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Comment Re:Happening in software too (Score 1) 622

Yep. JetBrains is trying to go that direction with their new "subscription" model too, though they didn't jump in with quite both feet after the initial announcement wasn't met with universal enthusiasm. They make good products, no doubt. But there are plenty of 'good enough' alternatives to make me wonder if their dreams will come true.

Because the other 'unlimited' resource that actually isn't is the ability for everyone to pay regular subscription fees for everything all the time forever. And with the contraction of the middle class, the amount of available resource is dwindling fast.


Volkswagen Boss Blames Software Engineers For Scandal ( 479

hattig writes: Today VW's Michael Horn is testifying to Congress and has blamed the recent scandal on engineers saying: "It's the decision of a couple of software engineers, not the board members." However, 530,000 cars in the U.S. will need to be recalled for significant engine modifications, not a software fix. Only 80,000 Passats are eligible for the software fix. There is no word on the effects these modifications will have on the cars' performance, fuel consumption, etc. The BBC reports: "The issue of defeat devices at VW has been a historic problem, points out a Congress panel member questioning VW US chief Michael Horn. In 1974, VW had a run-in with US authorities regarding the use of defeat devices in 1974, and in December 2014 it recalled cars to address nox emissions."

Former Reuters Media Editor Found Guilty of Helping Anonymous Hack Into LA Times ( 36

An anonymous reader writes: Prolific tweeter and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys, charged with computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, was found guilty today on all counts and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced in January. Wired reports: "According to authorities, during a recorded FBI interview with Keys in October 2012 at his home, prior to his indictment, he admitted to his involvement in the hacking of the L.A. Times, and to sending a series of disparaging, sometimes threatening e-mails to a former employer. Keys waived his Miranda rights at the time of the interview and was concerned that the case not be publicized, apparently believing he might get off as a cooperating witness."

A Remarkable Number of People Think 'The Martian' Is Based On a True Story ( 367

MarkWhittington writes: The Martian is a smash hit movie that made $100 million worldwide during its first weekend. The science and engineering depicted was, with certain notable exceptions, near perfect. The cinematography and special effects were so well done that one could almost imagine that Ridley Scott sent Matt Damon and a film crew to Mars to shoot the movie. In fact, perhaps the film was a little too good. Buzzfeed took a stroll through social media and discovered that many people think that The Martian is based on a true story.

Sprint Drops Two-Year Contracts 112

An anonymous reader writes: Following the recent news that Verizon has ended smartphone subsidies, now Sprint has announced it is ending two-year contracts as well. This leaves AT&T as the last of the major carriers to offer such a plan. Most consumers will now have to get used to paying full price for their phones, though Sprint is also running a phone-leasing plan that lets people pay an additional $22/month for an 16GB iPhone, with yearly upgrades.

Comment Re:Please fix slashdot (Score 2) 116

I'm not sure I get the problem. If you click on the post title, you get exactly the same as you always did, that is the post and comments. I'm using /. classic with full noscript though...

(Aside: Full noscript here too, though I don't think there's a /. classic any more, since the beta seems to be gone, or at least not actively being promoted).

The problem in part is that many people probably click on that spot due to muscle memory - I have for over a decade. Suddenly that link has been replaced by a button that does something totally different and not universally desirable. For no good reason. The paranoid cynics might think that the placement of the social media button there is deliberate to draw accidental clicks or entice people to share more, precisely because of the aforementioned muscle memory. I'm not paranoid, but I'm becoming a cynic when it comes to this site, so I could believe that. From a user interface perspective, there's no good reason for the share button to go there, replacing "Read More". The latter does belong there, because after reading the summary, that's where your eyes are looking when reading - the next line of text. Other than a mouse click, there's no break of flow in order to 'read more'.

The other problem is also UI and usability related. The "Read More" link was immediately obvious as the place to click if you wanted to ... read more. That's why so many people click there. When the share button replaced it, there were no obvious places to click from a visual perspective.

The post title links to the full story, yes, but there's no visual cue whatsoever that it's a link unless you happen to mouse over it. Once you experimentally click there, you can discover that it shares the same behaviour as the read more link, but experimental clicking is bad UI design.

The same goes for the dark blob that's supposed to be a word balloon, I guess. If you understand the symbolism derived from comics (which many probably do, I'll grant you) you know it means something about talking and dialog, so an intuitive leap would lead the user to think that it's a link to comments, or a link to make a comment. But what if the user doesn't want to comment? That's not the first choice for clicking either. It's of course also not visually a link, so the user has to discover it with the mouse like an old 'find the hotspot pixel' point-and-click adventure game. As it turns out, it also does the same thing as the former "Read More" link, so it's not even a shortcut way to jump to the comments, or make one. AND, it's grouped with a set of icons that take the user to a list of stories by topic. Cue the Sesame Street song: "One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn't belong ...". Once again, bad UI design.

To summarize:
A link with the text "Read More" - immediately graspable and discoverable. Good UI design.
Awkwardly placed hidden links with no obvious purpose that have to be discovered via mouse over - poorly graspable and discoverable. Bad UI design.

*That's* the problem.

Comment Re:Privacy again (Score 1) 172

Well your honor, not only did the defendant purchase "How to murder your spouse", he read the page on poison techniques 37 times and only read the rest of the book twice. Since the autopsy indicates death by poison as described by the page in question, I rest my case.

And frankly, if that DID happen, then he probably DID kill his wife... and he should go to prison...

I fail to see the problem...

The problem is this: he could have been reading that section while doing research on a mystery novel, acting as editor for that section of Wikipedia article on that book or just got interrupted a lot and had to go back. Or any number of other innocent actions. And because the data/metadata is likely not secure, anyone with access to it could have chosen death by poison as a way to frame him. Or the poisoning was accidental (particularly if the poison was a common household chemical). It could imply intent, but it's not evidence or proof. But people like you will see it as such because it's easy and convenient to assign blame based on flimsy evidence. And you might end up on the jury. That's why it's a problem.

Submission + - Fwknop on OpenWrt and Android

Jonathan P. Bennett writes: Fwknop is a great way to maintain remote access into a network without leaving ports open, and now there are tools that make it much easier to use. We've put together a demonstration of how the newly released android client, fwknop2 (also on F-droid), can import encryption and HMAC keys using QR codes via the phone's camera, and provide nat access back into other devices on the internal network.
More information can be found on the Cipherdyne site or in my blog post on the matter.

Comment Re:This makes no sense (Score 2) 424

Back in the olden days (pre-google), when one interacted with a search engine it was with a carefully crafted query that returned results based on the data available. I'm not necessarily talking about internet searching. Chemical Abstracts was a treasure trove of information if you knew how to write a good query. There was a logic to it. If you didn't get the results you were looking for, you refined your query until satisfied that you'd exhausted the possibilities. What the OP is saying is that this is no longer possible because the search results have been injected with ads, and helpful results based on what they think you might be looking for, even though it's not. All of this "helpfullness" is adding an element of randomness to querying for information that defies all logic. When you know what you are looking for, all the extraneous "helpful" results are annoying.

Comment Re:We've asked, lobbied, and begged for this. (Score 1) 308

The "we" I speak of is the geek movement in the large. It's obviously not all-inclusive.

Then don't speak as if it is. There is no "geek movement in the large" (unless they have all had Taco Bell burritos recently). Geekness (whatever that is) doesn't automatically translate to a unified sociopolitical mindset. The unified "geek movement" is all in your head. We are all individuals and have our own beliefs and ideas, regardless of whether we like to play with computers and similar technical things.

Comment Re:We've asked, lobbied, and begged for this. (Score 2) 308

We've asked, lobbied, and begged for actions taken on a computer or across a network to be taken the same way by law enforcement and the courts as if they were taken offline with non-virtual items. This is a double-edged sword. It's okay to shred paper documents, but not if you're doing so with intent to destroy evidence of a crime. Well, now, they're just treating computer users the same as paper users. We asked. They answered.

Who is this "we" you speak of? I, for one, have never asked, lobbied or begged for what you describe. I understand that virtual and non-virtual items aren't the same in nature and have always thought that any laws or rules that try to make them the same are profoundly ignorant. I suspect many others that are not part of the "we" you speak of think similarly.

Comment Re:Freshmeat? (Score 1) 145

Is is time for to make a return?

Why? As far as I recall, Freshmeat never hosted projects (with full support for VCS, mailing lists, website, downloads etc.), just provided an updated directory of interesting projects. It was good for keeping up with changes for the various projects scattered around the web, but it's not a substitute for SourceForge.

Comment Re:poaching?! (Score 1) 234

Yeah, it would only be "poaching" if the CMU and Uber were competitors in the same commercial market.

Not even then. "Poaching" is a term coined by employers to refer to competitors in a free market who thwart their efforts to keep employees locked into their job for the sole benefit of said employers and to the detriment of the employees. It's a term born of irritation because it thwarts their efforts to control their employees and exploit them. In a free market, employers would monitor conditions and know what their employees were worth and compensate them accordingly so they weren't willing to entertain better offers. On the downside, when the value of the employee decreases, the employer should feel free to reduce salary as well. The sword cuts both ways.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.