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Comment It is true (Score 2) 270

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:Music and film are essential in two senses (Score 1) 65

I'm not sure we should be dictating commercial restrictions on the supply of all creative content to an entire continent based on the three people in that continent who are studying film or music analysis.

In any case, lots of people are commenting here as if forcing sales to the entire EU to be at the same price will bring the cheaper prices to the richer nations. It seems far more likely that it will bring the more expensive prices to the poorer nations. Your "background music" licence is exactly the kind of expendable luxury that could suffer under the more uniform regime.

Comment Re:Windows is Bloated (Score 1) 106

As with a lot of annoying Microsoft things these days; the fact that you can't is more of a licensing issue than a technical one.

On the desktop, Windows 10 LTSB is the de-crapified version you actually want; but haha, volume-licensed enterprise SKUs only!

If you have the appropriate Windows Server version license; you can install "server core" or "nano server"; which have even more cut out; but while that can at least be purchased in single units; it's a fairly expensive way to declutter a workstation.

It took a while; but Microsoft did manage to disentangle a lot of the formerly mandatory bits and pieces; it's just that they seem loath to actually sell that to you unless they've exhausted all the alternatives.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 639

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

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Comment Re:Good or bad for customers? (Score 1) 65

Sorry, but that just isn't how economics works.

Firstly, market segmentation is absolutely routine, including by purchaser power. There are countless ways to appeal to people who can afford to spend more, and businesses do this all the time. Have you ever seen a box for a "coupon code" when you ordered something online? That's market segmentation in action. Post coupons to everyone on the poorer street in your example, and now everyone isn't paying the same price.

Secondly, as someone who actually runs some online facilities at-cost, I can tell you that it is a real problem for people in less well-off nations if your price online is the same everywhere. You can't lower the headline price because if everyone was paying the lower price then you literally couldn't afford to keep these services running at that point. However, then the people where salaries and costs of living are generally lower can't keep up, so they lose out. The kind of adjustment we're talking about here is the online equivalent of posting coupons to all the homes in the poor part of town.

The genuine, uniform market price you're talking about doesn't exist in most real markets, because most real markets are not uniform.

Comment Re:Good or bad for customers? (Score 1) 65

You're talking about a monopoly situation. For works covered by copyright, that already exists in the sense that for any given work the rightsholders can decide to offer it only via certain channels.

However, unless those works are also essential, the customer still has the option not to buy them at all, and if the price is too high they will choose to spend their money elsewhere.

Moreover, while individual works may have a monopoly supplier, most creative works will be in competition with other works for providing information, entertainment, etc. Those competitive effects also moderate pricing, preventing the kind of "extraction" model you're talking about.

Around here, Amazon won the pricing war for most CD/DVD/Blu-ray content long ago, yet today it would still be cheaper for me to binge-watch a lot of TV shows through Netflix than through buying all the box sets. Amazon's prices for buying permanent copies of films or shows I really like on disc aren't much different to what they were a few years ago when you could still easily buy the same things in bricks and mortar stores.

Comment Re:It would be... (Score 1) 231

Intentionally blocking the way is obstructing traffic. Going slowly on a local road in the rightmost lane is not.

If you have the ability to stop any place and get out of the way, as cyclists do, then yes, yes it is. It absolutely is obstructing the natural flow of traffic needlessly.

Farming equipment is allowed on any such road and that stuff usually travels at roughly similar speeds as bicycles.

Farming equipment is not allowed to disrupt the normal flow of traffic either. And they design the roads accordingly. They put massive shoulders on roads with any significant traffic which must also carry farm traffic, to enable it to get out of the way. Roads with less traffic simply get dashed lines (assuming they're not one-lane roads, like the one I live on) so that you can pass tractors, so that they don't disrupt traffic flow either.

This really is not complicated. We have laws against disrupting the flow of traffic because disrupting the flow of traffic causes every kind of problem. It reduces throughput while increasing the risk of collision. And that's why cyclists who can't find the side of the road do. They want to cry about debris at the roadside, but guess what? I don't get to drive into someone else's lane to dodge debris in my lane. Buy appropriate tires and tubes, and run slime, like an adult.

There are not so many roads with actual minimum speed limit posted and only highways specifically restrict bicycles and farming equipment from them.

A posted minimum speed limit is not necessary to disrupt the normal flow of traffic, and be cited on that basis, so that's irrelevant, like most of your reasoning. And it doesn't matter where you are, you're not allowed to hold up traffic. And there are numerous places where you can ride a bicycle on a highway, it's freeways you're not allowed to ride on.

You are literally wrong about everything you said in your comment.

Comment Re:And this is one reason why ... (Score 1) 262

Well, we can fly expensive pieces of sensitive equipment to Mars and deposit them in an orbit (usually) on the surface (sometimes) in working order.

I knew you were a moron when I saw you talking about flying to Mars. Flying is done in an atmosphere.

Yet we can's stick a probe into something that's just a few thousand kilometers away.

Fuck, you don't even have the level of education you can get from watching Futurama , do you?

Comment Re:What does this do to content? (Score 2) 65

It seems unlikely that EU law will prevent a vendor from selling something at all in selective member states if there is a good reason not to. We looked into this issue when the EU VAT mess was the big news a couple of years ago, fearful that some sort of anti-discrimination provisions would say otherwise. The experts made some straightforward arguments that, for example, declining to sell to customers elsewhere in the EU would be OK if the costs of operating the new tax scheme were prohibitive, because that would be a strictly commercial decision. Presumably complying with the law of the land would also be considered an acceptable basis for making such a decision.

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