Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why the Rokr Phone Is An Important Failure

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the not-so-hot dept.

Technology (Apple) 470

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian has some interesting commentary on the new iPod cellphone." From the article: "The music-player module works like an iPod - though it lacks the clickwheel that makes its big brothers function so slickly. But overall, the impression is distinctly underwhelming. The word on the streets is that far from being the revolutionary device that will bring about media 'convergence', the Rokr is, well, just the sum of its parts. And that, it seems to me, is the most interesting thing about it."

cancel ×

470 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hmmm (2, Insightful)

TarryTops (888130) | about 9 years ago | (#13534122)

Apple's lucrative discovery and exploitation of online music transformed its image and its corporate prospects. But the assets it acquired in the process are now so valuable it would be corporate madness to do anything that might undermine them. And yet that is precisely what radical innovation would achieve. So Apple cannot do it. So true...

Re:Hmmm (5, Interesting)

Spy Hunter (317220) | about 9 years ago | (#13534216)

The article is wrong about why you can't buy and download tracks on the phone. Apple wants to do this, and it's not afraid that people won't buy computers because they don't need them to buy music (WTF?). The problem is that simply downloading the tunes over the phone network would be more expensive than the purchase price, because of the stupidly huge rates for data transfer charged by the cellphone companies. Not to mention that it would take forever.

The article may be right about the 100-song limitation being Apple's fault, but all the other design flaws of the Rokr are the fault of Motorola and/or cell carriers, not Apple.

Re:Hmmm (4, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 9 years ago | (#13534323)

The article may be right about the 100-song limitation being Apple's fault, but all the other design flaws of the Rokr...
 
Makes me wonder why they didn't slap a nano on the back of a razr. I mean, 2 Gig nano($150) + Razr ($200) = $350. I understand that it's a little more involed, but shit...slap a calender with email and you got a nice little product. Even if you have to download via the interweb and FireWire them over.

Re:Hmmm (4, Interesting)

abandonment (739466) | about 9 years ago | (#13534340)

it's hilarious - the same networks that spout endless marketing babble about the features that are offered on their new phones, but these are the same networks that charge ridiculous bandwidth prices (often by the kb transfered) for using their networks.

there are endless studies with cel providers complaining that no one surfs the net on their phones, no one plays games on their phones - and this is exactly why.

who's going to bother surfing the net - unless it's an absolute emergency - when you are being billed by the kb?

this is why wap is such a collosal waste of time to develop for - when people are being milked money for every extra character that you have on your webpage, how are you supposed to provide ANY kind of 'rich media experience' for these customers?

we are just finishing off a celphone game for a large publisher that is just entering the mobile market - and it's a ridiculous market to try and enter into, both from a developer and a consumer perspective.

i'm not even going to get into the nightmare of developing games for celphones - you hear all these reports of millions of dollars being invested into mobile game development - and the platform is so fragmented and flat-out broken that it's a complete waste of time to get into.

it's the dot com bubble except a thousand times worse...except that when the bubble 'pops' it will only be good for consumers.

first the celphone providers forced you to ONLY use the ringtones that they provide you and threatened with lawsuits any company that dared to break that monopoly.

second the celphone providers try to force unwanted features onto consumers with new phones - which helps as far as 'market penetration' goes - but the overall impact has still be next to negligible simply because of all of the 'hidden costs' to the consumer - namely airtime.

the cost to download a 3 meg MP3 (or whatever format itunes spits songs out in) over the celphone networks would be easily 5-10 times what itunes itself charges for their songs.

so instead of a 99 cent song, you suddenly have 5+ dollars PER SONG in order to transfer the songs to your phone.

the better solution is providing integrated wifi into the ipod-type phones - then when the phone is near a wifi spot, it can just access the 'normal' internet much like a windowsCE PDA device (for example).

As hotspots continue to popup everywhere, this kind of solution would definitely be a huge boost to the consumer experience.

Mighty Panel (3, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | about 9 years ago | (#13534124)

The article mentioned Rokr lacks the clickwheel that makes its big brothers function so slickly.

I wonder if Apple is able to pull such a trick where it uses its Mighty Mouse [slashdot.org] technology to provide both keypad and clickwheel on the same surface. Icons/numbers will be displayed accordingly through this LCD-type surface.

Now that will not only change the way we interact with mobile phones. For example, on game-playing mode, this Mighty-Panel will switch to a gamepad; On net-browsing mode, it offers scrollbars, back/forward buttons.

Re:Mighty Panel (1)

bechthros (714240) | about 9 years ago | (#13534138)

"The article mentioned Rokr lacks the clickwheel that makes its big brothers function so slickly."

Of course it does. After all, didn't you hear? Creative invented that. That's why they got the patent on it.

Re:Mighty Panel (0)

bechthros (714240) | about 9 years ago | (#13534264)

Dammit, why, oh why don't I preview... I meant Microsoft... Creative has the menu/OS patent... duh...

Re:Mighty Panel (4, Insightful)

demondawn (840015) | about 9 years ago | (#13534143)

The problem with that is that the Mighty Mouse hasn't really been all that welcomed, in part due to certian features of its surface sensitivity. Also, remember that the Rokr isn't an Apple PRODUCT, per se, it just happens to have iTunes connectivity. It's a Motorola product, and while Apple and Motorola have a long history of working together, Apple isn't going to let Motorola control their phone designs.

Re:Mighty Panel (2, Insightful)

jerw134 (409531) | about 9 years ago | (#13534193)

Apple isn't going to let Motorola control their phone designs.

You have that reversed. Apple doesn't design phones, Motorola does. Motorola isn't going to let Apple control their phone designs.

Re:Mighty Panel (1)

demondawn (840015) | about 9 years ago | (#13534256)

Indeed I do. Shows how much of the Apple Kool-Aid I've been drinking, I guess :P

Re:Mighty Panel (1, Insightful)

pomo monster (873962) | about 9 years ago | (#13534153)

It would blow, the way you describe it. People rely on tactile feedback to be able to hit buttons. Chances are you can probably dial a number without having to look at the keypad on your phone. Now think about trying to do the same thing with a touch screen display.

Re:Mighty Panel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534186)

What about

this [google.com]

It's not the panel, it's the 100 song limit (1)

elfguygmail.com (910009) | about 9 years ago | (#13534188)

It's not the panel that's the failure, its the fact that it is limited to 100 songs max. I can't imagine people wanting this, when we already have phones with expension slots holding 500+ songs. The itunes logo isnt enough.

Re:Mighty Panel (3, Funny)

tourvil (103765) | about 9 years ago | (#13534277)

I wonder if Apple is able to pull such a trick where it uses its Mighty Mouse technology to provide both keypad and clickwheel on the same surface.

Hmm, perhaps the click wheel could function as an old rotary dial... :)

first post. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534125)

firstpost.

Some assembly required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534132)

"The word on the streets is that far from being the revolutionary device that will bring about media 'convergence', the Rokr is, well, just the sum of its parts. And that, it seems to me, is the most interesting thing about it.""

Well that beats "bag of parts" as a selling point.

Failures aren't important for one reason. (1, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | about 9 years ago | (#13534133)

They're failures. People try again. Silly article, based upon a premise I'm not particularly interested in. There will be another Rokr if this one fails, made by Apple alone so it gets all the 'core business.' OR, buy THIS one or not, there will be ANOTHER company (Nokia maybe?) which just builds something better. Apple has no patent on innovation itself.

Re:Failures aren't important for one reason. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534167)

Apple has no patent on innovation itself.

Yeah, that doesn't get reviewed for another month or two.

Re:Failures aren't important for one reason. (3, Interesting)

SpectreBinary (913950) | about 9 years ago | (#13534169)

I think the most important part of the ROKR being so underwhelming is that it looks like steve didn't even try. It was introduced, it left the stage, and was promptly forgotten.

Steve is a master marketer if nothing else, and there's no way he wouldn't have known the iPod nano presentation would utterly eclipse it. The question I ask is why so much in the way of underwhelming promotion from Apple themselves? So many people online (and I realise this isn't an ultimate metric of possible popularity) have clamoured for an iTunes phone, hoping for a brilliant interface, ipod-style design, a phone they could really enjoy using as something different.

For steve to accept something like the ROKR makes me suspect he has a point to make, but I'm not sure just what it is yet.

Ten Thousand Free Adult Desktops [zarabeth.com]

Re:Failures aren't important for one reason. (4, Interesting)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | about 9 years ago | (#13534241)

And why would Steve Jobs try? How much money does Apple make from a ROKR versus a Nano or even a Shuffle? I thinking it's either $0, or close to it. The whole thing is probably just an experiment to see what the wireless providers would let them get away with.

For steve to accept something like the ROKR makes me suspect he has a point to make, but I'm not sure just what it is yet.

"Buy iPods, not Phones".

Which will work for a while, but eventually (1-2 years) phones will have 4-8GB of flash, wireless transfer, and a 'good enough' UI. And then it is bye-bye for the lowend music player market. Just expect Apple to do as little as possible to help this along.

Re:Failures aren't important for one reason. (2, Insightful)

outsourced (902982) | about 9 years ago | (#13534218)

You missed the point of TFA. The failure is not in the technology because I'm sure convergence is technically possible. The failure to the consumer is in the business decisions to not allow the iPhone to cannibalize existing lucratice revenue streams, and therefore there's no media integration/convergence.

Apple and its own tail. (2, Insightful)

Leadhyena (808566) | about 9 years ago | (#13534233)

True, but I think that you're missing the point of the article. It makes an interesting point about Apple being worried about cannibalizing its own business.

In fact you need to be interested in this article. It makes a really keen obversation about Apple; that Apple is too scared to damage itself in order to imporve itself. This implies that Apple viewes itself and its current business posture as weak, and thus must do everytihing in its power to keep the status quo. Look at its move towards Intel chips for its next generation hardware; they realize that Intel is the status quo and they are putting themselves in that stream. It takes effort and cunning to successfully be different, and Apple is now showing a reluctance to do just that.

There will be another company that will build the next iPhone, but they will do it better because of the failure of the iPhone; they will learn from mistakes. The point to be gleamed from this is that in fact it will NOT be Apple.

Re:Failures aren't important for one reason. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534337)

Frankly, I have to ask, why worry about it? I have a treo 600 and pocket tunes. With my SD card I have been listening to MP3s and OGG files from the moment I got it. What's even better is with the 2 in 1 headset adapter I can listen to music that is paused automaticaly when a call comes in. The voice and ring also use the head set and the music restarts when I end the call. Ok, granted I am limited to 1 gig of musit at a time in my phone, but it's not that hard to change cards. And honestly, how many of you burn through a gig of music before you have a chance to get back to your system and change songs?

Well duh... (2, Funny)

shr3k (451065) | about 9 years ago | (#13534139)

A phone based on Al Roker [roker.com] was destined to be a failure anyway.

Re:Well duh... (1)

kryogen1x (838672) | about 9 years ago | (#13534176)

Phew. I thought I was the only one that read it wrong the first time.

Well duh... (3, Insightful)

JasonBee (622390) | about 9 years ago | (#13534144)

I thought that when I saw the 512 MB - 1GB capactity...whatever the "100 songs" was supposed to be.

I always cringe when they state the number of songs. While it's always easier that way for consumers to understand, I am thinking: "hmmm...100 songs at 96kbps AAC?"

No thank you!

JB

Re:Well duh... (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 9 years ago | (#13534280)

Unlike Sony, Naptser and others Apple is consistent when it comes to songs.

All Apple Songs from iTunes Music store are 128kbps AAC's the Rokr will hold ~100 of those songs.

a 128 AAc is at least as good quality wise as a 128kbps Ogg, or a 168 mp3.

Of course that doesn't make the Rokr phone any more useful. The best suggestion to date is go get a Razor and tape a nano to the back of it. You will get a better deal on both dies of the equation.

Re:Well duh... (1)

rcamera (517595) | about 9 years ago | (#13534411)

1) thick as a brick 2) a passion play 3) oops - already out of space

The Ultimate Media Device... (2, Insightful)

sH4RD (749216) | about 9 years ago | (#13534154)

Is something users are ready for but technology is not. Why must we continue to integrate multiple technologies in really shitty ways? Just wait 5 years for technology to catch up and things will be a lot better. There's already proof Apple should have waited. Look at the nano, it's got such tiny flash chips which are huge storage-wise. Wouldn't it have made sense to wait just a little while longer and put those in the ROKR? Yes, I know that technologies have to come out at some point, and that someone has to be an early player, but perhaps these players are a bit too early.

Storage wasn (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 9 years ago | (#13534209)

Look at the nano, it's got such tiny flash chips which are huge storage-wise.

Storage not the problem (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 9 years ago | (#13534242)

[sorry about the unfinished post]

Look at the nano, it's got such tiny flash chips which are huge storage-wise.

Storage size isn't the problem. There's no shortage of phones with a lot more than the 100 song capability of this one - including the Rockr. Note that Apple actually limits the capability to 100 songs, no matter how much memory you have.

Which to me basically says that Apple does not want a phone with music capability to succeed, and this device is deliberately underwhelming, and an attempt to deflect that trend for a while. It goes under the assumption that people will want to choose an Apple device, and faced with a bad phone, they will choose an Ipod instead.

I think that is a mistake. I use mhy phone as text reader and radio already, and I'd really hate going back to carry a separate device for that. I don't know what mp3 player will be my next one, but I do know it will be labeled as a telephone.

Re:The Ultimate Media Device... (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 9 years ago | (#13534248)

On the other hand, it's fairly important that something be released. Successful new technology is somewhat strange in that it pretty much can't happen all at once. They release a product, early adopters pay a premium for the honor of being early adopters, and those profits help fund/justify further development. Complaints/suggestions from early adopters are what make the next generation better. Almost nothing is what-it-should-be in the first generation.

Re:The Ultimate Media Device... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | about 9 years ago | (#13534325)

then again, like the iPod, the earlier adopters are the "cool" people who started the trend who are sitting around with a bigger heavier 10 gig iPod. I just got my 30 gig photo iPod and it's great. The screen is so much nicer than the black and white one. I'd buy it for that alone over the photo capabilities.

So now I guess I'm the cool one since I waited a little while.

Re:The Ultimate Media Device... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534330)

Yeah, I've had an MP3-and video playback-capable phone for the last year or so. It's called the Treo 650. [palm.com] It works great.

Re:The Ultimate Media Device... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 9 years ago | (#13534385)

There's already proof Apple should have waited. Look at the nano, it's got such tiny flash chips which are huge storage-wise. Wouldn't it have made sense to wait just a little while longer and put those in the ROKR?
RTA... the author's premise is that Apple could easily have made the ROKR a better device than it is, but chose not to for business reasons.

let's take the simplicity and style of an ipod (4, Insightful)

vena (318873) | about 9 years ago | (#13534157)

and ignore all of that, make some minor modifications to the industrial design hellhole that are the mobile phones of today, and still try to tell people it's an ipod.

that, to me, is what's wrong with the Rokr.

The worst of both worlds (5, Interesting)

vert2712 (749612) | about 9 years ago | (#13534158)

Average cellphone with castrated iPod (no click wheel, only 512Mb of storage) = pricey lackluster gadget. Why would I every want to buy one of these when I can get an iPod Nano and a cell phone separately and get more bang for the buck?

Not to mention that having an MP3 player and a cell phone sharing the same battery is a stupid idea.

This is one of those 'high concept' ideas that may have looked good on paper but will not connect with consumers.

Re:The worst of both worlds (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#13534187)

I am just waiting for the day someone on slashdot build a plastic case that holds the internal parts of an iPod, cellphone and PDA. Then you'll have the best of all world.

Re:The worst of both worlds (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | about 9 years ago | (#13534246)

Not to mention that having an MP3 player and a cell phone sharing the same battery is a stupid idea.

Why is this a stupid idea? Who turns there cellphone off anyway? MP3 decoders have become so efficient that there should be very little power draw from the phone anyway.

You're probably being too harsh (1)

artemis67 (93453) | about 9 years ago | (#13534331)

Isn't this the first non-PDA cell phone, candy bar form factor, that has a fully-featured MP3 interface?

Granted, it seems like they could have done a lot better, but 512 MB and 100 songs is still pretty good, considering the competition.

I bought a Motorola e815 flip phone, with 40 MB built-in and a transflash adapter for another 256 MB. It plays MP3's, but has no jukebox interface. For me to play music on it, I have to select the songs one at a time. (There might be another way; I've only had it a month, but I haven't seen another way.)

I'm sure once the hackers get the ROKR, they'll break the 100 song limit.

I'd trade in my e815 in a heartbeat for this thing.

Oh, and one other thing... (1)

artemis67 (93453) | about 9 years ago | (#13534404)

Apple doesn't want the ROKR to compete with their iPod line!

Hence, the 100 song limit, the lack of a click wheel, etc.

I'm sure Apple gets some sort of licensing fee for the ROKR, but I bet they get significantly more profit off of their own iPods.

The fully-featured iPod phone isn't going to roll off the assembly line until some other MP3 phones hit the market. I have no doubt that the completed next-generation phones are already occupying a shelf somewhere in Motorola's labs.

Re:The worst of both worlds (1)

doodlelogic (773522) | about 9 years ago | (#13534366)

It's only expensive in the US market: presumably because of the deal with Cingular - here in the UK it is launching as a free phone with 12 month contracts (9 months of which are half-price [carphonewarehouse.com] ) - and doesn't look such a bad deal.

In the medium term, apple will need to be involved with more phones so that apple computer buyers can download pictures and video from their phones as well as uploading music and other stuff to them.

Re:The worst of both worlds (1)

ShadeARG (306487) | about 9 years ago | (#13534410)

Why would I every want to buy one of these when I can get an iPod Nano and a cell phone separately and get more bang for the buck?
That's a good question. A really good compromise is the Nano-RAZR [nyud.net] . It gives you more bang for your buck, plus it sounds more appealing than the Al-ROKR.

Slow... ok. (5, Interesting)

}InFuZeD{ (52430) | about 9 years ago | (#13534163)

But that's not the way it works: instead, you have to connect the phone to your computer (using a slow USB connection) and get songs from your iTunes music library - just as you do with a conventional iPod.

Strange, I seem to get about 3KB/sec most of the time off Cingular's network here in Maryland. I really don't see the benefit in downloading 4MB files off Cingular's network, especially if you don't have the unlimited data plan. What's USB 1.0 rated at? Over 1 MB/sec? That seems to be about 300x as fast as downloading off the phone network.

Granted, it's not as portable for downloading files, but is it really worth waiting half an hour for downloading a song where there isn't EDGE or EVDO? (I haven't yet found a place where I get "EDGE" speeds in the Baltimore area).

Re:Slow... ok. (2, Interesting)

smallfries (601545) | about 9 years ago | (#13534359)

Yeah but you have to remember that the US is not exactly at the forefront of mobile technology. The biggest 3g carrier over here is called 3, but they don't offer data-transfer. The other three carriers all offer 384Kb/s which is fairly respectable. The biggest holdup is that all the data-transfer options use pc-card hardware, but if someone is designing a phone to download tunes then 3g support would have to be a must...

Only 100 songs (1)

aktzin (882293) | about 9 years ago | (#13534166)

Besides this phone being bulky and ugly, I think it's silly that they forcibly limited its capacity to 100 songs regardless of memory card size: http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000570057877/ [engadget.com] I understand Apple's iTunes/iPod efforts are limited by the contracts they sign with the record companies. Lucky for me Palm has no such shackles, and my Treo 650 holds as many songs as I can squeeze into a standard SD card. The 1Gb one I have now handles about 200, and as soon as 2Gb cards get cheaper I'll easily double my storage.

Just Testing (0, Offtopic)

cached (801963) | about 9 years ago | (#13534168)

Bush = monkey

Do i still get +5 insightful?

Re:Just Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534254)

That's an assignment. You probably meant to use the "is equal to" operator "==".

How about the fact (0, Redundant)

scenestar (828656) | about 9 years ago | (#13534170)

That it's DRMed to death.

Of course it's a failure. (2, Insightful)

Diordna (815458) | about 9 years ago | (#13534173)

Something like this won't truly get recognized until it "does it all." A phone-plus-MP3 player is just that, as the article says. It's not a revolution. It's about as much of a revolution as a PDA-plus-MP3 player is.
 
I don't think that a product will get recognized unless it does everything the user wants. It's gotta be a PDA-plus-phone-plus-MP3 player. Make it as cool-looking as the iPod, and then *everyone* will want it. Maybe throw in movies just for effect.

Re:Of course it's a failure. (1)

Sancho (17056) | about 9 years ago | (#13534355)

Most PDAs (including phone PDAs) can act as mp3 players. I think what would make a unit like this killer for me would be an extended battery life. Most phone PDAs seem to last you the day, but then you have to charge up, and that's not considering extended music listening. Not that great.

carrier options too limited (1)

mrcdeckard (810717) | about 9 years ago | (#13534175)

i looked into it today, and although it has gprs and itunes, it's too expensive ($250), AND one must use cingular wireless w/a 2 year contract (cheapest plan @ $40/month).

i don't really need a cell phone, so i'm looking at a payasyougo plan, so this phone is a no go. and, itunes isn't really a big seller for me either.

overall, it does look like they did duct tape iTunes on top of a stock cell phone.

mr c

Re:carrier options too limited (1)

Draveed (664730) | about 9 years ago | (#13534329)

Yeah that is basically what they did. The ROKR is just an update of the E398.

jack of all trades... (2, Interesting)

Scudsucker (17617) | about 9 years ago | (#13534177)

...master of none. You'd probably have more space for flash storage if they had forgone the camera or the bluetooth connectivity. Either you have lower less capable modules or it's put together rather cheaply...one reason I avoid mp3 players with voice recording and FM playback shoehorned on.

But this will get better as stuff gets more and more minaturized. In 5 years we might have phones with five megapixel cameras and 20 gigs of storage. I also wonder how the U.S. phone industry will criple them.

Re:jack of all trades... (1)

boingolover (624961) | about 9 years ago | (#13534351)

iaudio x5 has these features and is neither poor in build quality nor do those features lack in any way.

OK, let's think about this (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 9 years ago | (#13534180)

1) Apple comes out with a phone.
2) It plays music and is a phone.
3) Millions of fashionable heat-seekers buy it.
4) Apple gets to sell songs and ring-tones, which is, inexplicably, something like a 347 billion dollar a year business worldwide (go figure).
5) Apple makes a lot of money.

Re:OK, let's think about this (1)

DarkYoshi (895118) | about 9 years ago | (#13534231)

1) Apple comes out with an iPod. 2) It plays music and is a cool looking gadget. 3) Millions of fashionable heat-seekers buy it. 4) Apple gets to sell songs and the iPod, which is, inexplicably, something like a 347 billion dollar a year business worldwide (go figure). 5) Apple makes a lot of money.

Re:OK, let's think about this (1)

DarkYoshi (895118) | about 9 years ago | (#13534272)

I hate it when I don't do that properly. Let me do it again.

1) Apple comes out with an iPod.
2) It plays music and is a cool looking gadget.
3) Millions of fashionable heat-seekers buy it.
4) Apple gets to sell songs and the iPod, which is, inexplicably, something like a 347 billion dollar a year business worldwide (go figure).
5) Apple makes a lot of money.

Re:OK, let's think about this (0, Redundant)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 9 years ago | (#13534275)

No, my point is that this suddenly puts Apple in the ring-tone buniness, which is, inexplicably, something like a 347 billion dollar a year business worldwide (go figure).

Had you read the article, you'd see it's more like (5, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | about 9 years ago | (#13534259)

1) Apple partners with Motorola to come out with a phone.
2) It plays music and is a phone.
3) Nobody buys it, because...
4) Apple sells the songs via your PC, not directly to the phone, and Motorola still sells you the ringtones separately.
5) Nobody makes any money.

It's like AOL/Time Warner all over again...

Re:Had you read the article, you'd see it's more l (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13534339)

Motorola doens't sell ringtones, Cingular does [cingular.com] . Motorola tailors the software more towards Cingular than Apple though, because 1) carriers have always been able to make boku money off of ringtones, and 2) tailoring it towards carriers is the way it's always been done, and apparently Apple couldn't/didn't want to convince Motorola otherwise.

Cingular still makes boku money, just like they always have. And Motorola still makes whatever money they always have. So the phone isn't a failure at all. But it's nothing like the spectacular success that iPod was either. What do you expect from two huge companies who are trying to hang on to their revenue streams?

Re:OK, let's think about this (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | about 9 years ago | (#13534309)

1) Apple comes out with a phone
2) It plays music and is a phone
3) Cingular and Verizon refuses to deal with Apple
4) Apple is stuck selling a $600 GSM-Only Phone from their website
5) Most people buy the subsidized music phones with 2 year contract.
6) The low-end flash MP3 player market evaporates.
7) Cingluar and Verizon introduce their own music stores, incompatible with iTMS.
8) iTMS customers are pissed because their DRM music is incompatible with everything except a $600 phone.
9) Apple goes back to selling computers.

Re:OK, let's think about this (1)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13534377)

1b) Apple has never done RF hardware before (well, not on the level of cell phones, where size, power consumption, and interoperability are more critical than RF things Apple has done)
1c) Apple has never dealt with FCC cellular approval, or any other country around the world

For the meantime, it seems like the major cellular manfucturers are where it's at for cell phones, because it's a somewhat unique business. Microsoft wants a phone with their OS on it, they go to Motorola/HTC/etc, and bolt their apps on top of the RF manufacturer's hardware and lower-layer software.

In this case, Apple appears to have had minimal input, as the OS, hardware keys, and available storage weren't designed by Apple, so it wasn't too surprising what the outcome was.

Of course it's limited (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534182)

Of course the iTunes mobile phone is limited. Steve Jobs knows what he's doing, and wants to dip his foot into the water of mobile phone music players without cannibalizing the iPod sales. He was less than enthusiastic about the phone - calling it "pretty cool", rather than his usual over-the-top evangelizing, and he looked a bit uncomfortable when using it. He made it pretty clear that this is a Motorola phone with some Apple software, and not an Apple product. The artificial 100-song limit adds to the feeling that this is a plan to get a limited presence in the mobile market, without Apple committing themselves wholeheartedly.

The iPod nano was the real star of the show. If I was from Motorola, I'd be a little annoyed that Apple upstaged the ROKR with the nano. The message seemed to be: "If you want to have music on your phone, here's a decent option, but why would you, when there is a tiny device like the iPod nano that will fit in your pocket with a normal phone, and is better in every way".

Almost Old News (5, Interesting)

mjinman (515540) | about 9 years ago | (#13534184)

Sure this is an important phone cause of iTunes, but I already have a phone that does everything this does and more in a smaller form factor and have had it for a year. (The Audiovox SMT5600) Sure you might groan that it runs windows mobile, but it actually runs really really well. I stuck a 512M miniSD card and walk around with 200 songs on it in full mp3 stereo. So the capabilities of the phone are really just old news cept for iTunes.

once again... (5, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | about 9 years ago | (#13534195)

big business has ruined what could have otherwised been a great product. And why is that? DRM, restrictions, and feature lockout.

Can't use the songs as ring tones? Just to appease the cell phone companies? Do cellphone companies really think they can continue to make money on a gimmick forever? Where's the creativity?

How could apple fix this? The same way they do with all there products. Control the entire thing. I don't think partnering really works for Apple. They should have developed the phone themselves from scratch, maybe with a minor partner, not someone like Motorola. Furthermore, what if they could offer their own cellphone service and make something like downloadable songs over the wireless network feasible? I guess the problem with that is that Apple does not own such a network. I think Apple should give the iPhone another chance, and do it right.

Let's tick off some Apple fans: (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | about 9 years ago | (#13534400)

Hm. I don't know if I trust Apple to design a cell phone all by themselves. It might only have one button.

Hey, wait. They could use their IPod's scroll wheel like a rotary phone. You'd have the world's first touch-sensitive _rotary_ cell phone! That might be cool. It'd be like something out of Back to the Future IV: Marty Screws Up the Future Again.

(Cue the smarm with a link to some clever hacker's rotary cell phone. Come on, I know you're out there, waiting to make me look stupid. This is Slashdot, after all.)

Cell phone with mp3 player: is that a big deal? (1, Insightful)

AxelBoldt (1490) | about 9 years ago | (#13534199)

I haven't really followed the technology, but don't all modern phones nowadays operate as mp3 players?

This seems again like a lot of empty hype: just like when Apple came out with their ipod, some three years after the advent of mp3 players, and everybody congratulated them on their "innovation". Except the innovation couldn't even play ogg format files.

Is it a failure? (1)

richdun (672214) | about 9 years ago | (#13534201)

Isn't it a little premature to call Rokr a failure? I mean, sure, it wasn't the Apple-designed mana-from-heaven iPod phone many wanted, but other than that, wh

Hmm... (1)

richdun (672214) | about 9 years ago | (#13534274)

Not sure where this post came from, the whole thing is a couple posts down from here...

Samsung sch-i730 (3, Insightful)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 9 years ago | (#13534202)

Seriously this device is sweet. With pocketmusic player, it makes a good mp3 player (they have a winamp skin); you can put an SD card in it (right now I just have 1 gig), which although doesn't match ipod storage, is enough to convince me to not carry three devices around (ipod, PDA, phone). Betaplayer (now called something else) makes a great divx player (and is free). So I can watch movies, listen to mp3s, have a full functioning PDA, and a nice phone. It's much more bulky than an ipod, but it beats having to carry three devices around.

Re:Samsung sch-i730 (2)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 9 years ago | (#13534381)

How is this -1 overrated, because it's not by apple? Check out cnet for the review. It's a very well recieved all-in-one.

Failures aren't Important. (5, Interesting)

DavidLeeRoth (865433) | about 9 years ago | (#13534203)

Quite the contrare. Many faliures, although failures, pave the way for other things. The Apple Lisa was a failure due to price, but look at computers today.... all based on those concepts such as GUI's, icons, windows, etc. It is really hard to say if a product is a *failure* because it might lead to bigger and better things. In the middle ages, there was a process that used material and lighting to etch a pattern onto the material. such a process was said to create the Shroud of Turin by skeptics. Although it was not popular because it was a lengthy process, its general idea led to photography. this phone may lead to the next big craze.

Re:Failures aren't Important. (1)

JonnyCalcutta (524825) | about 9 years ago | (#13534318)

But this wasn't exactly ground breaking either. I've been using Nokia phones for years that I can connect to my PC using a USB cable (or bluetooth, actually) and download and listen to music.

Do they even make phones these days that _can't_play mp3s?

Re:Failures aren't Important. (1)

DavidLeeRoth (865433) | about 9 years ago | (#13534367)

Look at the Ipod. Not exactly groundbreaking either. The thing that makes this phone "special" is itunes. This phone, although a failure, will maybe make Apple wise up and make a phone of thier own next time. If apple makes a real ipod phone, you can bet on quality. and, they do make phones still that dont play mp3s. The PM-8200 by Sanyo (my phone) will not play mp3's (you can't even download them.)

designed to fail (1)

stew-a-cide (324615) | about 9 years ago | (#13534205)

I don't see why Apple would want this product to do well. What's to stop Apple from making phones of its own to its own designs and standards and keeping all the profit for itself?

Minus slick Apple design and marketing I don't think cell phones taking over the MP3 player marketspace is a serious threat. Now if ITMS was a money maker and wireless purchases were available I could see this sort of liscenseing scheme making sense, but I think the safer bet is to expand Apple's hardware reach.

Re:designed to fail (2, Insightful)

Stonehand (71085) | about 9 years ago | (#13534299)

Apple doesn't own the towers. He who operates the cellular networks has a fair bit of say over what phones get service.

Other Apple failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534215)

I just hope it doesn't go the way of the failed Apple Newton. Just because it fails, doesn't mean it's not a great idea. I hope they continue to work on bringing the iPod/iTunes service to cellphones.

And bring back the Newton!

Back in Econ 101.... (3, Insightful)

Ogemaniac (841129) | about 9 years ago | (#13534217)

Didn't we all learn that it is never a winning strategy for companies to hide beneficial technology? For example, one often hears conspiracy theories that GM could make a car that gets a zillion MPG, but big oil pays them to keep it in the dark. About three minutes of economics refutes this, by demonstrating that GM could make more selling the advanced cars than big oil would be willing to pay.

The same holds true for the iPod phone. Whatever the reason for its lack of certain features, it is clearly not to protect other companies, or even other divisions within Apple. If these features could be included at a competitive price, Apple would make more money by including them than it would lose elsewhere. Despite the looney theories, any MBA and Apple executive would know this.

Re:Back in Econ 101.... (4, Interesting)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | about 9 years ago | (#13534276)

The simple fact is this is not an apple product. It's a Motorola product that Motorola is paying Apple to put their name on. That would explain why it's ugly, poorly integrated, and crippled. My guess is Apple gets money for opening iTunes and for putting their name on it, but not much else.

Apple phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534230)

Can you buy it from Apple or its retail outlets?
Did Apple design it?
Is ROKR an Apple phone?

The simple answer to all these is NO. Apple is simply harnessed in front of the publicity bandwagon. So it is pretty hard to see this as an Apple failure.

And about the article - how on earth is it easier to download music via cellphone than with a computer? And how is that faster than "using a slow USB connection" or even BlueTooth, that the author forgets?

Clearly this article is a dud.

Blame goes around (1)

dethl (626353) | about 9 years ago | (#13534235)

Similarly, there's no obvious reason why tunes stored on the music module couldn't be used as ringtones for the phone module. But that would undermine the mobile operators' lucrative trade in ringtones.

Seems to me like restrictions from Cingular brought about the limits in songs (100) and the inability to use said songs as ringtones. I haven't seen anything to debunk this, so reply if you can use uploaded songs as ringtones.

The music-player module works like an iPod - though it lacks the clickwheel that makes its big brothers function so slickly. But overall, the impression is distinctly underwhelming. The word on the streets is that far from being the revolutionary device that will bring about media 'convergence', the Rokr is, well, just the sum of its parts.

While I do agree with design, I wonder who was the head of designing this phone? Did they get in contact with Johnathan Ives? The nano shows that a clickwheel can be put on, but how are you going to do it while making the phone sport the usual keypad and look great? This sounds like a great problem for Apple to tackle, and I hope they get some control.

In the end, Apple wins anyway. You load 1 or 100 songs onto the phone. You'll probably still go buy songs off of iTMS anyway. Motorola is probably the loser who will feel the pinch if phone sales are bad.

didn't see this coming.. (1)

abes (82351) | about 9 years ago | (#13534249)

Given that, while pricey, most cell phones are seen as things to be thrown away, and the ipod is seen as something you never want to get rid of, it never made sense to me to marry the two. One of the biggest issues is that most people I know have no great loyalty to any cell phone company (they all treat you like dirt, so you switch according to where you live, which is cheapest when your contract is up for renewel, etc.). If it was possible to switch your mobile across companies, this might have a better chance, but as people have noted, the d/l rates are still bad. But consider people who *don't* have internet access -- it makes sense from apple's POV to try, as this provides coverage that the previously did not have.

In the end, however, spending that much money that is tied to something you will likely have to ditch in the near future just doesn't make sense.

Of course, ipod minis didn't make much sense to me either .. so my predictive powers aren't so great.

Problems with Current Innovation 101 (1)

quadra23 (786171) | about 9 years ago | (#13534251)

From the article:

...There's no technological reason why the music module in the iPhone couldn't hold 500 or 1,000 songs rather than the current measly 100; but if it did, then sales of existing iPod models might be undermined.

Similarly, there's no obvious reason why tunes stored on the music module couldn't be used as ringtones for the phone module. But that would undermine the mobile operators' lucrative trade in ringtones. (And, boy, is it lucrative: you can buy a Coldplay track from iTunes for 99 cents; but the same track bought at ringtone rates would cost $25.)

And as for the idea of downloading tracks directly to the phone via the mobile network - well, don't even think about it. Apple makes money from selling iPods, network-ready personal computers and online music. Using the phone network would bypass the first two of those cash cows.

The difficulty stems from a simple, unpalatable fact - namely that radical innovation generally threatens your existing business model. Or, in MBA-speak, it cannibalises your core business.


Here's a good lesson in how your own innovation can easily help you shoot yourself in the foot later. Apple could possibly innovate around this, but sadly since they didn't this might make the product hurt their bottom line and not improve it since they don't want to innovate around their own imaginary product boundaries.

The iPhone is considerably less than the sum of its parts for one reason: it was designed by a company that has become a prisoner of its previous success at innovation...It's a sad, but true, fact of technological life.

It's sad how true the article is. This is exactly why you don't any company function as a monopoly over any particular technology regardless of who it is (yes, not just MS). Companies release new products in what they think won't clash with their other products and would benefit themselves primarily and not the benefit of the consumer. You can't really blame the companies -- we'd all do the same thing, but we shouldn't let them choose imaginary limitations just because it might hurt their bottom line. This is a lesson that all companies should learn and as consumers and we, as consumers, would be good to be aware of this in our technology choices!

Is it a failure? (5, Interesting)

richdun (672214) | about 9 years ago | (#13534258)

Isn't it a little premature to call Rokr a failure? I mean, sure, it wasn't the Apple-designed mana-from-heaven iPod phone many wanted, but other than that, what's so bad about it?

I ordered one yesterday at the Gold Coast Cingular store in Chicago (about two blocks from the Apple North Michigan Ave store) - one guy was already in there playing with the one demo model, and right after I walked in, two people walked "wanting to see the Rokr". From the looks of it, Cingular is special ordering all these, or at the least, can't keep them in stock in stores just yet.

Remember iPod mini's debut? Who would pay just $50 less for a mini iPod that had (at the time) 16GB less space? Or what about the iPod itself? $299 was just too much for a 5GB MP3 player. Yet both flew off the shelves, each at their own pace, but both were doubted at their beginning.

I wanted a new phone, with Bluetooth to use my Prius' hands-free system and the ability to use at least some of my iTMS songs on it. So I can't load my entire 6.5 GB music library, but my main playlist only has 80-90 songs, big deal. It doesn't look like an iPod, but quite frankly, I'm glad. Phones are primarily for making calls, and I like to use numbers to call people, not swing a clickwheel around to rotary dial - why should there have to be a clickwheel on the phone when I know of no one today that would prefer a rotary dial over touch-tone phone.

Let's wait at least until mid-week to decide if this was a failure - iTunes Japan surprised everyone in just a week, and most of the buzz has been about the nano all this week (which absolutely rocks, but is too expensive to just replace my iPod as my car's jukebox). If sales numbers are where I think they might be, this "failure" might surprise everyone just like the last two mispriced, misplaced Apple pieces.

Apple needs to get into the cellphone business (4, Interesting)

vistic (556838) | about 9 years ago | (#13534260)

The article mentions how the ROKR doesn't do what it should, because Apple, Motorola, and Cingular all have their own existing businesses that they don't want to see get bypassed by new technology.

I saw a picture of the ROKR on the web, and the menu looks exactly like the existing menus on my Motorola phone. I was expecting the famous Chicago font that you see on old classic Macs, and iPods nowadays. But its just the crap font used in Motorola phones. Also there's the input situation with no click wheel type of thing (or even an iPod Shuffle kind of interface)... the ROKR looks just like a standard issue cellphone, that has "iTunes" added as an extra application to the system, along with the calculator, mini browser, address book, and a java game.

The obvious thing to do would be for Apple to make the phone entirely themselves. I suppose it's possible since they ARE also a hardware company. Frankly, I'm surprised Apple allowed another company to have so much control in designing something that would be associated with the Apple brand. It doesn't end up having the Apple look or feel at all.

Apple could even launch their own cellphone service, instead of pairing with Cingular. They wouldn't even need to build their own network. Virgin Mobile is just re-branded Sprint service. So I suppose Apple could do something similar with an existing cellphone company... Offering an Apple phone to use on Apple's cellphone network.

Perhaps then Apple could truly innovate on this thing, instead of falling victim to the situation the article describes when multiple businesses try to cooperate.

A plea to Apple (1)

BenjyD (316700) | about 9 years ago | (#13534278)

Please, please, please, stop mucking about with castrated hybrid iPod phones and just move into the smartphone market proper. Partner with Motorola or whoever, but please make me a smartphone with an interface that doesn't suck, a decent processor and that doesn't look like an industrial designer threw up on it.

Re:A plea to Apple (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 years ago | (#13534392)

There are two competing design interests which are currently fighting it out:
Features vs. Size

When you say you want "a decent processor" & something that "doesn't look like an industrial designer threw up on it" you've got to realize that those features require battery power... which in turn means a bigger phone.

If people were willing to go back to the mid 1990's and purchase a cellphone that's an inch and a half thick, five inches tall and really freakin' wide, then designers could pack in every freakin' feature you want.

BUT since everyone wants a Motorola Razr, the trend is going to be smaller and smaller phones, which will naturally limit what can and cannot be done with them.

Proves Apple doesn't collaborate well, film at 11 (1)

amichalo (132545) | about 9 years ago | (#13534293)

So the ROKR proves Apple doesn't do well with collaboration. Tell us something we didn't already know.

It is so obvious this phone is a checklist of specs:
- Hundred song capacity - check
- iPod library navigation software - check
- Dedicated iTunes button - check
- Pause song on phone call - check
- USB sync - check

It's like Apple made some demands on what the phone must do, and the rest Motorola did. Clearly if Apple was allowed design considerations on this phone, they got nixed in a very intense way. The phone itself is no other than an existing motorola design with iTunes shoehorned in.

Perhaps this is some stop-gap device to satiate the critics until a built-for-iTunes phone can be built.

I doubt it though.

The real deal will be Apple's take on the Treo devices that will mend the PDA, phone, and of course support multimedia too, all with Apple's great Ink Well technology. But that's another post.

Obviously this is a toe in the water (5, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | about 9 years ago | (#13534296)

Apple wants to be sure they don't get boxed out by mobile carriers, all of whom want to take away business from iTunes. Apple would rather not make a device that as others have mentioned, is a jack of all trades, master of none. But they're compelled to enter this market as a defensive move. If by some good fortune the ROKR takes off, they'll capitalize on it. If the carriers are all wrong in their bet that mobile phones will unseat MP3 players like the iPod (and I think they are wrong), Apple hasn't invested an arm and a leg in the venture.

I see the ROKR as proof that Apple has become much more adept at business strategy than it was back in the 1990s. People have been screaming for a hybrid phone/iPod for some time now, and Apple has given them what they want. They haven't placed a huge bet on it, and they're letting Motorola do the heavy lifting (which is a long time coming). I say smart move Apple.

So what? Who cares? (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | about 9 years ago | (#13534310)

So what if the first generation sucks? They'll improve it for the next version of the firmware or when they make the next version of the phone. They'll say "OK, here's why consumers didn't like it, and here's what we can do about it."

Oh, look! (1)

jcr (53032) | about 9 years ago | (#13534312)

A critique from someone who hasn't actually seen the product in person! Isn't that amazing?

-jcr

Koolaide for all... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 9 years ago | (#13534313)

This was SJ's biggest non-event in history and the first indication that transitioning Apple from bootstrapping an Industry to stewardship over a monopoly isn't scaling well.

Nano will not be the revolutionary form factor SJ wants it to be. Once novelty wears thin. People will want bigger than a credit card for their tune player.

SJ is back to pedalling Kool-aide, again.

Phone interfaces (2, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | about 9 years ago | (#13534322)

From the article:
...the (Motorola-designed) software is as uninspiring as that of the Razr. (Why is it that Nokia is apparently still the only company capable of designing an intuitive user interface for telephony?)

Well, for me they aren't. I had a Nokia 3650, and regardless of form-factor oddness the interface was just dubious. Very slow, took ages and many button-presses to just get it to understand I wanted to send a text. Something like Phone book->Pick name->confirm number->create message->SMS message (as opposed to picture or what have you. Or there was another way starting from Create Message that required just as many button presses before you started typing.

I switched to the Motorola V3 to give something else a try - specifically to get away from the Nokia interfaces. The Motorola interface has proven better in some areas, the same in others. Not worse in any, except the god-awful default ringtone.

It's still not great however. Years ago, I had an Ericsson T38 [google.com] , and that had a great interface. Purely text-based, to create a message was just one option at the top level - 'New Message'. If you regularly sent to one person (which I did - my then-girlfriend-now-wife), you could specify person as being the default recipient. So creating an SMS consisted of three button presses - cursor down, select 'New Message', hit select to confirm default recipient and then type. And the response was instance - none of the large lag that seems increasingly common with graphically flash phones.

There's not one of the new phones I've found that's anywhere near as quick as that. I like the V3 as a phone for its size, audio quality and size of keypad. I can't help feeling that in some of the basics however phone interfaces going backwards fast.

Cheers,
Ian

check your facts, guardian (2, Informative)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13534333)

FTA:
First, there was Apple's iTunes - the first, and still the dominant, legal online music business
um, emusic anyone?

fDailjzors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13534356)

For *BSD Because hand...don't Mutated testicle of intent1ons and session and join in Hype - BSD's

Mutli-purpose devices are always compromises (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 9 years ago | (#13534368)

Each function of a multi-purpose device is never as good as that function provided by a single-purpose device.

If you by a cell-phone with the iPod software in it, don't expect the iPod experience to rival that of a regular iPod.

However, what you can expect is some cross-functional benefits, such as downloading songs via the cell network and storing them into the iPod portion of the phone.

Bluetooth (3, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | about 9 years ago | (#13534372)

I thought the phone was interesting, but not interesting to me. I immediately noticed on the specs that it supported bluetooth specifically only for voice.

I can't tell you how many people I know can't get their laptops to sync to their bluetooth phones in the one way they want them to: to be able to connect to the net

Why can't they sell a phone specifically for this market? All it would do is make phone calls, and wirelessly connect your laptop to some dialup speed connection. No bloody video camera, no lame on phone email thing, no songs, no extra ring tones... just easy net capability. I guess that would just be too obvious, and never sell well in Japan.

why ringtones cost so much (3, Interesting)

blib-hiptop (876145) | about 9 years ago | (#13534376)

When you purchase the licence (yes, you only ever purchase a licence) to music it comes with certain restrictions. One of the standard restrictions is over public playing. You are not granted the right to play the music in public places. I suspect that one of the main reasons that the iPhone doesn't let you use itms songs as ringtones is it is against the licence. In many ways drm doesn't reduce your rights, it just enforces the limitations more carefully.

Executing Unapproved Binaries (0, Offtopic)

SumDog (466607) | about 9 years ago | (#13534388)

I like the 2nd argument, "Enumerating Badness"

I remember one think I learned from my 500 level network security class was something very basic, don't let users execute unapproved binaries.

Even in Windows as far back as NT you could use the NTConfig.pol to create a list of approved binaries that the user could execute. In more modern XP/2003 system, you can use Group Policies, but the principal is the same.

Sure word.exe could get replaced by a malicious program, but the only way for that to happen is for the user to have rights to replace word.exe and that shouldn't happen with the proper domain setup and systems that are kept up to date with patches.

Home systems are harder. It would be nice if we could adopt the same model. At home I use nothing by Linux systems and use a regular user account daily, only going to root when I need to. On corporate systems you can also take the extra step to limit the regular users abilities to compile and execute their own binaries.

With XP Home edition, we see the complete suspension of NTFS permissions as well as a host of other things that would save a lot of users a lot of trouble. If people used XP Pro as a regular user and only ran programs as administrator when necessary (and that involves the discretion of not installing tons of free programs that come loaded with spyware), we'd have a lot less security problems on home system.

Windows Vista is supposed to add in a lot of stuff that defaults to this functionality which should help, however what's really needed is more education for home users, in simply straightforward means, to help prevent a lot of these problems.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

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

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