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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 + - SPAM: digiKam 1.0 released

stoolpigeon writes: "KDE photo management software digiKam announced the release of version 1.0 today. This new release includes 30 new features and fixes for 485 bugs since the last release; version 0.10.0 back in March of this year. Notable new features include a liquid rescale tool, a new batch queue manager and OpenStreetMap support in Geolocation panels. digiKam is also available for MS Windows via the KDE on Windows project."
Link to Original Source
Data Storage

Submission + - Iomega offers Time Machine-like tool for Windows (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: "Iomega plans to repackage its Never Down software for continuous data protection and recovery with the launch of the company's second generation of external SATA desktop hard drives, which includes a new 1.5TB desktop hard drive. Iomega says its Never Down software uses Microsoft Volume Shadowcopy Services to create an uncompressed backup copy of all files running on Windows. The company also said it won't be creating a version for Macs because Time Machine already performs the same tasks."

Submission + - More evidence that XP is Vista's main competitor (computerworld.com) 3

Ian Lamont writes: "Computerworld is reporting that Windows XP Service Pack 3 runs MS Office 10% faster than XP SP2 — and is "considerably faster" than Vista SP1. XP SP3 isn't scheduled to be released until next year, but testers at Devil Mountain Software — the same company which found Vista SP 1 to be hardly any faster than the debut version of Vista — were able to run some benchmarking tests on a release candidate of XP SP3, says the report. While this may be great news for XP owners, it is a problem for Microsoft, which is having trouble convincing business users to migrate to Vista: 'Vista's biggest competition isn't Apple or Novell or Red Hat; it's Microsoft itself, it's XP, [Forrester Research analyst Benjamin Gray] said. So enamored of XP are businesses that Microsoft may feel obligated to extend the operating system's mainstream support past its current April 2009 expiration date. ... He attributed the lowered expectations to a lack of detailed information about Vista in 2006; too-high prices for PCs with 2GB of memory, which is essentially the minimum needed for Vista, according to company managers; and a larger-than-expected number of incompatible applications.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - COD 4 price doubles on Steam for Australian gamers (on.net)

ginji writes: Activision has made Valve increase the price of Call of Duty 4 on Steam for Australian customers from USD49.95 (The same price US customers get it for) to USD88.50 saying that the original price was a mistake and it was supposed to be this the entire time.

For exactly the same content, delivered by exactly the same servers, at exactly the same cost to Activision, this price rise seems to be purely to make more money off the game through increased sales in brick and mortar stores, and those that are now stupid enough to buy it on Steam. The new price when converted into AUD, is above the recommended retail price of the physical media, and you don't get the manual or an actual DVD.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Torvalds On Linux In 2008

An anonymous reader writes: Linux Torvalds has engaged in a middling-length email interview with InformationWeek's Charlie Babcock, in which he outlines his objectives for 2008, takes a jab at Microsoft and also says he's not much worried about patent litigation. On next year's plans: "The situation in graphics and wireless networking devices — both of which have been somewhat weak spots — is changing, and I suspect that will be a large part of what continues to happen during 2008 too." On Microsoft: "I simply don't use Microsoft products, not because I hate them, but because they aren't interesting to me." On legal: "I really don't think there is anything real behind that whole intellectual property FUD machine." Torvalds is also very interested in SSDs (solid-state drives), and says they're a game-changer when it comes to reducing latency.

Submission + - Huge balloon lofts high-resolution solar telescope (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and a team of research partners have launched a solar telescope to an altitude of 120,000 feet, using a balloon larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The test clears the way for long-duration polar balloon flights beginning in 2009 that will capture unprecedented details of the Sun's surface, scientists said. The idea is that the telescope will capture features on the solar surface as small as 19 miles across, more than double the resolution achieved by any other instrument to date. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/20992"

Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" Is Out 755

Many readers are sending the news that Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon has been released. Download options include mirrors and torrents. Wired has a review based on the release candidate: "Gamers and hardcore media hounds may still feel left out... but we found playing music and watching movies in the new Ubuntu to be every bit as pleasant as it is under OS X or Windows... Wi-Fi, printing, my digital camera and even my iPod all worked immediately after installation — no drivers or other software required... I did have to install additional codecs to get MP3 and Windows Media Audio support."

Submission + - Bioshock users seem to have DDOS'd 2KGames

GrpA writes: Bioshock users seem to have overloaded 2KGames servers , with users angry and blaming the problem on everything from a lack of 2KGames foresight to DRM. What looks like a several months old patch is available on the Web Archive but installing it means setting up a webserver to resemble the 2KGames website. Whatever the reason, the servers aren't running, people can't install the game without it and users are getting a bad taste in their mouths at the moment.

Submission + - Mars and Earth Converge (space.com)

Raver32 writes: "By the time you finish reading this sentence, you'll be about 25 miles closer to Mars, according to NASA calculations. Earth and Mars are converging, setting up a great skywatching opportunity for later this year. Here's what's going on: Earth has the inside track as the two worlds orbit the sun. Inner planets orbit more quickly than outer planets because of the laws of gravity. Earth requires 365 days to go around the sun once, whereas a year on Mars is 687 Earth-days. So every 26 months, Earth passes Mars on this orbital trek. When the pass occurs, Earth and Mars are on the same side of the sun, as seen from above, with all three objects lined up in a row, and astronomers say Mars is at opposition. As our planet catches the red planet, the distance between them shrinks dramatically. (It's an opportune time for sending missions to Mars, such as the recently launched Phoenix Lander.)"
United States

Submission + - White House to screen employees at non-profits (startribune.com)

Freedom Lover writes: Hot on the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation the Bush administration is making plans to screen employees at all non-profit organizations that receive USAID money. "The plan requires that the organizations give the government detailed information about key personnel, including phone numbers, birth dates and e-mail addresses. But the government plans to shroud its use of that information in secrecy and does not intend to tell groups deemed unacceptable why they are rejected." The program is to become effect August 27th, the last day public comments can be submitted. In Hein, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the White House stating, "Respondents set out a parade of horribles that they claim could occur...of course, none of these things has happened."

Submission + - Nobel Laureate Craig Mello ignored by President (xconomy.com)

Andrew Koyfman writes: "Craig Mello won the Nobel Prize for RNAi last November. One of the first thing he did was to write two letters advocating more RNAi research funding by the government. He shared the letters with Xconomy. One letter went to George Bush , remains unanswered. The second letter was to Massachussetts Governor Patrick brought $1 billion in state funding for life sciences. Looks like winning the Nobel Prize is not enough to get the Whitehouse to pay any attention to you."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Breakout

simoniker writes: "How much is there to learn about Breakout-style brick-bustin' games? A heck of a lot, according to LEGO Bricktopia level designer Nelson, who has written possibly the definitive genre overview over at Gamasutra, complete with design specifics, interviews, and much more. He starts with history, noting that after Pong: "Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (of Apple fame) took paddle & ball game play a step further when they designed and developed Breakout (Atari, 1976). This was the first game to include the "paddle & ball vs. blocks" game mechanic integral to subsequent games in the Breakout genre.""

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