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Submission + - An open letter to the management of Slashdot. 14

onyxruby writes: I have been watch for some time now as Slashdot has started beta testing a new version of the website. As you are well aware the new site would constitute a complete change to the look, interface and functionality of Slashdot.org.

Change happens, and for those of us who work with technology for a living it is the only constant. Change is a process and in and of itself is not a bad thing when it offers improvement. Unfortunately the change that has been offered negatively impacts the look, interface and most importantly the functionality of Slashdot.
Many people have had trouble reverting back to the classic interface. The new interface simply does not offer the functionality of the old. Things like statistics, comments and layout are very difficult to find. You have a community that lives and breathes data and want to know their data. How is my comment ranked, how many people responded – it’s really all about the dialogue. Can I get the information that I want in a readily digestible format?

As you’re well aware the new site does not offer the very thing that people come here for. This in and of itself is not why your community has organized a boycott of Beta. The boycott was originated because the new version will be implemented whether the community wants it or not.

I want to explain why this change has gone down people’s throats about as well as Windows 8’s Metro interface. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with the interface and everything to do with the perception that the editors and management of Slashdot appear to have.

The message that has been consistently handed down is that we are “your audience”. We are not your “your audience” we are your product. People do not come to Slashdot for the news stories, there are untold other sites that provide those as well as professional and original writing about them. People come here for the community of insiders from across the industry.

Please respect the community and stop what you’re doing. You have commented that you don’t want to maintain two code bases. Your community works in the industry and understands this, which leads many to suggest you abandon the new code base entirely so that you are only maintaining once code base. Tell us what your trying to accomplish and I would imagine that a wide range of experts would be more than willing to help you meet your goals.

Submission + - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

unitron writes: Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience".

Submission + - Dice Holdings, Inc, deleting unflattering stories from Slashdot firehose 4

An anonymous reader writes: Stories submitted to the Slashdot firehose that take a negative view on the site's redesign are being deleted. 4 hours ago, it was full of anti-beta posts. Now they are gone. That's right. A forum that usually leaves V14GRA spam in place for posterity is deleting user content.

Submission + - What site would you recommend to replace Slashdot? 1

koreanbabykilla writes: Now that it looks like I'm no longer going to be able to use Slashdot due to beta.slashdot.org, I need somewhere to kill a few hours a day at work. Any suggestions?

Submission + - Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go to Jail? (forbes.com)

ericgoldman writes: Terry Childs was a network engineer in San Francisco, and he was the only employee with passwords to the network. After he was fired, he withheld the passwords from his former employer, preventing his employer from controlling its own network. Recently, a California appeals court upheld his conviction for violating California's computer crime law, including a 4 year jail sentence and $1.5 million of restitution. The ruling provides a good cautionary tale for anyone who thinks they can gain leverage over their employer or increase job security by controlling key passwords.

Submission + - Dell to show its first 64-bit ARM server this week (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: Dell will give its first public demonstration of a 64-bit ARM server this week, the latest step in an industrywide effort to build servers based on low-power chips like those used in smartphones. Dell will show a server based on a 64-bit ARM processor from AppliedMicro running the Fedora version of Linux and hooked up to a storage system from PMC-Sierra, Dell said.

Submission + - NSA: 'We're Really Screwed Now' (foreignpolicy.com)

cold fjord writes: Foreign Policy reports, "One of the National Security Agency's biggest defenders in Congress is suddenly at odds with the agency and calling for a top-to-bottom review ... And her long-time friends and allies are completely mystified by the switch. "We're really screwed now," one NSA official told The Cable. ... Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein said she was "totally opposed" to gathering intelligence on foreign leaders and said it was "a big problem" if President Obama didn't know the NSA was monitoring the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. ... Perhaps most significant is her announcement that the intelligence committee "will initiate a review into all intelligence collection programs." ... If the review also touched on other intelligence agencies under the committee's jurisdiction, it could be one of the most far-reaching reviews in recent memory ... A former intelligence agency liaison to Congress said Feinstein's sudden outrage over spying on foreign leaders raised questions about how well informed she was about NSA programs and whether she'd been fully briefed by her staff. "The first question I'd ask is, what have you been doing for oversight? Second, if you've been reviewing this all along what has changed your mind?" The former official said the intelligence committees receive lengthy and detailed descriptions every year about all NSA programs, including surveillance. "They're not small books. ... They're hundreds of pages long."" — More at Lawfare

Submission + - NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally (washingtonpost.com)

schwit1 writes: The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.

Submission + - Snowden Nominated for Freedom of Thought Prize (en.rian.ru)

DigitalKhaos23 writes: "Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought." says the article. adding “Edward Snowden risked his life to confirm what we had long suspected regarding mass online surveillance, a major scandal of our times. He revealed details of violations of EU data protection law and fundamental rights.”

Submission + - Research shows "three strikes" anti-piracy laws don't work.

Bismillah writes: Graduated response regimes that warn and then penalise users for infringing file sharing do not appear to work, new research from Monash University in Australia has found. The paper studied "three strikes" laws in France, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and the UK, as well as other anti-filesharing regimes in the US and Ireland, but found scant evidence that they're effective.

Submission + - SPAM: How to Clean Your Windows

leatonann writes: One issue that has been silently plaguing American homes for years is that of dirty windows. OK—so that’s a bit on the dramatic side, but the point most definitely needs to be made. In addition to being unattractive, unclean windows are also notorious for deteriorating quickly. Any window installation contractor will tell you the problem to avoid is etching. Basically, this means the dirt and dust have been corroded the surface of the glass, which makes it unsafe and dysfunctional.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - NSA Still Funded to Spy On US Phone Records,Vote Fails 3

turp182 writes: The Amash Amendment (#100) to HR 2397 (DOD appropriations bill) failed to pass the House of Representatives (this link will change tomorrow, it is the current day activity of the House) at 6:54PM EST today, meaning it will not be added to the appropriations bill. The amendment would have specifically defunded the bulk collection of American phone records.

Roll call may not be available until tomorrow.

Subjective: Let freedom be reigned.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How important IS advanced math in a CS degree? 6

AvailableNickname writes: I am currently pursuing a bachelor's in CompSci and I just spent 3 hours working on a few differential equations for homework. It is very frustrating because I just don't grok advanced math. I can sort of understand a little bit, but I really don't grok anything beyond long division. But I love computers, and am very good at them. However, nobody in the workforce is even going to glance at my direction without a BSc. And to punish me for going into a field originally developed by mathematicians I need to learn all this crap. If I had understood what I was doing, maybe I wouldn't mind so much. But the double frustration of not understanding it and not understanding why the profanity I need to do it is too much. So, how important is it?

Submission + - Blackhole spins at 84% of the speed of light (space.com)

bongey writes: "The enormous black hole at the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is spinning about 84 percent as fast as Einstein's general theory of relativity allows it to, researchers determined."

Submission + - Microsoft, BSA and Others Push for Appeal on Oracle vs. Google Ruling (arstechnica.com)

sl4shd0rk writes: In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over the use of Java in Android. Judge William Alsup brought the ruling that the structure of APIs could not be copyrighted at all. Emerging from the proceedings, it was learned that Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function. The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal. It seems that time is coming now, nearly a year later, as Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing "destabilization" of the "entire software industry".

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson