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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 25 2019, @06:00PM   Printer-friendly

Greetings!

To those of you who may be celebrating a holiday at this time of year, on behalf of the staff at SoylentNews, please accept my best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

For Fun:

With glee I am pleased to announce that The Mighty Buzzard has given a gift to all registered users on the site. These are good until 2019-12-26 00:10:00.

Thank You!

As the end of the year approaches, I extend my humble thanks to all of you who have subscribed to SoylentNews!

As of this writing, we have received $1799.47 towards a goal of $2000.00 for the second half of the year. All funds received go directly to supporting the site: web hosting, domain name renewal, tax preparation, etc. Nobody has ever received any money for their work on SoylentNews. We are staffed entirely by volunteers who give of their free time to keep the site running and the story queue filled. By my estimate, we have probably passed the minimum funds received that are needed to support the site for this half of the year... but actually reaching the goal would give us a bit of a cushion against the unexpected. To those who have let their subscription lapse and to those who may have never subscribed before: please subscribe and help us meet our goal.

Folding@Home:

Rarely mentioned, but SoylentNews does have a folding@home team which recently surpassed one billion points earned and now holds 218th place in the entire world! Here are views of their progress individually and as a team. Their efforts contribute to helping medical research into Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and many forms of cancer, among other diseases.

This Year So Far:

The SoylentNews web site has been available 24 hours day, 7 days a week... except for a couple relatively brief unplanned outages. Further our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) has been available throughout this time, as well. (There may have been a brief downtime due to scheduled Linode maintenance on our servers.) Also, behind the scenes, all the supporting back-end stuff has been chugging along: web servers, databases, caches, E-Mail processing, and lots more. Those of you who have been with us since the start remember the frequent site crashes of those early days. Often several times per day! The rarity of site crashes, now, is a testament to the hard work of many people who gave of their time and expertise to make SoylentNews so stable, today.

These are the folk who quietly mind the underpinnings of and automate everything so well you don't even know they are there and would likely feel embarrassed if attention were brouht to them. Please join me in thanking them, anyway!

Some Numbers:

The editorial staff at SoylentNews has posted 4,884 stories to SoylentNews since 2019-01-01. With a very conservative estimate of 5 minutes per story, that amounts to 407 hours' time. Put another way, that is 10 full-time person-weeks.

Please join me in thanking the editors who have so generously given of their free time to make this happen!

Thanks Again!

Lastly, I am taking advantage of this opportunity to again thank everyone who offered their support during my recent health issue. I'm still a little wobbly typing with my left hand's pinky, but as things could have gone, I'll take this any day of the week, instead! It is my sincere hope that by sharing my experience, it may help someone else make a change in their life and avoid my experience or much worse.


Original Submission

Related Stories

On the Road to Recovery after a Minor Stroke 86 comments

The observant among you may have noticed I'd been posting fewer stories recently.

On October 27th I went to the hospital. After a physical examination, CT scan, and MRI, it was determined that I had had a minor stroke. I had mild loss of use of the pinky and ring finger of my left hand as well as some loss of fine motor control in my left arm and leg. A couple days later saw me in the operating room with a stent being inserted in my right carotid artery. I was released on Halloween day for a few days' recuperation at a relative's home and am now cleared to go back to work. I'm starting easy with slightly shortened work days, as I lack the stamina I had before.

Still, as these things go, I can't help but think of how fortunate I am. Nothing internal seems to have been affected (heart, lungs, etc. all working fine.) I am right-handed, so no problems there. No problem with talking or swallowing, so that's a huge plus. Thanks to neural plasticity and prescribed exercises, I have already mostly recovered. The lack of stamina manifests as my just being too tired after a day at work to be able to do much in the way of posting stories out to the site. As for my mind, I can attest that I am still as tarp as a shack! =)

As much as I would like to think I'll just bounce back to normal in no time, I acknowledge that my activities here will be at a somewhat diminished capacity for a while; time will tell.

Folding@Home Joins Fight Against SARS-CoV-2; New Folders Prompty Drain Work Unit Queue 38 comments

Don't worry; they'll make more.

[Editor's preface: SoylentNews has a Folding@Home team (#230319) As of this writing, SoylentNews.org is ranked at number 210 in the entire world! My current Core 2 Duo laptop would do little to support the effort compute-wise, so I assist as best I can by cheerleading, communicating our team's progress, and similar activities. We have a channel on our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server "#folding" where there is sporadic discussion about progress. Check out the list of previous stories at the bottom of this story... to get involved, just mention it in the comments and come join our team!

If you are wondering what in the world F@H is, Wikipedia has a nice summary of Folding@Home . And, of course, there is F@H's "About" page, too. --martyb]

Intro:
If you are a Folding@Home (F@H) contributor, you may have noticed that you aren't getting your normal allotment of work units. It appears to have started some time Friday, March 13. The root cause? Schools shutting down around the United States.

Looking for Work [Units]:
Kids are scared (some more, some less) of the Coronavirus, they read something somewhere about efforts such as F@H that are working on curing various diseases. Those kid's gaming rigs are exactly what F@H and other similar research groups need. And, some of these kids have machines that most of us would envy! A well-built gaming machine is simply awesome!

https://foldingforum.org/viewforum.php?f=61

That forum is filled with "newbs" trying to figure out how to set up F@H on their machines, and then complaining that they can't get a work unit.

This post, specifically, explains that the huge influx of volunteers has depleted the available work units. https://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=32424 Apparently, on Friday, the staff filled the WU servers' caches with the normal weekend's amount of WU's and they were gone by early Saturday morning. Someone volunteered to work on Saturday to refill the caches, which were promptly emptied out again.

One of the posts on the F@H forum suggests that F@H has about 4 times the number of folders that it had a week ago.

What to do?
If you find yourself unable to download a WU, take a look at the log. You will probably find complaints,
"No WUs available for this configuration" and/or "Port 8080 unreachable, trying port 80" and/or "no http service available".

Those and more are all related to the fact that the servers are being hammered by half a zillion school kids who are looking for something useful to do with their time, and their computers.

Be patient, and just let your client work through it. It will eventually download a work unit, crunch it, and return it.

Official Statement:
Straight from the F@H project: Coronavirus – What we're doing and how you can help in simple terms – Folding@home

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by pkrasimirov on Wednesday December 25 2019, @06:16PM (1 child)

    by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 25 2019, @06:16PM (#936075)

    Thank you and please accept my best wishes for everything good to you!

    About the mod points I would gladly spend them immediately if I could mod the entire article, much like a single comment.

    Here is one +1 Thank You mod.

    Have nice holidays!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by AnonTechie on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:14PM

      by AnonTechie (2275) on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:14PM (#936098) Journal

      It has been a pleasure and a privilege to interact with so many members of Soylent News. A hearty thank you to all the Editors and other volunteers who help to keep this website up.

      May this festive season warm your soul, bring love to your heart and bless with all good things this life has to offer.

      Cheers !!

      --
      Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Coward, Anonymous on Wednesday December 25 2019, @06:51PM

    by Coward, Anonymous (7017) on Wednesday December 25 2019, @06:51PM (#936081) Journal

    I'm glad to hear you're on the mend. Thanks to everyone for the solid website and many good stories.

  • (Score: 1) by jon3k on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:00PM (1 child)

    by jon3k (3718) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:00PM (#936094)

    I tried to subscribe but the link was broken. Oh well, maybe next year!

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by martyb on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:11PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:11PM (#936097) Journal

      I tried to subscribe but the link was broken. Oh well, maybe next year!

      Huh? Looks at story. Hmmm. That link looks okay. Oh?! That link is not okay. Type type type. "Save".

      /me scrapes egg off face.

      Should be fixed, now. Please give it another try!

      Just in case, this is the link to subscribe: https://soylentnews.org/subscribe.pl [soylentnews.org]

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:01PM

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday December 25 2019, @08:01PM (#936095) Journal

    Thank you and merry Xmas. If all that's left is the pinky lacking some dexterity, it will probably come back eventually, so great news indeed.

    --
    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 25 2019, @09:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 25 2019, @09:25PM (#936110)

    As a mere Anonymous Coward, perhaps it is not proper for a lowly scum such as I to offer my thanks for SN's existence, but I do so anyway. I have enjoyed, in my own plebeian way, the many articles posted here, and not a few of the comments. Why, a handful of the named posters here even appear to retain some elements of sanity; though that just barely.

    Remember that we outcast curs are still out here, some appreciating the site, others cursing it heartily, and many switching from the one to the other on a post by post basis.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday December 25 2019, @10:22PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday December 25 2019, @10:22PM (#936126) Journal

    I get a ton of value out of this site. It is the first thing I check when I sidle up to my computer, and I often check throughout the day. Thank you for all you do.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday December 26 2019, @01:36AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday December 26 2019, @01:36AM (#936154) Journal

    χαρουμενα χριστουγεννα.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26 2019, @07:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 26 2019, @07:48AM (#936204)

    Miss you, realDonaldTrump!

  • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Thursday December 26 2019, @12:41PM (4 children)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Thursday December 26 2019, @12:41PM (#936228) Journal

    This is good stuff. I am glad I decided to become more involved this year and step out of the lurker shadows.

    I hope everyone has had a good time observing the descending shills as I share. I thought I would share some memes from the year.

    Also, just curious, do we have any stats on how many visitors come to the site? Breakdown by country? Most viewed story?

    I made this to illustrate the feeling of finally migrating my ideas to a static site:

    https://archive.is/UNdBi [archive.is]

    And this to respond to the people who think I am nuts:

    https://archive.is/BGPJK [archive.is]

    And this to respond to the agents who I know lurk:

    https://archive.is/8iqjM [archive.is]

    And this is perhaps my best explanatory meme for why I am stepping up my anger against the clownigarchy we have at the moment:

    https://archive.is/ZinJT [archive.is]

    And this is the big warning everyone needs to get through their head, whether you hear it from me with green eggs or ham,

    https://archive.is/YkJr8 [archive.is]

    And this is maybe my most deep-level meta meta meme to date, that they really hated at reddit:

    https://archive.is/QBVQJ [archive.is]

    And this is the best https://archive.is/dmjdmexplanation [archive.is] I have for my political beliefs in one picture, which I think can help a lot of people sort the propaganda:

    https://archive.is/dmjdm [archive.is]

    And a partial list of my upvoted comments, or the comments I am most proud of:

    https://archive.is/FHpOa [archive.is]

    And of course, be ready in 2020 to stuff the powergrab the republicans(and lets face it, the illuminati/jewish mafia) are gearing for, and have been gearing up for since 1963.

    Or prepare for the the alternative, get ready for a full on 1984 dystopia and more than a few purges of undesireable intellectuals, including everyone who doesn't believe the official 9/11 story. Which is to say, to prepare for the alternative, you are going to need to remove your brain in order to get by, or prepare to lick the boots of the eventual inheritants of the Trump dynasty.

    No big deal right? Just another year. Hopefully though we will all look back on this post next year and call me crazy.

    Alarmists who do their work well however will be cursed and blessed at the same time as their dire prophecies happily fail to come true, as the people who were forewarned actually do their fucking jobs. - me

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday December 26 2019, @09:21PM (3 children)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Thursday December 26 2019, @09:21PM (#936370) Homepage Journal

      Also, just curious, do we have any stats on how many visitors come to the site?

      Not reliable ones. ToR alone makes that fairly well impossible without using tracking methods we'd consider dishonest. About all we can tell you is we had 28K and change (unique as far as we can tell) hits on the front page from Christmas and the prior six days.

      Breakdown by country?

      Nope, we don't collect IP addresses even long enough to geotrack.

      Most viewed story?

      Check the Hall of Fame on the site nav bar on the left for the all time ones. I'd have to run a query on the DB for any other time range than forever.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Friday December 27 2019, @02:33PM (2 children)

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Friday December 27 2019, @02:33PM (#936533) Journal

        Thanks, interesting.

        How about top 10 most viewed stories for 2019?

        Can you track users against upvotes, like are there users that get the most informative upvotes? Or could we see if anon coward for instance has the most informative posts vs the rest of us?

        And still no idea what took the site down in august? No similar episodes since?

  • (Score: 2) by DavePolaschek on Thursday December 26 2019, @01:54PM

    by DavePolaschek (6129) on Thursday December 26 2019, @01:54PM (#936239) Homepage Journal

    I seldom use all of my ten mod points and completely missed the ten extras. Checked in yesterday before they were given out, and came back today after they had expired. Oh well. Merry Christmas, gang.

  • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Thursday December 26 2019, @02:22PM (1 child)

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Thursday December 26 2019, @02:22PM (#936251) Journal

    I think any extra cushion ought to go to TMB and/or any henchmen he might care to designate.

    He's the one keeping the nuts and bolts from falling off, and/or supervising same.

    Having said that, I'd be a lot more willing to generally donate fundage to the site (above and beyond my subscription) if:

    • It wasn't 100% volunteer (people deserve tangible reward for their efforts)
    • There was a little less resistance to change/improvement. There's a pretty strong NIH component holding soylent back, IMHO.

    --
    Money can't buy love, but it can sure buy a yacht to pull up next to it on.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday December 26 2019, @09:35PM

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Thursday December 26 2019, @09:35PM (#936375) Homepage Journal

      The main thing holding us back at the moment are the renovations I'm doing on the church I'm soon (before winter's over, almost certainly) to be moving in to. I really, really don't want to code after busting my ass at construction work all day, I just want to sit and veg. The frantic pace will very much slow down after we're all relocated though and I should be able to get back to the grindstone.

      As for volunteering, we're compensated with a site we enjoy using, same as those who shell out to cover the bills. If you really want to throw out an individual gratuity though, Bass Pro or Gander Outdoors gift cards are always welcome on my end of things but the eds put in a lot more time than I do lately.

      Oh and resistance to change for change's sake is why SN exists (Fuck Beta!), so we're understandably a bit on the conservative side as far as shiny and new goes.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
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