I don't get it (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Google confirms purchase of Twitch for $1 billion on 2014-07-25 19:26 (#2N1)

(I always thought we were "Pipe Heads" ha ha ha but that brings up different imagery, I suppose).

Got to confess I don't get this purchase because I don't get this economy. Gaming I get, though I'm not really a gaming. But competitive game-watching seems kind of pathetic to me, and yet it's a huge, apparently billion dollar economy? Consider me mystified. 'Scuze me while I go cut the grass of my lawn using a push, bladed-reel lawnmower, apparently.

Re: I'm offended! (Score: 1)

by in Bruce Byfield: KDE5 Plasma is the best desktop on 2014-07-25 19:16 (#2MY)

Good comment! Different strokes for different folks, though. I actually prefer programs that astound you from the start with all the options. It impresses me with how much the thing can already do, and I make an effort to learn what those options are and how to use them.

I use Adobe Acrobat XI at work now (not Reader) and they just went through this philosophical shift from the last version. In the last version there were tons of tricks and functions, and that's how I learned that it was even possible to deskew slanted images, reduce the DPI resolution and/or the file size, downsample bitmaps, and the like. XI does all those things too but looking at the menu you'd be hardpressed to guess it's possible. Instead you have to enable "toolsets" and that makes different tools exposed. Point is: the old version showed you everything it could do, while the new version you have to suspect it's possible and then hunt for the place to make it happen. I prefer the former.

That said, I recognize I'm in the minority. It seems most "modern" computer users are trying as hard as possible to not have to think, and expect software to be simplified down/dumbed down to where its interface meets their lighter cognitive load (so to speak). Maybe it's a generational thing.

Mega-Dupe (Score: 1)

by in Tails Distro update fails to address serious zero-day vulnerabilities on 2014-07-22 22:34 (#2MJ)

Cripes, just saw this was posted at at least two other sites. It's a big story with important consequences - get the word out!

Re: BigDog for the win (Score: 1)

by in Japan's Robot Revolution and the Uncanny Valley on 2014-07-22 21:14 (#2MC)

So, while the Japanese are working on freakily-realistic anamatronic toys in short, leather skirts and knee high socks, these guys are building the stuff of nightmares. That's it, I'm moving to Japan while the rest of you guys get munched on by the honking, metallic freaks.

Re: This is an interesting study, but... (Score: 1)

by in Size and age of plants impact their productivity more than climate on 2014-07-22 21:12 (#2MA)

Perhaps this is/was beyond the scope of the given study.
... and if so, it's yet another maddening example of a study only barely answering some questions while opening up so many other lines of inquiry that it fails to do much good at all, unless you consider "indefinite further research studies for interested scientists" a public good.

Re: What can you do? (Score: 1)

by in Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke on 2014-07-21 13:48 (#2KP)

Make him work in the garage/outside? Kidding - in this society, there's almost no way around it. Americans smoke way less than Europeans though. There were times in Paris that everyone on every side of me - including young women way too young to smoke - were puffing away like smokestacks. I felt like I was slipping out of the zone of 'second hand smoke" and rapidly approaching "first hand smoke."

Re: Windows 7 is Good Enough (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Windows 9 leak shows return of start menu. But is it enough? on 2014-07-21 09:01 (#2KH)

Seriously. I got my start doing computer aided drafting in about 1988. And we were using absolutely primiitive PC hardware by today's standards: I didn't like computers at the time so didn't pay any attention to specs, but I know those PCs or XTs or whatever were using Hercules cards and maybe CGA graphics [?] to run graphics on one monitor and the text interface on a second. And we were designing bridges etc. Fast forward a couple of years to where I'm doing 3D renders of amorphously-shaped structures (solid waste landfills, if you must). Was using AutoCAD 12 or 13 on a 386 and 486 (big difference between those two machines, I remember well). Perfectly usable, perfectly functional: I could easily imagine using the same kit today to do serious engineering work.

Tell me why my modern laptop with 2GB of RAM isn't really adequate to run even the operating system alone? Holy crap - it's nothing more than hardware interface, file manager and desktop metaphor, memory and peripheral control, and the sending of bits to a screen. What the hell happened?

Re: alive? (Score: 1)

by in "Kerbal Space Program: First Contract" is now live on 2014-07-20 20:55 (#2KE)

Slash and burn! No sense keeping options that aren't currently adding any value. I haven't seen anyone posting any code, really. If it becomes necessary later we can find another way.

Re: Windows 7 is Good Enough (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Windows 9 leak shows return of start menu. But is it enough? on 2014-07-20 10:16 (#2K8)

I kind of agree. WinXP was also "good enough" for a long time. Win7 fixed a couple remaining quirks and added some usable new tricks that are good and appreciated (I use Win-Shift-Right and Win-Shift-Left to move windows around multiple monitors every day at work). Win8 seems to bring nothing useful to the user experience, and at the expense of a whole lotta hardship, pain, suffering, relearning, and misery.

WIn9 needs to be the next product in the upgrade path for corporations. That means it needs to be every bit as useful as Win7 was, but better, and none of the hardship of Win8. Not clear a simple fucking start button is going to be enough. My corporation is not planning to move to Win8 any time soon, I can tell you that.

Re: Current, small (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Friday Distro: Alpine Linux on 2014-07-19 11:19 (#2JX)

I am nostalgic for lots of old things, but floppy disks aren't one of them. Rest in peace, funky tech!

I do like the idea of a firewall OS that can run in memory and be rebooted to a clean state if ever there's a compromise. Amazing how much effort and time go into figuring out how to dickish things to other peoples' systems. Firewall - set phasers on "deep fry gonads!"

Re: Wait and see (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in KDE 5 has been released on 2014-07-19 11:12 (#2JV)

I totally agree with your assessment of this new raging trend in flat icons. I fucking hate it. I hate it on IOS, I hate it on Microsoft Office 2013. I'm probably about to hate it on Android, if history serves. Even my wife hates the new IOS7 relative to the previous look. Why change just for change's sake? Oh yeah: fashion. Get offa my lawn!

Way to go, KDE (Score: 1)

by in KDE 5 has been released on 2014-07-19 11:11 (#2JT)

I'm not totally smitten with KDE, but when I want a "full" desktop, I always choose it over Gnome. I liked Gnome 1 quite a bit; Gnome 2 less, Gnome 3 and Unity not at all. Meanwhile, KDE gives me what I want on Linux, which is lots and lots of tweakability. People say it's too complicated but I like it. That said, I'm hugely nostalgic for KDE3. It does "look" visually a bit old these days, but it was a damned usable desktop. KDE4 is slicker and better looking in so many aspects, but the Plasma Desktop with its widgets really doesn't wow me.

I give this project credit though, for running a properly-managed project. With the exception of the KDE4.0 debacle, they've generally kept the project moving forward with sensible design choices. I know why they abandoned KDE3 and redid the desktop in a way that each built component can be repurposed. It was a lot of work but I think from a design/architecture perspective they are much better placed now to grow and innovate in the future, so good on 'em. If KDE5 is truly faster, better optimized, and less memory intensive, that's also a huge win.

That said, maybe I'm getting curmudgeonly, but I truly find all I really need in a Linux desktop is a file manager, task tray for a few apps that require it, and a launcher. Windowmaker still offers me all of that, plus full keystroke configurability for things I do often like minimizing or shading windows pulling up the launcher, and so on. I have trouble seeing what else the enormous Desktops really provide at this point. Lastly, I find for some reason, whenever I leave a bittorrent client running for a long time on KDE4 things start to come unglued and eventually the GUI crashes. I am pretty careful to make sure whenever I am torrenting I'm doing so from Openbox or Windowmaker or something like that. Not sure what the deal is, but it's proof they've got some work to do.

Meanwhile, congrats KDE team. I will absolutely look forward to installing this.

Re: alive? (Score: 1)

by in "Kerbal Space Program: First Contract" is now live on 2014-07-19 11:03 (#2JS)

Actually, that would be truly awesome. I've never played the game but it looks an awful lot more fun than first-person shooters, which bore me. These Kerbels are pretty close to Minions, no?

Re: A bit of a mixup (Score: 2, Funny)

by in Xbox Entertainment Studios cut in Nadella's Re-org on 2014-07-19 11:03 (#2JR)

Righto. Nadella's name error is 100% editor-fail. You are entitled to a full refund! All your bytes back!

Re: The numbers are in (Score: 1)

by in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-18 11:44 (#2J7)

I wonder if any Nokia employees were originally excited to think they would be working for Microsoft, only to have their dreams crushed to find out Microsoft was quickly going to throw them off the boat.

My impression is that most Nokiaites were pretty depressed about the buy-out and nostalgic about the good old days when Nokia was a leader and a source of Finnish pride.

Every single outsourced employee should send a hateful letter to Microsoft senior management in ODF format. Just to be a jerk.

I'm reluctant to publish this (Score: 1)

by in Is the Guardian spreading FUD? on 2014-07-18 11:41 (#2J6)

Hey - editor here. No offense, but I'm reluctant to publish this one.

a) it's already a big deal at Slashdot. don't want to be sloppy seconds/late to the party.
b) it's kind of all conspiracy and conjecture anyway.

Does anyone feel strongly about this one?

Re: Out of the flames arises ... something (Score: 1)

by in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-17 23:09 (#2J0)

Yeah, if ever someone earned the name "MonkeyBoy" it was Ballmer, doing that awful, painful-to-watch, sweaty jump-a-thon. Makes me cringe just to think about it.

Re: Nissan Leaf (Score: 1)

by in Tesla Model 3 on 2014-07-17 22:56 (#2HZ)

Guess it makes a good around-town or city car, but a lousy car for expeditions of any sort. Right tool for the right job then. It occurs to me: it's the Chromebook of cars. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way.

Re: Out of the flames arises ... something (Score: 1)

by in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-17 14:05 (#2HQ)

It's his own nickname. I think it was his login at Microsoft or something. I didn't make it up. :)

Out of the flames arises ... something (Score: 1)

by in Axe about to drop at Microsoft on 2014-07-17 12:13 (#2HK)

Got to appreciate the process of creative destruction, and you will if you ever work for an organization that's gotten choked with deadwood: useless middle managers, antiquated processes set in stone, ridiculous petty assistants ruling their little fiefdom like would-be dictators. The only way to fix it is to bring in a guy with a hatchet (or hey, a woman with a hatchet). That goes for Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, the government, you name it.

Managers are like cancer. Got to occasionally cut them out before they metastasize and run amok all over your business. I think Microsoft had this coming a long time ago, but Monkeyboy Ballmer and BillG had way too much influence over every process that would've let to change. I say, let this guy swing his axe, and chop Microsoft up into something that makes good products again. It's been too long. I know it's hip to hate on Microsoft, and I am a Linux/BSD guy, but back in the day, they made some pretty good stuff. Just not anymore. Microsoft Outlook 97 was pretty damned good. Microsoft Outlook 2013 is a steaming pile of horse manure and I wish it would rot in bit hell. Just an example.

Re: My opinion (Score: 1)

by in Is Wikipedia just as good when the articles are written by a script? on 2014-07-17 11:57 (#2HJ)

I'm kind of with Quadrox on this one. If all this guy is doing is taking other primary sources and banging them into Wikipedia's database, wouldn't it be more useful to get those primary sources in shape where they are available, etc.? And if they're already available, maybe more effort should go into linking to them and letting people know they exist, then screen scraping data just for the purpose of getting into Wikipedia.

I haven't seen any of these articles but if they're just stubs they are likely not that useful. I know whenever I hit a stub article I avoid it entirely, thinking incomplete means probably never reviewed and therefore untrustable.

Maybe somebody should tell this geezer to take up another hobby, like building model trains or something.

Re: it is difficult to get into the mindset (Score: 1)

by in UN Human Rights Office: "government surveillance on rise worldwide" on 2014-07-17 11:53 (#2HH)

I think currently the power is swinging strongly in the direction of governments and away from citizens and consumers (not the same thing, mind you: a pet peeve). And given that power, governments naturally err on the side of wanting more power, even before they have an actual need for that power. It's like saving it up, in case it's ever useful. (like bandwidth or CPU time) :)

Use the map, Luke! (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Tesla Model 3 on 2014-07-17 11:51 (#2HF)

The most interesting thing about this article is the map showing how currently Tesla owners have to very carefully and strategically map their route 100 miles at a time from charging station to charging station. That is proof positive we've got some more work to do. I have no problem with an electric or hybrid car, but the economics are still not quite there. (Funny anecdote, I've got a friend with a degree in electrical engineering who works on submarines and drives one. He says, 'I'm probably the only guy on earth who knows more about how to repair one of these things than how to repair a car with a gasoline engine!)

I do however look forward to the day we can generate power otherwise and stop our dependence on Middle East oil. Then we can let that whole region just slide back into the obscurity from where it came.

Go Aereo! (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Aereo is still in the fight on 2014-07-17 11:19 (#2HE)

Amazing how hard the existing cable monopolies will fight to ensure nothing innovative or vaguely consumer friendly hits the market. I cut the cable ages ago and don't regret it for a second. For one, I watch what I want when I want it. Secondly, no advertising. Thirdly, no stupid "package deals" where phone and internet and cable are wrapped up into one bundle whose price slowly ratchets upward while the quality slides.

Big cable companies ought to be nuked into high orbit. They're the worst of the worst, in America at least.

Advertising still sucks (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Mobile Display Ads Effective For Some Products But Not All on 2014-07-17 11:17 (#2HD)

What amazes me is that despite the collossal sums of money and energy that go into advertising and marketing, they still get it wrong (for me, at least) like 90% of the time.

Most ads that follow me around the internet these days are for things I've already bought. I picked up a surf watch a couple of weeks ago. Now everywhere I go the sidebar advertisement is for a (different) surfwatch. Fuck off, pal, I already bought one. Secondly, I went to to look up how to say "surgical stapler" in French (my dog has liver cancer and the vets speak French here). Suddenly, everywhere I go, Google is helpfully showing me adverts for staplers, the kind you'd see in an office.

That's two fails. I'm glad to see they're looking into mobile ads. I hope they discover eventually that adverts on phones are a huge waste of time. If the conclusion is otherwise, your phone is about to become a nuisance in ways previously unimaginable, like that crap where you walk by a coffee shop and your device buzzes you with a coupon for that store. Again, fuck off, pal!

WordPerfect (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Still here and still important: FreeDOS and its loyal supporters on 2014-07-16 16:17 (#2H8)

I keep meaning to get it running in a VM so I can install an old version of WordPerfect, and enjoy nostalgia for the good old days. I don't think I would want to be glued to a copy of WP anymore (particularly not the new version), but I hate the Microsoft Ribbon interface so passionately I think looking at an old DOS application might actually do me good.

I still remember back in University in '93 though when the computer lab had something like 40 PCs and 15 Macs, and everyone lined up for the Macs to do their papers on. Writing was on the wall for that interface for word processing. Thinking back, the machines must have been like IBM XTs or 286es, and the Macs I remember were Fat Macs or Mac SEs. Good times. I actually wrote papers back then instead of farting around on the Internet.

Re: Traverso (Score: 1)

by in New roundup of Linux audio-editing tools on 2014-07-16 14:26 (#2H7)

I've used it to convert old cassettes to Ogg Vorbis. You play the cassette into the microphone jack, and then chop up the tracks using Audacity. Easy peasy.

Re: MuseScore (Score: 1)

by in New roundup of Linux audio-editing tools on 2014-07-16 14:25 (#2H6)

I'm going to have to look at that one. I looked at musicTeX a bit, and then moved to Lilypond, which I loved in theory but which I found horrendously frustrating - seemed you needed to write custom code (I forget, was it SLANG or something?) pretty soon in the process. It may have improved since then.

I know David Kastrup is working on the Lilypond project - brilliant programmer behind the previewTeX system for emacs and also highly involved in aucTeX. If you've ever used LaTeX on emacs, he's your man.

Re: Nice poll - fun topic! (Score: 0)

by in Moderation schemes I like on 2014-07-15 21:50 (#2GY)

This is really well thought-out; thanks for being so thorough. In fact I'm still chewing on it. The fact that this system doesn't exist anywhere on the 'Net that I'm aware of makes it intriguing - it's a departure in a totally new direction. Cool.

Re: Steal (Score: 1)

by in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-15 10:11 (#2GT)

Better badly formatted than non-existent. Submit away, and we'll figure out which ones to fix and which ones to ditch.

Re: Woo hoo! (Score: 1)

by in New Raspberry Pi B+ announced on 2014-07-14 15:22 (#2GN)

While holding the price point! I might have to just go buy a second one.

Woo hoo! (Score: 1)

by in New Raspberry Pi B+ announced on 2014-07-14 14:30 (#2GK)

This is the right kind of progress. I just bought a RaspbPi to play with, and was immediately kind of put off by the sketchy SD card slot and having to swap out keyboard for USB keys because of the lack of USB ports. Furthermore because the USBs are unpowered you simply can't put an external hard drive on them, which kind of limits anyone hoping to make a NAS controller out of them or something.

Re: Would Slashdot, SoylentNews or Pipedot (Score: 3, Informative)

by in What happens when digital communities are abandoned? on 2014-07-14 14:28 (#2GJ)

You should also see this article then: "Life after Users: the Detroits of the Internet." It singles out Usenet for abuse, which gets my goat, as I am a Usenet fan to this day. But it's a pretty good article.

Sure, someday places like Fark and Reddit are going to be MySpaced. Kuro5hin goes on that list. Various versions of Technocrat too.

Lots of room for improvement in this poll (Score: 1)

by in Moderation schemes I like on 2014-07-14 10:48 (#2GC)

The more I look at this poll, the more I realize it could be improved. Oh well! It's perhaps more ripe for a true conversation/topic and the poll just gets it flowing. Looking at it again I see Google+ and Facebook (Like) are essentially the same thing. And I missed the Slashdot Karma system.

I think currently I'm interested in a simple vote up for posts I like, a vote down for posts that are offensive, trolling, flamey, or inconsiderate. And a few tags for things that are useful to filter out (in your preferences you can opt to filter out "funny" for example). Then the Karma system so good posters can get rewarded. But whether to apply global karma (everyone's experience is affected by the group's opinion of a user's karma) or if karma works the way Usenet kill files do, where my opinion of posters affects only how they are presented on my screen? That's an interesting subject too.

So much room for experiment.

How about "Minus one sends a mild electric shock to the poster of the troll/flamebait post"?

Proposed mod scheme (Score: 1)

by in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-14 09:37 (#2GA)

I think Bryan's got a point though.

"Funny" is pretty obvious. So is "informative": It provides new, useful information. "Flamebait" and "Offtopic" both speak for themselves. But "Troll" and "Flamebait" are damned close, that's for sure.

"Interesting" and "Insightful" is more subtle. Both provide information the reader finds compelling. Insightful is supposed to be more profound - some post of such high quality that the reader thinks the poster has unraveled the mystery, or touched upon the heart of the conundrum. Interesting is not as profound, and might just be a curiosity. But both go beyond simply providing more information.

I don't think I've ever used "overrated" or "underrated" though. And "redundant" seems rude.

Perhaps we're zeroing in on a better mod scheme? I'd propose:

Funny: on Slashdot I liked having a 'funny' tag so I could filter it out; I didn't appreciate those posters who just go for a quick laugh and add nothing of value.
Offtopic: useful, helps keep the subject on track and also filter out spam
Good post: a combination of interesting/insightful/whatever. Basically: Plus one
Flame/Troll: combine the two. Basically: Minus one.

There is no mod for "I don't like your post" because of the risk of abuse. Bad posts just sit and rot. But you can assign negative points to posts that intend to offend or derail the conversation.

Re: Penny stocks are the wild west (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Here's proof another tech bubble is waiting to pop on 2014-07-12 21:29 (#2FP)

Unfortunately, I'm receiving email about this crap every single day. "this stock is ready to blow!!!1111" and the like. I have one email account that is protected by zero spam filtering or equivalent, and the address is posted frequently to public places. Gives me a good idea of what it's like to surf the Internet without a condom on, so to speak.

This penny stock stuff is scum, but it's clearly making someone filthy rich, so it's here to stay.

Self-assembly polymers (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in The Post-Silicon future on 2014-07-12 21:13 (#2FN)

Interestingly, just spotted this rejoinder from the MIT Technology Review [bit of a paywall here although I read without paying]. I highly recommend reading this article though. Here's a clip.
A radical alternative to conventional lithography now looks increasingly viable. Known as directed self-assembly, it involves using solutions of compounds known as block copolymers that assemble themselves into regular structures. Block copolymers are made up of different units (the blocks) that prefer to be separate, like oil and water; left alone, these compounds typically produce swirling, fingerprint-like patterns. But if guided by a "pre-pattern" of chemical guides made with conventional lithography, the block copolymers produce lines and other regular patterns. Crucially, those final patterns can have much smaller details than those of the pre-pattern. A final pattern made in this way can then be used as a template for the chemical processes that etch features into a silicon wafer-the same process that is the end point of conventional lithography.

Been too long (Score: 1)

by in QGIS versus ArcMap on 2014-07-12 20:46 (#2FM)

I used Arcview pretty intensively back in 2000-2001 when my work machine was running Win2000 and my home machine Win98. I remember it being pretty intensive on the hardware, overly complex, and I sensed the company was trying desperately to lean the world towards proprietary data formats a la AutoCAD (how could they resist? AutoCAD's format domination is hard to resist). I also didn't learn it well enough to be able to claim any sort of mastery of it.

Shortly after - I was on SUSE Linux by then, and looking around for counterparts to the apps I'd gotten used to using - I discovered QGIS through something like Freshmeat, I think (which is why I'm still nostalgic for that place). I contacted the lead developer and asked to join as a volunteer document writer guy, and they took me on. Then I got too busy to be of much use, and bailed out. I got a sense the project was extremely well-run and headed for greatness, but was going to bump up against the proprietary data formats and jealously guarded import/export routines that most open source programs face.

Nowadays I'm convinced we desperately need open mapping data. When you have famous peoples' homes disappearing off of Google maps, the writing is on the wall for the limits of corporate-owned data.

Other ideas (Score: 1)

by in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-12 19:58 (#2FJ)

Forgot to mention some other things: One of them is I'm going to try to keep up the tradition of getting a new poll up every Monday morning. So there you've got two regular features every week. We could use a regular something for Wednesdays, perhaps: maybe app of the week or something? I'd need contributions for that one, probably.Or we could do an Orwellian "Hour of hate" every Wednesday where we choose some web site/service and flame it to charcoal each Wednesday (this idea is a joke, obviously).

Re: Steal (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-12 19:55 (#2FH)

The approve-disapprove thing reminds me of Reddit, where posts and comments can each get voted up or down, and over time the best comments float up to the top of the page, which begins to distort the conversation. Is that what you're thinking of? Or perhaps a system where you can thumbs-up or thumbs-down a post without it affecting anything else, and assign a description (Interesting/Informative) besides?Regarding postjacking, I'm going to generally avoid doing it myself, but interesting posts on other sites are obvious fodder for people to post to the Pipe. Just sayin'.

Re: Too late (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Pipedot: let's make this site fly on 2014-07-12 14:11 (#2FC)

Forgot to mention it: little known fact, but Bryan has been super cool about implementing just about everything I've brought up. That doesn't mean it's a free-for-all, but it seems pretty clear to me that pipecode is destined for greatness and Bryan is totally open to feature requests and ideas. If it makes sense, I think it's a good bet it will happen.

I suggested a Twitter feed would be useful so we could get pipedot articles some publicity on Twitter, and it existed a couple of days later. Bryan mentioned I'm going to "Guinea Pig" Pipecode on the Dictator's Handbook forum. That's not me agreeing to engage in some experiment; that's me deciding pipecode would make the forum at the DH better, and I could use the Twitter integration.

So let's keep the feature requests coming. I think forum software has kind of languished over the past ten years. Web forums like PHPBB and the like kind of ate Usenet's lunch back in the day, and then Facebook ran rough-shod over the web forums. Slashdot was always kind of a refuge, until corporate boneheadedness killed the golden goose. My point is: there's room for innovation - especially now that people are getting sick of/disgusted with/bored with Facebook. This could be the next, big thing - especially if Bryan's vision of some sort of site federation where articles flow among servers becomes a reality. Imagine a system where dictator articles with a tech angle show up automatically on Pipedot, and tech angles that involve autocratic Internet shutdowns etc. showing up automatically over at the Dictator's Handbook. That would be awesome.

like ChromeOS (Score: 1)

by in Atom now available on Windows on 2014-07-11 12:24 (#2F1)

I'm not a programmer, so can only venture a guess, but is the idea of having a chromium+node.js system under your fingers the next step in blurring the line between what's a local app and what's a web app? This would seem like a clever step in that direction, although I agree the memory requirements are high. But I'm a console/CLI curmudgeon - a dying breed, I think.

I just bought a Chromebook intending to wipe it and install Linux. I left ChromeOS on for a couple weeks to give it a fair shake and conclude it's cool and useful, but not useful enough for me. Linux will be hitting that hard drive this week, probably. I'm not a web-app fan.

Does this editor require a full-time internet connection, by the way?

Re: Ugh. Focus. (Score: 1)

by in Soylent News Incorporates on 2014-07-10 21:29 (#2EP)

Yeah, fair enough. And that means engaging in the luxury of pissing off people who have submitted stuff (not a show-stopper, but it's harder when you have fewer submitters), as well as a good sense of "what's this site going to be about?" I think we're off to a great start, by the way - hoping to make this into something awesome.

Yay: Pipedot's first dupe! (Score: 3, Funny)

by in Technology for the 2014 World Cup on 2014-07-10 17:09 (#2EG)

Time flies. Just went through the history of articles submitted through the pipe that user Rocks had already submitted a very similar story back in mid-June. Sorry, bud! Six weeks later, I'd forgotten all about it.

Better twice than never? Do I get a prize? (We could call it, "The Timothy").

Re: Ugh. Focus. (Score: 1)

by in Soylent News Incorporates on 2014-07-10 16:49 (#2EF)

I have to agree that "just accept everything and let the users filter it out" isn't a great strategy - it means until users join, decide they like it, make an account, learn how to filter and then actually choose their own settings, they're bombarded with a shitstream of randomness. It takes a bit of editorial control from the get-go to ensure your site looks good. Kind of like having a hot wife who doesn't let you wear one of your stupid t-shirts out of the house, just to keep you looking good.

If you come here from a twitter or Google Plus post (I'm posting both place, by the way, to try to get the word out), you should see a (1) well-designed site with (2) an interesting/useful layout and (3) moderation system, and (4) a choice of interesting articles that have led to (5) quality conversation with (6) smart people. Good coding gets you #1, #2, and #3, good editing gets you #4 and hopefully #5, and hopefully that attracts the attention of #6, who help strengthen #5.

If we all provide the good conversation and interesting stream of articles, this place will grow on its own.

Re: Bring back Gnome 1 (Score: 1)

by in The Future of GTK+ on 2014-07-10 13:38 (#2E9)

Another great quote from (I emphasized the good part)
Yet as I read some of the GNOME developer comments below, I was given to believe that this breakage stems from a Microsoft-like climate of preventing users from customizing their systems, and deliberately breaking the work of others so that your 'brand' is the best. Anytime I hear the word 'brand' being used in Linux, I know something valuable is being poisoned.

Bring back Gnome 1 (Score: 2, Informative)

by in The Future of GTK+ on 2014-07-10 13:30 (#2E8)

I love the guy who starts out this post ( with "At the risk of turning this into the 'bad news blog'." That's telling right there - most of the news and changes in the world of GTK/Gnome involve taking things away that used to be there. They're driving that car right over the cliff, despite warnings to the contrary, and with an apparently even stronger suicidal zeal.

See ya later then. I was never a fan of Gnome after Gnome1, although I concede it was always the nicer looking system, visually and graphically. Gnome 1 was still a hacker's paradise, with the Sawfish window manager and tons and tons of configurable hackability. That's what I like in a DE. But I've always been a KDE guy, for other reasons (and still kind of prefer KDE3 to KDE4, actually - go Trinity!).

Sorry to see the GTK project get hijacked by the crazies over at Gnome. They sure made a mess of the Gnome desktop; too bad they're going to take GTK down with it as they sink the ship. The post I linked to above really is telling. They've lost all touch with reality and/or user needs. Meanwhile, QT is pretty cool, professionally managed, and although it's strongly tied to KDE, it hasn't been taken hostage by it, which means even if KDE screws the pooch there's hope the QT toolkit will remain useful and functional. If I'm not mistaken, too, it's getting faster and lighter weight/lower memory intensive. That's all good.

I've got other problems with the KDE desktop (like Akonadi and Nepomuk and their perpetually sucky rewrite of kmail) but the toolkit isn't one of them. Secretly though, I really wish the Etoile people would ramp it up and give us an interesting, third alternative. Meanwhile, I'm interested in checking out the new LXDE and the QT-Razor or QT-Light projects (or whatever they're called now, I forgot).

Re: My two cents ... (Score: 1)

by in Soylent News Incorporates on 2014-07-09 20:09 (#2DE)

I think the drama has largely died down. Current issues are that the posts are all over the map, and the quality of the comments is a bit weak (too much one-off snide remarks; a white bread sandwich with no meat if you know what I mean). That will change over time. I find Slashdot comment quality degrading as well. If they keep it up it will be Reddit with a shittier comment system over at /. if they don't do something.

Re: Ugh. Focus. (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Soylent News Incorporates on 2014-07-09 20:08 (#2DD)

I'm a volunteer. Bryan codes the site and I'm just doing what I like to do (and when I'm tired of doing it, I'll stop!). If we had the luxury of a stream of stuff in the Pipe I'd be more selective, but for the moment I'm more than happy to take privacy articles too. It's not my opinion that counts, it's the rest of the readers (all of us). If it seems clear no one likes that stuff, we'll stop posting it.

Ideally though, let's stay away from the borderline paranoiac stuff and the unfounded conspiracy theories. But to the extent it's tech related, I'm game - i liked that stuff on /. and often learned quite a bit from the discussion.

my favorite part (Score: 1)

by in John Foreman on Facebook's data mining and manipulation on 2014-07-09 18:33 (#2D8)

That said, where else am I going to share photos of my kids with old friends? Can't do that on Twitter...I only use Twitter to express faux indignation and convenient morality concerning trending causes. Looks like I'm stuck with Zuck.
Awesome stuff. I see where Twitter is useful, but I think he's right about this one.