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+ - Slashdot Beta: Because They Hate You 3

Submitted by boolithium
boolithium (1030728) writes "People on here are missing the point of the Beta roll out. The elimination of the existing user base is not a side effect, it is a feature. Slashdot as a brand has value, but as a site has limited commercial appeal. The users are the kids at the lunch table, where not even the foreign exchange students want to sit. Nobody ever got laid from installing NetBSD.

Once they are finished with their nerd cleansing, they can build a new Slashdot. A sexier Slashdot. A Slashdot the kids can dance to.

They aren't ignoring you. They are exterminating you."

+ - If we Buck Feta and leave, where should we go? 17

Submitted by Covalent
Covalent (1001277) writes "I am a long-time slashdot reader (don't let the UID fool you), and I agree with most of you that the Beta is a disaster. Dice has promised a fix, but what if this garbage is the new reality? Is there a suitable alternative to slashdot that members would find equally (or more) fulfilling? Is someone going to fork slashdot and start it anew (Taco can you hear me?) Or is this just the end of an era?"

+ - Slashdot Beta Sucks Elephant Penis 2

Submitted by ShaunC
ShaunC (203807) writes "Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes:

Have you even seen an elephant penis? Because I have, and the colors align to Slashdot. The beta is so bad, Roland Piquepaille is surrendering his account (as the French do). The GNAA has reorganized to post fake job offerings on Dice.com with an emphasis on affirmative action. Profane Motherfucker has come out of retirement simply to say: "fuck this shit.""

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

Submitted by onyxruby
onyxruby (118189) 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."

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

Comment: Re:Technet Subscription (Score 1) 349

by mykey2k (#41386941) Attached to: MS Office 2013 Pushing Home Users Toward Subscriptions

Best look at the new technet T&C that were instituted on 16 July....

The software now has gone to the more 'subscription based' model where as if you do not renew, your keys expire (Previously, unrenewed accounts did have keys expire). They've also removed some 'non enterprise' software such as Windows 7 Ultimate, Home Edition, reduced number of keys, etc etc.

List of software offered on first tab, list of 'retired' software on second tab: http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/7/8/C78DB720-88CB-455E-AA0E-A087CB332A23/TechNet_Product_List.xlsx

Are you better off? Probably if you use it to its full extent "for testing purposes" but you won't get 5 keys unless you go Pro, I believe.

Cheers
-m

Comment: Re:Mailing Costs (Score 1) 722

by mykey2k (#36766816) Attached to: Netflix Deflects Rage Over Price Increase

It's odd that that is how NetFlix broke out those costs.... I always believed the less expensive cost (streaming) was the value-added service... So really the correct pricing would be 2 DVD by mail for $12, streaming $3 which is the $15 it is now that I pay. The mentality that the reverse is true is truly the definition of convoluted.

But yes, I'm keeping the DVDs by mail; everyone else can have my streaming bandwidth that I wasn't using anyway, and my bill goes down $3 a month -- I'm off to get a latte!

-m

Image

Solar Panels For Your Pants 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-some-power-in-your-pocket dept.
Phoghat writes "A new line of clothes come with its own solar panels to charge small electronics in your pocket. It might be overdoing the 'Green' technology but for the low, low price of $920, you can own a pair of Go Urban Cargo Pants, which boasts 'fly front, low-slung drawstring waist, and two back patch pockets with button down flaps,' but the main reason you might want them is the: "'two side cargo pockets with independently functioning power supply.'"

Comment: Re:Budget? (Score 1) 322

by mykey2k (#33765030) Attached to: New York To Spend $27.5 Million Uncapitalizing Street Signs

I'm guessing it's buried in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

There are quite a few rules that highway departments have to follow. About the only flexibility is the design on State and local route number signs (County Highway/State Highway) and street signs -- but not how the information is displayed (i.e. font size and proportions).

I'm sure it is the reason you don't SeE StReeT SiGNs LikE THIs... Sure, all uppercase seemed definitive and authoritative and the style of the time. I remember Chicago having all capital lettered street signs, but with the advent of GPS and me knowing where I'm going, I don't remember the last time I looked at one.

For those interested the latest MUTCD is online.... http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/pdf_index.htm

Enjoy.

Image

Terry Pratchett's Self-Made Meteorite Sword 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the x4-crit-modifier dept.
jamie writes "Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett says he was so excited after being knighted by the Queen that he decided to make his own sword to equip himself for his new status... the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fueled with damp sheep manure."

Comment: Re:Don't think this can be stopped (Score 1) 321

by mykey2k (#33245434) Attached to: Drunk Driver Mugshots Featured On Facebook

I've always found it a bit hypocritical to not allow more bars/pubs/dispensaries in local neighborhoods (at least in the US) because of all the NIMBYs, which makes greater chances that people go out, drink, and drive back home even slightly over the limit.

That, and if you read the arrests for people who actually cause heinous harm, they are far over the "legal limit" for it to matter anyway. I don't think the limit has been 0.16 in over 40 years, but that seems to be the magic number for accidents I've seen ("twice the legal limit").

I'd love to walk to a bar every once in a while, have a couple drinks, and walk home, but the nearest place is 2 miles away and the route is quite literally peppered with cops on the weekends, and it's getting difficult finding a different route these days.

-m

Privacy

Court Rejects Warrantless GPS Tracking 226

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-tag-me-bro dept.
The EFF is trumpeting a victory in a case in which it and the ACLU filed an amicus brief. "The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today firmly rejected government claims that federal agents have an unfettered right to install Global Positioning System (GPS) location-tracking devices on anyone's car without a search warrant. ... The court agreed that such round-the-clock surveillance required a search warrant based on probable cause. ...the court noted: 'When it comes to privacy... the whole may be more revealing than its parts.'"

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