Slashdot Know Nothings Link to Spiritual Kin in UK

Thi Slashdot entry claims that, “Movie Industry Blames Texting for Bad Box Office.” Of course if you actually read the article that is linked to — something Slashdot editors stopped doing years ago, you find that the story doesn’t quote a single person from the movie industry as even suggesting that text messaging has impacted the box office. In fact it’s apparent if you know anything about movies that the author of the article doesn’t have the first clue about box office grosses. Hey, Slashdot should hire that guy — he’d fit right in.

Stupid Slashdot Tricks

Every time I see someone online talking about the accuracy of traditional media vs. weblogs — and usually extolling the virtue of the latter — I think of Slashdot. A few errors could be forgiven, but often it seems like they actively try to avoid reading the actual articles that they post about and link to.

For example, Slashdot has a story on its front page that is headlined,

Circuit Court Okays Vote Swapping Site

The text of the post and the headline lead many of Slashdot’s readers to think that the 9th Circuit Court has ruled that it was legal for a web site to facilitate the trading of votes for Al Gore and Ralph Nader (the idea was that a Nader voter in Alabama would vote for Gore, and in exchange a voter in California — where Gore was going to win by a large margin anyway — would vote for Nader).

But the court said absolutely nothing in its ruling about whether or not what the web site did was legal. All it did was reinstate a lawsuit that the web site owner and the ACLU had filed against California’s Secretary of State, Bill Jones.

Jones threatened the web site with prosecution if it didn’t bring a halt to the vote trading. The web site and the ACLU in turn sued saying their First Amendment rights were violated. A lower court dismissed part of the lawsuit and found against the web site on another part.

All the 9th District Court did was reverse those decisions and told another lower court to take a fresh look at the lawsuit.

Yes, the details are buried at the bottom of the CNET story that Slashdot links to, but would it really kill Slashdot editors to read the whole story before posting?

iPod, Copy Protection, and Why Can’t Slashdot Read a Specs Page?

This made me laugh today — Slashdot posted a correction claiming the iPod will ship with a 10 gig hard drive rather than a 5 gig hard drive as has been widely reported. Too bad they didn’t bother to read the technical specifications web page that Apple has up clearly noting that the unit will feature a 5 gig HD. Tell me again why I’d pay a subscription fee for such information.

This part didn’t make me laugh though. The New York Times confirms what The Register had suggested — the iPod will ship with copy protection which will prevent some, but not all copying. According to the Times,

Mr. Jobs said the company had taken some steps to protect against piracy in its device. For instance, he said, songs loaded onto the iPod from a Macintosh computer, cannot then be loaded from the device to a different Macintosh computer, a step he said would make it difficult for people to distribute music they own to other users.

As far as I can tell from reading between the lines, the iPod will work as a normal Firewire hard drive, but any MP3s transferred to the unit via iTunes will be placed in a special area of the hard drive where they cannot be transferred. MP3s can be copied onto the iPod using normal file copy methods, but those MP3s apparently cannot be played on the machine.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. This thing is scheduled for November, and I suspect someone will have a workaround for the copy protection before the New Year.

Which is Cheaper Per Megabyte: Hard Drives or RAM

Ugh. Slashdot really dropped the ball in posting about solid state hard drives in which Cliff makes the absurd claim that the cost per megabyte of RAM is now lower than the cost per megabyte of a hard drive.

Not even close. Even if Cliff is out buying the most expensive SCSI-3 hard drive he can find, RAM is still about twice as expensive on a per megabyte basis as a hard drive. Once you start looking at the sort of IDE hard drive most computers ship with, RAM is about 30+ times as expensive as hard drives.