Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Why do companies buy then shutdown something (Score 2) 145

I don't get why a company gets bought out, then shortly afterwards gets shut down. Often the one thing that gives the company value is what gets shut down. Are the purchasing companies not aware that their purchase isn't of value after the fact?

What is being purchased in a buyout doesn't have to be what was profitable to the original company. Consider the classic farm example.

A farmer is making a living with a decent $10,000 yearly profit on his 100 acres. He provides the local community with fresh produce, pays his taxes, and is putting away a decent amount into his savings. By all accounts, his business is doing well. He then receives an offer to buy his farm, as-is, for $3,000,000. The farm is sold.

However, the company that purchased the farm lets the equipment rust, the fields go fallow, and the barn collapse. Why would they purchase a profitable farm if all they were going to do is let weeds grow and shut it down. The answer comes later, when 400 future housing plots are identified for sale at $400,000 each. Turns out, while the farm was profitable, the land was worth MUCH more as a housing development. Rather than earn $10,000/year in profit through hard work, the purchasing company turned a $3,000,000 purchase into a $160,000,000 real estate deal.

The farm could have continued, as it was making a profit, but it wasn't making nearly as much of a profit as it could have made. (not that I like farm's beind developed, but I think this is a good example to demonstrate why seemingly profitable enterprises get shut down after a buyout)

Comment: Missing the point? (Score 1) 914

This is about future societies. There was a time when we speculated about what our current policies meant for a far future society. These far futures have a way of creeping up on us, as did 1984 and the new millennium.

We take many of our current policies for granted and assume they are on an ideological high ground.

There was a time when killing the offspring of your enemy was once the moral thing to do. Arranged marriages were more common. Eight year old children once worked in factories. People still are thrown in jail for years for minor offences.

If we look at our current penal system, and what it moving towards, it's not that ethical. For one, private companies run most jails and they are motivated by profit, not rehabilitation. There are arguments on both sides of the capital punishment debate and each side holds apparently contrary thoughts on related subjects such as euthanasia and abortion. Now I'm not stating agreement with any particular side on the issue of punishment, but I think we should speculate. Speculations such as these, though they are otherwise useless, at least open the debate about our current system.

Comment: Thank $DEITY for experienced programmers (Score 4, Funny) 379

We have one guy that understands build processes. I have done any serious code in years, but some of the crappy code I've seen is pretty horrid.

Here's an example:
Just over a year ago we had some Java developers doing some web code. This was on a Linux/pSeries hardware. I.e., it's a Power chip, not Intel/AMD. I was asked to install the JVM software by the developers. They gave me an Intel binary. OK, no prob. I asked them to send me the Power installation package. They responded that it was Java and the underlying hardware didn't matter. Oh really? One of the developers actually got pissy and started trying to explain that he ran it on his Windows machine and another guy ran it on his Mac. Tried again to explain the difference between the jvm executable and the jar but then I realized that if he didn't understand that, it wouldn't be much point.

The guy we brought in knows that. Lots of other things too.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 169

Yes. The 'how' is very important.

If a plane suddenly crashes mid-flight, and I'm due to fly on that same model next week, I'd be concerned. If the crash was due to a fundamental flaw in the fuselage, I'm cancelling my flight. If it turns out the crash was due to the plane flying over rebel-held lands and being shot by a missile, my concern about my flight from Maryland to Vermont is greatly reduced.


Google and Microsoft Both Want To Stop Dual-Boot Windows/Android Device 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the partners-in-nope dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The laptop has undergone many changes over the past decade. At various times, netbooks, ultrabooks, and Chromebooks have been en vogue. Over the past several months, we've seen signs of the next step in the laptop's evolution: Android/Windows dual-boot laptops. Several companies have built these machines already, including Asus and its upcoming Transformer Book Duet TD300. However, neither Google nor Microsoft seem to want such an unholy marriage of operating systems, and they've both pressured Asus to kill off the dual-boot product lines. Asus has now complied. 'Google has little incentive to approve dual-OS models, since that could help Microsoft move into mobile devices where Android is dominant. ... Microsoft has its own reasons for not wanting to share space on computers with Google, particularly on business-oriented desktop and laptop PCs that could give the Internet giant an entry point into a Microsoft stronghold. Computer makers that make dual-OS machines risk jeopardizing a flow of marketing funds from Microsoft that are an important economic force in the low-margin PC business.'"

Comment: Re:How DARE you propose NOT to allow this? (Score 1) 146

by IndustrialComplex (#46365351) Attached to: UK Government Proposes Rules To Allow 'Three-Parent Embryos'

I find it shortsighted to believe that an experimental fertilization method that's never born a single child should be allowed without testing.

I'm all about personal liberty, but safety needs to be a concern too. If the doctors can demonstrate that this method is at least as safe as normal IVF (safe for the parents AND potential child) then have at it, but until then, let's temper our excitement

I'd also tread very carefully around what looks and sounds like a potential new form of eugenics.

Until I had my first child, it was quite the experiment. Lots of room for error too. But I suppose it is better to leave things to chance, and hope on that first ultrasound that everything looks to be developing properly.

Comment: No Chromecast? (Score 1) 104

by digitalhermit (#46317883) Attached to: Amazon To Put Android In Set-top Box To Compete With Apple, Roku

If they would make a Chromecast app I'd be more than willing to buy movies through their service. I already have about 30 Google Play Movies titles but there are some titles in Amazon streaming that are not available. Until they make it viewable on my screen, I won't buy any more from them.

Comment: Re:Go Amish? (Score 1) 664

Web developers have a different level of acceptability than in aerospace. I remember a code review for a tiny bit of code that did almost nothing but flash an LED on a failure condition. Three engineers, from three different areas had to approve the change. There was a code review board. There was paperwork and signoffs. Documentation had to include test results, cert results, someone's firstborn and a blood sacrifice to Moloch. The unfortunate engineer that submitted the code had to *defend* it in front of a room full of people whose chief entertainment was watching software guys squirm ("They ain't real engineers" "Here's a quarter kid. Go buy a real degree.").


In the last company where I worked, they changed web code on the fly. The developer edited code directly on the web server. An refresh from the client browser during the update could mean that the look of the page changed one moment to the next. Hell, there was one time when the whole webroot directory was renamed on the live server so the new site could be installed. Too bad for anyone browsing the old page...

Pshaw... You aerospace guys think you live on the edge? Change review? Bwahahaaha. Regression testing? You kid. Dev/Test/Stage/Prod migration? What are you, five?

Comment: What's old is new (Score 1) 116

by digitalhermit (#46260725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi?

Back in the day, writers earned their keep from underwriters (subscribers). I believe that with tools like Blender, relatively inexpensive broadcast and DVD quality cameras, the ability to collaborate across the world, cheap/cloud storage, and a plethora of amazing stories, we could back to that model. I for one would welcome alternatives to big studio garbage that assumes that because it has a spaceship or an alien race (aliens that look exactly like humans, especially) we'll just buy tickets.

And we often do, because the other "choices" are "Bad Grandma" and "Teen Love Story".

"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box." -- Peter da Silva