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Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 333 333

I'm not gonna remember a number like that!

If I need to bypass a child filter for a porn site in some hellish future UK dystopia, I'll just go ask a kid.

Heh, anyone remember the great age verification questions on the beginning of the first Leisure Suit Larry?
"Which of the following people was the drummer for Queen?" and shit like that.

Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 1) 251 251

Yep... but remember trying to teach old folks the concept of the "double-click"? And the pain of trying and failing to keep the pointer steady between the first click and the second click, or else you accidentally flick all your precious icons and folders onto the trash? Yeah.

It's amazing that Android and iOS home screens essentially look the same as the Win3.1 desktop... they just finally got rid of the silly double-click. And suddenly it works for grandmas. Huzzah.

Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 1) 251 251

Pretty much this. I sort of like the idea of a start menu, but I admit I prefer using hotkeys to Win-t a terminal or Win-e a file explorer or Win-r and run prompt.

The funny thing is that the iOS and Android home screens work a lot more like the Win3.1 interface. And I have to admit I was pretty lost the first time I loaded an Android emulator without having been introduced to the 'swipe'.

/ former Boeing engineer

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 312 312

Yep, this. People understand that you were young. Even evil conniving politicians bent on dredging up your ruin. In fact, what I've heard of from the Instagram generation is that they won't trust you as an authentic human being. I wouldn't be surprised if millennial hiring managers would weed out applicants without a sufficiently convincing social media footprint including childhood transgressions. So get cracking, geezers!

Submission + - Why do we still have caps lock prominently on keyboards?

Esther Schindler writes: The developers at .io are into tracking things, I guess. In any case, a few weeks back they decided to track team performance in terms of keyboard and mouse activity during the working day. They installed a simple Chrome plugin on every macbook and collected some statistics. For instance, developers have fewer keypresses than editors and managers—around 4k every day. Managers type more than 23k characters per day. And so on. Some pretty neat statistics.

But the piece that jumped out at me was this:

What’s curious—the least popular keys are Capslock and Right Mouse Button. Somewhere around 0.1% of all keypresses together. It’s time to make some changes to keyboards.

I've been whining about this for years. Why is it that the least-used key on my keyboard not just in a prominent position, but also bigger than most other keys? I can I invest in a real alternate keyboard with a different layout (my husband's a big fan of the Kinesis keyboards, initially to cope with carpal tunnel). But surely it's time to re-visit the standard key layout?

Submission + - Saudi Arabia's desire for nuclear energy is not a cover for a Bomb->

Lasrick writes: Researcher Lauren Sukin analyzes Saudi Arabia's increasing energy demand. By some estimates, the Kingdom's energy consumption is projected to grow by over 250 percent by 2028. 'Electricity needs have skyrocketed because of a combination of rising consumer and industrial demand and the country's increasing need for energy-guzzling water desalination.' And, Saudi Arabia’s conventional superiority and current US security guarantees are enough to solve regional security concerns. Seen from this perspective, Sukin writes that Saudi Arabia's desire for nuclear energy is not a cover for a bomb, but a desire to fix an energy security problem.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10 10

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) 170 170

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.
Link to Original Source

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.

Link to Original Source

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