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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Ranbot Re:This is aimed at carriers like Verizon Wireless (310 comments)

I don't appreciate any bloatware, but I'll take Google's over Verizon's. I have had Verizon for years and I like them fine as carrier, because they have the best networks in my area, but their mobile apps are terrible and not being able to remove them is aggravating.

10 hours ago
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NASA Expands Commercial Space Program

Ranbot Re:Turf building (24 comments)

On the topic of "turf building" it seems that this a big step for NASA to have less dependence on Russian launchers. NASA can't be happy about the rhetoric and threats between the US and Russia over Crimea and is worried about being caught in the middle.

3 days ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

I think now that the 6 plus is available we'll see a lot more movement away from android to better options.

I assume by "better" you mean Apple. Some people might switch to Apple, but my experience is that as long as people don't have a horrible Android experience (which to be fair, does happen sometimes) they typically don't go back to Apple. Switching from Android to Apple involves paying more for the device, losing or repurchasing Android apps, entering Apple's walled garden, and if they aren't familiar with iOS, then they have to learn that too. I know iOS is supposed to be very user friendly, but I've always been an Android user and when I have to use iOS I struggle doing basic functions that I'm accustomed to with Android...I'm sure iOS is good, it's just what you're used to. I'll probably get modded down for this, but I don't care...People that understand the tech in phones know that going from Android to Apple is like take a 2 year technological step back, but paying more for it.

If you pay attention to the markets it's clear that the iPhone 6 Plus is reactionary to retain Apple customers who are considering phablets, particularly in overseas markets (China, Japan, Korea, etc.) where phablets adoption is much stronger than the US and Apple has seen big losses to Samsung.

about a week ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

I'll choose to have 2 devices.

That works for you and the market shows there are millions of people who agree with you, but the market also shows there are millions of people who would choose the single phablet option. There are costs and benefits to both and there's room in the market for both.

about a week ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:For the price of an iPhone, you could have both (277 comments)

Counterpoints:
1) For some people two devices is a hassle
2) You're not factoring in the cost of mobile data plans for 2 devices vs 1. I know you can tether/mobile hotspot, but then you're back to point #1.
3) For users already invested in the Apple garden of products, then what Android has to offer doesn't really factor into it. (Although I personally agree that Apple prices are outrageous, but the market seems to think otherwise)

about a week ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

But you can buy a Nexus 7 tablet ($229) and a $100 phone for less than the price of many smart phones or phablets. You don't really have to spend double.

That does not factor in costs for mobile data on two devices, which is typically much more expensive than the actual device. If someone only gets mobile data on one device then it limit functionality of the other device. One can tether/mobile hotspot to the connected device, but then they are carrying two devices around everywhere. Some people will choose to pay for and/or work around the issues of 2 devices [as millions of users already have], but some people will take the Phablet compromise [as millions of users already have].

about a week ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Very sad (277 comments)

I hate, hate, hate, hate large phones. If I needed a bigger screen, I'll pull out my tablet or my laptop. I'm a skinny guy, I wear tight-ish jeans.

There are the millions of smartphone consumers in the world who don't have the disposable income to buy a smartphone and tablet. Pocket size is not driving the phablet market. The driving force is consumers who want/need to do computing tasks with their phone, but can't afford or don't want to pay for a secondary tablet. Samsung saw this need in the market [particularly in Asia] several years ago, Apple is just now trying to address it.

about a week ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Ranbot Re:Bigger is better for some, bigger... (277 comments)

Guess it really depends on how big your pockets are.

Wrong. For most people choosing phablets it has nothing to do with pocket size. It's mainly by consumers who are migrating their traditional desktop computing to their mobile devices and the tasks are just easier with a larger screen. Many people don't want to spend double for a phone and a tablet, so they opt for the compromise single-device phablet.

For example, my 27-year old sister does not pay for cable/internet at home, but has a smartphone that she does most of her computing from. In the rare times she really needs a computer for something, she will use PCs at her work during her off-hours or drag out her old laptop at free Wi-Fi cafe. She does not have the disposable income for tablet, so a phablet is perfect for her.

about a week ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Ranbot Re:Nope they are clever (335 comments)

I'm no fan of Apple, but you can't argue that they aren't strategically clever bastards.

First they attempted to lock-up the PC hardware/software market (and thankfully failed). They colluded with AT&T to lock the smart phone market. Walled off iTunes to corner the MP3 market. Tried to fix pricing in the digital book market (which a federal court slapped them for). Now Apple our credit/debit cards in their sights... Bastards is right on.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data at 32 Gigabits p/s, Faster Than LTE

Ranbot Amazing, but.. (1 comments)

...you know people will still complain that their wireless data speeds are too slow!

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Ranbot Re:You mean... (241 comments)

Netflix is a case study in how to do video technologically wrong and it seems like they're just totally ignoring common sense. Why shouldn't doing things like a luddite, be relatively expensive? (Really, having storage in your box is still considered prohibitively expensive? It sure wasn't expensive in 2000 with Tivo series 1. Things got worse since then?!?)

I agree with this in part, but I don't think the comparison to Tivo is fair, because Netflix doesn't sell physical hardware and they don't want to get into hardware for good reason. Convincing most consumers to buy a new piece of hardware for a service is a big hurdle, but Netflix operates on the existing hardware that people already have (tablets, phones, Smart TVs, game consoles, etc.). That's a huge advantage they (or other streaming content providers) would never willingly give up.

With that said, I think Netflix should be working on programming more local buffering and pre-loading options regardless of this net neutrality decision. Honestly, I'm surprised Netflix has not done this for the benefit of it's customers already, because there are times that ISPs at no fault of their own simply can't keep up with peak loads and streaming content suffers, which in turn hurts Netflix.

about two weeks ago
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Say Goodbye to that Unwanted U2 Album

Ranbot Apple tools (3 comments)

They achnowledge this was a mistake, but Apple still believes they know what what customers want [and what music they should listen to] better than the customers.

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Ranbot Re:You mean... (241 comments)

I think the idea is that you pay the ISP for a "Netflix booster", and then your Netflix traffic gets un-humped into the fast lane.

That's how I interpretted it... and with this model ISPs could bundle website traffic into packages just like cable TV. No thank you.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Ranbot Re:To be fair... (405 comments)

This is an amusing story, but I'll cut the announcers some slack, because filling an audio void for ~4 hours (pre-game, game, post-game) mistake free is not easy. I used to be a college radio DJ and in just an hour show talking between songs I had plenty of screw ups.

What I find more amusing is that Microsoft didn't seem to consider this hazard before dumping $400 mil into advertising with the NFL.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Ranbot iPad Mini is redundant now (730 comments)

I predict that soon after the iPhone 6 Plus launch Apple's will quietly announce that they are discontinuing the Mini.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Ranbot Re:So what exactly is the market here. (730 comments)

You mentioned ease of use for women without pockets, but it could also be useful for any business person who gets stuck in meetings, because they can casually glance at their wrist to check incoming calls or emails.

Wearable tech has been here, but just hasn't caught on... if anyone can make it cool for the masses, it's Apple.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Ranbot Re:Wrist Heart Rate Monitor (730 comments)

It depends on the level of accuracy you need. If you're a casual user who generally wants to know their heart rate and track daily activity on a macro level, then a wrist monitor is probably fine. A wrist heart monitor is like an upgrade to a pedometer. Even individually inaccurate measurements can become relatively accurate when averaged together over a long period time. But professional/amateur athletes tracking heart rates in real-time throughout a workout, will want the immediate accuracy of a chest strap monitor.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Ranbot Re:Worst annoucment ever.... (730 comments)

Large vs small hands is not the driving factor in increasing phone sizes.

The trend among smart phone owners is they are doing more conventional computing on their smart phones (e.g. email, web browsing, YouTube videos, banking, shopping, social media, etc.). These tasks are easier to accomplish with on a larger screen. For example my younger sister (27 years old) does not pay for cable or internet in her home, but has a [android] smartphone that she uses for ~90% of her computing needs. In the rare case she needs the full screen/keyboard she a PC at her work or she'll dust off her old lap top. This trend is even more pronounced in less affluent, but still technologically connected countries, like China, Korea, and Japan where smart phone users often have a smartphone, but no other computing alternative. Internationally, Apple products have been losing to Samsung's larger phones (aka "phablets") for a while now, but in the US the trend only became significant recently.

about three weeks ago
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Securing the US Electrical Grid

Ranbot Re:INL working on these issues. (117 comments)

I don't know. But I do know that lost profits and tax revenues by businesses in a widespread power outage can be considerable, and for major metro areas can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars lost per event. I'm sure someone smarter than me could look at a region of the grid and calculate the expense of upgrades vs the cost of every profit-generating business losing productivity with some additional fudge factors for less tangible effects on higher risk populations at hospitals, nursing homes, etc. If some people are little inconvienced at their home for a few days, I don't really care, but if those people can't go to work, that's a big deal.

about a month ago

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