Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re: The USA has lost its damn mind. (Score 1) 505

"But in a democracy it's irrelevant what a minority thinks. A majority of British voters voted for Brexit; it's that simple."

Yup, true. No diagreeing from me. Those of us who didn't couldn't win the argument. So we're stuck with the resulting clusterfuck, unless we get out (under consideration). That said, one of the amazing things about democracy is just how fickle the people can be. The mobilis vulgaris can change their collective mind about things very quickly. I think the next two years may concentrate some minds quite intensely as they realise what they were promised simply isn't going to happen without them personally suffering quite a lot of pain as a result. A deeply cynical part of me is half convinced that this is actually May's tactic - to make the Brexit process so utterly awful it forces public opinion to flip

"You're the ones who voted for Brexit. It's not just the US that's nuts."

Yes, Spot on. I agree with you. But it doesn't stop us laughing at the tangerine ballsack.

Comment Re: The USA has lost its damn mind. (Score 5, Informative) 505

Realy? For around 70 years, Europe would beg to disagree, with largely social democratic governments and social policy: socialised education, healthcare, economic development. The EU is an essentially social democratic institution. And quite a lot of the British electorate think that what's going on here is almost as batshit as what's going on in the States. Incidentally, there's a reason Breaking Bad is set in America. Here, he'd just get the treatment, without the threat of destitution

"Obama as an extreme populist" - boy, this tells you exactly how much the political life of the US has been polluted in the last thirty years. Mainstream US politics and media have totally lost their minds. And the world is looking at the US like it's off its tits on PCP. Which of course it is. You do realise we are not looking it you in admiration or respect. We're actually either laughing at you, or crying at how tragic it all is.

Comment Re:Facebook is for old people (Score 3, Insightful) 88

Bingo! And that's the killer.

To use those features, users would have to be inside the fb ecosystem, but Facebook's problem is that it is now the indoor plumbing of social media. A necessary evil, weird if you don't use it at least some of the time, but hardly fun for most, and certainly not for the people they are targetting. Snapchat's user base probably won't bite.

Snapchat's demographics, and some of its use cases (let's be honest, sexting and porn are part of this), just don't overlap with Facebook. And the introduction of products like Spectacles points this up even more.It's also (from a personal point of view) interesting that I do use snapchat a little, but I have absolutely no inclination to use those features on any of the fb services - that's not what I'm there for. I could be an edge case, but I suspect that I'm not unusual enough for it to cause major problems for snap.

Comment Re:He has a point... (Score 1) 203

There are still plenty of these types of shows, and many of them still survive (mostly) on the BBC, even in spite of the fairly savage cuts of the past few years. It's especially the case in local radio, with the like sof BBC Introducing, which gives new bands a chance to get their stuff played.And this filters up to the national stations like Radio 1 and 6musc. Up in the north of England, people like Nick Roberts in Newcastle and Bob Fischer on Tees do a stirling job. And they manage to get a lot of new and or unusual stuff stuff even into daytime where they can. There are certainly similar things going on on the BBC's Manchester and Liverpool stations too.

However, because of the current climate, even this kind of stuff is under threat. Fischer was doing a weeknight show until a couple of years ago, but now hes been put into a single Saturday evening slot. Two hours instead of 10 a week, replaced with an identikit show that aggregates regional content badly across the network. That's a bad national levle decision that has emasculated local content a fair bit.

Then there are the national stations. Radio 1 & 1xtra have specialist programming, especially evening on R1; there's also 6music for a more "mature" audience. The lack of advertising is actually a positive advantage.

Comment Re:Anthropological principle (Score 1) 187

No, not unlikely at all. In fact, totally the case

I cannot prove that God exists. But I cannot prove the God does not exist (and even that would be contingent if you were positivist, because the conclusive evidence for either case could arrive at any point in the future). The hypothesis is not one amenable to falsification. That's the agnostic part.

But, on the availability of the current evidence, I see no reason to accept that God exists: there is no convincing argument to me that supports it. That's the atheist part: I do not think there is a God (or Gods).

Comment Re:Anthropological principle (Score 3, Informative) 187

Well, it might a be a slightly garbled statement of the Strong Anthropic Principle, which posits that in some kind of deterministic way, the laws of nature are fashioned to ensure that intelligent life (specifically, us) will result. Personally, I find that slightly presumptuous.

The Weak Anthropic Principle, however, posits that the laws of nature are what they are, and intelligent life (specifically, us) is simply the serendipitous by-product of the way that things happen to be. In a universe of this size, the probability that such an event might happen at least once, somewhere, must be close to 1, one might think.

I think the difference is how deterministic you think the mechanics of the universe are, and how important we are within that situation.

Personally, I'm an agnostic atheist, which brings me to the Weak side, but even that doesn't deny the existence of a non-interventionist God. Take your pick.

Comment Re:It seems like an exaggerated story (Score 5, Insightful) 551

Looking at the pictures, no one looked delighted to be there. Tim Cook in particular looked like he been asked to eat week-old dog shit, to be frank. Attendance is a necssary evil, like your mother making you take cod liver oil to "keep you regular" when you were a kid These could be the opening shots in a long and messy few years, as tech companies rub up against a thin-skinned and authoritarian lower order primate. But hey, he's a smart guy. Who needs intelligence briefings, eh? Not like that dumb Obama guy. Sad!

Comment "heroes" (Score 1) 412

While some of these people may indeed be heroic and decent, they are being asked to do some morally questionable things by the people and agencies managing them. There's only so much conflict any thinking person can take before you have to come down one way or another, and it seems that many are either taking the money, or just don't like the reality of some of what they are being asked to do. Which is sad all around.

Comment Re:I'm sure that'll work (Score 2) 113

Yup, The Dunning-Kruger Effect in full ...ahem...effect. Asking those who are reading (and believing) this stuff to evaluate how reliable the content is strikes me as being even worse than useless, and actively harmful, because positive feedback on such articles will encourage further propagation. And facebook wil be able to say that audiences rated the articles highly, so they must be ok.

Comment Well.. (Score 1) 244

It always struck me (even as an undergrad 25 years ago when we were talking about SR and GR) that this could be the case - that c could be "instanteously" or "episodically" constant, but need not have been the same value for ever. It's not unreasonable to suppose that the value of c could look like a decay curve, or some function whose value tends to the limit we are now seeing over time from some earlier maximum. I just never got around to asking anyone why not at the time - pity. I suppsoe it goes back to a calculus way fo thinking for me - at any instant in some changing system, even things which are changing may appear from within that system to have fixed, immutable values, even if that's not what they truly are.

Comment ::shrug:: (Score 1) 232

It had to happen eventually. The phone market is maturing, the economies of the developed world are not in the best shape, so people are holding onto phones longer. The developing worklds is not a magic cash cow either. The market for these techologiesis very competitive; there are lots of choices. Apple's revennue groweth has not been a bubble, but it couldn't go on incresing for ever without constraint. It's no wonder that companies like Apple and Google are investigating where the next big change is coming from becasue the market is saturating.

Slashdot Top Deals

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray