Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Have We Lost the War to Quid Pro Quo Complacency? (Score 3) 330 330

Time and time again I see news articles that seem to herald the idea that users are willing to sacrifice something like privacy for the use of software. Take Facebook for an example. You get a robust and snappy storage and website for communication at the cost of control over your life and privacy. And as I try to explain to people the tradeoffs most of them seem to be complacent. Even I myself use GMail, there's just no better mail service. Even if there were, I'd have to run the server from my home to be sure that I'm in control in it and it's truly free (by your definition). So given that much of the populace isn't even prepared technologically to harness truly free software, don't you think they have slowly accepted the trade offs and that the pros of your arguments -- though sound -- are only possibly realized by those skilled enough to edit source code or host their own mail server from their home?

Comment Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 5, Interesting) 330 330

I found your piece on selling free software to be pretty logical on paper. However, has it ever worked in the wild? Can you name companies or revenues that currently operate on this idea (and I'm not talking about services or support of the software)? I simply can't come up with a widely used monetized piece of software licensed under the GNU GPL whereby the original software was sold at a single price and shipped with the source code -- free for the original purchaser to distribute by the license's clauses. Can you list any revenue generation from that? I must admit I'm not exactly enamored with paying for free software (as in your definition of free) before it's written yet I cannot think of any other way this would fairly compensate the developer.

Comment Re:Forget party, all that (Score 1) 21 21

What's so damned special about relationships? If it's about equality, then tell me, why does a childless married couple pay less in tax than a widow with a child who earns the same as the couple? I'd say the widow's relationship to the child matters to society, the couple's relationship doesn't matter to anyone but them.

Why is it legal to discriminate on the basis of marriage?

Why does any government in a secular country have anything at all to do with marriage?

Comment Re:bullshit translator go: (Score 1) 119 119

Stop. stop with the fever-dream of a phone. you lost seven billion dollars on the phone thing. real people lost jobs because of your half-assed insistance on dominating all markets forever.

Not only that but Microsoft held a funeral for the iPhone when they launched the Windows Phone. Hubris?

Comment Re:Microsoft tried the wrong business model (Score 1) 249 249

Apple is a software company fundamentally. What makes a mac different from a PC is OS X. What makes an iPhone different from an Android phone is iOS. The hardware is basically the same underneath. So Apple sells you their software but won't sell it without a fairly nice device to go along with it. However an important feature in this is that Apple has design chops and retail experience in their DNA. Microsoft doesn't. So Microsoft has to replicate what Apple is doing without the design culture that makes Apple successful at doing it.

I'd have to disagree with this. While the major components of a PC are no longer designed and built by the manufacturer (CPU, memory, drives), Apple does do more with hardware design than the next manufacturer. Sure in PCs, they don't design their own CPUs but they still design motherboards and the overall case. While the like of Dell and HP and Lenovo offer very bland models with little differences, Apple does make some interesting design choices in their computers.

For example, the Macbook Air is Apple's answer to the netbook. Instead of shrinking the whole laptop in all dimensions (and making it hard to type on), Apple went thin. Now that seems like there isn't much engineering but to make it thin, Apple did have to design motherboards much smaller, use customized Intel chips, use SSD instead of HDD in laptops years before it was the norm, remove many I/O plugs from the case. These were not without criticism but years later and after refinement, the MacBook Air is the direction almost all PC manufacturers are going with.

Another example is the MacPro. The newest version is dramatically different than other workstations. First of all, it's not boxy. There's little expansion. It uses PCIe SSD drives. Cooling wise everything does up instead of through and the main components are separated on 3 different boards instead one motherboard.

Controlling the software does make Apple better at integration but Apple does make an attempt at hardware differentiation.

Comment Re:Another round of layoffs (Score 2) 249 249

And the yearly stacked ranking and purging wasn't enough? MS problem was that they were in the 90s mindset where they could buy themselves into new areas by buying companies. They got good people but the problem was they didn't know what to do with those companies.

Comment Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 249 249

The acquisition never made sense because Microsoft's experience at computer hardware was abysmal. Sure their peripherals were decent but when they tried to make something more complicated like an Xbox 360, they had to write off billions in defects. Also MS made their money on software licensing. Apple at least made computers before they went into the mobile device market.

Submission + - Microsoft to layoff 7,800 and write-off $7.6B from Nokia acquisition->

UnknowingFool writes: Less than 2 years after its $7.2B acquisition of Nokia's phone business, Microsoft announced it will layoff 7,800 mostly from that business and write off the acquisition for $7.6B. Among those let go will be Stephen Elop who is the former CEO of Nokia and a former executive of Microsoft. Many believe Elop was placed at Nokia to undermine their business so that Microsoft could buy it for a cheaper price. Even with the acquisition, Microsoft's share of the phone market did not increase significantly and lags behind Android and Apple.
Link to Original Source

Comment Simple? (Score 1) 184 184

Our way of life, particularly in SV, simply does violence to human biology. Sitting around, thinking too much, worrying, business, meetings. Little or no mindfulness.

I recently got a smartphone, 3 weeks ago. I can already feel how different my attention is changing, feel an alienating disconnect and craving for attention and stimulation constantly.

Our culture is violent. So is our means of making a living (and I don't mean physical violence).

Staff meeting in the conference room in %d minutes.