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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).


Comment: Re: Narrow margins (Score 2) 326

by Glonoinha (#43822355) Attached to: Spain's New S-80 Class Submarines Sink, But Won't Float

Honestly I think you have it backwards.

Old school engineers doing it by hand had to know what they were doing.

Noobs with enough experience to 'look good' can have their deficiencies glossed over by the powerful CAD/CAM software, letting them build inconsequential assemblies that individually would work nicely in isolation, but fail as a whole because they didn't understand (or consider) the engineering and physics at the higher level.

Consider the difference between software engineering and programming. An average coder that knows his way around Eclipse can write a hand full of nice classes, but real software engineering by the heavy hitters can happen in a room without a computer - that's where you see the big picture.

Comment: Not surprising -- and not a black eye for the U.S. (Score 4, Insightful) 313

by gregwbrooks (#43522711) Attached to: China Leads in "Clean" Energy Investment
China's energy needs -- in terms of year-over-year growth -- dwarf those of any other country. Their regulatory processes, for projects that the state deems necessary, can be incredibly streamlined. AND they've got money to spend. It's no surprise they're the hotspot for all kinds of energy investment -- clean and otherwise.

Comment: Re:Cue the Slashdot anti-ad brigade in 3... 2... 1 (Score 1) 686

by gregwbrooks (#42078407) Attached to: Ad Blocking – a Coming Legal Battleground?

At some point pro-advertising people have to argue for the proposition that advertisers have an inalienable right to try to bother people with their commercial messages, and I'm willing to engage that point because I think it is wrong. I don't think they have that right -- quite the opposite in fact.

I don't think advertisers have an inalienable right to anything -- if this battle turns legal, it won't be advertisers suing end users or adblock developers.

But would advertisers sue publishers or content owners if the size and nature of the audience was fundamentally misrepresented? Oh, yeah -- that already happens in the offline media world.

That threat, if it becomes more commonplace, puts pressure on publishers to make sure those ads get seen. And that's where the trouble for end users could occur.

(It's also one reason Google's pay-per-click ad revolution shook things up so much: As an advertiser, you don't care if the ad was seen 10 times or 10 million times as long as you're getting the clickthrough rate you want and ONLY paying for that clickthrough rate. As someone else in the thread said: People who use Adblock don't click on ads, so the pay-per-click model actually helps perpetuate the current state of things by taking pressure off of publishers to deliver raw impression numbers.)

Comment: Cue the Slashdot anti-ad brigade in 3... 2... 1... (Score 3, Interesting) 686

by gregwbrooks (#42076943) Attached to: Ad Blocking – a Coming Legal Battleground?

Slashdot's anti-ad rhetoric aside, content creators or rights holders have a right to monetize if they want to -- just as content consumers have a right to bypass that content. Everyone has a choice and everyone has other options.

Right now, the easiest path for those who want to skip ads is also the best-of-both-worlds path: You can consume the content you want *and* avoid the ads. Eventually, some (maybe a few, maybe many) content creators will simply not serve content unless they have confirmation that their monetization vehicle was served as well. Some sites will die because it turns out there are other options -- and many will thrive because people need what they've got.

If it *does* become a legal battleground, it'll be less about the macro and more about the micro. No one gives a fuck if there's one less or one more eyeball on some half-baked 9gag clone serving up commoditized CPM advertising. But a social-media ad that's relevant to maybe 100 people in the whole country? Advertisers -- and their attorneys -- damned well care if they're losing significant percentages on those hyper-targeted buys, which often carry a premium.

Comment: Re:Manual econoboxes accelerate just fine (Score 1) 717

by Glonoinha (#41592775) Attached to: How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

but how often do you need to accelerate from a dead standstill to 60mph, as quickly as possible?

Eight or more times a day, each time I get onto the freeway in the middle of fast traffic. Merging into 70mph traffic when your can can only get to 42mph on the onramp and the odds of getting slammed from behind go up exponentially. Personally I like to be going about 10mph faster than the rest of traffic while I'm merging in, so I can ease off it a little to fit into the most appropriate gap in cars (at 70mph, most cars decelerate down to 55 or 60 a LOT faster than they can accelerate up to 80 or 85.)

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 354

by Glonoinha (#40968275) Attached to: How Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble Survive the iPad Mini?

8G ipod touch = $200
16G ipad (2nd generation) = $400

My guess is that the ipad mini will split the difference and retail for $300. They may take the difference between the ipod touch ($200) and the ipad 3 ($500) and retail out the ipad mini at $350, but I'm thinking that the Google Nexus 7 retail price is going to pressure the price of the ipad mini to come in at $300.

Comment: Re:80% of newspaper income from legal notification (Score 4, Interesting) 167

by gregwbrooks (#40658461) Attached to: The Fate of Newspapers: Farm It, Milk It, Or Feed It

He's right -- for community weeklies and even some very small dailies, legal ads are lifeblood.

Much less so for mid-sized-and-larger dailies.

You want to see an incumbent business model act like a pack of pissed-off wolverines? Watch the small-paper lobby go to town when a state legislature suggests that putting legal notices online might -- might! -- be more efficient.

Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra