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Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

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Firefox 29: Redesign

Random2 Ok so far.... (688 comments)

It hasn't yet horribly broken anything on me yet, so that's good; at least for now. Took a second to figure out how to get things back on the tool bar and where some options went (like History -> restore previous session), but nothing broken yet.

The 'feel' reminds me strongly of whatever UI design fad took over the phone market, and rounded tabs are... different I guess.

about 5 months ago
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1GB of Google Drive Storage Now Costs Only $0.02 Per Month

Random2 Re:Yeah, you can totally trust your data... (335 comments)

.... maybe that's the drive behind google fiber? Open a way for them to actually make cloud services possible by bypassing ISP throttling?

about 6 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Random2 Comments from a 'young guy' (2219 comments)

Hi! I'd like to give some feedback as part of the 'early 20's' age-group, which I have to infer is part of the 'wider audience' you're looking to target.

First, I need to share how I ended up here instead of places like reddit, Digg, etc (which were 'things' at my time). I was an intern going to work at a large corporation for the first time, not really knowing much about the tech world or the people surrounding it. Sure, I had a facebook account and occasionally visited some other sites on the web, but for the most part I didn't bother with the news sites, even though I had browsed several (and various blogs).

I eventually ended up discussing technology and other aspects with my mid-30's boss, who realized I didn't have a good source for informed and intellectual conversations about technological topics. Do you know what he recommended? That I start to read Slashdot. And so I hopped on here ~ 5 years ago, and stuck around for reasons I'll get into later.

The important part of all of this is that it was the current community that brought me in. It was my boss recommending a site, not my own searches through the internet, that brought me here. I highly doubt that I'm alone in this regard. So I want to emphasize it once more: new users are brought in by the community.

So, why did I stay? I browsed for a while, reading comments and articles (I even read most of the articles when I started out). But the articles themselves weren't all that interesting, especially because I could find them elsewhere 4 days in advance. It was the comments. Being able to see and read well thought-out and reasoned viewpoints about topics, to learn about entirely new ideas in layman's terms, to have a system which makes discussions easy to follow in addition to promoting the meaningful comments (as opposed to reddit, which over-emphasizes upvotes and turns commenting into a contest). Nowhere else does this, reddit gets lost in upvote wars/groupthink, ars technica's comment system is appalling, CNN and pop-sci are populated by people who pride themselves on ignorance, etc. Slashdot is thee only place where once can come for these types of conversations.

In short, as so many other posters have already summarized, it is the commenting interface, and community around it, that makes Slashdot. As long as that stay intact, Slashdot will be ok.

So, with that background, a comparison of the current and beta sites:

Before I get into the main problem, I have to wonder what happened to noh8rz10's comment in the beta? It's very clearly formatted in classic, yet somehow that formatting got blown away in beta. You might want to look into that.

The major issue is the substantial increase in white-space. For example, in the classic picture above, one can plainly see 5 different comments (complete with sigs!), while the beta barely shows 4 (and no sigs). What this does is 'space out' the conversations and make them harder to follow, because one now has to spend even more time searching for them (scrolling up, down, etc).

The bigger whitespace problem, however, is the horizontal space. Conversations on Slashdot go well into 10's and 20's of replies, meaning that if there isn't enough space they'll become incredibly cramped and hard to read. As an example of a thread that's only 5-6 replies deep:
beta
current
The beta can literally only fit 2 posts! The current designs gets 5! Cutting out all that space on the right cramps the posts into an almost illegible format, with the benefit of showing absolutely nothing to the side! This isn't even deep into the replies!

This is THE problem because it stands to kill conversation by making the comment threads unreadable. The comments section becomes unwieldy long and cramped, discouraging people from reading or commenting at all. And when that happens, there aren't comments around to attract new users like myself, people go away, and revenue tanks.

To be perfectly honest, the other ascetic changes don't really matter all that much to someone my age. It looks a hell of a lot like you're trying to copy generic web 3.0 design garbage, but they don't impact the function much.

So, in summary, the main problem is the way comments are rendered in the new design. If you find a way to condense the vertical space and expand the horizontal, you can probably get through this ok, but if the comment format doesn't get updated then you'll be seeing community problems, which will leads to decreased visitors and eventually the death of the site.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Random2 Tradeoff in time. (2219 comments)

Hi!

I'd personally give it until after BETA is sorted out. If Dice somehow miraculously sorts out the commenting problem, Slashdot stands a chance as sticking around.
If they don't, then you'll definitely see an exodus.

There is, of course, the possibility that the users would migrate around to other sites that pop up in the interim (such as altslash) which would be the risk/trade off you'd make by waiting. It's difficult to assess how long you'd be able to wait before needing to actually get the site running, but I'd hazard the 'right after we hear a response from Dice about this topic' as the breaking point.

At any rate, I know I'd love to see a site like that around.

about 7 months ago
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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

Random2 Post in every story (234 comments)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet.

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this in a new tab. After seeing that, click here to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415
Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441
Alternative Slashdot: altslashdot.org

about 7 months ago
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New Type of Star Can Emerge From Inside Black Holes, Say Cosmologists

Random2 Re:Beta Sucks! (193 comments)

You need to add "br" tags (replacing " with >'s) for the newlines.

about 7 months ago
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Building an Open Source Nest

Random2 Re:It's easy (195 comments)

Soldering the bits together? Isn't that what Monster Cables do to get them there faster?

That seems to be worth a lot of money....

about 8 months ago
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Polar Vortex Sends Life-Threatening Freeze To US

Random2 But how will we know? (684 comments)

But how will our metric friends know what the temperature is if we report -40F? How will they ever tell?!

Someone, please, think of the pedants!

about 8 months ago
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Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

Random2 Maintenance and upkeep? (237 comments)

This sounds like it could be incredibly expensive to fix/replace. What happens if one of the frequency generators goes out? Will current repair shops be able to service the vehicles? How precise does the alignment have to be? What about microfractures?

Not having to deal with water and snow would be nice, but only if it doesn't interfere with/cause more maintenance....

about 9 months ago
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How Perl and R Reveal the United States' Isolation In the TPP Negotiations

Random2 Re:Where are the other countries (152 comments)

It's because they didn't want to apparently

"The negotiations to set up the TPSEP initially included three countries (Chile, New Zealand and Singapore), and Brunei subsequently joined the agreement. The original TPSEP agreement contains an accession clause and affirms the members' "commitment to encourage the accession to this Agreement by other economies".

In January 2008 the United States agreed to enter into talks"

Basically most of the current countries joined after-the-fact, it was originally only Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore.

about 10 months ago
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In an arcade with only the following games ...

Random2 Re:Run Coward! (283 comments)

I HUNGER

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Online Identity Important When Searching For Technical Jobs?

Random2 It doesn't matter at all. (358 comments)

As a new engineer, my lack of online presence didn't matter to the company that just hired me. I've always made a point of trying to obfuscate whatever I do, and that hasn't seemed to bother anyone I've ever applied to. I have yet to even get any requests for 'social media sites I use' or anything of that nature.

If anything they'd check a 'professional networking site' like Linked-In, but that'd be about it.

So, no it doesn't matter, and stay away from companies where it does. The last thing we need is for society to accept that snooping is 'good' or 'expected'.

about a year ago
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House Bill Would Mandate Smart Gun Tech By U.S. Manufacturers

Random2 Re:When people who've never seen it write the rule (750 comments)

You see, the funny thing is, some of them try to get experts to inform them of decisions.

But, how does one find experts, especially with sound opinions? The law makers, who know nothing about the fields they are responsible for, turn to their aides and other informants to find out who they should ask.

And there's a whole industry, sitting right there, willing and ready to supply these people with the 'information' they need to make 'sound' decisions.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Noise In a Dorm?

Random2 Comming from someone with ADHD... (561 comments)

Listen to a set of music until it's nearly worn-out, and use that as your noise-cancellation. For example, I have a set of ~700 songs that I've listened to almost daily for the last 5 years and I now know most of them down to the chord progressions. They've become so familiar that, while I still enjoy them, there's nothing 'new' there to distract me from work. This counts double for strictly instrumental songs, they provide even less distraction by lacking words to interpret and grab attention.

I imagine there'll be recommendations for things like noise cancelling headphones and such but I find they tend to make it worse; largely because they leave my mind too idle and I start looking around and get distracted again. Having the 'white noise music' keeps the wandering parts of my mind occupied so the rest of it can focus on the task at hand.

about a year and a half ago
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Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Random2 Re:It's not just about chemistry. (866 comments)

A knowledge or understanding of science does not exclude irrationality. Many of my college 'science' and 'math' professors held irrational beliefs and idioms, such as healing powers of caffeine, but still taught and understood their subjects. People can, and are, irrational; forcing them to take a specific class does not guarantee that they will be less irrational, nor does it guarantee that this is the best way for this person to be less irrational.

Indeed, a breadth of knowledge can be good for an individual. However, having all students learn the same knowledge is the opposite of that, and creates blind spots for the entire society. What if no one knew what a' perpetual motion' machine was? What about financial management? Those people could still be exploited once the concepts are created. Additionally, it is not possible for everyone to know everything. Thus, to maximize the amount of things known to people as a whole it is good to vary what students are taught, which is the exact opposite of what a standardized curriculum does. That is what he is calling for, and used specific examples to illustrate his point.

about 2 years ago
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Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Random2 And your point is an exaggeration. (866 comments)

He's not saying that children should be kept from learning science. Nor is he saying that chemistry is the only way to learn the critical thinking and analytical skills used in science. What he's saying is that there are a variety of ways to learn those skills, and no single way will teach them. For example, mathematics teaches basic principles of formal logic and thinking. So does programming, philosophy, and debate. A student may learn the underlying fundamental logic better in once type of class than the other. However, if all students are channeled through the same class, it prevents those who would benefit from the alternate courses from taking them.

So, rather than trying to focus on a 'cookie cutter' approach to teach these skills to students, high schools should be open to the possibility of other teaching approaches. Maybe the student can learn about the logical approach of statistics from a statistics course. Maybe they understand it when applied to biology. It's impossible to say, and going for only one method isn't the correct solution.

about 2 years ago
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Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Random2 But still not the point (866 comments)

The ability for a kid to 'choose their own path' or seek a trade school is a marginal topic and isn't what the article is discussing. But, in relation to 'college preparation' what exactly does that mean? A 'college' is very loosely defined, and there are a variety of ways to 'prepare' for one. A large state school might favor one type of application, Harvard certainly favors another, a technical college looks for other qualities, while a liberal arts school goes a completely different direction. Since there are so many different types of institutions and things one needs to learn, how does a standard and generic education over all of them? How can it even cover most? For example, that chemistry or automotive class might foreclose the option of a pursuit in the arts or entertainment. That situation will occur no matter how the curriculum is designed. However, limiting the variations of those foreclosures won't produce a group with a variety of interests and skills, it will produce a very narrowly focused group with all the same skills. That should not be the focus of high school. High school should focus on providing the skills students need to decide what they want to do, but that is such a vague and general concept that it has endless variations on how to fulfill it.

Is it better to have achieved a depth of knowledge and later realize that it wasn't needed instead of never knowing in the first place? Probably. Is there more than one way to attain that knowledge? Certainly. He's saying we should allow for other ways to obtain that depth of knowledge in public schools, and conversely that limiting the educational choices impedes success in other useful and enlightening areas.

about 2 years ago
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Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Random2 Indeed, that's the point. (866 comments)

You've basically said his point, but drew a different conclusion

What he's trying to say is that chemistry isn't the only way for a kid to learn those skills. For example, programming is good for learning logic, but so is a philosophy or a debate class. But, if a kid is stuck in a 'standardized' program that only allows him to take programming, then he may never know that he actually likes debate or philosophy. Perhaps the other classes would convey information in a way that he can better understand, or perhaps they could even lead to more. But, without the option to try them out, he'll never know.

Chemistry, the specific example used for a general case, isn't the only class which will teach critical thinking or problem solving and it is pure folly to believe so. It is also not the only course which examines the fundamentals of how the world works, and focusing solely on it will disallow study in other fundamental or interesting areas. But, that's how the curriculum is currently designed, and is continuing to advance in that direction. David is saying that's not the proper way to handle education.

about 2 years ago
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Parent Questions Mandatory High School Chemistry

Random2 Re:Translation (866 comments)

Knee-jerk reaction detected! Didn't RTFA to boot! No wonder slashdot's moderators love you!

That's not what he's saying at all, but the poorly worded ./ summary and article set up so people, like yourself, can flame him easily without actually understanding what he's saying. He's not talking about his kid sucking at chemistry, nor is he blaming anyone for it, or even saying his kid should be good at it. What he's saying is that a distinct lack of variation in public education will only harm students in the long run. Perhaps high-school is a long time ago for you, but looking at the current American curriculum shows a very distinct lack of variability. For a personal example, the only time I actually got to choose a class I wanted to take in high-school was around senior year, every other class was part of some 2, 3, or 4, year plan that every student had to go through in order to graduate. 3 years of science, 4 years of English classes, 3 of a foreign language, 3 for history/civic involvement, etc. There was barely any time to do what I wanted to do.

This is not to say that students shouldn't be exposed to a variety of courses. That diversity allows for a students to explore a range of topics and find one they're interested in. But, once they've found that subject, they should be allowed to pursue it. If a kid wants to be an auto mechanic for the rest of his life, then let hem learn about that. If they're into business, then let them take the courses about business. Locking them into a 'standardized program' doesn't magically make them a successful adult or magically teach them the skills they need to know in order to be a member of society.

Basically,a 'cookie-cutter' approach is not the proper way to teach, but that's how the system is currently designed.

about 2 years ago
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New NASA Robot Could Help Paraplegics Walk

Random2 Re:Great Example (30 comments)

Research groups yes, manned space flight not necessarily.

What made (and makes) NASA important isn't that it has to do with space. Sure, space is cool and there's a lot to learn, but space itself isn't what's driving everything here. Rather it's Research into fundamental sciences and new frontiers. Back in the 50/60s, space was relatively unknown. We weren't all that sure what would really happen if we sent someone or something up into space for any length of time. We had some models and idea, but it wasn't tested and proven. NASA was our front for testing and trying those models, and the way for a completely unknown front of science and engineering to be tackled.

So, while NASA was certainly an important organization and still has many important topics of research that can better humanity, also remember to keep a focus on the big picture. Keep an eye out for the 'next NASA', the next region of unexplored science that's so far out there we don't even know what to think of it. It might come form NASA, maybe DARPA, or maybe somewhere else entirely. However, that's what we need to look for.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Cuddly Pillow Helps You Snore Less

Random2 Random2 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Random2 (1412773) writes "Last week, Wasaeda University unveiled a new type of pillow at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo. Unlike conventional pillows, the cuddly bear is designed to gently stroke the face of a sleeping person as they snore, encouraging them to roll on their side; where they are less likely to snore.
Primarily intended to roommates and spouses who want to enjoy a night without sleep, the bear hasn't quite made it to market yet.

Is another invasion of cuteness from Japan imminent, or would the device suffer too much abuse from thrashing sleepers?"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Wow

Random2 Random2 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Hey, we have a journal thing. I wonder how long it took before most users noticed they had them...

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