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Comment: Here's some constructive criticism (Score 1) 2219

by I'm not god any more (#46180813) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
The beta looks much like the mobile version, and that sucks big time.

Here's some tips about that settings gear icon behavior:
1. have a freaking separate radio button that sets: "and higher" or "and lower" or "exact".

These next 2 points are for the mobile version:
2. I don't want to waste all that screen real estate on text that says "Filtered due to preferences". WFT! I have a whole screen of "Filtered due to preferences", "Filtered due to preferences".
3. If you really want me to know that I've filtered out 200 comments then put that at the bottom, I don't want 200 "Filtered due to preferences" interlaced throughout the comments I've filtered for.

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

+ - Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again."

+ - Exponential Algorithm in Windows Update Slowing XP Machines->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "An interesting bug regarding update dependency calculation has been found in Windows XP. By design, machines using Windows Update retrieve patch information from Microsoft's update servers (or possibly WSUS in a company setting). That patch information contains information about each patch: what software it applies to and, critically, what historic patch or patches the current patch supersedes. Unfortunately, the Windows Update client components used an algorithm with exponential scaling when processing these lists. Each additional superseded patch would double the time taken to process the list. With the operating system now very old, those lists have grown long, sometimes to 40 or more items. On a new machine, that processing appeared to be almost instantaneous. It is now very slow. After starting the system, svchost.exe is chewing up the entire processor, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. Wait long enough after booting and the machine will eventually return to normalcy. Microsoft thought that it had this problem fixed in November's Patch Tuesday update after it culled the supersedence lists. That update didn't appear to fix the problem. The company thought that its December update would also provide a solution, with even more aggressive culling. That didn't seem to help either. For one reason or another, Microsoft's test scenarios for the patches didn't reflect the experience of real Windows XP machines."
Link to Original Source

Comment: What could possibly go wrong? (Score 0) 257

by I'm not god any more (#44010209) Attached to: Prosecutors Push For Anti-Phone-Theft Kill Switches
I just can't imagine how this could possibly go wrong for all those apple lovers.
This might be the killer feature that will transition OSX to iOS, so those computer users can also benefit from this marvelous technology.
It's just a matter of time before the government will be replacing Social Security numbers with Apple IDs and retirement benefits will move over to iTunes gift cards.
The realization of Corporate America is almost here.

+ - Why Men Prefer "Dumb-Looking" and Sleepy Women for Flings but Not Marriage->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Men have evolved to prefer dumb, sleepy or drunk women over those with charm and intelligence when they're on the hunt for a one-night-stand, according to a new study.

New findings, published in journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers explored the so-called "sexual exploitability hypothesis," an assumption that men are genetically programmed to look for 'easy' and short-term sexual relationships."

Link to Original Source

+ - GSA emails recount inside story of exploding toilets->

Submitted by
v3rgEz writes "Six months ago, the toilets of the General Services Administration started exploding, injuring two employees and beginning the agency's spiral down the drain of bad press (this is the same GSA now under fire for pricey Vegas conference flings). E-mails just released under FOIA now show the culprit: Compressed air + ancient plumbing + leaving it all unattended.

Full documents are available as well."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Lets fix things since 1994... (Score 0) 406

by I'm not god any more (#38742030) Attached to: PS4: What Sony Should and Shouldn't Do
How about allowing the PS4 to play region free NTSC and PAL DVDs?

How about not needing to have to put the freaking disc in each and every time I want to play the freaking game?

How about not having the internet required to play single player games?

How about an easier way to move all my stuff/games from my old PS3 to my PS4? Certainly make it easier than moving my stuff from a fat PS3 to a slim PS3 - yes, I agree it was nice that it had the feature - but fuck me, that was a magic dance to get it to actually work. Having non encrypted DMR free hard disks would make this easier.

Oh, and make it work with my freaking iPhone and iPad goddammit

Support all the legacy input devices, and add some sort of Kinect (or equivalent) support.

Comment: Re:$.99 Textbooks? Doubtful but... (Score 0) 396

by I'm not god any more (#38741874) Attached to: Apple Intends To 'Digitally Destroy' Textbook Publishing
I think $14.95 is quite reasonable:

If you're in a class of 30 then that's only 50 cents each. If you're talking a whole year of 6th graders, it could be as little as a dime each per book. Everyone's got a computer or iPad - right?

If your 10 year old kid is lugging 10 Kg of books to/from school each day, then it's a no brainer to get the soft copy. Heck - it makes the book searchable too.

Is this ethical or legal? If I've got the hard copy of a book - have I the right to use the soft copy? The small print at the start of the book would certainly like you to believe that you have no rights to do anything.

Comment: Re:Well, they're a good indicator of intelligence (Score 0) 672

by I'm not god any more (#38617858) Attached to: Are Brain Teasers Good Hiring Criteria?

you sometimes encounter like "How many pigeons are there is Manhattan" is that they are a very good way to judge someone's unstructured problem solving ability.

You should re-read that. I'm sure you didn't mean "there is Manhattan".

I'd fail the interview:
a) I'll annoy you with grammar corrections
b) point out that Passenger Pigeons have been extinct for quite some time.
c) African or European?
d) ask if we could change the question to something more warm and fuzzy, like estimating the number of squirrels in Los Angeles

Comment: Re:iPad books cost less? (Score 0) 396

by I'm not god any more (#38364750) Attached to: Goodbye Textbooks, Hello iPad
AFAIK you can load up an iPad with apps and then sell the iPad with all of its DRM'd content. So, there might be a market for used iPads loaded with the right textbooks. This will create a new cap on how high the publishers can charge for text books.

Apple's model of free app upgrades could be circumvented by the text book publishers by renaming the text book revisions in such a way that they show up as completely separate apps. So, the publisher's can still play the multiple revision game.

Seems to me that a professor could publish a PDF each year and eliminate the text book guys from the equation completely if they wanted to. That would also empower their students to pick their own reading platform.


Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming