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Comment: Business has levels (Score 1) 120

by holophrastic (#47919603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

Business has always had various levels. When it comes to most successful technology companies, be it Tesla, or a small web developer, there's the strategy and there's the execution.

In a technology company, there's no doubt that the execution needs to be done by a technically superior person, but there's a problem with academic structure: it fosters process and procedure. Curtainly a STEM degree imparts critical thinking in terms of experimentation and analysis and calculation. Once a direction exists, yeah those skills are going to run the execution to create the product, service, or effect desired.

But business doesn't start with execution.

Scientific method may be the basis of STEM, and it starts with a "falsifiable hypothesis". Business is very different. Innovative business starts with a "false thesis" -- this doesn't exist, it isn't making any money now, I say it will, let's do it.

It takes a liberally-minded strategist to come up with whatever "it" is. The artist dreams it up. The philosopher contemplates how it ought to exist. The grammarian discerns its structure. The thespian convinces others to invest in it.

The problem is that the scientist concludes that it's impossible before it's even been tried. Either there's simply no evidence in existence yet, or there's no way to experiment on the nothing in-advance of starting.

Inventors aren't STEM scientists. There's no scientific method for innovation, and you aren't likely to find a scientist who's willing to risk everything on a new business idea -- yes I can also list dozens of very famous scientists who did throughout history; contrast that to the number of musicians who spend every dollar they have to start a band.

Comment: Re:It's a relationship argument about control. (Score 1) 187

by Just Some Guy (#47918383) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

It's not about the album. It's about control. It's about changing the station in the car radio when someone else is driving.

No, it's about someone starting a U2 radio station that you don't have to tune into unless you want to, but now it's there if you want to hear it.

I swear to God, if my kids whined as much as the Internet has about me giving them a copy of an album I like, I'd ground their ungrateful asses until their iPods decayed into lead.


WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS 129

Posted by timothy
from the competition-continues dept.
PvtVoid writes The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that NASA is poised to award a key contract for manned transport to the International Space Station to Boeing over rival SpaceX: "Recent signals from the Obama administration, according to the officials, indicate that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's leadership has concluded on a preliminary basis that Boeing's proposed capsule offers the least risky option, as well as the one most likely to be ready to transport U.S. crews to the international space station within three years. The officials cautioned that a last-minute shift by NASA chief Charles Bolden, who must vet the decision, could change the result of the closely watched competition." Here is a non-paywalled link to an article at CNET.

Comment: Snake oil? Perhaps not quite (Score 1) 103

Harvard scientists have invented a new artificial spleen that is able to clear toxins, fungi and deadly pathogens such as Ebola from human blood

The what? I would have expected that to be all over the news, if it was actually something as momentuous as it is presented. Looking at the fact that this has been accepted in Nature after peer review would suggest that it isn't complete nonsense, however, and the abstract makes sense in a way. I suspect this is about coating very small, magnetic particles with antibodies; these will likely be specific to the pathogen, but the strategy is to let the antibodies bind to pathogens and then use magnets to ectract them. Sounds like something that could work.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 1) 35

by jandersen (#47915411) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

But classical gravity varies with the inverse square of the separation, and half of a sphere will be more separated than the other half - hence the tidal force experienced by an orbiting satelite. This effect will only vanish if the two bodies are moving on a straight line through the two centres of gravity of each.

Comment: Never been a fan of multiplayer. (Score 5, Insightful) 231

by aussersterne (#47915015) Attached to: The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Maybe I'm dating myself here, but multiplayer games are still newfangled and weird to me, and I don't know if that will ever change.

When I used to play games, I played to get away from social interaction and enjoy myself in isolation. It was a kind of recuperation. A world of gaming in which you have to face social interaction once again as part of gameplay was unattractive enough to me that I stopped playing games altogether. These days I mainly do crossword puzzles and read e-books for the respite that I used to get from gaming.

Comment: There is no "safe" solution, only "safer" (Score 1) 249

by argStyopa (#47911111) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Any medium will ultimately fail, over long enough spans of time.
Further, just the transcribing process itself has chances of introducing errors.

- back them up to the cloud. That's about the closest thing you're going to get to "permanent" storage, as you're outsourcing your (individual) chance of hardware failure to some online entity that (at least allegedly) backs up things redundantly across multiple methods, and/or
- just stop being OCD about it. At a certain point, trying to 'preserve' things forever just becomes silly. If you have the only unique recording of some substantial historical event, that's one thing. If it's your child's first steps, understand that while that might be important to you and maybe even to them, nobody else cares about it. Really. While losing it would be sad, it wouldn't be tragic. After all, there are billions of person-years of lives that have vanished, unrecorded, and life goes on.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 2) 35

by jandersen (#47909385) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

It would be very strange indeed to find an object in space that doesn't rotate at all - any external influence on an irregularly shaped object is likely to result in a change in rotation. In fact, it holds true even for a spherical object in a gravitational field, since that field will vary over the diameter of the object.

+ - Antarctic Ice at Record Extent->

Submitted by argStyopa
argStyopa (232550) writes ""Scientists say the extent of Antarctic sea ice cover is at its highest level since records began. Satellite imagery reveals an area of about 20 million square kilometres covered by sea ice around the Antarctic continent. ... "This is an area covered by sea ice which we've never seen from space before," he said. "Thirty-five years ago the first satellites went up which were reliably telling us what area, two dimensional area, of sea ice was covered and we've never seen that before, that much area. "That is roughly double the size of the Antarctic continent and about three times the size of Australia."""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 5, Insightful) 576

There may all sorts of good reasons for why it has happened and why it isn't an evil conspiracy to pollute the minds of young people, but it misses the point, really.

Happily, I don't own a smartphone, but I think I would have been rather annoyed too. It's like being spammed or getting a huge wad of unwanted advertising in garish colours through the door - it's something you never asked for and wouldn't have wanted if you had been asked, it's simply inflicted on you and you now have to do something to get rid of the useless crap. At the root of this lies the feeling that you're not being given a choice, because your opinion doesn't matter, and whoever makes the decisions thinks you are just a mindless automaton who will go out and spend money on whatever the loudest advert tells you.

In the end, it's about respect: you show respect to earn respect. But if producers of eg. music don't respect their potential customers, why should people respect them back? Particularly, why respect the copyright they claim ownership of? I don't condone piracy, but I do understand where it comes from.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS