Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 63

You were obviously not there at the time. Bill Gates got rich because IBM signed the daftest contract in computer history from their point of view. Yes: IBM - the company known for hiring the very best in legal expertise signed away their arms and legs

Why? - I would like to know that!

I don't think it's so strange. IBM didn't expect the PC to be a success. It was a niche project pushed by a few execs over the objections of more -- who saw it as undercutting IBM's real business, to whatever degree it was successful -- and ignored by most of the company as irrelevant. Other parts of the company were actively trying to kill the project. The group developing the PC needed an operating system and needed it quickly. They couldn't take the time to build one, assuming they could find the budget, and likewise couldn't pay a lot of cash up front. Licensing an existing OS for a low per-unit cost was an obvious win.

And, of course, by the time it became clear that the PC was a success, it was too late to change OSes, and by then Gates would've been a fool to sell. Besides, the cost to IBM was low and the machines were selling well. As long as IBM was the only company selling PCs, there really was no significant downside to IBM, and IBM was confident in its legal teams' ability to shut down clones... until Compaq performed a successful clean-room reverse engineering of the PC BIOS.

It ultimately boils down to lack of foresight, that the PC would be so important, and that IBM couldn't prevent clones. Without understanding those, IBM had no reason to insist on ownership of the OS.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 61

It helped with Billy's mommy was on the IBM's Board of Directors. So he got the sweet deal of licensing his software, instead of selling it outright.

No, Mary Gates was never on IBM's Board of Directors. She was on the United Way board, along with John Opel, then CEO of IBM. This may have helped Gates. Still, I don't see any reason Kindall wouldn't also have been able to get a licensing deal. There's no evidence he tried.

Comment: Re:Another way to bypass it (Score 1) 31

by swillden (#49605257) Attached to: Researcher Bypasses Google Password Alert For Second Time

Nicely done.

I expect this may turn into something of an arms race between phishing page authors and Google. The cleverest phishers may be able to stay consistently ahead of the extension, but I expect that they'll have to work for it... or would if significant numbers of people used the extension. I just checked the Chrome Web Store and so far there have only been 67K downloads. That's something but it's a long, long way from universal coverage.

The positive aspect of that is that as long as usage remains low, it won't make sense for phishers to bother trying to defeat it, which means it will offer good protection to the few who do.

Comment: Re: Kill the entire H1B program (Score 1) 622

by dgatwood (#49604111) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers

The H-1B program is different because H-1B workers who leave their jobs are also legally required to leave the country. This makes them captive labor, almost to the same extent that illegal immigrants are. IMO, we should make green cards easier to obtain and kill the H-1B program outright. By ensuring that foreign workers have similar employment mobility to native workers, it would reduce the ability of unscrupulous companies to bring in workers from overseas and pay them wages that are below the regional going rate. (They would still be able to do it, but they wouldn't be able to retain those employees, so they would eventually be forced to pay wages that are competitive within their geographical area.)

Comment: "Strawmen" -- Meh (Score 1) 228

Wow. Give us what we want or we will fuck you even harder.

Are you in the habit of erecting obvious strawmen, or was this particular bit of off-target re-interpretation just special for me?

Although it does apply to this group -- they're telling the government, "give us what we want, or we'll try to hose some good science" So perhaps your post wasn't a strawman after all. Perhaps you're just confused as to who the culprit is in this situation.

Comment: What tripe (Score 2) 499

by fyngyrz (#49601755) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

Many schools ban bare-shoulder outfits, anyway.

That's like saying "many people try to force others into doing stupid things, so anything I want to try to force you into is good, right and holy."

Some dumb-ass school rule stands as absolutely no legitimate justification for pop-culture repression of personal and consensual choice.

Comment: "Hawaiians" -- Meh (Score 1) 228

All this particular interest group is doing by going against good science is making is less likely they'll get what they want.

The world goes the way the most powerful choose it shall go. So it has ever been, and likely will continue to go for the foreseeable future. Going against the good things the powerful do is just one more very efficient way to get them to consider your desires irrelevant -- a really poor way of trying to get the powerful to use said power in your favor.

These people are not "natives", either. They didn't evolve there. They're immigrants and descendants of immigrants. just like all of us on the US mainland, basically anywhere but (probably) Africa. Perhaps what you meant to say was "descendents of the earliest known settlers." Or perhaps "invaders" is more accurate.

Another thought along the lines of the powerful do what the powerful want to do... do you think the earliest of these folks took the time to see if the other local life forms wanted them and their changes on and around these islands? Did the fish want to be speared, for instance?

It's all a matter of perspective and power. These people seem to have neither.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 499

by hacker (#49599003) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

That, "SOME DAY" it might be more economical to install an identical system does not change the fact that it's still a silly splurge NOW.

If the system does NOT pay for itself over a reasonable period of time (and within the lifetime of the product warranty), you're splurging. Not spending wisely.

I pay close to $250/month for power (it just went up 47% in CT in the last 6 months for the same power usage). So if the 10kWh PowerWall costs me $3,500 (+inverter, grid tie-in, installation), then it pays for itself in ~18 months. That's a pretty easy sell from my perspective.

Adding $10k of solar panels to the system to go completely off the grid, just adds to that value, and to the resale price of my house if I choose to sell it within the next 10-20 years. As panel efficiencies improve, I can upgrade those panels, or add an additional PowerWall, and increase that independence.

Totally worth it, in my opinion.

Besides, many (most?) communities are now putting a quota on the number of solar installations, because of the pressure they put on the common utility/grid system (yes, they do -add- more pressure to the grid, contrary to common thought, especially at nighttime and when there is heavy, localized cloudcover), so if you wait, you may find yourself the only one on the block who can't add solar because it's prohibited. A PowerWall tied to the common utility can relieve some of that pressure, and increase the independence from a constant feed from the power company.

Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 420

by Bruce Perens (#49598949) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

OK, I will try to restate in my baby talk since I don't remember this correctly.

Given that you are accelerating, the appearance to you is that you are doing so linearly, and time dilation is happening to you. It could appear to you that you reach your destination in a very short time, much shorter than light would allow. To the outside observer, however, time passes at a different rate and you never achieve light speed.

Comment: Re:How I manage these calls (Score 2) 205

by ewhac (#49598375) Attached to: Want 30 Job Offers a Month? It's Not As Great As You Think
Sounds like my algorithm.

Very very occasionally, if the description sounds interesting, I'll paste the description/requirements into Google. Most of these spamming third-party recruiters just copy-paste from public job postings, so Google can usually find the original posting on the employer's Web site.

Comment: Re:Almost... (Score 2) 205

by swillden (#49598143) Attached to: Want 30 Job Offers a Month? It's Not As Great As You Think

Every... Day.... :-/

I have a polite canned reply, which basically says that unless the recruiter's client is looking for developers to work 100% remotely, AND that their pay scales are likely to exceed Google's by a significant margin, AND that they do really cool stuff, then I'm not interested. Oh, and I don't do referrals of friends (they get plenty of spam themselves).

I don't actually mind the recruiter spam. It only takes a couple of keystrokes to fire the canned response, and there's always the possibility that someone will have an opportunity that meets my criteria. Not likely, but possible. I'm not looking for a new job, but if an opportunity satisfies my interest requirements, I'm always open to a discussion.

However, when they keep pushing even when they know their job doesn't fit my requirements, then I get pissed and blackhole their agency. That also takes only a couple of keystrokes :-)

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.

Working...