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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Rocketboard (Score 1) 152

by nmb3000 (#49156487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

Pretty interesting concept and if it works as well in the real world as the video portrays, it could be very cool to use. I was all ready to sign up for early access and talk about it with my team on Monday, until I saw your comment below that it only works on Apple devices.

In the tech and development world (especially in the trenches) Android rules, and our office is no exception. What a downer.

Comment: Re:From his twitter account (Score 4, Informative) 398

by nmb3000 (#49148629) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

He died at 83; smoking probably didn't kill him so much as being old.

Considering the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, I'd guess smoking played a major part. Says Wikipedia:

Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of COPD, with a number of other factors such as air pollution and genetics playing a smaller role.

But it's a sad day regardless.

Comment: Margins (Score 1) 85

by nmb3000 (#49143475) Attached to: The Only Constant is Change

As someone who was quite vocal against Beta in the original announcement article, I've got to say that this about-face is a pleasant surprise. I don't love everything about it, but it's a far sight better than what we saw on the beta site. Glad to see the powers that be came to their senses, and were not persuaded by UX blowhards.

One bug/design issue is with the comment margins. Here's what I'm seeing in Firefox: http://i.imgur.com/YPhBVI0.png

Playing with the CSS, I think this is easier on the eyes and feels a lot less squished: http://i.imgur.com/npol1Kq.png

Which I got with this:

    #commentwrap, #commentlisting {
        padding-left: 1em;
    }

    #commentlisting {
        padding-right: 1em;
    }

Now how about some proper Unicode support? :)

Businesses

Female-Run Companies Often do Better Than Male-Run Ones (Video) 271

Posted by Roblimo
from the sometimes-the-best-man-for-the-job-is-a-woman dept.
Today's interviewee, Viktoria Tsukanov, is one of the executives at predictive marketing company Mintigo who did a study in January, 2015 that seemed to show that large companies with female CEOs "achieve up to 18% higher revenue per employee than male CEOs." The study, titled "She’s the CEO and She’s Sensational," used financial data Mintigo collected on 20 million companies, and determined CEOs' genders by analyzing first names, so it was not subject to survey vagaries but was a straight data analysis job. Could this be a case of correlation and causation being unrelated? It's possible. It's also possible that the revenue per employee figures are affected by the fact that female CEOs are more common in healthcare and non-profit organizations, while men dominate manufacturing and construction -- and, as Viktoria pointed out in a blog post headlined "Women Just Raised the Bar. Big Time." there may be other factors at work as well.

The "18% higher revenue" figure specifically applies to companies with more than 1000 workers, while companies with fewer workers may average more revenue per employee if they have male CEOs. Besides discussing the study itself, in our interview Viktoria talks about how male employees might want to alter (or not alter) their behavior if they find themselves working for a female boss for the first time. She also discusses challenges a woman might face if she is suddenly put in charge of a heavily male IT or programming staff. Other thoughts she shares have to do with finding mentors and dealing with negative people, both of which apply to people of all genders. Interesting food for thought all around.
Input Devices

Listnr Wants to be 'Your Listening Assistant' (Video) 45

Posted by Roblimo
from the can-you-hear-me-now? dept.
This Listnr is "a new listening device connected to the cloud" being developed by a team in Japan that's currently running a Kickstarter project looking for $50,000 by March 7. The other Listnr "is a free music service helping people discover the best music from independent artists on Soundcloud and Bandcamp." More accurately, that's what it was, since their last Facebook post was in 2011 and their domain name is now for sale. Today's Listnr -- the listening device one -- claims it is able to tell whether a baby it hears is laughing, crying, gurgling or trying to talk. It is supposed to respond to finger snaps, hand claps, and other audio commands. It has an open API so that you can extend its use however you like. The company, too, is working on new applications for their product. Will there be enough of them, and will they interest enough people, to make this a success? Co-Founder Rie Ehara says, "We wanted to build something using sound to enrich and delight our lives." As of today (Feb. 2), Listnr is slightly less than halfway to its Kickstarter goal, so it's still a coin-toss whether or not Listnr will succeed.
United States

Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration 514

Posted by timothy
from the nobody-hates-new-immigrants-like-old-immigrants dept.
dcblogs (1096431) writes The Senate's two top Republican critics of temporary worker immigration, specifically the H-1B and L-1 visas, now hold the two most important immigration posts in the Senate. They are Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who heads the Senate's Judiciary Committee, and his committee underling, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who was appointed by Grassley on Thursday to head the immigration subcommittee. Sessions was appointed one week after accusing the tech industry of perpetuating a "hoax" by claiming there is a shortage of qualified U.S. tech workers. "The tech industry's promotion of expanded temporary visas — such as the H-1B — and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor," wrote Sessions, in a memo he sent last week to fellow lawmakers. Sessions, late Thursday, issued a statement about his new role as immigration subcommittee chairman, and said the committee "will give voice to those whose voice has been shut out," and that includes "the voice of the American IT workers who are being replaced with guest workers."
Biotech

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild 130

Posted by timothy
from the we've-decided-to-put-this-in-everyone dept.
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes In Jurassic Park, scientists tweak dinosaur DNA so that the dinosaurs were lysine-deficient in order to keep them from spreading in the wild. Scientists have taken this one step further as a way to keep genetically modified E. coli from surviving outside the lab. In modifying the bacteria's DNA to thwart escape, two teams altered the genetic code to require amino acids not found in nature. One team modified the genes that coded for proteins crucial to cell functions so that that produced proteins required the presence of the synthetic amino acid in the protein itself. The other team focused on 22 genes deemed essential to a bacterial cell's functions and tied the genes' expression to the presence of synthetic amino acids. For the bacteria to survive, these synthetic amino acids had to be present in the medium on which the bacteria fed. In both cases, the number of escapees was so small as to be undetectable."
Open Source

Gender and Tenure Diversity In GitHub Teams Relate To Higher Productivity 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-for-my-clone-army dept.
New submitter Bogdan Vasilescu writes: Diversity in teams is a double-edged sword. Increased team diversity results in more varied backgrounds and ideas, providing the team with access to broader information, enhanced creativity, adaptability, and problem solving skills. However, due to greater perceived differences in values, norms, and communication styles in more diverse teams, members become more likely to engage in stereotyping, cliquishness, and conflict.

In a recent study, researchers from University of California, Davis and Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands have analyzed the effects of gender and tenure diversity on productivity and turnover for more than 23,000 open-source projects on GitHub. Using regression modeling, they showed that after controlling for team size and other confounds (such as a project's age, development model, or amount of social activity), both gender and tenure diversity are positive and significant predictors of productivity, together explaining a small but significant fraction of the data variability. On an economic and societal scale, these findings suggest that added investments in educational and professional training efforts and outreach for female programmers will likely result in added overall value.

The paper describing the results (preprint PDF here) will be presented at the prestigious ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, in Seoul, South Korea, in April 2015.
Security

Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force" 693

Posted by Soulskill
from the life-free-of-swat-teams-and-unordered-pizzas dept.
AmiMoJo writes: On Friday, developer and doxing victim Zoe Quinn launched an online "anti-harassment task force" toolset, staffed by volunteers familiar with such attacks, to assist victims of a recent swell of "doxing" and "swatting" attacks. The Crash Override site, built by Quinn and game developer Alex Lifschitz, offers free services from "experts in information security, white hat hacking, PR, law enforcement, legal, threat monitoring, and counseling" for "victims of online mob harassment."

They have already managed to preemptively warn at least one victim of a swatting attempt in Enumclaw, Washington. As a result, the police department's head e-mailed the entire department to ask any police sent to the address in question to "knock with your hand, not your boot."
Communications

Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat 157

Posted by timothy
from the just-ask-ram-sweeney dept.
Bennett Haselton writes: They would never admit it, but your high school admins would probably breathe a sigh of relief if all of their sexting-mad students would go ahead and install Snapchat so that evidence of (sometimes) illegal sexting would disappear into the ether. They can't recommend that you do this, because it would sound like an implicit endorsement, just like they can't recommend designated drivers for teen drinking parties -- but it's a good bet they would be grateful. Read on for the rest.

Comment: Re:In other words ... (Score 1) 448

by nmb3000 (#48760351) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

This is called Win-Win. Its how the free market works.

Ah, Slashdot. Where the grits are hot, Natalie Portman is petrified, and price gouging is considered Win-Win.

A "fair price" and "the highest possible price the majority of people are willing to pay" are not synonyms.

When consumers don't feel like every corporation they do business with is a leech trying to gorge itself on as much of their blood as possible, they'll probably be willing to do more business in general. When it comes to cable TV, people are cutting the cord not just because they feel it's overpriced, but because they're sick and tired of feeling like they're being fleeced with a dull razor every month when they get their bill.

Comment: Re:Evidence? (Score 2) 463

by nmb3000 (#48737285) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

ads posing as real software, e.g. when you Google X and the first couple links are sketchy versions of Y pretending to be X, or when you get to the actual download page but the big green "Download" link is actually an ad which downloads some BS executable

Oh, god, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I've had a few family members get bitten by this when I've suggested they get VLC or Firefox. The bastards at Google allow people to purchase ads for these high-profile FOSS software project names and then they serve up malware.

I thought they'd stopped doing it, but checking now I see searching for both Firefox and VLC still show these links. And some morons still don't understand why people block ads.

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