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Originally published December 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Page modified December 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

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Looking back on year of reader feedback

I'd like to thank all the people who shared feedback and ideas this year. Online comments are a mixed bag, but I'm grateful for those that kept me on course, put things in perspective and made it fun. Here are some of my favorites.

Seattle Times technology columnist

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With only a week left in 2012, it’s time to finally beat a deadline this year.

Maybe not with my column, but I will get ahead of the game by putting down the gadgets, turning away from Twitter and sending some holiday thank-you notes early, on Christmas Eve.

To start, I’d like to thank all the people who shared feedback and ideas this year. Online comments are a mixed bag, but I’m grateful for those that kept me on course, put things in perspective and made it fun.

Here are some of my favorites.

On the Mariners adding a huge scoreboard display at Safeco Field:

“Can Olerud see it from his house?”

— $3 King Beer

On Microsoft $100 giveaway to get people to line up at the Surface tablet launch:

“Really Microsoft? Really? (Buries head in hands and cries ... )”

— One More Opinion

On a review of the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone:

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m pretty sick of having to buy a new phone every couple of years. (If you can even get a phone to last that long). At $200 to $600 it’s just ridiculous and add to that the monthly cellphone charge and most people are spending around $1K to $2K a year to have a phone. Are we just nuts???”

— ms feministic

On Microsoft’s pursuit of more skilled-worker visas:

“Long ago, my father was responsible for training for Ma Bell and AT&T. Back then, if they couldn’t hire qualified individuals with the skills they needed, they trained people to do the work. Somewhere along the line, companies lost the ability to solve their own problems and it is up to the universities to provide the right skills.

“Now I know Microsoft has groups for training people to use their products. Are these people not smart enough to train people to create their products?”

— RocksandGravel

On the blog post, “Sinofsky: I decided ‘to seek new opportunities’ ”:

“ ‘Seek new opportunities’ is the biggest HR/legal euphemism for ‘If you don’t resign now, you’re going to be fired.’ ”

— Ballard Icon

On Chinese gadget maker Foxconn mulling U.S. factories, but not for Apple:

“I giggled at the line about American workers not being skilled enough to produce complicated Chinese products.

“When China produces commercial jetliners that can fly hundreds of passengers safely around the world, I’ll stop laughing.

“But they can’t, because their manufacturing processes aren’t advanced enough.

“Thankfully, Boeing learned its lesson and stopped the outsourcing they tried with the Dreamliner. No need to export jobs and technology to our future competition.

“This brings up a tangentially related issue — let’s not sell China subsidized U.S. coal so they can produce subsidized electricity so they can produce subsidized goods to compete with U.S. goods.”

— Informed Opinion

On Apple unveiling thinner iMacs, MacBook Pro:

“There is not much to be gained from simply making incremental improvements to existing product lines and filling in gaps (like on size with the mini iPad).

“The iPhone 5 seems to me to show that people at Apple are very, very afraid to break away from any design that was personally approved by Steve Jobs. They stayed within the same design elements and just added what is now technically possible — e.g., being able to squeeze more into a thinner package.

“I suppose they might feel secure enough to make some different derivations of the iPhone, since that is what Jobs did with the iPod. They would feel safe doing that.

“But what drives Apple’s market cap is the idea that they will create new product category or conquer an existing one with a giant leap in innovation. That came about every two years under Jobs. So, if something like that doesn’t happen in 2013, Apple stock might be a great short opportunity.”

—- by Dual Processor

On Seattle’s Cray making world’s fastest supercomputer:

“I acknowledged from the outset that the scientific contribution of supercomputers may be worthwhile. ... What is harmful is the unsubstantiated faith that some people, especially a generation of people raised on computers, (place) on whatever number that their computer spits out.

“Marketed under the guise of convenience, our “cloud-connected,” “Web-enabled” infrastructure remains both fragile and expensive, as the eastern storm should have reminded us. All the computing power in the world was useless against the storm — other than telling people that the storm was coming, which we had the technology to do with reasonable accuracy 50 years before mankind required cellphones and iPads in order to manage their lives.”

— commentator51

On the hybrid container ships being built for Seattle’s TOTE:

“Overall, very very cool and necessary. 21st century Seattle at work ... ”

— amaysing

On Seattle’s proposal for municipal broadband:

“This article is way too confusing. I am going to need to make some coffee and come back to it later and see if it makes anymore sense. It appears that there is a lot of missing information.”

— poundcake.

Brier Dudley’s column appears Mondays. Reach him at 206-515-5687 or

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About Brier Dudley

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest. | 206-515-5687


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