Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



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

Comment Re:Too Happy (Score 1) 282

I know one person's already done this, but I'm gonna jump in too, because why not! :)

1. Self-Driving Cars will destroy one of the few low-skill-high-paying career tracks left. On top of the unemployment created by this, self-driving cars will reduce the need for car ownership, and in turn centralizes the routine upkeep vehicles require. From an environmental perspective this is wonderful, but imagine every single gas station, car parts manufacturer and retailer, and auto-service station going out of business. Consider the ramifications of the entire secondary industry tied to the automobile collapsing entirely.

2. Clean Energy will require a complete restructuring of the electrical grid. While homes will be more self-sufficient, our current grids are not designed for the decentralized nature that solar and wind production introduce. Existing energy (read: oil and gas) companies will pivot- they already are- to maintain their grip on energy production. They have the resources to do so.

3. Virtual and Augmented Reality won't make us any less social than before, despite naysayers, but they'll separate the idea of "experience" from "real experience". This in turn will price live attendance of events out of the range of most people. Sure, I could afford to get "front-row seats" at a concert now, but that experience will be shared between thousands of people, and leads to the homogenization and commodification of experience for a significant percentage of the population. An experience inequality, if you will (beyond what exists today).

4. Drones and Flying Cars are a security nightmare. Flying cars- if they ever get off the ground- will be a safety hazard that will require a complete redefinition of current air control laws. Drones are already proving their potential to cause harm in wars being fought in Syria and Iraq, and it's only a matter of time before we see more drone-based terrorism elsewhere in the world. Beyond that, privacy and security concerns have already been raised today, and will only magnify as the technology gets even cheaper and more robust.

5. Artificial Intelligence will wipe out a significant majority of white-collar jobs, full stop. Algorithms that are unconsciously biased will create significant hardships for large percentages of local populations, and the system will now be even more systemic, because hey, "it's a computer". And while I don't buy into it at all, let's throw in the Singularity for good measure. ;)

6. Pocket Supercomputers for Everyone means pocket surveillance devices for everyone. As the economics of Software as a Service plays out, we'll probably find those pocket supercomputers turning into pocket ball-and-chains. Vendor lock-in. And malware is only going to get worse on the very devices that know more about us than any other.

7. Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains will mean a sustained, untraceable black-market, despite the eventual phasing out of physical currency. Blockchains create paper trails that provide proof-of-purchase, and can and will be use as a means to enforce DRM.

8. High-Quality Online Education is, no matter what its proponents say, a fancy way of saying "books", and we've had books for a while now. Online education does not replace proper pedagogy, but it will syphon enough dollars away to further hurt actual education providers. And who says knowledge should be free when your courses are proprietary?

9. Better Food through Science means better food control through patents and litigation.

10. Computerized Medicine means another attack vector for hackers (gonna out and out give props to HeckRuler for that one). In case we weren't done wiping out white collar jobs, let's get rid of doctors and medical researchers too, while we're at it. And while breakthroughs will be disseminated quicker than they are now, that also means that incorrect results mistaken as breakthroughs will too.

11. A New Space Age means the continued privatization of resources, as companies claim technologies and land/mineral rights for themselves. Y'all ought to read The Space Merchants.

So there's a nice long list of negativity for you. For what it's worth, I'm very much being as negative as possible here. Several of the technologies (particularly #1, 2, 9, and 10) above are going to cause serious problems along the lines I listed/guessed at, but those problems should be solvable one way or another, and the benefits are absolutely worth it. So hurrah for a complex world where costs and benefits intermingle in ways that are both thrilling and horrifying!

Comment Re:Current Version is GIMP 2.8.18 (Score 4, Informative) 117

What real world work can be done in Photoshop but not GIMP?

It isn't that GIMP lacks features Photoshop has, it's that Adobe has focused on making work easier at the professional level. It simply has smarter tools and systems that are designed to help streamline workflows. Content aware fill is a decent example: GIMP has a plugin that can do the same task, but it's slower, not as effective, and doesn't come out-of-the-box. Sure, content aware fill isn't a necessary tool, and GIMP has its own version, but Photoshop's is faster and better. And in the real world, that matters more than straightforward feature parity.

I'm absolutely no fan of GIMP*, but for most people's needs it's absolutely got the tools necessary to do the job needed. But when your entire career is working with digital images** having that extra power and efficiency in your workflow makes a huge difference. And some of those benefits happen to pan out for everybody.

*I'm no pro, and Photoshop would mostly be wasted on me. I use Pixelmator for image editing.
**Print support is a red herring, since GIMP isn't concerned with it, so it's not worth bringing up beyond this footnote.

Comment I've been using Steam on OS X for some time now... (Score 2) 412

...and I didn't realize that Microsoft's war on Steam was so thorough and insidious that it was affecting the Mac version since version one.

...or that it crippled Valve's ability to make a useful, reliable interface for its Steam controller in Windows.

...or that it sabotaged SteamOS right out of the gate.

...or... well, you're getting the idea.

Comment Re:What about this case was so complicated (Score 1) 289

that it took more than a year to develop?

A whole lot of things:
1. As the summary mentioned, the various parts of Jun Li were mailed to political parties and schools, which means that at least some time would have to be taken ensuring everything "matched"
2. At the same time, if I recall, there was another dismembered body (or just regular body) being found in the Montreal area, so the police had to determine whether or not that was tied to the other crime
3. Magnotta fled the country and was eventually caught in Germany (which is an interesting story in and of itself).
4. Pre-trial hearing 5. Magnotta's been under psychiatric care while the courts decide whether or not he's fit for trial

That's some of the big reasons, off the top of my head.

Comment Re:Yeah, let's do that... (Score 1) 235

I can't think of anything worse than a bulb that's at the mercy of your WiFi router. My router falls over roughly twice a week and needs rebooting. Congratulations, you just took one of the most reliable appliances in the home and made it grotesquely unreliable.

I have a set of the Philips Hue bulbs, and just to clear things up, they're not "at the mercy" of my router- sort of.

By default, all the lights are designed to "turn on" when the power is restored to the bulb. It's a full-brightness, slightly-warm light, about as close to an incandescent 60W as it can manage. Right now my lights are "off", but the power's still flowing. They revert to the default state whenever the power is turned off and then back on, meaning even if the router is down you still get "dumb" functionality. It also means you don't get a bulb stuck in a less-than-useful state (for example, I have a low red setting for when I watch movies. Great then, not at all useful anytime else).

Obviously, that's a lot of money to spend on a dumb bulb. If the router's down you lose the more useful features, like scheduling or colours, but the bulbs aren't rendered useless. The bulbs don't revert to the default state if the router goes down but power remains consistent, meaning no sudden colour changes.

I've been using the bulbs since their release, and I haven't had any issue with the router being a problem. My biggest complaint is that the default app is pretty crap. Fortunately, Philips has freely released the API, so hopefully a better app will get out soon.

Comment Re:Get rid of all the BS (Score 1) 337

Don't make multi-player games that can't be played on a LAN or which can't be hosted by players.

So how would you go about making an MMO?

Don't do in-game advertising, purchases of virtual crap for real money and assorted bullshit.

Guaranteed income from non-POS sources ultimately means more money for developers. As for "virtual crap", let's use me as an example: I'm slowly getting older, with less time for gaming. I still enjoy it, but I straight up do not like grinding for gear. My time is definitely worth more to me than my money, and spending a couple dollars to avoid playing for hours to get the same item seems like a decent trade-off. Gamers should never be obligated to pay beyond a game's initial buy-in (unless it's subscription-based), absolutely, but having the option there is great.

Don't install spyware or otherwise contact the mothership unless required to fullfill the users request.

Agreed, although some people's definition of "spyware" is a little interesting.

Don't do CD keys, limited activations, professor zorgs guides to alien etiquette or any other such anti-piracy garbage that treats the purchaser as a suspect.

Excessive DRM is poison, absolutely. But pretending that piracy doesn't exist isn't going to help the industry either. It's far more complicated than "no DRM ever", no matter how much you'd like to pretend otherwise, and I'm not even going to pretend I have anything approaching an answer..

Don't require the user to wade thru a bunch of bullshit screens before starting the game.

Yeah, no argument here.

Never lobobotomize gameplay in order to give noobs a fighting chance.

When you sit down and look at it, this argument doesn't even make any sense. Are you angry at tutorials? If you're worried that it's too easy, turn up the difficulty. Gameplay decisions are made for any number of reasons, and complicating a game doesn't automatically make it more better.

Stop making games that are impossible to lose.

You can lose at any game. Call of Duty, for all its faults, doesn't somehow bestow god mode on the player right at the beginning. If what you mean by "lose" is a "game over, start from the beginning" screen, here's what you can do: restart the game yourself.

Never remove language or funny shit for political reasons.

This might shock you, but international sales matter.

Basically make games that are fun to play again. Things have "evolved" to where this has simply become impossible to do so I no longer bother.

Maybe it's that your definition of what's "fun" doesn't match up with some of the high-profile games out there, because the pickings have never been richer.

Comment Re:Frankly, I saw this coming (Score 3, Insightful) 346

The whole platform falls on its face as an event organization platform if even one key person refuses to sign up to having their personal lives data mined.

The event was doomed to fail anyway, if the organizers can't figure out how to keep one "hold-out" (for lack of a better word) in the loop through other means.

Comment Re:Doesn't make sense (Score 4, Interesting) 757

Yeah, the far right will never vote for Obama. But if they think they're being ignored they might not vote at all.

There's also the matter of mending fences with the party leadership and other power brokers, who control money, volunteers, etc. All of them are solid far right these days. They were the ones that wouldn't let McCain have a moderate running mate.

Those are all good reasons, and I just want to add one more: Ryan looks like he has a plan.

I might think that Ryan's policies would be about as effective as literally setting fire to the entire United States, but the fact remains that he's worked hard at outlining his plan and putting it out there. Romney has been on the defence his entire campaign, ever since he came out as the "one to beat" in the Republican primary. Bringing Ryan into the fold might make it look like he has an actual vision for his presidency now, and puts something up that Obama will have to respond to.

Comment "the discipline of the capital markets" (Score 4, Funny) 418

Hahahahahahahahahaha oh. You were serious. Right after saying:

The bankers at Morgan Stanley applied all the lessons of the last 15 years and priced the IPO at $38, which was very aggressive, in an attempt to avoid leaving any money on the table and the embarrassment that a huge IPO pop would represent.

That sounds like a huge amount of discipline.

Comment Re:Thinner! (Score 2) 427

It's just became some sort of Apple dogma that thinner is better and thinnest is best.

And yet the latest iPad is actually thicker than the iPad 2, but I doubt you'd find anyone in Cupertino calling the iPad 2 "the best".

As the Gizmodo article pointed out, the smaller connector gives Apple the opportunity to either add more internal space to the currently-existing iPhone footprint, or shrink the device down further. Both of those are beneficial to the device's design (especially since the next iPhone will probably have LTE, and will need all the battery it can get). And when all other things are equal, in mobile computing smaller and lighter is straight-up better. It's the whole point of mobile. "Fits in pocket" is nice, but "fits well in pocket" is even better. "Can be easily fished out of the pocket when you really need it but you're sitting down and your jean pockets are small in the first place" is best.

Thinner also means "dissipates heat easier", which matters when you cram your electronics as tightly together as you can, which is what Apple does. (If I'm wrong on this, feel free to correct me. I'm no materials engineer)

Addendum:

They switched to displayport because VGA/DVI ports were too thick,

And ugly. They were big and ugly. And obsolete (VGA, anyway). So they were big and ugly and obsolete. Pretty good reason to ditch something, if you ask me.

Comment Re:Ads included? (Score 5, Informative) 366

Do "Android revenues" include advertising, e.g. ads shown in apps?

Yes. That's where the gross majority of Google's revenue from Android comes from. The Asymco link breaks it down, and points out that Google also makes between four and five times that much per iDevice, since Google is the default search engine on iOS. Google's ad-based revenue lets it worry about revenue per smartphone, not just per Android smartphone.

Comment Re:Apple fragmenting the market (Score 1) 113

"It [Apple] also asks that all other patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity."

I don't read that as Apple asking the other tech companies to free up their licenses (lord knows Apple won't open up theirs), but asking the other patent holders on the nanoSIM design to do the same. Basically: "we're not making a dime in order to push this through, guys, you should be doing the same." Just because Apple is the designer doesn't mean they're the sole patent-holder.

They could be, but this is mobile phone technology we're talking about. For every one concept there's at least eight patent holders.

Slashdot Top Deals

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?

Working...