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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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! ×

Submission + - LibreOffice 5.3 Officially Released

prisoninmate writes: The Document Foundation, a non-profit organization established to promote and advance the development of the open-source LibreOffice office suite, announced the general availability of LibreOffice 5.3. Probably the most important feature of LibreOffice 5.3 is its new user-friendly and flexible user interface concept called MUFFIN (My User Friendly & Flexible INterface), which many reported last year as a Microsoft Office-like Ribbon UI. In fact, the tasty new UI concept is a "personal" user interface capable of adapting to your needs and the device's screen you're currently using for editing LibreOffice documents.

While still experimental, MUFFIN is the big LibreOffice interface change that users requested for so long, providing a total of four different UI styles that will change depending on whether you're deploying the office suite on a laptop or desktop computer. These include the default look with toolbars, the Single Toolbar UI, the Sidebar UI with a Single Toolbar, and a new Notebook Bar UI. The LibreOffice Writer received a new "Go to Page" dialog so you can easily jump to another page of a lengthy document. Table Styles have been implemented as well with support for importing and exporting ODF table styles. New Arrows toolbox provides a bunch of drawing tools that were previously available only for LibreOffice Draw and Impress, borderless padding is now displayed by default, and you can now set the small capitals character property.

Submission + - A point of contention: modern user interfaces 4

Artem Tashkinov writes: Here are the staples of the modern user interface (in varying degree apply to modern web/and most operating systems like Windows 10, iOS and even Android):
  • Too much white space, huge margins, too little information
  • Text is indistinguishable from controls
  • Text in CAPS
  • Certain controls cannot be easily understood (like on/off states for check boxes or elements like tabs)
  • Everything presented in shades of gray or using a severely and artificially limited palette
  • Often awful fonts suitable only for HiDPI devices (Windows 10 modern apps are a prime example)
  • Cannot be controlled by keyboard
  • Very little customizability if any

How would Slashdotters explain the proliferation and existance of such unusable user interfaces and design choices?

Submission + - Scientists Finally Turn Hydrogen Into a Metal, Ending a 80-Year Quest (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In 1935, scientists predicted that the simplest element, hydrogen, could also become metallic under pressure, and they calculated that it would take 25 GigaPascals to force this transition (each Gigapascal is about 10,000 atmospheres of pressure). That estimate, in the words of the people who have finally made metallic hydrogen, "was way off." It took until last year for us to reach pressures where the normal form of hydrogen started breaking down into individual atoms—at 380 GigaPascals. Now, a pair of Harvard researchers has upped the pressure quite a bit more, and they have finally made hydrogen into a metal. All of these high-pressure studies rely on what are called diamond anvils. This hardware places small samples between two diamonds, which are hard enough to stand up to extreme pressure. As the diamonds are forced together, the pressure keeps going up. Current calculations suggested that metallic hydrogen might require just a slight boost in pressure from the earlier work, at pressures as low as 400 GigaPascals. But the researchers behind the new work, Ranga Dias and Isaac Silvera, discovered it needed quite a bit more than that. In making that discovery, they also came to a separate realization: normal diamonds weren't up to the task. "Diamond failure," they note, "is the principal limitation for achieving the required pressures to observe SMH," where SMH means "solid metallic hydrogen" rather than "shaking my head." The team came up with some ideas about what might be causing the diamonds to fail and corrected them. One possibility was surface defects, so they etched all diamonds down by five microns to eliminate these. Another problem may be that hydrogen under pressure could be forced into the diamond itself, weakening it. So they cooled the hydrogen to slow diffusion and added material to the anvil that absorbed free hydrogen. Shining lasers through the diamond seemed to trigger failures, so they switched to other sources of light to probe the sample. After loading the sample and cranking up the pressure (literally—they turned a handcrank), they witnessed hydrogen's breakdown at high pressure, which converted it from a clear sample to a black substance, as had been described previously. But then, somewhere between 465 and 495 GigaPascals, the sample turned reflective, a key feature of metals

Submission + - What is the most useful nerd watch today?

students writes: For about 20 years I have used Casio Databank 150 watches. They were handy because they kept track of my schedule and the current time. They were very cheap. They require very little maintenance, since the battery lasts more than a year and the bands last even longer. Since they were waterproof, I do not even have to take them off (or remember where I put them!). They were completely immune to malicious software, surveillance, and advertising. However, their waterproof gaskets have worn out so they no longer work for me. Casio no longer makes them or any comparable product (their website is out of date). I don't want a watch that duplicates the function of my cell phone or computer. What is the best choice now?

Submission + - Parents sue Apple for toddler's death after a traffic accident. (fox5sandiego.com)

sabri writes: A Texas couple is going after the money by suing Apple for the tragic death of their daughter. How Apple contributed to the girl's death?

Garrett Wilhelm, 22, was able to use FaceTime while driving 65mph on Interstate I-35 near Dallas on Christmas Eve in 2014, when he slammed into the back of someone else's vehicle.

Wait while I sue McDonalds for being fat.

Comment Re:The way to do it (Score 1) 222

I pay my regular bills using the bank's website, not the credit card. These "virtual CC numbers" are useful for when you don't want to hand out your CC details to some random Internet shop. Even though they say they never store our credit card information, I don't quite believe it, so I feel safer that way.

Comment Re:The way to do it (Score 2) 222

My bank here in Brazil (Banco do Brasil) offers a similar service, but only for *credit* cards. I love it, and it is secure too: the CC number generated is shown half on your computer, half on your registered cellphone (SMS). After the number of transactions you specify, up to the limit amount you pick, and until the expire date you choose, that virtual credit card is'nt valid anymore.

Submission + - The Power of Lazy Programming

snydeq writes: Whoever said working hard is a virtue never met a programmer, writes Peter Wayner in his roundup of tools and techniques that prove the power of lazy programming. 'Coders who ignore those “work hard, stay humble” inspirational wall signs often produce remarkable results, all because they are trying to avoid having to work too hard. The true geniuses find ways to do the absolute minimum by offloading their chores to the computer. After all, getting the computer to do the work is the real job of computer programmers.'

Submission + - SPAM: Feminist Discovers Why Women Can't do STEM

Stinky Cheese Man writes: "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis" by Laura Parson of the University of North Dakota is difficult to distinguish from parody. Apparently women and minorities are intimidated by catalog descriptions of STEM courses. The STEM course descriptions analyzed by Ms. Parson implied "that not only would students be held to difficult high standards, but also that there was also a base of knowledge that was required to be successful in the course. [This] created an impression of extremely difficult courses, which ... would be prohibitive for those not confident in those areas, such as women and minorities."

Furthermore, scientific knowledge itself is considered to be male-biased. "STEM syllabi explored in this analysis promoted the male-biased STEM institution by reinforcing views of knowledge as static and unchanging, as it is traditionally considered to be in science, which is a masculine concept of knowledge." This is opposed to the "feminist view of knowledge" in which "knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change."

Ms. Parson feels that "the individualistic, difficult and competitive nature of the STEM classroom" creates a "a chilly climate that marginalizes women".

Thanks to Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media.

Submission + - How do you prepare for and deal with a lost/stolen/destroyed Smartphone? 3

Qbertino writes: A lot of our everyday lives today hinges on having our smartphone and our apps/services/data that are on it working and available.

What are you tactics/standard procedures/techniques/best pratices for preparing for a lost/stolen/destroyed Android Phone and/or iPhone? And have you needed to actually use them?

I'm talking concrete solutions for the worst case scenario: Apps, backup routines (like automating Google Takeaway downloads or something) tracking and disabling routines and methods and perhaps services. If you're using some vendor specific solution that came with your phone and have had positive experience with it, feel free to advocate.

Please include the obvious with some description that you use such as perhaps a solution already build into Android/iOS and also describe any experience you had with these solutions in some unpleasant scenario you might have had yourself. Also perhaps the procedures and pitfalls for recovering previous state to a replacement device.

Please note: I'm talking both Android and iOS.
And thanks for your input — I can imagine that I'm not the only one interested in this.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser." -- Vince Lombardi, football coach

Working...