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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which Australis features would you like to turn on/off?

yuhong writes: I'd like user feedback on exactly which Firefox Australis features would you like to be able to turn on/off. Each choice adds complexity to the code which creates maintenance overhead, which is why this feedback is important.

Submission + - New dates rewrite Neanderthal story (bbc.com)

NotSanguine writes: The BBC reports on research detailing the decline of Neanderthals in Europe. The international research team tested samples from over 400 Neanderthal sites, resulting in a new timeline for the decline and extinction of Homo Neanderthalensis, hinting at a much longer period of coexistence with modern humans. A summary of the research is available on the Nature web site.

From the BBC article:

The results provide the clearest insight yet into the interaction between our ancestors and Neanderthals, when they first encountered each other and why the Neanderthals went extinct, according to the lead researcher, Prof Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford. "I think we can set aside the idea of a rapid extinction of Neanderthals caused solely by the arrival of modern humans. Instead we can see a more complex process in which there is a much longer overlap between the two populations where there could have been exchanges of ideas and culture."


Submission + - LiMux user says criticisms of Munich's Linux OS 'simply irrelevant' (cio.co.uk)

Qedward writes: The new mayor and deputy mayor of Munich don't like its custom-built Linux distribution, citing user complaints. However, the old mayor reported in 2012 monthly complaints dropped from 70 to a maximum of 46 as the LiMux OS was rolled out from 1,500 to 10,000 people — so should we believe the new officials (who may or may not be card-carrying Microsoft supporters)?

One LiMux user posted their views on the Suddeutsche Zeituing, saying the "much of the criticism of the system is simply irrelevant".

They said: "System faults under Windows were quite common before 2004. From my perspective, you have achieved success here — why chuck that in the bin?"

Submission + - DARPA Develops Stealth Motorcycle for US Special Forces

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Allen McDuffee reports that DARPA is developing a hybrid-powered motorcycle to soundlessly penetrate remote areas and execute complex, lightning-fast raids. The idea is to develop a hybrid power system that relies on both electric and gas power, allowing special ops to go off-road and zip past enemy forces with the silence of an electric engine, while also being able to handle extended missions and higher speeds with a supplemental gas tank. "Quieted, all-wheel-drive capability at extended range in a lightweight, rugged, single-track vehicle could support the successful operations of U.S. expeditionary and special forces in extreme terrain conditions and contested environments,” says Wade Pulliam of Logos Technologies which was awarded a contract for a preliminary design to see just how viable the project is. “With a growing need to operate small units far from logistical support, the military may increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.” Logos plans to fit its quieted, multifuel hybrid-electric power system with an all-electric bike from San Francisco-based manufacturer BRD Motorcycles that uses an existing (and what BRD calls “barely legal”) racing bike, the RedShift MX, a 250-pound all-electric moto that retails for $15,000. The RedShift MX has a two hour range, but will be extended with a gas tank the size of which will be determined by the military in the research period. The focus on the electric element suggests that DARPA is more concerned with the stealthiness of the motorcycle than it is efficiency. “The team is excited to have such a mature, capable system from which to build, allowing an accelerated development cycle that could not be achieved otherwise,” says Pulliam.

Submission + - An open letter to the management of Slashdot. 14

onyxruby writes: I have been watch for some time now as Slashdot has started beta testing a new version of the website. As you are well aware the new site would constitute a complete change to the look, interface and functionality of Slashdot.org.

Change happens, and for those of us who work with technology for a living it is the only constant. Change is a process and in and of itself is not a bad thing when it offers improvement. Unfortunately the change that has been offered negatively impacts the look, interface and most importantly the functionality of Slashdot.
Many people have had trouble reverting back to the classic interface. The new interface simply does not offer the functionality of the old. Things like statistics, comments and layout are very difficult to find. You have a community that lives and breathes data and want to know their data. How is my comment ranked, how many people responded – it’s really all about the dialogue. Can I get the information that I want in a readily digestible format?

As you’re well aware the new site does not offer the very thing that people come here for. This in and of itself is not why your community has organized a boycott of Beta. The boycott was originated because the new version will be implemented whether the community wants it or not.

I want to explain why this change has gone down people’s throats about as well as Windows 8’s Metro interface. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with the interface and everything to do with the perception that the editors and management of Slashdot appear to have.

The message that has been consistently handed down is that we are “your audience”. We are not your “your audience” we are your product. People do not come to Slashdot for the news stories, there are untold other sites that provide those as well as professional and original writing about them. People come here for the community of insiders from across the industry.

Please respect the community and stop what you’re doing. You have commented that you don’t want to maintain two code bases. Your community works in the industry and understands this, which leads many to suggest you abandon the new code base entirely so that you are only maintaining once code base. Tell us what your trying to accomplish and I would imagine that a wide range of experts would be more than willing to help you meet your goals.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What's there to like about the BETA? (slashdot.org) 7

Narnie writes: I come to /. not for the nearly interesting pseudo-tech articles, but for the lively, self-moderated discussion. Today I'm bit surprised to see every discussion summarized to fuckbeta. Popping up all over the place there's discussions about beta and even alternatives being revived and created. As I tend not to RTFA, I haven't sampled the beta myself. So, I ask you guys, what's there to like about the BETA and what's there to loath?

Submission + - Dice runs scared. 6

cfulton writes: Slashdot management was found hiding under their desks today after a full scale nuclear meltdown on their site. Unable to post a reasonable reply to the thousands of negative comments on their BETA format, they simply modded down all the relevant comments. Then after running around the office for a while they all hid under their desks hoping it would all just go away.

Submission + - Is Slashdot staying relevant to Nerds that Matter with stuff that's news? 4

mmell writes: Recently, Slashdot unveiled a new look and not unlike virtually every update the people running /. attempt, this proposed, beta change has caused widespread panic and hysteria such as not been seen since the broadcast of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. At what point do users of a free service gain a right to destroy that service (evidence of which is clearly visible throughout the site and requires no citation)? Has the average /. user devolved to the level of all the non-slashdotters we used to make fun of?

Submission + - Why is Slashdot ignoring the advice of so many developer articles. 2

An anonymous reader writes: Over the years, Slashdot has recycled plenty of articles about lousy UX, lousy design, lousy graceful degradation, lousy development practices, lousy community management, even lousy JavaScript implementations creating security problems. Did Slashdot read any of those articles?

Submission + - Dice Holdings has written off Slashdot Media at the close of 2013 (prnewswire.com) 3

moogla writes: Apparently Dice.com could not make Slashdot work they way they wanted to; with a murky plan to tap into the Slashdot-reader community to somehow drive attention or insight into other Dice Holdings properities, they've burned through

$7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media

and have only started to realize some improvement on related sites. With ad revenue declining and not expected to pick up (read: everyone who uses Slashdot uses adblocking softwarwe), it appears that the Slashdot stewardship experiment by Dice Holdings has been a financial failure. Since the site has been redesigned in a user-hostile fashion with a very generic styling, this reader surmises Dice Holdings is looking to transform or transfer the brand into a generic Web 3.0 technology property. The name may be more valuable than the user community (since we drive no revenue nor particularly use Dice.com's services).

Submission + - User Backlash at Slashdot Beta Site (slashdot.org) 3

hduff writes: Look at almost any current Slashdot story and see loyal, long-time members rail against the new site design, willing to burn precious karma points to post off-topic rants against the new design and it being forced on users by the Dice Overlords. Discussion has begun to create an alternate site.

Submission + - Boycott Beta 2

An anonymous reader writes: On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

Captcha: fuckbeta

http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169357
http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757125&cid=46169451
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4757045&cid=46168351
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4756947&cid=46167453

Submission + - I am Slashdot 1

OzPeter writes: I submit stories. I read stories. I add comments. I moderate comments. I am the reason that there is ad revenue.

I am Slashdot.

(please propagate the "I am Slashdot" meme in anyway you can)

Submission + - /. Goes down in flame war 5

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot users flame all site stories with comments about the sites forced switching over to Beta version. The comments are relentless, calling for a ban of the site from Feb 10 to Feb 17. The following post is being made in every story comment:
On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.
Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.
If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.
We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]
Moderators — only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors — only discuss Beta
http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] — Vote up the Fuck Beta stories
Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.
Captcha: fuckbeta

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Slashdot Classic and Slashdot Beta Continue to Co-Exist? 9

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Slashdot has been a big part of my life since I had my my first stories accepted over ten years ago. Some people my age do crossword puzzles to keep their mental agility, some do sudoko, or play bridge. I enjoy searching for and putting together a story a day for slashdot because it helps keep me on my toes to have readers find errors and logical fallacies in my submissions and I enjoy learning from the different points of view expressed on a story I have submitted. That's why I have been so discouraged in the past several years to see readership in slashdot drop off. As a close observer of this web site, I know that ten years ago it was unheard of for any accepted story to get less than 100 comments and there was at least a story a day that got over 1,000 comments. Those days are long gone. Not it's not uncommon to see some stories garner only a few dozen comments. That's how web sites die. If you slip below a critical level of readership, readers will abandon the site completely. I know from my own experience running a web site devoted to the Peace Corps that I used to have hundreds of comments to some of my stories but once comments slipped below a certain threshold, then they disappeared altogether. I think that slashdot is nearing that threshold and I fear that imposing Slashdot Beta on the site's readership will push it over the edge and I don't want to see that happen. I'd like to propose that slashdot continue running slashdot classic and slashdot beta in parallel. I'll stick with classic most of the time. One of the best features of slashdot classic is that comments can be displayed in four formats (threaded, nested, no comment, and flat) and in two directions (oldest first and newest first) providing a lot of flexibility in watching conversations develop. I switch between the formats several times a day depending on what I want to see. But slashdot beta also has its advantages in certain situations. Slashdot needs a blockbuster story or two every day where people can pile on and slashdot beta facilitates this by putting the most commented story at the top of the page and I think that is a good thing. Still I'll use slashdot beta occasionally when I'm on a mobile device but slashdot classic will be the format I use on my desktop. So don't deprecate slashdot classic. That would be like Microsoft disabling Windows 7 and forcing everyone to use Windows 8. And not even Microsoft is that stupid.

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