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Comment Re:wikis are the way to share knowledge (Score 1) 185

And I agree with all the comments to my comment. Use goog, get oriented, ask question (noting how previous searches didn't find the answer) on the right forum ... get told to use search to find answer deeply buried in noise. (To anyone who leaves that kind of comment: You know what? If you're so smart, provide the direct link to that answer.)

Yup. I've heard of IRC. It's like Mary in Mary Had A Little Lamb. When it's good, it's very very good, and when it's bad, it's awful. See signal deeply buried in noise, above.

As for information dying in wikis, too true at this point. I'm arguing that's what we need to fix. Have one place, on Wikipedia for instance, called Linux How-to, that we (i.e. us *nix users) all settle on as "the one how-to to rule them all," that has paid (gasp!) editors to curate it. We all add our nuggets of wisdom to it, but there are editors to keep the currently relevant signal on top. And it should be organized with a nice clear For Beginners tutorial we can point beginners to, and every distro can point to their subsection in their first-use screen. We're a community. We can do this. (Hah.)

Comment wikis are the way to share knowledge (Score 2) 185

That needs to be in large bold caps. I've gotten a few of those "Google it. You can do this" comments, too, without even the courtesy of suggesting appropriate search terms. Obviously I don't know them, if my searches so far haven't done better than land me on that forum. Lack of an easy, fast clear way to find current answers is the biggest thing holding linux back.

Comment "Get used to it" only works for a monopoly (Score 1) 675

Does MSFT still think they're a monopoly? Really? They want users to get used to a phone/tablet interface, where they have a 2% share (? less?), so they put it on their desktop where people keep buying Macs these days every time they pull these boneheaded stunts.

The other huge thing waiting to be noticed is that there are Linux distros out there (e.g. LinuxMint) that take less "getting used to" for a WinXp user than Win8. The only thing saving MSFT is that Linux has no advertising budget. And we'd never agree on which distro to recommend.

Comment Re:Exactly. (Score 2) 529

Exactly, indeed. Calling someone names is not an argument. (Nor is it all that unchildish.)

It's also flat-out false to say RMS is spreading fear, uncertainty, or doubt. Nowhere does he dangle dark but unnamed consequences for using Ubuntu. And there's no uncertainty or doubt whatsoever in his rejection of spyware and therefore of Ubuntu.

Comment Re:Are you sure that "relevance" is in there? (Score 1) 67

Exactly. Google search was amazing early on, when the comparison was to "no search." Now, with a near-infinite web and squillions of SEOs gaming the ratings, it's just half-baked, like all GOOG's products. Half-baked and gamed still brings in billions of dollars for them. Without effective competition that could take any of those billions away, half-baked is going to be all we get.

Comment The farmer can make a buck on cattle (Score 5, Informative) 686

Officially, we're not cattle. So when did making a buck off me start to take precedence over everything in the Bill of Rights?

That's not just a figure of speech. As the (great?)grandparent comment says, it's about impressions. There's plenty of evidence (1, 2, 3, for instance) that ads have the most effect on behavior when you're not paying attention. So the only way for me to stop manipulation of my own mind is not to have those ads in the background in the first place.

But advertisers have some sacred "right" to make a buck that's more important than me making my own decisions. Which is even weirder because, I'm told, the free market depends on informed consumers making free choices.

Let's face it. Advertisers are gunning for a world where our eyelids are propped open with matchsticks while we watch whatever we're told to watch.

Comment Re:If you read the actual Abstract (Score 1) 293

Yes, that's been covered in multiple studies. (The Cartalk guys, for all that they're funny, have a page full of serious links to that stuff. The whole "hang up and drive" is a crusade of theirs.) One big difference is that the passenger can see when the driver drifts toward the oncoming truck -- or whatever -- and stops talking.

Comment If you read the actual Abstract (Score 1) 293

I know. I know. This is /. Nonetheless... the article is talking about social and mechanical reasoning. Not empathy vs. logic. Not Repub vs Dem. Not women vs men.

It's about two types of problem solving: reasoning about causal relationships of inanimate objects and reasoning about the mental states of other persons. Those are the two that are, according to this research, neurologically mutually exclusive.

By racing off into stereotypes, the most obvious implication has been missed. At least one of them has. Using a phone or social media (social cognition) is mutually exclusive to driving (physical cognition).

It'll be fun to time how long it takes that inconvenient point to sink in against motivated cognition.

Comment I saw one of those swap meets in Belize (Score 1) 81

Being a crazy biologist, I thought it would be fun to see how hermit crabs react to the availability of an unexpected big Rolls Royce shell. They'd been congregating near the showers, so I put it there. At night there was a seething mass of hermits swapping. Shells are at a premium, and I'd noticed earlier that the smallest one was making do with a discarded toothpaste tube cap. It looked very sad.

Well, the next morning there was no sign of the orgy. No hermit crabs to be seen, no discarded shells, no debris. But in one corner of the shower stall, there was the toothpaste tube cap, no longer needed.

Submission + - Kill all animated logos ( 1

quixote9 writes: How many people will abandon Slashdot if they choose one of those animated logos that show up every couple of days during the tryout period?

Would I really abandon /. over it? Of course not. I'd use Stylish and block it, like everyone else. But why should that even be necessary when sometime back in the Stone Age we already discovered that jumping hamsters, blinking lights, twirling whirligigs, and all content-irrelevant animations are simply stupid? Don't even try that stuff, Slashdot. You're better than that. Or, at least, you were.


Submission + - Wall Street Journal describes how Facebooks Outs your Most Personal Secrets (

McGruber writes: The Wall Street Journal (FREE Link: is reporting that Facebook revealed the sexual preferences of users despite those users have choosen "privacy lockdown" settings on Facebook.

The article describes two students who were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook—the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both students were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents.

Facebook spokesprick Andrew Noyes responded with a statement blaming the users: "Our hearts go out to these young people. Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls."

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