Forced Transition/Obsolescence

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Old 07 July 2013   #1
Forced Transition/Obsolescence

A lot of things happen in life that are forced upon you but especially so with technology. It's always about the latest and greatest technology that seems to replace older technology 2x faster than before. I guess my biggest concern is the "Cloud" in terms of whether it's computer games or software programs are no longer in your possession (i.e. a hard copy) and you are at the mercy of whatever greedy corporation wants to do. Basically, you have limited to no options. (Like have to always been connected to the internet to determine you are the rightful owner of the software thereby allowing you to use it.) I guess that's why I also hate e-readers and tablets too and prefer books because they don't need electricity to run. But look at the closure rates of bookstores and the rise of sales on Kindles, iPads and etc.

Obviously, you have a choice to an extent to go find another program that hopefully can do those tasks in a similar function. Or you can use the older programs you have but eventually there will be newer updates that will be time saving and useful and then you're stuck and have to upgrade...to the Cloud. And DVD ownership and rentals are slipping and internet streaming services are on the rise but if your internet doesn't work you can't use Netflix or use a software program that requires internet connection for identity verification.

Forced transition also goes for the new 4k TVs which are an obvious money grab in that the human eye can only see up to a certain resolution. (Unless of course Google Glass or something else finds a way to "augment" your vision to see in higher resolution. Then again 3D TVs aren't doing well I'm guessing because people got tired of having to wear glasses all the time and constant migraine headaches.)

But this begs the question does that mean 1080p TVs are going to become obsolete and the consumer is forced then to upgrade to a TV that doesn't really offer any better resolution (that the human eye can see) than the old one other than a higher price tag? You can always keep your old TV but it'll break eventually and have to be replaced. I guess this applies to computer monitors as well. If you have a 27" or "30 inch monitor a 4k resolution vs. 1080p really isn't going to change anything except again the price tag. Same thing with DVDs that become Blu-rays and then Blu-rays which will eventually be obsolete then become PVDDs or whatever they call it. (I just made that up and called it Platinum Vision Digital Downloads of Movies and TVs that will be in 4k.) Plus, new movies and games will only be released in that format. But then what about infrastructure and the capacity and bandwith of internet providers and the growth of the Smart TVs that will be in 4k and then digital downloads being in 4k will be a huge slowdown to internet users trying to watch video in that resolution.

I guess I just like having other options other than the corporations "their way or the highway." It's not that I don't like the change but it's when it loses its practicality and gets so ridiculously out of hand just for pure profit for the corporations without thinking of the customers who are then basically chained to their technology the corporations can do what they want.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #2
I think youre finding things to complain about that arent really there. You say youre being forced to get a higher resolution display... no you're not. We've had HD for years and you can still buy pal/ntsc crt tvs, having something with a higher spec doesnt remove the old choices. Only when the economies of scale mean that there are so many HD flat panels being made that theyre now cheaper than the old SD screens, will they stop being made.

The last floppy disk and vhs tape factories just closed their doors last year, as did the last polaroid film factory just before them.

Im looking at buying a new E-P5 camera, my old GF1 still works perfectly fine, but the new one has more bells and whistles, higher res, higher shutter speed, in-body stabilisation, higher ISO. I wouldnt say theres built in obsolescence, technology has simply progressed.
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Old 07 July 2013   #3
Yeah just for advancement its a no brainer but the cloud philosophy poses a few good questions. R&D will always be offline meaning there is a market there for applications that work in that mode, which means offline software will always be available. The cloud seems to be intended for the average user and for these consumers that method will be very convenient. Xbox announced their 'one' model will need to logon once per session even when a user wants to play solo. At the same convention Sony announced that their PS4 wont need that, and that once you have purchased a game you can do what you want with it. As a longtime xbox fiend I will be stepping over to PS just because I don't want to be dictated to. My point being when companies impose restrictions other companies rub their hand together and seize opportunities.

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Old 07 July 2013   #4
I think the opening post is just an overall rant at technology progress in general. Some of the points made are a bit off, like the one suggesting (if Im reading it correctly) that BluRay doesn't give better quality than DVD. To my eyes, BluRay is clearly better and shows more detail and is a positive step forward. BluRay players also play standard DVDs which hardly makes them obsolete.

While I might be inclined to have some reservations about things like the Cloud, I wouldn't allow it to cloud my judgement on all tech progress.
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Old 07 July 2013   #5
There have always been rumors floating around Japan about the so called "Sony Timer". This is quite a bit different than planned obsolescence, but is, instead, the planned death of electronic products, thus forcing the consumer to upgrade. These rumors were so pervasive that Sony had to publicly deny that such a thing existed. It has, of course, never been proven that any Sony device contains such a self destruct mechanism. I think too many people have become anti "greedy corporation" and, as such, latch on to such concepts.

Corporations for the most part still serve the people. That is to say the consumer. If they can make new technology so enticing as to cause users to give up their old products in favor of it, they have done well. I don't think any company is forcing anyone to buy anything, though. It seems Apple is releasing a new device every few months and millions are buying them. I don't think they are forcing anyone to do so. I never bought past the iPhone 1. Others, however, might see the bells and whistles of newer devices as a reason they must upgrade.
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Old 07 July 2013   #6
I think that in some instances you're right, a complete change in hardware can feel forced. I was one of the unfortunate souls who bought a PowerPC G5 only to watch Apple switch to Intel architecture a year later. Within three years, no one, including Apple, was making software for my three thousand dollar investment. (I've since switched to PC and couldn't be happier.)

In some cases however, forced obsolescence helps move things along and rectify mistakes made in the past. In web development, support for Internet Explorer 6 and 7 is finally being dropped by the dev community at large because both versions interpreted code very differently from the other major browsers. This necessitated coding a site twice, once for all major browsers and then a series of hacks for IE. Could a developer still write a page that works in IE6? Sure, but it's over a decade old, costs more money, and can result in more advanced features of your site being cut regardless of their adherence to modern standards. The only way to make some people move along is to allow things to break when used with outdated technology.

In terms of TV's, I agree, it's a bit of a money grab in this case. One positive effect of the initial switch to HD however was that manufacturers changed screen ratios to more closely match those used in theaters.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #7
Originally Posted by teruchan: ... the so called "Sony Timer".


I think it's called predictive engineering.. knowing how long something will last based on use and stresses. While they may not admit to building products that will only last so long, the fact is that they do.

Ever wondered why they build water pumps in your clothes washing machine out of plastic instead of steel? The reason given is cost, but in reality... one will last at least 30 days, while the other may last 30 years.
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Old 07 July 2013   #8
Originally Posted by teruchan: There have always been rumors floating around Japan about the so called "Sony Timer". This is quite a bit different than planned obsolescence, but is, instead, the planned death of electronic products, thus forcing the consumer to upgrade. These rumors were so pervasive that Sony had to publicly deny that such a thing existed. It has, of course, never been proven that any Sony device contains such a self destruct mechanism. I think too many people have become anti "greedy corporation" and, as such, latch on to such concepts.

Corporations for the most part still serve the people. That is to say the consumer. If they can make new technology so enticing as to cause users to give up their old products in favor of it, they have done well. I don't think any company is forcing anyone to buy anything, though. It seems Apple is releasing a new device every few months and millions are buying them. I don't think they are forcing anyone to do so. I never bought past the iPhone 1. Others, however, might see the bells and whistles of newer devices as a reason they must upgrade.


I think now planned obsolescence isn't needed because of how fast our technology is progressing. My phone isnt going to break before I want a new faster one. Maybe things like microwaves have built in death dates but nothing in a changing technological field. Or atleast for me in my current situation I want a new product far sooner than my old on will break.

IMO the best skill you can have is the ability to learn something new quickly because its not going to go slower. I worry sometimes a lot the mass amounts of people who would be out of work if some kid found a way to take creation to the next level and put all the software we know moot. Not around the corner, but just takes one kid with aspergers to make a mind computer interactivity and things could change a lot again
 
Old 07 July 2013   #9
I would get over your fear of new technology because it's always going to happen whether you want it to or not. In this business you can keep up with it or try and find a different job.
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Old 07 July 2013   #10
If anything gets me miffed about the way companies upgrade technology it's that it's too slow. They will sit on better tech to get better shelf life out of current obsolete tech. It makes sense from a business perspective, but consumers get held on a leash.
I might agree about the cloud, it is a model that puts the companies if full control. Not a lot that can be done about that, but to embrace the good aspects.
I totally disagree about HD resolution. I've heard this argument 1000 times. "This resolution, bit depth, frame rate, poly count, whatever... is so good it doesn't need to be improved." It's never good enough, and can always be improved. Cost aside, give me the new stuff! Which goes back to my first point...
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Old 07 July 2013   #11
Originally Posted by ebbandflow: But this begs the question does that mean 1080p TVs are going to become obsolete and the consumer is forced then to upgrade to a TV that doesn't really offer any better resolution (that the human eye can see) than the old one other than a higher price tag?


Hardly. The advantage to 4k is that it will enable the cost effective production of displays which exceed 60". The pixels start to become visible in displays of 60" or greater. Thats why plasmas are often preferred over led at these sizes. It means that one day you'll be able to afford displays of 8 to 12 feet for your home.

But before that happens broadcast content has to be available at the 4k resolution to provide real advantage. While most films are produced at that rez, and projected at that rez in some theatres, its provided in 2k rez for digital broadcast HDTV. Its only a matter of time before it makes it to your home as 4k. In the meantime it will force prices down for 2k HDTV.

As for BluRay, it took almost a decade for the BluRay \ HD-DVD battle to be won. These matters of "obsolescence", while they may seem as abrupt changes to the consumer, are often decades old development processes which have to be tested for viability in the marketplace. It was this way for the VHS \ BETA scrap in the 80's and it will be this way with 4k.

I wouldn‘t be so quick to assume that its a marketing conspiracy to get you to buy more tech. The cpu market was in constant flux for decades. Only until very recently did it reach a plateau. At some point most tech reaches its threshold, the job for most developers is to find that threshold. This is a good thing.

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Old 07 July 2013   #12
Originally Posted by imashination: I think youre finding things to complain about that arent really there. You say youre being forced to get a higher resolution display... no you're not. We've had HD for years and you can still buy pal/ntsc crt tvs, having something with a higher spec doesnt remove the old choices. Only when the economies of scale mean that there are so many HD flat panels being made that theyre now cheaper than the old SD screens, will they stop being made.

The last floppy disk and vhs tape factories just closed their doors last year, as did the last polaroid film factory just before them.

Im looking at buying a new E-P5 camera, my old GF1 still works perfectly fine, but the new one has more bells and whistles, higher res, higher shutter speed, in-body stabilisation, higher ISO. I wouldnt say theres built in obsolescence, technology has simply progressed.


I apologize if I wasn't clear enough but my whole take is not on bashing technological progress but when it becomes redundant and more expensive for no good reason. (Well, yes there is. More Cash for the Corporations.) Sure 4k resolution has higher resolution then 1080p and you say that it only noticeably better if you have a 60" TV screen or higher. But on average how many consumers can actually afford a TV screen of that size? Are they only going to release 4k TV's in TV's that are 60" or larger? I doubt it as they're going to release them in all sizes.

As for companies still making/just stopped making VHS and floppy drives where exactly is that? No Best Buy or Radioshack I've been to hasn't sold them in years.
Originally Posted by Dillster: I think the opening post is just an overall rant at technology progress in general. Some of the points made are a bit off, like the one suggesting (if Im reading it correctly) that BluRay doesn't give better quality than DVD. To my eyes, BluRay is clearly better and shows more detail and is a positive step forward. BluRay players also play standard DVDs which hardly makes them obsolete.

While I might be inclined to have some reservations about things like the Cloud, I wouldn't allow it to cloud my judgement on all tech progress.


Again, if I wasn't clear enough I'm sorry but what I was saying was by judging how things are going, Blu Ray matches the resolution of current HDTVs or 1080p. And yes the quality is noticeably better than DVD but when you move past Blu Ray and onto 4k for 4K TV resolution and then presumably 4K streaming movies on the internet and smart TVs or Netflix or whatever it seems a bit excessive in that unless your TV is a 60" 4K dispay or larger there will be no noticeable picture difference on smaller TV's. I would guess the average houshold would have a TV of about 40"-42" screen. So you're going to be paying a lot more for something not everyone can enjoy properly. And this also brings up my point about how the infrastructure of internet providers will be able to cope with the massive bandwidth of streaming digital 4k TV shows and movies. And with everything connected to the internet if the internet goes down then you can't do much of anything. Not even work on a software program that needs internet verification to work.

I hope this helps understand what I was trying to say.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #13
Whut whut? Whassalldisden? Oh, hah, Progress. Nah it'll never catch on...
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Old 07 July 2013   #14
Where do you get the eye resolution matching screen resolution idea from? Apart from eye resolution not corresponding to, say, camera sensor resolution in the way that receptors/pixels are laid out and the data from them processed, no one watching a screen under normal circumstances sees the entire screen in focus anyway; as such, there is not a 1-to-1 mapping of pixels to eye receptors. When we look at a screen we focus on points of interest, in essence applying the larger proportion of our eye resolution to just one area of the screen. In that case, for screen resolution to 'match' eye resolution, the screen would have to have enough pixels that any one point of interest area has the same 'resolution' as the eye (which would obviously depend on the viewer's distance from the screen).
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Old 07 July 2013   #15
Originally Posted by ebbandflow: I apologize if I wasn't clear enough but my whole take is not on bashing technological progress but when it becomes redundant and more expensive for no good reason. (Well, yes there is. More Cash for the Corporations.) Sure 4k resolution has higher resolution then 1080p and you say that it only noticeably better if you have a 60" TV screen or higher. But on average how many consumers can actually afford a TV screen of that size? Are they only going to release 4k TV's in TV's that are 60" or larger? I doubt it as they're going to release them in all sizes.


How is it redundant? Are you saying its redundant for your needs?

When SD tvs were commonly 20-30 inches in the 80's was it redundant to make 12 inch sets? I think you've limited yourself to the current day in your thinking. What about tomorrow? A decade from now? What if the goal is for the 8 foot display to become the most commonly sold display? There was day when the largest tv set available was smaller than 32 inches. Should we only make 42 inch displays because some people think thats enough for anyone's use?

How many people could afford a 60 inch flat panel 12 years ago? They were in the thousands of dollars then. What are they now $800 on average now? You can't get the price for these things down if you don't sell a lot of them. You can't sell a lot of them if you don't make them.
 
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