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Finnish Police Board Wants Justification For Wikipedia's Fundraising Campaign

terryk29 what about linking to comments? (252 comments)

One of the biggest complaints back in October was that the beta site was limited to a relatively narrow max width. I don't recall exactly what it was -- around 900px, perhaps. In response to feedback, we made it responsive up to a much wider limit. We've also been busily implementing features as we work toward full parity with the old site. ...

Does "full parity with the old site" mean ALL functionality w.r.t. commenting? In the current beta, an important case of apparently lost functionality is that we can't link to individual comments. Or bookmark them for later reference – my biggest complaint. I'm not the first to point this out.

Part of the value in the comments, for myself at least, is not only the immediate functionality but (to repeat myself) the ability to refer to particular "gems" later; for example a good example of a licensing issue. Or a better coding idiom. A clever adaptation of an algorithm. And any of countless "gotchas"... For me, slashdot's also been a technical reference.

Of course you got lots of feedback about layout; that's what's immediately in people's faces. But read between the outrage: peoples' complaints about losing most of the expected UNIQUE commenting functionality IS CENTRAL.

Will linking to comments be re-implemented?

about a year ago

California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

terryk29 OT repost: it's not mostly the look! (341 comments)

To the overlords: you're not being so dense as to think this is mostly about the look, are you? Read between the outrage: peoples' complaints about losing most of the expected UNIQUE commenting functionality IS CENTRAL. Do you really think this will be just like any other awkward change, people will grumble but return?

Do you think we're just a minority you can do without?

HEY YOU: some INDIVIDUAL overlord: you're wondering "hey, maybe they're right?" Afraid to go against the groupthink? Better add this to your resume: "assisted in the destruction of slashdot, a unique online community".

As one example of lost functionality: we can't link to individual comments. Or bookmark them for later reference - my biggest complaint. I'm not the first to point this out.

about a year ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

terryk29 bookmarking comments and threads? (2219 comments)

How many of us bookmark comments (for their content, or the entire threads they start)?

As everyone's saying, we're here for the comments. Myself, it's more than just "oh, good thought"; quite often in a technical discussion I'll bookmark a high-quality comment or thread if I feel there's a good chance I'll value it later on, for example when learning more about the topic for a new project.

Or maybe someone had a good example of a licensing issue. Or a nifty command line idiom. Or any of countless "gotchas"...

So for me, slashdot's also been a technical reference.

On the beta, bookmarking comments does not appear to be possible. (For any given comment, there doesn't seem to be anything that shows as a unique link like the current http: //BLAH.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=XXXXXXX&cid=YYYYYYY. And I guess all the gems I've bookmarked will be dead links.)

about a year ago

Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

terryk29 Re:No (126 comments)

No, it's 55/55. This is the pro sports -cent, remember, which is 110.

about a year ago

Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

terryk29 Re:Polite spying (159 comments)

I was going to mod that funny, but then thought we need the backstory.

about a year ago

UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

terryk29 Re:Privacy Issues (273 comments)

And I'll second that. Disclaimer: I've used OO->LO for years, and only use MSO when it's someone else's party. So FWIW (and without concrete examples right here right now), I don't find the new UI (ribbon + redesigned dialogs) all that "discoverable", and the editing quirks/bugs seem to be more inexplicable (i.e. conditions of occurrence less apparent).

about a year ago

3D Printing of Human Tissue To Spark Ethics Debate

terryk29 Re:HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (234 comments)

Why do people...

A depressing question. Another example is: why would anyone buy a brand-name off-the-shelf drug (e.g. pain reliever) when 1 foot away there's a generic for half the price? Half the time you don't even have to do any math (re. milligrams & qty) to see that (if the shelf labels don't already give the unit price).

about a year ago

A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life

terryk29 Re:Really? (185 comments)

"England says his ideas pose no threat to Darwinian evolution."


* Why would the article, or England for that matter, feel the need to explicitly state this?

[opinion] I feel like the scientific community has so rabid about avoiding anything resembling creationism that they have to reassure themselves when new ideas come up, even if the ideas are no threat to their core beliefs. [/opinion]

For more context, from the article:

England’s theory is meant to underlie, rather than replace, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, which provides a powerful description of life at the level of genes and populations. “I am certainly not saying that Darwinian ideas are wrong,” he explained. “On the contrary, I am just saying that from the perspective of the physics, you might call Darwinian evolution a special case of a more general phenomenon.”

I think what you are calling "rabid" is merely a defensive reaction to the dialogue from the camp that can't accept the reality of Darwinian theory.

There are plenty of examples of Darwinian unbelievers ;-) either misunderstanding or misrepresenting accepted or hypothesized scientific ideas in order to sway others. I recall a blurb (handed to me at the door of the house) that attempted to shoot down the scientific picture of "creation", and it quoted Stephen J. Gould directly disagreeing with the gradual evolution of species. Anyone somewhat familiar with the finer points of evolutionary theory will notice what was done there: it was probably a quote of Gould defending his qualifying theory of Punctuated Equilibrium, but taken out of context to apparently support creationism! (It also says a lot about the intended audience's level of informedness and critical thinking...)

As for the article, all we know is that in explaining his work to the reporter, he felt he had to say "I am certainly not saying that Darwinian ideas are wrong." Given the syndrome I referred to above, CYA responses like this are understandable. (BTW, I'm not implying the reporter asked something silly like "So does this contradict Darwinian theory"; more than likely she's well aware of this "syndrome" and doesn't want to further enable it.)

1 year,4 days

Linus Torvalds: Any CLA Is Fundamentally Broken

terryk29 Re:Spell it out the first time (279 comments)

In case you didn't know, there are holding companies buying up forums, news sites, aggregators, etc. ...and that company milks the forums for advertising revenue without really policing the forums for abuse anymore.

I guess that may explain those forums that now have those annoying "imposed" hyperlinks on users' posts - i.e. where some word is emphasized by the hosting system (i.e. not the poster), and if you hover on it you get some popup link. Sure, it's pretty obvioius (esp. since they at least use a different look e.g. a dashed underline) but I still find it distracting and annoying (if not insulting).

1 year,7 days

Robot Tourism Coming Soon To Korea: Robot Land Project Breaks Ground

terryk29 Re:Robot Tourist? (31 comments)

And the first thought I had was "Huh? Tourism through a robot?" (i.e. by teleprescence... Hey, that may not be all that zany a notion...)

1 year,7 days

More Details About Mars Mystery Rock

terryk29 update! (180 comments)

In light of the observation that "in the middle there's kind of a low spot that's dark red", mission scientists now believe the mysterious object is not a jelly donut but, in fact, a danish.

Work is ongoing in order to determine whether it is raspberry or strawberry.

1 year,7 days

Comet-Chasing Probe Wakes Up On Monday

terryk29 Re:orbital parameters (67 comments)

Doh! <smack/> You're right, "their" certainly works.

1 year,8 days

Comet-Chasing Probe Wakes Up On Monday

terryk29 orbital parameters (67 comments)

I dug around ESA's pages and finally found details on the orbital parameters: on Comet Rendezvous, under "Comet mapping and characterisation (August 2014)" (halfway down) it says: "...the spacecraft is inserted into orbit around the nucleus at a distance of about 25 kilometres. Their [sic] relative speed is now down to a few centimetres per second. "

That slow orbital speed (OK, slow compared to what we're used to dealing with) is due to the small mass of the comet (again, compared to things like the Earth or Moon), which Wikipedia gives as about 3e12 kg. Checking the math, the equation for circular orbital velocity v[circ] = sqrt(GM/R) ~= sqrt( (7e-11)(3e12) / 25e3 ) = 0.09 m/s = 9 cm/s, cool. (Even if the quoted 25 km is to the surface rather than the centre, using that figure for R is OK since the comet's radius is only about 2 km.)

FWIW, at the surface, escape velocity sqrt(2)*v[circ] = sqrt( 2(7e-11)(3e12) / 2e3 ) = 0.5 m/s. You could easily jump off of that comet!

1 year,9 days

Comet-Chasing Probe Wakes Up On Monday

terryk29 Re:Monday morning & the alarm clock goes (67 comments)

ESA: "Rosetta will prepare for its upcoming rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko"

Probe: Groan, mumble. "Whatever... where's my coffee?"

1 year,9 days

Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

terryk29 "eating the world" (205 comments)

So it isn't grey goo after all, just goo.

1 year,9 days

What Makes a Genius?

terryk29 Re:Who are the real producers? (190 comments)

It that synopsis based on your reading of the book? IIUC from reading the book it wasn't the owners-as-owners but owners-as-doers (i.e. industrialists who were central to their business' success) who formed the new town, and not because they didn't want to pay workers, but because they were fed up with the contempt their society and government had for their accomplishments. IIRC one of them became a small cattle rancher in the new town.

The "wondrous machine" was a magic BS energy invention that was (a) an example of a "good for all" technology developed by one of these people (Galt himself, actually) that the system probably wasn't going to allow him to market, and (b) a plot device that allowed the new town to deploy a sci-fi BS-energy shield to hide from the outside world.

(Sigh... not defending Rand's philisophy here, just my reading of the book... Oh yeah, I can poke huge holes in Galt's Gulch, not including the magic energy supply.)

1 year,9 days

Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

terryk29 Re:bullshit (385 comments)

...One could start by abolishing nationalities, allowing everyone to live and work in whatever country they wanted.

Yes, we could. (We could call it "free trade".) Actually, until we get over our nationalities, people could keep them, provided there was a way of internationally agreeing (and enforcing) that your nation can do what it wants provided people are free to leave.

1 year,24 days

New Documentary Chronicles Road Tripping Scientists Promoting Reason

terryk29 Re:If they are SO REALLY CONCERN about religion .. (674 comments)

...They wanted to see how He did it. :)

A bit of a tangent, but that reminded me of a physics teacher I had who told us something like (more jokingly than seriously) "You know why I hope there's a god? Because the afterlife could be like a physics seminar, we'd all be sitting at tables, God would be up at the chalkboard, and we could ask him questions; "Hey, that thing about information lost in a black hole - how'd you do that?" (And God picks up the chalk...)

about a year ago


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