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.
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 John DID have access to the Linode account which was revoked when he left staff, but to my knowledge never had the root password or shell accounts on any of the boxes. That access was revoked.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.
Sorry, had that lyric line in my head as I read various posts ("This is the end...") (And Morrison was one for dramatics thus on my brain).
1 - Drama sucks. But, it exists and the S/N community should look back at all our "wonderfully supportive" comments and ask, did I really mean it? If so, sit the hell down, let the child fight it out and when it's over, continue on. The notion that just because there is (omg) drama does not mean we so quickly jump ship. FFS, the one thing you can say about NCommander is that he has been up front, honest and willing to work with his community.
2 - I am one of the many who (in moments) complain about the site's appearance and interaction. Given that I do accept that it takes FUCKING TIME to make changes when you are dealing with a new site starting up, perhaps a real job, and trying to build a community while attempting to keep the foundation as it was meant to be, Open. We got pissed at /. because they went all closed source, ad links up the wazoo, and scripting that seemed to upset some (if not many silently). So now we have a site that runs simple, doesn't look snappy, but does not collect information, does not require ad block, does not try to run unknown scripts...the site we wanted and it has been dishing up good content. I figure over time the site will adapt and improve. Hell, if I knew how to write in its core language I'd be happy to help fix something (like the red, or posting comments inline. I remember how well that went at /. when it was rolled out).
3 - Many of us came here, not pipe dot (and yes, sounds limp) for we felt it was the best alternative to what /. is for the idea was to take the best of what /. was and move it forward again. Can the same be said for |. or techacrat? I plan to give NCommander and S/N a chance. No news feeds till noon is okay (I got to get work done), and the folks behinds the scenes have worked long and hard to earn that much time and loyalty from me.
We don't really know the whole truth, certainly John (barabbas which seems an apt name at the moment) has a voice which he can use, but in the end, this is about keeping something potentially good going, and not just knee-jerking are way around the internet. Michael, you got my support, no reason to go. Good luck.