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Samsung Galaxy Fold, Take Two

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Geoffrey Fowler, writing for The Washington Post:

Creating an OLED screen that can fold and refold hundreds of thousands of times involved technical challenges that boggle the mind. But the question remains: Why is Samsung selling a device that it knows is still so delicate, instead of waiting until it’s worked out how to make it strong? (This isn’t just a Samsung problem; Apple recently introduced a white titanium credit card you can’t keep near leather or denim.)

I’d file this under “False Equivalence”, but Apple brought it upon themselves with that support page for Apple Card care. To be clear, though, Apple never said you “can’t” or even “shouldn’t” keep Apple Card in a leather wallet or denim pockets. All they said is that if you do, the card might pick up stains. As I wrote, Apple’s Apple Card care instructions are for people who obsessively want to keep their card in mint condition — which is not most people. (I’ve had mine in the outside sleeve of a leather wallet for a month now, and it looks like new, and I honestly don’t care if it picks up scratches or stains.)

But Apple’s support document, as written, is easily misinterpreted as suggesting Apple Card is delicate and fragile. And so here we are with The Washington Post’s tech columnist putting it in the same boat as a $2,000 phone from Samsung that you’re warned not to put in the same pocket with loose change or touch the screen with your fingernails.

Link: washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/09/24/samsungs-galaxy…

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gglockner
26 days ago
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Waiting for Gruber to call Fowler a jackass, which would be deserved (not just for this review).
Bellevue, WA
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Microsoft is worth as much as Apple. How did that happen?

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New York Times:

Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world.

It was big and still quite profitable, but the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing. Its stock price languished, inching up 3 percent in the decade through the end of 2012.

It’s a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable company, both worth more than $850 billion, thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 percent over the last 12 months.

So what happened?

Interesting analysis. In a nutshell, this is a combination of Satya Nadella’s vision when he came on board in 2014 (dump the old stuff that wasn’t working, hyper focus on the new, like cloud computing) and Apple’s iPhone-sales-centric valuation.

Lots of detail on the re-invention of Microsoft. Terrific read. Wonder if Intel can find this path.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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gglockner
324 days ago
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"How did that happen?" Simple: Microsoft discovered enterprise cloud computing. Apple and Microsoft don't compete significantly: Apple dominates in mobile and personal, while Microsoft dominates in enterprise. (And Google dominates in search and email, while Facebook dominates in social).
Bellevue, WA
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#1437; In which a Choice was made

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Let's just say we haven't ''made Mom's casserole'' in quite a while.

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gglockner
334 days ago
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Great, no more sick elephants.
Bellevue, WA
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Mac Innovation vis-à-vis Microsoft’s Surface Line

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David Gewirtz, in a ZDNet piece headlined “Maybe It’s Time for Apple to Spin Off the Mac as a Separate Company”:

All that brings us back to the idea of spinning out the Macintosh business. I know, I know. There are lots of structural reasons why this might not be possible for Apple. The company has merged development groups, macOS and iOS are growing ever closer, yada, yada, yada. Let’s set all that aside and just brainstorm the idea for a few minutes.

Ask yourself a few questions. Would a stand-alone company on the verge of market dominance ever let its flagship top-end machine languish for five years? What about its most versatile (the Mac mini)? Would it let that machine languish, without even a processor bump, for three years? Apple went two years without updating the iMac, and that’s a top-seller.

The answer to these questions is “of course not.” Think about the Apple of the past, the one fully-focused on the Mac. Would it have allowed Microsoft to gain such innovation ground with the Surface Studio and Surface Book products? Would it have gone years without even processor-bumping its models?

The whole notion of spinning off the Mac into a separate company is so dumb it isn’t worth addressing. But the last paragraph quoted above is. I’ve seen this argument made multiple times recently — that Microsoft’s innovative and deservedly well-regarded Surface lineup was only enabled by Apple taking its collective eye off the ball in the PC space. I don’t buy that at all.

There are two Macs that have languished in recent years: the Mac Pro and Mac Mini. Microsoft’s Surface lineup doesn’t have an entry in either of those categories. The Surface lineup is comprised of laptops and the iMac-esque Surface Studio.

Apple’s MacBook and iMac lineup lacks touchscreens not because Apple hasn’t paid attention to them but because Apple genuinely doesn’t think these machines should have touchscreens. Maybe Apple is wrong. Maybe Microsoft is onto the future of these form factors and Apple will have to play catch up. I don’t think so, but time will tell. But Apple has invested significant time and resources into the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and now iMac Pro as they are.

If Microsoft’s Surface lineup has taken advantage of complacency, it’s on the part of existing Windows PC makers, not Apple.

Link: zdnet.com/article/maybe-its-time-for-apple-to-spin-off-the

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gglockner
654 days ago
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From everything I've heard, the desktop Surface computers are not selling, but the laptop ones are. Additionally, the laptop ones are poor as a tablet but quite good as a laptop. They seem to have some interest among road warriors, which is different than the personal/creative market for the iPad.
Bellevue, WA
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Tesla's Semi, new Roadster distract from Model 3 production problems

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Tesla SemiNever let it be said that Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his event producers are not masters of showmanship. Last night's launch of the Tesla Semi heavy-duty commercial truck tractor came with a surprise: a new Tesla Roadster emerged from the back of the trailer. The wow factor was ... high. DON'T MISS: Tesla Semi: 500-mile range, lower running costs...
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gglockner
701 days ago
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Spot on.
Bellevue, WA
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National Park Service Wants To Charge Up To $70 To Visit Grand Canyon & Other Popular Parks

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Most national parks are free to enjoy, but some of the most popular destinations overseen by the National Park Service charge entrance fees of around $25 to $30 for a full vehicle. Today, the Trump administration announced a proposal to more than double some of those fees for visitors during peak seasons.

The White House contends that these increased fees are necessary to pay for maintenance that the park system has deferred for too long.

“The infrastructure of our national parks is aging and in need of renovation and restoration,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement. “We need to have the vision to look at the future of our parks and take action in order to ensure that our grandkids’ grandkids will have the same if not better experience than we have today. Shoring up our parks’ aging infrastructure will do that.”

Raising fees for 17 of the most-visited parks would mean that the NPS would collect an additional estimated $70 million per year, with at least 80% of that sum required to be spent on the park where it is collected.

Less than one-third of all national parks charge admission fees, and annual passes would still be available individual parks and for all federal lands for just a bit more than it would cost to enter a park with one passenger vehicle.

Which parks are the popular ones where fees would go up? If the proposal goes through, the higher fees would be in place when each park’s respective peak season starts, or the five months when it receives the highest traffic.

Here are when the peak seasons would begin, and the parks that would begin collecting $70 per carload on that date:

May 1, 2018: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Denali, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Olympic, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion

June 1, 2018: Acadia, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain, Shenandoah

Joshua Tree: As soon as possible in 2018, since the peak season begins on Jan. 1.

If you have any insights or thoughts to share with the National Park Service about the proposal, you can submit them to the National Park Service comment page until Nov. 23.

Here’s a handout from the NPS that lays out different fees for different vehicle types, and how they would change from the current structure to the proposed one in both the regular season (yellow) and peak season (green).







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gglockner
724 days ago
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The NPS has no choice. The infrastructure is crumbling and congress keeps cutting their budget. The only alternative is to raise entrance fees. Sad.
Bellevue, WA
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