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Comment: Re:Where is the new media? (Score 1) 246

by Shadowlore (#35094236) Attached to: News Corp's <em>The Daily</em> Is Doomed

As far as the content - why would people around the country want to be locked into The Daily's content when they could aggregate content from multiple sources - including Fox or other Murdoch publications if they wish to.

So you are saying that by using The Daily, people find their iPads have all other news sources deleted and you can't install any other news apps? Wow. Quite the leap there.

Seems pretty arrogant to me to assume that anyone wanting to or being willing to pay for news content has zero other options, or are somehow precluded from doing so.

Comment: Re:Wisdom of the crowd? (Score 1) 596

by Shadowlore (#35093940) Attached to: Microsoft Vehemently Denies Google's "Bing Sting"

This is no more nefarioius then a restauranteur eating at a competitor's restaurant on a Saturday night and noticing what other patrons are ordering. You find out what the people want then give them what they want.

No, it isn't. The restaurant owner seeing what is popular still has to go and actually come up with a dish to satisfy the demand. Chefs an owners do in fact visit other places. They do it openly. And often they chat with the competition.

It would be more like me giving you a flower to pin on your lapel and saying it will tell me where you go, but really it also records and tells me what you order to eat and where you ordered it at. Then imagine me doing that to thousands of people - people who don't like my restaurant but like my competitor's and you'd be getting warmer.

What you are describing would be more like MS doing searches on Google's site directly, and incorporating those results into their own rankings. Or more like a portal realizing people want to search for things on the Internet and get useful results, and then making a search engine to do that.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with the basic concept (Score 1) 246

by Shadowlore (#35093396) Attached to: News Corp's <em>The Daily</em> Is Doomed

... but where it fails is the business model. It assumes that people are willing to pay to access a single aggregation service when so many already exist free of charge.

Personally, it depends on the price and the actual user experience. Most of the "free" stuff makes you pay in other ways, such as painful UI decisions and ugly intrusive advertising. If the price is right I'd take a single-source that works *well* and doesn't abuse my senses. Particularly since having one does not preclude the others.

Walking freely and an expensive sports car can both get me from home to work. But that doesn't mean the experience is the same, and the fact that more people choose buying a car (even a cheap one) over walking illustrates that we do in fact place a value on each of those and act based on our own valuations. However, despite the fact I bought the sports car, I still walk some places.

With a reported 500,000/week to support it, it only takes 500,001 people in the world to choose the 99c/week option to make it a net (yet tiny) profit. Sure, if Apple gets half, that means News Corp has to get 1,000,001 subscribers. This assumes there is no in-app advertising they get money from as well. Will they get that? I'd say absolutely - provided the app itself is a quality one (unlike the Safari Books app O'Reilly put out -and pulled- last year). Succeeding in business doesn't necessarily mean outrunning the bear. Sometimes it just means outrunning the other hikers. News Corp. doesn't need all iPad owners to subscribe, just a portion of them.

Comment: Re:Story is wrong (Score 1) 584

by Shadowlore (#35092952) Attached to: Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

It's my phone and my apps. I don't like apple deciding what apps get offered.

Yes, it is your phone. And once on your phone the apps are ostensibly yours. On the other hand, it is Apple's Store and Apple's infrastructure supporting the distribution of those apps. Apple pays the bandwidth for the store

Macy's decides what goes in their store and under what conditions. So does Walmart and local Mom & Pop stores. You knew going into the phone purchase what the Apple Store did, or you should have.

As you said, it's a genuine problem, both for Apple and users, and there is no ideal solution. However it is ultimately Apple's problem to solve how they see fit because it is their store. If Amazon (which has rules of their own for their store) doesn't like the rules, they don't have to put apps in Apple's store. Just as you can't buy everything "home related" at Walmart, you won't be able to get everything in the Apple store as not everyone agrees to the terms.

In a sense, apps that exist solely to be advertising and marketing routes to websites to sell stuff are a pollutant to the iTunes ecosystem. Consider an analogue. Consider what would be the effect of say Walmart, Sears, or a Mall, charging companies a percentage of sales to set up a booth selling things on their premises. Happens quite often actually. And we don't gripe about that. Now consider what would happen if those kiosk stores instead were giving out boxes that were nothing more than a collection of advertisements. For Free.

Now, we have the same situation. The company that owns/manages the premises is getting nothing in return for the services they provide. Of course we'd be saying that it would be their own fault for not charging a minimum fee and that's tough luck for them being stupid. On the other hand, here we have Apple *not* making that mistake (any longer) and instead we want to blame them and label them the bad guys. Really, they are just enforcing the rules int eh SDK anyway.

If Amazon wanted in app purchasing in their Kindle app, they could, and would, have done it. That they didn't is good on them because they read the SDK agreement and abided by it. Of course, that is the reason I don't use the kindle app so much because I have to go to their website and deal with it's idiosyncrasies to buy an eBook. So that means I won't be affected by this. I'd wager the Kindle app isn't affected at all since it does not do in-app purchasing anyway.

Neither Apple nor Amazon are the idiots being made out here on /.. Unlike most of the posters here today, Amazon knew that doing in-app purchasing in the Kindle app would subject them to Apple percentage requirements. So they didn't implement it (to my annoyance but w/e). Apple doesn't expect Amazon to suddenly start paying them because the Kindle doesn't fit the criteria.

Perhaps Amazon's Windowshop app lets you purchase items directly, I've not tried. I'd be suprised if it didn't simply take you to the website when you wanted to purchase. Mostly because as I read it that would be a violation of the SDK agreement. So even that app would not likely be affected here.

Comment: Re:Not a rules change, just enforcing the rules (Score 1) 584

by Shadowlore (#35092646) Attached to: Apple eBook Rules Changing For Sellers

Well sort of. Since 11.3 applies to *physical* goods, then yeah the hardcopy book you bought through the imaginary IAP Amazon Kindle app that let you buy physical books could not be read on your Kindle, PC, or Mac.

But since that would be obvious and a non-issue, and no Kindle iPhone app has in-app purchasing (be it physical or electronic books), it's rather a pointless statement.

Comment: Hmmm kinda reminds me of ... (Score 3, Funny) 536

by Shadowlore (#34562530) Attached to: FBI Alleged To Have Backdoored OpenBSD's IPSEC Stack

Garibaldi: Think they'll ever find that transmitter you slipped G'Kar?
Sinclair: No. because there isn't one.
Garibaldi: There isn't? Wait—
Sinclair: I lied. I figured if there were a transmitter, sooner or later they'd find it and remove it. But if I just told them there was, they'd keep looking. Indefinitely.
Garibaldi: Commander, do you have any idea of the tests they'll put him through, the things they'll do to him trying to find a transmitter that's not there?
Sinclair: Yes.

Comment: Re:This is pretty big. (Score 1) 200

by Shadowlore (#34491236) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Make It To Orbit
Actually, it was designed with the intention of taking humans up. The big hurdle in humans is the vibration and "physical displacement of occupants" for launch to space. The engines were designed and built with that in mind, and Musk intends to strap the engines onto larger rockets configurations (Falcon X and Falcon X Heavy IIRC). Musk's goal is Mars and he asserts that the Falcon 9H could, if assembled and launched from LEO, take us there. Last I ran the numbers base don estimated lift tonnage, it could do with a multiple launch mission profile and be launched from Earth. A few years ago when I was running the numbers on an orbital "assembly" mission profile, it would certainly work just fine for taking us to Mars. And while it does take more to go to the Moon than Mars (you actually need a bigger rocket to go to the Moon), the Falcon 9 heavy could probably do the same for going to the Moon.

Comment: Re:NASA is becoming sad... (Score 1) 152

by Shadowlore (#34490778) Attached to: NASA's 'Arsenic Microbe' Science Under Fire

I hate how cynical and ignorant mods mod people like you up.

First off, you are engaging in the fallacy of idealizing the past, a particular popular fallacy on slashdot. I find the more recent NASA accomplishments a lot more impressive than just lobbing meatbags onto the nearest satellite. Robotic rovers on mars, stardust mission, all manner of flybys and good space science, planetary probe hubble and webb in 2014, etc, Heck, we just had a god damn comet flyby last month.

So "just lobbing hunks of metal into orbit" > "just lobbing meatbags to the nearest satellite"?? Talk about a perversion of difficulty and complexity. Successfully placing people on other celestial bodies and bringing them back is far more difficult than some measly hunks of metal, rubber, and electronics. After putting people on the moon and bringing them back, lobbing satellites is well .. just lobbing satellites. It's like winning the Indy 500 and then spending the next several decades bragging about driving 5 MPH over the speed limit. In town. In a school zone.

The reality of it is, NASA could well send people to Mars and back, and on it's current budget. The reason they don't? They are a federally funded bureaucracy. I'll elaborate a bit.

When NASA was about space exploration, and specifically human space exploration, they were focus on it. As the political will for it diminished they PtB looked for something else they could include so they could continue to exist. So they expanded their definition of what space exploration meant. This continued over the course of the last several decades to the extent that NASA doing "research" in terrestrial lakes is included in it.

Let that last bit sink in some more. Conducting research on terrestrial lakes is considered "space exploration". That certainly fits my criteria for a bloated agency. The reality is that NASA has a lot of "wasted" funding. If they focused their efforts on space exploration instead of "anything science related" they could actually get some real accomplishments under their belt instead of floundering in Low Earth Orbit for 30 years. If they put actual efficiency as a higher priority than "spreading the wealth among the congressional candidates" they could recapture the imagination, and dare I say hearts and minds, of the voters.

No, the reality is that objectively NASA's "performance" has plummeted. The rovers? They did not massively outlive their expected life. They outlived their requested mission duration. And it was stated back then the rovers were capable of far more than their window. And really, what was NASAs "science" in that? They were a carrier. They lobbed those hunks of metal and electronics to the "next satellite" of the sun. Oh and they provided some people to monitor them. We have automated rovers here on this planet, so the whole autonomous robot aspect is nothing new, and hence not an accomplishment to be proud of anymore than a team that wins the Superbowl can consider a victory over a high school team an accomplishment. Terrestrial weather research is not an aspect of space exploration.

NASA has shown year over year, time and again, that they -as an organization- are not interested in doing real space exploration work, just getting the money for it. They've had plans by experts (their own people even) that they themselves determine would be an order of magnitude cheaper, and many times safer. Yet hey turn them down because they don't constitute a large enough budget increase to appeal to a wide state selection of senators. Anytime the bigger ticket is the "preferred" option to a less expensive but safer journey with a higher ROI you've got a classic case of "just give us money so we can push pencils around". And we the people have seen it.

That isn't to say there aren't good scientists at NASA, they do exist. But they are held into a form of bondage by the bureaucracy that NASA has become.

And given NASAs *full* track record, don't count on anything they say they will do in the future, especially something 3 years out. Your selections too are biased in favor of their small tasks. When you look at the list of stuff they "tried" or "wanted" to do but then killed them off for non-space exploration stuff it really is severely unbalanced toward the "no significant accomplishments" side of the scale.

You want expensive moon missions? Convince your fellow voters to trim 100+ billion off our bloated military budget and to put into NASA. NASA gets a paltry 17 billion annually. We spend almost that much of corn subsidies. Your defense budget is 700 billion.

Dont blame NASA because your democracy is broken and prefers to invest its money on war, defense, subsidies, and science last. Its amazing what NASA is doing with such small amounts of money.

Ahh now we see the bias come out further. We could roughly double the NASA budget by shifting the money spent on corn subsidies to NASA, but you go after national defense. You think the PP is Obama or a member of Congress? It isn't "her/his" budget anymore than it is mine. Defense spending amounts are debatable as to when they go from needed/efficient to bloated (and ftr: I think they are very bloated currently). Subsidies, however, are fundamentally flawed and cause more harm than good. For the latest prime example look at health care: it is so expensive because of the subsidies it gets.

Second, perhaps if the government sponsored scientists would spend more time on useful science instead of things that are of no significant value, the public would not think (in many cases rightly so) that the government is wasting money on junky science. For example, spending taxpayer money on "why does the shower curtain suck in the way it does in a shower" versus say ... "how can we better stop rapid outbreaks of deadly diseases" the average Joe might consider supporting more scientific research by the government. When you take my money away form me, I expect a benefit to me. Satisfying your curiosity about why certain things smell the way they do with no practical benefit to me at all (even remotely) is not a good way to get me to give you more.

People (except perhaps the latest generation(s) who have not been taught history) understand the wave of technological, practical benefits the moon race *directly* brought them. From cooking foil to lighter vehicles and appliances.

But that doesn't happen these days because NASA isn't doing that kind of science. Only things you can't objectively measure and demonstrate their value. Like any "good" bureaucracy.

17 BILLION dollars isn't a small amount of money, and NASA isn't doing "amazing things" with it. We the people are basically getting ripped off to the tune of probably 16 Billion dollars per year by the NASA administrators.

And finally, your argument relies on the fallacy that we can, or should, continue to take more and more form the people who get out and are *productive* members of the economy and redistribute it around for such things as space exploration as opposed to letting the people decide for themselves. Really, NASA needs to refocus it's mission. Get back down to space exploration; do things the private sector simply isn't willing to front the costs for - if NASA is to *do* any of it. And NASA/the FedGov needs get the hell out of the way of private space exploration. We already have a private space launch capacity of many billions per year, well exceeding the budget of NASA. Hell, most of the satellites are launched on private rockets. Technically, the government didn't own the shuttle program; it just mismanaged it to the ground.

Comment: Re:Given that this is Slashdot (Score 1) 417

by Shadowlore (#34211092) Attached to: Palin E-Mail Snoop Gets Year In Prison

Yeah, violating someone's privacy is wrong. But does it deserve a year in prison? That is what people are objecting to...the overly harsh penalties assigned to crimes regarding computers.

No, slashdotters are reacting so strongly because, being slashdotters, they didn't RTFA and see that he didn't get a year in prison, nor did he get a year's sentenced for violation someone's privacy. The incarceration is for "obstruction of justice". This felony provides for a maximum of 20 years incarceration, yet the guidelines applied to this case recommend 15-18 months. The *total* term sought by the prosecution was 18 months. How is either the request or the result out of the range in the guidelines? Neither the notoriety of the case nor the perp can be credited with affecting the incarceration term. In this case the guy outright posted his goal was to "disrupt her campaign". The breach of privacy was merely a vessel to his goal, and the end punishment of a felony was for destroying evidence during a federal investigation of his criminal activity.

The misdemeanor penalty he got for the computer offense is apparently too small to be reported on, and/or is "rolled into" the 18 month request.

Comment: Re:Nice way to narrow it down. (Score 2, Interesting) 171

by Shadowlore (#33716020) Attached to: Methane Survey Reveals Mars Is Far From 'Dead'

Another source would include the possibility of freeze/thaw cycles. There is also another method suggested last year involving radiolytic H2reacting in a non-bioligic manner with CO2 dissolved in water. That process would be neither biological nor geological. There are other atmospheric/radiological possibilities too (such as UV interacting with the atmosphere).

Yet another method is one you throw out sarcastically. Last year, as I recall, there was a hypothesis put forth that meteorites released methane as they burn up on entry. They do, in fact. However, the problem with that hypothesis is that this source is not significant enough to account for the large volumes of Methane required to support the cycles shown in the data this report discusses (10kg/year compared to a couple hundred tons/year). Subsurface deposits melting were also proposed as a source.

So yes, that actually does narrow it down. It narrows it down very significantly, and further if you accept the hypothesis that Mars is a 'dead' planet geologically. "Geological processes" are not as broad as you seem to believe. Geology is a rather specific field. Mars is considered dead geologically. Thus, if you accept that all other sources of Methane have been eliminated you are left with the following two possibilities:
1) Biological - life of some sort
2) Mars isn't geologically dead, and it is a geological process.

Either result is pretty damned important. Though technically it could be a third option: Both.

Further, the bigger quandary isn't so much *how* it is produced, but why does the Martian air "lose" so much methane so quickly? It is removed from the atmosphere faster than the usual suspects.

Your analogy would work if rocks could be formed atmospherically, biologically, or radiologically.

Comment: Re:CFL's are dirt cheap these days (Score 1) 557

by Shadowlore (#33715646) Attached to: Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices

So you get to buy a bunch more mercury-laden CFLs, yay for you!

I've spent the time to test out a variety of brands at various prices in real-world usage patterns. In the majority of use patterns, CFLs blow out 2-4 times faster than Incandescents. If you want to get real savings, step up to full on fluorescent bulbs. The ones in my garage ran for over a decade. But they matched the usage profile for FLs. Every internal light (especially bathrooms and hallways) Incandescents have outlasted CFLs by very large margins. Even if the CFLs were priced as low as incandescents, they'd still be far more expensive.

Banning Incandescents is stupid, wasteful, and nothing more than a special interest gimme. If you really want to cut your energy costs, nothing beats turning off lights that aren't needed. Second to that is matching the lighting to the task. Perhaps a lower wattage bulb right where you need it (or even an LED right there) instead of the "big room light" that has to be brighter because it is trying to fulfill every role.

This latter point is the single biggest problem in home (and office) lighting. The notion that one light is all you need for a room is generally false and wasteful. That is why we see a trend toward more lights - and why more "upscale" homes have dozens of lights in the main room, the kitchen, and sometimes the dining room. So now, I expect that we will not see a reduction in electricity demand form lights, because we will have even more lights per room. Just like low-calorie drinks leads to people drinking more of them - and resulting in consuming more calories because the human mind tricks itself.

But don't take my word for it, or the OP's word either. Do the math on your own home and usage.

Of course, that will likely lead to having a mix of light types (LED, CFLs, Tubes, Incandescents, etc.) in your house. And that is partly why the neoliberals don't want you to have the option.

Funny how Mercury is so bad for you (which it is) that you can't possibly be allowed to have it anywhere. Except for lighting your home where you are clearly not getting enough of it and Mommy NeoLib has to force you to use it.

Comment: Re:ultimate low impact (Score 1) 410

by Shadowlore (#33657188) Attached to: Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

There are two basic ways for us to lower pollution output: stop living our modern high energy lifestyles or have an extreme technological breakthrough. I doubt the latter is going to occur anytime soon, even if it was discovered today there would be no way we could mass produce it enough to effectively change over our lifestyles and infrastructure (and it would have to be massive gains for it to most likely be worth the energy cost of the constructions of the new technology and recycling the waste from the old).

The facts bely your claim. The facts are that in the US at least, our pollution out has been decreasing for a very long time. Not that it makes news (until a politician of any stripe wants to claim he or she is responsible for it), pollution has in fact gone down significantly over the last 40+ years. Same with water pollution. Meanwhile, energy per-capita has increased. Not suprising given that cleaner technology usually requires more energy (most recycling consumes more energy than it "saves" for example), and that we as a group mus thave enough "excess" energy available to use the cleaner technology.

Advances don't generally happen suddenly, a point you make. However you seem to forget the fact that advances incrementally over time lead to more improvement than single one-shot advances, Further, not all improvements are the result of improving technology. Often they are ways of being smarter about things. For example, carrying more cargo per trip reducing the energy use of the cargo over taking two trucks to deliver it. Indeed, as some research shows more efficient technology can lead to an increase in net energy use. The effect is similar to reduced-calorie foods. Cut the calories in half and many people eat more than double what they were previously.

As to the latter part of your statement, again the history of technological changes proves your statement false. As I've heard said "We didn't leave the stone age because we ran out of rocks". Nor the Bronze Age for want of bronze, nor Iron Age for lack of iron. We as a species and civilization do in fact continuously replace prior technology. The problem we face now is government distortion of costs through mandates and subsidies. These actions cloud the needed information of relative supply and demand, as well as the incentive to produce lower cost versions of "better" technology.

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