top Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
That's what Slashdot has, and why it has persisted throughout the years. I've always loved that I can come to Slashdot to learn what truly educated and intelligent people have to say on the matters of the day. A story on Lockheed Martin? One of the team members will probably post the scoop on what's really happening. That is useful knowledge. It is valuable to me. Part of why it developed was the infrastructure of the site and how it allowed the best discussion to float to the top. Part of it was an absence of anything really like it back in the day. Part of it was happenstance.
But now that all of us long-time Slashdot readers know what the shape of the best form of Slashdot felt like, I believe it's possible to re-create that elsewhere, especially if the PHBs at Dice absolutely insist on killing this precious object. Furthermore, there are many of us who have great ideas on how to recast Slashdot with new features that would enhance the community, not detract from it.
Call out a channel for all of us to discuss what that is, and we'll hop on and iron out the requirements. An open source community redesigning itself would be an excellent reaffirmation of the principle of open source.
top Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance
I took a look at Slashdot Beta. I don't get it. It doesn't add anything, but instead takes away from what Slashdot is. I don't care about Slashdot BI or Cloud or whatever. Slashdot's entire value proposition is and always has been its community. If a pointless redesign alienates and destroys that community, Slashdot will quickly vanish from the Earth. All the hokey moves the MBAs at the acquiring companies have pulled the last 5 years have really dented my love for the site. When Malda left it felt like losing a brother. The site is a shadow of what it once was, but I still come back for the community. I don't know where the community will go if Dice pushes through this catastrophe, but I'm sure it wouldn't take long before a successor would step into the void.
top Ask Slashdot: What Online News Is Worth Paying For?
I used to pay for Stratfor online. I found they have generally the most insightful information on international affairs. For example, their coverage of the Russian natural gas pipeline embargo on the Ukraine a decade ago and the repercussions it had for energy policy downstream in Germany and Central Europe was extremely important for understanding the sea change it caused. Germany's Energiewende is a direct result of that event. No other news source in the world then or since really understood the immense ramifications.
top Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
But we will patronize you, because you in that region are so incredibly hostile and intolerant of others. You strut and preen especially when the subject turns to your masculinity. Yet when the slightest amount of precipitation strikes you handle it with less ability than our younger sisters. You are silly girls. You cannot manage when even the slightest weather wrinkle disrupts your soft existence.
top Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
If the increasing incidence of odd climatic events in the South has moved any minds about climate change? Are any of the televangelists now crowing about how much God hates the South that he's visiting such calamity upon them? Because I sure recall that happening when Katrina hit New Orleans and Sandy hit NYC. And I'm also wondering how many microseconds it will take before the South, which cries and moans endlessly about federal spending, applies for federal disaster relief funds. Man up, ye Southerners. Like the other man said, buy some good tires and drive sensibly and quit yer bitchin'.
top Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost
And yet isn't it amazing that a state full of so many self-proclaimed manly men driving 4x4s that can get through anything should be so unmanned by a skiff of snow? Here's an idea. Buy chains. When it snows, put them on. Help pull your neighbors out. You know, actually be a man.
top Congressmen Say Clapper Lied To Congress, Ask Obama To Remove Him
He belongs in prison, along with his deputies that obeyed his orders to violate the Constitution thousands of times. Same goes for Keith Alexander. Obama, too, must be impeached for signing off on all of it. We are at a 200-year break point. Either the American citizenry reasserts its primacy in the democracy and teaches all and sundry again that the law is for everybody, we will lose it all for the next century or two. I would prefer we take those steps now when we still have means to attack the corruption rather than several generations deep into the police state when we will have nothing.
top Midwestern Fault Zones Are Still Alive
Can said Midwestern earthquake swallow Chicago, and where is the best vantage point where I can sit with my popcorn and watch?
about a month and a half ago
top Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming
The last CD I ever paid money for, that I didn't buy from the artist himself, was in the pre-Napster days. Once Napster hit the scene I never looked back. Downloaded everything I wanted and a lot of what I hadn't heard of before and thought I'd try. It's lived with me on hard drive after hard drive since. Every once in a while when it rains or the sun shines a certain way and I'm feeling nostalgic I'll listen to a random selection, but mostly I don't. A recorded track is always the same, always what I've heard before, and it loses its appeal over time. Most of the time, I don't miss music at all. The only times I really enjoy music any more are live performances, by artists I've never heard of before, performing songs I've never heard before. Maybe it's a universal symptom of getting older, but it feels like something more akin to a post-musical existence wherein the human connection, music-as-communication in real time, is what makes it meaningful.
about a month and a half ago
top Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie
Retired cop means age > 65 means Baby Boomer. How refreshing it would be if insane Boomers with guns would direct their ire at people who really deserve it, like Wall Street bankers and their pals in the 1%. Then they could at least perform a public service in their dotage, rather than just being dicks to the rest of us in the 99%.
top Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs
For additional perspective, I participated in a hackathon in NYC last spring that focused on food insecurity in Newark, NJ. The problem was that in many poorer parts of Newark there are virtually no supermarkets and no produce to be had. Most people had to get food at corner delis because they did not have cars and could not get to a larger market. Now the problem was, none of the food at the delis had price tags, and no receipts were given after purchase. So the deli owners could and did charge ridiculous prices like $4/lb for apples at the beginning of the month, when everyone got their SNAP benefits, and then extend credit with interest to customers at the end of the month when those benefits had been exhausted. So everyone was under the thumb of their local deli owner and you had to keep good relations with him or he could decide to charge you $7/lb for apples or refuse to extend you credit to get you through the end of the month. It was difficult for us techies to wrap our heads around, but the problem is real and pernicious. There are places in this country where large numbers of people suffer under food slavery, and cutting the SNAP benefits they rely on compounds the problem severely.
top The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class
Yes, it couldn't be corrupt collusion between Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, etc, etc and the 1% and their servants in Washington DC against 99% of Americans, it MUST be the Internet! By Jove, you've got it, Skippy! I mean, Joe!
Joe Nocera, may you be mocked across planet earth until your career is a smoking crater.
top Former Head of NSA Calls For Obama To Reject NSA Commission Recommendations
The record of prevented attacks, according to the official report, is zero. The surveillance programs the NSA runs have prevented no attacks. They have, however, fundamentally undermined our Constitution and the entire rule of law in the United States of America. The citizenry has been watching, stunned, while the Congress, Whitehouse, and courts in DC have been wiping their collective behind with our foundational document, and are now looking at each other, waiting to see who's gonna pick up the gun and put the mad dog down. The criminals in DC and Wall Street misread the apparent lack of reaction with acquiescence or agreement. It's not. It's the entire mass of the country, who already have their hands full with many, many deep problems, discovering this massive systemic betrayal and trying to process what the best course of action is. If DC does not act now to channel things into productive reform, they will explode to the detriment of all, but especially to the detriment of DC and their masters on Wall Street.
top Space Junk or a Meteor? Fireball Lit Up Midwestern Skies
Let it hit Chicago!
top US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal
The government is not permitted to ignore the Constitution. The government is not permitted to violate the 4th Amendment at will. Every branch of government has utterly failed to honor their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. They have all done so not out of ignorance or mistakenly, but willfully. They have set themselves on a policy of shredding the Constitution. Every single one of them must be removed from office through impeachment and legal procedure, if possible, by force if not. Every single member of the executive, judiciary, and legislative branch who has signed off on what the NSA has been doing is in gross violation of the foundational law of our country.
If we don't burn them out now, they will burn the rest of us down forever.
top Chinese Lunar Probe Lands Successfully
I don't believe we do lack any backbone, initiative, dream, drive, or balls. What we are is re-tooling for the future. The past was big, single issue drives. It was what we could afford, and what we could do. Now we have a crossover moment in the historical record when sweeping change goes from being a government- or big corporate-driven event, to a massively multi-polar, crowd-driven one. Look, it used to be you had to spend thousands of dollars to buy enough computing power to run a graphical display. Now it's so cheap it's throw-away. It used to be you had to have massive investment to manufacture things, now you can do so at commodity prices.
In that context, let's re-ask the question, what does it mean that China has landed a probe on the moon? It's great for them, as evidence they have mastered the state-driven quest for achievement. But what's really got to blow your mind is that private individuals are about to do the same, and more. If you are old, and set in your ways, that's quite threatening. Me, I find it incredibly exciting. It puts a spring in my step. It means the era of nation-state primacy is coming to an end, and that the Age of Human Potential is about to explode. I am glad for it, and grateful I get to be alive to see it.
top Doom Is Twenty Years Old
I started out playing Pong. Zork and other nascent games followed. Our grandmother taught us how to program, since she was the first one in our part of the state to own one of the early IBM PCs (the one with the 4"x4" screen). Atari, Colecovision, Sega, Nintendo, were all part of our mother's milk, digitally speaking.
Doom in college, though, was the first time I felt horror at playing a computer game. When the T-Rex demons came for me at the climax, with the creepy music, I felt something past the usual reflex adrenaline. Amazingly 20 years later we're still mostly at the adrenaline reflex and the genre has yet to fully come into its own as a medium for artistic expression, but the imminent demise of TV and its Baby Boomer audience hint at much better things to come. Doom, I think, will be cited by future gamer audiences and critics, as one of the classics that laid firm claim to creative seriousness.
top NSA Collect Gamers' Chats and Deploy Real-Life Agents Into WoW and Second Life
I love gaming. I have spent far too much time at it. The thought that somebody in our nation's government is getting paid to do it and spy on the rest of us while doing so is ludicrous. The NSA will never be able to assemble enough SIGINT to prevent anything, only follow key words retroactively to find perpetrators after it's too late. In the meantime, the temptation to exploit casual behavior for political ends is too overwhelming.
The NSA represents the most existential threat to our freedom as Americans that has ever been, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union combined & included. If we fail to put an end to the NSA, then what happens with China, Russia, and Islamic terrorism is entirely moot.
top Scientists Discover Huge Freshwater Reserves Beneath the Ocean
Yes, all our fresh water, once drunk, is lost forever to space. Some say water you pee into the toilet or behind a tree runs to the sea, evaporates into clouds, falls to the ground as rain, and flows as rivers and springs back to the great intake pipes that lead to your faucet in the great hydrological cycle, but I call that junk science. Mumbo-jumbo about conservation of mass and energy aside, once you've used something. IT. IS. GONE. FOREVER.
top Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?
I've had one for a year now and am quite happy with it. It was much more affordable than the iPad too. Its form factor beats the iPad because you can slip it into your front pocket (of your jeans). No extra carrying case required. Of course I often have to repossess the thing from my wife, who sneaks out of the house with it squirreled away in her purse.
Phoenix666 has no journal entries.