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Comment Weird... (Score 5, Insightful) 66

If someone offered me 24 billion for anything, even my hypothetical super-successful company that I built with my own blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice of a firstborn son, I would take it in a heartbeat. Same puzzlement over the Snapchat guys declining what I think was an overly generous offer for that company. Then again, I've never built such a company so I have no idea of what it means to give up control of it. Still... With 24 billion in your pocket you can pretty much do what you want, start your own new company, hell, start a space agency even...

Comment Re:How far America has fallen (Score 1) 323

That's unfair: sideshows are way more fun, even the seedy ones. This is more like monkeys at the zoo, flinging poo at each other. Even the campaigners' lingo fits the analogy: "find some dirt", "can we make it stick", etc.

I'm just glad my country hasn't sunk to this level.

Comment Re:Minefield (Score 3, Insightful) 545

Yes, it is, didn't you get the memo? Forbidden... well, only if you're running for office, for the time being.

Sarcasm aside, it does seem that these days a presidential candidate can't be someone who openly likes the ladies, or admits to that in a private conversation, or did inhale during his college days, or had alcohol before he turned 21, or is an atheïst, or did something dumb when he was young, or had premarital sex, or a DUI, or used the N word at a drunken blowout, or or or. Well, maybe you can find a candidate with a spotless record, who will remain standing under the closest scrutiny, no skeletons in the closet. Would such a person make a good president? Hell, the idea of someone like that telling the rest of us what to do scares me more than a little...

Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 1) 313

That's an interesting way of looking at it... But keep in mind that GP's argument about destroying shareholder value isn't just about a lower stock price due to a damaged brand, the actual value (assets) of the company may have decreased by a similar amount at the same time. Instead of paying $100 for an $80 item, you're now paying $50 for a $40 item. The price may be lower but it's still a crap buy.

it's only when its market value is at or below the value of its assets and expected revenues that it suddenly becomes something everyone could be interested in buying out

That is only true if you buy the company as a simple monetary investment: buy, break it up, draw divident, or sell it when you find someone willing to pay its actual value. But if you are buying because the company fits well with whatever your own business is, then its value may be a lot more than the value of its assets on the open market. For instance, the company's patent on rounded corners may be worth squat to anyone... except to the company who can use it to lock out a competitor (or prevent from being locked out themselves). And that's actually where the GPs argument falls flat: buyers who are not interested in Twitter's ability to sell ads but in other things (patents, talent, research, user data, or the users themselves) are not likely to care overly much about reduced ad revenue or a damaged brand name, and will be happy to see the share price plummet.

Comment Re:Quantity vs Quality... (Score 2) 97

they see STEM as the future, the best way out of poverty and for modernising their country. OTOH, look at the erosion of science courses in many western countries

Just look at the people studying science at those western universities. These days, a fair number of them are from Asia or the Middle East. And maybe it's a cultural thing, science isn't just unpopular here or perceived as "too hard", it's actually looked down on a little. I can remember when being an engineer in any field got you social status, and putting that title next to your name meant something. These days? Just listen to every single movie dad talking to their disappointing child: "you could have been a doctor or a lawyer".

Comment Re: Yeah... (Score 2) 326

That's largely due to circumstances (economics and demographics) rather than one generation being "better" than the other; I hope you are joking about the millenials being more selfless. There's little doubt that the boomers have been more fortunate than any other generation in history, but there's no point (and little fairness) blaming the current state of affairs on them, same way that it's pointless to blame the circumstances in which the boomers got to "rape the planet" on the preceding generation.

They are not completely blameless though. For instance, our nation pays a small pension to anyone who has lived in the country for a certain (long) amount of time, regardless of work history or even nationality, and these pensions are paid from current contributions taken through taxes. It was known from the start that demographics would put a lot of pressure on the system, and in the 80s everybody knew that the system was more or less untenable. And yet the scheme was never changed... most voters around that time liked the scheme as the premiums were very low with a decent payout. But most people I know who are entering the workforce now are making their own arrangements, having no faith that the scheme still exists by the time they get to retire.

Comment Re:Yeah... (Score 2) 326

Hard work has almost no correlation to success, I've found. The ability to convince people you work hard is more important than actually working hard.

My own experience is somewhat limited, mostly working in office environments and people having a degree, but I have largely found that most employees treat their work seriously, will put in the extra effort when needed, and are generally keen to do a decent job. Of course they will also goof off at times, take personal days, or sneak out early to run a personal errand. Here is where things start to be about appearances: most people do not really know what their colleagues are actually doing, but they can see them around the office, when they get in and when they leave. You get no points for actual hard work, or working faster or more accurate than anyone else. You get points for showing up early and leaving late, i.e. for keeping your seat warm. And if you work irregular hours, people will remember you coming in late and leaving early, and forget you working late or showing up before the crack of dawn.

This mostly affects your general reputation around the office, though. Your manager who has a say in your promotion (or in renewing your contract) should know what you are actually up to, and often they do. If you consistently deliver good work on time, i.e. work hard, it does pay off. Just don't forget to demand (not ask, demand) that work to be recognized when you deserve it. Success comes from being good at negotiation your next job... being known as a hard and competent worker doesn't hurt your position in that negotiation, but it's only a small part of the equation.

Comment Re:Déjà vu (Score 1) 51

There have been a few movies where 3D actually added a lot to the experience. A hell of a lot of immersion, mostly. But doing 3D at that level hasn't been cheap or easy. I suspect that VR will be like 3D, but amplified. Many directors will mess around with it for a bit, only a handful will get it right at great expense, but the result will be nothing short of amazing. And like 3D, those few successes will not be enough for mass adoption (and I don't mean people buying 3D TVs, I mean them actually watching 3D content).

However VR has an additional market: games. 3D adds little to games but VR is potentially (literally) a game changer in this area. And adding VR capability to a game is not hugely expensive like it would be for a movie. And with enough VR rigs in the hands of gaming consumers, movie producers may produce more content, as I expect viewers are willing to pay a premium for the experience.
United States

Sean Parker Contributes $9 Million As States Push To Legalize Marijuana ( 255

Sean Parker has now donated nearly $9 million in his effort to legalize marijuana in California. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes Billboard: Whether it's founding Napster, guiding Facebook or investing in Spotify, Sean Parker has developed a reputation for pushing change forward, and now he's at the forefront of California's marijuana legalization movement... [A] competing proposal from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform was folded into Parker's, making his the leading ballot measure, by default, for 2016 in a state with the largest medical marijuana market in the country.
The U.S currently has a hodgepodge of legislation, with marijuana entirely legal only in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as in the District of Columbia, and in individual cities in Michigan and Maine. But with five more states now voting on legalization, pro-marijuana campaign ads are being broadcast in Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, California and Arizona. ("You decide who wins -- criminals and cartels, or Arizona schools?") And meanwhile, Slashdot reader schwit1 has identified one voter who's definitely opposing police efforts to hunt down marijuana growers: All that remains of the solitary marijuana plant an 81-year-old grandmother had been growing behind her South Amherst home is a stump and a ragged hole in the ground... Tucked away in a raspberry patch and separated by a fence from any neighbors, the [medicinal] plant was nearly ready for harvest when a military-style helicopter and police descended on Sept. 21...

Comment Re:How difficult can it be (Score 1) 96

So make it clear to the advertising networks that you want a "still image only" option. That'll be a huge improvement even if you're still using their JS to display it. And since a lot of them now seem to pay mostly per click (rather than per view), there's no need (or excuse) to offer a lower payout for banner-only ads.

Comment Re:So the bureaucrats have solved all the problems (Score 2) 296

The numbers were a bit off but not that much: cars (driving and riding) account for almost 75% of traffic in the Netherlands by kilometer, public transport is 11%. Biking / walking is another 11%, and 5% "other", whatever the hell that is. Source. Looking at commuters, around 5% of them take the train to work as opposed to 60% going by car (no numbers for other modes of public transport but it's likely not a large amount given the earlier stats)

Comment Re:So the bureaucrats have solved all the problems (Score 2) 296

I think you got the wrong idea about transport in Europe. Many regions have excellent public transport, with a dense network of various modes of transport offering frequent service. But even here in the Netherlands with an extremely dense public transport network, there are few people who are happy (or able) to take public transport and not have a car. In the west part of the country, many trains and buses will be jam packed during rush hour, the railway company has trouble adding more cars to the trains and the track is almost at capacity even with state of the art signalling and routing in place. And public transport still doesn't handle a 10th of the number of people commuting by car. It certainly is a lot easier to get around without a car in Europe than it is in the US on average, but the idea that public transport can replace cars is just silly.

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