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December 01, 2012


"No need to buy a Kindle. Why buy from Amazon instead of the iTunes bookstore?"

Clearly you've never read much from both an LCD and e-ink. The latter is much more like reading from paper and is very readable even in bright sunlight.

[HS: The question was why buy books FOR YOUR iPAD from Amazon instead of the iTunes store.]

Off topic:

MTV's new "Jersey Shore". Called Buckwild, set in West Virginia.


I'm interested to see what they do with this

You know more about really good cameras than I ever will, but I'd mention that the latest iPod Touch has a camera better than almost any cell phone camera out there; it's the same one Apple put in the iPhone5.

It can't compete with a good dedicated camera and beats only the cheap point and shoots but there are a lot of $200+ cameras out there that are worse than the iPod Touch at $300 and don't run apps or play music or surf the web or sync themselves over Wi-Fi.

As an Android app developer I can say supporting multiple resolutions and multiple screen sizes is a major PIA. iOS is the definite winner here. Android is like Windows drivers were 10-15 years ago in this regard. It's Android's achilles' heal.

"...but you can just whip the iPod Touch out of your pocket." -- HS


I can drag and drop torrented TV shows into iTunes and it loads them into the iphone.

These are almost all in avi format using DIVX encoding, and iTunes seems to covert/resize the file automatically.

[HS: It doesn't work for me, please explain how you are doing that?]

[HS: OK, so I figured out that there are third-party apps, lots of them that play AVIs. But there goes the theory that Apple stuff "just works." It doesn't. In order to support very common video format, you need to install an app and work around iTunes.]


There are apps designed to enhance iOS device cameras. I don't use it, but one of the top grossing paid apps in the iTunes Store is Camera+, which does that. You should check it out.

BTW, Camera+ and Instagram are an interesting comparison, from a business perspective. The first one is a traditional business model: provide a product (an app, in this case) and charge money for it. The developer of Camera+ has made 7 figures, I think, in this way. Instagram, on the other hand, charged nothing, but was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion.

The iPad is great for browsing the web. Especially while lying down in bed. I'm typing this on an iPad. You can even use it in the bath tub by putting it in a zip lock Baggie. The touch screen works right through the Baggie. You can also read a kindle in a bath or hot tub this way.

Don't you find the ipad screen overly reflective?

It's important to keep a Great Person's tech preferences in mind when you are bulbing. Based on reading HalfSigma, it seems like we were trying to create a Great Engineer, but got a Great Prophet. We could use him to bulb Monotheism, and found Judaism. However, it might also pay to hold on to him to bulb Music.

[HS: I usually settle my Great People.]

"They only play mp4 files, which is kind of bogus. If you have a video file in some other format, you need to find some program that will convert them to mp4 before you can transfer the file to the iOS device. But at least they do let you watch your own videos if you convert them to the correct format (I used Any Video Converter freeware); you are not restricted to buying stuff in the iTunes store."

I hate using iTunes to download files from my laptop to my iPad.

To download videos I use the VLC Player app and for any other files I use FileAppPro.

"A lot of people buy these devices to surf the web. This is actually where I think they are weak."

Many users prefer surfing the web with an iPad because its portability lets you surf anywhere if you have LTE and are in range of an LTE connection.

"The iPad Retina screen is beautiful for viewing photos, it’s almost like looking at a huge slide from an 8 x 10” view camera on a light table."

There are photo editing apps for iPad too. And since you like to paint I also recommend the "Paper" app from FiftyThree.

"However, Amazon’s model was always to sell the Kindles cheap and make the big money selling books, so I guess they still make money as long as you are buying books from their site."

Yes. Amazon sells Kindles at either a very slight loss or slight profit.

"I prefer the experience of web surfing on a computer monitor with a real keyboard."

You can buy keyboard's for your iPad. Check iPad-keyboard ratings on Amazon before going out and purchasing anything.

OT, I'm cross posting this from Molbug's joint:


Far too much discussion of the Dems vs the Rs and far too much worry about Romney's loss. Romney himself is probably better off having lost than getting blamed for the failures of Obama's 1st term.

Since the US electoral system of governance is based on representation, the real way to defeat the left is to defund the Cathedral* which is only represented in DC by the Democrats. The Democrat party is not the Cathedral, it's more of a dummy terminal through which the Cathedral passes through sub commands to the governmental server.

Defund the Cathedral and the Democrats will revert back to the weak outer-party they were in 1865-1932 Lincoln conservative glory years.

So how do we defund the Cathedral?

It's as easy as letting college students cut class:

* She makes the mistake of implying pulling funding for liberal arts majors would seriously disrupt the Cathderal's operations. This is incorrect. There aren't enough humanities majors to keep the biggest trouble makers, the non-business and non-STEM departments, solvent.

The funding for the hardcore leftist profs originates from the 50-60 credit hours worth of general education, not humanities majors. If the 80% of students who are not humanities majors are allowed to skip their gened classes 50% of liberal arts professors could be laid off.

With newspapers being gutted by the internet and computer tablets, private and public unions coming under attack at the local level, the next target for defunding should be the university system.

The gened requirements could be eliminated by Republican state level legislators. They could eliminate it either by giving high school students college credit for their basic high school classes. e.g., high school English with any grade better than an F eliminates college level English, high school history eliminates college level history, etc, etc. Or they could just force public colleges to offer all of their bachelor degrees in 60-90 credit formats where there are no gened requirements at all.

And before anyone brings it up, I'm aware there are CLEP tests that high schoolers canco use to cross off gened requirements, but few students know about these tests. In order to get mass defections out of the gened I want a much simpler and faster option to opt out of them.


Restricting general education courses to a select few will be extremely unpopular with some faculty. There are large numbers of teaching jobs at stake: many departments that now teach popular general education courses could lose half or more of their students. If that were to occur, financial sanity dictates that faculty jobs in those programs be cut. (Of course, new jobs will be created at the same time for specialists in the essential subjects.)


Quoting HS: "The secret to Apple’s success is value transference."

It's weird that he's put together a buying guide for these running dogs of capitalism.

[HS: Actually, the premise of the post was wrong, Apple primarily makes money when you buy their hardware, although they do make extra money from the app store and iTunes store; they have a revenue model which picks up revenue from every possible way.

As far as boycotting Apple, they are a strong oligopoly almost a monopoly. You can't live a normal life without transferring money to huge corporations like Microsoft or alternatively Apple.]


>>>As far as boycotting Apple, they are a strong oligopoly almost a monopoly.

There are many operating systems for small devices. Here's a list:


Android is open source and has a giant market. It's also altered and used in Kindles, etc. Windows Mobile is beautiful and has a decent market. Blackberry has the most robust email system. iOS is the most fun, pretty, and expensive. Until recently, Symbian was the most ubiquitous system. The leaders in this market are in a pitched battle. Remember when people called it Crackberry? Oops.

This market doesn't look a thing like an oligopoly. The reason you just turned Apple is because you like the shiny products and all of the development, not because you had no choice but to give your money to the most expensive of the running dogs of capitalism.

Does anyone know of homeschool forums for the highly intelligent?

[Venerable HS: As far as boycotting Apple, they are a strong oligopoly almost a monopoly. You can't live a normal life without transferring money to huge corporations like Microsoft or alternatively Apple]

I still don't own an Apple product.

Half, specifically since I don't have a tv, I get tv shows from torrents in eztv.it. Then I open iTunes, open a playlist, and use windows to drag and drop it into the playlist and the hit sync on iTunes.

I do not have any special software on either my win 7 or iPhone 4S. I have VLC on my PC but not my phone. I see the videos on my phone using the videos app that is made by apple and introduced with iOS 6.

I know the exact hassle you are talking about, because I dealt with it a few years ago when I first got an iPhone.

In summary, avi files from eztv.it go seamlessly onto my phone.

Also, if you want movies, go to piratebay.se where they have torrents for movies that are in mp4 and properly sized for iPhone.


Note the radical shifts in market share, etc.


If this is an oligopoly, why are there so many changes, with very different business models, shifting leadership, and new entrants?

I know that Marxists love the idea of "market failures" but this is a joke.


Here's Wikipedia:

>>>An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers (oligopolists).[citation needed] A general lack of competition can lead to higher costs for consumers. [1] Because there are few sellers, each oligopolist is likely to be aware of the actions of the others. The decisions of one firm influence, and are influenced by, the decisions of other firms. Strategic planning by oligopolists needs to take into account the likely responses of the other market participants.

The biggest "seller" is Android. It's shareware. Most of it's app market is free. Most of the non-free apps are a couple dollars. Google sells a top-of-the-line Android phone for $300.00. You can pay out the ass for the SWPLiest phone if you want, but they don't control anything.

[HS: Google is one of the handful of companies that control everything. The only way to stick it to the man is to buy an Android device manufactured by some no-name Korean or Chinese company. But even then, the LCD is probably manufactured by either LG or Samsung. And the no-name phone will probably work like crap because the manufacturer lacks the economies of scale to design something as good as a mega-corporation like Google, Apple, or Samsung.]


What would Android have to change for you to view it as legitimate instead of as an (snort!) oligopolist?

Since its OS is free, would it have to pay people to use it?

Would it have to genetically engineer a unicorn and give free rides to any Android user?

Would it have to cede its whole system to Obama so that he could rename it Trabant OS?

There is a competitive market, but if you want to live a "normal" life you can't participate in it. For example right now iOS and Android are the two big players in the smartphone market. Let's say that you discover a third option that you prefer. You can choose that instead. Free market at work? Yep, but you don't benefit from it. By choosing the "weird" option your status drops significantly (and since the point of owning a smartphone is to increase your status it means that you didn't get your money's worth).

Likewise when Windows was completely dominant, people still bought Macs. However those people didn't have software and pretty much didn't have real computers. They couldn't participate in the information age in any meaningful way. You needed a windows computer. Maybe you could buy an apple in addition, but you still needed a windows computer. Those mac users were proven "right" by the market, and now owning a mac is considered a sensible thing to do, but being "right" didn't help them in any way.

So, I guess the consensus is that all other non-Apple tablets are crap?


>>>(and since the point of owning a smartphone is to increase your status it means that you didn't get your money's worth).

This is a statement of your preferences, not of universal preferences. For many people, the point of owning a smartphone is to have a ubiquitous web connection and always available app machine. That's why Android grew to outsell Apple even though Apple is higher status among the SWPL set.


"and since the point of owning a smartphone is to increase your status it means that you didn't get your money's worth)."

So, Smartphones have little utilitarian use -- they are just for status signaling. This sounds believable and I am not surprised, but I am autistic and probably need someone to say it explicitly, since it seems that most smartphone usage is frivolous. I don't own one because I am afraid that I would be distracted by it and waste my time by constantly checking my Facebook account and other websites.

I am a utilitarian (and autistic) women: for instance, I don't wear high heels (and I am 5'1") because my footwear is chosen mostly for comfort and convenience while style is a secondary concern. I usually wear running shoes (to actually run in), low-heel black mules, slide sandals, Venetian shoes, or feminine boots. I have a nice petite figure and a symmetrical face (and I often often mistake for someone younger), so I look good in modest clothes, but I do not act like a typical woman.

I could proudly say that New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc has a bigger impact on my life than Apple, Inc since I actually use my NBs to run 2-5 miles a day around 7:20 for my easy, normal pace and 6:30 for tempo pace, which I cannot sustain for > 1.5 miles . Well, I can run 1.5 miles under 10 minutes easily (on the street), and this is the >95% for women in in age cohort. On the track, I can run a 400m without putting any significant effort in 90 secs, although I would slow down if I do not push myself on subsequent laps. My sprint really sucks, since I could only get down to 70 seconds on the 400m and low 14s on the 100m (on a running track).

"For many people, the point of owning a smartphone is to have a ubiquitous web connection"

I find that to be debilitating in most cases since it is too distracting.


>>>I find that to be debilitating in most cases since it is too distracting.

Then it's lucky for you that you don't notice status signalling.

re: "Does anyone know of homeschool forums for the highly intelligent?

Posted by: T |"

Visit the web page of the Robinson Curriculum:


Dan Kurt

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