Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:The real trick to price discrimination (Score 2) 33

I think there is also a Western consumer ideology that "fairness" requires "equal" prices. In cultures that do not have standard prices and the norm is haggling, they usually believe the "fair" price should higher for the richer customer. That is the starting point of negotiations. Of course, the wealthy who exercise foresight may more easily walk away than the typical customer, but convenience may come at a price.

Comment Re:moives don't make a profit (Score 1) 478

Indeed. The Russian populace is not mysteriously backing a crazed tyrant on these prosecutions. The Russian people are simply better informed than most Westerners on the particulars and do not feel sorry for lying thieves who are brought to justice. Nor do they think that their admittedly imperfect justice system would magically be improved by failing to prosecute these egregious cases. Western leaders and Western press are quick to presume that not prosecuting a political rival of Putin must be a good thing, but what if the person is question is far less than innocent? Russian politics are dirty, but that does not mean it is easy to pick out good guys and bad guys.

Comment Re:moives don't make a profit (Score 3, Informative) 478

Peter Jackson had a percentage of the gross for LotR. And guess what? All the gross numbers from abroad were completely phony.

The game was: Peter and I both have a claim on the gross, while the film is owned by a company where I have controlling interest. Then I sell the full foreign rights to a company that I have 100% ownership of for, say, $10 million. Peter gets a piece of the $10 million in gross, I get to keep the $200 million in foreign sales.

This is how most of the Russian oil tycoons made their money, too, by selling low to a shell company that they completely owned. The Russian gov't gets a percentage of the low price sale for the oil lease. The tycoon gets 100% of the profit thereafter.

Comment Re:Golden age of remakes maybe (Score 1) 1222

I have been told by a classics scholar of reading a letter by a Roman complaining that his son dresses like a German.

Romanticizing Celts was also thing that happened. Apparently sometimes young married Celtic couples would feel forced to go out and win their fortunes by arms, and the young wife might fight directly alongside her husband.

I might have doubted the veracity of the first item above, but I have seen translated quotes demonstrating the second, by an author whose name I recognized.

When you decide your culture is decadent in a particular way(s), it is quite easy to find another culture that seems to be intriguingly different on that score, and then spin it into a big positive Lesson About Life. That is not necessarily a bad thing. While I do find cultural comparisons as valuable for understanding ones own culture, because it can be easy to forget that so many everyday habits have practical alternatives, it is very easy to go overboard. Hollywood likes to go overboard.

Comment Re:Golden age of remakes maybe (Score 1) 1222

I agree that it definitely tries to hit a similar feel to Dances with Wolves. But maybe DwW is just a remake of Lawrence of Arabia with Indians and a post-Vietnam Hollywood ending? Both are very much bittersweet.

In the great literary tradition of romanticizing the Noble Savage, either the Savage comes to us or we go to the Savage. Variants of this story go back millennia.

Comment Re: permissions (Score 1) 313

That is pretty insightful and succinct, AC.

I think there is a fourth point worth mentioning: testers are a practical means of making your developers more efficient and more effective. They allow the developers to go fast, while giving them feedback about when they were going too fast. When this feedback is kept low key, good developers can more easily learn better habits.

Somehow heated meetings called by an angry VP about something a developer did seven months ago that blew up in at a customer site just do not hone good habits the way twenty instances of "Psst. That stuff you did yesterday looks like it might have a problem. Let me show you what I am confused about."

Comment Re:Good tactics based on game theory (Score 1) 150

Furthermore, even if copying Snapchat is not a winning strategy, there is no way to know that at this point in time. It might be a winning strategy. FB can well afford to be a follower in this footrace, lacking an obviously better strategy. Maybe that is not very inspired, but it is practical and may turn out to be good enough to sweep the table.

Comment Re:"We're" loosing it? (Score 1) 444

That sounds nice, in the abstract. But those ideas do not prove useful for even deciding whether the city should re-pave a crumbling road, or ever build a new road at all.

The problem is it is misleading to assume that every gov't mistake is costly in a manner that is important. Like any large organization, the real question is whether the number of successes is sufficient to make supporting that organization a good deal when the mistakes are weighed in the full context.

For example: It the city builds 100 miles of road, it is probably still a good deal if 2 miles of that road were put in a foolish place, assuming that the other 98 miles were placed wisely.

Comment Re:"We're" loosing it? (Score 1) 444

You are abusing the notion of "fake news".

The NYT made abundant true information about Iraq available. I never thought for tiniest moment Iraq would ever try to attack the US based on news sources such as the NYT.

The question is whether the paper of record should bury or ignore public statements from the sitting president or the secretary of state about a topic that people seem to care about, just because the editors believe that those public statements are deliberately misleading. That is a tough one. Pretending it is easy is not a solution.

Comment Re:The future of trolling (Score 2) 208

I do wonder how effective shaming everyone would really be. Unless the broadcasted information proves reliable, won't it just demolish twitter (for example) as a public forum for discussion?

Attempting to shame is one thing, and doxxing is another. I think what makes this shame campaigns intimidating is when they are followed up with death threats, swatting, etc. That actually takes a group of dedicated individuals to make it effective.

Comment Re:Some privacy is more equal than other (Score 1) 470

Exactly. For example, you can record any phone conversation in California, but you must either say explicitly that it is being recorded near the beginning of the conversation or have a warning beep on the line every 20 seconds or so. It is not as if you are even required to ask permission, but you are required to let the other party know about the recording device being used. To fail to inform the other party is considered a kind of fraud -- free speech has never protected intentional fraud.

Comment Re:Some privacy is more equal than other (Score 1) 470

That makes sense for us secular humanists. But if your primary concern is baked in religion and you know it, then why accept as legitimate data that will very very likely hand your opponents 99% of what they want on a silver platter?

Furthermore, a human 2 year old has a vast amount of brain activity compared to most mammals, but a healthy newborn I would guess is not so impressive. Once the human level activity lines are drawn, someone will test the brainwaves of your hamburger before it is chopped up. That will make some animal rights weirdos esctatic, and the religious groups will declare the whole process as ridiculous.

Slashdot Top Deals

Work continues in this area. -- DEC's SPR-Answering-Automaton