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Comment White space and "Read the XX comments" (Score 1) 1839

During the whole beta slashdot fiasco, a few changes did push their way onto the site. None of them were 'chase me away' bad, but I think two of them deserve to be reassessed.
  1. 1. The "Read the xx comments" (and its predecessor, the "Read More..| XX comments") link was removed to a "speech bubble" on the far right, giving the number. Aesthetically, that is fine, but the problem is that I have 15 years of muscle memory that want to click a link at the bottom of the article abstract to view the comments; now I have to click the article title or the bubble. Worse yet, a bunch of red-herring social media buttons are exactly where that used to be. My proposed fix is easy: leave the social media buttons (if you really like them), leave the comment count speech bubble on the far right, but add back in a regular hyperlink saying "Read the XX comments" just to the right of the social media buttons. There certainly isn't a lack of whitespace to place it there. This solution will keep anyone who wants to use the social media buttons happy, and yet restore the link that I am still, a year and a half later, instinctively trying to find every day. As a reference, this is what it looked like before the social media buttons.
  2. 2. Tighten up the unused vertical whitespace. I used to be able to easily read 4 full articles "above the fold". While the ~2010 redesign definitely cleaned up clutter (removed the left sidebar, etc.) it somehow wasted more space than it saved. Here it is back in the late 2000's form vs. where we are today. I'm fine with the improved article width and the removed left column; good riddance to the unnecessary background splash colours, but can we just pull the articles a bit closer together, so that 4 full articles can nominally fit at a time?

Also, I just wanted to throw in that I was really happy to see your responsiveness in the original announcement article, and this Ask Slashdot so soon is a great sign.

Comment Re:How to better spend your time (Score 1) 1027

Or, for the non-geocentrists out there, may I propose a better conference to attend that very same weekend?

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space are holding 'SpaceVision 2010' only one state over.

Hmm, clearly my html abilities are lacking, and that link didn't work. And I further, I didn't preview properly. Let's try this again: SpaceVision 2010

Comment How to better spend your time (Score 1) 1027

Or, for the non-geocentrists out there, may I propose a better conference to attend that very same weekend?

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space are holding 'SpaceVision 2010' only one state over. Instead of arguing whether or not the Earth is at the center of the Universe, you can come listen/discuss about how we are going to be exploring space in the future; a far more practical and relevant discussion.

This isn't to say that the geocentric argument isn't an interesting one, but its day-to-day applicability is questionable. Whether or not I believe in geocentrism is irrelevant; what is relevant is how we are next going to explore and use space for our own betterment. To this end, even the geocentrists should agree! According to TFA, they appear to be Christians [Catholics?] for the most part. Are they not, then, under the express believe that God put everything here for us exclusively? Would that not include space? Wouldn't even their own time be better spent discussing, then, how we can exploit space instead of whether or not we're at the center of it?

Full Disclosure Department: Clearly, I am related to the SEDS group, and therefore have a stake in promoting this conference. I ask only that this article is neither promoted up, nor down, but left as food-for-thought for all to read.

Comment Re:Launched, yes. Orbited, not so much. (Score 3, Informative) 74

This should be part of the intro - none of these satellites currently exist. They were all blown up during their failed launch.

Actually that's incorrect. My predecessors had a cubesat on the DNEPR-1 launch; yes it blew up. That said, it was neither the first rocket to carry cubesats, nor by any means the last. TFA is correct in saying there are at least a dozen of these satellites in orbit right now, although many are now past their operation a life, and are waiting to naturally burn up. Saying that "none of these exist" is a bit of a misnomer as well, since there are cubesats waiting for launch in labs all around the world; I myself have two that will likely be going up in about three years from now.

TFA is correct, however, in saying that no cubesat currently has a propulsion system. It is wrong, however, in saying that no one else is working on this problem; in fact that is the very topic of my own research. I'd be much more impressed, however, if we could see simulations of the corrected orbits, estimated increases in lifetime, and, best yet, a working prototype. Claiming you can do this is bold; it is not an easy problem. Chemical rockets, and even 'standard' electric propulsion are become well-characterized solutions. Cubesat propulsion is on a completely different level, based on both the weakness of the thrusters, and the relatively low masses of the satellites. I feel this is a bit premature to be posted on the front of slashdot; this should have gone up in the 4-5 months TFA claims it will take to get a working prototype. That said, I applaud the novel approach. I hope it works, 'cause I know I'd buy one.

Comment Re:System Shock 2 (Score 1) 225

To this day, the sound of a monkey followed by the sound of -- what we would most likely consider -- an energy discharge still has me clawing to switch from my wrench over to my gun. Those monkeys were evil.

In a game where every bullet was precious, using them on those monkeys was well spent. System Shock 2 is still, at least in my memory, the best survival horror game I've ever played. (Note: I have not tried Bioshock yet). I felt completely involved with the character and the world. It wasn't some representation I was following around on screen, it was me walking through those corridors.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - WoW: Wrath of the Lich King Info from GFW

An anonymous reader writes: WoW: Wrath of the Lich King is official! Games For Windows magazine is going to have it on its next cover. There's a bunch of first info from the magazine in the 1UP story about it, including the introduction of the Death Knight, the first new class since WOW's launch.

Submission + - Russian Subs Seek Glory at North Pole (

PatPending writes: MOSCOW — Two small manned Russian submarines completed a voyage of 2 1/2 miles to the Arctic shelf below the North Pole Thursday, planting a titanium capsule on the Arctic Ocean floor to symbolically claim what could be vast energy reserves beneath the seabed. The dive was part serious scientific expedition and part political theater. But it could mark the start of a fierce legal scramble for control of the sea bed among nations that border the Arctic, including Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark, through its territory Greenland.

Submission + - Month of PHP Bugs has started

An anonymous reader writes: The previously announced Month of PHP Bugs has started three days ago here and already lists 8 security vulnerabilities in PHP and PHP related software.

"This initiative is an effort to improve the security of PHP. However we will not concentrate on problems in the PHP language that might result in insecure PHP applications, but on security vulnerabilities in the PHP core. During March 2007 old and new security vulnerabilities in the Zend Engine, the PHP core and the PHP extensions will be disclosed on a day by day basis. We will also point out necessary changes in the current vulnerability managment process used by the PHP Security Response Team."

5 Things the Boss Should Know About Spam Fighting 168

Esther Schindler writes "Sysadmins and email administrators were asked to identify the one thing they wish the CIO understood about their efforts to fight spam. The CIO website is now running their five most important tips, in an effort to educate the corporate brass. Recommendations are mostly along the lines of informing corporate management; letting bosses know that there is no 'silver bullet', and that the battle will never really end. There's also a suggestion to educate on technical matters, bringing executives into the loop on terms like SMTP and POP. Their first recommendation, though, is to make sure no mail is lost. 'This is a risk management practice, and you need to decide where you want to put your risk. Would you rather risk getting spam with lower risk of losing/delaying messages you actually wanted to get, or would you rather risk losing/delaying legitimate messages with lower risk of spam? You can't have both, no matter how loudly you scream.'"

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