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Comment Human story-selectors is a good idea (Score 1) 1825

I want to support the idea of having actual humans choosing the stories.

My understanding of the firehose is that it's supposed to automate/crowd-source the stories we see, but when you've got valid accounts used by spammers to place their stories/comments then it no longer works. Even if the firehose is used to make something more noticeable to the editors we still need actual humans preventing stealth slashvertisements, etc.

Comment Display controversial posts - yes! (Score 1) 1825

I just wanted to support the idea of detecting & displaying controversial posts - it's a really good idea!

I could imagine an implementation wherein readers might have a checkbox available to them (perhaps right next to the 'what level do you want to browse at?' slider) to turn the display of controversial posts on / off.
But having a checkbox vs. always showing them vs. something else is just details - the main thing is that this is a really good idea.

Comment Trolls ok, Slashvertisements bad (Score 1) 1825

I agree that the moderation system largely takes care of the trolls.

I think that 'Slashvertisements' are much, much worse. You'll see a string of articles for some product/service/etc over a couple of weeks or so that are clearly being paid for by somebody, and then their budget is spent and the articles stop. Bitcoin had a run like this, as did solar power, and a couple of others.

Comment Awww, c'mon guys - I know that we hate MS here... (Score 1) 133

...but isn't this the equivalent of going over to a bunch of kids on the playground and saying "That new kid over there said he could beat up each and every one of you! With one hand tied behind his back!"

What I'm wondering is: who paid to have this on /.'s front page so that armies of geekdom are mobilized to find all the new, Edgy exploits?

Comment Is this why they always fix things in Star Trek? (Score 0) 49

I always wondered why 'Star Trek' characters seemed to spend a good fraction of the episodes rebuilding critical parts of their spaceship/gun/etc on the fly, under duress, and with a limited amount of time. I mean yes, obviously, some of it was just good (suspenseful) TV, but it's interesting to hear that there was actually an era when the person doing the engineering work would later be the one to actually go on the mission. Maybe they modeled Star Trek off people like this guy.

Comment Why doesn't this happen more? (Score 1) 355

So aside from the details of this particular incident, why doesn't this happen more?

I want to be clear that I don't want this to happen, it's clearly a bad, bad thing when it does, but think of it this way: Each term (semester, quarter) millions of people enroll in classes. Tens of thousands of classes. Business 101, Advanced Operating System Design, Underwater Basket Weaving, whatever. Statistically it's very unlikely that any given class will fail (there's probably at least one person who's going to do the work well enough to pass) but over the whole set of classes, term after term, year after year, shouldn't we expect to see this happen at least once every so often?

Comment Cost = Labor, not tech (Score 3, Insightful) 87

The cost of producing a large amount of well-thought out, cohesive, modular, high-visual-quality video is in the labor, not the cost of the tech. What the professor is saying is that she doesn't have the time to write 200 hours of script (or even write out 200 hours worth of detailed notes), record the 200 hours (which'll take more than that to record - no-one can do 200 hours of high-quality video on the first take), go back and edit stuff (even just cutting out uhms & ahs takes long than you think - step 1 will be to re-watch the 200 hours of video to find them :) ), etc, etc.

The $100,000 figure struck me as being weird, as well, but the professor's point is that producing 10 hours of video for each of 20 lessons in addition to all the other course materials is way, way too much to just demand that someone do.

Besides, for stuff like this you mostly want a good book anyways. Something that you can read a short paragraph of, stop and think about for a bit, come back and re-read in order to make sure that you got it, read another paragraph the same way, maybe work through a problem or two. Videos of this would be nice, but they're window-dressing around the main event.

Comment Microsoft Spartan? (Score 5, Interesting) 317

Isn't this how the XBox became the XBox? They released the code name of their internal project, people kept using the name, and then they just stuck with it?

On the one hand "Microsoft Spartan" doesn't seem corporate enough. On the other hand it'll fit right in with Firefox & Chrome, which also have non-descriptive names that are pan-inoffensive yet interesting...

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