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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 [] [] — 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: What next for Slashdot? ( 8

AmiMoJo writes: Most of you are probably aware of the beta site, and there have even been a few survey emails going around. For some reason no-one thought to use the actual site's discussion system to ask about the future of Slashdot. Times are changing and Slashdot needs to make enough money to continue, but at the same time almost all the site's value comes from the user comments. What should Slashdot do to ensure it lives on for the next 15+ years, and what can we do to help?

Comment Re:What is Google's interest? Data Tracking? (Score 1) 363

Realistically, what does Google need to offer in the 1 Gbps range that can't be offered at 15 Mbps range?

Google wants to own your hard drive. If you are scanning or printing a document or up/downloading videos and photos to their data warehouse, 15 Mbps won't cut it.

Or, you can waste plenty of bandwidth on streaming HD video like TV, movies, gaming (e.g OnLive). Imagine having a family of four downloading four 72Mbit (BluRay 2x spec) streams at the same time.

Comment Proto cyber brain.... (Score 1) 262

I am thinking the first generation "cyber brain" will be a small implantable blue tooth device powered by your body heat or blood glucose that can link to your phone and behave as a "Texting Keyboard". It will be nothing more than an array of implantable electrodes under the scalp that can pickup the brain waves and replay them to the body powered CPU chip. The wires under the scalp will be made of a bio-compatible carbon fiber and as thick as a human hair which will be implanted with only one 1/4 inch incision into the scalp.

This will allow people to use phones that may not even have a keyboard and would make the iPhone even more popular.

It will solve the problem of having to wear a bulky brainwave helmet and dealing with the sensors moving around.

It will be an output only device, the ones with brain inputs will take a little longer due to figuring out how to interface the brain directly.

Comment A good reason pay SHOULDN'T be proportional... (Score 1) 597

If you haven't seen this video with Dan Pink on the science of motivation, it's worth a watch: In case you don't want to watch TFV, it could be summarized as: "Using compensation to motivate tasks requiring higher cognition doesn't work. Behavioral science has understood this for decades, but business isn't listening."

Comment Extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation (Score 1) 597

Its been well known for a while that financial motivation for creative work does not result in increased productivity or quality of work. Trying to incentivize coders to be more productive is often counterproductive since they'll be motivated to just hammer out something that works rather than spending a few moments actually thinking about the problem and coming up with an efficient solution that will be better for the codebase in the long run. Trying to reward individual coders based on some arbitrary measure of productivity will never properly reward the right coder nor produce the highest quality of code possible. Using subjective judgement by technical peers rather than objective measures cooked up by HR, providing comfortable and respectful working conditions and encouraging the exploration of the intellectual and creative sides of coding are probably some of the best steps one can take to help good coders produce great code. If you provide the right environment, you have a good chance of attracting a lot of great talent even if you don't offer the best pay in the market because having a job where you're intellectually challenged and your expertise is valued (and listened to!) can be worth a lot more to a good programmer than an extra few grand a year.

Comment Re:I don't even think it's that well-defined. (Score 1) 597

Hey, are you Peter Seebach? If so, just a few comments above yours, I provided a link
to your insightful (and funny) Hacker FAQ. I've always recognized myself in it.

Have you ever considered reformating it to a more modern HTML document? It's simply
that in its present form, it really DOES look like a text from 1999... it shows
its age. :-)

Comment What about the slow workers (Score 2, Interesting) 597

And if a bricklayer were 10x more productive than his peers this would be obvious too

And he'd end up getting shoved off the top of a building by the bricklayers that he made look bad.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to assist on a s/w project to replace a (broken) legacy system. It had been identified by the FAA as not providing proper control over engineering data sufficient to maintain our production certification. And, over the years it had cost the company about $250 million to build and maintain. So we (myself and five other developers) build a new system over the course of about 6 months. It was blessed by the FAA and manufacturing loved it (it actually worked). After it was all done, my team got ....

...laid off.

Aside from actual coding shops, where the s/w IS your company's product, the whole free market capitalist model breaks down. The further you are away from the finished product, the more the corporation resembles a socialist economy, where headcount matters more than productivity. And much, if not most, software is produced in this setting. MS Word may sell millions of copies, but the are more lines of code (or kBytes of executable) developed internally. My boss only had 5 people under him. He was a first level manager. The legacy system employed over 100, making its manager a unit chief over several layers of PHBs. Guess who has the political power in that organization.

Comment Re:As always, make yourself known (Score 4, Insightful) 597

    But, code is a product, and expected to be created. The value is obvious when it's completed, but still worthless to the bean counters until someone in sales sells it to a customer. The more customers they sell the code to, the more profitable it's become.

    The thanks never comes down to the programmers. When the product is completed, it's likely they'll be let go, since no more work needs to be done. The sales staff could continue selling it for years, and making a profit.

    I was told, I have to be able to sell the product. That's not where I want to be. I like creating things. I prefer to leave it up to sales to make it profitable. Unfortunately, the way most bosses run the show, development will always be a negative cashflow area, and sales will always be positive. In that, they consider development bad for the company, and forget that without our work, they'd never turn a profit.

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