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  • Kuo: Redesigned MacBook Pro models with MagSafe, no Touch Bar, more ports coming in Q3

    I love the technology and the potential of the TouchBar but personally don't find it very useful.  To me, the biggest drawback of the TouchBar was that it's treated as an extension of the keyboard.  The power of the keyboard in many people's eyes is that it's a rapid input device that doesn't require you to take your eyes off the screen.  The TouchBar is the exact opposite of this and I believe Apple should treat it as an extension of the TouchPad. 

    If you moved the TouchBar to be to be above the TouchPad and only make it as wide as the TouchPad instead of the whole keyboard as today, then I think it becomes far more useful.  It can be controlled by your thumbs without taking your hands off the keyboard, which I believe would be far more convenient than the lifting your wrists and stretching your fingers to reach the TouchPad of today. 

    I don't claim to have any usability studies to back this up, just my 2 cents.  What do you guys think?
  • Apple Pay coming to long-time holdout UBS soon

    Rosyna said:
    Walmart is still trying to use their monopoly to attack Visa. The “CurrentC” initiative (which never released an app that was usable or secure) was an attempt of major retailers (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, CVS) to collude against the payment processing market (especially Visa) by bypassing them and asking their US customers to give 1. Those companies access to your checking account, which has very little mandated fraud protections and 2. More access to your private data so they could target you with more ads.
    Wal-Mart and the rest of the CurrentC (I still cringe at that name) gang weren’t necessary wrong to revolt against Visa as 3% transaction fees is ridiculous.  But instead of developing a win-win solution for both them and the consumers to incentivize the latter to switch, it was all win for them at the expense of the consumer.  This is where the real victory for Apple came when it comes to ApplePay.  Just like Apple did with digital music with the iTunes Store a decade earlier, Apple came up with a solution that was forward thinking and gave customers convenience and value for adapting their new technology while still giving the existing competitors and easy way to adopt the new technological paradigms and still profit.  

    I’m pleased to say that as an immediate adaptor of ApplePay in the Midwest, adoption of ApplePay has been ever-growing and is available at most retailers I visit.  I only see it on a few places on the Web but I expect it to grow their at a similar but slightly slower rate since the advantage of using ApplePay on the web isn’t as immediately obvious as it is in a store where it clearly beats pulling out a physical card and using those dreadful chip readers. 

    Bart YStrangeDays
  • How WeChat's ascent suggests the iPhone may never again dominate in China

    How is this app that much different any app that has 'everything-and-the-kitchen-sink' built into them (like Facebook had they not broken Messenger out into a separate app)? 

    And why is WeChat so popular in China?  What's to prevent the latest and greatest chap app to come around in a year or two to knock it off its pertch?

  • Apple's new MacBook Air debuts at $999 with 256GB storage, quad-core options

    gatorguy said:
    I did not realize the SSD could not be upgraded. :/
    That must be a marketing decision, and IMHO a silly one that most OEMs couldn't get away with without attracting vociferous complaints from reviewers and customers. 
    Apple went this direction years ago to achieve the thinnest laptop possible.  For the consumer-level portables I think it's a good decision, for pro-level customers I'm not convinced.  But with ample options for portable storage these days - microSD cards, USB Flash drives, cloud storage - having a lot of on-board storage isn't the roadblock it used to be either.  Having labored with only 128GB storage on a laptop before, having a minimum of 256GB storage is huge step up and should be enough for most users of a consumer-level laptop.

  • Apple's new MacBook Air debuts at $999 with 256GB storage, quad-core options

    I've long argued that Apple needed their entry level laptop to come in at under $1K and stay there.  Not only does this latest MacBook Air update achieve that mark, with a retina display and 256GB SSD hard drive there isn't much reason left to upgrade it. 

    My one concern is the fact that this (along with all of Apple's entry-level products) only comes with 8GB of RAM.  That seems like a bottleneck to me compared to everything else that comes built-in.  Am I correct that 8GB of RAM isn't much for even basic tasks you would expect to do on a laptop these days?