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Comment Re:A Lot of Effort to Bury the Lede (Score 1) 52

There's no vast left- or right-wing media conspiracy. There's a small number of owners of the mainstream press, and they will not print anything that directly contradicts the interests of these owners. This has no allegiance to any political party or ideology other than a desire for certain individuals to increase their personal power.

Various governments have allowed mergers and acquisitions among news companies until there's very little independent press. Most countries don't want to regulate press freedom too heavily (for good reason - there's a very fine line between regulating truth in journalism and forcing propaganda and it's incredibly easy for the former to slip into the latter), so we're left with the majority of the population being informed by untrustworthy sources.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 59

I find the map pretty surprising. Zoom in on the UK, and most of England is yellow (11-15 g/m3), but Reading (dense traffic, industrial areas, lots of diesel trains passing through) is green (<10), yet completely surrounded by yellow areas. I'd probably be inclined to trust the point samples, but their averaging between them looks like it's nonsense. The middle of Wales is pretty green, but with squares of yellow. The green makes sense (it's basically a big space full of hills and sheep), but the yellow doesn't seem to correspond with any human habitation or industry.

Comment Re: don't get your hope up (Score 1) 192

Indeed. Under the Consumer Rights Act and the earlier Sale of Goods Act, you are entitled to a refund for a variety of reasons. Any claims made by the seller that influenced your decision and are false gives you grounds for a refund (or a replacement with a version that meets these requirements). I had the battery on an Apple laptop fail after the warranty expired, but because of the SoGA they replaced it without quibble: their website claimed that it would retain 80% of its charge after 300 discharge cycles and the system monitor showed that it was retaining about 15% of its charge after about 120 complete cycles.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 229

It's often also cheaper. It costs me less to take a train to Stansted airport, then an Easyjet plane from Stansted to Edinburgh and a bus to the city centre than it does to take a train from Cambridge to Edinburgh. Even including faffing at the airport time, the plane is a bit quicker. I'll take the train given the choice, because it's more comfortable and I can get some work done on the way, but it's a close-run thing.

Comment Re:Exposing those who store plaintext passwords (Score 1) 126

Make sure that you let them know that, because you have gone through responsible disclosure, if they are compromised then you will happily testify in court that they were aware of the insecurity of the personal information and that this makes them liable for increased damages for any compromise resulting in a failure to address the issue in a number of jurisdictions.

Comment Re: The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 527

He doesn't appear to understand the meaning of the word free trade because support for free trade were words out of his mouth after talking about implementing tariffs, though

He understands it very well. What he means when he talks about free trade is not free movement of goods or labour (which benefit poor people), it's free movement of capital (which benefits rich people). He wants to clamp down on free movement of goods and labour but continue to allow free movement of capital, because that's good for him.

Comment Re:Neat! (Score 1) 161

Here's the problem: there is far more of a shortage of smart people than of money in medical research. That's okay though, because while $3bn sounds like a lot, it's actually a really tiny amount. I couldn't find the most recent figures, but in 2003 the US alone spent $94.3bn on medical research. That's around $123bn, adjusting for inflation. Even if Zuckerberg spent all of the pledged money in one year, he'd only be promising to increase this amount by just under 2.5%, for a single year. Can you think of a single large project where a 2.5% increase in funding for one year has made a large difference, ever? It sounds like he's actually spending the money over 10 years though, so that's a 0.25% increase in funding. I'm being generous there and only counting the US budget. The EU spends a similar amount, Russia and China both spend a lot, so in total it amounts to well under a 0.1% increase in funding for medical research over 10 years. How much more productive would you be if I offered to pay you 0.1% more over the next 10 years?

Comment Re:People tend to think others will behave as they (Score 3, Insightful) 133

Not necessarily. As the grandparent posted, and I've said many times before, creating is hard, copying is easy. You need a business model where people pay for the creation, not the copying. For example, you release a beta version of the game with most of the game world missing for free, then you ask for funding to finish it. Once you've received enough to cover your development and distribution costs and make a decent profit, you release the game for free. Then you start asking people to contribute to developing the next one.

This sounds weird, but it's actually exactly the business model that many TV shows use. They produce a pilot and send it to the networks for free. The networks watch it and if they like it then they fund the development of the first season. If the first season does well, they start asking the network for money for the second, and so on. The only difference is that you'd ask the customers directly, rather than having a middleman who wants to sell adverts.

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