Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

fyngyrz Re:And how long does it take... (88 comments)

Yep, most likely that'll be exactly how it goes.

However, right now, it's kind of fabulous. :)

10 hours ago
top

How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

fyngyrz Re:And how long does it take... (88 comments)

Now of course gas stations don't always have fully occupied pumps and that's the point, so that almost whenever you arrive, there's a free pump available.

Well, there's likely a pump available. It isn't generally going to be free. Tesla charging stations, however, at least for the time being...

10 hours ago
top

How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

fyngyrz Recursive Presumptions (88 comments)

If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong.

If you thought I thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were just as wrong. If you thought I cared about how long it tool them to build such as station, you were wrong about that, too. And if you thought I liked java over c, you were still wrong. I could go on -- likely longer than even I, in the name oif pushing a point until it is completely blunt, am willing to do so, but I will refrain in the interest of keeping the peace.

Anyway, as it turns out, TFS serves as a veritable smorgasbord of potential if-then-huhs that can only be explained by somewhat bemused turtles all the way down.

At this time, I'd like to take a moment to thank my dear friend Yurtle.

10 hours ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Re:Still... (190 comments)

I think he was just pinging me for the ideas, which do predate my efforts and is certainly fair -- I started my whole "object" approach to c in 1985.

Of course, the whole point was to avoid using compiler tech that generated code I didn't intend it to generate, and in that sense, I got what I was after.

I wish I could still write my code in assembler, though. I was never more at home than when churning out 6809 or 68000 code.

2 days ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Re:Still... (190 comments)

Thanks, looks like very interesting reading. Bookmarked it.

2 days ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Re:Still... (190 comments)

Have you ever written C code which uses a switch statement based on what type a struct/union is and calling the relevant code for it?

No. When I use structures as objects (which is often), they almost always contain a pointer to a block of general methods appropriate to that structure, as well as containing any methods unique to the object, all of which are called through the object/structure, so it would be unusual, at least, to be testing the object type in order to choose an object-specific procedure to call. However, I do mark each object type with a specific ID and serial as they are created, along with a tag indicating what procedure created them, as these things facilitate some very useful memory management and diagnostic mechanisms.

Have you ever used qsort?

I am aware of qsort. But I have my own multi-method sort library that I use. Most of them locate the comparison mechanisms they are to use through the procedures specified by the objects they are asked to sort. Likewise list management, memory management, certain types of drawing primitives and image processing primitives, image handling mechanisms, associative storage, basically anything I have run into that I thought likely I would need more than once. I am positively locked into the idea that if I write it, I can fix it, and the number of bugs and problems that fall into the "maybe they'll fix the library someday" class are greatly reduced. I'm a little less picky if I have the source code to a capability I didn't actually write and can supply my own version if and as needed. A good example of something like that is SQLite. Actually having the source code and compiling it in reduces my inherent paranoia to a somewhat duller roar.

2 days ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Re:Still... (190 comments)

Ha. Funny. Thank you, didn't know that.

2 days ago
top

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

fyngyrz Been there, had that done to us (713 comments)

People owning and running businesses should be allowed to choose whith whom they associate and do business and then the ones which discriminate against otherwise good, paying customers can rightfully go under instead of being propped up by the policies of the state.

That's precisely the kind of thinking that led to child labor in factories and mines; it is also why we have to subsidize low paying jobs through our taxes so people can survive at a (somewhat) more reasonable level. It is what led to "whites only" and "separate bathrooms"; It is why the male/female employment ratios are so skewed; it is why older engineers are replaced by younger ones who know far less and don't have families to support; it is why the EPA, or something like it, really needs to exist. And so on.

Business, large and small, incorporated or not, as entities, resemble people only to the degree that most of them, left unregulated, exhibit sociopathy and/or psychopathy. History has shown this explicitly, time and time again. No one is guessing about this: the facts have been in for a long time, and new facts consistent with the old continue to arrive with distressing regularity.

The idea that business, left to its own discretions, will do the right thing is nothing more than a fantasy. Unregulated business is a very bad idea, and further, the premise that bad businesses will automatically fail because customers will do the right thing is equally bankrupt, and for many of the same reasons. Large numbers of people are both selfish and disinterested in the welfare of others.

2 days ago
top

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

fyngyrz No wonder you're anonymous (713 comments)

Yes but that doesn't make the intestines a sexual organ.

Any body part with nerve endings and/or usable contact surfaces can be brought into play in sexual relations under the right circumstances. This has nothing do do with the gender of the party or parties involved. The fact that you don't know these things speaks very poorly about your competence and experience in the sexual arena.

2 days ago
top

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

fyngyrz Freak gasoline fight accident (713 comments)

Yes, it's still going strong (and particularly hot right now!)

Hansel? Is that you?

2 days ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Support for your position (190 comments)

Wouldn't it more useful for it to be set in silicone?

Intend to stay abreast of the spec, do you?

2 days ago
top

C++14 Is Set In Stone

fyngyrz Still... (190 comments)

...using c. Although I do like to comment thusly, and so prefer a compiler that understands at least basic c++:

// comment

I like to stay as close to the metal as I can get. I'd use assembler, but many of my projects are cross platform, so c it is.

2 days ago
top

Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

fyngyrz Re:Clearly (166 comments)

  • Where does Java execute?
  • Where does javascript execute?

3 days ago
top

Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

fyngyrz Re:Clearly (166 comments)

I said they were "supposed" to be the good guys. And they are.

3 days ago
top

Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

fyngyrz The 4th amendment... RIP (376 comments)

This is why we Americans now have the Fourth Amendment, requiring due process (with various levels of proof) before interfering with someone's life.

Well, but that was a while ago. Now the legal system is using rationales like "hey, your MONEY doesn't have any rights, so we don't need due process to seize it, just suspicion" and also "terrorism", "you are on this list", and the big winner, "I think I'll just shoot you" (and often your dog, even, every once in a while, your cat), plus "we like searching your finances and communications without a warrant, so we do (IRS, NSA, DEA, other TLAs)", etc.

You gotta keep up a little better.

Also, the 4th constrains the federal government. With significant optimism poured on the 14th amendment, plus a judge who hasn't received his most recent bribes, the 4th also constrains state governments. It does not, however, constrain corporations or individuals. That is, of course, if anyone was still paying it serious notice, which is clearly not the case anyway.

This stuff actually depends upon civil law, and there, the rules are *completely* different and not at all what you expect. Or will enjoy. Civil law exists specifically so the system can hammer you in the event that criminal law is not up to the job. Any other usefulness is wholly coincidental.

3 days ago
top

Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

fyngyrz Clearly (166 comments)

Java and so forth is not limited enough. Not even close. And outside of that, there's the whole "ooops, the bug let some code execute" that will plague browser-side executables forever, or as close to it as makes no difference.

This is one of the core (ha) problems with client-side execution in a general purpose machine.

If you want to host a reputable website, then the more you can put active functionality for the user in server-side CGI, the better you can actually take that high road. All this java-loaded stuff on websites is a constant invitation to problems. It's an idea that is only safe in a world without bad guys. And our world is hardly that -- even the ones that are supposed to be the good guys (the government) are bad guys now.

But if you can tell your users "turn off client side execution" and your website will still work, then all they need is a browser that can read HTML, CSS and CGI and follow the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. Then if you can get browser manufacturers to quit pretending that HTTPS provides "identity" so the browsers drop the SCARE tactics for self-signed certificates, we can all enjoy the web without nearly as much risk for the surfer or paid blackmail for the site owner.

For all of us who remember how to read and enjoy real web sites, this would just be another (good) day. On the other hand, if you're one of those who doesn't read, likes to type "tl;dr" (and thinks it's funny, instead of sad as heck) and/or one of the video-addicted, you're probably completely screwed. :)

about a week ago
top

Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part Two of Two)

fyngyrz Re:Gasbag (66 comments)

I was merely saying we have flying devices that don't plummet to the ground when they run out of gas.

Sure they do. :)

about a week ago
top

Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

fyngyrz Re:Does it matter? (151 comments)

There was a time when 1GHz/1GB was overkill

Not for desktop computers, there wasn't. Perhaps for your watch. Then again, probably not.

There's no such thing as "overkill" in computing power and resources. There is only "I can't get (or afford) anything faster than this right now."

about a week ago
top

Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

fyngyrz Re:Marijuana... (178 comments)

Make donuts?

Clearly, you are unfamiliar with Marijuana. :)

about a week ago

Submissions

top

RRAM poses challenge to FLASH memory market

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  1 year,15 days

fyngyrz (762201) writes "RRAM, a long-awaited alternative to other memory technologies that can retain data while powered down, has finally reached manufacturing. With higher data density, 3D stacking on chip (not chip-on-chip, but layer-on layer), lower power, more longevity, RRAM seems poised to drive electronic storage considerably forward. If initial designs use the current interfaces, we could see some immediate performance gains (RRAM is quite a bit faster than flash) as well as increased data capacities. Of course, no one needs more than... oh, never mind."
Link to Original Source
top

Samsung releases source code for NX300 and NX2000 mirrorless cameras

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  about a year ago

fyngyrz (762201) writes "There are already powerful third-party software mods for cameras such as magic lantern, but as far as I know, they're all reverse-engineering efforts, and have been somewhat hamstrung because of that. Samsung, in offering the source code to these two cameras, may have tapped a golden vein. I'm a Canon user, but upon learning this, I immediately began to consider Samsung as a 2nd camera."
Link to Original Source
top

Twitter sells two years of user data, tweets

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 2 years ago

fyngyrz writes "Thought those tweets had settled back into anonymity, or that they weren't being kept for long? Ooops. Turns out that Twitter has sold a huge database of several years tweets to a marketing company, which in turn has quite a list of customers ready to data-mine the trove of remarks about, well, everything."
Link to Original Source
top

FAA Bill Authorizes Surveillance Drones over US

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 2 years ago

fyngyrz writes "Congress passed a bill this week that makes it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace. One wonders if those gentle souls who find it so entertaining to shoot road signs will enjoy this intriguing new opportunity."
Link to Original Source
top

Time Travel in our lifetimes?

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 2 years ago

fyngyrz writes "If space travel is the final frontier, then what is time travel?

Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing. The time machine we’ve designed uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time.

In Einstein’s theory it turns out that not only matter such as the Earth can create gravity but also light. It is the energy of light that creates gravity. Consequently, since time is affected by gravity and light can create gravity due to its energy then light can also affect time."

Link to Original Source
top

Legal Tender? Maybe not.

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 2 years ago

fyngyrz writes "Lousiana has passed a bill that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea being to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any slashdotters at all that support such a move."
Link to Original Source
top

Costdom of Speech

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

fyngyrz (762201) writes "Philadelphia decides that bloggers must pay $300 for a "license." Again, government, this time at a city level, interprets "shall make no law" as "hey, boys, let's make a law!" The first — and the fourteenth — amendment specifically say this is not allowable government behavior."
Link to Original Source
top

In THIS house... FTL fields and currents. Really!

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fyngyrz (762201) writes "So you think of electrons like dominoes in a wire. Push on the one in the end, the others react one after another. Pretty vanilla physics. Further, because the electrons are moving, you get magnetic effects, radio, etc. Good stuff. So. What if you move all the "dominos" at once? Put your virtual hand on all of them, and push them over. They're not moving sequentially any longer. They move together. At any speed you can make them go. Well, that's what these researchers are doing — "pushing" all along a conductor at once, able to make a signal go — ready? — FTL. Fascinating stuff. And it may explain pulsars."
Link to Original Source
top

Copyright sure... but what about "feel"?

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fyngyrz writes "After securing copyright permission to use the Romantic's song "What I Like About You", the publisher of the game "Guitar Hero" is being sued by the band because "the company has infringed the group's right to its own image and likeness" because the cover song is so similar to the original version.

They're seeking an injunction against the game, which could do some real sales damage during the holiday season if granted.

Now, speaking as a musician, I'm right with the program when people say copyright is flawed, but... has this band fallen off the edge here?"

Link to Original Source
top

Climate change science; taking a closer look.

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fyngyrz writes "Climate change, global warming. Done deal, right? Not so fast:

A study has been submitted for publication in the journal Energy and Environment which actually looks at the level of support in the scientific community. From the results: "Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis." It is very interesting to see how neutral (and properly so!) the scientific community actually remains when it comes to anthropocentric global warming.

Are we seeing the pendulum swing back to a rational position?"

Link to Original Source
top

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

fyngyrz writes "As always, there are rumbles of discontent from the scientific community with regard to global warming. This article from R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, lays the overriding mechanism of climate change squarely at the feet of the various solar cycles. In the article, he explains that solar energy impacting the earth is part of the mechanism, while the sun's solar wind drives cloud formation in a complementary cycle that enhances the effect of the actual heat input. But that's not the kicker. The interesting part is he is predicting global cooling, rather than warming."
Link to Original Source
top

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

fyngyrz writes "Looks like Mars is warming just as fast as we are. Unfortunately, it's a little more difficult to whip the public into a frenzy of guilt over emissions when even the most daft rank and file citizen will figure out that our CO2 excess doesn't make it to Mars under any circumstances, and so the discovery doesn't bode well for the CO2 alarmists.

Looks like we might be back to terrorists, panicking over each others morals, and legislating personal choices for the entertainment of the day."

Journals

top

Why no recent journal entries?

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Because I have a blog at http://fyngyrz.com/.

It kind of makes the whole journal thing redundant. If you really want to see what I have to say about random things, by all means, you're invited to the blog. If not, well, it seems you're in substantial company, if nothing else. :)

top

One of those poignant losses

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

18th October, 2007, we lost a dear old friend, a (mostly) Siamese cat yclept "Gwai-loh." Gwai was quite vocal, as are many Siamese; he also had some strange characteristics, for instance you could hold him upside-down on the ceiling and he would walk around - inverted - for as long as you were willing to hold him up there. For years, we kept him around the office, and he had a habit of coming up for affection when whoever he was approaching was on the phone. So he'd come up to you, get right up to your face (and the phone) and let loose with a really loud meow. Which you would then have to explain to the customer. One time I was on the phone with a rather famous Hollywood special effects dude when Gwai let loose with this, we had a good laugh over it. Eventually, we put up a web page on our site with a .wav of Gwai's signature meow, and a picture of him staring at a screensaver on a ginormous (for the time) monitor. A surprising amount of the code in WinImages was written with Gwai warm and settled either in my lap or across my arms.

Well, eventually, the old boy's liver failed, and I put out a rather startling amount of money to see if we could get around that, and amazingly enough, it worked. We got two more years of Gwai, all of it of quite high quality, before he finally laid down for the last time. His last couple of days were spent purring and head bumping while all the while refusing to eat or drink... finally, he just didn't wake up.

I miss him terribly. Sometimes it hits me right between the eyes and I can't even think straight. I can't dig over a decade and a half of unconditional love and affection out of my system with any amount of rationalization or any other flavor of self-bullshittery. Here's to my grizzled old friend. I only hope he knew how much I loved him in return.

top

Mouseovers - as bad as popups?

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Is anyone else as annoyed as I am by words and phrases in web articles that pop up boxes because my mouse pointer happened to cross them, temporarily hiding the content I was reading in the first place? I didn't click on anything, and consequently, I don't want a context change. I find these annoying to the point of noting what the site is and not going back. Anyone else feel the same? Anyone have a defense of the practice?

I went to this article today to read it in response to a slashdot posting, and managed to accidentally activate the wireless mouseover / popup as I was reading. Bam. Content hidden, thought stream interrupted. Isn't this essentially popups, revisited?

top

Cold War, Version II

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

So I wake up this morning, and Putin has dissolved his government.

Then, same morning, Russia announces a bomb with nuclear-level destructive capability. But they say they're not escalating.

Then, later the same day, the US announces they have a matter-antimatter (proton/positron) annihilation laser, which, they say, is to normal lasers as nuclear weapons are to normal bombs.

At the same time, Bush, old "We'll never pull 'em out", is about to announce a troop pullback in Iraq.

Oil's hovering around $80 a barrel. The dollar is in the outhouse, and we've basically had many of our civil rights eliminated or made irrelevant.

Did I miss something here?

top

More on Global Temperature Change

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

As always, there are rumbles of discontent from the scientific community with regard to global warming. This article (vile email registration required) from R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, lays the overriding mechanism of climate change squarely at the feet of the various solar cycles. In the article, he explains that solar energy impacting the earth is part of the mechanism, while the sun's solar wind drives cloud formation in a complementary cycle that enhances the effect of the actual heat input. But that's not the kicker. The interesting part is he is predicting global cooling, rather than warming.

But wait; there's more. This months Discover Magazine (print version also) has a lengthy article about this same mechanism, that is, cloud formation driving the climate and the sun driving cloud formation by way of modulating the effect cosmic rays have, by Henrik Svensmark, the 49-year-old director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.

Svensmark says that we are in a warming trend, so his conclusions are at odds with those of Patterson; but they both agree that CO2 isn't nearly the looming threat that it has been made out to be with regard to climate change.

top

Montana surprises us again, this time on Eminent Domain

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Recently, Montana legislators made news when they passed legislation outlawing Real-ID, calling it a threat to privacy and liberty. Now, legislation making the taking of property by eminent domain for the purposes of increasing tax revenues illegal has been passed and signed into law by Montana's governor. For more on why this is a serious issue, check out the Supreme Court's "Kelo" decision, named after a Connecticut woman who (unsuccessfully) fought to keep her home from city plans to arbitrarily take it and subsequently turn it over to private developers with the objective of collecting higher tax revenues from the property.

Montana has a 2% unemployment rate at present, and maintains a balanced budget, something the feds might want to give some consideration to. I have to say that although I am typically very cynical about government, and although Montana has made some very serious mis-steps in terms of liberties in the last few decades, the state seems more interested in doing the right thing than the wrong thing at this point in time, and I am feeling very pleased with my representatives right now as a long-time resident.

top

Has Apple made a costly miss-step?

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

With the recent news about cellphone activity allegedly being the underlying cause for the sudden loss of large numbers of bees, an insect that forges an absolutely critical and irreplaceable part of the food chain, is Apple's iPhone doomed to enter the market just as cell phones face severe clampdowns, or even wholesale replacement?

Cell phones operate at microwave frequencies for a pretty good reason; basically, microwaves enable small equipment. They also do a decent job of penetrating many types of structures, if not through the walls, then at least through the windows. However, there are other frequencies available, lower frequencies that have been busy for many decades without any significant observed effect on bees or other life. People already understand how useful cell phones are, and there are manufacturers with significant experience in VHF radio, to name one technically possible replacement band — so an interesting market shake-up is certainly feasible. Excellent VHF transceivers are marketed by amateur radio manufacturers, for example.

Normally, we would assume that an established, profitable market similar to the cellphone market would be stable and have a long, healthy life expectancy based on the functionality offered to the market. However, if the bees go, we will too - and that, ladies and gentleman, is an outcome that not even Steve Job's legendary reality distortion field can deal with.

Perhaps Apple should get back to working on OSX, and forget the iPhone. I have this nagging feeling that the iPhone is going to be this year's "politically incorrect" device. I know I've stopped using my cellphone for anything but emergency calls; how about you? Seen any bees lately?

top

My Mac finally crashed.

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I bought my daily-driver Mac, a mini, pretty much when the PowerPC mini was released. I was tempted beyond belief by that form factor, and the price. I loaded it; a gig of ram, bluetooth, wifi, modem, big drive (for the day), the superdrive, and so forth. I bought every option because the more that was jammed into the box, the more I liked the form factor. I know it's a little weird, but there you have it.

Since then, I've used the little box daily, for just about everything. It's been powered up since I bought it (thanks to a UPS.) This year, a couple of months ago, I bought a Mac laptop - a top of the line 17" Mac Pro - but I still use the mini every day. I've rebooted the mini many times, almost always in response to an Apple upgrade or security modification, once when I went from 10.3 to 10.4, never as an attempt to fix a problem. I've never had any problems of that kind, frankly.

Today, without any particular warning, my Mac dimmed the screen, locked my mouse and keyboard, popped a black rectangle up which informed me in no uncertain terms that I needed to reboot. Now. I lost a long post I had been writing for Kuro5hin.org, and I failed to even reach the level of being annoyed about that because it was just so astonishing to me that the mini had actually - gulp - crashed.

I just want to say that I hadn't even realized that my expectations had been silently and sneakily leveraged to be so astonishingly high. After years of being screwed with, and over, by Microsoft operating systems, I no longer expect that an OS should, or will, crash. Massive kudos to Apple.

...and my little PPC mini came right back up, and yes, I'm using it right now, and I still don't expect it to crash. :) I was using a beta version of a web browser and my guess is it was just a little too beta.

top

Best slashdot comment ever encountered

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  about 9 years ago Best slashdot comment, ever:

Russia's Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered

Posted by timothy on Monday July 25, @11:48AM
from the but-what's-the-motive-detective-columbo? dept.
Karellen !-P writes "Vardan Kushnir, a notorious russian spammer who headed the English learning centers, the Center for American English, the New York English Centre and the Centre for Spoken English, was found dead in his Moscow apartment on Sunday, Interfax reported Monday. He died after suffering repeated blows to the head."
----------------------------------------
Should have opted out. (Score:5, Funny)
by Tackhead (54550) on Monday July 25, @11:54AM
(#13157866)
> He died after suffering repeated blows to the head.
From a hidden microphone at the scene of the murder:

"You are receiving *WHAM* this blow to the head *WHAM* because you are part of a *WHAM* specially-selected list of *WHAM* people who agreed to receive *WHAM* blows to the head *WHAM*.

To stop *WHAM* receiving these *WHAM* blows to the head, please *WHAM* email us at no-more-please@optout.blowtothehead. com and *WHAM* we will remove you from our list of *WHAM* blow-to-the-head-club members *WHAM* (heh, we said "club"!) *WHAM* within 24 to 48 hours.

top

Slashdot needs some fixes

fyngyrz fyngyrz writes  |  more than 9 years ago Slashdot is fun and useful and all, but there are some pretty annoying problems with the site. They constantly come up in an "off topic" manner, and consequently get (sort-of) appropriately modded down - this journal submission is intended to give them a legitimate home. I submitted it as a story, but - of course - it was rejected.

These are the things that seem most obvious to me, but I am sure there are others, given how annoying the issues I have in mind are to me. Please feel free to add your thoughts to all this, shoot my ideas down, whatever.

Moderation is anonymous

I say this is a Very Bad Thing. You can compare this to Kuro5hin, where you can easily see who did what to whom. Moderation with accountability allows anyone to see when a vendetta is being pursued, or when someone is systematically modding a subject down because they disagree, rather than because the issue is actually off-topic, a flame and so forth. I cannot begin to count the number of comments I have seen that have been modded down because they were contraversial, as opposed to offtopic, flamebait, or whatever else the down-mod claimed they were. The site's editors are also anonymous and that provides a hidden power structure which isn't a particularly good thing in any venue. I have read multiple claims that this poster or that poster cannot get mod points "because they modded something [a slashdot luminary] posted some time ago." If this is an illusion, exposing who did what to whom will in turn expose the illusion. If it is not an illusion, then exposing what happened should reduce the problem, because such action would rightfully be condemned by readers if it is inappropriate. I find the idea that the site's editors might be sneaking around and quietly muzzling moderators in a punitive manner more than a little disturbing.

So my first suggestion here is simply to lose moderation anonymity. My second is that if and when mod capability is removed from a user, the date of, and reason for, that action be posted right in their user page.

Many - perhaps even most - down mods are punitive or inappropriate

I suggest that the meta-moderation process be adjusted to include the ability to flag down-mods as obviously inappropriate, and to remove moderation privileges from those who commit such down-mods, as well as the down-mods themselves.

Up-mods don't need metamoderation

I suggest the outright removal of metamoderation of up-mods; if someone considers something interesting (or whatever) positive characteristic, who are we to say that this isn't so? That's the moderator's take on the comment, and up-moderation is a (very limited) opportunity for a moderator to "uplift" the story to the rest of us based on that perception. Upmods aren't harmful the way down-mods are - quite the contrary - and it seems to me to be a complete waste of time to metamoderate upmods for that very reason.

With mod points so scarce (and I agree they should be) we are forced to pick the things we really appreciate to up-mod. I rarely see an honest need to down-mod (obvious "first post" and gay/nigger trolls excepted), but I simply do not see a need to counter an up-mod. Someone thinks this, that or the other thing is insightful or interesting or sexy or whatever? Ok, that's at least notable - and that is exactly what an up-moderated and hence higher point comment does, it becomes more notable - not more interesting, not more insightful, but more notable. It might not actually seem that the applied moderation is accurate to us on reading the modded comment, but it is interesting that so-and-so (or at least "someone", if moderator anonymity remains preserved) thought it was worthy of a mod point. Comments can argue the issue if a poster is so motivated, and that seems like plenty of recourse to me. We see this all the time anyway; why not simply make it the official means of argument with an upmod?

Metamoderation is a scarce resource - put it where it does the most good

The removal of up-mod metamoderation could allow multiple meta-moderation of down-mods so that a reasonable, multi-user consensus that a down-mod is innapropriate can be reached. It seems to me that it should not be a light thing to say that someone is abusing the moderation system; you want to be reasonably certain. A meta objection to a down mod should cause that down-mod to immediately rear its ugly little head in a bunch of other meta-moderation queues so that consensus can be reached - and then corrective action taken if the mod is widely deemed inappropriate. This last point is important: It is a real shame that reasonable posts are permanently lost to the default view because some moderator was being a twit.

Fix the comment point system

There are several things wrong with this area of the site. The first is simply exposure, like authorship of moderation. Anyone who looks at the summary of points in a profile and tries to figure out what happened to a heavily moderated comment in a story is doomed to failure. It's Byzantine at best, and opaque and threatening at worst. Expose it.

Next, The math behind up/down mods is bizarre, to say the least. At a minimum, fix it so it is linear; or if not, then at least expose each and every mod point and show what it did to the story (along with the inflicting member - again, see Kuro5hin for a nice example of how this should be done.) Of course, if only this is done, an outcry will probably arise to fix the math, for the obvious reasons. :)

Expand the moderation choices

I have also seen lots of very good suggestions for additional moderation reasons. I'd like to see the readership discuss that here and perhaps a poll be subsequently created to see which new moderations should actually be added.

Story submission is entirely in italics

How is one expected to visually check the HTML of a story if the story preview enforces italics for the entire body? Why not use dark blue on white, and let italics flow according to the story tags so we can actually see what we're writing? You know, that radical new concept, "WYSIWYG"?

Sign the Polls

Stories are signed so we know who to thank (or blame) for the story. Sign the polls too. As I write this, there is a poll up for "favorite writing instrument" and the poll fails to include "keyboard" as an option. Somebody should have some digital egg on their face for that one. Maybe accountability will result in better quality polls. One can hope, anyway!

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>