Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Sour Grapes (Score 3, Interesting) 39

I don't really understand how this benefits Spotify as it doesn't improve the service in any way that I can see, and such a move likely makes it worse for users for petty business reasons that have nothing to do with the users.

In the short term, the only negative impact would be if the songs they're demoting are extremely popular and if the public perceives their absence as a loss in quality. Given the size of the musical corpus these days, that seems unlikely.

In the long term, this serves notice to content creators that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Normally, those content creators would have to balance the cost of exclusivity (fewer plays on those exclusive songs) against the benefits (presumably dramatically improved promotion and possibly higher royalty per click. With this policy in place, those content creators have to factor in the loss of the vast majority of their income from the other providers—not just on new content, but also on old content. That significantly changes the balance in a way that discourages these exclusive deals.

And that's a good thing. Vendor exclusivity is inherently anti-consumer.

Comment Re:Not until the laws are changed (Score 1) 140

Under 32 hours and the law would say no benefits are required.

That's not true. You're required to pay for health insurance for anyone working 30 hours or more. Similarly, you're not allowed to restrict 401k for any employer working more than 1,000 hours per year (a little over 19 hours per week).

They could cut the number of sick days or vacation days offered, but that's probably roughly the maximum extent to which they could reduce benefits other than salary.

Comment Re:Numbers not adding up... (Score 2) 162

The percentages are percentages of the 58% of failing devices. Of the devices that failed, 29% were iPhone 6, 23% were the 6s, and 14% were the 6s Plus. Add those together and we're missing the final 33% of failed devices but it's safe to assume that a random collection of 6 Plus, 5SE, 5s, 5c, etc. make up that final 33% of the 58%.

So let me see if I understand this epic math fail correctly. Given n devices, there were k devices that were brought in for repair. Of those k devices, 58% were iOS devices, and of those 58%, 29% were iPhone 6 devices.

Which tells us absolutely nothing about the actual failure rate without knowing how the makeup of those n devices relates to the makeup of those k devices. It tells us nothing about the actual failure rate without knowing what percentage of each model within k were junked and replaced without notifying the service center in question. It tells us nothing about whether the Android and iOS users have similar levels of self-sufficiency in terms of figuring out how to solve their own problems. And there are probably at least three or four other fairly fundamental errors that make this data essentially pure noise.

Arguments over minor methodology points, such as whether to count specific types of failures in the reliability numbers, are basically moot, because the "data" is purely anecdotal and is not mathematically related to the actual rate of failure to begin with. This isn't statistically any better than saying, "Of my friends, more people have had problems with Android phones than iOS phones" or vice versa. If you know nothing about whether the sample population has similar distribution to the general population and you know nothing about whether the data is even an accurate measurement of the sample population itself, then these numbers are quite literally no better than a random number generator with a Gaussian distribution. You might as well arrive at the results by throwing darts at a dartboard. It will be approximately as meaningful.

Am I missing something?

Trust me, if even 1% of iPhone hardware failed during its warranty period, heads would roll, much less 58%.

Comment Re:is it worth the upgrade? (Score 1) 157

As a 6D user, in my experience, the Wi-Fi is really nice if you're part of a group trip. You can have your cell phone out, and once in a while when there's a pause, you can snag a photo off your real camera and upload it to Facebook so that the folks back home can see what you're all doing. It's much easier than trying to take photos with two devices at once, because the extra time spent fiddling with your phone is while you're on a bus riding somewhere or whatever instead of while you're out sightseeing on a schedule.

It is also occasionally useful if you don't have (or forgot to bring) a remote controlled trigger release. You can use it to see what the camera sees (in live view/EVF mode) and tell it to take photos, albeit with a lot of shutter lag. With the dual-pixel AF in the 5D Mark IV, it should be even better because you'll have actual phase-detection autofocus with continuous focusing in live view mode instead of contrast-detection AF.

Comment Re:5 years old news ? (Score 1) 157

Canon puts the stabilization in the lens for a good reason. Sensor-based stabilization is only useful on point-and-shoot cameras or mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders. As soon as you have an optical path to your eye, sensor-based stabilization is worthless, because it won't help you frame the shot. By contrast, lens-based stabilization locks the image in place so that you can actually see what you're taking a picture of.

This makes a huge difference even at 300mm. By 600mm, you'd be hard pressed to ever get a shot of anything without lens-based optical stabilization.

Comment Re:Pixels density (Score 2) 157

Except that it doesn't, because it doesn't. The 5D Mark IV sensor uses a gapless microlens array. There are no boundaries between the pixels, period. All light that hits the sensor's surface goes into the sensor except for any that gets reflected when it hits the surface.

Comment Re:Pixels density (Score 2) 157

True but the image will always suffer from less thermal noise on an equivalent sensor with larger photosites.

Realistically, thermal noise is almost irrelevant except for long-exposure photography (e.g. astrophotography). For normal photographic purposes, it's the shot noise that kills you in low light. When the difference between one and zero photons makes a visually noticeable difference in the resulting value, individual pixels are going to have noticeably different values than the pixels next to them even when they're getting approximately the same amount of light, because a pixel either gets the photon or it doesn't.

But that shot noise basically goes away when you downsample. If you double the number of pixels, a "pixel crop" (one pixel on the individual photo to one pixel on your screen) will give you more noise on the one with smaller sites, but it will also be looking at a much smaller area. If you crop them to cover the same area and average the signals, you'll find that the same number of photons hit both sensors and were detected, so the result is approximately the same, with the exception of the small amount of loss caused by the wiring around the pixels. And by the time that starts to become significant, you're roughly at cell phone pixel densities, and you're either doing back-side illumination, microlens arrays, or both to get rid of that problem.

Comment Re:Stagnant? (Score 1) 151

I was just looking at this article which points out that Apple's R&D has gone up many times over since Job's passed on...

The thing is, that's usually a bad sign. It means that your development teams are growing very quickly, which has two effects:

  • The median age/experience level drops precipitously, resulting in poorer output quality.
  • The amount of effort required to maintain the products designed by more people grows by the square of the number of people involved.

Eventually you reach a point where every additional person makes the product worse or more delayed, rather than better or faster. These days, I keep getting the feeling that Apple passed that point a while back, and they just haven't noticed yet. This is one reason why innovative ideas almost invariably come from small companies, not big ones.

The other reason is that the larger Apple grows, the harder it will be to innovate, because the breakage caused by doing so will become an ever bigger problem as the code base increases in size. At some point, it will be necessary for Apple to start over from scratch—probably by buying a company that creates some innovative alternative. At that point, it will have fully become Microsoft or IBM. And that's okay. Eventually, somebody else will come along and become the next Apple. It's the circle of life.

Comment Re:Sterilized long ago (Score 2) 218

In our solar system only moons are tidally locked to planets, but no planets to stars.

Mercury comes pretty close with its 3:2 spin-orbit resonance. It spins 3 times for every 2 orbits. That's close enough to being tidally locked that the difference is mostly moot from a "cooked on one side" perspective.

Comment Re:You know I could get in to something like this (Score 1) 82

Well personally I've been quite happy with a number of the new features. Also security isn't irrelevant to me, given that I do work to keep my device secure by updating it, by running security software, and be screening what I install and only installing things I need.

I am talking about MY interest in something and ya, having new versions of software is something that I consider. If I'm getting a new device that is something I want.

Comment Re:There is no "removing" of anything... (Score 3, Interesting) 384

If the new phone doesn't have a headphone jack, it'll be all over the Internet. There will be almost no way to avoid knowing that the iPhone 7 doesn't have a headphone jack.

That's not where the user impact comes in. Most people don't use headphones constantly. They use them occasionally. And they will think to themselves, "That's not a big deal." Then, at some point in the distant future:

  • They're at a friend's house and want to play some song. Their friend has an Android phone, and a stereo with only an 1/8" plug.
  • They're out somewhere and think, "I'd like to listen to some music while I walk from A to B" and then realize that their Bluetooth earbuds aren't charged.
  • The stewardess tells them that they can't use wireless headsets (that's a per-airline policy decision) and offers to sell them a headset for $3, but oops, no adapter.

And so on. And suddenly, what seemed like it didn't matter suddenly matters, and you have a pissed off customer.

Slashdot Top Deals

Dead? No excuse for laying off work.