Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Mar 2012 21:28 UTC
In the News A few months ago, I wrote an article about comments, in which I said, among others things, that Twitter can never replace comments because not only is it effectively a one-to-one communication channel, Twitter messages are also far too short to foster any form of coherent conversation. Over the weekend, a silly link-bait story illustrated my point perfectly.
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Twitter and Apple TV
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Mar 2012 22:52 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Well, I've never had much use at all for Twitter. I understand why journalists would use it, but I don't know of a person alive that is important enough for me to want to follow.

As for Apple TV, its greatest feature is airplay, where you can wirelessly 'beam' audio and video from an iOS device to a TV or stereo. In regard to video, I guess you could consider it to be a form of wireless HDMI, and it's simple to set up. It also works through walls.

My dad has an A/V receiver set up in his bedroom, and speakers on 'zone 2' that go out to the back porch. He wanted a way to control the volume from the porch and already had an iPad, so he just got an Apple TV to hook up in the bedroom, and now just carries his iPad to the porch, and uses Slacker radio, or whatever else, and it plays through the back porch speakers through airplay via the Apple TV. Also, there's an app called 'Remote' that will let him access the iTunes library on his PC, so he doesn't have to transfer the music to his iPad, or the cloud for local listening.

Edited 2012-03-25 22:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

140 characters
by darknexus on Sun 25th Mar 2012 23:56 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I find twitter to be a complete waste of the web. I actually like the concept, but Twitter itself is stupid. This is the internet, not a cel phone messaging system. There is no reason to limit people to 140 characters at all. It not only creates simple issues such as message length and encourages ridiculous bastardizations and shortcuts of language (fine for the rap subculture I suppose, but useless to the intelligent people in the world), but also requires you to use URL shorteners and all sorts of other crap just to attempt to get your words out.

Reply Score: 10

RE: 140 characters
by demetrioussharpe on Mon 26th Mar 2012 03:27 UTC in reply to "140 characters"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

...(fine for the rap subculture I suppose, but useless to the intelligent people in the world).


So, what're you trying to say? In case you didn't know, just because there're stupid people in the rap sub-culture, doesn't mean that the whole subculture is stupid. There're plenty of people, who LOVE hip-hop, who're highly intelligent. Don't try to make a point by generalizing about an entire subculture. EVERY subculture contains a wide range of different types of individuals who vary in intelligence & abilities.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: 140 characters
by darknexus on Mon 26th Mar 2012 03:43 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"...(fine for the rap subculture I suppose, but useless to the intelligent people in the world).


So, what're you trying to say? In case you didn't know, just because there're stupid people in the rap sub-culture, doesn't mean that the whole subculture is stupid. There're plenty of people, who LOVE hip-hop, who're highly intelligent.
"

Hip hop != rap. And yes, I can make a point about the ridiculous shorthand I see on twitter and other short messaging systems by comparing it to rap subculture, because that's what it resembles. Typing the letter "u" instead of the word "you" for example, or ur instead of "you are." People who write like that are either not intelligent enough to realize how stupid it makes them appear, or don't care. The people who talk like that belong to the rap subculture, at least here in the US and, so long as they do not care to appear intelligent, I will make no effort to view them as such.
However, we're getting a bit off point here (my fault) so I'll let this rest.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: 140 characters
by righard on Mon 26th Mar 2012 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 140 characters"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Dutch people write 'u' instead of you too. (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/u#Dutch) Are you calling us stupid?


:P

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: 140 characters
by Dutch_Wolf on Tue 27th Mar 2012 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 140 characters"
Dutch_Wolf Member since:
2012-03-27

No we don't usually we say (and type) 'Jij', 'U' is reserved for when you want to be polite (also it is not pronounced as you anyway).

Reply Score: 1

RE: 140 characters
by Doc Pain on Mon 26th Mar 2012 04:45 UTC in reply to "140 characters"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I find twitter to be a complete waste of the web. I actually like the concept, but Twitter itself is stupid. This is the internet, not a cel phone messaging system. There is no reason to limit people to 140 characters at all.


Ah, I see that's why a single "Tweet" requires 2 MB of web traffic. That's 14 kB per character, or "15,000 for one", assumed that we are talking about 1-byte characters (recalculate for 2-byte UTF-8 encoding). :-)

http://mike.teczno.com/notes/bandwidth.html

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: 140 characters
by cyrilleberger on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:01 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Ah, I see that's why a single "Tweet" requires 2 MB of web traffic. That's 14 kB per character, or "15,000 for one", assumed that we are talking about 1-byte characters (recalculate for 2-byte UTF-8 encoding). :-)

http://mike.teczno.com/notes/bandwidth.html


What is amazing is the 1.6MB of scripts to display those 140 characters, three times as much more than OpenStreetMap that allows you to navigate the world...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: 140 characters
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 26th Mar 2012 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Reading that link, its obvious you're grossly exaggerating. If you are talkin about the entire web page used to display a single tweet, you're right, If you are talking about the json required to send a single tweet, you're very wrong. Its quite minimal overhead. Aprox 50 bytes over head per tweet, independent of tweet length.

( Plus you do know that UTF-8, emphasis on the 8 there, only uses multiple bytes per char for non ascii chars? So, if you are typing in english its exactly the same as ascii one byte per char. )

Reply Score: 2

RE: 140 characters
by Neolander on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:44 UTC in reply to "140 characters"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I find twitter to be a complete waste of the web. I actually like the concept, but Twitter itself is stupid. This is the internet, not a cel phone messaging system. There is no reason to limit people to 140 characters at all. It not only creates simple issues such as message length and encourages ridiculous bastardizations and shortcuts of language (fine for the rap subculture I suppose, but useless to the intelligent people in the world), but also requires you to use URL shorteners and all sorts of other crap just to attempt to get your words out.

Take this one step further : why are texts still 160 chars long (or 70 if you add just one single Unicode character) in 2012 ? And why does a message weighting less than 1 KB cost around 10 cents in most countries ?

I can imagine that those who wrote the SMS standard forgot to include a way to change the size of a unitary message later. I can also imagine that they kept the length so low on purpose, in order to higher the odds that part of the message gets transmitted in low signal conditions. After all, SMSs were initially designed for carrier broadcasts. But why do we still have to care about these ugly internals of the SMS standard today ? Why can't we just type a message that's 1000 unicode chars long, press send, and let the machine figure out for itself how it is going to send it without paying a premium ?

As far as I'm concerned, any kind of character limit on a person-to-person message that lies in the hundreds of character range is part of an evil scheme to weaken our orthographic and argumentative skills in order to prepare the advent of newspeak for the sake of world domination.

Edited 2012-03-26 06:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: 140 characters
by daveak on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:50 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
daveak Member since:
2008-12-29

The size of SMS is low because it sits on the back of the control signals that are always being sent from phone to tower. There isn't any more space to make them larger unless you send them as data, which then isn't "free" bandwidth (from the carrier point of view). So yes it is left low on purpose but nothing to do with low signal conditions.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: 140 characters
by Neolander on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 140 characters"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The size of SMS is low because it sits on the back of the control signals that are always being sent from phone to tower. There isn't any more space to make them larger unless you send them as data, which then isn't "free" bandwidth (from the carrier point of view). So yes it is left low on purpose but nothing to do with low signal conditions.

Does this mean that in effect, carriers barely pay an extra in terms of bandwidth for every SMS message that is being sent and that they gently charge a hefty price for ?

This is even worse than I thought ! ;)

Edited 2012-03-26 06:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: 140 characters
by cyrilleberger on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: 140 characters"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Does this mean that in effect, carriers barely pay an extra in terms of bandwidth for every SMS message that is being sent and that they gently charge a hefty price for ?


No, it means it does not use any bandwidth between the cell tower and the cell phones, since the SMS is passed inside a message that is send anyway by your phone.

However, the carrier still have to pay for transmitting your SMS from your tower to your recipient tower, and whether that cost 10cents or not, is debatable.

Also, SMS can send more than 140 characters (at least in Europe), I regularly do that. But then of course it does cost you "ceil(characters_count/140)*sms_cost" ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: 140 characters
by Neolander on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 140 characters"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Also, SMS can send more than 140 characters (at least in Europe), I regularly do that. But then of course it does cost you "ceil(characters_count/140)*sms_cost" ;)

Yup, I know about that, since I have learned to just enable unicode, type as much as I want, and deal with the neverending warnings coming from my phones and the obligation of finding a phone plan with unlimited texts.

I just wish it wouldn't be so complicated. Talk time is typically at 30 cents per minute for local calls here, and I doubt that a single text makes nearly as much use of the underlying infrastructure as 20 seconds of voice, even if it's heavily compressed.

Edited 2012-03-26 07:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: 140 characters
by _txf_ on Mon 26th Mar 2012 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: 140 characters"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

and I doubt that a single text makes nearly as much use of the underlying infrastructure as 20 seconds of voice, even if it's heavily compressed.


Actually it is even worse than that. A single text practically has zero cost. In fact texts use the spare capacity allocated to voice calls, so they're pure profit . The cost of the equipment is extremely low (they use the rest of the infrastructure already).

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: 140 characters
by Alfman on Tue 27th Mar 2012 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 140 characters"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cyrilleberger,

"However, the carrier still have to pay for transmitting your SMS from your tower to your recipient tower, and whether that cost 10cents or not, is debatable."

I don't think it's debatable at all. Prepaid phone cards retail around $0.10/minute and deliver a far larger (and bidirectional) payload than an SMS. One could place a call, read the text out loud several times and get detailed feedback for the same price as one text. On todays cellular networks a hundred bytes costs practically nothing, but phone companies see no reason to evolve their highly profitable legacy fee structures. I guess there may be legacy limitations with SMS over GSM, but I think the limitations are kinda pathetic today.


Texting never really had much appeal to me, but even if it did I'd still find the prices to be a rip off.

Edit: If I had read ahead I would have seen that others already made the same points as me, oh well.

Edited 2012-03-27 01:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 140 characters - delivery expectations
by jabbotts on Mon 26th Mar 2012 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd just be happy if transmission could be trusted. I've lost count the number of times an sms has been recieved hours or days after I've sent it. A dropped email is unheard of but dropped or delayed sms.. all the time.. wtf is that?

Reply Score: 3

bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

All phones I ever owned have had a setting to be notified when the message reaches its receiver. I do not use it, but has noticed the setting is there. I have not upgraded to what is currently considered a smartphone, though, and wouldn't be too surprised if they lacked this feature. (I'm pretty sure my phone was markeded as a smartphone before iOS and Android arrived, but whatever.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 140 characters
by darknexus on Mon 26th Mar 2012 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Take this one step further : why are texts still 160 chars long (or 70 if you add just one single Unicode character) in 2012 ? And why does a message weighting less than 1 KB cost around 10 cents in most countries ?


You know, this is precisely where Apple could really shake things up and get competition going again, if they cared to. Take iMessage. Let's say they offered it free to Apple device users, then made apps for Android, WP7, and Windows (if you can trust Apple with Windows software after what they've done with iTunes) and charged users of those apps a subscription, perhaps $5 per month? This would encourage the carriers to compete, which would bring the cost down and may even improve the total user experience for everyone along the way. More apps would mean more people using iMessage instead of the carrier plans, this would mean that carriers lost money and had to make something better, and everyone would win in the end. It's too bad that Apple doesn't realize the opportunity they have here, and would rather keep such services locked to their own devices. They have every right to do this of course, but it does sadden me to see so much potential for improvement go unexploited. Apple are one of the few companies who could do this successfully in our climate of business, as they've got not only the money but the legal force to resist attacks by other large giants.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 140 characters
by phoenix on Mon 26th Mar 2012 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE: 140 characters"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

There's ~180 bytes of padding in every single GSM control packet. This is mandated in the GSM specs.

Someone decided to capitalise on this "wasted" space in each packet, and came up with SMS, a simple way to transmit 160 characters (plus destination number and whatnot) between devices.

In effect, SMS is "free", as those 180 bytes are transmitted everytime, whether it's all zero-padding or an SMS message. The fact the telcos charge *ANYTHING* for an SMS message just shows the level of their greed. ;)

What's sad is that over a decade (or two?) later, nothing better has come along to replace it. And now, the telcos actually have to over-provision GSM channels in order to provide more bandwidth for the control packets (the part that's supposed to be the least-active). RIM's BBM is the closest we've come to a "standard" text messaging protocol to "replace" SMS, which is really sad.

Reply Score: 4

RE: 140 characters
by subsider34 on Mon 26th Mar 2012 13:21 UTC in reply to "140 characters"
subsider34 Member since:
2010-11-08

I find twitter to be a complete waste of the web. I actually like the concept, but Twitter itself is stupid. This is the internet, not a cel phone messaging system. There is no reason to limit people to 140 characters at all. It not only creates simple issues such as message length and encourages ridiculous bastardizations and shortcuts of language (fine for the rap subculture I suppose, but useless to the intelligent people in the world), but also requires you to use URL shorteners and all sorts of other crap just to attempt to get your words out.

I wholeheartedly agree. Twitter has been the source of so many evils: the proliferation of link redirectors, bad grammar, "register by tweeting" spam schemes, the debasement of top-level domains, etc.

Also, when I want to say something online, I want to say it in an intelligible, easily understandable manner. Something which Twitter, for all its hype, is ill suited for.

Reply Score: 2

Frankly Thom,
by Alfman on Mon 26th Mar 2012 00:32 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

I lost you after "A few months ago, I wrote an article about comments, in which I said, among others things, that Twitter can never replace comments because n".

Edited 2012-03-26 00:36 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 26th Mar 2012 05:21 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I live in The Netherlands and I gave my first generation Apple TV to my son, have the second generation Apple TV in the bedroom and the third generation Apple TV should arrive today or tomorrow and will be placed in the living room.

We're all happy with it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by darknexus on Mon 26th Mar 2012 05:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The Apple TV was a nice device until they removed the hard drive from it. Why would I want a device for my home theater only to have to keep iTunes running on my computer to access my media? It made sense when it was an iPod with streaming services, without the on-board storage though I don't really see a use for it in my setup.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Mon 26th Mar 2012 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, removing the local storage is a bit of a annoyance.

As the device has a USB port it would have made sense to allow the user to attach some storage to it. This would keep the price of the device down, while allowing the customer total freedom wether or not to attach storage to it and if so how much.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by darknexus on Mon 26th Mar 2012 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

As the device has a USB port it would have made sense to allow the user to attach some storage to it. This would keep the price of the device down, while allowing the customer total freedom wether or not to attach storage to it and if so how much.


What? Apple allow customer freedom? I want some of what you're smoking. In all seriousness though, I agree with you that USB storage would have been the best of both worlds. Still, I suppose there's always jailbreaking and running XBMC on it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by phoenix on Mon 26th Mar 2012 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I'm exactly the opposite. Why would I want a harddrive in the media player and having to worry about managing copies of media all around the house, when I can just stream from the media server in the basement?

Sure, you need a decent network connection throughout the house, but it's not that hard to run CAT5/CAT6 cabling behind the baseboards. And multi-stream 802.11n is "good enough" to stream XviD/x264 streams up to 720p (maybe even 1080p?).

So why do you need local storage in each media player? That's the point of a media server.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by darknexus on Tue 27th Mar 2012 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm exactly the opposite. Why would I want a harddrive in the media player and having to worry about managing copies of media all around the house, when I can just stream from the media server in the basement?

Sure, you need a decent network connection throughout the house, but it's not that hard to run CAT5/CAT6 cabling behind the baseboards. And multi-stream 802.11n is "good enough" to stream XviD/x264 streams up to 720p (maybe even 1080p?).

So why do you need local storage in each media player? That's the point of a media server.


Normally I'd agree with you. However, the Apple TV and Airplay requires that media be streamed from an Airplay-compatible device or program. In this case, that means iTunes, and iTunes is not stable enough to be considered as a server. Until Airplay is fully reverse-engineered, one would be stuck with iTunes unless they were to jailbreak their Apple TV and run an alternative media client on it.

Reply Score: 3

XBMC
by _txf_ on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:56 UTC
_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

"Also, can you run something useful on it, like XBMC? At €99, it would be a decent XBMC box."

Indeed you can. You need to jailbreak it (no surprise there) and you can get a version of xbmc specifically for it. You're limited to 720p but hardware acceleration does work...

Reply Score: 3

RE: XBMC
by andzs on Mon 26th Mar 2012 14:19 UTC in reply to "XBMC"
andzs Member since:
2007-08-17

You can run XBMC un ATV2 box with 720p limitation. ATV3 is not yet jailbroken -> no XBMC on it yet.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by clasqm
by clasqm on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:59 UTC
clasqm
Member since:
2010-09-23

Here in South Africa there is no Netflix, no Hulu, no Itunes Movie Store, no nothing. And I still enjoy the Apple TV. Why?

Because I have 300 DVDs safely in storage in the garden shed where they are not going to get scratched by frequent use, where the resident 4-year old scientist will not turn them into frisbees, where they don't become an eyesore taking up an entire wall of the family room ... Handbrake is your friend. My iMac needs another hard drive, though :-)

Besides the movie collection, the Apple TV serves as a giant photo display, it plays TED talks, music, podcasts ... for the price it's one of the best gadgets I ever bought. I do agree with other posters that they should not have removed the local storage.

As for the new UI, it does not make sense now. Look out for an update to the iOS app Remote that will mimic your ATV's screen exactly. No more "navigating" to a section, just press the corresponding button on the iPhone screen.

No, I didn't make that up myself, sorry. Read it somewhere. Makes sense, though.

Reply Score: 2

Twitter can't replace comments
by bowkota on Mon 26th Mar 2012 08:10 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

One thing is clear, that Twitter can't replace comments on a blog or a tech site. It's too brief and this can often lead to misunderstandings.
The Margolis incident isn't one of them. I find that his first tweets had a different tone and style than his longer comment to Techcrunch. I believe he was simply looking for attention and he knew that with those tweets he could get it.
When he got what he wanted, he gave a comment of what actually happened but by then the harm was done as the majority won't update their articles or updates won't be read.
Had he wanted to, he could have just as easily mentioned in his tweets that SJ rejected these ideas back when iOS didn't exist.

Twitter can't replace comments but I believe it's a good alternative. There's too many trolls on the internet and at least with Twitter you can be held a bit more accountable for your actions.
On the other hand, when it comes to criticism of the author it doesn't really matter. If a writer is prejudice or simply writing with a certain purpose in mind, like Paul Thurrott or Dan Lyons for example, they aren't going to change their writing because you pointed out that they're wrong. They're going to keep on writing what they want.

Edited 2012-03-26 08:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Twitter is for twits
by RawMustard on Mon 26th Mar 2012 08:54 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

Read the title!

Never been anymore and never will be anything else but a forum for twits!

Reply Score: 2

Facebook status updates
by kwan_e on Mon 26th Mar 2012 13:40 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Wasn't the point of Twitter to provide better status updates than Facebook? Why are people expecting good writing from Twitter and lambasting it for its in-built inability to provide such?

Twitter, however, does have a saving grace - one liner comedians. I follow Gary Delaney and Milton Jones.

Reply Score: 2

Poseidon
Member since:
2009-10-31

If I was a Journalist I wouldn't even use Twitter. Facebook maybe, but not Twitter. It's trademark bird should be a Pidgeon, because it promotes pretty much a pidgeon's brain in people. All I could see myself using Twitter for is Trolling.

Reply Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

If I was a Journalist I wouldn't even use Twitter. Facebook maybe, but not Twitter. It's trademark bird should be a Pidgeon, because it promotes pretty much a pidgeon's brain in people. All I could see myself using Twitter for is Trolling.


I use it as a way of conveniently recording random thoughts I have. Like the thought that the best attack against a Caesar Cipher is the Brutus Cipher.

Reply Score: 1

aTV and 1080p
by mistersoft on Tue 27th Mar 2012 09:46 UTC
mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

the previous gen aTV could certainly decode 1080p in XMBC but I'm not sure could ever output 1080p(!?)

http://www.slashgear.com/apple-tv-xbmc-hack-makes-99-stb-a-1080p-hd...

the current gen aTV....not sure, since outputs 1080p natively, you'd hope a future XMBC release might output 1080p too - need jailbrake on the new hardware first though.

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/xbmc-110-released-with...

Reply Score: 1