Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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).


Comment: Reader and iGoogle (Score 1) 150

by machineghost (#49200261) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Like others have said, Reader was a true loss. But equally high on my list was "iGoogle" (ie. a Google-powered home page). It had widgets for everything I wanted, it was easily configurable ... basically it was the perfect home page. has tried to recreate it, but the quality of engineering is seriously lacking. Many of the widgets don't work, and if you leave it open in a tab for too long the memory leaks in it start chewing up all your RAM (Google's version never did that).

Comment: Re:Parody (Score 4, Insightful) 255

by machineghost (#49175647) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

One that does NOT ONE DAMN THING to detract from the "actual" Power Rangers.

I'm incredibly anti-copyright law, but even to me that's obviously not true. Every time a certain fictional character is used, people's perception of that character changes. By showing the Power Rangers this way the video's creator is changing our perceptions of the Power Rangers.

All it takes is just a single person:

1) seeing the video
2) associating (subconsciously) the brand with darkness
3) deciding to buy a gift of Legos instead of a Power Rangers toy as a result

and then clearly the video has detracted from the "actual" Power Rangers (in the sense that their IP's owner will sell one less toy because of the video).

Don't believe me? Imagine if everyone was legally allowed to use Mickey Mouse. There would Mickey Mouse snuff films, Mickey Mouse versions of 50 Shades, Mickey Mouse promoting drug use, etc. If enough of that stuff exists kids would see it and would never look at Mickey Mouse the same way again. That absolutely detracts from Disney's ability to keep Mickey a wholesome character that they can make tons of money off.

Now, should Mickey be in the public domain by now? Absolutely (screw you Disney). But let's not pretend that if anyone can make any version of any famous character they want that it won't have any effect on how people see that character (and thus detract from the original author's vision of them).

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 305

by machineghost (#49114823) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

That's like saying there's a huge glut of books, because there are tons of 17th century atlases I can read!

People don't just want songs they want songs they like, and since people's tastes are hugely influenced by their peers that means *new* music. And there is not a glut of "deep house" or "90's throwback" or "shit that sounds like Nickelback" or whatever it is people are in to these days so there is more than enough demand to exceed supply.

Comment: Re:not a competitor! (Score 1) 76

by machineghost (#49082243) Attached to: Sony To Release Google Glass Competitor

Google Glass ***in its current, pre-product form*** has stopped ***being offered at an insane price to beta testers***. That is FAR from saying glass is done being sold; it just means it isn't being sold *yet*.

Google did not spend all that money, and throw the head of Nest on the project only to stop competing in that space.

Comment: Re:Half way there (Score 5, Insightful) 119

Strangely it's not actually that issue, as plenty of other countries do their taxes that way.

The problem here (like just about all of our problems) comes from the intersection of business and government. The IRS actually looked in to free tax filing, but Intuit and their fellow companies lobbied hard to get it killed. It turns out Intuit would make a lot less money if the government did our taxes for us, so it's in their best interest to spend lots of money to prevent it from happening.

Comment: Avirea ( Is Great (Score 3, Interesting) 467

by machineghost (#48889693) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

I've used Avira ( for years (since Windows XP at least), both on my computers and my friends' and family's, and I've never gotten a virus despite visiting Bit Torrent and other questionable sites.

It's 100% free and it doesn't install malware (though it might optionally install some crapware, I forget). The only downside is that they pop an alert maybe once a day or so with different messages (the point of which is clearly to prod you to purchase the paid version). I strongly recommend getting the paid version to make those alerts go away ... but I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't actually done as much myself (sorry Avira!).

Comment: Re:Just hire a CPA (Score 1) 450

"The dishonesty of this is what's killing them."

On Slashdot, but Slashdot users are what, 0.001% of their customers? Then there's the fraction of people who decide their tax preparation software purchases based on reviews. That leaves PLENTY of other customers who might have balked at a price increase, but who will now happily go pay $40 ... and then realize they need an upgrade and pay $40 more. They won't be happy about it, but they're probably not going to switch tax preparation software in the middle of the process. And then they'll use the TurboTax again next year, because it already has their info ...

This whole Amazon low ratings thing is great, but from a cold calculating corporate standpoint TurboTax will still (sadly) make more money going this route than being honest and raising prices.

Comment: How is it a mistake? (Score 5, Insightful) 386

by machineghost (#48697147) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

From the blurb:

"the company continues to make the same mistake over and over. Google's mistake, ..."

"But rest assured – Google knows this. They're not looking for short term profits"

So, it's a mistake ... but they know exactly what they're doing and they're not trying to make short term profits, which means it's not a mistake?

Comment: Kinda Like Cryogenesis for Humans ... (Score 2) 83

by machineghost (#48691889) Attached to: Russia Plans To Build World First DNA Databank of All Living Things

"It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce."

But they don't actually have the technology to do that, right? So isn't this the same thing as humans cryogenicaly freezing themselves now, blindly assuming that future scientists will be able to remove anti-freeze from their veins?

In other words, isn't this giant expensive project entirely predicated on the the development of future technology that can actually use these samples, without any guarantee whatsoever that that technology will materialize?

Comment: True, But It Goes Back Way Farther (Score 1) 224

by machineghost (#48664335) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

It's not just "Tech's Gender Gap" that started at Stanford; Silicon Valley itself started at Stanford (see Francis Terman, William Shockley, Fairchild Eight, etc.). So while it's technically accurate to say the gender gap started at Stanford, it's just as accurate to say CD-ROMs or or anything else Silicon Valley-related started there. Silicon Valley is the genesis of digital technology, and Stanford is the genesis of Silicon Valley.

Live free or die.