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Submission + - 2016 Candidate Proposes that US Go Metric (cnn.com) 1

Applehu Akbar writes: The good news is that for the first time in years, a candidate in the next presidential cycle has proposed completing our transition to the metric system. Though unfortunately, it's Lincoln Chaffee, let's all hope that this long-standing nerd issue gets into the 2016 debate because of this.

Warning: Lame CNN autoplaying video.

Submission + - ReactOS inches closer to becoming true Windows XP clone (New Shell and NTFS) (reactos.org) 3

jeditobe writes: So finally the new ReactOS Explorer has arrived!

The new ReactOS Explorer is much more compatible, stable, and comes with more features than the current (and now old) explorer. We expect it to be a big quality jump in terms of usability, and the rockstar feature of the upcoming 0.4 release. Just keep reading to discover more about it!

ReactOS is an open source operating system designed to be compatible with Windows XP (and later) apps. It’s been in development for nearly two decades (it actually predates Windows 2000 and grew out of a project called FreeWin95) and it’s still very much a work in progress.

ReactOS was most recently talked about for one of its developers coming up with an open-source AMD SI ISA compatible GPU design while the latest accomplishments from this open-source developer group has came to light.

The developers also unveiled two interesting milestones last mounth. First, ReactOS can now read files from NTFS volumes on a hard drive. Pierre Schweitzer of ReactOS shared, "ReactOS now supports reading files from NTFS volume. This was a long awaited feature people were asking for." A new ReactOS ISO re-spin is now available containing this support. [http://reboot.pro/topic/20149-ntfs-now-supported-in-reactos-livecd/]

Second, ReactOS 0.3.17 was released with an early build of NTVDM, a tool that adds support for 16-bit Windows apps for folks that want to run legacy software.

Also huge bunch of font problems was fixed making possible to run without problems Gimp, Wireshark [https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-4657], Java, Winrar and IntelliJ IDEA [https://jira.reactos.org/browse/CORE-8525].

Submission + - This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

Jason Koebler writes: Peter Richie spent eight months planning and building a megacity in vanilla SimCity 4, and the end result is mind-boggling: 107.7 million people living in one massive, sprawling region.
"Traffic is a nightmare, both above ground and under," Richie said. "The massive amount of subway lines and subway stations are still congested during all times of the day in all neighborhoods of each and every mega-city in the region. The roadways are clogged at all times, but people still persist in trying to use them."

Submission + - Dice Holdings has written off Slashdot Media at the close of 2013 (prnewswire.com) 3

moogla writes: Apparently Dice.com could not make Slashdot work they way they wanted to; with a murky plan to tap into the Slashdot-reader community to somehow drive attention or insight into other Dice Holdings properities, they've burned through

$7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media

and have only started to realize some improvement on related sites. With ad revenue declining and not expected to pick up (read: everyone who uses Slashdot uses adblocking softwarwe), it appears that the Slashdot stewardship experiment by Dice Holdings has been a financial failure. Since the site has been redesigned in a user-hostile fashion with a very generic styling, this reader surmises Dice Holdings is looking to transform or transfer the brand into a generic Web 3.0 technology property. The name may be more valuable than the user community (since we drive no revenue nor particularly use Dice.com's services).

Submission + - Boycott Beta 2

An anonymous reader writes: On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

Captcha: fuckbeta


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Slashdot Classic and Slashdot Beta Continue to Co-Exist? 9

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Slashdot has been a big part of my life since I had my my first stories accepted over ten years ago. Some people my age do crossword puzzles to keep their mental agility, some do sudoko, or play bridge. I enjoy searching for and putting together a story a day for slashdot because it helps keep me on my toes to have readers find errors and logical fallacies in my submissions and I enjoy learning from the different points of view expressed on a story I have submitted. That's why I have been so discouraged in the past several years to see readership in slashdot drop off. As a close observer of this web site, I know that ten years ago it was unheard of for any accepted story to get less than 100 comments and there was at least a story a day that got over 1,000 comments. Those days are long gone. Not it's not uncommon to see some stories garner only a few dozen comments. That's how web sites die. If you slip below a critical level of readership, readers will abandon the site completely. I know from my own experience running a web site devoted to the Peace Corps that I used to have hundreds of comments to some of my stories but once comments slipped below a certain threshold, then they disappeared altogether. I think that slashdot is nearing that threshold and I fear that imposing Slashdot Beta on the site's readership will push it over the edge and I don't want to see that happen. I'd like to propose that slashdot continue running slashdot classic and slashdot beta in parallel. I'll stick with classic most of the time. One of the best features of slashdot classic is that comments can be displayed in four formats (threaded, nested, no comment, and flat) and in two directions (oldest first and newest first) providing a lot of flexibility in watching conversations develop. I switch between the formats several times a day depending on what I want to see. But slashdot beta also has its advantages in certain situations. Slashdot needs a blockbuster story or two every day where people can pile on and slashdot beta facilitates this by putting the most commented story at the top of the page and I think that is a good thing. Still I'll use slashdot beta occasionally when I'm on a mobile device but slashdot classic will be the format I use on my desktop. So don't deprecate slashdot classic. That would be like Microsoft disabling Windows 7 and forcing everyone to use Windows 8. And not even Microsoft is that stupid.

Submission + - Restoring HP and other Firmware access through legislation (digitalrighttorepair.org) 3

DRTRLady writes: The Digital Right to Repair Coalition (DRTR) www.digitalrighttorepair.org has been pushing legislation to prevent vendors, such as HP and others, from selling equipment without a clear right to keep using it without paying additional fees. This always includes firmware but also service documentation, schematics, diagnostics, error codes, passwords, and so forth. One way we have approached legislation is for everyone to be able to know what they purchased, and know ahead of time what they must license. See SD SB136 http://legiscan.com/SD/bill/SB... for this approach. We are also working on a more forceful bill modeled after the Automotive Right To Repair Law passed in Massachusetts which deals with the identical problems of repair including firmware. See https://malegislature.gov/Bill... . Which is better? What else can we do?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Submission + - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites.

Submission + - Sony selling off VAIO computer business (theverge.com) 1

Kensai7 writes: Confirming reports from earlier in the week, Sony has announced plans to sell off its VAIO computer division to a Japanese investment fund. Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will take control of the operation for an undisclosed fee, and Sony will "cease planning, design and development of PC products." For a variety of reasons "including the drastic changes in the global PC industry," Sony says "the optimal solution is to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and to transfer its PC business to a new company."

Submission + - ReactOS 0.3.16 has been released (reactos.org) 1

jeditobe writes: The ReactOS Project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.3.16. A little under a year has passed since the previous release and a significant amount of progress has been made. Some of the most significant include completion of the CSRSS rewrite and the first stages of a shell32 rewrite. 0.3.16 is in many ways a prelude to several new features that will provide a noticeable enhancement to user visible functionality. A preview can be seen in the form of theme support, which while disabled by default can be turned on to demonstrate the Lautus theme developed by community member Maciej Janiszewki. Another user visible change is a new network card driver for the RTL8139, allowing ReactOS to support newer versions of QEMU out of the box. Release images can be found in the usual spot here.

And for those of you that have not heard of it yet, the project is running a Kickstarter campaign in the form of the Thorium Cloud Desktop. If you want to help the project raise the funds to hire multiple full time developers and bring ReactOS to a state where it can be used for day to day activities, then please spread the word and put up a few bucks to back us.


Submission + - Asteroid Apophis Just Got Supersized (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "As the potentially hazardous asteroid makes closest approach to Earth today, astronomers using the European Herschel Space Observatory have announced something a little unsettling: asteroid 99942 Apophis is actually bigger than we thought. Herschel astronomers have deduced that Apophis is 1,066 feet (325 meters) wide. That's 20 percent larger than the previous estimate of 885 feet (270 meters). "The 20 percent increase in diameter, from 270 to 325 m, translates into a 75 percent increase in our estimates of the asteroid's volume or mass," said Thomas Müller of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and lead scientist of the study. In addition, the space telescope has re-analyzed the albedo of the space rock, providing a valuable heat map of the object's surface — data that will improve orbital trajectory models."

Submission + - Taxing junk food: A new public health campaign against obesity (patexia.com) 2

ericjones12398 writes: "Today, many developed and developing countries including European Union nations, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh and Vietnam apply excise taxes on unhealthy products. Research has shown that both for tobacco and alcohol, excise taxes are an effective way of reducing consumption. With respect to tobacco, a 10 percent price increase in cigarettes is shown to reduce demand by 4 percent in high-income countries and by 8 percent in low-middle income countries. Taxes imposed on cigarettes have not only prevented people from starting to smoke, but have also reduced rates of relapse for those who recently quit smoking."

Submission + - MIT Researchers Invent 'Super Glass' (ibtimes.com) 1

redletterdave writes: "On Thursday, researchers at MIT announced a breakthrough in glass-making technology, which basically involves a new way to create surface textures on glass to eliminate all of the drawbacks of glass, including unwanted reflections and glare. The research team wanted to build glass that could be adaptable to any environment: Their "multifunctional" glass is not only crystal clear, but it also causes water droplets to bounce right off its surface, "like tiny rubber balls." The glass is self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and superhydrophobic. The invention has countless applications, including TV screens, as well as smartphone and tablet displays that benefit from the self-cleaning ability of the glass by resisting moisture and contamination by sweat."

Submission + - Google Demonstrates 5s cold-boot using Coreboot at IDF (geek.com)

DeathPenguin writes: "Google recently demonstrated an upcoming Chromebook at IDF which is getting closer to the ever-elusive promise of instant-on functionality. The video demonstrates amazingly fast ~5s cold boot to login prompt time using Coreboot, a fully open-source x86 firmware implementation, without using suspend or hibernate tricks. The Coreboot portion takes roughly 650ms, the remainder is Linux kernel, system services, and X. Additionally, all stages of boot are verified for integrity to prevent malware and rollback attacks.

This follows the check-in of thousands of lines of Intel Sandy Bridge and and Panther Point support code to the Coreboot code repository."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.