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Submission + - Slashdot BETA Discussion ( 60

mugnyte writes: With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style.

Submission + - Slashdot forces a beta site by default

kelk1 writes: As a poor submitter found out (, Slashdot ( suddenly forced a preview of its beta site without any warning on all its viewers.

Judging by the comments, the feedback was immediate and clearly negative.

I cannot speak for the forum moderation side, but my reaction to the front page was an knee jerk: "Oh no!, not another portal full of noise I cannot speed-read through." Text and hyperlinks are what we need, please, and as little graphics as possible. Think lynx, thank you.

Submission + - Can I buy the Classic interface? 3

Max Hyre writes: LWN almost went under a number of years ago because its volunteer editors couldn't afford to keep it up. The readers rose up and insisted that they be allowed to pay for it.

Can we do the same for Classic?

I'm a nerd. I read. I'm the one in the museum ignoring the display and reading the description. I want text, easily accessible, clearly laid out, and plenty of it. I'll pay to keep the UI I know and love.

The Beta has none of those characteristics. The Beta site is repellent, unusable, and unneeded. I won't use it, and if ``Classic'' goes away, I won't visit /., and it'll be a pity.

How much do you actually receive in revenue for each user? I suspect I'll match it to keep the status quo. Ask us what it's worth to us. I'd certainly pay $1/month, and would think about $5/month. I bet that I'm not alone.

Comment Is it piracy when I pay the TV tax? (Score 4, Insightful) 447

Here in Sweden, I pay a TV tax. This tax goes to paying for state owned TV channels. They broadcast Game of Thrones without commercials. There are no advertisers being hurt, and my TV tax goes to paying HBO for the syndication rights. The issue is I do not like seeing the subtitles that are burned in. I also like my show at the highest resolution with surround sound.

So is it piracy when I download it rather than watching it directly from syndication?

Submission + - Anonymous Hacks Federal Sentencing Commission website -- Posts Video ( 2

anagama writes: ""This time there will be change, or there will be chaos." In response to the disproportionate prosecution of Swartz, Anonymous hacked the US. Sentencing Commission website and posted a video. One interesting thing discussed in the video, is an encrypted file that it is hoped will spread far and wide (mirror list — appears to be files related to Supreme Court Justices), the key for which would be released if reforms are not enacted. As for the statement itself, the text is available in the ZDNet article and mirror list linked above, and includes this clearly self-aware statement: "We [who] make this statement do not expect to be negotiated with; we do not desire to be negotiated with. We understand that due to the actions we take we exclude ourselves from the system within which solutions are found. There are others who serve that purpose, people far more respectable than us, people whose voices emerge from the light, and not the shadows. These voices are already making clear the reforms that have been necessary for some time, and are outright required now.""

Comment Re:You can't eliminate them (Score 3, Interesting) 825

In other countries this is solved by laws demanding that all prices advertised to individuals (as opposed to companies) or where the target customer is clearly an individual include sales tax. So prices including the sales tax are conveniently set to nice round numbers.

Sweden just had an issue where including the tax in the price caused recently reduced taxes to not get passed to the customer.

Restaurants had a tax reduction from 25% to 12.5%. Since the tax was already included in the price, none of the restaurants reduced the prices and just pocketed the profit. If the price shown was pre-tax and the tax added in tally, the customer would have received the tax break.

The only ones that actually reduced their prices was the large food chains. Most likely because watch dog groups were making sure of this.


ACTA To Be Signed This Weekend 277

We've been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for over three years, from its secretive beginnings, to the controversy and debate that followed, and to the document it eventually evolved into. Now, Japan has announced that the agreement will finally be signed on Saturday during a ceremony that follows an anti-piracy symposium on Friday. "The negotiation has been carried out among Australia, Canada, the European Union and its Member States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, and reached a general agreement at the negotiation meeting held in Japan in October 2010, followed by the completion of technical and translation work in April 2011. ... The signing ceremony will be attended by the representatives of all the participants in the ACTA negotiations, and those that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign the agreement. The agreement is open for signature until May 1, 2013."

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 200

How long it will be till TVs come with Kinects built in, and can't be turned off. It would be an advertiser's wetdream, and then the DHS could use it to monitor those who might be a "threat to national Security" (everyone).

One word: Tape.

Comment The Wii started offering Demos (Score 1) 379

Surprisingly, the Nintendo Wii began offering demos of Wiiware titles, and to a limited extent short time demos of Virtual console titles (such as through Super Smash Bros Brawl). The only companies that have something to worry about are the ones releasing horrible games where the demo causes people to test and not purchase the full version.

The movie industry offers demos in the form of Previews. Although comparing the two are like apple and oranges.

Comment Re:Dinosaurs (Score 1) 326

I have a Swedish and an Australian SIM card. Each of which cost less than US$ 10 and included a bunch of minutes and free or nearly-free (international!) texting and cheap and easy-to-get refills. Both of which "just work" every place I've tried to use them.

Except one. The US... where they want 10 times that much just for the SIM and they can't even guarantee that it'll work in both Florida and New Jersey!

When I went to Sweden, I found the first news paper stand I could find, bought a SIM card for US$10 and got US$15 in credit. Yes, they gave me 5 dollars more in credit. And the best part, my pre-pay Swedish SIM card worked Internationally, I tested in Japan and the US. The refill process is simple as getting a code printed receipt from a number of places, you text the code and you get refill confirmation. All your minutes are valid for a year upon refilling, including your previous minutes, even with the cheapest refill amount. They even offer campaigns such as free internet days, 3000 international SMSes if you refill with $25, and etc.

US carriers such as T-Mobile, offer Prepay, but the damn SIM only works in the US, will not register internationally, require a purchase of the SIM at double what I paid in Europe without credit on it, and expires in mere months.

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