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posted by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the knock-on-wood dept.

I promised that we, the staff, would provide a quick status report after all the drama on Monday. The site issues today delayed that, and I thank juggs in IRC for reminding me of my promise. We've been very transparent and we want to continue that trend. Most of the comments we've seen have been encouraging of this method. However, we hope the transparency will result in less drama and in more productivity in the future.

On Tuesday, 4 March 2014, Barrabas, the "Man Behind the Curtain" resigned from his position. In his resignation, he retained ownership of the domain Soylentnews.org and associated domain registrations, as well as certain accounts on linode.com, our host. (See our article on backup plans.) Read more inside.

There were some negotiations between Barrabas and NCommander regarding compensation for money invested by Barrabas as part of the transfer of authority, along with the linodes and the domain names. Those negotiations broke down, resulting in a situation that became public on Monday, 10 March. Barrabas decided to sell his entire interest in the site. While the staff decided to create a poll to figure out which way to proceed (we were completely divided on what to do) an individual member of the site stepped up to purchase those rights from Barrabas.

That individual is known on IRC as matt_. Despite the similarity in name, he is not me. I've offered to let him introduce himself on his own schedule. For now, we are working with him to ensure all of the accounts and technical transactions are being transferred. As of right now, we believe the site is secure, he is a standup guy, and we can all move on with our lives.

However, there is such a thing as being over-zealous, and making decisions too rapidly. Today we decided to take down the linodes that Barrabas had set up. What we did not know was that those linodes contained our DNS zone records. Taking those boxes down took down our DNS records and therefore the site. Slashcode can be a little tricky, and one of its dependencies is DNS. So when we took down DNS, we took down slash on the linode as well. This was bad. We managed to get it working again, and created an incident log that provides some details to those interested. This also describes a second related incident, tied to taking down DNS.

As a result of this, we are making some changes in the way we conduct ourselves. I have asked the unit chiefs to be more proactive and less reactive. The first part of this (step 0, actually) is creating documentation of each unit. Our Team Pages link on the wiki leads to each of our 5 major groups right now. Please check out each of them for more details on what needs to be done and how to help, if you are interested.

We are currently having our poll on the future status of our IRC network, and within 24 hours we are going to launch a new poll to select our final site name (or so we hope). We have 7 candidate names (including SoylentNews). We are going to hold our initial round with all of them. If one name earns 50% + 1 vote, that name wins. If that doesn't happen in a particular round, we take the names that are within 5% of the leading candidate to the next round. If no other name is within 5 percentage points, we will take the top 2 names for the final event. Finally, look forward to updates from each of our major units regarding their work in progress and their current status over the next few days.

This is a learning experience for all of us, and we hope that the drama can decrease so that the community can grow together. Thanks for reading! ~mattie_p

Related Stories

Unconfirmed Purchase Transaction Reported 234 comments

Update: 10 March 2014 20:20 UTC. Follow here for the latest.

Update: 10 March 2014 19:10 UTC.

At this point Barrabas reports he is exchanging email with the buyer but refuses to say anything. Until we hear from them, we have to hope for the best but plan for the worst. If this link goes down, please go to the linode site where we will regroup. We will use that link as a fallback if necessary.

Update: 10 March 2014 18:30 UTC.

Barrabas reports in IRC he has received funds for the site and has sold the domain name. The terms of this sale, as well as its buyer, have not been disclosed. We await additional information. If you have information on this, please contact us at admin @ soylentnews . org

Update: 10 March 2014 16:30 UTC.

Due to NCommander's personal involvement with the situation he is recusing himself from negotiations. I (Mattie_p) am currently working with the staff to figure out how to address this incident. We have posted a poll which is available and should show up shortly on the front page.

Original text:

We've been held hostage by John:

Working with NCommander
Am I The Bad Guy

Right now, I can't write a coherent response properly (I'm writing this from a Mac Store right now as some sort of response was necessary). Despite John's offer, we never used the Linode's he purchased for hosting slash, and the two services (forums and wiki) that were hosted on them were migrated. I had hoped that this would have been a private issue between me and John, to be handed by email with a proper agreement, but the site itself is now at risk.

Right now, I'm organizing a response with out staff now, but I won't be home for several hours so MrBluze is currently handling the crisis. He can hand off to mattie_p when he returns, or myself when I have proper net access again. John's offer does not reflect myself or any of the staff here, nor does he have what he says he has. The web server, dev server (fusion forge), and database were always hosted on Linode's on my personal account. John DID have access to the Linode account which was revoked when he left staff, but to my knowledge never had the root password or shell accounts on any of the boxes. That access was revoked. It is possible he has a copy of the database, I do not know for sure. He does not at this moment have access to any of the hardware powering the site. He does however control the DNS register and can possibly yank the site from under us. If that happens, I can send a mass email to every user account to inform them of what happened, and where we are now. We supposedly have until Friday until John drops everything in the trash unless someone pays him $2000 USD. As per the posts, I was willing to pay him, but I had some issue with the expenses as written (my emails are genuine, as is the email I received from John), but I'm currently in Asia, and have no practical way to send him a check until I return to the continental United States on Sunday; I informed John of this on IRC originally.

We're currently in scramble mode to try and organize a new name, and getting migrated as soon as possible. I was serious when I said I was done with the drama but it appears John isn't. I'm personally sorry to have to inflict this on the community, and if you wish to leave us, I shall not blame you in the slightest.

Backup Plan During Transition 146 comments

Update: The staff is in conversation with the buyer right now. More to follow, but at this point it looks to be a benevolent benefactor from the community. More to follow as we get it.

SoylentNews community:

As you know, there is not a lot of information available right now. Barrabas reports that he has sold the Soylentnews.org and associated domain names, and successfully transferred them, but neither the buyer's name nor the terms of that sale have been disclosed. As spokesperson for the staff of the site during this time, we would like everyone to know the following:

Our current backup plan is to revert to the li694-22.members.linode.com where the site is actually hosted. If we need to go there for any reason, we will try to notify the site in advance. If it has to go down or we are forced down, we'll be there. We will rebuild the database with some downtime and work from there.

We will send out a mass email to all users from the database informing them of this step should we need to do so.

We do not plan to implement this yet. We (the staff) did not advocate the buyout, but will try and work with the buyer if possible. We do not know the terms on which the domain name was sold.

We the staff will still operate the site, in its current condition on linode, until the community can vote on a new name. Depending on the buyer, we hope we can consider keeping the name the same as an option.

Until we know more information, we would like everyone to remain calm, collected, and civil, while we sort through these issues. Thank you

~mattie_p

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  • (Score: 3) by GungnirSniper on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:05AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:05AM (#15049) Journal

    Monday was the 10th.

    • (Score: 2) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:07AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:07AM (#15050) Journal

      Thanks, it'll be fixed. I wanted to get this out and no editors were available to doublecheck. ~mattie_p

    • (Score: 3) by Taco Cowboy on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:15AM

      by Taco Cowboy (3489) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:15AM (#15053)

      Tell us what you guys want. Do you need a new domain ?

      If so, let's do it.

      But before we go register for yet another domain, let's get a vote going on name choosing.

      Get a name which is short, sweet, and simple, something that sync with geeks, and after the vote ends, go get it.

      If we can't get the .com, .org or .net, we can go for .info, or even .ru, .jp or whatever.

      Then transfer the content there, and begin anew.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:32AM

        by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:32AM (#15058) Journal

        I don't want to start a run on domains, but the staff has assurances on the final list of domains regarding their availability to be transferred to the site. These names are already in the hands of people who have promised to give them to us for the cause. Should the winning name not be available or the offer is withdrawn, we will probably do a new run-off with the runners-up. ~mattie_p

        • (Score: 2) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:11AM

          by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:11AM (#15123) Journal

          Where might one submit name suggestions without making them public and causing someone to grab the URL?

          --
          something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52AM

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52AM (#15133) Homepage
            The only way to prevent the landgrab is to just grab the url in advance. It's probably $8. Some have grabbed half a dozen (2 2lds, 3 tlds each)

            (unless it's in one of the new wanky fucking-stupid not-real-TLD TLDs)
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by stderr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:16AM

            by stderr (11) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:16AM (#15147) Journal

            Sorry, but that's unfortunately too late now. The list is already final and various members of staff has bought all the domains so we're safe no matter which of the 7 domains is chosen as the final, permanent name.

            --
            alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:30AM

            by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:30AM (#15151) Journal

            Below mattie_p mentions a "suggestions" mailbox, in a thread about voting methods. Might be worth trying it for site name suggestions too? Especially if you've got a really good one.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by isostatic on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:14AM

      by isostatic (365) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:14AM (#15075) Journal

      You're forgetting the international dateline

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GungnirSniper on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:13AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:13AM (#15051) Journal

    Why did you pay the ransom if you're considering changing the name and URL anyway?

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:29AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:29AM (#15055) Journal

      This "ransom," as you call it, was paid by a private individual, not previously associated with the staff of the site. He is cooperating with us, though, and appears to have the best interests of the site at heart behind this decision. You will have to bring it up with matt (not this matt) if and when he introduces himself on the site. ~mattie_p

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:11AM (#15073)

        if and when he introduces himself on the site.

        If? Having an Anonymous Coward with the controlling interest in this site doesn't exactly reinforce confidence in the community concept we were building building this site around.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:17AM

          by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:17AM (#15078) Journal

          matt_ does not control or own the site. The actual site is hosted on a linode controlled by NCommander.

          What matt_ does own are various domain names and some linode accounts that now seem to be closed. To my knowledge, no financial arrangements have been made between the staff and matt_. If worst comes to worst (which I doubt) matt_ is left holding onto some domain names and we have a new, community-selected name, not associated with him.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:35AM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:35AM (#15063) Journal

      Presumably because

      • - It's only partially fair to describe it as a ransom
      • - "Soylent News" is one of the options for a permanent name
      • - Even if a new name is chosen, we'd still want to have soylentnews.org up for a long time into the future. It should say "Thanks for visiting! Great news: we have chosen a permanent name [example.com]! Please update your bookmarks, RSS subscriptions, etc.." The difference between that and a "server not found" or a domain parking page full of adverts is huge.

       

      Maybe the mysterious benefactor matt_ will answer directly at some point.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:57AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:57AM (#15138) Homepage
        It was a ransom when there was a threat.
        There is no longer a threat, so it's no longer a ransom.

        Matt_ has given the sys team pretty much full control of the things that he's paid for. He'd have to jump through hoops to wrest them back from us in reality. When we said "quick, matt_, change the passwords you've been given immediately", he just gave us the passwords, and told us to change them.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Reziac on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:37PM

          by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:37PM (#15325) Homepage

          That's a pretty good reference for matt_, then. He trusts you, so for the time being, we'll trust him.

          And I *like* the existing name. It's unique in a way few names manage.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:17AM (#15077)

      Barrabas should have been paid in full regardless. You don't wanna pile up evil karma from the beginning.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:49AM (#15108)

        If you read the details on that, the concerns raised with him were pretty reasonable. However by some unfathomable reason some random guy just paid up. Who knows what that really means.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:16AM (#15124)

          I did read some. Whatever the concerns, Barrabas initially put up the money, and offered to hand over when NCommander demanded to take over. NCommander agreed to compensate his cost in full, but subsequently tried to nickle-and-dime Barrabas.

          No way to build trust.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:59AM

            by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:59AM (#15166) Journal

            Did NCommander specifically demand to take over? I wasn't following that particular intrigue very closely.

            As for trying to "nickle-and-dime Barrabas", I think the main point NCommander raised after seeing Barrabas's figures was that a significant proportion of the money was spent on some unused hosting, and they should first look into the possibility of contacting the hosting provider to see if anything could be done with regards to refunds/transfers.

            • (Score: 1) by citizenr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:01PM

              by citizenr (2737) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:01PM (#15492)

              >spent on some unused hosting

              and yet after taking down this hosting whole site died ....

              • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Thursday March 13 2014, @01:57PM

                by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 13 2014, @01:57PM (#15858) Journal

                True, I should have said "spent on what he thought was some unused hosting"

                It was actually being used for DNS or something, IIRC. I guess they just transferred whatever-it-was over, rather than try to get it back working in its previous location.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:33PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:33PM (#15321)

            I don't know about the relevance of the other costs, but wanting to be reimbursed for $400 in unrequested gifts given is a far cry from "nickle-and-diming".

            • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:19PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:19PM (#15349)

              NCommander didn't just dispute the gift expense, but also the cost for some nodes that Barrabas had paid for.

              Look, the guy just got turfed out. Of course he was butthurt, but instead of a temper tantrum, he agreed to step aside and hand over, when offered to be compensated in full. Given the situation, you should accept that "in full" means including all the little incidental (and even some items that may be petty/vindictive), and you would be immature and perhaps less than honorable to subsequently split hairs on what is included in "in full" when the full amount came out to less two grands.

              NCommander's conduct was less than mature, and Barrabas flipped to a full temper tantrum - an all-around disgrace.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:17PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:17PM (#15240)

          "Who knows what that really means."

          I'll give it a shot:

          First of all, its "nice guy" not "random guy". I'd buy him a beer if I ran into him at a con or whatever, and so would a lot of people. Whoever he is, as far as has been made public, his reported moral and ethical behavior so far has been exemplary at the highest level. (no, its not me or anyone I personally know).

          Secondly there's a huge amount of shitting on Barrabas mostly because he's not willing or available to defend himself, so what better target could exist? Dare I say, bullying? This is site wide, not just this specific topic of a specific article. The endless iteration of one sides propaganda in article after article and comment after comment gets tiring. This particular aspect of the endless dirty laundry posts demonstrates fairly typical human nature in an us vs them situation. All that "primate psychology" stuff really does work, even on techies.

          Thirdly the point man made a big deal about being out of the country for a week and there's no way to do financial operations if you're out of the country because its currently year 900 AD and the Knights Templar haven't implemented the first international banking system yet, and none of the rest of the staff apparently had the money and/or will to step up for almost a business day (afaik matt_ was not on staff at the time), and Barrabas quite reasonably wanted to close the deal earlier. That's all it really means, as a financial transaction. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

          Fourthly they're all, on both sides, including Barrabas, respectable reasonable individuals, but this is an excellent case study of demands, which in isolation are perfectly rational and reasonable, cascading into each other to generate what amounts to a human communication / relationship systemic failure. No individual snowflake is responsible for starting this avalanche. If there is any value to the community in putting all this dirty laundry out in public, its that at least some people might learn something about human nature in general. There's a good MacKay quote about the whole topic "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."

          So thats my best attempt at "what that really means"

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:29AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:29AM (#15056) Journal

    launch a new poll to select our final site name (or so we hope). We have 7 candidate names (including SoylentNews).

    If you promise not to call us lentils any more, I'd be fine with soylentnews.
    Please help me in making an informed decision... do you promise that?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Foobar Bazbot on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:34AM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:34AM (#15060) Journal

      I promise no such thing.

      <mumble>Goddamn 3- and 4-digit UIDs thinking they get to choose what they're called...</mumble>

      You lentils get the fuck off my lawn!

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by stderr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:56AM

        by stderr (11) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:56AM (#15112) Journal

        You lentils get the fuck off my lawn!

        Your lawn?

        --
        alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by mechanicjay on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:48AM

          by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:48AM (#15160) Homepage Journal
          The real problem with all these folks with 2-digit uids, is that they think they own everything -- including the lawn!
          --
          My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
        • (Score: 1) by tadas on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:55PM

          by tadas (3635) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:55PM (#15257)

          Actually, I own the domain name "getoffmylawnyoudamnkids.com", so get off *my* lawn.

      • (Score: 1) by KritonK on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52AM

        by KritonK (465) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52AM (#15134)

        What an unexpected benefit of joining SN: It's been several decades since I was last chased off someone's lawn--makes me feel young again!

      • (Score: 1) by iWantToKeepAnon on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:43PM

        by iWantToKeepAnon (686) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:43PM (#15471) Homepage Journal
        Thanks for the userscript in sig, works awesome; makes me like soylent even more now ...
        --
        "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:03PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:03PM (#15306)

      I'm still in favor of "Soylusers." Not a fan of the lentils either.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by Daniel Dvorkin on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:45PM

      by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:45PM (#15439) Journal

      I like "lentils." Well, a whole lot better than "soylers," anyway.

      --
      Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:02PM

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:02PM (#15571) Journal
        What's wrong with "lents" - pretty close to "gents".
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:30AM

    by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:30AM (#15057) Homepage

    Rather than a multi-round "first to the post" voting method, consider approval voting. Multi-round does not solve the fundamental problems of "first to the post".

    You can't use the standard poll engine, though. Anyway, it's better to not show the polling results until the poll is closed, in order to reduce strategic voting behavior.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_voting [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:39AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:39AM (#15065) Journal

      I'm generally in favor of utilizing alternate voting methods, however, this is a fairly new site. That particular implementation of voting was not available to us as part of slashcode, and the development team has other things to do besides implement new suggestions, as valid as they are, like not breaking the site. Instead, I've asked them to document the existing implementation. We would like to hear your suggestions for improvement, though, and I would encourage you to send that feedback onto the wiki page for suggestions or email suggestions @ soylentnews . org.

      The consensus of the staff is that the method we selected is as close as possible to being accurate, bearing in mind the constraints of the poll system we have, the possibility of artificial alterations, and the nature of internet polls in general. Your Mileage May Vary. ~mattie_p

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by prospectacle on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:18AM

      by prospectacle (3422) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:18AM (#15079) Journal

      I understand that there are very real, practical obstacles to implementing this (i.e. writing or modifying the code), and it couldn't happen for the name decision, but mod parent up, and up again!

      Once it's practical to implement, for future decisions, approval voting is a winner.

      It avoids the need for multi-round voting. It avoids the problem "spoiler" candidates (splitting the vote). Yet it still allows many options.

      It tends to produce consensus results rather than lesser-of-X-evils.

      It's simple to count and simple for the voters to understand.

      Hooray for approval voting.

      --
      If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:51AM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:51AM (#15162) Journal

      Interesting suggestion. I think I prefer voting systems where you rank the candidatees, although I haven't thought about it too much.

      I don't want to get into any discussions about the details, because I'm sure the experts (political scientists? mathematicians? game theorists?) would have covered all this ground. But out of interest, have they established any consensus, or even mathematical proof, that certain systems are best in certain sets of circumstances? And if so, can any of those sets of circumstances be objectively taken as applicable to this particular vote?

       
      Maybe every vote should start with a special meta-vote to decide the voting system for the main vote? :)

    • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:13PM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:13PM (#15270)

      If I understand correctly, approval voting gives no way to indicate preference other than yes/no. I don't like this at all. I think Condorcet voting is better. Debian uses it.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:08PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:08PM (#15309)

        I can clearly imagine a situation happening where you choose a second candidate because you know the one you actually like in unlikely to win, and if public opinion leans enough towards your own, the second-place "more popular" guy ends up winning even though a lot of people don't really want him. I question whether this may in fact be the *likely* scenario...

        From the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]:

        Approval voting advocates Steven Brams and Dudley R. Herschbach predict that approval voting should increase voter participation, prevent minor-party candidates from being spoilers,

        I'm not quite sure what that means, but it doesn't sound like a good thing to me.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:25PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:25PM (#15319)

          Hmm...after further consideration, I think my two above points are actually rather contradictory. The section and the one below it in the linked Wikipedia article give the topic a pretty good workup.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:30PM

        by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:30PM (#15430) Homepage

        I think Condorcet voting is better.

        Mathematically, maybe. But I challenge you to explain how it works in less than 100 words.

    • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:19PM (#15273)

      After this terrible week of discord and confusion, people are going to want to hang on to SOME sense of stability.

      If you hold the poll now, I fear that SoylentNews (a terrible name in my opinion) will win by default, as people seek that whiff of stability amid the chaos.

      It's not fair.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by juggs on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:45AM

    by juggs (63) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:45AM (#15067) Journal

    .. or de-obfuscation, call it what you will. I didn't remind mattie_p of anything in IRC, just asked a question about the new owner since it had all gone quiet since the last update and I genuinely wanted to know.

    mattie_p, you say this about "matt_" - " he is a standup guy, and we can all move on with our lives." - what is your basis for that assessment? Have you any prior knowledge of who this matt is or what he may not or may not have done previously?

    As for the DNS snafu - yep bad move taking down your authorative nameservers - schoolboy error, but in the current whirlwind that seems to be "what is where and who owns what, which registrar is doing what now and what day is it anyway" it's unsurprising.

    Seriously to mattie_p and matt_ - take a day out or two to review things, take stock, form a plan. Please stop rushing into the next great thing headlong. You are not currently in a warzone, you can think long term strategy not tactics.

    Lentils sprout where angels fear to tread!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:03AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:03AM (#15071) Journal

      juggs, your question reminded me I needed to do this. So it triggered this post. Otherwise I'd have to do it later.

      Regarding matt_, We had no prior knowledge of matt_ before the events of 10 March. In other words, he wasn't a volunteer or staff member, hadn't particularly drawn attention to himself in any way. At this point, we have some knowledge of who he is, what he has done, and why he chose to do this. I'd prefer to let him explain himself, or permit us to use his words regarding why. Also, and I should clarify, please read "we believe the site is secure, he is a standup guy, and we can all move on with our lives" as "we believe the site is secure, we believe he is a standup guy, and we believe we can all move on with our lives." That said, the staff has no reason to doubt matt_'s motivations and he has provided certain proofs of who he is. He has given us control over accounts previously associated with Barrabas as proof he is the buyer of the domain name.

      Regarding your advice to slow down, I sent an email to all staff about 8 hours ago, with the following instructions. I have no fear in posting the contents here, though slightly edited to protect the innocent and guilty alike:

      SoylentNews staff:

      This has been an exhausting week, and its only Tuesday. I won't go over the past events, because too much has happened. We'll provide updates later.

      We can fix a lot of this, though, by establishing processes. I'm following up on NCommander's email regarding organization, with some specific guidance and requests from each group. I don't want to get bogged down in details or implement crazy processes that we have to jump through 18 hoops to accomplish anything, but we cannot afford to be in reactive mode 100% of the time - it just is not an effective means of conducting business.

      Step 0) Document ALL of our current systems and dependencies. In other words, anything and everything that your group uses, needs, or has implemented, where it is stored/hosted, what versions, their dependencies, username and passwords, needs to be documented. Do Nothing Else Until You Have Done This (except emergency fixes).

      1) Document your unit responsibilities and core competencies. This means you need to figure out what your group really does and what it needs to know. Also look at other groups to help identify gaps or overlaps.

      2) Look at the shortfalls or surplus in your unit. If there is a responsibility you discovered in steps 0 or 1 but you don't have the compentency, determine how to fill it. Can it be outsourced? Can we solicit volunteeers to fill the gap?

      3) Look at the wiki pages http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/index.php/TodoLis t [soylentnews.org] , http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/index.php/Open_Pr ojects [soylentnews.org] , http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/index.php/Suggest ions [soylentnews.org] . Migrate pertinent items to your own team page, as indicated here: http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/index.php/TeamPag es [soylentnews.org]. Your team page is your own, you are responsible for the contents thereof. In other words, post the results of Steps 0-2 above and this step to your page, and ensure it is up to date.

      4) Implement change management processes. Talk to all subject matter experts, even in other groups, before implementing a change. I'll have more on how we plan to do that later, in the mean time, just consider the ramifications of what you change. Look at the documentation produced in step 0. For the next day or two, we should all be on steps 0 or 1.

      5) Implement changes as identified in the above steps.

      6) Provide a status update, in the form of a story submission, for front-page publication on SoylentNews, summarizing the results of the above. If you need help with this, let me know. I'd like to see this within the next week.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by juggs on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:47AM

        by juggs (63) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:47AM (#15085) Journal

        6) Is not necessary. A summary to you as acting CO perhaps, but to publish more dirty linen on the front page. Just stop the drama right there, it's turning into a Punch and Judy show.

        I'd also suggest moving away from "units" and less of the dictat from above in your missives. Successful communities coalesce they are not rounded up.

        Just suggestions. :)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:00AM

          by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:00AM (#15087) Journal

          This was not intended to air more dirty laundry or create more drama, merely to introduce the staff in those positions to the community at large, let everyone know what they are doing for the community, and to publicize the areas they need help. I apologize if this was unclear.

          We're still defining our terminology. Units, groups, sections, etc., are all being used essentially interchangeably at this point.

          • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:51PM

            by etherscythe (937) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:51PM (#15479) Journal

            I suggest this go into a Journal rather than front page. You can have a story with links as part of a general status update, but a full story each seems a bit too much clutter distracting from the General Nerd News.

            --
            "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:06AM

          by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:06AM (#15090) Journal

          I'm actually in favor of being able to peek behind the curtain, since it's not every day that a site like this gets built.

          --
          something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bitshifter on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:54AM

    by bitshifter (2241) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:54AM (#15069)

    Hi mattie_p,

    I'd just like to say a big Thankyou for all the hard work you and the rest of the guys/gals are putting into keeping this thing rolling.

    It's easy to sit back and munch popcorn, letting the events unroll.
    It's much more difficult to do something about them.

    Oh, and regarding the name - leave it as is.
    It's already there, people know it.
    As was said before, changing the name again will just cause more mess.

    • (Score: 2) by mrbluze on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:44AM

      by mrbluze (49) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:44AM (#15107) Journal

      Thank you for the encouraging words. But on name change, there are two things to say: Firstly it was promised from the outset that the site name would be determined by the community, and the longer this is left the more the result is likely to be fixed to the current name, which not everyone likes for a variety of reasons. Secondly if we have safety in the knowledge that the soylentnews domain name remains in the community's hands,there is nothing at all to fear from a name change - we just do a permanent redirect. It is arguably easier to market other names which may also have more obvious appeal to the people who are here and those that are to come. Names are very important, and although names such as xkcd have become household names in geek land it is easier for easily spelt and easily pronounced names to get traction. I don't mind what we call ourselves but this process will mean we can get to serious work in branding and marketing the project and diffrrentiating ourselves from the other(s) more fully.

      --
      Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:32AM

        by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:32AM (#15152) Journal

        I have to disagree on the name being important. A name is not the be-all-and-en-all of the site. The community and the comments are this sites life. The name is secondary. I am not saying I like SoylentNews, nor am I saying it shouldn't be changed, I just think we shouldn't get hung up on it.

      • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:38AM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:38AM (#15154) Journal

        I'd like to re-iterate the thanks.

        And I agree, it's okay for people (me included) to be happy with "Soylent News". But as long as the vote includes that as an option, I can't see any strong argument against having the vote.

         
        One thing I would point out, it's quite common in these slashcode polls to see comments like "I voted X, but having seen the above comments I now think Y". Is there a case for having a proper discussion first? And the wording of the vote should make direct reference to that discussion?

        • (Score: 2) by mrbluze on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:46AM

          by mrbluze (49) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:46AM (#15158) Journal

          The poll is being used as a guide. I would say if there is some kind of overwhelming choice, and the same is reflected in comments and chatter, then that makes it a pretty easy decision. If it's all a mess and full of controversy then we have to go back to the drawing board.

          --
          Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
    • (Score: 1) by bstamour on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:43PM

      by bstamour (3803) <bryan@bryanstamour.com> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:43PM (#15438) Homepage

      I agree. I've just arrived here today as a refugee from Slashdot, and I'm already grateful for the hard work that you guys are putting into this. I plan to keep coming back, as this site has the potential to become my new primary nerd/tech news outlet.

      Keep up the great work!

      --
      Peace, love, and Unix
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by quadrox on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:08AM

    by quadrox (315) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:08AM (#15072)

    While not everything is perfect yet, we do have a running site, we can see news, we can comment, moderate, submit news. This means that after any remaining technical issues with hosts, DNS and so on, the absolute TOP PRIORITY should be setting up a non profit entity that owns the site.

    We need to work out a charter for what this thing does, criteria for membership, rights, responsibilities and so on. This stuff is important if we want to prevent this site and community from falling apart.

    Two points I find important:

    1) Since this is supposed to be a community effort, there must be some way to establish yourself as member of that community so that not every trolling AC out there can mess things up. The only feasible way that I can see to do this is to have a paid subscription.
    2) All staff members would be considered members of the community on equal footing with any other members. They work FOR the community, they are not our overlords. This holds especially true if/when they get paid for their work eventually, that makes them employees of the community, not our bosses.
    3) I would like to try to avoid all advertisements. I don't know if this is realistic, but in my personal opinion I think this is a worthy goal.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:33AM (#15084)

      Two points I find important:

      1) Since this is supposed to be a community effort, there must be some way to establish yourself as member of that community so that not every trolling AC out there can mess things up. The only feasible way that I can see to do this is to have a paid subscription.
      2) All staff members would be considered members of the community on equal footing with any other members. They work FOR the community, they are not our overlords. This holds especially true if/when they get paid for their work eventually, that makes them employees of the community, not our bosses.
      3) I would like to try to avoid all advertisements. I don't know if this is realistic, but in my personal opinion I think this is a worthy goal.

      Which two? (kidding, prolly a typ0)

      On serious level as a non-trolling AC I very much agree with 2 and 3. I hope we don't need to do this community splitting song and dance again because some dicey sucker gets greedy.

    • (Score: 2) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:03AM

      by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:03AM (#15088) Journal

      What can a trolling AC do other than post a comment that can be modded down?

      --
      something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by quadrox on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:14AM

        by quadrox (315) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:14AM (#15091)

        For most of the day to day operations nothing at all.

        But there will be times - such as the /. beta - where the community should have a say in how we proceed. This might be a re-design, addition of features, change in moderation system, appointment of editors, dismissal of editors, and so on. There are many many decisions where the community should have their say.

        The reason I am advocating a paid subscription model - apart from paying for the costs - is to ensure that only people who have some form of commitment to the site have a say. Perhaps simply having an account (or an account with high karma) is enough commitment, I don't know.

        • (Score: 1) by Iskender on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:48PM

          by Iskender (470) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:48PM (#15408)

          Thinking that AC posters have no commitment is a mistake. If you think about it, registering here is trivial. A username is as much proof of being a good community member as marriage is proof of being a good parent.

          Having used Slashdot for many years (as have most of us here), I've seen quite a lot of "registered after years to post on this" posts. Hell, my UID had seven digits, but IIRC they were handing out six-digit UIDa starting with a 2 when I started lurking/posting.

          Paid membership is OK by me ("premium account"). But don't mess with the ACs: Slashdot had such a good moderation system that ACs could both contribute and troll at the same time. It's the kind of thing that we should keep, and which will likely be removed by Dice.

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:23AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:23AM (#15096) Journal

      Having a paid subscription is likely to make non-profit status difficult. A non-profit must demonstrate a community that it serves, and 'the community of people who pay money to the non-profit' is not one that is likely to be accepted in any jurisdiction.

      The main benefit of a US non-profit is the tax status of donations, but they're also quite difficult (and not that cheap) to set up. You might also consider something like a UK Community Interest Company, which is a lot cheaper and could have been done during the Slashcot if the people running this place had had something that could be mistaken in a poor light for a plan.

      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:33AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:33AM (#15099)

        You might also consider something like a UK Community Interest Company, which is a lot cheaper and could have been done during the Slashcot if the people running this place had had something that could be mistaken in a poor light for a plan.

        They had a plan, fairly straightforward and explicitly involivng for-profit motives, but it was there. And where were _you_ during the Slashcot, making people aware that they could start an organisation in some (to all relevant staff) foreign country under better conditions than doing so (altough they didn't even want to do that) in the US.

        s'all, just wanted to call bullshit on your comment ^^

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:38AM

        by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:38AM (#15102) Journal

        How about we just go ahead and blame me for not making the Slashcott long enough to begin with and let these guys off the hook for not being able to cram all the miracles in before the artificial deadline.

        God may have managed to go from nothing to finished product in only 6 days, but he had eternity to pre-plan it, and for all we know, there were other, earlier attempts He never gets around to mentioning.

        Going from none of them knowing each other and having no idea they'd need to do such a thing the day before to jumping in on the 6th or 7th and having it as far as they did by the 17th is pretty impressive from where I'm standing.

        --
        something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by quadrox on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:39AM

        by quadrox (315) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:39AM (#15105)

        Having a paid subscription is likely to make non-profit status difficult. A non-profit must demonstrate a community that it serves, and 'the community of people who pay money to the non-profit' is not one that is likely to be accepted in any jurisdiction.

        Without being a lawyer I would like to call bullshit. Most hobby club/associations have membership fees but are still considered non-profit organisation. A non-profit may earn money and take payments from members - as long as the money is used for the purposes that the organisation was founded for.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by stderr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:39AM

        by stderr (11) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:39AM (#15128) Journal

        Having a paid subscription is likely to make non-profit status difficult.

        It seems to work for both EFF [eff.org] and FSF [fsf.org]. They're both 501(c)(3) non-profits and according to my bank statements, they withdraw money from my account every month.

        --
        alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
        • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:23AM

          by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:23AM (#15148) Journal

          Yes, a better way of putting it in my view would have been: we need to make sure we choose a structure that doesn't preclude paid subscriptions.

          I certainly support TheRaven's suggestion of considering non-US structures, if the US ones aren't the best fit.

          And I am sympathetic to quadrox's argument that getting some legally recognized structure set up is a priority. For example, has any legal advice been taken about the choice of the site name? The advice might well depend on the legal status of the organization. It would be good to be reassured on this point before the vote. (The name of the organization doesn't need to be the same as the name of the site. "The Foundation For Geek News Discussion" or something would be fine IMHO.)

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:04AM

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:04AM (#15118) Journal

      2) All staff members would be considered members of the community on equal footing with any other members. They work FOR the community, they are not our overlords. This holds especially true if/when they get paid for their work eventually, that makes them employees of the community, not our bosses.

      Not even the number of digits in the ID matters now? Oh, wow, seriously (wink) I'd be sorry to blow off such a good meme [soylentnews.org]

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:12AM

    by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @07:12AM (#15074) Journal

    Let each voter give all 7 names one of three values, -1, 0, or +1

    If you hate the name, give it a -1.

    If you don't like it but can live with it, give it a 0.

    If you like it, give it a +1

    --
    something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
    • (Score: 3) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:05AM

      by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:05AM (#15089) Homepage

      Unfortunately, your proposed method is very susceptible to strategic voting and unintended results. If really think candidates ABC should get +1,0,0 and I see that they have both support of 40% of the voters, I'll vote A 1, B -1, C 0. The proponents of B will do the same in reverse. Both A and B net to score 0 and option C wins due to the 20% other voters.

      • (Score: 2) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:26AM

        by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:26AM (#15097) Journal

        Then vote A +1, B -1, and C -1, if you can't stand anyone but A getting in.

        You can't be neutral about B (that's what thinking they deserve a 0 means) AND opposed to them (that's what thinking they deserve a -1 means).

        The version of this I propose for political elections omits the zero, but retains the option to vote against someone (-1).

        That way if you really want Buchanan, but will settle for Bush to keep Gore and Nader out, you give the first two a 1 and the second two a -1, or give Buchanan a 1, leave Bush unmarked*, and give Gore and Nader a -1.

        *This has the effect of giving him a zero--it doesn't increase the number of -1 votes he gets or increase the number of +1 votes he gets.

        --
        something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
        • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:17PM

          by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:17PM (#15425) Homepage

          You can't be neutral about B (that's what thinking they deserve a 0 means) AND opposed to them (that's what thinking they deserve a -1 means).

          Yes you can, that is why it's called strategic or tactical voting. You assume that everyone else votes with the heart and you increase the impact of your own vote by voting against your conscience. In an ideal voting system, the best tactical vote is the same as the vote of your conscience. Various voting systems differ in how close they can get to that ideal.

      • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:28AM

        by zocalo (302) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:28AM (#15098)
        Yep, this is a highly likely outcome - imagine if this were applied with the US two-party political system, for instance; it would pretty much ensure that neither the Democrats or Republicans would ever get voted in. That's a nice thought, but hardly practical and you'd also end up with a winner that the least people actually wanted.

        Assuming the deal with "matt_" for the domain goes through then we have time, so why not a run off? There are, apparently, seven candidates, so we could have three rounds with the least popular two being eliminated each round, which should result in a choice that the majority are at least content with. Also, there should probably be a plan in place for if there is a dead heat, or even a three-way split, just in case.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 3) by unitron on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:51AM

          by unitron (70) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:51AM (#15110) Journal

          "...and you'd also end up with a winner that the least people actually wanted."

          When Perot took votes away from Bush the elder, we wound up with Clinton, even though he got less than 50% of the vote.

          A majority of the people who voted wanted someone other than Clinton.

          They just didn't want the same someone other than Clinton.

          But I bet a lot of them were in agreement about Clinton being their 3rd choice.

          So we already have the very real possibility of "a winner that the least people actually wanted".

          My method would also give a much more accurate view of how voters really feel about the various 3rd party candidates like Perot, Buchanan, and Nader.

          --
          something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:15PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:15PM (#15313)

            But I bet a lot of them were in agreement about Clinton being their 3rd choice.

            Really? I would think it would go 1) the candidate you like (this is Soylent so I'm assuming for "most" of us it's third party), 2) the one of the main 2 parties that you hate less, 3) any other party that is relatively not-crazy. Wouldn't 1) the one you like, 2) the Big 2 you hate less, 3) The Other Guy be rather silly?

            (Personally, I'm tired of selecting the lesser evil so fuck voting for major parties until they get a good kick to the balls.)

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:14PM

            by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:14PM (#15423) Homepage

            So we already have the very real possibility of "a winner that the least people actually wanted".

            The US election system is beyond repair. But there are actually better ways to organize elections. Read my post on Approval Voting. Essentially, it is equivalent to leaving out the "0" option of your proposal.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:08AM (#15121)

        You can somewhat alleviate that problem by only allowing one vote per person, so that you can only vote on one name.
        Either you vote +1 for your favorite candidate, or if you have no real preference but really don't like a particular name, you can vote -1 for that name.

      • (Score: 1) by halcyon1234 on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:08PM

        by halcyon1234 (1082) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 12 2014, @05:08PM (#15391)
        Or just do ranking. "Here are your 7 options. Order them from 1 to 7 and click Submit."

        Each option gets a point for being ranked 7, two points for being 6th, etc.

        Tally it up, and either pick the majority winner, or do a ranked tie-breaker. (Either on exact ties, or on the top X results within 5% of the top result, or whatever).

        Also, how the hell do I tell the site to permanently pick "HTML Formatted" for my replies?
        --
        Original Submission [thedailywtf.com]
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:48AM (#15130)

      There is semilar voting method: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schulze_method [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by quadrox on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:55AM

      by quadrox (315) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:55AM (#15136)

      I believe the best way of voting is to hold multiple rounds of voting, where exactly one candidate is eliminated every round. The one that is left at the end must be the one that most people can accept.

      This prevents any and all forms of strategic voting, and ensure the winning choice is not something that a majority has a problem with. The only drawback is that it takes a lot of time and effort.

      • (Score: 2) by hankwang on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:23PM

        by hankwang (100) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @06:23PM (#15428) Homepage

        I believe the best way of voting is to hold multiple rounds of voting, where exactly one candidate is eliminated every round. The one that is left at the end must be the one that most people can accept.

        You think so? Suppose you have seen candidates. One candidate is second choice for all voters; the other six are preferred each by 1/6th of the voters, who hate the other five candidates. After the first round, number 7, who was the second choice for everyone, is out of the race. Voter turnup in the last round will be pretty lousy since 4/6th of the voters will hate both remaining candidates.

        Essentially, this is the voting scheme that Soylentnews is proposing now.

    • (Score: 1) by Aiwendil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:21AM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @11:21AM (#15177) Journal

      Since this seems to be the subthread for voting-ideas I post it here.

      Why not just simply set up a (21-point (6+5+4+3+2+1)) roundrobin-vote in the simple form of "What name do you prefer of Foo or Bar? A) Foo, B) Neither C) Bar" for all he possible combinations (do randomize order of asking and which is on top/first to reduce psychological effect) and assign a +1 for each vote "for", 0 for each "neither" and keep track of the "not for" for tiebreaking (ie, fewer "not for" winning a tie). Or use the weights of +2(for), +1(draw), +0(not for).

      If you do this however, put all votes on a single page (ie, no multipage) and a single submit-button.

      Also, while the vote is in progress I am in favor of not having the results public as to reduce strategic voting (and of course publish the raw results later) - but this is regardless of what votingmethod is used.

    • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:17PM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:17PM (#15272)

      I recommend Condorcet voting. It is what Debian uses.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by timbim on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:22AM

    by timbim (907) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:22AM (#15095)

    And can we make this place green again? I thought everyone liked that color on the site we left.

    • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:50AM

      by melikamp (1886) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:50AM (#15132) Journal
      I like blue [melikamp.com].
      • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:05PM

        by bucc5062 (699) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:05PM (#15341)

        OT: Wow, thanks for the link that sent my to stylish which got me to install an alternate color scheme for SN. (I did the other sites colors, F.B.). I also like the bluew, but did not find that 'theme'.

        --
        The more things change, the more they look the same
        • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:14PM

          by melikamp (1886) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:14PM (#15345) Journal

          @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

          @-moz-docume nt domain("soylentnews.org") {
          a { color: #006 ; }
          a:hover { color: #008; }
          #links a, #links a:visited { color: #006; }
          #links a:hover { color: #009; }
          ul.menu li a:visited { color: #006; }
          .sb_header { color: #006; }
          .commentBox { background: #006; }
          .barColor { background: #006; }
          .btmnav { color: #006; }
          .btmnav ul li a { color: #006; }
          .commentTop .details a { color: #006; }

          .generaltitle div.title {
            background: #048 !important;
            border-top-left-radius: 10px;
            border-top-right-radius: 10px;
          }
          .generaltitle h3 { background: none; }
          .generaltitle { background: none; }
          .article { background: none ; }
          .article div.title { background: none; }

          .commentTop .title h4 {
            background: #048;
            border-top-left-radius: 10px;
            border-top-right-radius: 10px;
          }

          .commentTop .title { background: none; }
          .commentTop { background: none; }

          .nbutton {
            background: #cde;
            border-width: 1px;
            border-style: outset;
            border-color: #7bf;
            border-radius: 6px;
          }
          .nbutton p b a { color: black !important; }
          .nbutton p b a:hover { color: #024 !important; }
          .nbutton:hover {background-color: #6ae}
          }

    • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:44PM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:44PM (#15328)

      Yeah. I mean, this red is sort of ok, but it's basically the color of dried blood. Is that supposed to represent us winning the fight against DICE?

    • (Score: 1) by citizenr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:04PM

      by citizenr (2737) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:04PM (#15494)

      I didnt like green

      How about customizability?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by stderr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:03AM

    by stderr (11) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:03AM (#15142) Journal

    We have 7 candidate names (including SoylentNews). We are going to hold our initial round with all of them. If one name earns 50% + 1 vote, that name wins. If that doesn't happen in a particular round, we take the names that are within 5% of the leading candidate to the next round. If no other name is within 5 percentage points, we will take the top 2 names for the final event.

    I have seen the list of candidate names and I think it will be very hard to decide which one you like the most. At the moment I'm split between 4 of them...

    --
    alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:06PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:06PM (#15264) Homepage
      This protocol was arrived at non-democratically!!!!!!!

      How will the mechanics of the voting be done - standard poll-booth? If so, then you're a little hamstrung.

      With that restriction, this seems to have fewer corner cases (and yours does have some corner cases):
      "At each stage, summing from the smallest up, all names which received so few votes that the sum is less than the winner's will be removed from the next round"?
      This guarantees at least one is removed every round.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:04PM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @03:04PM (#15308) Homepage
        There's some ambiguity in my description - corner cases where there are ties - this should make things more clear:

        http://87.119.183.129/perl/votesim.pl

        However, there may be bugs in that. If in doubt, don't trust the script, trust common sense.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 2) by stderr on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52PM

          by stderr (11) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:52PM (#15561) Journal

          http://87.119.183.129/perl/votesim.pl [87.119.183.129]

          However, there may be bugs in that. If in doubt, don't trust the script, trust common sense.

          Wait a minute... It's a perl script and you didn't already use common::sense;?

          --
          alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:06PM

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:06PM (#15576) Homepage
            We're forgetting - there may also be bugs in common sense
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Cornwallis on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:10AM

    by Cornwallis (359) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @10:10AM (#15144)

    The techie things are easy in comparison.

    Relax, it will get there...

    • (Score: 2) by ticho on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:35PM

      by ticho (89) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:35PM (#15364) Homepage Journal

      Apparently not always, as evidenced by SN sawing a DNS branch from beneath themselves. An amateurish mistake at best, it doesn't inspire much confidence.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by gishzida on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:10PM

    by gishzida (2870) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @01:10PM (#15234) Journal

    Well if the drama keeps up we'll just need a name and organization that reflects it...

  • (Score: 2) by Stuntbutt on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:09PM

    by Stuntbutt (662) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @02:09PM (#15265)

    Thanks for the little-thanked effort. It makes a difference. Please keep up the good work. I've already switched my bookmarks from Slashdot to here, and I'll follow the site should the name change.

    Kudos to providing functional updates without drama.

  • (Score: 1) by petkill on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:29PM

    by petkill (125) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @04:29PM (#15360)

    Please keep up the good work, you can count on the community.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by ancientt on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:26PM

    by ancientt (40) <ancientt@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:26PM (#15506) Homepage Journal

    Unlike many others, I don't mind if it is a for-profit site. I'm quite happy to visit cracked.com and arstechnica.com daily which I assume are both for-profit and quite well managed. I'd rather it be for-profit than fail to survive.

    What do I care about, as somebody who became a paid subscriber to slashdot several years ago? Good content and good discussions. I really want open source quite badly, but honestly it only became really important to me after Dice decided to ignore community feedback.

    Here's the thing: the site won't survive without money. To keep the bills paid, it needs to provide two things: good comments and good articles. Figure out what provides the best chance for money coming in, good comments and good articles then let all the other decisions be driven by that.

    --
    This post brought to you by Database Barbie