Beta
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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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Snowden Docs Show UK's Digital Spies Using Viruses, Honey Traps

wjwlsn Re:BETA FAIL (92 comments)

They want to make the site attractive to non-technical artsy folk, since we've been doing it wrong this whole time.

You don't know how right you are...

http://slashdotmedia.com/under...

about 6 months ago
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CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"

wjwlsn Re:You know... (30 comments)

Oh, sorry... I was basically agreeing with you, and commenting on the inanity of "form over function" at the same time.

I will say this... the WaPo site, as much as I dislike it, and as similar as it is to Beta, is still better than Beta. Not much, but at least the information density is higher. (Still sucks compared to classic, though.)

about 6 months ago
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Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht's Next Court Date Set For November

wjwlsn Re:Beta comment from an old-timer (77 comments)

Interesting. I cruised around the site a little and found this bit about the "psychology" of social engagement. Maybe somebody at Slashdot is using this to try to understand us... so they can design Beta to be more "engaging". If so, I think they've got us figured all wrong.

http://slashdotmedia.com/under...

Here's the little comment I left there. (It's still pending... it'll be interesting to see if they actually post it.)

It's interesting that this includes Slashdot... mostly because any conclusions you might draw from it will be horribly wrong if you're trying to understand the Slashdot community. I think I see now where some of the design imperatives driving the Beta site are coming from, and unfortunately, they might end up driving away all the people that actually create the content.

about 6 months ago
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CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"

wjwlsn Re:You know... (30 comments)

Ack. Why?

I think that most Slashdotters would agree that the following is true:

(Functional + Ugly) >> (Useless + Pretty)

So why do designers so often believe the reverse argument?

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

wjwlsn Re:I don't get the big deal (2219 comments)

You're obviously not paying attention then. Plenty of people have posted *exactly* what's wrong with the comment system in beta. Maybe you haven't seen them because you're actually using beta?

Look, you have to understand something: Slashdot discussions generate interesting content by allowing tons of garbage to be posted, mixed around, and evolved. Part of the evolution comes from the interactive nature of community discussion, and part of it comes from the moderation process. For this evolution process to work properly, you have to be able to see a lot of posts at once, all in one shot. You need to be able to see some contextual information about the people posting comments. When you post your own comments, you need to be able to quote or link to other posts easily. When you want to moderate, you need to be able to do it in place, at the comment you intend to moderate.

Beta breaks all of these vital features; without them, the nature of Slashdot discussion changes completely. People will read fewer comments because the new layout hinders rapid seeking, scanning, and comprehension of potentially valuable posts... all while making it much more difficult to skim past the stuff that doesn't interest you. When people read fewer comments, they post fewer comments. When the total number of comments starts to drop, the exploration of the discussion space becomes much less thorough. Potentially valuable or interesting discussion paths will be missed. Those rare, but highly sought after gems of insight and wisdom borne from the cesspool of chaos will become much more scarce.

You want to know why people hate the beta so much? It's because it kills the evolutionary discussion dynamic that makes this community what it is. There's nothing else like it, and many of us do not want to lose it.

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

wjwlsn Re:The Real Travesty (2219 comments)

More than once have I seen a parent thread modded -2 (offtopic or trolling), with valuable and interesting child threads below it modded +5

Yes, this is exactly what I was getting at. Think of the comment/moderation system as a kind of genetic algorithm... a somewhat random, nonsensical exploration of the conversation space that eventually evolves better and/or more interesting ideas. Some of the best posts I've ever seen wouldn't have happened without the seeding and fertilization provided by trolls and off-topic commenters.

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

wjwlsn Re:The Real Travesty (2219 comments)

Just because your group of pals are complete dicks to everyone does not mean that your group of pals aren't complete dicks and shouldn't be listened to.

Wow. That's the most impenetrable sentence I've tried to read all day. Congratulations!

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

wjwlsn Re:Meh. (2219 comments)

Holy crap! You're right, that's what they're planning to do. They know that the REAL re-design (probably already finished) was going to cause a minor shit-storm, so they made a FAKE beta design that they could back away from in order to institute "Slashdot Classic"! (Somehow not as good as the original, but also not a complete crapfest like beta.)

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

wjwlsn Re:The Real Travesty (2219 comments)

I seem to have had this now misguided impression that there was a healthy professional element of the community here who would give constructive feedback but all I've seen is a mob of angry comment children. I hope you all leave when it switches over so we can build anew without you.

Hello, you must be new here. Welcome to Slashdot.

Seriously, your comment shows that you really don't understand Slashdot at all. Thread hijacking by angry comment children is part of the chaos that eventually gets filtered and distilled to yield truly interesting content. This is what makes Slashdot special.

about 6 months ago
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Why Robot Trucks Could Be Headed To Afghanistan (And Everywhere Else)

wjwlsn Re:First Post! (135 comments)

This kind of post is one of the things that makes Slashdot (in its current form) so special... and in a very "meta" fashion, does it while describing that special quality so perfectly.

Thank you, Anonymous Coward.

about 6 months ago
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A sad day

wjwlsn more like 15 years, actually (1 comments)

I remember when Andover bought Slashdot. According to wikipedia, that was in 1999. I was certainly a regular reader of Slashdot back then, although I might not have been registered. Anyway, just goes to show you how important Slashdot has been to me... the longest that I've ever stayed in one physical location has been about 10 years. To think that I've been on Slashdot for 15 years kind of boggles my mind.

about 6 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

wjwlsn Re:"Been slashdot'd" takes on a whole new meaning. (232 comments)

I was thinking something similar, but it was more like being destroyed by the very community that you were trying to court... out of an unwillingness to heed the warnings from that same community.

about 6 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

wjwlsn Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

Believe me, there's no confusion about the immensity of the community's contribution to the site.

That's a bit of an understatement. Without the community, there is no Slashdot. So why do you think the community exists in the first place?...

... because the design permits unfettered chaos while providing the means for users to wade through it quickly and efficiently, so they can easily promote the best content to the top!

Beta hinders that style of conversation. Yes, the chaos does create a lot of noise, but some of that "noise" is valuable. Some of the best posts I've ever seen on Slashdot ... whether funny, insightful, interesting, informative, touching, inspirational, or just plain nuts ... were actually completely off-topic. Beta makes it much more difficult for the chaotic mish-mash to occur, grow, and be distilled.

about 6 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

wjwlsn Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

Well, aren't you just an entitled little shit.

Do you not understand his argument, or are you really just an asshole? The value of Slashdot that keeps old-timers coming back, and brings new people in, is the content... and virtually all of that content is created and moderated by the users. Yes, the site itself is valuable as well, but only because it enables a certain style of discussion and fosters a particular kind of community, all built around that user content.

When the site no longer enables the discussion and fosters the community that is Slashdot, it ceases having any value. People will leave. The quantity, quality, and very nature of the content will change... and as that continues, more people will leave. Now you're into a potentially unstoppable death spiral, and whatever remains will be just a pale image of the greatness that once existed.

Do you expect us to keep our mouths shut? We don't want to see Slashdot die! Even if an alternative pops up somewhere, it won't have all the history that this site has. Losing all of that will be tragic.

about 7 months ago
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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

wjwlsn A sad day (234 comments)

I'm not sure how long I've been on Slashdot... at least 10 or 11 years, I guess. It's been a continuous source of enjoyment for me, even though I've never been a particularly active user. Oh, I comment every now and then, I moderate and meta-moderate occasionally, and I may have even tried submitting a story or two at some point (I honestly don't remember). There have been periods when I left Slashdot for some time, when something else really caught my interest and monopolized my attention, but I always came back. I felt like I was part of a persistent community that would last.

Now, the previously unthinkable may happen... I may leave and never come back. Beta is that bad. I hate the way it looks, the way it works, and how it will affect all the things I love about Slashdot.

This is really sad. I never thought I would feel this way about a website. I used to enjoy segfault back in the day, and I remember feeling that loss pretty keenly. The loss of slashdot will be infinitely worse. I hope it won't happen, but I fear that it will.

Please, please, please... if anyone at Dice is listening... don't kill my Slashdot.

about 7 months ago
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Internet's Energy Needs Growing Faster Than Efficiency Gains

wjwlsn Re:270 terrawatt hours (158 comments)

31 GW is still pretty damn high... that's like 31 average-sized nuclear power plants dedicated 100% to running the internet... or like 25 simultaneous lightning strikes to get a fraction of a second of porn.

I interpreted that sentence to mean 270 TWh over the 3 years it takes to double internet traffic (according to the article). That's still a little over 10 GW.

about a year ago
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Internet's Energy Needs Growing Faster Than Efficiency Gains

wjwlsn 1.21 gigawatts (158 comments)

hours in 3 years: 3*365.25*24 = 26298 h
average power over that period: 270 TWh / 26298 h = 10267 MW

So... like 8 simultaneous lightning bolts to run the internet for a fraction of a second?

about a year ago
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Laser Fusion's Brightest Hope

wjwlsn Re:Totally unworkable (115 comments)

Please provide links to this so-called "SAGE report", because all I can find are self-published opinion pieces by anti-nuclear activists such as Amory Lovins and Peter Bradford... who, despite being a former commissioner of the NRC, has a long record of being anti-nuke.

about a year ago
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Laser Fusion's Brightest Hope

wjwlsn Re:Totally unworkable (115 comments)

2/3rds of all new generation installed in the last year is renewable. Spin that any way you want.

OK, I'll bite... here's what I think is going through the head of someone developing a renewable energy project:

Holy Shit! Have you seen how much over cost these dipshits are willing to pay for renewable power? And, even better, they already assume that we can't be baseload or dispatchable, so we get paid a premium for the power we generate even when they don't need it!!!

about a year ago
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Laser Fusion's Brightest Hope

wjwlsn Re:Totally unworkable (115 comments)

I don't understand your numbers, your analysis, or what you're trying to conclude. Why didn't you just publish a link to the DOE Transparent Cost Database, which is linked from the page you cited?

http://en.openei.org/apps/TCDB/

From the Levelized Cost of Energy visualization, I see these costs for nuclear and solar PV, in $/kWh:
* nuclear .. range of 0.04 to 0.12, median 0.06
* solar PV .. range of 0.15 to 0.59, median 0.28

There, that's more understandable.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Simple improvements to simple Bayes classifiers?

wjwlsn wjwlsn writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wjwlsn (94460) writes "I have a need to classify thousands of problem reports a month, using a list of just over 100 different symptom codes. (Consistency is very important in this, which is why we don't just have people just choose a code when they enter a problem report... consistency has always taken a hit when we tried that.) Since I hate actual work, I decided to try writing a program to do a lot of this for me. I'm not a Comp. Sci. person, or even a programmer, but I can do light programming and have some basic knowledge of algorithms. So, using this excellent intuitive description of Bayesian reasoning, I wrote a fairly simple program that has been surprisingly effective. An average accuracy approaching 70% has increased my slack time at work by a factor of 3 or 4. Always on a quest to increase my slack, I'm now seeking recommendations on simple improvements to simple Bayes. I've looked at papers on boosting, augmentation using trees, weighting factors for different document sections, etc. I don't have the energy to try all these, nor am I even sure I know how to implement them effectively, so I'm looking for some help. What are some simple ways to improve the performance of simple Bayesian text classifiers? (I'm experimenting with rejection of outliers from training data-sets, but don't know if that will pan out.) What would Slashdot do?"

Journals

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A sad day

wjwlsn wjwlsn writes  |  about 7 months ago

I'm not sure how long I've been on Slashdot... at least 10 or 11 years, I guess. It's been a continuous source of enjoyment for me, even though I've never been a particularly active user. Oh, I comment every now and then, I moderate and meta-moderate occasionally, and I may have even tried submitting a story or two at some point (I honestly don't remember). There have been periods when I left Slashdot for some time, when something else really caught my interest and monopolized my attention, but I always came back. I felt like I was part of a persistent community that would last.

Now, the previously unthinkable may happen... I may leave and never come back. Beta is that bad. I hate the way it looks, the way it works, and how it will affect all the things I love about Slashdot.

This is really sad. I never thought I would feel this way about a website. I used to enjoy segfault back in the day, and I remember feeling that loss pretty keenly. The loss of slashdot will be infinitely worse. I hope it won't happen, but I fear that it will.

Please, please, please... if anyone at Dice is listening... don't kill my Slashdot.

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