Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 1st Dec 2012 09:05 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I was on vacation to the US last week, and a few technology-related things stood out to me. One, the in-flight entertainment things aboard international Delta flights are absolutely terrible. Worst software I've ever used, and many of them were plain broken. iPads/Android tablets please, Delta. Second, there were more employees than customers in the Las Vegas Apple Store. Since there were a reasonable amount of customers, there were even more employees. It looked ridiculous. Are they all like that? Three, using a Windows Phone 8 device to mooch off an Apple Store's wifi is strangely satisfying. Four, there are a lot of technology commercials on US TV, and they are all corny as hell. Two iPads playing piano? Children holding a PowerPoint presentation to convince their parents to switch mobile plans? Seriously? Is this what this industry has come to? Five, it's pretty clear iPads and iPhones are way, way, way more popular in the US than in The Netherlands. You see them everywhere, and people display them so openly. It was jarring. In The Netherlands, I always feel as if people are ashamed to take devices out of their pockets in the first place. No wonder US-based writers like Gruber and Arment think Apple dominates everything - if you rarely leave the US, it seems as if they do! Six, and this is not technology related at all but I want to get it off my chest because us Europeans could learn a thing or two from it: Americans are the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I knew this from my existing American friends and from my previous trip to the US (Texas, ten years ago), but it bears repeating. Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen. Alright, as you were!
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About the Americans being nice
by rebus on Sat 1st Dec 2012 09:27 UTC
rebus
Member since:
2009-10-25

It is about guns. Having guns easily available to everyone really ups the level of politeness and culture in general. That is why I'm all for it in Europe as well... we need more guns!

Reply Score: 9

RE: About the Americans being nice
by ricegf on Sat 1st Dec 2012 11:42 UTC in reply to "About the Americans being nice"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

"This is Texas. Everybody has a gun. My hairdresser has a gun." -- One of my favorite lines from Miss Congeniality

Though I live in Texas, I've never seen a handgun carried by a private citizen in public. Crimes have dropped steadily since we kicked out veto-happy Ann Richards and enacted CHL in 1995, perhaps because even though we don't carry them around in public, criminals never know who's carrying one. But Texans (and I think most Americans) are just friendly by nature.

While I think the general level of politeness in America is more cultural than gun-driven, I think you'd find that a more relaxed attitude toward firearms would be a win overall. But that's for each country to decide.

I've found people to be friendly wherever I've travelled in the world. Perhaps my efforts to adapt to and appreciate the local culture have something to do with it.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've found people to be friendly wherever I've travelled in the world. Perhaps my efforts to adapt to and appreciate the local culture have something to do with it.


Definitely. This is so important. As a tourist, you're a guest, so act like one. If you find something weird, keep it to yourself, and don't act all hoity-toity. Or, better yet, try to discuss the thing you find weird with a local to understand what's going on - most of the time, it's nothing.

And what always helps: do some effort to speak the local language - even if it's just hello, thank you, and where's the bathroom. As a Dutchman, nothing makes me happier than a foreign tourist trying to speak some Dutch.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And what always helps: do some effort to speak the local language - even if it's just hello, thank you, and where's the bathroom. As a Dutchman, nothing makes me happier than a foreign tourist trying to speak some Dutch.


Do all the Dutch feel this way as well? I hope to make it over to Amsterdam one day and do some window shopping ;)

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I was there just a few months ago and like anywhere else touristy, you get friendly people and those who just tolerate tourists.

However I find even some of the colder people are pleasant enough if you're friendly and at least try a little to embrace their culture and language. (nobody expects tourists to be fluent in the hosts languages, but speaking English louder and slower, as if the recipient is an idiot, is not going to win an favours either!)

Reply Score: 2

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Haven't been to the Netherlands, but when I went to Italy I was struck by the "difference in public behavior", to put it diplomatically. Having my feet in two of the most polite and hospitable cultures in the world (American and Turkish), it was almost enough to ruin my trip. I'm not sure where the "rude American tourist" stereotype comes from at all, it seems quite the opposite in my limited experience!

Reply Score: 3

David Member since:
1997-10-01

I think the stereotype is more like "loud and uncouth" American tourist, which would certainly apply to some, but not all. In places where the American visitors tend to be more provincial and less worldly, such as Caribbean and Mexican beach destinations, I can see that stereotype playing out. But hey, we're human beings, and we love to divide people into categories and make generalizations.

Reply Score: 2

StuS Member since:
2012-12-01

Exactly.

I went to Paris a few years ago (fall of 2008), and it was great, even as an American. Just be polite, and at least learn how to ask if they speak English in French. And how to say a few words here and there. You'll get credit for trying, and you'll be fine - they're not going to want to speak French with you anyways, and will switch to English ;)

My neighbors who went the previous summer, and the friend who went with me, did not do so well. Would just walk up to people and start asking questions in English (rolls eyes). Did better than me in Rome, though. The people were nice to me, and the food was great, but the chaos and old rocks just got to me after a while.

Reply Score: 2

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

When I was in Norway in May, I tried to revive my rusty Norwegian. The problem was, I needed people to talk slower to understand them, and I felt they preferred to switch to English once realized that I did not follow them at the normal pace of their speech. I did mostly succeed with the request "Can we continue in Norwegian, but a bit slower?", but felt some reluctance on their part.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably just how it will be in Europe, how it already largely is (and also on OSNews) - using lingua franca for cross-border and similar communication (for Europe that's mostly EN), plus a tribal/familial language when in your own group.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Though I live in Texas, I've never seen a handgun carried by a private citizen in public.


I also live in Texas, and same here. A lot of us own guns, but we don't carry them around. If people tried to loot around the coast after a hurricane like they did with Sandy, we would just use them for target practice ;)

Edited 2012-12-01 14:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

That reminds me of a recent trip to Arizona, an "open carry" state, I was first surprised to see "No Handguns" signs on restaurants, bars, etc. (anyplace that serves alchohol?). And then later slightly alarmed the first time I saw a civilian in a convenience store with a side arm (until I remembered it was perfectly legal there). It does take some getting used to.

I can't say us Californians are the nicest. But, for the most part we're pretty laid back.

Reply Score: 2

RE: About the Americans being nice
by marcp on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 13:20 UTC in reply to "About the Americans being nice"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

Anything based on fear is not a real thing, and is not good. It's just superficial, and it falls down quickly when the real problem arrives - then your guns come to play, that's why you have massacres, shootings, etc. Thx, but I won't buy that. I prefer to live in society that is sincerely polite, or impolite, but without the fear of being shot in any random location by frustrated husband, mad wife, angry kid from the block, mad hairdresser ...
Guns won't teach you compassion, understanding, wisdom. It doesn't solve any problem. It only covers it, but underneath the surface there's much going on ... and it does errupt from time to time. The problem is - consequences are usually terrible, and there is nothing more you can do about it.

Reply Score: 6

tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

It is about guns. Having guns easily available to everyone really ups the level of politeness and culture in general. That is why I'm all for it in Europe as well... we need more guns!


What that explains Canada then.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

And there are countries in Europe where guns are very prevalent (at the least ~rifles; and OTOH, IIRC, in Switzerland it's not uncommon to see on a street or in a shop somebody with an assault rifle); doesn't seem to make much difference with neighbours, it's seemingly not really about guns at all.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Sat 1st Dec 2012 09:35 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice.


I think you went to Canada by mistake.

Seriously though, it would seem like this trait does not carry over when they go abroad. ;)

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by Yehppael on Sat 1st Dec 2012 09:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
Yehppael Member since:
2012-08-01

It depends on the environment and culture. I travel a lot between my small home town and the capital (east European country), and in the small town, people don't show their devices as much, but mostly because they have no time to use them on the street or on the bus.

In the capital, on the subway, the moment the doors close, everybody whips out their tablet or phone or book or whatever and start ignoring eachother ;)

On the train, my favourite, there are a lot, and I mean a lot of people with laptops, or smartphones or tablets using them.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by Phucked on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 07:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
Phucked Member since:
2008-09-24

"Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice.


I think you went to Canada by mistake.
"

Canadians being nice is a big myth, They are more Minnesota nice than real nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Soulbender
by JLF65 on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Soulbender"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Canadians being nice is a big myth, They are more Minnesota nice than real nice.


Only if you run into Scott. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Soulbender
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 4th Dec 2012 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Soulbender"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"[q]Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice.


I think you went to Canada by mistake.
"

Canadians being nice is a big myth, They are more Minnesota nice than real nice. [/q]

Hey now, don't judge all of Canada by Toronto (I kid, I kid).

Reply Score: 2

Politeness
by Savior on Sat 1st Dec 2012 10:26 UTC
Savior
Member since:
2006-09-02

"Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen."

Actually, that's exactly what I was thinking when a few years ago I went to -- the Netherlands. You are too hard on your own country. But I cannot blame you: most of us are.

A guy from Hungary

Reply Score: 6

Cultural
by JAlexoid on Sat 1st Dec 2012 10:49 UTC
JAlexoid
Member since:
2009-05-19

Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen.


That is usually the case how locals treat locals in most countries - in a very uninterested manner. Americans range from open(SF) to closed and self-centered(LA).
But here's the fact - Europeans are no different.
It's all regional and openness increases towards foreigners. There's a lot of nations in Europe that I can't call as open cultured as others. There are regions in US that I can't call as open cultured as others.
(Also, Dutch, you're not as tolerant to foreigners as you like to present yourself.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cultural
by StuS on Sat 1st Dec 2012 23:31 UTC in reply to "Cultural"
StuS Member since:
2012-12-01

Haha. Ok, I can see that, but, being an LA native, and having been in SF & LA a bit I would say the faults are:

LA - downtown/hollywood - superficial & obsessed with status as measured in local values, but they all know it, and are a bit cynical about it all at the same time. Can be very candid and self-aware and even helpful in the right environment.

WLA - laid back, open, give you space to do whatever you want. So if you want help, you need to ask - I think most see this as politely giving you your space, but it can seem cold at times. It can actually BE cold at some time. If someone needs help & doesn't know how to ask, it can be very bad. But the people who help are often very helpful. I don't really like Venice, but you see the rich and the homeless mix fluidly in Venice, and getting along pretty well, considering.

ELA - Gets a bad rep. I'm not too familiar with it, but from what I've seen - there is crime, but it's not as bad as outsiders often think. My GF grew up on the same street as one of the NWA members, and said they just seemed like guys in a band. Some good food to be found as well. Crime can be a problem, and the police can be a problem, but not as bad as what I've seen in Detroit :O

SF-city-tech-people - the bad ones (and they are legion) are one big drawback of SF city. Constantly marketing themselves and their great new idea. Constantly pushing how focused on self-improvement they are, and how this makes them better. Can seem totally oblivious to how self-improvement and selfishness is pretty much the same thing.

SF / city - nice small community in general, but liberal, and open to everything liberal, but not to anything else. Note that I am very liberal, and still get annoyed at this. Can be a lot more self-righteous than anywhere in LA. (LA is WAAAY to cynical to be self-righteous, pretentious, yes, but not self-righteous). Can be paternalistic and judgmental. Can (rarely, but notably) be myopic to the point of stupidity in refusing to see the contradictions of their views. Hard to get some space sometimes (as measured in CA, not by NYC or Boston standards ;) ).

SF / Peninsula - chill, much more normal than the city. Not nearly so self-righteous. Reminds me of the nice bits of LA. A little more homey (could be seen as boring), but the nice people are definitely worth it. I'll take nice people in a slightly more boring environment any day.

I'm not really as familiar with the North Bay, Berkeley or Oakland. Berkeley seems a lot like the city, though.. and is Oakland SF? Hint: it's a trick question, and says more about who is giving the answer ;)

Not going to cover SFV or SGV in LA. LA is BIG.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cultural
by Lennie on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 02:22 UTC in reply to "Cultural"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Also, Dutch, you're not as tolerant to foreigners as you like to present yourself.


Yes, our tolerance is in decline. :-(

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cultural
by Laurence on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 14:28 UTC in reply to "Cultural"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


That is usually the case how locals treat locals in most countries - in a very uninterested manner. Americans range from open(SF) to closed and self-centered(LA).
But here's the fact - Europeans are no different.
It's all regional and openness increases towards foreigners. There's a lot of nations in Europe that I can't call as open cultured as others. There are regions in US that I can't call as open cultured as others.
(Also, Dutch, you're not as tolerant to foreigners as you like to present yourself.)

In my admittedly limited experience, I do think Americans take services more seriously than Europeans.

I know that some countries over here almost feel like working in such industries means that the customers owe them a debt of gratitude. Where as in America, it's all about keeping the customer happy at all costs.

I'd imagine that would have a significant impact on how tourists view Americans.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cultural
by kwan_e on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 03:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Cultural"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Where as in America, it's all about keeping the customer happy at all costs.


I'm all for terrible customer service:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9PSg0sQyfs

The flip side of American customer service is that it turns American tourists into the most fussy tossers who demand the most outrageously stupid things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcTBNY0hEaY

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Cultural
by Laurence on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cultural"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

hahaha

(I love QI)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cultural
by JAlexoid on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Cultural"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Totally disagree. They like to pretend that they care about the service. American pretentiousness is what drives me nuts there.

The biggest tip I ever gave(35% of a massive bill) was to a waiter that without cracking a smile worked his ass off to make sure that we got what we wanted.(This was the only time I gave a tip of more than 15% in US)

In fact, I rarely see that attitude in US.(And more attitude of asking for a tip at places like Starbucks...) All over Europe you just get a reasonable service. In US they throw in that pretentious smile and expect an extra 10%...

Reply Score: 3

seven
by stabbyjones on Sat 1st Dec 2012 11:21 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

The enter key is verboten!

Reply Score: 3

RE: seven
by OSbunny on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:03 UTC in reply to "seven"
OSbunny Member since:
2009-05-23

Yeah, paragraphs please!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: seven
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:05 UTC in reply to "RE: seven"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, paragraphs please!


Yeah sorry, it got longer than I planned - but, I don't want it to be a frontpage thing. The new site will make this a thing of the past!

Reply Score: 1

..but..
by martini on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:22 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

I also like a lot USA and the people there are very nice. The only complain I got about them is that they do not use the metric system.

I was told that the older generation thought that the metric system was communist ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: ..but..
by Bobthearch on Sat 1st Dec 2012 17:21 UTC in reply to "..but.."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

It is weird how we use a kooky mix of metric and imperial. Scientists use the metric system, of course. And everyone knows what a liter is since sodas have been sold in liter and 2-liter jugs for some time.

But gas and milk, gallons only. Traveling distance is miles, nothing else. And all construction (that I've seen) is inches and feet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ..but..
by henderson101 on Wed 5th Dec 2012 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE: ..but.."
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

UK is weirder. Most stuff is metric. Very little is sold by Imperial (what the Americans based their system on.) But Milk is sold in both metric and imperial. People still talk about buying "pints" of milk, (a pint being 1/8 of a imperial gallon, but slightly more than a US pint), so much so that "a couple of pints of milk" often equates to a litre, even though that's less than 2 pints in reality. Beer is always sold in pints too, but spirits are metric. Weight is almost universally measured in metric, except for human weight. That is measured in Stones (a Stone being 14 pounds - this confuses many Americans, we tend to use the phrase "9 stone weakling" where as the US use something like 100 pounds IIRC). Height is almost always metric with anyone under 40, but human height is feet and inches. Distance is always Imperial.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ..but..
by TechGeek on Sat 1st Dec 2012 23:53 UTC in reply to "..but.."
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

"My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I like it."

I don't have any reason why we don't use the metric system other than tradition.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ..but..
by bentoo on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 16:40 UTC in reply to "..but.."
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

I also like a lot USA and the people there are very nice. The only complain I got about them is that they do not use the metric system.


Funny, that's the only thing we don't like about the rest of the world. Oh, that and "football." ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ..but..
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE: ..but.."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06
Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:24 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Americans are the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I knew this from my existing American friends and from my previous trip to the US (Texas, ten years ago), but it bears repeating. Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen.


I completely agree. I have had the pleasure of several very long meandering road trips through the US southwest over the last decade, I have spent months driving somewhere around 30,000 miles and the few rude or unfriendly Americans I encountered stand out because they were so rare.

What I really liked about most Americans, after I got over being unnerved by it, was their gushing and genuine enthusiasm for life. I encountered none of the irritating gloomy pessimism that I find so prevalent in the UK where everybody seems to think that they need to find and focus on what is wrong all the time. In the US people just seem to gravitate to an optimistic view of things. After our road trips my wife and I developed a new catch phrase which we use when we encounter anything pleasing, one of us will say in a mock American accent and in a rising tone "Awesome!"

I saw a great T-shirt recently which summed it up for me, it just said:

Pessimism Is Not Deep

Reply Score: 4

Thank you
by wocowboy on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:47 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

Thank you for saying that we are friendly. It stands to reason that you found a city in the west friendly. I wonder what your response would have been had you been in one of the big eastern cities for a week, but we folks in the middle of the country are very friendly. We take great pride in that fact.

As for the Apple stores, they are pretty much all staffed quite well with lots of salespeople, and the stores are BUSY all the time, from before they actually open, with Genius Bar appointments, to the moment they close. Some people fine the crowds annoying, but I find it quite fun, people are generally cordial and enjoy the atmosphere. I'm sure it drives the Windows afficionados nuts. LOL

Reply Score: 1

A question of cultural differences.
by jollix on Sat 1st Dec 2012 12:52 UTC
jollix
Member since:
2010-10-27

Years ago I read an article about job interviews and it was saying that in The Netherlands the more modest you are (during the interview) the more chances you have to take the job, and in the USA is the opposite - the more modest you are the less chances you have.

Reply Score: 3

StuS Member since:
2012-12-01

Naw. It depends on the company. And if they only want arrogant people, it just depends on whether you like that environment as to whether you should present yourself that way.

I've definitely rejected candidates for being arrogant or a tad too aggressive in interviews (and nothing crazy), and have gotten past interview rounds myself trying to be as candid about my deficiencies as possible. In fact I just rejected a resume that said "Excellent writing skills" and then misspelled the word "language" right after. Since this is tech, if they hadn't said the former, the latter would not have mattered to me at all. Whoops.

Heck, I avoid teams and managers at my own company that act like that, and it's all turned out all right for me. In the end, if you do a good job, and provide some value, and politely disengage with people when they're aggressive, they will eventually tone themselves down.

I can train anyone how to program, but I can't seem to train some people not to be jerks, no matter how smart they are.

Reply Score: 2

miker Member since:
2009-07-08

I can train anyone how to program, but I can't seem to train some people not to be jerks, no matter how smart they are.


Anyone to program? I can can introduce you to a jerk that proudly announced that after 5 years of programming he finally understood multidimensional arrays (which at one point he declared to be impossible in ActionScript.)

He spent the previous 4 years earning a computer science degree.

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by maccouch
by maccouch on Sat 1st Dec 2012 13:16 UTC
RE: Comment by maccouch
by MOS6510 on Sat 1st Dec 2012 13:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by maccouch"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I also think Thom lives in a very remote part of The Netherlands. The parts I visit I see people pulling devices all day long and iDevices are not rare.

My living room is now full of women, so I fled upstairs. Three of them have an iPhone, one something else, but nobody knows what it is because she never uses it and my wife showed something on her iPad just after I demonstrated FaceTime which I used yesterday to locate groceries with real time directions of my wife.

I did some groceries today too, while waiting in line the girl in from of me pulled, what appeared to be, an Android phone while I did a Foursquare check-in on my WP phone, only to end up as an eyewitness to an attempt at shoplifting. And Sinterklaas was there too, but he didn't seem to have a mobile phone.

Before that I was at my son's soccer game, which he lost despite scoring a nice goal. Most of my son's team parents have either iPhones or want one if they could afford it. I didn't see many today, but it was rather cold.

Now my son is playing with 2 friends. He used my iPad, one kid also has an iPad and the other an iPod touch.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by maccouch
by Lion on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 08:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by maccouch"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

The place I see the most handheld technology is on trains. I see a surprising amount of Windows Phone, but the majority is still a reasonably even mix of iPhones and Androids. The only tablets I have seen anyone else using on the train are iPads.
As a gross generalization, highschoolers either have iPhones or low-end androids. Workers are all over the map, but my generalization based on people's appearances is that the more fashion-conscious tend to have iPhones, which leads to a predominance of them among women.
I don't remember the last time I saw a BlackBerry or an iPod.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by maccouch
by MOS6510 on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by maccouch"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

At places where people are waiting you're likely to see cell phones and other devices, like on the train.

I also have yet to spot a non-iPad tablet in the wild. When sales people visit me at work they often have an iPad to show stuff. Recently a bloke from Lenovo called me about Windows tablets and he would call again once they were out, but I haven't heard of him since.

BlackBerries have disappeared in my corporate setting, but apparently they are still popular with kids due to the BB messaging service. iPods due tend to show up in the sports world with runners and cyclers, but outside that sector only the iPod touch is seen by me (mostly used by kids).

I have only seen a WP once that wasn't owned by me, apart from a co-worker.

It's interesting that we see all these sales and usage figures, but real-life observation can be totally different.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by maccouch
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by maccouch"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's interesting that we see all these sales and usage figures, but real-life observation can be totally different.

It's natural, we're primed to notice more the expected things; also, local bubbles of popularity.

(kids, BB?... they're all either on S40 or LG Cookie & Samsung Star-like touchscreens, some on cheaper smartphones - but not BB, hardly anybody has those; similar with iPhone; but Android is becoming quite popular; or at least, that's what it seems at my place)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by maccouch
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by maccouch"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

And Sinterklaas was there too, but he didn't seem to have a mobile phone.

I think it's safe to assume that pretty much everybody has a mobile phone in the Netherlands (Europe generally has more than 100% mobile phone penetration), even if hidden or switched off.

But http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/2011/11/24/no-36-sinterklaas/ ...interesting. Is the blog accurate? ;) ("16,629,200 people can't be wrong, right?" :>>>)
And what's really the deal with the servants, what's the word on the street so to speak?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by maccouch
by MOS6510 on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by maccouch"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The blog is valid!

Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes) are Sinterklaas' servants. Kids love them and know nothing about racism. Adult (mostly white) people who are bored say it's racist, because they are black people helping out an old white man.

We've had experiments with multi colored Petes and even banning them altogether.

My dad was black and when I as a kid I never thought of Zwarte Piet as a dumb black slave. Most black people are brown anyway and I've never seen such cheerful slaves, never mind their clothes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by maccouch
by zima on Fri 7th Dec 2012 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by maccouch"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess the "bored white people" would say that the slaves seem cheerful only because they're pretending... (to be slave, and even to be black)

Was multi-coloured pertaining to whole group or to... individual Petes? ;)

And yeah, yellow or white people also aren't really... yellow or white. Besides it's all silly - ultimately we all originate from Africa, anyway.

At least my cat is definitely white ...except its tail and a patch on the head, where it's definitely black. Good winter camouflage ;)

Reply Score: 2

It's Vegas Baby
by shotsman on Sat 1st Dec 2012 15:24 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

You should know that no one goes to Vegas to buy technology. Didn't you get the message that you only go to Vegas to do one of two things.

1) Spend hour after hour in one or more of the Casino's
2) Get married by an Elvis Impersonator.

I visited that same store in July and it was almost deserted. The same day I went to the Apple Store in University City (near San Diego) and it was humming.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's Vegas Baby
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:45 UTC in reply to "It's Vegas Baby"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You forgot number 3: Go to strip clubs.

Reply Score: 3

missingxtension
Member since:
2011-01-14

it cracks me up how texans are like spongebob square pants.
"you know what goes good with ice cream? conceiled guns!", but its not funny. Only in texas do you have 2 police shootings practically at the same time in different places, and only in texas you have 2 civilians (1 a ride along) going rambo.
here is a clipping " meanwhile, the burglary victim had summoned her neighbor, who came out with his gun and mistook the ride-along civilian for a police officer in danger of being run down by the getaway car.

"Both of us put our hands up," Ross said. "He still shot. He was trying to kill us."
"


that just makes us feel safer, guns must be reason traffic is so nice in texas.

Edited 2012-12-01 16:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 1st Dec 2012 17:40 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

1) Those crappy media players the airlines use are cheap cost-wise. Considering most people fool around on their cell phone, laptop, or tablet, there's no good reason for an airline to dump a bunch of investment into ipads for in-flight entertainment.

2) I've never heard anyone complain about there being too many employees ready to serve customers. That's a new one, and it's pretty crazy that anyone would _not_ see it as a good thing.

4) I don't know that there are many more technology commercials here than in any other modern country, but I do agree most of them are stupid and that's certainly not exclusive to the US. Most commercials are dumb no matter where in the world they come from.

5) It's no secret Apple products are popular here. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. No ground-breaking story there. People don't really display their mobile devices, it's more that they use them a lot of the time without courtesy or consideration of others, or in plain idiocy. Within the last year I've seen:

- people using both hands to text, eyes looking down at their cell phone, while driving (one woman was doing this at 65+mph on the freeway)

- a number of people texting while they walk right into other pedestrians, inanimate objects, and even oncoming traffic

- people holding up lines at the grocery store, coffee shop, etc. because they're too busy talking or texting on their cell phone to finish their transaction so the next person in line can be served

- countless cell phone rings, text message alerts, and bright cell phone screens lit up during movies at the theater. (thankfully most of them stopped when confronted, or were kicked out)

This list could go on forever... Cell phones, and especially texting, has brought out some of the worst behavior I've ever seen in people. It's not limited to obnoxious teenagers either. If anything I would say adults are easily worse. Generally speaking people here are nice, helpful, etc. It's typically just when cell phones or douche-bag driving are in the picture that things get really ugly.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by David on Sat 1st Dec 2012 18:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

The in flight entertainment systems were not inexpensive. In fact, they were inordinately expensive for the airlines to buy. The reason they are bad is because they aren't mass-market devices, and they're made by specialty manufacturers for a very small market (a few airlines), so they must be produced on the cheap but cost a lot, which is a bad combo, because when they have glitches or break outright, the airline is loath to pay for the kinds of upgrades they really need.

That's why I predict that in flight entertainment is going to diverge into two paths: economy passengers will have simple satellite TV-based entertainment, while premium cabin passengers will be given fully-stocked iPads. Some of the newer and more cutting-edge airlines such as Virgin are already doing the iPad thing, and JetBlue has a pretty foolproof DirecTV-based system.

It's possible that some day the economy cabin will have an actual iPad mini embedded in the seatback (not a handheld one though, because it would be too hard to keep track of them). Now that advanced entertainment software and hardware is being produced at mass-market volumes, the specialty equipment is a dinosaur.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by terrakotta on Sat 1st Dec 2012 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

Why not just have a decent datanetwork (considering the current consoles need one too, I suppose it is already in place) and have a usb port (or more) available at all the seats. That way they can allow the use of electronic devices (the current media systems are electronic devices too, so why the use of other devices is prohibited is kind of weird) during flights, they can offer multimedia they have stored on a disk somewhere in the plane (they need to have it stored right now as well). Using standard components it would be cheap for them to allow their passengers to use multimedia, without them having to buy expensive cheap stuff that's already outdated the moment the plane is bought. It's a win win really, using open standard they can offer video on demand and all that jazz and even get some money out of it all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by David on Sat 1st Dec 2012 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Some airlines are already doing this, and for coach passengers they're charging $4 for a movie. You're certainly right that there would need to be USB power to each seat for this to really work, but they need to do that anyway. It's definitely the case that the investment in a server and wifi infrastructure is going to have a shallower obsolescence curve than end devices, and be cheaper to deploy and maintain.

I think it would be a long time before airlines would assume that every passenger boards with a personal device, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by ilovebeer
by shotsman on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Contrast that to BA. they recently took over BMI. BMI had (and now mostly in BA Colours) a number of A320 and A321 long range planes. I've been flying regularly with them (5 times since July) to Amman, Jordan.
Whilst the older A320's In-flight kit isn't all that good ALL the entertainment is free. No $xxx per movie here.
The A321's have been refurbed and at least one row of seats in Economy removed. Their inflight system includes 3D maps and an at seat USB Port.

Contract that to the POS that is United that I experienced on a flight last June to O'Hare. Boy was I glad that I had a dead tree novel to occupy me. Whole rows of seat backs didn't work. Screaming kids (because they couldn't play games) didn't help. Once upon a time, United were pretty decent but now? Not a chance.

Don't think that BA is expensive to fly. My last ticket to Amman cost a tad over £400 return. I could have flown cheaper but that would have involved EasyJet to Cyprus and then 10 hours on the ground waiting for the connection. The difference was less than £20.00 so why bother.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

(the current media systems are electronic devices too, so why the use of other devices is prohibited is kind of weird)

Well, they can always undergo (expensive) certification...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

The in flight entertainment systems were not inexpensive. In fact, they were inordinately expensive for the airlines to buy. The reason they are bad is because they aren't mass-market devices, and they're made by specialty manufacturers for a very small market (a few airlines), so they must be produced on the cheap but cost a lot, which is a bad combo, because when they have glitches or break outright, the airline is loath to pay for the kinds of upgrades they really need.

I heard the complete opposite regarding cost. That they (Alaska Airlines anyways) went with the system they use because it was cheap for them to do so. That came from a friend of the family who is a mechanic for Alaska Airlines after I asked him what the deal was with their crappy rental entertainment tablets. Granted he works on the engines but he's definitely in the know about their aircraft in general.

I don't see airlines, especially with domestic or regional service only, making huge investments into stuff like that. It just doesn't make sense.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by David on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I suspect that he may have meant "the cheapest of those available." In flight entertainment systems cost up to $3 million per plane. I've even heard $3-8 million.

First source I could find: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443916104578020601759...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by shotsman on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 06:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Alaskan is one of the more techology adept airlines. I overheard a bunch of AA crew bemoaing their lack of 'stuff'. One of the pilots had a brother who worked for Alaskan. He remarked.moaned that they introduced HUD's and iPads in the cockpit well before other airlines.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Some of the newer and more cutting-edge airlines such as Virgin are already doing the iPad thing, and JetBlue has a pretty foolproof DirecTV-based system.


I'm sure someone will find this interesting: the last time I flew KLM (Manila->Stockholm) they had a Linux-based in-flight entertainment system in every seat.
Sure beat the one Thai had; no personal entertainment system and almost everything was in Thai. Cost a shitload more than KLM too. Bastards.

Edit: Economy class both times

Edited 2012-12-02 03:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I've never heard anyone complain about there being too many employees ready to serve customers.


It's often the same here (Manila) and it does annoy me a little. Why? Because there's always someone bothering you and trying to sell you something, even if all you're doing is looking around.
Also, if there where a more sensible employee to customer ratio you could pay the employees more.

Edited 2012-12-02 03:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I've never heard anyone complain about there being too many employees ready to serve customers.

It's often the same here (Manila) and it does annoy me a little. Why? Because there's always someone bothering you and trying to sell you something, even if all you're doing is looking around.
Also, if there where a more sensible employee to customer ratio you could pay the employees more.

I personally would rather have someone available if I need them than to have to roam a store searching for help. Btw, if an employee is bothering/asking you if you need help, just tell them "no thanks, I'm fine". That's what I do and it has worked 100% of the time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 09:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Btw, if an employee is bothering/asking you if you need help, just tell them "no thanks, I'm fine".


And then the next one comes up and the next one and you go to a different section and another one and another one...
I'm not saying this is a big deal but it can be annoying.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Sat 1st Dec 2012 17:56 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Children holding a PowerPoint presentation to convince their parents to switch mobile plans?


Sorry, Thom, but we can't all have naked lesbian sex in our yogurt commercials like you crazy Europeans.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sorry, Thom, but we can't all have naked lesbian sex in our yogurt commercials like you crazy Europeans


Shame that, really.

Reply Score: 3

The US
by iswrong on Sat 1st Dec 2012 18:03 UTC
iswrong
Member since:
2012-07-15

Some observations from another Dutchman who has been in the US > 10 times (I lost count).

One, the in-flight entertainment things aboard international Delta flights are absolutely terrible.

Delta is terrible, period. From broken entertainment systems, cheesy videos, rude personell, to broken sanitary facilities. The quality of US airlines has gone down downhill since 2001 on transatlantic flights.

Second, there were more employees than customers in the Las Vegas Apple Store. Since there were a reasonable amount of customers, there were even more employees. It looked ridiculous. Are they all like that?

It seems so. Last year I have been to Apple stores in Portland and Bellevue, in both cases there were more employees than customers, although there were plenty of customers. I liked it, since it was easy to purchase something, etc.

Five, it's pretty clear iPads and iPhones are way, way, way more popular in the US than in The Netherlands. You see them everywhere, and people display them so openly. It was jarring. In The Netherlands, I always feel as if people are ashamed to take devices out of their pockets in the first place.

I think that you are biased or are not on long train trips ;) . In the train I usually see lots of people working on iPads. I also encounter lots of students and colleagues with iPhones, which they publicly show. It's not the majority of course, lots op people also have Android or Nokia phones. But I also encountered lots of Americans without an iPhone.

Six, and this is not technology related at all but I want to get it off my chest because us Europeans could learn a thing or two from it: Americans are the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

I have met nice people in many countries (e.g. look lost for 5 seconds on a Singapore street and somebody will offer to help you), but I always felt welcome in the US (except when going through East coast customs). What I like a lot is that, if you are e.g. sitting in a restaurant, somebody will often approach you for some small talk.

What I also noticed is how much poorer the average American is than the average, say Dutchmen or Dane. Once you leave the fancy business centers and go to the suburbs or drive through the countryside, you start noticing that many people are poor. The income inequality in Westen European and Scandinavian countries is much smaller than in the US. It's a difference in culture: Americans are prepared to take more risks, if you make it, you make it big. We tend to spread risk, if you make it big, you'll be paying a lot of taxes ;) .

Anyway, the US great sceneries and nice people, so I'd definitely recommend people to visit the US at least once ;) .

Edited 2012-12-01 18:06 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: The US
by bhtooefr on Sat 1st Dec 2012 18:23 UTC in reply to "The US"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

In theory you'll be paying lots of taxes, here in the US.

In reality, you'll be paying extremely low taxes (because there are ways to hide income to avoid taxes, and capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate), and definitely a lower tax rate than the middle class, if you make it big.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The US
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:08 UTC in reply to "The US"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What I also noticed is how much poorer the average American is than the average, say Dutchmen or Dane. Once you leave the fancy business centers and go to the suburbs or drive through the countryside, you start noticing that many people are poor. The income inequality in Westen European and Scandinavian countries is much smaller than in the US. It's a difference in culture: Americans are prepared to take more risks, if you make it, you make it big. We tend to spread risk, if you make it big, you'll be paying a lot of taxes ;) .

BTW you might find http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/ratrace.html article interesting.

Plus, people in the US also believe in myths such as "land of opportunity" or "American Dream" ...while the place is actually at the bottom in actual measure of this stuff, social mobility (in short, how much your success depends on your own efforts, and how much on being born into it, in the right social group). Many of the popularly disparaged "nanny states" - at the top.

Reply Score: 2

If Thom visited South Korea....
by neticspace on Sat 1st Dec 2012 18:16 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

1. He would be shocked that every South Korean uses ActiveX (Microsoft's epic failure) for online banking and governmental services.
2. He would be shocked that the South Korean public are brainwashed to love Samsung. Samsung is actually one of the most ethically problematic companies in South Korea.
3. He would be shocked that the South Korean tech culture only emphasizes on hardware components over software components.
4. He would be surprised that ethnic Koreans are not the nicest people (and one of the most racist Asians) on Earth.

Reply Score: 4

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It's all gangnam style too.

Reply Score: 2

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I was setting up a display at a local mall today, and there was this shop blasting the cheesiest K-Pop music (your gangbang-style song included) the whole time. I'm pretty sure I've developed an aneurysm or tumor of some sort now. Makes you wonder about the average life-expectancy in S.Korea. Consuming that much audible cheese and corn on a daily basis can't be good for one's health.

Reply Score: 3

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, that gangnam stuff did beat Nustin Bieber's record of most viewed YouTube clip. I welcome everything that erases Justin little by little from the history books. A better world is still within our grasps.

Reply Score: 4

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

4. He would be surprised that ethnic Koreans are not the nicest people (and one of the most racist Asians) on Earth.


and you said that without any irony whatsoever....

Reply Score: 3

orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

I have family there. It can be infuriating that people don't open up, especially when you do know they can speak English but this is more to do with potential personal shame if their language skills turn out to be actually inadequate than anything to do with racism or ethnic pride (though of course I have experienced that elsewhere - yes, I am looking at you, Paris).

In my experience, SK and South Koreans have changed *a lot* in the last decade and a half. When I first went, handicapped people would be begging in tube trains and in subways, and they were overall simply ostracised. Now you see families with their disabled relatives doing everyday stuff, and nobody blinks. I am not saying that people don't still beg and that the rest of the country is like Seoul: they do, and it isn't, but if you think that at the same time here in England hate crime against disabled people has increased over recent years, it makes you think.

The key to a lot of this is drinking, much like in England: share a bottle, and you share views and cultures. Koreans are indeed very, very proud people. They have been hemmed in for millennia by other, much larger, and much more territorially aggressive nations, and have survived. That takes a certain stoicism and nerve. But not the kind of racism that the OP portrays.

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

That is because of the cultural shift. In Paris, being nice, polite and friendly is not something to be proud of. We mock the british and anglo-saxons in general for being polite. In Paris, you have to shout. When someone asks something, you just ignore him or you shout at him. When tourists ask for a direction, you send them the other way. Parisians are proud of their snobism and general lack or manners. It's part of the romance of Paris.

Reply Score: 3

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So, just to be sure ...such is only Paris, not France in general? ;p

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

4. He would be surprised that ethnic Koreans are not the nicest people (and one of the most racist Asians) on Earth.

The Japanese have taught Koreans well, I see....

Reply Score: 2

Comment by zizban
by zizban on Sat 1st Dec 2012 19:10 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

In 1985 I went to the Netherlands. I found the people there reserved. None of them of were rude, however and I found if you acted reserved and cordial yourself they opened up a bit.

(I think to this day Guilders is the best name ever for a currency. I still have all the now worthless money coins and I got there).

Reply Score: 2

Service
by _xmv on Sat 1st Dec 2012 19:30 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

There are more apple employes than customers for the service. In the US service is VERY highly regarded. It means you shouldn't have to wait more than 5s after you enter the shop, if you need help. The only way to achieve that is to have more than 1 employe per customer.

Sound crazy, but that's how it is.

Then for flight entertainment it has nothing to do with the US I fear. It sucks with every single company unless you're traveling in business class or higher.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Service
by David on Sat 1st Dec 2012 19:36 UTC in reply to "Service"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I think that the huge number of employees in the Apple store is mostly due to the fact that Thom was in the Apple store during Thanksgiving weekend, where they were all geared up for huge crowds. The fact that the crowds hasn't actually materialized at that time doesn't necessarily indicate that the Apple store or US retail stores in general are always overstaffed.

That being said, Apple overstaffs its stores because that's part of their retail brand identity, and its high margins make it possible. And that's not just because Apple products are high margin (they are) but also any store that's selling its own products and therefore doesn't have the overhead of an intermediary distributor is going to have higher margins.

Wal-mart has very low margins, so there are many fewer employees per customer.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Service
by StuS on Sat 1st Dec 2012 23:41 UTC in reply to "Service"
StuS Member since:
2012-12-01

Especially in Las Vegas, where he was.

Reply Score: 1

Gosh, that was nice of you.
by jefro on Sat 1st Dec 2012 20:19 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

" Americans are the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of dealing" What a nice thing to say. Thanks.

Not sure guns make a place safe. It only makes it safe when honest people have them.

Reply Score: 2

Friendliness
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 1st Dec 2012 21:13 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Having spent almost 5 years of my life in Amsterdam I'd agree that the Dutch in the North West (meaning especially the Randstad) are not the most friendly of people, but go South, even as far as 's-Hertogenbosch (just one hour from Amsterdam by train) and you'll notice the difference.
I have been in worse places, most noticeably Antwerpen in Belgium.
Same in the UK. I lived both in Brighton and in Leeds, but the difference is huge (Leeds is much more friendly of course).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Friendliness
by p13. on Sat 1st Dec 2012 21:24 UTC in reply to "Friendliness "
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

I am from Antwerp and I agree. People here aren't very nice. Brussels is much much worse still.
Belgians just aren't very friendly in general.

Reply Score: 1

One rule to remember Thom
by drcoldfoot on Sat 1st Dec 2012 23:16 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

Southern Hospitality lasts as long as they know you're leaving.

It's a different story if you're a native.

Reply Score: 4

Sample size...
by bowkota on Sat 1st Dec 2012 23:58 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

[quote]No wonder US-based writers like Gruber and Arment think Apple dominates everything - if you rarely leave the US, it seems as if they do! [/quote]
While Apple is definitely most dominant in the US your deduction of the fact based on your sample size is laughable. Comparing the Netherlands (and wherever else you might have travelled) to the US is not well... comparable.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Lorin
by Lorin on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 00:00 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

For Apple stores, it is worse than that in China and Hong Kong, far more employees and many times no customers at all.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Lorin
by bowkota on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 00:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by Lorin"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

For Apple stores, it is worse than that in China and Hong Kong, far more employees and many times no customers at all.


Well at least it has some customers!
http://evangotlib.tumblr.com/post/36854561360/evan-buys-a-microsoft...

All jokes aside, that's one of the strong points of these stores (besides the products). I pass by the Covent Garden store in London almost everyday when it opens in the morning when it opens and it's usually very quiet. Not the same case on my way back though.

Reply Score: 1

About that advertising...
by tidux on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 03:24 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

In the US, we reached the "saturation point" of tech adoption by all the people who actually understand the stuff back in the 90s, or early 2000s at the latest. This means that the people being targeted by those TV ads don't know a megabyte from a yellowfin tuna. Ads with tech specs or performance benchmarks go completely over this audience's heads. That's one thing Apple figured out a long time ago, and other companies are starting to catch up.

Reply Score: 4

Boors, all
by orfanum on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 08:07 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Just because the Dutch can act like peasants to foreigners (I have been told by other countries' folks that the English and Dutch are quite similar, except the Dutch are even more reserved, socially judgemental and punctilious) does not mean that Americans are any less boorish in their own way.

I deal with quite a few Americans, and they, like the English (of which I am one) can be very polite while still getting exactly what they want. Yes, Americans are outwardly friendly and well-mannered but they are at the same time (in general) bumptious, overbearing, loud, arrogant, incapable of listening, unbending, blinkered and culturally ignorant. The US *is* the world, really, by and large. I once encountered in Germany the biggest *rse it has been my misfortune to have had to spend time with: an American exchange student. Apparently (he reported, guileless seemingly and all smiles) his tutor had informed him that Europeans would simply love him because he was from California. That was his carte blanche. He took heed of nobody's advice about nuancing his outrageously high-octane 'dude' behaviour on account of local sensibilities, or even those of the group he was in.

As I say, we English are no better. Sure, we have 'manners' but we are also cold, unfeeling, heartless, two-faced Anglo-Saxon b*st*rds exactly when it suits us.

I find that it's not pessimism that's not deep (in the West) but politeness itself.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Boors, all
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 08:34 UTC in reply to "Boors, all"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Just because the Dutch can act like peasants to foreigners


Ah, so they're friendly and accommodating folks? That's what it means, right?

The US *is* the world, really, by and large


This is probably the most annoying thinh about 'em. The expectation that everyone, everywhere are familiar with every single american thing lest they're uneducated imbeciles.
"What, you've never had a Twinkie? You don't know who the Captain and the Skipper is?? What's wrong with you?"
Yeah, ok. Whatever. You ever had a negerboll? No? How about Brodrene Dal?? No?? Wtf is wrong with *you*?

I find that it's not pessimism that's not deep (in the West) but politeness itself.


What makes you think it's any less shallow in the east?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Boors, all
by orfanum on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Boors, all"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Because I have been able to experience both West and East; that part of the East I know most about, South Korea, has little in the way of the manners I was brought up with in England, and so can come across as being rude but there's a layer of consideration in people's thinking about each other that I find lacking beneath England's so-called 'old-world charm'.

I have feasted on aspects of American culture as much as anyone, and it's not all bad, in and of itself, or regarding impact: it can be a very useful common point of reference for disparate cultures. Who knew Deputy Dawg was also apparently big in Israel amongst people my age?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Boors, all
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Boors, all"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but there's a layer of consideration in people's thinking about each other that I find lacking beneath England's so-called 'old-world charm'.


Maybe that's just England, not other countries in the West ;)
But yeah, I get what you're saying. People are generally more friendly here than what I'm used o from the West.
if that is due to genuine care or out of tradition or lingering fear from the past is a different thing.

Who knew Deputy Dawg was also apparently big in Israel amongst people my age?


Who?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Boors, all
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Boors, all"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You ever had a negerboll? No? How about Brodrene Dal??

So I googled those ...turns out you made an error, it's actually Brødrene Dal ;P Also, curious www.imdb.com/title/tt2235661/ & http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/gregelk/2010/02/04/varfor-far-man-inte... (does that saying really make rounds in Sweden?)

Generally, it's a bit sad how the tribes of Europe typically know each other, their cultural output, worse than the culture(? ;p ) in the dominating lingua franca of our times, EN.

And yes, Nordic are essentially my neighbours, a hop across the Baltic. I still had to google...

Reply Score: 2

Interested and nice...
by l3v1 on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 12:47 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate, and nice. Not exactly qualities I'd ascribe to most of my fellow countrymen


:) Yes, every tourist thinks that, unless they happen to stumble upon some unfortunate neighborhoods. I used to think that too. Then I started to spend a lot of time in the U.S. - still do -, and now I think there are a lot of open, interested, kind, helpful, considerate and nice people in the U.S. As everywhere else.

Reply Score: 2

Barbados
by Jason Bourne on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 18:30 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I lived in Barbados for 2 years. The local people, with the exception of my circle of friends, were terrible. I was more keen to be in touch with americans and even some british. I experienced this about americans being more friendly than the europeans. Quite true.

Edited 2012-12-02 18:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Barbados
by Soulbender on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 06:15 UTC in reply to "Barbados"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The local people, with the exception of my circle of friends, were terrible.


Uhm sure. Terrible. Maybe the problem wasn't with the locals.

I was more keen to be in touch with americans and even some british.


You know, I've seen a lot of this kind of people. Overpaid expats who's only contact with the locals is via their maids and subordinates and who spend a lot of time complaining about the locals. These people are almost without exception total assholes.
Not saying that's you but boy, these folks get on my nerves like nothing else.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Barbados
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Barbados"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You know, I've seen a lot of this kind of people. Overpaid expats who's only contact with the locals is via their maids and subordinates and who spend a lot of time complaining about the locals. These people are almost without exception total assholes.
Not saying that's you but boy, these folks get on my nerves like nothing else.

Reminded me about Dubai mirage: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/the-da... (also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhaisnah )

Reply Score: 2

The author is blind.
by skpg on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 23:19 UTC
skpg
Member since:
2012-09-21

He's talking about the amazing thing of technology, yet he doesn't realize both Apple and Microsoft greatly benefit from intellectual property laws at the expense of the consumer. For example Microsoft holds a monopoly in the desktop market due to the unjust copyright laws. Apple suing it's competitors billions of dollars for patent issues.

He doesn't realize that Americans are in an economic depression and they shouldn't be buying all these premium $300 iphones and tablets. The cost of living in the US is so expensive that 25 million of Americans don't have health insurance. Poverty is increasing at a rapid rate, and the US welfare system is not only broke but doesn't really help out the truly poor.

Real unemployment rate is close to 20%, we have the highest rate of incarcerated people in the world. The US is 16 trillions in debt, with a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. All that capital being taken away from the private sector, at the same time the US government gives corporate welfare in the form of patents and copyright to Microsoft and Apple.

While the author marvels at technology, maybe he should take a trip down south central l.a (or anywhere in SoCal for that matter) see all the technological marvels out there. All he will see is broken homes, broken cars, and maybe some people with iphone and ipads.

Edited 2012-12-02 23:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: The author is blind.
by quackalist on Sun 2nd Dec 2012 23:31 UTC in reply to "The author is blind."
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

We're all doomed, thanks

http://www.fsponline-recommends.co.uk/page.aspx?u=eob&tc=EMYKN1NC&P...

Edited 2012-12-02 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Then go to Ireland
by jgfenix on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 14:00 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

Really, Irish are among the nicest people I have ever met, they are warm and polite.

Reply Score: 2

American's Nice?
by andrewclunn on Mon 3rd Dec 2012 14:46 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

I'm glad you think Americans are nice. I'd like you to keep this view of us, so please stay out of the North East. It's true, Americans are generally nice and open... except in the North East. Basically the further away from New York you are, the nicer we are. Though I have heard rumors that L.A. has a similar effect in California.

Also yes, Apple products are like status symbols here.

Edited 2012-12-03 14:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: American's Nice?
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 15:10 UTC in reply to "American's Nice?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

NY, LA ...hm, both of them, in the past, largely a point of entry for immigrants? Maybe people in the US get fed up easily with outsiders after all, for example if they don't plan on leaving? ;p

Reply Score: 2