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Comment Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (Score 1) 2219

There is a fundamental problem in the idea for this "revamped slashdot".
The idea of making the site more inclusive and appealing to a wider "audience" by changing how the looks and works is a bad idea. /. is a community. If you want growth for the site, you don't water down your site and do things that upset the community. You make get to know the members of your community and make sure they are happy with the site and properly engaged. You address the needs of the community and allow its members to spread the word.

Those now running this site do not understand the community. If they did, they wouldn't be doing this awful redesign. They would be looking at improving the site as it exist. They would be curating stories that are NOT glorified press releases or PR stunts. They would be looking for stories that fit the theme of "Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters." They would be seeking out ads and ad partners that would respect the community with non-invasive non-tracking relevant ads.

The fact they had to post and that this thread has to exist is testament to how far out of touch with the community they are.

I'm sure someone somewhere decided that /. was under-preforming* and thought "I know lets re-brand it for the people we want to use it." No where was there thought about the people currently using it except the assumption current users would simply go along with it. At most they probably (possibly rightly so, only time will tell) assumed that people would bitch and moan but in the end stick with the site either out of habit or ignorance. The people in charge don't care about us and will happily play chicken to see if anyone sticks around. Besides, the managers responsible for this fiasco will be moved on to other jobs before any real fall out.

What we should be doing is making our voices heard to any person or company that advertises on any DICE site. Let their advertisers know they don't care about the people and that we won't buy products from people who support Dice Holdings, Inc. or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates.

*from Dice Inc.
"Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero. "

Also if you were curious why the redesign looks like it does, check out the other dice sites. It appears they are going for a bland unified style across sites. http://news.dice.com/ is especially telling of what the future of /. may hold.

Side note:
I was curious who this timothy guy was, so I clicked his name up there. Brought me to: http://www.monkey.org/~timothy...
If that is his personal site, how in the world should this person be allowed anywhere near the design of /.

Comment Re:Beta Sucks! (Score -1, Flamebait) 193

I find the article interesting. But my interest in the article is eclipsed by my disdain for Beta.

The comments are harder to follow
The overall layout is not only ugly, but lacks the feel of /.
Pictures that are unneeded hog too much of the screen (though you can change on the front page, but are still forced to view the pics if you want to read comments or expand a story)
The default font size is too large
They didn't even use the same green as classic /.
there are more issues, but I don't want to go on...

Please go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/... which apparently was set up by slashdot to gather feedback on beta.
Let your voice be heard there too

Comment Re:what I found interesting... (Score 1) 489

What I wonder is: How many high schools offer CS classes sufficent to prepare a student for the Advanced Placement computer science exam?

Or even how many teachers, faculty, and/or students are aware of AP CS exams?

Another thing is the cost of taking the AP exams. Who can afford to take the exam if they are not really sure it will help? For 2014 the fee for each AP Exam is $89. If a student qualifies financially, they may only have to pay $55 or $53 per exam.

This creates a financial barrier to entry that also be a factor in who is taking the exams.

Comment Re:Macs, not just for product placement (Score 1) 165

Computers get greeked either because you do not have permission to feature the product, are using a differnt brand elsewhere in the project (or as a sponcer), or there was going to be product placement, but then it fell through.

The computers chosen (as well as other props) are either carefully picked by the art director and props to fit the character and scene, or are simply just whatever they happen to have on hand and used because it was cheeper than buying something just for the project.

Another reason is that sometimes software is ran on the prop computer that makes it look like the actor is doing something. Sometimes the software used will only run on a pc or mac, often it is mac only, so a mac is used but left generic looking.

Comment Re:case in point (Score 1) 382

Bingo. I disable ads on desktop, but that feature is missing on mobile. Not only that, but I often find myself accidentally tapping an ad that hasn't loaded (why no width/height tags???).

At the verrrrry bottom is a "switch to full site" or something, but it only lasts so long, and oddly isn't tied to your account settings...

On many sites, I've found that disabling images in the mobile browser will prevent the ads from loading. This isn't an ideal situation for every site, but it is sometimes useful.

Comment Re:As if democracy wasn't bad enough (Score 1) 730

If you think we got corrupt, selfish, self absorbed and self centered cretins for rulers, ponder how much bigger cretins you get if you give them the feeling that they're entitled to it.

In the US, our politicians and various political leaders already believe they are entitled to lead. Being elected by "the people" only bolsters their sense of entitlement.

Comment Re:A "smart watch"... (Score 2) 365

"I'd like to hear from more people with smart watches who are happy with them, to better understand the appeal."

The appeal was the idea of a watch that was also a freakin phone! That is just cool. That is something many a geek has wanted since they were little geeklings.

However, that is not what the Gear is. That is what the Gear was advertised and sold as, and hence the high return rate. They advertised a watch phone like the ones from TV and comics. What people got was a glorified phone accessory that only works with a handful of phones.

Comment Re:Coding is a niche, mechanical skill? (Score 1) 453

The problem is that coding is treated as a STEM course instead of the langauge course that it is.

Coding should be treated more like a language class than a science class. Yes there is some math involved, but the amount needed varies greatly depending on the language used and desired outcome.

If schools looked at programing like a language, they might see more people choosing to code. Start with a single coding language and work from there. Think of it like trying to first teach someone to read and understand English or Spanish. Learn to read code written in a language, then learn to write it. Follow a process similar to that of child learning their alphabet then words and sentences and eventually going on from there. It takes time to go from learning your ABC''s to write poetry or a novel. For many it will take that same amount of time to learn to code.

Teach a single language as the core language, and then have other coding languages be available to learn much like other languages are now in schools. I would suggest Cobol as it is used in a large number of businesses, has many dialects and variations for covering various programing concepts, and more importantly the syntax was designed so that non-programmers could read and understand the code.

Part of the problem is that we are trying to teach "coding" instead of teaching a language that will allow people to code.

Comment Re:It failed because they went with the lowest bid (Score 5, Informative) 307

Management is the reason why healthcare.gov has been such as disaster. Open source or not, it wouldn't have mattered. They didn't even get to start coding until this spring, because the government was so slow in issuing specifications for the site. Then as if the tight deadlines were not enough, Administrators kept issuing changes to the site up until last few weeks of September (despite an October 1st launch date). It wasn't little a change here or there either.

One of the last big overhauls was making it so people had to register before they could browse the plans. This was apparently becasue they wanted people to see what the price would be with the subsidy. The idea being that for many people the price before the credit would scare them away from buying in.

There is also more info on this at the new york times

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