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Which one would you prefer? JonKatz or Roland Piquepaille?
Try for yourself - search for "roland" and "jonkatz" in the slashdot search. Read a few of their submissions.
Let's look at their general submission style: Jon - Was into the culture-smacks-into-technology side of things. Did tend to sometimes distort (or completely mangle) the facts, but most stories seemed to cause some genuine discussion.
Roland - Seems to be the cut'n'paster of the century. Every story so far points to his website (Roland's Technology Trends) for "more info", which is normally a few paragraphs from another linked article, with filler such as "and as you can see from the next paragraph, it's very interesting".
Now, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but he sells advertising on his site. I can deal with google adwords (I suppose), but then I see a box on the side spouting:
Advertisers Reach the tech crowd! This blog focuses on new technologies and how they will affect our lives.
This is the place to reach all these technology-savvy readers and advertise your most innovative products or services.
So, Roland pretty much uses slashdot to drive people to his site. If all he did was link to the original site (the one his blog links to) in his slashdot submission I wouldn't mind. But linking back to your site to basically get your hits up? I don't like it. It feels wrong. If I want the latest technology trends, I look at gizmodo, or techdirt. I don't need people decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio at slashdot for their own gain. If his blog was full of insightful commentary and facts from several different places, all carefully put together to have some real value, then I wouldn't feel as cheated everytime I accidently click through.
Amongst all the other things I've been doing, I keep thinking about building an electric car. Battery technology is certainly heading in the right direction - a decent set of thundersky li-ion batteries are good for 12kWhr for a hundred and fifty kilos. 12kWhr, at an "average to crap" efficiency of 350Whr/mile gives 35 or so miles..... which is enough to get me to work and back every day on half a charge. It's a damn shame it'd cost me nearly six grand in batteries. That, and four or five thousand for a decent sized motor and controller. 12000 bucks is a whole lot of money to try and recoup in fuel savings.
But it *would* be cool. Maybe I'll scale down a bit and build an electric harley. That'd be a little more affordable. Then I can grow a beard and a pot belly, wear some black leather and tatts, and cruise silently up behind people and scare the bejeezus out of them. Oh, and I guess I'll have to have some skanky biker chicks too.
So, I get an email from my old boss from a few jobs (and years) back. The usual pleasantries, how's things , etc. Oh, and perhaps I could make another cutter speed sampling device? No-one there has any idea about how to make one, it seems.
Well, geez, I dunno. I mean, I'm flattered that he got in touch and all. But things went horribly wrong in that job after a while. Sure, the first few years were great. But then, there was this slow, inescapable slide downhill. I lost the work car. I ended up working 70 hour weeks sometimes. And then there was the very poor handling of two sexual harassment complaints.
I will point out that, for the record, both complainants when quizzed seperately by HR, did not want to take any action. I apologised to both of them a couple of days after each incident. And all parties were a little embarrassed by the whole thing, and were willing to just let it all go. It was my misunderstanding of the difference between "workplace acquaintance" and "friend" that got me in the awkward position. Trying to be friendly, hell, I got it wrong. I'm stuck with being socially retarded, I guess.
Looking at it now, I suppose that the HR manager was just lousy at being diplomatic. But the implications and conclusions that she made about the two complaints were quite shattering. The fact that it was three months after the second incident didn't help. So much for water under the bridge and all that. I suppose that was the end of the line for me. A few months after that, I realised that I didn't want to be there anymore and my heart just wasn't in it. Oh, it was all sad farewells and all that, but I was glad to go.
And now here I am, two years after I left. Trying to decide whether to help out a company that caused possibly one of the more stressful events in my life. There's the crux of the matter though. Individually I'd help any one of them, it's the dilbert-esque Company that I'd rather just say "Fuck you" to.
My thoughts so far are to : (a) help them out, but to screw the Company for every last cent I can. (b) help them out, out of the kindness of my heart, and a nominal consulting fee. (c) tell them to go get fucked.
Let's face it, my life hasn't been ruined. Leaving that job was probably one of the best decisions I made - I've now got a job with twice the pay and half the hours and I enjoy it. But there's still a heap of bad memories there. I've re-read my work diary from around that period, and I'm obviously nowhere near as upset about it as I was then. Obviously I still haven't let go of it though.
I'm leaning for (b) - maybe I'll learn to let go and get some good Karma for the next life.
I posted something in reply to someone today about the captcha required for posting, and I thought it was rather good. An edited version follows :
From "The CmdrTaco unabridged SlashDot preachings" (second edition, p476):
"Those with Karma of 'Excellent' status can post without the use of the captcha - for yea, they have proved their faith, and suffered many hardships, and trials, and aggravations, and duplicate articles, bearing them all with rare good humour, and much insightful posting, with many a witty comment. And lo! Such is their wisdom that the Karma Bonus, that most hallowed of rewards, is bestowed upon them, so that their words are writ large above the mundane postings, and can continue to enrich and inspire even the lowliest Coward. Those who possess Excellent Karma truly have been justly rewarded, and may they forever bask in the glory of that which is the New Slashdot.
For certainly, it is a New Slashdot - The crapflooding hath been lowered a significant amount, and for this, there was much rejoicing. And great was the wailing and the gnashing of teeth of the crapflooders, for they were forced to take their childlike pursuits elsewhere, leaving the hallowed moderators free to perform their sacred duty without the incessant selection of the -1, troll."
Hmm. Perhaps I should redo the whole FAQ in a King-James style.