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Who Designed This Crap? The Latest Model: Innovation or Ripoff?

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October 2, 2006 11:46:50 AM

\"New\" is a word used too freely to describe mobile computer model upgrades. Buyers are often hurt both by significant real model changes that happen too quickly and by mostly bogus changes done for marketing purposes.
October 2, 2006 12:58:02 PM

So basically... there are two really great products, and the company in each case came out with an even better one in a very short period of time... so you feel that they should have waited longer?

Boy I love Mr. Gerber's writing... yet another pointless article, this time written to cry about things getting better too fast? I mean in both cases you raved about the initial products, and sure as shooting, better ones come out...

Buyer's remorse maybe? And then to make a generic plea for the industry to slow down in the 3rd segment... my word. So companies like to market every possible little tiny thing as if it was the newest "must have". Yes, it is lame, but that is how they keep their brand image out there in the public, so whatever. Do I wish that they'd stop all this useless advertising and pass the savings onto me? Sure, but let's not cry about it.

I keep thinking that the word "Guru" in the name "Mobility Guru" means something along the lines of "inteligent", yet they keep putting out articles like this. Go figure.
October 2, 2006 1:29:08 PM

Its not the fault of these companies that newer, cheaper, better technology is coming out constantly. The differences may only be minor, but when I'm shopping to purchase a unit, I will buy the best one at that moment. If "Sony" or other manufacturer decides to keep 6-12month old technology, I will likely select the vendor with the brand new technology.

I'm sorry if the author or his friend feels bad because there is now a newer better model. Did the models they purchase function as advertised? Yes!!! The author even says he loved them. He is just complaining that the vendor was able to produce a newer better unit at the same price shortly after his purchase.

If the author had bought a printer and the manufacturer were to say "sorry" we do not make cartridges for that printer anymore, that was last months model, he would have a gripe because he could no longer use the printer for its intended use.

The author has lost nothing but bragging rights to the newest shiniest model.
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October 2, 2006 2:20:46 PM

This is ridiculous. The different-model-number-for-every-retailer phenomenon is real, that could have been the focal point of an entire article. The rest of the article is "Wah wah, my new toy isn't new anymore!"

You bought a micro portable PC in a proprietary form-factor. This is something you do with no expectation of upgradability. A new model is released. You are sad because your model is now 512 MB of RAM and 10 GB storage short of being top of the line. Welcome to Earth. Progress happens. If it happens faster than you'd like, maybe you need to get over your desire to have the latest and greatest, rather than expecting companies to hold back new and better tech to preserve your bragging rights for at least six months, which, by the way, is a figure pulled straight from the depths of your rectum, and I find it absolutely REPUGNANT that you would apply it as a normative timespan between technological advances.

Fact is: your computer is no worse than the day you bought it. If you're cheesed because you can't upgrade it, you need to learn a lesson about intelligent consumerism, and take upgradability into consideration WHEN YOU BUY, not after.

As for the laptop shell upgrade idea...

"Oh, Hello, here is my old car. Can you slap a 2007-model chassis on it?"

Please understand that you have bought what you have bought. If you're not comfortable with that, find someone to lease you all your computer equipment.
October 2, 2006 2:47:27 PM

I can't help but to agree with the former comments. I find it ridiculous to question technological improvements over egoistical "geekness". I mean, why complaining about bringing better products faster than before ? There's no objective arguments to complain about such issue on any basis.

maia
October 2, 2006 3:47:17 PM

I didn't take his point to be complaining about advancemts. He was complaining about the poor market research done on $ony's part, and their complete lack of interest in supporting their 'old' product. If you dont want to pay top dollar for a product that will be obsolete before you get it home, stay away from $ony. I learned the hard way with a radio I purchased for $255, 6 months later the driver board for the cd was fried, a $ony authorized repair shop (yes out of warenty after 6 months) said the repair would be $650.

Yes the world keeps moving foreward and tech products are quickly replaced. I do sympathize with the writer though, and will never give $ony another dime.
October 2, 2006 4:15:33 PM

Quote:
I didn't take his point to be complaining about advancemts. He was complaining about the poor market research done on $ony's part, and their complete lack of interest in supporting their 'old' product. If you dont want to pay top dollar for a product that will be obsolete before you get it home, stay away from $ony. I learned the hard way with a radio I purchased for $255, 6 months later the driver board for the cd was fried, a $ony authorized repair shop (yes out of warenty after 6 months) said the repair would be $650.

Yes the world keeps moving foreward and tech products are quickly replaced. I do sympathize with the writer though, and will never give $ony another dime.


I see no place in the article where he demonstrated any type of support failure by Sony. They simply started selling a new model. Sony decided to start offering more memory for the same price. Perhaps a cometitor started offering more memory. Perhaps the cost dropped. Perhaps the product was more successful than they imagined which let them produce more units which lowered production costs and allowed them to provide more for the same price. It is the consumer who purchased a non-upgradeable device. He is now asking for an upgrade. The poster can still run XP just fine like the product was intended to run. Now he wants to run Vista. This is not a Sony issue.

If he tried to get a warranty issue fixed and they said too bad, it would be a Sony issue. If they failed to maintain drivers or bios updates, that would be a failure. If he called with a question and they said sorry we cant help you that model is discontinued, he would have an issue. All he did is bemoan the fact a new model was now available. He knew he bought a non-upgradeable unit that had 512mb of RAM and 30gb of Diskspace.

There are many reasons why I don't buy bleeding edge. I wait for Rev2.
Folks learn whether it is hardware or software.

I am going to buy a Conroe. But not until the 2nd generation of motherboards. I can wait a few months. Perhaps the author could have waited for other reviews to come out and point out the things he missed such as non-upgradability. Perhaps he is mad at himself for failing to properly research his purchase. What he has not done is show that Sony failed in any way.
October 2, 2006 4:40:43 PM

Quote:
He was complaining about the poor market research done on $ony's part


If you are referring to this : "Sony should get more end user input before a product is released.", then the argument is useless. The UX180P was reviewed as a piece of incredible hardware. Just because a couple of months later, Sony launches an improved version: the UX280P, doesn't mean the UX180P has suddenly become a piece of junk. The "vista ready" argument is pure consumerism, less 512 Mb of memory and less 10Gb of disk space makes the UX180P "almost vista ready", what's the big deal ? I bet both can and will run vista with no problems. The real difference: you probably can't have as many programs installed or/and running at the same time. But that will only happen if you're the kind of person that likes to drown and clog a system. The other argument i can think of are bragging rights, again a subjective argument.

Quote:
and their complete lack of interest in supporting their 'old' product.


The UX180P was developed has a new concept having in mind the size of its components, that's why it's so "cool". To achieve this objective, the whole architecture was created not relying in memory slots and disk plugs which would make it bigger, nullifying its main principle: small and compact. The UX280P was the next version having in mind that same objective but with a couple improvements. What's wrong with that ? I mean, technology development is not naturally retroactive. You might or might not bet on compatibility with older hardware, or even upgradeability, but it depends on the architecture you're dealing with, and this Sony micros are anything but retroactive. He should've thought of this when he bought the product, not after.

Quote:
If you dont want to pay top dollar for a product that will be obsolete before you get it home, stay away from $ony.


Again, it will not become obsolete. It won't be the top of the top, and if you're a top tech "geek", it won't be the thing you'll be bragging about. But who really cares ? Do you think Sony or other company will listen to complains like this ? They just don't make any objective sense, much less nonsensical subjective arguments from a tiny part of the market.

maia
October 2, 2006 7:10:31 PM

Unfortuantly this is not just the case for the computer industry. In the television world a new model comes out right before every major holiday/sporting event. Maybe the new model has some new features or different inputs but more often than not it has a different colored cabinet or the newest firmware. For example, a manufacturer I cannot name has a plasma that is sold under their normal brand name for x numbers of dollars, then they take the same display, put a nicer bezel(front plastic cover) with their high brand name and sell it for about 2x's as much WITH THE SAME INSIDES, just a nicer cabinet.
October 2, 2006 7:32:33 PM

All companies are out to screw the consumer. That's just the way it is.

Profit comes WAY before customer satisfaction. Look at apple. I actually ordered a macbook a few weeks back after doing a lot of research (I need the mac/win ability) but one day after I ordered it I heard rumors that the core 2 due would come out in nov, dec, or jan. I immediately canceled the order as I can wait that long.

The point is, if these companies had ANY respect for the consumer they would give a heads up, "hey, by January we'll be using core 2 due" for example. This may lead to slightly lower sales for those who can wait, and most won't care btw. But it will give a feeling of caring to the consumer making them MORE likely to buy from a company that is up front and honest.

Sony is the worlds worst company in my opinion. Their products are crap and nothing they make ever lasts. At least in my experience. Look at any vaio or any of their "desktop" stereos'. POS's to the MAX!

Done bitch'n.
October 2, 2006 7:41:40 PM

I cannot fathom at what point the writer feels he was treated unfairly, and I'm overwhelmed with relief to see that most of you (by the way, what does lurk3r's gripe have to do with this?)- agree.

What a pair of whiny brats. I get annoyed just thinking about it. Imagine what must have been going through the dealer/Sony tech guy's head while being subjected to this balderdash. "Uh huh... And you feel we should replace your gadget with the newer one... why, exactly? Um... yeah. Well, I'm not sure about that."

Sheesh.

As for the other people's gripes: if the new model isn't that much better, or is too expensive to be good value, or just a holiday rehash of an existing product, then don't buy it. Simple, no?

I don't usually buy Sony products because they usually command a bit of a price premium for snazzier design or some other minor feature I don't have much use for. Some people do. More power to 'em.
October 3, 2006 3:11:57 PM

Quote:

I see no place in the article where he demonstrated any type of support failure by Sony. They simply started selling a new model. Sony decided to start offering more memory for the same price.


from the article :
Quote:
Back to Barry: My friend and I tried to get someone to do something about this mess. The UX180P was purchased from a Sony dealer who refused to take it back. Sony's highest level customer service people assured us that they felt my friend's pain, but that they couldn't do anything about it. It was up to the dealer. A most elegant example of finger pointing. They also noted that if the product had been bought from Sony's online or brick and mortar Style stores, the company might have been willing to take it back. To this day my friend likes to do a bit of finger pointing of his own when he passes a Sony portable in a store, but he points only with the second finger from the thumb.

Put simply Sony often leaves a trail of customer tears as it dashes merrily through the forests of product updates. Should it stop innovating? No, but it should introduce some sort of product upgrade program where a decent credit is offered to a buyer who wants to upgrade to this hour's latest and greatest. Even better, perhaps Sony should have patience in its product release cycle. If a newer product is a couple to a few months away, the company shouldn't introduce a less feature-filled version. Also, Sony should get more end user input before a product is released.


And to sum up my point, I'm not faulting Sony for their innovation, they are excellent at providing new products. I am never going to support them again because their stuff is obsolete before you open the package. The components to repair their products, which as someone earlier posted will never be worse than when you purchased them, are just not manufactured, or are way too expensive to repair.
October 3, 2006 3:36:58 PM

I'm sorry, but the fact that a newer better model is released does not make the product obsolete. In fact, if HP were to release a similar product with improved specs the Sony product would be just as "obsolete".

The product is just as capable.
The product will be obsolete when the OS and Software manufacturer's update their prodcuts so that the hardware in the Sony Unit can no longer handle common tasks that it could previously.

Comments on warranty or repair prices are a complete red herring and have nothing to do with the auhor's article.

My 8-track player is obsolete because music companies no longer make new 8-tracks. My Record player is obsolete because no new records are made. The CD player I bought 10 years ago is not obsolete because it is as functional today as it was then. Mind you there are newer better CD players, but it can still fully serve the purpose for which I bought it. As soon as all Music is only released on Blu-Ray, I will be obsolete.
(Work with me on the example guys - I know it's tough for some :>)
October 3, 2006 6:00:51 PM

Quote:
He was complaining about the poor market research done on $ony's part


If you are referring to this : "Sony should get more end user input before a product is released.", then the argument is useless. The UX180P was reviewed as a piece of incredible hardware. Just because a couple of months later, Sony launches an improved version: the UX280P, doesn't mean the UX180P has suddenly become a piece of junk. The "vista ready" argument is pure consumerism, less 512 Mb of memory and less 10Gb of disk space makes the UX180P "almost vista ready", what's the big deal ? I bet both can and will run vista with no problems. The real difference: you probably can't have as many programs installed or/and running at the same time. But that will only happen if you're the kind of person that likes to drown and clog a system. The other argument i can think of are bragging rights, again a subjective argument.

Quote:
and their complete lack of interest in supporting their 'old' product.


The UX180P was developed has a new concept having in mind the size of its components, that's why it's so "cool". To achieve this objective, the whole architecture was created not relying in memory slots and disk plugs which would make it bigger, nullifying its main principle: small and compact. The UX280P was the next version having in mind that same objective but with a couple improvements. What's wrong with that ? I mean, technology development is not naturally retroactive. You might or might not bet on compatibility with older hardware, or even upgradeability, but it depends on the architecture you're dealing with, and this Sony micros are anything but retroactive. He should've thought of this when he bought the product, not after.

Quote:
If you dont want to pay top dollar for a product that will be obsolete before you get it home, stay away from $ony.


Again, it will not become obsolete. It won't be the top of the top, and if you're a top tech "geek", it won't be the thing you'll be bragging about. But who really cares ? Do you think Sony or other company will listen to complains like this ? They just don't make any objective sense, much less nonsensical subjective arguments from a tiny part of the market.

maia


Very well-said :!: Two thumbs up.

The problem with bleeding-edge technology is that it becomes obsolete quickly, and when you're sony, your product gets copied and sold at a cheaper price quickly. For sony to remain selling bleeding-edge products, they MUST release newer versions. The fact that Sony was able to upgrade the machine at the same price point is excellent.

You can't be an early adopter and then get upset when a newer and/or cheaper model comes out 6 months later. That's just stupid.

Oh, and you want your money back so you can buy the newer model? lol. Wow. The Sony store must laugh at you. Try e-bay.

If I spent my entire life waiting for the next upgrade for a product, I'd never buy anything. "Why get a Presler when Conroe is coming out? Why get C2D when CQD is coming out soon." At the same time, Sony needs to maintain product 'hype' and a presense in the marketplace. It's very typical, time-tested, and effective product strategy.


Yet again, another deplorable article, complaining about topics for which he provides no other perspective. Anyone who tracks sony products could've told you this was going to happen. I thought you were an expert?
October 3, 2006 7:07:12 PM

Quote:
The problem with bleeding-edge technology is that it becomes obsolete quickly, and when you're sony, your product gets copied and sold at a cheaper price quickly. For sony to remain selling bleeding-edge products, they MUST release newer versions. The fact that Sony was able to upgrade the machine at the same price point is excellent.

You can't be an early adopter and then get upset when a newer and/or cheaper model comes out 6 months later. That's just stupid.

Oh, and you want your money back so you can buy the newer model? lol. Wow. The Sony store must laugh at you. Try e-bay.

If I spent my entire life waiting for the next upgrade for a product, I'd never buy anything. "Why get a Presler when Conroe is coming out? Why get C2D when CQD is coming out soon." At the same time, Sony needs to maintain product 'hype' and a presense in the marketplace. It's very typical, time-tested, and effective product strategy.


Yet again, another deplorable article, complaining about topics for which he provides no other perspective. Anyone who tracks sony products could've told you this was going to happen. I thought you were an expert?


Totally Agree!

Being the first to buy the newest is the price you pay - ENJOY THE MOMENT!!!. When a newer/better model comes out, you quickly learn that owning something cool does not necessarily mean OWNING SOMETHING THAT'S COOL FOREVER!

My first example: Around two years ago I purchased a HP zd7000 laptop. Not because I wanted to, but because my trusty compaq presario laptop kicked the bucket and couldn't be repaired, and also because I really liked the zd's 17inch screen and full keyboard. Needless to say, within 1 month a newer zd8000 series was released at the same price with better GPU, CPU etc... Was I pissed off - yes of course! Do I regret my purchase - no. I'm still using it happily today, and the zd8000 is now long obsolete (even its successor the dv8000 has been replaced).

What I learned was this: Be happy with what you have knowing that it will work well. When it does die, you will be happy again to be able to buy something 3 generations cooler than what you cried about way back then.

Second example: Sony camcorder. When they introduced the microMV line I was amazed at how small it was and immediately wanted to get a DCR-IP7BT. Unfortunately, my wallet was not thick enough at the time, and spent the next 18 monts or so waiting to get enough money together and hoping the price would go down. FORTUNATELY, I was able to read a pretty good review of the product online, which expressed a lot of the flaws and bugs I did not previously know.

Eventually I purchased a newer version, the DCR-IP1, for a great price, with a ton of extras and a five year warranty. Right before Sony decided to scrub the format altogether.

Was I disappointed - no way!. I was happy finally getting something that I wanted for so long, getting a better model than what I originally saw, and getting it while it was still available. In fact, from what I can tell, there is still nothing on the market that can beat this in size/performance, and for me that was the winner.

Buy something that you want and like, and when you do just enjoy it. The fact that newer and better gear comes along will not put a dent in your pride if you enjoy using what you already own and it makes you happy.
October 3, 2006 9:41:21 PM

It's just a fact of innovation, I mean I'm gonna be severely regretful I didn't wait 1 more year to get the 2007 G35 Coupe, instead I got the 2006. But hey, I got a year to enjoy the "new toy" so to speak, so it's a trade off, something new is always gonna come out, it's all weighing in opportunity costs. You could technically wait for newest item to come out only to find yourself waiting for something newer than that new item and so on... In that case, when are you actually going to own anything? Be happy with what you got, and not mope about what you don't have, it'll save you alot of grief.
October 4, 2006 3:52:37 AM

Quote:
All companies are out to screw the consumer. That's just the way it is.

Profit comes WAY before customer satisfaction. Look at apple. I actually ordered a macbook a few weeks back after doing a lot of research (I need the mac/win ability) but one day after I ordered it I heard rumors that the core 2 due would come out in nov, dec, or jan. I immediately canceled the order as I can wait that long.

The point is, if these companies had ANY respect for the consumer they would give a heads up, "hey, by January we'll be using core 2 due" for example. This may lead to slightly lower sales for those who can wait, and most won't care btw. But it will give a feeling of caring to the consumer making them MORE likely to buy from a company that is up front and honest.

Sony is the worlds worst company in my opinion. Their products are crap and nothing they make ever lasts. At least in my experience. Look at any vaio or any of their "desktop" stereos'. POS's to the MAX!

Done bitch'n.


Calm down sonny Jim, there's worse than Sony. As you said, look at Apple. That's something bgerber forgot; the iPod. The gen 6 iPod isn't an update so much as an evolution in mediocrity.
October 4, 2006 5:01:56 AM

Don't get me started on the iPods, my pda is more capable, just about as small and just as lite. Who needs their ENTIRE music library with them all the time?????
October 4, 2006 5:30:47 AM

Don't worry, I can't stand them either. I don't hate the product (it's just an inamimate object after all), just the fact that so many people are wasting money on it when there's better stuff for less cash.
October 4, 2006 5:35:43 AM

Which of course fuels the corporate giants to come out with more wasteful devices hoping they catch on like the iPod, stupid consumers make everything cost more for us, the average consumer, and make the ceo's of giant corporations richer. Seriously, who need billions of dollors, or hundreds of millions for that matter? America is almost as bad as Russia used to be, a few wealthy, and the rest are just trying to scrape by. Now if only the corporations would pay their employees for what they are worth....sure profits would go down but the world would be a happier place, and nobody would miss the billionares.
October 4, 2006 6:00:14 AM

Quote:
Which of course fuels the corporate giants to come out with more wasteful devices hoping they catch on like the iPod, stupid consumers make everything cost more for us, the average consumer, and make the ceo's of giant corporations richer. Seriously, who need billions of dollors, or hundreds of millions for that matter? America is almost as bad as Russia used to be, a few wealthy, and the rest are just trying to scrape by. Now if only the corporations would pay their employees for what they are worth....sure profits would go down but the world would be a happier place, and nobody would miss the billionares.


:)  I don't believe I need to add anything else, so I won't.
October 4, 2006 12:59:38 PM

Quote:
Which of course fuels the corporate giants to come out with more wasteful devices hoping they catch on like the iPod, stupid consumers make everything cost more for us, the average consumer, and make the ceo's of giant corporations richer. Seriously, who need billions of dollors, or hundreds of millions for that matter? America is almost as bad as Russia used to be, a few wealthy, and the rest are just trying to scrape by. Now if only the corporations would pay their employees for what they are worth....sure profits would go down but the world would be a happier place, and nobody would miss the billionares.


I am sorry, but what a moronic comment. I guess it is fitting that you have a picture of Hitler as your icon.

Let's see...

1) In Russia, the people who had money had it because they had power. No one was allowed to raise to their rank without the approval of people at their rank, and no one was allowed to question them. If you did then chances are you would be found dead some time later.

2) How much someone needs is irrelevent. The word "need" doesn't even apply here. Oh it did in Russia though... they considered the common man to "need" little more than enough to starve, while they enjoyed their riches and power. Here, the word "need" is irrelevant. Instead the word "want" is what is key. How much do you want, and how badly do you want it? Do you want to be nothing more than a worthless bump on a log and collect a check from the government, to be nothing more than an abjact piece of human flotsom? Well you have that choice. But do you want to work HARD, sacrifice, study hard, and do what it takes to get ahead? Well guess what, you have that choice too. You can make yourself the CEO of a giant corporation, but YOU have to get off your lazy rear end and do it in this country. Yes, some just inherit it, but that maybe accounts for half of the successful people in this country, and almost never accounts for the most successful people in this country. Trust fund babies still go broke if they are idiots, happens all the time.

3) America has one of the largest middle classes in the world. If you aren't a lazy sack of human flotsom, but also don't want to work hard, sacrifice, and do what it takes to succeed, then you can quite easily be a middle class, reasonably happy, worker and live like the rich do in other countries... such as Russia! Do you realize just how many people around the world don't dream of being the super-rich, but simply dream of having the luxuries of the middle class here in America? If you think you're just trying to "scrape by", by the American definition, then maybe you should learn what "scraping by" means in many other places around the world.

As far as paying employees what they are worth... again, do you realize that we have some of the highest average wages from anywhere around the world, and while not the lowest taxes, we aren't taxed anywhere NEAR as much as people in other developed countries?

And, for those people who always say "if only they would pay people more" or "if only they raised the minimum wage"... do you know what happens? If they start paying low-wage earners more then guess what happens? I, as a trained professional, will look at someone who was making less than me and is now making about what I make, go to my boss, and demand a raise because it is insulting that they make what I do and don't do half the work. This happens, on up the chain, and everyone starts making more.

Know what happens then? Really, this is ecconomics 101 stuff... INFLATION! You are able to buy exactly as much as before, but the dollar is now worth less than it was before! Know who this SCREWS? Retired people! People on a fixed income now have the same amount of income, but everything is more expensive and they are able to buy less. Those are the only people that are seriously affected by this "just pay people more" garbage.

But hey... maybe you mean "why not just pay everyone the same, and a decent amount". Know what countries tried to do that? Communist countries like... Russia! At which point everything ends up being too expensive for people to afford and everyone becomes a menial worker because why on EARTH would someone want to go through all the training to become a Doctor when they earn the same amount as a plumber?

So please. Don't continue to spout off that garbage... unless you are one of those lazy sacks of human flotsom who doesn't want to do what it takes to get ahead, who spent thier time in school wasting time and not applying their brain to their studies, and who is truly just 'scraping by'... because then you have no one to blame but yourself in this country.
October 4, 2006 1:15:23 PM

Please don't feed the trolls.

If corporations are so evil, what is he doing on a computer (the result of millions in corporate investments), on the internet (again, the result of millions in corporate investments), and on an enthusiast site, which is based on products all produced by "corporate machines."

Anything you say, good or bad, will fuel his fire. People like MH just like to speak and be heard: it doesn't matter what they say. They invite conflict because it gives them something to do; something to be passionate about. Hence the pic of Hitler: it spawns controversy while supporting his hypocritical dogma.
October 4, 2006 1:30:45 PM

Yes... yes, true. <sighs> It was just so abjactly WRONG. Oh well.
October 4, 2006 3:53:51 PM

It was a good post though :) 
October 4, 2006 5:51:17 PM

Very true, I enjoy upseting people to see what their thought out opinions are; very nice Windaria! I'm firmly middle class and agree with what you are saying. I work my ass off for what in Wyoming is considered a very nice wage. Short of working oil fields.

The point is, Bill gates isn't worth 40 billion dollars, no single human being can be worth that. He has taken advantage of the system to become that wealthy. To some that's the goal in life, to aquire all the wealth they can. Look at the investment industry, they make a fortune by making educated guesses as to what the market will do. Are they productive citizens? Do they produce anything to better humanity? Hell no! To me they are working the system to their own gain with no thought for others. To what end? Just to say my plane is bigger than yours? It's crazy. And a waste of a persons abilities.

The way I look at it, if your job is required to make a product/service successfull, you are no less important than the CEO running the company producing it. Obvious differences in compatancies would have higher pay, but if a janitor makes $10/hr and a ceo makes $100,000/hr, that's not remotely fair. I personally know plenty of millionaire CEO's that wouldn't be where they were if luck hand't shined on them. Some of them are completely inept. Shall I mention HP in all of this? Oops, guess I did.

The income gap for "critical" workers is far too high thanks to the greed of the boards and upper management of companies like this. If American companies were more concerned with quality and output over profit, we could sell goods to these severly low income third world nations for much less, thus bettering the rest of the world.

Yes, if taken too far (Russia) inflation and "needs" become a hinderance, there IS a happy median; we flew past it and keep on going.

Now I'm sure someone is going to say "but MS gives so much to other contries and their humanitarian foundations, etc, etc, etc." Don't bother, for every dollar non-profits put into these projects, maybe 30 cents actually goes to it. If they setup direct financial or equipment donations they would actually HELP these people instead of just advertising their "help" to the rest of the world.

Shall we bring the entertainment industry into this?
October 4, 2006 6:46:52 PM

Quote:
Very true, I enjoy upseting people to see what their thought out opinions are; very nice Windaria! I'm firmly middle class and agree with what you are saying. I work my ass off for what in Wyoming is considered a very nice wage. Short of working oil fields.

The point is, Bill gates isn't worth 40 billion dollars, no single human being can be worth that. He has taken advantage of the system to become that wealthy. To some that's the goal in life, to aquire all the wealth they can. Look at the investment industry, they make a fortune by making educated guesses as to what the market will do. Are they productive citizens? Do they produce anything to better humanity? Hell no! To me they are working the system to their own gain with no thought for others. To what end? Just to say my plane is bigger than yours? It's crazy. And a waste of a persons abilities.

The way I look at it, if your job is required to make a product/service successfull, you are no less important than the CEO running the company producing it. Obvious differences in compatancies would have higher pay, but if a janitor makes $10/hr and a ceo makes $100,000/hr, that's not remotely fair. I personally know plenty of millionaire CEO's that wouldn't be where they were if luck hand't shined on them. Some of them are completely inept. Shall I mention HP in all of this? Oops, guess I did.

The income gap for "critical" workers is far too high thanks to the greed of the boards and upper management of companies like this. If American companies were more concerned with quality and output over profit, we could sell goods to these severly low income third world nations for much less, thus bettering the rest of the world.

Yes, if taken too far (Russia) inflation and "needs" become a hinderance, there IS a happy median; we flew past it and keep on going.

Now I'm sure someone is going to say "but MS gives so much to other contries and their humanitarian foundations, etc, etc, etc." Don't bother, for every dollar non-profits put into these projects, maybe 30 cents actually goes to it. If they setup direct financial or equipment donations they would actually HELP these people instead of just advertising their "help" to the rest of the world.

Shall we bring the entertainment industry into this?


Jobs are like gems. Your value is based more on your rarity than your actual usefulness. It's society, and dispite how you disagree, it works.

Bill Gates happens to be both useful and rare, and useful at the most opportune time. Let's not downplay the intelligence and persistence it took for him to accomplish what he has.

You can be good all by yourself. Hell, when compared to no one else, you're the best! But since we live in a society, with other human beings, we need to work and play within rules society has set. Because of that, you have to provide usefulness and display rarity while negotiating through a complex social system. As a permanant resident of the corporate world, I can tell you that navigating corporate politics is as important as any trade skill you may have. The political system is about mitigation of power, and that's something that's programmed into who we are as humans, and it isn't something thats propgated by any named entity, corporations and governments alike. Management is a mitigation of power, and without management we are not productive. *edit - typo*

You can either learn how to use the system and succeed, or you can sit back complain about how it doesn't revolve around your ideals and fall behind with everyone else.
October 4, 2006 6:54:30 PM

Very well put, as I exist in two corporate chains (two jobs :)  ) I understand fully. I guess you could take my ramblings as "the way it should be in my perfect world.

I certainly wouldn't say Bill Gates isn't worth anything, he is indeed a very smart individual. He should have more money than most, but having as much as he does tells me there is indeed something wrong with our economics.

I guess I'm different from most, learning the system to succeed isn't my goal in life. Doing my jobs to the utmost of my ability while still enjoying them is my goal and knowing that I helped the community makes me feel better than having a crap load of money. If it doens't bring me the big bucks, fine, at least I won't feel guilty at the end of the day because I made as much in one day as the average worker makes in their whole life.
October 4, 2006 8:02:29 PM

Quote:
Very well put, as I exist in two corporate chains (two jobs :)  ) I understand fully. I guess you could take my ramblings as "the way it should be in my perfect world.

I certainly wouldn't say Bill Gates isn't worth anything, he is indeed a very smart individual. He should have more money than most, but having as much as he does tells me there is indeed something wrong with our economics.

I guess I'm different from most, learning the system to succeed isn't my goal in life. Doing my jobs to the utmost of my ability while still enjoying them is my goal and knowing that I helped the community makes me feel better than having a crap load of money. If it doens't bring me the big bucks, fine, at least I won't feel guilty at the end of the day because I made as much in one day as the average worker makes in their whole life.


I understand. Sorry for being so harsh. I'm one of the fortunate ones that just so happens to enjoy and have a natural talent for something both rare and valuable (Software Engineering). One of my first jobs was at KFC, and I can tell you I worked at least twice as hard there for a fraction of the money. Fortunately this is a self-correcting mechanism, and will be a short chapter in history since automation systems (robotics, AI) will soon take over the simple jobs, forcing people to be educated or unemployed. Unions will keep paid labor alive long enough for other countries to implement inexpensive automated solutions, forcing the companies that have unions to either restructure or be forced out of business. The US will suffer greatly in this regard over the next century.

The problem lies in the government and the inability for the US government, in particular, to recognize these things, which is apparant in the rising poverty, rising unemployment, and shrinking of the middle-class. It is even more apparant when you take into account our trade deficit. This reinforces the phrase "The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer." Again, a self-correcting mechanism, since we'll soon be unable to compete in the global marketplace and slide into recession (and possibly depression). This will force more a more drastic restructuring of the governement as the people become disgruntled (assuming the bigger, local economic issues aren't addressed, such as the declining manufacturing sector and trade deficit).

In short, society works because it is self-correcting. Unfortunately changes in society happen slowly, especially with regards to changes related to culture. The US has developed a commercial culture with little participation in governemnt (despite the fact that we're a democracy). This will change, but it will take time, and at least 1 or 2 more "Bush's." Hopefully a rare, talented leader will step up. A hero one might say. Until then, the loopholes in our society will continue to be exploited for the benefit of those already in power. It isn't anything new; governments have been doing it for years.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I agree that the system is flawed, but I disgaree that it is beyond repair. It just takes a time; usually more than a single lifetime. In my lifetime, I just treat it like a video game. Exploit the bugs it until they get patched. Maybe, if I play my cards right, I can be the one to patch bugs. Change cannot be instituted without power.
October 4, 2006 8:06:37 PM

Excellent outlook. I'd rather patch the bugs then exploit them as well. Course you have to exploit some to make it around here, just try to do it fairly. If there is such a thing.
October 5, 2006 12:00:57 AM

It's not just the confusing plethora of models - there's a real problem with the decreasing quality of LCD screens used in laptops, usually hidden behind marketing bs like "Ultrasharp", "TrueLife", "ColourShine", etc.

There seems to be a "pixel race" going on at the same time, and this is the only information that consumers have as to the quality of the screens. However, these new screens with amazing names (WSXGA+, etc) and stupendous resolutions have lousy clarity, poor viewing angles, backlighting problems, poor colour definition and fidelity, tiny fonts (or mangled program window layouts, take your pick), irritating reflections, and are literally giving users headaches.

Could Toms perhaps look into this issue and compare the screens of older laptops to some newer ones ?
October 5, 2006 12:10:11 AM

No doubt, my IBM T30, and Dell Inspiron 4000 have awsome 14" screens, granted max res is 1024x768 they are very clear and easy on the eyes, no glare. My IBM T41 however, even though it's a nice clear screen with no glare, is too hard to read with all the small text stuff I do at it's 1400x1050 native res. I limit it to my visio drawings.

I don't care for the glossy screens, no matter what the manufacturer says they all look the same to me and terrible outdoors. But it appears we will have no choice in the matter in the near future. It's very hard to find non glare models these days.
October 5, 2006 1:23:03 AM

What was good, even real good becomes bad so soon? Your reasoning is childish your article bad. If something is good it remains good. My system is great and it's years old. I have an AMD 64 3000 CPU. I don't think for a moment anyone owes me more CPU just cause somethong newer and faster came out. I bought it with my money on the terms set by the retailer and the company. I had a choice. I knew something more would come along. You're the type of guy that wouldn't honor a contract in sports.

Nuts to you

Ahumado
October 5, 2006 10:23:01 AM

The man has some very good points. Notebook manufacturers have a terrible record when one looks at the lifecycle of their product lines and support for "obsolete" models. John Dvorak (PC Magazine) wrote about this issue 4 years ago, when there were many fewer notebook manufacturers and models out there. Things have not gotten better.

I have dierct observational experience of the lack of interest these companies have in supporting their existing user base. Both cases involve different major manufacturers.

In the first case, a friend had purchased a new Hitachi notebook/laptop in late 1997. Shortly after, Windows 98 was released. My friend attempted to install the new version of Windows to get better USB support. It wouldn't work. He had to go back to Windows 95. Follow up investigation found that the manufacturer knew that the system would not support Win 98. And they had no intention of enabling support for the new OS - at any time. If my buddy wanted a notebook that supported Windows 98, he had to buy a new system. And remeber, at that time, notebooks were a lot more expensive than desktop systems, which were a lot more expensive than they are now.

The other example occured in 2001. At the time I was working for a small consulting company. One of our clients purchased a number of Tosiba notebooks for amnagers in February. Eventually they wanted to get some additional AC adapters for the systems. The first time this happened, we were able to find the model number on the manufacturers web site. This was in early May. By early June, the product was no longer listed on the web site and the manufacturer indicated that these were no longer manufactured or available. Even better, there was no replacement available. But the hardware was still working perfectly.

Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude. Regarding the issue of boutique models specifically manufactured for one retailer or another, those models are normally not listed on the manufacturer's support pages. Even better, the retailer refers one to the manufacturer for support. I have been through this process as well.

This is one of the more important reasons why I really don't like notebook systems. I won't even go into the isssue of propriety implemetations of Windows, the excessive price of repalcement components or the fact that there is absolutely no standardization of physical structure for things like DVD drives.

Notebook manufacturrs have much to answer for.
October 5, 2006 6:45:05 PM

Quote:
Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude.


Why is that exactly? Yuo know what they say about opinions: "mine is always right."

Your post made a better article the article in question. All he did in his article is complain about how technology progresses faster than he and his buddies can purchase it. Then he calls to get a refund and wonders why he's getting the run-around. :roll: He provided no real examples other than the two products from which he suffers both actual and empathetic buyer's remorse. Wow.

"A UMPC that's not upgradable? No way! I want my money back so I can get the new one."

There's a good laugh.

Things aren't as bad as they used to be. In fact, laptops don't go obsolete as often as they used to. In fact, the company that currently employs me purchases laptops in bulk because they have a longer shelf-life and resale value than desktops.

It's a rant that provides no real value other than a someone's personal experience. It sites no unbiased examples or trends, nor does it provide a perspective as to why things are they way that they are.

It's not an article: It's a blog entry. 1/2 of the internet community takes 30 minutes to drum up a pointless rant about their day-to-day experiences. Why are we subject to it on THG is the question I want answered.


"Who designed this crap? The case of the exploding laptop"
"Who designed this crap? The universal remote."
"Who designed this crap? The corporate machine and why I should be paid more."
"Who designed this crap? The internet is [too slow][too unsafe][unreliable]."
"Who designed this crap? The case of the driver that killed my comp."

Wow that was hard. MobilityGuru's got work for the next month now.
October 6, 2006 2:47:22 PM

Well since you guys said good post, thanks, and since you're not going to be a troll I'll reply to this one too.

What curious words you use... fair and need. Those words also have no business being used in our ecconomy and country. Why? Simple... who are you, who am I, who is ANYONE to determine what is fair or what the need is? If someone is so mentally sick as to believe that they NEED billions, then that is their choice. And if they put their abilities to gaming the system then good for them. Not my personal choice, but that is fine. As for fair... not it isn't, and it can't be.

Why? Simple... you say that there is a happy medium, between here and Russia. The problem is that there isn't because, for there to be a happy medium, there has to be a body that enforces that medium. That body would be the government, and that body, by it's very nature, is incapable of doing such a thing.

For example, can you cite even one country that has such a happy medium? The problem is that you can't. People like to cite some of the socialist countries in eurpoe, even the UK, but the problem is that their 'happy medium' is NOT any better than here. The average American still lives a far more rich life than the average European.

For example, my boss is from the UK, and whenever I make the mistake of assuming that things must be just as good there as they are here in some way shape or form, he looks at me like I am stark raving mad. He has lived here for some time and, while he loves where he comes from, he wouldn't ever say they have it better than here.

And as for what you say for non-proffit companies, not exactly true. First and foremost, the Government has one of the worst ratios in terms of giving. Take Social Security. You would make more money over the course of your life if you were forced to put your own social security money in a bank. People like to talk about the terrors of privitization of social security as if it isn't done anywhere... well, down here in Texas, did you know that Galveston county has privitized social security? They are the only county in the country, apparently, that has that... and know what? They wouldn't trade it in for all the tea in china. They have NO desire to switch to the federal system. Why? Simple, since the government is out of it, they get more of their money.

So, since you mention charities, some may give on 30%, and some give closer to 95% or more. This is where it becomes the responsibility of the giver to make sure the institution they are giving through is an institution that will make a difference. Whatever the case, this method is much better than letting the Government handle it.

So yes, there may be a happy medium possible... just not with humans, because you would have to put humans in control of it.
October 6, 2006 3:38:02 PM

Yes people would need to achive the happy medium themselves. Unfourtunately it's against human nature. The "good" people would have to heavily outweigh the "gready" and "bad" people. It's fiction that this would occur, I understand that. My point is basically that people need to try harder to be better people or this world will never improve.
October 6, 2006 3:49:50 PM

Well, at least you picked a name that describes you...Windaria.
What a pile of poo-poo.

Ahumado
October 7, 2006 9:48:57 AM

other than Sony not offering any upgrade program there is nothing that you can complain about. The quick upgrade cycle is an industry standard and has been the same way ( more or less ) ever since I can remember. Yes, the 2-3 month upgrade schedule is a bit extreme but then again Sony said that this was a test product ... Plus, if you are going to complain about products why chose Sony alone? This whole change-a-few-small-things-and-release-a-new-product tactics is pretty much econ. 101 + marketing 101 so you really shouldn't be surprised. Anybody who has been following the computer industry for about an year or so would know that early adopters are the ones to suffer ALWAY.

Anyway, I really didn't know that Sony had no upgrade policy so thanks for the info.
October 7, 2006 1:01:24 PM

Whizzard9992 wrote:

Quote:

Those of you here who have made disparaging remarks about Mr. Gerber "whining" would be wise to step back and lose the attitude.


Why is that exactly? Yuo know what they say about opinions: "mine is always right."


Opinions are like buttholes - everyone has them. But why do you assume that anyone is interested in either of yours? And on what basis do you assume that your opinion is either right or any more valid than any-one else's?

Strangely enough, it has been my experience that opinions, unsupported by anything other than ego, wishful thinking, denial and self-delusion are even less useful than the stuff that periodically emerges out of buttholes. At least one can use that stuff for fertilizer.

At the very least, it would be nice if you could support your opinion with some real examples. As I did to support my opinion about notebooks. Which elevates the comment from the level of opinion to that of an argument. And if you and I are entitled to hold and express our opinions, why isn't Mr. Gerber?

Perusing the thread is amusing, in a bleak sort of way. A lot of "philosophical" noise and mutual admiration and backscratching. Unfortunately, this does not address the core issues of the article. Can we stay on topic here?

The case of the Sony notebook is one of those gray-area issues that is part of life. Unfortunately, this is very far into the dark end of the scale. Given the lead times involved in product development, it is not unreasonable to assume that the upgrade version was being developed in parallel with the original model, just somewhat later.

Given the extremely short time (even for notebooks) between the release of the two models, Sony "should" have offered owners of the original model an upgrade exchange path for a reasonable fee (which would be significantly less than the cost of the new model, but still enough to give Sony a decent profit).

Sony could then have turned around and contributed the exchanged systems to charity, gaining good PR, not to mention a tax write-off, while still making money. Sony could have come out looking absolutely brilliant. They have designed and produced an amazing, innovative product - again (can you say Walkman or Discman?), they are taking excellent care of their customer base, and they are being socially responsible. Normally, a company pays people to beta test their products, not the other way around, as in this case. Sony used the purchasers of the original model as advanced beta testers and then expected to gouge these people if they wanted the "new and improved" product.

But then, Sony is the company that installed root-kits on peoples computers to "protect" some music copyrights. And then worked very hard to spin this into a "good thing". Despite the fact that the specific approach used violates legitimate and fair use rights. Not to mention compromising a bunch of systems, some of which are parts of sensitive networks like security systems. Hopefully, the ramifications of this incident are clear to all. A fine, upstanding corporate citizen is Sony. NOT! By the way, what is YOUR good rep worth to you?

Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, it is a fact that the first obligation of a company is to make a profit. But there are legitimate and illegitimate ways to do this. Can you say ENRON, for example?

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. And Sony, along with many others, is definitely a sinner. Which was the core issue of Mr. Gerber's article.

Funny how a genuine understanding of morals, ethics and philosophy can lead to an approach and process that profits ALL members of society. As opposed to the dreck raised in Mr. Gerber's article and many of the posts in this thread.
October 7, 2006 2:13:41 PM

I agree with some of the stuff you wrote ( i.e. every one has an opinion and none and a lot of the post are too harsh on the writer ) but Enron and the Bible in the same post are a little bit too much for my taste.
Also you should know that Sony/BMG and Sony Computers might as well be 2 separate companies. Each devision has it's own CEO and it's own business strategy etc. So using Sony BMG as an example of Sony Computers' dubious business practices is totally inadequate. Also my might want to consider the fact that every company exists in order to make money ( granted that there are laws limiting their actions ).
October 7, 2006 8:47:22 PM

Quote:

Strangely enough, it has been my experience that opinions, unsupported by anything other than ego, wishful thinking, denial and self-delusion are even less useful than the stuff that periodically emerges out of buttholes. At least one can use that stuff for fertilizer.


That's funny because I always thought an opnion was a personal perspective; a point-of-view. I guess the next time someone says to me they're going to another doctor to get a second 'opinion', I'll be sure to tell them they're wasting their time with a doctor's ego, wishful thinking, denial and self-delusion.

Quote:

And if you and I are entitled to hold and express our opinions, why isn't Mr. Gerber?


There are plenty of places for opinions. The internet loves opinions. I come to THG for articles, as most do. I don't care that he expresses his opinion, but for what reason does his opinion deserve to be placed beside real, substanciated articles? I think it's a great rant. It's a poor article.

Quote:

{...}
Can we stay on topic here?
{...}
Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, it is a fact that the first obligation of a company is to make a profit. But there are legitimate and illegitimate ways to do this. Can you say ENRON, for example?


Way to stay on topic. You really showed us.

Quote:

The case of the Sony notebook is one of those gray-area issues that is part of life. Unfortunately, this is very far into the dark end of the scale. Given the lead times involved in product development, it is not unreasonable to assume that the upgrade version was being developed in parallel with the original model, just somewhat later.

Given the extremely short time (even for notebooks) between the release of the two models, Sony "should" have offered owners of the original model an upgrade exchange path for a reasonable fee (which would be significantly less than the cost of the new model, but still enough to give Sony a decent profit).

Sony could then have turned around and contributed the exchanged systems to charity, gaining good PR, not to mention a tax write-off, while still making money. Sony could have come out looking absolutely brilliant. They have designed and produced an amazing, innovative product - again (can you say Walkman or Discman?), they are taking excellent care of their customer base, and they are being socially responsible. Normally, a company pays people to beta test their products, not the other way around, as in this case. Sony used the purchasers of the original model as advanced beta testers and then expected to gouge these people if they wanted the "new and improved" product.


Lots of opinionated info here under the guise of fact.You're making a lot of conclusions based upon assumptions. Upgrading modular components doesn't have a large development lead-time.

Quote:

As opposed to the dreck raised in Mr. Gerber's article and many of the posts in this thread.


People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
October 9, 2006 5:27:53 PM

To Whizzard9992:

Well. well. It seems a few buttons were pushed - pretty hard too. Poor booboolah has to resort to straw-man arguments too.

Like the term "theory", the term "opinion" has variable meaning depending on the context and application it is used in. Since you are using a professional case to try and slag my comment about unsubstantiated personal opinion, lets work through this.

First, a physician has recieved several years of higher education and training. Second one year of practical experirnce aka internship. Third more experience after licensing. Last, what the docter is atually giving you is an assessment and a judgement of your situation. In this context, a doctor's opinion is exactly the same sort of thing thing as a judicial opinion - another term for a judgement. By the way, why is mal-practice insurance necessary? And why do you assume that a given doctor will reach the correct conclusion about a specific case, even if the patient has told the doctor everything the doctor needs to know? Oh yeah, doctors are human too- with all the potential for ego, pride and other frailties of said state. Now, if I had been making suggestions about specific medical situations, without proving competence, you would have point. But that's not the case here. I love straw-man arguments like this one - they speak volumes about the individual making them.

On the issue "plenty of places for opinions..." THG is also a place where one can fiind plenty of those. The very title of the column you are having so much trouble with is a crystal-clear indication that it is an opinion piece. After all, one person's crap is another person's brilliant design or execution. Deal with it. And some of your posts on this thread are what else, if not personal opinions? You really like straw-man arguments.

The long quote about Sony's approach that you claim is off topic shows that you didn't understand one of the fundamental points in Mr. Gerber's article. To wit, that many of the "inspired" product releases and marketing gimmicks are exclusively about profiteering.

I have a friend who designs, manufactures and sells a line of accessory cards and I/O devices for PCs. Quite sucessfully and pretty innovative devices. Some of which have gotten good reviews from THG. Based on converstaions with him, changing features and improving performance on a specific device is not as quick a process as you seem to think it is. Given the expertise my buddy has vs your unknown level of same, but based on the content of some of your other posts, I see another straw-man argument here.

Glass houses indeed.


To cg0def

The comments about the Seven Deadly Sins are appropos - here's why.

The list is indeed originally a theological construct of the early Christian church, but I am sure that all of the major religions have something similar, as do the secular philosophies. Now, the church uses the list as a moral instruction and warning about the death of the soul and time in hell. But the seven deadly sins are not limited to destruction of the soul. They are quite literally lethal. The reason they are literally lethal is because over-indulgence makes one stupid. Really stupid behaviour usually has severe negative consequences, including death - see the Darwin Awards. The context in which I use the list is secular and real-time. Greed is one of them and Sony has not been "playing well with others". In either of the cases cited.

Your observation that Sony computer and Sony/BMG are two seperate legal entities is correct, and I thank you for the reminder. Nevertheless, they are both part of the Sony group and are subsidiaries of the parent. Given the way that Japanese corporations are known to operate (very tight vertical intergration and hierarcichal authority), it was not unreasonable for me to link the two together in terms of bad corporate attitude and behaviour. It may very well be that instructions from head office were misinterpreted or overdone. But I don't think so, given Sony's tendency to create proprietary formats which only work in Sony products.

I did state quite clearly that the first obligation of a company is to make a profit, or at least break even. Not sure how you missed it.

But there are many ways to make a profit. The issue isn't the illegal ones. It is the still-legal but dubious methods. As a business approach, "because I can" is not the best. This is where so many of the regulations that business whines about originate. Enron is an extreme example of corporate malfeasence. Greed, and pride rear up and look at the consequences. The case of the Sony notebook is a mild example of the same thing. An listen to the whining about the new corproate governance rules introduced after Enron et al. Best part is that these clowns still don't get it - see current situation at HP for instance.
October 9, 2006 5:43:32 PM

The wizards are warring! You miss spelled apropos, drop one of the p's. At least you spelled wizard right though :) 
October 9, 2006 10:04:23 PM

I know that arguing online is about the dumbest thing one can do but ....
first of all I don't see why you felt that it was necessary to explain Christian dogma to me but I can assure you that I am quite familiar with it. What I was getting to was that Christian morale has very little to do with the way Sony Corp. or any other corporation, for that matter, does business.

Also while Japanese corporations have a very tightly integrated vertical structure this does not really apply to Japanese corporations who have gone global ( well it does but mostly to the Japanese branches ). In those cases the different division have quite independent governance but they do share the same general business mission. So the way Sony/BMG does business has very little to do with the way Sony Computers does. Also the goal of no firm is to IPO is to break even. If in the general microecon. model firms try to achieve an equilibrium this by no means is the same as a firm breaking out even. In the case of Sony you have millions of stock holders who would be quite unsatisfied with Sony if they were to just break even. ( and please don't cite the Bible about how this constitutes greed because I didn't invent the system )

Also I hope that you are not implying that by manufacturing new models too often Sony is breaking any laws because I can assure you that no such laws exist or would exist any time soon. Sony does honor their warranty policy for the older models and this is about the only obligation that they have. It is up to the company to give you an upgrade option and it is up to you to chose whether or not you would buy from them. If enough people express a desire for such an option Sony would have no choice but to offer it. But the bottom line is that this particular case is not even remotely the same as what happened with Enron and HP.

And just for future reference, it's great that you are religious but religion is more of a guide to the virtues that you should cultivate than an answer sheet to every question that you might ever have.
October 9, 2006 10:50:23 PM

Quote:
The wizards are warring! You miss spelled apropos, drop one of the p's. At least you spelled wizard right though :) 


And you didn't spell "miss spelled" right - it's normally written as one word, with only one "s". Anyways, which dictionary are you using?

Reviewing my posts, I note other examples of either misspellings or typing errors. Which you neglect to either mention or raise. Why is that?

And your point is? Mine, as is clearly evident, is on top of my head.

I note that you have neglected to comment on the content of the discussion. Given the content of your own posts, why is that?

Warring "wizards" - now there's a good joke.

More like gross failures of logic and critical thinking on the part of Whizzard9992. Not to mention, apparrantly (I could be wrong here, if so I appologise ), poorly/narrowly read, ignorant of history (both US and world) and uninterested in current affairs outside the US. And, even in US context, not paying attention to either US situation, history or bigger world picture.

Who says s/he is, and I quote: "I'm one of the fortunate ones that just so happens to enjoy and have a natural talent for something both rare and valuable (Software Engineering)." If the content of this person's posts here in this thread is anything to go by, it would be be a very good idea to find out where s/he works and avoid anything that company produces like one would avoid the plague.

The quality of logic and thinking, not to mention the penchant for ad-hominim attacks and straw-man arguments on/against posters this person disagrees with, is not what one could call encouraging. Especially when one considers what the products of this persons labour are - software. That possibly runs, or controls, critical infrastructure applications like water treatment or power generation plants. Do you remember the power blackout of August 2003? And, even if the software produced by Whizzard9992 and their employer is of a less critical nature than the cases cited, given the demonstrated shortcomings in both logical and critical thinking by this poster, why would anyone even consider doing business with this outfit?

As far as your comments on economics, status/situation of the middle class, and executive pay etc. go you are bang on - in my considerd opinion. Funny how some "Western Democracies" are moving towards the socio-econimic and political status typical of, for example, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and many South American "republics" in the 70's to the present You may want to check out www.workingforchange.org for further info/support.

Windaria's posts make it quite clear that this person is a follower of Ayn Rand's philosophies of utilitarianism and related "thinking". Demonstrably bankrupt, empty, stupid, failed and utterly counterproductive thinking and approach to society. Best summarized and defined by the Margret Thatcher's statement: "There is no such thing as society". Wrong again. Thatcher was a contemporary of Reagan - they were best buddies. And look at the consequences of their logic and thinking.

Windaria and fellow thinkers have gifted us with situations like Walkerton, Ontario, Canada 2000, where a number of people died due to contaminated water. Look up the details and facts. Most striking aspect is so-called "Common-Sense Revolution" of Harris Whizz-kids, which is amazingly similar to Ryand's outlook and philosophy. The only reasonable comment to make to Windaria and ilk is: slither back under your rock and FOAD.

Not directly on topic, but definitely related in the context of business and political attitudes and approaches to "the most important component of the chain - the customer". You know, the one who is " KING" - except when, etc. And who is the "sucker" when it comes time to "upgrade".

The famous quote by P.T. Barnum about "suckers" comes to mind for some strange reason.
October 9, 2006 11:39:55 PM

I'm just giving you crap, and I checked the spelling at dictionary.com as it looked slightly off to me. Who know's they may be wrong.

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And your point is? Mine, as is clearly evident, is on top of my head.


Mine is my finger, just look at my avatar. :) 
October 10, 2006 6:59:40 AM

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The famous quote by P.T. Barnum about "suckers" comes to mind for some strange reason.


Here's something that you might want to know about the famous quote which like so many other *famous* quotes is actually attributed to the wrong person.

P.T. Barnum quote

Also you should know that the customer is king slogan applies only to marketing and marketing usually has very little to do with the design of business strategies and the creation of new services/goods. The only way for Sony to decide offering an upgrade policy IS for them to view this as a requirement for at least sustaining the current number of customers ( also related to marketing ) which is currently not the case. There is also the highly improbable option of passing a law that requires compute companies to offer an upgrade policy. This could work say in Japan but considering the political situation in the states this is highly unlikely. Outside CA you can't even force computer manufacturers to even recycle old computer and even in CA it's not the manufacturer that does the recycling and a great deal of the cost is paid by the consumer. ( which is always the case with new taxes )
Anyway this is very much off topic.
October 11, 2006 12:06:59 AM

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I know that arguing online is about the dumbest thing one can do but ....
first of all I don't see why you felt that it was necessary to explain Christian dogma to me but I can assure you that I am quite familiar with it. What I was getting to was that Christian morale has very little to do with the way Sony Corp. or any other corporation, for that matter, does business.

Also while Japanese corporations have a very tightly integrated vertical structure this does not really apply to Japanese corporations who have gone global ( well it does but mostly to the Japanese branches ). In those cases the different division have quite independent governance but they do share the same general business mission. So the way Sony/BMG does business has very little to do with the way Sony Computers does. Also the goal of no firm is to IPO is to break even. If in the general microecon. model firms try to achieve an equilibrium this by no means is the same as a firm breaking out even. In the case of Sony you have millions of stock holders who would be quite unsatisfied with Sony if they were to just break even. ( and please don't cite the Bible about how this constitutes greed because I didn't invent the system )

Also I hope that you are not implying that by manufacturing new models too often Sony is breaking any laws because I can assure you that no such laws exist or would exist any time soon. Sony does honor their warranty policy for the older models and this is about the only obligation that they have. It is up to the company to give you an upgrade option and it is up to you to chose whether or not you would buy from them. If enough people express a desire for such an option Sony would have no choice but to offer it. But the bottom line is that this particular case is not even remotely the same as what happened with Enron and HP.

And just for future reference, it's great that you are religious but religion is more of a guide to the virtues that you should cultivate than an answer sheet to every question that you might ever have.



So who is arguing? I thought this was an interesting and useful discussion and exchange of ideas and information.

On to issues.

Well, I don't recall indicating that I am religious. And I wasn't quoting dogma either - I was referencing a very useful concept for shorthand reasons. Just because someone uses a particular reference or concept that is religion-based either in origin or context does not necessarily make one religious. It does show a certain level of general knowledge, ability to think conceptually and apply these concepts outside the box they originated in. In any case, I did state quite clearly that I was using the concept in a secular, real-time mode. You may recall the reference to the Darwin Awards? And, given your continued confusion about the extent of my religiousness, it was necessary to provide the backgrounder. It is becoming clear that you are indulging in an involuntary reflex reaction to the use of references to concepts connected to organized religion. You may want to step back a bit and carefully re-read my other posts. Also, check your assumptions.

On the issue of what is the purpose and duty of a corporation, I repeat (for the third time) that the first and most important job of ANY business is to earn a PROFIT. Sometimes, circumstances make it impossible for a company to make a profit, for whatever reason. When this happens, it is preferrable for a company to break even, rather than lose money. Which part of this is in conflict with general economic theory or normal business practice? And there is nothing wrong with profit in and of itself. Where exactly did you get the idea that I have a problem with the concept? But, profiteering is a legally-defined concept, and is "discouraged". Vernacular terms for profiteering include price-gouging. As I have noted elsewhere, there is more than one way to make a profit. Some of which are dubious.


As far as your comments re "morality" (of whatever religious context) and business practices being almost mutually exclusive go, in principle, yeah you're right. But only up to a point. Why are there so many laws and regulations to control all aspects of conducting business on the books? These serve one fundamental purpose - to enforce "moral" behaviour on the business world. Not out of specific religious concerns, but in the interests of all members of society and the society itself. I don't need to quote or reference ANY religious text or scripture to make legitimate observations about poor or unacceptable human behaviour. These are cold, hard facts. And many secular experiment in both psychology and sociology demonstrate that the adoption of "religiously moral" behaviour tend to produce greater benefit for a larger percentage of the participants than "immoral" behaviour. While we are on the topic of religion, you may want to consider why religion was invented in the first place, and what one of the more critical functions of any religion is. Specifically, social control and to minimize the behaviours that lead to conflict and therefore social collapse.

With respect to your comments about me possibly suggesting that the pace of innovation and subsequent release of "new and improved" product(s) by Sony, or any other company, all I can say is HUH? Where did you get that idea? I don't think that at all. I do think that companies that release significant upgrades to products such as the notebook cited in the article "should" offer existing, registerd owners of the earlier model a reasonable upgrade path . Now, I did say in an earlier post the path should ensure that both sides benefit, in that the company should make a reasonable profit, and the owners of the earlier model shoould get a break on the price of the new model. I should have added a limited time window for the upgrade. I also suggested how Sony could have won twice from the process - go re-read the post. And then tell me again that I don't understand micro or macro ecnomic principles.

"Global" corporations have tended to demonstrate indulgance in dubious and questionable practrices and ethics at a surprisingly high rate, depending especially on the industry. What is particularly striking in many of the examples that have been documented is the frequency of (speaking charitably) delinquent behaviour in jurisdictions with less stringent legislation and enforcement than in the home country of said corporations, most of which are Western-based. Some Canadian resource extraction companies and their performance in Africa come to mind.

With respect to your follow-up post re "famous" quotes, thank you very much. Most interesting and enlightening. Sort of like the "let them eat cake" comment incorrectly attributed to Marie Antoinnette.

Your observations re "the customer is king" comment are basically correct. Unfortunately they also indicate that you weren't paying attention to what I actually wrote. If you re-read the section of the post, you will see that I was actually slagging the concept.

Why are you having so much difficulty in reading and understanding my posts?
October 11, 2006 12:41:55 AM

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Why are you having so much difficulty in reading and understanding my posts?


Probably because they are so damn long.
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