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Comment Re:This is, how the system should work (Score 1) 147

Standard Oil was accused of "predatory pricing" moving into an area, underpricing until the competition left, and then raising its prices using it's new-found monopoly power.

It was only a couple of decades ago that anyone looked at the data.

Turns out that they did indeed move in with lower prices, and that their competitors fled, but they kept the lower prices. (and why not? unlike their competitors, they were quite profitable at those prices).

hawk

Comment Re:They are also often newer (Score 1) 163

Don't look at me for sympathy :)

I bought this house in a middle class neighborhood about 30 years ago. It has degraded to lower middle class. (Hey, it makes for cheap security: noone in the neighborhood has anything worth stealing, so burglars don't bother us . . .)

I can get highspeed from Cox, may many poxes befall their house.

Centurylink, which used to be the phone company, can't deliver more than 3 mbit service here (but, gee, if I dig the trench to the street, they'll supply 8 conductor rather than 4 conductor phoneline . . .).

Bizarrely, they send an add every week or two for their Prism and high speed, even though it can't be purchased . . .

I'd take it in a heartbeat. Heck, I'd probably buy from russian hackers or the devil to get away from cox . . .

hawk

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 664

"Doctor" had a long established meaning before the modern MD in the US was concocted: a doctor was a person who had acquired significant knowledge in an area, *AND* had contributed to that body of knowledge. (It comes from the Latin verb "to teach").

The modern MD was created specifically to borrow the prestige and legitimacy of the doctors of the university at at a time when contemporary medicine was at least as likely to cause harm as to help. It created a system of training, but dropped the second prong (contribution to knowledge).

As a real doctor, I find the borrowing of my title an adequate tradeoff for the vastly improved healthcare, but I get a good laugh when a mere MD tries to distinguish that he is a "real doctor." (If he as actually published in a peer reviewed journal, or developed a new technique, he is indeed a real doctor. But they are a small minority).

MDs also like introducing themselves as "Dr. Smith"; real doctors rarely do--I've never done it outside of a classroom.

The DDS is kind of an MD knockoff with the same missing second prong.

Chiropracticy, well . . . they should only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of real physicians, but that's another issue. "Menace" would be a better title than "Dr." for them, but I digress . . .

And as for attorneys . . . the (american) JD is actually the old LLB (Bachelor of Law). In about the 1960s, law schools started switching over, even offering replacement diplomas to their alumni. It was about some kind of parity with MD.

The LLM is a legal master's degree, almost always in tax in the US.

And then there is the LLD, the PhD equivalent, an actual doctor. These are rare, you see an occasional law school dean and so forth. And, notably, Neil Gorsuch, the newest Supreme Court Justice, holds one. (for all I know, he's the only JSD or LLD to ever sit on the court, but I haven't bothered to look, as it's really not that important).

Substantially all medical school and law school faculty have published and contributed to their bodies of knowledge.

hawk, doctor of economics & statistics

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 256

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:example (Score 1) 114

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment example (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Uber is actually a good example of what's going wrong with the world: They are openly criminal and it works. It's Al Capone all over again. Everyone knows what they are doing, but they're too slippery to be nailed.

Same with the tax evasion of multinational cooperation, wars based on invented bullshit, election frauds done almost openly (like in Turkey), and so on.

Minority Report may have been on to something: The legal system working after the fact, and with a delay often measured in years, does not deter criminals. If you can take over a country, or become a billionaire, the threat that ten years from now they might file charges which your $1000/h lawyers will then simply drag through the courts for twenty years - well, that is not a very threatening thing especially for people trained to think primarily about next quarter.

Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 628

This.

I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .

hawk

Comment ALGOL-W (Score 1) 628

I played with Basic in high school but did my first undergrad stuff in ALGOL-W. As an undergrad I messed with Pascal, Fortran and PL/I. One of my profs at the time was an author of the ALGOL 68 report, thought BCPL was cool and that C (a relatively new language at the time) was a mental disorder. He gave us an assignment in APL once. I guess I'm showing my age.

Now I do 99% of my work in C. My boss and I agree to disagree on scripting languages. I like Python. He thinks Python is ridiculous and insists on Perl for production work.

...laura

Comment Re: But Windows surveillance (Score 1) 84

Microsoft makes their money in commercial software and services all other experiments notwithstanding. Google make some money advertising to people and building profiles and people to better Target than advertising all the other experiments notwithstanding. Can you see the difference?

Not really, no. Sorry.

Microsoft makes really complete profiles on individual persons.
Google makes really complete profiles in aggregate for demographic markets.

Microsoft makes business decisions based on profile data telling them how many people they can reach with a given product.
Google makes business decisions based on profile data telling them the size of each demographic their advertiser can reach with their product.

Microsoft makes a lot of products that fail, when they try to do something new.
Google makes a lot of software and services with the intent of delivering advertising that fail, when they try something new.

Microsoft makes a lot of money, when they stick to their core competencies (a small range of OS and office productivity products).
Google makes a lot of money when they stick to their core competencies (a small range of advertising services, search, and mail).

Microsoft loses money when they step outside their core competency, and try "charge for service" models.
Google loses money when they step outside their core competency, and try "charge for service" models.

Kinda not seeing the difference, Bruno...

Comment Steve Case is high. (Score 2) 35

Steve Case is high.

The article starts out claiming AOL was there at the start of the Internet, and helped pave the way -- but really, "MeTooLand" (AOL) only connected itself to the Internet through a number of large VAX machines, in a last ditch attempt at to maintain relevance, in the face of educated kids asking their parents why they are paying so much money to AOL for what amounts to Internet access. AOL was the sugary cereal "adjacent to this complete breakfast".

He states that "innovation can happen anywhere" (it can) and that "we should be funding outside traditional central areas" (debatable).

And then his three examples are Sweetgreen, Framebridge, and OrderUp, which are all within one hour driving distance of each other in the DC/Baltimore metroplex.

In other words: he's funding outside of "traditional central areas" by declaring a new central area, and then claiming it's not central.

My interpretation of this, and the specific mention of these there portfolio companies for Revolution Growth, where Steve Case works, is that the VC is starting to see that a VC needs multiple VC's when it invests in a risk company, in order to spread the risk, and that no one is coming to their party.

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