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I've never seen people on Slashdot, as a group, claim to be open-minded.
The administrators are known to be heavy-handed responding to things they don't like. This gets keeps the dissenting extremists off the system. It also causes an all-around discomfort for people who have something to say, and a general distaste for the system for many(most? all?) other people on the system.
Moderators are often quick to moderate "troll" to anything that might spur disagreement. This prevents flamewars. It also prevents a great deal of insightful discussion, and discourages newbies from participating.
A couple months ago, I lost my moderator priviledges. I've never said anything intentionally inflammatory before on Slashdot, so I don't know for certain what specifically caused the priviledges to be revoked.
Recently, I subscribed to Slashdot. I block all ads, and view 10 ad-free pages per day. I had all the plums at first, but now some of them are gone. For example, I can no longer see articles from "The Mysterious Future," and read Slashdot every fifteen minutes to twenty minutes, for most of the day.
I'm not expecting this account to escape unscathed from this rant, but I don't care. I've been slowly maturing beyond the community fascism for a while, and I guess it's time to move on.
I can no longer moderate.
I no longer have the ability to moderate or meta-moderate. My preferences don't even have the "Am willing to moderate" check box any more.
I expected it to happen, eventually. As a still-maturing reader of Slashdot, I become more and more likely to be at odds with general geek opinion. I suppose some moderation or comment of mine must have irritated one of the editors, and my moderator access was revoked.
It makes sense, and I agree it's the appropriate thing to do, but it's still sad. I enjoy reading Slashdot, the stories and comments, the polls. I visit Slashdot more often than Google News, my other online news source. I'm going to miss being able to highlight gems of wisdom or information, and I'm going to miss the careful weighing of points of view that went into my meta-moderating.
I say it makes sense, not because I'm cynical about Slashdot's administration and behavior, but because a homogenous environment like the Slashdot community isn't likely to survive being disrupted by dissenting views. It risks flamewars like the kind you can find all over Usenet, and it becomes harder for people to find information provided by people they agree with. (The zoo is a step towards making that easier.)
I don't see a point in griping about the system. If you do it in a comment, you'll be flooded by "insightful" and "troll" moderations. If you do it in your journal, who's going to read it? I'm willing to bet that most Slashdot users have something negative to say about the system, but so what?
To put it simply, CmdrTaco can do whatever the hell he pleases. He started the project(I think. I'm not too knowledgeable in /. lore), and users play by his rules. The fact that Slashdot is still around simply shows that those rules work well enough to keep a community thriving.
Queues in future versions of HTTP?
I'd read the recent article on a book about HTTP, and it ocurred to me that HTTP implementations could learn from P2P networks.
For example, Gnutella clients have queues where a client will connect periodically, and check its place in line. That way, a connection doesn't need to be maintained in order for a consumer to hold his place in line. This lets a popular server to transmit information in a true first-come-first-serve manner, rather than a manner where whoever retries.
This could seriously improve performance under times of heavy server load.
Of course, I'm no expert.
Real Life Tech Support #1
I do tech support for a local ISP, and frequently get calls that frustrate me. Some of them are the obvious "My computer has to be plugged in?" questions, but some of them take me by surprise. I'll post those to my journal as I have them.
Here's the first:
It's calls like the one I just dealt with that make me understand how some tech support guys joke about wanting psychological hazard pay.
I got a call from (removed), and was shortly put on hold for five minutes. When he came back, it took ten minutes to figure out that he was complaining that Yahoo Instant Messenger wasn't working, and that he was blaming it on us.
Half an hour more to figure out that none of their internet settings were incorrect, and that the problem was with the Yahoo software. I told him he'd need to reinstall the software. He said, "yeah, a friend told me that."