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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Stagnant? (Score 1) 108

I was just looking at this article which points out that Apple's R&D has gone up many times over since Job's passed on...

The thing is, that's usually a bad sign. It means that your development teams are growing very quickly, which has two effects:

  • The median age/experience level drops precipitously, resulting in poorer output quality.
  • The amount of effort required to maintain the products designed by more people grows by the square of the number of people involved.

Eventually you reach a point where every additional person makes the product worse or more delayed, rather than better or faster. These days, I keep getting the feeling that Apple passed that point a while back, and they just haven't noticed yet. This is one reason why innovative ideas almost invariably come from small companies, not big ones.

The other reason is that the larger Apple grows, the harder it will be to innovate, because the breakage caused by doing so will become an ever bigger problem as the code base increases in size. At some point, it will be necessary for Apple to start over from scratch—probably by buying a company that creates some innovative alternative. At that point, it will have fully become Microsoft or IBM. And that's okay. Eventually, somebody else will come along and become the next Apple. It's the circle of life.

Comment Re:Sterilized long ago (Score 2) 163

In our solar system only moons are tidally locked to planets, but no planets to stars.

Mercury comes pretty close with its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. It spins 3 times for every 2 orbits. That's close enough to being tidally locked that the difference is mostly moot from a "cooked on one side" perspective.

Comment Re:There is no "removing" of anything... (Score 3, Interesting) 366

If the new phone doesn't have a headphone jack, it'll be all over the Internet. There will be almost no way to avoid knowing that the iPhone 7 doesn't have a headphone jack.

That's not where the user impact comes in. Most people don't use headphones constantly. They use them occasionally. And they will think to themselves, "That's not a big deal." Then, at some point in the distant future:

  • They're at a friend's house and want to play some song. Their friend has an Android phone, and a stereo with only an 1/8" plug.
  • They're out somewhere and think, "I'd like to listen to some music while I walk from A to B" and then realize that their Bluetooth earbuds aren't charged.
  • The stewardess tells them that they can't use wireless headsets (that's a per-airline policy decision) and offers to sell them a headset for $3, but oops, no adapter.

And so on. And suddenly, what seemed like it didn't matter suddenly matters, and you have a pissed off customer.

Comment Re:Fix Apple (Score 1) 366

Apple will do no fixes of anything until it learns its lesson with very bad iPhone 7 sales because of the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack.

What would be worse for Apple would be if they don't lose sales, because there's definitely a non-negligible percentage of their customers who will be negatively impacted significantly by removal of the headphone jack, and if those folks buy the phone anyway, then they're going to end up with a bad impression of Apple products, and Apple will lose them as customers. In the long run, Apple should hope that they lose those sales, because at least they'll have a chance to make up those sales by releasing a future generation that isn't missing critical features.

The ultimate destruction of Apple as a brand of amazing hardware will come if they ship a device without a headphone jack and 30% of their users don't realize how much they'll miss the headphone jack, buy the phone anyway, and then start trash-talking their new iPhone on social media before switching (permanently) to Android. If Apple ships this product, I may start doing covered calls on my Apple stock to limit my losses. As a user, this is just a big annoyance, and I'm hopeful that they'll pull their heads out of their a**es before I'm due for a new phone. But as an investor, this is absolutely terrifying, oddly reminiscent of the period where a certain Pepsi exec was running the show.

Comment Re:Cat got my tongue (subjects are dumb) (Score 1) 38

Question 1: Who the hell reuses passwords, and why? Anyone left not using password managers?

Statistically, almost everyone:

  • Anyone who created at least one account more than a few years ago and has continued using it without changing his/her password
  • Anyone who is using a site that doesn't support the browser's build-in password manager (usually by not showing a username field)

There are probably others, but most users have at least a few sites that use shared passwords, and most of them are the fault of the people who designed the websites.

Comment Solution: Buy legislators. All of them. (Score 5, Interesting) 182

Captain Obvious Competition.

Yep.

These companies already have your money, so updating a device that's already been sold is a needless expense. There's also a good argument to be made that updating a device hurts future sales. If your phone isn't updated, it will start to feel old, so you're more likely to buy a new phone sooner.

Yes. I have a high-end preamp-processor, updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end camera. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end radio transceiver. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. And so on.

The whole "we can update your device" bit is a scam (and often, so is the "we can update your software" bit.) The only way a corporation is likely to actually update hardware responsibly is if legislation forces them to. And good luck trying to get THAT in place when corporations outright buy the decisions of the legislatures.

Submission + - Free Speech Under Attack as Facebook Plays Judge, Jury, Executioner (techomag.com)

NathanBachman writes: Freedom of speech is under attack, and the perpetrator is none other the king of social media, Facebook. In recent times, the company, now a popular face of online censorship, has been shamelessly blocking accounts, removing pages, and deleting posts that either failed to strike a chord with the moderation team, or were brutally honest to the extent of becoming intolerable for the people in position of power. Will Facebook get away with playing god and silencing millions of pro-Kashmir, pro-Kurdishs, and pro-freedom of speech voices around the globe?

Submission + - 2016 Hugo Award Winners Announced

Dave Knott writes: The recipients of the 2016 Hugo awards have been announced. Presented annually since 1955, the Hugos are (along with the Nebulas) one of science fiction's two most prestigious awards. They are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon"), the most recent of which, MidAmeriCon II was held this past weekend in Kansas City. Notable winners include:

Best Novel: The Fifth Season , by N.K. Jemisin
Best Novella: Binti , by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Novelette: "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture , written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Martian , screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Best Dramatic Presentation, ShortForm: Jessica Jones: "AKA Smile", written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer

As in the previous two years, the 2016 Hugos were subject to considerable controversy, as highly-politicized factions within science fiction fandom attempted to influence the awards via a concerted campaign that influenced the nomination process. Those actions once again proved unsuccessful, as the nominees put forth by these activists failed to win in any of the major awards categories.

Comment Subsidies (Score 5, Insightful) 442

LMOL yes moron Uber competes with taxi service.

Sure. Any transport method that is used instead of another is competition. Walking, bicycles, private cars, motorcycles, skateboards, Segways, busses, subways, jitneys, hansoms, taxis, limos, Uber... all competitors that reduce opportunity for the others.

Anyway, the story is that Uber's earnings will be garnished to subsidize taxis. I wonder, would people approve if their bicycles and cars and so on were taxed specifically to subsidize taxis and/or other transportation methods?

It's fascinating to see the "this business has a right to exist, workable business model or not" attitude arise in a new space, and to watch the politicians be bought and sold accordingly.

Slashdot Top Deals

Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once. Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.

Working...