts, but of course I can't prove that it is just a feeling...
Does the app select the image or does the user? Maybe it selected the military image based on the location (if posted from a base) or based on previous military related stuff the guy has posted.
I haven't used this (and certainly never would now) so I don't know the details, but unless the Guardian guy was outright lying, the "we'll track him for the rest of his life" pretty much gives away what they're doing regardless of the finer points on how the Article 32 post was found.
Re: Article 32
This is indeed a military term but how likely do you think it is that when formulating the search query to find reports of sexual assaults they'd choose "Article 32" as one of them? Sure, it may make sense, but ONLY when viewed in hindsight.
There is none, unless like me and many others in the US you have only old fashioned mag strip cards so using Apple Pay would be more secure. Once we have EMV cards like the rest of the world, there is no reason to use Apple Pay over the card in your pocket. I've always said NFC was a solution looking for a problem, while there's a short term problem in the US of insecure credit card transactions it can fix, once you have a EMV card there's little point to paying with your phone.
The one exception might be how much purchase information others get. With Apple Pay the retailer gets none, and Apple doesn't keep a record of your purchases (they make their money on hardware, so we're their customers) I don't know whether the retailer gets any info with Google Wallet or a EMV card, but Google is definitely tracking the purchases you make using their Wallet. This is EXTREMELY valuable information to them, as it fills in the missing piece between search, web site visits (if using Chrome/Android), previous in store visits (if you're using Android) and purchase - every retailer's DREAM!
Anyone know for sure exactly what information the retailer gets on you if you pay via EMV card, either at the point of purchase, or get later from their payment processor? The one thing that would make me adopt Apple Pay would be if they still get my name or other unique ID information when I make a purchase with my card, as they get nothing but my one time token when I pay via Apple Pay. That would be worth changing my buying habits.
Plenty of retailer incentives for MCX
No fees, continuing gathering info on your customers, push ads at them...I can see why they don't like Apple Pay, it has the same fees as credit/card cards, and don't have any ability to know who is buying their stuff or advertise at them.
What exactly is the incentive for consumers to download this CurrentC app on their phone and scan codes or whatever it is they're supposed to be doing, instead of using the tried and true card or cash payment? I suppose they could offer you a small discount, giving back the fees that would otherwise go to the banks, but I ALREADY get cash back using my credit card, so whatever pittance they'd offer above that won't be worth it to me to get ads shoved in my face.
Plus I wonder how they'll deal with fraud...if my phone is stolen, and someone uses it to charge a bunch of crap at Walmart, do I get my money back? I doubt it, because there are laws that grant me zero liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but no such law for a special Walmart/CVS app that draws directly from my bank account! They'd tell me, "too bad, shouldn't have let your phone get stolen"
These retailers don't have to support NFC, and to be honest I don't really care if they do or not, and won't change my shopping patterns based on something like that. But if they make it more difficult for me to pay the way I choose to pay and try to force me into using their system, I can promise I'll never darken their door with my presence again!
Re: I see another patent trial...
Considering the Tab S came out a year after the iPhone 5S, probably not...
Besides, that one requires swiping your finger over, rather than simply touching the button like the iPhone/iPad, so they don't even operate the same way and would be covered by different patents (since "fingerprint reader in a tablet/phone" is not something you can patent, only the particular method with which it was implemented)
Re: But does it bend?
Pretty sure that if you applied the up to 150 pounds of pressure those tests were applying EVERY tablet made will bend and/or snap.
Re: A daily charge is fine IF...
The main problem with requiring a nightly charge is that it won't hit the sleep monitoring market. I don't know if that's a huge market, but a lot of people have sleep issues and being able to track them and possibly do something about them would be worth the price by itself to some people.
The other problem is that people who aren't used to wearing a watch might forget to put it on the next morning, and it'll end up in a drawer next to every other smart watch, or it'll end up as a glorified fitness band.
I still don't see the market for a smart watch, they'll sell some because the Apple solution will be nicely integrated and do a good job as a fitness watch - I've actually been considering buying one and holding off waiting to see what Apple offers. I can't see why I'd want to wear it the whole day, however, rather than only when I'm working out.
Until someone comes up with a killer app that makes people want to wear it all the time (and "getting alerted when I receive a text so I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket is NOT a killer app) it is yet another solution looking for a problem. Maybe it really is targeted more at China for the character drawing, and Japan for passing "touches" to each other. That latter could be popular among teenagers I suppose, depending on where you strap the watch and which side is facing out...talk about safe sex! :)
Re: Useless, expensive AND inconvenient, a genius idea
Kinetics can't generate nearly enough power. There's a reason why even dumb LCD watches have those little batteries in them, rather than using kinetics like their self-winding mechanical cousins.
Re: To SIM or not to SIM?
Huh? Logic fail.
Why would Apple introduce the Apple SIM at all, if the goal was to keep AT&T happy. Apple is the one who has been pushing carriers around (at least as much as anyone can) these past seven years. If the iPhone had never existed, there would be no such thing as rooting your Android phone to install generic Android. You'd get the carrier screwed version of Android, and that's it, just like the "good" old days before that bully Apple came along and told carriers where to stick it.
Re: I expect there are some that care.
iTunes is such a minuscule portion of Apple's revenue and profit it is unlikely any shareholders would notice the effect if it went away entirely. A 1% drop in iPhone sales would cause 10x more investor panic than would shutting down iTunes tomorrow.
US government "approves" it for internal use, hoping everyone thinks "it must be pretty secure", then NSA has easy pickings spying on everyone using it due to the numerous Swiss cheese like holes in it.
They want customer data
Apple Pay doesn't give it to them, but why do I have a feeling the vendor supported CurrentC does...
Not sure what info Google Wallet passes, but one assumes Google is rather more concerned with keeping track of what you buy and when for their own purposes than giving away any info to the retailer, which would account for why they were blocked as well.
What did they say about George W Bush?
Born with a silver foot in his mouth? Ballmer bragging about making $250 billion as CEO is like a billionaire bragging about making millions a year - he could do that if he put it all in a savings account making 0.25% a year.
Re: This bears repeating here:
That's just an apologist excuse for Amazon's lack of profit. If this was such a great strategy every company would do it, because no one wants to pay taxes if they can help it. That's why Apple, Google and everyone else has that complex "double Irish" overseas tax strategy, why they leave money overseas instead of bringing it back to the US, etc.
If simply "investing everything back into the business" was a viable strategy, everyone from Apple to Exxon would be doing it - but they can't, because they make vast piles of money Bezos can only dream of and there's no conceivable way they could reinvest it all and avoid showing taxable income unless Apple started drilling for oil and entering every other business every company in the Dow 30 is in, and Exxon did the same along with designing their own smartphones and tablets.
What is the end game for shareholders? If I told you, "hey invest $100K in my new restaurant and you'll own 20% of it" but I always reinvested every penny back into the business so your 20% never provided you a penny of income, would you think you made a great investment? Maybe if you could find someone willing to pay you more than $100K for that 20%, but they might want to be assured they'll get some return from it, other than having to find someone willing to pay them even more.
At some point a business must make a profit for investment in it to be worthwhile, but now the apologists seem to have a way that can permanently excuse Amazon from ever making money. Forgive me if I inform you that investing in a company that will NEVER pay out dividends is a terrible idea. Well, it isn't a terrible idea, it is known as charity, but at least with charity you get a tax deduction and a warm fuzzy feeling for having helped out.
Re: $3,500 fine?
The more employees you have and the longer you go without getting caught, the better off you are with only a $3500 maximum fine!
Worst comes to worse, if you pay several hundred Indian workers $1.21/hr for a few years and you get hit with a bill for millions in back wages and compensation you can just declare bankruptcy, and start up another company doing the same business tomorrow and paying your workers $1.21/hr.
Re: Just more sleazy behavior
Which is sleazier, AT&T pulling the lock-in game, or Verizon not even participating?
It would be nice if such sleaziness was not rewarded, but they are the two largest carriers in the US so it doesn't seem to be hurting them that bad. Meanwhile you have T-mobile and Sprint trying to be...well....less evil than those two but it sure isn't helping them gain market share.
If there is such a case to be made, rest assured that Apple will make it, and they have pretty good lawyers (not the IBM Nazgul, but they know their way around a courtroom by now)
Re: Call me crazy but...
How is using Apple's SIM making you pay "rent" to Apple? They aren't charging you anything for it, it comes with the iPad. If you don't like it, take it out and throw it away, and use whatever SIM you want just like you would in any device that doesn't come with a SIM already present.
Re: Sort of defeats the object then
It is a standard SIM in a standard SIM slot. Of course you can replace it with your own. The Apple SIM is just a value add (well, if you choose a carrier other than AT&T) so you don't have to get a SIM from the carrier but can use the one that's already there.
I wonder if it would be possible for Apple to foil whatever AT&T is doing to lock down the SIM, or if it is part of the SIM protocol and there's nothing they can do about it?
I'm sure the intent is to get this working well enough that eventually they can do away with the hardware SIM and make it software (i.e. certificate based, so you could just copy bits from device to device to move your "SIM") which would totally remove the ability for carriers to "SIM lock" you in. I'm sure the carriers are going to do everything in their power to prevent that, and it looks like AT&T is off to a good start in that regard.
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