Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 120

Plenty of people submit worthwhile things that just sit at the firehose, while plenty of shilled crap gets front paged.

Unfortunately, everybody's definition of "worthwhile things" is different. If there are specific examples you'd like to discuss, I'd be happy to post my perspective on why they may or may not have been posted. I realize that submitting to Slashdot can be like screaming into the void; it's something I always wanted to change. But there are often good reasons why submissions were declined.

Shilled stories get to the front page for a few reasons. Here's how CmdrTaco explained it to me when I joined Slashdot. The role of Slashdot is to be a filter; it whittles down the tens of thousands of articles posted every day to the 20-30 that are most relevant to the community. Most publications pump out lots of junk every day, along with a legitimately good article or two. If a shill wants to submit their best article for consideration... fine. Non-shills are preferred, of course, but more on-topic submissions in the firehose can only help the community. Editors can (and do) reject shills all the time. Even StartsWithABang only has a ~23% acceptance rate.

I dare you to explain how it is decided which things are front paged, including the names of the people who make the decisions.
And I defy you to directly state that you still work for Slashdot and that advertising or other promotional deals do not affect what is posted to the front page.

I haven't worked for Slashdot since the acquisition. I can directly state that for the duration of my time there (Dec. 2007 until Jan. 2016) no advertising or promotional deals affected what was posted to the front page. (Excepting, of course, these dumb things that started a few months ago, which were straight up ad units, and labeled as such).

The editorial staff decides what gets posted. Prior to the acquisition, it was myself, samzenpus, and timothy. Since the acquisition, it appears to be timothy and a new editor named yaelk (and occasionally whipslash, one of Slashdot's new owners).

Stories are picked using a variety of criteria: how the community votes on it, how interesting it is, how on-topic it is, its relevance, the quality of the source, the article's timeliness, what similar material is on the page already, and a few other things. (Disclaimer: I am speaking for myself, and how I picked stories, but samzenpus and timothy operated similarly -- as CmdrTaco taught us).

These criteria are weighed against each other. If an article is a few days old, it needs to be particularly interesting to make the front page. The more off-topic something is, the more interesting it needs to be to make the cut. How the community votes is important, but is not enough on its own. The community sometimes votes for things that are factually untrue, or are years old, or involve attacking somebody. The community sometimes votes up dupes. On the other side of things, sometimes the community just doesn't vote.

Hope this provides some context for you.

Comment Groundwork for future research (Score 4, Informative) 239

Full study here.

Pretty tame conclusions, but I'm glad they're still doing research into this. I'm actually really curious to see what kind of psychological effects show up (or don't) as graphics technology gets ever closer to perfect fidelity. Not in the moral panic or "we must legislate this" sense, but just to understand whether and how a technology is capable of damaging us. VR is right around the corner, and game developers are focusing constantly on immersion -- this makes me wonder whether a sufficiently advanced game could cause PTSD, or a similar condition. I suspect not now, and not soon, but it'll probably be an issue some day.

Comment Re:Bring on the neutering! (Score 2) 86

I wouldn't phrase it quite like that, but you're absolutely right that PC gamers should wait for a bit. I picked up Rage for the PC right when it came out, and it was a complete mess. Carmack even apologized for it. He's not at id Software anymore, but hopefully the folks who are remember that lesson.

Comment Put the users first (Score 4, Insightful) 1839

1. It's nice to see you're already communicating with the users. It's something I could never get previous leadership to do. Keep it up! You won't be able to bring them everything on their wishlist -- but don't let that stop you from telling them what you are bringing them, and why the other stuff got pushed lower on the priority list. They're reasonable folks; as long as you're working with them, they'll be on your side.

2. Small changes are better than big ones. Don't push ahead with a massive, grand plan and assume the community will jump on board (like video and beta). If they tell you they don't want it, they don't actually want it. When in doubt, trust Tim L. and Tim V. Nobody cares about the site and its users as much as those two.

3. Build for the community you have, not for the one you want. Don't chase the hockey stick. It's not going to happen. But there's still a path for evolving Slashdot to support an incredibly broad tech/geek community.

4. Nobody should make decisions about the site without being an active user.

5. Ask the community for help more often. The biggest area that needs it right now is submissions. They're the base from which all content flows, and they've been slowly drying up. Submission needs to feel less like screaming into the abyss. Consider reviving the IRC channel to give people direct, instant access to editorial. Try to find ways to solicit particular submissions from known experts. (For example, a submission about a new C++ release from an actual C++ engineer is worth its weight in gold.

6. Reward readers for doing things that benefit the site. Used a mod point? +1 subscriber (ad-free) page. Got a score:5 comment? +10 pages. Accepted submission? +10 pages. Or more. Be generous; these are your most valuable users.

7. Empower and invest in editorial. It is literally their job to know and understand the community, so they shouldn't lose fights centering on the community.

8. Ads have been in a bad place for a couple of years. Pulling it back will cost you revenue in the short term, but may ensure the site's sustainability in the long term.

9. Slashdot's founder, Rob Malda, still cares deeply about Slashdot. I'm sure he'd be willing to offer some advice.

You've been saying a lot of the right things about Slashdot an SourceForge. I sincerely hope you make it all happen.

Best of luck,

Submission + - Google to Take 'Apple-Like' Control Over Nexus Phones (droid-life.com)

Soulskill writes: According to a (paywalled) report in The Information, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wants the company to take greater control over development of their Nexus smartphones. When producing Nexus phones, Google has always partnered with manufacturers, like Samsung, LG, and HTC, who actually built the devices. Rather than creating a true revenue stream, Google's main goal has been to provide a reference for what Android can be like without interference from carriers and manufacturers. (For example, many users are frustrated by Samsung's TouchWiz skin, as well as the bloatware resulting from deals with carriers.

But now, Google appears to want more control. The report indicates Google wants to do a better job of competing throughout the market. They want to compete with Apple on the high end, but also seem concerned that manufacturers haven't put enough effort into quality budget phones. The article at Droid-Life argues, "We all know that Nexus phones will never be household items until Google puts some marketing dollars behind them. Will a top-to-bottom approach finally push them to do that?"

Submission + - Collecting Private Flight Data On The World Economic Forum Atendees With RTL-SDR

An anonymous reader writes: Every year politicians and business men meet at the World Economic Forum in the small mountain town of Davos, Switzerland to discuss various topics and create business deals. This year Quartz, an online newspaper/magazine sent a journalist to the forum tasked with writing a unconventional story about the forum: he was asked to monitor the private helicopter traffic coming in and out of Davos from transponder broadcast of ADS-B data. Using an $20 RTL-SDR dongle, Raspberry Pi and ADS-B collinear antenna they monitored the flights over Davos. From the data they were able to determine the flight paths that many helicopters took, the types of helicopters used and the most popular flight times.

Submission + - Top Telcos Join Facebook Open Source Hardware Project (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new wave of communications companies has joined Facebook’s non-profit Open Compute Project (OCP), including AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom and South Korea’s SK Telecom, as the movement seeks to share innovative hardware designs and drive down costs in the telecom arena. An OCP sub-section focused entirely on telecom requirements has been set up to look into servers and networking efficiency in the field. As one of the largest hardware buyers, telcos will provide a significant new market for the project, alongside its successful data centre efforts.

Submission + - Net neutrality-lovin' Sweden mulls law to censor the internet (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Swedish government is considering overturning its long-held opposition to internet filtering – so says one of the country's most high-profile ISPs.

According to Bahnhof and its CEO Jon Karlung, the ISP received an email from an investigator who said he had been appointed by the government to look into regulating the Swedish gambling market.

The investigation is looking into a new licensing system that would require any gambling site to get a license from the government. Critically, however, in order to make the system enforceable, gambling websites that did not have a license to operate in Sweden would be blocked. And ISPs of course would be responsible for blocking off access to their websites, right down to the IP level.

Submission + - High-Speed Firms Now Oversee Almost All Stocks at NYSE Floor (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Barclays, one of the biggest banking and financial services firms in the world, has sold its business on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to Global Trading Systems. This is significant because it marks a transition between human-based trading and high-speed trading. Now, humans on the NYSE floor have more of a supervisory role, making sure the automated systems don't go haywire. Barclays has been around for hundreds of years; GTS was founded in 2006. "There used to be dozens of specialist firms, as designated market makers were once known, at the NYSE floor. But profits from trading U.S. stocks dwindled, making it difficult to serve as market makers without automation. Although GTS, Virtu, IMC and KCG employ human traders at the floor, their businesses are driven by some of the industry’s most sophisticated computer systems."

Submission + - CERN Engineers Have to Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables

An anonymous reader writes: CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider, has grand plans to update the world’s largest particle accelerator complex in the next few years. But engineers have identified a barrier to the upgrade: there’s no space for new cables in the injectors that accelerate particles before they enter the LHC.

Submission + - Apple's Safari browser is crashing on iPhones and Macs worldwide (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to the Verge and my wife Apple Safari browsers are crashing left right and center due to Apples search suggestions servers suggesting that the browser crash and you beat your head on the ground in frustration. Work around in the attached link.

Submission + - 1 In 3 Home Routers Will Be Used As Public Wi-Fi Hotspots By 2017

An anonymous reader writes: Juniper Research predicts that at least 1 in 3 home routers will be used as public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2017, and that the total installed base of such dual-use routers will reach 366 million globally by the end of 2020. Major broadband operators such as BT, UPC and Virgin Media in Europe and several of the biggest cable TV operators in the US such as Comcast and Cablevision have adopted the homespot model as a low-cost way of rapidly expanding their domestic Wi-Fi coverage.

Submission + - "Android for Drones" by ETH Zurich becoming standard (www.ethz.ch)

An anonymous reader writes: ETH Zurich, the swiss federal institute of technology, plays a critical role in bringing rocket science to commercial drones. Its technology is a number shipping products, including Airdog, 3DR Solo, Fotokite, Skycatch and upcoming products like Lily, Fleye and many more. It is the reference flight control software for Snapdragon Flight, which will bring a lot of further adoption and products in 2016.

Slashdot Top Deals

Two percent of zero is almost nothing.