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Why the Latest FISA Release By Google Et Al. Means Squat

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the reading-this-violates-0-to-999-laws dept.

Privacy 131

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google, Yahoo, and other tech firms are offering some updated statistics about government requests for data. There's just one problem: under revised guidelines issued by the federal government, those companies can still only report a range, rather than a definitive number, for those requests. If that wasn't fuzzy enough, the range can only be reported after a six-month lag. Between January and June 2013, Google received between 0-999 FISA 'non-content' requests on 0-999 user accounts; it also fielded between 0-999 'content' requests for between 9000 and 9999 user accounts.Yahoo actually received a larger number of FISA queries than Google: for the first six months of 2013, the federal government made between 0-999 requests on between 30,000 and 30,999 user accounts hosted by the company. ... These companies have little choice but to advocate this new information release as a huge step forward for transparency. Unfortunately, restricting government data requests to a broad range isn't very helpful: for example, a range (rather than a single numerical value) makes it difficult to determine trends, such as whether government requests are gradually increasing over the long term."

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Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | about 9 months ago | (#46164335)

This is off topic, but I'm getting a warning at the top of Slashdot that classic is going to be going away soon (looks like in 4 months).

How many people will leave if they cut it off completely...?

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#46164391)

Seriously considering it, yes.

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

JLennox (942693) | about 9 months ago | (#46164397)

I do not understand what they're attempting to fix and how they think this new version resolves those issues.

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164579)

I do not understand what they're attempting to fix and how they think this new version resolves those issues.

The problem: Their hosting costs are too high, caused by too many visitors.
The answer: Drive the users away.
???
The result: Profit!

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

neminem (561346) | about 9 months ago | (#46164589)

Presumably like most UI redesigns, they're attempting to fix "looking like they aren't doing anything". The new version fixes that by making it quite clear that they did something. (Like most UI redesigns, "breaking everything horribly" is a pretty good indicator of having done things. Just not *useful* things.)

As the old saying goes - if it's not broke, fix it 'til it is.

is this a big deal? (1, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46164653)

I didn't like the redesign at first a couple months ago, but it was half baked. a quick glance at it now and it seems fine. you look at stories, read comments, then make comments. this still seems to be the case. the biggest problem I see is a scandalous mix of serif and sans serif fonts.

yes (4, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46164709)

If this is "fine", I don't even want to know what you considered "half-baked". Stories and commenting are literally the only functions available. I can't access my profile, log in/out, look at messages, or see the poll. Hell, it doesn't even show users' sigs.

Re:yes (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 8 months ago | (#46166405)

Browsing by rating is also really deficient. Sure, you can filter by rating, but there isn't a button that can be used to navigate to a post's parent, or display its children. Headline-only display is also not supported.

Typically I browse at something like +4 for full comments, and maybe +1 for headlines. Then if a thread is interesting I can expand and read more of it. When looking at a post I can easily hit parent and find its parent even if not displayed.

The new UI allows none of this.

Also don't understand the complaining. (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | about 9 months ago | (#46164711)

I think the flat design is fine. I've been on slashdot since the 90s - it was time for a change.

Re:is this a big deal? (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 9 months ago | (#46164763)

Well threading is broken, try following a large thread. you can never figure out where it ends.

    Post limits are gone..( browse at zero unless I am mod. to see AC's but not just trolls)

It uses about 10% of screen real estate. I mean come one there is so much white space you can use your monitor as a light source.

Poll's are on every page, because well everyone wants to read the current poll all the time right? and on really long threads that poll section goes all the way to the bottom.

The only thing I really like. is the new moderate button. that works and looks good.

Re:is this a big deal? (2)

dknj (441802) | about 8 months ago | (#46165867)

logged in to comment. am i the only one that goes blind trying to read the text on my monitor? i like the layout for my tablet, but not for my computer. i will be leaving once classic slashdot is terminated

Re:is this a big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46166685)

Another very major issue is that the new system requires Javascript. Considering the higher level of related security threats and stalking that JS exposes users to, it is understandable that many of the better-informed users would refuse to use JS.

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | about 9 months ago | (#46164693)

Is everyone e-mailing feedback@slashdot.org to tell them? I hope so.

Re:Classic Slashdot (3)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 9 months ago | (#46164765)

Seconded!

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

mvar (1386987) | about 9 months ago | (#46164815)

Oh yes

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 8 months ago | (#46165571)

I try to restrict myself to one futile gesture per day.

And since I'm at work, I've already burned through my entire 2014 allocation.

So, no.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164755)

Best answer: Make every story have a prominently off-topic highly rated comment about "PLZ NO BETA KTHX" until they relent.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Meneth (872868) | about 9 months ago | (#46164787)

I wish I had more mod-up points.

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 9 months ago | (#46164615)

Agreed, the classic system is IMO the best comment board on the web today. Why not focus on incremental improvements, getting mobile to work properly, etc? Look, I understand that the beta site has been someone's baby for the past couple years but it's just not a step forward from what exists today. Pushing it to all users would be a mistake.

Re:Classic Slashdot (3, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | about 9 months ago | (#46164819)

The one and only thing I don't like about classic is moderating. bring the beta's moderate functionality to classic and bamn your done.

though i don't think the feedback teams even care anymore. I think slashdot corporate overlords are pushing new web synergies to modernize, and (insert buzzword bullshit here).

That is why they keep trying and keep failing. Slashdot is supposed to be content and random posts (some from trolls, some from wannabe, and some from insightful people). you make it not about the discussions and the people will leave.

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

richlv (778496) | about 8 months ago | (#46166629)

or fixing unicode support. without complete "redesign" ;)

Re:Classic Slashdot (5, Interesting)

steamraven (2428480) | about 9 months ago | (#46164679)

Interestingly, the things they need to fix are not fixed in the Beta: Like Unicode handling. Its not like this is an international site or anything.

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#46164753)

I do not understand what they're attempting to fix and how they think this new version resolves those issues.

For the same reason TV execs will change the format of a successful show - they think that unless they're "innovating" every season, they're losing ground.

Of course, it's a ridiculous assumption - the reason The Tonight Show has lasted for 60 years is because it gives the audience something they want, in a format they're accustomed to.

Dear Slashdot Decision-Makers - Be like The Tonight Show, not like Survivor.

Re:Classic Slashdot (4, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#46165167)

I once heard a TV exec who talked about the "New Guy Syndrome." Every time a new network head was brought in, all the existing shows on the network (with the exception of the REALLY successful ones that were vital) were put on the chopping block and everything in development was cancelled. The reason being that the new guy couldn't claim credit for any of the existing stuff, or anything in development that broke out and became a success. So new guy comes in and immediately wants to gut everything and put in all his own stuff, so that he can claim credit to the board for anything successful going forward.

UI redesign (2)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#46164817)

I'm growing more of the opinion that UI design isn't really about any kind of improvement in usability.

I think it serves two purposes. The first is simply fashion-oriented -- showing that they "look" up to date and modern.

The second is really to disorient people enough that users no longer drive their own interest or usage out of the site but instead but instead through obfuscation, feature changes, etc, the people who control the site basically manipulate you into using the site they want, which basically means seeing more ads in most cases.

As for a Slashdot redesign? In a full web browser its not bad, but I've never understood why a tech site could be so awful for so long on mobile. On a tablet its manageable, on a phone it's not and I just don't get that, unless it's one of those political things, like the people who make code decisions are just angry FOSS users who refuse to accommodate anything that doesn't pass some litmus test.

The real answer may just be a horrific tangle of Perl dating from the 1990s that just can't accommodate mobile.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#46165105)

Maybe they're trying to fix the problem of all of us being here.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

richlv (778496) | about 8 months ago | (#46166583)

i'm not pulled in yet, but i took a quick look from that popup at the top.

"fancy" design, more pics, more wasted vertical space, more objects that distract from the stories, worse usage of the horizontal space.
oh, and it's all ajaxy or something, which makes it notably slower than current version.

probably aimed at general public than the original auditory. i suspect the content will decrease in quality afterwards (yeah, yeah, some will claim nothing new in there)

Re:Classic Slashdot (2, Insightful)

ageoffri (723674) | about 9 months ago | (#46164419)

Don't know if I'll leave but it wouldn't take much to push me over the edge with the bad redesign. Of course if you want to see an absolutely horrible redesign pull up nbcnews.com

Re:Classic Slashdot (2, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#46164547)

I said the same thing. I have no idea what drug the people were on when they considered redesigning nbcnews.com, but if ever there was a drug that needed to be outlawed, that is the one.

Who in their right mind could possibly think that making a web site look like Windows 8 was a good idea?

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46165159)

Just looked at nbcnews.com. My observations:
- loads the whole site but nothing displays if you don't have cookies enabled.
- html: 699k; js: 1010k.
- whitespace is an endangered species.
- it looks like Windows 8 without the pukeariffic color scheme.
- me no likey.

Re: WHY DOESN'T BETA JUST MAKE THE RE: ITSELF? FUC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164425)

I can't even get classic Slashdot to load correctly. It sits there for 15 seconds, then finally loads it without any CSS. A format that is still better than the beta site.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164479)

In the future, I might forget and type it in due to muscle memory. However, as soon as I find that I cannot go back to "classic," I close the browser. I don't need /.'s crappy UI. As it is, I rarely go on /. on my mobile device because of that.

*gasp*
[conspiracyhat]
Maybe they are trying to pull a Metro UI on us.
[/conspiracyhat]

re: WHY DO I HAVE TO WRITE MY OWN RE:? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164499)

It says there are 74 comments on the poll, but beta doesn't load any of them. I would put this in the feedback, but the feedback form is some idiotic survey. Fuck you, I only want to tell you about the thing I want to tell you, I don't want to check a bunch of mandatory radio buttons, asshole.

re: (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46164643)

Poll? What poll? There's a slashdot button at the top, and the rest of the page is just stories over the whole width.

Re:Classic Slashdot (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46164519)

I've sent them an email telling them that the minute they make it mandatory, I'm gone.

Maybe someone should submit this a story. Let's see if the editors are willing to let the community do a little "meta" bitching.

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46164619)

I just got downmodded. Apparently the posting public has no right to comment on the horror that is the Slashdot Beta.

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164749)

I just got downmodded. Apparently the posting public has no right to comment on the horror that is the Slashdot Beta.

Or, you know, the mods are tired of all of the bitching about the (admittedly terrible) beta site, and your bitching has nothing at all to do with disclosures of FISA warrants and you got an offtopic mod like you should.

Just sayin'.

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46164829)

So the editors should give us a proper venue to vent. Until they do, we'll just keep using the mediums made available to use. The Beta site must die or Slashdot will be a lot quieter place.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#46165211)

Isn't it already sad how few comments there are these days, compared to the heyday? Remember when you used to see stories with over 1,000 comments every day? I scroll down now and the most popular story I see barely breaks 300 comments.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

dknj (441802) | about 8 months ago | (#46165897)

Netcraft confirms it, Slashdot is dying...

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46166149)

In Soviet Russia, Slashdot betas you!

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164823)

I just got downmodded. Apparently the posting public has no right to comment on the horror that is the Slashdot Beta.

Or the conversation isn't on topic for the article. Novel that.

As for being on topic;

The numbers mean a lot, not "squat." We just have to use some confirmation bias and if you don't like it, then use the top of the range. If you think the program is great, use the bottom end of the numbers. There is more than enough range for everyone. It is great to live in a nation that gives us choice.

captcha: mocking

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

AJodock (1901718) | about 9 months ago | (#46164887)

You probably wouldn't get downmodded if you were to explain WHY you would leave as soon as it is mandatory instead of just saying it.

You contributed nothing important to the conversation (slashdot cares about you as a means of making money, but the mods don't care about you leaving), and as such your post has been downmodded to make room for the more relevant posts.

Re: Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164833)

Well, since you're posting off-topic stuff, you won't be missed.

Re: HOW DO I MAKE IT AUTO-RE:? NO IDEA! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164551)

Why does the comment section always show me a "Load More" button, even when there is nothing more to load? Completely useless.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164567)

How many people will leave if they cut it off completely

I just clicked on the link and - ye gods; I recall seeing that monstrosity ages ago, but I figured the massive outrage had killed it off.

Well, it's been nice trolling/occasionally making valid points with you all, but it looks like Slashdot is Versioning the Digg*.

(* Similar to 'Jumping the Shark', but with less sharks and more news aggregator suicide.)

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#46165283)

Digg is a great example. Start out strong, then get cocky, then try to over-expand and be something you're not because you want to "grow," forget and ignore your base while focusing on new users who never come, lose your base, die. Kevin Rose went from the posterboy of Business Week to the posterboy for fucking-up.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#46164609)

Well I have been looking for an excuse to kick the habit (1000 comments in the last year, been here 10+ years), and the beta site might be just annoying enough to do it...

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 9 months ago | (#46164941)

Sad, but it is mostly muscle memory that drives me here. The new interface is barely usable, especially from my phone, and when it becomes the only choice, I'll probably stop.

Re: WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' RE:! THIS IS BETA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164629)

I just noticed that if you post a comment, see it on your screen, then hit "Load More," it will load your comment on your screen a second time, making it look like you double-posted. Nice.

I also noticed that when you go to "Preview Comment," it doesn't put your cursor in the text box, and god knows where the hell that text box is in the tab list. Beta is terrible.

And now I've discovered that if you hit "Preview Comment," then hit "Edit Comment," type some more, and hit "Preview Comment" again, the text box disappears entirely. Wow. Just wow.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#46164667)

I might stay if there's a browser plugin that fixes some of the design issues like the white-out colors.
Why does every modern site have to limit the color palette to white, off-white and very-light-gray?

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164733)

How many people will leave if they cut it off completely...?

I need a reason to leave. Timmy didn't do it. Dice didn't do it. I'm hoping Beta will be the last straw.

Re:Classic Slashdot (2)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 9 months ago | (#46164741)

I'll stop posting, but not stop visiting.

It's all so unnecessary. They don't have to ditch classic at all and plenty of other sites carry a legacy mode. That'd be all I'd ask - that way I wouldn't need javascript just to load comments, or put up with the sidebar taking up half of my screen width.

It's a shame. The editing is sometimes sketchy and occasionally completely incorrect, the stories can be hysterical or just plain rubbish, but it doesn't matter. The point is that /. often has brilliant contributions from people involved in a wide range of fields. Driving those contributions away will be the death of this site.

I'm certainly not of their caliber, but I feel that if enough of us simply stopped posting Dice might reconsider.

Re:Classic Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 9 months ago | (#46165103)

Classic Slashdot is mundane, functional, utilitarian. It does the job without much chrome or flash. Geeks love it because it is the epitome of function over form, although to takes some time to read all the comments to get the most out of it. It's a website for hobbyists and the grunts in the field.

Beta Slashdot is the opposite. It attracts the eye, and is more about the summaries than the comments. It is quick tidbits of tech info that can briefly be skimmed by busy professionals. The comments are less visible because they intended to be a less important part of the place. It changes Slashdot from a community where the bulk of its value comes from the users - which Dice does not own, has no control over and cannot ensure the quality or quantity thereof - and more one where the editors are the ultimate source of the information and content. In other words, it is the sort of site at C-level execs whose message will ultimately be controlled by Dice.

From where I sit, it looks as if Dice's ultimate goal - and the reason behind its redesign of Slashdot - is not because they want to make it more useful to its current users but because they are trying to orient it more towards CIO and "business intelligence" types. Of course, what makes Slashdot worth visiting is the comments and people interested in the articles have far better choices available to them than Slashdot BI. Dice is sacrificing its current user base in hopes of attracting a more lucrative set of customers. I don't think it will work. Their current base will migrate away to more geek-friendly websites and the hoped for C-levels have little reason to visit this corner of the Internet in the first place.

All in my opinion, of course.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#46165797)

Dice is sacrificing its current user base in hopes of attracting a more lucrative set of customers.

They should ask Digg if that worked for them.

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164893)

About the only change I'd like to see is HTTPS without logging in. Everything new in the beta is horrible. Maybe we can fork slashdot if they go through with their beta project.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

mvar (1386987) | about 9 months ago | (#46164957)

I bet they've hired permanently some web designer and in order to justify his salary, they force down our throats a yearly redesign. I needed lots of time to adapt to the current one, but this new beta is the most shitty, generic, uninteresting layout I've seen in a long while on the web, and that includes generic, template based corporate sites. I don't know though if it's the layout or the continuous shitty stories and misleading summaries-titles that make it to the front page, that'll make me eventually abandon ./. Slashdot has become the synonymous for yellow journalism in the tech field. Send your emails to feedback@slashdot.org and let your voice be heard, they won't bother reading this comment section (i doubt they'll bother read the emails too..)

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#46165351)

I knew when they first started touting the beta that one day they would force it down our throats. It must have really pissed them off when they went to all that effort for a flashy new design and so many users stayed on the classic UI instead. I guess they could have used that response to wisely decide to either rethink the new design or allow users to choose for themselves. But no, that would be too smart. LET"S FORCE IT ON THEM!!!

Re: Classic Slashdot [And why the !@#$% do I have (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164971)

I just sent the following to the feedback address:

Folks,

I've been around on /. from before there were UIDs and I actually have a 3-digit one.

You managed to make me stop logging in years ago with a series to totally broken UI updates that did not get fixed despite people complaining; by adding ever more space wasters; and by what I consider to have been "ruining the discussion system".

Since that moment I've considerably reduced my presence and have reduced a lot more my contributions. Over those past years I've however still kept Slashdot somewhat usable for me as AC by means of a set of Stylish rules and AdBlock Plus rules that filter out 95% of the crap and that resize things to not waste screen real estate.

Looking at Beta, which is an even bigger waste of screen area than what is now called "Classic" and that - with all its "Web 2.X" nonsense - likely is less tolerant to unexpected interventions by Stylish, I don't see how I would again want to start tweaking the site to become something I'd be willing to suffer/use.

If you really insist on pushing beta down people's throat with no option to opt out (as an AC!), I will more than likely disappear even more from the site. Of course, once I'll be around only on a few very slow days per year, you anyway don't need to care about what I'm saying here. Seems like the future is clear, then. :-(

Slashdot used to be the hottest place on the net for people like me. I *really* hate to see it decline in this way, but if that's what you want as its owners...

Sorry,

  MCE

<contact data removed>

(Also known as <e-mail address edited> or UID 503.)

Arrgh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46165005)

The actual title of my previous comment was (approximately):

Re: Classic Slashdot [And why the !@#$% do I have to fill in this title myself instead of getting a default that I can edit if I really want to?]

And guess what: In preview mode this was shown OK, once the comment was posted it's truncated.

=> NofBugs = NofBugs + 1;

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46165031)

How many people will leave if they cut it off completely...?

I'm out.

Classic mode gave me the ability to open most of a thread (and the D2's ugly AJAX, all of a thread) in one tab, with one mouse click.

Beta, along with all of its other faults, requires an infinite scroll that autoloads a few comments at a time, which makes it impossible to read a 200-300-post thread, let alone a 500-post thread. I'd die of carpal tunnel syndrome opening/closing subthreads within the first ten minutes.

Dear Dice: Pay the UX designer whatever you want to let him masturbate over whatever it is that UX designers like to masturbate about, but don't let this Beta go live.

Re:Classic Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46165067)

I'll leave. Everything on slashdot appears the day after it does on reddit.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#46165095)

If the new UI is anything like it was the last time I tried it, I'm probably just going to pull up and going to Reddit when the classic UI disappears. Slashdot has been going downhill for some time now, and has gotten worse since Dice came in. It used to be routine to see posts here with over 1,000 comments. Now it's relatively rare to see one with over 500. It's a real fucking shame. I was a subscriber for years under an old account. But now I don't even bother. I used to recommend this site to every geek I met too.

It's sort of like with Microsoft and the Xbox. I was once a diehard fanboy, but for a long time now it seems like every move they make is designed specifically to make me feel less welcome and want to leave. Already cut my losses with MS (I bought a PS4 this gen). Maybe this is a hint that it's time to find a new Slashdot replacement. Wouldn't mind a decent fork, if someone like Taco were so inclined.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 9 months ago | (#46165099)

I'm not about to say I like the new design, but I was never cozy with the current design either. Reading comments on a popular subject requires so much damn scrolling. Do comments really need a subject line, sigs, all that metadata right in the body? And has anyone ever used the "Share" button for a comment? I never found customized comment filtering all that useful either - everything but -1 to knock out trolls but that's it.

And why no simple formatting tools - bold, italic, add link? I get it's a shibboleth to keep out the non-techie riff-raff who can't be bothered to put code in their comments, but it's also a bit petty.

.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 9 months ago | (#46165115)

But my mod points....

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

Xaemyl (88001) | about 9 months ago | (#46165179)

One more vote for leaving if they take out the classic option.

For those in the Exodus (2)

dmomo (256005) | about 8 months ago | (#46165479)

What's the alternative to awful new slashdot? To where will you be migrating?

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about 8 months ago | (#46165539)

I don't think it will fit into the 0-999 range, but i can't give an exact number.

Time for a website fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46165991)

I've been visiting slashdot consistently (almost daily) since 1998/99

I was here before Natalie Portman and Hot Grits.
I remember, and miss, Ogg the Caveman.
I remember when I saw my first article with 100 comments
I remember the struggle to deal with first-posts and flame wars which drove the development of the moderation system.

If I had bothered to register when I first started reading, I would probably have a 3 digit UID. I've been content to lurk, and my occasional AC comments ave been well received.

Slashdot has been a consistent source of news and information for me for 15 years, and I've seen it go through several revisions, changes to ownership, moderation, and commenting. Through all of that, the general look and feel of the site has remained consistent. The site has remained true to itself. (Even when the front page changed to pink ponies.)

Classic slashdot has the best user forum on the internet. The beta-site is a disrespect to the heritige, history, and main draw of the site for me, the forums. nowhere else (that I know of) can I find the intelligent discussion and informative discourse on news and current events I can find in the slashdot forum.

There are enough people out there like me who HATE BETA that if the site change goes through as-is, THEY WILL FORK THE SITE.

Slashdot is full of geeks like me who would have no problem putting together a slashdot fork. Give them motivation (And Beta is a BIG MOTIVATION) and they'll put together something faster than you can say "where did all the traffic go"?

And I will go with them.

Jonathan
- Long time slashdot reader.

Re:Classic Slashdot (1)

SpanglerIsAGod (2052716) | about 8 months ago | (#46166401)

The last time I got forced to beta I couldn't even see the comments without enabling googleanalytics, facebook, and twitter. I pretty much don't read slashdot at all on days I'm forced over to beta.

If Classic Slashdot goes away, I am going away (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 8 months ago | (#46166707)

I have been a regular visitor to Slashdot for around 15 years. For that, I get the checkbox to disable ads, though I browse with Javascript disabled so my browser does not slow down.

I come here for the discussions, and often read comments at +5, changing that only if I find a discussion interesting and warrants reading at a lower level.

The new beta uses JQuery for the comment threshold selector, and changes that on the fly. This means all the comments are loaded, but not visible, and processing any page with considerable number of comments will slow down MY computer! If I have a few tabs open to read later, my computer will be unusable.

If they insist that I enable Javascript to browse the site at the threshold I want, then they will lose me as a long time. I imagine that others long timers will hate the site too.

Dice have to remember that this site has two unmatched features, interlocked: a moderation system that is good at cutting down the trolling, spamming, and noise, and a comment section that is frequented by many people who are passionate about technology and other nerdy stuff.

If they manage to aggravate a lot of their users, the comment section will no longer be attractive to the audience. Perhaps we should revive kuro5hin?

I wrote the above in a feedback form that I filled a while ago, and I am emailing this comment to their feedback@slashdot.org.

Please send them feedback too.

And mod this up so Dice can see what they are getting themselves into.

Keep current /. format. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164345)

Re: the new one - do not want.

Alas, it's not quite there yet, yet (-1, Offtopic)

davecb (6526) | about 9 months ago | (#46164399)

My personal copy is quite broken at the moment

Re:Keep current /. format. (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#46164523)

ditto

Have a good one (2, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#46164433)

"for example, a range (rather than a single numerical value) makes it difficult to determine trends"

Well, a sudden, obvious surge in requests could alert terrorist planners somebody was on to them. That's probably behind both the large ranges and six month delays.

Re:Have a good one (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#46165557)

Maybe I missed something, but it appears that you have the first on-topic post on this story. Kudos.

I agree with you, spot on.

If given a range (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164509)

just assume the highest number of it. Case closed.

Re:If given a range (3, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#46164789)

just assume the highest number of it. Case closed.

mod up... this is the best way to handle the numbers. When looking for trends, you'll know it's trending when the range jumps. But considering the numbers should be in the 0-xxx range, and often aren't, trend analysis is kind of useless; there should already be concern just based on the static range numbers.

SOP For The Gov. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164559)

Didn't the NSA already provide a range of terrorist attacks it has thwarted by gathering up every American's personal data? Wasn't it somewhere between "0 - 100"?

These ranges are nothing new. The government uses them for plausible deniability, and to cover their tracks in the case of any rogue agents or operations. Accuracy has its downsides.

Even accurate numbers mean squat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164585)

So let's say they made 473 requests last year and 526 this year. Does it mean anything? Did they make the additional requests on accounts associated with criminals, or accounts of those who post on slashdot, or accounts of those whose sons stood up some bigwigs' daughters?

Numbers don't say anything about that, only proper auditing by people with no conflict of interest and heavy penalties for misuse will tell you if they're doing their job properly.

Re: Even accurate numbers mean squat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164743)

Careful, your post is insightful and not on topic (which is apparently Slashdot beta....)

Real world issues trumped by nerd rage / bike shed-ing.

Guess it depends on the number and range (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164665)

True, 0-999 is kind of BS, but 30,000 to 30,999 is only about 3% different. If that jumps to 1,000,000 to 1,000,999 then we're talking 0.1%, at which point, I would think the range hardly matters.

Even a range is helpful (4, Insightful)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about 9 months ago | (#46164687)

It gives an idea of the scale. If they are getting court orders for less than 1000, we can believe they have reason to look at that data. If they are getting orders for 100,000 we KNOW that they are not seriously engaging with the information that they are getting. It's not a great gain, but it's not squat. OTOH if it's all we ever get, then it's probably not worth anything. If nothing else, it gives us hope that we can get more control in the future...

Re:Even a range is helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164863)

Haggling over how precise the range can be is a political diversion. We need oversight to stop the government from targeting activists and engaging in political blackmail, like they do every time they have access to tools like this. A simple number doesn't do that, which probably means the secret requests simply can't exist: we need to see the actual request after a time lag, and it needs to be revealed along with enough information to punish the government officer or department who made the request if it's improper, and to put it into context instead of saying "for all we know this could be proper, but it might be blackmail or activists." This must happen within an election cycle, so I think the lag can be at most 1 year. These things are all more important than the investigations they're conducting because they keep our government democratic, and we've _more_ experience with inevitable government abuse of surveillance than we do with using sigint against terrorism. That's the discussion we should be having, and that's the discussion the companies publishing "transparency reports" should aim us towards, not haggling over delays and fuzz factors.

Fuzzing the number creates a decoy discussion for bike-shedders, and also allows the cloud companies to save face by appearing to "do something" or "fight back" or "be tough" in a non-threatening way. Who cares whether it's fuzzed or not? If it also helps their investigations to fuzz the numbers, I think that's only a secondary effect.

Re:Even a range is helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46165041)

The comment was not with regard to quantity. Squat referred to the quality of the information.

If anyone they'd get any more out of the Black Box Budget Boys, I'm afraid they must have taken Timothy Leary a little too literally when he advocated that you drop out. Leary didn't mean drop out of reality, only that you attempt to find enlightenment, if that's what you're looking for, outside the mainstream of American culture.

Nothing to see here. Perhaps that wasn't apparent from the initial redirective comment about the new, updated, modern, high-tech, flashy /. interface, which apparently will leave many in the dust of internet past.

Eric Schmidt says “spying is the nature of o (-1, Offtopic)

pigsycyberbully (3450203) | about 9 months ago | (#46164745)

Google has been fined 900,000 euros for breaking Spanish data protection laws. + Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated Internet search engine giant Google for illegally collecting personal data such as passwords, emails and other online activities from Wi-Fi networks in homes and businesses across the United States and around the rest of the world. In November Google agreed to pay a $17m fine to settle allegations that it secretly tracked web users by placing special digital files on the web browsers of their smartphones. Google’s Eric Schmidt says “spying is the nature of our society there’s been spying for years, there’s been surveillance for years.” http://google-spyware.com/ [google-spyware.com]

"Little Choice?" (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#46164793)

These companies have little choice but to advocate this new information release as a huge step forward for transparency.

Ah, bullshit - they very much could release the full details, but are afraid of government retaliation. That's not the same thing as "having little choice" but to engage an alternative.

You know why Paul Revere was awesome? Not because he rode a horse yelling some stuff, but because he risked his life and livelihood as a silversmith in the name of Liberty.

Re:"Little Choice?" (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46165481)

These companies have little choice but to advocate this new information release as a huge step forward for transparency.

Ah, bullshit - they very much could release the full details, but are afraid of government retaliation.

Given that releasing details could be construed as treason, and almost certainly would be construed as criminal behavior by specific individual decisionmakers (no corporate shield), I don't blame them for being afraid.

Re:"Little Choice?" (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46165627)

These companies have little choice but to advocate this new information release as a huge step forward for transparency.

Ah, bullshit - they very much could release the full details, but are afraid of government retaliation.

Given that releasing details could be construed as treason, and almost certainly would be construed as criminal behavior by specific individual decisionmakers (no corporate shield), I don't blame them for being afraid.

Funny, considering the juxtaposition of that statement against your sig.

FWIW, I'm sure Revere, Franklin, General Washington, et. al. had a fair amount of fear when they decided to commit treason and rebel against the British Empire; difference being, those men felt that the protection of Liberty was more important than their own, individual wants or needs.

I don't blame Google et. al. for being afraid; I blame them for defacto supporting an authoritarian, unconstitutional regime by virtue of their cowardice.

Re:"Little Choice?" (1)

swillden (191260) | about 8 months ago | (#46166109)

I don't think it's right to blame others for not being willing to stand up and go to jail. I do think people who are willing to do that deserve great acclamation, and would rightly be called heroes. But heroism must be offered, it's unreasonable to expect or demand it.

Re:"Little Choice?" (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46166423)

I don't think it's right to blame others for not being willing to stand up and go to jail.

Do you also think that "I was just following orders" is a legitimate defense for inhuman acts? After all, maybe some of those Auschwitz guards might not have pushed 'undesirables' into the gas chamber if they had not been afraid of prison, so we shouldn't hold them responsible, right?

means squat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46164997)

means squat, for not for those reasons.

Irrelevant.... (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 9 months ago | (#46165027)

The only reason they need the FISA requests, is for when they want warrants to pursue people. Having hacked into the main internet backbones the NSA doesn't need warrants to listen or collect. They listen and collect all.

The issue is that when they want to pursue some legal aspect, pass info to the DEA, etc. Then they have to use proper channels. So they solicity a FISA request and reverse engineer the evidence.

NSALM 23 (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 9 months ago | (#46165035)

The overlord is the NSA, I shall be watched,
Thou maketh lies to Congress,
Misleadeth me on quiet matters
Thou hoardeth data thy stole
NSA hideth me from my rights past
for fear's sake.
Even though I browse through the darkest of nets,
I will fear thy evil,
For thou are watching me,
Abroad or home thy staff,
they watcheth me.

Thou prepares an exploit for me,
presenting me as enemies,
Thou decrypt my phone with toil,
Thy datacenter overflows,
Surely thy malice and eyes will follow me
all of the day, all of my life,
and I will be monitored in my house by the NSA
FOREVER

- Cat returned my tongue - (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 9 months ago | (#46165133)

under revised guidelines issued by the federal government, those companies can still only report a range, rather than a definitive number, for those requests. If that wasn't fuzzy enough, the range can only be reported after a six-month lag.

What a bunch of slime-and-oil covered weasels.

Remind me again why people do what they say...

Government (n) Organized Corruption.

Loophole (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 8 months ago | (#46165387)

They could publish the data per "division".
Then invent a new division per, say, 10 or 100 requests.

Re:Loophole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46165531)

They could say, "Last year we had [-135,865] requests. This year we had [-133,867] requests."

It's still a range....

"Content Requests" = (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46165477)

So that the NSA and pentagon can steal your code. It's commercial espionage, and it's happening more and more frequently.

Yes, the NSA will steal your code based on 'national security concerns' even if it has nothing to do with national security

Abolish the NSA and Federal Reserve, and you will then feel like what it was to be an American again.

Until then you are a slave living in a fantasy world draped over your eyes.

Isn't very helpful (2)

maharvey (785540) | about 8 months ago | (#46166153)

Unfortunately, restricting government data requests to a broad range isn't very helpful

Of course it's not very helpful. It was never meant to be, nobody really expected it to be, and I'm sure they went to significant effort to ensure that no utility crept in by accident. As soon as the government allows or does anything, it is foregone that it won't be helpful or useful in any way. It is a tautology.

What I wanted to see as the top comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46166653)

Why the Latest FISA Release By Google Et Al. Means Squat

Because it was a FISA release.

Ha, captcha: concise

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