1497: "New Products"

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1497: "New Products"

Postby Kozmo » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:10 am UTC

new_products.png


title="If you ever hear "Wait, is that Kim Dotcom's new project? I'm really excited about it and already signed up, although I'm a little nervous about whether everyone should hand over control of their medical..." it's time to dig a bunker in your backyard."

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby nowhereman » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:15 am UTC

Damn... I was ninja'd (however that word is spelled). Here is what I wrote:

Well this is clearly false. I told people that I was applying to be a glass explorer and that clearly worked out </sarcasm>. Sadly, a great many awesome products get released well before their time and then die in the market. I still think that HUD glasses are the wave of the future. However, it seems that they are more the wave of the future in ten or so years...
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:32 am UTC

Why would anyone want <thing I plan to make>? It doesn't do anything new!
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:33 am UTC

There's a fine line between mad scientists and excited engineers.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Kozmo » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:40 am UTC

And if a physicists writes "these findings could have future applications in [some future technology (very often - quantum computation)]" in the abstract of their latest paper, you might as well just skip that sentence.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:34 am UTC

Are you talking about ponytail girl's new project? Her face aging in real life might be a scam and may result in arrests or lawsuits.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby orthogon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:41 am UTC

I have to plead guilty to this one. I remember going to a talk about this new "blog" phenomenon, and thinking "huh? That's just a web-page, isn't it? What's new about that?" It took me ages to realise that the step from "anyone with a PC and Internet connection who knows a bit of html and can work ftp can publish an online article" to "anyone can publish an online article from any cybercafe" was an enormous and world-changing one.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Klear » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:50 am UTC

orthogon wrote:I have to plead guilty to this one. I remember going to a talk about this new "blog" phenomenon, and thinking "huh? That's just a web-page, isn't it? What's new about that?" It took me ages to realise that the step from "anyone with a PC and Internet connection who knows a bit of html and can work ftp can publish an online article" to "anyone can publish an online article from any cybercafe" was an enormous and world-changing one.


That's nothing. I used to think mobile phones in general were stupid.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Xenomortis » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:56 am UTC

Klear wrote:That's nothing. I used to think mobile phones in general were stupid.

I still do. :)
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:26 pm UTC

Seems I vaguely recall a cartoon in Physics Today back in the early 80's where one (thinly disguised MIT) professor says to another, "This discovery could have a great impact..." and the other responds, 'Yes. Let's start a company."

Then on the other side, sci.physics had some fella whose signature was "Fusion this decade." For at least 3 decades.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby murribu » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:09 pm UTC

"There's no way it can work. I built it last year and it didn't go anywhere..." => Google will purchase idea for billions of dollars

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby jc » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:34 pm UTC

murribu wrote:"There's no way it can work. I built it last year and it didn't go anywhere..." => Google will purchase idea for billions of dollars

Well, that's a lot better than Apple, who will reject your app, and then a few months later, a functionally identical app will appear in their app store. ;-)

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby sorceror » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:53 pm UTC

Counterexample: the :CueCat.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby drumking66 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:08 pm UTC

More like "what people said about famous products before they were famous", big hindsight bias there (the zillions of products which were low-profile flops probably had all these things said)

Now that I've made the joke more scientifically accurate I'm sure it's a lot funnier. :P

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:38 pm UTC

Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.

(If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.)

(And that's not even counting all the movies people told me I'd inevitably go see...)
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby leafar » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

nowhereman wrote: I still think that HUD glasses are the wave of the future. However, it seems that they are more the wave of the future in ten or so years...

Do you mean the Google Wave of the future?

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Western Rover » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.


Or you could do like my 80-year-old mother, and have a cell phone that you switch on only when *you* want to make a call, and then you switch it off, ostensibly to save the battery, but certainly helps in not being available on demand.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby HES » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:04 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
  • Digital television

Do you still have analogue TV or are you a no-TV person? Analogue got switched off in the UK several years ago.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:06 pm UTC

No TV (analogue got switched off here as well, so the FCC could free up spectrum to sell to Google,) but I do have a CRT set I use for my game consoles, DVDs, videocassettes, and Laserdiscs.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:18 pm UTC

"No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame" = it will replace 'Walkman' as the go-to generic name for personal portable music players.

That was from Slashdot's CmdrTaco, a.k.a Rob Malda. Back in the day.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby HES » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:30 pm UTC

He was right about the storage space thing
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:06 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.

(If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.)

(And that's not even counting all the movies people told me I'd inevitably go see...)


I used to have a smartphone - then I replaced it with a phone with a battery life measured in weeks rather than hours...

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby orthogon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:13 pm UTC

HES wrote:He was right about the storage space thing

I think there are two overlapping issues. There's the issue about engineers and programmers being bad at figuring out what technologies people at large will actually find useful or useable. Then there's the issue of their (our) not understanding that marketing, style, fashion etc. can be more important than the technology itself (see also: VHS vs Betamax). I think with Apple it's a bit of both: they have been masterful at marketing and style, but there's also been an understanding that people want stuff to just work, and that locking down the hardware and software and acting as a gatekeeper gets you a lot closer to that than the current alternatives. I speak as somebody who owns no Apple products personally: I'm not really happy with that model, but then I'm not really happy with my Android phone, which pops up messages that I, a geek of sorts, don't understand.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Coyoty » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

sorceror wrote:Counterexample: the :CueCat.


That could have succeeded if not for the constantly anguished emoticon on the logo.

commodorejohn wrote:Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.

(If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.)

(And that's not even counting all the movies people told me I'd inevitably go see...)


You should change your name to "blankcommodorejohn".

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Andries » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:51 pm UTC

I got rid of my smartphone two years ago.

Am contemplating getting rid of my mobile phone as well.

Haven't owned a TV in ten years.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby ThemePark » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:36 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.

(If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.)

(And that's not even counting all the movies people told me I'd inevitably go see...)

Apart from the TV, we're on the same page. As I hardly ever receive or make calls or texts, I too have contemplated getting a landline. I had a smartphone years ago, and all it was good for was a lot of games, which I can play at home, or play on my 3DS instead if I'm out and about. I've also had a Facebook account, due to peer pressure and necessity, and that was about as useful to me as the smartphone.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Zinho » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:16 pm UTC

sorceror wrote:Counterexample: the :CueCat.

Given the ubiquity of QR codes, is the :CueCat a counterexample, or is it simply an example of case 2: features show up years later in something successful?

My memory of what techies were saying about it was, "most people probably don't need that, but it's hackable so I've ordered one. Who knows, maybe I'll use it to drive a catalog my CD collection". Falls short of "really exciting", but gets a hit on "I've already ordered one".

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby StClair » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:33 pm UTC

"my CD collection" - wow, that takes me back. :)

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Mental Mouse » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:03 am UTC

Western Rover wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.


Or you could do like my 80-year-old mother, and have a cell phone that you switch on only when *you* want to make a call, and then you switch it off, ostensibly to save the battery, but certainly helps in not being available on demand.


Heh. My mom keeps her iPhone (gift from Sis) turned off too -- this was a problem when she lost it and she couldn't use "Find my iPhone". (Fortunately it had just fallen under her car seat.) Buf I have a friend who not only doesn't have a mobile phone, but his landline doesn't even have voicemail or an answering machine.

Me, I only went over to voicemail when my rabbit kept chewing the wires on my answering machine. Since then I've gotten an iPhone, but still no Facebook account.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:59 am UTC

I was without any phone at all for 2-3 years after moving out on my own for the first time. Phone company wanted a deposit for a land line because I had no credit history yet, and I just decided to fuck it, I didn't really need one. (I also didn't have TV then, but hadn't had it for a few years prior anyway, due to not bothering to plug my TV back in after unplugging it for something one time; dad had TV at the house, technically). I could make any urgent calls, and receive urgent messages, from my work phone, and other than that, I didn't really need or want to be talking to anyone on the phone. I kept in touch with everyone I wanted to just chat with via email and other online communication. Eventually my mom got so sick of not being able to call me that she sent me a mobile phone and added me to her plan. (Funny reversal: at some point years later she couldn't afford to keep me on, and by then I was used to having a mobile phone so I got my own, and then years later still she became unable to pay for even her own phone, and is now on my plan. And I still use barely any of my own plan, and have to have a much more comprehensive plan than I would like just so she's not going over on usage every damn month).

Also, wrt case 1 in the comic: it's all well and good that things like blogs and facebook and whatnot make things that already existed and that people could already do more accessible to the masses, but it still annoys me that it basically deprecates perfectly serviceable technologies for handicapped/walled-off alternatives, instead of, say, wrapping a more user-friendly layer around them. A lady at a bar once asked me for my Facebook. I don't have one so I offered her my email and/or web addresses instead. She didn't want them. Why the hell is it more desirable to see whatever I've chosen to share with the world and contact me through Facebook's walled garden than it is to see that same information and contact me just as easily through web and email?
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Tova » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:14 am UTC

Most of this also works quite well for music critics talking about new compositions.

I wish I had a shiny gold coin for every time I've seen a geek mutter "why would you/anyone want to do that," especially when referring to a perfectly reasonable thing to want to do. Some people are unable to muster the energy to look outside their own personal use cases.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Tova » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:18 am UTC

Western Rover wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.


Or you could do like my 80-year-old mother, and have a cell phone that you switch on only when *you* want to make a call, and then you switch it off, ostensibly to save the battery, but certainly helps in not being available on demand.


Turn off notifications for everything except the actual phone, and leave the thing in your pocket.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:33 am UTC

Tova wrote:
Western Rover wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.


Or you could do like my 80-year-old mother, and have a cell phone that you switch on only when *you* want to make a call, and then you switch it off, ostensibly to save the battery, but certainly helps in not being available on demand.


Turn off notifications for everything except the actual phone, and leave the thing in your pocket.


Then it still rings when people try to interrupt you with unimportant stuff that demands your immediate attention.

So silence it, let everyone go to voicemail, and turn off voicemail notification. Check voicemail at your leisure. Anything important can be left on a message, anything not... hopefully won't bother.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:28 am UTC

My cell phone has talk and text only. I put $20 USD on it every 3 months just so I keep the number. My land line number is identical to someone I have to keep in touch with at my night job, except for the area code. I called her a couple of times and hung up as soon as the voice mail kicked in because I dialed the wrong number. Does anyone else remember eight track tape players?
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby ucim » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:37 am UTC

RogueCynic wrote:Does anyone else remember eight track tape players?
Does anyone remember four-track (cartridge) players?

Yes, I remember 8 track, I remember thinking it will never catch on because of the interruptions every (how many?) minutes. Cassettes are so much better. And so it was.

I used open reel for many years. Now one chip holds an entire shelf full of open reel tapes, at better fidelity.

I remember 78s and even played them. I know about cylinders, but never actually used them.

You can probably figure out my birthday from that. :)

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby RogueCynic » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:41 am UTC

I think I'll dust off my N64 this weekend and play "The Ocarina of Time". I still have cassettes I plan to convert to cd.
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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Aiwendil » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:14 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.

(If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time.)

(And that's not even counting all the movies people told me I'd inevitably go see...)


I have never owned a cell phone of any kind, never had a Facebook account, and never owned a tablet. I do, however have a television. It is a CRT with a built-in VCR that I routinely used to record VHS tapes until about two or three years ago.

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby Lazy Tommy » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:42 am UTC

I bought an iPod Touch when I discovered that you could surf the web on it -- Wikipedia in your pocket, that's all the reason I needed. I had tried what passed for "tablets" before (Nokia N770) and found them flaky and cumbersome. BlackBerry et al. technically had "browsers" but they were a joke, didn't even support CSS as I recall, so everything looked like crap, or just didn't work at all. What Apple got right was to put a real web browser in a pocket-sized device, and give it a finger-based user interface that actually works. I still read the New York Times "desktop" website on my iDevice; a swipe here, a double-tap there, it works perfectly, all on a 4" screen.

I don't see the point of a smart watch, though. The tiny screen seems like a crippling disadvantage, compared to a smartphone, and having something strapped to my wrist all the time is just annoying. (I stopped wearing a wristwatch long before I even bought my first PDA, for that reason.)

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:58 am UTC

RogueCynic wrote:I think I'll dust off my N64 this weekend and play "The Ocarina of Time". I still have cassettes I plan to convert to cd.


Mine doesn't need dusting off - it's hooked up with Ocarina inserted. Though I'd probably actually play the 3DS remake instead - maybe I should switch it out for GoldenEye or something...

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Re: 1497: "New Products"

Postby peregrine_crow » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Ah, "you'll get one anyway!", the laziest argument.

Things which people have told me I'll inevitably wind up having that I still don't have:
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet
  • A Facebook account
  • Digital television
Guess I can add "a smart watch" to that list, now.


Count me amongst the camp that ridiculed or dismissed all of those at first and then eventually came around when the actual advantages became apparent (except for a tablet, I still haven't found a credible use case for those that isn't covered by my smartphone/laptop combo). Also on this list:

* Mobile phones in general
* Separate computers for people living in the same house
* Instant messaging services
* MP3 players
* Several genres of music and more tv series than I care to admit

I eventually got sick of being proven wrong all the time and now I try to make a habit of noticing when I make snap judgements and check to make sure that it isn't baseless cynicism. Which is why, even though I don't have a smart watch yet, I'm trying to keep an eye open for how people use it and whether those are use cases that apply to my life as well.
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