Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily Kor for December 16, 2009

I'm late with the news. I've been too busy writing about my righteous indignation about other things, plus I had to go get a Magic Mouse for my iMac. That thing is sweet. Go to an Apple Store and try one out: You will plunk down the seventy smackers to get one. It's my end-of-semester treat.

Story #1 may be pointing to a deteriorating situation, as I have suggested before. Go to One Free Korea to see an update on how bad the unrest may already be.
  1. North Korea establishes new economic laws that appear to be a tightening of control following popular unrest due to the recent currency revaluation (Yonhap)
    • North Korea ups the limit for currency exchange (AP via WaPo)
  2. China's Vice President Xi Jingping to arrive today to discuss PRC relations with ROK and DPRK (Yonhap, Joongang Daily)
  3. Meeting with Japanese legislators, ROK President Lee Myungbak urges improved relations between the two neighbors (Korea Times
  4. North Korea's Security Minister has traveled to Beijing for the first such trip in ten years (Korea Herald), amid reports that North Korea will ban foreigners until February (Chosun Ilbo)
  5. The Korea Bar Association sues the Seoul Prosecutors Office for mishandling of the infamous "Nayŏng" rape case involving a mutilated nine-year-old girl (Korea Times)
  6. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk says the US is preparing for talks to revisit the terms of the ROK-US free-trade agreement (AP via WaPo)
  7. Choi Geesung, the low-profile grandson of Samsung's founder, named new CEO (WSJ)  
  8. UN meteorology committee report sees silver lining to climate change as habitat of endangered sea turtles spreads to the North Pole (Yellowknife Yeller)


  1. The one thing where apple falls down again and again and again... is in mouse design.

    I have to confess that I'm currently a PC user, but (because I'm interested in getting more into composing music and editing videos) I'll probably make the switch sometime in the next year or two.

    Anyway... I've worked with many an old Mac (at work and at the uni music dept)... and always hated the meeces to pieces.

  2. I'm guessing you're referring to the lack of a trackball-like device on the mouse.

    That problem has been an easy fix since the 1990s, with third-party mice that could be purchased cheaply, say, from Logitech.

    But for most of this decade, Macs have come with better mice, including a small trackball/button we called "the nipple," for lack of a better word.

    This Magic Mouse itself has no button (though the entire mouse itself is a button), but there is trackball-like behavior built into it. Instead of a trackball or wheel that can get gunk in it (this is what did in the wired Mighty Mouse that it replaced), finger movements are detected on the Eve-like glassy surface of the mouse. You simply can't gunk in it, though.

    I'm lovin' this, and so is "M," who is using my iMac since her Fujitsu crapped out.

  3. You can also set up the Magic Mouse as a two-button mouse.

  4. I'm not too concerned with the absence of a mouse-wheel (I think prolonged use could cause tendon trouble) but the Apple mice I've used have almost all been terribly inconvenient and frustrating to use.

    Take a look at these examples in this picture from Wikipedia:

    Out of these mice, I've used four (not the one on the left) - and 3 of them were awful. The only one that was any good was the middle one.

    Here's why:

    The middle one was good because the shape was good, the button was in the right position and it was easy and comfortable to use.

    The second one (from the left) stank as it had a recessed mouse button that didn't extend to the front edge. This required the user to curl his or her finger into an uncomfortable (and unhealthy) position in order to click. This represented a step backwards from the first mouse (in terms of button use).

    The fourth one (the 'puck') was an utter design catastrophe. This was when Apple was making everything colourful and funky. That's not a bad thing in itself, but they totally neglected functionality for the sake of an attempt to make something that looked 'cool'. It was an uncomfortable shape and it was infuriating as you couldn't figure out which way was up. Every time you let it go, it would rotate under pressure from the cable and you'd need to fiddle with it for a couple of seconds to find out where you were again. A few seconds may not sound like much, but when you do work that involves frequent switches from keyboard to mouse... it soon adds up to major annoyance.

    As for the last mouse (far right), it looked like a great improvement - until I started using it. Sure, it's a stylish sexy-looking mouse (as far as mice go), but I found it lacking once again. The problem this time, was the button. Almost the whole surface of the mouse WAS the button. There were two very small places on the side that were not connected to the button... and, again, they were not that easy to find in a hurry. So, as I swung my hand over to reach for the mouse, I often bumped it and accidentally clicked. Apple's OS is a one-click environment, so you can imagine how that could cause little accidents. Not only would I bump it with my hand, but with papers, books, staplers, feathers... ok, ok, a little exaggeration there, but my point is: it was too sensitive and you could cause accidental clickage from almost any angle of, err... bumpage.

    As for the newest addition, the 'magic' mouse, I haven't tried it yet, but (in my opinion) it's already yet another in a long line of Apple mouse design failures. As with the last mouse in the picture I linked to, having the whole mouse surface act as a button is not a good thing.

    Sorry about the extended rant, but I worked with (many of) those mice for years and came to hate them.

    Also, please don't take offence... I know Mac users often suffer from 'fanboyism' and become very defensive whenever anyone criticises Apple.

    It's just my opinion (based on extensive experience)... ;)

    Apart from the mice, I've come to see the benefits of using an apple... and, as I said, am preparing to make the switch.

    Just not to the mice...... and never will if their designers can't see the problems that I've highlighted.

    Anyway, as you said, I can just get a different mouse - like a Logitech... and I do think a second mouse button is very useful.

    Sorry, again, to go on...

    By the way, have you ever felt frustrated using Apple mice?


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