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What should we do about Barrabas's current request?

Displaying poll results.
Pay $2k for the domain name and brand
  41% 134 votes
Move to a new name ASAP and don't pay Barrabas
  58% 188 votes
322 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mrcoolbp on Monday March 10 2014, @04:16PM

    by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Monday March 10 2014, @04:16PM (#14056) Homepage

    Hey guys, we promised to keep you the community involved and we'd like to give you a voice.

    --
    (Score:1^½, Radical)
    • (Score: 1) by resignator on Monday March 10 2014, @05:06PM

      by resignator (3126) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:06PM (#14109)

      I voted dont pay and move. It is the best way to end the debacle and allows for a completely clean slate.

  • (Score: 4) by mattie_p on Monday March 10 2014, @04:17PM

    by mattie_p (13) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:17PM (#14057) Journal

    I think no one, not in the staff nor the community, likes how this has been shaking out. We are left with essentially two options, and both have pros and cons. This is not something the staff can decide on its own, so we are asking for help. Please speak your mind here. Thank you.

    • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Monday March 10 2014, @06:14PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:14PM (#14150)

      Please just don't fuck this up. Soylent News is making up for the hole left in Slashdot after the boycott, from which many users don't seem to have returned. It needs work, sure, but I don't want to lose it.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 1) by dast on Monday March 10 2014, @06:23PM

        by dast (1633) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:23PM (#14156)

        I'm not sure I would have used the phrase, "[p]lease just don't fuck this up", but I agree with the sentiment. SL is already way better and way more usable than The Old Site, whose name should be mentioned nowhere in polite company. All the best to you all on staff. I hope this works out.

        I don't have any cash, but I can code or test for charity. ;)

  • (Score: 1) by robind on Monday March 10 2014, @04:19PM

    by robind (3) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:19PM (#14060)

    You know we tried pretty hard to pull this off smoothly. It only takes 1 bad apple to ruin the whole bunch.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gishzida on Monday March 10 2014, @04:21PM

    by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:21PM (#14064) Journal

    If we can not get a notarized "Quit Claim" then we should move. A handshake does not seem to be enough.

    • (Score: 4) by mattie_p on Monday March 10 2014, @04:23PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:23PM (#14066) Journal

      That will be part of the $2k deal. It wasn't pertinent for the poll, though.

      • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Monday March 10 2014, @04:26PM

        by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:26PM (#14070) Journal

        Actually I think it is... Without the quit claim we are still in dubious waters.

        • (Score: 1) by TK on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM

          by TK (2760) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM (#14101)

          This, this and again, this.

          The real value of the $2k is the transfer of rights, rather than reimbursement for server and hosting time, but that doesn't mean diddly-poop without a legally binding agreement.

          --
          The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
          • (Score: 2) by xlefay on Monday March 10 2014, @05:10PM

            by xlefay (65) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:10PM (#14112) Journal

            Which rights... the only thing the $2k will pay for is this domain name... and buy B out of SN.

            • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Monday March 10 2014, @05:26PM

              by gishzida (2870) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:26PM (#14124) Journal

              A quit claim will prevent "future issues" if John suddenly decides "after the fact" that he wants more than $2K USD

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:28PM (#14073)

    NCommander, there is an irc log that shows you agreed to pay for start up costs. Disagreeing on what those start up costs entail is one thing. Deciding later not to pay is dishonest.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by FatPhil on Monday March 10 2014, @04:46PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday March 10 2014, @04:46PM (#14089) Homepage
      But in Barabbas' own words, the start-up costs are under $1000.

      And part of the expenses include "gifts" to NCommander. Barabbas is expecting NCommander to pay for those gifts. That's not quite "dishonest", as such, but my English vocabulary isn't broad enough to come up with a word for that.

      NCommander has rightly agreed to pay for everything that was necessary to or useful for the start-up of the site. Right from the early days. However, the goalposts keep moving.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Monday March 10 2014, @05:14PM

        by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @05:14PM (#14114) Journal

        That's not quite "dishonest", as such, but my English vocabulary isn't broad enough to come up with a word for that.

        If they were given as gifts, then "petty" comes to my mind, or "ill-mannered" (if you count hyphenations as a single word). You don't give gifts with strings attached; if they have strings attached then they aren't gifts. He would come off much better by setting a "take-it-or-leave-it" price for whatever assets he controls instead of including stuff like this and trying to justify he's only trying to do the right and fair thing. Or auction it off if he wants to maximize and potentially profit from what he's put out. Don't unconditionally give your girlfriend a sweater then demand to get it back if you break up, or if you do, don't try to pretend you're not being tacky when you ask for it.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Monday March 10 2014, @05:18PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:18PM (#14117)

        Err... Let's look at the big picture.

        $2K is chump change. You could probably raise that on kickstarter in half an hour.

        Give him the cash, but make a legal document out of it requiring him to give up all claims on the 'intellectual property' (yes, I see the irony here) and assets associated with this site and the associated software, database, and hardware.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday March 10 2014, @05:37PM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday March 10 2014, @05:37PM (#14131) Homepage
          Yes, we're aware that's an option, one that is being given very serious consideration, that is what the option in the poll is for, after all.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fnj on Monday March 10 2014, @06:20PM

          by fnj (1654) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:20PM (#14154)

          If a legal document is part of it, then we're not talking about $2K any more. It costs $ to draw it up and get it right. And it implies commitment beyond $2K + costs to draw up. There is only a point to a legal document if you are prepared to back it with legal adjudication and enforcement in the event it becomes necessary. And I feel safe to say that is not what what anyone had in mind when this audacious venture was undertaken.

          I understand reluctance or caution at this step. All of me fundamentally cries out "#$^%# it, just pay it and be done with it", but life experience says "here there be dragons". Not in the sense that any personality is necessarily a dragon; just in the sense that events and feelings are at an ominous stage. I'm talking out of control.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @07:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @07:19PM (#14187)

            I can envision years down the road a situation like Facebook had with the Winklevoss twins. Barbarras could surface again years later claiming NCommander "stole" his idea while the $2k payment was only for recoupment of the startup costs.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Toaster42 on Monday March 10 2014, @06:54PM

        by Toaster42 (3581) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:54PM (#14182) Homepage

        In US English the non-PC idiomatic expression is 'Indian Giver'

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_giver [wikipedia.org]

        --
        All higher forms of thinking come from neural connections built by solving the kinds of problems encountered in math.-Md
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @09:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @09:13PM (#14289)

          That would be your solid impression, I take it.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by stderr on Monday March 10 2014, @05:20PM

      by stderr (11) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:20PM (#14120) Journal

      NCommand is not the one being dishonest here.

      Let's look at some of those expenses [soylentnews.org]:

      • AltSlashdot.org
      • AltSlashdot.net
      • AltSlashdot.com

      Cost: $48.13, but are 3 AltSlashdot domains (2 of which were never used) part of the start up costs of SoylentNews?

      • Virtual phone #

      Cost: 14.83, but what is that number for?

      • BlueHost hosting

      Cost: 178.20, the email, wiki and forums were hosted there at one point, but it's unclear how the cost got so high. The main site, http://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org], was never hosted on BlueHost, but on NCommands Linode servers.

      • Pimsleur Spanish I
      • Pimsleur Spanish II
      • Pimsleur Spanish II (I assume that should be III, but the wiki says II)
      • Sony MP3 player
      • USPS Shipping

      Cost: 441.14, but those were a personal gift from Barrabas to NCommander. Should NCommander really pay for a gift to himself? Should they even be part of the expenses for SoylentNews?

      Further down, under "Ongoing expenses", we have:

      • SoylentNews.jp
      • SoylentNews.cn

      Cost: 125.00, but as far as I know, neither the staff nor the community was ever asked, if we needed or wanted those.

      Some of the "Linode 1024" and "Linode backup" entries in that list are also stuff Barrabas got without consulting the staff and community.

      --
      alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by boltronics on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:18AM

        by boltronics (580) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @02:18AM (#14428) Homepage

        That makes sense. If you're not going to consult the stakeholders (in this case the community, technical leads, etc.) and purchase things on your own dime, that's the risk you accept.

        I think that this general rule of thumb probably applies pretty much anywhere, so for Barrabas to think otherwise seems somewhat arrogant and selfish IMO.

        --
        It's GNU/Linux dammit!
  • (Score: 2) by song-of-the-pogo on Monday March 10 2014, @04:37PM

    by song-of-the-pogo (1315) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:37PM (#14079) Homepage Journal

    Wow, I drop out for a weekend and ... stuff happens. I'm confused and still playing catch-up, so maybe I shouldn't have voted in the poll until I have a better grasp of what's going on, but my knee-jerk thinking is to just do whatever it takes to get things resolved permanently, be it paying out or moving house. I don't know what all (or any) of the legal bits and bobs are that would need to be nailed down to make sure you get a clean get-away. If it does come down to paying out, $2k does not sound like a lot of money from where I'm sitting, particularly if it means a permanent end to this foofaraw, but I can understand that, depending on situation, it can be an insurmountable sum ... so I guess I'd even be on board with the solicitation of community donations in suitably small quantity. There are enough users here that drumming up the necessary funds would run around $1 a piece. Perhaps that's more trouble than it's worth, though.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, guys. The transparency, while at times difficult and unpleasant, is appreciated.

    --
    "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by song-of-the-pogo on Monday March 10 2014, @04:43PM

      by song-of-the-pogo (1315) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:43PM (#14087) Homepage Journal

      Finished my thought too quickly ...

      I do mean "whatever will work" to include the caveat that the solution be one that takes the higher ground, if at all possible.

      --
      "We have met the enemy and he is us."
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by wjwlsn on Monday March 10 2014, @04:38PM

    by wjwlsn (171) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:38PM (#14080) Homepage Journal

    (Disclaimer: I'm an interested party here, as I've offered to pay the $2k that John has asked for.)

    Barrabas had the vision, started the project, laid out the initial capital, recruited a bunch of volunteers, organized the teams (at first, anyway), and served as public frontman for this whole operation for a serious chunk of time. Yes, there has been a lot of drama and bad blood recently, but that doesn't negate the substantial contribution he's had.

    If he says $2k is the cost to buy out his interest, I tend to think that's not unreasonable.

    --
    I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
    • (Score: 1) by quadrox on Monday March 10 2014, @04:56PM

      by quadrox (315) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:56PM (#14098)

      While I am not happy with how either Barrabas or NCommander have been dealing with the situation, I think it is only reasonable to settle this matter for good this way. And even though there might be some discussion about specific charges, I don't think it is worth haggling over every last bit of it.

      I am perfectly willing to pay my (small - I am not rich) share of this.

      • (Score: 1) by TK on Monday March 10 2014, @05:04PM

        by TK (2760) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:04PM (#14107)

        In the interests of pragmatism, I think this understanding would be most beneficial to everyone involved.

        From Barabbas's POV:
        $2000 = Non-disputed charges + disputed charges

        From NCommander's POV:
        $2000 = Non-disputed charges + the cost of buying the rights and DNS registration

        As for community donations, I think you are a part of the majority of people who would be willing to throw down $20-$50 for the Barrabas buy off + notary/lawyer fees.

        --
        The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
        • (Score: 2) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday March 10 2014, @06:53PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:53PM (#14181) Homepage

          I agree that we should buy Barrabas off.

          It would give the impression that closure was provided and a handshake was exchanged in spite of all the bad blood. We're still trying to grow readership, and if you just up and leave to a different name and domain, many of the readers will roll their eyes and just not follow you there because you(meaning SN in general, not any one person) will have already demonstrated that you're flaky and susceptible to personal conflict within your ranks.

          People don't want to invest emotionally in something they know is going to disappear and/or be shitted-up with petty squabbles -- that's why we're all here in the first place. I would be willing to donate twenty bucks, and very likely more if SN survives this bullshit.

          Barrabas' role in all of this must not be ignored. If it takes a cold, hard business deal to put this all behind us, so be it. It would not be advantageous to start something else with the stench of unresolved issues in the air.

          • (Score: 1) by CoolHand on Monday March 10 2014, @07:34PM

            by CoolHand (438) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:34PM (#14193) Journal

            I agree with this.. I think at this point it is almost absolutely necessary to make the purchase at that price point anyway)... I would make a small donation to contribute to the purchase... I think that if we ever do change names, we would want to still have this to redirect to the new name/site. If "soylentnews.org" all of a sudden starts selling soylent food, and the news site is no longer here, then that will lead to general confusion/disgust/etc...

            --
            Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ikanreed on Monday March 10 2014, @05:33PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:33PM (#14129) Journal

      Yeah, but baby websites often can't afford to play the real business game so quickly. That's the trouble.

  • (Score: 1) by Drake_Edgewater on Monday March 10 2014, @04:53PM

    by Drake_Edgewater (780) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:53PM (#14096) Journal

    CowboyNeal.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:58PM (#14100)

      /popcorn

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:54PM (#14097)

    I don't believe that the two options are mutually exclusive. I believe that costs that were incurred should be repaid, and the site should choose a new name in a democratic fashion. It's equitable for all involved and ensures that there will be no future hostage-taking.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM (#14102)

    From his blog here, he's contacted one of several buyers. He will be doubling his $1,000 investment after just a week. Not a shabby little profit, at the expense of the good will of an entire community.

    Don't give him a dime. He set a 7 day ultimatum for shuttering a site merely because someone questioned his accounting. He is the bad guy.

    Also, the current site name is terrible in my opinion. I'll be quite glad to see it go.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:15PM (#14115)

      It appears to be so

      "UPDATE

      I've had several offers for the site - thank you. I'm contacting the first one and then I'm gone."
      --http://soylentnews.org/~Barrabas/journal/167

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tynin on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM

    by tynin (2013) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:59PM (#14103) Journal

    $2k is small beans and not worth the amount of air it has gotten. Pay the man and lets move on. Even if we move to a new domain, pay the man and be done with it. Alternatively, though I think it is too late (though I'm sure you'd raise a lot of money very fast), open it up to the community to help foot this and future bills. We all want this to work.

    • (Score: 2) by tynin on Monday March 10 2014, @05:09PM

      by tynin (2013) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:09PM (#14111) Journal

      over rated? guys and girls, the honorable high road here is to pay the $2k. he funded the site at its creation. even if he is the benefactor turned malefactor, he provided the upfront money to get the ball rolling. there is no reason we should be petty and have it further reflect on this community.

      • (Score: 2) by Khyber on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:27AM

        by Khyber (54) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:27AM (#14455) Journal

        "the honorable high road here is to pay the $2k"

        So he can double his stated investment costs at our expense?

        Yea, fuck that noise, son.

        --
        Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.
        • (Score: 2) by tynin on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:38PM

          by tynin (2013) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:38PM (#14917) Journal

          I still think it would have been the right choice, though I understand exactly where you are coming from. For me, the fact he had the motivation to bring together a group of strangers, and foot the initial bill makes it practically his project. Paying him a little bit extra to stand down and take no future legal action (quitclaim deed), might just be worth it. Indeed, getting this out of the spotlight is necessary for the health of the community.

          That said, I'm glad you stand by your convictions. If I felt strongly that he had not brought value to this site, I too would be right with you.

          At this point, I'm just anxious to find out who the new owner is, and see if things will go sideways a 2nd time. I would have prefered if we the community had just "bought it", but I guess in the end some leadership with strong communication skills will be needed. I just have concerns... this is turning into a great place, I'd hate to see it all go to waste now.

    • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Monday March 10 2014, @06:15PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:15PM (#14151)

      Alternatively, though I think it is too late (though I'm sure you'd raise a lot of money very fast), open it up to the community to help foot this and future bills.

      That would require someone with a hell of a lot more business sense than we've seen from public plans/announcements so far. I do not think that is a high bar, though. I say this as a complete outsider -- I don't want to be involved in site governance -- but most of the drama seems to come from not knowing ahead of time where the money was going to be coming from, how to spend it, how/whether developers would be compensated long term, etc. Turns out when you "leave the details till later," this is the way it plays out.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:00PM (#14105)

    I'm just a casual user with minimal investment in what's going on. I've been enjoying the site and prefer Soylent to slashdot right now. If Soylent News changes names and moves, I'll follow along and see how it goes. If Barabbas gets paid, and there aren't any significant changes I'll keep reading and occasionally commenting as I have been.

    As to actually paying the $2000 (keeping in mind that I'm not talking about my money or a project I've personally put work into) I can see positives and negatives to either outcome. On the plus side, paying (with appropriate legal framework) gives a clean exit and a clear conscience - John/Barabbas isn't out anything for the work he did and the money he spent setting this place up. On the negative side, does doing so open up Soylent to further blackmail further down the road? (Either from Barabbas or someone else.) I say 'blackmail' because that's what "give me the money real soon or lose your domain name" looks like to me. Paying Barabbas seems like the right thing to do, but from what I can see he's made it a far more unattractive choice than it needed to be.

    However it turns out, and even if it is ugly, I really do appreciate the degree of transparency we (the readers/users/contributors) are getting with this process. Thank you for that!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:25PM (#14122)

      I don't know either. But it seems to be the start of an appropriate meme... "SolyentNews: we eat our own"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @05:19PM (#14118)

    can we somehow give the money for cost that I assume barrabas have had during the starting of this great news discussion site *AND* change to another name?

    If possible, anyone that can should share the costs for this, both the starting costs we had, and I assume the costs for having it up (not too astronomical at the moment since we are not slashdot size yet I guess?). Perhaps this is not so important because what for some is enormous amount of money is nothing to worry about for another person. Hopefully we have some of the later kind among us :-)

    More importantly, I have always assumed that soylentnews is a temporary name, I would prefer a name that don't have some built in meaning really. Some letters that is not an acronym form something else. or perhaps sn.org is ok?
    You can argue that the websites address is not very important either ofcourse and that is true, I just happen to prefer something without associations.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zocalo on Monday March 10 2014, @05:28PM

    by zocalo (302) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:28PM (#14126)
    I didn't vote because I found NCommander's queries about the breakdown of the amount to be perfectly valid and deserving of an answer, particularly if the direction the site takes means that things like filing accounts with the IRS might needed at some point. On the other hand, if the $2,000 is to re-imburse costs, transfer the "brand", make the issue go away and draw a line under it, then fair enough, but that still needs the matter of who gets any possible Linode credit note to be resolved.

    Also, as others have noted, make sure you get a legally binding document (Quit Claim) that confirms that the matter is indeed closed.
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @05:38PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:38PM (#14132)

    Screwed up the poll by ANDing unconnected ideas.

    Should pay the guy and pick a new name.

  • (Score: 1) by umafuckitt on Monday March 10 2014, @05:52PM

    by umafuckitt (20) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:52PM (#14137)

    The name sucks and the clunky UI needs fixig. The site, however, has good comments and a critical mass user base. DON'T FUCK THAT UP. Just eat the loss, fix the name, fix the UI, stop airing dirty laundry, and kill Beta.

  • (Score: 1) by moondrake on Monday March 10 2014, @06:26PM

    by moondrake (2658) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:26PM (#14159)

    I felt NCommanders queries were reasonable, and feel John escalated the issue. Probably because he is too emotionally attached. It should have been killed by a fast response by a mediator (if there is anybody left in staff on talking terms with John), but thats too late now.

    John is not the bad guy, even if he feels so, but he is being unreasonable. He should not be allowed to blackmail the site. So the correct business decision is now to simply move the domain.

    Nevertheless, this is not very nice and goes against my ethics. I think he deserves some kudo's for his initial work and ideas. Instead, I would offer him $1000. Take it or leave it. AND move to another site anyway.

    I hope the potential buyer John is apparently contacting is careful as he could be investing $2000 in a domain name that will soon be worthless

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40PM (#14169)

      Uh, dude, if you agree he's "blackmailing" and "going against your ethics" how does that NOT make him a bad guy?

      • (Score: 1) by moondrake on Monday March 10 2014, @06:52PM

        by moondrake (2658) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:52PM (#14180)

        Well, everybody has these days in which we do things we later (should) regret.

        I do not have a binary worldview. I pity John more than I blame him.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by dentonj on Monday March 10 2014, @06:27PM

    by dentonj (1309) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:27PM (#14161)

    For those of you not in irc, Barrabas received a payment from some unknown person(s). He is going to let the new owner of the domain name reveal themselves.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by moondrake on Monday March 10 2014, @06:33PM

      by moondrake (2658) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:33PM (#14166)

      So no need to vote anymore. It is likely the project needs to move as the new owner will want to make demands (1 digit user ids and such...).

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:43PM (#14172)

      Feel that? That's John Barrabas's pee on our heads, in great gushing torrents.

      Nice going, John. Slashdot cuts its own throat, and now you cut this site's throat. Maybe I just need to go to ArsTechnica.

      But you doubled your $1,000 investment, so you're happy.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:49PM (#14177)

      Great, so now we all just have to hope the new owner never gets any funny ideas about holding the site hostage.

      Maybe it would be good to think about forming some kind of legal entity (a cooperative?) so that no one person would be able to (legally) do that sort of thing.

    • (Score: 1) by Rune of Doom on Monday March 10 2014, @07:05PM

      by Rune of Doom (1392) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:05PM (#14183)

      Wow. I was liking the "pay him AND move to a new domain" suggestion, but if he really just upped and sold the name like that... then wow. Is there any way to pay him for a legally binding relinquishment of all claim to Soylent News or anything derived from it? (Anyone who'd do this after giving a 1 week deadline can't be trusted to not keep coming back for Danegeld.) Either way, guess I'll see y'all where ever things end up.

  • (Score: 1) by GlennC on Monday March 10 2014, @06:30PM

    by GlennC (3656) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:30PM (#14163)

    Pay the money to shut him up, then move...or move, and then pay the hush money.

    Your choice.

    Doing only one or the other will only give him an option to cause more mischief.

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
    • (Score: 1) by khakipuce on Monday March 10 2014, @08:26PM

      by khakipuce (233) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:26PM (#14254)

      I agree. From my quick skim reading of this it seems that NCommander basically agreed to pay then started haggling over the details which pissed off Barrabas. If the site takes off it's going to look like small change, if not this debacle may well be part of the reason.

      By now of course this is all by-the-by since someone has paid up but I agreed pay a one off, goodwill fee for all the rights and no more hassle. See a few shares if needs be to raise the funds.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40PM (#14168)

    I just wanted to throw in my two cents here... I never registered on /. or really posted comments at all. I've always been an idle lurker.

    I came on board and determined the Blue Host system would not work. I also started early development on a separate web system in case NCommander was unsuccessful getting slashcode to work.

    I suggested the Soylent News name as a bit of a joke and a reference and to my surprise it was chosen. If the community wants a different name, it wouldn't hurt me one bit.

    But to the meat of things...

    We should do what is necessesary to fully rid ourselves of Barrabas as an organization and community.

    This means we should pick a new name, register the appropriate domain name under our own account, and ensure any services or sites are ran from an account in our complete control.

    We should also take steps to prevent another person from holding the domain hostage as well. Perhaps by giving access to the registrar to multiple trusted people.

    I don't feel we should pay a dime to Barrabas for any of the charges. In my personal view, he kindly donated (without the community asking) money to help start. Whether we succeeded or failed, that money is gone.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:50PM (#14179)

      Glad to hear you're open to it, AC. Personally I don't like the name because of its obvious cannibalistic interpretation. Someone else pointed out it's also potentially endorsing/conflicting with the food product.

      Name aside, I'd almost like to see it dash under the Mozilla or Apache or FSF umbrella as a shortcut to community ownership, but of course that limits criticism of whatever parent organization is chosen. Really a whole not-for-profit is called for, but that takes money and effort too.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by umafuckitt on Monday March 10 2014, @07:07PM

      by umafuckitt (20) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:07PM (#14184)

      I don't feel we should pay a dime to Barrabas for any of the charges. In my personal view, he kindly donated (without the community asking) money to help start. Whether we succeeded or failed, that money is gone.

      Exactly. He took a business gamble. He was dreaming big at first: saying that he imagined SN would become a major news aggregator. He'd already been prepared to sink 10k into this. He's bailed in the first month and is in far less than 10k. IMO he should take the hit and leave it be. We choose a name because the current one doesn't work. Story closed. Leave the dirty laundry off the front page and polls.

    • (Score: 2) by unitron on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:22AM

      by unitron (70) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @01:22AM (#14409) Journal

      If you thought up the name, then technically aren't you the holder of the copyright to it?

      Did you agree to "donating" it in a situation where someone else could sell it?

      --
      something something Slashcott something something Beta something something
      • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:07AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:07AM (#14443) Homepage

        You can't copyright a name. However, you can trademark it. But on the expenses wiki, I don't see where anyone has coughed up the substantial fee to file for trademark protection. Nor do I see "SoylentNews, a trademark of..." anywhere in evidence.

        Personally, I like the name, and appreciate the pun (tho it takes on new meaning today).

  • (Score: 2) by Khyber on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:19AM

    by Khyber (54) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:19AM (#14451) Journal

    We've already turned into corporate whores, it seems.

    The only option here is to smack Barrabas and NCommander upside the head. HARD.

    Preferably with an old AS/400 or IRIX box.

    --
    Destroying Semiconductors With Style Since 2008, and scaring you ill-educated fools since 2013.