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Author Topic: Apple is a religion...
aspectre
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...according to MartinLindstrom during an NPR interview about Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. ie The same regions light up during a brain scan of an Apple fan discussing Apple as that of a religious devotee discussing God.
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Elmer's Glue
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Well we already knew that... the real question is which is more expensive, the Apple religion, or Mormon tithing?
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Raymond Arnold
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That's actually kinda interesting. Not much else to say about it though.
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MightyCow
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Does that mean that religion is just spiritual consumerism, or that Steve Jobs is the second coming?
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dantesparadigm
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Well, he did kind of come back from the dead...
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The Rabbit
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I am posting from a MacBook Air!
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aspectre
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Interesting that seeing an anti-tobacco warning triggers a craving to smoke a cigarette.
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dantesparadigm
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Interesting that seeing an anti-tobacco warning triggers a craving to smoke a cigarette.

I have empirical evidence to support this.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
...according to MartinLindstrom during an NPR interview about Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. ie The same regions light up during a brain scan of an Apple fan discussing Apple as that of a religious devotee discussing God.

You fail to identify the alternative explanation, that God is a product. [Wink]
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Interesting that seeing an anti-tobacco warning triggers a craving to smoke a cigarette.

Watching Supersize Me triggered a craving for a McDonald's hamburger in me, and I'm not a fan of McDonal's hamburgers.
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Orincoro
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Did watching Fast Food Nation give you a hankering for taking sexual advantage of immigrant workers?
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Eduardo_Sauron
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I'm posting from my Ipod touch :-). Now, I never was such an apple fan, but I must say that they sure come up with impressive pieces of hardware. I'm not as impressed with Itunes, though, since I must run it in a virtualized environmemt ( I'm an Ubuntu linux user) just to synch my data. Maybe If I was ready to jump the dragon and go all mac, I'd cranck my fanboyism up a notch, but until then, I remain an agnostic (Jobs just might be the one, but he still meed to prove himself, IMHO). ;-)
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Orincoro
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Itunes is pretty crappy as a program. At this point I am constantly frustrated by its lack of options and its obstinant refusal to do certain VERY basic things.

For instance, you can't order playlists in anything other than alphabetical order, which is just STUPID. the podcast portion of the program stops downloading my podcasts if I miss a few for a couple weeks, and it NEVER, EVER, gives me the option of turning that stupid little feature off, so I constantly have to restart my podcasts because of the program's unwillingness to change.

It won't let you decide what goes in "Audibooks," and only allows Audible files there, even though I have dozens of other audiobooks that must be stored in "music."

there are dozens of little annoyances. The only good it does is sync well with my ipod and happen to be better than most programs I have used.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
For instance, you can't order playlists in anything other than alphabetical order, which is just STUPID

Um, you can put them in order by length of song, number of times played, artist or album (which is another forum of alphebetical order since that's how it ranks the artists but still, different). Any of the categories in the top you can click on to order them by.

What order do you want them in, anyway?

Anyways, I disagree that the anti-smoking labels are a complete waste of time, assuming they produce at least some effect in NON smokers (which I thought was the point). However, that may be harder to study, since we evidently can't trust what people say, and the brains of a non-smoker wouldn't respond positively to an ad for something they're not addicted to yet (I'd think).

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dantesparadigm
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You can also just click and drag to rearrange the order. Or sort by rating.

Assuming your software is updated:

To change them to audio books, select the files in question, press apple I, or go file, get info, tab over to options, change media kind to audiobooks.

I don't do podcasts, but I'm sure there's an option to adjust that.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
For instance, you can't order playlists in anything other than alphabetical order, which is just STUPID

Um, you can put them in order by length of song, number of times played, artist or album (which is another forum of alphebetical order since that's how it ranks the artists but still, different). Any of the categories in the top you can click on to order them by.
The playlists as in, the totality of the playlists. So, my Radiohead playlist, my sleeping playlist, my jogging playlist. One cannot control the order of these without numbering them individually or attaching dashes or other symbols to them. Ya know?
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Orincoro
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Thanks Dante, that must be a fairly new feature, because I didn't notice it before.


As for playlist ordering- is there a way to order your playlists (again, as in all your playlists, not the songs in them), in any way other than Alphabetical?

Edit: I'll add that changing the media type to "audiobook" does not help me very much because some of my audiobooks are in individual media files. For instance, I have 1776 in mp3, and there are over 100 files. There is no way to package those files in itunes into an "audiobook" package, and there is no way to have an "audiobook" playlist that is not in the music section, so my place within the book can still not be saved between sessions, only my place within an individual file. Also, this will clutter my audiobook section with hundreds of small files, when all I want is titles. There is no option to view a cover flow in audiobooks on the ipod.

Many of these problems could be solved if there was an option in itunes to merge files. As it is, you can merge files on a CD as you import it, but you can't merge files in your library? Why the hell not?

Overall, I feel these are problems that should have been solved by apple a long time ago. Do none of their designers use the program to do the things I do?

[ December 10, 2008, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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dantesparadigm
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I see what you're saying now. No, alphabetizing is your only option. Try sorting your playlists using "playlist folders" and smart playlists. I was annoyed by the same thing and I ended up prioritizing by numbering the titles.I emailed my friend at Apple about it, it's an easy fix, maybe in the next update.

As far as merging files is concerned, iTunes can't do it. However, you can do it pretty rapidly with quicktime, or any number of third party applications.

iTunes has its shortcomings, but it's better than anything else I've used.

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Jon Boy
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Apple in Court Case: No Reasonable Person Would Believe Our Ads
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rivka
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. . .

Wow.

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
The playlists as in, the totality of the playlists. So, my Radiohead playlist, my sleeping playlist, my jogging playlist. One cannot control the order of these without numbering them individually or attaching dashes or other symbols to them. Ya know?
Select the group of songs you want to order. Right click and "get info." Under "info" find "track _ of _" fill in the number of songs. Also give the grouping a name. Click the tab at the top for "options." Set "remember position" to "yes." (I also change "gapless album" to yes, especially for Pink Floyd albums). Click "OK." Now select each song in turn, and do a "get info." Track number will now read "_ of 12" (or whatever) Fill in the track number for each song.
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Dagonee
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An offer of a Harrier Jet for 7,000,000 Pepsi Points is one that no reasonable person would believe.

Statements (and video demonstrations) about the browsing abilities of a phone sold as cutting edge, not so much.

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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
Apple in Court Case: No Reasonable Person Would Believe Our Ads

This is actually a perfectly legitimate defense for advertising that stretches the truth to make a point about its product. To take another example, no non-idiot believes that Axe Shower Gel gets you so clean that women do anything to get near you (or whatever those ads are). Filing a case saying that Axe doesn't cause women to jump all over you, and thus its advertising lies, would get you laughed out of court.

I once researched all this for an ethics bowl case on children and advertising. I think my team's eventual position was that all "typical" advertising to children is morally wrong since children lack the rationality to separate out the reality of the product with the hype of the advertising.

Now, I haven't seen the specific ads that Apple is defending using this argument, so I don't know whether their argument holds in this particular case or not - it would depend on exactly what they say, how they say it, and the surrounding context of the ad.

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Dagonee
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The iPhone ad in question shows someone using the phone to browse the web in real time at speeds unattainable by the device, while specifically talking about the speed of the device as a selling point. The ad is shot specifically and pointedly to look like everything is happening "live." The one cut scene is a zoom in that shows continuity of action throughout the zoom. The rest appears to be two single cuts. Also, the speeds shown can not be attained by the device under the best 3G network conditions - it's not a case of picking best possible conditions to demonstrate.

The ad might not rise to false advertising, but the "no reasonable person would interpret this claim as real" will almost certainly fail with respect to that claim. They might have a little success using it as a defense to the "whole web" claim, but even that's a stretch.

In fact, I'll be surprised if they actively use that defense in a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. They almost certainly won't try to take that defense before a jury, in the unlikely event it goes to trial.

Apple has other, better defenses to the suit that have a far better chance of being successful.

More importantly, of course, than the reasonableness of the legal defense is the publicity aspect. Apple has said, essentially, that anyone who thinks their phone is as fast as the commercial shows it to be is unreasonable.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
quote:
The playlists as in, the totality of the playlists. So, my Radiohead playlist, my sleeping playlist, my jogging playlist. One cannot control the order of these without numbering them individually or attaching dashes or other symbols to them. Ya know?
Select the group of songs you want to order. Right click and "get info." Under "info" find "track _ of _" fill in the number of songs. Also give the grouping a name. Click the tab at the top for "options." Set "remember position" to "yes." (I also change "gapless album" to yes, especially for Pink Floyd albums). Click "OK." Now select each song in turn, and do a "get info." Track number will now read "_ of 12" (or whatever) Fill in the track number for each song.
This doesn't organize the playlists in totality, this organizes the songs in each playlist. That is not what I want. I want to organize the playlists as they show up on the ipod, so I can choose the order that the *list of playlists* takes. Again, song order is easy, that isn't what concerns me.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:

More importantly, of course, than the reasonableness of the legal defense is the publicity aspect. Apple has said, essentially, that anyone who thinks their phone is as fast as the commercial shows it to be is unreasonable.

Well, all else aside, I find anyone who thinks computer advertising is realistic is being unreasonable, if they have any actual experience with computers and advertising, which is basically anyone. But on the other hand, I don't know why Apple has to stretch the truth so overtly with this particular ad- it's easy enough to obfuscate, and just do jump cuts between various features in a way that *suggests* speed of use, without explicitly demonstrating speed.

However, I would think Apple has a case simply claiming that advertising commonly compresses events or distorts reality in order to give the impression of performance. So, a car commercial will show a car zipping down a bumpy road at 70 mph while the interior is whisper quiet, which is technically impossible, but stylized, and obviously so.

IBM did a series of commercials some years ago where people were shown doing totally unrealistic things with computers (even with today's technology), saying at the end of the commercial "it's coming." I don't think their shareholders sued over the unrealistic statement of possibilities that the commercials represented, but then the ads were quite obviously for non-existent products, much less features or performance.

Then there have been plenty of computer commercials with items zipping by on the screen at an incredible rate that is obviously unrealistic. Toy commercials show the toys coming to life, or shoes allowing children to dunk basketballs, or tanks running over laptop computers that then open unscathed- which is highly unlikely. The only problem would be if the Apple ad was truly attempting to explicitly demonstrate an ability that the phone does not have, and to do so in a way that is not stylized or otherwise discernibly non-realistic. There has to be at least *some* room for a product ad to compress and stylize the features of the product, but the line needs to be reasonably clear.

[ December 14, 2008, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Dagonee
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quote:
I find anyone who thinks computer advertising is realistic is being unreasonable, if they have any actual experience with computers and advertising, which is basically anyone.
First, the standard for reasonableness of belief is not lowered because everyone should know that advertisers lie. As for experience with computers, many people - probably most - have no idea what browsing on a 3g network is like, because they haven't done it.

It's one think to realize that the network is never going to run at it's maximum speed for long enough to do all those tasks in 30 seconds. We expect that.

What many people - reasonable people - don't expect is that truly unattainable speed will be demonstrated. The iPhone can't meet even my usual very low expectations concerning feats demonstrated in advertisements.

quote:
But on the other hand, I don't know why Apple has to stretch the truth so overtly with this particular ad- it's easy enough to obfuscate, and just do jump cuts between various features in a way that *suggests* speed of use, without explicitly demonstrating speed.
This is really the heart of the matter. When people see cuts in what's being displayed on a screen, they think that time has passed between cuts. Apple left out the cuts - and carefully manipulated the one cut they have - to avoid this impression. They intentionally took away one of the cues people use to decouple tv-time from real time.

Apples advertising is very, very dishonest. They ran that idiotic buzzer Vista ad at the same time MS was running a huge Vista branding ad.

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Orincoro
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Sorry Dag- I expanded my post a bit thinking I had a minute before you'd be reading it- there's a bit more to it at the moment, but you answered the basic issue already.

What was the buzzer ad? Why was it annoying?

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Dagonee
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It's the one with Mac and PC, and PC says they're not going to say the name of the operating system (meaning Vista) any more because it's gotten such bad press. Then, every time Mac tries to say "Vista," PC hits a button.
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Orincoro
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Ah, I see, thus portraying MS as if MS was not proud of their products, even when they were trying to brand Vista.

Still, on the whole I think the Mac V. PC commercials are smart in that they generally portray the PC as being witty and quirky, rather than stupid. If anything, it's a little odd that the Mac character is the boring one of the pair. However, it does work to have him play the straight man against a less "stable" PC to emphasize the stability of a Mac, and counter the impression of geeky fandom that PC users sometimes perpetuate. I heard the guy who plays the PC in the commercials on This American Life, where he has been a contributor for a long time, and he talked about walking into an Apple store and having the weirdest experience you could imagine- he's a very funny and likeable guy.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Still, on the whole I think the Mac V. PC commercials are smart in that they generally portray the PC as being witty and quirky, rather than stupid.
Is that how you think he comes off? Witty?
If so, I suspect that's entirely unintentional.

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Orincoro
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What I mean to say is that the actor's personality is far from dense- I think you'd agree with that. There is not a sense that he is slow, only that he is delusional- but there is also a tongue in cheek quality to everything he does, as if he is just playing at his obliviousness. I think that's an important but subtle factor in the ads. Played the wrong way, the ads could be more insulting than you probably already think they are, but as it is, the PC actor is quick and funny, and obviously good humored.

I think that's exactly why apple has done so many ads in that format- the casting was right, and the tone is certainly preferable to their old Jeff (freaking) Goldbloom ads where he was basically picking up the mouse and bashing it against his head in an effort to send emails.

Edit: look I know you're not going to like the ads no matter what they say or how they portray anything, but being slightly more objective, I think these ads are effective in what they do. They are undoubtedly negative most of the time, but they are not completely mocking of PC users, just of MS itself. While I think that overall a non-negative ad campaign would be better, I think of all possible negative campaigns, this might be the best I've seen. And I mean, do you remember the old MCI v. AT&T Tv spots where a beaming redhead would stare into the camera and say: "our rates are now 10% lower than AT&T. Sorry AT&T, you asked for it!" I was like 10 when I saw that ad, and it struck me then as completely childish.

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Puppy
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quote:
Is that how you think he comes off? Witty?
If so, I suspect that's entirely unintentional.

That impression might come, partly, from seeing the PC on The Daily Show, where he is witty [Smile]
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Dagonee
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quote:
I think these ads are effective in what they do.
They are effective in pissing off a lot of people. Apparently apple thinks that this cost is less than the benefit of appealing to whatever number of people that ad appeals to.
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Orincoro
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Puppy- he was a semi-known personality before the ads, and is more so now, so I think certainly the fact that he's more than a guy from central casting is important.

Dag- They may be right...
And if PC people are so terribly up in arms about Apple dissing MS, it makes me wonder why they always portray apple users as rabid and mindless brand loyalists. I'm not like that, I don't think. I can complain all day about Apple products, I've just still managed to find them preferable to the MS and other PC products I've had.

Now, I'm trying to think how I might feel in the opposite situation, with MS running a commercial about a bumbling but good humored Mac being shown up by a PC... yeah it wouldn't bother me.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
being slightly more objective

*snort*

Differently biased is not unbiased.

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Dagonee
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quote:
And if PC people are so terribly up in arms about Apple dissing MS
I get MUCH stronger negative reactions about those commercials from the Apple users I know than from PC users. This has nothing to do with brand loyalty as far as I can tell.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
being slightly more objective

*snort*

Differently biased is not unbiased.

Which is why I didn't say biased. I said "slightly" more objective. Which I honestly think I am, having owned various PC and Mac products, and being willing to give an inch to the other side.

Edit to add: more objective from the consumer standpoint. I believe Tom works with computers more than I do, which would give him more insight in certain areas, but wouldn't necessarily be conducive to objectivity when talking about the ads.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
And if PC people are so terribly up in arms about Apple dissing MS
I get MUCH stronger negative reactions about those commercials from the Apple users I know than from PC users. This has nothing to do with brand loyalty as far as I can tell.
What are the reactions? I personally think, if you were to ask, that Apple highlights their basic customer service too much when they should be highlighting their designs and interfaces. It isn't like they can just promote performance alone, because they don't have a particular edge in that department.
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Dagonee
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Why are you jumping to the conclusion that none of us are willing to "give an inch" to the other side? Do you have ANY evidence of this?

I've used macs extensively, probably since before you owned a computer. I still prefer Windows. I also don't have a negative view of Macs, except for their ads.

That doesn't make you more objective.

quote:
What are the reactions?
That the smarmy Mac guy is annoying and dishonest, pretty much, and this sticks to them in some way.

Kind of like how I feel reading a lot of Ron Lambert's posts on certain topics.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Why are you jumping to the conclusion that none of us are willing to "give an inch" to the other side? Do you have ANY evidence of this?

I've used macs extensively, probably since before you owned a computer. I still prefer Windows. I also don't have a negative view of Macs, except for their ads.

You don't have to jump to the conclusion that I am talking about you. I was talking about Tom, who I've not seen give an inch to the other side- I could be wrong.

I don't know why you have to play the "since before you owned a computer" card. I'm younger than you. I was born after personal computers were widely available, and we're talking about recent history, not what either company was up to in 1985.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro: ... And if PC people are so terribly up in arms about Apple dissing MS, it makes me wonder why they always portray apple users as rabid and mindless brand loyalists.
"they" who? Unlike Apple, PCs don't really have one company managing the entirety of the PC market. Do you specifically mean Microsoft, IBM, HP, or Dell ads?
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Dagonee
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quote:
I don't know why you have to play the "since before you owned a computer" card. I'm younger than you. I was born after personal computers were widely available, and we're talking about recent history, not what either company was up to in 1985.
Because you claimed your experience as a credential.
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Orincoro
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I was using a bit of hyperbole. "They" is PC people, and "always" is sometimes, the individual ads run by most companies, that I've seen, are not negative and don't generally acknowledge the existence of competition. Apple works the underdog angle by running ads that acknowledge competition and portray it as having a niche market.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
I don't know why you have to play the "since before you owned a computer" card. I'm younger than you. I was born after personal computers were widely available, and we're talking about recent history, not what either company was up to in 1985.
Because you claimed your experience as a credential.
And it is. But experience in the 1980's era of personal computers is not. So barring any new information about you, I think we have about the same credentials.

Edit: And I did have access to a variety of software tools and hardware before they were widely available (or affordable) because my parents owned and ran a publishing company in the house in the late 80's and early 90's, so at an early age I was familiar with both windows and the various Mac OSs. But that doesn't mean much 15 years later.

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Dagonee
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The experience isn't relevant to assessing current OSes. It's relevant to willingness to use (or "give an inch") to the non-preferred OS. My history of that is long.
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Orincoro
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Meh. I don't normally accuse you of having a really weak argument, but that is one. We both use both types of products, and our abilities to think about them objectively are not tied to age. Age could as easily be a factor for less objectivity as it is for more objectivity, depending on how you spin it.

Edit: as to Mac users being offended at being portrayed by apple as smarmy or elitist, I think it's a complicated issue. Who was it that fomented the concept of the "apple person?" Obviously Apple instigated that with earlier Mac ad campaigns (and later on with ipod ad campaigns) that made owning a Mac about lifestyle and fashion. But I wonder which side made owning an Apple about being a white-guilt/granola liberal, reflected in, for instance, an article in the Onion where a white man in Harlem is photographed, the caption reading "note the Macbook." Thus, the insecurity of apple owners about being portrayed as smarmy or elitist or self-satisfied has been fed by this kind of criticism, which came as a reaction against Apple's own (admittedly asking for it) advertising. Now for me, just personally, I don't worry about identifying with the products I use- I just use what I like to use, so the ads don't bother me one way or the other, and it surprises me when I do hear such strong reactions against them from anybody. I just saw them as being particular smart, in the sense that I think they are probably effective. And they probably are, considering that there have been dozens of them these last few years.

[ December 14, 2008, 05:36 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Dagonee
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I'm not claiming superior objectivity to yours. You asked why I brought it up. I answered: to oppose your initial claim of better objectivity.

Also, I'm not using age. I'm using length of time using both platforms to compare against your having owned both platforms.

I don't think there was any reason for anyone to bring up objectivity here. And there's certainly no evidence of a lack of objectivity, by Tom or anyone else.

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Orincoro
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That's probably right. Anyway, see my edit.
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Orincoro
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Speaking of infuriating advertisements, has anyone seen the one for the NY State lottery that has been playing on Hulu for a few weeks?

A girl in her mid 20's buys some scratchers from an old man at a magazine rack named "Manny." She then gets in her car, holiday music plays, she puts the cards in an envelope and gets out saying: "hey Manny, happy holidays," to which he responds incredulously, "happy holidays." The words "happy holidays from the new york state lottery" flash.

Is it just me, or is that an awful message to send people? A great gift for an obviously low-income person who works at a magazine kiosk is a bunch of lottery scratchers? His only hope in life is to win the lottery, and thus escape the red-cheek inducing cold of the dark and depressing street? There are also these little lines like "holiday cash-word looks cute!" I find exploiting the good will of a season to sell state-sanctioned gambling a little tasteless. It's all the more galling because the whole idea of the lottery is just so agonizing. The slim chance of a win induces millions of people to waste their money, which is fine for those who spend a dollar every few weeks for a bit of fun, but terrible for the people who spend more than they can afford- and lottery addiction is a common problem throughout America.

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