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+ - Slashdot BETA Discussion-> 60

Submitted by mugnyte
mugnyte (203225) writes "With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style."
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Comment: Agreed (Score 1) 237

by Optic7 (#46167055) Attached to: Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

I also want to add my vote against this design. I'm not a web designer, so can't give detailed suggestions about the design, but I agree with what tooyoung described above and with what valdrax described below, along with a few others. I think it boils down to:

Too much white space - use the screen as much as possible for the relevant information.
Not enough information - where is all the info on replies, post numbers, relationship, uid number, etc?
Loss of functionality - how do I open an entire branch of a thread to read? How do I even change my account settings?

Achievements? Really? Is this an xbox fansite now?

Sorry, but the new design is pretty terrible.

PS: Why does my post lose the blank lines I added between paragraphs?

Comment: Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (Score 1) 383

by Optic7 (#45957259) Attached to: Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

Sorry, but I have to add one more vote for this "cause" of the crisis being right-wing propaganda.

The requirement to make loans to low-income people had little to do with how the sub-prime crisis went down. Instead it was mostly caused by greed in just about every sector. Here are a couple of links with a lot more details: - a great radio documentary, including first hand accounts of what was happening on the ground (i.e. people making money tons of money) when the whole bubble exploded. - all the details you could want.

Comment: Re:there's got to be a catch (Score 1) 138

by Optic7 (#45621081) Attached to: Patent Troll Bill Clears House With Huge Majority

I agree with a lot of what you say, but in the interest of correcting a misconception for those with short memories, Google created AdSense LOOONG before they bought DoubleClick (apparently 2003 vs. 2007). In fact, the US and EU governments had to analyze and approve the deal for fear of a monopoly, since Google was already an advertising behemoth (IIRC, the number one internet advertising company) by the time they became interested in DoubleClick. In other words, DoubleClick would just serve as icing on their AdSense advertising cake.

Comment: Isn't this whole thing against Texas law? (Score 1) 470

by Optic7 (#45206975) Attached to: Would-Be Tesla Owners Jump Through Hoops To Skirt Wacky Texas Rules

They have a "free enterprise and antitrust act" in their state's laws that appears to me to cover exactly this kind of situation:

Sec. 15.04. PURPOSE AND CONSTRUCTION. The purpose of this Act is to maintain and promote economic competition in trade and commerce occurring wholly or partly within the State of Texas and to provide the benefits of that competition to consumers in the state. The provisions of this Act shall be construed to accomplish this purpose and shall be construed in harmony with federal judicial interpretations of comparable federal antitrust statutes to the extent consistent with this purpose.

Comment: Good idea for anyone who works - learn on your own (Score 1) 167

by Optic7 (#45165537) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: As a Programmer/Geek, Should I Learn Business?

Learning about business is probably a good idea for anyone who works for a living, and possibly others.

I decided to this recently and went back and forth with the idea of going for an MBA, but realized that the return on my investment of money and time to get it would not be worth it, so I decided to learn on my own.

The first book that I'm reading for that purpose, and I'm glad that it is, is "The Personal MBA: Master The Art of Business" by Josh Kaufman. This has been excellent so far, giving a concise introduction from scratch to what seems to me like a complete A to Z of business topics, and providing pointers to where to learn more. The writing is clear, and I have actually been enjoying reading it.

After reading that, you can branch out into more specialized books on topics about which you would like to learn more. The author of the book above has read thousands of books on business and other related topics and points you to the ones that he believes are worth your time.

Good luck!

Comment: IT'S A TRAP! (Score 1) 94

by Optic7 (#45146033) Attached to: Glenn Greenwald Leaves the <em>Guardian</em> To Start His Own Site

Hmmm... this once in a lifetime journalistic opportunity wouldn't happen to require him to take a quick little trip to the US or to some other US-associated (most of the developed world) country, would it? I'm thinking of the "you've won a prize!" traps that the police sets up once in a while to trap people that have arrest warrants.

Comment: Re:Is it still just Amazon content consumption? (Score 2) 88

by Optic7 (#44953373) Attached to: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

Exactly, I came on here to say basically the same thing. The new Kindle Fire HDX 7" is the same price as a Nexus 7 of the same configuration (16GB, WiFi): $229. Why on earth would anyone buy a hobbled, locked down thing that does nothing beyond what the more open option does (in fact, it does a lot less)? In fact, that price on the HDX is for the "special offers" version, which forces you to have ads. If Amazon was subsidizing it to be under $100 to compensate for all the shortcomings it would be a different story, but at the same price? I just don't get it.

Ok, so I just did a search for a comparison between the two, and apparently the HDX has an upgraded CPU and GPU vs. the Nexus. Big flipping deal. They should still make it $100 or less if they want us to put up with major lockdown and ads. Talk about one being born every day.

Comment: Two great comments on TFA (Score 1) 413

by Optic7 (#44502215) Attached to: Former NSA Chief Warns Hackers Will Attack US If Snowden Is Captured

In case some of you didn't read them, I have to quote two great comments on that Guardian page:

06 August 2013 5:27pm

WASHINGTON -- The former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA speculated on Tuesday that "nerds" and "homos" were likely to respond with cyber-terror attacks if the United States government apprehends whistleblower Edward Snowden.

"If and when our government grabs Edward 'Four-Eyes' Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what do these losers do?" said retired air force general Michael Hayden, referring to "oily, obese, pock-marked nerds, geeks, aspies, anime fans, bronies, freaks, homos, LARPers, asthmatics, Guy Fawkes mask-owners, twentysomethings who haven't left their mother's basement, let alone talked to the opposite sex in five or six years.

"Snowden is a little spaz-boy, and I'd like to dunk his head in the toilet, take his lunch money and give him a wedgie," he continued. "And if these little freaks of nature want to try to hack us, they've got another thing coming!"

When asked what sort of security measures were in place to prevent such cyber attacks against military networks, General Hayden responded, "We just installed the latest version of Norton Antivirus."

Aside from being hilarious, it's a very insightful commentary on the original. It illustrates that many in the defense/intelligence industry, especially more so the higher up in the leadership chain, are basically the bullies from their school days. This guy is basically Biff from Back to the Future, 50 years later.

Then, there's this:

07 August 2013 2:52pm

Just me, or do all these NSA hotshots look like alien extras on the set of a vintage Star Trek episode?

Macrocephalics on parade.

Bald, pink, pumpkin headedness must be the career track in-look on Kolob.

That and the over done military uniforms with the SS style cues.

The total picture makes me think they're not even trying any more to hide their real domination through omniscience.


Comment: Re:Seriously? I mean seriously? (Score 2) 411

by Optic7 (#44453447) Attached to: Snowden Granted One-Year Asylum In Russia

That heritage foundation index that you linked is a poor source to quote as evidence in this discussion, as they clearly are only measuring economic freedom (it's clearly mentioned in every page of that index), or, in other words, how free you are to rake in the money, and how much the country's economic system facilitates that.

The index does not measure, and has nothing to say, about the main topics at hand - civil liberties and human rights - so it doesn't refute the binary guy's claims even one bit. In fact, it's almost completely unrelated to his claims.

Comment: I've been wondering the same thing (Score 1) 271

by Optic7 (#43219387) Attached to: Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse?

I have an old X30 that I bought for about $150 on ebay a few years ago and is still going strong. It's great for travel because it's very small but has full-sized keyboard keys, and I don't have to stress out if it gets stolen or broken.

They're usually great laptops to buy used because they're so tough and they have traditionally only been used by businesses, usually on relatively short leases, and not subject to the same kinds of punishment that personal laptops suffer from mostly home use. I also supported thinkpads in business use a few years ago.

Although I thought it was BS when I first saw it on TV, I eventually came to realize that the old ad where they promoted Thinkpads as being the best and most desirable business laptops was really true.

Anyway, I recently saw a new thinkpad in person and the first thing that struck me was the chiclet keyboard. They had probably the best keyboards in the business and instead chose to kind of imitate Apple, who probably have the worst keyboards. Even though they at least gave the keys some natural curvature (unlike Apple), it still didn't feel right. That right there would probably prevent me from buying a new one.

Another thing that they are apparently imitating Apple on is the integrated battery business. Unforgivable and unacceptable, and again, no sale.

What's next? No ethernet port? Mini display port? Glossy screen? No user replaceable or upgradable parts? Whatever other usability-disabling "feature" Apple decides to push on their willing users?

Comment: Re:And people wonder why the US is going broke... (Score 1) 728

by Optic7 (#42986641) Attached to: For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

Resumes come in a wide variety of formats, fonts, etc, and candidates rarely put the information I'm looking for on the first page...

Hi, do you mind telling us what you're looking for on the first page? It could be useful for everyone (managers and applicants) to spread this information as widely as possible. Thanks.

Comment: Re:OUYA: Free To Play PITA. (Score 1) 196

by Optic7 (#42805133) Attached to: OUYA Android Game Console Available In June

The way I read their FAQ is that you must have SOME free element to the game that the buyer can try first, not that you have to provide the whole game that can then be unlocked after purchase. But I will defer to you since you seem to have read the actual developer docs.

Anyway, as a consumer I love the fact that I will be able to try any of the games before I buy one. I understand that that hasn't worked well for you in the past, but what if the fact that everyone is required to do the same actually ends up counteracting the kinds losses that you've experienced providing demos? If everyone has to put their cards on the table, it could actually even things out, as opposed to an environment where only some developers make demos available while others don't.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin