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:Perpetuation (Score 3, Interesting) 494

I wouldn't be surprised if part of the purchase decision is based on where the closest repair rep is. With John Deere being that controlling to the farmers, I would not be surprised at all if they have attempted to lock in the reps and repair techs as well- "You can be a rep/tech for John Deere or someone else, but not both, we will pull your certifications off the wall and you will be left high and dry" - This is a side effect of the farming consolidation that has been going on for twenty years (or more), there are fewer different people buying tractors so it is easier to try to achieve lock in.

I think it would be in the other tractor manufacturer's interest to bring their tractors out to the farms for demos (if they don't already) and make sure they talk up the reparability of the unit. The other tractor manufacturers have to realize that a professional, well trained repair staff that gives accurate (non chiseling) repair estimates is going to go a lot further with the farmers that buy and use their products than the attempted lock-in of John Deere.

Comment Re:Legislation & the right to repair (Score 1) 494

Various legislatures are trying to get it though and a wide variety of industries are fighting the legislation tooth and nail. If this legislation makes it through one state house into law you will see many lawsuits on the matter. Some companies will try to sell a "California only" version of their product and try to keep customers from buying from that state, or try to make the software incompatible between right to repair states and non-right-to-repair states. Software forking here we come! There are several other Slashdot articles on the subject. Below is one of the more recent ones.

Comment Bit coin is not money (Score 4, Insightful) 269

While there are many people that are willing to exchange goods and services for BitCoin; it is not a recognized currency by anyone that actually matters (ie banks and governments). Make no mistake, just about everything is priced in a government back currency (dollars, Yen, Pounds, etc) and in addition banks and governments do not accept BitCoin as a way to cover debts and obligations.

In addition BitCoin is slow, not entirely trust worthy (you can argue the fact that one farming group controls more than 50% of the computing power used to back bitcoin is a real problem), doesn't understand the basics of monetary policy (price fluctations anyone), let alone a way to implement it. These could all be contributing factors as to why large organizations are not willing to exchange goods and services for bitcoin.

Comment pre-prgammed drones (Score 1) 318

You can get drones with preprogrammed flight paths, it isn't a stretch to have the drone fly to a predesignated location drop its payload and fly away. All you need to do is identify a soft target (antennas, power lines, fuel tanks) that doesn't move from day to day, some knowledge of the local winds, a couple of range finders and you can program the drone to fly to a point and make its bombing run. If the target is that important, program your drone(s) to attack in a cluster around the target. The attacks can't be re aimed on the fly, but you can get around the jamming.

Comment war of attition (Score 1) 318

I'm not worried about swarm tactics as the other person is. I just want to bleed you dry of ammunition and money. If I launch a drone attack against you everyday it is going to cost you a missile and $3.2m to shoot it down while I am out $500. If I do this for a month (30 days), you are out $96m and I am out $15,000. Drones have a shorter lead time than missiles so the drone can be replaced faster as well. Eventually I will run you out of defense missiles and start landing hits on your infrastructure (antennas, communication whips, power lines) and then things get harder for you.

Comment How people use a tool (Score 1) 76

How people use a tool does not always match how the tool maker thought the tool was going to be used. Sometimes the tool maker tries to adapt an existing tool to do things it was not designed to do, without considering how the current users use the tool.

Right now Facebook is falling into the second category. A competitor (snapchat, imagepotato, etc) has a tool that does something different from Facebook. So of course Facebook has to do the same thing. But facebook isn't considering the use case of snapchat versus facebook. Snapchat is the antithesis of facebook. Nothing is saved after the message is sent so there is nothing to data crunch, either you saw the message or you didn't. That is why people moved to facebook, to be outside the facebook environment. The last thing in the people some people want to share is "your friend is curious about [ostensibly sensitive subject that the friend hasn't discussed with anyone], do you want to know more about it". It is no wonder that people avoid facebook for some subjects.

Comment Path to profitibility (Score 2) 334

Previously Amazon was allowed leeway by its investors because it had a path to profitability. What Uber hasn't demonstrated is if it has a path to profitability. A lot of issues that could be referred to a "growing pains" or "sustainability issues" haven't really Uber yet. Its entire black car fleet is still new and hasn't had to be replaced or have major repairs yet. The question that Uber has to answer is if it can wean itself off of VC money, stay solvent and maintain the same level of service as it has now. If Uber cannot demonstrate this the VC will dry up, the owners will cash in/sell out and walk away from Uber with pocket full of cash and a flaming wreck of a company behind them.

Comment Good luck with that (Score 5, Insightful) 181

Small communal companies; where everyone is in agreement on the company's focus and direction can run without senior management keeping a hand on the tiller. Once the company size grows beyond 50-60, it will either factionalize based on the differing visions for the company, implode, or strictly stay below the size where factions occur, it will grow and senior leadership/management will be needed.

Comment I would be interested if..... (Score 1) 147

If the camera system is watching the gestures from the blind side of the phone and making a guess based on the gestures that is can see. IE the camera's vision is occluded by the phone itself but it can see some of the gestures operating the phone and can make a guess from there. Somehow I think this would be more than 5 candidates.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...." -- Thomas J. Kopp