The punchline for this week's story line arc at Userfriendly is significant to any slashdotter with less than a seven digit UID.
Slashdot used to be a safe site to visit, it never made noise when you didn't want it to, making it the go-to site for quiet, in-office news aggregation.
Not anymore. I just had to mute my laptop due to a slashdot auto-playing video advert.
The legal impossibility of a Christian polity in America is formally declared in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The so-called 'free speech' and 'free exercise' clauses of the First Amendment are purely secular mandates. They are a rejection of the Catholic notion of the common good, mandating that there be no restraint whatsoever on things that damage souls and ultimately destroy the State itself. They grant as lawful precisely what many popes have called unlawful: unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, of writing, and of worship -- as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. The language of the First Amendment reflects the Protestant-borne, Enlightenment-bred faith of the deistic Framers in the ability of unaided human reason to define and sustain liberty apart from Trinitarian Truth; that is, without a cooperative effort by the Church and the State. Thus, all manner of violations of natural and divine law, including the "right" to murder children in the womb, and the coming "right" to "marry" someone of the same sex, are found lurking in the secular mandates of the First Amendment. The true Church foresees these errors. Oddly enough, the Secular State itself will not be able to endure its own mandates.
I was just asked, on a comment, to prove that I was human.
I am logged in to slashdot.
This is a test to see if I can post in my journal without becoming anonymous.
Things that were not explained adequately upon conversion from CW to ICE.
- Bonuses- it was thought by my management that QPB applied to all blue badge employees including ICE. If I had known I wasn't going to get bonuses, I would have asked for higher base pay.
- Vacation Time- MUST be taken while still an employee, and unlike what the recruiter who wrote my job offer told me, cannot be used to extend your final week. Any unused vacation time will be lost at end of contract, by policy. In addition, apparently you lose it at the end of the year, I really should have taken WW52 off, then the sting would not be so bad now.
- ICE as a stepping stone to full employment at Intel is a lie. I couldn't get anybody, despite spending many hours on networking, to give my resume a second look. I even learned a new tool in this contract that is internal and can only be used at Intel and is completely worthless outside of Intel. No matter, I've had many interviews outside of Intel, and will land well, but I'll keep this in mind the next time I am tempted to take a short term contract at Intel.
- Being a blue badge, if you are ICE, still means you're treated more like a resource than like a human by human resources. Many policies are used to reverse decisions that your manager, who is working more closely with you, has made.
Software Project Management At Intel in non-software divisions
- Brooks Law is almost unheard of at Intel. Hardware Managers think that all software projects can be completed in less than six months, and therefore throw contingent workers at the project. Since software estimates, in general, are 75% engineering and 25% new science, they are wildly inaccurate. When the project inevitably fails to be complete in the first six months, the temptation is to break Brook's Law by adding more contingent workers. The time to ramp up CWs on the project of course exceeds the time to complete the project if you kept software engineers working for more than 18 months at a time.
- Agile or Waterfall- Pick one and stick to it. This crazy combination used on software projects in hardware divisions is ridiculous, as is the general lack of written requirements.
- It's hard to hit a moving target- input data integrity must be respected. If you don't have input data integrity, then there will be bugs. Bugs add complexity. Bugs make software estimates inaccurate. Lather, rinse, repeat.
On the new diversity initiative
- There is no link between surface appearance and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. None at all. While this makes the apparent racism of the past a mistake, this also makes modern affirmative action programs equally racist and invalid.
- There is no link between religion, sexual orientation, or disability and how a person thinks, or how capable they are. Such factors should not enter into hiring or promotion decisions at all, and when they do, that is what Intel needs to eliminate from the system.
- There IS a link between certain forms of mental illness and the ability to innovate. Since mental illness affects the brain directly, having somebody with a well controlled mental illness on your team increases diversity of thought, which leads to innovation.
- I believe that the uncertainty surrounding the diversity initiative was a part of my failure to convert to FTE. Not necessarily outright discrimination against a white male, and due to my autism I fall into one of the protected groups anyway and HR is well aware of that. But I believe the way the diversity initiative was announced, and the weeks of confusion surrounding it before BK finally clarified his position, coming at the same time I was trying to convert to FTE, meant that I had a harder time of trying to get my resume noticed and find open, externally advertised jobs for my skillset.
Final Thought and contact info
While my search to convert to FTE at Intel has failed, my external search has succeeded. I have at least one, maybe two job offers in hand; I will likely be back to work sometime between March 25 to March 30. This posting will be crossposted to Inside Blue before I leave Intel. Comments section below is open.
Welp, I can use Slashdot in Chrome and not in Firefox, which implies that something I'm blocking in Firefox is preventing the new improved Slashdot from working. What new spyware bullshit do I have to enable to use Slashdot now? Thanks, DICE! You'll run this place the rest of the way into the ground any day now.
Bill's last set of answers, and my answers to his answers
>>1. The only reason to run the gas engine under 25 miles an hour [â Typical residential speed limit] should be for recharging and generating, period. EV mode only at low speed.
>And Toyota may have started out planning on along those lines, but may have gotten focus group research that indicated people preferred a little more acceleration.
Which is weird, because when you put the two electric motors working together, you have MORE acceleration than the gas engine alone. 104 HP vs 70 HP.
>>2. An expert mode should be available wherein "creep ahead at stop" is disabled
>Having switched to owning only manual transmission cars, I only miss that on a metered freeway onramp, that's uphill. I imagine it's added behavior when in electric-only mode, to simulate a slush box, so not sure how it could be universally defeatable. There's no "neutral" on those smug little cars?
There is, it just doesn't auto-engage. The default is creep ahead (and yes, it's electric- it is quite obvious that your gas engine has stopped and it's in stealth mode- which makes it even more dangerous for say, a pedestrian in the cross walk in front of you, no warning roar of the engine as the car speeds up to 8mph slowly).
>>3. Cruise control should also be able to be set by a numeric keypad, and should be able to handle values lower than 23.
>That's an awesome idea, rather than having to bring the car up to the desired speed manually. But I wouldn't be surprised if it's the government disallowing the latter.
It certainly gets them more speeding ticket revenue in 20mph and 15 mph zones. That, and thanks to the "delayed reaction" in the CAN of the prius, I can never seem to hit the correct speed. Always 1mph off, either above or below. And why does slowing down below 23 erase the register, forcing a manual reset, instead of disengaging alone?
>>4. Sport mode should be available that disengages the traction control and enables all three motors for acceleration (you can get the second half of this in a gen2 by angrily stomping on the accelerator, it takes a second to engage, but you suddenly go from 34 HP to 174 HP as the second electric and the gas motor kick in).
>Why would a Prius owner want this?
Ice, sand, and mud. Thanks to the traction control the way it is, and the standard modes, it is impossible to get more than 34hp to the wheels in the first second of travel; and in addition to that, if there is any wheelspin at all, that 34 goes to 0 hp real quick and a little light blinks on to tell you that your transmission is disengaged. A sport mode would enable both drag racing and off road abilities that the prius currently lacks.
>>5. Finer resolution than 5 minutes on the average MPG consumption graph.
>>6. Ability to download trip data onto an SD card.
>Likely never, directly. Companies want your personal info to go to "the cloud" first, so that they can mine it and monetize you further.
I'd even accept an upload to the cloud if I could get fine resolution consumption and the ability to diagnose my driving habits after the fact. The big change in driving a prius isn't so much the technology, it's the feedback given about your fuel consumption, and it occurs to me more feedback is better.
>>7. If gas tank 20% full and battery 20% full, hibernate mode on computer if accidentally left on and wheels are not moving. Right now if you tried to use a Gen2 prius as a backup house generator, you run the risk of bricking the system, unable to boot computer, unable to add more gas, must drag onto a flatbed and tow to Toyota to use their fancy charging system to bring the car back to life.
>I guess you're saying these cars have no under-hood starter battery like ICE vehicles, that's user-swappable with a replacement from any auto parts shop. And I guess neither can these cars be jump-started, simply by using another vehicle (with a battery of equal or greater cold cranking amps). Wow.
More of an in-the-trunk starter battery that is only good for booting the computer system. If you run out of gas *and* the high voltage battery goes totally flat the most you will be able to do is boot the computer, the high voltage battery is needed to spin M1 to be the starter motor (M1 does triple duty- it's a 34 HP electric motor that does the initial acceleration, serves as a generator, and also serves as the starter motor for the gas engine- and it runs off the high voltage battery; M2 is a 70 HP electric engine that can also double as a generator, and then E1 is the gas engine that can send power to the wheels, to M1, to M2, or to all three- quite a complex computerized transmission runs it all). So there would be good reason to provide a hibernate mode that would allow a Prius to be parked for more than three weeks.
I suspect that a plug-in conversion and/or a Gen4 plug in prius is the answer to that last problem- if you're feeding off the grid regularly, there's no need for the gas engine to generate power to begin with.
Then they modded down five of my comments in a row. Why doesn't the system catch this kind of obviously abusive moderation? Oh right, because this is slashdot, not someplace with competent employees.
If moderation on slashdot were intelligently designed, this person's abusive moderation would have been autodetected and they would have been banned from moderation permanently.
My wife is looking for a Wifi network security camera for the daycare. Ideally, we want one that we can set up an account on a remote server with a username and password that we share with parents.
Anybody have any suggestions?
It's a pretty standard trope, but one that libertarians do not seem to believe can possibly exist. And it is a blind spot in economic justice in the United States of America.
The Lion and his Fellow Hunters, By Aesop
Once, a lion, a fox, a jackal, and a wolf went hunting. They caught a stag and killed it, and quartered the meat. "This quarter," said the lion, "is for me, as I am the King of Beasts. And this quarter is mine as the arbiter of the spoils. The third quarter is mine because of my part in chasing down the stag. And as for the fourth â" well, I'd like to see any of you dare to put so much as a paw on it." The other three animals were bitterly disappointed, but they slunk away, unwilling or unable to fight for their share of the meat.
Just because you help a lion doesn't mean he'll share.
So remember boys and girls, just because you help a rich man to run his business, does not mean he'll share the profits with you. Which leads us right back to an entirely Different Leo and his successors.
I'd like to talk about Slashdot. We all remember that old troll, Netcraft confirms it, only these days you don't need pagerank to see the decline in comments and community involvement. It's a problem. And facing that truth is the first step in finding solutions. But before I begin, a bit of meta about this journal entry:
First of all, while I've submitted to the editorial queue I don't expect front page placement. I know this kind of navel gazing isn't FP worthy. The intended readership is editors and those interested in
Secondly, this journal is not a bitch session. I don't want to talk about which editors suck, why the beta should or shouldn't be tossed, or how much better things were when Malda ran the shop. All that is gazing into a rear view mirror. And you can't drive a car based on what's already passed by. Success requires looking out the front window at oncoming obstacles and steering clear. Otherwise, you tumble off-road and crash and burn.
Thirdly, I like Slashdot. I want it to succeed. And I think there are exploitable opportunities to regain audience. So this diary is about grasping opportunity for renewed success. I want to offer hopeful suggestions. For there is no point in promoting defeatism and failure.
To begin, let's look at what's wrong. Most of it is inertia following an old model that was once wildly successful. The editorial policy still focuses on short blurbs about off site articles. Yet these days a well written subject line conveys everything one needs. That's why Twitter is so successful.
The next problem is slow turn-around for material already publiziced by competitors. It might take a half-day to a day between submission to front page. Which were editors carefully selecting from a vast deluge of stories might make sense, particularly if most of them were somehow folded within the Slashdot umbrella and not already publicized. But right now, that's not the case.
There's a competitor that's taken over link aggregation. We all know who it is. Reddit. The once Smiling Alien has become a Ravenous Gorilla, eating everything and everyone in its path. Reddit has already eaten Slashdot's lunch. Now it's taking seconds and thirds from the nerd site's breakfast and dinner plates.
Combine these two, redundant write ups of old news already popular elsewhere and you get decline. In link aggregation, Reddit won and Slashdot lost. Get over it. Because Slashdot lost that war long before Reddit even came on the scene. The question is why. Answer that and it's a first step toward putting Alien Kong on a much needed diet.
Sometimes examining history is a helpful lens through which to understand the present. Slashdot has always been a community driven site. That is, back in its founding, Malda et all took users seriously and tried to meet their needs. On occasion this led to site editorial policy contorting itself around conflicting community demands. And was that community demanding. It's as if Slashdot's success seemed to have knit together too many groups with differing interests. It seemed impossible to please everyone.
By the end of the 1990s, there was recognition the site couldn't rely entirely on externally generated content. That link aggregation was only a partial means to drive audience. Should the site promote user submitted content or hire professional writers? On the one hand, community submissions engage the core audience. On the other hand, professional writers produce professional content. Some users expected professionally copyedited submissions given the site dominated 'Net tech discussion. Others wanted to retain its amateur community charm.
The downfall of Jon Katz as Slashdot professional writer and editorial staffer said more about this community divide than it did about his competence. Even if he did screw up. A real editorial process would have caught his mistakes before publication. And he is a good writer. Even if only marginally competent with tech news. But that community breach - not Jon Katz but the divide between amateur community and professional - provided opportunity for competition.
One dev took advantage of dissatisfaction on Slashdot and developed a community driven competitor, Kuro5hin. Its unique claim was that users could vote on story submissions rather than the site's press being controlled by a central editorial body. It offered a private submission queue where community members could propose editorial changes prior to publication. Then a story 'election' stage where voting would decide success or failure. Those stories that succeeded made it to the front page. A community voting model was tried many times before Reddit took the reigns as self-proclaimed "Front Page of the Internet."
This led to a debate on Slashdot over whether community managed or centrally managed models should win out. Slashdot was the market gorilla then and Kuro5hin a semi-popular upstart. Slashdot continued their traditional editorial approach, with editors who selected community submitted content. They continued publishing Jon Katz. And ran on the inertia of success.
Kuro5hin challenged Slashdot by letting the community write, edit, and choose stories by popularity. And in this challenge the site became very popular very quickly. Not as big as Slashdot, but big enough to gain real attention. And Kuro5hin did this by at first slicing away a noticeable portion of the Slashdot community. But people stayed because the system allowed successful contributors to build notoriety, creating a symbiosis between writers, community, and publisher. Something Slashdot only partially embraced with open submissions.
But there's a reason why few remember Kuro5hin today. It had a slow-burn downfall. The more popular it became the more valuable was front page real estate. Just like with Slashdot, community members began to split off into different groups each with their own vested interest. And here was where the story voting queue transitioned from an enticing unique feature to its Achilles Heel.
Soon the queue became gamed by those groups, organized around parochial interests particular to each. Some were trolls, others political ideologues, and still others wanted a pure focus on tech. None could share a communal printing press. And the owner, in his infinite folly, decided to step away and not interfere with community choice. It was a community driven site, right? Let the community decide! Idiot.
People began to leave. Over a couple years that trickle of departures became a rush. Then a scandal or two and a huge migration cleaved the community in two. The site imploded. Finally, a focus on trolling for click-throughs left it publishing such insightful fare as Fuck Natalee Holloway, attracting eyeballs by impugning some girl who'd disappeared and became a media sensation.
Controversial stories like that can generate lots of short-term clickthroughs by an angry and indignant public. Hey, it's an advertising model. Click-bait. Before Gawker there was Kuro5hin. But it didn't last. Because it tarnished the brand for a bit of short-term gain. Kuro5hin lived off googlesearch results to old controversial stories for a time. But now it's a ghost town of 'Net-tumbleweeds and World Wide Cobwebs where a once vibrant community once stood.
The decline of Kuro5hin might have convinced Slashdot's editors they had made the right choice. It's demise is instructive. Centralized editors can prevent organized trolls and political insurgencies from taking control of a site's press. But as Kuro5hin devolved to infighting over an increasingly less relevant front page, another community driven site emerged. And this one would beat Slashdot at its own game in every way imaginable.
Digg. For those who remember its spectacular implosion the name evokes sneers of derision. But there was a time when Digg overtook not just scrappy media startup Slashdot with its little focus on 'news for nerds'. Using Slashdot's link aggregation model, Digg took over 'Net everywhere. Newspapers, magazines, music, film, television... promoting everything media. It became a powerhouse portal relevant to every press outlet and publisher, discussed on television, courted by public relations specialists, ultimately becoming worth billions of dollars on paper.
Contrasting Kuro5hin and Digg against Slashdot, one might call the founding of Kuro5hin a writer's dream of what community publishing could be; content, written by local authors and democratically selected for promotion by the community itself. Digg, on the other hand, represented a marketeer's fantasy of how to aggregate audience without doing the hard work of content creation. While Slashdot sat somewhere in the middle, promoting a little bit of community content on the front page and a whole lot of professional content published elsewhere.
Digg won. Its devs took Slashdot's model, transformed their editorial focus away from nerds to the general public, and reaped vast rewards in audience share. Then, like a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, it spectacularly died in a bloody 'Net mess. And, curiously, for much the same reason as Kuro5hin before it. Internal infighting. Corrupt vote rigging. A public scandal that destroyed credibility.
For a site that had prided itself on community content selection, ultimately a kind of payola system infected Digg. Perhaps not with money changing hands, but the power over a vast audience engendered a corrupt system of power users who self-coordinated to rig the selection process. Digg became Rigg, so to speak. Thereby undermining its entire raison d'etre for existence. Goodbye Digg.
Digg has changed hands and - like Kuro5hin - exists as a shell of its former self. They've even transitioned to a centrally managed editorial model, just like Slashdot. But it mostly remains dead. Reddit reaped their userbase and walked away with The Grand Prize. And to this day Reddit remains Alien King Kong, a giant gorilla eating everything off of everyone else's plate. Including Slashdot's.
So now we've seen two examples of site implosion by internal corruption. Perhaps there's a cyclic lesson to be learned here. A point I'll return to after discussing what I think is wrong with Slashdot's community partnership model. Now, I want to shift focus away from link aggregation to content production. Because today original content is king. There is no link aggregation without content. And what was once a vast diversity of publication houses and outlets has consolidated into a paltry few. Forcing content creators to either partner with corporate leaches or else die in obscurity.
Let's start with an old-timer, Dailykos. It's been around since Kuro5hin. Almost as long as Slashdot. And it's still highly popular with large audience share.
Forget about Dailykos' political leanings. The site is openly partisan, left leaning, and exists to promote Democratic candidates. And that's not why Dailykos is interesting. The site is interesting because it's old and yet still successful. Therefore Kos is doing something worth learning from. However, partisanship is not the lesson here. That's never been a viable model for Slashdot.
Instead, the lesson to learn is how a central editorial body sustains audience through community content generation. That's what Slashdot needs to foster. Because in this era, as long as Slashdot is focused on promoting material produced elsewhere the Giant Alien Gorilla will eat its lunch.
Diaries, not comments, are what drive community involvement at Dkos. That diary system creates a symbiosis between community and publisher. True, most diaries suck. But that's the case with all content. Most everything sucks. So what matters is not that sucky diaries are published but that quality filters exist to pick out diamonds in the rough.
There are two levels. Dkos has a voting system that publicizes the titles of popular diaries in a side box to the main page. If someone writes a recommended diary, it can generate thousands of page views and hundreds of "Recommended" upvotes. From there some diaries are chosen for promotion to the main page. Now you're talking tens or hundreds of thousands of page views for a story. That's real name recognition for a writer. And very well received diarists might get an offer to write for the front page regularly. Talk about incentive.
This mix of content by official site writers and promoted diary entries creates a path of upward mobility for lower ranks of creators and contributors to aspire to. It is these aspirations that sustain a community. Because getting noticed isn't merely some popularity content. Several writers have wound up landing professional gigs. What dkos gets from in content by diarists the site returns to writers with increased notoriety and even potential employment opportunities. Symbiosis.
All while the site publisher retains control over their press. Kos doesn't let trolls and other organized groups direct editorial policy. Slashdot editors should take note.
This model has been copied with more recent successful web startups. For example, Medium and Vice are sites that attract high quality content by providing an easy means for new contributors to get a foothold while retaining editorial control to weed out crap. The 1% rule is relevant here. The trick with a viable community model is to pair the interests of creators and contributors with the publisher. Rob Malda knew this from the beginning. But somewhere along the line that symbiosis between contributor and publisher on Slashdot broke down.
It's not as if Slashdot didn't try. There's a Journal system that was intended to replicate diaries on dkos. But it doesn't work. The place is a ghetto. Mostly because the promotion system is broken. On the one hand, only friends see new journal entries. On the other, journal entries can be submitted as stories to the Slashdot submission queue. But this creates a dead area in between. Journals on their own can't be used to build audience.
If you want to submit, there's little reason to write a journal entry. If you want to write a long form journal entry, there's cultural baggage opposing self-promotion. You might as well publish on your own blog and find some way to pass it around competitors and Slashdot. Which only diminishes its value as a potential Slashdot submission. You've got a negative feedback loop going here with Slashdot's most important potential community asset.
Earlier, after finishing up the history of Kuro5hin's and Digg's respective implosions, I said I'd discuss a special opportunity emerging that Slashdot could perhaps exploit. Implying that such an event might happen again. And I definitely think that's the case. However, there is a big difference between then and today.
When Kuro5hin died it wasn't even a leader in its field. There was significant competition not just from Slashdot but numerous other sites as well. Similarly, Digg imploded with Reddit standing by ready to fill that market gap. But today Reddit is a last site standing. They hold an effective monopoly on link aggregation. As they say, they're the "Front Page of the Internet." And these days they are. This makes Reddit sticky in a way prior sites weren't.
However, like Kuro5hin and Digg, there are serious problems with a perception of submission queue rigging and censorship by Reddit moderators. And it's pervasive across the large subreddits.
For example, back in October of last year it became clear that moderators in
Then, a few months later in February 2014, a new scandal emerged whereby the mods in
Just recently, a web developer was banned from for submitting a project of his own. He created a video, asking:
Has Reddit become a place for celebrities and big brands benefit from free advertising while the average Redditor who wants to share a personal project gets shoed away?
In the video he then spoke to why this is a bad thing for community relations and how this experience has impacted his trust in the site. At least discussion of his experience hasn't been censored on
Regardless, the issue here isn't about this guy's trouble. There have been so many other examples of this kind of manipulation a pervasive expectation of community exploitation by Reddit admins and mods has developed. The community knows - or at least believes - they're being actively censored for Public Relations purposes. Which is exactly what happened at Digg right before implosion. And Kuro5hin before it, for slightly different reasons.
That means there's market pressure building for a free-as-in-speech competitor to appear. That's called opportunity.
Slashdot? This situation is exploitable. The publisher and editors should take this opportunity to punch that Alien Gorilla in the face and give Reddit a well deserved bloody nose. You can't get everything. But if you're aggressive you could cleave off a chunk of audience at
This is YOUR OLD NERD AUDIENCE. Bring these people back to the fold by offering them what they want. An open community portal.
After these messes at Reddit and before that Digg perhaps they'll remember you fondly. Slashdot may have been incompetent but it was never corrupt. Not like that. At least nobody thought so. In contrast, that Big Bad Alien Gorilla wants it all so badly they've grown complacent to competition and arrogant to their community. Reclaim your community by promoting Slashdot as the free speech alternative to a now corrupt competitor. Just like Reddit did to Digg.
Combine that with fresh community content creation and you've got a strong means to rebuild your brand anew. With real community involvement and original content hosted locally. You'll know you're hitting them hard when Slashdot comment forums begin competing with Reddit in new comment numbers and page views. You'll know you're winning when Slashdot stories starts popping up in the Reddit new submissions queue.
In summary, it's my belief that Slashdot should change focus away from link aggregation to publishing professional and semi-professional original content. It should do this with community involvement by tweaking journal promotion to focus on community-publisher symbiosis. Dailykos is a model for process, Medium and Vice standards of quality. But most of all, you've got to change direction. The old model doesn't work any more. And recognizing that truth is the first step to change for the better.
I hope this has been an interesting read for
this guy is clearly NOT a mathematician, but if he was:
You have 4 wives on earth. Each one of those wives has 70 black eyed virgins for you in paradise. Each one of those black eyed virgins has 70 servant girls. That is 19,884 women for you to have sex with in paradise.
But it gets worse. Each one of those women has been given YOU by Allah for a term of 70 years. That means you will be having sex, nonstop, from the time you die for the first 1,391,880 years you are in paradise. You're going to need eternity from then on just to rest up from that.
If your genetilia has been turned into a fine red mist by the dynamite vest you just blew up to kill 30 infidels in a coffee shop?
The Catholic Church considers the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to fit with our theology. But it also occurs to me that it fits with the problems I've run into converting analog to digital measurement. And THAT points to the theological idea that many people worship not the Creator of the Universe, but an image of God that is a model of the actual God.