Who Designed This Crap? The Latest Model: Innovation or Ripoff?

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r0x0r

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Which of course fuels the corporate giants to come out with more wasteful devices hoping they catch on like the iPod, stupid consumers make everything cost more for us, the average consumer, and make the ceo's of giant corporations richer. Seriously, who need billions of dollors, or hundreds of millions for that matter? America is almost as bad as Russia used to be, a few wealthy, and the rest are just trying to scrape by. Now if only the corporations would pay their employees for what they are worth....sure profits would go down but the world would be a happier place, and nobody would miss the billionares.
:) I don't believe I need to add anything else, so I won't.
 

Windaria

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Which of course fuels the corporate giants to come out with more wasteful devices hoping they catch on like the iPod, stupid consumers make everything cost more for us, the average consumer, and make the ceo's of giant corporations richer. Seriously, who need billions of dollors, or hundreds of millions for that matter? America is almost as bad as Russia used to be, a few wealthy, and the rest are just trying to scrape by. Now if only the corporations would pay their employees for what they are worth....sure profits would go down but the world would be a happier place, and nobody would miss the billionares.
I am sorry, but what a moronic comment. I guess it is fitting that you have a picture of Hitler as your icon.

Let's see...

1) In Russia, the people who had money had it because they had power. No one was allowed to raise to their rank without the approval of people at their rank, and no one was allowed to question them. If you did then chances are you would be found dead some time later.

2) How much someone needs is irrelevent. The word "need" doesn't even apply here. Oh it did in Russia though... they considered the common man to "need" little more than enough to starve, while they enjoyed their riches and power. Here, the word "need" is irrelevant. Instead the word "want" is what is key. How much do you want, and how badly do you want it? Do you want to be nothing more than a worthless bump on a log and collect a check from the government, to be nothing more than an abjact piece of human flotsom? Well you have that choice. But do you want to work HARD, sacrifice, study hard, and do what it takes to get ahead? Well guess what, you have that choice too. You can make yourself the CEO of a giant corporation, but YOU have to get off your lazy rear end and do it in this country. Yes, some just inherit it, but that maybe accounts for half of the successful people in this country, and almost never accounts for the most successful people in this country. Trust fund babies still go broke if they are idiots, happens all the time.

3) America has one of the largest middle classes in the world. If you aren't a lazy sack of human flotsom, but also don't want to work hard, sacrifice, and do what it takes to succeed, then you can quite easily be a middle class, reasonably happy, worker and live like the rich do in other countries... such as Russia! Do you realize just how many people around the world don't dream of being the super-rich, but simply dream of having the luxuries of the middle class here in America? If you think you're just trying to "scrape by", by the American definition, then maybe you should learn what "scraping by" means in many other places around the world.

As far as paying employees what they are worth... again, do you realize that we have some of the highest average wages from anywhere around the world, and while not the lowest taxes, we aren't taxed anywhere NEAR as much as people in other developed countries?

And, for those people who always say "if only they would pay people more" or "if only they raised the minimum wage"... do you know what happens? If they start paying low-wage earners more then guess what happens? I, as a trained professional, will look at someone who was making less than me and is now making about what I make, go to my boss, and demand a raise because it is insulting that they make what I do and don't do half the work. This happens, on up the chain, and everyone starts making more.

Know what happens then? Really, this is ecconomics 101 stuff... INFLATION! You are able to buy exactly as much as before, but the dollar is now worth less than it was before! Know who this SCREWS? Retired people! People on a fixed income now have the same amount of income, but everything is more expensive and they are able to buy less. Those are the only people that are seriously affected by this "just pay people more" garbage.

But hey... maybe you mean "why not just pay everyone the same, and a decent amount". Know what countries tried to do that? Communist countries like... Russia! At which point everything ends up being too expensive for people to afford and everyone becomes a menial worker because why on EARTH would someone want to go through all the training to become a Doctor when they earn the same amount as a plumber?

So please. Don't continue to spout off that garbage... unless you are one of those lazy sacks of human flotsom who doesn't want to do what it takes to get ahead, who spent thier time in school wasting time and not applying their brain to their studies, and who is truly just 'scraping by'... because then you have no one to blame but yourself in this country.
 

Whizzard9992

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Please don't feed the trolls.

If corporations are so evil, what is he doing on a computer (the result of millions in corporate investments), on the internet (again, the result of millions in corporate investments), and on an enthusiast site, which is based on products all produced by "corporate machines."

Anything you say, good or bad, will fuel his fire. People like MH just like to speak and be heard: it doesn't matter what they say. They invite conflict because it gives them something to do; something to be passionate about. Hence the pic of Hitler: it spawns controversy while supporting his hypocritical dogma.
 

michaelahess

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Very true, I enjoy upseting people to see what their thought out opinions are; very nice Windaria! I'm firmly middle class and agree with what you are saying. I work my ass off for what in Wyoming is considered a very nice wage. Short of working oil fields.

The point is, Bill gates isn't worth 40 billion dollars, no single human being can be worth that. He has taken advantage of the system to become that wealthy. To some that's the goal in life, to aquire all the wealth they can. Look at the investment industry, they make a fortune by making educated guesses as to what the market will do. Are they productive citizens? Do they produce anything to better humanity? Hell no! To me they are working the system to their own gain with no thought for others. To what end? Just to say my plane is bigger than yours? It's crazy. And a waste of a persons abilities.

The way I look at it, if your job is required to make a product/service successfull, you are no less important than the CEO running the company producing it. Obvious differences in compatancies would have higher pay, but if a janitor makes $10/hr and a ceo makes $100,000/hr, that's not remotely fair. I personally know plenty of millionaire CEO's that wouldn't be where they were if luck hand't shined on them. Some of them are completely inept. Shall I mention HP in all of this? Oops, guess I did.

The income gap for "critical" workers is far too high thanks to the greed of the boards and upper management of companies like this. If American companies were more concerned with quality and output over profit, we could sell goods to these severly low income third world nations for much less, thus bettering the rest of the world.

Yes, if taken too far (Russia) inflation and "needs" become a hinderance, there IS a happy median; we flew past it and keep on going.

Now I'm sure someone is going to say "but MS gives so much to other contries and their humanitarian foundations, etc, etc, etc." Don't bother, for every dollar non-profits put into these projects, maybe 30 cents actually goes to it. If they setup direct financial or equipment donations they would actually HELP these people instead of just advertising their "help" to the rest of the world.

Shall we bring the entertainment industry into this?
 

Whizzard9992

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Very true, I enjoy upseting people to see what their thought out opinions are; very nice Windaria! I'm firmly middle class and agree with what you are saying. I work my ass off for what in Wyoming is considered a very nice wage. Short of working oil fields.

The point is, Bill gates isn't worth 40 billion dollars, no single human being can be worth that. He has taken advantage of the system to become that wealthy. To some that's the goal in life, to aquire all the wealth they can. Look at the investment industry, they make a fortune by making educated guesses as to what the market will do. Are they productive citizens? Do they produce anything to better humanity? Hell no! To me they are working the system to their own gain with no thought for others. To what end? Just to say my plane is bigger than yours? It's crazy. And a waste of a persons abilities.

The way I look at it, if your job is required to make a product/service successfull, you are no less important than the CEO running the company producing it. Obvious differences in compatancies would have higher pay, but if a janitor makes $10/hr and a ceo makes $100,000/hr, that's not remotely fair. I personally know plenty of millionaire CEO's that wouldn't be where they were if luck hand't shined on them. Some of them are completely inept. Shall I mention HP in all of this? Oops, guess I did.

The income gap for "critical" workers is far too high thanks to the greed of the boards and upper management of companies like this. If American companies were more concerned with quality and output over profit, we could sell goods to these severly low income third world nations for much less, thus bettering the rest of the world.

Yes, if taken too far (Russia) inflation and "needs" become a hinderance, there IS a happy median; we flew past it and keep on going.

Now I'm sure someone is going to say "but MS gives so much to other contries and their humanitarian foundations, etc, etc, etc." Don't bother, for every dollar non-profits put into these projects, maybe 30 cents actually goes to it. If they setup direct financial or equipment donations they would actually HELP these people instead of just advertising their "help" to the rest of the world.

Shall we bring the entertainment industry into this?
Jobs are like gems. Your value is based more on your rarity than your actual usefulness. It's society, and dispite how you disagree, it works.

Bill Gates happens to be both useful and rare, and useful at the most opportune time. Let's not downplay the intelligence and persistence it took for him to accomplish what he has.

You can be good all by yourself. Hell, when compared to no one else, you're the best! But since we live in a society, with other human beings, we need to work and play within rules society has set. Because of that, you have to provide usefulness and display rarity while negotiating through a complex social system. As a permanant resident of the corporate world, I can tell you that navigating corporate politics is as important as any trade skill you may have. The political system is about mitigation of power, and that's something that's programmed into who we are as humans, and it isn't something thats propgated by any named entity, corporations and governments alike. Management is a mitigation of power, and without management we are not productive. *edit - typo*

You can either learn how to use the system and succeed, or you can sit back complain about how it doesn't revolve around your ideals and fall behind with everyone else.
 

michaelahess

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Very well put, as I exist in two corporate chains (two jobs :) ) I understand fully. I guess you could take my ramblings as "the way it should be in my perfect world.

I certainly wouldn't say Bill Gates isn't worth anything, he is indeed a very smart individual. He should have more money than most, but having as much as he does tells me there is indeed something wrong with our economics.

I guess I'm different from most, learning the system to succeed isn't my goal in life. Doing my jobs to the utmost of my ability while still enjoying them is my goal and knowing that I helped the community makes me feel better than having a crap load of money. If it doens't bring me the big bucks, fine, at least I won't feel guilty at the end of the day because I made as much in one day as the average worker makes in their whole life.
 

Whizzard9992

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Very well put, as I exist in two corporate chains (two jobs :) ) I understand fully. I guess you could take my ramblings as "the way it should be in my perfect world.

I certainly wouldn't say Bill Gates isn't worth anything, he is indeed a very smart individual. He should have more money than most, but having as much as he does tells me there is indeed something wrong with our economics.

I guess I'm different from most, learning the system to succeed isn't my goal in life. Doing my jobs to the utmost of my ability while still enjoying them is my goal and knowing that I helped the community makes me feel better than having a crap load of money. If it doens't bring me the big bucks, fine, at least I won't feel guilty at the end of the day because I made as much in one day as the average worker makes in their whole life.
I understand. Sorry for being so harsh. I'm one of the fortunate ones that just so happens to enjoy and have a natural talent for something both rare and valuable (Software Engineering). One of my first jobs was at KFC, and I can tell you I worked at least twice as hard there for a fraction of the money. Fortunately this is a self-correcting mechanism, and will be a short chapter in history since automation systems (robotics, AI) will soon take over the simple jobs, forcing people to be educated or unemployed. Unions will keep paid labor alive long enough for other countries to implement inexpensive automated solutions, forcing the companies that have unions to either restructure or be forced out of business. The US will suffer greatly in this regard over the next century.

The problem lies in the government and the inability for the US government, in particular, to recognize these things, which is apparant in the rising poverty, rising unemployment, and shrinking of the middle-class. It is even more apparant when you take into account our trade deficit. This reinforces the phrase "The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer." Again, a self-correcting mechanism, since we'll soon be unable to compete in the global marketplace and slide into recession (and possibly depression). This will force more a more drastic restructuring of the governement as the people become disgruntled (assuming the bigger, local economic issues aren't addressed, such as the declining manufacturing sector and trade deficit).

In short, society works because it is self-correcting. Unfortunately changes in society happen slowly, especially with regards to changes related to culture. The US has developed a commercial culture with little participation in governemnt (despite the fact that we're a democracy). This will change, but it will take time, and at least 1 or 2 more "Bush's." Hopefully a rare, talented leader will step up. A hero one might say. Until then, the loopholes in our society will continue to be exploited for the benefit of those already in power. It isn't anything new; governments have been doing it for years.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I agree that the system is flawed, but I disgaree that it is beyond repair. It just takes a time; usually more than a single lifetime. In my lifetime, I just treat it like a video game. Exploit the bugs it until they get patched. Maybe, if I play my cards right, I can be the one to patch bugs. Change cannot be instituted without power.
 

michaelahess

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Excellent outlook. I'd rather patch the bugs then exploit them as well. Course you have to exploit some to make it around here, just try to do it fairly. If there is such a thing.
 

Chemware

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It's not just the confusing plethora of models - there's a real problem with the decreasing quality of LCD screens used in laptops, usually hidden behind marketing bs like "Ultrasharp", "TrueLife", "ColourShine", etc.

There seems to be a "pixel race" going on at the same time, and this is the only information that consumers have as to the quality of the screens. However, these new screens with amazing names (WSXGA+, etc) and stupendous resolutions have lousy clarity, poor viewing angles, backlighting problems, poor colour definition and fidelity, tiny fonts (or mangled program window layouts, take your pick), irritating reflections, and are literally giving users headaches.

Could Toms perhaps look into this issue and compare the screens of older laptops to some newer ones ?
 

michaelahess

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No doubt, my IBM T30, and Dell Inspiron 4000 have awsome 14" screens, granted max res is 1024x768 they are very clear and easy on the eyes, no glare. My IBM T41 however, even though it's a nice clear screen with no glare, is too hard to read with all the small text stuff I do at it's 1400x1050 native res. I limit it to my visio drawings.

I don't care for the glossy screens, no matter what the manufacturer says they all look the same to me and terrible outdoors. But it appears we will have no choice in the matter in the near future. It's very hard to find non glare models these days.
 

Ahumado

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What was good, even real good becomes bad so soon? Your reasoning is childish your article bad. If something is good it remains good. My system is great and it's years old. I have an AMD 64 3000 CPU. I don't think for a moment anyone owes me more CPU just cause somethong newer and faster came out. I bought it with my money on the terms set by the retailer and the company. I had a choice. I knew something more would come along. You're the type of guy that wouldn't honor a contract in sports.

Nuts to you

Ahumado
 

WizardOZ

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The man has some very good points. Notebook manufacturers have a terrible record when one looks at the lifecycle of their product lines and support for "obsolete" models. John Dvorak (PC Magazine) wrote about this issue 4 years ago, when there were many fewer notebook manufacturers and models out there. Things have not gotten better.

I have dierct observational experience of the lack of interest these companies have in supporting their existing user base. Both cases involve different major manufacturers.

In the first case, a friend had purchased a new Hitachi notebook/laptop in late 1997. Shortly after, Windows 98 was released. My friend attempted to install the new version of Windows to get better USB support. It wouldn't work. He had to go back to Windows 95. Follow up investigation found that the manufacturer knew that the system would not support Win 98. And they had no intention of enabling support for the new OS - at any time. If my buddy wanted a notebook that supported Windows 98, he had to buy a new system. And remeber, at that time, notebooks were a lot more expensive than desktop systems, which were a lot more expensive than they are now.

The other example occured in 2001. At the time I was working for a small consulting company. One of our clients purchased a number of Tosiba notebooks for amnagers in February. Eventually they wanted to get some additional AC adapters for the systems. The first time this happened, we were able to find the model number on the manufacturers web site. This was in early May. By early June, the product was no longer listed on the web site and the manufacturer indicated that these were no longer manufactured or available. Even better, there was no replacement available. But the hardware was still working perfectly.

Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude. Regarding the issue of boutique models specifically manufactured for one retailer or another, those models are normally not listed on the manufacturer's support pages. Even better, the retailer refers one to the manufacturer for support. I have been through this process as well.

This is one of the more important reasons why I really don't like notebook systems. I won't even go into the isssue of propriety implemetations of Windows, the excessive price of repalcement components or the fact that there is absolutely no standardization of physical structure for things like DVD drives.

Notebook manufacturrs have much to answer for.
 

Whizzard9992

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Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude.
Why is that exactly? Yuo know what they say about opinions: "mine is always right."

Your post made a better article the article in question. All he did in his article is complain about how technology progresses faster than he and his buddies can purchase it. Then he calls to get a refund and wonders why he's getting the run-around. :roll: He provided no real examples other than the two products from which he suffers both actual and empathetic buyer's remorse. Wow.

"A UMPC that's not upgradable? No way! I want my money back so I can get the new one."

There's a good laugh.

Things aren't as bad as they used to be. In fact, laptops don't go obsolete as often as they used to. In fact, the company that currently employs me purchases laptops in bulk because they have a longer shelf-life and resale value than desktops.

It's a rant that provides no real value other than a someone's personal experience. It sites no unbiased examples or trends, nor does it provide a perspective as to why things are they way that they are.

It's not an article: It's a blog entry. 1/2 of the internet community takes 30 minutes to drum up a pointless rant about their day-to-day experiences. Why are we subject to it on THG is the question I want answered.


"Who designed this crap? The case of the exploding laptop"
"Who designed this crap? The universal remote."
"Who designed this crap? The corporate machine and why I should be paid more."
"Who designed this crap? The internet is [too slow][too unsafe][unreliable]."
"Who designed this crap? The case of the driver that killed my comp."

Wow that was hard. MobilityGuru's got work for the next month now.
 

Windaria

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Well since you guys said good post, thanks, and since you're not going to be a troll I'll reply to this one too.

What curious words you use... fair and need. Those words also have no business being used in our ecconomy and country. Why? Simple... who are you, who am I, who is ANYONE to determine what is fair or what the need is? If someone is so mentally sick as to believe that they NEED billions, then that is their choice. And if they put their abilities to gaming the system then good for them. Not my personal choice, but that is fine. As for fair... not it isn't, and it can't be.

Why? Simple... you say that there is a happy medium, between here and Russia. The problem is that there isn't because, for there to be a happy medium, there has to be a body that enforces that medium. That body would be the government, and that body, by it's very nature, is incapable of doing such a thing.

For example, can you cite even one country that has such a happy medium? The problem is that you can't. People like to cite some of the socialist countries in eurpoe, even the UK, but the problem is that their 'happy medium' is NOT any better than here. The average American still lives a far more rich life than the average European.

For example, my boss is from the UK, and whenever I make the mistake of assuming that things must be just as good there as they are here in some way shape or form, he looks at me like I am stark raving mad. He has lived here for some time and, while he loves where he comes from, he wouldn't ever say they have it better than here.

And as for what you say for non-proffit companies, not exactly true. First and foremost, the Government has one of the worst ratios in terms of giving. Take Social Security. You would make more money over the course of your life if you were forced to put your own social security money in a bank. People like to talk about the terrors of privitization of social security as if it isn't done anywhere... well, down here in Texas, did you know that Galveston county has privitized social security? They are the only county in the country, apparently, that has that... and know what? They wouldn't trade it in for all the tea in china. They have NO desire to switch to the federal system. Why? Simple, since the government is out of it, they get more of their money.

So, since you mention charities, some may give on 30%, and some give closer to 95% or more. This is where it becomes the responsibility of the giver to make sure the institution they are giving through is an institution that will make a difference. Whatever the case, this method is much better than letting the Government handle it.

So yes, there may be a happy medium possible... just not with humans, because you would have to put humans in control of it.
 

michaelahess

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Yes people would need to achive the happy medium themselves. Unfourtunately it's against human nature. The "good" people would have to heavily outweigh the "gready" and "bad" people. It's fiction that this would occur, I understand that. My point is basically that people need to try harder to be better people or this world will never improve.
 

cg0def

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other than Sony not offering any upgrade program there is nothing that you can complain about. The quick upgrade cycle is an industry standard and has been the same way ( more or less ) ever since I can remember. Yes, the 2-3 month upgrade schedule is a bit extreme but then again Sony said that this was a test product ... Plus, if you are going to complain about products why chose Sony alone? This whole change-a-few-small-things-and-release-a-new-product tactics is pretty much econ. 101 + marketing 101 so you really shouldn't be surprised. Anybody who has been following the computer industry for about an year or so would know that early adopters are the ones to suffer ALWAY.

Anyway, I really didn't know that Sony had no upgrade policy so thanks for the info.
 

WizardOZ

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Whizzard9992 wrote:

Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude.


Why is that exactly? Yuo know what they say about opinions: "mine is always right."
Opinions are like buttholes - everyone has them. But why do you assume that anyone is interested in either of yours? And on what basis do you assume that your opinion is either right or any more valid than any-one else's?

Strangely enough, it has been my experience that opinions, unsupported by anything other than ego, wishful thinking, denial and self-delusion are even less useful than the stuff that periodically emerges out of buttholes. At least one can use that stuff for fertilizer.

At the very least, it would be nice if you could support your opinion with some real examples. As I did to support my opinion about notebooks. Which elevates the comment from the level of opinion to that of an argument. And if you and I are entitled to hold and express our opinions, why isn't Mr. Gerber?

Perusing the thread is amusing, in a bleak sort of way. A lot of "philosophical" noise and mutual admiration and backscratching. Unfortunately, this does not address the core issues of the article. Can we stay on topic here?

The case of the Sony notebook is one of those gray-area issues that is part of life. Unfortunately, this is very far into the dark end of the scale. Given the lead times involved in product development, it is not unreasonable to assume that the upgrade version was being developed in parallel with the original model, just somewhat later.

Given the extremely short time (even for notebooks) between the release of the two models, Sony "should" have offered owners of the original model an upgrade exchange path for a reasonable fee (which would be significantly less than the cost of the new model, but still enough to give Sony a decent profit).

Sony could then have turned around and contributed the exchanged systems to charity, gaining good PR, not to mention a tax write-off, while still making money. Sony could have come out looking absolutely brilliant. They have designed and produced an amazing, innovative product - again (can you say Walkman or Discman?), they are taking excellent care of their customer base, and they are being socially responsible. Normally, a company pays people to beta test their products, not the other way around, as in this case. Sony used the purchasers of the original model as advanced beta testers and then expected to gouge these people if they wanted the "new and improved" product.

But then, Sony is the company that installed root-kits on peoples computers to "protect" some music copyrights. And then worked very hard to spin this into a "good thing". Despite the fact that the specific approach used violates legitimate and fair use rights. Not to mention compromising a bunch of systems, some of which are parts of sensitive networks like security systems. Hopefully, the ramifications of this incident are clear to all. A fine, upstanding corporate citizen is Sony. NOT! By the way, what is YOUR good rep worth to you?

Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, it is a fact that the first obligation of a company is to make a profit. But there are legitimate and illegitimate ways to do this. Can you say ENRON, for example?

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. And Sony, along with many others, is definitely a sinner. Which was the core issue of Mr. Gerber's article.

Funny how a genuine understanding of morals, ethics and philosophy can lead to an approach and process that profits ALL members of society. As opposed to the dreck raised in Mr. Gerber's article and many of the posts in this thread.
 
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