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Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

ToastedRhino Re:Yes. (1216 comments)

What a strange reply. As far as bang for one's buck goes, the US healthcare system is severely lagging and pretty much everyone knows this. Perhaps you should go back and read what he had to say instead of spouting nonsense about the need for facts without providing any.

about a year ago

No Love From Ars For Samsung's New Smart Watch

ToastedRhino Re:iWatch (236 comments)

You're gonna have to define "nobody much." Five million sold in 2012 seems like quite a few, especially when compared to the number of set top boxes everyone else has announced selling. Would be interesting to see Chromecast number, though. If Google would release them, of course.

about a year ago

Did Apple Make a Mistake By Releasing Two New iPhones?

ToastedRhino Re:Apple makes money either way... (348 comments)

The narrative around Apple has certainly shifted, and this is having a tremendous impact on how people view what Apple is doing. Especially hear on Slashdot, people seem anxious for any sign that Apple is failing. That said, I would argue that the iPhone 5s is just as "groundbreaking" as any phone that's been released in the last few years. The inclusion of a 64-bit processor and the fingerprint reader are sure to be huge selling points, even if most people don't understand what 64-bit means or why it's advantageous.

I agree with you, and disagree with the summary, in stating that the iPhone 5c is almost certainly not a low-margin device. In fact, the very existence of the iPhone 5c seems to be a response to the lower margins Apple has had in selling devices that are one and two years old. The iPhone 5c is an iPhone 5 in lower-cost packaging. This serves to increase Apple's margins. People here like to give Apple a hard time, but the reality is that the iPhone 5 remains not only a usable phone, but a phone that provide a tremendous customer experience. Instead of keeping the iPhone 5 in the lineup and selling it as one of their "cheap" phones (as Apple has done with the releases of their last two flagship phones), they designed a cheaper to manufacture version that has all of the same benefits.

It is true that selling two "new" phones instead of one this year will likely decrease the number of sales for either device individually. That said, I expect that next Monday (after the iPhone 5s has actually gone on sale) there will be a press release indicating that combined sales (and pre-orders) of these two new phones exceeds the initial sale of the iPhone 5. (I'm also prepared to eat crow if I'm wrong.)

about a year ago

US Mining Data Directly From 9 Silicon Valley Companies

ToastedRhino Or not (404 comments)

Apple, Google, and Facebook have all denied involvement in this. While this does not entirely preclude their involvement, these three companies, much like the government, tend to keep their mouths shut when they're caught with their pants down. Their denial, therefore, should carry at least some weight.

about a year and a half ago

Google Glass: What's With All the Hate?

ToastedRhino Re:Well now (775 comments)

I think this touches on what is, in fact, the much bigger issue facing society today. While it's true that what you do in a public place is, by definition, a public act, the consequences of such an act have changed dramatically over the last few years. There is a tremendous difference between someone doing something stupid in public that is seen by maybe 10-100 people and then shared via word of mouth and someone doing something in public that is video taped and posted on the internet for countless millions to see. If I'm walking down the street and trip and fall and a few people see me that's going to be embarrassing, but it will be nowhere near as embarrassing as if my tripping and falling is recorded and ends up on YouTube.

The barriers to spontaneous recording like this have continued to fall, but barriers do still remain. If I see something happening on the streets right now I have to take out my phone (or camera), launch the camera app (which has become much easier), and begin recording. With glass, all I have to do is say something like, "OK Glass, record video" (or whatever the actual command is). This significantly lowers the barrier to capturing almost anything. There are certainly advantages to this when you're recording someone you're close to or who has consented to your recording (think capturing your kids first steps), but there are also tremendous disadvantages when it comes to privacy and strangers.

People on either side who are pretending that this is a simple issue are mistaken. Painting the issue as black and white, either everything is allowed or nothing is, ignores the intricacies of what's being discussed. Glass introduces an entirely new layer of complexity to the privacy debate that is separate from (but certainly related to) the debate about public webcams and government surveillance. I personally think that it's a good thing that people are at least thinking about these issues, as in the past they have largely been ignored. Maybe we can now start to return to an era where we appreciate the importance of privacy once again. The rules have to catch up to technology at some point.

about a year and a half ago

Predicting IQ With a Simple Visual Test

ToastedRhino Re:What is IQ? (325 comments)

I've been able to measure a base IQ of around 130-135 on standardized IQ tests since I was 8. The tests were made for people over age 13 and the more likely deviation would be that my IQ is significantly higher than that.

Either you're lying or someone lied to you. There is not a single respected, widely-used IQ test that has an age cutoff of 13. All the tests that are in use (and have been for the last few decades) are normed for kids as well and even when they weren't, they were never normed to age 13 and not below, they were normed to maybe age 16 as the low end cutoff.

I'm not saying you're not smart or that everything else you said isn't right. I can't bring myself ot read the rest of your comment after this obviously false statement.

about a year and a half ago

IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Groups During 2012 Election

ToastedRhino Re: Very un-PC (719 comments)

The only problem with your argument is that the head of the IRS at the time was a Bush appointee, not an Obama one. No one even lost their tax exempt status. Yes it was wrong. Very wrong. But this will be turned into yet another witch hunt which leads to ever more closed and secretive government. We've reached the point in this country where it truly is better to just try to hide things in perpetuity since admitting a mistake consistently leads to hyperbole and posturing by the other side. Both parties are guilty if this. It was, after all, the administration itself that admitted what had taken place.

about a year and a half ago

Tablet Shipments Will Finally Overtake Notebooks In 2013

ToastedRhino Finally (66 comments)

It did take two whole years after all.

about 2 years ago

Reexamination Request Filed Against Another Apple Patent

ToastedRhino Re:Starting to think patent system is working (85 comments)

Just to be clear, there has been no "result" of any kind. Nothing has been won or lost by anyone. This is a front page story about an anonymous request that an Apple patent be reexamined. The summary clearly states that the USPTO won't even make a decision regarding whether to reexamine until next year. This is the definition if a non-story.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade

ToastedRhino Re:Too bad Apple doesn't make SW like their HW (295 comments)

But most people don't have enough music to fill their devices and most people don't want different songs on different devices.

Now there are two giant assumptions. It isn't just music people put on their devices either. A 720p 45 minute TV show is about 1.3GB, a 1080p movie is in the 8GB range. Lots of people have 16GB devices with no way to expand them, and that "16GB" is actually 14.9GB due to 2^10 sizing, plus it has to store the OS, apps and so forth.

If you're syncing one library to devices belonging to multiple people, you're probably committing copyright infringement.

I have not read the iTunes TOS but Google specifically allow it when you buy anything from Play. After all, if I buy a CD everyone in my family can listen to it. They don't have to borrow my CD player when they want to hear it.

OK, seems to be some misinformation going around.

Syncing one account to multiple devices belonging to family members is almost certainly not Copyright Infringement. While I haven't read the Google Play TOS, I assume that it and iTunes are actually pretty similar with Apple likely being only slightly more restrictive if at all. You can authorize up to 5 different computers (or separate user accounts on a single computer) with an iTunes Store Account and any of these computers/separate user accounts will be able to play DRMed content (Books, Movies, TV Shows, etc.) purchased with the associated iTunes Store Account and sync that content to an unlimited (I think, definitely a bunch) number of iDevices for playback. This does not apply to music anymore though because it doesn't have DRM and so can, theoretically, be given to as many family members, or even complete strangers if you enjoy the pirating of music (which would be Copyright Infringement), as you'd like and no copy of iTunes nor any iDevice will have anything to say about it.

You can have up to 10 iDevices authorized for a single iTunes Store Account, and all of these devices will be able to download all of the same stuff (i.e., using "iTunes in the Cloud") for no additional cost. So, buy once and you're good.

Also, there's two ways to manually manage music. There's actual manual management where you drag and drop each item of media that gets added to the iDevice, and there's manual management of syncing which allows you to choose what will be automatically synced in a more flexible manner. So, you can have it sync only specific genres, artists, albums, or specific songs, as well as only unwatched movies or TV shows, or only the x newest episodes of a show. It's really pretty flexible and customizable, especially considering it comes from Apple. While you're right that the default is "Sync Everything," doing so is by no means the only option.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade

ToastedRhino Re:Guest accounts (295 comments)

Why are you syncing a visitor's phone with your iTunes library?

Because the visitor wanted to charge his phone, and iTunes "helpfully" started. Or because I want to share one song with a given visitor.

That wouldn't do what you claim it does. The reasons are a bit convoluted, but basically, there are two ways to manage an iDevice through iTunes: 1) Automatic Syncing and 2) Manually Managing it.

If you have it set to auto-sync, then it ties your device to a specific computer, and if you plug it into any other computer, a warning will pop up in iTunes that says, "Hey, this iDevice belongs to another computer, if you sync it here you lose everything and start over," and gives you options to cancel, sync & erase, or transfer over purchased songs that the computer is authorized to play (e.g., iTunes has the iTunes Store Account info for already) but that aren't already actually present on the computer. None of these would lead to duplicate tracks on your computer. Do nothing and the phone will charge while the dialog is up. Hit cancel and the phone will charge without syncing. It's simply not possible for the type of syncing you describe to happen in the "helpful" manner you describe. Also, in this scenario you can't transfer a single song to the user's iDevice since all syncing is automatic.

Then there's manual management. Here, it never syncs unless you tell it to. In this case, simply plugging in the device would not cause a sync operation at all. You could (on all devices except iPhones and Shuffles), copy over a single track from your library to there iDevice in this scenario, but it wouldn't copy anything to your computer without you manually dragging it from the iDevice to your Library in iTunes.

So basically, nothing you said makes much sense. Active intervention from the user is required to make their iDevice do anything at all with a copy of iTunes that is not their own, period. That's not to say that you didn't at some point run into a bug that led to multiple copies of tracks, but it's not happening the way you claim. iTunes just doesn't work that way.

more than 2 years ago

Samsung's Galaxy S III Steals Smartphone Crown From iPhone

ToastedRhino Re:Why is the comparision made against the iPhone (348 comments)

I'm not sure where these numbers are coming from in general. Apple doesn't breakdown sales by device type, but did announce over 26 million iPhone sales in their fiscal Q3 2012 which ended in July, and 26.9 million in their fiscal Q4 2012 which ended a few weeks ago. Either way, the iPhone 4S number is pure analyst speculation since that data is not available.

more than 2 years ago

US Patent Office Invalidates Apple's "Rubber Banding" Patent

ToastedRhino Re:What is it about? (213 comments)

You're describing pull to refresh, not rubber banding. It's a different, but I would agree somewhat related, idea than the rubber band effect, and Twitter actually owns the pull to refresh patent, not Apple.

Rubber banding is when you get to the end of a scroll view, the view continues to scroll a bit past where it's supposed to while showing a generic background (it's now the grey linen on iOS, can't remember what it used to be), then bounces back to the top of the screen. This provides a visual indicator that you've reached the end of the scrollable area.

I won't argue that this should be a patentable idea, but if it were only "eye candy" and not functional in some way every other smart phone maker wouldn't be trying to/have already implemented (and removed for fear of litigation in the case of Android) it.

more than 2 years ago

US Patent Office Invalidates Apple's "Rubber Banding" Patent

ToastedRhino Re:Hate it (213 comments)

Doesn't the fact that the content doesn't scroll at all (i.e., that there is no rubber banding effect) provide the exact same information? You'd still have to make an "impotent attempt to scroll" to see the rubber band effect so it really doesn't save any steps, and iOS is generally responsive enough that if it doesn't scroll when you try you know that that's on purpose and not the OS lagging behind input.

more than 2 years ago

Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

ToastedRhino Re:A little bit optimistic? (561 comments)

That's not a given. Normally Apps that replicate builtin functionality in the iPhone are banned from iTunes.

People keep saying this in reference to the current Maps brouhaha, but it completely ignores the facts that a) Maps have been included in iOS for a really long time and b) there are already many, many other mapping apps available on the App Store despite this fact.

That being said I can't tell if these commenters are just ignorant or actively spreading FUD.

more than 2 years ago

Android Hacked Via NFC On the Samsung Galaxy S 3

ToastedRhino Re:to be fair (198 comments)

you also need to have NFC enabled on your Galaxy for this to work.

No, you don't. If you take a minute to RTFA you'll see this:

The attack isn’t limited to NFC though; it can also be abused via other attack vectors, such as malicious websites or email attachments.

They chose to use NFC for the novelty effect. This could just as easily have been done via a malicious website.

Yes both vulnerabilities suck, but they are not equal. For instance, the iOS attack allowed the stealing of contacts, pictures, video, and browsing history. Things that are supposed to be protected in iOS, but in this case weren't sufficiently so. The Android attack allowed the execution of arbitrary code. These two things are not the same, though both definitely need to be fixed ASAP. And to be fair, JB may have already patched the holes in Android, provided people can actually get it on their phones this is a really good thing.

more than 2 years ago

Motorola Seeks Ban On Macs, iPads, and iPhones

ToastedRhino Re:Like who again? (446 comments)

Apple started suing Android makers first (though Motorola beat them to the punch by a few weeks with a lawsuit and request for a declaration that it didn't infringe certain Apple patents after talks broke down).

So what you're actually saying is that Motorola sued Apple first, which is indeed what actually happened, but that this is somehow OK because Motorola knew that Apple would sue them? So firing the first volley is fine in their case, but had Apple done it, as is constantly falsely asserted here and elsewhere, then it would have been a horrible offensive move and representative of just how evil and greedy they are. Do you even understand how incredibly illogical and biased of a stance that is?

The reality is, for anyone who actually cares (which appears to be very few anymore), that Nokia started all of this by suing Apple. Apple then sued HTC who turned around almost immediately and signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft to avoid a lawsuit there before countersuing Apple. Then Motorola sued Apple. That's the sequence of events. Motorola invited themselves to the dance, they weren't dragged in kicking and screaming.

more than 2 years ago

Wozniak On the Samsung Patent Verdict

ToastedRhino Re:Nope, Apple did not start it (328 comments)

Android started out as a Blackberry Clone. Eric Schmidt was on the Apple board. Android ended up (upon consumer release) as an iOS clone. (And yes I realize it wasn't yet called iOS). Arguments against this show at least as much bias as I'm sure people will claim that I'm showing, and I'd argue more. Apple was, I personally think, understandably unhappy about this fact. Android gained a foothold because it blatantly copied paradigms popularized by iOS. (Don't link to the LG Prada, I've seen it. We all know it existed. Nobody cared about it and Android most definitely wasn't aiming to be the next LG Prada. Saying the LG Prada was comparable to the first iPhone is ridiculous, and anybody who takes a minute to think about it realizes this to be true.)

Steve Jobs especially seemed to feel that Eric Schmidt abused his location on the Apple board to steal ideas from Apple. I'm wont to agree, but I realize that just saying that probably makes me a "fanboi" in the eyes of many, so I'm sure I'm wasting my breath.

Jobs is pissed. Again, this is understandable from my point of view. Jobs doesn't like being stolen from sothermonuclear it is.

Time passes, Android begins to largely look and function very differently from iOS, unless you're Samsung, in which case that whole "looking different" thing is really, really new. But current Android is not the point. How Android became a force in the world of smartphone OSes is.

So, the newly created (i.e., in the last year or two) differences do not excuse the fact that Android built its popularity and based its technology on the iPhone and iOS. It's important to remember that when the iPhone was released multitudes of people, especially here on /., were chiming in claiming that it was a worthless toy. "No hardware keyboard? What a joke!" was a popular refrain. Funny how you don't hear that any more.

The entire smartphone landscape today is a result of the work that Apple did to popularize (note: not invent) this modality. For some reason there's this belief that Apple deserves no credit for this, that good ideas should be free for all. I'd be pissed too if people claimed that what I did was "common sense" once it became popular after spending so much time shitting on the work that I'd done.

Should Apple be suing? Well, looking at the landscape today they probably shouldn't. But looking at the landscape when most of these lawsuits were filed? Hell yes they should. You can't compare ICS or Jellybean to the state of Android when Apple filed suit. Google's done a ton of work to differentiate in that time, and this work is almost certainly a result of the fact that they knew they'd copied iOS.

So, Apple feels cheated. They feel like they put a lot of time and effort into developing both an idea and a platform that they should have had, at the very least, a year or two to monopolize. No one else should have even had a clue what was being cooked up inside Apple's labs. But there was Eric Schmidt, coming along to spoil their party. Who else was able to respond to the iPhone so quickly? Why do you think that is? Were RIM and Microsoft caught with their pants down because they don't employ intelligent people? Or because they didn't have an inside man? I'd argue the latter.

So now they're suing. They're saying, "Hey, wait a minute. All of this popularity that Android is experiencing has nothing to do with hard work. It has to do with the fact that they copied our ideas and were able to GIVE THEM AWAY because, in reality, smartphone OSes do not contribute to Google's bottom line, search does. So they screwed us. Eric Schmidt screwed us, and that's not the way the world's supposed to work. He stole our stuff so that he could give it away for search revenue. Google didn't do any R&D on Android's touch screen interface. They stole ours. We're going to destroy these guys! Android doesn't deserve to exist."

This is an eminently reasonable position, and I support Apple's fighting for their ideals. Do I like the way that they're doing it? No, I don't, but what choice do they have? These are the tools our legal systems have provided them. If they're going to protect the work they did, it has to be with ridiculous patents. Besides, when they point out how blatantly Samsung in particular copied their aesthetic it gets reduced to "a rectangle with rounded corners" by the idiots who don't take time to think about what's actually happening.

So now Apple's in a position to be fighting against an Android that is largely different from iOS, but probably wouldn't exist at all in any popular form if its original incarnations had not so closely mirrored the iOS experience. It's quite a shitty position to be in if you think about it.

more than 2 years ago

Anonymous Leaks 1M Apple Device UDIDs

ToastedRhino Re:So is apple... (282 comments)

I almost hate myself for responding to this, but

I'm not defending iAds, I'm saying that the commenter I responded to was wrong. Those are different things.

Also, Android (read the other major player in smartphone OSes and therefore the most reasonable thing to be comparing iOS to) didn't support alphanumeric passwords until version 2.2 in, wait for it, 2010.

I think I am looking at it objectively.

more than 2 years ago


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