Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment I might be getting old (Score 1, Insightful) 174

I might be getting old and grumpy, or it may be the effect of a sixpack or two, or it might be my NoScript allowing Slashdot only, but I came here to whine about "News for nerds, stuff that matters" asking myself why the filesystem-check does this matter for nerds.

To make a good whiney comment, with citations and all, I looked for the slogan on the front page, but... colour [I learned English from a Brit, sue me, Arbeit macht mich frei] me surprised!

At first I didn't see the connection with using a terrorist attack to push political agendas to whichever side. At second, I didn't see the connection of that attack with news for freaking "nerds". At last, I didn't see the mention of nerds anymore.

Should I walk to the east and board an Elven ship to Valinor, for my time has passed?

Comment Re:Worse than the space station? No. (Score 2) 684

"Yes, in an environment that can sustain life, heading to a place that might have something you want."

Early navigators didn't know that. Ridden by superstitions, doubts, inaccuracies. I've recently visited a -- they say -- size-accurate replica of Pedro Alvares Cabral's caravel. Official history say that he was the first to arrive in Brazil in 1500 A.D., a few years after Columbus's trip in 1492. It's about 100 ft in length (30 meters), and held about 150 men. Columbus's ship were about the same size. In that time, there was no GPS, no radio, no refrigerator, not even an engine. Maps were populated with "here be dragons", "end of the world" and such - today we know it - nonsense.

Today we know exactly what waits for us in Mars: cold; radiation; lack of atmosphere pressure; lack of breathable air; scant natural resources. We know exactly how to go there, and exactly how long it takes. So, is taking humans to Mars really as daunting a task as taking humans from Europe/Africa to the lands on the East?

Comment Re:Worse than the space station? No. (Score 1) 684

This, a thousand times over. Thanks for reminding us of such a basic trait of human nature. Why go to Mars? Why colonize such a wasteland? As wanderers, nomads, explorers, seekers of the unknown, if not for simple instinct or survival like migratory birds/locusts/mammals, then for plain bragging rights, for "glory", to inscribe our names in History, to extend our necks and fulfill our human nature, that so much separates us from the animals! Not because it is easy, said your president a few dacades ago, but because it is hard! Because we FUCKING CAN!

Comment NoScript (Score 5, Informative) 307

NoScript, not AdBlock, takes care of it all for me. I have no issues seeing ads, and sometimes I may even click some of them if they are interesting enough. But Flash ads, those fake CSS/JS popups and those that generally hinder my browsing experience and/or make my browser grind to a halt, well... those are not welcome at all.

Submission + - Windows 10 could disable pirated games and unauthorized hardware (

Mark Wilson writes: Cries of "FUD!" ring out whenever potential issues and concerns with Windows 10 are pointed out, but there's no denying that the launch of this version of Windows has been more blighted than any other. The latest controversy finds Microsoft updating its EULA so that it is able to block pirated games and unauthorized peripherals.

While on one hand this seems entirely reasonable — few people would argue too strongly that they should be permitted to play pirated games — on the other it is confusing and worrisome. It is yet another example of Microsoft causing trouble for itself by failing to properly communicate with its customers, being insufficiently transparent and clear in meaning. Just what is an 'unauthorized peripheral'? It is the lack of clarity that is likely to give the greatest cause for concern here.

Submission + - SourceForge (owned by Slashdot Media) installs ads with GIMP ( 5

careysb writes: SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Submission + - Animations in UI Design: For, Against, or Just Another /. Toxic Waste Zone?

Press2ToContinue writes: Google made it big limiting advertisements using strict guidelines: only simple text ads were allowed.Google's home page adhered to a similar concept: no distractions, nothing moving. It simply said "Google." The rise of the world's biggest brand was based on this premise of a simple, unmoving, unanimated theme.

How soon we forget. Now Google's page is always animated. The more they grow, the more they feel it is acceptable that user experience elements move, and more and more distractions are now acceptable, even pre-pending video ads at the beginning of videos, and animating Gmail sign-in boxes as they glide into place. But clearly, as evinced by the popularity of Adblock, distractions are annoying and unwelcome, Adblock is now so popular that makes a fortune accepting Google's payments to let distractions through, while users desperately search for ways to disable all possible animations. Somehow, it seems counterproductive to what we consider "good" UI design.

In fact, and depending entirely on who you consult, it seems that there can be no limit to the the idea that animation only ever makes the user experience richer. If it doesn't move in some way, it can be improved by movement. And this is the inherent, conflicting unquestioned assumption in the current state of UI design: movement is good. But where is the line between helpful movement and distractions? And is it the same for everyone?

Again, this is at odds with the anti-trend precepts that made Google popular, and at odds with the hate that we spew for animations and distractions on web pages, and especially for the videos that start playing when we land on a page.

But I ask you, seriously, as web and UI designers, in your head, where is that line between good UI design, and distracting, pointless movement? Does a line even exist? When it comes to UI design, is the sky the limit, and is it OK for everything to be animated at the whim of the designer, because they can utter incantations that justify their new, more animated, design?

Does anyone even think that UI animations, and animations in advertising, may both be simply manifestations of our innate desire to catch people's attention? Animations are the trend, but would anyone really miss them if they went away? Or worse, are some users actually distracted and impeded by them, but we don't want to know because it's less fun to design a static UI?

I can think of a dozen ways to design a UI with more efficient and accurate inputs than swipes, gestures, and carousels with artificially-induced momentum. Vista and Windows 8 failed miserably. Could it be that the commonality was that their core concept revolved around the assumption that users crave skeuomorphic movement? Will there come a time when someone says, these are all simply subclasses of the now-faded skeuomorphism fad of early UI design, the faux marble bitmaps and the cheesy animated gifs of the early web?

And could they, in some cases, actually be harmful enough that even though we think they are cool, we should always provide a way to switch them off?

And is the worst-case scenario, that we are simply wasting development time, and slowing down the user interface without really adding any value, time that could be better spent because what users really want is better performance, and real functionality?

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison