Don't like the new layout, the editors screw up far too often, the polls have become eerily akin to the marketing polls that pop up from time to time in the right column on Facebook, and my list of complaints goes on - but for all of that, I stick around because at its heart Slashdot has been one tech geek's blog about stuff he finds interesting. With Rob gone though, I honestly don't know how much longer I'll be reading. Emo as it sounds, CmdrTaco is the heart of this place, and without him there is the very real possibility that it will become (even more of) a shell of what it once was. For now I'm gonna dutifully keep my homepage set to "http://slashdot.org" in Opera and Firefox, and hope it stays that way. We'll see.
Rob, thanks for all those years of doling out news for us nerds; as much as we all whine and bitch, I think I can safely speak for the majority when I say that in the end we still appreciate it. To conclude, only two words exist that adequately express the solemnity and gravity of this event:
That certainly doesn't mean that users should be dissuaded from voicing satisfaction (or in this case, lack of) with its interface or the company's policies and implementations. Those who use Facebook are still customers, whether or not doing so is technically "free." Without customers, the service is nothing.
"... Of course, it is also possible that social media sites will elbow paleolithic media into oblivion, and Mr. Corbett will no longer have to worry about word use..."
Nice snarky little jab there, but I find the notion of social networking sites supplanting established mass media and news to be as far-fetched as it is reprehensible. Maybe they work on a grassroots level as a bit of a 'complement' to traditional news, but other than that I see no indication whatsoever of them holding their own vis-à-vis peer review, integrity, fact-checking or social responsibility. If this does indeed happen (personally I believe the submitter was just grasping at straws), I'll hold even less hope for humanity in general than I already do, and that ain't much.
Now that these beasts have grown so immensely and have their tentacles not only in our government but governments throughout the world, I imagine it barely happens anymore.
However that doesn't mean that BP management can't (or shouldn't) be held responsible. They deserve due process of course, but if, through litigation, criminal negligence (or malice) is determined to have taken place and they are found to have been the parties responsible, then they need to spend the rest of their lives in prison, a la Enron. Ken Lay was sentenced to 45 years for securities and wire fraud, for goodness sake. We're not talking about simple fraud here (though that may very well have taken place), we're talking about eleven potential homicides and the destruction of the entire gulf coast, and consequently the coastal environments/economies in at least four states.
Someone must be held to task for this mess.
Corporations - all profit, no responsibility. What's not to love, right?
As for the supposed outrageous subsidization of our public universities, I can only speak anecdotally. I'm in my senior year at the University of South Carolina, and I am honestly beginning to fear that I may not graduate on time, simply because certain required classes are now being cut due to lack of funding. Adjunct professors have all but disappeared in the last couple of semesters, and student organizations across the board are experiencing drastic budget cuts. Some haven't survived. Tuition here has been raised at a higher percentage than ever before, though the most recent hike was thankfully rather modest in comparison to previous ones. These economists can talk out of their asses all they want about how we're spending too many tax dollars on public higher education institutions, but what I'm seeing here on the ground, at least in the state I currently reside in, leads me to conclude the complete opposite.
If these people have something against federal educational grants (of which I am one of many thankful recipients), then they should make a specific argument against them, but they shouldn't lump our largely state-funded institutions in with that argument.
How many Information Technology unions do you know of out there? So far as I'm aware there are precious few, and those which do exist maintain low membership (and therefore weak bargaining power) at best.
Also, as a bit of an aside, what does the nebulous "and stuff" that bolstered our hypothetical dittohead in his or her promotion from IT grunt to middle management consist of?
This may be a bit pedantic, but in a jury trial such as this the judge is the trier of law and the jury is the trier of fact. If this was a bench trial however, you'd be correct - the judge would try both fact and law.