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How the Year Looked On Slashdot

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the that-was-the-year-that-was dept.

Cellphones 161

Happy New Year! It's that time (as of now!) for the UK, and since the Slashdot backend operates in Greenwich Mean Time, that seems as good a reason as any to welcome 2012 now instead of local midnight for any of the various U.S. time zones. Everyone has a different take on how to rank the events of the last year; read on below for a few notes on some of the goings on of the past 31,536,000 seconds (give or take). The list is pretty arbitrary, drawn from the thousand-ish stories that hit the Slashdot page in that time; please say in the comments what news hit you the hardest this year.

Politics and all that:

Events in the Middle East dominated much of the news, including in particular the ways that governments have been tracking (and sometimes imprisoning or killing) opponents; California-based Blue Coat flatly denied selling equipment to Syria to help that sort of tracking before 'fessing up to it. (And in the U.S., the Occupy movement set about occupying bits of various cities, drawing both admiration and scorn.)

Related: The nuttiness surrounding Wikileaks continues.

Then there's the still unfinished story of SOPA; at least in some cases, speaking loudly seems to've caused businesses to change their public stances as defenders of the law as proposed; could this be called washing SOPA out with mouth?

On the tech front:

Donald Knuth published the 4th volume (or at least the first installment of it) of his ambitious Art of Computer Programming.

Netflix's management decided to couple a change that many customers thought was a stupid rate increase with what many people (customers or not) felt was a stupid name change; the company at least agreed on the name change, and reverted it.

HP seemed to do an interesting dance, both by shaking up its management structure , then announcing it was considering a spin-off of its PC hardware business before canceling that maneuver. HP sent a different but similarly mixed set of messages with a fire sale on its WebOS tablets (to the disappointment of those who praised and wished more success to WebOS).

Nokia also did some shaking in place. It's been a rough year for phone junkies on the whole, with Blackberry outages and privacy debacles both intentional and accidental from RIM, and no joy for those who'd expected iPhone 5, along with a handful of security issues for Android phones made it a rough year for phone junkies.

Meanwhile, the Linux kernel reached the magical number 3.0, and then 3.1 even though Mr. Linux himself, true to form, downplayed the leap from 2.x as basically just a number. Notably, the kernel suffered a persistent power-use regression, but also (Yay!) a fix.

On the GUI front, Gnome3 and Ubuntu's Unity generated lots of excitement, particularly from those who dislike the changes they bring. Forks and workarounds ensued — open source abides. We've seen also quite a bit this year about the Raspberry Pi, IMO the most exciting hardware news stuff of the year.

Questions of the stars:

Speaking of the Raspberry Pi, we were glad to have had the chance this year to ask questions of Eben Upton, as well as of William Shatner and Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, among many others. (And though it's sad, must also note rejections to our requests to interview Steven Hawking, Tom Lehrer, Freeman Dyson a distinguished list, at least.)

Endings:

Several of the biggest names in technology will sadly no longer be around for the years to come. After years of uncertain health and swirling rumors, Steve Jobs succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Less known outside tech circles, both John McCarthy and Dennis Ritchie died as well, both leaving rich legacies of software and inspiration. For all that he thrived on being a bad penny to both sides of the political spectrum, Christopher Hitchens, too, will be missed. On the other side of the "world changing" coin, this year also brought the end for Usama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and North Korea's not-particularly-dear leader Kim Jong Il.

A different kind of ending: after a few years of life support, 2011 witnessed (with CmdrTaco's help) the final flight of the U.S. Space Shuttle. Everyone who had a chance to see a Shuttle launch will have a great story to tell their children.

Coming attractions:

Whatever the eventual fate of the other players in the phone world, 2012 will probably mean the end of the road for Symbian phones.

It's time for a reality check on the space hotel that was predicted for 2012; I'd place my bet against. Less happily, the continuing push for surveillance and tracking means I wouldn't bet against the projected nationwide trials in the coming year of face-recognition and tracking software from the FBI.

Finally: the end is near. That is, the actual end of the world (versus this recent contender), as predicted by the Mayans, as interpreted by various non-Mayans, and massaged to give us a few more years (or at least a few more months). Or, you can choose to rotate your tinfoil hat one quarter turn clockwise and take NASA's word for it — whatever the fate of humanity, Earth itself will probably keep right on going; we hope you'll stick around for the rest of the story — we're still waiting for The HURD

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Ah scrump. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552534)

I farted a little bit directly out of somewhere you know. Where do you think such a thing is? You know this. Does God exist?

HAPPY 2012 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552542)

First post?

Re:HAPPY 2012 (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553782)

Maybe next year.

Where's the tidal wave and SIX nuclear power plants in Japan about to do the China Syndrome stories? Or is it because Godzilla didn't put in an appearance? I mean, really, this is a tech failure that literally put hundreds of millions of people at risk, forced several countries to change their energy plans to depend more on greenhouse-gas-emitting power, and it's not even half a sentence?

2012 (4, Funny)

maweki (999634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552570)

2012 will be the year, Linux finally comes to the desktop, I heared

Re:2012 (1)

Turnerj (2478588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552586)

So will Windows... oh wait :/

Re:2012 (-1, Troll)

SharkLaser (2495316) | about 2 years ago | (#38554516)

I think we had a quite successful overall year. Many slashdotters started to realize that Microsoft isn't as bad as people were shoehorned to think. Google also started to show more and more of their evil side, especially regarding their "identity service" and the many failures it had, like whole real name fiasco and the platform never really catching on. It will be interesting to see what happens with the whole Nokia-Microsoft deal and if EU ever lets Google have Motorola Mobility. And also what will come out of those FDC and EU investigations into Google's practices.

Re:2012 (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552740)

well it finally came to the mainstream, as Android. (still sux)

Re:2012 (4, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553126)

2012 will be the year, Linux finally comes to the desktop, I heared

Google could make it happen, a dedicated Android (Linux) version for desktop would be a guaranteed success, even now, lots of people are working on it [android-x86.org] in their free time, which is speaking for itself. Once Android is flagged official for desktop by Google big software and hardware players would have to consider it and they would port stuff over as there is no barrier of entry.

Re:2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553826)

Android's Achilles' heel is and probably always will be Java. It will never be a successful desktop product, never, simply because of the crapness that is Java.

My Android phone is way more powerful (more RAM, faster processor) than any iPhone yet the apps stutter and scrape along at glacial speeds compared to iOS (ie. native) apps. You can tell exactly when the garbage collector runs every single time. It's shit. Java is shit.

Re:2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38554092)

Google could make it happen, a dedicated Android (Linux) version for desktop would be a guaranteed success

You mean Microsoft and Google could make it happen; since Microsoft (apparently) owns significant portions of Linux. The Arab Spring never touched the Western world Intellectual Property.

References:
http://www.google.ca/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=linux+companies+that+pay+royalties+to+microsoft&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&channel=suggest [google.ca]

http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/07/list-of-companies-that-pay-royalties-to.html [techdrivein.com]

http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231601809 [informationweek.com]

SCO is not dead, it just metastasized itself to the different legal departments of various corporations.

Re:2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38554094)

mobile-on-desktop windows 8 would beat google to market... only thing in google's favor is every other windows release sucks, so windows 8 is already doomed.

Re:2012 (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553212)

Just in time for the desktop to be replaced by the, er..., tablet/hand/palmtop!

Seriously though, the number one and number two phone and tablet operating systems are both Unix based, with Linux taking the lead for the number of users. Ten years ago who would have believed that BSD would be in millions of people's pockets, or that the most popular mobile OS would be open source with its proprietary rivals from the likes of Nokia and Microsoft rapidly dying off?

Re:2012 (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554060)

Yup. You're spot-on fella. Guess what? Linux is a great server platform. Know what else? You can own your own personal "cloud" at home and stream / sync all your data privately and securely between all your mobile devices and your Linux home server... In fact, you can load balance & increase uptime by setting up mutual redundant servers in each of your family's homes.

On top of that, KDE and Gnome are both usable enough for my grandparents now, (you don't have to touch the terminal to use Linux). So, 2011 was the year of Linux on the Desktop, Laptop and Mobile phone for my family, and THEY LOVE IT.

Re:2012 (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#38554444)

>>I heared

Uh, it's spelled HURD, buddy.

I've run out of crackers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552572)

...but have a surfeit of cheese.

I can only hope my year gets better.

Re:I've run out of crackers... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552660)

You can have some of mine. These weird hemi-triscuits are overly flavourful.

Re:I've run out of crackers... (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552754)

That's just weird. I too have a surplus of cheese and not enough crackers...

Re:I've run out of crackers... (1)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553118)

a delicious cycle

Re:I've run out of crackers... (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553032)

I'm going to go out on a pub crawl with a friend, then go to a party afterward. My friend told me that she won't have sex with me because she has to meet her boyfriend later, but she will suck my dick. After that It's up to me to find my own nanny.

Shit, I just fucked up my head in a hair-coloring experiment, now I look like a fucking raccoon. DAMN! Wish it were like last year, when I passed out and woke up still drunk at 2am, trolling Slashdot with a former co-worker asleep in my bed.

Have fun, and stay safe all....except for sex, throw those condoms out and do it the way nature intended. And if there are any lonely women in the San Diego area here, fat, old, ugly; I don't give a fuck, and you want lots of attention and a deep dickin, respond to this post with your contact info. Hurry! There's no time to waste!

Re:I've run out of crackers... (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553490)

...but have a surfeit of cheese

Alas, I have crackers but nothing to place upon them.
...
This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

two engineering stories I liked (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552578)

Both from the first week of December, so admittedly I may be forgetting a lot of interesting stuff from the first 11 months of the year:

Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling [slashdot.org] , a tale of document-management woes, corporate management foibles, and engineering archaeology

Physical Models In an Age of Computers [slashdot.org] , a nice write-up of a large-scale physical model of the San Francisco Bay built in 1959 built to test some theories about how it'd behave if various proposed modifications were made

Been 2012 for hours. (2, Funny)

Wild Wizard (309461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552580)

What so this is a US site now?

Where is the .us domain on the end then?

Pfft, I'm off to Bunnings it's 10am here already and they've been open for hours already, blink and you might miss 2012.

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552614)

That doesn't make this article any less valid.

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552626)

I'm in Samoa you insensitive clod!

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (2)

M8e (1008767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552698)

How does it feel to miss a friday? Are you all hungover? I'm usually hungover when i have missed a friday

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552630)

Where is the .us domain on the end then?

http://slashdot.us [slashdot.us] redirects to slashdot.org, actually.

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552738)

What so this is a US site now?

Yes. It has always been a US site and it will always be a US site.

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (4, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552808)

What so this is a US site now?

Try reading the FAQ here, like you would any site if you were wondering the source of the site, at http://slashdot.org/faq [slashdot.org] , in the Editorial section. I clearly asks and answers:

Note: Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. [snip]

Reply: Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem.

Then it goes on to explain why.

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553096)

So are there slashdot clones in other languages yet? The code is still available, isn't it? A lot of us here might encourage setting up instances that operate in other languages.

It is sometimes annoying that we can't use non-Latin1 text here. Shis sorta limits discussions of east-Asia-related topics. One benefit that non-USians could bring is debugging the code for UTF-8. Why don't some of the complainers get to the job? Are the nice guys who run /. giving you some sort of hassle about it? If so, let us know ...

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (2)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553266)

Only one I'm aware of is the japanese /. : http://slashdot.jp/ [slashdot.jp]

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (2)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553638)

A spanish barrapunto.org

Re:Been 2012 for hours. (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553868)

Hmmm ... I tried connecting to barrapunto.org, and my browser just hangs with a "Connecting to barrapunto.org" message.

Oops; it just displayed a "The connection has timed out" message.

Have we slashdotted it? ;-)

2012 - Off to a Good Start... (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553230)

Looks like you've gotten the year off to a good start by posting a hilariously angry rant about how New Years occurred in your time zone first.

It's still 7:45 PM here in Texas, and I hope this is the last dumb thing I read this year.

I've got a feeling it won't be...

Slahdot in UK ? (1)

avalancher (1499207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552632)

What is a "backend that operates in GMT"... I don't know what that means but from a completely foreigner point of view, slashdot is definitely US-centric (for the better or the worse), and I don't understand why it should comply to UK's standards.

Re:Slahdot in UK ? (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552674)

It's common to run servers on UTC [wikipedia.org] rather than in a local time zone, which is basically equivalent to GMT.

Re:Slahdot in UK ? (1)

maweki (999634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552742)

in Winter.
GMT conforms to DST

Re:Slahdot in UK ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552758)

No it doesn't - in the UK we switch to BST in the summer (British Summer Time). There is not daylight saving in GMT.

Re:Slahdot in UK ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552696)

What is a "backend that operates in GMT"...

Running computers on UTC makes sense. No time changes for DST for one, so crons dont run an hour earlier, an hour later, twice in one night, or skipping a night, depending on when you schedule them.

Steve Jobs (4, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552652)

please say in the comments what news hit you the hardest this year

Of the news reported on Slashdot I think SJ death hit me the hardest. I don't follow Apple or Jobs news so his death came out of nowhere. Didn't know he had cancer or that he was dying from it.

If the Japan earthquake was reported here it wins by a huge margin. Well, there has been a lot of /. posts on the nuke plant, so I guess that or the earth quake wins out of the non-geek news.

Re:Steve Jobs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552890)

I don't follow Apple or Jobs news so his death came out of nowhere. Didn't know he had cancer or that he was dying from it.

I didn't either but I knew he had cancer because of the fallout from him getting into the queue (ahead of just as deserving people) for a liver transplant in Tennessee even he lived on the West coast.

It's great being a famous billionaire with a private jet and plenty of fanboys - get to knock out all those poor kids who also need livers out of the way so you can continue with your life of creating consumer electronic toys.

The doctors who gave Jobs and David Crosby their livers should be ashamed of themselves.

Re:Steve Jobs (0)

manu0601 (2221348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553904)

The doctors who gave Jobs and David Crosby their livers should be ashamed of themselves.

They promoted one's merit (read: wealth) ahead of one's needs. Are you really surprised? I far as I understand, this is how USA is.

Not tech companies! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552658)

Netflix is not a tech company. Neither is Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo! or Slashdot. They use tech like every other business these days. Instead of shipping a catalog to its shoppers, Amazon has a website. Instead of people posting their photos and comments on the side of their house, they post them on Facebook. And instead of running down to their local video rental place, they order them from Netflix or stream them - like videos have been streamed for over a decade now. Just because they may customize some software doesn't make them a tech company - if that's the bar for a tech company, then Walmart, Colt and GM are also tech companies.

Re:Not tech companies! (2)

paulmac84 (682014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553040)

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud [amazon.com]

Just sayin'.

Re:Not tech companies! (2)

timothy (36799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553168)

Of course, there's the Kindle / Kindle Fire / Mechanical Turk ...

Nowadays, it's nearly as easy to say that "no one's a tech company" as it is that "everyone's a tech company." (Starbucks is one of my most regular ISPs, really ...)

timothy

'nutty' wikileaks caused some of the arab spring (5, Interesting)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552670)

i can think for example of the revelation that Microsoft made a deal with the dictator of Tunisia to allow the regime to stick it's own certificate authorities into IE's auto-approve list.

MS's argument was that Tunisia was buying a lot of linux computers, and then wiping them and installing MS. the whole purpose of the document (leaked on the net, signed by Bill Gates) was to destroy linux and get the business of a corrupt, violent dictator.

thats just the tip of the iceberg.

Re:'nutty' wikileaks caused some of the arab sprin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553328)

Link?

Re:'nutty' wikileaks caused some of the arab sprin (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553964)

Seems to be true. [wikipedia.org] The wikipedia article could use some clean-up, but google found lots of other stories that substantially confirm the OP's claims.

no so many killers. (4, Interesting)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552714)

2011 was a year where I heard the term x-killer less than usual. In the past the iPod-killer, the killer-app, etc. seemed to used every time something 'new' came out, and I was happy that the term didn't seem to show up as often.

Nokia shifting to Windoze is my pick of the news. It will keep Nokia in the marketplace and it means that MS gets a foot in the door without a lot of development dollars being spent on hardware.

The other memory 0f 2011 are the changes to the interfaces of MacOSX and Win8, both working more like an iPad but still retaining the old GUI under the facade. I'm including Win8 because of the Dev preview, which I count as a release (limited as it may be).

It is also the year that I decided that computers are not interesting any more, having been doing this stuff since 1978, it has all become as exciting as a new toaster.

Re:no so many killers. (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553308)

I saw the whole Nokia decision to ditch Symbian for WP7 was a huge failure for them. They said they were not a phone company, they were a software company. Now they are saying they are just going to make hardware with some crappy Nokia apps grafted into WP7 that people will complain about not being able to remove.

I'm still waiting for a manufacturer to do some serious Android development. Samsung is about the closest because it makes more of its own hardware than most manufacturers (down to the chips used in the phone), but even do I think there is still massive scope for someone to set up a dev team and start pushing development forwards along with Google and gaining a competitive advantage at the same time.

Re:no so many killers. (3, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553556)

I nominate 2011 as the year of the patent lawsuit. Apple managed to get Samsung's products banned. In return, Samsung eventually got a revenge ruling banning Apple's products. Everybody in the phone industry went lawsuit crazy suing each other, and Microsoft earned more money from patent extortion against a competing product than they did by legitimately selling their own product.

Re:no so many killers. (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554074)

2011 was a year where I heard the term x-killer less than usual.

That's funny, for me 2011 was the year where I first heard the term "X-Killer"... Eg: Wayland. [freedesktop.org]

Not mentionning.... (1)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552726)

Bitcoins, anyone?
With all the slashvertisements, and then the downfall of it, it's not mentionned in the list?

Re:Not mentionning.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552840)

Who the fuck cares about ButtCoin?

Now, watching Rupert and James Murdock slide into a cesspit of their own making: that was news.

I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552752)

The Occupy protesters have a lot to learn about how to present their arguments to the public, how to convince people who don't agree with them, and how to explain themselves to people who have no idea what they're talking about. Their dreams of changing the world won't happen without those skills and years of dedication.

But they sparked a movement and made people aware there are issues. The question is whether they can stop their self-righteous whining about their "rights" and see themselves as the public sees them, so they can face up to facts and work on their public perception problems.

No one shot at you like the Arab Spring protesters. You weren't under military guard like the Palestinians. You didn't spend decades fighting for the right to use effective medication without being arrested for it by the DEA. You weren't systemically abused like the black community before the civil rights movement.

You spent over TWO MONTHS squatting in public parks without effectively delivering a message to the PUBLIC instead of amongst your own faithful at the protests. When there were conflicts with the police while you were being evicted, you were only maced and shot with rubber bullets. No one was killed. You had to scream in the faces of the officers for TWO MONTHS before they'd even go that far to get rid of the camps.

Freedom of speech rights my ass. Occupy doesn't know what their rights are and what they mean, how to deliver a message, or how to work for change. Instead, they come across as a bunch of posers and whiners squatting in the parks and demanding the right to squat there for the rest of their lives while they wait for the world to change itself just because they discovered the world isn't fair.

Despite that, Occupy was the news story of the year to me. It was a brief spark of hope dashed by the incompetence of self-styled "victims" who insult those who know what actual oppression is.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38552788)

So of course after I post and reread the summary I find the mention of Occupy, making it look like I can't read as well as I can write. *LOL*

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1, Interesting)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553460)

And you seemed to completely overlook the really unique aspect of the Occupy movement in that it was truly of international scale. You referred only to US aspects of it. It is still occupying in other countries, as well. When did that ever happen before?

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554076)

When did that ever happen before?

Scientology protests back in 08

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552922)

And, yet, the peeing on all* of our backs continues, all the while some people are more than happy to keep on with "I'm Singin' in the rain..." and we're encouraged to keep singing along.

*the 99%, that is...

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553052)

And as with any Occupy members, if you don't blindly agree with them, you're labeled as being of the "1%" even if you're on unemployment. After all, being of the "1%" is supposed to make you feel ashamed. Maybe someday I will be of the 1%, but if I am, it'll be because I WORKED to get there.

But don't listen to anyone who tries to help you get the message out or who tries to teach you how to influence change. That'll take away time from you being able to cry "nobody listens to me" and "nobody understands" while you harass the police until they get pissed off enough to punch you in the face. Don't worry, as we've seen, if you get in their face for 2-3 months they WILL lose their patience and give you that damning "police abuse" video for you to share with everyone as proof of your victimization.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553858)

if I am, it'll be because I WORKED to get there.

Nobody's gotten to the 1% through their own sweat in a long, long time.

Occupy's problem is that it's less of a movement than it is an unfocused outpouring of anger. In the end, it won't get anything done (and that's the good news: it's managed to buck all the wranglers who thought they could corral it and break it to their will like the Tea Party ended up).

just because they discovered the world isn't fair.

I always wondered what it would look like when people realize the game isn't fair and quit.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (3, Interesting)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553290)

Maybe i could support the Occupy people if I had some clue what they wanted. All they seem to want is for goverment to not be corrupt, rich people to pay taxes, and something else I think...

While I generally support all of those goals, I can't really get behind them without knowing how they would like it. Do they have any ideas on how to makes those or whatever goals happen?

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553656)

I don't think 'occupy' can be explained.

you either get it or you do not.

and 'getting it' seems to be whether you are symathetic the the mass suffering of others or if you think the world is just fine the way it is.

but this can't be explained. I've never seen anyone switch sides on this, have you? its highly polarized (gee, just like class wars.)

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (2)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554198)

I'm sympathetic to mass suffering, and I think the world can be improved in all sorts of ways, but I still don't "get" Occupy. It seemed to be sort of a mass whine-in, without any clear goals. I'm all for protesting what's wrong with the world, and with trying to make it better, but you have to actually say what's wrong, and ideally propose how it can be fixed. Or if you can't actually articulate a solution, you ought to at least be able to describe the state you'd like to get to.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38554048)

The Occupy movement isn't about giving you the answers. Rather than have some Official Party Manifesto handed down from above which outlines the Official Party Solution for you to sign off on, they merely want to call attention to the problems in our country, and leave the "figure out what to do" part to the people as a whole.

    In this way, it's both an anarchist protest, and the most American protest I've ever seen. I suppose it's little wonder some people really hate and demean it.

The system is rigged & they know it, (2)

nido (102070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554256)

but no one's told them what to be righteously angry about.

If I had an audience with the protesters, I would point out the difference between a dollar bill and a dollar coin. Dollar bills represent money that the banking system (the Federal Reserve's shares are mostly owned by banks on Wall Street) has lent into circulation, and is collecting interest on, whereas Dollar Coins are debt-free money created by the government.

This Bill was BORROWED from Wall Street [teslabox.com] .

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (3, Interesting)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 2 years ago | (#38554430)

Maybe i could support the Occupy people if I had some clue what they wanted. All they seem to want is for goverment to not be corrupt, rich people to pay taxes, and something else I think...

In other words, you do have some clue of what they want.

While I generally support all of those goals, I can't really get behind them without knowing how they would like it. Do they have any ideas on how to makes those or whatever goals happen?

So, you'd get behind them if they had a suggested, workable course of action and until then you're just not willing to support their more abstract objectives. Hmm.. Some of that I get, as it's easy to rant about the problems of the world and one doesn't want to support a group that ends up deciding some crazy later on as the solution when it's nothing of the sort. But, the converse of that has often been to have a solution and then pretend to shoehorn it to solve the problem of the day. I'd say to a great extent, the fact that the Occupy movement hasn't gone out of its way to offer solutions is in part to not exclude a lot of people who would quickly hear any semi-formulated (as that's how it'll invariable start out) plan, quickly categorize it as right or left, and then use previous arguments of how each system is flawed--it obvious is since we're here precisely because both right and left have had a go at it and always failed to some degree--to discount the group as a whole; ie, it wants to set the stage for serious support of its objectives and only then to actually discuss a course of action so there will be actual discussion instead of pigeonholing.

The other part, of course, is that I don't think the Occupy movement really hasn't a good idea how to real their goals really any more than the current political scene has a clue. I mean, sure, Republicans wave the free market around but then forget that the free market as an ideal can't exist as it requires a level of omniscience that's surreal and falling short of that ideal is used as but an excuse for why there are invariable problems when a heavily free market approach is taken instead of acknowledging there are limitations to the construct that is the free market. Meanwhile, Democrats so often wave legislation around as if by writing a law people or companies will actually follow them when it's often the point that those laws are either pointless, circumvented--often with the de facto blessing of those same Democrats--, or never fully applied or applicable to an actual problem.

And my point isn't to say "well, they're both wrong some times, so we shouldn't listen to their ideas or ever follow their suggestions". It's to acknowledge that an actual discussion needs to take place that tries very hard to avoid reverting to a position of ideology for the sake of that ideology while losing sight of the big picture. Of course, a lot of people have their own agenda--hence the noted issue of corruption--so perhaps too often the big picture is being looked after, it's just not in the role of representing the people. That more fundamental problem isn't really inherently solvable; so, it leads one more to wonder how to at least counter it as it goes, and that's a point that's rarely heavily discussed as corruption behaves much like how computer viruses do with anti-virus scanners--there's always someone behind the scenes who can work to see if it takes but a single bit flip to pass the current test and it makes all the effort seemingly futile. That's the sort of distressing truth that makes it hard for someone to spend a lifetime working constantly to root out corruption when it occurs and install non-corrupt individuals to power.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553610)

Actually, I'm surprised the Arab Spring wasn't included. There is certainly a technological angle. We have seen everything from Gadaffi blaming Wikileaks for sparking the revolutions, to a baby girl in Egypt being named "Facebook". Perhaps it was the Year of the Protester after all.

Re:I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#38554462)

>>You spent over TWO MONTHS squatting in public parks without effectively delivering a message to the PUBLIC

The public caught the message of them Squatting over police cars.

I hate hippies. And seeing shit like that, literally, alongside of the drum circles, human microphones, and druggies was enough to turn me off on the movement. Even though I (and most people) completely agree that corporations have too much influence over the government.

In other words, I agree with you.

Best story of the year? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552762)

That CmdrDildo finally left. I hope his ass is working at a McDonalds, flipping burgers. He's a bitch and a cunt and I hate him almost as much as I hated KDipshit. Slashdot needs to drop his name in every way, shape and form.

I'd be most interested in statistics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552816)

I'd be interested to see exactly what % of stories on /. involved in some form Apple, Copyright, Open Source, Microsoft, Actual scientific news, and so on and so forth.

I wouldn't be surprised if the actual science stuff ended up being only a sliver.

The old and the new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38552974)

The Oslo bombing and the Utøya massacre hit me the most last year. A tragic event in so many ways.

2011 was a year of personal growth and 2012 will be even more so.

Sad to see Google Wave go, glad to see Google+ arrive and grow.

Happy about the new technology and sad about the corporate greed wrt lawsuits and the patent wars. 2012 will not be any better IMHO.

At least I'll be 40 when the world goes under on Dec 21 :-)

Suxnet Anyone? (5, Interesting)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553136)

I took a few years off Slashdot and only logged on because of boredom a few months ago.
Here's my 2 cents worth on some of the issues that have surfaced in that time:

I actually liked the Stuxnet saga and how the Iranian scenario was investigated and collaborated around the world. This is one of the first tech conspiracies of importance and those responsible for it have not owned up (yet). It also made me think of other digital servo equipment that are vulnerable in industry and consumer grade products.

Flying copters with wifi/drones also interested me as the technology can now be bought/assembled for a few hundred dollars. A great at home project with lots of possibilities. On that, there was an assumption that Iran could not reverse engineer the captured drone, something I feel unlikely as their engineering and research faculties are quite well developed.

US Bashing: I'm not a US citizen, but this should stop. Most of us are aware of US policy and the incredible problems that the US faces in their federal system. I think that most US Slashdotters are aware of the shit they are in. The fact that the whole world blames the US for bad economic policy and ineffectual wars and an idiotic congress that has hamstrung change makes them a laughing stock. OK, we get it. Now let's move on and maybe give some support.

Atheism vs Religious beliefs: The problem here is to be one or the other, you have to accept the whole mindset/weltanshaung/worldview without exception. For example you cannot be an atheist and hope to argue successfully the mitochondrial Eve, pre-Big Bang and for that matter, the cause of it all which is consciousness. The same goes for religious beliefs. God MUST be involved in every part of life and history. Sometimes that is a pill too hard to swallow. Gnostic or agnosticism maybe an alternative as most proponents of religion do not follow the precepts of their god without exception. Personally, I just don't care. Richard Dawkins argues that rational thought can be a basis of ethics of morality without the need for fundamentalism. I tend to agree with that. Religion has too much baggage.

Freedom of Speech: Wikileaks, filtering, bloghate, tweets, FB and whatever is supremely important. Freedom of Speech is a right that should have personal responsibility attached to it unless you want to be an anonymus coward.

Re:Suxnet Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553806)

Mod parent p :)

travesty (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553178)

I'm not sure how one can write a Slashdot "Year in Review" without mentioning my name, but as these things go, this one's not that bad.

Nerds vs the World? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553208)

Nerd News vs World News?

Well, Linux kernel 3.0 being ranked among the main news headlines like Osamas' death must be on of the main 2011 comparisons. Which is the more important in the long run? I am happy that Osama's ideas have very few mainstream followers.

Re:Nerds vs the World? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554278)

And yet missing other tech news.

Like PSN being hacked and down for 6 weeks. Or the various breakins since that.

No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (5, Insightful)

Charmonium (2441996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553258)

I thought CmdrTaco retiring from Slashdot is worthy of mention.

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (5, Insightful)

thermopile (571680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553394)

This.

Seriously, as far as slashdot goes, CmdrTaco's last missive and farewell [slashdot.org] really has to stand as a notable event in 2011, at the very least for Slashdot.

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (3, Funny)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553616)

Plus, the mysterious disappearance of the Bill Gates as a Borg icon for Microsoft stories,,, (It just about managed to survive to the latest "not as good as the HTML 3 version"[1] relaunch with a crappy illustrated version [fsdn.com] , but that seems to have disappeared in place of a generic Microsoft logo on new stories...

Slashdot just isn't right anymore...

[1] If anyone does know how to use this newfangled Javascript based comment system, just don't bother telling me how to use it, like all sensible people I turned it off when it was first introduced years ago, and have no intention of learning how it works./p

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (1)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553788)

+1 to that

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (1)

weweedmaniii (1869418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553940)

Ditto

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554014)

Sooner after his departure Ghostery [ghostery.com] went from reporting zero to 4, and as of today 5, web-bugs on most slashdot pages.

Could just be a coincidence, and awfully big coincidence though.

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (0)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553736)

+1

Re:No mention of CmdrTaco retiring? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553996)

+1

Tsunami & meltdowns (4, Interesting)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553480)

The tsunami & meltdowns were a story that went from incredibly, indescribably bad to worse and worse and, impossibly... worse.

Left me with a sick feeling that wouldn't go away.

One of the worst parts (as someone not directly affected, and bringing a technical angle into it) was reading in El Reg stories by their resident pro-nuke shill about how "radiation cannot escape even the fence surrounding Fukushima's property". Written *before* the first explosion.

And a full page of "yeah! Greenies want us to all live in caves and freeze in the dark" comments getting way more thumbs up than down. I'm pro-nuke myself, but this ignored the reality of the problem as much as the worst "greenies" do in the opposite direction.

This was followed by more nuke-shill posts doubling down on the stupid after the explosions, *never* acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, including the bravery of the guys on the ground working to fix the problems.

So, on top of the incredible sense of loss I felt as a member of the human race, I also felt loss at the stupidity of highly educated, technically aware people whom I figured should've known better.

To top all that off, my best friend I've ever had took sick, was hit by a vehicle, then, a week later (two weeks post-tsunami) died. I should add, this best friend ever was my dog. I didn't know how true the old cliche is; A Dog is a Man's Best Friend.

The losses seemed to keep piling up and I was depressed for a long time.

Yeah, fuck you 2011, buh-bye.

Re:Tsunami & meltdowns (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553574)

The Japan earthquake * tsunami * Fukushima hit me the most. Not only in /. but also because I was in Tokyo living the events in real time.

Re:Tsunami & meltdowns (1, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#38554384)

Well, let's not sugarcoat the situation. The "greenies" were openly celebrating Fukushima while totally ignoring the SIXTEEN THOUSAND HUMANS DEAD in the tsunami. Seriously, they were celebrating because the crisis would help them to shut down nuclear power plants forever. Germany did, eh? Just look at any of the Slashdot threads and you'll find their comments, moderated up to +5 insightful.

you insen5itive clod! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553628)

The year at Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553678)

Blah blah blah, we hate Microsoft, blah blah blah.

Bitter rant, Teh Lunix should have more users than Windoze, blah blah.

We love Apple, despite them being the most brutal monopoly in tech. Anything but Microsoft!

Bob Pease died in 2011 (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553684)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Pease [wikipedia.org]

just read the wiki, you'll see he was a big player, worthy of being mentioned.

I didn't know him or even *of* him until this year, myself. but I can see he qualifies as 'greatness' by my standard, at least.

what's all this new years stuff, anyhow? (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553726)

hmm, the wiki actually is light on info about mr. pease.

here's a better link: http://www.national.com/en/corporate/remembering_bob_pease.html [national.com]

tl;dr: he designed the lm331 (volt to freq converter) and lm337 (negative compliment to the famous lm317 voltage regulator chip). and many other things.

Re:Bob Pease died in 2011 (2)

leftover (210560) | about 2 years ago | (#38554454)

This. I had a lucky chance to meet Bob Pease in the 1980's and to converse with him several times over the years.
Another was Jim Williams at Linear Technologies. Jim died after attending Bob's funeral.
http://www.edn.com/article/518496-Analog_guru_Jim_Williams_dies_after_stroke.php [edn.com]

They became 'famous' -- within the world of EE's -- and their only response
was pure delight that they got to talk with more people about analog design. Jim helped me with some digital analog
interplay noise issues that did not mean sales for LT, he just loved design and troubleshooting.

Good people.

People will recognize Steve Jobs vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38553740)

that 64kb is enough!

To've (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38553854)

2012 also saw the last minute coining of the contraction to've, which is unique in that it contracts the verb have in the infinitive rather than the auxiliary have found in perfect tenses (such as I've been to Moose Jaw).

Then there's the still unfinished story of SOPA; at least in some cases, speaking loudly seems to've caused businesses to change their public stances as defenders of the law as proposed; could this be called washing SOPA out with mouth?

Watson Win (1)

biff-mo (681452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554008)

Probably the most significant AI milestone in a while.

Re:Watson Win (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38554112)

Hmm, I would have thought that Google successfully having a fleet of autonomous vehicles roaming about [ieee.org] in California without the public even noticing bests Watson. Fast natural language search vs Self Driving Cars. Yeah, I'm going with the cars...

Re:Google's cars (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 2 years ago | (#38554442)

Hmm, I would have thought that Google successfully having a fleet of autonomous vehicles roaming about [ieee.org] in California without the public even noticing bests Watson.

Almost [slashdot.org] without the public noticing.

"But it was being driven manually," you say.

Yeah. Uh, huh. Right.

Positive Thing Out of Year (3, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#38554432)

Many horrible things worldwide happened in 2011, but most striking positive thing for me was Kepler mission, the stars of the galaxy are full of planets of all kinds. It won't be long before we're taking spectrographic measurements of atmospheres of worlds in "goldilocks zones"
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