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Comment: DICE - Give me a break. (Score 1) 2219

by flirno (#46200017) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Slashdot (not the beta) as it is will live (or die) by the evolution of its community of users. However decisions by Business Analysts of a company that happens to own the framework assets (hardware, software) who have the singular goal of profit through advertisements can very easily make the community of users go elsewhere (they will scatter to other forums and some of the talented souls will create forums of their own as a replacement).

Slashdot is a discussion forum which happens to be driven by a loose direction/range of topics and interests where any so called 'content' is created wholly by the interests and activity of the users in response to each other and in response to the topics. The whole value of Slashdot is an incidental emergent property of this interaction of the user base made possible due to its simple, low key, non interfering design that encourages a high bandwidth of user to user communication and networking of arguments (quality or not).

The fastest way to kill Slashdot will be to introduce a design that is loud, noisy, distracting, click happy with visual _exercises_ with dynamic pop ups and other toys that are just cognitively distracting (because in truth people cannot multitask, they can only task swap quickly) and energy sapping. These features basically kill the fundamental characteristics that made it the place that it is.

Maybe that is the goal! If your goal is to run the community off then by all means go ahead as you are on track. I do not think that you will get replacements. :) People will just go elsewhere/build an elsewhere. I for one will just spend more time on Reddit until one of the new alternatives becomes the new old Slashdot.

Now if you are trying to preserve the community here...well if you think market speak and tricks are going to work then you had better do some analysis of the community here. Seriously. You appear to be hilariously out of touch with the demographic. This is not a demographic that you can expand by making the place pretty or appealing to the everyone. You will just run off everyone and that will be the end of it.

The historical footnote is likely to be: Slashdot -- the interesting discussion forum that DICE ended in the mid 2010s.

Comment: Re:Who was eating all those excess calories? (Score 1) 440

by flirno (#45411611) Attached to: Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

They used to do this in the late 19th and early 20th century. You can still find old newspapers with advertisements for weight loss pills that contained various parasites including tapeworms. Mind that during this period of time Coca Cola was being marketed as a universal medicinal cure all too.

Maybe the Gut bacteria found the soylent concoction particularly tasty and were eating more of it than the human, hence the weight loss.

You actually just gave me a great idea for a weight loss pill that's simply a capsule filled with tapeworm eggs.

Comment: No Killer Apps (Score 1) 564

by flirno (#43440445) Attached to: Why PC Sales Are Declining

For the hardware out there now, outside of the niche group of high end PC Gamers, there are no killer apps to drive motivation to buy innovative hardware (or new utility software like over bloated operating sytems).

Maybe that will change when/if a new generation of high end/spec game producers figure out that focusing on anti-piracy instead of content is a losing game because in the long run you kill your entire market demographic. They poured all their energy and innovation into DRM and anti piracy tactics instead of producing entertaining games that make use of the hardware power available and now they are reaping the rewards. No market.

+ - Solar electric spacecraft propulsion could get NASA to an asteroid, beyond->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "In the process of detailing its $17.7 billion 2014 budget this week, NASA highlighted a mission to snag a 500 ton asteroid, bring it back, stash it near the moon and study it. It also took the time to put in a plug for an ongoing research project it has gong called Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) that NASA says could be the key technology it needs to pull off the asteroid plan."
Link to Original Source

+ - Hackers Aren't Going to Hijack Planes with a Smartphone->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "A talk given by a security consultant at the Hack In The Box conference in Amsterdam has been making waves for a couple days now, largely because it made bold claims: Hugo Teso, whos also a trained commercial pilot, said hed developed a way to hijack airplanes (as in take over their flight controls) by attacking the planes systems wirelessly using an Android app he developed.

Teso set up a framework to gain access to two aircraft systems that broadcast wirelessly: the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast(ADS-B), which communicates flight, traffic, and weather data back and forth with air traffic controllers; and the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which essentially sends standardized messages back and forth between pilots and the ground, in some cases automatically so that pilots dont have to spend their time sending in standard reports.

Now, its true that both systems are insecure, and it does have some worrisome implications–for one, perhaps someone could spoof a plane via the ADS-B to warn pilots of a mid-air collision, which would likely cause some chaos on the flight deck. Regardless, that airline systems so susceptible to attacks is certainly is certainly something that needs to be fixed. But the claim that a plane could be remotely controlled–which Teso did simulate in his talk, although the doom hype blame also lies with some media outlets–is pretty much false, for a number of reasons. For one, it's highly unlikely that a wireless attack could even access autopilot systems, which are physically isolated, and even then pilots would have no trouble taking over manual control.

Its unfortunate that the discussion has revolved around "Were all gonna die!" style headlines of hackers crashing planes with cell phones, because the exploits Teso demonstrated are worth examining on their own. Fooling around with ADS-B in particular seems like an area ripe for trouble. But no, turning a plane into a drone with a smartphone won't happen."

Link to Original Source

+ - IAU: No, You Can't Name That Exoplanet->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "The International Astronomical Union (IAU) — the official body that governs the designations of all celestial bodies — in their capacity of purveyors of all things “official” has deemed attempts at crowdsourcing names for exoplanets illegitimate. “In the light of recent events, where the possibility of buying the rights to name exoplanets has been advertised, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) wishes to inform the public that such schemes have no bearing on the official naming process,” writes Thierry Montmerle, General Secretary of the IAU in Paris, France. Although the “schemes” are not specifically named, the most popular US-based “exoplanet naming” group Uwingu appears to be the target of today’s IAU statement. Set up by Alan Stern, planetary scientist and principal investigator for NASA’s Pluto New Horizons mission, Uwingu encourages the public to nominate and vote (for a fee) on names for the slew of exoplanets steadily being discovered."
Link to Original Source

+ - Up and Coming Site Focuses on Answering "What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?"->

Submitted by jakers19
jakers19 (2895377) writes "Project:IDWIL is an initiative focused on answering the age-old question "what do I want to be my grow up?" Currently just a blog, the accompanying website will eventually house short interview videos that feature everyday people that embody the phrase "I do what I love" (IDWIL)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Gigabyte's Brix mini PC could rival the Raspberry Pi->

Submitted by llebeel
llebeel (2761081) writes "Gigabyte previewed a mini PC called Brix at a "tech tour" event in London last night, which could see the firm take on the Raspberry Pi.

Boasting what the firm claims is "the same power as a tower PC", the mini computer boasts a choice of Intel Celeron or Core processors as powerful as the Core i7 chip for "low to high power".

However, as yet specs are thin on the ground, but we do know it should launch in the UK within the next month or so.."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google, Apple Lead Massive List Of Companies Supporting CISPA->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "TechNet, the trade association representing and led by dozens of prominent technology companies including Google, Apple and Facebook, has formally come out in support of CISPA, sending a letter to the US House of Representatives. The letter said: "We commend the committee for providing liability protections to companies participating in voluntary information-sharing and applaud the committee's efforts to work with a wide range of stakeholders to address issues such as strengthening privacy protections. As the legislative process unfolds, we look forward to continuing the dialogue with you and your colleagues on further privacy protections, including discussions on the role of a civilian interface for information sharing.""
Link to Original Source

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