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Comment: It's all about the money.. (Score 1) 125

by DerekLyons (#49167755) Attached to: Google+ Divided Into Photos and Streams, With New Boss

The thing too is that I already had a login that worked with gmail, voice, youtube, chat and the play store. All of a sudden I need to register for a G+ profile to be able to leave comments on Youtube and Google Play because.....

You tell me.

Because... one of the keys ways for Google to compete with Facebook in the only arena that matters (the bottom line) was to compete for advertising dollars. G+ was a shortcut to more easily tracking Google users across multiple services and increasing the value (to Google) of their massive database of user information.

Comment: Re:Haters gonna hate... (Score 1) 125

by DerekLyons (#49166431) Attached to: Google+ Divided Into Photos and Streams, With New Boss

I've never really understood the vitriol toward G+.

That's because you've drunk deeply of the kool-aid.

The press doing what they do (and no doubt strongly encouraged by Facebook, Microsoft, Apple) created a narrative of Google taking aim at Facebook and how they will most certainly fail. Google has repeated many times what the G+ initiative was about, but the press either ignored the facts or said Google was lying. How dare Google try to disrupt their narrative with something as inconsequential as facts. G+ is a framework to unify Google services. Before, it was a complete mess. You had different userids and passwords

If all they wanted to do was to create a unified login, all they had to do was the same thing Yahoo and many other services have done... Simply announce the availability of (or requirement for) a unified account and provided a link to a page with relevant information and tools.

But that's not what they did.

The created a "Facebook [like|light] streaming update system. ("Light" because it was very feature incomplete.) They emasculated Picasa (and their last best hope for competing with the likes of Flickr and Photobucket) in order to encourage people to use the Photos application which was integrated into that system. Pre-launch they very carefully recruited celebrities, tastemakers, and influential internet personalities across a wide range of activities to be early adopters and to provide users with a ready made suite of people to "follow" and "like". (Seriously, you don't go to the effort of recruiting the like of Thomas Hawk (photography) or Marc Spagnuolo (woodworking)* unless you intend to attract photographers and woodworkers to your service - something an integrated login doesn't need.) And then they marketed it extensively (one of the very few times Google has actively marketed anything) as a social service.

In short, they pretty much did everything possible to make G+ look like a social media system (and a successor to their previous, failed, attempts) and a competitor to Facebook. It's not all surprising in light of this that media (and the public) failed to buy their belated claim that the whole thing was nothing but a way to introduce a unified login and account system.

* Both are internet personalities with a significant following in their fields.

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 2) 155

by DerekLyons (#49154295) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

And in this case, the US$9.95 billion California High-Speed Rail is a huge example on how much money you can make on transportation.

The usual way to determine if a project is making money is to subtract operating costs and the amortized portion of construction costs from operating revenue - and to date the unbuilt California High-Speed Rail system has precisely zero operating revenue. It's projected to make money (according to it's backers), but projections aren't revenue.

Comment: Re:You get used to it. (Score 2) 134

by DerekLyons (#49149607) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

When you deploy on a submarine you go months at a time on an 18 hour day set to GMT.

No you don't. Your watch rotates on an 18 hour cycle, but the boats 'day' (and overall schedule) remains on the standard 24 hour cycle. On top of that, you make the swap from Lima (local time) to Zulu (GMT) once when you leave port and again when you enter port (days, weeks, or months apart) - but someone on Mars time has to deal with the adjustment every day.

(USS Henry L Stimson, SSBN-655 '83-'87.)

Comment: Re:So how about the core Russian module? (Score 1) 100

by DerekLyons (#49105799) Attached to: ISS Crew Install Cables For 2017 Arrival of Commercial Capsules

They made a formal announcement that they'll be disconnecting from the US half of the ISS at the end of 2013 after approximately 10 years of talking about it.

So this "formal announcement" joins the last dozen or so "formal announcements"?
Seriously, how can anyone watch the Russian space program over any span of time and remain credulous enough to take their "formal announcements" at face value? They haven't even been able to build and launch 90% of the ISS modules they've "formally announced".

Comment: Re:What does the military think it is doing? (Score 1) 68

some of these plans actually seem to involve enlisted geeks wearing hilariously incongruous camo in front of banks of monitors and 'cyber warrior'-ing. How is selling that going to work?

What, other than hilariously narrowminded stereotyping of geeks, makes you think it wouldn't work? Not all geeks are the anti-authoritarian pseduo-libertarian stereotype so beloved of Slashdot. (My service, the USN Submarine Service, had and has more geeks than you can shake a stick at.)

What's the difference between a computer salesman and a used car salesman? A used car salesman knows when he's lying.