Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:You got your closed market place (Score 1) 42

Abuse? How do you figure?

This is a kickback program, no different than Amazon's affiliate program. Sites attach their referrer ID to links, and when someone following a link buys an app, the referring site gets a kickback (taken from Apple's cut) on each sale. This is a standard business practice, and all Apple is doing here is adjusting the strength of the incentives they're providing, presumably because they no longer see as much value coming from referrals. There's nothing abusive about reducing incentives.

Now, this may be a case of Apple shooting itself in the foot, given that these sorts of affiliate programs generally play a role in drumming up business; dropping the incentive from 7% to 2.5% on each sale will result in fewer sites referring people to their store. But considering Apple had neither a legal nor a moral obligation to set up an incentive program at all, it'd take quite the stretch of the imagination to suggest it's some sort of abuse.

Comment Re:Theft? (Score 1) 89

If that's a concern, why not just drop any Amazon markings? At that point, the car would be indistinguishable from any other self-driving car on the road. It's possible that self-driving cars in general may become targets, but as another poster has already pointed out, the fact that they're pretty much guaranteed to record the crime in great detail will act as a deterrent for most would-be thieves, I should think.

Comment Re: It's useful (Score 1) 288

you gain insight that cannot be quantified or qualified [...] And when it wears off it's back to normal.

Which is a euphemistic way of saying that, whether we're talking subjectively or objectively, you gained absolutely nothing, other than the feeling that you did. An experience that doesn't match up with reality is pretty much the textbook definition of a "delusion", which is exactly what the other AC called the thing you're describing.

Comment Re:It's useful (Score 1) 288

As a child, I remember listening to an adult talk about their experience living in a foreign culture for a few years. One of the things this person mentioned was that it was common for the village men to get together, partake of a particular local product, and then "solve the world's problems" while in some sort of altered state. Sadly, the men had yet to devise a method for retaining those solutions after the effects of the product had worn off.

Even as a child, I was keenly aware that what these men were receiving was merely the experience of a revelation, without any of the substance of one, and it left me questioning how anyone could be so silly as to confuse the two, given that one is evidenced by actual change, while the other isn't. Now that I'm an adult, I still ask those same questions every time I hear people suggest that their experience with psychedelics allowed them to do great things that they wouldn't have been capable of otherwise.

I'm fine with the idea that LSD allows people to experience things they wouldn't have otherwise (e.g. an earlier poster talks about the incredibly odd sensation of their brain's hemispheres not acting in a unified manner), but if LSD really was capable of everything that I've heard its users suggest, we'd have already solved world hunger, ended poverty, and abolished war. I'm not exactly holding my breath for the day that LSD leads us to victory in any of those battles.

Comment Re:Except (Score 1) 214

They also sleep, breathe, eat, and drink fluids about as often as the previous generations did, but you don't see any articles suggesting Millennials breathe an awful lot. Millennials are only flaky inasmuch as they are apparently on par with how flaky previous generations were, yet for some reason the narrative surrounding Millennials is that they are flaky to an extent not seen in previous generations, even though the data doesn't back that up. Why is that?

We like to feel as if we have control of the things surrounding us, and one of the ways that we do that is by putting simple labels on complex subjects in an effort to make sense of them. In many cases, our stereotypes are based on outliers from the group or a bad first impression. Confirmation bias reinforces those stereotypes. Our desire to be right prompts us to ignore evidence to the contrary, particularly when those stereotypes make us feel superior in some way. As if those factors weren't already enough, we then have business models that revolve around pushing salacious narratives, such as clickbait journalism that thrives on pandering to the lowest common denominator in order to generate the most pageviews.

Around and around all of this spins, perpetuating stereotypes that have little or no basis in reality.

Mind you, I'm someone who has been at his current place of employment for over 5 years...despite being labeled as "Gen X", "Gen Y", and "Millennial" since my birth 33 years ago. The fact that they can't even figure out what to label me should tell you that the labels are imprecise at best. And, to say the least, I wouldn't suggest holding your breath for me to begin embracing the "gig economy", feeling entitled to have anything I want with no effort, or burying my face in my phone to the exclusion of the people around me, despite the notion that those are the traits that define everyone in my (currently assigned) generation.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll keep being the person I am, just like most everyone else, regardless of what inaccurate stereotypes others--such as yourself--insist on applying to us.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 117

That's because the headline is some of the worst sensationalistic tabloid journalism level garbage I've ever read. They did not observe "negative mass". They created a system wherein, under specific circumstances, part of the system behaved as if it mathematically had negative mass.

Thanks for the clarification. While they may not have created actual negative mass, it's good to know that they've created something that the public will confuse for the real thing, since if there's one question I love hearing over and over again, it's "When will we have Jetsons-style flying cars and hoverboards?".

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 1) 478

I agree. I think I was slightly miffed at the previous poster as well, hence the play-by-play, but I did spend more time on that post than necessary. And I do agree that language is a living thing. I think there's a balance to be had between prescriptivism and descriptivism. As a rule, I err on the side of trying to use things as prescribed, while at the same time trying to practice patience and tolerance towards those whose notion of language is a bit more...fluid.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 1) 478

Sorry, I'm not up to date on every meme. I'm guessing you're trying to be clever by referencing something that happened somewhere on the Internet?

As for Reddit, I've never had an account there. About the only time I visit is when friends or search engines link me there. With all the political stuff it seems like they're embroiled in, not to mention their nonsensical moderation system, I've never had an interest in participating. Honestly, Slashdot is the only place with comments that I participate on a regular basis at this point.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 1) 478

Ehh, no system is perfect. I'll admit that there are exceptions, but I was speaking about these sites on the whole. Plus, I'm not convinced that one was about bribes, so much as it was about people wanting to be convinced that Disney and Abrams had managed to right the sinking ship that they loved. In that regard, Disney and Abrams did succeed by producing a decent movie. It was by no means a great film, nor worthy of all of the high scores it received, but it was sufficient to tell everyone that Star Wars was back, which was exactly the purpose it needed to fulfill.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes (Score 1) 478

For example, the 2014 film Lucy received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

I wouldn't consider its 67% critic score and 47% audience score "overwhelmingly positive". Quite the opposite, in fact, since those scores tell me is that the film was divisive among critics and was not altogether that well received among general audiences. And both of those make sense, given that Luc Besson's films tend to have decent technical chops (e.g. tight action, decent cinematography) but have for some time been sorely lacking in areas that are really important, especially to general audiences (e.g. pacing, story, characters you actually enjoy).

To me, it's felt like he's been going downhill ever since Leon (1994), though others may suggest The Fifth Element (1997) was his peak. Either way, he's been in decline for quite some time, and I agree with you that Lucy (2014) didn't do him any favors.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 2, Informative) 478

Let me provide a play-by-play reaction to your post...

You obviously don't know what the phrase "begging the question" means

Crap, did I accidentally use it other than how I intended?

*goes back to check*

No, I used it exactly as I intended to. Is it possible I've been misusing it this entire time without knowing any better?

*pulls up a DuckDuckGo search in another window while reading the rest of your comment*

and aren't willing to find out

Well, that's a rude and baseless assertion that isn't supported by any evidence. I certainly wasn't willfully misusing it, and I'm not aware of having received correction from someone in the past. That said, I don't get notified when ACs respond to me, so it's certainly possible that you or someone else has been screaming at me about it for years without my awareness. I should still check whether I used it correctly, or maybe he'll tell me how I misused it if I just read a bit further.

so really the best thing for you to do is just stop using it instead of abusing it.

...seriously? Rather than provide a helpful bit of education or correction, you're simply telling me I'm wrong and should stop? Give me some credit. This is Slashdot. Many of us are open to receiving correction when we're wrong. Some of us even enjoy being told why we're wrong, simply because the quickest way to ensure we're right is to learn from our past mistakes.

For anyone curious: I abused the term. While the way I used it (i.e. to mean "inviting the question") is well understood in everyday usage, it's incorrect in much the same way that "I could care less" is almost always the opposite of what the speaker actually intended, yet will still be understood by most listeners. Particularly in legal and logical contexts, "begging the question" strictly refers to a form of circular reasoning. For instance, "reasonable people think and reason intelligently" begs the question "what does it mean to think and reason?", which leaves you right back where you started.

I really should have been aware of that already, but clearly I've incorporated the incorrect usage into my own speech. I'll try to do better going forward, so thank you, AC, for your correction, though it may have been mean spirited.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with Hollywood (Score 5, Interesting) 478

I was going to suggest that the alternative title could be "Someone Didn't Get The Memo: IMDb Scores Are Still Useless".

A few years back, I used an extension to display IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic scores in Netflix's web UI, thinking they'd help me cut through the chaff and find the films I was most interested in. It became apparent almost immediately that while the Rotten Tomatoes scores were good and the Metacritic scores were occasionally decent, the IMDb scores were nothing more than useless noise, given that they were so far out of sync both with what the other sites are reporting, as well as what my own experiences would suggest reasonable scores should be for the films I had seen. And really, none of this should come as a surprise, given that IMDb is a wiki platform with poor policing, meaning that the scores have become a battleground for various forms of e-peen measuring contests.

So far as I'm concerned, Rotten Tomatoes has for years done a far better job, particularly with their distinction between critic and audience scores, which makes it much easier to understand what to expect from a movie:
- High critic score/high audience score = probably the best thing I'll see all year
- High critic score/low audience score = a thought-provoking film that likely won't entertain
- Low critic score/high audience score = mindless, "junk food" entertainment
- Low critic score/low audience score = a trash film that's only thought-provoking inasmuch as it begs the question: why was this film was made?

In contrast, IMDb scores give me no useful information. They don't tell me what to expect, whether I'll like the film, or even if it's a good film. They're just noise.

Slashdot Top Deals

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer