wbr1 writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.
Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format." top
Ask Slashdot: Best open source wiki/knowledgebase software for small business
wbr1 writes "I work for a small tech company that focuses on device repair, business IT support, hosted and managed services, as well as a few other tech niches. I am looking into setting up some sort of Wiki for in house knowledge. There are a couple of considerations that I am looking at. The primary one is ease of use/editing/maintenance. Nobody here has time to spend on a large learning curve just to edit articles. It would never get used. The second, and not as important, may be partitioning/permissions. At some point we may want to add articles for specific customers, or for all customers, and have some sort of granular permissions over who can not only edit, but view various articles. This would leave us with two main groups, shop and public, with the possible addition of smaller groups later. I have been doing some research, and cannot seem to find what I want, so I ask you my Slashdot siblings to bequeath your vast knowledge upon me." top
ABC Streaming to require CATV provider subscription
wbr1 writes "Apparently ABC, an over the air broadcaster that should get its primary revenue from advertisements, is going to require streaming viewers to have a paid cable account to watch new episodes of shows. Or you can wait a week. I understand the perverted logic behind this. The cable companies are pushing so that more people stay and not cut the cord. Thanks Disney.
It seems to completely elude companies like this, that the more restrictions and caveats they put on their content, the more people will pirate it. Will they learn, or will the buggy whip makers whip us all with bought laws?" Link to Original Source top
Backup Provider BackBlaze releases study on hard drive longevity
Backblaze has currently a total population of approximately 27,000 drives. Five years ago that number was about 3000.
They measured annual failure rates. If you have 100 drives for a year and five of them fail that is a 5% annual failure rate.
In the first 18 months drives failed at the rate of 5.1 percent per year. For the next 18 months drives failed at the rate of about 1.4 percent per year. But after three years failures went up to 11.8 percent per year.
wbr1 writes "The Escapist has an article detailing the fact the the recent trademark filing for Half-Life 3 has disappeared from the (legit) site it was on. It also states that it would not be hard to hoax a filing for a company that already has filings, but it does cost about $1200 to file, so not a cheap hoax. In adition, it appears a filing for Portal 3 has now appeared.
wbr1 writes "Eurogamer has a story detailing the exposure of Valves project management database. This (for a brief and possible intention period), showed who is working on various Valve projects, including HL3, L4D3, and the Source 2 engine.
For those who demand a second source, as covered with animated ads and lackluster information as it is, there is an article at IGN." top
wbr1 writes "A new page has appeared over at steam with this slightly cryptic text, a countdown, and an image of a console controller.
"Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads.
This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room.
Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam."
It appears Gabe Newell wants to throw his hat in the console ring now with the XBone and PS4 about to be released. The countdown to the announcement is targeted at Monday." Link to Original Source top
Amazon Payment Adds "No Class Action" Language to Terms Of Service
wbr1 writes "I just received an email from Amazon Payments, the Amazon competitor to PayPal, stating among other things, that they were changing and simplifying their policies. It should be no surprise then, that similar to what PayPal and many others have already done, they have added language removing the right to class action lawsuits. See specifically section 11.3 (edited for brevity):
1.3 Disputes. Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your visit to the Site or Seller Central or to products or services sold or distributed by us or through the Site or Seller Central (including without limitation the Service) will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement.... ... You and we each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated, or representative action. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration you and we each waive any right to a jury trial. You and we also both agree that you or we may bring suit in court to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.
This is becoming more and more common, and while the end user normally doesn't make out well in a class-action suit, large settlements do provide a punishment and deterrent to corporations that abuse their power. The question becomes, what do we do to fix this so that consumers are truly protected?"
(Note: the sound quality on this translantic Skype call is poor. We suggest reading the transcript.)
This reminded me of a recent experience. I live on the east coast of the united states, and my mother lives in the UK not terribly far from London. WE chat online at least weekly, but for a special occasion, I wanted to video chat, or at least audio chat without spending $$ on either of our mobile phones, or other international calling options. We tried three different major options, Skype (free), Google talk, and Yahoo. Not one of the three could even sustain a decent audio only stream, let alone video. I wanted to do some troubleshooting, but my mom is not a geek, and I could not enlist her assistance on the other end. The question remains however, when both of us have 'broadband' connections of some sort, with more than enough bandwidth to support multiple video streams, and fast downloads of files from servers across the Atlantic, why can't what amounts to a small UDP audio stream make it through? The ISPs involved are Comcast and BT. Is it one of them? Someone in the middle depriortizing the packets? Is it Google/Yahoo/Skype. To me it seems unnecessary, so what can we do as geeks to get around, or better yet, push to have the problem solved?"
wbr1 writes "Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices.
According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.
Per the website:
"PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."
This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.
wbr1 writes "Everybody knows that there are vending machines for everything in Japan, but now the Tokyo soft-drink vending machine maker Asahi is planning to produce machines that give free, no registration required Wi-Fi, without even purchasing a soda!