derekmead writes "How, exactly, did Reddit get so big? Well, according to Reddit cofounder Steve Huffman, in the early days the Reddit crew just faked it 'til they made it.' In a video for Udacity, Huffman describes how the first Redditors populated the site's content with tons of fake accounts. These days, with the site's users are wary of people using expendable accounts to try to seed their own content. But early on, Huffman said that using fake accounts driven by the founders was key to building the tone they wanted to the site. Early on the Reddit crew could shape the discourse of the site in the direction they wanted, and as the real user base grew, those standards held allowing the fake accounts to fade away."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
First time accepted submitter moj0joj0 writes "Two days after YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files, was blocked from accessing YouTube, the RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function. The RIAA focused its criticism on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader. The organization also pointed out that there are many other similar applications available at the site, 'which can be used to steal content from CBS, which owns Download.com.' CNET's policy is that Download.com is not in any position to determine whether a piece of software is legal or not or whether it can be used for illegal activity." For a sufficiently broad definition of "steal," you could argue that all kinds of software (from word processors to graphics programs to security analysis tools) could be implicated.
redletterdave writes "About half of all of the languages in the world — more than 3,000 of them — are currently on the verge of extinction. Google hopes to stem the tide with its latest effort that launched Thursday, called The Endangered Languages Project. Google teamed up with the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, a newly formed coalition of global language groups and associations, to give endangered-language speakers and their supporters a place to upload and share their research and collaborations. The site currently features posts submitted by the Endangered Languages community, including linguistic fieldwork, projects, audio interviews, and transcriptions."
hackingbear writes "While we are importing billions of 'cheap' products labeled 'Made in China,' the fastest growing export from U.S. to China does not even need a label. Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization, so Chinese students have flocked to overseas universities and now even secondary schools, despite the high cost of attending programs in America. Chinese enrollment in U.S. universities rose 23% to 157,558 students during the 2010-2011 academic year, making China by far the biggest foreign presence. Even the daughter of Xi Jinping, the presumed next president of China, studies as an undergraduate at Harvard. This creates opportunities for universities to bring American education directly to China. Both Duke and New York University are building campuses in the Shanghai area to offer full-time programs to students there."
crookedvulture writes "Hard drive prices have yet to return to normal after last year's Thailand flooding. There's good news on the solid-state front, though. The current generation of SSDs has steadily become much cheaper over the last year or so. SSD prices have dropped an average of 46% since early 2011. Intel has largely shied away from discounting its drives, but the aggressive competition between other players in the market seems to have forced its hand. There's no indication that competition is waning, suggesting the downward trend will continue. Right now, an impressive number of drives are available for less than a dollar per gigabyte."
First time accepted submitter MtownNaylor writes "I graduated high school two days ago and am currently enrolled to attend college for studying Computer Science. I spent last summer working as a contractor, programming in Java doing work for a single company. I am looking to further either my career, my education, or both this summer. The problem is that I have found it difficult to find summer employment or internships programming for a multitude of reasons (lack of opportunities, lack of experience, lack of degree.) So what is a high school graduate who wants to work as a programmer to do?"
tekgoblin writes "Well this is pretty awesome, Valve has made an entrance into the education sector. They plan to release a new version of Steam for education uses in schools. Valve will call this service Steam for Schools, an education version of the Steam client that allows administrators to limit what its users can access. The idea of Steam for Schools is to use the platform as a teaching aid. Valve has already put together a number of educational lesson plans for using Portal 2 and its level editor to teach math and physics."
sean_nestor writes "Back in October, an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal with the headline 'Why Companies Aren't Getting the Employees They Need.' It noted that even with millions of highly educated and highly trained workers sidelined by the worst economic downturn in three generations, companies were reporting shortages of skilled workers. Companies typically blame schools, for not providing the right training; the government, for not letting in enough skilled immigrants; and workers themselves, who all too often turn down good jobs at good wages. The author of the article, an expert on employment and management issues, concluded that although employers are in almost complete agreement about the skills gap, there was no actual evidence of it. Instead, he said, 'The real culprits are the employers themselves.'" The linked article is an interview with Peter Cappelli, author of the WSJ piece, who has recently published a book on the alleged skills gap.
mask.of.sanity writes "An Android application capable of siphoning credit card data from contactless bank cards has appeared on the Google Play store. The app was developed by a security penetration tester for research purposes and will steal card numbers and expiry dates, along with transactions and merchant IDs. It requires a near field device capable phone, or accessory."
First time accepted submitter nrozema writes "Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison is buying the Hawaiian island of Lana'i, the sixth-largest island in the U.S. archipelago. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie confirmed in a written statement that the current landowner filed a transfer application with the state's Public Utilities commission Wednesday to sell its 98 percent share of the 141-square-mile island to Ellison."
judgecorp writes "The UK's largest ISP, BT, has obeyed a court order to block The Pirate Bay, following similar moves by five other service providers, after complaints by music trade body BPI. The Pirate Bay says it can continue regardless through workarounds. From the article: 'BT has started blocking access to The Pirate Bay, becoming the sixth major ISP to prevent access to the file-sharing service. It follows blocks enforced by Orange, Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk and O2, after they all obeyed a court order made in April. BT, which has been in ongoing discussions with trade body the BPI over how it would carry out a block, had not been hit with such an order until this week.'"
An anonymous reader writes "According to Phoronix, AMD will be open-sourcing its Linux execution and compiler stack as part of jump-starting the Heterogeneous System Architecture Foundation. The HSA Foundation was started earlier this month at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit and AMD plans to open up its stack so that others can utilize the code without causing HSA fragmentation. This will include LLVM code, the HSA run-time, an HSA kernel driver for Linux distributions, an HSA assembler, and other components."
New submitter sjdupont writes "A trio of University of South Florida (USF) engineering graduate students have decided to make a change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in an unusual and exciting way: by creating their own superhero personas and dressing in costumes as members of the Scientific League of Superheroes. Focused on elementary education, they have created a unique education program called the Superhero Training Network, a curriculum-based video series designed for the classroom which focuses on teaching STEM topics while engaging students in a fun way. Fifth grade classrooms in Hillsborough County (Florida) pilot tested the series during the 2011-2012 school year and enjoyed visits from the scientific superheroes to experience scientific demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities."
New submitter ryanakca writes "In a followup to a story we discussed on Sunday, Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has ordered a halt to the installation of eavesdropping equipment at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport until a privacy review could be completed. Although 'similar audio-video equipment has been operating at other Canadian airports and ports of entry for "many years,"' the Canadian Border Safety Agency failed to complete the Privacy Commissioner's required 'privacy impact assessment' before the Ottawa airport installation."
Jason Levine writes "My son is 8 years old. I'd love to get him interested in science-fiction, but most of the books I can think of seem to be targeted to older kids/adults. Thinking that the length of some novels might be off-putting to him, I read him some of the short stories in Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. He liked these, but I could tell he was having a hard time keeping up. I think the wording of the stories was too advanced and there was too much talking and not enough action. Personally, I love Asimov, but I think much of it just went over his head. Which science fiction and/or fantasy books would you recommend for an 8-year-old? (Either stories he could read himself or that we could read together over the course of a few weeks.)"