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Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

Scot Seese Re:Slightly pro-Intel reviews (135 comments)

Said it before, saying it again -

AMD is a budget chip for gaming enthusiasts who only want to drop a $200 motherboard + APU upgrade into their tower to play current gen games. I thought it was fairly well understood by now that AMD is marketed to guys living in the midwest running $60 towers with neon accent piping visible through the plexiglas side windows.

yesterday
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

Scot Seese Mexico? (233 comments)

Given the cost of labor, geographical proximity and ease of distribution thanks to NAFTA, I'm surprised more companies aren't setting up manufacturing in Mexico. In one of the more stable states, not the heads-in-a-duffel-bag / threatening to collapse the government states.

Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

about two weeks ago
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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

Scot Seese Re:Dammit! Adam you rolled over... (63 comments)

With the litigant (Personal Audio) having chosen to file in the Texas court system that historically favors the patent holders, Carolla's legal team probably advised him to take the deal, walk away without payment, secure future immunity and call it a victory.

It is unlikely that Personal Audio will file against other podcasters - even large ones, like Maron, Rogan, Nerdist, Ira Glass, LaPorte, et. al because the litigant discovered during filing that podcasters aren't making huge buckets of money. The largest, most successful podcasters - Carolla, Leo LaPorte, etc. are only clearing a few million dollars a year from advertising, merch and affiliate links - which may sound like a lot to you sitting at your computer, but to a large corporation is a rounding error. Which is why most of the trolls file against large companies. Like Apple, who would have salaried in-house counsel fight for a few weeks, until it was determined they could possibly lose, in which case they would quietly pay the troll $10 million to STFU and go away quietly.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

Scot Seese Re:Snowden's comments at odds with his actions (194 comments)

Do you honestly think Edward Snowden will ever (willingly) set foot on U.S. soil again? Or live a long, healthy life?
He exposed and humiliated the United States intelligence apparatus in front of the world, and possibly compromised its ability to gather signals intelligence on several near-peer nations.

Forget a presidential pardon, he'll be lucky to live another five years without mysteriously dying in a hit and run car accident. If Putin's FSB agents would brazenly murder an expat Russian oligarch billionaire with polonium in London - a substance that can only be produced by a very small number of nuclear states - What makes you think the untimely accidental death of an American expat "traitor" can't be quietly arranged through some intelligence community negotiating?

about three weeks ago
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Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

Scot Seese Small Market, Bad Product (126 comments)

I ride.

While discussing this with a fellow rider the other day, I pointed out one of the biggest challenges this product (and the sport) faces- Low helmet usage.

Motorcycling's largest segment - the cruiser / "Harley People" group - can't be bothered to wear helmets. Or protective gear. Or not drink before riding.

The other culture segment - the Sportbike guys - are split between two subgroups:

-the Squids who wear protective gear comprised of an Affliction t-shirt, Abercrombie board shorts, sunglasses, and (sometimes) a backwards baseball cap with and Ed Hardy design on it, or -

-the guys who actually wear gear. Usually a lid, jacket, and gloves at a minimum, sometimes pants & boots.
To this group, a $1300 helmet is a lot of money when a good, low mileage used sport bike costs only $4-6k.

Considering that a good DOT/Snell helmet from a number of manufacturers cost only $200-600, why do you want to pay a huge premium to place your existing gauges & instruments two feet closer to your face?

about three weeks ago
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The ESports Athletes Who Tried To Switch Games

Scot Seese Ath-lete, noun - (146 comments)

athlete [ath-leet]
Noun

A person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

Origin:
1520–30; Latin thlta Greek thlts, equivalent to thl- (variant stem of thleîn to contend for a prize, derivative of âthlos a contest) + -ts suffix of agency

I don't care what your APM is in Starcraft 2, you are NOT an athlete. You have a top 1% skill in SOMETHING, but it is NOT "athletic."

Therefore, the contest you are participating in is NOT A SPORT. Not anymore than chess or monopoly is a sport.

about three weeks ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Re:Lack of Real, Physical Products (79 comments)

It think this would be a good comparison:

Tell me what the Apple watch looks like.
Tell me what Google Glass looks like.

One of these two has so repulsed people that it's being banned over privacy concerns before it's even available for sale. Merely having Google Glass on your face while in public makes you look like the creeper at the school soccer match taking pictures of other people's kids.

The other one will just be fashionable, kind of clever, overpriced and was exhaustively tested and workshopped internally, in secret, the way these things probably should be.

#LolBarges

about a month ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Re:Monorail (79 comments)

Yes, however some companies prefer to develop, focus group and refine products behind closed doors so the turkeys never go public and stink up your brand.

How much are those Nexus streaming media orbs on eBay?

Gonna buy Google Glass when its' released? Where do you intend to use it? They sound like a great way to get punched in the face over privacy concerns.

about a month ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Lack of Real, Physical Products (79 comments)

So, Google wanted to create floating "AMAZING PRODUCTS OF THE FUTARE!!" floating showrooms to delight and amaze the public with miraculous superproducts from Google's super top secret lab. Not unlike every grainy, black and white newsreel from the 1950s where the Voice of Authority(tm) narrator is telling us how delighted Margaret the housewife is to be cooking in a kitchen where EVERYTHING is MADE FROM GLASS! - Look, Margaret can't accidentally catch the curtains on fire, because they are made from ADVANCED GLASS FIBERS. TECHNOLOGY1!!1!

So Google bought two ore barges, hastily repainted them, welded a bunch of containers together to create the Impossibly Cool Showroom of Miraculous Future Super Cool products. .. and then...

The Nexus Orb ball-shaped thingy that you only now barely remember was a horrible flop. After much trumpeting about how they were assembled in 'MURRICA, the project was killed and presumably the remaining inventory was buried in New Mexico next to all the E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600.

Google Glass - Does a day go by that you don't see a story about how yet another establishment, or entire national chain has proclaimed they are banning Google Glass - and the device isn't even available for sale to the general public? Terrible battery life, mediocre recording quality, limited feature set widely eclipsed by the smartphone you probably already own, and ENORMOUS public privacy problem stuck on your face.

Google Self-Driving Marketing Ploy: I think even average consumers innately feel that self-driving cars are decades away from practical use. A Kafka -esque labyrinth of local, state and federal regulations and vehicle laws must be untangled. And then, there's the part Google's marketing department ISN'T trumpeting - the LIDAR system barely works at all in rain or snow, rendering the vehicle absolutely worthless in at least 45 states. Other articles mention the vehicle doesn't know how to cope with loss of traction situations like snow, ice, oil or wet leaves that could cause catastrophic loss of control in moving traffic.

Nexus Smartphones: I've had them. Google makes no money on the hardware, selling rebranded devices with stock android on it with the hopes of gleaning valuable advertising data from you. Their sales numbers are reportedly very low. A rounding error to Samsung or Apple. Moving on.

So, at the end of the day, executives at Google realized their business model is still to violate your email and web traffic privacy to sell display ads to you, and perhaps they should sell their silly showroom barges at pennies on the dollar salvage prices and pretend it never happened.

The indicator that true creative thinking is dead inside an organization is when it must innovate by acquisition. Instead of YOUR employees creating products that grow organically, you pay 100 times as much to buy established or growing products. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Nest, and whoever is next.

Pfft.
Barges.

about a month ago
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AMD Launches New Higher-End Kaveri APUs A10-7800 and A6-7400K

Scot Seese FPS per Dollar Champ (117 comments)

Umm.. These benchmarking sites, and comment threads like this one constantly miss the point.

The AMD A-Series processors do NOT equal intel chips when you run synthetic CPU benchmarks.

The AMD A-Series absolutely KILLS IT when your goal is to throw together a dirt-cheap gaming rig on a budget.

  If all you need is a new motherboard, CPU & RAM, and you intend to reuse your old case, hard drives, and peripherals - The AMD A10 chips and their integrated Radeon graphics offer outstanding FPS for the dollar when compared to the alternative of building an intel system w/discrete Nvidia GPU.

Did you really think people are sticking AMD APUs in cases with neon-accented cutout windows and holographic 3D skull case stickers to optimize their VBA performance in large Excel workbooks?

No, they want consistent 90 fps in Shooter DuJour, and they want it for only a few hundred bucks.

about 1 month ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Scot Seese Re:Angry Proliferation Game (224 comments)

Ironically, despite my comment sounding as though I may be opposed to nuclear proliferation, I am not. I'm only opposed to nuclear capability falling into the hands of stateless organizations or despotic regimes unbeholden to the wishes and well being of their populace.

Nuclear weapons are an incredibly powerful normalizing force, creating symmetry from military, industrial, technological and population asymmetry.

In this century, nations such as France or Great Britain lack the ability or political will to project real military power beyond their borders against potential future aggressors such as Russia or China - but the relatively small number of very sophisticated, highly accurate ICBMS maintained by both nations acts as a guarantor of sovereignty and minimizes the likelihood of invasion by a land army.

That both France and Great Britain have placed the majority of their nuclear arsenal in Boomers - ballistic missile submarines - making them virtually impossible to neutralize - creates the ultimate "Dead Mans' Switch", in which case you will never be able to destroy those nations without suffering a terrible retaliatory strike.

Terrible weapons of destruction? Yes. That have ironically prevented large scale conflict between developed nations for over seventy years.

about 1 month ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Scot Seese Angry Proliferation Game (224 comments)

Nuclear proliferation is becoming to sound like the plot to some absurdist classic Star Trek episode.

The leaders of all the planets' nations sit in a room, arrayed in a circle. The room is white and completely bare, except for their chairs, and in the center of the room a single gleaming, chromed post rising from the floor about 3 feet tall. Atop the shiny post is a single large, tennis-ball sized red button.

It is widely accepted among all the leaders that pressing the button activates a mechanism that destroys the planet. Yet this doesn't stop them from rising from their chairs, and arguing - yelling, taunting even - other leaders around the circle, so enraging them that at times several of them are close to snapping, rushing forward and pounding the red button.

Because at the end of the day, the leaders are all flawed human beings, driven by the psychological baggage of behavioral evolutionary holdovers, cultural and religious constructs, and overwhelmingly the inability to view the other participants in the room as peers equally deserving of resources as the tribes represented by the leaders.

Sooner or later, someone - in a moment of hubris, misplaced confidence in their own technology or military, or religious zeal - is going to dash out of their chair and smack that button.

about 1 month ago
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Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

Scot Seese NSA Jiggabyte Storage Facility No. 17 (81 comments)

No, just another NSA data farm. Even high density modern storage media sags under the mighty volume of texts fired at 1914 Maxim machine gun speeds by teenage girls and SnapChat selfies flying through the ether.
 

about a month ago
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Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

Scot Seese Re:What's next (67 comments)

Are you saying the Reality Distortion Field is slipping? ; ]

Well, look at Beats. They really are horrible quality headphones, but they have extremely effective lifestyle marketing driven by hip-hop royalty & superstar athletes.

Their actual differentiators are the very thick, colored silicon rubber coated headphone cord that "feels substantial" and the softness of their ear cups, and the head rest foam. Granted, a pair of Klipsch headphones for half the price are better headphones, but "Dr. Dre" isn't endorsing those, and Carmello Anthony and LeBron aren't stepping off buses with them around their necks.

Fifteen years before that it was a few dollars worth of rubber and leather stitched together in SouthEast Asia being sold for well over $100 because some basketball player from Chicago had his logo - sorry, the logo Nike, or their ad firm created - glue on the side of each shoe.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

Scot Seese Re:What's next (67 comments)

There are references out in the wild as to Ives' design influences. I can't remember if it was from the Walter Isaacson "Jobs" biography or elsewhere, but I read that both Jobs & Ives were huge devotees of Braun and their product design from the 1960s -1980s.

Lots of stainless steel, flat surfaces, needless but visually appealing accent holes, etc. It was joked that the old Mac Pro - the "Cheese Grater" looked exactly like an old Braun electric shaver, and the holes on the front resembled the foil shaver surface.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

Scot Seese Re:What's next (67 comments)

Sorry,no - I typed my post on a fully loaded i7 15" rMBP w/16 gb RAM.

Just calling it like I see it. And as I see it, Apple is a boutique design company that makes expensive products with often superfluous differentiators. Truly the "carbon fiber and burled walnut" of tech products.

Your iPhone 4 does not have Gorilla Glass 2, or Gorilla Glass 3 on it.

The laptops you mentioned aren't selling well because consumers are repelled by Windows 8, the design of most Windows laptops right now is dreadful, and Apple's marketing is ferocious.

I owned a 13" MacBook Air before I bought my rMBP, and yes, they are nice little units.

 

about 2 months ago
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Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

Scot Seese Re:What's next (67 comments)

This. I have been saying this for years.

Apple is, and day by day, more and more - a boutique brand. Their pricing is incompatible with all but a handful of wealthy nations, and within those nations, upper income consumers. Their market share is very, very small.

They make high quality, beautifully designed, well thought out products that include luxury differentiators that are unnecessary for most users' needs. Billeted unibody aluminum cases in a world of plastic. Very high resolution laptop & desktop displays in a world of commodity 1920x1080. High speed SSD in a world of SATA spinny hard drives - that now, with RAM caching on-drive, are almost as fast as SSD. And the list of "luxury differentiators" goes on. And, most people who buy their products use them to do exactly the same work as the commodity Windows machines costing half the price.

And, Apple makes virtually nothing themselves - they design, and use a slew of Asian contract manufacturers to build their products - making them something of an analogue for European high fashion clothing brands. Design Studio to Runway, email the patterns off to Vietnam, container ship the fall dresses to the stores in a couple months. Design Studio to emailing the schematics off to FoxConn, container ship the phones for fall launch in a couple months.

Apple has probably resigned itself to the fact they will never move the marker significantly either direction for market share. Like any premium consumer brand targeted at upper middle to upper income consumers - Bose, BMW, etc. - There exists at any point in time a percentage of the population wanting those differentiators. And by adding a few tiny, special wrinkles to your products, the margins can be increased handsomely.

"Sapphire display glass." A Red Herring. The Corning "Gorilla Glass" product currently available is incredibly scratch resistant and costs 1/10th the price. The entire issue is obviated by the phone chassis being machined of aluminum, which is extremely soft and will scratch or dent badly from foreign objects in your pocket or hard surface drops, so the first thing most iPhone owners do is entomb their device in exactly the kind of design-hiding, ugly plastic case that makes Jony Ive bolt wide awake at night in a cold sweat.

But, another luxury differentiator that looks fantastic with a stylish Keynote slide transition, and a cute bar chart boasting of comparative surface hardnesses.

Luxury differentiators, small boutique brands, huge margins, discriminating consumers - all of Apple's recent executive hires have been from clothing & luxury wearable companies. It would appear they've made peace with their position in the world.

 

about 2 months ago
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Overkill? LG Phone Has 2560x1440 Display, Laser Focusing

Scot Seese Specs On Paper & Buyer Mindset (198 comments)

This is simply a stats arms race.

Seeing how Android flagship makers are using someone else's OS and app ecosystem, the only two places they can differentiate their products are through custom OS skinning (horrible) and product tech specs.

Considering how many Android users tend to be the "build your own PC" crowd who are hardcore gadget people, the specs bloat appeals to them.

Meanwhile, Apple is selling a smartphone with a tiny less-than-HD screen, a processor that toddles along at a whisker over 1 GHz and a tiny 1400 MaH battery, and they're doing quite nicely for themselves.

"Purpose Built" vs. "Specs in a Box" ?

about 2 months ago
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George Lucas Selects Chicago For the Star Wars Museum

Scot Seese Population Proximity, Travel Hub, Central Location (98 comments)

Well.. ,

Hardly surprising. This is the same kind of decision typically made by large entertainment ventures - e.g., Six Flags, Universal, etc. - after doing careful studies of population density, demographics and travel connections.

You've all heard the " ... there are N millions of people within a 4-hour drive or 1 flight,no transfer, from Y amusement park." Yep, same math.

While New York or LA may be closer to the entertainment industry, Chicago is central to the people who matter most - The fans.

If you stuck a pin in Chicago on the map and plotted a circle to estimate how many millions of people live within 2 states in any given direction - easy traveling considering the transportation arteries that converge into I-80 & I-94 - it's a hell of a lot of people. That one of the largest, most capable international airports in the world - O'Hare - sits on the edge of town, massively connected through multiple rail, bus and taxi lines - is a big fat cherry on top.

This is the kind of head-scratching math that puts enormous amusement parks like Kings Island in Cincinnati Ohio, or Six Flags halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee in the middle of nowhere - because they are actually in the middle of a ton of midwesterners unafraid of a car trip.

Having the ability to ride the nations' only electric interstate train all the way from South Bend, Indiana to Millennium Station in the heart of downtown Chicago for $22 round trip - I can't wait for the museum to open!

about 2 months ago

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