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  • Updated HomePod, new HomePod mini rumored for early 2023

    I love my original HomePods. I want Apple to enter the home theatre space and allow me to have surround sound with some arrangement of HomePods.

    I hope whatever processor they use in the new HomePod has enough performance to allow real time audio tuning/processing. That’s one thing that sets the original HomePod apart from other generic speakers.

    Dolby Atmos with beamforming would be great.
    I still think the original HomePods are great and will be glad if Apple reverses on the discontinuation. 

    Still, the idea of a home theater application combining four or more of the things just isn’t practical. That’s at least $1,200 for the four-way setup, more if you use more, and it’s probably a significant waste of computing power. Perhaps if they created add-on devices for the additional units that have the speakers and microphones, but that communicate with a single master device to handle most of the computational work, such a setup could be made more affordable and practical. 
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  • Some Sonos buyers are getting extra speakers -- but also a hefty, unexpected bill

    Sonos is in a really bad position, at least under US law. First, as noted in the article, customers are under no obligation to return the extra gear. If additional charges are appearing on credit cards, customers should contest them with their card provider immediately. The provider will remove the charge while it's contested. 

    Sonos should offer affected customers something more than corporatespeak  as an apology for the inconvenience, particularly if they did in fact initially charge customers for the unordered items.

    In fact, if Sonos is less than forthright and helpful with the error, a customer could return the ordered device for a refund under Sonos' 45-day return policy and then keep the extras.
  • Everything new in iOS 15.5 for iPhone

    spheric said:
    Beats said:
    Why does Apple need a separate classical music app? Too much fragmentation already with the horrendous Podcast app. 
    Because Classical music needs separate fields for composers, performers, soloists, conducters, orchestra, as well as being able to recognise separate movements as part of one work, even if perhaps several works from different composers are on a single album. 

    All of these things are vital to any real cataloguing of a classical library, and they are impossible in Apple Music in any meaningful way (i.e. that goes beyond "Best of Mozart"). 
    This is correct. 

    If you don’t know classical music, imagine if popular music playlists split up your favorite songs and only played part of them. Imagine if you wanted to hear music by your favorite band but kept randomly getting no-name cover artists instead. 

    That’s what music systems designed for pop music do to classical music. If you want to hear William Kapell with Leonard Bernstein playing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, you want the one with Bernstein conducting the Orchestra and Kapell on piano, and you want all three movements (parts). Apple Music and any other music player designed for pop songs and pop albums don’t keep track of all those things very well, and so classical music listeners get parts and pieces split up and randomized, which isn’t very satisfying. A separate classical music app makes a lot of sense. 
  • It's time for Apple to revisit these iconic products

    If they update the Magic Mouse, I hope they make it compatible with the iPhone's Magsafe charger and don't acquiesce to the asinine demands that the lightning connector be moved from the bottom of the mouse. It's a wireless mouse. It takes very little time to charge it up. It doesn't need to plug in and act like a wired mouse. That defeats the point of it being a wireless mouse. Apple put the connector on the bottom on purpose specifically to keep people from leaving it plugged in as if it was a wired mouse.

  • FCC to limit ISP monopolies on apartments

    mike1 said:
    rob53 said:
    It would be better for the tenants if the apartment building installed a fiber gig service without an ISP, that would save them money and headaches dealing with crazy ISPs. It would be even better if each city created their own fiber service, just like my city has. 

    Oh great. Another taxpayer funded, poorly run government "service" that is better handled by private enterprise. Because governments at every level have shown that they are able to keep up with technological advances and consumer hardware.
    We have now been through an entire generation's worth of the reflexive propaganda trope of "gubmint bad, bidness good."

    ISPs, telcom and cable companies are all giant corporations with lumbering bureaucracies. Pick any one of them, combine its name with the words "customer service" in a search box, and you will find endless laments and horror stories that are as bad or worse than any comparable complaints about government bureaucracies. Whether the MBA dogmatists like it or not, broadband internet service necessarily functions as a basic infrastructure utility. 

    Government rightfully operates or heavily regulates utility infrastructure because the national economic interest lies with assuring that everyone has equal access to these resources. It is incredibly ironic that the libertarian impulses of folk living in red-state flyover country works hard against their own interests and flies in the face of the fact that, based on purely private-market considerations, they are in an even weaker bargaining position than poor urban folk in deep blue territory. From an ISP's perspective, if there's enough population density, providing cheap service to poor city dwellers is vastly more lucrative than stringing fiber for miles and miles just to hook up a handful of suburban sprawl dwellers or more rural customers, even if those folks are more affluent and can afford to pay a premium over standard full-price. It's the same as the loonies who want to privatize the post office, claiming FedEx is much more efficient, and not considering that sending a birthday card to grandma costs between 40 to 80 times more with FedEx than it does with USPS, depending on where grandma lives.

    Likewise, it's ironic that any libertarian-minded person would object to requiring increased competition of ISPs in apartment buildings. The density argument noted above means that apartment buildings naturally lend themselves to greater ISP competition. It's worth stringing the relatively short lines to compete for relatively large numbers of customers. The only reason that doesn't happen is because the apartment building owners prefer to block that competition in order to scrape money from the ISPs by granting 'exclusive access' to those relatively large numbers of customers. ISPs benefit because, rather then competing through price and service for only a percentage of a building's customers, paying a single, hefty tribute to the landlord gives them all the building's customers, with no need to offer competitive pricing to any of them. Landlords win, ISPs win, and screw the tenants. 

    Tell us again how is it private enterprise always handles things better?