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Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 7 7

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:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
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):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

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?

Comment Re:This is a smart move for them (Score 2) 166 166

I don't know about you, but I kinda prefer having targeted advertising for stuff I'm actually interested in, as opposed to being bombarded with random ads for beer and diapers and feminine hygiene products that I get when I'm in a "fresh" browser or incognito mode. I'm also OK with using the random Google accounts I created to do online shopping... they're anonymous enough for me relative to the realname account that I only use for talking to the handful of actual people in a "social" context.

Submission + - Senate Passes 'No Microsoft National Talent Strategy Goal Left Behind Act'

theodp writes: Microsoft is applauding the Senate's passage of the Every Child Achieves Act, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, saying the move will improve access to K-12 STEM learning nationwide. The legislation elevates Computer Science to a "core academic subject", opening the door to a number of funding opportunities. The major overhaul of the U.S. K-12 education system, adds Microsoft on the Issues, also "advances some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy," its "two-pronged" plan to increase K-12 CS education and tech immigration. Perhaps Microsoft is tackling the latter goal in under-the-radar White House visits with the leaders of Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, like this one, attended by Microsoft's William "It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway" Kamela and FWD.us President Joe "Save Us From Just-Sort-of-OK US Workers" Green.

Comment We all need The Book (Score 1) 24 24

The one criticism of atheists and agnostics that resonates with me is that they don't really have an established book of beliefs and guidelines. Living life without a code of behavior is somewhat like a computer running without a program... how are you going to predict what it's going to do?

It would be nice for everyone to have their own compiled set of standards, rules, and objective functions that characterizes their philosophy and that they actually use to guide their behavior. Unfortunately, the OKCupid tests are the only thing I've seen that comes anywhere close :P

Submission + - What Happens When Science Enables Aborting Babies With The 'Gay Gene'?->

An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Carroll writes at the Independent Journal Review, "One gets the sense these days that the once far away, anti-Utopian worlds of George Orwell, ... and Aldous Huxley are actually here. ... The crux of my concern ... is the inevitable intersection of “safe abortions” and genetic selection to weed out “undesirables.” Genetic selection has reared its head already over the past few decades in China — girls are aborted and boys are the favored gender. In the United States ... a steep reduction in the number of Down’s Syndrome babies over the last decade ... So what do the LGBTQ activists — who are mostly left-wing — do when faced with the inevitable collision of “gay rights” and “reproductive rights”? We seem to be on the verge of the science community agreeing that there are genetic underpinnings to being born gay. ... None other than ultra-conservative Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum conceded the point this week in an interview with openly-gay MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. ... This is quite a dilemma for pro-abortion gay activists ... Donors to gay rights groups and pro-abortion groups are frequently the same individuals, and millions are exchanged between these two causes. ... gay activists frequently cite “abortion rights” as a keystone to achieving overall LGBT equality. I wonder if gay activists realize that their ... devotion to pro-abortion political organizations, and the multi-million dollar abortion industry itself, may ultimately lead to the destruction of LGBT babies before they are born within my lifetime."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - AMD clocks 500x spreadsheet speed boost via hardware acceleration in LibreOffice->

samtuke writes: AMD processors get rated and reviewed based on performance. It is in our self-interest to make things work really, really fast on AMD hardware. AMD engineers contribute to LibreOffice, for good reason. Think about what happens behind a spreadsheet calculation. There can be a huge amount of math. Writing software to take advantage of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for general purpose computing is non-trivial. We know how to do it. AMD engineers wrote OpenCL kernels, and contributed them to the open source code base. Turning on the OpenCL option to enable GPU Compute resulted in a 500X+ speedup, about ¼ second vs. 2minutes, 21 seconds.
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Submission + - Tomb, a successor to TrueCrypt for Linux geeks (well, dm-crypt, basically...)->

jaromil writes: Last day we released Tomb version 2.1 with improvements to stability, documentation and translations. Tomb is just a ZSh script wrapping around cryptsetup, gpg and other tools to facilitate the creation and management of LUKS encrypted volumes with features like key separation, steganography, off-line search, QRcode paper backups etc. In designing Tomb we struggle for minimalism and readability, convinced that the increasing complexity of personal technology is the root of many vulnerabilities the world is witnessing today — and this approach turns out to be very successful, judging from the wide adoption, appreciation and contributions our project has received especially after the demise of TrueCrypt.
As maintainer of the software I wonder what Slashdot readers think about what we are doing, how we are doing it and more in general about the need for simplicity in secure systems, a debate I perceive as transversal to many other GNU/Linux/BSD projects and their evolution. Given the increasing responsibility in maintaining such a software, considering the human-interface side of things is an easy to reach surface of attack, I can certainly use some advice and criticism.

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Comment Re:Finally! (Score 2) 151 151

Yeah, I'm happy enough just closing any tab that starts sprouting unsolicited audio, either from ads or actual content that autoplays. Unfortunately, I doubt most web analytics do a good job showing people leaving their site in droves once some autoplay content starts.

Slashdot might be a good example of this, though... I used to leave /. running in a tab all day long, but now I usually end up closing it after something autoplays nowadays and not going back. Maybe someone noticed, because I do see autoplay junk hit the page slightly less often now.

Facebook oddly enough actually has a pretty nice system where videos autoplay muted as you scroll by them, pause once they're offscreen, unless you unmute or hit play. It would be nice to be able to give better reasons for blocking content, though, like "This link was a useless slideshow" or "The page had some stupid autoplay thing"

Submission + - Secret Service Agents Stake Out the Ugliest Corners of the Internet

HughPickens.com writes: Josephine Wolff writes at The Atlantic that sifting through messages to determine which, threats to President Obama need to be taken seriously is the responsibility of the Secret Service Internet Threat Desk, a group of agents tasked with identifying and assessing online threats to the president and his family. The first part of this mission—finding threats—is in many ways made easier by the Internet: all you have to do is search! Pulling up every tweet which uses the words “Obama” and “assassinate” takes mere seconds, and the Secret Service has tried to make it easier for people to draw threats to its attention by setting up its own Twitter handle, @secretservice, for users to report threatening messages to. The difficulty is trying to figure out which ones should be taken seriously.

The Secret Service categorizes all threats, online and offline alike, into one of three categories. Class 3 threats are considered the most serious, and require agents to interview the individual who issued the threat and any acquaintances to determine whether that person really has the capability to carry out the threat. Class 2 threats are considered to be serious but issued by people incapable of actually follow up on their intentions, either because they are in jail or located at a great distance from the president. And Class 1 threats are those that may seem serious at first, but are determined not to be. The overall number of threats directed at the first family that require investigation has stayed relatively steady at about 10 per day—except for the period when Obama was first elected, when the Secret Service had to follow up on roughly 50 threats per day. “That includes threats on Twitter,” says Ronald Kessler, author of In the President’s Secret Service. “It makes no difference to [the Secret Service] how a threat is communicated. They can’t take that chance of assuming that because it’s on Twitter it’s less serious.”

Submission + - Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds

AmiMoJo writes: The men most likely to harass women online are the men most likely to have their own problems. That bit of validation comes courtesy Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Miami University, respectively. For their latest study, published in the journal PLOS One last week, the duo watched how men treated women during 163 plays of the video game Halo 3. As they watched the games play out and tracked the comments that players made to each other, the researchers observed that — no matter their skill level, or how the game went — men tended to be pretty cordial to each other. Male players who were good at the game also tended to pay compliments to other male and female players. Some male players, however — the ones who were less-skilled at the game, and performing worse relative their peers — made frequent, nasty comments to the female gamers. In other words, sexist dudes are literally losers.

Comment Re:Pretty much (Score 1) 152 152

Yep, this.

How long has linkedin been around? For me, it seems like it finally reached "critical mass" only a year or two ago. After lurking for nearly a decade, I suddenly realized that a bunch of people I knew and worked with were suddenly on it.

Google Plus works well, and I do use it a lot with my close family. I upload most of my photo collections there, and then share the link via Facebook/Twitter/email or whatever. Everyone and their dog is not on there, and that's fine with me.

Everyone complains about Facebook, and it'll just take one or two major slips (be it via more invasive ads, or a data breach, or just one too many pokes) that could drive people in droves over to another social network (or some sort of network-of-networks aggregator, which we're probably overdue for). And GooglePlus will be mature and sitting there waiting.

And then the early adopters will migrate over to the next platform as the signal-to-noise ratio plummets again. No big deal.

Submission + - Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete->

An anonymous reader writes: While Hilbert’s broader aim of axiomatizing physics remains unfulfilled, recent research has yielded an unexpected answer to the particle-fluid question. The Boltzmann equation does not translate into the Navier-Stokes equations in all cases, because the Navier-Stokes equations — despite being exceptionally useful for modeling the weather, ocean currents, pipes, cars, airplane wings and other hydrodynamic systems, and despite the million-dollar prize offered for their exact solutions — are incomplete. The evidence suggests that truer equations of fluid dynamics can be found in a little-known, relatively unheralded theory developed by the Dutch mathematician and physicist Diederik Korteweg in the early 1900s. And yet, for some gases, even the Korteweg equations fall short, and there is no fluid picture at all.

“Navier-Stokes makes very good predictions for the air in the room,” said Slemrod, who presented the evidence last month in the journal Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena. But at high altitudes, and in other near-vacuum situations, “the equations become less and less accurate.”

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Comment Re:I update my OS every time MSFT kills it (Score 1) 318 318

Heh, since the Win95 days I used to have to flatten and rebuild my Windows gaming box every 6 months or so due to driver problems and bloat. Then the last time my HDD died I just up and installed one of the pirated/cracked Russian Win7 versions (since my OEM Win7 license was spent on that dead OS disk). It runs in Test mode and doesn't get any updates, but I haven't had any problems for well over a year now of running Steam games. Whoever pwned my system does a much better job keeping it stable and running smoothly :P

Submission + - IT workers who train foreign replacements 'troubling' says White House ->

dcblogs writes: A top White House official told House lawmakers this week that the replacement of U.S. workers by H-1B visa holders is 'troubling' and not supposed to happen. That answer came in reponse to a question from U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that referenced Disney workers who had to train their temporary visa holding replacements. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said if H-1B workers are being used to replace U.S. workers, then "it's a very serious failing of the H-1B program." But Johnson also told lawmakers that they may not be able to stop it, based on current law. Ron Hira,an associate professor of public policy at Howard University who has testified before Congress multiple times on H-1B visa use, sees that as a "bizarre interpretation" of the law.
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