'Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a competitive environment,' and more of the best CNET comments

Each week, we round up some of the most thoughtful comments from the CNET community.

Justina Nguyen
5 min read

Editor in Chief Lindsey Turrentine is on vacation in the woods, so I will be continuing our regular roundup of the best CNET comments. Last week, users envisioned a smartwatch they might actually buy and told us why the Moto X could be a game-changer. This week, CNET readers shared thoughts on topics ranging from the Nexus 7 to the newly announced Chromecast. Enjoy this selection, keep the thoughtful or informative comments coming, and stay tuned next week for Lindsey's return to civilization.

-Justina Nguyen, CNET intern

Google Nexus 7 (summer 2013) review: The best small tablet gets even better

by Eric Franklin (Read review)

The new Nexus 7's sharp screen, fast performance, and affordable price catapult it to the top of the small-tablet heap.

mountnman: The new Nexus 7 is a fail in my book. Yes, it has a nice new graphics chip, better screen resolution, BUT it still does not have HDMI out or an SD card slot. Those are the 2 things I want!

I do not game on my tablet, I use it to read, listen to music, play movies and some web surfing. I really do not have a need for a faster GPU since the Tegra 3 did all of that with no stuttering or lag, it was perfect for what I do.

After lots of soul searching I bought the Sero 7 Pro because it had the HDMI out and the SD card reader. I now have one 32-gig SD card with music on it. And a 64-gig SD card with movies on it. I can now go anywhere and have all that I want. All I have to do is switch out the card.

I go to friends' homes and plug my Sero 7 Pro into their TVs and we can watch the movies I have loaded on the card, (yes, it is only 720P, but that's a small thing considering that I can do it at all, unlike the Nexus). I also can take it with me in my motor home and plug it into the TV there.

If Nexus had come out with those 2 options, then I would have been happy to buy the new Nexus, but since it did not, then I am sticking with my Sero 7 Pro.

Nexus really needs to learn to give us what we want, not what they think we want. See post.

Motorola Droid Maxx review: Droid Maxx boasts 48-hour battery, beefed-up power

by Brian Bennett (Read review)

At the pinnacle of Verizon's Droid devices stands the new Droid Maxx flagship, offering a two-day battery, fresh electronics, and hands-free search.

KJFXlab: Wow, Droid Maxx is amazing. Glad to see Moto is putting the smart into smartphone by not offering bloated useless spec numbers and putting things like efficient 8-tiered processors and realistic pixel resolution into play to solve battery issues. That coupled with their build quality really impresses me. Not to mention wireless charging and a whole host of software upgrades. Don't mean to sound like a Moto fanboy but don't mind doing so when they impress me with so much common-sense design and understanding of how to utilize the technology that exists to its full potential. Only complaint I have is if they are doing away with SD card expansion and wish they wouldn't give up on webtop tech so quickly. The thing that hurts Moto the most is the lack of good effective marketing strategy in such a crowded, cutthroat competitive atmosphere. See post.

Samsung overtakes Apple as world's most profitable phone maker

by Don Reisinger (Read article)

Apple held on to the top spot for four years before finally giving way to Samsung and its handsets in the second quarter.

Mjone13: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a competitive environment. The profits of both Apple and Samsung prove there is enough money for another entrant to enter the market and further drive competition.

Real competition has driven real innovation in the smartphone market. Here's hoping to neither Samsung nor Apple getting a huge upper hand on the other. See post.

Google Chromecast review: A daringly priced streamer that doesn't do much

by Matthew Moskovciak (Read review)

Google's $35 Chromecast streaming-TV dongle is certainly cheap, but its limited initial app support and total reliance on mobile devices keep it well behind the Apple TV and Roku -- at least for now.

007shark: This has great potential for those already with smartphones/tablets, allowing the TV to be a second screen. Although this is branded Chromecast, I think it will benefit Android users the most. It is one of the very few ways currently to use Google Music All Access on your theater system. Once Android apps are updated with the cast feature, Hulu, Pandora, Plex, etc., this will top everyone's holiday wish list due to its price. What makes this a compelling device is its inevitable future.

Browsing large libraries is so cumbersome with D-pad navigation in regular remotes. This is a great answer to that. Browse Netflix or YouTube on your smartphone/tablet, make your selection, then cast to your TV. It uses its own web browser to grab and render the content so it doesn't use up battery in your smartphone/tablet. This function was already available with the YouTube app and various devices, which I am sure was their testing phase. Now it is opened up for other apps. I can't wait to get the update to my Asus Cube which Google announced would be coming with the Jelly Bean update. See post.

Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

by Declan McCullagh (Read article)

Secret demands mark escalation in Internet surveillance by the federal government through gaining access to user passwords, which are typically stored in encrypted form.

c-empty: While not as useful as having your password, there are currently 20 different companies which have made note of your geographic location and IP address because you are reading this article on the c|net site, including CBS, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Even though you have never tweeted, do not have a FB account, never logged into Google, etc., all these companies, and more, can provide anyone with a page-by-page track of all your online activity. For some of the larger newspapers the number of these tracking companies can rise dramatically. Yesterday I was reading an innocuous article online, and the page had 48 separate trackers active.

There is no need to announce that privacy will soon be a thing of the past. It already is, and has been for quite some time. Hundreds of thousands of servers holding data which show that you read an article about a shark attack in Australia, commented on a cruise line company web page, checked movie times, and then traveled to a local Starbucks and checked the weather...ridiculous amounts of data which seem to be a waste of bits, but which provide a nearly perfect profile of each online individual, especially in this day and age, when we are more focused on the what and where, but not so much the why. See post.