back to article Applelutely fappulous: Fashionistas bow down before the JESUS PHONE

Fashionistas are a rare sight at tech events, where the level of stylishness on display tends to be more dowdy bore than haute couture. But that could be set to change following Apple's decision to welcome the fashion set into its fruity fold for the very first time. Cupertino has invited a number of trendy folk to a not-so- …

This post has been deleted by its author

If we are going to anthropomorphise companies. I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks to buy the stuff you make, before you have even shown the world what that stuff is, it's a pretty good sign you're the cool kid already. But hey, I'm a techie and so tend to look for empirical evidence for things like cool, which is probably missing the point. I don't know. It's all very confusing.

What is very clear though, is that, by this measure, Samsung don't have any.

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What is your hypothesis that the measure you've chosen is representative of the state of "cool"? Why is that measure representative and not some other? Where do you derive your definitions?

I do suggest confirmation bias is a possibility here...

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Headmaster

"I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks....."

You might, I would not. Indeed, I might opine that such needy behaviour is the very antithesis of "cool".

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Anonymous Coward

What is your hypothesis that the measure you've chosen is representative of the state of "cool"? Why is that measure representative and not some other? Where do you derive your definitions?

I cannot but notice that you have not come up with any viable alternative metrics. I haven't either, but I'm not challenging the OP. If people like Kate Moss or Angela Jolie are spotted with a specific handbag, the shop that supplied it will have a run on stock, so tapping into the fashion world is a great idea as you end up with people doing the marketing for you - provided you play by its rules.

The two people the article referred to have been in that game for quite some time, so they are familiar with those rules. However, there is a very interesting caveat in fashion: it's possibly more free than Apple may be able to stomach.

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out for them.

Judging by the tone of the article it will greatly annoy Mr Hamill if it turns out a success :)

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OK Trevor, so let's call it "the thing that is measured by the number of people queuing outside your shop raised to the power of the length of time they have been prepared to queue, but which we don't know what it is, but which Samsung don't have any of even if it is a something."

Happy now?

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I have alternative metrics. I haven't yet determined their viability because I am still conducting experiments to verify the hypotheses. This is as opposed to deciding what the answer is and then reverse engineering a series of arguments and hypotheses that will (mostly) confirm it.

I am also not interested "gut feel" or any such things for determining what's cool, but rather taking advantage of all knowledge we have in fields like sociology, psychiatry and social dynamics. Suffice it to say that I have come to have reason to believe that "who uses a thing" is only a small portion of determining "cool".

For example, who isn't using a thing can be - often is - just as important. Also who can't use a thing. Humans determine social status and group membership far more by whom they can exclude rather than whom they can include.

I could go on, but it's really not worth the time. Go hit up Google Scholar. You might learn things...if you can see past your own biases and desires, that is.

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Re: "I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks....."

You would, but then you are posting a comment about being cool on a, frankly decidedly uncool technology website. What do you, or any of us, know?

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No, SuccessCase, I'm not "happy" with that any more than I was your previous attempt at confirming your beliefs. Substituting one random metric with another isn't science. It's target practice.

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Queuing is a real and tangible cost in time and comfort. So there is real and actual energy going in, for some reward real or psychological. If the reward is psychological, then that rather indicates the perception of cool. Since cool is not a tangible good, I can't see much else other than a perception by a significant portion of the community, can qualify it. I think your demand for an absolute measure of cool accords more tangibility to the concept than can ever be found. If the reward is physical then that means they are simply anticipating the iPhone 6 will be tangibly an extremely fucking amazingly good phone to a degree that makes it worth queuing. Take your choice (or a proportion of each) :)

Of course,I've simplified a bit, as there is some evidence the cost of queuing isn't quite what many assume. For some the reward for queuing is fungible, whether by the vehicle of publicity, or the click-through obtained from getting the first phone to use to video a smash test on the pavement outside the store or many other similarly weird ways of making money.

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SuccessCase; I don't dismiss the costs of queuing at all. I am simply widening my scope of consideration. Queueing, for example, is a social event. People queue for all sorts of things. Star Wars films they KNOW will be crap. Rockey Horror Picture Show. A viewing of "the Room'.

Consider, for example, that last one. "The Room". This is quite possibly the worst film ever made, but queuing up to see it is an honest-to-$deity thing in my town. People go to be part of the "experience'. Plastic spoons rain across the theatre. It is madness.

The movie is itself not terribly popular. It isn't "cool" to go see it, or to be seen seeing it. It is, however, a social "event' to participate in.

"Coolness" confers status...or at least is indicative of status. It is entirely possible for the purchase of something - or participation in things like queuing - not to confer status, but merely to serve as a sort of "ticket" for members to participate in a social experience.

Now, at what point does participating in a social experience become membership in a group? At what point is the group so large that "coolness" is no longer conferred by holding the ticket? Is there a middle ground where one is "cool" by virtue of participation? Or is "chasing cool"? Or is there something larger in the social dynamics under consideration such as tribalism?

Ah, tribalism. The defining element of being human. We are pack animals. In a world of 7 billion people, we will latch on to almost anything to obtain a sense of belonging. Of group participation. Of belonging. We'll even adopt a brand as a defining element of our personality.

That's called brand tribalism. And brand tribalism is - at least so far as I understand it, and as I define it - a completely separate thing from "cool".

So no, I don't accept "queuing up to get a product" as evidence of that product's coolness. Not on it's face. There are so many other things it could be that I take the time to analyses a lot of different things rather than simply seeing what I want - or don't want - to see.

Can you say the same?

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Re: "I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks....."

> you are posting a comment about being cool on a, frankly decidedly uncool technology website.

Posting on The Reg is for each of us only a small part of of respective lives. It is 'cooler' to have some individual interests than it is be 100% trendy.

What isn't cool is talking about cool, or trying to be cool. Apparently. I didn't make the rules.

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>Queuing is a real and tangible cost in time and comfort. So there is real and actual energy going in, for some reward real or psychological.

Everything costs time, so one has to consider what these people would be doing otherwise. Sitting at their work desks staring at a spreadsheet? It might be that the people in this queue are enjoying themselves in the company of fellow people. After all, a lot of time at festivals is spent just standing around in good-natured conversation with strangers.

The new iThingy just plays the role of a McGuffin, or as a souvenir. People will undertake the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage on foot, and will have a 'passport' stamped along the way to show that they ave done it.

There is a paradox here - the people in the queue are largely choosing to level their status to those queing with them ("We're all in this together") for a sense of camaraderie - whilst hoping to get a status symbol of sorts at the end of it.

As Obelix might say: Humans, they're all crazy!

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R69

People often use brands as a means of acquiring an identity for themselves. Personally i think its bollocks and I choose what I buy on the basis of quality

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People who talk about what is 'cool' (or not) and argue about what is 'cool' are definitely not 'cool'. I'll tell you what 'cool' is; .... oh .....

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@Trevor. Well for a start if you read my comments carefully I haven't actually said queuing means Apple is for that fact alone qualified as cool. What I have said it that it's likely to be a pretty good indicator. And the reason for my careful wording is, wait for it, I agree with you.

Queuing is not of itself not an indicator that x is queuing because y is cool. Nor do I disagree on your point about brand tribalism. I simply wouldn't say cool and brand tribalism are mutually exclusive. The presence of one far from rules out the presence of the other. And indeed brand tribalism isn't in and of itself cool.

Let's say, for arguments sake, James Bond is cool. He is at the centre of a social effect for that reason. He has a number of people in his circle and they all agree he is cool. Some follow him about, some, may even be cool themselves and don't follow him about. If out of every 20 people in his social circle, one is a fawning sycophant, then that hardly makes James Bond uncool. Far from it, it is totally consistent with him being cool. Uncool people tend not to get fawning sycophants following them about.

Now what do you think the population of iPhone users who queue is versus the total population of iPhone users? Additionally though queuing doesn't in and of itself indicate cool, given the above point, I I find it hard to substitute other reasons for the phenomena of Apple's brand tribalism. Clearly the iPhone 6 will not be a bad movie and attraction of the queue is not a purely social experience. It is being triggered by something and there is something about the nature of that thing that has seeded and continues to seed this rather interesting group psychological phenomena.

Your a clever chap so I'm sure you see my point, and at the end of the day, it does rather seem you are trying to simply dismiss the fact people queue outside Apple shops as evidence of anything other than a kind of disassociated social effect without root cause and that is simply, as it were, sui-generis. Hardly the explanation of a scientist.

One thing we should be able to agree on is given this exchange and discussion of cool, for sure, neither of us are.

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"it does rather seem you are trying to simply dismiss the fact people queue outside Apple shops as evidence of anything other than a kind of disassociated social effect without root cause"

Not at all. I just prefer to explore all possibilities before suggesting that "Apple must be cool". This is largely because "coolness" generally involves exclusion. This means I buy Apple during the early 2000s when it was a small club of fanatics as "cool". I'm less sure that applies now that it's mainstream. I think a further investigation is required.

"One thing we should be able to agree on is given this exchange and discussion of cool, for sure, neither of us are."

Well I sure as hell ain't.

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Boffin

@R69 - Identity

"People often use brands as a means of acquiring an identity for themselves. Personally i think its bollocks and I choose what I buy on the basis of quality"

And by doing that, you are also expressing your identity. Whereas others create the identity of "using apple iProducts", you create the identity of "Using quality products" (for your current definition of "quality").

Both are identities and there is nothing wrong with either, but it's not fair to say that you are not expressing your identity, you just do not do it in the same way as some other people.

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Pint

@Trevor

You say the room is possibly the worst film ever made. However, that is a very subjective statement. Almost the opposite of what @SuccessCase was suggesting. Besides which, many people (21,000) have rated The Room on IMDB to b3 3.5 stars out of 10. Certainly not the best ratings, I will grant you, but very much not the worst.

So, the argument you use defeats your own argument. Never seen that before, well done.

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Sorry Trevor, you're not being quite dismissive or patronising enough. Could you just turn it up a notch please.

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Coat

@SuccessCase - "Let's say, for arguments sake, James Bond is cool. He is at the centre of a social effect for that reason. He has a number of people in his circle and they all agree he is cool. Some follow him about, some, may even be cool themselves and don't follow him about."

I don't know much about cool, but what I do know is that if James Bond has a bunch of fans who follow him about, he will need to get a new job.

[Mine's the one with a Walther PPK in the pocket and "I am a secret spy" written on the back in Comic Sans bold]

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Anonymous Coward

Trevor, I love how you wade in to almost any topic with your own biased opinion (hey, we all have them) and whenever anyone calls you on it, you immediately say that they are biased and/or too stupid for you to waste your time on. You're on the Ted Dziuba tech journalism track I take it.

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quote: "I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks to buy the stuff you make, before you have even shown the world what that stuff is, it's a pretty good sign you're the cool kid already."

Food Aid vans. People will walk for days just to queue up for the chance of getting whatever random item is handed to them from the van.

Apple products are apparently less cool than bags of rice, using that metric. You heard it here first :)

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Happy

Re: if you can see past your own biases and desires, that is...

Wow, Trevor - touchy! Passive-aggressiveness (actually more aggressive than passive) is a reasonable indicator of 'Chip on the Shoulder' syndrome. But about what, I'm wondering? I honestly can't quite tell if you're pro-Apple here; your polemic was pretty wonky, and all I could be sure of was that the fairly humourous comment to which you responded seemed to touch a nerve. I'm not sure how or why. I do know that I certainly can't be arsed to use Google Scholar to ponce up my phraseology, though. Incidentally I have no opinion nor bias either way (whatever 'ways' these may or may not be).

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"I don't know much about cool, but what I do know is that if James Bond has a bunch of fans who follow him about, he will need to get a new job."

Okay, so he wasn't actually following Bond about, but I'll just leave this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Q35Pj6cvBGs#t=39

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Crossed wires?

I agree with most of what Mr Pott says, but I'm not sure what was objectionable in SuccessCase's original post, laden as it was with qualifiers such as 'a pretty good sign'. Observing a 'pretty good sign' is a prelude to the formal 'form a hypothesis and test it' scientific method.

'Quality' too is as fuzzy a term as 'cool' - an author of computer manuals wrote a book about it in the seventies. Perhaps 'fit for purpose(s)' would be closer to what we're getting at.

Pirsig became greatly troubled by the existence of more than one workable hypothesis to explain a given phenomenon, and, indeed, that the number of hypotheses appeared unlimited. He could not find any way to reduce the number of hypotheses—he became perplexed by the role and source of hypothesis generation within scientific practice. This led to his determination of a previously unarticulated limitation of science, which was something of a revelation to him.

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"You say the room is possibly the worst film ever made. However, that is a very subjective statement."

I don't say that because I personally think it's the worst film ever made. I am, in fact, relying on the assessments of professional critics in coming to that determination. Personally, I'm a connoisseur of terrible films. I love B movies, all the way down to Z movies, and there is a part of me that is tickled by "The Room"'s pure awfulness.

But I also study the phenomenon of "The Room", especially because - outside of California - one of the biggest cult followings is in my own city. Speaking wiht the people who attend these film get-toegethers I have yet to hear one single person say "The Room" was a good, or even passable movie. It is universally held to be awful - often "the most awful, ever" - film by those queuing up to see it.

If you haven't seen this sort of thing, I strongly encourage you to go experience a "The Room" viewing, if you can find one locally. Not for the film, but because the experience of the social event surrounding the film will probably be quite an eye-opening experience for you.

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@whatevs I'm not sure my iPad has the right controls for "turn it up a notch". Any idea how to install a different keyboard?

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"Trevor, I love how you wade in to almost any topic with your own biased opinion (hey, we all have them) and whenever anyone calls you on it, you immediately say that they are biased and/or too stupid for you to waste your time on. You're on the Ted Dziuba tech journalism track I take it."

There are lots of areas where I absolutely have a bunch of biased opinions and enjoy flinging them about just to watch people squirm. Apple is - rather emphatically - not one of them.

Oh, go back a decade and have this conversation with me in 2004 and I absolutely loathed Apple. Not because the product was all that bad, but because I really strenuously disliked that people that bought and used Apple products.

Today? A lot less so. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age, but I far prefer OSX to Windows 8. I think the iPad is the better tablet (though I maintain I need Android for my phone, but that's because of the tech tools I load up on it.) I see the value in a lot of what Apple produce, and I even see the value in the ecosystem and it's mainstream acceptance.

To put in bluntly: Apple is mainstream, and their walled garden of a constrained ecosystem has some very real and tangible benefits when it comes to finding "an app for that", an add-on, or what-have-you.

But that doesn't mean I think Apple is "cool". I have traditionally thought of "cool" as something exclusionary rather than exclusionary, and there's rather a lot of science to back that up. Thus, while I don't have a particular issue with everyone rushing out to buy iTat, I do think that examination of Apple's "coolness", name cachet, recognisability, and existence as a vehicle for social participation are potentially separate (though interrelated) phenomena that deserve to be examined more carefully.

I might accept your concept that I'm just stampeding around with a chip on my shoulder about Apple if I thought for a moment that I had one. I can name for you a list of companies/products where I have easily identifiable chips on my shoulder. (Let's have a conversation about Sony...) Apple isn't one of them, and it hasn't been for years.

So that makes this entire thread truly fascinating to me. I am honestly and truly approaching the study of Apple and it's acolytes from a dispassionate and only vaguely interested standpoint. It is all a matter of intellectual curiosity for me; Apple has become one of the companies about which I don't have any strong feelings at all.

But lo! There are some passions running through this thread! Question the almighty Apple and her magnificent phenomena and what comes crawling out from under the rocks is absolutely hilarious!

I have no more interest in Apple than an entomologist does in the anthill he pokes. But what the ants get up to when you poke it...that I find fascinating.

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Re: Crossed wires?

@Dave 126

SuccessCase wrote: "If we are going to anthropomorphise companies. I would say if you have people queuing outside your shops for weeks to buy the stuff you make, before you have even shown the world what that stuff is, it's a pretty good sign you're the cool kid already."

My issue is that I don't see how people queuing up for something is a sign that you are cool, let alone a "pretty good sign". People queue up for all sorts of things, sometimes for days, which even the people doing the queuing will openly admit aren't cool in the least. (See: "The Room").

I am not saying Apple isn't cool - though I honestly have my doubts that this is the case - I am saying that the specific measure chosen "queuing up for X" is a terrible measure of cool. If we're going to attempt to quantify coolness empirically, then before I accept queuing as a standard candle I need to see some evidence that the two (queuing and coolness) are somehow related.

Really, that's all there is to my objection. The rest was a bunch of [insert pejorative] fanboys freaking out (why?) and my poking the hill to see what the ants do.

The older I get, the more of a bad person I become...

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Re: Crossed wires?

Trev here reminds me of someone - let's call him Mr. Kettle - someone who used to be a regular contributor to these fora, and an individual I had the misfortune to know in real life.

Longstanding contributors may know of whom I speak… don't wish to say too much lest it encourages it to crawl out from whatever pit it is in which it currently resides (inhabits?).

Spaketh ye not the Nayme of the Beaste, lest thy rouse it from its eternal slumber.

(I believe you have to chant it thrice, on the eve of the Midwinter Full Moon, whilst offering a sacrifice of 13 virginal maidens (I know it should be 666, but it's getting harder and harder to locate chaste young women these days - even 66 was a real struggle… they starts off Maids of Honour…).

Now I must be away, for I fear I have been too indiscreet, I fear my wagging tongue will be the undoing of us all!

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Anonymous Coward

There are lots of areas where I absolutely have a bunch of biased opinions and enjoy flinging them about just to watch people squirm. Apple is - rather emphatically - not one of them.

Wow - you might actually believe yourself there. The next 8 paragraphs don't really follow that same vein.

But lo! There are some passions running through this thread! Question the almighty Apple and her magnificent phenomena and what comes crawling out from under the rocks is absolutely hilarious!

I didn't question you questioning Apple, I questioned you being a dick and telling people they are too stupid for you to spend time on. Your response to that is to say that I'm only upset because I love the Apple. Seriously.

I have no more interest in Apple than an entomologist does in the anthill he pokes. But what the ants get up to when you poke it...that I find fascinating.

Awesome, so you're a journo-troll. I go back to my "Ted Dziuba journo" comment.

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The fact that you "love" any company means that you're stupid and not worth spending time on.

The company in question is irrelevant.

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Apple the new Black?

Dunno what the El Reg unit of cool is, but it's pretty low around here, and that is just as it should be.

I'm not worried, Apple haven't even brought the Turtle neck back into fashion.

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Re: Apple the new Black?

The SI unit is the Fonzie isn't it, as in "I'm picking up a reading of over 400MFz"

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Coat

I think i remember this.

So as I remember this from the loooong distant past:

Cool is the people who are cool, but don't think they are cool.

when they think they are cool they stop being cool,

and trying to be cool really isn't cool at all.

there is a fine line between cool and hip,

hip can be trendy, and cool,

you can try and succeed in being trendy or hip.

then: there is residual cool.

this is when you have some cool (or a lot), things you do are subsequently cool, even if sometimes they are not in any way.

but people are very forgiving when you are cool, especially if your very cool. but beware, a lot of people have relied on residual cool, but not noticed when they have ran our of residual cool. then they fall into the trying to be cool set, and we all know where that leads.. (M$ : lol)

So in conclusion, if your cool your cool, if you aint you aint, and only someone who is cool can say if you are or not...!

simples

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: I think i remember this.

I stopped being cool a long time ago, that goes without saying (I can still just about blag my kids tho)

oh dam just fell into thinking im cool bucket, that was the last of it gone... DoH

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This post has been deleted by its author

Van

Re: I think i remember this.

You don't look so hot your self

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Re: I think i remember this.

Nah,

It should be:-

anyone who uses the word 'Cool' to describe themselves as being such is decidely Un-Cool.

me?

I'm a grumpy old Git who probably hasn't been cool more than once in his life.

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Happy

Re: I think i remember this.

"...there is a fine line between cool and hip..."

What about we older ones who don't really give a rat's ass about "cool" or "hip"?

Yes, I'm a longtime Mac user who loves his MacPro, and his iPhone and his iPad. I use them because their functionality matches my needs and they perform in a way with which I'm totally comfortable. As regards anyone else, if they are happy running Windows 3.11 on a Compaq 386 and it suits their needs, then to me that would be pretty cool - on the grounds that they're (probably) spending two thirds of naff all, and the techie in me always feels pleased to see elderly systems still fulfilling a useful function.

And me? Despite having had the "fanboi" epithet spat vituperatively at me several times when commenting on El Reg, I use what suits me & I'm happy with, but I don't feel that anyone worthwhile would be impressed by which logo is fastened to what I buy.

Similarly, anyone else should use what suits them - and why it suits them is subjective - and I don't feel they are inferior or superior to me if they opt for stuff I haven't.

iWatch?- I'm not a keep-fit type (I'm close to 65, dammit!) and all I use a watch for is to tell the time. My mid-90's Seiko still rules - and will continue to do so, as long as it carries on working.

Don't know if that viewpoint makes me "cool", but in any case I couldn't really give a monkey's...

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Anonymous Coward

Could I just give you an upvote ..

.. for using "vituperatively"?

As for the rest, it's very, very amusing to see yet-another-ream-of-boring-speculations derail into an argument about cool or not cool. I'm with you on this, I don't care about being cool or not, I like the gear because I have spend many years in electronics and computer engineering and design and I just enjoy how they are able to cram so much into such small cases and make it look good as well.

It does what I need it to do, and on that basis I'm interested. We'll see what they have come up with this time in about 2 hours from this post. I will probably do something else and then read the summary as it will save me 2 hours of marketing waffle. However good or bad Apple is, 2 hours is too much time for data I can pick up in maybe 2 minutes of more if in text form..

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Doesn't something stop being "cool" because too many people buy it thinking they will look "cool"? I seem to remember that Faberge undermined their Brut range of men's products by introducing the downmarket Brut 33 version. That they used Henry Cooper as its advertising face suggested a misguided attempt to give it a macho appeal.

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Anonymous Coward

Back in the nineties, Faberge made 'Brut Aquatonic' as a down-market body spray. They then sold it on and today it is only available as plain 'Aquatonic' in discount stores for a quid a can. However, women regularly compliment me on my scent, more so than if I was wearing an expensive aftershave.

The point is, ignore the marketing go with what you like and what works.

(Normal 'green' Brut just smells like talcum powder to me)

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Back in the nineties...

"However, women regularly compliment me on my scent, more so than if I was wearing an expensive aftershave."

When you say "women", would you be referring to your mum and your gran by any chance?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Back in the nineties...

Haha. Na, my late gran wasn't that fussy after the dementia kicked in and returned part of her mind to her independent pre-war life. "I just love young men... anything between the ages of 14 and 44" she would say, to the embarrassment of my assembled cousins. When still compos mentis she would always see grandchildren off with "Be good!" and as we grew she would continue "And if you can't be good, be careful!". It was only in her later years that she would conclude her advice with "And if you can't be careful, for heaven's sake remember the date!"

But seriously, nobody needs a billboard or TV ad to tell them how to present themselves... exhibit some taste and the resulting positive feedback from those you wish to make smile will get you the rest of the way there.

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Vic

Normal 'green' Brut just smells like talcum powder to me

But... it smells great. Henry Cooper himself told me so...

Vic.

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Joke

The Real Question...

Where does Jasper keep his watch that he worries about his bum looking big?

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Re: The Real Question...

Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in the movie Pulp Fiction:

So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.

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