dewme

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dewme
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  • Mac keyboard showdown: Apple versus chiclet versus mechanical

    Keyboards are like gloves and shoes. You have to try them on to see what fits and what is comfortable for how you use your computer. Hearing what others like or dislike about a particular type or brand and looking at the feature list helps to narrow the list of ones you need to try, but you literally must go "hands-on" when selecting a keyboard.
    bandits1
  • Brazil joins fight to make USB-C standard on iPhone

    DAalseth said:
    dewme said:
    I'm curious, what percentage of e-waste is attributable to charging bricks, cables, etc? I'm very diligent about recycling and made a run to the county e-waste recycling drop-off last week to turn in a dead av receiver, laptop battery packs, and a plasma TV. Saw many crates of flat panel TVs, old laptops, etc., waiting to get shipped out, probably in a shipping container to someplace in Asia. Did not see a lot of charging bricks, but I'm sure they were in there somewhere. How many and what percentage of these containers are power bricks and cables?
    I fear this is just a talisman to deflect attention from the big problems. Like you said old, unrepairable, laptops, flat panel TVs that give up the ghost in three or four years, etc. No attention to that, or as another poster pointed out the literally dozens of brands of power tools with unique batteries and chargers, many brands having a couple of designs that are not compatible with each other. But hey let’s point fingers at Apple because they are the biggest target. Not going to mention the Android brands that do use USB-C but the whole device craps out and gets thrown away in a couple of years.

    Surely Apple’s little white chargers are the cause of everything. /s

    Reminds me of the people who think that they will solve climate change by not using loop handle bags for their groceries. There’s bigger issues they are ignoring.

    I have to agree. The plasma TV I turned in weighed 90 lbs. How many smartphone charging bricks would it take to equal that 90 pounds? Well ... I see that the original iPhone 5W charger weighs 25 grams, or 0.055115 lbs. This means that the one TV I turned in for recycling weighs roughly the same as about 1,633 iPhone 5W chargers. Yeah, the plasma TV is a beast of a thing and an LCD replacement is likely 1/3rd the weight, but even a lighter TV is as much of a load as more than 500 5W chargers. The numbers go down with larger power capacity chargers, and there are billions of these suckers out there, but it still points out that a lot of scrutiny is being directed at ONE category of e-waste while other categories that result in huge amounts of waste are getting by with far less or no scrutiny.

    I do agree that waste management needs to be dealt with on both sides, i.e., generate less waste on the front end so less waste has to be processed on the back end. I think Apple has been much more proactive than most at taking responsibility for making its products more recyclable, utilizing recycled materials extensively, and providing a place to drop off some of its old products for recycling. I suppose they could do more.

    I would not be opposed "in theory" to requiring product manufacturers to accept anything that they manufactured back as recycled material. They'd retain full control over how to design their products with whatever power bricks and connectors they want but then have to deal with the consequences of their design on the back end. I said "in theory" because I know it would directly impact product acquisition cost and a lot of consumers like to live in a bubble of self induced deception, i.e., "convenience," that includes not having to care about total cost of ownership, especially when some of those costs can be slathered on someone else. Consumers buy stuff based on acquisition costs, not total lifecycle costs. Love that shiny new bridge, road, or school, just don't ask me to also pay to maintain it.

    As far as interoperability and consumer convenience are concerned, I'd prefer to see the competitive market handle these issues naturally by placing the onus on product makers to satisfy their customer base in order to survive. Customers who feel that a particular manufacturer is making their life difficult by requiring special chargers or cables or abandoning existing investments should punish those manufacturers by not buying their products. As long as no collusion to artificially partition the market is occurring, let the rewards go to the manufactures who have the greatest number of happy customers.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Brazil joins fight to make USB-C standard on iPhone

    I'm curious, what percentage of e-waste is attributable to charging bricks, cables, etc? I'm very diligent about recycling and made a run to the county e-waste recycling drop-off last week to turn in a dead av receiver, laptop battery packs, and a plasma TV. Saw many crates of flat panel TVs, old laptops, etc., waiting to get shipped out, probably in a shipping container to someplace in Asia. Did not see a lot of charging bricks, but I'm sure they were in there somewhere. How many and what percentage of these containers are power bricks and cables?
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 review: Incremental upgrade and unexciting

    charlesn said:
    dewme said:
    I believe the primary throttle on Apple’s ability to move even faster is human resource limitations, as in getting enough people with the right skills assigned to its product teams. 
    When you are the richest and most successful consumer tech company on the planet--as well as being one of the world's most admired brands and rated as one of the very best places to work--"getting enough people with the right skills" isn't a primary problem. Apple has a significant advantage in attracting talent over any other tech company out there. 
    I disagree. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc., always have very many (at least several hundred) unfilled job positions waiting for the right individual to fill the position. In top tier companies, at least prior to the pandemic, it was never been about settling for the "best match" from the currently available pool of candidates, it's about getting the right match.

    The last time I talked with someone in HR at one of the aforementioned companies, the rep said that they've been carrying over 4,000 open staffing requisitions for several years, which would only be filled if the right candidate came along. But some companies are more selective than others, and who knows whether that number is based on projects that are waiting to staff up or the company is trying to show its exclusivity, like Harvard admissions.

    I do know that everyplace I've worked outside of military related contracts, the number of things the company could go after in parallel was always staffing limited. This meant that some things got serialized and stretched out rather than done across a broad front. The release rate of new products from Apple over the past decade or so seems to indicate that Apple is facing similar resource issues, which are now compounded by supply chain issues.

    Getting warm bodies is one thing, getting the right people with the right skills is quite another. I don't think Apple has any exclusivity in this area despite its reputation and deep pockets. Making smart hiring decisions is probably the single most critical business decision that a company can make. 
    Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 review: Incremental upgrade and unexciting

    AppleZulu said:
    dewme said:
    tomwolsy said:
    F keys are horrible, pointless chiclets, when you can have a multifunctional bar that can also have F keys. It’s so childish to give up the capabilities across applications of the Touch Bar in favor of keys simply so that you can feel them. Every creative app has used the Touch Bar to great advantage, most with full slider controls. What a waste of space the useless F keys are. 
    The Touch Bar is very clever. However putting a control surface that dynamically changes based on application context outside of the sight line of touch typists is not ideal. I’m not a a great touch typist, but knowing that everything on the keyboard surface is static is reassuring. If you’re going to throw controls that change on-the-fly at me, put them on the screen where my eyes are focused. Just my 2 cents.  
    See, I kind of like the Touch Bar, and kind of wonder if I should upgrade to this device as the last chance to get one attached to a device that will retain utility for a number of years into the future.

    Also, I don't get the line-of-sight complaint. With a notebook computer, the keys and screen are really close to one another. It takes no more eye motion to look from text mid-screen to a menu bar at the top of the screen than it does to look at text mid screen down to the touch bar. Suggesting that it's disruptive or takes any more effort is really a slide into the black-and-white, slo-mo, overacted 'problem statement' clips in a Ronco infomercial. I'm picturing someone rubbing their eyes and grabbing at their sprained neck after glancing down at the Touch Bar. 
    That’s the thing, everyone has their own opinion about user interface related stuff. Some people like personal computers with touch screens and some people hate them. Some people actually liked the Pocket Fisherman … have you tried putting a full sized fishing pole in your glove box? But I digress.

    When the Touch Bar was announced my first impression was that Apple was doing a kind of end-around move to get some touch-screen-like interaction on the Mac, something that was strictly prohibited under Steve Jobs, without committing to actually having a touch screen. You know, we’ll put this little strip of touchiness really close to the screen without actually having a touch screen. If a few releases later if the touchiness spreads upward, like a rash, and on to the actual screen, maybe nobody would object? 

    From a versatility perspective the Touch Bar makes perfect sense. It allows you to multiplex several different functions, in a highly visual way, into the same physical area and control space. This same exact technique has been exploited for several decades in military combat system consoles and aircraft “glass cockpits.” It greatly reduces the number of individual, physical UI controls like switches/activators and displays/indicators.

    Functionally, the net result is a more generic control that can morph to perform several different tasks. When there are multiple instances of these generic controls it can also buy you resiliency and fault tolerance. On the user interaction side, it requires a more attentive operator, a potentially steeper learning curve, and in some cases, unlearning things that have been baked into muscle memory. We saw a lot of complaints around the Touch Bar related to the Escape Key exactly because of muscle memory issues. 

    Personally, I thought the Touch Bar was a better alternative to having a touch screen, which I’m not a fan of at all. The only top row hard key that I truly care about is the Escape key. All of the other keys show little signs of wear and are rarely used, other than the power on/off key. 
    Alex_Vmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra