Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Windows 7 eol (Score 1) 117

by Zak3056 (#49617517) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Says the guy that won't even put a pseudonym behind what he has to say.

I've got some news for you, AC: just because someone expresses a viewpoint you happen to disagree with doesn't make them a shill. I've been a UNIX user since the 80s, a Linux user since 94 or so, a postfix and sendmail admin for over fifteen years, and helped run a dozen MMOs back when they had text interface and were called MUDs. GPL beats BSD, vi beats Emacs, and my windows desktop runs Xming so I can do real work from time to time.

What I said was not marketing, and is not even an endorsement. I was not claiming that win 10 is the best thing since sliced bread, but rather simply stating that the economics are impossible to ignore. Win 10 adoption is GOING to happen fast, and it's going to be driven by the "free upgrade, but only if you do it right now" bandwagon. That was my only point, and wishing it were otherwise isn't going to change what's going to happen.

Comment: Re:Why were IT professionals the beta? (Score 1) 117

by Zak3056 (#49616309) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Wouldn't it make more sense to have users be the testers? The ones who use the products all freakin' day long? What do IT people know about how the product is used by the masses?

Oh wait. Microsoft. They don't care what the consumers really want. They want to look cool. Double fail.

Do you point your desktop Linux users (okay, so I'm kidding) toward the bleeding edge/preview yum repos? No? Then why harp on MS for aiming their previews at IT people rather than end users?

Comment: Re:Why were IT professionals the beta? (Score 1) 117

by Zak3056 (#49616275) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Feedback is only good if it's listened to. As we have already seen with the demise of Visual Basic 6, the ribbon of Office 2007, the colors of Office 2013, and the not-desktop-or-start-menu of Windows 8.0, Microsoft does not listen to feedback.

Who the hell was screaming to keep VB6 around? Even the VB programmers I know almost universally hate it.

Comment: Re:Windows 7 eol (Score 1) 117

by Zak3056 (#49616203) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

No, it's apparently compatible with Windows 7 or later. Remember, Office is targeted at business, and most businesses are still using Windows 7, and will be for a considerable time to come.

I believe that's going to change, drastically. Microsoft's path with Windows 10 (free updates from Windows => 7, as long as you do it within a year of release) is going to drive the fastest corporate OS migrations ever--for better, or for worse.

I know we're planning for it. It scares the hell out of us, but the incentive to move forward is so powerful there really isn't any other viable path.

Comment: Re:The question is (Score 1) 212

by Zak3056 (#49616103) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

If all goes through, what will it mean?
If I understood correctly, it allows you to pre-warp some space ahead in your journey, so that you can begin your journey later. For example, to go to Alpha Centauri A, where light takes a few years, you may start the warp drive, wait for a year, then jump into the ship and travel there (taking 1 year less time).

It will not save you anything going to new places you did not plot a course to.

If that's correct, who cares if it takes a few centuries for the thing to warm up? It would completely solve the problem of how you get the crew from point A to point B alive... no suspended animation, no generation ships, etc, just board at the right time and be there after a relatively short period. YOU won't ever get to see Alpha Centauri, but frankly, from the perspective of the species, that's really not a problem.

Comment: Re:Gamechanger (Score 1) 506

by Jodka (#49593879) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

I think that power companies should offer more incentives for people to have these in order to smooth out the electricity demand.


Why is not the optimal consumer incentive which the electric company could offer the price difference between peak and non-peak rates? By "optimal" I mean socially efficient, not the biggest or whatever you happen to want the most.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 506

by Jodka (#49593643) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

...over the ten year warranty period you'll save ~$3000...

That number is way off. You have performed the calculation incorrectly because you omitted the opportunity cost. If you do the calculation correctly, then I estimate (using amateurish cost-accounting methods below) that you end up at around break-even if you buy the battery. Which is extremely interesting, because, assuming rational consumers, as manufacturing costs fall, that would be the consumer price threshold at which these batteries could be marketed and they just started being marketed at that price.

So about the opportunity cost: I have no idea what value is conventional to use as the opportunity cost. But the stock market seems like a reasonable choice. So if you invest the initial $3,500.00 in the stock market instead of buying a battery, and we assume 6.5% returns compounded annually, that works out to to an increase of $3069.98 over ten years. That is the about the same gain., ~$3,000, which estimated in savings on your electric bill after the recouping the battery investment. So you are about $3,000 better off after ten years either if you invest a sum of $3,500.00 in the stock market or if you invest the same sum in a home battery.

Of course there would be more things to consider in making an accurate calculation: differing tax treatments, risk and uncertainty between the choices, what residual worth your battery has after 10 years and its rate of depreciation, the inflation-reduced value of the initial $3,500.00 had you invested it. Also, to do the comparison correctly, assume that the accumulating savings on your electric bill are invested after the battery is paid off. Maybe someone who actually knows how to do cost accounting will chime in here with better estimates. Nonetheless, the claim that you neglected to account for significant opportunity cost stands, even if I failed to calculate that cost conventionally or sufficiently accurately.

Comment: Re:Does Google actually sell this sort of data? (Score 1) 62

by Zak3056 (#49564265) Attached to: Supreme Court To Consider Data Aggregation Suit Against Spokeo

"Companies such as Facebook and Google are closely watching this case, given the potential of billions of dollars of liability for selling inaccurate information on their customers and other people."

I was under the impression, and perhaps naively that Google did not under any circumstances sell personally identifiable data, or other information to 3rd parties. I know MS has been found guilty of breaching this, but what if at any, would Google be on the hook for here?

IANAL, and I don't know what the specifics of the FCRA are, but the summary says "providing" and not "selling." It's not a stretch to see how someone like Google could fall afoul of this (as a test case, Google "spacepimp" or your real name and see if you recognize anything "personally identifiable." My guess is the answer is an emphatic "yes").

Comment: Re:This seems backwards. (Score 1) 62

by Zak3056 (#49564239) Attached to: Supreme Court To Consider Data Aggregation Suit Against Spokeo

"Robins, who filed a class-action lawsuit, claimed that Spokeo had provided flawed information about him, including that he had more education than he actually did, that he is married although he remains single, and that he was financially better off than he actually was. He said he was unemployed and looking for work, and contended that the inaccurate information would make it more difficult for him to get a job and to get credit and insurance."

Um, what? All these inaccuracies would help him get a job, unless he's trying for a very low position.

This was my thought, as well. The plaintiff is either a privacy advocate (something that I support in general), or someone just looking for a payday (something that I oppose in general). In either case, his reasoning is highly suspect.

Comment: Jenny McCarthyism (Score 1) 256

by Jodka (#49537223) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

And for those who get their medical advice from Playboy's Playmate of the Year there is Jenny McCarthy, of whom Wikipedia reports:

"McCarthy's public presence and vocal activism on the vaccination-autism controversy, led, in 2008, to her being awarded the James Randi Educational Foundation's Pigasus Award, which is a tongue-in-cheek award granted for contributions to pseudoscience..."

"McCarthy's claims that vaccines cause autism are not supported by any medical evidence, and the original paper by Andrew Wakefield that formed the basis for the claims...

"In January 2011, McCarthy defended Wakefield..."

So in honor of Ms. McCarthy, can we henceforth refer to populist medical quackery practiced by uncredentialed public attention seekers as "Jenny McCarthyism?"

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman