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How the Year Looked On Slashdot 161

Happy New Year! It's that time (as of now!) for the UK, and since the Slashdot backend operates in Greenwich Mean Time, that seems as good a reason as any to welcome 2012 now instead of local midnight for any of the various U.S. time zones. Everyone has a different take on how to rank the events of the last year; read on below for a few notes on some of the goings on of the past 31,536,000 seconds (give or take). The list is pretty arbitrary, drawn from the thousand-ish stories that hit the Slashdot page in that time; please say in the comments what news hit you the hardest this year.

Politics and all that:

Events in the Middle East dominated much of the news, including in particular the ways that governments have been tracking (and sometimes imprisoning or killing) opponents; California-based Blue Coat flatly denied selling equipment to Syria to help that sort of tracking before 'fessing up to it. (And in the U.S., the Occupy movement set about occupying bits of various cities, drawing both admiration and scorn.)

Related: The nuttiness surrounding Wikileaks continues.

Then there's the still unfinished story of SOPA; at least in some cases, speaking loudly seems to've caused businesses to change their public stances as defenders of the law as proposed; could this be called washing SOPA out with mouth?

On the tech front:

Donald Knuth published the 4th volume (or at least the first installment of it) of his ambitious Art of Computer Programming.

Netflix's management decided to couple a change that many customers thought was a stupid rate increase with what many people (customers or not) felt was a stupid name change; the company at least agreed on the name change, and reverted it.

HP seemed to do an interesting dance, both by shaking up its management structure , then announcing it was considering a spin-off of its PC hardware business before canceling that maneuver. HP sent a different but similarly mixed set of messages with a fire sale on its WebOS tablets (to the disappointment of those who praised and wished more success to WebOS).

Nokia also did some shaking in place. It's been a rough year for phone junkies on the whole, with Blackberry outages and privacy debacles both intentional and accidental from RIM, and no joy for those who'd expected iPhone 5, along with a handful of security issues for Android phones made it a rough year for phone junkies.

Meanwhile, the Linux kernel reached the magical number 3.0, and then 3.1 even though Mr. Linux himself, true to form, downplayed the leap from 2.x as basically just a number. Notably, the kernel suffered a persistent power-use regression, but also (Yay!) a fix.

On the GUI front, Gnome3 and Ubuntu's Unity generated lots of excitement, particularly from those who dislike the changes they bring. Forks and workarounds ensued — open source abides. We've seen also quite a bit this year about the Raspberry Pi, IMO the most exciting hardware news stuff of the year.

Questions of the stars:

Speaking of the Raspberry Pi, we were glad to have had the chance this year to ask questions of Eben Upton, as well as of William Shatner and Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, among many others. (And though it's sad, must also note rejections to our requests to interview Steven Hawking, Tom Lehrer, Freeman Dyson a distinguished list, at least.)


Several of the biggest names in technology will sadly no longer be around for the years to come. After years of uncertain health and swirling rumors, Steve Jobs succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Less known outside tech circles, both John McCarthy and Dennis Ritchie died as well, both leaving rich legacies of software and inspiration. For all that he thrived on being a bad penny to both sides of the political spectrum, Christopher Hitchens, too, will be missed. On the other side of the "world changing" coin, this year also brought the end for Usama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and North Korea's not-particularly-dear leader Kim Jong Il.

A different kind of ending: after a few years of life support, 2011 witnessed (with CmdrTaco's help) the final flight of the U.S. Space Shuttle. Everyone who had a chance to see a Shuttle launch will have a great story to tell their children.

Coming attractions:

Whatever the eventual fate of the other players in the phone world, 2012 will probably mean the end of the road for Symbian phones.

It's time for a reality check on the space hotel that was predicted for 2012; I'd place my bet against. Less happily, the continuing push for surveillance and tracking means I wouldn't bet against the projected nationwide trials in the coming year of face-recognition and tracking software from the FBI.

Finally: the end is near. That is, the actual end of the world (versus this recent contender), as predicted by the Mayans, as interpreted by various non-Mayans, and massaged to give us a few more years (or at least a few more months). Or, you can choose to rotate your tinfoil hat one quarter turn clockwise and take NASA's word for it — whatever the fate of humanity, Earth itself will probably keep right on going; we hope you'll stick around for the rest of the story — we're still waiting for The HURD
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How the Year Looked On Slashdot

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  • 2012 (Score:5, Funny)

    by maweki ( 999634 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:07PM (#38552570) Homepage
    2012 will be the year, Linux finally comes to the desktop, I heared
    • by pbjones ( 315127 )

      well it finally came to the mainstream, as Android. (still sux)

      • Not "The Year of Linux" but "The Year of Linux on the Desktop".

        Linux has long been successful as a server OS, and now it's successful as a mobile OS. But all predictions of success as a desktop OS have so far been wrong.

        But you never know. Never say never. Duke Nukem Forever did eventually ship.

        • Won't happen and here is why: For Linux to become a top notch world class desktop OS millions, more likely hundreds of millions, will have to be spent getting rid of the itch scratching and making it all a seamless cohesive unit and that is not only never gonna happen because with GPL its damned near impossible to build on top of and charge money for the product itself (as RH found out desktop users generally don't buy support contracts) and because the community would fight it tooth and nail every step of

    • Re:2012 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by muon-catalyzed ( 2483394 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:28PM (#38553126)

      2012 will be the year, Linux finally comes to the desktop, I heared

      Google could make it happen, a dedicated Android (Linux) version for desktop would be a guaranteed success, even now, lots of people are working on it [] in their free time, which is speaking for itself. Once Android is flagged official for desktop by Google big software and hardware players would have to consider it and they would port stuff over as there is no barrier of entry.

    • Re:2012 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:38PM (#38553212) Homepage Journal

      Just in time for the desktop to be replaced by the, er..., tablet/hand/palmtop!

      Seriously though, the number one and number two phone and tablet operating systems are both Unix based, with Linux taking the lead for the number of users. Ten years ago who would have believed that BSD would be in millions of people's pockets, or that the most popular mobile OS would be open source with its proprietary rivals from the likes of Nokia and Microsoft rapidly dying off?

      • Yup. You're spot-on fella. Guess what? Linux is a great server platform. Know what else? You can own your own personal "cloud" at home and stream / sync all your data privately and securely between all your mobile devices and your Linux home server... In fact, you can load balance & increase uptime by setting up mutual redundant servers in each of your family's homes.

        On top of that, KDE and Gnome are both usable enough for my grandparents now, (you don't have to touch the terminal to use Linux)

      • Hmm - I thought that the Apple OS has only a BSD shell & not a BSD kernel.

    • >>I heared

      Uh, it's spelled HURD, buddy.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:09PM (#38552578)

    Both from the first week of December, so admittedly I may be forgetting a lot of interesting stuff from the first 11 months of the year:

    Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling [], a tale of document-management woes, corporate management foibles, and engineering archaeology

    Physical Models In an Age of Computers [], a nice write-up of a large-scale physical model of the San Francisco Bay built in 1959 built to test some theories about how it'd behave if various proposed modifications were made

  • What so this is a US site now?

    Where is the .us domain on the end then?

    Pfft, I'm off to Bunnings it's 10am here already and they've been open for hours already, blink and you might miss 2012.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:13PM (#38552626)

      I'm in Samoa you insensitive clod!

      • by M8e ( 1008767 )

        How does it feel to miss a friday? Are you all hungover? I'm usually hungover when i have missed a friday

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:14PM (#38552630)

      Where is the .us domain on the end then? [] redirects to, actually.

    • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:41PM (#38552808) Journal

      What so this is a US site now?

      Try reading the FAQ here, like you would any site if you were wondering the source of the site, at [] , in the Editorial section. I clearly asks and answers:

      Note: Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. [snip]

      Reply: Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem.

      Then it goes on to explain why.

      • by jc42 ( 318812 )

        So are there slashdot clones in other languages yet? The code is still available, isn't it? A lot of us here might encourage setting up instances that operate in other languages.

        It is sometimes annoying that we can't use non-Latin1 text here. Shis sorta limits discussions of east-Asia-related topics. One benefit that non-USians could bring is debugging the code for UTF-8. Why don't some of the complainers get to the job? Are the nice guys who run /. giving you some sort of hassle about it? If so,

        • Only one I'm aware of is the japanese /. : []

          • by garaged ( 579941 )

            A spanish

            • by jc42 ( 318812 )

              Hmmm ... I tried connecting to, and my browser just hangs with a "Connecting to" message.

              Oops; it just displayed a "The connection has timed out" message.

              Have we slashdotted it? ;-)

    • Looks like you've gotten the year off to a good start by posting a hilariously angry rant about how New Years occurred in your time zone first.

      It's still 7:45 PM here in Texas, and I hope this is the last dumb thing I read this year.

      I've got a feeling it won't be...

    • by 6Yankee ( 597075 )

      blink and you might miss 2012

      I'm narcoleptic, you insensitive clzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..............

    • What so this is a US site now? Where is the .us domain on the end then?

      Despite the "global" moniker that's been lately added, when first created, the three-letter top-level domains were US-centric by virtue of the fact that the system we now call "the Internet" was a US-centric project. Same reason .mil is US military. Jokes about Al Gore aside, the US created the Internet, and thus there's a US-centric focus in some places -- such as the original top-level domains. If you dislike this, you're welcome to create your own global network project. Good luck with that.

  • Steve Jobs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by anss123 ( 985305 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:19PM (#38552652)

    please say in the comments what news hit you the hardest this year

    Of the news reported on Slashdot I think SJ death hit me the hardest. I don't follow Apple or Jobs news so his death came out of nowhere. Didn't know he had cancer or that he was dying from it.

    If the Japan earthquake was reported here it wins by a huge margin. Well, there has been a lot of /. posts on the nuke plant, so I guess that or the earth quake wins out of the non-geek news.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't follow Apple or Jobs news so his death came out of nowhere. Didn't know he had cancer or that he was dying from it.

      I didn't either but I knew he had cancer because of the fallout from him getting into the queue (ahead of just as deserving people) for a liver transplant in Tennessee even he lived on the West coast.

      It's great being a famous billionaire with a private jet and plenty of fanboys - get to knock out all those poor kids who also need livers out of the way so you can continue with your life of creating consumer electronic toys.

      The doctors who gave Jobs and David Crosby their livers should be ashamed of themsel

      • Don't blame the doctors, it's the system.

        You have a private healthcare system in the US. Of course the wealthy get preferable treatment. If you want fair healthcare for all you need a state run national health service.

    • While it's not on the scale of either of those events in terms of real world impact, the departure of Rob Malda is clearly one of the most significant stories of the year in terms of Slashdot itself. I don't think it feels the same here without him.

    • By faaaar and away the 9.0 Japanese earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was the most important story of the year. I'm not in Japan but Japan, the 3rd largest economy, was Stunned by it. We are still seeing economic and emotional effects. Not to mention just being sick for all those people who had to move or were hurt. And the fact that the land is now closed off for decades. I don't know how you can put Steve Jobs in the same category. Sure, he did a lot at Apple... I thi

  • by decora ( 1710862 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:21PM (#38552670) Journal

    i can think for example of the revelation that Microsoft made a deal with the dictator of Tunisia to allow the regime to stick it's own certificate authorities into IE's auto-approve list.

    MS's argument was that Tunisia was buying a lot of linux computers, and then wiping them and installing MS. the whole purpose of the document (leaked on the net, signed by Bill Gates) was to destroy linux and get the business of a corrupt, violent dictator.

    thats just the tip of the iceberg.

  • no so many killers. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pbjones ( 315127 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:27PM (#38552714)

    2011 was a year where I heard the term x-killer less than usual. In the past the iPod-killer, the killer-app, etc. seemed to used every time something 'new' came out, and I was happy that the term didn't seem to show up as often.

    Nokia shifting to Windoze is my pick of the news. It will keep Nokia in the marketplace and it means that MS gets a foot in the door without a lot of development dollars being spent on hardware.

    The other memory 0f 2011 are the changes to the interfaces of MacOSX and Win8, both working more like an iPad but still retaining the old GUI under the facade. I'm including Win8 because of the Dev preview, which I count as a release (limited as it may be).

    It is also the year that I decided that computers are not interesting any more, having been doing this stuff since 1978, it has all become as exciting as a new toaster.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I saw the whole Nokia decision to ditch Symbian for WP7 was a huge failure for them. They said they were not a phone company, they were a software company. Now they are saying they are just going to make hardware with some crappy Nokia apps grafted into WP7 that people will complain about not being able to remove.

      I'm still waiting for a manufacturer to do some serious Android development. Samsung is about the closest because it makes more of its own hardware than most manufacturers (down to the chips used i

      • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:36PM (#38553556)
        I nominate 2011 as the year of the patent lawsuit. Apple managed to get Samsung's products banned. In return, Samsung eventually got a revenge ruling banning Apple's products. Everybody in the phone industry went lawsuit crazy suing each other, and Microsoft earned more money from patent extortion against a competing product than they did by legitimately selling their own product.
    • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <(VortexCortex) ( ...> on Sunday January 01, 2012 @12:35AM (#38554074)

      2011 was a year where I heard the term x-killer less than usual.

      That's funny, for me 2011 was the year where I first heard the term "X-Killer"... Eg: Wayland. []

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @08:33PM (#38552752) Homepage Journal

    The Occupy protesters have a lot to learn about how to present their arguments to the public, how to convince people who don't agree with them, and how to explain themselves to people who have no idea what they're talking about. Their dreams of changing the world won't happen without those skills and years of dedication.

    But they sparked a movement and made people aware there are issues. The question is whether they can stop their self-righteous whining about their "rights" and see themselves as the public sees them, so they can face up to facts and work on their public perception problems.

    No one shot at you like the Arab Spring protesters. You weren't under military guard like the Palestinians. You didn't spend decades fighting for the right to use effective medication without being arrested for it by the DEA. You weren't systemically abused like the black community before the civil rights movement.

    You spent over TWO MONTHS squatting in public parks without effectively delivering a message to the PUBLIC instead of amongst your own faithful at the protests. When there were conflicts with the police while you were being evicted, you were only maced and shot with rubber bullets. No one was killed. You had to scream in the faces of the officers for TWO MONTHS before they'd even go that far to get rid of the camps.

    Freedom of speech rights my ass. Occupy doesn't know what their rights are and what they mean, how to deliver a message, or how to work for change. Instead, they come across as a bunch of posers and whiners squatting in the parks and demanding the right to squat there for the rest of their lives while they wait for the world to change itself just because they discovered the world isn't fair.

    Despite that, Occupy was the news story of the year to me. It was a brief spark of hope dashed by the incompetence of self-styled "victims" who insult those who know what actual oppression is.

    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      So of course after I post and reread the summary I find the mention of Occupy, making it look like I can't read as well as I can write. *LOL*

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        And you seemed to completely overlook the really unique aspect of the Occupy movement in that it was truly of international scale. You referred only to US aspects of it. It is still occupying in other countries, as well. When did that ever happen before?
        • When did that ever happen before?

          Scientology protests back in 08

        • by msobkow ( 48369 )

          I hate to dash your illusions of originality, but if anyone deserves "First Post" on being an international scale movement, it's the cannabis right's groups that have fought around the globe since before the '60s.

          Why do Occupy protesters think they're the first to ever rise up? Are they really that uninformed and naive about the history of the world and the nations they live in? Or are they just so arrogant they believe their own bullshit?

          • And before them, Women's rights activists. And before them, probably pro-democracy activists. They had a tough time of it in Germany and France, but those were harder days.
    • by chrb ( 1083577 )
      Actually, I'm surprised the Arab Spring wasn't included. There is certainly a technological angle. We have seen everything from Gadaffi blaming Wikileaks for sparking the revolutions, to a baby girl in Egypt being named "Facebook". Perhaps it was the Year of the Protester after all.
    • >>You spent over TWO MONTHS squatting in public parks without effectively delivering a message to the PUBLIC

      The public caught the message of them Squatting over police cars.

      I hate hippies. And seeing shit like that, literally, alongside of the drum circles, human microphones, and druggies was enough to turn me off on the movement. Even though I (and most people) completely agree that corporations have too much influence over the government.

      In other words, I agree with you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cold fjord ( 826450 )

      You both asked:

      I'm surprised you didn't include Occupy

      and answered your own question:

      Freedom of speech rights my ass. Occupy doesn't know what their rights are and what they mean, how to deliver a message, or how to work for change. Instead, they come across as a bunch of posers and whiners squatting in the parks and demanding the right to squat there for the rest of their lives while they wait for the world to change itself just because they discovered the world isn't fair.

      Despite that, Occupy was the news story of the year to me. It was a brief spark of hope dashed by the incompetence of self-styled "victims" who insult those who know what actual oppression is.

      The Occupy movement in the US is essentially the political equivalent of bitcoint: It takes large amounts of valuable time and energy and produces seeming random outputs that are claimed to be valuable but which in fact are largely useless despite the claims of their respective supporters.

      Excellent: “Daily Show” on class divisions at Occupy Wall Street []

      Occupy’s Misogyny []

      When are the feminists going to speak out on the abuse of women that’

    • by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @10:10AM (#38555690)
      About a great many things when it comes to Occupy Wall Street. They are not self righteous whining posers unless you do not agree that Americans have the right to free speech, the freedom of assembly, the right to free and fair elections, and the many others enumerated in the Constitution.

      You are also quite mistaken about how the Occupy protesters "have a lot to learn" about messaging, organizing, persuading others, etc. New York is the worldwide capital of advertising, fashion, and image making in general and those industries were heavily represented at OWS. How do we know? Well, you heard about OWS for months; when was the last time you heard about traditional, take to the streets protests? Hint: it's not because the latter don't happen all the time but because the powers that be have grown quite expert at ignoring/dismissing/hiding them. But OWS got your attention precisely because they are expert at communicating.

      You're also mistaken about their goals. You did not need to look much farther than the Wikipedia entry [] to find them, but it is easier to get your information from Glen Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Fox News than to do a little independent checking.

      What is a legitimate question is to ask, what's next? Occupy Wall Street represents a different approach than the traditional approaches that the 1% have become past masters at pigeonholing/deflecting/defeating/ignoring. That's why they have gotten as much coverage as they have, because it's different. But how to take it to the next level is an open question. It will, however, be taken to the next level because the underlying issues have not been addressed and the government has not even started to pretend to address them. They're doubling down on tired forms and bankrupt memes.

      I hope OWS and the Tea Party forces team up; they differ on the margins but share the same core concerns--the system doesn't work any more for the vast majority of the American people. Crowd-sourced surveillance and expose of the 1%, the way they are trying to monitor and control us, I believe will be the straw that breaks the camel's back of the status quo. The 1% can only succeed under the cloak of night and in the comfort of their backrooms and private clubs. If we rip that cover away, the public revulsion will be instant and universal and ineluctable.

  • Suxnet Anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Whiteox ( 919863 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:29PM (#38553136) Journal

    I took a few years off Slashdot and only logged on because of boredom a few months ago.
    Here's my 2 cents worth on some of the issues that have surfaced in that time:

    I actually liked the Stuxnet saga and how the Iranian scenario was investigated and collaborated around the world. This is one of the first tech conspiracies of importance and those responsible for it have not owned up (yet). It also made me think of other digital servo equipment that are vulnerable in industry and consumer grade products.

    Flying copters with wifi/drones also interested me as the technology can now be bought/assembled for a few hundred dollars. A great at home project with lots of possibilities. On that, there was an assumption that Iran could not reverse engineer the captured drone, something I feel unlikely as their engineering and research faculties are quite well developed.

    US Bashing: I'm not a US citizen, but this should stop. Most of us are aware of US policy and the incredible problems that the US faces in their federal system. I think that most US Slashdotters are aware of the shit they are in. The fact that the whole world blames the US for bad economic policy and ineffectual wars and an idiotic congress that has hamstrung change makes them a laughing stock. OK, we get it. Now let's move on and maybe give some support.

    Atheism vs Religious beliefs: The problem here is to be one or the other, you have to accept the whole mindset/weltanshaung/worldview without exception. For example you cannot be an atheist and hope to argue successfully the mitochondrial Eve, pre-Big Bang and for that matter, the cause of it all which is consciousness. The same goes for religious beliefs. God MUST be involved in every part of life and history. Sometimes that is a pill too hard to swallow. Gnostic or agnosticism maybe an alternative as most proponents of religion do not follow the precepts of their god without exception. Personally, I just don't care. Richard Dawkins argues that rational thought can be a basis of ethics of morality without the need for fundamentalism. I tend to agree with that. Religion has too much baggage.

    Freedom of Speech: Wikileaks, filtering, bloghate, tweets, FB and whatever is supremely important. Freedom of Speech is a right that should have personal responsibility attached to it unless you want to be an anonymus coward.

  • Nerd News vs World News?

    Well, Linux kernel 3.0 being ranked among the main news headlines like Osamas' death must be on of the main 2011 comparisons. Which is the more important in the long run? I am happy that Osama's ideas have very few mainstream followers.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      And yet missing other tech news.

      Like PSN being hacked and down for 6 weeks. Or the various breakins since that.

  • by Charmonium ( 2441996 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:45PM (#38553258)
    I thought CmdrTaco retiring from Slashdot is worthy of mention.
    • by thermopile ( 571680 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:07PM (#38553394) Homepage

      Seriously, as far as slashdot goes, CmdrTaco's last missive and farewell [] really has to stand as a notable event in 2011, at the very least for Slashdot.

      • by Fred Or Alive ( 738779 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:45PM (#38553616)

        Plus, the mysterious disappearance of the Bill Gates as a Borg icon for Microsoft stories,,, (It just about managed to survive to the latest "not as good as the HTML 3 version"[1] relaunch with a crappy illustrated version [], but that seems to have disappeared in place of a generic Microsoft logo on new stories...

        Slashdot just isn't right anymore...

        [1] If anyone does know how to use this newfangled Javascript based comment system, just don't bother telling me how to use it, like all sensible people I turned it off when it was first introduced years ago, and have no intention of learning how it works./p

        • by inKubus ( 199753 )

          No one's made the Steve Jobs Borg Icon for Apple yet.. just give it time for this glorious torch passing. Meanwhile Gates gives another $2B away this year to eradicate malaria worldwide and saves 200M lives.

      • +1 to that
      • Sooner after his departure Ghostery [] went from reporting zero to 4, and as of today 5, web-bugs on most slashdot pages.

        Could just be a coincidence, and awfully big coincidence though.

      • I have read /. almost from the beginning. My first user ID was four digit, but lost track and contact while making the transition from the West Coast to the East Coast. CmdrTaco, Hemos, CowboyNeal, heck, even Jon Katz are names that are woven into the DNA of my online experience. Every day for years I have seen their handles and known that somewhere in the universe something was OK. So when CmdrTaco signed off, it was like losing a member of my family. Losing Steve Jobs was sad, but nowhere near as imm

  • by cultiv8 ( 1660093 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:02PM (#38553364) Homepage
    Re:For the sake of satisfying my curiosity... []

    What code are they using to crash IE6?

    HTML code

  • Tsunami & meltdowns (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maow ( 620678 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:23PM (#38553480) Journal

    The tsunami & meltdowns were a story that went from incredibly, indescribably bad to worse and worse and, impossibly... worse.

    Left me with a sick feeling that wouldn't go away.

    One of the worst parts (as someone not directly affected, and bringing a technical angle into it) was reading in El Reg stories by their resident pro-nuke shill about how "radiation cannot escape even the fence surrounding Fukushima's property". Written *before* the first explosion.

    And a full page of "yeah! Greenies want us to all live in caves and freeze in the dark" comments getting way more thumbs up than down. I'm pro-nuke myself, but this ignored the reality of the problem as much as the worst "greenies" do in the opposite direction.

    This was followed by more nuke-shill posts doubling down on the stupid after the explosions, *never* acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, including the bravery of the guys on the ground working to fix the problems.

    So, on top of the incredible sense of loss I felt as a member of the human race, I also felt loss at the stupidity of highly educated, technically aware people whom I figured should've known better.

    To top all that off, my best friend I've ever had took sick, was hit by a vehicle, then, a week later (two weeks post-tsunami) died. I should add, this best friend ever was my dog. I didn't know how true the old cliche is; A Dog is a Man's Best Friend.

    The losses seemed to keep piling up and I was depressed for a long time.

    Yeah, fuck you 2011, buh-bye.

    • The Japan earthquake * tsunami * Fukushima hit me the most. Not only in /. but also because I was in Tokyo living the events in real time.
  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:56PM (#38553684) []

    just read the wiki, you'll see he was a big player, worthy of being mentioned.

    I didn't know him or even *of* him until this year, myself. but I can see he qualifies as 'greatness' by my standard, at least.

  • 2012 also saw the last minute coining of the contraction to've, which is unique in that it contracts the verb have in the infinitive rather than the auxiliary have found in perfect tenses (such as I've been to Moose Jaw).

    Then there's the still unfinished story of SOPA; at least in some cases, speaking loudly seems to've caused businesses to change their public stances as defenders of the law as proposed; could this be called washing SOPA out with mouth?

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @02:21AM (#38554432)
    Many horrible things worldwide happened in 2011, but most striking positive thing for me was Kepler mission, the stars of the galaxy are full of planets of all kinds. It won't be long before we're taking spectrographic measurements of atmospheres of worlds in "goldilocks zones"
  • by PixetaledPikachu ( 1007305 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @03:19AM (#38554586)
    No mention of Duke Nukem Forever?
  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Sunday January 01, 2012 @03:40AM (#38554630) Homepage Journal

    Man: You sit here, dear.
    Wife: All right.
    Man: Morning!
    Slashdot: Morning!
    Man: Well, what've you got?
    Slashdot: Well, there's last week's news and last month's news, last week's news political trolling and last month's news, last week's news and dupes, last week's news last month's news and dupes, last week's news last month's news political trolling and dupes, dupes last month's news political trolling and dupes, dupes last week's news dupes dupes last month's news and dupes, dupes political trolling dupes dupes last month's news dupes tomato and dupes, dupes dupes dupes last week's news and dupes, dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes flame wars dupes dupes dupes or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried last week's news on top and dupes.
    Wife: Have you got anything without dupes?
    Slashdot: Well, there's dupes last week's news political trolling and dupes, that's not got much dupes in it.
    Wife: I don't want ANY dupes!
    Man: Why can't she have last week's news last month's news dupes and political trolling?
    Wife: THAT'S got dupes in it!
    Man: Hasn't got as much dupes in it as dupes last week's news political trolling and dupes, has it?
    Wife: Could you do the last week's news last month's news dupes and political trolling without the dupes then?
    Slashdot: Urgghh!
    Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like dupes!
    Slashdot: You can't have last week's news last month's news dupes and political trolling without the dupes.
    Wife: I don't like dupes!
    Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your dupes. I love it. I'm having dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes beaked beans dupes dupes dupes and dupes!
    Slashdot: flame wars are off.
    Man: Well could I have her dupes instead of the flame wars then?
    Slashdot: You mean dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes dupes...
    Vikings:! Lovely dupes! Lovely dupes! Lovely dupes! Lovely dupes! dupes dupes dupes dupes!

    (with apologies to Monty Python)

  • "We The People".

    Not "We The Citizens".

    The rights enshrined in the US Constitution are supposed to apply to everyone, especially those accused of criminal activities by the government.

    President Obama, the US Congress, and the US Senate are traitors to their own nation's values.

    What a shame the sheeple go along with it, sacrificing their rights in the name of a chicken-little "War on Terrorism" that couldn't stop a Texan from killing a half dozen people, several dozen cars from being fire-bombed over

  • I was hit by the Japanese Earthquake in March *before* it was news. In a safe distance (400km), however. The difference of the arrival time between the different frequencies of the shock told me that this *was* going to be bad news.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.