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Object Lesson in Non-Transparency At Energy.gov

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-it's-a-dry-heat-death dept.

Government 111

Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover recounts her attempts to access information at energy.gov, the U.S. Energy Department's 'cutting-edge, interactive information platform,' which apparently isn't any of those things. Especially frustrating were her attempts to locate important documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. An interesting read for anyone interested in true government transparency."

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111 comments

Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832093)

One wonders if accessing information about Coal or Natural gas production would be easier than information about Nuclear waste storage.
It might be she stepped into a Homeland Security issue, and managed to get herself on a watch list. All these documents were supposedly transferred in 2010. That would put it squarely in the Obama administration's Open Government time frame, but it was also during the height of the irrational security theater phase of locking up information about everything from Atomic weapons to Water supplies.

Google would have been more fruitful, as the article states.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832257)

ya looking into anything related where the government stores nuclear materials even nuclear waste seems like asking for, at least some red tape.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832353)

Nuclear waste is directly tied to defense, since nuclear submarine fuel is reused in power plants. So anything that gives details about nuclear power is under more bureaucratic control, since it is used as a bargaining chip with other countries (i.e., helping France with their nuclear power after WWII).

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (1)

Chruisan (1040302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833143)

I would be interested to see your facts that back this up (spent naval nuclear fuel reprocessed and reused in domestic, commercial nuclear power plants).

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (2)

jazzboat (2560253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832367)

Additionally, basing her conclusion on the search results for one document seems a bit rash. True, from her description, the document should have been found, but just because this one document was not found, it does not prove that this is either another example of an open governement project failing or some nefarious conspiracy.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (5, Interesting)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832431)

I have tired using data.gov to try to get the GIS data for the trails in national parks, I also tried the national parks service without any luck. So it isn't just sensitive info that is impossible to get.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (4, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832557)

But but but, let's back up a minute here. The government trying to purposefully obfuscate sensitive data on a website? Realize they wouldn't publish truly sensitive data here... also, when has the government ever made a user friendly, easy to navigate website? There are projects out there that scrape government websites into better websites to present data. It's more a testament to our IT fail than deliberate vagueness.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832597)

Or it could be that the site just blows chunks just like their petition site. seriously how can you fuck up a registration input with captcha so damned badly? Please god tell me that was donated to the gov, i'd hate to think we paid for that shite on a crusty roll.

if there is anything one should have learned about interacting with the government by now it should be its frustrating, often insanely overcomplicated for even the simplest little thing, sucks time like mad, and if you aren't real careful you'll either end up going around in circles or in a catch 22 situation. Frankly most of the nitty gritty is a giant mess that only seems to help spawn more government workers. BTW did you know that government workers now outnumber fishermen,loggers,miners,and about a half a dozen other jobs combined? Blew my mind when i read that but it makes sense, red tape breeds pencil pushers like shit breeds mushrooms. BTW if anybody can find that list of how many jobs combined are less than government workers i never thought to save it and its a pretty damned long list.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (-1, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833895)

Which is way Government should be the LAST resort for anything like ... you know ... HEALTHCARE.

Seriously, there is a HUGE disconnect between some people's brains (not necissarily yours), where on the one hand, they can complain about DMV, Post Office, Social Security Services, etc and etc, and then turn around and say "Government Run Health Care is going to be AWESOME Woot!"

Boggles the mind.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (4, Interesting)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834289)

Government-run healthcare is not awesome, but it is arguably necessary.

However, that's a moot point because that's not what the US is going to get. The US had a right-wing party yelling "socialists! Death panels!" at a less-right-wing party which put up self-imposed roadblocks to appease them, even though the latter controlled Congress, Senate and White House (until late 2010), until you got mandatory health insurance.

It is a giant clusterfuck that Republicans are secretly overjoyed to get, because when it collapses they will tout it as an example of why public health systems don't work, even though it's nothing like the public health or mixed public/private systems in other countries that DO work (though again, not awesomely).

They (and much of the American public) also ignore the fact that even before Obamacare, even during the Bush Jr. era, the US was already spending more tax dollars on healthcare per capita than all the other industrialized nations. If they'd only spend those *existing* health care tax dollars properly, the standard of care that the poor and lower-middle class would be AT LEAST as good as Canada's (which has plenty of flaws, don't get me wrong, but it's very unlikely to force people into bankruptcy or taking out a second mortgage), and the wealthier could still pay for better health services.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (2)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38835015)

on the one hand, they can complain about DMV, Post Office, Social Security Services, etc and etc, and then turn around and say "Government Run Health Care is going to be AWESOME Woot!"

Boggles the mind.

By that the logic, the govt shouldn't be responsible for anything. The govt may be shithouse at certain things, but as far as distributing healthcare to everyone equally, is still the best model available.

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (2)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38835139)

This is nothing but FUD. Yucca Mountain has got next to nothing to do with nuclear weapons and you aren't going to get on a 'watch list' by asking about it. It's been studied and discussed and studied all over again dating back to 1978. The proposed storage facility is for spent fuel from nuclear reactors. You can't use this stuff to make nuclear weapons. That doesn't mean you want to hand it out at parties, but it's a basic radioactive storage problem first, and a security problem no more so than storing any other hazmat.

Yucca Mountain has been declared safe and a great site for exactly what the US wanted to do with it numerous times, but it suffers from a huge case of NIMBY. Nobody, state or Federal, wins votes by announcing that they've found a great spot to put all their spent nuclear reactor fuel. It doesn't matter if all the spent nuclear fuel in the country could fit in a football field and it doesn't matter if it's the best place in the entire country for it. The only thing that matters, like all political boondoggles, is whether anybody with clout is going to suspend cover-your-ass mode and actually try to solve the problem -- and Obama's answer, like most politicians, has been a resounding 'no.' This is usually followed up by some squirming and an admission to the effect of 'actually, all this stuff is fine where it is! We are so much smarter than we were in 1978. Those crazy kids back then thought we should bury this stuff in a mountain! Naaaaah.'

Re:Perhaps a less sensitive subject? (2)

trevelyon (892253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836189)

You might want to read the article a bit more carefully. She states that there is a wealth of documents both in google and on the NRC (nuclear regulatory commission so it is rather unlikely this is a security issue or one of limited search for one document. She also lists several other search topics that provided similarly poor results. In particular presenting the information with no summary is not security it's poor implementation that will end up wasting the user's time, provider's bandwidth for little return. I would not ascribe to security what seems to clearly be incompetence. That argument should be left to the cable and telco companies when they transfer you to overseas support and ask you to provide all the information you just gave the last person "for security purposes".

Slashdot is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832115)

Infiltrated by Google employees and well-wishers, Slashdot consistently offers justifications for every bad behavior and terrible decision coming from Google. Just look at the privacy changes article in which fanboys banded together to make sure Google was perceived as the good guy and that anyone critical of them was modbombed.

Just to recap, Google is a multibillion dollar advertising megacorporation that was caught by the German government sniffing people's wifi data (they "accidentally" did it for three years before admitting it only when authorities threatened an investigation), forced people to use real names on Google+ and admitted it was an identity service and not a social network, stuffed Google+ results into the search engine without any competing social networks even though they have those networks indexed by the search engine (hello, Microsoft tactics), said that the only people who care about privacy "have something to hide," hacked into Mocality to call its customers, removed H.264 support in Chrome out of "openness" only to turn around and ship the closed-source Flash plugin, withheld Android source from the public but shared it with privileged hardware partners so they could have a leg up, abused their Android compatibility program to make things difficult for smartphone makers who chose Bing over Google, and on and on and on.

With all this crap they pull that would get them completely trashed if they were Microsoft or any other company, there's one reason and one reason only that they have been propped up as the good guy on Slashdot all these years--Linux. They use Linux. Slashdot is a Linux advocacy site, and so because Google uses Linux, they are good guys and get a pass for everything. That's all it takes to get Slashdot to love you. Just use Linux.

Hypocrites. When Microsoft used their Windows monopoly revenues to fund development of Internet Explorer and release it for free to try to dominate the web market, everyone here cried "antitrust!" But when Google uses its web search monopoly revenues to fund development of Android and release it for free to try to dominate smartphones, everyone defends it. For anyone who was on Slashdot during those times, to see Google doing all the very same things Microsoft did but get a completely different reaction is surreal.

Slashdot is a bubble. You only get pro-Google, pro-Linux news. Major news occurring elsewhere is often days late, if it gets reported at all. The Google+ search results fiasco is huge all over the tech sites right now, but there's nothing about it here, as if it doesn't even exist as a controversy. And did you know iOS surpassed Android in marketshare by the end of 2011 according to three research firms? With how obsessed Slashdot is over marketshare, and how they constantly trumpeted Android's marketshare all the time as a victory last year, you'd think it would be big news. But, no. This is pro-Google territory, pro-Linux territory. Gotta keep the natives happy for more page views.

This will get modded down because trolls have taken over the moderation system and openly subvert it. That's fine. It just proves my point about how Slashdot reacts to anything outside the partyline. This site's news reporting is old, antiquated, and slow, but the news isn't even why people come here anymore. The part of the community still remaining (after its years-long exodus to Reddit, Hacker News, and other sites, which is why traffic has decreased so dramatically on most Slashdot stories today) only comes here to pat themselves on the back for thinking a certain way. "Yeah, Microsoft is still evil! Yeah, Google is still the good guy! Yeah, Apple is still for chumps!" It's the year 2000 forever on Slashdot.

Think about your breathing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832143)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.
There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:
1. BLINKING!
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.
In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832149)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

iOS now has more marketshare than Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832155)

It's official: iOS now has more marketshare than Android. Reuters reports that Apple completely erased Android's marketshare lead [reuters.com] , confirming earlier reports by both Nielsen [nielsen.com] and NPD [gigaom.com] . Over 150 Android smartphones couldn't outcompete the iPhone 4S. With 37 million iPhones sold last quarter, Apple is the largest smartphone marker, and their profits exceed Google’s entire revenue, $13 billion to $10.6 billion. Finally, with 15 million iPads sold last quarter, the tablet market is now larger than the entire desktop PC market.

Remember that Slashdot triumphantly posted in January 2011 about Android surpassing iOS in marketshare [slashdot.org] . A year later when the opposite happens? Not a peep. Talk about bias.

Rob (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832161)

Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem with your sendmail or somethin
Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes?
My boxes is linux too, I'm bout to be a compiler
once I learn gcc,
I'ma go on and compile for hours
I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry
I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even read all your bullshit Linux news and Microsoft's man
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the way you sold your ass out too, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan

Dear Rob, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Linux World
you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old
We waited on a 9600 baud for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to
Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you
you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way
I never had a clue about shit either
I gcc'd shit with my wife then beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your page
so when I feel like rmusering I read Slashdot to begin the rage
cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of slashdot across the chest
Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods
It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Rob, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Stan -- P.S.
We should be together too

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans,
this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two emails
I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect
So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm on my modem now, I'm doing 9600 baud so fear it
Hey Rob, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code?
You know the song by Deep Purple or Slayer
its irrelevant by playing on my linux player
while I write some php scripts and play some Dragonslayer
That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy
and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall
I love you Rob, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me
See Rob {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code
Hey Rob, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode
but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you
cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now
Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc?
Look, I'm really flattered you would install 7.0 Redhat
and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too?
I say that shit just clownin dog,
c'mon - how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
so heres some more Linux stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
I sold Slashdot for thousands so now I'm a single jetsetter
I really think you and your boxes need each other
or maybe you just need to treat them better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine
if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Stan why are you so mad? Try to understand, that Linux and MS is just grand
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge
and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged
and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was.. it was you
Damn!

Portman (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832185)

"Trollin', Trollin', Trollin',
perl scripts a' pollin',
keep on slashdot trollin',
Portman!
Mae Ling Mak and First Post,
So I can now boast,
Wishin' my gal was petrified.
All the things I'm missin',
My Karma, baths, and wimmin,
I don't care, or else I'd cry!

CHORUS
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them fingers movin,
Portman!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just post and reprimand 'em,
Soon we'll be trollin' far and wide!
My porn's stimulatin'
My right hand will be achin'
I don't care or else I'd cry!

Portman!
Portman!

BSD is dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832193)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Bought fake Insluin, hope someone has some info on (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832209)

There was a post last month before thanksgiving on the So-Cal Craigslist with an elderly gentleman selling R type insulin for cash or btc. The last part caught me eye and from out talks, its sounded like he just had a recurring RX and was letting the stuff go for cheap aslong as you payed him the cost and a little bit for his time.

Well last night I went to refil my insulin pump, and woke up nearly dead today. It was just water, or saline, or who knows.

Point of this post is to see if anyone else saw that post and kept the info, and to warn off people in the LAX area buying insluin online.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832215)

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists exists to badmouth anything related to atomic energy.

It's time to breathe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832231)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.

There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:

1. BLINKING!
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.
In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Natalie Portman, naked and petrified (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832263)

"Trollin', Trollin', Trollin',
perl scripts a' pollin',
keep on slashdot trollin',
Portman!
Mae Ling Mak and First Post,
So I can now boast,
Wishin' my gal was petrified.
All the things I'm missin',
My Karma, baths, and wimmin,
I don't care, or else I'd cry!

CHORUS
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them fingers movin,
Port-man!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just post and reprimand 'em,
Soon we'll be trollin' far and wide!
My porn's stimulatin'
My right hand will be achin'
I don't care or else I'd cry!

Port-man!
Port-man!

I can't help thinking about breathing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832267)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE!

There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:

1. BLINKING!
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.

In fact, by RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Appearance Is Everything (5, Informative)

jasnw (1913892) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832295)

After working with a variety of US Government agencies over my 40+ year career I learned many lessons about how these agencies work. A major one was how mandated actions or behaviors were handled. It wasn't important that you actually did what the mandate called for, it just needed to APPEAR that you did. This website experience from TFA sounds very much like this behavior.

Re:Appearance Is Everything (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834231)

This is called Mandated Processes, not Mandated Results. If they had to cost justify their existence, most agencies couldn't even come close.

Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1, Flamebait)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832317)

www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/abject+lesson.html

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832389)

"(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)"

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832443)

And interestingly, the link notes that "abject lesson" is an Indian English idiom.

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832451)

In some varieties of Physics god created the world in 7 days.

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832477)

In all varieties of English, some people are idiots.

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832505)

Some idiots are always English.

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832417)

From the site you linked to:

(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
This idiom is Indian English

So given that it was an article about US government, it's fair to assume that the writer was trying to use American English idioms, rather than Indian English ones.

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832457)

Did you read the page you linked (or rather, didn't link), where it said "This idiom is Indian English"? (/. is not an Indian site...)

Re:Not to be a grammar nazi or anything but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38834903)

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004917.html

The Slashdot troll post investigation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832319)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on Slashdot. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

* More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org] . There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.

* Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)

* Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.

* A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org] , funny [slashdot.org] , etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel, they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread to see what I mean.

* Digging deep into the history of Slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org] , which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.

Anonymous cowards are... well, cowards.

Re:The Slashdot troll post investigation (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832865)

That's exactly why I no longer log in at all. Slashdot is all too frequently moderated by a combination of moderation tyrants and ignorant me-too'ers than people who actually know what they are talking about. I commonly see completely false and factually incorrect information moderated up to +5 and factually valid and correct answers moderated down to 1 to -1. Slashdot is broken. The moderators are generally worthless shells of humanity. And the general slashdot population is generally ignorant mee-too'ers who have no fucking clue about anything.

The only reason I made it this far into the comments is because, shockingly, most of the first comments are not dumb, incorrect, and trolling. In fact, to my surprise, the first many comments are uncharacteristically sane, rational, and reasonable.

Slashdot is dead.

Re:The Slashdot troll post investigation (1, Offtopic)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833337)

Funny, as a moderator I do pretty much exactly the opposite of everything you said moderators do, with one exception:

I do NOT, generally, like to engage in "moderation fights" where I mod down what someone has modded up, or vice versa, except in really egregious cases of mis-moderation.

I rarely mod down.

I like to mod posts that haven't been modded already, to lift up interesting/deserving posts so that they can be seen.

I'm not a stickler on modding down off-topic posts, but I will in really egregious cases.

I would say 80% of my mods are used for "+1 interesting", another 15% are "+1 insightful", and all others are 5% or less.

Of course, my karma is also very high, and not mostly because of my own comments.

--PM

Re:The Slashdot troll post investigation (2, Interesting)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833591)

Holy shit! Been a long time since this was first posted [slashdot.org] and managed to receive several hundred mods. Followed up by a temper tantrum from the slashdot management team banning anyone who moderated it from ever moderating again.

*BSD is dying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832331)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts. Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

iOS marketshare now more than Android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832335)

It's official--iOS now has more marketshare than Android. Reuters reports that Apple completely erased Android's marketshare lead [reuters.com] , confirming earlier reports by both Nielsen [nielsen.com] and NPD [gigaom.com] . Over 150 Android smartphones couldn't outcompete the iPhone 4S. With 37 million iPhones sold last quarter, Apple is the largest smartphone marker, and their profits exceed Google’s entire revenue, $13 billion to $10.6 billion. Finally, with 15 million iPads sold last quarter, the tablet market is now larger than the entire desktop PC market.

Remember that Slashdot triumphantly posted in January 2011 about Android surpassing iOS in marketshare [slashdot.org] . A year later when the opposite happens? Not a peep. Talk about bias.

What a surprise (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832359)

What a surprise, the Administration that touts itself as the most transparent in history, isn't. As a matter of fact it is busy obfuscating as much information about the government as possible.

Re:What a surprise (2)

quintus_horatius (1119995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832611)

It's like anything else in politics: perception is all that matters, not substance.

Re:What a surprise (0, Troll)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833851)

It just shows how much of a bald-faced liar Obama is.

It's pretty sad: the Republicans are far more deserving of respect than he is. At least the Republicans are honest about their intentions and plans to make the rich richer, prop up badly-managed corporations, and screw everyone else. They come right out and say it to our faces, and try to convince us it's for the better, and that rich people are better than the rest of us, and half the public actually believes them. Obama and the Democrats, OTOH, are big liars, telling us that they're going to help out regular middle-class Americans, not help out big corporations to the detriment of society, and then when they get into power, what do they do? Exactly the same thing as the Republicans.

What's with all the troll posts? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832361)

Hello you are reading the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING TROLL!
Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!
Your brain usually takes care of breathing for you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.
There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:
1. BLINKING!
1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!
1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING AGAIN!
In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.
In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

ELEPHANT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38834029)

I'm also not thinking about elephants... Oh... Wait... Damnit.

Robbie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832383)

Slashdot's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

Dear Rob, I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem with your sendmail or somethin
Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes?
My boxes is linux too, I'm bout to be a compiler
once I learn gcc,
I'ma go on and compile for hours
I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry
I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even read all your bullshit Linux news and Microsoft's man
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the way you sold your ass out too, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan

Dear Rob, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Linux World
you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old
We waited on a 9600 baud for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to
Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you
you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way
I never had a clue about shit either
I gcc'd shit with my wife then beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your page
so when I feel like rmusering I read Slashdot to begin the rage
cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of slashdot across the chest
Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods
It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Rob, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Stan -- P.S.
We should be together too

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans,
this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two emails
I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect
So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm on my modem now, I'm doing 9600 baud so fear it
Hey Rob, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code?
You know the song by Deep Purple or Slayer
its irrelevant by playing on my linux player
while I write some php scripts and play some Dragonslayer
That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy
and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall
I love you Rob, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me
See Rob {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code
Hey Rob, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode
but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you
cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now
Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc?
Look, I'm really flattered you would install 7.0 Redhat
and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too?
I say that shit just clownin dog,
c'mon - how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
so heres some more Linux stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
I sold Slashdot for thousands so now I'm a single jetsetter
I really think you and your boxes need each other
or maybe you just need to treat them better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine
if you relax a little, I am glad I inspire you but Stan why are you so mad? Try to understand, that Linux and MS is just grand
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge
and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged
and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was.. it was you
Damn!

Non-transparency or a bad website? (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832385)

I read the article, and he's basically got problems with the search feature, the size of PDFs (or the quality of their previews?), and what happens to agency documents when an agency closes (they go to an agency that handles 'legacy' documents)

This is a very accusatory article and summary for the problems he's got. Non-transparency? Obfuscation? Or a work-in-progress? If new work is hidden away, or old work isn't made available in a straightforward and reasonable fashion, then complain... but this guy just comes off as complaining.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832539)

>but this guy just comes off as complaining

Should he give praise for the effort even when the result is non-satisfactory?

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832777)

If you've ever worked in a service industry, you will find people getting bent out of shape over nothing.

Praise isn't the issue, but tedious nuisance complaints are a problem.

Why just today I was in a restaurant, there was bickering over including a slice of bread or something in the middle of a "Double BLT" which just made me sigh.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (5, Informative)

acwnh (749367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832561)

You couldn't have read the article too closely since the author's first name, Dawn, is usually a woman's first name.
The article goes into a fair amount of detail regarding information that used to be available prior to the new-and-improved-and-consolidated website energy.gov. Based on the contents of the article, I personally would conclude that the author's complaints are valid.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (1, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833079)

I wasn't concerned with the author's name. I will admit I skimmed some of the non-relevant portions, since I was short on time, but I believe I got the substance of the post.

As for the old website, sites tend to grow organically. The content on the old website was put there one-at-a-time, as it came to exist. The new website would've required a bulk import, and those are pretty slow. I'd rather they have the new site up earlier than delaying until everything is copied over. Should it have been done better? Probably. But this wasn't an article about "it should have been done better", this was an article about nontransparency and deliberate obfuscation, with the implication that it's for political reasons. I don't think the evidence supports such a bold accusation.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832577)

Just remember the Slashdot logical flow of government interference:

1. Is it TEH GUMMERVENTS?!??!?
1a. If no, continue down to the path labeled "corporations" and ask again.
1b. If yes, EEEEEEEEEEEEEVULLLLLLLLLLL!!!! killitwithfire killitwithfire killitwithfire killitwithfire aaaaarghbrarrrghbraaargh hate hate hate hate hate

Commit that to memory and you'll never have those pesky feelings of critical reasoning and thought that smelly fat nerds are known for ever again!

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833225)

Just remember the Slashdot logical flow of government interference:

1. Is it TEH GUMMERVENTS?!??!?
1a. If no, go toward the unity100 path
1b. If yes, go toward the roman_mir path

Simplified that for you.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832629)

Just to be precise, I believe the author is a "she", not a "he".

The problems cited didn't seem to be just with the search feature, unless the full document is there but not indexed. As I look at the search results, the problem is poor ontology--two hits with identical indices, and no particular structure apparent (is the "Viability Assessment" different from the "Science and Engineering Report"?). Ideally the results would carry some classification--reports, press releases, legal documents, etc. that would permit easier navigation and identification. It looks like the automation involved running a script to scrape out the document title or the contents of a summary field, and create a link with that text.

Energy.gov is almost certainly a work in progress. However, which work progresses will depend in part on who complains about what. With limited resources, no one is going to "improve" something no one complains about. And my complaints will be much less of a call to action than Steve Chu's complaints. Getting flagged in print and /.'ed is probably a good way to motivate enhancements.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833141)

Ever heard the phrase "one catches more flies with honey that with vinager". Instead of accusing the site of being "not transparent" maybe she could have stated that search engin needs fixing and suggesting exactly how to do it.

Another issue is that she is looking for a ten-year old document from an Office that was closed and all documents transferred to Legacy Management. If the documents were transferred in electronic form, as they should be, it is up to LM to put them up in searchable format. The OP's issue should be with LM and not Energy.gov.

By the way, just because one can not instantly download any document created in the last ten years does not mean the government is not transparent. It just means that they have not dealt with the millions of legacy documents.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833039)

The problem with the search is there is doesn't appear to be a way to specify the DOE's own document classification as search term. The document the author is looking for is, I believe, called "Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report Rev.1, by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management: North Las Vegas, NV (2002) " The DOE knows this document as DOE/RW-539-1 and google searches refer to this document by the same title, but the government's site returns no results for it. Instead you get one big pdf with no indication about the revision or date of publication until you actually download and read it. In fact the name of the file is "SER.pdf instead of DOE/RW-539-1.pdf. Whereas if you check the archive.org snapshot of energy.gov you can find this document and easily browse through the html report. Just sticking this stuff in a pdf is a form of obfuscation rather than transparency.

Re:Non-transparency or a bad website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833305)

Just a reminder, their is no such thing as the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The project to create such a repository has been killed.

No surprise that all the studies from the project have been filed away somewhere, and are now hard to find. Stover should count herself lucky she could find them at all.

Holy Hell, slashdot is BACK! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832391)

I haven't seen so many trolls/shills/troll-shills/shill-trolls since the heyday of GNAA -- somebody even revisited the Netcraftian mythos and posted the ol' Death of BSD.

Truly, /. has finally recovered from cmdrtaco's departure, and is alive and well.

Re:Holy Hell, slashdot is BACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832563)

What we need is an Old Ike story.

Re:Holy Hell, slashdot is BACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833967)

Modded down... why?

  • Mods on crack who don't get sarcasm, and think my "praise" for the return of the good ol' days was meant serioualy?

  • Butthurt trolls?
  • Or someone thinks discussion of trolls is really off-topic when, at the time, fully 2/3 of the posts were trolls?

Take your pick, I just thought it was an amusing (and depressing) development worth commenting on.

GreatBunzinni, at it again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832397)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem--the problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

The last Slashdot troll post investigation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832409)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on slashdot.org. In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

* More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [slashdot.org] . There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.

* Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)

* Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.

* A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [slashdot.org] , funny [slashdot.org] , etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel, they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread to see what I mean.

* Digging deep into the history of Slashdot, I found this poll [slashdot.org] , which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Feel free to use this information to your advantage. Thanks you for your time.

Anonymous cowards are... well, cowards.

Also missing (1, Interesting)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832411)

Wow, there's a lot of trolls today.

Back on topic:
I couldn't find anything at Energy.gov [energy.gov] that indicates what portion of my tax burden is due to supporting non-competitive forms of "green" energy.

I don't care where you come down on these issues, but anyone who views this site has to agree, that it is pure marketing. I run my monitor at 1920x1080, and I had to press 'PageDn' three times to get to the content!

Re:Also missing (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832741)

I don't care where you come down on these issues, but anyone who views this site has to agree, that it is pure marketing. I run my monitor at 1920x1080, and I had to press 'PageDn' three times to get to the content!

I read that, and thought, 'Oh, c'mon, it can't be that bad.'

Then I actually went to energy.gov... Sweet zombie Jesus...

I find the American Idol-esque "Who will be AMERICA'S NEXT TOP ENERGY INNOVATOR" banner ad at the top particularly disgusting.

Who will be AMERICA'S NEXT TOP ENERGY INNOVATOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833399)

I dunno, but I do know they'll find a horse's head in their bed.

Re:Also missing (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833867)

Wow, you guys aren't kidding. That's one of the worst websites I've seen in a while.

thebulletin.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832429)

why even bother posting links to that pile of shit ?

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Please help me with my Insluin (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832433)

There was a post last month before thanksgiving on the So-Cal Craigslist with an elderly gentleman selling R-type insulin for cash or btc. The last part caught me eye and from out talks, its sounded like he just had a recurring RX and was letting the stuff go for cheap aslong as you payed him the cost and a little bit for his time.

Well last night I went to refil my insulin pump, and woke up nearly dead today. It was just water, or saline, or who knows.

Point of this post is to see if anyone else saw that post and kept the info, and to warn off people in the LAX area buying insluin online.

Netcraft confirms, *BSD is dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832449)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI, who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

This is called the Portman troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832467)

"Trollin', Trollin', Trollin',
perl scripts a' pollin',
keep on slashdot trollin',
Portman!
Mae Ling Mak and First Post,
So I can now boast,
Wishin' my gal was petrified.
All the things I'm missin',
My Karma, baths, and wimmin,
I don't care, or else I'd cry!

CHORUS
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Post 'em up, click 'em on
Click 'em on, post 'em up
Portman!

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them fingers movin,
Portman!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just post and reprimand 'em,
Soon we'll be trollin' far and wide!
My porn's stimulatin'
My right hand will be achin'
I don't care or else I'd cry!

Portman!!
Portman!!

Propaganda != transparency. (2)

Toby Tucker (2550988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832551)

All of these Obama, "transparency", websites are a little too polished, and completely peppered with politispeak bullshit.

Yucca Mountain is needed (3, Informative)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832579)

I hardly blame them for not releasing information on Yucca Mountain to a potential muck-raking reporter. I know everyone hates the idea of Yucca Mountain, but do they realize the alternative? Nuclear waste is currently being stored on-site all over the country and piling up. The potential for disaster is growing unless that waste can be disposed of, and I am not aware of any better alternative than Yucca Mountain.

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832787)

We don't need to poison our air and water to have a succesful society, and nucular is BAD. All we need is to go back to nature, get rid of all this awful progress and live simply. If I need energy I will just hitch a few unicorns to a plow! Simplify man!

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832871)

But what do we do with existing nuclear waste? We cannot just stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this stuff is not piling up at power plants all around the country. Because that is what it seems like a lot of the anti-Yucca people are doing....All the complaints about the long-term viability of Yucca Mountain are ludicrous compared to the long (or even short) term viability of storing used fuel rods on site at plants. Fukushima was storing spent rods on site....

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833787)

What to do with it? Leave it exactly where it is. Let the people who benefited from the production of the waste be the ones who deal with the waste. Seems totally fair to me.

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834063)

Missed the unicorn part, huh?

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834225)

If I need energy I will just hitch a few unicorns to a plow!

But what do we do with existing nuclear waste?

Well, what do you think those unicorns are going to eat, huh?

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833201)

potential muck-raking reporter

Dawn Stover

Stover is a science writer based in the Pacific Northwest and is a contributing editor at the Bulletin. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Conservation, Popular Science, New Scientist, The New York Times, and other publications. One of her articles is included in the 2010 Best American Science and Nature Writing, and another article was recently awarded a special citation by the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism.

Yeah, the bitch sounds like a real muckraker writing for that tabloid rag, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833887)

Actually I have to apologize for this post. I was off-base.... It is just fustrating that there is not solution to the nuclear waste dispoal problem....killing Yucca Mountain did not seem like the solution

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833273)

I hardly blame them for not releasing information on Yucca Mountain to a potential muck-raking reporter. I know everyone hates the idea of Yucca Mountain, but do they realize the alternatives? Nuclear waste is currently being stored on-site all over the country and piling up...

TFTFY. You did actually mean to include the other alternative, right? You know, the one where we hold-off on creating more nuclear wast until we can figure out what to do with shit that stays toxic for tens of thousands of years. Because just burying it in the ground is stupendously short-sighted approach. Right?

Re:Yucca Mountain is needed (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38835203)

and I am not aware of any better alternative than Yucca Mountain.

I'm aware of one: "getting rid of that retarded law that prevents us from using it as fuel."

Cutting-edge (adj.): (0)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832879)

In politics, the infinitely thin blade of knowledge that is left after everything else is cut.

Seriously, this should not come as any great surprise. Politicians have a vested interested in not publishing anything that could be embarrassing. Civil servants have a vested interest in not publishing anything that might threaten their careers. On top of that, there is a tradition of security through obscurity and we live in a time when the appearance of security is considered of paramount importance, trumping all other considerations, because to not do so would create irrational fear and possibly panic. (The average person cannot judge risk well and even highly intelligent people often make a mess of it.)

Because nobody in a position of responsibility has any motivation to be open (there's no benefit to them and there's provable harm to the average person), all we will get is the illusion of openness.

The solution adopted by most of the West is the principle of need-to-know. It's not a very good principle, it limits scrutiny and it inhibits improvement. Most alternatives have operated on some similar split-brain approach. The only way to eliminate the need for a split-brain is, as I've said before, to fix the underlying cause - irrationality born of ignorance. (Sure, there's irrationality amongst the knowledgeable, too, but you can't fix that so there's no point in considering it.) You have to have an educational system that raises the minimum standard high enough that people can intelligently and rationally deal with the facts before them. If you do that, then you're not going to get panic reactions but deliberations, nobody is going to get sacrificed on any altars, and people will respect the need to balance requirements.

In other words, open government is not only safe but desirable when you have a sensibly-educated populace. The problem is that neither an open nor a non-open government are particularly safe with an uneducated populace. Gaps will ALWAYS be filled with spin (the modern-day form of superstition) and that is never a good thing. Having fewer gaps can help, but not always. Incorrectly used, facts and/or science merely allow one to be wrong with authority. Correctness requires you to go beyond merely filling in the holes.

Re:Cutting-edge (adj.): (0)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834269)

Perhaps the person who modded my post a troll would like to explain how stupidity and ignorance make for sound judgement or competent oversight. You can't? Oh, what a surprise THAT is. By modding it so, you have only demonstrated WHY stupidity and ignorance are unacceptable. Since the cure is never less oversight, the only cure is better education and more of it.

In the case of Slashdot, you can see that clearly. Back when the majority were intelligent, moderation was also intelligent. Now that it is a haven for morons, moderation has become moronic. This is not the fault of the moderation system, since it works fine when people think and act rationally. The only problem is to get to that point. The more Slashdot goes downhill (remember, the posters here are representative of the creme-a-la-creme of the geek world) the more I'm convinced that civilization is hell-bent on becoming an idiocracy.

And how does this surprise us? (1)

SuhlScroll (925963) | more than 2 years ago | (#38832923)

We all need to keep in mind that `transparency` is a relative term (0-100%), and that being served a mandate to make things `transparent` does not necessarily determine how `transparent` things actually are, nor does it mean that incompetence (or intentional malfeasance) can't change just how `transparent` things actually become.

Re:And how does this surprise us? (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833219)

It's so transparent, that you can't see it. Simple really!

LSN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832931)

She could try searching for "Licensing Support Network" which is what the repository used to be called.

THERE ARE GANGWARS EVERYWHERE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38832985)

I have incestuous sex with my uncle.

BANG IT JERRY!!

The most technologically-advanced Presidency ever? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833125)

But, but, but... How can these problems keep popping up? Don't we have the first-ever Blackberry-using President?.. Was not Obama praised as "technologically-savvy" on this very forum in 2008?

Usability (2)

bwvandorn (195769) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833279)

I didn't find the sites mentioned in the article any harder to navigate than the average commercial site. Author was incorrect about not being able to access documents online at the Office of Legacy Management site. I suggest she show a little more patience and perseverance if her object is to find information. If she just wanted to flame Obama's promises of transparency, any topic or government site would do.

This IS the government. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833551)

The same institution that gives bailouts to banks, spies on people, and goes to war over bullshit. Why are you expecting anything different in other areas?

Do not attribute to malice... (3, Insightful)

decsnake (6658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38833605)

that which can be attributed to the government procurement process. IME, all federal govt web sites suck, esp. those used for internal purposes, for which conspiracy theories just don't even make any sense. What they do all have in common is that they are developed by contractors, under the competitive procurement process. Just ask anyone that has had to use fedtraveler.com.

Handy Link yields an additional 86 results. (3, Informative)

dthx1138 (833363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834081)

Right after I went to energy.gov and searched for Yucca Mountain, I got the same 22 results. However, on that results page was a link right at the top entitled "search all of Energy.gov" which then yielded 108 results. It doesn't seem like the author was very thorough here, herself.

Considering that these are generally PDFs containing large quantities of information (not endless blog re-posts like you'd get with Google hits), it's pretty hard to believe that there's a deliberate attempt to obscure information.

Is their search system as intuitive and comprehensive as Google? No. Then again, nobody's is- if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, and Google wouldn't be Google.

Energy.gov shouldn't have a built-in search engine (3, Insightful)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834203)

The Energy department should not have wasted a dime of public money on a specialized search engine built into their website. Yet it looks like they did just that. Government agencies should focus on getting the documents posted in standard formats (e.g., PDF) and then let commercial engines do all the work. You get bonus points if you mark the documents with key metadata (title, authors, abstract, date), but even without that, most commercial search engines can find lots. I'm not the first to note that, several articles have noted this.

If an agency just HAVE to have a search engine on the page, they can just reuse a commercial one. For example, if you want to reuse Google, just follow the instructions here: http://www.google.com/sitesearch/ [google.com] which just inserts a few lines of HTML. From then on, all done. You can see an example on my website front page at www.dwheeler.com [dwheeler.com] . I don't actually do the searching... I just redirect to Google. And users don't have to use Google, they can use any search engine they find convenient.

No, .gov sites can't embed Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836037)

After storm of recent articles about Google's new, evil use policies I would have hoped more people would be aware that G has some use policies that are just as "we own all your base" as Facebook.

Government agencies aren't so dumb that they didn't think about that, but the lawyers have told them "no".

The .gov sites CANNOT reuse/embed Google (or Bing) because the terms of use on those services demand data rights that the Government agencies aren't allowed to surrender.

Typical government operation. (2)

BobK65 (2541842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834211)

They have a crappy search engine. Do a google site search. site:energy.gov "yucca mountain" returns 2460 results.

Thoughts from Energy's Digital Director (2)

Cammie Croft (2561599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38834729)

We’re always looking for ways to improve Energy.gov and I appreciate hearing the concerns outlined in this article and comments.

In fact, after this article flagged concerns about searching the site, we started working to change the search functionality on the homepage of Energy.gov to default to global search. Currently, the search defaults to within the top-level Energy.gov pages and doesn’t include results from all the subsites within the platform unless you indicate as such. For example, when I search for "Hanford" on Energy.gov, I get 20 results. However, when I select “search all of Energy.gov” the results increase to 254 items.

While we are incredibly proud of the new Energy.gov platform, there are Energy Department program office websites and subsequent documents that just aren’t on the Energy.gov platform yet. In order to improve the availability and transparency of our information, we’re currently in the process of migrating the remaining program office content into the system (including the Office of Legacy Management’s website and documents) – but this process takes some time.

It’s no secret: the federal government has a pdf problem. And at Energy.gov, we’re striving each day to make it better. We’d love feedback on how to do so. Feel free to share your ideas here: Contact Us [energy.gov]

it's about budgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836579)

Look.. building a good website costs money. For most government agencies, the website is an "unfunded additional mandate", because they were already strapped for cash doing what they did BEFORE they got the "you must have a website" directive.

It takes time and money to find all the stuff, figure out a way to put it online in some sort of orderly way, deal with all the usual content management issues.

On top of that, lots and lots of documents aren't necessarily releasable to the general public as is(perhaps they contain export controlled information, maybe they're in some obscure format.. WordPerfect 5 or something).

When the documents are all stored on an internal repository, you can be pretty cavalier (or lazy) about properly categorizing for public release. So you have to review all the document. You don't want violate one of the zillions of privacy directives, or some "government rights in data clause" (yep, lots of contracts require the vendor to provide the data for "government use" ,but they get a discount because it's not available to the general public, where the vendor "sells" the data).
So you have a document that works perfectly well inside the agency, containing non-releasable information embedded in it, and now you want to push it out to the public. Well, you have to find all the reviewers for the document (and it's not like those folks are sitting around waiting to leap into action at your request.. they've got other things they normally do), maybe get the general counsel involved to review any contracts with vendors that supplied data for the report, etc. etc.etc

This stuff is doable, but it takes time, and it takes labor.

Meanwhile Congress is out daring each other as to "who can cut the most"..

Yep.. that *is* the way to do things.

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