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posted by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @12:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Not-the-Things-made-by-VW dept.

It has been a while since I've written a site summary, and I've been meaning to do so for a while now. So, I'm just going to get started and hope that will motivate my getting it done.

As always, if this kind of story is not of interest to you, another story will be along before long.

Otherwise, read on below the fold for what's been happening.

  • Daylight Saving Time
  • Things are Difficult for Everyone
  • Digging out of my System Crash
  • System Outages
  • Staffing
  • Story Cadence
  • Statistics
  • Fundraising
  • Site Updates/Enhancements

Daylight Saving Time:
If you live in the USA, there's a very good chance that Daylight Saving Time ended over the weekend for you and you were supposed to set your clocks back. Consider this a friendly Public Service Announcement just in case you forgot. Please be aware that, historically, people tend to struggle with the time shift for a week or so.

Things are Difficult for Everyone:
Times are tough for many people right now. COVID-19 and lockdowns. Businesses closed or under limited attendance and hours. Many schools are closed, under restricted attendance, or a hybrid combination of online and in-person attendance. Parents are trying to juggle work-from-home, often while trying to watch over their kids.

Please be mindful that people you meet — on-line or in-person — may be struggling, just like you. Please take a moment to reflect on where they are coming from and not lash out at people, just as you might wish for others to be patient with you. Maybe even call up a friend and ask how the are doing. We can all do something to help make it a little easier on those we meet.

Also, Election day is Tuesday, November 3 in the US. You may have heard about the Presidential election, but there are a host of other races, as well. To cap things off, election results in many cases may not be known for several days after election day. I found this provided a nice summary.

Digging out of my System Crash:
I blew up my windows install and decided to use that as an incentive to switch over to Linux — Ubuntu Mate, still in progress. For those who want more details:

So, I tried to restore a file from a duplicate of my C: drive a couple weeks ago. I had an SSD which had an older, bit-for-bit copy of C: my drive. I mounted it in in an external USB enclosure, but Windows did not recognize the drive. So, I hibernated and awakened the laptop. Nope, still did not recognize there was a drive attached. Grrr. How about a hard restart? Nope, no joy. In fact, less than joy. Now I had a message from Windows that my copy was potentially invalid and that I needed to reauthorize it! A couple other tries at rebooting resulted in a BSOD. (I later realized my boot order was CD/DVD, external USB, then internal disk. Ooops!

I'd been meaning to move over to Linux for a long time, but had held off due to the 1,000+ batch and AWK scripts and some other programs I'd written over the years. Rather than trying to resurrect my Windows install, I decided to bite the bullet and force myself to make the switch. I am conversant with userland tools like grep, sed, gawk, du, df, diff, and the like. But, installing and configuring packages like email (Thunderbird), HexChat, ssh (replacing PuTTY), browser (Firefox after using Pale Moon) has been slow going.

It's still a work-in-progress, but I've made a lot of headway. Huge thanks to "The Mighty Buzzard", "janrinok", "Fnord666", "chromas", "Azuma Hazuki", "Runaway1956", and others who have been exceedingly patient with me as they've tried to help me get things working again! This is what got me into programming all those years ago: the selfless willingness to help others "learn the ropes". I can't thank you all enough!

System Outages:
Did I mention things were difficult for everyone? Only a few days after my system went sideways and now currently booted from an external Live Edition of Ubuntu, SoylentNews had a system outage. I had happened to wake very early and noticed the site was down with a 500 error. Was able to get onto IRC (Internet Relay Chat) through my browser. Discovered others were already aware. I offered a couple suggestions, but had no luck. I sent a text to "The Might Buzzard" (aka "TMB" and "Buzz") and settled in to wait for him to wake. Fortunately, TMB was able to quickly identify and rectify the (database) problem. In short order we were back up and running again. Thanks Buzz!

So, the next morning I woke up early (again), checked the site, and found we were down (again). This time it was because our certificate had expired. (Since I was without email at this time, I missed the reminders send out by Let's Encrypt.) Thanks go to TMB (again!) for making quick work of getting certs re-issued and deployed!

Staffing:
As you may have surmised, we are a bit short staffed. I do what I can to help on the systems side of things, but my skills are very limited in that realm. I'm better at writing tests, Templates, and Perl (in decreasing order of knowledge/expertise). Just over two years ago, "janrinok" stepped down and I took over the role of Editor-in-Chief (EiC). I count it a privilege to serve the community and do my best to: try and keep the stories coming, act as a liason for site issues, and offer guidance where needed to the other editors.

Please join me in thanking "Fnord666", our Alternate Editor-in-chief (AEiC), for his able efforts in getting stories out. Nearly half of the stories you see on SoylentNews are thanks to his efforts. Thanks Fnord666! Thanks, too, to "chromas" who occasionally pushes out stories (and often seconds stories before they make it to the main page). Not to stay entirely away, "janrinok" can often be seen seconding stories and occasionally pushing out a story or two. He's also an able mentor as I try and fill his shoes as EiC. Behind the scenes I've seen "takyon", "CoolHand", "Mrpg", and others occasionally pop in and lend a hand. (We had a surprise visit from mrpg on IRC on Saturday!) Thanks to ALL of you!

Opportunity:
Ever wonder how this site runs? What happens behind the scenes? We can always use a helping hand. If you are interested, please reply to this story and/or send an email to admin (at) soylentnews (dot) org and/or pop onto IRC and let someone know. Every little bit helps! When I started off, I had never used IRC before, never edited a story, and was unfamiliar with our code base. Though nobody has ever been paid even one cent for their work here, I consider the things I've learned to be priceless. Especially the friendships I've made along the way. Highly recommended!

One thing that would be a HUGE help is having the community submit stories. Yes, we have bots that are a big help, but that means each story takes a bunch of work to get the gist of the material, extract a subset, look up any journal references, check links, and so on. OTOH, when I see a sub from "takyon" it's usually just a quick skim, schedule a time slot, and then on to the next one. See the difference? We only have so much spare time. It may not sound like much, but the time required for each story adds up! Just take a look at the number of stories pushed out so far. Yes, "fnord666" is fast approaching 5,800 stories! [and martyb is rapidly approaching 9500 stories, but he is too modest to say so --JR] Thanks and Congratulations!

Story Cadence:
We strive to keep a continuous stream of stories queued up for the community. We average just under a dozen stories a day on weekdays and about 10 or so on weekends (UTC). From the preceding section, you may have surmised we have a thin "bench" on the editorial staff and could use some help.

Quite simply, this rate of stories is not maintainable at current staffing and activity. "Fnord666" and I have been pushing out 4-6 stories a day for the past few months. Unless we get some additional help, we will need to cut back on the number of stories posted each day.

I took a look around and noticed that The Register (aka El Reg) stopped posting stories on the weekend last May. Ars Technica posts primarily during the day (USA hours). On weekends, Ars Technica cuts back to 3-4 stories per day, frequently reposts from other sources (primarily WIRED and Financial Times). Those publications pay their writers. We are unpaid volunteers.

I am not claiming we are on the same level as those publications, but I am finding it hard to justify our putting out 10 stories per day on weekends when they publish far fewer (or none at all). In short, I see no option but to cut back on our weekday cadence by a story or two per day, and cut back *significantly* on weekends. Unless we get some more help, that is. SoylentNews is People. We need your help — please volunteer!

Statistics:

  • Folding@Home just recently passed 2^31 points! Yes, well over 2 billion points! Way to go team SoylentNews!
  • We have reached about 1,072,000 comments.
  • Story submissions have now exceeded 45,130.
  • Posted stories are now past: 33,823

Fundraising:
I am pleased to report we have a good start on fundraising for the second half of this calendar year. So far, we have collected approximately $1094.14 towards our goal of $3,500.00 (~31.3%). Thanks to everyone who has Subscribed!

Site Updates/Enhancements:
Barring any critical needs, site updates are restricted to minor template changes until "TMB" can finish his house remodeling work. There is a chunk of code he wrote waiting on my getting to test it, but see earlier and my system snafus. (Will 2020 ever end?)


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @12:56PM (45 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @12:56PM (#1071871) Journal

    One thing that would be a HUGE help is having the community submit stories. Yes, we have bots that are a big help, but that means each story takes a bunch of work to get the gist of the material, extract a subset, look up any journal references, check links, and so on.

    Since late August, I submitted 8 stories in the queue, 4 were rejected and one is still in the queue. In the meantime, heaps of others coming from upstart (IRC) were accepted. In the last 2 weeks, I had more success of seeing my "submissions on IRC" approved for the first page then when I'm going through the pain of selecting the interesting/relevant paragraphs in TFA and putting together a "submission in the queue".

    Not to mention what a fantastic motivation is to see shitposting in disguise [soylentnews.org] sticking on the front page while my submissions to the queue linger until they die of old age.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not whinging about rejected submissions - I had enough of them accepted on the IRC channel.
    I'm only pointing to you that there may be a reason for which you have to do extra editorial work and that addressing that reason is under your control.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @01:52PM (3 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @01:52PM (#1071889) Journal

      I just checked your submission history. One of your subs... don't recall ever seeing it appear. Processed and it will be out before too long. :D

      I see from your UID that you've been with us since Go-Live, and very active with comments and moderation, as well. Thank you!

      Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. I look at the submissions, try to take stock of what we've posted recently, and make a best guess of what to push out to the site. I have found there's a balancing act of trying to find solid science articles (which likely get few comments but hopefully are of interest), topical (without being clickbait or tabloid trash), new or novel (we just had several stories on that), etc.

      As an (admittedly exaggerated) example, a screed promoting a political viewpoint (no matter how a finely-crafted) is going to come up short compared to a bot sub of a ground-breaking research/discovery.

      Sometimes, a sub comes in that piques my curiosity and I'll push it through just to get the community's reaction. AKA try new things.

      The bot subs are a blessing and a curse. Compared to times when the sub queue was *empty*, I'll take the bot subs any day. OTOH, it takes time to sift through all the bot subs we sometimes receive. Is it really a neT benefit?

      I think it's time for a story about story submissions and what helps to get a story accepted. Thanks for the input!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:20PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:20PM (#1071938)

        Give us some shit too. We're not all top feeders you know.

        • (Score: 2) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @03:48PM (1 child)

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @03:48PM (#1071956) Journal

          Give us some shit too. We're not all top feeders you know.

          From my GP comment:

          Sometimes, a sub comes in that piques my curiosity and I'll push it through just to get the community's reaction. AKA try new things.

          Got ya covered there. We like some variety, too! Also, we've tended to "loosen things up a bit" on weekends... try out a story that we'd not ordinarily run on a weekday.

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:41AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:41AM (#1072289) Homepage

            Keepin' the lights on, that's all we really need. Thanks for all the good work.

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday November 02 2020, @03:40PM (40 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 02 2020, @03:40PM (#1071949)

      Don't hold back, tell us how you feel! Big grin and all. Ribbing aside, it just shows how overwhelmed the admins / editors are.

      I came here a bit later than you and "the originals", but only because I simply had not heard of SN until whenever it was I heard of it. And I came here full of "bright-eyed bushy-tailed" enthusiasm and optimism, and of course assumptions, and I've learnt many lessons. Sometimes in life I learn what not to do, even though I haven't learned the inner workings of a process, or what one should do. Case in point: last story I submitted, and I've submitted very few, was rejected because it smelt of advertising or some such. I dunno, it seemed interesting and informative and useful, thought I'd share it with this crowd. No problem, I've got better things to do anyway. Maybe someday I'll understand the culture and philosophy here. Or maybe not. This place is certainly interesting, informative, insightful, and often entertaining. :)

      On a different note, kudos to y'all Down Under for having NO new COVID-19 cases yesterday (at least that's what I read in the news...)

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @03:47PM (30 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @03:47PM (#1071955) Journal

        Ribbing aside, it just shows how overwhelmed the admins / editors are.

        And yet they persist in digging themselves a bigger hole.
        Fine with me, I'll send the things I find interesting in the attention of the IRC bot.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 02 2020, @04:23PM (8 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday November 02 2020, @04:23PM (#1071989) Journal
          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @04:30PM (7 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @04:30PM (#1071997) Journal

            UBI for everybody!

            Nah, just lots of iron and nickel for everybody.

            The Aboriginals here would certainly appreciate not having their sacred sites blown up together with 40k+ of history [abc.net.au] just because the Chinese still buy iron ore.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 02 2020, @05:23PM (4 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @05:23PM (#1072036) Homepage Journal

              Yeah, I been kinda following those stories, albeit not real closely. Sometimes, Oz looks as evil as the 'Murican hegemony.

              --
              Let's go Brandon!
              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @06:09PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @06:09PM (#1072060)

                That would be because Australia is part of the American hegemony. Do you think those US military bases are for show?

                • (Score: 1, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 02 2020, @06:16PM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @06:16PM (#1072064) Homepage Journal

                  Not exactly, as I see it. The Crown owns far more in Oz than all American interests combined.

                  --
                  Let's go Brandon!
                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @06:17PM

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @06:17PM (#1072066) Journal

                  Do you think those US military bases are for show?

                  Primarily, because they help the local economy. On American taxpayers' expense.

                  Otherwise, the greed of American or British or Australian corporations don't show much of a difference.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @01:03AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @01:03AM (#1072266)

                  I think they're there to delay China's eventual annexation of Oceania.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 02 2020, @08:21PM

              by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday November 02 2020, @08:21PM (#1072125) Journal

              NASA Asteroid Mission -- Metals "Worth" Ten Thousand Quadrillion Dollars [soylentnews.org] (2017)

              Asteroid Psyche Is The Most Metal Of Space Rocks, but not Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 [youtube.com]

              Gizmodo couldn't help but put a terrible headline on minor 16 Psyche news.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:16PM (#1072855)

              Not for much longer. With China blocking coal imports the whole trade agreement may go out the window. Which has an up side. The agreement allowed Chinese buyers to purchase property in Australia. Why not just give the country away?

              https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7725675/How-China-owns-Australia-buying-infrastructure-land-water.html [dailymail.co.uk]

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Monday November 02 2020, @04:30PM (20 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 02 2020, @04:30PM (#1071998)

          I'm with you in spirit, but I also observe what these things devolve into (...Ari and several others ...) and you're far above that dung pit.

          (Actually Ari's brilliant too, he's just a bit too willing to "get into it" with the editors / admins here. His complaints are often legit in a much bigger environment, but here it's a few really good people pouring their hearts, souls, and precious and irreplaceable time into this thing we mostly love.)

          And just to clarify- my lack of submissions is absolutely not passive-aggressive- my time is critical lately and I just don't want to waste my time nor the editors until someday that I "get" the concept of what's acceptable and what isn't.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @05:06PM (19 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @05:06PM (#1072021) Journal

            and I just don't want to waste my time nor the editors until someday that I "get" the concept of what's acceptable and what isn't.

            I just had a chat on the IRC on the topic. Essentially, what is acceptable and what isn't is at "the feeling of guts" of the editors and vary with their available time (e.g. a submission that I made weeks ago was excavated from unknown depths were it was lost).

            It may also vary with the editors "mood" - e.g. martyb admits that too many stories about Covid wear him down (I saw the same reaction on an company-internal chat, where a lot of us moved to another channel to protect those finding the Covid reality too depressing for them, so I can't blame martyb)

            For your (and everyone else's) convenience, here's what I got (typos included, other topics snipped. If you want it in full, see the IRC log [sylnt.us])


            [02:47] <+janrinok> c0lo - I only manage to post one or two stories per week nowadays, and I tend to prefer the hard science stories. Nothing wrong with your submission but it is not something that I personally find interesting. That is why stories stay in the sub queue until the majority of active editors has had a chance to look at them.
            [02:48] <+janrinok> Another editor might find it exactly what they are looking for to place between two heavyweight or difficult to digest stories.
            [02:50] <c0lo> If the stories must pass the "editors find to be on their personal tastes, diversity be damned", I'll post them exclusively in my journal. Until I'll go bored about, that is.
            [02:52] <+janrinok> I'm not saying that - but we all have different tastes and expertise. If I have the opportunity to process a handful of stories then I will vary them by topic, submitter and appeal to different interest groups.
            [02:53] <c0lo> "I'm not saying that" ... bit you just said it .
            [02:53] <c0lo> > "Nothing wrong with your submission but it is not something that I personally find interesting."
            [02:54] <c0lo> > "That is why stories stay in the sub queue until the majority of active editors has had a chance to look at them."
            ...
            [02:54] <@Bytram> yes, good. also, especially this time of year, I try to avoid outright political stories or ones that seem to push an agenda. I'll admit to misreading things at times, but I try to keep away from politic or personal agendas, etc.
            [02:55] <+janrinok> Today I have got time to spend here because the doctor has decreed that I am not supposed to be doing some of the things that I normally have to do in my personal life.
            [02:55] <c0lo> ++. Two editors that admit their personal preferences is what matter to get the story published.
            ...
            [02:58] <c0lo> One on top of the other, the soylenters propose, the ditors dispose, yes.
            ...
            [02:59] yes lockdown is important, but we also need to not carry every covid story that comes in, either. trying to fnd a balance. sometimes we do well, sometimes we make a mistake. We don't have all day and all of our free time to give here, as much as we'd like to. I can't tell you how many stories I've processed on my phone on my lunch break or at 10 PM!

            A bit more on the topic, a possible solution


            ...
            [03:01] <c0lo> @bytram - look, I can't take editing or admining, because I admit I can't guarantee reliability - and I prefer to not do at all something that I can't do well.
            [03:03] <+janrinok> a couple of stories each week at a time of your choosing would ease the burden on those that can do more. Honestly, anything you can do to help would be appreciated.
            [03:03] <+janrinok> But I understand your position.
            [03:03] <c0lo> But there are solutions to that, if only you could agree to delegate part of what stories are selected to soylenters - let us mod submissions too, no comments until publishing.
            [03:04] <+janrinok> Reread Bytrams piece - no software changes until TMB is back in the saddle with time to spare.
            [03:04] <+janrinok> we are not short of ideas - we are short of people the change the ideas into actions.
            [03:05] <c0lo> Is that a promise that, once TMB is back in saddle, we discuss the submission moding?
            [03:05] <+janrinok> we can always discuss it - but nothing can get changed until we are in a position to change it.
            [03:07] <c0lo> Last time I opened the topic, you shut it down. That's why I'm asking now if you had a change of heart and maybe it can be approached.
            [03:07] <c0lo> Otherwise, it'd be just wasted time.
            [03:08] <+janrinok> I don't think I personally shut it down? I am not yet convinced of the argument but that doesn't me there isn't an argument to be had.
            [03:08] <c0lo> Ok, maybe I misunderstood you.
            [03:09] <c0lo> We'll live to see into it. I hope.
            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday November 02 2020, @06:19PM (1 child)

              by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 02 2020, @06:19PM (#1072068)

              Thank you so much for that. I've barely ever logged in to irc. Very long time Internet user, and fast typist, but never quite "got" the point of irc and other similar "chats". Tried a few social media / dating site chatrooms years ago and found it very chaotic (for me). In person I can interact with many people at once, but for some reason not in irc... Anyway, I know I'm missing out on an important part of SN, but it just doesn't work well for me. Summer's coming for you- enjoy it! Winter cold wind for me today... ugh... gotta move south... Thanks again and cheers!

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @06:30PM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @06:30PM (#1072071) Journal

                No worries, mate.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday November 02 2020, @07:50PM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @07:50PM (#1072106) Journal

              This is just my personal view. I am not speaking on behalf of any other editor.

              We often point out that everybody here is a volunteer and nobody has ever taken a single cent for their efforts. The site was created to publish STEM topics because that is what we wanted to publish. The topic list for the site was extended, about 16 months after go-live, to include Politics, but only where there was a direct and clear political relationship with STEM. It was not included to encourage general discussion of politics nor to have insults and abuse thrown from one faction at another. When we asked for volunteers to edit the political topic we got the usual response - silence!. Everybody wanted to discuss it but nobody in the community wanted to volunteer to do the work to put those stories on the front page. The overwhelming majority of off-topic political input revolves around US politics. I'm a Brit living in France. I am not interested in US politics. The last few months have only served to reinforce that view. I come here to escape from politics.

              I will gladly process any number of STEM stories (within the now limited time resources available to me) but I am not volunteering to edit stories that I know nothing about and, more importantly, in which I have not the slightest interest. Yes, we all serve the community but we are not paid servants. I will gladly give my time for something that I want to do [I have processed over 5000 stories for the front page] but if you want me to edit stories that are outside the topics in which I am interested well, I can either quote you my daily rate or you can wait until I change my interests. Or you can volunteer to help out.

              We do vary the subject matter to cover the topics that are in the list (hardware, software, techonomics, ask soylent, business etc), and we often stretch the definition of STEM to include borderline cases, but if you want this site to cover an even broader spectrum then somebody will have to step up to the plate and assume responsibility for it. However, that doesn't mean that you will have free rein - there are strict rules on how we process stories, what we can accept as a reasonable sources, and the requirement for more than 1 editor to release a story. This is not something that we have made up on the spur of the moment. There are written documents which have been approved by the SN board regarding how we do our job to prevent us falling foul of any legal issues or the site going the same way as many others and restricting who can say what, or insisting on community members having an identity which can be validated. Every editor is trained in, and is expected to follow, the rules.

              We realise that some in our community DO want to discuss politics and you have the means to do so. It is called your journal and we take no legal responsibility for the views that you express there. Personally, I can see no reason to change this situation.

              We are all proud of what we have created and while we know it could be better, there are insufficient resources to implement those changes for at least the near future.

              --
              It's always my fault...
            • (Score: 1, Troll) by janrinok on Tuesday November 03 2020, @09:17AM (8 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @09:17AM (#1072391) Journal

              You seem to imply that this submission moderation has not been discussed before - it has on at least 2 occasions and possibly more often than that.

              But there are solutions to that, if only you could agree to delegate part of what stories are selected to soylenters - let us mod submissions too, no comments until publishing.

              In my view that is the potential flaw in the system - you are building in the mechanism that will enable some in the community to control the voices of others; submission moderation allows the community to suppress certain topics or to target specific submitters. I can easily imagine those with a particular political leaning wanting to avoid, say, discussions on environmentally friendly and sustainable energy generation, or others who might want to curtail the actions of the military industrial complex - despite it providing a huge number of jobs. Would you anticipate the editors having to process the submissions with the highest approval rating without any other consideration? What about those that do not comply with the site's agreed (and approved) interests?

              Submission moderation also encourages topic spread i.e. submissions that are not on-topic but are of interest to some could be sock-puppeted to high levels to give the appearance that they are of more general interest. I can only imagine how the off-topic politics stories (Alt-Right, Antifa, rioting etc) will fare in such an environment. There is nothing wrong with discussing politics where it impinges on our core topics but if the desire is to discuss politics more generally then why not create a new site - SoylentPolitics for example? The software is freely available from our github repo and the manpower can be sought from those who want such a site without adversely affecting what we already have. I have offered numerous times to help train those needing it to manage the basic and antiquated software to process submission material through the the front page.

              We have small but significant groups within our community who have areas of particular interest. These include robotics, hardware, education, scientific research, etc. We do publish stories from time-to-time that are of interests to these groups. But if submission selection is based simply on a score system are you proposing that we should ignore such interest groups? How should we best serve those groups? Furthermore, some submissions, for example regarding TV programs, or details of computer conferences, are only available in a very limited area and are entirely unknown elsewhere. How would you suggest that the voting is managed so that no part of our current community is disadvantaged. Our submission guidelines clearly state our aim is to be of interest to a world-wide, English language speaking, community.

              We do what we do for the love of the site and the topics that we get to read. I believe that the editors of other discussion sites (slashdot, reddit, etc) are paid - they probably don't care what topics they are pushing out because they are recompensed for their efforts regardless. To provide that level of control over the site then we will need far more editors with a much more diverse spread of both expertise and interests than we currently have.

              We need to find solutions to these, and other, problems before we rush off to change the software and change the entire way that we operate. It is an endeavour worth attempting, but I am not optimistic that we will see that level of support and/or necessary effort on the part of the community. How many will step up to help those developing and testing the software, or to help manage the submission-to-publication process?

              --
              It's always my fault...
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday November 03 2020, @12:52PM (5 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @12:52PM (#1072417) Journal

                You seem to imply that this submission moderation has not been discussed before

                On the contrary, I said that each time I raised it, you shut it down or postponed it to the next 100th blue moon.
                And that I still think it is a good solution:
                - to involve soylenters in the decision "what we'll be discussing about/commenting on" *and*
                - for addressing the shortage of editorial time to vet the submissions.

                In my view that is the potential flaw in the system - you are building in the mechanism that will enable some in the community to control the voices of others;

                1. excesses don't happen with comment modding, do they? Why can't the soylenters be trusted beyond that? Are we some idiot children that need to be helicopter-grandfathered?
                2. there's is no need to be an XOR between soylenters voting on submission and editors pushing stories independently of the sub-mod rating. Take the score into consideration and, occasionally, discard it if you think "that's fishy", but collect and take the score into consideration first.

                Submission moderation also encourages topic spread

                You call it "drift", I call it "diversity". Why is that a bad thing™?

                i.e. submissions that are not on-topic but are of interest to some could be sock-puppeted to high levels to give the appearance that they are of more general interest.

                Do you have concrete cases or only fears?
                Why do you think the soylentnews community needs the careful herd-management of the editors, or else.... What disaster would happen otherwise?
                Further, may I repeat the note of "why do you think it's XOR between user submission modding and editorial control"? I think they can coexist.

                We have small but significant groups within our community who have areas of particular interest. These include robotics, hardware, education, scientific research, etc. We do publish stories from time-to-time that are of interests to these groups. But if submission selection is based simply on a score system are you proposing that we should ignore such interest groups?

                Can you quote the place where I said or proposed "selection is based simply on a score system"?

                But if submission selection is based simply on a score system are you proposing that we should ignore such interest groups?

                Let me say it again: why does it need to be XOR between one and the other?
                There, I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true [wikiquote.org]

                How would you suggest that the voting is managed so that no part of our current community is disadvantaged. Our submission guidelines clearly state our aim is to be of interest to a world-wide, English language speaking, community.

                How do you know your editorial views matches the interest of a world-wide, English speaking community?
                I can't remember to ever been at least a poll to ask the community what their interest is?
                Was it? If it was, can you please link it?

                Even more, wouldn't it be better to repeat it after some years? 'Cause, you know, the last UID increases and even older UID-es shift their interests over time.

                We do what we do for the love of the site and the topics that we get to read.

                This sounds like my proposal for "users can vote on submissions" is done for some nefarious purposes in my hidden agenda.
                I'm sure you don't intend to say so or even imply it, but it does carry this as sorta an undercurrent.

                We need to find solutions to these, and other, problems before we rush off to change the software and change the entire way that we operate

                How about creating a Poll on

                Selection for front page is a matter to be decided by
                * "editors only"
                * "subs modding only"
                * "both",
                * "Ask NCommander",
                * "Here's another idea",
                Discuss, please.

                ----

                Finally:

                1. why the fuck we're discussing this 5 levels deep in a fucken "catching up with things" story instead of a "Consult with S/N community" dedicated one?
                2. what drives me into ranting is the constant bitching about "how we're volunteering and how hard it is to go with our reallife and S/N editoring too" (which is true and appreciated, don't get me wrong), but absolutely no interest to find practical solutions outside the rules of the game. OK, you don't like the idea of "sub modding by soylenters" as a help to trim the shit-subing from the queue (I'm sick and tired of gatewaypundits and occasional sputnicks/RT just because, no matter the same info is available on better sites).
                  Then, fucken, engage the soylenters in finding solutions without imposing "This is how we're doing it and will do it forever and ever" restriction. We tried that one for zillions of years already, what makes you think doing it the same is gonna lead to different outcomes?
                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:13PM (4 children)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:13PM (#1072455) Journal

                  why the fuck we're discussing this 5 levels deep in a fucken "catching up with things" story instead of a "Consult with S/N community" dedicated one?

                  You started the conversation! Ask Soylent! I'm replying to you and the comment that you wrote [soylentnews.org].

                  excesses don't happen with comment modding, do they? Why can't the soylenters be trusted beyond that? Are we some idiot children that need to be helicopter-grandfathered?

                  You have got to be joking aren't you?. We spend time watching for mod-bombs, moderation abuse etc. People get banned for a short period when it occurs. I cannot believe that you have never seen their comments. Some of our users post something outrageous as an AC and then log on with their username to moderate it up. I'd call that an excess with regards to comment modding, wouldn't you?.

                  You call it "drift", I call it "diversity". Why is that a bad thing™?

                  Because we haven't got the manpower or expertise to edit stories on every conceivable topic - even if I wanted to get involved with such things. We haven't even got enough manpower to manage the current topic list. That is the reason that martyb raised the issue of more volunteers in his original piece. More topics means we need more people knowledgable about, and interested in, those topics - so we will ask for more volunteers. The alternative is that we keep the topics as they are now because the editors we have ARE knowledgable and interested in those topics - and they are in the main the same topics that we created this site to cover. Yet we still need more volunteers. You may have also noticed that we also rarely cover baking recipes, car repairs, portrait painting and dog shows. We are not interested in those topics either. Some people are - and they are free to create a site to meet their needs. They can have our software for free, too!

                  Why do you think the soylentnews community needs the careful herd-management of the editors?

                  The community doesn't need any management - they can publish whatever they want now. You have heard of journals. I know, because you use yours. However, somebody has to manage the publication of stories from submission to the front page.

                  • Do submissions contain misleading links - sometimes yes!
                  • Do submitters try to inject politics into stories - often yes!
                  • Do submitters misquote the cited linked articles - sometimes yes!
                  • Do submitters even read, let alone follow, the Guidelines for Submissions [soylentnews.org]? No, they do not. How about "Be neutral and factual in both Subject and Summary" - how many submissions follow this rule, and then they complain when they are rejected?

                  Can you quote the place where I said or proposed "selection is based simply on a score system"?

                  No I cannot, because you have not stated what it is you want. You haven't even said which problem it will solve. So until you come up with a system for an unidentified problem that will work why don't you explain what your vision is for the solution? If the story moderation need not be followed by the editors what do we achieve? If the community has the ability to delete submissions that they think are worthless, what is to prevent them for silencing those who want to express an opinion with which they disagree? If they haven't got that power what will be different when I look at the submissions queue? How will we know when the community has reached its final opinion on the worth of a submission? What is the final aim for the significant changes to software, testing and the current processing that you are seeking? What perceived problem will it solve? We editors will still have to read every submission - to check for duplicates going back 6 years or to provide links to earlier reporting! You might not want to do that but we have to, in an admittedly crude fashion. We still have to check every link. We still have to delete those promoting a political platform, pornography or whatever else to ensure that they comply with our rules. We still have to schedule stories so that we vary the output in terms of both topic and submitters. Each story still has to be viewed by ALL of the currently active editors because although it might not interest one editor, it might be something that another will relish working with. We still have to send rejection explanations to those who make submissions using a recorded username. There are numerous tasks that we must do for each story - which of them will your system 'fix'?

                  How do you know your editorial views matches the interest of a world-wide, English speaking community?

                  Because we base our output on submissions made by the community. They are very closely involved.

                  This sounds like my proposal for "users can vote on submissions" is done for some nefarious purposes in my hidden agenda.

                  I don't think that at all - I am grateful for this discussion and any that result from it. But, as yet, I don't know how your proposal is intended to make the editors' task any easier. I can, however, see how it might make things more difficult and allow undue influence on what people might consider submitting if they are faced with a yet another hurdle that has to be overcome before a submission is even considered for the front page. We are not short of submissions - we are short of editors who are able and willing to do the work. Better submissions - especially those that meet the Submission Guidelines - would be more than welcome and would ease our task, but we need to recruit more people to all aspects of the team (sysops, dev, QA and editors) before the current incumbents are no longer around to train the new volunteers.

                  How about creating a Poll on

                  Polls here are designed to be light-hearted and many do not even look at them. I know that several SN board members have pretty strong views on this issue and will want to have their say on any proposed changes. You need to have a good sound proposal that solves a current problem if you want this to go anywhere but unless you raise it it will not even be discussed at the appropriate levels to get the changes implemented.

                  --
                  It's always my fault...
                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:29PM (1 child)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:29PM (#1072467) Journal

                    You wanted some definition of a problem. Here's one [soylentnews.org].
                    You can deal on your own or you can involve S/N community. Your choice.

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:47PM

                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:47PM (#1072537) Journal

                      The effort is in processing the submission into something suitable for publishing. The submission you linked to does NOT comply with the Submission Guidelines: it is biased and links to material that is very much political electioneering. It is very unlikely to reach the front page - but Runaway knows that. He gets his influence by people who read the submissions rather than waiting to see what appears on the site. Aristarchus frequently does the same. The submission queue does NOT represent the views of this site or anyone involved in the editing process. A submission might represent the views of the submitter - but even that cannot be assumed to be the case.

                      You cannot see all the information on the submission page that we can see but each editor gets a chance to view the submission to see if he/she can rewrite to comply with our requirements. We do not leave it to a single editor - that would introduce bias. Some have already made their decision. We all have our say. But I doubt anybody has got time to waste on this submission when we are fighting to keep the flow of stories going.

                      --
                      It's always my fault...
                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:40PM (1 child)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:40PM (#1072473) Journal

                    [03:04] we are not short of ideas - we are short of people the change the ideas into actions.

                    From the entire conversation so far all I got is "your idea is not an idea, we'll be doing what we've done until now (blood spiting included). For lotsa reasons".
                    How about, for a change, you share with us some ideas somehow different from "as we were until now"?

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:53PM

                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:53PM (#1072540) Journal

                      I've told you to raise it as an 'Ask Soylent'. You do not represent the community.

                      How about, for a change, you share with us some ideas somehow different from "as we were until now"?

                      How about you stop grandstanding and volunteer to help?

                      Finally - you haven't told us what your idea is, how it will help solve the manpower problem, and why you think it is better than what we have now. You appear not to be reading our replies to your earlier comments. [soylentnews.org] Over to you.....

                      --
                      It's always my fault...
              • (Score: -1, Troll) by aristarchus on Tuesday November 03 2020, @07:39PM (1 child)

                by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @07:39PM (#1072551) Journal

                you are building in the mechanism that will enable some in the community to control the voices of others; submission moderation allows the community to suppress certain topics or to target specific submitters.

                Yes, it would be very dangerous if the average Soylentil could do that, rather then the editors who do it now. Just saying.

                --
                You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday November 06 2020, @09:06AM

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 06 2020, @09:06AM (#1073682) Journal

                  rather then the editors who do it now

                  Oh good - because it is the editor's job to select stories from the submission queue that follow the submissions guidelines and are suitable for publication, that do not contain bias (like most of your do), that are neutral (which very few of yours are), and then to rewrite them where necessary to meet the layout rules of this site.

                  Follow the guidelines and even your stories get selected, or hadn't you noticed that?

                  --
                  It's always my fault...
            • (Score: 2) by martyb on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:30PM (6 children)

              by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:30PM (#1072447) Journal

              I would appreciate, in the future, quoting things in context. Prior to what was quoted above, and having already engaged in good faith, I clearly stated [sylnt.us]:

              [15:40:33] * Bytram just noticed the time.
              [15:40:48] <Bytram> gtg. back in a few hours.

              All times are UTC. Also, please note I was replying to an earlier comment by cosurgi [sylnt.us], to which c0lo replied. I would suggest picking up the conversaton from there.

              I was really pressed for time, and yet I delayed my leaving to genuinely engage. As the discussion continued, I realized it was taking much longer than I anticipated. Now, I was getting extremely pressed for time.

              What was left out in my haste is there are editor guidelines that underlay all our decisions. These were written in the early days of SoylentNews (and need some updating), but all editors agree to subscribe to the principles and we do keep each other in check. On occasion, I've had stories reviewed (2nd edit by another editor — something we try to do on every story going to the main page): errors in quotations, questionable sources, and a number of other things. Yes, I've even had some stories that, upon review, were questioned if they should be run. Any editor has a "veto" right. Sure, they have to explain their reasoning, but I have never seen any acrimony -- we are all trying to do our best for the community.

              Also, when submitting a story [soylentnews.org], there is a clear link to Submissions Guidelines [soylentnews.org].

              NB: When looking at the story submission queue, the very first thing I look for are NON-bot submissions.

              The closer a story seems to be "Release Ready", the better its chances. Though, as pointed out in the sub guidelines, "Be neutral and factual in both Subject and Summary." IOW no pushing of personal agendas.

              I'll leave it at that for now. I need to head out to vote and then have an appointment to attend.

              --
              Wit is intellect, dancing.
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:44PM (5 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:44PM (#1072476) Journal

                I would appreciate, in the future, quoting things in context.

                I don't get it, what critical context I let out?
                In my mind, I tried to show what problem I thought I see and something that seemed to me a possible solution.
                No blame or finger pointing or something on that line.
                So how the "Bytram was late" extra bit would have changed or rounded the meaning?

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 2) by martyb on Sunday November 08 2020, @03:56PM (4 children)

                  by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 08 2020, @03:56PM (#1074704) Journal

                  Thank you for the reply. I wish no blame or finger pointing, either. Just please imagine you were late for something and someone asked you a seemingly simple question. And then another. And then another. How complete would your responses be? Increasingly short and specific -- with less background and supporting information -- right? That was the case for me. and I explained that already. I appreciate your longstanding interest in the site.

                  Separately, there is a long-standing list of change requests pending until TMB has more spare time. Those need coding and testing. Having a means to "vote" on story submissions *sounds* good. It was actually part of the code we inherited from Slashdot. Please remember, SoylentNews' launch was a herculean effort on the part of many different people. Just getting the site up and running for more that a few hours was a major accomplishment. Would you like to know how that happened? NCommander (NC) went in and removed huge chunks of code that were broken and that were not necessary to get a basic, functioning discussion site up and running. I was following along in chat as NC alternative cursed and at hacked away huge chunks of code. (Not terribly cleanly, either. Just enough to get past the current crashing bug.) The biggest mess was the Firehose which provided a means of "voting" on story submissions.

                  Just like there are more people who read stories than comment, more who comment than moderate, and more who moderate than submit stories... there still far fewer who would "moderate" the stories. I witnessed that in action on Slashdot. The Firehose became a means to foster groupthink, one level abstracted from the comment discussion. Rather than push an agenda in the comments, some people attempted to drive site content (and their agenda) by up/down voting along their personal interests.

                  So, most of the old code is missing from our current code base. The code that still remains is terribly out-of-date -- and would NOT work with the subsequent changes made to get the site to run. We lack the staff and free time to implement it. There are high-priority changes that are pending development. Code changes need to be tested before rollout. (Do you remember when TMB and PJ rolled out faster comment processing so that loading a story would take less time to render and present the comments? I was only about half-way through my testing when I came home from work and discovered it had been rolled out and went live. What followed was an intense month of bug discovery and fixing just to get things stable again.)

                  All of the code that supports this site is open source on GitHub [github.com]. Feel free to take a look, code up the changes and tests, and submit them. I'll caution in advance that there is a whole lot more to this site than what is made visible to the community. I am *still* finding capabilities and tuning parameters (there are about 700 site vars that can be adjusted, just for starters.)

                  In short, the code does not write itself. It would need extensive testing. There's much more than appears at first glance. If implemented, it would enable people to push personal agendas.

                  --
                  Wit is intellect, dancing.
                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday November 08 2020, @05:36PM (3 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 08 2020, @05:36PM (#1074742) Journal

                    Thank you for the reply. I wish no blame or finger pointing, either. Just please imagine you were late for something and someone asked you a seemingly simple question. And then another. And then another. How complete would your responses be? Increasingly short and specific -- with less background and supporting information -- right? That was the case for me. and I explained that already.

                    Yes, mate, I got it. But my comment didn't fault or cast a blame on you for it, even more the problem that I thought I was seeing didn't hinge you your shorter-by-the-time answers.

                    Separately, there is a long-standing list of change requests pending... The biggest mess was the Firehose which provided a means of "voting" on story submissions.

                    Got it, thanks. My beef with janrinok position is not that the voting on submissions it's gonna take long time to implement, but that he presents it as a bad idea™ (or at least discards its value).

                    Just like there are more people who read stories than comment, more who comment than moderate, and more who moderate than submit stories... there still far fewer who would "moderate" the stories.

                    This we won't know how it works in S/N conditions until we try. I mean, look, unlike the green site, soylenters get double the mod points, irrespective of their karma. Works well enough in S/N case.

                    Rather than push an agenda in the comments, some people attempted to drive site content (and their agenda) by up/down voting along their personal interests.

                    Aren't we throwing the baby with the bathwater? It's not like this is an immutable law of nature, every time one implement submission modding it will end in being so abused it becomes toxic.
                    Note how I'm avoiding "Firehose" and use "subs modding"? That's because I don't want Slashdot firehose, I want a functionality by which the soylents can provide feedback on their interest in the most natural way possible. What the system will do with that feedback is up for discussions - I image we're mature enough to find ways we can use it without mutilating the S/N.

                    In short, the code does not write itself. It would need extensive testing. There's much more than appears at first glance.

                    Agreed.

                    If implemented, it would enable people to push personal agendas.

                    Disagree, it will do whatever we decide it will do within the bounds of acceptable risks.
                    But shutting down the discussion about what/how would we like to behave is a guarantee it's not gonna be implemented ever, even if solutions for writing and testing that code are eventually found sooner or later. E.g. suppose that I'd put some money to hire someone to implement the extensions from scratch - what am I to give to they guys as functional specification?

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday November 13 2020, @01:44AM (2 children)

                      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2020, @01:44AM (#1076859) Journal

                      Thank-you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate the *dialog* and the time you took in considering and writing your reply. My delay in response is due to my giving it commensurate consideration.

                      I think we are in general agreement except that you seem to have higher hopes for a successful implementation than I do. Different perspectives, different conclusions, maybe?

                      One thing I would like to mention is that adding anything to the system necessarily affects it. In this you are at a disadvantage -- having not seen the pages and pages of screens, knobs, variables, and code that are exposed through the admin UI... and some of which is non-working (see outstanding bugs mentioned earlier). Which leads to the challenge in writing a functional specification. :/

                      Which leaves us at a bit of an impasse. If you are sincere about this, I can bring up giving you some limited permissions on the system. That will give some visibility into what is under the covers. Are you interested?

                      NOTE: At the least, to have an idea of what is involved, that would be receiving editor-level privileges and becoming a member of staff. I am obliged to mention that any untoward behavior is grounds for immediate and complete revocation of any any all permissions on SoylentNews. With [great] power comes [great] responsibility. We're talking about the legacy of everyone who has come before and given freely of their time, knowledge, and energy to build this site. I say that with no anticipation of any harmful thoughts or actions -- only to make it abundantly clear where things stand -- all staff are held to the same high standards and expectations.

                      I can make no promises at this point, but if you are interested in pursuing this further, I am willing to work with you.

                      In preparation, here are some (likely dated) docs that you might want to take a look at:

                      • https://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Submission_guidelines
                      • https://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Story_Style - Story Style
                      • https://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Editorial_Policy
                      • https://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Editing_Process - Editing Process
                      • https://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Editors#Documentation - other interesting stuff

                      Thank-you for your interest in improving the site. How would you like to proceed?

                      --
                      Wit is intellect, dancing.
                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday November 13 2020, @02:01AM (1 child)

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 13 2020, @02:01AM (#1076869) Journal

                        Which leaves us at a bit of an impasse. If you are sincere about this, I can bring up giving you some limited permissions on the system. That will give some visibility into what is under the covers. Are you interested?

                        I am interesed, but it doesn't help much due to my commitments. Have the parents with me and trying to get them a more permanent visa and I'm still about 7 years to end the mortgage.

                        Howevs, I'm quite serious about contributing with some money against having someone looking into it - can't support a full time pay, it wouldn't be capped to tens of $ either.

                        --
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                        • (Score: 2) by martyb on Tuesday November 17 2020, @09:03PM

                          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 17 2020, @09:03PM (#1078450) Journal

                          Please accept my best wishes to you on the home situation!

                          I've not forgotten about this -- am still mulling over how best to proceed.

                          As for funding, I very much appreciate the gesture.

                          --
                          Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 02 2020, @05:21PM (7 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @05:21PM (#1072032) Homepage Journal

        Maybe someday I'll understand the culture and philosophy here.

        Don't bother, don't try. On it's face, SN is about nerdy stuff that nerds think is cool, or even passingly interesting. If/when you scavenge something from the interwebz that you thought was interesting - drop it into the queue. Never apologize, never explain.

        I dropped one recently in which the US govt seems to claim that UFOs are interdimensional beings. Sounds stupid to me - but - hey, I offered it on the off chance that someone would like to discuss how stupid it is.

        It either gets published, or it doesn't - I have nothing invested in what amounts to a story on the paranormal.

        You don't have to conform to any person's idea of a culture. ;^)

        --
        Let's go Brandon!
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RS3 on Monday November 02 2020, @06:15PM (4 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 02 2020, @06:15PM (#1072063)

          Thanks for the wisdom. Well, maybe it's a flaw, maybe's it's just me, but I try to adapt, somewhat, to my surroundings. When in Rome, ... That said, I do have my limits.

          And, I wasn't referring to the editors, submissions, etc., as much as the general culture of the various and sundry members. ACs seem to average out, and are mostly interesting. No time nor desire to dredge it up, and I've learned a lot since then, but some months ago I likened SN to a "biker bar" at times- the personal attacks, horrific language, etc. Sadly often from intelligent people who I find interesting, insightful, and informative. You get attacked a ton, and yet you hold your ground, so I want you to know you're a huge inspiration to me. So I haven't "left in a huff" as many have, and frankly no huffs here- just some disappointment in that I'd love to participate in spirited but mostly polite interaction - that we so often have here. :) So I take the mostly good with a few bads, stay out of the political discussions, and again, I'm learning, and thank you for being an inspiration.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:52AM (3 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:52AM (#1072290) Homepage

            After a while you learn who has to include invective in everything they say, and ignore it like you would the BS in a biker bar. This might be one of the last places where we can be thoroughly at odds, yet afterward go share a beer. Got a few holding grudges, but it's not our norm.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:45AM (2 children)

              by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @04:45AM (#1072345)

              Oh yes, I learned quickly. It's the flying beer mug that's kinda hard to ignore. There are a few occasional surprise attacks from people who are otherwise generally civil. If I cared much I'd keep a list or mark them as "enemy" but I'm just not that invested, and it seems unnecessary in what has the potential to be a pretty interesting place, could even be "think tank". What I struggle with is my own false correlation that intelligent people don't stoop to invective / ad hominem. But, I also know that strong verbal ability is not everything. You get an unfair share of attacks, and you've directly and indirectly encouraged and inspired me. I often don't say what I'd like to say, but truth is I'm pretty open-minded about controversial topics. I figure if people have such strong opinions, there's got to be some validity, at least in their world / environment. It's all about learning. And, maybe this place is therapeutic for some people. But, maybe it incites others. I dunno... too many real-world issues for me to deal with these days.

              • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:27AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:27AM (#1072358)

                > What I struggle with is my own false correlation that intelligent people don't stoop to invective / ad hominem.

                Nice cheapshot asshole.

                • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:23AM

                  by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:23AM (#1072711) Homepage

                  Case in point.

        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:21AM (1 child)

          by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @02:21AM (#1072281) Journal

          I dropped one recently in which the US govt seems to claim that UFOs are interdimensional beings. Sounds stupid to me - but - hey, I offered it on the off chance that someone would like to discuss how stupid it is.

          That sounds more interesting than an political rant sub, but I don't see it in the submissions list. Got a link?

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:16AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:16AM (#1072353) Homepage

        You can share 'rejects' on your Journal. Which might get anything from seen by no one to pages and pages of comments. But you can reasonably link it in a regular comment if something related comes up. (Far as I can tell journal comments never close.) And Fans will see it, if they have that notification turned on.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DavePolaschek on Monday November 02 2020, @01:13PM (1 child)

    by DavePolaschek (6129) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @01:13PM (#1071876) Homepage Journal

    Thanks for the update, and all you all do.

    I had meant to help out more around here, but after a full year of “retirement” I still haven’t managed to get a working OS installed on my PineBook Pro. And I find I’m still fine without the computer fix. I even have two blu-ray players - one with failed thermal paste on the CPU, and the other with a failed system update that bricked it, that I haven’t bothered to try and resurrect. So I suspect any pitching in I do around here remains aspirational.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @01:55PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @01:55PM (#1071891) Journal

      I appreciate the kind words and I understand the demands on one's time, as well as changing priorities. Thanks for your participation and for your subscription, too!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Monday November 02 2020, @01:15PM (11 children)

    by inertnet (4071) on Monday November 02 2020, @01:15PM (#1071878)

    I bit the Windows to Linux bullet around the time that Microsoft was forcing Windows 10 on the world, and I have no regrets at all. I ended up with Ubuntu Mate, because 'it just works' and I don't want to spend a lot of time tweaking things. I tried Mint and Debian first, but those took a lot more time to get things working right.

    Besides that, I'd like to thank all of you for all the time you put into Soylentnews.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @02:01PM (10 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:01PM (#1071895) Journal

      I intended to do the same but the consideration of porting over all my tools was a genuine block. I stuck with Win 7 Pro x64 past the supported date. I saw this incident as the extra motivation I needed to take the plunge. Still a work-in-progress for the basic, but am making headway. I know it will be worth it in the end.

      Thanks for sharing your experience; it IS helpful to know others have succeeded in making the transition! Wish me luck!

      And, especially, thanks for the acknowledgement of the time invested in the site. That means a LOT!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday November 02 2020, @02:36PM (1 child)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:36PM (#1071912) Journal

        I intended to do the same but the consideration of porting over all my tools was a genuine block.

        It is. It was one of the reasons I made the jump a long time ago, because proprietary vendors kept breaking things on purpose to get me to upgrade and spend more money. The good news is that once you settle in on the FLOSS side of life, you can keep your tool suite going forever. We shouldn't have to keep learning new tools in order to keep doing the same kind of work, because the tool makers think we should, eh?

        You also have a good support community here if you run into Linux issues. Lots of Soylentils have long experience with a broad array of distros.

        Good luck!

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RS3 on Monday November 02 2020, @04:49PM (3 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 02 2020, @04:49PM (#1072011)

        I'm running Win 7 (here now) and admin some other Win 7 (and XP) machines. Not sure why there are MS shills that love to scold "you're running a dangerous unsupported system you idiot". I'd prefer to run an "old" OS that's had all it's bugs shaken out. I was just getting used to 7 when they abandoned it. But anyway, the built-in MS anti-malware will still update almost daily (I always run it manually). Also you can go to the MS update "catalog" site and search for 7 embedded or 7 posready or another one I can't remember right now. The patches might work- I haven't had any system damage from them, and they'll often churn for a while, then back themselves out saying they're not for your system but thanks for trying. :)

        And never ever said enough, but thank you thank you thank you!!!

        And, I've offered more than once to help with admin. I've also offered to host. Not sure what the cost would be, but it would be minimal (really) because I have bandwidth and space available. I confess, I'd put up a fight re: so many servers needed to run what appears to be a fairly simple site. I admin for WordPress and have run Joomla, Drupal, Magento, a real estate specific one that I forget now, all one 1 server (LAMP) and the "P" can be perl too. :) I'd buy a whole server just for you guys- I've seen overpowered ones on cl for $100. Lots of options. Can't do it soon, and y'all probably have a contract right now anyway.

        Frankly my time and effort would be better spent helping TMB on the house- I'm pretty good with that stuff and do a fair bit "professionally".

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:27AM (2 children)

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:27AM (#1072296) Homepage

          You're positively newfangled; my everyday OS is still WinXP or XP64. Have dabbled in linux all the way back to RedHat6, but always found it either too annoying or too broken. Dislike Win7 tho could live with it if I had to (tho it's nowhere near as reliable as XP64). But Win10 is pretty much everything I can't stand in a desktop, all in one handy package; it makes my eyes bleed and the annoyance never ends. The final straw was when it decided to nuke the filesystem off an old external drive it had no business fucking with (at a guess, tried to force-update the old NTFS to the new NTFS, neglecting to note that it was full of data. Fortunately backed up.)

          So I spent a great deal of time trawling linux distros (again) hoping to find one I could like well enough for everyday. Most were immediate discards, but eventually I hit on PCLinuxOS (with KDE which I've always preferred over the other DEs) and that's been good for me as an alternate OS. And it's slowly replacing Windows in my stable of frankenputers.

          Aside from most of the bugs shook out, old and unsupported means no new patches. No new patches means ... nothing for the bad guys to reverse-engineer looking for new vulnerabilities. That, not some genius at programming, is how they find 'em.

          If you want to see Win7 puke in new and astonishing ways, try applying the Storport (NVMe support) patch. Works fine in XP64, and so does the drive... made Win7 throw a whole slew of errors I'd never seen before. It did finally right itself via an auto-restore, but... that's why it got exiled from my "new" box.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:30AM (1 child)

            by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:30AM (#1072375)

            I'm forced to deal with 10 at times, but only occasionally mess with it at home. Can't even remember where that HD went... Been through a lot in the past couple of years.

            I have several machines still running XP, including a couple at a client. I think some of the most recent MS updates clobbered it- maybe in the name of CPU "meltdown / spectre" mitigations. All I know is the once really fast machines can't get out of their own way anymore.

            The only other issue I have with XP, and the reason I migrated this main laptop to 7, is needing to run newer browser. Too many websites just won't load at all otherwise. I don't think any other apps I use cared though.

            Thanks for the PCLinuxOS tip. I've been through a lot of distros over the years. I'm almost forced to use RedHat / CentOS on servers, and I'm okay with it. I keep running Slackware on my own at home. I love it. It works well for me. But I also really strongly like Alpine for servers. Xen is native and works really well too. GUI is terrible / useless. Haven't put enough effort into making it work well, because ...

            I've said for many years that package management is the most critical need for Linux to be more mainstream. Sadly that's still true. Alpine uses their own thing and it's clunky at best. Simple add, subtract, update, works simply, but you don't get a categorized / structured list of available packages- just a flat list (if you can figure out how to trick it into giving you a list.) But again, for server / CLI it's amazing. No systemd, for those who care.

            Yeah, my overall feel about OSes is I hate versions. I hate that MS gets to ship very broken software, and instead of fixing all of the bugs, they do some patching, then abandon the OS for a NEW even buggier one. Oh, but it's NEW! It would take years to implement, but it'd be great if maybe major software companies like MS and Oracle would get fined for the bugs, and maybe have to pay us for the time to patch.

            Okay, embarrassed, but didn't know there was a "new" NTFS.

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @08:27AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @08:27AM (#1072388) Homepage

              I've gone to hotswap bays and a stack of HDs myself. Windows no longer gracefully multiboots (it'll do it, but loves to rewrite the boot sector all the damn time, which IMO is trouble waiting to happen, plus it's annoying when they all insist on being C: -- no, I want this Windows on C:, that one on F:, and the third on I:, you ninnies! and I want the drive letters to stay put!!) and using Grub outside of its own species is a recipe for disaster. Swapping HDs in the handy bay is no more difficult than previous methods, and a lot safer. (I use iStarUSA bays, simple and reliable. A dozen in service and have got to where if I don't have 5 or 6 in the parts pile, I think I'm out.) Data goes on the fixed drive or somewhere on the local network, which everyone can share. Well, almost everyone...

              Yeah, that's what forced me to move up to a newer PC... there's not a damn thing wrong with the old ones (in fact I'm using one this instant, because I'm not finished moving house) but browsers and websites have become such CPU hogs that a mere top-end quad-core can no longer do the job... frex, Google Maps frequently pegs the hapless CPU at 100%.

              But Windows after XP annoy me too much to use 'em for very long (tho 10 sure made 7 look better) so I think the eventual solution, at least for when I can't be arsed to switch to another PC, will be to run PCLOS in a VM full-time (gotta use that 32GB RAM somehow) and use it for those newer browsers, and since it'll be pretty much set in stone, I won't care if I have to use an old VBox. Not practical to do it the other way around, because one of the continual annoyances with linux is that I can't readily access my open shares, and when there are about 20 of 'em, having to set each one up individually is a PITA (and so far I've had small success; only one works reliably, and apps like Chrome and LO can't see it). With XP, I can just click Network and there they are. It's enough of a nuisance that when I need to schlep files from the main PCLOS box, I use XP in the VM instead, cuz it sees the whole network in the expected way with zero hassle. I'm sure there must be some simple fix for linux, but so far I haven't found it. (Installing Samba made things worse. To be fair, Win7/10 also sometimes is stupid about it, that adaptive crap needs to die in a fire.)

              Yeah, DLL-hell has nothing on Dependency-hell.... PCLinuxOS uses Synaptic for package management. It's ugly to look at (what is it with Gtk apps?), but very thorough and straightforward, and in the 3+ years I've been using it, I've only seen a broken package a couple times, and Synaptic can painlessly fix it. Once in a long while something doesn't drag along all its dependencies, but then I'll get a whine about what it wants and can find it easily enough. On the Fedora setup (which only exists as a possible fallback, since PCLOS is a one-man-band plus a few folks doing spins) I have Discover cuz that's what came with it; Discover is much prettier, and probably easier for the computer novice, but having become used to Synaptic and being able to see everything, I find Discover too limiting. Synaptic will show you all-at-once, search, or categories (both fine-grained and chunks), plus detailed info.

              Fedora because it offered the next-best implementation of KDE, by my lights. Tho I'd prefer another rolling distro; that's spoiled me. Reinstalling is against my religion. One of our guys did an experimental update from the oldest PCLOS he could get to run, and managed to bring it all the way up from 2012 with only a couple excursions to the command line. -- PCLOS is stable enough that if new kernels didn't regularly come down the pipe, I'd never need to reboot. Right up there with XP64, which will run pretty much forever.

              I don't care one way or the other about systemd (I'm to where I just want the durn OS to work without annoying me, and without noticeable lag), but PCLOS doesn't use it. At least not yet, but I suppose the day will come when those resisting will be in a linux ghetto; I gather there's already major stuff that needs it.

              Long long ago I actually suggested to Microsoft that they should make the OS modular -- guts that we never see (unless we wish to), and the desktop of our choice; that way they could improve the guts without pissing off the users who don't want their workflow fucked up. And reportedly they did some work in that direction, but it never got anywhere. Of course now they're back to the OS-in-the-cloud bullshit that they first floated back at the Win2k launch event, where the audience of some 1000 IT pros all developed identical angry frowns.

              Yeah, there was an update to NTFS in some prior era, which I too had totally forgotten about as normally you never notice. But that's all I can figure for how that drive got zeroed out during the five minutes that Win10 was up on that machine. Either that or it just nuked the partition table, but it shows as an empty partition. I haven't gotten around to trying to recover it, at which point I'll probably be able to tell what happened. The drive acts perfectly functional otherwise, and no change in SMART, so it didn't just die. But Win10 never again touches a machine with a USB drive attached.

              People griped about Win8, but I have 8.1 Enterprise that came on a laptop, and it's somehow less annoying than 10.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by inertnet on Monday November 02 2020, @09:35PM (1 child)

        by inertnet (4071) on Monday November 02 2020, @09:35PM (#1072184)

        I still have my old Windows 7 installation and run it occasionally in VirtualBox. I also still have an XP version and a Windows 10 VM for testing stuff.

        I remember copying my Thunderbird directory to Ubuntu and just had to change the directory name if I remember correctly. All my mailboxes and settings were there.

        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:16AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:16AM (#1072371) Journal

          I tried that without disabling Lightning, while most everything just worked, it really didn't like the DLL.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:39PM (1 child)

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:39PM (#1072533)

        Still a work-in-progress for the basic, but am making headway. I know it will be worth it in the end.

        While I suspect your needs in an O/S are far more demanding than mine have become, you'll find that Linux will become easier and easier for you, while Windows gets more and more aggravating every time you are forced to return to it. If there are things you must have Windows for, get a PC set up the way you like and take it offline and use your Linux PC for everything else (assuming having two PC's is an option). You can get a Windows PC running pretty sweetly as long as you never update it, and that means NEVER connecting it to the internet. I've been using Linux as my primary O/S since 2004, starting with Mandrake 10.0. Every so often I get bored, back up the necessary stuff, then try another distro just because I can, although it's been a while since I left the *buntu universe. I currently use Xubuntu, but there are several apps from KDE and Gnome I use as well. I might suggest giving Synaptic a shot as a graphical package manager, to me it allows a better browsing experience through the repositories. I might not find what I set out to look for, but I always find something interesting.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:40AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday November 04 2020, @12:40AM (#1072720) Homepage

          I'd say it's not that Windows gets more aggravating, but that the interface changes in Win7 and 10 (and occasionally the behavior changes) have become too aggravating by comparison to just about anything else. But even my preferred linux finds ways to annoy me (see long ramble above) that have kept me on XP/XP64 for everyday. I do not care about "support" for reasons mentioned above. Don't do stupid shit and you're reasonably safe regardless.

          The first linux I really liked was Mandrake 7.2, and I still find Mandrake descendants and KDE more agreeable than the rest. Every so often I too trawl through all the new distros, but so far nothing has beat out PCLinuxOS. Don't like Ubuntu at all, and current Gnome makes Win10 seem usable. Agreed about Synaptic; ugly as dirt, but works very well -- good balance of thorough and usable.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by WizardFusion on Monday November 02 2020, @01:19PM (20 children)

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @01:19PM (#1071880) Journal

    Not to be a downer, but I see this a lot: "Will 2020 ever end".
    There will not be some magic that will happen on Jan 1st 2021 to make everything better. We will still be in a shit show of a pandemic and the world will still be fucked.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by VLM on Monday November 02 2020, @01:40PM (11 children)

      by VLM (445) on Monday November 02 2020, @01:40PM (#1071882)

      Then we can blame the other guy, "2021" who will mess everything up.

      Its a subtle commentary on the election tomorrow LOL.

      Also a subtle commentary on TDS Trump Derangement Syndrome, deranged people are still going to be deranged on Wednesday regardless the election result again LOL. Just instead of an endless NPC stream of "orange man bad" it'll just be generic anti-white hatred or anti-Christian hatred or whatever... till they find the next bullying target.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by SpockLogic on Monday November 02 2020, @02:05PM (4 children)

        by SpockLogic (2762) on Monday November 02 2020, @02:05PM (#1071898)

        Also a subtle commentary on TDS Trump Derangement Syndrome, deranged people are still going to be deranged on Wednesday regardless the election result

        Yep, no matter what the result, Trump will still be deranged. No doubt about it.

        --
        Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by c0lo on Monday November 02 2020, @03:20PM (3 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @03:20PM (#1071937) Journal

          Trump will still be deranged

          That's what I was afraid of.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @06:33PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @06:33PM (#1072072)

            And VLM will still be deranged! It's a chronic, pre-existing condition!!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @07:06PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @07:06PM (#1072085)

              Not covered by health insurance then.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @08:35PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @08:35PM (#1072137)

                Actually, could be? VLM needs Obamacare! (Feel the irony burn!!!) Now our long period of national healing begins. But not for Janrinok.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by WizardFusion on Monday November 02 2020, @02:21PM (4 children)

        by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:21PM (#1071905) Journal

        If you want to talk US politics, the US will either be completely fucked or mostly fucked next year depending on who wins.
        They still have far too many stupid people that think it's a hoax and refuses to wear a mask.

        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:21PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:21PM (#1071939)

          They still have far too many stupid people that think it's a hoax and refuses to wear a mask.

          Darwin award.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @04:29PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @04:29PM (#1071995)

            Darwin winners have the decency to only remove themselves from the pool.

        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday November 02 2020, @04:02PM

          by Freeman (732) on Monday November 02 2020, @04:02PM (#1071968) Journal

          Depending on who you talk to, as to which is which as well.

          --
          Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:19AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:19AM (#1072372) Journal

          It's spreading too, seeing anti-mask and anti-lock down protests more and more here in BC, where the mask mandates are mostly from private businesses and we never had a real lock down.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:24PM (#1071943)

        For future researchers wondering what TDS is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i4JxWkSYzU [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @02:12PM (3 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:12PM (#1071902) Journal

      Not to be a downer, but I see this a lot: "Will 2020 ever end".

      There's only so much of the future I can contemplate.

      The year 2020 has seemed especially troublesome. Rather than voicing a wish for unicorns and rainbows, I find it more productive to acknowledge it has been difficult, set my sites on nearer-term things, and then just plug along doing what I can do.

      Otherwise, things tend to get bottled-up inside and fester. :( So, I just take it as a recognition of reality, a feeling of frustration, and then a hope for things to improve (soon, please!).

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 2) by martyb on Monday November 02 2020, @02:26PM (1 child)

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:26PM (#1071908) Journal

        set my sites on nearer-term things,

        Lol! s/sites/sights/

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:22PM (#1071942)

          Lol! s/sights/tights/

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:31AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:31AM (#1072300) Homepage

        I've had a relatively good year. I must be doin' 2020 wrong!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday November 02 2020, @02:44PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:44PM (#1071916) Journal

      I've been saying that same thing for ten years now, at least. It feels like we're trapped in one of those gravity well simulators they position at the entrance of science museums to entice children to roll quarters into them; now we're in the throat, with everyone wondering if the coin will ever plunge into the center.

      We happen to be in one of those historical epochs when established interests and systems are about to be flipped over, and new players are making their bid for supremacy. China and Big Tech are making their play to control humanity, while the old global financial powers are suddenly realizing they have been asleep at the switch. The rest of us are spectators, though I do fondly wish we could and would flush them all down the drain instead.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:41PM (#1071950)

        > I've been saying it for 10 years...

        Ah you're a newcomer to the circuit. I think you'll find people have been predicting the end of times since... well the beginning of time. Thank you for your support - don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Monday November 02 2020, @04:35PM (1 child)

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @04:35PM (#1072002)
      Look at you being all optimistic that 2021 will start! Personally I expect a Dec 31, 2020 extinction event. I've been betting on a asteroid but it's 2020, so hey, maybe we'll get something more original.
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:15AM (#1072292)

        I'm betting on the end of hindsight. Everybody keeps saying hindsight is 2020.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday November 02 2020, @02:23PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @02:23PM (#1071907) Journal

    Thanks to the editors and coders who keep Soylent running. It is a marvel that a community run site has lasted this long. I hope we all can keep it running; it is needed now more than ever.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @03:42PM (#1071951)

      "Needed" ummm.... kinda. Definitely a 1st World kind of needed.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by shortscreen on Monday November 02 2020, @03:22PM (2 children)

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @03:22PM (#1071941) Journal

    Maybe on slow days you can just post a blank story or free-for-all. Then we can do what we usually do anyway and not RTFA or RTFS and discuss off-topic AC posts instead, except they wouldn't be off-topic since there wouldn't be a topic.

    Or you could dupe an old story that got fewer than 3 comments and see if anybody notices.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:34AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:34AM (#1072304) Homepage

      SlateStarCodex used to do that. I vaguely recall one of 'em hit 13,000 comments.

    • (Score: 2) by drussell on Wednesday November 04 2020, @06:54PM

      by drussell (2678) on Wednesday November 04 2020, @06:54PM (#1073015) Journal

      It also kinda puts out the feelers, seeing what random topics (other than the usual forever-ongoing-topics) that people actually discuss.

      Interesting, and a good idea. :)

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Monday November 02 2020, @03:24PM (7 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday November 02 2020, @03:24PM (#1071944)

    Story submissions have now exceeded 45,130.
    Posted stories are now past: 33,823

    So the submission to story ratio is fairly good. Are the 25% failures mostly Artis white-nazi-threats?

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday November 02 2020, @04:05PM (2 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday November 02 2020, @04:05PM (#1071973) Journal

      'eh, I've gotten several non-posted submissions, they were definitely not white-nazi-threatening kinds of submissions. I'm guessing that Aristarchus's submissions don't even come close to being a majority of those 25%. I feel for the editors, if they do, though.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Monday November 02 2020, @06:06PM (1 child)

        by looorg (578) on Monday November 02 2020, @06:06PM (#1072058)

        I think we all have our fair share of rejected subs. It's probably a fair amount of duplicate subs, bad subs or things that just wasnt all that interesting or things that somehow fell between the digital cracks.

        I do hope for the editors sake, or sanity, that they are not all Aristarchus subs. It might alter or skew their perception of reality.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Monday November 02 2020, @08:02PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 02 2020, @08:02PM (#1072115) Journal
          My own success rate is below 63% so they most certainly are not all Ari's or Runaway's.
          --
          It's always my fault...
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Monday November 02 2020, @06:43PM (2 children)

      by aristarchus (2645) on Monday November 02 2020, @06:43PM (#1072075) Journal

      aristarchus has 1547 submissions.

      Can't see the acceptance rate, total, but estimate +/- 15%. And not all on a single rightwing nutjob threat to the World! TMB would know, he tracks such things out of a excess of alt-spite.

      My appreciation to Martyb, for his steady hand as EIC, and for finally coming in from the Dark Side.

      --
      You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @01:29AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @01:29AM (#1072273)

        aristarchus has 1547 submissions.

        Can't see the acceptance rate, total, but estimate /- 15%. And not all on a single rightwing nutjob threat to the World! TMB would know, he tracks such things out of a excess of alt-spite.

        My appreciation to Martyb, for his steady hand as EIC, and for finally coming in from the Dark Side.

        My guess would be in the low single digits.

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:17AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @03:17AM (#1072293) Journal

          But your guess would be based on political disagreement, not actual data? Amazing how often that happens! Well, at least Covid-19 will be gone after tomorrow!

          --
          You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @11:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @11:20PM (#1072229)

      Are the 25% failures mostly ari's white-nazi-threats treats?

      FTFY

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PiMuNu on Monday November 02 2020, @03:59PM

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday November 02 2020, @03:59PM (#1071965)

    > I had happened to wake very early
    > I woke up early (again)

    Hope everything is okay for you.

    Thanks for your and others efforts to keep things going.

    If you have to cut back, for me I prefer to lose weekend posts more than weekday posts.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by hendrikboom on Monday November 02 2020, @08:31PM (1 child)

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Monday November 02 2020, @08:31PM (#1072132) Homepage Journal

    Just thought I'd mention that the rejected article I submitted in which the Chief Medical Officer for Canada recommended that people who have sex wear masks during it was indeed a real article, and not a satirical joke. She really did recommend that.

    It would at least have been an unusual covid-19 article.

    -- hendrik

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:23AM

      by dry (223) on Tuesday November 03 2020, @06:23AM (#1072373) Journal

      You should have gone with BC's advice to use a glory hole.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @09:19PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 02 2020, @09:19PM (#1072177)

    No solution to the massive right-wing nut-job infarction of the site, I take it, then?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:34AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @05:34AM (#1072361)

      "Infarction is tissue death due to inadequate blood supply to the affected area. It may be caused by artery blockages, rupture, mechanical compression, or vasoconstriction. The resulting lesion is referred to as an infarct."

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @07:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03 2020, @07:50AM (#1072387)

        Or, a Runaway infarct. Who cites Brietfarct. Vascular constriction resulting in Conservative thought processes. Early onset. OMG.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cmdrklarg on Tuesday November 03 2020, @08:09PM

      by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 03 2020, @08:09PM (#1072563)

      Meh... I'd say there are just as many bleeding heart liberals here as there are right wing nutjobs, and about a range in between fairly consistent with a typical cross-section of the population.

      I'd say SN is infested with nerds and geek types mostly... YMMV.

      --
      Dealing out the agony within
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