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MS kills Linux demo at PIII launch

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the aint-that-nice dept.

Microsoft 193

An anonymous reader writes "Spencer F. Katt has written a piece that among other things describes how Microsoft forced Gateway and Micron to demo their PIII machines running NT intead of Red Hat as had been planned. Nice to see the DOJ case is teaching them nothing. "

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Re: My last word about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967634)

I'm also a moderator and total agree with you. I find myself added points to non-offensive comments that other moderators have bumped down to -2 or -3. While some comments deserve it, too often they do not.

(I suppose you added the other 2 points to the main thread)

Tried. No more posts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967635)

I set my threshold to -900 and didn't get any more posts than yours. Somthing fishy going on. Does the threshold thing not work for AC's?

How about a "zapped posts" link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967636)

I don't mind someone deleting "First Post" or "Bill Gates RuL3z" posts. But some serious, though "unpopular" posts are getting zapped. There's also too much political correctness: try criticizing Apple or Star Wars! Geez, grow up moderators! Perhaps one solution would be to provide a link to "demoted" posts so that people can still read 'em.

Tried. No more posts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967637)

I think he means for other articles. ;)

Vicious Rumour Mongering...Not Quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967638)

Well, /. just mentioned what was REPORTED by a "credible" industry publication. I don't think that constitutes "rumor mongering" on /.'s part.


Monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967639)

I hope nobody in the Linux community is expecting Micro$soft to rollover and play dead any time soon because, as much as I hate MS, I think Gates and his loyal puppies are about to get very-very nasty (yes, more so than what they are currently) over Linux daring to upset the status quo.

Brace yourselves. It'll be a bumpy ride.

My last word about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967640)

When the moderation thing was first implemented I suggested that the moderated view shouldn't be the DEFAULT view. Want moderation? Log in and turn it on. Don't want moderation? Don't do anything.

This way it's more like a killfile and less like an IRC channel.

Re: My last word about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967641)

Part of it is that the moderation numbers aren't updated in real time. I think this is more prevalent than any real vendetta against certain views or users or whatever. Something a bit off topic might get a moderation point knocked off, but because N moderators see the same post at the same time it ends up getting N points knocked off. I did set my threshold very low at one point to see what turned up, a lot of me too posts, first posts, XXX rules, XXX sucks etc. Maybe I didn't set it down low enough. I will say that from whats visible to me the S/N ratio has gone up in recent days.

How about a "zapped posts" link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967642)

There's also too much political correctness: try criticizing Apple or Star Wars!

You're full of shit.

In the last few days, the moderators have given negative numbers to pro-Apple posts and left anti-Apple posts in the same articles alone. (They eventually undid that, because people started complaining about censorship.) I don't know about Star Wars.

You're right, though that there's a ton of political correctness on Slashdot. Say anything positive about anything besides the One Correct OS, and you get hordes of pathetic little whiners with their feelings all hurt, screaming at you.

What's Gateway's and Micron's email addresses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967643)

What is the addresses for the VP's of marketing at Micron and Gateway? Does anybody have 'em? This is a good idea: nice polite, please use linux e-mails to the powers that be.

Re: My last word about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967644)

Well, I'm also a moderator, and I don't think I've seen too much bias in moderating. Most of the posts that have been reduced in score are ones that don't contribute much to the conversation, and I've spent a few moderator points bringing up ones that I felt were unfairly reduced. (I've also seen a couple semi-obvious trolls at score: 2 ... fixed.)

I think that the moderation will be beneficial to Slashdot. Used properly, it should clean out a lot of the noise. I think it will also encourage people to think about what they're posting. I normally try to post only when I have something useful to say, but with the moderation, I've taken a little extra time to write in such a way that others will think my comment good enough to raise in score. (And no, I wouldn't raise my score, even if I could.)

For those concerned about missing comments, I syggest setting your threshold to something low, like -10 or so, and setting comment order to be sorted by score. That gives you the posts that more people think are worthwhile immediately, while giving you a chance to wade through the slidge at the bottom of the page.

Monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967645)

Gateway could probably care less about MS operating systems. It's probably just a pragmatic jesture at this point, until they come out with their own operating system. Gateway's putting major money toward QNX-based AmigaSoft 5.0. I suspect that this operating system looms large in their future plans.

Vicious Rumour Mongering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967646)

While ZD may be crooked, /. is certainly more slanted.

Moderator Guidelines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967647)

Moderator guidelines are at [] .

Don't worry about them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967648)

They're going to run out of points at some point and they're going to have to post a LOT of comments to get more of them.

It doesn't work that way; the moderator points seem to refresh at about 1 point every 90 minutes.

I agree that a few moderators are not doing a very good job, but hopefully it's just a few, and they will soon be weeded out.

ATTN: Moderators. Mark this post minus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967649)

I did moderate it, but I bumped it up because I felt he raised a valid point. Judging by the posts current score, at least one other moderator agreed with me.

Your argument is baseless, so stop whining.

-- Moderator remaining anonymous as per Rob's request

Vicious Rumour Mongering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967650)

You need a napkin? You've got some sarcasm dripping from your chin... :)

We'll see how long /this/ post sticks around, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967651)

Is it even possible to set preferences as an AC? (Session cookie or something?)

It sure doesn't seem that way, so all AC's get the benefit of censorship.

Bit ironic that the same site that regularly posts cypherpunk l/p's for registration sites to view their content requires them itself to view all its content.

"Convinced?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967652)

The article said that MS convinced them not to
run Linux at the demo. What exactly is being
alleged here? Sounds like a knee-jerk
reaction to me.

who/how is the score chosen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967653)

i dont get it.

what makes your taste better than mine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967654)

maybe i should be able to decide what
i want to read, not you.

what makes your taste better than mine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967655)

its good when ppl can decide which posts they want to read

im sure there is some way, but im in lynx
and its a pain in the butt to figure out how

have readers voting on comments, except for AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967656)

then if someone votes 15,000 times you can kill their account

i dunno but if i liked/hated a comment i would take the time to vote on it...

Did we expect it to? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967700)

For that matter, do we expect the DOJ case to really make any difference at all in the way MS does business?

Surprisingly for some, I for one believe it will. This time things have gone too far. I've heard rumors that the states will settle for nothing less than a breakup or comparable remedy, plus hefty punitive damages. And all the gains that Linux has made, and all the losses MS's credibility have made, are just too much to reverse totally. However things are going to be in the future, they can never be like they were before.

And I for one say "Hallelujah"!

agreed, slashdot censors out of line. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967701)

Not just nonsense; but important threads are getting lost.

Re: My last word about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967702)

(As I'm a moderator myself, and moderators are
supposed to be anonymous, it will say AC on me.)

Yes, I agree some moderators have gone off track. However, Rob has just added a message, telling moderators to 'watch' each others. Let's just hope it works out. Meanwhile, set your rating to -10 or anything...

-Anonymous Moderator

Micron is alienating core consituency. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967703)

I'm mad at Micron. Just go to their site; search for "LINUX". Nothing. They are not only not supporting Linux, they are actively suppressing it! Try to find Linux drivers for their latest chip sets: an exercise in frustration. As a once die hard Micron fan; I'm seriously considering going to DELL who in the past were big Microsofties. It seems like they are giving Linux a small chance by providing it with some expensive machines. I'd still like to see it on a $2000 machine; but a start is a start.

ms saves demo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967704)

I'd really like to hear the whole account, first, before judging Gateway. While I don't particularly like them, and while I haven't ever purchased anything from they, I have noticed they sell systems with your choice of WordPerfect suite or MS Works Suite...the WordPerfect systems are cheaper (or come with more for the same price).

It's hard to believe, offhand, that one of the first MS puppet companies to: change the desktop, offer netscape, and offer alternatives to MS applications, caved in so easily.

I'm torn over this one. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967705)

On the one hand I'm a Linux Geek. On the other hand I own, let's just say, many many Microsoft shares. I love and worship Linux on it's technical merits but money is kind of cool too.

agreed, slashdot censors out of line. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967706)

I agree, some of the moderators are out of line, but hopefully it's just a few, and Rob will weed them out.

All I'm try to do is save you from having to read "first post!" and "your mama is a crack whore!" every 30 seconds...

Now everyone likes ZDNet? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967710)

What happened to all the "ZDNet spreads FUD" posts? A bunch of fair-weather friends it appears. A good number of slashdotters cry FUD if it is against Linux, but claim it must be true if it is for Linux.

My comments are not in agreement or disagreement with the article.

Sean Farley

The Moderation Tools Need Some Work (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967711)

Part of the problem with the moderation is how the moderation function has been implemented. What non-moderators can't see is that, at the bottom of each comment, there are five radio buttons to change the comment's score. These are labelled --, -, 0, +, and ++, and they allow the moderator to increase or decrease the score. The page works like a big form, so the moderation entry does not take effect until one reaches the bottom of the page, and hits the "moderate" button.

The problem is the following. Say a moderator decides that a comment has some minor problems (say it's repetitive), such that he feels it should only have a score of zero. He thus enters a '-' to lower its score by one, and continues reading down the page. The problem is that by the time he reaches the bottom, and enters his change, three other moderators may have done the same thing, such that the message ends up with a score of -3.

Another problem is that, as a moderator, I am reluctant to second guess the choices of other moderators, and start a one-up-one-down bidding war.

I would like to suggest the following changes:

1. Set a lower limit of -2, so that AC's don't have too far to go to reach the bottom. We don't really need anything beyond 0 (nothing special), -1 (lame), and -2 (MEEEP/really obnoxious).

2. Replace the +/- system with one that allows a target score to be entered. The moderator can enter a large or small number, but his entry will only change the score by +/-1. If the message is already at the target score when the request is entered, then the entry does not reduce the moderators vote count.

3. Consider replacing the current system (one-up, one-down, limited votes) with one that averages the first x (say 20) votes for each message. This could be implemented by attaching a vote segment to the message, and storing up to x (say 20) vote+moderator# pairs. Moderators would have unlimited votes, but would be limited to one vote for a given message.

4. The display of the radio buttons seems to really slow down the browser for a large (e.g. flat) page. I don't really have a solution for improving it, but you might consider replacing the radio buttons with a link to a moderator voting page. Right-clicking the link would allow immediate entry for the moderator, without leaving the comments page. The link would carry the cid# to the voting form.

An Anonymous Moderator

How to maintain control over the market... (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967712)

This latest stunt (it would be *wonderfull* if the DOJ could confirm it and use it as evidence during THE trial) is just Yet Another Facet of M$'s Grand Plan to maintain absolute control over the market.

First, you lock the competition out of the most convenient distribution channels: hence the pre-loading agreements. (This also has the convenient side effect of garanteing (sp?) you a constant incoming flow of cash, while the competition has to sell its wares through stores... but how do you compete against something that's already loaded and perceived to be free?)

Second, you prevent your competition from getting any exposure whatsoever. Hence killing this demo, or preventing NetScape from appearing (sp?) on the desktop.

This was not just a simple childish fit on M$'s behalf. This is preventing the unwashed masses from learning that there is something else than M$ out there. As long as Joe Schmoe Consumer is unaware of the existence of alternative, he will not think of asking for an alternative.

Get it?

can linux still show up to demo? (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1967713)

If VA research could get in the conference and demo oracle8 and redhat in the next booth it might make quite an impression.

If oracle/linux blew away gateway and micron servers both MS and GW/micron would look bad.


direct comparison (1)

Mike Rasmusson (409) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967714)

I'd love to see them run side by side on identical hardware. Maybe many folks would be interested.

Maybe some others don't want such comparisons to be so public?

Make up your mind, MS (0)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967716)

Microsoft's left brain cell doesn't know what its right brain cell is doing.

heh (1)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967718)

They're running scared. I never thought I'd see the day that Microsoft was put into ultra-paranoid panic mode, but here we are.

My last word about... (1)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967719)

They just promoted a buttload of people to moderators, so there's bound to be some rough edges. Try setting your threshold to like -400 or something. :)

Yes, but it's soooooo slow. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967721)

Hello McFly, ACs can't set preferences because they don't log in. Even if you could set preferences, then they would be changed about 3 times a second by all of the AC d00dz. Plus, after seeing the site with a -1 threshold, I'm glad for the moderation. Personally, I don't need to see the:
You all suck!!!!!
Microsoft rules!!!!!
How do I hack into systems?
That article sucked, Rob is an idiot, I am a god!
posts that are consist of 99% of the moderated content. Keep the moderation up Rob, keep the losers frustrated!

My last word about... (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967722)

You can keep reading moderated posts. Hell, I do -- I'm used to navigating the /. s/n ratio as it is, and I'm worried that I might miss something.


Can't blame the OEMs (2)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967723)

Microsoft still has the OEM's nuts in a blender;
all they need to do is hit "frappe" and it's all
over. I don't think that Gateway or Micron could
survive having their license prices for Windows
jacked up.

I mean, do you let the kids keep eating or do you
gamble it because you have to push Linux right
now? Besides, we can wait. Staying power is the
OSS movement's biggest advantage.


GOOD! (3)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967724)

Alright! This is a GoodThing(tm) if we ever need
to prove what sort of monopoly control Microsoft

Besides, I don't think the OSS community ought to
get involved in the marketing sham that is the
PIII. I don't have anything against Intel anymore,
they're not the monopoly they used to be, but this
chip looks like a slightly souped up PII that
they're selling for hundreds more and using to
change sockets yet again...

I wonder if, in the long term, all this socket
changing will hurt them instad of their
competitors. I mean, AMD asking for their own
socket a few years ago would have been suicide,
but now....


Re: heh (1)

felicity (870) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967728)

They're not paranoid in this case -- they're still in the denial stage of things: Don't want to admit to anyone that there's an operating system other than Windows.

proof? (3)

doug (926) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967729)

While I wouldn't be surprised if BillyG and the boys did something like that, what sort of supporting evidence is there? Articles like this seem to be so much hearsay, wishful thinking and hype. Does anyone have any more concrete references?

My last word about... (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967730)

>Could someone in charge post a list of criteria the moderators use for censoring posts if there is any criteria?

Note that just because there is a document explaining the criteria, it doesn't mean Rob has any power to enforce it, save one: taking away moderator privileges from those who abuse it. It's possible this may already have happened, and thus the problem may be going away already.

heh (1)

smartin (942) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967731)

Most likely it was something to the effect of, "Oh, I see you are using Linux. How nice, I guess you won't be wanting to renew your '98 license then".

More moderation ideas... (1)

rlk (1089) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967732)

I'd like to set my threshold lower, but it's an unfortunate fact of life that I have finite time to read. Rob's suggestion that moderators set their threshold low is a good one, however, so I'm afraid that I won't be doing much moderating.

What I'd really like (and I hope I just missed it) is an option to filter all AC posts ONLY. Another option that might come in handy as an alternative would be a personal preference for the anonymous "penalty" (which currently is 1 point). Setting it to 3-5 points would allow filtering most of them out. It's a bit parasitic, to be sure, but it's an unfortunate fact of life that anonymous posts tend to be a lot less content-intensive than signed comments.

I asked some journalists to investigate. (2)

dhart (1261) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967733)

I sent messages to three journalists, asking them to investigate.

Stephen Shankland of c|net (

Andy Patrizio of CMPnet TechWeb (

David Berlind of ZDNet (

GOOD! (1)

robin (1321) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967734)

I want to know how their special 3D instructions are going to help my shoddy internet connection. [...]

If you were foolish enough to have bought^W been sold a WinModem you might find that the addition of some DSP-ish `3D' instructions to your processor would significantly speed up your computer while you were using the net. snork

Marketing dorks.



GOOD! (1)

Matthew Kirkwood (1344) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967735)

they can raise enough outrage amongst the other OEMs that an organized temporary M$ boycott would be in order

Not likely -- the other OEMs would chuckle and pat their fat wallets with glee. "Oh look, Gateway has to bump their PC prices by 50 buck. Should we help them, or take their sales..." I don't think there's much doubt as to which option the others would go with.


heh (2)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967736)

err, there was nothing in the article to suggest 'force'. maybe microsoft just said 'please' nicely.

(the author said 'thumbscrews' but he was clearly lying)

Now everyone likes ZDNet? (1)

jnik (1733) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967737)

I think the issue is that generally pro-Linux articles on ZDNet have some basis in fact and show some level of thought, whereas the anti-Linux ones are frequently FUD-ish.

Just what I've observed.

Sent letters off. (1)

ChiefArcher (1753) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967738)

I just sent a few letters off to Micron and Gateway... I'm sure if we /. them with letters... they'll change their minds about doing this again...


Did we expect it to? (1)

Ex-NT-User (1951) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967739)

If I was a big monopoly like MS and loosing the DOJ case THIS bad.. hell I'd do everything in my power to exert influence on anyone I can for as long as I can.. since this "power" won't last much longer. Call it going out with a BANG!


/. and moderator proposal (1)

Candy (2257) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967742)

Hi all,
My personal experience with new moderated /. is a dramatic boost in comment qualitiy. Especially if you set your preference to "Highest Score up". Lots of crap has vanished. But anyway, to avoid misuse of moderator status, I suggest to make it public which comment had been down- or upgraded by whom. Anybody down- or upgrading a comment should be held fully responsible for his doing.

Total misuse of moderator status is impossible by now, because moderators just own a certain amount a points for up- or downgrading.

FYI I am a moderator myself but so far I made a very reserved use of this status. (That means if you post a reply with a different oppinion than mine, I will censor you down :-]] )

Dont take my last comment too serious!! I am a strong representative for freedom of speech, but anybody should take responsibility for his speech. I dont see why "Freedom of Speech" should equal in "Flood of crap comments". My time is scarce, so I prefer reading stuff thats worth it.
Anybody interested in the criterias for moderation? /. team posted a "code of honor" for moderation, but I am too lazy to look now. If there is a strong demand I or someone else will post it to all others.

Advantages of moderation predominate by far! (1)

Candy (2257) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967743)

Take a closer look on the zapped comments.Most of it is useless crap. Ok, there are victims but their count is small. IMO so far moderators did a rather good job.
Moderation works much better than I expected and means so far a strong boost in comment quality.

Pay close attention! This thread is upgraded! (1)

Candy (2257) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967744)

Thx for posting the criterias. About the moderators it is very simple. The bad ones will soon run out of ammo. But anyway I am convinced the majority of moderators did a dammed good job so far. Dont always mention the bad things that happened. How about someone telling his comment had been upgraded and therefore had been read much more /. readers? And thats the fact even about *THIS* thread.
Do you really think this thread would have been paid that much attention if not the initial post had been upgraded to 5 points???

How about a "zapped posts" link? (1)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967745)

you can see the zapped posts by setting your threshold to -100000000

perhaps this should be the default for ACs


ATTN: Moderators. Mark this post minus. (1)

asmussen (2306) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967746)

This is exactly the point. People whine and moan about their comments being deleted, but that's just it. They aren't deleted, they are just scored, and if you want to see everything, crank your threshold down. I use -10 myself, because I prefer to see everything and decide for myself, even if a lot of those negative posts are really annoying, but that's the beauty of the system: It's MY choice. The people who in the end get to decide what gets seen are the viewers themselves. Sometimes people may not see everything because they don't realize how the threshold system works, or are too lazy to change the settings, but everything that was said is available to be read by everybody, so the system of moderation here is not exactly censorship, because nobody is prevented from reading anything he/she wants as long as that person is willing to make the effort.

Make up your mind, MS (1)

Fandango (2618) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967747)

If you think this is a problem, then clearly you aren't cut out for politics. As long as MS can keep "convincing" OEMs not to demo Linux without getting caught, they'll keep right on doing it, while simultaneously parading the mere existence of Linux (whether or not OEMs will ever be able to promote it without losing their valuable Windows rebates) as evidence to the DOJ that they don't have a monopoly. If you're clever enough to do so, you can often have your cake and eat it too.

Like most of MS's past faux pas, I predict that you won't see any major news source carrying anything about this, and it will have been completely forgotten in a week.


Contract issues could boomerang on M$ (3)

sphealey (2855) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967749)

"Microsoft still has the OEM's nuts in a blender; all they need to do is hit "frappe" and it's all over. I don't think that Gateway or Micron could survive having their license prices for Windows jacked up."

Hard to disagree with that.

OTOH, Microsoft might be in for some interesting discussions with its licensees in the next few months. From what I could read in theregister and the WSJ, several of those vendors had "most favored nation" clauses in their Windows9x contracts, such that no other vendor should have been able to get a lower price. Given that most of the hard data is still under seal, it still appears that Microsoft may have violated some of those agreements, promising several vendors a different, "lowest" price.

Unlike the antitrust lawsuit, this would be quite easy to demonstrate in court, and compensatory damages easy to figure. If a Dell or Gateway hits Microsoft with a breach of contract suit for $1b or so, M$ could find itself in real trouble.


Don't worry about them... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967750)

They're going to run out of points at some point and they're going to have to post a LOT of comments to get more of them.

BASIC criteria for moderation- per Rob. (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967751)

What is what?

What is a good comment? What is bad? Well, its hard to tell. It's ambigious and up to the whims of a given moderator. But we've tried to createa system that will keep everyone in check.

Messages can largely be grouped into three catagories.

1.Good messages that are insightful, well written, and add value to the article they are attached to. (Score: > 1)

2.Average messages might be slightly offtopic, but still might be worth reading. They might be redundant. They might be a 'Me Too' article. They might say something painfully obvious. They don't detract from the discussion, but they don't necessarily significantly add to it. They are the comments that require the most attention from the moderators, and they also represent the bulk of the comments. (Score: 0-1)

3.Bad Comments are flamebait. Bad comments have nothing to do with the article they are attached to. They call somone names. They ridicule someone for having a different opinion without backing it up with anything more tangible than strong words. Bad comments are repeats of something said 15 times already making it quite apparent that the writer didn't read the previous comments. They use foul language. They are hard to read or just don't make any sense. They detract from the article they are attached to.

Now, having said this, I'll say that I've shown the respect and consideration that is due to the rest of /. by me when I was promoted to moderator- that is, I've largely left things alone. Why? Because most of the posts don't need moderation. I'm not entirely sure what's going on in my fellow moderator's heads, but it's not all in keeping with the above criteria. I had a simple post that was a one-liner yesterday about the topic being just more FUD from ZDNet- and it got moderated almost immediately to -2. My only thought is that they wasted several of their points (either collectively or as a single individual) to mask out something that was neither offensive, inflamatory, etc. The post was, per the criteria, in the second class- I won't argue that, but someone was so "bothered" by it that they hammered the post below the normal threshold as if it fit into the third category. Got to wonder about these goings on...

ms saves demo (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967754)

MS just wanted to ensure maximum innovation at the demo.

kudos to micron and gateway for their public display of spinelessness. it's good to know who to avoid when making those expensive hardware purchases.

I second that motion... (0)

planet_hoth (3049) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967755)

He's right.

Vicious Rumour Mongering... (4)

Dawn Keyhotie (3145) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967756)

That's all this is. Microsoft, champion of the downtrodden and friend to the poor, would never do such a vile thing. Microsoft has always been honest and completely above board. They have never lied to anyone about their ultimate plans for total world hegemony, and the elimination of all possible competition in all possible markets of all possible types of computers and media. ;^)

Seriously, though, I think raising these second hand rumours to the level of a /. headline is probably uncalled for and unproductive. People who would believe it already hate MS/Borg, and people who won't believe it are already totally supportive of MS, the last defender of innovation in the computer marketplace.

When I want slanted news stories and unsubstantiated rumours presented as fact, I already know where to go. (Hint: Starts with 'ZD'.)

surprising? not. (1)

Mickey Jameson (3209) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967757)

While it disturbs me that M$ is still hitting below the belt, it is not surprising at all. However, it still is a damn shame. Having a PC running any M$ product is 10 times worse than running a non-M$ OS. I wonder if the demo machine crashed because of windows again. Heh.

I hate to see this, but what about equal blame? (3)

golliher (4239) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967760)

The article doesn't mention how MS coerced Gateway and Micron into switching the demo. Until I hear more details I'm just as cheesed off at them for caving as I am at Microsoft for applying pressure.

AC Preferences CAN work (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967761)

The immediately obvious solution to keeping "your" AC preferences seperate from "that other AC's prefs" is to store them in a local cookie.

Some people fear cookies but I don't think there's anything to worry about when the website documents their use (plaintext cookies are self-documenting...)

Moderation sucks, also. I've had "on-topic, non-flame, non-potty-mouth" postings moderated or deleted. Of course, I was participating in the "wrong side" of the " oversight board" which, um, includes a prominant Slashdot advertiser and the owner of Slashdot itself.

(I STILL think elections for the oversight board are a good idea -- we need 1 RMS on the board to keep everyone honest :), and VA Research's FAQ only states the makeup of "The Board"... not how they were selected, what veto powers they have, and under what conditions the makeup would possibly change. I'd like to know these things to allay my fears that it will eventually be co-opted by the business majority members.

It WAS pleasently reassuring to see the head of this thread, regarding moderated posts, had a +5 modifier. This tells me some moderators suck less.

Easy thing to thwart.. (4)

CoffeeNowDammit (5514) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967762)

Y'know, if this is more than just a
rumor, any OEM could thwart MS's tactics
rather easily, especially with DOJ
looking so interested:

"What? You want us to run NT instead
of Linux? Well, before we do that, we'll
need to get it on tape. Be sure to state
your name and your employee ID, okay?"


Of course you know, this means war. (1)

eGabriel (5707) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967763)

These stunts that Microsoft pull are shameless.
Like the guy at the bar that walks up to the woman you are talking to and compliments her eyes and leaves with her, somehow these stunts are effective.

How can we, while maintaining our honour, fight against such tactics?

Moderation (3)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967764)

What we really need (though I don't expect it will arrive any time soon) is collaborative moderation.

When reading comments, you can say 'I like this comment' or 'I don't like this comment'. Then Slashdot will match your likes / dislikes against other people with similar tastes, and will guess on your behalf which comments to show, based on what others with the same tastes as you have chosen. That way, there is no central moderator for people to be pissed off with. Occasionally, Slashdot would show a comment even if it thought you might not like it; if it turns out you do like it, that signals that your preferences have changed from what Slashdot thought.

Kind of like's recommendations: 'other people who liked this comment also liked these comments'.

Indirect Evidence of MS Pressure (2)

bgarrett (6193) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967766)

Suppose you are the manager for a project of this sort -- a demonstration that will sell hundreds, thousands, etc. of new processors and new software, the success of which will directly impact your marketing program. You are going to want to make sure EVERYTHING works as promised. So at this point there are two options:

1. Gateway and Micron were in on the FUD program with MS and just gave an appearance of Linux loyalty.

2. Gateway and Micron were pressured into folding by MS.

Option 1 falls apart for Gateway because of their past commitment to Linux. I don't know Micron's stance. But option 1 also gets Gateway into a lot of trouble with any demo attendees who were expecting Linux, if they deliberately lied all along.

Some advice for a moderator (2)

craw (6958) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967767)

I have a suggestion that you may or may not abide by. As a moderator, you have been given oversight power here at /. You should therefore not respond to these types of comments as then you become part of the issue. Your role as a moderator means (to me at least) that you should exercise self-constraint in the face of postings dealing with moderation. I also feel that you comment about stop whining was inappropriate. It might have been okay if I had said it, but from you, no.

Good luck in your thankless but important role as moderator.

And please, don't respond to this.:-)

Another Suggestion (1)

Mike Cornall (7921) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967768)

Rob, how about providing a date/time filter field on the comments page. This would allow us to come back to a page later, enter a date/time, and only view the comments that are new, even if they are buried in the hierarchy.

Here's the problem, mate (2)

Olorin (8491) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967771)

Once upon a time, there were a group of about 22 people known as Slashdot moderators. Within the last week, CT decided to give every registered user with a positive score moderator status, too. That added almost 460 new moderators.
This first week or two is going to be filled with many more moderated comments, whether moderated correctly or not.
Don't think people are intentionally being "censors", but the vast majority of moderators are greenhorns. Just give it time to work itself out.

Now everyone likes ZDNet? (1)

Noke (8971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967773)

I couldn't have said it better myself. Some of these people are so two-faced.

heh (1)

scrytch (9198) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967774)

Except there's no proof. Maybe MS offered them a cross-promotional deal?

Am I the only one who'd actually prefer to see them running side by side? I mean if you're going to demo a machine, it makes sense to show that X, Y, and Z will run on it.

Vicious Rumour Mongering... (1)

scrytch (9198) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967775)

Perhaps one should make a pro-microsoft news website called \. then :)

Accountability : YES (1)

dgenr8 (9462) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967777)

What if the supreme court (or pick your favorite high court) issued decisions without telling you how each judge voted?

I want to see who changed the score of a post, when, by how much, and maybe even why.

GOOD! (1)

Si (9816) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967778)

Whilst I agree this is most probably what will happen in this case, the other OEMs should be thinking "what if this is me next week", and act accordingly.

'course, since the get-rich-quick CEOs will have made their moolah by then, they won't care. But if they have any long-term interest, they might just Do The Right Thing(tm).

My last word about... (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967783)


I enjoy reading Slashdot, and one of the greatest things about it is the ability to discuss the articles.

Although I haven't been censored (yet), anyone interested might want to set their "comment threshold" (found by following the "Preferences" link at the top of the page) to something like -10, look at some previous articles' comments, and see how busy the moderators are at censoring what you read. They seem to be indiscriminately lowering people's scores below 0, so that their comments don't show up for most readers.

Now I agree that some of the posts are just silly, like "first post!" and "MEEPT!", but I have noticed quite a few comments that contained insightful conversation without profanity or flaming, that have been moderated down below zero. There really ought to be some accountability here with regards to who is moderating and how they moderate.

Could someone in charge post a list of criteria the moderators use for censoring posts if there is any criteria?

Monopoly? (2)

Tas (13018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967784)

As if it weren't obvious before, now it is even more so. Anyone that can stand and say with a straight face that microsoft does not hold monopoly power has got to be blind. I'm wondering if a few thousand plesant emails from the slashdot community to Micron and Gateway would be enough to change their minds. I'm sending them each a message and encourage everyone else to as well.


My threshold. (1)

jerodd (13818) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967785)

I keep my threshold at -99 because I (a) can handle the first MEEPTs and might miss something interesting as well (often controversial discussions ends up in -1, especially if it's offtopic) and (b) I want to keep an eye out for people who are minusing articles. My policy is to only minus truly obnoxious articles, like the first couple hundred ``I think I'm first'' articles and obvious trolls/MEEPTs.

It's a lot more fun to plus or plusplus well-composed and clearly-thought-out articles anyway.

Of course, if you're an anonymous coward, it's rather difficult to read with a low threshold because of the hassle. That's why you should get a user account! You can still post as an AC with a user accout, and posting with a user account doesn't mean anyone actualy knows who you are (names like ``Anonymous Cowherd'' certainly aren't going to compromise your privary--but do fear the cow).


F33r the moderator. (1)

jerodd (13818) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967786)

They're going to run out of points at some point and they're going to have to post a LOT of comments to get more of them.

For some reason I had a bunch of points this morning even though I had zero last night. I've so far been looking for and promoting good posts with good writing. I must confess that since we got the new /. (new box, new user-features, more moderators) the user comment forums seem to have really improved--and I keep my threshold at -99. I just seems that ``first post'' is less fun when you automatically get sent to -5 land, and so the |)00|)s have stopped doing that.

Joshua (who is getting antialiased fonts working. XFree86 4.0 is going to be good stuff...)

I'm not torn over this one. (3)

jerodd (13818) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967787)

On the one hand I'm a Linux Geek. On the other hand I own, let's just say, many many Microsoft shares. I love and worship Linux on it's technical merits but money is kind of cool too.

``Money certainly is cool. That's why I traffick children. Now, I love children, and wouldn't myself do anything to hurt them--but hey, business and business, and I have to eat! Most of the children don't have much of a future anyways. They're so easy to round up and they do fetch a good price--$50 a head on the open market. You can find some deals of mine on eBay, and please be sure to leave me some good feedback.''

Please, please, please, don't be one of those people who live for stock prices. It hurts everyone involved, and the stock price does eventually come down. I personally could make lots of money by spending my life doing Windows NT coding for a product that doesn't yet have any NT port. The product is currently suffering, and I do believe I could go in and ``fix it''. But I don't want to. I'm also torn--I could get a good foot in the door in this company, and might even get them to use Linux. But I don't want to do NT coding if I don't have to.

This reminds me of coder(at)'s policy: he's been a profitable SI valley consultant for 20 years, and he won't even go near a machine using any Microsoft software. He goes so far as to block all mail from a Microsoft-controlled domain (*@*; *@* Even I don't go that far.

<sigh> This is a bit of a rant. Go ahead and moderate it, people.


Mmmmmmm....Napoleonic complexes (1)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967794)

That's the problem with handing out wholesale moderator privileges. You get a bunch of dorks on power trips handing out numbers (both positive and negative) just 'cause they can.

And since we all know who the moderators are, we're all sooooooo impressed and awestruck by their display of moderatory prowess.

Urk. Too much sarcasm. Must drink more coffee.

GOOD! (1)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967795)

What I want to know is why do high-end server systems need special 3D-rendering instructions?

I want to know how their special 3D instructions are going to help my shoddy internet connection. If their ads are to be believed, all I need to make the net come alive is a P-III chip. Wow! I guess I can stop coveting a cable modem or ADSL connection, then.

Marketing dorks.

ATTN: Moderators. Mark this post minus. (3)

tuefry (19505) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967796)

What a crybaby.

Doesn't matter much to me what a post is set at. I can see them all. I've seen other "systems" in which they try to maintain anonymity & freedom for people to say what they want, and it goes down the tubes anyways. Guess what, they either tend to lose the anonymity side, they start censoring things, or they turn into such a useless forum everyone stops using it (except people spamming in their url's).

When I first started reading /. I was quite pleased with the way things are handled. And yes, I have my threshold set down so far I can pretty much see anything that's being said. However, people who don't want to see flamebait, statements made on behalf of idiots, OT comments, etc., can for the most part, whisk it away.

Certainly, moderators are going to give things improper ratings at times. Its all a part of being human. But then again, let he who is free of sin cast the first stone.

I'm not saying be blissful and ignorant of mistakes. However, if you think you will accomplish anything by giving snide comments, well, its not going to work, welcome to life. If you perhaps, suggested a solution, it might.

Moderation on /. is very simple, it gives you choice. I can choose to see comments made by people that several moderators have rated. I can choose to see it to varying degrees, or even read only the best comments. I can always pull out all the stops and read whatever comments I want.

Pulling this type of moderation on /. would be akin to forcing someone to watch only one channel on their TV. I want variety, I want to be able to see what I want, and I want my neighbors to have that choice too.

PS: If I get moderated down, great, I was continuing an off-topic thread anyways. But at least I have the *freedom* to write that, and people can choose whether they want to read something not relevant to the topic or not.

GOOD! (1)

Beef (19842) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967797)

but this chip looks like a slightly souped up PII that they're selling for hundreds more and using to change sockets yet again... PIII runs in the same Slot 1 that PII runs in.

What I want to know is why do high-end server systems need special 3D-rendering instructions?

As for M$'s bullying tactices, I think Gateway and Micron should thumb their nose at Microsoft and go ahead with the demo. If M$ actually revokes their OEM status for doing so... fine. A) They can take Redmond straight to court for it, B) they can raise enough outrage amongst the other OEMs that an organized temporary M$ boycott would be in order. See how long M$ will hold out while all of the PCs on the shelves at Best Buy are running Red Hat!!!

That's what they would do, if they had any Balls.

A Good Opportunity Lost (1)

~fre-style~ (20686) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967798)

I think this was an excellent opportunity for Linux to get some media attention. Linux has been in the news a lot lately, but I've been hearing newspapers saying things like how it can make you 486 useful and requires less expensive hardware. This was definitely a good chance for Linux to prove itself on high end hardware.

I am truely disgusted by Microsoft.
Jeers to Gates and friends.

Sent letters off. (1)

~fre-style~ (20686) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967799)

My take on this is that they wouldn't change their minds. Why? The fact is that 95% of PC users use Windows, and both of those two companies are based around selling Windows machines. From a business point of view they cannot afford to risk anything. For business reasons, standing up to Microsoft is not an option for them. This is the result of questionable business practices combined with a monopoly on desktop machines by Microsoft. I'm not blaming Gateway or Micron, I'm blaming Microsoft. But neither Gateway nor Micron is about to change their mind.

Still, try sending the letters, PR might give you a good explanation with some specifics.

Make up your mind, MS (3)

Stephen Williams (23750) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967803)

MS cites Linux as evidence that it doesn't have an OS monopoly. By "convincing" OEMs not to demo Linux on their machines, MS surely gives the appearance that it does have an OS monopoly. How does it want to be perceived - as a company which has a monopoly, or not?

ATTN: Moderators. Mark this post minus. (0)

ciphersnow (27137) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967806)

You will be "moderatored" for that snide remark.

I bet your post gets moderated. (1)

ciphersnow (27137) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967807)

I agree with you. I, too, have read with my own eyes strong posts marked -2. Maybe Rob thinks that if he doesn't have moderators, then the spunk will run rampant and the mere presence of moderation discourages. It's just too bad that we have to lose good posts to accomplish this discouragement.

Yes, but it's soooooo slow. (1)

ciphersnow (27137) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967808)

It's so slow to reload and change thresholds. I know you can set it up in the preferences section, but only if you log in.

I think this is a poor policy. I'm sure somebody has a reason for it, but I can't think of one. I think either

  • Anonymous Cowards should be able to set preferences, including threshold, or
  • moderation should be abolished.

Right! Where's the evidence? (1)

ciphersnow (27137) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967809)

Maybe MS just said, "Wanna use NT instead?" And Gateway said, "OK, sure. Seems people like NT better, anyway."

Re: My last word about... (1)

thresh-test (29700) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967813)

Responding to my previous post right now, I created a dummy account to see what was being moderated out of existance. Threshold set to -1000000. I see very few posts with negative numbers, lowest being -5. Paraphrased it was "expletive, Microsoft sucks". The other comments were in a similar vein. Looking at the most positive comments there is a fairly even distribution on the content: This is proof of Microsoft being a monopoly; The article is just heresay, where's the documentation?; etc.

Not that bad really.

They SHOULD be afraid (2)

MrChumple (29730) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967814)

Oracle for Linux kicks the crap out of Oracle for NT, and that's what they're afraid of. When everyone starts seeing how good Linux is at running serious enterprise solutions, they'll switch. We should get some real numbers out on the web... I know for a fact that Oracle for Linux beats NT, AND Solaris.

Vicious Rumour Mongering... (1)

termite666 (101297) | more than 15 years ago | (#1967825)

Why does anybody pay attention to ZD .
I used to think Zd was nothing more than a media outlet for Micro$oft .But after working for Zd for over a year,I have noticed that even Micro$oft does want anything to do with them.
Belive in technology,not Ziff Davis.

Soon to be unemployed!!!!!

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