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Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 1) 477

Well, I'm close. Yeah - Mute, ignore - What ever. We only did it with trolls. It has been a few years since anyone has gotten that treatment. We do have a "ban" button which deletes all the persons posts and bans that user but it's rare these days that it is used. This is the last website I have and will probably be shutting it down later this year. I'm getting too old to care much. The internet has become so commercialized it's not much "fun". At one time it was a lot of fun, so to speak. And the Google thing back around 2013 really decimated my earnings. Being retired, though, money isn't that big an issue for me.

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 5, Insightful) 477

You are right. I have run a tech forum since about 1996 - Well, I actually started the forum part in about 1998. The first thing to understand is that over time things have changed. In the "early days" computers were not anywhere near as ubiquitous as today so most of the visitors were, while not techies as in this forum, but in their field of expertise. There were some problems, too. There were some people who would have 3 or 4 accounts and would literally start a discussion thread and then another of their "personalities" would post, and then a third one which would start a fight of sorts and get nasty. It took a few years but finally we got some code which, when an admin "marked" an account, that person could post (people did and still do have to register and be logged in to post) but the post would be invisible to everyone except that user. It didn't take too long - Maybe a year or so - Where we had things totally under control. People who were abusing the forum eventually got tired of trying to disrupt things. And the forum was/is small enough (well, these days with Facebook, Linkedin and such taking over people's interest is is) that control isn't an issue. And - We do have a lot of very long term moderators so someone is online most of the time. One thing I have noticed is that since the election of the orange one there are some forums I have stopped visiting. I'm typically a lurker (as I am here - Rarely log in but do visit every day as I have for years) but even some very good discussion groups are becoming pretty stupid. Trump this, dems that, typically where politics shouldn't be a part. I'm finding ore and more free time as I back away from visiting old haunts. Then again I'm almost 70 so all of this is old hat, so to speak, for me. I do miss what I call the "good old days". Even the vulgarity in the first posts of this discussion turned me off. I have seen this problem so I did log in to comment, but the vulgarity alone is telling me to keep to the headlines and to not bother to read the comments (much less log in to help people).

Comment Re:Golly - The internets are a' changin'! (Score 1, Insightful) 55

You have aged (as we all are). I ran a BBS on phone lines in the 1980's up until 1990 when my work over took my hobby. It was fun. It was somewhat personal. It was a great hobby!

You have to accept a certain amount of "change". I pine for the "good old days" when I was in my 20's and 30's and had a dick as hard as a rock (and the gals always "approved" of the size {length *and* width}). In fact, my current GF of almost 8 years now is a gal whose husband died. She and I screwed around so many years ago. When her husband died she got in touch with me and I was unattached and she fucked me the first night she "stopped over to say hi". A couple years later she admitted she liked fucking me so much years ago that if only to "satisfy her desires" she made sure I fucked her that night. We've been "fuck buddies" for almost 8 years now. She stays here from Friday evening to Sunday morning every week, and she still comments on how "big" I am. I know she's lying (it was back then, but it isn't these days - And I refuse to take "boner" pills). But those days are long gone. I'm 62, over weight, and understand I can't pick up late teens and early 20's gals in bars any more, if only because I'm not "rich" which significantly changes things... Life is a bitch. The internet is no different, except it's happening faster and faster every year.

As to politics - Yeah. It has always been bad but these days - Well, I just keep out of expressing political views for the most part. I'm getting too old to care.

As to Salon, I gave it up years ago although I generally stop by every month or so as is the case with many web sites I used to visit regularly (You should see my bookmarks - Many go back to the mid and late 1990's). I look at politics this way - There days it's theatrics and greed to the max. It always has been to some extent, but the internet has definitely changed things for the worse *and* for the better, just as cell phones with video and cameras have. . I'm old enough to know one can not win political or religious discussions so I stay out of them. On the other hand, I don't give a rats ass if I do post something and I'm ripped up. That's the way open public forums are.

Now if you want to want to read about science and tech stories, the internet is one hell of a lot bigger than it was even 5 years ago. Search and ye shall find. From Scientific American to PBS - From the TED talks to Ars. There is so much online these days that it's hard not to be able to find sites that fit your expectations.

I don't mind what I see as the eventual demise of /. - And I can say the same about some other sites. It's simply move on. No one can stop what is essentially the evolution of the internet. Just as the Gutenberg press totally fucked the dark ages, and how Faux news changed real, unbiased new programs (Cronkite, Murrow, et al) to "Infotainment", the internet is an information distribution system which has changed the world so dramatically that many things will never be the same.

As a last thought - Now and again there are some excellent discussions here on /. Yes, it's harder to weed out the crap from the good stuff, but it's there. You just have to work harder to weed out the crap. Allowing anonymous posts doesn't help things. If I owned /. the first thing I would do would be to eliminate anonymous posts. If a person can't "own up" to what they post they shouldn't be allowed to post.

Comment Golly - The internets are a' changin'! (Score 2, Interesting) 55

The whole internet is changing (for the worse in my opinion). Even Google - Once an excellent Search Engine, now not so much. Even places like Webmasterworld aren't what they used to be. Facebook idiots and corporations are taking over. Get used to it. As to politics, yeah - The "interwebs" have changed that, too. Remember it wasn't so many years ago home computers were not particularly common so discussions on boards like /. were more "professional" (for lack of a better word off hand). These days every idiot has at least one computer. I run forums and these days even a lot of old timers who stayed around and monitored, and participated in, the forums are spending much of their time on Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+ rather than hanging around the forums. Slashdot is still one of my "daily check-in" sites. Admittedly these days I usually just scan the headlines, but now and again I drop into a thread (like this one) and read it or some of it. As to commenting in threads, I'm not typically into it posting and never have been even though I keep some forums online. --> My 2 cents

Comment Re:Automation and Unemployment (Score 4, Interesting) 602

As processes become more automated, the things we want become cheaper because the cost of labor is the dominant cost in almost every business. This means people have more spare money available, and it will be spent on things that before would have been considered too wasteful. This creates new industries and new jobs.

Totally wrong. You *assume* that because it becomes cheaper to manufacture something a company is going to lower its selling price. That is basic business school rhetoric that doesn't reflect reality. I used to manufacture a low volume product as a side business. I found that I could automate and reduce expenses 70% (this was in the late 1990's). I didn't reduce my price to consumers. I increased prices 15% within a year because my product was better made (in part no human errors in build), was more reliable (lower returns and warranty costs), and in part I found many people buy on price (higher price means better). Unit sales went down less than 10%. It did help me retire in 2003 at the age of 53. I do not deny that in *some* fields prices may come down, but almost all price reductions are due to competition, to some degree volume, and to some degree obsolescence.

Comment Re:vBulletin (Score 2) 259

In my case, when Jelsoft allowed "Owned" licenses and a "Brand Free" license some years back, I paid for them and I can't say I'm even looking to upgrade in the near future. My forums are so highly modified that it will be a while before I *have* to move on.

I haven't tried 4 or 5 but I have read enough about them to know not to waste money on them. I can't say I felt screwed when they changed their licensing changes - Nothing is forever and as with all software, when a major revision comes out I pay for an upgrade or, if they don't give update discounts, I just buy it and get on with life.

This is a case of where there were a few very talented people who turned out very good software, charged for and licensed in a way I thought was fair, but was bought out by a big company which killed it which is the norm - Big company buys small, but innovative company and destroys it through greed and incompetence. vBulletin today stands only on its reputation from years ago.

Comment Re:vBulletin (Score 5, Informative) 259

I would suggest that you really think about vBulletin and read about the history. It was great when Jelsoft owned it, but it was bought out by Internet Brands and is now a mess. The last "good" version was 3.8.7. Version 4 was a disaster. Version 5 is being sold and is in beta but it really sucks. vBulletin is no longer a "best choice". It was some years ago but these days it isn't. I've been running vBulletin forums since 2001 but stopped "upgrading" at 3.8.7. To make it worse, the Internet Brands people have terrible technical support and - Well, vBulletin used to be the "gold standard". Today, not by a long shot.

Comment So - "No Shit Sherlock" (Score 1) 341

Ah! Rudeness due to Lack of Accountability. "And your point is? And this is important why?"

I guess I've been around so long I have seen the differences in the interactions of people whether face to face, whether an audience is present, whether on the telephone (especially back before cell phones), whether on CB radio, whether on "ham" radio, whether by telegram, whether by the old BBS system, whether by internet forums and - Well, I did read the article and it was all stuff that was neither surprising or new or unexpected to me. So - When I see someone write up some Captain Obvious article like this one, to me it's a "No Shit Sherlock" moment. When it gets down to stuff like "...Another study found that people who browsed Facebook for five minutes and had strong network ties were more likely to choose a chocolate-chip cookie than a granola bar as a snack...." I say "And your point is? And this is important why?" This is nothing more than an article about some over priced "studies". I just love the title: "Why We Are So Rude Online". The same stuff was going on in the old POTS line BBS's. Online rudeness isn't new, and the reasons for it are, I'm sorry to say, pretty obvious without expensive studies.

I'm betting it started with the telephone so many years ago ("multiple personalities": face to face vs. via an intermediate such as a telephone), it's just that we were a small group of "nerds" in the 1980's BBS days whereas today you have Facebook which is full of millions of people (that's one big herd, pardner!).

But then again, now that I think about it, it probably goes back to when humans developed speech. It was one things to speak to someone face to face (accountability), but to yell down the hill "Hey, asshat" was much safer if they wanted to insult someone (less accountability unless the guy down the hill is faster than you).

Anyway, I thought article was useless. My opinion. Basic stuff I learned in psychology classes in college many, many moons ago. As always, YMMV As far as I'm concerned, the WSJ had some space to fill with some stupid "Oh My!" fluff.

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky