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How the Cool Stuff At CES Will Ruin Your Life

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the clippy-killed-my-cryptocat dept.

Privacy 171

jfruh writes "Another CES has come and gone, and as usual the press has presented rather uncritically a list of super-cool gadgets that were unveiled at the show and that will make our world better. Let's leave aside the fact that many products shown at CES never make it to market; Paul Roberts provides the pessimistic case on the big CES news, explaining how all these gewgaws will strip away privacy, unleash an army of Clippys onto the world, and maybe even change human brains for the worse."

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171 comments

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Only maybe?? Understatement of the century. (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589721)

Just attending CES will change your brain for the worse.

You can decide to ..... (3, Informative)

prasadsurve (665770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589725)

not buy it.
The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away. That's how evolution works.

Re:You can decide to ..... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589787)

Does it? I am still waiting for a sturdy inkjet with cheap ink that can withstand some months of inactivity. I had one back in the 90s, they never did anything like that later.
Or does evolution explain how laptop makers implement secure boot and DO NOT DOCUMENT HOW TO GET INTO BIOS ANYMORE? http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=286290
Yes it does, but only if you define Fittest as Fittest for the dominant players for milking more money.

Re:You can decide to ..... (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590063)

The strange paradox is that people don't seem to accept that opting out is a valid choice.

For example, I refuse to buy PC games or programs that use online activation - I disagree with the philosophy of allowing other people to dictate when I may use something I have bought. I would not accept it for a car, I would not accept it for a toaster. Why should I accept it for software? That it greatly reduces my choices in the market place is besides the point - I vote with my feet and will continue doing so. And yet, my friends think I'm nuts because - omg - I'm not up to date with whatever hot title just came out. How can I live?? Really, I don't feel like entertainment is worth compromising my principles for

Likewise, if you really prefer your printer from the 1990s, spend the money it's worth to you to get it fixed or retrofitted to keep operating with modern ink, or be prepared to do without. Don't accept substandard. Don't accept exploitative business practices. But the increasingly common refrain is that "One person won't change anything", much like saying that voting for a third party is wasting your vote. If people were prepared to stand up for their principles instead of falling over for the shiney gadget, we would all be better off.

/rant

Re:You can decide to ..... (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590129)

I disagree with the philosophy of allowing other people to dictate when I may use something I have bought. I would not accept it for a car, I would not accept it for a toaster

You do accept it for your car. You have to have car tax and insurance to be able to drive legally. A one-off activation isn't really any different from requiring that the car you're buying isn't stolen. Software that requires you to always have the disc in the drive, or connect every single time you go online, is of course annoying though. I like Steam better than any other way of installing games - including games from a disc that require no license key or online activation.

I don't feel like entertainment is worth compromising my principles for

As long as you have other ways to appreciate your time spent alive then sure. At some point though, there's no point trying to argue. Like I said before about Steam, it has certain obvious online requirements, but considering all of my electronic devices are online 100% of the time anyway, I don't see that as a problem. Plus, you can play in offline mode, or crack the DRM if you really wish.

Re:You can decide to ..... (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590319)

Car analogy fail. Licensing a car, and paying taxes on the car, goes partially to the construction and upkeep of the roads that car needs. (E.g. you don't pay those same taxes on an off road farm use vehicle, or necessarily even register it.) But the road analogy is the internet, not the publisher's servers.

Paying the manufacturer to play the game on their servers is a better analogy. You use the shared resources, you pay for their upkeep.

Paying the manufacturer to check in with their servers to bless your local copy so it can run on your local machine is the violation of principles, and probably U.S. law (see the Doctrine of First Sale.)

You also mentioned the "I'm online 100% of the time anyway", as if the convenience somehow makes it OK that they're violating you. It only makes it so simple for them to enforce that they don't get complaints from people like you, but it does not make it principled.

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590829)

goes partially to the construction and upkeep of the roads that car needs

haha!!!! go watch a general fund battle in your state once. You would be surprised how money is allocated. Usually pet projects first...

Re:You can decide to ..... (1, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591069)

Software that phones home to make sure you didn't rip it off is cheaper than software that has to be priced to take into account the fact that it can and will be ripped off. You aren't forced to use some company's phone-home software, so your concerns about law aren't grounded. What you're buying is a service that happens to involve a licensed piece of software. If you want the exact same flavor of game to run without phoning home, start up a game company that charges enough per copy to cover piracy losses, and see how it goes.

Re:You can decide to ..... (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591773)

"Principled"? The principle is perfectly reasonable. A lot of people have no scruples when it comes to acquiring software. That's why the content companies want some form of DRM. We all know DRM doesn't work, but that's besides the point. The content providers want something done. Steam does that. And even though Steam DRM is broken, we can still get our games there (and it's far, far more convenient being able to download from their central servers to any machine you want, without typing in license keys, blah blah). I think Valve have done their best with the reality that we are faced with.

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590471)

You presume that he has a car.

Re:You can decide to ..... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590213)

I admire your ideology, but I'm far too pragmatic. There is no sense in pretending that my actions will make much of a dent in the market, nor is it likely that everyone will suddenly stick to their principles. I have a friend who is vegan. Or, she tries to be. Good luck finding products - even food - made without animal products. She, like you, tries to stick to her principles and is constantly trying to evangelize veganism. I'm glad there are people like her (and yourself) out there, but that lifestyle requires far too much vigilance for me.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1, Offtopic)

3.5 stripes (578410) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590321)

While I can completely understand not wanting to eat animals that have been raised and killed, or even just killed for food, I still balk at the whole non-exploitation of the animals thing, especially bees. It's fine to exploit them to fertilize the fruit we eat, but as soon as we take some of their honey that's over the line? Filling your bucket with milk doesn't mean a calf will die, or even go hungry..

I just think that veganism is a step too far, and an awfully one arbitrary at that.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591619)

It's decidedly kooky, but I respect people's decisions. When you think about it, it is no kookier or more arbitrary than most religions.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591007)

Perhaps he already knows his decisions won't make a dent in the market. Maybe that's not really the point. Maybe he chooses not to buy it for the sake of not wanting to, rather than to boycott or punish a company. Weither it hurts the company or not is irrelevant.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591595)

He seems to still hope that people will be, in his words, "...prepared to stand up for their principles instead of falling over for the shiney gadget...".

I've given up on that hope, and also come to realize that not everyone even shares my concerns. Even if everyone DID stand up for their principles, they might still buy the shiny gadget because not everyone sees something wrong with what the manufacturer is doing.

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590475)

Many nicer inkjet printers stir the inks periodically to prevent this. When you get into the more expensive printers, the ink is often cheaper as they don't intend you to throw away the entire print head each time, nor are they taking a loss leader hoping to make it up on the consumables.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590921)

I use my $25 inkjet about once a year, and the ink can last a year. No need to get expensive. The ink may be expensive, but you can refill with cheap generic ink instead.

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590929)

I was under the impression that ink in inkjet printers was stored in a sponge...

Re:You can decide to ..... (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590837)

They exist, they're called 'laser' printers. They're under $100 now. I bought mine surplus. HP 4600 for $100.

Re:You can decide to ..... (2)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589931)

Indeed. The headline seems as dumb as "porn dooms human species".

No, actually; just because they show lots of people jizzing on tits doesn't mean the intelligent, or at least randy, members of the species will lose the ability to procreate.

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590027)

not buy it.

The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away. That's how evolution works.

And what about all the stupid people left behind that buy stupid products and make those stupid ideas insanely popular, and therefore bring the entire collective down a few notches?

See, unfortunately, that is also how evolution works. I may be able to control my own purchase, but I sure as hell can't control the environment around me, or the morons that dictate how we should be approaching technology based on their "input".

The sad part is tablets and their simplistic interfaces with bright colors and shiny buttons are seen as a toy to most computer operators today, because we know how to operate a real computer. I fear the day when we are deploying such interfaces out of necessity instead of childish simplicity because users have been deemed too stupid by manufacturers to learn anything else.

Re:You can decide to ..... (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590107)

That seems kinda dickish.

"They've dumbed down cars nowadays, not like us, I know how to build a car from ground up".

Yup, still dickish.

Re:You can decide to ..... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590153)

- electric starters
- automatic transmissions
- power steering
- power breaks
- anti-lock breaks
- heating/defrosters
- air conditioning
- do I really need to list more?

Operating an automobile has become much, much easier. So easy in fact that almost all adults and many teenagers can do it properly. Imagine that. A large, dangerous piece of machinery that travels at high speed was dumbed down so even the the most "watered down" among us can use it. What's next, TVs or maybe even computers?

The idea is to make information and entertainment as easily accessible as possible to the most people as possible (while still being able to make a profit). Tablets are easier for a lot of people and they like that so they are buying them. You don't get to decide the level of intelligence required to suck at the teet of the internet.

Re:You can decide to ..... (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590717)

Making things easier to use isn't always dumbing things down.

Back in them olden days. We needed to program on a line editor (this was an improvement over punch cards) .
so we needed to code like this.

10 print "HELLO WORLD"
20 input $x

Now you wanted to fix your program....

10 print "Hello, Please Login"
15 print "Enter your name"
25 print "Hello " $s

Those line numbers for every line of code was important, basic practice was to skip every 10 or 100 lines so you can put stuff in the middle, bececause if you ran out of numbers you would need to redo the code over.

Later on we got visual editors such as VI where we can edit the program multiple lines. This made our lives easier, however it didn't dumb down, programming, but made it better because we could use our time programming and not renumbering after every bug.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590731)

Oh by the way, after I posed I needed to add the following Line to fix a bug.
25 print "Hello " $x
OK
_

Re:You can decide to ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590933)

after I posed I needed to add the following Line to fix a bug

I hope it didn't involve sewn together skins of formerly overweight women!

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590047)

The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away. That's how evolution works.

Apparently not in software. Every new generation of software kills off the preceding generation, largely regardless of whether it's better or worse. eg: try to get a (legal) copy of MS Office with a menu bar. Likewise, new generations of software are increasingly worse than their predecessors in the name of usability. They try to make more features accessible to new users the first time they pick up a powerful piece of software at the expense of power users. Key-codes got replaced with menu bars got replaced with icons or even with "wizards." Sure, it takes some effort to learn the keyboard equivalents, but if you're going to use software for 2-8 hours/day, the time saved by using ctrl-B, or alt,I,P,F instead of taking your hands off the keyboard, finding the mouse, finding the picture of a bolded B, or finding the Insert tab and the drawing of a sunrise, more than makes up for the investment.

The new, kiddie-proof interfaces have completely destroyed the value in software proficiency, making it easier to do things slowly and harder to learn how to do them quickly.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590389)

So write your own software. If the market is big enough you'll be successful. If its not big enough and you still want it, go open source and start a foundation to get donations to support it.

BTW there's still LaTex, VIM, Emacs, Perl, Python and other CLI tools for all kinds of advanced text wrangling. Need formatting beyond that? OpenOffice can be scripted.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590449)

The problem is not the availability of alternative software. The problem is that too many people expect you to accept and send word documents. Especially people where you can't just say no (well, you could always switch jobs ... assuming you'll find one where you can evade MS Word).

And yes, OpenOffice/LibreOffice can work with Word documents ... somewhat. Not sufficiently well to be generally useful in the situations mentioned above. And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

Re:You can decide to ..... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591571)

The GGP's claim was that "market forces" will result in survival of the best products. GP's claim was that software seems to be getting worse, not because new products come out and win over old products, but that sole-source vendors change their product for the worse and eliminate the old product (possibly with the goal of forcing the market to buy the new product).

Parent's solutions are a) write your own million man-hour software or b) go open source. Both of these amount to stepping outside of the wonderful free market, and a frank admission that the free market fails to produce software alternatives and therefore fails to identify "good value" in software. Or possibly tech-products in general. With a market dominated by a handful of megacorps, Adam Smith's economics of a hundred-competing-bakers just doesn't work.

Re:You can decide to ..... (2)

q.kontinuum (676242) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590295)

Evolution doesn't have a purpose but is a description of what happens as a matter of cause and consequence. And the outcome in the long run is not happiness, but a more stable system, which might be one without our culture.
People chose what they like for the moment, not what is best for them, they are not lead by some ghost of evolution. Lots of people drink too much alcohol or (over)use other harmful drugs. Lots of people follow charismatic political leaders that will eventually lead to their doom. Lots of people get fat by eating what they like instead of whats good for them. If you believe in science, mankind is destroying itself by climate change.

They all ruin their life somehow. Yes, "evolution" is what happens there. The rats and cockroaches will probably be thankful in the long run. But thinking about these things and avoiding our own downfall would also be considered evolution.

Re:You can decide to ..... (4, Interesting)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590367)

not buy it.

The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away. That's how evolution works.

That's why the Amiga, which came multi-tasking/color graphics/stereo sound/hardware accelerators out-of-the-box with a linear 64-bit memory system took over the world instead and the competing IBM PC AT with its lack of media outputs and feeble awkward 16-bit segmented addressing immediately tanked.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591513)

It's funny that he compares it to evolution, and yet still describes it as "The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away."

In biological evolution, it's not that "good" organisms live and reproduce and "bad" ones die off. There's nothing about evolution that makes it tend towards some kind of absolute improvement.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590409)

Evolution depends on random mutations and natural selection. People emphasize death but really it is all about survival, viz. life. The process itself has no subject (or it has God).

Human technology is more about copying and being in the face of the customer at all time. Our selection is not based on critical thinking but is still a choice, and has little to do whatsoever with survival (unless for the base of Maslow's pyramid). This process always has a subject.

HOWEVER. The reason we should stop using the term evolution in technology is because 1. technology or rather, tool use is not humanity. Humanity uses tools; and 2. technological breakthrough is accidental yet intentional. Evolution will always take care of life, technological developments will always take care of (some powerful) humans, whose interests may be opposite to life. Calling it evolution is sort of equating it with a natural force equal for everyone and not a force of an arbitrary market with non-equal players.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590415)

And if you don't like my reasons, I have others ;)

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590469)

Were there any good ideas/products this year? I followed CES pretty closely, and I didn't really hear of a single product that excited me. The whole thing this year seemed to be a combination of bad ideas and "more of the same, but with higher resolution." A lot of the big players don't even show up anymore.

Re:You can decide to ..... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590631)

Technology isn't Good or Evil, it is how it is used.

The Gasoline Automobile when invented was considered a tool to help improve the environment, and it was compared to health concerns of streets filled with horse manure a little smoke and smog wasn't a big deal, and a better trade off, and it still is. However the use of the automobile has expanded past the use of horses, so the beneficial trade-off expanded to an environmental problem.

The stuff shown at CES a lot of it prototypes and proof of concepts can have good and bad applications of it. The loss of your online privacy is a trade-off to having a bunch of free/useful sites. Is getting adds that are more relevant to your wants better than having to pay some amount to the site to use the service? Some say Yes some say No. However most would prefer free. Running these sites isn't cheap or free, so they need some revenue model. If you don't like online privacy, you should try to work on a revenue model that will be popular, that will support a large website, and will work. As well you should come up with many methods as well, because there isn't one size fits all.
 

Re:You can decide to ..... (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591005)

not buy it. The good ideas/products will stay, the bad ones will die away. That's how evolution works.

Spoken like a true "free market" fan-boy. Alas, the real world does not work the way it does in the fictional novels of Rand et al. A truly free market requires fully informed consumers. If you believe that the average iPhone user is fully informed about all the issues arising from his/her use of that particular technology, you are truly a fool. As TFA points out, the market is about to explode with this kind of complex technology which contains features and functionality that are deliberately hidden from the consumer. Consumers will, in blissful ignorance, buy this shit, not understanding how their privacy has been sold. I don't give a damn about analogues of Clippy on my refrigerator's GUI, but I damn well want to be able to muzzle his ass when he tries to phone home about what I'm eating. No, I want him muzzled by default unless/until I choose to let him phone home to Kroger/Safeway/Albertson's or whichever giant grocer has paid to have him keep tabs on my pickle supply.

Simple solution (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589729)

Don't feel forced to use gadgetry. There's something called "life" that doesn't require much of it to be enjoyed.

When I was younger, I used to enjoy immersing myself in the latest and greatest toys, back in the 80s and 90s. Many things were new and fun. Nowadays the things of the future presented at shows like CES seem more like evolutions of existing concepts. Nothing really earth-shatteringly new.

As a result, I must admit I've pretty much lost interest, and the fog of high-tech addiction has cleared so to speak. I've realized that a simpler life is more enjoyable and less stressful. Not to mention, non-early-adopters tend to waste a lot less money than those who can't wait to buy the latest semi-working banana product doodah.

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589785)

Don't feel forced to use gadgetry. There's something called "life" that doesn't require much of it to be enjoyed.

The problem is that 'life' is full of people who buy all those gadgets. Second-hand gadgetry is almost as bad as the real thing.

Re:Simple solution (1, Troll)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590403)

Join our guild "Grumpy Old Men", we hang out at this level called "Real Life". Some of us refuse to have credit cards or cell phone (even non-smart ones).

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590649)

Your existence is somewhat laughable. You refuse to use a credit card or a cell phone, yet you're trolling away on Slashdot on the internet via a computer. Arbitrary place to draw the line? How silly.

Re:Simple solution (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591031)

...refuse to have credit cards or cell phone

Don't forget wiping butts with corn husks, because toilet paper is a tool of the illuminati. Whichever way you orient the roll, they will know.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590503)

Sometimes I like to leave my cell phone at home and just venture out in the world knowing that if I break down I'll have to hitchhike or do something other than wait in comfort. It's an adventurous feeling. However, that's just my personal preference. It's silly to look down on other people for not having the same preferences. If they are happier being a bluetooth cyborg 24/7 what's so wrong with leaving them to it? Why do people get so concerned with what others do?

Re:Simple solution (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590917)

Why do people get so concerned with what others do?

Maybe we should repeal all those anti-littering, anti-polluting laws. That's just people being people, right?

How about we let people drink and drive while texting. I guess we should leave them in peace to do their thing, right? We're safe in our houses so it can't affect us...

Re:Simple solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589905)

And what do you do in a decade or two when dumb refrigerators are no longer produced? Allow your food to spoil or get another piece of spyware into your home?

Re:Simple solution (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589937)

Styrofoam Cooler, Ice, Done.

Re:Simple solution (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590181)

That is too impractical solution.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590583)

Ah, yet there are foam cozies for your can or bottle that will keep it cooler longer once you take it out of your cooler. You need one. You want one. They have the name of your favorite sports team on it. Also, the bottle opener that plays the fight song from your university or from "Cheers" is a must have. You'll be cooler than your cooler.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589941)

Simply not connect that fridge to the internet?

Of course if it ever happens that you cannot even switch the thing on without connecting it to the net, then you really get problems. But then, who would want a fridge that lets your food go bad just because your internet connection failed?

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590127)

But then, who would want a fridge that lets your food go bad just because your internet connection failed?

A supermarket, obviously. So they'll hire some politicians to pass a law to make it illegal for any retailer except a supermarket to sell fridges... This is how America does business.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590219)

Simply not connect that fridge to the internet?

But then, who would want a fridge that lets your food go bad just because your internet connection failed?

The internet cannot fail!

Re:Simple solution (5, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590029)

So true.

Like you, I grew up in the 80's with Commodore64, Atari, Amiga, BBC, Dragon32 (and yuck, ugly green PC and overpriced Apple), the toys where battling like crazy to set the standard for the future, rarely anyone did - but they did SOMETHING important, they made everything we have today - possible, faster processors made digital home video editing and cable-by-internet possible, it also made it possible for us to toss away the entire laptop, and carry the entire world in our pockets, Smartphones aren't THAT old, but very practical. I wouldn't want to be without one. It releases me from sitting in front of the computer, and I can basically do what I need - right in the middle of the forest if that need be.

But you're right, most of todays "revolutionary" gadgets, doesn't have the same feel of "revolution", because most toys can do what the other toys already does. And we usually end up paying for ALL THE TOYS, since each toy have their OWN LICENSE for different games, videos, net-services, functions etc. Which sucks.

I just bought the Nintendo Wii U (against my better judgement), But I was REALLY hungry for something new. Sure...it's a touch screen king size play-doh fisher-price remote control, I guess thats new...but it's nothing new as a whole...everything has been done before, and in a few days...I just got bored again.

I have far more fun inventing my own gadgets in my electronics lab, here I have millions of Discretes (components from the 80-90s and even today), and can hack together really weird stuff.

When I grew up, this was normal for kids, they too went to the local electronics store - modded their Commodore 64 to get faster loading times etc. Built their own modems to communicate digitally via HAM radio (or just a cheapo CB radio) with some simple components, cheap off the shelves.

This world really needs something *new*

Re:Simple solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590073)

Don't worry. We're getting off your lawn now.

Re:Simple solution (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590339)

He grew up in the 80s. That puts him in his 30s. He's no where near old enough to be so jaded yet.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590757)

The IT industry prefers young fellas (less than 25 years old) who are fining living on pennies and aren't tired of all the stupidity going around.

Re:Simple solution (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590467)

So a consumer priced, multi-touch tabletop PC is not new enough? Maybe you're just spoiled with information now and all the niche info you can get that wouldn't even make it into trade mags 20 years ago.

Evolution looks more like revolution if you stop watching it happen. By that I mean there will never be something that just appears out of nowhere (barring Alien visitation) without a trail of preceding research, prototypes, failed early efforts and successful but niche applications. Stop reading and following electronics (like most consumers) and the new gadgets will seem amazing. Just be prepared for geek comments about how your new shiny is sooo last year when you do buy one.

Re:Simple solution (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590635)

I agree: I too feel differently about gadgets and tinkering than I used to, but it's hard to put my finger on why. Maybe it's just growing up, although the nature of the gadgets themselves have undeniably changed as well.

And we usually end up paying for ALL THE TOYS, since each toy have their OWN LICENSE for different games, videos, net-services, functions etc. Which sucks

Is this really that different from how things used to be? The available functions, peripherals and software on the old computers varied greatly between brands. What is different is the presence of today's strong "verticals" covering both hardware and content. In the old days, the hardware might be closed but anyone could deliver anything on most systems. Today we see a company like Amazon releasing an e-reader which will not read other popular formats, and books which are available only on their reader. Or Apple controlling the way content for their platform is sold, and skimming off part of the proceeds.

I have far more fun inventing my own gadgets in my electronics lab, here I have millions of Discretes (components from the 80-90s and even today), and can hack together really weird stuff. When I grew up, this was normal for kids, they too went to the local electronics store - modded their Commodore 64 to get faster loading times etc. Built their own modems to communicate digitally via HAM radio (or just a cheapo CB radio) with some simple components, cheap off the shelves.

It seems that for today's kids there is a lot more prepackaged entertainment out there to keep them busy. But kids doing your kind of tinkering were rare when I grew up (70s / 80s), and they still are. But tinkering does happen, it just happens on a different level. Instead of messing with discrete components, kids do projects with Arduino boards. Or they build cool stuff with Lego Mindstorms (the Lego technic kits of today are way more advanced than what we had back then). Instead of messing around in C64 machine code, they write smartphone apps (and even make money doing it). To me, this feels more like combining more or less finished products in new ways, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps our (grand)dads who did digital logic on the transistor level thought the same way about building with ICs.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590059)

Off topic - but wow the Slashdot mbeta site is slow to load and even slower to interact with, though i admit i am only using dated hardware: a month old quad core smart phone.

Sarcasm intentional.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590199)

Buy only the gadget you need. Generally I let other people be the guinea pigs for the latest products. Instead of rushing out to buy the iPad when it first came out, I held out, until I realized I could buy a cheaper but more powerful (than the 1st gen iPad) no-name Android tablet that I could afford to lose to a mugger!

Re:Simple solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590501)

There's something called "life" that doesn't require much of it to be enjoyed.

Good for you, Sparky. My life sucks. Those gadgets provide what little enjoyment I get out of it.

Re:Simple solution (3, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591271)

50+ year old neckbeard here. If you took away all my tech devices, I'd be ok. Take my smartphone away, I know I'll adjust back to the way I used to live before they existed. Take away my Garmin/Google maps, I'll dig out my Hagstrom maps to find out how to get where I need to go, or ask someone if they know. Take away my computer/tablet/video games and lock me in a room with just a bouncy rubber ball for 3 days. When you open the door to let me out. I'll probably tell you, "I'll come out in a little while, I'm still having fun in here!"

Tech is cool, and I love what we have nowadays. But I don't let it control me, or my life, to the point where I'd be lost and crying without it.

And with what I just read about what people had to go through 'Clippy' (in the linked article), I didn't miss out on anything important. Sort of sounds like a mini-hell to me.

Maybe? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589745)

What is this maybe crap? Oh sure like THIS is the year we'll all wise up suddenly and stop dumping our money on people who make cheap plastic badly made crap.

The pursuit of profit above all else... Excessive greed.. Is really fucking up humanity.

Re:Maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590091)

Only ruining your corner of humanity. Most people around here aren't greedy at all. I'm sure you can also personally just exit the greed game. You'll find others who have done so.

Thanks! (4, Insightful)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589817)

For doing the decent thing and linking to the print-preview version of the article.

Re:Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591089)

Its the little things like this which make my day too. Too many articles linked to here are contain maybe 200-300 words spread over 11+ pages loaded with ads.

I missed it! *thankfully* (2)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589819)

After my annoyance grew at all of the silly "WE GO HANDS-ON!!" posts on sites like engadget which ended up on my RSS feed in large numbers I took all those gadget/tech product sites off of the list..

It was actually kind of surprising this morning to learn the CES thing was already over..... after only seeing a few posts about it.

at this point I have to wonder why anyone really covers this CES thing.. All of the pointless HANDS ON!!! filler stuff barely gives people an idea of what the product is, and well, much of it might never be available for purchase anyways... Then you get some silly guy who has 3 minutes to demo the HOT ITEMS on a CNN segment.. again.. not giving us any real idea of what the product is..

At one time I think this stuff interested me.. but sheez. ..from a consumer perspective.. these trade shows seem nothing more but an opportunity for blogs and newspapers to fill up on fluff pieces.

we can look forward to NAMM in a few weeks!

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589989)

Which is why, since I was quite young, my rule has always been:

Until I can buy a unit of it, by a convenient method, with guaranteed delivery, it doesn't exist.

There's no point cooing over something that's "coming soon". You just add to hype around a product that may not even exist and - even if it does - you can't yet buy anyway. Until it is directly purchasable and will arrive at your door on a guaranteed date, it means nothing.

The number of products I've seen that never were (Phantom console, etc.), the number of products that were junk by they time they came out (e.g. Duke Nukem Forever, etc.), the number of products that just never reached critical mass or got into a reasonable price bracket (e.g. Optimus OLED keyboards, the "open source" graphics cards that are still based on a PCI/AGP architecture, etc.), and even the number of existing-but-completely-mismanaged projects that would have had me kicking myself for ever buying into (e.g. OpenPandora where pre-orderers are still waiting to receive units four years later having paid twice as much as those who can just order one from Germany today with guaranteed delivery, with little chance of a refund or unit without paying again) - it's just astounding. I would have wasted SO MUCH money on them if I didn't have my rule.

So I ignore everything that isn't purchasable. It might be as cool as anything, solve all my problems and do everything I always dreamed of. Great. Give me a call back when I can buy one. These affordable 40" OLED TV's I was promised nearly a decade ago? Still £20,000 from what I see.

I was promised tablet PC's back in the XP era. They've JUST come to fruition at one-tenth the cost (so actually affordable now), don't use Windows (well, soon they will, but that's very new), you can get them everywhere now, and I can't say that I see the use of them. If I'd bought in back in the XP era, I'd be really disappointed.

Am I disinterested in new products? Of course not. I was one of the first owners of a Raspberry Pi (as soon as they offered guaranteed orders + delivery) and had one before anyone else I know (was in the first batch, which meant you had to order within minutes of the announcement).

And I do support some kickstarters, but those where I will get the product or something worthwhile (e.g. Defense Grid 2 for a small backing - I got a DG1 key GUARANTEED and a video card GUARANTEED that I gave to my brother for Christmas that was worth the price alone, plus I get DG 1.5 next week I think - there are already at the Steam-key phase for deploying that, and I get DG2 whenever it comes out) and where they have manufacturing all sorted and ready to go and guaranteed dates.

I can't support those where the product doesn't even exist yet, or they offer you only "backing" for the project. I *have* supported some products purely on the basis of trust but we're talking literally a few dollars - and I'm GUARANTEED a copy of the game if it comes out. That's breaking my rule but never happens for anything of any significant value (if the projects existed in a working, deliverable state, I would happily back 10 times the amount I did without even thinking).

I can remember as a kid being disappointed so many times at the cool things I thought were coming "this year" and hanging on and waiting and waiting and checking up and waiting and never hearing of them again (even up to today!). All the great inventions and marvellous products and cool services. Nothing. And the ones that DID succeed, they succeed at the point you can buy them - and at that point, you can buy them and get them delivered and know what you are buying.

I think Aliens:Colonial Marines looks really nice and it looks like the game I've been promised and wanted since the days of Aliens (US) on the ZX Spectrum (damn, that movie is old!). It's on pre-purchase now. But I've not yet seen it. It's already been delayed a year from it's original date, and then a month again just now (was originally January). And though it's on Steam now, and there's footage of it, I still can't "buy" it (if I do, I get it only a day or two before it's in the shops, so what's the point?). So there's no incentive for me to worry about it, hype it or anything else. I'll just wait until I see it online or in a shop, then see if it's actually as good as I want it to be, and then decide if I should buy it there and then.

Until then? I'm just setting myself up for disappointment and wasting time cooing over something that might never be. There are games on my Steam list that I haven't got around to playing even though I own them and they are considered good. They are more deserving of my time than some soon-to-be-possibly-product that might never see the light of day and - if it does - I can't buy or play yet anyway.

Deliverable. If it's not, don't touch it. I've heard "we'll have them ready for you to buy by next year" so often that it's literally become like spam to me - I just ignore it as if they didn't even say that.

If you can buy it, and you want it, do it.

If you can't buy it, today, with guaranteed delivery, then it doesn't matter how good it is, what the hype is, how much you wanted it, or what promises are made - YOU CAN'T BUY IT. So stop worrying about it and go buy something that you can, or save your money for when it does become available.

(Incidentally, this is also why I lack interest in fast sports cars, "designer" items, or expensive works of art. If it's unavailable, out of my price-range or extremely hard to get - like certain "designer" fads - then why would I try to buy it? Just accept that you won't own one, and move on.)

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590081)

Cool story bro.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (2)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590463)

Get what you like, not the hype.

Currently my GF is browsing for a pink laptop because it is pink. *sigh * it comes at a premium because it is pink, and is slower than her present laptop (that I bought used from work and put an SSD into).

My point being (?) that she's shopping the hype. Also, any way to spray paint a grey DELL?

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590539)

yes, just completely disassemble the laptop chassis into all its possible parts, then sand down each part and give it two or three layers of acrylic paint, waiting more than 12h between each. Finally give it a layer of varnish/polish, assemble everything and you are done.

The hardest is to properly cover up LEDs, stickers, etc.. with duct tape, before the pain job.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591563)

duct tape? Are you nuts? How about maybe painter's tape? Or at least masking tape.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590559)

If she likes pink, she is shopping the like.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590627)

There are sticker decals for this kind of thing. Might want to look into that.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591055)

There are companies out there that will custom paint anything (look at custom bike and car shops). Find a good artist shop near by and they can put a decent clearcoat and pink paint job on it *any* shade of pink. For a bit more you can put whatever design you want on it. You get really fancy and you can have custom painted keys. If you are looking for a simple acrylic paint job pretty much anyone would do (so long as they do not leave bubbles/streaks/runs). If you are looking for something more interesting you will need to test them (give them a small spec job cost you 50-100 bucks) to see if their art skills are any good...

Its not easy but all of the plastic on those things comes apart. You will need to pretty much dissemble the thing as the guys who do the painting will overspray like crazy. I really suggest taking it apart as paint gets into everything. You can tape a lot and get a decent job but not as good as a decent overspray talk to the guy you get to do it they will have tons of suggestions. Also make sure you get paint that can handle the temps that will be in that laptop. Also get something that can stand up to some wear as the clearcoat will wear off eventually... Also keep an eye on the locking mechanisms and the hinges (they need to be free and clear of paint). They can pre tape that out you just need to be clear with them.

Look at the custom paint jobs guys are doing with desktop pc's and go from there.

I really suggest not doing it yourself and get someone with the right equipment. Unless you have painted for awhile with spraypaint and know how to make sure it
does not bubble up, layer, or run. With the surface area of a laptop that is very possible and dead easy to cause to happen.

Plus it is bonus points that you are making something cool for her that she likes.

Another alternative is if she only surfs the web and chats a bit then a decent PC she probably does not care about she cares about the color... My wife did the same thing. Then she got into games. At that point *I* picked out the computers and she loves it as she was made to suffer for 2 years with a crap one. HP makes some decent looking laptops. Try the dv7 line. Plus they have made huge strides on serviceability of the things. Back panel to get at memory/hds/wifi all comes off with 1 screw. Have not played with the rest of it yet. The prev line was a monster.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591065)

Forget the other guys' advice. You need to dump her NOW.

The sooner the better. If, God forbid, you end up marrying her, she will put you in the poor house.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590203)

This was my favorite "hands-on" post. [theverge.com] Four pictures of a Panasonic 4K OLED TV. Not only is it not a "hands on" photo shoot showing actual interface features, there are no hands whatsoever in any of the photos. It's the TV sitting in its display area completely unattended. No Panasonic marketing men or booth candy even.

Re:I missed it! *thankfully* (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590299)

And it's an epic fail. No RS232 port on it for integration control, no Ethernet control protocols so that the Control4, AMX or Crestron control system can be integrated.

A TV that price is only bought by the rich that have a control system. CEC control is a joke and the manufacturers are being retarded in their control designs.

New tools always change society (1, Insightful)

bloggerhater (2439270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42589973)

Every tool man has created has had some level of social impact. Embrace change and react to it. Don't fear it.

Re:New tools always change society (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590007)

Every tool man has created has had some level of social impact.

But not necessarily for the better. Agriculture brought drugs and alcohol. The bronze age brought weapons and armor, and the iron age brought even more weapons. The car has brought massive polution. The iPhone brought us iMaps. And so on and so on.

Embrace change and react to it.

We don't need to embrace change and pretend it's progress. Our needs are being met. We can decide if new technologies are worth the price, in actual dollars and in the effort in switching to something new.

Re:New tools always change society (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591183)

Embrace change and react to it.

We don't need to embrace change and pretend it's progress. Our needs are being met. We can decide if new technologies are worth the price, in actual dollars and in the effort in switching to something new.

Whether you realize it or not, you just summarized the Amish philosophy of technology. Some groups remove the "actual dollars" part and only focus on the societal costs of such a change.

Re:New tools always change society (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590289)

Stop fearing my AR15 and my under barrel rocket launched cattle prod!

"Crap design"? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589977)

I don't see how designs that aren't so beautiful will ruin my life.

That point in the article just seemed to be an excuse to kiss the decaying ass of Steve Jobs.

Unleash the Clippys! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42589987)

That's a new meme candidate for the new year, right there.

'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (4, Interesting)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590003)

Visual reference
Knids: http://www.roalddahlfans.com/books/charglasknids.php [roalddahlfans.com]
Clippy: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1991915_1991909_1991755,00.html [time.com]

He's loveable, cuddly and his extensible architecture allowed attackers in 2001 to inject malware with a single click. But Clippy is not the only gadget phenomenon with unintended features. The world is full of crappy and predatory engineering.

Predatory Engineering: underrated power supplies that run hot; expensive computers with glass bezel displays under tension snapped together with no screws which crack if one attempt to open them; automobiles where software action can cause acceleration; software (not hardwired discrete component) ABS braking or shift management; personal accessories such as headsets with thin wound-foil cords that have no strain relief whatsoever and fail at the slightest jerk; $600 TVs which wind up in the trash because of malfunctioning half cent click-buttons or 5 cent IR receivers; trapezoid shaped mini-USB connectors which actively participate in their own destruction on every attempt to plug them in upside down; and more.

Crappy Engineering, such as power windows in cars with no crank or even provision for one. Parents love power windows and the assurance that comes from disabling the master button, they'll love their power windows all the way to the bottom of the lake as the screaming family tries to beat out the windows with their bare hands. The trick is to wait until the entire vehicle fills with water, then the pressure equalizes and you can open the door and tow your drowned kids to the surface. Good luck.

I love writing about modern technology.

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590223)

Although I agree with your point, I don't agree with your examples.

ABS only operates electronically. We can't design a mechanical system that will do the job as well and if we could, it would have a very limited life or be stupidly expensive and require constant calibration. It has to monitor wheel speeds and pulse brakes at fractions of a second, and adjust accordingly in extreme braking situations and we just don't have the engineering to do that. If we did, there would have been ABS on cars 50 years ago. Fact is, ABS is an electronic technology.

And window cranks? The hypothetical scenario of not being able to wind the windows down is just that. First, don't drive off the road into water, that avoids 99.9% of all water-based problems.

Where that's not possible, if you can't open the door, then you're stuffed (trying to swim out the window is harder than you think unless the water is crystal clear, and the car is flooded to the roof anyway - and there the door will open!). And if you wait for the car to sink, you're stuffed (do it before the car even STARTS to take on water and it's no more difficult than opening the door).

And you have other worries than the window (i.e. seatbelts, door locks, child seats, etc.). By the time you have all occupants of the car ready to go, you won't smash the window, no. But neither will the button not work. Try it. The conductivity of the electricity in the wires from the battery will not be affected much by the short-circuit of the water, and will open the window underwater. This is why you always see the car headlights on underwater in the movies. Hell, if it's a diesel you might even find the engine keeps running and churns up the mud making things worse!

In fact, the recommended procedure (after getting out before the car sinks below the surface which takes 20-30 seconds) is to turn the headlights on if you plunge into water and it looks like you're going to sink so you can see underwater to get out.

And if you can open the windows, you can open the door - the pressure on an electric window underwater is immense under the water levels equalise and it just won't open anyway. The motor isn't strong enough to wind the window against the SIDE-pressure pushing inwards. But the pressure isn't great when the water has filled the car, and you are only advised to open the window in order to LET WATER IN, so you can open the door with even pressure on both sides.

Literally, past a certain point, you have to let the car sink and wait for the water to fill the car until you're ready to go (how do you intend to swim against the flow of water into the window without the car being full of water within a second anyway?). Anything in between those two scenarios and you waste energy trying to open a door/window that would never open against the pressures anyway, or just hasn't the transition to a more dangerous state and panic you.

But your biggest problems are a) getting everyone out of their seats ready to swim in a confined, moving, sinking, dark, panicked environment, b) swimming further back to the surface with them, the longer you wait and c) being in a damn dangerous situation that not much else will save you anyway.

If we make car manufacturers take account of junk like that, we'd be unable to afford a damn car at all.

But,as I say, I agree with your point.

P.S. You can buy a "car-window-smasher" tool for $1 in any cheap shop that you can keep in your door pocket (like they have on trains to smash windows in case of an accident). Evidence suggests you'll never use it and, if you do need it, it won't work very well from a confined, seated stance in a panic situation. If it does work perfectly, you'll end up winding yourself from the force of water smashing into your face from the extreme pressure change, probably knocking the breath out of you and making it harder to survive. Or you could have just waited and then opened the door. Or, even better, opened the door before it sunk. Or, even better, not driven into the water.

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590279)

"they'll love their power windows all the way to the bottom of the lake as the screaming family tries to beat out the windows with their bare hands."

Wow, highly uneducated tech writers out there. It is a known fact that power window motors work perfectly underwater, but the water pressure on the air pocket will not let them open, a hand crank has less of a chance of working than the power window motors. Even a prime time TV show proved it on TV.

Now, the real problem is if they own a GM vehicle. Those typically have garbage BCM modules that will fail at a moments notice and will cause them to plunge in the lake as the module turns off the headlights on that dark turn at night.

That is what blows my mind, Most tech writers know absolutely nothing at all about tech and just regurgitate what the google search they did turned up. How do these losers get jobs writing?

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590391)

"they'll love their power windows all the way to the bottom of the lake as the screaming family tries to beat out the windows with their bare hands."

[...]

That is what blows my mind, Most tech writers know absolutely nothing at all about tech and just regurgitate what the google search they did turned up. How do these losers get jobs writing?

You mean people get paid to write Slashdot comments?

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591063)

It is a known fact that power window motors work perfectly underwater, but the water pressure on the air pocket will not let them open, a hand crank has less of a chance of working than the power window motors. Even a prime time TV show proved it on TV.

The way you open a car window underwater (if you don't have a hammer) is to wait for the interior of the car to fill with water so the water pressure equalizes. Do power windows still work when the water is two centimeters from the ceiling?

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591299)

It works as well as your command of the english language... please read his comment again.. slowly.

Re:'Clippy' is a safe-scripted Vermicious Knid (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590487)

You love writing about imaginary anecdotes, anyways.

Seems like a fun guy (1)

drrilll (2593537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590033)

He must be a riot around Christmas. Some skepticism is healthy, but there is more to life than a perpetually half empty glass.

On the topic of CES, I agree with Will Smith. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590183)

Will Smith [youtube.com] speaks out on CES.

So dont buy any of them (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590237)

Why do you always need the latest disposable technology fad? They need you to buy it far more than you need to buy it.

Re:So dont buy any of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590411)

Why do you always need the latest disposable technology fad?

Because the advertisers say so. And advertisers don't lie, do they? :-)

Captcha: sarcasm

All of it at CES was crap. (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42590253)

Every single one of the "fitness" devices was designed to harvest your data and keep it hostage. not ONE of the products I looked at or talked to the guys at the booth kept your data private on your computer or Phone. All of them are "cloud based" and none of them let you have access to your raw data.

It seems that companies have zero ability to hire engineers that can make a real product that is not dripping in "lock in" or "data mining". And I personally am sick of it.

Outside of those, there was ZERO innovation at CES. Nothing at all that was a game changer like Google Glass, just a bunch of "mee too" rehashes of the exact same junk from last year.

Re:All of it at CES was crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42591621)

All of them are "cloud based" and none of them let you have access to your raw data.

It seems that companies have zero ability to hire engineers that can make a real product that is not dripping in "lock in" or "data mining".

I take it you don't work in the industry (I do). Engineers may or may not caree much about privacy, but they usually don't determine product requirements anyway. The PRD comes from designers and product/marketing departments.

Nah really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42590283)

So Nekomimi brain controlled cat ears aren't going to revolutionize humanity?
I was about to buy a pair too :(

every generation has those things... (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591051)

I remember chasing those cool gadgets that were all the rage when I was kid. You know, things like the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, washing machine, telephone, orgasmatron, computer, night vision goggles and Chlorpromazine.

I've given that all up and now live in a cave with running water. A simple and relaxing life. I just wish I could that damn dripping noise out of my head.

I always changed Clippy to the kitty cat (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42591641)

Lots of folks were not aware that you could change your Office Assistant to something a lot less annoying. I changed mine to the ginger cat, who did the normal office suggestions, but then when idle batted a ball of yarn around the screen or took a nap. There was also a puppy and a globe. I found the kitty to be much less annoying, probably because it's hard for an animated cat to be condescending.
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  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>