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Submission + - A&E Network: Disabling Video On Demand Fast-Forward Is Good

QuietLagoon writes: "A study commissioned by A+E Networks concluded fast-forward disabling did not have any “adverse effects” to the program viewing experience via Video On Demand, nor did it negatively impact intent to continue using VOD."

Apparently, the Video On Demand viewers enjoy watching commercials, and do not mind the removal of the ability to fast forward past those commercials.

Submission + - Does Microsoft view Windows desktop as a dead end?

QuietLagoon writes: Mr. Nadella, CEO Microsoft, sent out an email last week that outlined Microsoft's focus for the future. One had to wade through more than half of the email before there was any mention of Windows desktop.

In his all-hands strategy email of last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demoted Windows to a handful of terse mentions deep in the 3,100 communique, a clue how he, and thus the company, now see the firm's long-time cornerstone. "Windows will deliver the most rich and consistent user experience for digital work and life scenarios on screens of all sizes — from phones, tablets and laptops to TVs and giant 82-in PPI boards," Nadella said in one of the first uses of "Windows" in his massive message. That sentence appeared well past the half-way mark in the email: 60% of the message preceded it.

Is Microsoft now unable to innovate within the desktop Windows space? Is Mr. Nadella's memo a tacit admission by Microsoft that there is little innovation left in the desktop space? Is Microsoft's inability to innovate in the desktop space indicative of a larger problem within Microsoft? Has rigor mortis set in?

China

Submission + - In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad (nytimes.com)

QuietLagoon writes: As a follow-up to the article a couple of days ago, the New York Times has an above-the-fold front-page article today about the horrible working conditions in the Chinese factories that Apple uses.

Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.

More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning (PDF alert).

The Internet

Submission + - Global Internet governance fight looms (dot-nxt.com) 2

QuietLagoon writes: The global fight among governments over control of the Internet is heating up amid a flurry of documents, the opening of the United Nations' General Assembly (GA) and next week's Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Will the change in Internet governance result in states like China and Russia exerting more control over what is allowed on the Internet? The United States has so far comprehensively outmaneuvered attempts by other governments to seize control of the Internet, helped by the fact that it holds the keys and represents the status quo. But how long will it continue to be able to do so?
Censorship

Submission + - Doctors and Dentists censoring patients (arstechnica.com)

QuietLagoon writes: Timothy Lee writes about his experience with a dentist.

"When I walked into the offices of Dr. Ken Cirka, I was looking for cleaner teeth, not material for an Ars Technica story. I needed a new dentist, and Yelp says Dr. Cirka is one of the best in the Philadelphia area. The receptionist handed me a clipboard with forms to fill out. After the usual patient information form, there was a "mutual privacy agreement" that asked me to transfer ownership of any public commentary I might write in the future to Dr. Cirka. Surprised and a little outraged by this, I got into a lengthy discussion with Dr. Cirka's office manager that ended in me refusing to sign and her showing me the door...."

Can a patient be required to sign such an agreement before medical care is tendered? What if the medical care is more urgent or an emergency? Can the patient be in the correct frame of mind to sign a legal agreement?

Submission + - Should Microsoft be split up? 1

QuietLagoon writes: Goldman Sachs had downgraded Microsoft from "buy" to "neutral," criticizes the company's efforts in mobile computing, and most radically, suggests that the company carve out its consumer business from its enterprise one. This is just one more sign that Microsoft could use a vision overhaul. ...

The report also warned that Microsoft isn't likely to make any headway in mobile this year because "Apple's iPad and iPhone plus Google's Android operating system are well established."

That's putting it mildly. Windows Phone 7 will have to be a spectacular success if it's to make any headway not just this year, but in the next several years as well. And Microsoft may try to sue Android out of business, but technology, not lawsuits, are going to have the lead the way.


What do you think? Does Microsoft have a chance of catching in the mobile devices marketplace? Is the enterprise where Microsoft's future lives?

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