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Comment: Re:Linus does not understand the size of the effor (Score 1) 727

by T.E.D. (#47715441) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

Microsoft probably has somewhere between 6 and 20 thousand engineers working on device drivers

Are you sure? I know they make their own mice and keyboards. But for most devices, I get the impression they rely on the hardware manufacturers to write the drivers for their own devices.

Unless you literally meant "6<engineers<20000".

Comment: Re:Microsoft is a spent force (Score 1) 142

by T.E.D. (#47711545) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Then there's Bing, who's only claim to fame is being the world's greatest search engine. For. Porn.

Wait... it is? Seriously? I've got a friend who actually cares about this. I'll "let him know".

Given how incredibly hard it sucks at looking up technical information, I suspect it would be awesome in porn.

Comment: Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (Score 1) 112

by T.E.D. (#47694821) Attached to: Financial Services Group WCS Sues Online Forum Over Negative Post

Secondly, libertarians are fine with government-run prisons. It's one of the few things we think government should actually do.

Which shows you right there how naïve some libertarians can be. The real-world effect of this is that kids who make dumb kid mistakes are now being sent to private prisons due to the judges having back-door deals with (or sometimes an outright financial stake in) the prisons in question.

Before you "not all" me, think about simple economics here. Any time you introduce the profit motive into something that should be run entirely for the public good, you automatically create crap like this. Its inevitable.

Comment: No. Nor one run by unicorns. (Score 1) 382

by T.E.D. (#47694683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

First off, no I won't pay directly for any web content. Nor will the general public at large (unless perhaps involves pron). You can remove that idea from your head right now. it won't work, because nobody will show up.

Secondly, you can't just magically fix trolling with a dumb barrier of some kind. It really takes a human to spot the difference between someone putting forth an honest opinion, and somebody trying to create chaos. Not only that, but trolls are inventive and creative, and can swamp even a seemingly large moderation team with damage to fix. So you need a surprisingly large team monitoring every nook and cranny of your website 24/7. There's just no way to do that, short of enlisting your users.

So the previous sentence is the key here: You have to enlist your users to keep your site usable. They generally want that, but they certainly aren't going to be inclined to provide a lot of help if they think they are already paying somebody else to do that job.

Right now the only decent known cure for Trolls is reputation-based postings and user moderation. Putting a paywall up front will drastically lower your moderator pool, which will just help trolls.

Comment: Re:One person's definition of "troll" ... (Score 1) 457

by T.E.D. (#47679931) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

I once saw a troll make a racist statement about Canadians. Yup, I wouldn't have thought it possible either, but troll managed it.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was another Canadian.

Nope. Troll in question I believe hailed from Colorado, IIRC. He did it because the guy he wanted to bully wasn't female, or any ethnic or religious minority, so attacking "Canadians" was the best he could come up with.

He was a really nasty piece of work. He'd pick out victims, find out who they worked for, and call their employer and try to get them fired. If their employer did any work for the government, he'd call the government accounting office on them too. Posted full details of home addresses and any "dirt" he could dig up publicly online. You have just no idea how scary and upsetting this is until it happens to you. Its not something that can (or should be) "laughed off" or ignored.

Real trolls are serious business.

Comment: Re:One person's definition of "troll" ... (Score 2) 457

by T.E.D. (#47678641) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

No. There is a fundamental difference.

Trolls are not trying to express their opinion, they are trying to create discord and distress. Anything they say is just a means to that end. They don't care about what they say, and will happily change their "opinion" if they see another that will cause even more distress.

I once saw a troll make a racist statement about Canadians. Yup, I wouldn't have thought it possible either, but troll managed it.

Trolls don't have opinions, they have strategies.

Comment: Re:Blocktogether (Score 3, Informative) 299

by T.E.D. (#47669903) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

There is apparently a new app (meaning only mobile?) called Blocktogether that auto-blocks any Twitter accounts that have been created within the last seven days.

Wish this had been modded up. In addition to the above, BlockTogether also automatically shares block-lists (so if anyone of your "friends" using the app blocks someone, everyone else using it will also block them). The daily-N-word victim I was talking about was raving about it the other day. Now only the first person Mr. Racist trolls with his fresh account ever has to see his crap.

Its kind of a neat idea to implement a reputation-based user moderation system entirely from outside Twitter (since Twitter hasn't been doing the job).

Comment: User moderation (Score 4, Interesting) 299

by T.E.D. (#47665747) Attached to: Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

They belong on personal blogs, or on Twitter or Tumblr or Reddit, where individuals build a full, searchable body of work and can be judged accordingly

This bit right here tells me the author doesn't know much about Twitter. Twitter has an almost identical problem. One person I follow (who happens to at least front as an African-American female), has a dedicated Twitter stalker who makes new accounts every day just so he can make sure she gets to greet each new day with a tweet calling her the N-word. Rape threats are endemic there for identified females too. A "searchable body of work" is only a concern for those of us who care about our reputation. Trolls don't care in the slightest.

The only even partial cure I know of for crap like this is reputation-based user moderation, like you find in sites like Slashdot or Stackexchange. This at least allows the manifold eyes of your readers to do some of their own policing, and provides for much more prompt cleanup. A dedicated troll can create a hopeless amount of soul-killing destruction for one or two poor beleaguered individuals. But against a community of hundreds (or more) moderators, the amortized work is manageable. More importantly, the troll isn't going to get much satisfaction, as almost nobody sees their handiwork before someone mods it away.

If you have an online commenting system, you really need a user moderation system to back it up. I'd suggest Discourse, but there are probably other drop-in solutions available.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn