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Submission + - The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar->

schwit1 writes: In the last few years, I've watched a continuing battle among my friends about which is worse for you: artificial sweeteners or sugar. Unless you want to forgo all beverages that are sweet, you're going to run into one of these. Rather than rely on anecdote or myth, we can inform this debate with research.

The available evidence points to the fact that there appears to be a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems; none can be detected with artificial sweeteners.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Slashdot by the People

turp182 writes: Slashdot by the People

Editors, please post to the front page if this get a response from the Firehose users. The response would help any potential buyer better understand the community, and the community could respond with insightful responses.

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 acquiring 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 salesforce, 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 crowd sourcing. 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 enlightening 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 + - Windows 10: A Potential Privacy Mess, and Worse->

Lauren Weinstein writes: I had originally been considering accepting Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. After all, reports have suggested that it's a much more usable system than Windows 8/8.1 — but of course in keeping with the "every other MS release of Windows is a dog" history, that's a pretty low bar.

However, it appears that MS has significantly botched their deployment of Windows 10. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised, even though hope springs eternal.

Since there are so many issues involved, and MS is very aggressively pushing this upgrade, I'm going to run through key points here quickly, and reference other sites' pages that can give you more information right now.

But here's my executive summary: You may want to think twice, or three times, or many more times, about whether or not you wish to accept the Windows 10 free upgrade on your existing Windows 7 or 8/8.1 system.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Windows 10 sucks (Score 1) 307 307

I was thinking he was the poor sucker with a first generation iMac where the USB wasn't even 2.0. (and where the firmware is set so that it CANNOT boot from an external USB DVD-ROM drive)

My first gen iMac boots from external CDROM on USB just fine, thank you.

Hold the Alt key at startup to get the boot device menu, plug in your cdrom if need be and press alt again to update the device list, and click on the big giant CD icon.

Both OS X and YellowDog Linux boot fine this way, and I've installed and reinstalled both more than once.

Firmware hasn't ever been manually upgraded either, so unless some patch came with OS X 10.1 or something, the firmware hasn't been upgraded beyond factory as well.

I've not tried the "C" key shortcut on it, as I didn't learn about that one until later sometime around/after I had my i7 macbook.

But even today I prefer the alt key method of selecting a boot device from the list over the "C" key that can't confirm the cd media is even bootable before skipping past it on to the HD.
Too many cdrw discs having boot sector problems with various older cdrom drives I guess.

Comment Re:Or... just hear me out here... (Score 1) 1119 1119

Unless you can show that there actually was no danger to people or property, and you knew that at the time of firing. Which short of being some form of android or having very specific knowledge ahead of time, is not easy to do

How is that not easy to do?

"[Man] Kids, get in the house."

Now only one person remains in danger of a drone falling on him, zero people are in danger of the shotgun pellets coming down, and as the one main remaining is also the land owner, you clearly have the land owners permission to act as well as already accepting the risk of damage to their own property.

Easy Peasy

Comment Re:The Microsoft key!!!! I've never used it...ever (Score 1) 646 646

I started using computers regularly in the time before the "Windows" key was added to the keyboard. So, when it appeared, I refused to use it, out of pique.

I have to bring that statement into question.

If you really did use computers back in the day before Windows, you would already know that key - called Super - has existed since the 80s and was first removed on the IBM 8800 computer, which it remained missing until Microsoft requested keyboard manufacturers to put the Super key back and stick their logo on it.

Unix systems used and still use Super as an extra modifier similar to Hyper, Meta, Alt, AltGr, and Control.
The classic Macs used it as the "open apple" / command key, which was used for keyboard shortcuts leaving Control free to insert control characters as originally intended.
Sun had a dedicated key on the left-hand function keys.

LISP programmers have said they can't live without Meta.
Even emacs remaps the keycode back in for command shortcuts.

Personally when the key REappeared I was quite happy, as any cheap-o $10 keyboard would have similar functionality to any 104-key keyboard in the past, and no longer commanded higher prices to get.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 646 646

"They installed a simple Chrome plugin on every Macbook [...] the least popular keys are Capslock and Right Mouse Button"

You don't say!

Right click is pretty popular on most every desktop OS out there.

What shocks me the most is they didn't report mouse buttons 3, 4, and 5 as least used.
Button 3 is pretty well used by power users, but 4/5 require an external mouse, so macbooks don't have those two buttons built in as hardware.

I'm still waiting on Windows to actually add in support for buttons 4 and 5 instead of faking it and mapping them to browser forward/back.

The most used desktop OS (Windows) still to this day doesn't support as many mouse buttons as younger OSes like OS X and Linux, it's simply amazing.

Comment Microsoft has a BAD reputation. (Score 1) 307 307

In my opinion, Microsoft is an extremely badly managed and abusive company. I see these issues as supporting that widely shared opinion:

One effect of "upgrading" to Windows 10: Windows Media Center will be deleted. Microsoft is also apparently trying to kill Windows Media Center software in other versions of Windows, without notice, by stopping providing the TV program schedule (EPG, Electronic Program Guide). That affects hundreds of thousands of users. The issue is not who uses Windows Media Center. The issue is that apparently Microsoft is operating in a sneaky fashion that is extremely anti-customer, and that shows Microsoft is trying to take even more control over its users.

Microsoft and thousands of customers are blaming Rovi. Notice, for example, how many times Rovi is mentioned on this Microsoft web page:
https://connect.microsoft.com/site1145/Feedback

This Microsoft web pages says the TV Guide has been "Updated":
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3078428,
but many Windows Media Center users no longer have a TV schedule, making Windows Media Center worthless because it is very difficult to record without the schedule.

Microsoft is apparently deliberately destroying Windows Media Center, and letting Rovi take the blame. For example, a new installation of Windows Media Center on a fully updated Windows 7 Ultimate computer has several flaws, not just the lack of a TV program guide.

Another loss in Windows 10: Windows Updates will be forced, in some versions. Will there be other lost features, now or later? Will Microsoft extend its control over Windows in other hidden or complicated ways? Online comments say that Microsoft will try to move Windows to a model that requires monthly payments. The issue is not whether technically-knowledgeable users will be able to stop forced updates; the issue is that most people won't know how to regain control over their systems. That control is important because often Microsoft has issued poorly designed updates that have caused problems on user's systems. See this Slashdot story, for example, Windows 10's Automatic Updates For NVidia Drivers Causing Trouble.

More about Microsoft releasing buggy software: The Slashdot story, Windows 10 Launches, says Windows 10 is "buggier than Windows 8.1, 8, 7, or Vista were on their respective launch days" and "During my testing on a variety of hardware, I've run into a lot of bugs and issues -- even with the version that will be released to consumers on launch day".

(At present, the best way to update Windows 7 is to use Autopatcher, because Microsoft's anti-customer "updates" are avoided.)

Firefox: Embraced, "Extended", soon to be Extinguished? Mozilla Foundation now gets most of its money from Microsoft. Microsoft pays Yahoo. Yahoo pays Mozilla Foundation to make "Yahoo search" (actually Microsoft Bing search) the default search engine in Firefox. Most people don't have the technical knowledge to know how they've been manipulated, or how to restore the default search engine to Google search.

Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Composer GUIs: Damaged, apparently deliberately. Every time you do a file save, the newer versions of both ask for a new file name, and don't suggest the last one chosen. The damage was reported several months ago, but has not been fixed. Is that another example of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish? People who feel forced away from Thunderbird may choose Microsoft software to replace it. Is that what Microsoft is trying to accomplish?

Microsoft is amazingly badly managed. The company apparently survives only because of having an unregulated virtual monopoly that allows it to charge full price for each new version, and to alternate good and bad versions, so customers pay twice for new versions. (Windows 98, good, except later when there were file system problems; Windows ME, bad; Windows XP, good, after several years of patches; Windows Vista, bad; Windows 7, good; Windows 8, so bad the next version, Windows 10 is "free".)

"Monkey Boy" The cover of the January 16, 2013 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a large photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (now replaced) with the headline calling him "Monkey Boy". See the BusinessWeek cover in this article: Steve Ballmer Is No Longer A Monkey Boy, Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The BusinessWeek cover says "No More" and "Mr.", but that doesn't take much away from the fact that the magazine called Ballmer Monkey Boy -- on its cover.

Worst CEO: Quote from an article in Forbes Magazine about Steve Ballmer: "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Another quote: "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value -- and jobs." (May 12, 2012)

Comment All your data r belong to us! (Score 3, Informative) 255 255

As another noted on the Red Site:

"We'll know everything* about you and we'll be snitching (including your BitLocker key) whenever and/or to anyone we think is in our interest to. Starting Aug 15"[1]

In particular, this is more than a little disturbing.

"But Microsoftâ(TM)s updated privacy policy is not only bad news for privacy. Your free speech rights can also be violated on an ad hoc basis as the company warns:

In particular, âoeWe will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary toâ, for example, âoeprotect their customersâ or âoeenforce the terms governing
the use of the servicesâ."

As with all things Microsoft, use at your own risk. Only now, the risks to you personally are higher than ever before.

[1]https://soylentnews.org/breakingnews/comments.pl?sid=8667&cid=215390#commentwrap

Comment Help DHI operate Slashdot? (Score 1) 10 10

The underlying problem, it seems to me, is that DHI doesn't know how to operate Slashdot. DHI managers apparently are not knowledgeable about technology. Slashdot beta is an example.

Could some of us help teach DHI managers to do better with Slashdot? I'd be willing to help.

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?

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

Working...