Normal Slashdot has a "disable ads" button if you have good karma. I believe that is what they are rederring to.
Indeed. That's Maker mode, as I mentioned, though Maker mode doesn't get offered for merely good karma.
I've implemented ad hiding for Maker mode, but if I can reproduce a bug with it, I'll fix it.
The acquisition makes sense, in that they obviously want ratings of restaurants (and other places) on Maps, and they've already changed tactics there once or twice. This'll pretty much take care of that problem.
I start to wonder, though, whether any acquisition by Google wouldn't "make sense". Their purchase of Motorola Mobility makes sense, too (though not to everyone). When you buy a consumer electronics company and a restaurant guide in consecutive months, what won't you buy? What acquisitions won't "make sense"?
Google buys Pacific Gas and Electric for $20B. Makes sense...
Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.