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Comment Fortunately nothing of value was lost (Score 4, Insightful) 169

Yahoo never recovered from Google. (Who has?) This makes all of their side bets into creating a social media network out of Flickr, Tumblr starting with their purchase of EGroups ten or more years ago so interesting. They had enough stuff to make a critical mass of a social media platform but never had the vision to unify those disparate products into one single space.

My guess is that there were a layer of vice presidents who each wanted to keep their own fifedoms and years of low level resistance prevented the 'Okay, let's turn this all into a single experience for the user'. They had a broad demographic spread over their different products but failed to reach ignition.

 

Comment What data will it use, and what assumptions? (Score 2) 321

I am thinking of that recent Twitter AI that turned into a bigot in less than a day because -- lo and behold -- GIGO. If the output must be that all films must look like the demographic national survey rather than how people tend to cluster, you could end up with no end of weird conclusions and data skews. For example, a film with a minority person in a wheel chair in a leadership role may skew the data more than a gay man. Moreover, let us say for instance, the first film is crap and the second one is good, but because he's beaten up as the film's about gay bashing, then might the latter score worse because he's a portrayed as a victim?

Submission + - The timing of error messages contributes to them being ignored (byu.edu)

sandbagger writes: A new study from BYU, in collaboration with Google Chrome engineers, finds the status quo of warning messages appearing haphazardly — while people are typing, watching a video, uploading files, etc. — results in up to 90 percent of users disregarding them.

Researchers found these times are less effective because of "dual task interference," a neural limitation where even simple tasks can't be simultaneously performed without significant performance loss. Or, in human terms, multitasking.

Comment He was a bigger man than Anthony Daniels (Score 3, Interesting) 51

Baker had a varied career that included lots of musical theatre and the circus as well as heaps of roles in other productions. I bet he had a million stories to tell.

Who could have imagined that because off the shelf analogue radio controls were so crappy in the 1970s and a series of accidental meetings, it was easier to hire him to steer the inside of the R2D2 Prop. That he was short made him in the Star Wars promotion circuit with kids and so forth.

What a life.

From what I've read, his counterpart Daniels is a 'difficult' personality and the two didn't get along. And from what I've read of that relationship, Baker towered in stature over Daniels as a person.

Thanks for being part of my childhood.

Submission + - The fight to save the Australian digital archive Trove (abc.net.au)

sandbagger writes: A digital archive and research tool developed by the Australian National Archives may be the victim of upcoming budget cuts. Used by an estimated 70,000 users per day, the system may be eliminated thanks to a $20 Million (AUD) budget cut to the agency's budget. Since its 2009 launch, Trove has grown to house four million digitised items, including books, images, music, historic newspapers and maps. Critics of the cuts say that such systems should be considered national infrastructure because there's literally no replacement service. http://www.abc.net.au/news/201...

Comment A few things, (Score 1) 312

It's tempting to dismiss this as him being wrong by orders of magnitude and then talking down our noses at him by assuming we need to explain what an order of magnitude is, or that he's adopting this stance for transparent political reasons, but let's assume for the moment that he's telling the truth. What would he have to know for that statement to be true?

Have you all forgotten the Snowden revelations yet? How it became known that the US grabbed cell phone encryption standards before the ink was dry on them, how they tapped the lines between Google data centres. If the operational tools for creating for encryption are compromised or at least weakened, it may well be that they have visibility into source code in a lot of industries as well as communications, which is as good *if not better*.

Submission + - Game Developer Barbie (sfgate.com)

sandbagger writes: The Matell people have released a new Barbie doll figurine touted as Game Developer Barbie. Dressed in jeans and a T, she was apparently designed by a game developer. Do Slashdotters thing this will get their daughters to want to pull all nighters?

Submission + - Linked-In begins its Microsoft deathmarch (cnbc.com)

sandbagger writes: Linked In joined the on-line world in 2003, which makes it ancient as far as on-line services. Hate it, love it, or take it as a necessary evil in terms of publishing your resume when hunting for work, it was the last of the big independents from the era when iPods with monochrome screens were the hot thing. No longer. Its 100 million membership list has been gobbled up by Microsoft for $27 million. Given MS's spectacular failure to integrate other non-technical businesses it's bought, how successful do Slashdotters imagine this relationship will be?

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