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Comment Re:Classification an Interesting Issue (Score 1) 144 144

Anytime you let government make decisions about the impact of games, you're likely to suffer. If over-reacting legislatures had there way, there would be no D&D games from TSR in the 70's, no telnet MUDs in the 90's, no WoW in the 00's. Would we be better served by removing any of these?

Submission + - A Tool for Analyzing H-1B Visa Applications Reveals Tech Salary Secrets->

Tekla Perry writes: "The golden age of engineers is not over," says a French software engineer who developed a tool for mining U.S. Department of Labor visa application data, but, he says, salaries appear to be leveling off. Indeed, salary inflation for software engineers and other technical professionals at Google and Facebook has slowed dramatically, according to his database, and Airbnb and Dropbox pay is down a little, though Netflix pay is through the roof. The data also shows that some large companies appear to be playing games with titles to deflate salaries, and Microsoft is finally offering technology professionals comparable salaries to Apple and Google. There's a lot more to be discovered in this interactive database, and researchers are getting ready to mine it.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - How Does the iPhone Do That: Behind the Downfall at BlackBerry

HughPickens.com writes: Ian Austen has an interesting interview in the NYT with the Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, authors of "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry," that offers details about the emotional and business turmoil surrounding the collapse of the once-dominant smartphone maker’s fall into near market obscurity. Most interesting is Balckberry's initial reaction to the iPhone. "It was an interesting contrast to the team at Google, which was working on smartphones at the time. Google seemed to realize immediately that the world had changed and scrapped its keyboard plans. At BlackBerry, they sort of dismissed the need to do anything about it in the short term," says McNish. "One thing that they misunderstood is how the game had changed when AT&T announced its deal with Apple," added Silcoff. "BlackBerry had built its whole business model on offering carriers products that worked efficiently on their networks. The first thing Mike Lazaridis said when he saw an iPhone at home is that this will never work, the network can’t sustain it. What they misunderstood is that the consumer demand would make carriers invest in their networks."

"One of the big reveals for us in the book was the enormous power wielded by carriers in the smartphone race," says McNish. "In the wake of Apple’s ascendency, carriers have seen their clout and economic value significantly diminished as customers spend more of their smartphone money on Apple phones, apps and other content than they do on carrier bills. It is one of the greatest wealth transfers in our generation."

Comment Re:Remember Groupon? (Score 1) 109 109

Fluff companies sold to idiots by con-artists. Groupon continues to turn in losses, down from $12 billion at IPO to $4 billion and likely worth nothing.

Uber relies on a commercial advantage of offering a taxi service without the regulatory limits of taxis, but that won't last as they crack down on it, an an obvious taxi service.

Companies that make money hire fancy accountants to hide income cleverly, and keep their valuations trading in an income/profit range.
Companies that sell dreams hire fancy accountants to create income cleverly, and keep their investors hanging on with projected profits and world domination.

Submission + - 25 Years today - Windows 3.0 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 — I know, coz I was there as a SDE on the team. I still have, um, several of the shrink-wrapped boxes of the product — with either 3.5 inch and 5.25 floppies rattling around inside them — complete with their distintive 'I witnessed the event' sticker!

It was a big deal for me, and I still consider Win 3 as *the* most significant Windows' release, and I wonder what other /.ers think — looking back on Win 3?

Submission + - Rand Paul wraps up NSA "filibuster" after 10 hours->

mpicpp writes: After standing on the Senate floor for more than 10 hours in protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrapped up his so-called "filibuster" just after Midnight on Thursday morning.

NSA illegal spying and data collection of innocent Americans must end. Thank you all for standing with me. #StandwithRand

— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 21, 2015
The senator and 2016 presidential candidate staged the talkathon ahead of the Senate's consideration of legislation to extend the NSA's authority to collect phone records in bulk. The controversial surveillance program — which has been deemed illegal by one federal court — is supposedly authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act. That section of the law is set to expire on June 1, giving Congress little time to renew it.

Paul started his "filibuster" against an extension of the Patriot Act on Wednesday afternoon, even though the Senate was actually in the middle of debate time on an entirely different issue — trade authority. Paul's efforts likely slowed down Senate business — lawmakers are trying to finish a few important bills before taking off for a weeklong recess — but the Senate is still expected to take up legislation to deal with the expiring NSA program.

Link to Original Source

Comment How about the 70's (Score 1) 287 287

A better analogy is the auto industry in the 70's. The OPEC gas crunch made every car a brick, pressed higher unemployment, and resulted in towns full of abandoned vehicles.

For 2015 we're seeing a generation of drivers who simply don't care enough about having their own car. Low wages, transportation options, green choices, etc., are all weighing on an old school industry that hasn't evolved past SUVs. Going into the red while still carrying the burden of school debt is not likely to motivate them much, even with cheaper gas. For them, a new bit of tech, one time payment, and $50 cell charges will keep them connected more than any car would.

If you were a kid, which would you choose? A $25,000 loan you have to have to find parking for, or a $1,000 watch/band/hat you can use anywhere with no further responsibilities? Probably they are going to take the latter.

Submission + - In-Database R Coming to SQL Server 2016

theodp writes: Wondering what kind of things Microsoft might do with its purchase of Revolution Analytics? Over at the Revolutions blog, David Smith announces that in-database R coming to SQL Server 2016. "With this update," Smith writes, "data scientists will no longer need to extract data from SQL server via ODBC to analyze it with R. Instead, you will be able to take your R code to the data, where it will be run inside a sandbox process within SQL Server itself. This eliminates the time and storage required to move the data, and gives you all the power of R and CRAN packages to apply to your database." It'll no doubt intrigue Data Scientist types, but the devil's in the final details, which Microsoft was still cagey about when it talked-the-not-exactly-glitch-free-talk (starts @57:00) earlier this month at Ignite. So, brush up your R, kids, and you can see how Microsoft walks-the-in-database-walk when SQL Server 2016 public preview rolls out this summer.

You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.