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User Journal

Journal: I might be done with /. 1

Journal by symbolset

/. Used to be an obsession for me. I've been here over a decade. I've 2^8th +5 comments, 2^8 days read. I have broken news here by waking the Admins. For the last 10 years /. could count on me putting my spin on almost every story that hit the main page. I don't know if it is Dice ownership, that the trolls have finally won, /. Beta or whatever. More and more I'm finding the content stale, the discussion vile. I don't check in every day. What I do know is that I am less and less interested in coming here any more. I don't like that. I want /. to continue to be what it was. I want it to stay here for me. But things change.

User Journal

Journal: Mobile Slashdot is annoying

Journal by symbolset

Yeah, I get it - you have to serve mobile kids too. I don't like that interface. Have been using classic on Android since I got it. I browse logged in. There should be configuration preference for "never show me the mobile site again".

User Journal

Journal: Backblaze Box 3.0

Journal by symbolset

Apparently Backblaze has a third generation box out. Backblaze is a provider of online backup who has a fixed fee "all you can eat" price structure. Because of this they have to minimize the cost of providing their huge storage needs. They designed a 4U server to hold 45 drives some years ago and open sourced it. Netflix uses the design now for their CDN. Since then Backblaze has improved it some and it has been reported here.

Now there's a site where you can buy them for retail, and there's a new version out. If you want to put 180TB raw into 4U, there is no more efficient way to do it.

45drives.com

User Journal

Journal: It's about the people, stupid 1

Journal by symbolset

In Star Trek they have a great deal of amazing technologies. Warp drive, transporters, phasers, replicators, lots of cool stuff. Some of these things have been realized at least partially with technology. Tech people love Star Trek mostly, and adore the tech. Some think that this is what Star Trek is about. This technology stuff is what makes Star Trek science fiction. This is not what Star Trek â" nor any popular fiction â" is about.

The tech in Star Trek has almost never been the story, and certainly never in a good episode. The tech is a method where the storyteller sets his story in a place just different enough from the current day that the audience can view the story objectively rather than subjectively. It is a prop. With this diversion the moral play becomes not a threat to the viewer's established prejudices because it happened in a mythical place far away in space and time, opening the viewer to alter their prejudices and experience (pleasurable) personal growth. Every Star Trek show is a moral play showing conflicts arising between people, and how they resolved them. It is about educating people about conflict resolution and ethical behavior. This and only this is why we watch. Roddenberry was shameless in re-telling all of the basic stories of the past in his postmodern future â" even Aesop's fables and Shakespeare. It's about the people because how people engage with other people is what we, as humans, connect with on an emotional level. That is what makes it a good story.

In the technology world we focus on the widget. What its gigawhats and megathings are relative to the one that came before. How many FPS it gets on TradeBench. This is entirely the wrong approach. The technology world is not about gigawhats. It's about people. People who have wants and needs, aspirations and dreams. To a certain extent we acknowledge this in the marketing department where the people who sell the stuff we make live and bring the money that buys our sweet engineering gear. Marketing understands this is how you sell things: You associate the thing in the customer's mind with a greater affinity with his family, the public, the world â" you empower and enable him to do what he needs or wants to do, to be important, or at least convince him you will, and he gives you his money.

Somehow a one-way conceptual firewall has been built between engineering and marketing where this idea cannot pass back to the people who invent stuff. Engineering doesn't respect marketing, and is living in its own Star Trek world where they invent ever more widgets they think are really cool and then fling them through the Barrier to Marketing to make of them what they can.

If you start instead at âoewhat do people really want and needâ and build that you don't need marketing much at all. People will beat down your door to get it once they know you have it. Make it your engineering goal to understand what people want and need at a basic human level, and focus on inventing stuff around enabling and empowering them to have that.

So what do people want and need? After air, food and shelter they want to connect with their fellow humans, to share and partake of sharing of each others' lives. This is why Facebook and Twitter are so huge. They want to relax and enjoy life, and enjoy songs and stories â" so, Netflix and Pandora. They want fame and recognition, so: Facebook and Twitter. Notice Facebook doesn't have a âoedislikeâ button? Know why that is? Because the fear of negative feedback would ruin the sharing experience by including the risk of rejection. They want love without fear. Give them that and they are yours.

User Journal

Journal: +5 Troll 1

Journal by symbolset

Of all the achievements I've managed in my /. time, this one has escaped me: the moderation of +5 Troll. I believe this rare goal has been achieved, and would like a link to the incident.

User Journal

Journal: Shadowbanned? 6

Journal by symbolset

I'm starting to detect some deviation from the former regime. Posts are no longer as controversial. My comments are not moderated as frequently - or at all. The front page is not as timely. There's a chance my idle maunderings don't even appear to most folk. The 16 hour outage of Hotmail and such remain unreported here. Something is amiss.

It may be time to take my leave of /. It was a long wonderful run but when it's over, it's over.

User Journal

Journal: The Heymann Petition has met its quota

Journal by symbolset

The US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the professional prosecutor Steve Heymann both have petitions on the whitehouse "we the people" site calling for their termination in the wake of the Aaron Swartz scandal. The Ortiz petition was filled almost immediately, but the Heymann petition took longer. Today the Heymann petition is also filled.

The whitehouse has promised to give a response to petitions which meet these thresholds. Now we will find out what the response will be, and what the reaction to that response will be.

User Journal

Journal: Aaron Swartz: Steve Heymann needs to go too

Journal by symbolset

There are plenty of signatures on the Whitehouse petition to fire US Attorney Carmen Ortiz but she's just a politician. The frontline prosecutor who drove this case was Steve Heymann. He needs to go too, but his petition isn't trending to enough votes to get it done. We need to be rid of him too.

So do your part and do him in: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fire-assistant-us-attorney-steve-heymann/RJKSY2nb

User Journal

Journal: Is it a decade already?

Journal by symbolset

Just got notified that it's been 10 years since I created this /. account. Had a prior account long since lost, and lurked for a while before that. But wow. 10 years. Nerd world has changed a lot in 10 years. Should do a retrospective.

User Journal

Journal: Her name is Carmen Ortiz 1

Journal by symbolset

The prosecutor who hounded Aaron Swartz to death, impoverishing his family and guaranteeing he would spend the rest of his natural days in federal prison because they had not enough to defend him properly: her name is Carmen Ortiz. She is the one who would do this to him - not for killing somebody, or stealing something, but for accessing information he was entitled to access manually in an automated way. Building scripts was his crime. Carmen Ortiz was his prosecutor. She killed him.

Microsoft

Journal: Windows 8 falls behind Vista adoption pace at month 2 1

Journal by symbolset

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reports that based on NetApplications current adoption statistics for Windows 8, the operating system is not achieving market share as fast as Windows Vista. At the 2 month point Vista was at 2.2% of all Windows devices. 2 months past Launch Windows 8 has achieved a share of only 1.6%. In a related note, Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto has joined the chorus of PC OEM executives complaining of poor sales. Pointedly Yamamoto blames Windows 8 for Fujitsu missing their annual projected sales targets.

User Journal

Journal: voicefive.com is Comscore tracking

Journal by symbolset

The voicefive.com script that's taking forever to load on slashdot these days is used for usage tracking. It's harmless. But the server is so overloaded that it's taking pages forever to load.

User Journal

Journal: Making the turn

Journal by symbolset

It's time to talk about the hard turn.

Change has been in the wind for a while now. The times, they are a-changing. We are going mobile. Windows PCs undersell mobile devices now by a rate of 1:2, and the change is logarithmic. This isn't some fad: real change is happening.

Some have read the weather well. Samsung especially, but Acer, Asus, Philips, Sony and Lenovo too. HP and Dell, not so much.

We're entering a new world now, that doesn't have legacy bindings holding us back. Let us make the most of it.

Android

Journal: The $100 Android tablet

Journal by symbolset

In the run up to Santa season I see dozens of 7-9" Android tablets in the retail market with Android 4.0, capacitive touch screen and decent performance. A lot of them now marked "sold out". I think it's amazing that so much technology can be made so cheaply in such a small package. This is awesome.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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