Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Difficulty (Score 3, Informative) 247 247

On the contrary. If you read the article, nobody said being a Boing propulsion scientist makes him all-knowing. The statement was as a response to a programmer's exclamation that "our customers are morons!". The fact that he was a propulsion scientist is a strong indication that he was not a moron, thus making it reasonable to have a look to see if perhaps it wasn't the users there was a problem with.

The goal of the project was to make Windows "discoverable", in essence making it possible for the average person to figure out the most important things without attending a training course. A reasonable requirement for a commercial consumer product. The user tests demonstrated that Windows 3.1 wasn't discoverable.

Comment Re:Drones (Score 1) 176 176

A passenger aircraft flies much, much higher than drones, only possibly interfering during take-off and landing. They also fly reasonably predictable paths and the airspace around the airports are tightly regulated anyway. A fire-fighting helicopter, on the other hand, flies much lower, and may have to change paths rapidly to account for the situation.

I doubt an MIT study on drones colliding with passenger aircraft would be valid in this case.

Comment Re:Free the papers (Score 3, Interesting) 81 81

There's always a discussion to be had about funding research and gathering income. What I think most people can agree with is that all this income should not go to some leeches that don't actually fund any of the research, just take the profit because academics need to be in the top journals to further their careers.

When it comes to countries leeching of others, I think there's serious benefit to being among the countries that "do all the research" even if you end up footing most of the bill. You get the best and most ambitious researchers because they all want to be where it happens, and you are far more likely to generate industry that can take economic advantage of this research. Just let public money create publicly available research.

Comment Re:common man (Score 5, Insightful) 194 194

Others have failed to mention the peasants that worked the land that not only fed Mozart but kept Mozart's patrons wealthy enough to support the arts by commissioning Mozart's works, or indeed made it possible for all Mozart's spectators to enjoy arts rather than spend the day doing subsistence farming themselves. Without them, all arts we'd have would be able to sustain is the odd folk singing after a hard day's work.

Others have mentioned the craftsmen that made his instruments, but also keep in mind the folk that made and gathered paper, ink and quills he used to write his music. Or even the millions of ordinary people of his past that helped shape the language he used, without which it would be impossible to sustain human civilization.

Thus Mozart, stood on the shoulders of millions of completely ordinary folk.

The lesson here; next time you believe the bullshit of "self-made man" and "I didn't receive no help from nobody", think of what steps are actually necessary for the life we live today.

Comment Re:Enforcing pot laws is big business (Score 5, Insightful) 484 484

"Colorado already proved that with the tax revenue they brought in from legalized marijuana"

Colorado probably got significantly increased business from being the first, surrounded by neighbours where it is still illegal. They probably even have increased secondary trade from people travelling in to get marijuana and then buying other stuff. Also, there's probably the effect of the novelty. I'm not saying there isn't a permanent increase, but it will be less if Nebraska and Oklahoma also legalise it.

Comment Re:lol (Score 1) 250 250

"Who in their right mind would pay a whole fucking dollar for each track???"

Someone who thinks a dollar is a drop in the ocean? There's quite a few of us out there that don't buy fucktons of music, just a small amount of music per month. I, for instance, probably buy an album every 2-3 months. It costs me £7 to buy this album from iTunes. That is less than the price of a pint of beer where I live. Or it means I spend around £50 per year on music, which isn't even a factor in my budget. The automation in the process easily makes it worth it for me. You can keep your torrents with thousands of songs on them, I'd only listen to 50 of them before forgetting I even had the other 950 taking up disk space.

Comment Re:It is all about baseload (Score 2) 488 488

"Probably the same groups which want to kill nuclear, while at the same time being OK with coal"

They aren't alright with coal, they just refuse to accept that once you take Nuclear out of the picture, there aren't a whole lot of options for base load.

Comment Re:How is their infringment? (Score 1) 268 268

GroupOn's software is most definitely "downloadable", since it is most certainly installed over a network (and frankly, even a data transfer over cable will probably be legally seen as a "download"). An iPad is also certainly a "computer". The GroupOn software also most definitely is used as a "Graphical user interface". So there now exists a second downloadable computer GUI software called "Gnome" which is also being agressively trademarked by GroupOn.

What happens when GNOME the desktop environment eventually runs on a tablet (which is entirely possible)? If GNOME hasn't successfully defended their trademark against GroupOn, it is not at all implausible to envision GroupOn suing GNU for using the GNOME name, which they had much longer than GroupOn, but just not used on a tablet.

I doubt that you would get away with registering trademarks for POS software called "Windows" or "Excel".

Comment Pretty obvious (Score 1) 81 81

If you discovered a new gene responsible for Alzheimer's you would get cited in a lot of medical journals, but devise a new and particularly useful computational method (i.e a new and particularly useful linear system solver or numerical integration scheme) and you can have an impact on nearly every scientific field.

Comment Re:Communist == Spy in America? (Score 1) 165 165

You are of course right, but it is impossible to be a communist and not be at odds with the current establishment (your upper class overlords) of the US. It was genius to label socialism and communism as 'unamerican'. That way they could label all their political foes as traitors.

Comment Re:opt-out of untargeted ads (Score 1) 97 97

"The more accurate such advertising gets, the more value-per-print it can generate, and therefore the less overall advertising will be required to sustain the "free" services we use. One well-chosen ad is worth dozens of spammy ones."

That is just frighteningly naive. Surely you understand that more value-per-print does not mean less advertising, but simply more profit?

Comment Re:Government fails again (Score 3, Informative) 267 267

Great. So go live in an ideal world without those people so that you can implement a society without rules, where people just play nicely with each other.

The fact is; on every street in every town in every country there is at least one arse who will take full advantage of their freedom to fuck you over. You have a lovely sea view? The arse will build a massive garage blocking your view. Or opposite, you have a lovely old three hundred year old oak tree in your garden... when you come home one day that tree is lying across your lawn because the arse wanted a better view. Lots and lots of people care about nothing but themselves and their own. The only reason it is even remotely possible for us to live together in cities in relative peace is government and laws describing the limits to our freedom to fuck people over for our own benefit. Try going to cities where government and law enforcement has broken down.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks