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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (Score 1) 26

by udoschuermann (#47478923) Attached to: Meet LibreOffice Volunteer Robinson Tryon (Video)

The site is almost unreadable in some cases (Win7/FF which is what I have to use at work): letters missing, big gaps, and a complete mess. It's obviously some horrid incompatibility with something, but the lack of QA is simply embarrassing. This has been going on for months, but as much as I've been wanting to report it, all I found is file a bug report against LO, which doesn't seem right.

Comment: Where's the middle ground of usability? (Score 1) 129

I'd be plenty happy if I could buy a 24" desktop monitor with 2560×1600 pixels (125 DPI).

Back in 2004 (10 years ago!) I had a Sager laptop with 135 DPI (1600×1200). That was an awesome display, but it seems like we have not made any progress since then: It's either barely stretch for 100 DPI on the desktop or 400+ DPI on a tiny mobile phone. Why can't we get 150 or 200 DPI on the desktop? Am I really the only one who cares?

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 2219

by udoschuermann (#46187413) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

My concern is that this "beta" is evidence of a fundamental and grotesque lack of understanding on the part of those who are trying to push this on us, and may in fact signal the beginning of the end of /. as we know and love it ("sorry, /. users, you didn't like this change, but you're gonna learn to love the next one" 8-[ ).

Of course I am hopeful that our concerns are not merely heard, but that problems are fixed and the site's core functionality and aesthetics(*) are retained, instead of the whole thing being thrown out and replaced with glowing cotton balls.

(*) I've heard some describe /. in less than favorable terms, visually speaking, but I appreciate it for its functionality as much as I appreciate a shell interface for its utility and flexibility.

Comment: Re:Fork Slashdot (Score 1) 2219

by udoschuermann (#46186207) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I'd be there instantly, because each time that horrid beta version comes up, I refresh and refresh and refresh the page in hopes of getting the proper site back, but once my frustration level gets to the point where I give up, I close the tab and remove Slashdot from my bookmarks.

I've felt strangely torn up and betrayed by the beta version because I've been here a long time and Slashdot is the first site I check every day (if I were stuck on a desert island and could visit only one site a day, /. would be it). I want my information, not some sort of flashy splatter.

Comment: Re:Something I've been ruminating about all day (Score 1) 305

by udoschuermann (#45572647) Attached to: Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions

Correct. I wager that plenty of people were toying with Bitoins at some point but shrugged it off and deleted (or lost) their wallet for one reason or another (see the story of the guy who lost 7500 BTC). Wallet gone, coins are gone, forever.

My encrypted wallet is backed up periodically so that a hard disk crash won't wipe me out. If Mt.Gox goes evil, a lot of people will lose their cash/coins, myself included, but Mt. Gox makes a pretty chunk on every (frequent) trade, so they stand to gain a lot more from being cool than being evil, which serves everyone.

Bottom line is that Bitcoin is an extremely interesting technical experiment, but more of a gamble than a secured investment. It could all go sour in a minute, or turn into a mind-boggling foundation of a world economy, but fools are parted with their bitcoins on a regular basis, as the story shows.

Don't hand over your wallet to some guy at the street corner, I'm just sayin'

Comment: Re:Killed because it wasn't a revenue generator (Score 3, Insightful) 118

by udoschuermann (#43702233) Attached to: Has Google Shut Down SMS Search?

There are two issues from the user's perspective when a free service is suddenly shutdown:

1. The free service has become an expectation and important part of their routine.
2. There is no way to plan for alternatives, if they even exist,

No, there is no legal obligation for Google to keep such a service running, but the least they could have done is give a few weeks or months of warning, maybe point out equivalent services (sms based), and thus offer people a way to migrate. Instead, they just dropped everyone on the floor and said, "Go sign up for a data plan <shrug>"

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#43026321) Attached to: Plans Unveiled For Full Scale Replica of the Titanic

We built the Titanic, and that hit an iceberg and sank.
So we built the Titanic 2, and it hit an iceberg, flipped over, and then sank.
So we built another, and that also hit an iceberg, caught fire, flipped over, and went down like a stone.
But did we give up? No, we built a fourth one! And that ...

(feel free to continue)

Comment: Re:What gives fiat money value? (Score 4, Insightful) 437

by udoschuermann (#42999691) Attached to: World's First Bitcoin ATM

No, the value of any currency (exchange medium, fiat or otherwise) is derived from the trust that currency-exchanging users place in it. This trust may be derived from trust in the issuer (government), but that is no requirement. The value of BTC is derived from a combination of its limited supply and the usefulness of anonymous exchange. Governments need not be involved until you want to convert BTC to a tangible currency (such as US$), but that is not a required feature for those who deal only in BTC. So long as BTC is difficult to come by and those who value it are willing to exchange it solely based on perceived (or real-world) value, then BTC will thrive, and with increasing scarcity, rise in value.

Comment: Re:It's one of few anonymous ways to obtain bitcoi (Score 1) 437

by udoschuermann (#42999663) Attached to: World's First Bitcoin ATM

True, but ASIC mining rigs are being built by relatively small outfits, not by the likes of Intel or AMD. The work is tricky, involves a lot of different suppliers, and isn't anything like grabbing a bunch of off-the-shelf components. The vaporware aspect arises from overly optimistic expectations, but mere GPU miners are really beginning to hurt badly against the ever-increasing difficulty, which is driving up the price of BTCs because there is a clear demand for them, and that makes ASIC delivery ever more important and lucrative. ASICs a matter of time, not a matter of "ifs".

Comment: Re:Someone who has never said cyberspace before... (Score 1) 292

by udoschuermann (#42879605) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?

The dawn of the Internet goes back to DARPA around 1970 (give or take). The term "cyberspace" was coined by William Gibson in 1982. The Web happened in the early 1990s.

Cyberspace is a visualization of an abstract environment, not a physical space. Tangibles (hardware) combine with intangibles (software) to enable it. Much of it is defined by how you visualize your "presence" there. Are you just pushing data request packets, or are you really "visiting" sites in distant places? It's a matter of imaginaton and perspective, really.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir