Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
With all the "fuck beta" posts leading all the other comment sections, it was interesting to hear from various folks who provided constructive feedback in this post. From the "fuck beta" posts, I thought the problem was Microsoft shilling, user data collection, invasion of privacy, and a host of other matters that would antagonize the Slashdot base.
It seems that the actual issues are more practical:
- Comment section doesn't have most of the features
It seems like both of these just require more coding time. For my two cents, the site has a little too much white space. I realize clean looks with lots of white space is the going design, but I think there's not the right balance currently and it makes the site difficult to take in. Slightly smaller font, slightly less line spacing. Everywhere. Make it tighter.
The stories all seem normal enough: black holes, at least one Apple story a day, freedom of communication, etc etc. Users are correct in saying Slashdot is not a news site, it's a debate site. The most important content on the site are the comments. I feel that's just a matter of time.
I also feel like no one is going to read my 6 page post which would only be half a page without the idea that someone is supposed to write with a red pen between above each line of my words. And after previewing, it looks like I have 10 line breaks between paragraphs...hopefully submission fixes that.
Smart Racquets Could Transform Tennis
Players are always pushing the limits of the equipment. They string their racquets loosely, fewer crosses, with string that grips the ball more. The extra spin generated is used to generate 100 MPH forehand shots, and balls that rotate at over 3000 RPMs, generating crazy kicks upwards, outwards, etc. Players could just use the new racquet designs to make points last longer and they often do -- but that extra control they get from the spin factor allows them to do things with their bodies and ball older racquets could never do. I'm not sure it's a more athletic game than of old, but it's definitely more acrobatic.
Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?
Pointing out the obvious: I update my python code to 2.7. Meanwhile, our giant contracted system that it don't manage runs only on 2.6. That is all.
Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad
Seems an easy fix would be to just have a point where the government takes over the bill. If that patient reaches a particular state (such as Adams' father) and the family and perhaps living will agrees to not continue support, it's on the government to pick up the bill.
That being said, this should not be about money. Bringing that into the conversation is depressing.
Google Patents Fooling Friends With Snooping, Chatbots
But Google can make you think I do.
How Snapchat Could March Startups Right Off the Cliff, Lemming-Style
I'd like to see the numbers on ad revenue/data selling revenue for these services. I have a hard time believing that instagram, with its miniature, completely ignorable ads, would ever truly be worth $5 billion. This is what is terrible about "value" these days -- it is turbulent. Houses are bouncing back -- our house gained $100K in one year. Do I think it's worth that much? Not at all...but a lot of people do, so there it goes for no other reason than many people think it should be worth more. Price of wood, stucco, tile hasn't gone up 50% that I know of...
I suppose it's not advertisement so much as selling the information from the userbase to other clients. Those are the dollar amounts I'd like to see -- not so much what ads are directly bringing in, but what other companies are buying access to. "Hmm...Instagram user ou812 has a linked Facebook account under David Lee Roth with lots of pictures of banjos, cows, and hair replacement techniques. We can sell his info to [insert companies here] for $X."
Movie Review: Ender's Game
Depending on your goal, most great books don't rely on their genre to tell a story. The genre is the backdrop to the characters, plot, drama, etc. Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov was a detective mystery set in a futuristic world. Arguably the same could be said of the movie Blade Runner. The Sci-fi elements lend interest and may even have direct involvement in the plot, but the story is generally about people's interactions.
Ender's Game is still a great book in my opinion because it delivers emotion, describes strategy, and is genuinely interesting at a bunch of levels. The movie needed to be an hour longer, have less adults, more battle room, and more character interaction.
Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece
So I read and loved the book. I watched the movie have a go at satire and military-industrial complex mockery. I can see how anyone who hadn't read the book would not catch it.
It's a horrible film. It's even worse for naming itself after the book. And, kind of like Ender's Game, it removed all the good parts while keeping vague track of the plot.
Microsoft Makes an Astonishing $2 Billion Per Year From Android Patent Royalties
It's almost like there was some Fox-newsish bias against Microsoft...
I'm still quivering from their business tactics, especially back in the 90s, but now that I'm older and wiser, I gather that in the business world, the ladder is made of other people. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it, it just means that Microsoft is likely middle of the pack on ethics.
Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service
WHAT THE FUCK!!!?!!!?
According to TFA, basically the company that Experian purchased had already been selling information to the notorious 24-year old cyber criminal. Once the company was purchased, Experian didn't review its own transactions closely enough and inadvertently sold our SSNs to the guy too. Monthly. The Secret Service found out, captured the 24-year old, and it's unknown if Experian, credit watchdog, will suffer for sleeping on the job.
I'm not sure who appointed Experian watchdog (though I'm certain someone on Slashdot will point out how ignorant I am for not knowing), but for a company with so much power over your own life in terms of credit, it would be nice if, with the power came some sort of responsibility -- and accountability. I suppose we'll need to off Experian's Uncle Ben to get our point across...
Cost of Healthcare.gov: $634 Million — So Far
+5 informative, eh? I think there was a fact in there: "it does at least give a few months before that mandate kicks in" but I'm not sure it was worth a +5.
Complex site gets overloaded by millions of interactions the first day. I'm surprised anyone was surprised. It's possible there were design issues but with all the policies the data transfer and storage need to conform to, it probably would have been easier to send out pamphlets with checkboxes.
Mountain View To Partially Replace Google Wi-Fi
The problem isn't even the 1%, it's the top 1% of the top 1% that skirt all tax and financial laws and become mega-ultra-super-filthy rich at the expense of everyday people. When people scream "raise taxes on the rich" (which even as a libertarian, I agree with the sentiment...it's the definition that I disagree with), they mean some schlub and his wife who manage to pull in $120k working two jobs. Those people aren't the problem, it's the people pulling in $120M that aren't paying their fair share.
Sort of. Rich people pay a lot in terms of charity, taxes, etc. Their "fair share" -- I don't see a hard percentage in the definition of fair, but someone who pulls in millions of dollars a year is likely paying out a whole lot more in donations than I ever will in my lifetime. Whatever. My problem is: how does someone wind up with that salary? A CEO is hired...by a committee, a board, whatever. And they get raises and bonuses based on the initial contract and later votes. What I'm saying is there are a lot of people on those committees who think it's just fine to pay someone millions of dollars, and give them millions of dollars in bonuses, regardless of how the company is doing or whether other people are getting raises or bonuses. Is it cronyism? Is it crazy? As part of the 99%, this is my issue more than anything else -- that the highest executives make millions of dollars a year, and increase their earnings, while others do not increase or are even laid off. Fair does have a definition -- and it isn't this.
In Praise of Micromanagement
Being a manager for a small group of varied IT folk, I think the idea is right. If you could know the requested outcome, delegate it to the experts, keep basic track of the timeline, and be done, that would be awesome. But people are not slurm. Joe and Suzy aren't getting along so Suzy refuses to commit her changes. Bob is out sick. Tom's new and while a great Java programmer is still getting up to speed on the .net framework. John is awesome, but he's just one guy. So you're kind of needed to walk people through difficult phases, keep things on track, show enthusiasm for the project, lead by example (showing up on time, doing your share of the work, being positive, etc).
Or you can just yell alot. Either way...
Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend
So...re-reading my response a week later...I think I can count myself as a "Whoosh" candidate. My bad. :-)
Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend
How is this possibly insightful? Funny, maybe. Troll, definitely (look at me crunch the femur...). Apple was dying in the 90s, then they introduced the G3 processor which actually made their computers fast. Then they pumped out a couple more Classic OSes (8 and 9) then jumped to the current Unix-based OS while still allowing people to use older apps and making the GUI basically the same as what people were used to. Then the iPods/iPhone/iPad devices came out and murdered everything else for awhile. Apple became one of the most profitable companies in the world and still is. Their iPhone isn't anything new anymore, but it's still a great device (okay...iOS 7 is a little like Windows Me).
Anyway, while Apple has never really succeeded in the enterprise market, they do just fine in the consumer PC market and excel at the device market. Blackberry is dying. Apple is doing just fine.
Researchers Develop the Most Detailed Map of Gravitational Variations Ever
Agreed. From the map they're obviously not just measuring altitude and running it through Newton's equation with R being the distance to the center of the Earth. Or maybe they are if the world isn't perfectly elliptical (as noted in the article). If the Peruvian mountains are tall but overall set in a portion of Earth closer to the center of mass, then their gravity at the peak might be stronger than other equally high mountains. Or maybe they are taking into account on site measurements as well. A satellite can't really tell how close to the Earth's center of mass it is, can it? I suppose I should just read their methodology.
And I'm still hoping for an anti-gravity cloak. Or perhaps a good explanation of gravitons or what is warping spacetime.
Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update
He's trolling, you idiot.
I totally read this in the voice of the dungeon master on the Dead Alewives' "Dungeons and Dragons: Satan's Game" spoof. This is advanced, Mark!
Huffington: Trolls Uglier Than Ever, So We're Cutting Off Anonymous Commenting
Locke and Demosthenes are disappointed. Anonymity allows others to claim your ideas as their own. Often, this is the first step to effecting your ideas.
Google Replaces AT&T At Starbucks
The year was 1996. The place, New York City, center of the known universe. I spent my time solving Quickmail issues at a growing ad agency. 80 users on three floors, all fed through a single 56K modem. It would dial up as needed if no one held the connection open, so sometimes there was a 40 second pause, and if you sat close enough to the server room, you'd hear the tell tale beeps and whirrs of the modem dialing.
Soon after we upgraded to ISDN, doubling our speeds. Then to a quarter T1. Finally we had Bank of America as a client and they bought us a T1 for the Internet, and a secure T1 from NYC to SF for business with them.
It was the pinnacle of Internet access for me and my time at the agency. We had 150 users by then, an interactive department focusing on web design. Of course, with our connection maxing out at around 1 megabit per second, they were still concerned with keeping animated gifs under 6K.
And we liked it. We loved it.
Sprint May Have Unlimited Data Plans, But Not Unlimited Customers
It's absolutely ridiculous that they are upgrading multiple markets around the country and the nations capital is still getting a pittance
I wonder how many times a day that sentence is repeated in various venues by the citizens of DC?
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