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+ - How to fix Slashdot Beta? 17

Submitted by Forbo
Forbo (3035827) writes "Since the migration to Slashdot Beta was announced, it seems all meaningful discussion has been completely disrupted with calls to boycott and protest. Rather than pull an Occupy, what can be done to focus and organize the action? What is the end goal: To revert entirely to the previous site, or to address the problems with the new site?"

+ - AltSlashdot is coming-> 3

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "I've registered "AltSlashdot.org". I intend to run a site much like Slashdot used to be — better articles, less decoration and less "in your face" functionality. I'm reviewing and getting comfortable with slashcode right now. I'm looking for volunteers to help with setup and running the site. If the site becomes profitable, I intend to hire from the pool of volunteers. If you've ever wanted to participate in a site like Slashdot, here's your chance! I'm particularly in need of people who can:
  • Set up and manage a high-traffic site (servers, load-balancers, data sites, &c)
  • Edit story submissions
  • HTML, CSS, and script creation/bugfix/repair

Contact me if interested John (at) AltSlashdot (dot) org"
Link to Original Source

+ - Dice Holdings has written off Slashdot Media at the close of 2013-> 3

Submitted by moogla
moogla (118134) writes "Apparently Dice.com could not make Slashdot work they way they wanted to; with a murky plan to tap into the Slashdot-reader community to somehow drive attention or insight into other Dice Holdings properities, they've burned through

$7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media

and have only started to realize some improvement on related sites. With ad revenue declining and not expected to pick up (read: everyone who uses Slashdot uses adblocking softwarwe), it appears that the Slashdot stewardship experiment by Dice Holdings has been a financial failure. Since the site has been redesigned in a user-hostile fashion with a very generic styling, this reader surmises Dice Holdings is looking to transform or transfer the brand into a generic Web 3.0 technology property. The name may be more valuable than the user community (since we drive no revenue nor particularly use Dice.com's services)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Fuck beta 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The beta is bad. It's so bad. The comments are reduced in screen width about 50%. Subject lines are deemphasized, scores are minimized, etc.

The discussions are the reason to come to Slashdot, and the beta trivializes them entirely. It looks like the comment section on a generic news site.

The comments now look like an afterthought, whereas they used to be the primary focus of the site."

+ - User Backlash at Slashdot Beta Site-> 3

Submitted by hduff
hduff (570443) writes "Look at almost any current Slashdot story and see loyal, long-time members rail against the new site design, willing to burn precious karma points to post off-topic rants against the new design and it being forced on users by the Dice Overlords. Discussion has begun to create an alternate site."
Link to Original Source

+ - Boycott Beta 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

Captcha: fuckbeta

http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169357
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169451
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757045&cid=46168351
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4756947&cid=46167453"
Books

Book Review: The Digital Crown 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
benrothke writes "With Adobe Flash, it's possible to quickly get a pretty web site up and running; something that many firms do. But if there is no content behind the flashy web page, it's unlikely anyone will return. In The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web, author Ahava Leibtag does a fantastic job on showing how to ensure that your web site has what it takes to get visitors to return, namely great content." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.

+ - Mathematicians Team Up to Close the Prime Gap

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "On May 13, an obscure mathematician garnered worldwide attention and accolades from the mathematics community for settling a long-standing open question about prime numbers. Yitang Zhang showed that even though primes get increasingly rare as you go further out along the number line, you will never stop finding pairs of primes separated by at most 70 million. His finding was the first time anyone had managed to put a finite bound on the gaps between prime numbers, representing a major leap toward proving the centuries-old twin primes conjecture, which posits that there are infinitely many pairs of primes separated by only two (such as 11 and 13). Now Erica Klarreich reports at Quanta Magazine that there is nothing magical about 70 million — it served Zhang’s purposes and simplified his proof but other mathematicians quickly realized that it should be possible to push this separation bound quite a bit lower. By the end of May, mathematicians had uncovered simple tweaks to Zhang’s argument that brought the bound below 60 million. Then Terence Tao, a winner of the Fields Medal, mathematics’ highest honor, created a “Polymath project,” an open, online collaboration to improve the bound that attracted dozens of participants and by July 27, the team had succeeded in reducing the proven bound on prime gaps from 70 million to 4,680. Now James Maynard has upped the ante by presenting an independent proof that pushes the gap down to 600. A new Polymath project is in the planning stages, to try to combine the collaboration’s techniques with Maynard’s approach to push this bound even lower. Zhang’s work and, to a lesser degree, Maynard’s fits the archetype of the solitary mathematical genius, working for years in the proverbial garret until he is ready to dazzle the world with a great discovery. The Polymath project couldn’t be more different — fast and furious, massively collaborative, fueled by the instant gratification of setting a new world record. “It’s important to have people who are willing to work in isolation and buck the conventional wisdom,” says Tao. Polymath, by contrast, is “entirely groupthink.” Not every math problem would lend itself to such collaboration, but this one did."

+ - Practical Meter Proves Not All USB Power Created Equal->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "We've reached a point in our electronic lives where most of our gadgets draw power from a USB cable, and we have lots of USB ports to choose from — some of which live on other gadgets, some of which live on adapters that plug into your wall or car. But those ports supply wildly varying amounts of power, which can result in hours of difference in how long it takes your phone to charge. The Practical Meter, the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign, can help you figure out which power sources are going to juice up your gadgets the fastest."
Link to Original Source
Security

Airgap-Jumping Malware May Use Ultrasonic Networking To Communicate 265

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Dan Goodwin writes at Ars Technica about a rootkit that seems straight out of a science-fiction thriller. According to security consultant Dragos Ruiu one day his MacBook Air, on which he had just installed a fresh copy of OS X, spontaneously updated the firmware that helps it boot. Stranger still, when Ruiu then tried to boot the machine off a CD ROM, it refused and he also found that the machine could delete data and undo configuration changes with no prompting. Next a computer running the Open BSD operating system also began to modify its settings and delete its data without explanation or prompting and further investigation showed that multiple variants of Windows and Linux were also affected. But the story gets stranger still. Ruiu began observing encrypted data packets being sent to and from an infected laptop that had no obvious network connection with—but was in close proximity to—another badBIOS-infected computer. The packets were transmitted even when the laptop had its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards removed. Ruiu also disconnected the machine's power cord so it ran only on battery to rule out the possibility it was receiving signals over the electrical connection. Even then, forensic tools showed the packets continued to flow over the airgapped machine. Then, when Ruiu removed internal speaker and microphone connected to the airgapped machine, the packets suddenly stopped. With the speakers and mic intact, Ruiu said, the isolated computer seemed to be using the high-frequency connection to maintain the integrity of the badBIOS infection as he worked to dismantle software components the malware relied on. It's too early to say with confidence that what Ruiu has been observing is a USB-transmitted rootkit that can burrow into a computer's lowest levels and use it as a jumping off point to infect a variety of operating systems with malware that can't be detected. It's even harder to know for sure that infected systems are using high-frequency sounds to communicate with isolated machines. But after almost two weeks of online discussion, no one has been able to rule out these troubling scenarios, either. 'It looks like the state of the art in intrusion stuff is a lot more advanced than we assumed it was,' says Ruiu. 'The take-away from this is a lot of our forensic procedures are weak when faced with challenges like this. A lot of companies have to take a lot more care when they use forensic data if they're faced with sophisticated attackers.'"

+ - Humans Born in Space May Be Doomed to Gravity Sickness-> 1

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "From the "What's-Up-Doc?" Dept.
NASA first started sending jellyfish to space aboard the Columbia space shuttle during the early '90s to test how space flight would affect their development. Under the fantastic headline "Space-Born Jellyfish Hate Life On Earth" Popular Science notes that jellyfish babies, born in microgravity environments, "have to deal with massive vertigo on Earth after spending their first few days in space". There's a possibility for future generations of space-born human children, who might never be acclimatised to a terrestrial environment, and in fact could be incapacitated by gravity forces approaching "normal". Jellyfish tell up from down through calcium sulfate crystals that ring the bottom edge of their mushroom-like bodies. Humans sense gravity and acceleration through calcium crystals in the inner ear — similar to jellyfish — moving sensitive hair cells that signal our brains on direction of gravitation."

Link to Original Source

+ - the pixel painter->

Submitted by techstar123
techstar123 (3043141) writes "The pixel painter is Hal Lasko, mostly known as Grandpa, a 97-year-old man who uses Microsoft Paint and Windows 95 to create stuning artwork that has been described as “a collision of pointillism and 8-Bit art.” Lasko, who is legally blind, served in WWII drafting directional and weather maps for bombing raids and later worked as a typographer for clients such as General Tire, Goodyear and The Cleveland Browns before retiring in the 1970s."
Link to Original Source
Piracy

TV Show Piracy Soars After CBS Blackout 314

Posted by Soulskill
from the almost-as-if-these-things-are-related dept.
TorrentFreak reports that piracy rates of the television show Under the Dome shot up by more than a third last weekend, even though official ratings dropped. What caused the increase? On Friday, three million subscribers to Time Warner's cable TV service lost access to CBS programming, the network on which Under the Dome airs. The article says this provides compelling evidence that the availability of a show is a key factor in the decision to pirate it. "To find out whether download rates in the affected markets increased, we monitored U.S. BitTorrent downloads of last week's episode as well as the one that aired this Monday following the blackout. The data from these two samples show that in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Pittsburgh, relatively more people downloaded the latest episode, an indication that customers are turning to unauthorized channels to get the show. With hundreds of thousands of downloads Under The Dome is one of the most pirated TV-shows at the moment. Of all sampled downloaders in the U.S. 10.9% came from the blackout regions for last week's episode, and this increased to 14.6% for Monday's episode, a 34% increase. In New York City, one of the largest affected markets, the relative piracy rate more than doubled from 1.3% of all U.S. downloads last week to 3% for the episode that aired after the blackout."
Displays

Oculus Rift Raises Another $16 Million 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Craefter writes "It seems that the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset caught the attention of investors after its showing at E3 this year. Spark Capital and Matrix Partners were able to push $16 million at Oculus VR in the hopes that the product will live up to the hype. The HD unit looks a bit more slick than the ski-goggles-with-a-tablet-glued-to-it prototype, but the device would look even more appealing if the next-gen consoles would commit to supporting it. (We all know how well the PS3's 'wave-stick' did as an afterthought.) That said, major titles like the 9-year-old Half-Life 2 and the 6-year-old Team Fortress 2 are getting full support for the device. Hopefully some developers are looking into support for the Oculus Rift as a launch feature, rather than an addition years after the fact. IA bit like the EAX standard from Soundblaster. That worked out well too."

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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