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Comment: Re:I cant turn off beta to read slashdot. How do I (Score 1) 246

You can opt out of the beta by hitting the Slashdot Classic link in the footer. Or click this:

That wasn't working this weekend. I'd visit a story and be forced into beta and the header indicated I was logged out. I'd hit that no beta link and I'd be back at the main page, logged in. I'd click a link to the story and be back in beta and logged out. Repeat several times, since obviously if it didn't work the first time it's going to work the 3rd time. No script blockers or cookie blocking on my end since it breaks too much crap.

Comment: Re:What do the cartridges cost? (Score 1) 400

You do know that there are printer manufacturers that provide you with options for using economic ink refill systems. I haven't been able to demo it yet, but there are some options from Sign Warehouse that will allow our business to print our own signage and we can be economical with the ink since they offer an optional refill system.

When you're paying $5k for a desktop printer, they don't need to make up the price on ink. That's hardly a consumer level printer though.

Comment: Re:What do the cartridges cost? (Score 1) 400

Depending on the 3-D printer that you have, you can buy the spools of material separately, then load it into a cartridge. You could probably do this on all machines with a small amount of modding.

You used to be able to inject fresh ink into inkjet ink cartridges, until the printer companies got wise and chipped them so they can only dispense so much ink before expiring.

Comment: Re:Good PR Move (Score 1, Redundant) 250

by Spiridios (#46545061) Attached to: Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

Fluke moves from villain to hero.

$30K is cheap for good PR.

While I agree it's good PR and great thing for Fluke to do, one wonders at the price of Fluke vs the price of those knockoffs, how many Flukes will Sparkfun actually get? It's obviously not a 1:1 replacement, and probably shouldn't be, but Sparkfun might still be coming out negative on this if they were planning on selling those original meters.

+ - 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: Re:Internet history repeating (1996 Hasbro vs IEG) (Score 1) 169

by Spiridios (#46028759) Attached to: <em>Candy Crush</em> Maker Has Trademarked 'Candy' For Games

Recall that trademaks on Candy were among the first intellectual property debates involving the entire internet: Hasbro vs. Internet Entertainment Group "CANDYLAND Case"

That appears to be over "Candy Land", not "Candy". I doubt anyone would care if "Candy Crush" was trademarked. Here, the sole word "Candy" has been trademarked in conjunction with video games as a whole, and could conceivably be used against Hasbro if Hasbro came out with a Candy Land video game. King doesn't seem to care what kind of game it is, just that the word "Candy" appears in the title.

Comment: Re:Uh? (Score 2) 408

by Spiridios (#46028151) Attached to: Short Notice: LogMeIn To Discontinue Free Access

That's the problem with depending on a "free" service.

Isn't that the most important lesson from all of this? Google cancels stuff willy-nilly (admittedly with decent notice). Other stuff disappears completely. Even paid services get acquired, merged, destroyed.

If you rely on a free web service for personal use, you could be in for a shock. If you rely on a free web service to run a business .... I don't want to buy shares of your company.

That said, I use gmail and Google calendar. I should know better....

What's the answer? I suppose I should say, "do it all yourself" but that can be a tall order, especially if you need to sync mobile devices or multiple operating systems. The truth is, I don't know of an easy answer.

I'd say "if you rely on a third-party web service with no alternatives or exit plans, then you're screwed whether you pay for it or not." Relying on a third-party email provider is pretty easy, just point your MX record at the new server, bam, you're migrated. Ok, so there's replication and actual migration, but the point is email is standard and you can pick and choose at will if one service goes away. You were making backups right? When LogMeIn, Google whatever, Facebook, etc, go belly up, get bought out, or just decide to shut off the service you like because it's not profitable, you're sunk because they are not standard.

Comment: Re:I remember the discovery just a few years back (Score 1) 21

Basically put sand in a tough balloon, push it onto something so it deforms around it, and suck out the air -- boom, a near-rocklike custom-shape gripper.

Pretty much. There's a couple of links in TFA, but this video I found was pretty illustrative: Versaball

Comment: Re:oh duh (Score 1) 301

by Spiridios (#45955897) Attached to: Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows

Computer geeks do do two finger typing. Personally, I touch type like a proper typist, but a younger colleague of mine types almost as fast as me using a rather frantic two finger typing method. I reckon he'd be good for about 70wpm if he tried one of those typing test things.

Just about everywhere I've ever worked, I've worked with someone that types fast (for a programmer) with only 2 fingers. There are also the dvorak-wielding snobs. Just because we all sit in front of a keyboard doesn't mean we all use them exactly the same.

Comment: Re:Daisy, Daisy... (Score 4, Interesting) 264

by Spiridios (#45730923) Attached to: Scientists Extract RSA Key From GnuPG Using Sound of CPU

In High School, we had a program we would run on the IBM 1620 (this was in ancient history...) that would play a song on a transistor radio placed on the console. Somebody figured out what instructions to run to create different frequencies.

We used to just leave the radio there even when not running that program.

"That's a loop!"

"Whoa! A "FORMAT" statement!"

One can easily see how A leads to B.

Back when the 486dx4 was out, I'd tune my FM radio to ~100mHz and listen to the weird whirs and buzzes that occurred during disk access or mouse movement. Many years later, during a security class of all things, when I suggested using this as a method to leak information out of a secure room, the speaker said using radio transmission to leak information was much too sophisticated to be a viable attack for anything but the government and military.

Comment: Re:I can't remember (Score 2) 144

Web Audio API actually is an interesting feature.

See some of it in action:

This is the feature I've been waiting for since I like to write games and port them to HTML5. I have an audio-only game that only worked in Chrome until today because I had the audacity to require left/right panning.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"