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Comment Hemos Says: "So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish" (Score 5, Interesting) 1521

I left Geeknet aka all the other names Rob has typed already nearly exactly a year ago now, and had stopped really posting on Slashdot prior to that but the work, creation and launching of Slashdot remains one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Rob and I went to the same middle school, high school, college and had the joy of working together for well over a decade; I've been very lucky to have worked with him and the other friends we started with.

Rob and I became friends not actually because of being in the same school, though we knew each other that way. We because friends when we both had modems and got on the BBSes, and that desire to have a place to share news and stuff with friends was what I think Slashdot has done well with. Bringing together the people who have the love of technology in their blood. Rob is really really good at that, and working with him and the rest of the folks has been on honor and privilege.

We've had some good wedding times and some burnination times (Chris, I forgot about the cell phone. That makes me giggle.) And while I could go on and on, then I'll turn maudlin and no one wants that.

I started at Google just over a week ago now, and love what I'm doing -- and I think that's the most important lesson I learned from Slashdot. You won't always like what you are doing but if you working on something you love and with good people around you, that's worth a lot.

If you care to see me poke fun of Rob, you can find me on Twitter as (the imaginatively named) @hemos, or find me on Google Plus as Jeffrey Bates

Thanks for the fun, Rob. We done good.

Comment Thanks for all the Fish Wrapper (Score 5, Interesting) 1521

In 1997, right after Chips n' Dips had faded away, to be replaced by the enigmatically named http:///..org, all of us free software nerds hung on its every story, comment and poll like it was carved on tablet and flung from a burning bush. A year later I had started at hardware maker VA Research and /. was falling down for lack of machinery, so we rummaged through our returns piles and sent Rob and Jeff some 2u servers to help out. That was for me the beginning of some of the most important friendships in my adult life.

Its hard to explain how important Slashdot was to all of us 10 years ago. Indeed, without it it would be hard to imagine HN, Reddit, Digg, Fark or any of a thousand lesser sites. The editorial perspective of Rob and the other editors of /. is what kept people coming back and for a long time that perspective was Rob's, then Rob and Jeff and a bunch of us (some, like Timothy and samzenpus, still around!), but then Jeff left, now Rob. In some way I see this as a passing of an era in free software.

Throughout, while some have left for those greener shores, slashdot abided even while buffeted by the markets and the de/evolving internet news world, and it has remained a default tab in my and many others' browsers.

I didn't mean this post to be about Slashdot though, but about my friend Rob. I'll only say that while the site will be the lessor for you leaving, I firmly believe that computer science will gain my. While this note reads like an epitaph or the last pages of a book, it is really no more than a thank you note from me and many I know to your for your decade+ of work on the site. So...

Thanks.

Image

Fetus Don't Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children 233

An anonymous reader writes "In the latest column from scientist, humor columnist, and stand-up comedian Adam Ruben, he examines his own umbilicus and considers how being a scientist will affect his approach to raising his only slightly post-fetal child. From the article: 'I don't know how other prospective fathers treat their wives' pregnancies, but I saw it as a science project. It had a protocol, parameters, a timeline, and even the one item that makes funding agencies happy: a deliverable. I found myself poking at my wife's abdomen, asking, "Who's Daddy's little gestating blastocyst? Who's recapitulating phylogeny?"'"
Books

DC Reboots Universe 292

An anonymous reader writes "Bob Wayne, Senior Vice President of Sales at DC Comics, has written to comic book retailers saying: 'Many of you have heard rumors that DC Comics has been working on a big publishing initiative for later this year. This is indeed an historic time for us as, come this September, we are relaunching the entire DC Universe line of comic books with all new first issues. 52 of them to be exact.' In addition, some characters are going to be younger, some may be missing, relationships are being changed, and Grant Morrison will pen a new Superman title."
Open Source

Oracle To Give OpenOffice.org To Apache Incubator 129

Julie188 writes "Oracle has finally officially spilled the beans: It's proposing OpenOffice.org as an Apache Incubator project — and not handing it to The Document Foundation. Oracle had announced earlier this year that it would be passing the torch to the community, but failed to provide any specifics about the ultimate destination. The Document Foundation is the organization behind the OpenOffice fork, LibreOffice."
Japan

A Handy Radiation Dose Chart From XKCD 392

An anonymous reader points out Randall Munroe's latest contribution to public health awareness, a "chart of how much ionizing radiation a person can absorb from various sources, compared visually. 1 Sievert will make you sick, many more will kill you, however, even small doses cumulatively increase cancer risk." It's a good way to think about the difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Movies

How Watchmen Killed 'R'-rated Fantasy Movies 771

An anonymous reader writes "Of all the Hollywood properties consigned to development hell in the reductionist policy of the last 3-4 years of bad economy, the very last to have a prospect of a green light are expensive fantasy and SF projects that fall outside the 'family' remit. Not even the addition of James Cameron to David Fincher's Heavy Metal remake has stopped its begging-bowl passage from studio to studio; Robert Rodriguez's propriety of the Barbarella remake likewise toured the world in vain, apparently unmindful of the very unusual set of cultural and demographic circumstances that caused a major studio to back an 'erotic space opera' in 1968 — and to the fact that these circumstances are not likely to reoccur. David Fincher lamented in 2008 that the creation of dazzling artificial movie worlds is limited to family-friendly output — but in the long wake of the box-office disappointment of the 'R'-rated Watchmen movie, there seems no current prospect that the adults will ever get to play with the kids' toys again." The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.
NASA

How To Build a Telescope That Trumps Hubble 185

An anonymous reader writes "In cleanrooms around the country NASA and its contractors are building the James Webb Space Telescope, a marvel of engineering scheduled to launch in 2014. This gallery shows the features that will allow Webb to take the universe's baby pictures in infrared — most notably an 18-segment mirror and a 5-layer sunshield. I can't wait until Webb settles into its Lagrangian point way out beyond the moon and gets to work."
Cellphones

Taxes On Cell Phones Hit All-Time High 171

adeelarshad82 writes "As a breakdown of the top ten states with the highest and lowest taxes shows, the wireless consumers in Nebraska, Washington, and New York pay more than 20 percent of their wireless bills in taxes and fees, mostly due to the proliferation of archaic or duplicated surcharges. Experts from KSE Partners spent five years monitoring the federal, state, and local taxes imposed on wireless consumers. According to their analysis, wireless taxes grew three times faster than the retail sales rate between 2007 and 2010. The reason behind this is that legislators and Congressmen are targeting the wireless industry for tax money to relieve the burden from more recession-starved industries. In fact, a few states even tax wireless consumers for non wireless-related projects; for instance, Utah funds its poison-control centers with a poison-control surcharge found on wireless bills, and in 2009 Wisconsin imposed a police and fire protection fee to subsidize local departments."
NASA

Stardust Mission Makes First-Ever Return To Comet 47

RedEaredSlider writes "NASA's Stardust probe made its closest approach to comet Tempel-1 on Monday night, marking the first time a comet has ever been revisited by a spacecraft. The mission, formally called Stardust-NeXT, for New EXploration of Tempel-1, was launched on its way in 2006. On Monday night it came within 181 kilometers (112 miles) of the comet, taking pictures and measuring the amount and composition of dust in the comet's coma, the plume of gas that surrounds it. It approached the comet at about 10.6 kilometers (6.7 miles) per second, making it one of the fastest probes that has yet flown. Stardust made its closest approach at 11:39 p.m. Eastern and after that, swung around its high-gain antenna towards Earth to transmit its data. The comet and spacecraft are about 336 million kilometers (209 million miles) away, so signals take a full 18 minutes to get to Earth."
Android

Google To Merge Honeycomb and Gingerbread 158

eldavojohn writes "In Barcelona, Google's Eric Schmidt has been revealing future plans for Google, saying that the next release will merge smartphone and tablet versions of its mobile operating system Android. Aside from bragging about Android's growth, Schmidt tiptoed around a question of Google acquiring Twitter, instead offering the very nebulous statement that YouTube doubled its revenues last year."

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