Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment weather models actually impacted (Score 2) 76

Not true, not "just websites" were impacted. I work for a non-US national meteorological center. Those recent hacks meant for us that important satellite data that was usually provided by the NOAA suddenly stopped being accessible, having real impacts on weather forecasting quality. It took a few days to find alternatives. We learned and are in the process of making certain that such a situation does not happen once again. In other words, for some major 'foreign' weather forecasting operations, the impacts were real and important, not overblown as you state.

Unrelated, Slashdot's commenting system sucks in mobile devices... We can't quote or even see the original comments while replying... And the comment box doesn't resize while replying, we can't even review our own replies! Lots of room for improvement...

Submission + - Unmanaged Comments Sections are Harmful to Readers and Publications

Lord Satri writes: The title of the article might not apply to Slashdot thanks to its moderation system, but the Close your comments; Build a community article argues that allowing unmanaged comments are harmful to both readers and publishers. From the article:

"Last year, Popular Science decided to close comments, citing studies that blamed them for the spread of misinformation. TechCrunch has changed platforms several times, to Livefyre, and back to Facebook comments. [...] It’s a Petri dish that grows trolls and frightens away those who actually want to contribute. At worst, an unmoderated comments section can contain threats and personal attacks, invalid criticisms and spam. [...] Moderation goes to great lengths to fix these problems. A moderator can ban dangerous trolls, protecting equitable commenters and increasing reply rates and time-on-site between those readers. [...] So, why did you want comments in the first place? Many organizations cite “engagement,” but what they actually mean is “action.” They want to motivate their readers to do something, whether that action is clicking a share button, emailing a tip, or contributing some form of user generated content.


Comment Drupal vs WordPress (Score 2) 192

What Dries say in this article:

"The "sweet spot" for Drupal is larger sites rather than smaller ones. "I think when people think big websites, they usually think Drupal, and when they think small blogs or limited small websites in complexity then they think WordPress," Buytaert said.

"At Acquia we never compete with WordPress. We don't see them ever. I'm sure the smaller Drupal shops run into them, but in the enterprise we never run into WordPress."

"I think with small sites I'm not willing to give up on them but I think we just need to say we're more about big sites and less about small sites, but then the small sites are still very useful to get people into the community," Buytaert said."

I would have liked to know that before... I moved from Slashcode to Drupal years ago on the advice of a few. While I can appreciate how Drupal is flexible and powerful, now I understand that what I really needed, as a non-expert and for my small website, was just WordPress. But too late, won't do another painful migration anytime soon...

What annoys me most with Drupal: no straightforward way to update major versions (e.g. from 6.x to 7.x), especially since a lot of user-contributed modules doesn't exist in the new version or require a lot of work to do so. The admin interface is pretty bad. The user community is much much smaller than WordPress (thinking of mature/maintained user-contributed modules here). Etc.

Comment Re:GTFS Realtime != Realtime (Score 1) 187

From the article: "To enable all that, Google introduced a new standard in 2011 called GTFS-realtime. It builds on GTFS, but is a different animal, since it includes new feed types for trip updates, service alerts, and vehicle positions, as well as provisions for constantly refreshing this data throughout the day."

So the article does state that it's also for vehicle positions. I haven't checked if the article is right or not though.

Comment And tell your friends via Fb, G+ or anything else (Score 1) 169

The only thing I'd add to your entry, is asking our fellow canadians to tell their friends, family, everyone in fact, to send such an email by spreading the word on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any other means you have. Hey, we're in a connected world now, let's show them that we're able to use those connections for a meaning!

Submission + - Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash Development (

HungryMonkey writes: "In an abrupt about-face in its mobile software strategy, Adobe will soon cease developing its Flash Player plug-in for mobile browsers, according to an e-mail sent to Adobe partners on Tuesday evening."
Now if we can just kill flash ads...

Open Source

Submission + - Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Now Open Sourc

Lord Satri writes: "MacOSForge announced that Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is now available open source under the Apache license: "The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple and supported on iPhone, iPad, most iPods, Mac and iTunes. ALAC is a data compression method which reduces the size of audio files with no loss of information. A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec project contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder. Also included is an example command line utility, called alacconvert, to read and write audio data to/from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. A description of a 'magic cookie' for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well.""

Comment Siri and translation (Score 4, Insightful) 185

Siri doesn't do translations, it's more of an advanced voice recognition tool. Am I wrong? This would mean that at the moment, Apple's Siri and Google Translation would have two different strengths; Siri: usable natural language voice recognition (at least that's how they sell it) and Google Tranlation, well, multi-language translations.

Slashdot Top Deals

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.