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Comments

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Death of the Car Salesman? BMW Makes AI App To Sell Electric Cars

owlnation Re:Car salesmen (168 comments)

It seems you unfortunately suffer from the delusion that UK police actually patrol the nation's highways, instead of filling out endless reams of paperwork, or holding random people for nine hours by abusing anti-terror legislation.

Obviously they don't patrol the highways much, that's what all the cameras are for. And yes, they do target any and every motorist they can -- for anything. It's easy money. Like shooting fish.

about a year ago
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How To Promote Stage Comedy In a Geeky Way?

owlnation Stupid question. (123 comments)

How To Promote Stage Comedy In a Geeky Way?

Is a stupid question. The questions should be:

"What target demographic does this comedian most appeal to?"
"Where does this target hang out, in real life and online?"
"How do I communicate with them there?"
"Does he need to change his material to reach a broader demographic?"

Asking about a geeky way to do something is falling into the same trap that burst the dot.com bubble, or shatters the dreams of many indie film-makers and musicians. If you build it, they most very likely will not come. You need to now who "they" are, what they like, and where they are, and go to them.

about a year ago
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Electronic Arts Slashes Workforce

owlnation Re:Dinosaur (188 comments)

What non-game software did EA used to make? I can't think of anything, and a quick Google doesn't turn anything up.

DRM? It turns most games into non-games, very quickly.

about a year ago
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How To Build a $30M Startup Without Spending Any of Your Money

owlnation Re:Misses the point (120 comments)

That's the problem, large companies can't innovate

This is true. But there is a VERY simple solution to this problem: fire your HR staff. All of them.

Nobody in the 21st century needs HR staff. All of the "work" they do can be covered by managers actually doing their jobs, in the same way managers in small firms do, and by utilizing one of many tech solutions for any admin (or just scrap a lot of the admin, it's mostly work for work's sake. HR staff had to be appearing to do something, after all).

Within a year of doing this, your firm will begin to innovate again. Within 5 years, once you have weeded out the bad employees, the HR mistakes, and the weak managers, your corporation/large firm/government body will be an innovation powerhouse.

And by doing this you'll be saving money and increasing employee happiness and productivity too. There is NO downside to firing ALL of your HR staff. Remember, nobody on this planet, currently nor throughout our entire history, has ever dreamt of working in HR.

Everyone who does work in HR has failed. So, put them out of their -- and your -- misery. Reap the rewards.

about a year ago
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The Nielsen Family Is Dead

owlnation It has been dead for more than a decade. (170 comments)

I think this article, and probably many of the comments, shows how little people understand of how the ratings and broadcast networks' business model works.

The "family" has been dead for years, ratings-wise. The only numbers that count -- at all -- are adults 18-49, and within that group women 18-34 are particularly valued. That's why singing and dancing competitions rule the airwaves. If you are under 18 or older than 49 your TV viewing habits do not matter to advertisers, they do not matter to networks. An 100 million kids could watch a prime time TV show, and it will still get canceled if not enough adults are watching.

Why? Because TV networks do not have viewers as customers, it's the advertisers that pay their bills. And the advertisers have decided that those are the only age ranges worth selling to, on prime-time TV.

Online, DVD sales, international sales do NOT bring any revenue whatsoever to TV networks, and no matter how popular a show is off of a US TV set, it is worthless if it does not have an high rating in the key demo. Unless -- and only, unless -- the Network is also the production company for that show. (but most are not) Production companies do make money from DVDs online purchases, rights and online ads -- so a company (such as amazon or Hulu) can bypass the Networks and produce successfully online, as is now happening.

I do disagree with the advertisers age ranges, and feel they could monetize the younger and older audiences as well. But I do also understand why they feel they can reach these audiences easily without any need to pay for expensive TV ads.

We are probably reaching a transition point in TV viewing anyway. A business model like the MLB.TV model is one that probably works best. A worldwide 24/7 online TV channel paid for by subscription and/or advertising. It provides full demographic info in real time, allows one-click purchasing to firms, and it allows for long-tail and niche programming too. That is a much better model for advertisers and viewers -- but not too good for the network middlemen, unless they jump on that bandwagon right now.

As an aside, similar is true for movies -- which have a totally different demographic (12-24 usually). Long, long gone are movies like "The Sand Pebbles". Why? Because adults do not go to the cinema in sufficient numbers to matter, unless they are taking their kids to see a kids movie. There is very little overlap between TV and movies in terms of significant audience. Movies are only for children, and TV is only for adults these days (and female adults mostly too, since men are easy targets through sports).

about a year ago
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Sarah Brightman's ISS Trip In Peril

owlnation Re:subject (105 comments)

A singer/tourist might have to give up a spot to someone who will do science. What's the downside, again?

Sending Sarah Brightman into space would benefit mankind. Bringing her back from space... not so much...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm?

owlnation With so many geeks here... (561 comments)

... yet no-one has suggested duct tape yet?

There's many ways duct tape can solve this. Some of them are probably even legal.

about a year ago
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Dr. Richard Dawkins On Why Disagreeing With Religion Isn't Insulting

owlnation Re:Dawkins is no Sagan (1152 comments)

I couldn't agree more!

While I agree with almost everything Dawkins says, there's something about the way he delivers that almost makes me want to become a religious fundamentalist, just to spite him.

Sagan always left me feeling informed, with my mind opened.

about a year ago
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A Day in Your Life, Fifteen Years From Now

owlnation Commute to work? (687 comments)

Why? Nobody who works in advertising really needs to be in an office today, never mind in 15 years time. It's perfectly possible for any such office worker to work from home, and be more productive, right now, today, with the technology currently available..

You'd really think that 15 years in the future even the dumbest members of society (e.g. ad execs) would have figured out that the really do not need to waste money on expensive office buildings, waste economic resources and pollute the environment with unnecessary commutes, causing frustration and fatigue in the process.

The only thing stopping that happening right now, is bad management and the vacuous waste of carbon atoms that are HR staff. With better technology available in 15 years time the need to physically be in the same place as someone you are working with will be even more preposterous than it is now.

about 2 years ago
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RMS Robbed of Passport and Other Belongings In Argentina

owlnation Re:Uhh, it's a third-world country. Be careful the (386 comments)

When you're in a third-world country (like Argentina has been since their economic troubles started), or even in third-world-like areas of better countries (like Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis or Philadelphia), it's very important to maintain constant contact with your valuables.

Spoken like someone who's never been to Buenos Aires.

Argentina isn't exactly third world. Nothing like it. Second world at worst, and similar to many of the less-wealthy European countries at best. It has a relatively low crime rate compared to many US cities.

You run the risk of getting a bag with a laptop stolen anywhere in the world. London, Paris, New York, Detroit, Berlin, Tokyo... etc. And in universities in any of those cities.

more than 2 years ago
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Yahoo Kills Flipboard Competitor Six Months After Debut

owlnation Re:CEO has to mark his Territory (72 comments)

Sounds about right...

I will never understand how Yahoo survived the first dot.com bubble. And every year since then, it's become even less clear as to how they are still around. Are they the new AOL? There seems to be a lot of similarities.

more than 2 years ago
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Star Trek Luminaries Behind the Fastest Funded Film Project On Kickstarter

owlnation Re:Sci Fi Luminaries? (158 comments)

so was Space Command.

Doesn't really matter -- you can't copyright a title. Although, you could register it as a trademark, perhaps.

There's plenty of movies with the same title. As long as the content, concept and characters are unique, there's no legal issue.

However, you DO run the risk of confusing your audience and making it harder to search for your movie on the internet, etc., if you use a previously-used title. It may also upset distributors for just that reason.

Having said that, the target demo for this kind of movie does not seem to be one that would respond well to a movie named "Space Command". Do you really think that would impress and interest a 14 year old? Because your distributor will be expecting you to target that demographic, and dropping you like an hot stone if you don't.

more than 2 years ago
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Star Trek Luminaries Behind the Fastest Funded Film Project On Kickstarter

owlnation Re:Sci Fi Luminaries? (158 comments)

Frankly I'm confused that they couldn't scrounge up $100k amongst all those names...

Yes... that's exactly what does not make sense here.

These guys aren't civilians. These guys aren't naive students, fresh out of college; arrogant, idealistic, and with unrealistic dreams, with no sense of demographics, and no experience of making motion pictures -- i.e. your typical kickstarter client.

Getting funding for a motion picture is very difficult if you have no industry connections. However, it is surprisingly easy if you do. In this case, all you would need is a script written by someone with experience (check), some directorial or VFX experience would be good (check), and at least one B-List named actor who has signed a letter of intent. That might not get you all the money you need, but it would definitely get you enough to get started, you could easily get a million or so that way.

Considering they've worked on shows with plenty of actors who are not exactly busy right now, you'd think there's at least one person they can call to get them interested. Admittedly as a writer and vfx designer they'd have little contact with on-screen talent. However, they MUST know people who know people.

If you have experience and some sort of name in the industry you can sell to people who have real money, just as easily as you can sell to some guy on the net with $10.

Ergo... something does not add up here.

Plus the fact, I'm pretty sure most professional distributors would look down on any kickstarter funded project. I would seriously doubt the ability of any kickstarter project to ever get into cinemas. I assume none have as yet, I doubt many ever will.

Admittedly, I am of the opinion that kickstarter is just another parasite that looks to suck the dreams out of the desperate, idealistic and naive. There's no shortage of similar parasites in the industry. And there's no shortcuts to success in the industry. You have a sellable product, or you don't -- it's a business, and that is what most new filmmakers forget. (along with demographics -- it's only teenagers that go to the cinema in enough numbers to make real money from a movie. If your movie doesn't appeal to teens, kiss your profits and distribution deal goodbye).

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate

owlnation Re:When they (423 comments)

Because there's no indication that Facebook is falling apart and no major competitor out there to kick their ass? Even Google isn't making a dent in Facebook's ability to further integrate into the rest of the web.

Hmm, no. I very much doubt any of that is true. Facebook is definitely past its peak. It's not actively bleeding users yet, but now that they have a bunch of shareholder to answer to, they will get greedier and even more maliciously corporate.

It's not like Facebook has a loyal fanbase. This is not Apple, nor Google, nor even Microsoft. It's a company that most people use for the sake of convenience, but most people have little respect for -- every change they make results in mass protest, and has done since its inception. Its parasitical nature and disrespect for privacy is well-known throughout the World. Just as with MySpace, people would drop it like an hot stone if another social network had their friends on it.

Now, for now, their friends are not on Google+ -- but that can turn on a dime. All it needs it Google to care about taking that top spot from Facebook. A good six month marketing strategy, some high profile users, and Facebook is a dead as MySpace.

That is all it takes. It can happen. And is very likely to happen at some point in the next 5 years max.

more than 2 years ago
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Resumegate Continues At Yahoo: Thompson Out As CEO, Levinsohn In

owlnation Irony (107 comments)

The company will apparently say he is leaving for "personal reasons."

So he's essentially being canned for lying. And they cover this by lying about the reason he's being canned. Well, that makes sense.

Corporations and the people who work for them, deserve each other.

more than 2 years ago
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Britain Bringing Out 'Sonic Gun' For Olympics Security

owlnation London, now known as... (193 comments)

Fort London: The Olympics.

I wonder if the sonic weaponry and SAMs get stood down after the Olympics. My guess is, they don't...

more than 2 years ago
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How Would Driver-less Cars Change Motoring?

owlnation Re:Can already have all that (648 comments)

Pretty funny: all those "advantages" can already be had by using public transportation

Let me guess. You live in a city, right?

And it is true that those advantages exist in public transport for many people who live in cities and work 9-5 or thereabouts, assuming they live and work near a transport node.

However, if you don't... if you live in a small town or out in the country, if you live in a city but your work is in a neighboring suburb and not in the city center, if you work shifts -- especially at night, if you have to transport pretty much anything bigger than a briefcase... then public transport is pretty fucking useless.

And that's for the majority of people, but city dwellers forget that.

more than 2 years ago
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Discovery Channel Crashes a Boeing 727 For Science Documentary

owlnation Re:Well... (281 comments)

The Ancient Aliens Bull Shit network?

Hey, don't knock it, Ancient Aliens is one of the funniest comedy shows on TV. Is the presenter's -- that sports scientist's -- hairstyle, and orange skin, evidence of ancient alien visitors? Some ancient alien researchers believe they are.

more than 2 years ago
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The Science of Handedness

owlnation Re:Dear Hugh Pickens (258 comments)

Yep, it's pure psychobabble. It's cart-after-the-horse bullshit.

Handedness has nothing to do with hands. It's whether the right or left brain is dominant. There are right brain dominant people who also happen to use their right hands, even though their left eye, or left foot is dominant.

about 2 years ago
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Company Accidentally Fires Entire Staff Via Email

owlnation HR Departments (333 comments)

Human Resource Departments: the single biggest brake on the World's economy. The reason for the lack of productivity, innovation and creativity in most large enterprises.

It's a job that nobody with a brain ever wanted to do. Actually, it's a job that nobody ever wanted to do. Nobody ever grows up wanting to work in HR. The only people who do work in HR, are those who have failed. And they bear a grudge.

Which explains why their inhumanity creates situations like this one, and so many similar situations. With the technology currently available, real managers can manage. HR staff need to be fired. All of them, everywhere. The world never really needed them in the first place, but there's no justification for having them now.

The first corporation that has the insight to fire all its HR people will wipe the floor with its competition within 5 years. They will have all the advantages of a small business, mixed with the power of a corporation. And they will have MUCH happier, more productive, employees.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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BBC: Gates hails age of digital senses.

owlnation owlnation writes  |  more than 6 years ago

owlnation (858981) writes "The BBC and some of its website readers interviewed Bill Gates. Seemingly he's proud of Vista and envisages an exciting near-future where we will all be talking to our computers.

The full article is here.

All I have to add is: "Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all"."

Link to Original Source
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owlnation owlnation writes  |  more than 7 years ago

owlnation (858981) writes "Scobleizer writes in his blog that Microsoft's Campus has been hit hard by a storm causing chaos and disruption to MS operations.

Tons of trees down. He says he's talked with several Microsoft employees and that reports are that folks can't send email and stuff like that. It'll be interesting to see what's running tomorrow.
Nature? Or the first sign of the Apocalypse? Revenge from an alien ubermonopoly? Skynet has finally gone live? Or is something going on in the Redmond basement?"

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