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Comment Re:Nice advert. (Score 1) 508

Not when it first appeared, whereupon it was fully expanded and took up the entire front page. And also had red instead of the usual green trim.

AFAIK, the red just means you're seeing it when it's barely past preview status—many stories show up on my feed that way for a few minutes, then after the next auto-refresh, go to green.

I believe it's a more common thing for subscribers to see, as a sort of "early access" type of deal, but since I've never subscribed, I can't say for sure ;-)

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Market share != $$ (Score 1) 209

Maybe because some money is better than no money. Foreign companies likely don't think the way US companies do: these days in the US, if a large company can't be #1 or #2, with an insanely-huge profit margin, they just throw in the towel and go chase after something else (usually failing, whereas they would have made a lot more money just sticking in there and making lower profits as #3, #4, or #5). In other countries, they don't always have this mentality. What's wrong with being #5 and making a small profit while your employees have good jobs and your executives have handsome salaries? Maybe the shareholders won't like it as much, but who cares; if you're a large enough company, you shouldn't need outside investment anyway.

Also, these other companies could be taking the long-term view: it's better for them to hang around and outlast the others, and wait for them to make a misstep, or for people to get sick of their high prices.

I'm not criticizing the idea of being further down the chart than #2. I actually think that's a very healthy thing to have—which is why I think the way things currently operate is a bit skewed. Because when you think about a chart with #1-5 on it, you generally think that maybe #2 is, say, 20% less in profit than #1, and then #3 is around 20% less than #2, and so on. But that isn't what we're seeing with the smartphone market right now: #1 has something like 80-85% of the profit, #2 has 14-19%, #3-5 share the last %, and everyone else (and there's a bunch of them) are losing money.

It just seems to me that there is, in fact, a market for a smartphone that costs somewhat more, but is well-designed, robust, and (though I personally am fond of their products) not Apple. (And not Samsung, either.)

And again, I'm not intending to express strong criticism of the commodity phone makers here—really more a sense of bafflement that there's essentially no one filling that space and making a profit by doing so.

Dan Aris

Comment Market share != $$ (Score 5, Interesting) 209

The article does mention, toward the end, the common problem all of these low-cost handset makers have: ZTE has expanded its US marketshare by 50%, but only seen its revenue increase by 4%.

Apple is making plenty of money on smartphones. Samsung is making some money on smartphones. Everyone else is either barely scraping by, or losing money on the category.

Really makes you wonder why they do it sometimes...and why none of the other smartphone makers even seem to be trying to crack the actually-making-money part of the market.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:A comparison would be good (Score 1) 319

Is this true even if your IP address isn't associated with a valid pay TV subscription?

Seems to be for me. I haven't had a cable TV subscription for nearly 4 years now (since I last moved), and I've barely missed an episode.

You can even watch it without ads with Adblock in Chrome, or by downloading it with youtube-dl. (I'm sure there are other ways that work, too; those are just the ones I've used successfully.)

Dan Aris

Comment Free Speech > Profit (Score 3, Insightful) 363

Just goes to show that as much as big companies and wealthy individuals would like to change that—and have been trying very hard over the past few decades to do so—profit is still not, in fact, more important than free speech. Or the Constitution, or people's lives.

Let's just hope we do see more cases like this. Laws like that are a terrible perversion of the American legislative system.

Dan Aris

Comment Different people are different. (Score 1) 397

No one wants to hear it, but we're healthiest eating raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts/seeds/legumes as well.

It's not that no one wants to hear it, it's that it's crap.

Sure, those things are generally healthy for us to eat, but different people's bodies need different nutrients, based on everything from what their evolutionary heritage is to what their gut flora are like to the kind of work they do all day. Some people need significant amounts of meat in their diets. Others need a lot of rice.

There is no One True Diet that's perfect for everyone and will solve all people's health and weight problems, and the sooner the world realizes this, the better off we'll all be.

Dan Aris

Comment Worshiping the status quo (Score 1) 305

Everything bumps but CS and IT, for some reason, have refused to do that.

I think a lot of it is due to something I was observing just the other day: Americans, by and large, seem to feel that the way things are now (or were at some idealized point in the past 50 years) is The Way It Was Meant To Be—not just a good way, but the divinely-intended end result of all of history. Thus, changing things from that point is not only a bad idea, but to some extent, impossible. It's just not something that their brains can even conceive of.

Unless, of course, the things you're changing are in an attempt to bring about the End Times. Then it's totally allowed.

(Though this statement of the problem does make heavy reference to believing in a divine plan, I've seen the same sort of mentality in people who weren't particularly religious. They just still couldn't wrap their brains around the idea that the way things are wasn't the way things would/should be forever.)

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 391

You are starting to see alot of talk of tiny homes, downsizing, and even nomadic lifestyles.

That's not something that's happening in a vacuum. An awful lot of that sort of movement is arising precisely because profits from increased productivity are not, in fact, "trickling down" to regular people—particularly since the 2008 recession, but it's a trend that's held true since the late 1970s.

Create a bunch of good jobs, increase working wages (as opposed to executive compensation and "investment" income) across the board, and I guarantee you'd see those movements shrink significantly.

Dan Aris

Comment "Increase jobs" != "Increase jobs in every field" (Score 1) 391

and I'll say it again - technology INCREASES jobs, never decreases it - over the long term. Over the short term it can make certain skills worthless, putting some people out of work, but that's it.

If your position is correct, the number of jobs in Agriculture has increased over the long term.

So, for instance, the number of people working on farms has increased over the last century or so.


That would only be true if he had said that technology increases jobs in every field—or, perhaps more pertinently, increases jobs in proportion to their current distribution.

He didn't. He just said that it increased jobs overall—that is, if there were 950 farm jobs and 50 office jobs before a particular technological advance, maybe there are 1450 office jobs and 50 farm jobs after. Significant increase in total jobs, even though people who can only do farm work got the shaft.

Now, perhaps his point could be debatable, but it doesn't mean anything remotely like what you've said here.

Dan Aris

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky