ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2017 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The awfulness of Apple

The appeal of Apple is lost on Jerry Pournelle:
I wish I could return all my Apple devices for refunds. Actually, that isn’t true; I like my Apple iPhone 6, and I’ll keep it; but the iPad is far more trouble than it’s worth, and the MacBook Pro, while useful, suffers from the same security mania that makes the iPad useless. I can’t even install free apps on the iPad. I tell it to install; it asks for my Apple account password; I go find that and mistype it, but eventually I get it right; whereupon it tells ,me it has sent a security number to a trusted device. I go looking for trusted devices. Naturally they have to be Apple. Eventually I remember that the iPhone is an Apple device and I trust it, and lo! I find there is a message with a code number. I type that into the iPad. It is rejected. I try again. Still rejected.

I give up. I have an iPad with almost no apps because it takes all afternoon and another Apple device to get an app for it, and that doesn’t work because – I don’t know why. It took me a while to figure out that the trusted device was the iPhone; could the delay be it.? I suppose I will have to go to the Apple Store and see if anyone can fix this, but at this season that’s not a practical thing to do, and I’m not really all that mobile at my age anyway.

I thought the Surface Pro was a fussbudget and it is, but it’s got to be better than having to own two Apple devices before you can use one of them, and then having them send you a security number that doesn’t work, with no instruction as to what to do next. Congratulations. My iPad is now so secure I can’t use it, and I don’t know what to do next.

I like the MacBook Pro. I like the keyboard. But the security paranoia with the need for two devices to do the most trivial tasks like installing a free app is too much for me. And the message with the code seems to have vanished from the iPhone now; it’s neither in mail nor in messages. I suppose I must have dreamed it?
It is rather ironic that the company whose fortune was made by its superior user interface is now heading downhill due to the worst UI experience in technology. But that's the way of the world; it turns out that Steve Jobs was irreplaceable after all.

Apple's main concern is now keeping people imprisoned in its walled garden, not luring them in any longer. The "technology giants" are no longer even technology companies, but marketing-distribution systems. So, it's no surprise that their technology and user experience is suffering as a result.

I have an iPad Mini that was required for a game on which I'm working. It's got some nice hardware, but the UI is so horrifically awful that I simply don't use it for anything except testing the game. Sadly, Google is going the same way, to the point that I no longer update my Android tablet, phone, or apps.

This tells me we're heading for some serious disruption in the not-too-distant future.

Labels:

141 Comments:

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother December 15, 2016 4:13 PM  

FORKPHONE

Blogger The Reactionary December 15, 2016 4:14 PM  

But Apple's supply chain is working at peak efficiency, I hear. That's what makes a company great, bigots!

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2016 4:14 PM  

I'm a big Apple fan, but yes, they've been going downhill for a while. Poor customer service, frustrating security, and they keep trying to shove everything onto their cloud...and I don't trust ANY cloud storage. It's wide open to hacking.

What I've noticed is that the whole computer industry seems to have the sort of arrogance and delusions of grandeur one associates with villains in James Bond movies.

Anonymous JustAnotherPairOfEyes December 15, 2016 4:18 PM  

I have a recent Apple phone. A business friend gave it to me. It regularly asks me for some obscure password and I click the "not now" button because I use it as a flip-phone with a mapping capability.

Anonymous Athor Pel December 15, 2016 4:20 PM  

"3. Napoleon 12pdr December 15, 2016 4:14 PM
...
What I've noticed is that the whole computer industry seems to have the sort of arrogance and delusions of grandeur one associates with villains in James Bond movies.
"



Create a great UI and even if you name it SPECTRE 1.0 people will still use it.

Blogger Rantor December 15, 2016 4:25 PM  

Apple is much better when you turn off two factor verification. That will solve Jerry's complaint.

Anonymous Laz December 15, 2016 4:27 PM  

Just got a Galaxy S7 and have had zero problems downloading and installing apps.

Blogger VD December 15, 2016 4:30 PM  

Just got a Galaxy S7 and have had zero problems downloading and installing apps.

I'm not having problems, I'm simply not willing to a) provide personal information in order to be able to use an application or b) give an app access to information on my device it can't possibly require. If you're a word processor or a game, you don't need access to my photos.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer December 15, 2016 4:36 PM  

VD wrote:Just got a Galaxy S7 and have had zero problems downloading and installing apps.

I'm not having problems, I'm simply not willing to a) provide personal information in order to be able to use an application or b) give an app access to information on my device it can't possibly require. If you're a word processor or a game, you don't need access to my photos.


Or your location. It seems like every android app requests location access.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 4:39 PM  

i know almost 10 people that have gone back to Blackberry devices in the last couple months. Many cases they are going to the Blackberry phones running Android... but blackberry has touched up the android experience considerably. And the DTEK security software is no joke. It tells you what every single app is accessing on your phone, and how often it is doing it.

Wonder if that facebook app is using your mic to snoop? DTEK will answer that for you. Vanilla Android is awful... and the vast majority of the improvements manufacturers make are just awful in different ways.

Blackberry is so far, the lone exception. Though I do hold out hope for LG.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 4:40 PM  

" If you're a word processor or a game, you don't need access to my photos."

exactly.

And that's why DTEK is awesome.

Hello little flashlight app... why are you accessing my camera.. and my location... when I haven't turned you on in over a week?

***delete****

Blogger Bob Loblaw December 15, 2016 4:43 PM  

I got a Mac Pro at work about a year ago. After all those years of hearing how great the user experience is I was profoundly disappointed in the interface, which is about a decade behind Windows. It also tends to crash-restart occasionally.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 4:44 PM  

" It also tends to crash-restart occasionally."

most over rated pieces of shit ever.

Blogger David The Good December 15, 2016 4:45 PM  

I'm stuck on the Apple platform due to my radio and video production and the amount of software I've invested in. The deterioration is there, for sure, but it's better than Windows. I would go Linux if I could, but my Linux laptop doesn't allow me to do even a quarter of what I can do with Photoshop, ProTools and Final Cut Pro X. There needs to be a serious alternative but for now I'm stuck. I love Libre Office, though, and use that for all my writing.

Blogger David The Good December 15, 2016 4:45 PM  

10 years ago, OSX was the bomb.

Blogger VD December 15, 2016 4:46 PM  

I'm stuck on the Apple platform due to my radio and video production and the amount of software I've invested in. The deterioration is there, for sure, but it's better than Windows.

That's why it is ripe for disruption. The alternatives simply don't cut it yet. But once they do, people will flee for the exits.

Blogger KSC December 15, 2016 4:47 PM  

Apple is a godsend if you've got vision problems; it was the first phone to come with a screen reader out of the box, and thankfully the UI for that has remained mostly stable. Haven't used any other Apple devices and don't anticipate a need to.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 4:48 PM  

"The deterioration is there, for sure, but it's better than Windows"

Not only is not better now... it never was better.

Blogger pyrrhus December 15, 2016 4:50 PM  

O/T According to Roger Stone, Trump was just toying with Romney to humiliate him...http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/12/donald-trump-interviewed-mitt-romney-to-torture-him-roger-stone-says.html

Blogger John Smith December 15, 2016 4:51 PM  

Speaking as the owner of a small IT/tech company: Apple's UI problems, unremedied, could well be the death of it as a company. Their business model is selling highly upcharged hardware; the OS/software that people enjoy is developed strictly as a means to convince those customers to pay for the overpriced hardware. I can build a desktop computer at 1/2, even 1/3 of their price to meet a given level of performance; alternatively I can build a Windows/Linux computer at the same price with double the performance. I'm using many of the same parts, just at their cost on Amazon instead of at the Apple Store. What Apple has done to keep their business model viable is to make their license agreement for the OS extremely restrictive--it is basically commercially impossible to install their OS onto a computer and not get sued.

tl;dr: if Apple's OS stops providing a good user experience, there is no reason to buy their computers at all, and their whole business model collapses.

Blogger VD December 15, 2016 4:52 PM  

Not only is not better now... it never was better.

He's not talking about the overall system, he's talking about their audio/vidio production suite. It is still much better than anything on Windows or Linux. Not even close.

Anonymous VFM #6306 December 15, 2016 4:53 PM  

Stop talking crazy. There's no way that Nokia ever loses its international dominance on phones.

Apple! I meant Apple!

Blogger Mountain Man December 15, 2016 4:56 PM  

@7
Ive had a Z10 for over 5 years. Bulletproof, tight encryption and very easy UI.
That is good news about the new Blackberry.. its time for an upgrade to my phone and it looks like the choice is clear

Blogger tz December 15, 2016 4:57 PM  

Jolla - the lifeboat of escapees from Nokia. I still live my n810s.

Blogger Mountain Man December 15, 2016 5:03 PM  

Ive had a Mac OSX 10 and its been great...especially after experiencing years of Microsoft hell.

Anonymous John VI December 15, 2016 5:06 PM  

To be fair that's less on Android and more on lazy programmers if they need access to some section on the phone, usually file access, the lazy cheap shits use a generic "ask for everything" call code base. But Google then takes advantage of that data leak by using the new access to data to market you to their customers.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft December 15, 2016 5:12 PM  

@22. You eventually learn how to brutally chainsaw the annoying parts of the guts out of windows operating systems. I don't even have to restart mine when I get done with them. (Read: I update them maybe once every month or two, they don't do ANYTHING automatically, and once I'm done with it it basically never crashes. Last two windows OS products I've used have only crashed maybe 10 times between them over several years.)

I got annoyed at Apple when I realized I HAD to use itunes to put MP3s and MP4s on an ipod. That's just uncalled for, inflexible, awkward (Especially since itunes worked like a mound of fecal matter on windows at the time) and frankly a quite irritating and obviously INTENTIONAL restriction on how I use MY property. My reaction was "I'm never buying anything Apple makes ever, ever again" and I haven't looked back.

Anonymous BluePony December 15, 2016 5:13 PM  

Not sure what to think of this. Pournelle is hardly a tech ignorant old fart, but he's bumbling about with a device my friend's five year old daughter figured out all on her own, including finding fun apps and downloading them.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 15, 2016 5:16 PM  

@7

Blackberry is so far, the lone exception. Though I do hold out hope for LG.



How is LG's Android different from any other Android?

Blogger SirHamster December 15, 2016 5:19 PM  

Apple's main concern is now keeping people imprisoned in its walled garden, not luring them in any longer.

Speaking of walled gardens, Andrew Torba reports the Gab iOS app is being blocked for "pornography" - when Twitter and Reddit apps are available and approved.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 15, 2016 5:20 PM  

What qualities would a new UI/platform have to have to be truly disruptive, do you think?

Blogger jaericho December 15, 2016 5:24 PM  

I've been a fan of the iPhone since the 3GS. I had a couple of Nexus androids in the 4.x days but they were never as nice as my iPhone. But Apple is going downhill and fast. I'll see what the tenth anniversary iphone offers, but I really think Jobs was the key to that company.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 5:26 PM  

"It is still much better than anything on Windows or Linux. Not even close."

I strongly disagree. That was a truism for 20 years or more but by the mid 2000s microsoft was closing the gap. The apple stuff may still be better... but the gap is not nearly as large as it used to be.

regardless... I was more broadly talking about the UI.. and the Apple UI has always been vastly over rated.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 5:28 PM  

@26 LG and Samsung and HTC have all developed their own android overlays that to varying degrees effect the look feel and functionality of android.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 5:28 PM  

"What qualities would a new UI/platform have to have to be truly disruptive, do you think? "

basically be BlackBerry 10 except with another name.

Blogger Orville December 15, 2016 5:29 PM  

I passed an Apple store in an upscale shopping area yesterday. It wasn't very full, but lots of people sitting on chairs apparently waiting for help. Looked like hell's waiting room.

Karl Denninger has posted a number of article over the months on DTEK60 and Blackberry http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=3413115

Blogger BunE22 December 15, 2016 5:37 PM  

My daughter had a Mac desktop that crashed and wouldn't turn on. Lugged it to an Apple store where a tech hooked it up to diagnose it and claimed it needed a new hard drive. I agree to the work, get home and see an email from them wherein the small print says they can give me a used HD. I cancelled the repair, took it to a small brick store tech got it working without a new HD and charged next to nothing. Apple sucks.

I don't do apps on my android phone because they all want access to my photos and contacts. Why the heck would they need that?!

Blogger Robert What? December 15, 2016 5:38 PM  

Unfortunately our draconian IP patent system will make true innovation more and more difficult for upstarts. Apple and Google will increasingly use lawyers to keep ahead of the competition. Easier than innovating.

Blogger SQT December 15, 2016 5:38 PM  

I'm still happy with my Apple products but there is no question they aren't what they used to be. Jerry can turn off the verifications. I went years without using them but turned them on after my email got hacked a couple of times.

Anonymous Ron speaks December 15, 2016 5:39 PM  

My IPad is great. I have never had any issues whatsoever.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy December 15, 2016 5:42 PM  

Robert What? wrote:Unfortunately our draconian IP patent system will make true innovation more and more difficult for upstarts. Apple and Google will increasingly use lawyers to keep ahead of the competition. Easier than innovating.
But that's unconstitutional. The Constitution only permits Congress to grant monopolies to inventors for the purpose of promoting the progress of science and useful arts.

I hope it won't be too much longer before the (((patent trolls))) are taught that it was unwise to violate the same body of laws that forbids such things as cruel and unusual punishment.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT December 15, 2016 5:43 PM  

It is rather ironic that the company whose fortune was made by its superior user interface is now heading downhill due to the worst UI experience in technology.

Based on the frustrations of an elderly man who can't remember his password?

My mom had that problem. Once. Then I kindly but firmly told her to WRITE PASSWORDS DOWN on a card, kept in her iPad's case, and to be ABSOLUTELY clear when doing so. No messy chicken scratch that can't be interpreted later.

She has never had the problem again.

It's got some nice hardware, but the UI is so horrifically awful that I simply don't use it for anything except testing the game.?

Is that why Pournelle can't get into an Apple store without an appointment? Because the UI is so horrifically awful that Apple couldn't beat customers away with a stick if it tried?

Apple's main concern is now keeping people imprisoned in its walled garden, not luring them in any longer.

Point of fact: Mac it not a walled garden.

As for iOS, if I were CEO of Apple I would make some changes to the walled garden, but I would absolutely keep it. It's the reason iOS is the only secure consumer platform in the world for normal people.

You may be able to keep your devices free of malware. I may be able to do it. Most of the Ilk may be able to do it. But the vast majority of the public would be sheep to the slaughter.

Blogger BunE22 December 15, 2016 5:53 PM  

My daughter had a Mac desktop that crashed and wouldn't turn on. Lugged it to an Apple store where a tech hooked it up to diagnose it and claimed it needed a new hard drive. I agree to the work, get home and see an email from them wherein the small print says they can give me a used HD. I cancelled the repair, took it to a small brick store tech got it working without a new HD and charged next to nothing. Apple sucks.

I don't do apps on my android phone because they all want access to my photos and contacts. Why the heck would they need that?!

Blogger Lance December 15, 2016 6:09 PM  

"What qualities would a new UI/platform have to have to be truly disruptive, do you think? "

basically be BlackBerry 10 except with another name.


A-freakin-Men

BB10 is by far the best mobile OS out there. Developers didn't show up, however, due to the low adoption rate. Thanks to the Android app emulation built in, I have everything I want on my Z10 except for Signal which requires Play Store functions that are not emulated.

I can't stand iOS or Android, they get in my way too much.

Blogger Wormwood December 15, 2016 6:12 PM  

Al this is headed in one direction, and that is personal contact whenever you wish to use a service. You want to log onto Itunes? You'll have to make a call from a trusted device, or be contacted on one. They can't tell you this because nobody would agree to it, but they'll simply make it so difficult to navigate the security systems that personal contact becomes the defacto login method.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 15, 2016 6:14 PM  

BunE22 wrote:I don't do apps on my android phone because they all want access to my photos and contacts. Why the heck would they need that?!
In Android-speak, "Photos" means access to the file system. So they can write files.
"Contacts" means they want ot tag everything you do and every contact you have with another human being and sell it to, not just the highest bidder, but anybody with cash money.

See? Easy-peasy

Blogger Austin Ballast December 15, 2016 6:16 PM  

The photos access is probably because the app can store screen captures and that is where it puts them.

I like more openness under Android, but it has similar challenges. I would like to limit "authorized" stores with it, rather than an on or off setting, but I have not seen any change coming for that.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT December 15, 2016 6:17 PM  

@15 - "The deterioration is there, for sure, but it's better than Windows"

Not only is not better now... it never was better.


Windows is junk. Under the hood it has always been a complete mess which is why Microsoft can't secure the damn thing. It's also why Windows update takes hours if you fall behind by a few months. Windows' best APIs were practically lifted from Inside Macintosh Volume I. And its worst APIs make you wonder if Gates tortured his engineers because the designs are those of raving mad men.

On the surface, today, there are actually a few things I think Microsoft does better than Apple. But the overall UI experience is meh and getting worse as Windows becomes a tablet OS. Mac OS has some UI issues, but there's also genius there and the overall experience remains very good by comparison.

At any rate, Windows is "deprecated" for me. I will not run Windows 8 or 10 on anything other than a secured virtual machine, and then only for testing purposes. Microsoft is the worst IT company when it comes to spying and botnet. Nothing you do on a Windows PC is private any more. Nor could it be if you tried.

The only real choices for a desktop OS today are OS X...er...macOS and Linux.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 15, 2016 6:22 PM  

My mom had that problem. Once. Then I kindly but firmly told her to WRITE PASSWORDS DOWN on a card, kept in her iPad's case, and to be ABSOLUTELY clear when doing so. No messy chicken scratch that can't be interpreted later.

That is as bad as writing it on a sticky on your monitor. VERY insecure.

How will she handle passwords for more than a site or 2? Making it trivial for simple people to remember makes it simple for an attacker to exploit.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 15, 2016 6:22 PM  

Blackberry? Future to the back?

Blogger Cail Corishev December 15, 2016 6:29 PM  

I'll have to look into Blackberry next time. I got my first smartphone a few months ago, and I knew nothing about them except that I didn't want Apple, so I got the LG that was basically free with a prepaid plan. (I don't do contracts; I want to use the phone, not marry it.)

I'm pretty impressed, though I don't have much to compare it to. There are a couple of annoying things that LG did to Android in this low-end model, like make the SD card a pain to use, that seem designed to push the user to upgrade to a more expensive model. More generally, as someone who's been using Linux for 20 years, I'm annoyed that it tries to lock me out of much of the OS, and I can't have root on a machine I own without violating some agreement. But for $30, I can't complain.

Anonymous BBGKB December 15, 2016 6:32 PM  

Apple's main concern is now keeping people imprisoned in its walled garden, not luring them in any longer

Timmy Cook's greatest concern is punishing states that won't provide pizza for gay weddings. He has no problem selling apple watches to nations that toss gays off buildings.

Blogger Cail Corishev December 15, 2016 6:33 PM  

The photos access is probably because the app can store screen captures and that is where it puts them.

If you're programming an app, it's a lot easier to ask once up front for all the rights the app might possibly need, rather than request them as needed. It would be more elegant and secure to ask for rights only when they're needed -- and request them either temporarily or permanently -- but it would be more work to program and probably confuse and annoy some of your userbase.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 15, 2016 6:40 PM  

Windows is a mess because Microsoft is a mess. There's a blog posting somewhere, by the guy who coded the Windows 7 shutdown process. He talks about why it took 8 months to design.
8 months. Shutdown function.
Basically, it was because all communication had to go through managers, who had to get buy off from all the other coding managers that could be affected. And most managers would not respond via email, so there had to be a meeting, once a week. And inevitably when some consensus was reached, somebody else, in a completely different part of the project, would come up with some change that had to be made, or some dick-waving reason that the standard way Windows had been doing shutdowns for decades was no longer viable, and they'd start the process over again.
He'd spend 30 minutes each week re-coding the same module, and the rest of the week doing meaningless paperwork.
Multiply that by 10,000, add in the relentless lack of documentation, and then multiply by four to compensate for the fact that most of the work is being done by Indians, and then add in senseless management directives that only impede the effort. Anyone else remember "We're going to recode windows in Visual Basic!"?
It's a wonder they can ship a damn thing.

Anonymous Philalethes December 15, 2016 6:41 PM  

I've been a Mac/Apple user exclusively since I got my first computer (a Mac Plus) in 1988. (Well, until two days ago when I bought a Kindle Paperwhite; I've been reading books on my iPad, but it's a little heavy and awkward for one-hand use. I plan to read A Sea of Skulls first on it. I guess it's the first non-Apple IT device I've ever bought.) And spent some 15 years doing freelance Mac support until I got too ill to work ca. 2009.

Despite the common perception that all Mac users are worshipful fanbois, there are also a lot who're regularly annoyed with Apple, like me. I guess it's sort of a Rule, that they have to do stupid things to balance the smart things. Their products have always been overpriced, as noted above; unfortunately, nobody ever seems to have been prepared to compete with them where they do best. Including aesthetics; I've just never seen another computer that I'd want to live with.

And the little experience I've had with Windows, coupled with what I've constantly heard about it, gives me the willies. If I had to leave the Mac, I'd go to Linux. Unfortunately, though there seem to be some pretty good Linux OS's, there's a real dearth of software compared with the Mac. I've tried to get into LibreOffice, but find it opaque; though Pages has numerous annoying features – especially the latest version which has been dumbed down to integrate with the iOS version (like many, I've stayed with Pages 4, which was pretty good and getting better until it was abandoned) – I find it so much easier to use that I keep returning to it, despite its unique file format that nobody else can read, and that will probably result in a lot of unreadable docs when Apple abandons Pages one day without warning like they did with AppleWorks.

But I too have been getting the feeling that Apple is fading lately. I guess Tim Cook is a good manager, but Steve Jobs was unique – and it takes a fanatic like him to both keep the company lively and keep everybody working in the same direction. (And Cook, who has to make a point of being "gay", is providing another example of how SJW convergence can be a fatal distraction from doing the real work.)

More and more, I feel new Apple products exemplify "change for the sake of change" rather than real improvement. Jony Ive's passion for simplicity has become an over-the-top obsession – see the new MacBook, with only one port for everything, including power. And the new iPhones, where you need a special adapter to connect both headphones and power to the single port. Apple halved the prices of the necessary adapters, but that was not a real solution.

Well, nothing lasts forever, and what goes up must come down. Apple is far too rich for its own good, doesn't really know what to do with all its money, so now it's branching out, and beginning to neglect the fierce attention to detail that was what had kept them on top of the industry. (That was how PageMaker died; Aldus got rich and went on a spree buying other companies, meanwhile neglecting PageMaker, and Quark ate their lunch.)

Perhaps, as VD says, Apple will face some real competition one day – as well as the other tech giants, all of whom have grown fat and lazy despite the appearance of busyness. I've long wished Apple had some real competition; like any organism, they need it to stay healthy.

Anonymous nordicthunder #0326 December 15, 2016 6:43 PM  

coming soon... Ilkphone !!


Nate wrote:"What qualities would a new UI/platform have to have to be truly disruptive, do you think? "

basically be BlackBerry 10 except with another name.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT December 15, 2016 6:43 PM  

@46 - That is as bad as writing it on a sticky on your monitor. VERY insecure.

It's my mom. And the iPad is in a home with an alarm. What are the scenarios here? I'm not afraid of someone accessing the iPad. It has a passcode which is not written down. I'm afraid of someone hacking her iTunes and using it to make purchases without her knowing.

I'm not recommending everyone do it. I'm pointing out something that can work for older people.

How will she handle passwords for more than a site or 2?

She has a total of 5 or 6 on a card stuffed in a drawer. I think she started keeping the iTunes card there as well.

Making it trivial for simple people to remember makes it simple for an attacker to exploit.

That's the point. Her passwords are not simple to remember. They are random characters and numbers. The attack surface out on the web is a hell of a lot larger than the attack surface for a physical 3x5 card in a single physical location.

Blogger rws December 15, 2016 6:48 PM  

Funny thing about all these complaints that Android asks for all sorts of access to your phone is that in almost every case you can Just Say No, and it will still install the app.

Now, how hard is that?

Blogger Kona Commuter December 15, 2016 6:54 PM  

I won't be going back to Apple when my current phone dies.

I updated the dang thing due to constant harassment and they changed the UI for logging on. For at least the last two years it was swipe right to access the pin code screen. Now that swipe right is a list of Siri recommends, here's the latest news and here's the weather.

Just this morning I remarked to my wife how Apps are becoming increasingly intrusive. When I access my Banks app I'm being bombarded with notices and "do you want to stop paper statements?" (I've said no a dozen times but if I say yes once that'd be the last time I'm asked)

Anonymous BBGKB December 15, 2016 7:01 PM  

Making it trivial for simple people to remember makes it simple for an attacker to exploit.

ObamaBlew789pigs&56donkeys! is a way to create easy to remember secure passwords.

Blogger WTF December 15, 2016 7:11 PM  

24/7 tech support is a phone call away

https://getsupport.apple.com

Blogger g wood December 15, 2016 7:23 PM  

Trouble remembering multiple passwords? KeePass.

Blogger Resident Moron™ December 15, 2016 7:24 PM  

Firefox get's forked from Mozilla/Netscape.

Pale Moon gets forked from Firefox.

Brave comes along ... and for me the jury is still out on Brave's long term usefulness. Odds on something else is coming down the pipe.

Buying Apple is like an exercise in renting hardware rather than owning things, the way they monetize everything you can do for free on a common platform, actively driving their customers away from any kind of choice. Their whole business model is an affront to competition law, but for some reason (cough - lobbyists - cough) they continue to get away with it.

Security paranoia is just one of their pernicious excuses.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 7:27 PM  

"Blackberry? Future to the back?"

Yes. Frankly. It should make sense when you think about it. many of the old ways are in our future... segregation for example. Oh... it won't be the same kind of segregation. I doubt it will be state legal code... but it will rhyme with the ways of the past.

There is no other way.

So why shouldn't techonology's future also rhyme with the past?

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 7:28 PM  

"Security paranoia is just one of their pernicious excuses."

It reminds me of the TSA. A great inconvenient show of security that doesn't actually deal with any of the real threats.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 15, 2016 7:38 PM  

@48
There are a couple of annoying things that LG did to Android in this low-end model, like make the SD card a pain to use, that seem designed to push the user to upgrade to a more expensive model.

Yes, and support for low end LG at wireless companies is just about nonexistent. But then support at a lot of wireless companies beyond "pay bill", "select new phone", "change battery", "get new case / glass cover" is about nonexistent anyway.

More generally, as someone who's been using Linux for 20 years, I'm annoyed that it tries to lock me out of much of the OS, and I can't have root on a machine I own without violating some agreement. But for $30, I can't complain.

Pretty much. One nice thing about LG's Android is you can push mp3's onto the phone yourself, and see them in the file structure. They won't have pretty pictures or lyrics, but they are there and can be played through a wired connection, or Bluetooth. As opposed to using iTunes, which apparently is mandatory on iOS.

So I haz tunez on my phone and din't get them from Big Sibling. Sorta neat. I don't have any illusions that anything with Google attached to it is even vaguely secure, though.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 7:45 PM  

"Windows is junk"

which is irrelevant. the point is not that windows is good. Though I would argue that Win10 is far better than it gets credit for. The point is... junk or not... its better than the crap Apple is doing.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 15, 2016 7:46 PM  

Hail BlackBerry I would trade Windows 10 for BB10 on my desktop

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 7:48 PM  

"Hail BlackBerry I would trade Windows 10 for BB10 on my desktop "

well yeah. BB10's browser was literally the fastest available... regardless of platform. Think about that.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT December 15, 2016 7:48 PM  

@62 - yet the FBI had to find a foreign hacking team that happened to be in possession of a zero day exploit when Apple told them 'No, we will not give you tools to crack user devices.'

And you can bet in response to that scenario Apple will update Secure Enclave so that a judge cannot order them to assist because there will be no physical way to assist. (The changes are pretty simple actually: put additional hard limits for passcode retry into SE itself, and run any system changes through SE so that it's impossible to alter the OS without user authentication.)

@56 has two good examples of Apple slips in recent years in terms of UI. But right now they are about the only entity I trust outside of FOSS when it comes to security. SE is brilliant and shows how serious Apple is about security.

Anonymous Be Deplorable, Not Afraid December 15, 2016 7:54 PM  

The problem with Apple stuff is Cook's "thinness" fetish (yeah, I said it). You could get twice the battery life, except it always has to be thinner. And he overprices year- or two-year-old hardware. I have an Android phone, and Google sucks, but at least I've broken out of the Apple ecosystem. Win7/10 isn't bad at all. I use Macs for work and PCs for gaming. I'll buy nothing I don't need for work while Cook is in charge at Apple.

Anonymous Steve December 15, 2016 7:59 PM  

It is rather ironic that the company whose fortune was made by its superior user interface is now heading downhill due to the worst UI experience in technology. But that's the way of the world; it turns out that Steve Jobs was irreplaceable after all.

This, bigly.

I was an early iPhone adopter and it was great for its time. The user experience was just years ahead of anything Nokia were doing. It was the first phone to get the web right and Steve Jobs' tyrannical OCD paid off in every pleasing little flourish of the hardware and software.

But Android has long since surpassed iOS, while iOS itself has become a pain in the arse to use. The simplicity of its single hardware button was great in 2008, when all you probably wanted was a nice web browsing experience with some light email and a few basic apps on a device that also makes phone calls. It's a hindrance now. And the way they aggressively herd you towards iTunes and iCloud is annoying, baffling, and shit.

The last major new standalone product Apple launched was the iPad in 2010, shortly before Jobs went to Mainframe. (Apple Watch is a novelty device/smartphone accessory and that whole product category seems like a reheated version of the 70's digital watch fad to me.)

Since then Apple's just been pushing out iterative improvements (or downgrades, like its wireless headset scam) and relying on branding to keep gullible punters paying a premium for its products.

No doubt there's plenty of juice left to be squeezed from them apples, but sooner or later the lack of innovation is going to kill them.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT December 15, 2016 8:01 PM  

@64 - which is irrelevant. the point is not that windows is good. Though I would argue that Win10 is far better than it gets credit for. The point is... junk or not... its better than the crap Apple is doing.

Architecturally speaking Mac OS is vastly superior to Windows. The UNIX underpinnings are better than the NT kernel; Cocoa is better than Win32 or .BLOAT; Quartz is better than any 2D imaging model Microsoft has tried; security is a joke on Windows...I could go on and on.

About the only place where you would have cause to complain is HFS+. But NTFS is no glowing example of a file system itself, and HFS+ is being replaced by APFS.

UI level? I don't care at all for some of Microsoft's UI decisions in 8 and 10. But it doesn't matter because I can't trust Microsoft themselves. So even if a Windows 10 update managed to blow Apple's UI out of the water I wouldn't use it.

Blogger Thucydides December 15, 2016 8:13 PM  

I was stuck using Wndows at work, and it sucked. Even with the rather expensive and elaborate custom modules, security was pretty much non existent (the only way to truly secure a Windows machine is to air gap it), and when MS decided to change their platform, they didn't even migrate old conventions to the new platform, making retraining a nightmare as well.

When my wife needed a new laptop for her schooling MS and just released "Vista", and the laptop was so unreliable and unusable we took it back and wrote "Vista" on the "reason for return" card. Windows 8/10 went even better by making a totally unintuitive interface which has nothing in common with any previous version of Windows, at least my workplace is manfully refusing to upgrade this time.

My Macbook pro, although expensive, is at least reliable, mostly secure and I don't fear the "blue screen of death". When it goes I'm not going to upgrade, however, since buying an expensive laptop which does not even offer an optical drive, much less USB ports for the various devices I choose to use is pretty lame.

I did experiment with "Hackbooks" for a while, Dell laptops which had internal configurations that allowed them to use Mac OsX. If Apple were interested in expanding their consumer base, a $455 laptop with most of the positive features of a regular Macbook would be a great introduction.

As it is, I'm busy reading "Linux for dummies" and similar self help books, and will soon be getting a used laptop to experiment on. I've seen many Linux distributions over the years and some like RedHat or Mandrake looked pretty impressive at first, but seemed to take too much time and effort to "be" Windows rather than moving in new directions (and while Windows is bad, imitation Windows is worse....)

As for "smartphones", I refuse to use most of the so called features, since the Android platform seems even less security conscious than Windows, if anything. Maybe I need to rummage around in a flea market and find a working flip phone (heh!)

But it certainly does look like time for some sort of Alt-Tech revolution to hit the market: low coast, user (not company) controlled, simple to use and secure.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 8:14 PM  

@67 never forget... its basically been 50 years since the FBI solved any sort of meaningful crime.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 15, 2016 8:34 PM  

Apple's fundamental problem is simple. Every executive wanders around the company muttering, "what would Steve do?"

During Steve's wilderness years it was the question you dared not ask but it was there just the same. The cult of Jobs was pervasive and still is through out the company.

Most people don't remember there was time in the late 1990s that Apple was about to close it's doors. The Walled Garden was dying.

It only came back to life because Bill Gates had been an inch from losing an anti-trust suite and he needed something around that could be accused of being a competitor.

When Jobs came back it was only supposed to be a temporary thing because the institutional investors hated him. His ridiculous title was Interim CEO. A few years later they quietly dropped the "Interim". No one was even pretending Apple could survive without him.

The cult of Apple's founder permeates everything they do. It's almost like Disney in that regard.

I think they are still waiting for him come back.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2016 8:39 PM  

"what would Steve do?"

then why do they get it wrong so often? "if it has a task manager... you screwed up."

Everything they produce has a task manager now.

Blogger Cail Corishev December 15, 2016 8:54 PM  

One nice thing about LG's Android is you can push mp3's onto the phone yourself, and see them in the file structure.

Mine improved greatly once I installed an SSH server app on the phone. Now I can copy files to it with scp or rsync, dump daily podcasts to it with a cron task, and ssh to it and move things around easily from a real keyboard. Makes it almost like a real computer. Only downside is the latest version of Android has a new separate permission for writing to the SD card, and the SSH app doesn't have that yet, so I can't write/delete anything on the card through it. It'll be pretty sweet if they fix that.

Blogger Eric Mueller December 15, 2016 8:59 PM  

I'm getting kind of torn on what to get for my next phone. I got a Note 5 last year. The Note line is pretty much dead. I hate Android's update model, where it takes forever for an updated Android version to come from Google, to Samsung, to AT&T, and finally to me. And at any point in the chain, they can decide I'm not getting it, like they did with Android 7.

But when I look at the specs for the iPhone 7, it seems like all Apple cares about anymore is cameras, emoticons, and their chip model. Nothing about the iPhone 7 specs excites me.

I want Windows Phone to succeed, but it's missing some key features, like a usable Kindle app. Microsoft Wallet appears to be about what Apple Wallet was before Apple Pay came out. Just stores loyalty cards, which I can't figure out the point to. I just give them my wife's number so I don't have to get a fucking store loyalty card.

And Windows Phone STILL doesn't have a decent podcast app. Nothing close to PocketCasts or DownCast.

Continuum seems kind of cool, but not quite there yet.

When my Note 5 runs out of use, I have no idea what to get next. As for my 2012 MacBook Pro, I'm thinking Surface to replace it. The new MacBooks, holy shit! Apple! You had 4 years, and ALL YOU COULD COME UP WITH IS A FUCKING MAGIC TOUCH BAR!

Steve Jobs truly is irreplaceable. I wonder who is going to inherit Apple's "spaceship" headquarters after they fold? Or will it become some kind of historical decaying building?

Anonymous Sheiko29 December 15, 2016 9:04 PM  

"what would Steve do?"

Die of a curable diseased because he remained a filth-encrusted hippie.

Blogger Lazarus December 15, 2016 9:08 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:It only came back to life because Bill Gates had been an inch from losing an anti-trust suite and he needed something around that could be accused of being a competitor.

Apple fulfills the cuck function in the tech world.

Blogger Midknight December 15, 2016 9:09 PM  

@Snidely

Windows is a mess because Microsoft is a mess

Seattle's "Microtel" of John Ringo's Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge set in the 80's of Larry's MHIverse, had an R&D department that worked on, among other things, "daemons".

I'm sure you can imagine exactly how often things went wrong.

Anonymous SevenCrimes December 15, 2016 9:10 PM  

iOS is no longer an ecosystem, it's an arcology, and all the exits are being bricked over.

Blogger Harold December 15, 2016 9:14 PM  

I still like my Commodore 64 and Amiga 500. If they were to build a new C-64 with a built-in web browser on the chip, it would do 99% of what most people do with computers. And since the OS is on a ROM chip- it couldn't be corrupted by a virus or malware.

Blogger Nick S December 15, 2016 9:22 PM  

This tells me we're heading for some serious disruption in the not-too-distant future.

Those caught up in the corporate SJW convergence will need HR to develop classes on coping skills to replace their diversity training.

Anonymous Steve December 15, 2016 9:25 PM  

Most people don't remember there was time in the late 1990s that Apple was about to close it's doors. The Walled Garden was dying.

My tuppence: the internet saved Apple as much as Jobs did.

Yes, Apple sold bland beige boxes during their dog days in the 90's. Jobs might've had them sell sexy boxes, and it probably wouldn't have altered their trajectory by any appreciable amount.

Wintel won the business market in the 80's, and that gave them too big an install base and software momentum for smaller players like Apple, Amiga and Atari to seriously compete for long.

So Apple carved out niches in Edu and DTP, Amiga was good for games and low-cost video stuff, Atari ST was a games machine with a musical bent due to its MIDI features. (Some other cool upstarts like Acorn's Archimedes came and went in those days too).

But Wintel was the new IBM. It had become the standard in every business from blue chips to chip shops, and fewer and fewer consumers saw the benefit of owning a different OS at home as graphics cards and sound cards and CD-ROMs turned the IBM PC compatible into a credible multimedia device.

And when Doom came out, followed by Windows 95, it was pretty much game over for the non-MS home machine. Apple and Amiga still had nicer UI's, but PC's were now good enough and had a far better software range for most users, even if the machines starting with A retained a lead in the odd specialist field.

What made the iMac such a great success? It was a beautiful machine, yes. But more importantly, the "i" bit stood for "internet", which by 1998 was almost a killer app in its own right. And it retilted the playing field towards Apple - with the web becoming increasingly important to consumers, the negatives of being outside the Wintel ecosystem started looking less negative. If you were more interested in updating your Geocities page than playing Quake - and millions of new computer buyers were - why buy a clunky Packard Bell or a grotty Compaq if you could afford one of those cheerfully retro-futurist iMacs?

And Jobs' next big hit, the iPod, wouldn't have made sense before the web and Napster and MP3's. He went back to Apple at exactly the right time.

Blogger JaimeInTexas December 15, 2016 9:28 PM  

I hate Microsoft but Apple is worse. Microsoft should have stopped with Win 7.

http://xkcd.com/1760/
http://xkcd.com/1770/

Blogger James Dixon December 15, 2016 9:41 PM  

> It is rather ironic that the company whose fortune was made by its superior user interface is now heading downhill due to the worst UI experience in technology.

We bought some Apple stock back when it was under $400/share (before the 7 for 1 split). A few weeks later Apple came out with IOS 7. Meredith took one look and we dumped the Apple stock. Yeah, it's cost us money, but I can't deny her judgement on the matter.

> Sadly, Google is going the same way, to the point that I no longer update my Android tablet, phone, or apps.

With most phones/tablets, it's not like you really have an option. Most of the vendors simply don't offer updates past the current version.

> Though I would argue that Win10 is far better than it gets credit for.

It's pretty good as far as it's technical underpinnings go. It's really still in an advanced beta state though. They're working their way through a lot of changes.

Now, if it would just let you turn off a good chunk of the "features" that amount to spyware.

Blogger tz December 15, 2016 9:53 PM  

And Apple is picking about Gab and #NSFW which they don't do about twitter or reddit.

And it is a Prison Farm, not a Walled Garden.

Anonymous Just another commenter December 15, 2016 10:04 PM  

I've like some things about Macs since the late 80s, and hated a lot more. I don't like the fact they assume the user is a moron who can't be trusted to actually know what's going on, where files are, or how things are arranged, and would never want to. They hide WAY to much. Now admittedly, there are a lot of users who are morons (what other type of person is referred to as a "user"?), but a lot of us know what we want to do, and we'll damn well tell the computer what to do and how to do it. I don't want it using some sort of DWIM heuristic (Do What I Mean) to make a best guess and miss 87% of the time. I don't like the Apple closed environment. I don't like their focus on monetizing everything (they are almost as bad as Disney at trying to squeeze every last penny out of a working man). I don't like the "ultra-slick" interface; it's like "black on black" styling that makes a stereo unusable because you can't see the damn controls when you are watching a movie... in the dark! I don't like the constant updates. I don't like the move to the (hackable, unsecured, government-searchable) cloud. I don't like the "track everything about everyone" attitude.

Meanwhile, Windows and MS is jumping the shark - the "new" interface that is interchangeable on a smart-phone gives it a 4-bit graphics look that I hate, they are going the same "hide everything, it's all just magic" route that Apple took, they are going totally web/cloud centric so that machines are nearly useless without a connection tethering you, they are becoming less and less American and more insane (I know a LOT of former microsofties, and only a small handful of current Microsoft people who are not recent immigrants, and many left because of REALLY stupid management). Don't like the interface, don't like the philosophy, don't like the angling to close the ecosystem, HATE HATE HATE Cortana, and what were they smoking when they came up with Microsoft Edge?

Yes, I'm very ready for a new OS who's mantra is "the user isn't a moron, they are not paranoid they are just private, if they have a bog screen and a decent graphics card they can actually use all of it efficiently, and they don't need every bell and whistle, just something secure, simple, reliable, and usable without an Internet connection."

@81 - Ha! I loved my Amiga 1000. Great machine. Real multitasking that wasn't matched by any other desktop for a while, and it still took a few iterations for Macs and Windows to catch up, but they added a lot of overhead to do it.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs December 15, 2016 10:08 PM  

@15: Depends on which version of Windows. Windows 10 has served only to reinforce my utter hatred for all thinks Microsoft. Utterly horrible user experience. What were they thinking?

Blogger kurt9 December 15, 2016 10:11 PM  

I have an Ipod touch that I bought 2nd hand 5 years ago to stream music from the internet via WiFi. At the time, it was the only music player that could do this. It is a good product and I have always been happy with it.

However, Timmy Cook several years ago said he did not want those who consider global warming to be a fraud (I am one of these people) to buy Apple products. Given that I am more than happy to oblige him, I have not bought any Apple products recently.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2016 10:12 PM  

It is rather ironic that the company whose fortune was made by its superior user interface...

The one where you dragged the floppy disk icon to the trash can in order to eject the disk? Apples "insanely great" reputation was always more hype than reality.

Windows is junk. Under the hood it has always been a complete mess which is why Microsoft can't secure the damn thing.

No, Microsoft can't secure a damn thing because nobody with that many users can secure a damn thing. As far as "under the hood", have you ever seen any of the NT Kernel code?

Blogger James Dixon December 15, 2016 10:16 PM  

> No, Microsoft can't secure a damn thing because nobody with that many users can secure a damn thing.

There's a degree of truth in that. The Linux kernel has been having it's share of security problems lately.

But that's not the whole story with Windows. Microsoft really doesn't have any clue how to do security. Or, more likely, they do, but it takes a back seat to features and marketing.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Hair December 15, 2016 10:18 PM  

"Most people don't remember there was time in the late 1990s that Apple was about to close it's doors. The Walled Garden was dying. "

@73

It's one of the reasons Apple didn't renew licenses to clone manufacturers. Though I hated it at the time, since it was not  branded, the Power Computing desktop my family owned was arguably the best there was, at the time.

Having used Macs since the age of 4 (will be 30 near month's end), the Mac IIVX (remember, first computer with an internal CD-ROM drive?), Apple has gone through boom and bust cycles. Nonetheless, it seems like they're content to slit their own throat here. I'm writing this on an '08 iMac that has a DVD-RW drive. Apple does not realize outside of major cities (though I live in one) many people still rely on DVDs/CDs as Internet speeds haven't caught up. Furthermore, battery life on the iPhone and Macbooks suck. I had no clue the newest Macbook had one port. That's beyond stupid.

Remember when Firewire was supposed to make a splash but never did? Remember when USB replaced the ADB connection scheme. We'll see how Lightning does.

Point is Apple needs to do true innovation and/or license cloning like it did in the mid-90s. As a citizen of the deplorable state that Tim buck futter Cook hates so much, I wonder how he feels about our former governor being the second most powerful executive in the country? SJWs, like feminists, ruin everything.

"@67 never forget... its basically been 50 years since the FBI solved any sort of meaningful crime."

@72 Does that exclude espionage against the USG and/or industrial espionage/dumping of counterfeit products?

"Die of a curable diseased because he remained a filth-encrusted hippie."

@77 One of the funniest cartoons post Jobs' death was him talking to St. Peter saying he can't go to Heaven since he's not Christian and demands he be reincarnated. He ends up as a ChiCom slave laobrer on an Apple assembly line.

"I still like my Commodore 64 and Amiga 500. If they were to build a new C-64 with a built-in web browser on the chip, it would do 99% of what most people do with computers. And since the OS is on a ROM chip- it couldn't be corrupted by a virus or malware."

@81 Who knows if it's still viable or not but as recently as the early 2000's there were usergroups dedicated to Apple III's serving as basic text browsing Internet terminals. That's right....Apple III's!!!!!!!

"I've like some things about Macs since the late 80s, and hated a lot more. I don't like the fact they assume the user is a moron who can't be trusted to actually know what's going on, where files are, or how things are arranged, and would never want to."

@87 Remember OS 6-9? Remember ResEdit and rebuilding the Desktop file? Those two things alone could give you immense power that Wintel users had to be programmers to do. Though I initially hated OS X, I've grown to love the command line. I still miss ResEdit, the resource fork and data fork.

"However, Timmy Cook several years ago said he did not want those who consider global warming to be a fraud (I am one of these people) to buy Apple products. Given that I am more than happy to oblige him, I have not bought any Apple products recently."

@89 Cook can suck a fat...er it's like they said in Band of Brothers to Spears. We salute the uniform, not the man. Homo Cook will pass. Apple, hopefully if it's still around, will saunter onward.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2016 10:23 PM  

And inevitably when some consensus was reached, somebody else, in a completely different part of the project, would come up with some change that had to be made, or some dick-waving reason that the standard way Windows had been doing shutdowns for decades was no longer viable, and they'd start the process over again.

If you want to analyze Microsoft's management problems in Socio-sexual terms, Neither Gates nor Ballmer were really Alphas, and their semi-passive-aggressive management style became the preferred template. So non-alpha senior managers were never able to control their alpha underlings, so you have these "dick-waving" disruptions to progress as ambitios alphas ran amok with no controls or consequences from their higher ups.

Anonymous Alice De Goon December 15, 2016 10:53 PM  

OT: Venerable magazine National Geographic decides to feature a clown-haired boy diddling himself on the cover:

http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/national-geographic-explores-gender-through-new-issue-documentary-n695966

I didn't want to believe all of that Pizzagate Pedo stuff, and then I see a mainstream magazine like this posing what looks to be a child with unnaturally colored hair (don't most schools forbid kids from dying their hair rainbow colors?) with his/her/xer's hand shoved deep between his/her/xer's thighs.

I know National Geographic spent most of its history acting as porn for people whose parents were too uptight to buy Playboys, but they at least endeavored to possess some measure of scientific respectability. Now we've reached the day when Playboys are free of porn but the Nat Geo is filled with Lolita Spank Material. Disgusting.

Anonymous Just another commenter December 15, 2016 10:54 PM  

@93 - ya' know, when you put it in those terms, a lot of the shit I saw when I was there, and the shit I heard about since I've left, suddenly makes more sense. Lots of shit-stirring, but much of the "leadership" at the top wasn't, and lots of could-be-great alphas stuck in middle-management hell surrounded by PC metrosexual deltas, betas, and a scattering of gammas, all drenched in extreme nerditude and high paychecks to afford wives above their status...

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2016 11:00 PM  

But that's not the whole story with Windows. Microsoft really doesn't have any clue how to do security. Or, more likely, they do, but it takes a back seat to features and marketing.

The company's management philosophy wasn't able to reward anything but features. Cross-feature things like security ended up screwed because the teams actually writing the code would be reviewed based on the features they delivered, and the teams being reviewed based on security would think they had a mandate to boss the feature teams around, because their stuff was a "fundamental" and so they didn't actually try to solve any problems. Instead they basically filed bugs on other people to solve them. Those "fundamentals" like security and perf needed to be inherent elements of every feature team, not outside antagonists.

Blogger James Dixon December 15, 2016 11:00 PM  

> Remember OS 6-9

Oh, I remember OS-9, but it's not the same one you're thinking of: https://infogalactic.com/info/OS-9

It ran on the Tandy Color Computer series, as had real time multitasking/multiuser years before either Windows or the Mac did.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor December 15, 2016 11:03 PM  

I just don't buy the argument that proprietary code is more secure than open source. Especially not with the proof that Snowden handed us of the collusion between government and tech companies to attack the privacy of users. And if a company won't play ball, the US government will threaten them and even eventually force them to shut down. Like they did with Lavabit. Presumably Russia, China, the UK, and the EU are all doing the same thing.

So we now have to assume that any widespread proprietary code likely has government mandated back doors/exploits. That includes Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco.

@6 Some of that may be legitimate. If your word processor has the ability to embed images, then that app needs access to photos to enable its full functionality. A game could be storing images that it later accesses. Still, I completely understand what you're saying and I install very few apps on my devices for that reason. When an app is getting access to sensitive data, you'd really like to understand better when and why that's happening without having to run a command line interface and sort through log files.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2016 11:07 PM  

a lot of the shit I saw when I was there

When were you there? What group?

lots of could-be-great alphas stuck in middle-management hell surrounded by PC metrosexual deltas

Ha. I had a boss who wouldn't make a decision. I went into his office and laid it our for him, that we'd fail if he didn't make a decision.

A month later, he made his decision. He got a sex-change operation and started calling himself Michelle.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor December 15, 2016 11:09 PM  

@96 In Windows 7 and 8, the search doesn't even work properly. Depending on what mood the OS is in at the particular moment, it may return:
1) All objects meeting search criteria
2) A partial list of objects meeting search criteria
3) No objects (even though objects matching search criteria actually do exist in the search path)

It's infuriating.

Anonymous Not A Sysadmin Anymore December 15, 2016 11:14 PM  

@87
Now admittedly, there are a lot of users who are morons (what other type of person is referred to as a "user"?),

Oh! Oh! Me, sir, I know!

A local user.

Anonymous Just another commenter December 15, 2016 11:30 PM  

@99 - tech support in the 90s. Still in the area.

@101 - Facepalm. I rest my case. :-)

Blogger wreckage December 15, 2016 11:35 PM  

My iPads have been great, never touched an Apple laptop or desktop voluntarily, iPhones started out being just world-beating value but are now mediocre, and without a significant improvement in bang-for-buck are going to be obsolete to their competitors before they even hit the market.

Apple can still be fine, it just needs to focus on putting out decent hardware or it will lose its market position.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 15, 2016 11:43 PM  

In Windows 7 and 8, the search doesn't even work properly.

Yeah, it went seriously backwards from WinXP. I suppose I should clarify - features were the only thing they could reward, but that was hit and miss too. But bottom line, they company developed a weak management style (courtesy of non-alpha leaders), and unsuccessfully tried to mitigate it with management philosophies that just made things worse. Downward spiral.

tech support in the 90s.

tough job back then.

Blogger Ted Porters December 15, 2016 11:51 PM  

It's like back in GMs heyday in the early 80s when they didn't sell you a car they sold you a payment and in the end they became more of a parts company than a car manufacturer. We all know what happened next.

Blogger Lazarus December 15, 2016 11:58 PM  

Alice De Goon wrote:I know National Geographic spent most of its history acting as porn for people whose parents were too uptight to buy Playboys,

Anybody that thinks that is not fucked up needs to have their name registered in a data base for when the time comes.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 16, 2016 12:48 AM  

The TSA is considered security theater by many (most?) the the information security field. It provides little in the way of true security and is likely even counterproductive there.

I am still not convinced the Blackberry is a good direction. I live with the risks of indoor plumbing now. An outhouse may be safer, but I will stick with an inside toilet. The same is true of many modern networked things, in my view.

Anonymous Just another commenter December 16, 2016 1:09 AM  

@104 - I liked it. Was darn good at it, too. But after going through the "format and reinstall is the go-to answer" phase it pretty much all got outsourced to lower-cost areas. Now they import the low cost workers. But hey, at least it's an "American" company, right?

Anonymous Forget BB December 16, 2016 1:12 AM  

I'm currently trying out a PRIV and while DTEK is great at not only allowing you to give separate permissions to apps but also allowing you to see when those permissions are being accessed, it does nothing for the biggest offender... google. You can't text or take a photo without a factory installed google app and if you want to go third party you need a google account to use the google store to get that third party app that may or may not be trustworthy. So any contacts, texts or photos you brought or used on your phone go to you guessed it. Thanks for paying someone to hack myself. Man do I miss BB10.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 16, 2016 1:53 AM  

Based on the frustrations of an elderly man who can't remember his password?

You are an ignorant douche. No, wait, that's wrong - no vagina, no matter how toxic, would let you near it.

Midwit punks like to think everything an old man says is the result of his Alzheimer's tinged dotage. But the midwits never consider that maybe the old codger knows far, far more than they do about things.

Especially in tech, there's an arrogance of the nouveau that assumes anything today is obviously better than the equivalent from yesterday. Technology always moves forward, so if some dusty old codger like Pournelle can't make his i-thing-a-ma-gigit work, it's obviously because he's potty.

Well, punk, I've got news for you. A lot, of things today, even in tech, are retarded compared to what existed twenty years ago. When someone like Dr. Pournelle writes a column like the one Vox linked to here, it's not an example of grandpa unable to set the clock on his VCR. It's the guy who remembers how things are FUCKING SUPPOSED TO WORK pointing out how badly the dumbass youngsters have screwed up.

Pournelle's generation gave us rockets that could reach the moon, not to mention gas cans that didn't slop fuel all over the ground and toilets that actually flushed shit away on the first try. If you don't realize how literally retarded we have become regarding technology, you are... well... part of the problem.

Blogger APL December 16, 2016 2:45 AM  

JP: "I remember that the iPhone is an Apple device and I trust it, and lo!"

Perhaps not the first mistake, but up there in the top five.

Blogger Shimshon December 16, 2016 3:02 AM  

I'd like to second (or third...) the praise for BlackBerry.

I got a Z10 in 2014 after years of Android phones (largely due to Denninger's ongoing praise of BB10 and the phone itself). The Android emulation was good enough for most of my needs, as I didn't use many apps that needed Play Services anyway.

The OS is much more svelte than Android and much less gimmicky. I would happily be a BB10 user even today except that BB stopped supporting it and few Android apps were having increasing problems working (plus the BB web browser was becoming increasingly problematic). Snap, the side-loaded app I used to install and update Android apps stopped working. And so forth.

I got a Priv. It's a great piece of kit (as Brits say), even though I don't use the keyboard as often as I thought (it's too small for my stubby fingers). Nice hardware. After years being away from Android, I am less than satisfied with it. It doesn't Just Work the way I want. However, it (along with the new DTEK60 that Denninger has also waxed eloquent over) is probably one of the best choices we now have that is NOT APPLE.

If BB were to resume supporting BB10, I would even consider going back to my 2012 era Z10, but what I'd really like is the Passport (the bigger keyboard would be great).

BB is heavy on the engineering, and my phone can pull in signals that my wife's iPhone can't. Speaking of which, my kids also hate Apple, while my wife, her parents and siblings, and my parents, and my brother, are all Apple fans. How great is it that my kids take after me!

Blogger Shimshon December 16, 2016 3:45 AM  

@110 Perhaps this ignorant douche is also not aware that Jerry Pournelle is one of the earliest non-geek computer users there is, having written about his use of computers decades ago in his famous monthly column in Byte magazine for years.

As stated in InfoGalactic:

Pournelle wrote the "Chaos Manor" column in BYTE. In it Pournelle described his experiences with computer hardware and software, some purchased and some sent by vendors for review, at his home office. Because Pournelle was then, according to the magazine, "virtually BYTE's only writer who was a mere user—he didn't create compilers and computers, he merely used them", it began as "The User's Column" in June 1980. Subtitled "Omikron TRS-80 Boards, NEWDOS+, and Sundry Other Matters", an Editor's Note accompanied the article:

The other day we were sitting around the BYTE offices listening to software and hardware explosions going off around us in the microcomputer world. We wondered, "Who could cover some of the latest developments for us in a funny, frank (and sometimes irascible) style?" The phone rang. It was Jerry Pournelle with an idea for a funny, frank (and sometimes irascible) series of articles to be presented in BYTE on a semi-regular (i.e.: every 2 to 3 months) basis, which would cover the wild microcomputer goings-on at the Pournelle House ("Chaos Manor") in Southern California. We said yes. Herewith the first installment ...

Pournelle stated that

This will be a column by and for computer users, and with rare exceptions I won't discuss anything I haven't installed and implemented here in Chaos Manor. At Chaos Manor we have computer users ranging in sophistication from my 9-year-old through a college-undergraduate assistant and up to myself. (Not that I'm the last word in sophistication, but I do sit here and pound this machine a lot; if I can't get something to work, it takes an expert.)

Fair warning, then: the very nature of this column limits its scope. I can't talk about anything I can't run on my machines, nor am I likely to discuss things I have no use for.

And for the person who says turning of 2FA and everything works...really? 2FA isn't definitive security, but it is better than just password entry.

Blogger Kona Commuter December 16, 2016 3:50 AM  

This belongs here - Apple II advertisement from 1977

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=759_1481855023

Blogger Fenris Wulf December 16, 2016 4:58 AM  

I don't have much use for new tech, thankfully. I do everything on a 13-year-old PC running Windows XP. I use an ancient version of Word Perfect that runs about 20x faster than modern word processors (including LibreOffice). Internet works fine, except for streaming video, which is a lot more CPU-intensive than it was 10 years ago.

For audio production I use Reaper, which is extremely efficient and stable. Session interchange is easy, because anyone can download an unlimited trial version and run it on almost any computer. I think it will displace ProTools eventually. This is a good model for how a small company can disrupt an established company.

Blogger weka December 16, 2016 5:08 AM  

@115
The best writing stack I know is:
1. Emacs for text generation.
2. Bibtex for bibliography.
3. LyX for markup.

Trouble is that editors want their freaking .doc files in the academic world.

I generally write in Libreoffice with everything turned off, then use zotero to reference it, then export everything over to word, and check it on the mac.

We have to, alas, use the stacks as is. Most electronic author management systems produce pdfs for reviewers, but insist on generating them from word... even if you can do better markup by hand.

So my emacs and latex skills, alas, are disappearing.

Anonymous Nergol December 16, 2016 5:10 AM  

> "That is as bad as writing it on a sticky on your monitor. VERY insecure."

If someone I don't trust has gotten into my house and is at the point where he's able to read sticky notes attached to my monitor, I have bigger problems than whether he's going to get ahold of my iTunes password.

And frankly, so does he, unless he has a hyde that's impervious to 00 buckshot.

Anonymous Rien December 16, 2016 5:26 AM  

Brand loyalty Apple vs Samsung: 83% vs 64% (Jun 2015)

http://bgr.com/2015/06/29/apple-vs-samsung-brand-loyalty-survey-rbc/

There is no such thing as a perfect computer-based product.
But the numbers give apple the edge.

Having said that, I only upgrade when absolutely necessary. I am still using a Mac Pro from 2008 and still don't own a smart-phone, because quite frankly I do not _need_ one.

Anonymous Nergol December 16, 2016 5:28 AM  

Oh, also, if you're on Verizon, Apple is intentionally slowing down your data - because they want you to have a better customer experience.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-18/apple-chip-choices-may-leave-some-iphone-users-in-slow-lane

Blogger stengle December 16, 2016 5:58 AM  

All surveys of opinions about computers result in the following: some people love Apple, some people love Microsoft and some love Linux, but then again a lot of people aren't quite sure about any of them.

I'm mostly a Mac user but I have to say Apple seems to be losing the plot in all sorts of ways, not least the fact that they keep tweaking what was fine (and worked, to the point of it working less efficiently) though this may be because, frankly, they don't have a clue what to do next. Whatever they do will be copied, maybe improved on, but what's the next big thing that will lift them the way the iPod, iPad and iMac did?

I am cooling on Apple and its increasing determination to make the workable non-workable. A clear case in point was iMovie. It was simple, it worked and it was fun. I used to teach the program to people who had never done video editing before and they loved how they could make it work quickly. But then there were there inevitable Apple changes and, well, it started to not be fun or easy.

I might then agree Apple is on the way to falling down, but whenever I turn to Windows I really think it's a great shame Apple started getting silly.

Blogger Eric Mueller December 16, 2016 6:17 AM  

@90 Jack Amock- I'm taking a Security + class this week. One issue the instructor brought up is that Windows is built on a DAC (Discretionary Access Control) model, while most enterprise networks should be MAC (Mandatory). His recommendation is SE Linux, which is an NSA approved MAC model distribution. Like that will happen.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 16, 2016 6:45 AM  

then why do they get it wrong so often? "if it has a task manager... you screwed up."

Everything they produce has a task manager now.


Here is the big thing about Steve Jobs that the guys at Apple don't get.

He hated programmers.

Or rather the programmer/hacker mindset. The need they have to dig into the kernel and fuck around with it.

Being a control freak he absolutely and completely hated that.

Everything he ever built was designed with a view towards keeping them locked out as much as possible.

Hence the Walled Garden.

Blogger The Kurgan December 16, 2016 7:02 AM  

Shut up you deliverance level peasant. Windows was NEVER better than anything. Including the damn abacus. Apple has its problems but security wise it is galaxies ahead of crappy windows.
Windows is flaming dogshit.
Gates should be strung up next to Merkel.

Blogger The Kurgan December 16, 2016 7:08 AM  

Nate. Seriously. You know not of what you speak. There is NOTHING Windows does better than Apple or Linux except fraud, theft and probably murder.

Blogger Fenris Wulf December 16, 2016 7:27 AM  

My favorite "computer" is my old analog mixing console. It's based around opamp IC's, which are little analog computers that you "program" by hooking up resistors, potentiometers, and capacitors. This console is from the era when pro audio gear was fully modular, used through-hole components, and came with full schematics. If you're good with a soldering iron, you can repair it, modify it, and even add new features.

I remember a time when personal computers were designed with the same care and the same respect for the end user. Like the Commodore 64, which was dirt-cheap, had amazing features that actually worked, and came with a full-fledged analog synthesizer on a chip that's still being used by hobbyists today.

Now it seems like every new OS, software update, and website is progressively more bloated, until you need a supercomputer just to perform basic tasks that computers 30 years ago could handle with ease. As Noah mentioned, even basic stuff like the search function is broken. Eventually, it reaches the point of negative utility. The backlash is coming.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 16, 2016 9:17 AM  

@125 Fenris Wulf

My favorite computer was my old C64. It actually rewarded creativity.

And there was nothing like those 1980s sounds you get of that SID chip.

Blogger Phelps December 16, 2016 9:31 AM  

Apple's main concern is now keeping people imprisoned in its walled garden, not luring them in any longer.

This. I actually stood in line for an original iPhone (granted, I only showed up a few hours before release, since I knew that an obscure AT&T store wasn't going to have a huge line) and I had been a partisan (not quite fanboi) since the early 90s. Hell, I was on the macevangelist listerv. (Paused here to go check infogalactic to see what Guy Kawasaki is doing these days. Ahh, nostalgia.)

Anyways, the decline since Steve died has been palpable. I'm invested so heavily in the walled garden that the current options won't lure me out, but as soon as there is something as disruptive as the original iPhone was, I'll be jumping ship.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 16, 2016 9:42 AM  

Eric,

I moved from a Note 3 to my Nexus 6p and I am quite happy with it. The interface is much faster without all of Samsung's bloatware.

No perfect choice and I had to pay for it out of pocket, but I can go to any US network freely by swapping the SIM card.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 16, 2016 10:26 AM  

One issue the instructor brought up is that Windows is built on a DAC (Discretionary Access Control) model, while most enterprise networks should be MAC (Mandatory).

Windows has had MAC for over a decade. The problem isn't MAC vs DAC, it's partitioning the permissions accurately so you can actually deny dangerous permissions without making the app/process/session useless.

Go back to the question someone asked above - why does a flashlight app need access to photos? Those permission requests apps make when you install them are a manifestation of the xAC in the system, and if, for example, the people designing the system never anticipated a flashlight app repurposing the flash on the camera, they may not have provided separate permissions for the camera and the flash, and they may have also assumed the camera obviously needs access to the photos (and maybe didn't think it should be read only). Ergo a flashlight app might end up needing to request access to your photos.

Anonymous Athor Pel December 16, 2016 10:28 AM  

"122. Blogger Cataline Sergius December 16, 2016 6:45 AM
...
Here is the big thing about Steve Jobs that the guys at Apple don't get.

He hated programmers.

Or rather the programmer/hacker mindset. The need they have to dig into the kernel and fuck around with it.

Being a control freak he absolutely and completely hated that.

Everything he ever built was designed with a view towards keeping them locked out as much as possible.

Hence the Walled Garden.
"


Funny thing, On the first computers I owned I did much more low level hacking than on the computers I own now. The first computer I owned was a Mac. Granted, I was only using ResEdit and not doing actual OS kernal editing but still, using ResEdit to poke around inside a binary file was easier than using a Hexeditor in Windows.

I'm using Win 7 machines at home and work now. And no, the native OS file search function does not work reliably.

Blogger petitionforliberty December 16, 2016 11:43 AM  

I hate keeping up with passwords. Apple and google are both globalist and I hate giving them my business but what choice do I have?

Blogger Lance December 16, 2016 12:22 PM  

The OS is much more svelte than Android and much less gimmicky. I would happily be a BB10 user even today except that BB stopped supporting it and few Android apps were having increasing problems working (plus the BB web browser was becoming increasingly problematic). Snap, the side-loaded app I used to install and update Android apps stopped working. And so forth.

I got a Priv. It's a great piece of kit (as Brits say), even though I don't use the keyboard as often as I thought (it's too small for my stubby fingers). Nice hardware. After years being away from Android, I am less than satisfied with it. It doesn't Just Work the way I want. However, it (along with the new DTEK60 that Denninger has also waxed eloquent over) is probably one of the best choices we now have that is NOT APPLE.

If BB were to resume supporting BB10, I would even consider going back to my 2012 era Z10, but what I'd really like is the Passport (the bigger keyboard would be great).


BB 10.3.3 fixes the browser issues. I updated my Z10 last week and the sites that had issues are working now. I suspect it was that BB10 couldn't handle sha256 signatures in certificates.

Anonymous Bell Worthington December 16, 2016 1:23 PM  

There's sort of a parallel here with Apple going off mission and damaging their core deliverables, just like SJW convergence ruins the ability for other organizations to fulfill what they were originally meant to supply. Midwits get a "bright idea" and suck power from the original filament that once lit the way.

Anonymous FP December 16, 2016 1:35 PM  

"(Especially since itunes worked like a mound of fecal matter on windows at the time)"

It has always been bad on windows, just bad in general. I allow it on only one of my win7 machines to be able to transfer files to the ipod touches I own, which despite some issues have been decent little machines. If I ever bothered to fire up my os10 machine, I'd use it instead for itunes.

MS is going downhill for many reasons, a major one being they fired most of their QA team.

Anonymous FP December 16, 2016 1:37 PM  

Oh, and I've utterly hated android since 2013 where google wanted me to sign into a google account to update the damn chrome browser on the Nook tablet.

Anonymous LastRedoubt December 16, 2016 3:42 PM  

@137. FP

The sad part is that the program that apple bought and turned into iTunes - Soundjam - was pretty awesome

Blogger Shimshon December 17, 2016 1:41 PM  

@135 Thanks for the tip Lance. I lost all hope of an official 10.3.3 release ever seeing the light of day. I wish it had come out months ago, as my phone was pretty much unusable for anything but phone calls for a while.

I booted up my Z10 and checked for updates, but there was none available. Was your update through official channels or did you download and install yourself?

Blogger technovelist December 18, 2016 9:06 PM  

Of course Jerry Pournelle, in addition to his career as a SF author, has a long history of complaining about problems with computers.

But I agree with him that the iPhone is not very user-friendly.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts