Re: The Jetsons Were Bored

1

And what reasonably realistic gadget do you wish existed?

A good, light slate computer with excellent handwriting recognition.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:07 PM
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I need to replace my trusty 12" PowerBook. So a groovy small laptop, of the sort that seems to be the leading rumor, that has a bigger hardd rive than my current 80gb? I'd buy it immediately. (Bonus points for a hybrid, partially solid-state drive that the OS lives on.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:10 PM
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There's been a hole in the Mac laptop lineup for quite some time -- they aren't making any as small as the old PowerBook 12" models. I've been waiting and waiting for the appearance of something at least as small as and ideally lighter than my current computer. Now that the rumors about the ultralight laptop have reached extra high levels, I hope (a) that they're finally correct, and (b) that the thing doesn't have any fatal flaws.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:11 PM
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So, yeah, ditto 2.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:11 PM
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A genuinely good e-book reader. One that's light, easy on the eyes, waterproof, etc.


Posted by: Ian | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:11 PM
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A terabyte media server.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:13 PM
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RTFS and I are sisters, both rendered too frail and sickly by our bookish lifestyles to lift a 15" laptop one-handed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:14 PM
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As for fatal flaws, this, for example, would suck: "Andy Ihnatko of the Chacago Sun Times has his money on a cross between the iPod Touch and a MacBook." That would be a shitty fucking replacement for my laptop, indeed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:14 PM
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The photoshop gadget in the link looks atrocious.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:15 PM
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I'd buy 2 in a flash, I'm still using a 12" G4 ibook but it won't last much longer.

I don't think we'll see 1 or 5 this decade.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:15 PM
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This would seem the appropriate thread to link to this SNL skit.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:17 PM
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8: Yes. I don't want that either. Or the other big-rumor of a sole SSD -- way too small.

Here's a better rumor(from MacRumors), to which I pin my girlish hopes:

I've heard various whispers about the new thin MacBook. Here are a few additional tidbits and confirmations about what might be coming from Apple on Tuesday.

- A slim notebook, but not a "sub notebook"
- 13.3" screen
- Not a "Pro" machine
- External Optical Drive
- It will be called the MacBook Air

A reminder, though, that Apple has been known to seed people with false specs/designs, so these whispers may not be accurate... but we believe they are.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:17 PM
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Stringing all the 12-inchers along all this time is sort of like making people wait until their cateracts "ripen" before operating. Just think how outrageously appreciative we all will be if they really give us the object described in 2.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:19 PM
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We just bought the entry level Roomba, opening up new realms of gadget lust for us. A lot of things I like exist--we want to upgrade to the recharging station.

My fantasy Roomba would be able to empty the dustbag into something on its recharging station.

I'm also quite taken with the R2D2 like beeps it uses to communicate error messages. I'd like to see this language expanded and I'd like to be able to whistle back to it. (Not any of this Luke Skywalker I-talk-in-English-and-you-beep crap.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:20 PM
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- A slim notebook, but not a "sub notebook"
- 13.3" screen
- Not a "Pro" machine

Hm, that sounds all too much like a boring old regular MacBook except with no DVD drive.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:22 PM
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For those who buy PCs, Dell does have a pretty slick 13.3 inch laptop; doofy video, but it gives you a good idea of the size/weight.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:24 PM
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When I first saw that KR had linked to an SNL skit, I assumed that it would be an old one. When I saw that the title of the video on youtube was "iRack", I realized that that was not the case, but quickly assumed that it would be a fake ad for a bra. That was also not the case.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:25 PM
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I think that 13.3" screen would have to have something like a .1" frame to squeak in as remotely pleasing to me. After all, I find the 13" MacBooks irritatingly large.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:26 PM
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I was slightly unnerved by the "not a pro" bit as well. But I've decided that all it means is that it will not be a part of the "Pro" family, but rather its own little Air family. This even seems to be a bit of plausible self-delusion to me.

Wow. The tinfoil hats are out all over. Apparently a computer called the "MacBook Air" has begun showing up in the Adium usage logs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:27 PM
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Yeah, I think 16 wouldn't fit in the shoulder bag that my trusty 12" PB does. I would be bereft! It would make me sad to have waited so long and then still feel like the new thing was a downgrade along any of my cherished criteria.

I like the "Air family" fantasy, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:29 PM
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18: Yes. And also how skinny they manage to make it. I don't care about the optical drive, although I may be moved to care if the portable drive comes bundled with the laptop and I don't like it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:30 PM
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14: I like my Roomba a lot. I wish Sony would bring back the AIBO dog with a little wet robotic tongue that systematically licks your floor clean.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:30 PM
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Really, 12" great, 13" too big? It sounds like it will be very thin/light (if that's what's coming).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:30 PM
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I, too, am waiting to replace my 12" PowerBook. I could tolerate the 13" screen, but it annoys me that they're only selling this on the lower-end machines. It doesn't look like this news will change that. Also, no optical drive? I don't really see DVDs going away in the next few years. And being able to watch DVDs on the laptop when traveling is nice. (Yes, I know I could rip them, but still. Extra work. And an external drive? Annoying.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:32 PM
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No optical drive + flash memory (which Apple only does up to 16GB) seems to be a limitation. Can't rip / download too many DVDs on to a flash memory unless they start putting in a lot of it, which would drive up the cost.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:34 PM
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24: Apparently Apple has cut a deal with many movie studios to include iTunes compatible and uploadable files when you buy the dvd. Doesn't help with NetFlix, though.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:34 PM
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Thin and light are extremely good, but the other dimensions are important too. My 12" has what looks to me like a half-inch frame all the way around the monitor, which is pretty wide. And I could certainly stand to have my computer be up to, oh, a half inch wider and taller than it is. So I could easily imagine a super sleek light 13" laptop in which the screen extends closer to the edges of the top, but 13.3" really seems like it would be pushing it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:35 PM
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it annoys me that they're only selling this on the lower-end machines.

That too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:36 PM
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We just bought the entry level Roomba, opening up new realms of gadget lust for us.

Hey, we just got one too! Jammies's old roommate loves his. We're still debating what we're going to do with papers on the floor and plants with long tendrils.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:38 PM
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23: ATM


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:38 PM
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I would prefer to have an optical drive, but I've mostly come to terms with the idea that subnotebooks and their close brethren often leave them out. A laptop I deem too big that also had no optical drive? Cruel!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:38 PM
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I was thinking about getting a computer or a CD player, but maybe I should get an iPod instead, since some people seem to have them nowadays.

Which types of songs/files will I be disappointed to find I cannot transfer to the iPod?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:39 PM
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Light jazz.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:40 PM
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25: At least some of the rumors suggest a larger hard drive. From one of the links in the linked article: "Engadget already put a 64GB SSD into a MacBook Pro". Surely they would need at least that if this is really an ultraportable and not some sort of weird iPhone/laptop hybrid?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:41 PM
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We just bought the entry level Roomba, opening up new realms of gadget lust for us.

We just replaced an entry level one that had worn out, with one fancy enough to find its way back to a charging station, but none of the scheduling or anything. This one is notably more powerful than the 1st gen it replaced. They are brilliant.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:41 PM
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The Dell I mentioned has an option for a 64GB SSD.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:42 PM
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I should grab one of my coworkers 13.3" MBs and see just how narrow the frame would have to be to please my exacting tastes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:44 PM
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Which types of songs/files will I be disappointed to find I cannot transfer to the iPod?

Not sure I understand this question. You can use them as a hard drive, so anything that will fit on the filesystem can go on them. As for what they'll play; they won't play all types of video (but h.264 works), they won't play .ogg audio ones, or other peoples DRM I guess (apple DRM works, of course).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:44 PM
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34: I really, really hope that it isn't solely and SSD. Too small! even at 64gb. A 13.3" with a thin -- is the word bezel? -- and a hybrid drive I would buy that day.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:44 PM
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38: How am I to know whether files have "other peoples DRM" on them?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:44 PM
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My computer's external width: 10.9 inches (27.7 cm)
Smallest MacBook: 12.78 inches (32.5 cm)

No wonder I consider them ginormous!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:47 PM
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i'd like some good-quality wireless speakers with a decent range.

i'd like a host of gadgets, that could link to my computer, to do very small, very specific things: tell me if the garage door is open, get the outside temp, turn on the porch light, turn on a web-cam, etc..

i'd like a really good ultra-portable PC.

i'd like a set of headphones that doesn't freak-out when i get a little static electricity going on between the iPod and my chair.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:48 PM
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40: DRM is "digital rights management", meaning files with extra controls to try to keep you from infringing copyright by giving them away. You would only get files with DRM from online music stores, so chances are it's not something to worry about it. The iTunes store sells files with DRM. Amazon sells DRM-free mp3s, so it's now the only place I will buy music online.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:49 PM
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I thought maybe CDs from certain corporations, or mp3s bought by certain corporations, would have DRM such that you could only transfer them to the mp3-players made by that corporation.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:51 PM
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40: You would have had to buy them from microsoft for a zune or something like that. So an online music store, but some are (newly) DRM-free, like amazon.

Standard .mp3s aren't a problem, and of course you can rip any of your own CDs, etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:52 PM
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"bought by" s/b "bought from"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:53 PM
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You don't transfer files directly from music CDs to your mp3 player, because they aren't in mp3 format. Instead you (normally) "rip" them and re-encode them as mp3s. The mp3s you create by doing that with iTunes don't have any DRM attached.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:54 PM
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I was thinking about getting a computer or a CD player, but maybe I should get an iPod instead, since some people seem to have them nowadays.

I've noticed this too. I was thinking a tape deck, though, since retro is in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:55 PM
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This is more boring than the Lord of the Rings thread.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:55 PM
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44: mp3s bought from a few sources can have DRM. The vast majority of such are from apple, so far, so this doesn't give you a practical problem with an ipod (you may dislike the practice, of course). CDs don't have DRM per se, but they may contain copy-protection that attempts (not very successfully) to stop you from making your own mp3s from them. This is really separate from DRM in digital files.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:55 PM
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I'd like them to lift the law that prevents a landline and a cell-phone, or two cell-phones, from sharing a phone number. I'd like to be on the phone, walk inside and switch to a landline, or be able to leave the house while talking on a landline and switch to a cellphone without interruption.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:55 PM
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g3 iPhone, duh. They're supposed to be putting one out soon, because they have to to break into the Japanese market. (I know the iPhone's not the best thing evar, haters, but everything else I have is on the Mac platform, and the thing would do wonders for me organization-wise.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:55 PM
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More fun with rumors! This is from Gizmodo, but about a post on 9to5mac.com

According to their sources, black and silver aluminum models "have been seen" with screens that run "much closer to the edges" and keyboards that look like their latest wireless keyboard --which coincidentally look like current MacBook keyboards. They also said that they will be "aggressively priced."

The most interesting bit of this rumor, however, is that "there's something strange about the touchpad." Other than that, no specific information about flash storage, iPhone docking bays, integrated laser guns and/or personal teleporter which, quite frankly, is really what I am interested about the next generation MacBook.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:56 PM
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I'd like electric cars to be available and reasonably priced and have magical gas mileages, and have solar chargers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:57 PM
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The most interesting bit of this rumor, however, is that "there's something strange about the touchpad."

Wasn't there some creepy movie that was marketed with that tagline?

"There's something strange about Willard", maybe.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:58 PM
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Oh and general consensus on "something strange about the touchpad" is that it will work sort of like the iPhone, what with the pinching and stretching.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:58 PM
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I hate your computers. All of them. But not as much as I hate mine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:59 PM
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Please tell me someone else is watching the Colts-Chargers game. OMG.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:59 PM
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Actually, what they need to come up with is a child proof Roomba. My kids are playing with the Roomba right now and they've found that if they punch the same button repeatedly it emits a whole new sequence of alarming beeps. I think the error code table says this means "HELP, I'm being tortured by small children!!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 1:59 PM
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Please tell me someone else is watching the Colts-Chargers game. OMG.

Jammies is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:00 PM
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iTaser. Maybe with a camera and WiFi.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:00 PM
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Amazon sells DRM-free mp3s, so it's now the only place I will buy music online.

Whoa, Amazon rules. I just read an article in n+1 (nice journal, I'm thinking) proposing that book reviews by anonymous amateurs on Amazon are the very definition of democracy, or the saving grace of book reviewing in this here our democracy. Something like that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:00 PM
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63: Amazon does have a penchant for deleting negative reviews, so it's not particularly democratic.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:03 PM
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63 to 62, of course.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:03 PM
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Could it be that those of us who have been waiting since 1994 will finally be able to buy the iPog?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:03 PM
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63 is right.

Also, the DRM free thing on Amazon isn't really an Amazon vs. Apple question, so much as Apple vs. the labels. The labels were the ones pushing DRM, now they are backing off. But they also resent Apples slice of the pie, so they are pulling titles and offering them elsewhere, rather than letting Apple sell them without DRM.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:05 PM
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But they also resent Apples slice of the pie, so they are pulling titles and offering them elsewhere, rather than letting Apple sell them without DRM.

So they are letting Amazon sell them without DRM?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:06 PM
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Jammies is.

I hope he's been shrieking. ZOMG! At Indianapolis! No LaDainian! No Rivers! Norv Turner!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:06 PM
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67: Yep.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:07 PM
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67: It's less about DRM than about Apple becoming a huge force in the industry.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:09 PM
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63: Well, it was tongue-in-cheek, to a degree. I believe the claim was that there's a certain authentic engagement lacking in professional or bourgeois middle-brow book (and movie) reviewing, that the latter are embedded in the hype cycle. Go figure. The whole discussion took place in the context of those who worry about these things.

But yeah, Amazon wants to take over the world, of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:09 PM
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sometimes all you need is a hole in the window

A lovely thing to see:
through the paper window's hole,
the Galaxy.
(Issa)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:16 PM
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71: Most of the examples I know of amazon deleting reviews are actually of amazon deleting expert scientific reviews of pseudoscience (like 'Einstein was wrong!' books, or politically-motivated attacks on the science of climate change, or on evolution). So I guess it's actually kind of consistent with that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:17 PM
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73: Jonah Goldberg had a one-star average on Amazon and now (or at least yesterday) had a 5. Amazon deleted all the negative reviews. I'm sure that many, even most, of the folks who reviewed it negatively hadn't read it -- but I'm also sure that the same is true for the positive reviewers.
(Google also seems to have removed Jon Swift's LOLcat take on Jonah's chef d'oeuvre from a search on Jonah's name. Weird.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:23 PM
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73: I have no idea. Apparently Amazon tried to institute a "Top 500 Reviewers" thing at some point, almost like a rating system for reviews, but it fizzled. I really don't know.

My interest is chiefly in the extent to which people turn to Amazon for more and more things. Price points, "looking inside the book," their new (proprietary file format) e-reader and the large-scale text-scanning that accompanies it, consumer reviews. It's just interesting; they're becoming a behemoth, and they seem to be brilliant at it. And of course they have ever-increasing amounts of leverage in controlling the rest of the market. So, interesting. I don't mean this to be a threadjack, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:28 PM
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Mr. B. would probably love a little mini laptop that he could use as a supplement to a nice desktop computer. The man is so fucking hard on laptops it isn't even funny.

I have never in my life liked portable music players, but I am so totally enamored of my ipod touch because it *isn't just a portable music player.* Plus it's fucking small enough to fit in my purse. Love, love, love it. I will probably covet, but not buy, whatever neat new doohickey they introduce. I would buy a wireless headphone thingy if it didn't work with brain cancer-causing radio signals, but as far as I know that's impossible.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:28 PM
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I love my Touch because it has afforded me a new, smaller way to dick around on the internet.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:29 PM
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Hey, Unfogged Central Committee, please please please post a thread for us liberal fascists to reflect on the real meaning of liberal fascism. I hijacked a Crooked Timber thread but they're all prissy over there, except for Dsquared.

If we liberal fascists are unreflective about the fundamentals of our philosophy, we'll be completely at the mercy of our enemies. Complacent liberal fascism just plays into the hands of the godly freemarket internationalists benefactors whom we want to destroy -- because we hate the sun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:32 PM
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51- There's some company that will let you do that, I read about it in the NYT a couple months ago- called Grand Central, one number calls all your phones, you can transfer from land to mobile and back, common voice mail box.
Just saw that Google bought them, so I don't know what their status is as far as getting the service.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:37 PM
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Emerson, are you drunk already?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:38 PM
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I'm never drunk, Rob, but I find that a little buzz gets you through the day. One of the foundations of Western civilization, and one of the things that distinguishes us from the jihadis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:39 PM
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Jonah Goldberg had a one-star average on Amazon and now (or at least yesterday) had a 5. Amazon deleted all the negative reviews

Yeah, and apparently the attention has moved his book to the top-seller list.

Democracy in action, etc. We will learn something from this, but god knows what it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:41 PM
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A foot of snow tomorrow? When the fuck was that announced?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:42 PM
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This isn't at all realistic, but it's what I want. I want an organizer on electronic paper that folds up into something the size of a stack of cards (or smalller!), but will spread open to something between 7 1/2" x 9" and 8 1/2" x 11". I want to be able to see my full week at a glance, damn it!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:43 PM
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I know, SP, from 60 degrees a few days ago to a massive snow storm. I need to be in the Longwood area at 8 AM tomorrow. I guess I'll be leaving before 7.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:45 PM
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From 60 degrees this morning, practically. What the fuck, weather.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:47 PM
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An RFID tag for my wallet and keys, combined with an RFID locater that is fixed to the wall someplace in my house so I always know where it is.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:50 PM
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I'm surprised some credit card company hasn't done this- a sort of electronic wallet for gift cards, where you go to a website and enter and gift cards you get and then you can view your inventory and balance in one place, auction them to other people, and use one card at all stores to redeem the gift cards. Stores would probably not join up, though, because a good part of their profit every December is unredeemed gift cards.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:56 PM
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I want what 1 and 5 want.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 2:57 PM
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Also, there was this thing Alan Alda tried a couple years ago from the media lab, glasses with a built in camera and screen that recognizes faces and pops up names and info for whoever you're looking at. A mental prosthesis. Call it the iYou.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 3:07 PM
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I imagine a porno, x-ray specs-style, version of that is not far off.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 3:18 PM
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I am so pumped for iPhone firmware 1.1.3.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 5:39 PM
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You know, if there isn't a liberal Fascism thread on Unfogged, maybe there's somebody who'll blow some shit up. Liberal Fascists aren't people to mess with. I'm just saying. This is not a "threat".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 5:48 PM
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C'mon people, personal jetpacks. Eyes on the prize, here.


Posted by: Ubu Imperator | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 5:51 PM
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After dropping my 6-year-old laptop on the floor, I'm thinking it's time for an upgrade. But I am terrified of buying anything with Vista. Maybe this is the time to switch to a Mac? And if so, will I be able to run the Microsoft Office applications (powerpoint, word, publisher, excel, etc.) I use at work? Being totally unable to work on work stuff on the laptop would be a deal-killer for me.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:00 PM
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92: I'm not! They haven't even given 1.1.2 a proper jailbreak yet, and my Touch needs to be free. But it looks so sexy...


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:03 PM
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Actually, what I want is a robust computer. Physically robust, virusproof, stable. I'd give up two years of progress and 90% of the bells and whistles for that.

Ain't gonna happen. It could be done, but it won't be.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:04 PM
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There are still people out there who might blow things up, though. I just had to make the computer comment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:05 PM
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96: iNdependence works on fine on 1.1.2 from what I hear. You just need to downgrade to 1.1.1 temporarily.

Physically robust, virusproof, stable. I'd give up two years of progress and 90% of the bells and whistles for that... It could be done, but it won't be.

10 year old Panasonic Toughbook running (oh, let's say) OpenBSD. Ta-da!

You don't want that, though. You want something useable and relatively current, which means that it can't be done.

You could get one of those OLPC dealies, I suppose. I bet they're pretty stable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:11 PM
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95: You can both use Office suite for Mac AND install a Windows partition on your Intel-based Mac and just run all your work stuff that way.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:13 PM
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Very hard to type on OLPC, the keys are kid-sized. But if you're used to a PDA I guess it's fine for you. Also, we're having a problem with the trackpad.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:22 PM
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I just gave away my Roomba. Never even used it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:27 PM
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#100: Wait, wouldn't that be "OR", not "AND"? Why do I need a Windows partition on my Mac if I am running Office suite for Mac? Are you saying that Office suite for Mac does not handle Office documents that were created on a Windows machine?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:28 PM
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103: No, no, no. They do just fine. I have friends that work that way -- just saving and opening the files in different OS. But some folks need to run a full Windows partition to access things like proprietary databases and whatnot. But you didn't mention anything like that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:32 PM
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downgrade to 1.1.1 temporarily

Ah, I didn't know that the downgrade was only temporary.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:38 PM
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103: Office for Mac is better; if there are other applications you need you can use the Intel partition. If all you ever use is Office, you'll be fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:39 PM
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Time to face the pwn, p-p-p-pwnage.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:39 PM
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Cool, oudemia. Thanks.

Microsoft just lost a 10-year customer (well, for its OS, at least) because it can no longer make a decent version of its core product. Sell MSFT, buy AAPL?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:41 PM
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I want my video store to have a Netflix-style queue. And I want movielens to grow up a little, or for Netflix to offer a "queue" to people who don't use the service, so I have a convenient notepad for movies I want to see.

For the next time I go househunting (probably in a year or so), I want a GPS device that tells me when I'm near a for-sale house within a certain price range.

I want iTunes store to have video rentals. If there was a cheaper version that expired after a few days (or limited the number of files you could have in the basket) I wouldn't share so much content. Yes, I'm the guy who bought the Apple TV. It sucks, but having one is better than not having one.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:46 PM
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Does anyone hear use Dragon Speaking or a similar program? If so, how do you like it?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:46 PM
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2's groovy small computer sounds fun, though I already have the laptop I want. 1's slate/tablet thing seems like it would upend basic work patterns completely, if there were no keyboard.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:46 PM
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I can't imagine how much it would annoy me to have to learn to write longhand again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:49 PM
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The only office thing not available for Macs is Outlook. Entourage is not as good, unfortunately, or wasn't the last time I checked.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:50 PM
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Oh yeah I forgot about Outlook. I'm happy not to use that piece of shit, I tell you what.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:51 PM
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Shouldn't 107 be "turn and face", not "time to face"? If I remember the Bpwie.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:52 PM
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I used to like Outlook! I don't actually remember why, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:53 PM
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"Turn and face the strain"?!? Who knew!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:54 PM
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108: It's a bit late to buy aapl, probably. Selling MSFT isn't a bad idea given how badly they've screwed up Vista, but don't count them out or anything.

102: We don't even have another vacuum anymore.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:54 PM
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note 118a might be bad advice, i haven't been watching msft.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:56 PM
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Microsoft just lost a 10-year customer (well, for its OS, at least) because it can no longer make a decent version of its core product. Sell MSFT, buy AAPL?

Apple's main advantage here is that it's the only hardware that can run all three main OS platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux). In particular it's easy to run Windows or Linux seamlessly inside OS X, which makes it easy (if unfair) to treat Windows in particular as a kind of legacy OS you can selectively use when needed without being dependent on it.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 6:58 PM
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what I want is a robust computer

Great, now I have to lock my office door.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:05 PM
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Actually, I am pretty gadget-happy at the moment. I just threw away some Best Buy coupons because there's nothing there I want. If I could have anything in the world to augment my current gadgets it would be a Terminal application for my iPhone so I could SSH from it. Otherwise, nah, I'm pretty good right now.

I kind of want a Roomba but I'm afraid it would eat the cat.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:07 PM
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Blowin' shit up, man. This will not stand!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:08 PM
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Office for Mac kind of blows chunks at the moment, but Office 2008 for Mac is finally getting released and that problem should go away.

118 - If you want to buy AAPL, tomorrow's the day to do it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:12 PM
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122 - Doesn't that exist? Or did you want one without jailbreaking your phone?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:13 PM
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I kind of want a Roomba but I'm afraid it would eat the cat.

Oh, you have to get one. Watching the cat eyeball the Roomba is fucking hilarious.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:15 PM
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#118: I dunno, AAPL's run so far has been mainly iPod-driven. Taking OS market share from MSFT hand over fist could keep the rally going for another decade.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:21 PM
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124: The right time to do it was 1998 or so.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:22 PM
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Observation: you can't be unfair to MS; they're a multinational corporation that gets in fights with the US DoJ and wins. If they make an OS which you can treat like legacy, that's their problem.

Oh, and John: Apples are the official endorsed computers of the liberal fascist -- Gore's on the board of directors Jobs is utterly fascist about his nanny state OS. Have you seen the ease-of-use? If that isn't the cookie to the back of the head for your average nerd, I don't know what is.

What seems like boring techno-lust is really coded liberal fascist scheming to kill more with kind ease-of-use and good design.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:24 PM
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127: Yeah, I dunno either. Buying it at $75 or so when the ipod was lifting was straightforward. Buying it at $175 now is a lot riskier. It should do ok, but I doubt you'll see another easy doubling.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:24 PM
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If there's going to be an Unfogged stock club, I demand y'all elect Emerson chairman.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:27 PM
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109: Oh, Wrongshore. I have an AppleTV, too, because I walked into a Costco that was selling the 160gb version for the price of the smaller one at a time when I was feeling depressed and acquisitive. I like being able to watch things on my tv rather than my computer, but the lack of manual synching is nonsensical and/or evil. I mean, my hard drive is only 80gb, but I can't just upload everything to the AppleTV and move it off my hard drive, because the autosynch will then remove it from the AppleTV. Fucking stupid.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:27 PM
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#128: Word. It can be surprisingly lucrative, if risky, to buy companies that everyone says are at death's door, (which was the case for Apple in 1997 when Microsoft invested in it just to keep a competitor around to ward off antitrust actions.)

If they go bust, sure, you're out everything. But if not, then you almost certainly got in at the bottom.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:32 PM
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125 is what I was wondering.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:38 PM
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117: "Turn and face the strain"?!? Who knew!

Really?! I always thought it was "turn and face the strange," words which could well be my motto.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:45 PM
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132: Now that I have iSquint, I've got a pretty good thing going. Still, it takes about 3x the file length to encode avi's as h.264's, and since I don't have widescreen I have to find out the frame height, then encode at 75%. If I could get more use out of the store, I'd be pretty happy.

But yeah, I do have to buy myself a big ol' honkin' terabyte now that I'm keeping video around.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:46 PM
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I want it without jailbreaking. I tried jailbreaking my first one and had a really terrible experience. It turned out that was a bad phone, period, but still the thought of jailbreaking simply makes me twitch.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:47 PM
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Well, no SDK 'til February.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:51 PM
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I don't even own an SDK.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 7:52 PM
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iTaser. Maybe with a camera and WiFi.

I read that the latest personal taser comes with a holster that has an extra pocket for an mp3 player.

I just gave away my Roomba. Never even used it.

Please give your next Roomba to me. They never show up on Freecycle.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:38 PM
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I have gadget lust for this guy, although ZFS will probably make the Drobo's magic seem less magical.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:40 PM
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141 to 136.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:40 PM
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I want a robot copy of me that will go to work for me, bring home the check, and require nothing but an occasional fresh battery.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:43 PM
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1's slate/tablet thing seems like it would upend basic work patterns completely, if there were no keyboard.

No one said you can't have a keyboard, Irish. You're in the land of milk and honey now. Dream a little.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:44 PM
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I want my keyboard attached, maybe like on a hinge, a sort of clamshell tablet computer. Kind of like a laptop!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:46 PM
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No one said you can't have a keyboard, Irish. You're in the land of milk and honey now. Dream a little.

I've seen the hinged tablets where you rotate the screen over the keyboard and close it with the screen facing up.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:48 PM
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Yes, but what if the screen were on a swivel that allowed you to lay it down on top of the keyboard, screen-side up? You'd die a little death, that's what.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:49 PM
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Please tell me someone else is watching the Colts-Chargers game. OMG.

Seriously. Turnovers matter, it turns out.

On the gadget utopia, per SCMT's original request, has anyone got a decent tablet? Right now all my notes go into a big black Dickensian ledger; this is fine, except that I can neither search nor aggregate.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:50 PM
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147 to 145.

146: They're too heavy, and the big problem is handwriting recognition. As I understand it, anyway.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:50 PM
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If I'm going to fantasize in a tablet direction, I'll take a very lightweight, roughly letter-paper-sized computer. The screen shall go all the way to the edge, or nearly. It can have the swivel hinge, that sounds great. I have no interest in handwriting recognition, but the screen should act like a Wacom Cintiq.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 8:55 PM
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Should I spend $60 on a modchip for my old (and dust-gathering) XBox so I can run XBMC? My cob-logger has it, and it looks hella slick. Apparently the interface (or at least the skin my friend has) was modeled after Apple TV.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:09 PM
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I just want a new, small laptop, Mr. Jobs. The cheetohs are breeding in mine and I am too small to haul a 15" one around.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:09 PM
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141: That does look cool.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:10 PM
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140: We freecycled our old one (but it wasn't in great shape) so they do show up sometimes.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:14 PM
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149: Yes, handwriting recognition is a problem still. Will be for quite some time, very likely.


Posted by: sou | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:15 PM
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glasses with a built in camera and screen that recognizes faces and pops up names

Oh, Want want want. Someone brushes her hair differently and it's like I don't know her.
And then the glasses give you lots of things to talk about and remind you of stupid stuff not to say. Can I have that?


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:30 PM
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glasses with a built in camera and screen that recognizes faces and pops up names

That sounds filled with Terminatory goodness.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 01-13-08 9:49 PM
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Charlie Stross predicts we get those glasses in the next ten years, in Halting State.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 12:21 AM
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151: The Apple TV interface sucks great pimped-out sci-fi author balls.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 12:46 AM
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Speaking of Macheads, this strikes me as a pretty sweet little bundle of apps (yeah, no one needs a new "to do" app, but some of the others are pretty nice) for $49. Plus blah blah a quarter of proceeds go to charity, etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 1:40 AM
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And I admit it! If anyone buys through that link I get another couple of freebie apps! Sue me!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 1:43 AM
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For laptops, I don't get why everyone is complaining that a 64GB SSD would be too small. It would be PLENTY for me.

Something with maybe an 8 or 9 inch screen, a decent keyboard and 64GB of SSD would be perfect for me. Battery life would be more important than raw processing speed.

However, idiosyncratic things I would want -- a decent 24bit/96khz audio interface with separate mic and line inputs and ideally s/pdif in/outs.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 2:50 AM
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For laptops, I don't get why everyone is complaining that a 64GB SSD would be too small.

It's all those music, photo, and movie files, in part, plus the fact that your computer needs a decent amount of free hard drive space to use for swap space, without which it will grind to a halt.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 6:20 AM
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re: 163

Well, yeah, but 64GB is still sufficient for quite a lot of photo and music files. And plenty for any OS -- you don't need more than a fraction of 64GB for swap space.

Then again, I don't view a compact laptop as a replacement for a desktop so I wouldn't envisage having every photo I've ever taken and every piece of music I own on one.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 6:24 AM
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160: I bought the MacHeist bundle in late 2006 and gifted it to someone in 2007. Heart the MacHeist, gods yes, heart it so hard.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 7:27 AM
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164: I can't really imagine keeping everything on a laptop, period. Then again I have a couple hundred gigs of photos.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 7:45 AM
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42: i'd like some good-quality wireless speakers with a decent range.

Sorry this is so late in coming, cleek, but:

Griffin Evolve is really great. Small, slick-looking, 150' range (got it in Nov., so I haven't really tested it, but it does work all over and immediately outside my masonry home), good (non-audiophile, of course) sound, and has RCA (?) input/output jacks, so it plays well with your wired stereo system.* Elegant RF remote, so it works well from any room. I'm very happy with it.

* Actually, our wired stereo system went semi-kerplunk, so I can't swear that the Evolve can output to wired speakers and the wireless speakers simultaneously. But if not, why have RCA outputs, right?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 8:52 AM
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164/166: Laptop drives got big enough that it became feasable to keep everything on one, and so I do - it made a lot more sense than having multiple real computers and dealing with all of the propagation back and forth. I'm currently using about 60GB of my laptop's 100GB, and I'm just expecting to buy another laptop with 160+ GB before I fill this one up.

So by that measure (and plenty of people I know operate this way), the portable computer is the real repository-of-everything, and 64GB isn't enough for that.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 10:45 AM
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I don't view a compact laptop as a replacement for a desktop so I wouldn't envisage having every photo I've ever taken and every piece of music I own on one.

Neener neener, Mr. Superiority.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 10:51 AM
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(That said, 64 gb sounds plenty huge to me. I mean, one *is* supposed to back things up periodically.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 10:54 AM
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170: "64 gb" s/b "5.5 in"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:06 AM
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Folks who are keeping everything on their laptops are asking for a world of hurt. Offload and backup, people!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:15 AM
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171: Hardly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:20 AM
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I do back everything up on a portable hard drive and I do not keep everything on my laptop. The state of things, now, however, is that, with little more than documents, songs, and some pictures on my 80gb hard drive, now that I am running Leopard, I don't have enough room to install AdobeCS. Insountenable!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:26 AM
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Gah!
Insoutenable! indeed.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:27 AM
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Adobe CS is a pig, that's certain.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-14-08 11:32 AM
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