Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 1) 90

If the black cabs have a legal monopoly...then what uber drivers are doing, by not being licensed black-cab operators, is against the law.

If my understanding is correct, the well-known "black cabs" do NOT have a monopoly. Their drivers DO undergo very strict training though, and earn some shield or such, and charge a premium. BUT e.g. flying in to LHR, you can also pre-book a "mini-cab" which is cheaper, and of which the driver has less training. E.g., the black cab probably has most streets in London memorized and could potentially get you there via the shortest route, while the mini-cab might need to look it up on a map or GPS.

Comment Good/Bad choices for names (Score 1) 59

Nameless Coalition is not the best choice, from a marketing perspective, for a group - especially in a Capitalized Headline.

"Look, they still have to decide on their name. How lame is that to not be able to come up with a name for your lobby group?"
"No, they have already come up with a name. Their name is 'Nameless'."
WARNING: the system has encountered a paradox and has run out of stack space

On the topics of names: what's wrong with "John Smith" for a real (* = for certain values of real) identity? I mean, when you choose something like "Pixiedust Warslayer", you actually are broadcasting that you still want a moniker that people can identify you with fairly uniquely - you just think the one your parents came up with is stupid.

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 172

Imagine the media fallout if those 1,600 people were killed by radiation.

Imagine a world where sometimes, people just stuck to the facts.

To be fair, the GP used the magic word "media". In my not so humble cynical experience, while people may be able to stick to facts, that is not something very likely to happen to the media.

Comment Ex Machina (Score 1) 536

"She believes that they reinforce traditional stereotypes of women and the view that a relationship need be nothing more than physical."

I don't believe a word she says. I think she's one of those anti-AI types and is just using the sex/exploitation angle as an obfuscating excuse to quell the one branch of the industry that is likely to pass the Turing test first.

Comment Re:Same reason we're looking for earth-like life (Score 1) 275

The farthest we can reach in our "communication" with vegetation is when we plant, water, or fertilize it, but it is evident that messages transmitted across an SQ gap of 10 points or more cannot be very meaningful. What, then, could an SQ +50 Superbeing possibly have to say to us?

How about: "Here, have some water and fertilizer. I'll be back in a few of your puny so-called millennia when you are ready for The Harvest. You look delicious, by the way."

Comment Freudian slip?? (Score 1) 403

Spy Industry - seems about right, because I believe it involves massive amounts of money.

Those TLA guys should probably take some lessons from NASA. I mean, when was the last time you saw a movie with a spy that was actually a nice guy and not a complete MFing AH to anyone vaguely on his wrong side AND anyone getting caught in between? I mean, it's nice and all to watch Liam Neeson beating up another bunch of guys, but that's not exactly the type of person I want to have watching over my shoulder while I post new Facebook updates.

Comment Re:I actually like the idea... (Score 1) 371

My previous employer anecdote:

The company had around 500 employees, mostly doing contracting work at various locations (but also quite some numbers at the head office). They had a dedicated team of three people (one male, two females, fairly young all of them - and with the CEO's wife occasionally adding her weight there) responsible for social media, the company magazine (hard-copy), organizing various competitions and events (and to be honest, helping out with some HR functions, like getting new employees introduced). I guess the idea was to help "unify" the workforce that would otherwise have little contact outside their own project groups. Company "meetings" (at least twice a year) where usually held at some nigh club, with a short CEO presentation, and then a lot of free food, booze and loud music. (Now I ride motorcycle, so I don't touch booze; I don't particularly like loud music - lets me feel very disconnected from all those people around me that I am supposed to socialize with.)

So while I eagerly and dutifully attended the first event or so, I soon started to avoid those events, or leave as soon as politely possible. In general, I started to feel somewhat alienated from the company culture due to that what the "social troika" projected, which was very non-technical and generally on a more ("let's party") superficial level than I really had time for. My eyes were finally opened when I took part in some competition, became one of around 20 finalists, was invited to some off-site event (involving, as you may guess, food, (some) booze and socializing), and my project manager didn't want to let me off for those 4 hours - seemed that company culture wasn't part of his project team's culture, after all. Now, this event was quite heavy with CxOs/assorted other directors/spouses etc. - not people you'd really want to snub. On the other hand, they probably were the ones that could afford a morning away from work :-)

I think that the difference with your anecdote is that this team was hired for the purpose, they didn't grow into it. So the mileage results may differ... (Still, kudos for trying.)

After a while, I started to realize that the company tries very hard (and probably successfully - it worked on me initially) to market itself as THE place to work. (Free office snacks, and Youtube videos with actual employees speaking in the most glowing terms of it, come to mind). But I did notice after a few months that people generally had some gripes with working conditions (if asked in less-guarded moments), and that shifting people between projects on short notice and without much explanation did manage to mask some of the turnover. But you know, turnover isn't that much of a problem if you constantly have bright young things knocking at your door that are eager to prove that they are one of "the best" working at "the best" company, regardless of all the all-nighters, bad legacy code and environmental systems, procedural BS, and all the other ills one reads about on /. . It's almost like the emperor's new clothes, and nobody dares point out that he is naked.

I'm not working there any more.

Comment Re:Zip tie (Score 2) 220

I always just "lock" my luggage with a basic zip tie. Not meant to stop the TSA from getting in, but lets me know they did.

Earlier this year I had my first visit to the USA since 2001. Not usually having to bother with all things TSA on my side of the ocean, I enquired from an US-based travel agent about the desirability of a TSA-logoed locking device. She also recommended the ziplock/cable tie approach, which I followed without problems (nail clipper to trim, extras in the top of the bag).

The ziplock alone of course does not prevent loss. But it does look cheap (in the derogatory sense of the word), especially if used in combination with some older cheap generic worn-in luggage. Don't make it look worthwhile to see what can be pilfered from it. Lastly of course you don't pack anything in it that will set you back a nontrivial amount to replace or even some serious sentimental heartbreak - you've got carry-on for those items (scanners can see through locked bags after all, so what do you show them?). So it's more an exercise in risk lowering rather than risk elimination.

Where I come from, the saying is that you don't need to run faster than the lion - only faster than the slowest guy in your hunting party. I imagine the slowest guy being the one trying to show off with material possessions, and having that super-expensive TSA lock on his shiny underpants container.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.