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Comment: Re: The King is dead (Score 0) 391

by Anthony Mouse (#43379777) Attached to: Apple Devices To Outsell Windows For First Time Ever In 2013

If Porche starts selling cars with a digital lock on the gas cap that only pumps at gas stations that pay Porche a third of their revenue can unlock, you can bet there is going to be antitrust scrutiny for tying. Especially if "Porche" has close to 50% of the installed base of cars.

Comment: Re:Here be no surprises (Score 1) 608

by Anthony Mouse (#41231517) Attached to: Obama and Romney Respond To ScienceDebate.org Questionnaire

If they have a mortgage, then they don't own the house, and it is not included in their net worth.

The equity in the house is included. If they've lived in the house for 25 years then they very nearly own it (but still have to pay a huge chunk of their after-tax income every month for the remaining payments). Throw in a retirement fund marked "do not open until age 65" and a college fund for the kids and you can easily have $1M in assets without actually being able to spend any of it.

Anyone with a net worth of over $1M should not have to choose between buying clothes and going out for dinner.

And yet it happens every day.


Knocking Infected PCs Off the Internet 206

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-stay-out dept.
nk497 writes "Malware could block your access to the internet – but in some cases by those on the right side of the security fence, who are deploying tactics such as blocked ports, letters in the mail and PCs quarantined from the net to combat the most damaging threats. The DNS Changer clean up saw some PCs prevented from accessing the web. Should such tactics be used more often to prevent malware from spreading — or is that taking security a step too far?"

Windows 8 Is 'a Work of Art.' But It's No Linux 371

Posted by timothy
from the design-team-denied-your-request dept.
colinneagle writes "Earlier this week I installed the final version of Windows 8. And it is awesome. That's not a joke. Windows 8 is absolutely, unequivocally stellar. And yet, at the end of the day, I am right back to using Linux. Why is that? What is it about Linux that makes me so excited to use it — even while enjoying another operating system that I view as, in all seriousness, a work of art? Why do I not simply install Windows 8 on every machine I own and be happy with it? For me, it's the ability to slowly chip away and remove items from your user interface until you are left with only want you want, and nothing more. The option of looking at an item on the screen, right clicking on it, and declaring to said item 'Listen up, mister Thing-On-My-Screen. I don't want you anymore. Be gone!' Panels, bars, docks, launchers, widgets, gadgets – whatever is on your screen, there is probably a way to send it to whatever form of the afterlife is reserved for unwanted Desktop Crud. And, I'll tell you this right now – as great as it is, you don't find a whole lot of 'Right click, Remove Panel' in Windows 8."

Comment: Re:Android Based Camera (Score 2) 179

by Anthony Mouse (#41174033) Attached to: Samsung Unveils Windows Phone 8 Device and Android-Based Camera

It looks like it's a proper camera, with proper optics

But it also seems like they're missing the point. OK, so actual photographers need better optics than you find in the typical phone. So why don't they just make a phone designed for photographers, which includes a camera with better optics and a more professional photography UI?

Or to put it a different way, this interesting product is conspicuously missing the ability to make cellular voice calls for no apparent reason.

Comment: Re:The Chinese... (Score 1) 544

by Anthony Mouse (#41076141) Attached to: Who Cares If Samsung Copied Apple?

That seems even less coherent. All you're saying is that you can have a patent system that allows anything to be patented. It has nothing to do with the makeup of the economy. If the economy is manufacturing-oriented then you could just as easily have patents on manufacturing methods, manufactured products, etc. And if the patent office granted patents of the same breadth and quality as they do software patents then you would have people with patents on "method of affixing one material to another" running around suing the pants off of anyone who dares to manufacture a product using nails, adhesives, zip ties or rubber bands.

Comment: Re:Would not one have to spend energy... (Score 4, Insightful) 222

According to TFA, the particles are already in an entangled state.

That seems very "Hydrogen Economy." You can get energy from Hydrogen, but only if you "somehow" already have Hydrogen. Where do we get a continuing supply of entangled particles without expending energy?

Comment: Re:Falling to near zero?? (Score 1) 274

by Anthony Mouse (#40606571) Attached to: Algorithmic Pricing On Amazon 'Could Spark Flash Crash'

That's a nice theory, but only applies to stupid sellers. Smart sellers realize that if they can bury their competitors in the short run, they can reap monopoly profits in the long run.

Not exactly. For one thing you're assuming high barriers to entry. It doesn't do any good to bury your existing competitors if new competitors spring up the second you raise prices back out of the loss-making range.

In addition to that, it's more about power asymmetries than smart and stupid. Suppose there are two identical sellers. If one of them starts selling below cost, you say they're the smart one because they'll drive the other one out of the market and then have a monopoly. But if the other one is "smart" too then they'll be doing the same thing, and all you'll end up with is both sellers playing chicken until one of them stops being so "smart" and in the meantime they both make losses indefinitely.

The only way that strategy works for one of the sellers is if that seller has more resources than all the others and can hold out until after every other competitor has long since sold off their facilities and fired all their employees. Even then you can't really raise prices that much once you have a monopoly unless there are high barriers to entry (like in telecommunications), because the second you do there are new entrants who want a piece of the action.

This is why Walmart is so successful: The model isn't "sell below your own cost to drive out the competition," it's "sell near your own costs forever but have sufficient economies of scale that your sale price is near or below your competitor's cost," which allows Walmart to capture almost the whole market and make up for the low margins with high volumes.


Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone? 1027

Posted by timothy
from the gave-baby-to-dingo dept.
First time accepted submitter occasional_dabbler writes "Reviews by 'commentators' such as this one predict certain doom for both Nokia and Microsoft on the basis of the OS being a failure, yet whenever the Lumia handsets are reviewed in the mainstream press they are often highly praised. Windows phone is an immature OS, certainly, but it does pretty much everything you need in a smartphone, is getting better with each update and it is beautiful. I have a Lumia 800, and now I'm used to how it and the WP OS works I find it a painful process to go back to an Android or iPhone for some obscure app not yet supported on WP. WP gave me the same feeling I got when I bought my first iBook, fired up OS X 10.1 and realized I had just been shifted up a decade. So why so serious? What do Slashdotters who have really tried WP think of it?"

Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 1) 354

by Anthony Mouse (#40027069) Attached to: Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy

That would only be true if the most popular files are pirated, if the most popular files were legal that'd skew it the other way. So for this to even be an argument the figure has to be >50%, but possibly higher than it should have been.

I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. For example, suppose there are a hundred million files, a million are pirated and have on average a million downloads each, whereas 99 million are legitimate and have on average a hundred thousand downloads each. 1M * 1M = 1B. 99M * 100K = 9.9B. So in this example, only 1% of the files and ~9% of the downloads are pirated, but using this study's methodology the false conclusion would be that 100% of them are pirated because the pirated ones comprise the entire top 1000.

And this is in the nature of what actually happens, because Hollywood films are popular -- you can pretty well expect that The Dark Knight is going to get a hundred million downloads, but that tells you nothing about the potentially quite large number of legal downloads available which are still getting 100K or even 10M downloads but not enough to make it on the list of "most popular" files.

You don't show that a better study would come to a different result, you just claim the proof is so weak it's worthless.

That's what debunking is. You show that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. If you want a different, actually valid conclusion then you have to run the study again with better assumptions.

What you're doing is assuming the conclusion without proving it and then, when someone points out that you haven't proven it, retorting that they haven't proven the contrary. You're the one asserting that 99% of BitTorrent is piracy, so where is your proof? We've already established that the nonsense study is not it.

Comment: Re:Not quite (Score 4, Informative) 354

by Anthony Mouse (#40024657) Attached to: Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy

And since you want to play the wikipedia game, anything you say to make this article invalid is [citation needed], no arguments of your own only reliable third party sources.

I guess you missed the link in your own article that debunks the study? Cliffs notes version: They only looked at the files with the most seeds, which already skews the results, and pirated stuff has a huge list of fake seeds to screw up lazy anti-piracy enforcers, which means that choosing the torrents with the most seeds invalidates the entire study because the ones with the most (fake) seeds are the pirated ones.

I would also add that relying on 'this one public BitTorrent tracker we found somewhere' is not statistically valid, because it's just one tracker. You have to get a statistically valid sample of all the trackers or you can't conclude anything. For example, if they included these these trackers instead, I would expect different results -- and by failing to consider them, they naturally get totally invalid numbers.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"