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Portables (Apple) Apple

Apple Announces New MacBook, Pro, Air 774

Posted by kdawson
from the must-have dept.
Steve Jobs just got through announcing new MacBook lines in Cupertino. The MacBook, the Pro, and the Air all got revved. The old line of plastic-body MacBooks drops in price by $100, to $999. The new MacBooks have a metal body and multi-touch trackpad, just like the new Pros. The Pro features two NVidia graphics chips. Quoting Jobs: "With the 9400M, you get 5 hours of battery life, with the 9600M GT you get four hours of battery life. You choose." In summary: "We're building both [MacBook and Pro] in a whole new way. From a slab of aluminum to a notebook. New graphics. New trackpad, the best we've ever built. And LED-backlit displays that are far brighter, instant on, far more environmentally responsible." They are shipping today and should be in stores tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing: Steve's blood pressure is 110/70.
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Apple Announces New MacBook, Pro, Air

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  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#25371759)

    Woot. I've been looking to get an upgrade to my MBP (1st gen). This means all the 'old' stock is going to get dropped into the refurb store or sold cheaply through other channels.

  • First post? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by line-bundle (235965) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#25371761) Homepage Journal

    It's amazing how AAPL stock drops after an announcement.

    Buy on rumor. sell on fact.

    • Re:First post? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anaesthetica (596507) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:02PM (#25371799) Homepage Journal
      If I had the money, I would have a standing short on every day that Apple has a conference. There's always a speculative run-up in the price and a drop when the actual announcement is made.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by norminator (784674)
      I am not an economist (IANAE), but shouldn't that be sell on rumor (when it's high), and buy on fact (when it's low)?
      • Re:First post? (Score:5, Informative)

        by HansF (700676) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:19PM (#25372035) Journal
        It's called short selling. Check wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
  • Glossy only? (Score:4, Informative)

    by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#25371763)

    From what I've been reading on the liveblogs, these new notebooks are available in glossy screens only, even for the MBP. If that's the case, I think a lot of people will be pretty upset.

    W

    • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Informative)

      by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:03PM (#25371809)

      Answering my own query [engadget.com]:

      11:01AM Q: Concern about the glossy screens. Are you going to offer another option?
      A: Steve: We're going all glass -- we won't offer another version. Phil: You offset the reflection by the brightness, and consumers love it. One of the great things about a notebook is you can turn it however you want!

      Uh, yeah. Great. Guess I'm keeping my matte for a while.

      W

      • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Informative)

        by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus caffeine> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:11PM (#25371919) Journal
        be ready though, even Dell is dropping their matte options. Pretty soon none of the laptops will have it.
        • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Utini420 (444935) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:26PM (#25372133)

          Why?
          I'm not trolling, honest question. Why are so many manufacturers going to glossy LCDs? Cheaper to build, what? 'Cause every end user I support hates the things. Except one, and he always likes to be different anyway.

          What benefit, real or imagined, do hardware makers think/believe/want us to believe, is to be had from glossy screens?

          • media (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:31PM (#25372221) Journal

            A lot of people use their laptops as portable media players - watching movies on the couch, looking at pictures, etc. Glossy screens give the impression of better colors for that kind of use, so they're increasingly used in laptops in the consumer market.

            I'm kinda disappointed to read about this, frankly. I'd at least like the option to not have one, cause they're fucking terrible.

            • Re:media (Score:5, Funny)

              by Henneshoe (987210) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:44PM (#25372439)
              Go ahead and buy a glossy screen. On the way home stop by the grocery store and pick up some steel wool. Rub the screen with the steel wool and Voila!! A beautiful matte screen.

              Note: your results may vary.
            • Re:media (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Onan (25162) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @04:42PM (#25374179)

              I thought that glossy screens were an absolutely awful idea when I first heard of them. But after seeing and using them for a while, I now find them to be a far better choice.

              Remember, the difference between matte and glossy is now how much glare the screen reflects, just how sharply focused that glare is. With a glossy screen, if you're sitting at the wrong angle, you get a big bright unusable glare. But if you adjust that angle even very slightly, the glare goes away _completely_.

              A matte screen, on the other hand, is the hedging approach. There's no single point at which the glare is really awful... and there's no point at which the glare goes away entirely. You're just averaging the glare over all possible angles.

              Given how painless it is to nudge a laptop one way or the other by a couple of degrees, I'm now much happier with the option to have no glare whatsoever, rather than just constant not-too-terrible glare. It's a little weird actually seeing true black on a laptop screen in a lit room, but I assure you that it's refreshing.

            • Re:media (Score:4, Informative)

              by drmerope (771119) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @01:46AM (#25379133)

              Glossy screens give the impression of better colors for that kind of use, so they're increasingly used in laptops in the consumer market.

              This is misleading. Glossy screens DO have better color saturation and CAN offer better color gamut as a result. They also have better contrast.

              A matte anti-reflection coating works by diffusing the light so that point sources, backlight bleed, other pixels all reflect from the surface everywhere--the result is a loss of contrast. Many graphics arts people will tell you glossy "sux". They are just parroting what they learned in vague terms: "don't buy glossy" No further explanation.

              Most people I know who don't like glossy, disliked it after learning that it wasn't 'professional'. Well here is a secret: glossy is bad for press work because CYMK ink processes cannot achieve the same color saturation as the screen. So if you have 24b or 18b or whatever color, you distribute your dynamic range over a color-space that isn't usable in print. Which means: 1) you can more easily pick impossible colors (if you don't rigorously use gamut checks) and 2) the colorimetric distance between any two colors on your display is further (more gamut) therefore less fine distinction.

              #2 matters if you're trying to say match skin tone. #2 also matters if you try to color calibrate the screen. The closer together your color-steps are the easier it is calibrate (lots of precision), but a glossy screen has bigger steps between colors (covers more color space) and thus cheapo calibration equipment and software fails to converge. This especially true if the LCD panel (not the coating) is cheap 6b/channel.

              Last, glossy is really bad for windows. In windows, everything is assumed to be sRGB color-space (wrong) unless you are in photoshop. Your screen has more gamut, more saturation, but windows does not do color-space translation on its own. Ergo: all your colors are slightly wrong in every program but photoshop (or equivalent). On MacOS, color-space translation is available in many more programs thanks to the OS

              .

          • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:45PM (#25372455)

            I personally love my glossy screen and would never again consider a matte option.

            For one, glossy screens are easier to clean. With laptops, it's somewhat inevitable that the screen will get fingerprints on it. With a matte screen, you need a specific wipe/spray to clean. My glossy display cleans easily with a damp paper towel. Glossy screens also showcase vibrant colors better than matte screens. This is probably why so many manufacturers are pushing glossy...under the right conditions, stuff just looks better on a glossy screen. But I would bet that Apple is moving to glossy in preparation for laptops where the screen is touch-sensitive (ala iPhone/iPod).

            And having used one for the past year, the glare issue is really a red herring. I don't notice it. In fact I find the glossy screens more usable in sunlight conditions since they appear brighter than the matte. I actually find it really hard to believe your statement, "every end user I support hates the things" based on my experience. It's really hard to fathom that anyone who has actually used a glossy display for any serious amount of time wouldn't prefer it to a matte display.

            • Dueling Anecdotes (Score:4, Interesting)

              by weston (16146) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @04:27PM (#25373987) Homepage

              And having used one for the past year, the glare issue is really a red herring. I don't notice it.

              That's great that it doesn't bother you, and I think it's fine that people who for whatever reason don't seem to mind glare can buy glossy screens, but the tone of your post is so dismissive of the genuine problems people have with glossy screens that it's bordering on insulting.

              It's really hard to fathom that anyone who has actually used a glossy display for any serious amount of time wouldn't prefer it to a matte display.

              For a bit over two months this year I was borrowing laptops while mine broke, including a MacBook. They had glossy screens. I absolutely hate them. I suppose you can argue that 2 months for 8-14 hours per day of use isn't a "serious amount of time", but you'd be wrong.

            • Re:Glossy only? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by lucas teh geek (714343) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @05:22PM (#25374739)

              And having used one for the past year, the glare issue is really a red herring. I don't notice it.

              well, having used a macbook for the past year, I strongly refute that. The glare is a huge issue. Colours look great... unless theres a light source other than the laptop in the room (and dont even bother trying to use it outside or near a window), then there's glare so you tilt the screen and the colours distort. perhaps thats an issue with the shitty lcds they put in macbooks. the powerbook I had before it had far better viewing angles, whereas the macbook doesnt require much tilting for the colours to change and the contrast between light colours to disappear (for example the grey comment box outlines on slashdot "disappear"). the glossy screen has been the deciding factor for me that when I eventually replace the laptop I was going to buy from the mbp range JUST for the matte screen. and now they've taken away that option :(

    • Re:Glossy only? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SilentChris (452960) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:05PM (#25371835) Homepage

      Not really. Apple's marketshare has switched from Mr. Graphic Designer to Joe Collegestudent. Mr. Graphic Designer wants older matte screens because they supposedly reproduce colors better (the same reason they held onto CRTs well after LCDs debuted). Joe Collegestudent wants "popping" colors for photos, deeper blacks, etc. In other words, they want their computers to be modeled after consumer devices like LCD TVs -- they could care less about color reproduction.

      Me, personally, I like the glossy screens. My laptop purchases are purely for home use where I look at photos, watch movies and play games. I think most of Apple's buyers are similar in their interests now.

      If you want a matte screen, there's plenty of other laptops choose from. Apple wouldn't be selling new laptops with glossy screens if the old ones weren't selling reasonably well.

      • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pz (113803) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:19PM (#25372027) Journal

        Mr. Graphic Designer wants older matte screens because they supposedly reproduce colors better (the same reason they held onto CRTs well after LCDs debuted).

        I'm Mr. Dabbles in Graphic Design Person. You need to remove the "supposedly" in your statement above, especially when it comes to CRTs vs LCDs. High end LCDs are almost as good as decent CRTs, mostly because LCDs significantly change color with viewing angle. When you're worried about graphic design or photography, getting the color right is really important, and even slight color shifts are unacceptable.

        I'm also Mr. Professional Visual Neuroscientist Who Does Some Colorimetric Work. No serious colorimetric work is yet being done with LCDs for the very same reason: a green dot needs to be exactly the same green whether it's presented in the middle of the screen or at the edge. With CRTs that's the case. With LCDs, assuming the viewing position is the same, the viewing angle changes slightly between those two screen locations, and the color is altered.

        I had cause to use a glossy screen laptop recently. Couldn't wait to get rid of it, as I was distracted by my own reflection, or a reflection of the things behind me, or the lights, or whatever else was at the right (or wrong?) angle. Until LCD screens get some really good antiglare coating, matte is the way to go.

        • Re:Glossy only? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SilentChris (452960) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:27PM (#25372157) Homepage

          Simple question: do you think Apple is marketing the new Macbooks for Mr. Joe Collegestudent or Mr. Professional Visual Neuroscientist Who Does Some Colorimetric Work?

          Apple spends 9/10 of their time marketing. Always hasl. Mr. Professional Visual Neuroscientist Who Does Some Colorimetric Work arguably won't get the laptop marketed for its Word processing and gaming use.

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @05:46PM (#25375041)

          No serious colorimetric work is yet being done with LCDs

          Well I'm a Very Serious Photographer With Color Managed Systems, and I can tell you you're full of hooey.

          There are a number of Serious [eizo.com] LCD monitors now, some with advanced features like wide gamuts, and good enough viewing angles so that you can move side to side within at least the range of the monitor and see no shift.

          What you said might have been true about two years ago, but the industry has moved well beyond all Serious work being done on CRT's these days.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        I'm a university student. I use my MBP in the university for note-taking and work. A glossy screen would make it next to impossible to actually do anything because we have big wall-filling rows of windows everywhere, which have bad enough reflections that I can't see anything but the windows on glossy screens.

        It'd be really nice if there was a laptop for people who actually need a mobile computer to work with instead of an oversized portable DVD player. "You can position laptops any way you want" is usele
  • Boring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MarkoNo5 (139955) <MarkovanDoorenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:04PM (#25371821)
    I really don't care if my macbook pro is made of a single block of aluminium or not. I do however care about non-glossy screens, and not having to lug around a connector for a mini display port. Both of these, however, seem to be a thing of the past. In addition, I think the black border around the screen is ugly as hell.
  • 13" MP (Score:4, Informative)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:05PM (#25371841) Homepage Journal

    The new metal 13" macbook is very similar to the pro, just smaller. For a $700 price difference this new model is probably worth it if you don't mind it being a little smaller.

    • Re:13" MP (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:12PM (#25371925)
      Unless you need Firewire, in which case you're up a creek sans paddle. Typical Apple, a couple steps forward, one step back, one step to the side. Never end up exactly where you want to be.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:12PM (#25371931)

    0.

    no mouse buttons. what a joke.

    • by LostCauz (121686) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:31PM (#25372219)

      The glass trackpad *is* the buttons, and not like tapping to do a click.

      It works in a similar way to the ipod wheel, the corners move down when you press it. Watch the video on the macbook page. I was afraid of that too, but it really is quite nice.

  • glass touchpad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kisrael (134664) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:15PM (#25371975) Homepage

    is a glass touchpad that much better?
    I ahve an iphone but the only plus I see is that i can see an LCD through it...

  • Dual Video Cards? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:16PM (#25371979)

    Is anyone's interest peaked by the new dual video cards? Especially with OpenCL [wikipedia.org] possibly being the 'next big thing'. I'd be very interested in Photoshop CS4 benchmarks too.

    Second, is this the next big competitive 'edge' (now that everything is dual core). Apple was one of the first companies to put dual processors in consumer products. I remember debating between a Dual 800 MHz or a Single 866 when I went to college and ended up spending the extra on the dual. I swore to myself then that I'd never go back to a single processor. Now everything is dual core, dual processor, quad core, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Airport was one of the first Consumer 802.11b solutions. Apple provided both the Base Station (router) and their wireless card.
      Gigabit ethernet still isn't on most computers you buy from anywhere else.
      iSight built in, don't all the new Dells have this?

      Even if no one cares about Apple shit or shiny new over priced products. Expect somethings you've heard today to trickle down into every other brand.

  • by sjonke (457707) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:16PM (#25371985) Journal

    See the tech specs: http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html [apple.com]

  • ugh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:20PM (#25372051)

    Failtastic in so many ways:

    • Despite all this we're-environmental crap, it's worse off, because it requires enormous amounts of electricity to make the larger quantity of aluminum, it requires more electricity to machine it, and the vast majority of material is milled right off. The scrap needs to be heated up and melted down AGAIN to "recycle" it. Since they're made in China, the electricity for that is coming directly from coal.
    • Still ExpressCard/34, which is useless for many things, particularly CompactFlash readers used by pro photographers.
    • Huge black border around the screen, which is wasted space.
    • #$@$!ing annoying square, flat keys from the Macbook, and they're black. Am I the only one who thinks it looks incredibly ugly?
    • Glossy screen only. To which Phil said, "You offset the reflection by the brightness, and consumers love it. One of the great things about a notebook is you can turn it however you want!" No, douchebag, we HATE the glossy screen, and you've still got to SIT SOMEWHERE with it, and turning up the brightness requires more battery power. Apparently Phil has never tried using one of the glossy screens with something bright behind him. There's a reason almost every TV and computer monitor on the planet has a matte screen.
    • Yet another video adapter. We've got a BIN full of these things for when people need to use a projector. Here's another one, for absolutely no particular good reason.
    • Security slot in FRONT of the side-mounted DVD drive. Great. So if you want to lock your laptop up, you've got this big cable blocking the drive, and if you eject a CD, it'll eject into the cable. And probably break the drive. Why couldn't it go in the corner?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Microlith (54737)

      No, douchebag, we HATE the glossy screen,

      To be sure, -you- hate the glossy screen. However, if Dell/HP/Toshiba et. al. are any indication, the market as a whole prefers the glossy screens.

      So Apple makes laptops with glossy screens. Good luck finding new laptops without them from ANY maker.

  • gestures (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:27PM (#25372165)

    Ok, so first it was 1 finger, then 2, then 3, and now finally 4. What's next, fisting?

    (Yes, I know I am a terrible person, why do you ask?)

  • by justinlindh (1016121) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:30PM (#25372203)

    The thing that bothers me is that the metallic body announcement is somehow the big headline on most of the news sites, while the announcements of trackpad changes and specs seem to take a backseat. It really emphasizes that Apple wants to appeal to style possibly even more than function.

    I'm sure that angle works, as it's now "hip" to own Apple products, but it concerns me that we may start seeing more flash than substance in Apple product lines, which would be a big disappointment since they've been known to be innovators in functionality in the past.

    • by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @05:25PM (#25374775) Homepage

      I think you've missed the point then.

      The new metallic body has all sorts of "function" in it. It's lighter AND stronger at the same time. I don't know about you, but have you ever picked up a cheap plastic dell? Next time you do, hold it from the two ends and give it a twist. It'll scare you. Now try that with the old Macbook Air (the first laptop to use this unibody design).

      Doesn't twist does it?!

      I'm more than willing to pay a little extra for that "style" (or "function" to some people .. like me!)

      That's just 1 example. Was MagSafe just stylish too? Ask my brother-in-law and his wife how many times that magsafe saved their laptops with their two kids running around the house.

      It's quite obvious to me, and I'm surprised by the inability of slashdot'ers today to "think" about it. Apple now uses commodity hardware. You can get the same crap in a Dell right? So how on earth would they differentiate themselves by just playing the specs game? They can't. And it doesn't maker any sense to. There are umpteen companies that already do. What they do is innovate AROUND those standard parts when they construct a consumer device.

      Hence, you get things like MagSafe and Glass trackpad (which I'm super excited about, because if it's anything like my iPhone, I'm gonna love it) and now the unibody!

      If another person compares a Dell to this, I'm gonna puke. Seriously, until you find a Dell with the above features, please don't bother. If you're too cheap to pay for the extra features, then great, just say so, don't try to convince me that your $200 cheaper Dell is the same, cuz trust me, in a day to day usage test, it'll fail more epically (is that even a word?) than you can imagine.

      P.S. Have you ever seen the design of the Apple power brick with the interchange prongs/cord? If you haven't. That alone is worth the price difference. Why other laptop manufactures can't make a better power brick is beyond me.

  • by roskakori (447739) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:31PM (#25372215)

    From the Q&A [engadget.com]:

    10:57AM Q: What's up with the 17-inch?
    A: Tim: It's being refreshed today as well.

    According to the Apple Store [apple.com], it already has a "New" flag, but the graphics card still is the old 8600M instead of the new 9600M.

  • Smart (Score:5, Funny)

    by psydeshow (154300) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:47PM (#25372497) Homepage

    Wow, Apple is smart.

    They stick with NVidia GPUs, but give you two: when the first stops working you can switch to the backup.

    They're so on it.

  • meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Speare (84249) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:51PM (#25372591) Homepage Journal

    * I've got MBP 17" now. I like it. They are dropping that size.

    * I don't like the new "partial tapered" (their term) or "puffy" (my term) lid.

    * I don't like the black bezel inside the lid. Match the whole case.

    * I hate the fugly new keyboards that feel and look like IBM PCjr chicklet.

    * I don't care if it's magnetic or a button to pop the lid.

    * I don't care if there's a slot visible on the front.

    * I don't like having to carry yet another kind of custom one-use rat tail to put my laptop on someone else's cheap VGA-style projector.

    * I don't like losing a Firewire port. All the little RAID cabinets like Firewire.

    * I do wish my MBP had heat sensors on the graphics system; the processor sensors are sometimes midrange while the graphics head is starting to exhibit heat-induced artifacts. When running clamshell I have to run it on top of a cooling tray device or crank the internal fans to 3000rpm.

    * I do wish they'd fix the runaway-syslogd problem in Leopard. I have read all the howtos and forum lists, nothing but a 15min cronjob to kill it is helping.

    * I do wish they'd fix the too-many-hd-resets problem in Leopard, if I leave the machine on overnight with little disk activity, my drive will reset itself to a state it won't spin up again. Everything RAM-resident runs, but more and more processes go zombie when the disk doesn't spin up.

    With all this preoccupation about flash and gloss in the hardware, there is a growing list of software problems. Return to the basics.

    • Re:meh (Score:4, Informative)

      by tfoss (203340) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @04:11PM (#25373747)

      I've got MBP 17" now. I like it. They are dropping that size.

      Not according to the Q&A or apple store. It just doesn't get the update that you seem so "meh" on. You should consider that a win.

      -Ted

    • Re:meh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garote (682822) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @08:46PM (#25376949) Homepage

      * I've got MBP 17" now. I like it. They are dropping that size.

      No they're not.

      * I don't like having to carry yet another kind of custom one-use rat tail to put my laptop on someone else's cheap VGA-style projector.

      This hasn't changed.

      * I do wish my MBP had heat sensors on the graphics system; the processor sensors are sometimes midrange while the graphics head is starting to exhibit heat-induced artifacts.

      It does.

      * I do wish they'd fix the runaway-syslogd problem in Leopard. I have read all the howtos and forum lists, nothing but a 15min cronjob to kill it is helping.
      * I do wish they'd fix the too-many-hd-resets problem in Leopard, if I leave the machine on overnight with little disk activity, my drive will reset itself to a state it won't spin up again. Everything RAM-resident runs, but more and more processes go zombie when the disk doesn't spin up.

      Never experienced or seen either of these myself.

      * I don't like the new "partial tapered" (their term) or "puffy" (my term) lid.
      * I don't like the black bezel inside the lid. Match the whole case.
      * I hate the fugly new keyboards that feel and look like IBM PCjr chicklet.
      * I don't care if it's magnetic or a button to pop the lid.
      * I don't care if there's a slot visible on the front.

      Then screw you, jack. Go buy a Dell. Or better yet: Don't replace what you have, and donate a couple thousand bucks to a charity instead.
      You know what I don't like? Sugarless gum. And those new-fangled behind-the-head earphones. I also don't like tiny toy dogs. And open-toed shoes. And I hate vinyl records. And I hate it when the cat drinks from the toilet. Furthermore, I hate other people's personal preferences, and the way they spew them onto public forums like they have any qualitative value whatsoever.

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