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Comment Re:Good news for the founders, I liked the site (Score 2) 33

The Times bought five thirty eight, and I can't detect any significant downgrade in the site.

As a few others have already pointed out, it was ESPN, not The Times, that bought the FiveThirtyEight blog, so I won't belabor that point. What no one else has mentioned so far, however, is the reason you might be confused.

Back in 2010 (prior to ESPN purchasing FiveThirtyEight in 2013), The Times reached a deal to license FiveThirtyEight's content for publication. As a result, FiveThirtyEight content appeared on The Times' site, so it may have appeared that they were bought out. I seem to recall various blogs reporting it as a buyout too, even though that wasn't the case.

All of which is to say, given that The Times never owned FiveThirtyEight, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they had little impact on the quality of the content one way or the other.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 627

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is the professional body responsible for governing all of the registered nurses in Australia. As with any other registered profession (e.g. legal, engineering, medical), to become a registered member of that profession, you must first agree to be held to the higher standards set by your professional body.

So, yes, it is EXACTLY their job "to make that determination and set liability", just the same as it'd be the job of a local bar association in the US to disbar a lawyer who was abusing the legal system, or the job of a local engineering society to strip a member's license if they engaged in unsafe engineering practices.

Comment Re:Clever design (Score 1) 269

...I completely agree, which is why I addressed the existential threat to casually-focused consoles before I went into any of the details about hardware concerns, as well as why when I did finally talk about hardware concerns, I focused less on graphics and more on how the hardware can change the game itself.

Most people are completely satisfied with the gaming provided by Android and iOS (Hideo Kojima even said that his favorite game of 2014 was an iOS game called Framed). Targeting the casual end of the market at this point means a two-fold battle for Nintendo:
1) Going head-to-head against "needed" devices that people won't be ditching.
2) Convincing completely satisfied people that they need an additional device.

I just don't see them succeeding for those two, simple reasons. The other play they could've made would be to target a different segment of the market, but as you said, the hardcore nerds care about the hardware specs, so they'd need to have the specs to back a play like that, and by all appearances, they don't have them.

I REALLY hope I'm wrong.

Comment Re:Clever design (Score 1) 269

You are probably thinking in terms of graphics but don't forget that more powerful consoles provide "horsepower" that can be used for any number of things like better AI [...]

Which I explicitly addressed in the very next sentence after the one you quoted, when I said:

What'll be more interesting is whether or not it has enough horsepower to fill open world games with NPCs that are each driven by their own AI routine, for instance.

And so on from there...

Comment Re:Clever design (Score 1) 269

To me, current generation graphics are good enough. Would Mario be any more fun if you can see each and every pore and pimple on his face?

Quite right. That's why I made a point of calling out concerns other than graphics regarding horsepower, since I agree that graphics are already good enough for most people.

To your other points, I definitely agree. Nintendo has a lot of work to do to catch up on that particular front.

Comment Re:Clever design (Score 5, Interesting) 269

Really digging the design for it, based on what the trailer shows. What's interesting, however, seems to be the fact that all of the computing is done in the tablet portion, which is itself relatively small, even by tablet standards, suggesting that it'll have some serious constraints in terms of the horsepower they can cram in there. That's par for the course with the last few generations of Nintendo consoles, of course, but it may also be an indication that they're continuing to target the casual crowd that they've been losing to general purpose mobile devices for nearly 10 years now.

I really hope Nintendo knocks it out of the park, but I have to admit that I'm slightly pessimistic about their prospects. Had they launched this console back in 2012 instead of the Wii U, they'd be in much better position today. The Wii sold a lot of people on having a console in their home and a 2012 Switch launch would have allowed them to take that experience to more places. But today? Their Wii customers went to Android and iOS instead of the Wii U. People were willing to give up the TV to get more mobility and they've grown to love those smartphones and tablets, so Nintendo is going to have an uphill battle to win people back. They'll really need to sell the "it can do both mobile and TV" angle, but even that path may be risky, since Apple or Google could very easily get into that space with an updated Apple TV or Chromecast that can do far more.

And while I know there are concerns about the horsepower, if I'm being honest, even the Wii U was already past the point of being "good enough" for the vast majority of their customers, hardcore gamers notwithstanding (but then again, those gamers will only be satisfied with a custom PC, since even the PS4 Pro and Scorpio next year won't be capable of running at or above 120Hz or doing above 4K, both of which are things hardcore folks are already asking for). What'll be more interesting is whether or not it has enough horsepower to fill open world games with NPCs that are each driven by their own AI routine, for instance. I recall Ubisoft showing the difference between consoles for one of their Assassin's Creed games a few years back and it was startling how much of an effect it had on the look and feel of the game to have the number of independently thinking NPCs doubled or tripled, thanks to the additional horsepower.

All of which is to say, I may pick one up eventually (depending on the price, games, etc.), but the Wii U is already one of the lesser-used consoles in our house (it's basically just there to play first party Nintendo games), so I'm not holding out much hope that the Switch will succeed in a market that has moved on.

Comment Re:testing...for.. (Score 1) 228

Sorry, I just assumed that any Europeans here were already aware of the fact that genetic nondiscrimination is listed as a fundamental human right in the EU charter. Was I giving you too much credit?

Oh wait, maybe you're an Aussie Anonymous Coward. No worries, your government has you covered too. Canada? New Zealand? Brazil? India? Yeah...the list goes on and on..., but nice try, troll.

Comment Re:testing...for.. (Score 5, Insightful) 228

The question about jobs misses the more important point: all of this is nonsense. For instance, in the summary they say:

Job selection on the basis of certain desirable genetic characteristics is already common in the military and sports.

No, it's not. Job selection based on presented traits is common in the military and sports (e.g. small jockeys, tall basketball players, etc.), not based on genetic characteristics. Sure, there are genetics behind those traits, but no one is using them directly to make decisions.

And the reason why is simple: there are widely-supported, decades-old laws that anyone who has even a passing awareness of the subject knows about (but which the Gartner analysts apparently couldn't be bothered to look up) that prevent employers from doing exactly what they're suggesting will happen. Even if a job candidate volunteered their genetic information to "prove" they were fit for a job, the employer would still be barred from using it, based on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. It doesn't just bar them from collecting DNA; it bars them from using DNA at all when making hiring, firing, promotion, and placement decisions, regardless of how it was obtained.

So, unless the laws change--which is unlikely, given the massive bipartisan support for that bill and the suggestions over the years that it should be strengthened even further--those Gartner analysts are way off-base.
...which shouldn't come as a surprise, since this is the same Gartner that routinely misses the mark in their predictions. Like when they suggested in 2011 (when everyone else had already seen the writing on the wall) that Microsoft would be second-only to Android in smartphone market share by 2015 and that RIM would manage to maintain its market share over that same period. How'd that work out, just 4 years later?

If they're labeling an idea that's years and years away as "maverick", I'm labeling it "rubbish" (alternatively: "brain vomit from that week we didn't sleep because our boss said we had to come up with something").

Comment Re:Banks Like Money (Score 1) 284

Exactly. Keep in mind that these are the same Australian banks who recently asked to collude with one another in their negotiations with Apple over Apple Pay. They wanted a bigger cut and asked for permission to engage in otherwise illegal tactics in order to get it.

Thankfully, they were denied that permission by regulators last month, so it's unsurprising that in the weeks immediately following the government's refusal to let them collude we'd see them grasping at straws. Sure enough, here we are a few weeks later and we suddenly see some "news" from those exact same banks that tries to frame Apple in a bad light. Strange how that works.

It's almost as if somebody is trying to improve their standing at the negotiating table by smearing the company on the other side...

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 894

Last I checked, /. leans libertarian, not conservative. And while I'll admit it's possible that the conservatives may be a more vocal group, the comments that I most frequently see modded up tend to be the sane, well-reasoned, well-stated comments, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology. While a lot of folks here seemed to be hostile to UBI a year or two ago when it first began to be mentioned more regularly, the tone has shifted over that time, and nowadays most of the highest-modded comments I see tend to be ones that support UBI, or at the very least present the pros and cons to it in a reasonable and fair manner.

Comment Re:Now, if only... (Score 2) 103

That's like complaining that the government is being unfair because it was quick to crack down on the Pinto but has been slow to crack down on the Model S.

Never mind that the situations are totally different. Sure, we can point to cases of both catching fire, but in one case it was due to a major design flaw, while in the other it's been primarily the result of extraordinary circumstances. In no way are the situations similar or deserving of similar treatment. Likewise with these phones. Samsung apologists keep trying to suggest that the media/government/others are playing favorites, rather than accepting the fact that the device is demonstrably unsafe for some reason we don't yet know, and that the incident rate for these thermal runaway events far exceeds what we'd expect for a LiOn device, whereas the iPhone's incident rate has so far fallen in line with industry and regulatory expectations.

As for touch disease, sure, it needs investigating, but mentioning it in this conversation is like bringing up the zit on your conversation partner's face when they point out that you urgently need to go to the hospital.

Comment Re:Now, if only... (Score 3, Informative) 103

So, having gone through your links in more detail than you apparently did, it looks like you posted some dupes (#3 is a dupe report of #1 and #11 is the exact same link as #8), fell victim to a clickbait headline (#10 "blew up" in the sense that the iPhone bulged, not that it caught fire), and failed to account for incidents that were likely caused by trauma done to the device prior to any fireworks (as was the case for #4 and #7-9, all of which mention the user doing something that likely damaged the device).

That leaves us with four distinct incidents that don't have an immediate explanation (#1, 2, 5, and 6).
...since 2011. two of which were for the same iPhone model.

That's about as close to a textbook example for "isolated incident" as you can get, given the tens of millions of iPhones sold during that time and that are currently in use worldwide. We expect to see a handful of isolated fires, given that thermal runaway events are a known issue with LiOn devices, but in a well-designed device, they should occur infrequently enough for them to not be a major concern, and that's exactly what we see from the examples you cited.

Comment Re:And in news from next week... (Score 2) 29

Whether they're a one-hit wonder or not doesn't matter. When you're dealing with manufacturing at this scale, your lead times stretch back a year or more. They already had facilities lined up to make those phones, just as they had facilities lined up to make this phone. Now that this phone isn't getting made, they're over-provisioned, so either they'll:
A) Come up with an idea for how they can push plans forward and/or manufacture something new that they hadn't been planning to previously, that way they don't have to operate the facilities at a loss due to having too little work for them.

B) Operate the facilities at a loss for the next year or so, that way they don't lose out on the fixed costs they spent in getting those facilities operational in the first place.

C) Scrap/sell the facilities in order to recoup some of their costs without incurring any additional losses.

Comment And in news from next week... (Score 4, Insightful) 29

Is it really any surprise that 13 employees who have only been with their employer for less than three years, all of which were a boom time for the employer, would have confidence in their employer? Let's see what they have to say this time next year after their employer has had to deal with a bust year. Sure, Samsung makes other phones that still need producing, but if your facility was the one lined up to make the Note 7 while the rest of the facilities already cover production for the other phones, guess which facility gets voted "Most Likely to Be Shut Down"?

How long until the headline reads "Samsung's Vietnamese workers caught by surprise at entirely predictable announcement of layoffs"?

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