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Comment: Re:9 million new net enrollment (Score 1) 723

by Japher (#46721511) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

No, in fact, you said they were coming from Medicaid

No, in fact, I did not. You seem to be a little bit confused. Or a liar. Or both. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're just confused.

Whatever the case, confused, liar, or confused liar, I don't see any point in continuing this thread. Therefore, I will bid you adieu. That's French for goodbye.

+ - 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."

Comment: Read section (I) of the law for the whole story (Score 5, Informative) 670

by Japher (#45521713) Attached to: Driver Arrested In Ohio For Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_SB_305
(I) This section does not apply to a box, safe, container, or other item added to a vehicle for the purpose of securing valuables, electronics, or firearms provided that at the time of discovery the box, safe, container, or other item added to the vehicle does not contain a controlled substance or visible residue of a controlled substance.

So it's OK to have a hidden compartment in your car as long as it does not contain a controlled substance or visible residue of a controlled substance. For the record, I still think the law is crap but it's not as bad as the article makes it out to be.

Comment: Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score 1) 380

by Japher (#41924681) Attached to: Bradley Manning Offers Partial Guilty Plea To Military Court
I'm having trouble seeing how you can call what he did whistleblowing. He didn't find evidence of wrongdoing and send it to a third party to investigate... he released tens of thousands of cables wholesale. He had no idea what he was releasing to the public, and I haven't seen a single cable that shows wrongdoing on the part of the US government. If they exist, point them out and I'll retract that statement. But even if he had exposed crimes, it still doesn't excuse his actions. If a gunman fires randomly into a crowd and ends up killing a wanted felon accidentally, that doesn't excuse the original crime. Manning needlessly put lives at risk. He should be punished.

Comment: Re:Oh waaa (Score 1) 166

by Japher (#40215469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot. Best Online Science Course?
>It's the job of educators to make complicated material straightforward to understand.

Well, almost. It is the job of educators to make complicated material as straightforward and easy to understand as possible, but no more. Some things are just plain hard. Additionally, educators must concern themselves with what works for the majority of their students, and have to accept that they won't be able to make things clear for everyone. There comes a point of diminishing returns in simplification and ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to fill in the gaps.

>If it can't be done that way YET, then people with more imagination than you will figure out how to do it. All I ask is that you don't stand in their way, or denigrate them as they accomplish what you cannot imagine.

And in return I ask that you recognize that educators are doing their damndest to teach material that they have spent a lifetime gathering and that expecting them to have a magic bullet is unreasonable in the extreme.

Comment: Re:We need a new fashion (Score 1) 258

by Japher (#38602396) Attached to: Avoiding Facial Recognition of the Future
In addition to the point made by _0xd0ad, note that camera takes a picture of everything in its field of view which may include the car in front of or behind a car running a red light, and, depending on camera placement, cars which are legally stopped at the intersection. So no matter the country where the camera is deployed, it will probably be capturing innocent vehicles along with offenders.

Comment: I have to question the methodology (Score 2) 270

by Japher (#37726758) Attached to: Correlating Psychopathy With Speech Patterns
From TFA:

>Two text analysis tools were used to examine the crime narratives of 14 psychopathic and 38 non-psychopathic homicide offenders

The abstract indicates that the study only looked at homicide offenders, and compared them only to other homicide offenders, not to any non-homicide offenders. They also only looked at a total of 52 people which doesn't seem like enough to me. There are so many factors which can change an individual's speech patters that claiming that the findings mean anything at all is irresponsible.

Take this study with a statistically significant grain of salt.

Comment: Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (Score 1) 433

by Japher (#37635220) Attached to: Civil Suit Filed, Involving the Time Zone Database
I wasn't aware that place names weren't allowed to change over time. Do you still refer to Canada as The Dominion of Canada too, or do you just stick with New France to be safe? If you want to be truly pedantic, it should be pointed out that the term "America" was originally only applied to what is today South America, with North America labeled "Terra Incognita" or Unknown Lands. So what right to you have to say that YOU live in America at all? According to Vespucci, you may not.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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