Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Microsoft Could Earn Billions From Office For iOS 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-if-they-knew-how-to-play-nice-with-others dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft is leaving billions of dollars on the table by not porting Office to the iPad, according to a new analyst report. That analyst, Morgan Stanley's Adam Holt, believes that Office for iOS would sell to approximately 30 percent of all iPad users; priced at $60 per copy, that comes to a grand total of $2.5 billion per year — minus Apple's cut of the revenues, of course. But does Microsoft actually want Office for iOS out there? It's not necessarily in the company's best interest to rush such a platform to market, even if billions of dollars potentially hang in the balance — it's too busy pushing Office as a cloud-based, OS-agnostic platform. And Microsoft has another reason, aside from pushing the cloud version of Office, to de-emphasize the prospect of its productivity software on iOS: In a bid to draw more customers to its new hardware, Microsoft preloaded its Surface RT tablets with Office; offering the software on a rival touch-screen would take a major selling point off the table."

T-Mobile Exec Calls For End To Cell Phone Subsidies 355

Posted by timothy
from the shipping-and-handling-fees-may-apply dept.
MojoKid writes "T-Mobile's Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman has an interesting idea for revamping the mobile industry, and it involves killing the subsidy plans that have driven smartphone adoption over the past five years. Asked what one thing he'd change if he had the power to do so, Brodman pointed to subsidy programs. 'It [device subsidies] actually distorts what devices actually cost and it causes OEMs, carriers — everybody to compete on different playing fields ...' Brodman isn't kidding about an irregular playing field. The HTC Titan is the most subsidized device in the chart seen here (unsubsidized at $549, $0.01 on contract). Microsoft is obviously desperate to gain market share in mobile but both the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Note carry $400+ discounts too. The cheapest smartphone AT&T offers without a subsidy is the thoroughly mediocre HTC Status, for $349. To add insult to injury, it's only available in mauve. It's an interesting idea, but practically unworkable as far as the mass market is concerned. Carriers have built a market structure in which consumers gladly accept a new bauble every 18 months in exchange for paying for text messaging (which literally costs carriers nothing) and overage charges in which 300MB of data for $20 is a fair market value."
The Internet

Why Didn't the Internet Take Off In 1983? 469

Posted by samzenpus
from the failure-to-thrive dept.
jfruh writes "An amazing pair of videos from the AT&T archives tout a service called Viewtron that brought much of what we expect from the modern Internet to customers' homes in 1983. Online news, banking services, restaurant reviews, shopping, e-mail — all were available on your TV set, controlled by a wireless infrared keyboard. The system had 15,000 customers in cities on the U.S. east coast, but was shut down after $50 million was spent on it. But why did it flop? Was the world just not ready for it?"

Comment: Re:US, get out (Score 2) 477

by Sonic McTails (#38096472) Attached to: EU Speaks Out Against US Censorship

Some of what you proposed was the law in the United States (specifically limits on what unions and corporations could donate). It was stricken down by the Supreme Court of the United States as a violation of free speech: NYTimes Article, no registration required

The case itself is Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, if you would like to look it up.

Comment: Re:I know it's called WikiLeaks, but... (Score 5, Informative) 385

by Sonic McTails (#34451960) Attached to: WikiLeaks Took Advice From Media Outlets

Thats utter nonsense. When has any other major media organization ever received classified information that it decided to reveal even after being told numerous times by the us government to not post it?e?

Guess you didn't bother to research that claim.

Pentagon Papers was the first thing that came to mind: Watergate was the second: Plenty others exist if you want more examples.

Comment: Any T-Mobile phone with UMA ... (Score 3, Informative) 289

by Sonic McTails (#32714328) Attached to: Best Phone For a Wi-Fi-Only Location?

I recommend any T-Mobile phone that is UMA (Wifi calling) enabled. UMA phones essentially do GSM-over-IP, so when the phone has a wifi signal, your normal phone number encoded on the SIM card will ring, and you can send and receive calls and texts normally. Most T-Mobile BlackBerries, and a few other phones can do this, its listed as Wifi Calling on the spec sheets. You can also take your phone and use it as normal on T-Mobile network, and then have it hop on wifi when you move into range seemlessly.

(UMA is not SIP, it works very well over low bandwidth links, and I've had little trouble with it)

If T-Mobile doesn't work for you, a Symbian or Android phone with a VoIP client using something like sipgate might be a good choice.

Comment: Re:but who to go with? (Score 1) 510

by Sonic McTails (#30524006) Attached to: Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

Having recently driven cross-country, I find claims of T-Mobile's coverage sucking are generally overblown. T-Mobile has roaming agreements with most of the major GSM regionals and with AT&T (in places), so most of the time, the phone will roam onto another network. T-Mobile has full data roaming, and doesn't charge for domestic roaming, so coverage is usually better than what the coverage maps suggest it will be.

Comment: Re:Release cycles? (Score 4, Informative) 1231

by Sonic McTails (#29971616) Attached to: Some Early Adopters Stung By Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

The release behind shipping the LTS with Firefox 3.0b4 was simply that Firefox 2 would not have been maintainable for the next five years. It was decided that as soon as firefox 3.0 final was released, it would be placed both in the updates and security tree. If your running an up to date Hardy system, you have the latest version of firefox 3.

Comment: Re:unilkely (Score 1) 560

by Sonic McTails (#29888435) Attached to: Laptop Fires On Airplanes

That depends on your airline. American, Delta, and JetBlue still provide them.

Just because some airlines want to screw you for ever cent doesn't mean they all do. My passport fell out of my jacket while flying once and i didn't notice it, and a few days later, I got a package from Delta with a letter about it, and my passport safely returned. I've flown with them whenever possible since.

Comment: Quantum Suidice (Score 2, Interesting) 691

by Sonic McTails (#29735267) Attached to: The LHC, the Higgs Boson, and Fate

I dunno, the more I keep seeing the LHC fail and fail is that we may be experiencing quantum suicide. In each reality that the LHC properly starts up and smashs atoms, the world ends as we know it. We keep experiencing a version of reality where cirmstance is preventing the Hiigs Boson from being created. For those unfamiliar with the concept, here's the thought experiment behind the theory straight from Wikiepdia:

One example of the thought experiment is: a man sits down before a gun, which is pointed at his head. The gun is rigged to a machine that measures the spin of a quantum particle. Each time the trigger is pulled, the spin of the quantum particle is measured. Depending on the measurement, the gun will either fire, or it won't. If the quantum particle is measured as spinning in a clockwise motion, the gun will fire. If the particle is spinning counterclockwise, the gun won't discharge; there will only be a click.

The man now pulls the trigger. The gun clicks. He pulls the trigger again, with the same result. And again; the gun does not fire. The man will continue to pull the trigger again and again with the same result: The gun won't fire. Although it's functioning properly and loaded with bullets, no matter how many times he pulls the trigger, the gun will never seem to fire.

Go back in time to the beginning of the experiment. The man pulls the trigger for the very first time, and the particle is now measured as spinning clockwise. The gun fires. The man is dead.

But the problem arises; the man already pulled the trigger the first time — and an infinite amount of times following that — and we already know the gun didn't fire. How can the man be dead? The man is unaware, but he's both alive and dead. Each time he pulls the trigger, the universe is split in two. It will continue to split, again and again, each time the trigger is pulled. This thought experiment is called 'quantum suicide'. It was first posed by theorist Max Tegmark in 1997. However, science fiction author Larry Niven originally proposed a fictional variant of quantum suicide in his short story All the Myriad Ways in which the protagonist's final action in the story kills/fails to kill him in myriad alternate realities.

With each run of the experiment there is a 50-50 chance that the gun will be triggered and the experimenter will die. According to the Copenhagen interpretation, the gun will (in all likelihood) eventually be triggered and the experimenter will die (assuming the experimenter allows the wavefunction/spinor of the particle to evolve back to its original state after each attempt). If the many-worlds interpretation is correct then at each run of the experiment, the experimenter will be split into one world in which he survives and another world in which he dies. After many runs of the experiment, there will be many worlds. In the worlds where the experimenter dies, he will cease to be a conscious entity.

However, from the point of view of the non-dead copies of the experimenter, the experiment will continue running without his ceasing to exist, because at each branch, he will only be able to observe the result in the world in which he survives, and if many-worlds is correct, the surviving copies of the experimenter will notice that he never seems to die, therefore "proving" himself to be invulnerable to the gun mechanism in question, from his own point of view.

If the many-worlds interpretation is true, the measure (given in M.W.I. by the squared norm of the wavefunction) of the surviving copies of the experimenter will decrease by 50% with each run of the experiment, but will remain non-zero. So, if the surviving copies become experimenters, those copies will either die in the first shot, or survive creating duplicates of themselves (copies of copies, that will survive finitely or die).

Comment: Re:Hands-free is allowed (Score 1) 364

by Sonic McTails (#29572779) Attached to: For New Zealanders, No More Phones as Sat-Nav Devices
Maybe in your state, but in NYS, the process for getting a drivers license is still pretty involved. You need to get a permit, take a written test, then either wait six months with 20 hours of logged drive time, or take and pass a drivers ed class (my class was in NYC itself, which made it THAT much more difficult). Then you have to pass a road test here which involved all your usual driving maneuvers (which wasn't TOO difficult, but I saw a ton of people complete the course and still fail).

Comment: Re:Proves the point (Score 1) 336

by Sonic McTails (#29541345) Attached to: Google Serves a Cease and Desist On Android Modder
If you have an Android Development Phone (ADP) or a rooted G1, you can wipe the stock Android install and go down to a base installation which is mostly free (the only closed bits are some drivers required for the camera, phone baseboard, and one or two other things.

If looking at the N810 and the large amount of closed bits it has, then the resulting Android installation will be tons cleaner than the N900.

C for yourself.