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Comment Company Image Threat a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Score 5, Interesting) 187

And for all the right wingers that cry for Eich, saying he wasn't ousted for "not being progressive"? I hate to burst your bubble but he was fired for refusing to do his job simple as that. What IS the job of a CEO? Well a very large part of it is to be "the face of the company" and to deal with the press and issues in the press that are affecting your company's image...what did Eich do? Say "I don't want to talk about it" like a little spineless coward and hid while the opposition could say anything they wanted and build up steam for the boycott because he refused to do his job and fight back! If he would have said "these are my beliefs, this is what I support and what I do not and why" and actually started a dialog? He probably could have diffused the entire thing, remember he had an entire PR team at Moz to help him craft his side, while the other side simply were speaking their minds, so he had a pretty big advantage.

Nope, I don't buy that. Firing him from a company with Mozilla's tech cred for failing to carry out the PR mission sounds like lame after-the-fact justification. I suppose it could be argued that the company's primary focus had already changed by that point--the new marketing CEO and strange decisions since then do seem to point that way--but that makes the situation worse rather than excusing it.

Eich had already created javacript, founded Mozilla, served as the browser's chief architect and the company's chief tech officer for years and years. It's tough (maybe impossible) to think of anyone more in tune with Mozilla's mission, or qualified to carry it out.

And as we've seen in the last year, "the opposition" has unreal influence over the tech news media (including Slashdot), often right down to user forums/comment policy, including the willingness and ability to spin a one-sided narrative completely disconnected from reality and/or popular opinion.

From the /. post announcing the new CEO:

We did not "stand by and watch". Many Mozilla staff made public statements supporting Brendan as CEO, including (courageously) many LGBT Mozilla staff. Many more publicly supported Brendan than publicly opposed him. The media of course focused on his opponents because "Mozilla employees call for CEO to step down" gets more clicks than "Mozilla employees support CEO".

It's absolutely true. There were a bunch of blog posts by Mozilla employees supporting Brendan as CEO (even though many disagreed with his position on Prop 8), all completely ignored by the media. Looking at the relevant date range on should find them...

Did you ever see any of these viewpoints reported on at tech news sites? I think the Eich fiasco might have ended differently if it happened today, now we're more savvy to the disengenuousness and bigoted (and collusive) nature of those who perpetrate outrage culture.

Comment Good Thing There's Been a Strong Response (Score 1) 36

Sometimes you can deal with it even better. Fortunately in the US there was a grassroots customer revolt against the corruption so strong that the FTC stepped in in direct response to make it clear that, yes, disclosure of financial relationships is absolutely required.

And just this weekend the Society of Professional Journalists also publically stated that reviewers with relevant personal relationships must disclose them (or preferably just recuse themselves from those jobs).

Funny how none of that has been considered newsworthy . . .

Comment Yeah, Adoption is King (Score 1) 145

The animated gif is a testament to the importance of compatibility and adoption for a file format. It sucks at compression and quality, and doesn’t support any sound whatsoever.

How many expert committees and standards organizations and patent wars have revolved around implementing and promoting dozens of “superior” video formats (including codecs and containers and server/client software)? Despite all that effort and conflict, the animated gif reigned supreme as THE most widely used video format of the internet until the rise of Youtube (and it was arguably still competitive for awhile afterwards, and still hasn't gone away). Because it works absolutely everywhere, since the 90s.

Comment Sounds Perfect (Score 2) 62

The problem, as anyone who has had a problem with Google and needed to talk to a human knows, is that Google doesn't have a lot of staff to deal with this kind of thing. They try to have an algorithm detect and deal with abuses, but they're often wrong or inadequate which leaves regular people without a lot of options.

All of that is probably an advantage in DCA's eyes. They see Youtube's "accusation == guilty until proven innocent (plus the kafkaesque nightmare of trying to file an appeal with the automated scripts/machines)" copyright reporting system, and they want Google to implement something similar in their favor.

And they have a good chance of getting it, too, because Google will just want to make them to go away.

Comment Stunning Drop-Off in War Deaths Since (Score 4, Interesting) 332

This whole vid is well worth your time (seriously, make a note to watch the whole thing today if you haven't), but the last section (starting at 14:20) is particularly striking in how few war deaths have occured since the invention (and rapid development/manufacture) of nuclear weapons.

Comment Reddit is NOT Anti-Harrassment (Score 1) 410

He's feeling like reddit is picking and choosing which "harassing" subreddits are ok, and which aren't.

And the CEO (user "spez") has pretty much confirmed it (which of course means Reddit is NOT anti-harrassment, btw):

So SRS is demonstrably violating the rules (hell, that's in its mission statement), yet admins make excuse after excuse about how they won't ban them. Does anyone think spez would spout this bullshit about "improving our own technology" if SRS didn't align with him politically?

This is exactly the problem the new Reddit regime. There effectively are no public, written rules, just whatever the admins feel like doing. Every vaguely worded "content policy update" is therefore rendered totally meaningless, and everyone (rightly) calls them out on it. Because they're obviously just trying to do away with any inconvenient transparent rules in favor of the secret, biased, politically- and monetarily-motivated ones they'd rather enforce (but can't admit to).

Props to /. for remembering the censorship icon this time.


Comment Real Name Policy (Score 2) 279

The fact you're forced to tie everything to your Google+ profile with YouTube, Google play, and other services just sucked!

. . . and is made immeasurably worse by the real name policy. If you want me to participate in an online community in a lasting and meaningful way, there's no way in hell I'm using my real name.

Even worse, Google tried to confuse the issue (i.e. talk out of both sides of its mouth) by drawing a practically meaningless distinction between your "real" name and your common" name. See, your common name is "the name that you commonly go by in daily life," as opposed to your real name which is . . . fuck if I know. IMO, it was intentional double speak so they could claim "it's not actually a real name policy" whenever convenient.

Add to that at least one false start of rescinding the policy (is this one for real? Who knows?), and it's no wonder most of the internet judged them no more trustworthy (and of course potentially more dangerous) than Facebook. Now they claim they're de-coupling g+ from all their services. How many people think they've had any change of heart vs. thinking (as I've seen expressed here) they've found some other sneaky way to "link" you across their services?

Comment Conversation or Propaganda (Score 1) 43

also to engage in the much-needed conversation of diversifying the tech field with more pluralistic perspectives.

LOL yeah, why don't you try actually clicking that link and reading the comments. /. was totally fed up with this "much needed" agenda (and the spurious justifications for it) well over six months ago.

Comment Fair to Say (Score 1) 552

Except neither side was willing to let any of that go. That's the problem I had with it.

Well, I concede you've got me there.

As I've said before, Slashdot's ownership/editors soon realized that straightforwardly anti-Gamergate articles were getting soundly debunked in the comments, so they stopped mentioning it directly in the title or summary (the recent Brianna Wu interview is rare in that regard, at least these days).

Instead, they've posted countless articles with the same pattern: "Harrassment, mysogyny, threats. Harrassment, mysogyny, threats . . . oh btw Gamergate" (i.e. they attempted to wrap GG in identity politics). Many /. users (including me) still recognized the propaganda for what it was and call it out. Yes, I admit it's very difficult for me to "let that go" unchallenged. Fortunately, even that editor tactic didn't work for very long.

Comment The Accusation (Score 2) 552

Nathan Grayson wrote an article that gave positive coverage to Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest, without disclosing that he was thanked in the credits and clearly knew Quinn. DQ was only one of 50 games covered in the two paragraph article, yet was somehow singled out in three ways:
a) The article’s title “Admission Quest” was a play on DQ’s title.
b) The only screenshot (a huge background to the title) featured from any of the games was from DQ.
c) DQ was the first game (of only four) mentioned in the very short prose, praised as a “powerful Twine darling.”

Grayson wrote another article about Quinn’s role in a failed game jam TV show, painting her in a positive light. Despite the fact that the two were good enough friends to have planned an upcoming trip to Vegas together, this article also failed to disclose their relationship.

You can try to ignore the accusation, censor and libel those who exposed what Grayson did, or try to strawman the accusation into something else . . . but none of that makes it go away.

Comment I Could've Lived With That (Score 1) 552

Point being, I'm actually quite glad that Slashdot didn't add Gamergate to the stinking, festering pile of identity politics it already took upon itself to be responsible for.

I would have been all for /. simply covering the journalism scandal (and resulting failed blackout&censorship, and eventual reform to ethics policies) and leaving identity politics out of it. Problem is, they tried to do the exact opposite and it blew up spectactularly in their faces.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.