Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: I miss Firefox in this regard (Score 0) 102

by DeadSea (#42251723) Attached to: Google Sync Clobbers Chrome Browsers
Firefox bookmarks sync is much better than Chrome bookmarks sync. Firefox stored your bookmarks locally and updated them periodically from the cloud. Chrome appears to have to download everything when I start the browser. I get a blank bookmarks bar for a few seconds when the internet is slow and I open Chrome. This is one place where Firefox got the design right and Chrome has it wrong.

Comment: As soon as the automated tests pass (Score 4, Interesting) 182

by DeadSea (#41621401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?

Push to production as soon as the (many) automated tests that you have pass. This means you should have comprehensive unit tests and tests that run in the browser, probably written in Selenium. You'll also want to script your release so that you can do it with the push of a button. Once the tests pass, and the mechanics of a release are trivial, there is little reason to hold up a release.

I worked for a top 500 website (East coast) for 7 years that did weekly releases. Since I left, they decided that wasn't fast enough and now release multiple times per week. I'm now self-employed on my own website and release within an hour of finishing development of a feature.

I started my development career writing firmware for laser printers. When you are shipping code on a physical product, the cost of bugs can be quite high. Especially when it leads to returns or recalls because customers are not satisfied. Our release cycles there were 6 months+. Quite appropriately, IMO.

On the web, the cost of bugs is much lower. In most cases it is the only cost of another release. Sometimes it could cost more because of downtime, but good automated test coverage mitigates that risk pretty well (especially if there is load testing involved). The worst case would be data-corruption, but I've never actually seen that in practice from a release, that has only been related to hardware failure or accidents in my experience.

Comment: Re:Real name policy to blame? (Score 2) 456

by DeadSea (#40039933) Attached to: Online Loneliness At Google+

Facebook has a real name policy as well. It hasn't hindered their growth. The problem is that Google+ has a real name policy, but doesn't require mutual friendship. This leads to a duplicate one way friendship problem.

Here is the use case: you want to add a friend who isn't on the network but you have their email address.
Facebook: You add the user by email. It goes to "friendship requested" status.
Google: You add the user by email. That email address is added to your circles
Then later, the user signs up for the social network, but not using the email address you supplied then friends you.
Facebook: You are friends!
Google: You are friends, plus you have a zombie email address friend in your circles. FAIL!

That and Google+ is full of bugs. For example you open a Google+ account at your own email address. Then you sign up for gmail. This changes the email address of your Google account to your new gmail address with NO WAY TO CHANGE IT BACK. The people in your circles are associated with your old email address. Google has DELETED all the friends from your circles. You then have to re-add all of them.

Comment: Re:Aha! (Score 1) 120

by DeadSea (#30696064) Attached to: Using a Toy Train To Calibrate a Reactor
The IT department here used on of those "perpetual motion" drinking birds to test the video conference system. A week before the big meeting, they set up the link between our Boston office and our London office, put a drinking bird in front of the camera, and made sure that the connection remained stable enough that it wasn't going to drop during the three hours that we really needed it.

Comment: Pictures of your data center (Score 3, Interesting) 531

by DeadSea (#25245341) Attached to: How Do I Talk To 4th Graders About IT?

I always get jealous of IT folks when I see that they get to work with racks of equipment. It seems to me like it is building with Lego blocks for a living.

In addition to software installation and security, our IT folks plan out the hardware with the power and cooling requirements. I would have been fascinated by this stuff as a kid (and I still am).


+ - Google goofs up Firefox's anti-phishing list->

Submitted by
Stephen writes "While phishing is a problem, giving one company the power to block any site that it wishes at the browser level never seemed like a good idea. Today Google blocked a host of legitimate web sites by listing mine.nu. mine.nu is available as a dynamic dns domain and anybody can claim a sub domain. All sub-domains are blocked regardless of whether phishing actually occurs on the sub-domain or not. Several Linux enthusiast sites are caught up in the net including Hostfile Ad Blocking and Berry Linux Bootable CD."
Link to Original Source

Outcry Over Google's Purchase of Doubleclick 242

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fear-of-change dept.
TheCybernator writes to mention that several activist groups have cried out in protest of the Google buyout of Doubleclick reported in recent news. "'Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,' said the complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission. 'Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security, and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.' The complaint was filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center along with the Center for Digital Democracy and the US Public Interest Research Group, all of which are involved in online privacy issues."

Is Wikipedia Failing? 478

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the everybody-successful-is-failing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A growing number of people are concerned about where Wikipedia is heading. Some have left Wikipedia for Citizendium, while others are trying to change the culture of Wikipedia from within. A recent essay called Wikipedia is failing points out many of the problems which must be solved with Wikipedia for it to succeed in its aim of becoming a reputable, reliable reference work. How would you go about solving these problems?"
The Internet

Wikipedia Blocks Qatar [Updated] 204

Posted by Hemos
from the the-law-of-unintended-consequenceas dept.
GrumpySimon writes "Wikipedia has blocked the entire country of Qatar from editing pages. Whilst the ban is due to spam-abuse coming from the IP address in question, the fact that this belongs to the country's sole high-speed internet provider has the unintended consequence of stopping Qataris from editing the wiki. The ban has raised concerns about impartiality — the majority of Al Jazeera journalists operate out of Qatar, for example. This raises a number of issues about internet connectivity in small countries — what other internet bottlenecks like this exist?" Update: 01/02 13:32 GMT by Z : Jim Wales wrote in the comments that the story is 'completely false'. Either way, the ban has been lifted and anonymous editing is once again possible from Qatar.

+ - Thunderbird devours your mail - forever losing it.

Submitted by niekvs
niekvs (1031964) writes "Ever since Thunderbird's latest update ( was released a few weeks ago, a very nasty bug was introduced - and sadly enough the Mozilla team isn't hurrying to release a patch, leaving millions of users exposed. I noticed this problem by accident, when i realized that Thunderbird was downloading far more mails than were showing up in my inbox. The first few days i wasn't paying much attention to it, because sometimes 70% of my mail is automatically redirected to my spam box anyway, but at some point i started actually counting the mails by hand and found out that a large portion of mails just didn't show up, even though they were downloaded. I then followed Mozilla's recommended practice of compacting my mailboxes, to no avail. Desperate, i searched Google for help, and found out that a lot more users were experiencing similar issues (1) (2) with the latest update. The bad thing: compacting actually permanently deletes the missing messages (that are likely mostly spam, but can also be legit). If you haven't done this yet, you should downgrade back to the previous version,, exposing yourself to some security issues, but at least having peace of mind that you receive all your mail, and won't receive any angry mails from friends or colleagues asking why you haven't returned their important questions yet. Please read the comments in the bug report for more information. This issue seriously broke my confidence in this program, especially considering that Mozilla appears in no rush to release an update, and are still distributing the buggy version weeks after discovery. In my opinion, this is a much more serious problem than whatever obscure security bug they were trying to fix in this version. Most people probably won't even realize something is wrong, because the mails simply never show up..."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Make's Open Source Gift Guide Needs Your Help

Submitted by
bjepson writes "The Make Magazine Open Source Gift Guide is off to a great start, but we need your help. We've put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services, and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source. And we're not done, post in the comments on what you think should be in the Open source gift guide and we'll add it! Just stick to the same format we did: name, link, and a couple sentences."

+ - Microsoft Will Hand Over Docs To EU

Submitted by Kagura
Kagura (843695) writes "Reuters reports that Microsoft has handed over technical documents to the EU in order to enable the competition to make interoperable software. So far, the EU has imposed fines of 497 M and 280 M onto Microsoft for abuse of its monopoly. The deadline for this documentation was today. According to Microsoft, the documentation is over 8500 pages."

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".