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Comment: This is why you outsource manufacturing. (Score 1) 149

by tlambert (#47955059) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

This is why you outsource manufacturing.

Outsource to a big company like Foxconn or Solectron that has already invested in all the expensive equipment and processes (in both cases, some of it actually paid for by Apple), and have them do your manufacturing for you.

The incremental cost ends up pretty tiny, relative to COGS, and you get a better finished product at only a fractionally higher cost than if you were stupid enough to do your own manufacturing. The argument in the article only holds up if you are stupidly building the widgets yourself.

Comment: "How do you explain..." (Score 1) 149

by tlambert (#47955035) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

"How do you explain..."

I don't really follow Microsoft acquisitions enough to speculate on their reasoning, but the Facebook reasoning was pretty obviously that the WhatsApp company cost (predominantly non-US) telephone companies $19B in per-SMS charged revenue over a period of 2 years, and it therefore gave Facebook some incredible leverage with those phone companies to make the purchase in such a way that a small group of phone companies couldn't drive WhatsApp out of business by increasing data costs to compensate (which would hurt Facebook.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 231

by Tom (#47952455) Attached to: Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet

Is Russia as internet-dependent as we are?

Russia is independent of the USA part of the Internet to a degree you can hardly imagine. They have their own Facebook (vk), their own Google (yandex), two DNS root-server anycast instances, and even for credit cards they'll not be very sorry as Russians prefer debit cards from their own banks over Master/VISA credit cards.

Sure it'd be noticeable and some stuff would stop working, but it is certainly feasable.

Comment: Given the relative percentages... (Score 1) 434

by tlambert (#47947675) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Given the relative percentages... it's likely that the "harassment escalating to assault" numbers for the men is underreported by a factor of 2.5, which would be about on a par with the underreporting of men being raped in the general population. There's a real cultural stigma to reporting by men, who are, by stereotype and therefore societal norms, "supposed to be" on the other end of the power equation.

Comment: They've already screwed the pooch. (Score 2, Informative) 237

by tlambert (#47947609) Attached to: TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

They've already screwed the pooch.

They've published the source archive under the original TrueCrypt license. As a result, unless there's a legal entity (person or company) to which all contributors make an assignment of rights, or they keep the commit rights down to a "select group" that has agreed already to relicense the code, they will not be able to later release the code under an alternate license, since all contributions will be derivative works and subject to the TrueCrypt license (as the TrueCrypt license still in the source tree makes clear).

The way you do these things is: sanitize, relicense, THEN announce. Anyone who wants to contribute as a result of the announcement can't, without addressing the relicensing issue without having already picked a new license.

Comment: Re:"Affluent and accomplished" is not the criterio (Score 2) 172

by Tom (#47944385) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

I can't see wasting money just to say I have money to waste.

Exactly. You're the kind of people they want to keep out. People who think that $5k is a waste. For their target audience, $5k is either not worth even thinking about, or a fair price to pay for making sure you spend your time only with people who fall into either of these categories.

Comment: Re:"Affluent and accomplished" is not the criterio (Score 5, Insightful) 172

by Tom (#47943987) Attached to: Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It's Only $9000 To Join

That $9000 bouncer will be just as happy to let in every reality TV star, pop artist, flash-in-the-pan record producer, a

Those TV and music starlets will stay on FB because they want and need to stay in touch with their fans.

The wealthy have always segregated themselves. That $10k membership fee in the golf club is not because keeping the grass short is so expensive, either. It is to make sure everyone you meet there is in your class.

Frankly speaking, I'm mostly surprised that this doesn't already exist.

Comment: Re:This. (Score 1) 223

by tlambert (#47942943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

Now add to this that most major contributions in any scientific field occur before someone hits their mid 20's...

Tell me, does this account for the fact that the majority of people working in a scientific field graduate with a PhD in their mid 20s, or is it simply a reflection of that?

I expect that it's a little bit of both. Look however at Kepler and Tycho Brahe. Brahe's observational contributions aided Kepler, but he started well before he was 30. Kepler had his theories before 30, and was aided by Brahe into his 30's proving them out. Counter examples include Newton, and so on. Most Large contributions that aren't ideas themselves are contributions based on the wealth of the contributor, e.g. The Allen Telescope Array.

Like the GP, I'm in my late 30s and have found that my current field is less than optimal. It is a) unfulfilling, b) extremely underpaid (if I do more than 13 hours a week, the CEO running the studio is just as likely to steal my hours from me as not), and c) unlikely to go anywhere.

Reason (a) is motivation to do something that could be big, if the new reason is passion.
Reason (b) is a piss poor reason to do something big; there's no passion involved.
Reason (c) is ennui.

If you get into something solely to satisfy (a), you have a chance at greatness; if you do it for the other two reasons, even in part, you are unlikely to have the fire to spark the necessary effort. For example, the OP's willingness to dedicate 10 hours a week from a 24x7 = 168 total hours in a week really speaks to the idea of someone acting out a dilettante reason, rather than a reason of passion. Excluding sleeping, you could probably argue for 86 hours a week for a passion, and that's less than 11% of the "every moment of every day" you'd expect with a passion.

Comment: This. (Score 1) 223

by tlambert (#47940771) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I can only spend maybe 10 hours a week on this

Since you already have a full life, something would have to give. The amount of time you estimate to be available would get to hobby level: the same as the other thousands of amateur astronomers in the country. But it's not enough to do any serious studying, get qualified or do research to a publishable quality.

This.

I read through the comments to find this comment so that I didn't just post a duplicate if someone else had covered the ground.

Let me be really blunt about the amount of time you are intending to invest in this project. If you were taking a college course, you should expect to spend 2 hours out of class for each hour you spend in class, and given that you only have 10 hours to dedicate to the idea, that's effectively 3 credit hours for every interval. So if you picked a community college, and they offered all the classes you needed, you should expect to have your Bachelor's of Science in any given degree field in about 23 years. That gets you to the necessary 210 credit hours for an Astronomy degree.

Let's say, though that you are a super genius, and can do 1:1 instead of 1:2 for in/out of class. That only cuts your time by 1/3, which means that you get that degree in 15 years instead.

Now add to this that most major contributions in any scientific field occur before someone hits their mid 20's; there are exceptions, but let's say again that you are exceptional. What contributions do you expect to be able to make after age 61 / 53, with your shiny new Bachelor's, since you're unlikely to find someone to hire you at that age, and you're unlikely to be able to afford instrument time on the necessary equipment on your own?

Comment: I would say you have it right. (Score 1) 322

by tlambert (#47935385) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

I would say you have it right.

Apple initially didn't open up the iPhone to Apps at all because Steve was deathly afraid of building another Newton.

Then they wanted to open them up, but there was not rational set of APIs, there was just an internal morass, because it had never been designed with the idea of hardening one app on the iPhone from interference by another app on the phone, or hardening the phones functions against a malicious app.

This is a single App on a single use, incomplete, API, one which was built only to host this App and nothing else. Could that API be exposed, and used for other applications? Yeah. Would that enable all possible NFC applications which you might want to implement in the future? Not a chance in hell.

This is just Apple wanting some bake time so that they can rationally support an API that they happily demonstrated opening hotel doors and other things which they are not prepared to open up at this point in time.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 949

by Tom (#47932809) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

[Kurds] but we don't want to support them too much because we don't want them demanding their own state,

Also because we already betrayed them once and they're not necessarily our best friends because of it.

If we stopped working towards keeping the region unstable,

Mostly by changing allies the way other people change their underwear, yes.

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

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