Wow... it's just hard to believe. Really.
Well, perhaps there is hope for Slashdot. Or perhaps it is just my blood sugar being low, as dinner is still cooking.
I received the following email:
Subject: Your feedback wanted on the Slashdot Discussion System
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 17:13:46 -0400 (11/01/2010 04:13:46 PM)
Greetings Slashdot Discussion User,
We'd like your feedback on the Slashdot Discussion system.
Recently we performed a test moving many users who had chosen the
Classic Discussion System over to our newer Discussion2 system.
During the process we took note of which users switched their pref
back to the Classic Discussion System, and noticed you were among
You've shown your preference for the Classic Discussion System, but we
want to know *why* you prefer it, and *what* you prefer about it.
We'd like you to let us know:
* What you don't like, doesn't work, is confusing, or missing from
* What can we improve on Discussion2 to make it more usable for you?
* What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
* What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
read, moderate, and participate in discussions?
You can give us your feedback by replying to this email, or sending a
message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all your contributions on Slashdot. We look forward to
your feedback, and using it to make Slashdot better for you, and all
your fellow commenters, readers, and moderators.
-- The Slashdot Team
To which I replied:
On Mon, 2010-11-01 at 17:13 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
* What you don't like
, doesn't work
, is confusing, or missing from
* What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
* What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
> Ha! As if I CAN ever moderate! I had not seen mod points in two years when I finally decided to not waste my time on metamoderation or moderation.
> and participate in discussions
So, the folks at Cracked.com on occasion are funny. When they're not funny, they're very easy to troll about it.
So, you are a participant on an online forum, and somebody has asked a question. You want to answer it, but before you click Reply, take a moment to think about answering the question The Smart Way.
First of all, are you really about to answer the question? If somebody asks "Where can I find some water?", saying "There's beer in the fridge" isn't answering the question they asked. It may be answering the question "Where is there something to drink?", but that's not what was asked.
Now, it may be legitimate to ask for more detail - "what do you need water for? Are you thirsty? Is it for irrigation? Is something on fire?" - but only if the question is unclear. A clear question deserves a clear answer (with possibly a request for more detail):
"Where can I find some water?"
"There's a faucet over there - why do you need water?"
Then if the person says "Because I'm thirsty", you can mention the beer. If they say "Because my cat is on fire", well, the beer probably wasn't the right answer.
Second, is your answer helpful?
If somebody asks "How do I keep my hard disk cool when it's 50C where I am using it?", then "Go someplace cooler" isn't helpful. You don't know why he's working someplace so hot, so take it as a precondition that he has to work there. Saying "Don't use it where it's so hot - that voids the warranty" isn't answering the question asked in a way that is useful.
Third, if you are going to answer "RTFM" - you might actually take a moment to supply a link to where the Fine Manual is - perhaps even point out a chapter or page that addresses the issue. Likewise, "Search the F'n Web" isn't as helpful as adding a quick link with the right search terms. And if you are too busy to be bothered with doing that, then you are too busy to answer the question, so let somebody else do it.
Fourth, saying "Everybody always asks that" or "That question comes up everytime $THING is mentioned" isn't answering the question. Try saying "This is a common issue, look at this URL for info". Oh, there is no URL you can give? Then perhaps this is a question that deserves a FAQ somewhere?
It's OK to point somebody at How to ask questions the Smart Way" if they need it, but ultimately, they asked a question because, curiously enough, they would like to know the answer to their question . It's only Smart to actually provide it.
It's about an airline seat called the "SkyRider", which is designed to cram a passenger into only 23 inches, being demonstrated at an airline industry conference.
There's this wonderful quote in the article:
The airline industry had nearly recovered from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when the recession hit in 2007, dramatically cutting demand, particularly among business travelers who began flying less, booking economy-class seats and staying in cheaper hotels.
Hmm. The recession could be the cause, or perhaps the cause is that most people don't find flying enjoyable, and that in many cases flying isn't any faster than driving? I was talking with a co-worker from another facility, who was in Wichita for a meeting. He had to fly back to Columbus, OH, and it would take him 10 hours to do so. Look at this map.
Google is pretty conservative about its time estimates, and THEY have it being 14 hours to drive. Now, you might argue that, given 14 hours driving vs. 4 hours flying and a 6 hour layover, flying would be preferable. But consider how much bull you have to put up with flying. Consider that driving, you can stop in KC for BBQ, stop in St. Louis at the Arch, and that you WON'T have your trip canceled mid-way because of weather.
Now the suppliers for the airlines are suggesting I make the whole trip damn near standing, crammed in like a sardine. And they wonder why people don't want to fly.
1) the suppliers are stupid, the airlines are not stupid, and this will go nowhere.
2) The suppliers are stupid, the airlines are stupid, they will adopt this, and then wonder why their brand-new "densified" planes are empty.
3) The airlines are smart, and are getting this sort of thing shown so they can say "See, we *care* about you, and we didn't adopt this, because we know you have a choice, and we want you to want to fly with us."
I just don't know which is true.
Oh, feel the BURN!
One wonders when this will hit the front page, if at all.
Of course, I don't give a rat's pink rectal tissue about "social media" (see previous JE) - but the rising irrelevance of Slashdot (again, previous JE and discussion) *is* a fact.
And if I had wings and a rocket up my ass I could fly.
What is it with every entity with which I have any form of business relationship with wanting to offer me <voice type="Annoying TV announcer"> A really great deal on [home|car|life] insurance - save HUNDREDS OF $$$$!!!!! </voice>
NRA, AAA, IEEE, ARRL, all 3 of my credit cards, my credit union - heck, I think even my cell provider has offered me insurance at one point!
I do wish these businesses would realize I want ONE THING from them - whatever line of business they are in - and THAT'S IT. I don't want them "sharing" my data with a "business partner"! If I want to evaluate other insurance options I will do so - until then SHADDUP!
And of course, there is the tangentially related "Oh, you need OUR credit card!" - NO I DON'T. I have three cards already, thank you - and each of them has a limit higher than many people earn in a year (not that I carry a balance or approach those limits, of course).
Then there is the wonderfulness the cards I do have, and every month sending me an envelope labeled "IMPORTANT ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS" (read: STEAL THIS!) that are nothing but a bunch of "checks" - "Go ahead, CONSUME! BUY STUFF! USE THESE! ignore the cash advance fee". Guys, I have a perfectly good checkbook with checks in it - in fact, since I pay almost everything electronically, I have PLENTY of checks with which to buy things; checks that DON'T cost me interest the instant I sign them.
I am getting so tired of every damn business trying to screw that last extra dollar out of me, that one additional "revenue stream". I am doing business with you, how about you focus on that, hmm?
(and the final rant: it's getting to the point where about the only time I feel like posting on
Over the years, I've done a lot of traveling, and stayed in many hotels, from hole-in-the-wall to posh^2. Most hotel rooms will have a copy of the Bible, put there by the Gideons. Many will also have a book of Mormon, put there by the Church of Latter Day Saints. But I have *never* seen any sort of book of science and reason.
Now, I would fight to the death to support the right of the Gideons and the Mormons to put these books in the rooms - they are spending their own time and money, they are not obligating the hotel to do anything, it's free speech and it's a good thing.
But I wonder about a couple of things:
1) Why is there no organization putting a book of science out there? With all the modern-day aggressive-in-your-face atheists out there, you'd think they'd be organizing something like this.
2) Assuming such an organization occurred, what book would they put out there?
In this posting on DailyKos they make the very blunt point that Liberals SHOULD be supportive of the Second Amendment. Of course, back home in my world, that is about as likely as tom cats volunteering for neutering.
I will say this: while I usually disagree with much of what DailyKos publishes, I have respected, and do respect the fact that they are quite open about their biases and beliefs - I'd far rather deal with somebody I *know* has a bias than somebody who tries to bullshit me about being "fair". And their recent handling of the polling scandal was refreshing - too many entities (on BOTH the radical right and the radical left!) would have whipped out the old Dustbuster and started sweeping that under the rug at the first opportunity.
So, on this day off, in celebration and remembrance of our hard-won freedoms in this country, I salute you, DailyKos - while I may disagree with much of what you say, I shall fight to the death if needed to protect your right to say it - and I am glad you (or at least some of you) feel the same!.
In all the typical
Expect many liberals to explode.
Expect many Fourth Of July celebrations!
(08:08:40 PM) DJVladn8r: Ok, so, these are several of the acts from P-Con, but not necessarily the stuff they played. I have all of it, but we all just heard it at Penguicon, so this is kind of "Vlad's favorite stuff by the artists who were at Penguicon."
(08:09:08 PM) DJVladn8r: Plus some Schaffer.
(08:10:11 PM) WildCard9: that works, Vlad
(08:10:22 PM) WildCard9: you dont need to recreate the concerts
(08:10:39 PM) DJVladn8r: So, I have this cool idea for the Camarilla Vampire game.
(08:10:44 PM) DJVladn8r: I'm going to make a "Player"
(08:10:58 PM) DJVladn8r: Player's aren't big stars, they just like to pretend they are one.
(08:11:09 PM) WildCard9: so a wannabe
(08:11:24 PM) DJVladn8r: A blood line of the Mekhet, they are involved in showbiz in so much as a Vampire can be.
(08:11:28 PM) DJVladn8r: Exactly, WildCard9
(08:11:46 PM) DJVladn8r: So, mine is going to be a wannabe Nerd Core rapper.
(08:11:52 PM) WildCard9: heh!!
(08:12:03 PM) DJVladn8r: This will give me a way to actually 'play test' the stuff I'm writing.
(08:12:08 PM) WildCard9: that definately goes against the gothic image of vampires.
(08:12:11 PM) DJVladn8r: In front of a real crowd.
(08:12:13 PM) BB`12 is now known as BB`13
(08:12:22 PM) DJVladn8r: Oh, it could TOTALLY be Goth, too.
(08:12:34 PM) DJVladn8r: Those most vampires in the Requiem game very much aren't goth at all.
(08:12:40 PM) DJVladn8r: That's mostly a Daeva thing...
(08:12:47 PM) DJVladn8r: Ask VoK, she plays one of those.
(08:12:50 PM) WildCard9: ah, got it
(08:13:06 PM) haikupoet [~firstname.lastname@example.org] entered the room.
(08:13:18 PM) DJVladn8r: So - I'm looking for ideas. If you were a Vampire, and you were a nerd core wannabe, what would you write about?
Givafuconium - a rare material, which is used by the human brain to scavenge and remove bullshit from external sources. As givafuconium is depleted, the subject becomes increasingly agitated and irritable. There are only a few methods to restore normal levels, such as vacation time, however, with proper management (removal of sources of depletion) a normal human can survive for months without external replenishment.
Givafuconium also decays naturally, and over time an individual's ability to store it is reduced - explaining the YKGOML ("You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!") syndrome.
Unfortunately, of late I have a few cow-orkers who have been seriously depleting my stores of givafuconium, and with the upcoming elections here in the US, I fear my supply may be too low.
I really wish somebody would drive into Rob's head the idea that "An April Fool's Joke SHALL be FUNNY."
Oh well, time to start my yearly "Ignore
If anybody cares and has the skills, my employer is looking for people with Unified Modeling Language (UML) experience (experience with Enterprise Architect a plus) for our Wichita, KS division. This is a long-term job - FYI, I've been here for coming up on 20 years this April.
On the off chance that anybody reading my JEs is interested or knows anybody interested, let me know.
Per my usual, since I have had a temporary lapse of judgement and attempted to submit a story to
wowbagger writes "Has anybody ever heard of a VNC-like tool that, instead of exporting to Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol or VNC, exports the display to a UPnP hosted MPEG stream?
With the rising number of set top boxes/TV sets/media players that can play MPEG content from a UPnP server, a program that could scrape a display, convert it to an MPEG stream, and send it via UPnP to those devices could allow many existing devices to act as a remote display. Yes, exporting via MPEG wouldn't be as "good" as via a protocol designed for such a purpose, but unless and until you see all these devices coming with a VNC or RDP client, that option is not open.
Even better would be a program that acted like vncserver in that it would create a virtual display that persisted even when no client was connected, so that an otherwise headless server could be viewed via a set top box."
BTW - am I the only one who thinks the UI on