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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.
Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"

Submission + - Surfing 2.0: Sensors in Board Record Everything (

kkleiner writes: "Internationally known Spanish surf company Pukas teamed up with Spain’s research giant Tecnalia to create a surfboard that records everything that happens to it out on the waves. Think of it as surfing’s equivalent of a jet plane’s blackbox. SurfSens, as the project is called, uses a wide array of sensors – accelerometers, strain gauges, compass, GPS, etc. – to make scientific measurements while a surfer is twisting and shredding. How do they take all this amazing data and translate it into something they can use? The Robot Operating System. That’s right, SurfSens uses ROS to visualize and process their data – open source robotics just broke into professional sports. Watch world renowned surfer Aritz Aranburu and others try out SurfSens in the amazing video."
First Person Shooters (Games)

From Doom To Dunia — the History of 3D Engines 117

notthatwillsmith writes "It's difficult to think of a single category of application that's driven the pace of desktop hardware development further and faster than first-person shooters. Maximum PC examined the evolution of FPS engines, looking back at the key technologies that brought games from the early sprite-based days of Doom to the fully 3D-rendered African Savannah as rendered by Far Cry 2's Dunia engine. It's truly amazing how far the state of the art has moved in the last 16 years."
Input Devices

Best Mouse For Programming? 569

LosManos writes "Which is the best programming mouse? Mandatory musts are wireless, and that it doesn't clog up like old mechanical mice. Present personal preferences are for: lots of buttons, since if I have moved my hand away from the keyboard I can at least do something more than move the pointer; sturdy feeling; not too light, so it doesn't move around by me accidentally looking at it." What would you recommend?

An Early Look At DC Universe Online 60

Joystiq got the opportunity to spend some time playing an early version of Sony's DC Universe Online . Though the MMO won't be released for perhaps a year, the developers seem to have created a solid foundation for an entertaining and innovative game. GameDaily is running an interview with Marv Wolfman, a comic veteran who recently joined the DCUO team. From Joystiq: "DCUO is very much an action MMO, with few game mechanics decided by the roll of the algorithmic dice. The game controls much like most third-person action titles, with standard light and heavy (charge-sensitive) attacks, a jump action and an interact button (notably, used to pick up cars). Super moves are mapped to the same four face buttons (when using the PS3 gamepad; a keyboard and mouse will be compatible with the console version, too) and are activated using L2 and R2 toggles. In total, up to eight super moves are easily accessible at any given time. Our character could fire ice balls and freezing rays at opponents, melee them with blocks of ice, or conveniently freeze them inside larger blocks, for example. A simple targeting mode (accessed by holding R1) locks the game camera onto an opponent for focused attacks. ... DC Universe Online isn't trying to strictly clone today's success models. SOE is making genuine efforts to build what could be the best superhero game ever conceived, and we're excited to watch it grow."

Tech Publisher O'Reilly Slashes Jobs 207

An anonymous reader writes "According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, geeky tech publisher O'Reilly Media has slashed 14% of its workforce, or 31 people. Founder and tech pundit Tim O'Reilly comments on the layoffs by exhorting people to 'get more with less.' According to the article, 'Just this week... both tech giant Google and book retailer Barnes & Noble announced their first layoffs ever. Other publishing houses, including HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Random House, and Simon & Schuster have frozen salaries or cut jobs, or both.'"
The Internet

Wikipedia Gears Up For Explosion In Digital Media 141

jbrodkin writes "Wikipedia is gearing up for an explosion in digital content with new servers and storage designed to handle larger photo and video uploads. Until early 2008, the user-generated encyclopedia's primary media file server had just 2TB of total space, which was not enough to hold growing amounts of video, audio and picture files, says CTO Brian Vibber. 'For a long time, we just did not have the capacity [to handle very large media files],' he says. Wikipedia has raised media storage from 2TB to 48TB and the limit on file uploads from 20MB to 100MB. Ultimately, Wikipedia wants to eliminate any practical size limits on uploads, potentially allowing users to post feature length, high-quality videos. 'The limits will get bigger and bigger to where it will be relatively easy for someone who has a legitimate need to upload a two-hour video of good quality,' Vibber says."

Windows 7 Beta Released To Public After Delay 848

Z80xxc! writes "The Windows 7 Beta release is now available for download by the general public, in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Microsoft had previously announced availability around 3 PM PST on Friday, but after unexpected numbers of people proved to be interested in the download, had to postpone it to add more servers."

Journal Journal: Canadian Do Not Call List Goes Live

Years after the United Stated implemented one, the Canadian government has finally implemented a Do Not Call List. Canadians can finally register their phone numbers on the list and telemarketers have 31 days to remove registered numbers from their call lists. Failure to do so can lead up to fines of $15,000 per offense. Political parties, charities, newspapers and businesses with whom you've had a business relationship in the last 18 months are exempt

Submission + - Moore to receive IEEE top honour (

schliz writes: Intel co-founder and Silicon Valley icon Gordon Moore is to receive the IEEE's highest honour later this month. The group said that Moore will receive the Medal of Honour for "pioneering technical roles in integrated circuit processing, and leadership in the development of MOS memory, the microprocessor computer and the semiconductor industry".
Data Storage

Submission + - Company unveils 1.6TB FC Solid State Disk ( 1

Lucas123 writes: "BitMicro today said they are preparing to ship a solid state hard disk drive for the data center that is dual ported with 4Gbit/sec Fibre Channel connectivity. The E-Disk Altima line comes in capacities ranging from 16GB to 1.6TB in a 3.5-inch format and reportedly delivers up to 55,000 IOPS. The stat sheet states that the drive sports duplex burst rates of up to 800 MB/sec and has sustained rates of up to 230 MB/sec. The sheet also states the drive has a MTBF of 2 million hours."

Submission + - Cisco Revamps Key LAN Switches with Virtualization (

eweekhickins writes: "Cisco has added new virtualization capabilities to its Catalyst 6500. The enhancement is good for Cisco because it allows them to upgrade a product that looked increasingly obsolete and protect what has been their largest revenue stream over the years. Oddly, in this case. what's good for Cisco may also good be for its customers because it gives customers a performance boost without having to rip and replace the chassis switch."

Submission + - Does Quad Core Matter? ( 1

ChristmasOnMars writes: ExtremeTech compares two CPUs, one dual core and one quad core, running at the same frequency and the same FSB frequency. After a batch of benchmarks, they answer the question: Are four cores better than two?

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Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.