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Submission + - How to View the SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: Silicon Valley folks should, sometime, take the opportunity to view a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lompoc is 4-5 hours from the Bay, 2.5 hours from LA if there's ever no traffic. An upcoming SpaceX launch is notable because it's their return to flight, months after their last attempt blew up on the pad during a pre-launch test. Read how to view the launch.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

Eich resigned because of external pressure on the Mozilla organization. I hear that one of the lobbying activities against him was when the dating site "OK Cupid" started informing Firefox users who accessed the site of Eich's activities and that they should download a browser made by people who don't nominate someone with gender discrimination issues to be their CEO. At the time, 8% of OK Cupid customers were there to arrange same-gender meetings.

They felt he was the public face of the company.

Russ Nelson published a piece on what he theorized was the economic motivation of Blacks to be lazy, and was booted off of the Open Source Initiative board. He wasn't thinking about how it would be perceived. A modified version of the piece is still online, but not the version that got him in trouble. In general, executives are seen as the public faces of their organizations even in the case of Nelson, who was not the chairman of the board, but was simply a member of the executive board. In Nelson's case, it wasn't that he made publicity appearances and press releases, it was that he was one of the people with the power to direct the company (and thus a more real face of the company than soneone who just does PR), and folks did not trust that someone who wrote what he did would behave as they would like in that position.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 2, Insightful) 234

Playboy departed the nude photo market due to the vast and unending supply of photos and video of all manner of naked people doing sexual things which one can access via the Internet.

However, one can make a case that a good deal of the past content of Playboy was about objectifying women and to some extent the publication still is about that.

It was a dumb decision. Several people just weren't thinking. They're embarrassed now. They learned, and won't do it again.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

It was only 1967 when the United States Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, a miscegenation case. Preventing blacks and whites from marrying, as the State of Virginia (and many others) did with laws on its books until it was forced to remove them in 1967, is an issue of racism, nothing else. One doesn't have to be thin skinned to be disgusted by racism.

Why should I feel any different about gender discrminiation? Texas had a law on the book making homosexual relations illegal in 1998, and two men were arrested for it and similarly to Loving, helped to strike it down in the courts. Marriage discrimination is yet another legal wall erected by the prejudiced. Doesn't take a thin skin at all to oppose it and its supporters.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

Because you are an end-user and not an investor in these companies, you might actually think the public face of the companies is a logo or a trademark rather than a human being. Perhaps you think the public face of McDonalds is Ronald McDonald! Or that Sprint's used to be that actor who portrayed a technician. But this naiveté is not shared by the people who are the target audience for the public face that the CEO's appearances and quotations produce. AMD has people to handle the guy who once plugged one of their CPUs into a motherboard. The public face nurtured by the CEO is reserved for investors and business relationships, government, and corporate citizenship. These are all areas in which a decision made outside of the company can have great impact on the company. And so, if you go on the company site, you will see the CEO quoted in the press releases related to those items. At trade shows, you will see these CEOs as keynotes. I am heading for CES in January, where many CEOs you've never heard of who run large tech companies will be speaking, and there will be full halls of their eager target audiences.

Don't you think it might be self-centered to assume someone's not the public face of the company because you don't know who they are?

Comment Re:Bad Idea, but that's what Germany is up to now. (Score 1) 62

It could be used to signal the intentions of the car to those around the car. The projected pedestrian crossing signals to the pedestrian that the car is intending to stop, so it is safe to cross. The projected turn sign indicates that the car intends to turn right at that turn, and not the (sometimes very close by) earlier or later ones.

Of course this only really works for autonomous cars, since as long as there is a human at the wheel the car won't know what the human is going to do.

Comment Police searches (Score 4, Interesting) 228

One interesting use I can think of is to simply carry one around in case you get arrested by the police.

Supposedly police require a warrant to search your personal papers such as your cell phone, so this shouldn't be much different. If they take the USB drive over to the cruiser and plug it in "just to see" then this will fry their system.

You can even tell the officer not to plug the device in, that it's not a thumb drive, and that there's no information on it.

It would probably work at airports as well.

I really don't see a downside to this.

Comment Re:Milton Frieldman? (Score 1) 448

So.......we just had an article on Slashdot that showed there are more jobs in America now, at the end of the Obama administration, than there ever have been in the entire history of the US. More people working.

First, I'm not about to claim that Trump is going to improve anything for the common man. Having a populist revolt that emplaces a Billionare cabinet...

Yes, Obama got more people to work than anyone else ever. However, middle-class well-being has not correspondingly increased (meaning wages aren't great for a lot of those jobs) and the disparity between the most rich and everyone else has become much larger.

I haven't researched AI job reduction, but I think we could be no more than two decades away from the point where much menial labor is robotic and where professional drivers are for the most part replaced with machines.

Comment Economic theories (Score 3, Interesting) 448

Economy does not work that way, sorry. Hawking should read from a real economist, like Milton Friedman. Middle class jobs have to remain, but the exact majority of work a person does will differ. Hawking knows political hyperbole, not economics.

The problem with "real" economic theories is that there are so many to choose from.

Here's a different economist who extends our current economic system to its logical conclusion, and also presents a viable alternative. It's very readable and a quick read - well worth a few moments if you want to see where we're headed.

It's clear to anyone who studies economics as a math problem that our current system is untenable going forward. In the limit of extremes, automation will supply all of humanity's production needs, while employing no one.

A fine situation, but in that scenario who will have money for purchases?

We're already feeling the pinch here in the US due to globalism. Real wages have been stagnant (against inflation), good jobs are increasingly hard to find, and people are forced to work multiple mc'jobs to make ends meet. Automated vehicles and drone delivery systems will put perhaps 10 million people out of work in the next 10 years.

America can stem the tide a little by stepping away from globalism, bit it's a temporary measure. Ultimately, AI will take over more jobs than it generates, people will tighten their belts and reduce spending, and this will continue until our current system collapses completely.

Something has to change, and we pretty-much know *what* has to change, but no one has any idea or plan on how to get there.

Traditional economics is religion, not science. It never predicts what will happen, only why something *did* happen. It makes conclusions by building a model to fit past data.

If you want to fix the economy, you have to look to the future.

Real economists don't do that.

Comment Milton Frieldman? (Score 4, Interesting) 448

Both Brexit and Trump can be seen as the final stage of neoliberal economics: it ends in a populist revolt.

It's not as if labor is just now facing the threat of automation. But nobody in the US - not the unions, not the companies, not the government - is solving the education gap that might help future workers.

Comment Re:Mozilla's 990 Form (Score 1) 110

MoCo could have paid as little as $1 for the license, along with an agreement to return profits, and that would be fair value. There's no question that the profits were returned.

However, there was never any possibility that any other entity would have been offered the license regardless of what they offered, and IMO had they considered that transaction based on the amount returned rather than achieving their purpose of a free internet, they would have disqualified themselves as a 501(c)3.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 2) 110

Fogle was a company spokesperson, who got fired before the trial started because whether or not he had actually committed any crime, the appearance of his behavior made him unsuitable as a spokesperson.

Was Eich similarly a company spokesperson? You need only look at Mozilla's press releases. He's quoted in them while he's CTO, and if you go on Youtube, you can see that he makes a number of conference keynotes representing the Foundation. Once he's CEO, he writes this piece on inclusiveness which is linked to in this Mozilla Foundation press release. So, there's Eich representing the Mozilla brand on exactly the issue they already know he has a problem with. He doesn't get a chance to represent the foundation again, as they know they have a problem.

Comment Re:Mozilla's 990 Form (Score 1) 110

Did Mozilla Foundation get fair market value for licensing it trademarks to Mozilla Corporation, a how was this valuation arrived at?

Mozilla Foundation, as a 501(c)3 non-profit, would not base their decisions solely on valuation or profit, nor would they be required to, and indeed they could get in trouble with the IRS if they did. The decision to license to their own operating corporation was so that they could achieve the purposes in their constitution, which have to do with net freedom.

Don't like my answers? Do your own research.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 110

Off the top of your head, can you name the CEOs of Coca Cola

The CEO of Coke has not become as well known as Elon Musk, but I went on their web site and clicked on press releases, and he's generally quoted in the releases that discuss any significant financial event in the business. They have "brand ambassadors" for lesser things, but the CEO is definitely representing the brand, and particularly when the brand is marketed to stockholders and investors.

You will find similar things about the CEOs of the other companies you mentioned.

Comment Better question (Score 1) 184

He campaigned on a platform of isolationism. Why would he care if two countries on the other side of the world are hacking each other?

I have a better question:

Why does this concern *us*?

Is there an actual tech issue here, or is it just another chance to get a dig in on Trump?

Are we to consider how Trump would react to every small and subtle world news item until he takes office?

Could we at least wait until he makes some sort of statement?

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