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Comment Re:illogical summary (Score 2) 360

How exactly are FAX machines making your costs higher?


Probably because electronic form filling allows you to skip the steps of printing, handwriting, and then scanning each document, in addition to the dial and handshake, and the transmit time, and remember, time is money. Furthermore it reduces material waste and reduces the need for data entry and/or transcription.

And then of course, since fax machines involve moving parts and in most cases ink/toner, there's added time and cost involved in routine maintenance tasks.

Or maybe it discourages them from sending pointless and avoidable communications, such as emails!

Comment Re:SO when you pay people... (Score 1) 500

The problem isn't that he will stop making money _now_. The problem will surface when he starts losing his most senior staff, or when he wants some of his current staff to do more, take more responsibilities. At that point they might refuse and ask what is in it for them. If you are currently paid 80k and you are asked to do more, or take a more demanding role, you will ask for a raise. if you are a janitor, you can't demand a raise unless he asks you to do more hours.

He will also have trouble recruiting proven talent who will want to out-earn his janitors.

Comment Re:Out of the box idea (Score 1) 444

I think this sentiment can be utterly counterproductive.

By virtue of being rich, the rich can sow the seeds for their societies future wealth in many ways. One of the big ways they do this is by spending on things that seem frivolous to most, but slowly become things that everyone takes for granted. This is what progress is.

I could give endless example, but here are a few:
  - Passenger air travel used to be the preserve of the wealthy - now this is something that is so cheap that air travel is now completely de-glamourised. i
  - ABS brakes were once only in expensive and powerful cars that only the rich could afford. Now they are not only standard fare, they are mandatory in many jurisdictions.
  - The first plasma TVs cost in the region of $10,000 and were definitely out of reach for the average person. Now you can get much better TVs for a 50th of that.

While that top end Mercedes is the definition of a true luxury, you should consider that the reason that the car you likely drive today contains features that were first bought by the rich, and their frivolity actually led to useful innovation that are now available in pretty much any car you can think of today.

A more appropriate example for Slashdot is the amount of money many here would be prepared to spend on high end computer gear, particularly back in the day when high end PC gear was incredibly expensive. This wealth effectively "trickled down" to most people who can now afford computers that once were the preserve of the frivolously rich (or of geeks).

So don't knock the spending habits of the wealthy. We need them to continue to spend on the things that we cannot yet afford because one day, all of us will be able to afford them once whoever makes them is all tooled up and wants to recoup their investment (and make a bit of money for themselves while they are at it).

Comment Re:Autonomous "Driving" needs to be truly driverle (Score 1) 247

Or maybe you have completely missed the point!

The point wasn't about whether or not the AF447 pilots could have saved the plane (I am sure they could have), the point was that they at least had some time to figure out why the autopilot had failed, and therefore to try and come up with a solution.

I am very aware that the plane still crashed, so ultimately, them having 3 minutes and 30 seconds didn't save them.

In contrast, on a busy highway, this is unlikely to be the case. And even if the highway were not busy, to give an example, if a tyre blows out, the effects are likely to be immediate and require an instant response from the driver if that is the failure mode for the "auto-driver". The driver will not have seconds to respond, and therefore the computer ought to assume that he would not be able to respond in time, and take the appropriate course of action such as stopping safely.

Unlike a plane, a car should ordinarily have the option of stopping and a computer can figure out how to do that. A plane will need to keep going in the event of trouble, and that is why the challenge is very different.

Comment Re:Autonomous "Driving" needs to be truly driverle (Score 4, Insightful) 247

The airliner scenario is only superficially similar.

At cruising altitude, a plane typically has minutes before it crashes to the ground. For example, from the time its problem began, to the point in hit the ocean, Air France flight AF447's pilots had 3 minutes and 30 seconds to try and save the plane. There are typically few, if any other planes in its airspace to worry about, so pilots can do things like take our their operating manuals and run through operating prodecures to attempt to rescue the situation without worrying about hitting the kerb, another plane, etc. If my self driving car is going to give me 3 minutes before the actual crash, then fine. Otherwise, it is less than useless to give the control to a driver who likely doesn't have the correct situational awareness (who might even have fallen asleep).

Even if the driver had not been sleeping, a driver's awareness is reduced because he doesn't have to process what is happening around him all the time like one does when they are driving. So, for example, if the problem is that he is about to crash, unless he was hyper vigilant, he is the worst person in the world to drop into the driving seat so to speak.

Comment Re:New Top Gear (Score 1) 294

Netflix are also producing Clarkson, May and Hamond's new show. It won't be called Top Gear of course, the BBC still own the name, but it's being made by the original production crew and the same cast of course.

Personally I'm looking forward to the three way super-hybrid showdown (McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, and Ferrari La Ferrari) which I've been informed will be filmed next month...

Disclosure: I don't work for Netflix but am friends with one of the ex Top Gear staff.

The Clarkson, Hammond and May show is actually on Amazon!

Comment Re:Stats (Score 1) 294

So are you saying that Netflix should pay real money to have titles that people don't actually watch but like to see that they are available in the library?

At the end of the day, people will renew their subscriptions if they always have something to watch when they fire up Netflix, and they will cancel their subscriptions if they can't find anything to watch on Netflix.

I certainly don't look for Citizen Kane in the library to let me know if the library is any good or not. I look for the stuff I want to watch, watch that stuff, then lok for more stuff.

Comment Re: I don't want a fucking TV channel! (Score 1) 294

Some shows are not funded for a whole season. Producers will only commit so much money while they wait for ratings to provide them with an indication of whether or not the show will make them a profit. So the fact that the producers were willing to fund half a season rather than just a pilot indicates that they were willing to risk a lot financially. The fact that it got cancelled means there wasn't enough interest. It is the way TV works unfortunately (unless you are a BBC type organisation which can fund a whole series without really caring about whether or not it is "profitable").

Comment GPLv3 (Score 2) 359

Dear Mr Stallman

It is now 8 years, in fact, a few days past 8 years (if Wikipedia is to be believed) since the final version of the GPL v3 license was published. It feels an appropriate length of time to gauge how successful the new license has been.

How do you think we should measure the success of GPL v3? And by this/these measure/(s), do you believe that GPL v3 has been more, less or just as successful as you hoped when you launched it?

Comment Re:Developers will not come (Score 1) 118

Apples and Oranges.

When Symbian ruled the roost, most mobile phones sold were dumb phones which are more appliances than they are handheld computers.

Nowadays, your smartphone is in reality a computer that happens to make calls, and needs a lot of additional software for it to work more to the users liking. It will be harder to dislodge Android iOS for the same reason it is hard to dislodge Windows - inertia and a very high barrier to entry. Before smartphone, the only barrier to entry was to make a phone that was better than a Nokia phone. Now you not only need to get the OS right - you also need all the third party apps before customers are willing to buy your product en masse.

Comment Re:Speed v.s. reliability (Score 0) 114

But then wouldn't it be better to let the end user choose whether something is optimized in a certain direction?

No, asking end-user to optimize their own software is the silliest thing I have ever heard. And people wonder why Apple is such a success and ${insert_random_OSS_company/software} isn't.

A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.