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+ - Slashdot's new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant->

Bob Verkouteren writes: TECHNOLOGY LAB / INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Slashdot’s new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant
Flashy revamp seeks to draw new faces to the community—at the cost of the old.

by Lee Hutchinson — Feb 12 2014, 6:55pm RST
WEB CULTURE
51
In the modern responsive Web Three Point Oh Internet, Slashdot stands like a thing frozen in time—it's a coelacanth stuck incongruously in an aquarium full of more colorful fish. The technology news aggregator site has been around since 1997, making it positively ancient as websites are reckoned. More importantly, Slashdot's long focus on open source technology news and topics has caused it to accrete a user base that tends to be extremely technical, extremely skilled, and extremely opinionated.

That user base is itself the main reason why Slashdot continues to thrive, even as its throwback interface makes it look to untrained eyes like a dated relic. Though the site is frequently a source of deep and rich commentary on topics, the barrier for new users to engage in the site's discussions is relatively high—certainly higher than, say, reddit (or even Ars). This doesn't cause much concern to the average Slashdot user, but tech job listing site Dice.com (which bought Slashdot in September 2012, along with Sourceforge and a number of other digital properties) appears to have decided it's time to drag Slashdot's interface into the 21st century in order to make things comfortable for everyone—old and new users alike.

And the Slashdot user base is not pleased.

Change for change’s sake?

Slashdot's interface has been modified a few times over the years, and each time there has been some amount of protest. However, no prior redesign has included as many sweeping alterations as the Slashdot Beta. In 2006, a major interface update that brought rounded edges to many of the site's visual elements and stuffed JavaScript under the hood caused major upset—the engineering- and programming-focused Slashdot community is collectively not a fan of change for change's sake.

The rage over the new Slashdot Beta, though, makes any previous instances of interface outrage look positively pedestrian. This time, the upset isn't over JavaScript or rounded corners, but over what many Slashdot users see as a removal of the site's most vital features.

Link to Original Source

+ - Sun Not A Signficant Driver In Climate Change-> 1 1

damn_registrars writes: Scientists from Edinburgh, Scotland have recently published a study based on data from 1,000 years of climate data. They have compared the effects of differing factors including volcanic activity, solar activity, and greenhouse gases to find which has the most profound effect on climate. They have concluded that the driving factor since 1900 has been greenhouse gases. Their work has been published today in Nature Geoscience: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2040.html
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Typo? (Score 1) 233 233

no. Depending on the compiler/flags/etc, two consecutive builds from the same source may have different signatures (timestamps in the binary, etc.) This means that after the build, the binary will have to be inspected to see WHICH parts changed. This is not always as easy as it sounds.

Comment: Re:Unlikely to work (Score 1) 181 181

The human brain absolutely IS a deterministic computer. (on some level) Choice is based on available data. That data may be from any combination of possible sensory and memetic inputs, but no decision is made in a vacuum. We may not -- yet -- know the specific algorithms that determine, for example, the choice of a mate. We know many of the factors that can contribute: specific hormone levels, societal norms, etc, and any Advertising exec can program the vast majority to buy unrelated stuff based on those inputs. To use poor old Pavlov as example, the mind can be trainied in very specific ways. If brains were non-deterministic, there would be equal chance that ringing a bell would cause salivation and homicidal rage. The brain is a black box. There is nothing to say we can't build our own black box that does the same thing.

Comment: Re:Best malware protection (Score 1) 201 201

A good maiming is probably better. Death itself is not a great deterrent. Lots of people say "I want to die" not many say, "I want to be handicapped". So. cut off their hands and remove their vocal cords. This diminishes their ability to create more spam, and also diminishes the possibility of them passing on the meme that made them think that what they were doing was okay.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_

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