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Comment: For mobile? That is BETA's worst failure (Score 1) 2219

by robbak (#46185669) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I seem to be locked into beta on my phone, and it just simply doesn't work. 3 comments down, and the comments are single-word lines, and a few more nested comments down, even that breaks. Even though I visit classic.slashdot.org, i end up at beta.

Look, someone with black-hat skills, track down their dev environment and rm -r it for us, please?

+ - 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."

Comment: They are taking it to a 'safe dumping zone'. (Score 3, Insightful) 277

by robbak (#46138859) Attached to: Australia OKs Dumping Dredge Waste In Barrier Reef

They have chosen a safe dumping zone where the movement of silt won't cause problems. But the entire east coast of Queensland, however, is the marine park, so all the safe dumping zones are inside the 'park'. So that means that GBRMPA has to check the details and make sure that what the engineers have worked out is a safe dumping zone is actually one, and that the currents won't take large quantities of fine silt onto reefs. They have done so, worked out that it is, and the world moves on.

Now whether anyone should be digging up coal and shipping it to places where it will be burnt is another matter. But the placement of the dredge spoil is simple engineering.

Comment: Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (Score 1) 292

by robbak (#45659159) Attached to: JPMorgan Files Patent Application On 'Bitcoin Killer'

Applying for a patent is a negotiation process in which you throw out a bunch of claims looking to get the best deal you can. You start with Claim 1 being a claim on the sidereal universe and all it contains and work your way down to more specific stuff. Depending on the skill of those writing the patent you will get more or less of the invention you actually wanted.

As you can see in the application they have already dropped the first 154 claims in the original application.

And that is the main problem. When an inventor files a patent, it should be totally specific. If that patent is rejected, they should have two options: Argue that the patent as it stands is valid, involving the courts if necessary, or toss it out, and create a new, correct patent with a new effective date.

And if the way a patent is written could be read to cover some prior art, either before or after it is approved, then the patent is wrong and should be tossed, entirely, unless that prior art was explicitly listed in the 'prior art' section.

So this patent application should be the recipient of a junior-clerk's REJECTED stamp, because it doesn't explicitly list the Satoshi paper in it's applicable prior art section.

Comment: Petrodollars (Score 4, Interesting) 634

by robbak (#45130111) Attached to: China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

The US has gone to war a number of times (it is claimed) to prevent countries trading oil in currencies other than the Dollar. Some of those claims might border on conspiracy theories, but it remains that the tactics to keep oil trading based on the U.S. Dollar look remarkably like 'force'.

Etymology note: Petroleum is latin for 'Rock Oil' (Petra, rock + Oleum, oil, from the Latin for Olive.). When we created that abbreviation, Petrodollars, dollars for oil, all that was left of the oil was the 'o'. The word looks more like 'Rock 'o Dollars, doesn't it?

Comment: Yes, I agree. If only I could mod my own comment. (Score 1) 216

by robbak (#45042057) Attached to: First Few <em>Doctor Who</em> Episodes May Fall To Public Domain Next Year

I'd give it -3 overrated. And this thread has been interesting - I have learnt a few things about this that I wasn't quite aware of - such as the actor's guild conditions that prevented the recordings continued use, and so contributed to their destruction. I was aware of the official programs to recover missing copies, but am not surprised at BigBadBus' notes below about archivists lack of concern for the official programs.

Comment: BBC's most effective copyright strategy in effect. (Score 5, Informative) 216

Namely, destruction of all extant copies.

BBC destroyed the only copies of most of those episodes decades ago. The only existing copies are some that were sent overseas and temporarily lost, so they were not recovered and destroyed. Others only exist in the form of home-made speaker-to-microphone reel-to-reel audio tapes.

Comment: The closed source story is the same, except worse. (Score 4, Insightful) 321

by robbak (#44852791) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Attracting Developers To Abandonware?

You make this point yourself. If the developer of a closed source package gets bored of it, or it is not profitable (which itself is a high bar for a most producers!), or both, they will drop it. Anyone who came to rely on it is completely stuck, as they cannot fix the most trivial or sexy bugs. They have to live with it until advancing technology and other changes make the program fail completely, and they will have to retrain.

If it is open source, then at least you can recompile and/or port to a new OS. You have the option of paying someone to fix a problem. You have none of those options if the closed-source producer of a package arbitrarily decides to drop it.

Comment: Re:Austrailians as stupid as Americans? (Score 2) 343

by robbak (#44795297) Attached to: Australia Elects Libertarian-Leaning Senator (By Accident)

That is exactly the system.

When a voter selects a vote above the line, they are choosing for their numbering of all the candidates to be as the party has outlined to the electoral office. It is a short-cut - a useful one, because there is often over 100 candidates for the senate.

You can choose not to use the shortcut, and number alllllll the boxes below the line. You might just get finished before the count is done.

Comment: Re:58 Second Burn? (Score 1) 160

by robbak (#44564239) Attached to: Easily-Captured Asteroids Identified

They are trying to hit an earth-sun lagrange point. If they do so, the object leaves its solar orbit and enters an unstable earth orbit. They then need to give it another few burns to stabilize the orbit (and keep it away from the lagrange point, which would allow it to leave earth orbit and resume orbiting the sun) . If they miss, then it travels on, on a different orbit, with roughly the same chance of hitting the earth as it ever did.

Comment: Re:Open airplanes (Score 1) 506

by robbak (#44214393) Attached to: Boeing 777 Crashes At San Francisco Airport

The FAA almost never comes out with flat 'pilot error' as a cause. They always go as far as they can to answer the next why - Why did the pilot make this decision, and why did the craft respond so poorly to the sub-optimal inputs. And then why those issues happened, etc. They will often start the process at the human error and try to find the design and corporate failures that caused it.

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.

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