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Comment Re: Makes perfect sense (Score 1) 312

Yes. This. A thousand times this. And when you try to turn it off, half the time, you accidentally press both the power and volume buttons, and the phone ignores it. Apple doesn't design for end users. They actually design for their own designers and engineers.

The last phone that was actually designed for end users was the 3GS. Since then:

  • 4 Series was covered with unnecessary glass whose only purpose was to look pretty and then break.
  • 5 Series moved the headphone jack to the wrong end of the phone, making it essentially impossible to build a holster that allows access to both the headphone jack and the power cord, to save space inside the device.
  • 6 Series had that design flaw *plus* putting the power button in a defective position, presumably for some engineering-centric reason.
  • 7 Series has that design flaw plus the headphone jack nightmare.

What's next? Buttons so perfectly smooth that you can't find them by feel?

Comment soil dwellers' substrata equity (Score 1) 290

The Americas Are Now Officially 'Measles-Free'

In other news, the pox just adopted mark-to-market accounting practices.

I figure this is how it works with The Donald, too. He wakes up in the morning with a novel idea for how to litigate one of his business partners—also known as contractual co-signatories—and mentally adds $300 million tax free to his personal net worth as he flosses his astonishingly sharp teeth.

Pity this won't show up on his tax returns for years and years. This, however, is also good—it will probably take five to ten years to amass the necessary 200 pages of tax offsets against correspondingly novel loopholes in the federal tax code.

Trump: "Good morning, Bernie, looks like we have a new long-term project."

Senior minion [whose name isn't actually 'Bernie']: Excellent! Whose blood are we drinking, this time?

Trump: Ah, that building in, ah, the Trump crap whatsitsname, you know, the building from that deal, summer of 2013, where we saw the chick with the really great rack as we walked through the lobby on the way to get the Mexican food that was okay, but not-at-all what we expected, so we left no tip.

Senior minion: Yes, of course, the really great rack—who could forget—before the awesomely authentic burritos which were not-at-all satisfactory. I'll get right on it.

Phone call ends.

Senior minion [addressing staff]: About face! Leaches, march!

Back at the Mar-a-Lago Faraday cage, Trump does a little mental arithmetic. "Let's see, ten point one plus zero point three equals ten point four. Nice." Here he pauses for a moment to let his newfound wealth fully sink in.

"What's next? Let's see, here. Focus group con-call at 11:00 with three adoring, educated black women, located—with some difficulty, to hear my staff bitch about it—in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. That Kellyanne, mostly I just want to strangle her, but my word I've never known a woman who can turn rocks the way she does.

Hmm, not until 11:00, there's the silver lining—still two hours away. Not much else on the schedule, looks like it's Twitter time—best part of my day, not counting lawsuits and loopholes. Ten-point-four. What will ten-point-four say today? Something pithy, or something punchy? Decisions, decisions."

Comment Re:Weird definition (Score 1) 224

Well, if you've ever been an expert at something, you no doubt use certain words in ways that confuse non-experts, because you have need of more precision than they do.

I have no idea what the technical epidemiological standard is for being something- "free", but it can't be the utter absence of that something (which is the non-specialist's definition) because you can't prove a negative. So there must be some criteria short of absence.

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 290

It's been tried before, on an impressive scale. Humans haven't figured out absolutely how to keep rats, cockroaches and bedbugs out of their domiciles, much less most persistent and clever pest of all: other humans.

It'd probably be worthwhile for the rich to consider what being rich actually means. It's not having a lot of gold. Gold through the ages has only been useful as specie because (a) it's pretty and (b) it didn't have much practical use other than being pretty.

What being rich means is having the ability to command the cooperation and compliance of other human beings.

So a bunker is only good for a couple of weeks or at most months of disorder. It's a place to go while someone on the outside is struggling to re-establish the status quo ante. So it makes no sense to build one unless you also invest in the stability of the status quo, because if those people trying to preserve society fail you're actually in a worse situation than other survivors when you come out of your bunker. The vast majority of your money will become only scare-quotes "money" if the legal framework in which debts and ownership exist ceases to function.

Comment It's the marginal hedonic value of money, folks. (Score 3, Informative) 290

Scenario: You discover to your surprise that you can have your fill of every pleasure money can buy, and then you notice you've still got a mountain of that stuff lying around.

What to do?

(1) Pursue power. This never gets old, because there's other guys with mountains of money doing the same thing. No amount of ever enough, because it's relative power that brings satisfaction.

(2) Serve humanity. The ability to amass money on this scale is a function of the scale of society, and that means that society's problems scale proportionately. The material resources you command could have solved all humanity's problems -- five thousand years ago. Today they're just a drop in a bucket, and that's a challenge.

(3) Build yourself a lavish Armageddon bunker.

(4) Any combination of the above.

Comment Re:... pretty much got what I expected ... (Score 1) 261

Since it's not clear from your post, have you actually played NMS?

The reason that most people essentially max out tech on their first planet isn't because they're "completionists", it's because there's so little content in the game. NMS is an "everything can be found everywhere in bulk" sort of game. Including tech blueprints.

Comment Re:1Million People (Score 1) 490

So how do you imagine that miners on Mars will be competitive without actually having mining equipment

It's not a comparison of mining equipment or no mining equipment - it's a comparison of A) automated, self-maintaining, may-not-get-damaged-or-it's-lost-forever mining equipment or B) human-controlled, human-maintained, human-salveagable mining equipment. In an environment where the premise is that humans already are.

The robots that are outcompeting them are on Mars, and orbiting Jupiter taking pictures, oh, and orbiting the earth transmitting signoals around and doing science and stuff.

Because there are no humans there. What about this is hard for you to understand? I'll repeat: there is precisely one place in the solar system where humans exist outside of Earth: ISS. Do robots outcompete them there - yes or no?

The best numbers I could find is that the annual cost of the ISS

Red herring. We're comparing to a scenario where humans are on Mars either way. Talking about the cost of putting people on Mars, keeping them alive, etc, is irrelevant because that is planned either way. The question at hand is, is it cheaper to use their already present labour, or send robots? And it's a no contest comparison.

Comment Re:What about EU users (Score 1) 76

Is that some sort of misplaced arrogance, or do you really not understand how easy blocking WhatsApp/Facebook would be if the German authorities wanted to do it?

People write as if the Internet is some huge network that everyone has unlimited access to, but guess what? It's not. You have an ISP, and somewhere up the line they are hooked in to a relatively small number of pipes in and out of any given country, and those pipes are controlled by a major infrastructure provider that isn't going to argue with the national government.

The political fall-out could be a different question, but somewhere like Germany the people are very cautious about excessive surveillance and profiling for obvious historical reasons, so I wouldn't bet on WhatsApp/Facebook winning the PR battle either.

Comment I'd like to hear a coherent argument (Score 1, Interesting) 268

That our authority over DNS is legally US government property in any sense the framers would have agreed upon, even stretching that concept of property to include intangible property.

Even if you can argue that DNS is American government property, it's pretty useless property. Since it is largely administered in a decentralized fashion, if the rest of the world wants it can set up its own DNS system and have people in their country point to their preferred root servers.

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