Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

The 10 Tech People Who Don't Matter 520

TopShelf writes "Business 2.0 recently ran a feature on the Top 50 People Who Matter in the business world, but perhaps more interesting is their list of the 10 People Who Don't Matter. Leading off the list is a Slashdot favorite, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer..." Given, Rob's in there as well, but I'd say his company in the list is pretty decent.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The 10 Tech People Who Don't Matter

Comments Filter:
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:22AM (#15605747) Homepage Journal
    The last post. On slashdot. Ever. Poor Rob!

    I don't agree with the article at all, and I definitely don't agree with the top 50 article. In the long run, nothing matters in history. The consumers have been, and always will be, the only important unit or group in any market transaction. Without demand, supply matters little. Even if demand is created because of a new supply of a new item or service, it matters little as that demand is fixed -- it would have gone elsewhere.

    Slashdot is definitely slowing down. So what? Digg is a mess, too. All I see on various blogs lately is "Click my ads!" and "Help me digg up my submission!" Nice.

    I'm a free market believer because I believe in ultimate freedom for the consumer. The only way that can happen is if the producers are given the chance to compete without favoritism, preferential grants or subsidies, or anti-market entry taxes, tariffs and regulations. It doesn't matter WHO the person is that discovers a new market or makes it better, it matters that the consumers are given the ability to voice what they want, no matter if it is immoral or even considered illegal by the previous generation.

    Slashdot will be gone in years or decades. So will Digg. So will Business 2.0. Who cares, as long as consumers consume, and producers can create what new consumers desire.
    • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:26AM (#15605782) Homepage Journal
      Diggs problem is the speed of the article flow.
      Its like a mashup of slash and fark in fast forward.

      Theres never enough time to savour an article.
      Slash has the posting speed just about right and the subject matter is spot on.
      • by saboola ( 655522 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:33AM (#15605850)
        Slash has the posting speed just about right and the subject matter is spot on.

        Check's in the mail.
      • i have to agree, i made a digg account a few days ago just to get in to the mix at and too many articles roll out a little to fast for an old man like me, slashdot is still a favorite...
      • by HerbieStone ( 64244 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:55AM (#15605999) Homepage

        Slash has the posting speed just about right and the subject matter is spot on.

        Yeah, and in case you still missed an article. A dupe comes to the rescue.

      • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:58AM (#15606025)
        I think you've got it backwards. I feel that people got tired of waiting, sometimes hours, for a new story to be posted. At digg you can go to the site and skip the articles you dislike and savor the articles you like at any pace that you like. If you are bored at on the web or something, there's almost a guarantee that every 15 minutes there will be a new article up on the main page. Or you can look at the listing of recent articles posted that have no made it there yet.

        An added benefit of digg is that just because an editor doesnt like an article, doesnt mean it won't be shown. If the people like the article, tons more people will see it. If they don't, it will be lost. With the current /. method, any one editor can veto the posting of an article simply if he's the one that reviews it. I know plenty of stories that have been submitted to /. that were LOVED on digg...yet were rejected by a /. admin.

        People go to digg BECAUSE of the fast pace at which is flows...not in spite of it. That's what people want. I'm not dogging on /. here. /. DID pioneer the tech news industry that exists today, but it is possible that it's time for something new to be tried. Just try to "keep an open mind" about things like digg. Just because it's competition to /. doesn't mean it's evil.
        • by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:08PM (#15606097) Homepage
          In other words, Digg fuels and exacerbates your ADHD...
          • In other words, Digg fuels and exacerbates your ADHD...

            Pretty much.

            I've gone over to Digg from time to time, but I've never stayed there because I just don't enjoy it as much. Slashdot, to me, is a discussion site. The articles are really just prompts that get people talking; the real "content" isn't in the links / TFAs -- which are mostly just stuff you can find on Google News most of the time anyway -- but in the discussion itself.

            Digg is the other way around. It seems like it's basically a news aggregator, and the discussion is mostly mindless drivel (even compared to Slashdot) and people voting. Maybe I just picked the wrong threads to read, but the S/N ratio was even lower there than it is in your average Slashdot thread, and that's really saying something. Yeah, Slashdot has bizarre trolling phenomena (FPs, the whole GNAA business, etc.) but there's almost always good posts as well; on Digg, quality posts seemed more the exception than the rule.

            I can get my news anywhere -- there are tons of aggregators and newsfeeds and bloggers who sift endlessly through basically everything the internet has to offer, pulling out things to read. That, to me, isn't particularly interesting. The discussion (which comes from the userbase) is: that's something that has value to me, and why I think Slashdot still comes out on top of Digg.

            If Digg draws the ADD-types away who are just looking for an endless stream of new links, all the better.
            • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @01:05PM (#15606606) Homepage Journal
              The thing that turned me off Digg was the lack of "see replies to my posts"

              I like Digg's article mix and it's one of my clicks when I'm bored but the discussion isn't really there. My opinions are great and all that but what I want is responses. Some of the best posts I read are the ones telling me what's wrong in my own. Being challenged is one of the ways to learn, and often when one does some background research into one's opinions one finds that the world has changed since you formed the opinion or you were wrong all along.

              Digg just doesn't have it.

              plus the layout screws up when you force large fonts.

              • by siriuskase ( 679431 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:30PM (#15607299) Homepage Journal

                The first thing I do when I come to /. is read the replies to my messages. It is cool to see how and why various people disagree or, occasionally, agree with me. I noticed you got a lot of replies to your Stallman messages, so I will have to go there next.

                I just went to Digg and checked a few threads, the Apple sweatshop thing and another which I forgot. The comments were stupid and uninteresting. /. has more threads that are interesting including quite a few that are both stupid and interesting. Heiarchial threading (sp?) does a better job of displaying the conversation structure. Why don't more websites use it? It's not a new idea, it's also one of the things I like about usenet.

                Minor complaint about new /. design: I have a harder time following the structure, children seem to be nowhere near their parent.
        • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:35PM (#15606342) Journal
          An added benefit of digg is that just because an editor doesnt like an article, doesnt mean it won't be shown.

          Yea, and better yet, if an editor doesn't like your comment, they will just change it to mean something completely different. THAT is why I don't Digg anymore.

          Digg certainly has quantity, and I had participated in getting total garbage on the front page (which is easy to do on Digg) to demonstrate how flawed the system is.

          No nested comments (ok, one level) no way to filter, any idiot with an agenda moderates, everyone is "equal", which is certainly not the case when it comes to good judgement. No, Digg is just an interesting experiment to see what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum, and have accountability by the editors.

          Slashdot, for all it's flaws, has less quantity but more quality. I don't want the news that is the most popular, I want the news I need to know about. That takes editing (but my comments don't...)

          Slashdot has seen an improvement since Digg came out, so the competition is good indeed, although the new "look" rather sucks.
          • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:06PM (#15607106)
            any idiot with an agenda moderates

            I'm posting at -1 specifically because of idiots with an agenda. Someone set up a script to watch my user page and check for new comments, then load an account with mod points and mod me down. +5 posts weeks old would still be getting marked down until they were -1. I went from +2 karma to -1 in four days. Emails to the editors did nothing.

            At Digg, everyone has a voice, so if one person doesn't like me, so what? I might convince other people who will balance out the rating. Here at Slashdot, you can ruin someone's account just for fun.
      • I don't actually have a problem with the way the front page of Digg works. I visit it every day and get more interesting stories than Slash has. Digg's weakness in is the community -- I just can't even stand to read the comments section. I rarely even click on the discussion because, when I do, it disgusts me.

        I still remember some 8 years ago probably -- when I first came to Slash -- how 5% of the level of conversation was amazing. You'd get people who had been working since the 70's who would be discussing how the unixy news of the day would affect them. There's even still a little of that left here sometimes. I wade through comments similar to what I've read a thousand times before in order to find that gem of one that truly edifies me. Digg's comment section just leaves me feeling dirty by comparison.

        Yeah, Malda doesn't matter. I don't even know if he ever did. The editors could change the story submission method to more reflect Digg's model and I don't think that it would change the community here much, which might be a good plan. Years ago, when Slash started choking on the crap it was feeding itself, I hoped Bruce's site would attract some serious attention, but it never really did. I still visit it once in a while, though.

        I will never leave Slash for Digg, unless it's community becomes better educated about tech, and that's not likely to happen since they are moving to a broader, not narrower, audience.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:28AM (#15605807)
      From the article: Malda knows his subject, and he's a good editor, but in the end, he's just no match for the power of the multitudes.

      He's a good editor? He's "ok" but he's certainly not a "good editor" and the people he has surrounded himself with are no where even close to the caliber necessary to run a site in this day and age (this isn't 1998 anymore and blogs and their "editors" have really stepped up).

      Digg is a pile of shit (and thus why I don't read it, ever) but Slashdot isn't responding very well to the outside pressures. Yay, CSS and a template redesign in 2006! I couldn't give a flying rats ass what the site looks like. I want good content (and in 1997 through 2001 it had that). Now it's crap and the fact that I no longer subscribe and don't post 10 to 15x a day (everyday) reflects my disappointment in this site.

      From the poster: All I see on various blogs lately is "Click my ads!" and "Help me digg up my submission!" Nice.

      They have Slashdot posting links too. It's just that most people have moved away from caring about Slashdot's minimal influence and week old stories (and numerous duplicates) to go with sites that are actually relevant in today's connected world. That's why you don't see them nearly as much.

      As far as ads go, they are even MORE annoying here than they used to be and I'm thrilled that I use adblock proxies so I don't have to see them. I forget to use the proxy sometimes and it never ceases to amaze me that with a community that is so behind Google's text ads that they would tolerate the bullshit that Slashdot panders. /old schooler rant
      • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:38AM (#15605891)
        Digg is a pile of shit

        While this is true I think the article missed the idea that /. is more a "middle of the road" type of news source. It's the equivalent of reading MSNBC for business news. While I (obviously) still come to the site I find that more and more I'm spending some old slashdot time down the corner at sites like While DevX themselves is a much less active site (an understatement) than /. I find the reading more meaningful than the endless posts by armchair engineers, pizza delivery kids who couldn't really make the geek squad and the GNAA.

        And older articles on other more specialized technical sites have more impact and more value. I'm wondering if more people are like me and are looking for more technical meat over flamewars and bad noise.
      • by LordPhantom ( 763327 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:51AM (#15605971)
        So, out of genuine curiosity, what are all the alternatives you'd suggest people read? I have a short list of sites I read regularly, but I'm curious why you didn't mention any of the "sites that are actually relevant in today's connected world".

        In short, "Such as...?"?

        • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:18PM (#15606188) Homepage Journal
          For me, I use a combination of RSS feeds that pull from and I guess I've become a google fanboy but only because they offer such great tools (and APIs) for me to feed my need for information, opinions and conflict. Now that I basically have my own "wire" to all sorts of news on all my favorite topics, as well as OpEd ("blogs"), I can get what I want when I want rather than using a site like slashdot or digg.

          The great thing about this is that I tend to filter out sites that DON'T have an open comment forum at the end of the article. I still come to slashdot daily (RSS!) for the comments, but I also pay more attention to the everyman comments at other sites. I'm in it for the response of the readers, not necessarily for the "facts" in the article.
      • by timster ( 32400 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:04PM (#15606061)
        I remember something different about the pre-2001 Slashdot, obviously.

        OMG look at this case mod1!!!

        Here's yet another link to Tom's Hardware! Look at how bad the Intel chip is!

        Study shows Windows is totally better than Linux. Gee, but are the considering all the advantages of Open Source?

        etc. In other words, it's my opinion that Slashdot content has matured over the years. In a sense it is no longer as exciting; back in the day it felt like we were all fighting an urgent war against the DMCA and Microsoft and Intel and even SCO (and the trolls were way way better).

        These days it feels more like a news and discussion outlet. I don't think that's bad, but it just indicates the ongoing aging of the editors and readership. I feel that this makes the comments more interesting because you are more likely to see a serious debate between intelligent people with good ideas. Back in the day it was more "party line" unless a troll came in to stir things up.
    • by Karma Farmer ( 595141 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:28AM (#15605813)
      The last post. On slashdot. Ever.

      Your insanely masterful trolling was the only thing worth reading on Slashdot!
    • What was the first post on Slashdot ever?
    • by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:00PM (#15606032)
      I'm a free market believer because I believe in ultimate freedom for the consumer. The only way that can happen is if the producers are given the chance to compete without favoritism, preferential grants or subsidies, or anti-market entry taxes, tariffs and regulations.

      I'm not sure whether you're arguing for consumer freedom with an eye to individual benefit or the collective good, but you're assuming (amongst other things) that:

      • competition is a given; but without regulation, what will stop collusion and monopolistic practices? The size of your competitors is probably the largest barrier to entry into a market.
      • the actions of individual consumers will be to the greater good of society; without subsidies and punitive taxes, how can you direct markets towards longer-term social goals?
      • that dependence on global markets is a good thing; without tariffs you can't protect nascent domestic markets, or protect established domestic markets during the transition to a global market, and without regulation how do you prevent dumping?
      The invisibile hand is invisible because it doesn't exist.
    • OH SNAP! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:17PM (#15606175) Homepage
      So when's Rob gonna roll with his crew and bust some caps in Business 2.0?

      YOU GOT SERVED, bitch.
    • by gvc ( 167165 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:50PM (#15606470)
      Slashdot is far from free and open. The editors exert great control, in secret, over what articles are posted. In exercising this control they have provided fertile ground for self-promotion and half-baked and outright crazy ideas. I cannot count the number of press releases and blogs and testimonials and deliberate misrepresentations they have reported as truth.

      The mitigating influence of replies -- which are indeed free -- is overwhelmed by the initial selection bias.

      I wish I could agree with the story that Slashdot's power had been supplanted by more open media such as Digg, but it ain't so. Slashdot is a powerful tool for internet demagogues, and the editors are complicit.
    • by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:09PM (#15607126) Homepage Journal
      I know it's all been said, but I'll throw my two cents in on the Digg vs Slashdot thing.

      While they may be similar on the surface, I don't like the comparison, as they each serve different uses. I think Digg gets its publicity because of it's sense of "freshness", of having supposedly current material instantly available. Digg is good because of the mob moderation. But Digg is bad because of the mob moderation. Unless you sit and stare at it all day, you'll miss something that hits the front page. I'll check Digg out because things will show up that wouldn't ever make Slashdot's articles. But they're commenting system is horrible. They took a step in the right direction by having threads at least. But giving every half retarded geek out there to "digg down" comments he doesn't agree with (whether they're insightful or not) is bad.

      Slashdot, on the other hand, feels to me like Digg's older, more mature brother. Honestly, one of the best things about Slashdot is the discussion. There's a lot of good info here, and the moderation system seems to work pretty well. Sure, the editors get criticized, but that's going to happen in any sort of community. Perhaps a group editing module that worked like moderating where a rotating group of people approve stories could be fun. But you don't see too many articles on Slashdot where the summary is a single line and it's a link to a blog with a link to a story.

      When you're trying to be the fastest, your going to lose the insight and thought that comes with taking your time at something. I'll keep browsing Digg occasionally, and primarily reading here for the group discussion, and we'll all go on our merry way. At this point in the game, though, I don't see Digg having the lasting effect of Slashdot. Where will we be in 5 years?
  • Unfair (Score:5, Funny)

    by tygerstripes ( 832644 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605752)
    Right, I'm sick of this. The one article where I deserve a mention and they leave me out. Guess I just don't matter.
  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605753) Homepage Journal
    That's kind of sad. You got to be a dot-com millionaire, left with nothing but a T-shirt, and now they're mocking the T-shirt as well.

    Hey, at least you got there in the first place. More than most of your readership will ever accomplish!

  • FAKE (Score:5, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605757) Homepage Journal
    This article is complete fake, and you know how I know...

    Malda knows his subject, and he's a good editor, but in the end, he's just no match for the power of the multitudes.

    Only kidding, slash is home I won't believe its dying until netcraft confirms it.
  • #11 (Score:5, Funny)

    by spazimodo ( 97579 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605760)
    #11 - Cowboy Neil
  • The list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605762)
    • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:09PM (#15606101) Homepage Journal
      The List:

      (Because CNN's site sucks worse than anything else I've seen lately; if you want to read the little blurbs on each, you'll have to suffer through their shit, because I can't be bothered to copy/paste it all...)

      Allegedly in "no particular order:"

      1. Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft
      2. Jeffrey Citron, Chairman and chief strategist, Vonage
      3. Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix
      4. Ken Kutaragi, President, Sony Computer Entertainment
      5. Warren Lieberfarb, Senior Consultant, HD-DVD Promotion Group
      6. Rob Malda,
      7. Arun Sarin, CEO, Vodafone
      8. Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Sun Microsystems
      9. Linus Torvalds, Creator, Linux
      10. Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Facebook

      Here's the blurb about Malda:
      Remember the days when "getting Slashdotted" was every sysadmin's worst nightmare? Referrals from the "News for Nerds" website would send so much traffic to websites that many crashed. But for those that survived the flood, it was the online equivalent of a papal benediction. Today, the buzz has moved elsewhere. Slashdot's editor-driven story selection model is being supplanted by user-generated systems such as Digg. According to recent Alexa data, Digg already has more daily reach and generates more page views than Slashdot. Malda knows his subject, and he's a good editor, but in the end, he's just no match for the power of the multitudes.
      And just because I thought it was interesting, here's the blurb about Linus Torvalds:
      It's a testament to the success of Torvalds's open-source ideas that he's on this list at all. His Linux operating system is fast, cheap, and out of control - and that's entirely by design. While Torvalds still oversees any changes made to the innermost core of Linux, most of the innovation is now done by others, and commercial businesses like Red Hat and Novell increasingly steer its future. Although he can claim credit for popularizing one of the most powerful ideas ever to sweep through the software industry, Torvalds's project has matured to such an extent that it's largely outgrown its illustrious creator.
  • Leading? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#15605763)
    Leading off the list is a Slashdot favorite, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer..."

    Even though the list says "In NO particular order"

    But hey, I think Ballmer is a tool even though I'm not a big MS hater...
    • Re:Leading? (Score:3, Informative)

      by MSFanBoi2 ( 930319 )
      Not only did the OP of the thread claim that Ballmer lead the list he also failed to mention that both Linus and our Slashdot overlord made the list as well...

      Go figure...
  • by JoaoPinheiro ( 749991 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:25AM (#15605773) Homepage
    An innocent bypasser was killed in Redmond today by a mysterious falling chair...
  • New Slogan (Score:5, Funny)

    by thelonestranger ( 915343 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:26AM (#15605786)
    Slashdot - News For Nerds Stuff That Doesn't Matter.
  • Ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by llamalicious ( 448215 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:26AM (#15605788) Journal
    Just ouch. They put extra sand in the vaseline for slashdot in that little article.
  • by paedobear ( 808689 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:27AM (#15605796)
    It's a list from Business 2.0. I'm afraid I'd have to put them on my top 10 list of "magazines that don't matter"...
    • by GPLDAN ( 732269 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:49AM (#15605954)
      Seriously. The dot-com cheerleader mag that has absolutely nothing to say anymore. Go profile John chambers and his three hair comb over again.

      BTW, could they have chosen a worse picture of Linus? Don't answer that.

      Oh, and they are fools to throw the Netflix guy out there. He owns a distribution model, and with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, I don't think the DVD as a distro method is nearly as dead as they think.
  • by truckaxle ( 883149 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:27AM (#15605799) Homepage
    Wait what is that I hear - the sound of a continuous stream of chairs being violently
    thrown in the general direction of Business 2.0 Magazine offices.
  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:27AM (#15605800) Journal
    So I went to look at the list, and it wasn't in the article. There was a link to it, though. So I middle-clicked the link, to open it in a new tab, and... oops. The tab's empty.

    Oh, I see, it wasn't a link at all, it was a pointless bit of JavaScript that merely looked like a link. So I go back and click on it the way they were expecting, and... oops. There's still no list: just an empty window with a title at the top.

    Okay, fine, their online article won't work in Firefox. So I'll use the print version instead. No JavaScript there, right? Wrong. The print link takes you to... the same article, formatted for printing. Complete with lack of list, complete with stupid JavaScript non-link.

    Sorry, guys, but if you've gone to such lengths to make sure I can't read your damn article, I really don't see why I should care who you think matters. If you can't write plain HTML, you have no business talking about the web.
    • by Cyphertube ( 62291 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:37AM (#15605884) Homepage Journal
      I had the same issue... That is, until I turned of Adblock.

      If you have it on, you will see nothing in any of the galleries. So turn it off, temporarily, and hit reload. The one banner is gonna kill you. Then, when you're done, turn it back on. CNN has the worst Java-based ads.

      Slashdot is one of the few site for which I allow all the ads to come through.
    • I feel with you, I too am tired of such crappy web pages. What are they trying to achieve?! I went through pretty much the same steps as you did, however it did work [] in my Firefox. For extra lack of credibility, they do the layout, not with CSS, not even with tables, but with frames (!), and the list is not in a single page, no, you have to navigate between the different people with some more javascript. So much for the HTML elements "unordered list" and "list item". *crying*
  • to be honest (digg) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:29AM (#15605816) Homepage
    I see stories on Digg, Wired, and Drudge hours (sometimes DAYS) before they are on /.

    Granted, I can't live without the flamewars and discussions I've come to know and love in this moderated world of slashdot (at least since 1998), but I think the article may have a point...

  • Too bad... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:29AM (#15605818)
    Yeah, sadly slashdot is becoming less and less a part of my daily habit. I use to be sure to meta moderate and try to give meaningful contributions to the site but seeings as where the development end of things have been in a nose dive around here and the site has become more a Bush bashfest than a technical news source... eh... I just don't feel bad not being as much a member of the community anymore.

    On another note about the top ten: I have to completely disagree with the "DVD is an endangered species" noise mentioned for NetFlix. While I'm not a NetFlix subscriber physical media like DVD is certainly nowhere near its endlife. I just don't know what people think is going to replace the physical aspect of DVD media in the near future. I've heard this boy cry wolf before and frankly it's gotten old.
    • by Black-Man ( 198831 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:46AM (#15605938)
      Too many political topics have destroyed this site. Sad, really.

      • by StarvingSE ( 875139 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:51PM (#15606478)
        Pre-2000: Everything was happy-go-lucky. New tech everywhere, dot.coms making millions overnight. Tech and computers is now popular, and everyone wants to talk about it.

        Post 9/11: The US government makes war on terror, and the reality comes in: Everything is on computers, all our information, anything the gov (or highest bidder) wants to find out they can (and they are). People's SSN's are leaked from corporate databases and sold to the black market. Newer scams like phishing are making even more people vulnerable. All of this is due to the influx of technology in our daily lives. Its no longer a hobby, its an essential. And thus, the government is passing legislature directly affecting technology (net neutrality, DMCA, etc). Therefore, it is only logical that tech talk and politics converge.

        Politics, although nasty at times, is very important and is definately worthy of discussion since it affects us all in one way or another.
        • by Bilbo ( 7015 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:25PM (#15607261) Homepage
          > Politics, although nasty at times, is very important and is definately worthy of discussion since it affects us all in one way or another.

          Very true, just as religion is also important (especially if you take "religion" in the broader sense of "World Views" and how our perception of reality affects everything we do). Unfortunately, there is rarely any real "discussion" around either of these topics. Mostly, it's just flame fests, name calling and, "How could any intelligent person possibly believe what you are saying???"

          In most any "online" forum, most people are so close-minded and set in their ways of looking at the world (regardless of whether they call themselves Conservative, Liberal, or worse yet, Moderate) that meaningful dialogue is an impossibility. Face to face, there is a slightly greater chance that people can really TALK to each other, but even that is rare.

  • Who matters at all? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:31AM (#15605837) Homepage Journal
    In the thirty years I've been involved in IT I have to guess that we're approaching the point where hero-god-gurus don't matter much at all. Hasn't the industry matured to the point of being boring yet? When are we going to get past eccentric non repeatable brilliance and to the point of dull efficient execution?
  • Digg is Shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abscissa ( 136568 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:32AM (#15605841)
    Finally, an oppertunity for a Digg Sucks thread... while TFA may be right that Digg is "supplanting" Slashdot, this is not for the better. Digg posts inaccurate articles, tons of dupes, poorly edited articles, etc. on its front page. Slashdot occasionally does the same, but not like 20 times every day. Recently Digg seems to be up in arms about Scientology, as if this is some sort of new thing. I read "A Piece of Blue Sky" about 6 years ago...

    Socrates said that democracy was the WORST form of government because it meant rule by the ignorant masses... the content of Digg is just proof of that.
    • Re:Digg is Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

      Not only that, the "democracy" way of moderation in digg is vulnerable to astroturfing []. I posted it on my journal.

      HOWEVER, I agree that the story submission system on digg is nice - it avoids much bureaucracy that currently exists on /. . It's not unusual for slashdot to publish stories that were posted on digg 2 days earlier. Perhaps there could be a way to make high karma users to accept or reject (or even vote on) pending stories?

      Regarding scientology, what we're seeing on digg is some kind of "gossip" phenomenon - with echoes. Digg could be used as a measure of what the geeks are thinking about today. It's like some kind of social laboratory with nerds as rats and stories as the maze.

      I wouldn't say digg is going to replace slashdot. But it's a very nice complement. As someone said in digg, "I read digg for the stories, and slashdot for the comments". This could be an indicator of what is good on slashdot and what needs to be improved.

      Apart from that, digg is becoming not exactly a technology website but a nerd website. The stories on scientology and global warming are representative of it.

      The real problem with digg competing vs. slashdot is that, as i said before, real technology stories typically posted on slashdot are posted much faster on digg. I used to read slashdot on a daily basis to find out "what's new" on the tech world. Today i read digg for that (and not the published, but the pending stories).

      In conclusion, I'd say digg is much broader than slashdot, and appeals to a less specialized public. Perhaps changing the submission method for slashdot would help us regain some popularity.
  • Linus on the List (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neongenesis ( 549334 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:32AM (#15605843)

    Linus has the one entry that is really a compliment.

    Dennis Ritchie gave a nice talk on the 21st(??) birthday of Unix about how it is like a child growing up, leaving home, being all grown up and an adult... He felt a little like a proud parent.

    What better compliment for Linus than to have created something that has grown and matured to the point that it is beyond the creator? I can imagine few more satisfying accomplishments in life.

    • Re:Linus on the List (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoxFulder ( 159829 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:38AM (#15605894) Homepage
      Even if Linus's place on the list was meant as a compliment, I still think it's incorrect. Linus definitely DOES matter. He may NOT be writing all the code these days, he may not be the one coming up with all the innovations, but he *IS* still the one putting the Linux kernel together into a coherent whole.

      Just read the Linux kernel mailing list and you'll see that Linus has an amazing grasp of all the major kernel subsystems, a clear sense of goals and direction for the kernel, as well as things to avoid, and a good ability to delegate tasks to the other kernel developers.

      Basically, Linus remains "benevolent dictator" for the Linux kernel, and I'd say he's doing a highly effective job in that role. I'd put him in a top 10 list of tech people who do matter.
      • by abb3w ( 696381 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:54PM (#15606502) Journal
        I suspect Linus's role is rather like that of a Highly Effective Systems Administrator; he doesn't seem to do much, everything just works, and even if some idiot runs him over with a truck, it takes a long while for things to fall apart afterwards. OTOH, if when the time comes you don't replace the loss with someone nearly as good, the difference will eventually be noticed.
  • by spludge ( 99050 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:36AM (#15605876)
    Slashdot could have easily had the equivalent of Digg if they had opened up the story queue for public viewing. I know that this is not how the editors want Slashdot to work, but I think it would have let Slashdot address the audience that wants the absolute latest stories and the audience that wants indepth discussion. I have read the FAQ and I understand the issues with spam, but I think those are all solvable problems.

    Oh well, too late now, Digg stole that thunder :)
  • by Yst ( 936212 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:39AM (#15605896)
    The title of this article appears to be its major problem. This is not an article about People Who Don't Matter. This is an article about People of Whom We Disapprove or People Whose Current Operations Don't Impress Us Much or some such thing. One doesn't need to be justified or qualified to matter, in the grand scheme of things, and the fact that Business 2.0 is unimpressed by these individuals' current endeavours ultimately has no bearing on their importance to the world of business or to society in general. A powerful fool can change the world in a way that matters, whether or not we may think he's a fool.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:40AM (#15605905)
    Alexa is spyware, is it not? If Digg is getting more visited by Alexa users than Slashdot, to me that signifies that more people that read Digg are unsavy enough to have spyware installed on their machine. To me, having a lower rank in the Alexa ranking system when you are talking about a tech news site means that the readers of the lower scoring sites have better spyware protection and are more tech savy. This lends MORE credence to slashdot than Digg, IMHO.
  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:41AM (#15605908) Homepage
    Although describing our esteemed head honcho as a great editor may be pushing things a bit, the comments about Slashdot miss an important point.

    The challenge faced by many Internet sites is not to generate reams and reams of content, but to allow users a way to filter out only what they want or need. What with "citizen journalists" and plain old trolls and conspiracy theorists, there needs to be some kind of moderating hand to make information useful.

    Peer review, like that created by Slashdot, is one way of doing that, but a firm editorial hand is even more useful. That's why my daily reading includes not just Slashdot, but other sites and blogs which cover specific topics and direct me only to the stories or posts that are of value.

    Despite gripes - and I don't even bother trying to post stories any more - Slashdot does a reasonable job of that filtering.
  • Where's Dvorak? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:41AM (#15605914) Homepage Journal
    That list is totally inaccurate. It's missing both Dvorak and John Thompson.

  • cheap trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blob Pet ( 86206 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:43AM (#15605925) Homepage
    Q) How do you get people to read your lame business articles?

    A) Say something inflammatory about Slashdot so that it gets posted on Slashdot!
  • by abh ( 22332 ) <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:47AM (#15605942) Homepage
    Slashdot isn't about news... everything that's on Slashdot has already been discussed in the blogosphere for a couple days. The value here is in the community and user comments.
  • I must agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Judg3 ( 88435 ) <(jeremy) (at) (> on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:48AM (#15605950) Homepage Journal
    Sadly, I have to agree with most of the sentiment regarding /. now, compared to /. back then.
    I've been posting a long time (This UID shows it) and reading even longer. But over the past several years, the quality has waned - I now come here more as a novelty instead of a necessity. Shame really - I really loved this place.
  • Digg multitudes? (Score:3, Informative)

    by OSS_ilation ( 922367 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:50AM (#15605960)
    "Today, the buzz has moved elsewhere. Slashdot's editor-driven story selection model is being supplanted by user-generated systems such as Digg. According to recent Alexa data, Digg already has more daily reach and generates more page views than Slashdot. Malda knows his subject, and he's a good editor, but in the end, he's just no match for the power of the multitudes." Wait, you mean 'multitudes' like the dozen or so Diggers who have hijacked the system and are responsible for 100% of the front page content?
  • by technoextreme ( 885694 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:51AM (#15605974)
    That article is prety stupid to make a reference to Alexa. Im looking at the graph for Digg vs Slashdot and something seems fishy. For the past few monthes Slashdot and Digg were pretty much neck and neck which makes sense. In April both Slashdot and Digg jump almost straight up in page views. Something is odd with that data.
  • LINUS!=BALLMER (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:52AM (#15605977)
    Ok seriously, putting these two together in the same article and calling them both losers?? Ballmer has the ability to turn the biggest ship in history and while he has been lost at sea during his entire reign (and survived ongoing mutinees), I would not say he doesn't matter. He does matter. He's just ineffectual.

    Linus on the other hand claims that he is an engineer and not a revolutionary and as a result, this simple statement makes him more of a revolutionary than even he would like to be. Linus has tried to avoid being cast as that and never once thought of himself in that way. In int5erview after interview, he always downplays that aspect and promotes Linux to meet the demands of consumers AND of business and not to have the OS dictates the rules of how the computer industry must move (unlike other monopolistic companies).

    I think LInus's greatest ability is his ability to lead without leading. His actions and statements have often made me pause to reconsider my zealotry at times and made me understand why he supporets some of the things that he does. While I still disagree with him on some points, he still has alot of influence... to alot of people and alot of companies.
  • by bgfay ( 5362 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @11:52AM (#15605980) Homepage
    But that doesn't mean that it's useless. The NY Times was supposedly dead as well. I still read that. Radio has been dead forever, but here I am listening to NPR almost every waking hour. I seem to remember that the paperless office was right around the corner too. Oh well. Ho hum.

    All that said, I can actually imagine that Linus is happy with what was written about him. It reflects pretty well on the strength of the open source model.
  • So the article says Rob's not important - big deal. I RTFA and I know it slams the slash in the text, but it reality, it's a list of people. Just like the Torvalds bit, Rob isn't as important as what he created is. Basically, he's no more important to the process at slashdot today than any other moderator.

    As others have already stated, what separates Slashdot from Digg is quality. The articles may be the same, similiar, delayed, dupes, whatever - but the moderated commentary from users is what makes Slashdot worth reading.

    That said, Rob deserves a huge portion of credit for creating and maintaining this community. The man may be irrelevant, but the community is not.
  • linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grumpyman ( 849537 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:12PM (#15606127)
    While Torvalds still oversees any changes made to the innermost core of Linux, most of the innovation is now done by others, and commercial businesses like Red Hat and Novell increasingly steer its future. Although he can claim credit for popularizing one of the most powerful ideas ever to sweep through the software industry, Torvalds's project has matured to such an extent that it's largely outgrown its illustrious creator.

    Isn't that the whole point? To have many many others contributing to the project so that it can grow in such a way that is larger than just an individual?

  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:16PM (#15606166)
    1. Articles by Business 2.0
    2. Microsoft Security Updates
    3. Digg
    4. Opinions of Hollywood Actors
    5. Printed Newspapers
    6. Seatbelt Laws
    7. Global Warmning
    8. The National Deficit
    9. SCO Linux
    10. My Slashdot Posts
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:23PM (#15606238) Journal
    I just had a peek at Digg for the first time in my life. It seems clear that I've been failing to appreciate how good slashdot actually is!
  • Linus Torvalds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by totallygeek ( 263191 ) <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:37PM (#15606364) Homepage
    The list is horrible. First, as much as I loathe Microsoft, Ballmer is integral to Microsoft's partnerships, which drives much of the technology out there. Second, Sun is setting the direction for energy-efficient computer clusters; something that the whole Energy Star thing could never pull off. Third, Slash as a content management system, was up and running in the frontierland, and is important because it is still a focal point for nerds (I have never visited Digg, Kiro5hun, etc). Fourth, Linus is still advocating Linux and keeping it on one development tree; both are difficult tasks, both he pulls off well (Linux is not out of control). Lastly, obsolence is not something to take lightly -- is the same true for Eric Allman, Richard Stallman, Bill Joy, Jamie Wazinski, Bruce Perens, etc? I think they form a foundation for future coders, computer politicos, and hackers.
  • Alexa stat is bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkarney ( 243740 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @12:55PM (#15606513)
    Whenever people proclaim that Slashdot is being beat by Digg, they drag out the Alexa pageview stats. However, people forget that Alexa's software only runs on IE. Considering that a large number of Slashdot visitors use browsers other than IE, the Alexa stats don't accurately reflect the number of pageviews that Slashdot gets.

  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @01:04PM (#15606596)
    I certainly don't matter, why am I not on that list?
    Not to be matter of fact, but how much do you have to not matter in order to get on a 'People Who Don't Matter' list?
    To make matters worse, you matter more just for being on that list.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Monday June 26, 2006 @02:42PM (#15607398) Homepage Journal

    ... I mean, Business 2.0.

    This is exactly the sort of pure fluff that masquerades for journalism now. Does Steve Ballmer, the man who runs the most powerful computer software company on the planet, suddenly have no power? Ask his employees. Ask companies that partner with Microsoft. Ask Scott McNealy. Sure, Microsoft is on a downward slide, but that doesn't mean Ballmer is suddenly a garden gnome.

    Torvalds? Hastings? Both very, very smart guys with long roads ahead of them. I don't know about the rest of the folks on the list, but Schwartz could surprise a lot of people. If Sun is thriving in five years, ask the knuckleheads at People.. uh... Business 2.0 what they think of Schwartz.

    The "what's the flavor of the minute" attitude of the article is made manifestly evident by the Slashdot v. Digg comparison. As others have pointed out, Digg may be hot, but it is absurd to suggest that the level of discourse on Digg compares to that found on Slashdot. Digg is oriented toward instant "hot or not" feedback, while Slashdot is about in-depth discussion of a smaller number of topics.

    I suppose they have to come up with something to write about, but the world is full of interesting business and technology stories. This sort of crap is worse than useless, because at least some percentage of the people who read it actually think it is worthwhile information.

  • I like Slashdot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rinkjustice ( 24156 ) <rinkjustice@NO_S ... ODcom minus punc> on Monday June 26, 2006 @03:03PM (#15607590) Homepage Journal
    I've been reading it faithfully since (circa) 1998, but it's not as hardcore as it used to be. It might be I'm getting older and wiser or that I'm not as militant about Linux as I used to be, or it might be a dilution of the nerd population to other discussion forums - I dunno. But the fact is I've seen contenders vie for /.'s crown before (Kuro5hin immediately comes to mind, maybe Plastic) and they've been trounced. Slashdot feels like home. It's a part of my life. I enjoy the readership and have made lots of friends and enemies here. And best of all, I've learned alot.

    Malda may be irrelevant to the biz/tech world, but not to me and many other readers. I guess what I'm trying to say is "thanks Slashdot, for being a part of my life!"
  • John Dvorak (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @05:35PM (#15608838)
    How do you have a list of tech people who don't matter with out leading off with John Dvorak?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!