Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Free the papers (Score 1) 81

Blah, blah, blah. I wasn't talking about musicians, I was making an analogy with countries funding research, as per the parent post.

Moreover, you seem to think that musicians are special because they *gasp* work hard (at least some of them).

Researchers work just as hard as musicians, if not more so. And they do it for less money than a musician is hoping to get for his little contribution to creativity in the world.

People who work hard get no pity from me. I work hard too, as do millions of people. How about your musician just say screw it, and let's not let the door hit him on the ass on his way out. There are thousands of others out there who can take his place, and they won't complain about working hard. Entitlement generation. Etc.

The setting of Einstein's initial salary at Princeton illustrates his humility and attitude toward wealth. According to "Albert Einstein: Creator & Rebel" by Banesh Hoffmann, (1972), the 1932 negotiations went as follows: "[Abraham] Flexner invited [Einstein] to name his own salary. A few days later Einstein wrote to suggest what, in view of his needs and . . . fame, he thought was a reasonable figure. Flexner was dismayed. . . . He could not possibly recruit outstanding American scholars at such a salary. . . . To Flexner, though perhaps not to Einstein, it was unthinkable [that other scholars' salaries would exceed Einstein's.] This being explained, Einstein reluctantly consented to a much higher figure, and he left the detailed negotiations to his wife."

The reasonable figure that Einstein suggested was the modest sum of $3,000 [about $46,800 in today's dollars]. Flexner upped it to $10,000 and offered Einstein an annual pension of $7,500, which he refused as "too generous," so it was reduced to $6,000. When the Institute hired a mathematician at an annual salary of $15,000, with an annual pension of $8,000, Einstein's compensation was increased to those amounts.

Comment: Re:Free the papers (Score 1) 81

Research is like music. Say you pay for a radio in your dorm room. You do that so you get to hear the music you like anytime you feel like it. Now maybe you leave your window open. So what?

Maybe your neighbours open their windows too, and now they can listen to your radio too. It doesn't matter, you still get to hear the music you like anytime, so your investment has paid off.

Now maybe you think the neighbours are leeches who reap all the same benefits as you without having their own radio. Sure, they get to hear your music. But wait, they only get to hear YOUR music. Maybe you like classic rock and listen to that all day, and they can either listen to that, or not. But they can't listen to house, because.... wait for it... they don't have their own radio! You know what they're gonna do? They're gonna either buy their own radio, or they're not gonna listen to the music they like. Simple as that.

There's no harm in funding research and giving the information away. Anyone who reads it gets to learn what you found interesting only. If they want to learn something interesting for themselves, they'll have to fund their own research.

And that's exactly what happens.

Comment: Re:paywalls are not selling out. (Score 1) 81

Wrong. Paywalls are bad because PAY.

Repeat after me: information should be free. Not free to buy, not free to sell, just free. Free for all to use as they like. Free to use as their time permits. Free from coercion. Just free.

If that steps on money grubbing publishers toes who think they can take some of that and extract their percentage of profit, too bad. Maybe they should get a real job.

The fruits of research belongs to everyone on earth. Some smart guy or girl spent a lot of time reading, thinking, experimenting, writing up an idea. The fruits of all that work should not be locked up behind a paywall. It should be accessible instantly from anywhere forever, so that humanity can progress.

You're way off base with your defense of publishers.

Comment: Re:Chrome OS is a joke (Score 1) 112

It's not a sub $200 laptop. Labelling it a laptop is disingenuous, because laptops already have a fairly well defined meaning in people's minds from the fact that laptops have been around for 20+ years. You can run mainstream commercial games on a laptop, you can read and write standard Microsoft office documents, you can read email and share documents, edit pictures, etc.

The "apps" that run on chromeos are toys and web pages^H^H^Happs instead of the standard software people expect, with the one exception being the browser.

The only way to turn a chromebook into a traditional laptop is to install another operating system on the machine and use that. In other words, a chromebook is a sub $200 web browser appliance. That's nice, but I'm not sure it's worth $200ish .

Comment: Re:This should be the common case, though. (Score 4, Insightful) 140

It's not a stupid comment, it's a comment designed to lull credulous people into thinking they're less evil than they really are. That's evil in itself of course, but is par for the course for a three letter agency - goes without saying, really.

Comment: Re:Staying with the Halo theme eh? (Score 1) 62

At some point, some depressed pilot crashes you into a mountain and you can kiss your ass goodbye. Then you can ask yourself, 'was it worth my time?'

You can say that about any other terrorist, too. Are they worth your time?

Mu. Because, it's not about your choices to begin with.

Comment: Re:And now, things get Ugly. (Score 2) 120

by martin-boundary (#49334657) Attached to: Uber To Turn Into a Big Data Company By Selling Location Data
No, he's not. He's a bystander in the deal between Uber and the advertisers. As a bystander, he can do whatever he wants. If he decides to shit all over the data Uber intend to sell the advertisers, that's fine. If he decides to sue the advertisers for wrongful access to his data, that's fine. If he decides to sue Uber for privacy violations, that's fine too. Basically, the sky's the limit, since Uber are illegally misusing his data (at least in the EU - where companies are only allowed to use personal data for the immediate business at hand - meaning getting you from A to B in the case of Uber).

So go ahead, make Uber's day.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.

Working...