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Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2/17 (-1, Offtopic)

gumpish (682245) | about 6 months ago | (#46186745)

If only Dice was willing to sell it's slashdot business to someone who understood the audience it has served historically.

slashcott.com [slashcott.com]
AltSlashdot [altslashdot.org]

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 6 months ago | (#46186807)

This is like the old days! Crapflooding all over again... all we need are the page widening post, multiple posts, etc. w00t!

-CM

with Unicode and hookers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187191)

I'm going to put in a pony request for beta to allow ASCII art. Ya know, for "diagrams" [github.com] .

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (5, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46186893)

Dice already said they need to redesign the beta. What more do you want from them, blood? So lay off with the immature "Waaaahhh...they aren't doing what I want them to."

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (2, Insightful)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46186961)

They should make beta opt-in, instead of opt-out. For ALL users.

Plus, Dice thinks they can reach a broader audience.
It isn't going to happen this way...

We like slashdot because of the audience. Change the audience, and slashdot is over.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46186987)

How about sinply not trying to push shit on users they don't want? Instead of redesigning th shitty beta site, just drop it. This isn't some Web 2.0 site nor is designing a Digg clone a good thing. Just have the web weenies fix the current bugs rather than wasting time rewriting the site in an even buggier version.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 6 months ago | (#46187053)

Dice made it perfectly clear that, even after all the backlash, Classic will soon be gone:

Dice ignores our complaints, while pretending to listen. Bitching and ruining every single discussion is the only option we have left.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 6 months ago | (#46187829)

Dice made it perfectly clear that, even after all the backlash, Classic will soon be gone:

Dice ignores our complaints, while pretending to listen. Bitching and ruining every single discussion is the only option we have left.

And flat-out bailing, either for a while like the upcoming boycott week from the 10th to the 17th, or permanently.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187107)

We don't want a redesign of the Beta. Are you that lunk headed to not understand what we're saying? It's obvious that Dice did not hear us and we will continue to voice our opinion and there's nothing you or they can do about it.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187129)

What more do you want from them, blood?

Yes!
Well, more actually a steak, medium rare, but there's blood in that. Maybe I shouldn't post hungry.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (1, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46187311)

Dice already said they need to redesign the beta.

No, they didn't. They talk about "incremental improvements", which in this case is like jumping a chasm in multiple small steps.

The Beta needs to be redesigned, yes. A redesign happens from ground up. Or, to use the obligatory car analogy: no amount of tuning your Mazda Miata will make it replace a bus.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (2)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46187797)

" We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; and, lastly, the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process. "

What is it about feature parity is it that you do not get? At least give them credit for trying. There is another way for Slashdot to die, it could die through doing the same old same old for the same old visitors.

And for a group of people who claim to be the voice of the industry in the trenches, a lot of carping seems to ignore plain business sense. If this site doesn't hold its own in a marketplace, it will go away just like every other product that fails to capture a decent return. You might not like putting it in those terms but you know it's true. Sites rarely exist for the mere enjoyment of its visitors. In the end, someone has to pay for it. The Slashdot crowd is the same crowd that will crucify government waste along the lines of, there's too few served to justify the expense.

you cannot fix the beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187415)

there is so much wrong with it (discussed on the mentioned anouncement page you mentioned), you cannot improve on something that is utterly broken in the first place

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187707)

Yes, "blood" would be nice. After all, /. is a Liberal haven.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46186917)

Maybe Taco could buy if back on the cheap.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46186989)

I'll tell you what: if you assholes continue with this crap, I'll not only "join" your "slashcott" from 2/10 - 2/17 -- I'll join it for good. The caveat is that I'll be doing so to avoid people like you, who are polluting discussions with valid complaints in an inappropriate way.

(As implied above, I don't like the beta. Yet I appreciate that it is a beta. I also appreciate that there are better ways to provide input to the developers.)

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 6 months ago | (#46187105)

I also appreciate that there are better ways to provide input to the developers.

And those ways are... what? Dice made it perfectly clear that, even after all the backlash, Classic will soon be gone:

I have come to Slashdot for over a decade to enjoy the intelligent discussion that can only be had here. So I do apologize. But Dice ignores our complaints, while pretending to listen. Ruining every single discussion is the only option we have left.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187201)

there are better ways to provide input to the developers

No shit? We tried that already. This thing didn't start overnight - this is the result of completely ignoring community input for the past several months.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187035)

Digg went from $170 million asking price (although it didn't sell at that price AFAIK) and ultimately sold for $500k.

I don't know how Slashdot's peak valuation compares with Digg. If we're patient maybe we can get it for the price of a high-end automobile, which many individuals here could afford on their own. A "white knight" retired techie who doesn't need money and could afford to run it as a non-profit hobby. That'd be ideal.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 6 months ago | (#46187057)

FUCK I forgot I wasn't suppose to visit Slashdot today, I have a habitual habbit I can't break... and FUCK BETA

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187159)

can we call it FriendshipIsMagic???

Dice is failing (0)

ZepHead (588874) | about 6 months ago | (#46187195)

The "managers" at Dice are not only ruining Slashdot, they can't even run their legacy business. Look at Dice Holdings stock performance:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=D... [yahoo.com]

While the S&P 500 and Dow 30 are each up 20% and 10% over the last year, DHX is down close to 30%. I wonder if the stock analysts who cover DHX even know what is happening to this newly acquired "asset". I wonder how many DHX shareholders know.

If the decision makers at Dice won't listen to the nerds, maybe they will listen to their shareholders.

Re:Slashcott - don't visit this site from 2/10 - 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187233)

Grow up.

Actually because your hate beta (4, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about 6 months ago | (#46187329)

posts are makes it annoying to read here in the last few days its gonna be quite nice to not see you here for 7 days.

First Post, Last word (-1, Offtopic)

j-stroy (640921) | about 6 months ago | (#46186753)

Have sex and travel Beta

That's a surprise move (4, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46186761)

I thought IBM was able to leverage their detailed knowledge of their semiconductor processes to squeeze every bit of performance they can out of their Power architecture designs, and even tweak the processes to aid them. I doubt they will have enough volume for another company to do much of that unless they are willing to pay.

Re:That's a surprise move (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46186953)

It also seems a bit weird because the merchant foundry business isn't exactly facing a worldwide shortage of fabless companies, or demand for their designs burned into silicon(and, unlike AMD, IBM isn't having its face held underwater and being allowed to flop around just enough to satisfy the FTC, so they presumably aren't facing an impossible capital crunch). I'd also assume that IBM would be better placed than many to grab the (probably low volume; but nice margin) Must Be Red, White, and Blue and More American Than Mom's Apple Pie fab jobs. They've got domestic facilities, and have been doing assorted DoD and fed work longer than most of us have been alive.

Have they recently acquired new executives that are hellbent on selling absolutely everything that isn't mainframes and $$$$$/hour consultants?

Re:That's a surprise move (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 6 months ago | (#46187027)

Have they recently acquired new executives that are hellbent on selling absolutely everything that isn't mainframes and $$$$$/hour consultants?

Yes, their previous CEO made a stupid goal of $20 operating EPS by 2015 [ibm.com] and the new CEO seems to be hell bent on hitting that target, whether that's from an incentive program or ego talking I'm not sure.

Re:That's a surprise move (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#46187091)

I just don't get IBM's motive. In the past, they were a one stop shop for a business. Yes, expensive, but no matter what broke, be it software, hardware, or the application, the IBM CE either could fix, or could get someone on the line who would be able to deal with the problem.

Then they sold most everything.

Other than becoming a new EDS with mainframes, what is IBM going to gain by this long-term strategy? Each market they hand over is one that could end up a bonanza should a trend change in the IT world. Storage and SSD come to mind.

Going to just mainframes won't help much -- zSeries machines are still the best hardware out there, but not everyone needs Parallel Sysplex, and a lot of companies are moving to Facebook's model of running with a craptastic generic hardware stack, with all the redundancy in the backend application programming.

PS: #insert grumble about beta here.

Re:That's a surprise move (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 6 months ago | (#46187615)

> I just don't get IBM's motive. In the past, they were a one stop shop for a business.
> Yes, expensive, but no matter what broke, be it software, hardware, or the application,
> the IBM CE either could fix, or could get someone on the line who would be able to deal with the problem.

Given that IBM is selling or has sold it's Microcomputer business, it's Server hardware business, and now it's Semiconductor business . . .

. . . and given IBM's recent patent lawsuit against Twitter . . .

maybe IBM is getting into the Patent Trolling business?

I don't know. Just sayin'

Re:That's a surprise move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187751)

The cost of a new state-of-the-art facility has crossed the $3B to $4B mark and even companies like TSMC and GlobalFoundries (AMD spin-off) are having a hard time with the capital required to keep pace. Intel currently is the undisputed leader in terms of process and technology and has the financial muscle and discipline to make the technology investments to keep that edge. They are also taking baby steps into the "Must Be Red, White, and Blue and More American Than Mom's Apple Pie fab jobs."

My guess is IBM looked and realized they couldn't compete.

Re:That's a surprise move (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#46187811)

I think you can still do that – IBM engineers sitting down with the foundry engineers.

The problem is that the fab plants are really big and massively efficient. IIRC Intel said that would only need to build a single (billion dollar?) fab plant for its next generation of chips. They are going to build more than that because they don’t want all of their eggs in one basket but you get the idea. At some point it is the costs of out outsourcing the production is going to be less than the costs of running a single small inefficient plant.

Re:That's a surprise move (5, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about 6 months ago | (#46187817)

This is sad. I remember when IBM came out w/ some great innovations like the copper process. It's also disappointing to see even fewer, rather than more fabs. Yeah, I know that the costs are astronomical, but converting such a market into an Intel monopoly is a cause for concern

Also, once that's gone, it will be the end of the road for Power as well: as it is, Freescale has all but abandoned it, the console guys have abandoned it and now it's IBM itself. An independent fab won't free up space for IBM's Power if there are more lucrative chips available - particularly in volume. Only reason SPARC is alive is really Fujitsu, and Itanic is almost dead. Power being gone would leave only MIPS for the embedded space, and Xeon/Opteron for the server space. I doubt that ARM8 will have a significant role there.

Sell The Beta (-1, Offtopic)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about 6 months ago | (#46186779)

If Dice Holdings have given up with Slashdot would they at least consider selling it back to the community?

If we can crowdfund the purchase Slashdot can be run by the community or partner with an organisation to run it?

Oh yeah fuck the beta.

Re:Sell The Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187477)

Dice is lying through their teeth to the advertisers they hope to attract to Slashdot:
Take the tour [slashdotmedia.com] and you'll see how they claim the nerds will stick around and read their ads. They call Beta "newsier" and "nerdier", although they're well aware the nerd "audience" they're selling won't tolerate Beta.
Advertisers, don't get ripped off! Demand an advertising platform that retains the demographic you want to target!

slashdot beta is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46186787)

source: http://pastebin.com/eyQ9mSnn

  It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: slashdot beta is dying

                One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered slashdot beta community when IDC confirmed that slashdot beta market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that slashdot beta has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. slashdot beta is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

                You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict slashdot beta's future. The hand writing is on the wall: slashdot beta faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for slashdot beta because slashdot beta is dying. Things are looking very bad for slashdot beta. As many of us are already aware, slashdot beta continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

                Dice.com is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Dice.com developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Dice.com is dying.

                Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

                Slashdot beta leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of slashdot beta. How many users of Dice.com are there? Let's see. The number of Dice.com versus slashdot beta posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Dice.com users. Slashdot beta on Usenet are about half of the volume of Dice.com posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Dice.com. A recent article put Dice.com at about 80 percent of the slashdot beta market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Dice.com users. This is consistent with the number of Dice.com Usenet posts.

                Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, Dice.com went out of business and was taken over by Reddit who sell another troubled OS. Now Dice.com is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

                All major surveys show that slashdot beta has steadily declined in market share. slashdot beta is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If slashdot beta is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. slashdot beta continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, slashdot beta is dead.

Describe IBM in three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46186789)

Circling the bowl.

that's what I was thinking too. (5, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46186929)

Sad really, IBM once stood for innovation and industry leadership. Now they're all about maximizing shareholder equity and other buzzwords that have nothing to do with being a leader. The board needs to fire most of the C level MBA shit-for-brains and hire some tech talent from within to re-motivate the company before it's too late.

Re:Describe IBM in three words (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 6 months ago | (#46187633)

Patent Trolling Entity

Beta delenda est! (4, Insightful)

emmagsachs (1024119) | about 6 months ago | (#46186823)

Nobody buys Playboy for the articles. They do it for the hot, nude women (sadly, sans grits). It just so happens that /. is exactly the same. No one reads /. for the articles. The articles were news two days ago. And no one reads /. for the summaries. The summaries are almost always wrong.

Everyone reads /. for the comments. The comments are the /. equivalent of Playboy's naked chicks, with one crucial difference. Without the gentlemen at Playboy, there will be no naked chicks to look at. The service they provide is, for the most part, finding women that will agree to pose nude for pictures, which they most graciously distribute to their readers.

But as for Slashdot -- the good people at Dice and their "editorial" team do diddly squat around here to generate content. The articles, old as they may be, are submitted by the users. The summaries, mistaken as they may be, are provided by the users, not by Timothy, Soulskill, et al. The comments, trollish as they may be, are written by the users.

/. is of the users, by the users, for the users. The only people at Dice who deserve their paycheck are the IT people. The rest of you -- what is it that you do for our benefit? Why the hell do we need you clowns? Your music's bad and you should feel bad!

Beta delenda est!

Re:Beta delenda est! (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46187379)

Nobody buys Playboy for the articles. They do it for the hot, nude women (sadly, sans grits). It just so happens that /. is exactly the same.

Yes, but we have grits.

And forks. Just sayin' If the pitchforks won't win, the code fork will.

What's left? (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 6 months ago | (#46186825)

I know of IBM as a:
- Desktop PC manufacturer
- Server manufacturer
- Chip manufacturer

If they don't have those 3 things any more, then what are they? To my knowledge, IBM has some of the best fabs in the world. It's amazing to me that this is not part of their core business. This is... wow... just wow.

Re:What's left? (4, Informative)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about 6 months ago | (#46186851)

IBM is primarily a professional services company. They've been evolving into that for years.

Re:What's left? (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 6 months ago | (#46186927)

IBM stands for International Business Machines. They most certainly have evolved and will continue to do so, but their origins are quite fascinating and rooted in mechanics. Most importantly, the punch card system used for the 1900 census pretty much launched the success of IBM.

Re:What's left? (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#46187259)

IBM stands for International Business Machines.

Actually, for the employees, IBM also stood for "I've Been Moved", as in, "transferred".

Now I guess they have changed that to "IBS", as in, "I've Been Sold".

Salesmen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187041)

IBM is primarily a professional services company. They've been evolving into that for years.

In other words - salesmen - selling other firms' products and arbitraging labor costs between the Third World and the Western World at a huge markup.

Same goes for the other big companies.

And it's funny, they're "International" when it suits them and when they need that government contract, they're all of a sudden an "American" company.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187251)

IBM is primarily a professional services company. They've been evolving into that for years.

That is a great field to be in, but it requires expertise.
Those other fields doesn't only build computers, they also build know-how and makes sure that there are people within the company that knows the details.

Without those the knowledge of the workers at IBM will be what they acquire when they provide services. Ten years from now they will have no competitive advantage to any other gigolo.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187385)

IBM is primarily a professional services company. They've been evolving into that for years.

Why is it "professional services" sounds so much like whore ?

Re:What's left? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 6 months ago | (#46187737)

from what I can tell, much (most?) of ibm, these days, is all outsourced labor. I have never, once, gotton a reply to a job posting from IBM. not even a thankyou letter for applying. and I've applied to some jobs that were a near copy of my resume/background. problem is: I'm US born and raised and therefore, not 'cheap labor' for them.

IBM fired a lot of US folks a few yrs ago and sent all the jobs to india.

IBM can go fuck themselves, for all I care, now.

Re:What's left? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46186857)

They have a large consulting arm - IBM Global Services. (Not sure if that is still the name.)

and a truly bad organization it is. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46186941)

GSD's motto: "Fuck the customers and provide service from a cornfield in Iowa"

Re:What's left? (5, Funny)

Third Position (1725934) | about 6 months ago | (#46186867)

Kind of like watching fingers fall off of a leper, isn't it?

Re:What's left? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 6 months ago | (#46187283)

That. That's about the image that got on my head.

Except that they claim to be healty.

Beta addendum: I'm waiting for an anouncement that classic won't go away, if it does not come, count me back into the complaining crowd.

Re:What's left? (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46186915)

they sell lots of overpriced software like Cognos that is a huge PITA to set up, use, support and you need a maintenance contract since the documentation is crappola

dozens and dozens of other business software that they sell including 2 different database products that no one seems to use.

Re:What's left? (2)

moogla (118134) | about 6 months ago | (#46186921)

IBM's consulting services and design expertise on the big iron side is where all the money is. All the money in that they are the highest margin portions of the business and they get to set prices (very little meaningful competition, lots of opportunity for lockin)

I'd love to explain it by way of analogy, but I don't want to stretch the concept of the fuck beta too thin, and car analogies are so last decade. Let's just say IBM wants to advise you on how you can escape from slashdot beta into their loving arms.

Re:What's left? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187011)

Dice already said they need to redesign the beta. What more do you want from them, blood? So lay off with the immature "Waaaahhh...they aren't doing what I want them to."
Dice already said they need to redesign the beta. What more do you want from them, blood? So lay off with the immature "Waaaahhh...they aren't doing what I want them to."

Re:What's left? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 6 months ago | (#46187545)

Personaly, I want them to say "we wont force the new site on you before we have an acceptable redesign, and we want your opinion on what's acceptable".

I parse what they said as "we see you are complaining, we'll try to polish it a bit if it's easy, and only then throw classic away", what's only milimeters from a plain "fuck you, you'll get it wanting or not". I'm wiling to not go away or troll the comments for a small while waiting for them to rectify that message. But it's clear that they just don't get it, so I'll be surprised if they actualy do the right thing.

Re:What's left? (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about 6 months ago | (#46186925)

IBM has a huge software group.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187143)

Which make first-rate crap. Lowest-rate quality. Only useable if supported by IBM engineers.

Evil MS is superb compared to IBM crapware.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187169)

I swear, after reading some of these comments you'd think these people around here never heard of DB2, Tivoli, Cognos, Lotus, Rational, WebSphere, Informix, etc etc etc..
 
I guess most of the TechTV crowd never sees what really drives the larger world of computing.

Re:What's left? (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 6 months ago | (#46187553)

Oh, we know it. That's exactly why we active ignore IBM software.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187573)

I know DB/2. Craptastic without an IBM sales engineer. Won't run properly out of the box.

I used Purify. Clusterfuck to just get a license running. Not better than valgrind, costs 1200 Euros/year.

I used AIX and POWER machines. Excellent stuff. Fast, reliable, all things nicely done. Good xlcr C++ compiler.

I used S/390 machinery briefly. Worse crap than DB/2. Green like banana and will ripe at YOUR site instead of IBM labs.

Lotus Notes - made by aliens to torture homo sapiens. Thank god it was killed by Outlook at my current job. For extra sadism, try to use it on Linux.

They simply cannot compete except in their POWER/AIX line.

Re:What's left? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46187033)

They are spending a huge amount of money on advancing Watson right now. The intention seems obvious to me: Advance the technology to the point where, even if not a true science-fictiony AI, it can be applied to solving a lot of practical business situations. Then sell Watson not as a product but as a service - the technology isn't going to be usable without some highly trained specialists to maintain it. Think call-center positions: A rack of servers running it could take the place of hundreds of front-line telephone operators, and anything Watson can't handle can still be passed through to the humans at second-line. Or specialized search engines - how many legal firms would pay for access to a service where one could ask the computer 'Analyse this brief and tell me of any previous similar cases?' IBM won't be running that, but they'll be supplying the technology to whoever does.

Between the sale of manufacturing and their substantial R&D investment in Watson technology, it appears they are betting the company on being a support services provider in future.

outsource THIS, beeotches! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 6 months ago | (#46187327)

I am eagerly awaiting the day when Watson is capable enough to replace 93% of doctors and lawyers. What's good for the plebs is good for the elite, right?

Re:outsource THIS, beeotches! (2)

djupedal (584558) | about 6 months ago | (#46187485)

But will 1000 Watsons chained together and tossed into the ocean be as easily defined as a "good start" ..?

Re:What's left? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 6 months ago | (#46187647)

> If they don't have those 3 things any more, then what are they?

A major patent holder. I hear the patent trolling business is a growth industry.

Beta (0)

mwecksell (1178565) | about 6 months ago | (#46186871)

Maybe Dice could sell it's slashdot business to someone who'll roll back the beta...

America in decline ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46186885)

And yet another American innovator who actually built things is getting out of the business.

America has tied her fortunes to copyright, patents, and 'knowledge' workers -- while simultaneously mostly switching to H1Bs, corporations which don't actually do anything, and a complete loss of manufacturing.

America is becoming a country which is staking its real economy on virtual things, and is slowly losing capacity and competitiveness on the world stage.

Fix this shit now, or in 15 years there won't be any domestic jobs, skills, or point. If you continue on this current trend, the actual economy of the US will be completely gutted and propped up with things which look good on paper but really have no value.

Re:America in decline ... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46186945)

Manufacturing left America because China et al are cheaper. They are cheaper because they have minimal environmental regulations, a huge pool of labor willing to work for starvation wages, no workers' rights and no health-and-safety.

The only way you're bringing manufacturing back is either blatant protectionism (which would be a diplomatic mess and likely result in retaliatory action in kind) or to beat China at their own game by returning to the days when many employees worked sixteen-hour days just to cover the rent, occasionally losing a hand in the machines was an acceptable risk and major cities were often covered by lethal levels of smog.

Re:America in decline ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187121)

Or use robots. It costs less to have an automatic plant in usa than an automated or manual factory in china.

Manufacturing is alive and well in the US (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46187267)

Manufacturing left America because China et al are cheaper

Completely off topic and completely wrong. Manufacturing is very strong in America to the tune of about $2 Trillion per year [nam.org] and for every dollar spend in US manufacturing it results in an additional $1.32 to the economy. The US manufacturing sector by itself would be one of the ten largest economies in the world - approximately the same size as the entire GDP of Russia even without considering the multiplier effects. The US presently has about 1/5 of global manufacturing activity. Some products are not manufactured in the US anymore (mostly high labor content low margin products) but any claim that "manufacturing left America" is completely false.

The only way you're bringing manufacturing back...

Manufacturing never left. If you think it did then you have no idea what you are talking about.

Re:America in decline ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187051)

Capitalism and globalization make for a wonderful mix. Our country has to move away from being dominated by these two, or your comments will be exactly correct. In your future scenario, we are assimilated, bought out and owned by others. Or defeated by economic embargo, because we don't make anything anymore.

Re:America in decline ... (0)

prefec2 (875483) | about 6 months ago | (#46187777)

Capitalism will have many additional crises in future. The will be in the next 2-4 years due to the combined bubble building efforts of FED, ECB, and the national bank of Japan. And we will have more of these crises inline every one more intense than the one before until states can no longer bail out the economy and have to cut their debt. To be more precise invalidate all state debt papers. Further down the road, the limitations in natural and renewable resources will have an impact on those who believe in unlimiting growth which they measure in currency, which is artificially created.

However, we are stuck with the present system as long as we cannot come up with a new one. And past implementation of this other globalization oriented economic model, called communism, did not work out either. Due to bad management and lack of democracy.

Re:America in decline ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187187)

I am sure Lord Protector John Cromwell will fix things.

Fun Fact about IBM (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 6 months ago | (#46186899)

IBM helped the Nazis with the punchcard technology used to keep track of prisoners in concentration camps during WWII:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]

But wait, there's more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187015)

Not only that, IBM also helped deliver people to said camps in the first place.

It was all a big 1930s operation in Big Data. Data mining church books for ancestry data. Who is one-half Jewish, who is one-eighth Jewish.

Worst of all, IBM knew precisely what Hollerith was doing. That knowledge was not even a speed bump on their way to the bank.

Re:But wait, there's more (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187249)

So what? We could look into past generations of your family and find things just as bad. And that's family, not business. The same genes are in you today and will be in your kids tomorrow. You can't fire them and they don't retire.

but.. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 6 months ago | (#46187065)

At least they built something.

Oh and you forget, IBM has sold to anybody and in some cases with the Nod of the US government. This includes the Shah of Iran but lots of US companies dealt with the Nazis (Ford, ITT, US Steel etc.) It was just good business back then.

Re:but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187239)

The truth is that all over the world people suffered from the NY insanity in the 1930s. Henry Ford knew his company could be killed by finance insanities. Hitler was a reaction to this and industrialists like Ford liked someone getting a handle on finance insanity.

Quite rational, at least in the beginning. You Americans will have your own Hitler in 2022, if you don't lock down NY.

John Hitler will come out straight from your Armed Forces and there will be no place for the NY banksters to run any more. All their country castles will be worth zilch.

Re:Fun Fact about IBM (1)

Dekonega (1606763) | about 6 months ago | (#46187123)

IBM helped the Nazis with the punchcard technology used to keep track of prisoners in concentration camps during WWII:

Not IBM itself but its german daughter subsidary at the nazi germany. Parent company probably did knew what their subsidary was doing but since it was profitable for them they didn't ask unnecessary questions. Officially the machines were used in a similar manner in all over the world to count population. There was nothing suspicious about that. I mean, it was a complete surprice for the allied troops to even find out that there were such work camps in existance. Retropespectively IBM did wrong though. And its undeniable that they had a role in the big picture. But stating that IBM directly took part in the genocide by helping nazis and knew about that on top of that too is just stating too much. Where's the evidence to support that?

Re:Fun Fact about IBM (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 6 months ago | (#46187305)

Not saying they actively participated, merely pointing out that for the sake of a few measly bucks they turned a very blind eye to one of the greatest atrocities ever committed on the face of the planet, thus, in contrast to their recent claims, making a dumber planet. But a lot of companies did this then and continue to thrive to this very day (lookin' at you UBS), so I guess it's OK.

Re:Fun Fact about IBM (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#46187343)

. . . the same Nazis that later helped us later to get to the moon:

"The Russians put our camera made by our German scientists and your film made by your German scientists into their satellite made by their German scientists.

With Darth Vader voice... (1)

Dekonega (1606763) | about 6 months ago | (#46186937)

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

What will IBM have left (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#46186971)

Selling hardware, semi conductors - moving from proprietary OSs to linux. Are they just going to be another consultancy group?

I don't get it. (3, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 6 months ago | (#46186977)

How is semiconductors not a core business for a company that still makes huge profits off mainframes and midranges?? Sure, keep design in house, but you'll lose the flexibility you have. Imagine your research division came up with an amazing new chip design they wanted to work on right away, but were told "Nope, it'll take 6 months to ramp up GlobalFoundries, TSMC, or whatever. Sorry."

The thing I really don't get (in general) is the way businesses feel like they can have no assets on their books and just run everything with a massive tower of multi-layer outsourcing. It doesn't make sense -- outsourcing something is never cheaper than doing it yourself. As soon as you do that ,you add in a layer of middlemen who need to get paid for doing a task which was previously cheap or "free with purchase of inhouse labor." It never works out. I guess I'll never be an MBA, because I don't get the accounting tricks that make a company appear profitable when they're wasting money on things they could do cheaper and better themselves.

For IBM's case, I do see what they're trying to do. Software is more profitable than hardware. But the problem is that IBM is/was a huge innovator in hardware and chips. They're one of the last US companies massive enough to support basic research that can improve those hardware innovations. IBM's software may be profitable, but I haven't seen anyone singing the praises of WebSphere or their Rational products lately. IBM also has a massive "services" division. I've had extremely good luck with the services people who service IBM hardware, but that's going away. So, we're left with the legendary crap outsourcing and offshoring stuff they do for large companies, and of course, "consulting." My experience with outsourced IT run by IBM is an ITIL nightmare of endless support tickets, revolving door engineers, meetings to plan meetings to plan the strategy for changes, etc.

It's kind of a shame if you ask me. I am just old enough to remember when IBM was as powerful as Microsoft was and as Apple is right now. They were able to command huge margins on everything they sold because it was backed up by a really good services team. People I know who worked for IBM "back in the day" tell me the corporate culture was weird, but employees never wanted for anything because they made so much money. (I also know people who worked for Sun and Digital who say the same thing.) In some ways, it would have been much nicer to work in the computer field during this "golden age of computing." I guess my main question is where the new hardware innovations will come from when you don't have a massive company and research group driving them.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187353)

Intel as usual

WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187387)

Their hardware business is indeed a drain on their financial resources. Intel makes chips almost as fast as POWER and faster than the mainframe CPUs. Mainframe business shrinks every year. Linux is good enough vs expensive AIX.

They make miniscule numbers of chips, compared to x86. Fabs are still extremely expensive. Intel and TSMC have blown them economically out of the water. At least they don't do an HP and still have their own chip designs.

HP once had one of the best chip designs and made them in their own fabs (PA RISC). But even then they could not compete on economics with Intel fabs, processes and manufacturing scale. So they raised the white flag around 1998.

IBM has by now only admitted half-defeat.

If IBM weren't run by MBA muppets, they would use a Strategy Of Technology and try innovative things like FPGAs and associative memory directly on CPU. Or CPUs weaved into RAMs. But all an MBA can do is to streamline some engineer's ideas and process.

Certainly IBM has to use TSMC or Global Foundries. Xilinix does it too and I think they are wildly successful. IBM simply can't afford massive capex for their puny number of chips made.

Of course, they could have tried to take x86 head-on with a competitve Linux-power offering, but that would have meant a total change in style, culture and business model. Samsung can pull that, not big blue.

Dipl.-Ing.(BA) Frank Gerlach

I definitely do... (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 6 months ago | (#46187527)

I guess my main question is where the new hardware innovations will come from when you don't have a massive company and research group driving them.

Did you ever consider that basic research is hard to justify in a cooperate environment? Hence, better left to public entities, as done in many countries.

I think that big companies splitting up is a good thing, they'll be able to focus their research and be much more agile.. Other companies,start-up, etc. will also be able to compete better if they can purchase services from independent chip manufacturers. There will be less dirty game where chip manufacturers say they won't produce your chip because they are own by a big company (say IBM) whom you're trying to compete with.

The free market works best when companies are fairly small. Otherwise companies can't fail without it having enormous impact on society. I for one applaud IBM for trying not to be too big to fail!

For IBM this also means that they can't shop around for manufacturers, instead of being bound to use their own. Flexibility is not worthless.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 6 months ago | (#46187619)

It doesn't make sense -- outsourcing something is never cheaper than doing it yourself.

That's not the case for IBM hardware, but there are plenty of benefits that come with scale that you may not be able to get if you do the task yourself.

Core business economics (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46187835)

How is semiconductors not a core business for a company that still makes huge profits off mainframes and midranges?

Probably because the biggest part of the value added by them is in the design, not the manufacturing. IBM does not appear to have any competitive advantage in semiconductor manufacturing plus their core business now is in services. Their mainframe business really is to some extent really just a hook for their services. It remains significantly profitable but some of the components in those mainframes have become commodities [wikipedia.org] which means low margins.

Sure, keep design in house, but you'll lose the flexibility you have. Imagine your research division came up with an amazing new chip design they wanted to work on right away, but were told "Nope, it'll take 6 months to ramp up GlobalFoundries, TSMC, or whatever.

Why do you presume IBM could ramp up any faster? Just because they can do it themselves doesn't mean they automatically can do it any quicker or better. IBM has some pretty smart financial, strategy and manufacturing people working for them. I've met quite a few of them myself. I assure you that they have done the math on this and while it's possible they are making a mistake, they're pretty good at this sort of calculation.

The thing I really don't get (in general) is the way businesses feel like they can have no assets on their books and just run everything with a massive tower of multi-layer outsourcing

Because the only reason to keep something in house is if it provides you an economic advantage. You outsource when someone else can do it as well or better for less money. My company makes wire harnesses. Many of our customers are capable of making the products we supply them but because of the structure of our company and the assets we have we can produce a better product for less money. We specialize in wire harnesses and we're enough better at it that we can save them money AND make a profit doing it. If we couldn't do it better and cheaper then they should (and often do) produce the item in house.

I guess I'll never be an MBA, because I don't get the accounting tricks that make a company appear profitable when they're wasting money on things they could do cheaper and better themselves.

Nobody "is" a MBA. Some people have a MBA degree. You might accurately call someone an accountant or a manager or an engineer but calling someone "a MBA" is exactly equivalent to calling someone a Master of Mechanical Engineering. It's stupid if you actually think about it.

Look, I have degrees in both engineering and business. I'm a certified accountant and my day job is running a manufacturing company. There are cases where it makes sense to outsource something and cases where it makes sense to keep it in house. You are making a faulty assumption that it is always better to keep things in house and I can prove to you that that is frequently not true. Specialist companies can often make a component of a larger product better, faster and cheaper than a vertically integrated company. Not always but very often. Virtually all of manufacturing is based on this fact. The cost of vertical integration has to be offset by the ability to command larger margins due to that integration. \

Ford once tried doing a complete vertical integration in their River Rouge plant. They brought iron ore in one end and produced automobiles out the other end. Thing was that it failed because they didn't have sufficient economies of scale nor the domain expertise to realize the cost advantages needed to make it work. A company that specializes in making steel is probably going to be able to make steel cheaper and better than an assembly company like Ford.

I'll give you an example from my company. We make wire harnesses and one of the products our customer buys from us are sealed leads which we sell for about $0.15 each. We could buy a lead maker which can do sealed leads for about $150,000 and do it in house. We would be able to produce the leads for about $0.08 each. However we can buy the leads from a company which already has a sealed lead making machine for about $0.11 each. That means we would have to produce 5 million leads to break even on the purchase of that machine. While we could do it in house, it makes more economic sense given our order volumes to outsource the production. Should volumes rise sufficiently then we might consider buying the machine and doing it in house.

I am just old enough to remember when IBM was as powerful as Microsoft was and as Apple is right now.

They still are huge and powerful. They just don't deal with retail consumers like you or me anymore so you don't see it directly. IBM had revenue of nearly $100 Billion last year with profits of around $16 billion. There are only a handful of companies that are even close to that sort of performance.

They were able to command huge margins on everything they sold because it was backed up by a really good services team.

They still have the services team and they still make huge margins. Thing is that the margins for commodity electronics (like hard drives) are very thin now. IBM is not built structurally to compete in commodity businesses. Chip fabrication has become something of a commodity business so IBM is getting out of it. Chip design apparently not so much. Other specialist companies like Intel and TSCM and others have structural cost advantages that IBM is probably not positioned to realize.

I guess my main question is where the new hardware innovations will come from when you don't have a massive company and research group driving them.

Around 50% of all R&D dollars spent in the US come from manufacturing companies. I wouldn't worry too much about one company selling off a relatively minor part of their business.

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187019)

Fuck the beta though. I'd like to know what /. thinks but fuck the beta.

IBM Laugh lines - AS/400 isn't dead either (1)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46187079)

If you want to chuckle, go to the AS/400 section of IBM's website. "It's not dead, we swear!" LOL It's interesting to see how IBM is selling off, all of their commodity business (laptops, servers, chips) to focus on the high margin stuff.... people should take note.

Screw this beta (1)

ppff (936472) | about 6 months ago | (#46187109)

It absolutely sucks!

Re:Screw this beta (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 6 months ago | (#46187721)

Nothing on Slashdot sucks.

IBM, no longer what it was (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187219)

It was once a fully integrated corporation, but that's not profitable enough anymore, so spin-spin-spin.

No comma (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 6 months ago | (#46187301)

Big Blue wants to sell off its manufacturing operations, but will continue to design its own chips.

As "will continue to design its own chips" is not a complete sentence, the comma before "but" is not appropriate.

Next IBM press release... (3, Funny)

chiller2 (35804) | about 6 months ago | (#46187309)

01 Apr 2014: IBM (NYSE:IBM) International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has changed back to it's original name, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and will be selling off all post 1930 technology units to focus on it's core business of dial recorders, electric tabulating machines and time clocks.

comparative advantage (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46187551)

US companies are selling off hardware because they discovered that bullshit (AKA "consulting") is America's comparative advantage [wikipedia.org] .

Lots of Companies would be interested in buying.,. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187561)

...if it includes complete cross-licensing of all IBM's process technology. IBM still has a reputation for some of the most efficient designs for logic gates, etc. Unlimited access and cross-licensing of that IP would probably be worth more than the physical fab business.

I could see Intel, Samsung, TSMC and Apple all very interested in that...

F U C K B E T A (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46187729)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

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