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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-so-meta-even-this-acronym dept.

jcd writes:

"I'm rather excited to get going with Soylent and to watch it grow. Nay, help it grow. I have lurked in /. for more than a decade (note: I'm not the same username over there, I know, how sneaky), and always wished I could have been involved with the beginning. So this is a great opportunity, and I joined as soon as I saw what Soylent was doing. Not to mention the fact that I felt right at home with the old style. It's very comfortable.

So here's a question for everyone. Are we going to be the same as slashdot? A clone that focuses as entirely as possible on tech related news? Or will we branch out to other topics? I'm interested to see either way. I posted a comment to this effect in one of our two existing polls, and it may be a community-wide assumption, but I do think it merits a discussion."

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State of the Site: 02/23/2014 108 comments
Well, we've survived our first week as a functional website, and have yet to go belly up because of it. The speed and growth of our community is staggering to say the least, and we are working hard to get this site fully operational. I'm pleased to announce that a development VM is now available for public consumption, and if you're interested in site development, one should join us in #dev on irc.dev.soylentnews.org. Beyond that though, I've got a few points to address on and updated statistics to share ...
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dbot on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:55PM

    by dbot (1811) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:55PM (#3689)

    I also lurked forever on ./, posting only AC. I'm pleased as pie for the new site.

    Branch out to what? Any examples?

    I'll be happy if we can *get back* to more math+science centric stuff, rather than Internet pop culture. (i.e. - reel in the focus, rather than branch out).

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by martink on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:58PM

      by martink (2496) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:58PM (#3690)

      Agreed, the tech+science+math segment is really what I'd like to see as well. Otherwise this will just become 'YANA' (Yet Another News Aggregator)

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:24PM

        by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:24PM (#3724)

        Having been is Slashdot a long long time (5digit), I thing it had always about technology, programming, internet, science, etc. Math, tended to creep in later, it wasn't a big part in the beginning, at least not bigger than the sciences.

        Then it started drifting.

        It may have been the Motto that caused the topic drift over the years: News for Nerds, Stuff that matters.

        People forgot about the first part, and concentrated on the "Stuff that matters" part to the point that it became far to focused on Politics and Social commentary, (things that mattered to them personally), two areas where you can never reach a consensus, or even an agreement to disagree.

        SoylentNews, with its motto: "Its People", (pretty broad really) has even a greater risk of topic drift into the un-settle-able (and often unsettling) area of politics.

        And perhaps that is by design. Perhaps its even a good thing. But I'm sort of sick [letssingit.com] of all that.

        My lawn...

        --
        Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Angry Jesus on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:24PM

          by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:24PM (#3903)

          5-digit /. uid here too and as I get older the more important I think the social and political stuff becomes. I'm not talking about the typical nightly news about society or even the sunday morning wonk talk show politics. I mean the intersection of tech and society in general.

          More and more tech sets the parameters of society and politics. Drones killing wouldn't be happening if it weren't for advanced comm systems and computers fast enough and small enough to make them semi-autonomous. License plate scanners wouldn't be a threat if it weren't for Big Data. The NSA wouldn't have been living out their biggest wet dream ever if it weren't for the internet.

          The technical stuff we do has serious repercussions on the world at large and we should be talking about it because simply leaving it up to "the people in charge" doesn't eliminate our moral responsibilities.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:11PM

            by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:11PM (#3985)

            Agree with just about every thing you say.
            Mankind can't seem to help himself from building skynet one piece at at time.

            However, since we can all pretty much agree there has proven to be no significant difference between Tweedledee and Tweedledum arguments about raw politics are simply pointless.

            --
            Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:36PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:36PM (#4006)

            As someone who was spoken at events previously regarding DRM in HTML5 at my local LUG, as well as privacy issues online during SFD 2013, I have to second this.

            I got into technology originally because it was fun, but now the social and political aspects are perhaps even more important to me.

            Posting as AC because I'm at work and don't have my SN account password here with me.

          • (Score: 1) by TheLink on Friday February 21 2014, @02:35AM

            by TheLink (332) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:35AM (#4151)
            Yeah. Same goes for the other sciences. A lot of people seem to be doing things just because:
            1) It can be done
            2) They need to publish
            3) They need $$$

            Few seem to consider whether they really should do a particular thing from a longer term point of view.

            For instance - human-animal hybrids or "Really Strong AIs". Is society even ready to decide which hybrids get the same rights and responsibilities as a human? What percent and how do you determine the percentage? It's all very easy to yell "luddite" but many of us have played those "Civ" style games - we have limited resources and time, there are plenty of other "tech trees" (and arguably more helpful tech trees) we could do first till society gets more ready or it becomes irrelevant (we "Ascend" or go extinct due to some other thing).

            One day some bright spark may produce the "Cheap Big Red Button That Does Great Stuff But Kills Almost Everyone If You Press It Wrong" and society might not have reached the point where nobody will ever press it wrong. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility and all that, but giving everyone great power before they can use it responsibly is a recipe for disaster. No such thing? The research into creating dangerous viruses is one.

            Some say "If I don't do it, someone else will", to that I say "if you don't do it now, at least it buys us a bit more time till someone else does", and history has examples where it can sometimes take a few decades before someone else does it and even more till it gets widespread.
          • (Score: 1) by TheRaven on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM

            by TheRaven (270) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM (#4182) Journal
            I think the problem with the other place was not that they had the Politics and YRO sections, but that they broke the filtering. I want to see those stories, but a lot of people don't. I'd like them to be opt-in, so if you come here, don't log in and don't go to the politics subdomain, you don't see them. If you log in and don't explicitly enable them, you don't see them.
            --
            sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dicknixondick on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:12PM

          by dicknixondick (2595) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:12PM (#4030)

          I've also been around slashdot since the days it was run on a babbage machine (1997). Lurked or posted ac...I cant even remember my old username.

          I dont mind the topic drift as long as the oldtimers dont leave. Whatever the community care stand Im usually interested in reading. This quality of commentary on any subject is enlightening.

          I would like to see a side bar of journal/diaries like dailykos (ugh...) since its the one redeeming quality there.

          Im really relieved this new site is happening regardless.

          • (Score: 1) by dicknixondick on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:18PM

            by dicknixondick (2595) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:18PM (#4036)

            DOh! ...I see the journal entries over to the right AFTER I post a stupid comment...guess I picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.

        • (Score: 1) by Thexalon on Friday February 21 2014, @08:35AM

          by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:35AM (#4278) Homepage

          two areas where you can never reach a consensus, or even an agreement to disagree.

          I disagree with that idea:
          - There's already an understanding in most political or social discussions that you're never really going to convince the "other" side to agree with you.
          - If you're making arguments and not hurling insults, then the discussions clarify different worldviews, their strengths and weaknesses.
          - As long as everyone is coming back to the table, there's a tacit agreement to disagree.
          - On rare occasions, you find agreement where you didn't expect it. For example, a group of Occupy Wall Street folks met up with a group of Tea Party members, and promptly agreed on a number of points, mostly campaign finance and criminal penalties for bank executives.

          --
          Every task is easy if somebody else is doing it.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by TWiTfan on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:30PM

        by TWiTfan (2428) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:30PM (#3731)

        Agreed, don't make the same mistake that Digg did. Keep it tech related, "News for Nerds" and all that. Trying to be too many things to too many people will only help you digg your own grave.

        --
        If real life were like D&D, my Charisma score would be a negative number
        • (Score: 1) by EETech1 on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:26PM

          by EETech1 (957) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:26PM (#3999)

          Soylent News...

          Feed your nerdy brain with what matters most!

        • (Score: 1) by philip on Friday February 21 2014, @07:45PM

          by philip (1614) on Friday February 21 2014, @07:45PM (#4633)

          Yes, please: make it "News for Nerds"
          As 'nerds' have become popular in pop culture, the term has lost its meaning.
          When 20-something former cheerleaders in bars claim to be nerds* it illustrates the problems we're talking about.

          *this actually happened, and also, I have nothing against former cheerleaders being nerds, or former cheerleaders who aren't. I am just using this anecdotal experience to try to illustrate a point.

          Also, there are so many people on /. that are very opinionated that I have become conditioned to caveat everything I say, in order to preemptively defend myself from people. I hope I can shake the habit here.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DrMag on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:48PM

        by DrMag (1860) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:48PM (#3754)

        The above comments I agree with completely, and I would love to have the focus remain clearly on the scientific topics. That's not to say there aren't lots of news stories that are of interest to such a site that don't deal directly with math/science/technology, but interesting insights can come by discussing such topics among a bunch of mathematicians/scientists/engineers/techies, whether they be professional, amateur, or hobbyist.

        One thing I would like to see, however, that might be "branching out" from the traditional feel of this type of news site would be a change in the comment system. I know, heresy! Please, hear me out...

        One of my biggest gripes with /. was that so often the comments would diverge into off-topic, or at least uninteresting-to-me-topic, and I would have to sort through *hundreds* of comments that were back and forth arguments over semantics, insults, or some such, when all I wanted was more information on the topic itself. One feature that would make a world of difference to me is the ability to instantly collapse an entire thread that diverged away in order to find the other discussions that got buried amid the frenzy more easily.

        I'm certain there is a way to keep the general format and feel of the current system we have all come to love while adding in a way to collapse and hide an entire section (even if many of the comments in that section are insightful/funny/whatever). It would also help in following a discussion as comments come in later.

        Just my 3.5e-5 BTC. I'd settle for just a better assortment of worthwhile articles without all the fluff.

        • (Score: 1) by buswolley on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22PM

          by buswolley (848) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22PM (#3791)

          That seems reasonable.

          --
          subicular junctures
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Foobar Bazbot on Friday February 21 2014, @12:20AM

          by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:20AM (#4096)

          the ability to instantly collapse an entire thread that diverged away in order to find the other discussions that got buried amid the frenzy more easily.

          It's my understanding that this greasemonkey script [userscripts.org], which is said to work [dev.soylentnews.org] on soylentnews with one slight modification, will grant you the ability you seek. (Haven't had a chance to try it myself...)

          • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday February 21 2014, @01:26AM

            by NCommander (2) <mcasadevall@dev.soylentnews.org> on Friday February 21 2014, @01:26AM (#4127) Homepage Journal

            For what's its worth, I tried it and no dice even after following the editing instructions to the letter.

            --
            Still always moving ...
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:53AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:53AM (#4248)

              For what's its worth, I tried it and no dice even after following the editing instructions to the letter.

              Of course. "No Dice" is the whole point of Soylent News, after all. ;-)

            • (Score: 1) by stderr on Friday February 21 2014, @10:07AM

              by stderr (11) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:07AM (#4346) Journal

              I have only tested this in "Nested"-mode, but if you can make some "pretty" buttons and hook them up to the following hide_comment(cid) and show_comment(cid) functions, I think we got a very simple POC...

              function hide_comment(cid)
              {
                 var comment=document.getElementById("comment_"+cid);
                 if(!comment) return;

                 var details=comment.getElementsByClassName("details");
                 if(details) details[0].style.setProperty("display","none",null );

                 var commentbody=comment.getElementsByClassName("commen tBody");
                 if(commentbody) commentbody[0].style.setProperty("display","none", null);

                 var commentsub=comment.getElementsByClassName("comment Sub");
                 if(commentsub) commentsub[0].style.setProperty("display","none",n ull);

                 var commtree=document.getElementById("commtree_"+cid);
                 if(commtree) commtree.style.setProperty("display","none",null);
              }

              function show_comment(cid)
              {
                 var comment=document.getElementById("comment_"+cid);
                 if(!comment) return;

                 var details=comment.getElementsByClassName("details");
                 if(details) details[0].style.removeProperty("display");

                 var commentbody=comment.getElementsByClassName("commen tBody");
                 if(commentbody) commentbody[0].style.removeProperty("display");

                 var commentsub=comment.getElementsByClassName("comment Sub");
                 if(commentsub) commentsub[0].style.removeProperty("display");

                 var commtree=document.getElementById("commtree_"+cid);
                 if(commtree) commtree.style.removeProperty("display");
              }

              cid is of course the comment-id, so hide_comment(4127); should hide your comment (except for the title bar) and all it's replies (including this, so don't try that!).

              --
              alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
              • (Score: 1) by stderr on Friday February 21 2014, @10:15AM

                by stderr (11) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:15AM (#4350) Journal

                The comment systems inserts a blank after every 50 character in long lines of characters to avoid spam. It should be "commentBody" and "commentSub".

                --
                alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
            • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:24PM

              by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:24PM (#6953)

              NCommander, get your numbered polyhedra here. [userscripts.org] No editing needed.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Friday February 21 2014, @12:49AM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:49AM (#4110)

          I second that.

          Nothing is more annoying than jumping into an interesting story and find that one of the early comments (so at the top) was some tangential BS that triggers a huge meaningless thread. I mean, I know that geeks can get hung up on something, and then beat it to a pulpy death -- been there done that myself -- but being able to collapse that junk would be awesome. Keeping a count of how many times a thread was collapsed might also be interesting, and maybe apply an automatic downmod to every post in the thread above a certain threshold of collapses.

        • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:17PM

          by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @04:17PM (#6945)

          Remember the greasemonkey script I mentioned?
          Fixed it! [userscripts.org]

          • (Score: 1) by DrMag on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:08PM

            by DrMag (1860) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:08PM (#6992)

            Very nice, thank you! So far it works perfectly.

      • (Score: 1) by weeds on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:52PM

        by weeds (611) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:52PM (#3757) Journal

        Mod parent up!

        --
        Get the strategic plan going! [dev.soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Fluffeh on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:07PM

      by Fluffeh (954) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:07PM (#3701)

      I was around on /. for over a decade as well. One thing I really wanted to mention is that a lot of the articles on say space, or physics or the like, while often low in comments, please do keep these coming as they are awesome. Just because I don't join in a conversation doesn't mean that I don't really enjoy reading the summary and clicking through to the article itself.

      Some of the pop stuff is mildly entertaining, but please lets not forget the original focus. The real articles are the main course, pop culture and the like are merely a garnish on the side of the plate.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM

      by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM (#3704) Homepage Journal

      Depends on what you want to add. I think part of the reason K5 died was it had other than nerd stuff, and the normals started posting (and it's happening at slashdot).

      I'd like to see soylent nerd-friendly and normal-hostile. I absolutely HATE seeing comments that are uninformed, ignorant, sometimes even stupid, and written by semiliterates. Those people aren't us.

      --
      Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:40PM

        by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:40PM (#3741)

        It may be hard, occasionally, to distinguish the semi-literate from the non English-as-mother-tongue folks. I would hope we don't mistake someone making a their/there/they're error for someone with no valid ideas.

        On Slashdot, uninformed, ignorant, and stupid, are names too often (and too quickly) applied to people with which one simply disagrees. It seems far more often the case, that a pejorative will be flung into the conversation than a link or two to an educational source.

        If SN could find a cure for the people who believe they have to "win the internet" every time they post, it would be miles ahead.

        Perhaps we should add a mod category of "bad behavior"?

        --
        Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by kebes on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:56PM

          by kebes (1505) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:56PM (#3760)
          I've often wondered whether moderation should work like this: Every comment has an 'agree score' and a 'quality score'. The 'quality score' is the usual Slashdot style, where select people are given mod points, and are told to upvote based on whether comments contribute to the discussion (insightful, informative, etc.).

          The 'agree score' would be available for everyone to click on at all times (i.e. not restricted to moderators). This score would be displayed alongside each comment, but would not affect comment visibility. Thus, it would act as a signifier of how many site readers agreed with the comment, independent of the quality of the presentation style.

          Since this 'agree score' doesn't affect comment visibility, you might wonder why bother having it at all? My suspicion is that by providing an agree/disagree button, it would reinforce the idea that the usual mod-score is not related to agreement. This would (hopefully) make moderators more focused in giving mod-points. Additionally, everyone loves giving their opinion, so it's a simple way to engage the community in commenting (it's a simple way to agree with someone without posting a 'yeah I agree' in reply). Displaying the final 'agreement percentage' could then of course provide some useful information to other readers.
          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM

            by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM (#3785)

            Yes, the pacifier buttons.

            You're starting to see those Thumbs up / Thumbs down buttons a lot. It gives people a way to feel involved without having to take the time to post a constructive rebuttal, agreement or counterpoint.

            I Don't know how I feel about that, but it MIGHT soak up a lot of "Me too" posts or name calling flames.

            I still think we need a "bad behavior" mod to stamp out the name calling and flaming.
            There are better ways to make a point than flinging invectives.

            --
            Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
            • (Score: 2, Funny) by mtrycz on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:19PM

              by mtrycz (60) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:19PM (#3788)

              So much +1!

              • (Score: 4, Funny) by Kell on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:08PM

                by Kell (292) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:08PM (#3943)

                Don't you mean +1 agree/+1 quality?

                --
                Scientists point out problems. Engineers fix them.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:56PM

            by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:56PM (#3834)

            This is a great idea, and I second this entirely. Wish I could mod you up for this post - but I'd rather have an Agree button.

            Look, I enjoy using Facebook despite loathing the company, and a big part of that enjoyment is that I can click 'Like' as a very simple way of sending 1 bit of positive feedback to the author of the post I enjoyed. There are a lot of things that are evil about Facebook the company as a totalitarian privacy-devouring world-consuming financial-speculation bubble behemoth: but the Like button isn't one of them.

            Slashdot was a very early implementation of crowd moderation and the strength of Soylent right now is that it's a small and passionate community of early adopters, so we have room to experiment. Let's try this thing. Separate 'Agree' vs 'Quality' ratings.

            --
            Delenda est Beta
          • (Score: 2, Informative) by umafuckitt on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:01PM

            by umafuckitt (20) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:01PM (#3888)

            This is similar to how the new technocrat.net is doing it.

            • (Score: 1) by dmc on Friday February 21 2014, @02:10AM

              by dmc (188) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:10AM (#4138)

              mod parent up. While in some sense technocrat.net might be a competitor to SN (as both competitors to /.Beta), it seems SN has achieved critical mass already and I doubt anything will stop it. While technocrat.net seems to need more commenters. And clearly Bruce Perens' quality/comportment idea exploration is quite similar if not exactly what we are discussing in this subthread. I'd almost say you don't need to experiment with it here (anytime soon), but rather use technocrat.net as the place to explore that side of moderation. Likewise technocrat is an interesting alternate implementation. I.e. while here the path is clearly- fork the ancient slashcode, and then improve it in obvious needed ways over time, over there it is start from scratch with RoR? and an absolutely minimalist proof of concept first. Though also I don't mean to act like I'm an expert, but that's at least a start of why you should go over there and at least check it out. (Perens I think has already tried to deploy it long ago but shut it down because it didn't get enough traction. I think if we could nudge 5-10% of the traffic here over there, we'd get a 2nd good alternative to slashdot going)

              • (Score: 1) by umafuckitt on Friday February 21 2014, @08:06AM

                by umafuckitt (20) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:06AM (#4272)

                That's an interesting suggestion and I'm trying to spend a little time there and submit stories. Right now there's pretty much no comment traffic on technocrat, which is a pity. However, looking at the internet archive, it looks like there never really was any: http://web.archive.org/web/20050830003758/http://t echnocrat.net/ [archive.org] No comments, or comment counts under 10 per story, were the norm.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:35PM

            by Angry Jesus (182) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:35PM (#3909)

            I've been thinking basically the same thing for a few years now with one difference -- the "Agree Score" should be more functional. Let people choose to hide or elevate comments with large numbers of either kind of vote (or even lots of both kinds of votes, indicating controversy). At Ars getting enough disagrees will hide a comment and I think a lot of agrees will get it promoted to a special section at the end of the article. I don't think they have a way to tune the thresholds per user though.

            • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Friday February 21 2014, @01:14AM

              by weilawei (109) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:14AM (#4120)
              Let people choose to hide or elevate comments with large numbers of either kind of vote (or even lots of both kinds of votes, indicating controversy). +1 Agree, +1 Quality. If you have both kinds of scores (and I think it's an idea worth trying), someone will make a Greasemonkey script to reorder them/display them according to their preferred metric. Rather than futz with all that, I think it'd be nice to have both (agree, quality) scores and the option to sort/filter by either.
              • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Friday February 21 2014, @01:17AM

                by weilawei (109) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:17AM (#4121)

                Replying to myself because we STILL lack an edit button. I'd like to see posts with revisions, to avoid edit trollery. Original post should've been:

                Let people choose to hide or elevate comments with large numbers of either kind of vote (or even lots of both kinds of votes, indicating controversy).

                +1 Agree, +1 Quality. If you have both kinds of scores (and I think it's an idea worth trying), someone will make a Greasemonkey script to reorder them/display them according to their preferred metric. Rather than futz with all that, I think it'd be nice to have both (agree, quality) scores and the option to sort/filter by either.

                (Further edit: the Slow Down Cowboy message makes correcting your posts really hard.)

          • (Score: 1) by Murdoc on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:58PM

            by Murdoc (2518) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:58PM (#4061)

            +1 Agree. :)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:28AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:28AM (#4240)

            I wish there were a "disagree" button to tell you how much I disagree.

            But wait, then I'd need a button to say "I agree with the second part only, while the first makes me indifferent".

            You know what? I will use comments instead of a flat +1/-1, and if I just agree and have nothing to add, I will add nothing, as honest as that.
            Having a head count on comments puts value on popularity.

            Now, go. Back. To. Facebook. (interleaved with Castlevania IV whip sound effect)

            (Sorry for the sarcasm :] )

            Anonymous neagix

          • (Score: 1) by Thexalon on Friday February 21 2014, @10:01AM

            by Thexalon (636) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:01AM (#4340) Homepage

            I actually proposed that exact idea back in a forum post [dev.soylentnews.org] before we had a functioning site. I called it the "hear-hear" button, but the concept is the same.

            The key reason to do this: Two posts that each have 3-5 moderators behind it may appear to be on equal footing, when in fact the real vote might be closer to 10,000 to 4. That doesn't mean the minority viewpoint isn't heard, because this wouldn't affect visibility, but it does mean that casual readers can get an idea of what the masses really think. Of course, if somebody really cared they could use various technical means to make a post appear more popular than it really was, but I think it would be a worthwhile and fairly low-cost experiment.

            --
            Every task is easy if somebody else is doing it.
            • (Score: 1) by neagix on Friday February 21 2014, @02:04PM

              by neagix (25) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:04PM (#4468)

              I am sorry but I am biased to think that popularity shouldn't be something we should care about. Popular != Valuable. We don't want to be popular, we want to be opinionated geeks, and to be right. That's at least my perspective

          • (Score: 1) by Common Joe on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:16AM

            by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:16AM (#4706) Journal

            Your idea has a lot of merit, but I think there are privacy issues here to think about. Sure, as soon as one post to SoylentNews, your opinion is now made public, but having a like / dislike button (agree / disagree) reeks of Facebook and it reeks of information gathering. I mean, unless anyone can vote any number of times (and ballot stuff), it becomes a requirement to information gather. There is no other way: login and vote.

            I'm not saying the purpose of SoylentNews is information gathering. That was never the goal of this project. Still that's what this idea will lead to and I think the community will ultimately reject that and it drive away some people.

            Even if that were implemented, I'd stay. I don't often click those like or dislike buttons on Facebook. (Hell, I barely log in to Facebook at and the only reason I have an account it to help keep up with my friends and family in other countries.) It wouldn't be a requirement.

            I'm not giving my explicit like or dislike here. I write this merely as food for thought.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:03PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:03PM (#4025) Homepage Journal

          It may be hard, occasionally, to distinguish the semi-literate from the non English-as-mother-tongue folks. I would hope we don't mistake someone making a their/there/they're error for someone with no valid ideas.

          That's a very good reason to point out to the aliterate and the ESL student as well. The internet is an awful place to learn written English. I don't know the stats for other English speaking countries, but although less than 1% of Americans are illiterate, 97% of them are aliterate. Teaching is never a bad thing, especially if you can make it humorous. Or humourous if you're British.

          But there are commenters who make those mistakes, are corrected, yet continue. Those people are just stupid. I mean, it isn't like they can't check it out with an authority, like maybe a dictionary or something.

          On Slashdot, uninformed, ignorant, and stupid, are names too often (and too quickly) applied to people with which one simply disagrees. It seems far more often the case, that a pejorative will be flung into the conversation than a link or two to an educational source.

          If SN could find a cure for the people who believe they have to "win the internet" every time they post, it would be miles ahead.

          Perhaps we should add a mod category of "bad behavior"?

          Agreed completely... except doesn't "troll" cover "bad behavior"?

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday February 21 2014, @12:06AM

            by frojack (1554) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:06AM (#4087)

            Yes and No. Troll seems to acquired a lot of baggage, and has assumed a separate category all its own. In fact, the wiki definition [wikipedia.org] seems to grow every year to include yet more things that someone somewhere objects to.
            In fact modding someone troll has come to mean modding them "disagree".

            One may troll politely, not calling anyone names, simply stating an unpopular view.
            (And occasionally that's not always bad, people need to know their beliefs are not universally held).

            But hurling insults and calling people morons or idiots just seems unnecessary, and modding them troll can't be distinguished from modding them "disagree".

            There seems great reluctance to add new mod values, both here and on Slashdot. So when I suggest doing so, I may be trolling, but I'm not misbehaving. (At least not egregiously).

            --
            Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
            • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @10:56AM

              by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:56AM (#4381) Homepage Journal

              In fact, the wiki definition seems to grow every year to include yet more things that someone somewhere objects to.

              Well, at slashdot I'd go by their FAQ definition, here I'll go with the Soylent FAQ definition (which I think is identical).

              One may troll politely, not calling anyone names, simply stating an unpopular view.

              As to "unpopular view", well, that depends. In many cases you're right. In a story at a nerd site about space exploration a comment that says money for space exploration should go to the poor is certainly a troll, no matter how polite. Same with logging on to an AARP messageboard and advocating the end of Social Security or Medicare, or logging on to a Christian messageboard with a statement about what great ideas Richard Dawkins has, or an athiest site saying "repent before you wind up in hell".

              Just being abusive is flamebait. Some comments are both flamebait AND troll.

              As to "disagree" equaling "troll", I consider that an abuse of moderation. If you simply disagree, don't moderate, comment. If someone is wrong, correct them (politely if possible).

              There seems great reluctance to add new mod values, both here and on Slashdot. So when I suggest doing so, I may be trolling, but I'm not misbehaving.

              I don't see it as trolling OR misbehaving. It's your honest opinion and you shouldn't be afraid to voice it.

              --
              Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 1) by M. Baranczak on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:26PM

          by M. Baranczak (1673) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:26PM (#4039)

          It may be hard, occasionally, to distinguish the semi-literate from the non English-as-mother-tongue folks. I would hope we don't mistake someone making a their/there/they're error for someone with no valid ideas.

          The people who make this error are almost always native English speakers. If you learn English a little later in life, like I did, you learn the spoken and written language at the same time. When you do that, it's bloody obvious that "they're" and "their" are different words.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Sir Garlon on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:44PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:44PM (#3747)

        I'd like to see soylent nerd-friendly and normal-hostile. I absolutely HATE seeing comments that are uninformed, ignorant, sometimes even stupid, and written by semiliterates. Those people aren't us.

        When you say "normal-hostile," do you mean hostile to banality [thefreedictionary.com]? If so, then I pledge my invisible sword to your cause!

        Policing comments is the moderators' job. So nipping that crap in the bud is up to you, me, and all of us.

        Though, come to think of it, new moderation options could help. The closest thing we have now is "overrated," which is not quite the same thing. I'd like to see a more explicit mod option to the effect, "I've heard that before and it was shallow then."

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight who is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:14PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:14PM (#4032) Homepage Journal

          Yes, that was exactly what I meant.

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 1) by Foobar Bazbot on Friday February 21 2014, @12:43AM

          by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:43AM (#4108)

          Though, come to think of it, new moderation options could help. The closest thing we have now is "overrated," which is not quite the same thing. I'd like to see a more explicit mod option to the effect, "I've heard that before and it was shallow then."

          Back in the /. days, I've seen a number of arguments over what exactly "redundant" was appropriate for. (Most frequently because a first post or the first instance of an "obligatory webcomic" was modded down as redundant.) Some people interpret "redundant" relative to comments in the current discussion only (in which case the first post can never be redundant), some to comments+TFS, or comments+TFS+TFA (either of these consider that the first post may be redundant), and some take it even farther, to the point that anything that everyone on /. has heard plenty of times may be modded redundant, because it does and should go without saying. The third interpretation, while AFAICT a minority (at least on /.), does give the "redundant" mod substantial overlap with what you're after.

          That said, I'd welcome a -1 Banal mod -- not only would it likely reduce the frequency of that tired argument of what "redundant" means, it would be handy for moderating the argument out of sight when it does occur.

          • (Score: 1) by hubie on Friday February 21 2014, @10:21AM

            by hubie (1068) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:21AM (#4353) Journal

            I would like to see "-1 Wrong" for those comments that are flat-out wrong. It would probably get used in the wrong way, but there are cases when someone makes their argument and they are just wrong, like arguing from the standpoint of violating physical law, or claiming A when a dozen people point out that it is actually !A.

      • (Score: 1) by cybro on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:42PM

        by cybro (1144) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:42PM (#3963)

        >"and the normals started posting"
        >"I'd like to see soylent nerd-friendly and normal-hostile"
        I understand the sentiment but I don't think that will happen. It sounds like you'd prefer 4chan or something.

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:51PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:51PM (#4018) Homepage Journal

          I've never been to 4chan, because I've heard of it. I looked at reddit - once. When I say "discourage normals," I'm talking about modding idiotic statements down like they used to do at slashdot. Let them lurk, in fact encourage it, they might learn something. But don't encourage them to comment.

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 1) by Jerry Smith on Friday February 21 2014, @02:21AM

        by Jerry Smith (379) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:21AM (#4145) Journal

        the normals started posting

        That's always the end of fun.
        What always annoyed me that whenever something was afoot, like plans to build a space station or explore Mars or build nanobots or other fun stuff, there were always people pushing their "we can't spend money on science as long as there is hunger in $Bananistan" agenda.

        --
        All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @10:42AM

          by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:42AM (#4369) Homepage Journal

          That's one of my pet peeves as well. At a nerd site that's nothing short of one of the three big guys Bilbo turned to stone and should be modded as such.

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 1) by JeanCroix on Friday February 21 2014, @09:05AM

        by JeanCroix (573) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:05AM (#4294)

        the normals started posting

        Honestly, it's never been the same since that one September back in '93...

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by lubricus on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:18PM

      by lubricus (232) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:18PM (#3715)

      I agree with every part of this, for some reason I rarely felt comfortable posting on /., perhaps because the threads diverged so often turned absurd, political, or there was nothing to add.

      Following up on the crowd [dev.soylentnews.org], I agree that math + science was the most useful to me, because it was nice to catch up on a breadth of fields, with specialists coming in for interpretation and insight.

      I would add that I'd like to see tech legal issues covered for the same reason.

      Basically, nerds love stuff, we want to learn about stuff, but we simply don't have the time to gain the necessary expertise to appreciate everything we some across.

      --
      ... sorry about the typos
      • (Score: 1) by Kell on Friday February 21 2014, @03:12AM

        by Kell (292) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:12AM (#4160)

        +1 agree. I think we need a -1 Political mod - so that when people complain the topic of the story is the fault of the republicans/democrats/libertarians/bolsheviks/bona partists we can mod them into oblivion.

        --
        Scientists point out problems. Engineers fix them.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by regift_of_the_gods on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:05PM

      by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:05PM (#3771)

      A word of caution. One way to put a damper on dinner party conversation is to object e.g when someone broaches a subject such as Obama, "Do we really want to talk about politics (religion, celebrities, etc)?" Maybe not exclusively or primarily, but then everyone starts to self-censor before bringing up any new topic.

      • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Friday February 21 2014, @01:21AM

        by weilawei (109) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:21AM (#4124)
        If Soylent is a dinner party, does that make it a murder mystery dinner?
    • (Score: 1) by osiguru on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:13PM

      by osiguru (1148) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:13PM (#3780) Homepage

      I was a low UID way back in the day, but somehow I managed to lose my login/id/password/email provider so I just abandoned the account and lurked. Thanks to the efforts of you all here put into a good old fashioned environment and more importantly a system deliverable reset.

      The current content balance is perfectly fine so far, and it will evolve as the slashmenot users begin to discover this petri-dish of goodness.

      Shoving unwanted crap at the consumer works pretty well, right?
      "hey, can I have a chair with my .beta too?"

      Just ask that fat chair tossing bald ogre up there in Redmond..

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mojo chan on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:20PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:20PM (#3789)

      I'll be happy if we can *get back* to more math+science centric stuff, rather than Internet pop culture. (i.e. - reel in the focus, rather than branch out).

      I don't think it has to be an either/or decision, we can have both. Generally I like the stories being posted so far more than those on Slashdot. Just keep it like Slashdot was 10 years ago, but acknowledge that the world has moved on so of course there are going to be stories about Facecock pissing away billions on some generic chat app.

      PS. Allow unicode signatures.

      PPS. Make it green.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:33PM

        by DECbot (832) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:33PM (#3806)

        My wife uses said generic texting app for keeping in contact with friends and family members in other countries. There's a huge international market that FB just bought and will bring into their concentrated feed lot. I wonder what the general masses will think of their new corporate overlords.

        --
        • cats~$ sudo su
        • cats~# chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 1) by mojo chan on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:23PM

          by mojo chan (266) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:23PM (#3864)

          I don't disagree that it is a useful app. I use QQ to chat with my GF overseas. I'm just surprised Facebook think it is worth $16bn, especially when half the user base will just move on to the next thing in six to twelve months.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
          • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:28PM

            by DECbot (832) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:28PM (#3905)

            Perhaps Facebook does value it for what it is worth, and knows how much their stock is really worth too.

            --
            • cats~$ sudo su
            • cats~# chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 1) by jcd on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:40PM

        by jcd (883) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:40PM (#3818)

        Re: PPS: I have to say I like it red. It makes me feel like I've joined the dark side and it was right all along.

        --
        "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:47AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:47AM (#4154)
          +1 Disagree, +1 Offtopic
        • (Score: 1) by JeanCroix on Friday February 21 2014, @09:08AM

          by JeanCroix (573) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:08AM (#4296)
          I like it too. To me, it says, "Beta: Never Forget."
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:30PM (#3803)

      There's one thing that'll make you different from slashdot. MickLinux can't register with Create an Account. It causes a 500 Server Error one time, another time it goes to the registration page, but then entering the requested information yields an "invalid-bare" exception.

      Aside from that, here's something I'd like to see: a kind of a tech startup venture method.

      Here's the deal: On one branch people who have ideas for how to solve a certain tech problem post the idea. The ranking of their idea is according to their tekscore, which in turn is based on successful tech startups that have already occurred. Each individual can split his tekscore between some or all of his ideas, as he wishes.

      So you have a good idea, and want to start it up, then go ahead and post your idea, and start breaking it down into subtasks, and working on everything you can, yourself... but then start helping others solve their problems. As a lead pushes towards success using your help, they credit your tekscore with a preliminary credit. When the lead succeeds, he announces that, and 1000 credits gets divided evenly according to the preliminary credits. That pushes your project up on the list, to be better noticed -- and presumably closer to fulfillment.

      For this to work, the problems have to be well defined, with a clear goal.

      Anyhow... just my two cents.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by DECbot on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:36PM

        by DECbot (832) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:36PM (#3811)

        Had a similar issue when I used an undeliverable email address during registration. I changed the address to something that I knew was working, and now I have an account.

        --
        • cats~$ sudo su
        • cats~# chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 1) by Koen on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:42PM

        by Koen (427) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:42PM (#3880)

        "tekscore, which in turn is based on successful tech startups that have already occurred"

        Are you talking about businesses? I come here to read about interesting stuff, not to read about biz fluff.

        --
        /. refugees on Usenet: comp.misc [comp.misc]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:29AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:29AM (#4128)
          +1 Agree, +1 Flamebait
        • (Score: 1) by MickLinux on Friday February 21 2014, @05:46AM

          by MickLinux (2659) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:46AM (#4214)

          Yes and no (yay, I'm on!).
          I'm talking about a product, not a business. People use a product ... but if they know how to make it and others want it, it CAN become a microbusiness, and later a business.

          One might be a way to make mosaic tiles out of waste plastic. Another might be a better designed open-design velomobile.

          One might be a design for a private network that uses relay computers just tacked to telephone poles, and lasers from optical mice.

          One might be a phased network of optical telescopes that could see the asteroids as far as Saturn.

          --
          The problem of the ugly American is not so much that people dislike Yanks, as it is that they dislike jerks.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bilborg on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM

      by bilborg (2526) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM (#3850) Homepage

      I'll jump on the *get back* bandwagon. But it's less about the stories than about community, for me. /. seemed to go downhill rapidly (for my taste) when Rob Malda left the helm. Site by committee gets the PC sticker of approval, but ... boring. There's something to be said for projects and sites with benevolent dictators.

      So far I like the mix of stories, many of the comments have the scent of intelligent activity behind them, and I'll be interested to see how this site grows (and grows up).

      Be well.

      --
      Time enough to sleep after I'm dead.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:32AM (#4129)
        Don't worry, at least one of us has already enjoyed the banhammer 5 times, in order to bring you your daily ration of +1 Troll.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:13PM (#3852)

      I've lurked for a while too, but I've never understood how to make a new comment thread. Help?

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Qzukk on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:38PM

        by Qzukk (1086) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:38PM (#3912) Journal

        The top level reply button is at the very top with the rest of the controls for threading etc.

    • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:33PM (#4004)

      Agreed. What we don't want is a politics section. IMO the politics section on slashdot started its slow but inevitable downfall. Political articles regularly get 1000+ comments and clearly generate clicks and ad revenue. If I want politics, there are plenty of other popular blogs I can do that on. Slashdot or soylentnews doesn't need to try to be another one.

      • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Friday February 21 2014, @01:34AM

        by weilawei (109) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:34AM (#4130)
        I think that we should emphasize the math, science, and engineering sides of things, but I also find YRO (politics focused specifically on civil liberties) to be an important focal point of the community. What I'm not so interested in is the latest MyBook clone or startup. That stuff can stay on YCombinator. I'd rather hear more about the R&D side of things.
    • (Score: 1) by kef on Friday February 21 2014, @01:19AM

      by kef (1211) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:19AM (#4123) Homepage

      Long time lurker here as well. I absolutely agree with going back to the roots. Math, science & computer related stuff rocks my boat! Occasionally other important stuff which affect us/the world wouldn't harm me, but other people might not be so warm to those topics. No politics or wold news thank you very much...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DarkMorph on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:00PM

    by DarkMorph (674) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:00PM (#3691)
    Virtually every member here is going to recall the slogan, "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters."

    The question is, what stuff matters now? If we stray a tad from the strictly technological news, I would be all right with it. General news ought to be permitted, particularly events throughout the whole world. Really do not want that "it's too U.S.-centric" issue again.

    At the very least let's refrain from having those utterly idiotic articles from being run here. You know, like the ones everyone bitched about over on /.. Perhaps it's not really about which genres we aren't covering, but actually it's about the ones that we know are junk and shouldn't be posting.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by oodaloop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:05PM

      by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:05PM (#3698)

      Agreed. Fewer junk articles, and more news from around the world. As an American, I'd love to see more articles about politics and other news going on in other countries without it being about what it means to America. I might even tolerate metric units in TFS.

      --
      Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ragequit on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:11PM

        by ragequit (44) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:11PM (#3706) Journal

        I second this. Things HAVE to happen elsewhere in the world, right?

        --
        The above views are fabricated for your reading pleasure.
      • (Score: 1) by TWiTfan on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:37PM

        by TWiTfan (2428) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:37PM (#3738)

        I'm not big on political stories. I guess they're better than those advertisements-disguised-as-videos that Robolimbo was infamous for posting on /. but not by much.

        --
        If real life were like D&D, my Charisma score would be a negative number
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by sar on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:50PM

        by sar (507) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:50PM (#3756)

        Please no politics. Politics is bullshit with no hard facts where anyone can fart and label it Truth.
        I for one prefer science and technology where you can't bend facts.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by oodaloop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:59PM

          by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:59PM (#3764)

          What the politics is about may be bullshit, but the fact that elections are contested in a given country is important and factual. I want to know about laws being proposed, sanctions against countries, what kind of person won the election in another country, etc. I don't want to hear left-wing vs right-wing debates about the same tired subjects, but some political stories are important to know about.

          --
          Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by sar on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:21PM

            by sar (507) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:21PM (#3861)

            Contested elections will be interesting for me if TFA includes nice statistical analysis of tampering. Or analysis of security holes in yet another e-voting machine.
            Politics enough but still on technology side would be pirate party premier in some country. More for the fact that he would understand computers and would probably do some interesting decisions while in power.
            Or some baltic country completely ditching physical currency and going electronic only.

            With who won elections in other countries I am not so sure. Too many countries, too many similar parties, too many unknown names.

            But what I would really like to see here more would be for example something similar to article about this uber nerdy lady that wrote how she decoded GPS signal from audio feed of some helicopter video of street car chasing...

          • (Score: 1) by quadrox on Friday February 21 2014, @12:23AM

            by quadrox (315) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:23AM (#4099)

            I loved that Slashdot posted anything that matters. Maybe there were a few useless articles, but overall I would rather have to much diversity than to little. I want to keep up to date on all the important stuff in the world - this excludes celebrity gossip, but definitely own will include politics.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by FatPhil on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:03PM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:03PM (#3769) Homepage

          Whilst I almost entirely agree, whenever you have things like the DMCA and DeCSS, detaining Jens and Dmitry et al., and shit like that, which is stuff that matters to a nerd like me, you can't but dive into US law and US politics.

          So politics only where there's a strong nerd interest.

          --
          Making a public pledge to no longer contribute to slashdot
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Buck Feta on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:30PM

        by Buck Feta (958) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:30PM (#3802) Journal

        >> I might even tolerate metric units in TFS.

        If Soy is about science and tech, the style guide ought *require* metric units.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by kwerle on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:57PM

        by kwerle (746) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:57PM (#3931) Homepage

        Ugh! If you want to see world news, use the BBC - it's awesome!

        I want a software/IT/tech/science site, not another world politics.

        My .02

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Friday February 21 2014, @04:41AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:41AM (#4188) Journal
          While I agree in general, the BBC covered the riots in Bangkok but didn't really promote it - I only found it on the BBC site after a friend there told me about it and I dug around with the BBC news search function. This is the sort of thing that I'd love to have covered here (but, again, in a subdomain that is only shown to people who either visit that domain or explicitly opt in in their profile).
          --
          sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by goody on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:04PM

        by goody (2135) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:04PM (#3977)

        You can go to the BBC or Al Jeezera to get political news from other countries and without an American slant. I say keep this site about science and technology -- real news for nerds.

      • (Score: 1) by EJ on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:50PM

        by EJ (2452) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:50PM (#4056)

        I'm sorry, but I'm just not at all interested in political nonsense. I can get that just fine from fark.com, and I'd expect as valuable a level of commentary from users there.

        I went to slashdot.org when I wanted to know that Google was selling Motorola to Lenovo, that Google fiber might be coming to my neighborhood, or that my phone was about to be owned if I used its web browser.

        I like the idea that SN could be a place where any story I see is something I'm probably going to care about. Politics just annoy me, and there isn't anything I can actually do about any of it.

        • (Score: 1) by oodaloop on Monday February 24 2014, @10:22AM

          by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Monday February 24 2014, @10:22AM (#5867)

          Can you do anything about Google selling Motorola to Lenovo? This site wasn't created to cater to just your interests. We all have varied interests, and we all see articles we like and article we don't like.

          --
          Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
    • (Score: 1) by krishnoid on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:06PM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:06PM (#3699)

      Virtually every member here is going to recall the slogan, "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters."

      If we can't get the rights to that, I was thinking we could try 'Soylent News and Nerd Report'.

      • (Score: 1) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:46PM

        by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:46PM (#3750)

        Or maybe just SoylentNerds? ;-)

        Its got a ring to it.

        But I'm not sure we want ALL the stuff that came from Slashdot. Some was getting pretty old.

        --
        Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
      • (Score: 1) by unitron on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:38PM

        by unitron (70) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:38PM (#3958) Journal

        Okay,so then there're two of us here old enough to remember US News and World Report.

        Maybe even 3 or 4.

        --
        something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by zim on Friday February 21 2014, @12:40AM

        by zim (1251) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:40AM (#4106)
        The nerd thing is now mainstream popular.

        Drop it. Time to move onto something else.
        • (Score: 1) by JeanCroix on Friday February 21 2014, @09:13AM

          by JeanCroix (573) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:13AM (#4301)
          Sadly, this. "Nerd" has somehow become a badge of pride, but with no more entry requirements than trendy thick-rimmed glasses and a fanatical devotion to the Big Bang Theory.
      • (Score: 1) by Foobar Bazbot on Friday February 21 2014, @01:05AM

        by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:05AM (#4115)

        Since /. is still actively using that -- not on the page anymore, but it's still in the >title< (even in beta (fuck beta!), it's the one thing they forgot to wreck) -- I really doubt we can get away with using it.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by E_NOENT on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:23PM

      by E_NOENT (630) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:23PM (#3723)

      Virtually every member here is going to recall the slogan, "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters."

      Maybe the true nerd cred comes from being interested in stuff that doesn't "matter" in the traditional sense (I can read about earthquakes in ${COUNTRY} or zero-day exploits on IE11 elsewhere).

      --
      Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dotdotdot on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM

      by dotdotdot (858) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM (#3744)

      I don't care as much about "News for Nerds" as I do about "Contributions from Nerds". I appreciate the informative, insightful, interesting and funny comments no matter what the topic is. I have learned way more from the discussions than I have from the stories submitted. I don't mind a little "Stuff that Matters" mixed in, but I'm here more to get the "Perspective of Nerds".

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SpallsHurgenson on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:43PM

        by SpallsHurgenson (656) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:43PM (#3824)

        I agree. I actually enjoy some of the discussions on Slashdot regarding politics or economics, because it allows me to read - and discuss - these important issues with other geeks; people who have some understanding of why I take privacy violations so seriously, or look at electronic voting with great wariness. Yes, I can read about this stuff on other websites, but there the focus tends to be much more black-and-white, My Team versus Your Team without much discourse on the underlying problems (this happened on Slashdot too, but as often was moderated down to tolerable levels).

        It's not the topics - not the article - that draws us to Slashdot (or Soylent); it's the comments. I want to hear what other readers say, and not just their opinions on the latest Linux kernel or whether OCZ SSDs were really that bad. Micro-focused as we sometimes can be, geeks as a whole have more than one interest and have more than one dimension to them. I enjoy hearing from them on other issues than purely tech and science. I mean, where else am I going to get this sort of intelligent conversation?

    • (Score: 1) by Common Joe on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:21AM

      by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:21AM (#4708) Journal

      The question is, what stuff matters now? If we stray a tad from the strictly technological news, I would be all right with it. General news ought to be permitted, particularly events throughout the whole world. Really do not want that "it's too U.S.-centric" issue again.

      I hate to say it, but the only way to keep people happy in a scenario like this is to categorize the stories. One person wants only highly technical articles while another would be happy with tech articles and general news. Apply a filter and both are happy. Stories would need to be able to fall into multiple categories. Making these categories, keeping them up to date, and keeping the users engaged enough to update their preferences with these categories is a big challenge.

      Just my opinion

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by crutchy on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:01PM

    by crutchy (179) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:01PM (#3692) Homepage Journal

    ...it can never be /. without apk :-P

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM (#3710)

      Don't forget the hot grits.

    • (Score: 1) by d on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:16PM

      by d (523) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:16PM (#3713)

      I second that. Given that we finally have some admins who care, imagine how quickly would such spam disappear!

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by isostatic on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:26PM

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:26PM (#3727)

      I used my hosts file to block apk

      • (Score: 1) by Techwolf on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:58PM

        by Techwolf (87) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:58PM (#3837)

        What is this thing with the "host file"? I've seen on it /. and it gets to +5 and have no clue as to why it got modded up.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by lothmordor on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:34PM

          by lothmordor (1522) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:34PM (#3873)

          Yeah, this is off-topic, but....

          Modifying the hosts file is one method for blocking ads, malware servers or any other website by remapping the DNS lookup to the localhost address. Doesn't work for adservers that don't use DNS (you would need to block those with a firewall), and very large hosts files can cause some latency in the lookup process. I think most users just install AdBlock now.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file) [wikipedia.org]
          http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm [mvps.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:39PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:39PM (#3877)

            APK isn't wrong, his attitude and writing style just pisses everyone off.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:12AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:12AM (#4139)
              When all you have is a hosts file, everything looks like APK.
            • (Score: 1) by crutchy on Friday February 21 2014, @05:59AM

              by crutchy (179) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:59AM (#4217) Homepage Journal

              don't forget the infamous troll-reversal script... with python indentation bug on line 5 :-P

          • (Score: 1) by Techwolf on Friday February 21 2014, @12:27AM

            by Techwolf (87) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:27AM (#4101)

            The technical part I knew about, but there seem to be a missing joke there somewhere that started on /. I guess I didn't make myself clear. My bad.

            • (Score: 1) by lothmordor on Friday February 21 2014, @04:15AM

              by lothmordor (1522) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:15AM (#4173)

              No worries. I suspected that might be the case, but I wasn't sure. Perhaps someone lurking found it useful.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Friday February 21 2014, @04:48AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:48AM (#4193) Journal

          APK is someone who has mental health problems and is one of the most persistent Internet trolls[1]. He wrote some little Windows programs in the '90s, including one for managing very large hosts files for filtering ads and known-malware sites. One of the more prominent examples of his over-the-top behaviour was when he threatened someone with legal action because their program detected his software as malware. He didn't provide any information that would let them check it and flag it as a false positive, just went into full crazy mode straight away.

          I had him post the same reply (usually 5 or so times) to all of my Slashdot posts for a couple of weeks. Apparently he took issue with a comment where I mentioned that I'd written a few books (people who pay attention on Slashdot have worked out who I am - at least one person did and posted my name and address in response to one of my comments about anonymity - and so can easily confirm this, but I generally try not to make explicit links because I quite like a little bit of deniability). He then posts pretending to be someone else gloating that APK 'won' the conversation because the person he was trolling didn't respond.

          [1] I don't think he meets the technical definition, because he's honestly writing what he believes, he's just a bit unstuck from reality.

          --
          sudo mod me up
          • (Score: 0) by crutchy on Friday February 21 2014, @06:02AM

            by crutchy (179) on Friday February 21 2014, @06:02AM (#4218) Homepage Journal

            he gets one kudo cos he likes delphi

            he loses it cos he also likes python

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by oodaloop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:02PM

    by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:02PM (#3694)

    I'd like to see some user generated forums/fora for discussion of any topic, not just on a particular news item. For instance, I am attempting to root a particular Android phone and am looking for feedback from people who have done it before, links to site explaining how to do it, etc. Or I want to talk about developing an app, or investing in Google, or any other topic not in the headlines at the moment. And FFS, can we get a rich text editor option for posting comments already?

    --
    Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
    • (Score: 1) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM

      by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM (#3709) Homepage Journal

      What do you think this submission was? Or am I misunderstanding you?

      --
      Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 1) by oodaloop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:27PM

        by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:27PM (#3728)

        This "article" was on the front page for me, and aside from submitting an article, I don't see a way for me to just start a new conversation about something. I'll admit I haven't perused the whole site yet. But I was imagining a forum section where anyone can start a new discussion on any topic without anyone having to approve it. Years ago, I used to engage in discussions about creationism/ID vs evolution on yahoo boards and before that on salon.tabletalk. They lasted years with no rules for what was ontopic. I haven't found a good place to engage like that in years.

        --
        Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
        • (Score: 1) by kebes on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:47PM

          by kebes (1505) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:47PM (#3751)
          As others have pointed out [dev.soylentnews.org], having discussion zones outside of the Soylent News front-page posts might actually draw attention away from the main articles. Because SN is young at present, we don't realistically have a community big enough to sustain too many concurrent discussion venues. So, my personal opinion would be to put as much emphasis on making the main discussion features more robust (e.g. being able to load a parent or child comment inline, rather than refreshing the whole page), and have other discussion venues (IRC, forums, even journals) only be seriously developed later on.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:25PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:25PM (#4038) Homepage Journal

          That's what journals are for. I see you've never read mine, I just posted one Tuesday, you might be amused by it.

          There weren't a lot of journalers at slashdot. The diaries are what attracted me to K5 back in the day before it started sucking, and went back to slashdot when I discovered they had journals. But whatever you want to discuss, put it in your journal. Sometimes folks click on your "journals" link. But you can discuss anything you want.

          My book started as a slashdot comment someone posted [slashdot.org] in a front page story, I hastily penned a journal [slashdot.org] and linked it as a response. More time travel stories followed.

          Use your journal! It's listed on the sidebar. You'd be surprised who's reading.

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 1) by pixeldyne on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM

            by pixeldyne (2637) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:26AM (#4181)

            Damn you! I went to see what your book was about and before I knew it I'm on chapter 7 and feel the urge to finish it tonight (otherwise I wont sleep). I've had plans for tonight...

            • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @10:39AM

              by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:39AM (#4366) Homepage Journal

              Wow, thanks. Glad you're enjoying it. Slow down, though -- I just posted chapter 32 this morning (see my journal, it's a Soylent exclusive until tomorrow), 33 won't be posted until Tuesday (everyone else gets it Wednesday) and the last four chapters next Saturday. From the timestamp of your comment I'm guessing you're in Australia or New Zealand?

              I got a similar comment from someone at slashdot I emailed an abridged version of The Paxil Diaries to. He'd planned on reading a chapter a night and before he realized how late it had gotten he'd finished it. That one will be in print shortly.

              I wish someone would tell me how much I suck, I'm getting a swelled head.

              Please tell everyone about it, and thanks again for reading!

              --
              Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheRaven on Friday February 21 2014, @04:51AM

            by TheRaven (270) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:51AM (#4195) Journal
            The one thing I'd really like to see changed from the original Slashcode is removing the comment time limit from journals. I can understand that having all of the stories as potentially mutable can impose a lot of load on the db, but I quite often see a journal entry that's a few months (or more) old and it's quite frustrating not to be able to post in it. It's also a bit odd that moderation works as normal in journals - I had someone post a comment in my journal that someone else modded off-topic. I've no idea who would do that or why.
            --
            sudo mod me up
            • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @10:19AM

              by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:19AM (#4352) Homepage Journal

              Amen to that! Also, the time limit when responding to people responding to you from "messages". However, I think they have a little more work before they can start implimenting that; there are a couple of bad bugs I've run across.

              One is journals. When I click it, it tells me I have no friends, even though I friended two people the day before yesterday. This despite the fact that when I click "friends" they both show up.

              There's a sidebar listing "amigos". Uh, what is that link? I click it and it says I have no friends. Huh?

              They need to change one of the "journals" links in the sidebar, too. Last night I ran across a page that lists all users with journals, but now I can't find it. It should be in the sidebar, user journals shouldn't be hidden! Perhaps a link "new journals" listing journals posted in the last 49 hours.

              Also, unicode... but I'm sure that's going to be a big job and I'm not holding my breath.

              --
              Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by randmcnatt on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM

      by randmcnatt (671) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM (#3720) Homepage
      There are are already topic categories for 'Answers' [dev.soylentnews.org], for anyone who wants some pithy information or help with a (hopefully) relevant problem, and '/dev/random' [dev.soylentnews.org]for 'everything else". You are responding to a non-news article yourself.
      --
      The Wright brothers were not the first to fly: they were the first to land.
    • (Score: 1) by Haktar on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:55PM

      by Haktar (1354) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:55PM (#3758)

      The Journal system technically allows you to create a new discussion whenever you want. To get what you suggest one would only have to change how visible these journals are. I don't think there is currently a way to see all recently created journal entries, something like that might just be enough.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by fleg on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:02PM

        by fleg (128) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:02PM (#4064)

        go to your homepage from the link up there on the left under 'You'.
        scroll down to customize slashboxes.
        tick 'Most Recent Journal Entries'

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tbuddy on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:06PM

    by tbuddy (932) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:06PM (#3700)

    I started reading slashdot in 1999 when it was much more active and I really can't envision soylent becoming something like slashdot at its greatest points nor slashdot at its present. Linux has come a long was from when I first got into it (which was by no means early) trying to get X to launch on some abysmal Creative Labs card and buying US Robotics Modems to replace my WinModem to get online with it to something that is generally fit for consumption. Similarly coding has come a decent way from the old abysmal 10 kilobuck Borland IDEs to average Joes writing rails apps and calling themselves software engineers.
     
    At the end of the day I think slashdot has always been about the articles regardless of how many times someone complains about the timothy's, kdawson's, or whatever editor someone wants to hate on. As long as the comments keep coming it is all good, for soylent or slashdot.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by smurd on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM

      by smurd (1406) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM (#3736)
      My story is probably similar, I've been reading since around '99, 00-ish but only commenting when it's in my field of expertise.
      There are plenty of tech news sites out there, but the . was the only one where some of the comments were written by someone with actual expertise in the field, and wasn't afraid to actually give out the math.
      That is rare, almost unheard of.
      I don't know what kind of market there is for that but I'm one of them.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by mtrycz on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:02PM

        by mtrycz (60) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:02PM (#3768)

        There were not-set-in-stone plans to add math capabilities to the comments, something similar to latex. There's a js library for that, but can't remember the name.

        Hope you'll find this good news.

        • (Score: 1) by Foobar Bazbot on Friday February 21 2014, @01:41AM

          by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:41AM (#4132)

          MathJax [mathjax.org]

          AIUI, MathJax has one rendering engine and several parsers, including ones for MathML and LaTeX. Not sure how it would be integrated, so not all notations might be available (I think the lameness filter may be an issue for MathML), but I heard LaTeX specifically mentioned. I suspect most of us are at least as comfortable with LaTeX notation as MathML, and it's way less typing. (MathML might be useful for pasting in from other sources, though.)

  • (Score: 1) by krishnoid on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:09PM (#3703)

    If there would be one story this site would be in its rights to snag from Slashdot, I'd think it would be this one [slashdot.org].

    • (Score: 1) by jonh on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:24PM

      by jonh (733) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:24PM (#3725) Homepage

      (Assuming I clicked on the right /. link, and I'm not completely offtopic...)

      I'm not sure a math model would've been needed to predict the Beta uprising -- that seemed to play out almost as a textbook example of how to alienate your userbase :)

      That said, I'm loving the fallout from it, having all these new sites to visit daily, it's like 1993 all over again. </nostalgia>

      • (Score: 1) by krishnoid on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:47PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:47PM (#3752)

        I was actually thinking about the references in TFA to food riots :-|

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Undertaker on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:10PM

    by Undertaker (2485) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:10PM (#3705) Homepage

    As long as the subject matter remains close to tech/science I'm happy. I just hope the signal/noise ratio in the comments will remain as good as it is now. I often learn quite a bit from insightful comments below the articles.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Turnerj on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:25PM

      by Turnerj (2519) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:25PM (#3796)

      Agreed, it's the comments for me to. The summary/articles occasionally did have interesting points on Slashdot but I wondered more what other people thought of them.

      Right now before branching out, I would focus on bug fixes and simple UI/UX fixes like the comments being expandable like on Classic Slashdot as that is a bit of a game changer for me.

      I've got to admit though, Soylent News is a catchy name.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by SyntaxError on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:13PM

    by SyntaxError (1577) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:13PM (#3708)

    I was going to submit a story about the Ukraine falling into civil war, but stopped myself because it didn't seem to have anything to do with technology. Then today I noticed someone posted under the guise of a Reddit story which mad it technical by association.

    Even if you guys decide to keep it strictly technical, other topics will sneak in. So I advocate you embrace that fact and get it over with :)

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:21PM (#3718)

      I think if we can stay away from 'xyz but with a computer' we will be doing way better by a long shot. For example someone using a computer to stalk someone. Or using a computer to commit a crime. Kinda techy but not really. Just basically being a criminal but now with a computer.

      Also I think we should reign it in a bit with the arm chair lawyering. I enjoyed watching the IBM/Novell/SCO thing. But it got really out of hand.

      It seems many stories on /. seemed to be little more than to get people pissed off and yelling at each other. For example should CEO pay be tied to some %. How in the world does that have anything to do with tech other than our paycheck? This is natural for a for profit 'news' company. If it bleeds it leads.

      They will sneak in. But if we can keep focus we will bring in a decent crowd.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:28PM

      by tftp (806) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:28PM (#3729) Homepage

      I cannot say that Ukraine's troubles are news for nerds; however it is certainly stuff that matters. Nerds may be primarily focused on technology, but it would be a poor advice for them to keep fiddling with bits and bytes while the world around them descends into chaos and civil war (as it's happening right now in Ukraine.) These are important things.

      There is no need to overdo it (or anything else, to that matter) - but it is OK, IMO, to have a thread where those who have an interest may discuss the events. If you are not interested... don't click there. The good part of SN is that it is not as remote from the people as /. was. /. always was a 3rd party, a company that someone else built, and where someone else set the rules. If SN implements voting on stories, this whole issue will be history - bad, uninteresting submissions will be simply voted out.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by oodaloop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:49PM

        by oodaloop (1982) <reversethis-{moc.ohoz} {ta} {ffonimakj}> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:49PM (#3755)

        And can't we just tag stories Political, Technology, Apple, YRO, etc and be able to block article with certain tags? So if it's tagged Political and Technology allow it, but block if it just has the tag Political? With something like this, we could please multiple crowds at once.

        --
        Many Bothans died to bring you this comment.
      • (Score: 1) by isostatic on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:14PM

        by isostatic (365) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:14PM (#3784)

        >If SN implements voting on stories, this whole issue will be history - bad, uninteresting submissions will be simply voted out.

        Isn't that digg?

        The original place was What Interested Taco, which seemed to coralate with what interested me. The kind of people that have time to sift the crap looking for good stories tend to be the kind of people that vote up kitty pictures.

        SN needs editors. Perhaps a system where we can vote away editors after 6 months would be ok, but on a story by story basis I want someone else to sift the thousands of submissions loping for stuff that interests me, not what interests group think.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:24PM

          by janrinok (52) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:24PM (#3865) Journal

          SN is not catering to an 'audience' but to a membership who want to contribute to a discussion with other like-minded individuals on a range of technical, scientific or related subjects; I think that point was made clear on /. a few weeks ago. It will only survive with the support and contributions of everyone who wants to see it do well.

          Anyone can volunteer to be an editor, although I know that effort is being put in to train those who have already volunteered so even if you do stand up don't expect to be given a job the next day. It might happen, but it might not. But if you want to able to 'fire' them at will then you also have to be prepared to step up to the plate and show others how it should be done. By all means provide critical feedback - they have asked for it and genuinely want to receive it. To be able to 'fire' them because they didn't provide the stories that you wanted to read - I think that is unreasonable.

          Nobody gets paid on SN, and some people are working very long hours for the 'fun' of it. There is no-one with the 'time to sift the crap looking for good stories' but they can process good submissions from us, the readers. I believe that a small contribution from each of us will go a long way to making this a success.

          --
          It's always my fault...
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by SecurityGuy on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:04PM

      by SecurityGuy (1453) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:04PM (#3770)

      Nah, I agree with stopping yourself. One of the things I liked least about /. was reading something on CNN, MSN, or whatever, then reading it on /. If I don't get something from this site (or Slashdot) that I don't get from those sites, I won't have a reason to come here. Tell me about the "stuff that matters" that they don't.

      Any nation falling into civil war is a big deal, but there are plenty of sites that cover that already.

      • (Score: 1) by bucc5062 on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:16PM

        by bucc5062 (699) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:16PM (#3857)

        True in a sense. But there can be a "nerd" discussion within that framework. Being a "nerd" is not just one who lives in a basement, pounding out code, hacking the NSA and eating Doritos (hyperbole, yes). I figure that term can apply to social sciences, political sciences, and other less techy realms.

        Take for example your comment about civil war. Today I heard a professor on NPR talking about hwo the conflict in the Ukraine was the precipice upon which hung the new cold war. Holy crap I thought, that's big, but the reporter just blew over it and kept talking/asking about Putin. Now me, I'd liek to dig into that idea. That is brain food. That is something to discuss and hopefully hear from experts that can confirm the idea. Is the world on the brink of a Cold War, now with Russia over the Ukraine?

        Not a question to answer in this thread, but it would make a great topic article I feel. I'm a software developer, but political science and social science is not just about which party is fucking us more, it is and can be about the world we live in. That is news for Nerds and one I'd love to see on SN.

        --
        The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 1) by isostatic on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:09PM

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:09PM (#3775)

      The Original Place covered non-techie news. Columbine was an early one, but there was a nerd angle there.

      September 11th 2001 was the day that changed, and while the fledging sites of cnn and the bbc failed, TOP stayed up and kept those of us without a tv informed.

      However that was a unique moment in news and internet history.

      I'm afraid that the Ukraine issue (which does slightly affect me more than the average slashdotter - bumped into a colleague at heathrow heading that way to film it this evenong) is not something of the scale is like to se on a site for news for gloop, stuff that tastes

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by forkazoo on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:14PM

      by forkazoo (2561) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:14PM (#3898)

      Personally, I consider the Ukraine to be a very interesting story, and it certainly has some "Your Rights Online" type implications. IMHO, the big thing is how it gets handled when we stray from the "science and technology" focus. Personally, I would be annoyed by "Look at the dumb selfies posted by the Ukrainian protestors" as a news story. On the other hand, I would be quite happy to see something like, "An analysis of the history of Ukraine to put the current situation in context." Fundamentally, tone matters more than topic if something is "News For Nerds." A press release saying that new CPU's make the Internet faster isn't really news for nerds, despite the fact that microprocessors are a traditionally nerdy subject. But, in depth analysis of psychological reactions to images of My Little Ponies, with pre- and post-pony raw MRI scan data available for download, would indeed be even though it is about a children's cartoon.

      So, bring on the protests. Let world news stories hit the front page. If something matters, then it matters. Just don't post a puff piece to fill the space.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:34AM (#4149)
        I think you hit the nail on the head. For example, wrt the endless startup stories, I don't care that you got a round of funding, or that X bought Y. I am interested in the *details* of new technological developments.
  • (Score: 1) by r00t on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM

    by r00t (1349) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM (#3711)

    Frankly, if it's mainstream news/drama I'll find my way to it on a news/drama/crap site. For instance, natural disasters are tragic, yes, but do they really need to be submitted as articles on a "tech news" site?

    So much mainstream news these days is really just a pacifier for prime time TV addicts anyway. It's biased. It's a paid-for political grandstanding platform and for the most part, doesn't even legally need to be based on factual events (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/07/31/364678/- Fox-News-wins-in-court). It's not really news anymore, it's entertainment.

    So, I would like to see strictly nerd content on SN, or at least content that has some sort of technology angle to it. It's why I come here. I depend on the community to find things that would be of interest to me that are worthwhile reading and knowing about. I try to give back by submitting articles of that same vein and quality.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Aiwendil on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM (#3712)

    I would prefer to see it tech-centric as slashdot once was and not as heavy on poltics and "rumoured consumer-devices" (unless it is a new field (ie, "smartphones" would be fine, "new iphone/galaxy" wouldn't)).

    However, in the long run I would prefer it to have a tech-centric core with some forays into "other technologies" (non-computer related tech), research and geek/nerd culture (ie, gravitate towards technology, education, research and culture instead of slashdot's trend of gravitating towards politics and slashvertisments)

    Or put another way, I want it to be more "news for nerds" and less "stuff that matters".

    Just my .02 of $currency.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by GungnirSniper on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:18PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:18PM (#3716) Journal

    It would be great to see SN cover all geek-related topics, including PC Gaming and Mods, Mobile Gaming, Lifehacks, Automotive, Economics, Sports, and whatever areas people want to intelligently discuss. Just be ready to add the ability to choose to see/ignore topics to keep everyone happy.

    The greatest strength of Slashcode (and thus this site) is the ability to have other quality posters moderate things. There's no reason this site cannot cover more areas with that strength.

    Personally, I'd like to see an NFL section. Sure, other sites discuss it, but we can discuss it better.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Non Sequor on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:04PM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:04PM (#3842)

      The rule of thumb should be if a topic draws more meaningful discussion than discussion about whether it's on topic, it should be in bounds.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by lothmordor on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:39PM

      by lothmordor (1522) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:39PM (#3876)
      While that sounds fine, it also sounds a lot like Reddit.
      In which case, what would SoylentNews be doing differently or better than /r/whatever ? Moderation instead of up/down votes? While I like reddit, I don't think SN needs to be a poor clone of it because otherwise I would just browse reddit.

      As many others have noted, the community formed around discussion of the articles here is where the value is. What I think hasn't been said enough though, is how valuable the article submitter and editor roles are. The articles form the basis of the discussion, at the very least a starting point. Every article submission begs the question, "What do you think about this?"

      Since few of us have time to browse every mailing list, blog post and news site around, we rely on the editorial staff to pull out gems from the sea of submissions. If the community is going to continue to have intelligent and thoughtful conversation, we need to have articles that attract and encourages people to engage in that manner.

      I think part of slashdot's problem is the articles and summaries started to stray toward sensationalist "pop" science and politics, which attracted the younger and less educated crowd.

      I don't think we need to be elitists jerks, but there are plenty of other news sites that serve the layperson.
      I certainly won't advocate banning any topic, (well, maybe celebrity gossip) but if it's not of a technical nature then perhaps it's better served elsewhere?

      TL;DR: If the articles are crap, the comments will probably be crap too.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:25PM (#3726)

    Can we not have any: bitcoin, climate change, or general politics stories please. Every time I complain, someone comes in with a justification like "well Congress uses computers, therefore anything involving politics is on-topic" or other retarded retroactive justification.

    And this site needs a digest version or extra website like alterslash.org. Except don't include "funny" comments and weight towards longer comments. Alterslash is great but too many times there are one-liners or "funny" comments that don't make any sense because they're a reply, or are just plain unfunny in the first place.

    • (Score: 1) by shadov on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:44PM

      by shadov (296) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:44PM (#3746)

      Climate change is both science and stuff that matters, so I'd say it fits in here just fine.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:01PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:01PM (#3766)

        > Climate change is both science and stuff that matters, so I'd say it fits in here just fine.

        I would technically agree, but it has become SO politicized in the USA, almost any discussion on it is nothing but noise. You can get that anywhere.

        • (Score: 1) by shadov on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:13PM

          by shadov (296) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:13PM (#3853)

          > I would technically agree, but it has become SO politicized in the USA, almost any discussion on it is nothing but noise. You can get that anywhere.

          The signal-to-noise ratio certainly tends to be bad, but I don't think it has fallen to zero. The discussions with slashdot/soylent type audience and moderation system are at least less horrible than in most other places.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @06:21AM (#4232)

        It's politics, and it is covered quite well in other venues.

        I think a lot of people like to see the stories not because they're on topic, but because they agree. It's always a wonderful opportunity to bash people who don't think the same as us.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by moo kuh on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:30PM

    by moo kuh (2044) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:30PM (#3730)

    I like the stuff that matters slogan. Science, business, technology, major political events from any nation that would be of interest to an international crowd should all be fair game in my opinion. Let the community decide with a "firehose". We should call it something different though. I did like being able to vote on what stories should be on the front page.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:21PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:21PM (#3790)

      Let the community decide with a "firehose". We should call it something different though.

      Soylent factory?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1) by moo kuh on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:19PM

        by moo kuh (2044) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:19PM (#3858)

        I like it. The Ministry of Truth could also be a good name for it. Maybe this could be a poll?

    • (Score: 1) by unitron on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:54PM

      by unitron (70) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:54PM (#3972) Journal

      " Let the community decide with a "firehose". We should call it something different though. "

      My preference would be "Purgatory".

      --
      something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by fliptop on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:31PM

    by fliptop (1666) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:31PM (#3733) Journal

    I don't want to hate on the guy, he seems like a great writer, but all his stuff is always TL;DR and most of the time I wind up asking myself, "Who cares?"

    --
    If you have second thoughts about booking a trip to an Indian casino, is it a reservation reservation reservation?
  • (Score: 2) by Shub on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:35PM

    by Shub (474) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:35PM (#3734)

    Speaking for myself, I went to Slashdot mainly for the quality of the comments from a community that offered insight from a range of different industries, and the signal to noise ratio was generally quite good.

    What I wouldn't like to see is zealotry about sticking strictly to technical articles, straying a little bit further a field the odd time is fine. My reasons behind this thinking is that imposing a strict mandate to one particular topic will encourage pedants to argue what is an isn't acceptable, with the end result being users abandoning the site due to frequent argueing from the users centred more around what constitutes an acceptable article, rather than the article contents themselves

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by andrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:48PM

      by andrew (755) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:48PM (#3753)

      I'm not here because I didn't like /. stories or comments, I'm here because beta makes the site completely unusable to me.

      Keep a variety of stories please.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DECbot on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM

    by DECbot (832) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:36PM (#3735)

    Back on /. I completely missed the whole debate between init/systemd/upstart until after Ubuntu admitted defeat and adopted systemd for the next LTS. And I was a little peeved that C++11 only had a blip of a news article with little discussion. You'd figure things like this matter to slashdot readers, but hardly any discussion if it even got posted at all. And when was the last time any RFC were discussed? I go to a news aggregator so I don't need to check 50 different sites for updates. I figure major nerd news would come through the /. pipe.

    The OSX/Windows/Linux(flav'o'week)/BSD debate is entertaining, but there's no real content anymore. We realize they are each a different tool on the belt, and you have to use the one that fits best (or the one management shoves down your throat). Metro is aggravating to a developer, but in end it doesn't matter because he's still using the same dev tools. Going back to systemd, you would think it would be a big deal on /. because of the binary log files--but I don't recall seeing it until after its ratification.

    To me, it seems like the devs and sys admins checked out of /. years ago--or at least news important to them. Big changes in admin and developer tools should be on a news site for admins and developers.

    --
    • cats~$ sudo su
    • cats~# chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:08PM

      by frojack (1554) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:08PM (#3773)

      You're spot on with that, the whole systemd discussion got lost in the flame wars between Android and IOS and Windows. Yet it was very significant, the wholesale gutting and replacement of key of 'Nix with hardly any of that debate hitting slashdot.

      And what did hit slashdot was late to the party, and quickly descended into name calling.

      The only insight that came from the brief exposure systemd did get on slashdot was that the changeover "was not for you". It was done for big corporate reasons and big military reasons, and big spy reasons, by Red hat and Lennart Poettering, and Joe Linux user was just along for the ride.

      The key take away was that Linux was being "corporatized".

      But boy did you have to dig to arrive at that, and boy did the discussion get nasty.

      --
      Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @02:58AM (#4156)
        systemd's fundamental flaw is straying from the Unix Philosophy. The very name of it--systemd--suggests that it might as well just be part of the kernel. The variety of things it does, all in one little package with binary logging (a huge no-no) to boot...that puts it into the monolithic software category, along with IDEs and everything else anti-Unix. The Unix Way is about having the tool that does ONE thing and does it WELL. Sysvinit, for all its headaches, has the advantage of pushing the decisions about "what next" out to a more appropriate tool, instead of trying to handle it all on its own. This is the Microsoftization of Linux.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by linsane on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM

    by linsane (633) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM (#3742)

    A personal view that needs to be balanced with aspects of comments above:

    As the comments, participation, moderation etc form such an important part of the experience, what will give SN some staying power will be slowly building the base of regular participants. Currently comment counts seem to be typically mid 50s, and while there is a distinct lack of trolls adding to this number, seeing this regularly north of 100 would likely mean that a critical mass was being achieved.

    To get there, there may be a need to include more mainstream tech things but ideally there would bethe odd 'scoop' on top of the aggregation aspect. Either that or highlighting items from less mainstream sources than are typically currently found on /. Looking (very very quickly) at their front page, sources include bbc, google.com, nytimes, volvo, sony, cnn and in my opinion to avoid where possible.

    What about scoops? There must be a tech audience who are able to drop the odd insider gem, particularly relating to larger tech companies, that are not direct from their marketing departments - if you are able to pledge regarding anonymity (surely a USP?) then you never know where this project might go. Not suggesting a wiki-leaks approach, more like a sprinkling of nerd gossip among the type of articles that have been put forward to date.

    As an aside, I'm not entirely sure the balance of mod points is there yet. As comments on articles seem to currently have a 'slow burn' building up comments rather than the mad rush that having a larger audience brings, combined with the additional difference that there are few trolls to down-mod means that it i have to resist the urge to spend 'em, quite a novel experience!

    Oh yes, I definitely second the international angle too.

    • (Score: 1) by Phoenix666 on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:22PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:22PM (#3863)

      One of the aspects of Slashdot I loved the best was when an article on a project at, say, JPL would post to the front page and people with inside knowledge of it would post. That's incredibly valuable to me, and why the /. of old was always worth a million times any old news aggregator site. Having a mechanism for these kinds of inside baseball articles would greatly amplify the value of SN.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @03:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @03:03AM (#4158)

      there is a distinct lack of trolls

      As you wish...

      Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility.

      If the choice of a sexual partner were protected by the Constitution, prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia also would be. All of these acts should be legal as long as no one is coerced. They are illegal only because of prejudice and narrowmindedness. Some rules might be called for when these acts directly affect other people's interests. For incest, contraception could be mandatory to avoid risk of inbreeding. For prostitution, a license should be required to ensure prostitutes get regular medical check-ups, and they should have training and support in insisting on use of condoms. This will be an advance in public health, compared with the situation today. For necrophilia, it might be necessary to ask the next of kin for permission if the decedent's will did not authorize it. Necrophilia would be my second choice for what should be done with my corpse, the first being scientific or medical use. Once my dead body is no longer of any use to me, it may as well be of some use to someone.

      Hitler was a horrible monster. Is it even worth debating? He was a failure as a leader and a human being; this is universally accepted. Why even discuss the actions of this mad demagogue? I mean, think about it... the guy rises to a position of absolute power, with (arguably) the most powerful army in Europe. He's Blitzkrieging all over the place, Churchill is trying to appease his demands to avoid a full-out war, he's essentially unstoppable: and then comes the horror of the Holocaust. What kind of demonic possesion would cause a man in his position to use his power to practically wipe out the jewish people and culture in Germany? The final death toll was estimated at 4-6 million jews, despite the -years- in power that they could have been executing the Jewish people. The death toll could have been much, much higher. Hitler was a disgrace to the human race, more a monster than man. Even discussing his actions, despite his motives, is an affront to all that is pure and good. The most unfortunate thing is that he took his own life before the proper punishment could be bestowed on him for his terrible failure.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @07:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @07:07AM (#4257)

        Even discussing his actions, despite his motives, is an affront to all that is pure and good.

        Funny that you write this right after doing just that. ;-)

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM

    by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:41PM (#3745)

    16 year Slashdot veteran here (joined in 1998 when Linux and Open Source was just starting to heat up). I think I for one would like to see Soylent's focus be on constructive responses to the present Internet crisis.

    And by 'Internet crisis' I mean the following:
    * the centralisation of social media into feudal walled gardens ruled by corporate behemoths with insane market caps
    * the NSA and telcos' infiltration and destruction of privacy at every level of the computing stack
    * the related online security apocalypse we're currently living through
    * the ongoing self-destruction of Linux as a viable alternative due to GNOME and Canonical taking an autocratic rather than user-led approach

    See, I've been around since the 80s. I remember the pre-Internet era. In 1986 it looked a lot like 2014 does: 'social media' consisted of a tiny handful of online services (Compuserve, BIX, GEnie, The Well) alost exclusively US-centric. They were expensive, they were arrogant, they treated their users like commodities not friends.

    And they died in a fire when TCP/IP, HTTP and SMTP became mainstream in the early 1990s. For a brief moment we had an open Web that anyone could publish to on equal terms.

    In the mid-90s, there was HUGE pushback against the idea of an open Internet not only from the corporate dinosaurs, but from the NSA. Look up the Steve Jackson Games bust and Phil Zimmerman. The cypherpunks fought to make RSA encryption freely available. They succeeded, but only for a time.

    Then circa 1998, the forces of corporate lock-in were circling again. This was pre-Google, so Microsoft was the incumbent king. They struck back with Windows 98 and Internet Explorer, aiming for total platform dominance. Netscape, previously Wall Street's darling and the closest thing to open at the time, stumbled and almost died. And then the Free/Open Source movement started fighting back (modulo lots of infighting between the Raymond/Torvalds and Stallman camps, but still).

    And now it's 16 years later and we're here again. The openness of the Web is dying again. Open source has only got us one step of the way; now we have to fight for open networks. And that's going to be a lot harder because we can't fork and clone fiber. Instead of the openness of the x86 platform replacing the lock-in of the telephone companies, we've had the reverse: the iPhone has exported the closedness of telcos back into the mobile and tablet computing space, and the lock-in mindset of tablets and 'curated' app stores is now recolonising the desktop. And that's really, really bad for the future.

    In 1998, Slashdot was one of the voices of sanity standing up and saying 'we can be better; we have to be better; there is a way forward; openness is the way'. The Slashcode karma-moderation system was an early demonstration of crowdsourcing before Wikipedia. It was a lamp in the darkness.

    I hope Soylent can be that lamp for a new generation.

    One of the best books on the current Internet crisis is Jonathan Zittrain's prophetic 2007 The Future of the Internet (and how to stop it>" [futureoftheinternet.org].

    Please help us find a way to stop the ongoing privacy, security and openness disaster. Please work together to create new, open networks that at the very least can run on top of our decaying legacy infrastructure (if not beside them) and bring back privacy, openness and security. Help pioneer new ways of working together as a community that don't revolve around San Francisco startups with billions of dollars of venture capital making yet another text messaging or restaurant booking app.

    That's the discussion I want to have, and the community I want to be part of.

    --
    Delenda est Beta
    • (Score: 1) by corey on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:14PM

      by corey (2202) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:14PM (#3783)

      I feel compelled to +1 this despite it not really being a list of suggestions for the question posed. I don't have any mod points unfortunately. I've been around Slashdot a similar timeframe and saw all this happen and look forward to seeing the same discussions occurring on Soylent. Tech/geek news and discussions about the future of the internet. And not so US-centric.

    • (Score: 1) by jcd on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:37PM

      by jcd (883) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:37PM (#3812)

      This is the sort of thing I'm really interested in too. Over the past couple of years, I mostly said "hah, kewl" if anything to the subjects on /., and found very little actual substance. I'm actually a liberal arts guy (don't shoot!), but I have tech running through my veins. Seeing it co-opted (or as you said, effectively re-co-opted) the way it is really stings, and I'd like to see more discussion about ways to avoid it.

      --
      "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
    • (Score: 1) by Non Sequor on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:41PM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:41PM (#3879)

      http://historysquared.com/2012/05/31/the-fox-vs-th e-hedgehog-forecaster-by-philip-tetlock/ [historysquared.com]

      I think you're hedgehogging. Hedgehogs can have a lot of good things to add to a conversation, but when they run the conversation, tunnel-vision runs rampant. Sometimes things are parts of larger trends, sometimes they're isolated incidents. I don't think a call to arms to try to rally a community to evaluate every event in terms of a perceived trend is productive.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:07PM

        by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:07PM (#3980)

        Um. Yeah, that link is exactly sort of mindless trend-following Wall Street jargon I consider to be absolutely a huge cause of the current crisis.

        Yes, I have a 'single big thing' I'm interested in. It's called having values.

        I'm not interested in hedge funds, trend predictions, or 'behavioural finance' (the very name gives me cold shivers). I'm not a speculator, I'm not part of the tech noveau riche. My dream isn't to flip a startup for $16 billion so I can afford an apartment in Seattle.

        I have a boring IT job that pays the bills. I'm not here for the money. I'm here for the thrill I felt when as a twelve-year-old kid I typed RUN into a Commodore PET and knew I had a machine that was my own. I believe in the original ideals of Hackerdom: 'access to tools', in the sense of Steward Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog. Technology as a tool to be shaped by the users. Richard Stallman's Four Freedoms. Freedom to use, freedom to study, freedom to modify, freedom to share.

        If you were here in 1998, you'll remember that that is what Slashdot stood for back then. Not just generic 'tech' and certainly not just the generic dotcom money bubble - Wired was already circling that particular drain. There was a loose movement with a shared cluster of values and spokespeople. Linus Torvalds. Eric Raymond. Bruce Perens. Tim O'Reilly. Lawrence Lessig. Pamela Jones. And in later years, Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow, writing the kind of post-cyberpunk science fiction with optimism and heart that was instantly recognisable as 'torn from the pages of Slashdot'.

        If you don't care about values and you just want money, that's fine. But some of us believed - and still do - that the Slashdot crowd generally stood for more than just guessing the movement of crowds at any cost.

        --
        Delenda est Beta
        • (Score: 1) by Non Sequor on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:01PM

          by Non Sequor (1005) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:01PM (#4062)

          Who said anything about money? This hedgehog/fox theory comes from literary criticism.

          What i wanted you to take away was that people with singular ideals are more likely to be wrong in the way that they assess the future will play out. The people who are more likely to be right are the ones who integrate pieces of other people's ideals.

          I'm not saying you shouldn't represent your ideals. But I think you should voice them without trying to be the nucleus around which a hive mind forms.

          I appreciate openness, but I don't feel like it fixes everything and I tend to think that the Stallman wing of the free software movement tends to place things of utility to programmers on a pedestal above other concerns. That rubs me the wrong way. I think these things need to be regarded as an urge that needs a voice to be heard alongside the other things that people want.

          My values are that I hate false clarity, I hate party platforms, I hate theories that everything is 'just so', and I hate perfection. But I love broken things that sometimes work.

          • (Score: 1) by lennier on Friday February 21 2014, @12:55AM

            by lennier (2199) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:55AM (#4112)

            "Who said anything about money? This hedgehog/fox theory comes from literary criticism."

            Possibly it does. But the site you linked to is full of links about hedge funds and financial trading, not literary criticism. You can see why I might be confused about the message you were trying to send?

            "I appreciate openness, but I don't feel like it fixes everything... I think these things need to be regarded as an urge that needs a voice to be heard alongside the other things that people want."

            I do agree that a singular focus can mean missing other details. And I understand that not everyone in the Soylent community today - heck, not everyone in the old Slashdot community in 1998 - shares the values I've articulated as 'hackerish'. I'm also not particularly interested in being any kind of nucleus; for one thing, I'm far too busy. What I _would_ like is to be an occasional part of a community that _does_ share those values. (Because I think they're important, obviously; they wouldn't be my _values_ if they were disposable nice-to-haves, they'd just be... passing trends and consumer choices, I guess.)

            But I know that times change, people move on, and we don't always get what we want, or even what we need. Least of all agreement with everyone on the Internet.

            Peace, and may your broken things at least sometimes work.

            --
            Delenda est Beta
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by No Respect on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:16PM

      by No Respect (991) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:16PM (#3946)
      I remember all that, too. Remember the Fall of 1993? Known as "Eternal September" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September [wikipedia.org] that was the time when AOL, who used to market itself as "the internet", turned loose its horde of "me too" dolts onto the internet. To me, the whole social networking craze is tailored for those kinds of people. I like the corporate walled gardens of FB and Twatter and Disqus. They act as honeypots attractng the sort of people who, quite frankly, I have no desire to interact with. There are enough idiots to deal with in RL every day without having to wade through their prodigious ignorance in the online world too.

      So I kind of agree with some of what you're suggesting, but not all of it.
    • (Score: 1) by WildWombat on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:17PM

      by WildWombat (1428) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:17PM (#3993)

      "In 1998, Slashdot was one of the voices of sanity standing up and saying 'we can be better; we have to be better; there is a way forward; openness is the way'. The Slashcode karma-moderation system was an early demonstration of crowdsourcing before Wikipedia. It was a lamp in the darkness.

      I hope Soylent can be that lamp for a new generation."

      This, a thousand times this. Your whole comment was spot on.

      Cheers,
      -WW

    • (Score: 1) by evilviper on Friday February 21 2014, @04:40AM

      by evilviper (1760) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:40AM (#4187) Journal

      Are you sure you wouldn't just be better off signing-up for EFF's mailing list? Sounds like you're ready for their weekly "call for action" and continually doomsday for freedom of some kind or another.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm a supporter of EFF, but their site doesn't need to be duplicated here. Plus, a news site with that kind of non-stop politics and related discussion would get utterly exhausting in short order.

      --
      Do YOU see ALL home-page stories?
      dev.soylentnews.org/search.pl?tid=1
      github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode/issues/78
    • (Score: 1) by CoolHand on Friday February 21 2014, @08:16AM

      by CoolHand (438) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:16AM (#4274)

      Preach it, brother...

      I still view the internet as having the potential to be both our brightest hope for the future of civilization, as well as tool for our darkest nightmares... Lately, it definitely seems to be leaning towards the latter. The only chance we have is if knowledgeable people keep fighting to inform the general populace and try to awaken them, and get them to take action.

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by chuckster985 on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:45PM

    by chuckster985 (1280) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:45PM (#3748)

    I am really hoping that Soylent can attract the people we had on Slashdot. The thing that amazed me the most about slashdot is that you could post the most obscure technical article and some PHD student working on his thesis on this exact topic would chime in. I also remember a story about a health emergency in Antartica. The very next post was McMurdo station checking in. Amazing! I cant tell you how many times I knew about a virus or a DNS problem and got thanks for forwarding info to the admins here. I am OK with soylent staying technical. Space stuff, physics, chem, math, computers, networking, geology, colony collapse disorder, IPV6. I dont care just keep it coming. I had a friend that said to me that if you study any topic in enough detail it becomes interesting.

    • (Score: 1) by rival on Friday February 21 2014, @12:18PM

      by rival (2700) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:18PM (#4423)

      I was just thinking a few weeks ago that I hadn't seen NewYorkCountyLawyer in awhile, and that made me sad. I just checked Slashdot and saw that he's still contributing, which is great! Apparently I've just been reading the articles at the wrong times or something.

      It would be great to have him here! Along with so many other friends. But THAT is just the point, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. The people you come to know and respect, and the new people you meet and hear amazing insights, humour, wisdom or experience from, that's what it's all about.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by istartedi on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:45PM

    by istartedi (123) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:45PM (#3749)

    What we have created is a reaction against "UX", "superfluous design", "Web 2.0",
    "kewelness", "excessive eye candy", or whatever other name you want to come up with
    for it. It's about more than the front end of course; but that's the most visible and
    obvious facet. The roots run deeper. I've been drawing an analogy to TV lately.
    What's developing here might be like a PBS for the Internet. When the Internet started
    it was all researchers and government. Even after it was commercialized it retained
    an intelligent flavor. Now it's been popularized to the point where it's dominated
    by the masses, and that doesn't suit our particular segment. Of course the old Internet
    was always there; but what happened to Slashdot is that the new, least-common-denominator
    'net intruded on the old 'net. That made us more aware.

    There were many rumblings of the backlash of course--Digg4, Flickr, Windows8, Unity,
    etc. For me though, this little revolution marks a turning point though. It seems like
    the first time that users have actually banded together to create a replacement for what
    was lost, as opposed to moving on to the next thing that was just likely to have the same
    problem.

    Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. We don't know if Soylent can hold up against the
    forces aligned against it. Only time will tell. It will be interesting to see though
    if maybe, just maybe the "mainstream" web will wake up and realize that you can't just
    throw the existing users under the bus and put a lot of shiny CPU and bandwidth hogging
    crap on your site.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:59PM

      by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:59PM (#3765)

      (Wish I had a 'quote' button...)

      Yes, 'UX' is a good description of what I'm personally rebelling against. And as you say, it's not about the superficial eye-candyness of modern sites. It's about something deeper: the 'curated design' philosophy which is fundamentally, deeply, anti-democratic and disempowering.

      'Design' has become a monster. It's about a few, self-appointed control freaks setting up systems which give them all the power and the users none. It's about the users being reduced to passive 'content consumers'. It's the disease which raged at Apple since the Macintosh (the opposite of the hacker-friendly Apple II), which has now spread to Microsoft and Ubuntu. It's about user forums where all the users shout saying 'we can't use this interface! It's broken!' and the designer comes back with 'I don't care, I went into space, I know better than you, you have no voice.'

      'Design' is code for authoritarianism, actually. And this is about whether we want to tolerate hardcore authoritarianism as the template for computing for the next century - or whether we can create democracy.

      --
      Delenda est Beta
    • (Score: 1) by linsane on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM

      by linsane (633) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM (#3786)

      "forces aligned against it"

      Is there any evidence of this? Surely the beauty of SN (and ./ for that matter) is that in the main it is self-healing

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:15PM

        by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:15PM (#3855)

        At a surface, technical level, yes. A crowd moderation system is 'self-healing' in that the moderated discussion should (if the system works) accurately reflect the current feeling of that crowd.

        But I think the 'forces aligned against us' problem is real. Those forces are deeper than merely technical issues. They're societal and psychological. They're emergent features of a chaotic system that's hurting.

        See, we're in a Prisoner's Dilemma situation right now with regards to openness and democracy online: individually we're all making small rational choices to maximise our personal, temporary enjoyment or money. Collectively, however, they add up to social outcomes (forces, if you like) that we indidually DO NOT WANT.

        We want personal mobile computers that we control, that respect our privacy, that are inherently secure, that let us publish and curate and share our own collections of interesting data. But we buy iDevices and use social media networks controlled by companies that fight against those freedoms - because there aren't a lot of current better options. Incrementally, we gain a little more freedom by buying these devices rather than boycotting them. But on balance, we lose a lot of future freedom by pouring money and personal information into the likes of Facebook and Google. We're just heavily discounting that future freedom in our buying choices so we don't think it's a big deal. The investors know better.

        The forces aligned against user-created, user-supported social media like Soylent are not just the big companies who are carving up and selling off our shared data commons. They really are _doing_ evil, but they're not composed of people who _are_ individually evil. Instead, lots of tiny marginal slightly-good-slightly-evil decisions add up to big social forces - like a flock of butterflies making a hurricane. And it's our own individual acts that empower this evil.

        This is what 'the banality of evil' is about. It's ordinary people just doing their jobs, checking out emotionally, distrusting their hearts. It's even people who _are_ passionate heart-followers who even so may be slightly incorrect in their beliefs. All of this adds up to bad stuff that we have to change. We can all be wrong. We probably mostly are. But we need to do our best to try to do the right thing.

        And right now, the right thing is to support freedom, openness, privacy and the flame of user-created media online. We have to keep relighting that flame every decade or so, it seems. Otherwise people forget.

        Don't be angry. Anger doesn't help. People aren't our enemy. But do be creative. Create alternatives. Create great communities. Support each other. Dream. Pray, if you lean that way. Be proud when we see our dream emerging. Critique the parts of the dream that don't work, and sponsor alternatives.

        Eventually, we'll win.

        --
        Delenda est Beta
    • (Score: 1) by kbahey on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:29PM

      by kbahey (1147) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @08:29PM (#14973) Homepage

      What's developing here might be like a PBS for the Internet.

      Man, you are so right! Love this analogy. Might add: with a science/technology angle ...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:56PM (#3759)

    Soylent news... is people... and Slashdot's replacement.

  • (Score: 1) by That_Dude on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:57PM

    by That_Dude (2503) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:57PM (#3762)

    To describe what I'd like to see here is too broad a question. I think it would be better to tell everyone that the way my brain works is like a perpetual loop of - what if such a thing could be accomplished - that bleeds into - how to make it happen. That being said, it has always been the /. community that helped keep me grounded - with the exception of a few tards sprinkled here and there. All in all I like it when it's like peer review gone buck wild; like a thesis defense where you can really say what's on your mind!

    Just one question, what's the equivalent to the Slashdot effect going to be called? The Soylent effect just feels awkward - I keep seeing bodies wrapped in sheets being dumped from garbage trucks.

    If anyone replies, I won't be back for a few hours.

    • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:11PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:11PM (#3777)

      Just one question, what's the equivalent to the Slashdot effect going to be called?

      I think we have a long way to go before we have enough users that we need to worry about *that*.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight who is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 1) by Random2 on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:05PM

      by Random2 (669) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:05PM (#3845)

      Being Soyled, or Soyling a site. Recommended in an earlier article that I don't quite recall ATM.

      --
      If only I registered 3 users earlier....
      • (Score: 1) by That_Dude on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:04PM

        by That_Dude (2503) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:04PM (#3938)

        Sounds nasty without being too disgusting, I like it!

    • (Score: 1) by maxwell demon on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM (#3849)

      Greenout?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Covalent on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM

    by Covalent (43) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:17PM (#3787) Journal

    People are going to disagree on what exactly constitutes "Nerd News", and that's a good thing. That's what metamod / moderation is for.

    HOWEVER

    Dupes are inexcusable. Unless there's new info, do your research before you submit. Those who don't must be metamodded into not showing on the front page.

    Also, stories that are just ad click through fodder suck. Link directly to the original story or a GOOD summary, please.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 1) by GungnirSniper on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:27PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:27PM (#3799) Journal

      And we prefer the "print format" or "full article" links wherever possible.

      • (Score: 1) by Covalent on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:34PM

        by Covalent (43) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:34PM (#3809) Journal

        Agreed. Thanks for adding that.

        --
        You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sootman on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:49PM

      by sootman (2137) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:49PM (#3920)

      I wrote a journal entry [slashdot.org] in 2008 (!) called "How to make Slashdot better" and it was...

      - Check for dupes.

      - Editors: fix grammar & spelling.

      - Link to original sources, not some guy's blog that says "check this out" and links to the NYT.

      - My favorite, so I'll include it here in its entirety: "Don't editorialize too much in the submission. And for the love of God, quit adding dopey questions to the end of submissions: anything from 'What do you think?' to that hated old standby, 'Is this the end of Microsoft/Windows/Office/Linux/Apple/SCO/America?' This is a discussion site. People who come here know this. We don't need a third-grade-style prompt to get the discussion going. All that does is generate two hundred posts of 'No, Zonk, you're an idiot' (along with the inevitable and useless 'yes/no/maybe' tags) and take away from the real discussion."

      - Do some fact checking. Check to see if this is five-year-old news that some random guy just now discovered. Check to see if it's a hoax, or an out-of-date item that has since been debunked/refuted/disproved. Read the article and see if the submission is even accurate.

      - Be aware that not everyone knows everything. This site does have a certain audience with some things in common, so we don't need a link to clarify what _Linux_ is, but many other things could use some clarification, especially new and/or uncommon acronyms. Speaking of acronyms, follow the old rule: say what they mean the first time they appear. Just because it didn't occur to the submitter to spell it out until he had written it three times, doesn't mean you have to do the same. Remember: edit!

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by WildWombat on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22PM

    by WildWombat (1428) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:22PM (#3792)

    Thats right. I just coined Soylers. As in 'how are my fellow Soylers doing today?'

    Now back on topic. With regards to story selection I don't think that we need to be a clone of the other site but that formula did seem to work for a long time. I think fewer political/pop news stories and more on open source projects and space and science would be a better blend. On the other hand I don't want no general news stories. The Ukranian uprising story for instance is interesting and worth discussing here, I think. (Although linking to an AMA instead of some broader coverage was a bit questionable.) I just don't want that type of thing to be the focus.

    Also, when replying to the main topic could we please make it so that the comment area is shown below the topic so I don't have to open a new tab to see what I'm replying to?

    And another aside, I'm amazed at how much more I like this old old look and feel compared to the D2 one. Although, if you've looked at the pipedot.org site I think they nailed the look and feel even better. I get the impression though that they're not going to continue. The code though is probably at least worth taking a look at.

    Cheers,
    -WW

    • (Score: 1) by dyingtolive on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:15PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:15PM (#3856)

      I don't like it. Sounds too much like "soilers"..

      • (Score: 1) by wjwlsn on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:56PM

        by wjwlsn (171) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:56PM (#3886) Homepage Journal

        I think that was the intent.

        --
        I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
    • (Score: 1) by bacon on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:33PM

      by bacon (280) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:33PM (#3908)

      So good, I just soyled my pants...

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Daniel Dvorkin on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:19PM

      by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:19PM (#3948)

      Although, if you've looked at the pipedot.org site I think they nailed the look and feel even better. I get the impression though that they're not going to continue. The code though is probably at least worth taking a look at.

      Yeah, Pipedot's absolutely gorgeous. If nothing else comes out of it, I'm hoping "Pipecode" becomes available for setting up discussion sites. And I'd like to see both that site and this one continue: Soylent as Linux, Pipedot as BSD? ;)

      --
      Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [dev.soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
      • (Score: 1) by WildWombat on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:29PM

        by WildWombat (1428) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:29PM (#3952)

        I don't know, I don't think that there will be enough uses for both of them to reach critical mass. Could be wrong on that though. I was just really impressed with how pipedot managed to be so information dense and so clean looking at the same time. I've usually thought that those two were mutually exclusive. They did a bang up job.

        Cheers,
        -WW

        • (Score: 1) by Daniel Dvorkin on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:13PM

          by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:13PM (#3988)

          I was just really impressed with how pipedot managed to be so information dense and so clean looking at the same time. I've usually thought that those two were mutually exclusive.

          I remember another site that used to do that once ... another URL that started with 's' ... I think the name was some kind of Unix pun or something ... hmmm, can't exactly recall at the moment.

          --
          Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [dev.soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
          • (Score: 1) by evilviper on Friday February 21 2014, @04:32AM

            by evilviper (1760) on Friday February 21 2014, @04:32AM (#4184) Journal

            Slashdot isn't a Unix pun at all. It's a URL gag... Imagine tech support telling a beginner to go that that site:

            "Now type in: h-t-t-p colon slash slash slash dot dot o-r-g"

            Pipe dot isn't nearly as interesting. I don't mind getting my daily dose of soiled news, though.

            --
            Do YOU see ALL home-page stories?
            dev.soylentnews.org/search.pl?tid=1
            github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode/issues/78
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Worchaa on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:24PM

    by Worchaa (447) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:24PM (#3793)
    ...the cart will keep moving forward.

    It's hard for me to answer this question directly because I enjoy reading a reasonably open range of topics with a discussion board full of tech pros and other nerdish folk. Even if a story isn't tech-related news, it's likely to receive a tech-minded response. That's the part I like.

    Both positions-- Solid tech-related vs. Branching out-- have merit. However I think the right move is to simply sit the editors down every so often to kick this very question around the table. The community isn't static, so I see little value in placing a large amount attention on determining a static direction.

    The editors are already avoiding crap and posting quality, that's a damned good start. Evaluate regularly, adjust as needed and carry on.

    As long as the editors are on the same page, keep an eye on community reactions and post up stories accordingly I think it'll work out fine without establishing a formal direction or news niche.

    Down the road with a huge community, perhaps the path will need to be better defined. For now, just don't hold the reins too tight. Let things evolve organically and see what you get.

    --
    - Marching Band: It's not just for breakfast anymore.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evilviper on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:33PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:33PM (#3808) Journal

    I'm seriously concerned for the future of Soylent if those in charge don't already know the answer to this question.

    When you post a bunch of Apple rumors, and political flame bait, what kind of readers will you attract? What kind of comments will you get? /. was at it's best, way back when, when it published HARD science and technology stories. That's where it got its audience, it's intelligent community.

    In a global warming or other BS story, would you get comments like this one:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=230181&cid=186 77583 [slashdot.org]

    Or this:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=954211&cid=248 83605 [slashdot.org]

    Or this:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=593717&cid=239 32479 [slashdot.org]

    Slashcode is a good system, but ONLY with an audience of above-average intelligence. Just imagine a flood of YouTube video commenters coming in and doing all the moderation and m2 around here!

    Soylent is getting lots of people from /. in the hope of a better site, but they just won't stay around long if this place turns into HuffingtonPost.

    I know I'm not the only one who believes this:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=349025&cid=212 24209 [slashdot.org]

    This site has the opportunity to be an old-fashioned /. ... maybe even a BETTER /. than the original, but it won't happen by forgetting your core user-base.

    --
    Do YOU see ALL home-page stories?
    dev.soylentnews.org/search.pl?tid=1
    github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode/issues/78
    • (Score: 1) by Common Joe on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:38AM

      by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:38AM (#4713) Journal

      I'm seriously concerned for the future of Soylent if those in charge don't already know the answer to this question.

      Unless they are Steve Jobs (*cough*), it's good that they are getting feedback. They have a lot of ideas about what they want, but they are looking for ideas to make this site better or so that the same mistakes don't happen here as they did at Slashdot.

      Why did Slashdot decline? How can the decline be measured? Can this be plotted over time? These questions cannot be easily answered. Sure, we can give specific examples of X or Y or Z, but that is only a fragment of a snapshot using examples. It doesn't answer those three questions. I think they are asking this question so they can get a lot of snapshots about what the community wants and then use those answers to guide SoylentNews in a better direction. It's easier than asking the harder questions which would be impossible to answer anyway.

      Disclaimer: This is only my opinion and interpretation of what I saw and heard as I watched the SoylentNews being constructed.

  • (Score: 1) by Statecraftsman on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:42PM

    by Statecraftsman (1149) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:42PM (#3822)

    Perhaps a bit OT for this post but I use "Reddit is Fun" a lot and would love to see a similar app available for SN. The main thing the site would need then is to start building an API that exposes articles, comments, etc. The more compatible it can be to other sites APIs (like reddit's) the easier it will be to get a "SoylentNews is fun" instantiated.

  • (Score: 1) by KibiByte on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:25PM

    by KibiByte (1024) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:25PM (#3866)

    As nerds, we tend to focus on Science, Technology, Electronics, and Mathematics.

    That is what I believe should be our primary focus.

    On the other hand, consideration as to the focus level of each area is something the community should hash out.

    --
    The One True Unit UID
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Schafer2 on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:28PM

    by Schafer2 (348) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:28PM (#3869)
    What have we created?

    What the Soylent dev/admin/business teams have created is a fantastic site structure in a few days. I want to clearly and loudly say "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

    The best submitters and commenters from /. then jumped over and made the site real. Thank you!

    With just a few thousand registered users, SN is already at a significant fraction of /.'s comment level, with some solid content. Wow! It gets better every day.

    Are we going to be the same as Slashdot?

    There is consensus on not selling out. This means no one is going to be trying to recover their crazy investment by monetizing the heck out of SN. That's the big win right there. We're not going to be the same as /. in that respect. That should stop Slashdot TV and much other silliness.

    As far as story topics go, we need to be careful not to be exclusionary. We each have different likes, and probably imagine that most others feel just like we do. This could quickly lead to divisiveness. While I'd prefer to discuss Python PEPs, Linux kernel changes, RFCs, and the like, we'll all be better off if we agree to just filter out the topics/submitters/editors on our personal "Katz" list.

    Having said that, I do believe the "News for nerds, stuff that matters" (still /.'s page title) scope definition is a good one, though those exact words are trademarked (by BlockStackers).
  • (Score: 1) by astro128 on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:40PM

    by astro128 (2050) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:40PM (#3913)

    I love the the tech/science/math focus but I would also really like to see the online privacy/ your rights category given some focus. The tech portion of /. has moved more towards the newest iPhone and Google acquisition - while arguable tech, recently I saw an article that mentioned Google's earning report - let Bloomberg or some other financial news site cover that stuff and the numerous gadget blogs cover the iPhone releases - they are better equipped to report on it. When it comes to arguing the pitfalls/ merits of net neutrality, I believe this and /. are great sources of input for both stories not picked up by mainstream media and for the comments.

    --
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

    • (Score: 1) by lennier on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:34PM

      by lennier (2199) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:34PM (#3956)

      "I love the the tech/science/math focus but I would also really like to see the online privacy/ your rights category given some focus."

      Yes! That's pretty much what I said in my huge screed, but much more succinctly. Thank you.

      There are already lots of "tech news" sites on the Internet that report the gossipy chatter of startups and device launches, with a sprinkling of science and politics around the edges. Wired was the first; Ars Technica is probably the best. What Slashdot brought to the table was a particular perspective on technology: one centred around Free/Libre Open Source Software, Open Culture, and the deeper philosophy behind that. That's why I came. But more than that, it reelcted the same philosophy via the submissions and comments. And that's why I stayed.

      Obviously everyone has their own particular slant on what "news for nerds" meant, but for me FLOSS (and Linux and Mozilla as particular incarnations of FLOSS) was the core of it.

      --
      Delenda est Beta
  • (Score: 1) by Qzukk on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:41PM

    by Qzukk (1086) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:41PM (#3915) Journal

    In-place comment expansion... please? (in before ZOMG JAVASCRIPT)

    Even if it's not whole-hog D2, it's a lot nicer to be able to browse threaded discussions in a single tab without having to open a new tab for each level of comments. It's got to be better for bandwidth, as well (to send a single comment's text vs a whole page with one solitary comment in the middle).

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by kumanopuusan on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:14PM

    by kumanopuusan (2575) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:14PM (#3945)

    I only switched so I could get a lower user id.

  • (Score: 1) by chewbacon on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:08PM

    by chewbacon (1032) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:08PM (#3983)

    I enjoy 80% of what gets posted in slashdot: networking, computer stuff, gadget stuff, medical advances, political stuff, the automotive article here and there. I'm all about the original slogan: news for nerds, stuff that matters.

  • (Score: 1) by Nobuddy on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:19PM

    by Nobuddy (1626) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:19PM (#4071)

    It is great that it is taking off, but I am disappointed on one topic:
    When the announcement came out, I went and registered immediately, thinking I'd get a double, or even single, digit ID. I have a low-ish /. ID, so why not? Verified login, and yay!

    then went away for the weekend. I know, I left the darkness of the basement, but the powder was deep and the slopes called.

    I come back Tuesday, go to log in. Username does not exist? I have to re-register... 1626 ID number.

    DAMMIT!

  • (Score: 0) by chris.alex.thomas on Friday February 21 2014, @05:09AM

    by chris.alex.thomas (2331) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:09AM (#4197)

    whilst I think it's good that we've got a discussion going on the new soylent website, I think we ought to take a step back from the slashdot beta reaction and find out what the problem was.

    the basic fact is that the slashdot website looks old, worked ok, but shabbily and could do better now other people might have a chance to do that

    the beta slashdot, didn't listen to the people who were giving good ideas, I agree that a open space, or as I call it, wasted space layout just makes it harder to go to the nuggets of information that I really come here for.

    but here is the rub, you CAN develop a responsive, modern website layout without killing everybody in the process, you just have to know what you're doing, unfortunately the guys at slashdot took a "Gnome Team" approach and just did what the hell they wanted.

    But if we modernised the ui, without sacrificing the ease of use, without forcing everybody to use javascript for those who have it turned off, without putting 20px of space everywhere just to look "clean and fresh" then we might actually stand a good chance of doing something great.

    what I would suggest is a design competition, we all hated the beta slashdot, so ok, lets make a zone on this website where we can contribute to improving soylent and put up suggestions, if designers are present, please try to visualise or conceptualise those ideas and upload the resulting artwork, then we should try to work towards getting the highest voted ideas implemented.

  • (Score: 1) by zafiro17 on Friday February 21 2014, @06:55AM

    by zafiro17 (234) on Friday February 21 2014, @06:55AM (#4250) Homepage

    Congrats on getting the platform up and running. It's one of the first sites I visit per day now. Not long away should be an effort to get a mobile site running. Doesn't mean you have to do it yourself, there are lots of willing individuals who would be interested in tapping into your API, probably.

    These days I use alterslash.org to read slashdot, and some other individuals also made an attempt at creating a site that made up for what the corporate overlords refused to do.

    Everything is possible if "monetizing the site" isn't your primary aim. Let the monkeys fly!

    --
    Soylent, Pipedot, Usenet's comp.misc. An embarrassment of riches.
    • (Score: 1) by lhsi on Friday February 21 2014, @09:21AM

      by lhsi (711) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:21AM (#4307)

      I've browsed the site on a mobile (Nexus 5 using Firefox). It's not too bad as is. A couple of bits don't scale that well, but its not completely terrible.

  • (Score: 1) by sideslash on Friday February 21 2014, @09:40AM

    by sideslash (2531) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:40AM (#4323)
    The site needs more whitespace. And larger, more photographic pictures. In general, SoylentNews needs to evolve in the direction of the Huffington Post or other major non-techie news outlets. Of course, there would be a transitional period where we're testing out the new look, but we could just label it as "beta".

    Everybody cool with that?
  • (Score: 0) by number6 on Friday February 21 2014, @02:22PM

    by number6 (1831) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:22PM (#4482)

    I don't mind reading about any topic. I find banal stuff can cast interesting observations or insightful qualities too.

    The main thing for me is the knowledge that the user-types who make up the body of the site come from a nerdy or geeky mould. This knowledge, for me, is all that matters.

    I don't view the words 'troll', 'flamebait' or 'off-topic' as things to be utterly suppressed with an iron fist; having said that, I must say, in real life I am the type of guy who is willing to hold a conversation about any topic....and I mean ANY TOPIC. I just always look for some logic when I engage with people or things, no matter how banal, scatter-brained or chaotic. I find ignorant holes in just about everybody and everything, including myself.