I have to agree that Beta is not so awesome. Doesn't work on my droid phone so I lose 30 mins a day looking at other sites.
A lot of the issues go deeper than Beta though. Firstly, as IT folks we are (mostly!):
Have disposable income
Revel in nerdy stuff
Have decision making/influencing power.
All the above is an IT advertisers wet dream
I am starting to find the content rather dull and repetitive.
Can you imagine the sort of stories that could be brought to Slashdot as an exclusive if Slashdot actually paid for original unique content and also got editors that can do the job to a higher standard. Imagine the uber geek stuff that could be created if people were motivated enough. Original stuff that brings new blood, new thinking, decent ad revenue. Think of the interesting stories that could be told by you guys, right here, if you had the incentive.
I can't disclose exactly what I am writing about at present, but all the good stuff is going to people who pay me for my time. Slashdot needs some of this!
In short rather than messing with beta, start getting some original content. Differentiate Slashdot, make it relevant, make it fresh.