Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

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) 109

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) 210

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) 109

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) 109

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:Curing Greed. (Score 1) 441

You've probably heard that it takes money to make money. It's true.The more money you have the more you can make. Loop forever.

More concretely. Lets say you and I both start businesses making widgets. People like widgets. But I have more money than you, so I can get a 10% discount on widget parts by ordering in larger quantities. So I can sell my widgets for less than you can. So I sell my widgets and make money and you get stuck with a stock of widgets.

It could be a number of factors. Perhaps I can afford to sell at a loss long enough to drive your business under (AKA dumping). Perhaps I own my factory building outright and you have to pay rent for yours. Every month, I see ROI on my property and you flush rent down the toilet. Your landlord might make more money on your business than you do.

This will always be true (as Marx suggests) unless government specifically intervenes and makes it a regulated market.

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Comment Re:Curing Greed. (Score 1) 441

Perhaps we should heed Smith's admonition to hand out corporate charters extremely sparingly. He understood that markets need hundreds of competitors selling to buyers who were more or less on an equal economic footing. Also the part where he said that markets require regulation to remain functional.

That doesn't sound much like the thing we pass off as Capitalism today.

Comment Re:Curing Greed. (Score 1) 441

No. No good has ever come from greed. Enlightened self interest can do great things, but it is greed that removes the enlightened part.

It is technology that raised the peasants of old to a modern standard of living and it is greed that is trying to horde all of the advances for the enjoyment of the rich alone.

Enlightened self interest leads a CEO to build a company that provides decent employment to thousands. Greed leads the corporate raider to make unsustainable cuts, cash in on the stock options, and deploy the golden parachute before his cuts take the company down in flames.

Comment Police searches (Score 4, Interesting) 215

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) 440

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) 441

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) 440

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.

Slashdot Top Deals

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

Working...