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Submission + - Unmanaged Comments Sections are Harmful to Readers and Publications

Lord Satri writes: The title of the article might not apply to Slashdot thanks to its moderation system, but the Close your comments; Build a community article argues that allowing unmanaged comments are harmful to both readers and publishers. From the article:

"Last year, Popular Science decided to close comments, citing studies that blamed them for the spread of misinformation. TechCrunch has changed platforms several times, to Livefyre, and back to Facebook comments. [...] It’s a Petri dish that grows trolls and frightens away those who actually want to contribute. At worst, an unmoderated comments section can contain threats and personal attacks, invalid criticisms and spam. [...] Moderation goes to great lengths to fix these problems. A moderator can ban dangerous trolls, protecting equitable commenters and increasing reply rates and time-on-site between those readers. [...] So, why did you want comments in the first place? Many organizations cite “engagement,” but what they actually mean is “action.” They want to motivate their readers to do something, whether that action is clicking a share button, emailing a tip, or contributing some form of user generated content.

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Open Source

Submission + - Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Now Open Sourc

Lord Satri writes: "MacOSForge announced that Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is now available open source under the Apache license: "The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple and supported on iPhone, iPad, most iPods, Mac and iTunes. ALAC is a data compression method which reduces the size of audio files with no loss of information. A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec project contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder. Also included is an example command line utility, called alacconvert, to read and write audio data to/from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. A description of a 'magic cookie' for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well.""
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Launches Streetside, Updates Bing Maps (bing.com)

Lord Satri writes: "Microsoft's Bing Maps (formerly known as Virtual Earth) got a major upgrade today. Amongst the new features: Streetside, enhanced Bird’s Eye view, Photosynth integration and more. Microsoft's Streetside is similar in concept to Google StreetView. From the official blog: "[Regarding Streetside:] Ground level photographs fully stitched allowing full continuous immersion into the street level landscape [...] Street labels hovering within the images showing you road names (so you don’t get lost) [...] [Regarding Bird's Eye view:] Our investments in photogrammetric processing are being leveraged for a new mode in the urban areas where we’ve captured high resolution photography and stereo data to create models of the respective cities. [Regarding Photosynth:] Photosynth is now natively integrated into Bing Maps. This means you can zip down from space down into someone’s housenot kidding." There's also a 27-minutes video showing the features, specifically focusing on Streetside."

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