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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:blog recruiter fired...and blog post restored (Score 1) 254

The original blog post has been restored with this note:

Editor’s note (10/14/13): This post was originally published on Friday, October 11, 2013, at 16:58, and taken down within the hour. As fully detailed here, we could not quickly verify the facts of the blog post and consequently for legal reasons we had to remove it. Email to the editor referenced in this post to elicit his comments has gone unanswered. Biology Online would not disclose his identity or give out additional contact information and other efforts to identify him to solicit a response have been unsuccessful. Biology Online has confirmed the exchange. This post is therefore being republished as of October 14th at 4:46pm.

The Scientific American editor didn't seem to realize that the guy at Biology Online had been fired.

Comment Re:Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (Score 1) 254

2) Email the Biology-online editor and attempt to reach him by phone, and ask whether he in fact sent the email in question

Had the answer to point #2 been "yes", then Dr. Lee's blog post should have remained intact, and the next issue would be, what to do about SciAm's now troubled relationship with Biology-online.

Apparently the editor-in-chief did none of those things. After all, it was "Friday before a long weekend." Everyone has things to do... places to go... people to meet.

Actually, they apparently did pretty much do that. When they didn't get a response back, they went ahead and reposted the original blog post. I'm a bit surprised. I would have thought that a manager would want to deal with the other person's manager quietly. That's just the way they usually want to handle things. Who's turf is who's is very important to managers. Normally, it would probably better to let the management of Biology Online have a crack at dealing with the problem first, and to apply pressure only if the results weren't satisfactory.

BTW, the guy who sent the email was fired, so there isn't a "troubled relationship" with Biology Online to deal with.

Regarding the first thing you think the Editor In Chief should have done, I'm not sure any verification from Dr. Lee was necessary, but I do think that Dr. Lee should have been notified as soon as the blog post was pulled and given an explanation. Dr. Lee would have been a lot less upset if she had just been told, "That email is clearly not acceptable. Let me handle it." Of course, the Editor In Chief had better handle it then.

Comment Re:Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (Score 1) 254

Continuing from the parent comment...

I think the explanation for the tweet was lame, but at least DiChristina acknowledged that she screwed up.

My brief attempt to clarify, posted with the belief that “saying something is better than saying nothing,” clearly had the opposite effect. With 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had simply promised a fuller reply when I was able to be better connected and more thorough.

It's kind of hard for me to be very critical. After all, I just screwed up by not putting what I just said in my previous comment.

Comment Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (Score 4, Informative) 254

This was recently posted on Sci Am's website: A Message from Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief. It looks like a pretty reasonable explanation to me. The excuse is that it happened on a three-day weekend (Monday is Columbus Day in the USA) so they were short staffed. They were worried that if the accusation isn't correct, they could be sued, so they want to check the accuracy of the blog first. They acknowledge that they should have done better and claim that they will develop procedures for the future.

Comment Ah, nevermind! (Score 1) 481

I misread something on another site. The informant was saying what an Air Force investigator supposedly said, not the other way around. It is notable that the SA (FBI Special Agent) decided that what what the informant said wasn't worth investigating. That's in the PDF of the FBI memo. I wish I could delete my own comments.

Comment Probably slightly more to it than that (Score 1) 481

I agree that it's just "another sensationalist samzenpus headline", but I think that there was probably more to the original Air Force memo than what you said. IIRC, there actually was a crash in the area, apparently of a secret airplane. The USAF would naturally want to know how much foreign spies could learn from talking to the local population. It's not surprising that the USAF would have investigators find out and document what the locals would say about the crash, no matter how crazy it was.

Comment You are misrepresenting what is happening (Score 1) 230

I'm not saying Groklaw is without flaws but I am saying that the deletion of posts that are designed to discredit the site is not one of them. This has nothing to do with a "lack of transparency" because the posts that are deleted do not reflect PJ or the Groklaw community. The deleted posts lack transparency because they are almost always anonymous and they are almost always by someone pretending to be a member of the community who is not.

The problem is the deletion and sandboxing of comments that don't discredit Groklaw and that are perfectly consistent with her rules. They are often not anonymous and often by members of the community. Another problem is PJ and some of her supporters who keep hiding and misrepresenting what is going on.

If you continue to insist that what you said is true, please explain why so many of comments in the first corrections thread to this article were hidden, causing nsomos to start a second corrections thread because no one could see the first corrections thread. How were they posted anonymously? How did they discredit Groklaw? Doesn't it look like they were posted by a members of the community in order to be helpful?

For that matter, how is the unannounced sandboxing of comments ever consistent with transparency? The intent is clearly to mislead members of the Groklaw community into thinking that their comments are visible to others when they are not.

Comment No, that's not what shows she lacks integrity (Score 1) 230

What shows she lacks integrity is deleting and sandboxing comments that aren't even close to being "terrible", than falsely claiming that she doesn't do that after she has the evidence hidden. Your claims of what the "truth" is are worthless. All you know about are the parts of the truth that you can see. You can't see what is missing.

How your comment gained the score for "5, Insightful" is beyond me. You paint everything in simplistic black and white terms and make broad claims as if what you can't see must not exist.

Comment Re:Censorship (Score 1) 230

I can't read Brian Proffitt's article (I get an "Unsupported database type" error), but I can't hold out much hope for a "a bigger, more community-oriented site" given PJ's desire to limit and control what can be said. Already there isn't enough time for her to adequately review and consider whether or not comments actually deserve to be censored, nor even to explain her decisions afterward. It seems that she would prefer to have a small, pure, community rather than a large and potentially messy one. That limits its value to me.

Comment Other errors: 43%, not 50%, etc. (Score 3, Informative) 277

Skimming through the comments so far, I get the impression that most people are concentrating on the argument that if a person can't pirate, that doesn't mean they will buy. TFA makes an even better point: They BSA assumed that, by value, 50% of the software in use is pirated. Otherwise a 10% reduction in piracy wouldn't result in a 10% increase in sales, even if all of the ex-pirates purchased. Gee, doesn't 50% seem a little high?

How did BSA get 50%? A questionable study said greater than 40%, and since 50% is greater than 40%, it must be the correct number. (The actual number was 43%, FWIW.

The earlier study included countries such as China and Russia and it appears (even the detailed version didn't really say) that they assumed that each piece of unlicensed software counted as much as each piece of licensed software. So every unlicensed copy of Windows 98 running on an underpowered PC in a third world or BRIC country was as valuable as any piece of brand-new business software.

One thing that makes this look like so much hoo-ha is that the "detailed studies" available as PDFs don't contain any collected data or details about methodology. It's just nicely presented conclusions and spin.

Comment E&E Publishing, not New York Times (Score 2, Informative) 353

The part added by kdawson isn't quite right. The article is available on the New York Times website, but was not written by them. It obviously says: "By PAUL QUINLAN AND JOSH VOORHEES of Greenwire", "Copyright 2010 E&E Publishing. All Rights Reserved", "Greenwire is published by Environment & Energy Publishing." The actual New York Times article was written by different people and doesn't say anyone was "awed."

Comment Re:and this is new news why? (Score 1) 177

In addition to what truthsearch said, Alex Brown was a very influential person in the "but it will be different this time" camp. It's getting to the point that there are very few credible people who aren't employed by Microsoft or its partners who would argue that anymore. So more governments may conclude that Office 2010 doesn't produce output that matches a valid ISO standard. Besides, people enjoy schadenfreude.

Comment Re:Yes, it does stand as a precedent (Score 1) 36

You are right, TFA did say the appellate court affirmed the lower court decision. I missed that. However, in an earlier blog post the same author said the appeals court overturned it. I think he forgot which way the lower court initially ruled. I admit that's sloppy. He definitely is an attorney, though, for what that's worth.

Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats