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Comment Other questions (Score 1) 166

I am not a fan of the mobile site, and never have been. It has many glaring faults, and for that I would tend to vote: drop it like a sack of hammers!

But the real question to ask is an internal one: do you want to expend the engineering resources to maintain a separate mobile site? For the last few years, the answer to that was a resounding "No." Nobody (well, nobody with decision-making power) wanted to commit Slashdot's engineering time to it. The faults, obvious though they were, never got fixed unless they directly interfered with ad revenue.

Now, that's not to say the mobile site provided no value. The outcome of this poll is obvious, so I'd suggest just moving on to the next question to put in front of the community: what does the desktop site do poorly on mobile devices? Yeah, going fully responsive is a start, but it's not the end. The comment slider, for example, just doesn't work with a touch interface. The mobile site handles that much better. So, put up a post asking for input about that, prioritize, and start working your way down the list.

Oh, and if you do end up keeping the mobile site, the #1 fix should be getting rid of the "filtered due to preferences" messages.

Comment Re:Soulskill, didn't you get canned as a /. editor (Score 5, Interesting) 172

When BizX bought Slashdot, they brought only a portion of the existing Slashdot staff with them. That included one of the three editors and one of the four engineers. I'm not sure about the other departments. I'd guess they intended to fill those roles with people from their own organization, but I don't know anything about how they're going about it.

I never met or talked with any of the BizX folks, so I can't tell you much more than that. We editors were the bottom of the decision-making totem pole for the site, so I didn't know about the acquisition until it was done.

Even if I'm no longer affiliated, I still love the site and the community. I'll keep contributing until I see good reason not to.

Yes, I've found another job -- I start on Monday, actually. Really looking forward to it. :)

Submission + - AMD Wants to Standardize the External GPU (arstechnica.com)

Soulskill writes: In a recent Facebook post, AMD's Robert Hallock hinted that the company is working on a standardized solution for external GPUs. When people are looking to buy laptops, they often want light, portable machines — but smaller devices often don't have the horsepower to effectively run games. Hallock says, "External GPUs are the answer. External GPUs with standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug'n'play, OS support, etc." The article points out that the Thunderbolt 3 connector already (kinda) solves this problem, providing up to 40Gbps of bandwidth over a single connector. Still, I find external GPUs intriguing. I like the idea of having a light laptop when I'm moving around, but a capable one when I sit down at home to play a game. It'd also be nice to grab my desktop's GPU when I want to game on my laptop in the living room. Standardization may turn out to be important for GPU-makers if VR ends up taking off. The hardware requirements for those devices are fairly steep, and it'd facilitate adoption if graphics power was more easily expandable.

Comment Re:Samsung vs Nexus (Score 2) 142

I was in the market for a new phone last year. I was interested in the Galaxy S6, and it ended up high on my list. The biggest drawbacks to the S6 (for me) were: smallish battery, no USB-C, price, and questionable optimization decisions. The biggest drawbacks for the 6P were: no wireless charging, Snapdragon 810, and weight. (There are other downsides shared by both, like lack of a removable battery and the lack of an SD card slot. But that's becoming pretty standard these days.)

Battery life was a key feature for me, so I ended up choosing the Nexus 6P. I've been really happy with it. The 810 heat turned out not to be an issue. The overall battery life and speed with which it charges over USB-C makes me not mind the lack of wireless charging. I appreciate stock Android, though I think the hullabaloo over Samsung's TouchWiz is vastly overblown. It's not terrible, and hardly even noticeable if you download Nova launcher.

If the S7 had been out, it would have been a much tougher choice. Still no USB-C, but a bigger battery, and they're bringing SD card slots back. If I'm reading this right, they actually made the phone thicker than its predecessor... which is amazing. I hope more manufacturers stop the thickness race.

Ultimately, the 6P is a great phone, and the S7 looks like it'll be a great phone. You'll probably be happy with either. Although: if you haven't had a phone with a giant screen, it's worth borrowing a friend's and carrying it around for a while to see how well you like it — hard to get a good idea just from handling it in the store.

Comment Re:Comment from Slashdot (Score 1) 27

It is indeed an incredibly complex codebase. Always took an age to bring new folks up to speed. vroom is an absolute wizard, and he's the glue that's holding it together.

Speaking as a former editor, this post doesn't look suspicious to me. The Paid Posts were always entirely separate from site content and editorial while I was there. I generally had no idea what Paid Posts were even on the page, unless I happened to turn off my adblocker. The submitter is just a regular shill; you can see his original submission, and there's no reason a writer for a random tech blog would be paying for an ad for Apple.

Not sure what you saw specifically, but if it was a headline changing color, it was likely a bug. First, I doubt they would have had time to implement a system that converts posts from ads to real stories in the past couple weeks. Second, there's an existing bug where stories sometimes have a red (not brown) "mysterious future" headline after they've gone live for everybody. Maybe it was that, or something related to that.

The reason the link to Mark Wilson's userpage doesn't work is because of another long-standing bug. He registered his account through Slashdot's social authentication. On the submission I linked above, you can see it was through Google+. When somebody registers like this, the system assigns them a Slashdot username, but continues to display their registered name. Trouble is, the piece of code that creates the link to the userpage uses the wrong string -- it pastes in their display name, when it should display his username. You can see his actual user page here. (It's kind of a bear to track down for non-admins.)

If you want to help Slashdot, my best advice would be: submit, submit, submit. The inside knowledge you bring to submissions about your areas of interest and expertise are what makes Slashdot great. Trust me, nobody gets excited about posting something generic from a generalized tech blog. But sometimes that's all they've got.

Comment Re:Is he really agreeing? (Score 4, Insightful) 255

Agreed. While it's nice to see him bring it up, it's definitely a weaker stance than Apple's. Pichai also says being required to enable hacking "Could be a troubling precedent." Well, yes. It would be nice if he (and CEOs of other major tech firms) stated specific opposition to it.

Users understand that if a company is legally bound to compromise privacy to work with law enforcement, they're going to do it. Nobody at Apple is going to go to jail for obstruction of justice. But it counts for something when they say that's the only way they'll do it, and when they put up a fight in court.

Comment Re:Third option (Score 1) 403

Yeah. I feared a bit for my sanity when I pushed for this internally. I always figured it'd be best for submissions to go directly to the editors — in part to keep a flood of junk away from users, and in part because it would take a non-trivial amount of engineering time to make videos easily playable from the firehose. The current video posting process is.. more involved than you'd expect.

Comment Third option (Score 5, Insightful) 403

One thing I always argued for, but never got anywhere with, was to try soliciting videos from the community. There's already a submission system, it would just be a matter of finding an easy upload method, and defining clear acceptance criteria.

Most of the videos are of people talking to each other — they don't really take advantage of the medium. Ask the community, and see what they can come up with. I'm sure there are many cool home projects that would be interesting to see. DIY home automation, coding tutorials, 3D printing projects, etc.

If you're going to leave it in its current form, my vote would be for killing them. I hated producing the handful of interviews that I posted (the game reviews were more interesting, but also exhausting). Definitely get rid of the syndicated stuff -- despite higher production values, the content is of no use to this community.

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