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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?

schnell writes: The increasing prevalence of online news paywalls and "nag walls" (e.g. you can only read so many articles per month) has forced me to divide those websites into two categories: those that offer content that is unique or good enough to pay for vs. those that don't. Examples of the former for me included The Economist and Foreign Policy, while other previous favorite sites The New York Times and even my hometown Seattle Times have lost my online readership entirely. I also have a secret third category — sites that don't currently pay/nag wall, but I would pay for if I had to — Ars Technica and Long Form come to mind. What news/aggregation sites are other Slashdotters out there willing to pay for, and why? What sites that don't charge today would you pay for if you had to? Or, knowing this crowd, are the majority just opposed to paying for any web news content on principle?

Comment NOT Fixed: Firefox Memory and CPU Hogging bugs (Score 1) 167

The Firefox Memory and CPU Hogging bugs are NOT fixed in Firefox version 26.0. I had 2 crashes last week. One of them did not trigger a crash report. My system is very stable in all other conditions. (Windows 7 Ultimate)

Firefox is the most unstable software in common use.

The problems occur when using many windows and tabs and sleeping and hibernating the OS.

PLEASE don't bore everyone by saying you don't have the problem, but not listing your usage patterns, OS, and extensions.

Comment Firefox Memory and CPU Hogging bugs: 20 Excuses (Score 2, Interesting) 167

Thanks, UnknownSoldier, for this: "I just want FF's memory leak to be fixed instead of the devs ignoring it version after version, year after year."

I first reported that problem about 10 years ago.

Mozilla Foundation
Top 20 Excuses
for Not Fixing the
Firefox Memory and CPU Hogging bugs

These are actual excuses given at one time or another. They are not all the excuses, just the top 20.

1) Maybe this bug is fixed in the nightly build. [The same memory and CPU hogging bug has been reported many, many times over a period of TEN years.]

2) Yes, this bug exists, but other things are more important. [The bug eventually causes Firefox to take 100% of the power of one CPU, and makes Windows 7 unusable, even after Firefox is killed. The bug affects the heaviest users of Firefox, those who do a lot of research online.]

3) Yes, this bug exists, but it is not a common occurrence. [Numerous users have reported the bug. See the links.]

4) Works for me. [The bug is complicated to reproduce, so the developers did a simplified test, which didn't show the bug.]

5) No one has posted a TalkBack report. [If they had read the bug report, they would know that there is often no TalkBack report, because the bug crashes TalkBack, too, or a TalkBack report is not generated. TalkBack does not generate a report if Firefox is hogging the CPU. TalkBack cannot generate a report if the bug takes 100% of the CPU time.]

6) If you would just give us more information, we would fix this bug. [They didn't bother to reproduce the bug using the detailed information provided.]

7) This bug report is a composite of other bugs, so this bug report is invalid. [The other bugs aren't specified.]

8) You are using Firefox in a way that would crash any software. [But the same use does not crash any version of Chrome or Opera.]

9) I don't like the way you worded your bug report. [So, he didn't read it or think about it.]

10) You should run a debugger and find what causes this problem yourself. [Then when you have done most of the work, tell us what causes the problem, and we may fix it.]

11) Many bugs that are filed aren't important to 99.99% of the users.

12) If you are saying bad things about Mozilla and Firefox, you must be trolling. [They say this even though Firefox and Mozilla instability is beginning to be reported in media such as Information Week. See the links to magazine articles in this Slashdot comment: Firefox is the most unstable program in common use.]

13) Your problem is probably caused by using extensions. [These are extensions advertised on the Firefox and Mozilla web site, and recommended.]

14) Your problem is probably caused by a corrupt profile. [The same bug has been reported many times over a period of five years. One of the reports discusses an extensive test in both Linux and Windows that used a completely clean installation of the operating systems, not just a clean profile. The CPU hogging bug and instability was just as severe.]

15) If you are technically knowledgeable, you can spend several hours (or days) trying to discover the problem: Standard diagnostic - Firefox. [Firefox has "Standard Diagnostics". It has become accepted that some users will have severe problems. !!! ]

16) I won't actually read the (many) bug reports, but I will give you some complicated technical speculation. [This pretends to be helpful but, on investigation, is shown to have nothing to do with the bugs.]

17) It's understandable that Firefox developers become defensive when users report so many problems. [Translation: Firefox management is childlike, not adult.]

18) To spend smart developers' time going over reports of bugs generated by analysis tools would be a waste. [There have been 3 analysis tools recently used to find Firefox bugs, and many have been found: 1) A special tool designed by a Firefox developer. 2) Software by Coverity. 3) Klocwork's K7.]

19) Your bug report was not specific enough. [Numerous conditions were listed which provide reliable ways to reproduce the problem.]

20) "This is open-source. The developers are not there to do your bidding." [True, but the fact remains the other browsers, such as Opera, are completely stable. Also, if that is the reason, don't mark the bug invalid.]

Submission + - Hewlett Packard Turns Buggy Software and Firmware Into a Revenue Stream!

neversleepy writes: In the face of ever declining server sales. And in a move certian to affect many readers here, Hewlett Packard decides to provide updates to firmware and critical OS drivers only to customers who pay a premium for a CarePack, extended service contract. If this affects you negatively, try telling Hewlett Packard what you think about payola for hardware bug fixes.

Or maybe, the time is right to abandon vanity servers?

Submission + - Stem Cells used to Regrow Severed Adult Finger, Thigh Tissue, more.

TempeNerd writes: University of Pittsburgh has successfully created a "stem cell powder" that has been shown to regenerate human tissue — in real, living humans.
The first example was an older man that severed the tip of his finger off in an accident with a model airplane. The wound was sprinkled with the powder and over the course of four weeks, the finger re-grew.
In another example, a marine lost 70% of his thigh muscle in a mortar explosion in Afghanistan. The powder was able to restore much of the tissue when other methods had failed.
This miracle powder is made with stem cells from a pig, Pig extracellular matrix.
Oh what wonders the future does hold!


Submission + - AT&T Invented A Way To Charge You Twice For The Same Internet (readwrite.com)

redletterdave writes: In the midst of a raging debate over whether carriers should be allowed to charge more for certain types of data, or let favored developers offer users apps that don’t count against their data caps, AT&T has applied for a patent on a credit system that would let it discriminate between 'permissible' and 'non-permissible' traffic on its network. According to the application, AT&T would be allowed to decide what other content is 'non-permissible'—movies and file-sharing files are just examples—and the carrier could also levy additional fees or terminate the user’s access if they tried to access unauthorized content or exceeded their 'credit allotment.'

Submission + - DEA PowerPoint shows how agency hides investigative methods from trial review (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: CJ Ciaramella stumbled upon some recently interesting documents with a recent FOIA request: The DEA's training materials regarding parallel construction, the practice of reverse engineering the evidence chain to keep how the government actually knows something happened away from prosecutors, the defense, and the public.

  “Americans don’t like it," the materials note, when the government relies heavily on classified sources, so agents are encouraged to find ways to get the same information through tactics like "routine" traffic stops that coincidentally find the information agents are after.

Public blowback, along with greater criminal awareness, are cited among the reasons for keeping the actual methodologies beyond the reach of even the prosecutors working with the DEA on the cases.

Submission + - Private pain: Dell layoff bloodbath to hit over 15,000 staffers (channelregister.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Curious why Michael Dell was so eager to take the company he founded private? So he could do stuff like this without attracting too much attention. According to the Channel Register, the recently LBOed company is "starting the expected huge layoff program this week, claiming numbers will be north of 15,000." Of course, with a private sponsor in charge of the recently public company, the only thing that matters now is maximizing cash flows in an environment of falling PC sales, a commoditisation of the server market and a perceived need to better serve enterprises with their ever-increasing mobile and cloud-focused IT requirements — things that do not bode well for Dell's EBITDA — and the result is perhaps the largest axing round in the company's history. But at least the shareholders cashed out while they could.

Submission + - Ask SlashDot: What if they give you a broken project? 1

X10 writes: Suppose you're assigned to a project that someone else has created. It's an app, you'll work on it alone. You think "how hard can it be", you don't check out the source code before you accept the assignment. But then, it turns out the code is not robust. You create a small new feature, and the app breaks down in unexpected ways. You fix a bug, and new bugs pop up all over the place. The person who worked on the project before you is well respected in the company, and you are "just a contractor", hired a few months ago.

The easy way out is to just quit, as there's plenty of jobs you can take. But that doesn't feel right. But, what else can you do?

Comment Re: Huh? (Score 1) 218

My alarm system is wireless. There is a small box in an upstairs closet with a SIM in it which does the data transfer. Costs $15/month on top of my existing alarm plan (could get it cheaper these days most likely) My point is that even that small wireless surcharge is much cheaper than the cost of a POTS line. And this can't have the wires cut outside.

Submission + - OpenSSH 6.5 Released (openssh.com)

An anonymous reader writes: OpenSSH 6.5 has been released. It features numerous new features, a lot of bugfixes and sandboxing support for FreeBSD.

Submission + - What the World Might Look Like if Microsoft, Apple and Google were Counties

alaskana98 writes: Slovekian artist Martin Vargic has created a breathtaking old world style map depicting the major players that comprise the 'Internet ecosystem' as if they were countries. From the Slate article:

            "The Internet map's nation-states aren’t represented precisely to scale, but it does take their Alexa rank into account, so that one can easily see which kingdoms are the United Stateses and Chinas of the Internet and which are the Tuvalus and Luxembourgs. One real-world dichotomy that’s reflected in the Internet map is the concept of an Old World and a New World, with AOL, Microsoft, HP, and IBM composing a sort of online Europe, while Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest form a virtual North America."

Can a new version of 'Risk' be far behind?

Comment Airport wifi (Score 4, Interesting) 159

"free" airport wifi is a vacuum operation. Interesting note: we were heading out on a vacation a couple of weeks ago. I plugged my iPad into the USB charger in the plane and got a nice popup (typing this from the screen shot I took):

Trust This Computer?
Your settings and data will be
accessible from this computer when

[Trust] [Don't Trust]

So charging on planes is another thing to avoid for me.

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Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov