Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

PapayaSF Re:BarbaraHudson is an absolute idiot (89 comments)

Time to throw in the towel when it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Why the fuck would BlackBerry want to do that?

Because it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Won't that mean they'd get more for it?

Yes, people have been predicting doom for Blackberry for a while, but it's hard to see some big turnaround on the horizon, with millions of people abandoning Apple and Android.

(My, how times change. The first iPhone came out a little over seven years ago, to widespread mockery: "It has no keyboard!" "It's too expensive!" "Businesses and government will never abandon their Blackberries!" And now Blackberry is a shadow of it's former self, and we're arguing whether they're totally doomed or not....)

2 days ago
top

Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

PapayaSF Re: Motive? (358 comments)

On the bright side (?) they don't likely have the tech to weaponize anything, and will wind up killing a lot of themselves instead.. or so one can hope.

Suicidal fanatics don't need tech to weaponize ebola. They can just infect themselves, hop on a plane, and leave spit and sweat on the bathroom door handles on the plane, plus whatever they can do when they get to their destination. The incubation period is long enough for them to fly to Mexico City, get to the US border, and join a group of illegals heading north, before they become too incapacitated to travel. But they need not bother with entering illegally: they can just fly straight in to a US airport.

2 days ago
top

Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

PapayaSF If the SmartThings people have class... (107 comments)

If the SmartThings people have class, they'll take a small portion of their windfall and pay back every Kickstarter donor 150%, or maybe 200%.

5 days ago
top

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

PapayaSF Re:Are You Kidding? (538 comments)

I thought I made it quite clear that I was not ignoring that.

about two weeks ago
top

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

PapayaSF Re:Are You Kidding? (538 comments)

Or it indicates that you or the source of that information is utterly full of shit. Sounds like an urban myth, to me.

Here you go.

Jerry Levey, a 6-foot-6, balding, mustachioed New Jersey volunteer fireman who wears his keys jingling on his belt, drinks Budweiser and crushes the cans when he finishes, stared dumbstruck at Mark Newman.

Mark Newman, a 6-foot-6, balding, mustachioed New Jersey volunteer fireman who wears his keys jingling on his belt, drinks Budweiser and crushes the cans when he finishes, stared dumbstruck at Jerry Levey.

The men were identical in almost every visible respect. [...]

For example, why do Newman and Levey have similar styles of dress, opinions and IQs? Is their shared taste for Budweiser inborn, the result of upbringing or mere coincidence? Was their passion for 3 a.m. takeout Chinese food determined in their childhood homes, or by chromosomes? [...]

Both men remember that, growing up in different households, in towns 65 miles apart, they were fascinated by fire trucks and firefighters.

Both became volunteer firemen but say they still yearn to be full-time firefighters.

When they met, Levey made his living installing fire-suppression equipment, such as sprinklers.

Newman made his living installing fire alarms.

Previously, Levey had worked for a lawn-chemical company; Newman installed lawn sprinklers.

"Before that," Newman said, "we both worked for supermarkets, both worked at gas stations, and he went to college for forestry, and I worked directly in the field, as a tree surgeon." [...]

People are often astonished to hear about the New Jersey twins' almost eerie similarities - and more astonished to learn that such striking similarities are the rule, not the exception, among the 100 sets of twins in the Minnesota study.

about two weeks ago
top

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

PapayaSF Re:Are You Kidding? (538 comments)

There is no gene which makes you "good at business".

And how do you know that? Studies of identical twins separated at birth and raised apart have found remarkable things: I remember an account of one case where as adults, both men had (among other similarities) chosen identical belt buckles, smoked the same brand of cigarettes, and held the packs in rolled up sleeves of their T-shirts in the same way. Of course, nobody says that proves there's a "belt-buckle choice gene," but it seems to indicate that genes can influence behavior in complex ways we do not understand. The idea that some genetic patterns might make you (on average) better at business is not outlandish at all.

about two weeks ago
top

Google, Linaro Develop Custom Android Edition For Project Ara

PapayaSF Re:im happy google took this on (46 comments)

I said it last month, but will say it again:

Size matters. Desktop PCs are easy to make modular (unless you want an iMac). Laptops are harder, and besides removable batteries, only a few had any modular components (like a DVD drive swappable for an extra battery). Phones are much more space-constrained. Every millimeter counts, and modularity takes up quite a bit of space at that scale, because each part needs to be enclosed, securely attach to the others, etc.

In short, a modular phone is possible, but the trade-offs will be severe, and you'll be able to pick one or two things (e.g. speed, battery life, extra features, small size, etc.) but not all at the same time. And the prices won't be good, because manufacturer(s) will lose economies of scale: it'll be hard to compete with Apple and Samsung making millions and tens of millions of identical units.

about three weeks ago
top

Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

PapayaSF Re:...The hell? (291 comments)

"I bought a cheap-ass phone and it sucks"

It's worse than that. It's more: "I bought a cheap-ass phone and it sucks and thus the free market has failed."

about a month ago
top

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

PapayaSF Re:When "free" isn't free (418 comments)

I'll admit micropayments don't remove the problem of click-bait, which already exists. And there could be fraud, e.g. claiming something is 1 cent to read, but charging $1. But I think a lot of that can be solved be reputation and common sense, i.e. you might not want to click on that .ru link that promises nude photos of Christina Hendricks. I think the negatives would be worth the positives of allowing content providers, large and small, to make money directly, without advertising.

about a month ago
top

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

PapayaSF When "free" isn't free (418 comments)

This is because most or all website revenue comes from advertising. CBS has ads, but Netflix doesn't. Books don't, and newspapers and magazines have a limited amount, because part of their revenue comes from selling their publications to consumers. (Without ads, a copy of something like National Geographic or Playboy would cost $20 or more.)

The problem is that we don't have a good way of buying small amounts of content online. You can subscribe to some sites by the month or year, or perhaps buy limited access via PayPal, but the cost tends to be $ or $$ or $$$, and nobody wants to subscribe to CNN or YouTube. They want to see that video now, with no registration and commitment. The answer is the great lost Internet opportunity of 15 years ago: micropayments. If there was an easy and universal system for paying (say) a few cents to watch a video, why not? It'd be trivial for viewers, but could add up to real money for sites.

If I were a huge content provider, I'd figure out a way to make it happen, perhaps through ISPs. Subsidize them to give every user maybe $10/month credit. Offer content providers a great deal to install a one-click "Read/Watch Now for 1 cent" buttons. Get people used to paying tiny amounts of money to view content. If something like this could get going, it'd benefit content providers of all sizes. E.g. a comedian who writes one joke a day could make a living with 10,000 readers paying 1 cent per day ($100/day = $36,500/year).

about a month ago
top

The Hacking of NASDAQ

PapayaSF Reminds me of a Tom Clancy novel (76 comments)

I forget which one, but as I recall the solution was to restore everything to the state before the hack, erasing the tainted trades along with all the valid ones.

about a month ago
top

Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

PapayaSF Re:Et tu, Lenovo? (126 comments)

The question going through my mind, is what does this mean for Lenovo? Lenovo acquired IBM's Personal Computing Division in 2004, and announced at the beginning of 2014 that they had reached an agreement to acquire IBM's x86 server business. The fact that IBM chose not to partner with Lenovo for developing all these apps and services for Lenovo's Windows and Android tablets and smartphones is downright bizarre.

On the contrary. Selling things to someone is different from marrying them. And who would IBM rather have a relationship with? An unstable trio (a Chinese maker of undistinguished hardware plus two rival OSes), or the one most profitable and popular maker of phones and tablets and the OS that runs on them? How many of IBM's customers and even employees prefer Lenovo Windows and Android tablets and smartphones to iPhones and iPads?

about a month ago
top

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

PapayaSF Re:You think? (385 comments)

So, to be clear, if Obama got on TV and announced that no taxes would need to be paid on corporate or personal income from renewable energy sales, you would NOT consider that a form of subsidy? And he would get no resistance from the right, because it would just be "taking less of someone's money"?

No, that would be a subsidy, if it wasn't applied to all businesses equally. My point was that some people claim a tax cut, usually in the form of a rate cut, is "the same thing as spending." E.g., if a tax cut is expected to reduce revenues by $100 million, they will say it's the same as the government spending $100 million. It's not, for various reasons too off-topic to go into.

about a month and a half ago
top

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

PapayaSF Re:You think? (385 comments)

Today on /. we find out who doesn't know the difference between subsidies, tax deductions, tax breaks, and taxes.

You'd have a mod point if I had one right now. You could have added "spending," because I've seen people argue that tax cuts (i.e. taking less of someone's money) is the same thing as more government spending.

about a month and a half ago
top

Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2

PapayaSF Re:Great... Instead of CO2 we get CO (133 comments)

Only by increasing the forest footprint of the world, or causing massive algae blooms in the oceans can you really sequester CO2 in vegetation.

I imagine some sort of GMO supertree that grows as fast as bamboo, for carbon sequestration and a cheap building material.

about a month and a half ago
top

The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

PapayaSF Pillowism (228 comments)

Every Sunday morning, you worship your pillow.

about a month and a half ago
top

Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

PapayaSF Re:"Safe, knowledgeable" taxi drivers (273 comments)

I point to those examples to show that regulation doesn't necessarily make things better, and thus less regulation doesn't necessarily make things worse.

about 1 month ago
top

Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

PapayaSF Re: Good? (273 comments)

Yeah, because the private companies that benefit from this had nothing to do with it, right? It's all the government's fault and only the government's fault.

You are missing the point. When legislators decide to regulate buying and selling, the first things bought are legislators. Taxi cartels are prime examples of this.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

top

HealthCare.gov Can't Handle Appeals of Errors

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  about 7 months ago

PapayaSF (721268) writes "The Washington Post reports that roughly 22,000 people have claimed they were charged too much, steered into the wrong insurance program, or denied coverage, but the website cannot handle appeals. They've filled out seven-page forms and mailed them to a federal contractor’s office in Kentucky, where they were scanned and entered, but workers at CMS cannot read them because that part of the system has not been built. Other missing aspects are said to have higher priorities: completing the electronic payment system for insurers, the connections with state Medicaid programs, and the ability to adjust coverage to accommodate major changes such as new babies. People with complaints about mistakes have been told to "return to the Web site and start over."

Earlier coverage of this saga includes Slashdot's discussion of the recent TheHill.com report that Accenture Faces Mid-March Healthcare.gov Deadline Or 'Disaster'."
top

Accenture faces mid-March deadline or disaster

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  about 7 months ago

PapayaSF (721268) writes "TheHill.com reports that Accenture has two months to fix HealthCare.gov by building a "financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, 'provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program,' and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems." The procurement document, posted on a federal website, states that if this is not completed in time, there will be "financial harm to the government" and "the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized." Risk mitigation (which pays insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients) must be accurately forecast, or it might put "the entire health insurance industry at risk.” Accenture will also have to fix the enrollment transmissions, which have been sending inaccurate and garbled data to insurance companies. Because the back-end cannot currently handle the federal subsidies, insurers will be paid estimated amounts as a stopgap measure. The document also said that officials realized in December that there was no time for a “full and open competition process” before awarding Accenture the $91 million contract. What are their odds of success?"
top

The SEC is about to make crowdfunding more expensive

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  about 8 months ago

PapayaSF (721268) writes "Proposed new rules require that funding portals register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Intermediary Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In addition, investors must have access to a business plan, use of proceeds, a valuation of the company, and financials, so CPAs may needed. The SEC estimates that for amounts under $100,000, the fees will be 12.9% to 39% of the money raised, though it may drop to under 8% for higher amounts. Is this needed regulation, or bureaucratic overreach?"
Link to Original Source
top

"Green gasoline" breakthrough

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PapayaSF writes "Researchers have announced the first direct conversion of plant cellulose into "green gasoline." Rapidly heating cellulose with catalysts and then cooling it produces liquids like naphthalene and toluene that are a quarter of the components of gasoline, in under two minutes. The result can be further treated or used as part of a gasoline blend, and can be used in existing engines without the mileage penalty of ethanol-based fuel. The process requires less energy to make than ethanol, can use forest or agricultural waste, and (in principle) won't have a carbon footprint. They say it could be at the pump in five to 10 years."
Link to Original Source
top

Total Music to Challenge iTunes

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PapayaSF writes "Business Week is reporting on a plan by Universal Music, Sony BMG, and possibly Warner Music Group to create an industry-owned digital music service called Total Music. The business model: get hardware makers and cellphone carriers to pay them about about $90 per device and in exchange consumers get all-you-can-eat free music. They figure that hardware makers will go for it because they'll sell more units, and consumers will happily pay the extra money upfront to get free music. So will this be a real challenge to Apple, or another music industry flop?"
Link to Original Source

Journals

top

Mod points return!

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  more than 3 years ago

After about five months without mod points, they came back right after the redesign. Coincidence or not? Who can say....

top

I wonder what happened to all my mod points

PapayaSF PapayaSF writes  |  more than 3 years ago

For a while over the summer it seemed like I was getting 15 mod points every week or two. Sometimes I didn't use them all up before the next batch came in. Then around September they all stopped. I don't think I've had any for three months. Were my mod abilities suddenly considered to be not up to snuff? Did a bunch of other Slashdotters come back from vacation, eager to moderate? Did my half-hearted stabs at meta-moderation work against me? (I *much* preferred the old metamod system and was much better at doing it then.) Maybe someone out there knows....

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>