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posted by martyb on Friday October 06, @11:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the upon-the-shoulders-of-others dept.

There is a story up on medium.com by Rob Malda (aka CmdrTaco) reflecting on Slashdot's start twenty years ago, on October 5th, 1997. For those who may be new here, the code driving this site you are reading is based on an old version of slashcode. If it weren't for Rob's efforts starting way back then, there would be no SoylentNews today.

Within a few days of DNS registration, Slashdot.org was live. I quickly added polls to answer urgent questions like "How many shots should Kurt drink". While he suffered the results of these polls, I would tail -f on the access_log and the residents of the so-called Geek House would boggle as names like 'mit.edu' and 'microsoft.com' streamed forward faster than we could read.

Rapid change followed: traffic soon created real expenses requiring hardware, colocation, and advertising. The code was in constant flux: adding user accounts, moderation, the submissions bin. And of course performance improvements to deal with the unyielding traffic growth. All the while I posted story after story, and our readers matched us with more comments than we thought possible.

My friends began contributing more and more. From code, to old hardware, to posting stories and coordinating advertising, we formed Blockstackers with a purpose. Slashdot went from from something with a stupid name that I was building into something we were building... with the help of thousands of nerds around the world that we would never meet in person.

I first visited Slashdot in its very early days. I saw the creation of UIDs and nicknames... and the database crash which lost all of the accounts so people had to sign up again. (Those with very low UIDs were very much not pleased!)

The code that drive the site you are reading is based on a version of Slashdot's code which they released as open source. Sadly, that version had not been maintained for years, so it had dependencies on out-of-date packages like Apache, and basically fell all over the floor — many long days were spent to get the code into shape. Our updated version of the code, rehash, is available on github.

I suspect I'm not the only one who came to SoylentNews who has many years' experience on Slashdot. Feel free to use this as an opportunity to share your remembrances of the early days there — and of SoylentNews, as well — which will be 44 months old on October 14th.

[Update: As mentioned in the story, these sites do not run or fund themselves. At the time of this writing, we have received approximately $537 towards our goal of $3000.00 for the half-year period ending 2017-12-31. We accept credit card payments and even Bitcoin. If you would like to contribute something to SoylentNews, please take a moment to go to our Subscribe page. The dollar amount is the minimum amount for the stated duration, but you are free to set it to whatever larger value you like. If you don't want the subscription for yourself, some folks make a gift subscription to NCommander who has UID 2. Oh, and in case you were not aware, none of the staff collect any kind of income for their work — we are all volunteers and give freely of our time and energy. --martyb]


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DBCubix on Friday October 06, @11:48AM

    by DBCubix (553) on Friday October 06, @11:48AM (#577950)

    I remember Slashdot fondly as it was the go-to source for technology news. However, I also remember the acquisition by Dice... Cheers SoylentNews!

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by khallow on Friday October 06, @11:52AM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @11:52AM (#577952) Journal
    From near the end:

    Today I don’t know a single person who has anything to do with the thing that was at the center of my life for 15 years.

    I guess that's the fast way to lose the soul of an organization. Kick out everyone. It must be pretty weird to work in a business which is a couple decades old, and yet not have anyone who's been there for longer than a few years.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Friday October 06, @03:57PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday October 06, @03:57PM (#578077)

      > Kick out everyone.

      Drive them to quit with constantly shitty behavior instead. You save on layoff packages, and the soul-sucking result is the same.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:18PM (#577962)

    Everyone knows that slashdot and indeed all of human life was nothing without cowboyneal.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by HyperQuantum on Friday October 06, @12:19PM (34 children)

    by HyperQuantum (2673) on Friday October 06, @12:19PM (#577963)

    ...and the site still doesn't support Unicode. They could learn a few things from SoylentNews.

    Meanwhile, I visit both Slashdot and SoylentNews regularly, but still prefer Slashdot (sorry guys). The reason? Slashdot has lots of comments in most stories. Most of the time when I see an interesting story on the SoylentNews front page, I am disappointed by the low comment count. The comments are more interesting to me than the stories themselves. I wonder what happened to all those people leaving Slashdot because of the beta thing. Where did they go?

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by BsAtHome on Friday October 06, @12:26PM (1 child)

      by BsAtHome (889) on Friday October 06, @12:26PM (#577971)

      Well, yes, comment count. A start would be that you comment more too? That will add to the count. The site is made by its users, so get commenting ;-)

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @12:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @12:59AM (#578418)

        comment more [often here]

        +1

        .
        The last time I commented at the other site (never signed up there either) was before they made a JavaScript'd glop of the place.
        I still read their front page at the end of the day (sometimes days later).
        The other week, I was surprised when I found 4 stories that interested me enough to look at the comments.
        That's a high count for me these days.

        I have seen Slashdotters, who are also Soylentils, mentioning this place over there when we do something better than they do.
        If you
        1) are already there
        2) have an account
        3) do JavaScript
        then I say take the opportunities as they arise.
        Maybe some there will give us a try.

        ...and maybe they will not even whine when we dup a story or don't put up the story first.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday October 06, @12:31PM (12 children)

      I don't blame you there. They have a much larger pool of people visiting the site to draw different kinds of comments from, so they're much more likely to have a good discussion on a very technical physics story, for example.

      I console myself with the fact that we have a much more engaged community. On stories that we find of interest as a community and have something worth saying, we're definitely closing the gap on raw comment count, despite having less than a tenth of the traffic they get. I think our comments are of a much higher quality overall as well but that could just be my own bias showing.

      --
      Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Kell on Friday October 06, @01:19PM (6 children)

        by Kell (292) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @01:19PM (#577989)

        Part of the saving grace of The Great Exodus is that we attracted a lot of the passionate and engaged people who resented what /. had become. Many of us were core posters. I, for one, continue to boycott Slashdot, even after Beta was quietly shelved (notice how none of their stories ever mentioned the Beta revolt).

        --
        Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
        • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Friday October 06, @05:17PM (2 children)

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:17PM (#578140) Journal

          notice how none of their stories ever mentioned the Beta revolt

          Mostly true, but when (whoever it was) bought sourceforge and slashdot from DHI, I remember several stories acknowledging some huge cockups including beta. Ever so slightly better late than never I guess.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Osamabobama on Friday October 06, @07:48PM (2 children)

          by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday October 06, @07:48PM (#578284)

          Fuck Beta.

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 07, @12:50AM (1 child)

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07, @12:50AM (#578416) Homepage Journal

            I'm glad they perma-banned me before beta. I was actually upset, being the young and petulant shit I was, but they actually did me a favor.

            It was like when George put a bullet through Lenny's head to spare him from the angry mob.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:23PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:23PM (#578055)

        Most of them migrated to Reddit or twitter or other sites.

        If you look at slashdot comment counts, there used to be a period where you'd get thousands of comments on really popular articles, but they've been hovering around 300 for the majority for a number of years now. I think the Slashdot peak was post-Taco based on comments, but at the same time the 'star power' we'd been used to showing up had mostly left by that point (Bruce is still there, but you never see Romero or Carmack, that annoying adult who used to play Wesley Crusher, etc.) Most of that star power now shows up in Reddit AMAs, but reddit is so broad and vast that the rest of the stuff you might be interested in gets lost among the thousands of crap stories posted each day, and the hundreds or thousands of subreddits, many of which may require an invitation to join.

        Really it is a combination of giving people too many choices and also offering walled gardens that is limiting the appeal of Slashdot/Soylent. When you can 'make your own media' in the fashion of webcasts or subreddits, you tend to get sucked into a smaller world that will take up more of your time, but offer less quality material.

        Slashdot/Soylent are good news aggregation sites with discussions, but really most people today prefer their 'safe spaces' whether politically right, or left, or just subculture elitist pricks who don't want to deal with people outside it.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:51PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:51PM (#578074)

          Slashdot/Soylent are good news aggregation sites with discussions, but really most people today prefer their 'safe spaces' whether politically right, or left, or just subculture elitist pricks who don't want to deal with people outside it.

          Today? No. Always. Your village, your neighborhood, etc. It's just that today you have the option of looking outside of the bubble.

          But true, SN is definitely not a safe space :)

          / Hat tip to Mighty Buzzsaw, jmorris, khallow, and other dickheads :P
          / Signed, a European socialist.

          • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Friday October 06, @07:34PM (2 children)

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday October 06, @07:34PM (#578267) Journal

            But true, SN is definitely not a safe space :)

            If you mean in terms of comments using insulting language in lieu of well-reasoned arguments, you're right.
            If you mean in terms of encountering original thought that's outside your filter bubble; haha, you're funny!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:34PM (#577975)

      I think it's just the times, back in '97 things where exciting you could still do things without millions of dollars run from a server under you desk, hardware was cooler and more interesting and things felt like they were going forward not backwards, most IT where not jocko engineering types and where still geeks, soylent has a relatively small user base for the same reason slashdot comments look more like /b than slashdot these days facebork.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Friday October 06, @01:19PM (10 children)

      by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @01:19PM (#577988) Homepage Journal

      I wonder what happened to all those people leaving Slashdot because of the beta thing. Where did they go?

      I still haven't "left" slashdot. Using the one doesn't preclude using the other.

      However, the primary reason that I found soylent worth my time - and a subscription - is because this place works considerably better and the powers-that-lurk tend to listen to, and consider suggestions, whereas slashdot is... I guess the best word is "petrified."

      I can still see many things I really wish were done differently, but that's inevitable. At least I know the people here still are in control of the code to some degree, instead of the other way around.

      Other things that make soylent enjoyable include the lack of invasive advertising, and consistently better story summaries.

      What was that car slogan about "#2 tries harder" or something like that? That's soylent, at least, so far.

      --
      The eyes are the windows to the soul.
      Sunglasses are the window shades.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:08PM (#578043)

        I guess the best word is "petrified."

        No, no, no... we see what you did there! [urbandictionary.com]

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:17PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @03:17PM (#578049)

        Speaking for myself as an AC, I still view both. However, I only really post to SN now. It seems like my comments to /. just strangely vanish all the time (maybe because of modding?), whereas occasionally I'll have comments here drift to +3 to +5. I've even had some submitted articles posted.

        If I had to pick exactly one, though, I'd probably pick SN. It seems like there are fewer click-bait and/or political flame-bait articles here (although there are still some), and the site is littered with tons of advertisements taking 1/2 of the screen space.

        • (Score: 3, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday October 06, @03:26PM (4 children)

          Politics is pretty much always going to be Flamebait nowadays since everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise. At least the bits particularly relevant to us as a community still need to be covered though.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Friday October 06, @04:14PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday October 06, @04:14PM (#578089)

            > everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise

            You're so fucking wrong about this that I won't even start explaining how retarded you are!

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06, @05:28PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Friday October 06, @05:28PM (#578152)

            > everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise

            Well, hey, at least you're getting a little self-awareness. Even if it was an accident, keep it up!

          • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by FakeBeldin on Friday October 06, @07:53PM (1 child)

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday October 06, @07:53PM (#578285) Journal

            I wanted to reply something about this being applicable to the US.

            Then I remembered Brexit. And Cataluni-exit. And the French Presidential elections. And the German elections. And what's happening politically in Poland, and Hungary. And how there have been a steady stream of politicians since about 2000 that spew them vs us rhetoric in hopes of gaining votes - and succeeding.
            Then I figured to say something about this being applicable to the USA and the EU.

            Then I remembered what's happening with the presidential elections in Kenya, and realised that while I know next to nothing about the political situation in the various African nations, the small part I know a little of is rather strongly polarised and fits the bill (both Subsaharan and above the Sahara).

            Then I remembered the current referendum in Australia, and just hearing how some individuals figured to campaign with respect to that. Hard to say it's common over there, but strong polarisation is definitely occurring there as well.
            I was hoping for Asia to help me out here, until I remembered what's happening in Myanmar. Maybe you shouldn't evaluate the most populous continent by what's happening in one nation, but maybe you can judge an entire continent for the lack of actions of a Nobel peace prize winner. Of course, if you say I shouldn't, I can always go with Russia, where rational discourse between opposition and ruling party seems forbidden by the constitution.

            The Arabian peninsula, you say? Let's just say "some parts resemble Russia" and leave it at that.

            South America?
            Again, I know little. I have a vague clue about Venezuela, which is enough to sour anyone's grapes. I've heard about what constitutes "rational discourse" in the Rio favela's - which seems to be judged by the caliber used.

            The worst part is that while writing this post, I keep thinking of more and more examples to add.

            Well, we'll always have Antartica, I guess.

            :(

            • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Monday October 09, @05:58PM

              by bart9h (767) on Monday October 09, @05:58PM (#579340)

              South America?
              Again, I know little.

              So you can add Brazil to your shitlist.
              I'm 44yo, and haven't seen the socio-political scenario being so bad around here.
              It's certainly the worst times since the 60-70s dictatorship.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DECbot on Friday October 06, @03:44PM (1 child)

        by DECbot (832) on Friday October 06, @03:44PM (#578072) Journal

        "Petrified" may be a good word for it. After the Beta revolt, how much did the owners think they could change the code? They don't understand that geeks aren't looking for the shiny, new video support and stupid, lots-of-blank-space JS/CSS3 trends. We value functionality improvements like Unicode support, bitcoin payment, APIs, and IRC integration, and other such improvements that we already have in Rehash as well as operation transparency because why and how the servers run is fascinating to us. I would not be surprised if I heard that the new owners fired the /. developers and froze the code because the "community doesn't want change"--a complete lack of understanding of their community.

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Friday October 06, @07:12PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Friday October 06, @07:12PM (#578247)

          They don't understand that geeks aren't looking for the shiny, new video support and stupid, lots-of-blank-space JS/CSS3 trends.

          The funny thing is, I pointed out that they'd already bumped up their whitespace quite a bit some time (I think around 2010 - 2011) before Beta and I remember another, lesser backlash to that at the time which unfortunately just seemed to fizzle out. And that whitespace is still there to this day.

          Less whitespace in 2010 [archive.org]

          More whitespace in 2011 (and swanky new icons) [archive.org]

          Actually, when I look at those side by side, the difference doesn't look as huge as I remember. I think the comments section was worse. There it may be to do with a blank space being left at the bottom of comments when the "Parent" link auto-hides.

          I still go there very, very occasionally but almost never post. Fuck Beta!

          --
          Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @01:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @01:19AM (#578432)

        I would have said ossified. [google.com]
        (If you're thinking "boneheaded", we're on the same wavelength.)

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:45PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:45PM (#577999)

      Actually, while I came to SN due to Beta, I appreciate that the amount of comments here is still manageable, while on Slashdot there are simply too many for my taste. Especially given the average quality of comment there; if removing all low-quality comments from both sites, I'd not be surprised if the number of remaining comments would be much more comparable. Well, OK, maybe the comments on the green site have improved (I've not been there for quite some time), but somehow I doubt it.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Friday October 06, @05:30PM

        Actually, while I came to SN due to Beta, I appreciate that the amount of comments here is still manageable

        Yes, this. I tried giving ./ another go a while back and found that 300 comments on an article where 90% of them are nonsense, wasn't an effective use of my time. I much prefer the higher quality comments (usually) here on SN.

        --
        My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JeanCroix on Friday October 06, @02:41PM (1 child)

      by JeanCroix (573) on Friday October 06, @02:41PM (#578023)
      I'd been a longtime Slashdot user; I think I started following the site in early '98 and waited a good while before finally registering for a UID (over there, I was in the high 5-digit range). Beta was my main impetus for coming here - it just looked like complete crap on whatever browser I tried. In my first few months here, I'd occasionally take a peek back there to see if they'd fixed it yet, but that gradually tapered off, and it's probably been two years at least since I took a look at all.

      I'm perfectly fine with the lower comment counts here. Slashdot was becoming unmanageable; I just don't have that much time to devote to reading that many. Even here, if the comment count on an article hits much more than 150, I generally don't read them all. And I think that probably, aside from a few one-liners, some of the articles (especially the scientific discovery types) don't really merit a whole lot of comments. I generally read the article, think to myself, "huh, that was neat," and move on to the next with no real commentary required.
      • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Friday October 06, @07:57PM

        by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday October 06, @07:57PM (#578291) Journal

        And I think that probably, aside from a few one-liners, some of the articles (especially the scientific discovery types) don't really merit a whole lot of comments. I generally read the article, think to myself, "huh, that was neat," and move on to the next with no real commentary required.

        Similar here. I love the articles on scientific discoveries. I usually have extremely little to add to them, so I don't comment, but I value them very highly, so please keep submitting them!

    • (Score: 2) by rleigh on Friday October 06, @06:12PM (2 children)

      by rleigh (4887) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @06:12PM (#578194) Homepage

      I prefer quality over quantity. More is better, but only up to the point where they provide additional value, before all the "me too", trolling and flaming swamps the useful discourse.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @06:16PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @06:16PM (#578201)

        Quantity breeds quality if you have a moderation system in place to sort out the garbage.

        • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Friday October 06, @07:59PM

          by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday October 06, @07:59PM (#578294) Journal

          And a sufficient amount of moderators with a sufficient amount of dedication to wade through all the trash to discover the gems.

          With 20 comments in a thread, that's easy.
          With 300 comments in a thread, you'd need a lot of seriously dedicated folks to even read the last 200 comments (before they are moderated).

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday October 06, @12:20PM (1 child)

    It's always painful to see your children grow up. They never quite go the way you think they should. And yet, if they didn't grow beyond your control they wouldn't be worth creating in the first place.

    --
    Save Ferris!
    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 07, @12:56AM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 07, @12:56AM (#578417) Homepage Journal

      Hogwash.

      There was an allusion to Beta a long time before it happened. There was some kind of announcement of beta.slashdot.org, sometime around 2009-ish, and while there, I had the honor of modding CmdrTaco -1, Troll. When he posted in a discussion saying something like "Testing, testing..." I never had mod points again after that.

      There was something in the works. Was that beta related to "evil" beta? Who knows. Maybe ol' Rob had a sense of humor. Maybe they decided that publicly revealing it was going to be a bad idea and they shelved it. Funny thing is, beta.slashdot.org was identical to the regular slashdot.

      Wish I knew the real details behind it, or that Slashdot had an IRC, but I would have wasted my time getting banned by calling Timothy a "Jew." Boy, he didn't like that one bit.

      Then Rob Malda went to work for the Washington Post, a mouthpiece of the deep-state.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:22PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @12:22PM (#577967)

    Naked and petrified. With hot grits down her pants.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:35PM (#577992)

      That human-looking animal is a jewess!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by AndyTheAbsurd on Friday October 06, @01:37PM (9 children)

      by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Friday October 06, @01:37PM (#577993) Journal

      I can't figure out if I should mod this up or down. Nor can I think of a bad car analogy.

      Something something series of tubes for carrying CowboyNeal.

      --
      Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:44PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:44PM (#577998)

        Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by maxwell demon on Friday October 06, @04:46PM (6 children)

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @04:46PM (#578112) Journal

          In Soviet Russia, Beowulf clusters imagine YOU … naked and petrified ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06, @05:13PM (5 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:13PM (#578135) Journal

            I'm only half-naked, you insensitive clod!

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2, Funny) by DECbot on Friday October 06, @05:19PM (4 children)

              by DECbot (832) on Friday October 06, @05:19PM (#578141) Journal

              Memes upon memes!

              It's memes all the way down!

              --
              cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06, @05:24PM

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:24PM (#578147) Journal

                All Your Memes Are Belong to Us.

                I still remember near the end of the great run of that meme seeing it carved in a restroom in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Funny how all that stuff can become part of your lingua franca.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Friday October 06, @05:38PM

                by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday October 06, @05:38PM (#578162) Journal

                We need more Gwyneth Paltrow memes:

                https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/06/26/0326206 [soylentnews.org]
                https://soylentnews.org/~takyon/journal/2451 [soylentnews.org]

                --
                [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Monday October 09, @06:10PM (1 child)

                by bart9h (767) on Monday October 09, @06:10PM (#579346)

                Memes upon memes!
                It's memes all the way down!

                I heard you like memes.
                So I made a meme of a meme, so you can meme while you meme!

                • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Monday October 09, @09:01PM

                  by DECbot (832) on Monday October 09, @09:01PM (#579420) Journal

                  That sounds like a silicon valley business proposal!

                  1. Someone makes a meme
                  2. Someone memes the meme
                  3. Tech startup aggregates and syndicates the memes of the memes
                  4. ???
                  5. Profit!!!

                  Let's write a charter and troll post on HackerNews for VC cash! No one will beat our burn rate!

                  --
                  cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by LoRdTAW on Friday October 06, @06:48PM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @06:48PM (#578223) Journal

        At least it's not a GNAA post.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by aim on Friday October 06, @01:05PM (3 children)

    by aim (6322) on Friday October 06, @01:05PM (#577982)

    I was on /. early enough, 1999-ish probably. The term "slashdotting" was a thing, essentially an online flashmob overwhelming most websites that were linked by a /. article. Unlike /. itself, most sites weren't really built for scale. This showed especially on 9/11, when pretty much every news site out there simply went down, much later coming up again with a very few static pages. /. by contrast stayed up and prevailed, even if running more slowly than usual. I recall a much higher number of comments than usual, maybe a couple thousand comments on a single story.

    The site's much changed from what it used to be, both regarding the stories posted as well as the comments. There's way too little "news for nerds" and way too many braindead or political (let's term it SJW vs "Trump is god" wars, as if there were only 2 insane extremes in the world) posts.

    SoylentNews has better features, IMHO better stories... though not necessarily better comments, certainly less numerous.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:42PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @01:42PM (#577997)

      SN has very bad moderating.

      Try mentioning the jews (without accusing them of anything whatsoever, even though they are very guilty of every crime that could possible exist)...

      Here come the troll mods, and they all come from JIDF. Amazingly, very few non-jews try to fix the JIDF issues.

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday October 06, @01:17PM (4 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday October 06, @01:17PM (#577986)

    I remember where I was working when I found it. I fondly remember the slashdotting effect, it was amazing how many sites couldn't handle extra traffic without crashing.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by inertnet on Friday October 06, @02:48PM (3 children)

      by inertnet (4071) on Friday October 06, @02:48PM (#578028)

      I'm sure some servers are still traumatized today.

      • (Score: 1) by terrab0t on Friday October 06, @03:57PM (2 children)

        by terrab0t (4674) on Friday October 06, @03:57PM (#578076)

        By now the Slashdot effect is an old legend passed down to servers from generations past. Most of them have never seen it themselves. Only intentional DDOS attacks can do that now.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by DECbot on Friday October 06, @05:43PM

          by DECbot (832) on Friday October 06, @05:43PM (#578168) Journal

          I can see the conversation now between grampa server and little junior.

          Jr: Is it true, grandpa, that back in your day a few thousand meatbags could DDOS a site by just visiting a website?

          Gramps: Not only was it true, we dreaded the day when the meatbags would link to our website to news aggregators like that accursided slashdot. From there, all the pimply-faced meatbags from their command centers in their mother's basements would initiate their attack, with unprecedented coordination their for their race.

          Jr: Golly grampa, you guys must have been slow.

          Gramps: You kids have it easy with your load balancers, cdns, and gigabit networks. Slashdot now is only a shadow of its previous self. It was far more threatening in the old days when it commanded all the world's geeks. Now it serves only a fraction of them as many have migrated to other, newer aggregators.

          (sorry for the typos and such, posting on the mobile device)

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @07:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @07:10PM (#578243)

          "By now the Slashdot effect is an old legend passed down to servers from generations past. Most of them have never seen it themselves. Only intentional DDOS attacks can do that now."

          It still happens occasionally, at least with other sites. E.g., when a personal website with no CDN gets to HN frontpage. We also had a few examples apparently brought down by SN, aka Soyled.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by fliptop on Friday October 06, @01:46PM (1 child)

    by fliptop (1666) on Friday October 06, @01:46PM (#578000) Journal

    On SN I get 10 mod points every day. Nuff said.

    --
    It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bart9h on Monday October 09, @06:12PM

      by bart9h (767) on Monday October 09, @06:12PM (#579347)

      And I can still comment on a thread that I have moded on!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bradley13 on Friday October 06, @01:59PM (1 child)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @01:59PM (#578005) Homepage Journal

    That explains it. I knew I had a low-UID Slashdot account, but I had stopped reading it for a while. When I came back, much later, I could never find my account, so wound up creating a new one. I never heard about the lost user data, so TFS resolves a long-standing mystery...

    Ah, the days of the /.-effect, where publishing a link on /. would bring a website to its knees.

    Nowadays, I think the tech community is a bit jaded. More articles (both /. and here) are political, fewer are truly tech. There are more places to go for tech news, but none of them support the kind of discussions that these sites support.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:56PM (#578121)

      The basic problem is that as the net went commercial, politics came along for the ride (have to protect those monied interests after all) and things turned crap afterwards. On top of that the 90s ended and with it the ISA zoo, with its Sparcs and Alphas and whatsnot. Now there is x86 on the desktop and ARM everywhere else, and little else to talk about.

      The entry of Apple and Google into the mobile world may have introduced the masses to "smartphones", but for the oldertimers it was basically a reset of a clock to the late 90s as both iphone and android lacks capabilities that PocketPC and Symbian had delivered for years.

      And now phones are entering the same doldrums as the PC has, as all that can really be shown is more bits and bytes, more pixels, and nothing that really makes one wonder if something groundbreaking is coming around the corner.

      In other words, tech has gone political because there is nothing left but politics to talk about.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SomeGuy on Friday October 06, @02:37PM (9 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday October 06, @02:37PM (#578018)

    I remember when the Slashdot web site was usable on many different browsers on many different platforms, including much older and obscure ones (Amiga, BeOS, OS/2, and so on). And being a site for nerds, that was cool and even supported. But looking at the site now it seems to require a fairly recent web browser, with the increasingly usual impression that things might break if one is not running the absolute latest browser on only Windows, Mac, and Linux. Soylent stands a better chance of working in such environments now.

    Looking at it now, even with an ad blocker, it is full of advertisements. Anyone else remember Dejanews? The once popular newsgroup search engine that towards the end was 99% advertising? It is a pattern often repeated and I see slashdot slowly heading down this road too.

    Not to mention the entire slashdot community turned fairly toxic. Interesting posts get downmodded and buried, with a high level of groupthink everywhere. Early on, slashdot had some very bright and even well known individuals in the community. Sadly Soylentnews has not really attracted that kind of community, and probably won't with all of the DN spam posts, trolls, and seemingly every other story descending in to mindless religious debates.

    Still, I ask around if there are any other good sources of tech news and I don't really see any other tech sites that aren't pure useless clickbait.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @02:52PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @02:52PM (#578032)

      I remember trying to read /.'s mobile version on my Android phone and saw a bunch of porn adverts, not cool for a father of 3 daughters. Also the goatse links that kept showing up moved me away.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by i286NiNJA on Friday October 06, @04:40PM

        by i286NiNJA (2768) on Friday October 06, @04:40PM (#578105)

        If there were still links to goatse then you left during the best years.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:13PM (#578087)

      I am not sure how classic it still is, and it requires logging in, but it might work.

      Uses a similiar non-css layout to early SN.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:59PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:59PM (#578124)

      Effectively the web became a new terminal. One that chews JS and spits out pretty pictures.

      HTML, once the bedrock of the web, has been relegated to a bunch of div tags that JS and CSS can latch on to.

      Just watch the likes of Google and Mozilla go back and forth about who has the best performing JS engine.

      • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Friday October 06, @05:51PM (4 children)

        by DECbot (832) on Friday October 06, @05:51PM (#578176) Journal

        I liked the older Emacs vs Vi war or even the KDE vs Gnome war more than the new JS engine war. I might as well be watching sportsball.

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06, @07:19PM (3 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @07:19PM (#578253) Journal

          What about systemd? I really thought that one would have legs.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2, Informative) by DECbot on Saturday October 07, @04:20AM (2 children)

            by DECbot (832) on Saturday October 07, @04:20AM (#578474) Journal

            I thought so too. I think Debian's snap decision to adopt systemd is what killed the init war. After that, there was a bit of bitching a moaning about the overreach of a technical committee with conflicts of interest and whatnot. The people who cared about init choice initially attempted to articulate grievances about the technical merits of systemd to a bunch of self righteous children. After their whining and gnashing of teeth was successfully thwarted by the systemd blowhards, they forked debian or went to gentoo/slackware/BSD while the rest of the debian/ubuntu/debian-downstream world shoved their collective heads in the sand, held hands, and sang show tunes.

            So, here I am 6 months after support has stopped, still on Xubuntu & Mate 12.04 and trying to figure out if I'm jumping ship and trying FreeBSD or Slack/Gentoo or suck up my pride and dick around with systemd/systemd-shim.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday October 07, @12:27PM

              Might give Calculate [calculate-linux.org] a try in a VM before you decide. It's essentially Gentoo with a BINHOST that serves up binary versions of most any package that you don't feel the need to customize the compilation flags on. And a couple handy admin scripts that you can use or not as you like.

              --
              Save Ferris!
            • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Monday October 09, @06:22PM

              by bart9h (767) on Monday October 09, @06:22PM (#579349)

              still on Xubuntu & Mate 12.04 and trying to figure out

              Just take the path of least resistance.

              Xubuntu is based on Ubuntu; which is based on Debian; which was forked, like you mentioned, to Devuan.

              So, if you are affected by the inertia, the easiest way is to just install Devuan with the MATE desktop.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Snospar on Friday October 06, @03:27PM

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @03:27PM (#578061)

    Like many others I spent a lot of time on Slashdot back in the day but when BETA came along and revealed the staggering disregard Dice had for the community they had bought I'd had enough.

    So pleased that Soylent is working out so well. It still has the feel of a smaller community but I still think the interesting stories come through and the comments are a good range of informative, entertaining and outrageous. The lower number of comments, and reduced amount of dross, means I can let almost all of them through whereas on Slashdot (by the end) I was filtering so much the discussions just weren't that interesting.

    I should have a witty "The King is dead. Long live the King" type of comment but it's Friday at the end of a very long week so meh. I'll finish by saying something here on Soylent made me subscribe which was something that never happened over on green - and I'll do it again when it rolls around.

    A big thank you to all the tireless volunteers who keep things going; I hope we can keep this alive as long as possible, celebrating a twentieth anniversary is a milestone to aim for.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06, @03:37PM (6 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @03:37PM (#578068) Journal

    I found Slashdot very early as well. I think it had been around less than a year at that time. I had a 4-digit UID.

    That site played an important role in my life then. It was a community of fellow geeks who were a grab-bag of crazy weird but really smart. The college I attended had a lot of really smart people, too, but for the most part they weren't the off-the-wall thinkers I feel fellowship with. The technical discussions with choice references to Tolkien or Dr. Who or other geeky pop culture resonated with me, because they were speaking my language.

    The moderation system it developed remains, I believe, its lasting contribution to online culture. It's not perfect, but it produces a better signal-to-noise ratio than almost anything else online. The polls were fun, too, but have been less central.

    Those structural features produced a better conversation that attracted knowledgeable people from many walks of life, including known players like Bruce Perens. It was refreshing to have the experience of reading a story on, say, new rocket engine designs and read posts from people at JPL in the comments.

    The site was a sanctuary also through some awful moments in world history. Columbine was a memorable one. Millions of geeks knew exactly where the shooters were coming from because they had also suffered the same abuse in school. 9/11 was another. That day here in New York was tense, not knowing if my girlfriend (now wife) was still alive because she had gotten on the A train 20 minutes before the first tower collapsed, which timing would have placed her at the station under the WTC then. Slashdot got me through it. When Rob Malda proposed to his girlfriend was another memorable moment, and it felt like it was happening to my brother.

    And yet with all that history, Dice ruined it all with Beta. I had not thought it was possible to destroy my affection for that place. When they forced CmdrTaco out, the light went out.

    Soylent is a reprise of early Slashdot, the best Slashdot. The comment counts are lower. That's fine. There's good discussion happening, and that's the important thing. I hope that we can all pitch in to make it even better. The door is really open to help out with editing, story submissions, and coding. If you can spare some cycles for any of that, it would be welcome. If you've subscribed already but money is the only way you can support the community, consider buying some swag or perhaps buying a gift subscription for somebody else. I did that last year for somebody whose politics I loathe but who makes too many good points to ignore; it was really hard to do but I wanted to help Soylent and thought it might build community.

    Anyway, congratulations to Slashdot for 20 years. I hope they find their way back to sunnier, better places. But I don't go back there and am happy to keep homesteading here.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:18PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:18PM (#578090)

      I don't remember if he was there in the early days or more the mid '00s, but he provided lots of insight into cases that Perens didn't really get into.

      Don't remember all the other nicks, but there were a number of people in the tech or gaming industry, a few even higher up, who would occasionally post on specific articles that they had further information on, sometimes from the corporate side of things.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 06, @05:20PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:20PM (#578142) Journal

        Yeah he was an excellent member of that community. It was the Napster days, or shortly thereafter, and he gave a lot of legal perspective on that, the DMCA, and the other early moments when legal bullshit started bumming our ride in tech.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:29PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @04:29PM (#578096)

      I had kind of remember him having written it off before that point. Dice was the 3rd owner in however many years at that point. I remember not a whole lot of communication from him at that point. I think RobLimo or somebody was the main contact at that point, plus all the shitty staff that kept posting dupes and otherwise making things feel bad.

      Honestly Slashdot has kept going because every company that tried to replace its niche, digg, facebook(some things), reddit, twitter(for some things), all did a worse job, and were all bigger corporate assholes.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by requerdanos on Friday October 06, @05:27PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:27PM (#578150) Journal

        Honestly Slashdot has kept going because every company that tried to replace its niche... all did a worse job, and were all bigger corporate assholes.

        You could argue that Soylentnews is trying to replace Slashdot's niche, but Soylentnews...

        • Doesn't do a worse job in any area except perhaps comment count/userbase size
        • Isn't corporate
        • Scores significantly lower on the asshole scale than almost any other site management I've every known
    • (Score: 2) by SacredSalt on Friday October 06, @11:33PM

      by SacredSalt (2772) on Friday October 06, @11:33PM (#578393)

      I don't know, the moderation system used to work a lot better before it became a social justice war with it. I can barely stand to use Slashdot these days because of it, and unfortunately its a larger societal issue so it isn't really going away. I don't how such a system of moderation could really be fixed other than a smaller user base with more head sense and restraint.

      I have one of those 5 digit user names there. I miss when just listing a site on there in a story could take it down, and before we had much in the way of laws for the internet about a lot of things. While beta was awful, I think a lot of other things forced users to want to be elsewhere too.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @03:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 07, @03:11AM (#578463)

      I was a bit late to the game.
      I don't even remember what I was searching for, but an article from mid-March came up that said

      a hack to modify the $99 Iopener internet appliance to be able to run Linux

      Flat Panel Linux Box for $99? [slashdot.org]

      Hmmm. Interesting article.
      Let's see what else this site has.
      The hook was set.

      .
      For weeks, the other site had had a dearth of tags on articles--many had no tags at all.
      The last few days, there hasn't been a single article that did -not- have 3 tags.
      Editors sprucing things up for the anniversary?
      More active Slashdotters?
      Who knows?

      I like tags. They can be useful.
      Sometimes they're just plain fun.

      .
      Dice ruined it

      Concentrated wealth used for acquisitions for something other than expanding the core business often tends to have that effect.
      They had lots of spare cash but had no idea what to do with it after they bought it.
      To put it another way: Capitalism sucks--especially when it's poorly regulated.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Friday October 06, @05:32PM (6 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday October 06, @05:32PM (#578157) Journal

    Fundraise off of Slashdot's 20 year anniversary! Braaaghghghghgh!

    The current fundraising goal doesn't look reachable to me. We ought to trim a server or three. But if SN eventually can't raise enough funds and has to be put down, where would I go next?

    Slashdot: I have the account ready to go. With some tinkering, I could get the userscript working over there, although too bad about Unicode support. The site may have sluggish required JavaScript even with ads hidden, I'd have to check that. I could say goodbye to subbing so many subs everyday. Some of you are still there so that's nice. I don't know the extent to which Slashdot bans/hides its most unruly users but I doubt I'd feel the need to test that.

    Reddit: Big user base with more communities mashed together and a decent signal-to-noise ratio depending on the subreddit. Censorship is not only rampant but in many cases automatic (like when I posted a wccftech link in the wrong place). If the censorship was too overbearing on certain subs I could try Voat instead, but I'm afraid that the userbase is too small.

    Hacker News: Haven't commented there before IIRC. Might be amusing to try and troll a VC, assuming any are left there.

    The Register, Ars Technica, AnandTech: I have blown a couple of accounts at The Register into nanny status due to trolling. Waiting for your shit to get approved or arbitrarily deleted is aggravating. Ars Technica covers some of the same ground with relatively high quality so I might make an account there. AnandTech is focused on PC hardware, so I'd probably comment there in combination with other sites.

    NextBigFuture: Decent selection of topics; gets into stuff like transhumanism, space, and EmDrive (as well as cold fusion) a lot. From what I can tell one of the star users of that community, GoatGuy [nextbigfuture.com], is nowhere to be found. I'll say this: If EmDrive is proven to be a real, working technology, then I'll hang out at NBF more. The latest [nextbigfuture.com] (alt [iflscience.com]) is that Chinese media/scientists seem to be implying that progress is going great at a level of thrust far above experimental error/noise. If EmDrive 1.0 works, it could have a big effect on space travel, satellites, and asteroid mining. If EmDrive 2.0/3.0 works, it would be the biggest invention of the century.

    *chan: Bad for your psyche, discussions might not be archived depending on the site, lots of noise, much slower depending on the board.

    Dark web equivalent: Everyone is talking about decentralization while using centralized sites. If there was a nice, relatively large news/tech discussion community on .onion, Freenet, i2p, etc. then that might be an ideal replacement. What I expect is that it would be considerably smaller than SN with more noise/hate. But if you want to talk the talk you need to walk the walk.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @05:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06, @05:51PM (#578175)

      The current fundraising goal doesn't look reachable to me.

      Have some faith, it'll be fine.

      EmDrive

      Scratch the faith :- microwaves bouncing around a copper can cannot and do not provide any meaningful thrust.

    • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Friday October 06, @07:24PM (2 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Friday October 06, @07:24PM (#578254)

      Hacker News: Haven't commented there before IIRC. Might be amusing to try and troll a VC, assuming any are left there.

      What's a VC?

      The thing I don't get about Hacker News that really irritates me every time I read the comments is almost invariably one person posts an interesting comment, another person replies and then the OP never responds in the thread. You get threads with about 8 or more people each posting only one reply and so no real discussion.

      What causes that? Is it short attention spans combined with a high number of posters? It does seem to be full of workaholics so maybe they're just too damn busy to follow up on their thread.

      I also find the naive obsessions with fad diets there very strange. Surely a talented IT professional would possess the critical thinking skills to see through that crap. Maybe it's the naive innocence of youth?

      --
      Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday October 06, @07:26PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday October 06, @07:26PM (#578257) Journal

        VC = venture capitalist

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Friday October 06, @07:33PM

          by acid andy (1683) on Friday October 06, @07:33PM (#578265)

          Ah, of course. My brain was stuck on Visual C *shudders and scrubs self* Get it off! Get it off!

          --
          Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
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