On Monday February 17 2014, at 02:06AM SoylentNews announced itself to the world!
(That's exactly seven years ago from the time this story posts.) Does it seem possible? I know it certainly amazes me.
A lot can happen in a year. Here are some items of note. As always, if you are not interested in this kind of stuff, ignore this post — a new story will be along shortly. Otherwise, this story continues below the fold.
- Random Statistics
- Site News
- Staff Activity
NB: An earlier version of this story containing much more detail seems to have jumped into a bit bucket. Please forgive any errors that crept into this quick reincarnation attempt!
Over the past year, activity on the site comes to:
We previously had a great number of posts on the COVID-19 pandemic. It is still with us, but vaccines are starting to be rolled out. Sadly, variants of the coronavirus have appeared, and some appear to be more contagious than the earlier strains. We had let up on our coverage of late, because trying to merge 20-30 story submissions was extremely demanding of time and energy — yet with decreasing amounts of discussion.
In spite of the hit that COVID-19 had on the community, we had a successful fundraiser last year. When we have official results, we will get them to you.
We had a few hiccups and a burp or two, but the site has held up pretty well over the past year, all-in-all.
We had a site issue last June where the Most Recent Journal Entries Slashbox disappeared for a while. The Mighty Buzzard (aka TMB, Buzz), investigated, verified the DB was okay, restarted mysqld, bounced Apache/Varnish, and got that running again. Thanks again, Buzz!
We've also had a few (thankfully short) site outages and some issues. One of which, of course, coincided with TMB being on a week's vacation. I investigated, but it was well beyond my ken. TMB made a valiant effort, but being far from home and trying to remotely diagnose/fix problems with a borrowed Windows laptop with a chicklet keyboard was just too much. He got things stable until he could return. At that point, things were fixed up right-quick. Thanks bunches!!
Work continues, in fits and starts, to get our new Gentoo server aluminum up and running. It is slated to take over for our single CentOS server: beryllium. Thanks to TMB and juggs as well as mechanicjay and audioguy for all you do!
As noted in last year's anniversary post, TMB had been remodeling a church into a home. "(end of April is what we're currently shooting for as a best case scenario)". Looks like his estimate was pretty close, but just had the wrong year. 😁 As soon as that remodeling is done and he's moved in, we are hoping to start working on some site updates.
That said, there are some non-Perl updates that were made through the template system. We pushed out just such a change last March. When loading a story which contains a wall-of-text, one can now just click "[Skip to comment(s)]" in the story's title bar and save a bunch of scrolling. (Updated the in-memory copy of template: "dispStory;misc;default".)
requerdanos joined the editorial staff last December. We were hoping for maybe a couple stories per week, but in short order he has already posted 106 stories! Thanks so much!
Thanks, too, go to Fnord666 who has been a solid and consistent contributor to the site. He's posted 6,234 stories of which 1,816 have been in the past year — 4.975 stories a day, every day. (No, I have no idea what 0.025 stories looks like!) He has often posted half of the day's stories, and some days has posted every single story. I couldn't have asked for a better Alternate Editor-in-Chief!
Then there's chromas who has posted 158 stories over the past year. (lifetime total: 1,237 stories). He often "seconds" stories (provides a review of the initial editor's efforts) and thereby helps keep our "foe paws" from making it out for everyone else to see and laugh at. But wait, there's more! He also maintains his systemd 'bot' on IRC. It submits stories, resolves links, and looks up things on Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube. It even extracts and generates citations for journal references! I shudder to think of how much harder it would be to post stories without the assistance. Thanks so much!
Our emeritus EiC (Editor-in-Chief) janrinok has had limited spare time while providing primary supportive care for his spouse. Nevertheless, he pushed out 193 stories in the past year (lifetime total: 5,237 stories). Furthermore, he maintains Arthur T. Knackerbracket which extracts and submit stories. Thanks JR! I especially treasure your gentle and able guidance as I try to follow in your footsteps!
Then there's takyon who continues to occasionally post stories (23 over the past year, lifetime total: 1,365). More amazingly, he is a prodigious submitter of stories, too. They are almost always well-researched and well-formatted, with supporting links from other sites beyond the primary source. I suspect he may have been an understudy on Dragnet "Just the facts, ma'am." Whenever I see one of his stories in the submissions queue, I know it will be a simple one to push out into the story queue. In the past year he has had 378 of his story submissions accepted! Thanks takyon!
Hopefully I didn't overlook someone, but before I close here, I should mention that TMB posted 10 stories over the past year... in addition to his efforts to keep the site up and running. Thanks Buzz!
You might not be aware, but SoylentNews has a Folding@Home team that contributes spare CPU cycles to a distributed computing project. The effort seeks to determine how different proteins fold and, thereby, be better able to come up with cures. Besides Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, the past year's efforts have had a huge emphasis on the CARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID 19. Huge multinationals like Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and many others have donated their spare compute power to fighting COVID-19. Yet, even measured against those heavy weights, SoylentNews is still ranked 368th in the WORLD. We have completed 163,441 work units. That has earned us 2,435,739,709 points so far. Yes, 2.4 Billion points!
Greetings Soylentils! And welcome to SoylentNews!
We are here to deliver the best community-sourced news, catered for all manner of nerd! Because this is a grassroots based platform, the content feeds are powered by readers like you. Our main objective is to highlight news stories on the web that are of importance to everyone, but especially nerds. In addition, SoylentNews will strive to go beyond simple news-aggregation, with some core principles:
- Providing a soapbox for experts to discuss their profession and solicit questions from a curious audience.
- Allowing the community to comment, without any mandatory registration.
- Staying mindful of the community's needs and wants while avoiding changes to satisfy an overarching corporate agenda.
We want to make this your source for news about technology, art, and science. We are the new kid on the block and are adapting quickly to satisfy our community's needs, as we look forward to exceeding your expectations and pushing boundaries like never before. Lastly, there will be no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy the ride!
I have a couple things to bring to the attention of the community concerning site funding and comment moderations. As always, if you are not interested in these matters, feel free to skip past this one; another story will be along shortly. Otherwise read beyond the fold for an update.
[2020-03-23 01:32:11 UTC Update 1:Ed. Note - updated to clarify location of the skip to comments button.--fnord666]
[2020-03-23 12:56:40 UTC Update 2: Changed link target from "#acomments" to "#commentwrap" per suggestion in: https://soylentnews.org/meta/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=36704&page=1&cid=974278#commentwrap; added "Note-to-self". --martyb]
Thank You! Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on a new UI feature to the site; [Skip to comment(s)]" is now live on SoylentNews!
The SoylentNews' Main Page should function and look the same as before. The magic manifests only after a specific story has been opened. Code has been added to a site template so that "[Skip to comment(s)]" should now appear, right-justified, in the first of the two lines in the title bar that appears immediately below the story's title.
[Note to self: see in-memory version of template: "dispStory;misc;default" original implementation target fragid of "#acomments" changed to "#commentwrap" as of 2020-03-23 12:56:40 UTC--martyb]
Clicking the button will bring you to the comment header block. (That's where you can adjust Breakthrough, Threshold, and Threading preferences (either one-time-only, or save it away, permanently.)
Quite frankly, thanks to the community's feedback, it looks and behaves better than what I had originally envisioned!
This is to inform you we *are* aware of a problem with the site.
Symptom: The "Most Recent Journal Entries" box that normally appears on the right-hand-side of the main page is currently not currently displaying.
We have tried a few things, but have had no luck so far. We will update this story when we know more.
Problem first became apparent at about 17:45 UTC today.
Workaround: Use Search to look at the most recent journal entries. Specifically:
We will update this story when we know more. I have done all I (martyb) know how; hopefully TheMightyBuzzard will show up before too long and get things straightened out.
[Update-TMB]: The local mysqld instances on both web frontends both decided to be On The Crack for some reason or other. The database itself running over on the db servers was just fine and a restart of mysqld (and bouncing of Apache/Varnish which has to be done whenever mysqld is restarted) on the web frontends put things back to normal.
The cause of mysqld's drug use is unknown and shall remain so unless it happens more than once.