Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:35 UTC
Apple "Apple just posted its hotly-anticipated Q2 2013 earnings, and the company posted a profit of $9.5b on revenues of $43.6b, compared to $11.6b in profit on $39.2b in revenue this quarter last year and $13.1b in profit on $54.5b in revenue last quarter. That's right in line with the company's guidance from last quarter. Most importantly, iPhone sales are fairly flat year-over-year. Apple sold 37.04 million in Q2 2013 versus last year's 35.1 million, a modest growth of seven percent. iPad sales for the quarter were 19.5 million, up a massive 65 percent from last year's 11.8 million, but the average selling price (ASP) dropped fairly steeply year-over-year, likely due to the introduction of the cheaper iPad mini."
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RE[3]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I believe "dumber" is tech jargon for "easier" and "more user friendly".

It means you don't have to be very smart to use something, even "dumb" people can now too.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: It's a funny old world
by Neolander on Thu 25th Apr 2013 09:31 in reply to "RE[3]: It's a funny old world"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I believe "dumber" is tech jargon for "easier" and "more user friendly".

It means you don't have to be very smart to use something, even "dumb" people can now too.

I beg to differ. At least when I use the "dumber" word myself, it specifically means "increased newbie usability, at the expense of power user usability".


As an example, if you provide a GUI alternative to a CLI system administration tool, and then stop supporting the CLI tool, I could call your software dumber, because it is easier to discover software features but infinitely to script them out. In this case, you have moved from something that was usable by a group of users and unusable by the rest, to something that is usable by another group of users and unusable by the rest. So in the end, little has been gained.

To the contrary, if you take the time to extract an interface-agnostic backend from your CLI administration tool and build both a CLI and GUI front-ends for it, then you have a net usability gain: new users have it easier, and seasoned users are not left out in the cold. So such software would not deserve the criticism of being dumber, in my opinion, and yet it's easier to use for newbies and power users alike.


Another example would be overuse of animations. If a mail client started to throw windows randomly throughout the screen, it would make life easier for newbies, because they'd have something to distract them from the pain of learning a new OS, but also make life harder for power users, because it would also distract them in the work which they are doing, which becomes the only thing that matters at that level of expertise. So I'd call that dumb.

On the other side, mail software which would give status information more visibility than through a tiny status bar, without resorting to such childish and distracting tricks, would on its side not qualify as dumber as far as I'm concerned. It improves usability for everyone, without discriminating between different levels of user expertise.

Edited 2013-04-25 09:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: It's a funny old world
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Apr 2013 12:50 in reply to "RE[4]: It's a funny old world"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I was being a little bit sarcastic, but I do think there is some truth in it.

Regarding OS X, I think OS X 10.8 can do what 10.1 could and much more. So I don't think it can be called dumber or more limiting.

As over time a lot more features have been added I'd even say it's less easy to master/use than it used to be in the early years.

I agree that removing powerful features and replace them with more limited GUIs can also be called dumbing down, but from my experience when something becomes more user friendly people are quick to play the dumb card.

If OS X dumbs anything down it's the user who has to know nothing about computers, kernels, drives, file systems, etc... to use the computer. When I used Linux I knew every bit of hardware my PC had. I have no idea how many Ghz my iMac CPU is clocked at. I do think it has 8 GB of RAM, although I'm not 100%. Don't know about the graphics, sound or network controllers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, not really. It means certain things that made it an exciting playground of technologies is gone. The interface isn't thought of. They aren't continuing to improve using the desktop at all. Its like how people praised the Apple II back when it was released. If you tried marketing a competitor today, well you wouldn't make it far. It was, for a time, the best environment you could have. Now its not, that wasn't meant to be a put down to how it once was, just that it hasn't improved as much as linux and (gasp! ) even windows have.

Reply Parent Score: 3