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Comment Funding Idea #4 for Real.. (Score 1) 6 6

Would you pay $12 per year to have Slashdot? Browsing would be free, but how about $12 per year for moderation and commenting permissions?

That's less than most any magazine. I subscribe to Nat Geo and Smithsonian and $12 per year is less than either subscription. And I spend more time on Slashdot than I do reading both combined.

Just throwing it out there, $1 per month may not be the right number, or even needed.

I bet this would help with trolls and very offensive comments as well. I've only seen the bottom of the bucket a couple of times, it is nasty down there.

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 6 6

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Submission + - Facebook told to allow the use of fake names->

Mark Wilson writes: Facebook comes in for a lot of criticism, but one things that managed to rub a lot of people up the wrong way is its real names policy. For some time the social network has required its users to reveal their real name rather than allowing for the adoption of pseudonyms. This has upset many, including musicians and the drag community.

Now a German watchdog has told Facebook that its ban on fake names is not permitted. The Hamburg Data Protection Authority said that the social network could not force users to replace pseudonyms with real names, nor could it ask to see official identification.

The watchdog's order follows a complaint from a German woman who had her Facebook account closed because she used a fake name. She had opted to use a pseudonym to avoided unwanted contact from business associates, but Facebook demanded to see ID and changed her username accordingly. Hamburg Data Protection Authority said this and similar cases were privacy violations.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 452 452

Go back to the books and read up on conversion of matter to energy, energy to matter, and momentum as a type of energy.

In Einstein's model of the universe, the "law" is the conservation of matter and energy. In 7th grade physics there is talk about conservation of momentum in some instances (like billard table models, sans friction), but that is physics for babies. It is even ignoring the conversion of momentum to heat that always happens since billards is never played in a vacuum on a frictionless table.

Comment Re:Just in time to phase it out (Score 2) 90 90

That's OK, the troll has probably already filed for patents on using some other encryption algorithm they didn't invent with some other communications protocol they didn't invent, that was originally designed to be able to use the algorithm in the way they claim they invented.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 1) 452 452

I don't see any problem with this kind of reactionless drive. It can work without violating conservation of energy.

The apparent violation of conservation of momentum is due to a failure of the observer to recognize the true size of the system involved. If the mechanism is drawing on solar power, then some part of the continuing loss of mass of the Sun is part of the system, even though that is somewhat spatially distant. If it is powered by an on board fission reaction, then it is the reduction in mass of the fissioning material that is part of the system.

In all cases the energy of the universe is being conserved. The apparent breakage of the laws of conservation of energy, matter, and mass is all in the observer's head, through a failure to properly recognize the boundaries of the system.

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 2) 452 452

There is a place for scientific skepticism, and what you are saying is all well and good. And pretty well articulated too-- that's unusual among the pure science worshippers.

But scientists do not advance our technologies. That is done by engineers. And engineers are grubby guys who don't care much about how a thing works, so long as it does work in a reliable way. That pragmatism is why we've got bicycles even though the physicists are still scratching their heads over the self-correcting stability of these elegantly simple machines. (Hint: it has very little to do with "gyroscopic forces", and seems to have a lot to do with the "trail" that has been engineered into the steering geometry).

If we attain a working deep space drive before we understand exactly how it works, then most of us will applaud. We need the Edisons as well as the Einsteins. Even though as Tesla said, "If he had thought smarter, he would not have had to sweat so much."

Comment Better News? (Score 1) 96 96

...the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which called the ITA expansion 'great news for the American workers and businesses that design, manufacture, and export state-of-the-art technology and information products, ranging from MRI machines to semiconductors to video game consoles.'"

Uh-huh. Right.

You know what would be even better news for US tech hardware exporters?

If they didn't have a huge boat anchor attached in the form of NSA built-in backdoors and vulnerabilities.

Really, if you're a foreign corporation that competes in any way with US corporations/interests/research, or any government/organization/individual that US TLAs could possibly even tangentially term "of interest", would you buy stuff from US makers/manufacturers despite what's been revealed publicly over the last 20 years to present concerning US TLA activity within the US tech manufacturing/exporting industries?

Particularly in light of the recent revelations of so many unlawful and/or unconstitutional programs and activities engaged in by US intelligence organizations courtesy of the courageous whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which keep revealing new programs that violate constitutional principles and prohibitions with every new dump from the trove.

US tech companies have to overcome all that (quite understandable and logical) mistrust (good luck!), and *then* compete against other corporations that don't have that perceived millstone around their necks.

This will not turn out well for the US tech industries that need/rely on exporting their goods, and with cheap imports flowing into the US, even those who were national/regional in nature will find themselves priced out of the market.

1. Mining/Drilling - Offshored

2. Steel mfg - Offshored

3. Heavy Industries/Factories - Offshored

4. Artificial politically-motivated limits on energy production and artificially-created increases in cost.

5. ...?

I'm not liking the direction this is trending.

If it roughly parallels past similar historical scenarios, it doesn't end well for anyone in the US (well, except those 'too big to starve'), neither Left nor Right, nor atheists, Christians, Muslims, or whatever "ism" or party you favor.


Comment Re:You joke, but maybe this is what needs doing (Score 1) 195 195

Better yet would be if the vendors just took care of it, of course, but given their lack of motivation and alacrity

Perhaps the first step could be to hack the execs' phones and make them send text messages out to all the employees telling them that this patch needs to be pushed ASAP.

Comment Re: Scripts that interact with passwords fields aw (Score 1) 364 364

Is that like the login form AT&T used for a while to pretend it was all mobile-6-point-oh-like where the password field was a plain text box with a script that turned the letters you typed into dots after you type the next letter?

There's a reason that all the major browsers don't autofill forms until you tell it to.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt