FB & Slashdot are different in most every way. Let's put that aside.
Every source (or originator, conveyer, aggregator, etc.) imposes some degree of editorial bias. Some strive to meet a specific standard, while others bias on purpose, and others to maximize economic gain. Not just websites. Also newspapers, magazines, radio, video, non-fiction books, academic journals, and so on. None is perfect.
Even those that strive for the ideal of being perfectly objective impose a bias — humans are involved. A wise citizen learns the bias(es) of each source, and works to filter that out. He also reads several sources, of known and differing bias(es), to yield a good approximation of knowing "the actual story." Better yet, he relies on rely on more than just a few dailies. Monthly, long-format journalism publications take a broader view (still with bias) that helps put the daily news (i.e., gossip) into context. Also diplomatic magazines such as Foreign Affairs, books on a topic, and so on. Primary sources should always be sought-out, but even then one must filter.
That is, read widely, filter information from anyone, to gain a reasonable understanding of any particular subject or event.
Last point: My original comment was that AOL wanted to be the sole conduit users employed when using internet mail or the web. That model failed. Contemporary aggregators, like Slashdot, don't attempt to impose themselves as the sole interface to news & discussion. FB, on the other hand, is indeed pursuing this fool's goal of luring members into eventually accepting FB as their sole conduit/source, or at least the middle-man through which all goes.
My point was just to make that distinction, as it was apropos. This also implied, then directly stated (here, where it will lay unread), that a any website aiming to be the "sole middle man" will never achieve it. Many examples from the last 20 years are well known.
Oh wait, maybe this time it's different!
Slashdot is a public forum – from one to many – repeat, thread and so on. (Moderation helps.)
30 years ago (Ah, 300-baud modems!), Public Forums existed. You'd phone in to your local BBS, read discussion threads, contribute, post messages, etc.
What goes around comes around. Eaxmple:
Amazon is my "Showroom for the local library." (Also for books, before go buy them elsewhere – used – many ex-library copies.)
AOL tried for years to situate themselves between individuals and
I forget who tried it next. Didn't work.
OK, just a list is enough: MySpace, Time-Warner via a reboot of the AOL idea,
I can use email (etc.) myself, thanks. No need to run every message and page-view through a third party. More hassle, they read them, and could disappear at a moment's notice.
In future, someone else will think they force their way in to being an uninvited middle-man. It hasn't worked yet..."
Cold fusion also. The palladium was soaking up hydrogen, which the original experimenters (Pons & Fleischmann?) misinterpreted as demonstrating room-temperature cold fusion.
The public needs understand that un-refereed reports are not fact. Further, even refereed journal articles are not fact. It is only after others reproduce experiments and find confirming results that we get closer to "fact." Even then, it's just "confirmed theory."
Why the popular press loves to breathlessly report on recent journal articles as "fact" only confuses the matter.
... Serve jury duty ...
I do, but always get removed in voire dire due to being "too educated." Neither side usually likes PhDs, MBAs, MDs, or JDs serving in juries. Too much potential surprise factor.
... the surveillance state has gone way beyond what it should and is undermining everything.
Several foreign governments have outlawed purchase of US-designed, computer-related devices.
Several are also looking into creating their "own" internet system that is air-gapped from "the" internet.
Go NSA! Good job destroying your own country's economy!
A Federal Whistle-blower is not a "mole," but simply a whistle-blower.
This is similar to the concept of "jury nullification," whereby a jury can find an accused guilty of breaking a law, but can also recommend ZERO punishment, as jury nullification is a mechanism for citizens to nullify unjust laws.
It was used a lot in the civil-rights era, but has been buried by Attys. and judges alike, leading to a lack of awareness by potential jurors.
PS – Want to get out of jury duty? Get informed, and assert your faith in Jury Nullification in open court during voire dire.
They hate being held to account, and prefer an ignorant "jury of peers."
You can buy an unlocked iPhone directly from Apple these days.
sjbe: Explain to me how some leftover vials of a pathogen from decades ago has any relevance...
(1) Labels fall off of vials after a decade or two.
(2) Viruses are not alive, and can remain viable indefinitely.
(3) A pathogen (e.g., influenza) from decades ago can cause another pandemic if released. No one alive will have immunity, which is built up on a per-organism basis, not genetically.
sjbe: In all likelihood, nothing. The CDC handles copies of pretty much every known pathogen on the planet.
Did you read the news about two weeks ago? Smallpox has for decades been extinct, save for two frozen samples in US and Russia.
Oops! Someone cleaning out an old CDC-employee desk found vials of that and other pathogens that had been sitting there for decades.
It's known that plant seeds and bacteria can persist in viable form for millennia. Viruses, not being "alive," probably far longer.
I'm not attacking the CDC. Just you. Don't claim expertise unless you have it.